Local News Articles

Judge Denies Bond Reduction for Alleged Child Sex Trafficker

October 7, 2017
Dwayne Page
Charles Earl Denton

A bond reduction request has been denied for a Nashville man charged with using a 15 year old Liberty girl for prostitution.

34 year old Charles Earl Denton appeared in DeKalb County Criminal Court Friday for a hearing with his lawyer Adam Parrish of Lebanon.

Parrish asked that Denton’s bond be reduced from $250,000 to $10,000. At the conclusion of the hearing Judge David Patterson denied the request.

Denton is charged in a DeKalb County Grand Jury sealed indictment with trafficking for commercial sex act.

The investigation by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department began on Friday, August 4th after the girl’s family reported her missing. The family said the teen sought and received permission to spend the night at a friend’s house two days before on Wednesday, August 2nd but she never came home. The investigation revealed that the girl knew Denton and that he had arranged through social media to meet her. Denton drove to Liberty on Wednesday, August 2, picked up the girl, and transported her to Nashville for the purpose of commercial sex. She was later found at a Nashville motel with another missing teen and an adult woman. Denton was not at the motel at the time.

“Through an investigation, it was found that Charles Denton was the one who planned to meet our missing juvenile on August 2nd. Denton drove to Liberty here in DeKalb County and picked the juvenile up and transported her to Nashville for the purpose of commercial sex,” said Sheriff Patrick Ray.

“Detectives obtained a state warrant for Charles Denton,” he said.

“On August 25th, a special called meeting of the DeKalb County Grand Jury convened and a sealed indictment was obtained for trafficking for a commercial sex act on Charles Denton”.

“Denton was picked up in Davidson County on August 31st. He was transported to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department where he remains in custody on a $250,000 bond,” added Sheriff Ray.

Homer Petty Enters Plea to Aggravated Burglary and Theft Charges

October 7, 2017
Dwayne Page
Homer Anthony Petty, Sr.

A man who entered a plea Friday in DeKalb County Criminal Court to charges of aggravated burglary and theft of property over $1,000 will soon learn his fate.

A sentencing hearing for 46 year old Homer Anthony Petty, Sr. Is coming soon. He is facing a possible sentence of 4 years in each case as a range III offender to run concurrently with each other. He is expected to get jail credit from October 20, 2016 to October 6, 2017.

Petty had other charges against him including simple possession/casual exchange of a schedule VI drug (marijuana), DUI (3rd offense), driving while licensed revoked, possession of schedule II and IV drugs with intent to sell or deliver, filing a false report, and possession of a weapon by a felon.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, October 20, 2016 a deputy responded to Old Givens Hollow Road, Liberty due to a burglary.

Upon arrival, the officer learned that the homeowner caught Petty and another person stealing items from his home. “The homeowner witnessed Petty and another person attempting to leave the residence with a Norinco SKS rifle and a head band. The victim (homeowner) recovered the rifle and held Petty at gunpoint until law enforcement officers arrived. The other person with Petty fled the scene. Other items taken in the burglary and theft were an electronic game call, a back pack, multiple turkey calls, and numerous collectible knives. Some of those were recovered.

During a search, the deputy found a baggie in Petty’s left pocket, containing a small green leafy substance believed to be marijuana which weighed 0.399 ounces.

Owls Cruise to Win over Tigers

October 7, 2017
Dwayne Page
Owls Cruise to Win over Tigers

The Smith County Owls came to Smithville Friday night and cruised to a 53-21 victory over the DeKalb County Tigers.

DeKalb County drops to 2-6 on the season while the Owls improve to 5-2.

The Owls scored four of their eight touchdowns in the game during the 1st period. The first one came on a 1 yard run by Bryant Goolsby with 9:32 left. Goolsby added the extra point for a 7-0 Smith County lead.

After a mishandled DC punt, Jayden Apple recovered and raced 22 yards for a Smith County touchdown with 7:54 left in the 1st period. The PAT was good and the Owls led 14-0.

