Local News Articles

Lee Charged with Assaulting His Mother

September 7, 2017
Dwayne Page
Michael Joseph Lee
Kanday Kay Fish
Jason Bradley Cripps
James Cary Hicks, Jr.
Dustin Lee Mason
Brittany Nicole Kane

A Smithville man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting his mother.

27 year old Michael Joseph Lee of Estes Street, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is September 14. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, August 28 Lee allegedly assaulted his mother by kicking her in the face and chest causing red marks. It was determined that Lee was the primary aggressor.

52 year old Kanday Kay Fish of Old Snow Hill Road, Dowelltown is charged with driving under the influence. She was also cited for failure to maintain lane of travel. Her bond is $1,500. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, August 28 after receiving a call from central dispatch to be on the lookout for a reckless driver, a deputy spotted a vehicle matching the description while traveling south on Anthony Avenue. After observing the vehicle travel into the oncoming lane of traffic, the officer stopped it and spoke with the driver, Fish. According to the deputy, Fish could barely keep her eyes open. Her speech was slurred and she was very unsteady on her feet, After performing poorly on field sobriety tasks she was placed under arrest.

43 year old Jason Bradley Cripps is charged with driving under the influence and a second offense of driving on a revoked license. His bond is $4,500 and his court date is September 14. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, August 28 a deputy was notified by corrections officers at the sheriff’s office that someone had driven to the jail without a license. Upon arrival the deputy spoke with a man, Cripps, who was sitting in the passenger seat of a white car. The officer reviewed video from a surveillance camera which showed that Cripps had driven to the jail and parked. He then exited the car on the driver side and then re-entered the vehicle on the passenger side. The officer knew that Cripps’ license were revoked. Cripps’ eyes were glossy and bloodshot with pinpoint pupils. His speech was slow and slurred and he was unsteady on his feet. Cripps submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. He was placed under arrest. Sheriff Ray said Cripps had come to the jail to pick up Kanday Fish. Cripps’ license were revoked in 2006 for failure to file a property damage accident report.

38 year old James Cary Hicks, Jr. of Clear Fork Road, Liberty is charged with resisting stop, frisk, halt, search, or arrest. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, September 1 a deputy went to Hicks’ residence to serve a warrant on him. Upon the officer’s arrival, Hicks ran out of a side door. The deputy identified himself and gave repeated commands for Hicks to stop but he refused. Hicks was later arrested.

35 year old Dustin Lee Mason of Greenbrier is charged with public intoxication. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is September 14. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, September 4 a deputy was called to Pates Ford Marina due to someone causing problems there. Upon arrival the officer spoke with the man, Mason who had a very strong odor of alcohol on his person. His speech was slurred. His eyes were glassy and he was very combative. Mason went back to his campsite as ordered by the officer but he later returned to the marina before the deputy left. Mason was placed under arrest.

30 year old Brittany Nicole Kane of Ashland City is charged with public intoxication. Her bond is $1,500 and her court date is September 14. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, September 4 a deputy was called to Pates Ford Marina due to someone there causing problems. Upon arrival the officer spoke with the woman, Kane who had a very strong odor of alcohol on her person. Her speech was slurred. Her eyes were glassy and she was very combative. Kane was placed under arrest.

Families Coping with Infant Loss Find Support Through Paislee's Foundation

September 6, 2017
Dwayne Page
Paislee's Foundation
Tyler and Jessica Cripps

Losing a child is unspeakably painful and perhaps the most devastating ordeal a parent could have to encounter.

Tyler and Jessica Cripps of Alexandria know what that's like. Their daughter Paislee Cheyanne Cripps was stillborn on May 3, 2013. Their hearts were broken. Their world was shattered.

But during their grief they received the love and support of family, friends, church, and the community in such a way that it inspired Tyler and Jessica to help other parents mourning infant loss. As a result, Paislee's Foundation was formed by the Cripps' along with their friend Wesley McCubbin.

