Local News Articles

County Fire Department Offers Home Heating Safety Tips

November 3, 2008
Bradley Mullinax

With the cold temperatures on the way and rising energy costs some people may resort to burning wood in fireplaces and wood stoves for home heating this winter

Bradley Mullinax, Lieutenant and Fire Prevention and Safety Officer for the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department offers some helpful tips for the prevention of Chimney Fires.

Get an annual chimney check. Have chimneys inspected annually, and cleaned as necessary, by a qualified professional chimney service technician. This reduces the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisonings due to creosote buildup or obstructions in the chimneys.

2. Keep it clear. Keep tree branches and leaves at least 15 feet away from the top of the chimney.

3. Install a chimney cap to keep debris and animals out of the chimney.

4. Choose the right fuel. For burning firewood in wood stoves or fireplaces, choose well seasoned wood that has been split for a minimum of six months - one year and stored in a covered and elevated location. Never burn Christmas trees or treated wood in your fireplace or wood stove.

5. Build it right. Place firewood or firelogs at the rear of the fireplace on a supporting grate. To start the fire, use kindling or a commercial firelighter. Never use flammable liquids.

6. Keep the hearth area clear. Combustible material too close to the fireplace, or to a wood stove, could easily catch fire. Keep furniture at least 36" away from the hearth.

7. Use a fireplace screen. Use metal mesh or a screen in front of the fireplace to catch flying sparks that could ignite or burn holes in the carpet or flooring.

8. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Place detectors throughout the house and check batteries in the spring and fall. When you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time, remember to check your batteries.

9. Never leave a fire unattended. Before turning in for the evening, be sure that the fire is fully extinguished. Supervise children and pets closely around wood stoves and fireplaces.

10. Annual inspections are recommended, performed by Certified Chimney Sweeps. These chimney sweeps have earned the industry's most respected credential by passing an intensive examination based on fire codes, clearances and standards for the construction and maintenance of chimney and venting systems. The National Fire Protection Association also recommends that all chimneys are inspected on an annual basis.

Sheriff Reports Quiet Halloween Night in DeKalb County

November 3, 2008
Dwayne Page

Sheriff Patrick Ray says Halloween night was relatively quiet in DeKalb County.

Deputies answered only 13 calls Friday night. Sheriff Ray says those calls included two burglar alarms, two vehicle lockouts, one domestic call, six investigation calls, one reckless driver call, and one loud music call.

The Sheriff's Department also conducted saturated patrols Halloween night across the county and joined the Smithville Police Department in setting up Sobriety Check Points. A road block was set up on Highway 70 East where a total of 57 vehicles came through. There was one arrest and 4 citations issued..

Sheriff Ray says 23 year old Raymundo Desirena Gilberth of West Spring Street Smithville was arrested for no driver's license. Gilberth was also issued a citation for an open container of beer in his vehicle. Gilberth's bond was set at $1,000 and he will appear in court on December 4th. Citations were also issued after K-9 Officer Patrick Britain and the dog "Banshee" searched for drugs around vehicles at the check point.

Those receiving citations were 51 year old David Seabolt of Johnson's Chapel Road Sparta for simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana). Banshee alerted on Seabolt's vehicle and detectives found a small amount of marijuana and a pair of hemostats.

44 year old James Douglas Weston Jr. of Darky Springs Road, Sparta was issued a citation after Banshee alerted on his vehicle. Deputies found an unlabeled pill bottle containing a small amount of white pills believed to be Xanax. Weston was issued a citation for simple possession of a schedule IV drug (Xanax).

Elderly Woman Awakened by Smoke Alarm

November 2, 2008
Dwayne Page

An elderly woman was awakened by a smoke alarm Saturday night after a fire started in the laundry room of her home from a clothes dryer.

County Fire Chief Donny Green says Virginia Jones, who lives alone at 242 Delong Road, off Jefferson Road was in bed when she was awakened by a smoke alarm in her home. She discovered that the house was filled with smoke and that the clothes dryer in the laundry room was on fire. She called 911 and firefighters were dispatched to the scene.

Chief Green says firefighters, upon arrival, saw heavy smoke coming from the house and fire in the laundry room and clothes in the dryer were on fire.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire but heat and smoke damage spread to areas of the home near the laundry room.

Jones was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital for observation.

Chief Green says it appears the clothes dryer overheated due to an obstructed vent which sparked the fire.

Members of the Keltonburg, Belk, and Blue Springs Stations responded along with DeKalb EMS and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Moss Named Fall Fest Queen

November 1, 2008
Dwayne Page
Fall Fest Queen Whitney LaRay Moss
Fall Fest Queen and Attendants
Fall Fest Miss Congeniality Ashlee Michelle Whitehead

17 year old Whitney LaRay Moss of Alexandria is the 2008 Fall Fest Queen

She was crowned Saturday night at the conclusion of the annual pageant held at the DeKalb County High School gym, sponsored by the Smithville Business and Professional Women's Club.

