Local News Articles

DCHS Class of '77 Remembers Tommy Pugh

September 19, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Tommy Pugh

A former DCHS football standout will be remembered when the Class of 1977 holds its 40 year reunion next month.

Tommy Pugh, a member of the class, played linebacker at DeKalb County High School from 1974 to 1977. During his years as a Tiger, Pugh received several honors including Weekly All Mid-State, 1st Team All-Mid State Class AA, and 2nd Team All State Class AA. He passed away in 2010.

A plaque with a photo of Pugh is being presented in his memory by the Class of 1977 to be hung in the field house built 40 years ago. The recognition will be held during halftime of the DeKalb County-Smith County Football Game on Friday night, October 6 in Smithville.

Members of the DCHS Class of 1977 are encouraged to attend the game as part of the reunion weekend and then be at the Craft Center the following night, Saturday, October 7 at 4 p.m. for a dinner at the Blue Water Grille On The Hill and a time of reminiscing. The cost is $50 per person.

Make your check to Kim Luton and send it to Dewain Hendrixson at 702 South Congress Boulevard. Please respond by Saturday, September 30.

For more information contact Luton at 615-597-5615 or Hendrixson at Ace Hardware 615-597- 4154 . Also, visit facebook: DCHS Class of '77 TN or email dchsclassof77@gmail.com

Killer Drug Fentanyl is Fueling the Opioid Epidemic Death Rate

September 19, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Sheriff Patrick Ray
Fentanyl in powder form

Fatalities related to the synthetic opioid fentanyl—a drug 10 times more powerful than heroin--are soaring in many parts of the country.

Law enforcement and health workers now face an unprecedented situation, with a burgeoning street trade in both the legitimate and illicitly manufactured fentanyl—often sold in pill form and made to look like OxyContin, a far less powerful narcotic. The drug, also available in liquid and powder form, is increasingly being used laced with cocaine and heroin, dramatically boosting their potency, often with fatal consequences. In many cases, authorities say it’s killing both inexperienced users and hardened addicts.

Prescribed by doctors for cancer treatments, “Fentanyl is an opioid medication and the most potent pain killer on the market,” said Sheriff Patrick Ray. “Although it has been around since the 1960’s, it is now being made illegally and sold on the streets mixed with other drugs. It delivers a super high and far too often causes many deaths.”

“Drug dealers are lacing oxycodone, ecstasy, heroin, marijuana, and cocaine with fentanyl. It can be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 10 times more potent than heroin,” he said. “Drug users generally don’t know when their heroin is laced with fentanyl so when they inject their usual quantity of heroin, they can mistakenly take a deadly dose substance. Also, while dealers try to include fentanyl to improve potency in heroin and other drugs, the dealers’ measuring equipment usually isn’t fined tuned enough to ensure that they will stay below the levels that could cause the user to overdose.”

He went on to explain that “Heroin and fentanyl look identical and when these drugs are purchased on the streets you don’t know what you’re taking. Its like playing Russian Roulette with a gun with one shell missing out of the gun’s cylinder.”

What does fentanyl look like?

“It can come as a small piece of film that can be dissolved under the tongue or a pill meant to be lodged inside the cheek. It can be ingested, snorted, smoked or injected into the body when abused. It is lethal in small doses and can be absorbed through the skin,” Ray said. “Fentanyl is highly addictive and often requires medical detox and opioid replacement medications to safely process the drug out of the body.”

Fentanyl also will affect the users’ breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and other vital signs.

“Some of the signs to look for in someone using fentanyl are dizziness, dry mouth, difficulty breathing, severe constipation, nausea and vomiting, weight loss, headache, difficulty seeing, depression, hallucination, difficulty sleeping, sweating, and shaking,”he continued.

According to authorities, the drug is so powerful, the general public along with safety and medical personnel, also face health dangers.

“It is so potent, people might accidentally touch or breathe a tiny amount of it and overdose,” the sheriff said. “People like law enforcement, EMTs, forensic lab technicians, and even funeral directors can die from an accidental overdose. A puff of fentanyl dust from closing a plastic bag is enough to send a full grown man to the emergency room. Fentanyl can also be absorbed through the skin and be lethal in very small doses as little as 0.25 milligrams, which isn’t very much,” he added.

Narcan Nasal Spray is recommended for the emergency treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose.

“Narcan is a medication used to block the affects of opioids, especially in overdoses. It can be sprayed into the nose of a person who has overdosed and it usually takes about two minutes to work,” sheriff Ray said. “After administering Narcan to someone who has overdosed, the person will regain consciousness and at times might be aggressive. We have been told that it may take two or more times of administering Narcan to someone who has overdosed on fentanyl before we can revive them.”

