Local News Articles

County to Re-Bid Four Seasons Fire Hall Project

April 24, 2018
Dwayne Page

Too High!

Construction of a new fire hall in the Four Seasons Community will have to wait a while longer after the County Commission Monday night voted to re-bid the project concluding that the two bids received were too high.

Bids were opened for the fire hall on March 29 and two were received including one for $284,000 from Preston Brothers of Woodbury (minus $11,000 if the county put the gravel on the parking lot) and $197,000 from FTM Contracting of Cookeville (deductive alternate of $2,400).

Members of the county budget committee met April 9 and voted 4 to 1 to recommend to the county commission that the project move forward with the lowest bidder and that it be funded using $100,000 already allocated for the fire hall plus an additional $100,000 from the capital projects fund which has $588,000 in available money from the unrestricted fund balance account.

“I think those bids are way high. I have done some research and talked to three contractors and they have all told me the same thing. I even called a company and their bid (not turnkey) to do the building, the slab, do the insulation, and the doors is $32,768. I think we could save the county a lot of money if we re-bid this. I just believe it is out of line. The way they have it on the low bid figures at $90 per square foot. I just think it’s too high,” said 2nd District Commissioner Jimmy Midgett.

According to County Mayor Tim Stribling, plans call for the fire hall to be 40’ x 55’ in size consisting of two bays, a restroom, shower, and a small meeting room. He said while the plans do not include any frills it will be a turnkey project with all the work including construction, concrete pad, septic tank, etc all to be done under one contract.

Midgett made a motion that the project be re-bid. All members present voted in favor of Midgett’s motion.

Plans are to advertise for new bids as early as next week with a projected bid opening date of May 24 and then to present the recommended bid to the county commission for final approval by the next monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 29 after Memorial Day.

A new fire station at Four Seasons would be the 12th station in the county operated by the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department. The other fire halls are on Short Mountain Highway, Midway Community, Belk, Keltonburg, Cookeville Highway, Austin Bottom Community, Liberty, Temperance Hall, Main Station, Johnson Chapel, and Blue Springs.

In other business, three members of the DeKalb County Beer Board were re-appointed to new two year terms and one new member has been named to fill a vacancy.

The County Commission Monday night approved the reappointment of Beer Board members Myron Rhody in the 2nd District, Robert Rowe in the 4th District, and Leonard Dickens in the 6th District. A new member, John Hummer will succeed Rhonda Caplinger in the 5th District. She recently resigned after having moved out of the 5th District. Hummer will serve out the remaining year of Caplinger’s term and will be up for reappointment to a two year term next year.

In 2016, the commission voted to set terms for members of the beer board. All seven members serve as appointees and the terms are staggered with the 1st, 3rd, 5th, & 7th district positions being appointed in odd years. The 2nd, 4th, & 6th district seats are filled in even years. The beer board is to re-organize (name officers) every year.

Members of the beer board are Jim Stagi in the 1st district, Myron Rhody in the 2nd district, Edward Frazier in the 3rd district, Robert Rowe in the 4th district, John Hummer in the 5th district, Leonard Dickens in the 6th district, and Johnny King in the 7th district.

Man Charged with Trespassing on Neighbors' Property

April 23, 2018
Dwayne Page
Brian Edward Clark
Hadley Anne Tucker
Jennifer Nicole Harvey
Vickie Lenae Alvis
Amy Renee Ford

A man has been charged with aggravated criminal trespassing after allegedly entering the home of his neighbors without permission.

38 year old Brian Edward Clark of Patterson Road, Smithville is under a $5,000 bond and his court date is May 2. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Sunday, April 22 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Patterson Road due to a suspicious person. Upon arrival he spoke with two women who reported that their neighbor, Clark entered their residence without permission. Clark was found at another home on Patterson Road and placed under arrest.

