Local News Articles

Kiosk Back in Operation at County Clerk Office

January 19, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss with Drivers License Kiosk

The Kiosk for driver license renewals in the DeKalb County Clerk's Office is back in service after system maintenance.

A software update to complete renewal transactions via the self-service kiosk was successful.

The Kiosk service had been down since December 30 in order to make the upgrades.

Redmon Obtains Petition to run for Mayor of Dowelltown

January 19, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Election Commission has issued another petition for the August elections.

Pam Redmon has picked up qualifying papers for the office of Dowelltown Mayor.

Others who have obtained petitions in recent days are Jason Ray-Liberty Alderman for a four year position; Barry Mabe-School Board 5th District; Josh Miller-Smithville Alderman; J.D. Bratten- Liberty Alderman for one year position; Kate Miller—School Board 4th District; W.J. (Dub) Evins—School Board 5th District; Doug Stephens—School Board 6th district; Shawn Jacobs—Smithville Aldermen; and Eddie Dwayne Blair—Liberty Alderman for a four year position.

Persons may qualify for School Board in the 4th, 5th, and 6th district, three aldermen positions in Smithville, a mayor and two aldermen in Dowelltown, four aldermen seats in Liberty and for State Representative in the 40th and 46th districts.

The qualifying deadline is NOON April 7.

Man Accused of Threatening Wife with Knife Charged with Aggravated Kidnapping and Assault

January 18, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Steven Anthony Nelson
Christopher Neil Patterson
Ginger Elaine Moore
Stephanie Michelle Mooneyham
Enrique Adelaido Lomas
Julie Wright
Crystal Alice Turner

A Smithville man accused of threatening his wife with a knife on two separate occasions has been charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault.

38 year old Steven Anthony Nelson of Allen Street is under a $100,000 bond and he will make a court appearance on January 28.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Saturday, December 5 after becoming concerned for her safety, Nelson's wife called 911. Nelson allegedly held a knife on her and said he would kill her if she made a sound when the deputy arrived.

Less than three months before on September 19, Nelson's wife reported a separate incident to the Sheriff's Department. According to a detective, the woman said that at around 6:00 p.m. that night she and Nelson began arguing and that he grabbed and threw her to the ground. Nelson allegedly hit her several times while she was on the ground, tried to strangle her and then threatened her with a knife. After the assault, the woman left home and went to Mapco Express and got help.

Both cases were investigated by Sheriff's Department Detectives.

46 year old Christopher Neil Patterson of Patterson Road, Smithville is charged with violation of bond conditions. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is January 21. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, January 14 Patterson violated bond conditions against him by going to his wife's home on Big Hickory Court to talk with her. According to those bond conditions, Patterson is not to have any contact nor be near his wife.

41 year old Ginger Elaine Moore of McMinnville Highway, Smithville is charged with aggravated assault. Her bond is $5,000 and she will make a court appearance February 4. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, January 16 Moore allegedly pointed a 22 caliber handgun at her son and threatened to kill him.

24 year old Stephanie Michelle Mooneyham of Toad Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. Her bond is $1,500. According to Sheriff Ray, on Sunday January 17 Mooneyham allegedly assaulted her mother by pulling her hair and hitting her in the side of the head.

Enrique Adelaido Lomas of Bright Hill Road, Smithville is charged with vandalism. His bond is $1,500 and he will make a court appearance on January 21. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, January 12 while a prisoner at the jail, Lomas cut holes in two separate vinyl pillows belonging to the sheriff's department. The total value of the pillows was $24.00.

38 year old Julie Wright of Cordell Love Road, Smithville is charged with unlawful possession of a weapon. Her bond is $3,500 and she will be in court January 21. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, December 14 a Sheriff's Department Detective was at Wright's home assisting officers of the Tennessee Department of Corrections Probation and Parole with a home search. During the search, several guns were found. Wright has a November, 2015 conviction against her for sale and delivery of a Schedule III drug.

