Local News Articles

Vance Charged in Burglary and Theft at K & M Jewelry

June 30, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Comer Vance

A 39 year old man has been arrested by Smithville Police in the recent burglary of K & M Jewelry on West Broad Street.

Comer Vance is charged with theft of property over $60,000, burglary, felony vandalism, and unlawful possession of a firearm. His bond is $250,000 and he will be in court on Thursday, July 2nd.

Investigator Jerry Hutchins, Jr. says sometime during the early morning hours of Thursday, June 25th, someone (believed to be Vance) entered the business by removing plywood covering a window. Once inside, a safe, containing jewelry, was taken from the store. The intruder also busted out glass in the display cases and removed more jewelry. The total value of the stolen jewelry was estimated at $100,000.

The owner of the business, Mark Violet, discovered the burglary and theft when he arrived to open up the store later that morning..

As a result of the investigation and with assistance from an informant, Vance was identified as a suspect in the crime. Police spotted Vance, who was as a passenger in a Ford Thunderbird, on West Broad Street Saturday, June 27th. The car was pulled over and Vance, also charged in warrants unrelated to the burglary case, was taken into custody. Police confiscated a stolen nine millimeter handgun, which was loaded. Most of the jewelry taken in the break-in at K & M. Jewelry has also been recovered.

Sergeant Joey Jones assisted in the traffic stop that led to Vance's arrest.

DTC Communications To Host Annual Meeting

June 30, 2009

DeKalb Telephone Cooperative (d/b/a DTC Communications) will host its annual meeting on Sept. 26, 2009, at the DeKalb County Fairgrounds in Alexandria.

Directors will be elected in three exchanges, including the Alexandria (529), Liberty (536), and Smithville (215/597) exchanges.

Voting for directors will take place at the cooperative’s annual meeting on Saturday, Sept. 26. Thursday, Sept. 17, will be the last day to make changes to your membership for the 2009 election.

Only DTC members may vote, and each member must present identification. For a single membership, only that individual may vote. Either member of a joint membership may vote, but not both. In the case of a business membership, a business affidavit is required.

Individuals interested in becoming a candidate for a director’s position must meet the qualifications as defined in the bylaws and submit a petition by 5 p.m. on August 12, 2009.
For questions regarding membership and voting guidelines, refer to the by-laws section included in the current DTC phone directory.

McMinnville Man Arrested in Undercover Drug Operation

June 30, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Joseph Edward Mantz Jr

A 50 year old McMinnville man was arrested Monday in an undercover drug investigation by the Smithville Police Department.

Chief Richard Jennings says Joseph Edward Mantz, Jr. is charged with sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (morphine). Mantz is to make his first court appearance on the charge Thursday, July 2nd.

According to Chief Jennings, the Smithville Police Department recruited an undercover agent to make a buy of morphine from Mantz, after receiving information that he was allegedly selling drugs in this area.

Mantz was arrested in the old Pamida parking lot by Chief Jennings, Investigator Jerry Hutchins, Jr. and Smithville Police Officers Nathan Estes and Bradley Tatrow.

Police also seized Mantz' 2004 Harley Davidson motorcycle along with some cash.

Chief Jennings says more cases stemming from this investigation will be presented to the August term of the Grand Jury and more details of the operation will be disclosed pending any grand jury indictments.

Department of Safety Begins Issuing Driver License with Easier to Read Date of Birth

June 30, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
New Drivers License

On July 1, the Tennessee Department of Safety (TDOS) will begin issuing driver licenses with the date of birth in larger red type designed to make it easier for retailers to read.

“We are pleased to announce that the type size of the date of birth on the Tennessee driver license has been enlarged to comply with the ‘Gus Kampas Act’, which was adopted by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Bredesen in 2008,” stated Department of Safety Deputy Commissioner Greta Dajani.

Public Chapter 638 of the Public Acts of 2008 required that the size of the type for the date of birth on the Tennessee driver license be the same size as the driver license number. The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Tim Burchett and Sen. Doug Overby of Knoxville, Rep. Kent Williams of Elizabethton, Rep. Dale Ford of Jonesborough, and Rep. Eric Watson of Cleveland. Prior to the new law, the driver license number was already a larger font size than most other personal information on the plastic laminated card. Senate Bill 3116 of 2008 also requires that the date of birth be in red.

