Local News Articles

Two Indicted in Rash of Burglaries and Thefts

July 30, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Robert Allen Lester, Jr
Ronald Deshon Reeder

Two men charged in an investigation into a rash of burglaries and thefts in the Dowelltown and Dry Creek Road area last winter were indicted Monday by the DeKalb County Grand Jury.

25 year old Robert Allen Lester, Jr. is indicted on eleven counts of auto burglary, three counts of burglary, seven counts of theft under $500, four counts of theft over $1,000, two counts of theft over $500, and one count of aggravated burglary

Lester and 19 year old Ronald Deshon Reeder are co-indicted on two counts of auto burglary, two counts of theft under $500, one count of burglary, and one count of theft over $1,000.

Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE that the burglaries and thefts occurred on December 28 and from January 7-10 mostly in Dowelltown but also on Dry Creek Road in the area from New Home Road to the city limits of Smithville. There were nine victims altogether. Lester is accused of breaking into the Dowelltown Post Office, burglarizing automobiles of residents on South Mill Street, North Mill Street, Happy Valley Drive, Corley Street, Dry Creek Road, and the burglary of a shed/guest house on Corley Street, and an outbuilding on Dry Creek Road.

According to Sheriff Ray, Lester was responsible for the actual burglaries and thefts. In the case of the vehicles, he allegedly entered through an unlocked door in most instances and took what he could find, mostly guns and GPS devices, among other belongings. Reeder was originally charged with Lester in three of the crimes on Dry Creek Road because he rode along with Lester and sat in the vehicle while Lester was out committing the burglaries and thefts, knowing what Lester was doing. Sheriff Ray said after Lester was identified as a suspect, detectives and officers of the Sheriff's Department raided his home and found most of stolen items.

Smithville Police also arrested Lester in January and charged him with three counts of burglary and three counts of theft. Chief Randy Caplinger said that on December 4 and January 2 Police received reports of vehicles having been broken into and items taken from them on Hayes Street, West Main Street, and Spring Street. Upon an investigation, it was determined that Lester had committed the crimes.

Indictments against Lester allege that:

*On or about December 4, 2012, Lester broke into a victim's vehicle and took a TOM TOM GPS, being under the value of $500.

*On or about December 28, 2012 Lester broke into the Dowelltown Post Office and took three money orders being over the value of $500.

*On or about January 2, 2013, Lester broke into a victim's vehicle and took a Blue Jensen Double Speaker Box, a GPS, miscellaneous baseball cards, miscellaneous CDs, miscellaneous tools and miscellaneous wiring, being over the value of $1,000.

*On or about January 2, 2013, Lester broke into a victim's vehicle and took a wallet, a driver's license, social security card, birth certificate, insurance card, set of keys and car keys, being under the value of $500

*On or about January 6, 2013, Lester broke into a victim's vehicle and took a TOM TOM GPS, being under the value of $500.

*On or about January 7, 2013, Lester broke into a victim's residence and took one set of engagement rings, two anniversary band rings, a diamond bracelet, a Dell computer, a Canon digital camera in a case, an MPG player and a power cord, being over the value of $1,000.

*On or about January 7, 2013, Lester broke into two victim's vehicles and took a Garmin, a phone car mount, fifteen Disney DVD's, a car charger, twenty CDs and a car safety kit, being over the value of $1,000; along with a another Garmin, an iPod, an adapter and a charger, being over the value of $1,000

*On or about January 7, 2013, Lester broke into a victim's vehicle and a building and took a 10 inch laser guide and two TOM TOM GPS's, each being under the value of $500

*On or about January 7, 2013 Lester broke into a victim's building and took a Stevens over and under 22-20 gauge shotgun, being under the value of $500.

*On or about January 7, 2013, Lester broke into a victim's residence.

*On or about January 8, 2013, Lester broke into a victim's vehicle and took a Remington rifle with scope, an H&R rifle with scope and a Smith and Wesson 270 rifle with scope, being over the value of $1,000.

* On or about January 8, 2013, Lester broke into a victim's vehicle and took a bottle of blood pressure pills, being under the value of $500.

