Local News Articles

Fifty One Indicted by Grand Jury

November 27, 2012
Dwayne Page

Fifty one people were indicted by the DeKalb County Grand Jury Monday, November 26 including four named in sealed indictments.

All those indicted will appear for arraignment in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, December 10 at 9:00 a.m.

Those indicted and their charges are as follows:

David Dixon- first degree murder (2 counts) SEALED INDICTMENT- NOW UNSEALED WITH HIS ARREST

Gary Ashford- sale and delivery of a schedule IV controlled substance in a drug free zone . SEALED INDICTMENT-NOW UNSEALED WITH HIS ARREST

Eric Wayne Tramel and Rhonda Murphy- Co-indicted for aggravated burglary, theft over $1,000, and fraudulent use of a credit card. SEALED INDICTMENT-NOW UNSEALED WITH THEIR ARRESTS.

Vickie L. Alvis- driving under the influence (2nd offense), driving on a revoked license

Robert R. Atnip, Jr.- driving under the influence (2nd offense) and possession of paraphernalia

Jenadiah Ray Barnes- forgery

Russell Blackwell- forgery (2 counts)

Kenny Wayne Bly- theft over $1,000, evading arrest, reckless endangerment

Willard Darrell Brown- theft under $500 (2 counts), criminal trespass

Benjamin A. Caldwell- possession of a schedule II and IV drug for sale and delivery, possession of paraphernalia, and theft under $500

Justin A. Cantrell- theft under $500

Wesley L. Chandler- public intoxication (2 counts), possession of a schedule III drug

Joshua R. Cripps- possession of a schedule VI drug for resale, evading arrest

Lindsey Paulette Davenport- aggravated burglary, theft over 500

Ryan Austin Felts- burglary, theft over $1,000 (3 counts), vandalism under $500, auto burglary

Paul D. Gilliam- statutory rape

Mistey Dawn Barnes Goff- initiation of methamphetamine, possession of a schedule II controlled substance for sale and delivery in a drug free zone, and reckless endangerment

Robert Anthony Goff- assault, evading arrest with a vehicle

James Allen Hesson- violation of the sex offender law, possession of paraphernalia

Aaron M. Knight- theft over $10,000

Roxanna Landis- public intoxication, leaving the scene of an accident, possession of paraphernalia

Amy Lawson- theft over $500 (2 counts), escape, driving on a revoked license (2nd offense), and criminal trespass

Robert Justin Luna- theft under $500, aggravated assault

Gregory Allen Mayo- possession of a schedule II controlled substance for resale in a drug free school zone, possession of a schedule VI and III drug, possession of a weapon by a felon, and driving on a revoked license.

Teresa Darlene Mayo- possession of paraphernalia

Travis M. Melton and William R. Denton- burglary, theft over $1,000

James D. Mitchell- initiation of methamphetamine

Stephanie Mooneyham- theft under $500 (2 counts)

Amy Elizabeth Mullican- initiation of methamphetamine and possession of a schedule II controlled substance

Matthew A. Murphy and Holly Ann Cikalo- promotion of methamphetamine

Christopher B. Pack, Kara L. Funk, Jessica R. Bogle, Kenny W. Bly, and Greg Patton- initiation of methamphetamine and evading arrest.

Tommy Lynn Parsley- possession of a schedule III and IV controlled substance, evading arrest on foot, driving on a suspended license (6th offense), and evading arrest with a vehicle.

Dustin Shane Puckett, Michael Ray Slaughter, and Joseph Clark Hindelang- aggravated robbery, theft over $1,000, evading arrest on foot, possession of a schedule VI controlled substance for resale, and driving on a revoked license (7th offense)

Stephen M. Rogers, Jr.- statutory rape

Bryan L. Smith and Donna M. Smith- child neglect

Michael Andrew Snyders- theft under $500, driving on a revoked license (2nd offense), evading arrest with a vehicle, and reckless driving

Bryan Thomas Thompson- statutory rape

Heather Starr Trapp- driving on a suspended license (2 counts), theft under $500, and criminal trespass

Amanda Brooke Washer- aggravated burglary, theft over $1,000, possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia

David Braxton White- possession of paraphernalia

John Brent Williams- aggravated assault

Smithville Police Seek Crime Stopper Tips in August Robbery at Pizza Hut

November 27, 2012
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police are asking for your help in solving a robbery of a Pizza Hut employee on Thursday night, August 30.

