Local News Articles

DeKalb Animal Coalition Shelter to Open Monday, No Grand Opening Date Yet Set

October 31, 2017
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Animal Coalition Shelter Director Megan Moore and President Marsha Darrah
DeKalb Animal Coalition Shelter to Open Monday, No Grand Opening Date Yet Set

The long awaited DeKalb Animal Coalition Shelter will open for business on Monday, November 6.

No ribbon cutting or grand opening date has yet been set.

“We’re calling this a soft opening until we have our official grand opening but we will be open starting Monday, November 6. We will begin taking in animals from the people who have already been in contact with us that need to re-home those stray animals,” said Megan Moore, Director of the local shelter in an interview with WJLE.

“We will be open to the public from noon until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. We will be taking animals in between noon and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturdays. People who want to adopt need to call first at 615-597-1363,” said Moore.

As for the grand opening, Coalition President Marsha Darrah said the date will be set once the engraved bricks, purchased by supporters of the shelter have arrived and are laid. “We are supposed to get those on November 1st. We want those down before we do our Grand Opening. They will be placed in the front of the building around the walk way,” said Darrah.

The new shelter has 20 runs for dogs and 12 cages for cats. “We have 20 runs. Depending on compatibility and the size of animals, if they are all big dogs, we can have 20 dogs. If they are little dogs, compatible we can possibly have up to 40. We also have 12 cages for cats. Hopefully that will be expanded within the next couple of years. We also have a quarantine area for animals if we are not sure of their medical condition,” said Moore.

A city employee, Moore will have a part time assistant, James Wilkerson helping her at the shelter. Volunteers and donations are also needed. “As always, we appreciate your donations. We accept monetary donations and we encourage you to sign up as a volunteer," said Moore

DCHS Recognizes Students Excelling in ACT Readiness

October 31, 2017
21+ Club –
29+ Club –

DeKalb County High School is working to recognize students making strides on the ACT test. As part, of the TN Department of Education’s Tennessee Succeeds initiative, the state is working to increase the state average for student ACT scores to 21 by the year 2020. The current ACT average at DCHS is 18.8. The ACT serves as a gateway to college and career readiness in Tennessee, determining students’ eligibility for the HOPE scholarship, requirements for postsecondary remedial or developmental coursework, and sometimes entry-level salary. At DCHS, they have created a 21+ Club for students that have met the ACT readiness benchmark. This club currently contains 103 students. They also have a 29+ club which includes 7 students that have scored a 29 or higher on their ACT. The are very proud of these students and wish to recognize their hard work.

21+ Club (TOP PHOTO)
Row 1: Mackenzie Partridge, Maggie Robinson, Abby Evans, Kayla Belk, Hannah Brown, Gage Delape, Emily Burklow, Madison Cripps, Jasmine Parker, Will Stephens.

Row 2: Justin Trapp, Tyree Cripps, Brady Driver, Savannah Belcher, Hunter Jennings, Colter Norris, Emme Colwell, Maddison Parsley.

Row 3: Olivia Fuson, Ethan Jenkins, Trey Fuston, Lance Davis, Hailey Redmon, Savannah West, Jaimie Alexander, Jayla Angaran, Madison Whitehead, Callie Mulloy, Anna Rachel Blair.

Row 4: William Dowling, Ami Patel, Andrew Fuson, Marshall Evins, Seth Pack, Ana Amaya, Laiza Martinez, Allison Maynard, Hannah Evans, Logan Painter.

Row 5: Mark Mace, Nathaniel Snell, Jarad Henry, Kyle Justice, Hunter Speaks, Hannah Willingham, Mya Ruch, Carly Vance, Meghan Brandt, Kelsie Merriman.

Row 6: Zachary Atnip, Griffin Goldstein, Ethan Jennings, Kaitlyn Cantrell, Kyleigh White-Turbeville, Kayli White, Hannah Anderson, Sophie Cripps, Chloe Sykes, Madison Judkins.

Row 7: Lee Randolph, Pablo Juarez-Garcia, Ethan Dies, Lydia Brown, Madi Cantrell, Macy Hedge, Dulce Maciel, Malone Fletcher, Braya Murphy.

Row 8: Derek Young, Isaac Walker, Ethan Cantrell, Bradley Miller, Braxton Linder, Nicholas May, Cody Hale, Holly Evans, Daniel Puckett.

Row 9: Trey Jones, Faith Judkins, Robin Pafford, Austin Johnson, Breanna Gibson, Makayla Cornett-Bain, Santanna Ferrell.

Row 10: Gage Bowman, Adrian Lucci, Billy Carpenter, Jacob Frazier, Ethan Martin, Grace Godowns, Eleonor Atnip.

