Local News Articles

DCHS to Host College Application Week

October 6, 2017
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County High School will host College Application Week October 9-13.

The schedule is as follows:

*Monday, October 9:
10:00 a.m. DCHS Cafeteria: First Tennessee Promise Meeting for students who are going to use the Tennessee Promise Scholarship. A TN Achieves representative will present students with their TN Promise guidebooks and discuss requirements

5:00- 7:00 p.m. DCHS Cafeteria: College/Financial Aid Planning Night and DCHS Open House. Representatives from area colleges will be here to discuss their institutions and Sam Mullins from TSAC will discuss the TN State Financial Aid Programs and the FAFSA

*Tuesday, October 10:
College / TN Promise Scholarship Application Lab - Library – 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, & 6th Blocks. Please sign up for a time slot in the counseling office.

*Wednesday, October 11:
College Shirt Day. All faculty, staff, and students are invited to wear your favorite college shirt.

*Thursday, October 12:
FAFSA Assistance Lab. Anyone needing assistance completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is encouraged to participate in a workshop on October 12:30-7:00PM PM in the DCHS library. Please sign up for a time slot in the counseling office.

*Friday, October 13:
Scholarship / College Essay Lab - Mrs. Walteen Parker’s Classroom – 1st & 4th Blocks. Any senior who is not enrolled in Mrs. Walteen Parker’s English classes this semester who would like to sit in on this lesson is welcome to sign up to attend during 1st or 4th blocks. Mrs. Parker and Mrs. Lori Myrick will co-teach a lesson on how to write a well-written scholarship essay. A well written essay greatly increases your chances of winning a scholarship. Please take advantage of this assistance.

Marine Captain on Cross-Country Charity Run Passes Through DeKalb County (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

October 6, 2017
Dwayne Page
WJLE caught up with Marine Corps Captain Maggie Seymour in the parking lot of Hardees in Smithville Friday

A 31 year old marathon runner and Iraq War Veteran passed through DeKalb County today (Friday) on a cross country charity run as she makes her way to Virginia Beach.

Maggie Seymour, a U.S. Marine Corps Captain who is transitioning from active duty to the Reserve, set out from San Diego July 22 on her 3,300 mile cross country run. Her plans are to make it to Virginia Beach by October 28.

Captain Seymour, who founded the nonprofit Run Free Run last year, is raising money along the way for the charity to support military affiliated causes and communities including veterans, gold star families, and special needs athletes.

The title sponsor of her trek is San Diego-based National University, a school where Seymour studies. A van with the nonprofit institution’s name is trailing her to Virginia.

Captain Seymour, a native of Alexandria, Illinois, crossed into DeKalb County from Cannon County on Highway 146 Friday afternoon and made a brief stop in Smithville before heading out again on Highway 70 east toward Sparta

“I started in San Diego California 77 days ago and I am doing this to raise money and awareness for a couple of organizations I have worked with over the past ten years. Someone I knew did this three years ago. She raised money for veterans and I thought it was a really cool way to give back and get involved so I started planning and started it this year. I have 22 days left before my destination of Virginia Beach,” Captain Seymour told WJLE.

For more information about Captain Seymour and her journey visit www.runfreerun.com

DCHS to host College & Career Fair

October 6, 2017
Dwayne Page
Clint Hall, Administrator of NHC Smithville, greeted students during Career Day at DCHS last year
Student participating in exercise at U.S. Marine Corps booth during Career Day at DCHS last year

DeKalb County High School will be hosting the annual College & Career Fair on Friday, November 3.

All DeKalb County High School students will have the opportunity to visit with college and career representatives in the gym that day. This event will take place during the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and part of 4th block.

DCHS Tigers to Host Smith County Owls Tonight (LISTEN TO TIGER TALK HERE)

October 6, 2017
Dwayne Page
DCHS Tigers to Host Smith County Owls Tonight (LISTEN TO TIGER TALK HERE)

The DCHS Tigers will host the Smith County Owls, their border rivals from Carthage tonight in a non-region showdown

Kick-Off is at 7:00 p.m.



