Local News Articles

"Love Lights a Tree" for the American Cancer Society

November 30, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
"Love Lights a Tree" for the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society invites you to make a special donation in honor or in memory of a loved one during the Christmas holiday season through "Love Lights a Tree". A special memory board will be erected on the south side of the courthouse that will list the names of loved ones being honored and remembered.

The DeKalb County Unit of the American Cancer Society seeks your support in the "Love Lights a Tree" fundraising campaign to raise money for research to find a cure as well as cancer education and patient services. Donations may be made throughout the holiday season. The persons you honor or remember do not necessarily have to have suffered from cancer.

The names are in "honor of" and in "memory of" for a donation of five-dollars per name. Forms may be obtained at the local banks. For more information, contact Ivadell Randolph at 615- 597-5296, Lynda Luna at 615- 597-5837, Renee Cantrell at 615-684-2688, or Gail Taylor 615-597-5936

Two Men Indicted After Being Found with Images of Child Porn

November 29, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Winston Alexander Puckett
Roy Junior Wilkey

Two men accused in separate cases of downloading child pornography have been indicted by the DeKalb County Grand Jury.

Winston Alexander Puckett is charged in a two count indictment for sexual exploitation of a minor and for aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor. Roy Junior Wilkey is indicted on one count of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, July 13 a search warrant was executed by a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department Detective on a Dell laptop computer belonging to Puckett.

The computer was in Puckett’s possession on June 27 when it was turned over to law enforcement. The search warrant revealed over 400 images of child pornography that had been downloaded to the computer.

The indictment against him alleges that Puckett did unlawfully and intentionally or knowingly possess material to wit: more than 100 images that depict minors engaged in sexual activity. The second count alleges that Puckett did unlawfully and knowingly promote or possess with the intent to promote, sell, distribute, transport, purchase or exchange material, that includes a minor engaged in sexual activity or simulated sexual activity that is patently offensive.

In the case against Wilkey, Smithville Police said that on June 22 they were called to check out a possible break in at a residence on Bright Hill Road. Upon arrival they found Wilkey outside the home. He was not trying to break in but had been locked out by female minors inside the residence that he had been babysitting. One of the girls alleged that Wilkey had taken a picture of her while she was either in or coming out of the shower. Officers asked Wilkey for consent to look at his cell phone. He voluntarily turned it over to them. While no pictures were found of the children he was babysitting they did find images of child pornography that he had downloaded from the Internet. He was subsequently charged in the case.

The indictment against Wilkey alleges that on June 22, he did unlawfully and intentionally or knowingly possess material to-wit: more than 50 images that depict minors engaged in sexual activity.

Both Puckett and Wilkey will be arraigned in DeKalb County Criminal Court on December 12.

"Christmas on the Square" Set for December 7

November 29, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Community Chorus
Santa to visit with Children at Justin Potter Library
County Officials and others last year at Christmas on the Square Open House
Shan Burklow and Suzanne Williams at Lighted Christmas Tree

The Christmas season has arrived and you are invited to join in the celebration Thursday evening, December 7 downtown Smithville for “Christmas on the Square”.

The event will be held from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. on the public square.

The schedule of events has yet to be finalized but the tentative plans (subject to change) is as follows:

A tree lighting ceremony is planned outside the courthouse on the west side.

The Community Chorus will perform Christmas Classics on the steps of the courthouse (weather permitting).

Courthouse officials and the Chamber of Commerce will have an Open House. You can visit county officials on the main floor (2nd floor) of the courthouse where you’ll find lots of goodies to eat!

There will be a Free Photo Booth and Holiday Music in the courthouse compliments of the City of Smithville.

The 303 building on the north side of the square will be open for holiday music, a LIVE nativity (no animals) and a festival of trees decorated by the library and participating businesses.

Santa will be making an appearance at Justin Potter Library at 6:30 p.m. so remember to bring your camera. A Santa’s Workshop will also give children a chance to make their own Christmas ornament at the library.

And don’t forget about all the great downtown shopping!

Hope you can come for this special night – Thursday, December 7 from 5 to 8 PM - Christmas on the Square!

Man Responsible for Crash Indicted for Vehicular Assault

November 29, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Christopher Keith Lane Derrick
1996 Chevy Monte Carlo driven by Christopher Keith Lane Derrick
2005 Chevy Classic driven by Alex B. Huber

A man believed to be responsible for a head-on crash and then leaving the scene Friday afternoon, May 12 on East Broad Street has been indicted for vehicular assault and other charges.

The Grand Jury Monday indicted 21 year old Christopher Keith Lane Derrick of 323 Jackson Street, Smithville for driving under the influence, vehicular assault, evading arrest, and violation of the implied consent law

According to police, Derrick was driving east on Broad Street in a 1996 Chevy Monte Carlo when he crossed into the westbound lane and struck an oncoming 2005 Chevy Classic driven by Alex B. Huber. Dustin Allen Sullivan and Ryan Powell were passengers with Derrick. Huber and Sullivan were taken by DeKalb EMS to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital. Powell refused transport by EMS to the hospital.

Witnesses said that after the crash, Derrick fled the scene on foot carrying a green and white bag heading north into the woods between Eastside Inn and Caney Fork Electric Cooperative.

Smithville Police Officers, assisted by DeKalb County Sheriff’s Deputies, set up a perimeter and conducted a foot search. Derrick was subsequently found and placed under arrest.

Derrick had suffered a large cut near his right knee and across his leg. His speech was slurred and he was very unsteady on his feet. According to police, Derrick needed help at times to maintain his balance. Field sobriety tasks were not administered due to Derrick’s injuries. He was then transported by DeKalb EMS to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital. A search warrant was obtained to get a blood sample from Derrick after he refused to voluntarily submit to a blood test.

