Local News Articles

Jimmy Sprague to Run for Road Supervisor

November 5, 2017
Dwayne Page
Jimmy Sprague to Run for Road Supervisor

The first Democratic candidate for DeKalb County Road Supervisor is making his intentions known.

Jimmy Sprague told WJLE last week that he intends to seek the Democratic nomination for the office in the May 1, 2018 primary.

Sprague is a former employee of the office but for the last several years has worked for the DeKalb County School System as the Transportation Supervisor.

He and his wife Johnna reside in Smithville and are the parents of three children, Shelby, Evan, and Jacob.

Sprague said if elected he would be a working road supervisor and would make himself available to the public to address concerns.

“I will do my best to make every effort to make the roads in DeKalb County safer,” said Sprague.

The election commission will begin issuing petitions for the following offices on November 17: Road Supervisor, County Mayor, Circuit Court Clerk, Sheriff, Register of Deeds, County Clerk, and Trustee and for the county commission in each of the seven districts (two per district for a total of 14).

DeKalb County Democrats will be nominating candidates for county offices in a primary set for May 1, 2018.

Democratic nominees will face any Republican and or Independent challengers in the August, 2018 general election. The DeKalb County Republican Party will be choosing its nominees by caucus. The qualifying deadline for all candidates will be the same, NOON February 15, 2018.

Road Supervisor candidates must also meet the statutory deadline for filing with the Tennessee Highways Officials Certification Board.

In order to be certified, a candidate for county road supervisor must:

(1) Be a graduate of an accredited school of engineering, with at least 2 years’ experience in highway construction or maintenance; or

(2) Be licensed to practice engineering in Tennessee; or

(3) Have at least 4 years’ experience in a supervisory capacity in highway construction or maintenance; or

(4) Have a combination of education and experience equivalent to either (1) or (2).

Home and Automobiles Destroyed in Friday Fire caused by Lawn Mower (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

November 4, 2017
Dwayne Page
Home and Automobiles Destroyed in Friday Fire caused by Lawn Mower
Vehicles destroyed by fire
Fire destroys vehicle parked in shed
Friday Fire Guts Home of Joyce Hoff on Pages Lane in Antioch Community

A woman escaped injury but lost her double wide mobile home and three automobiles in a fire Friday afternoon which started from a lawn mower.

Central dispatch was alerted at 3:27 p.m. to send firefighters to the home of Joyce Hoff on Pages Lane in the Antioch community.

According to DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green, Hoff had just gotten on her riding lawn mower, which was parked beside a shed and when she started it up, the mower caught fire. She was not injured by the flames quickly spread to the shed and then to the home.

The fire destroyed all the woman’s belongings including three automobiles, two parked in the shed and a travel camper parked under another shed near the home.

Members of the Belk and Short Mountain Highway stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with tanker 1. Chief Green said members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department came at his request to provide mutual aide support. DeKalb EMS and Sheriff’s Department deputies were also on the scene.

Firefighters were called to the scene again early Saturday morning after the fire rekindled.

DCHS Tigers Eliminated from State Playoffs

November 4, 2017
Dwayne Page
DCHS Tigers Eliminated from State Playoffs

The DeKalb County Tigers lost 42 to 0 to the Marshall County Tigers at Lewisburg Friday night in the 1st round of the TSSAA Class 4A playoffs ending their season at 3-8.

Marshall County (8-3) advances to the 2nd round to play Springfield next Friday night, November 10.

In the game Friday night, Quarterback Bryce Wallace scored on a 4 yard run with 8:14 left in the 1st period. Caleb Estes tacked on the extra point and Marshall County led 7-0

Wallace later found Devon Wilson on a 25 yard touchdown pass play with 3:29 left in the 1st period. Estes added the extra point and Marshall County led 14-0.

Brandon Rowan caught a 10 yard touchdown pass from Wallace with 8:49 left in the 2nd period. Estes booted the extra point to give Marshall County a 21-0 lead

Wallace hooked up with Rowan again with 2:12 left before halftime on a 23 yard touchdown pass. Estes tacked on the extra point to give Marshall County a 28-0 advantage.

Billy Cheek had a pick 6 for Marshall County with 1:06 left before the half. Cheek intercepted a Tyler Cantrell pass and returned it 15 yards for a score. Estes added the extra point and the halftime score was 35-0.

