Local News Articles

Volunteers Needed To Assist With Improvements to Jamboree

June 7, 2018
Last year’s Junior Jamboree Board members get ready to distribute programs to the crowd.
2017 Junior Jamboree Board leaders are returning for 2018.
Volunteer Bill Miller showing off his Junior Jamboree t-shirt

The Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree is coming Friday, July 6th and Saturday, July 7th to Downtown Smithville, Tennessee. Over 200 craft booth vendors plan to fill the courthouse square including a new category for repurposed crafts and furniture, along with all of the traditional handmade crafts that tourists travel hundreds of miles to see. Music competitions kick-off the start of each day at 9am running late into the evening, as shade tree pickers claim their favorite spots under the oak trees framing the courthouse lawn.

“We are pleased to announce several improvements to this year’s festival including a brand new website paid for by the James G. "Bobo" Driver family, long-time supporters of the Jamboree. The website features beautiful photos with easy to navigate information and live Twitter feed on their home page. Additional improvements include a 40x60 dining tent with cooling fans to give attendees a place to get out of the heat and eat in comfort with their family,” said Shan Williams, Director of Marketing for the Jamboree, “Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital has sponsored the tent to help reduce the chance of heat stroke and fatigue among spectators, along with providing supplies to keep the tables clean and sanitized. This is a wonderful partnership that was much appreciated for this festival.”

With the new dining tent in place, the Jamboree Board is reaching out to the DeKalb County community for teens and adult volunteers for various roles including much needed help in keeping the tables clean and clear of debris throughout the festival. Additional roles include: backstage assistants, craft booth hospitality, information runners, and program distribution.

“We currently have 25 dedicated Junior Jamboree Volunteers that helped us last year in multiple ways. With the new dining tent, we need more help than ever before. You can volunteer for a two-hour shift, or as much as a whole day. We are grateful for anything that you are willing to contribute. DCHS students can use these hours towards their Tennessee Promise requirements as well.” said Emily Burklow, Junior Jamboree Board President, “It takes all of us together to keep this festival clean and running smoothly. This is a great way to give back.”

To sign-up as an adult volunteer or join the Junior Jamboree Board, contact the Volunteer Director via text message 615-594-2792, call the Jamboree Office at 615-597-8500, or email: smithvillejamboree@gmail.com. For information on the Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts festival, join their facebook page @SmithvilleJamboree, or go to: www.fiddlersjamboree.com.

About the Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree

Join us for the 47th Annual Smithville Fiddlers' Jamboree and Crafts Festival coming Friday, July 6th and Saturday, July 7th, 2018 to Downtown Smithville, Tennessee. Each day begins at 9am with over 35 music and dance categories, streets full of hand-made crafts, and food booths galore. Over 80,000 spectators fill the streets during this two-day music and dance competition. This FREE family-friendly festival has been named the official Jamboree & Crafts Festival of the State of Tennessee, along with being named the National Jamboree & Crafts Festival of the United States of America. The old-time Fiddlers' Jamboree, started in 1972, invited T. Tommy of the Grand Ole Opry to be the first Masters of Ceremonies for the event, with WSM radio covering the weekend bluegrass competition. Come and see why over 80,000 people travel from across the nation, and the world, to watch time stand still, while they enjoy the best in old-time Appalachian bluegrass music, craft and dance.

Self-Service Driver License Kiosk Growing in Popularity

June 6, 2018
Dwayne Page
County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss Says Self-Service Driver License Kiosk Growing in Popularity

If you need to renew or replace a driver license, the self-service Kiosk in the County Clerk’s Office is a handy source.

For the last six years, the number of DeKalb County residents taking advantage of the service has steadily increased and to date this calendar year DeKalb County ranks number two in usage compared to eleven other Tennessee counties of similar size that host a Kiosk, according to DeKalb County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss.

