Local News Articles

Weight Loss Challenge Kicks Off

May 4, 2013
Shan Burlow
Mike Foster, Sue Conley, and Shan Burklow
Connie McCracken, Janice Barnes, Elaine Rigsby, Diana Adams, Brenda Colwell
Sommer Deebanks, Shan Burklow, Jennifer Tramel, Beth Chandler

Over 275 participants came out and signed-up for the Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge on Tuesday night. Individuals and teams will have 90 days to lose all the weight they can. DeKalb Community Hospital will be providing support groups, nutrition classes, and local discounts along the way to make losing weight easier. The individuals or teams with the highest percentage of body weight lost by July 23rd will receive cash prizes and will be named the Ultimate Weight Loss Champions. The Dekalb County winner will go head-to-head against the Cannon County Champion as the County Mayors, Mike Foster and Mike Gannon reveal the winning county champ at the DeKalb County Fair on Friday, July 26th at 7pm.

"This is a great way to get our community thinking about healthy choices, getting active and beating Cannon County in the process," County Mayor, Mike Foster smiles, "Every time you look at a dinner roll, put it down, and think of how happy we will be to bring home that trophy! I can't wait to see the look on Mike Gannon’s face when DeKalb County wins."

“Our hospital was so pleased with the wonderful turnout to support the challenge. Hundreds of people across DeKalb and Cannon Counties will be making healthy choices, getting active and supporting each other,” said Sue Conley – CEO of DeKalb Community Hospital and Stones River Hospital, “We would like to personally thank Pat Ford of Smithville Subway for partnering with us and encourage other local restaurants to do the same. It’s more fun when we lose the weight together.”

The Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge is sponsored by DeKalb Community Hospital, The Smithville Review, WJLE 101.7FM, WJLE.com, Subway Fresh Fit Menu and other local participating restaurants. To find out how your business can be a part of the challenge, contact Director - Shan Burklow sburklow@dchtn.com

DCHS Baseball Coach Scott Odom Suspended for Alleged TSSAA Rule Violation

May 3, 2013
Dwayne Page
Coach Scott Odom

DeKalb County High School Baseball Coach Scott Odom will have to sit out the rest of the season.

DCHS Principal Patrick Cripps suspended Coach Odom this week based on allegations that a TSSAA regulation was violated when Little League umpires were scheduled for the DCHS game against Watertown Tuesday in Smithville. The Tigers won that game on senior night 8 to 7.

"Gene McNeese of the TSSAA called me on Wednesday with a charge that our baseball program had violated a TSSAA rule and regulation," said Cripps in an interview with WJLE Friday. "That violation was using unregistered umpires in a TSSAA game. Upon investigation it was found that we did violate that rule. At that time I decided to suspend Coach Odom for the remainder of the baseball season. We've got to look at what's best for the program," said Cripps.

The suspension only applies to Odom's coaching duties. It has no impact on his teaching job.

The game with Watertown, originally scheduled for Monday, April 29 using TSSAA umpires, was rained out. Reportedly, TSSAA umpires were not available for a Tuesday make-up game and Watertown could not re-schedule for Wednesday. The district tournament began Thursday.

WJLE contacted Coach Odom by email Friday. He replied stating he did not wish to make a comment at this time.

Assistant Coach Andrew Dixon will serve as acting head coach for the remainder of the post season.

Convicted Felon Found with Gun, Meth Lab, and Marijuana Grow Operation

May 3, 2013
Dwayne Page
Anthony Mason Adcock
Tammi Faye Adams

While serving a search warrant on a convicted felon for illegal sale of weapons, the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department Thursday night/Friday morning discovered that the man was also growing marijuana and had a meth lab at his residence on the Old Mill Hill Road, Dowelltown.

The arrest of 43 year old Anthony Mason Adcock came as the result of a lengthy investigation by the Sheriff's Department. Two other arrests were also made, 42 year old Tammi Faye Adams, also of Old Mill Hill Road; and 34 year old Shawn Bradley Patton of Oak Place, Smithville. Patton, who was picked up at the Adcock residence for violation of parole.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, Adcock has an extensive criminal history. “My drug detectives started an investigation on Adcock some time ago. Adcock has a lengthy criminal background and he is no stranger to law enforcement. Adcock has been convicted of many drug offences such as the Manufacture of a Schedule II Drug (Methamphetamine), Simple Possession of a Schedule II Drug (Methamphetamine), Conspiracy to Manufacture/Possess with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Simple Possession of a Schedule VI Drug (Marijuana), and weapon charges such as carrying a Weapon for the Purpose of Going Armed and Possession of a Destructive Device (Pipe Bomb)," said Sheriff Ray.

