Local News Articles

Arrest Made in Arson Wednesday Night (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

November 9, 2017
Dwayne Page
Arrest Made in Arson Wednesday Night
Jason Bryan Hale

A man has been charged with arson after setting fire to the home where he lived Wednesday night at 5078 Lower Helton Road near Alexandria.

45 year old Jason Bryan Hale is also charged with assaulting an officer and resisting stop, frisk, halt, arrest, or search. His bond totals $23,000 and his court date is November 30.

Central dispatch received the call at 5:58 p.m. and paged members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department. The caller alerted 911 that someone was still inside the home and that he refused to leave. It was later reported that the man had gone outside the home and was armed with a shotgun.

Sheriff Patrick Ray and officers of the Sheriff’s Department arrived at the scene and took the man (Hale) into custody. It turns out that Hale had no weapon, but he did hit an officer while being moved to safety prior to his arrest.

The home was destroyed in the blaze. The owner of the residence is Ann Greene.

Sheriff Ray said the arson warrant against Hale alleges that “he did knowingly damage the structure of 5078 Lower Helton Road by setting it on fire. Hale did have the intent to destroy the residence”.

In the warrant for assaulting an officer, Sheriff Ray said “a deputy responded to 5078 Lower Helton Road for a structure fire. Upon arrival he made contact with Hale and while trying to move him to safety Hale intentionally and recklessly struck him in the face with his right hand”.

Sheriff Ray said that in the warrant for resisting stop, frisk, and halt, “ a deputy responded to a structure fire and while on the scene as he was placing Hale under arrest for assault, he actively resisted by pulling his arms and not cooperating with lawful commands to put his hands behind his back. Hale was arrested and brought to the jail for booking,” said Sheriff Ray.

Neither the deputy nor anyone else was injured.

In addition to the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, Sheriff’s Department, and DeKalb EMS, members of the Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department and Alexandria Police Chief Chris Russell were called to provide mutual aid support.

Mark Milam to Run for Circuit Court Clerk

November 9, 2017
Dwayne Page
Mark and Pat Milam

Mark Milam has decided to throw his hat in the ring in the race to become the next Circuit Court Clerk of DeKalb County.

Milam told WJLE Tuesday that he plans to be a candidate for his party’s nomination in the DeKalb County Democratic Primary on May 1, 2018.

“After a lot of consideration and prayer, I have decided to run for this office,” Milam said.

Mark and his wife Pat Milam reside on Old West Point Road in the Midway Community. Pat is employed by the DeKalb County School System. For the last 25 years, Mark has served as constable of the 5th district, having been elected to that office seven times. His current term runs through 2020.

“I have really enjoyed serving as constable. I try to be a public servant in any way I can and do what is right,” said Milam.

Mark’s family moved to DeKalb County in 1980 and he started working that year at the former Smithville Food Center where he was later promoted to assistant manager, a position he held until he left the store in 1998 to devote full time to his constable duties, which includes being a civil process server, making deliveries of court documents.

A 1983 graduate of DeKalb County High School, Milam is the father of three grown daughters, Crystal, Jeanie, and Amanda, and he is an active member of the New Life United Pentecostal Church.

Milam praised the incumbent Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack and said he hopes to follow in her footsteps.

“Ms Pack has done a great job. I want to continue the great job she has done. It’s a hard job and it takes a lot of dedication but I have the experience because of my years of working with the courts. I’m at the courthouse probably every day over something and I have had a good working relationship with Ms Pack. I hope people will vote for me,” said Milam.

Carthage Teen Gets 10 Years Judicial Diversion for Aggravated Assault and Burglary

November 8, 2017
Dwayne Page
Jacob Randall Stacy

A Carthage teen indicted in May for various crimes including the rape of another male appeared in DeKalb County Criminal Court Tuesday where he received a ten year sentence on supervised probation. He was granted judicial diversion.

18 year old Jacob Randall Stacy of Cordell Hull Circle, Carthage was named in sealed indictments on charges of rape, burglary, auto burglary, theft under $1,000 (2 counts), and vandalism (2 counts).