The sheriff hopes to soon have the medication made available free of charge for use by his office.

“I have applied for a grant for the purchase of Narcan for the sheriff’s department and jail. We hope to have at least two units of Narcan per patrol car and two units of Narcan in every first aid kit in the jail. This grant will provide Narcan to us for free,” he explained. “This is not only for the people we come in contact with who has overdosed on fentanyl but for my employees and people out in the public who might accidentally touch a bag or breathe the contents of a bag that contains any drug, especially fentanyl.”

Every September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration sponsors National Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and to celebrate the people who recover. The annual theme is Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities.

State Senate GOP Primary to be Contested

September 19, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page

The race to fill the unexpired term of State Senator Mae Beavers will be contested .

State Representative Mark Pody and conservative Army veteran Steve Wilson both of Lebanon have announced plans to seek the Republican nomination in the special election primary on November 7. The General Election will be December 19. No Democrat has yet announced.

According to the Lebanon Democrat, Wilson said he is a longtime member of Immanuel Baptist Church and cites his military experience as a good qualification for the job. He spent more than 40 years in the U.S. Army and the Tennessee National Guard and retired as a colonel of field artillery.

Wilson’s wife, Rita, currently serves in the Tennessee National Guard. The couple has two sons, Cory and Clint, who both serve in the National Guard and three grandchildren. Wilson also has relatives in DeKalb County.

Pody and his wife of 41 years, Barbara, moved to Wilson County more than 30 years ago to raise a family. They have two daughters and twelve grandchildren.

He and his family are very active in their local church.

Mark, an owner of a small business which specializes in financial planning and insurance solutions, has multiple business locations throughout Tennessee. He is also a member of Gideon, Wilson County Chamber of Commerce, DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce, Cannon County Chamber of Commerce, Private Pilot and the Rotary.

Pody has served the 46th district in the Tennessee House of Representatives since first being elected in 2010. He will be completing his fourth term in 2018. He currently represents Cannon and a portion of Wilson and DeKalb Counties.

Tennessee’s 17th Senate District includes Wilson, Cannon, DeKalb, Clay, Smith and Macon counties. State Senator Beavers, who recently announced her bid for governor, represented District 17 until her resignation September 1.

Man and Woman Arrested for Six Counts of Forgery

September 18, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Blake Lydell Brown-Nichols
Courtney Danielle Decker
Shannon Ray Herman
Gregory Eugene Neal
Christopher Tyler Young

A man and woman have been arrested for passing six forged checks at two local businesses.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL- Intakes & Releases From: 9/11/2017 Thru: 9/18/2017)

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_39.pdf (3.07 MB)

23 year old Blake Lydell Brown-Nichols of Piney Woods Road, Smithville and Courtney Danielle Decker of South Tittsworth Road, Smithville are each charged with six counts of forgery. Bond for each is $15,000 and their court date is September 28.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that Nichols and Decker passed forged checks on the same victim six times at the following places:

*Forgery: On April 17, Nichols and Decker passed a forged check at Walmart in the amount of $282.56

*Forgery: On April 17, Nichols and Decker passed a forged check at Wilson Bank & Trust in the amount of $200

*Forgery: On April 17, Nichols and Decker passed a forged check at Wilson & Bank & Trust in the amount of $100.

*Forgery: On June 8, Nichols and Decker passed a forged check at Wilson Bank & Trust in the amount of $100

*Forgery: On June 9, Nichols and Decker passed a forged check at Wilson Bank & Trust in the amount of $200.

*Forgery: On June 13, Nichols and Decker passed a forged check at Wilson Bank & Trust in the amount of $150

The cases were investigated by a Sheriff’s Department Detective.

33 year old Shannon Ray Herman of McMinnville Highway, Smithville is charged with theft of property over $1,000 (having possession). His bond is $5,000 and his court date is October 5. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, September 16 Herman was found to be in possession of a stolen 1987 Dodge pickup truck, which was reported stolen in Smith County on Sunday, September 10. When questioned about the vehicle, Herman admitted to the deputy to having possession of the truck but he wouldn’t say where he got it.

47 year old Gregory Eugene Neal of Andrew Street, Smithville is charged with vandalism. His bond is $2,500 and his court date is September 28.
Sheriff Ray said that on August 24, Neal cut wires, headliner, and other parts of a vehicle on Adcock Cemetery Road with the intent to damage and destroy the automobile causing $725.69 worth of damages.