The only score of the 2nd half came on a 63 yard touchdown pass from Wallace to Wilson with 1:10 left in the 3rd period. Estes booted the extra point and the DeKalb County Tigers fell 42-0

Smithville Elementary School Honors Local Veterans (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

November 3, 2017
Dwayne Page
Smithville Elementary School Honors Local Veterans
Local Veterans Guests of Honor at Smithvillle Elementary School
Veterans Recognized by Smithville Elementary School

Students and teachers at Smithville Elementary School paid tribute to hometown heroes during the school’s annual Veterans Appreciation assembly program held Friday morning,

Veterans Day is Saturday, November 11

Students from pre-K to the second grade were led in singing "God Bless the USA" and other patriotic songs in honor of veterans who have served in each branch of the military. The Dailey and Vincent music video “Unsung Heroes” was also shown which features several locations and people from DeKalb County.

Adrienne McCormick read 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."

Veterans either attending or who were recognized or remembered for their service are:

Brian Reed, U.S. Air Force in Desert Storm/Enduring Freedom
Jimmy Sprague, U.S. Army in Operation Just Cause-Panama
Walter Johnson, U.S. Army in the Korean Conflict-
Barbara Boehm, U.S. Army Nurses Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan-
Jerry Pistole, U.S. Navy in Vietnam
James T. Owen, U.S. Army in Vietnam
Wayne Storey, U.S. Air Force, Army, and Navy in Vietnam
Eddie Young, Sr. U.S. Navy in Vietnam and Desert Storm
Stephen Merz, U.S. Navy, Post Vietnam 1970-92
Kenneth Vincent, U.S. Army
Ken Clark, U.S. Army in Vietnam
Alan Stengel, U.S. Navy in Vietnam
Steve Warner, U.S. Army in Gulf War Desert Storm
James Cantrell, U.S. Air Force in Korea
Ronnie Redmon, Sr. U.S. Air Force in Vietnam
Paul Neal, U.S. Army in Korea
Paul Robinson, U.S. Navy in World War II
David Petty, U.S. Army in Vietnam
Marcus Boyd, U.S. Army in Korea
Thomas Miller, U.S. Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom
Corbin Keith, U.S. Army in Korea
Christopher Benson, U.S. Army in Operation Enduring Freedom
Alysha Garmer, U.S. Air Force
Joshua Reed, U.S. Army
Drew Ehlert, U.S. Army in Operation Iraqi and Enduring Freedom
Christopher Powell, U.S. Navy in Operation Iraqi Freedom
Gene Cook, U.S. Army in Korea
Ronald Cook, U.S. Army in Operation Enduring Freedom
Dimple Blanchfield, U.S. Army in the Vietnam era
Archie Garmer, U.S. Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom
Oneita Storey, U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Army in Vietnam
John Clements, U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam
Paul Cantrell, U.S. Navy in Korea
William Heath Philllips, U.S. Navy
Earl Sims (deceased), U.S. Army
Robert Lee Hilla (deceased), U.S. Navy in Vietnam
Carl Albert Hilla (deceased) U.S. Army in World War I
Robert Karl Hilla (deceased), U.S. Army in World War II

Smithville Police Officers to Participate in "No Shave November"

November 3, 2017
Dwayne Page
Police Chief Mark Collins

Members of the Smithville Police Department are participating in "No Shave November" to raise funds for Saint Jude Cancer research.

No-Shave November is a nationwide fundraiser for cancer awareness.

All officers who choose to participate will make a cash donation. All proceeds raised will be donated to St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

“At some point in time almost everyone will personally know someone afflicted with cancer. It is a privilege to work alongside fellow officers who care enough to try to make a difference,” said Police Chief Mark Collins.

As the participants let their beards grow, family and friends are encouraged to join the campaign and become more educated about cancer prevention, saving lives, and helping those fighting cancer.

"You will soon see some Smithville police officers that could use a shave, but it's for a good cause,” said Captain Steven Leffew. “Many of our officers are very enthusiastic to take part in the fundraiser. I'm very proud to work beside such caring people," he said.

Operation Christmas Child to Accept Donations (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

November 3, 2017
Dwayne Page
Operation Christmas Child to Accept Donations
Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan's Purse is the world’s largest Christmas project that collects and distributes gift-filled shoeboxes for needy children around the world.

DeKalb County residents will have the opportunity to donate Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes, beginning Monday, November 13.

Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan's Purse is the world’s largest Christmas project that collects and distributes gift-filled shoeboxes for needy children around the world.

