Shannon A Cantrell Assessor of Property
Barry Mabe
!st Choice Flooring
Hart Builders
Josh Miller
Your Ad Here

Local News Articles

Bulldog Boosters Get Okay to Build Baseball Facility

April 15, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb West School Bulldog Baseball Boosters Club plans to build a 40 x 100 foot facility on campus which is to include hitting cages, restrooms, concession stand, storage, office, and locker room.

The Board of Education gave approval for the project during Thursday night's regular monthly meeting held at Smithville Elementary School.

"The baseball boosters approached me about wanting to build a hitting building to the side of the baseball field. Funding would be through them (boosters). They started this process several years ago by saving money through their fundraisers. They're getting to the point now where they can start. But we haven't done anything until we get board approval to break ground if that is something you allow us to do," said DeKalb West School Principal Sabrina Farler.

"It is to be multipurpose. We want to have a concession stand rather than the portable building we now have there. It will also have two public restrooms in addition to the locker room, hitting cages, batting cages, and things like that," said Tony Cross, Booster Club President.

"I think we can do this for less than $40,000. What we would like to do this summer after school is out is to do the shell of the building and a concrete slab with all the plumbing. I think we can do that for just under $20,000. We have a 5K fundraiser that is doing really well and it runs Saturday morning. Initially we would like to put up the slab and the exterior of the building. Eighty percent of the building is batting cages and lanes. That could be used next baseball season. Just to be able to get in and out of the rain. I've talked with Earl (Jared), School System Maintenance Supervisor. I want to work hand in hand with him on what he wants as far as the bathrooms and things like that because if they are helping us service it we're going to do it like he needs it done. We initially want to get some things done this summer and we'll continue on with fundraisers to raise the remainder of the money. We'd like to have it (project) done next year," said Cross.

TN Ready test scores will not impact student's final grades

April 15, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

TN Ready test scores will not impact student's final grades this year in DeKalb County

The Board of Education took that action Thursday night during the regular monthly meeting held at Smithville Elementary School.

"The state department of education sent out a memo basically stating they were leaving it up to each county as to whether they wanted to count test scores on final grades. Teachers also have the option whether to count that toward their observation score. I would recommend that we do not count their test scores as part of their grade," said Director of Schools Patrick Cripps.

TNReady was originally an online test.

But when students across the state logged on in February to take the exam, the system crashed. It was later deemed that students would take a pencil and paper version of TNReady, which had to be shipped to school districts all over Tennessee.

Several school districts had asked the state to exclude the test stores from affecting teacher evaluations.

Many believe the changes to the test would result in poor test scores.

Teachers across the state have now been given the option to decide whether to link the test scores to their evaluations and it’s up to each school district to decide whether the test scores will impact students’ final grades.

Meanwhile in other action, the Board voted to change the pay date for Central Office staff along with maintenance employees, the Transportation Supervisor, and mechanics starting with the 2016-17 school year.

The action taken will adjust the pay cycle for these employees who are affected by pre-payment of salary in advance of work being performed.

Director of Schools Cripps said the change would affect about 23 employees. "There have been concerns about paying those employees in advance. I have talked with our fiscal consultant and he said there is nothing illegal with paying them in July. What I would recommend is to pay those employees the 15th of each month instead of the 5th of each month. This would not apply to teachers," he said.

These employees will receive one check per month on the 15th of the month from July 15 to June 15 each year.

In his monthly report on personnel, Director Cripps announced that Libby McCormick, Librarian at Northside Elementary School, has been granted a leave as requested and that Christopher Moore, Educational Assistant at DeKalb Middle School has resigned.

Sheriff Donates Used Cell Phones to Genesis House

April 15, 2016
Sheriff Patrick Ray, Genesis House Advocate Rachel Pugh, and DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green

Sheriff Patrick Ray, on behalf of the citizens of DeKalb County, has presented Advocate Rachel Pugh from the Cookeville Genesis House, over 170 donated used cell phones collected by the sheriff's department.

