DeKalb Jobless Rate at 4.2% in November

DeKalb County’s unemployment rate for November was 4.2%, up from 3.8% in October but still below 5.5% in November, 2016.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) Commissioner Burns Phillips Thursday announced unemployment rates in November remained low across the state and the vast majority of Tennessee counties continue to experience rates below 5 percent.
The DeKalb County Labor Force for November was 7,640. A total of 7,320 were employed and 320 were without work.
Jobless rates for November among the fourteen counties in the Upper Cumberland region were as follows from highest to lowest:
Clay: 4.8%
Jackson: 4.5%
DeKalb: 4.2%
Fentress: 4.1%
Van Buren: 4.1%
Cumberland: 3.9%
Overton: 3.7%
White: 3.5%
Warren: 3.5%
Putnam: 3.3%
Cannon: 3.1%
Macon: 3.1%
Smith: 3%
Davidson and Williamson counties tied for having the lowest unemployment in the state with rates of 2.5 percent, a slight increase of 0.3 percentage points compared to October.
Eight of the ten lowest county unemployment rates in November were in Middle Tennessee, with Knox and Sevier counties in East Tennessee rounding out the list of the top ten lowest rates in the state. All counties in the top ten had a rate below 3 percent and unemployment rates in 87 Tennessee counties remained under 5 percent in November.
“The economy remains strong in Tennessee, but we are not going to let up on our Drive to 55 to ensure our workforce is ready for the demands of employers in the years to come,” Haslam said. “And we’re keeping our focus on creating a business-friendly environment that will continue to attract jobs and make Tennessee the No. 1 state in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”
Lauderdale County had the highest unemployment rate in November, at 5.5 percent, a 0.3 percentage point increase from the previous month. Rhea and Bledsoe Counties both had rates of 5.4 percent, which represents a 0.1 percentage point increase for Rhea County and a 0.5 percentage point increase for Bledsoe County.
“While unemployment rates remain near historically low levels in many counties, there are still areas that need our assistance,” Phillips said. “We are working with other state agencies, like the Department of Economic and Community Development, to create jobs and qualified workforces in those distressed counties.”
Tennessee’s statewide unemployment rate in November was 3.1 percent – two percentage points lower than it was in November 2016 and one percentage point lower than the national rate.
The statewide unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted, while the county rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools and other recurring seasonal events from an economic times series.

Debra Denise Dyer

42 year old Debra Denise Dyer passed from this life on Sunday, December 24. She was born on November 12, 1975 in Putnam County but was raised in DeKalb County. She was preceded in death by her mother, Deborah Ann Herron Dyer; her grandparents, Talmadge and Margie Herron; her sister, Lisa Michelle Dyer Hieatt; and grandparents, James L. and Vestie Dyer. Denise is survived by her son, Harris Dean Dyer; father, Lloyd and Louise Dyer of Alexandria; brothers, Brandon and wife Mandee, Keith Cannon, Tracy and wife Leslie Cannon, Larry and Darlene (Momma D.) Burch of Smithville, and Bobby and Barbara Stewart of Baxter. She is also survived by beloved aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends, The funeral service will be held at Presley Funeral Home in Cookeville. Visitation will be Tuesday, January 2 for family viewing at 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. Public viewing will be from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Wednesday visitation begins at 10:00 a.m. until noon. The funeral will follow at noon. Burial will follow in the Goff Cemetery. Gary West will officiate. Presley Funeral Home in Cookeville is in charge of the arrangements.

Election Commission to Issue Petitions for School Board, City Offices, and State Offices Starting January 5th

Petitions for five school board seats and spots in all the county’s four cities will be available beginning January 5. That’s according to Dennis Stanley, DeKalb County Administrator of Elections.
“The school board and all city office holders run as non-partisan candidates so the qualifying deadline is different than the other county offices,” Stanley said. “Those candidates will not be on the ballot until August and no primary elections are held for those seats.”
Up for election will be school board seats in Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7. City seats up for grabs, pending any resignations/vacancies, are: In Smithville the Mayor and two aldermen seats; in Dowelltown three aldermen seats; in Liberty the Mayor and five aldermen seats; and in Alexandria the Mayor and three aldermen seats.
Qualifying petitions for these races must be returned by Noon April 5.
In addition, candidates interested in running for the 17th Tennessee Senatorial District and State Houses 40 and 46 have the same qualifying deadline.
Following is a list of key dates related to the first two elections in 2018:
DeKalb County Democratic Primary, May 1, 2018
Petition date—Available now
Qualifying deadline—Noon February 15
Voter registration deadline—April 2
Early voting period—April 11 through April 26
County General Election, Municipal Elections, and Tennessee Primary August 2, 2018
Petition date—Available January 5
Qualifying deadline—Noon April 5
Voter registration deadline—July 3
Early voting period—July 13 through July 28

