Local News Articles

DeKalb to Get Waste Tire Recycling Grant

July 9, 2013

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau today announced 44 grants to help Tennessee communities recycle tires and reduce the number going to landfills. DeKalb County will be getting a grant for $10,500.

The waste tire recycling grants total more than $3.6 million in fiscal year 2014-15, and the grants are supported from the Solid Waste Management Fund, which receives revenue from a pre-disposal fee on the purchase of new tires.

Tennessee recycles an estimated 55,000 tons of tires per year, diverting waste tires from landfills and sending them to beneficial end-use facilities. Beneficial end-use methods include utilizing tire-derived aggregate in civil engineering projects, crumb rubber for asphalt paving and molded rubber products. The majority of Tennessee’s waste tires are used as tire-derived fuel.

“The keys to this program’s success are the efforts of our local county and community partners,” Haslam said. “Reducing the number of tires in landfills and redirecting the tires to a better use helps conserve Tennessee’s natural resources for future generations.”

The General Assembly authorized waste tire grants in the Solid Waste Management Act of 1991. The grants assist counties with the collection, processing and transportation of the tires to beneficial end-use facilities. Counties are reimbursed $1 per eligible tire and are required to provide at least one waste tire collection site. Counties may charge an additional fee if the grant is not adequate to cover costs.

The fund is administered by the Department of Environment and Conservation, and $1.25 from the $1.35 pre-disposal fee collected is used to supplement the counties’ costs for waste tire recycling and services.

Tire-derived fuel, or TDF, conserves fossil fuels and provides a waste-to-energy disposal method. The energy value of TDF exceeds the value of other solid fuels such as coal. According to a study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, TDF used in a properly designed and maintained combustion device emits fewer pollutants than conventional fossil fuels. In Tennessee, Abitibi Bowater Corporation, Packaging Corporation of America, Cemex Cement, Buzzi Unicem USA, and Gerdau Ameristeel are among those utilizing processed waste tires for fuel or as a source of carbon in their manufacturing process.

“The Solid Waste Management Fund continues to provide support to Tennessee communities and it’s important that local county governments continue to focus on waste reduction as part of their overall waste management plan,” added Martineau.

Purchasing longer life tires, rotating and balancing tires every 6,000 miles, and checking air pressure monthly are excellent ways to reduce the number of scrap tires generated in Tennessee and will also save money. For more information on Tennessee’s Waste Tire Program, please visit www.tn.gov/environment/swm/tires. A complete list of the grant awards announced today follows.

Smithville Police Catch Man and Minor Engaged in Sexual Activity

July 9, 2013
Dwayne Page
Bryan Cunningham

Smithville Police have charged a 24 year old man with statutory rape for allegedly engaging in sexual activity with a fifteen year old girl.

Bryan Cunningham is under a $5,000 bond and will be in court July 11.

The incident occurred on Friday, July 5.

Smithville Police said that Lieutenant Matt Holmes and Sergeant Brad Tatrow caught the couple engaging in sexual activity in the woods by the creek on Holmes Creek Road. The officers were patroling the area because it's a known hangout.

Fanning Wins Fiddler 5K for Fifth Time

July 8, 2013
Dwayne Page
Scott Fanning (Photo by Bill Luton)
 Kristen VanVranken (Photo by Bill Luton)

42 year old Scott Fanning of Lebanon was the overall winner of the Fiddler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run on Saturday. This is his fifth time to have won the race

Fanning ran the course in 17 minutes and 17 seconds.

Fanning was the winner in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2011.

35 year old Kristen VanVranken of Silver Point, best among women, ran the course in 19:57, setting a new course record for females.

Overall Masters winner:
TOP MALE MASTERS: 56 year old Lee Piccirillo of Murfreesboro at 19:05
TOP FEMALE MASTERS: 40 year old Tracey Burtnett of Lebanon at 23:04

One-Mile Fun Run:
TOP MALE: 10 year old Luke Jenkins of Smithville at 7:00
TOP FEMALE: 11 year old Elizabeth Welch of Sparta at 6:56

The 15th Annual Fiddler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run featured 349 registered participants. However, 272 actually ran in the rain.