40 year old Crystal Alice Turner of A.B. Frazier Road, Smithville is charged with a General Sessions Court violation of probation and theft of property over $1,000. Her bond is $5,000 on the theft charge and $250 for the VOP. Sheriff Ray said that on September 20, 2013 Turner allegedly took jewelry from her mother without consent and was involved in pawning the jewelry at Insta Cash in Smithville and Cash 4 U Pawn in McMinnville. The case was investigated by a Sheriff's Department Detective.

Another Arrest Made in Law Enforcement Pursuit Last Week

January 18, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Thomas David Williams
Joseph Wayne Judd

Another arrest has been made in connection with a law enforcement pursuit last Tuesday which resulted in a DeKalb County Sheriff's Department deputy being injured in a wreck.

48 year old Thomas David Williams of Sparta was taken into custody Thursday by the White County Sheriff's Department. He is charged there with violation of probation, violation of community corrections, two counts of sale and delivery of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a weapon during a felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Williams is also facing an evading arrest charge in DeKalb County which states that "on Tuesday, January 12, Williams did intentionally flee from law enforcement in an older model Ford truck when deputies activated their emergency lights". Williams' bond in the local case is $25,000.

Williams is wanted on separate charges in Putnam County.

As WJLE first reported last Wednesday, a deputy of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, Joseph Carroll, lost control of his patrol car and crashed early Tuesday morning, January 12 during a pursuit of a pickup truck, now believed to have been driven by Williams, on Highway 56 north near Hurricane Bridge.

The accident occurred at around 2:00 a.m.

Officer Carroll was taken by DeKalb EMS to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital where he was treated for bruises and abrasions and then released. Carroll was in pursuit of a suspicious truck seen leaving the area of Lakeside Resort when his patrol car went out of control on a curve and struck a guardrail and tree.

After the crash, the Tennessee Highway Patrol arrested 33 year old Joseph Wayne Judd of Doyle, the driver of another pickup truck which had also been observed at Lakeside. Judd was found with 7.7 grams of methamphetamine.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that the story began around 1:41 a.m. Tuesday as Central Dispatch received a call from someone at Lakeside Resort complaining that trespassers had driven into the area. "They asked us to come and check it out and two deputies from the Sheriff's Department, Officers Carroll and Stephen Barrett responded to the call, said Sheriff Ray.

"As the deputies entered one of the parking lots at Lakeside, they saw a pickup truck stop and then proceed to approach them. When the truck passed them, Officer Carroll turned around to initiate a traffic stop as Officer Barrett drove down further to check on another truck he had spotted. After the truck Officer Barrett was checking on began to speed away, he (Barrett) radioed for help from Officer Carroll. Deputy Carroll gave up on trying to stop the pickup he was following and turned around to render assistance to Officer Barrett. Officer Carroll spotted the fleeing truck and gave chase. The pursuit continued out of Lakeside Resort and north on Highway 56 (Cookeville Highway) until Officer Carroll wrecked. The fleeing truck, believed to have been driven by Williams, did not stop," said Sheriff Ray.

Meanwhile as Deputy Barrett stopped at the crash site to tend to Officer Carroll, another pickup truck approached the deputies, believed to have been the other vehicle seen earlier at Lakeside that Officer Carroll had first tried to pull over. The officers flagged down the truck and found the driver to be Judd. While the crash was under investigation, officers detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside Judd's vehicle. A search of his truck revealed about 7.7 grams of a substance believed to be meth. It was packaged in three separate baggies. Judd also had a set of digital scales to weigh the narcotics and a metal tube used to inject the drugs.

Sergeant Dewain Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, who investigated the deputy's accident, filed charges against Judd for driving while in possession of methamphetamine, possession of a schedule II drug for resale (meth), and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Judd's bond is $30,500 and he will be in court on January 28.

WJLE Radio Shopper Airs Thursday

January 18, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

WJLE and participating local businesses are giving you a chance to bid on and buy merchandise at a discount in the RADIO SHOPPER on Thursday, January 21.

