Local News Articles

TVA Ask Consumers for Voluntary Reduction in Power Use

January 16, 2018

An extreme cold front has moved through Tennessee that will cause temperatures to drop into the single digits overnight. The cold temperatures are expected to continue over the next few days.

The extreme cold weather has caused a critical power supply situation, and TVA is asking all electric power consumers to reduce their use of electricity as much as possible until further notice.

Voluntary reduction is needed to help ensure a continued supply of power to essential services throughout the Tennessee Valley and to avoid interruptions in service.

TVA is using all available resources, including the purchase of available power form neighboring utilities. TVA and local power companies are working around the clock to make power available to consumers.

TVA and local power companies also have cut back on power usage in their facilities by adjusting thermostats, reducing lighting and taking measures to reduce electricity consumption.

Officials of the 155 local power companies in the Tennessee Valley are asking all electric power consumers- residential, commercial and industrial- to cooperate in reducing power usage during this critical situation.

Consumers should:

Postpone using electric appliances such as dishwashers, dryers, and cooking equipment.

Reduce the use of heating by adjusting thermostats down below 65 degrees.

Turn off nonessential lights, appliances, and other electrical equipment.

TVA will continue to monitor this situation and notify the local power companies of any further notices or cancellation of curtailment warnings.

Temperatures should return to a more normal state over the next few days and this consumer alert will be terminated.

TVA and your local power companies appreciate your help during this critical situation.

DCHS to Honor the Late Rosa Stokes Friday Night

January 16, 2018
Dwayne Page
Rosa Stokes
Rosa Stokes in the 1980s

DeKalb County High School and the Lady Tiger basketball program is honoring one of the all-time great players in the history of the program.

On Friday, January 19th, the #55 will be retired in honor of the late Rosa Stokes. Rosa was a member of the Tigerette basketball program from 1979-1983 and went on to star at Cumberland University after her playing days at DCHS.

Stokes scored more than 1,000 points and grabbed more than 1,000 rebounds in her four-year college career. She was an All-District, All-Conference and All-Midstate honoree at DeKalb County High School and later an assistant coach at Louisville, Murray State, Tennessee Tech, Chattanooga and Long Beach State and the head coach for two years at Georgia Southwestern State until her passing on August 7, 2003. Cumberland plays a tournament in her name each December.

“DeKalb County High School is proud to recognize Rosa Stokes as one of the greatest players in DCHS basketball history as well as honoring her love of the game of basketball and her dedication to coaching and mentoring young women throughout her life,” said DCHS Principal Randy Jennings.

“We would like to extend an invitation to all of Rosa's family, any of her teammates, both at DeKalb West and DeKalb County High School, as well as any members of the 1983 graduating class to come share in this special night,” he added.

The retirement ceremony will take place between games on Friday, January 19 at the DCHS gymnasium.

Johnson Charged with Solicitation of a Minor

January 15, 2018
Dwayne Page
Jason Dwayne Johnson
Michael Bryan Miller
William Boyce Butler
Robert Justin Luna
Issac Corbin Beck

A man who allegedly tried to solicit sex with a minor has been arrested.


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_54.pdf (2.38 MB)

39 year old Jason Dwayne Johnson of Game Ridge Road, Smithville is charged with solicitation of a person under 18 years old. His bond is $30,000 and his court date is January 18.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that from April, 2017 to November 27, 2017 “Johnson did by electronic communication intentionally request, persuade, invite, or attempt to induce a person (female) whom he knows or should know is less than 18 years of age to engage in conduct that if completed would constitute a violation by the soliciting adult of the offense of statutory rape”.

32 year old Michael Bryan Miller of Nashville is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. He was further cited for violation of the implied consent law (failure to submit to blood test) and failure to maintain his lane of travel. His bond is $3,000 and his court date is January 18.

Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, January 5 a deputy was called to Highway 70 west due to a reckless driver in a gold Ford Ranger. He spotted the truck traveling in the slow lane and then cross all lanes of traffic into the eastbound fast lane. The deputy stopped the vehicle and spoke with the driver, Miller whose eyes were bloodshot and watery and his pupils were constricted. Miller submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks and was placed under arrest. A search warrant was obtained for a blood sample from Miller.

50 year old William Boyce Butler of Lee Braswell Road, Smithville is charged with aggravated assault and resisting stop, frisk, halt, or arrest. He was further cited for simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $8,500 and his court date is January 25.

Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, January 5 a deputy was dispatched to Lee Braswell Road due to a domestic complaint. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with a woman who said that her husband, Butler had slapped her face and then held her down and tried to choke her. She had red marks on her neck and cheek. Butler is currently on probation for an aggravated assault which occurred on May 19, 2016 against the same victim (his wife). Butler was forced to the ground after he refused commands by officers to stand and be handcuffed. Though he continued to resist while on the ground, Butler was subsequently placed in custody. The officers found on Butler 0.25 ounces of marijuana, a pipe grinder, and rolling papers. One of the officers suffered a knee injury while placing Butler under arrest. The deputy went to the hospital by a private vehicle for treatment and he is now on medical leave from work.

32 year old Robert Justin Luna of Barnes Mill Road, Smithville is charged with aggravated assault. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is January 18.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, January 4 a deputy was called to the Sheriff’s Department to speak with a woman who had been involved in a domestic dispute. The woman said that she and Luna had gotten into an argument over the phone and that after she arrived at a residence on Sparta Highway where Luna was present, he pushed her down, pulled her hair, and tried to choke her until she passed out. She had physical marks around her neck. Luna was placed under arrest.

20 year old Issac Corbin Beck of Parkway Drive, Smithville is charged with domestic assault and possession of a schedule VI drug with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver. His bond is $8,000 and his court date is January 18.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, January 6 a deputy was called to a residence on Sparta Highway due to a physical fight in progress. Upon arrival the officer spoke with a woman who said that she and Beck had gotten into an altercation outside when Beck pushed her to the ground and struck her in the face and elsewhere causing redness. She had physical marks on her face and arms and a golf ball sized knot on her head. Beck had left the scene before the officer’s arrival but he was later located at his residence. During his arrest, an officer asked Beck if he had anything illegal on his person. Beck produced from his shorts 18.5 grams of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana.

DeKalb School Buses Pass Annual State Inspection,

January 14, 2018
Dwayne Page
School Transportation Supervisor Jimmy Sprague and THP Trooper/Bus Inspector Craig Wilkerson
School Transportation Supervisor Jimmy Sprague and THP Trooper/Bus Inspector Craig Wilkerson checking under the hood of bus at school bus garage
THP Trooper/Inspector Ned Martin checking under bus at school bus garage

All DeKalb County School buses have passed state inspection.

State Troopers Darryl Winningham, Ned Martin, and Craig Wilkerson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, inspectors for this district, completed their evaluation last week of all 36 buses in the fleet including the 4 substitute buses.

Trooper Wilkerson said inspectors found no major defects or deficiencies.

“This year everything went really well. The main issue we ran across though it is very minor is the cleanliness of the buses. The mechanical side of it (inspection) went really well. I think the worst thing we had to do was change a tire on a bus. If there is a defect found its usually fixed within five to ten minutes. There’s not been a bus parked for longer than 20 to 30 minutes at the most during inspection,” said Trooper Wilkerson.

"We do a complete level one inspection on the buses. We go from the bottom to the top and inside, outside but the biggest thing we’re looking at is the tires to make sure they have proper air inflation and for tread depth wear. We look at the steering boxes. We make sure there’s nothing wrong with the tie rods and ball joints. We check the exhaust system for leaks. We also check the lighting system and anything that has to deal with the stop signs for when the children are unloading and loading to see that they are working properly,” Trooper Wilkerson continued.

