Local News Articles

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.

County Clerk Displays License Plates in Honor of Veterans

November 9, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Clerk Displays License Plates in Honor of Veterans

DeKalb County Clerk James L. “Jimmy” Poss has erected three separate display boards in the clerk’s office including one which is made up solely of military and veteran plates in time for Veterans Day

“While erecting these displays I wanted something extra for our veterans and military. To Honor each veteran and military person, our office says "Thank You”!. “We appreciate veterans from the past and active military today,” said Poss.

“As you can see in the photograph shown here, I attached a plaque above the service plates that reads "THANK YOU" VETERANS & MILITARY. WE HONOR AND SALUTE YOU”, added Poss.

Former Smithville Man Bitten by Rattlesnake

November 9, 2016
Kyle Watson

A former Smithville man and Williamson County firefighter is recovering in the hospital after being bitten by a rattlesnake while hiking over the weekend.

According to the Tennessean, Spring Hill Fire Department Engineer Kyle Watson was off duty and with his wife and children hiking on a trail at the Creeks Bend Natural Wildlife Area in Maury County on Sunday when he came across a juvenile timber rattlesnake.

"I decided to cut the head off the snake with a kayak paddle," Watson told Channel 4.

The snake was only a few feet long. After Watson decapitated the snake, he wanted to show his children the head. Unable to pick the snake's head up with the paddle, Watson used his hand.

"The head turned and struck me on the finger. It latched on and I slung it off," Watson said.

"It took about 10 seconds for the burning sensation to start shooting through my arm. Within 60 seconds, I was unconscious. I fell on the trail and hit the back of my head on a rock. I was knocked out. In a remote area, bleeding from the head and bitten by a snake," Watson said.

Following a quick response by Maury County Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Watson was stabilized in the field.

He was flown to Vanderbilt Medical Center, where he was quickly put on an IV drip of anti-venom serum.

Trump Wins Big in DeKalb County; Liquor, wine referendums pass

November 8, 2016
Trump
Weaver
Pody
Black

Republican Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States and easily carried DeKalb County by an overwhelming margin over Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, in Tuesday's General Election. Trump carried all 15 county precincts plus early voting and absentee ballots for a total of 5,164 votes to 1,566 for Clinton.

Independent candidates for President with DeKalb County votes included “Rocky” Roque De La Fuente- 9, Gary Johnson-117, Alyson Kennedy-6, Mike Smith-29, and Jill Stein-49.

(YOU MAY CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO VIEW PRECINCT RESULTS IN DEKALB COUNTY).

http://www.wjle.com/election-results

(CLICK LINK BELOW FOR RETURNS ON CONGRESSIONAL AND STATE HOUSE RACES)

http://elections.tn.gov/results.php

Meanwhile, the referendum for the legal sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises in City of Smithville (Liquor By The Drink) passed with 665 votes for the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption, with a total of 597 votes against it. The referendum passed in all four City of Smithville precincts, plus early voting. The vote breakdown is as follows:

Early Voting/Absentees - For: 473 Against: 451
Church of Christ Annex - For: 92 Against: 68
County Complex - For: 8 Against: 7
Courthouse - For: 14 Against: 13
Smithville Church of God - For: 78 Against: 58

In a separate referendum, City of Smithville voters approved the legal sale of wine at retail food stores in the City of Smithville. A total of 691 city voters voted in favor of the referendum, while 515 voters opposed it. The referendum passed in all four City of Smithville precincts, plus early voting. The vote breakdown is as follows:

Early Voting - For: 505 Against: 389
Church of Christ Annex - For: 85 Against: 56
County Complex - For: 8 Against: 5
Courthouse - For: 17 Against: 8
Smithville Church of God - For: 76 Against: 57

Republican incumbent State House of Representatives candidates Terri Lynn Weaver in the 40th District, and Mark Pody in the 46th District, have each won re-election, and each easily carried DeKalb County. Weaver carried all twelve 40th District precincts in DeKalb County plus early voting, for a total of 3,255 votes. Her opponent, Democratic challenger Gayla Colvert Hendrix tallied 1,526 votes in DeKalb County. Weaver also carried vote totals in Smith, Sumner and Trousdale counties.

District-wide Weaver received 20,352 votes to 7,438 for Hendrix:

Here are the totals from each county in the 40th district:
DeKalb: Weaver 3,255, Hendrix 1,526

Smith: Weaver, 5,096, Hendrix 2,031

Sumner: Weaver, 10,065, Hendrix 3,042

Trousdale: Weaver 1,936, Hendrix 839

Pody, meanwhile, won seven of the eight precincts in District 46 within DeKalb County plus early voting, and earned a total of 1,144 votes. His opponent, Amelia Morrison Hipps, carried one DeKalb County precinct and totaled 433 votes. Pody also carried vote totals in Cannon and Wilson counties.

