Local News Articles

Tommy Webb to Speak at Memorial Day Program

May 17, 2017
Dwayne Page
Tommy Webb

The community is encouraged to rally in a show of support for fallen heroes during a Memorial Day program Monday morning, May 29 at the DeKalb County Complex.

The guest speaker will be DeKalb County Historian Tommy Webb.

Sponsored by the American Legion #122, the entertainment program will begin at 9:30 a.m. with special music by Susan Hinton followed by the main program at 10:00 a.m. featuring the National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, and prayers. Commander William Edmonds will make welcome remarks and Judy Redmon of the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary will remember the fallen and introduce the guest speaker. Ronnie Redmon, Post Adjutant of the American Legion Post #122 will adjourn the program at the complex after which attendees will be asked to gather at the veteran’s memorial monument at the courthouse for the laying of a wreath and taps by DCHS band student Josh Moon.

School Transportation Supervisor Jimmy Sprague, from the School Bus Garage, will have a bus to transport anyone who wants to ride to the courthouse from the county complex.

Murphy Awarded for Best Essay During D.A.R.E. Graduation at Northside Elementary School

May 17, 2017
Dwayne Page
Chief Deputy Don Adamson, General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook, II, DAREN THE LION (D.A.R.E. mascot), Best Essay winner Briahna Murphy, and Sheriff Patrick Ray.
Northside Elementary School D.A.R.E. Essay winners: Micah Gandy, Maleah Ruch, Caroline Tobitt, Jazmine Wagner, Lilly Waggoner, Briahna Murphy, Melanie Bogle, and Ella Pack

Fifth graders at Northside Elementary School received certificates during the annual D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony held today (Wednesday).

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program was conducted by D.A.R.E. Instructor and Chief Deputy Don Adamson of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Each student prepares an essay during the course and those with the best essays from each class are recognized and awarded. This year's essay winners at Northside are:

Briahna Murphy from Kristy Lasser’s class
Lilly Waggoner from Travis Little’s class
Melanie Bogle from Carrie Gottlied's class
Maleah Ruch from Kristen Rowland’s class
Ella Pack from Alisha Day's class
Jazmine Wagner from Josh Odom's class
Caroline Tobitt from Melissa Odom's class
Micah Gandy from Cheryl Vandagriff’s class

Briahna Murphy was the over-all essay winner. In addition to the award, prizes, and recognition, Murphy gets to keep a plush "Daren the Lion" the D.A.R.E. Mascot. General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook, II presented Murphy a check for $50.

D.A.R.E. is a cooperative effort by the DeKalb Sheriff's Department, DeKalb County School System, parents, and the community.

Other officials present for the ceremony were Northside Principal Karen Knowles, Assistant Principal Beth Pafford, Guidance Counselor Dr. Linda Bush, Director of Schools Patrick Cripps, County Mayor Tim Stribling, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss, Assessor of Property Shannon Cantrell, Road Supervisor Butch Agee. Other members of the Sheriff's department were also in attendance along with Sheriff Patrick Ray, Chief Deputy Adamson, and a real life Daren the Lion

Tigerettes Play Tonight (Wednesday) for Region Tournament Title

May 17, 2017
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tigerettes will meet Macon County tonight (Wednesday) for the Region Tournament Championship.

The game starts at 6:00 p.m. at the Danny Bond Field at DCHS.

This will be the fifth meeting between these teams this season. The Tigerettes are 4-0 against Macon County with scores of 9-3, 9-0, 10-6, and 7-0 in the District Tournament Championship game.

The Tigerettes are 28-5 on the season.

WJLE will have LIVE coverage of the game

SES Cautions Customers to Beware of Electric Bill Scam

May 17, 2017
Dwayne Page

Some business customers of Smithville Electric System have been targeted in a scam in which callers demand payment of overdue bills under threat of having their power turned off.

“We have had 6 businesses this morning (Tuesday) receive a call from a 1-866 number saying if they don’t pay their electric bill within the hour their power will be disconnected,” said Vicky Snow, Office Manager of Smithville Electric System.

Smithville Electric System urges customers who receive suspicious billing calls to avoid giving out any information, hang up and call the SES office if you have questions.

Woman used drugs, passed out in hot car with two year old child

May 16, 2017
Dwayne Page
Stacey Lee Woods
Brian Christopher Wigley

A 30 year old Smithville woman who admitted to taking drugs was found passed out with a two year old child in the car with her on a hot spring day last Thursday.