“Adcock was one of DeKalb Counties first methamphetamine lab busts in the late 90’s and was one of the first meth labs I worked on," said Sheriff Ray. Adcock also at that time had an explosive device, which was a pipe bomb, in his home. Adcock was charged here locally at that time and then we were able to get him into the Federal Court System. Since that time he has had even more drug arrests," according to Sheriff Ray.

Sheriff Ray continued “We were able to get a search warrant on Adcock’s residence (recently) after an investigation into the illegal sale of weapons. Adcock is a convicted felon and cannot possess, buy, sale, or trade on any firearms of any kind. When we arrived at the Old Mill Hill Road address (Thursday night) Adcock, Adams, Patton, and three other individuals were there. While conducting the search warrant we found a .22 caliber pistol in his residence and we also found ammunition. During the search we also found marijuana, marijuana paraphernalia such as pipes, plastic grow trays, marijuana seeds, and over 30 small marijuana plants that Adcock had growing in a plastic tote. My Department and I stopped the search and my drug detectives and I went back to the jail and obtained yet another search warrant for the marijuana, the paraphernalia, and any other controlled drugs. When we executed that search warrant for the drugs not only did we find items to manufacture marijuana with, we also found items that are consistent in the manufacture of methamphetamine such as tubing, coffee filters, turkey basters, ammonium nitrate, drain cleaner, and acid in a 20 oz soda bottle," said Sheriff Ray.

Adcock is charged with 2 counts of possession of a weapon by a felon, manufacture of a schedule VI drug (Marijuana) and initiating process to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine and his bond is set at $125,000. Adams' charges are manufacture of a schedule VI drug (Marijuana) and initiating process to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine and her bond is set at $50,000. Both will be in court on May 16 2013. Adcock’s money, an outside security system, and car were seized and the residence has been quarantined due to the meth lab discovery.

Sheriff Ray said there are more charges pending in the case and Drug Detectives will be contacting the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms for possible federal charges.

Sandy Willingham Named DeKalb County Teacher of the Year

May 3, 2013
Dwayne Page
Sandy Willingham Named DeKalb County Teacher of the Year
Teachers of the Year

A third grade teacher at Northside Elementary School was named "DeKalb County Teacher of the Year" Thursday night during the sixth annual Teacher of the Year banquet at the Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church.

Sandy Willingham received the honor and a check for $150 from Liberty State Bank, the sponsor of the banquet. The presentation was made by Director of Schools Mark Willoughby and Roy Nelson Pugh of Liberty State Bank.

Willingham was among five local educators who were recognized during the banquet for being chosen by peers as "Teacher of the Year" at their schools. The others were Amanda Rhoady, a first grade teacher at Smithville Elementary School; Suzette Barnes, a seventh grade educator at DeKalb Middle School; Tammy Payne, a fourth grade teacher at DeKalb West School; and Joey Reeder, a History teacher at DeKalb County High School

Every year DeKalb County participates in the Tennessee Teacher of the Year program. Each school picks a Teacher of the Year from their school who is in the running for honors at the county and regional level. Teachers are selected in the categories of Pre-K through 4th grade, 5th through 8th grade, and 9th through 12th grade. The overall Teacher of the Year from DeKalb County is selected from among the five teachers of the year at the school level.

Principals and assistant principals introduced the Teachers of the Year at their schools and remarked on how they deserved the honor.

The guest speaker for the banquet was Billie Friel, Pastor of the Alexandria First Baptist Church.

(TOP PHOTO: Director of Schools Mark Willoughby, Sandy Willingham, Roy Nelson Pugh of Liberty State Bank, and School Board Chairman Johnny Lattimore)

(BOTTOM PHOTO: Mark Willoughby, Suzette Barnes, Amanda Rhoady, Joey Reeder, Tammy Payne, Sandy Willingham, Roy Nelson Pugh, and Johnny Lattimore)

May is the Joe Black Effort Membership Drive Month

May 2, 2013

May is the Joe Black Effort Membership Drive Month

For those of you who don’t know who we are, the Joe Black Effort is a “no kill” animal rescue group. In fact, we are the only “no kill” rescue in Dekalb County. By “no kill”, we mean that we do everything we possibly can to help the stray, abandoned, abused or neglected animals that are trying to survive on their own. Occasionally there is an animal that may be too sick to save. At those times, after all options are exhausted we must have them humanely euthanize out of kindness and caring so they won’t suffer.

