Local News Articles

Funny Musical "Forever Plaid" to be Presented Labor Day Weekend in Smithville

August 21, 2012
Funny Musical  "Forever Plaid"  to be Presented Labor Day Weekend in Smithville

Towne Centre Professional Productions Presents "Forever Plaid" by Stuart Ross August 31 through September 3 at the DeKalb County Complex Auditorium on South Congress Boulevard.

Enjoy a special Labor Day weekend performance of this wonderful and heart-warmingly funny musical.

Show Times:
Friday, August 31, 7:30 pm
Saturday, September 1, 7:30 pm
Sunday, September 2, 2:00 pm
Monday, September 3, 7:00 pm

Forever Plaid synopsis
The setting is simple: four microphones, a piano and the bass. From the back of the house we hear heavenly voices chanting. Four men carrying candles and dressed in white dinner jackets walk through the audience, singing, "Deus Ex Plaid." Francis, the leader and most confident member of the group, leads them through the audience, "Holy Canoli! We're finally back on earth." For, once upon the time, on February 9th 1964, this semi professional harmony group was on their way to their first big gig at the airport Hilton cocktail bar, Fusill-Lounge. While driving in their cherry-red 1954 Mercury convertible, they were rehearsing their finale, "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing." They were just getting to their favorite E flat diminished seventh chord when they were slammed broadside by a school bus filled with eager Catholic teens from out of Harrisburg. The teens were on their way to witness the Beatles make their U.S. television debut on the Ed Sullivan show, and miraculously escaped uninjured. The harmony group, however, was killed instantly.

While they're still technically dead, they have their voices, and bodies, and dinner jackets. They talk to the audience trying to figure out what year it is. 2012! To fight the tension caused by 40-plus years in limbo, they decide to sing. "And now, for the first time on this or any other planet. Forever Plaid!" Though they never got to do the show when they were alive, the stars have conspired with the expanding holes in the ozone layer to do the show now. Singing in the closest of harmony, squabbling boyishly over the smallest intonations and executing their charmingly outlandish choreography with over-zealous precision, the "Plaids" are a guaranteed smash, with a program of beloved songs and delightful patter that keeps audiences rolling in the aisles when they're not humming along to some of the great nostalgic pop hits of the 1950's.

For tickets, call Towne Centre Theatre at 615-221-1174 or online at www.townecentretheatre.com

Brentwood Arts Society was established in 2004 with the purpose of promoting the Arts in Middle Tennessee, providing opportunities for local artists and performers to display their talents and to provide programs in the arts for young people. The first program was to provide financial and other support to Towne Centre Theatre at 136 Frierson Street in Brentwood, Tennessee. Since 2006, TCT has provided local artists with gallery space to exhibit their work to the public and underwrote the production of six plays a year in the theater. Next year, TCT is expanding to 7 shows a year, providing even more opportunies for local actors, artists and theater-goers.

TCT was built in 1885 and served as Williamson County School, a one room, wood frame schoolhouse. In 1905, the building was purchased by the Mt. Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church and, with several alterations and additions, was a church for 100 years until 2005. That year the building was purchased by Investors Towne Center Partners I, LP and converted into a small community theater with a gallery room for art exhibits, and lease to the Brentwood Arts Society. The Society has a desire to preserve history, promote the arts and improve the culture of our communities.

The Society's future plans for the Brentwood area include a larger facility with two auditoriums, ample visual arts exhibition space, classrooms and meeting rooms. Professional theater, art classes, camps and events of various types would find a home at this facility.

Brentwood Arts Society, in association with Towne Centre Productions, plans to present a series of events in Smithville, Tennessee in the Dekalb County Community Center Theater. The first event, a musical play called "Forever Plaid" will run this Labor Day Weekend. Other events through the winter are on the drawing board and, pending good community support, will be produced on weekends just before Halloween and Valentines Day, and for three weeks after Thanksgiving Day. There will be roles available for local actors, especially children, in the Christmas production set for the three weeks after Thanksgiving. This is professional theater and an excellent opportunity for local residents to experience live theater close to home. Other future productions in Smithville, and at nearby Lakeside Resort, are being considered.