The inspectors conduct an annual inspection for three days in January but unannounced spot checks are done during the year.

Jimmy Sprague, Transportation Supervisor for the DeKalb County School System said he is pleased overall with the results of the inspection and gave credit to the bus drivers and mechanics Michael Agee and Justin Coats.

“DeKalb County is blessed. We have good bus drivers who are very safety conscious. They look out for these kids and make sure they get to school and home safely everyday. I can’t give them enough praise for the job they do and in helping to maintain their buses. DeKalb County should be proud of them,” said Sprague.

Whether it’s a scheduled or unannounced state inspection, Sprague said the buses “are ready at any point and any time and that says a lot about the operation we run here. The drivers keep a check on the buses and if something is wrong we know about it and get it fixed. We couldn’t have the transportation department we have if we didn’t have the drivers we’ve got and the staff we have at the bus garage. It speaks volumes,” Sprague concluded.

GOP Candidates Make Announcements during Party Meet and Greet (VIEW VIDEOS HERE)

January 13, 2018
Dwayne Page

Local GOP candidates officially made their intentions known Saturday during a “Meet and Greet” hosted by the DeKalb County Republican Party at the courthouse.

In addition to Sheriff Patrick Ray and Trustee Sean Driver, who are each seeking their fourth terms, three other candidates announced for county wide offices during the gathering including Susan Martin, who is seeking the Republican nomination for Circuit Court Clerk, and Reed Edge and Danny Hale who are both seeking the GOP nomination to run for Road Supervisor. Incumbent Road Supervisor Butch Agee did not attend Saturday’s meeting. He has already announced his decision not to seek a second term.

Six persons are seeking the GOP nod to run for the County Commission including the following:

Tom Chandler in the 1st district
Sabrina Farler in the 2nd district
Greg Matthews in the 4th district
Jerry Adcock in the 5th district (incumbent)
Matt Adcock in the 6th district
Bruce Malone in the 7th district

The DeKalb Republican Party will hold their caucus on Sunday, February 11 to formally nominate candidates to run for election in the DeKalb County General Election on Thursday, August 2nd.

Other candidates making announcements Saturday to run in the August 2nd GOP primary for state offices were 40th District State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, 17th District State Senator Mark Pody, Menda Holmes for State Representative in District 46, and Dr. Rolando Toyos, founder and CEO of the Toyos Clinic with locations in Memphis and Nashville, who will enter the race to succeed Bob Corker in the U.S. Senate.

Couple Arrested After Early Morning Pursuit and Wreck

January 13, 2018
Dwayne Page
Man involved in White County law enforcement pursuit being placed into custody by White County Sheriff’s Department Officer at the intersection of South Mountain and Hayes Street in Smithville at 2:45 a.m. Saturday after the Dodge Neon he was in wrecked and he and a woman tried to get away on foot.
Occupants of 2005 Dodge Neon flee after the car runs over stop sign at South Mountain and Hayes Street
2005 Dodge Neon knocks over stop sign. Occupants flee but were later arrested

A couple trying to elude authorities in White County were arrested in Smithville early this morning (Saturday) after they ran off the road, struck a stop sign, and bolted from their car on foot.

The names of the man and woman have not yet been released but they are facing charges as a result of the episode.

The matter remains under investigation but apparently White County authorities were looking to serve warrants on at least one of the occupants of the vehicle, a 2005 Dodge Neon, when the driver tried to evade arrest . A pursuit ensued. The car crossed into DeKalb County and then Smithville. White County authorities reportedly terminated the pursuit near Smithville.

Local law enforcement officers were advised to be on the lookout for the car at 1:56 a.m. and Smithville Police found it abandoned at the intersection of South Mountain and Hayes Street at 2:10 a.m. The car had knocked over a stop sign and the occupants of the vehicle had fled on foot.

Members of the Smithville Police Department, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, and White County officers converged on the scene and began looking for the couple. They were found in the area shortly thereafter, taken into custody, and transported back to White County.

