Local News Articles

Cantrell Airlifted After Sunday Accident

August 11, 2014
Dwayne Page
Jeep Cherokee pulled over on Jennings Lane (Photo by Ken Underhill)
DeKalb EMS and Smithville Fire Department on Jennings Lane (Photo by Ken Underhill)
Life Force helicopter lands by Jennings Lane (Photo by Ken Underhill)

A 55 year old Smithville man was airlifted by Life Force Sunday after apparently being involved in an accident with his vehicle.

Tim Cantrell was driving a 2003 Jeep Cherokee when he was pulled over on Jennings Lane by Constable Mark Milam.

Cantrell is believed to have wrecked his vehicle in the Jefferson community and drove away from the scene. No other automobile was involved. Central dispatch was notified of a possible reckless driver on Jefferson Road and officers were alerted to watch for the vehicle.

Constable Milam spotted the automobile at Highway 56 south and Vaughn Lane. He got behind it on South Congress Boulevard to make a traffic stop. Milam followed until the vehicle turned onto Jennings Lane and pulled over. Smithville Police also arrived on the scene.

The Jeep Cherokee had damage to the driver side door area. Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department's Extrication team were called to the scene to pop open the driver side door.

Cantrell was treated by DeKalb EMS and a Life Force helicopter ambulance landed in a field by the road to airlift Cantrell.

Trooper Jimmy Tisdale of the Tennessee Highway Patrol investigated the accident.

Flickling Unseats Brady for District Public Defender

August 9, 2014
Dwayne Page
Craig Fickling
Bryant Dunaway
Jonathan Young
Gary McKenzie

Two new judges, a new district attorney general, and a new public defender will take office September 1 in the seven county 13th Judicial District which includes Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, and White Counties. Three incumbent judges will return to the bench.

Republican Craig Flickling defeated Democratic incumbent District Public Defender David Brady on Thursday. District-wide, Fickling won 24,726 to 14,612. Fickling carried DeKalb County 1,706 to 1,501. Brady has served in the office since it was established in the late 1980's.

The new district attorney general will be Republican Bryant Dunaway who defeated Democrat Tony Craighead district-wide 26,438 to 15,034. In DeKalb County Dunaway won 1,778 to 1,710. Dunaway will succeed Randall York, who chose not to seek re-election this year. York instead ran unsuccessfully for Circuit Court Judge, Part II.

In the race for Circuit Court Judge, Part II, York , a Democrat, lost to Republican Jonathan Young. District-wide, Young defeated York 22,287 to 19,548. In DeKalb County Young edged out York, 1,706 to 1,703. Young will succeed retiring Democratic Judge John Maddux, who has served since 1984.

Meanwhile, Republican Gary McKenzie won the race for Criminal Court Judge, Part I, beating his Democratic opponent William Fred Roberson, Jr. District-wide, McKenzie won 27,176 to 13,086. McKenzie carried DeKalb County 1,937 to 1,198. McKenzie will succeed retiring Democratic Judge Leon Burns, Jr. who has served on the bench since 1975.

Democratic Incumbent Chancellor Ronald Thurman won re-election defeating Republican J. Lee Burgess. District-wide, Thurman received 21,938 votes. Burgess had 18,994. In DeKalb County Thurman won 1,792 to 1,555.

Two Incumbent Judges won re-election without opposition. Republican Criminal Court Judge Part II, David A. Patterson received 32,369 votes district-wide and 2,469 in DeKalb County. Democratic Circuit Court Judge Part I Amy Hollars got 26,049 votes district-wide and 2,231 in DeKalb County.

State Senator Mae Beavers Wins Primary

August 9, 2014
Dwayne Page
State Senator Mae Beavers

State Senator Mae Beavers won her battle against challenger Clark Boyd in Thursday's Tennessee Republican Primary.

District-wide, Senator Beavers received 16,164 votes to 11,100 for Boyd. She carried DeKalb County, winning 1,344 (70.48%) to 563 (29.52%).

Senator Beavers will be unopposed in the November Tennessee General Election. In addition to DeKalb County, Senator Beavers serves Wilson, Cannon, Smith, Macon, and Clay Counties.