Moss, daughter of Greg and Wendy Moss, succeeds the 2007 Fall Fest Queen, Martha Alan Webb, the 16 year old daughter of Alan and Lora Webb of Smithville.

First runner-up in the pageant was 17 year old Rosemary Apple, daughter of Nick and Claire Apple of Smithville.

15 year old Katelyn Lou Ann Goodwin, daughter of Joey and Kathy Goodwin of Smithville, was named second runner-up

Laura Caroline Carter was third runner-up. She is the 16 year old daughter of John and Laura Carter of McMinnville.

14 year old Victoria Dawn Tatrow was the fourth runner-up. She is the daughter of Corey and Vickie Funk of Smithville and the late Shauna Tatrow.

Meanwhile, 14 year old Ashlee Michelle Whitehead was named Miss Congeniality. She is the daughter of Kenneth and Tina Whitehead of Smithville.

Rounding out the top ten were Jasmine Marie Dimas, the 14 year old daughter of Lynda Hamilton of Smithville; Trista Atnip, the 17 year old daughter of Twana and Jonathan Green and Barry Atnip of Smithville; Lauren Kemp, 17 year old daughter of Randy and Tonya Crutcher of Alexandria; Kara Elizabeth Young, the 17 year old daughter of Ronny and Nancy Young of Smithville; and Macy Celeste Felts, the 18 year old daughter of Kendra and Rick Guinn of Smithville.

Twenty one young ladies participated in the pageant.

(Group picture- left to right: Laura Caroline Carter, Rosemary Apple, Queen Whitney LaRay Moss, Katelyn Lou Ann Goodwin, and Victoria Dawn Tatrow)

Estes Crowned First Ever Autumn Princess

November 1, 2008
Dwayne Page
Autumn Princess Brooklynn Storm Estes
Autumn Princess and Attendants
Autumn Princess Miss Manners Alannah Rose Musick-Morris

The first ever Autumn Princess is 8 year old Brooklynn Storm Estes.

Estes, daughter of Chris and Shanna Bogle of Dowelltown, was among twenty three contestants in the pageant held Saturday night at the DCHS gym.

The new pageant, featuring girls ages 7 to 10, was sponsored by the Smithville Business and Professional Women's Club.

First runner-up in the pageant was Kyra Agee, the 8 year old daughter of April Davis and Donny Agee of Smithville.

Second runner-up was Tyra Grace Graham, the 10 year old daughter of Kyle and Doris Graham of Smithville.

Destiny Franklin, the 9 year old daughter of Jennifer Franklin and Charlie Ware of Smithville, was named third runner-up.

Abigail Hope Taylor was the fourth runner-up. She is the 8 year old daughter of Ken and Cindy Taylor of Smithville.

Rounding out the top ten were Kayla Jayne Belk, the 8 year old daughter of ChrisAnne Belk and Wendell Belk of Smithville; Hannah Elizabeth Evans, the 8 year old daughter of Mike and Amy Estes of Alexandria; Taylor Lee Parker, the 7 year old daughter of Tarron Johnson and Chris Parker of Smithville; Macy Elizabeth Hedge, the 8 year old daughter of David and Trina Hedge of Smithville; and Alannah Rose Musick-Morris the 7 year old daughter of Celena Musick and Grover Morris of Smithville.

Alannah Rose Musick-Morris was also named Miss Manners.

(Group picture- left to right: Abigail Hope Taylor, Tyra Grace Graham, Queen-Brooklynn Storm Estes, Kyra Agee, and Destiny Franklin)

DeKalb Tigers to Meet McMinn Central in First Round of TSSAA Football Play-offs

November 1, 2008
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tiger Football team will travel to Englewood near Athens in east Tennessee to take on the McMinn Central Chargers Friday night, November 7th in the first round of the TSSAA playoffs.

McMinn Central, the runner-up in Region 3-3A, finished the regular season at 9-1, losing their only game to Howard 33 to 14 Friday night.

The winner of the DeKalb/McMinn Central game will meet the winner of the Whitehouse/East Ridge contest on November 14th.

Meanwhile, Sycamore will face Howard in the first round of the playoffs while Station Camp will take on Polk County . The winners of those two games will meet on November 14th.

McMinn Central defeated the following teams this year:

Loudon, 34-13
Oliver Springs, 48-13
Meigs County, 55-0
Sequoyah 28-12
Notre Dame 42-0
East Ridge 17-16
Tellico Plains 49-13
Grundy County 55-6
Polk County 16-0

The DeKalb County Tigers finished the regular season at 8-2

DeKalb County defeated the following teams this year:

Warren County 42-25
Watertown 31-14
Greenbrier 46-27
Cannon County 63-20
Pearl Cohn 28-6
Upperman 40-37
Sycamore 20-6
Macon County 35-7

The Tigers lost to Station Camp 51-27 and to Whitehouse 49-35

DeKalb County Wins Battle of the Cats at Macon County 35-7

October 30, 2008
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tigers defeated the Macon County Tigers 35 to 7 at Lafayette Thursday night to conclude the regular football season at 8-2 overall and 4-2 in Region 4-3A.

