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DeKalb Fair 5K and Fun Run Set for July 16 (VIEW REGISTRATION FORM HERE)

June 20, 2016
Dwayne Page

The annual DeKalb County Fair 5K and Fun Run will be July 16 as a fund raiser for Run Down to bring awareness to Down Syndrome.


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Registration begins at 6:00 pm at the Fairgrounds. The Run will start at 6:30 PM. Pre-registration available by contacting Matt Boss at 615-464-8627. Pre-registration guarantees a DeKalb County Fair 5K T-Shirt. The entry fee is $20 for youth and $25 for adults. Parking available behind Fair Office.


Jordan Wilkins of Smithville has won the DeKalb County Fair 5K and Fun Run the last two years.

Wilkins ran the course last year in 24 minutes and 15 seconds.

Carly Vance of Smithville took second place in the race at 26:41 and Kelly Pyburn of Alexandria came in third place at 27:01.

Fun Run winners were:
1st place: Conner Vance at 5:34
2nd place: Jordon Agee at 9:20

RunDown 5K Raises Funds for Down Syndrome Awareness

June 19, 2016
DeKalb West School Supports Down Syndrome Awareness with donation
DCHS Supports Down Syndrome Awareness with donation
DeKalb Middle School Supports Down Syndrome Awareness with donation
Northside Elementary School Supports Down Syndrome Awareness with donation

RunDown 5K for Down Syndrome Awareness recently presented over $1000 in games, tools and other educational supplies to benefit children with Down Syndrome and other special needs to both DeKalb County School system special needs programs and Smith County special needs programs.

RunDown 5K and FunRun was started in the Spring of 2015 by Addison Oakley, who at the time was an 8th grade student at DeKalb West Elementary in Liberty. Addison and her family have been blessed with connections to Down Syndrome children, who are close friends and family members and wanted to bring awareness in rural areas to the need to provide resources to children with Down Syndrome and other special needs that are often missed by not living in a larger metropolitan area. They have worked with support in DeKalb & Smith County as well as the support of Down Syndrome Association of Middle TN (DSAMT) and would hope to reach out into other rural counties as well in the future. Through the help of friends, family, and strangers, they had over 200 participants and strong sponsors for our 2015 5K & Fun Run and were also able to give $250 scholarships to DeKalb, Gordonsville, and Smith County High Schools.

If you are interested in helping this cause, or would like to donate or become a sponsor, please contact us at rundown5k@gmail.com or Clark Oakley @ 615-548-4624. Our 2016 5K and FunRun will be October 1st taking place at DeKalb West Elementary, 101 Bulldog Ln, Liberty, TN. Mark your calendars and look for more info to come!

UCHRA awarded LIHEAP funds to assist with utility bills

June 19, 2016
Dwayne Page

The Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency has been awarded funds to help people having difficulty paying their utility bills.

Applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a federally-funded program designed to assist low-income households meet home energy needs and supplement energy costs for eligible households, will begin taking applications for the new program effective July 1.

Priority for service is not “first come, first served,” but instead is based upon a point system.

Documentation of all household income will be required for the application process. This includes check stubs for 13 weeks, or six paystubs if by-weekly or bi-monthly, Social Security or pension award letters, or unemployment benefit letters. If self-employed, an applicant should provide a tax return.

Applicants must also provide a copy for 12 months of the household’s electric and/or gas bills (if residing at a current address is less than 12 months, a printout of all energy usage at this address is required). Proof of all Social Security numbers is required for all household numbers. Some additional documentation may also be required to process applications.

Assistance provided to households ranges from $300-$600, depending upon total points. Once an application has been submitted by a household, it will be notified by mail within 90 days of the status of the applications.

Households awarded assistance are required to continue paying their energy bills until the awarded payment has been received by its designated utility provider, and when the benefit is exhausted, the household will return to paying for the energy costs.

Ten seats on Tennessee's state-level courts up for retention elections

June 19, 2016
Dwayne Page

Ten seats on Tennessee's state-level courts are up for retention elections on August 4, 2016. Three seats on the Tennessee Supreme Court join three seats on the Tennessee Court of Appeals and three seats on the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals.

