Local News Articles

Two Injured in Christmas Morning Crash

December 29, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Photo by Officer Will Judkins
Photo by Homeowner where crash occurred. Submitted by Kevin Adcock

Two people were injured in a Christmas morning crash on South Mountain Street near Kendra Drive. The accident occurred at 1:06 a.m. Friday.

25 year old Marcos Anota Carrasco and Antonio Anota Carrasco both of Smithville were taken to Saint Thomas Stones River Hospital in Woodbury to be treated for minor injuries.

According to Officer Will Judkins of the Smithville Police Department, Marcos Carrasco was driving north on South Mountain Street in a Chevy Avalanche when he went across all lanes and crashed into a tree in the yard of a residence.

Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department were summoned to perform extrication because the driver was trapped in the vehicle. The passenger, Antonio Carrasco got out on his own.

Marcos was transported to the hospital by EMS. Antonio went there by private vehicle.

Officer Judkins said Marcos was cited for no drivers license and no insurance.

Saturday Night Crash Claims Dowelltown Woman

December 27, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
1995 red Chevrolet Camaro driven by Donna Jean Willoughby
2011 Ford F150 pickup, driven by 64 year old William Davis of Dowelltown
Saturday Night Crash Claims Dowelltown Woman

A 59 year old woman died from injuries in a Saturday evening traffic accident on Highway 70 at Dowelltown.

Dead is Donna Jean Willoughby of Dowelltown.

The accident occurred at 5:01 p.m. at the intersection of Highway 70 and Turner Street.

Trooper Brandon Jackson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Willoughby, driving a 1995 red Chevrolet Camaro, was turning left (east) from Turner Street onto Highway 70 when she pulled into the path of a westbound 2011 Ford F150 pickup, driven by 64 year old William Davis of Dowelltown. Davis' wife, 56 year old Dana Davis was a passenger with him. The truck hit the car in the driver side door area.

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department Rescue Team were summoned to perform extrication because Willoughby was trapped in her car. She was then airlifted from the scene by a helicopter ambulance and flown to Vanderbilt Hospital where she later died.

According to Trooper Jackson, the Davis' did not have to be transported to the hospital.

Trooper Jackson was assisted in the crash investigation by Trooper Mark Jones. Members of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and DeKalb EMS were also on the scene along with members of the Liberty and Short Mountain Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department.

Willoughby's death marks the fifth fatality of the year on DeKalb County Roads.

EF2 Tornado Causes Damage in DeKalb/Smith County

December 27, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
The summer home of Gene (Robie) and Lois Page which sets on a hill off Smith Fork Creek Road at the DeKalb/Smith county line near Temperance Hall was heavily damaged
Barn destroyed on Lancaster Road near DeKalb/Smith County line
Cinder block garage  destroyed on Maynard Hollow Lane in Smith County near the DeKalb County line

The National Weather Service said Friday that four tornadoes touched down in Middle Tennessee on Wednesday including one in DeKalb County in the area of Lower Helton and Temperance Hall.

The tornado that hit DeKalb and crossed into Smith county was classified as an EF2. There were no injuries from this storm.

It touched down on Helton Creek southwest of Dry Branch Road in DeKalb County with wind speeds estimated around 125 mph.

The tornado caused damage to homes and barns and uprooted trees along its path as it moved toward Temperance Hall. One of the hardest hit areas appeared to be on Jackson Hollow Road and the Old Temperance Hall Road/Smith Fork Creek Road near the DeKalb/Smith County line.

The summer home of Gene (Robie) and Lois Page which sets on a hill off Smith Fork Creek Road at the county line was heavily damaged.

The storm destroyed a cinder block garage and caused roof damage to a log cabin home on Maynard Hollow Lane in Smith County near the DeKalb County line

The tornado ended around Lancaster.

Two of the four tornadoes that touched down in Tennessee, an EF1 and an EF3 occurred in Wayne County. An EF2 tornado struck in Perry County.

Tennessee has six, confirmed, weather-related fatalities:

* Maury County (3) – two, 17-year-old males; one, 16-year-old female
* Perry County (2) – one, 70-year-old male; one, 69-year-old female
* Rhea County (1) – one, 22-year-old male

Public Hearing Set for CDBG Grant Application

December 27, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page

The county plans to reapply on behalf of the DeKalb Utility District for a Community Development Block Grant for water line extension to a certain area of the county in need.

A public hearing is set for Tuesday, December 29 at 6:00 p.m. in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse. The purpose of the hearing is to discuss the possibility of applying for a CDBG grant through the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. The hearing is open to the public and active participation is highly encouraged.

