Local News Articles

Baxter Man Arrested in Shooting at Austin Bottom Lake Boat Access

May 18, 2015
Dwayne Page
James Paris Goff

An arrest has been made in a shooting last week at the Austin Bottom Lake Boat Access Area in which one man was wounded.

18 year old James Paris Goff of Window Cliff Road, Baxter was picked up on Friday, May 15 and charged with two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of reckless endangerment. Goff is under a $120,000 bond and he will make an appearance in DeKalb County General Sessions Court on June 4.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, the incident occurred on Monday evening, May 11 after Goff and some friends arrived by boat to the Austin Bottom Lake Boat Access Area. While there, Goff and another man got into a fight. After the altercation, Goff left the area by boat but returned later in a vehicle armed with a handgun. Goff again confronted the same man with whom he had fought earlier and showed him the gun.

Goff then turned the gun on three other people who were leaving the area in an automobile and fired several rounds at them. One of the bullets penetrated the vehicle and struck the rear seat passenger in the back. The driver and front seat passenger were not hit.

After the shooting, Central Dispatch was notified and alerted the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department. "We received a call at 7:36 p.m. from central dispatch that a man had been shot at the Austin Bottom Lake Boat Access Area. The shooter and victim had already left the scene prior to law enforcement's arrival. We met officers of the Putnam County Sheriff's Department who responded for mutual aid or backup purposes. We then started an investigation into the shooting. DeKalb EMS was also summoned but they did not transport anyone because the victim was already gone. During the investigation, deputies and detectives from both the DeKalb and Putnam County Sheriff's Departments were able to find the victim at a family member's house in Cookeville. The victim was then taken to the hospital in Cookeville and later transported by ground ambulance to a medical facility in Nashville where he was treated and released. The investigation resulted in the arrest of Goff," said Sheriff Ray.

The two charges against Goff for aggravated assault were for his confrontation with the first victim and for wounding the other person in the shooting. The reckless endangerment charges were for Goff's putting the lives of the other two persons in the vehicle in endanger by firing shots at them.

The names of the victims have not been released.

"TECH TALK" to Feature Discussion about Medicare Thursday

May 18, 2015
Dwayne Page
"TECH TALK" airs Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on WJLE sponsored by Smithville Computer Repair

Listen for "TECH TALK" Thursday, May 21 from 8:00 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. on WJLE sponsored by Smithville Computer Repair. This week's guest will be Gary Malone of Eagle Point Financial. He will be discussing Medicare. You may call in your questions to him at 615-597-4265.

Dr. Jamie Fornabaio of Wheeler Veterinary Clinic was the guest last week. She is pictured here with Elaine Swicker (left) and Dan DelaCruz of Smithville Computer Repair (right)

DCHS Soccer Standout Signs with Martin Methodist College

May 18, 2015
Coach K. Dylan Kleparek, Assistant Coach Rhonda Merriman, Principal Patrick Cripps and Jonathan Munoz (seated)

Jonathan Munoz, DCHS Soccer player, signed with Martin Methodist College on Friday May 8th.

Munoz will receive Academic/Sports scholarships in the amount of $56,000 over the next four years. Jonathan has been a player on the DCHS soccer team for three years and has received 1st Team All-District honors. He will be majoring in Biology at Martin Methodist and plans to become a dentist.

Joining Munoz for the signing were DCHS Soccer Coach Dylan Kleparek (Coach K), Assistant Coach Rhonda Merriman, and DCHS Principal Patrick Cripps

(Photo provided by Lisa Craig)

School System to Offer Free Lunches for All Students (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

May 17, 2015
Dwayne Page

All students in the DeKalb County School System, regardless of income, will have access to free lunches when school begins in August under a federal program the Board of Education has decided to join. But the current rate of students participating in the lunch program has to increase by at least five percent to keep the school's nutrition program from losing money.

During the regular monthly meeting Thursday night, the school board voted to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Community Eligibility Program and offer free lunches starting this fall on a trial basis. If the program is not self supporting, the school board can opt out.

CEP is a universal meal plan under the National School Lunch Program that permits eligible districts and schools to provide meal service to all students at no charge. DeKalb County schools are already offering free breakfasts under the Universal Breakfast Program.

According to Amy Lattimore, School Nutrition Supervisor, rather than collecting and processing individual applications for federal free and reduced priced lunches under the National School Lunch Program, schools would serve all meals at no cost under CEP.