Funds raised will support Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County

Complete results are available at www.fiddler5k.com

(Photos Courtesy of Bill Luton)

Certain Charged with Unlawful Possession of Weapon

July 8, 2013
Dwayne Page
Andy Joe Certain

36 year old Andy Joe Certain of Bright Hill Road, Smithville was charged last week with unlawful possession of a weapon. His bond is $25,000 and he will be in court July 11.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Wednesday, July 3 a deputy responded to a call at the Loop due to possible shots being fired. Upon arrival, the officer saw Certain and several other people in the yard. After interviewing Certain and reading him his rights, the deputy learned from Certain that he was in possession of a firearm and that he had fired one round into the ground. Certain also allegedly admitted to being a convicted felon. Certain told the officer that he had placed the firearm in the glove box of a vehicle, prior to the deputy arriving. Certain was placed in custody and taken to the jail for booking.

30 year old Eustacio Hernandez of Lafayette was charged last week with driving under the influence. He was also issued a citation for failure to maintain his lane of travel and simple possession of a schedule II drug (less than a half gram of cocaine). His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court July 25. Sheriff Ray said that on July 4 Hernandez was operating a motor vehicle on Highway 56 when he was stopped for swerving. The arresting officer reported that Hernandez had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was unsteady on his feet. He performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks and he refused to submit to a blood test. Upon a search of the vehicle, a small amount of cocaine was found inside the cigarette lighter outlet. He was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

Craft Awards Presented at Fiddlers Jamboree

July 8, 2013
Dwayne Page
Brenda Bieberdorf (right) Best of Show Craft Winner
David Sharp: Best Appalachian Craft
Ashley Houston: Best Newcomer
Ron and Dorlea Grimsley: Best Display

The annual Fiddler's Jamboree Craft Awards were presented Friday.

Brenda Bieberdorf of Brenda's Fused Glass in Dallas, Georgia received the "Best of Show" award for her display of fused art glass and flattened bottle clocks.

Meanwhile, David Sharp of David Sharp Woodcarving Studio in Smithville was presented the "Best Appalachian Craft" award for his woodworking and hand carving works.

The "Best Newcomer" Award went to Ashley Houston of Sacred Wilderness Batiks in Hayesville, North Carolina. She featured hand waxed dyed batiks and other clothing, bags and children's clothing.

Ron and Dorlea Grimsley of White Mountain Banjo in Phoenix, Arizona received the "Best Display" award for their handmade banjos.

The awards were presented by Emma Adkins, the Fiddler's Jamboree Director of Crafts. "In spite of the rainy and surprisingly cool weather, the overall mood of the crafters was good," said Adkins. "Many said they actually did better on Friday of this year than they did all weekend last year . It was 110 degrees last year. We had a lot of no-shows this year on account of the rain. The event was actually full except for eight spaces as of Thursday morning, July 4th. All of those empty spots were cancellations," she said.

Boulware Crowned Grand Champion Fiddler of 42nd Annual Jamboree

July 7, 2013
Dwayne Page
Jamboree Coordinator Jack Barton (left) Awards John Boulware
John Boulware wins Jr. Fiddling Title and Grand Champion Award in Fiddle Off
Billy Brewer Wins Sr. Fiddling Title but loses Fiddle Off to John Boulware
Bluegrass Band Winner: Foggy Junky Boys
Bluegrass Banjo Winner: Weston Stewart

The Grand Champion Fiddler of the 42nd annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival is John Boulware of Kimball, Tennessee.

He won the Berry C. Williams Memorial Award Saturday night after the Grand Finale Fiddle-Off between the best Junior and Senior Fiddler.

Boulware made it to the fiddle off by winning the Junior Fiddling competition and he won the Grand Championship by beating the winner of the Senior Fiddling contest Billy Brewer of Lyles, Tennessee.


The Saturday session of the Fiddlers Jamboree came to a close at around 10:30 p.m.

Winners on Saturday in the various categories are as follows:

Junior Fiddlers (Ages 13-39): First Place-John Boulware of Kimball, Tennessee; Second Place- Tyler Andal of Whitehouse; and Third Place- Sarah Harris of Rockvale.

Junior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages up to 39): First Place- Devon Stewart of Jonesboro, Arkansas; Second Place- Jacob Campbell of Smithville; and Third Place Hillary Bevels of Shelbyville.

Senior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Thomas Maupin of Murfreesboro; Second Place- Stanley Reece of Whitleyville; and Third Place- Tim Hartman of Nunnelly, Tennessee.

Senior Buck Dancing (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Thomas Maupin of Murfreesboro; Second Place- Ruth Alpert of Santa Barbara, California; and Third Place- Tommy Scruggs of Hartsville.

Senior Clogging (Ages 40 & Over): First Place-Tammy Scruggs of Hartsville; Second Place-Darrin Stryker of Cookeville; and Third Place- Eileen Stewart of Pegram.