"I want to thank the Citizens of DeKalb County for their cell phone donations," said Pugh. "We are a non-profit organization serving DeKalb County that helps victims of domestic and sexual violence. We take the donated phones, refurbish them, and give them to our clients as a way to contact law enforcement in case they find themselves in immediate danger or have an emergency. Some of the cell phones only will call 911. Others will be enabled to assist victims in finding housing and employment.”

“Every 14 seconds in our country, a woman is battered by her intimate partner," said Sheriff Ray. " Every 5 years, more women are killed by domestic violence than Americans killed in the Vietnam War. Sheriff Ray also expressed his concern about domestic violence adding that 20% of all murders are domestic violence related and 76% of rape and sexual assaults are committed by husbands, ex-husbands, boyfriends, family members or acquaintances".

"This year we were able to team with the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department in getting donated cell phones," Sheriff Ray said.

“Our department has accumulated a number of free cell phones that we no longer use," added DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green. "These phones came at no cost to the county and since we have no future need for them, we decided to partner in this effort by donating the phones because we know Genesis House will put them to good use and that they can make a difference in protecting lives; a mission that we have in common".

Sheriff Ray said he wants to thank the Citizens of DeKalb County and the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department for one of their largest cell phone donations ever. The sheriff’s department will be collecting used cell phones again this year. You may drop off any cell phones at the sheriff's office. "If you have a cell phone you no longer plan to use, whether or not it is functional, just drop it by the sheriff's department. You do not need to bring any phone accessories; just the phone. The sheriff's department collects these phones during the year and makes an annual donation on behalf of DeKalb County to the Genesis House," said Sheriff Ray.

Anyone who is a victim of domestic violence may contact Sheriff Ray at 615-597-4935 for information or for a ride to a domestic shelter in Cookeville. You may also call the 24 hour Genesis House Crisis Line at 1-800-707-5197 or 931-526-5197.

Pugh Receives $500 FBLA Scholarship

April 14, 2016
Braxton Pugh

Braxton Pugh received a $500 Scholarship at the Tennessee State Leadership Conference held recently in Chattanooga.

He received the Dr. Bill Radcliffe Scholarship that is for an FBLA member who plans to pursue a career in business and attend college at either a junior college or university.

Braxton plans to attend Motlow State Community College and then on to a four year college. He will be majoring in Business.

DCHS FBLA Successful at State Conference

April 14, 2016
Award Group
Hannah James

Members of the DeKalb County High School Future Business Leaders of America Club were successful at the recent FBLA State Conference. Forty Four members, two advisers, and three chaperones attended the conference and represented DeKalb County High School.

Placing 2nd:
Hailey Walker and Keely McKay-Graphic Design
Ashli Chew and Abby Evans –Hospitality Management
Luke Green-Impromptu Speaking
Max Pafford, Haden Cripps, Kirkland Smallwood- Marketing

Placing 3rd:
Aspen Flarity-Client Service
Aspen Flarity, Sahara Lafever , Anna Malone-Community Service Project
Hannah James-Electronic Career Portfolio
Casey Vickers, Morgan Vickers, Christian Turner, Casey Vickers-Parliamentary Procedure
Callie Cripps-Hard Copy Scrapbook
Hailey Walker-Chapter Annual Business Report
Madison Mick-FBLA Principles and Procedures

Placing 4th
Rachel Fuson and Sarah Anne Colwell-Banking and Financial Systems
Trey Fuston –Business Law
Kyra Slager-Health Care Administration
Bailey Redmon-Future Business Leader

•Braxton Pugh received Dr. Bill Radcliffe Scholarship for $500
•Destiny Franklin was named as Region 5 secretary .

The DeKalb County High School Chapter of FBLA received the following awards:
*Club 100 for 175 members.
*Chapter Gold Seal of Merit
*1st place Literacy award for collecting 3,285 books that stayed right here in DeKalb County.
*Recognition for March of Dimes contribution and donation to ALL state scholarships

Picture Captions:
Award group:
Front row: left to right: Kyra Slager, Casey Vickers, Madison Mick, Bailey Redmon, Ashli Chew, Trey Fuston
2nd row: Callie Cripps, Aspen Flarity, Anna Malone, Sahara Lafever, Keely McKay, Racehl Fuson, Sarah Anne Colwell, Abby Evans
Back Row: Morgan Vickers, Caitlin Turner, Christian Turner, Luke Green, Hailey Walker, Haden Cripps, Kirkland Smallwood.Not pictured: Max Pafford

Hannah:
Hannah James served as the 2015-2016 Tennessee FBLA State Secretary. She also placed 3rd in Electronic Career Porfolio.

