Local News Articles

Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital Installs Digital Microscope

November 30, 2016
Laboratory Director Kevin Adcock with Microscope

Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital now has a technology most regional hospitals in smaller towns don’t: a digital microscope. In prior years, the hospital lab used an optical microscope to process cell samples.

“We are so excited that Saint Thomas Health made funds available for this and other technology improvements that we have so desperately needed,” said Laboratory Director Kevin Adcock. “The digital microscope gives us the ability to capture images of abnormal cells, save the images and email them immediately to a board-certified hematologist or pathologist for screening and report. We see a lot of patients here who are undergoing cancer treatment because we have an oncologist on site weekly. Before, with the optical microscope, we couldn’t save the images, and each of our lab technologists could only see one field at a time. Now, we have more eyes on each slide in our lab, and we have the ability to immediately email the sample to our board-certified pathologist or board-certified hematologist, and receive an immediate response.” Saint Thomas Health is a part of Ascension, the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system.

Adcock says the end result is the sample finding is much more accurate, and the quick turnaround time means disease processes can be arrested at an earlier stage and treatment can begin sooner.

“Under the old system, we identified abnormal cells, created extra slides, sent them by courier to our pathologist in another city, and were often looking at a 72-hour turnaround time,” he added. “Now, as soon as we email the samples, we follow up with a phone call to get a verbal report.”

Adcock says all lab personnel are trained to use the new microscope and the new process is “working great,” he said. Recently, a patient was hospitalized, and cell samples were sent to the lab for review with the new digital microscope. “We identified an abnormal cell which can indicate a disease process related to sepsis,” Adcock said. “We captured the image digitally, emailed it to our pathologist, and had an affirmative answer in five minutes. We immediately were able to report the results to the patient’s physician so the seriousness of the patient’s condition could be gauged and treatment could be initiated. There was no lag time in the whole process.”

Dr. Meiklejohn McKenzie, a board-certified pathologist in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, said: Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital’s laboratory is “one of the few community hospitals in the region with digital imaging capabilities. Such technology is unique for a facility of this size. Our lab’s digital imaging will allow our medical technologists to rapidly transmit images of abnormal blood cells to our pathologists for further interpretation. This will significantly decrease turnaround time for these laboratory tests and result in more accurate results as well as more rapid treatment for patients with hematologic disorders.”

Farm Service Agency County Committee Election Underway

November 30, 2016
Donny Green

The 2016 FSA County Committee Election is underway as ballots were mailed to eligible voters in Local Administrative Area (LAA) # 3 of DeKalb County on November 7th.
A change to this year's election schedule has been made because the 2016 County Committee Election Ballots were not mailed to inactive customers, or customers who indicated they do not wish to receive mail. However, it has now been determined that ballots will be mailed to all eligible voters; regardless of their inactive or "do not mail" status.

As a result, December 13, 2016 will be the last day to vote.
Donny Green, County Executive Director, says that in LAA # 3 (DeKalb Co.), R.V. Billings, Jr. has been certified as an eligible candidate and his name will appear on the ballot. R.V. operates a beef cattle farm in the Johnson's Chapel Community, served as the former County Executive Director of the DeKalb County ASCS/FSA, serves on the DeKalb County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, and has served in his current position on the county committee since 2014.

Write-in candidates can be accepted on ballots. However, the write-in candidate must meet eligibility criteria and attest to his or her willingness to serve, if elected, by signing a nominating petition. Agricultural producers were encouraged to submit candidate names during the nomination period held last summer.

The FSA county committee system is unique among government agencies, because it allows producers to make important decisions concerning the local administration of federal farm programs. All eligible farmers and ranchers, especially minorities and women, are encouraged to get involved and make a real difference in their communities by voting in this year's elections.

