Local News Articles

DeKalb Jobless Rate at 4.6% for February

April 18, 2018
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County’s unemployment rate for February was 4.6%, down from 4.7% in January but well below the 5.8% rate recorded in February, 2017.

The local labor force for February was 7,790. A total of 7,430 were employed and 360 were without work.

Jobless rates for February among the fourteen counties in the Upper Cumberland region were as follows from highest to lowest:
Jackson: 5.5%
Clay: 5.2%
Cumberland: 5%
DeKalb: 4.6%
Overton: 4.5%
Fentress: 4.3%
Van Buren: 4.2%
Pickett: 4.1%
Warren: 3.9%
White: 3.7%
Putnam: 3.5%
Smith: 3.5%
Macon: 3.2%
Cannon: 3%

According to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the latest statistics showed improved rates for the majority of the state’s counties during the month.

Sixty-nine of Tennessee’s 95 counties saw lower unemployment rates when compared to January 2018. The rates remained the same in 21 counties and increased in five counties.

“It is great to see unemployment rates decrease in so many counties during February,” said Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips. “While this type of rebound in February is typical after the state usually experiences a slight uptick in unemployment after the holidays, it is not a given.”

Williamson County continued to have the state’s lowest unemployment rate. The February rate of 2.4 percent is a decrease of 0.1 of a percentage point when compared to the previous month.

At 2.6 percent, Davidson County had the state’s second lowest unemployment rate in February, which was 0.1 of a percentage point lower than January’s rate.

Houston County had the state’s highest unemployment rate in February at 6.8 percent, which is the same rate the county had in January. The latest statistic was 0.2 of a percentage point lower than the county’s February 2017 unemployment rate.

Tennessee’s statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February 2018 was 3.4 percent, a 0.1 of a percentage point increase from the revised January rate of 3.3 percent. The national unemployment rate for the month held steady at 4.1 percent.

The statewide unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted, while county rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools and other recurring seasonal events from an economic time series.

Chattanooga Man Injured in Saturday Night Crash

April 17, 2018
Dwayne Page
One person was injured in a crash Saturday night on Highway 56 south near Ferrell Road and Pine Creek Nursery just south of Seven Springs Road.
Saturday Night Wreck Causes Power Outage for Many

One person was injured in a crash Saturday night on Highway 56 south near Ferrell Road and Pine Creek Nursery just south of Seven Springs Road. The wreck caused a power outage for a large area in the southern portion of the county.

According to Trooper Danielle Neal of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, 21 year old Brandon Kircher of Smithville was traveling north on Highway 56 in a 2001 Ford Edge and failed to maintain the lane crossing the center line. The vehicle exited the roadway to the left and struck a mailbox before hitting a utility pole. It then went into a ditch and overturned onto its top with one passenger being completely ejected and another partially ejected out of the passenger side window.

Kircher, who was wearing his seatbelt, was not injured.

One of the passengers, 57 year old Michael Patillo of Chattanooga was taken by DeKalb EMS to Vanderbilt Hospital. The other passenger, 31 year old Ashley Ford of Bank, Tennessee was not injured. Neither Patillo or Ford were wearing their seat belts.

Kircher was cited for failing to maintain lane of travel, failing to provide proof of financial responsibility, and driving without a license

Members of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department were also on the scene to provide assistance.

4-H Members Excel at Regional Livestock Judging

April 17, 2018
Leigh Fuson, 4-H Agent
The DeKalb County 4-H Livestock Judging Teams at the regional contest in Murfreesboro.  (Front) Chaylea Lunsford, Brooklyn Ponder, Izayah Dowell, Riley Fuson, Ansley Cantrell, Ian Barnes, & Tyler Dunn. (Back) Luke Magness, Marissa Clark, Clayton Crook, Payton Cantrell, Caleb Taylor, John Iervolino, Colby Barnes, Jenna Cantrell, and Elizabeth Seber.
Tyler:Tyler Dunn studies a pen of goats before winning 2nd place in the region.

Seventeen DeKalb County 4-H members recently traveled to the Tennessee Livestock Center in Murfreesboro to compete in the largest Central Region 4-H Livestock Judging contest on record with around 400 contestants.