The school system would then be reimbursed using a formula based on the percentage of students identified as eligible for free meals, one that relies on information from other programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

"We are in the National School Lunch Program and we are currently reimbursed for school meals across three categories: paid, free, and reduced. How that works is a "free" child comes through the lunch line and they don't give us any money. The state gives us $3.06 . A "reduced" child comes through the lunch line and they give us 40 cents while the state gives us $2.66. A paying student comes through the lunch line and they give us $1.50 or $1.75 depending on their age range and the state gives us 36 cents. So we're always getting the student payments and the reimbursement combined. That's how we fund our program. With CEP we don't get reimbursed across three categories. They do away with the categories and its through a formula that we would get reimbursed," said Lattimore.

The school system's nutrition program also receives income from a la carte sales, teacher meals, and visitor meals and that would continue under CEP.

While the school system would get a greater reimbursement of funds under CEP, it would no longer receive income from students who are currently paying for their lunches resulting in the nutrition program actually losing money overall unless more students take advantage. Currently school nutrition is self supporting in DeKalb County.

"With CEP we will actually receive more reimbursement but we would no longer receive any student payments. If we serve the same amount of kids with CEP we would lose money. For CEP to work in DeKalb County, participation has to go up. That's how we would make it work. Currently we have about 67% of our students eating lunch with us every day. About 44% are eating breakfast. When we started Universal breakfast we had a 3% increase in participation. We should see a higher increase for lunch but participation has to come up by at least 5% to stay where we are now (self supporting). That's in a perfect world where our a la carte sales stay the same. Our teacher meals stay the same and our visitor meals stay the same. If we don't we'll lose money," said Lattimore.

Should the free lunch program fail to be self supporting, the school board would have to move funds from the general purpose budget to the nutrition program to cover the costs, which could be as much as $3,000 per month. However, the school board could chose to opt out of CEP at any time and stop offering universal free lunches.

If free lunches were stopped under CEP during the midst of the school year, Lattimore said it could create hassles for parents and staff with having to again begin processing free and reduced priced applications so late in the year. "Kids must apply for a free and reduced application or they are directly certified through the state. If we do CEP at the beginning of the year they are not sending in those applications. If we have to stop CEP in mid year because we're losing money, we'll have to get in all those applications in mid year. It'll be a hassle for parents and staff," she said.

Danny Parkerson, First District School Board member, made a motion to start the free lunch program saying it would save families money. Fourth District member Kate Miller offered a second to the motion. All board members voted in favor.

DCHS Tigerettes vs Chattanooga Central in State Tournament Tuesday

May 17, 2015
Dwayne Page

The DCHS Tigerettes will face Chattanooga Central on Tuesday, May 19 at 5:30 p.m. in the first round of the TSSAA Class AA State Girls' Softball Tournament in Murfreesboro.

The tournament will be held at the Murfreesboro Sports Complex & McKnight Fields

The game featuring the DCHS Tigerettes (27-6) and Chattanooga Central (20-14) will be played at Starplex #2

WJLE plans LIVE coverage.

(Click the link below to view the tournament bracket)

Tigerettes Bound for the State Tournament

May 16, 2015
Dwayne Page
DCHS Tigerettes are Sub State Champs

The DCHS Tigerettes are bound for the state softball tournament after coming from behind to defeat Polk County 6-4 Friday in the Sub-State played in Smithville.

This will be the seventh trip to the state tournament in the program's thirty year existence under Coach Danny Bond (1992, 1994, 1996, 2001, 2008, 2014, & 2015) and the first time DCHS softball teams will have made state tournament appearances two years in a row (2014 and 2015). This is also the third DCHS softball team in program history to have won championships for the regular season district, district tournament, region tournament, and sub-state before advancing to the state tournament (1992, 1994, & 2015)

Down 4 to 2 with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, Myranda Bailiff delivered a grand slam homerun to give the Tigerettes the lead and the eventual win.

Kayley Caplinger, the winning pitcher, faced twenty eight batters through seven innings. She gave up four runs on seven hits, struck out nine, and walked none.

DeKalb County scored six runs on six hits and made three errors. Polk County scored four runs on seven hits and made two errors.

The Tigerettes scored one run in the third and fourth innings and four runs in the sixth. Polk County scored one run in the first and three runs in the fourth inning.

In addition to Bailiff's grand slam homerun, Kayley Caplinger, Katie Hall, Allison Maynard, and Lexi Bates each had a single and Dani Meadows doubled.

The Tigerettes will make their debut in the State Tournament at Murfreesboro on Tuesday, May 19 at a time to be announced. WJLE plans LIVE coverage.

