Local News Articles

WJLE Adds Audio Streaming As A New Service To The Public

November 6, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

WJLE has added another dimension to our service to the public through LIVE streaming of the radio broadcast, limited to talk programs such as local newscasts, ballgames, election returns, and city council, school board, and county commission board meetings.

Dr. W.E. Vanatta, President of Center Hill Broadcasting Corporation, says \"WJLE has two slogans on our web site that helps define our purpose. (1) You tell us and we will tell thousands and (2) The voice of the Center Hill Region.\"

\"To our sponsors you tell us what you have to sell or the services you render and we literally will tell thousands. This has proven true as we often hear comments such as \"I heard it on WJLE\".

The second slogan helps define our service area.

Vanatta says,\" We have resisted offers to sell the station on numerous occasions in keeping with our desire to keep a local \"flavor\" in the services we provide such as LIVE board meetings, election returns, ball games, obituaries and local news, while at the same time not neglecting the coverage of the latest world and state news via the Tennessee Radio Network and Fox News.\"

\"In keeping with our desire to better serve our area we broadcast on AM 1480 khz and FM 101.7 khz, maintain a web page (www.WJLE.com), and now in keeping with our aim and purpose to better serve you we have added another dimension, namely limited audio streaming. To those who may not be informed, this entails putting our audio signal on the computer which affords world wide coverage. A solider in Iraq recently reported hearing the DCHS ball games via www.WJLE.com.\"

Vanatta explains, \"The streaming may be accessed by clicking the microphone icon box in the upper right corner of web page then scrolling down and clicking the other microphone icon. This activates the sound availability on your computer.\"

\"We thank our sponsors , listeners, Dwayne and loyal staff for making this possible. We also thank you our loyal listeners for making \"I heard it on WJLE a truism, that is often heard......Keep listening!\"

Police Department Conducts Neighborhood Crime Watch Meeting

November 6, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Police Department had it's first city wide Neighborhood Crime Watch meeting Saturday night at city hall.

Chief Thomas J. Stufano says the meeting was a success with residents and leadership from both Smithville and Liberty in attendance.

The focus of the meeting was to explain how the community can assist the police department by working together in combating crime. The presentation focused on being a Crime Watch neighbor and how being a good neighbor means watching out for one another's property and by reporting suspicious activity to the police.

This nationally recognized program has been very effective in reducing the amount of suspicious activity in city neighborhoods and businesses.

Chief Stufano says, ideally, residents in a good Crime Watch neighborhood should know the three neighbors across the street from their homes, on each side, and the three neighbors behind your residence.

Heightened awareness and the reporting of suspicious activity to the police will ultimately improve response times for service. Citizens can be assured that when they report suspcious activity, their names will be held in strictest confidence.

Other information presented by Chief Stufano included the rising instances of identity theft and Operation ID which inscribes information onto your personal items for easy identification in case of loss. The meeting also afforded the public an opportunity to see the new Drug K-9 handled by Detective Sergeant Steve Deffendoll.

Chief Stufano says \"In a recent rash of burglaries in the south end of the city, neighbors were able to give excellent descriptions of the suspect that had eluded police for over three weeks. Their support was instrumental in helping catch this subject.\"

Additional meetings will be scheduled and all residents are encouraged to attend.

Voters To Make Their Decisions Tuesday

November 6, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Voters across the state will elect a Governor and a United States Senator Tuesday.

DeKalb County voters will also help elect a U.S. Congressman, State Senator, and State Representative.

Two proposed amendments to the State Constitution will also be decided during the election, one called the Marriage Protection Amendment, and the other that would give local governments the authority to provide Property Tax Relief to senior citizens.

The candidates for Governor are Democratic Incumbent Governor Phil Bredesen versus Republican challenger Jim Bryson. Independent candidates are George Banks, David Gatchell, Maurivauna Stout Leinoff, Charles E. Smith, Howard M. Switzer, and Carl \"Twofeathers\" Whitaker.

Candidates for the United States Senate are Republican Bob Corker and Democrat Harold Ford, Jr., Independent candidates are Ed Choate, David Gatchell, Emory \"Bo\" Heyward, Gary Keplinger, and Christopher Joseph Lugo.