After a Tiger turnover, the Owls got the ball and scored on the next play via a 60 yard run by Carson Hacket with 6:16 left in the opening period. Goolsby tacked on the extra point to give the visitors a 21-0 advantage.

The Owls extended their lead on a 13 yard touchdown run by Shermar King with 2:34 left in the 1st period. Goolsby booted the extra point to give Smith County a 28-0 cushion.

DeKalb County got on the board with 10:10 left in the 2nd period on a 10 yard touchdown pass from Quarterback Tyler Cantrell to Braxton Linder. Andrew Fuson’s extra point was good and the Tigers trailed 28-7.

Shermar King scored the second of his three touchdowns of the game with 7:42 left in the 2nd period on a 21 yard run. Goolsby’s PAT put the Owls out front 35-7.

Smith County’s Carson Hackett threw a 10 yard touchdown pass to Shermar King with 4:07 left in the 2nd period. The PAT attempt was no good but the Owls owned a 41-7 lead

The Owls took their largest lead with 7:06 left in the 3rd period on a 19 yard touchdown run by John Ross Hord. The PAT try was no good but the Owls held a 47-7 advantage.

DeKalb County cut into the Owl lead on a 67 yard pass play from Tyler Cantrell to Bradley Miller with 5:57 left in the 3rd period. Andrew Fuson booted the extra point and the Tigers trailed 47-14.

Cantrell later found Braxton Linder on another touchdown pass play. Fuson tacked on the extra point to cut the Smith County lead to 47-21.

The Owls added one more score in the 4th period on an 80 yard touchdown run by Trevor Dickens. Goolsby's PAT was good but the Tigers lost 53-21.

DeKalb County will play its last home game next Friday, October 13 against Macon County (6-1, 2-0). The Tigers will have a bye week on October 20 and conclude the regular season at Cumberland County on October 27. A win against either Macon County or Cumberland County or both would qualify the Tigers for the state play-offs.

DCHS to Host College Application Week

October 6, 2017
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County High School will host College Application Week October 9-13.

The schedule is as follows:

*Monday, October 9:
10:00 a.m. DCHS Cafeteria: First Tennessee Promise Meeting for students who are going to use the Tennessee Promise Scholarship. A TN Achieves representative will present students with their TN Promise guidebooks and discuss requirements

5:00- 7:00 p.m. DCHS Cafeteria: College/Financial Aid Planning Night and DCHS Open House. Representatives from area colleges will be here to discuss their institutions and Sam Mullins from TSAC will discuss the TN State Financial Aid Programs and the FAFSA

*Tuesday, October 10:
College / TN Promise Scholarship Application Lab - Library – 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, & 6th Blocks. Please sign up for a time slot in the counseling office.

*Wednesday, October 11:
College Shirt Day. All faculty, staff, and students are invited to wear your favorite college shirt.

*Thursday, October 12:
FAFSA Assistance Lab. Anyone needing assistance completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is encouraged to participate in a workshop on October 12:30-7:00PM PM in the DCHS library. Please sign up for a time slot in the counseling office.

*Friday, October 13:
Scholarship / College Essay Lab - Mrs. Walteen Parker’s Classroom – 1st & 4th Blocks. Any senior who is not enrolled in Mrs. Walteen Parker’s English classes this semester who would like to sit in on this lesson is welcome to sign up to attend during 1st or 4th blocks. Mrs. Parker and Mrs. Lori Myrick will co-teach a lesson on how to write a well-written scholarship essay. A well written essay greatly increases your chances of winning a scholarship. Please take advantage of this assistance.

Marine Captain on Cross-Country Charity Run Passes Through DeKalb County (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

October 6, 2017
Dwayne Page
WJLE caught up with Marine Corps Captain Maggie Seymour in the parking lot of Hardees in Smithville Friday

A 31 year old marathon runner and Iraq War Veteran passed through DeKalb County today (Friday) on a cross country charity run as she makes her way to Virginia Beach.

