Local News Articles

Two Found Dead in Mobile Home

August 20, 2017
Dwayne Page
51 year old Douglas Ray Ferrell and 45 year old Angel Dawn Ferrell were found dead Sunday in this mobile home in the Jefferson Community on South Judkins Lane

The bodies of a man and woman were found Sunday afternoon inside a mobile home on South Judkins Lane, Smithville in the Jefferson Community

Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE that Central Dispatch received the call at 2:16 p.m. and deputies arrived at 2:28 p.m. and found the two bodies inside the mobile home. Detectives from the Sheriff's Department were summoned to the scene along with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the District Attorney General's Office, and the County Medical Examiner Investigator.

The deceased have been identified as 51 year old Douglas Ray Ferrell and 45 year old Angel Dawn Ferrell. The bodies have been sent for an autopsy.

No other information was immediately released.

Sunday Fire Leaves DeKalb County Family Homeless (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

August 20, 2017
Dwayne Page
Sunday Fire Leaves DeKalb County Family Homeless
Fire Destroys Home on Lower Helton Road

A Sunday evening fire has left a DeKalb County family homeless.

The residence of Nathan and Kim Hale at 5093 Lower Helton Road near Alexandria was destroyed by the blaze which was reported at 6:02 p.m. about an hour after the family had left to attend a church service in Carthage. The owner of the home is Garland Hale.

DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green told WJLE that a neighbor spotted the fire and reported it but the home was fully engulfed in flames and could not be saved. All the family’s belongings were lost in the blaze. The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Members of the Liberty, Main Station, and Cookeville Highway stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with the tanker truck. The Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department provided mutual aid backup with a fire truck and manpower.

Members of the Sheriff’s Department were also on the scene.

There were no injuries.

Motorcycle Operator Suffers Leg Injury in Crash

August 20, 2017
Dwayne Page
Motorcycle Operator Suffers Leg Injury in Crash
Motorcycle Involved in Sunday Crash on Dale Ridge Road

A man suffered a leg injury in a motorcycle crash on Dale Ridge Road Sunday afternoon.

The motorcycle operator reported at the scene that he was forced off the road due to an oncoming white truck which was in his lane of travel. The mishap occurred in a sharp curve near the Memorial Baptist Church.

The man was taken by DeKalb EMS to St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital. He was believed to have suffered a broken leg below the knee.

The crash was investigated by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. No name has yet been released.

Members of the Liberty Station of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department.

Man Dies In Lawn Mower Accident In Austin Bottom Community

August 20, 2017
Dwayne Page

A man lost his life in a lawn mowing accident Sunday afternoon on Askin Lane in the Austin Bottom area of DeKalb County.

Central dispatch received the call at 4:08 p.m. and a deputy responded.

Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE that the man was on a standard size riding mower when the accident occurred as he was mowing his yard. The man was found dead about 40 feet down an embankment by his yard.

DeKalb EMS responded along with the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad and the County Fire Department. The man's name has not been released.

Man Arrested Saturday for Kentucky Murder was in DeKalb County Friday

August 20, 2017
Dwayne Page
Justin A. Denihan

A 23-year old Bowling Green, Kentucky man charged with killing a woman there on Saturday was in DeKalb County on Friday.

Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE that Justin A. Denihan was arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department on Friday, August 18 at 12:27 p.m. with theft of property. He was released at 8:57 p.m. Friday night after posting a $3,500 bond.

On Saturday, August 19 a woman’s body was found taped inside a tote at a residence on Pleasant Place Way in Bowling Green, Kentucky at around 12 noon. The deceased is thought to have been a resident of that home and Warren County, Kentucky authorities said there were signs of trauma on the body.

Kentucky authorities said Denihan was at the home and told them that he killed the woman and put her body in the tote.

Denihan is in the Warren County, Kentucky Regional Jail charged with murder

DCHS Class of 1967 Gathers for Golden Anniversary Reunion

August 20, 2017
Dwayne Page
Photo provided to WJLE by "Loving Touch Portraits & Designs" of Smithville

Fifty years after graduating from DeKalb County High School, members of the Class of 1967 gathered for their golden anniversary reunion Saturday evening at the New Life Connection Center to reminisce about the good old days.

This class, freshmen when DCHS came into existence after the consolidation of Smithville and Liberty High Schools, was the first to complete all four years at the school.

“This class is very important to me. We were a very close knit class. We all got along together and many of us have stayed in touch with each other. Some of my best memories and best friends are in this class,” Vivian Banks Hill, a member of the Class of 1967 told WJLE.

