Local News Articles

Couple Involved In Pursuit and Wreck Now Charged in the Case

January 18, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Charles Robert Wilmoth
Amber Madison Rhea
Charles Robert Wilmoth being taken into custody after fleeing scene of wreck in Smithville Saturday morning
Charles Robert Wilmoth and Amber Madison Rhea flee after their 2005 Dodge Neon ran over a stop sign at South Mountain and Hayes Street

A couple trying to elude authorities in White County and later arrested in Smithville early Saturday morning after wrecking their car and fleeing the scene on foot have now been charged in the case.

According to officials of the White County Sheriff’s Department, Charles Robert Wilmoth and Amber Madison Rhea both of White County are each charged with evading arrest, possession of schedule II drugs, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Wilmoth also has warrants against him for two counts of violation of probation, evading arrest in a motor vehicle and reckless endangerment.

Wilmoth and Rhea were in a 2005 red Dodge Neon when they crossed into DeKalb County from White County, trying to elude officers of the White County Sheriff’s Department, who were looking to serve warrants on Wilmoth for a violation of probation. After White County officers terminated their pursuit, local law enforcement were advised to be on the lookout for the car at 1:56 a.m. and Smithville Police found it abandoned at the intersection of South Mountain and Hayes Street at 2:10 a.m. The car had knocked over a stop sign and the occupants of the vehicle had fled on foot.

Members of the Smithville Police Department, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, and White County officers converged on the scene and began looking for the couple. They were found in the area shortly thereafter, taken into custody, and transported back to White County.

The White County Sheriff’s Department has released the following statement about the incident.

“Sergeant Justin Cunningham attempted to initiate a traffic stop on a red Dodge Neon in White County in the area of Highway 111. The vehicle was occupied by Charles Wilmoth and Amber Rhea. Sergeant Cunningham had prior knowledge that Wilmoth had outstanding warrants out of White County. They refused to stop. A pursuit ensued that ended up at the DeKalb County line. Due to the treacherous road conditions, for officers’ safety and the public’s safety White County terminated the pursuit and a short while afterwards it was discovered that fled the vehicle in DeKalb County. They were both found hiding under a boat and were apprehended”.

Center Hill Park Rangers Awarded for Water Safety Efforts

January 18, 2018
by: 
By Mark Rankin,Nashville District Public Affairs
Col. Paul Kremer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Ohio River Division acting commander, presents the division’s water safety team award for 2017 to (left to right) Jody Craig, Center Hill Dam superintendent; park ranger Sarah Peace; Teresa Upchurch, administrative assistant, Center Hill Lake Resource manager’s office; Center Hill Lake park rangers John Malone and Tyler Ferrell, Kevin Salvilla, Center Hill Lake natural resource manager; park rangers Terry Martin and Gary BruPhoto by Leon Roberts

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District park rangers from Center Hill Lake received the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division 2017 Water Safety Award during a ceremony Dec. 6, 2016.

Col. Paul Kremer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Ohio River Division acting commander, presented the award on behalf of Operations Division Chief, William R. Chapman III, which recognized (left to right) Jody Craig, Center Hill power plant superintendent; Park Ranger Sarah Peace; Col. Paul Kremer; Teresa Upchurch, office administrator, Center Hill Lake Resource manager’s office; Center Hill Lake park rangers John Malone and Tyler Ferrell, Kevin Salvilla, Center Hill Lake natural resource manager; Park Rangers Terry Martin and Gary Bruce; Tony Crow, Center Hill Lake facility manager and not pictured: Volunteers Patti and Ed Abel for their work to spread the water safety message to people of diverse age groups and backgrounds.

“This is a great award that represents the team physically getting out there and educating the public on wearing their life jacket and helping folks understand the dangers of drinking and boating - it makes a big difference and we are proud of you,” said Kremer.

Salvilla said he is extremely proud of the achievements the staff has reached over the year and the importance of their efforts to help save lives. He noted that his staff works closely with the Center Hill power plant operators to coordinate water flow when boaters are in the water downstream.

Park rangers helped save the lives of 15 stranded kayakers and boaters in 2017. During the summer boaters and kayakers either overturned or circumstances led to an accident. He said every year the park rangers strive to reach and impact over 13,000 people a year with water safety education to prevent such water incidents.

