Local News Articles

Fly Fishermen Seek to Restrict Canoeing on Caney Fork River

September 25, 2012
Dwayne Page
Photo of Fly Fisherman
Photo of Canoer

The county commission has taken a stand on a proposal by a group of Nashville fly fishermen who are apparently seeking to restrict canoeing on the Caney Fork River.

The commission Monday night adopted a non-binding resolution asking the appropriate governing authority to keep the Caney Fork open to all.

"We apparently have some fly fishermen out of Nashville that are wanting to ban kayakers and canoers from going down a public stream so that they can fly fish," said County Mayor Mike Foster. " We're not opposed to fly fishermen. We're not opposed to canoers. But we feel there is room there for everything and simply because it impacts our tourism dollars, we have a resolution which is non binding but issues our opinion on this," said Foster.

The resolution, adopted by the county commission, states that "Whereas, the Caney Fork River is a major tourism attraction for DeKalb County and surrounding areas and

Whereas, DeKalb County benefits form fishermen, boaters, wildlife viewers, and sightseers on the Caney Fork River and

Whereas, DeKalb County desires to cater to and attract people from all tourism functions and

Whereas, we do not wish to see the River compartmentalized, bound or set aside for any one group at the expense of the other and

Whereas, we feel with a little cooperation, courtesy and less selfishness, we feel the problem could be averted.

Now, therefore, be it resolved that the DeKalb County Commission, in regular session on September 24, 2012 recommends that no special zoning, compartmentalization or no special access-restricting activity be approved on the Caney Fork River"

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has scheduled a Caney Fork River stakeholder meeting immediately following the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission (TFWC) meeting on Friday, Sept. 28 in TWRA's Region II Building. The TFWC meeting typically concludes around 10 a.m. The stakeholder meeting is likely to start around 10:15 and be over by 1 p.m.

The objectives for the stakeholder meeting are to give a brief overview of TWRA's management of the river, identify the latest issues, and present some ideas. Input from stakeholders concerning the issues and ideas on how to ensure that everyone can enjoy the river will be sought.

Five Students Graduate from Adult High School

September 25, 2012
Dwayne Page
Five Students Graduate from Adult High School

Five students received their diplomas through the adult high school program in a special graduation ceremony Monday evening at the DCHS cafeteria.

Cody Chastain, Paul Gilliam, Justin Cantrell, Jerica Wilkins, and Alisha Davis were recognized for completing the program.

Coordinator and Instructor Susan Hinton said the accomplishments of these individuals is certainly something worth celebrating. "This evening was to honor and to celebrate the five students who previously had no high school diploma and now have a high school diploma to go out into the world", she said.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby also commended the adult high school graduates on their achievements. " I think people need to remember that a DeKalb County Adult High School diploma is a high school diploma. So many of the doors that were locked before a high school diploma are now open for these five people and they have opportunities out there in front of them that they didn't have before. Regardless of what some people think, when you get an adult high school diploma, you have worked for it. It doesn't come easy. It's very difficult. There's no quick way to get a high school diploma. It comes with a lot of hard work and I congratulate all the students for the work they've done and to Mrs. Hinton for the superb job she does," said Willoughby

If you didn't complete your high school education, you can go back to school through the adult high school program. Students graduate as they finish their course work.

Hinton said "I get many calls from people wanting to get into the program, but I refer them to DCHS School counselor. Call 615- 597-2243 or set up an appointment. The school counselor will go through your record and determine how many credits that you have. There are different qualifications depending upon what years you were enrolled in high school," said Hinton

Hinton said students who attend the adult high school are not taking a short cut to obtaining their diploma. "Each student is independent in their subjects, so they're pretty much self guided. Each course has it's own set of criteria, depending upon what subject the student is working in. I also do career counseling with them and we have guests in from time to time to talk to them about various careers. There's not a short cut. They have to do the work to match the clock hours. They have to pass that subject. In other words, if they sit in there and they do the time and don't do the work or pass then they will fail. I also have had some high school students who have already had a course and did not complete it for credit. So for them there is what is called Credit Recovery and sometimes they can go back and pick up a class by doing computer work that matches that class. But even that is quite a bit of work. That is not a short cut either. There is no short cut to getting a high school diploma," she added.

Long time educator W.C. Braswell is also an instructor in the adult high school.

For more information call the high school guidance department at 615- 597-2243 or the adult high school at 615-597-2254.

