Local News Articles

Man Charged with Assaulting His Uncle with an Axe Handle

March 31, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Devin French (Older Photo)

Smithville Police have charged a man with aggravated domestic assault for allegedly attacking his uncle with a wooden axe handle.

29 year old Devin A. French is under a $5,000 bond and he will be in court on April 23.

According to a report by Corporal Chip Avera, " On Wednesday, March 25 Officer Lance Dillard and I were dispatched to City Walk Apartments after receiving a report of a man being beaten up. While enroute, dispatch advised that the victim and the suspect had left together in a white truck. Officer Dillard located the vehicle and stopped it in the Sonic parking lot. We spoke to the victim, who was bleeding from his face and head. The man said he was beaten up while at City Walk Apartments and he thought his nephew, French may have done it".

Corporal Avera's report continued " We spoke with the driver of the vehicle, French who said that his uncle was jumped by a group of people at City Walk Apartments and he was trying to help his uncle. French had blood on his hands, knuckles, pants, and shoes. There was blood in the bed of the truck and on the tailgate of the truck. Officers also found a wooden ax handle in the bed of the truck that had blood on it. They spoke to Devin's girlfriend who said the three of them were riding in the truck together and Devin got into a verbal argument with the victim and that when they got to City Walk Apartments, Devin had enough and began beating the victim. An anonymous 911 caller reported that Devin had also bragged to others at City Walk Apartments that he had beaten up someone there."

French was determined to have been the primary aggressor and was arrested.

39 year old Jimmy Layne Estes is charged with robbery. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court April 16.

According to Smithville Police, Corporal Travis Bryant was dispatched to a robbery on Monday, March 23 which had occurred on West Broad Street. After the incident, the victim had gone to 632 Highland Street. Upon arrival Corporal Bryant met with the victim who said he was at home at 443 West Broad Street when he answered the door to an unknown male (Estes). After the victim opened the door, the male suspect (Estes) grabbed his phone from him and threw it out in the yard. The man (Estes) then struck the victim in the head and took about $45 from his wallet. The man (Estes) also took the victim's cane and struck him with it. The victim gave a description of the suspect and police located him (Estes) in the vicinity of the robbery a short time later. A search of his person revealed about $43 concealed in his underwear. Estes, who was identified by the victim at the police department incident to arrest, told police had had been with his aunt all day.

Prior to this incident, Estes was charged by Smithville Police on Sunday, March 8 with public intoxication and cited for simple possession of a schedule III drug and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on these offenses April 23. According to police, someone approached Officer Matt Farmer to report that a man wearing a red hoodie was walking beside South Mountain Street and that he appeared to be intoxicated. Officer Farmer responded and found the man walking on the sidewalk, weaving from side to side. He appeared to be having trouble keeping his balance. The officer stopped and talked to the man, whom he recognized as Estes. His speech was slurred and his eyes were red and watery. When asked if he had been drinking or taking anything to impair him, Estes replied that he had smoked a joint earlier. Asked if he was carrying anything illegal on him, Estes said he had two syringes in his pocket. Estes produced the syringes and placed them on the hood of the patrol car. Officer Farmer then asked Estes to empty his pockets. Estes produced a cut black straw containing residue along with a white Ibuprofen bottle containing a partial orange pill. Estes called it his Subutex pill. He could not provide a prescription for the pill. Estes was placed under arrest.

51 year old Paul Andrew Hall is charged with the domestic assault of his stepson. His bond is $2,500. According to police, Corporal Travis Bryant responded to 1222 South College Street on Sunday, March 8 in reference to a domestic dispute between a stepfather and stepson. Upon arrival, Corporal Bryant spoke with Hall who said he had been in a verbal argument with his wife. Hall's stepson said he came out of his room and went into Paul's room to calm the situation. Paul then allegedly grabbed him by the neck and began pushing him back. Corporal Bryant observed marks on the stepson's neck and his face was swollen where he had been struck. He also observed a cut to Paul's forehead. The wife said she witnessed Paul push the juvenile first. Paul was placed under arrest.

