Local News Articles

Local High School Student on Mission to Guatemala

July 22, 2014
Julia Little teaching patients to play UNO
Julia Little on Medical Mission Trip to Guatemala
Julia Little

Julia Little, daughter of Dr. Scott Little and Kristin Raymond, was invited to participate in a Medical Mission trip June 7-14 to Guatemala. She is an upcoming Senior at DeKalb County High School, and is contemplating a career in Medicine.

She was part of a team of Doctors, Surgeons, Nurses, and Assistants, who were sponsored by Health Talents International under the leadership of Rick Harper. The team members came from various states. They worked at Clinica Ezzel, a Hospital in Guatemala. She accompanied her Step-Father, Nurse Anesthetist Brian Raymond, of Lexington, Kentucky. Raymond is also a native of Smithville.

Julia's main focus of the trip was working in Post Op. (especially in the Children's Ward) and as Translator for the patients. She was allowed to "scrub in" at five different surgeries and got a real taste of the Operating Room procedures. The Medical Team actually did 75 surgeries in five days!. One day they set up a mobile location away from the Hospital on a front porch of a building. This was a screening clinic where they did Vitals, Blood work, etc. Julia especially enjoyed interacting with the patients at the Hospital and teaching them to play UNO. One little 4 year old who lived by the Hospital, came in every day for her special time with Julia.

On their last day of the Mission, the Team went to the Market in Antigua, where some of the people recognized them as being part of the Mission and insisted on giving them free trinkets from the Market.

When asked to sum up her feelings about the trip, Julia replied, "Beside getting to experience first hand the joy of helping to make people whole and well again, I came home with a firm belief that missions such as I was part of are vital to the needs of the World!. A few people can make such a big difference in the well-being of such grateful and loving recipients in only a week's time. That's how it is with God's Love, once you experience it, you've GOT to Pass it On", she said.

More than 1,200 Vote Early

July 22, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page

A total of 1,227 persons have cast ballots during the first seven days of early voting for the August 7 elections. That's 1,140 in person and 87 by absentee.

Of the 1,227 voters, a total of 433 have voted in the Tennessee Republican Primary, 347 have voted in the Tennessee Democratic Primary, and 447 have voted only in the DeKalb County General Election without voting in either state primary.

Early voting continues through Saturday, August 2. All Early Voting will be in the first floor courtroom of the courthouse. The hours are as follows:

Mondays-- 1 p.m.to 6 p.m.
Tuesdays-- 9 am. to 1 p.m.
Wednesdays-- 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thursdays-- 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Fridays-9.a.m. to 1 p.m.
Saturdays- 9 a.m. to Noon

Lauren Ashley Medlin Crowned Fairest of the Fair

July 22, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Lauren Ashley Medlin
Fairest of the Fair and Runners-Up
Miss Congeniality Taylor Brooke Ellis and Miss Photogenic Shauna Faith Taylor

18 year old Lauren Ashley Medlin is the 2014 Fairest of the Fair

Medlin, daughter of Greg and Teresa Medlin of Smithville, won the crown Monday evening during the annual pageant held on opening night of the DeKalb County Fair in Alexandria. Seven contestants competed for the title.

The new queen succeeds her cousin, 19 year old Rebekah Grace Webb, the 2013 Fairest of the Fair

17 year old Taneah Brooke Cantrell of Smithville was named first runner-up. She is the daughter of Scott and Tammy Cantrell of Smithville.

Lauren Elizabeth Colwell, the 17 year old daughter of Trent and Christie Colwell of Smithville, was named second runner-up in the pageant.

Third runner-up went to Kaitlynn Jones, the 18 year old daughter of Bryan and Michelle Jones of Smithville.

Kami Denise Bogle, the 18 year old daughter of Amy Dobbs and Chris Bogle was fourth runner-up.

Shauna Faith Taylor, the 18 year old daughter of Ken and Cindy Taylor of Smithville, was named Miss Photogenic

17 year old Taylor Brooke Ellis was Miss Congeniality. She is the daughter of Donnie and Tonya Ellis of Alexandria.

