Local News Articles

Spencer Man Killed in Logging Accident

November 11, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 56 year old Spencer man lost his life in a logging accident this morning (Friday) in a remote area off the Indian Creek Youth Camp Road.

Dead is Royce Turner.

According to Joe Johnson, member of the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad, a tree fell on the man and killed him. “It was a logging operation and two guys were in the woods cutting trees in a pretty steep place. One of the guys was cutting a tree and it fell and hit another tree. The second tree fell on the victim and he was dead when we got to the scene,” said Johnson.

“Maybe a half mile before you get to Indian Creek Youth Camp, we turned onto a private drive for maybe a mile to a house, went across the ridge, and then by gator accessed an old logging road through the woods to get to the scene. We then had to use ropes to go down a steep place to get him out. We placed him in a stokes basket, brought him up with ropes, put him in the gator, and brought him out to the ambulance,” Johnson added.

Some 13 members of the rescue squad responded along with county firefighters, DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, and DeKalb EMS.

A self-employed logger, Turner was the son of Betty Turner of McMinnville and the late Francis William Turner. In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by son, Colby Turner.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by three children, Cory Turner and wife Andrea of McMinnville, Ashley Hobbs of McMinnville, and Autumn Turner of McMinnville; six grandchildren, Sara and Riley Turner, Anslee McCrary, Emma and Hailey Lamb, and Ryder Hobbs; sister and brother-in-law, Shirlene and Kermit Stiles of McMinnville; and three nieces also survive.

A graveside service and interment will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at Smyrna Cemetery with Mike Steakley officiating. Visitation will be held from 11:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at High Funeral Home in McMinnville.

School Board Votes to Increase Its Per Diem Pay

November 11, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Board of Education

The Board of Education Thursday night voted to give itself an increase in the per diem each member receives for attending regular meetings and work sessions.

Currently and for many years, school board members have been getting $50 per regular meeting and $15 per work session. By a 5-0 vote, the board voted to raise their per diem to $150 each per regular meeting and to $25 each for work sessions or special meetings. They will not receive the workshop pay for any work sessions held on nights when regular board meetings are taking place. Regular meetings are held once per month.

Board members Danny Parkerson, Kate Miller, Shaun Tubbs, Doug Stephens, and Jerry Wayne Johnson all voted in favor. Board members W.J. (Dub) Evins, III and Jim Behsearse were absent.

The issue has been discussed by the school board in work sessions over the last several months and more money was added to this year’s school budget to pay for the per diem increase with the budgetary line item for this expense going from $6,000 to $18,900 this year.

While the increase matches what the county commission earns for regular meetings, school board members decided to keep their workshop pay under what the county commission gets for committee meetings. County Commissioners receive $150 each per regular meeting and $75 for committee meetings.

In other business, Director of Schools Patrick Cripps gave his monthly personnel report to the school board.

Terry Emberton has been hired as a custodian at DCHS and Kristin Sain as an educational assistant at Northside Elementary School. Julie Hale has resigned as an educational assistant at DeKalb West School.

Board Votes to Keep High School Graduation at DCHS

November 11, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Board Votes to Keep High School Graduation at DCHS

The Class of 2017 at DeKalb County High School will graduate Friday, May 26 on campus at DCHS.

Although two recent surveys of the Class revealed a majority wished to have the commencement at Tennessee Tech’s Hooper Eblen Center in Cookeville, the Board of Education Thursday night voted to keep the graduation at home. In the first senior family survey, 81% of the respondents voted to have the graduation at Tech. A follow-up survey of just the senior class students showed that 113 or 57% want to have the commencement at Tech, 46 or 23% do not, and 39 students or 19% have no preference.

The school board voted 4-1 to have the 2017 graduation at DCHS on Friday, May 26. Board members Jerry Wayne Johnson, Shaun Tubbs, Doug Stephens, and Danny Parkerson voted in favor. Kate Miller voted against preferring to honor the wishes of the majority of the students. Board members W.J. (Dub) Evins, III and Jim Beshearse were absent.

Stephens, who chaired the school board meeting Thursday night in the absence of Chairman Evins, said members of the board discussed the issue at a workshop prior to the meeting. “We did discuss this at the workshop. Considering the costs and considering that the second time we went back and asked for acceptance, the public’s vote (student survey response) was close enough that I think the view of the board decided to keep it here,” said Stephens.

For several years the DCHS graduation has been held on the high school football field. The threat of rain last year forced the administration to change the date from the previously scheduled Friday, May 20 to Thursday, May 19. But the move forced some relatives coming from farther distances to change their travel plans.