If approved by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, the grant would fund the extension of water lines to Tramel Branch, Oakley Road, Carter Lane, Old Givens Hollow, and Dismal to Alexandria Road.

Resolve to give blood in January for National Blood Donor Month

December 26, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
American Red Cross

This January, during National Blood Donor Month, the American Red Cross encourages people to roll up their sleeves to give blood to help maintain a sufficient blood supply for patients.

A blood drive will be held in Smithville at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 201 South College Street on Tuesday, January 5 from 1:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Since 1970, National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January to not only honor blood and platelet donors, but also to help increase donations during the winter months. Maintaining a sufficient blood supply for patients is difficult at this time of year because extreme winter weather and seasonal illnesses often impact donor turnout.

The Red Cross encourages eligible donors to resolve to give blood regularly, beginning in January. Donors with all blood types are needed, especially those with types AB, O, B negative and A negative. To encourage donations, all those who come to donate Jan. 1-3, 2016, will get a long-sleeve Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

To make an appointment to donate blood, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App from app stores, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Dowelltown City lights Contest Winners Announced

December 26, 2015

Winners of the Dowelltown City lights Contest have been announced.

1st place overall
Shaun & Jessica Antoniak

2nd place overall
Chris Walker Terri Dodd

3rd place overall
Darry & Susan Driver

1st place Door/Porch
Tommy & Dorthy Duggin

2nd place Door/ Porch
Maudie & Haleigh Bass

1st place Window
Mike & Elizabeth Redmon

2nd Place Window
Joseph & Bethany Chandler

FedEx Van Swept off Road by Rising Creek Water

December 24, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
FedEx Van Swept off Road by Rising Creek Water

The driver of a FedEx van had a close call Tuesday after his vehicle was swept off the road by rising creek water

The man was making a delivery to a residence on Preston- Vickers Road at Liberty near DeKalb West School when he came upon a concrete crossing over Smith Fork Creek. Swift water from the creek had overflowed the road and concrete crossing but the man tried to drive through anyway. The van was carried off the road and partially into the creek by the strong current. The driver got out of the van but had to hold on to the rear bumper of the vehicle until help arrived.

A Liberty Station member of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department arrived in his personal truck, backed up to the edge of the creek, tossed a rope to the man and pulled him to safety. He was not injured.

In addition to the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, DeKalb EMS, the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad, and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department were summoned to the scene.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol investigated the accident.

"Love Lights a Tree" for the American Cancer Society

December 24, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page

The American Cancer Society invites you to make a special donation in honor or in memory of a loved one during the holiday season through "Love Lights a Tree". A special memory board has been erected on the south side of the courthouse that lists the names of loved ones.

The DeKalb County Unit of the American Cancer Society seeks your support in the "Love Lights a Tree" fundraising campaign to raise money for research to find a cure as well as cancer education and patient services. Donations may be made throughout the holiday season. The persons you honor or remember do not necessarily have to have suffered from cancer.

The names are in "honor of" and in "memory of" for a donation of five-dollars per name. Forms may be obtained at the local banks. For more information, contact Ivadell Randolph at 615- 597-5296, Lynda Luna at 615- 597-5837, Renee Cantrell at 615-597-4551, Melanie Judkins at 615-597-1132, or Gail Taylor 615-597-5936.

The names of Honorees are as follows:

Billy F. Adcock, Cecil Adkins, Faye Adkins, Tracy Webb Baker, Kim Banks, Jean A. Cook, Phillip Wayne Cripps, Albert Donnell, Earl D. France, Mary Ruth Groom, Radley Hendrixson, Mary Janet Holland, Chizuko Howard, Jo D. Johnson, Walter Johnson, Linda Judkins, Patsy Judkins, Darlene Mathis, Janette Moss, Jo Ann Newbell, Carolyn Sheets, Margie Smith, Gail Taylor, Wesley Taylor, Emma Ruth Thomason, Lavelle Turner, Carolyn Walden, Sandra Wall, and Susan Young.