“Smith County is very multiple. They have an identity of what they want to do and they have a couple of different ways they can go to that. Its up to us to stop what they like doing best to make them try to do something else. They do have a lot of different things and weapons on offense they can use. The ability to throw it. The ability to have a quarterback run game. The ability to run power football at you. They have a good screen game. A good roll out game. You have to really be on your p’s and q’s on the defensive side. As far as them defensively, its a little bit smaller defense than what we have faced but they are very speedy and athletic. Its a scheme that changes from formation to formation. It’s a big challenge but that is what we like. It just makes for a better moment when we get out there and play our type of football and have a chance to win it in the end,” said Coach Tiger Coach Steve Trapp.

DeKalb County is 2-5 with losses to Warren County 26-10, Upperman 49-27, Stone Memorial 38-16, Watertown 59-2, and Livingston Academy 29-18. Their wins have been over Grundy County 27 and Cannon County 42-0.

Smith County is 4-2 with wins over Macon County 39-22, Gordonsville 47-25, Upperman 21-0, and York Institute 41-40. Their losses have been to Livingston Academy 16-13 and to Sequatchie County 25-21.

WJLE will have LIVE coverage of the football game on AM 1480/FM 101.7 and LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com with the Voice of the Tigers John Pryor and Luke Willoughby.

WJLE’s Pre-Game shows begin with “Coach to Coach” at 5:00 p.m. featuring former UT football coach Phillip Fulmer and former UT assistant coach Doug Matthews with broadcaster Larry Stone talking Tennessee and SEC football.

“Coach to Coach” is followed by “Murphy’s Matchups at 6:00 p.m., a look at Tennessee High School Football from Murphy Fair with commentary on games and coaches interviews.

“Tiger Talk” airs at 6:30 p.m. with the Voice of the Tigers John Pryor interviewing Coach Steve Trapp and Tiger players Gage Delape, Tyler Cantrell, and Braxton Linder.

The game kicks off at 7:00 p.m. with play by play coverage on WJLE with John Pryor and color commentary by Luke Willoughby

Smithville Police Cracking Down on Motorists Illegally Passing School Buses

October 5, 2017
Dwayne Page
Smithville Police Cracking Down on Motorists Illegally Passing School Buses
THP advisory to motorists on passing school buses

The Smithville Police Department has been cracking down on motorists illegally passing school buses much to the delight of alderman and bus driver Danny Washer.

“I want to compliment the Chief and the Police Department on the job they are doing in the school zones. They have worked hard and it has made a difference. I can see a difference on my route and I know some of the others (bus drivers) have too. That’s a dangerous situation. A lot of people just don’t pay attention,” said Alderman Washer during Monday night’s city council meeting.

Smithville Police Chief Mark Collins told WJLE that officers have issued numerous citations recently. He is urging motorists to pay attention when driving, especially around a school bus, and stop when the buses are loading and unloading children.

The law requires that motorists yield to a bus with its lights flashing and stop sign out, whether they're headed in the same direction or in the opposite. Even if there's a center turn lane.

There's only one exception.

"In order to pass by a stopped school bus from the front there has to be an impassable median," said Lt. Ray Robinson with the Tennessee Highway Patrol's pupil transportation division.

“On this five lane highway (Broad Street) they (motorists) don’t understand the law,” said Mayor Jimmy Poss, who is also a school bus driver.

“That or they are talking on the phone. Its more so the phone than anything else. It’s been a big problem not just on Broad Street. Anywhere they can pass you (bus), they will,” replied Alderman Washer.

“It is against the law to talk on a cell phone in a school zone,” added Alderman Shawn Jacobs.

“When you’re driving a bus you see a lot,” said Mayor Poss

“You’re setting up there where you see it all,” added Alderman Washer.

“I just want the police department to know it (increased enforcement) has helped and I appreciate it. A lot of the other drivers do too,” said Washer.

It is a Class A misdemeanor punishable only by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) for any person to fail to comply with the law requiring a motor vehicle to stop upon approaching a school bus.

Be alert and allow our children to arrive to and from school safely without harm.

Listen for WJLE's Fearless Forecasters Today (Thursday)

October 5, 2017
Dwayne Page
Listen for WJLE's Fearless Forecasters Today (Thursday)

Listen for WJLE's "Fearless Forecasters" today (Thursday) at 4:30 p.m.