The statistics on the usage of the kiosk locally over the years is as follows:

2012- 26 transactions
2013- 457
2017- 1,453
2018-653 transactions to date

The kiosk was provided to the County Clerk’s Office in 2012 by the Driver Services Division of the Tennessee Department of Safety. DeKalb County was one of only a select few counties to receive a kiosk. For the first couple of years the kiosk was located down the hall from the county clerk’s office at the county complex. But in the fall of 2014 after he took office, Poss said he relocated the kiosk to inside his office and the usage doubled.

Citizens may renew or replace an existing driver's license or state identification card and pay for the transaction with a credit or debit card at the kiosk.

The technology takes the citizen’s photograph for use on the driver license. As a security measure, the kiosk performs facial verification with the image on record. A citizen leaves the kiosk with a paper interim document for use until the secure driver's license or ID card is received. The interim license is valid for 20 days. The secure driver's license or ID card is mailed to the applicant's home within five to seven business days.

The state monitors the usage of the kiosks across the state and re-locates any that aren’t being used enough. Based on the numbers locally, that should not be a problem in DeKalb County.

County Clerk Poss said he is happy to provide personal assistance to customers who want to use the kiosk or for other services they may need.

“In addition to the kiosk usage, I am doing other things to assist people more. Sometimes the machine (kiosk) doesn’t recognize people by photo. If they are not required to do a photo I can bring them into the office, sit down at my computer, pull up the same system, and do the same work for them on my computer. I am doing several of those each month. I am also doing reinstatements of driver licenses on the computer for people who need it as well as handgun permits for people who need that done on-line. That service is available at home to people who have internet but I offer anyone who wants the assistance to come into the office and I will help them with hand gun carry permit renewals. I have been told that before the end of 2018, handgun carry permits will be eligible to renew on the kiosk as well as on-line,” added County Clerk Poss.

Graham garners Honorable Mention All-America honors

June 5, 2018
Tyra Graham garnered Honorable Mention All-America accolades, the first All-American for the Phoenix since 2014. (Credit Ed Torregano)
Kayley Caplinger

Cumberland sophomore Tyra Graham earned Honorable Mention All-America honors from the NAIA on Friday, as selected by the NAIA All-America committee and announced at the conclusion of the NAIA Championships in Clermont, Fla.

Graham becomes the first All-American for the Phoenix since Jessica Roper, a Second Team selection in 2014, and only the second All-American in the program’s history.

The Smithville, Tenn., native batted .426 with 20 doubles, six home runs, 37 RBIs and 62 runs scored this season, adding 35 stolen bases. She ranked sixth nationally in runs scored, seventh in hits (87), 10th in doubles and 13th in total bases (129) and stolen bases.

Graham led the Mid-South Conference in runs scored, hits, doubles and total bases and ranked second in batting average and stolen bases. Cumberland improved from 17-33-1 in 2017 and 36-23 this season, doing so with four freshmen or sophomores as well as four newcomers, all junior transfers from junior colleges.

Graham also earned CoSIDA Academic All-District® 2 College Division honors, as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) recently.

Student-athletes must be a sophomore, junior or senior, hold a 3.30 GPA and above and be a starter or major contributor off the bench to be eligible for nomination for the CoSIDA Academic All-District® award. Graham posts a 3.75 GPA in Exercise and Sport Science.

Meanwhile’s Cumberland’s Kayley Caplinger of DeKalb County was named to the 2018 Mid-South Conference Gold Glove Team, as announced by the league office during the conference tournament in Bowling Green, Ky.

The 2018 Mid-South Conference Gold Glove Team is selected by the coaches and based solely on fielding percentage at each position from the regular season.

Caplinger did not make an error in 34 chances in the circle for the Phoenix, posting 23 assists.

Rescue Squad to Get City Fire Department Service Truck

June 5, 2018
Dwayne Page
Smithville Fire Department's 1980 Service Truck

The Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad will soon be getting another vehicle thanks to the DeKalb County Government and the City of Smithville.

