Local News Articles

Woman Airlifted, Another Also Injured in Two Vehicle Crash

February 5, 2018
Dwayne Page
2015 Dodge Dart driven by Ann Taylor of Smithville
2015 Honda CRV driven by Myra Sircy of Lebanon

One woman was airlifted and another was also injured in a two vehicle crash Friday night on West Broad Street near DeKalb Middle School.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, 31 year old Ann Taylor of Smithville was pulling out of Tiger Drive onto West Broad Street in a 2015 Dodge Dart when she crossed the path of a 2015 Honda CRV , driven by 49 year old Myra Sircy of Lebanon who was traveling west on Broad Street. The front of Sircy’s vehicle struck the driver’s side door of Taylor’s car.

Taylor was transported by DeKalb EMS to a helicopter landing zone at DeKalb Middle School and airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital. Sircy was transported by ground ambulance to St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital.

The crash remains under investigation by Trooper Danielle Neal of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department and Smithville Police Department were also on the scene providing assistance.



DTC Communications receives $1.725M to expand high-speed broadband

February 5, 2018
Chris Townson, DTC’s CEO

DTC Communications has been awarded $1.725M to make more high-speed broadband Internet available to rural Tennesseans. The grant is a product of Governor Bill Haslam’s Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act, and was awarded by the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development.

DTC Communications serves residents in Cannon, DeKalb, Rutherford, Smith and Wilson counties. The grant will cover areas near Plunkett Creek and Rawls Creek roads in Smith County and areas near Watertown in Wilson County.

“With this grant money and DTC’s matching contribution, we will be able to reach out and help more of the underserved and unserved in our area,” said Chris Townson, DTC’s CEO. The project includes building miles of new fiber optic lines in and around the designated grant area, and is expected to take up to two years to complete.

Townson continued, “The grant helps DTC continue its efforts to build a state-of-the-art fiber optic network for our members and the region we serve. It’s an exciting time for DTC Communications.”

Levoy Knowles, executive director of the Tennessee Telecommunications Association (TTA), congratulated Townson.

“This is great news for DTC Communications. These grants will help our local telecom companies to continue filling in the high-speed broadband gaps in and near their rural coverage areas.

TTA has worked with the Governor’s office to make rural broadband a top priority. These grants are a solid way to advance that priority.”

A total of $30 million in grants and $15 million in tax breaks are part of the Governor‘s program, passed last year in the General Assembly, to make more broadband available in rural Tennessee. These are the first grants awarded.

DTC Communications, a member of TTA, was one of five TTA member companies that received almost half of the $9.8 million in grants awarded.

TTA members include independent and cooperatively owned telecom companies that provide high-speed broadband or fiber service to more than 136,000 customers in rural Tennessee. They have installed more than 21,000 miles of fiber in rural areas across the state, and by 2019, they will have spent more than $243 million to connect rural Tennesseans with gig-speed fiber – the fastest Internet available.

TTA has been connecting rural Tennesseans for 70 years. Today, the 21 members of TTA are THE rural broadband experts in Tennessee.



Sparta Man Arrested in Theft of Kayaks and Trailer from Local Business

February 5, 2018
Dwayne Page
Rainn Wanos Martin
Carrie Lynn Cole
Scottie Wayne Knowles

An investigation into the theft of kayaks and a trailer from a business on Wolf Creek Road has resulted in the arrest of a Sparta man.

39 year old Rainn Wanos Martin of White Oak Flat Road, Sparta is charged with theft of property. His bond is $10,000 and his court date is February 8.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on July 20, 2017 Martin took several kayaks and a trailer from the business without the owner’s consent.The total value of the stolen items is $21,700.

The case was investigated by a Sheriff’s Department Detective.

23 year old Carrie Lynn Cole of Church Street, Alexandria is charged with two counts of violation of probation in General Sessions Court, assault, and resisting stop, frisk, halt, arrest, or search.

Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, January 29 a deputy made contact with Cole on Avant Circle in Alexandria. He was there to serve existing warrants on her for violation of probation. When he tried to place Cole under arrest, she resisted. When he asked her to stand from where she was seated Cole became irate, began yelling, and kicked the deputy in the chest.