* On or about January 9, 2013, Lester broke into a victim's vehicle and took a Smith and Wesson .38 caliber pistol with holder, being under the value of $500

Lester and Reeder are co-indicted in the following offenses:

* On or about January 9, 2013, Lester and Reeder broke into a victim's vehicle and took clothing, change, a buck knife, a hunting pouch, 270 Winchester shells, a vest, and hat, being under the value of $500

*On or about January 10, 2013, Lester and Reeder broke into a victim's vehicle and building and took a Play Station 3, money, a 250 piece Kobalt socket set, a Brother sewing and embroidery machine, and a pack of Pall Mall cigarettes, being over the value of $1,000; along with a TOM TOM GPS and seven cell phone chargers, being under the value of $500.

Grand Jury Indicts Forty Seven

July 30, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page

Forty seven people were indicted by the DeKalb County Grand Jury Monday including thirteen persons named in sealed indictments.

Those indicted will appear for arraignment in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, August 12 at 9:00 a.m.

Defendants and their charges are as follows:

Brittney Barnes- Worthless Check (2 counts) and Theft under $500

Joseph Blair- Driving under the Influence, Possession of Paraphernalia, and Failure to Carry a Driver's License

Anthony Bullard- Sale and Delivery of Schedule II drug

Wesley L. Burrage- Violation of Community Supervision for Life (4 counts) and Violation of the Sex Offender Registry

Andy Certain, April Lee Hollingsworth, and Kelly Lee Hollingsworth- Burglary, Theft over $1,000, & Possession of Paraphernalia

David Baxter Cook- Sale and Delivery of Schedule III drug (2 counts) & Sale and Delivery of Schedule IV drug

Sobhy Eskandar- Sexual Battery (3 counts)

Rachel Green and Clayton Green- Aggravated Burglary, Auto Burglary, Theft over $1,000, Theft under $500, and Possession of a Weapon by a Felon.

Joel Thomas Hayes- Burglary and Theft over $1,000

Larry Lattimore- Driving under the Influence (4th offense)

James Steven LeDuc- Possession of a Schedule II drug for resale, Possession of a Schedule IV drug for Resale (2 counts)

Robert Allen Lester, Jr.- Auto Burglary (11 counts) Theft under $500 (7 counts), Theft over $500 (2 counts), Theft over $1,000 (4 counts), Burglary (3 counts), Aggravated Burglary

Robert Allen Lester, Jr. and Ronald Deshon Reeder- Auto Burglary (2 counts), Burglary, Theft over $1,000, and Theft under $500 (2 counts)

Trina Matthews- Theft over $1,000, Theft under $500

Travis Melton- Aggravated Burglary (2 counts) and Theft over $1,000 (2 counts)

Howard R. Moon- Driving under the Influence (5th offense) and Evading Arrest

Alvaro Alfaro Munoz- Driving on a Suspended License

Shelly Newby- Theft over $1,000 (2 counts), Theft under $500

Calen Paschal- Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Weapon by a Felon, & Possession of a Schedule VI drug for Resale

Joseph Huff Ray- Theft over $500 and Initiation of Methamphetamine

Zachary Adam Shinabery- Driving under the Influence (2nd offense)

Brandon Thomas- Initiation of the Manufacture of Methamphetamine and Driving on a Revoked License

Tracy Ann Thomason- Theft under $500 (2 counts)

Johnny Trapp- Domestic Assault

Richard Turner- Theft under $500

Ray Darnell Underwood-Possession of a Schedule II & VI drug, Evading Arrest (2 counts), Promotion of the Manufacture of Methamphetamine, and Driving on a Suspended License

Stephanie Vanatta- Theft over $1,000, Auto Burglary (2 counts), Theft under $500 (4 counts), Burglary (2 counts), Vandalism over $500

Tracy Nelson Veach- Driving under the Influence (4th offense) and Violation of the Implied Consent Law

Jason Mark Watts- Driving under Influence and Evading Arrest

Paul Willingham- Introduction of Contraband into a Penal Institution

Autumn White- Possession of a Schedule VI drug and Possession of a Schedule II drug for Resale

Melissa Darlene Woods- Initiation of the Manufacture of Methamphetamine

Man Arrested for Concealing Camera to Video Sixteen Year old Girl Taking a Shower