During Monday night’s monthly meeting, the Smithville Aldermen voted to sell the City Fire Department’s 1980 service truck to the county for $4,000. The truck will go to the Rescue Squad for its operation.

Last week, the county commission voted to spend up to $4,000 for the purchase of the truck to be used by the Rescue Squad if the city were willing to sell it at that price.

Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker said plans were to market the service truck using an on-line service. Although the city might have been able to sell the truck for a much higher price through that venue, Chief Parker said he had no problem with the city selling it to the county for the Rescue Squad to meet their needs.

City officials view this move as a donation on the part of the city to the Rescue Squad by passing up its chance to get more money for the truck in advertising it for sale

Since the Rescue Squad serves Smithville as well as DeKalb County, the city fire department may still request use of the service truck periodically should the need arise according to Rescue Squad member Joe Johnson.

Public Responds to Plea for Pledges to Replace Stolen Bronze Stars from Veterans Monument

June 5, 2018
Dwayne Page
Photo shows missing bronze star from veteran’s memorial monument at Green Brook Park
Veterans Memorial Monument and Cannons at Green Brook Park

More than $1,400 in pledges have been made to replace six bronze stars stolen off the veteran’s memorial monument at Green Brook Park last fall.

Joyce Poss championed the cause and announced the fundraising effort last Monday during the Memorial Day program at the county complex and through a local news story on WJLE. Within two days, Poss said the public had responded with pledges totaling $1,475. The cost of the project was expected to be between $1,200 and $1,500.

Pledges and donations are still being sought.

Poss said if more money is collected than needed to replace the bronze stars then the extra money will likely be used to repair and clean the monument and to add to it names of other fallen soldiers from DeKalb County including US Army Sergeant Shannon D. Taylor who was killed in the line of duty while serving in Iraq in 2005 and US Army PFC Billy Gene Anderson who died while serving in Afghanistan in 2010. A fence with barbed wire will also be placed around the monument with a locked gate to hopefully prevent another theft.

“I need names of those wishing to make a pledge and the amount you are willing to pledge. The city will take care of getting the bronze stars ordered. All I need at this time is input and help getting this done. Any amount you can give will be appreciated,” said Poss.

Call 615-597-5164 and leave a message including your name and telephone number and Joyce will return your call.

An off duty city employee discovered the theft last September.

According to City Public Works Director Kevin Robinson, the employee was in the park and noticed that the stars were missing from the monument. Its not known exactly when the theft occurred. City officials believe whoever committed the theft used a pry bar to remove the stars .

The monument and two cannons, once located on the grounds of the former VFW Howard Gill Post 7623 on the Sparta Highway, were relocated to Green Brook Park after the Post was closed three years ago. The six sided monument stands in tribute to those from DeKalb County who lost their lives during the Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Iraqi Freedom.

Smithville Police Chief Mark Collins said the Police Department is seeking tips from the public. If you have information that may help solve the crime contact Crime Stoppers at 615-464-6199.

Murphy Charged with Committing Burglary and Theft at Same Home Twice

June 5, 2018
Dwayne Page
Tyler Wayne Murphy
Darrell Luis Salinas
Tamara Michelle Dodson
Scott Green Pedigo
Brian Bronson Roberts
Christy Jean Martin
Jacob Randall Stacy
Regina Carol Valdez
Joseph William Knuff

A Smithville man has been arrested after allegedly breaking into and stealing from the same home twice.

21 year old Tyler Wayne Murphy of Dearman Street, Smithville is charged with two counts of aggravated burglary, theft of property under $500, and theft of property under $1,000. His bond is $15,000 and his court date is June 28.

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_5.pdf (2.05 MB)

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, May 21 Murphy allegedly broke into a home on Whorton Springs Road and stole a Springfield XD 40 caliber pistol valued at $500, two Springfield XD clips valued at $60, and a 20 gauge Mossberg Maverick shotgun valued at $200. The total value of the stolen items is $760.