38 year old Scottie Wayne Knowles of Jacobs Pillar Road, Smithville is charged with driving on a revoked or suspended license.

Sheriff Ray said that on February 2 a deputy spotted a broken tail light on a Toyota pickup truck. He conducted a traffic stop and spoke with the driver, Knowles who admitted to not having a valid driver license. A computer check through central dispatch confirmed that Knowles’ license were revoked having been suspended on April 10, 2017.

Fire Chiefs Warn Residents Not To Fall for Scam

February 5, 2018
Dwayne Page

If you should get a phone call from someone soliciting money on behalf of the Smithville, Alexandria, or DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Departments, hang up. It is a scam.

Although local residents have reported receiving such calls, the local fire chiefs say neither the Smithville, Alexandria, or DeKalb County Fire Departments are currently engaging in any such fundraising efforts.

If you should get a call, don’t send money and report the call to the police departments or to the sheriff’s office.

Assessor Reminds Property Owners of Important Deadline

February 5, 2018
Dwayne Page
Assessor of Property Shannon Cantrell

DeKalb County Assessor of Property Shannon Cantrell reminds you that March 1 is an important date for business owners and applicants of the Greenbelt Program.

“March 1 is the deadline for two different things coming out of the Assessor’s Office. One is the Greenbelt application. If you don’t have your form turned in by March 1 then you won’t be able to qualify for the savings for the 2018 tax year,” said Cantrell.

“If you are already enrolled in the greenbelt program you do not have to reapply. However, if you have purchased property or have added acreage to your farm within the last year and seek to enroll in the greenbelt program then you need to apply by March 1 in order to get the 2018 savings,” Cantrell said.

“Basic requirements for the Greenbelt application are that you must own a minimum of fifteen acres and are able to produce some kind of agriculture product to the gross amount of $1,500 per year. Also if you own fifteen acres and you don’t have an agriculture product and its all forestry you can get a forestry plan and qualify that way”.

“March 1 is also the deadline for personal property schedules. Anyone who owns a business needs to have those turned in by March 1. If you don’t turn one in at all or its not turned in by March 1 there are penalties after March 1. We want you to avoid those penalties if possible,” said Assessor Cantrell.

Two Involved in Friday Night Crash on Allen Ferry Road

February 4, 2018
Dwayne Page
Two Involved in Friday Night Crash on Allen Ferry Road
Friday Night Crash on Allen Ferry Road

Two people were involved in a one car crash Friday night on Allen Ferry Road (State Highway 83) near the Little League ball park.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, 51 year old Peggy L. Jordan of Smithville was traveling west in a 2015 Chevrolet Sonic when the car ran off the right side of roadway, struck an embankment and came to rest. She was injured and taken by DeKalb EMS to St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital. Her passenger, 65 year old Julian M. Jordan of Smithville was not injured. Both had been wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department were summoned to the scene to stabilize the car and to help remove Ms. Jordan from the vehicle.

She was cited for failing to exercise due care and failing to provide proof of financial responsibility.

The crash was investigated by Trooper William Jackson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.



DCHS Career Technical Education Programs Gets State Grant for New Equipment

February 4, 2018
Dwayne Page
DCHS recently received a Career and Technical Education State Grant to buy new equipment for the Advanced Manufacturing Class and other programs. Shown: Computer Numeric Controlled Milling Machine
Computer Numeric Controlled Lathe bought with grant funds
New Manual Mill Machine bought with grant funds
New horizontal /mitering bandsaw bought with grant funds
New belt sander bought with grant funds

Students in the Career Technical Education Program at DCHS have more up to date equipment to work with in their training thanks to a $120,000 state funded grant.

“We received a Career and Technical Education Grant through the State of Tennessee for $120,000 that was used for three of our Career and Technical Education Programs including the Advanced Manufacturing Program which is taught by Todd Cantrell; Information Technology, which is taught by Coach Steve Trapp; and the Health Science Programs, which are taught by Angie Anderson and Jane Rice. This money was used to buy equipment for those areas for our students at DCHS,” said Brad Leach, Career and Technical Education Director.

