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Smithville Police Make Drug Arrest

October 18, 2016
Dwayne Page
William Travis Malone

Smithville Police arrested a suspected drug dealer recently after finding him passed out in his vehicle with pills, meth, and drug paraphernalia while they were making a welfare check at a Village Place residence.

34 year old William Travis Malone is charged with possession of Schedule II, III, and IV drugs with intent to sell or deliver. Police were called to conduct a welfare check on September 24 at Village Place after a vehicle was observed setting in a driveway for over an hour with the motor running. Upon arrival, the officer saw the vehicle in the driveway with its reverse lights on. He approached the automobile and spotted a man, Malone, passed out at the wheel with the motor running with the gear in reverse. When the officer reached inside the vehicle to shift the gear in park, he saw a tray in Malone's lap which contained a large baggie of blue pills believed to be Xanax and Suboxone along with a baggie of a white crystal like substance believed to be methamphetamine and $304 in cash. The officer awoke Malone and placed him under arrest. After conducting a probable cause search of the vehicle, police also found a set of digital scales and two more baggies of a white crystal like substance. A total of 121 pills were recovered along with eight grams of methamphetamine. The cash, believed to be proceeds from illegal drug sales, was also seized. Bond for Malone is $15,000.

Meanwhile, 62 year old Terry Wayne Owens was cited for theft on Monday, October 3. Owens was seen on Wal-Mart's surveillance video taking a purse belonging to the victim out of a shopping cart without permission and putting it in his vehicle. His court date is November 3.

48 year old Lou Ann Sanders was arrested Saturday, October 8 for driving under the influence and cited for failure to carry a driver's license and violation of the open container. Sanders was involved in a motor vehicle crash and when the investigating officer approached her vehicle, he immediately detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from inside the automobile. The officer further noted that upon exiting the vehicle, Sanders had the smell of an alcoholic beverage on her person and she was unsteady on her feet. Sanders submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. She was then taken into custody. Bond for Sanders is $1,500 and her court date is October 27.

42 year old Charlotte Marie Hill was cited Tuesday, October 11 for criminal impersonation. While police were attempting to serve a warrant on Hill for failure to appear, she told them that her name was "Marie Floyd". They later learned that "Floyd" was actually Hill. Police served the Rutherford County warrant on Hill and transported her there. Her court date is October 27.

27 year old Travis Allen Bogle was arrested on Wednesday, October 12 for driving under the influence and cited for improper passing and violation of the light law. Police initiated a traffic stop at the Marathon Gas Station and identified Bogle as the driver. The officer detected a strong odor of alcohol on Bogle's breath and noticed that he was unsteady on his feet. Bogle submitted to but performed poorly on standardized field sobriety tasks. Bond for Bogle is $1,500 and his court date is October 27.

32 year old Christopher Lee Lewis was arrested on September 12 for violation of bond conditions. Police received information that Lewis and his victim were living together which placed Lewis in violation of court ordered bond conditions established on September 2 for aggravated assault. Upon arrival at the residence, Police found Lewis in the company of the victim and he was taken into custody. His bond is $1,500.

45 year old Sherry Diane Butler was cited on September 11 for theft of property and criminal trespass. Police responded to Wal-Mart due to a shoplifter and spoke with Butler in the store office where the merchandise had been recovered. Butler is banned from all Wal-Mart stores for previous shoplifting offenses.

33 year old Johnny Lynn Devault was cited September 12 for theft of property. Police were called after Devault was stopped by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department for a traffic violation. Devault had been a suspect in the theft of flowers earlier that day from Wal-Mart.

25 year old Dylan C. Myers was arrested on September 14 for a second offense of driving under the influence and cited for violation of implied consent. Police responded to a possible drunk driver traveling westbound into town. Officers initiated a stop of the vehicle at Kwik N Ezy and spoke with the driver, Myers who had a strong odor of alcohol coming from his person. His eyes were also glossy and bloodshot. Myers submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. His bond is $3,000.

37 year old Janice Rena Velasquez was cited on September 17 for possession of drug paraphernalia. Police were called to Wal-Mart in reference to a possible shoplifter. The officer spoke with Velasquez's probation officer and found that she had two warrants against her for violation of probation. She gave consent for a search of her vehicle and police found a black & white bag in the driver door containing a pipe with residue, a straw with residue and other items.