41 year old Stephanie A. Murphy is charged with public intoxication. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on April 23. According to police, Patrolman Will D. Judkins received a call from dispatch regarding a gray Nissan Xtera swerving all over the road on West Broad Street. Dispatch then advised that the vehicle had pulled into the parking lot of the Smithville BP gas station. The tag came back to Murphy. The officer stopped to make a welfare check on the driver, Murphy, in the parking lot of Smithville BP. She was unsteady on her feet and had slurred speech. Murphy, who submitted to field sobriety tasks, said she had taken several oxy's. Murphy was placed under arrest.

48 year old Marty Brad Tallent is charged with resist, stop, halt, frisk, arrest, or search and disorderly conduct. His bond is $2,000 and he will be in court on April 9. Smithville Police report that on Monday, March 23 Sergeant Brad Tatrow saw Tallent walking down the middle of the roadway into oncoming traffic with a guitar over his shoulder. Traffic was having to stop and back up to avoid him. Sergeant Tatrow stopped and got out of his vehicle, ordering Tallent to get out of the roadway. Tallent refused to comply with the verbal commands and turned toward the officer. Sergeant Tatrow continued issuing verbal commands for Tatrow to stop but he kept advancing and appeared to be aggressive. When it appeared that Tallent was not going to stop and fearing that he was going to be struck with the guitar, Sergeant Tatrow deployed and activated his taser. Tallent was then placed in custody.

31 year old Johnny Lynn DeVault is charged with violation of bond conditions. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court April 9. According to police, on Thursday, March 19 Sergeant Brad Tatrow received information that Devault was at the home of his mother, who has an active "no contact" bond condition against him. Upon going to his mother's home on Miller Road, Sergeant Tatrow found that Devault was there with his mother, which violates his bond condition. He was placed under arrest.

20 year old Thomas Lynn Rains was issued citations for speeding, failure to stop at a traffic control device (stop sign) and reckless endangerment, and he was charged with evading arrest. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on April 23. Police report that on Monday, March 9 Patrolman Will Judkins was traveling north on South Congress Boulevard when he spotted a Ford Mustang traveling at a speed of 53 miles per hour in a posted 30 mile per hour zone. He then turned around and activated his emergency lights in an effort to stop the vehicle. The Mustang turned west on East Bryant Street and failed to stop at the College Street intersection. The officer activated his siren but the Mustang ran more stop signs, gaining more speed. He then turned south onto South Mountain Street, west on Kendra Drive, north on Georgia Lane, east on Miller Road, north on Anthony Avenue, west on West Broad Street, and north on Duncan Lane at which point the officer lost sight of the car. Patrolman Judkins terminated the pursuit but continued looking for the Mustang. He later saw it setting in the road on Coo-Coo Lane. After activating his emergency lights, Patrolman Judkins stopped and spoke with the driver, Rains, who said the reason he ran from the officer was because he was scared. Rains was then placed under arrest.

47 year old Andreas B. Allen of Sparta is charged with criminal impersonation. His bond is $1,500. According to police on Tuesday, March 3 Lieutenant Detective Matt Holmes responded to a call at McDonalds where the manager reported that a man there was harassing an employee. He said the man had been there several times before and that he had been asked to leave the property. Sheriff's Department Detective Jeremy Taylor advised Holmes prior to his arrival that he observed the man acting suspiciously walking through the woods and hiding behind the dumpsters at McDonalds. Upon Holmes' arrival, Detective Taylor advised him that he had seen the man's vehicle pulling out of the McDonald's parking lot heading southbound on South Congress Boulevard. The car was stopped at the Food Lion parking lot. The driver was Billy Knowles. The officer asked a passenger in the vehicle for his identification. The man could not produce an ID but said his name was Steven Allen and that his birthday was December 1, 1976. Officers later learned that the man, Andreas B. Allen had lied about his identity and that his actual birth date is March 12, 1968. He was placed under arrest. Allen told police that he lied about his name because he feared there might be warrants against him.

