Local News Articles

DeKalb West Announces Perfect Attendance Award Winners

January 10, 2018
by: 
Bill Conger
DeKalb West Announces Perfect Attendance Award Winners

DeKalb West School Principal Sabrina Farler today announced the winners of the Perfect Attendance awards for the first part of the school year.

Melanie Ortiz was one of 42 students who had perfect attendance the first nine weeks of school. She won the drawing for a Walmart gift card. Coincidentally, 42 students also had perfect attendance the second nine weeks of school. Emma Martin won the drawing and received a Walmart gift card. Perfect attendance for students not only means not missing a day, but it also requires no days where they are late or leave school early.

Man Injured in One Car Crash Tuesday Evening

January 9, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Man Injured in One Car Crash Tuesday Evening
 25 year old man was injured in a one car crash Tuesday evening, January 9 on Highway 56 north near Hurricane Bridge.

A 25 year old man was injured in a one car crash Tuesday evening, January 9 on Highway 56 north near Hurricane Bridge.

Sergeant Dewain Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 25 year old Oribel L. Santizo Perez was traveling south on Highway 56 in a 2008 Nissan Versa when he failed to negotiate a curve and went off the left side of the road and crashed. According to Sergeant Jennings, Perez was going too fast and faces citations. He was taken by DeKalb EMS to St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital.

Members of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department and DeKalb Volunteer Fire Department also responded.

Meanwhile two dump trucks were involved in a collision Tuesday on Holmes Creek Road. The accident is under investigation by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. More details forthcoming.

Mother Charged with Passing Fake Doctor Excuses at School

January 9, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Christy Lee Hendrixson
Gary Jason Britt
Joshua Kevin Vickers

A mother has been arrested for forgery and criminal simulation after allegedly forging the name of a registered nurse on fake doctor’s excuses in order to get her child’s absences from school approved.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL- Intakes & Releases From: 1/1/2018 Thru: 1/8/2018)

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_53.pdf (2.87 MB)

35 year old Christy Lee Hendrixson of New Home Road, Smithville is charged with two counts of forgery and four counts of criminal simulation. Hendrixson’s bond is $19,000 and her court date is January 25.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on the dates of October 2, November 13, November 20, and November 27, Hendrixson presented to administrators at Northside Elementary School what appeared to be a doctor’s excuse for her child to have excused absences from school but the documents were false. On two of those dates, November 13 & 20 the excuses bore the forged name of a registered nurse.

The case was investigated by a Sheriff’s Department detective.

A convicted felon is in trouble with the law again after he was allegedly found with marijuana and firearms during a recent probation search at his home.

50 year old Gary Jason Britt of Shady Place, Smithville is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a schedule VI drug with the intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver. He was further cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $20,000 and his court date is January 18.

Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, January 2 a deputy went to Britt’s home to do a probation search and found two firearms in the residence, a Savage 243 caliber rifle and a 12 gauge Winchester shotgun. The search also turned up 19.5 grams of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana and some rolling papers.

Britt, who admitted to having firearms in the house prior to the search, is a convicted felon out of Wilson County for possession of a schedule VI controlled substance of more than 0.5 ounces. He is currently on probation.

35 year old Joshua Kevin Vickers of Woodbury Highway, Liberty is charged with burglary, aggravated burglary, theft of property under $1,000 , and vandalism. His bond is $20,000 and his court date is January 18.

Sheriff Ray said that on January 18, 2017 Vickers allegedly broke into a garage and a residence on Sweetwater Road in Liberty (same property) and took an HP computer with a monitor and a Primo game camera. The total value of the items taken was $400. In breaking into the garage and the home, Vickers damaged or destroyed windows and doors. The total amount of damage was $575.

The case was investigated by a sheriff’s department detective.

Candidate Update

January 9, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page

In the latest candidate update, the DeKalb County Election Commission issued a qualifying petition Monday to Anita Puckett, County Commissioner in the 5th district. She is an incumbent planning to seek re-election. Puckett will be a candidate in the DeKalb County Democratic Primary May 1.

Meanwhile, the latest to obtain petitions to run for a seat on the school board include Kate Miller in the 4th district; Carl (C.D.) Webb in the 2nd district; and Orvil Hendrix in the 2nd district. Miller is an incumbent member of the school board. The Board of Education races are on August 2.