35 year old John Brent Williams was arrested September 17 for aggravated assault. Police responded to a domestic call where Williams allegedly pulled a handgun on his victim and left the scene before officers arrived. Upon investigation, it was determined that Williams had been the primary aggressor and he was later taken into custody. His bond is $3,500.

46 year old Ricky Lane Evans was arrested on September 18 for tampering with evidence and cited for simple possession and drug paraphernalia. Police were assisting the DeKalb Sheriff’s Department on a stolen property call when a city police officer asked for and received verbal consent to search Evans' vehicle. During the search, nine Schedule II and seven Schedule III pills were recovered for which Evans had no prescription. The officer placed the pills on the roof of the vehicle and verbally warned Evans several times to not touch them. After a few minutes, the officer observed Evans walk toward the vehicle, grab the pills, open them up and attempt to pour them down a nearby storm drain. Bond for Evans is $3,500.

48 year old Robert Orin Nannie was arrested on September 20 for public intoxication. Police were called to McDonald's concerning an individual who was walking around asking people for money. He appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. Upon arrival the officer found Nannie a short distance from McDonalds lying on his back in a field. He appeared to be asleep. The officer awoke Nannie and detected a strong odor of alcohol on his person. Nannie was unsteady on his feet and his speech was slurred. Due to his level of intoxication and for his safety, he was placed in custody for public intoxication. His bond is $1,500.

27 year old Corey Lee Cripps was cited September 23 for shoplifting from Wal-Mart. Cripps allegedly cut open a package and concealed a crossbow cocking device in his pocket.

44 year old Timothy Scott Bennett was arrested September 27 for public intoxication. Police were called to Miller Road in reference to an intoxicated man lying under a tree in the front yard of a residence. Bennett was found to have a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage about his person and upon standing was unsteady on his feet. Bennett was not a resident of the property and didn't have any family who would allow him to remain there due to his excessive drinking. For his safety and that of the public, Bennett was taken into custody without incident. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is October 27.

Bennett was arrested again on September 29 for public intoxication. Police were called to Highland Street in reference to an intoxicated man causing a disturbance. Bennett was found to have a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage about his person. His speech was slurred and he couldn't stand without assistance. Bennett was not a resident of the property so for his safety and that of the public he was taken into custody without incident. His bond is $2,500 and his court date is October 27.

40 year old Shannon Elaine Taylor was arrested September 30 for Domestic Assault. Police responded to a residence in reference to a domestic assault where Taylor allegedly assaulted her victim by striking him with her fists, elbows, and a piece of broken railing from a staircase. Her bond is $2,500 and her court date is October 27.

Early Voting Begins Wednesday

October 18, 2016
Dwayne Page
Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton
Diane Black
David Kent
Terri Lynn Weaver
Gayla Colvert Hendrix
Mark Pody
Amelia Morrison Hipps

Early voting begins Wednesday, October 19 for the November 8 U.S. Presidential Election and Tennessee General Election.

Voters will make their choices for President of the United States, Sixth District U.S. House of Representatives, and Tennessee House of Representatives in the 40th & 46th Districts.

The ballot in the City of Smithville also includes two referendums, one concerning liquor by the drink in restaurants and the other regarding wine in food stores.

Early voting will be held October 19-November 3 on the first floor of the DeKalb County Courthouse. Hours are Mondays 1-5 p.m.; Tuesdays 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; Wednesdays 9 a.m.- 1 p.m.; Thursdays 2-6 p.m.; Fridays 9a.m.- 1 p.m.; and Saturdays 9 a.m. – Noon.

Candidates names listed here are in the same order as on the ballot.

The Presidential candidates are:
Donald J. Trump for President and Michael R. Pence for Vice President

Hillary Clinton for President and Tim Kaine for Vice President

“Rocky” Roque De La Fuente for President and Michael Steinberg for Vice President

Gary Johnson for President and William F. Weld for Vice President

Alyson Kennedy for President and Osborne Hart for Vice President

Mike Smith for President and Daniel White for Vice President

Jill Stein for President and Ajamu Baraka for Vice President

Candidates for 6th District U.S. House of Representatives (Congressman) are:
Diane Black

David W. Kent

David Ross

Candidates for Tennessee House of Representatives 40th District:
Terri Lynn Weaver

Gayla Colvert Hendrix

Candidates for Tennessee House of Representatives 46th District:
Mark Pody

Amelia Morrison Hipps

On the Premises Referendum City of Smithville:
“For legal sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises in City of Smithville”

“Against legal sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises in City of Smithville”

Wine at Food Stores Referendum City of Smithville:
“For legal sale of wine at retail food stores in the City of Smithville”

“Against legal sale of wine at retail food stores in the City of Smithville”
(see ballot here)
nov. newspaper master ballot.pdf (18.55 KB)

The ballot is available online at www.dekalbelections.com and wjle.com.

