Local News Articles

DeKalb Hospital Receives Quality Measures Awards

November 18, 2013
Shan Burklow
DeKalb Hospital Receives Quality Measures Awards

DeKalb Community hospital was awarded ‘Top Performer on Key Quality Measures’ out of 3,343 eligible hospitals by The Joint Commission recently. The hospital is recognized for achieving excellence in performance on its accountability measures for pneumonia and surgical care. DeKalb Community Hospital was one of 1,099 hospitals to meet or exceed the target rates of performance for 2012.

“We understand that what matters most to our patients is safe, effective care. We are honored to be recognized in the top thirty-three percent of all Joint Commission-accredited hospitals reporting accountability measure performance data for 2012,” said Sue Conley-CEO of DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospitals. “I am proud of our staff for being recognized for their hard work and commitment to assuring that our measures set for pneumonia and surgical care meet and exceed Joint Commission standards of ninety-five percent or higher.”

“DeKalb Community Hospital and all the Top Performer hospitals have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to quality improvement and they should be proud of their achievement,” said Mark R. Chassin, M.D.,FACP,M.P.P., M.P.H. President and CEO, The Joint Commission. “We have much to celebrate this year. Nearly half of our accredited hospitals have attained or nearly attained the Top Performer distinction. This truly shows that we are approaching a tipping point in hospital quality performance that will directly contribute to better health outcomes for patients.”

As a top performer, DeKalb Community Hospital will be recognized in the Improving America’s Hospitals annual report, The Joint Commission website, and on The Joint Commission Quality Check website.

Pictured: (left) OR Director Nancy Trapp stands proudly alongside nursing and surgical staff as well as CNO Kim Frazier and CEO Sue Conley of DeKalb Community Hospital and Stones River Hospital (far right). DeKalb Community Hospital was awarded the ‘Top Performer in Key Quality Measures’ for pneumonia and surgical care for 2012 from The Joint Commission.

Two Charged in Recent Burglary and Theft

November 18, 2013
Dwayne Page
Steven Dale Davidson
Rodney Hugo Gora
 Mark Denver Young
Joe Nathan Jones

Two men have been arrested in a recent burglary and theft.

28 year old Steven Dale Davidson of Antioch Road, Smithville and 40 year old Rodney Hugo Gora of Short Mountain Road, Smithville are each charged with burglary and theft of property over $500. Bond for each is $6,500 and they will appear in court on December 12.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Wednesday, November 13 Davidson and Gora allegedly entered a residence on James Place and took several items from the home including a storage trunk, a picture, jewelry box, a wooden bunk bed, two mattresses, a wooden end table, and a bag containing sheets and towels all valued at more than $500.

32 year old Mark Denver Young of McMinnville Highway, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court on December 5.

Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, November 12 a sheriff's department drug detective saw a white truck sitting partially in the roadway on Highway 56 south. The detective stopped to investigate and made contact with Young, who was standing in a driveway. Young told the detective that he was the driver of the truck and that he had been there for about five minutes prior to the officer's arrival. Young's speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet. He also had a powdery residue on his nose and in his possession was an empty pen that contained pill residue. Young submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. He also consented to a blood alcohol test. Young was placed under arrest.

Young was arrested again on Friday, November 15 for violation of an order of protection for illegal possession of a weapon. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court November 21. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, November 13 Young was in possession of a 30-30 rifle. A computer check revealed that Young is under an active order of protection.

37 year old Joe Nathan Jones of Clarksville is charged in a grand jury sealed indictment with two counts of sale and delivery of a schedule II drug, one of them being over a half gram of cocaine. He was arrested on Tuesday, November 12. His bond is $70,000.

Timothy Eugene Mathis of McMinnville is charged with driving on a suspended license. He was also issued a citation for failure to maintain his lane of travel. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on December 18.

Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, November 12 a deputy was traveling west on Highway 70 when he saw a green SUV swerving outside the lane of travel. The officer pulled over the vehicle and spoke to the driver, Mathis. He was found to be driving on a suspended license. Mathis was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

29 year old Randall Jake Hines of Lafayette is charged with a third offense of driving on a revoked license. His court date is December 12 and his bond is $2,500. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, November 16 a deputy conducted a traffic stop at DeKalb Market due to a theft in Smithville. A computer check revealed that the license of the driver, Hines was revoked in Trousdale County on August 23, 2004 for failure to satisfy citations. He has two prior convictions. Hines was arrested and brought to the jail for booking. Two passengers of Hines' vehicle, 39 year old Johnny Thomas Whited of Carthage and 44 year old Tammy Denise Lamb of Lafayette were each charged with public intoxication. Bond for each is $1,500 and they will be in court on December 12. According to Sheriff Ray both Whited and Lamb were highly intoxicated. Their speech was slurred and they were unsteady on their feet. Both had a strong odor of alcohol on them. For their safety and that of the public, both Whited and Lamb were arrested.

