Local News Articles

(UPDATED) Smithville Couple Indicted in Death of 23 Month Old Child (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

May 19, 2015
Dwayne Page
Cody Key taken into Custody by Smithville Police Detective Brandon Donnell
Jessica May taken into Custody by Smithville Police Lieutenant Detective Matt Holmes
Cody Key
Jessica May
Colten Alexander May

A Smithville mother and her boyfriend were named in sealed indictments returned by the DeKalb County Grand Jury today (Tuesday) in the death of the woman's 23 month old son, Colten Alexander May over the weekend.

23 year old Cody Key is charged in the indictment with felony murder and aggravated child abuse while the child's mother 19 year old Jessica May is indicted on a charge of aggravated child neglect.

Bond for Key is set at one million dollars. May's bond is $300,000. Both will appear for arraignment in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Friday, May 22.

"The child suffered great injuries and as a result the child died," said District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway in an interview with WJLE Tuesday morning.

According to D.A. Dunaway, the child was brought to the hospital by the couple Sunday morning but he was already deceased. The youngster was found to have internal and other physical injuries to his body. Key is alleged to have inflicted the injuries. May is accused of having known the abuse had been taking place.

"At approximately 3:11 am Sunday Smithville Police Sergeant Travis Bryant and Officer Joey Myers were dispatched to the emergency room of DeKalb Community Hospital in reference to a possible child abuse resulting in the death of a two year old child. Investigating officers deemed the death to be of a suspicious nature," said Captain Steven Leffew. " I was notified along with Lieutenant Matt Holmes and Detective Brandon Donnell . Additionally District Attorney Bryant Dunaway and investigators from the District Attorney's office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation responded," he said.

The case remains under investigation by the Smithville Police Department , the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the District Attorney General's Office.

"We presented the case to the DeKalb County Grand Jury (Tuesday, May 19) related to the death of a 23 month old male child," said D.A. Dunaway. " Over the weekend the child was brought to DeKalb Community Hospital by the child's mother and her boyfriend. The child was deceased at the time of arrival. We believe the child was killed by the boyfriend late Saturday night or early Sunday morning in their home where they resided together. We believe the child died based upon physical injuries to the body and internally which were inflicted by the boyfriend," he said.

"The DeKalb County Grand Jury issued true bills today (Tuesday) indicting both Cody Key with first degree felony murder. The mother of the child Jessica May has been indicted for aggravated child neglect based upon a pattern of abuse and neglect over a period of time. We believe that the allegations of continuous abuse and neglect of the child over a period of approximately one year was known by the mother and that she either participated in or allowed the events to happen," said D.A. Dunaway.

"We take these matters very seriously. The abuse and neglect of a child is very serious. It's one of the most horrendous types of crimes that one can imagine," he said.

"This is truly a tragic event. I pledge absolute commitment from the Smithville Police Department in the continued pursuit of justice in this case. Our prayers for strength and heartfelt condolences go out to the family," added Captain Leffew.

Count 1 of the indictment against Key alleges that "Cody Key, on or about the 16th or the 17th day of May, 2015, in DeKalb County did unlawfully, knowingly, and other than by accidental means treat a child born June 10, 2013 in such a manner as to inflict injury on the child and the act of abuse resulted in serious bodily injury to the child, thereby committing the offense of aggravated child abuse"

Count 2 of the indictment alleges that "Cody Key, on or about the 16th or 17th day of May, 2015, in DeKalb County did unlawfully and knowingly inflict fatal injuries upon the child during the perpetration of aggravated child abuse and said injuries did cause the death of the child on or about the 16th or 17th day of May, 2015."

The indictment against May alleges that "between the 17th day of May, 2014 and the 17th day of May, 2015 in DeKalb County, Jessica May did unlawfully, knowingly, and other than by accidental means, neglect the child so as to adversely affect the health and welfare of the child, thereby committing the offense of aggravated child neglect".

Rock Island Man Held in Warren County for Death of Former DeKalb County Resident

May 18, 2015
Dwayne Page
 Timmie Lee Bain
Daniel Mayo

A Rock Island man has been arrested in Warren County and charged with criminal homicide in the death of a former DeKalb County resident

49 year old Timmie Lee Bain is believed to be responsible for the murder two years ago of 45 year old Daniel Mayo even though Mayo's body has not been found.

Mayo had been a long time resident of DeKalb County before relocating to Warren County. According to Warren County Sheriff Jackie Matheny, Mayo had worked and lived with Bain prior to his disappearance.

Authorities have reportedly focused their search for Mayo's remains on a hog farm where the men worked on C. Rowland Road, near the Mud Creek Community at Rock Island. Cadaver dogs have been brought in to assist in the search.

The arrest of Bain comes after an lengthy investigation which has spanned several months. While authorities had received an earlier tip concerning the homicide they were unable to establish that a murder had occurred until a new development surfaced in the case.