Child Airlifted After Two Vehicle Crash

October 17, 2016
Dwayne Page
1999 Ford F150 driven by Joe Young

A three year old child was airlifted after a two vehicle crash Monday afternoon on Highway 70 east near Turtle’s Bar & Grill.

Trooper Chris Delong of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 49 year old Joe Young of Smithville was traveling west on Highway 70 in a 1999 Ford F150 when he swerved to avoid a rear end collision with a vehicle that had stopped in front of him. As Young crossed into the eastbound lane he found himself in the path of an oncoming 2014 Toyota Prius, driven by 34 year old Virginia Kirby of Cookeville resulting in a head-on collision. Kirby’s three year old daughter was a passenger with her.

Kirby was taken by DeKalb EMS to St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital. The child was transported by EMS to a helicopter landing zone set up at the Midway Community Center and then flown to Vanderbilt Hospital.

Young sustained minor injuries and was cited for failure to exercise due care.

Trooper Delong was assisted by Trooper Sean Tramel. Members of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department and Midway and Short Mountain Highway Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department also responded.

DeKalb EMS Receives Region "Call of the Year" Award

October 17, 2016
Dwayne Page
Jamie Parsley-AEMT, Tyler Grandstaff-CCEMT-P, Jonathan Rudd-EMT-Paramedic, Christian Utley, Daniel Hudson, Dustin Utley, Houston Austin-EMT-Paramedic, Donna Melton-AEMT, and Greta Stone-EMT-Paramedic.
DeKalb EMS Director Hoyte Hale, Greta Stone-EMT-Paramedic, Daniel Hudson, Houston Austin-EMT-Paramedic, Dustin Utley, Tim Briggs-EMT-Paramedic, Christian Utley, Jamie Parsley-AEMT, and Donna Melton-AEMT

For their efforts in helping save the lives of victims in an August crash on Allen Ferry Road, members of the DeKalb County Ambulance Service have earned the department the Upper Cumberland EMS Directors Association Region IV “Call of the Year” Award.

The honorees, Jamie Parsley-AEMT, Tyler Grandstaff-CCEMT-Paramedic, Jonathan Rudd-EMT-Paramedic, Houston Austin-EMT-Paramedic, Donna Melton-AEMT, Greta Stone-EMT-Paramedic, and Tim Briggs-EMT-Paramedic, were recognized and awarded during the Upper Cumberland EMS Directors Association's Annual Education Symposium held in Cookeville Thursday and Friday, October 13 & 14.

During this conference, the association awarded EMTs and Paramedics from within the Upper Cumberland Region, who have excelled in their patient care and overall performance in service to the counties in which they serve. The nominations for these awards are carefully reviewed and considered by the members of the Director’s Association.

DeKalb EMS Director Hoyte Hale nominated the crew for the award based on their response to a serious two vehicle crash August 12 on Allen Ferry Road in which three students, Daniel Hudson, Christian Utley, and Dustin Utley and a teacher, Cody Randolph were injured on their way to school.

“On behalf of DeKalb County EMS, I would like to take this opportunity to nominate a team of outstanding and dedicated Emergency Medical Technicians that shows exemplifying qualities daily in their knowledge, skills, as well as compassion for their patients for the 2016 Region IV Upper Cumberland EMS Director’s Association “Call of the Year” Award, “ wrote Hale.