27 year old Erich Taylor Brandt of Arlington, Texas is charged with public intoxication. His bond is $1,000 and he will be in court on November 21. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, November 17 a deputy was dispatched to Moores College Road where EMS was on the side of the road with a man who was found to be Brandt. He had a strong odor of alcohol on his person. Brandt was unsteady on his feet. His eyes were bloodshot and his speech was slurred. For his safety and that of the public, Brandt was placed under arrest.

Former Deputy Announces Plans to Run for Sheriff

November 17, 2013
Dwayne Page
Michael Agee and Wife Kelly

A former DeKalb County Sheriff's deputy plans to make a run for the Democratic nomination for Sheriff in the local primary May 6, 2014.

Michael Agee announced his intentions during the DeKalb County Democratic Party's Re-Organization Convention held Saturday at the courthouse.

"My plans are to run for the 2014 election for Sheriff, " Agee told WJLE after the meeting. "I am the son of Hobert and Judy Agee. I have lived in Smithville all my life. I am the husband of Kelly Agee. I have two children, Stetson and Presley Agee." he said.

"I think it's time for some changes. I think our youth are really hurting in leadership of the sheriff's department. This is something I've wanted (to do) for the past couple of years but I just hadn't felt the support I needed. But here lately it feels like everything has fell into place. My wife and family are really supporting me. Most of all it seems that God has really pushed this on me this year. I would really appreciate everyone's support in this," he said.

Agee said he joins this race with a law enforcement background. "I graduated from the Law Enforcement Academy in 2005. I went to work for (former Sheriff) Lloyd Emmons in 2002. I have served at the Smithville City (Police Department). I am currently serving with the Smith County Sheriff's Department as a K-9 Officer," Agee told WJLE.

Local Democrats Select Party Leaders

November 17, 2013
Dwayne Page
Jim Judkins, Myra Johnson Miller, Joyce Hendrixson, Jordan Wilkins

The DeKalb County Democratic Party held a re-organization convention Saturday at the courthouse to elect party leaders for the next two years.

Jim Judkins was returned as Chairman. Jordan Wilkins, Larry Bain, and Kim Ambrose were re-elected Co Vice Chairmen. Joyce Hendrixson remains as Secretary and Myra Johnson Miller is the new Treasurer, replacing Katherine Pack who declined to accept another term, citing a conflict, since she is planning to seek re-election as Circuit Court Clerk.

Members of the DeKalb County Democratic Executive Committee were named for the next two years including Judy Slager from the First District, Frank Buck in the Second District, Faye Fuqua from the Third District, David McDowell in the Fourth District, James Hale from the Fifth District, Flint Gilley in the Sixth District, and Tommy Webb in the Seventh District.

The party also voted to call a Democratic Primary for May 6th, 2014 to nominate candidates for county offices and district judicial positions.

Chairman Judkins gave potential candidates in attendance a chance to announce their intentions for 2014.

Michael Agee announced that he would be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Sheriff. Though he was unable to attend Saturday's meeting, it was announced that Jimmy Sprague plans to seek the office of Road Supervisor. James L "Jimmy" Poss said he would be a candidate for County Clerk. Incumbent Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack and General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook, II also announced they would be seeking re-election. Although the office is non-partisan, Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss announced that he would be running for another term next year.

Sarah Marie Smith of Smith County said she is considering another run for State Representative of the 40th district next year.

The DeKalb County Democratic Party is expected to hold a Mass Meeting soon where Democrats planning to seek office can make their formal announcements.

School Bus Involved in Minor Accident

November 15, 2013
Dwayne Page
School Bus Involved in Minor Accident
Students being transferred to another bus
Bus receives minor damage

A school bus with twenty students on board was involved a minor traffic accident Friday afternoon on Student's Home Road near Magness Road.

No one was injured.

Central dispatch was notified at 3:38 p.m.

Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Faye Pollard, driving bus #08-25, was traveling south on Student's Home Road as 45 year old Jose Tierranegra was going north on a John Deere tractor with a nursery tree digger attachment. According to Trooper Johnson the tractor and bus sideswiped on the narrow road as both vehicles were trying to negotiate a curve. Tierranegra works for the BFN Operations nursery company.

