Local News Articles

Head-On Crash Monday Night Results in Fatality

November 29, 2010
Dwayne Page

A 63 year old Dowelltown woman has died from injuries she received in a head-on crash Monday night on West Broad Street near DeKalb County High School.

Dead is Wanda K. Harrison.

Lieutenant Randy Maynard of the Tennessee Highway Patrol said Harrison was in a 2009 Honda SUV traveling west when her vehicle veered left into a 1994 Chevy pick-up, driven by 55 year old Mary Jo Britt of Dowelltown.

According to Lieutenant Maynard, Britt was east on Highway 70 preparing to make a left turn into the high school parking lot. As she was starting to get into the turning lane, she saw the Honda SUV coming toward her. Britt steered to the right, back into the eastbound lane trying to avoid a collision but the Honda SUV hit her head-on.

Central dispatch received the call at 4:58 p.m.

Harrison was airlifted from the high school/middle school parking lot by a Life Force helicopter ambulance and flown to Vanderbilt hospital, where she died. Britt was transported by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital.

Family members of Ms. Harrison claim she suffered from a medical condition, and Lieutenant Maynard said that may have contributed to the accident.

In addition to the THP, DeKalb EMS, and Life Force, members of the Smithville Police and Fire Departments, and DeKalb County Sheriff's Department were also on the scene.

Hendrixson Among More than 50 Indicted by Grand Jury Monday

November 29, 2010
Dwayne Page
Zachary Ross Hendrixson

A 24 year old man, who allegedly used somebody else's 2006 Mastercraft X45 ski boat several times over the summer without the owner's permission to entertain friends on the lake, was indicted Monday by the Grand Jury with vandalism over $10,000 and joyriding.

Zachary Ross Hendrixson was also indicted in a separate case, charging him with burglary and theft over $1,000. He will be arraigned in criminal court on the charges Monday, December 13th.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said Hendrixson was arrested on Monday, July 19th after the owner of the boat took warrants against him. The boat, which was docked at the time at Hurricane Marina, apparently received some damage to the interior and exterior while Hendrixson was using it. The boat is valued at approximately $100,000.

According to Sheriff Ray, Hendrixson took the boat out on the lake several times. " He has been going down there since Memorial Day, taking people out on that boat, falsely claiming it belonged to his family. He even published pictures of the outings on his Face Book account."

When the owner discovered that Hendrixson had been using the boat, he had him charged in the case.

After a further investigation, Sheriff Ray said Hendrixson was also charged with theft of property over $1,000 for allegedly taking items off another boat."We started an investigation and found that he had stolen a surf board, a wake board, and life jackets from a boat at Cove Hollow Marina, valued at $1,180."

Hendrixson is also accused of committing a theft at a residence on Mullican Drive, where tools and a battery charger were taken, valued at $250. Sheriff Ray said those items were later recovered in Mount Juliet.

Hendrixson is one of more than fifty people who were indicted by the Grand Jury Monday. Three people have been named in sealed indictments but their names cannot be disclosed until they are arrested. All those indicted Monday will be arraigned in criminal court on Monday, December 13th at 9:00 a.m.

In addition to Hendrixson, those indicted and their charges are as follows:

Mark Anthony Violet- theft over $1,000 (2 counts)

Lydia R. Judkins- introduction of contraband into a penal institution

Brandon Gurley- domestic assault

Brandon Gurley & Jamie L. Hodges-manufacture of methamphetamine

Robert "Bobby" Morris Turner- Rape

Ellissa S. Howard- DUI

Corey Wade Thomas- possession of a schedule IV controlled substance

Christopher J. Garrett- introduction of contraband into a penal institution

Justin C. Hale- theft over $10,000 and vandalism over $1,000

Michael E. Brown- driving on a revoked license (9th offense)

Jared M. Staggs-theft over $10,000 and auto burglary (2 counts); and DUI

Brian R. Gadbois- aggravated kidnaping and domestic assault

Barry A. Gibbs- theft over $10,000, evading arrest, and reckless endangerment

Nena B. Sprague- driving on a suspended license

William A. Cantrell- driving on a revoked license (3rd offense)

Chasity J. Phillips- possession of a schedule III controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia

Kenny Ray Herman- driving under the influence

Mary E. Tanner- initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine

Barry Cecil Ford- possession of a schedule III controlled substance, possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, possession of a schedule VI controlled substance, and driving on a revoked license