Paislee’s Foundation is a non-profit organization. Its purpose is to support those whose lives have been touched tragically within the past six months due to stillbirth, infant loss, or child loss up to three years old. Through the foundation, families can receive funds to assist them with funeral costs or other expenses. More than 40 families have been served since the foundation was established in October, 2013.

One of the annual fundraisers held to support the foundation is set for next month, the Paislee’s Foundation Craft & Home Show. This 4th annual event will take place on Saturday, October 14 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. inside the Kenneth Sandlin Building at the DeKalb County Fairgrounds in Alexandria.

Admission is free and there will be plenty of free parking. Donations will be accepted for the foundation.

Thirty eight vendors had booths at the Craft & Home Show last year and more are expected this year.

If you would like to set up an inside booth as a craft vendor the cost is $25.00 for a 10’x8’ space. Outside space is also available. Demonstrations are welcome.

All proceeds fund Paislee’s Foundation. No one associated with the foundation gets paid. All funds collected go to support those grieving from still birth and infant loss.

For more information call or text Darcie Cripps at 615-464-5139 or email paisleesfoundation@gmail.com


Former Senator Mae Beavers Donates Jamboree Posters to Chamber

September 6, 2017
Dwayne Page
Former Senator Mae Beavers Donates Jamboree Posters to Chamber

Former State Senator Mae Beavers was in Smithville today (Wednesday) to donate her framed collection of Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree posters and Center Hill Dam print to the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce.

“Since I have moved out of my (senate) office we thought the place for these to be was the Chamber office in the courthouse,” said Beavers

Beavers has resigned her state senate office to devote full time to running for Governor.

Chamber Director Suzanne Williams stated, "I am so excited to have this Jamboree and Center Hill Lake art at the Chamber office. This generous gift will be displayed proudly to be enjoyed by many for years to come. What a beautiful addition to our office!"

The Jamboree posters included the 40th, 41st, 42nd, 43rd, 44th, 45th, & 46th festivals

Pictured l-r:
Front: Jerry Beavers, Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss, Mae Beavers, Chamber Board Members Kathy Hendrixson and Jane Brown

Back: State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, DeKalb Co. Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley, Chamber Director Suzanne Williams

Man Arrested after Threatening Deputies with Knives

September 5, 2017
Dwayne Page
Jeremy Austin Scruggs

A Smithville man who threatened deputies with two knives was tased and forcibly restrained before being placed under arrest last week.

39 year old Jeremy Austin Scruggs of Highland Avenue, Smithville is charged with aggravated assault and resisting stop, frisk, halt, arrest, or search. His bond is $8,500 and his court date is September 14.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, August 28 deputies were dispatched to a residence on Highland Avenue due a man with a knife. The officers found the man, Scruggs, in an outbuilding. Scruggs had two knives, one in each hand. After being given verbal commands by the officers several times to drop the knives, Scruggs started to charge toward them. A taser had to be used to stop Scruggs and he was forcibly restrained.

Sparta Man Arrested for Theft of Utility Trailer

September 5, 2017
Dwayne Page
Bruce Randall Bumbalough
Stephanie Ann Pierce

A Sparta man has been arrested for stealing a utility trailer.


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_37.pdf (2.43 MB)

52 year old Bruce Randall Bumbalough of North Butler Street, Sparta is charged with theft of property over $1,000. His bond is $10,000 and his court date is September 14.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on August 10 the sheriff’s department received a report that someone had stolen a 6 x 12 foot utility trailer from a residence on Big Hurricane Road, Smithville valued at $1,200.

A detective was assigned to the case and developed Bumbalough as a suspect. He was later arrested for the crime.

In another case, the sheriff’s department has served a sealed indictment from the grand jury on May 30 charging 42 year old Stephanie Ann Pierce of Pea Ridge Road, Elmwood with one count of sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine) and violation of the drug free zone. Her bond is $50,000 and she will be arraigned in criminal court on September 11.