July 30, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Clayton Daniel Gott
William Travis Malone
Christopher Alan Scruggs
Brandon Wayne Hutchings
Jessica Anne Jenkins
Stephanie Lee Vanatta
Rhonda Joy Goff
Anthony Doel Atnip
Jimmy Mason Page
Tristan Jade Burgess
Renee Lynn Simpson
Jayme Lynn Dowell

A man who concealed a camera in a bathroom to capture video of a sixteen year old girl taking a shower has been arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

19 year old Clayton Daniel Gott of Blue Springs Road, Smithville is charged with three counts of unlawful photographing and violation of privacy. He was arrested on Saturday, July 27. His bond totals $4,500 and he will be in court August 8.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, the incidents occurred at the home of the victim's grandparents. The victim is a sister to Gott's girlfriend and Gott, who lives next door, had been a frequent and welcomed visitor to the home. Sheriff Ray said during Gott's visits, he would go to the bathroom and set up the camera. After the victim took a shower, Gott would go back in the bathroom and remove the camera.

During the third episode, the victim discovered the recording device in a toilet paper holder in the bathroom. The camera was on and recording while she was taking a shower. The incident was reported to the sheriff's department.

According to Sheriff Ray, Gott admitted to hiding the camera in the bathroom for the purpose of collecting video of this 16 year old female. Gott claims to have done this a total of three times within the previous two weeks. He was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

31 year old William Travis Malone of Curtis Avenue, Alexandria is charged with initiation of a process intended to manufacture methamphetamine. Malone was also issued a citation for possession of drug paraphernalia (two needles and several cut straws). His bond is $50,000 and he will be in court August 8. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, July 23 Malone, Candice Vickers, and others were in a vehicle at the Walmart parking lot in Smithville. Vickers had an active warrant against her. A deputy pulled over the vehicle to serve the warrant. While checking for warrants on others in the vehicle, the Smithville Police Department K-9 unit was deployed. The dog indicated on the automobile. Officers searched the trunk of the car and found a black and orange bag that contained a 20 ounce plastic bottle of muriatic acid, an 8 ounce Folgers container full of lye, plastic tubing, six lithium batteries, two cold packs including one cut open, and other items used to manufacture methamphetamine. According to Sheriff Ray, Malone said these items belonged to him. Malone was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

An investigation by a sheriff's department detective into reports of forgeries resulted in the arrest of 38 year old Christopher Alan Scruggs of Highland Avenue, Smithville. He is charged with three counts of forgery. His bond totals $4,500 and he will be in court August 8. Sheriff Ray said that Scruggs allegedly passed a $35 forged check at Jewel's Market on Highway 56 on Wednesday, July 10 and again on Friday, July 12 . Scruggs also allegedly passed another $35 forged check at Shiney Rock Market on Thursday, July 11.

25 year old Brandon Wayne Hutchings of Young Ridge Road, Sparta and 24 year old Jessica Anne Jenkins of Fall Creek Drive, Smithville are each charged with burglary and theft of property under $500. Jenkins is also charged with filing a false report. Hutchings' bond totals $7,500. Bond for Jenkins is $9,000. Court dates are August 1 for Hutchings and August 8 for Jenkins.

Sheriff Ray said that Hutchings and Jenkins are charged with breaking into and taking a purse from a vehicle parked at Sligo bridge on Sunday, July 21. Entry was gained by breaking out a rear window on the passenger side causing $300 in damage. The purse contained a wallet, pants, tank top, and a belt, all valued at less than $500. Hutchings and Jenkins were arrested some two hours later. Found on Hutchings was the victim's identification.

Jenkins was arrested again on Saturday, July 27 on the filing a false report charge after an officer went to her home to serve an active warrant on her. The deputy asked Jenkins if anyone else was in the home. She said no. After checking further, the officer found three others including one person with an outstanding warrant. Jenkins was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

Two female inmates have been charged with assault for fighting while in jail. 36 year old Stephanie Lee Vanatta of A.B. Frazier Road and 29 year old Rhonda Joy Goff of Students Home Road will be in court August 8. Bond for each is $2,500. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, July 28 Vanatta and Goff began arguing and that the incident escalated into an altercation. Correctional officers had to go into the cell area where Vanatta and Goff were on the floor. Vanatta was bleeding from her nose and she complained that her ribs were hurting. Goff was observed on the jail's video surveillance system going after Vanatta.