To be an eligible voter, farmers and ranchers must participate or cooperate in FSA programs. A person who is not of legal voting age, but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm, can also vote.
Eligible voters in DeKalb County LAA # 3 who did not receive a ballot can obtain a ballot at their local USDA Service Center. December 13, 2016 is the last day for voters to submit ballots in person to local USDA Service Centers. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than December 13, 2016. The DeKalb/Cannon FSA County Committee will meet on December 20, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. to canvass and tabulate the ballots. This meeting is open to the public. The newly elected committee member and alternates take office January 1st, 2017.

County Clerk Office to Offer New Service

November 30, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Clerk James L. "Jimmy" Poss

Anyone wishing to renew boat registrations or to purchase hunting and fishing license through the county clerk’s office will now have that opportunity.

Thanks to the TWRA’s Tennessee R.E.A.L. system, persons may make transactions electronically over the internet.

“Since beginning as County Clerk, our office has received numerous requests for watercraft vessel renewals and to purchase Hunting & Fishing license. On Monday October 31, 2016, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency launched a new system called Tennessee R. E A. L. This system will operate directly through the internet; from the same computer we currently perform all other transactions,” said County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss.

“In recent conversations with TWRA and fellow clerks this new method is expected to be more efficient and user friendly from the previous method. Although this service isn’t mandated it does provide a convenient service for many while generating income to the county. However, Due to DeKalb County closing its previous account in June 2011 we were not be eligible to provide this service until now” Poss continued.

“I coordinated with TWRA in order to reestablish a new entity ID number. Also, our software provider has completed adjustments for receipting and transferring funds electronically. When adding any new service to an already concern of staffing it’s not as appealing or without concern. However; in attempt to offer this convenience I’m willing to make the effort with optimism and a desire to provide this service. We’ve met requirements in full, have received our entity ID and are ready to begin processing December 1, 2016,” Poss concluded.

DCHS Football Stepping Up to Class 4A

November 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
DCHS Tiger Football Coach Steve Trapp

DeKalb County High School Football is stepping up a class next year going from Class 3A to 4A.

Enrollments for Class 4A are from 822 to 1,102. The DCHS enrollment is 856.

DeKalb County will be part of the new five team Region 3 Class 4A which will also include Macon County, Livingston Academy, Stone Memorial, and Cumberland County.

“It’s changed a lot. We’ve been in Class 3A the last few years but now we’re in Class 4A. We’re in a smaller region but we’re with some familiar teams. Really our schedule just flip flopped in that our old region opponents are now our non region games and the teams we were playing as non-region opponents are now region like Stone Memorial, Macon County, and Cumberland County. A new team is Livingston Academy which is really not new but we haven’t played them in the last couple of years. Its only a five team region and the top four teams will go to the state play-offs but its going to be a quality region,” Tiger Coach Steve Trapp told WJLE.

For the last few years, DeKalb County has been part of Region 4 in Class 3A along with Cannon County, Grundy County, Sequatchie County, Smith County, Upperman, and York Institute.

DeKalb County's 2017 non-region opponents will include Warren County, Upperman, Watertown, Grundy County, Cannon County, and Smith County.

“We’ve got two new teams on the schedule we haven’t played in the last few years, Watertown and Livingston Academy. We’re not playing York Institute or Sequatchie County but everybody else we played last year is still on the schedule. We picked up Watertown which is always a big game and at one time we played them more than any other team in the history of DeKalb County football. I think that is going to be a good game for us. It should be a good gate. We’ve been down there at the Jamboree for the last few years and that’s been good for us so its good to get them back on the schedule,” said Coach Trapp.

“Our schedule worked out the way I hoped it would. I had to find six ball games (non-region opponents). I had already talked to a lot of our region foes from last year, Smith County, Upperman, and Cannon County. We already had those set to play if we could get the weeks worked out. There were about four or five days when I was sweating it. I was needing one more game and the weeks I were needing were our fall break and week five which was slated for a region game. I got pretty fortunate to get Grundy County back on the schedule and to have them come here. We got a bye week on fall break so it all worked out,” Coach Trapp said.

