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Local News Articles

DCHS Tigerettes Advance to Region Championship Game

May 16, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
DCHS Tigerettes Advance to Region Championship Game

The DCHS Tigerettes are moving on to the Championship game of the Region 4AA Softball Tournament after defeating the Chattanooga Christian Chargers 8-0 Monday in the Semi-Finals at the Danny Bond Field.

The Championship game will be Wednesday, May 18 against Livingston Academy in Smithville at 5:00 p.m. WJLE plans LIVE coverage.

The Tigerettes scored 8 runs on 14 hits and made 1 error. The Lady Chargers were held scoreless. They had 2 hits and made 1 error.

DeKalb County scored 3 runs in the 1st and 5th innings and 2 runs in the 6th inning.

Kayley Caplinger pitched another shutout. She struck out 9 and walked 2.

Dani Meadows had a homerun and double

Tyra Graham had a single and triple

Kayley Caplinger with a single and 2 doubles

Lexi Bates and Katie Hall each with 2 singles

Allison Maynard, Joni Robinson, and Kristina Bain each had a single.

DCHS Student Threatens to Blow Up School, Charged with Terrorism Hoax

May 16, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Colby Ray Clark
Carl Michael Fleming
Jaime Marie Williams
Jose Alfredo Contreras

A DCHS student was arrested last Thursday after threatening to blow up the high school.

18 year old Colby Ray Clark of Smithville is charged with terrorism hoax. His bond is $1,500 and he will make a court appearance on May 19. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, May 12 the DCHS Resource Officer was called to a teacher’s classroom to investigate a threat. According to Sheriff Ray, Clark had been sitting in a classroom when he made a statement saying he was going to blow up the high school. Several witnesses told the SRO they had heard Clark make the threat.

61 year old Carl Michael Fleming of Toad Road, Smithville is charged with aggravated assault. His bond is $10,000. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, May 10 a woman came to the sheriff’s office to report a domestic assault. According to the woman, she went to her residence on Toad Road to gather some belongings and while there she and her husband got into an argument. He allegedly cursed her, grabbed her keys, and shoved her backwards against a cabinet. When she reached for a phone to call 911, Fleming allegedly grabbed a Glock pistol from a bookcase and warned that if she made the call, she would never leave. The woman then took her car keys, ran out of the home, and across a field to get away. The woman said as she was running from the house, Fleming fired a shot from the gun.

39 year old Jaime Marie Williams of Old Hickory is charged with public intoxication. She is also cited for simple possession. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on May 19. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, May 10 a deputy responded to the area of Dale Ridge Road due to someone walking in the roadway. Upon arrival the officer spoke with the individual, Williams. She had an odor of alcohol about her person. She was very unsteady on her feet. Her eyes were bloodshot and her speech was slurred. Williams submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. A search of her person turned up a xanax pill in her wallet. Williams admitted to having the pill without a prescription. She was placed under arrest for her safety and that of the public.

38 year old Jose Alfredo Contreras of Parkway Drive, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. He was further issued a citation for driving on a suspended license and for driving on the wrong side of the roadway. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on June 16. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, May 15 a deputy was on routine patrol when he spotted a Chevy Tahoe leaving its lane of travel. The officer made a traffic stop of the vehicle and spoke with the driver, Contreras. He had an odor of alcohol on his person and his eyes were bloodshot. He performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. He also submitted to a blood test. Contreras was placed under arrest.

State Lawmakers Honor DCHS Valedictorian and Salutatorian

May 16, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
State Lawmakers Honor DCHS Valedictorian and Salutatorian

State lawmakers hosted a breakfast Monday, May 16 at Angie’s Diner to honor the DCHS Class of 2016 Valedictorian Ashli Chew and Salutatorian Max Pafford.

Both Chew and Pafford were formally presented copies of resolutions paying tribute to them as adopted in the State House of Representatives and State Senate and signed by the Governor. The presentations were made by State Senator Mae Beavers and State Representatives Terri Lynn Weaver and Mark Pody. DCHS Assistant Principal Jenny Norris and Director of Schools Patrick Cripps also attended the breakfast.