Another prisoner is also charged with fighting in jail. 33 year old Anthony Doel Atnip of Johnson Chapel Road, Sparta is charged with assault. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on August 1. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, July 25 Atnip and another inmate got into an argument which escalated into an altercation. Atnip allegedly struck the other inmate several times about the head and body with his fist.

38 year old Jimmy Mason Page of Old Snow Hill Road, Dowelltown is charged with evading arrest. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court August 8. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, July 28 an officer went to Page's home to serve an outstanding warrant on him. As the deputy was driving slowly by trying to find Page's driveway, he spotted Page sitting on the front porch of his home. When Page saw the officer, he jumped up and ran into the woods. While deputies were searching the woods, Page returned to his house. He was subsequently arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

45 year old Brett Allen Anderson of East Bryant Street, Smithville is charged with driving on a revoked license. He had already been cited earlier that day for the same offense. Anderson was further cited for simple possession of a Schedule II drug (Morphine). His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court August 1. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, July 22 Anderson was operating a vehicle on Midway Road when a sheriff's department drug detective pulled him over, having prior knowledge that his driver license were revoked. A computer check confirmed that his license were revoked for failure to provide financial responsibility on June 24, 2013. During the traffic stop, the detective saw Anderson putting something in between the driver's seat and console. The detective checked there and found a cellophane pack with two pills believed to be morphine. He was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

28 year old Tristan Jade Burgess of Potts Camp Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. She is under a $2,500 bond and she will be in court August 8. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, July 22 Burgess and her husband got into an argument which became physical. Burgess allegedly scratched her husband's neck, chest, and back leaving red marks. She also tore his shirt. Burgess was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

31 year old Renee Lynn Simpson of Church Street, Dowelltown is charged with domestic assault. Her bond is $1,000 and she will be in court August 8. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, July 22 Simpson and her brother got into an argument. During the incident, Simpson allegedly slammed the television to the floor. Then, as her brother picked up the TV, she allegedly slapped him in the head, grabbed the TV and threw it down again, breaking it. Simpson grabbed a fork and followed her brother, threatening to kill him and his family. She then picked up his computer and threw it on the floor. Simpson was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

36 year old Jayme Lynn Dowell of Carter Street, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. Her bond is $1,000. Sheriff Ray said that an officer was dispatched to a domestic call at Dowell's home on Tuesday, July 23. Upon arrival, the officer saw the victim in the doorway with blood on her arms and head. She was fussing with Dowell, who is her sister. After speaking with both parties, the officer learned from Dowell that she tried to push her sister out of the door. Dowell was determined to be the primary aggressor and she was brought to the jail for booking.

36 year old Tim Melvin Hickman of Bridgeway Motel, Smithville is charged with an eighth offense of driving on a revoked license. He was also issued a citation for improper passing, a violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance), and a violation of the registration law. His bond is $10,000. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, July 16 Hickman was operating a Gold Harley Davidson motorcycle on Highway 70 when he was stopped for passing another vehicle in a no passing zone. He had no tag on his motorcycle. He could not produce a license nor proof of insurance. A computer check revealed his license were revoked. Hickman was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

52 year old Paul Randall Ervin of Big Hurricane Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $1,500. Sheriff Ray said Ervin and his wife got into an argument at their residence on Thursday, July 18. Ervin allegedly hit her in the chest, grabbed and scratched her arm, and took money and a phone from her hand and hid them. Ervin was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

22 year old Eva Caroline Parliament of Meadows Drive, Lebanon is charged with driving on a suspended license. A passenger of the vehicle, 25 year old Melissa Hadidian Moghadam of Hermitage is charged with public intoxication. Bond for each is $1,500.

Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, July 19 Parliament was behind the steering wheel of a motor vehicle, parked in the middle of Midway Road just after midnight with her lights off. The officer checked the vehicle and found Parliament under the steering wheel. The officer detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the vehicle when the doors were opened. Parliament had no drivers license. A computer check revealed her license to be suspended for failure to satisfy a citation in Rutherford County. Moghadam submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. The deputy allowed Parliament and Moghadam to call someone to pick them up but after an hour passed and no one showed up, Parliament and Moghadam were arrested and brought to the jail for booking for the safety of themselves and the public.