Chief Randy Caplinger told WJLE that an employee reported to police that after she had closed the restaurant and was locking the doors at around 11:00 p.m. that night, someone came up behind her, grabbed the deposit bag she held, hit her, and then fled on foot. "She was walking away from the building toward her car when she heard someone jump off the concrete wall behind the restaurant," said Chief Caplinger. "When she turned around, the robber grabbed the deposit bag, hit her in the face with his fist, pushed her back, and took off running," he said. She said the person was wearing blue jeans, a dark long sleeved shirt, and a black mask. The robber got away with an undisclosed amount of cash from the days restaurant proceeds.

If you have information that might lead to an arrest call Crime Stoppers at 464-6046. It could mean a cash reward for you.

Meanwhile in another incident at Pizza Hut, Chief Caplinger said that 27 year old Caleb Rigsby was arrested on Saturday, November 24 for disorderly conduct and failure to stop, frisk, and halt. The warrant states that an officer was called to Pizza Hut to check out a suspicious man in the parking lot. Upon arrival, the officer spoke to someone who said that another man (Rigsby) had gotten into his vehicle while his wife was inside. But when the man (Rigsby) saw her he got out of the vehicle and tried to get into another car. By the time the officer arrived at the scene, Rigsby was inside Pizza Hut. The officer entered the restaurant and made contact him. When he asked the man who he was, Rigsby did not respond at first, but then said that he didn't have any ID. The officer then made an effort to cuff Rigsby but he began to resist, knocking the handcuffs out of the officer's hand. The officer then pulled his taser. Rigsby backed up, grabbed a family member by the neck, and tried to use that person as a human shield. Rigsby eventually surrendered to police. He was placed under arrest. Police said Rigsby's actions placed the public in alarm and in fear of more threatening behavior. Bond for Rigsby is $4,000 and his court date is December 20.

28 year old Daniel Ray Wilson was arrested on Thanksgiving Day for burglary and theft over $500. According to the warrant, Wilson allegedly broke into a vehicle at NHC. Entry was made by breaking the back side glass out and taking items from the automobile. Bond for Wilson is $8,500 and his court date is November 29

21 year old Daniel Trey Hamilton was arrested on Friday, November 23 for domestic assault and he was cited for simple possession of a schedule II drug. The warrant states that police responded to a call of an assault in progress on Jacobs Pillar Road. Upon arrival, the officer saw one man holding down another amid several other people who were standing around yelling. The two men were separated and after speaking to everyone at the scene, the officer determined that Hamilton was the primary aggressor. Hamilton had allegedly assaulted a woman by grabbing her hair, pulling her out of a car, and then hitting her several times in the side and back. Hamilton said he and the woman had been arguing and that he threw rocks at her. The officer noticed that the woman had grass and dirt stains on her pants which appeared as though she had been dragged across the ground. Hamilton was placed under arrest for domestic assault. Upon a search incident to arrest, police found in a container in Hamilton's left front pocket, a small plastic bag containing a white powdery substance believed to be methamphetamine. Bond for Hamilton is $3,500 and he will be in court on November 29.

24 year old Brandy Nicole Turner was cited for shoplifting on Saturday, November 24. Police were called to Wal-Mart in regard to a theft. Turner allegedly had placed items in her purse with the intent of depriving the store of its merchandise. She will be in court on December 20.

48 year old Treva June Hartman was cited for shoplifting at the Dollar General Store on Saturday, November 24. Hartman allegedly concealed an item inside her purse in an attempt to deprive the store of the merchandise. Her court date is November 29.