Since there is no other venue large enough in DeKalb County to accommodate the crowds who attend graduation, the commencement must be held on the high school football field unless it is moved out of county. Attendance would be limited to ticket holders if the graduation were moved indoors to the DCHS gymnasium, county complex, or even at the McMinnville Civic Center.

Having the DCHS graduation at Tennessee Tech would resolve several concerns. It would accommodate the crowd. It would be cheaper. While the school system would have to rent the Hooper Eblen Center for one night, it would not have to rent chairs, a sound system, or pay other costs associated with organizing a commencement. However there could be liability concerns, especially if the school system were to provide bus transportation for the graduates. And it could create a hardship for some families who might not have the means or transportation to get to an out of county venue.

Liberty Senior Citizens Remembering "Veterans Day"

November 11, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Liberty Senior Citizens and their Director Nancy Goad are paying tribute to ALL Veterans today (Friday) with the following "Veterans Day" poem by Cheryl Dyson:

"On Veterans Day we honor all,
Who answered to a service call,
Soldiers young, and soldiers old,
Fought for freedom, brave and bold
Some have lived, while others died,
And all of them deserve our pride,
We're proud of all the soldiers who,
Kept thinking of red, white, and blue,
They fought for us and all our rights,
They fought through many days and nights,
And though we may not know each name,
We thank ALL veterans just the same."

Ruch Medals at TSSAA State, Named All Mid-State in MSCCA

November 10, 2016
Mya Ruch with Coach Melissa Ruch (right) and Assistant Coach Sonja House (left)

Mya Ruch, a freshman at DeKalb County High School, has become the first high school student in DeKalb to place and medal at the TSSAA Cross Country State meet on Saturday, November 5th which was held at Percy Warner Park in Nashville. Mya placed 15th out of 181 runners, received a medal, hit her best PR by finishing with a time of 20:32, and earned a spot on the TSSAA All-State Team.

Mya also learned over fall break that she had been named to the MSCCA All Mid-State Bronze Team for her quick times in several of her meets over this season. She attended their banquet on November 7th which was held at Brentwood Academy, and was one of 21 runners in the girls division which was named to the All Mid-State Team for the 2016 season.

Pinkard Gets Four Year Sentence in Meth Case

November 10, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Marlin Pinkard

A man found with a meth lab during an April Smithville Police Department hit and run investigation was sentenced in DeKalb County Criminal Court Tuesday.

Judge Gary McKenzie presided.

35 year old Marlin Pinkard entered a plea to attempting to initiate the manufacture of meth. He received a four year sentence to serve at 30% before his release eligibility date. The term is to run consecutive to a Warren County sentence against him. He was given jail credit from April 12 to November 8.

In June, 32 year old Shana Nicole Smiley, a co-defendant entered a plea by criminal information to attempted initiation of a process intended to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine. She received a three year TDOC sentence which is to run consecutive to a Warren County sentence against her. Smiley was given jail credit for 70 days and she must make restitution of $2,000. Smiley was also ordered to forfeit her 1998 Gold Dodge Stratus.

Pinkard and Smiley were arrested by Smithville Police on charges of initiation of methamphetamine during a hit and run investigation on April 11.

After obtaining a description of the car involved in the hit-and-run, officers tracked it down at Mapco Express. "After officers arrived at Mapco, they spotted Mr. Pinkard coming out of the store. When Pinkard saw them, he went back in the store and tried to empty his pockets. Officers confronted Pinkard and found pills in his possession believed to be Suboxone. Pinkard was then placed under arrest," said Police Chief Mark Collins.

Upon checking out Pinkard's car at Mapco, Chief Collins said police found a meth lab. "When we went to his car we found Shana Nicole Smiley sitting in the passenger seat. After she was asked to get out of the car we saw in plain view a plastic bottle containing a sludge like material consistent with the manufacture of meth. The substance was later identified as a one pot meth lab by the Tennessee Meth Task Force who came to the scene to assist in the investigation. Also found in the car was an opened cold pack, lithium batteries, and a glass pipe with residue. Smiley was then placed under arrest," he said.

Jennings Signs with Ole Miss to Play Baseball

November 10, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
DCHS Senior Baseball Standout Steven Jennings signs letter of intent to play for the Ole Miss Rebels next year. Pictured with parents, Randy and Jill Jennings and sister Cori Jennings
DCHS Baseball Coach Jon Adam Kefauver with Steven Jennings
Steven Jennings with DCHS Baseball Coach, Players, and members of the program

Steven Jennings, a senior at DeKalb County High School, may soon become the first DCHS Tiger ever to play collegiate baseball in the Southeastern Conference.

This outstanding pitcher and short stop for the DCHS program signed a letter of intent Wednesday to play for the Ole Miss Rebels after his high school career is completed.