(Pictured: Teacher W.C. Braswell, Cody Chastain, Paul Gilliam, Justin Cantrell, Jerica Wilkins, Alisha Davis, and Coordinator/Instructor Susan Hinton)

Two Arrested After Meth Lab Found During Traffic Stop

September 24, 2012
Dwayne Page
James Dillion Mitchell
Amy Elizabeth Mullican
Gregory Allen Mayo
Johnny Ray Farless
Barbara Ann Covington
Jack C. Adams
Joey Phillip Phelps
Tommy Lynn Parsley

A DeKalb County Sheriff's Department drug detective made a traffic stop last Thursday and arrested two people after finding a one pot meth lab in the vehicle.

19 year old James Dillion Mitchell of Morrison and 19 year old Amy Elizabeth Mullican of Woodbury are charged with initiation of a process intended to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Mullican was also charged with simple possession of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine).Bond for Mitchell is $25,000. Mullican's bond is $27,000. They will be in court October 4

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, September 20 the drug detective stopped a vehicle on Highway 70 east for having a headlight out. Mitchell, the driver, had very slurred speech and he kept dropping things in the car. The detective noticed a strong chemical odor coming from the automobile. Mitchell was asked to get out of the vehicle. He submitted to a search and the detective found in Mitchell's coat pocket, rubber tubing taped to the lid of a bottle. In Mitchell's pants pocket, the detective found a sock which contained a scale, glass pipe, and aluminum foil. Mullican, the owner of the vehicle and a passenger, gave consent to search the automobile and the detective found a plastic bottle, a one pot lab, in the front floor board along with two small plastic containers that held lye, three cut hoses, and empty blister packs. Mitchell said that the one pot lab belonged to him. Mullican admitted to knowing the one pot lab was in the car. A female correctional officer was called to the scene to search Mullican. Found in Mullican's bra was a small plastic baggie with a white powdery substance believed to be methamphetamine.

Meanwhile, 44 year Gregory Allen Mayo of 521 Dry Creek Road, Smithville is charged with simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance (marijuana), simple possession of a schedule III controlled substance (suboxone), unlawful possession of a schedule II drug for resale (methamphetamine), violation of the drug free school zone, and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. His bond is $50,000 and he will be in court on October 4.

Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, September 18, a drug detective and deputies from the sheriff's department went to Mayo's residence to serve a warrant on him. Mayo's home is across the street from the Smithville Church of Christ Day School. Upon approaching the residence, the detective saw Mayo inside hunkered down by the window. Officers later found a handgun on the floor by that window. The gun was loaded and ready to fire. According to Sheriff Ray, Mayo is not permitted to have a weapon because he has a felony conviction in Rutherford County for manufacturing methamphetamine. When the detective knocked and announced that officers from the sheriff's department were at the door, Mayo crawled to a bedroom and hid under the covers. The detective entered the residence, went to the bedroom and ordered Mayo to get up and to show his hands. When Mayo got out of bed, officers found underneath him a plastic bag that contained several baggies, including one which held a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana and another which held a white rock like substance weighing 2.8 grams that field tested positive for methamphetamine. Also inside the bag were five baggies which held smaller rocks of the same white substance believed to be meth. Each weighed .3 grams. A plastic bag was also found in Mayo's wallet which held some marijuana along with two packages of suboxone strips, one opened and the other unopened.

19 year old Johnny Ray Farless of Cooper Avenue, Smithville is charged with unlawful possession of a schedule II drug for resale (methamphetamine). He will be in court on October 4. His bond is $5,000.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, September 19 a drug detective of the sheriff's department got behind a vehicle on Foster Road that was traveling in the center of the roadway. The automobile turned left onto Miller Road and then left onto Cooper Avenue. The detective activated his blue lights and the vehicle stopped. Farless, the driver, gave the detective consent to search and found in Farless' back left pocket was a flashlight that contained eleven small baggies. Seven of the baggies held a white rock like substance that field tested positive to be methamphetamine. The other four baggies were empty. Farless said he was only trying to make some money.

Another person has been charged in the burglary of four vehicles parked at Four Seasons Marina in July, a case WJLE reported on last week. In the latest development, 43 year old Barbara Ann Covington of Murfreesboro was arrested on Wednesday, September 19 and charged with four counts of burglary, one count of theft under $500, two counts of theft over $500, one count of theft over $10,000, and fraudulent use of a credit card. Her bond totals $200,000 and she will be in court October 4.