Bobby Ray O’Conner

Bobby Ray O’Conner age 55 of Dowelltown passed away Tuesday, December 26, 2017 at St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital ER. He was born July 26, 1962 to his parents, Doris Elaine Moore and the late Robert Thomas O’Conner. In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by his grandparents, Henry Clayborn and Martha B. O’Conner and Hugh Lawson and Vada Moore; uncle, Norman O’Conner. He was a Baptist and a mechanic. He is survived by his wife, Amanda O’Conner of Dowelltown; 2 children, Bobby Ray O’Conner, Jr. and Kayla O’Conner; mother, Doris Elaine O’Conner of Dowelltown; 2 brothers, Patrick O’Conner and Michael O’Conner both of Dowelltown. Funeral services will be conducted 11:AM Friday, December 29, 2017 at DeKalb Funeral Chapel with Bro. Edwin Moore officiating and burial will follow in Salem Cemetery in Liberty. Visitation with the family will be on Thursday 1 PM until 8 PM and Friday 9 AM until the time of the service at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers, the family ask that donations be made to help with funeral expenses. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Property Taxes Due February 28

With the year coming to a close, you may want to pay your county property taxes for 2017, if you haven’t already done so.
Trustee Sean Driver said you can pay them now although they are not due until February 28, 2018.
As of Wednesday, December 27, 40% has been collected of the $9.06 million in 2017 DeKalb County property taxes to be collected by February 28, 2018 which includes property, residential, commercial, personal, and public utility taxes.
Penalties will start accruing March 1 on 2017 taxes not paid by the February 28 deadline.
Driver reminds taxpayers that you may:
1. Come in person to pay at the office.
2. Mail in your payment.
3. Pay online at select, DeKalb.
*There is a fee to use debit/credit card-2.75% of your total tax bill or submit an e-check for $2.75 on any total
*Online accepts Mastercard, Visa, Discover, or American Express.
*Business Information Systems collects the fees, not DeKalb County
4. A Dropbox is also located on the outside wall of the county offices section at the county complex building (where the Trustee’s Office is located) for your convenience after hours or on weekends.
5. Partial Payments are accepted in any amount.
*Remember: Whatever portion of taxes are unpaid for 2017, using the partial payment plan; only the portion left unpaid will accrue 1.5% penalty and interest per month starting March 1, 2018.
You may also qualify for the State of Tennessee Property Tax Relief Program. If you would like to check on a possible tax relief for 2017, visit the Trustee’s Office at 732 South Congress Boulevard, Room 103, or call 615-597-5176. The last day to sign up for tax relief is April 5.
The Trustee’s Office is open regular hours from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday- Friday.
Any 2016 unpaid property taxes may be paid with interest and penalty through March 31. However any 2016 unpaid taxes will be turned over to the Chancery Court on April 1 for collection. The Trustee’s Office will soon be sending out a notice to those still delinquent.

WJLE Features Regular Religious Programs

WJLE is proud of our partner sponsors of religious programs each week and hopes you will tune in often and let them know you listen.
*Got A Minute?: 60 second message presented by the Smithville Church of Christ with Dan Gulley-Twice a day Monday-Friday each week (various times morning and around noon)
*Cross Connection sponsored by the Upper Helton Baptist Church featuring Jimmy Arms: Monday-Friday at 11:55 a.m. each week
*Morning Devotion: A 5 minute daily devotional by a different minister each week Monday-Saturday at 7:25 a.m.
*Amazing Facts sponsored by the Smithville Seventh Day Adventist Church: Saturdays at 7:00 a.m. each week
The following are weekly sponsored Sunday programs:
*7:30 a.m.: Royce Moore of the New West Point Freewill Baptist Church (The Way of Life Ministry)
*8:00 a.m. Elder Ricky Arnold of the New Bildad Primitive Baptist Church (The Firm Foundation)
*8:30 a.m. Outreach Baptist Church with Nathan Thomason (The Outreach Pulpit)
*9:00 a.m. Tom Hafstad of the Keltonburg Missionary Baptist Church (Only Through the Blood)
*9:35 a.m. Trent Colwell of the Smithville Church of the Nazarene (The Living Word)
*10:00 a.m. Steve Warren of Faith Chapel Ministries (Faith for the Hour)
*10:30 a.m. Bobby Thomason of the Covenant Baptist Church (Fountain of Faith Ministries)
*11:00 a.m. Worship Services from either the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian (Isaac Gray) or Smithville First United Methodist (Dr. John Carpenter) Churches
*12:30 p.m.: Music Ministry of Delmas Neal
*1:00 p.m.: Truth that Transforms with Charles and Aaron Wright
*1:30 p.m. The Preaching Ministry of Toy Lawson of the People’s Pentecostal Church
*2:30 p.m. Billy Hale of the Christ Pentecostal Church of Brush Creek (The King is Coming)
*3:00 p.m. Prophet James Ferrell of the Church of Jesus Christ (The Word of the Lord)
*3:30 pm. The Way of the Cross with Joe Elkins
Listen each week on WJLE AM 1480 and WJLE FM 101.7 and LIVE Streaming at