Since 1993, the project has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to more than 146 million children in more than 160 countries and territories. This year’s goal is to send gifts to 12 million children worldwide. Also, to help offset shipping costs, participants are asked to donate $9 per shoebox gift. They will receive a tracking label, enabling them to learn the destination of their shoebox gift.

The week of November 13th through Monday, November 20th, is National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child. The drop-off/relay center for this area is located at the Indian Creek Baptist Church, 967 Hurricane Ridge Road, Smithville, Tennessee, and is a convenient place for churches, clubs, schools, businesses, and individuals to bring their filled shoe boxes.

The local drop off center will be open, as follows:

*Monday, November 13 through Friday, November 17 – 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
* Saturday, November 18 – 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
*Sunday, November 19 – 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
*Monday, November 20 - 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

You may select from the above dates and hours to deliver your filled shoe boxes to the center.

This holiday season you can experience the true meaning of Christmas with a child in need by simply packing your shoeboxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and other small gifts.

For further information please contact:
Sue Puckett:
615/597-7370 (office)
615/597-7325 (home)
615/464-7700 (cell)
suepuckett@dtccom.net (e-mail)

For more information, including guidelines for shoebox gifts and an option to virtually “Build a Box,” visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ

147 Cast Ballots During Early Voting for State Senate Primary

November 2, 2017
Dwayne Page
Last Day of Early Voting Has Arrived for State Senate Primary

Only 147 of the 10,084 active voters in DeKalb County took advantage of early voting in the 17th Senatorial District Special Primary election.

Thursday was the last day for early voting. Election day is November 7.

“We knew the turnout would be low because this phase of the balloting was a primary and neither candidate was opposed. In addition, people are just not accustomed to voting in odd-numbered years,” said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections. “As for election day, the turnout may be a little better, but far below the normal number of voters.”

But election officials are anticipating a larger turnout for the General Election, which is set for December 19th.

“Because the candidates will be squaring off against each other, we anticipate a better turnout for the General balloting, Stanley said. “And the fact that election day is so close to Christmas, we anticipate a much better turnout for early voting.”

The following is a breakdown of the early voting numbers:


In person—124

Absentee/Nursing home—23

Total votes in Republican Primary—91

Total votes in Democratic Primary--56

The polls will open at 8 a.m. November 7 and close at 7 p.m.

Sixty Pounds of Medication Collected During Take Back Day

November 2, 2017
Dwayne Page
Sixty Pounds of Medication Collected During Take Back Day
Volunteers from the DeKalb County Health Department, DeKalb County Coordinated School Health, and DeKalb Prevention Coalition
Cindy Childers and Elise Driver of DeKalb Coordinated School Health

Sixty pounds of unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs were collected on Saturday, October 28 during the Prescription Drug Take Back Day sponsored locally by the DeKalb Prevention Coalition.

“This year the poundage really means medication weight because we were required to take the medication out of containers before weighing. We had a steady flow from the community with 28 bringing in medication for disposal. Thank you to our 19 volunteers from the DeKalb County Health Department, DeKalb County Coordinated School Health, along with the Smithville Police Department and Chief Mark Collins,” said DeKalb Prevention Coalition Coordinator Lisa Cripps.

The next Take Back will be in April but until then remember a drop box is located inside the Smithville City Hall Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. for collection of medication.

Statistics from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) show that 55% of prescriptions are obtained free from a friend or relative. Kristina Clark, the Executive Director of Count It! Lock It! Drop It! states “Parents and family friends become accidental drug dealers by leaving medications out on counters, unlocked and/or unmonitored. Three simple steps can make a big difference in prescription drug abuse.” The DPC’s comprehensive community plan for prescription drug abuse prevention, “Count It! Lock It! Drop It!” encourages residents to frequently count their pills, properly lock them, and drop any unused, expired or unwanted pills in the drop box.

The Mission of DPC is to unite community leaders and citizens of DeKalb County forming strong partnerships across major community sectors with the goal of reducing substance abuse. The DPC would like to extend an invitation to all residents to become a part of the coalition. The meetings are held the last Tuesday of each month at 12:00pm. For more information about DPC or child abuse awareness, please contact Community Outreach Liaison Norene Puckett at (615) 215-8690 or the facebook page at facebook.com/DeKalbPreventionCoalition.