23 year old Taylor Nicole Hensley of Floyd Drive, Smithville was cited for simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance after detectives conducted a probation search of her at a residence on Lee Homer Road, Smithville Friday, April 13 and found 0.01 gram of a substance believed to be methamphetamine. Her court date is April 26.

20 year old Hadley Anne Tucker of South Rutherford Boulevard, Murfreesboro is charged with no drivers license and cited for expired registration, no insurance, and violation of the light law. Her bond is $3,000 and her court date is May 3. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, April 17 while traveling on Highway 70 a deputy spotted a vehicle with a light not working and conducted a traffic stop. He spoke to the driver, Tucker who produced an identification only issued by the state. Tucker said she did not have a driver license and that she had been in trouble before for the same offense. A computer check verified that she had no license. Her registration expired on May 30, 2017.

33 year old Jennifer Nicole Harvey of Nashville Highway, Dowelltown is charged with domestic assault. Her bond is $2,500 and she will be in court on May 3. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, April 17 a deputy was dispatched to a residence and upon arrival spoke to a man who said his wife, Harvey had grabbed his cell phone from his hand while he was trying to record her yelling at him. As he tried to get the phone back from her, she threw it across the room causing physical contact between them which he found extremely offensive and provocative.

46 year old Vickie Lenae Alvis of High Street, Alexandria is charged with a 3rd offense of driving under the influence and a 4th offense of driving on a revoked license. Alvis’ bond is $10,000 and her court date is May 3. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, April 18 a detective was traveling east on Highway 70 when he spotted a vehicle in front of him cross over several times into the opposite lane of travel. The officer conducted a traffic stop and spoke with the driver, Alvis. He smelled the odor of alcohol on her person and noticed an open beer in the vehicle. Alvis performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. She also submitted to a blood test. Her prior DUI offenses were in 2011 and 2013. A computer check revealed that her license were revoked for a DUI in 2013 and that she had prior driving on revoked charges against her in 2013, 2014, and 2015.

39 year old Amy Renee Ford of Chumbley Hollow Road, Watertown is charged with assault. Ford’s bond is $3,000 and her court date is May 10. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, April 20 a correctional officer heard shouting coming from the cell where the females are housed at the jail and went to investigate. The officer witnessed Ford hitting another female inmate in the face several times with an open hand. Ford was determined to have been the primary aggressor and was arrested for assault.

Public meeting set for Center Hill Dam Modification Study

April 23, 2018

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District is hosting a public scoping meeting 6-8 p.m. Thursday, May 3, 2018 at the Buffalo Valley Community Center to present information to the public regarding a current Dam Safety Modification Study (DSMS) to further reduce risk at Center Hill Dam. The center is located at 2717 Buffalo Valley School Road, Buffalo Valley, Tenn.

Since 2008 the Nashville District has worked to reduce risk at Center Hill Dam from a foundation seepage issue.

“More recently, however, operability issues have been identified with the 70-year old main dam spillway gates that add project risk during a large flood event” said Corps Project Manager, Linda Adcock.

In the early 1990’s a self-eroding structure called a ‘fuse plug’ was built into the top of the saddle dam to add the ability to safely pass a rare, extreme flood downstream.

“If the main dam spillway gates don’t operate as intended, the fuse plug on the saddle dam could operate at a smaller flood than intended,” Adcock added.

Currently, risk of this occurrence is higher than the Corps deems acceptable. A study is underway to evaluate spillway gate repair alternatives and potential changes to standard gate operations during a large flood. Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, the Corps of Engineers is initiating scoping and preparing a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to support the DSMS. The study will produce a recommended plan to reduce potential project risk. The Corps seeks public input on the array of alternatives being considered.