(Top Photo: Fairest of the Fair Lauren Ashley Medlin)

(Middle Photo: Kaitlynn Jones (3rd runner-up), Lauren Elizabeth Colwell (2nd runner-up), Lauren Ashley Medlin (Fairest of the Fair), Taneah Brooke Cantrell (1st runner-up), and Kami Denise Bogle (4th runner-up).

(Bottom Photo: Miss Congeniality Taylor Brooke Ellis and Miss Photogenic Shauna Faith Taylor)

Caitlin Leigh Tyree Wins Junior Fair Princess Pageant

July 22, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Caitlin Leigh Tyree
Junior Fair Princess and Runners-Up
Runway Queen, Miss Congeniality, Miss Photogenic

The 2014 Junior Fair Princess of the DeKalb County Fair is 14 year old Caitlin Leigh Tyree, the daughter of Josh and Carrie Tyree of Liberty.

Tyree was among seventeen young ladies who competed for the crown on the opening night of the DeKalb County Fair Monday night. She succeeds the 2013 Junior Fair Princess, 15 year old Mary Elizabeth Murray, the daughter of Angel Brown of Smithville.

The first runner-up was Tyra Grace Graham, the 15 year old daughter of Kyle and Doris Graham of Smithville.

Second runner-up was Addison Grace Oakley, the 13 year old daughter of Clark and Lisa Oakley of Liberty.

Sarah Anne Colwell was third runner-up. She is the 13 year old daughter of Trent and Christie Colwell of Smithville. Colwell was also named Miss Congenality.

The fourth runner-up was Abby Marie Evans, the 13 year old daughter of Amanda Mathis of Smithville.

Liz Abigail Qualls of Smithville was named Miss Photogenic. She is the 16 year old daughter of Brad and Kim Trapp and Jason Qualls.

Madison Noyola received the title of Runway Queen sponsored by Runway Rentals. She is the 15 year old daughter of Barbara and Sam Noyola of Smithville.

Rounding out the top ten were Brooklyn Storm Estes, the 13 year old daughter of Shanna and Chris Bogle of Smithville; Liz Abigail Qualls, the 16 year old daughter of Brad and Kim Trapp and Jason Qualls of Smithville; Destiny Danielle Franklin, the 15 year old daughter of Jennifer Ware of Smithville; Bethany Brooke Poss, the 16 year old daughter of John and Lori Poss of Smithville; and Morgan Faith Green, the 14 year old daughter of Suzanne and Jon Harrison of Smithville.

Other participants were Allison Brooke Maynard, the 14 year old daughter of Stacey Maynard of Smithville; Shelby Elizabeth Clayborn, the 13 year old daughter of Brian Clayborn and Holly Clayborn of Liberty; Judith Kelnhofer, the 16 year old daughter of Melinda and Chris Bundy of Smithville; Abigail Hope Taylor, the 13 year old daughter of Ken and Cindy Taylor of Smithville; Shaunta Rose Koegler, the 13 year old daughter of Brian and Leticia Koegler of Smithville; Madison Noyola, the 15 year old daughter of Barbara and Sam Noyola of Smithville; Emily Hope Burklow, the 14 year old daughter of Andy and Shan Burklow of Dowelltown

(Top Photo: Junior Fair Princess Caitlin Leigh Tyree)

(Middle Photo left to right: Abby Marie Evans (4th runner-up), Sarah Anne Colwell (3rd runner-up), Caitlin Leigh Tyree (Junior Fair Princess), Tyra Grace Graham (1st runner-up), and Addison Grace Oakley ( 2nd runner-up)

(Bottom Photo: Runway Queen Madison Noyola, Miss Congeniality Sarah Anne Colwell, and Miss Photogenic Liz Abigail Qualls)

Three Charged with Especially Aggravated Kidnapping

July 21, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jimmy Tolbert (J.J.) Hendrixson, Jr.,
Casey Joseph Jacobs
Comas Brian Higgins

Three men accused of kidnapping a man and woman and beating them with an axe handle Friday night have been arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

42 year old Jimmy Tolbert (J.J.) Hendrixson, Jr., 36 year old Casey Joseph Jacobs, and 48 year old Comas Brian Higgins all of Old Snow Hill Road, Dowelltown are each charged with two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping. Bond for each is $150,000 and they will be in court July 31.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, Hendrixson, Jacobs, and Higgins met their victims at a bridge on the New Bildad Road Friday night, July 18 and assaulted them with an axe handle. Both victims were then tied up and their mouths were taped shut. The male victim managed to escape and ran to a residence nearby where he called for help. The three abductors then drove the female victim to their home on the Old Snow Hill Road.