Meanwhile, State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver of the 40th district and Representative Mark Pody of the 46th district were unopposed in their state GOP primaries Thursday. In DeKalb County Weaver received 1,322 votes. Pody got 337 votes. District-wide, Representative Weaver polled 7,745 votes. Pody received 7,543 votes.

In the state Democratic Primary, Sarah Marie Smith garnered 713 votes in DeKalb County while Candace Reed had 345 votes. Smith was unopposed Thursday and will be running against Representative Weaver in the November Tennessee General Election. Reed was also unopposed in her primary Thursday and will face Representative Pody in November. District-wide, Smith garnered 3,560 votes while Reed had 2,487 votes.

Representative Weaver's District includes most of DeKalb County, all of Smith and Trousdale Counties and a portion of Sumner County.

The 46th district, represented by Pody, includes a portion of DeKalb County, all of Cannon County, and a portion of Wilson County

County Commission to Have Six New Members

August 8, 2014
Dwayne Page

The county commission will have six new members come September 1 as a result of Thursday's elections. Seven incumbent commissioners will be returning and a former member will be rejoining the commission. Meanwhile, three persons were elected to fill vacant constable positions.



In the fifth district Democratic Incumbent Rick Cantrell lost a bid for his first full term on the county commission Thursday, falling to Democrat Anita Puckett and Incumbent Republican Jerry D. Adcock. Cantrell was appointed several months ago to fill the unexpired term of John Green, who had resigned. Adcock led the race with 364 votes (37.72%). Puckett was next with 354 votes (36.68%) and Cantrell had 247 votes (25.60%).

First district voters returned Incumbents Mason Carter and Elmer Ellis, Jr. to the commission. Carter, a Republican, had 386 votes (50%) to 253 (32.77%) for Ellis, a Democrat. A third candidate, Democrat Bennett H. Armstrong received 128 votes.

The second district will have two new members, James (Jimmy) E. Midgett, an Independent and Joe N. Johnson, a Democrat. Midgett led with 277 votes (28.47%) and 252 (25.90%) for Johnson. A third candidate, Clarence Trapp, a Democrat received 220 votes (22.61%) and Republican Incumbent, Bobby Joines, who had earlier withdrawn from the race due to an illness, garnered 224 votes (23.02%).

In the third district, Democrat Jack E. Barton will return to the commission. He formerly served in the second district but had to resign that position after he moved to the third district. In the race Thursday, Barton got 347 votes (40.21%). Democratic Incumbent Bradley Scott Hendrix was re-elected with 300 votes (34.76%). Independent candidate Wesley Nokes was unsuccessful with 215 votes (24.91%).

Democratic Incumbent Jeff Barnes was re-elected in the sixth district along with Betty Jean Atnip, also a Democrat. Independent candidate Danny McGinnis was unsuccessful. Both Atnip and Barnes each received 337 votes (37.82%) while McGinnis had 217 votes (24.35%).

In the fourth district Democratic Incumbent Wayne Cantrell was re-elected along with Democrat Jonathon Norris. They ran unopposed. Cantrell received 476 votes while Norris had 373.

Democrat Larry Summers won re-election in the seventh district. Democrat Kevin Robinson also won. Both were unopposed. Summers got 290 votes and Robinson had 280.

In those constable races. Democrat Chad Curtis defeated Republican Lee Plummer in the first district. Curtis received 287 votes (58.81%) to 199 (40.78%) for Plummer.

Republican Chris Tramel won the constable seat in the second district beating Independent challengers Tony D. Lawson and Jonathan Low. Tramel received 345 votes (62.73%). Lawson had 159 votes (28.91%) and Low got 46 votes (8.36%)

In the third district, Travis Bryant defeated Lou Ann Sanders for constable. Bryant garnered 301 votes (68.10%) to 139 votes (31.45%) for Sanders. Both ran as Independents.

Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss Re-elected

August 8, 2014
Dwayne Page
Mayor Jimmy Poss
Alderman Jason Judd Murphy
Alderman-elect Gayla Hendrix

Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss was re-elected to a second term Thursday in the Municipal Election. Poss defeated challenger Wallace Caldwell 583 votes (59.98%) to 388 (39.92%).