James Clarence Adamson- aggravated assault, violation of the habitual motor vehicle offender order, driving on a revoked license, and leaving the scene of an accident

William B. Seals, Jr.- driving under the influence (2nd offense)

Johnny A. Murphy, Jr.- possession of a schedule III controlled substance

Michael S. Saylors- possession of a schedule II controlled substance for resale and possession of paraphernalia

Jonathan D. Goff- assault

John A. Judkins, Sr.- assault and evading arrest

Darnell F. Gurley- prescription fraud

Grady L. Murphy- theft over $500

Tracey L. Guthrie- driving under the influence and violation of the implied consent law

David W. Gains- promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine (2 charges)

Melisha R. Cantrell- possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, possession of a schedule II controlled substance, and possession of paraphernalia

Billy R. Huddleston- possession of a schedule III controlled substance and DUI (2nd offense)

Brittney D. Barnes- possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, possession of paraphernalia, and resisting arrest

Mark W. Green- promotion of the manufacture of meth, possession of a schedule II controlled substance, and possession of paraphernalia

Bradley Shane Redmon- promoting the manufacture of meth

Felicia Ann Walz- driving on a suspended license

Aaron D. Ponder- theft over $1,000; theft under $500; and driving on a suspended license

Aubrey Lee Kilgore- driving under the influence

Tracy A. Thomason- auto burglary and theft under $500

Kenny W. Dyal, Jr.- aggravated burglary (8 charges), theft over $1,000 (5 charges), theft over $500, theft under $500

David Dixon- aggravated assault

Johnny L. Devault- driving under the influence and violation of the implied consent law

Nieka D. Barrett- theft under $500

Gwynn G. Prater- theft under $500

Carlos L. Godsey- theft over $1,000

Edward L. Judkins, Jr. & Marie E. Biddle- aggravated burglary, theft over $500, vandalism under $500

Tony J. Reeder- driving under the influence (3rd offense) and violation of the implied consent law

Man Charged with Statutory Rape

November 29, 2010
Dwayne Page
Mark Fish, Jr.
Nathan Joseph Trower

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has arrested a Smithville man for statutory rape.

24 year old Mark Fish, Jr. of Holmes Creek Road is charged with statutory rape. He is under a $50,000 bond and his court date is December 16th.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on or about October 12th while at a residence on Blue Springs Road, Fish allegedly unlawfully had sex with a 15 year old female without her consent. Sexual penetration was made by force. The female stated that she was asleep at the time of the incident and when she awoke, she told him to stop, but he did not.

Meanwhile, 28 year old Nathan Joseph Trower of Baxter is charged under an April 16th, 2007 sealed indictment with sale and delivery of a schedule III controlled substance. He is under a $10,000 bond and he will be in court on December 13th. Trower has been out of state in another correctional institute and was only recently arrested.

Alexandria Parade Kicks off Christmas Season in DeKalb County

November 28, 2010
Dwayne Page
Santa Arrives in Alexandria
West Main Baptist Church Wins Float Competition

An enthusiastic crowd gathered downtown Alexandria Sunday afternoon for the annual Christmas parade to help kick off the holiday season.

Hundreds turned out to experience the sights and sounds of this annual event and to have a chance at winning some prizes. The honorary Grand Marshal of the parade was Caleb Brown, the young child who was seriously injured after being struck by a large rock on an outing with his family several weeks ago at Fall Creek Falls State Park. Caleb remains hospitalized so family and friends represented him in the Parade.

Click here to see more

The West Main Baptist Church of Alexandria won first place in the float competition. Jesus Loves You Tabernacle took second place and the Malone's Chapel Baptist Church received third place.

Ronald and Cathy Clayton were winners of the best vintage automobile category for their 1969 Camaro Z-28. Doyle Slager took second place for his 1960 Chevy Impala and Brad Driver received third place for his 1969 Camaro.

In the tractor category, Chris Hale won with his 1952 John Deere MT. Steven Cook received second place for his 1942 Farmall B and Travis Agee took third place for his 1936 John Deere-A.

The parade featured many other vintage cars and trucks, tractors, church floats, horseback riders, the DCHS band, Alexandria Police Chief Mark Collins, Sheriff Patrick Ray, members of the Alexandria city and county fire departments, among others including Santa and Mrs. Claus. Veterans, who rode in the parade, were transported by a trolley borrowed from the town of Watertown.

Deb McCoy and Denise Barrett, organizers of the parade, wish to thank everyone for their participation and attendance and the sponsors for their support.

Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church to Present "The Living Christmas Tree- a Child of Wonder"

November 28, 2010
Dwayne Page
Living Christmas Tree- Photo by Randall Duke
Living Christmas Tree- A Child of Wonder (photo by Randall Duke)

The Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church is presenting "The Living Christmas Tree- a Child of Wonder" on Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday, December 11th, 12th, and 15th at 7:00 p.m. each night at the church gymnasium. Christmas music will be presented prior to the featured program at 6:00 p.m. Admission is FREE!

Pastor Bill Robertson said this program is the church's Christmas gift to the community. "This is our sixth year. This has become a tradition for us. The presentation lasts about an hour. The music is sung from the Christmas tree. There'll be about sixty five people singing. The lights on the tree flash during the singing which makes the presentation very appealing. Along with the music, there will be a little bit of drama calling your attention to the Christmas story. This is our Christmas gift to the community. We invite everyone to come. We'll have seating for about 500 or so people. It'll be very enjoyable."

Students Return to School after Thanksgiving Break

November 28, 2010
Dwayne Page
Jonathan Fontanez speaking at recent school board meeting

DeKalb County students will be heading back to school Monday after taking three days off for Thanksgiving last week.

Students will soon be out of school again. The winter break will be December 20th through December 31st. Friday, December 17th will be the last day students attend before winter break and that will be an abbreviated school day. Students will return after the holidays on Tuesday, January 4th to begin the third nine week session.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Fontanez, Supervisor of Instruction for grades 7-12, reminds students and parents about the upcoming state assessments. "We have our high school state assessments coming up for the first semester. We want to make sure students are prepared and that parents are ready to help their students get prepared for these state assessments."

"We have our AYP end of course assessments which are mandated by the state that go toward adequate yearly progress on December 7th, 8th, and 9th in the subjects of algebra I, English II, and biology I. These assessments help us to measure our student's growth and how well they are mastering material."

"In addition to those AYP end of courses, we have another set of state mandated end of course assessments which will be on the following week in December, in U.S. History and English IX. Additionally, we have finals coming up as the semester closes out prior to Christmas. Those final exams are scheduled to be on December 15th & 16th with the last day of school before the Christmas break on December 17th."

"We just want to remind everyone to make the necessary preparations for these assessments. Be sure that your student gets enough rest the day prior to these assessments and has adequate preparation."

"Our annual writing assessments will be held in February in grades 5, 8, & 11."

"School has been going very well this year. Our students are working hard and our teachers are doing a diligent job and we are so thankful for the community's support. You send your students prepared each day and we're so thankful for that."

The rest of the school calendar is as follows:

Schools will be closed for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 17th and for President's Day, Monday, February 21st.

Schools will be closed for spring break March 21st-25th and for Good Friday, April 22nd.

Students will not attend on Wednesday, May 25th. That will be an administrative day and all teachers must attend. The last day of school will be Thursday, May 26. That will be an abbreviated school day and report cards will be sent home.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held Tuesday, March 15th at DeKalb County High School from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will also be held from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Thursday, March 17th at DeKalb Middle School, Northside Elementary, Smithville Elementary, and DeKalb West School.

Report cards will be sent home on Thursday, January 6th, and Monday, March 14th.

AYP-EOC/Gateway Testing at DCHS will be Tuesday through Thursday, December 7th-9th and May 3rd-5th at DCHS and a make-up AYP-EOC/Gateway Test will be Friday, December 10th and May 6th.

ACT Test for the 11th grade will be Tuesday, March 8th

Writing Assessment for the 5th, 8th, and 11th grades will be February 1st. Writing Assessment make-up will be February 2nd..

TCAP testing of elementary students will be April 13th-20th

(Stockpile Days) Professional Development/Instructional Days will be held from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Monday, January 3rd, and Friday, March 18th. Students will not attend on those days.

"Kingsmen" and 'Right on Time" to sing for Toys

November 26, 2010
Dwayne Page
Kingsmen Quartet

A "Singing for Toys "will be held Thursday, December 9th at 7:00 p.m. at the DeKalb West School Gym in Liberty featuring the Kingsmen and Right on Time.

Sean Driver, a member of the group "Right on Time" said your admission is a donation of a small toy per person or a large toy per family.

All toys donated will be given to needy children. All children served will also receive a Bible. A love offering will be accepted for the Kingsmen to further their ministry. All churches are urged to participate in the donation effort and provide a list of children who are in need.

