Local News Articles

Two Men Charged with Domestic Assault

January 9, 2012
Dwayne Page
Victor Glen Gingerich
Clifton Eugene Brown
Robert Justin Luna

Two men, 42 year old Victor Glen Gingerich and 51 year old Clifton Eugene Brown, were arrested by the sheriff's department over the weekend in separate domestic assault incidents

Gingerich of Brooke Lane, Sparta (DeKalb County) is charged with assault, domestic assault, and resisting arrest. His bond is $7,500 and he will be in court on January 19. Sheriff Patrick Ray reports that deputies responded to a residence on Brooke Lane in DeKalb County on a domestic call Sunday, January 8. Officers knocked on the door but no one answered even though they could see Gingerich inside the home. An open cell phone was found on the porch and the officers could hear movement coming from inside the house. Witnesses heard a female say "don't hit me or push me". They also heard Gingerich say that he was going to kill the female. Witnesses further reported hearing a loud bang from inside as if someone had been thrown against the wall. After the officers forcibly entered the home and broke up the fight, Gingerich allegedly elbowed a deputy in the face. Refusing to be handcuffed, Gingerich had to be taken down to the floor by the deputies. After Gingerich was handcuffed, he allegedly spit in the face of an officer.

Brown is charged with domestic assault. He was also cited for simple possession. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court February 16. According to Sheriff Ray, Brown was arrested Saturday, January 7 on Halls Hollow Road after allegedly assaulting a woman by pushing her against furniture, cutting her arm, slapping her, and throwing her to the floor. Brown also allegedly disconnected the phones so she could not call for help. As Brown was being arrested and padded down by the officer, a metal bottle containing two pills was found in his front pocket. The pills were believed to be soma.

33 year old James Fredrick Summers of Hodges Road, Smithville is charged with a fourth offense of driving on a revoked license. His bond is $6,000 and he will be in court on January 12. Sheriff Ray reports that on Friday, January 6 a deputy pulled over Summers' vehicle on Highway 146 for no seatbelts. A computer check revealed that his license had been revoked for a DUI and other offenses in DeKalb and Warren County.

63 year old Curtis Charles Jones is charged with a second offense of driving on a revoked license. His bond is $3,000 and he will be in court on January 12. According to Sheriff Ray, a deputy stopped Jones' vehicle on Highway 146 Friday, January 6 because he had prior knowledge that Jones' license was revoked. A computer check confirmed that Jones' license had been revoked for a DUI in DeKalb County on October 13, 2011.

26 year old Robert Justin Luna of Joe Turner Road, Smithville is charged with theft of property under $500. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court on February 2. Sheriff Ray said that Luna allegedly took two steel beams from property on Joe Turner Road Friday, January 6 and sold them at a local recycling business.

49 year old Earl Joseph Yost of Brooke Lane, Sparta is charged with a third offense of driving under the influence. He was also cited for failure to maintain lane of travel. His bond totals $4,500 and he will be in court on February 16. Sheriff Ray said that Yost was involved in a property damage accident on Highway 70 Saturday, January 7. He was operating a vehicle and allegedly left his lane of travel and went off the roadway resulting in a one vehicle crash with no injuries. He had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was unsteady on his feet. Yost submitted to and performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. He submitted to a blood test. He was believed to have been under the influence of alcohol and or drugs.

23 year old Bailey E. Craft of Stone Hill Road, Mount Juliet is cited for driving on a suspended license and violation of the registration law. She will be in court on March 14. According to Sheriff Ray, an officer stopped Craft's vehicle on Highway 70 Saturday, January 7 for expired tags. A computer check revealed her drivers license to be suspended for failure to satisfy a citation in Davidson County.

33 year old Cesar Santos is cited for driving on a suspended license and driving on a roadway lane for traffic (failure to maintain lane of travel). He will be in court on March 14. Sheriff Ray said that a deputy pulled over Santos' vehicle on New Home Road Saturday, January 7 after he observed it cross the center line several times. A computer check revealed that Santos' license was suspended for failure to satisfy a citation.

51 year old Jayma Royce Holcomb of South College Street, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court February 16. Sheriff Ray reports that Holcomb was operating a vehicle on Highway 56 Sunday, January 8 when she became involved in a property damage accident. She had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on her person and she was unsteady on her feet. Holcomb submitted to and performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks. She also took a blood test. She was believed to be under the influence of alcohol and or drugs.