The Junior division team of Ian Barnes, Izayah Dowell, Tyler Dunn, Chaylea Lunsford, and Brooklyn Ponder took top honors out of 23 teams. Tyler placed 2nd individually while Izayah placed 4th. The Junior High team comprised of Jenna Cantrell, Colby Barnes, Elizabeth Seber, and Marissa Clark placed 7th and the team of Ansley Cantrell, Riley Fuson, Luke Magness, John Iervolino, and Caley Taylor placed 15th. Luke Magness was 8th high individual. There were 32 total teams in that division. Payton Cantrell, Clayton Crook, and Caleb Taylor competed in Senior High division and also represented us well placing 17th with only a three man team.

Livestock Judging teaches 4-H members decision-making skills while they learn more about the livestock industry. Beef cattle, sheep, goats, and hogs are evaluated to know which animals would be best in a farm’s breeding program or would make the most profit at market. 4-H’ers also learn how to read and use genetic information (EPDs) to assist in the selection of livestock. This is very useful knowledge if these young people ever buy livestock of their own. It also gives them a better understanding of where their food comes from. Eight total classes of animals are judged at the contest. The Senior division also must give two sets of oral reasons to explain why they placed the class the way they did. This improves their communication skills, as they must think under pressure while still using good presentation techniques.

These teams had a great time learning about livestock animals and made new friends along the way. They represented DeKalb County very well in this highly competitive contest! For more information about the 4-H livestock group, please contact the UT/TSU DeKalb County Extension Office at 615-597-4945.

Photo Caption:
Team: The DeKalb County 4-H Livestock Judging Teams at the regional contest in Murfreesboro. (Front) Chaylea Lunsford, Brooklyn Ponder, Izayah Dowell, Riley Fuson, Ansley Cantrell, Ian Barnes, & Tyler Dunn. (Back) Luke Magness, Marissa Clark, Clayton Crook, Payton Cantrell, Caleb Taylor, John Iervolino, Colby Barnes, Jenna Cantrell, and Elizabeth Seber.

Tyler:Tyler Dunn studies a pen of goats before winning 2nd place in the region.

Sheriffs Department Makes Three Arrests for Domestic Assault

April 17, 2018
Dwayne Page
Troy Eugene Martin
Wesley Lynn Chandler
Rickie Edward Turner
Jimmy Lee Herman

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department has made three arrests within the last week for domestic assault.


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_0.pdf (3.07 MB)

39 year old Troy Eugene Martin of Lee Braswell Road is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and his court date is April 26.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Wednesday, April 4 a deputy responded to a call on Short Mountain Highway in reference to a domestic assault. Upon arrival the officer spoke with a woman who had red marks, pumpknots and blood on the top and back of her head, and scratches on her left forearm. The woman claimed that Martin assaulted her. The woman said she and Martin had been dating.

30 year old Robert Grady Cox of Old Snow Hill Road, Dowelltown is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $3,500 and his court date is April 26.

Sheriff Ray said that on February 16 a deputy responded to South Mountain Street in reference to a domestic altercation on Old Snow Hill Road.

Upon arrival the officer spoke with a woman who said that on the night of February 15 she and her boyfriend, Cox got into a verbal altercation before Cox hit her with an open hand across the left side of her face causing redness and bruising. She was unable to call for help that night but reported it later.

40 year old Wesley Lynn Chandler of Page Drive is charged with domestic assault. He is under a $4,000 bond and his court date is May 17.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, April 11 at 11:30 p.m. a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Page Drive due to a physical domestic. Upon arrival the deputy spoke to the complainant who said that her boyfriend, Chandler had been abusing her throughout the day and that he punched her in the nose causing her to fear him. When asked if anything physical had occurred between them prior to the 911 call, Chandler said “we may have gotten into a scuffle”. Chandler was determined to have been the primary aggressor and was placed under arrest.

31 year old Nikita Clark of Patterson Road, Smithville is cited for possession of schedule II & IV controlled substances. Sheriff Ray said that on March 28 a deputy found in Clark’s possession a book bag containing six green pills believed to be xanax and a small baggie with one white pill thought to be Hydrocodone.

