WJLE’s Fearless Forecasters Program Airs Today (Thursday) at 4:30 p.m.

September 5, 2019
By: Dwayne Page

Two of WJLE’s Fearless Forecasters tied for having the best record picking winners during opening week of the college football season.

Chad Kirby and Dewain Hendrixson each compiled a record of 10-5 last week. The James Gang (Grant James), John Pryor, Scott Brown, and the guest Chad Ramsey each went 9-6. Ricky Atnip and Jared Davis each had a record of 8-7, Darrell Gill and Jacob Parsley each were 7-8. Will Graham finished 5-10.

Three forecasters hit their underdog picks last week. Jared Davis got on the board with 17.5 points picking Wyoming to upset Missouri. Chad Ramsey got 10.5 points for the guests with North Carolina’s win over South Carolina. And the James Gang picked up 4.5 points with a Boise State upset of Florida State.

Today (Thursday) the Forecasters will be picking winners in the following games:

Ohio at Pittsburgh, Syracuse at Maryland, South Florida at Georgia Tech, Nebraska at Colorado, San Diego State at UCLA, LSU at Texas, Arkansas at Ole Miss, Miami at North Carolina, Minnesota at Fresno State, North Texas at SMU, Stanford at USC, Tulsa at San Jose State, Vanderbilt at Purdue, BYU at Tennessee, and the Tennessee Titans at Cleveland.

Today’s special guest is Isaac Gray, minister at the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Catch the Fearless Forecasters on WJLE today (Thursday) at 4:30 p.m. on AM 1480/FM 101.7 and LIVE streaming at

The program is sponsored by the Charles D. Atnip Realty and Auction Company, Davis Auto Body, Middle Tennessee Natural Gas, Liberty State Bank, DeKalb County Insurance, Gill Automotive, Love-Cantrell Funeral Home, DeKalb County Ace Hardware, and Domino’s Pizza.

Near Head On Crash Results in Injuries to Three Adults and Seven Kids

September 5, 2019
By: Dwayne Page

Three adults and seven children were injured in a two vehicle crash Wednesday night at the intersection of Highway 56 south and Joe Tittsworth Road in Smithville.

Central dispatch received the call at 8:03 p.m.

According to Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol 52 year old Franklin Elliott of Smithville was driving north on Highway 56 in a 2005 Chrysler Town and Country minivan when he turned left onto Joe Tittsworth Road and crossed the path of a southbound 2016 Kia Soul driven by 37 year old Margaret Pedigo of McMinnville. The Kia did not have its headlights on at the time.

Elliott and passenger 34 year old Jessica Farris of Smithville were taken by private vehicle to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital. Four children in the vehicle with them including a 14 year old girl, 16 year old boy, 8 year old girl, and a 12 year old boy were also injured and taken to the hospital by ambulances.

Three children were in the vehicle with Pedigo including a 13 year old boy, 9 year old boy, and 12 year old boy. Pedigo and two of the children were airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital and the other was taken by EMS to Cookeville Regional Medical Center where he was airlifted.

A landing zone for three helicopters was set up on Highway 56 near the crash scene. DeKalb EMS responded with four ambulances and received mutual aid support from Putnam County EMS which sent two ambulances.

No charges or citations have been filed.

Omega Apparel to close putting over 100 people out of work

September 4, 2019
By: Dwayne Page

Approximately 130 workers at a military garment industry in Smithville lost their jobs today (Wednesday).

Two of the employees independently confirmed that the local Omega Apparel factory is shutting it’s doors, with the cutting department closing immediately and the sewing department employees offered the opportunity to stay a few days longer.

“You have a lot of upset people,” one long-time employee told WJLE. “People were just hurt.”

The closing comes just over one year after Omega was awarded a maximum $8.2 million Department of Defense contract for trousers. The contract included four one-year option periods and the dollar amount was for the life of the contract, including options.

However, one the employees who spoke to WJLE, and asked not to be identified, said the local plant was working on more than military clothing.

“We had the contract for the Navy dress blues, the women’s white slacks and the last cut of the Armed Services uniform skirt,” he said. However, the plant was also under subcontract with an east Tennessee company to produce parkas, some for the military and some commercially.

The contracts left employees wondering why the plant was shutting down. “We did not see this coming,” he said.

After one employee asked why, a company spokesman reportedly said the plant was closing due to a large previous debt too big to overcome.

“People were put in a bad situation today,” the employee said, adding no severance package was offered.

Repeated phone call requests to talk with company officials went unanswered and WJLE was not able to confirm the allegation of a large debt. Employees were reportedly told of the shut down just before noon today (Wednesday).

Omega Apparel began operation here in 1994 and later changed ownership

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