Local News Articles

Arrest Made in Fifteen Month Old Theft Case

June 25, 2012
Dwayne Page
Kevin G. Richardson
Amber Nicole Winnett
Richard Lynn Judkins
Wallace "Wally" Marlon Rackley
Derrick Byron Fitts

An arrest has been made in a theft, which occurred fifteen months ago, on Tramel Branch Road.

37 year old Kevin G. Richardson is charged with theft of property over $1,000. His bond is $5,000. He is currently being held in the Jackson County jail. Richardson was arrested on Thursday, June 21.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on March 12, 2011, Richardson went to a farm on Tramel Branch Road and allegedly stole welders, a tiller, electric drills, electric wire, and several other items belonging to Danny Hale without his consent. These items were valued at over $1,000.

The case was investigated by criminal detectives of the sheriff's department.

20 year old Amber Nicole Winnett of Snow Hill Road, Dowelltown is charged with domestic assault. Her bond is $2,500 and she will be in court July 26. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, June 22, Winnett and her boyfriend got into an argument and that she hit him in the side of the head with her fist, cutting his ear, causing him to bleed. The incident occurred at a residence on Snow Hill Road.

45 year old Richard Lynn Judkins of Cathcart Road, Dowelltown is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $15,000 and he will be in court June 25. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, June 25, a deputy was sent to check out a domestic complaint at a residence on Cathcart Road, involving a knife and shots fired. The officer arrived and found Judkins locked in a bathroom. A woman had fled into the woods. A family member reported having heard yelling during the incident and saw Judkins with a gun and the woman with a knife. The family member tried to retrieve the weapons. The gun fired but no one was seriously injured. It was determined that Judkins was the primary aggressor.

Two people were arrested at Maggie's Landing on Highway 70 for public intoxication on Friday, June 22 after a deputy went there to check out a report of a fight.

27 year old Wallace "Wally" Marlon Rackley of North Congress Boulevard, Smithville and 23 year old Derrick Byron Fitts of Meadowbrook Drive, Smithville are each charged with public intoxication. Bond for each is $1,000 and they will be in court August 2.

Sheriff Ray reports that on Friday, June 22, the sheriff's department received a report of a fight at Maggie's Landing. Upon arrival, the deputy spoke with the owner of the business, who said he refused to serve Rackley and Fitts any alcohol because they were already intoxicated when they got there. Both Rackley and Fitts were passed out when the officer arrived. Rackley and Fitts were awakened. They had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on them and they were unsteady on their feet. They could not walk to the patrol car without assistance. Rackley and Fitts were arrested and charged with public intoxication for the safety of themselves and the public.

Disabled Veterans Treated to Weekend of Fly Fishing on Caney Fork River

June 25, 2012
Dwayne Page
Disabled Veterans Treated to Weekend of Fly Fishing on Caney Fork River
Mae Beavers, Terri Lynn Weaver, Sam Tate, Many Bears Grinder
Mae Beavers and Terri Lynn Weaver Presenting Certificates, Pins, and CDs to Vets

Members of the Middle Tennessee Fly Fishers of Nashville, in association with Project Healing Waters, treated some thirty disabled active military service personnel and veterans to a weekend of fishing on the Caney Fork River Saturday and Sunday.

Tommy Hogan, Vice President of the Middle Tennessee Fly Fishers, told WJLE that the event began last year and has grown. "We are one of the sponsors for Project Healing Waters in the Tennessee and Kentucky area. Our main objective is to work with soldiers in rehabilitation through fly fishing, camping, and teaching them how to do things that they would not ordinarily get in the rehab through the military. We have brought thirty veterans down here from Fort Campbell, Fort Knox, the V.A. hospitals in Murfreesboro and Nashville, and Operation Stand Down. We give them a complete weekend, an all expense paid trip. All they have to do is bring themselves and their clothing for the weekend. We had campsites set up for them. We had food for them. We had professional guides who took them down the river for fishing Saturday and Sunday. We started this project two years ago. We have increased from ten soldiers last year to thirty this year. We hope to serve more veterans next year. We want to do a bigger and better job and let the veterans know there are people out here who care about them. We have a website at www.mtff.org. and there is a specific area for Project Healing Waters where you can find out anything you want to know as far as participating in our activities and the rehabilitation program. We accept donations. Our time is not paid. We are strictly volunteer through our club. Its all for the soldiers. Its not for us," said Hogan.