Ceremony marks completion of Center Hill Dam barrier wall (VIEW VIDEOS HERE)

May 18, 2015
Linda Adcock (Left), project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Center Hill Dam Safety Project, assists Tennessee State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver place a ceremonial concrete form into a small-scale model commemorating the completion of the Center Hill Dam Barrier Wall Project May 18, 2015 on the work platform of the dam. (USACE photo by Mark Rankin)

Officials celebrated the completion of a barrier wall in the main dam embankment of Center Hill Dam during a ceremony today at the work platform on top of the dam. The $115 million foundation barrier wall is a key component of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District’s Center Hill Dam Safety Remediation Project.

Tennessee Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver of District 40 sang the National Anthem and spoke about how amazing the lake is and how the local community below the dam is very interested in the status of the work to rehabilitate the dam.

“This lake here produces over $70 million a year to the local economy,” Weaver said. “This is a beautiful lake. We love this place and this is an important project here to get done… it (the lake) provides a lot of jobs, a lot of recreation, and it’s just plain gorgeous.”

The work to install the barrier wall began in 2012. Bauer Foundation Corporation construction crews worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week for much of the contract duration to complete this phase of the dam safety work.

“The barrier wall provides a permanent ‘barrier’ to potentially harmful seepage beneath the main dam earthen embankment,” said Linda Adcock, project manager. “Completion of this phase of the project significantly increases the safety of the dam.”

Adcock explained that the concrete barrier wall is approximately 2.5-feet thick constructed vertically along the embankment in overlapping rectangular columns as deep as 308 feet from the top of the dam and deep into the solid-rock foundation.

Lt. Col. John L. Hudson, Nashville District commander, said that the completion of the Center Hill barrier wall is an important milestone in the rehabilitation of Center Hill Dam.

“Today is about recognizing the hard work of team members from the Corps and our prime contractor Bauer who have been able to accomplish some very complex and difficult technical work. The completed project has significantly increased the reliability of the dam and ensured its structural integrity for generations to come,” Hudson said.

The “first bite” of a giant auger drill rig turned up the first dirt of the project July 11, 2012. The last concrete pours for the barrier wall were completed in March 2015.

Alex Cartwright, project manager for Bauer, said that the company is very proud of its leading role in the restoration of Center Hill Dam and immensely grateful to the local businesses and people whose invaluable contribution helped make this project an outstanding technical success.

“It’s done. It’s all in there now,” Cartwright said about the installation of the concrete barrier wall. “Something like 80,000 cubic yards of concrete went into making this wall.”

Cartwright explained that not all of the concrete actually remained in the ground because roughly 10 percent of it got cut back out when forming the series of interlocking panels. He said the continuous wall runs deep into the foundation of the embankment terminating into the nearby hillside.

This is the second of three major contracts to remediate the Center Hill project. The third and final contract expected to be advertised later this year involves the installation of a concrete berm downstream of the auxiliary dam embankment. The auxiliary dam is a secondary earthen embankment that fills a low area in the landscape just east of the main dam.

The distinguished guests also participated in constructing a small-scale model of the barrier wall to culminate the ceremony. The five concrete panels in the model represented the importance of the lake to the community, the importance of the lake to the Cumberland River System, the expertise of Bauer, the positive impact of the Corps of Engineers construction management team, and how the elements of the team worked together to form the barrier wall.

The lake levels continue to be operated between elevation 630 feet above mean seal level in the summer and no lower than elevation 618 MSL during the late fall and early winter.

Center Hill Dam is rated in the Corps’ “Dam Safety Action Classification I,” which is the most urgent category for Dam Safety modification in the Corps. Even though the concrete barrier wall is complete, the classification of the dam cannot be changed until the third and final contract is completed, the remediation works are assessed and the project is reclassified. The final reviews are expected to be completed in 2018; the lake level is expected to be raised in time for the 2018 summer recreation season.

(The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorpsand on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.)

Photo Cutline: Linda Adcock (Left), project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Center Hill Dam Safety Project, assists Tennessee State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver place a ceremonial concrete form into a small-scale model commemorating the completion of the Center Hill Dam Barrier Wall Project May 18, 2015 on the work platform of the dam. (USACE photo by Mark Rankin)

Baxter Man Arrested in Shooting at Austin Bottom Lake Boat Access

May 18, 2015
Dwayne Page
James Paris Goff

An arrest has been made in a shooting last week at the Austin Bottom Lake Boat Access Area in which one man was wounded.

