Local News Articles

Free Bluegrass Concert to Kindle Jamboree Mood

June 29, 2015
Picking Friends band

The Picking Friends band will be performing a free concert in downtown Smithville on Thursday, July 2nd. The music will begin at 7:00 PM on the open-air stage located at the Joe L. and Ann S. Evins Park, across from the Smithville Post Office and Justin Potter Library. Picking Friends is a 5-member band comprised of talented musicians who love to perform a mix of traditional and gospel bluegrass. Band members Brian Anderson and Glenn Carpenter are from Watertown, TN and Shawn Frick, John Mason, and Glenn Moats are from Lebanon, TN. Picking Friends has performed all across the middle Tennessee area and into Virginia.

In addition, Smithville Sugar Squares and DeKalb Dancin’ Delights dance teams will also be performing that night. Smithville Sugar Squares dancers include Tess Barton, Katherine Gassaway, Kathryn Hale, Emma Jennings, Madelyn Johnson, Summer Morse, Elizabeth Seber, and Lillie Grace Young, DeKalb Dancin’ Delights dancers are Ellie Cripps, Annabella Dakas, Kaitlin Hutchins, Kristen Hutchins, Katherine Knowles, Preston Summers, Sadie West, and Shelby West. Their teacher is Mary Ann Puckett.

So, bring your own lawn chair and enjoy a fun evening of music and dancing! The perfect way to get in the Jamboree mood!

Pictured l-r:
Brian Anderson, Glenn Carpenter, Shawn Frick, John Mason, Glenn Moats

Smithville Police Department to Conduct Child Seat Installation and Inspection

June 29, 2015
Dwayne Page
 Smithville Police Department to Conduct Child Seat Installation and Inspection

The Smithville Police Department and other law enforcement agencies will be hosting a child seat installation on Tuesday, June 30 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Smithville Wal Mart location. Officers will inspect and properly install child restraints and answer questions on proper child restraint methods.

"In a lot of cases we find that child restraints are not properly installed. We are currently in the process of training child restraint technicians within the Smithville Police Department. I encourage everyone that wants to have their child seat checked out, to come out and see us. This is a free service of the Smithville Police Department," said Captain Steven Leffew

Northside Church of Christ Dedicates New Place of Worship

June 29, 2015
Dwayne Page
Elder members of Northside Church of Christ Cut Ribbon to Dedicate New Church Building
Northside Church of Christ Dedicates New Church Building
New Northside Church of Christ Building on Highway 56 North

The congregation of the Northside Church of Christ held worship services for the first time in their new church home Sunday.

Following morning worship, lunch was served followed by a dedication service and ribbon cutting at the new church building, located beside the old one on Highway 56 north which had served as the congregation's worship center since 1970 . The congregation's beginnings date back almost seventy years.

"It is very exciting," said Burnes Lyons, minister of the congregation. "One of my objectives is that I wanted to see the older members be able to see a new building erected and that's why we have them up front cutting the ribbon. We wanted to build something in the community that would be passed on to future generations that might benefit those who come behind us," said Lyons.

Members of other congregations joined in helping the church commemorate Sunday's special occasion.

Couple Sentenced for Using Child to Smuggle Pill into the Jail

June 28, 2015
Dwayne Page
Justin Dale Estes
Ashley Nicole Estes

A prisoner and his wife were sentenced in Criminal Court Tuesday, June 23 on charges of introducing contraband in a penal institution after trying to use their eight year old child to smuggle a pill into the DeKalb County Jail.

Judge David Patterson presided.

24 year old Justin Dale Estes and 30 year old Ashley Nicole Estes each received a three year sentence. Justin Estes must serve his time but a second charge of child endangerment was dismissed. The term is to run concurrently with another case against him in General Sessions Court. He was given jail credit from November 6, 2014 to June 23, 2015.