Poss won three of the four precincts and had more early votes/absentees than Caldwell. The results are as follows: Early votes/absentees: Poss 417, Caldwell 276. Church of Christ Annex: Poss 91, Caldwell 58. Courthouse: Poss 12, Caldwell 6. County Complex: Caldwell 9, Poss 5. Church of God: Poss 58, Caldwell 39.

Meanwhile Jason Judd Murphy was re-elected to a second term as alderman and Gayla Hendrix, a former alderman, was elected to the city council again. She will replace Tim Stribling, whose term as alderman is expiring.

Murphy received 605 votes. Hendrix had 584 votes. Both were unopposed.

Mayor Poss and Aldermen Murphy and Hendrix will each serve a four year term.

The other aldermen are Danny Washer, Shawn Jacobs, and Josh Miller.

Meanwhile, Dowelltown voters returned three aldermen to office Thursday in the municipal election there. Brad Driver received 80 votes, Keith Farler 66, and Ron Griffith 65. All three ran unopposed.

Three Incumbent School Board members Swept out of Office

August 7, 2014
Dwayne Page
Jerry Wayne Johnson
Jim Beshearse
Emitt Shaun Tubbs
Danny Parkerson
Billy Miller

Three of the incumbent school board members lost their bids for new terms in the election Thursday.

In the second district, Jerry Wayne Johnson defeated Incumbent Charles Robinson 345 votes (54.94%) to 283 votes (45.06%). Johnson led in early votes/absentees 152 to 97 and he carried Dowelltown 69 to 57 and Snow Hill 63 to 51. Robinson carried Liberty 78 to 61

Third district Incumbent Kenny Rhody lost to James W. (Jim) Beshearse, II 273 (43.20%) to 205 votes (32.44%). A third candidate in the race, Johnathon Willoughby received 153 votes (24.21%) Beshearse had more early votes/absentees than his opponents and he carried the Church of God precinct. The results are as follows: Early votes absentees: Beshearse 198, Rhody 141, Willoughby 105. Church of God precinct: Beshearse 75, Rhody 64, and Willoughby 48.

In the Seventh District, Emitt Shaun Tubbs easily unseated Incumbent Johnny Lattimore 293 (59.19%) to 108 (21.82%). Brandon Joe Cox came in third place with 94 votes (18.99%) Tubbs had more absentees/early votes than his opponents and he won the Church of Christ Annex precinct. The results are as follows: Early votes/absentees: Tubbs 176, Lattimore 68, Cox 50. Church of Christ Annex: Tubbs 117, Cox 44, Lattimore 40.

Meanwhile, Robert D. (Danny) Parkerson, Jr. will be succeeding Incumbent John David Foutch as a member of the school board from the first district. Parkerson defeated Matthew Boss 351 votes (65.98%) to 181 votes (34.02%). Foutch chose not to seek another term. Parkerson carried all three precincts and had more early votes/absentees than Boss. The results are as follows: Early votes/absentees: Parkerson 109, Boss 51. Alexandria: Parkerson 191, Boss 94. Edgar Evins State Park: Parkerson 9, Boss 6; and Temperance Hall: Parkerson 42, Boss 30

In the fourth district, Incumbent Billy Miller was re-elected to a second term on the school board without opposition. Miller received 596 votes.

The new school board will be made up of Danny Parkerson in the first district, Jerry Wayne Johnson in the second district, Jim Beshearse in the third district, Billy Miller in the fourth district, W.J. (Dub) Evins, III in the fifth district, Doug Stephens in the sixth district, and Emitt Shaun Tubbs in the seventh district.

Agee, Stribling, Cook, and Ray All Win

August 7, 2014
Dwayne Page
Road Supervisor-Elect Wallace Butch Agee
County Mayor-Elect Tim Stribling
General Sessions and Juvenile Court Judge Bratten H. (Butch) Cook, II
Sheriff Patrick Ray

Wallace (Butch) Agee will be the next Road Supervisor of DeKalb County.

Agee, a Republican, won a close race against his Democratic opponent James D. (Jimmy) Sprague Thursday to capture the seat held for the last 24 years by Republican Kenny Edge, who chose not to seek re-election to a seventh term.