The bus was only dented at the point of impact. While the bus was still driveable, students were loaded onto another bus and taken home.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby, Transportation Supervisor Jimmy Sprague, and Attendance Supervisor Joey Reeder were on the scene along with a sheriff's deputy.

Nine Sentenced in Criminal Court

November 15, 2013
Dwayne Page
David Patterson

Several persons facing drug charges and other offenses appeared in DeKalb County Criminal Court Wednesday.

Judge David Patterson presided.

25 year old Brittney Barnes pleaded guilty to one count of sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance. She received a three year sentence in each case to run consecutively for a total of six years. However the sentence will be suspended to supervised probation after serving 180 days. She was fined $2,000. Barnes is also to pay restitution in theft cases against her. She was given jail credit of 83 days.

Barnes was indicted in a recent undercover drug investigation by the sheriff's department. The indictments allege that on March 7th she sold and delivered Dilaudid and that on March 18 she sold Cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school or public place.

28 year old Michael Snyders pleaded guilty to sale and delivery of a controlled substance. He received a two year sentence, suspended to TDOC probation supervised by community corrections. He was given jail credit of 84 days. The sentence is to run consecutive to a prior case against him.

Snyders was indicted in a recent undercover investigation by the sheriff's department. The indictment alleges that he sold and delivered Dihydrocodeinone on May 10, 2012.

32 year old Halton Wayne Hicks pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II controlled substance and 32 year old Amanda May Hicks pleaded guilty to two counts of sale and delivery of a schedule II drug.

Halton Wayne Hicks received a three year sentence in the Tennessee Department of Corrections to run consecutive to three other cases against him and concurrently with a Warren County case.

Amanda May Hicks got a six year sentence in each case to run concurrently with each other to serve at 30%. The term is to also run concurrently with two other cases against her, a violation of probation sentence, and a Warren County case. She was given jail credit of 78 days.

Both were indicted in a recent undercover drug investigation by the sheriff's department. The indictments allege that on March 18th, both Halton and Amanda Hicks sold and delivered Hydromorphone; and that on March 7 Amanda Hicks sold and delivered Dilaudid.

38 year old James S. Leduc pleaded guilty to possession of a schedule IV and II drug for resale. He received a four year sentence in each case to run consecutive for a total of eight years at 30% before his release eligibility date. He was fined $2,000. The sentence is to run concurrently with a violation of probation against him. Leduc was given jail credit of 155 days.

20 year old James D. Mitchell pleaded guilty to attempted initiation of methamphetamine. He received a six year sentence and fined $2,000. He was granted judicial diversion probation.

45 year old Therese D. Tittle pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II controlled substance and received a three year sentence, all suspended to probation. She was fined $2,000.

49 year old Aubrey L. Kilgore pleaded guilty by information to reckless endangerment and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, suspended to unsupervised probation except for six days to serve on consecutive weekends. He received a fine of $365 and a $50 statutory fine.

53 year old Tracy Veach pleaded guilty to a third offense of driving under the influence and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, suspended to 120 days to serve. He will lose his driving privileges for six years and be fined $1,100.

Mallory Sullivan Signs to Play Golf at Belmont University

November 15, 2013
Dwayne Page
Mallory Sullivan with parents James and Tonya Sullivan
Mallory Sullivan Signs to Play Golf at Belmont University

Outstanding DCHS Senior Golfer Mallory Sullivan has signed with Belmont University to play golf next season.

Mallory's parents, James and Tonya Sullivan appeared with her during the signing at DCHS Thursday evening.

Sullivan said she is looking forward to playing golf at Belmont, where her sister Shay signed to play after her high school career. "It's a great school. I'm going into business and I love the golf team. My sister (Shay) is already there. It just felt like a perfect fit for me".

Mallory finished tied for fifth at the Class A/AA state golf tournament held recently at the Willowbrook Golf Club.

Sullivan, the only female from DCHS to compete in the state golf tournament all four years, carded a 3-over 75 to tie for a fifth place finish at 82-75—157, just a stroke away from a medal. She had the second lowest score on the second day of the tournament.

Mallory placed 11th in the state tournament as a freshman, second as a sophomore and tied for 14th as a junior.