City Residents Urged to Follow Trash Pickup Guidelines

January 12, 2018
Dwayne Page
Photo shows proper way to place city garbage cans by the streets with lids firmly closed and wheels facing away from the road
Photo shows "arrow" on city garbage can lid showing how to position the can toward the street

The City of Smithville began using its new automated side loader garbage truck last summer but still some residents are not complying with instructions on how to properly place their assigned 96 gallon garbage cans by the side of the streets for trash pickup.

According to City Public Works Director Kevin Robinson, some residents are setting their garbage cans sideways or backwards. Be sure to look at the lid on your garbage can and place the container toward the street as indicated by the “arrow” on the lid.

“A lot of people are setting the trash cans sideways or backwards. The cans need to be set by the streets the correct way for our trash service to be able to pick up the trash properly,” said Robinson.

Overfilled garbage cans are also causing problems. “When you overfill the trash can and the automated arm picks it up, the trash tends to come out of the can and litter the ground. We ( garbage truck drivers) can’t get out and pick that up,” Robinson said.

In September, the aldermen adopted on final reading an ordinance establishing general standards for the new service and the city mailed residents and business owners written copies of the garbage collection regulations that they must follow.

Those not following the rules as provided to them by the city may soon lose their garbage pickup service until they get it right.

“In the next week or two, if your trash is not set out correctly, the city will not pick it up until you comply. You will be forced to haul it off yourself,” Robinson concluded.

Candidate Update

January 12, 2018
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Election Commission this week issued more qualifying petitions for this year’s elections.

Jerry Wayne Johnson obtained a petition to seek re-election to the school board in the 2nd district in the General Election on August 2

Derek Johnson picked up a petition to run for Alderman in Liberty August 2

William H. Reynolds was also issued a petition to run for Alderman in Liberty August 2. He is an incumbent seeking re-election.

Meanwhile, Myron Rhody picked up a petition to run for the county commission in the 2nd district in the May 1 Democratic Primary.

Bradley Hendrix has filed his petition to run for county mayor in the Democratic Primary on May 1

Jeff Barnes has also filed his petition to run for county commissioner in the 6th district in the Democratic Primary on May 1. He is an incumbent seeking re-election.

County Officials to Get Pay Raise in July

January 12, 2018
Dwayne Page

County officials here and across the state are getting a pay raise this year.

Compensation for most county officials is governed by state law which establishes the minimum for Assessors of Property, County Clerks, Clerks of Court, Trustees, Registers of Deeds, County Mayors, Sheriffs, and Highway Officials. This law provides for an automatic increase in the minimum salary each year based on the percentage increase given to state employees for the previous fiscal year. The state commissioner of finance and administration certified on October 19, 2017, that state employees received an average increase of 4.66 percent for the fiscal year 2018-2019.

The salaries of the county officials are partly based on the population class of the county and the office. Not all office holders earn the same amount of pay.

Under state law:

*The County Mayor’s compensation shall be at least 5% higher than the salary paid to any other county constitutional officer.

*The Sheriff’s salary shall be at least 10% higher than the salary paid to the general officers of the county.

*The Road Supervisor’s compensation shall be at least 10% higher than the salary paid to the general officers of the county.

*The salary of the General Sessions Judge is to be increased annually in the same manner as state court judges, which is the actual percentage change in the consumer price index between the two previous calendar years. The CPI change between 2017 and 2018 has not been calculated at this time. When released, the increase in salary of the general sessions court judges will be updated for the coming fiscal year.

*The Administrator of Elections salary is 90% of the base salary of the Assessor of Property.

The new salary schedule as set by the state for DeKalb County effective July 1 is as follows:

General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge: Currently $92,158 per year (To be updated later)

County Mayor: $83,238 per year, up from $79,326.

