Local News Articles

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

TDOT Re-designs Sligo Bridge Project Hoping to Reach Agreement with Marina

August 16, 2012
Dwayne Page

Officials of the Tennessee Department of Transportation, working toward right of way acquisition for construction of a new Sligo bridge, have re-designed plans for the proposed project hoping to address concerns to the satisfaction of Sligo Marina.

paul degges from dwayne page on Vimeo.
During a Projects Bus Tour Thursday at Hurricane Bridge, TDOT Chief Engineer Paul Degges told WJLE that a new offer will soon be made to the marina for the right of way and if all goes well, construction could be underway by next spring. "We have one property owner that we're dealing with on the project and it's the United States government through the Corps of Engineers," said Degges. "They have a lease with a marina (Sligo Marina). We're working with the Corps of Engineers but we will actually make an offer to the marina. Of course, we're not quite there yet but we're finishing up all our appraisal work to be able to go back to the marina (with an offer)," he said.

In previous interviews with WJLE, Degges has said one of the major concerns is that the marina owners want the state to pay for "potential loss of business"to them during the construction of the bridge. The problem is the state cannot legally pay for those types of damages. "They're wanting to be paid for some things. In particular, he (lessee) wants to be paid for some potential loss of business due to loss of some of his parking and the impact of construction. Under state law in Tennessee, we (TDOT) are prohibited from paying those types of damages" said Degges

Normally, when an agreement cannot be reached on right of way acquisition, the state can resort to imminent domain proceedings. But in this case, condemnation is not an option because the state cannot condemn federal property.

"We originally designed the project from what we understood were to be the ways we would least impact the marina," said Degges on Thursday. "But when we ended up going to the marina and talking to them about how we planned on delivering the project, they really weren't all that happy with it so we've been trying to work with them. We've kind of gone back and looked at our design and we've listened to the marina (owners) and some of the concerns they have. We've tried to re-design the project to meet some of the things they've got concerns about. The bridge is actually going to be designed pretty much the same but we have gone back and looked at how we would build the bridge. We're going to be going back through the Corps of Engineers to the marina and making a new offer to them on the right of way impacts due to the construction of the project. We hope to have that to them in the very near future. Hopefully it will be more in the realm of what the marina is actually looking for which will allow us to get on with the project. Hopefully we'll get everything resolved and be able to get under contract after New Years," said Degges

The Sligo project, which was funded in the 2011-12 state budget, calls for replacement of the existing overhead truss bridge which is structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. The new bridge will be located a few feet to the north of the existing bridge, which will remain open to traffic during construction. The new bridge will be a continuous welded plate girder design with a composite concrete deck slab and will be 1,545 feet in length. The project typical section is two-12 foot lanes with 10 foot shoulders. The total estimated cost of the project including engineering, right of way, and construction is $31-million.

"We're going to build what we call a steel plate girder bridge with a concrete deck," said Degges. " Right now, the bridge is a truss. The truss has quite a bit of age on it. The steel of that vintage, when it starts to deteriorate, deteriorates pretty fast. So its time for us to put a new bridge in there. The bridge is somewhat narrow. The new bridge we're going to put in here will have twelve foot lanes and ten foot shoulders. It will be what most people would consider a traditional bridge in that the beams of this bridge will be under the deck. One of the challenges here is that the water is over one hundred feet deep at this location which makes the construction of the bridge somewhat more challenging. Just think about trying to pour concrete one hundred feet under water. Its a pretty tough proposition. We don't have a whole lot of that type of work in Tennessee, but we do have some. We'll build the new bridge adjacent to the existing bridge. It's a vital artery for this part of the state of Tennessee. DeKalb County is very interested in this project. This county is split by the river and transportation is a key component of the economy there. So we want to make sure we get this bridge replaced before we have to do any additional repair work to the bridge," added Degges.

In addition to Degges, TDOT Commissioner John Schroer was on the Projects Bus Tour Thursday along with other TDOT officials, State Senator Mae Beavers, and State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver.

WJLE's Fearless Forecasters Returning August 30

August 16, 2012
Dwayne Page
John Pryor, Jeff James, Joe Goodwin
Ricky Atnip, Scott Brown, and Darvin Gill
Joe Goodwin, Darrell Gill, and Chad Kirby

WJLE's "Fearless Forecasters" are returning for another season of college pigskin prognosticating Thursday afternoon's at 4:30 p.m. beginning August 30.

This season's regulars are Dewain Hendrixson, Scott Brown, Chad Kirby, Jeff James, Ricky Atnip, John Pryor, Joe Goodwin, and Darvin Gill. A different special guest will make an appearance each week. Tim Stribling will be our guest on the first show.

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.

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

Catch the "Fearless Forecasters" LIVE on WJLE Thursday's at 4:30 p.m. starting August 30.

DUD Awarded ARC Grant for Water Treatment Plant Project

August 16, 2012
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb Utility District has received another grant to help fund the construction of its own water treatment plant.

DUD officials Thursday morning announced the funding of the Appalachian Regional Commission grant award in the amount of $500,000. The grant was written by the Upper Cumberland Development District and will be administered by Rural Development. This grant is in addition to funding already approved for the project.

The grant will go to help fund part of the DeKalb Utility District Raw Water Intake Project. The project consists of the construction of a raw water intake, raw water transmission line, water treatment plant and finished water lines for the District.

The DeKalb Utility District has purchased land near Holmes Creek Road on which to construct the water treatment plant. The raw water intake structure will be on Center Hill Lake at Holmes Creek.

After completion of this project, the DeKalb Utility District will only need to purchase a limited amount of water from the City of Smithville, according to DUD officials. This will provide additional water storage capacity to its customers and industries in the event of an emergency. The DeKalb Utility District has approximately 5,137 customers. DUD officials said they are very pleased that this project will help serve their customers' more efficiently.

In May, the DUD board adopted a bond resolution for the authorization and issuance of not to exceed $9-million 250-thousand dollars in aggregate principal amount of waterworks revenue refunding and improvement bonds for the water treatment plant project.

The DUD will receive a $5,000,000 loan and a grant of $1,250,000 to fund construction of the water plant. The terms of the loan are forty years at 2.75% interest. The remaining amount needed to build the $10.5 million facility will be funded through the bond issue. DUD Board Chairman Roger Turney said that the DUD is also refinancing other loans to save money. "In this loan and grant we have applied for, we're refinancing some of the loans we already have at a savings of over $400,000 on the money that we have right now because of the historically low interest rates," he said.

Petitions signed by opponents of the water plant project have been sent to state officials asking for a review, hoping they will find no need for the project and block the sale of bonds to help fund it.


Follow Us


News Feed

WJLE Radio

2606 McMinnville Hwy
Smithville, TN 37166
Phone: 615 597-4265
FAX: 615 597-6025
Email: wjle@dtccom.net
WJLE AM FCC Public File
WJLE FM FCC Public File

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