This season's regulars are Dewain Hendrixson, Scott Brown, Chad Kirby, Jeff James, Ricky Atnip, John Pryor, Joe Goodwin, and Darrell Gill.

The "Fearless Forecasters" pick who they believe will win in fifteen of the biggest or most interesting college football games of the week.

They also make an underdog selection each week, picking a team they think will win, even though that team is not favored to win. If they guess right, they get the number of points in the spread.

The program is sponsored by Liberty State Bank, DeKalb County Ace Hardware, Middle Tennessee Natural Gas, Love-Cantrell Funeral Home, DeKalb County Insurance, DeKalb Tire and Service, the Charles D. Atnip Realty & Auction Company, and Sir Pizza Xpress of Smithville

Catch the "Fearless Forecasters" LIVE on WJLE weekly starting next Thursday, August 31.


Darrell Gill: 12-3
Joe Goodwin: 12-3
Dewain Hendrixson: 12-3
Ricky Atnip: 11-4
Chad Kirby: 11-4
John Pryor: 11-4
Jeff James: 9-6
Guest: Donny Green: 9-6
Scott Brown: 7-8


Chad Kirby: 56-18
Jeff/Grant James: 54-20 (2)
Ricky Atnip: 53-21 (3)
Dewain Hendrixson: 52-22 (4)
Joe Goodwin: 51-23 (5)
John Pryor: 51-23 (5)
Darrell Gill: 50-24 (6)
Scott Brown: 48-26 (8)
Guests: Tony Cross, Tim Stribling, Larry Green, Noah Gill, Donny Green: 45-29 (11)

Chad Kirby: 0 points
John Pryor: 0 points
Dewain Hendrixson: 6 points
Scott Brown: 7 points
Guests: 10 points
Jeff/Grant James: 13.5 points
Joe Goodwin: 18 points
Ricky: Atnip 19 points
Darrell Gill: 33 points

October Proclaimed Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Awareness Month

October 4, 2017
Dwayne Page
Pictured is Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss, DeKalb Prevention Coalition Coordinator Lisa Cripps, DeKalb Prevention Coalition Community Outreach Liaison Norene Puckett, DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling.

Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss and County Mayor Tim Stribling on behalf of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition have signed proclamations recognizing the month of October 2017 as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Awareness Month.

Over the last decade, the use of opioid pain relievers in the United States and Tennessee has increased rapidly. Accompanying that increase in drug use has been an increase in Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).

NAS is a condition in which an infant experiences withdrawal from opioid substances the mother took during pregnancy. The withdrawal symptoms include fever, seizures, continuous crying, rapid breathing, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. According to the Tennessee Department of Health, 991 babies in Tennessee were born with NAS in 2016.

In October, Tennessee is observing Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Awareness Month. To help raise awareness, the community is asked to participate in the “Pearls & Bowties for Babies” campaign on Friday, October 6. Lisa Cripps, Coordinator of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition urges you to wear a bowtie or pearls for babies and post a picture on social media with a suggested post like “I’m wearing my pearls or bowtie in support of NAS Awareness Month using the hashtag#NASMonthTN.

“The DeKalb Prevention Coalition encourages you to invite your family, friends, Sunday School class, and co-workers to participate. Get your bowties and pearls ready. Snap a picture and then post that picture on Friday, October 6. We appreciate your efforts in helping us create a safe community here in DeKalb County free of substance abuse,” said Cripps.

Pictured is Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss, DeKalb Prevention Coalition Coordinator Lisa Cripps, DeKalb Prevention Coalition Community Outreach Liaison Norene Puckett, DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling.

The combined resolutions are as follows:

WHEREAS, abuse and dependence of prescription painkillers, heroin and other opioids have led to an opioid epidemic in the City of Smithville, DeKalb County, and our state; and

WHEREAS, prenatal exposure to opioids may result in opioid dependency called Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) when the infant is born; and
WHEREAS, babies with NAS experience irritability, low birth weight, respiratory condition, tremors and seizures, feeding difficulties and other health-related challenges; and

WHEREAS, the number of babies in Tennessee reported with a diagnoses of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome from January 01, 2017 to July 30, 2017 was 565, with approximately 9 percent being born in the Upper Cumberland Region; and

WHEREAS, the rate of NAS in inpatient settings increased by 15 fold between 2005 and 2015, resulting in three infants per day being born drug dependent; and

WHEREAS, The highest rates of NAS in 2017 have occurred in the Northeast and Upper Cumberland Health Regions, and Sullivan County.

