Local News Articles

Sixty Pounds of Medication Collected During Take Back Day

November 2, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Sixty Pounds of Medication Collected During Take Back Day
Volunteers from the DeKalb County Health Department, DeKalb County Coordinated School Health, and DeKalb Prevention Coalition
Cindy Childers and Elise Driver of DeKalb Coordinated School Health

Sixty pounds of unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs were collected on Saturday, October 28 during the Prescription Drug Take Back Day sponsored locally by the DeKalb Prevention Coalition.

“This year the poundage really means medication weight because we were required to take the medication out of containers before weighing. We had a steady flow from the community with 28 bringing in medication for disposal. Thank you to our 19 volunteers from the DeKalb County Health Department, DeKalb County Coordinated School Health, along with the Smithville Police Department and Chief Mark Collins,” said DeKalb Prevention Coalition Coordinator Lisa Cripps.

The next Take Back will be in April but until then remember a drop box is located inside the Smithville City Hall Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. for collection of medication.

Statistics from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) show that 55% of prescriptions are obtained free from a friend or relative. Kristina Clark, the Executive Director of Count It! Lock It! Drop It! states “Parents and family friends become accidental drug dealers by leaving medications out on counters, unlocked and/or unmonitored. Three simple steps can make a big difference in prescription drug abuse.” The DPC’s comprehensive community plan for prescription drug abuse prevention, “Count It! Lock It! Drop It!” encourages residents to frequently count their pills, properly lock them, and drop any unused, expired or unwanted pills in the drop box.

The Mission of DPC is to unite community leaders and citizens of DeKalb County forming strong partnerships across major community sectors with the goal of reducing substance abuse. The DPC would like to extend an invitation to all residents to become a part of the coalition. The meetings are held the last Tuesday of each month at 12:00pm. For more information about DPC or child abuse awareness, please contact Community Outreach Liaison Norene Puckett at (615) 215-8690 or the facebook page at facebook.com/DeKalbPreventionCoalition.

Local Law Enforcement Officers Trained in Administering Naloxone

November 1, 2017
Members of Sheriff's Department
Smithville Police Department Officers
Members of the Alexandria Police and DeKalb County Sheriff's Department

Local law enforcement officers took part in training recently on the proper use of administering Naloxone (Narcan)

Participating were members of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, Alexandria Police Department, and the Smithville Police Department.

Naloxone has been proven to be an extremely effective medication that stops opioid overdoses and saves lives. The training was given by Tommy and Suzanne Angel, Regional Overdose Prevention Specialists for the State of TN Region 3 North.

Narcan Nasal Spray is recommended for the emergency treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose.

“Narcan is a medication used to block the affects of opioids, especially in overdoses. It can be sprayed into the nose of a person who has overdosed and it usually takes about two minutes to work,” said Sheriff Patrick Ray. “After administering Narcan to someone who has overdosed, the person will regain consciousness and at times might be aggressive. We have been told that it may take two or more times of administering Narcan to someone who has overdosed on fentanyl before we can revive them.”

Sheriff Ray said his department recently received a grant to pay for training and kits with a supply of Narcan.

“I applied for a grant for the purchase of Narcan for the sheriff’s department and jail. We hope to have at least two units of Narcan per patrol car and two units of Narcan in every first aid kit in the jail. This grant will provide Narcan to us for free as well as refills until the available grant funds are exhausted.” he said.

In 2015, 1,451 Tennesseans died from opioid overdoses. The data for 2017 will likely be higher. This epidemic affects everyone. If you or someone you know is in active addiction help is available. Recovery is real! There are more than 25 million people in long-term recovery, and there are many pathways to get there. For Help call the TN Redline 24/7 to get started at 1-800-889-9789.

“With the introduction of Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid pain reliever that is 50 times more powerful than heroin with a fatal dose being just the size of a grain of sand, we are thankful to have our law enforcement personnel trained and in the near future carrying Naloxone”, said Lisa Cripps, DeKalb Prevention Coordinator.

Open Enrollment Begins Nov. 1 on the Federally Facilitated Marketplace

November 1, 2017

The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) reminds consumers that Open Enrollment for insurance coverage on the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) begins Nov. 1, 2017. As the enrollment period is shorter than in years past, Tennesseans are strongly encouraged to review their options and begin preparation for the new policy year.

Tennessee consumers will have access to marketplace coverage for 2018 no matter where they live. However, consumers in 79 of 95 counties will only have one carrier option. The 2018 marketplace will include:

·Cigna providing coverage in Memphis and surrounding counties.

·Cigna and Oscar providing coverage in Nashville and surrounding counties.

·Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee (BCBST) providing coverage in Knoxville and surrounding counties.

·BCBST and Cigna providing coverage in Johnson City and surrounding counties.

·BCBST will be the only exchange carrier providing coverage in parts of the state not mentioned above.

Humana will no longer be in the Tennessee individual market. In addition, BCBST, Cigna, and Oscar will be the only Affordable Care Act (ACA)-compliant individual market options for consumers purchasing coverage outside of the FFM.