Ashley Estes' three year sentence has been suspended to supervised probation. She was given jail credit for 76 days and fined $2,000. A second charge of child abuse/neglect against her was dropped.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, November 6, 2014 Justin Estes, serving a sentence in the DeKalb County Jail, was visited by his wife Ashley Estes and their children. Before the visitation, a Sheriff's Department Detective found a pill in the coat pocket of the Estes' eight year old daughter and learned that it was placed in the coat by Mrs. Estes. According to Sheriff Ray, Justin Estes admitted that he had told his wife to put a pill in the child's coat pocket. The pill was believed to be an eight milligram suboxone. If ingested, Sheriff Ray said the pill could have caused the child to suffer serious sickness or death. Mrs. Estes told the detective that she had previously brought drugs into the jail for her husband on different occasions by putting them in the clothing of her children, according to Sheriff Ray.

29 year old Curtis Lloyd pled guilty to possession of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine) under .5 grams. He received a four year sentence all suspended to supervised probation. Lloyd was also fined $2,000. He was given jail credit of 55 days. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, October 22 a sheriff's department detective stopped Lloyd for speeding on Highway 56 south. The officer received consent to search Lloyd's car, a 1997 Lumina and found a baggie containing a white powdery substance still partially wet. The substance field tested positive for methamphetamine and weighed 1.1 grams. Lloyd was placed under arrest.

26 year old Raymond Rollins pled guilty to domestic assault and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended to supervised probation. He was given jail credit from May 14, 2015 to June 23, 2015. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, June 22, 2014 a deputy received a domestic call on South Judkins Lane in the Jefferson Community. Upon arrival the officer spoke with a woman who said that Rollins had thrown her from the front porch to the ground. She claims Rollins grabbed her by the throat and slammed her into the wall, bursting the wall. Through an investigation, the deputy found that Rollins was responsible for the assault and caused the woman to fear bodily injury. He was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

28 year old Zackary N. Hale pled guilty to vehicular assault and reckless endangerment. He received a four year sentence for vehicular assault suspended to probation and a sentence of 11 months and 29 days suspended to probation for reckless endangerment. The two terms are to run concurrently. Hale was involved in a two vehicle personal injury crash in September 27, 2012 on Highway 56 south.

28 year old Margie Drennan pled guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended to supervised probation except for time served from November 18, 2014 to June 23, 2015.

50 year old Leslie Franklin Arnold pled guilty to a second offense of driving under the influence and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days suspended to 45 days. He was fined $610 and will enroll in Teen Challenge. The term is to run concurrently with a Putnam County DUI case against him. Arnold was given thirty days of jail credit which includes twenty eight days treatment through Samaritan and New Leaf Recovery programs. Smithville Police said that on Tuesday, May 6 2014 Arnold was operating a motor vehicle on Highway 56 when he was observed crossing the yellow line. As the officer was making the traffic stop, Arnold sideswiped a van. A computer check revealed that Arnold's license were revoked for DUI in Putnam County on January 30, 2014. Arnold had an odor of alcohol on his person and his speech was slurred. A half pint of Vodka and two empty beer cans were found in his vehicle. Arnold was taken to the emergency room of the hospital by DeKalb EMS.

37 year old Tara Jane Summers pled guilty by information to three counts of reckless endangerment. She received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days in each case to run consecutively for a total of almost three years. Summers will be on probation with CPS and is to maintain involvement in a mental health program. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 Summers pulled up in her vehicle in front of the sheriff's department. She signaled for one of the detectives to come to her automobile. The detective responded and saw two small children in the back floorboard of Summers' vehicle. He also noticed that Summers held a 12 gauge shotgun in her lap. Summers told the detective that her parents had been murdered and that there were people chasing her, trying to kill her. When Summers was asked to hand over the shotgun, she refused and started pointing it out the window toward passing vehicles. The detective had to take the weapon by force. The gun was found to be loaded with three live rounds. Summers was placed under arrest.

Registration Deadline Approaching for Tiger Pride Football Camp

June 28, 2015
Dwayne Page
Tiger Pride Football Camp will be July 7-9

The Tiger Pride Football Camp will be July 7-9 from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the DCHS Practice Football Field. Its for ages 6-12. Camp goals are to provide each camper with a positive, fun filled learning experience. The camp is designed to teach the fundamentals of football and give campers added game experience, while emphasizing teamwork and competition in a fun environment.