18 year old Ray Franklin Vincent is charged with assault. He is under a $2,500 bond. Police report that on Sunday, March 8 Sergeant Travis Bryant was dispatched to an assault call at 194 Village Place. While enroute, Sergeant Bryant was advised by dispatch that the suspect had left the scene in a gray sedan. As he approached the intersection of College and Main Streets, the officer saw a vehicle matching that description. He stopped the automobile and spoke with Vincent. According to Sergeant Bryant, Vincent told him that he had just been in a physical altercation at his girlfriend's residence. The victim later told police that he and Vincent's ex-girlfriend were sitting in his car when Vincent opened the door, pulled him out, and began to assault him. Another woman, who was inside the house, came outside when she saw what has happening and tried to pull Vincent off the victim. But Vincent allegedly kicked her in the face and struck her in the side of the stomach.

Prisoner in DeKalb Murder Case Released on Parole

March 31, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Melvin Eugene Turnbill

A man serving a twenty five year prison sentence in a 2002 DeKalb County murder case is now a free man.

According to Melissa McDonald, Communications Director for the Tennessee Board of Parole, 43 year old Melvin Eugene Turnbill has met the conditions for parole and was released from prison on Monday, March 9. He was incarcerated at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex in Pikeville

Almost a year ago, members of the Tennessee Board of Parole voted to release Turnbill to parole supervision provided he complete a nine to twelve month substance abuse program called "Therapeutic Community", and get a release plan approved. The board also voted that Turnbill receive a substance abuse after-care referral upon leaving prison, and that he be assessed for substance abuse treatment once he is under parole supervision. The assessment is to be completed by TDOC staff.

After a hearing on Thursday morning May 1, 2014, parole board member Tim Gobble voted to parole Turnbill with the aforementioned conditions. The hearing was held at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex in Pikeville, where Turnbill was incarcerated. Gobble was not at the prison. He presided by video conference from another location. After the hearing, the file was sent to other parole board members, who reviewed it and cast their votes. Three matching votes were required for a final decision in the case.

In September 2003, Turnbill received a twenty five year sentence after pleading guilty in DeKalb County Criminal Court to facilitating the first degree murder of Joshua Murphy, who was shot and killed in a secluded area in the Laurel Hill Community at the end of Old Eagle Creek Road on Sunday, September 15, 2002. His body was discovered three days later.

Officials said Turnbill and a co-defendant, Christopher Nicholas Orlando suspected Murphy of stealing methamphetamine. Orlando, the triggerman in the killing, was tried and convicted of the crime by a DeKalb County Criminal Court Jury in April, 2004. Orlando, serving a 45 year prison sentence for facilitation of first degree murder, is incarcerated at the Northeast Correctional Complex in Mountain City, Tennessee. Orlando was denied parole following a hearing in March, 2013. He will be up for parole again in 2016.

Turnbill's sentence is due to expire on April 28, 2022. He has served twelve years and six months of the term. Last May's parole hearing was the second for Turnbill. He was denied release three years ago following his first hearing due to the seriousness of the offense.

In making his plea for parole, Turnbill told Gobble that he has a new outlook on life. "I believe I have changed. I believe my attitude has changed. I know for sure that I'm not going back in any kind of drug activity. I know I can honestly say that. I just wish I could be given a second chance," said Turnbill.

Cantrell Enters Plea to Growing Marijuana

March 31, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Donald Wayne Cantrell

A 63 year old man was sentenced Monday, March 23 in DeKalb County Criminal Court after entering a plea to growing marijuana.

Judge David Patterson presided.

Donald Wayne Cantrell received a two year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to manufacturing a schedule VI drug. He was fined $2,000.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 a sheriff's department drug detective went to Cantrell's residence on Ferrell Road and spoke with him about some marijuana plants. Cantrell was mirandized (read his rights). Cantrell admitted to growing marijuana plants and showed them to the drug detective. Approximately 42 marijuana plants were recovered from Cantrell's back yard. He was arrested and taken to the sheriff's department for booking.