Local Law Enforcement Officers Trained in Administering Naloxone

November 1, 2017
Members of Sheriff's Department
Smithville Police Department Officers
Members of the Alexandria Police and DeKalb County Sheriff's Department

Local law enforcement officers took part in training recently on the proper use of administering Naloxone (Narcan)

Participating were members of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, Alexandria Police Department, and the Smithville Police Department.

Naloxone has been proven to be an extremely effective medication that stops opioid overdoses and saves lives. The training was given by Tommy and Suzanne Angel, Regional Overdose Prevention Specialists for the State of TN Region 3 North.

Narcan Nasal Spray is recommended for the emergency treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose.

“Narcan is a medication used to block the affects of opioids, especially in overdoses. It can be sprayed into the nose of a person who has overdosed and it usually takes about two minutes to work,” said Sheriff Patrick Ray. “After administering Narcan to someone who has overdosed, the person will regain consciousness and at times might be aggressive. We have been told that it may take two or more times of administering Narcan to someone who has overdosed on fentanyl before we can revive them.”

Sheriff Ray said his department recently received a grant to pay for training and kits with a supply of Narcan.

“I applied for a grant for the purchase of Narcan for the sheriff’s department and jail. We hope to have at least two units of Narcan per patrol car and two units of Narcan in every first aid kit in the jail. This grant will provide Narcan to us for free as well as refills until the available grant funds are exhausted.” he said.

In 2015, 1,451 Tennesseans died from opioid overdoses. The data for 2017 will likely be higher. This epidemic affects everyone. If you or someone you know is in active addiction help is available. Recovery is real! There are more than 25 million people in long-term recovery, and there are many pathways to get there. For Help call the TN Redline 24/7 to get started at 1-800-889-9789.

“With the introduction of Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid pain reliever that is 50 times more powerful than heroin with a fatal dose being just the size of a grain of sand, we are thankful to have our law enforcement personnel trained and in the near future carrying Naloxone”, said Lisa Cripps, DeKalb Prevention Coordinator.

Open Enrollment Begins Nov. 1 on the Federally Facilitated Marketplace

November 1, 2017

The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) reminds consumers that Open Enrollment for insurance coverage on the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) begins Nov. 1, 2017. As the enrollment period is shorter than in years past, Tennesseans are strongly encouraged to review their options and begin preparation for the new policy year.

Tennessee consumers will have access to marketplace coverage for 2018 no matter where they live. However, consumers in 79 of 95 counties will only have one carrier option. The 2018 marketplace will include:

·Cigna providing coverage in Memphis and surrounding counties.

·Cigna and Oscar providing coverage in Nashville and surrounding counties.

·Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee (BCBST) providing coverage in Knoxville and surrounding counties.

·BCBST and Cigna providing coverage in Johnson City and surrounding counties.

·BCBST will be the only exchange carrier providing coverage in parts of the state not mentioned above.

Humana will no longer be in the Tennessee individual market. In addition, BCBST, Cigna, and Oscar will be the only Affordable Care Act (ACA)-compliant individual market options for consumers purchasing coverage outside of the FFM.

“Tennessee’s individual insurance market remains challenged,” said TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “However, it is important to remember that health insurance coverage is available everywhere in the state. We continue to encourage consumers to shop for the best available plan for their individual situations and preferences. Our Department has a team ready to answer any questions about the insurance-buying process. Current Humana consumers, in particular, should review coverage options as the federal government may auto-enroll them in a new policy with a new carrier if they have not enrolled in a plan before the end of open enrollment.”

Tennesseans may preview 2018 plans and prices today. And to help consumers with enrollment or payment issues or network questions, TDCI has posted contact numbers for each of the carriers on the FFM on its website. The Department has also made available carrier presentations that overview their 2018 plan benefits on its website.

The Department emphasizes the need for consumers to carefully review plan networks. If you like your physician, make sure he/she is included in the plan network and check carrier directories for local hospitals to ensure easy access to ‘in-network’ services, where possible. Several plans provide tight networks and/or limited out-of-network benefits. To avoid unexpected and unpleasant balance bills, always see network providers.

Important dates:

November 1, 2017: First day to enroll, re-enroll, or change a 2017 insurance plan.

December 15, 2017: Open Enrollment ends.

January 1, 2018: 2017 coverage starts for those who enroll or change plans by December 15.

Questions about Open Enrollment? Contact us at 1-800-342-4029 or (615) 741-2218.


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