The DCHS record is now 27-6 for the season. Coach Bond's all time record as softball coach is 642-250.

Director of Schools Application Form Now Available

May 15, 2015
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education has released the qualifications and five page application form for those seeking to become the next Director of Schools.

(Click the link below to view the actual application)


The "Vacancy Posting" cites the following educational qualifications:

1. A professional educator's license with Superintendent (Director of Schools) endorsement or a Tennessee Professional Administrator's license.
2. A master's degree in education with a preference for a doctorate degree
3. Three years of successful experience in school administration
4. Such other qualifications as the Board deems desirable

Additional Application Requirements:
1. Must live in or agree to move to DeKalb County within 90 days of hire
2. Professional Resume including Transcripts
3. Formal letter of interest

Description of Position:
The management responsibilities of the Director of Schools shall extend to all activities of the district, to all phases of the educational program, to all aspects of the financial operations, to all parts of the physical plant, and to the conduct of such other duties as may be assigned by the Board.

Contact person:
Jamie Vickers, Secretary, for information regarding the application process and for a complete description of the qualifications and duties of this position. Applications will be accepted beginning May 15, 2015 through June 15, 2015.

Smithville Police Find Drugs and Paraphernalia During Wreck Investigation

May 15, 2015
Dwayne Page
Smithville Police Find Drugs and  Paraphernalia During Wreck Investigation
Police Recover Drugs and Paraphernalia

Three people are in trouble with the law after Smithville Police found drugs and paraphernalia in their vehicle during a traffic accident investigation last Saturday, May 9.

Captain Steven Leffew said 33 year old Jason Aaron Davis is charged with possession of schedule I & II drugs; 34 year old Wesley M Peterson is cited for having a suspended license; and a juvenile has been issued a citation for simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both Davis and Peterson will make an appearance in General Sessions Court on June 18.

According to police, Officer Will Judkins was dispatched to an accident at KFC/Taco Bell on Saturday, May 9 at 8:44 p.m. While investigating the mishap Officer Judkins became suspicious of the persons and vehicle involved. Drug Officer James Cornelius and K-9 LEO were brought in to assist and the dog alerted several times on the exterior of the vehicle apparently due to an odor of a narcotic substance. Officers conducted a search of the vehicle and found a black tar substance believed to be Heroin, a bottle containing a liquid substance thought to be Methadone, pills suspected of being Hydroxyzine Pamoate & Duloxetiue Hydrochloride along with marijuana and items that are commonly used with illegal drugs.

Corporal Chip Avera and Officer Lance Dillard assisted in the investigation.

Meanwhile, 19 year old Ernest Willard Dodd Jr. was arrested on Wednesday, May 6 for aggravated assault and violation of an order of protection. His bond is $9,500 and he will be in court June 4. According to police, Officer Matt Farmer was dispatched to a field behind Village Place in response to a physical domestic. Upon arrival he heard yelling and crying and found Dodd and the victim in the middle of the field among a small stand of trees. Officer Farmer spoke with them and found the victim to have marks on her arms, neck and face. He also learned that the woman has an order of protection against Dodd.

In conjunction with the Department of Children Services, Smithville Police arrested 68 year old Patricia Dorene Linder for child abuse on Monday, May 4. According to police, DCS reported an incident to Captain Steven Leffew that day which had occurred involving a juvenile. The charge against Linder was the result of an investigation by Detective Brandon Donnell. Her bond is $5,000 and she will be in court May 28.

43 year old Patsy Lynn Estes McCoy was arrested on Thursday, May 14 for burglary, theft and for resist stop, halt, frisk, arrest, and search. Sergeant Brad Tatrow was called to the emergency room of the hospital in reference to someone burglarizing vehicles in the parking lot. After an investigation McCoy was found to have entered two vehicles in the ER parking lot without the knowledge or consent of the owners and she allegedly took items from each vehicle. Sergeant Tatrow observed McCoy attempting to conceal something in her hand and when he ordered her to produce it she refused. McCoy then pulled away as Sergeant Tatrow tried to retrieve it. Police discovered that McCoy had taken items from the medical floor without the knowledge or consent of hospital personnel. Bond for McCoy is $6,000 and she will be in court on May 28.