Anyone with information on any criminal activity is asked to contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

Any information received that would help Smithville Police solve any criminal offense would be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.

F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy in Alexandria Welcomes Justin Cripps

November 27, 2012
Dwayne Page
Amanda Cripps, Renee Hale, Judy Corbin, and Justin Cripps

F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy of Alexandria welcomes Justin Cripps to their staff.

Cripps, son of Gerald and Lisa Cripps, recently earned his Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from the U.T. School of Pharmacy in Memphis.

He joined the staff at Webb Pharmacy's in Alexandria on a part time basis in October and became full time earlier this month.

Cripps, a 2003 graduate of DeKalb County High School, furthered his education at MTSU where he earned a bachelor's degree in Biology with a concentration in physiology and a minor in chemistry.

From there, he went to the UT Pharmacy School in Memphis where he studied for two and a half years and then began his training at the UT Medical Center in Knoxville where he served for a year and a half.

Cripps, who had worked as an intern at Rite Aid Pharmacy in Sparta, became manager there after obtaining his Dr. of Pharmacy degree earlier this year. Cripps later joined the staff at Webb's preferring to work locally instead of for a pharmacy chain corporation. He also is a member of the pharmacy staff at River Park Hospital in McMinnville.

Cripps is now part of the team at Webb's which includes Renee Hale, certified pharmacy technician, Amanda Cripps, certified pharmacy technician, and Judy Corbin, registered pharmacy technician.

The business is owned by Alan Webb and Paula Roller.

DeKalb Middle School Students Attend Junior Beta Convention

November 27, 2012
Living Literature Competition (Photo by Shan Burklow)
Students in Living Literature Group (Photo by Shan Burklow)

DeKalb Middle School students recently attended the 2012 Junior Beta Convention held annually at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville. Seventy one DeKalb Middle School students participated in a variety of competitions.

The DeKalb Middle School Quiz Bowl team made history at the convention by placing among the top nine.. Members of the team were Ethan Cantrell, Tyree Cripps, Marshal Evins, and Thomas Webb. The competition was rigorous. The team made it through round one with a written test and was called back to compete in the semi-final round for an oral quiz in which the team had to ring in to answer questions.

Other students competed in the following:

Academic Competitions: Quiz Bowl: Math-Eli Cross; Social Studies-Caleb Rowland, Spelling-Luke Green, Science-Isaiah Jones, Battle of the Books-Maggie Robinson, Kelsey Merriman, Eleonore Atnip, and Jayrah Trapp, and Language Arts-Caelin Crips.

Talent: Caelin Crips and Izabella Perez sang "Give Your Heart a Break"

Arts & Crafts: Jewelry Making-Neely Evans, Wood Working-Seth Pack, and Pencil Art-Kristen Parsley

Photography: Thirteen students competed locally and two photographs were selected to represent DeKalb Middle School. Chloe Cripps with a black and white photograph of the "Old Bildad Church" and Makayla Cornett Bain submitted a color patriotic photograph. Others participating were Kayli White, Lexy Spry, Susan Webb, Alexis Roller, Lane Poss, Mathew Poss, Tyler Cantrell, Maggie Turner, Emily Wallace, Eleonore Atnip, Taylor Reeder, Kelsie Merriman, and Elizabeth Cripps.

Living Literature: This year this competition was headed up by a group of outstanding and dedicated students. This project was supervised and orchestrated by Shan Burklow. Shan worked endlesss hours in making this project a success. This competition requires one scene from literature to be constructed and the students must be in a full dress costume that depicts the characters and freeze for a period of four minutes. A break is given and then the students resume. This year's scene was taken from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Participants were Rachel Fuson, Callie Cripps, Grace Odom, Karen Johnson, Zack Parsley, Maddie Dickens, Taylor Spare, Kyle Justice, Jorge Blanco, Regan Foutch, Sahara Lafever, Christian Ellis, Emily Burlow, and Hannah Brown.