Efforts Underway to Help Revitalize Downtown

August 21, 2012
Dwayne Page
Alan Webb, Steve White, Suzanne Williams, and Wade Smith with 3D Model of Stage
Logo design by Shan Burklow

Members of Tennessee Downtowns Program Steering Committee attended Monday night's city council meeting to show a small 3-D model design for the new open-air stage to be built in Evins Park in Downtown Smithville this fall. The park is located behind city hall. "The stage will be a welcome and beautiful addition to the county allowing for outdoor concerts, performances, and other community events for the public to enjoy and use," says Tennessee Downtown Committee chair Steve White.

"This is just one facet of our many plans for the downtown revitalization efforts," says Chamber Director & TN Downtowns Steering Committee Member Suzanne Williams. "We are excited to partner with the Evins Foundation on this initial project and believe this to be one of the many successes coming out of the committee's hard work, vision, and planning."

The committee has received $8,500 in grant funding along with a $1,000 donation from the Smithville Rotary Club to build the stage. Construction is expected to begin within the next six weeks using skilled and unskilled volunteer labor.

The open-air stage is part of an effort by the committee to help revitalize downtown, Smithville.

In December, 2010, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced that Smithville was among 12 communities selected to participate in Tennessee Downtowns, a competitive community improvement program for cities and counties seeking to revitalize traditional commercial districts. Smithville was among several Tennessee communities with central business districts at least 50 years old which were eligible to apply for a downtown revitalization package. Mini-grants were also made available to local downtown business owners who wanted to join in the effort.

A total of sixteen Smithville building owners have been awarded $500 in mini-grants by the committee for investing a minimum of $1,000 in exterior improvements to their buildings.

TN Downtown Programs Mini-Grant Recipients
Keith W. Blair, 406 W. Public Sq.
Frank Buck, 125 W. Walnut St.
Attorney Gayla Hendrix, 301 N. Public Sq.
Phillip & Marilyn Cantrell, (Cantrell's Clothing Store), 115 & 117 W. Main St.
Fluty's Shoes, 120 W. Main St.
Henrietta Hale, 109 W. Main St.
Attorney J. Hilton Conger, 208 E. Public Sq.
Richard H. Williams, 105 N. 4th St.
Thomas Janney, 115 W. Market St.
Attorney Vester Parsley, 111 W. Main St.

Gail Webb, 400 Public Sq.
Pam Redmon (The Flower Box), 114 W. Walnut St.
Alan Webb, Main St. (between former Smithville Dress Shop & Fabric Store)
Attorney Jeremy Trapp,
Annette Greek, 103 W. Main St. (former Playground Kids)
Paul Violet, 102 W. Main St.

Charlie Parker Hired as Full Time Smithville Fire Chief

August 21, 2012
Dwayne Page
Charlie Parker Hired as Full Time Smithville Fire Chief

After serving 32 years as a city volunteer fire fighter, including over 21 years as a volunteer fire chief, Charlie Parker is now a full time paid administrator or fire chief for the City of Smithville.

By a vote of 5-0, Parker was officially hired Monday night by the aldermen for this position, created in this year's city budget. The city advertised but Parker was the only applicant for the job.

He was recently interviewed by Mayor Jimmy Poss, Secretary-Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson, and Alderman and Police/Fire Commissioner Shawn Jacobs. "He (Parker) has dedicated his life to the fire department and I appreciate it," said Mayor Poss.

"I was lucky I got to put 21 years of experience of on the job training on my resume," said Chief Parker. "Its been my honor to serve the citizens of Smithville for that long," he added.

Parker will be paid a salary of $35,350 per year plus health, life, and dental insurance benefits, like all other city employees. Parker will be allowed flex time or comp time if he needs to take time off for working extra hours beyond a forty hour work week due to fire calls and training.

