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Police Find Convicted Felon with Drugs and a Gun

December 13, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Brandon Lee Starnes

Smithville Police, answering a routine call last week, found a convicted felon in possession of pills, methamphetamine, hypodermic needles and a gun.

40 year old Brandon Lee Starnes is charged with possession of a schedule II drug with intent to resale, illegal carrying or possession of a weapon as a convicted felon, and he was cited for simple possession, drug paraphernalia possession, a driver license violation, registration violation, and violation of financial responsibility.

Police were called Wednesday, December 7 to check on someone passed out at the steering wheel of a 2001 Chevy Monte Carlo. Upon arrival, the officer spotted a bag of pills in plain view on the passenger seat. As Starnes, the driver, got out of the car, police observed a handgun between the driver seat. Starnes was then placed into custody. After Starnes gave consent to search the vehicle, police found two black bags and two scales in the center console. Inside one bag were smaller bags which contained a white powdery substance. Two of the smaller bags held a clear crystal substance and there were several empty plastic bags. The substances found are believed to be methamphetamine which weighed 1.5 ounces. A total of 12 pills were recovered including two believed to be 30mg morphine and ten believed to be 10mg oxymorphone. Twelve hypodermic needles were also found in the automobile. Police are in the process of seizing Starnes car and the cash found on him. Bond for Starnes is $20,000 and his court date is December 22

Sycamore Baptist Dedicates New Addition

December 12, 2016
Sycamore Baptist Dedicates New Addition

The congregation of Sycamore Baptist Church recently gathered with Pastor Richard Williams, past members, and local community supporters to ask a prayer of blessing and dedication on their new fellowship building.

The little white church on the hill, located on the DeKalb/Cannon County line, was founded in 1871. The church celebrated with a ribbon cutting followed by a fellowship dinner in the new facility

Tyrone Owens Arrested for DUI After Rollover Crash

December 12, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Tyrone Owens Arrested for DUI After Rollover Crash
Smithville Police K-9 Officer James Cornelius speaking to Tyrone Owens after crash on Riley Avenue

A 40 year old Smithville man lost control of his 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee and crashed on Riley Avenue this morning (Monday).

Tyrone Owens escaped injury but has been charged by Smithville Police with driving under the influence. He was also cited for simple possession of pills, violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance), and violation of the implied consent law.

Patrolman Andy Snow told WJLE that Owens was north on Riley Avenue when he lost control in a curve. The vehicle went off the street and overturned on its top. Owens had to be assisted from the vehicle but he wasn’t hurt.

Officer Snow said Owens was unsteady on his feet. His speech was slow and slurred and he submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. He refused to take a blood test. Officer Snow also spotted a small baggie in the car which held 11 small round blue pills believed to be Xanax.

Owens was placed under arrest.

Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department and DeKalb EMS were also on the scene.

WJLE's "Fearless Forecasters BOWL GAME Show" to air Thursday

December 12, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Seated: Scott Brown, Joe Goodwin, and Dewain Hendrixson. Standing: John Pryor, Darrell Gill, Jeff James, Ricky Atnip, and Chad Kirby

The college football “Bowl Game” edition of WJLE's "Fearless Forecasters" will air Thursday, December 15 at 4:30 p.m.

Members of the panel, Dewain Hendrixson, Scott Brown, Chad Kirby, Jeff James, Ricky Atnip, John Pryor, Joe Goodwin, Darrell Gill, and a special guest will pick who they think will win in each of the 40 college football bowl games including the eventual national champion. They will also make five underdog selections, picking five teams they think will win even though those teams are not favored to win.