"After we got the call, I along with detectives and deputies of the sheriff's department arrived (on New Bildad Road) and found an individual (male victim) who had minor injuries. We took a statement from him and learned who the individuals were who assaulted and tied him up. He told us of a female that had been done the same way. We found her (at residence on Old Snow Hill Road) and took her into safe keeping. We arrested the three individuals responsible," said Sheriff Ray.

The arrest warrants against Hendrixson, Jacobs, and Higgins all allege that on Friday, July 18 they held a woman and man against their will. The man and woman were tied up with a rope and their mouths were taped shut. The man and woman had each been assaulted with an axe handle. The woman had several marks on her body from the axe handle and rope. The man suffered bodily injuries causing him to be transported by DeKalb EMS to the hospital where he was treated and released. Neither victim was seriously hurt in the attack.

Sheriff Ray gave no motive for the kidnapping and assault saying the case remains under investigation by the Sheriff's Department.

Meanwhile in other cases, 53 year old David Michael Petty of the Loop Road, Smithville is charged aggravated burglary and theft of property over $1,000. His bond is $17,000 and he will be in court August 21. Petty was arrested on Monday, July 14. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, July 8 Petty allegedly broke into a residence on Man Hill Road and stole jewelry which he later pawned at a local jewelry store and at a pawn shop in Warren County. The case was investigated by a criminal detective of the sheriff's department.

25 year old Toni Michelle Lloyd-Turner of Old Bildad Road, Smithville is charged with failure to appear and criminal impersonation and she will be in court July 17. Her bond totals $7,000. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, July 9 a deputy went to a residence on Old Bildad Road to serve an arrest warrant on Turner. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with a woman (Turner) who identified herself several times as "Jessica". The officer placed the woman (Turner) under arrest after recognizing her as the woman pictured on the warrant. Turner later admitted to being Turner.

43 year old Christopher Brian Pack of Morrison is charged with driving on a revoked license. He was further issued a citation for no tail light. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court July 24. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, July 16 a deputy initiated a traffic stop on a 1994 Ford Escort on Highway 70 for having a tail light out. Pack was driving the car. A computer check revealed Pack's drivers license were revoked for DUI. He was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

51 year old David Ray Johnson of Old Blue Springs Road, Smithville is charged with theft of property under $500. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court July 24. Johnson was arrested on Thursday, July 17. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, July 11 Johnson allegedly stole a gold ring bearing the victim's engraved initials and sold it to a local jewelry store. The case was investigated by a criminal detective of the sheriff's department.

60 year old Thomas Bruce Greene of Anderson Hollow Road, Liberty is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence and a second offense of driving on a suspended license. He was further issued a citation for failing to maintain his lane of travel. His bond is $6,000 and he will be in court July 24. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, July 17 a deputy initiated a traffic stop on a 1987 Chevy pickup truck for failing to maintain its lane of travel (crossing the white line of the road several times). Greene was the driver. The officer spoke with Greene and detected a strong odor of alcohol on his person and his speech was slurred. The deputy asked Greene to step out of the truck. Greene was very unsteady on his feet. Greene submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. He also took a blood test. A computer check revealed his license were suspended for a DUI in Georgia.

60 year old Dale Allen Golden of North Congress Boulevard, Smithville is charged with violation of an order of protection. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court July 31. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, July 19 Golden allegedly violated an order of protection taken out against him by his wife. The arresting officer witnessed Golden standing in the yard of a residence where his wife was present. Golden told the officer he was aware he was violating the order of protection by being there.

DeKalb Schools Open Next Week for Registration

July 21, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County Schools will re-open with registration for all students on Thursday, July 31. That will be an abbreviated school day from 7:45 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.

Friday, August 1 will be an administrative day for teachers only.

The first full day of school for all students will be Monday, August 4.