A special observance was held Saturday evening at the Longbranch Campsite on the banks of the Caney Fork River below Center Hill Dam to recognize the veterans.

The program featured remarks by Many-Bears Grinder, Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs, State Senator Mae Beavers, State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, representatives of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and members of the Middle Tennessee Fly Fishers and Project Healing Waters. Each veteran received special gifts including pins and certificates of appreciation.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings.. For more information visit www.projecthealingwaters.org.

Brush Creek Man Flown to Erlanger After Saturday Evening Wreck

June 24, 2012
Photo provided to WJLE by Donny Green
Photo Provided by Donny Green

A Brush Creek man was seriously injured Saturday evening when his pickup truck overturned, pinning him inside, on the Old Temperance Hall Road.

Albert Silcox was airlifted and flown to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga.

The wreck occurred around 6:40 p.m.

According to officials, Silcox, driving a 1998 GMC Sierra pickup truck, failed to negotiate a curve on Temperance Hall Road and went across Old Temperance Hall Road. The truck came to rest on a steep embankment with Silcox trapped and pinned inside the vehicle. Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department's Extrication Team stabilized the vehicle, freed the driver, and turned the patient care over to DeKalb EMS and Erlanger Life Force's crew.

Members of the Temperance Hall Station of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department set up the landing zone for the helicopter ambulance at the Temperance Hall Fire Station. Others assisting on the scene were officers of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Dept, Campbell Wrecker Service (called in by the rescue team to help stabilize the vehicle), and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Two Airlifted in Early Saturday Morning Crash on Snow Hill

June 23, 2012
Dwayne Page
Four Involved in Two Vehicle Crash Early Saturday Morning (WJLE Photo)
Two Airlifted in Early Saturday Morning Crash on Snow Hill (WJLE Photo)

Two men are reportedly in critical condition at Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga after a two vehicle crash Saturday morning on Highway 70 near the intersection of Highway 96 (Dale Ridge Road) on Snow Hill.

30 year old Chris Gammons and Troy Bruno, both of Smithville were airlifted from near the scene of the crash by Life Force and Air Evac helicopter ambulances. Two other people were involved in the wreck, 32 year old Cleva Elaine Gammons of Smithville, wife of Chris Gammons, and 52 year old Johnny Hickey of Liberty. Hickey was not injured but has been charged with three counts of vehicular assault as a result of the crash investigation.

Central dispatch received the call at 3:28 a.m

According to Trooper Darrell Knowles of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Hickey was traveling west on Highway 70 in a 2004 F350 full size flat bed truck when he crossed the turning lane and into the path of an eastbound 2002 Nissan Altima, driven by Cleva Elaine Gammons. Chris Gammons was a front seat passenger and Troy Bruno was a back seat passenger of the Altima. Chris Gammons was ejected and landed on the highway, in front of the Altima. Bruno was trapped in the backseat and had to be extricated by members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department's Extrication and Rescue Team.

Bruno and Chris Gammons were transported by DeKalb EMS to a helicopter landing zone on Highway 70 at the intersection of Toad Road. One of them was airlifted by a Life Force helicopter and the other was flown out by an Air Evac helicopter. Mrs. Gammons was transported to DeKalb Community Hospital, where she was treated and released.

On the scene were Trooper Knowles of the THP, DeKalb EMS, Sheriff's Department deputies, DeKalb Fire Extrication and Rescue, and members of the Short Mountain Highway, Main Station, Liberty, and Cookeville Highway stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department.

The complaint against Hickey states that he admitted to consuming four beers. Several field sobriety tasks were given. Hickey did not perform as demonstrated. Hickey was transported to the emergency room of the hospital for a blood alcohol test and then to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department for booking.

Election Commission Releases Sample Ballot for August Elections

June 22, 2012
Dwayne Page
Scott Cantrell
Mason Carter

The DeKalb County Election Commission has released a sample ballot for the Tennessee Democratic and Republican Primaries, the DeKalb County General Election, and the Dowelltown and Liberty Municipal Elections set for Thursday, August 2.

Early Voting is set for July 13-28.