The Gus Kampas Act is named after the owner of Kampas Liquors on Alcoa Highway in Knoxville. The purpose of the legislation was to make it easier for retailers to see the date of birth on the Tennessee Driver License to quickly determine eligibility for the purchase of merchandise based on age requirements.

The provisions of the amendment to TCA 55-50-331(b) applies only to the issuance of new or renewed driver licenses. Public Chapter 638 does not require driver license holders to obtain a new driver license unless the person is applying for a new license, a replacement driver license or renewing an existing Tennessee driver license.

Four Arrested on Traffic Offenses- Sheriff Offers 4th of July Safety Tips

June 29, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has arrested four people since last Wednesday on traffic offenses, including two for DUI.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 35 year old Thomas Chadwick Reed of Crown Hill Drive, Murfreesboro was charged Wednesday, June 24th with a second offense of driving under the influence after deputies found him in his vehicle and in an intoxicated state at the Cove Hollow Marina. Reed admitted to driving and consuming beer and mixed drinks. Deputies also noticed an odor of alcohol on Reed's person and he was unsteady of his feet. Reed submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. Two whiskey bottles were found in Reed's vehicle, one contained a very small amount and the other one was empty. There was one mixed drink in the car. Reed's bond was set at $3,000 and he will appear in court on July 23rd.

42 year old William Hardie Morris of Old Snow Hill Road, was arrested on Friday, June 26th for a first offense of driving under the influence and a third offense of driving on a revoked driver's license. Morris was involved in an accident on Holmes Creek Road and when deputies arrived they found him in an intoxicated state. Morris was unsteady on his feet, had slurred speech and he also had an odor of alcohol on his person. Morris' license were found to have been revoked on November 9th, 2002 in DeKalb County and December 14th, 2000 in Putnam County. Bond for Morris was set at $4,500 and he will appear in court on July 23rd.

Also on Friday, a deputy, while on patrol on Short Mountain Highway, spotted 20 year old Timothy (also known as Tyler) William Patrick driving a motor vehicle. The officer had prior knowledge of Patrick's license being revoked. Patrick was arrested for driving on a revoked license and his bond was set at $1,500. He will appear in court on July 30th..

Meanwhile on Sunday, June 28th, a deputy, while on patrol in the Long Branch area of the county, stopped 22 year old Brittany A. Loftis of Hanging Limb Road, Monterey for a traffic offense. Upon checking Loftis' name for a driver's license, it was found that she had none. Deputies arrested Loftis and charged her with driving without a license. Bond for Loftis was set at $1,000 and she will appear in court on July 30th.

Sheriff Patrick Ray and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department wish you a happy and safe Fourth of July.

Here are some safety tips from Sheriff Patrick Ray.

Fourth of July Safety Tips

Water safety at the pool and lake:
" If possible, swim in a supervised, marked area with a lifeguard present, and swim with others. Never swim alone.
" Enter the water feet first. Enter the water headfirst only when the area is clearly marked for diving and has no obstructions.
" Adults should never leave a child unobserved around water. Practice "reach supervision" by staying within an arm's length of young children and weak swimmers while they are in and around the pool, lake or ocean.
" Take frequent breaks (about once an hour) where everyone gets out of the water, drinks water, reapplies sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) and rests.
" If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward shore. If you can't swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
" Watch out for the "dangerous too's" - too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity.
" Keep toys away from the pool when it is not in use. Toys can attract young children into the pool.
" If a child is missing, check the pool first. Go to the edge of the pool and scan the entire pool, bottom, and surface, as well as the surrounding pool area.

Fireworks safety:
There are nearly 9,000 emergency room-treated injuries associated with fireworks a year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission. You can enjoy these Fourth of July staples safely by doing the following:
" Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
" Keep a supply of water close-by as a precaution.
" Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
" Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."
" Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
" Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.