Meanwhile in other cases Monday, 35 year old Jessie Harris pled guilty to attempted initiation to manufacture meth and tampering with evidence. He received a four year sentence in each case to run concurrently with each other but consecutive to another TDOC sentence against him. In this case, he must serve at least 30% of the term before his release eligibility date. He has been given jail credit of 816 days.

36 year old Amy Craig pled guilty to sale of a schedule II drug and received a three year sentence all suspended to supervised probation. She was given jail credit of 51 days. Craig was fined $2,000 and must make $150 restitution to the Smithville Police Department.

33 year old Shane Miller pled guilty to two counts of sale of a schedule II drug and received a four year sentence in each case all suspended to supervised probation. He was fined $2,000. The sentences are to run concurrently with each other.

39 year old Desiree Ferrell pled guilty to sale and delivery of a schedule II drug and received a four year sentence, all suspended but 53 days in the DeKalb County Jail. She was fined $2,000 and given jail credit of 53 days.

34 year old Christopher E. Pack pled guilty to manufacture, sale, and delivery of a schedule II drug and received a four year TDOC sentence all suspended to probation. He was fined $2,000. The sentence is to run concurrently with a theft case against him in Smith County.

28 year old Dustin Burgess pled guilty to vandalism over $1,000 and received a sentence of three years to serve. The term is to run concurrently with other sentences against him being served. Any restitution amount to be paid will be determined later.

30 year old Karey Lynn Benson received a one year sentence for worthless check but the term has been suspended to judicial diversion state probation.

39 year old Robert Dean Bumbalough pled by information to reckless driving and received a six month sentence, all suspended upon payment of costs.

Meanwhile, in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Wednesday, March 11, 43 year old Terry Lynn Johnson pled guilty to sale of a schedule IV drug and TennCare fraud.

Judge Gary McKenzie presided.

Johnson was granted judicial diversion probation for a total of two years and was fined $2,000. Johnson must make restitution of $104.90 to TennCare and $20 to the Smithville Police Department and he will lose his TennCare benefits.

56 year old Judy Johnson pled guilty to sale of a schedule IV drug and TennCare fraud. She was sentenced to two years in each case to run concurrently and all suspended to supervised probation. Johnson was fined $2,000 and must make restitution of $104.90 to TennCare and $20 to the Smithville Police Department.

40 year old Shawn Renee Gibson pled guilty to promotion of methamphetamine and received a four year sentence suspended to probation. She was fined $2,000 and was given 24 days jail credit.

36 year old Kevin Smith pled guilty to evading arrest and reckless endangerment. He received a two year sentence in each case to run consecutively for a total of four years but concurrently with a 12 year sentence in a Warren County case against him. Smith was given jail credit from January 5, 2014 to March 11, 2015.

50 year old Jerry Haas pled guilty by information to a second offense of driving under the influence and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days suspended to supervised probation except for 45 days. He will lose his license per Department of Safety regulations and he was fined $610. Haas was given credit for 27 days jail time and 28 days of rehab.

DeKalb County Supports Prevent Child Abuse Campaign

March 31, 2015
by: 
Bill Conger
Foster mom Cindy McCann and a group of children pose in their Pinwheel Garden at DeKalb West School
Cindy McCann and Friends Planting Pinwheels at the Courthouse

Springtime is beginning to bud, and amid all the colorful flowers that are shooting through the ground is a few patches of blue pinwheels that have taken root. It’s part of the county’s involvement with a grassroots campaign across the state to call attention to child abuse and neglect.

During the month of April, child abuse prevention month, communities across Tennessee are participating in Pinwheels for Prevention. In our county, Cindy McCann is leading the effort.

“Each pinwheel represents one case of child abuse in Tennessee,” McCann, a foster parent out of Camelot’s Cookeville office explained. “I shared with my foster child what they meant, and he wanted to plant a garden. This is kind of his story, so this means a lot to me,” she added.

McCann and her friends and family planted a couple hundred pinwheels in the ground at all of the county schools, the courthouse, school board, and head start.

“This group is putting out 1,800 here in DeKalb County,” she said.

Across Tennessee, 50,000 pinwheels will be planted at local businesses, schools, community centers, and churches. The campaign kicks off this year with a free event at Farmer’s Market in Nashville on April 4.