Candidates for State Senator of the 17th District are Republican Incumbent Mae Beavers and Democratic challenger Bob Rochelle.

Candidates for U.S. Representative of the 6th Congressional District are Democratic Incumbent Bart Gordon and Republican challenger David R. Davis. Independent candidates are Robert L. Garrison and Norman R. Saliba.

Candidates for State Representative of the 40th District are Democratic incumbent Frank Buck versus Republican Terri Lynn Weaver and Independent Carl Jones.

Polls at all sixteen precincts in DeKalb County will be open Tuesday from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. WJLE will have LIVE election return coverage starting at 7:00 p.m. from the courthouse. The LIVE broadcast may also be heard via audio streaming at www.wjle.com

A total of 2,574 DeKalb County voters have already cast ballots during the early voting period October 18th through November 2nd.

City To Select Airport Manager

November 7, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Mayor and Board of Aldermen have decided to hire an Airport Manager at the Smithville Municipal Airport rather than lease the facility to a fixed based operator.

The issue was discussed during Monday night's meeting.

A committee made up of Mayor Taft Hendrixson, Secretary-Treasurer Burnace Vandergriff, and Alderman Cecil Burger will review the three applications received and select a new Airport operator, after receiving input from members of the airport committee, who will be serving in an advisory capacity.

A background check will also be conducted on the three applicants for the job.

The city board, in September, accepted a bid from Highland Aviation of Crossville to become the new Fixed Based Operator of the Airport, subject to the new tenant's approval after a review and inspection of the property.

However, the city board, in October decided not to enter into a contract with Highland Aviation after City Attorney Sarah Cripps reported that a background check had been conducted on the company. Cripps says she learned, as a result of that background check, that officials of Highland Aviation had made several misrepresentations to the city.

Cripps told the mayor and alderman last month that Paul Sutta, the chief financial manager for Highland Aviation, was a convicted felon and has served a nine month sentence in a federal facility for fraud. Cripps says she learned that Highland Aviation has been dissolved as a corporation since 2002 and that the company was indebted to a fuel supplier by over $50,000.

Cripps recommended, after conferring with the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS), that it would be in the city's best interest to hire an Airport Manager rather than lease the airport to a Fixed Based Operator.

An Airport Manager would be a city employee and answer directly to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen and the city would receive all fees generated from the airport through fuel sales, etc.

In other business, the city board formally voted to hire Thomas J. Stufano as the new Chief of Police.

Stufano was appointed to the position November 1st, subject to being hired by the city board.

The vote to hire Stufano was 4 to 1. Aldermen Steve White, W.J. \"Dub\" White, Aaron Meeks, and Cecil Burger voted to hire Stufano. Alderman Paul Young \"passed\".

Stufano will be paid $708.80 per week or $17.72 per hour.

The city board, in other business, approved an ordinance on first reading to abandon Ken Circle between the intersection of Dry Creek Road and the intersection of Ed Taft Drive. The ordinance states that Ken Circle was never developed or used as a roadway and no landowner would be landlocked by the abandonment of it.

Second and final reading passage will be scheduled following a public hearing at the next meeting on Monday, November 20th at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.

DeKalb Voters Favor Incumbents and Proposed Constitutional Amendments In Tuesday Elections

November 8, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Governor Phil Bredsen, Congressman Bart Gordon, State Senator Mae Beavers, State Representative Frank Buck, and U.S. Senate candidate Harold Ford, Jr. all carried DeKalb County in Tuesday's Tennessee General Election.

DeKalb County voters also overwhelmingly endorsed the proposed Marriage Protection Amendment to the State Constitution as well as the proposed Property Tax Relief Amendment.

A total of 5,727 DeKalb Countians voted in the election including 2,580 early voters and absentees and 3,147 on election day. That represents 44% of the 12,000 registered voters in DeKalb County.

In the Governor Race, Bredesen defeated Republican challenger Jim Bryson in DeKalb County 3,847 votes (69%) to 1,559 votes (28%).