Bluegrass Banjo: First Place-Weston Stewart of Anderson, Alabama; Second Place- Joey Gibson of Manchester; and Third Place- Daniel Amick of Pleasantville.

Contest Fiddle (Neil Dudney Award): First Place-Tori Huntley of Loretto; Second Place- John Boulware of Kimball; and Third Place-Tyler Andal of Whitehouse.

Bluegrass Band: First Place-Foggy Junky Boys of Dyer, Tennessee; Second Place- A Step Ahead of Greenbrier; and Third Place-Tymeline of Cookeville.

Senior Fiddlers ( Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Billy Brewer of Lyles, Tennessee; Second Place- Paul Shell of Philadelphia, Tennessee; and Third Place- Perry Cooper of Knoxville.

Square Dancing: First Place-Rhythm-N-Motion of Cookeville; Second Place- Rocky Top Revue of Franklin; and Third Place-Harpeth River of Franklin.

Vehicle Crashes into College Street Bridge, Injures Local Woman

July 6, 2013
Dwayne Page
Smithville Fire Department on Scene of Crash
Lincoln Navigator Crashes into College Street Bridge

A Smithville woman was transported by DeKalb EMS to the hospital Saturday afternoon after her 2001 Lincoln Navigator crashed into the College Street (Veterans Memorial) bridge in the underpass on Broad Street.

Corporal Travis Bryant of the Smithville Police Department told WJLE that 32 year old Christy Lawson was traveling west on Broad Street when she left her lane of travel, crossed both eastbound lanes, and went up an embankment where the front passenger side of the vehicle struck a bridge support. Upon impact, the vehicle spun and then came to a stop.

Lawson was reportedly trapped in the vehicle. Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department rushed to the scene to perform extrication. Lawson was removed from the Lincoln Navigator and taken by ambulance to DeKalb Community Hospital. Her injuries were not believed to be life threatening.

Police say a medical episode may have caused Lawson to lose control of the vehicle. She was cited for driving on a suspended license, violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance), and failing to maintain her lane of travel.

Ivy Phillips Repeats as Fiddle Champion of Jamboree Beginners

July 6, 2013
Dwayne Page
Ivy Phillips with members of James G. Bobo Driver Family
Ivy Phillips Receives Entertainer of Year Award from Nolan Turner

For the second consecutive year, Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro has won the top Jamboree award as the best fiddler in the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners.

Phillips was crowned the Grand Champion fiddler Saturday and won the coveted James G. "Bobo" Driver Memorial Award, named for the man who started the children's competition during the 1980's as part of the annual Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival. The award was presented by members of Mr. Driver's family including Mickey Driver, Adam Driver, Jimmy Driver, Bert Driver, Ben Driver, and Russell Ambrose. Phillips placed among the top three in all seven categories, winning the Dobro and Mandolin competition in addition to Fiddle, taking second place in Guitar, and finishing third place in Buck Dancing, Clogging, and Banjo.

The "Entertainer of the Year" Award also went to Phillips. This award is presented to the best overall instrumental entertainer among winners in the dobro guitar, mandolin, five string banjo, and flat top guitar competition.

The National Championship for Country Musician Beginners showcases the talents of children up to age twelve in seven categories of competition.

This year's winners are as follows:

Fiddle: First Place-Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro; Second Place- Jaelee Roberts of Murfreesboro; and Third Place- Annabelle Watts of Phelps, Kentucky.

Buck Dancing: First Place- Brayden Chunn of Greenbrier; Second Place- Sarah Fisher of Smyrna; and Third Place- Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro

Clogging: First Place- Gracie Parrish of Pleasantview, Second Place- Brayden Chunn of Greenbrier; and Third Place- Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro.

Dobro Guitar: First Place- Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro; Second Place- Jake Ramsey of Smithville, and Third Place- Brayden Chunn of Greenbrier.

Mandolin: First Place-Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro; Second Place-Anna Claire Stockoff of Brentwood; Third Place- Jaelee Roberts of Murfreesboro.