According to Sheriff Ray, Covington and Timothy Ray Featherstone of Murfreesboro, who was arrested on September 12 in Georgia, allegedly broke into four vehicles parked at Four Seasons Marina at 327 Marina Drive. Items were taken from each vehicle. Featherstone, who is charged with the same offenses as Covington, is under a $200,000 bond.

52 year old Jack C. Adams of Old Bildad Road is charged with a third offense of driving under the influence. He was also issued citations for simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance (marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $4,500 and he will be in court on October 11.

Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, September 18, a deputy responded to a call of a man riding a lawn mower on Seven Springs Road. He appeared to be intoxicated. The officer found him on Webb Lane and stopped to do a welfare check of Adams. The deputy smelled an odor of an alcoholic beverage on Adams' person and his speech was slurred. Adams admitted to drinking five beers. He submitted to but performed poorly on several field sobriety tasks. He was unsteady on his feet. Adams submitted to a blood alcohol test. Adams had on his person in a zip lock bag a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. The bag also contained rolling papers.

32 year old Joey Phillip Phelps of Dowelltown was arrested on Saturday, September 22 for domestic assault, a charge which was filed against him on June 1st. His bond is $3,500 and he will be in court October 4.

Sherifff Ray said that on June 1, an officer of the sheriff's department was called to the Phelps' home in response to a domestic disturbance between Phelps and a relative. Upon arrival, the deputy spoke to the victim, whose nose was cut and swollen. The left side of his head was also bloodied. The victim said that he and Phelps had gotten into an argument over the phone and it became physical. Phelps hit the victim and they both went to the ground fighting. Another relative pulled them apart. Phelps grabbed a concrete ashtray and hit the victim in the head with it. Phelps then left the scene. The victim was transported by DeKalb EMS to the hospital emergency room. It was determined that Phelps was the primary aggressor.

29 year old Tommy Lynn Parsley of Mount Juliet is charged with two counts of evading arrest, a sixth offense of driving on a suspended license, simple possession of a schedule III drug (suboxone), and simple possession of a schedule IV drug (xanax). He was arrested on Saturday, September 22. His bond totals $39,000 and he will be in court on October 11.

Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, September 18, a drug detective of the sheriff's department spotted Parsley operating a motor vehicle on the Old Blue Springs Road, entering Highway 56 south. The detective knew that Parsley's drivers license were suspended. A computer check confirmed that Parlsey's license were suspended for failure to satisfy prior citations in Wilson County. The detective got behind Parsley's vehicle and activated his blue lights on Highway 56 between Keltonburg Road and Magness Road. Parsley sped up to about 80 miles per hour while approaching sharp curves and three other vehicles in front of him. The detective decided to terminate the pursuit due to Parsley's record of evading and reckless driving.

Four days later, on Saturday September 22, Sheriff Ray said a deputy went to Circle Drive in Dowelltown to serve an arrest warrant on Parsley. Upon arrival, the officer saw Parsley sitting in a vehicle. The deputy activated his blue lights and pulled up to the vehicle. Parsley jumped out of his automobile and tried to flee on foot. The officer called for Parsley to stop, but he kept running. The deputy chased after Parsley and placed him under arrest. During a search, the officer found in Parsley's left front pocket a metal blue container that held nineteen peach colored pills believed to be xanax and half of an orange pill thought to be suboxone. He also had a cut straw in his right pocket.

MTSU Student from Smithville Becomes U.S. Citizen

September 22, 2012
Magistrate Judge Joe B. Brown and Tammy Li
Tammy Li's DCHS Class of 2012 Senior Photo

After five years or more of life in America, MTSU student Tammy Li of Smithville needs no more time to make up her mind. She became a U.S. citizen at a naturalization ceremony on the campus of her university last Monday, September 17.

MTSU celebrated Constitution Day by hosting a rare naturalization ceremony held outside Nashville for new Middle Tennessee citizens, according to a report in MTSU news.com. Li was among almost 300 people taking the oath of citizenship at the event.

Tammy Li, a bubbly 19-year-old freshman majoring in nutrition and food science, came to America from Fujian Province near Hong Kong in the People's Republic of China.

She lived with her parents in New York for a year but has lived in Smithville since her freshman year of high school. Li, who speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and other Chinese dialects, in addition to English, graduated high school in May with a 3.5 GPA. Her transcript includes membership in the Beta Club, the Science Club, 4-H and the Student Council.

"In the summertime, I worked six days a week, 12 hours a day, to save money," Li said. "I am very independent."

With that kind of track record, it comes as no surprise that Li received a HOPE scholarship and passed her citizenship test in the same week.