Parker said his duties will keep him busy but he won't always be at the fire hall. "I am trying to work out some kind of schedule where I will be here (fire hall) at certain times to meet with people and set appointments and things like that. I also have a lot of businesses and factories that I've got to see in town doing pre-plans and some other things that we're already working on. So there will be quite a bit of time when I'm not at the fire hall. Its going to be come and go for me. I'm also comfortable with using the comp time, because most of my time with the crew (firefighters) won't be until after five or six o'clock and sometimes we're here until nine or ten o'clock at night," said Chief Parker.

"This pre-planning he (Parker) is talking about is work that really hasn't been getting done," said Alderman Shawn Jacobs. "They've been trying to do it through their volunteers at our factories and places like that which have volatile chemicals, the airport and places like that. But realistically with a volunteer force, most of them work during the day and they can't get out there and do these pre-plans for our industries and businesses. So we're going to be a lot safer from a community standpoint, once Charlie gets out and is able to do that. This is one of many benefits we're going to get from having a full time fire chief," said Alderman Jacobs.

Meanwhile, the city is seeking a FEMA SAFER Grant, which if approved would fund the hiring of more full time city firefighers for up to two years, at no cost to the city.

Proposed Ordinance Requires Absentee Voting for City Property Rights Voters in November Referendum

August 21, 2012
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Aldermen Monday night adopted an ordinance on first reading to keep city property rights voters from possibly having to go to two places to vote in November with the city liquor referendum on the ballot along with the Tennessee General and Presidential elections. Under the ordinance, city property rights voters could only vote by absentee ballot in the city referendum. They would still be free to vote in person at their own precinct or during early voting at the courthouse for President, State Representative, Congressman, and for U.S. Senator.

Second and final reading passage will follow a public hearing at a special meeting of the Mayor and Aldermen on Monday, August 27 at 5:00 p.m. at city hall. If adopted on second reading, the ordinance would only apply to property rights voters participating in the November 2012 election and they would be notified by the election commission. This ordinance would not apply to any future city elections.

"This is going to make it easier for everybody, especially the voters and hopefully increase turnout," said Alderman Shawn Jacobs.

Voters county wide, at all sixteen precincts, will be casting ballots for candidates in the Presidential election along with U.S. Senate, Congressional, and State Representative races in November. But in the City of Smithville, which includes the Courthouse, Middle School, County Complex, and Church of Christ Annex precincts, city voters will also be voting in a referendum on
whether to allow liquor stores in the City of Smithville. Only voters residing inside the city limits and property rights voters, who own property in the city but who live outside the city in DeKalb County and are qualified to vote, will be allowed to cast ballots in this referendum.

Without this ordinance, approximately 160 property rights voters would likely have to go to two places to vote on election day in November. They would vote at their regular precinct by machine in the county-wide election, and then would have to come to one of the four precincts in Smithville to vote just in the referendum. That referendum vote will likely be on a paper ballot. This process will only apply to property rights voters, those who live outside the city in DeKalb County but who have property inside the city and are qualified to vote in a city election.

Without this ordinance, If city property rights voters choose to cast ballots during early voting, they will likely have to come to the courthouse and vote in the county-wide election by machine and then go through the line again to vote by paper ballot just in the city referendum. Again, this process will only apply to property rights voters, those who live outside the city in DeKalb County but who have property inside the city and are qualified to vote in a city election.

The ordinance states, "Whereas, the City of Smithville allows individuals who are non-resident property owners the right to vote in City elections; and

Whereas, T.C.A. 2-6-205, establishes a procedure permitting those non-resident property owners to vote by absentee ballot if an ordinance is passed within the requirements set out in said statute:

Now, Therefore, be it ordained by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, that

Section 1. By passing this ordinance it does hereby require that those non-resident property owners for the referendum which is on the ballot for the November 6, 2012 ballot shall be required to vote absentee for said referendum.

Section 2. This ordinance shall be effective only for the November 6, 2012 ballot for the City of Smithville.

Section 3. The DeKalb County Election Commission shall notify the non-resident property owners as set out in T.C.A. 2-6-205 of the requirements of this ordinance.