The case was investigated by a Sheriff’s Department Detective.

31 year old Christopher Tyler Young of Old Smithville Highway, McMinnville was arrested on Tuesday, September 12 and charged with driving while licensed revoked. He was also cited for no insurance, violation of the light law, leaving the scene of an accident, and failing to give immediate notification of an accident. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is September 28. Sheriff Ray said that on July 25 a deputy was patrolling on McMinnville Highway when he passed a green Honda Accord traveling northbound committing a traffic violation. The officer tried to make a traffic stop but he lost sight of the automobile after it turned onto South Tittsworth Road in Smithville. He later found it wrecked at the intersection of South Tittsworth and Cantrell Cemetery Road but the driver had left the scene. After an investigation it was discovered that Young was the driver and that his license are revoked for driving under the influence on November 3, 2011.

Homeless Couple Charged in Rash of Burglaries and Thefts

September 18, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Joshua Dewayne Brown
Ashley Nichole Tittle

A homeless couple who went around stealing from homes, outbuildings, barn, and a church in the Alexandria, Liberty, and Dowelltown areas has been arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL- Intakes & Releases From: 9/11/2017 Thru: 9/18/2017)

http://www.wjle.com/sites/default/files/Seagate%20Crystal%20Reports%20-%...

31 year old Joshua Dewayne Brown and 24 year old Ashley Nichole Tittle are charged with 10 counts of burglary, 3 counts of aggravated burglary, 4 counts of vandalism, 10 counts of theft under $1,000, and 3 counts of theft over $1,000. Brown is also charged with 1 count of evading arrest.

Brown is under a $126,000 bond. Tittle’s bond is $122,500. Both will make an appearance in DeKalb County General Sessions Court on September 28.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, Brown and Tittle were found living under a tent in an old outbuilding on Wilson Hollow Road at Liberty. They had targeted 11 victims in their crime spree including one who was victimized three times.

Sheriff’s Department Detectives have recovered some of the stolen property. “I commend my detectives. They have been busy working on these and other break-ins. It has taken a long time and many hours during the past few weeks getting these suspects into custody but I want to commend my detectives on a job well done,” said Sheriff Ray.

The crimes against the two are as follows:

*Aggravated Burglary and theft under $1,000: On March 15, Brown and Tittle entered a residence on Alexandria to Dismal Road and took $1,000 in change.

*Burglary and theft under $1,000: On August 5, Brown and Tittle entered a building on Eckles Heights in Liberty and stole a weed eater and air compressor valued at $600.

*Burglary, vandalism, and theft under $1,000: On August 8, Brown and Tittle entered an outbuilding on Johnson Erwin Drive by forcibly prying open a door and took a Stihl chainsaw and Husqvarna chainsaw valued at $700. Damage to the building was less than $500.

*Burglary and theft under $1,000: On August 15, Brown and Tittle entered a vehicle on New Hope Road in Alexandria and took a Rock Island Armory 45 caliber handgun, a box of ammo, and extra magazines to the handgun valued at $539.

*Burglary and theft under $1,000: On August 15, Brown and Tittle entered a vehicle on New Hope Road in Alexandria and took a green purse, cash, and a check book valued at $230.

*Burglary and theft over $1,000: On August 20, Brown and Tittle entered the Mount Calvary Baptist Church on Lower Helton and took 2- 32 inch Sanyo LCD TVS, A 50 inch Sanyo LCD TV, 2 mounting brackets, and a flat top guitar valued at $1,330.

*Burglary, vandalism, and theft under $1,000: On August 29, Brown and Tittle entered a building on East Main Street in Dowelltown and stole various medications valued at $60. They caused $100 in damage to a window and window frame

*Burglary and theft under $1,000: On August 29, Brown and Tittle entered an outbuilding on Maulden Street in Liberty and stole a Poulan chainsaw valued at $150.

*Burglary and theft over $1,000: On August 30, Brown and Tittle entered an outbuilding on Lower Helton Road and stole a Stihl farm boss chainsaw, Stihl HS-46C hedge trimmer, a Dewalt saw, Milwaukee drill set, and Ruger 22 caliber rifle valued at $1,290.

*Aggravated burglary and theft under $1,000: On September 4, Brown and Tittle entered a residence on Alexandria to Dismal Road and took a 12 gauge double barrel shotgun valued at $175.

*Burglary (2 counts) and theft under $1,000: On September 9, Brown and Tittle entered a barn and a shed on the same property at Liberty to Dismal Road and stole a compound bow (from the barn) and Stihl chainsaw (from the shed) valued at $600.