“My twin daughters were at our house this past weekend. They had gone with me to my 40th year class reunion. I asked them to tell Kimberly, my wife about the people I went to school with. The exact quote from one of my twins was, “They are the most down to earth honest people I’ve ever met”. She said “you’ll love them”, said Donnie Elledge, another member of the Class of 1967 who lives in Clinton, Tennessee and serves as a Criminal/Circuit Court Judge in Anderson County

Judge Elledge remembers the rivalry that once existed between Smithville and Liberty High Schools and how that the consolidation helped bring people together. “There was no love of the under the hill people by the on top of the hill people and vice versa. In fact, Liberty didn’t have football but they had excellent men and women basketball teams and so did Smithville and if you look back through the history, there were several times going to the state that Smithville either put Liberty out, men or women, or Liberty put Smithville out, men or women. They were just very competitive and did well. There was some concern by everybody involved as to how they were going to handle it (school consolidation) but we all handled it well. In any school, then or now, you’re going to have some people who don’t get along but it had nothing to do with location. They called us (students from under the hill) groundhogs and we called them (students on top of the hill) billie goats but it was a good bunch of kids, good people and we got to really enjoy being with each other,” said Judge Elledge.

Prior to consolidation, local schools were racially segregated but that all changed by 1964 and for most at DCHS, integration was accepted without any racial tensions. “We, the kids, never had any problem. I was playing football at the time and Coach Brock was our coach. Right after we started school, Nottie Tubbs (an African American student) was going to come out for football. Coach Brock came out and said to us just treat him like anybody else. He is just one of us. Nottie came out and we treated him just like everybody else. In fact, he later decided to leave and it really was a huge loss when he left because he was a tremendous athlete. We were all teammates and it didn’t matter where you were from as long as you could help,” said Judge Elledge.

Many from the class also had to come to grips with the harsh realities of the Vietnam War which had claimed friends from here at home. “Dale Hutchings was the first (in this area) killed in Vietnam. The second one was Ronnie Reeder. Ronnie was a junior when I was a freshman. He actually took me under his wing and made me feel comfortable on the football team. I was so close to Ronnie. He was such a good friend of mine. His brother Dennis was in my class. Dennis never got over Ronnie’s death. In fact many of us never got over his death. He (Ronnie) was a Marine and got killed by a sniper. It was in all of our minds,” said Judge Elledge.

Members of the class who registered to attend the reunion were: Katherine Wright Pack, Mary Evins Overton, Susan Clayton Driver, Donald Elledge, Diane Neal Evans, Joan Arnold Hamilton, Judy Mathis Craig, Robbie Joan Cook Frazier, Eddie Malone, Jane Trigg Loring Morris, Margaret Vandergriff Jones, Melinda Cantrell Young, Linda Cook Clemons, Linda Herndon Armistead, Frances Pinegar Johnson, Doyle Curtis, Linda Good Clark, Jerry Vanatta, Donald Page, Jane Ervin Parsley, Joyce Evans Norred, Larry Cripps, Diane Knott Mays, Wanda Malone Tramel, Sue Marie Truitt Brown, Susan Jones Young, Patricia Redmon, Larry Davenport, Vivian Banks Hill, Peggy Barrett Scott, Judy Hendrixson Johnson, Ronnie Davenport, Robert Joins, Tom Tidrick, Freddy Martin, Wanda Spence Cripps. Dixie Lou Smithson Crook, James Mason, and Sue Owens Thacker.

Other members of the class are Virginia Adcock Smotherman, Jimmy Alexander, Janie Anderson Armstrong, Brenda Arnold Bates, Austin Atnip, Jean Bain Hackett, Ammon Billings (deceased), Harold Blankenship, Michael Burton (deceased), Kathy Buterbaugh Klasek, Mary Ann Byars Knight, Gail Cantrell Poss, Wanda Cantrell Taylor, Angela Conway May, Brenda Cook Hibdon, Eddie Crips (deceased), Judy Crook Driver, Roger Davis, David Dickens, Aubrey Driver (deceased), Jeloy Driver (deceased), Brenda Ellis Stewart, Donna Felt (deceased), Wayne Flemming, Martha Frazier Brown, Paulette Fuson Keith (deceased), Wayne Fuson, Lois Griffith Christensen, Roger Griffith, Robert Hale, Wanda Hale Byford, Paulette Hathaway Stevens, Sherry Hawker Smith, Harold Hill (deceased), Diane Hooper Kirby, John Inglis, Phyllis Jaco Norrod, Yolanda Joins (deceased), Carl Judkins (deceased), Linda Judkins, Bennie Lou Keith Turner, Carolyn Keith Maynard (deceased), Joan Keith Washer, Joyce Lewis Meadows, Dwight Malone (deceased), Judy Martin Mathis, Johnny Mason, Michael Maynard, Sharon Nichols Beaty, Donnie Pack, Lonnie Pack, David Parsley, David Peck, Dennis Reeder (deceased), Jo Ann Sherrard Graveley, Tyree Smith, Roger Snyder, Peggy Squires Fuson, Jerry Stokes (deceased), Barbara Taylor, Delane Taylor, Jean Maxwell Taylor (deceased), Paul Taylor, Doris Thurman, Martha Thweatt Rowland, Terry Trapp (deceased), Judy Vaughn Anderson, Dwayne Vickers (deceased), Dwight Vickers (deceased), Dorothy Waggoner Bratcher, Larry Webb, Patricia White (deceased), Tony White, Marie Wright (deceased), Iris Young Bauerschmidt and Joe Mason Young (deceased).