Kindergarten Open House at Smithville Elementary School will be Monday, July 28 at 6:00 p.m. All students who pre-registered for kindergarten at Smithville Elementary are invited to meet their teacher and complete the rest of their registration paperwork on Monday evening, July 28 beginning at 6:00 p.m. Families who attend this event will NOT need to come back on registration day, Thursday, July 31.

Freshmen orientation will be Monday, July 28 at 5:30 p.m. at DCHS . New students to the county at DCHS may pre-register from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday, July 28-30. That is not for incoming freshmen. Only new students to the county entering DCHS.

Northside Elementary School will be having "Meet your Teacher Night" for second and third grade students and their parents on Tuesday, July 29 at 5:30 p.m. Parents/students who attend and complete all paperwork will not return to school until Monday, August 4th.

Sixth grade orientation at DeKalb Middle School will be Tuesday, July 29 from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. for students with a last name beginning with the letters "A" through "K" and from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. for students with a last name beginning with the letters "L" to "Z".

The annual First Day of School Education Celebration will be Thursday, July 31 starting at 6:30 p.m. on the public square.

According to the 2014-15 school calendar, a system wide in-service day will be Monday, July 28

All teachers will report to their individual schools on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 29 and July 30

(CLICK PDF LINK BELOW TO VIEW THE ACTUAL CALENDAR)

2014 15 Academic Calendar.pdf (139.97 KB)

DeKalb County Fair Opens Monday

July 20, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Fair in Alexandria begins its annual week-long run Monday.

The schedule of daily events is as follows:

Monday, July 21: National Anthem at 5:45 p.m.; Cattle Show at 6:00 p.m. at the Grandstand; Rodeo at the T.C. McMillen Arena at 6:00 p.m.; Junior Fair Princess Pageant for contestants ages 13-16 at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Fairest of the Fair Pageant for contestants ages 17 to 20 at the Lions Club Pavilion and (2- $500 cash drawings) at 9:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 22: Snowbird from 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.; Little Mr. and Miss Pageant for contestants ages 4-6 at 6:00 p.m. at the Lions Club Pavilion followed by David Turner and Friends; Corn hole Contest at 7:00 p.m. at the Grandstand; Go-Cart Racing at 6:00 p.m. at the T.C. McMillen Arena and (2- $500 cash drawings) at 9:30 p.m.

Wednesday, July 23: Little Miss Princess Pageant for contestants ages 7-9 at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Miss Sweetheart Pageant for those ages 10-12 at the Lions Club Pavilion; 4 Wheeler and Motorcycle Racing at 6:30 p.m. at the T.C. McMillen Arena; and (2- $500 cash drawings) at 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 24: Senior Citizen Day activities at 9:00 a.m. at the Lions Club Pavilion; Junior Goat Show at 6:00 p.m. at the Tot Kelly Barn; a Baby Show at 6:00 p.m. followed by Kidnation at the Lions Club Pavilion; and ATV Rodeo at the T.C. McMillen Arena at 7:00 p.m.; and (2- $500 cash drawings) at 9:30 p.m.

Friday, July 25: Toddler Show for contestants 13 months to 47 months at 6:00 p.m. at the Lions Club Pavilion; Kids Pedal Tractor Pull at 7:00 p.m. at the Grandstand; ATV/ Mini-Rod Outlaw Pull at 7:00 p.m. at the T.C. McMillen Arena and (2- $500 cash drawings) at 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 26: Horseshoe Tournament at the Tot Kelly barn at Noon.; Gospel Singing at the Lions Club Pavilion at 6:00 p.m.; Super Tractor and Truck Pull at 7:00 p.m. at the T.C. McMillen Arena: and (2- $500 cash drawings) at 9:30 p.m.

DeKalb County Fair Memory Lane Stage Line-Up

Time: Monday Night July 21
6:30 -7:30 p.m. Muddy Water Band
7:45 - UNTIL Prosperity Baptist Youth Group

Tuesday Night July 22
6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Bryan Keith
7:45 - 8:45 p.m. Steve Quick & Friends

Wednesday Night July 23
6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Meredith McClanahan
7:45 - 8:45 p.m. Donny Barthelemy

Thursday Night July 24
6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Reily Kelly
7:45 - 8:45 p.m. Terri Lynn Weaver

Friday Night July 25
6:30 - Until Karaoke Night
No Rap , Radio Edit Only
Max 1 Instrument or 2 Vocal Mikes and 2 Instruments Max.
7.45 p.m. -until Pickin Friends

Saturday Night July 26
6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Mid State Cloggers
7:45-8:45 p.m. Evermean Evergreen Cloggers

Events subject to change without notice.