18 year old James Paris Goff of Window Cliff Road, Baxter was picked up on Friday, May 15 and charged with two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of reckless endangerment. Goff is under a $120,000 bond and he will make an appearance in DeKalb County General Sessions Court on June 4.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, the incident occurred on Monday evening, May 11 after Goff and some friends arrived by boat to the Austin Bottom Lake Boat Access Area. While there, Goff and another man got into a fight. After the altercation, Goff left the area by boat but returned later in a vehicle armed with a handgun. Goff again confronted the same man with whom he had fought earlier and showed him the gun.

Goff then turned the gun on three other people who were leaving the area in an automobile and fired several rounds at them. One of the bullets penetrated the vehicle and struck the rear seat passenger in the back. The driver and front seat passenger were not hit.

After the shooting, Central Dispatch was notified and alerted the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department. "We received a call at 7:36 p.m. from central dispatch that a man had been shot at the Austin Bottom Lake Boat Access Area. The shooter and victim had already left the scene prior to law enforcement's arrival. We met officers of the Putnam County Sheriff's Department who responded for mutual aid or backup purposes. We then started an investigation into the shooting. DeKalb EMS was also summoned but they did not transport anyone because the victim was already gone. During the investigation, deputies and detectives from both the DeKalb and Putnam County Sheriff's Departments were able to find the victim at a family member's house in Cookeville. The victim was then taken to the hospital in Cookeville and later transported by ground ambulance to a medical facility in Nashville where he was treated and released. The investigation resulted in the arrest of Goff," said Sheriff Ray.

The two charges against Goff for aggravated assault were for his confrontation with the first victim and for wounding the other person in the shooting. The reckless endangerment charges were for Goff's putting the lives of the other two persons in the vehicle in endanger by firing shots at them.

The names of the victims have not been released.

"TECH TALK" to Feature Discussion about Medicare Thursday

May 18, 2015
Dwayne Page
"TECH TALK" airs Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on WJLE sponsored by Smithville Computer Repair

Listen for "TECH TALK" Thursday, May 21 from 8:00 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. on WJLE sponsored by Smithville Computer Repair. This week's guest will be Gary Malone of Eagle Point Financial. He will be discussing Medicare. You may call in your questions to him at 615-597-4265.

Dr. Jamie Fornabaio of Wheeler Veterinary Clinic was the guest last week. She is pictured here with Elaine Swicker (left) and Dan DelaCruz of Smithville Computer Repair (right)

DCHS Soccer Standout Signs with Martin Methodist College

May 18, 2015
Coach K. Dylan Kleparek, Assistant Coach Rhonda Merriman, Principal Patrick Cripps and Jonathan Munoz (seated)

Jonathan Munoz, DCHS Soccer player, signed with Martin Methodist College on Friday May 8th.

Munoz will receive Academic/Sports scholarships in the amount of $56,000 over the next four years. Jonathan has been a player on the DCHS soccer team for three years and has received 1st Team All-District honors. He will be majoring in Biology at Martin Methodist and plans to become a dentist.

Joining Munoz for the signing were DCHS Soccer Coach Dylan Kleparek (Coach K), Assistant Coach Rhonda Merriman, and DCHS Principal Patrick Cripps

(Photo provided by Lisa Craig)

School System to Offer Free Lunches for All Students (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

May 17, 2015
Dwayne Page

All students in the DeKalb County School System, regardless of income, will have access to free lunches when school begins in August under a federal program the Board of Education has decided to join. But the current rate of students participating in the lunch program has to increase by at least five percent to keep the school's nutrition program from losing money.

During the regular monthly meeting Thursday night, the school board voted to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Community Eligibility Program and offer free lunches starting this fall on a trial basis. If the program is not self supporting, the school board can opt out.

CEP is a universal meal plan under the National School Lunch Program that permits eligible districts and schools to provide meal service to all students at no charge. DeKalb County schools are already offering free breakfasts under the Universal Breakfast Program.

According to Amy Lattimore, School Nutrition Supervisor, rather than collecting and processing individual applications for federal free and reduced priced lunches under the National School Lunch Program, schools would serve all meals at no cost under CEP.

The school system would then be reimbursed using a formula based on the percentage of students identified as eligible for free meals, one that relies on information from other programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

"We are in the National School Lunch Program and we are currently reimbursed for school meals across three categories: paid, free, and reduced. How that works is a "free" child comes through the lunch line and they don't give us any money. The state gives us $3.06 . A "reduced" child comes through the lunch line and they give us 40 cents while the state gives us $2.66. A paying student comes through the lunch line and they give us $1.50 or $1.75 depending on their age range and the state gives us 36 cents. So we're always getting the student payments and the reimbursement combined. That's how we fund our program. With CEP we don't get reimbursed across three categories. They do away with the categories and its through a formula that we would get reimbursed," said Lattimore.

The school system's nutrition program also receives income from a la carte sales, teacher meals, and visitor meals and that would continue under CEP.

While the school system would get a greater reimbursement of funds under CEP, it would no longer receive income from students who are currently paying for their lunches resulting in the nutrition program actually losing money overall unless more students take advantage. Currently school nutrition is self supporting in DeKalb County.