Other competitions: Scrapbook- Hayley Martin, Kendal Taylor, Ami Patel, Madison Cripps, Annissa Hall, Taylor Reeder, Faedra Burns, Kaitlyn Cantrell, Izabella Perez, Olivia Fuson, and Kayla Belk.

Banner: Lexi Bates, Abby Evans, Katherine Parsley and Hannah Panter, Emily Wallace, and Chloe Cantrell.

Tower of Power: This contest is to see how tall of a structure the group could make using masking tape and 150 straws in fifteen minutes. Participants were Bradley Miller, Allison Maynard, Jacob Self, Steven Jennings, and Gentry Harpole.

Poster contest: Amelia Patterson, Emily Wallace, Taylor Reeder, and Annissa Hall.

T-shirt design: Mikaela Holden.

Two People Injured in Monday Afternoon Crash

November 26, 2012
Dwayne Page
Jeffery Murphy injured in this car. (Photo by Officer James Cornelius)
16 year old boy injured in this truck (Photo by Officer James Cornelius)

Two people were injured in a crash Monday afternoon at the intersection of West Broad Street and Congress Boulevard.

Central dispatch received the call at 2:55 p.m.

K-9 Officer James Cornelius of the Smithville Police Department, who investigated the accident, told WJLE that a 16 year old boy, driving a 2000 Ford Ranger, was in the eastbound turning lane on Broad Street when he turned left into the path of a westbound 1998 Chevy Malibu, driven by 40 year old Jeffery Murphy of Smithville.

Both drivers were transported by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital. Murphy was later airlifted by helicopter ambulance from the hospital. He was reportedly flown to Vanderbilt hospital.

Officer Cornelius said charges could be filed in the case but the investigation has not yet been completed.

Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department were also on the scene.

The Chevy Malibu was removed from the scene by Tim's Truck and Wrecker Service. The Ford Ranger was hauled away by JR. Motors.

Alexandria Rings in the Holiday Season

November 25, 2012
Dwayne Page
Alexandria Rings in the Holiday Season (WJLE PHOTO)
Malone's Chapel Baptist Church-First Place Float (WJLE PHOTO)
Parade Organizers Denise Barrett, Deb McCoy and Emcee Ron Paschal (WJLE PHOTO)

The Town of Alexandria rang in the holiday season Sunday with its annual Christmas Parade.


The Malone's Chapel Baptist Church won first place in the float competition with the theme "The Real Meaning of Christmas"


M2U00907 from dwayne page on Vimeo.
The West Main Baptist Church of Alexandria took second place with the theme "The Greatest Gift God Ever Gave, Jesus"

DeKalb Community Bank received third place.

Dwain and Susan Young were winners of the best vintage car category for their 1956 Chevy
Danny and Wanda Cowan took second place for their 1969 Chevy Impala and Jeff Youngblood received third place for his 1962 Nova.

In the vintage truck category, Paul Johnson won first place for his 1966 Ford F100. Chris Tramel received second place for his 1968 Ford F100. Third place went to Kenny Rhody for his 1972 Chevy "Cooters" Wrecker.

Chris Hale won the tractor category with his 1952 John Deere MT. Steven Cook received second place for his 1944 Farmall H and Greg Carson took third place for his 1939 Allis Chalmers 2850.

The parade featured many other vintage cars and trucks, tractors, church floats, horseback riders and horsedrawn wagons, the DCHS band, Alexandria Police Chief Mark Collins, Sheriff Patrick Ray, Fire departments, DeKalb EMS, DeKalb Rescue Squad and other emergency services along with Santa and Mrs. Claus, veterans, State Senator Mae Beavers and State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, and other entries.

Prizes donated by local businesses were given away after the parade.

Deb McCoy and Denise Barrett, organizers of the parade, wish to thank everyone for their participation and attendance and the sponsors for their support. Ron Paschal emceed the event.