Safe Grilling:
Nothing says summer quite like the smell of barbecue. Make sure safety is a key ingredient in your Fourth of July by reading the following tips for safer grilling:
" Use gas and charcoal barbecue grills outside only.
" Position grills far from siding, deck railings, overhanging branches and house eaves.
" Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
" Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
" Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when using grills.
" Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use

Sunday Fires Leave Two Families Homeless

June 29, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Firefighters Battle Fire Sunday at Mobile Home of John Whitworth (Photo by Callie Matthews)

Fires on Sunday left two DeKalb County families homeless.

The first one occurred at a mobile home at 303 Man Hill Road, Dowelltown.

County Fire Chief Donny Green says the residents, Treva Hartman and Larry Lattimore, both escaped safely, but they lost all their belongings.

Firefighters were called to the scene shortly after 5:00 a.m. but the structure was apparently too far gone by that time they got there, and it could not be saved.

Members of the Liberty, Cookeville Highway, and Main Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded, along with the Sheriff's Department and DeKalb EMS.

The local Red Cross Chapter was called to provide emergency assistance including food, clothing, and shelter for the family.

The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Firefighters were called out again on Sunday at 3:20 p.m. to a mobile home at 991 Stoner Road in the Seven Springs Community. John and Cynthia Whitworth were renting the home from the owner, Bobby Stoner.

Chief Green says no one was at home at the time of the fire. The Whitworths had been gone overnight and discovered the fire when they returned Sunday around 3:00 p.m. They saw smoke coming from the house upon their arrival, and found, after trying to open the front door, that they could not enter the house because of the intense heat and smoke.

Members of the Keltonburg, Belk, Blue Springs, and Short Mountain Highway Fire Stations responded along with mutual aid assistance from the North Warren Fire Department, who helped supply water with a tanker truck. The Sheriff's Department and DeKalb EMS were also there.

Chief Green says firefighters were able to save about a third of the house and much of the contents and family belongings were either damaged or destroyed.

An electrical storm Friday night also kept firefighters busy, answering calls at residences on Carter Lane off Oakley Hollow Road, Liberty and at Lakeview Road off Cookeville Highway, Smithville where lightning strikes caused damage to home appliances, but sparked no fires.

Chief Green says lightning also struck a three story cedar lake home belonging to Billie Hayes at 320 Summer Court in the Four Seasons Resort area, but the damage wasn't discovered until Saturday afternoon when Ms. Hayes arrived at the residence. Firefighters were called around 12:43 p.m.

According to Chief Green, the lightning damaged a portion of the house that covers the deck, splintering wood, knocking off singles, and causing a support beam to catch fire, which firefighters found smoldering then they arrived.

Firefighters had to use their brush truck, because access was limited due to the steep, narrow road leading to the house. However, members of the Midway, Short Mountain Highway, and Cookeville Highway stations, along with a tanker truck were nearby to provide water and support.

No one was injured and the small fire was brought under control with minimal damage.

Dowelltown Man Injured in Motorcycle Wreck

June 28, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 50 year old Dowelltown man was injured in a motorcycle accident Saturday near Alexandria.

Trooper Jimmy Tisdale of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says James T. Mitchell was operating a Suzuki 1500 motorcycle west on Lower Helton Road, near the Alexandria City Limits, when he ran off the road into a ditch while trying to negotiate a curve.

Mitchell was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital.

Mitchell is to be charged with a third offense of driving under the influence and a second offense of driving on a revoked license.

Seven Persons Named in Latest Arrest Report by Smithville Police

June 28, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings has released the department's latest arrest report.

19 year old Jim Henry Mullins of Hayes Street and 24 year old Joshua R. Cripps of Steeplechase Drive, Smithville are each charged with assault. Their bond is $1,500 each and they will be in court July 16th.

Smithville Police Officer Randy King was dispatched to a fight call around midnight on Tuesday, June 23rd. He arrived at the intersection of Gentry Avenue and Morgan Drive and observed two males (Mullins and Cripps) engaged in a fist fight. Officer King saw Cripps knocked to the ground by Mullins. Cripps then got up and struck Mullins in the mouth. Both men were arrested.

25 year old Gerardo Barboza Arellano of Banks Pisgah Road, Smithville and 23 year old Marco Antonio Cerrillo Ramires of Cooper Avenue, Smithville are each charged with theft of property over $500 and their court date is set for July 16th. Bond for each is $5,000.