We currently operate from a small office at 458 W. Broad Street. We house our animals with foster families until we can get them adopted out to a great home with people who will love them and care for them. One of the things we do when we have an animal come into our network is get them the medical care they need. That includes their shots, heartworm and feline tests and also have them spayed and neutered. We have many wonderful supporters who donate food, beds and toys for the animals, however, we are in need of your memberships and generous monetary donations to help pay the vet bills. With your help, we also plan to have a “no kill” shelter built in Dekalb County, which will be manned by the volunteers of the Joe Black Effort! We need it, our members know we need it and we are committed to making that happen. We are asking you to have a heart and do your part by supporting the Joe Black Effort.

That’s why May is our membership drive month! We have several memberships to choose from. One for every budget and every little bit helps. The Regular Joe Membership is $10 a year. You receive a membership card and 10% off all Joe Black Effort items and 10% off all of our events. Our Heart and Soul Membership is free to volunteers who give at least 20 hours a year to Joe Black. Heart & Soul members are welcome to donate as well, if they wish. These members will also get 10% off everything Joe Black Effort items such as t-shirts, bracelets, hats, decals and whatever events we have throughout the year. The Hearts of Gold Membership is sustaining members. This membership means a once a month donation, minimum is $10 up to whatever you’d like to give. A Heart of Gold membership receives 50% off all of our Joe Black Effort events and all items we sell again such as t-shirts, bracelets, hats and whatever we decide to sell to fund raise. If we have lots of members, each helping a little bit financially and a few volunteering some time, we can continue to grow into the kind of rescue Dekalb County animal and citizens need, want and deserve!

If you are interested in becoming a member, please call us at 615-464-LOVE, or email us at joeblackeffort@gmail.com and we will get a membership application to you asap. You can also pick up Membership Applications at Dekalb Animal Hospital (Dr. Little’s office), Dekalb Veterinary Clinic (Dr. Wheeler) and Smithville Veterinary Hospital (Dr. Burke).

Be part of the solution!
Let’s make Dekalb county a safe place for animals to live and a dangerous place for animal abusers to live!

Together we can make a difference…..one pup at a time…. One kitten at a time.

American Cancer Society Celebrating 100 Years of Saving Lives

May 2, 2013
Dwayne Page

Hundreds of caring members of our community will gather at Green Brook Park on Friday, May 10 in the battle against cancer when the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of DeKalb County gets underway. Participants will be marking a major milestone in the Society’s fight against cancer – 100 years of saving lives.

The American Cancer Society is celebrating 100 years of saving lives from cancer and creating a world with more birthdays. It’s the progress we’ve made together – as a community, as volunteers, as survivors and as leaders – that has helped us reach this incredible milestone with tremendous success. By lending your support to the DeKalb County Relay event this year, you’ll be supporting Society’s efforts to finish the fight and bring an end to cancer as we know it.

The 16th annual Relay in DeKalb County begins with entertainment at 5:00 p.m. followed by the opening ceremony at 6:00 p.m. featuring an introduction of cancer survivors and then a Survivors' Lap, during which those who have survived the struggle circle the track together to help everyone celebrate what has been achieved against cancer.

As the sun sets, Luminaria bags lining the track illuminate the night and then a hush falls over the event as Relay participants, survivors and caregivers gather together for a Luminaria Ceremony at 9:00 p.m. to remember loved ones lost to cancer and to honor those who have battled the disease.

The schedule of entertainment from the stage is as follows:
5:00: Denise Page
5:10: Infinity
5:25: Kathy Goodwin
5:40: Dessa Ray
Presentation of the Colors by Boy Scout Troop #347
The National Anthem sung by Suzanne Slager
Invocation by B.J. Thomason, Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church

Opening Ceremony-Welcome by Renea Cantrell
Introduction of Cancer Survivors
Song honoring Cancer Survivors performed by Shelley Cross and Bonnie Rigsby
Prayer for Cancer Survivors by Don Rigsby, Pastor of Prosperity Baptist Church

6:45: David Turner and Friends
7:00: Denise Page
7:15: Clifford and Glenda Randolph
7:30: Suzanne Slager
7:45: Fluty and the Flutones
8:00: Kevin Roberts
8:15: Tina Boston
8:30: Terry Hodges
8:45: New Life Pentecostal Church Praise Group

