Local News Articles

(UPDATED) Female Inmates Hospitalized After Swallowing Drugs Smuggled into the Jail

February 21, 2017
Dwayne Page
Trinity Kystrina Wildbur
 Amy Jeannette Lawson
Natalie Gail Barrett
Olivia Hope Barber
Kimberly Dawn Hunter
Bobby Jewell Wilson
Stephen Anthony Patterson

Three female prisoners were sent to the hospital Friday night and two of them were admitted after swallowing drugs that had been smuggled into the jail. One of the two inmates hospitalized had to be airlifted. All are now back in jail.


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_11.pdf (3.73 MB)

The women, who had apparently hidden the narcotics in their body cavities, consumed the drugs fearing they would be caught with them.

As a result of the investigation, a total of four prisoners have been charged with possession of contraband in a penal institution including 25 year old Trinity Kystrina Wildbur of Vine Street, Chattanooga; 39 year old Amy Jeannette Lawson of Haley Road, Smithville; 24 year old Natalie Gail Barrett of Miller Road, Smithville; and 20 year old Olivia Hope Barber of Forrest Avenue, Smithville.

Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE that the story began Friday night when the sheriff’s department received a tip that a female prisoner had drugs concealed in her when she entered the jail.

Acting on that information, Sheriff Ray said he ordered a surprise shakedown of the women’s main cell and the side cell where all the female inmates are kept. Their bunks and personal belongings were searched. Some drugs were found there. All the female prisoners were then removed from the main and side cells for women one at a time and taken to a bathroom where they were individually strip searched by a female correctional officer before being taken to a holding cell.

Apparently fearing they would be subject to a warrant for a body cavity search, three of the female inmates swallowed the drugs they had hidden in their bodies. All three were taken to the hospital after one of them began showing signs of intoxication. Two were hospitalized through Monday and the other was examined and sent back to the jail Friday night.

Sheriff Ray said that Wildbur was found to have meth in personal belongings on her jail cell bunk.

A glass looking substance believed to be meth was found in Lawson’s personal belongings along with a blue pill thought to be morphine and other unidentified pills.

In addition to the contraband offense, Barrett and Barber were charged with simple possession of a schedule II and V drug. According to Sheriff Ray, Barrett and Barber had on them a blue pill believed to be morphine and a white capsule pill thought to be Lyrica.

Bond for Wildbur and Lawson is $3,000 each and $4,500 for Barrett and Barber. All will appear in court on the charges March 2.

27 year old Kimberly Dawn Hunter of Short Mountain Highway is charged with filing a false report. Her bond is $5,000 and her court date is March 9. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, February 18 a deputy and other sheriff’s department officers and the Tennessee Highway Patrol went to the residence to serve an arrest warrant on Bobby J. Wilson but no one came to the door. Knowing that Wilson was there, officers forced their way in and found Hunter hiding in the bathroom. The officers asked Hunter several times where Wilson was hiding. She replied that he was not there. Wilson was subsequently found in the bathroom hiding under the sink in a cabinet. Hunter was placed under arrest for filing a false report.

26 year old Bobby Jewell Wilson of Evins Mill Road, Smithville is charged with failure to appear in General Sessions Court; illegal possession or carrying or possession of a weapon by a felon; and resisting stop, frisk, halt, arrest, or search. His bond on the charges totals $58,000 except for the failure to appear which is $40,000. His court date is March 9. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, February 18 officers went to a residence on Short Mountain Highway and took Wilson into custody on active failure to appear warrants. He was found hiding in a bathroom under a cabinet sink. While placing him under arrest, Wilson resisted by pulling his hands away from the deputy. As officers were conducting a protective sweep of the home, they found a Savage Sun City 12 gauge semi automatic shotgun under the bathtub in the space of a bedroom where Wilson was known to be staying. Wilson is a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing a weapon.

38 year old Stephen Anthony Patterson of Sparta Highway, Smithville is charged with a third offense of driving under the influence, driving while in possession of methamphetamine, sale or process of methamphetamine, possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, and possession of contraband in a penal institution. He was further cited for failure to maintain his lane of travel and for stopping, standing or parking in a prohibited place. His bond is $21,000 and his court date is March 9. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, February 19 a deputy responded to the intersection of Curtis Road and Sparta Highway due to a vehicle which was found setting at a stop sign for a long period of time. The deputy came upon the scene and saw the driver pulling out on Sparta Highway heading east before crossing over into the oncoming lane of travel. The vehicle eventually stopped at a residence on Sparta Highway. The officer approached the vehicle and made contact with the driver, Patterson who was slumped over in the vehicle . His eyes were bloodshot and he appeared to be under the influence. Patterson performed poorly on field sobriety tasks and was placed under arrest. While conducting a search of Patterson, the deputy found in his right front pocket a baggie in a metal container which held 0.93 grams of methamphetamine which field tested positive. The container also held 43 ½ xanax pills. The officer also found and recovered $467 in cash on Patterson’s person. After Patterson was transported to the jail for booking, a correctional officer found a black baggie in Patterson’s hoodie pocket which held 99 plus two halves more of xanax pills.