The DCHS 2017 Football Schedule is as follows:
REGION OPPONENTS (*)

August: Jamboree TBA
August 18: Warren County- McMinnville 7 p.m.
August 25: Upperman- Baxter 7 p.m.
September 1: Stone Memorial*-Smithville 7 p.m.
September 8: Watertown-Watertown 7 p.m.
September 15: Grundy County-Smithville 7 p.m.
September 22: Cannon County-Smithvillle (HOMECOMING) 7 p.m.
September 29: Livingston Academy*-Livingston 7 p.m.
October 6: Smith County-Smithville 7 p.m.
October 13: Macon County*-Smithville 7 p.m.
October 20-BYE WEEK
October 27: Cumberland County* Crossville 7 p.m.

2017 JV Schedule:
August 21: White County-Smithville 6 p.m.
August 28: Upperman- Smithville 6 p.m.
September 11: Watertown-Smithville 6 p.m.
September 25: Cannon County-Woodbury 6 p.m.
October 9: Smith County-Carthage 6 p.m.

County Commission Rejects Proposal to Close Portion of Taylor Lane

November 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Andy Redus addressing County Commission on November 22
Janice Martin addressing County Commission on November 22

The county commission has rejected a proposal to close a portion of a county road in the Wolf Creek area.

During the regular monthly meeting Monday night (November 28), the commission defeated a motion to give conditional approval to close 1,085 feet of the end section of Taylor Lane. The measure failed with seven voting against. Five voted in favor and one member “passed”. First district commissioner Julie Young presented a petition signed by 175 people in opposition to closing this portion of the road.

Taylor Lane is six tenths of a mile long and located near the intersection of Wolf Creek Road and the Buffalo Valley Road-Medley Amonette Road.

A landowner on Taylor Lane, Andy Redus requested that the end section of the road be closed where he has a part time residence. Redus, who lives out of the county, told the county commission in a committee meeting on Tuesday night, November 22 that he wanted to install a gate to restrict access to his private property for public safety concerns. “My residence is not a full time residence. I have no way of telling what’s going on there all the time,” he said. Redus wants to keep out sightseers, trespassers, and litterers. He had already obtained permission from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, an adjoining landowner, to erect the gate provided the Corps has access.

Janice Martin, who also has property on Taylor Lane, opposed the closure because an old cemetery is located on the road inside the area where Redus wanted to put the gate.

Although the cemetery has been there for over a century and is unkept with overgrowth Martin told the county commission during the Tuesday night committee meeting that the road should remain open for anyone who wants to visit there. “This road is not only to my (family) cemetery back there, there are other people in this county I have talked to who own businesses that have people buried in that cemetery. This is not just the two graves that you can see (stones showing) because the markers (of the other graves) are not there now. It’s a very old cemetery,” said Martin

The DeKalb County Regional Planning Commission held a public hearing in September where Martin voiced opposition but voted to recommend to the county commission that Redus’ request be approved subject to the right of access of visitors to the cemeteryand that a 35’ x 25’ hammerhead turnaround which meets with the approval of the Road Supervisor be developed at the expense of Redus.

Martin said Tuesday night that the turnaround is not large enough especially for emergency vehicles. “I am totally opposed to closing the road. Andy knew when he bought the property what he was buying. We own both sides of the road all the way back passed that area. I’m within 50 feet of the turnaround so I will have to use that turnaround on a daily basis. I took one of our hay wagons behind my vehicle back there and I could barely get turned around. It is very hard to do. I may also build another house within 50 feet of this property so I will have to have access to fire trucks, ambulances, or other emergency vehicles that would have to come in there. They would have to use this turnaround,” said Martin.

Redus claims the turnaround is large enough and provided pictures showing where he turned around there with a pickup truck pulling a sixteen foot trailer. Redus said he would provide a key to Corps officials for access to Corps property and make access available to others requesting entry to the cemetery by opening the gate himself remotely from his phone.