Six Bronze Stars Stolen from Veterans Monument at Green Brook Park

September 5, 2017
Dwayne Page
Photo shows missing bronze star from veteran’s memorial monument at Green Brook Park
Veterans Memorial Monument and Cannons at Green Brook Park
Monument former location at former VFW Post on Sparta Highway

Smithville Police want to know who stole six bronze stars off the veteran’s memorial monument at Green Brook Park.

City Public Works Director Kevin Robinson told WJLE Tuesday that an off duty city employee was in the park a few days ago and noticed that the stars were missing from the monument. Its not known when the theft occurred. City officials believe whoever committed the theft used a pry bar to remove the stars .

The monument and two cannons, once located on the grounds of the former VFW Howard Gill Post 7623 on the Sparta Highway, were relocated to Green Brook Park after the Post was closed two years ago. The six sided monument stands in tribute to those from DeKalb County who lost their lives during the Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Iraqi Freedom.

Chief Mark Collins said the Police Department is seeking tips from the public. If you have information that may help solve the crime contact Crime Stoppers at 615-464-6199.

Students Get Kick Out of Tae Kwon Do National Competition

September 5, 2017
Bill Conger
Bane Averitte
Riley Fuson
Chris Caldwell
George Lloyd with Hall of Fame Honor

7-year-old Bane Averitte stood across from his higher ranked opponent at the national competition in Daytona Beach, FL. The first grader at DeKalb West School had performed well in his first round of sparring in front of a crowd of 350 from 16 states, but now the purple belt student of Middle Tennessee Tae Kwon Do in Smithville, was facing a bigger competitor.

“I was a little worried about the second kid,” Averitte, 6, admits. “He was actually charging at me, and I didn’t get any points.”

Bane ended up placing second in Sparring at the U.S. Chung Do Kwan Association, Inc. 2017 Edward B. Sell National Championship 50th Anniversary. During the July 20-22 event, five of the local school’s students competed under the direction of owner and instructor, George Lloyd, 4th dan or master.

Riley Fuson, 11, red belt, joined Bane in competing in the competition for ages 3-13. Amy Averitte, blue belt, Chris Caldwell, brown belt, and Cody Edge, brown belt, competed in the categories for ages 14 and up. Riley and Bane both won 1st place in Extreme Kamas, and Fuson placed 2nd in Sparring, going against an opponent who was one rank higher.

“There was nobody in his weight class and his rank, so he had to fight higher,” explains Lloyd. “He knew it was going to be harder. They’re a lot more aggressive. That’s the second rank in the advance level, so they’re aggressive and they want it. He stepped forward, and he stepped up. He accomplished going after fear, the fear of a higher rank, and the fear of everyone watching.”

“That was a challenge,” says Fuson. “That was probably the best fighting I’ve ever done.”

“I’m proud of these two,” says Lloyd of the two boys’ success. “They’re stepping into the advanced rank. They’re doing good.”

Bane’s mother, Amy Averitte, won 2nd in Forms and 1st in Sparring. Chris Caldwell place 2nd in Sparring, and Cody Edge took 1st in Sparring.
“Our green belt did a great job,” says Lloyd. “Our brown belts did good. Everyone did remarkable.”

Lloyd, who has been a student of the martial arts sport since 1980 except for a ten year break, was added to the association’s Hall of Fame at the tournament. He was named Most Talented Master Instructor and Outstanding Coach and Referee.

“Awsome! I’ll take it,” he modestly responds. “Every five years they do a Hall of Fame. I came back four years ago with gusto, enthusiasm. I started taking classes for refereeing and coaching so I can get the students [motivated] so they don’t get discouraged when they’re losing.”

Lloyd has been operating Middle Tennessee Tae Kwon Do, now located at 301 S. 3rd Street, Smithville, for the last three years. With a goal of reaching the rare accomplishment of 5th degree black belt next year, he plans to keep the doors of his teaching studio open.