Bredesen carried fourteen of sixteen precincts including Alexandria 269 to 98; Temperance Hall 91 to 46; Liberty 108 to 90; Dowelltown 95 to 47; Snow Hill 90 to 62; Middle School 230 to 79; Cherry Hill 44 to 29; Courthouse 213 to 55; Johnson's Chapel 93 to 47; Elementary School 171 to 69; Belk 130 to 32; Keltonburg 129 to 40; Blue Springs 123 to 55; Church of Christ Annex 219 to 63 and Early Votes/Absentees-1,770 to 674.

Bryson carried Edgar Evins State Park 22 to 21 and tied Bredesen 51 to 51 at Rock Castle

The Independent candidates for Governor and their vote totals in DeKalb County include George Banks- 38, David Gatchell 9, Marivuana Stout Leinoff 10, Charles E. Smith 6, Howard M. Switzer 8, and Carl \"Twofeathers\" Whitaker 33.

Republican State Senator Mae Beavers defeated her Democratic challenger Bob Rochelle in DeKalb County 2,630 (55%) to 2,132 (44%).

In the eight counties of the 17th District combined, Beavers received 34,699 votes (58%) to 25,521 (42%) for Rochelle. That's with all precincts reporting.

Beavers carried thirteen of the sixteen precincts in DeKalb County including Temperance Hall 72 to 58; Edgar Evins State Park 33 to 7; Liberty 129 to 50; Dowelltown 81 to 51; Snow Hill 80 to 62; Middle School 149 to 119; Cherry Hill 36 to 29; Rock Castle 63 to 19; Courthouse 135 to 105; Johnson's Chapel 76 to 50; Elementary School 123 to 98; Blue Springs 81 to 64; Church of Christ Annex 130 to 109; and Early Votes/Absentees 1,163 to 995.

Rochelle carried Alexandria 160 to 153; Belk 70 to 61; and Keltonburg 86 to 65.

Democratic Incumbent State Representative Frank Buck defeated Republican challenger Terri Lynn Weaver 3,171 (57%) to 2,151 (39%). Independent candidate Carl Jones received a total of 162 votes in DeKalb County,

In the three counties of the 40th district combined, DeKalb, Smith, and Macon, Buck won with 9,646 votes (57%) to 6,898 votes for Weaver (40%) and 520 votes for Jones (3%). That's with all precincts reporting.

Buck carried twelve of sixteen precincts in DeKalb County including Alexandria 223 to 135; Temperance Hall 73 to 60; Dowelltown 75 to 65; Snow Hill 88 to 67; Middle School 184 to 127; Cherry Hill 40 to 31; Courthouse 158 to 106; Elementary School 154 to 90; Belk 97 to 62; Keltonburg 117 to 50; Blue Springs 103 to 72; Church of Christ Annex 176 to 99; and Early Votes/Absentees 1,487 to 905

Weaver carried Edgar Evins State Park 25 to 19; Liberty 121 to 75; Rock Castle 66 to 33; and Johnson's Chapel 70 to 69.

Democrat Harold Ford, Jr. beat Republican Bob Corker in DeKalb County 2,998 (54%) to 2,450 (44%).

Ford carried ten of sixteen precincts including Alexandria 224 to 150; Temperance Hall 72 to 65; Snow Hill 81 to 76; Middle School 174 to 141; Courthouse 150 to 114; Elementary School 143 to 103; Belk 98 to 62; Keltonburg 114 to 55; Blue Springs 103 to 80; Church of Christ Annex 179 to 102; and Early Votes/Absentees 1,365 to 1,086.

Corker carried Edgar Evins State Park 26 to 18; Liberty 129 to 76; Dowelltown 71 to 68; Cherry Hill 39 to 36; Rock Castle 75 to 31; and Johnson's Chapel 76 to 66.

Independent candidates for the United States Senate and their vote totals in DeKalb County include Ed Choate 38; David Gatchell 22; Emory \"Bo\" Heyward 15; Gary Keplinger 16; and Christopher Joseph Lugo 9.

Democratic Congressman Bart Gordon easily carried DeKalb County over his Republican opponent David R. Davis. Gordon received 3,811 (77%) to 1,052 (21%) for Davis.