Tom Tippin Finishes Among Top Eight in Junior Beta Convention Talent Competition

November 23, 2012
Dwayne Page
Tom Tippin (Photo by Hedgespeth Photography)

DeKalb West School sixth grader Tom Tippin performed late Monday in front of close to 7,000 of his peers and finished among the top eight in a talent competition at the Junior Beta Club State Convention in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.

Tippin, son of Aaron and Thea Tippin, sang Michael Jackson's "Black or White" and performed as Jackson, complete with the attire and dance moves of the late famous entertainer. "I danced as Michael Jackson," said Tom Tippin. " I did pretty good. I felt like I did better than I had practiced. A lot of preparation was done because I had to learn when to do the right moves and all the words. I've done a talent show at our school but this one was very big. I finished in the top eight," he said.

"He worked so hard and we were just so proud of him," said Thea Tippin. " He was not going to quit until he had it perfect. He put hours and hours into it so we were sure proud of him. He did the song "Black or White". He sang and also did the dance moves along with the song, like the moon walk and all that stuff that Michael Jackson did. It really turned out good," she said.

"We got there on Sunday night. They give you (contestants) a number and Tom was number 40 out of I think like 58 kids," said Thea Tippin. "So you just wait until its your turn and then you go up. There's a panel of judges. You go up and do your talent and they score you. The next morning you find out if you made it into the top eight. In the next round, you perform in the Delta Ballroom for about 7,000 people so its huge. Its pretty frightening but I was really proud of him. He was a nervous wreck before he went on. But once he got on stage, that adrenalin kicked in and he performed the best that I've ever seen him do and I've seen him do it a lot of times. Me, Aaron, and Ted were there cheering him on and our school, DeKalb Middle School, and the high school were all supportive of him. It was just wonderful. I want to tell everybody thanks because he had a great little cheering section from DeKalb County," she said..

"To be in Junior Beta and to be able to go to the actual convention you have to maintain a straight "A" average and you also have to do service work, which I think is wonderful," said Thea Tippin. "You have to do some kind of community service and each hour that you do is worth a point so you must have a certain amount of points of service projects to even get to go. Tom went to Lighthouse Christian Camp and worked there at the widow's home. He cleaned up around the bushes. He also did some cleaning around the school and a lot of things like that to help people out. It was a good thing," she said.

(Photo above: Tom Tippin: Photo by Hedgespeth Photography)

DeKalb Jobless Rate Inches Up to 7.6% in October

November 22, 2012
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County unemployment rate for October was 7.6%, up from the 7.4% rate in September but still well below the rate of 8.3% in October, 2011.

The local labor force for October was 9,710. A total of 8,980 were employed and 740 were unemployed.

DeKalb County's jobless rate for October was fourth lowest among the fourteen counties of the Upper Cumberland region.

Here's how they ranked from highest to lowest:

Pickett County: 11.2%
White County: 11%
Van Buren County: 10.7%
Clay County: 9.6%
Fentress County: 9.2%
Macon County: 9%
Jackson County: 8.7%
Warren County: 8.7%
Cumberland County: 8.3%
Overton County: 7.8%
DeKalb County: 7.6%
Smith County: 7.1%
Putnam County: 7%
Cannon County: 6.8%

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for October 2012 show the rate decreased in 14 counties, increased in 64, and remained the same in 17.

Tennessee's unemployment rate for October decreased to 8.2 percent, down from the September revised rate of 8.3 percent. The national unemployment rate for October 2012 was 7.9 percent, 0.1 percentage point higher than the September rate of 7.8 percent.

The state unemployment rate is 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.

Knox County had the state's lowest major metropolitan rate of 5.9 percent, unchanged from September. Davidson County was 6.5 percent, down from 6.6 percent. Hamilton County was 7.3 percent, up from 7.1 percent, and Shelby County was 8.7 percent, up from 8.5 percent in September.

Steve Trapp to be among Coaches in the Annual Toyota East/West Football All-Star Game

November 22, 2012
Dwayne Page
Coach Steve Trapp

DCHS Football Coach Steve Trapp will be among the coaches in the 6th Annual Toyota East/West High School Football All-Star Game on December 8 at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville.