“Water safety is paramount and a primary mission of the overall visitor assistance program to provide the public the safest recreational environment that we can provide to help eliminate water accidents.” said Salvilla. “It is common practice of our staff to educate through programs, schools visits and especially during the spring and summer months when the public is out on the lake recreating.”

Salvilla said to better promote public safety awareness, park rangers maintain a daily presence on the lakes, campgrounds and recreation areas throughout the year and interact with the public in these areas during the recreation season.

"It feels great that our staff is recognized and it proves to that our work we do to educate the public hasn’t gone unnoticed and gives us momentum to continue to help visitors learn about water education and make it a year round goal,” said Park Ranger Sarah Peace, natural resource specialist.

Peace said last year park rangers provided water safety education programs at local schools, fishing tournaments, the local County fairs and summer programs along with boat patrols and driving thru the recreation areas and campgrounds.

Nashville District park rangers have the ability to enforce federal boating regulations. They routinely engage the public recreating on Corps lakes to promote good water safety practices when boating and recreating.

Center Hill Lake, which is a reservoir project and is located in the Cumberland River Basin, on the Caney Fork River, and covers parts of DeKalb, Putman, White, and Warren Counties in Tennessee. It controls the runoff from a drainage area of 2,174 square miles. It is an 18,220 acre lake that features 255 miles of shoreline. The lake was created by the construction of a dam across the Caney Fork River. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began construction in 1942 and completed construction in 1948.

The lake provides varied outdoor recreation opportunities for millions of visitors each year. Because of the temperate climate and relatively long recreation season, visitors have numerous activities to choose from including fishing, hunting, camping, picnicking, boating, canoeing, hiking, wildlife watching, scuba diving, swimming, sailing wakeboarding, jet skiing, water skiing and many others.

WJLE Radio Shopper Next Thursday

January 17, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Cantrell’s Furniture and Appliances: Rocker/Recliner Upholstered Chair by the Washington Manufacturing Company
DeKalb County Ace Hardware: Living Accents 10 ft x 10 ft pop up gazebo

WJLE and participating local businesses are giving you a chance to bid on and buy merchandise at a discount in the RADIO SHOPPER on Thursday, January 25.

Starting at 9:00 a.m. that morning, WJLE will be opening up the phone lines for you to bid on various items from local businesses.

WJLE will set a minimum bid on each item and continue the bidding until the item is sold. The program on Thursday will be limited to around three hours. If we have more items to sell, the program will resume on another day. For bidders, they have a chance to buy merchandise or services at a discount. For the businesses, they get ads on WJLE just for putting items up for bids.

If your business would like to participate, contact Dwayne Page at 615-597-4265.

It’s going to be fun and exciting! Be sure to be by your radio and your telephone on Thursday, January 25 at 9:00 a.m. and call in a bid to RADIO SHOPPER on WJLE. The program will also be streamed LIVE at www.wjle.com.

Here's what we've lined up for the auction to date:

Evins Mill Resort: Dinner Package (one couple) includes light Hors d’ Oeuvres, Four Course Dinner, soup and salad du jour, choice of two entrees, delicious dessert, non alcoholic beverage. Value $100. Valid from January 26, 2018 until January 31, 2019. (Must make reservation). Number to call is 615-269-3740. Web site is www.evinsmill.com.

DeKalb Farmers Coop: Life Smart Stove Log Infrared Electric Heater. Valued $89.99

Angie’s Diner: 2 (2 lunch bars with drinks valued at $15); 2- (2 breakfast specials includes drinks valued at $11.50)

Bryan’s Auto Repair and Towing: 6 quart oil change and filter valued at $50 (2 to be sold)

Bumpers Drive-In: 2 Biggie Bags (2 Bumpers Burgers, 2 Large Fries, 2 Large Drinks, & 2 Apple Turnovers. Valued at $13.00 each; and 2 Catfish Dinners (4 pieces of catfish, fries, toast, and drink. Valued $10.00 each.

DeKalb Tire & Service: Certificate worth $300 toward purchase of a new set of tires.

DeKalb Funeral Chapel: Set of Cemetery Vases valued at $200.

Cantrell’s Furniture and Appliances: Rocker/Recliner Upholstered Chair by the Washington Manufacturing Company. ONLY AVAILABLE IN THE COLOR RED. Suggested retail value at $399.00.