“At 7:10 a.m. the morning of August 12, the tones dropped and at that moment the entire crew that was on duty would be faced with critical life changing decisions and the knowledge and skills each of them hold would be put to the test. That Friday morning began as three brothers making their way to school and a PE teacher on his way to work collided. Responding unit 5 arrived and assessed the scene to witness four patients that were involved in a head-on collision, three of those patients, ages 10, 15, and 18, all brothers, were critical. The 10 year old patient was found in a ditch with severe seat belt contusions and a ridged distended abdomen hypotensive. The 15 year old suffered an open puncture wound to the upper chest and a laceration to the head and the 18 year old had an open femur fracture, broken arm, decreased breath sounds and signs of internal injuries," wrote Hale

"Paramedic Briggs arrived on the scene to assist with the patients as the two additional units, unit 2 and unit 3 were called to respond. Air Evac 44, Air Evac 19, and Life Force 5 were also dispatched to the scene of the accident. All units on the scene were faced with a situation that most of us hope that we are never faced with in any child, however with the quick thinking response and life saving actions by all three crews, each boy is expected to have a full recovery from their major injuries with a lifelong story to tell," Hale continued.

"All three boys have been released from Vanderbilt Hospital but all are still faced with many surgeries to overcome in the near future. Without the immediate response, the years of skills, training, and dedication to their community the EMS team put to use on that day, the outcome for these three boys and their family could have been devastating," he wrote.

"Many other prehospital providers from our region have provided great service for their community and deserve to be recognized but I feel this crew deserves the EMT of the Year Award for the way they pulled together as a team and diligently worked to save the three brothers. With the years of hard work and training this crew holds, they touch numerous lives daily and make a difference in each patient’s life. The PE teacher was treated for non-life threatening injuries and was transported to the local hospital,” wrote Hale.

Smithville Resident Appointed to Tennessee Social Studies Standards Recommendation Committee

October 17, 2016
William Freddy Curtis

William Freddy Curtis, a resident of Smithville, has been appointed to the Tennessee Social Studies Standards Recommendation Committee by Tennessee House of Representatives Speaker Beth Harwell. After his appointment, Curtis was named Vice Chairman by the committee.

Curtis is a 31 year veteran of Cannon County Schools and teaches US Government, Sociology, and Advanced Placement US Government & Politics at Cannon County High School in Woodbury.

The following article by Committee Chairman Mr. Jason Roach and Mr. Curtis describes the responsibility of the committee and asks for the public’s input regarding changes in Tennessee’s Social Studies Standards.

How often do citizens speak up only to be patronized or, let’s face it, outright ignored by those who represent them? We can proudly report that Tennesseans spoke and Legislative Plaza listened. Not only did your representatives listen, but they implemented a ground-breaking process to fix a problem that irked many Tennesseans across our state.

During the 2014-2015 school year, the State Board of Education implemented a set of social studies standards that were designed to increase the academic rigor in social studies classrooms across the state. There were some concerns that many Tennesseans had with the content of the standards as well as how developmentally appropriate they were for Tennessee students. In 2016, after hearing many share their concerns, the state government designed a process to review the standards and to create a version that better reflects Tennessee values.

A team of professional educators was selected from all across the state to review and edit the standards. This “educator advisory team” has worked relentlessly to represent the core values of Tennesseans while also understanding the need to address a variety of historically relevant topics throughout the social studies curriculum. We have seen this team in action. They are a phenomenal group of social studies teachers and leaders that have worked to revise the social studies standards according to the needs of our students. As of now, they have wrapped up their first round of edits of the social studies standards.

The Social Studies Recommendation Committee is made up of many qualified professionals, from a district leader of Nashville Metro schools to a professor of history at Tennessee State University. Our committee will review the changes that are given to us, discuss further changes, and send the standards back to the educator advisory team to be addressed again. Once we conclude that the standards are ready, we will make a final recommendation to the State Board of Education for approval.

The need for continued feedback from Tennesseans is both necessary and desired throughout this process. The Tennessee State Board of Education has designed a program where any Tennessee citizen can comment on the standards that have been proposed. The public comment portion of this process was opened last year in order to obtain feedback about the standards before we began our work. We have looked at all 60,000 comments. Our committee values the input of our fellow Tennesseans. If you missed the first opportunity, you have until October 28th to review and leave feedback on the revised set of standards at https://apps.tn.gov/tcas/ .

The voices of all Tennesseans matter in this process. As we move forward with this process, we ask that you partner with us to create a set of social studies standards that we can ensure will benefit the students who sit in every public school classroom in the state of Tennessee.

Mr. Jason Roach is a principal and former social studies teacher from Hawkins County and chairs the Tennessee Standards Recommendation Committee. Mr. William Freddy Curtis is a former principal and currently a social studies teacher in Cannon County and serves as vice-chair of the Committee.