"I just feel that this is my home," Li said. "You have free speech, free religion."

She has come to feel that MTSU is also her home.

"MTSU gives me a chance to do my best," said Li. "The teachers are so nice. I feel like if I need help I can just ask people."

Back home in Smithville, Li raises her voice in song in the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church choir.

"I always put Jesus first, others second and self third," said Li.

(PICTURED ABOVE:Magistrate Judge Joe B. Brown of the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee poses for a photo with MTSU student Tammy Li (MTSU photo by Darby Campbell)

Two Men Arrested After Close Encounter with Police Chief

September 22, 2012
Dwayne Page
James Frederick Summers
Joshua Cripps

A Smithville man was arrested on drug charges Thursday after his apparent reckless driving drew the attention of Police Chief Randy Caplinger.

34 year old James Frederick Summers is charged with possession of a schedule VI controlled substance for resale (marijuana) and a fourth offense of driving on a revoked license. He will be in court on October 11. His bond is $16,000. Summers was also cited for unlawful possession of a weapon (brass knuckles), which were found on his person; and for unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Chief Caplinger told WJLE Friday that as he was driving north in his patrol car on Tramel Street going toward West Main Street, a 2000 model Hyundai, driven by Summers, was approaching him, coming south on Tramel Street. He said the car almost hit him head-on. Summers pulled into the parking lot of DeKalb Community Bank. Chief Caplinger stopped the vehicle and detained Summers. A passenger of the car, 28 year old Joshua Cripps, got out and fled on foot. He was picked up later at another location in the county and was charged with evading arrest.

Officer Chip Avera and Corporal Travis Bryant arrived to assist Chief Caplinger at the scene.
Found in Summers' car were 40 grams of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana wrapped in paper along with some drug paraphernalia. A check of Summers' driving record revealed that he was driving on a revoked license. His license had previously been revoked for driving under the influence in Warren County and for two DUI's in DeKalb County. Summers was taken into custody and his car was seized by police.

Liberty Man Suffers Hand Injury in Rollover on Snow Hill

September 22, 2012
Dwayne Page
Liberty Man Suffers Hand Injury in Rollover on Snow Hill

A Liberty man suffered an injury to his hand in a one car crash Friday on Highway 70 at Snow Hill.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 23 year old Eddy Fidel Rangel was east on Highway 70 in a 1992 Mazda 323 when he crossed all oncoming lanes and went off the left side of the highway and over an embankment. The car struck a culvert and rolled over on its top. Rangel got out of the car on his own but was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital. He may have suffered bone fractures in his hand.

Rangel was charged with driving on a suspended license, failure to maintain lane of travel, and violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance).

DCHS Wraps Up Spirit Week with Homecoming Parade and Pep Rally (SEE VIDEO BELOW)

September 21, 2012
Dwayne Page
Sophomore Class Wins Float Competition in Homecoming Parade

School spirit was on display Friday afternoon as students from DeKalb County High School celebrated the last day of Homecoming Week with a parade from the school to downtown.

The Tiger football team's homecoming opponent Friday night was the Hixson Wildcats and the floats in the parade had a Tiger versus Wildcats theme. THE DCHS TIGERS DEFEATED HIXSON 42-13 (SEE LOCAL SPORTS FOR THE STORY)

The parade featured Homecoming Queen Kaylee Cantrell and her court, the DCHS Fighting Tiger Band, lots of decorated cars and trucks, county and city law enforcement officers, and fire fighters, among others. The event concluded with a pep rally on the square led by DCHS Football cheerleaders.

The Sophomore Class took first place with their float called "Tigers Tame the Wildcats"

Second place went to the Junior Class with their float called "Tigers Huntin' Hixson"

The FCCLA Club received third place with the theme "We are #1 DCHS- Bury the Wildcats"

Winners of the best decorated vehicles in the parade were: First place- Dustin Cook; Second place- Mallory Sullivan; and Third place- Kayla Stanley

Businesses with the best window displays were: First Place- The Flower Box; Second Place, Head Turners; and Third Place- Fluty's Shoes.

Scavenger hunt winners were: First Place- Sophomores; Second Place- Juniors; and Third Place- Seniors.

Detective Matt Holmes Receives Five Year Certificate of Achievement

September 21, 2012
Dwayne Page
Detective Matt Holmes Receives Five Year Certificate of Achievement

Detective Matt Holmes has been presented a certificate of achievement in recognition of five years of dedicated service with the Smithville Police Department.