During Monday night’s meeting (November 28), County Commissioner Jack Barton made a motion to adopt the planning commission’s recommendation and grant Redus’ request to close 1,085 feet of Taylor Lane but he added further conditions including that the turnaround area be enlarged and for Redus to provide a key to Janice Martin for access to the cemetery. “I believe right now the turnaround is 25 feet into the hill side and 35 feet circular. (My motion) is to make it (turnaround) 30 feet in and to make the 35 feet be 60 feet. The second contingency would be to give Mr. and Mrs. Martin a key to access the cemetery like he (Redus) did the Corps,” said Barton.

Commissioner Julie Young voiced her opposition to Barton’s motion. “I would just like to put in the minutes that I passed out (a petition) with 175 signatures of first district and county residents (all but fifteen county residents) who are in opposition to the commission putting (authorizing) a gate being put across this road and denying access to a cemetery. Also in your folder you have an entity to itself (cemetery parcel) and a tax code. The tax papers of this cemetery. You also have the deed from Ms. Bethel W. Foster to Mary Helen Gill of this cemetery. I state an objection to Mr. Barton’s motion and I stand in full protest with these 175 signatures each of you have of a gate being put across a public county road on Taylor Lane,” said Young.

Commissioners voting to close this section of Taylor Lane were Jack Barton, Kevin Robinson, Joe Johnson, Jonathan Norris, and Larry Summers. Those voting against it were Julie Young, Anita Puckett, Betty Atnip, Bradley Hendrix, Jeff Barnes, Jimmy Midget, and Wayne Cantrell. Jerry Adcock “passed” and Mason Carter was absent.

Dowelltown Man Indicted for Statutory Rape

November 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Nathan Joseph Gohs

A 20 year old Dowelltown man has been indicted by the DeKalb County Grand Jury with three counts of statutory rape for allegedly having sex with a 16 year old girl who became pregnant.

Nathan Joseph Gohs of Dale Ridge Road will be arraigned in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, December 12.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said from June 1 to July 31, Gohs allegedly had sex with a 16 year old girl three times at a residence on Students Home Road.

In each of the three counts, the grand jury indictment alleges that on or about the date range of June 1, 2016 to July 31, 2016, Gohs did unlawfully and intentionally or knowingly sexually penetrate a minor child, a person 16 years of age. Gohs being at least four years older than the minor child.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL)

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR.pdf (2.52 MB)

Grand Jury Indicts Forty Seven

November 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Grand Jury Monday began a new term and indicted 47 people including nine who were named in sealed indictments.

All those indicted Monday will be arraigned on Monday, December 12 in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

Persons indicted and their charges are as follows:

Jordan Thomas Adams: aggravated assault, driving under the influence (3rd offense), and driving on a suspended license

Clay Andrew Bain: aggravated assault

Stephanie Michelle Bequette: simple possession of a schedule VI drug

Steven Darrell Bly: driving on a suspended license (2nd offense)

Randy Allen Caldwell: theft over $10,000 and possession of drug paraphernalia

Andy Joe Certain: possession of drug paraphernalia

Billy Eugene Cook, Jr.: auto burglary and criminal impersonation

Marina Gae Cornett: simple possession of a schedule VI drug

Jacob James Damon: theft over $1,000 and burglary

Amanda Pedigo Davis: aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, vandalism over $500, and vandalism under $500

Charles Dakota Derrick: possession of a schedule VI drug with intent to sell or deliver

Johnny Lynn Devault: theft under $500

David Drennan: violation of the sex offender registry

Tammye Estes: driving under the influence and violation of implied consent

Jerry Ray Ferrell: driving under the influence

Nathan Joseph Gohs: statutory rape (3 counts)

Brandon Timothy Greene: driving under the influence (2nd offense), driving on a suspended license, and failure to maintain lane