DeKalb County Ace Hardware: Living Accents 10 ft x 10 ft pop up gazebo. Valued $189.99

Cantrell’s the Home of Fluty and Fluty’s Shoes: 1 Enro No Iron Shirt $79.50, 1 Bra-llelujah Bra by Spanx, $68 size 32 to 38, 1 Spanx Higher Power Panty, A-F $36., Alegria ladies shoes, $115, Man suit up to $200 value
,
F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy Soda Fountain Certificates

Kilgore’s Restaurant: 3- $25 certificates

Mary Kay Products: 2-$25 certificates by Vonda Brown

Sir Pizza Express Certificates

Quick and Clean Laundry Service is Smithville's only wash and fold laundry service offering free pickup and delivery inside city limits: 2 sets of 3 free loads of laundry services includs pickup, wash, fold, and delivery inside the City of Smithville. Value $30 (2 to be sold). Check out website for full details at: quickandcleanlaundryservice.com.

Man Threatens Police Officer During Domestic Assault Investigation

January 17, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jonathon D. Wann
Tabitha D. Wann

A Smithville man is in trouble with the law for threatening an officer as his mother was being arrested for domestic assault.

28 year old Jonathon D. Wann of 726 Gentry Avenue is charged with assault and resist stop, frisk, halt, arrest or search. His bond totals $6,000 and his court date is February 1.

Meanwhile, Wann’s mother, 51 year old Tabitha D. Wann of 726 Gentry Avenue is charged with domestic assault for scratching Jonathon on the face during an altercation between them and it was that incident that prompted a response by Smithville Police on Thursday January 4.

According to the police report and arrest warrant, it was while Tabitha was being placed under arrest that Jonathon tried to intervene.

“Upon informing Jonathon that I would be taking his mother into custody for domestic assault, Jonathan approached me aggressively, almost in my face, stating that I would not be arresting his mother. I ordered him to back away from me, and he did not comply. I then moved Jonathon away from me. Jonathon then grabbed me and attempted to come at me. Officer Dillon Hulse, and Sgt James Cornelious and myself took him to the ground and handcuffed him,” wrote Officer Tyler Patterson

Jonathon was trying to prevent the arrest of Tabitha, his mother even though she allegedly assaulted him.

According to the police report and arrest warrant, “She did assault Jonathon Wann, her son by scratching him to his face causing him to bleed. Tabitha Wann was found to be the primary aggressor and arrested for domestic assault,” wrote Officer Patterson.

She is under a $2,500 bond and will make a court appearance on February 1.

Smithville Police Arrest Georgia Man for Identity Theft

January 16, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Nigel Thompkins-Wilson

A 28 year old Georgia man has been charged with identity theft after trying to purchase three iPhones at the Verizon store in Smithville using someone else's personal information. He was also cited for criminal impersonation and evading arrest

Nigel Thompkins-Wilson is under a $10,000 bond and he will make a court appearance on January 25.

According to the police report and arrest warrant, Thompkins-Wilson used the name, date of birth, and pin number of a Montgomery, Alabama man on Sunday, January 7 in trying to purchase three IPhones from Russel Cellular (Verizon) in Smithville. Inside Wilson’s wallet was an Alabama drivers license with his picture on it but with the victim’s name. Wilson showed this license to the Verizon employee in trying to purchase the iPhones and have them charged to the account of the victim. When police confronted Wilson, he tried to escape on foot but officers caught him. Wilson gave them the victim's name when identifying himself. A computer check confirmed Wilson's true identity. Wilson did knowingly use someone else’s personal information to try and buy the three iPhones valued at $3,000. The victim was contacted by police about the incident.

Colwell Leads Police on Short Pursuit Before Crashing Stolen Van

January 16, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Michael Brandon Colwell

The driver of a stolen van is facing several charges after he led Smithville Police on a short pursuit before crashing the vehicle.

33 year old Michael Brandon Colwell of Tisdale Drive is charged with theft of property over $1,000, evading arrest by a motor vehicle, and a second offense of driving under the influence. He was also cited for speeding and driving on a revoked license.

His bond totals $18,000 and he will make a court appearance January 25.

The incident occurred at around 9:32 p.m. on Tuesday, January 2.

According to the police report and arrest warrant, Sergeant Travis Bryant of the Smithville Police Department attempted to stop a white Nissan Quest van for speeding 53 miles per hour in a 40 miles per hour zone. “I attempted to stop the van for a traffic violation. I did observe the van increase its initial speed after I initiated both lights and sirens on my marked patrol vehicle. The vehicle did not stop and continued to flee until the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed at the intersection of Dearman Street and Bright Hill Road. The driver, Colwell was arrested without incident.

