Local News Articles

Five Local Families Evacuated Due to Flooding

November 7, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Home in Dowelltown surrounded by flood waters
Truck caught in rising creek water in Liberty

Heavy rains overnight caused flooding problems in DeKalb County forcing five families from their homes. No one was injured.

Dustin Johnson, Captain of the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad said the first call came in at around 3 a.m. from central dispatch reporting that someone on Main Street in Dowelltown was caught in their car by rising waters. “By the time we got there that person had made it out of their car and back to the house. But we had to go back later and evacuate them from their home. From there we got another call on County House Road off McMinnville Highway where a family needed to be evacuated from a trailer. Afterwards, we came back to Dowelltown where we helped a total of four families from their homes on West Main Street,” said Johnson.

The Dowelltown United Methodist Church opened it doors to provide shelter to the evacuees and the American Red Cross arrived to offer them assistance.

The local rescue squad and Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Charlie Parker were assisted by members of the TWRA and the Warren, Smith, and White County Rescue Squads who were called to provide mutual aid support. Although there were no home evacuations in Liberty, at least three vehicles were caught in the flood waters.

“According to the National Weather Service DeKalb County had from 4-6 inches of rain in just a few short hours,” said EMA Coordinator Parker. “Many county roads were impassable and there was street flooding in the Smithville area and on Highway 56 south. Members of the sheriff’s department, EMS, Smithville Police Department, local firefighters, county highway department and TDOT crews either came out or were available to provide assistance if needed. Although the water is now receding there are still some problem areas especially on county roads at Temperance Hall, Hickman, and Dowelltown along Smith Fork Creek,” said Parker.

Parker advises motorists to continue to exercise caution.

Election Day Has Arrived in State Senate Primary

November 7, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Mary Alice Carfi
Mark Pody

Although the outcome is already known today (November 7) is election day in the 17th Senatorial District Special Primary.

Two candidates are seeking to fill the remaining months of the unexpired term of former State Senator Mae Beavers, who is now running for Governor.

Mark Pody is unopposed for the Republican nomination. Mary Alice Carfi is unopposed for the Democratic nomination. The general election will be December 19.

Voting at all fifteen precincts in the county will be today from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Only 147 of the 10,084 active voters in DeKalb County took advantage of early voting for today’s primary

Thursday was the last day for early voting.

“We knew the turnout would be low because this phase of the balloting was a primary and neither candidate was opposed. In addition, people are just not accustomed to voting in odd-numbered years,” said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections. “As for election day, the turnout may be a little better, but far below the normal number of voters.”

But election officials are anticipating a larger turnout for the General Election, which is set for December 19th.

“Because the candidates will be squaring off against each other, we anticipate a better turnout for the General balloting, Stanley said. “And the fact that election day is so close to Christmas, we anticipate a much better turnout for early voting.”

New Animal Shelter Takes In 25 Animals on First Day in Business

November 6, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Animal Coalition Shelter Director Megan Moore and President Marsha Darrah

The first day of operation for the new DeKalb Animal Coalition Shelter Monday proved to be a busy one.

“Today was our first day open officially and we took in 25 animals,” said Megan Moore, Director of the local shelter who addressed the Smithville Mayor and Aldermen during their regular monthly meeting Monday night.

The shelter initially began taking in strays from people who had already been in contact with the coalition needing to re-home those animals.

“Our hours are Monday through Friday from Noon until 4 and Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon. Our adoption fees are $90 for unaltered dogs with a $50 refundable deposit included and $40 for altered dogs. Cats are $30 for unaltered and $20 for altered cats. We do take cats. We are a limited intake shelter but we will intake as long as we have room. We’re not going to euthanize for space or time spent. We have a wait list and when an animal gets adopted we’ll call the next person on the list. Right now we have multiple litters. We have puppies about four days old. Hopefully they will continue to do well with their moms. We also have kittens that are still nursing. If we have any issues with that we’ll need to find foster homes,” said Moore.