The standings of the Fearless Forecasters for the regular season in picking winners are as follows:

Dewain Hendrixson: 141-68
Ricky Atnip: 140-69 (1)
Joe Goodwin: 139-70 (2)
Jeff James: 136-73 (5)
Guests: 131-78 (10)
John Pryor: 130-79 (11)
Darrell Gill: 129-80 (12)
Scott Brown: 126-83 (15)
Chad Kirby: 124-85 (17)

Underdog Points Standings (Number of points accumulated by the FORECASTERS according to the lines or spreads in picking underdogs who have won during the regular season and the records of success)

Darrell Gill: 77.5 points (6-8)
Jeff James: 65.5 points (5-9)
Ricky Atnip: 62.5 points (6-8)
Chad Kirby: 43 points (4-10)
John Pryor: 37 points (4-10)
Dewain Hendrixson: 30 points (5-8)
Scott Brown: 21.5 points (2-12)
Guests:13 points (2-12)
Joe Goodwin: 8 points (1-13)

The special guests who have appeared on the Fearless Forecasters Show this season are TWRA officer Tony Cross, DeKalb County Fire Chief and DeKalb County Farm Service Agency Executive Director Donny Green, DCHS Girls Basketball and Softball Coach Danny Fish, Minister Bill Robertson, County Mayor Tim Stribling, DCHS Baseball Coach Jon Adam Kefauver, Rhea County High School Girls Basketball Coach Darvin Gill, Cannon County educator Freddie Curtis, Minister Larry Green, County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss, DCHS educator Chris Vance, DeKalb School System Attendance Supervisor Joey Reeder, MTNG CEO Jim Hodges, and Attorney Sarah Cripps.

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, and the Charles D. Atnip Realty & Auction Company.

Catch the "Fearless Forecasters" LIVE on WJLE Thursday, December 15 at 4:30 p.m.

Alexandria Christmas Parade Adds to Holiday Excitement (View Video Here)

December 11, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

Santa and Mrs. Claus made another appearance Sunday during the annual Alexandria Christmas parade.

Ms Brown Lawrence served as Grand Marshal. The parade also featured veterans and State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver along with the DCHS and Watertown High School bands among other attractions.

Wilson Bank and Trust took first place among the float entries. The Mount Zion Baptist Church float received second place and third place went to the Middle Tennessee Taekwondo.

Charles Cantrell was awarded first place in the vintage car category for his 1956 Chevy Corvette while Randy Murphy received second place for his 1956 Chevy Bel Air. Third place went to Dayton Jamison for his 1990 Fox Body Mustang

Cody Hale took first place for best tractor with his 1952 John Deere MT

Robert Lee won first place for his horse drawn cart. Grady George received second place for his mule drawn wagon. Third place went to Randy Slager for his horse drawn wagon.

Drawings for prizes were held after the parade.

Chimney Fire Forces Mother and Infant from their Home

December 11, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Fire Chief Donny Green

A Dowelltown woman escaped with her infant child after discovering a chimney fire at their home Saturday morning.

“We responded to 578 Frazier Hollow Road in Dowelltown Saturday morning around 8:30 a.m. for a chimney fire at the residence of Catlynn Watt, who was at home with her infant child when she found her chimney on fire,” said DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green.

“When firefighters arrived, they found flames shooting from the top of the chimney and that creosote had ignited inside the chimney liner. Firefighters were able to use dry chemical extinguishers to put out the fire before any structural damage occurred,” Chief Green continued.

The Liberty and Main stations of the DeKalb County Fire department responded along with the department’s tanker truck, DeKalb EMS, and DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department.

Chief Green reminds residents who use wood heat to make sure their chimneys are inspected at least annually by a qualified person and cleaned and maintained regularly. “Always use seasoned firewood and never use fire wood high in tar residue such as pine and cedar,” Chief Green advised.

"Christmas on the Square" Thursday Night

December 11, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Tim Stribling serving refreshments during Courthouse Open House last year
Santa visits children at Justin Potter Library last year

The Christmas season has arrived and you are invited to join in the celebration Thursday evening, December 15 downtown Smithville for “Christmas on the Square”.

The event will be held from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. on the public square.

Courthouse officials and the Chamber of Commerce will have an Open House. And you can visit the county officials in the courthouse basement where you’ll find lots of goodies to eat!

There will be a Free Photo Booth and Holiday Music in the courthouse compliments of the City of Smithville. And the DeKalb County Board of Education folks will be giving away Free Books and Hot Chocolate on the south side of the square.

Justin Potter Library will have a special program starting at 5 PM. And Santa will be making an appearance, so remember to bring your camera.
And don’t forget about all the great downtown shopping!

Hope you can come for this special night – Thursday, December 15th from 5 to 8 PM - Christmas on the Square!