The Senate Joint Resolution honoring and recognizing Chew introduced by State Senator Mae Beavers states as follows:

"WHEREAS, it is fitting that the members of this General Assembly should pause to pay tribute to those students who, through their natural talents and unflagging commitment to academic excellence, have distinguished themselves in the classroom; and

WHEREAS, Ashli Chew is one such exceptional student who was recently named Valedictorian of the 2016 graduating class at DeKalb County High School; and
WHEREAS, through diligent study, steady composure during examinations, and steadfast commitment of time and talent, Ms. Chew achieved outstanding academic success and joined the ranks of the best and brightest students in Tennessee and our country; and

WHEREAS, in her remarkable high school career, Ashli Chew earned an exemplary grade point average while participating in numerous extracurricular activities, including Beta Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Climate Crew, Student Council, Science Club, and basketball; and

WHEREAS, Ms. Chew’s display of intellectual aptitude and ambition surely bodes well for her future success at Bryan College; and

WHEREAS, Ashli Chew’s noteworthy achievement is a tremendous source of pride for her parents, Lori Chew and George and Janna Chew, her school, and her community; and

WHEREAS, Ms. Chew’s dedication to excellence is clearly deserving of the respect, admiration, and commendation of this legislative body; now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the Senate of the One Hundred Ninth General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, the House of Representatives concurring, that we hereby commend and honor the 2016 DeKalb County High School Valedictorian, Ashli Chew, on her impressive academic achievement and extend to her our best wishes for a happy, successful future".

The Senate Joint Resolution honoring and recognizing Pafford introduced by State Senator Beavers states as follows:

"WHEREAS, it is fitting that the members of this General Assembly should pause to pay tribute to those students who, through their natural talents and unflagging commitment to academic excellence, have distinguished themselves in the classroom; and

WHEREAS, Maxwell Pafford is one such exceptional student who was recently named Salutatorian of the 2016 graduating class at DeKalb County High School; and

WHEREAS, through diligent study, steady composure during examinations, and steadfast commitment of time and talent, Mr. Pafford achieved outstanding academic success and joined the ranks of the best and brightest students in Tennessee and our country; and

WHEREAS, in his remarkable high school career, Maxwell Pafford earned an exemplary grade point average while participating in numerous extracurricular activities, including Beta Club and Future Business Leaders of America; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Pafford’s display of intellectual aptitude and ambition surely bodes well for his future success; and

WHEREAS, Maxwell Pafford’s noteworthy achievement is a tremendous source of pride for his parents, Mark and Beth Pafford, his school, and his community; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Pafford’s dedication to excellence is clearly deserving of the respect, admiration, and commendation of this legislative body; now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the Senate of the One Hundred Ninth General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, the House of Representatives Concurring that we hereby commend and honor the 2016 DeKalb County High School Salutatorian, Maxwell Pafford, on his impressive academic achievement and extend to him our best wishes for a happy, successful future."

The DCHS Graduation is Friday night, May 20 at 7:00 p.m. on the high school football field.

DeKalb County Recognizes EMS Week

May 16, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Tim Stribling signs EMS Week proclamation with DeKalb EMS Director Hoyte Hale
DeKalb EMS A-Shift: Tyler Grandstaff, Jonathan Rudd, Kristie Johnson, and Donna Melton
DeKalb EMS B-Shift: Jason Rice, Kim Johnson, Misty Green, and Allen Mason
DeKalb EMS C-Shift: Tim Briggs, Trent Phipps, Matt Melton, Daniel Summers, Daniel Webb, and John Hurd

A week dedicated to celebrating emergency service workers is being recognized in DeKalb County.

The community relies on emergency workers to rush to the rescue, no matter what the circumstance.

County Mayor Tim Stribling signed a proclamation Monday designating May 15-21 as Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week in DeKalb County. EMS Director Hoyte Hale joined County Mayor Stribling for the occasion.

The proclamation is as follows:

"Whereas, Emergency Medical Services is a vital public service; and

Whereas, the members of Emergency Medical Teams are ready to provide lifesaving care to those in need 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and

Whereas, access to quality Emergency Care dramatically improves the survival and recovery rate of those who experience sudden illness or injury; and

Whereas, the Emergency Medical Services system consists of emergency physicians, emergency nurses, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, firefighters, educators, administrators, and others; and

Whereas, the members of Emergency Medical Services teams, whether career or volunteer, engage in thousands of hours of specialized training and continuing education to enhance their lifesaving skills; and

Whereas, it is appropriate to recognize the value and the accomplishments of Emergency Medical Services providers by designating Emergency Medical Services Week;

Now, Therefore, I Tim Stribling, County Mayor, DeKalb County, Tennessee, in recognition of this event do hereby proclaim the week of May 15-21, 2016 as Emergency Medical Services Week.