More donations and volunteers are also needed. “We accept donations including food, cat litter, blankets, towels, etc. We also ask for monetary donations for the surrender of a pet or a stray. We have a part time guy (James Wilkerson) and he is doing great but we need volunteers to help. Hopefully we’ll get more volunteers there on a daily basis. If you would like to volunteer you can drop by the shelter and pick up an application. Our address is 186 Transfer Station Road,” said Moore.

Customers will soon be able to see what the shelter has to offer through “Pet Finder” and “Adopt a Pet” and a “Pet of the Week” will be featured on Facebook.

As for a grand opening, Moore said that date will be set once the engraved bricks, purchased by supporters of the shelter are laid in the front of the building around the walk way.

City officials said the old shelter on Smith Road will soon be demolished now that the new shelter is open.

Security Camera Helps Sheriff's Department Catch Jeep Thief

November 6, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Billy Eugene Cook

A man has been charged with theft of property over $1,000 after he was caught on camera stealing a 1998 Jeep Cherokee.

48 year old Billy Eugene Cook of Toad Road, Dowelltown is under a $20,000 bond and his court date is November 16.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Sunday, November 5 a deputy was called to a residence on Nixon Way where a woman reported her vehicle stolen.

Video from a security camera showed Cook entering the property, getting in the vehicle and driving away. Cook was later found at Evans Manor Apartments with the keys to the stolen vehicle in his pocket. He was placed under arrest.

Three Arrested During Probation Search After Officers Find Drugs

November 6, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Christopher Allen Scruggs
Angela Jean Atnip
Levi Thomas Felton
Crystal Dawn Barber

Two people were found with methamphetamine, pills, drug paraphernalia, and prohibited weapons last week after officers showed up at a residence on Page Drive to serve a warrant and to conduct a probation search. Another person there was also taken into custody.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL- Intakes & Releases From: 10/30/2017 Thru: 11/06/2017)

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_46.pdf (3.39 MB)

39 year old Angela Jean Atnip of Green Hill Road and 42 year old Christopher Allen Scruggs of Page Drive Smithville are each charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell or deliver and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance (Klonopin). Both were also cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. Atnip was further charged with criminal impersonation and Scruggs has an additional citation for possession of prohibited weapons. Bond for Scruggs is $30,000 and $11,500 for Atnip. Scruggs will make a court appearance on November 9. Atnip will be in court on December 7.

The third person, 22 year old Levi Thomas Felton of Bethel Road, Smithville is charged with filing a false report and illegal possession of a weapon. He was further cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond totals $9,000 and his court date is December 7.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Wednesday, November 1 deputies went to Scrugg’s residence on Page Drive to serve a warrant on Atnip. Upon arrival the officers first spoke with Felton who told them he was alone there. However Scruggs and Atnip were found in the home. Atnip was trying to hide under a bed. She identified herself to officers as Angela Walker and gave an erroneous birth date and social security number. After a computer check revealed the information was false, Atnip was positively identified by a photo ID.

While conducting a probation search, deputies found in the bedroom of Scruggs and Atnip seven grams of a crystal like substance which field tested positive for methamphetamine. The meth was found in two separate bags packed among several smaller baggies. Forty six blue round pills believed to be Klonopin were also found in the bedroom along with a glass straw.

Scruggs had in his possession four knives, each with blades exceeding four inches. Eleven hypodermic needles, a spoon, and four pipes were also found along with $251 dollars which was confiscated as suspected proceeds from illegal drug sales.

During the search officers discovered a pistol in the couch where Felton had been sitting before being ordered by deputies to stand. Also found in Felton’s hoodie was a methamphetamine pipe containing a white powdery substance believed to be methamphetamine.

In a separate case, 41 year old Crystal Dawn Barber of Pumpkin Hollow Road, Liberty is charged with possession of methamphetamine for sale or delivery. She was also cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. Barber's bond is $5,000 and her court date is December 7.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, November 2 deputies went to Barber’s home to serve a warrant. During a subsequent probation search, Barber was found with a cigarette pack containing 1.1 grams of a crystal like substance believed to be methamphetamine. Four glass pipes and several syringes were also found in the home containing a white substance believed to be methamphetamine.