The Advanced Manufacturing Program was the first to receive new shop equipment from the grant funds including a computer numerical controlled mill machine and lathe along with a manual milling machine, belt sander and horizontal /mitering bandsaw. New equipment for the other programs are coming soon.

Computer numerical control (CNC) is the automation of machine tools by means of computers executing pre-programmed sequences of machine control commands to form metal into different shapes for various projects and applications. This is in contrast to machines that are manually controlled by hand wheels or levers mechanically automated by cams.

“Some of the equipment we got was to replace older ones that been here and needed updating. The two biggest pieces of equipment we got were the new CNC Mill and CNC Lathe. Its a step up from the manual mills and lathes. With the manual milling machine, students have to crank it by hand. They have to move everything. They have to think, measure and they have to keep up with a lot of information. Now we can have computer numerical controls. Students can set at a computer, design a part, program it and tell the machine what to do based on their knowledge and the part can be reproduced in a fraction of the time it would take if it were done on the manual machines. It makes it easier because the computer doesn’t have to think or stop and measure,” said Cantrell.

Leach said the newer equipment is more like what these students will see when they get into the workforce.

“With the way it is with our nation today and the need for advanced manufacturing workers, its one of the reasons the state has got on board with us to try and update that (technology) so we can better prepare students for the work force and help keep our jobs here in America. It (new equipment) is a good addition for us to get students better trained to become good quality workers in our local and regional work force,” said Leach.

DCHS also has a dual credit agreement with the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in McMinnville under which high school students can accumulate credit hours toward training at the TCAT center.

“Students who get an education here can transfer the time they have spent here in our shop and get up to 360 hours of credit at the TCAT center in McMinnville. That’s our dual credit agreement. It helps students get more prepared to go out and make a smoother transition into the work force,” said Leach.

“I want to say thank you to the state of Tennessee especially our state representatives and senators for getting this grant money for us to use and we hope to continue to work with them for more funding for our programs,” Leach concluded.

Smithville's New Fire Truck Arrives

February 4, 2018
Dwayne Page
Smithville's New Fire Truck

The City of Smithville has a new fire truck.

The new Pierce Impel PUC Rescue Pumper, which is a combination fire engine/rescue vehicle, arrived Friday evening in time for members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department to get their first look and inspection of it following the firefighter appreciation dinner downtown.

In January, 2017 the aldermen voted to spend $751,575 over a two-year period to purchase the new fire truck. It will replace the fire department’s oldest truck, a 1992 model, and a 20-year old rescue and service truck. The new vehicle will also come equipped with five air packs and other tools and equipment.

The city plans to eventually sell the 1992 truck along with the rescue truck and service truck.

In addition to the new truck, the fire department has three other fire trucks, a 1992 and 2001 model along with a 2012 ladder truck.



Smithville Fire Department Turns 80

February 4, 2018
Dwayne Page
Fire Chief Charlie Parker
Current members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department

Happy Birthday to the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department!

The department officially turned 80 years old on Saturday, February 3 and current officers and members of the department will soon have a special observance to mark the milestone.

Chief Charlie Parker said the department was founded by the mayor and aldermen in 1938.

“80 years ago on February 3 the city council passed ordinance # 92 to form the Smithville Fire Department. In doing that they appointed Mr. Bethel Thomas as Chief and Freddie Tramel as Assistant Chief. Bob Herndon was the Captain. They appointed 22 businessmen to become the Smithville Fire Department. That’s what it was back then. It was made up of businessmen who wanted to do something to help their neighbors. I think we have come a long way in those 80 years,” added Chief Parker.

Chief Parker said a list has been compiled of persons who have served on the department over the last eight decades (shown below) but there may be others unknown to the current members who need to be included on the list. To add names please contact Chief Parker at 615-597-4141 and leave a message or email smithvillefiredept@gmail.com. You may also visit www.smithvillefire.com or send a message through the Smithville Fire Department Facebook page.

The names of current and past members are listed in alphabetical order by last names and the year they joined the department

Kevin Adcock-1999 (current member)

Auvil D. Adcock-1953

Becky Atnip-2013 (current member)

D.J. Atnip- ?