According to Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee, the pinwheel garden demonstrates commitment to building a healthy community and investing in the lives of children. The pinwheel reminds us of childlike notions and symbolizes the healthy, happy, carefree childhood that all children deserve.

(TOP PHOTO: Foster mom Cindy McCann and a group of children pose in their Pinwheel Garden at DeKalb West School. The group planted 200 blue pinwheels Saturday afternoon (March 28) by the school's marque' to call attention to child abuse prevention month in April)

(BOTTOM PHOTO: Cindy McCann and Friends Planting Pinwheels at the Courthouse)

County Clerk's Office to Implement New Print-on-Demand Decals

March 30, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss
County Clerk's Office to Implement New Print-on-Demand Decals

The DeKalb County Clerk's Office will soon be implementing 'Print-on-Demand' registration decals. A new service which will print a customized decal displaying a vehicle’s license plate number.

The technology, already being used in 86 other counties, removes the need for standard pre-printed decals with randomized numbers. Instead, residents will be issued a sticker showing their license plate number. Registration cards will also look different. Rather than the usual 8-1/2-by-11 inch sheet of paper, residents will receive a smaller document, about the size of an envelope, printed by the machines. The decals are directly printed onto the cards. Having the registrant's plate number on the decal will help prevent and stop the theft of renewal decals.

The county commission last week approved a line item budget transfer to start up the service. County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss, who made the request, said that while he already has the money in his budget, he would need to move funds from one category to another within the budget to account for the expenditure.

"Based on registration and renewal statistics provided from the Tennessee Department of Revenue Vehicles Services, DeKalb County will receive $1,500 from the state which will assist with the start up costs of acquiring the equipment needed for the service," said Poss.

"Our equipment provider, Business Information System" or "BIS" has provided a quote of $1,640 to implement the "Print on Demand" program, after reimbursement. Four new printers are to be installed at the County Clerk’s office as part of the system. As an addendum to the contract, an annual $800 expense will be required to cover any maintenance or replacement of any of the four printers for up to five years.

“Print on Demand” is expected to help the office save money by no longer having to issue the standard registrations. And the state is furnishing the new specialized paper and assisting in the expense of the printers. " This will combine vehicle registrations and tag decals into a single document. We will no longer staple the decal sticker to paperwork. This process eliminates the need for controlled stock decals, since license plate numbers are printed on the decal. Our Office should see increased efficiency by eliminating the log of decal numbers. The Department of Revenue will supply the plain thermal form stock paper," said Poss.

The new system may also cut down on decal thefts, assist law enforcement, and help the clerk’s office turn away non-residents who attempt to register their vehicles in the county. "The printing of the registrant's plate number on the decal is an added security feature and will curb theft of decals. For someone who wants to steal your decal all they would have to do is peel yours off and put it on their plate. With "Print on Demand" if they try to take them it won't work because the decal number has to match the license plate number. This system works a lot better for us, because we won't have to worry about keeping up with all the decal numbers. Their decal will be tied to their plate," Poss said.

"Print on Demand" began in December 2013 and is expected be in operation statewide by the end of 2015.

Stan Brock, President and Founder of RAM, Visits DCHS Clinic (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

March 28, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Tim Stribling Greets Stan Brock, Founder of the Remote Area Medical Clinic at DCHS Saturday along with Chief Operations Officer Chris Hall and Clinic Manager Ron Brewer

The President and Founder of Remote Area Medical arrived in Smithville Saturday morning to tour the clinic set up at DeKalb County High School and to speak with the volunteers.

Stan Brock established RAM, a non-profit clinic, in 1985 to provide medical care through mobile events in underserved, isolated, or impoverished communities across the United States and throughout the world. Most clinics provide general medical, dental, vision, preventive care, and education.

The clinic is in DeKalb County Saturday and Sunday, March 28 & 29 to treat patients who cannot afford to pay for the services. Several hundred patients took advantage of the clinic on Saturday. Operating on a "first-come, first-served basis", the clinic will open for registration at 6:00 a.m. Sunday. Patients may show up as early as 3:00 a.m. to obtain a ticket. Be prepared for a long wait.