Five days later on Saturday, May 26 Murphy allegedly broke into the same home again and stole a Bulldog holster valued at $31, nine millimeter federal ammunition valued at $15, and 40 caliber federal ammunition valued at $21. The total value of the stolen items is $67. The detectives investigating the case recovered the guns and some of the ammo and holster.

44 year old Darrell Luis Salinas of V.L. Wilson Loop, Smithville was arrested on Wednesday, May 30 after being served with a grand jury sealed indictment charging him with selling drugs. He is indicted for sale and delivery of a schedule II drug, possession for resale (2 counts), and violation of a drug free school zone (3 counts). His bond is $75,000 and he will be arraigned in criminal court June 19.

45 year old Billie Jo Morris of Foster Road, Smithville is cited for simple possession of schedule VI and II drugs. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, May 19 a deputy was called to Neal Drive on a trespassing complaint and upon arrival found Morris on the property. A subsequent consent search of her purse turned up 0.3 grams of methamphetamine and 1.8 grams of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. Her court date is June 14.

18 year old Riley Cade Sexton of McMinnville Highway, Smithville is cited for simple possession/casual exchange. According to Sheriff Ray, a deputy was dispatched to County House Road on Monday, May 28 due to cars blocking the roadway. Upon arrival the officer spotted a white Nissan car in the roadway. The officer stopped and spoke with the driver, Sexton. After receiving consent to search the vehicle, the deputy found a Swisher Sweets container which held a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. Sexton’s court date is June 28.

31 year old Tamara Michelle Dodson of Obie Adcock Road, Smithville and 51 year old Scott Green Pedigo of Page Lane, Smithville were arrested on Thursday, May 31.

Both are charged with the possession, manufacture, sale, or delivery of methamphetamine. Pedigo is also charged with driving under the influence and was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of the implied consent law. His bond is $5,000. Dodson was further cited for possession of a schedule V drug (Lyrica). Dodson is under a $3,500 bond. Both will make a court appearance on June 28.

Sheriff Ray said that deputies were called to a market on McMinnville Highway where the driver of a Toyota 4Runner parked at the gas pumps was observed passed out. A passenger was also in the vehicle.

Upon arrival the deputy found the driver, Pedigo slumped over onto the passenger side of the vehicle. After waking Pedigo, the officer asked him to submit to field sobriety tasks but he could not complete them due to his condition and a pelvic injury. Pedigo refused to give blood in violation of the implied consent law. Before conducting a pat down search, the deputy asked Pedigo if he had any drugs or paraphernalia on him and Pedigo produced a small baggie containing a crystal like substance believed to be methamphetamine which weighed one gram. Pedigo also handed over a glass pipe he had in his left front pocket. Pedigo was then placed under arrest.

While speaking with Pedigo’s passenger, Dodson the other officer noticed that she was holding in her right hand a small baggie containing a white crystal like substance. The officer retrieved the baggie and the contents field tested positive for methamphetamine. She too was taken into custody.

41 year old Brian Bronson Roberts of Hopewell Road, Silver Point is charged with public intoxication; resisting stop, frisk , halt, arrest, or search; and vandalism under $1,000. His bond totals $7,000 and his court date is June 14.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, May 26 a deputy was dispatched to Midway Road due to complaints of a man dressed in a white shirt and blue jeans who was lurking behind homes in the area. Upon arrival the officer found the man, Roberts near Midway Road. The deputy observed Roberts fall into a ditch several times as he was unsteady on his feet. While being placed under arrest, Roberts resisted by trying to pull himself away from the officer. Roberts had to be taken to the ground.

Five days later on Thursday, May 31, Roberts broke a sprinkler head off the fire sprinkler system while being housed in the jail annex holding cell which flooded the cell and a portion of the booking room.