Examples of measures, either individually or in combination, that have potential to affect structures or operations of the dam may include:

a) Replacement of the current gate machinery with hydraulic machinery that can operate under water;

b) Addition of equipment to the current spillway gates to keep them open if the operating machinery is underwater;

c) Modification of the spillway gates or gate machinery to allow operation from the top of the dam;

d) Relocation of the gate operating machinery to the road level, which would require raising or relocating Highway 96 that crosses over the dam;

e) Modification of the emergency operations plan in the water control manual that determines how to manage floods at Center Hill Dam; and

f) Other measures as identified by on-going engineering studies, the public, and agencies.

The announcement seeking public input is located on the Federal Register at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/04/20/2018-08291/intent-t.... This announcement includes information on how to provide comments to the Corps of Engineers regarding this study.

To read more on the dam safety project, visit the Nashville District webpage at http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/Missions/Current-Projects/Construction/Cen... . For more information about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District, visit the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and http://www.facebook.com/centerhilllake , and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.

Car Hits Entrance to Post Office Building

April 23, 2018
Dwayne Page
Car Hits Entrance to Post Office Building

An accident at the Smithville Post Office Monday morning caused some damage to the front entrance but no one was injured.

According to Smithville Police, 77 year old Marilynn Shea was pulling up to park at the post office in a 2008 Hyundai Accent and attempted to apply the brake when she accidentally stepped on the accelerator pedal causing the car to hit the front of the post office building.

Shea was not hurt.

After the accident, a sign was posted on the front door directing patrons to a side entrance to the building.

Luke Willoughby Passes Tennessee Bar Exam

April 22, 2018
Dwayne Page
Luke Willoughby of Alexandria took the oath Thursday, April 19 administered by Circuit Court Judge Randy Kennedy of the 20th Judicial District.

A DeKalb County man is beginning his law practice after recently passing the Tennessee Bar Exam.

Luke Willoughby of Alexandria took the oath Thursday, April 19 administered by Circuit Court Judge Randy Kennedy of the 20th Judicial District.

Willoughby, a lifelong resident of DeKalb County, is the son of Mark and Marilyn Willoughby of Alexandria. He graduated from DeKalb County High School in 2009 and furthered his education at Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City. After graduating in 2013, Willoughby attended the Nashville School of Law where he earned his Doctorate of Jurisprudence.

He will be associated with attorneys Michael Castellarin, Chris Hofstetter, and Michelle Poss in Nashville at 95 White Bridge Road, Suite 509.

“I am very honored to be associating with such well regarded attorneys. All three of them are top notch in their respective fields. Working with Michelle has been a wonderful experience especially with us both being from DeKalb County. She is a 1987 graduate of DeKalb County High School and I have worked with her throughout law school over the past 4 years. Even though our practice is based in Nashville we would both love to assist the folks of DeKalb County with their legal matters,” said Willoughby.

“Becoming a lawyer is an exciting time in my life, but I could not have made if it were not for others who helped me out along the way. Both the DeKalb County 4-H program and FBLA at DeKalb County High School shaped me into the person I am today. I am very thankful that Ron Rogers, Steve Officer and Amanda Brown saw that a loud mouth kid from Alexandria needed to compete in public speaking contests. It is because of them I found my passion for advocating for people and their rights,” he concluded.

Alexandria Mayor and Challenger to Run Write-In Campaign

April 22, 2018
Dwayne Page

Two persons have filed the necessary paperwork to run as a write-in candidate for Mayor of Alexandria in the Municipal Election on Thursday, August 2.

Incumbent Mayor Bennett Armstrong will be a write-in candidate for re-election but he will face a challenge from write-in candidate Donna Davis.

No one qualified by the April 5 filing date to get their name on the ballot to run for Mayor.

Meanwhile only one candidate qualified to run for alderman in Alexandria, Lloyd Dyer. Three full term alderman seats are to be filled along with two unexpired vacant alderman positions in the August 2 election.

“In order for write-in ballots to be counted, a form must be filed no later than noon on the 50th day before the election with the local election commission office,” said Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley.