WHEREAS, 72 percent of infants born with NAS in Tennessee were exposed to at least one prescription drug with or without an illicit drug; and
WHEREAS, prevention education, public awareness and knowledge of available treatment resources are crucial in reducing the physical, social and economic impact of NAS.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jimmy Poss, Mayor of the City of Smithville, and DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling do hereby recognize the month of October 2017 as


Throughout the City of Smithville and DeKalb County all Smithvillians and DeKalb Countians are encouraged to join in the fight to stem the tide of opioid abuse and dependence – especially as it relates to mothers and newborns – by learning about NAS prevention and treatment.
On this 4th day of October 2017.

Caney Folk Music & Arts Festival to Benefit DeKalb Prevention Coalition

October 4, 2017
Caney Folk Music & Arts Festival to Benefit DeKalb Prevention Coalition

A Caney Folk Music & Arts Festival fundraiser to benefit the DeKalb Prevention Coalition is set for Saturday, October 7 on the Cherry Hill Farm 16639 Smithville Highway at Silver Point. Gates open from 11 a.m.until 8 p.m.

The Caney Folk Music & Arts Festival is a “first-of-its-kind outdoor community event designed to celebrate music, art, the natural beauty of Center Hill Lake, and the gorgeous Caney Fork River. Nestled between the Highland Rim and Cumberland Plateau, Cherry Hill farm will host the all-day festival, a unique entertainment experience created for the whole family to enjoy.

This event will include several favorite attractions, such as Vendors Village, a regional artisans fair showcasing the area’s best in visual arts and crafts, outdoor and recreational vendors, a “KID ZONE” (4,800 square foot of kid rides and activities) a wide variety of tasty food and beverage vendors, and a full day of live music performances by the region’s best folk, bluegrass, and blues artists.

In addition, the festival will host instrument workshops for all aspiring musicians by some of the areas top ranked musician instructors.

Finally, the festival will play host to a “live” celebrity auction event that will take place throughout the day. 100% of proceeds will benefit DeKalb Prevention Coalition’s Health Adventure. This program currently provides free healthy activities that promote physical and emotional health including: yoga classes, art instruction, martial arts, tai chi, healthy cooking demonstrations, senior chair volleyball, senior chair yoga, walking clubs, nutrition education, along with classes provided for teens and adults with disabilities.

Admission is $10 for Adults, $5 for Seniors/Military and Kids 12 and under are free. $7 (Adult) tickets are available through September 30th here https://www.caneyfest.com/tickets/

October Proclaimed National Chiropractic Health Month

October 4, 2017
Dwayne Page
Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss signs proclamation with Dr. Robert R. Atnip and his wife Guylene looking on.

Dr. Robert R. Atnip and the City of Smithville are joining chiropractic physicians nationwide this October during National Chiropractic Health Month to help raise awareness of non-drug approaches to pain management in the face of the U.S. opioid epidemic.

During National Chiropractic Health Month this October, the American Chiropractic Association is sharing back injury prevention and strengthening tips as well as information on the value of a conservative approach to back pain treatment with the theme “Back to Basics”

On Monday, Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss signed a proclamation designating October as “National Chiropractic Health Month” in the City of Smithville. Dr. Atnip and his wife Guylene were on hand for the occasion.

The proclamation follows:

WHEREAS, According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as one in four patients who receive prescription opioids long term for non-cancer pain in primary care settings struggles with addiction;

WHEREAS, Every day, more than 1,000 people are treated in the ER for misusing prescription opioids, and deaths involving opioids have quadrupled since 1999;

WHEREAS,The spread of opioid abuse has prompted the White House to announce it will designate the opioid crisis a national emergency;

WHEREAS, Because of this epidemic, the need for noninvasive, non-drug approaches to pain management for common musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain has increased throughout the world and particularly in the United States;

WHEREAS, The American College of Physicians (ACP) in 2017 released updated low-back pain treatment guidelines that promote the use of noninvasive, non-drug approaches as a first line of defense against back pain, before the use of pain medications and surgery;