During Tuesday’s appearance Stacy entered a plea by criminal information to one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (broom stick from the rape offense) and one count of burglary. All the other offenses were dropped including the rape charge. Stacy received a six year TDOC sentence for the aggravated assault and four years for burglary to run consecutively for a total sentence of ten years but all suspended to supervised probation. He was given jail credit of 250 days from March 2 to November 7, 2017. Stacy was also ordered to pay restitution of $500 to the victim in the burglary and he is under a restraining order to keep away from the victim in the assault case.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that at the time of the offenses Stacy was a juvenile but his case was later transferred from the juvenile court to criminal court so he could be tried as an adult. Prior to his turning 18, Stacy was in the custody of the Department of Children Services.

On the rape charge, the indictment alleged that on or about October 29, 2016 in DeKalb County, Stacy did intentionally and or knowingly engage in unlawful sexual penetration of another male without his consent constituting the offense of rape. Under the criminal information relating to the same offense, the District Attorney General charged that “Stacy on or about October 29, 2016 did unlawfully and intentionally or knowingly cause the victim to reasonably fear imminent bodily injury utilizing a deadly weapon, to wit: a broom stick”.

Meanwhile, on October 17, 2016, Stacy allegedly entered the Mount Zion Baptist Church, not open to the public, with the intent to commit theft, constituting the offense of burglary. From the church, Stacy allegedly stole various food items being under the value of $1,000, constituting the offense of theft. During the break-in, Stacy allegedly caused damage to an interior door and two window screens of the church building.

On the same day, October 17, 2016, Stacy allegedly entered a 1995 Ford F-250 pickup truck with the intent to commit a theft constituting the offense of burglary of a motor vehicle. From the truck, Stacy allegedly stole personal checks, chewing tobacco, and a 10 foot trailer being under the value of $1,000 constituting the offense of theft under $1,000. During the break-in, Stacy allegedly damaged the dashboard and ignition of the truck.

Mya Ruch Named to All Mid-State Cross Country Team

November 8, 2017
Mya Ruch

Mya Ruch was honored Monday, November 6 at the MSCCA Banquet for being named to the All Mid-state Cross Country Team. The Mid State Cross Country Association's banquet was held at Brentwood Academy to recognize and award the top 21 runners in both the A-AA and AAA divisions. Mya was 16th in the A-AA, landing her a position on the Bronze Team. Mya is a sophomore at DeKalb County High School, and this was the second year in a row she received this honor.

Counselors Available to Assist with Insurance Enrollment

November 8, 2017
Dwayne Page

You may visit the Dekalb County Community Health Center/Health Department to receive free, face-to-face assistance with applying for health insurance! Dekalb County Community Health Center/Health Department has a certified application counselor available to assist with applying for insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace for Affordable Care Act plans, TennCare and CoverKids.

Individuals and families may receive help applying, looking at different health insurance plans and enrolling. All health insurance offered through the Marketplace meets the minimum essential coverage requirements.

Counselors will help you learn about plans for which you qualify based on your income and the number of people in your household. You must apply for Marketplace plans during the open enrollment period beginning on November 1, 2017 and running through December 15, 2017. Open enrollment is shorter this year, so make sure you enroll/ renew in time!

You may qualify for a special enrollment period if any of the following happen to you outside of the open enrollment period: losing existing health insurance; moving; getting married; or having a child. You have 60 days from the time of the event to qualify for a special insurance enrollment! Get help throughout the year from your local health center with enrolling in a special enrollment period.

You may also receive assistance with applying for TennCare or CoverKids any time throughout the year.

Call the Dekalb County Community Health Center/Health Department today to see about scheduling an appointment.

Julie Cole
Dekalb County Health Department 615-597-7599

Pody and Carfi Now Look Toward General Election

November 8, 2017
Dwayne Page
Mary Alice Carfi
Mark Pody

The stage is now officially set for the General Election next month to determine who will fill the remaining months of the unexpired term of State Senator Mae Beavers.