Due to the extreme cold weather conditions, there will be no outdoor entertainment or tree lighting ceremony this year.

Lewis Indicted for Vehicular Assaults

December 10, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Christopher Lee Lewis
Christopher Lee Lewis Indicted for Vehicular Assaults in December 2015 Pickup Truck Crash on Big Rock Road
Christopher Lewis Indicted for Vehicular Assaults in December 2015 Pickup Truck Crash on Big Rock Road

A man believed to be responsible for a pickup truck crash a year ago on Big Rock Road that injured himself and two others has been arrested after being charged in a grand jury sealed indictment for two counts of vehicular assault and one count of driving on a suspended license.

32 year old Christopher Lee Lewis was picked up Friday, December 9 and is under a $20,000 bond. He will be arraigned soon in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

The crash occurred on Monday, December 14 2015.

According to Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Lewis was traveling north on Big Rock Road in a 1996 Chevy S-10 when he failed to negotiate a curve and went off the right side of the road and struck a tree. After the crash, Lewis got out and apparently tried to flee on foot. He was later spotted lying in the woods several yards from the crash site. According to Trooper Johnson members of the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad arrived on the scene and brought Lewis back up a steep embankment in a stokes basket. Trooper Johnson said Lewis acted belligerently and appeared to be intoxicated.

34 year old Carol Lewis and 31 year old Johnny Ray, passengers of the pickup, were trapped in the truck. Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department used extrication equipment to get them out.

Both Christopher and Carol Lewis were flown by helicopter ambulance from near the scene to Vanderbilt Hospital while Ray was airlifted to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

The grand jury indictments allege that on December 14, 2015 Lewis did recklessly cause serious bodily injury to Johnny Ray and Carol Lewis by the operation of a motor vehicle, and the serious bodily injury was the proximate result of the intoxication of Christopher Lee Lewis, constituting the offense of vehicular assault.

Febus Accused of Assaulting Another with Hammer

December 10, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Orlando Rivera Febus

Smithville Police have made an arrest in an aggravated assault in which one man allegedly hit another man in the head with a hammer.

58 year old Orlando Rivera Febus was arrested on Wednesday, December 7.

According to the victim, Febus accused him of being on his (Febus’) property and in his truck the night before. After the victim denied the allegations, Febus reportedly struck the victim in the head with a hammer. The victim defended himself and the two fought. After hearing from witnesses, police determined that Febus was the primary aggressor and warrants were obtained for his arrest. Febus was taken into custody later in the day. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is December 22.

Man Arrested After Threatening Woman with Knife

December 10, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Bennie L. Simmons
Benito Saldivar Narvaez

Smithville Police have arrested a man for aggravated assault and evading arrest after allegedly threatening a woman with a knife before fleeing the residence.

38 year old Bennie L. Simmons is under a $15,000 bond and will make a court appearance on December 22.

An officer responded to a 911 hangup call at a residence on Tuesday, December 6 and upon arrival was told by the woman (victim) that a man (Simmons) was in her house and that he had a knife. The man ran out the back door while the officer was there and kept running as he was being ordered to stop. Police caught up with Simmons and took him into custody at the intersection of Hayes Street and Gentry Avenue.

The investigation revealed that Simmons had grabbed a knife out of a kitchen drawer, began to kick around furniture, and held the knife while threatening the victim.

In other city crime news, 20 year old Robert Alan Norrod was cited for criminal impersonation on Monday, December 5. Police responded to a call at Wal-Mart and upon arrival questioned Norrod, who gave the officer his brother's name. As a result, Norrod was cited and he will make a court appearance on December 15.

56 year old Benito Saldivar Narvaez was arrested for driving under the influence on Tuesday, December 6. An officer was dispatched to the area of South College and Vaughn Lane in reference to a gray Ford truck that had been observed setting in the middle of the road for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Upon arrival, police observed a man slumped over the steering wheel with the truck engine running and the transmission in drive. The officer awoke the driver, Narvaez. He had an odor of a fermented beverage about his person. His eyes were red and glossy and he was unsteady on his feet. Narvaez submitted to but performed poorly on several field sobriety tasks. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is December 22.

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