Local News Articles

Fred's Pharmacy Closing

February 17, 2017
 Fred's Pharmacy in Smithville to close February 21

A local pharmacy is closing its doors next week. Fred's Pharmacy will close February 21 and prescriptions have been transferred to another business.

In a recent letter to Fred's customers, Walmart actually announced the Fred's closing and said that records would be available at the Walmart Pharmacy at 515 West Broad Street in Smithville.

It was also stated in the letter that Walmart is committed to making a smooth transition for the former Fred's customers.

Motlow to host Home School Night

February 17, 2017
Dwayne Page

Motlow State Community College is holding a “Motlow for Homeschoolers” information night on Thursday, March 2 at 5:00 p.m. on the McMinnville campus at 225 Cadillac Lane.

The event is open to all homeschool parents and students who want to learn about critical information regarding attending college.

The program will cover multiple topics including the admissions process, high school dual enrollment opportunities at Motlow, Tennessee Promise eligibility, financial aid, scholarship basics, and the Motlow honors program. Students and parents will have the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session.

Students and parents planning to attend are asked to contact Sally Pack by February 28 at spack@mscc.edu or call 931-668-7010 extension 2133.

1st Annual “Spring Into Action” Blood Assurance Blood Drive Coming Soon

February 16, 2017
Dwayne Page
County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss

DeKalb County’s public safety and elected officials will be challenging employees of the DeKalb County School System in a battle for a good cause on Monday, March 6 in the 1st annual “Spring Into Action”” Blood Assurance Blood Drive. DeKalb County Neighbors Helping Neighbors.

The “Spring into Action” blood drive, sponsored by DeKalb County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss will be held inside the Bloodmobile at the senior citizens room in the county complex building on Monday, March 6 from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

To schedule an appointment go to: www.bloodassurance.org/dekalb or contact Trudy Cody @ 931-239-9411 or TrudyCody@bloodassurance.org

Prior to Christmas, Blood Assurance coordinated a local blood drive through County Clerk Poss. After its success and because of the everyday need for blood donations, Blood Assurance is again working with County Clerk Poss who has agreed to sponsor and commit to this event annually.

“Our community and communities adjoining us need our support. I've been asked to sponsor a much needed blood drive and accepted the challenge. We wanted to have a little fun so all Public Safety, Elected Officials will challenge the entire DeKalb County School System. We want to get as many involved to help others as we can and have a little local fun,” said County Clerk Poss.

“Approaching is the season of spring and we encourage everyone to “Spring Into Action” and participate. Please give a gift that is of no cost to you but one that those in need cannot buy. I concluded on the title “Spring Into Action” thinking of the upcoming season and so many in our community who provide daily commitment and service to our families. Regardless of your dedication and work within our communities we are challenging our local school system to enjoy a friendly competition against public safety and elected officials,” Poss continued.

“The public safety and elected officials will include employees, friends, and family members of DeKalb EMS, DeKalb & Smithville Rescue Squad, Smithville City Fire & Police, DeKalb County Fire & Sheriff’s Department, DeKalb County Clerk, Trustee, Register of Deeds, Circuit Court Clerk, County Mayor, Assessor of Property, Road Supervisor, General Sessions Judge, County Commissioners, and DeKalb 911,” said Poss.

“The DeKalb County School System includes employees, friends, and family along with School Board members, all employees of DeKalb West School, DeKalb Middle School, DeKalb County High School, Northside Elementary School, Smithville Elementary School, Board of Education, and the School Bus Garage,” added Poss.

“Remember this is a public event and is open to all. We ask at the time of your donation to please choose which team you would like your donation to be accredited to, whether it be employee, friend, or family member. We want this to be a fun competition and hope it encourages many to “Spring Into Action” for those in daily need of blood,” he said.

The team accredited with the most donations will be awarded a trophy and an engraved plaque to remain with them from year to year.

All blood collected from the Cookeville Blood Assurance Center services the needs of local community hospitals including DeKalb County, White County, Putnam County, Overton County, and others.

All donors will be given a FREE “Always Be Prepared” t-shirt! Donate & be entered for a chance to win a tent, sleeping bag & grill from “The Happy Camper”. Drinks and snacks will be also be provided.

