Local News Articles

Woodbury Man Charged with Theft of ATM Machine

October 19, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Alton David Estes
Joey Donald Howell

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has charged a Woodbury man with stealing an ATM machine from a Liberty business.

42 year old Alton David Estes of Parchcorn Road, Woodbury was arrested on Tuesday, October 13th and charged with vandalism, burglary, and theft of property over $1,000. Sheriff Patrick Ray says during an investigation, detectives learned that Estes went to the Stop and Buy Citgo in Liberty and broke the glass out of the front door. Estes hooked some kind of apparatus to the ATM machine which was located in the front of the store shopping area and then hooked the other end of the apparatus to his vehicle and pulled the top half of the ATM machine loose from lower half. The top half of the ATM machine was found in a nearby creek later that day. Estes was unable to obtain any money from the machine. Estes was arrested at his home after detectives looked at video of the vehicle and checked out a citizen's tip of who owned an automobile like the one on the video. There was evidence that the ATM machine had been loaded into the back of Estes' vehicle. Bond for Estes was set at $80,000 and he will appear in court on October 29th

On Wednesday, October 14th, deputies responded to an accident on Sparta Highway near Quail Point. Upon arrival, they talked with the driver of the vehicle, 33 year old Jimmy D. Walker of Camp Overton Road, Rock Island. Officers noticed a strong odor of alcohol on Walker's person and he kept telling them he was in Warren County, not DeKalb County. Walker submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. Walker was arrested for a first offense of driving under the influence and his bond was set at $1,500. He was also issued citations for failure to maintain his lane of travel and violation of the implied consent law. He will appear in court on October 29th on all of the charges.

On Saturday, October 17th, 37 year old Joey Donald Howell of Page Drive Smithville was arrested for burglary and theft of property over $1,000. Detectives allege that on October 15th Howell went to a construction site on Back Bone Ridge Road and busted the glass out of a work truck that was setting on the premises. Howell then took a 16 inch circular saw, a chop saw, and two nail guns that were valued at over $1,000. Bond for Howell was set at $10,000 and he will appear in court on November 19th.

Also on Saturday, deputies saw 31 year old Jason Richard Skaroupka of Midway Road Smithville operating a motor vehicle on Terrell Road. An officer, having prior knowledge of Skaroupka's driver's license being revoked for being a habitual offender, stopped him and placed him under arrest for driving on a revoked driver's license. This makes Skaroupka's 7th offense of driving on a revoked license. Bond for Skaroupka was set at $10,000 and he will appear in court on October 29th.

Tigers Rally In Come From Behind Win over Upperman

October 18, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tigers were held scoreless in the first half, but exploded for 33 points in the second half, even without their starting quarterback Hunter Poteete, in beating the Upperman Bees Saturday night at Tennessee Tech 33 to 14.

The win improves the Tiger record to 6-3 on the season and 3-1 in District 8 Double-A.

Poteete came out of the game early in the second quarter and did not return. He apparently had a tendon injury in his left ankle.

The only score in the first half came on the first play of the second quarter as Upperman Quarterback Mason Young took it into the endzone on a three yard run. The P.A.T. by Caleb Robishaub was good and the Bees led 7-0 with 11:57 left in the second period.

Upperman took the opening kick-off of the third period and scored on an 88 yard return by Mason Young. Caleb Robishaub converted on the P.A.T. and the Bees led 14-0 with 11:45 left in the third period.

The Tigers got on the board with 9:50 left in the third period as Shane Salley, who replaced Poteete at quarterback, found Justin Bragg on a six yard touchdown pass. The drive covered thirty yards in six plays. The P.A.T. by Zach Taylor was good and the Tigers trailed 14-7.

DeKalb County struck again with 5:38 left in the third period on a 75 yard touchdown pass play from quarterback Shane Salley to Abram Edwards. Taylor's P.A.T. attempt was no good but the Tigers were within one point at 14-13.

On the ensuing kick-off, Upperman's Mason Young lost the handle on the return as he was hit. The pigskin popped up in the air and into the arms of DeKalb County's Sebastian Phillips who returned it 15 yards for a touchdown. Zach Taylor's P.A.T. was good and the Tigers took the lead for the first time in the game 20-14 with 5:22 left in the third period.

