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Livestock Forage Program Signup Underway

December 29, 2016
Donny Green

Do you have cattle, sheep, or goats? If so, you could be eligible to receive payment from the DeKalb/Cannon County Farm Service Agency. According to Donny Green, County Executive Director, signup for the Livestock Forage Program is now underway and will continue through January 30, 2017.

The Livestock Forage Assistance Program (LFP) has been approved for DeKalb and Cannon counties due to recent and extreme drought conditions that have affected livestock grazing during the 2016 normal grazing period. LFP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers that have suffered grazing losses for covered livestock on land with permanent vegetative cover, or planted specifically for grazing.

According to the U. S. Drought Monitor, DeKalb and Cannon counties were designated as D3 (Extreme Drought intensity) counties on November 22, 2016. This designation qualifies eligible livestock producers in the county for three monthly payments.

Livestock producers operating in DeKalb and Cannon counties will need to visit the FSA office in Smithville to report their livestock inventory and complete their application. Customers are encouraged to call the office at 615-597-8225, Ext. 2 to provide some preliminary information that will be needed to process the application. Signup for the 2016 LFP will end on January 30, 2017.

WJLE Partners with Local Attorney to Recognize "Classroom Champions"

December 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jim Judkins

In an effort to recognize achievements of students in the DeKalb County School System, WJLE is partnering with Jim Judkins, Smithville Attorney in featuring a “Classroom Champion” each week for the next several months.

The name of the student selected each week will be announced on WJLE and will be featured on the WJLE website. Each student winning will receive a plaque and a gift certificate.

“This is our way of recognizing and celebrating the achievements of the future citizens and leaders of the community. It can benefit their learning and overall school atmosphere and climate. The students' selection will be based on academic performance, responsibility and work ethic, leadership abilities, and citizenship and character,” said Judkins.

“Jim recently approached me with his idea of recognizing students in this way and asked if we would be interested in joining him in the promotion. We were more than happy to lend our support and look forward to spotlighting a student each week,” said Dwayne Page, WJLE Station Manager.

Alexandria Police Catch Three People Breaking Into F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy

December 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Ericka Lynn Morgan
Bryan Christopher Matthews
Joseph Graylon Nesbitt

Alexandria Police caught three people breaking into F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy in Alexandria Wednesday night.

22 year old Ericka Lynn Morgan of Granville, 32 year old Bryan Christopher Matthews of Carthage, and 50 year old Joseph Graylon Nesbitt of Pleasant Shade are all charged with burglary and are under a $20,000 bond each. They will make an appearance in General Sessions Court on January 12.

Alexandria Police Chief Chris Russell released the following prepared statement. “On Wednesday night at approximately 8:15 pm , Officer Flavis Burroughs was on patrol and noticed an audible burglar alarm going off at Webb’s Pharmacy located at 105 South Public Square in Alexandria. Upon arrival Officer Burroughs noticed the front glass door had been damaged and he observed a person inside the building climbing up a hole in the ceiling . As Officer Burroughs made his way around the back of the building , a white Dodge Truck fled the area of the burglary . Officer Burroughs stopped the truck on Edgewood Street a short distance away and detained the driver, Bryan Christopher Matthews , and a passenger , Joseph Graylon Nesbitt. DeKalb County Sheriff's Deputies arrived to assist . When the pharmacy owner arrived on scene and unlocked the building he heard a woman’s voice from inside the ceiling . The woman, Ericka Lynn Morgan was found hiding in the ceiling. Officers placed Ms. Morgan into custody. Further investigation revealed the three had made entry into the building by cutting a vent on the roof and going down through the ceiling. At the time of the report it appears nothing had been stolen . All three were arrested and booked into the DeKalb County Jail,” said Chief Russell.

Give the Perfect Gift. Give Blood

December 29, 2016
Give the Perfect Gift. Give Blood

The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give blood or platelets to help meet the constant need for blood this winter.

Donors with all blood types are needed now to help patients. As a special thank you for taking the time to donate, those who come out to give through Jan. 8 will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

The next blood drive in Smithville will be Tuesday, January 3 from 1:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall of the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church at 201 South College Street. To schedule your appointment log onto redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code: Smithville 19.

“Many of us celebrate this time of year with loved ones, but patients may spend the holidays and ring in the new year from a hospital room,” said Nick Gehrig, communications director, Red Cross Blood Services. “Blood and platelet donors can bring joy to patients and their families by giving blood or platelets to help ensure patients receive the lifesaving treatments they need.”