The camp fee is $20 per camper. The fee includes three days of camp and a T-shirt per camper. Please mail enrollment form and fee to: 5100 Jacobs Pillar Road, Smithville, TN 37166. Make checks payable to DeKalb Jr Pro Football. Please do not mail cash. The last day for registration is June 30. Late registrations will be accepted but not guaranteed a shirt. Camp will be divided into age groups.

Camp Directors are John Kilgore and Toby Nokes and staff are County and Area Coaches.


camp0002.pdf (327.44 KB)

Grandpa Fair of the South Returning July 20-25

June 28, 2015
Dwayne Page
DeKalb County Fair returns Monday through Saturday, July 20-25

The DeKalb County Fair returns Monday through Saturday, July 20-25

With the theme "Country Scenes and Beauty Queens", this year's fair will feature another fun filled week of activities along with rides by the Family Attractions Amusement Company and new events including a Comedy Hypnotist Show, the Almost Anything Goes Game Show, and Omega Force Strongmen.

The catalog of premium rules for exhibit entries at the Kenneth Sandlin Center is now available. Just check out the 2015 Fair Catalog (PDF) for complete details. Download the 2015 DeKalb County Fair Rule Book at the link below.

Entry Dates and Times
*Non-Perishable Items ONLY will be taken in on Saturday, July 11 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Kenneth Sandlin Center
*Perishable Items ONLY will be taken in on Saturday, July 18 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Kenneth Sandlin Center

Entries are also being sought for the DeKalb County Fair's Decorated Hay Contest featuring three categories:
Decorated Round Bale
Decorated Square Bale
Decorated Display

Open to any youth or adult resident of DeKalb County

Hay can be entered Saturday July 18th - From 11:00 am till 2:00 pm

Hay bales may be decorated Saturday July 18th from 11 am till 2 pm & Sunday July 19th from 2 -4 pm

Decorations and Bales are to be removed on Sunday July 26th between 1- 3 pm

Meanwhile, the DeKalb County Fair 5K and Fun Run will be July 18. Registration begins at 6:30 pm at the Fair Office. The Run will start at 7:00 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. For more info. contact Matt Boss at number above. Proceeds will go to the Paislee's Foundation

Fair pageant applications are available for ages one day through 20. You may download applications from www.dekalbcountyfairtn.com.

Fair events each night are as follows:

Monday, July 20: Cattle Show at the Grandstand at 6:00 p.m.; Open Rodeo at the T.C. McMillen Arena at 7:00 p.m.; Junior Fair Princess Pageant for contestants ages 13-16 at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Fairest of the Fair Pageant for contestants ages 17 to 20 at the Lions Club Pavilion and (2- $500 cash drawings) at 9:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 21: Little Mr. and Miss Pageant for contestants ages 4-6 at 6:00 p.m. at the Lions Club Pavilion followed by a Comedy Hypnotist Show; Corn hole Contest at 7:00 p.m. at the Grandstand; Go-Cart Racing at 6:00 p.m. at the T.C. McMillen Arena and (2- $500 cash drawings) at 9:30 p.m.

Wednesday, July 22: WSMV-TV's Snowbird will greet fairgoers from 5-7 p.m. at the main gate; Little Miss Princess Pageant for contestants ages 7-9 at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Miss Sweetheart Pageant for those ages 10-12 at the Lions Club Pavilion; 4 Wheeler and Motorcycle Racing at 6:00 p.m. at the T.C. McMillen Arena; Kids Peddle Tractor Pull at the Grandstand at 7:00 p.m. ; and (2- $500 cash drawings) at 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 23: Junior Goat Show at 6:00 p.m. at the Tot Kelly Barn; Baby Show at 6:00 p.m. followed by The Almost Anything Goes Game Show at the Lions Club Pavilion; Omega Force Strongmen at 7:00 p.m. at the T.C. McMillen Arena; and (2- $500 cash drawings) at 9:30 p.m.