County Fire Dept. Installs Smoke Alarms for Elderly Resident

July 29, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Porter Webb (right) receives Smoke Alarm (shown above door) from Brian Williams
County Firefighter Brian Williams Installs Smoke Alarm for Porter Webb

"Don't have smoke alarms in your home? There's no excuse now!

The DeKalb County Fire Department has a supply of free smoke alarms available for those who need them. Anyone without working smoke alarms is at high-risk and may be served through this program, especially low income individuals, residents of manufactured/mobile homes, the elderly, and families with young children.

All you have to do is complete a very short survey form and give the fire department your address and phone number. Members of the department will come install the alarms promptly and upon arriving at your home, firefighters will provide you with official identification and will be driving a department vehicle. The fire department does this for your safety and to make sure you are comfortable with whom you are letting in your home.

90 year old Porter Webb, a resident of 311 Jefferson Road, received two smoke alarms Monday afternoon. Brian Williams, Commander of the Main Station of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, installed the smoke alarms for Mr. Webb. They were placed over the doorways of the living room and a bedroom.

Webb said he is very glad to have the new smoke alarms and is thankful to the county fire department for providing them.

Please call 615-417-3935 or 615-464-7176 to request and schedule your smoke alarm installation. Don't wait, these will go quickly!"

DeKalb County Schools Reopen This Week

July 29, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Back to School

DeKalb County Schools reopen this week.

Registration for all students will be Thursday, August 1. That will be an abbreviated school day from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.

Friday, August 2 will be an administrative day for teachers only

The first full day of school for all students will be Monday, August 5.

A system wide professional development day will be Monday, July 29 at DCHS from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

All teachers will report to their individual schools on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 30 and July 31 from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Some schools are having special registration times.

DeKalb County High School Registration:

•Registration for current students:

9th grade orientation will be Tuesday, July 30th. Students at 4:30, parents joining them at 5:30.
Grades 10 – 12 will be August 1, 7:30 to 9:30.

•Schedule pick-up:
9th grade students will receive their schedules at Orientation on July 30

Northside Elementary School is hosting "Meet Your Teacher" night Tuesday, July 30 at 6:30 p.m. for the upcoming 2nd & 3rd grade students. All students that attend on July 30 and complete the necessary paperwork will not be required to come to registration on August 1.

Kindergarten Open House will be Monday, July 29 at 6:00 p.m. at Smithville Elementary School for all kindergarten students who have already registered for kindergarten

The Eighth Annual First Day of School Education Celebration for DeKalb County will be held on Thursday, August 1 from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. downtown around the courthouse square.

Man Seriously Injured in Fall at the Lake

July 29, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Rock Bluff Near where McKnight was Injured in Fall

A man who fell while trying to climb a steep rock formation at Center Hill Lake Friday evening remains in trauma intensive care at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

34 year old Brian McKnight is believed to have suffered serious injuries including broken bones.

McKnight and others were reportedly at the Potts Camp Road access when they decided to go across the lake to the bluff. McKnight had climbed approximately 100 feet when he fell after a large rock he reached for came loose. The rock then fell on top of him after he landed on a rock ledge.

Corps of Engineer officials and members of the DeKalb EMS and DeKalb County Rescue Squad arrived on the scene by boat.

After making their way up the steep bluff, rescue workers reached McKnight, placed him in a stokes basket and used rappelling equipment to safely bring him down, according to Dustin Johnson, Captain of the DeKalb County Rescue Squad, who spoke with WJLE Saturday. McKnight was loaded onto a pontoon boat. From there, he was taken back to the Potts Camp Road access and then transported by DeKalb EMS to a helicopter landing zone which was set up near the churches in the Jefferson Community. He was airlifted to Erlanger Hospital.

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department provided assistance and members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department established the helicopter landing zone.

DeKalb Fair Comes to a Close for the Year

July 28, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Grandpa Fair of the South ended its weeklong run late Saturday night.