District-wide Pody received 19,752 votes to 6,575 for Hipps

Here are the totals from each county in the 46h district

DeKalb: Pody 1,144, Hipps 433

Cannon: Pody 3,723, Hipps 1,151

Wilson: Pody, 14,885, Hipps 4,991

In the Sixth District U.S. House of Representatives race, Republican incumbent Congressman Diane Black carried all 15 precincts and early voting in DeKalb County to outdistance challengers, Democrat David W. Kent and Independent, David Ross. In DeKalb County, Black earned 4,385 votes; Kent tallied 1,144 votes, while Ross finished with 361 DeKalb County votes.

In the 19 county 6th district, Congressman Black received a total of 202,038 votes to 61,940 for Democrat David Kent and 20,241 for Independent Davis Ross. Black carried every county.

A total of 7,065 people voted in Tuesday's election including 3,073 on election day and 3,992 early votes/absentee.

See the link above for complete county vote breakdowns in the State House and Congressional races.

DeKalb County Experiences 3.8% Tourism Growth (VIEW VIDEO CLIP)

November 8, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Suzanne Williams

DeKalb County experienced a 3.8% growth in tourism in 2015 compared to the previous year.

According to the latest statistics from the 2015 Economic Impact of Travel on Tennessee as reported by U.S. Travel Association, Tourism expenditures in DeKalb County were $42.71 million in 2015, up by 3.8% from $41.16 million in 2014. Payroll increased by 6%. State and local tax receipts from tourism in DeKalb County grew by 9.1% and 6.2% respectively from 2014.

Suzanne Williams, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, shared the latest tourism numbers with the Smithville Mayor and Aldermen Monday night and with the county commission last month. Williams also said the city has received approval for a $100,000 Community Development Block Grant from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development for downtown revitalization projects for building owners who want to participate. A formal announcement of the grant award will be coming soon from the Governor's office.

DeKalb County was second in the fourteen county Upper Cumberland region in tourism growth behind Cumberland which had a 5.3 percent increase

Putnam County led the Upper Cumberland in tourism expenditures at $122.15 million followed by Cumberland County at $112.29 million and then DeKalb at $42.71 million

Tourists are drawn to DeKalb County for attractions including Center Hill Lake, the Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree, and the DeKalb County Fair among others.

(CLICK THE LINK BELOW FOR THE 2015 ECONOMIC IMPACT OF TRAVEL ON TENNESSEE COUNTIES)

https://www.tnvacation.com/industry/sites/default/files/2015_Economic_Im...

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Kevin Triplett recently announced that Tennessee tourism’s direct domestic and international travel expenditures reached an all-time high of $18.4 billion in 2015, up 3.7 percent over the previous year, as reported by the U.S. Travel Association. The announcement took place at the Sevier County Courthouse near the iconic Dolly Parton statue. Mountain Rukus from Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede provided music.

For the 10th consecutive year, tourism topped $1 billion in state and local sales tax revenue, reaching $1.6 billion, up 7 percent over 2014. Tourism-generated jobs for Tennesseans reached 157,400, an increase of 2.9 percent.

Top five counties include Davidson ($5.686 billion), Shelby ($3.196 billion), Sevier ($2.031 billion), Hamilton ($1.016 billion), and Knox ($1.014 billion), who were acknowledged during the event for all achieving more than $1 billion in travel expenditures. All 95 counties in Tennessee had more than $1 million in direct travel expenditures; 19 counties saw more than $100 million each.

Tennessee is ranked in the Top 10 destinations in the U.S. for total travel, with more than 105 million in total visitation, a 3.9% increase over 2014, as reported by D.K. Shifflet & Associates.

“The hard work of Tennessee’s tourism industry, strategically led by the Department of Tourist Development and the Tennessee Tourism Committee, continues to produce record results,” Gov. Haslam said. “More travelers from around the world are visiting Tennessee each year, and the $1.6 billion in sales tax revenue and growth in jobs is good news for every Tennessean.”

“It’s appropriate that today’s announcement takes place next to a statue of Sevier County’s own Dolly Parton, who graces the cover of this year’s Tennessee Vacation Guide,” said Commissioner Triplett. “Dolly’s music has played a major role in making Tennessee ‘The Soundtrack of America.’ People come to Tennessee for a variety of reasons including the music, but it’s the authenticity and Southern hospitality that our communities and partners deliver every day that keeps people coming back. The tourism industry’s continued economic impact growth is a result of visitor satisfaction.”

The Tennessee Tourism Committee, appointed in 2011 by Gov. Haslam, is made up of tourism leaders in both the public and private sectors. The Committee is chaired by Colin Reed, Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc., and co-chaired by Jack Soden, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc., and Sande Weiss, president of Music Road Resort.

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