"Colwell was found to be unsteady on his feet and he had slurred speech. Colwell stated he had drank a lot of alcohol. Colwell had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and person. Due to the circumstances of the stop, field sobriety was not administered,” according to the complaint.

During the crash investigation, police learned that the van was stolen.

“Colwell said he took the van without consent or knowledge of the owner. The owner discovered her vehicle missing and notified law enforcement of the theft on January 3 at 9:45 a.m. The van was crashed when Colwell attempted to flee from law enforcement on January 2. The vehicle was recovered with major damage. The value of the van is estimated at $5,000,” according to the complaint.

McMinnville Woman Charged with Statutory Rape

January 16, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Summer Irene Roach
Jamie Carol Ramos
Gary Wayne Ponder

A McMinnville woman has been arrested for having sex with a minor.

21 year old Summer Irene Roach of McMinnville is charged with statutory rape. Her bond is $3,500 and she will make a court appearance on February 8.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on November 9, 2017 Roach knowingly engaged in unlawful sexual intercourse with a male juvenile. She is more than four years older than the victim.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL- Intakes & Releases From: 1/8/2018 Thru: 1/15/2018)

http://www.wjle.com/sites/default/files/Seagate%20Crystal%20Reports%20-%...

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

30 year old Jamie Carol Ramos of Delong Road, Smithville is charged with two counts of domestic assault after allegedly hitting both her sister and mother. Bond for Ramos is $10,000 and her court date is February 1.

Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, January 12 a deputy responded to a residence on Delong Road due to a domestic assault. Upon arrival the officer spoke with Ramos’ mother and sister, victims of an assault by Ramos. The mother stated that her daughter, Ramos struck her with an open hand about the face and head while the two argued over personal belongings. Ramos’ sister claims that she (Ramos) hit her in the mouth with her fist as the two argued over personal belongings.

54 year old Gary Wayne Ponder of Old Mill Hill Road, Dowelltown is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and his court date is February 1.

Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, January 14 a deputy was called to a residence on Old Mill Hill Road due to a physical domestic. Upon arrival the officer spoke with a man who said that he and his father, Ponder had gotten into an argument and that Ponder tried to hit him (son) with his fist. Ponder was placed under arrest.

TVA Ask Consumers for Voluntary Reduction in Power Use

January 16, 2018

An extreme cold front has moved through Tennessee that will cause temperatures to drop into the single digits overnight. The cold temperatures are expected to continue over the next few days.

The extreme cold weather has caused a critical power supply situation, and TVA is asking all electric power consumers to reduce their use of electricity as much as possible until further notice.

Voluntary reduction is needed to help ensure a continued supply of power to essential services throughout the Tennessee Valley and to avoid interruptions in service.

TVA is using all available resources, including the purchase of available power form neighboring utilities. TVA and local power companies are working around the clock to make power available to consumers.

TVA and local power companies also have cut back on power usage in their facilities by adjusting thermostats, reducing lighting and taking measures to reduce electricity consumption.

Officials of the 155 local power companies in the Tennessee Valley are asking all electric power consumers- residential, commercial and industrial- to cooperate in reducing power usage during this critical situation.

Consumers should:

Postpone using electric appliances such as dishwashers, dryers, and cooking equipment.

Reduce the use of heating by adjusting thermostats down below 65 degrees.

Turn off nonessential lights, appliances, and other electrical equipment.

TVA will continue to monitor this situation and notify the local power companies of any further notices or cancellation of curtailment warnings.

Temperatures should return to a more normal state over the next few days and this consumer alert will be terminated.

TVA and your local power companies appreciate your help during this critical situation.

DCHS to Honor the Late Rosa Stokes Friday Night

January 16, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Rosa Stokes
Rosa Stokes in the 1980s

DeKalb County High School and the Lady Tiger basketball program is honoring one of the all-time great players in the history of the program.

On Friday, January 19th, the #55 will be retired in honor of the late Rosa Stokes. Rosa was a member of the Tigerette basketball program from 1979-1983 and went on to star at Cumberland University after her playing days at DCHS.