“It’s much more than a sport,” he says.

“If you don’t teach, you’re not really learning because leaders are learners,” Lloyd said. “They have to constantly learn from everyone.”

Approximately 57,000 people will earn first degree black belt, but as the training toughens from there, the numbers go down with only 1,000 students advancing to second degree black belt.

To succeed, Lloyd says his students need to set goals, truly try to learn and improve, and simply show up.

“The only way to get better is to do it even if you hate it,” says Lloyd. “One of our mottos is do what you hate the most. You’ll be good at it, and you’ll never hate it later.”

For more information about Tae Kwon Do, contact Lloyd at 615-225-7493 or check his business out on the web, http://mttkd.com.

(UPDATED) Labor Day Motorcycle Crash Claims Portland Woman

September 5, 2017
Dwayne Page
Labor Day Motorcycle Crash Claims One Life

One person died and another was airlifted in a motorcycle crash Labor Day on Highway 70 at the intersection with Snow Hill Road near Bert Driver Nursery.

Dead is 60 year old Nancy L. Pipers of Portland. She was a passenger of a 2008 Suzuki motorcycle operated by 56 year old Garry L. Midgett of Westmoreland, who was seriously injured.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Midgett was traveling eastbound in the right hand lane of US Highway 70 as a 1996 Ford F350, driven by 57 year old James C. Wilkerson of Smithville was turning left from Highway 70 onto the Snow Hill Road. The truck, which was pulling a trailer with a lawnmower on board, crossed into the path of the motorcycle. The bike struck the trailer as it was turning. Pipers succumbed to her injuries at the scene.

The THP reports that both Midgett and Pipers were wearing their safety helmets and Wilkerson was wearing his seat belt. Wilkerson was not injured but was cited for failure to yield to the right of way.

The crash was investigated by Trooper Chris Delong of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and Sheriff’s Department were on the scene.

TNReady EOC results show some progress at DCHS, Remains Below State Average in Three Subjects

September 4, 2017
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County High School students were able to show progress over the previous TNReady year-end tests in two out of four subjects, but not at the same rate as the state in three of the four categories.

In English, 33.9 percent of students were on track or mastered the subject, up from 27.4 percent in 2015-16 but slightly below the statewide percentage of 34.3

In all math courses, 15.5 percent performed on track or mastered the subject, up from 10.3 percent last year, but below 21.5 percent for the state

For U.S. history, 24.4 percent of students scored on track or higher, down from 27.3 percent and below the statewide percentage of 30.8

And in science, 54.7 percent scored proficient or higher, down from 58 percent last year, but higher than the state’s 51 percent although the science exam was taken under a different, less rigorous test.

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced the district-level end-of-course results from the second year of TNReady last week, noting that 102 districts – more than three-fourths of districts with high schools – increased the percent of students now scoring on track or mastered in high school English, and 61 districts showed an increase in students who are meeting course expectations in high school math. Overall, 54 districts increased the percent of on track or mastered students in both high school math and English.

In addition to this growth in students who achieved proficiency, districts also reduced the percentage of students who scored in the lowest performance level, which is called below. This shows that even while students have not yet reached proficiency, they are still advancing to higher performance levels. Nearly every district reduced the percent of high school students scoring as below in English, and about two-thirds of districts with high schools reduced the percent of students scoring at below in both high school math and English.

DeKalb County reduced the percentage of high school students scoring “below” in Math, English, and History while Science increased by just under one percent,

Across the state, 10 districts reduced the percent of students performing below course expectations in every individual TNReady end-of-course subject – which shows high school students across all content areas and grades are growing out of the lowest performance category. Those districts are: Fayette County Public Schools, Lenoir City Schools, Roane County Schools, Rutherford County Schools, Arlington Community Schools, Collierville Schools, Germantown Municipal School District, Sullivan County Schools, Sumner County Schools, and Williamson County Schools.