Five String Banjo: First Place- Trevor Holder of Ringgold, Georgia; Second Place- Axel Rico of Smithville; and Third Place- Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro

Flat Top Guitar: First Place- Anna Claire Stockoff of Brentwood; Second Place- Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro; and Third Place- Jaelee Roberts of Murfreesboro

(TOP PHOTO: Pictured with Ivy Phillips (left to right) Mickey Driver, Adam Driver, Jimmy Driver, Bert Driver, Ben Driver, and Russell Ambrose)

Fiddlers Jamboree Continues In Spite of Rain

July 5, 2013
Dwayne Page
Elena Muralla of the Philippines Receives US Flag from Senator Mae Beavers
Michael Mishina of Seattle Washington Receives TN Flag from Terri Lynn Weaver
James Hayes of Memphis Receives TN Flag from Mark Pody
Children singing with Community Chorus
Sierra Tomlin (Winner of Solo Appalachian Folksinging and Solo Gospel)
John Boulware (Winner of Flat Top Guitar Event)
Kurt & Corrina (Winner of Duet Folksinging & Duet Gospel Singing)
Rob Pearcy (Winner of Dobro Guitar Event)
Rob Pearcy (Winner of Mountain Dulcimer Event)
Jaelee Roberts (Winner of Novelty Event)
Kurt Stephenson (Winner of Autoharp Event)
Tyler Mad Dog Martelli (Winner of Country Harmonica Event)
Daniel Amick (Winner of Mandolin Event)
Daniel Binkley (Winner of Old Time Banjo Event)
Slim Chance (Winner of Old Time Fiddle Band Event)
Gary Giles (Winner of Junior Clogging)
Kody Hash (Winner of Junior Buck Dancing)

Periodic showers including some heavy downpours Friday night wouldn't stop the Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree and Crafts Festival.

The first day of the 42nd annual event, which began Friday morning before 10:00 a.m. ended this morning (Saturday)around 2:15 a.m.

With rains forecast, Jamboree officials placed a tent on the stage before the event started Friday morning just in case, so that contestants could perform in the dry and the sound equipment could be better protected.

Showers held off for most the day but as darkness set in so did the rains. Some of the showers were heavy at times, but the music never stopped. The weather did affect one category. Because the late night downpours made part of the stage wet and possibly slippery, the top three teams in the Youth Square Dancing event decided not to compete in the finals and to let their scores from the preliminaries earlier in the day determine how they placed. As a result, Main Stage Explosion of Springfield was awarded first place. Main Stage Fusion of Springfield took second place and Jackson Hollow of Franklin received third place.

The Fiddlers Jamboree is scheduled to resume today (Saturday) at 9:00 a.m.

Meanwhile a woman from the Philippines, Elena Muralla received a United States flag while Michael Mishina of Seattle Washington and James Hayes of Memphis were presented a Tennessee State flag during the Fiddler's Jamboree on Friday evening.

The flags, which have flown over the state capitol, go to the persons who travel the greatest distances from within the state of Tennessee and from inside and outside the country, to get here.

The flags were presented by State Senator Mae Beavers and State Representatives Terri Lynn Weaver and Mark Pody.

Following a Jamboree welcome and introduction of local public officials, the Smithville-DeKalb County Community Chorus entertained the crowd.

Preliminaries were held in seventeen categories of music and dance competition followed by the finals featuring the top three acts in each event.

The following are the winners in each category:

Old Time Appalachian Folk Singing (Solo):
First Place- Sierra Tomlin of Springfield
Second Place-Kelcy Tomlin of Springfield
Third Place-Jennie Coppinger of McMinnville

Flat Top Guitar:
First Place-John Boulware of Kimball, Tennessee
Second Place-Rob Pearcy of Smyrna
Third Place-Tyler Seller of Goodlettsville

Junior Clogging (Ages 13-39):
First Place-Gary Giles of Franklin
Second Place-Chris Stewart of Lebanon
Third Place-Amanda Herron of Cookeville

Junior Buck Dancing (Ages 13-39):
First Place- Kody Hash of Knoxville
Second Place-Chris Stewart of Lebanon
Third Place-Jamie Franklin of Knoxville

Old Time Appalachian Folksinging (Duet, Trio, Quartet)- NEW CATEGORY
First Place- Kurt and Corrina of Dyersburg
Second Place- Sierra and Kelcy Tomlin of Springfield
Third Place- Megan and Courtney Williams of Unionville

Dobro Guitar:
First Place-Rob Pearcy of Smyrna
Second Place-Frannie Digiovanni of Greenbrier
Third Place-Weston Stewart of Anderson, Alabama

Mountain Dulcimer:
First Place-Rob Pearcy of Smyrna
Second Place-Kurt Stephenson of Dyersburg
Third Place-Daniel Amick of Pleasantville

Hammer Dulcimer:
First Place-Beth James of Newport (ONLY CONTESTANT)