How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

New Laws to Take Effect January 1

December 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

Several new laws will take effect in Tennessee on January 1.

*The cost of a lifetime handgun carry permit will drop from $500 to $300. The price of a lifetime permit under the new law is fixed at $200 more than the cost of a regular permit. Under another change, active duty military or honorably discharged veterans will be able to acquire handgun permits at age 18, rather than 21.

*People convicted for vehicular homicide where alcohol or drugs were involved will be ineligible for parole starting January 1. Robbing a pharmacy for the purpose of obtaining a controlled substance will be considered an enhancement factor for sentencing, as well.

*Tennessee students will be required to pass a United States civics test before graduating high school.

*Those convicted of driving on a suspended license could get to keep their licenses. The current law requires the courts to suspend those licenses but next year it'll be up to a judge.

The new law states, “As enacted, deletes requirement that a person's
driver license be suspended for an additional like period if convicted
of driving on a suspended or revoked license; allows a court to order
issuance of a restricted driver license contingent on the person participating in a payment plan for any unpaid fines.”

*Beer and cider brewers in Tennessee may begin making brew with a stronger alcohol content. Currently the limit is 6.2%, but the new law raises it to 10.1%.

Currently, a person can purchase high-gravity beer, which is beer with a higher alcohol content, but it has to be made out of state. Proponents said the main benefit of this new law is that people will have a local high-gravity option, instead of being forced to spend money out of state

New Livestock Feed Rule to Take Effect

December 29, 2016

With the new year just days away, livestock producers will have new federal rules to follow when feeding their animals.

Beginning Jan. 1, a licensed veterinarian must approve and supervise use of certain medications in livestock feed.

“Antibiotics are vitally important for fighting illness and maintaining livestock health,” state veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatcher said. “However, we must make sure that drugs don’t develop resistance. These new rules will move us toward the elimination of antibiotic use for production purposes, while still allowing producers to use prescribed antibiotics to treat and control disease.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will require producers to have a veterinary feed directive (VFD) in order to feed certain antimicrobial drugs. Before a producer can obtain a VFD, their licensed vet of record must examine and diagnose the livestock in question. Producers must then provide the VFD to their feed manufacturer or supplier. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture routinely inspects feed manufacturers. Any mills that mix antimicrobials into livestock feed will be required to show proof of the VFD during inspection. Extra-label use of a VFD drug in an animal feed for weight gain or feed efficiency is prohibited.

More information is available at www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/DevelopmentApprovalProcess/ucm071807.htm.

The state veterinarian is responsible for monitoring for and preventing the spread of animal disease, as well as promoting animal health in Tennessee. The office works with private veterinarians, animal pathologists and disease diagnostic laboratories to identify diseases and determine the cause of animal deaths.

Convicted Felon Arrested for Burglary on Pea Ridge Road

December 27, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Randall Joe Swindle
John Thomas Mason
Christina Love Johnson
Samuel Wayne Fisher
Kayla Paige Kilgore
Mindy Lashae Washer

A convicted felon is in trouble with the law again after allegedly being involved in a recent break-in at a residence on Pea Ridge Road.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL)
Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_2.pdf (1.91 MB)

47 year old Randall Joe Swindle of Murfreesboro is charged with carrying or possession of a weapon by a felon, vandalism, theft of property over $1,000, and aggravated burglary. His bond totals $27,000.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, December 5 Swindle was involved in a break-in on Pea Ridge Road. The intruder gained entry by prying open the front door, causing damage. Taken from the home were a Remington 1889 double barrel shotgun, a crescent 1900 double barrel shotgun, a sentry safe, and a jar of change. The total value of the stolen property comes to approximately $1,500.

A check of Swindle’s criminal history showed him to be a felon convicted for aggravated burglary in Franklin County.

According to Sheriff Ray, Swindle admitted to having taken the guns from the Pea Ridge residence and having them in his vehicle. He was arrested on Monday, December 12. The case was investigated by Sheriff’s Department Detectives.

22 year old John Thomas Mason of Smithville Highway, McMinnville and 35 year old Christina Love Johnson are each charged with theft of property over $1,000. Mason is also charged with possession of contraband in the jail and assault.

Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, December 19 the Sheriff’s Department received a report of a stolen 2005 Toyota Corolla, valued at $6,000. Two days later, on Wednesday December 21 Mason and Johnson were found in possession of the car in Warren County.

On the contraband offense, Sheriff Ray said that while being incarcerated Mason was gathering his jail issued items on Thursday, December 22 when he dropped a round silver container which was found to have 20 blue pills believed to be Xanax, a schedule IV drug, and 10 orange pills thought to be Opana, a schedule II drug.

