Local News Articles

DCHS Class of 2017 Senior Awards Night Monday, May 22 (VIEW SENIOR PHOTOS HERE)

May 21, 2017
Dwayne Page
DCHS Class of 2017 Senior Awards Night Monday, May 22

Scholarships and other awards will be presented to members of the Class of 2017 at DeKalb County High School during the annual Senior Awards program Monday night, May 22 at 6:00 p.m. in the DCHS gymnasium.

WJLE will broadcast LIVE on AM 1480, FM 101.7 and LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com

Representatives of colleges, universities, branches of the armed services, businesses, civic groups, and other organizations will make the presentations.

Meanwhile, graduation for the DCHS Class of 2017 will be Friday, May 26 at 7:00 p.m. on the high school football field.

(Click link below to view DCHS Class of 2017 Senior Formals)


Hardee’s Restaurant Manager Retiring/Presented with a Chamber Community Spotlight Award

May 21, 2017
Brandon Arnold, new Hardees General Manager; Mark Harrell, Chamber Director Suzanne Williams, Chamber Past President Kathy Hendrixson

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce presented a Community Spotlight Award to Mr. Mark Harrell.

After 45 years of service, Mr. Mark Harrell will be retiring from Hardee’s Corporation. Mark started his career in 1972 and worked his way up to Regional Ref Manager then General Manager. He has been responsible for opening new Hardee’s stores in Gallatin, Lafayette, and Sparta. He also worked with stores in Monterey, Livingston, and Smithville.

For 12 years, Mark has been serving as General Manager at the Smithville Hardee’s. During his stay in Smithville, he has made many friends and become a part of many people’s lives. Mark says he has loved his customers and the Hardee’s crew became part of his family.

Mark will be missed by many and as the Chamber Community Spotlight Award says, “Thank You, Mark, for Your Many Years of Great Customer Service, Dedication, and Hard Work. You have been an Important Part of Our Community!”

Tiger Football Player Signs with Cumberland University

May 20, 2017
Dwayne Page
Seated: Shaun Bain (father) and Devin Bain. Standing Tiger Coach Steve Trapp and Assistants Thomas Cagle and Michael Shaw

Another athlete from the DCHS Class of 2017 has signed a letter of intent to play college sports.

Devin Bain signed his name on the dotted line Friday to play football at Cumberland University, in Lebanon. Bain, who played primarily as a defensive lineman for the DCHS Tigers, says he is excited about going to school at Cumberland and becoming a member of the Cumberland University Phoenix.

“I am planning on majoring in nursing and this is one of the best nursing schools around. It’s really close to home and I like being close to family and friends and I still get to play football so that’s the best choice for me,” said Bain.

Tiger Coach Steve Trapp said he is proud to see Devin moving on to the next level. “Devin was a good football player for us. He was here as a freshman and sophomore but then moved out of state for his junior year. We were really fortunate for him to come back his senior year and be part of our program. He is a talented guy and I am proud of him and for him to have the opportunity to continue to play. He does have to understand that he is starting all over. He’ll be at the bottom and will have to work his way up but I feel like he can do that and do a good job,” said Coach Trapp.

“I think he will be a defensive lineman at Cumberland. He is a bigger guy but he can move very well. He played some offensive guard for us and started a couple of games with injuries when we had injuries. But mostly he was a defensive lineman for us. When he moved away and played a year in Virginia he was a fullback so he can move for a bigger guy but they (colleges) like those defensive linemen who are a little bit shorter who can create leverage and also move around pretty good. Devin fits that mode very well,” added Coach Trapp.

Bain said he is grateful to his family and coaches for their support. “DeKalb County High School for me has been nothing but absolutely amazing. I have enjoyed all three years that I’ve been here. I can’t ask for a better coaching staff. I want to thank Coach Trapp for all of his support and all the things he has taught me all these years. I also want to thank all my friends and family for all their support,” he said.

Season Ends for DCHS Tigerettes

May 20, 2017
Dwayne Page
Season Ends for DCHS Tigerettes

The season for the DCHS Tigerettes came to a close Friday night in Smithville as they lost to Sweetwater 3 to 1 in the Class AA Sectional or Sub State.