Stacey Lee Woods of Jerry Walker Road, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence and child abuse or neglect. Her bond is $7,500 and her court date is set for June 8.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, May 11 a deputy was called to Short Mountain Highway due to a woman passed out in a vehicle with a child in the back seat. Upon arrival the officer found that all the windows on the vehicle were closed except for the driver side window which was open about an inch. The vehicle was not running and the temperature outside was 81 degrees. After about one minute of beating on the door and the window, the officer got Woods awake and out of the vehicle. Woods showed signs of intoxication which included slurred speech and she was unsteady on her feet. Woods also performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. She admitted to having taking xanax and Zoloft before she began driving.

According to Sheriff Ray, Woods’ actions placed the life of the child in imminent danger.

Meanwhile, 34 year old Brian Christopher Wigley of Upper Helton Road, Alexandria is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and his court date is May 18.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, May 10 a detective was sent to a residence on a domestic call. He spoke with a woman there who said that when she returned from taking another person to a doctor’s appointment, she noticed the door open to the residence. As she walked up to the door, the woman called out Wigley’s name. He came to the door screaming and cussing at her. Wigley told the woman that he would rather knock her teeth down her throat than to look at her. She then left to call 911. Wigley was placed under arrest.

DeKalb Adult High School Served 16 Students This Year

May 16, 2017
Dwayne Page
Susan Hinton

Susan Hinton, Adult High School Leader and Program Supervisor, gave her annual report to the Board of Education and the Director of Schools Thursday night.

Hinton said a total of sixteen students were served during the 2016-17 school year and three graduated. Several more students should be able to complete courses to graduate this summer or early fall.

“This year we served sixteen students. We had credits earned by those students, 37 classes which is a lot. We have had three graduate to date and we have two or three more that are very close. One young man plans to graduate this summer,” she said.

Hinton then read a portion of “Why is Adult Education Important to me?” from a student’s point of view.

“Adult education has helped me so much in my life. It is giving me the chance to actually do well and do something for myself. You get a lot of one on one attention and that is what some people need. I know that if I stayed in high school I would not have had the chance to graduate when I was supposed to, but now I have that chance. Mrs. Susan has helped my life tremendously and gives me encouragement to do better. Adult education is important to people, especially to people with children and students who are currently in school and dropped out with just a few courses to complete. Some people do not have the time to come to school full time so letting students do it at their own pace or time or even on computers at home while maintaining a full time job or other commitments is still an efficient way to get an education. People need to know someone cares and that is what Adult Education does for us. It gives us encouragement to strive to do better. I believe in adult education for all these reasons. It helps us a lot to know that we can still get an education. Thanks for your support for adult education. We need it."

Hinton then read part of another student’s viewpoint called “How can you make your life better?

“Finally, in your life your only struggle may be getting out of your pajamas or it could be stress because you want a higher position at your job. Whatever it is never feel like you’re alone or you can’t accomplish something because we all feel like that at some point even if deep down we know we can. Never give up on getting your diploma."

In writing to the students, Hinton said in part, “I know that my parents told me as a young girl, “Get your education!. No one can take that away from you.” It has been a source of income for me for well over forty five years now, but it is more than a source of income. My education career is a gift from God and a mission as well. I have to do the best I can for each and every one of these students. It is not only the least I can do but it is my calling and destiny. We were reminded in in-service one year by a visiting minister who said he believed a teacher should not teach one day if he didn’t feel called by God. I discovered that is not only a calling, but a work that has to be weeded, hoed, and planted. It is a new beginning for me each and every school year. These adult high school students are the seeds of our future in our town. They deserve the best I have to offer and my encouragement and support. One student is worth saving, and so I begin my 46th year of teaching. I think it is a pretty remarkable thing considering the fact that I hated attending school when I was growing up and couldn’t wait to be through. Thanks to teachers who invested time in me and kept reminding me, “You would be a great teacher. I think this is a career you should consider.”

Hinton concluded her remarks by reading a portion of a poem called “Don’t Quit”.

“Success is a failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you can never tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worst
That you must not quit”

“I want to say thank you for your support and for the wonderful principals at DCHS as well as the Counselors at the high school, the DeKalb County Board of Education members, parents/families of our students, many of whom work full-time or have part-time employment or other responsibilities, and our Director of Schools, Mr. Patrick Cripps,” said Hinton.