Friday, July 24: Toddler Show for contestants 13 months to 48 months at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Zone Status Band at the Lions Club Pavilion: ATV-Mini Road-Outlaws Pulling at 7:00 p.m. at the T.C. McMillen Arena; a Horse Show at 7:00 p.m. at the Grandstand; and (2- $500 cash drawings) at 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 25: Blind Draw Horseshoe Tournament at the Tot Kelly barn at Noon.; Gospel Singing at the Lions Club Pavilion at 6:00 p.m.; Super Tractor and Truck Pull at 7:00 p.m. at the T.C. McMillen Arena: and (2- $500 cash drawings) at 9:30 p.m.

Take a stroll down Memory Lane and enjoy nightly entertainment at the Memory Lane Stage in Memory Village.

Memory Lane Stage Events are as follows:

Monday Night July 20
6:30-7:30 pm —Muddy Water Band
7:45- UNTIL —Kitty Steadman

Tuesday Night July 21
6:30-7:00 pm—Reily Kelly
7:00-7:45 pm—Smithville Sugar Squares & DeKalb Dancing Delights
7:45-8:45 pm---Donnie Barthelemy

Wednesday Night July 22
6:30-7:30 pm—Kitty Steadman
7:45-8:45 pm— DCHS Cheerleaders

Thursday Night July 23
6:30-7:30 pm—Bryan Keith
7:45-8:45 pm— Terri Lynn Weaver

Friday Night July 24
6:30 - until— Karaoke Night
No Rap - Radio Edit Only
Max 1 Instrument or 2 Vocal Mikes and 2 Instruments Max.
7:45- UNTIL — Nokes Brothers

Saturday Night July 25
6:30-7:30 pm— Mid State Cloggers
7:45-8:45 pm— Evermean Evergreen Cloggers

Events subject to change without notice.

Rides on the Midway will be provided by the Family Attractions Amusement Company. Unlimited rides will be available for $15.00 on Monday night; $16.00 on Tuesday night; $14.00 on Wednesday and $18.00 on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Admission to the fair is $4.00 per person. Children age four and younger will be admitted free! Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. The exhibit building is open from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Parking is Free!

For more information, call 529-FAIR or visit on-line at www.dekalbcountyfairtn.com.

Children Enjoy Summer Reading Finale Party

June 27, 2015
Dwayne Page

Children participating in the summer reading club program at Justin Potter Library enjoyed a grand finale party on Monday, June 22

WJLE interviewed many of the children. Their comments were recorded. Play the video below

Sex Offender Gets Probation

June 27, 2015
Dwayne Page
Charles Henry Ward
Johnny Lynn Devault

A sex offender appeared in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Tuesday, June 23 .

Judge David Patterson presided.

58 year old Charles Henry Ward pled guilty by information to violating terms of the sex offender registry. He received a two year sentence all suspended to supervised probation except for 231 days of time served.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, October 27, 2014 Ward was found to be living in his vehicle in the parking lot of a church on Old Snow Hill Road, within one thousand feet of a child's athletic recreation center in violation of the sex offender registry law. According to Sheriff Ray, Ward committed the offense of second degree sexual assault in Texas on December 1, 1994 which resulted in him having to be included on the sex offender registry. Ward registered in DeKalb County on March 28, 2014.

Meanwhile, 32 year old Johnny Lynn Devault pled guilty to Kidnapping and two separate cases of aggravated assault. He received a four year sentence as a range one offender to be served on probation in each of the aggravated assault cases. The two terms are to run concurrently but consecutively with a four year TDOC sentence he got in the kidnapping case in which he is to serve one year and then be on probation. The combined total sentence is eight years. Devault was given 222 days of jail credit

Devault and three others were named in Grand Jury sealed indictments in December, 2013 for allegedly participating in the kidnapping and rape of a woman they thought stole money and Suboxone strips from them in October, 2013. The case was investigated by the Smithville Police Department.

In one of the aggravated assault cases, Sheriff Ray reports that on Friday, July 4, 2014 an officer was called to Devault's residence in response to a physical altercation in progress. Upon arrival, the deputy spoke with a woman who said she had been assaulted by her boyfriend, Devault. He allegedly strangled the woman, grabbing her by the throat and the back of the neck, and squeezing her face. The assault resulted in the woman having physical marks on parts of her body. After the assault, Devault left the scene prior to the officer's arrival.