The Tigers expanded their lead with 20 seconds left in the third period on a 56 yard touchdown pass play from Quarterback Shane Salley to Abram Edwards. Zach Taylor's P.A.T. was good and DeKalb County led 27-14.

The last score of the night came with 7:04 to go in the fourth period on an 83 yard touchdown pass play from Quarterback Shane Salley to Abram Edwards.. The 2 point conversion attempt failed but DeKalb County went on to win 33-14.

The Tigers will play their last regular season game on Friday, October 30th at home as they face the Livingston Academy Wildcats in an important district game. WJLE will have LIVE coverage.

Rollins Charged with Assaulting his Girlfriend and Child

October 16, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police have charged a 20 year old man with breaking into the residence of his girlfriend and then assaulting the woman and a child.

Raymond Howard Rollins of 318 West Broad Street is charged with domestic violence, simple assault, child abuse or neglect and aggravated burglary. Detective Jerry Hutchins reports that on Thursday, October 15th Rollins was arrested after he kicked in the door of his girlfriend's apartment and assaulted her and their infant child. The girlfriend and child had visible signs of assault. Mr. Rollins was arrested without incident and transported to the Smithville Police Department. His bond is set at $25,000 and he is to appear in General Sessions Court November 19th.

26 year old Jennifer Lynn Bullard of 553 Adcock Cemetery Road is charged with leaving the scene of an accident. Officer Randy King reports that on Thursday, October 15th, he was dispatched to West Broad Street to take a report of an accident involving a purple Cavalier and an armored Loomis van. Before his arrival, Officer King was advised that the purple Cavalier had left the scene of the accident. King later saw the vehicle turn from Bell Street onto Atnip Street and he stopped it Judy Bullard was driving the vehicle. Officer King asked the driver why she left the scene. Bullard replied she was scared. Bullard was advised that she would be arrested for leaving the scene of an accident. At that time Bullard told the officer that it was her daughter, Jennifer Bullard who was actually was driving the vehicle. Deputy Roger Whitehead picked up Jennifer Bullard at her mother's residence. Jennifer was identified by one of the occupants as the driver who left the scene.

21 year old Brittney D. Barnes of 206 West Church Street is charged with theft of property under $500 and four counts of fraudulent use of a credit card. Officer Travis Bryant reports that on October 2nd the victim stated that someone had made several transactions on her account without her permission. Officer Bryant obtained photos of Ms. Barnes getting monies from the ATM's and warrants were taken out on her. Barnes went to the Police Department on Friday, October 16th to speak with Officer Bryant and to give her statement at which time she was served with the warrants and advised that her bond was set at $23,500. Her court date in General Sessions is October 22nd.

Meanwhile anyone having any information on the following offenses is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210.

On Monday, October 12th at around 5:00 p.m. someone stole Shelly Womack's purse from her vehicle while she was attending church at the House of Prayer.

On Tuesday, October 13th at around 11:45 p.m. someone broke into Jewel's Market on 1226 South Congress Boulevard. The front glass was broken. There were no suspect(s) at the scene when the police arrived.

On Wednesday, October 14th in the Star Manufacturing parking lot someone entered Corey Cantrell's vehicle through the rear sliding back glass and stole a Kenwood CD player valued at $380.

Any information received that will help the Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.

Local Artists Open Their Studios for 10th Annual Off The Beaten Path Studio Tour

October 16, 2009
by: 
Mike Antoniak

If you appreciate the arts and great outdoors, this could be the perfect weekend to combine those interests and hit the roads of DeKalb And Cannon Counties

From just over the county line in Silver Point to Short Mountain Road near Woodbury, local artists—members of the Off The Beaten Path Group— will open their studios to the public for their 10th annual studio tour.

The free event, Friday Oct. 23 through Sunday Oct. 25h, runs from 9 until 5 each day. The self-guided tour is timed with the autumn season, leading visitors through the fall colors on numerous hills and hollows, over Center Hill Lake and up Dry Creek valley.

“We spend the whole year preparing for our fall tour,” says wood sculptor William Kooienga, Off The Beaten Path co-president with his wife Sharon. “It’s something we enjoy doing, a meaningful experience for all of us and an important part of our artistic endeavors. “We all get a lot of rewarding feedback from the people who visit us on the tour.”