33 year old Christy Jean Martin of Frosty Point, Dowelltown is charged with an accident resulting in damage (hit and run). She was arrested on Thursday, May 31. Martin’s bond is $2,500 and her court date is June 14. Sheriff Ray said that on March 2 a deputy was dispatched to New Home Road due to a hit and run accident. Upon arrival the officer spoke with the victim who reported traveling down New Home Road when another automobile sideswiped her vehicle. According to the victim, the driver responsible for the accident, Martin got out of her vehicle and she (victim) recognized her. Martin then got back into her automobile and left the scene.

18 year old Jacob Randall Stacy of Cordell Hull Circle, Carthage is charged with assault. He is under a $3,000 bond and his court date is July 5. Sheriff Ray said that on April 11 while incarcerated at the jail, Stacy assaulted another inmate, hitting him on the head and face with his fist causing multiple bruises and abrasions. The assault was captured on the jail’s video surveillance system.

45 year old Regina Carol Valdez of Holmes Creek Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. Her bond is $3,500 and the court date is June 28. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, June 3 a deputy responded to a residence on Holmes Creek Road due to a physical domestic in progress. Upon arrival the officer spoke with a man who reported that he and his wife, Valdez had been in an argument which became physical when she hit him on his left arm causing redness and scratch marks. Valdez was placed under arrest.

36 year old Joseph William Knuff of Alexandria is charged with a fifth offense of driving on a revoked license. He was further cited for driving on roadways laned for travel. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is June 28. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, June 3 a deputy stopped a white Ford pickup for failing to maintain its lane of travel twice on Highway 70 west in Alexandria. The officer stopped the truck and spoke with the driver, Knuff. A check of his license through central dispatch revealed them to be revoked for a DUI in Wilson County from April 12, 2012 to April 12, 2013 with no reinstatement. Knuff also has three prior driving on revoked charges in Wilson County along with one DRL charge in Smith County with no reinstatements.

Sandra Wall to Succeed Her Father on SES Board

June 4, 2018
Dwayne Page
Sandra Wall

Sandra Wall has been named to the Smithville Electric System Board of Directors.

She will succeed her father, the late John Robert Nixon as a member of the board. He passed away in April.

During Monday night’s monthly city council meeting, Mayor Jimmy Poss recommended that Wall be appointed to fill the remaining three years of Nixon’s unexpired term. The aldermen gave their approval. Mayor Poss said seven persons expressed an interest in the position but he did not disclose the names.

Mr. Nixon, a founding member of the Smithville Electric System Board of Directors, was reappointed to a new four year term last July.

Nixon had been a member of the SES board since it was established in 1969 and served until his death. He had been the only chairman of the board until he stepped down from that role last year.

Smithville Electric System paid tribute to Nixon by naming the new sub-station on College Street after him. The dedication was held last October.

Original members of the SES board in 1969 along with Nixon were Dr. W.E.Vanatta, John Bill Evins, Bill Maffett, and Clarence Braswell.

Members of the board today in addition to Wall are Walter Burton, Hilton Conger, Tony Hagen, and Mayor Jimmy Poss.

Pea Ridge Kids Fishing Rodeo Set for Saturday on Free Fishing Day

June 4, 2018
Dwayne Page
Free Fishing Day Saturday

The annual Pea Ridge Kids Fishing Rodeo will be held at the big pond in the Pea Ridge Wildlife Management Area on Saturday, June 9 from 7:00 a.m. until noon as part of Free Fishing Day in Tennessee. Kids through age fifteen may participate in the Pea Ridge Kids Fishing Rodeo. Snacks, soft drinks, and prizes will be available for the kids.

Free Fishing Day in Tennessee is Saturday, June 9 when anyone may fish free without a license in Tennessee’s public waters.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency provides the annual free day in hopes of increasing interest in fishing. The day allows anyone the opportunity to try this great outdoor sport, especially children to celebrate fishing as a wholesome and healthy recreational option. In addition, children ages 15 and younger may fish without a license beginning on Free Fishing Day through the following Friday (June 15).