The supreme court justices at large standing for retention are Holly Kirby, Jeff Bivins, and Roger A. Page.

The appeals court judges standing for retention are Kenny Armstrong, Brandon O. Gibson, and Arnold B. Goldin (All Western Division)

The court of criminal appeals judges standing for retention are J. Ross Dyer (Western Division) Timothy L. Easter (Middle Division), Robert L. Holloway,Jr. (Middle Division), and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr. (Eastern Division)

Voters will be asked to either “retain” or “replace” each judge or justice.

Smithville Police Bust Man on Meth and Drug Paraphernalia Charges

June 17, 2016
Dwayne Page
Eddy Deloyd Farris
Michael Lee Shuttleworth
Alisa Ann Jackson
Melissa Ann Wheeler
Kenneth R. Adams

Acting on a complaint of illegal drug activity, Smithville Police went to a residence on Jennings Lane Thursday, June 16 and found a man with meth and drug paraphernalia.

35 year old Eddy Deloyd Farris is charged with possession of a schedule II drug for resale and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bond for Farris is $6,500 and his court date is June 30.

After entering the residence, police found Farris trying to hide under a bed mattress. While there officers were informed by Central Dispatch that Farris had active warrants against him. During a search, police recovered a black camera case containing a baggie with a white crystallized substance believed to be meth weighing approximately 7 grams, a burnt glass straw with a copper filter, a set of scales, a burnt light bulb configured with a straw coming out of the end, a spoon with a white substance melted onto it and a loaded syringe with a white substance inside.

27 year old Travis Patterson was cited for two counts of simple possession on Thursday, June 9. Police found Patterson passed out behind the wheel of his vehicle at Caney Fork Electric Cooperative. During their investigation a silver metal container was found on him containing four green pills believed to be Xanax and a piece of a pill thought to be Suboxone. His court date is June 23.

23 year old Michael Lee Shuttleworth was arrested for public intoxication on Friday, June 10. Shuttleworth was found intoxicated in a public place to a degree which rendered him to be a danger to himself as well as the public. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is June 23.

45 year old Alisa Ann Jackson was arrested on Sunday, June 12 for public intoxication and resisting arrest. Jackson was reported to be under the influence of alcohol and or drugs and causing a disturbance while at Pizza Hut. Jackson had an odor of a fermented beverage on her breath and her speech was slurred. While being taken into custody, Jackson became uncooperative and resistant with the arresting officers. She started yelling, kicking, and trying to pull away from them. Jackson continued to resist despite repeated verbal warnings from the officers to stop and calm down. Her bond is $6,500 and her court date is July 14.

32 year old Melissa Ann Wheeler was arrested on Wednesday, June 15 for public intoxication. According to the warrant, police were called to the emergency room of St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital to speak with Wheeler, who was reported to be fidgety and paranoid. Wheeler was constantly scratching all over her body and she would not sit still or focus. According to police, the emergency room medical staff indicated Wheeler was exhibiting signs of methamphetamine intoxication. Officers gave Wheeler a ride home but she refused to stay there due to her paranoia. As there was no other place for Wheeler to be taken and due to her being a danger to herself, she was arrested for public intoxication. Her bond is $1,500 and she will make a court appearance on June 30.

Kenneth R. Adams was arrested recently for filing a false report. Police went to Adams’ residence with a bail bondsman regarding a warrant. Upon arrival officers spoke with a man they thought was Adams and asked if he was Adams. The man replied "no". The bondsman informed the officer that the man was Adams. The officer again asked the man if he was Adams. He replied "yes" and said that he was aware of a warrant against him. Bond for Adams is $3,500 and his court date is June 23.

DCHS Football Program Gets Two New Assistant Coaches

June 17, 2016
Dwayne Page
Tiger Head Coach Steve Trapp
Tiger Assistant Coach Michael Shaw
Tiger Assistant Coach Clarence Trapp
New Tiger Assistant Coach Thomas Cagle
New Tiger Assistant Coach Brad Trapp

The DCHS Tiger Football program will have two new assistant coaches on the sidelines this fall helping head Coach Steve Trapp.