Republican Mark Pody and Democrat Mary Alice Carfi each won the nomination for the office in Tuesday’s primaries. Both were unopposed. One of them will be the winner in the General Election set for December 19. District-wide, Pody received 2,562 votes in the GOP primary while Carfi garnered 1,283 votes in the Democratic primary. Six counties make up the 17th State Senatorial District including DeKalb, Cannon, Wilson, Clay, Macon, and Smith

In a very light turnout, (287 voters) Pody received 172 votes in the GOP primary in DeKalb County. Carfi got 111 votes from DeKalb County in the Democratic primary.

The breakdown is as follows:

Pody 172
Carfi 111

Absentee plus early voting:
Pody 93
Carfi 56

Election Day:
Pody 79
Carfi 55

DeKalb County Election Day Results by precinct:
Pody 12
Carfi 7

Pody 6
Carfi 1

Pody 2
Carfi 0

Pody 10
Carfi 5

Carfi 5

Pody 4
Carfi 0

Carfi 7
Pody 5

Pody 7
Carfi 1

Pody 3
Carfi 3

Pody 7
Carfi 0

Carfi 9
Pody 0

Pody 9
Carfi 4

Pody 5
Carfi 5

Pody 3
Carfi 2

Carfi 6
Pody 5

District Wide totals:
DeKalb 142
Cannon 188
Clay 93
Macon 168
Smith 300
Wilson 1,641

DeKalb 111
Cannon 60
Clay 44
Macon 54
Smith 187
Wilson 827

Police Charge Woman For Lying About Assaulting Her Ex-Boyfriend

November 8, 2017
Dwayne Page
Tavia Gayle Cantrell
Matthew Allen Gilles
Justin Glynn Vandergriff
Darrell Wayne Newby

A woman who lied to police claiming she assaulted her ex-boyfriend causing serious injuries has been charged with filing a false report.

19 year old Tavia Gayle Cantrell was arrested on Saturday, October 28. According to the warrant, Cantrell called 911 and made an official report of hurting her ex-boyfriend and leaving him in a near dead state. According to Cantrell, after he attacked her she assaulted him which left him alive but not well. A subsequent investigation revealed that Cantrell had been at his residence earlier but that she had left of her own accord and without incident. Officers located Cantrell’s ex-boyfriend and he was found to be ok. Police charged Cantrell after discovering she had lied to them which tied up emergency resources. Her bond is $6,000 and her court date is November 16.

21 year old Katelyn Michelle Walz was cited for theft of property on Thursday, October 26. Police responded to Dollar General Store where it was discovered that Walz had taken some items and concealed them in her purse. The merchandise was recovered and returned to the store. Her court date is November 16.

18 year old Nikolas Blake Agee was cited for trespassing on Friday, October 27. Police observed Agee hanging out in the parking lot of Hardees after being informed numerous times that he was not allowed to do so. He will make a court appearance on December 5.

31 year old Matthew Allen Gilles was arrested on Saturday, October 28 for violation of bond conditions. According to police, Gilles violated his bond conditions by being at a residence with his victim with whom he is to have no contact. The bond conditions took effect September 29. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is November 9.

26 year old Justin Glynn Vandergriff was arrested on Saturday, October 28 for a second offense of driving on a revoked license. His bond is $3,000 and his court date is November 16. Police observed Vandergriff driving a vehicle east on West Broad Street. Knowing that his drivers license are revoked, the officer stopped Vandergriff who confirmed that his license were still revoked for a DUI. The officer had already cited Vandergriff on September 21 for the same offense (driving on revoked). Vandergriff was taken into custody due to the likelihood that he would continue to drive. His bond is $3,000 and his court date is November 16.

41 year old Darrell Wayne Newby was arrested on Sunday, October 29 for public intoxication and cited for vandalism. Police responded to a report of a possible intoxicated man walking down Allen’s Chapel Road. Upon arrival the officer spoke with Newby who said he didn't know where he was or how he got there. Newby was unsteady on his feet and couldn't keep his balance. The officer also learned that Newby had bent a mailbox till it broke in half and continued walking. Due to his safety and that of others Newby was taken into custody without incident. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is November 16.