Starting at 9:00 a.m. that morning, WJLE will be opening up the phone lines for you to bid on various items from Cantrell's Furniture and Appliances, Angie's Diner, F.Z. Webb & Sons Gifts, DeKalb County Ace Hardware, Rick's Hair and Body Reflections, DeKalb Funeral Chapel, R&B Crafts, Kilgore’s Restaurant, DeKalb Farmers Coop, K& M Jewelry, Jamie a Boutique, DeKalb Tire & Service, Bumpers Drive-In, Cantrell’s the home of Fluty and Fluty’s Shoes, Head Turners Salon, Smithville Computer Repair, Smithville Sleep Center, and possibly others!

WJLE will set a minimum bid on each item, and continue the bidding until the item is sold. The program on Thursday will be limited to three hours. If we have more items sell, the program will resume on another day.

It’s going to be fun and exciting! Be sure to be by your radio and your telephone on Thursday, January 21 at 9:00 a.m. and call in a bid to RADIO SHOPPER on WJLE. The program will also be streamed LIVE at www.wjle.com.

2016 WJLE RADIO SHOPPER ITEMS are LISTED BELOW:

*Poppies Boutique
Gift cards (6 to be sold)

*Angie's Diner
2-breakfast specials
2-lunch specials

*R&B Crafts
Four foot Cedar Swing

*Rick's Hair & Body Reflections
Shampoo, Cut & Style by appointment only with Sherry Davis
(3) Color, Cut, Shampoo, & Style by appointment only with Sherry Davis

*DeKalb Funeral Chapel
Set of Cemetery Vases

*Cantrell's Furniture and Appliances
Hughes Reclining Chair

*Fluty:
Spanx Bra-llelujah:
Spanx Power Panties
Enro man's shirt (no iron)
One Pair of Not Your Daughter's Jeans
Man's suit
One pair of Merrell shoes for man or woman

*Smithville Computer Repair:
7 inch Pro Scan Tablet
Ink Cartridge or Toner
Orbit USB Stereo Speakers for Laptops/Netbooks/Computers

*Jamie a Boutique:
Red and Black Blanket Scarf (55x55 inches)

*DeKalb Ace Hardware:
10 Piece T-Fal Cookware

*Farmers Coop:
Patriot Fence Charger

*Kilgore's Restaurant:
$25.00 Gift Cards (3 to be sold)

*DeKalb Tire & Service:
Certificate worth $300 toward the purchase of a set of tires

*K&M Jewelry:
Ladies Birth Stone Ring

*Smithville Sleep Center:
Memory Foam Gel Pillow
Set of Eqyptian Comfort Sheets

*Bumpers Drive-In:
5-biggie bags (two burgers, two large fries, two large drinks, and apple turnovers)

*F.Z. Webb & Sons Gifts
Melissa & Doug "Job's People Do" Stacking Wooden Chunky for 3 years old or older
Melissa & Doug "Magnetic Wand Color Maze for 3 years old or older
Melissa & Doug Treasure Box Craft Kit for ages 4 and older
Melissa & Doug Medium Kid Size 10-12 Fleecy Lounge Pants with colorful hearts and peace signs

Hello Kitty toothbrush and cup
Hello Kitty plastic drink container

Hello Kitty 20.3 fluid ounce drinking container
Hello Kitty Cookie Cutter

Hello Kitty Die Cut Hole Puncher. Great for decorating notes, scrapbooking

A.J. Mooneyham Wins DCHS Football MVP Award

January 17, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Tiger Football MVC Carlee White and MVP A.J. Mooneyham
Football Award Winners (Seated) Riley Sexton, AJ Mooneyham, Jesse Smith (Back Row) Luke Green, Isaiah Jones, Eli Cross, Jordan Whitehead, Matthew Poss, Tayvian Nokes, Braxton Linder, Christian Pruitt, Steven Jennings.
DCHS Football Cheerleader Award Winners: Seated-Taylor Marshall, Carlee White (MVC), Hannah Walker; Back Row: Rachel Fuson, Shaunta Koegler, Kaitlyn Roller, and Lexie Bates
Clay Edwards Memorial Tiger Pride Award presented to Eli Cross. Pictured here with Abram Edwards and Sarah Edwards (right), son and daughter of the late Clay Edwards and their mother Tena

A.J. Mooneyham, a senior, was named Most Valuable Player of the 2015 DeKalb County High School Football Team during the annual Awards Banquet held Saturday night at the Smithville First Baptist Church Life Enrichment Center building. The awards were sponsored by Liberty State Bank.