DeKalb County finishes the season at 29-6. They claimed the regular season and district tournament championship as well as the region tournament crown again this season. A win for the Tigerettes would have sent them to the state tournament for the fourth consecutive year and for the ninth time in program history.

The Tigerettes scored 1 run on 1 hit and made 6 errors. Sweetwater scored 3 runs on 8 hits and made 2 errors.

Sweetwater scored 1 run in the 2nd, 5th, and 6th innings. The Tigerettes got their only run in the 3rd inning.

Kayley Caplinger, the losing pitcher, gave up 3 runs on 8 hits and struck out 11.

For Sweetwater, Addie Lowe was the winning pitcher. She gave up 1 run on 1 hit and struck out 11.

Kenzie France had a double for the Tigerettes.

DCHS Seniors Visit Elementary Schools for "Senior Walk" (VIEW VIDEOS HERE)

May 19, 2017
Dwayne Page

Donned in their caps and gowns, DeKalb County High School seniors walked through their old stomping grounds – Smithville Elementary School and DeKalb West School – during the inaugural Senior Walk held today (Friday, May 19).


School administrators and staff, some showing emotion, joined in and congratulated each of the soon to be graduates upon their arrival by school bus. Many of the elementary students, lined down the halls, greeted the seniors with waves, high fives, confetti, and cheers as they passed by. Some seniors also got hugs from proud parents and former teachers. Cheerleaders at DeKalb West School led cheers to welcome the graduates there.


“The Senior Walk is an opportunity for our students to return to their elementary campuses and parade through the hallways in their caps and gowns while the Graduation Pomp and Circumstance (song) is played over the P.A. While we hope this will inspire our future graduates, we are excited about our seniors being able to see their elementary school teachers one last time before they graduate,” said DCHS Principal Kathy Bryant.

Car Safety Seat Checkpoint Scheduled for June 7

May 19, 2017
Dwayne Page
Car Safety Seat Checkpoint Scheduled for June 7

The Smithville Police Department is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office, Safe Journey and the DeKalb County Health Department to offer a car safety seat checkpoint on June 7, 2017 between 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Kids Connection on South Congress Blvd.

This is a free event designed to reduce the likelihood of child related motor vehicle fatalities by insuring that children are properly restrained in their car seat. This event will also help inform parents of any safety recalls and checking to ensure that all car seats have not passed their expiration date.

"We encourage anyone that has questions concerning their car seat to stop by and see us. If you are unable to attend this event, you are welcome to stop by the Smithville Police Department and speak with a certified technician," said Police Chief Mark Collins.

DeKalb County to Participate in the Great American Cleanup

May 19, 2017
Dwayne Page
Rhonda Harpole, DeKalb Recovery Court; Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss; County Mayor Tim Stribling; Chamber Director Suzanne Williams

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce and the DeKalb County Mayor’s office would like to invite residents across the county to participate in the DeKalb County Clean Up on Saturday, May 20th. The DeKalb Clean Up event will be held in conjunction with the Keep America Beautiful initiative going on across the country.

County Mayor Tim Stribling says, “We invite people to come out and help clean up around our communities and highways. Folks are welcome to pick up litter at places of their choice, or we will be glad to assign a safe place for you.”

Suzanne Williams, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, would like to remind everyone that DeKalb County’s peak tourism season is about to begin, so now is a great time to start getting things spruced up for our coming visitors. According to Williams, “I think we are all aware of the value and importance of beautification in our communities to attract newcomers and tourists to our area and to maintain a stable and growing economy.”

To get a head start on clean up, dumpsters will be set up at highly visible and convenient locations a few days prior to the main event. Dumpster locations will be at the Dowelltown Community Center, Liberty Community Center, Alexandria City Parking Lot (behind square), and the County Complex parking lot.