Agee received 2,403 votes (52.01%) to 2,215 (47.94%) for Sprague, a difference of 188 votes. Agee carried ten precincts including Alexandria, Cherry Hill, Dowelltown, Edgar Evins State Park, Johnson's Chapel, Keltonburg, Liberty, Rock Castle, the Church of God, and Temperance Hall. Sprague carried six precincts including Belk, Blue Springs, the Church of Christ Annex, the County Complex, Courthouse, and Snow Hill. Sprague also had slightly more early votes/absentees than Agee.

Tim Stribling knocked off two challengers to become the next County Mayor. The Democratic nominee received 2,575 votes(56.14%). Republican Chris Smithson garnered 1,580 (34.45%), and Independent Chris Bratcher had 428 votes (9.33%). Stribling carried ten precincts including Alexandria, Belk, Blue Springs, Church of Christ Annex, County Complex, Courthouse, Keltonburg, Church of God, Snow Hill, and Temperance Hall. Stribling also had more early votes/absentees than his opponents. Smithson carried six precincts including Cherry Hill, Dowelltown, Edgar Evins State Park, Johnson's Chapel, Liberty, and Rock Castle.

Meanwhile, Democratic Incumbent General Sessions and Juvenile Court Judge Bratten H. (Butch) Cook, II held off a strong challenge by his Republican opponent Mingy Colwell Bryant to win a third eight year term. Cook defeated Bryant 2,531 (54.75%) to 2,089 (45.19%), a margin of 442 votes. Cook had more early votes/absentees than Bryant and he carried eight precincts including Alexandria, Church of Christ Annex, County Complex, Courthouse, Dowelltown, Edgar Evins State Park, Keltonburg, and the Church of God. Bryant also carried eight precincts including Belk, Blue Springs, Cherry Hill, Johnson's Chapel, Liberty, Rock Castle, Snow Hill, and Temperance Hall.

Sheriff Patrick Ray cruised to a third term. The Republican incumbent defeated Democratic challenger Larry Flair 3,304 (69.14%) to 1,475 (30.86%). Ray carried all sixteen precincts and had more early votes/absentees than Flair.

Others who ran unopposed for county wide races and their totals were Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, who led the ticket with 3,828 votes; Trustee Sean Driver with 3,698; County Clerk-elect James L. (Jimmy) Poss with 3,646; and Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen with 3,647 votes.

Adams Charged with Attempted Second Degree Murder in Tuesday Shooting

August 5, 2014
Dwayne Page
Lt. Detective Matt Holmes and Detective Brandon Donnell with Jordan Adams
Jordan Adams
Jamie Murphy

An altercation between two men Tuesday left one of them shot twice and the other charged with pulling the trigger.

Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger said 28 year old Jordan Adams of Smithville has been charged with attempted second degree murder in the shooting of 39 year old Jamie Murphy. The incident occurred on Juniper Lane. Adams is also charged with unlawful possession of a weapon as a convicted felon and reckless endangerment. His bond is $290,000.

According to the arrest warrants, Murphy was shot once in the back shoulder and by another bullet which grazed his arm. He was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital for treatment of his wounds.

Murphy was reportedly behind the wheel of a pickup truck and trying to get out through the passenger side when Adams, who was standing outside the truck, allegedly fired rounds from a 25 caliber pistol, which struck Murphy. A male passenger in the truck with Murphy was not injured.

After the shooting, Adams allegedly got in a different pickup truck driven by another man and left the scene.

Lieutenant Detective Matt Holmes told WJLE that he received an outside tip about the shooting and spotted the fleeing vehicle on Broad Street. He followed as the truck turned onto Dry Creek Road and then into the driveway of a residence. Lieutenant Holmes said he pulled in behind the truck to make a high risk stop, got out of his patrol car and ordered the two occupants in the vehicle to get out. As Adams exited the vehicle and went down, Lieutenant Holmes said he saw a handgun fall to the ground. Adams was then placed under arrest.

The arrest warrants allege that "On August 5, Jordan Adams did shoot Jamie Murphy in the back as he attempted to flee his vehicle out of the passenger side door. Mr. Murphy was shot twice, once in the back shoulder and once as a bullet grazed his arm as he retreated. Mr. Adams left the scene and was located by Lt. Matt Holmes where he was found to be in possession of a .25 caliber handgun. Mr. Adams cannot possess a weapon due to being a convicted felon. Mr. Adams did fire multiple shots down the road where multiple people were outside and in or around the line of fire."