*Theft over $1,000 and vandalism: On September 10, Brown and Tittle took a 2006 Honda recon 250 cc 4 wheeler from East Main Street in Dowelltown and damaged the ignition switch. Total damage less than $1,000.

*Aggravated burglary, vandalism, and theft under $1,000: On September 11, Brown and Tittle entered a residence on the Alexandria to Dismal Road and stole a laptop computer, cigarettes, and pellet gun valued at $710. They caused $100 in damage to the back door of the home during the burglary.

* Evading Arrest: On September 12, Brown attempted to flee by failing to obey law enforcement commands to stop.

Juveniles Sentenced for Joyriding on Nursery Golf Carts

September 18, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page

Six minors made an appearance in Juvenile Court last Thursday after recently taking golf carts from a local nursery for the purpose of joy riding.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that detectives at the Sheriff’s Department received reports on July 15 and July 17 that two golf carts had been taken from a nursery off Four Seasons. Another golf cart was taken from there on September 4.

Through an investigation, a detective learned that five of the juveniles were involved in taking two of the carts on July 15. Four participated in taking two carts on July 17, and three of the kids took one of the golf carts from the nursery on September 4.

Sheriff's Department Detectives took petitions against all six of the kids on Wednesday, September 6 charging them with the delinquent act of joyriding

All six juveniles entered a plea to the offenses. Each is required to perform hours of community service, send an apology note to the victim and is under a restraining order to keep away from the victim's nursery.

Local Law Enforcement Agencies to Receive Federal Grants

September 18, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department as well as the Smithville and Alexandria Police Departments are each getting a $5,000 federal grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to support local highway safety initiatives.

The announcement was made today (Monday) by the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security (TDOSHS) in partnership with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO). Approximately 400 grants exceeding $18 million will be distributed statewide from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) through the THSO for the 2017-2018 Federal Fiscal Year (FFY).

“Highway safety enforcement and education initiatives are critical components to preventing highway fatalities,” said Commissioner David W. Purkey of the TDOSHS. “We cannot lower statewide fatality numbers without strong partnerships within our local communities. That is why these funds are so important.”

Every year, traffic safety advocates, non-profit organizations, emergency response personnel, law enforcement, District Attorneys’ offices, and other state agencies across Tennessee seek funding through grant applications offered by the THSO. Applicants who meet the required data-driven criteria and highway safety standards are awarded grant funds to support the THSO’s mission to reduce traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities.

“Our highway safety partners are dedicated men and women who work tirelessly to protect Tennessee roadways every day,” said THSO Director Vic Donoho. “The THSO grant funding provides essential highway safety training and equipment for law enforcement agencies, sophisticated crash data collection analysis technology, specialized DUI prosecutors, resources for emergency response personnel, and educational tools to help improve driver behavior.”

Folk Artist Matt Butler to Perform Free Concert in Smithville as Part of National Recovery Month

September 18, 2017
by: 
Norene Puckett
In honor of National Recovery Month the DeKalb County Recovery Court has partnered with Sober Living Services and Lifeline of TN to bring a FREE Matt Butler concert to Smithville, Friday, September 22 at 6:00pm at the DeKalb County Complex

In honor of National Recovery Month the DeKalb County Recovery Court has partnered with Sober Living Services and Lifeline of TN to bring a FREE concert to Smithville, TN! This Friday, September 22 at 6:00pm at the DeKalb County Complex (712 S Congress Blvd.) in the Auditorium, all aboard the Matt Butler #recoverymonth tour train for a recovery month celebration! It was just announced by NAMI that Matt will be honored as a Leader In Mental Health Awareness for his album Reckless Son at this year’s annual conference in Albany, NY!

Matt Butler is a folk artist, a rock’n roller, and a storyteller. Weaving personal experience with a timeless style, Butler brings honesty and openness to his classic approach to songwriting.

Matt Butler first gained notoriety as the lead singer of the New York based band Reckless Sons, who released two EPs, the latter with legendary record producer David Kahne (Lana Del Ray, The Strokes, Sublime, Paul McCartney). The turning point in Butler’s career came, however, when he confronted his lifelong struggle with alcoholism and substance abuse. After getting sober, Butler recorded his debut solo album Reckless Son, a poignant confession of his battle with addiction and his inspiring path to recovery. Right from the start, Butler was able to pull together a community around his message and crowd fund the entire project through a successful Pledge Music Campaign. Released to critical acclaim in September of 2016, Reckless Son drew comparisons to heroes of Butler’s like Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan as well as contemporary Americana icons Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson.