Maggie Seymour, a U.S. Marine Corps Captain who is transitioning from active duty to the Reserve, set out from San Diego July 22 on her 3,300 mile cross country run. Her plans are to make it to Virginia Beach by October 28.

Captain Seymour, who founded the nonprofit Run Free Run last year, is raising money along the way for the charity to support military affiliated causes and communities including veterans, gold star families, and special needs athletes.

The title sponsor of her trek is San Diego-based National University, a school where Seymour studies. A van with the nonprofit institution’s name is trailing her to Virginia.

Captain Seymour, a native of Alexandria, Illinois, crossed into DeKalb County from Cannon County on Highway 146 Friday afternoon and made a brief stop in Smithville before heading out again on Highway 70 east toward Sparta

“I started in San Diego California 77 days ago and I am doing this to raise money and awareness for a couple of organizations I have worked with over the past ten years. Someone I knew did this three years ago. She raised money for veterans and I thought it was a really cool way to give back and get involved so I started planning and started it this year. I have 22 days left before my destination of Virginia Beach,” Captain Seymour told WJLE.

For more information about Captain Seymour and her journey visit www.runfreerun.com

DCHS to host College & Career Fair

October 6, 2017
Dwayne Page
Clint Hall, Administrator of NHC Smithville, greeted students during Career Day at DCHS last year
Student participating in exercise at U.S. Marine Corps booth during Career Day at DCHS last year

DeKalb County High School will be hosting the annual College & Career Fair on Friday, November 3.

All DeKalb County High School students will have the opportunity to visit with college and career representatives in the gym that day. This event will take place during the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and part of 4th block.

DCHS Tigers to Host Smith County Owls Tonight (LISTEN TO TIGER TALK HERE)

October 6, 2017
Dwayne Page
DCHS Tigers to Host Smith County Owls Tonight (LISTEN TO TIGER TALK HERE)

The DCHS Tigers will host the Smith County Owls, their border rivals from Carthage tonight in a non-region showdown

Kick-Off is at 7:00 p.m.



“Smith County is very multiple. They have an identity of what they want to do and they have a couple of different ways they can go to that. Its up to us to stop what they like doing best to make them try to do something else. They do have a lot of different things and weapons on offense they can use. The ability to throw it. The ability to have a quarterback run game. The ability to run power football at you. They have a good screen game. A good roll out game. You have to really be on your p’s and q’s on the defensive side. As far as them defensively, its a little bit smaller defense than what we have faced but they are very speedy and athletic. Its a scheme that changes from formation to formation. It’s a big challenge but that is what we like. It just makes for a better moment when we get out there and play our type of football and have a chance to win it in the end,” said Coach Tiger Coach Steve Trapp.

DeKalb County is 2-5 with losses to Warren County 26-10, Upperman 49-27, Stone Memorial 38-16, Watertown 59-2, and Livingston Academy 29-18. Their wins have been over Grundy County 27 and Cannon County 42-0.

Smith County is 4-2 with wins over Macon County 39-22, Gordonsville 47-25, Upperman 21-0, and York Institute 41-40. Their losses have been to Livingston Academy 16-13 and to Sequatchie County 25-21.

WJLE will have LIVE coverage of the football game on AM 1480/FM 101.7 and LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com with the Voice of the Tigers John Pryor and Luke Willoughby.

WJLE’s Pre-Game shows begin with “Coach to Coach” at 5:00 p.m. featuring former UT football coach Phillip Fulmer and former UT assistant coach Doug Matthews with broadcaster Larry Stone talking Tennessee and SEC football.

“Coach to Coach” is followed by “Murphy’s Matchups at 6:00 p.m., a look at Tennessee High School Football from Murphy Fair with commentary on games and coaches interviews.