City to Increase Court Costs

January 9, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Police Chief Mark Collins

Court costs are about to go up in the Smithville Municipal Court but the increase will help the police department upgrade to a new court management computer software system.

During Monday night’s meeting, the aldermen adopted an ordinance on first reading to raise the city court costs. The current fees associated with traffic violations, etc. are $85 per violation and a $13.75 litigation tax levied by the state. The new fee would be $100 per citation, a $15 increase.

Although the new Courtware Government Software Solutions system is free to the city, the cost of the software by the provider will be be passed along to violators in the form of the increased court costs.

Police Chief Mark Collins said the new Courtware System will save the city money, simplify the city’s court processing procedures, and provide offenders the option of paying their fines and court costs online.

“We (city) pay $2,000 a year just to have the system we’re using now. The new one is free to the city but will be paid for by offenders who are found guilty of speeding and traffic offenses. Ten dollars out of their court costs will go to this courtware system to pay for it. It creates more ways to pay a ticket. We do not have a pay online system now. With this new system people can pay online," said Chief Collins.

In addition to online fine payment, other software features include an online court calendar, digital documents, fund calculations, automatic dispositions, simple docket scheduling, statistical data that can be helpful to the police department, and more.

The ordinance increasing the court costs will be considered for passage on second and final reading by the aldermen next month.

Smithville Fire Department Turning 80; New City Fire Truck to Arrive Next Week

January 8, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department will reach an important milestone next month.

During Monday night’s meeting of the Mayor and Aldermen, Fire Chief Charlie Parker said the department will officially be turning 80 years old on Saturday, February 3. The department was established on that date in 1938.

Chief Parker said members of the department hope to have a special observance soon to mark the occasion.

There will also be another reason to celebrate.

Chief Parker said the city is scheduled to take delivery on a brand new fire truck by next week. Members of the department plan to make a trip to Wisconsin this week to make sure the manufacturer has built the truck to specifications. “We leave Wednesday to go and do the final inspection on the truck. If everything is up to par the way its supposed to be then it should be delivered hopefully next week. They will deliver it to us on site. It will take a little time to get it in service. Some of the equipment that goes on it is already in but there is still more to come. Some equipment will come on the truck and the rest of it will be brought in over the next two weeks. We should be up and running by sometime in February,” said Chief Parker.

In January, 2017 the aldermen voted to spend $751,575 over a two-year period to purchase the new fire truck, a Pierce Impel PUC Rescue Pumper, which is a combination fire engine/rescue vehicle. It will replace the fire department’s oldest truck, a 1992 model, and a 20-year old rescue and service truck. The new vehicle will also come equipped with five air packs and other tools and equipment.

Once the new fire truck is in the fleet, the city plans to sell the 1992 truck along with the rescue truck and service truck.

The fire department has three fire trucks, a 1992 and 2001 model along with a 2012 ladder truck.

In other business, the aldermen approved Chief Parker’s request to approve the current list of volunteer firefighters and officers serving the department for the city.

City To Apply for CDBG Grant for Sewer Line Rehabilitation

January 8, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Mayor and Aldermen

Three months after completion of the $2.8 million upgrade at the Smithville Waste Water Treatment Plant, city officials now want to begin a rehabilitation of existing sewer lines in the system.

During Monday night’s meeting, the Aldermen voted to apply for another $525,000 Community Development Block Grant through the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development for this purpose. The Upper Cumberland Development District will administer the grant application on behalf of the city. If approved, the city will have to pay the required local grant match.

Although the bulk of the funding for the sewer plant rehab project came from the city’s water and sewer fund surplus, the municipality received a previous $525,000 CDBG grant for that project two years ago.

City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson said now that the sewer plant upgrade is completed, the city can apply for another grant. “As you know we’re closing out our grant for the sewer plant so now we can apply for another Community Development Block Grant from the state to do sewer line rehabilitation. Although we have done the sewer plant work, there are a lot of lines in the system that need to be replaced,” said Hendrixson.

WJLE RADIO SHOPPER RETURNS JANUARY 25

January 8, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
WJLE'S Dale Carroll

WJLE and participating local businesses are giving you a chance to bid on and buy merchandise at a discount in the RADIO SHOPPER on Thursday, January 25.

Starting at 9:00 a.m. that morning, WJLE will be opening up the phone lines for you to bid on various items from local businesses.