Thomas Cagle and Brad Trapp will be joining the staff.

Cagle of Cookeville has been hired by the school system as a world history and geography teacher at DCHS. He comes to DeKalb County from Jackson County High School in Gainesboro where he served one year as head football coach and U.S. History teacher. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in 2012 from Tennessee Tech.

Cagle and his wife Melanie are the parents of two sons, 5 year old Rylan and 1 year old Evan.

“I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to come to DeKalb County. Its a place after my own heart. The more I talked to Coach Trapp about the experience on Friday nights it kind of reminds me of back home. I’m originally from Bledsoe County. I grew up and went to school in Pikeville. From there I went to Cookeville. I got my degree at Tennessee Tech in Education. I met my wife while I was in Cookeville. We then moved to Nashville for a couple of years. That’s where I started my coaching career with Brian Wait at East Nashville Magnet High School. I coached there for two years and then we moved back to Cookeville where my wife got a job opportunity. I got on with Sean Loftis in Jackson County. I coached under him as an assistant coach for one year and then I was the head coach last year for Jackson County High School before I decided to make the move to DeKalb County as an assistant again,” Coach Cagle told WJLE.

Coach Trapp said he is thankful to the administration for the extra help and looks forward to Coach Cagle joining the program. “I want to say thank you to our administration. It’s going to fill a big need in the football program. Coach Cagle is very good in special teams so we’re pretty much going to turn over our special teams responsibilities to him. He’ll have the opportunity to build and design what he thinks will fit our program special teams wise. He has a lot of great kids in that area to work with including Matthew Poss who has been kicking for us for four years. We’ve really got some good players in that regard. We’ll come in and help him with that but he’ll have the opportunity to lead that direction. He will also help Coach Clarence (Trapp) with the offensive linemen and the defensive linemen and with the outside linebackers as well,” Coach Trapp told WJLE.

Brad Trapp has been hired by the school system as a teacher aid at DeKalb Middle School. For the last four years, Brad has been a coach in the Junior Pro Football Program. He is a DCHS graduate and received a Business Administration Degree from Colorado Tech in 2008. Trapp and his wife Kim have three children, 18 year old Liz, 15 year old Cailin, and 10 year old Briz.

“My cousin Brad Trapp will be coming up to help us coach as well this fall. He has taken the same path I did in coaching. He has been in the Junior Pro level for a few years coaching. That’s where I got my start in coaching. Brad now has an employee position at the middle school so he is in the school system,” said Coach Trapp.

In addition to head Coach Trapp and the new assistants Cagle and Brad Trapp, longtime assistants Michael Shaw and Clarence Trapp will be returning for another season. “Going into my 12th year its only been two years where we have returned the same coaching staff. That has definitely been a challenge for our program since we’ve been here but it has been one we have always faced and worked through and the guys who have helped me have done a wonderful job. My uncle Clarence Trapp is back. If I’m not mistaken this will be his 25th year of coaching in DeKalb County if you add Junior Pro and Middle School and all the experience he has on the high school level. Michael Shaw has been here six or seven years and is our defensive coordinator,” said Coach Steve Trapp.

Coach Trapp said he is looking forward to another great season. “I’m proud of all the guys. We’ve had a great off season in the weight room. We’ve had some guys get a whole lot bigger, faster, and stronger. We had a good spring. We were very successful in both of our spring games and we’re looking forward to a great fall. We’re very excited. We’ve got a big senior group. A lot of those guys have been playing for three and four years out there on the field. They have a lot of experience and are just really hungry to be the most successful team they can be,” Coach Trapp concluded.

Jim Vinson named to DTC Board of Directors

June 16, 2016
Jim Vinson named to DTC Board of Directors

The DeKalb Telephone Cooperative Inc. Board of Directors appointed Jim Vinson to fill the unexpired term of his deceased father, Dwight Vinson, continuing three decades of service by the family.

Vinson, 43, joins the 10-member board responsible for overseeing the cooperative. He intends to continue the legacy of his father, elected in 1987 to represent the Milton area.

“We’ve made lasting friendships with the folks of DTC,” Vinson says. “Those friends have been there for my family during the good and bad times. I want to fulfill my dad’s commitment to the people he served.”