The day and week are annual events in Tennessee and are great opportunities to introduce children to the enjoyment and excitement of a day on the water catching fish. The TWRA is among several organizations planning special fishing events, primarily for youngsters. The TWRA annually stocks several thousand pounds of fish for various events.

For a list of the events, visit the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org and the For Anglers section. Anglers and potential anglers should check the events list often since special events are frequently added.

Free Fishing Day and Week apply to Tennessee’s public waters, TWRA owned and operated lakes, and state park facilities. Some privately owned pay lakes and ponds continue to charge during this special day and week. Anglers will need to consult with those operators if there are any questions about a particular facility.

Volunteer Firefighters and Rescue Squad Members May Obtain Free License Plate

June 4, 2018
Dwayne Page
County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss

If you have been an active volunteer firefighter or rescue squad member in the State of Tennessee for at least a year, you are eligible to obtain one free license plate thanks to a new state law which went into effect Tuesday, May 15.

As enacted, the new law exempts certain active, volunteer firefighters and rescue squad members from payment of the regular registration fee at the time of renewal for a license plate issued to the volunteer firefighter or rescue squad member. The offer is good for only one motor vehicle per firefighter or rescue squad member upon the certification or sworn statement from the fire chief or local rescue squad captain confirming the person is an active, volunteer firefighter or rescue squad member.

The law also authorizes the county commission to waive the local issuance fee for motor vehicles receiving the exemption from the state registration fee, if the waiver is approved in the same manner as the adoption of the motor vehicle tax.

The price for a standard firefighter or rescue squad plate is $26.50 (state fee) along with $2.50 issuance fee for a total of $29.00.

Since the law has already gone into effect, County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss said his office can issue the plates without charging the state fees but is not yet authorized to waive the local issuance fee for the plates until the county commission takes action.

Firefighters and rescue squad members wishing to take advantage of the free plates are urged to wait until the county commission acts on waiving the local fee before trying to obtain one.

Smithville Man Killed in Rutherford County Motorcycle Crash

June 4, 2018
Dwayne Page
William Popejoy

A 55 year old Smithville man was killed after the motorcycle he was driving ran into the back of another vehicle in Rutherford County Friday afternoon, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

William Popejoy of Smithville was identified as the person killed in a fatality report.

The crash occurred at the intersection State Highway 96 and Highway 266 in Lascassas, the report states.

According to the report, the motorcycle hit a vehicle that was stopped in traffic going westbound. The motorcycle then continued into the eastbound lanes and struck another vehicle.

No other injuries were listed in the report.

Popejoy was born May 21, 1963 to his parents, William S. and Ruth Moyers Popejoy. He was preceded in death his sister, Melody Escue. Bill was a construction worker.

He is survived by his mother, Ruth Popejoy of Smyrna; sister, Lori (Gary) Anderson of Liberty; nephews, Gary Anderson, Jr. and Michael Anderson; companion, Valerie Laboe of Smithville; special extended family, Jason (Tosha) Stembridge and children, Brice and Cali Stembridge.

A graveside service and interment will be 2 PM Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at Anderson Cemetery in the Cottage Home Community of Liberty with Bro. Bernard Houk officiating. There will be no visitation at the funeral home. Family and friends will meet at the cemetery for the graveside service at 2 PM.

DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.


Follow Us


News Feed

WJLE Radio

2606 McMinnville Hwy
Smithville, TN 37166
Phone: 615 597-4265
FAX: 615 597-6025
Email: wjle@dtccom.net
WJLE AM FCC Public File
WJLE FM FCC Public File

Local News

6:30 A.M.
7:30 A.M.
8:55 A.M.
12:00 NOON
4:00 P.M.
9:45 P.M.

DTC Communications

Fiddlers Jamboree