29 year old Randy E. Johnson of Cookeville Highway is cited for driving on a suspended license and violation of the open container law. He will be in court on February 15. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, January 8, a deputy pulled over Johnson and a computer check revealed that his license were suspended in Georgia. Johnson had an open can of beer in the vehicle.

DeKalb County to Remain in 6th Congressional District Under Redistricting Plan

January 7, 2012
Dwayne Page
Congressman Diane Black

DeKalb County would remain in U.S. Representative Diane Black's 6th Congressional District under a proposed redistricting plan released on Wednesday.

Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) and Speaker of the House Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) released their joint proposal to redraw Tennessee's nine congressional districts on Wednesday to equalize populations and make them more compact and based on logical groupings of communities of common interest.

The 2010 census revealed that three of Tennessee's districts deviated from their ideal population of 705,123 by more than 80,000 people. Federal law requires that congressional districts be exactly equal in population.

The 6th district is currently made up of Bedford, Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Jackson, Macon, Marshall, Overton, Putnam, Robertson, Rutherford, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale and a part of Wilson County.

The new 6th district would consist of seventeen counties including Cannon, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Robertson, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, White, and Wilson along with small portions of two counties, Cheatham and Van Buren.


Under the plan, Congressman Black would be losing Bedford, Marshall, and Rutherford County but she would pick up Coffee, Cumberland, Fentress, Pickett, White and all of Wilson County, as well as a small portion of Cheatham and Van Buren Counties.

In addition to equalizing population counts, Harwell and Ramsey said their proposed map would correct decades of illogical gerrymandering by Democratic-led legislatures and better recognize Tennessee's regional distinctions.

Under the Speakers' proposal, all three East Tennessee districts would be entirely in East Tennessee and both West Tennessee districts would be entirely in the West Grand Division. Four districts would be anchored in Middle Tennessee and no district geographically resembles the sprawling 4th and 7th districts of the last two decades.

To meet the strict zero deviation population mandates set down by federal courts, the plan splits just eight counties, two fewer than the 10 counties split in the map approved in 2002.

Counties divided between two districts include: Shelby, Benton, Van Buren, Maury, Cheatham, Campbell, Bradley, and Jefferson. Four of those eight divided counties are predominantly located in one district, with less than two precincts separated into an adjacent district.

Shelby County, with a population of 927,644 is larger than a single congressional district by itself. For thirty years, Shelby's population was scattered among three separate districts but under the Speakers' plan, Shelby would be split between just two districts.

The voices of the state's two large federal installations, Ft. Campbell and the Oak Ridge Department of Energy facilities, would become more unified under the Speakers' map than they were in the 2002 map, with Roane and Anderson Counties, fully united in the Third District and Stewart and Montgomery Counties united in the 7th district.

Eight of the nine districts will have at populations that are at least 14% new if the map becomes law. Only the First District, cordoned into the state's northeastern corner by North Carolina and Virginia, will remain essentially unchanged from the 2002 map.

Hale Picks Up Petition To Run For School Board

January 7, 2012
Dwayne Page

One person has already picked up a petition to run for the school board in the fifth district.

Kevin D. Hale of Dearman Street plans to seek the position currently held by W.J. (Dub) Evins, III.

Petitions for the 5th and 6th district school board races can now be picked up at the DeKalb County Election Commission office.

School board members, who run as non-partisan candidates, are elected in even-numbered years in August with the membership being staggered. In August 2012, members in Districts 5 and 6 are to be elected. The qualifying deadline for this election is NOON, April 5.

Sixth district member Bruce Parsley, who was elected to the school board in 2008, resigned effective December 31, 2011. Parsley told WJLE Friday that the reason he stepped down is because he is furthering his education seeking to become a teacher. He is already serving as a substitute teacher. Under state law, teachers apparently cannot serve as members of the board of education.

Jack Campbell Re-elected to FSA County Committee

January 6, 2012

Lindsay Locke, Acting County Executive Director of the DeKalb County Farm Service Agency, says the DeKalb FSA County Committee met in regular session on Tuesday, December 6 to canvass and tabulate the ballots received in the 2011 Local Administrative Area (LAA) # 2 County Committee Election. The deadline to return ballots was December 5.

Jack Campbell was re-elected to serve as a member on the Committee representing LAA-2. His second term began January 1, 2011. Mike Conley was elected as the 1st Alternate.

In addition, the Committee held its Organizational Meeting on December 6, 2011. The Committee selected Timmie Adcock to serve as Chairperson, Jack Campbell to serve as Vice-Chairperson, and Mary Sanders to serve as Member.