Coach Trapp said he will be coaching wide receivers for the East. Meanwhile Will Molander, outstanding wide receiver on the DCHS football team is on the roster to play in the game. Coach Trapp said its an honor for the DCHS football program to be represented in this annual All-Star Classic. "TACA, the Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association, organizes the All-Star Game and I had sent in an e-mail inquiring about how I could potentially help in the All-Star Event. They called me back the next day and said they had already discussed potentially asking me to be on the staff this year so it worked out pretty well. I'm really excited. It's an opportunity for me to go and represent DeKalb County and what we do as a program to expose myself to other coaches. I'm willing to learn and see some other ways to do it and maybe pick up some things but also to network and to get to know some more people. I'm also excited to be able to coach Will Molander as well. He will be in the event with me. I'll be coaching wide receivers. So I'm just really proud to go represent DeKalb County," said Coach Trapp.

Three other DeKalb County players are named as alternates for the All-Star Classic. "Lucas Phillips is an alternate at quarterback. Cody Puckett is a defensive end alternate and Sonni Fullilove is also a wide receiver alternate. If there are some people who cannot play in those positions, there's a small chance that we might have those DeKalb County football players represent us," said Coach Trapp.

Caine Ballard with Greeneville will be the East head coach and Kevin Creasy with Trousdale Co will be the West head coach.

This year's event will take place on the campus of Tennessee Tech in Cookeville. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 8, at Tucker Stadium. "We are extremely excited about both rosters," commented Bill Marbet, Executive Director of the Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association, the game's organizing body.

"These players have had exceptional high school careers and many will continue their play at the college level, many in very high profile programs in some of the major conferences across the country. We think it's a great group of young men who will represent their respective high schools very well," he added.

Players are nominated by high school coaches from all across the state, then selected by the coaching staffs for the game. They represent large and small high schools, both public and private.

The 88 players and 16 coaches involved in the game will arrive in Cookeville on Tuesday evening, December 4. Two-a-day practice sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday prior to Saturday's game.

County Complex Gymnasium Ready to Re-Open After Replacement of Light Fixtures

November 21, 2012
Dwayne Page
New Lights Installed at County Complex Gym
New guards to help keep lights from breaking at county complex gym

After the gym opened at the new county complex, it became apparent that the low hanging light fixtures from the ceiling might pose a problem. Sure enough, it wasn't long before broken light fixtures became a frequent occurrence from basketball play in the gym.

In order to address the problem, County Mayor Mike Foster said a decision was made to replace the original light fixtures with newer ones closer to the ceiling. For the last several weeks, the gym has been closed to the public until the renovation could be done. With the work now finished, Foster said the gym is expected to re-open by Friday or Monday. "The people who did the remodeling of the whole building, when they put the lights in they put them underneath the trusses," said Foster. "The ceiling is a little bit low and we all questioned (at the time of installation) the way they had the lights. But when people were in there playing, within one night they broke three lights. Part of it is because they tried to shoot from mid court and then they bounced some balls high enough and hard enough that they went up and broke the lens. We closed the gym because we were just afraid that some of the glass shards were going to fall down and cut somebody," he said.

"We contacted the same company (who did the original work) and they ordered some more lights with different guards on them," said Foster. "It took us a while to get them (new light fixtures) and it took them (company) a while to get time to come and do it. They moved the lights up against the ceiling, against the roof to the point that they will be harder to hit and then they have guards on them too so we feel a lot better about them now. They worked on them part of last week and this week, so they have them all in now and we're ready to let people back in there. Hopefully we're ready to go," he said.

Surveillance cameras will also be installed to guard against vandalism. "We're hopefully going to get cameras in there right away so we can watch to make sure that they are not deliberately trying to do it (break the lights). I don't think anybody was. It just happened. But unless they are deliberately trying to do it, I don't think it will be likely now," said Foster.


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