Almost 2,500 Turnout for Early Voting

July 30, 2022
By: Dwayne Page

The early voting turnout for the August 4 elections eclipsed that of August 2018 and 2014 but not by much.

For the 14-day period from July 15-30, a total of 2,489 cast ballots in this election compared to the early voting turnout of 2,361 in August 2018 and 2,399 in August 2014. In May of this year a total of 3,579 voted in the primaries combined including 1,661 on election day, 1,815 during early voting, and 103 by absentee.

According to the DeKalb County Election Commission, a total of 1,933 cast ballots in the Tennessee Republican Primary and 417 in the State Democratic Primary while 138 voted only in the DeKalb County General Election without participating in either state primary during the 14 day early voting period.

The early voting turnout for the Municipal elections is as follows: Smithville-644, Alexandria-65, Liberty 44, and Dowelltown-29.

During the last day of early voting Saturday, July 30 a total of 209 voted including 201 in person and 8 by absentee. In the state primaries, 161 voted Republican and 34 Democrat with 14 voting only in the General Election. Forty-one cast ballots in the Smithville Municipal Election, 2 in Alexandria, 3 in Dowelltown, and 1 in the Liberty Municipal Election.

Here is the early voting turnout by precinct:


Temperance Hall-86


Snow Hill-126

Church of God-495

Rock Castle-2


Johnson Chapel-70

County Complex-290


Blue Springs-100

Church of Christ Annex-337


Election Day voting (August 4) will be at all 12 precincts in DeKalb County from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. WJLE will have LIVE election return coverage and LIVE interviews with candidates when the polls close at 7 p.m.


Smithville Electric System awarded grant for EV fast chargers

July 30, 2022
By: Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has announced that Smithville Electric System is one of 12 entities receiving a share of $5.2 million in total grant funding to install direct current fast charging (DCFC) infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs) along prioritized interstate or major highway corridors across the state.

The 12 projects will involve the installation of 32 total charging units at 13 sites. The program is part of a partnership between TDEC and TVA to develop a statewide EV fast-charging network along Tennessee’s interstates and major highways to power the growth of EVs across the state.

Smithville’s first ever Level 2 electric vehicle charging station was installed in November, 2020 and is located at the city parking lot across from Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. “This particular charger is a 7 kilowatt charger so that means you get 7 kilowatt hours each hour you use it and how long it takes to recharge depends on the size of the battery in your car and how empty or full that battery is. For example, if you have a 60 kilowatt hour battery and you are half way depleted that means you need 30 kilowatt hours so it will take you a little over 4 hours to put 30 kilowatt hours back into the vehicle,” said Brad Rains, Director of DER Deployments with the Chattanooga based Seven States Power Corporation, who was in Smithville in November 2020 for the installation of the Level 2 EV charging station.

In addition to the these projects, TVA anticipates funding 21 projects in Tennessee, which will include the installation of 56 total charging units at 27 sites. This investment is part of TVA’s broader Fast Charge Network that aims to reduce barriers to EV adoption by deploying fast chargers at least every 50 miles along the interstates and major highways across its 7-state service territory by 2026.

The competitive grant program comprises the state’s fourth solicitation for projects under the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust (VW Settlement EMT). The purpose of the EMT is to execute environmental mitigation projects that reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx). Of the funded charging infrastructure, 10 chargers at three sites will be installed in former nonattainment areas for ozone and/or fine particulates (PM2.5) under National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

“We are glad we can put these funds to use in ways that serve all motorists with electric vehicles,” said TDEC Commissioner David Salyers. “We are rapidly moving toward more electric vehicles on our roads, and this is a way to stay ahead of that demand.”

“Electrification of transportation is critical to help our nation achieve its energy security and decarbonization goals,” said Jeff Lyash, TVA president and chief executive officer. “Today, thanks to Governor Lee and TDEC, our region is the nation’s epicenter for EV technology and manufacturing, and this grant demonstrates how we can move the Tennessee Valley further and faster, together, to make a cleaner future a reality.”

The program will complement the state’s use of its allocated funds under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, which is funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The NEVI Formula Program aims to build out fast charging infrastructure along federally designated Alternative Fuel Corridors, which in Tennessee includes all of the two-digit interstate highways and the majority of U.S.-64.

TDEC is the lead agency for administering the state’s VW Settlement EMT allocation. Announcements on future funding programs under the EMT will be shared by the department.

Circuit Court Judge Jonathan Young Suspended for Remainder of his Term

July 29, 2022
By: Dwayne Page

Circuit Court Judge Jonathan Young of Cookeville has been suspended for the remainder of his term after the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct issued an order Tuesday detailing multiple complaints against him including one in which he allegedly had sex with a woman who was a party in an adoption case before his court.

(Read more at link below)

Order of Suspension (pdf)

This is the second time Young has been suspended by the board for improper conduct. Almost two years ago Judge Young received a public reprimand from the Board of Judicial Conduct and was suspended for 30 days for inappropriate messages he sent to women on various social media platforms from 2015 to 2020 which included content ranging from flirtatious to overtly sexual.

Again, the Board has handed down a 30-day suspension effective August 2 keeping him from holding court for the remainder of his term which ends August 31, 2022. Young was defeated in the Republican Primary in May by Caroline Knight who will become the next judge as she is unopposed in the General Election next Thursday.

Judge Young has served the last eight years as Circuit Court Judge Part II in the 13th Judicial District representing DeKalb and six other counties.

Order of Suspension (pdf)

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