With the theme, EMS:CARE YOU CAN COUNT ON, I encourage the community to observe this week with the appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities".

Members of the DeKalb EMS Staff in addition to Director Hoyte Hale are:

A-SHIFT
Donna Melton-AEMT
Jonthan Rudd-EMT-P
Kristie Johnson-CCEMT-P I/C
Tyler Grandstaff-CCEMT-P

B-SHIFT
Jason Rice-AEMT
Misty Green-AEMT
Kim Johnson-EMT-P
Allen Mason-EMT-P

C-SHIFT
Trent Phipps-EMT-P
Daniel Summers-EMT-P
Tim Briggs- EMT-P
Matt Melton-AEMT

DAY CREW:
Daniel Webb-AEMT
Houston Austin-EMT-P
Greta Stone-EMT-P
Jamie Parsley-AEMT

Part Time Staff
Cody Johnson-EMT-P
Jeff Cole-EMT-P
Stephanie Brown-EMT-P
Charles Nokes-EMT-P
John Hurd-EMT-P
Greg Moore-EMT-P
Bryan Locke-CCEMT-P
Michael Hollandsworth-AEMT
Becky Atnip-AEMT
David Hamlet-EMT-P
John Poss-AEMT
Lonnie Laxton-AEMT
Wesley Slager-AEMT
Trent Hillis-AEMT
Jennifer Phillips-AEMT
Jimmy Savage-AEMT
Scotty Jones-AEMT
Rebecca Partridge-AEMT
Kevin Cripps-AEMT
Edward Brooks-AEMT
Dick Kinsey-AEMT
Jimmy Poss-AEMT

Teena Allen-EMS Office Manager

Alex Johnson Seeking Votes For Wheelchair-Accessible Van

May 14, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Alex Johnson Seeking Votes For Wheelchair-Accessible Van

Friendship Christian student Alex Johnson of Lebanon needs votes to win a wheelchair accessible van.

The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association is giving away three wheelchair accessible vehicles to local heroes who receive the most votes during National Mobility Awareness Month in May.

Johnson, 10 year old son of Nathan and Danna Johnson originally from DeKalb County, is entered at www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com. The prize is a van into which Alex could be loaded, wheelchair and all.

To cast your vote for Alex, follow the link below and search DANNA JOHNSON LEBANON, TN and vote for TEAM ALeX. Votes may be submitted daily, so remember to VOTE EACH DAY.

http://www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com/entrant/danna-johnson-lebanon-tn/

Alex’s father Nathan is a DeKalb County Graduate Class of 1994, and his mother Danna worked as an Athletic Trainer for DeKalb County High School in the early 2000s. Alex has a brother, Michael. He is also the grandson of former DeKalb County Board of Education Member Mike Johnson and his wife Jeana, both of Smithville.

Alex was born with a rare skeletal disorder called pseudo-rheumatoid chondrodysplasia . Much of the early years were spent seeking answers to his muscle and joint pain. In the beginning Alex was able to use custom braces and a walker to get around, and it was at this time he wanted to run in a 5k race. But of course, he couldn’t “run” so he challenged Greg Armstrong, the Friendship Christian High School Cross Country coach to run with him. The news traveled and even the Nashville News covered the story. They brought a community together and Alex became TEAM ALeX.

The very first race Coach Armstrong pushed him, but Alex wanted to finish on his own. It was an intense yet amazing experience for everyone. Since that time Alex and Coach Armstrong have paired together for many races. The two continue to inspire others and one another. In fact Alex has helped Coach Armstrong educate people on his mission “Run 4 Water”, where he and local teens raise money for a mission trip to build water filtration systems for clean water in Honduras.

In turn, Coach Armstrong has been with Alex as he educates people on being more respectful and conscious of those with disabilities including not staring, pointing, or invading designated areas for those with disabilities. Alex has spoken in chapels, schools, rotary clubs, and other events spreading the word. He touches most everyone he meets with his positiveness and “Never Give Up” attitude. Alex gets involved when he can and he has taken up bowling, kick ball, and recently he participated in skate week at his school. He has a skateboard and a rope where his friends pull him around.