Luminaria Ceremony
Prayer by Jeff Armstrong, Pastor of the Smithville Church of God

9:15: Receive It Ministries of the Smithville Church of God
9:30: Rampage Youth Group by the Edge Worship Center
9:45: First Baptist Youth Group by the Smithville First Baptist Church
10:00: Smithville Assembly of God Youth Group
10:15: Brandon and Becky Duke, Elizabeth Chapel Singers
10:30: Denise Page
10:35: 61 Seconds
11:30: Closing Ceremony
Midnight: RELAY ENDS

Carbon Monoxide Threat Forces Evacuation of Apartment Building

May 1, 2013
Dwayne Page

Carbon monoxide from a natural gas water heater Tuesday night forced an evacuation of several occupants at City Walk Apartments on East Bryant Street.

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was called to the apartment complex to check out a possible natural gas leak in one of the buildings. After arriving, Chief Charlie Parker said firefighters entered the building to investigate and discovered the presence of carbon monoxide, using CO detectors. Chief Parker said a natural gas water heater in a maintenance closet of the building was the source of the carbon monoxide.

All occupants in the building were evacuated by firefighters and officers of the Smithville Police Department
Chief Parker said Middle Tennessee Natural Gas was notified and sent a crew to shut off the water heater. The fire department brought in fans to clear out the building of the potentially poisonous gases.

The residents of the apartment were later allowed to re-enter the building after it was re-checked for carbon monoxide and found to be safe. No one was injured.

Corps to Implement Waterborne Restrictions Around Center Hill Dam

April 30, 2013
Dwayne Page
Corps to Implement Waterborne Restrictions Around Center Hill Dam

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District is beginning to implement permanent full-time water access restrictions around Center Hill Dam and the other nine dams on the Cumberland River and their tributaries this week.

The restricted areas will be the minimum area allowed per Corps regulations upstream and downstream of locks, dams, and power plant facilities. All forms of water access within the restricted areas will be prohibited including boating, swimming and wading. The Corps continues to promote bank fishing in all areas that were previously approved, including areas adjacent to some restricted areas.



The Restricted Area Boundary Lengths around Center Hill Dam will be:

Upstream Restricted Area Length.....400 feet

Downstream Restricted Area Length.....750 feet

All forms of waterborne access within the restricted areas will be prohibited including boating, swimming, and wading.

Unrestricted Area Boundary Length Downstream of Center Hill Dam will be:

Unrestricted Tailwater Area Boundary.....2,739 feet

Bank fishing is still permitted and is encouraged in designated/permissible areas.

Enforcement of these restrictions will be effective when the placement of buoys and sufficient signs is completed at each dam.

The installation of buoys and signs will continue through the spring and summer of 2013. The district will not be installing physical barriers at this time. Buoys and signs will be used to mark the restricted areas.

The district will be coordinating enforcement of the restrictions with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District initially announced plans last fall to implement restricted waterborne access to hazardous waters immediately upstream and downstream of all Corps-owned locks and dams, flood control dams and multi-purpose dams along the Cumberland River and its adjoining tributaries in accordance to ER 1130-2-520, Chapter 10.

Best described as industrial areas, the hazardous water areas above and below dams in the Nashville District pose a high level of risk for the public because of the Hydroelectric, spilling, sluicing and lock operations that are often present or begin with little or no notice. Turbulent boils and powerful currents are capable of swamping, capsizing, and even trapping boats and people in turbulent waters. Also during instances of emergency boater distress, project employees are not always immediately available to respond. This places emergency responders and other boaters at risk of a life-threatening situation during rescue attempts. Lock, hydropower, spilling and sluicing operations are disrupted after and during any emergency response effort. These incidents have far reaching impacts; the most important of which are families that have to deal with the loss of a loved one.

Since 2009, three fatalities, one serious injury and ten near misses/rescues have occurred in hazardous waters immediately downstream of dams on the Cumberland River and its adjoining tributaries. Life jacket wear has been ineffective in these areas, since all of the victims who drowned wore a life jacket.

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ announcement today that it would proceed with its proposed fishing restrictions below dams on the Cumberland River:

“This is a waste of taxpayer dollars and an unreasonable interference with the right to fish below the dams the public owns,” Alexander said. “We will therefore move ahead in the U.S. Senate next week with legislation to ensure the freedom of Americans to fish in these waters at times that the state wildlife agencies believe is consistent with reasonable efforts to ensure public safety.”