DeKalb County will enter the TSSAA playoffs next week. The Tigers will travel to either McMinn Central or Chattanooga Howard. Those two teams play Friday night for the Region 3-3A championship.

Macon County, meanwhile, concludes their season with a 1-9 record, 1-5 in region play.

Neither team got on the board in the first period and the only score in the second quarter came with 24 seconds left before half time as Nick Lester caught a four yard touchdown pass from quarterback Hunter Poteete to give DeKalb County a 7-0 lead after Zach Taylor converted on the P.A.T.

That was the half time score.

DeKalb County got the ball to start the third period and marched 75 yards for another score. Quarterback Hunter Poteete found Abram Edwards on a 24 yard touchdown pass play. Zach Taylor converted on the P.A.T and with 9:15 left in the third quarter, the Tigers led 14-0.

After stopping Macon County on a fourth down play at the DeKalb 12 yard line, the Black and Gold Tigers moved 88 yards in two plays to score their third touchdown of the night. Quarterback Hunter Poteete raced 63 yards on the first play in the drive and Matthew Lawrence went the rest of the way on the second play, scoring on a 25 yard touchdown run with 3:41 left in the third period. Zach Taylor converted on the P.A.T. and DeKalb County led 21-0.

That was the score at the end of the third period.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, DeKalb County scored their fourth touchdown on a nine yard quarterback keeper by Hunter Poteete. Zach Taylor converted on the P.A.T. and DeKalb led 28-0 with 11:54 left in the game.

After getting the ball back on a turnover, the Tigers scored again, this time on a 24 yard pass play from quarterback Hunter Poteete to Abram Edwards. Zach Taylor converted on the PA.T. and DeKalb County led 35-0 with 11:25 to go in the fourth quarter.

Macon County finally got on the scoreboard with 3:28 left on a 22 yard touchdown pass play. The P.A.T. was good and DeKalb County's lead was cut to 35 to 7.

The final score was DeKalb County 35, Macon County 7.

J.J. Herriott had a huge night on defense for the Tigers, as he intercepted four Macon County passes. Herriott dropped a potentil fifth interception in the first half, on a fourth down pass play deep in Tiger territory. Hunter Poteete completed 5-of-14 passes for 115 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed for 161 yards on 15 carries with another score. Matthew Lawrence ran the ball 10 times for 79 yards with one touchdown.

Almost 4,000 People Voted Early

October 30, 2008
Dwayne Page

Almost four thousand people turned out for early voting in DeKalb County for the November 4th election.

The DeKalb County Election Commission reports that 3,979 persons voted from October 15th through October 30th including 3,816 in person and 163 by mail.

That beats the November early voting turnout of 2,212 in 2000 and 3,142 in 2004.

All early voting was conducted at the courthouse, but the election commission can break down the numbers of early voters by precinct.

The numbers of voters by precinct are as follows:

Alexandria 253
Temperance Hall 97
Edgar Evins State Park 21
Liberty 185
Dowelltown 123
Snow Hill 205
Middle School 757
Cherry Hill 36
Rock Castle 32
Courthouse 623
Johnson's Chapel 134
Elementary School 488
Belk 82
Keltonburg 217
Blue Springs 187
Church of Christ Annex 539

Total 3,979

If you did not vote early and are an eligible voter, you may cast ballots on Tuesday, November 4th. All sixteen precincts will be open for voting from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Be sure to vote Tuesday and then tune to WJLE Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. for LIVE election return coverage at the courthouse on FM 101.7, AM 1480 and LIVE audio streaming at www.wjle.com Also check out our election tables with voting results by precinct for all races at www.wjle.com

The following are the daily results of early voting at the courthouse.

Wednesday, October 15th- 250 voted in person and 5 by mail for a total of 255

Thursday, October 16th- 352 in person and 3 by mail for a total of 355

Friday, October 17th- 262 in person and 5 by mail for a total of 267

Saturday, October 18th- 142 in person and 5 by mail for a total of 147

Monday, October 20th- 213 in person and 5 by mail for a total of 218

Tuesday, October 21st- 240 in person and 21 by mail for a total of 261

Wednesday, October 22nd- 194 in person and 5 by mail for a total of 199

Thursday, October 23rd- 319 in person and 15 by mail for a total of 334

Friday, October 24th- 263 in person and 7 by mail for a total of 270

Saturday, October 25th- 159 in person and 6 by mail for a total of 165

Monday, October 27th- 229 in person and 3 by mail for a total of 232

Tuesday, October 28th- 298 in person and 8 by mail for a total of 306

Wednesday, October 29th- 281 in person and 8 by mail for a total of 289

Thursday, October 30th- 590 in person and 11 by mail for a total of 601

Prior to the start of early voting 56 voted by mail and 24 voted in person at the nursing homes and retirement homes for a total of 80.