Immediately following the release, Butler wrote and performed ‘Just One’, the original song for the feature length and nationally distributed documentary Generation Found. The film portrays the devastating effect the current drug and opiate epidemic has had on adolescents in and around Houston, TX, and the unprecedented way in which the community has rallied to support them.

With the simultaneous release of both Generation Found and Reckless Son, Butler found himself center stage in America’s recovery community. Butler has since performed at rallies, conferences and fundraisers across the country including The Caron Foundation’s annual gala in New York City and the Facing Addiction In America Summit in Los Angeles where the Surgeon General gave his historic address on the current addiction epidemic. Butler has performed alongside senators, congressmen and judges at state capitals across the country, including a performance on the steps of the Columbus State House alongside Senator Rob Portman. A sought after public speaker as well as performer, Butler has spoken at numerous high profile events including The David Lynch Foundation’s ‘Recovery, Meditation, and The Brain’ Summit at New York’s Paley Center. Dedicated to service, Butler has performed for incarcerated populations in jails and prisons in numerous states, most recently completing his first ever ‘Behind The Walls Tour’, where he performed exclusively in state prisons across Ohio. In November of 2017, Butler will be honored in Albany by the National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI) alongside Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Powers and Super Bowl Champion Keith O’Neil as a Leader In Mental Health Awareness.

During his relatively short professional career, Butler signed a development deal with Mercury Records (Island Def Jam), toured the United Kingdom (including main stage appearance at the Brighton Beachdown Festival), was a featured performer for TEDx San Francisco, recorded a single with Jeff Saltzman (The Killers), appeared in The LA Times, Nylon, Vanity Fair, Spin Magazine, and New York Times, as well as being the face of John Varvatos STAR USA ad campaign with Converse. As a solo artist, he has shared bills with the likes of Neil Young, Norah Jones, and Willie Nile.
A gifted singer/songwriter on the rise, he has co-writes with Angelo Petraglia (Kings Of Leon), Bobby Huff (Shinedown), Ted Hutt (Gaslight Anthem, Flogging Molly), Scott Stevens (The Exies), Mike Viola (Candy Butchers) and Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace).

Songs of Butler’s have been licensed to numerous films and television shows including American Pickers (Main theme song), NBC’s The Voice, A&E’s Biography of Bruce Springsteen, Pawn Stars, NY Ink, STARZ Network series Crash, Ax Men and Burn Notice.

Deer Archery Hunting Season Opens Saturday

September 18, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Deer Archery Hunting Season Opens Saturday

The 2017 deer archery-only hunting season opens statewide in Tennessee on Saturday, Sept. 23. The archery season dates in all five of the state’s deer hunting units are the same. The dates are Sept. 23-Oct. 27 and Oct. 30-Nov. 3.

Tennessee is divided into five deer units for better management, A, B, C, D, and L. The antlerless deer bag limits are four in Units A-D management areas and three per day in Unit L areas. The antlered deer bag limit is a total of two for the entire deer season. DeKalb County is in Unit B.

In addition to deer, archers may harvest wild turkeys of either sex during the archery-only deer season in counties that have a fall turkey hunt. Turkeys harvested during the archery-only deer season count toward the fall turkey county bag limits.

The TWRA makes the recommendation that all archery hunters obtain a 2017-18 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide. The guide lists the counties and bag limits for each of the different deer management units. The guides are available where hunting and fishing licenses are sold and on the TWRA website, www.tnwildlife.org.

Hunters are reminded that they must possess the appropriate licenses and permits. Any hunter born on or after Jan. 1, 1969 is required to carry proof of satisfactory completion of a hunter education class or be in possession of the Apprentice Hunting License (along with other required licenses), while hunting any species in Tennessee.

Driver Flees Scene on Foot After Serious Saturday Night Crash

September 18, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating a two vehicle crash Saturday night involving five people in which the driver of one automobile fled the scene on foot.

Names have not yet been released.

According to the THP, the crash occurred at 9:20 p.m. on Highway 70 east near Howard Redmon Road as the driver of a 1994 Nissan pickup truck, traveling east on U.S. 70, was passing another vehicle in a no passing zone. A 1998 Toyota Tacoma was approaching traveling west on U.S. 70. The left front of the Nissan pickup struck the left front of the Toyota Tacoma.

The driver of the Nissan pickup fled the scene on foot. He had three passengers, two of whom were transported to St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital. One was flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

The driver of the Toyota Tacoma, the lone occupant of that vehicle, was not injured.

This accident remains under investigation. Additional information will be released when the investigation is complete.

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