Algood Police Officer Involved in Wreck on Broad Street

May 16, 2017
Dwayne Page
Algood Police Officer Christopher Ferguson of Jamestown was traveling east on Highway 70 in an Algood city police car, a 2015 Dodge Charger
James Cryer of Dowelltown was driving a 2001 Chevy Blazer
Another view of James Cryer's Blazer

Three people including an Algood city police officer were involved in a two vehicle crash Monday evening on West Broad Street in front of Tractor Supply.

The officer, 32 year old Christopher Ferguson of Jamestown was traveling east on Highway 70 in an Algood city police car, a 2015 Dodge Charger. He was reportedly returning from training in Murfreesboro.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, 69 year old James Cryer of Dowelltown, driving a 2001 Chevy Blazer, was entering Broad Street from Glen’s Auto Sales when he pulled into the path of Ferguson’s patrol car causing the cruiser to hit the left rear of the Blazer. The impact forced the Blazer to rotate counter clockwise ejecting the driver, Cryer. The Blazer continued rotating, striking the curb on the west side of the roadway causing it to rollover.

Mr. Cryer was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. 78 year old Rena Cryer of Dowelltown, a front seat passenger of the Blazer, was taken by DeKalb EMS to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital. Officer Ferguson was not injured.

Ferguson and Ms. Cryer were wearing their seatbelts. Mr. Cryer was not.

The accident remains under investigation by Trooper Tommy Cooper and Lieutenant Billy Prater of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Members of the Smithville Police and Fire Departments were also on the scene.

Man Fires Shots After Assaulting His Girlfriend and Sister during Domestic Dispute

May 15, 2017
Dwayne Page
Nathan Joe Trapp
Taylor Nicole Hensley

A Magness Road man was arrested last week after he assaulted his girlfriend and then fired gunshots at his sister who was trying to intervene in the dispute.

33 year old Nathan Joe Trapp of Magness Road, Smithville is under a $10,000 bond and his court date is May 25.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Tuesday, May 9 two deputies were dispatched to a residence on Magness Road due to a report of a physical domestic with shots fired. Trapp had already left the home by the time the officers arrived.

The deputies spoke with Trapp’s sister who said that Trapp had called wanting her to bring him some butterfly bandages for his head. Trapp’s sister arrived at the residence and heard a woman screaming. She then opened the door and saw Trapp hitting his girlfriend, 22 year old Taylor Nicole Hensley, in the head with a pistol. After trying to put Taylor in a head lock, Trapp placed the gun to her head and said he was going to shoot her. He then pointed the gun at his sister and said he was going to shoot her too. Trapp’s sister called for him to let Taylor go. Trapp then came at his sister, picked her up by her throat, and carried her out the door. Once outside the door, he shoved his sister down the steps. Trapp’s sister got into her vehicle and drove next door to call 911. As she was leaving, Trapp came out the door, pointed the gun at his sister, and fired several shots at her. She was not hit by the gunfire.

Trapp was arrested the following day, Wednesday May 10.

During the investigation, deputies learned that Hensley, a resident of Floyd Drive Smithville, is wanted in Tarrant, Texas on an active warrant. She was charged with being a fugitive from justice and is under a $75,000 bond. Her court date is May 25th. Texas authorities plan to extradite her back there.

Fugitive Wanted on Florida Cocaine Charge Arrested in DeKalb County

May 15, 2017
Dwayne Page
Vickie Lynn Holliman

A woman wanted in Florida on a cocaine charge was arrested last week in DeKalb County and charged with being a fugitive from justice.

53 year old Vickie Lynn Holliman of Eagle Creek Road, Smithville is under a $75,000 bond and her court date is May 25.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, May 8 Holliman was found at a residence on Eagle Creek Road and determined to be a fugitive from justice.

A check through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) revealed that Holliman is wanted in Hillsboro County, Florida for conspiracy to traffic cocaine. Florida authorities have confirmed that they will extradite Holliman.

Meanwhile in a separate case, 28 year old Henry Thomas Butler of Saw Mill Road, Liberty is charged with a third offense of driving while licensed revoked. He was further issued a citation for expired vehicle registration. His bond is $4,000 and his court date is June 18. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, May 8 a deputy was patrolling west on Highway 70 when he spotted a white Chrysler car bearing an expired license tag. The officer made a traffic stop and spoke with the driver, Butler. A driver license check revealed that Butler’s license were revoked for failure to show proof of insurance in Smith County. He has two prior offenses for driving on a revoked license. Those offenses occurred on December 2, 2008 and May 1, 2014.