Smithville Police Officer Nathan Estes was dispatched to 608 Cill Street, Smithville on a break-in that was reported to be in progress at that location around 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 24th. Upon arrival, Officer Estes saw the residents and the two suspects there. During the investigation, the residents (the Robinson's) told Officer Estes they were in the process of moving from the Cill Street home and when they returned to pick up more of their belongings, they saw the two suspects, whom they did not know, packing up their property. The suspects told Officer Estes that their boss, the owner of the residence, had sent them to the home to pack up the Robinson's things. The owner of the home was contacted and told Officer Estes that he did send the suspects to pack up the Robinson's belongings but he did not authorize them to take anything. The Robinson's said they were missing some items, including a very sentimental watch. Officer Estes located the missing property in the suspect's vehicle.

18 year old Trey Daniel Hamilton of Athens, Tennessee was issued a citation for theft under $500. He will be in court July 16th

Smithville Police Officer Nathan Estes was sent to the Dollar General Store at 513 South Congress Boulevard in Smithville around 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24th. Upon arrival, he talked to a store employee who told him about two suspected shoplifters in the store. Officer Estes approached the two suspects. During his investigation, Officer Estes found store merchandise hidden in the pants leg of one of the suspects (Hamilton).

31 year old Lola M. Jackson of Sparta and 31 year old Chrystal Lee Harrison, also known as Crystal Moffitt or Crystal Graham of Hayes Street, Smithville are both charged with disorderly conduct. Bond for each was set at $1,500 and they will be in court on July 23rd.

Smithville Police Officers Matt Farmer and Matt Holmes were dispatched to the Mapco Express parking lot at 128 East Broad Street, Smithville on a fight in progress call on Thursday, June 25th at 4:28 a.m. Upon arrival, the officers talked to the two female suspects (Jackson and Harrison). During the investigation, the officers learned that the two suspects had a verbal altercation earlier in the parking lot by the old Smithville Food Store on Congress Boulevard. Later, when the two suspects met in the Mapco parking lot, a physical altercation occurred between the two. A witness stated that when Harrison got out of her vehicle, she had a metal pipe in her hand. The pipe was recovered by the officers.

Meanwhile, Chief Jennings has released the following offenses that have recently been reported in the city.

Rickey Stanley's residence on Foster Road was burglarized at some time on June 13th. A Sony Play Station, valued at $400 was taken.

A John Deer riding lawnmower LX 176 was taken from the residence of Jim Judkins on Webb Street on or after June 11th. The mower is valued at $700.

Barbara Potter of McMinnville was having her hair done at the A-1 Salon in Smithville on June 17th. She placed her glasses on the counter. After Ms. Potter had her hair done, she could not locate her glasses. The glasses had a metal bronze frame and transition precription bifocal lenses. The value is $450.

Cassondria Martin was at the Smithville Municipal Swimming Pool on June 24th. She had her LG cell phone VX9400 in her purse. Someone took the cell phone some time after 2:00 p.m. at the pool. The cell phone is valued at $400.

Anyone with information about any of these offenses or others is urged to contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210. Any information received will be kept confidential.

Knoxville Mayor and GOP Governor Candidate Bill Haslam Visits Smithville

June 25, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb GOP Chairman Jennifer Winfree with Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bill Haslam made a campaign stop in Smithville Wednesday.

The Knoxville Mayor, who was first elected to that office in 2003 and re-elected in 2007, says he now wants to be the Governor of Tennesseee.

Haslam stopped by WJLE to share his views on various issues. "I would consider myself a conservative. I think in terms of believing in limited government, believing that government has to live within its means and understanding that while government has a big role to play that government is not necessarily the answer to all of our problems, I would say that I'm a conservative. Now I do believe that government can be an effective servant tool of the people and that's our job, to make sure we deliver the best service for the lowest price."