Gordon carried fifteen of sixteen precincts including Alexandria 264 to 60; Temperance Hall 96 to 32; Edgar Evins State Park 26 to 17; Liberty 107 to 62; Dowelltown 104 to 24; Snow Hill 114 to 28; Middle School 220 to 59; Cherry Hill 51 to 19; Courthouse 213 to 35; Johnson's Chapel 82 to 44; Elementary School 194 to 34; Belk 126 to 19; Keltonburg 135 to 19; Blue Springs 127 to 29; Church of Christ Annex 205 to 37; and Early Votes/Absentees 1,706 to 488

Davis carried Rock Castle 46 to 41.

Independent candidates and their vote totals in DeKalb County included Robert L. Garrison with 56 votes and Norman R. Saliba with 25 votes.

The Marriage Protection Amendment defining marriage as only between one man and one woman carried all sixteen precincts in DeKalb County with a total of 4,794 (87%) voting YES to 674 (12%) voting NO.

The precinct by precinct vote is as follows: Alexandria 323 (Yes) to 54 (No); Temperance Hall 122 to 13; Edgar Evins State Park 40 to 4; Liberty 179 to 24; Dowelltown 121 to 23; Snow Hill 139 to18; Middle School 280 to 41; Cherry Hill 62 to 13; Rock Castle 91 to 13; Courthouse 229 to 52; Johnson's Chapel 130 to 19; Elementary School 220 to 30; Belk 147 to 14; Keltonburg 164 to 10; Blue Springs 171 to 12; Church of Christ Annex 266 to 23; and Early Votes/Absentees 2,110 to 311.

The Property Tax Relief Amendment which would authorize local governments to freeze property taxes of senior citizens was approved in DeKalb County 4,125 (83%) to 805 (16%).

The precinct by precinct vote is as follows: Alexandria 295 (Yes) to 63 (No); Temperance Hall 115 to 13; Edgar Evins State Park 39 to 4; Liberty 142 to 30; Dowelltown 114 to 14; Snow Hill 118 to 26; Middle School 219 to 60; Cherry Hill 57 to 10; Rock Castle 85 to 13; Courthouse 205 to 48; Johnson's Chapel 121 to 21; Elementary School 186 to 36; Belk 113 to 31; Keltonburg 140 to 20; Blue Springs 134 to 32; Church of Christ Annex 207 to 51; and Early Votes/Absentee 1,835 to 333.

Woman Wanted For Passing Forged Checks In Custody

November 16, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

A White County woman , wanted by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department for allegedly passing forged checks in the names of a Temperance Hall couple, is now in custody.

40 year old Lisa Kylene Frasier of Luna Road, Sparta is charged with theft and forgery.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says someone recently burglarized the residence of Kenneth and Nadene Carter at Temperance Hall and stole two boxes personal checks from Regions Bank and the Bank of Putnam County in the names of the Carters.

These checks have been passed in DeKalb, Sumner, Wilson, Jackson, Putnam, Smith, Coffee and Warren Counties.

Sheriff Ray says Frasier used a fake drivers license to pass the checks, that has her own picture, and the actual license number of Nadene Carter.

She was arrested Friday in Sumner County.

Flu Vaccine Now Available at DeKalb Health Department

November 9, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Flu season is just around the corner and the DeKalb County Health Department is ready to offer flu shots to area residents. No shortage of vaccine is expected this year and the health department says local supplies will not be restricted while they last.

A mass flu clinic is currently scheduled for Monday, November 20th at the Smithville Church of God Family Fellowship Center from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The Church of God Family Fellowship Center is located at 801 West Broad Street, Smithville beside the Farmers Coop.

\"October and November are often the best months to get the influenza vaccine because that's generally before we begin seeing many flu cases. In Tennessee, flu activity usually peaks in late January, and can peak as late as April, so we will continue to vaccinate residents through the winter, or as long as we have vaccine available, said Elizabeth Burgess, ANP, APRN, BC.

Certain people are at especially high risk of serious illness or death from influenza, especially the elderly and the very young. People who live with or care for those at high risk for serious illness also should be vaccinated to prevent exposing them to the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that individuals in the following groups receive the vaccine unless their health care provider has told them otherwise:

Children aged 6 months through 59 months (up to the 5th birthday); pregnant women (or those who will be pregnant during flu season); adults aged 50 years and older (especially those 65 and older); residents of long term care facilities; people of any age with chronic medical conditions (such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes); all healthcare workers; and household members and caregivers of people in these high risk groups.