The senator’s statement follows an announcement by the Corps today, Tuesday, April 30, that it would proceed with restricting access to tailwaters areas below the dams in Tennessee and Kentucky on a full-time, permanent basis through the use of buoys and signage. The Corps is not proceeding with physical barriers at this time, though that has been part of the plan.

Alexander previously introduced the “Freedom to Fish Act” to prohibit the Corps from restricting access to the tailwaters, noting that the waters are only dangerous 20 percent of the time. Cosponsors included Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), as well as U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) in the House.

On March 23, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution to the budget that would allow for Congress to pass legislation prohibiting the Corps’ plan. Alexander has also held a range of meetings with Corps officials, encouraging the Corps to work with Tennessee and Kentucky wildlife agencies on a compromise to ensure safety.

County Firefighters Contain Carport Fire

April 30, 2013
Dwayne Page

County firefighters kept a carport fire from spreading to the rest of Bessie Atnip's home at 6770 Short Mountain Highway Tuesday afternoon.

Central dispatch received the call at 12:52 p.m.

Atnip and her caregiver Diana Malone were at home when the fire started from a 2002 Dodge Ram pickup truck parked on the carport. They had apparently just started up the truck to let it run a while and went back inside to eat lunch when the pickup caught fire. Malone discovered the blaze and got Atnip out of the house. Neither of them was injured. The fire was then reported to 911.

According to County Fire Chief Donny Green, the fire destroyed the truck and caused extensive damage to a 1995 Pontiac Bonneville parked outside near the carport. He said the fire broke through the carport into the attic above the kitchen but firefighters got the blaze stopped before it could spread to the house. The fire and water damage was confined to the carport area but smoke spread to other parts of the home.

Members of the Short Mountain Highway, Blue Springs, and Main Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with the tanker and equipment truck. DeKalb EMS and officers of the Sheriff's Department were also on the scene.

Massman Construction Awarded Contract to Build Sligo Bridge

April 30, 2013
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has awarded the construction contract on Sligo bridge to the Massman Construction Company based in Kansas City, Missouri.

Massman, at $38,903, 917, had the lowest bid of the six bids submitted for the project. According to Jennifer A. Flynn, TDOT Regional Community Relations Officer, the bid came in at well under TDOT's estimated cost of the project at $43.5 million dollars.

Flynn told WJLE Monday a pre-construction meeting will be held within a few weeks in which all parties involved will gather to discuss issues related to the project. Construction is expected to begin later this year.

Paul Degges, Chief Engineer for TDOT, met with County Mayor Mike Foster and members of the county commission in January to update them on plans for the Sligo project. Since the state could not reach a right of way agreement with Sligo Marina, the bridge will be built primarily from the water. "We brought in a lot of contractors and did a constructability review so now we have come up with a way to build the bridge from the water and from the roadway so we're not going to have to be off our reservation so to speak with the bridge," said Degges.

The project will be more costly to build the bridge from the river, according to Degges but the marina will not be impacted in this manner. A construction staging area will be set up at the Highland Trail (Dubland) Boat Ramp near Riverwatch where contractors may gain access to the lake in getting to the bridge. The project will be under construction by summer and should be finished within twenty four to thirty months. "For the most part we're going to be building the bridge from the river. It is going to run our costs up but we believe we have the resources available to deliver it," said Degges. Certainly there will be some construction delays through there but we won't have a traffic signal. As far as construction impacts, there will still be access to the marina during construction and there will still be access across the bridge. It will be posted. Its at 22 tons right now and we hope to be able to keep it at that weight posting. I don't see anything happening that's going to have us change that," he said.

The new bridge will be built next to the existing one. Once the new bridge is completed, the existing bridge will be removed. "We're going to build what we call a steel plate girder bridge with a concrete deck," said Degges. "Right now, the bridge is a truss.The bridge is somewhat narrow. The new bridge we're going to put in here will have twelve foot lanes and ten foot shoulders. It will be what most people would consider a traditional bridge in that the beams of this bridge will be under the deck," he said.

The project is being funded under TDOT's Better Bridges, a four year program approved in 2009 by the Tennessee General Assembly that utilizes bonds to pay for the repair or replacement of more than 200 structurally deficient bridges in the state including Sligo. "We were able to come up with a new funding mechanism which we call our Better Bridges Program that allows us to utilize dollars available so we don't have to borrow money. It is a way that we use bond authorizations that allow us to let bigger projects and pay for them as they're being constructed. It keeps us from having to borrow any money but it allows us to advance pretty expensive projects," said Degges.


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