WJLE will set a minimum bid on each item and continue the bidding until the item is sold. The program on Thursday will be limited to around three hours. If we have more items to sell, the program will resume on another day. For bidders, they have a chance to buy merchandise or services at a discount. For the businesses, they get ads on WJLE just for putting items up for bids.

If your business would like to participate, contact Dwayne Page at 615-597-4265.

It’s going to be fun and exciting! Be sure to be by your radio and your telephone on Thursday, January 25 at 9:00 a.m. and call in a bid to RADIO SHOPPER on WJLE. The program will also be streamed LIVE at www.wjle.com.

2016 DeKalb Suicide Rate Second Highest in Upper Cumberland

January 8, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Department of Health's Office of Health Statistics reports 8 recorded DeKalb County suicide deaths in 2016, for an age adjusted rate of 41.3 per 100,000 population. That’s an increase from 5 deaths in 2015, or 26.1 per 100,000.

http://tspn.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/2007-16-NUMBERS-ALL.pdf

The new statistics released Friday by the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network show that DeKalb County’s rate of suicide for 2016 was second highest among the 14 counties in the Upper Cumberland Region and above the state rate of 16.2 per 100,000 population. Clay County had the highest rate in the Upper Cumberland with 4 deaths at 51.7 per 100,000 population.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health Statistics, there were 1,110 recorded suicide deaths in Tennessee in 2016, up from 1,065 the past year (representing a 4% increase).

The crude suicide rate went up from 15.6 to 16.2 per 100,000 (representing a 4% increase.) Firearms remain the most common means of suicide death in Tennessee, accounting for 677, or 61%, of the recorded suicide deaths in 2016. 222, or 20% of the deaths, were hangings or suffocations and 144, or 13% of the deaths, were poisonings or overdoses. All of these proportions are roughly the same as last year's figures. Whites account for 79% of the general population of Tennessee but 91% of the suicide deaths. Males are also disproportionately represented, making up 49% of the population but 77% (857) of the suicide deaths recorded in 2016.

For the record, the latest figures from the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) give a national rate of 13.9 per 100,000 as of 2016, with Tennessee's rate that year placing it at 22nd among the states. Nationally, there were 44,965 suicide deaths in the U.S. in 2016, the latest year national data is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This comes out to 123 suicide deaths each day and one death every 12 minutes. Suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death in the United States and is responsible for 1.6% of all deaths recorded in 2016. Firearms were the leading mode of death, involved in 22,938 suicide deaths, or 51% of the total.

In any given day, three people in Tennessee die by suicide. In 2016, the number suicides increased in young people (ages 10-18) in Tennessee, with one person in this age group lost to suicide every week. We lose one person between the ages of 10-24 every four days, and every day we lose at least one person over the age of 45, with adults in midlife and older adults remaining at higher risk. While suicide rates in Tennessee went up only slightly in 2016, the new figures are the highest recorded in Tennessee in over 35 years of record-keeping and the suicide rate remains above the national average.

Are you feeling desperate, alone or hopeless?

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you.

TTY line: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889)

For non-emergency information on suicide prevention, contact the
Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network at (615) 297-1077 or tspn@tspn.org.

DeKalb County GOP to Select Candidates on February 11

January 7, 2018

The DeKalb County Republican Party will be hosting a Caucus, more formally known as a County Convention, on Sunday, February 11, 2018, at 2PM at the DeKalb County Courthouse, for the purpose of selecting the Republican Candidates for the Offices of County Mayor, Sheriff, Trustee, County Court Clerk, Circuit Court Clerk, Register of Deeds, and Road Superintendent of DeKalb County. Republican Candidates will also be selected for all County Commission Districts.

A “Meet the Candidates” event will be held on Saturday, January 13, 2018, at 10AM at the DeKalb County Courthouse. The purpose of this event is for all Republicans to mix and mingle with candidates who will be seeking the Republican nomination at the Caucus on Feb. 11.

All DeKalb County Republicans are invited to attend the “Meet the Candidates” event and the Caucus. To participate in the Caucus, you must be a bona fide Republican and a registered voter of DeKalb County. The candidates selected at the Caucus will represent the Republican Party in the August 2, 2018, DeKalb County General Election.

For more information, please contact Republican Party Chair Mingy Bryant at 615-597-2600 or Vice Chair Clint Hall at 931-201-6962, or go to the Facebook Page at DeKalb County Republican Party.

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