Class Reunion Committee members were Vivian Banks Hill, Susan Clayton Driver, Larry Davenport, Susan Jones Young, Patricia Redmon Redmon, Sue Marie Truitt Brown, and Katherine Wright Pack.

(Photo provided by Loving Touch Portraits & Designs in Smithville)

Squirrel Season Set to Open, Free Hunting Day August 26

August 20, 2017
Squirrel Season Set to Open, Free Hunting Day August 26

Tennessee residents are allowed to hunt without a license on Saturday, Aug. 26 which coincides with the opening day of squirrel season.

Free Hunting Day is an event the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency annually provides in hopes of increasing interest in hunting. Squirrel hunting is one of Tennessee’s oldest and favorite traditions. The day serves as an excellent opportunity for persons to experience the enjoyment of the sport.

The TWRA encourages regular hunters to introduce friends and family members (young and old) to the outdoors sport. It is also an excellent opportunity for persons who have not tried hunting in a while to be reintroduced to the sport.

On Free Hunting Day, state resident hunters are exempt from hunting licenses and WMA permit requirements. Many of the WMAs are open to hunters seeking public access on Aug. 26. Hunters are asked to check the information for particular WMAs in the newly-published 2017-18 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide which is available online at www.tnwildlife.org or copies are available at any TWRA regional office or at most outlets where licenses are sold.

The TWRA offers a reminder that hunter education requirements are not waived for Free Hunting Day. Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1969 is required to have successfully completed a hunter education course. An apprentice license is required for those born on or after Jan. 1, 1969 if the hunter education course has not been completed. This license exempts the hunter from the mandatory hunter education law for one year from the date of purchase, but may only be purchased for up to three consecutive years during the lifetime of the hunter.

Hunters are allowed to harvest up to 10 squirrels a day from the opening day of squirrel season through Feb. 28, 2018 with each hunting day beginning a half-hour before sunrise and ending a half-hour after sunset.

In addition to squirrels, those species that have a year-round season will be open as well. The year-round species include armadillos, beavers, coyotes, groundhogs, and striped skunks.

For more information about hunting in Tennessee, visit TWRA’s website at www.tnwildlife.org or contact your nearest TWRA regional office.

Tigers Fall to Pioneers in Season Opener 26-10

August 19, 2017
Dwayne Page
Tigers Fall to Pioneers in Season Opener 26-10

The DeKalb County Tigers fell to the Warren County Pioneers 26-10 in the season opener at McMinnville Friday night.

All the scoring in the game was in the 1st half.

The Pioneers marched down field on their first drive going 66 yards to score on a 23 yard quarterback keeper by Isaiah Grayson. The 2 point conversion attempt failed but Warren County led 6-0 with 7:26 left in the 1st period.

After Bradley Miller returned the pigskin to the Pioneer 40 yard line on the ensuing kick-off, the Tigers capped the drive on a 31 yard field goal by Andrew Fuson to cut Warren County’s lead to 6-3 with 3:18 left in the 1st period.

The Pioneers recovered a mishandled DeKalb County punt at the Tiger 28 yard line and drove for another score as Eathan Cowan took it in from one yard out. The conversion attempt failed but Warren County led 12-3 with 10:36 left in the 2nd period.

DeKalb County’s Bradley Miller returned the ensuing kick to the 20 yard line of the Pioneers. Miller then capped the drive on a 2 yard touchdown run with 8:31 left in first half. Andrew Fuson tacked on the extra point and DeKalb County trailed 12-10.

The Pioneers extended their lead on a 10 yard touchdown run by Ja’Terrius Rozier with 3:38 left in the 2nd period capping a 68 yard drive. The conversion attempt failed but Warren County led 18-10.