Holmes received the award from Chief Randy Caplinger on Friday at city hall

Others on hand for the observance were Mayor Jimmy Poss and Alderman/Police Commissioner Shawn Jacobs along with members of the police department

After graduating from DeKalb County High School, Detective Holmes furthered his education at the Tennessee Technology Center. He graduated from Walter State Community College and began his career with the Smithville Police Department in 2007. Holmes was later promoted to the rank of Detective.

He is a graduate of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation School and is certified by the 13th Judicial District Drug Task Force in drug diversion and the Tennessee Meth Task Force. Holmes is certified in Child Passenger Safety, the United States Department of Justice Amber Alert training and technical assistance program and Pharmaceutical Overdose Death Investigations. During Detective Holmes' five years of employment, he has been awarded three departmental commendations for criminal investigations and narcotics arrests

Chief Caplinger said the department plans to make it a practice of honoring other members of the department for specific years of service.

(Pictured left to right: Chief Randy Caplinger, Detective Matt Homes, Alderman/ Police Commissioner Shawn Jacobs, and Mayor Jimmy Poss)

Youngest DeKalb Fair Board Member Welcomed

September 21, 2012
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Fair Board Welcomes Newest and Youngest Member

The DeKalb County Fair Board voted in the newest and youngest fair board member, 18 year old, Matt Boss, during their recent meeting. Matt has been a part of the Youth Fair Board and will now take on the responsibility of managing the youth board as an official fair board member. Matt is a DeKalb County High School Senior, DCHS football player, a member of First Baptist Church in Alexandria, and is an eager community volunteer.

"We are glad that someone as young as Matt is taking an interest in volunteering to be on the board. I think that it needs to be acknowledged and I think a lot of him for wanting to do it. I hope there are more where he came from," said fair board member, Mike Williams.

Matt will begin his official duties with the board in November 2012.

Pictured from left to right: Mike Williams, Jeff McMillen, Jack Underhill, Ricky Baker, Newest Member - Matt Boss, Pat Parkerson, Judy Sandlin, Shan Burklow (not pictured)

Cannon County Man Allegedly Responsible for $30,000 Forgery

September 21, 2012
Dwayne Page

A Cannon County man is facing charges by Smithville Police after passing a forged check in the amount of $30,000 at a local bank in June.

Chief Randy Caplinger told WJLE Thursday that Joey Mooneyham is currently being held in the Cannon County jail for violation of community corrections. A hold has been placed on him there for Smithville Police and Rutherford County where he is also apparently wanted on forgery charges.

According to Chief Caplinger, Mooneyham entered a local bank on June 26th with a check, which was stolen from a Smithville resident. Mooneyham had the check made out to him bearing a forged signature of the victim. He passed the check at the bank and got the money.

Chief Caplinger said bank employees became suspicious days later when another person came in and tried to pass a check for $30,000 on the same victim. When the teller questioned the man, he took the check and left the bank. Smithville Police were notified and began an investigation.

After Mooneyham was identified as a suspect, he was later spotted and arrested in Cannon County. Chief Caplinger said two other people may be charged in the case, including the suspect who tried to pass a forged check at the bank just days after Mooneyham was there; and the person who is believed to have stolen the checks from the victim.

Meanwhile, in other city crime news, 32 year old Carlos Lynn Godsey, Jr. and 26 year old Lois Nicole Godsey were arrested for theft on Saturday, September 15. He was also charged with felony possession of a firearm. According to the warrants, The Godseys were at the victim's house and when they left, the victim noticed his 9 millimeter handgun was missing. He reported it to police. An officer spotted Godsey's truck and pulled it over. He found the stolen handgun under the driver's seat of the truck. In addition to the theft charge, Police charged Godsey with illegal possession of a firearm after he was found to be a felon on parole. The Godsey's will be in court on October 11.

20 year old Terry Lee Jones, III is charged with aggravated assault. According to the warrant, Officer Chip Avera responded to a fight at the Joe L. Evins ballpark on Saturday, September 15. The two involved in the fight were identified as Terry Lee Jones, III and Coty Griffin. According to police, Jones was aggressive and stated that if the officers left, "it wouldn't be over with". At that point, Officer Avera placed Jones in his patrol car. Griffin told the officer that while at the ball park, Jones pulled a pocket knife and that the two of them began scuffling. No one was injured. Jones will be in court on October 25.

Meanwhile, anyone with information on any criminal activity is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Crime Tip Line at 464-6046.

Any information received that would help Smithville Police solve any criminal offense would be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.


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