Not pictured: Jaynee Angaran, Dailen Brown, Noah Byrge, Hayle Cantrell, Wesley Carpenter, Kiersten Griffith, Dalton Norrod, Megan Redmon, Taylor Reeder, Nick Staley, Devin Vanatta, Kaylee Whitefield.

29+ Club –
Front row: Madison Cantrell, Jasmine Parker, Kelsie Merriman.
Back row: Kyle Justice, Ethan Jenkins, Daniel Puckett, Jacob Frazier.

Two Involved in Tuesday Morning Crash

October 31, 2017
Dwayne Page
2017 Dodge Caravan, driven by 34 year old Sarah Ferrell
THP Trooper Bobby Johnson Stand By 2004 Ford Crown Victoria driven by 54 year old David Resto

A Smithville man was cited for failure to exercise due care after a two vehicle crash this morning (Tuesday) at the intersection of Highway 146 and Tabernacle Road.

Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 54 year old David Resto was driving a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria when he turned left onto Highway 146 from Tabernacle Road and into the path of a 2017 Dodge Caravan, driven by 34 year old Sarah Ferrell of Smithville who was traveling south on Highway 146. Ferrell’s vehicle struck Resto’s car on the driver side toward the rear.

Neither Ferrell nor Resto were seriously injured. According to Trooper Johnson, Resto was not transported to the hospital and Ferrell went on her own to Cookeville Regional Medical Center to be checked out.

Members of DeKalb EMS and DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department were also on the scene.

Inmate Breaks His Own Arm Hoping to Get an Early Release from Jail

October 31, 2017
Dwayne Page
Joey Phillip Phelps
Byron Bud Gibbs
Marco Antonio Granados
Jared Robert Pyles
James Matthew Maynard
Chase Adam Williams
Mark Thomas Williams

An inmate has been charged with filing a false report after breaking his own arm while incarcerated and blaming it on other prisoners hoping to get an early release from jail.


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_45.pdf (2.49 MB)

37 year old Joey Phillip Phelps of Windy Cut Street, Dowelltown is under a $3,000 bond and his court date is November 9.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said Phelps, who is serving 100 days for a child support violation, was taken to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital on Thursday, October 26 for a broken arm.

Phelps told a detective and correctional officer at the hospital that while incarcerated, two other inmates held him down and broke his arm after threatening him. But after a further investigation, the detective learned that Phelps had made up the story. When questioned again later, Phelps admitted to the detective and a jail sergeant that he had broken his own arm, hoping it would get him out of jail.

32 year old Byron Bud Gibbs of Gin Alley, Alexandria is charged with aggravated assault and vandalism. His bond is $14,500 and his court date is November 9.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, October 19 Gibbs rammed his truck into another vehicle on New Hope Road at Alexandria causing the victim to fear for his life and causing more than $1,000 in damages to the victim’s automobile.

25 year old Marco Antonio Granados of Cecil Hale Road, Smithville is charged with a domestic related aggravated assault. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is November 9.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, October 28 a deputy responded to a report of a physical domestic at a residence on Cecil Hale Road. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with both Granados and his girlfriend. She said that Granados came home drunk and that he began arguing and slapped her on the face. She claims Granados then pushed her down on the couch and tried to choke her but stopped after she told him she was going to call the police. The woman was found to have red marks on her left cheek and around the area of her neck. Granados was placed under arrest.

19 year old Jared Robert Pyles of Bratten Street, Liberty is charged with driving under the influence. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is November 9.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, October 28 a deputy was patrolling on Highway 70 west in Dowelltown when he noticed a car parked on the side of the road with its hazard lights on. The officer stopped and spoke with the driver, Pyles and noticed that his eyes were red and glossy and that his speech was slow and slurred. Pyles submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. He admitted to having taken a pill earlier.

39 year old James Matthew Maynard of Switchboard Road, Brush Creek is charged with a fourth offense of driving under the influence. He was further cited for driving with no insurance and violation of the open container law. His bond is $6,500 and he will be in court on November 9.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, October 28 a deputy responded to Cookeville Highway due to a vehicle accident involving two cars. Upon arrival the officer spoke to one of the drivers, Maynard who had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. His eyes were red and watery and he was unsteady on his feet. Maynard refused to perform field sobriety tasks as requested. He also refused to give a blood sample. Maynard admitted to having consumed a few drinks and that he had smoked some marijuana. A search warrant was then obtained for a blood withdrawal. Two open cartons of beer were found in his vehicle.

32 year old Chase Adam Williams of Kendra Drive, Smithville is charged with being an habitual driving offender. His bond is $6,000 and his court date is November 9.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, October 25 a deputy conducted a traffic stop on West Bryant Street in Smithville knowing that the operator of the vehicle he was stopping, Williams was driving on a revoked license and is an habitual offender in Bradley County. Williams’ original habitual offender revocation was February 27, 2012. Williams has two prior offenses for driving as an habitual offender.