DeKalb Jail Again Meets Minimum Standards for Certification

April 22, 2018
Dwayne Page
The DeKalb County Jail and Jail Annex have again met minimum standards for certification by the Tennessee Corrections Institute.

The DeKalb County Jail and Jail Annex have again met minimum standards for certification by the Tennessee Corrections Institute.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said the TCI recently performed an inspection of the Jail and the Annex.


News Release.pdf (457.99 KB)

In a letter to Sheriff Ray, TCI Executive Director Beth Ashe, wrote " the TCI recently inspected the facilities. The inspection revealed that this facility meets all applicable minimum standards. This status shall be reported to the board of control at its next meeting. After approval from the board of control, you will receive a certificate of certification. You are to be congratulated for attaining this degree of professionalism in your organization," wrote Ashe.

Detention Facility Specialist Joe Ferguson, in the report wrote that the jail was not overcrowded and no deficiencies were found.

The DeKalb County Jail and Annex have a certified capacity of 102 beds including 78 for men and 24 for women. The average daily population is 91 (3 months). There were 70 inmates incarcerated on the day of the inspection.

Sheriff Ray says the jail has maintained certification each year of his terms as sheriff and he gives credit to members of his staff for helping him achieve this accomplishment.

Turnout Light For Early Voting with One Day Left

April 22, 2018
Dwayne Page

Turnout for early voting has been light so far for the DeKalb County Democratic Primary compared to four years ago.

As of Wednesday, April 25, a total of 968 people have cast ballots during the first 13 days of early voting with one day left. On Wednesday, 90 voted including 88 in person and 2 by absentee. Four years ago a total of 1,612 voted either during the 14 day early voting period or by absentee for the election and 1,701 cast ballots on election day for a total turnout of 3,313 in the 2014 May Democratic Primary.

This year voters are making their choices as to who will represent the Democratic party as nominees in the August General Election for the offices of Road Supervisor, County Mayor, Circuit Court Clerk, Sheriff, Register of Deeds, County Clerk, and for the county commission in each of the seven districts. There is no Democratic candidate for Trustee.

The primary will feature two county wide contested races for County Mayor and Circuit Court Clerk. There are four contested county commission district primary races including in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 7th districts.

Early voting runs through April 26 on the first floor of the DeKalb County Courthouse

Early voting days and times are as follows:
Wednesday—9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thursday—2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Election day voting at all 15 precincts in the county will be from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1.

WJLE will have exclusive LIVE coverage of the local election returns starting at 7 p.m. on AM 1480/FM 101.7 and LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com.

Evins and Colwell Win Most Coveted DCHS Basketball Awards, Evans Named MVC

April 21, 2018
Dwayne Page
2018 DCHS Basketball Most Valuable Cheerleader Hannah Evans and Most Valuable Basketball Players Marshal Evins and Emme Colwell
DCHS Tiger Basketball Award Winners: Nathan Atkins, Marshal Evins (MVP), Tanner Poss, Colter Norris, Dallas Cook, Alan Munoz, Trey Jones, and Austin Johnson
DCHS Lady Tiger Basketball Award Winners: Kenzie France, Mya Ruch, Lydia Brown, Emme Colwell (MVP), Megan Walker, Maddison Parsley, Sophie Cripps, and Mallori Hart.
DCHS Basketball Cheerleader Award Winners: Holly Evans, Amelia Patterson, Malia Stanley, Hannah Evans (MVC), Olivia Winter, Zoe Maynard, and Madison Mick

Senior Marshal Evins was named the DCHS Tiger basketball Most Valuable Player Friday night at the annual team banquet, while sophomore Emme Colwell received the Lady Tiger MVP honor. Senior Hannah Evans is the Most Valuable Cheerleader. The awards were sponsored by Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. The MVP and MVC awards are named in memory of Allen D. Hooper.

