Local News Articles

Woman Found with Meth and Heroin During Probation Search

May 8, 2017
Dwayne Page
Jamie Renee Ashford
David Harold Pack
Jacob Fisher Murphy
Michael Blair Lawson
James Grady Warner

A Smithville woman was found with methamphetamine and heroin during a probation search at her home last week.

46 year old Jamie Renee Ashford of Miller Road, Smithville is charged with possession of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine) for resale. She was also cited for simple possession of a schedule I drug (heroin), and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond is $5,000 and her court date is May 18.


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_22.pdf (2.87 MB)

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on May 2 a detective and deputy went to Ashford’s home to conduct a probation search on someone at that residence. After receiving consent to search, the officers found a small camouflaged bag containing five bags of a crystal like substance, a set of digital scales, and corners of sandwich bags used to sell small quantities of drugs. The bags of drugs weighed 0.03 grams, 0.03 grams, 0.03 grams, 0.04 grams, and 9 grams. The officers also found 0.02 grams of heroin. Ashford admitted that these items belonged to her. She was placed under arrest.

55 year old David Harold Pack of Old Snow Hill Road, Dowelltown is charged with a domestic related aggravated assault. His bond is $10,000 and his court date is May 18. Sheriff Ray said that on April 27 a deputy was dispatched to Pack’s residence due to a physical domestic. A detective conducted an investigation and found that Pack allegedly assaulted his daughter by trying to strangle her, hitting her with a bamboo stick, and pulling her hair.

20 year old Jacob Fisher Murphy of Payton Lane, Smithville is charged with driving on a suspended license. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is June 8. Sheriff Ray said that on May 7 a deputy was patrolling Sparta Highway by Sligo bridge when he spotted Murphy driving a red Buick. Knowing that Murphy does not have a valid driver license and that he has been stopped several times for that offense, the officer pulled over Murphy and placed him under arrest. Murphy’s license was suspended for failure to appear for a trial in DeKalb County General Sessions Court on October 19, 2016.

27 year old Michael Blair Lawson of Old Hickory, Tennessee is charged with public intoxication, domestic assault, and being a fugitive from justice. His bond totals $56,500 and his court date is May 18. Sheriff Ray said that on May 6 a deputy was dispatched to Evins Mill where a man was reported to be unruly and trying to fight others. Upon arrival the officer spoke with Lawson who was unsteady on his feet and had a strong odor of alcohol on him. Lawson’s girlfiend also reported to the deputy that Lawson caused bodily harm to her child by spanking him on the butt leaving a bruise. Lawson allegedly bribed the child saying he would buy him a fidget spinner if he would not say anything to anyone about the spanking. However, the child reported it to his mother. A computer check was conducted and revealed that Lawson is wanted in Monongalia County, West Virginia for a failure to appear for a night time burglary and a third offense of driving under the influence. Lawson is to be extradited back to West Virginia.

53 year old James Grady Warner of Big Hill Road, Liberty is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is May 18. Sheriff Ray said that on May 7 a deputy responded to a residence on Lonnie Cantrell Road due to a physical domestic. A woman told the officer that Warner pushed her into a dresser causing her to fall out of a doorway onto the ground. The woman further stated that Warner broke a dinner plate over her back and closed a truck window on her fingers dragging her about 10 feet down the driveway causing scrapes and bruises on her hands, arms, and back.

Mother Charged After Child Found Unattended on Busy Highway

May 8, 2017
Dwayne Page
Tara Jane Atnip

A mother has been charged with child abuse or neglect after her five year old child was found unattended on a busy highway near her home.

39 year old Tara Jane Atnip of Allen Ferry Road, Smithville is under an $8,000 bond and her court date is May 18.


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_22.pdf (2.87 MB)

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, May 1 a deputy responded to a call on Allen Ferry Road where a passerby found a five year old child running in the roadway around Mount Holly Cemetery, which is on the opposite side from the home where the child lives.