Novelty Event:
First Place-Jaelee Roberts of Murfreesboro
Second Place-Haint Hollow Hootenanny of Unionville
Third Place-Hillary Bevels of Shelbyville

Youth Square Dancing:
First Place-Main Stage Explosion of Springfield
Second Place- Main Stage Fusion of Springfield
Third Place- Jackson Hollow of Franklin

Old Time Fiddle Band:
First Place-Slim Chance of Smyrna
Second Place- Uncle Shuffelo and his Haint Hollow Hootenanny of Unionville
Third Place- The Hogslop String Band of Nashville

First Place- Kurt Stephenson of Dyersburg
Second Place-Bill Rothe of Estill Springs
Third Place-Pamela Sanders of Sparta

Gospel Singing (Solo):
First Place-Sierra Tomlin of Springfield
Second Place-Jaelee Roberts of Murfreesboro
Third Place-Samantha Lewis of Smithville

Country Harmonica:
First Place-Tyler Mad Dog Martelli of Chattanooga
Second Place- Daniel Amick of Pleasantville
Third Place- Rob Pearcy of Smyrna

Old Time Banjo:
First Place- Daniel Binkley of Nashville
Second Place- Rebekah Weiler of Marietta, Georgia
Third Place- Daniel Rothwell of Smyrna

Gospel Singing (Duet, Trio, & Quartet):
First Place- Kurt and Corinna of Dyersburg
Second Place- Jaelee and Andrea Roberts of Murfreesboro
Third Place- Sierra & Kelcy Tomlin of Springfield.

First Place-Daniel Amick of Pleasantville
Second Place- Tyler Andal of Whitehouse
Third Place- John Boulware of Kimball

The Fiddler's Jamboree resumes at 9:00 a.m. today with preliminaries in the following categories:

Junior Fiddlers (ages 13-39); Junior Old Time Appalachian Flatfoot dance (ages up to 39); Senior Old Time Appalachian Flatfoot dance ( ages 40 and over); Senior Buckdancing (ages 40 and over); Senior Clogging (ages 40 and over); Bluegrass Banjo; Bluegrass Band; Bluegrass Fiddle, Senior Fiddlers (ages 40 and over); and Square Dancing. The winner of the Bluegrass Fiddle will receive the Neil Dudney Award, named for the former longtime President and Coordinator of the Fiddlers Jamboree.

Preliminaries will be held in each event and then the top three finalists will be called back tonight to compete for first, second, and third place.

The winners of the Junior and Senior Fiddling competition will square off for the Grand Champion Award, the Berry C. Williams Memorial Trophy at the conclusion of the festival.

Meanwhile, the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners will be held this afternoon during the Jamboree featuring competitions for children, up to age twelve, in the categories of Buck Dancing, Clogging, Dobro Guitar, Mandolin, Five String Banjo, Flat Top Guitar, and Fiddle.

Preliminaries will be held in each event and then the top three finalists will be brought back to compete for first, second, and third place.

One child will receive the Best Overall Instrumental Entertainer and the top fiddler will get the James G. "Bobo" Driver Memorial Trophy.

WJLE will broadcast the on-stage entertainment LIVE on AM 1480/ FM 101.7 and LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com.

In addition to music and dancing competitions onstage, the Fiddlers Jamboree also features dozens of crafts displayed along the downtown streets, plenty of delicious foods for sale at local food booths, and lots of shade tree picking under tents around the town square.

Marijuana Found in Law Enforcement Helicopter Flyover

July 4, 2013
Sheriff Patrick Ray

The Governor’s Task Force on Marijuana Eradication, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the National Guard Army, and the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department all teamed together on Tuesday and Wednesday this week in search of individuals’ illegally growing marijuana.

The Highway Patrol helicopter was used for air searches looking for the illegal weed. This year the Eastern part of the county was the main focus for the searches and plants were seized off of Eagle Creek Road, Smith Road, and Johnson Chapel Road.

Sheriff Patrick Ray confirms there will be at least one individual prosecuted for the manufacture of marijuana and possible other charges. Officers recovered multiple marijuana plants and also an illegal firearm at a residence on Johnson Chapel Road Tuesday.

Sheriff Ray wants to thank everyone who was involved in this operation for their participation. Sheriff Ray also urges the public, if they have any information on any illegal drug manufacture or use, to contact him at 597-4935 or call the Sheriff’s Department Crime Tip Line at 464-6400. All calls are kept confidential.


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