DeKalb Clean Up volunteers are asked to stop by the DeKalb County Complex on May 20th between 9 AM and 10 AM to sign-in and pick up the provided trash bags, rubber gloves, and bottles of water. We will be taking a group picture at 9:30 AM for the media if you like to participate in that.

For early sign-up, you can stop by the Chamber, located in the Courthouse, Room 201, anytime during regular office hours by May 19th to pick up supplies. Or if stopping by is not convenient, call the Chamber office at 615-597-4163 to be counted as a DeKalb Clean Up volunteer -- just give your name and the general area where you will be working. Whether you’re beautifying your street, a highway, a park, ball field, a stream, or your own home, what a difference we can make through working together to make our communities safer, healthier and more livable!

Habitat for Humanity to Raffle 11 Foot Jackson Riviera Kayak

May 19, 2017
Dwayne Page
Habitat for Humanity to Raffle 11 Foot Jackson Riviera Kayak

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County will raffle an 11 foot Jackson Riviera Kayak on Saturday, May 27. The drawing will be held on WJLE Radio at 10:00 a.m.

All proceeds will go toward construction of the next partner family home by Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County.

Purchase tickets at Kilgore's Restaurant, DeKalb Ace Hardware, DeKalb County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss, DeKalb Farmers Coop, or at Wilson Bank & Trust. The ticket prices are one for $5.00 or 5 for $20.00.

Habitat Board Members Pictured: Michael Martin, Gary Johnson, Dick Kinsey, Jordan Atnip, Alex Woodward, Marie Blair, Diane Lynch, and James L. (Jimmy) Poss. Not Pictured: Chad Driver, Gina Denman, John Carpenter, Glenda Davis, and Rhonda Harpole

Autumn Crook of DeKalb West Named "Classroom Champion"

May 18, 2017
Dwayne Page & Bill Conger
DeKalb West School Principal Sabrina Farler, Jana Crook, Autumn Crook, and Smithville Attorney Jim Judkins (Bill Conger Photo)

This week’s “Classroom Champion” award goes to Autumn Crook, a first grader at DeKalb West School.

The award was presented Thursday by Smithville Attorney Jim Judkins.

Autumn is the daughter of Patrick and Jana Crook.

A student in Ashlee Thomason’s homeroom, Autumn says she likes to “learn more stuff” but math is her favorite subject. She enjoys drawing, riding bikes, and helping people. Autumn has two dogs, Liz and Bella along with several cats. When she grows up, Autumn wants to be a Nurse Practitioner.

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.

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.

Region Champs DCHS Tigerettes to Host Sweetwater in Class AA Sectional game

May 18, 2017
Dwayne Page

For the fifth time this season, the DCHS Tigerettes have beaten Macon County. This time it was for the championship of the region softball tournament.

The Tigerettes won 15 to 2 Wednesday evening in the finals of the tournament played at the DCHS Danny Bond Field .

DeKalb County will now host the Sweetwater Lady Wildcats in the Class AA sectional or sub-state Friday evening in Smithville at 6:00 p.m.. WJLE will have LIVE coverage. The Tigerettes are 29-5 overall. Sweetwater is 19-10.

Already leading 11 to 2, Myranda Bailiff delivered with a grand slam homerun in the 5th inning to end the game on the 10 run rule at 15-2.

The Tigerettes scored 4 runs in the 1st inning, 1 run in the 2nd and 3rd innings, 3 runs in the 4th, and 6 runs in the 5th inning. Macon County scored 2 runs in the 1st inning.

DeKalb County scored 15 runs on 16 hits and made 3 errors. Macon County scored 2 runs on 5 hits and made 3 errors.

Kayley Caplinger was the winning pitcher.

In addition to Myranda Bailiff’s gramd slam homerun, Kenzie France, Joni Robinson, and Hanah Panter doubled. Allison Maynard had two doubles. Hanah Panter, Lexie Bates, Allison Maynard, and Joni Robinson each had two singles. Kayley Caplinger and Hanah Panter also singled.

In the previous meetings this season, the Tigerettes had beaten Macon County 9-3, 9-0, 10-6, and 7-0 in the District Tournament Championship game.


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