Three named in Grand Jury Drug Indictments

July 31, 2023
By: Dwayne Page

Three more people have been picked up on sealed indictments returned by the DeKalb County Grand Jury last week.

The charges against the following are the result of an undercover drug investigation by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department last year.

22-year-old Jada Beth Butcher of Smithville-Sale and Delivery of a Schedule I drug (Heroin) and Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Methamphetamine) over 0.5 grams. The offenses allegedly occurred on August 31, 2022. Her bond is $70, 000.

41-year-old Danny Ray Murphy of Smithville-Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Methamphetamine) over 0.5 grams (2 counts). The offenses allegedly occurred on July 22 & 25, 2022. His bond totals $120,000.

42-year-old Christopher Matthew McPherson of Cookeville- Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Methamphetamine) over 0.5 grams. The offenses allegedly occurred on April 5, 2022. His bond is $60,000.

All are to be arraigned in DeKalb County Criminal Court on August 7.

Three Months of Grocery Tax Savings Starts August 1

July 31, 2023
By: Dwayne Page

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee invites Tennessee families to save during the state’s three-month grocery tax suspension, starting tomorrow, August 1 through October 31.

This year, Gov. Lee and the General Assembly passed the Tennessee Works Tax Act, the single largest tax cut in Tennessee history, which includes the three-month grocery tax suspension. During the tax holiday, Tennesseans are expected to save an estimated $273 million in taxes total.

During the period beginning at 12:01 am on Tuesday,  August 1, 2023 and ending Tuesday, October 31, 2023 at 11:59 pm, food and food ingredients are exempt from sales tax.

Sales of prepared food, dietary supplements, candy, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco are not included in items exempt during this period.

“In Tennessee, we cut taxes any chance we get because families should keep more of their own hard-earned dollars. Starting Tuesday, we’re inviting Tennesseans to take advantage of savings at the grocery store this August through October,” said Gov. Lee. “I thank the General Assembly for partnering to deliver three months of savings for Tennessee taxpayers.”

The three-month grocery tax holiday starting Tuesday, August 1 through Tuesday, October 31 will give Tennesseans the opportunity to save up to 6.75 percent in state and local option sales tax on food and food ingredients.

“We’re proud to be able to offer three months of tax-free groceries to help hardworking Tennesseans save money,” said Department of Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano. “I thank the Governor and General Assembly for their efforts to steward taxpayer dollars responsibly and cut taxes for Tennessee families.”

Community Lifts Up Schools In Prayer

July 31, 2023
By: Dwayne Page

Members of the community gathered Sunday to lift up in prayer students, teachers, administrators, school board members, and others affiliated with the school system in what has become an annual observance prior to the start of school.

This year’s prayer time called” Back 2 School Call 2 Prayer” was held at the DeKalb Middle School Gym featuring several local ministers offering prayers for each school and others. It’s the first time the event has been held at a centralized location since 2019, prior to the COVID pandemic. For the last three years, the observance has taken place in smaller groups at each of the five individual schools. Part of the reason the event was brought back indoors was that now air conditioning has been installed in the school gyms.

Iain Swisher, Pastor of the Smithville AG (First Assembly of God) made welcoming remarks followed by a student led pledge of allegience.

“I’m super thankful we now have air conditioning in the middle school gym here and thankful for the support of Director of Schools Patrick Cripps and the principals here allowing us to come together because I believe there is something important about us being together unified,” said Swisher.

After the program Swisher told WJLE why this observance is important.

“Faith is important in this community and its something we need here and everywhere and there is no better way to express it than our ability to be able to lift up prayers for our students, schools, and others who are part of it,” said Swisher. “Worship is something we do that invites His presence. His word is how He speaks to us but our time in prayer is when we can cast our cares upon Him as he wants us to because he cares for us. That’s why I feel like its really important for us to continue to do this. This is a tradition my father-in-law Brother Donnie Kelly helped kick off years ago so its something I’m honored to endeavor to help keep going on in this community as long as we can,” said Swisher.

The order of the observance was as follows:

*Opening and Welcome- Iain Swisher Smithville AG

*Pledge of Allegiance – Student lead

*DeKalb West School- Christian Cudney – Refuge

*Smithville Elementary- Robin Philipps- Church of God

*DeKalb Christian Academy- Iain Swisher Smithville AG

*Northside Elementary- Chad Ramsey- First Baptist

*DMS- Chris Moore – Church of God

*High School- Josh Moon – Smithville AG

*Day Schools- Nathan Thomason- Outreach Baptist

*Athletic Teams and Transportation- Jordan Atnip – First Baptist

*Faculty- Isaac Gray – Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian

*School Board- Graden Kirksey – Refuge

*Close- Iain Swisher Smithville AG

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