LeRoy Humphries: criminal trespass

Aimee Deanne Jobe: simple possession of a schedule III drug (Buprenorphine), simple possession of a schedule V drug (Pregabalin), and public intoxication

Jason Dwayne Johnson: driving under the influence, possession of a handgun while intoxicated, violation of due care, and violation of implied consent

Joseph Wayne Judd: possession of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine) over 0.5 grams with intent to sell or deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia

Rodney Lynn Kirby: driving under the influence

James Matthew Martin: simple possession of a schedule VI drug and possession of drug paraphernalia

Gary Mooneyham: possession of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine) and possession of drug paraphernalia

Nathan Morris: driving on a suspended license

Stephanie Ann Bly Murphy: driving on a suspended license (2 counts) and failure to maintain lane

Nathan Wesley Myers: possession of a schedule II drug (Hydrocodone) with intent to sell or deliver, possession of a schedule II drug (Hyrdomorphone) with intent to sell or deliver, and possession of a schedule VI drug with intent to sell or deliver

Shannon Lynn Newby: promotion of the manufacture of methamphetamine, simple possession of a schedule II drug (morphine) and simple possession of a schedule VI drug

Deanna Brooke Pedigo: driving on a suspended license

Melisa Poss Petty: leaving the scene of an accident with injury, violation of due care, violation of financial responsibility, and violation of the registration law

Michael Brandon Redmon: arson

Clarence Edward Sexton, Jr.: driving on a suspended license (3 counts) and driving under the influence

Perry Alton Stembridge: evading arrest

Tobby Lewis Taylor: driving under the influence (2nd offense), failure to maintain lane, and violation of implied consent

Kevin Clark Thomas: driving under the influence (2nd offense) and driving on a suspended license

Michael Glen Thomas: driving under the influence and violation of due care

Ramiro G. Torres: driving on a suspended license

Richard Brandon Turner: theft under $500

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL)

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR.pdf (2.52 MB)

Turnbill Back in Prison

November 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Melvin Eugene Turnbill

A 44-year-old Smithville man, who was paroled in March 2015 after serving more than 12 years in a 2002 DeKalb County murder case, is back in prison after getting into trouble with the law in Putnam County in February.

Melvin Eugene Turnbill was sent back to the Bledsoe Correctional Complex at Pikeville earlier this year, according to Neysa Taylor, Director of Communications at the Tennessee Department of Correction who spoke with WJLE Tuesday.

Turnbill was released from prison on March 9, 2015 after serving over 12 years of a 25 year sentence for facilitation of first degree murder in the September 2002 fatal shooting of Joshua Murphy in DeKalb County.

Eleven months after getting out of prison, Turnbill committed two offenses that resulted in him returning to prison for violation of his conditions for parole. Turnbill was arrested for a DUI on Saturday, February 6 followed by a burglary charge two days later on Monday, February 8. Both offenses occurred in Cookeville. According to the Putnam County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, Turnbill later entered a plea to the DUI charge and was fined and sentenced to supervised probation. He made another court appearance on the burglary charge where he entered a plea to the lesser offense of aggravated criminal trespass and again was fined and sentenced to supervised probation to run concurrently with the DUI case and his state parole.

Turnbill’s next scheduled parole hearing in the murder case is set for February, 2018. His sentence is due to expire on January 7, 2022.

A co-defendant in the killing, Christopher Nicholas Orlando was denied parole in March. He is serving a 35 year prison sentence for facilitation of first degree murder in the death of Murphy. He is incarcerated at the Northeast Correctional Complex in Mountain City, Tennessee. His next parole hearing is in March, 2018.

Tiger Football Players and Assistant Coach Earn All-Region Honors

November 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Tiger Football Coach Steve Trapp and Assistant Clarence Trapp
Front Row left to right: Steven Jennings, Riley Sexton, Matthew Poss, Devin Bain, Nick May, Bradley Miller; Back Row: Luke Green, Eli Cross, Christian Pruitt, Tayvian Nokes, Gage Delape, Devin Zaderiko, and Tyler Cantrell.