The case is being investigated by the Smithville Police Department

Three Bids Received on Construction of Solid Waste Transfer Station

August 5, 2014
Dwayne Page
County Road Department Cuts Access Road into Proposed Solid Waste Transfer Station

The county has received three bids from companies interested in building the proposed solid waste transfer station for household garbage.

County Mayor Mike Foster and members of the purchasing committee met Tuesday morning for a bid opening with Ronnie Reece of Professional Engineering Services from Sparta, who has been consulting local officials on the project.

The purchasing committee voted to award the contract to the company determined to have the best bid after the three proposals are given a more indepth review to make sure they meet all the bid specifications as advertised.

The county's new solid waste transfer station will be constructed on property in the Smithville Industrial Park on Highway 70 east behind Tenneco Automotive. The Smithville Industrial Board recently deeded the land to the City of Smithville, who in turn, deeded it to the county for the transfer station. The work under the contract will include the construction of a 5,400 square foot pre-engineered metal building as a solid waste transfer station including a scale house building and office building; construction of an access road with erosion control measures; stripping of 8,900 cubic yard top soil; 7,500 cubic yard site excavation; 6,000 cubic yard borrow material; 6,500 tons of mineral aggregate base stone; and 3,175 tons of hot mix.

With the help of Road Supervisor Kenny Edge and his department, the county plans to do much of its own work building an access road extending from the Industrial Park past Tenneco Automotive into the transfer station. Such a move is expected to save the county money, whichever company is awarded the bid.

Each bidder included the expense of road construction and paving in their base bids as well as deductive alternates that cuts costs. " There are some deducts in there we are trying to work on to save money. The road work won't cover all the deducts but we can do the paving later about 50% cheaper under the county's (paving) contract than what they (bidders) had listed it for," said County Mayor Foster. "Kenny (Edge) has been good to take his equipment over there and help. He's cutting the grade on the four lane going in and moving the dirt so we can gravel it. By the county doing some of the road work ourselves, we could save maybe $150,000 or $200,000. If we're able to apply for and receive a fast track grant for the paving, we might save all of that (road work cost)," Foster added.

The three bidders and their base bid amounts for the transfer station project are as follows:

Elk Mountain Construction of Cookeville (base bid of $1,308,092) with a deductive alternate of $425,077 from the base bid for road work into the proposed facility.

Johnson Builders of Doyle (base bid of $1,387,930) with a deductive alternate of $513,949 for road work.

Sain Construction of Manchester (base bid of $1,744,059) with a deductive alternate of $421,760 for road work.

According to County Mayor Foster, the bids received are in line with what he expected the costs to be for construction of a transfer station. "It's about what we figured for the cost of the transfer station. About $800,000 plus the road. Talking to other counties (who have transfer stations), that's about what their costs have been," he said.

Foster added that converting the county's solid waste operation to a transfer station is expected to be less expensive than continuing to have its own Class I landfill. "If we did the cost of building another landfill, you're probably talking about two million dollars to do it. And when you close it, that's another one million dollars. This is the cheaper route," he said.

Once the bid is awarded, the contractor has 150 days to complete the project. Foster said he is hopeful that the transfer station is operational by December.

Meanwhile, the existing Class I landfill, located off Billings Road in the eastern portion of the county, will soon be full. "According to the engineering estimates, we probably have nine months left on it (existing landfill). But we'll still put some stuff in there (existing landfill) until we fill it. Then we'll do a Class III/IV cell for construction material," Foster said.

Blasting Expected to Cause Traffic Delays at Sligo Bridge

August 5, 2014
Dwayne Page

Blasting in the construction zone of the new Sligo bridge is expected to cause traffic delays this afternoon until possibly as late as 10 p.m. tonight (Tuesday).

WJLE has learned that while construction workers intend to keep one lane of traffic open, motorists could still experience delays of up to half an hour today.

Those motorists who can may want to take an alternate route. Every effort will be made to allow emergency vehicles easier access.


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