Highlights of the Saturday session of the Fair included a horseshoe tournament, Super Truck and Tractor Pull, Clogging, and Gospel Singing.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW VIDEO GALLERY OF SEVERAL 2013 DEKALB FAIR EVENTS)

http://www.wjle.com/node/23900

Winners of $500 in a cash drawing were Inetta Taylor of Smithville and Bobby Hale of Watertown.

(Play Video Below to View portion of Vintage Fashion Show from Thursday night)

The DeKalb County Fair Association wishes to thank you for your support and hopes to see you next year.

DeKalb Fair Presents Toddler Show (SEE VIDEOS HERE OF ALL BABY AND TODDLER ENTRIES)

July 27, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Girls (13 to 18 months) 1st  place (left),  2nd (right) SEE LOCAL NEWS FOR NAMES
Boys (13 to 18 months) 1st  place (left),  2nd (right) SEE LOCAL NEWS FOR NAMES
Girls (19 to 24 months) 1st  place Alexis Grace Kamryn Maples
Boys (19 to 24 months) 1st  place (left),  2nd (right) SEE LOCAL NEWS FOR NAMES
Girls(25-30 months) 2nd place (left), 1st place (right) SEE LOCAL NEWS FOR NAMES
Boys (25 to 30 months) 1st place Hayden Allen Quarles
Girls (31-36 months) 1st  place (left),  2nd (right) SEE LOCAL NEWS FOR NAMES
Boys (31-36 months) 1st  place (left),  2nd (right) SEE LOCAL NEWS FOR NAMES
Girls (37-47 months) 1st  place (left),  2nd (right) SEE LOCAL NEWS FOR NAMES
Boys (37-47 months) 1st  place (left),  2nd (right) SEE LOCAL NEWS FOR NAMES

Winners of the annual Toddler Show were announced Friday evening at the DeKalb County Fair.

First place winners received a blue ribbon. Red ribbons went to those receiving second place

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW VIDEOS OF ALL BABY AND TODDLER SHOW PARTICIPANTS)
http://www.wjle.com/node/23872

This year's recipients are as follows:

Girls (13 to 18 months)
Winner: Alexis Nicole Graham, the 15 month old daughter of Derek and Andria Graham of Smithville
Runner-up: Addison Baiely Peden, the 17 month old daughter of James Peden and Amanda McClure of Smithville.

Other participants in this category: Paizlee Dae Taylor, the 15 month old daughter of David and Susan Taylor of Dowelltown; Brylee Key, the 18 month old daughter of Shannon and Holly Key of Alexandria; Kimber Davis, the 14 month old daughter of Jared and Kelli Davis of Smithville; Adison Bliss Love, the 14 month old daughter of Leslie Love and Stan Morris of Smithville; Lyra Dell McMinn, the 16 month old daughter of Nathan and Amanda McMinn of Dowelltown; Jacie Rea Sosa, the 16 month old daughter of Noe and Megan Sosa of Smithville; and Kayleigh Deanna Ramirez, the 17 month old daughter of Tosha and Luis Ramirez.

Boys (13 to 18 months)
Winner: Zane Austin Griffith, the 16 month old son of Mindy and Ron Griffith of Dowelltown
Runner-up: Billy James Clark, the 15 month old son of Bryan and Nikie Clark of Smithville

The only other participant in this category: Christian Cain Cripps, the 13 month old son of Jordan and Nicole Cripps of Dowelltown

Girls (19 to 24 months)
Winner: Alexis Grace Kamryn Maples, the 22 month old daughter of Shane and Amanda Maples of Sparta. She was the only contestant in this category.

Boys (19 to 24 months)
Winner: Drew Michael Jones, the 23 month old son of Michael Jones and Renee Riddle of Smithville.
Runner-up: Brayden Beaulieu, the 23 month old son of John and Tracy Beaulieu of Alexandria.

The only other participant in this category was Brennan Isiah Atnip, the 21 month old son of Trista Atnip and Skyler Insixiengmai of Smithville.

Girls (25 to 30 months)
Winner: Caitlyn Lee Adcock, the 27 month old daughter of Jessie and Tia Adcock of Smithville
Runner-up: Cora Marie Cox, the 28 month old daughter of Brandon and Whitney Cox of Smithville

The only other participant in this category was Mia Nicole Hall, the 26 month old daughter of Bradley and Lacy Hall of Alexandria.