“Tiger Talk” airs at 6:30 p.m. with the Voice of the Tigers John Pryor interviewing Coach Steve Trapp and Tiger players Gage Delape, Tyler Cantrell, and Braxton Linder.

The game kicks off at 7:00 p.m. with play by play coverage on WJLE with John Pryor and color commentary by Luke Willoughby

Smithville Police Cracking Down on Motorists Illegally Passing School Buses

October 5, 2017
Dwayne Page
Smithville Police Cracking Down on Motorists Illegally Passing School Buses
THP advisory to motorists on passing school buses

The Smithville Police Department has been cracking down on motorists illegally passing school buses much to the delight of alderman and bus driver Danny Washer.

“I want to compliment the Chief and the Police Department on the job they are doing in the school zones. They have worked hard and it has made a difference. I can see a difference on my route and I know some of the others (bus drivers) have too. That’s a dangerous situation. A lot of people just don’t pay attention,” said Alderman Washer during Monday night’s city council meeting.

Smithville Police Chief Mark Collins told WJLE that officers have issued numerous citations recently. He is urging motorists to pay attention when driving, especially around a school bus, and stop when the buses are loading and unloading children.

The law requires that motorists yield to a bus with its lights flashing and stop sign out, whether they're headed in the same direction or in the opposite. Even if there's a center turn lane.

There's only one exception.

"In order to pass by a stopped school bus from the front there has to be an impassable median," said Lt. Ray Robinson with the Tennessee Highway Patrol's pupil transportation division.

“On this five lane highway (Broad Street) they (motorists) don’t understand the law,” said Mayor Jimmy Poss, who is also a school bus driver.

“That or they are talking on the phone. Its more so the phone than anything else. It’s been a big problem not just on Broad Street. Anywhere they can pass you (bus), they will,” replied Alderman Washer.

“It is against the law to talk on a cell phone in a school zone,” added Alderman Shawn Jacobs.

“When you’re driving a bus you see a lot,” said Mayor Poss

“You’re setting up there where you see it all,” added Alderman Washer.

“I just want the police department to know it (increased enforcement) has helped and I appreciate it. A lot of the other drivers do too,” said Washer.

It is a Class A misdemeanor punishable only by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) for any person to fail to comply with the law requiring a motor vehicle to stop upon approaching a school bus.

Be alert and allow our children to arrive to and from school safely without harm.

Listen for WJLE's Fearless Forecasters Today (Thursday)

October 5, 2017
Dwayne Page
Listen for WJLE's Fearless Forecasters Today (Thursday)

Listen for WJLE's "Fearless Forecasters" today (Thursday) at 4:30 p.m.

This season's regulars are Dewain Hendrixson, Scott Brown, Chad Kirby, Jeff James, Ricky Atnip, John Pryor, Joe Goodwin, and Darrell Gill.

The "Fearless Forecasters" pick who they believe will win in fifteen of the biggest or most interesting college football games of the week.

They also make an underdog selection each week, picking a team they think will win, even though that team is not favored to win. If they guess right, they get the number of points in the spread.

The program is sponsored by Liberty State Bank, DeKalb County Ace Hardware, Middle Tennessee Natural Gas, Love-Cantrell Funeral Home, DeKalb County Insurance, DeKalb Tire and Service, the Charles D. Atnip Realty & Auction Company, and Sir Pizza Xpress of Smithville

Catch the "Fearless Forecasters" LIVE on WJLE weekly starting next Thursday, August 31.