Judge Modifies Petty's Sentence But Denies Motion for New Trial

April 13, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
David Petty

A man convicted in December of a 2014 aggravated burglary and theft in DeKalb County will no longer be serving his fifteen year prison sentence as a "career" offender.

During a hearing Wednesday in DeKalb County Criminal Court, Judge Gary McKenzie denied a motion for a new trial but found that due to a miscalculation of his prior offenses, 54 year old David Petty does not qualify as a "career" offender. Instead Petty will serve his fifteen year term, the maximum allowed by law in this case, as a "persistent" offender. As a "career" criminal, Petty would have had to serve at least 60% of the sentence before coming eligible for parole. As a "persistent" offender, Petty will become eligible for parole after serving 45% of the sentence.

Petty stood trial and was convicted by a jury in DeKalb County Criminal Court Wednesday, December 9, 2015. A month later following a sentencing hearing, Judge McKenzie handed down the fifteen year term against Petty for aggravated burglary and another twelve years for theft of property over $1,000. The sentences were merged as one fifteen year term.

In his amended motion for a new trial, Petty's attorney Michael Auffinger set forth grounds including one in which he claimed "the trial court erred in its determination that Petty qualified as a "career" criminal. Although Petty has prior convictions for kidnapping, these do not qualify to be counted individually. The statutory language within Tennessee Code Annotated 40-35-108 (b) (4) reads: except for convictions for which the statutory elements include serious bodily injury, bodily injury, threatened serious bodily injury, or threatened bodily injury to the victim or victims...convictions for multiple felonies committed within the same twenty four hour period constitute one(1) conviction for the purpose of determining prior convictions. In contrast, the statutory definition of kidnapping contains the language: under circumstances exposing the other person to substantial risk of bodily injury", according to Auffinger's motion.

"The trial court erred when it found Petty to be a career offender. Under TCA 40-35-108, once a defendant has been convicted of a Class C felony, the court must find any combination of six or more Class A, B, or C prior felony convictions. However, upon looking at Petty's prior record, there are no A or B offenses, and at most, five Class C offenses. At most, Petty is a Range III Persistent Offender," Auffinger's motion states.

Assistant District Attorney General Stephanie Johnson said while Judge McKenzie found in favor of Petty on this one point he ruled for the state on the remaining issues raised by Petty's attorney in his motion.

"There was a miscalculation in his (Petty's) prior convictions therefore he did not fall into a "career" offender range of punishment. Instead, he fell into a "persistent" offender range. The only change the court made based on that was instead of his (Petty's) sentence being fifteen years at 60%, his sentence will still be the maximum of fifteen years but at 45%. While the judge changed the sentence a little bit he denied the defense motion for new trial and ruled in favor of the state on all of those points (raised by the defense) except the re-sentencing with the calculations of the priors," Johnson told WJLE Wednesday.

After deliberating for less than an hour in December, a jury of six men and six women found Petty guilty of aggravated burglary and theft of property over $1,000 as charged in the indictment against him.

Because Petty has multiple previous felony convictions in several counties dating back to 1980, Assistant District Attorney General Johnson asked the court in January to sentence him as a career offender. "Mr. Petty's criminal conduct spans 35 years. He has very serious prior felony convictions. I understand they are from the 1980's but still we have someone who has persistently violated the law and obtained criminal convictions in several different counties in our state. Mr. Petty has been active in five different surrounding counties. He previously violated and has been revoked on parole twice and probation five times. This defendant has not had any measure of success on supervised release in our community. Furthermore, while he has not been charged, he has been out on an OR bond and has admitted drug use so he has continued to involve himself in illegal activity while this case was pending trial," Assistant DA Johnson told the court during Petty's sentencing hearing in January.