"It's been a blessing for me to coach an athlete of that caliber," said DCHS Golf Coach Joe Pat Cope. "Her work ethic is so good. She is going to be a success at the college level because every day, if she is not playing, she is hitting balls, chipping, or working on her putting and that's what it takes. She is willing to put in three or four hours every day and it shows in her game," said Coach Cope.

"Mallory has worked really hard and we're very excited that she has the opportunity to attend Belmont and get a great education and to continue to play the game she loves," said Tonya Sullivan, Mallory's mother.

Mallory's father, James Sullivan said she began playing golf at a young age. "She started when she was in sixth grade. At first she didn't want to follow in her sister's footsteps but she saw what Shay was able to do and was very excited about that and decided to pick this up," he said.

"We're very excited and appreciate all the support shown Mallory from the school system and the community," said Tonya Sullivan.

Sullivan's head coach at Belmont will be Lissa Bradford.

Farm Service Agency County Committee Election Ballot Misprint

November 14, 2013
Dwayne Page
Donny Green

Donny Green, County Executive Director of the DeKalb/Cannon County Farm Service Agency (FSA), says that a printing/mailing contractor, hired to print and mail ballots nationwide for the Farm Service Agency, erroneously formatted the 2013 Farm Service Agency County Committee Election Ballots that were mailed out last week. As a result, the following notice was issued by the Farm Service Agency National Office:

“Recently you should have received a ballot for FSA County Committee election. As you may have noticed, your ballot was incorrectly printed with your name and address shown on the back of the actual ballot. This was a misprint, and these ballots cannot be used. Please destroy or recycle the ballot dated 07-03-13. If you have already voted, your ballot will be destroyed unopened. You will be receiving a new one by mid-December with a corrected election date. Please watch your mail for the new ballot and vote for the COC candidate of your choice. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
Green wants all of DeKalb and Cannon counties eligible voters to be aware of this printing mistake and that they should not purchase postage or travel to the county office to return these invalid ballots that were erroneously printed by the private contractor. “We want our eligible voters to have confidence in our County Committee Election process that has been the model of integrity allowing local farmers and ranchers to have a voice in local FSA program delivery and office administration. FSA’s County Committee is uniquely designed to allow farmers and ranchers to elect their peers who make decisions at the grassroots level,” says Green.

The DeKalb and Cannon County FSA Committees want to encourage voters in the Local Administrative Areas (LAA’s) up for election this year to be watching for the corrected ballots that will be mailed out by mid-December. It is vitally important that voters take the time to vote when these corrected ballots are received. As the Farm Service Agency gets more information on this matter and the corrective actions, additional news releases will be publicized.

Mr. and Miss Motlow named for McMinnville Center

November 14, 2013
Dwayne Page
Mr. and Miss Motlow

The Motlow College McMinnville Center recently named Mr. and Miss Motlow for the 2013-14 academic year.

Miss Motlow is Katie Haggard, an elementary education major from Smithville.

Mr. Motlow is J.T. Morgan from McMinnville, who is majoring in history.

Mr. and Miss Motlow are chosen for each of Motlow’s four campuses, with those selected representing the college at social and educational functions throughout the academic year.

Foster Children Need Your Help for Christmas

November 14, 2013
Dwayne Page
Annette Greek

The Treasurer for the DeKalb Foster Children's Fund is making an urgent plea for help during the holidays.

"We're needing to get money for their Christmas gifts," said Annette Greek.

Some nine thousand dollars is needed to serve the sixty children in foster care this Christmas and only two thousand dollars has been collected. "We've got sixty kids right now that have been removed from our county. DeKalb County is responsible for their Christmas needs. The state does not pay for this. We try to collect money each year for this project. I have collected not hardly two thousand dollars yet and it's going to take nine thousand dollars to do the one hundred and fifty dollars per child that we have been trying to do the last few years," said Greek.

"If anybody has it in their heart to help with this, please bring your donation to me at F.Z. Webb & Sons Gifts. I can take five dollars or whatever amount but if you can give five hundred or a thousand dollars that would be great. It takes all of us to make this happen for these children. There's always a possibility we may have even more foster kids in December. It can happen," said Greek.

The sooner you can make your donation, the better. "I try to have this done by the first week in December so I can get the money to the foster parents or to the children so they can do their shopping before Christmas. We send cash instead of gifts because the children are in so many different locations. If it's not the right gift, it could be hard to exchange it so it's easier to do cash," she said.

You may send your donation to: Annette Greek, in care of F.Z. Webb & Sons Gifts, 400 West Public Square, Smithville TN 37166. For more information call 615-597-4186.


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