Stokes scored more than 1,000 points and grabbed more than 1,000 rebounds in her four-year college career. She was an All-District, All-Conference and All-Midstate honoree at DeKalb County High School and later an assistant coach at Louisville, Murray State, Tennessee Tech, Chattanooga and Long Beach State and the head coach for two years at Georgia Southwestern State until her passing on August 7, 2003. Cumberland plays a tournament in her name each December.

“DeKalb County High School is proud to recognize Rosa Stokes as one of the greatest players in DCHS basketball history as well as honoring her love of the game of basketball and her dedication to coaching and mentoring young women throughout her life,” said DCHS Principal Randy Jennings.

“We would like to extend an invitation to all of Rosa's family, any of her teammates, both at DeKalb West and DeKalb County High School, as well as any members of the 1983 graduating class to come share in this special night,” he added.

The retirement ceremony will take place between games on Friday, January 19 at the DCHS gymnasium.

Johnson Charged with Solicitation of a Minor

January 15, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jason Dwayne Johnson
Michael Bryan Miller
William Boyce Butler
Robert Justin Luna
Issac Corbin Beck

A man who allegedly tried to solicit sex with a minor has been arrested.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL- Intakes & Releases From: 1/8/2018 Thru: 1/15/2018)

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_54.pdf (2.38 MB)

39 year old Jason Dwayne Johnson of Game Ridge Road, Smithville is charged with solicitation of a person under 18 years old. His bond is $30,000 and his court date is January 18.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that from April, 2017 to November 27, 2017 “Johnson did by electronic communication intentionally request, persuade, invite, or attempt to induce a person (female) whom he knows or should know is less than 18 years of age to engage in conduct that if completed would constitute a violation by the soliciting adult of the offense of statutory rape”.

32 year old Michael Bryan Miller of Nashville is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. He was further cited for violation of the implied consent law (failure to submit to blood test) and failure to maintain his lane of travel. His bond is $3,000 and his court date is January 18.

Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, January 5 a deputy was called to Highway 70 west due to a reckless driver in a gold Ford Ranger. He spotted the truck traveling in the slow lane and then cross all lanes of traffic into the eastbound fast lane. The deputy stopped the vehicle and spoke with the driver, Miller whose eyes were bloodshot and watery and his pupils were constricted. Miller submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks and was placed under arrest. A search warrant was obtained for a blood sample from Miller.

50 year old William Boyce Butler of Lee Braswell Road, Smithville is charged with aggravated assault and resisting stop, frisk, halt, or arrest. He was further cited for simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $8,500 and his court date is January 25.

Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, January 5 a deputy was dispatched to Lee Braswell Road due to a domestic complaint. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with a woman who said that her husband, Butler had slapped her face and then held her down and tried to choke her. She had red marks on her neck and cheek. Butler is currently on probation for an aggravated assault which occurred on May 19, 2016 against the same victim (his wife). Butler was forced to the ground after he refused commands by officers to stand and be handcuffed. Though he continued to resist while on the ground, Butler was subsequently placed in custody. The officers found on Butler 0.25 ounces of marijuana, a pipe grinder, and rolling papers. One of the officers suffered a knee injury while placing Butler under arrest. The deputy went to the hospital by a private vehicle for treatment and he is now on medical leave from work.

32 year old Robert Justin Luna of Barnes Mill Road, Smithville is charged with aggravated assault. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is January 18.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, January 4 a deputy was called to the Sheriff’s Department to speak with a woman who had been involved in a domestic dispute. The woman said that she and Luna had gotten into an argument over the phone and that after she arrived at a residence on Sparta Highway where Luna was present, he pushed her down, pulled her hair, and tried to choke her until she passed out. She had physical marks around her neck. Luna was placed under arrest.

20 year old Issac Corbin Beck of Parkway Drive, Smithville is charged with domestic assault and possession of a schedule VI drug with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver. His bond is $8,000 and his court date is January 18.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, January 6 a deputy was called to a residence on Sparta Highway due to a physical fight in progress. Upon arrival the officer spoke with a woman who said that she and Beck had gotten into an altercation outside when Beck pushed her to the ground and struck her in the face and elsewhere causing redness. She had physical marks on her face and arms and a golf ball sized knot on her head. Beck had left the scene before the officer’s arrival but he was later located at his residence. During his arrest, an officer asked Beck if he had anything illegal on his person. Beck produced from his shorts 18.5 grams of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana.

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