The signing was held in the library at DCHS. Jennings was joined by his parents, Randy and Jill Jennings, his sister Cori, DCHS baseball coach Jon Adam Kefauver, members of the Tiger baseball team, and DCHS football coach Steve Trapp.

“This has been a dream of mine since I was little. I used to always tell my mom and dad that playing in my TV was like of dream of mine and it has been since I was four years old. I’m just glad that today I am able to make it a reality. Ole Miss is a great school. It’s beautiful down there. They have a really great baseball program and playing in the Southeastern Conference has also been a dream of mine so for me Ole Miss was the place to go,” said Jennings.

Jennings, also starting quarterback for the DCHS football team until he suffered an injury this season, still has one more baseball season at DCHS now that football for him is over and he is anxious for it to begin next spring. “I’m ready to get started, to make myself better every day, and hopefully win some baseball games this spring,” added Jennings.

“I’m blessed to have him (Jennings) for another year. It’s obvious how hard he has worked up to this point to get where he is. This is a day where everything is coming to fruition for him. I’m happy to be part of it and happy to have a year to build a relationship with him,” said first year DCHS Baseball Coach Jon Adam Kefauver.

Man Injured in One Car Crash

November 10, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Wesley Chandler Injured in One Car Crash

A 39 year old Smithville man was injured in a one car crash at around 2:00 a.m. this morning (Thursday) on Highway 70 east near Evins Mill Road.

Trooper Sean Tramel of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Wesley Chandler of Page Drive was driving east on Highway 70 in a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am when the car went off the left side of the highway, struck an embankment, went airborne, did not flip, but came down on its side. The car struck some small trees and slid before coming to rest upright in the highway.

Chandler was taken by DeKalb EMS to St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital to be treated for minor injuries. According to Trooper Tramel, alcohol was involved in the crash and charges are pending against Chandler possibly for DUI and for driving on a revoked license and no insurance.

Members of the Midway and Johnson Chapel stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and Sheriff’s Department also responded.

McMinnville Man Sentenced in Recent Burglaries

November 10, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Dakota James Stith

A McMinnville man appeared in DeKalb County Criminal Court Tuesday where he entered a plea by criminal information to three counts of aggravated burglary.

Judge Gary McKenzie presided.

24 year old Dakota James Stith of Northgate Drive received a three year sentence in each case. Two counts will run consecutively for a total of six years but concurrently with the third count. The term will also run consecutively with four other counts. He will be furloughed into the DeKalb County Drug Recovery Program and the sentence will be suspended upon his successful completion of it. He must make restitution to the victims in amounts of $1,775, $310, and $370. Stith has been given jail credit of 229 days.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Wednesday, May 11 Stith either committed vandalism or burglary and theft at three separate homes on Cove Hollow Road.

In one case, Stith allegedly cut a back screen door, broke a Samsung surveillance camera system, and broke parts to a Rokon motorcycle causing $370 in damage.

At a second location, Stith allegedly entered the residence by force through the front door and broke a door frame valued at $250. He then allegedly stole $2,125 worth of items including a 20 gauge shotgun, 32 inch flat screen TV, Xbox 360, fishing tackle, jewelry, plastic storage container, food, jump box, and assorted power tools.

At a third residence, Stith allegedly entered through an unlocked door and took $8,310 worth of items including a 20 gauge shotgun, 22 caliber rifle, 38 caliber Derringer pistol, and assorted change. He also took from the property a 2013 Polaris Ranger.

Cookbook Author to be in Smithville for Book Signing

November 10, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Cookbook Author to be in Smithville for Book Signing

From two-lane highways and interstates, to dirt roads and quaint downtowns, every road leads to delicious food when traveling across The Volunteer State.

“Tennessee Back Road Restaurant Recipes Cookbook” by Anita Musgrove, is unique in that it serves up a well-researched and charming guide to Tennessee's best back road restaurants plus favorite recipes from restaurant owners, chefs and the best cooks in the state. This is not your usual guide to high-priced, white-tablecloth restaurants. You ll find those hidden gems that most people would never discover unless they lived in these small towns. No time to travel? No problem. Each restaurant shares with you their favorite recipes. Some recipes are signature dishes, others are family favorites, but all are delicious. Here you ll enjoy terrific recipes plus a guide to Tennessee restaurants you won t want to miss while traveling the back roads of Tennessee. So crank up the car and join us.

All recipes in the “Back Road” series are easy to prepare using ingredients most people already have in their pantry..just good old hometown cooking.

Musgrove will be at F.Z. Webb & Sons Gifts on the public square, Smithville for a book signing Friday, November 11 from 2-5 p.m. and Saturday, November 12 from 10 a.m. until noon.

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