Man Responsible for Crash Charged with Vehicular Assault

May 15, 2017
Dwayne Page
Christopher Keith Lane Derrick
1996 Chevy Monte Carlo driven by Christopher Keith Lane Derrick
2005 Chevy Classic driven by Alex B. Huber

A man believed to be responsible for a head-on crash and then leaving the scene Friday afternoon on East Broad Street was later apprehended and is now facing vehicular assault and other charges.

Smithville Police Chief Mark Collins said 21 year old Christopher Keith Lane Derrick of 323 Jackson Street Smithville is under a $15,000 bond and he will be in court on June 8th.


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_23.pdf (3.95 MB)

According to police, Derrick was driving east on Broad Street in a 1996 Chevy Monte Carlo when he crossed into the westbound lane and struck an oncoming 2005 Chevy Classic driven by Alex B. Huber. Dustin Allen Sullivan and Ryan Powell were passengers with Derrick. Huber and Sullivan were taken by DeKalb EMS to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital. Powell refused transport by EMS to the hospital.

Witnesses said that after the crash, Derrick fled the scene on foot carrying a green and white bag heading north into the woods between Eastside Inn and Caney Fork Electric Cooperative.

Smithville Police Officers, assisted by DeKalb County Sheriff’s Deputies, set up a perimeter and conducted a foot search. Derrick was subsequently found and placed under arrest. Derrick had suffered a large cut near his right knee and across his leg. His speech was slurred and he was very unsteady on his feet. According to police, Derrick needed help at times to maintain his balance. Field sobriety tasks were not administered due to Derrick’s injuries. He was then transported by DeKalb EMS to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital. A search warrant was obtained to get a blood sample from Derrick after he refused to voluntarily submit to a blood test.

In addition to vehicular assault, Derrick is charged with evading arrest, violation of the registration law and financial responsibility, driving without a license, failure to yield the right of way, and violation of the implied consent law.

Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department were also on the scene.

In other recent city crime news, 46 year old Juan F. Rodriguez was arrested on Saturday, May 6 for DUI and cited for implied consent and failing to come to a complete stop at an intersection. Police initiated a routine traffic stop and spoke with the driver, Rodriguez. The officer noticed that Rodriguez had blood shot eyes and a smell of alcohol on his person. He submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. Rodriguez was then taken into custody without incident but he refused to give a blood sample. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is May 18.

45 year old DeWayn Amon Shoemake was cited on Sunday, May 7 for criminal trespassing and theft of property. According to police, Shoemake went onto the property of his victim after being told not to be there. Police learned that Shoemake had taken a tire off the victim's car and left with it. After removing the tire from the rim, Shoemake was later discovered trying to put the rim back on the car. His court date is May 18.

Dana Seborn Cantrell was arrested on Monday, May 8 for DUI. Police responded to the parking lot of Rite Aid Pharmacy where a man was found slumped over the steering wheel of a vehicle with the driver's door open. Upon arrival, police found Cantrell slumped over the steering wheel, his keys in the ignition, and the vehicle was still running. The officer awoke Cantrell and asked him to get out of the car. Cantrell’s speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet. Cantrell submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. Police learned that Cantrell had taken prescription medication a couple of hours before operating his vehicle. Cantrell’s bond is $1,500 and his court date is June 8.

56 year old Donald Gene Rigsby was arrested Tuesday, May 9 for public intoxication. Police were called to Subway where a man on a bicycle ran into a vehicle as it was leaving the parking lot. The officer spoke with the man on the bicycle, Rigsby who had just opened a Miller High Life beer. Rigsby was unsteady on his feet, had an odor of alcohol on his person, and he couldn't keep his eyes open. Rigsby was determined to be a danger to himself and the public and he was taken into custody. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is June 8.

The following day, Wednesday May 10 Rigsby was cited for violation of the open container law. While on routine patrol, a police officer observed Rigsby walking on East Church Street trying to hide and conceal something under his shirt. The officer stopped Rigsby and asked him what was under his shirt. He produced an open can of beer. His city court date is June 6.

45 year old Richard Brandon Turner was arrested on Wednesday, May 10 for public intoxication and cited for simple possession. At approximately 10:30 p.m. police spotted a man lying on the side of the road near Wal-Mart on West Broad Street. The officer stopped to do a welfare check and found the man to be Turner. Upon approaching Turner, the officer could smell a strong odor of alcohol on his person. When the officer awoke him, Turner tried to stand up and almost fell several times. Due to Turner being intoxicated and being so close to the highway he was placed under arrest for his safety. Turner’s bond is $1,500 and his court date is May 18.


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