Those in memory are as follows:

Harold Adcock, John D. Akin, Mai Akin, Angela Malone Allen, Cindy Malone Armour, Tinsy Arnold, Ves Arnold, Jared Atnip,

Ann Barnes, Margie Barrett, Rebecca Beason, Lloyd Black, Louise Braswell, Truman Braswell, Larry Bratten, Emma Burton, Walter L. Burton,

Jeremy Caldwell, Joshua Caldwell, Clifton Cantrell, Frances Cantrell, Johnny Cantrell, Jodie Cantrell, Dianna Fuson Carter, Ronnie Carter, Martha Cathcart, Will Allen Cathcart, Mary Collins, Arlo Cook, Bob Cook, Bratten Cook, James (Buddy) Cook, Jo Bill Cook, Jo Lynn Cook, Pam Baker Cook, Rubye Cook, Steve Cook, William Smith "Bill" Craig, Eva Crook, Grady Crook, Will Allen Crook, Trena Braswell Curtis,

Earl Driver, Eddy Driver, Ravanel Driver, Tony Durso,

Ruth Elder, Jerry Lee Estes, Nathan Estes,

Rex Fathera, Geraldine Fish, Willie Foutch, Billy J. France, James A. France, Cathy Fuson Frazier, Ronald Frazier, Ronnie Frazier, Leonard "Buddy" Freeman, Jr., Leonard Freeman, Sr., Margaret Freeman, Carrie Graham Fuson, Charles Fuson, Debra Fuson,

Hoyte Garrison, Phillip Lee George, Royce Givens, Jr., James Goodwin, John Paul Grubb, Leonard Gwyn

Brownie Haley, Wiley Hancock, Lucille Cook Harris, Esker Harrison, Eva Harrison, Edward Hobson, Ronnie Hobson, Lois Horn, Haskel Elby Howard, Kenneth D. Howard, Marvin Hutson,

Bobby Joines, Robert Joines, Linnie Johnson, Paul Johnson, McKinley Jones, Earl Judkins, Len Judkins, Marie Judkins,

Poppy Fuson Keith, Jennifer Renea Kincaid, Emma Jo Knight, Gladys Knowles, L.D. Knowles,

Claudette Frazier Lasser, Olene Lockhart, Brackett Luna, Nadine Luna,

Dana Michelle Malone, Billy Malone, Ida Malone, Misty Kay Malone, Kathy "Kat" Martin, Charles (Chuck) McCracken, T.C. McMillen, Amy Lynn Miller, Maude Moody, Katrena Moore, Joshua Murphy, Kenny Murphy,

Leonard Nixon, Lorene Nixon, John Newbell,

J.W. Pack, John Lee Pack, Howard Patton, Prudie Pinegar, Rubye Lee Pinegar, T.J. Pinegar, Tom Pinegar, Donna Phillips,

Evelyn Ramsey, Clyde Randolph, David Randolph, Mary Randolph, Author Redmon, Everett "Ebb" Redmon, Kim Redmon, Loyd Redmon, Odell Redmon, Ova Redmon, Robert "Bob" Redmon, Horace Rosson,

Chester Sanders, Kevin Sanders, Zona Selby, Donald Smith, Nan Smith, Virgil Smith, Christopher "Chris" Stanley, Jordan Steinbach,

Albert Taylor, Cora Taylor, Edna "Mama" Taylor, E.J. Taylor, Kenneth Wayne Taylor, Ruth Garland Taylor, U.B. Taylor, Winnie Taylor, Billy Thomason, Patsy Thomason, Shelby Tittsworth, Elizabeth Tramel, Tallmer Tramel,

Betty Nixon Vickers,

Gilbert D. Walden, James Albert Walden, Robert H. (Bob) Walden, Green Wall, Maud Wall, Sandy Wheeler, Steve White, Van Woodside

Marie Young,

Steven Jennings Named All-State Performer by TSWA

December 24, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Steven Jennings

DeKalb County High School's Steven Jennings has been named an all-state performer by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association for Division I, Class 3A.

The talented Tiger quarterback, a junior, guided DeKalb County to a 7-4 season and another appearance in the state play-offs this year.

All-State football teams released on Tuesday covered all eight classifications in the state with players selected to form an all-state team for each class.

Here is the Class 3A all-state football team, as selected by the Tennessee Sportswriters Association.
Offense
QB-Zack Weatherly, Christ Presbyterian Academy; Cole Smith, Christ Academy of Knoxville; RB-Tranell Moore, East Ridge; Noah Whaley, Pigeon Forge; WR-Phillip Nichols, Christ Academy of Knoxville; Ben Guffey, Upperman; Rodney Castille, Jackson Liberty Tech Magnet; OL-Pete Sexton, East Ridge; Robert Murphy, Chattanooga Notre Dame; Ben Buchanan, Christ Academy of Knoxville; Caleb Stephens, White House Heritage; Jacob Rimmer, Milan; ATH-Deshawn Brown, Camden; Steven Jennings, DeKalb County; K-Ben Smith, Alcoa.