A co-defendant in the case, 44 year old Anthony Lynn Colwell pled guilty in July, 2015 to aggravated burglary and received a TDOC sentence of eleven years at 45% before parole eligibility. The term is to run concurrently with a Warren County case against him. He was given two days of jail credit.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said at the time of their arrests that on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 Petty and Colwell broke into a residence on Man Hill Road and stole a jewelry box containing several items of jewelry which were later pawned at a local jewelry store and at a pawn shop in Warren County. Petty's defense essentially was that while he sold the property, he did not commit the burglary and theft.

Petty's attorney Auffinger, in asking the court for leniency for his client during the January sentencing hearing, said that Petty was never proven to have participated in the burglary. "There was never any direct proof whatsoever that tied him to the burglary," he said.

Auffinger also pointed out that Petty voluntarily cooperated with law enforcement officers in the burglary investigation and tried to settle the debt with one of the pawn shop owners who suffered a loss because of the case. He also said Petty suffered from significant health problems and underwent surgery a week before the sentencing hearing. Auffinger asked the court to make Petty's sentence at the "bottom of the range" of punishment allowed by law in this case.

During the January sentencing hearing Judge McKenzie found that due to seven prior felony convictions since 1980, which included three kidnappings, an assault with intent to commit a felony, and a grand larceny, Petty should be sentenced as a career offender.

"Mr. Petty it looks to me that from 1980 to today (January 7) there has been criminal behavior on your part," said Judge McKenzie during the sentencing hearing. " In the sentencing report there was a DUI conviction around 2003. There is a disorderly conduct in 2000. If your 1983 cases were not of a felony nature that would be one thing. If they were smaller level offenses that would be one thing but they are kidnappings. There's an assault. And then there are some drug offenses and burglaries. There is a lot of criminal history here. Based on those seven felonies I'm going to classify you as a career offender. Most individuals go their entire lives without a single arrest. Without a single conviction. The vast majority of us go our entire lives without multiple convictions. And you've got seven. The prior criminal history and multiple convictions certainly weighs strong for the state. If an individual in our community gets seven prior felony offenses then there becomes a need to protect society from releasing him back," added Judge McKenzie.

Boating Safety Class from Coast Guard Auxiliary May 7th

April 13, 2016

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 11-6 is offering a one-day boating safety class on Saturday, May 7, 2016 at the Dekalb County Community Center located at 712 South Congress Boulevard in Smithville, Tennessee from 8:00 AM – 6:00PM. Textbook and materials are $7.00 per student, which covers room rental fee and lunch. Preregistration is required as the class size is limited. For more information and/or to register, please call John Whelan at 615-933-1874 and leave a message.

BOAT TENNESSEE is a comprehensive boating course designed for both beginners and novice boaters. This course will be taught in a one-day session with a short lunch break. Topics include: Types and Uses of Boats/Engines; Boat Handling; Equipment for Boats, Trailering, Aids to Navigation, Rules of the Road, Inland Boating, Boating Laws/State Laws, Boating Problems/Emergencies, and more. The exam to be given will be the State of Tennessee boating exam.
This course is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. Those who successfully complete the course and exam are awarded certificates of completion. Many marine insurance companies offer discounts on boat insurance to those who complete this course.

If the student taking this course and exam was born after January 1, 1989, then the student MUST also pre-register with the State of Tennessee to take the boating exam and pay an additional fee of $10 per person to the State. The exam ticket is Type 600 and can be obtained from any TWRA fishing/hunting licensing agent. Proof of identity of student may be required. Students are also strongly encouraged to obtain their textbooks in advance for reading and studying.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, created by an Act of Congress in 1939, is the uniformed civilian component of the U.S. Coast Guard and supports the Coast Guard across all mission areas. For more information on the Coast Guard Auxiliary and a flotilla near you, visit www.cgaux.org

Crissy Haslam Reads to Students at Smithville Elementary School (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

April 13, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Anita Puckett, Crissy Haslam, and Julie Vincent
First Lady of Tennessee Crissy Haslam reads to students at Smithville Elementary School
First Lady of Tennessee Crissy Haslam speaks to students at Smithville Elementary School
Crissy Haslam reads to students from the book "What Pet Should I Get' by Dr. Seuss

First lady of Tennessee Crissy Haslam was at Smithville Elementary School Wednesday morning on a visit with a mission — to encourage students to read more in and out of the classroom as part of the Read20 initiative. To admonish children to read and or to have their parents read to them twenty minutes a day.