UCHRA Van Driver Injured in Rear End Collision

February 21, 2017
Dwayne Page
UCHRA Van Driver Injured in Rear End Collision
Chevy Silverado pickup truck, driven by 54 year old Jeffery Cantrell

The driver of a UCHRA van was injured in a rear end collision today (Tuesday) on Highway 56 south (McMinnville Highway).

Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol said that 61 year old Jay Young of Smithville was driving the Ford van traveling north when he slowed for another automobile in front of him which was preparing to make a left turn onto Whorton Springs Road. The van was rear ended by a Chevy Silverado pickup truck, driven by 54 year old Jeffery Cantrell of Smithville who was following behind and failed to stop in time.

According to Trooper Johnson, Young was taken by DeKalb EMS to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital. Cantrell was not injured. There were no passengers aboard the van at the time of the accident. Cantrell was cited for failure to exercise due care.

Smithville Police Investigate Midnight Rollover Crash

February 21, 2017
Dwayne Page
Smithville Police Investigate Midnight Rollover Crash on Juniper Lane
One Man Injured in Midnight Wreck on Juniper Lane

One man was injured after a roll over crash just after midnight this morning (Tuesday) on Juniper Lane in Smithville.

Central dispatch received the call at 12:34 a.m.

The driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed overturning and coming to rest in the street on Juniper Lane. The accident was investigated by the Smithville Police Department.

Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department and DeKalb EMS were also on the scene.

The name of the driver was unavailable

TDOT Announces Bid Letting Results for DeKalb County

February 21, 2017
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has released the apparent low bidders for projects affecting DeKalb County from the bid letting on Friday, February 3.

Hudson Construction Company was the lowest bidder at $1,892,187 for the resurfacing (microsurfacing) on State Route 26 from east of State Route 96 to the Dowelltown City Limits and on State Route 96 from the Wilson County line to Center Hill Dam

Superior Traffic Control, Inc. at $99,648 and Highway Markings, Inc. at $111,528 were the lowest bidders on the miscellaneous safety improvements on U.S. 70 (State Route 96) from west of the DeKalb County line in Wilson County to near State Route 96 in DeKalb County.

Three contractors had bids for the mowing on various state routes in DeKalb and other counties including Salazar Contracting, LLC at $297,732, Dillard Farms at $305,994, and Swartz Mowing, Inc at $313,888.

The contract to repair the Veterans Memorial Bridge on South College Street over Highway 70 may go to Mid-State Construction Company, Inc. Mid-State had the apparent lowest bid at $238,600.58.

Early Morning Fire Destroys Home on Magness Road (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

February 20, 2017
Dwayne Page
Early Morning Fire Destroys Home on Magness Road

A fire destroyed a residence at 238 Magness Road this morning (Monday) off Highway 56 South (McMinnville Highway).

Central dispatch received the call at 3:57 a.m.

County Fire Chief Donny Green said members of the Main Station, Keltonburg, Blue Springs, and Belk Stations responded but the fire was well underway by the time it was spotted and reported and the home could not be saved.

According to Chief Green, the house belongs to Chad Hale. No one was home at the time of the fire and there were no injuries. The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Two White County Teens Injured in Rollover Crash

February 19, 2017
Dwayne Page
Two White County Teens Injured in Rollover Crash on Bright Hill Road
Two 16 Year Old Girls Injured in Saturday Crash

Two teenage girls from White County were treated and released from the hospital Saturday after a one vehicle roll over on Bright Hill Road.

Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that the two 16 year old girls, one from Sparta and the other from Doyle were traveling west on Bright Hill Road in a 2003 Sierra pickup when they lost control in a curve, rotated, and slid sideways off the right shoulder. The truck hit an earthen embankment and overturned on the passenger side.

Both teens were taken by DeKalb EMS to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital. The names were not made available because they are juveniles.

DCHS Climate Crew Hosts "Tiger Boutique" for Students in Need of Clothing

February 19, 2017
Dwayne Page
DCHS Students Shopping at "Tiger Boutique"
Students at DCHS checking out the "Tiger Boutique"

Students in need of clothing at DCHS will be treated the first week of March during the second “Tiger Boutique” organized by the Climate Crew.

Members of the Climate Crew will be collecting donations of name brand clothes and setting up shop for one day only in the DCHS library for other students to take advantage of for free.

“Last fall we gave away 1,600 items of clothing and shoes to students in need at the high school. We need donations once again including gently used clothing without any odors, stains, or tears. Our boutique will be held at the high school the first week of March. We are accepting donations in the DCHS library. We especially need prom dresses, accessories, jewelry, and spring clothing for girls who can’t afford a dress,” said DCHS Librarian Lisa Craig.

The DCHS Climate Crew is made up of students who have a desire to change the school culture at DCHS. “We want to do a lot of good things for kids because there is so much negativity in this world and we just want to help change lives,” Craig concluded.