Abortion, Highways Among Bills Filed by DeKalb State Lawmakers

February 15, 2017

With the filing deadline passed, the three state lawmakers that represent DeKalb County have numerous bills up for consideration by the Tennessee General Assembly.

Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) and State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) have jointly filed a bill in the respective chambers that would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy except to preserve the life and health of the mother.

Generally under present law, if all other requirements for a lawful abortion are met, an abortion may be performed as follows:

(1) During the first three months of pregnancy, if the abortion or attempt to procure a miscarriage is performed with the pregnant woman's consent and pursuant to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman's attending physician;

(2) After three months, but before viability of the fetus, if the abortion or attempt to procure a miscarriage is performed with the pregnant woman's consent, by the pregnant woman's attending physician, pursuant to the attending physician's medical judgment; or

(3) During viability of the fetus, if the abortion or attempt to procure a miscarriage is performed with the pregnant woman's consent and by the pregnant woman's attending physician, in a hospital; and if, prior to the abortion or attempt to procure a miscarriage the physician has certified in writing to the hospital in which the abortion or attempt to procure a miscarriage is to be performed, that the abortion or attempt to procure a miscarriage is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.

This bill revises the above provisions to make the provisions in (2) applicable "after three months, but before 20 weeks or viability of the fetus" and to make (3) applicable to abortions performed "after 20 weeks or during viability," so that under this bill abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy will be allowed only when necessary to preserve the life or health of the pregnant woman.

The two have also filed legislation that would authorize county road superintendents to expend state-aid funds for roads that are not part of the state-aid highway system.

Present law authorizes the commissioner of transportation to designate highways and roads for the state-aid highway system. The local authorities having authority over the selected highways and roads submit an annual program to the department specifying the type of work to be performed, including the planning, engineering, right-of-way acquisition, construction, improvement, and rehabilitation of roads and bridges. With the commissioner's approval, funds are allocated to the local agencies and expended on the designated highways and roads. No funds will be either obligated or expended unless the local agency agrees to match the proposed expenditures in an amount of 25 percent.

Present law additionally authorizes, until July 1, 2017, a county with remaining funds to use the unexpended balance, in whole or in part, to provide a portion of the local agency share; however, the county must provide at least 2 percent of the approved project costs from county funds or in-kind project work approved by the commissioner, or both. The county must initiate the project during the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

Under this bill, once the local governments within a county have addressed the project priorities established by the commissioner, the county road superintendent or other similar highway official may expend funds allocated for the state-aid highway system for other roadway purposes, including other roads and highways that are not part of the state-aid highway system. The commissioner's approval will not be required for the expenditure, and no conditions will be imposed by the commissioner in conjuncture with the expenditure.

Senator Beavers and Representative Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) have filed a measure that would require students in public schools and public institutions of higher education to use restrooms and locker rooms that are assigned to persons of the same sex as that shown on the students' birth certificates.

The two have also filed bills that would enact the "Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act," which states the policy of Tennessee to defend natural marriage between one man and one woman regardless of any court decision to the contrary.

Rep. Pody is also co-sponsoring a bill that prohibits state employees from lobbying for 12 months following departure from office or employment.

All the bills sponsored or co-sponsored by the three lawmakers can be found at http://www.capitol.tn.gov/.

Mya Ruch Receives "Classroom Champion Award"

February 15, 2017
Dwayne Page
Mya Ruch Receives "Classroom Champion Award"
Smithville Attorney Jim Judkins, DCHS Principal Kathy Bryant, Classroom Champion Mya Ruch, her mother Melissa Ruch, and WJLE's Dwayne Page

This week’s “Classroom Champion” award goes to DCHS student Mya Ruch.

The award was presented by Smithville Attorney Jim Judkins and WJLE .

Mya is the 14 year old daughter of Joe and Melissa Ruch of Smithville.

As a freshman, she is involved in many clubs and sports, and has also achieved a 4.5 weighted GPA for her first semester. While on the Cross Country team, she was a member of the all Mid-State team and was the first DCHS runner to go to a TSSAA state meet. Here she came in 15th place in the Division I, A-AA meet, and was recognized as being on the All State team. She is also a member of the DCHS Basketball team. Mya is a member of the Smithville Church of Christ and enjoys being very involved in their youth group.