Brewer Charged with Escape

November 6, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Dustin Matthew Brewer
Dustin Allen Pedigo
Braxton Kain Bennett

A man placed under arrest last week on a probation warrant fled on foot but was caught shortly thereafter.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL- Intakes & Releases From: 10/30/2017 Thru: 11/06/2017)

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_46.pdf (3.39 MB)

29 year old Dustin Matthew Brewer of Gentry Avenue, Smithville is charged with escape. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is November 16.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that Brewer, while handcuffed and in custody, ran away on foot from law enforcement officers on Gentry Avenue but they caught up with him nearby.

The probation warrant was for a violation of conditions pertaining to community corrections.

27 year old Dustin Allen Pedigo of King Ridge Road, Dowelltown is charged with theft of property under $1,000. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is November 9.

Sheriff Ray said that on April 2 Pedigo took several antique items belonging to a family member including signs, jars, containers, and books valued at approximately $600.

20 year old Braxton Kain Bennett of Smith Road, Smithville is charged with assault. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is November 16.

Sheriff Ray said that on August 31 while incarcerated in the DeKalb County Jail Bennett intentionally assaulted another inmate by hitting him in the back of the head several times with his fist. The charge was filed by a correctional officer.

DCHS All Region Football Selections Announced

November 6, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Coach Steve Trapp, David Bradford, Bradley Miller, Tyler Cantrell, Paxton Butler; Back Row: Braxton Linder, Gage Delape, Nick May, and Assistant Coach Thomas Cagle. Jesse Smith (not pictured)

Eight members of the DCHS Football Team and an assistant coach have received All Region 3 Class 4A Honors.

Tigers receiving special awards are as follows:

Most Outstanding Tight End: Braxton Linder

Most Outstanding Returner: Paxton Butler

Most Outstanding Defensive Back: Bradley Miller

DCHS Assistant Coach Thomas Cagle received Special Teams Coach of the Year in Region 3

Named to the All Region 1st Team from DCHS are:

Jesse Smith, Nick May, and Gage Delape

Named to the All Region 2nd Team from DCHS are:

Tyler Cantrell and David Bradford

Nicole Wright to run for Circuit Court Clerk

November 6, 2017
Nicole Wright with husband Jeff

The first Democratic candidate for DeKalb County Circuit Court Clerk is making her intentions known.

Nicole Wright told WJLE this week that she intends to seek the Democratic nomination for the office in the May 1, 2018 primary.

“I grew up in the Keltonburg community and have been a life-long resident of DeKalb County. My husband Jeff Wright and I reside in Smithville with our two daughters Jenna, 12, and Lydia, 5. Jeff has been an active member of the Smithville Fire-Rescue Department for over 30 years, and is currently employed by the Murfreesboro Fire- Rescue Department where he serves as the Training Coordinator.”

“I graduated from DeKalb County High School. I began serving the citizens of DeKalb County in 1995 at DeKalb County Ambulance Service as an Emergency Medical Technician. I later worked at the DeKalb Sheriff’s Department as a 911 dispatcher, the City of Smithville Police Department as a police and fire dispatcher, and as a DeKalb E-911 dispatcher. I worked for Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack from 2006 to 2011 as a Deputy Clerk. I worked as the office administrator for Jeremy D. Trapp, Attorney from 2011 to August, 2017 where I gained valuable knowledge and experience working in the law. I returned to work for Katherine Pack in the Circuit Court Clerk’s office as a Deputy Clerk in September, 2017.”

“Public service has been at the center of my employment most of my adult life. I have always enjoyed working with and for the citizens of DeKalb County. I am seeking this position because I want to continue the integrity and efficiency this office has worked so hard for during Mrs. Katherine’s reign as clerk. The years of experience that I have under her leadership will allow me to keep this office moving forward providing the best services available for the people of DeKalb County.”