43 year old Mark Thomas Williams of Cookeville Highway, Smithville is charged with violation of an order of protection. His bond $3,000 and his court date is November 9.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, October 25 a deputy responded to a residence on Cookeville Highway due to an unwanted guest complaint. Upon arrival the officer spoke with Williams and learned that he is under an order of protection to keep away from the petitioner but that he had violated it by contacting the victim only three days after having been served with the order.

“Cheese Wagon Chili” A Double Winner at Habitat Cook-Off

October 30, 2017
Winner for "Best Chili and Best Decorated Booth" "“Cheese Wagon Chili” from the DeKalb Board of Education Transportation Department-Shara Cowan, Baylie Davis, Jimmy Sprague, Lori and Trinity Gallagher, and Michael Agee
The Golden Spoon Award Winner: “Bobby Ray Detachment 1377 - Marine Corps League” from the Marine Corps League-John Hummer, Carol Brown, Janet and Mike Allen
“Liberty and Chili For All” from Liberty State Bank took second place for “Best Chili”: Denise Barrett, Rhonda Caplinger, Roy N. Pugh, Lisa Garrison, and Trina Graham
Third place chili honors went to “The Courthouse Gang”: Tish Summers, Katherine Pack, Lisa Cripps, Jeff McMillen, Ronda McAbee, Makenzy Gash, Melissa Yarbrough, Tim Stribling, Butch Agee, Shannon Cantrell, Patrick Ray, Sean Driver
Second Place for “Best Decorated Booth”:  Team MTNG-Cooking with Gas” from Middle Tennessee Natural Gas-April Gray, Dana London, Greg Vinson, Brenda Gay
Third Place for “Best Decorated Booth”:  "The Bean Counters” from Janney & Associates, CPA’s-Josh Tramel, Kevin Huff, Tom and Patricia Janney, Lindsay and Cathy Finley,Jessica Leiser, Mark McCowan and Brenda Dorsey

“Cheese Wagon Chili” from the DeKalb County School System Department of Transportation took top honors for both “Best Chili” and for “Best Decorated Booth” during Friday’s 14th annual Habitat for Humanity Chili Cook-Off and Bake Sale.

This crowd pleasing event held on the Town Square was another great success with $5,300 raised for Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, according to the Chili Cook-off Committee. The weather couldn’t have been better and approximately 400 folks came out to enjoy the day.

In just their second year participating, “Cheese Wagon Chili” from the DeKalb County Department of Transportation took Top Chili Honors, with “Liberty and Chili For All” from Liberty State Bank coming in second place. Third place chili honors went to “The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials.

The Best Decorated Booth Award also went to “Cheese Wagon Chili” from the DeKalb County Department of Transportation, with “Team MTNG – Cooking with Gas” from Middle Tennessee Natural Gas coming in second place and “The Bean Counters” from Janney and Associates, CPA’s placing third.

The Golden Spoon Award went to newcomer team “Bobby Ray Detachment 1377” from the Marine Corps League, who raised $143.00 for Habitat in cash donations at their booth.

Rounding out the eleven participating teams were “Volunteers for Justice” from the DeKalb County Bar Association, “Hot Momma’s” from Federal Mogul Motorparts, “Burning Down the House” from Smithville Storage, “Evins Mill Chef’s Chili” from The Inn at Evins Mill, and “Hot Checks Chili” from Wilson Bank and Trust.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County thanks each of these teams for their enthusiasm and support of the event; all those who donated the delicious baked goods; city and county officials and Smithville Electric for facilitating the event space; and all the fine folks of the community who came out to support Habitat and this great community event.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates houses in partnership with volunteers and families in need, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged. To contact Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, please call 215-8181 or find them on Facebook @HFHDeKalb TN.

"Trick or Treat Halloween Downtown" Tuesday

October 30, 2017
Dwayne Page
Smithville Police Captain Steven Leffew greets trick or treater during 2016 Halloween Downtown event

Parents, children, and local businesses are invited to join the City of Smithville and the Police Department's "Trick or Treat Halloween Downtown" Tuesday, October 31 from noon until 5:00 p.m.

Some offices in the DeKalb County Courthouse, Smithville City Hall, Smithville Police Department, Justin Potter Library, and participating businesses downtown will have candy and special treats for the children. Look for the stores and offices with a picture of an orange pumpkin on their windows. Maps are available at the police department and Justin Potter Library to show parents which businesses will be taking part in the event.


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For more information call Beth Adcock at the Smithville Police Department at 615-597-8210 extension 1 or check out the police department's face book page soon for details at https://www.facebook.com/SmithvillePoliceDepartment.

This event is sponsored by the Smithville Police Department and the Smithville City Hall.