Locke says that the DeKalb FSA County Committee and office staff wishes to express their appreciation to voters in LAA-2 who participated in the election by voting and returning their ballots. "The local County Committees are a very important part of Farm Service Agency's program delivery and administrative processes. I do not know of any other agency providing federal programs that can say that the delivery and decision making efforts are made on the local level by a farmer-elected committee," added Locke.

For more information about FSA's County Committees or other program inquiries, call 597-8225 (extension 2) or come by the DeKalb County Farm Service Agency office at 647 Bright Hill Street in Smithville. You can also visit the agency's web site at: www.fsa.usda.gov.

Infinity Athletics Allstars Receive 2nd Place at COA Rocky Top Championship

January 6, 2012
Infinity Athletics Allstars

The Infinity Athletics Allstars received 2nd place at their latest competition at Nashville Municipal Auditorium on Saturday, December 10th.

The next event will be the last Tennessee competition on Saturday, February 11th at Nashville Municipal Auditorium. Then, the final competition will be the Cheersport Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia February 17-19th. Anyone interested in coming to a competition to support the All Stars and needs more information, please call Infinity Athletics at 215-9050. We would like to thank everyone for all their support.

Pictured are Top Row (L-R): Coach Jennifer Sykes, Kenzie France, Shaunta Koegler, Madison Colwell, and Callie Mulloy
Bottom Row (L-R): Shelby Sprague, Chloe Sykes, Emme Colwell, and Alley Sykes
Not Pictured: Katherine Clendenen

DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department Awarded Federal Grant

January 6, 2012
County Fire Chief Donny Green

The DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded a $103,950 U.S. Department of Homeland Security Operations and Safety Grant, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander announced.

Even though demands of EMS providers and firefighters have increased tremendously over the years, the resources they depend on to provide their life-saving services have not. That's why Congress initiated the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which is similar to the highly successful COPS program that put more than 100,000 new police officers on the nation's streets.

Chief Donny Green said the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department will use this federal funding award to purchase a new 4 X 4 brush/quick attack vehicle to replace the old and unreliable 1975 homemade brush truck. This vehicle will be used in the department's county wide operation and will be a huge asset in helping firefighters access areas around Center Hill Lake.

DeKalb County will only have to provide a 5% local match for the purchase of this new vehicle awarded in this grant. Chief Green says that the department appreciates the support of County Mayor Mike Foster and the DeKalb County Commissioners for agreeing to provide the 5% local match for this grant.

Candidates for School Board Can Now Pick Up Petitions at Election Commission Office

January 5, 2012
School Board Seats Currently Held by Bruce Parsley and W.J. (Dub) Evins, III

Petitions for the 5th and 6th district school board races can now be picked up at the DeKalb County Election Commission office.

School board members, who run as non-partisan candidates, are elected in even-numbered years in August with the membership being staggered. In August 2012, members in Districts 5 and 6 are to be elected. The qualifying deadline for this election is NOON, April 5. The seats are currently held by W.J. (Dub) Evins, III in the 5th district and Bruce Parsley in the 6th district.

Meanwhile, the state representatives seats that serve DeKalb County will also be on the August State Primary ballot. However, due to statewide redistricting, petitions for those offices will not be issued until February 6, 2012.
"Due to the events of reapportionment (or redistricting), the Coordinator of Elections may postpone the normal beginning date petitions can be issued," said Dennis Stanley, DeKalb Administrator of Elections. "Due to the fact the legislature has yet to approve a redistricting plan, the Coordinator has moved the date to February 6." The qualifying deadline, however, will remain the same-April 5.

Meanwhile, Stanley reminds voters about key dates for the upcoming Presidential Preference Primary and DeKalb County Democratic Primary, set for March 6th. The last day to register to vote is February 6 and early voting will be
held from February 15 through February 28. The last day a voter may send in a written request for an absentee ballot is also February 28th.

Stanley also reminded voters that a photo identification will be required to vote on the machine during early voting or on election day. For more information, contact the election office at 597-4146.

2011 Fire Incident Responses Up in DeKalb County

January 5, 2012
Fire Incident Response Data
County Fire Chief Donny Green

The DeKalb County Fire Department has compiled its 2011 Incident Response Summary.

The best news in this report is that DeKalb County did not record any fire-related deaths in 2011. Overall, 2011 fire incident responses in the county were up by 54 calls from 2010. In 2010, the department responded to a total of 392 fire incidents. The department responded to 446 fire incident responses in 2011. This count does not include the 357 rural medical first responder calls that county fire department personnel responded to.

DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green said that the most marked increase in incidents is in the "alarms" category. This category captures responses to automated alarms such as fire/smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. Chief Green said that this is expected because of the increased population of absentee homeowners around the Center Hill Lake area. According to Green, these property owners increasingly are using automated alarm systems to monitor their property, as their primary residences are elsewhere.

With DeKalb County's rural population growing at rates higher than the cities' population growth within DeKalb County, the department continues to strive to prevent fires and fire related incidents by using prevention and educational measures. DeKalb County Fire Department's Fire Prevention and Safety Officer, Lt. Brad Mullinax, says that preventing incidents is much more economical than responding to them.

The chart as shown above provides a breakdown of each type of fire incident response that the department responded to in 2011.

UPDATED: DeKalb County to Have Two State Representatives Under Redistricting Plan

January 5, 2012
Dwayne Page
Terri Lynn Weaver
Mark Pody
Mae Beavers

DeKalb County would have two State Representatives under a new Republican drawn redistricting plan unveiled Wednesday.

State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver would continue to represent Smith County and most of DeKalb County as part of the 40th district but the southern portion of DeKalb County would become part of another district with Cannon and a large portion of Wilson County, represented by Republican Mark Pody of Wilson County. Legislative atttorney Doug Himes told WJLE Thursday that a total of 6,126 DeKalb County residents would be in Pody's 46th district. The precincts affected include Belk, Keltonburg, and Blue Springs in the sixth district, a small portion of the Middle School precinct in the third district, and a small portion of the Church of Christ Annex precinct in the seventh district. The rest of DeKalb County (12,597 residents) would remain in Weaver's 40th district.

Weaver would also lose Macon County but she would pick up Trousdale County and a portion of Sumner County.

The plan would have to be enacted by the State Legislature before it could take effect.

Click Link Below to See Statewide House Redistricting Plan

Meanwhile, State Senator Mae Beavers would continue to represent DeKalb County as part of the 17th district under the Republican drawn senate redistricting map.

Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey announced the release of the plan Wednesday, which was put together by the Senate's Working Group on Redistricting with the assistance of the Office of Legal Services and is now available at the General Assembly's website.

Click Link Below to see the Middle Tennessee Senate Redistricting Plan

Under the plan, Senator Beavers' 17th district would still be made up of Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith, and Wilson Counties, but Beavers would lose Trousdale County and the one precinct she represents in Sumner County to the 18th district.

"We were committed to drawing a fair and legal state senate map and that is exactly what we have done." said Lt. Governor Ramsey. "The map emphasizes regional integrity and adheres to state and federal laws as well as court precedent. I look forward to concluding the redistricting process swiftly and efficiently as soon as we go into session next week."

In addition to Lt. Governor Ramsey the Senate Working Group on redistricting included three regional coordinators: Majority Leader Mark Norris, Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron and Speaker Pro Tempore Bo Watson.

This release includes both a statewide map as well as regional and urban center breakout maps for public perusal. A comprehensive memorandum explaining the new map in detail can also be found at the website: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/senate/redist/redistricting.html.

Landscape Photographer Bill Luton to Host Book Signing Saturday

January 5, 2012
Bill Luton
Book Cover for "The Lake" by Bill Luton

Landscape Photographer, Bill Luton, exposes the beauty to one of Tennessee's most beautiful lakes in the pages of his new book "The Lake" a photographic journey through the seasons on Center Hill Lake.

Click the following link to hear a radio interview with Bill Luton on WJLE

The book is now available for sale and Luton is inviting you to meet him during a book signing this Saturday, January 7 from 4:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at the White Possum Grille on Walnut Street downtown Smithville.

Throughout the changing seasons, from early dawn through dusk, Luton is able to capture an image not often seen or viewed while exploring the lake's secluded coves.

The lake itself snakes over 60 miles through some of Middle Tennessee's most noted terrain. Roughly less than 1% of the shoreline has been developed and what has, is mainly for recreational usage.

Rolling hills, steep cliffs, and hidden waterfalls are just a part of what has been experienced and shared in this first series. Migrating waterfowl to human intervention awaits you with just a simple turn of the page.

Shown are 25 images from "The Lake" providing you with samples of the images found within the 48 page book. This hardback book measures 12" wide by 9" tall using 80# silk paper, a four color process with a spot gloss varnish to protect and enhance each individual image.

You can preview and order "The Lake" online at www.luton.us


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