Susan Martin Announces GOP Bid for Circuit Court Clerk

November 5, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Susan Martin Announces GOP Bid for Circuit Court Clerk

A republican has announced plans to run for DeKalb County Circuit Court Clerk in 2018

Susan Martin of Alexandria told WJLE Saturday that she intends to seek the GOP nomination for the office in the August 2018 DeKalb County General Election.

The DeKalb County Republican Party selects its nominees for the general election by caucus.

Martin, a court reporter, is a lifelong resident of DeKalb County. She and her husband Shane Martin are the parents of three children, 27 year old Hope Cripps, 20 year old Brooke Martin, and 7 year old Lance Martin.

Susan is a graduate of DeKalb County High School. She earned her court reporting degree at the Tennessee Career College in Donelson. Martin has been a court reporter for twelve years, including five years in private practice. Her husband Shane is employed by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department as an officer.

Martin and her husband attended the fall picnic Saturday at Green Brook Park, hosted by the DeKalb County Republican Party.

The election commission will begin issuing petitions for the following offices on November 17: Road Supervisor, County Mayor, Circuit Court Clerk, Sheriff, Register of Deeds, County Clerk, and Trustee and for the county commission in each of the seven districts (two per district for a total of 14).

DeKalb County Democrats will be nominating candidates for county offices in a primary set for May 1, 2018.

Democratic nominees will face any Republican and or Independent challengers in the August, 2018 general election. The DeKalb County Republican Party will be choosing its nominees by caucus. The qualifying deadline for all candidates will be the same, NOON February 15, 2018.

Reed Edge to Seek GOP Nomination for Road Supervisor

November 5, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Reed Edge to Seek GOP Nomination for Road Supervisor

The first republican has stepped forward to announce plans to run for DeKalb County Road Supervisor.

Reed Edge told WJLE Saturday that he intends to seek the GOP nomination in the August 2018 DeKalb County General Election.

The DeKalb County Republican Party selects its nominees by caucus.

Edge is the son of former Road Supervisor Kenny Edge and the late Janice Davis Edge. He and his wife Sonya reside in the Dry Creek community. Her parents are Shelie “Pee Wee” and Pam Aksew of the Lower Helton community. The Edges have four daughters, Rachel and Destiny Edge and Alexis and Olivia Nokes.

“I just want to continue to do the good work that my dad started. I’ve had a great teacher and I plan to follow his example of efficiency, hard work, dedication and continued service to the people of DeKalb County bringing their roads to as good a standard as possible with the money available without asking for a tax increase. We’ll make it work to help the people of the county,” said Edge.

Edge and his wife attended the fall picnic Saturday hosted by the DeKalb County Republican Party.

Meanwhile, Danny Hale of Liberty, who also attended the picnic, told WJLE that he is considering a run for Road Supervisor as a Republican but is not making any formal announcement at this time.

The election commission will begin issuing petitions for the following offices on November 17: Road Supervisor, County Mayor, Circuit Court Clerk, Sheriff, Register of Deeds, County Clerk, and Trustee and for the county commission in each of the seven districts (two per district for a total of 14).

DeKalb County Democrats will be nominating candidates for county offices in a primary set for May 1, 2018.

Democratic nominees will face any Republican and or Independent challengers in the August, 2018 general election. The DeKalb County Republican Party will be choosing its nominees by caucus. The qualifying deadline for all candidates will be the same, NOON February 15, 2018.

Road Supervisor candidates must also meet the statutory deadline for filing with the Tennessee Highways Officials Certification Board.

In order to be certified, a candidate for county road supervisor must:

(1) Be a graduate of an accredited school of engineering, with at least 2 years’ experience in highway construction or maintenance; or

(2) Be licensed to practice engineering in Tennessee; or

(3) Have at least 4 years’ experience in a supervisory capacity in highway construction or maintenance; or

(4) Have a combination of education and experience equivalent to either (1) or (2).

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