Youth Substance Use Declining in Tennessee

February 19, 2017

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) is proud to announce that youth substance use trends are declining in Tennessee according to a new report from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration. (Source: SAMHSA Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2006-2008; 2008-2010; 2010-2012; and 2012-2014).

“It is very encouraging to see that in all substance use areas our young people are using substances less; this means prevention efforts are working,” said Marie Williams, TDMHSAS Commissioner. “Youth substance use can take a tremendous toll on individuals, families, and communities. Most Tennesseans know someone’s family who has been impacted by the unfortunate reality of adolescent substance use. For those that have struggled with, been impacted by youth substance use, or been part of the prevention efforts, these new indicators give us hope.”

Substance use declined among Tennessee youth from 2004-2006 to 2012-2014:

·Illicit drug use dropped from 6% to 3%

·Alcohol use declined from 14% to 10%

·Misuse of pain relievers dropped from 9% to 5%

·Cigarette use declined from 13% to 7%

Tennessee’s youth substance use trends have been decreasing at a faster rate than the national average. Tennessee youth illicit drug use has declined and is now at or below the national average. Fewer Tennessee youth (6%) used marijuana in the past month than compared to the United States youth (7%). The full report outlines many positive trends in Tennessee related to youth substance use.

“The Department places an emphasis on education, prevention, treatment and early intervention efforts directed specifically at Tennessee youth,” said Rodney Bragg, TDMHSAS Assistant Commissioner of Substance Abuse Services. “The earlier we can identify and engage youth that are more susceptible to substance use, the more effective our efforts will be.”

“The fact that these key substance use indicators are declining among our youth in Tennessee provides great hope for the future of our State,” said Commissioner Williams. “Our hope is that the culture is changing in Tennessee and that we will also see a decrease in adult substance use trends in the future as well.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder, call Tennessee REDLINE (1-800-889-9789) or visit http://www.samhsa.gov/find-help.

No Protests at State Lawmakers Open Meeting

February 17, 2017
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver and State Senator Mae Beavers at Smithville Town Hall Meeting Friday on Governor's Proposed Gas Tax Hike
State Representative Mark Pody at Smithville Town Hall Meeting Friday on Governor's Proposed Gas Tax Hike
Good Crowd but no Protests at Friday's Town Hall Meeting in Smithville by State Lawmakers Terri Lynn Weaver, Mark Pody, and Mae Beavers
State troopers lined up after meeting so lawmakers could get to their vehicles without hassle

Under tight security, state lawmakers held a public meeting here Friday to discuss the governor’s proposed gas tax increase. And while the meeting went off without shouts of protests and signs, the crowd was mixed in their views on the topic.

Earlier in the week State Senator Mae Beavers and Rep. Mark Pody held a news conference at Legislative Plaza on bills unrelated to the gas tax and were interrupted by protesters and followed out of the event, resulting in Rep. Pody having to be escorted by troopers to the parking lot.

Due to that event in Nashville, coupled with a reported “call to action” via social media, there was heavy speculation protesters would try to disrupt the meeting in DeKalb County. One reported social media post encouraging a turnout in Smithville stated, “If you bring signs it’s probably best to conceal them until you get inside”

Over a dozen uniformed State Troopers, Sheriff’s deputies and Smithville police officers lined the meeting room at the County Complex and then the Troopers lined an exit from the building after lawmakers concluded the meeting. In the end, no one was shouted down and no signs appeared openly in the meeting room.

Beavers, Pody and State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver told the audience they believed there were other ways to fund the state’s transportation department without raising the gasoline tax, as proposed by Governor Bill Haslam. That proposal also calls for the tax to be tied to the Consumer Price Index in future years.

“I think the most egregious part of the proposal is that it is tied to the Consumer Price Index and the legislature will not have to vote to raise the tax (in the future),” said Senator Beavers. “There are other plans out there”

“People are telling me in emails we are taxed enough,” said Weaver. “I think it would be unconscionable to ask people to ante up (more tax money) when we (the state) have a large surplus” in the general fund.

“There are numerous plans out there, but the one I like is one that would take .25 cents of the state sales tax and designate that only for transportation,” she added.

Rep. Pody made it clear there would be numerous plans to consider in the coming weeks and that his goal was to provide a consistent source of revenue for the department so that local governments could count on future funding.

Many local Democrats attended the meeting and made it clear they were in favor of the tax hike. Republican members of the audience voiced the opposing view.

When lawmakers asked for a show of hands of “for” and “against,” the crowd was almost evenly divided.

The lawmakers assured the audience they would consider their views as they prepare to vote on various pieces of legislation relating to the tax hike.

Fred's Pharmacy Closing

February 17, 2017
 Fred's Pharmacy in Smithville to close February 21

A local pharmacy is closing its doors next week. Fred's Pharmacy will close February 21 and prescriptions have been transferred to another business.

In a recent letter to Fred's customers, Walmart actually announced the Fred's closing and said that records would be available at the Walmart Pharmacy at 515 West Broad Street in Smithville.

It was also stated in the letter that Walmart is committed to making a smooth transition for the former Fred's customers.


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