Haslam took a tour of the school and then talked with and read to students at each grade level from the book "What Pet Should I Get" by Dr. Seuss.

Smithville Elementary was selected by the state Education Department to host the first lady’s visit in an effort to increase reading proficiency and encourage students to continue to read when they’re not in school.

"I was so excited last week when I received an email from her (Crissy Haslam's) office asking if we would be interested in a visit. I replied back saying "of course we would be interested." "It's a wonderful honor to have her here. There are five schools in this county and the State Department of Education gave her our name to come and visit. I think that is a tribute to the hard work that our students do and the hard work that our faculty and staff do. It's just a privilege to have her here with us. We're so excited," Smithville Elementary School Principal Julie Vincent told WJLE.

"I think I've read a book to every child in the school in big groups at the gym and library," said Haslam. "I have been talking to them about the importance of reading. That children need to be a strong reader by the end of third grade. I talked to them about reading twenty minutes a day and getting their parents to read to them twenty minutes a day. I talked to them about reading over the summer time so that they don't slide backward in their reading ability. And I talked to them about how important it is to read to be ready for everything that comes later in life whether it's middle school, high school, college, or work. I asked them what they wanted to be when they grow up? It's really necessary to be a good reader for just about anything you're going to do in life," Haslam told WJLE.

Haslam plans to visit one school in each of the state’s 95 counties by the end of the year, all to push the importance of reading. "I am traveling all over the state. I am trying to take my message to every county. I started a while back and I have about eighteen counties left to visit. It's a great thing to do. If you want to have a good day come to an elementary school. They will cheer you up," said Haslam.

Lesa Hayes of DeKalb Middle School is Named DeKalb County's "Teacher of the Year"

April 12, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Director of Schools Patrick Cripps, Lori Isabell,  Teacher of the Year and "The John Isabell Memorial Award" Winner Lesa Hayes, Roy Nelson Pugh of Liberty State Bank, and DeKalb Middle School Principal Randy Jennings
School Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins, III, Director of Schools Patrick Cripps, DCHS Teacher Amanda Fuller, DWS Teacher Cynthia Pulley, DMS Teacher Lesa Hayes (Teacher of the Year), NES Teacher Alisha Day, SES Teacher Leah Magness, School Board members Jerry Wayne Johnson, Shaun Tubbs, and Danny Parkerson
DeKalb Teacher of the Year and DeKalb Middle School Teacher of the Year Lesa Hayes with Principal Randy Jennings
DeKalb West School Teacher of the Year Cynthia Pulley (center) with Principal Sabrina Farler and Assistant Principal Joey Agee
Smithville Elementary School Teacher of the Year Leah Magness with Assistant SES Principal Anita Puckett
Northside Elementary School Teacher of the Year Alisha Day with Principal Karen Knowles
DCHS Teacher of the Year Amanda Fuller (center) with Principal Kathy Bryant and Assistant Principal David Gash

A seventh grade math teacher at DeKalb Middle School was named " DeKalb County Teacher of the Year" and received the "John Isabell Memorial Award" Tuesday night during the ninth annual Teacher of the Year banquet at the Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church.

The award and a check for $150 was presented to Lesa Hayes by Roy Nelson Pugh of Liberty State Bank, a sponsor of the banquet, along with Director of Schools Patrick Cripps and Lori Isabell, whose husband John for whom the award is named, passed away in 2014. John Isabell was a long time educator and former President of the DeKalb County Education Association

"This is only her second year at the Middle School but really quickly after she got to the Middle School she became a leader in our building. We use her in a lot of different ways. We send teachers to her classroom. We ask her to go to other teachers classrooms to coach and do other things because she has so many strengths. She has such high expectations for her students and her classroom and she demands it out of them every day. Its an honor to have her as our teacher of the year at DeKalb Middle School," said DMS Principal Randy Jennings.