The MVP trophy was presented to Mooneyham by Coach Steve Trapp. " He started out as a running back and then moved around and did a lot of different things for us but for his career he rushed the football for 108 times for 540 yards and 11 touchdowns. Keep in mind he got moved around a lot. He wasn't solely a running back for his whole career. He had 39 receptions for 351 yards and four touchdowns. Return yardage. He had 13 returns, punting and kickoff returns for 266 yards. He did a lot of different things for us in his career. Defensive stats. He had 209 total tackles including 19 for a loss, one safety, seven interceptions, five deflected passes, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and four blocked extra points or field goals," said Coach Trapp.

"In 2013 he was named 2nd Team All-District in 8AA. He was voted by his team as DeKalb County High School Defensive Back of the Year. In 2014 he was 1st Team All District in 8 AA. He was named DCHS Linebacker of the Year. In 2015 he had 11 receptions for 129 yards and two touchdowns. He had 57 rushes for 239 yards and seven touchdowns. A.J. received All Upper Cumberland 2nd Team Defensive Back, All Region Most Outstanding Defensive Back and 1st Team All Region for Region 4AAA. He's had a pretty good career for us," Coach Trapp said.

The Tigers finished the season in November with an overall record of 7-4 and another appearance in the state play-offs. It was the fifth consecutive year the Tigers earned a berth in the state play-offs and their seventh appearance in the last eight years. The Tigers lost in the first round of the play-offs to the Chattanooga Christian Chargers 23-22 in Smithville.

Meanwhile, Carlee White, a senior, was named Most Valuable Cheerleader. The presentation was made by Cheer Coaches Amanda Fuller and Sonya House. "She was an All American for two years. She received the highest score for two years. She helped us plan every single pep rally. She has a true gift for choreography, putting together dances and putting things to music. Cheerleading is her life. She has done this competitively. She knows what she is doing and works as hard as everyone else. She did something this year that has never been done before. She was nominated for the TSSAA All State Cheerleading Team. You have to be selected to even try out for this team. She was selected to try out and was one of only eighteen cheerleaders in the state of Tennessee chosen to cheer for the Tennessee East-West game. She is extremely talented. She is driven. She has great determination and work ethic. She is just a wonderful example of what a cheerleader should be," said Coach Fuller

Other individual Football Player Awards are as follows:

Offensive Player- Steven Jennings
Offensive Lineman- Luke Green
Offensive Back- Christian Pruitt
Receiver- Isaiah Jones
Defensive Player- Jesse Smith
Defensive Lineman- Tayvian Nokes
Linebacker- Jordan Whitehead
Defensive Back- Riley Sexton
Special Teams Player-Matthew Poss
Most Improved- Braxton Linder
MVP- A.J. Mooneyham
Coach Clay Edwards Memorial Tiger Pride Award-Eli Cross

Individual Cheer Awards are as follows:

Best Stunts- Lexie Bates
Most Spirited- Hannah Walker
Best Jumps- Kaitlyn Roller
Best Dance-Rachel Fuson
Most Improved- Shaunta Koegler
MVC- Carlee White
DEAR (Dedication, Enthusiasm, Attitude, and Responsibility)-Taylor Marshall

REGION FOOTBALL AWARDS:
Offensive MVP: Steven Jennings
Outstanding Offensive Lineman: Eli Cross
Outstanding Defensive Back: A.J. Mooneyham
Outstanding Tight End: Christian Pruitt
Outstanding Punter: Matthew Poss