4-H Members Complete Poultry Project

October 17, 2016
Leigh Fuson, 4-H Extension Agent
DeKalb County 4-H Chick-Chain participants at the 2016 Show and Sale
Colby Barnes and Cooper Brown were awarded Grand and Reserve Champion with their Rhode Island Red hens.
Clayton Crook and Marissa Clark won Grand and Reserve Champions in the Barred Rock breed.

DeKalb County members recently finished the Chick-Chain poultry project with the annual show and sale which was held at the Farmers Market. Each participant received 15 Rhode Island Red or Barred Rock chicks in April and raised them throughout the spring and summer. These 4-H’ers are learning responsibility, hard work, patience, and much more all while having fun by raising chickens.

On September 15th, 28 4-H’ers completed the project by bringing 3 chickens back to the 4-H Poultry Show and Sale. The pullets, or young hens, are carefully judged on maturity, egg laying ability, and overall health. A Grand Champion and Reserve Champion is each breed was selected along with other awards. The Grand Champion Rhode Island Red went to Colby Barnes and the Reserve Champion was awarded to Cooper Brown, both 6th graders at DMS. The Grand Champion Barred Rock went to Clayton Crook, 9th grader at DCHS, while Reserve Champion went to Marissa Clark, 7th grader at DeKalb West School.

After awards were handed out, it was time for the auction! The money raised goes back to the 4-H members to refund their original deposit on the chicks. They also received additional prize money. A special thank you goes out to all the bidders, buyers, sponsors, and volunteers who came out to support the 4-H poultry project this year. We had a record amount of money raised this year!

4-H members who completed the project should feel proud of all their hard work and accomplishments! If you are interested in the Chick Chain project, or any other 4-H program, please call 615-597-4945. 4-H is a proud part of UT and TSU Extension. UT/TSU Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment through the cooperation of county, state, and federal governments.

Group DeKalb County 4-H Chick-Chain participants at the 2016 Show and Sale

Rhode Island Champs Colby Barnes and Cooper Brown were awarded Grand and Reserve Champion with their Rhode Island Red hens.

Barred Rock Champs Clayton Summers and Marissa Clark won Grand and Reserve Champions in the Barred Rock breed.

DeKalb Pee Wee Tigers Win Youth Conference Super Bowl

October 17, 2016
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Pee Wee Tigers Win Youth Conference Super Bowl

The DeKalb County Pee Wee Tigers won the First Ever Middle Tennessee Youth Football Conference Super Bowl Saturday at York Institute. They avenged their only loss of the season by beating Fentress County 6 to O. The Peewees won 9 straight games after their season opening loss to Fentress.

DeKalb Prevention Coalition to Sponsor "Prescription Drug Take Back Event" Saturday

October 16, 2016
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Prevention Coalition encourages all DeKalb County residents to join the effort to reduce the risk of prescription drug abuse by participating in a Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, October 22. This event will be held at the Smithville City Hall from 10:00am to 2:00pm.

The DeKalb County Prevention Coalition urges DeKalb County residents to come out to this event and drop off any unwanted, old, extra, unneeded, or expired prescription pills for safe disposal. This is confidential and no names or information will be collected.

DPC will also have a limited amount of lock boxes to give out.

Remember too that a “Community Wellness Walk” will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Take a short downtown walk to Justin Potter Library. A Healthy DeKalb Information Session will also be held at Justin Potter Library at 11:00 a.m. Light refreshments will be provided.

Be sure to take the following steps to remove prescription drugs from your home or office in preparation for this Drug Take Back Event.

•Check for unused prescriptions in medicine cabinets, bathroom, closets, bedside tables and kitchen drawers, under the sink, and in closets, purses, handbags, and containers.

•Remove all labeling and packaging on bottles and containers before disposing to ensure the protection of your privacy and personal information.

Keep in mind: the majority of Tennessee’s Take-Back Boxes are in locations that are accessible seven days a week, 24 hours a day. While there is special focus on take-back events each year in April and October, most boxes are located in law enforcement buildings (Smithville City Hall) and offices, where they are available for safe disposal anytime you need them.

Statewide ACT Senior Retake is Saturday, October 22

October 16, 2016
Dwayne Page

The statewide ACT Senior Retake will be Saturday, October 22 for students who met the September 16 registration deadline.