In an effort to recognize achievements of students in the DeKalb County School System, WJLE has partnered with attorney Judkins in featuring a “Classroom Champion” each week for the next several months.

The name of the student selected each week will be announced on WJLE and will be featured on the WJLE website. Each student winning will receive a plaque and a gift certificate.

“This is our way of recognizing and celebrating the achievements of the future citizens and leaders of the community. It can benefit their learning and overall school atmosphere and climate. The students' selection is based on academic performance, responsibility and work ethic, leadership abilities, and citizenship and character,” said Judkins.

Alexandria Mayor Presents City Employee with Certificate of Appreciation

February 15, 2017
Alexandria Mayor Presents City Employee Mark Fish with Certificate of Appreciation

Alexandria Mayor Bennett Armstrong presented city employee Mark Fish with a special certificate of appreciation Tuesday, February 14, at the Alexandria Senior Center. Mayor Armstrong made the presentation to acknowledge Mark's dedication to service for the citizens of Alexandria. The Mayor further noted that Mark regularly goes out of his way to help wherever he can.

Beavers, Pody, and Weaver to Hold Town Hall Meeting on Governor's Gas Tax Proposal

February 14, 2017
Dwayne Page
State Senator Mae Beavers
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver
State Representative Mark Pody

State Senator Mae Beavers and State Representatives Mark Pody and Terri Lynn Weaver will hold a town hall meeting Friday in Smithville on Governor Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act.

The state lawmakers want to hear from the public on their opinions concerning the Act which if approved would cut the sales tax on groceries another half percent ($55 million) to 4.5% while it increases the road user fee or gas tax by 7 cents for a gallon of gas and 12 cents for a gallon of diesel. The Governor’s plan would also increase car registration fees by $5 for the average passenger vehicle, which is expected to bring in $278 million in new dollars for Tennessee Department of Transportation projects.

“We would like to invite everyone to our town hall meeting at the county complex Friday, February 17 at 3:00 p.m. We want to explain the gas tax and what is contained in it as well as other plans that have come forward. There will be a chance for you to write down your questions and we will answer them at the meeting. We look forward to seeing everyone,” said Senator Beavers.

Representative Pody, in a LIVE radio interview on WJLE Tuesday morning said most leaders agree there’s a need to help fund Tennessee Department of Transportation projects but disagree on the method.

“I am very glad that the Governor is taking a leadership role in bringing this to the forefront. Its an issue we have to address. Our roads are in good shape but there is going to be a funding issue down the road. He is taking the bull by the horns in saying lets get this issue fixed for future generations. He wants to raise taxes on fuel, car registrations, and car rentals but he also wants to cut taxes on food and businesses. That is one option. Another plan would redirect a quarter of one percent of sales tax directly to the transportation fund, which should create about $291 million of reoccurring money every single year. It’s much simpler and cleaner,” said Representative Pody.

Under the Governor’s plan, counties and cities would get more revenue, but they would also benefit from the other option according to Representative Pody. “We will talk about what the Governor is proposing and how much the cities and counties will potentially be getting. For example, the City of Smithville would be getting an additional $50,000 underneath his plan. Under the other plan they would still be getting money. Both plans ensure cities and counties receive additional money. It’s just how we’re going to get to that point will be our main discussion,” he added.

Representative Pody will also be in Smithville Friday morning for his regular monthly visit with constituents. You may meet him on the 3rd floor of the Ernest Ray Education Center on the public square at 10 a.m. or at Hardees Restaurant at 10:30 a.m.

DeKalb County Schools will be Closed Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday

February 14, 2017
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County Schools will be closed Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday due to continued high absenteeism in the school system because of sickness. Schools will also be closed Monday, February 20 for Presidents Day.

According to Director of Schools Patrick Cripps, the rate of student absenteeism today (Tuesday, February 14) was at 12.8% system-wide due to sickness. Several teachers and bus drivers also called in sick. In some cases, finding substitutes for the teachers became difficult as well.

With the closing of schools the remainder of the week, DeKalb County will have used eight "snow days" for either weather or sickness this school year with five "snow" days remaining.