Those around him focus on what Alex can do, not what he can’t do. Alex has made this very easy for everyone. His parents receive numerous comments about the things Alex does for people or how he inspires them. Just recently Alex received a donation of his own customized powered wheelchair. This donation has been a great blessing as he has begun to have difficulty using the manual wheelchair as his joints deteriorate. With the new addition of the chair a vehicle will be needed to accommodate his needs. Alex deserves a life that is not hindered by his limitations but one that is full of opportunities. Have a means of transportation for Alex would not only be appreciated by his family, but by the many he has inspired. Go TEAM ALeX!

Over 18 million people in North America are living with restrictive mobility issues. This is your chance to change the lives of just a few of those triumphing in the face of adversity.

Man with Machete Charged with Domestic Assault

May 14, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jeffery Banks

A Smithville man has been arrested for domestic assault after allegedly threatening family members with a machete.

44 year old Jeffery Banks is under a $5,000 bond and he will make a court appearance on June 9.

Smithville Police were dispatched to a residence on Thursday, May 12 in reference to a domestic assault. There they found Banks who had been drinking. He was yelling at officers and family members in the residence. Upon investigation it was determined that Banks had made verbal threats toward the victims and displayed a large machete, which placed the victims in fear for their safety.

58 year old Thomas Richard Squires was arrested for DUI on Friday, May 6. Squires was involved in a motor vehicle accident on Allen Ferry Road. During the investigation, police found that he had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person, slurred speech and he was unsteady on his feet. Squires performed unsatisfactorily on field sobriety tasks. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on May 26.

46 year old Martin Jeffery Neal was arrested for public intoxication on Saturday, May 7. Police found Neal on West Main Street and observed him to be unsteady on his feet and to have slurred speech. Neal had trouble standing and walking without assistance and he had a strong odor of a fermented beverage about his person. Neal was placed under arrest due to him being a danger to himself and the public and because of his level of intoxication. Bond for Neal is $1,500 and he will be in court on May 26.

44 year old Richard Brandon Turner was arrested on Saturday, May 7 for theft under $500. Turner was observed walking out of Wal-Mart with items that he hadn’t purchased. Due to this offense and Turner having been previously caught taking similar items from the store he was arrested. His bond is $3,000 and he will make a court appearance on May 26.

28 year old Brandy Nicole Turner was arrested on Saturday, May 7 for public intoxication. Police responded to a call of a trespasser and found Turner who appeared to be under the influence of intoxicants. Turner was paranoid and seemed to be seeing things that were not there. Turner was determined to be a harm to herself and others and was placed under arrest for public intoxication. Her bond is $1,500 and her court date is May 19.

32 year old Steven Darrell Bly was arrested for violation of bond conditions on Sunday, May 8. Officers were called to a residence in reference to a domestic related incident. Police were advised by Central Dispatch that Bly had active bond conditions preventing him from being near the victim who was also present in the residence. Bly was taken into custody without incident. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is May 19.

26 year old Jonathan Wade Hummel was arrested for inhalants on Wednesday, May 11. Police responded to the parking lot of Rite Aid Pharmacy due to a person who was unresponsive in a vehicle. Hummel was found asleep sitting in the driver seat of his automobile. Officers awoke Hummel, and observed him holding a bottle of an aerosol spray duster. Hummel was taken into custody and charged with inhalants. His bond is $3,000 and his court date is May 26.

DTC Board Member Loses His Life

May 13, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Charles Dwight Vinson

A long time member of the DTC Communications Board of Directors lost his life in a weather related accident last week on his property on the 7200 block of Ruel McKnight Road in Rutherford County.

64 year old Charles Dwight Vinson, who represented the Milton Exchange on the DTC Board, was killed around 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4 as strong winds caused a large tree to fall on him while he was working in his yard, according to a report in the Daily News Journal.

Rutherford County Fire Chief Larry Farley said Vinson was weeding around his yard and that when he got back on his four-wheeler and drove up his driveway, the wind appears to have caused a large hickory tree to fall on Vinson, killing him on impact. Vinson was found by his son.

The funeral was held last Saturday, May 7 at Lascassas Baptist Church. Burial followed in the Milton Cemetery.