Darrell Gill: 12-3
Joe Goodwin: 12-3
Dewain Hendrixson: 12-3
Ricky Atnip: 11-4
Chad Kirby: 11-4
John Pryor: 11-4
Jeff James: 9-6
Guest: Donny Green: 9-6
Scott Brown: 7-8


Chad Kirby: 56-18
Jeff/Grant James: 54-20 (2)
Ricky Atnip: 53-21 (3)
Dewain Hendrixson: 52-22 (4)
Joe Goodwin: 51-23 (5)
John Pryor: 51-23 (5)
Darrell Gill: 50-24 (6)
Scott Brown: 48-26 (8)
Guests: Tony Cross, Tim Stribling, Larry Green, Noah Gill, Donny Green: 45-29 (11)

Chad Kirby: 0 points
John Pryor: 0 points
Dewain Hendrixson: 6 points
Scott Brown: 7 points
Guests: 10 points
Jeff/Grant James: 13.5 points
Joe Goodwin: 18 points
Ricky: Atnip 19 points
Darrell Gill: 33 points

October Proclaimed Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Awareness Month

October 4, 2017
Dwayne Page
Pictured is Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss, DeKalb Prevention Coalition Coordinator Lisa Cripps, DeKalb Prevention Coalition Community Outreach Liaison Norene Puckett, DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling.

Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss and County Mayor Tim Stribling on behalf of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition have signed proclamations recognizing the month of October 2017 as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Awareness Month.

Over the last decade, the use of opioid pain relievers in the United States and Tennessee has increased rapidly. Accompanying that increase in drug use has been an increase in Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).

NAS is a condition in which an infant experiences withdrawal from opioid substances the mother took during pregnancy. The withdrawal symptoms include fever, seizures, continuous crying, rapid breathing, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. According to the Tennessee Department of Health, 991 babies in Tennessee were born with NAS in 2016.

In October, Tennessee is observing Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Awareness Month. To help raise awareness, the community is asked to participate in the “Pearls & Bowties for Babies” campaign on Friday, October 6. Lisa Cripps, Coordinator of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition urges you to wear a bowtie or pearls for babies and post a picture on social media with a suggested post like “I’m wearing my pearls or bowtie in support of NAS Awareness Month using the hashtag#NASMonthTN.

“The DeKalb Prevention Coalition encourages you to invite your family, friends, Sunday School class, and co-workers to participate. Get your bowties and pearls ready. Snap a picture and then post that picture on Friday, October 6. We appreciate your efforts in helping us create a safe community here in DeKalb County free of substance abuse,” said Cripps.

Pictured is Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss, DeKalb Prevention Coalition Coordinator Lisa Cripps, DeKalb Prevention Coalition Community Outreach Liaison Norene Puckett, DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling.

The combined resolutions are as follows:

WHEREAS, abuse and dependence of prescription painkillers, heroin and other opioids have led to an opioid epidemic in the City of Smithville, DeKalb County, and our state; and

WHEREAS, prenatal exposure to opioids may result in opioid dependency called Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) when the infant is born; and
WHEREAS, babies with NAS experience irritability, low birth weight, respiratory condition, tremors and seizures, feeding difficulties and other health-related challenges; and

WHEREAS, the number of babies in Tennessee reported with a diagnoses of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome from January 01, 2017 to July 30, 2017 was 565, with approximately 9 percent being born in the Upper Cumberland Region; and

WHEREAS, the rate of NAS in inpatient settings increased by 15 fold between 2005 and 2015, resulting in three infants per day being born drug dependent; and

WHEREAS, The highest rates of NAS in 2017 have occurred in the Northeast and Upper Cumberland Health Regions, and Sullivan County.

WHEREAS, 72 percent of infants born with NAS in Tennessee were exposed to at least one prescription drug with or without an illicit drug; and
WHEREAS, prevention education, public awareness and knowledge of available treatment resources are crucial in reducing the physical, social and economic impact of NAS.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jimmy Poss, Mayor of the City of Smithville, and DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling do hereby recognize the month of October 2017 as


Throughout the City of Smithville and DeKalb County all Smithvillians and DeKalb Countians are encouraged to join in the fight to stem the tide of opioid abuse and dependence – especially as it relates to mothers and newborns – by learning about NAS prevention and treatment.
On this 4th day of October 2017.


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