OffThe Beaten Path’s 10 studios and hospitality center showcase the work of an eclectic mix of 26 artists.They work in traditional or contemporary fine art and craft in glass, clay, fiber, paper, wood, photography or other media. At each studio stop, visitors can meet the artists in their creative environment, see the work of host and guest artists, and purchase or commission an original piece for years of enjoyment.

“We get repeat visitors every year who come back to see our latest creations, and the work of visiting artists featured on each year’s tour,” says Kooienga.

The Kooienga’s Beech Hollow Studios is just one of unique and scenic stops on the tour. “People enjoy the chance to see the alternative, simple lifestyle we’ve chosen for ourselves,” he says. Set deep in the woods, it features the solar powered cedar log home the family built and nearby studio.

Other featured studios include From the Earth and Sea Originals, Fresh Chairs, and Creek Ferry Pottery in Smithville; Bareglass Studio in Silver Point; Cosmic Clay, Creek Bend Pottery, and Liberty Paper Mill near Dowelltown; and Arlene’s Clay Studio and Fuhrman Glass in Cannon County.

“No two studios are alike,” note Kooienga. “The work ranges from small detailed craftwork to large scale pieces, in a full range of media.”

Stella Luna Gallery in Smithville serves as hospitality center for the Off The Beaten Path Studio Tour. Information about all stops, maps and refreshments will be available there. Also on display there is this year’s tour prize, Cosmic Offering, a contemporary sculpture in clay by Louie Colombarini, valued at $750. Tour visitors can register for the free drawing at any of the studio stops with the mailing label from their tour brochure, or by filling out an entry form.

“Anyone who can appreciate the beauty of nature, and fine handmade work will find the tour an enjoyable way to spend some time this weekend,” Kooienga promises.

For more information on the tour, participating artists and a downloadable map and brochure, please visit the group’s website, www.offthebeatenpathtour.com

Sheriff's Department Not Associated with FOP Fundraising Campaign

October 15, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Sheriff Patrick Ray is asking you be beware of a telephone fund raising campaign by an out of state Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) group seeking funds using the name of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

According to Sheriff Ray, this group is making calls to people in DeKalb County, saying that they are raising money and that donations will go to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office to buy things the department needs.

Sheriff Ray says this may be a legitimate organization, but it is misleading people by invoking the name of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department. According to Sheriff Ray, this group has not been authorized to raise money for his department, and the local sheriff's office will not receive any of this money.

If you should get a call from this group, don't give any money. Just call the sheriff's department to report it at 597-4935.

DCHS/Upperman Football Game to be Played Saturday Night at Tech

October 15, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The date and location of the DeKalb County High School/Upperman Football game has been changed due to poor field conditions at DCHS.

Tiger Coach Steve Trapp says the game, which was set for Friday at 7:00 p.m. in Smithville, will be played on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville. "The reason why we're having to move the game to Tech is because our field conditions are not very good right now. It's been very wet this latter half of the season and with the Middle School games, Junior Pro games, and Soccer games that have been played on it, our field is just in no condition for us to play on it Friday. It's somewhat of a safety issue. There's a lot of mud with all the rain we've had this week. It's (field) not had a chance to dry out whatsoever. We're going to try to give it (field) a chance to recover. We'll have to play Saturday because Cookeville High School is going to be playing their high school game there (Tech) Friday night. Everything will work just as if we were playing here at Vanhoosier Stadium. We still want to invite everybody to make the short drive over to Tennessee Tech and help create a good atmosphere for us. It'll be a home game for us, just in a different setting."

WJLE's coverage begins with Tiger Talk at 6:30 p.m. followed by the game at 7:00 p.m.

Denman wins Class A-AA State Golf Tournament Title

October 14, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Payne Denman at State Tournament
Grant James, Payne Denman, and Austin Garrett at State Golf Tournament-

For the second year in a row, DeKalb County High School's Payne Denman, a senior, has claimed the TSSAA Class A-AA State Golf Tournament Championship.

Denman shot a 70 on Wednesday at Old Fort Golf Course in Murfreesboro. Denman's score, combined with the 70 he posted on Tuesday, gave him a two-day score of 140 for the tournament.

Meanwhile, DeKalb County's Austin Garrett tied for 6th in the state tournament with a score of 74 on Wednesday and 77 Tuesday for a two-day score of 151.