53 year old Deborah Lynn Thistlethwaite, originally charged with driving under the influence and cited for possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia (pipe), pled guilty by information to public intoxication and received a thirty day sentence all suspended except for seventy two hours to serve. She will then be on good behavior probation. Smithville Police said that on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 an officer responded to a residence on West Main Street in reference to a possible DUI. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with Thistlethwaite who was in a vehicle. He detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from the automobile. As Thistlethwaite exited the vehicle, the officer smelled alcohol on her person. Her speech was slurred and she was unsteady on her feet. Thistlewaite submitted to and performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. While being placed under arrest, the officer found in Thistlewaite's right front pocket a small plastic bag containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana and a small metal pipe commonly used to smoke marijuana.

DeKalb Jobless Rate for May Jumps to 7.1%

June 26, 2015
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County's unemployment rate for May was 7.1%, up from 6.5% in April but below 7.9% in May, 2014.

The local labor force for May was 7,230. A total of 6,720 were employed and 520 were without work.

County unemployment rates for May show the rates increased in 92 counties, decreased in one county and remained the same in two

DeKalb County's Jobless Rate for May was fifth highest in the fourteen county Upper Cumberland region.

Here's how they rank from highest to lowest:
Clay: 8.8%
Van Buren: 8.1%
Pickett: 6.9%
White: 6.3%

Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate in May at 4.5 percent, up from 4.1 percent in April. Knox County was 4.7 percent in May, up from 4.3 the previous month. The Hamilton County May rate was 5.5 percent, up from 4.9 in April. Shelby County was 6.7 percent in May, up from 6.1 percent the previous month.

Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate for May was 5.8 percent, two-tenths of one percentage point lower than the April revised rate of 6.0 percent. The U.S. preliminary rate for May was 5.5 percent, one-tenth of one percentage point higher than the prior month.

The state and national unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted while the county unemployment rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series.

Mullinax Named Director of Emergency Department

June 26, 2015
Shan Burklow
Mullinax Named Director of Emergency Department

Brad Mullinax has been named the ED Director (Director of Emergency Department) by DeKalb Community Hospital. Mullinax has served as a vital part of DeKalb County serving as the Director of Information Technology at the DeKalb County Board of Education and is also the current Director of Emergency Communications at the DeKalb County 9-1-1 office. Mullinax spoke candidly about his new position when asked about his new role, “I truly enjoy the diversity and excitement of my new position. It feels good to help people every single day. Our patients are my number one priority,” Mullinax continues, “Every decision my department makes is about the patient. Everything is patient centered. It’s not about what’s best for the hospital, nurses, or doctors. Saving lives and taking care of our patients is what we are all about.”

“Brad is such an asset to our Emergency Department,” said Sue Conley – CEO of DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospital, “He knows how to communicate with his staff effectively and makes sure that our patients’ safety and care are at the center of each decision. His leadership and positive energy have brought our patient satisfaction scores even higher. DeKalb Community Hospital is currently number one in the nation for patient satisfaction.” (Healthstream data for first quarter among Capella facilities nation-wide)

“My husband recently had a serious health issue, and I was so glad to have such a wonderful emergency room so close to my home. Brad and his staff kept me informed and educated every step of the way,” said Shan Burklow – Marketing Director for DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospital, “When you are scared and uncertain, it is nice to know that there are people that care about you as a person, not just a room number. The long history of caring for our patients would not be possible if not for the dedicated core group of family care physicians, nurses, staff and great directors and leaders like Brad. The hospital is most fortunate to have more than 80 physicians on staff representing nearly every available specialty. This collaborative network of doctors comes from all across Middle Tennessee and makes it possible for them to provide extraordinary care in close proximity to their patients. We are happy to help our patients receive expert, compassionate care close to home. I tell everyone…why drive out of town when you can see the same specialist just a few miles from your home?”

DeKalb Community Hospital and Emergency Department is an active part of the Saint Thomas Stroke Network since 2013, meaning the hospital is now capable of treating and stabilizing patients who present with stroke symptoms 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Saint Thomas Stroke Network was introduced as an expansion of network services provided by the Saint Thomas Chest pain Network. For more information on hospital services and specialty clinic physicians, visit their website at www.dekalbcommunityhospital.com


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