Boys (25 to 30 months)
Winner: Hayden Allen Quarles, the 29 month old son of Matt and Alana Quarles of Liberty. He was the only contestant in this category.

Girls (31 to 36 months)
Winner: Emily Danielle Johnson, the 33 month old daughter of Clint and Dee Dee Johnson of Smithville.
Runner-up: Aubrey Isabella Lasser, the 35 month old daughter of Richard and Ashley Lasser of Smithville.

The only other participant in this category was Helen Marie Hale, the 34 month old daughter of William and Rebekah Hale of Dowelltown.

Boys (31 to 36 months)
Winner: Hunter Allen Moore, the 35 month old son of Clayton and Crystal Moore of Smithville.
Runner-up: James Wayne Redmon, the 35 month old son of Kristie Shehane and Donnie Redmon of Smithville.

The only other participant in this category was Brayden Chance Nicholas, the 36 month old son of Tami Lance and Richard Nicholas of Smithville.

Girls (37 to 47 months)
Winner: Amelia Jane Turner, the 39 month old daughter of Christopher and Sara Jane Turner of Lebanon.
Runner-up: Lilly Grace Anderson, the 47 month old daughter of Caitlin Anderson of Smithville and the late PFC Billy Anderson.

Other participants in this category were: Cassie Bain, the 43 month old daughter of Michael and Emily Bain of Alexandria; Zoey Golson, the 43 month old daughter of Katie Davenport and Demetris Golson of Alexandria; Shelby Jean Elam, the 46 month old daughter of Andrew and Bethany Elam of Sparta; McKenzie Mullican, the 41 month old daughter of Randall and Christy Hunt of Smithville; Karah Jo Ford, the 39 month old daughter of Amanda Ford and Joseph Wann of Smithville; Annali Garcia, 41 month old Cardelly and Hector Garcia of Smithville; Kenzi Foutch, the 45 month old daughter of Ashley Foutch of Smithville; and Addison Ferron, the 46 month old daughter of Daniel and Amber Ferron of Smithville

Boys (37-47 months)
Winner: Jaxsen Theryn Speaks, the 45 month old son of Justin and Donna Speaks of Smithville
Runner-Up: Nathaniel Wilson, the 38 month old son of Tim and Bonnie Wilson of Smithville
They were the only two participants in this category.

Joshua Chapman Wins DeKalb Idol Talent Competition

July 27, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Joshua Chapman Receives DeKalb Idol Award from Tom Duggin
Joshua Chapman, Christy Dannels, Elizabeth Koegler
Judy Sandlin, Tim Holmes, Keith Reynolds, and Matt Boss

Joshua Chapman of Smithville won the DeKalb Idol talent competition Friday night at the DeKalb County Fair. The event is sponsored by DTC Communications.

Chapman, who was among the top ten, made it to the finals and beat out two other singers, Elizabeth Koegler of Smithville and Christy Dannels of Silver Point to claim the top honor with his performance of the Rascal Flatts song "Changed". Chapman received $300 and a trophy.

Koegler finished in second place and won the "People's Choice Award". For finishing as the runner-up, Koegler received $200 and a ribbon. She also claimed $150 as the People's Choice fan favorite.

Dannels took home third place, winning $100 and a ribbon.

Rounding out the top ten were Hope Valenta of McMinnville, Kathy Duggin of Dowelltown, Adam Overstreet of Elmwood, Autumn Monroe of Maryville, Becky Reagan of Livingston, Alison Ferguson of Carthage, and Leanna Firestone of Algood.

The biggest change in this year’s DeKalb Idol competition was in the audition process. Interested contestants auditioned at a designated site on the fairgrounds on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights . Contestants performed a 30 second segment of a song, a cappella, which was filmed by DTC3. The auditions were also shown live outside the audition venue on video screens provided by DTC TV.

At the end of the three-night audition, the top ten contestants were notified on Thursday and returned to perform a full song during the competition on Friday night. Video highlights of the week’s auditions were shown to the live audience during the competition. The top three finalists, Chapman, Koegler, and Dannels were selected from the top ten, and each performed a different song in front of both the judges and the live audience.