In DeKalb County, the cost of the flu shot will be $25.00 for adults and $13.70 for children. Pneumonia vaccine will also be available for $40.00. Payment can be made in the form of cash or check and Medicare, TennCare, and Health Spring can be billed. Please bring all your insurance cards with you. Correct change is preferred. Individuals receiving flu shots need to wear a short sleeve shirt.

For more information about the mass flu clinic, call the DeKalb County Health Department at 597-7599.

Monterey Woman Charged with Drug Fraud

July 10, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

A Monterey woman was arrested by Smithville Police Saturday and charged with drug fraud.

34 year old Anissa Renee Allison Adams is charged with two counts of drug fraud. Her bond is set at $30,000 and she will appear in General Sessions Court July 13th.

Detective Sergeant Chris Russell says that on Saturday at approximately 11:45 a.m. he and Officer Loni Defore responded to Family Medical Center Pharmacy to investigate a female who was attempting to obtain Sudogest, a cold medicine, on another person's prescription.

Upon arrival, the officers identified Adams and discovered that she had previously passed the same prescription on June 24th, obtaining Sudogest using another person's prescription.

Body of Nashville Banker Recovered from Center Hill Lake

July 10, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 45 year old Nashville banker lost his life on Center Hill Lake Saturday afternoon.

Dead is David Brian Williams.

Sheriff Lloyd Emmons says Williams was with his family on the lake when he went down while swimming.

TWRA Officer Ben Franklin says the incident occurred in Raccoon Hollow in the Holmes Creek area of the lake. \"He was swimming from one boat to another and went under water in the Raccoon Hollow section of Center Hill Lake between Holmes Creek and Indian Creek.\"

Officers of the TWRA, DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, and members of the DeKalb County Rescue Squad were summoned to the scene around 3:11 p.m.

Officer Franklin says dragging operations began shortly thereafter and the body was subsequently recovered from the lake. \"The DeKalb County Rescue Squad recovered the body in approximately 17 feet of water. We were very lucky to find him as fast as we did. From the time we got the call until the time we recovered the body was approximately two hours.\"

The Rescue Squad left the scene at 5:14 p.m.

Officer Franklin thanked all those who assisted in the recovery effort. \"Everyone did an excellent job. They were very professional and we appreciate everybody who took part in it from the Rescue Squad, TWRA, Sheriff's Department and the Medical Examiner.\"

Sheriff Emmons says an autopsy would likely be conducted to determine if the man drowned or experienced some medical problem that caused his death.

Williams reportedly helped build Sun Trust Bank's Music Division into a National entity.

In 1990, he moved the Bank's Music Industry Division to Music Row, making it Music Row's first full service branch.

DeKalb County High School Selected for National Redesign Project

July 12, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County High School is among twenty-seven Tennessee high schools which have been selected to participate in a national initiative to model rigorous and relevant curricula.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded $5.6 million to the Council of Chief State School Officers and Successful Practices Network to develop a national coalition of promising high schools. Over three years, these Tennessee schools will identify their greatest needs and develop action plans for increasing the rigor and relevance of the high school experience.

\"Tennessee is embracing an innovative approach to ensuring all students graduate with the knowledge to pursue higher education or a successful career,\" said Dr. Keith Brewer, deputy commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Education. \"Not only do we want more students to earn a diploma, we want that diploma to be symbol of true achievement.\"

The Successful Practices Network is national movement founded on the conviction that students learn better when they understand how coursework relates to their life and their future. Each high school will receive training and resources to connect instruction to students' lives and challenge them to meet high expectations. Additional training includes aligning standards, excellence in career technical education, arts education, special education, reading in grades 7-12, small
learning communities and ninth grade academies.

\"Sharing proven strategies provides administrators a wealth of options when deciding how best to meet the needs of their school community,\" Brewer said. \"When educators work together toward the common goal of student achievement, they do so armed with more diverse knowledge and
expertise.\"

The project also fosters collaboration and support amongst the participating high school to help each succeed in the endeavor. An annual model schools conference will draw participating schools from across the country together around the initiative, with a special state-specific session.

Partnering with the Tennessee Department of Education is the Tennessee Business Roundtable, an organization of CEO's working to advance the business climate in Tennessee.

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