“Tennessee’s individual insurance market remains challenged,” said TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “However, it is important to remember that health insurance coverage is available everywhere in the state. We continue to encourage consumers to shop for the best available plan for their individual situations and preferences. Our Department has a team ready to answer any questions about the insurance-buying process. Current Humana consumers, in particular, should review coverage options as the federal government may auto-enroll them in a new policy with a new carrier if they have not enrolled in a plan before the end of open enrollment.”

Tennesseans may preview 2018 plans and prices today. And to help consumers with enrollment or payment issues or network questions, TDCI has posted contact numbers for each of the carriers on the FFM on its website. The Department has also made available carrier presentations that overview their 2018 plan benefits on its website.

The Department emphasizes the need for consumers to carefully review plan networks. If you like your physician, make sure he/she is included in the plan network and check carrier directories for local hospitals to ensure easy access to ‘in-network’ services, where possible. Several plans provide tight networks and/or limited out-of-network benefits. To avoid unexpected and unpleasant balance bills, always see network providers.

Important dates:

November 1, 2017: First day to enroll, re-enroll, or change a 2017 insurance plan.

December 15, 2017: Open Enrollment ends.

January 1, 2018: 2017 coverage starts for those who enroll or change plans by December 15.

Questions about Open Enrollment? Contact us at 1-800-342-4029 or (615) 741-2218.

Chamber Announces "Best Halloween Costumes" Winners

November 1, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
1st Place – A-1 Salon – Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
2nd Place – Smithville Police Department and Smithville City Hall – Disney characters
3rd Place – DeKalb Recovery Court

Winners have been announced for the “Best Halloween Costumes for Downtown Smithville businesses/offices sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.

•1st Place – A-1 Salon – Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

•2nd Place – Smithville Police Department and Smithville City Hall – Disney characters

•3rd Place – DeKalb Recovery Court

“A big thanks to the Smithville Police Department, City of Smithville, DeKalb Courthouse offices, Smithville Fire Department, Justin Potter Library, and downtown Smithville businesses for participating in the Halloween on the Square event. A special recognition to the Halloween event coordinator, Beth Adcock,” said Chamber Director Suzanne Williams.

DeKalb Fire Dept Reminds You to Change Your Clock and Change Your Battery

November 1, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Lieutenant Brian Williams

Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday, November 5 and while you are changing your clocks, the DeKalb County Fire Department wants to remind you to change your batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms also. The message is simple and it’s easy to do. Please take a few minutes to make sure life-saving alarms have fresh batteries so you, your family, and your home are protected.

Lieutenant Brian Williams, the DeKalb County Fire Department’s Fire Prevention and Safety Officer, reminds DeKalb County residents that after batteries are changed in alarms, take a few extra minutes to test your alarms and remind family, friends, and neighbors to do the same. Not all smoke alarms have batteries that have to be replaced each year. Some newer model alarms have batteries that last up to 10 years. However, it is still very important to test and clean your alarms. You can clean and maintain them simply by using compressed air to remove dust residue that accumulates on alarms that can cause the alarm’s sensor to not operate properly.

Eighty percent of child fire fatalities occur in homes without working smoke alarms. It’s a tragic statistic that can be prevented. Changing smoke alarm batteries at least once a year, testing those alarms, and reminding others to do the same are some of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries. “The vast majority of our house fires happen between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most families are sleeping,” said Lt. Williams. “Smoke alarm installation and maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths. Children and senior citizens are most at risk, and a working smoke alarm can give them the extra seconds they need to get out safely.”

"A working smoke detector doubles your chance of surviving a home fire. So, why would you not want you and your family to have this protection?" For more information about fire safety, visit the DeKalb County Fire Department’s FaceBook Group page or the department’s website at www.dekalbfire.com.

Road Supervisor Butch Agee Not to Seek Re-Election

October 31, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Butch Agee

DeKalb County Road Supervisor Wallace Butch Agee told WJLE Monday he will not seek re-election in 2018. Agee’s current term runs through the next County General Election on August 2, 2018. His official last day in office will be August 31, 2018.

“After much prayerful consideration, I have decided not to seek re-election,” Agee said. “It has been a true honor and privilege to serve the residents of DeKalb County as their Road Supervisor. Being an elected official has been a wonderful experience, but I am looking forward to spending more time with my family and enjoying my retirement. I would like to thank my family and friends for their love and support, and all of the staff at the Road Supervisor's Office. They are professionals and serve our county well.”

Agee, a Republican, was elected in 2014 to succeed longtime Road Supervisor Kenny Edge. During Agee’s term, the county has received numerous grants for road improvement. He also focused on improving many of the county roads that needed repair. Agee is married to Cynthia Agee. They have two sons, Joey (Casey) and Josh (January), and three grandchildren.

Prior to being elected to this position, Agee served seventeen years with the Tennessee Department of Transportation including thirteen years as a TDOT supervisor.

The position of Road Supervisor is one of seven county wide offices to be up for election in 2018.

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.

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

October 31, 2017
by: 
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
by: 
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.

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