Thirteen players on the 2016 DCHS football team and Assistant Coach Clarence Trapp will be recognized Sunday for All-Region honors during an awards banquet in Cookeville.

Trapp has been named the Region 4-3A Offensive Assistant Coach of the Year.

Head Coach Steve Trapp said the honors are well deserved. “We have fourteen guys who are going to be rewarded as far as All-Region 1st Team or 2nd Team including five guys who won superlative awards and then we also have a coach recognized. Coach Clarence is Offensive Assistant Coach of the Year in our Region. Its very exciting to see these guys get rewarded in this form or fashion. Its really an indication of the team game and what they can do with each other out there. I’m really happy and proud of all these guys, a majority of whom are multiple year winners,” Coach Trapp told WJLE

Tiger players being honored are as follows:

Region 4-3A Most Outstanding Linebacker Nick May

Region 4-3A Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman Tayvian Nokes

Region 4-3A Most Outstanding Defensive Back Bradley Miller

Region 4-3A Most Outstanding Tight End Christian Pruitt

Region 4-3A Most Outstanding Punter Matthew Poss

Region 4-3A 1st Team All Region Eli Cross

Region 4-3A 1st Team All Region Luke Green

Region 4-3A 1st Team All Region Steven Jennings

Region 4-3A 1st Team All Region Riley Sexton

Region 4-3A 1st Team All Region Devin Zaderiko

Region 4-3A 2nd Team All Region Devin Bain

Region 4-3A 2nd Team All Region Gage Delape

Region 4-3A 2nd Team All Region Tyler Cantrell

New Animal Shelter Now Under Roof

November 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
New Animal Shelter Now Under Roof

Seven weeks after ground breaking, the future home of the DeKalb Animal Coalition’s shelter is under roof and could be completed within six to eight weeks.

Construction has been underway almost daily on the shelter located behind Tenneco Automotive and near the county’s soon to open solid waste transfer station. Mike Foster, a supporter of the effort, said workers have been taking advantage of the recent dry weather to get as much construction done as possible. “Its going really well and moving right along. All the block work is done and the roof and shingles are on the building. Of course we had not had any rain until last night but I don’t think we’ve missed a day of work on it since we started. As you know when you get on the inside the work will slow down a little but its all ready for us to put the outside runs on. That will be the next thing we’ll do. We’ll put the outside runs on, pour the concrete, and do those outside drains. I think the glass doors, the front doors are supposed to be here in ten days. Of course the frames to all the doors are already set in the concrete but the doors will have to be hung and painted. Inside there will be some cabinet work along with the plumbing and electrical work that will have to be done but its moving along. I would say if everything goes well the building should be completed within six weeks or two months at the most, depending upon the weather because when you get down to painting and some of those things its really weather dependant,” said Foster.

“The main building is 70 feet long and 40 feet wide which includes the hallways where the inside pens are but it will be wider on each side where the outside runs will go. When everything is completed, the facility will be 60 feet by about 70 feet. The outside runs or cages will be ten feet long and five feet wide and they will be attached to the building with openings where they (dogs) can go in and out. The outside pens will be built as soon as we get that concrete poured. The concrete will be poured on about a two inch slope, more than normal so you can wash the runs down into a gutter drain,” said Foster.

Dwayne and Cindy Ward are the contractors for the project and the work is being done on a cost plus basis. Foster said the coalition being a non-profit organization also helps keep costs down. “This way we can get the sales tax savings being that the Coalition is a 501c3 organization. Hopefully, it’s going to save approximately $80,000 doing it this way,” said Foster.

If you would like to volunteer or make a donation toward the shelter, contact Marsha Darrah, Sue Puckett Jernigan, or any member of the Coalition. Donations may be made by Pay Pal or at Post Office Box 354.

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