In addition to vehicular assault, Derrick was charged at the time with evading arrest, violation of the registration law and financial responsibility, driving without a license, failure to yield the right of way, and violation of the implied consent law.

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

Fire Leaves Family Homeless

November 29, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Fire Leaves Family Homeless

A weekend fire has left a DeKalb County family homeless.

DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green said firefighters were called to a structure fire Saturday night at around 11:30 p.m. on Gene Vaughn Road.

The owner, Thelma Evans, her son and daughter-in-law Ricky and Sherry Evans and four children were in the home at the time and escaped unharmed after discovering that the back of the house was on fire. According to Chief Green, the fire appears to have started on the back porch although the exact cause is undetermined.

The home and all belongings were lost in the fire.

Members of the Short Mountain Highway, Belk, Blue Springs, and Tanker Truck of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with the Sheriff’s Department and DeKalb EMS.

DWS Jr Pro Basketball Season Upcoming (REGISTRATION FORM HERE)

November 29, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb West School Junior Pro Basketball season will be held February 6 through March 1.

Games will be played on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Practice will be held on Mondays.

Plans are to have four grade groups: (K-1), (2-3), (4-5), (6-7)

The sign up fee is $30 for the first child and then $25 for each additional sibling.

Anyone interested in being a player should fill out the form below (CLICK LINK) so plans can be made to organize teams. The form must be returned by December 8. The money is due in full by January 11.

All board members and coaches must pass background check. If you re interested in being a coach submit your name on the form below (CLICK LINK).

Jr Pro. Sign up.pdf (35.75 KB)

Please return the form to the DeKalb West School Office, Attention, DWS Jr. Pro
101 Bulldog Lane
Liberty, TN 37095

Early Voting Starts Today (Wednesday) for State Senate Special Election

November 29, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Mary Alice Carfi
Mark Pody

Early voting begins Today (Wednesday, November 29) for the December 19th State Senatorial District 17 Special Election.

The candidates are Mary Alice Carfi, the Democratic nominee, and Mark Pody, the Republican nominee. The winner will fill the unexpired term of former State Senator Mae Beavers.

Early Voting Hours are as follows:
Mondays 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Tuesdays 9 a.m. to 12 Noon
Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 12 Noon
Thursdays 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Fridays 9 a.m. to 12 Noon
Saturdays 9 a.m. to 12 Noon

Early voting begins November 29 and runs through December 14. All early voting is conducted on the first floor of the DeKalb County Courthouse.

Election Day is December 19 and polls will open that day at 8 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

Last of Jail Escapees Captured in Florida

November 29, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Daniel Trey Hamilton

The last of the three escapees from the DeKalb County Jail is back in custody, one week after the trio broke out.

Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE Tuesday night that 26 year old Daniel Trey Hamilton of Jacobs Pillar Road, Smithville was arrested in Fort Myers, Florida Tuesday after being involved in a traffic accident there. He was placed into custody in Lee County, Florida and is awaiting extradition back to DeKalb County. Hamilton will be charged with escape.

Last Tuesday night, Hamilton, 38 year old Jack Mullican, Jr. of Adcock Cemetery Road and 32 year old Bryon Ray Gibbs of Gin Alley, Alexandria broke out of the jail annex through a door they jimmied open.

Mullican was captured last Wednesday morning after being found in an underground water drain near Mapco Express. He became trapped there after making his escape.

Gibbs was apprehended Saturday thanks to an alert Alexandria Police Officer, Josh Arnold and a few citizen bystanders. After being confronted, Gibbs resisted and began fighting with Arnold. Citizens who witnessed the scene came to the aid of the officer to help subdue Gibbs. Deputies and detectives of the Sheriff’s Department also responded to provide assistance.

Gibbs was charged by Alexandria Police with resisting arrest and aggravated assault.

All three, Hamilton, Mullican, and Gibbs, are facing escape charges and although a bond is set in each case, all three remain incarcerated and are being housed at jails in other counties.

Jett Serves As Delegate to Model United Nations

November 28, 2017
Braedon Jett

Braedon Jett, a Sophomore at DCHS recently served as an independent delegate to The Model United Nations held at The Pope John Paul II Church in Hendersonville. Braedon represented the country of Zimbabwe and the impact of the Zika virus there.

"Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an educational simulation and/or academic activity in which students can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations."

Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections Underway

November 28, 2017
Donny Green

Donny Green, County Executive Director of the DeKalb/Cannon County Farm Service Agency, announces that the 2017 FSA County Committee Election is underway as ballots were mailed to eligible voters in Local Administrative Area (LAA) # 2 (DeKalb County) and Local Administrative Area # 4 (Cannon County) on November 6th.

December 4, 2017 will be the last day to postmark voted ballots returned by mail or to delivery voted ballots to the local FSA office.

Grant Williams is the only candidate nominated for LAA # 2 (DeKalb Co.). Grant has been certified as an eligible candidate. Mr. Williams operates a beef cattle farm in the Dale Ridge Community.

Javin Fann is the only candidate nominated for LAA # 4 (Cannon Co.). Javin has been certified as an eligible candidate. Mr. Fann produces corn, soybeans, and wheat on his family farm and is completing his second term on the DeKalb/Cannon FSA County Committee where he currently serves as the Vice-Chairperson.

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 that ended August 1, 2017.

“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,” says Green.

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 # 2 or Cannon County LAA # 4 who did not receive a ballot can obtain a ballot at their local USDA Service Center. December 4, 2017 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 4, 2017. The DeKalb/Cannon FSA County Committee will meet on December 5, 2017 at 10:00 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, 2018.

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