In the assault case, Sheriff Ray said that on Christmas Eve Correctional officers at the jail witnessed by video surveillance Mason assault another inmate. Mason struck the victim repeatedly causing him bodily injury.

Bond for Mason is $18,500. Johnson’s bond is $10,000. Johnson will make a court appearance on January 5th. Mason will be in court on January 5th and 12th.

60 year old Samuel Wayne Fisher of Jacobs Pillar Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and his court date is January 5.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, December 17 a deputy responded to a residence on Jacobs Pillar Road in reference to an altercation between two men. Upon arrival, the officer spoke to Fisher who said he had been arguing with his step-son and had hit him in the mouth, busting his lips. Fisher was determined to have been the primary aggressor and was placed under arrest.

27 year old Kayla Paige Kilgore of East Main Street, Dowelltown is charged with a second offense of driving on a suspended license. She was further cited for possession of a suspended license, violation of the financial responsibility law, and driving on roadways laned for travel. Her bond is $1,500 and her court date is January 12. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, December 26 a deputy stopped Kilgore’s vehicle on Highway 70 west for failure to maintain her lane of travel. Kilgore informed the officer that her license were suspended. A computer check confirmed that Kilgore’s license were originally suspended in Wilson County on June 24 for failure to appear. She was placed under arrest. Kilgore had been issued a citation three days before on Friday, December 23 for the same offense, driving on a suspended license.

29 year old Mindy Lashae Washer of Carthage is charged with driving under the influence. Her bond is $1,500 and her court date is January 12. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, December 26 a deputy was dispatched to Prichard’s Foods in Alexandria due to an unresponsive person in a vehicle. Upon arrival the officer spoke to the woman, Washer. Her speech was slurred and she was unsteady on her feet. Washer admitted to having taken two non-prescribed Xanax pills about an hour prior. She also performed poorly on field sobriety tasks.

34 year old Michael Ryan Sullivan of College Street, Smithville is cited for possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a schedule II drug methamphetamine. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, December 14 a probation check was conducted at Sullivan’s residence. Found in his possession were 0.03 grams of a white powdery substance which field tested positive for methamphetamine. Also found were several straws and a set of scales. His court date is January 5.

Christmas Day Barn Fire Causes Damage, Claims Dog

December 27, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Christmas Day Barn Fire Causes Damage, Claims Dog (Photo Provided)
Photo Provided
Photo Provided

A Christmas Day fire at a barn on Bright Hill Road caused some damage to the structure and contents and claimed the life of a young dog.

DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green told WJLE that the department was notified of the barn fire at 2211 Bright Hill Road on the property of W.J. Poss at 10:19 a.m.

According to Chief Green, a passerby reportedly saw smoke coming from the metal siding barn and called a member of the Poss family. A family member then reported the fire to DeKalb 911 Dispatch.

“We had just returned home from church when a neighbor passing by the barn adjacent to dad's called our house to inform us that the barn was on fire. While waiting on the fire department my two sons and I drove to the barn with anticipation to save the dogs and what we could. As we arrived smoke was present from each end of the barn. I opened the walk entrance door and immediately was met with heavy smoke and extreme heat. I tried numerous times to reach the point to open the roll up door in an effort and hopes to remove as much as possible. I was unsuccessful due to the intensity of both smoke and heat,” said James L. (Jimmy) Poss.

Upon arrival, firefighters learned that family members had tried to make entry to rescue two dogs inside the barn. However, the fire, smoke, and heat were too intense for them to enter. Firefighters were able to make entry. They extinguished the fire, ventilated the smoke from the barn and successfully rescued one of the dogs. The other dog was found dead.

Also removed from the barn were two tractors, a boat , and other farm implements which all had minor exterior damage. Other miscellaneous tools and materials inside the barn received significant heat and smoke damage.

Chief Green said the fire apparently started from a heat lamp that had accidentally fallen into the kennel where cedar shavings were being used for bedding. The shavings ignited and the fire spread to other parts of the barn.

Members of the DeKalb County Fire Department's Short Mountain Highway Station, Midway Station, Tanker Truck, and Main Station responded to the call, along with DeKalb County EMS and the Sheriff's Department.

“I want to send a very sincere thank you to all the County Firemen who left their families on Christmas day to assist our family with the barn fire,” said Poss.

WJLE to Broadcast Music City Bowl featuring Tennessee vs Nebraska

December 27, 2016
Tennessee Volunteers
Nebraska Cornhuskers

The Tennessee Volunteers will meet the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl on Friday, December 30 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.