"With CEP we will actually receive more reimbursement but we would no longer receive any student payments. If we serve the same amount of kids with CEP we would lose money. For CEP to work in DeKalb County, participation has to go up. That's how we would make it work. Currently we have about 67% of our students eating lunch with us every day. About 44% are eating breakfast. When we started Universal breakfast we had a 3% increase in participation. We should see a higher increase for lunch but participation has to come up by at least 5% to stay where we are now (self supporting). That's in a perfect world where our a la carte sales stay the same. Our teacher meals stay the same and our visitor meals stay the same. If we don't we'll lose money," said Lattimore.

Should the free lunch program fail to be self supporting, the school board would have to move funds from the general purpose budget to the nutrition program to cover the costs, which could be as much as $3,000 per month. However, the school board could chose to opt out of CEP at any time and stop offering universal free lunches.

If free lunches were stopped under CEP during the midst of the school year, Lattimore said it could create hassles for parents and staff with having to again begin processing free and reduced priced applications so late in the year. "Kids must apply for a free and reduced application or they are directly certified through the state. If we do CEP at the beginning of the year they are not sending in those applications. If we have to stop CEP in mid year because we're losing money, we'll have to get in all those applications in mid year. It'll be a hassle for parents and staff," she said.

Danny Parkerson, First District School Board member, made a motion to start the free lunch program saying it would save families money. Fourth District member Kate Miller offered a second to the motion. All board members voted in favor.

DCHS Tigerettes vs Chattanooga Central in State Tournament Tuesday

May 17, 2015
Dwayne Page

The DCHS Tigerettes will face Chattanooga Central on Tuesday, May 19 at 5:30 p.m. in the first round of the TSSAA Class AA State Girls' Softball Tournament in Murfreesboro.

The tournament will be held at the Murfreesboro Sports Complex & McKnight Fields

The game featuring the DCHS Tigerettes (27-6) and Chattanooga Central (20-14) will be played at Starplex #2

WJLE plans LIVE coverage.

(Click the link below to view the tournament bracket)

Tigerettes Bound for the State Tournament

May 16, 2015
Dwayne Page
DCHS Tigerettes are Sub State Champs

The DCHS Tigerettes are bound for the state softball tournament after coming from behind to defeat Polk County 6-4 Friday in the Sub-State played in Smithville.

This will be the seventh trip to the state tournament in the program's thirty year existence under Coach Danny Bond (1992, 1994, 1996, 2001, 2008, 2014, & 2015) and the first time DCHS softball teams will have made state tournament appearances two years in a row (2014 and 2015). This is also the third DCHS softball team in program history to have won championships for the regular season district, district tournament, region tournament, and sub-state before advancing to the state tournament (1992, 1994, & 2015)

Down 4 to 2 with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, Myranda Bailiff delivered a grand slam homerun to give the Tigerettes the lead and the eventual win.

Kayley Caplinger, the winning pitcher, faced twenty eight batters through seven innings. She gave up four runs on seven hits, struck out nine, and walked none.

DeKalb County scored six runs on six hits and made three errors. Polk County scored four runs on seven hits and made two errors.

The Tigerettes scored one run in the third and fourth innings and four runs in the sixth. Polk County scored one run in the first and three runs in the fourth inning.

In addition to Bailiff's grand slam homerun, Kayley Caplinger, Katie Hall, Allison Maynard, and Lexi Bates each had a single and Dani Meadows doubled.

The Tigerettes will make their debut in the State Tournament at Murfreesboro on Tuesday, May 19 at a time to be announced. WJLE plans LIVE coverage.

The DCHS record is now 27-6 for the season. Coach Bond's all time record as softball coach is 642-250.

Director of Schools Application Form Now Available

May 15, 2015
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education has released the qualifications and five page application form for those seeking to become the next Director of Schools.

(Click the link below to view the actual application)


The "Vacancy Posting" cites the following educational qualifications:

1. A professional educator's license with Superintendent (Director of Schools) endorsement or a Tennessee Professional Administrator's license.
2. A master's degree in education with a preference for a doctorate degree
3. Three years of successful experience in school administration
4. Such other qualifications as the Board deems desirable

Additional Application Requirements:
1. Must live in or agree to move to DeKalb County within 90 days of hire
2. Professional Resume including Transcripts
3. Formal letter of interest

Description of Position:
The management responsibilities of the Director of Schools shall extend to all activities of the district, to all phases of the educational program, to all aspects of the financial operations, to all parts of the physical plant, and to the conduct of such other duties as may be assigned by the Board.

Contact person:
Jamie Vickers, Secretary, for information regarding the application process and for a complete description of the qualifications and duties of this position. Applications will be accepted beginning May 15, 2015 through June 15, 2015.


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