Vinson brings a wealth of business experience to the board. He started his banking career in 1993 with Cavalry Banking, which later merged with Pinnacle Financial Partners. He serves as a financial advisor at Pinnacle in Murfreesboro.

He is a graduate of Oakland High School and Middle Tennessee State University. Vinson and his wife, Amy, have been married for 17 years and have two sons: Luke, 15; and Cale, 12.

Now, Vinson hopes to continue the dedication his father gave to the DTC board and employees.

“I really appreciate the opportunity the DTC board has given me to complete my dad’s elected term. He loved representing the Milton community and serving all of the members of the cooperative.”

Dwight Vinson, 64, died from injuries he received when a tree fell during a storm on May 4 in Rutherford County. Just more than a year remains of his board term.

DTC Communications is a member-owned telecommunications cooperative established in 1951. The cooperative provides communication, entertainment, and security products and services to residential and business customers, primarily throughout Middle Tennessee.

Ravelo Charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana

June 16, 2016
Dwayne Page
Alexis Ravelo owner of Poss Road property

Although he was not there when federal, state, and local authorities found an active indoor marijuana growing operation Wednesday, the owner of the property on Poss Road in DeKalb County is among eleven people who were later arrested as a result of a two year multi-county investigation into organized drug trafficking in Tennessee.

51 year old Alexis Ravelo was taken into custody at 602 Larkin Springs Road, Nashville and charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana. He has owned the property at 1117 Poss Road since 2014.

An investigation by Special Agents with the Drug Investigation Division of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the DEA, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and multiple Middle Tennessee law enforcement agencies resulted in the seizure of hundreds of plants and more than $100,000 in cash along with the arrest of these eleven individuals.

The probe focused on an organized drug trafficking operation involving the cultivation and distribution of high-grade marijuana in Middle Tennessee. The investigation culminated in the execution of more than a dozen search warrants executed simultaneously Wednesday morning. Six searches were conducted in Davidson County, and others were executed in Lewis, Sumner, Macon, Cannon, Bedford, Putnam, DeKalb and White Counties.

Among the agencies involved in the drug investigation and search warrant executions were Metro Nashville Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Drug Task Forces with the 15th, 16th, 17th, 21st and 22nd Judicial Districts, the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, Cannon County Sheriff’s Department, and the Governor’s Task Force on Marijuana Eradication.

Active indoor grow operations were found in Lewis, Macon, DeKalb and White Counties. A total of 320 plants were recovered and seized Wednesday; 224 plants were found in Lewis County, 52 in Macon County, and 44 in DeKalb County. The street value of the high-grade marijuana seized today is more than $560,000. More than 15 pounds of finished product, valued in excess of $37,500, and multiple weapons were found in one of the Davidson County locations. Three guns were found in the Bedford County location, and a total of more than $140,000 in cash was seized from multiple sites. Additionally, 40 plants were recovered in the White County location, along with ten pounds of finished product valued at $25,000, more than $11,500 in cash, and a gun.

“The sophistication and danger of indoor grow operations like this demonstrate the complexity of what’s involved in these organizations,” says TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “It takes the collaboration and persistence of law enforcement agencies, and we want those involved in the production and distribution to know they’re not going to get away with it.”

“This is exactly why it’s difficult for law enforcement officers to wrap their minds around legalization efforts,” says Drug Investigation Division Assistant Director T.J. Jordan. “This is a sophisticated organization with the goal of operating covertly, producing and trafficking high-grade marijuana, and making money at the expense of Tennessee citizens.”

On Wednesday, all eleven individuals, including Ravelo were arrested and charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana and booked into the Davidson County Jail.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, 44 buckets of marijuana were found at Ravelo’s property on Poss Road with plants up to 7 ½ feet tall and up to 3 ½ feet wide capable of producing as much as five pounds of pot per plant at an estimated street value of $2,500 per pound. “What we got today had an estimated value of $220,000,” Sheriff Ray told WJLE.

“This grow operation was located in a metal barn located behind a house on Poss Road. The growers had a watering, grow light, chemicals, and fertilizing system installed in the barn and they were stealing electricity from Caney Fork Electric Cooperative to power the operation,” he said.