Officer Joey Myers took a report on Thursday, May 14 in which a victim reported that as he was leaving Smithville he approached Smith Road and saw a female run into the roadway shouting "help me". The victim said when he stopped his vehicle to help, a man pulled up in a truck and busted the driver side window of his (victim's) vehicle with a bottle. The victim said after he drove away, he discovered his left arm was bleeding from the broken window glass. At the time of the call, county deputies were responding to a physical domestic regarding two persons who fit the description of the man and woman involved in this (city) incident. The victim later identified the two with whom he had come in contact. One of them, 25 year old Clinton Lane Cope was cited for vandalism and assault. Cope will be in court on May 28.

Board to Accept Applications for Director of Schools

May 15, 2015
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education has begun the process of selecting a new Director of Schools.

During Thursday night's regular monthly meeting, the board voted to post a notice on the school system's website seeking applications for the position from May 15 through June 15.

(Click the first link below to view the posted notice. Click the second link below to view the actual application)

1274_001.pdf (32.67 KB)


According to Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins, III the application is basically the same form as was used nine years ago except for a few changes.

"We had a workshop prior to this meeting and all (board members) agreed on the format. The best way to explain this is to say that we are going to start tomorrow (Friday, May 15) and at least start with posting it on our website and have a time line of May 15 to June 15 which would actually be 31 days. In the interim, we will have to do some things ourselves to structure the contract and some more detailed issues but before we do that at least we can get started with posting on the website for anyone interested in applying and details will be on that website. We looked at the application that we did previously nine years ago. We added some more details to that and anyone wanting to see that can get on our website. It's pretty detailed," said Evins.

In other business, the board voted to hire Chattanooga attorney Scott Bennett, who specializes in school law, to give advice as needed. "It won't be a monthly retainer. It will just be a per hour retainer and if there is something of less consequence during the year we can hire someone locally. We're not obligated in any way to use this gentleman but his name is Scott Bennett. He is with a law firm in Chattanooga who specializes in school law. He is legal counsel for Hamilton County, Coffee County and several other counties. We can talk with him through emails or over the phone for advice. There are two attorneys in the law firm who specialize in school law and their rate is $170 per hour. We still have attorney Randall Bennett, who is no relation (to Scott Bennett) of the Tennessee School Boards Association and we can still get his free advice and counsel but he (Randall Bennett) doesn't do new contracts for a director so we would have to get someone to do that. Scott Bennett specializes in that," said Board Chairman Evins.

DCHS Graduation Set for Friday May 22 (VIEW SENIORS PHOTOS)

May 14, 2015
Dwayne Page
Julia Little
Makalee Ruch
Kelsey Hedge

DeKalb County High School has set graduation for Friday, May 22 at 7:00 p.m. on the high school football field.

The commencement program will feature the presentation of the White Rose and Citizenship Awards to members of the Class, a performance by the DCHS Chorus, and remarks by the Class Valedictorian Julia Little and Class President Kelsey Hedge. Honor students will also be recognized by Guidance Counselors Lori Myrick and Shelly Painter including those who have earned top rank, honors, and distinction status. The DCHS band will perform the processional and recessional. Principal Patrick Cripps will make brief comments and present the class to Interim Director of Schools Dr. Danielle Collins, who will then award diplomas to the graduates as their names are called. The invocation and benediction will be given by FCA members Bailey Hayes and Lane Ball respectively.

Meanwhile, Scholarships and other awards will be presented to members of the Class of 2015 during Senior Awards Night on Monday, May 18 at 6:00 p.m. at DCHS. WJLE will have LIVE coverage.

A total of 184 students make up the Class of 2015 at DCHS including the following.



Lena Santos Sosa-Ackerman, Carrie Lee Adams, Rachel Elizabeth Adcock, Shara Cate Adcock, Kevin Aldino, Raymundo Alfaro, Charles James Allen, Jennifer Rose Angaran

Rayanna Carol Baker, Austin Lane Ball, Jonathon Lance Ball, Tanisha Danielle Bandy, Tara Renee Bandy, Olivia Hope Bain-Barber, Alexis Leshae Barnwell, William Scales Barry, Justin Tyler Bass, Issac Corbin Beck, Rebecca Marie Benshoof, Troy A. Binkley, Kathryn Grace Blair, John Bailey Bly, Justin Michael Bone, Luke Collin Boss, John Tyler Bradford, Calum Micheal Braswell, Kelsey Nicole Braswell, Austin Jacobs Brown, Ricardo Allan Brown, Erin Nichole Burchfield, Leah Brooke Burchfield, Brittany Autumn Burke