Fire Forces Woman and Children From Their Home

May 13, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Fire at Home of Brooke Pedigo on E.H. Haas Road Wednesday

A bedroom fire forced a woman and three children from a home on E.H. Haas Road Wednesday evening.

Captain Anthony Boyd of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department told WJLE that the blaze was reported at around 5:30 p.m. at the home of Brooke Pedigo . Although Pedigo lives there, the house actually belongs to Ronnie and Sue Cook.

Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the residence. According to Captain Boyd, the fire was contained to one bedroom but heat and smoke spread throughout the home. Pedigo and the children were unharmed. Local members of the American Red Cross were called to assist the family with their immediate needs.

The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Members of the Main Station, Liberty, and Short Mountain Highway stations responded along with the fire department’s tanker truck. The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department and DeKalb EMS were also on the scene.

Letter Carriers Ready to Stamp Out Hunger

May 13, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Letter Carriers Ready to Stamp Out Hunger

Your help is needed in fighting hunger and feeding hope on Saturday, May 14 by joining with the Letter Carriers (NALC) union in its 24th annual food drive--the largest one-day food drive in the nation.

The annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive permits residents to leave non-perishable food at their mailboxes for letter carriers to pick up when they deliver the mail. The drive is held each year on the second Saturday in May.
Letter carriers will be collecting non-perishable food donations for the drive from postal customers in the Smithville area as they deliver mail along their postal routes. People are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods such as canned soup; canned vegetables; canned meats and fish; pasta; peanut butter; rice or cereal next to their mailbox before the regular mail delivery on Saturday.

According to local Letter Carriers, food items can be left in your mail box for mail carriers to pick up or you may drop off your donations at the lobby of the Smithville Post Office

Carriers will bring the food to local food banks, pantries or shelters in DeKalb County. For more information, call Roger Young at the Smithville Post Office at 615-597-4781.

Last year’s drive collected approximately 71 million pounds of non-perishable food that was left in bags next to postal customers’ mailboxes. It was the 12th consecutive year that letter carriers have collected more than 70 million pounds of food, and it brought the drive’s grand total to more than 1.4 billion pounds of food collected.

DeKalb-Cannon County High School Football Alumni Game Saturday Night

May 13, 2016
DCHS Tigers
Cannon County High School Lions

Former players for both the DeKalb County Tiger and Cannon County Lion football teams will congregate at Fred Schwartz Field in Woodbury on Saturday evening, May 14, for a first-ever Alumni football game between the two schools. Kickoff of the full contact event is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. WJLE will have LIVE coverage with John Pryor.

Cannon County and DeKalb County have had a long-standing border rivalry in all sports, which spans the course of decades. In 1963, high schools in Smithville and Liberty combined to form a consolidated DeKalb County High School. Games between schools in the region were played prior to that consolidation, but the first official consolidated Cannon County - DeKalb County football game was played in the fall of 1963, which the Tigers won in Smithville, 12-0. DeKalb County won again in 1964, 39-0, in Woodbury, but the Lions claimed three straight in the series from 1965-67, before the series was suspended until the 1971 season.

The two teams tied, 6-6, in 1971, but DeKalb County gained a stranglehold in the series from that point, winning the next 15 games in the series, from 1972-2004. Cannon County won two of the next three meetings, including a 47-7 rout of the Tigers in 2005, which laid the three-plus decade streak to rest. After a Lion win in the 2007 game in Smithville however, DeKalb County took command of the series, having won the last eight meetings, including the most lopsided result in the series in 2015, when the Tigers rolled to a 69-3 rout of the Lions in Smithville.

In all, since DeKalb County's high school consolidation in 1963, the Lions and Tigers have played 32 total times. DeKalb County holds a 26-5-1 all-time lead in the series. The Tigers are 12-4-1 against the Lions in Smithville, and hold a 13-1 advantage over the Lions in games played in Woodbury. One neutral site game was played in Baxter in 1972, which the Tigers also won.

DeKalb County averages 27.7 points per game against Cannon County, while the Lions average 9.7 points per game against the Tigers.

DeKalb County's alumni roster features 33 players from various teams, dating back to the Class of 1993 through players who graduated in 2015.

Admission to the game Saturday evening is $10, with proceeds to benefit each school's football program. Tickets will be available at the gate.

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