Three Facing Charges of Evading Arrest After Monday Police Pursuit

February 14, 2017
Dwayne Page
Kylie Smartt
Nancy Self

Smithville Police are still looking for a man who eluded them after a pursuit and SUV crash Monday afternoon.

40 year old Anthony Steven Alley of McMinnville will be charged with evading arrest. Meanwhile two passengers with Alley at the time of the pursuit, 22 year old Kylie Smartt of Manchester and 36 year old Nancy Self of Centertown are each charged with evading arrest and will be in General Sessions Court on March 9. Each is under $1,500 bond.


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_11.pdf (3.73 MB)

According to Chief Mark Collins, the incident began when a Smithville Police Officer clocked a black Infinity SUV traveling 66 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour speed zone on Miller Road and got in pursuit when the driver wouldn’t stop. The chase continued to Robinson Road, Game Ridge Road, Dry Creek Road, and onto New Home Road. The SUV then turned onto Vickers Hollow Road, drove through a barbed wire fence, and struck a tree in a patch of woods before catching fire. The occupants bolted from the vehicle and went down a ravine trying to get away on foot. According to the warrants, Smartt was found trying to hide in the woods while Self was attempting to cover herself with leaves behind a log. Both were quickly apprehended without incident. Alley escaped into the woods. Police do not believe he was armed. The women received only minor injuries and refused transport to the hospital.

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and DeKalb EMS responded along with assistance from Sheriff’s Department deputies, constables and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Certain Arrested Twice in Same Week on Drug Charges

February 14, 2017
Dwayne Page
Andy Joe Certain

A suspected meth dealer who was arrested on drug charges Sunday, February 5th was busted again for similar offenses four days later after he tried to outrun the law in his pickup truck and crashed in Cannon County

39 year old Andy Joe Certain of Bright Hill Road, Smithville is charged with evading arrest, possession of methamphetamine for sale and delivery (2 counts), driving while in possession of methamphetamine, possession of a schedule II & IV controlled substance, and unlawful carrying of a weapon. He was also cited for driving on a revoked license, running stop signs, driving while roadways laned for travel (illegal crossing of highway center lines), and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $50,000 and his court date is March 2.


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_10.pdf (2.83 MB)

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, February 9 a deputy tried to stop a green Ford Ranger on Miller Lane in Smithville but when the officer turned on his emergency equipment (lights) the truck failed to stop. The deputy started a pursuit which continued to Banks Pisgah Road and on into Cannon County. Along the way, the driver, Certain threw items out of his truck window including a camouflage backpack. The truck crashed at the intersection of Purser Hill Road and Half Acre Road in Cannon County. Certain was found to have been in possession of methamphetamine (3 individual baggies weighing .10 grams, .57 grams, and 11.2 grams), morphine (8 pills), and xanax (9 pills). The meth field tested positive. Also found were several individual baggies, a set of scales believed to have been used in the sale and delivery process, and a 32 caliber handgun which was in the backpack that Certain had thrown out of the truck. Certain, convicted of aggravated assault in June, 2003, is not legally allowed to carry a weapon.

Four days earlier on Sunday, February 5th, a deputy found Certain with pills, paraphernalia, and baggies of methamphetamine for sale while answering a routine noise disturbance call. In that case, Certain was charged with possession of methamphetamine for sale or delivery. He was also cited for possession of drug paraphernalia and simple possession of a schedule IV drug (Xanax). His bond is $15,000 and his court date is March 2.

Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, February 5 a deputy responded to the Loop Circle due to a noise disturbance call. Upon arrival at the residence the officer spoke with Certain. Knowing that Certain had an active warrant against him, the officer placed Certain under arrest. After obtaining consent to search his bedroom, the deputy found several hypodermic syringes and spoons with residue along with four individual baggies which held rock like substances which weighed 2.88 grams, 3.52 grams, 3.53 grams, and 3.54 grams and field tested positive for methamphetamine. Fourteen pills believed to be Xanax, three sets of scales, a box of sandwich baggies and a grinder were also found. While walking out of the residence, the officer also spotted on the center console of Certain’s truck another small baggie containing what appeared to be the same rock like substance which weighed 0.29 grams and field tested positive for meth.


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