WHEREAS, Chiropractors focus on the whole person with their noninvasive, non-drug approach to health care and pain management;

WHEREAS, There is a growing body of research validating the effectiveness of chiropractic services—spinal manipulation in particular—for the treatment of low-back pain, leading many respected health care organizations such as the ACP to include chiropractic/spinal manipulation in their guidelines for physicians;

WHEREAS, National Chiropractic Health Month 2017 serves as a reminder to all citizens of DeKalb County that noninvasive, non-drug treatments for low-back pain such as chiropractic services/spinal manipulation may lessen or eliminate the need for riskier, potentially addictive treatments such as prescription opioid pain medications and should be thoroughly exhausted whenever possible before initiating over-the-counter and prescription opioid therapy;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Smithville officially joins with the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) in proclaiming the month of October 2017 as National Chiropractic Health Month.

Wilson County attorney Mary Alice Carfi seeks state Senate seat in special election

October 4, 2017
Mary Alice Carfi

Wilson County attorney Mary Alice Carfi has announced her candidacy in the Democratic primary for the District 17 state Senate seat in the upcoming Special Elections..

“We need some common sense in the Senate,” Carfi said. “Republicans have held the majority since the 2010 elections. They have had ample opportunities to improve the lives of working families in our state, but instead have put party interests before improving the health care, jobs, and education for our citizens.”

An attorney in a solo-practice in Mt. Juliet, Carfi can relate to the issues that affect the small business owners throughout District 17, which includes Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith, and Wilson counties.

“I understand struggles with health care costs,” Carfi said. “The Republicans missed the boat when they failed to expand Medicaid. As a result of their failure to act, the 10th rural hospital in Tennessee announced Saturday that it is closing its doors.”

“All of the counties in District 17, except for Wilson, are entirely rural, and if one of them lost their hospital, it would have a devastating impact not only the health care of its citizens but on that county’s economy,” she added. “This is just one example of how the failure to apply common sense to our health care issues has hurt working families in District 17 and across the state.”

When it comes to jobs and the economy, Carfi noted that in five of the six counties in District 17, an average of 20.6 percent of all households receives food stamps, which is almost 4 percent higher than the state average.

“We need jobs that pay a living wage, so no one who works a full-time job has to rely on public assistance to survive,” she added. “It's sound common sense to raise the minimum wage because Tennessee’s economy runs on consumer spending. If working families struggle to pay their rent and put food on their table, then how can they afford to buy anything else?”

Last, Carfi wants to make sure all students in District 17 have a quality public education “because it’s the best investment we can make in our state and nation’s future.

“Common sense tells us that we need to fully fund Tennessee’s Basic Education Plan (BEP) so that a child in smaller, less affluent counties like Clay or Cannon County can be assured of getting access to the same quality education as a child in Wilson County,” Carfi said.

“We need less testing of our students, and we need to say no vouchers of any kind because they divert resources from already struggling schools,” she added.

As a general practice attorney, Carfi often works with people who have differing opinions. “It’s my job to bring these people together, to compromise when and where it’s necessary, so that a positive result can be agreed upon by all parties.

“It’s time for some common sense in Tennessee’s Senate, and I ask for your support and vote on Dec. 19 so I can bring this to our legislative body.”

Carfi grew up in Smith County, the daughter of Don and Phyllis Eckel of Gordonsville. She is the granddaughter of the late Pete and Evelyn Watts, who owned Watts Angus Farm. Pete Watts was a well-known building contractor in Middle Tennessee and owner of Pete Watts Construction.

She has one daughter, Alexia, 9, and is a member of the Carthage United Methodist Church, where she sings in the choir. She and her husband, Jamie, are both members of the Bert Coble Singers in Lebanon. She also serves on the Bert Coble Singers Leadership Team.

Carfi is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association and the 15th Judicial District Bar Association. She is a graduate of Smith County High School and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice administration from Middle Tennessee State University. She received her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Nashville School of Law. She was chosen as the Best Attorney in Mt. Juliet in 2016 by the readers of The Chronicle of Mt. Juliet newspaper.

A Campaign Kick-Off will be held Monday, Oct. 16, from 6-8 p.m., at The Capitol Theatre at 110 West Main St. in Lebanon.


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