Red Cross Purchases New Disaster Trailer for Local Chapter

August 20, 2012
Red Cross Purchases New Disaster Trailer for Local Chapter

Thanks to a generous grant received from last year’s request to the Middle Tennessee Gas Utility District “Project Hometown Help”, the Warren County Chapter of the American Red Cross was able to purchase a new Disaster Trailer.

“This trailer is a huge asset to our Chapter and will help us to respond effectively to disasters in all 4 of the counties we serve including DeKalb, Van Buren, Warren and White Counties,” said Kathy Nesmith, Executive Director of the Warren County Chapter. “This trailer will be a key component and play a critical role in supplying relief shelters to our citizens when they need them most,” she added.

The trailer can be readily transported to a central shelter location. Its contents will be able to equip the shelter for up to 25 persons who have been forced from their homes in the wake of a disaster or emergency. Soon after it was purchased, the trailer was used to transport cots and to set up a temporary shelter for emergency workers following the February 29th tornado in DeKalb County.

(Attached Picture: (L-R) Kathy Nesmith, Executive Director of the Warren County Chapter – American Red Cross and Joey Morgan, Office Manager- McMinnville Office)

Fred's Purchases Family Medical Center Pharmacy

August 20, 2012
Dwayne Page
Fred's Purchases Family Medical Center Pharmacy

The Family Medical Center Pharmacy is now Fred's Pharmacy Express.

Stacey Love, Pharmacist in charge, said the change in ownership took effect last Thursday. "We were bought by Fred's. We are now Fred's Pharmacy Express. We have the same friendly staff and the same quick service. We have been very pleased with Fred's as a company. We're owned by Fred's now but they are allowing us to continue as an independent store. They have not come in and changed a lot. Things are still run the same way they were. We are staying in the same location with the same hours, which is Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. We are called a Fred's Pharmacy Express store. Right now we have just the pharmacy but within the next couple of weeks we'll be getting Fred's products out front. It'll just be the over the counter medicines, toiletries and those kinds of items as well," said Love

The Family Medical Center Pharmacy's history goes back almost 40 years starting out as Price-France Pharmacy and later Cripps-France Pharmacy. Both the pharmacy and the Doctor's Building got a name change when they were re-located to new facilities a few years ago on North Congress Boulevard.

Sheriff's Department Makes DUI Arrests

August 20, 2012
Dwayne Page
Mark Anthony England
Luisana Lomas Robinson
Monique Annette Godinez
Manuel Avalos Reveles

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department made four DUI arrests this past week and one person was picked up for being a fugitive from justice.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said 52 year old Mark Anthony England of Meadowbrook Drive, Smithville is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. He was also issued a citation for violation of the registration law and violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance). His bond is $4,000 and he will be in court September 13. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, August 13 a deputy was dispatched to Midway Road to investigate a report of a reckless driver. The officer met the vehicle, driven by England. He had run off the road several times before coming to a stop in the middle of the road. The arresting officer reported that England had glazed eyes and he was unsteady on his feet. He had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. England could not perform field sobriety tasks because of his drunken condition. He did submit to a blood test. England admitted to drinking alcohol. His prior DUI offense was June 9, 2011. England could not provide proof of registration or financial responsibility (insurance).

27 year old Luisana Lomas Robinson of O'Conner Street, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. Her bond is $2,500 and she will be in court on September 20. Sheriff Ray reports that on Wednesday, August 15 Robinson was operating a motor vehicle on Highway 56 when she wrecked. Robinson had bloodshot eyes and an odor of an alcoholic beverage on her person. She performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks. She admitted to drinking beer and submitted to a blood test for drugs and or alcohol.

43 year old Monique Annette Godinez of Nashville Highway, Dowelltown is charged with being a fugitive from justice. Her bond is $50,000 and she will be in court on August 23. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, August 17, Godinez was a passenger of a vehicle pulled over at the Kwik N Ezy on Highway 70 for a traffic violation. A computer check of her name and social security number through the National Crime Information Center revealed that she was wanted in Ada County, Idaho for possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia. She was arrested and transported to the jail for booking.