For more information, call Chad at 615-563-2423

Smithville Police Make Arrests

November 26, 2010
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police arrested a local man for public intoxication and drug offenses on Saturday, November 20th after checking out a disturbance complaint at Food Lion.

47 year old James Alton Barrett of East Main Street will be in court December 2nd on charges of public intoxication, simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $3,500. Officer Matt Farmer was dispatched to Food Lion in answer to a disturbance call and found Barrett leaning against the counter at the cash register trying to buy beer. Barrett had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was unsteady on his feet. During a search incident to arrest, police found rolling papers and a schedule VI drug on his person.

23 year old Gilberto Acuna of Foster Road was arrested on Friday, November 19th for driving on a suspended license. Acuna was operating a motor vehicle that was stopped for a traffic violation. A computer check revealed his license were suspended. Officer James Cornelius made the arrest. Bond for Acuna is $1,500 and his court date is December 9th

Anyone having information on any criminal activity is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the 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

DeKalb Jobless Rate Drops to 8.8% in October

November 24, 2010
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County's jobless rate dropped to 8.8% in October, down from 9.1% in September and nearly two percentage points below the 10.7% rate in October, 2009.

The local labor force for October was 9,880. A total of 9,000 were employed and 870 were without work.

DeKalb County's jobless rate for the month was third lowest in the fourteen county Upper Cumberland region. Here's how they rank from highest to lowest:

Pickett County-13%
Clay- 11.4%
Fentress- 10.5%
Warren- 10.5%
Jackson- 10.4%
Van Buren 10.3%
Cannon- 9.7%
Macon- 9.7%
Overton- 9.3%
DeKalb- 8.8%
Putnam- 8.4%
Smith- 7.9%

Tennessee's unemployment rate for October was 9.4 percent, unchanged from the September rate. The national unemployment rate for October 2010 was 9.6 percent, unchanged from the September rate.

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for October 2010, show that the rate decreased in 43 counties, increased in 38 counties and remained the same in 14 counties.

Lincoln County registered the state's lowest county unemployment rate at 6.1 percent, up from the September rate of 6.0 percent. Scott County had the state's highest unemployment rate at 19.0 percent, down from 19.8 percent in the previous month, followed by Marshall County at 15.5 percent, down from the September rate of 15.6 percent.

Knox County had the state's lowest major metropolitan rate of 7.0 percent, down from 7.1 percent in September. Hamilton County was 7.8 percent, unchanged from the previous month. Davidson County was 8.7 percent, down from 9.1 percent, and Shelby County was 9.8 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from September.

Veterans Urged to Ride in Alexandria Christmas Parade Sunday

November 24, 2010
Dwayne Page
Santa and Mrs Claus at 2009 Alexandria Christmas Parade

Alexandria will host the first Christmas parade of the season in DeKalb County this Sunday, November 28th.

As always, the parade is expected to feature a variety of creative floats, farm tractors, vintage automobiles, all terrain vehicles, horseback riders, and Santa Claus. Caleb Brown will be the honorary Grand Marshal and his family and friends will represent him in the parade.

Alexandria Mayor Ria Baker said this year's parade will also pay tribute to veterans. "The city has borrowed the Watertown trolley to use in the parade to honor the veterans. Please encourage everyone you know who is a veteran to ride. We will load everyone (veterans) at city hall on this Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m., then drive out to the lineup from there. Dwayne Cantrell has agreed to drive the trolley. This is for all veterans of any age who have served our country."

The parade will line-up at 2:00 p.m. and get underway at 3:00 p.m.

All entries are welcome and anyone under age 16 must have an adult to accompany them in the parade. Prizes will be given away on the square after the parade. Crafts and food booths are welcome to set up on or around the square.

For more information, contact Deb McCoy at 615-948-6486, Denise Barrett at 615-948-4829, or the Alexandria City Hall at 529-2171.

Meanwhile the Smithville Christmas Parade is set for Saturday, December 4th, sponsored by the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department. The parade will line-up at 11:00 a.m. at Smithville Elementary School and depart at 1:00 p.m. The deadline to enter the parade is Thursday, December 2nd . For more information call Jeff Wright at 597-6750 or John Poss at 597-1135

The Liberty Christmas Parade will be held Sunday, December 5th. Line up begins at 1:00 p.m in front of Salem Baptist Church and the parade will get underway at 2:00 p.m. For more information call (615) 536-5101.


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