65 year old Rickie Edward Turner of Forrest Avenue is charged with driving under the influence. He was also cited for violation of the implied consent law. His bond is $2,500 and his court date is April 26.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, April 7 at 3:37 a.m. a deputy stopped a red Chevrolet Malibu because a brake light was out. The officer spoke with the driver, Turner and smelled a strong odor of alcohol on him. When asked Turner told the officer he had consumed three drinks. Turner was unsteady on his feet and refused to submit to field sobriety tasks or give blood for a test. He was placed under arrest.

37 year old Jimmy Lee Herman of Estie Griffith Road, McMinnville is charged with driving on a revoked license. He was further cited for driving on roadways laned for travel. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is April 26.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, April 14 a deputy spotted a silver car failing to maintain its lane of travel on Midway Road. The officer stopped the car on Adcock Cemetery Road and spoke with the driver, Herman. A routine driver license check through Central Dispatch revealed that they have been revoked since November 16, 2017 in Warren County for driving under the influence.

WJLE Debuting New Sports Talk Show "All About Sports with Ken and Pete" Friday Morning

April 17, 2018
Dwayne Page
Listen for "All About Sports with Ken and Pete" Fridays at 8:30 a.m. on WJLE

WJLE is debuting a new weekly sports talk program this Friday, April 20 at 8:30 a.m.

“All About Sports with Ken and Pete” will feature weekly commentary and special guests talking about golf and a variety of other local, regional, state, and national sporting events. Listeners will also have a chance to win giveways during the show.

The program is hosted by Ken Lacy and Pete Ferguson, who have been associated with Riverwatch Golf & Resort and who now serve as managers of the Smithville Municipal Golf Course and Swimming Pool.

This week Ken and Pete will be talking with Brandon Parsons, PGA Tour Caddy for J.B. Holmes LIVE from the drive range at this week’s PGA Tour event in San Antonio, Texas.

Sports fans be sure to tune in weekly for “All About Sports with Ken and Pete” Fridays at 8:30 a.m. starting this week on WJLE AM 1480 and FM 101.7 and LIVE Stream at www.wjle.com.

DeKalb West Student Wins Tennessee Tech Math Contest

April 16, 2018
Bill Conger
Alex Antoniak

DeKalb West School student Alex Antoniak took first place at the Tennessee Tech Math Contest. He was one of 107 students who had entered.

Six students from each 6th-8th grade level represented DeKalb West School at last Thursday's event. In addition to Antoniak, 6th graders Zoi Hale, Blair Gipe, and Jackson Vantrease competed. Students representing DWS from 7th grade were Aly Griffith, Alex Moreno, Madison Martin and Isaac Brown, and from 8th grade were Breanna Cothern, Victoria Rodano, Brayden Antoniak, and Hagen Waggoner. 8th grade teacher Karen France oversaw the DWS students at TTU.

Pictured front row left to right are Zoi Hale, Blair Gipe, Aly Griffith, Alex Moreno, Alex Antoniak, and Jackson Vantrease. Back row left to right are Breanna Cothern, Victoria Rodano, Madison Martin, Isaac Brown, Brayden Antoniak, and Hagen Waggoner.

Smithville First Baptist Church to Host "Community Day" Saturday

April 16, 2018
Bill Conger

Smithville First Baptist Church knows all too well that some people may perceive the congregation as a "country club church." But Pastor Chad Ramsey and the members there want to stamp out that image.

“You know many First Baptist Churches are known to have a Country Club mentality,” says Ramsey.

“Honestly, I have visited and worshiped at several churches that actually fit this description. I cannot talk about what Smithville FBC may have been, but the one thing I do know is that the first time I stepped into Smithville FBC it was a loving church that wanted to serve the Lord and others. Smithville FBC is anything but a country club. You can’t judge a book by its cover, and if by chance you have felt this way in the past about Smithville FBC, I challenge you to come, try us out again and see what you think. I am confident you will be surprised about how open we are to all people of all generations.”

One way Smithville F.B.C. is trying to change its image is to put its time, effort, and money where their hearts are.