30 year old Manuel Avalos Reveles of Short Mountain Highway, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. He was also issued a citation for no drivers license, violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance), violation of the implied consent law, and failure to maintain lane of travel. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court September 20. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, August 18, Reveles was operating a motor vehicle on Turner Road when he was stopped by an officer after he was observed driving off and then back onto the roadway. He had an odor of alcohol on his person and he was unsteady on his feet. Reveles performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks and he refused to submit to a blood test. Reveles, who had open beer bottles in the vehicle, admitted to drinking beer.

42 year old John Lee Clemons of Quebeck is charged with driving on a revoked license and a third offense of driving under the influence. He was further issued citations for violation of the implied consent law, violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance), and violation of the registration law. His bond is $7,500 and he will be in court on September 13. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, August 19 Clemons was found passed out under the steering wheel of a vehicle, parked in the roadway with the engine running on Pinhook Road. Clemons had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was very unsteady on his feet. Clemons was so intoxicated, field sobriety tasks could not be administered. Beer was found in the vehicle. His prior DUI offenses were on May 6, 2011 and October 12, 2007 in White County. A computer check revealed his license were revoked for driving under the influence. He submitted to a blood test.

Still Time to Register for Motlow State Community College Fall Classes in Smithville

August 18, 2012
Dwayne Page

The registration deadline has been extended a few days for fall Motlow classes being offered at the county complex in Smithville starting August 27, according to County Mayor Mike Foster.

Foster told WJLE Friday that some classes are just a few students short of being able to make.

Meanwhile, high school students planning on taking the ACT this fall are encouraged to prepare for the test with a course offered at five Motlow College locations in Moore County, Fayetteville, McMinnville, Sparta and Smithville. The ACT Prep class focuses on four areas of the ACT: English, mathematics, reading and science. Emphasis will be on test-taking skills, logical analysis and pacing oneself. Practice tests in each of the four areas will be administered during the course and at the conclusion.

The cost of the class is $60 and students will also need to purchase a textbook for $30.95. The textbook will only be available the first night of class. A check made payable to Motlow College Bookstore or cash in the exact amount will be required.

Registration forms can be obtained online at . Separate forms are available for each testing location. Completed forms are to be mailed or faxed to the address indicated on the registration form. Registration is not complete until payment has been received.

The Motlow College Smithville Teaching Site will offer the course on Thursdays, September 13, 20, 27, October 4, and 11, 2012, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. Sheila Gann will be the instructor. The course is limited to 30 students and the deadline to register is Sept. 7 at 4:30 p.m.

The classes are designed to prepare students for the national ACT test date of October 27, 2012. Taking the prep class does NOT register a student to sit for the actual ACT. Students must register separately with ACT to take the national exam; the deadline to register is March 9. Information about how to register for the test can be obtained at .

For more information, call the office of Extended Services at 931.393.1760 or 1.800.654.4877 ext. 1760. Visit the Motlow College website at for more information about these and other courses.

Other classes being offered in Smithville starting August 27 include:
Learning Support Math
9:25 a.m. until 10:40 a.m.

Learning Support Writing:
10:50 a.m. until 12:05 p.m.

Principles of Accounting I
6:00 p.m. until 8:45 p.m.

Introduction to Anthropology
6:00 p.m. until 8:45 p.m.

American History
6:00 p.m. until 8:45 p.m.

6:00 p.m. until 8:45 p.m.

For more information, visit www.mscc.edu or call the McMinnville Center at 1-800-654-4877, extension 2111 or 931-668-7010. You may also call the County Mayor's Office at 597-5175 or DCHS at 597-4094.

Tigers Begin 50th Year of Football with 50-0 Win over Warren County

August 17, 2012
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tigers delivered a haymaker to the visiting Warren County Pioneers 50 to 0 Friday night to begin the 50th year of football for the DCHS program. It was the first shutout victory for Steve Trapp as head coach of the Tiger football program.


DeKalb County jumped out to a 21 to 0 lead by the end of the first quarter. The first score came with 7:19 left in the period as Will Molander scored on a one yard touchdown run, capping a six play 51 yard drive. Ben Driver connected on the P.A.T. and the Tigers led 7-0.