Raid Uncovers $220,000 worth of High Grade Marijuana in Elaborate Indoor Grow Operation

June 15, 2016
Dwayne Page
Raid Uncovers $200,000 worth of Marijuana in Elaborate Indoor Grow Operation
44 buckets of marijuana were found with plants up to 7 ½ feet tall and up to 3 ½ feet wide capable of producing as much as five pounds of pot per plant at an estimated street value of $2,500 per pound
Marijuana grow operation was found in a metal barn located behind a house on Poss Road
Marijuana growers set up system to steal electricity from Caney Fork Electric Cooperative to power the indoor growing operation

An estimated $220,000 worth of high grade marijuana was uncovered Wednesday in an elaborate indoor grow operation at 1117 Poss Road during a raid by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, TBI agents, and members assigned to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency Task Force. A helicopter fly over of the property was also conducted by the Governor’s Task Force on Marijuana Eradication.

While no one was at home at the time of the raid arrests were made later but no names have yet been released locally because of the on-going investigation in which more arrests are expected.

Wednesday’s discovery was part of a multi-county investigation and similar raids took place in other parts of the state where indoor grow operations were suspected. Law enforcement agencies reportedly served more than a dozen search warrants in Nashville and Putnam, Cannon, Bedford, Macon, Sumner, Lewis, and DeKalb Counties and eleven people were arrested and charged in this high grade marijuana grow and distribution network operated by Cuban nationals

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, 44 buckets of marijuana were found at the Poss Road location with plants up to 7 ½ feet tall and up to 3 ½ feet wide capable of producing as much as five pounds of pot per plant at an estimated street value of $2,500 per pound. “What we got today had an estimated value of $220,000,” Sheriff Ray told WJLE.

“This grow operation was located in a metal barn located behind a house on Poss Road. The growers had a watering, grow light, chemicals, and fertilizing system installed in the barn and they were stealing electricity from Caney Fork Electric Cooperative to power the operation,” he continued.

“In an environment such as this, plants can produce up to four times a year. The grower cuts the buds off and regrows the buds. Out of the plants we found Wednesday, that’s nearly a million dollars a year if each plant produced as much as five pounds,” said Sheriff Ray.

If you should have information on any other suspected indoor marijuana grow operation in DeKalb County, Sheriff Ray advises you to contact the Sheriff’s Department.

Warren County Crash Claims Teen with Ties to DeKalb County

June 15, 2016
Dwayne Page
Ashley Dawn Celestino
Ashley Celestino

A McMinnville teenager with ties to DeKalb County lost her life due to injuries suffered in a Warren County traffic accident Monday afternoon.

Dead is 19 year old Ashley Dawn Celestino.

According to the Southern Standard, the crash occurred during a brief thunderstorm as Celestino was driving north on Short Mountain Road in a Nissan Xterra. She lost control in a curve near the intersection with Patterson Road, went off the roadway and struck a utility pole head-on.

Celestino was transported to River Park Hospital in McMinnville where she later died. A back seat passenger, 19 year old Megan Braswell was airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 19 year old Tristian Darna, a front seat passenger, suffered minor cuts, according to the report.

The funeral will be Friday at 4:00 p.m. at the Chapel of Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. Visitation will be Thursday from 4-7 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. until the service at 4 p.m.

Celestino was a Dietary worker at NHC of Woodbury and a member of the First Assembly of God. She was also associated with Lighthouse Christian Camp, a former cheerleader, and softball player for DeKalb County. She enjoyed beauty pageants as well.

She is survived by her mother, Tammy Horsley of DeKalb County. Three sisters, Tiffany and Austin Wilmore of DeKalb County, Raven Celestino and Matthew Elliot of DeKalb County, and Kelsey Murphy of DeKalb County. One brother, Jacob Fogle of Illinois. Two nephews, Brayden and Troy Wilmore of DeKalb County. A niece, Oaklyn Celestino-Elliot of DeKalb County. Grandparents, Rick and Mary Wright of Broughton, Illinois. Several aunts, uncles, and cousins survive.


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