All Region 1st Team:
Riley Sexton
Jordan Whitehead
Jesse Smith
Luke Green
Tayvian Nokes

All Region 2nd Team:
Isaiah Jones
Gage Delape
Devin Zaderiko

Woman Earns Charges for Drugs and Endangering Fetus

January 16, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Amanda Faye Mooneyham
Christopher Eugene Layne
Brandon Michael Dearth

A woman five months pregnant has been arrested by Smithville Police on drug charges including endangering a viable fetus

29 year old Amanda Faye Mooneyham is among three people who were taken into custody Saturday, January 9 by officers who found drugs and paraphernalia at the residence while serving a warrant on one of them in another case.

Chief Mark Collins said Mooneyham is charged with Possession of a Schedule VI drug for resale, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Criminal Impersonation, and Viable Fetus as a victim.

28 year old Christopher Eugene Layne is charged with Possession with Intent to Sell Methamphetamine and 23 year old Brandon Michael Dearth is facing a charge of Simple Possession of a Schedule II drug.

According to Chief Collins, while police were attempting to serve a warrant on Layne, they found both Mooneyham and Dearth were also at the residence. Upon a search of their persons and vehicles Dearth was found to have a small bag which he claimed contained methamphetamine. Mooneyham had in her possession several baggies of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana along with scales and several other drug paraphernalia items. When asked Mooneyham admitted to officers that she had smoked pot and did meth earlier in the day.

Bond for Layne is $20,000; $1,500 for Dearth; and $25,000 for Mooneyham. All three will make a court appearance on January 21.

27 year old Josh R. Crabtree was cited on Wednesday, January 13 for Possession of a Schedule VI drug and for being an unlicensed driver. Smithville Police spoke with Crabtree who could not produce a valid driver license. Upon receiving consent to search Crabtree's vehicle officers found a clear baggie of a green leafy substance between the console and passenger seat believed to be marijuana. Warrants were also obtained against 31 year old Randi Michelle Johns after her vehicle was found parked at the residence where Crabtree was living. She was arrested for Criminal Impersonation and Violation of Probation. During an investigation it was determined that Johns' name was Randi Johns and she was wanted in DeKalb County for violation of probation. Also arrested for violation of probation out of Putnam County during this investigation was Robert Knox. Bond for Johns is $2,000 and she will be in court on January 28.

34 year old Shawn Keith Buck was arrested for domestic assault on Wednesday, December 30. Smithville Police responded to a domestic incident. Upon investigation it was determined that the parties had been involved in an altercation and Buck allegedly pushed the victim out of the residence and slammed the door on the victim's hand causing swelling and bruising. Bond for Buck is $1,500 and his court date is January 21.

35 year old Rickey W Murphy and 44 year old Tammie M Anderson were arrested on Thursday, January 7 for Sale and Delivery of a Schedule VI drug. After receiving numerous complaints and information of illegal activity, Smithville Police went to Anderson's residence and asked if they could do a search. Upon receiving consent to search, officers found in Murphy and Anderson's bedroom a bag of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana weighing 2.5 ounces. A box of baggies was also found close by. The search of the residence further turned up a glass pipe used to smoke marijuana which belonged to 19 year old Charles Nathan Pack. He was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. Pack will be in court on January 21. Bond for Murphy and Anderson is $50,000 each and they will make a court appearance on February 11.

35 year old Brandon Ryan Haggard was arrested on Thursday, January 7 for Simple Possession of a Schedule VI drug. Smithville Police initiated a traffic stop on Luttrell Avenue after spotting a vehicle with a right tail light that was not operational. Officers spoke with the driver, Haggard and a computer check with Central Dispatch revealed that his license were revoked for driving under the influence. As Haggard was exiting the vehicle, officers noticed a baggie of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana sticking out of his front pocket. Bond for Haggard is $1,500 and his court date is January 21. Haggard was also cited for driving on a revoked license and for a violation of the light law.