Meanwhile, the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a “Best Costume Contest” for downtown businesses and offices. Take pictures with your phone and send them to Shan Burklow at 615-594-2792 by 1:30 p.m. on October 31. First, second, and third place winners will be presented a “Halloween on the Square Best Costume Award”, media recognition, and bragging rights.

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department will have special treats for children Tuesday, October 31 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Stop by for a hot dog, candy, and a tour of the Smithville Fire Hall. Meet with Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker and the Smithville Fire Department Volunteers.

Other Halloween events include the following:

*Justin Potter Library will participate in the "Downtown Halloween Trick or Treat" from noon until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 31. The library will have a Halloween Craft Activity for the children from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. so come by and create your own Halloween bookmark. All little ghosts and goblins are invited to join them at the library for a day of fun. For further information, call the library at 615-597-4359 or check their website at dekalblibraries.net or join them on Facebook.

*Calvary Baptist Church invites you to Trunk or Treat with us, October 31st from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. The church is located at 530 Foster Rd, Smithville. Bring your little spooks by for some candy and fun!

* Smithville First Baptist Church would like to invite you to our annual Fall Festival immediately following trick or treating on the Square. Tuesday, October 31st from 5-7PM at the corner of Church Street and College in our Life Enrichment Center. Please join us for food, games, candy and fun! We also welcome you to join us in worship every Sunday morning at 10:00AM

* NHC Smithville will welcome Trick or Treaters starting at 6PM on Halloween night. They will give out candy until it all runs out or 7:30PM, whichever comes first.”

DeKalb West Cheerleaders Excel

October 29, 2017
Tammy Payne, DWS Cheer Coach
DeKalb West Cheerleaders Excel (Photo by Beth Tripp)

DeKalb West Cheerleaders attended the Universal Cheerleading Association Cheer Camp, June 7-9. It was a camp packed with rigor and skills with little down time. DWS cheerleaders performed cheers, jumps, motion techniques, chants, and dance for extreme routines. UCA staff evaluated the team members each day. On the final day of camp, all DWS cheerleaders were eligible to try out for the honor of All-American Cheerleader; skills in jumps, dance, motion, and cheer were evaluated by UCA staff. Makayla Cook, Ellie Vaughn, Zoi Hale, Kortnee Skeen, and Faith Tripp were selected as UCA All-Americans. Each All-American selected is eligible to perform with other UCA All-Americans at Disneyland in November. Other individual awards were Makayla Cook-jumps, and Zoi Hale-dance. The “Most Persistent for Perfection” Award went to Alonna Christian and Ellie Vaughn. The squad won the following awards: 1 superior “Gold” - chants and sidelines, 1 superior-extreme routine/dance, and 1 excellent -cheer/builds. The DWS squad also was presented with the “Superior” overall trophy. All DWS cheerleaders participated in an optional service award partnered by UCA and St. Jude; each DWS cheerleader received a service pin for their participation.

DWS Cheerleaders are cheering on the Bulldogs this upcoming year. They started their year cheering at the Back-to-School Celebration, and the DWS PAWS pep rally.

Once again, congratulations to DWS Cheer Alumni. DCHS football and basketball Cheerleaders, Haley Dies, Hannah Evans, Emily Roehner, Breanna Gibson, Mariah Mofield, and Holly Evans, who all were nominated for All-American. Rosa Payne will continue to cheer. She was selected as a Cumberland University Football Cheerleader and Collegiate Competition Cheerleader. Congratulations to all DWS cheerleaders (present and past)!

Early Voting Ends Thursday for State Senate Special Primary

October 29, 2017
Dwayne Page
Mary Alice Carfi
Mark Pody

A total of 95 persons have taken advantage of early voting in the 17th Senatorial District Special Primary election with four days left.

Seventy three have voted in person and there have been 22 absentee voters . A further breakdown shows 53 have voted in the Republican Primary and 42 in the Democratic primary.

Early voting continues through November 2 at the following times: Monday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday 9 a.m. until Noon, Wednesday 9 a.m. until Noon and Thursday 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. All early voting is on the first floor (basement) courtroom of the courthouse.

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 primaries will be Tuesday, November 7.

The general election will be December 19

Billy Hawkins to Speak at Veterans Day Program

October 29, 2017
Dwayne Page
Billy Hawkins

Billy Hawkins, retired Brigadiere General of the Tennessee State Guard, will speak at the annual Veteran's Day program sponsored by the American Legion and Ladies' Auxiliary on Saturday, November 11 at 9:30 a.m. at the County Complex.

Preliminary music will begin at 9:30 and the main program begins at 10:00. Music and singing will be part of the program. After the program everyone will go to the courthouse to witness the laying of a wreath at the Veteran's Memorial with "Taps" being played. Afterwards all veterans and their families are invited back to the County Complex for a delicious meal.


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