Cayla Cheyanne Cantrell, David Austin Cantrell, Richard Dylan Cantrell, Caroline Caplinger, William Michael Caplinger, Erin Nichole Casselberry, Wendy Anne Cassinera, Brandon Tyler Chapman, Franco Clavel, Taylor Michael Cook, Michael Alan Coronado, Chase Crane, Loren Jane Cripps, Preston Cripps, Tiffany Culwell, Megan Lynn Cunningham, Benjamin Ty Curtis

Lenzi Dickens, Jalene Dilligard, Richard Dishman, Savannah Kate Driver,

Dakoda Eaton, Brandon Elandt, Austin Ellis, Taylor Ellis,

Michael Lee Ferguson, Corey Christopher Ferrell, Matthew Tyler Florida, Matthew Dakota Foutch,

Mackenzie Lauren Gann, Sydnie Laura Garmer, Dakota Dawn Gaskill, Josue Guadalupe Muniz Godinez, Erasmo Garcia Godinez, Dylan James Goodman, Brooke Ann Goodson, Kelley Dawn Goodwin, Joan Emiliano Gopar, Shelby Greco, Dustin Lee Griffith, Ronald Gutierrez

Aaron Jared Haggard, Natasha Ann Halcomb, Austin Clyde Hale, Haley Marie Hale, Jacob Ryan Hale, Paul Drake Harris, Clint Allen Hawker, Bailey Thomas Hayes, Samantha Blair Hayes, Kelsey Sueanna Hedge, Brady Ray Herriott, Austin Ryan Hicks, Rachel Danielle Holcomb, Nicole Anastasia Hunt

Alyssia Elizabeth Jackson, Chelsea Faith Johnson, Daniel Lynn Johnson, Eric Quinton Johnson, Justin Neal Johnson, Joseph Alan Jones, Mariah Faith Jones, Hannah Marie Judkins

Kara Paige Kanipe

Brandon Robert Leiser, Julia Ellyn Little

Idalia Alejandra Ortega Maciel, Robert Heath Maples, Jadon Shane Marlar, Kaitlyn Brooke Martin, Tayler Brooke Martin, Nathan Ray Mathis, Zackary Bryce Maxwell, Anna Marie May, Michael Anthony May, Destiney Page McCardell, Micah Brey Merriman, Sharazzia On'ya Mills, Rachel Dawn Mofield, Kenzie M'Lynn Morris, Jonathan E. Munoz, Tyler Wayne Murphy

Nathaniel Alexander Nabors

Cason Damon Oakley, Courtney Danielle Odom, Kalob O'Neal, Jacquelyn Rae Overbey

Cody Marshall Pack, Joseph David Pack, Kristyn Bailey Pack, Nicholas Shane Parsley, Aaron Scott Patterson, Allison Hope Patton, Monica Loren Pedigo, Elisabet Martinez-Perez, Shayla Kristine Pedigo, Kendall Lynn Petty, Brianna Lea Phillips, Elijah Scott Porterfield, Bethany Brooke Poss, John Logan Poss, William Henry Puckett

Jose Guadalupe Quintero

Makayla Korene Redmon, Brooke Nicole Reffue, Zachary Donald Roberts, Emily Kay Robinson, Brooke Danielle Roller, John Everette Roller, Erin Leigh Rose, Makalee Beth Ruch, Bethany May Louise Russell, Talon Russell

Heather Jewel Scott, Harlli Whyte Silcox, Grant Alexander Smelcer,IV, Oscar Joel Soto, Kamien Leshay Sparks, Taylor Jayne Stacey, Makayla Beth Starnes, Emilee Kay Stephens, Hunter Jantz Stone, Nathan Edwin Stringer

Autumn Colleen Taylor, Keira Taylor, Kathleen Nicole Thomas, Ethan James Thomason, Peyton Alexander Thompson, Jose Luis Guadalupe Tierranegra Saldivar, Austin Blayne Tittel, Lydia Danielle Trail, Charles Anthony Tramel, Daniel Alexander Trigueros, Kierra Demia Tubbs, Chase Lee Turner, Darrian Lanay Turner, Jordan Marie Turner, Mackenley Dale Turner

Nicholas Tyler Vanatta, Amanda Jane Vincent, Victoria Brooke Vincent

Cody M. Wagner, Dustin Jay Warner, Jacob Heath Washer, Caitlyn Autumn Williams, Katherine Jo Willoughby, Donald Bruce Wilson, Sirus James Wilson, Jeffrey Womack

Charles Jeffery Young, Peyton Kyle Young, and Bobby Lee Yount


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