WJLE will have LIVE coverage on the VOL Network starting with the Kick-Off Call-In Show at 1:00 p.m. Kick-Off is at 2:30 p.m.

"Our entire program is excited about representing the University of Tennessee at the Music City Bowl," Vols coach Butch Jones said. "This will be a great opportunity for our players to play in a NFL stadium against a very challenging opponent in Nebraska. We have a special group of seniors that have given their all for this program and I know they are excited about a final opportunity to play together."

The Vols, who are ranked No. 21 in the latest College Football Playoff Rankings, in the are making their 52nd all-time bowl appearance, which ties for the fourth all-time in college football history.

Jones has led the Vols to three-straight bowl games. UT took a 45-28 win over Iowa in the TaxSlayer Bowl on Jan. 2, 2015. The Vols capped their 2015 campaign with a 45-6 victory over Northwestern in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1, 2016. UT is playing in its third-straight bowl game for the first time since UT played in three bowls from 2002 to 2004. Tennessee is looking to win bowl games in three-consecutive seasons for the first time since winning postseason bowls following the 1994, 1995 and 1996 seasons.

The Vols are 8-4, marking their third-straight winning season. Tennessee has averaged 36.2 points for the season and the Vols have seen their scoring output expand to 50.2 points per game over the last four games. Senior quarterback Joshua Dobbs leads the SEC in touchdown passes (26), passer efficiency (152.6) and points responsible for (216). Junior defensive end Derek Barnett leads the SEC and is tied for sixth in the nation with 12.0 sacks and his 18.0 tackles for loss lead the league and rank 15th nationally. Barnett's 32.0 career sacks also rank second nationally and he is tied with the late great Reggie White for the most sacks in UT history.

Tennessee and Nebraska have played each other just twice in the combined 247 seasons of football history between the schools. The Cornhuskers defeated the Vols, 42-17, in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 2, 1998. Nebraska also took a 31-21 win over UT on Jan. 2, 1999, in the Fiesta Bowl. Tennessee faces a Big Ten opponent in postseason play for the third-straight year as the Vols defeated Iowa two years ago in the TaxSlayer Bowl and Northwestern last season in the Outback Bowl.

Nebraska, which is No. 21 in the latest Amway Coaches Poll and No. 24 in the latest AP Top 25 Poll, is 9-3 and finished the regular season with the fifth-best overall record in the Big Ten. The Cornhuskers have averaged 26.8 points per game and feature an outstanding offensive line that has allowed just 11 sacks on the year, which is the fewest in the Big Ten and ties for the sixth-fewest in the nation. Senior quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. has passed for 2,180 yards with 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions and has run for 512 yards and eight scores. On defense, Nebraska ranks second in the Big Ten and 12th nationally in interceptions with 16.

This year's game against Nebraska will mark Tennessee's second appearance in the Music City Bowl. The Vols previously played in the bowl in 2010, falling to North Carolina, 30-27, in double overtime.

THP Sergeant Graduates from Northwestern University's Center for Public Safety

December 25, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
THP Sergeant Donald Dewaine Jennings (Older Photo)

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is pleased to announce the recent graduation of Sergeant Donald Dewaine Jennings from the School of Police Staff and Command at Northwestern University. Sergeant Jennings has successfully completed the ten week Staff and Command program held in Nashville from July 25 through September 30. This program, which was implemented by the Center for Public Safety in 1983, has graduated over 16,000 students both national and internationally. Sergeant Jennings was a student in SPSC Class #403 which accommodated a total of 32 students for the ten week period.

The School of Police Staff and Command provides upper-level college instruction in a total of twenty-seven core blocks of instruction and additional optional blocks during each session. The major topics of study include: Leadership, Human Resources, Employee Relations, Organizational Behavior, Applied Statistics, Planning and Policy Development, Budgeting and Resource Allocation.

Each student is academically challenged through written examinations, projects, presentations and quizzes in addition to a staff study paper that are all required parts of the curriculum. Upon successful completion, students may be awarded a total of 6 units of undergraduate credit from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

The Center for Public Safety was established at Northwestern University in 1936 with the specific goal of expanding university-based education and training for the Law Enforcement Community. Since its inception, the Center has broadened its original objective and now provides a variety of courses and programs in the area of Police Training, Management Training, and Executive Development.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol anticipates a variety of benefits from Sergeant Jennings' attendance at this program. Many of the program's graduates go on to achieve a variety of leadership positions within their respective agencies.

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