“We are having a Community Day on April 21 where we are inviting the whole community to a FREE yard sale, FREE car wash, FREE health screening (provided by the DeKalb County Health Dept.), and a FREE oil change for single moms, widows, and senior adults,” says Ramsey. “Everything is FREE. We don’t want to make a dime, and we are not taking donations. We are here to love God and love others.”

The oil changes will be at NAPA Auto Parts, located at 539 West Broad Street. If possible, call the church office at 615-597-4275 to set up an appointment. All the other events will be at the church’s Life Enrichment Building, 101 West Church Street. All the events begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m.

“We want to show the community how much we love God, and we want to share that love with others."

Pastor Ramsey says a church is more than a place to gather on Sunday morning to worship God. It's a haven for the homeless, a hospital for sick sinners, and a refuge for those who need to feel the love of a merciful God. Smithville F-B-C is putting those words into action with the first of a series of community outreach programs. They invite you to come and be a part of this Community Day on April 21 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

WJLE Recognizes DCHS Class of 2018 (View Photo Gallery Here)

April 16, 2018
Dwayne Page
WJLE Recognizes DCHS Class of 2018 (View Photo Gallery Here)

WJLE and participating sponsors are presenting a photo gallery of the DCHS Class of 2018 in April and May. You may now view it at www.wjle.com.

Graduation is set for Friday, May 18 on the DCHS football field.

Click on the link below to view the senior formals.

Once you open the page, click each photo to view a larger image. The name of the senior you select is at the bottom of the photo. Or you may move your mouse over the photo to view the name.

There are 171 photos in the gallery divided up 30 photos to a page. Notice the box to the left in the photo gallery. After you view page 1 be sure to click the links for pages 2-6 to view the remaining photos. The names of seniors not pictured are also listed inside the box.

The WJLE photo gallery page is sponsored in April by Sheriff Patrick Ray, County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, County Mayor Tim Stribling, St Thomas DeKalb Hospital, DTC Communications, Gill Automotive LLC, DeKalb Funeral Chapel, Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen, Road Supervisor Butch Agee, Love-Cantrell Funeral Home, and Alexandria Auto Parts. Sponsors in May will be Assessor of Property Shannon Cantrell, A Degree Above Heating and Cooling, Good Health Family Clinic, and Trustee Sean Driver, in addition to Sheriff Ray, County Clerk Poss, County Mayor Stribling, St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital, Gill Automotive, DeKalb Funeral Chapel, and DTC Communications,

DeKalb Neighbors Helping Neighbors Blood Assurance Drive Monday

April 15, 2018
Dwayne Page
County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss donating blood at previous Blood Assurance Drive

A DeKalb County Neighbors Helping Neighbors Blood Assurance Drive will be Monday, April 16 from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the County Complex Senior Citizens Center inside the Bloodmobile. All donors will be given a FREE "Spring Blood Donor" t-shirt. All donors will also be entered for a chance to win an Amazon Prime Prize Pack. To schedule an appointment, go to Bloodassurance.org/dekalb or contact Jimmy Poss at 615-464-7426 or jmposs72@yahoo.com. Please remember to EAT A GOOD MEAL and drink additional water and bring a photo ID.

668 Vote Early To Date for May 1 Primary

April 15, 2018
Dwayne Page

A total of 668 people have cast ballots to date for the May 1 DeKalb County Democratic Primary.

According to Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections 58 people voted in person on Friday.

Voters are making their choices as to who will represent the Democratic party as nominees in the August General Election for the offices of Road Supervisor, County Mayor, Circuit Court Clerk, Sheriff, Register of Deeds, County Clerk, and for the county commission in each of the seven districts. There is no Democratic candidate for Trustee.

The primary will feature two county wide contested races for County Mayor and Circuit Court Clerk. There are four contested county commission district primary races including in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 7th districts.

Early voting days and times are as follows:
Mondays—1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesdays—9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Wednesdays—9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thursdays—2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Fridays—9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Saturdays—9 a.m. to noon.

Early voting runs through April 26 on the first floor of the DeKalb County Courthouse


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