DekalbTN-PG12-NEWSPAPER.pdf (33.05 KB)

The ballot appears as follows;


United States Senate:
Fred R. Anderson
Mark Twain Clemens
Bob Corker
Brenda S. Lenard
Zach Poskevich

United States House of Representatives 6th Congressional District:
Diane Black
Lou Ann Zelenik

Tennessee House of Representatives 40th Representative District:
Terri Lynn Weaver

Tennessee House of Representatives 46th Representative District:
Mark A. Pody


United States Senate:
Mark E. Clayton
Larry Crim
Gary Gene Davis
Dave Hancock
Park Overall
T.K. Owens
Benjamin Roberts

United States House of Representatives 6th Congressional District:
No candidate

Tennessee House of Representatives 40th Representative District:
Wesley Duane Hodges
Sarah Marie Smith

Tennessee House of Representative 46th Representative District:
No candidate


Assessor of Property
Mason Carter- Republican Nominee
Scott E. Cantrell-Democratic Nominee

School Board Member 5th District
W.J. (Dub) Evins, III- Independent
Kevin Hale-Independent

School Board Member 6th District
Doug Stephens-Independent

Constable 1st District
No candidate

Constable 2nd District
No candidate

Constable 3rd District
Wayne Vanderpool- Democratic Nominee

Constable 4th District
Paul Cantrell- Democratic Nominee

Constable 5th District
Mark Milam-Democratic Nominee

Constable 6th District
Carl Lee Webb-Democratic Nominee

Constable 7th District
Johnny King-Democratic Nominee

Mayor-Town of Dowelltown
Gerald Bailiff

Aldermen-Town of Dowelltown
Joe L. Bogle

Aldermen-Town of Liberty (Vote for Three)
Dwight Mathis
Paul M. Neal
Jason H. Ray

Judicial Retention Question
Court of Criminal Appeals

Shall Jeffrey S. Bivins be retained or replaced in office as a Judge of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, Middle Division? (Vote Retain or Replace)

Judicial Retention Question
Court of Criminal Appeals

Shall Roger A. Page be retained or replaced in office as a Judge of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, Western Division? (Vote Retain or Replace)

DekalbTN-PG12-NEWSPAPER.pdf (33.05 KB)

Businesses Urged to Participate in Project Welcome Mat

June 22, 2012
DeKalb Community Bank
Liberty State Bank
Liberty State Bank2

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce is encouraging all local businesses to help welcome visitors to the 41st annual Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival by participating in the 11th annual "Project Welcome Mat"

Businesses having changeable signs or marquees are asked to post welcome greetings for our Jamboree visitors. The wording may be only a simple "Welcome to the Jamboree" or as elaborate as you choose. Executive Director of the Chamber, Suzanne Williams, says, "With thousands of visitors coming into town, every effort should be made by the local merchants to show our guests that we appreciate them and welcome their business. The program has been successful over the past years with many businesses participating. Let's keep on showing folks how friendly the DeKalb County / Smithville area can be!"

All businesses may participate in "Project Welcome Mat." There will be recognition awards in 3 categories: "Best Worded," "Most Original" and the "People's Choice Award." Plaques will be presented to winners along with media recognition.

If your business would like to participate in the contest, email the Chamber at dekalbtn@dtccom.net or call 597-4163. Wording should be in place no later than Monday, June 25th.

Smithville Thunder Headed for the BPA State and World Series Tournaments

June 22, 2012
Smithville Thunder

The Smithville Thunder is an elite 9U travel team comprised exclusively of local players. They have competed in travel tournaments throughout the middle Tennessee area and are headed for the BPA state and World Series tournaments at the end of the season.

“We just wanted to provide a process which would enable some of our better young athletes to experience the world of travel baseball without having to join a team from another community,” says head coach Danny Jenkins. “Being able to go and play with your friends instead of having to try to fit in with unfamiliar people and surroundings really enhances the experience for our guys.”

The team was organized by local parents and completely funded by local businesses and fundraisers at no cost to the players’ families. Coach Jenkins encourages everyone to look for the team’s plaque in area businesses and support those civic minded organizations.

Recent data indicates that almost ninety per cent of starters on high school baseball teams nationwide played on a travel team at some time. Coach Jenkins points to this trend as one of the primary reasons for the team’s existence.
“Our parents are aware that if their kids want to move ahead in baseball, this is their best opportunity in this small community where municipal recreation options are non-existent,” he says.