Road Supervisor: $79,276, up from $75,550

Sheriff: $79,276, up from $75,550

Trustee: $72,069, up from $68,682

County Clerk: $72,069, up from $68,682

Circuit Court Clerk: $72,069, up from $68,682

Clerk and Master: $72,069, up from $68,682

Register of Deeds: $72,069, up from $68,682

Assessor of Property: $72,069, up from $68,682

Administrator of Elections: $64,862, up from $61,633

"UNSHACKLED" Debuts Sunday Night on WJLE

January 12, 2018
Dwayne Page
"UNSHACKLED" Debuts Sunday Night on WJLE

A new 30 minute religious program debuts Sunday night, January 14 at 9:15 p.m. on WJLE prior to the 9:45 p.m. local news broadcast called “UNSHACKLED”sponsored by the Smithville First Free Will Baptist Church.

UNSHACKLED” features stirring accounts of real people...real life stories...stirring, dramatic accounts of hopelessness, and the hope that changes everything.

This award-winning radio drama from Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago, grips the heart with compelling and relevant stories of transformed lives.

Without Jesus Christ, we are all shackled by sin — by our wrong choices, disobedience, and selfish motives. But God is at work, and the power of Christ sets us free of our bondage. We are...UNSHACKLED!

Listen for “UNSHACKLED”sponsored by the Smithville First Free Will Baptist Church every Sunday night at 9:15 p.m. on WJLE AM 1480/FM 101.7 and LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com as part of WJLE’s Sunday programming line up.

WJLE is proud of our partner sponsors of religious programs each week and hopes you will tune in often and let them know you listen.

*Got A Minute?: 60 second message presented by the Smithville Church of Christ with Dan Gulley-Twice a day Monday-Friday each week (various times morning and around noon)

*Cross Connection sponsored by the Upper Helton Baptist Church featuring Jimmy Arms: Monday-Friday at 11:55 a.m. each week

*Morning Devotion: A 5 minute daily devotional by a different minister each week Monday-Saturday at 7:25 a.m.

*Amazing Facts sponsored by the Smithville Seventh Day Adventist Church: Saturdays at 7:00 a.m. each week

The following are weekly sponsored Sunday programs:

*7:30 a.m.: Royce Moore of the New West Point Freewill Baptist Church (The Way of Life Ministry)

*8:00 a.m. Elder Ricky Arnold of the New Bildad Primitive Baptist Church (The Firm Foundation)

*8:30 a.m. Outreach Baptist Church with Nathan Thomason (The Outreach Pulpit)

*9:00 a.m. Tom Hafstad of the Keltonburg Missionary Baptist Church (Only Through the Blood)

*9:30 a.m. LOCAL NEWS

*9:35 a.m. Trent Colwell of the Smithville Church of the Nazarene (The Living Word)

*10:00 a.m. Steve Warren of Faith Chapel Ministries (Faith for the Hour)

*10:30 a.m. Bobby Thomason of the Covenant Baptist Church (Fountain of Faith Ministries)

*11:00 a.m. Worship Services from either the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian (Isaac Gray) or Smithville First United Methodist (Dr. John Carpenter) Churches


*12:30 p.m.: Music Ministry of Delmas Neal

*1:00 p.m.: Truth that Transforms with Charles and Aaron Wright

*1:30 p.m. The Preaching Ministry of Toy Lawson of the People’s Pentecostal Church

*2:30 p.m. Billy Hale of the Christ Pentecostal Church of Brush Creek (The King is Coming)

*3:00 p.m. Prophet James Ferrell of the Church of Jesus Christ (The Word of the Lord)

*3:30 p.m. The Way of the Cross with Joe Elkins

*4:00 p.m. LOCAL NEWS

*9:15 p.m. UNSHACKLED sponsored by the Smithville First Free Will Baptist Church.

*9:45 p.m. LOCAL NEWS

Listen each week on WJLE AM 1480 and WJLE FM 101.7 and LIVE Streaming at www.wjle.com.


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