Due to the child being found running in the roadway unaccompanied by an adult and her health and welfare being in imminent danger, Atnip was arrested and charged in the case.

DCHS Senior Awards Night Set for May 22 (View Senior Photos Here)

May 8, 2017
Dwayne Page
DCHS Senior Awards Night Set for May 22

Scholarships and other awards will be presented to members of the Class of 2017 at DeKalb County High School during the annual Senior Awards program Monday night, May 22 at 6:00 p.m. in the DCHS gymnasium.

Representatives of colleges, universities, branches of the armed services, businesses, civic groups, and other organizations will make the presentations.

Meanwhile, graduation for the DCHS Class of 2017 will be Friday, May 26 at 7:00 p.m. on the high school football field.

(Click link below to view DCHS Class of 2017 Senior Formals)


DWS Students Compete in Math Contest

May 8, 2017
Bill Conger
DWS Students Compete in Math Contest (Bill Conger Photo)

Ten students from DeKalb West competed in the middle school math contest at Tennessee Tech on April 27.

8th grader Jaden Johnson ranked 9th out of 61. 7th grader Victoria Rodano placed 21 out of 59 while Aly Griffith in the 6th grade ranked 12th out of 63.

Also participating in the math contest from DWS were Isaac Brown, Madison Martin, and Alex Moreno from the sixth grade; Brayden Antoniak from the 7th grade, and Ashlin Maynard, Jordan Crook, and Gracie Griffin from the 8th grade.

Pictured front row left to right are Ashlin Maynard, Jaden Johnson, Alex Moreno, and Aly Griffith.

Back row left to right are Victoria Rodano, Isaac Brown, Brayden Antoniak, Jordan Crook, Gracie Griffin, and Madison Martin.

NHC Smithville Observes National Nurses Week

May 8, 2017

NHC Smithville is excited about honoring National Nurses Week, which is celebrated annually from May 6th, also known as National Nurses Day, through May 12th, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

NHC Smithville would like to recognize and thank our highly skilled, dedicated nurses that exemplify the best in their profession. The Director of Nursing at NHC Smithville is Melinda Wilson. The Assistant Director of Nursing is Paulette Nichols.

Registered Nurses (RN):
Brian Cripps, April Dearmon, Alisha Hale, Molly Merriman, Cheryl Myers, Julie Sullivan, Jacqueline Taylor, and Cindy Wolter

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN):
Monica Baker, Nicole Burris, Amanda Carter, Nanci Drennan, Shalyn Eaton, Nioakah Hickman, Jessica Holland, Rebekah Johannsen, Amber Judkins, Thomas Mahler, Arianna Matthews, Cindy Milford, Kalee Mullican, Sabra Murphy, Abby Onkst, Justine Pettit, Brandon Sullivan, Julie Vincent, Angie Walker, Christy Ward, Margaret Watkins, Lindsy Winfree, Sharon Yocum, and Vicki Yost

Community Health Adventure Launches Free Summer Activity Program

May 7, 2017
Martial Arts
Yoga Classes
Senior Chair Volleyball
Watercolor Classes
Walking Club

Earlier this year, the DeKalb Prevention Coalition received a $12k grant from Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital funded by community benefit dollars to support a ‘Community Health Adventure’ for DeKalb residents. This program currently provides free healthy activities throughout the year for all ages. To date, the program has impacted 900 participants in various free activities that promote physical and emotional health including: yoga classes, art instruction, martial arts, tai chi, healthy cooking demonstrations, senior chair volleyball, senior chair yoga, walking clubs, nutrition education, along with classes provided for teens and adults with disabilities. The upcoming summer schedule will help to support summer safety including the addition of free swimming classes and water aerobics.