Hayes, who is in her 17th year as a teacher, was among five local educators who were recognized during the banquet for being chosen by peers as "Teacher of the Year" at their schools. The others were Leah Magness from Smithville Elementary School; Alisha Day from Northside Elementary School; Cynthia Pulley from DeKalb West School; and Amanda Fuller from DeKalb County High School.

Magness is a first grade teacher in all subjects. She is in her 9th year as a teacher. Day teaches reading, language arts, and social studies in the fifth grade. She is in her 14th year. Pulley is in her 8th year. She teaches all subjects in the fourth grade. Fuller is an eleventh grade chemistry and biology teacher. This is her 20th year in the classroom.

The Tennessee Teacher of the Year Program is designed to promote recognition, respect and appreciation for teachers; to stimulate interest in teaching as a career; and to encourage public involvement in education.

Administrators introduced the Teachers of the Year at their schools, remarked on how they deserved the honor, and presented them with a school bell award.

Seventh district school board member Shaun Tubbs served as guest speaker for the banquet.

"You play such an important role in each and every student's lives. You wear many hats. You are a teacher, mentor, friend, and role model to so many kids. To be great educators like yourselves you must have a passion for what you do. You did not choose this job for money but because you had a gift and a passion to teach others. You give hope and encouragement to so many students and you are the backbone of our community. Your influence helps build a future DeKalb County. Sometimes you don't get the praise or a thank you often enough. On behalf of the DeKalb County School Board I want to say congratulations and thank you for a job well done," said Tubbs in his remarks.

Other school board members attending were Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins, III, Danny Parkerson, and Jerry Wayne Johnson.

Suspect Involved in Hit-and-Run with Injury Arrested by Smithville Police, Meth Lab also Found

April 12, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Marlin Ray Pinkard
Shana Nicole Smiley
Plastic bottle containing a sludge like material consistent with the manufacture of meth.

A man sought by Smithville Police in a Monday night hit-and-run that left another person injured was later taken into custody. Officers also found a meth lab in his car during the investigation.

35 year old Marlin Ray Pinkard of McMinnville is charged with aggravated assault, evading arrest, and a 5th offense of driving on a revoked license after hitting Johnny Murphy with his automobile following an altercation between the two in front of Murphy's residence at 420 Hayes Street. Pinkard and a passenger of his car, 32 year old Shana Nicole Smiley of Smithville, were each charged with initiation of methamphetamine.

"Last night Smithville Police responded to a call at 420 Hayes Street. Upon arrival we learned that there had been a hit and run. A vehicle driven by Pinkard had run over Mr. Murphy causing a serious leg injury and had left the scene. Murphy was transported to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital by EMS where he was treated and released," Police Chief Mark Collins told WJLE.

After obtaining a description of the car involved in the hit-and-run, officers tracked it down at Mapco Express. "After officers arrived at Mapco, they spotted Mr. Pinkard coming out of the store. When Pinkard saw them, he went back in the store and tried to empty his pockets. Officers confronted Pinkard and found pills in his possession believed to be Suboxone. Pinkard was then placed under arrest," Chief Collins continued.

Upon checking out Pinkard's car at Mapco, Chief Collins said police found a meth lab. "When we went to his car we found Shana Nicole Smiley sitting in the passenger seat. After she was asked to get out of the car we saw in plain view a plastic bottle containing a sludge like material consistent with the manufacture of meth. The substance was later identified as a one pot meth lab by the Tennessee Meth Task Force who came to the scene to assist in the investigation. Also found in the car was an opened cold pack, lithium batteries, and a glass pipe with residue. Smiley was then placed under arrest," he said.

Bond for Pinkard totals $58,500. Smiley's bond is $35,000. They will make an appearance in General Sessions Court on April 28

Pages

Follow Us


facebook.jpg

News Feed
feed.png

WJLE Radio

2606 McMinnville Hwy
Smithville, TN 37166

Phone: 615 597-4265
FAX: 615 597-6025
Email: wjle@dtccom.net

Local News

6:30 A.M.
7:30 A.M.
8:55 A.M.
12:00 NOON
4:00 P.M.
9:45 P.M.

DTC Communications

Fiddlers Jamboree