Defense
DL-Matthew McClurg, Alcoa; Jonathan Decker, Alcoa; Tre Stamper, Chattanooga Red Bank; Khalil Jones, Nashville Stratford; LB-Tyler Enos, Chattanooga Notre Dame; Christian Williams, Milan; Dantae Wilkes, Jackson Liberty Magnet Tech; Preston Whitehead, Elizabethton; DB-Jesse Jones, East Ridge; Caleb Woody, Alcoa; Ricky Ballard, Chattanooga Notre Dame; Price Perdue, Christ Presbyterian Academy; ATH-Dustin Clabough, Alcoa; Chip Omer, Christ Presbyterian Academy; P-Alex Darrus, Chattanooga Notre Dame.

Traffic Deaths in DeKalb County Up from Last Year

December 23, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Scene of Fatal Crash on Highway 56 South Near Magness Road in April

Four people have lost their lives in fatal crashes on DeKalb County roads in 2015. That's up from three in 2014.

Two of the fatalities occurred in April. The others died in July and October.

83 year old Robbie D. Taylor of Smithville died in a two vehicle crash Monday afternoon, April 6 at the intersection of Highways 70 and 83 near Kilgore's Restaurant.

72 year old Edgar Louis Madewell of McMinnville was killed and three other people were injured in a three vehicle wreck Tuesday, April 21 on Highway 56 just south of the Magness Road intersection.

66 year old Floyd Tilley of Woodbury lost his life in a motorcycle crash late Wednesday night, July 15. He was traveling south on Short Mountain Highway near Lee Braswell Road when he left the road and struck a utility pole.

31 year old Tacy Hendrixson of Smithville died in a pickup truck accident Wednesday, October 28 on the Old Blue Springs Road.

Commissioner Bill Gibbons of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security (TDOS&HS), Colonel Tracy Trott of the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer and Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHSO) Director Kendell Poole have announced the increase in seat belt fines as an effective additional tool to curb traffic fatalities in the state.

The State Legislature approved a bill during the 2015 session. As of January 1st, 2016 the fine for seat belt violations will more than double. The fine for a first offense seat belt violation will be raised to $25.00 and the second and subsequent offense will be $50.00.

“So far this year, state troopers have issued over 107,000 seat belt citations,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said. “That is a 255 percent increase over the same time period in 2010. We will continue to make this a priority, but we hope the day will come when it is difficult for a state trooper to find a motorist not wearing a seat belt. We hope the tougher fines will encourage motorists to obey the law.”

Along with announcing the seatbelt fine increase, The TDOS&HS today announced a reminder that THP will be out in force during the holiday period to ensure travelers reach their destination safely. State troopers will focus their attention on traffic violations that place motorists in jeopardy, such as distracted driving, speeding, impaired driving and lack of seat belt usage. The holiday enforcement period will begin at 12:01 a.m. on December 24th and conclude at midnight on December 27th.

The holiday season is one of the deadliest and most dangerous times of the year due to an increase in impaired driving. The THP will utilize several enforcement tools, including saturation patrols, bar and tavern checks, and driver license and sobriety checkpoints to help reduce serious injury and fatal crashes over the holiday season.

“We care about you and your safety,” Colonel Tracy Trott said. “What we are hoping to accomplish with the fine increase is a heightened sense of awareness among our motorists. The best safety tool that a driver or passenger has while riding in a vehicle is to wear his or injured or killed in a car crash. Wearing a seat belt is the most effective way to prevent death and serious injury in a crash. One life lost due to not wearing a seat belt is one life to many.”

HOLIDAY ENFORCEMENT

Designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive drunk are just two of the several simple steps to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving. Important tips include:

• Whenever you plan on consuming alcohol, designate your sober driver before going out and give that person your keys;

• If you’re impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely;

• Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to the Tennessee Highway Patrol by dialing *THP;

• Wear your seat belt or use protective gear on your motorcycle as your best defense against an impaired driver; and

• Remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take the person’s keys and help him or her make other arrangements.

“We are very thankful for the friendships and partnerships that TDOT has with the Department of Safety and our state troopers,” Commissioner John Schroer said. “We understand that it takes all hands on deck to ensure a safer Tennessee, and the seat belt fine increase will help state troopers and local law enforcement in their efforts”.

TDOT will be suspending lane closures beginning at midnight on Wednesday, December 23rd until 9:00 a.m. on Monday, January 4th.

During the 2014 Christmas holiday, seven people were killed on Tennessee roadways in seven fatal crashes. Alcohol was involved in 71.4 percent of those crashes, and three of the six vehicle occupants killed were not wearing seat belts. There was also one pedestrian killed during the 96-hour holiday period.

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