“The immediate success in the massive participation of the Community Health Adventure shows the great need for healthy activities that families and individuals can afford. Many families have multiple children, face income limits, or even shy away from trying new things that may pose an unnecessary financial burden to start.” said Shan Burklow, Regional Community Relations Coordinator for Saint Thomas Health, “It is our hope that this program will continue to evolve and grow to meet even more health and wellness needs that arise from communicating with the current participants. Future goals that support emotional and physical health will focus on free music instruction, life health coaches, personal training sessions, swimming lessons, and dance classes. It is so exciting to see people of all ages get healthier mentally and physically without the strain of a financial burden of any kind. Every class provided by the ‘health adventure’ is 100% free of charge including any supplies, uniforms, or special equipment that may be needed. Improving the health of the community is such an important part of what Saint Thomas Health is all about, and this program is a shining example of how we can all work together towards this goal.”

For more information on the Community Health Adventure, to volunteer, or to sign-up for available classes, call DeKalb Prevention Coalition or Justin Potter Library. Current classes are listed on the community calendar, and are updated monthly.

The DeKalb Prevention Coalition is an anti-drug coalition working to reduce dependence on harmful and potentially lethal substances such as prescription drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. The coalition has recently broadened its reach to include the overall improvement of community health by promoting health/nutrition education and wellness activities, and they would like to thank Saint Thomas Health for making this goal possible.

Upcoming Free Health Adventure Activities & Classes:

Wednesday, May 10 at 12 noon: Community Wellness Walk - meet on Smithville City Hall side of the Courthouse

Wednesday, May 17 at 11:00 am: Older Americans Day in the DeKalb County Complex

* Wellness Wednesdays in the DeKalb County Complex:

·8am: Walking Club

·9am: Chair Volleyball

·10am: Art Classes – contact the Library to reserve your spot

·10am: Sewing Classes – contact the Library to reserve your spot

·4pm: Gentle Yoga for beginners

·5pm: Martial Arts – every Wednesday and Friday (Free in May/June – includes free uniform)

·6:30pm: Power Yoga for beginners/intermediate

·June 2017: Swimming Classes –- contact the Library to reserve your spot

·June 2017: Water Aerobics/Senior Water Aerobics - time/date TBD

Pre-K and Kindergarten Registration May 16

May 7, 2017
Dwayne Page

Pre-K and Kindergarten Registration for the 2017-18 school year will be Tuesday, May 16 from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and from 3:00 pm to 6:00 p.m at Smithville Elementary School and from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at DeKalb West School. Spanish language translators will be available to assist with filling out paperwork during the 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. time period at Smithville Elementary School.

Parents should bring the following items for their child:

Original Certificate of Birth
Current Physical Examination
Current Certification of Immunization
Proof of Income for All Household Members
Proof of Residency

Parents are encouraged to register all students who will be four (4) years old on or before August 15.

For information call Michelle Burklow at 615-597-4084

Children who plan to attend kindergarten must turn five years old on or before August 15, 2017 in order to enroll for the 2017-18 school year.

Please bring the following information with you on registration day:

*Social Security card

*Original birth certificate (certified copy with the state seal, not the hospital copy or mother's copy)

*Current, up to date, physical examination and immunization record (These must be on a Tennessee Department of Health Certificate of Immunization, which can be obtained from your doctor's office or the Health Department)

*Proof of residency for DeKalb County (i.e. gas/electric bill)

*Your child (they will be tested on registration day)

Spring Squirrel Season to Open May 13

May 7, 2017
Spring Squirrel Season to Open May 13

Tennessee’s 2017 spring hunting season for gray, fox and red squirrels opens Saturday, May 13 and will continue through Sunday, June 11.

The daily bag limit is 10, the same for the fall/winter squirrel season which is held from late August to the end of February.

There are five species of tree squirrels found in Tennessee. Two species, the southern flying squirrel and the northern flying squirrel, are not hunted. They are small, nocturnal and rarely seen.

For more information on Tennessee hunting seasons and license information, obtain a 2016-17 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide, available at TWRA Regional Offices and at hunting and fishing license agents or go online to TWRA’s website www.tnwildlife.org to view a copy of the guide.