Chamber Milestone Award Goes to New Frontiers

October 30, 2008
Lou Ann Sanders, Chamber Adm.Asst., New Frontier owners Larry and Lori Nellist, Suzanne Williams, Chamber Director

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce recently presented the Chamber
Milestone Award to New Frontiers celebrating 20 years of service in DeKalb

According to owners Larry and Lori Nellist, "New Frontiers ministers to people throughout the world teaching them to think metaphorically, to live intentionally and to seek the emergent truths that God speaks to them."

New Frontiers is located at 3939 Old Snow Hill Road in Dowelltown. You can see their website at www.newfrontiers.org or visit them on November 16th between the hours of 2 PM and 6 PM at their Open House.

(Pictured left to right: Lou Ann Sanders, Chamber Adm.Asst., New Frontier owners Larry and Lori
Nellist, Suzanne Williams, Chamber Director)

Tennessee Highway Patrols Urges Drivers to Keep Halloween a Treat

October 30, 2008

NASHVILLE --- This Friday evening, the streets will be literally swarming with children, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to do their part to make sure they get their treats home safely. For many families, Halloween is a fun-filled evening of trick-or-treating, but it can quickly turn into a real night of horror if someone is hurt.

“Halloween is a fun night for both children and adults, but I simply want to remind parents, drivers and children that it is important to be safe,” said Department of Safety Commissioner Dave Mitchell. “Careless or impaired drivers can quickly turn the evening into a nightmare.”

Halloween is one of the most dangerous holidays on the road due to alcohol-related crashes by drivers who make the mistake of drinking and driving after parties and festivities. Two-thirds of all highway fatalities at Halloween involve alcohol. Last year in Tennessee, three people were killed in crashes on Halloween between 12:00 a.m., October 31, 2007, through 6:00 a.m., November 1, 2007. One of those crashes involved alcohol.

“With Halloween falling on a Friday this year, we know a lot of people will be out celebrating,” stated THP Colonel Mike Walker. “We want everyone to have a good time, but be smart about it. Designate a driver. This is your warning, because if you drink and drive, you will go to jail.”

Parents and children have a responsibility to be safe this Halloween too. The Centers for Disease Control found that the number of deaths among young pedestrians (ages 5-14) is four times higher on Halloween evening than any other evening of the year. The United States Department of Transportation reports that fatal collisions between motor vehicles and young pedestrians (under the age of 15) happen most frequently between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., prime trick-or-treating time.

Below are tips parents, children and motorists should keep in mind before heading out the door this Halloween.

The Tennessee Department of Safety’s mission is (www.tennessee.gov/safety) to ensure the safety and general welfare of the public. The department encompasses the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Office of Homeland Security and Driver License Services. General areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and terrorism prevention.


Tips for Motorists
• Slow down. Watch for children walking on roads, medians and curbs.
• Be extra alert when pulling in and out of driveways.
• Be especially alert for children darting out from between parked vehicles and from behind bushes and shrubs. They’re excited – and they are not paying attention.
• Do not pass other vehicles that have stopped in the roadway. They could be dropping off children.
• If you are driving to a Halloween Party, put your mask on after you park the car.
• Never drink and drive – tonight or any night. If you are partying, designate a driver.
Tips for Parents
• Adults should accompany children at all times and supervise their "trick or treat" activities.
• Teach children to "stop, look left-right-left, and listen" before they cross the street.
• Instruct children to stay on sidewalks and to cross only at corners or crosswalks.
• Use a flashlight and wear retro-reflective strips or patches on your clothing or costume to be more visible to motorists.
• Be certain that the mask does not obstruct vision or hearing.
• Ensure that costumes do not impede walking or driving ability.
Tips for Pedestrians
(children and adults)
• Before crossing a street, stop at the curb or edge of the road and look left, right and left again to be sure no cars are coming. Continue to check for traffic while on the street.
• Walk – never run – from house to house or across the road.
• Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks.
• When crossing at an intersection with a traffic light, be sure to watch for turning cars. Obey all pedestrian signals.
• Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.


Follow Us


News Feed

WJLE Radio

2606 McMinnville Hwy
Smithville, TN 37166

Phone: 615 597-4265
FAX: 615 597-6025
Email: wjle@dtccom.net

Local News

6:30 A.M.
7:30 A.M.
8:55 A.M.
12:00 NOON
4:00 P.M.
9:45 P.M.

DTC Communications

Fiddlers Jamboree