The retake provides every eligible high school senior, meaning any public school student who took the ACT as a junior, the ability to retake the ACT free of charge, regardless of socioeconomic status.

With more Tennessee students than ever before taking the ACT, Tennessee public high school students this year held steady at a 19.4 average score, whereas nationally scores declined as more students participated. For each subject area, scores of Tennessee public school students either increased slightly or remained constant, with no score declining. Nearly 1,300 more Tennessee public school students became eligible for the HOPE scholarship in 2016 by achieving composite scores of 21 or higher. Additionally, Tennessee improved its national standing in 2016 among the 18 states that require students to take the ACT, climbing to seventh in the nation when looking at the average composite of both public and private school students. In 2015, Tennessee ranked eighth among the then-13 states that required the college readiness assessment.

“Our Districts ACT score was up from a composite of 17.7 to an 18.1 this year with Science and Reading being our highest scoring tested areas and math being our lowest,” said Lisa Cripps, Supervisor of Instruction for grades 7-12 in DeKalb County.

“We are continuing to help our students become better prepared for the ACT and College by the addition of an online ACT prep class and utilizing a state ACT readiness pilot. We have great hopes that our senior class will increase their scores by taking part in this ACT retake opportunity. I want to thank the DCHS Senior parents and high school counselor Lori Myrick for their efforts in getting our students registered for their first ever ACT retake opportunity,” added Cripps.

Tennessee’s historical ACT data indicate that students who retake the ACT typically increase their composite score by one to three points. This increase in ACT scores could translate into thousands more students meeting the composite score requirement of a 21 for the HOPE scholarship and avoiding remediation courses once they enter a postsecondary institution. Increasing the percentage of students who graduate high school with improved ACT composite and benchmark scores will allow for more students to start their next phase in life on the pathways necessary for success.

"Allowing students an additional opportunity to show what they know by retaking the ACT can expand the possibilities for our students’ futures,” Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said. “Our strategic plan, Tennessee Succeeds, lays out a firm goal, that the average ACT score in Tennessee will be a 21 by 2020, indicating that our students are graduating high school ready for college and career.”

All eligible students will have the option of retaking the ACT on the national test date of Saturday, Oct. 22. The registration deadline for this national test date was Friday, Sept. 16.

The recommendation to allow for a retake of the ACT or SAT for all students came as a result of the first convening of the Assessment Task Force in 2015. The task force developed a set of principles and recommendations, housed in a task force report, to guide the work of the state, districts, and schools.

This then led to the Tennessee Student Assessment Transparency Act of 2016, sponsored by Senator Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin, and Representative Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, in which the General Assembly approved for each student who took a postsecondary readiness assessment—like the ACT—as a high school junior the opportunity to retake it as a senior free of cost.

Saint Thomas Health Appoints Andy Wachtel Regional CEO

October 15, 2016
Andy Wachtel

Andy Wachtel, FACHE, has been named Chief Executive Officer of Saint Thomas DeKalb, Highlands and Stones River hospitals. Saint Thomas Health is a member of Ascension, the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system.

Wachtel begins his new role on October 10, 2016. He most recently served as CEO of Alliance Health located in Ponca City, Oklahoma, where he was responsible for 140-bed Alliance Health Ponca City hospital and 53-bed Alliance Health Blackwell hospital. These two hospitals blended their management teams in May 2014. Earlier he was Chief Operating Officer at Deaconess Hospital, Oklahoma City.

Wachtel received his master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center in Oklahoma City and graduated from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma, with a degree in Business Administration. He and his wife, Pam, have been married for 33 years and have two daughters, Jennifer and Mandy.

“Our regional hospitals and the communities they serve are vitally important to us,” said Karen Springer, President and CEO of Saint Thomas Health. “We are concerned with maintaining and expanding local access to healthcare for the people of Cannon, DeKalb and White Counties and continuing to improve and enhance the quality of that care. We took great care in selecting the new leader for these hospitals.”

“We’re pleased to have someone of Andy’s experience and skill joining the leadership team of Saint Thomas Health and Ascension,” said Gordon Ferguson, President of Saint Thomas Regional Hospitals/President & CEO of Saint Thomas Rutherford. “He is uniquely qualified to lead these three hospitals, and is looking forward to becoming active in the communities they serve.”


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