Greg Bess-1995 (current member)

W.H. (Dub) Bing-?

Bill Bond-1938

Alton Bonham-1938

Carter Braswell-1969

Wink Brown- 1998 (current member)

Stephanie Brown-2009

Walter Burton-1972

Wallace Caldwell-2004 (current member)

Charles Cantrell-1938

Donnie Cantrell-1980 (current member)

Gerald Cantrell-?

Harold (Soapy) Cantrell-1960

Ray Lee Cantrell-1965

Don Cantrell-1961

Van Cleveland-1938

Buba Coffee-?

Freddy Colvert-1963

Lonnie Colwell-?

Eddie Colwell-2010

A.P. Conger-?

Roy Conger-1938

Corkey Conger-?

W.O. Conger-1955

Shannon Cook-?

Billy Joe Cripps-1966

Jim John Dearman-1938

Leonard Dickens-1969

James (Bo Bo) Driver?

M.V. Driver-1938

Bill Durgham-1938

Patrick Edge-2009

Robert Eller-1946

Billy Estes-1946

Frank Evetts-1964

W.J. Evins-1938

Davey Ferrell-1999

Harry Foutch-1938

Glynn Frazier-1968

Cody Fults-2014

Glen Gill-1973

Dereck Graham-?

Lanelle Haggard-1964

Hoyte Hale-1985 (current member)

Joseph Hall- 2008

Bill E. Hendrixson-1938

Sellars Hendrixson-1941

Toby Hendrixson-?

Robert (Bob) Herndon-1938

James Herndon-?

Ryan Herron-2016 (current member)

Tim Holmes-?

Billy Hooper-1964

Kenneth Howard-1938

James R. Hunt-2005 (current member)

Shawn Jacobs- 2013 (current member)

Bradley Johnson-2014 (current member)

Garrett Johnson-2016 (current member)

Gary Johnson- 2005 (current member)

Kim Johnson- 2016 (current member)

Dusty Johnson-2005

Jeff Keith-?

W.J. (Dub) Keith-1967

Ronnie Kemper-?

Cory Killian-2011 (current member)

John Kunstman-?

Glen Lattimore-2008 (current member)

R.E. Lawrence-1938

Odell Lewis-?

Donnie Lewis-1976

Charlie Lockhart-1944

Houston Lockhart-1938

Caleb London-2017 (current member)

Tyler Ludwick-?

Eddie Mabe-?

Melvin McCormick-1968

Jack McGuire-1952

Clyde Medley-?

W.H. (Moon) Mullinax-1973

Lynn Newby-1967

Earl Odom-1972

Wendell Owens-1970

Charles Owens-1970

David Pack-1981

Buddy Parker-1966

Charles Parker-1980 (current member)

Danny Poss-1980 (current member)

John Poss-? (current member)

David Redman-?

Dalton Roberts-2014 (current member)

Kent Robinson-1973

Erik Russell-2007

Edward Rutland-1975

Abe Silman-?

Barney Sorell-?

Robin Summers-2016 (current member)

Jimmy Taylor-?

Bethel Thomas-1938

Clarence Thweatt-?

C.J. Tramel-2014 (current member)

Freddie Tramel-1938

Mike Turner-1967

Jimmy Vickers-?

W.H. Vickers-1938

Earl Wade-1938

J.C. Webb-1941

Norvel Webb, Jr.-?

Ronald Whitaker-?

Paul Willoughby-1938

W.H. Windham-1964

Anthony Wright-?

Jeff Wright-1986 (current member)

Seth Wright-2016 (current member)

Stephanee Wright-2006 (current member)

Charles Young-?

Joe Young-1938

Jeremy Young-?



Candidate Update from Election Commission

February 4, 2018
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Election Commission Office has released another candidate update.

Local attorney Brandon Cox has picked up a petition to run for Smithville Alderman on August 2

Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss has filed his petition to run for re-election on August 2 and it has been verified

Meanwhile Eddie Dwayne Blair and Jason Ray, both incumbent Liberty Aldermen have obtained petitions to seek re-election on August 2


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