The last score of the game came with 40 seconds left until halftime as Pioneer quarterback Isaiah Grayson scrambled on what looked to be a passing play but raced into the endzone from 27 yards out capping an 81 yard drive. Rozier scored on the 2 point conversion to give Warren County a 26-10 lead which was also the final score of the game.

DeKalb County will travel to Baxter next Friday night, August 25 to take on the Upperman Bees. WJLE will have LIVE coverage at 7:00 p.m.

Tips for Safe Viewing of Solar Eclipse

August 18, 2017
Dwayne Page
Tips for Safe Viewing of Solar Eclipse

If you plan to view the solar eclipse Monday you must obtain a pair of eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers, which must meet an international safety standard, otherwise you risk causing damage to your eyes.

NASA recommends checking the safety and authenticity of eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers to make sure they meet all the following:

• Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard.
• Have the manufacturer's name and address printed somewhere on the product.
• Have no scratched or damaged lenses.
Do not use homemade filters.

Ordinary sunglasses — even very dark ones — should not be used as a replacement for eclipse-viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers.
With counterfeit eclipse glasses hitting the market, NASA and the American Astronomical Society suggest that consumers purchase products only from a list of verified brands and vendors to ensure safe viewing.

The American Astronomical Society says a number of manufacturers have certified that their eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products.

Some eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers come with warnings that users shouldn't look at the sun through them for more than three minutes at a time and that they should be discarded if they are more than three years old. Be sure to read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the item.

According to the American Astronomical Society, you must cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking at the sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and then remove your filter. Do not remove it while looking at the sun.

If you are viewing the eclipse within the path of totality, remove your eclipse glasses or solar viewer only when the moon completely blocks the sun and the sky suddenly darkens. Enjoy this rare and striking experience of totality. But as soon as the sun's bright face begins to reappear, cover your eyes again with the eclipse glasses or solar viewer to look at the remaining partial phases.

Outside the path of totality, you must always use safe eclipse glasses or a solar viewer to look directly at the sun.

Remember to always supervise children using eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers.

Looking at the sun without eclipse glasses or solar viewers can cause eclipse blindness or retinal burns,.Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun."

If you normally wear eyeglasses, the American Astronomical Society says to keep them on and put your eclipse glasses on over them or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.

Smithville Couple Charged with Stealing Electricity from Neighbor

August 18, 2017
Dwayne Page
Steve Franklin Mabe Jr.
Martha Conger Hale

A Smithville couple has been arrested for allegedly trying to steal electricity from their neighbor.

43 year old Steve Franklin Mabe Jr. and 37 year old Martha Conger Hale who reside on Charity Lane were arrested on Friday, August 11 and charged with theft of services and vandalism. Mabe was also charged with trespassing and reckless endangerment.

In the case against Hale, Smithville Police report that on Friday, July 28 Smithville Electric System received an alarm that showed the meter at Hale's residence on Charity Lane had been pulled off of the electrical box. Police were informed by Smithville Electric that the electrical meter box was bypassed with foreign wires not supplied or installed by the company and that Hale had vandalized the meter and stolen electricity.

Smithville Police were also advised that Mabe had been seen digging a ditch to his neighbor's property in order to connect an electrical wire to the power source of his neighbor’s air conditioning unit. Upon arrival, police observed the trench that had been dug approximately 30 feet onto the neighbor's property and the wire run to the air conditioning unit. In order to disconnect the wire, the unit had to be taken apart.

Smithville Electric System was called to disconnect the wire from the air conditioning unit and to pull up the wire that extended from the victim's property into Mabe's yard. Mabe did not have permission to be on his neighbor's property or to dig the trench. Investigators concluded that Mabe knowingly placed the victims in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury by creating a fire hazard. Mabe’s bond is $12,500. The bond for Hale is $5,500. Their court date is August 31.

34 year old Johnny Lynn Devault was cited for trespassing and shoplifting from Wal-Mart on Saturday, August 12. On May 2, Devault signed a form prohibiting him from being on the property of Wal-Mart but he was spotted at the store on August 12. Devault had on him an item that he had not paid for that belonged to Wal-Mart. His court date is August 31.

29 year old Lynette Eileen Hawkins was arrested on Saturday, August 12 for driving under the influence. Police responded to a reported wreck with no injuries but upon speaking with the driver of the vehicle, Hawkins, it was determined that no accident had occurred. The officer smelled the odor of alcohol coming from Hawkins' person. She was unsteady on her feet and her speech was slurred. She submitted to field sobriety tasks but she became unruly and refused to finish the tasks. She was then taken into custody. Her bond is $1,500 and her court date is August 31.


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