36 year old Lillian HSU was cited for theft of property on Thursday, November 2. The day before, on Wednesday, November 1 HSU was at Tractor Supply Company (TSC), went to the cash register, and informed the store associate that he needed to go to his vehicle and retrieve a gift card. On his way out the door he took a 6 foot table to his vehicle. After he returned HSU informed the associate that he wanted to purchase the table along with other items he had. Once he made the purchase HSU left the store taking another table to his vehicle. After the associate and store manager realized that HSU had taken another table without paying for it they went outside and took down his license plate number and filed a report with the police department. Upon investigation, the detective reviewed surveillance video and later cited HSU for theft of property. His court date is November 16.

DESA to Deliver Thanksgiving Meals to Needy

November 8, 2017
Dwayne Page
DESA to Deliver Thanksgiving Meals to Needy

The DeKalb Emergency Services Association (DESA), in partnership with local businesses and volunteers, will be preparing and delivering Thanksgiving Meals to the needy or underserved on Thursday, November 23.

"We feel that this is just another way our local emergency service providers can serve our community. If you or a family member needs a hot meal on Thanksgiving Day, please call one of the numbers listed below to be added to our delivery list. We will need your address, phone number, and number of persons in your household. The meals are scheduled to be delivered between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 Noon," says Association President Blake Cantrell.

DESA will accept names of persons requesting meals through Friday, November 17.

To get your name on the delivery list, call 615-390-0297 or 615-712-4286 or 615-390-0189.

Additionally, if you want to support this community project by donating food items or volunteering your time to prepare meals and/or make deliveries, you can contact any of the phone numbers above.

DCHS Fundraiser set for Coach Jerry Foster at HOF Games

November 7, 2017
Dwayne Page
Coach Jerry Foster

Friends of long time teacher and former DCHS girls basketball Coach Jerry Foster are asked to show their support for him next week during a special fundraiser.

All proceeds from admission and concessions at the DCHS vs Boyd Christian Hall of Fame basketball games Tuesday, November 14 will go to the Jerry Foster Cancer Fund.

Coach Foster was recently diagnosed with Lung Cancer.

“We are trying to help him in his time of need. Please support this fundraiser. We will have a WHITE OUT that night. If you bought a Coach Foster T wear it and if not make sure to wear white. Thanks for your support and can’t wait to see everyone at the game,” said DCHS Lady Tiger Coach Danny Fish.

The girls game tips off that night at 5:30 p.m. followed by the boy's game.

Man Arrested After Threatening Store Clerk

November 7, 2017
Dwayne Page
Lonnie Lynn Wheeler

A would be customer of a local convenience market has been arrested after he pulled a knife in a threatening manner after discovering the store had closed and the clerk wouldn’t let him in.

41 year old Lonnie Lynn Wheeler is charged with aggravated assault, vandalism, resisting arrest, and violation of the ignition interlock device. His bond is $12,500 and his court date is November 16.

Smithville Police report that on Thursday, November 2 an officer was called to Kwik N Ezy after a man threatened the store clerk with a knife. The employee reported that after the store was closed and the doors were locked a man showed up wanting inside. The man became upset when he was not allowed in and pulled a knife from his pocket making a slashing motion across his throat before waving goodbye. The man’s actions caused the store clerk to fear for her life.

According to police, the man (Wheeler), got on a black motorcycle and went across the street to Mapco Express where an officer confronted him in that store. Wheeler was asked if he had any weapons. Wheeler responded by placing his hands in his pockets. The officer ordered Wheeler to remove his hands from his pockets and again asked him if he had any weapons on his person. Wheeler replied that he had a knife. After the officer instructed him to turn around so that he could secure the knife Wheeler became belligerent and got loud. And when asked to step outside and to produce his identification, Wheeler started cussing and became more hostile toward the officer. After threatening to head butt the officer, Wheeler lunged toward him but was restrained on the hood of the patrol car. Wheeler continued to resist by trying to kick the officer several times. After being placed inside the backseat of the patrol car Wheeler kicked out the back passenger side window.

According to police, Wheeler has a DUI conviction from March 6, 2014 and is under a court order to keep an ignition interlock device on his vehicle and to have a valid driver's license. The motorcycle that Wheeler was operating did not have an interlock device on it which invalidated his license.


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