Rides on the Midway will be provided by the Family Attractions Amusement Company. Unlimited rides will be available for $15.00 on Monday night; $16.00 on Tuesday night; $14.00 on Wednesday and $18.00 on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Admission to the fair is $4.00 per person. Children age four and younger will be admitted free! Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Parking is Free!

For more information, call 529-FAIR or visit on-line at www.dekalbcountyfairtn.com.

Almost 700 Vote Early

July 19, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page

A total of 692 persons have cast ballots during the first four days of early voting for the August 7 elections. That's 634 in person and 58 by absentee.

Of the 692 voters, a total of 251 have voted in the Tennessee Republican Primary, 189 have voted in the Tennessee Democratic Primary, and 252 have voted only in the DeKalb County General Election without voting in either state primary.

Early voting continues through Saturday, August 2. All Early Voting will be in the first floor courtroom of the courthouse. The hours are as follows:

Mondays-- 1 p.m.to 6 p.m.
Tuesdays-- 9 am. to 1 p.m.
Wednesdays-- 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thursdays-- 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Fridays-9.a.m. to 1 p.m.
Saturdays- 9 a.m. to Noon

Teens "Grow a Row" to Feed the Hungry

July 19, 2014
Teens "Grow a Row" to Feed the Hungry
Harvesting Potatoes

Three local teens recently completed a “Grow-a-Row” project for the Second Harvest Food Pantry in Smithville.

Matthew Cooper, Andrew Cooper, and Braxton Pugh planted 1,000 feet of potatoes in mid-March. After spending four months cultivating the plants, they harvested 1,100 pounds of potatoes and donated them to the food pantry on July 17.

“Although hunger in third-world countries receives a lot of media attention, lots of people don’t realize that there are many suffering from hunger right here in America,” Matthew Cooper said. “Andrew, Braxton, and I wanted to do something to fight hunger in our own community. We hope that this project will encourage other people to donate home-grown produce to their local food pantries, too.”

(TOP PHOTO: left to right- Matthew Cooper, Andrew Cooper, and Braxton Pugh with Peggy Johnson)

(BOTTOM PHOTO: left to right Matthew Cooper, Andrew Cooper, and Braxton Pugh harvesting the potatoes)

Local Nursery to Close Affecting More Than 250 Workers

July 18, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page

A nursery in Smithville will be closing one of its operations here this fall, a move that is expected to affect as many as 257 workers.

The Berry Family of Nurseries, located on Vaughn Lane in Smithville, has filed a mandatory Employee Dislocation Notification with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development announcing a closure by September 30. But while the operation on Vaughn Lane will be shutting down, WJLE has learned that the Berry Family of Nurseries' second location in Smithville on Short Mountain Highway will continue in operation.

The Vaughn Lane nursery grows mostly perennials, shrubs, and roses and the workforce varies from as few as 125 during the winter season to as many as 450 during the spring. The Short Mountain Highway location employs around 200 workers and grows ornamental, flowering, fruit, and shade trees.

Berry purchased the Short Mountain Road operation from H.J. Judkins and Sons Nursery several years ago and later acquired the Vaughn Lane nursery from Zelenka, who had purchased it from Knowles & Sons Nursery in 2001.

The Berry Family of Nurseries was founded in 1993 and is based in Irving, Texas with nurseries in Cornelius, Oregon; Hulbert, Oklahoma; Sims, North Carolina; Grand Haven, Michigan; and Quincy, Florida in addition to the Smithville locations.

The company grows colorful plants, seasonal blooming plants, ground cover and fragrance roses, sweet fruit trees, perennials, hydrangeas, azaleas, woody ornamental plants, and lilacs. It serves customers through various garden centers and big box stores in the United States.

In addition to the Smithville closure, Berry also plans to shut down its operation in Oregon, affecting 100 workers there.

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