47 year old William Andrew Cantrell was arrested Friday, January 8 for two counts of theft and burglary. According to Smithville Police two vehicles were broken into and items were taken earlier that morning (January 8). During an investigation, a police detective spoke with Cantrell and found him to have in his possession items taken from the two vehicle burglaries. Bond for Cantrell is $15,000 and his court date is February 11. He is being held without bond for a violation of probation.

30 year old Nicholas James Bayless was arrested on Friday, January 8 for unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. Smithville Police received a report of a man carrying a gun walking west on West Broad Street. An officer found the man, Bayless who had a Ruger LCP pistol tucked in his waistband. A further investigation revealed that he was convicted in Davidson County in 2005 for felony aggravated burglary. Bond for Bayless is $10,000 and his court date is January 21.

36 year old Michael Todd Jones was arrested for public intoxication on Saturday, January 9. Smithville Police answered a call of an intoxicated person in the area of the DeKalb Community Complex. The man was said to be unsteady on his feet, drooling, and had slurred speech. Police found the man at the "On The Way" convenience market and identified him as Jones. He was unsteady on his feet , had slurred speech, and was creating a disturbance and being a danger to himself. Jones was placed under arrest. His bond is $1,000 and his court date is January 28.

44 year old Richard Brandon Turner was arrested for domestic assault on Saturday, January 9. Smithville Police responded to a domestic incident and upon arrival noticed the victim had a swollen eyebrow and a bruised and swollen wrist. It was determined that Turner and the victim had been in an argument and that Turner allegedly struck the victim in the face and wrist. His bond is $10,000 and he will make a court appearance on January 21.

DeKalb School Buses Undergo Annual State Inspection

January 16, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
THP Trooper Ronnie Simmons inspects School Bus as Transportation Supervisor Jimmy Sprague (left) and Mechanic Tony Trapp (in school bus) look on
THP Troopers Ronnie Simmons and Darryl Winningham conduct annual inspection of school buses. Pictured: Shop Foreman Orlando Guzman , Trooper Simmons, Transportation Supervisor Jimmy Sprague, Trooper Winningham and Mechanic Tony Trapp (in school bus)

All DeKalb County School buses on regular routes have passed state inspection.

State Troopers Darryl Winningham and Ronnie Simmons of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, inspectors for this district, completed their evaluation this week of all the buses in the fleet including the substitute buses.

"We do a complete level one inspection on the buses. We go from the bottom to the top and inside, outside. We check every bolt. Every nut, tire tread, brake pads, seats. We make sure the dash works and all the lights inside. We want to make sure everything is safe. We check tie rod ends. Everything about the vehicle. The buses are in pretty fair shape but we're always going to find something. No matter how minor we still want to find everything we can find to get it all repaired. But they have done a great job here. The buses are in good shape. What little issues we are finding they are repairing on the spot," Trooper Winningham told WJLE.

"We check the exhaust systems. We look for fuel leaks. Anything like that we check to make sure there's none of that happening. All your emergency systems, we check those to make sure they are functioning properly. We go from the top to the bottom and front to the back. We check seat cushions, everything," said Trooper Simmons.

Because of its age, one of the substitute buses has been removed from service."One of the older buses was removed but it was just getting to the age where it needed to be pulled off," added Trooper Winningham.

The inspectors conduct an annual inspection for three days in January but spots checks may be made during the year."We spend three days now but we'll be here more than this once a year. We also do 10% spot checks throughout the year. We just pull in and walk through the lot and say we want to check this bus or look at that bus. They pull them in and we'll do a complete inspection on them again," said Trooper Winningham

"We've got thirty eight buses in the fleet. We took one out of service due to age. It's a 2001 model. This is the last year it would be on the road but with the miles on it and its age we decided it would be best to pull it out of service. It is a bus we used in substitute status. When we have a bus in the shop being repaired we keep some buses on the lot that we use as sub buses and this bus is one of those. We have four regular route sub buses and one special education sub bus," said Transportation Supervisor Jimmy Sprague.