Brock spoke with WJLE while at DCHS Saturday morning. (PLAY VIDEO TO VIEW THE INTERVIEW)

"My vision for Remote Area Medical developed when I suffered a personal injury while living among the Wapishana Indians in Guyana, South America. I was isolated from medical care, which was about a 26 day journey away. I witnessed the near devastation of whole tribes by what would have been simple or minor illnesses to more advanced cultures. When I left Guyana, I vowed to find a way to deliver basic medical aid to people in the world’s inaccessible regions. So, in 1985 I established the non-profit, Remote Area Medical or as most people know us – RAM and RAM is the way I have kept that promise, not only to the Wapishana Indians, but to thousands around the world in similar conditions," he said.

Brock pioneered television programming focusing on nature and wildlife when he starred on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.

Stan was born in Lancashire, England and at age 17 moved to Guyana where he lived at and eventually became manager of The Dadanawa Ranch, which, at the time, was one of the world’s largest working cattle ranches. It was his experience in Guyana that led to Stan’s work with the animals of Wild Kingdom and numerous other television and movie projects beginning in 1963.

The Emmy Award Winning Brock took viewers, for the first time, to the far corners of the world to study wild animals in their natural habitats. Millions of families gathered around their televisions every week to watch Stan travel the world to wrestle giant anacondas in the Amazon and corral wildebeests in the Serengeti. Stan helped pioneer nature-centric television programming, which typically builds a suspenseful story around the challenges faced by wildlife biologists and the organisms they study. With Stan as a co-host, Wild Kingdom reached the largest audience in the program’s history and was only one of five syndicated shows nominated for an Emmy in 1972.

Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom was heavily recognized, receiving 41 major awards, including four Emmys. Stan created, directed, and starred in the TV series Stan Brock’s Expedition Danger. He has also starred in several films including: Escape from Angola (1976) and The Forgotten Wilderness (1977). Most were productions of legendary Hollywood producer Ivan Tors who created Flipper, Sea Hunt, Daktari, and more.

Stan is the author of three books on his experiences in the Amazon, including: Leemo, A True Story of a Man’s Friendship with a Mountain Lion (London, 1967), More About Leemo (London, 1967) and Jungle Cowboy (USA, 1969), republished in 1999 as All the Cowboys were Indians.

Along the way he became a pioneer Amazon bush pilot, a noted authority on wildlife management and conservation, an expert on rain forests and their inhabitants, a TV wildlife adventurer, guest speaker, film actor, fitness enthusiast, author, naturalist, and black belt in Taekwon Do Karate. Stan has written numerous articles for national magazines, including Readers Digest and Outdoor Life, and has been featured in global media coverage such as TIME Magazine.

In 1985 Stan Brock founded Remote Area Medical® (RAM®), a non-profit organization addressing the needless pain and suffering caused by the lack of healthcare in impoverished, underserved, and isolated areas.

Stan has received, among many other honors, invitations to address United States Congressional Sub-committees regarding RAM’s® mission. Since Remote Area Medical® was founded, Stan Brock has mobilized over thousands of volunteers and health care professionals to deliver millions of dollars worth of free quality medical services.

DeKalb Jobless Rate at 7.8% for February

March 28, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County unemployment rate for February was 7.8%, down from 8.6% in January and 8.3% in February, 2014.

The local labor force for February was 7,090. A total of 6,540 were employed and 550 were unemployed.

DeKalb County's Jobless Rate for February was seventh lowest in the fourteen county Upper Cumberland region.

Here's how they rank from highest to lowest:
Clay: 11.1%
Van Buren: 9.8%
Pickett: 9.6%
Jackson: 9.3%
Cumberland:8.9%
Overton:8.3%
Fentress:8.1%
DeKalb: 7.8%
White: 7%
Warren:6.4%
Putnam: 6.4%
Smith:6.2%
Cannon:6%
Macon:6%

County unemployment rates for February show the rates decreased in 95 counties.

Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate in February at 4.8 percent, down from 5.4 percent in January. Knox County was 5.1 percent in February, down from 5.7 the previous month. The Hamilton County February rate was 5.9 percent, down from 6.6 in January. Shelby County was 7.2 percent in February, down from 8.1 percent the previous month. Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate for February was 6.6 percent, one-tenth of one percentage point lower than the January revised rate of 6.7 percent. The U.S. preliminary rate for February was 5.5 percent, down two-tenths of one percentage point from the prior month.

The state and national unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted while the county unemployment rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series.

WJLE Radiothon for DCHS Project Graduation Set for Good Friday

March 27, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
DCHS Teacher Chris Vance Interviews Senior Caroline Carter during 2010 WJLE Radiothon

A WJLE Radiothon to raise money for the DCHS Class of 2015 Project Graduation will be Friday, April 3 from 9:00 a.m. until noon hosted by DCHS Teacher Chris Vance.

Parents of high school seniors who serve on the Project Graduation committee will be answering phones, taking pledges during the drive. Members of the Class of 2015 are also urged to stop by the station to make a brief appearance on the radiothon to talk about their school activities and future plans and to answer phones.

Project Graduation is an all night drug-free, alcohol-free graduation party for members of the DCHS Class of 2015 committed to having a safe, wholesome, yet entertaining celebration together for the last time as a class. The event begins following the graduation ceremony on Friday, May 22.

Funds raised will go toward entertainment and prizes for the graduates including cash awards they can put toward college or other plans after high school.

Call 615-597-4265 during the Radiothon to make your pledge from 9:00 a.m. until noon on Friday, April 3. Listen LIVE on FM 101.7/AM 1480 and LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com.

Hospital Presents Awards

March 27, 2015
by: 
Shan Burklow
Pictured: ER Director Emily Elrod presents awards to Christina Lull and Nancy Trapp alongside Chief Quality Officer Amanda Burgess and CEO Sue Conley.

DeKalb Community Hospital has presented Awards recognizing the director and employee of the quarter.

OR Director Nancy Trapp was honored along with Nurse Christina Lull. A special reception was held in their honor.

Pictured: ER Director Emily Elrod presents awards to Christina Lull and Nancy Trapp alongside Chief Quality Officer Amanda Burgess and CEO Sue Conley.

Both Trapp and Lull were recognized for work that goes above and beyond for exceptional patient care.

Hearing in Murder Case Ends in Courtroom Outburst

March 26, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Anthony (Tony) Tyrone Crews Being Escorted Out of Courthouse Thursday
Clay Andrew Bain
Ashley Bain

An outburst in General Sessions Court Thursday has landed one man in trouble with the law.

23 year old Clay Andrew Bain of Lakeview Drive, Smithville is charged with disrupting a meeting or procession and two counts of assault. His bond is $4,500 and he will be in court on April 9.

The incident occurred at the end of a preliminary hearing in the second degree murder case against 42 year old Anthony (Tony) Tyrone Crews, who is charged in the February 5th fatal stabbing of 28 year old Ashley Bain. The woman was found dead in the home she and Crews shared at 3870 Cookeville Highway, Smithville. Clay Bain is the victim's brother.

After Judge Bratten Cook, II ordered the case bound to the grand jury, Bain stood up and walked toward the door as if to exit the courtroom. When Judge Cook asked him to return to his seat, Bain walked past where Crews was seated and took a swing at him with his fist, hitting Crews in the head. A deputy standing beside Crews, Sergeant Brian Williams, suffered an injury to his left hand as Bain was trying to get to Crews. After being hit, Crews, who was handcuffed, stood up and turned toward Bain but he was quickly grabbed by officers and taken out of the courtroom. Bain was also escorted out. During the outburst, others in the courtroom, believed to be members of the Bain family began shouting and yelling obscenities at Crews.