"The state right now has a $1.2 billion shortfall in the budget that ends June 30th. We're going to fix that shortfall by using our savings account, our rainy day fund and by using some of the federal stimulus money. The problem for the next governor is that money is not going to be there so you're really going to have to solve that shortfall. I think it's important that our next governor be somebody who is used to dealing with tough financial situations. Having been in business for twenty five years, having been a mayor where I've led the city in a way that our credit rating is the highest that it's been in the history of the city, our debt is 25% lower than it was when I came in, and our savings account is up three times higher than when I came in, I understand how to manage in tough financial situations."

"There's really two other primary concerns that people talk about a lot. The first is jobs. Unemployment in the state is above 10% now and in some of our rural counties its at 20% or more so this is a serious issue. Families are struggling. We need a governor who knows how to recruit businesses to Tennessee to create jobs and for the state's own economic condition. Again, since I've been mayor of Knoxville, for the last three years we've been ranked one of the top ten cities by the people who do those rankings like Forbes magazine and Expansion magazine, as a place to recruit and retain businesses, and as a place to do business, so I understand how to do that."

"The other issue that comes up big for folks everywhere is K-12 education. We rank 42nd out of the fifty states and if we're going to be the state that we want to be long term, we can't continue to follow the pack in education."

"I do not want to see us have an income tax. I actually think not having an income tax is a competitive advantage for us as a state. When we're out recruiting businesses and recruiting people to move to Tennessee, not having an income tax is one of our biggest selling points. It helps to have a full quiver of arrows when you're out there selling and not having an income tax is a big advantage. And if you look at the states around us that have income taxes, they are in as bad or worse shape than we are financially, so I do not think a state income tax is the answer."

"I don't think we can remove the sales tax either, just because competitive wise we have so many areas that border other states where you are at a competitive disadvantage. So I think the answer is to get a handle on spending. We have to live within our means. That's what we're asking families all across the state to do is to live within their means. Well, the state needs to do the same thing."

"TennCare is a big chunk of our budget. It's actually 25% of our budget and at one point in time it was creeping up to 31 or 32% of the budget so we really can't allow it to grow to become a bigger part of the budget. We're going to have to keep doing the things that we can to keep our rolls from expanding and making certain we don't have people that are enrolled in TennCare who shouldn't and making certain that we're buying medical coverage as efficiently and effectively as we can. But that's going to be an on-going struggle. We have to face that fact that TennCare is a big chunk of our budget and due to the cost of medical care, we're always going to be fighting with keeping TennCare where it's a service to those folks who need it but doesn't eat up too much of our budget."

Haslam is running for the Republican nomination for Governor in the August 2010 state primary. Winners of the Republican and Democratic primaries will square off in the 2010 November State General Election.

DeKalb May Jobless Rate at 10.8%

June 25, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County unemployment rate for May was 10.8%, up slightly from the revised rate for April of 10.6% and significantly higher than the 5.6% rate recorded in May, 2008

The local labor force for May was 9,850. A total of 8,790 were employed and 1,060 were unemployed.

Meanwhile, Tennessee's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was at 10.7 percent, 0.8 percentage point higher than the April rate of 9.9 percent. The United States' unemployment rate for the month of May was 9.4 percent.

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for May show that the rate increased in 88 counties, decreased in 6 counties and remained the same in one county.

Lincoln County registered the state's lowest county unemployment rate at 6.5 percent, up from 6.3 in April. Perry County had the state's highest unemployment rate at 24.6 percent, up from 24.0 in April, followed by Lauderdale County at 19.2 percent, up from 18.2 percent in April. These figures do not reflect the impact of job-creation efforts in Perry County that were announced in May.

Knox County had the state's lowest major metropolitan rate of 8.0 percent, up 0.6 percentage point from the April rate. Davidson County was 8.6 percent, up 0.6. Hamilton County was 8.8 percent, up 0.6 percentage point, and Shelby County was 9.6 percent, up 0.7 percentage point.

Pages

Follow Us


facebook.jpg

News Feed
feed.png

WJLE Radio

2606 McMinnville Hwy
Smithville, TN 37166

Phone: 615 597-4265
FAX: 615 597-6025
Email: wjle@dtccom.net

Local News

6:30 A.M.
7:30 A.M.
8:55 A.M.
12:00 NOON
4:00 P.M.
9:45 P.M.

DTC Communications

Fiddlers Jamboree