Rain Forces 20th Annual Relay for Life Indoors (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

May 5, 2017
Dwayne Page
2017 DeKalb Relay for Life Cancer Survivors
DeKalb Relay for Life Chairman Ivadell Randolph Welcomes Crowd

While the weather intervened, the Annual DeKalb County Relay for Life went on as scheduled Friday night.

Showers forced the 20th annual event indoors at the County Complex rather than the original location of Greenbrook Park but even the rain could not dampen the spirit and enthusiasm of the fundraising teams and participants.

This year’s theme was “Relaying Southern Style”

“This is our 20th year for Relay for Life and over those years its amazing to see how our dollars have worked that we have all worked together to raise for the American Cancer Society for the research programs. The methods they use are not as evasive to the body as they were in the early days. I am so glad that we in our county can be a part of doing something great,” said Relay Chairman Iva Dell Randolph in welcoming the crowd.

She also paid tribute to one of the founders of the DeKalb Relay for Life, Violet Fusion, who was a cancer survivor but passed away in May, 2012 at the age of 91.


“Twenty years ago when we first brought Relay for Life to this county there was a lady who was very instrumental in getting that here. We had been looking very hard at other campaigns and didn’t seem to be raising very much money. We had seen some of the meetings she had attended where they were having this Relay for Life. She talked to me about it and asked if we could do that. I said we can try and try we did and we have accomplished great things with all of us working together. That lady was Violet Fuson. Many of you remember her and knew her. She was also a cancer survivor. If we could have just a moment of silence and bow our heads in remembrance of Ms. Violet,” said Randolph.

The program began with the presentation of the colors by Boy Scout Troop #347 followed by Suzanne Slager’s performance of the National Anthem; Invocation by Chris Moore, pastor of the Smithville Church of God; welcome by Ivadell Randolph; introduction of cancer survivors; a prayer for cancer survivors by Dwayne Cornelius, pastor of the New Life United Pentecostal Church; and a song “I Believe” honoring cancer survivors performed by Don and Bonnie Rigsby. During the song, cancer survivors began their walk through portions of the county complex. Entertainment followed.

DeKalb County to Participate in the Great American Cleanup

May 5, 2017
Rhonda Harpole, DeKalb Recovery Court; Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss; County Mayor Tim Stribling; Chamber Director Suzanne Williams

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce and the DeKalb County Mayor’s office would like to invite residents across the county to participate in the DeKalb County Clean Up on Saturday, May 20th. The DeKalb Clean Up event will be held in conjunction with the Keep America Beautiful initiative going on across the country.

County Mayor Tim Stribling says, “We invite people to come out and help clean up around our communities and highways. Folks are welcome to pick up litter at places of their choice, or we will be glad to assign a safe place for you.”

Suzanne Williams, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, would like to remind everyone that DeKalb County’s peak tourism season is about to begin, so now is a great time to start getting things spruced up for our coming visitors. According to Williams, “I think we are all aware of the value and importance of beautification in our communities to attract newcomers and tourists to our area and to maintain a stable and growing economy.”

To get a head start on clean up, dumpsters will be set up at highly visible and convenient locations a few days prior to the main event. Dumpster locations will be at the Dowelltown Community Center, Liberty Community Center, Alexandria City Parking Lot (behind square), and the County Complex parking lot.

DeKalb Clean Up volunteers are asked to stop by the DeKalb County Complex on May 20th between 9 AM and 10 AM to sign-in and pick up the provided trash bags, rubber gloves, and bottles of water. We will be taking a group picture at 9:30 AM for the media if you like to participate in that.
For early sign-up, you can stop by the Chamber, located in the Courthouse, Room 201, anytime during regular office hours by May 19th to pick up supplies. Or if stopping by is not convenient, call the Chamber office at 615-597-4163 to be counted as a DeKalb Clean Up volunteer -- just give your name and the general area where you will be working. Whether you’re beautifying your street, a highway, a park, ball field, a stream, or your own home, what a difference we can make through working together to make our communities safer, healthier and more livable!


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