"These encouraging results show that our students are rising to meet the more rigorous expectations of our standards," Commissioner McQueen said. "Seeing substantial improvements at this scale will take time, but we know the strong instruction our educators focus on every single day is most important to students' long-term success. We are committed to holding all of our students to high expectations while supporting them on the path to get there."

TNReady is the statewide assessment administered to all students in grades 3-11. It is a more rigorous assessment compared to past state TCAP tests and is fully aligned to Tennessee's academic standards, which are based on what students need to know and be able to do each year to ultimately be prepared for college and their careers. TNReady scores fall into one of four achievement levels: mastered, on track, approaching, and below. These categories aim to help teachers and parents easily understand if students are ready for the next step in their academic journey and identify which students may need additional support ¬¬– which are the goals of state assessments.

Earlier this summer, Commissioner McQueen announced that at the state level, Tennessee high school students improved across all subject areas – English, math, science, and U.S. history – on TNReady end-of-course exams. This improvement means that thousands of additional students are meeting course expectations.

On the majority of the end-of-course exams, Germantown Municipal School District out performed all other districts in the percentage of students performing in the on track and mastered categories. In high school science, 89.6 percent of Germantown students met course expectations, while 71.9 percent did the same in high school English, 65.2 percent did in U.S. history, and 55.4 percent did in high school math. In all cases, those were the highest scores in the state.

Four additional districts out-paced all others in individual subject tests by having the highest percentage of students score on track or mastered: Bradford Special School District, Bristol City Schools, Trousdale County Schools, and Clay County Schools. There were 129 districts with high schools in Tennessee in the 2016-17 school year.

This year's results build on the first year of TNReady end-of-course assessments from 2015-16, where high school students set a new baseline for achievement based on educator-developed expectations that better ensure all students are on track for success in postsecondary and the workforce. In addition to overall growth, 2017 end-of-course results show some encouraging performance from Tennessee's historically underserved student groups. In particular, all student groups – students with disabilities, English learners, economically disadvantaged students, and Black, Hispanic, and Native American students – improved on TNReady end-of-course exams in English. In the district-level end-of-course results released last week, the public can also view information on how individual student groups performed in each district and on each subject test.

For example, in high school English:

*64 districts improved the percent of Black, Hispanic, and Native American students who scored on track or mastered,

*79 districts saw the same improvement for economically disadvantaged students,

*57 districts had more students with disabilities scoring on track or mastered, and

*11 districts improved the percent of English learner students scoring on track or mastered

In the coming weeks, districts will receive family and educator reports on the TNReady end-of-course exams to distribute to their families and teachers. Teacher evaluation data will also be available for educators over the next few weeks. This fall, the department will finalize scores and release the TNReady results for grades 3-8 at both the state and district level. For all grades, including high school, school-level TNReady data will be available when the state report card is released in late fall. Districts may choose to release their school-level end-of-course data earlier at their discretion.

Nashville Couple Airlifted After Motorcycle Crash

September 3, 2017
Dwayne Page
Scene of Sunday Motorcycle Crash on Dale Ridge Road

A Nashville couple was airlifted after a motorcycle crash Sunday afternoon on Highway 96 (Dale Ridge Road).

70 year old Randall Barnes and 72 year old Pauline Barnes were injured in the accident and were airlifted by separate helicopter ambulances from a landing zone set up on Highway 70 at the top of Snow Hill.

Trooper Chris Delong of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Randall Barnes was operating the 2008 Harley Davidson with Pauline Barnes as his passenger. He was traveling south on Dale Ridge Road (toward Highway 70) when he failed to negotiate a curve. The motorcycle went off the right side of the highway, into a ditchline, and then about 25 feet down an embankment. The Barnes’ were thrown from the bike.

They were transported from the scene by DeKalb EMS to the helicopter landing zone. One of the victims was airlifted by Vandy Life Flight and the other by Erlanger Life Force. Both were believed to have been flown to Vanderbilt hospital.

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and Sheriff’s Department were also on the scene.


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