DeKalb Jobless Rate Increases to 7.8% in May

June 22, 2012
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County's unemployment rate for May increased to 7.8%, up from April's rate of 7.5%, but well below the rate for May, 2011 of 10.3%

The local labor force for May was at 9,930. A total of 9,160 were employed and 780 were without work.

DeKalb County's unemployment rate for May was third lowest in the fourteen county Upper Cumberland region. Here's how they rank highest to lowest

Picket County- 12.3%
White- 11.2%
Van Buren-11%
Clay- 9.5%

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for May 2012, released today, show the rate decreased in three counties, increased in 87 counties, and remained the same in five counties.

Tennessee's unemployment rate for May rose to 7.9 percent, up from the April revised rate of 7.7 percent. The national unemployment rate for May 2012 was 8.2 percent, 0.1 percentage point higher than the April rate.

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 6.0 percent, up from 5.8 percent in April. Davidson County was 6.7 percent, up from 6.5 percent in the previous month. Hamilton County was 7.4 percent, up from 7.0 percent, and Shelby County was 8.8 percent, up from the April unemployment rate of 8.3 percent.

Pastor Donnie Kelly to Begin New Radio Program

June 21, 2012
Donnie Kelly

Pastor Donnie Kelly of the Smithville First Assembly of God will begin a new radio program next week.

The program will be called “Inspirations For Today” with the purpose to inspire and encourage all those who listen in their “daily walk with Christ.” The program will air Monday through Friday at approximately 7:45 A.M. right after the 7:30 A.M. news.

The program will consist of devotions from God’s word as well as songs of inspiration. The musical selections will include soloist, choirs, praise and worship teams, and instrumental ensembles from the First Assembly of God and other churches in the community. Church and community activities and special events will also be announced on a timely basis.

A personal note from Pastor Kelly: “It is so great to be able to once again have a radio program on WJLE. It is also wonderful to be back in Smithville a community I enjoy ministering to so very much.”

“Thanks to all who have extended such a warm welcome to me and my family. Thanks to the Smithville First Assembly of God for inviting me to come and be their pastor, and for sponsoring this broadcast.”

“Please listen in to the broadcast of “Inspirations For Today” starting this Monday, June 25th at 7:45 A.M.”

Grand Opening of DeKalb Community Center Set for Saturday

June 21, 2012
Dwayne Page
Game Room (photo from DeKalb Community Center Facebook)
Fitness Room (photo from DeKalb Community Center Facebook)
Wii and Xbox games (photo from DeKalb Community Center Facebook)

A Grand Opening of the DeKalb County Community Center is set for Saturday, June 23 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

County Mayor Mike Foster said everyone is invited to stop by to see the complex which includes a spacious new stage and auditorium, complete with a state of the art sound system and lighting; a game room for kids, a fitness room, a gym for playing basketball or volleyball, and a community kitchen called the "Internet Café"

Tony Luna, Assistant Complex Director, said refreshments and snacks are being donated by Bumpers Drive-in (Shrek to make an appearance) and there will be lots of door prizes including a few free memberships to be given away. "We'll give away five free monthly memberships and a yearly membership to some lucky guy or gal who signs up. In our auditorium, we'll have some LIVE entertainment at the stage. Starting at 10:00 a.m., my daughter, Mercedes Luna and Daniel Martin will start first. They play a lot of acoustic stuff and I think you will really like it. Right after Mercedes and Daniel, we'll have another local band 11:00 a.m., Burning Years. They will take the stage and play for us about an hour or so. After that, we'll have another LIVE band around 12:45 p.m. 61 Seconds, which is a local band and they will close us out. All of these bands are local people and it's free," said Luna.

"The whole facility is going to be open on the community center side of the building," said Luna. " If you haven't seen the game room, we've got it altogether now. I would love for you to come out and see it. Our fitness room is up and going. We've booked over ninety members now. They've just hooked up surround sound, so you never know what kind of music we'll be pumping in there for you to work out to. Come see our Internet Café. Eventually we'll have a concession stand, where people who work out or just people who want to come and hang out can do that. We'll have a TV in there. You'll be able to buy snacks and drinks out of the community kitchen.. Everybody come out and see us. Like us on facebook. We do have a facebook page. Its DeKalb Community Center and fitness room," said Luna.


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