In addition to being named MVP, Evins received the team's Best Defender, Hustle, and Smartest Player award. He was also named to District 8AA All Defensive Team and made 3rd team All-District. Colwell was named Best Shooter for the Lady Tigers, made the 2nd Team All-District and was named the District’s Most Improved Player in addition to the Team MVP honor.

The season for the DeKalb County Tigers ended with a loss to Watertown in the District 8AA Tournament at Cookeville. The Tigers finished with an overall record of 13-14. The DeKalb County Lady Tigers wrapped up their season losing to Cumberland County in the Region 4AA basketball tournament. They closed out the campaign with a record of 12-19.

Other individual cheerleading awards included:
MVC: Hannah Evans
Most Spirited: Olivia Winter
Best Stunts: Zoe Maynard
Best Jumps: Malia Stanley
Best Dancer: Holly Evans
Best Cheer: Amelia Patterson
STAR Award (Spirit, Team, Attitude, Respect): Madison Mick

Other Lady Tiger basketball awards were as follows:
MVP: Emme Colwell
Best Shooter: Emme Colwell
Best Defensive Player: Mya Ruch
Best 6th Man: Mallori Hart
Best Free Throw Shooter: Lydia Brown
Smartest Player: Maddison Parsley
Best Rebounder: Megan Walker
Most Improved: Kenzie France
Best Passer: Maddison Parsley
Best Ball Handler: Mya Ruch
Best Practice Player: Mallori Hart
Best Attitude: Sophie Cripps
Best Athlete: Mya Ruch
Toughest Player: Megan Walker
Mya Ruch also earned a spot on the District 8AA’s All Defensive Team and she received All District Honorable Mention
Lydia Brown also received All-District Honorable Mention.

For the Tigers,
MVP: Marshal Evins
Best Offensive Player: Tanner Poss
Best Defensive Player: Marshal Evins
Best Athlete: Tanner Poss
Best Rebounder: Trey Jones
Most Improved: Dallas Cook
Best Free Throw Shooter: Colter Norris
Best Ball Handler: Colter Norris
Smartest Player: Marshal Evins
Best Practice Player: Alan Munoz
Hustle Award: Marshal Evins
Best Passer: Colter Norris
Best Sixth Man: Austin Johnson
Best Attitude: Trey Jones
Best Playmaker: Nathan Atkins
Tanner Poss was named to the 1st Team All-District 8AA.
Marshal Evins was selected to the All District Defensive Team and made the 3rd Team All-District.
Trey Jones earned All District Honorable Mention.

DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Set for April 28

April 20, 2018
DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Set for April 28
Lisa Cripps, local Coordinator of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is set for Saturday, April 28th. As part of this major health and safety initiative, the DeKalb Prevention Coalition will host this take-back event at Smithville City Hall around the Town Square from 10am till 2pm.

According to the DEA’s Atlanta Division, formerly Tennessee’s field division, a record 34 tons (68,053 pounds) of drugs were collected in Tennessee during the October 2017 Take-Back Day. On that one day, Tennesseans turned in more drugs than Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio combined.

“Fifty-three percent of Americans who use prescription drugs recreationally got them from a friend or relative according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention,” said Lisa Cripps, local Coordinator of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition. “Take-Back Days are a safe and easy way to protect your loved ones and to get these drugs out of your home.”

“With 64 percent of Tennesseans’ knowing someone who has become addicted to prescription pain medication, we want to provide more opportunities for people to safely dispose of their medications,” said Dr. Andrea Willis, senior vice president and chief medical officer at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. “National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day occurs twice a year, so we can better prevent these addictive drugs from getting into the wrong hands.”

If you can’t make it to this take-back event, our county has two drop boxes in the following locations: City Hall in Alexandria and City Hall in Smithville.

We hope to see you on Saturday, April 28th from 10am -2pm to help you dispose of any unused, out of date, or unwanted medication. We will have FREE t-shirts, pens, and lock boxes for those bringing medication to this event.

Thank you for your continued support of Count It! Lock It! Drop It!


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