After holding the Pioneers to a three and out, Devonta Milan for the Tigers returned a punt some thirty yards inside the Warren County 10 yard line. Three plays later, DC scored on a three yard pass from quarterback Lucas Phillips to Lance Ball. Ben Driver's P.A.T. attempt was good and the home team led 14-0 with 4:08 to go in the opening period.

With 30 seconds left in the first quarter, quarterback Lucas Phillips hooked up with Will Molander on a 32 yard pass play for a score. Ben Driver's P.A.T. try was good and the Tigers were out to a 21-0.advantage

Devonte Milan put the Black and Gold up 27 to 0 on a 28 yard touchdown run with ten minutes left in the second period. Ben Driver's P.A.T. try was no good.

DeKalb County got two more scores in the second period including a one yard touchdown run by Chris Chapman with 7:11 to go before halftime. Ben Driver's P.A.T. attempt was good and DC owned a 34 to 0 lead.

The Tigers made it 40 to nothing with 2:28 left in the half on a 30 yard touchdown pass play from quarterback Phillips to Sonni Fullilove. Driver's P.A.T attempt was no good.

DeKalb County scored 10 points in the third period including a 53 yard touchdown pass play from quarterback Phillips to Cody Puckett with 9:15 to go. Driver's P.A.T try was good giving the Tigers a 47 to 0 lead..

The final score of the night came later in the third period on a 32 yard field goal by Ben Driver and the Tigers went on to win 50 to 0.

DeKalb County, now 1–0, will travel to Celina to face the Clay County Bulldogs next Friday night, August 24 at 7:00 p.m. WJLE will have LIVE coverage.

TDOT Chief Engineer Says Hurricane Bridge Rehab About Half Completed

August 17, 2012
Dwayne Page
TDOT Chief Engineer Paul Degges (Right) at Hurricane Bridge
TDOT Commissioner John Schroer at Hurricane Bridge

Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer completed his week's Regional "TDOT Projects Bus Tour" Thursday making the final stop in DeKalb County.

State Senator Mae Beavers and State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver joined the Commissioner and other TDOT representatives on the bus tour locally to view Hurricane bridge, where a rehabilitation construction project is underway.

"We're at the end of our fourth day (bus tour)," said Commissioner Schroer. " It gives us an opportunity to meet our local officials and talk to them. Senator Beavers and Representative Weaver are here and we're talking to them about the things that they need done in their areas. We're excited about working with them and our local partners across the state. It's been very beneficial to do that. We're making great progress on the Hurricane bridge. The bridge (renovation) has been needed for a while. We're doing a great job getting it completed on time. It looks like we'll be on time and maybe even before time," he said.

Paul Degges, TDOT Chief Engineer, told WJLE that the Hurricane Bridge project is about half completed. "We're around the half way point on the project," said Degges. "We've completed the first phase and the traffic is on new concrete on one lane in each direction. That bridge was built during World War II and it has some pretty lite structural members. One of the things we're going through on the project is to make sure it can handle traffic for the next fifty years or so. We're going in and looking at every single member of the truss. Some of those metal components underneath the deck are in tension and some are in compression. So we're doing an analysis on all those to make sure that we replace the ones that need to be replaced. This is an older bridge. It has a lite weight construction so we're also using a lite weight concrete on it. The concrete deck on this bridge weighs about twenty percent less than concrete we use in typical applications. I think motorists will notice that the bridge rail on the bridge looks a little different. It's metal instead of concrete. It's just as strong but it's a little bit lighter than concrete. We're going to take about two feet off the shoulders. While we'll still have the same width twelve foot travel lanes, the shoulders are going to be a little bit narrower than they were before the project. What we're trying to do is be able to put this bridge back in service and get another fifty years out of it," said Degges.

In October, 2010 TDOT awarded the bid to OCCI Incorporated at $26.9 million. The contractor has until October 31st, 2013 to complete the project


Follow Us


News Feed

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