Contestants were scored on vocal ability, stage presence, appearance and audience response by judges who all had connections to the music industry.

Meanwhile, Tim Holmes of Smithville and Keith Reynolds of Liberty each won $500 in cash at the fair Friday night.

The following events are scheduled Saturday night:
Saturday, July 27: 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.

Take a stroll down Memory Lane and enjoy nightly entertainment at the Memory Lane Stage in Memory Village, sponsored by DeKalb Community Bank.

The DeKalb County Fair Memory Lane Stage Line-Up is as follows:
•Saturday Night July 27
6:30-7:30 pm— Mid State Cloggers
7:45-8:45 pm— Evermean Evergreen Cloggers
8:45 - until— ZONE STATUS

Visit the food booths and view exhibits in the Kenneth Sandlin Center and Commercial building.
Rides on the Midway will be provided by the Family Attractions Amusement Company.

Ride Arm Band Prices:
Saturday:$18
Admission to the fair is $4.00 per person. Children age four and younger will be admitted free! Gates open at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Parking is Free!

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

DeKalb Middle School Gets Makeover

July 26, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
New Floor Tile and Painted Walls near office at DeKalb Middle School
New Exterior Look at DeKalb Middle School
New Look of Hallways at DeKalb Middle School
DeKalb Middle School Weight Room
Entrance to Football Locker Room (Note Character Education Poster to Left)
Renovated football locker room in old DMS gym
One of many character education and academic banners to be displayed at DMS

DeKalb Middle School is sporting a new look in time for the new school year.

Throughout the building, the walls have been repainted in the school colors of red, blue, and white and new floor tile has been put down in most of the school to replace the carpet. "We're excited about it. We think it gives the school a whole new look and we hope the kids are excited about it too," said DMS Principal Randy Jennings in an interview with WJLE Thursday.

"We've got a brand new paint job all throughout the building. We had the yellow (painted walls) but now we've gone with school colors. We've got blue and white all throughout the building. We've put down new tile throughout the building. We have very little carpet left in this building. The library, computer lab, and two small offices still have carpet but hopefully we'll get that out too within the next year. We also plan to renovate our restrooms," said Principal Jennings.

"It's a brand new school. I believe everyone will feel a sense of pride when they come in and see that all of this work has taken place for their children," added Amanda Dakas, Assistant DMS Principal.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby said he is impressed with the transformation, which has largely taken place over the summer since school has been out. "It's almost a totally new facelift for the school. I believe it will bring a lot of pride to the school. When something is really nice, people want to keep it really nice. I think the students will enjoy it. Mr. Jennings has told me about some of the football players who were here recently and were just amazed at the difference in the school from the time they left until now. The better things look and the better conditions we have, the better off its going to be for all the people in the community. I think the parents, students, and staff will be amazed to see the difference," said Director Willoughby.

Principal Jennings said he is also proud of the recent renovation of locker rooms in the old gym and the development of a new weight room. "The locker rooms in the old gym, where our football is housed, we renovated those last school year. Coach (Tad) Webb did most of it himself. We updated one of the locker rooms. Put new lockers in. The high school built them for us. The other (project) was a major renovation. We made a weight room for the football team that we're also going to utilize for our PE program and probably other sports throughout the year," he said.

Director Willoughby said he is appreciative to the staff who pitched in to help. "This has been the biggest face lift the school has had since it opened in the 1970's. Getting rid of a majority of the carpet in the school was also a really big deal. As you look around this school, with the exception of actually putting down the tile, all the painting was done by people already employed in the school system," he said. "Some of our custodians were painting. Some of our staff who are employed during the regular school year, they have been painting. We had maintenance people who have worked really hard. Our custodians have put a shine on this place. It's made a big difference," said Director Willoughby.

DMS students will also notice other changes as they roam the halls this year. "We have the addition of some new character education and academic banners throughout the school with some inspirational sayings and quotes. So everywhere the kids look it's going to be new. It's going to feel new," said Assistant Principal Dakas.

"We also have the addition of two new math teachers and a writing lab which will enhance what we're doing with common core," she added.

To keep up to date on activities at DeKalb Middle School visit http://www.dekalbmiddleschoolsaints.com/

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