DeKalb Prevention Coalition Schedules Recovery Church Planning Workshop

January 15, 2016
DeKalb Prevention Coalition Schedules Recovery Church Planning Workshop
Monty Burks

The DeKalb Prevention Coalition will be having a Recovery Church planning workshop Friday, January 22, 2016, at the DeKalb Community Center in the History room at 12:00 noon. The event will include lunch and is to help the interested churches fill out the application to become a certified recovery church as well as to answer any questions or overcome any obstacles your church or faith based organization may be facing in this process.

Monty Burks, who is the Director of Faith Based Initiatives for The State of Tennessee Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) will be there along with a Certified Recovery Church Pastor to help.

When you successfully complete the certification process, you will be added to the statewide recovery support network, and most importantly, opening your arms to individuals seeking substance abuse services. Church and Faith-Based Organization leadership will be trained in the following areas:

•Providing Spiritual/Pastoral Support.
•Viewing addiction as a treatable disease, not a moral issue.
•Embracing and support people in recovery and walk with them on their journey.
•Providing a visible outreach in the community.
•Sharing recovery information.
•Hosting recovery support groups.

If your church or faith based organization is interested in becoming a Certified Recovery Church please go to http://www.tn.gov/behavioral-health/topic/Faith-Based-Initiatives and fill out the questionnaire or you can contact Norene Puckett at 615-215-8690 or norene.drugcourt@gmail.com.

*An RSVP is not required, but appreciated, please contact Norene Puckett.

Board of Education to Conduct Annual Performance Evaluation of Director

January 15, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Director of Schools Patrick Cripps

Six months after taking over as Director of Schools, Patrick Cripps is expected to be evaluated on his performance by the Board of Education before the end of the month.

A date and time for the work session to conduct an evaluation has not yet been set.

According to Cripps' contract with the Board, the evaluation of the Director shall occur no later than January 31 each calendar year during the term of the contract. The board shall review with the Director his performance, progress toward established goals, and the working relationships between the Director and Board, the staff, students, and community at large; and any other matters relative to the employment of the Director.

In accordance with state law, the school board is required to develop and implement an evaluation plan to be used annually for the director of schools. Last year, board members used a four page evaluation form to rate former Director Mark Willoughby (1-5) in each of 60 areas from eight categories including on his relationship with the Board, the Community, Staff and Personnel, Educational Leadership, Business and Finance, Personal Qualities, Strategic Planning Skills, and Tennessee Specific questions. It's not known yet if the board will use the same form to evaluate Cripps.

Under last year's evaluation plan a rating of "1" meant the Director's performance was "Consistently Below Expectations". A "5" rating signified that the director "Met All Expectations". A rating with an asterisk (*) symbol meant he "Exceeded Expectations" (and a score of 6 was used on the overall report).

Other ratings were:
"2"-Meets Few Expectations
"3"-Meets Some Expectations
"4"-Meets Most Expectations

Last year each board member scored the Director in all areas from the categories on the form. The scores were then averaged to arrive at the grand total score.

School board members last year held one-on-one evaluation meetings with the Director.

Following the meetings, each board member scored the Director using the evaluation form. The forms were then sent to officials of the Tennessee School Boards Association where the scores were tabulated and averaged.

Board member Jerry Wayne Johnson said Thursday night during the monthly school board meeting that he intended to evaluate Director Cripps on "things we (school board) wanted him to do when he became director".

By a unanimous vote of 7-0, the Board of Education met in special session Thursday night, July 16 and named Cripps the next Director of Schools. Cripps accepted the board's offer of a two year employment contract and took over as Director immediately but the final agreement wasn't ready to sign until August 17.

Under Board policy, the School Board is also to conduct a self evaluation each year. The Board did not do that last year. "We didn't do a board self evaluation last year because five members of the board hadn't been on here long enough to be evaluated or to evaluate themselves" said Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins, III.

Those five members of the board referred to by Evins were elected in August 2014 and took office in September that year.

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