The assault charges against Bain are for his attack on both Crews and Sergeant Williams. According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, one of the warrants alleges that Bain assaulted Crews by hitting him in the head while the DeKalb County General Sessions Court was in session. The other warrant alleges that Bain assaulted Sergeant Williams by attempting to gain access so that he could assault Crews. Sergeant Williams' left hand received an injury from Bain's actions. The disrupt warrant alleges that Bain did disrupt the DeKalb County General Sessions Court by making verbal threats and physically assaulting Anthony Tyrone Crews.

Following the hearing, Judge Cook increased Crew's bond to $2 million dollars. At the time of his arrest, Crews' bond was set at $250,000 but Judge Cook increased it to $1 million during Crews' first court appearance on February 12.

Assistant District Attorney General Greg Strong called two persons to testify during Thursday's hearing and they were questioned by both Strong and Assistant Public Defender Allison Rasbury West , who is representing Crews.

Amy Tucker, a clerk at Village Market Marathon on North Congress Boulevard, testified that Crews was a regular customer and bought beer there on the day that Bain was killed. " He was a pretty steady customer. He came in usually two or three times a day every day and bought beer," she said.

During his testimony, TBI Special Agent and Criminal Investigator Lance Walker said surveillance video from Village Market showed Crews making a beer purchase around 1:00 p.m. on the day of the murder and an empty beer bottle and a bloody knife, believed to have been the murder weapon were found later that afternoon inside a Village Market bag at the crime scene. "We had heard that he had gone to Village Market and we retrieved a receipt (from the store) that matched up with beer sales of Mr. Crews purchasing 2-24 ounce Bud Ices and a Steel Reserve with a time stamp on the receipt at 1 p.m. The store video showed him making the purchase. When we got to the scene back in the bedroom where Ms Bain's body was found, there was a plastic bag consistent with the bags that Village Market uses and in the bag was an empty Steel Reserve bottle and next to the bottle in the bag was a knife that had been bent from the force used upon it covered in reddish brown stains. There was also blonde hair appearing to belong to the victim on that knife. The knife was recovered and sent for testing," Walker testified.

Agent Walker said that he was notified of the stabbing at around 2:00 p.m. that day and arrived on the scene at around 3:30 p.m. He described what he observed . " I arrived on the scene after I received the call. We set up a perimeter for the crime scene. Mr. Crews (who was on the scene) was transported to be interviewed by another agent. I conducted a crime scene investigation. The first thing we noticed was that the front door was ajar. The frame was off the door. We went through the house and saw reddish brown stains which we assumed to be blood throughout the house leading back to the back left bedroom. And then we encountered Ms. Bain's body. She was found on the left side of the bed, near the foot of the bed close to the wall. The manner of death (according to the autopsy) was multiple stab wounds. They could confidently say that there were at least fifteen (stab wounds). They could not establish the estimated time of death," testified Agent Walker.

" Mr. Crews (who was at the scene) was disheveled. He was repeating himself over and over again. He appeared to be incoherent and he had a strong odor of alcohol on him. My understanding was that he and Ms. Bain were in a relationship and he stayed at the house at times throughout the week off and on. His clothing had what appeared to be blood. His long sleeved shirt, pants, and shoes all had reddish brown stains on them. His hands had what appeared to be dried blood. His clothing was sent to the lab for testing," said Walker

"Samples of blood were taken from designated areas inside the home and sent to the crime lab for analysis including from the floor of the hallway, bedroom, dining/kitchen area, and a number of other items such as the knife and Bain's wallet, which was found between two trash bags filled with trash (one on top of the other) in the kitchen. The wallet had about $1,400 in it. We also found more money (another $1,600 or $1,700) that appeared to come from the same source in the bedroom," Walker testified.

As for the broken front door, Agent Walker said Crews had reported to the Sheriff's Department in January that it had been damaged in an attempted break-in. "The Sheriff's Office let me know that a report had been filed on January 26 for a supposed break-in. I think Crews filed the report that somebody had broke the door. I re-secured it before I left. It seemed secure," Agent Walker testified.

After listening to the testimony, Judge Cook said he found probable cause to bind the case against Crews to the Grand Jury, which convenes again next month and to increase his bond to $2 million. Following the hearing, Crews was transported back to a facility in another county where he is being held.

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