DeKalb County's Grant James shot an 85 on Wednesday and a 78 on Tuesday for a score of 163 for the two days which placed him tied for 26th in the state tournament.

DCHS Golf Coach Chris Vance says he is very proud of all three players. "Payne, Grant, and Austin all had a tremendous state tournament experience. Everybody played exceptionally well. I couldn't be any prouder of them. They represented their school and the county extremely well. I just can't say enough about how much these boys have changed our program and how much they have meant to it over the past four years. Obviously they're going to be missed next year."

TBI Arrests Trio For Wilson County Homicide

October 14, 2009
Derrick Blair
Tommy Adams
Chris Estes

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation along with the Wilson County’s Sheriff’s Office have arrested three men for the shooting death of a Wilson County man after they were indicted by a Wilson County Grand Jury.

The three suspects have been charged with Felony First Degree Murder and Especially Aggravated Robbery. Derrick Blair (top picture), 20, of Watertown, TN, Tommy Adams (middle photo), 24, of Watertown, TN and Chris Estes (bottom picture), 24, of Auburntown, TN have all booked into the Wilson County Jail.

The victim 38-year-old Darrell Sloan, 714 Washington Drive, Lebanon, TN was found shot to death on October 4, 2009 at a friend’s residence located at 155 Knight Road, Watertown, TN. The suspects and victim were acquaintances and had attended a party at the residence

Governor Bredesen Awards Highway Safety Grants to Local Law Enforcement Agencies

October 14, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Tennessee officials announced today that DeKalb County has been awarded a highway safety grants in the amounts of $5,000 for the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department and the Alexandria Police Department to support high visibility law enforcement campaigns.

The Smithville Police Department has also been awarded a highway safety grant in the amount of
$20,887 to support DUI enforcement efforts.

The Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHSO) mission is to save lives and reduce injuries on Tennessee roadways through leadership, innovation, coordination, and program support in partnership with other public and private organizations. The grant awarded will be used to promote this mission.

“These highway safety grants reflect a continued commitment to work with local and state agencies to make our roadways even safer than they are today,” said Bredesen. “The funds made available through these grants will support the efforts of many local and state highway safety partners to reduce the number of people killed and injured in traffic crashes each year.”

Grant awards are issued to agencies that successfully applied for funding based on problem and statistical need. The GHSO notified agencies across the state that applications were being accepted for highway safety grants. Applications were reviewed and scored by the GHSO and external highway safety advocates. The agencies that met the criteria for funding received awards.

I am proud that we are able to help fund important programs at the state and local level that help reduce the number of traffic crashes on Tennessee roadways,” stated Commissioner Gerald Nicely, Tennessee Department of Transportation. “These grants will make a difference in the effectiveness of our highway safety partners.”

There are several elements that contribute to a sound and safe roadway system. Some of those aspects are an accurate traffic safety data collection and analysis system; well-trained and equipped law enforcement personnel; and effective emergency medical and trauma systems. A major part of roadway safety is educating motorists about laws and good driving behaviors.

Grants awarded by the GHSO are provided in areas of need,” reported GHSO Director Kendell Poole. “Statistics show our problem areas and we strive to put the funding where it will be most effective. We are dedicated to saving lives across Tennessee and pledge to work with grantees statewide to accomplish our mission.”

Senator Mae Beavers and Representative Terri Lynn Weaver worked to secure these funds for DeKalb County.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides the funding for GHSO grants.

WWII Veteran Donald Sheets Honored at DeKalb Community Hospital

October 13, 2009
 World War II Veteran Donald Sheets-

It was a trip he had looked forward to for a long time. But unfortunately, World War II Veteran Donald Sheets was unable to make his Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. to visit the World War II Memorial. When it came time for Donald to make his trip, he became ill. He ended up requiring hospitalization and became a patient at DeKalb Community Hospital.

As one might expect, Donald was very disappointed at not being able to travel to Washington, D.C with many of his fellow soldiers. Edward and Edsel Frazier were two other local Smithville Veterans who did get to make this journey.

When Dr J.C. Wall, a Family Practice Physician here in Smithville, heard about Donald’s story from the nurses at the hospital, he knew that he wanted to find a way to honor this hero. He had the dietary department at DeKalb Community Hospital bake a very special cake that was presented to Donald Sheets in his hospital bed.

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