Magalene Ervin Dutton

Magalene Ervin Dutton age 93 of Smithville passed away Monday night, December 25, 2017 at The Webb House in Smithville. She was born August 4, 1924 to her parents, the late Walter Cantrell and Bonnie Taylor Cantrell McHargue. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by step-father, Arlis McHargue; sister, Juanita Graham; special great nephews, Allen Graham and Tyler Graham. Ms. Magalene worked in factory work from 1942 until 1955 in Detroit and moved back to DeKalb County in 1955, about 1957 she went to work at Webb’s Drug Store. In 1960 she opened a restaurant in Smithville on Main Street and owned and operated it for about 10 years. After that she started buying real estate and developing subdivisions. In 1969 she married Billy Dutton and moved to McMinnville. They had a roofing company, so she then became a roofer also. Ms. Magalene continued to work her real estate and the roofing company until 1995. She said that at the age of 70 she thought it was time to stop going on top of buildings, however she continued with her real estate. In Ms. Magalene’s own words, she said “just call me a jack of all trades and a master of none.” She was a member of Allen’s Chapel United Methodist Church since the age of 14 and a former member of the Business and Professional Women’s Club. She is survived by nieces and nephews, Faye McCormick, Regina Amon, Mitchell Graham, Kent Graham and Rex Graham; special cousin, Jo (Jess) Baker and a several great-nieces and nephews and friends. Funeral services celebrating the life of Ms. Magalene will be conducted 1 PM Saturday, December 30, 2017 at DeKalb Funeral Chapel with Bro. Jimbo Eddins officiating and burial will follow in Whorton Springs Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be on Saturday 10 AM until the time of the service at 1PM. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Ova Norene Anderson

94 year old Ova Norene Anderson of Sparta passed away Tuesday at NHC Cookeville. She was a member of the Old Zion Presbyterian Church and a Gold Star Mother. She was also a retired telephone company employee. The funeral will be Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Chapel of Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Peeled Chesnut Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. and Thursday from 11 a.m. until the service at 1 p.m. Anderson was preceded in death by her parents, Brian and Louella Bond Summers; husband, Claude Anderson; three sons, Ronnie Reeder, Jerry Anderson, and Dennis Reeder; three brothers, Jessie Lee Summers, Noel Summers, and Wilson Summers. Survivors include two grandsons, Jason Reeder and Dewaine Winnett of Sparta; two sisters, Jeanette Smithson and Lois Randall of Smithville; brother, Mac Redmon of Smithville. Great niece, Darlene Maydon. Several cousins also survive. Love-Cantrell Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Ray Donald Malone

82 year old Ray Donald Malone of Dowelltown passed away on Monday at his home. He was a member of the Dowelltown Baptist Church and was a retired shirt factory worker. The funeral will be Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Chapel of Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. Wayne Malone will officiate and burial will be in DeKalb Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be Tuesday from 4-8 p.m. and Wednesday from 11 a.m. until the service at 1 p.m. He was preceded in death by his parents, Sheal and Ocia Malone; a daughter Angela Allen; and a son, Ray Donald Malone, Jr. Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Reba Malone of Dowelltown. A daughter, Pam and Dennis Jennings of Murfreesboro and a granddaughter, Amy and Justin Roberts of Murfreeboro. Love-Cantrell Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. In addition to flowers, donations may be made in Mr. Malone’s memory to the Dowelltown Baptist Church, ASPCA, Gideons or a charity of your choice.

Hike and Feast New Year’s Day at Edgar Evins State Park

The old adage goes that whatever you do on New Year’s Day you will do all year so why not start 2018 with healthy exercise and socializing with friends while enjoying a good meal? This free event at Edgar Evins State Park is kid and family friendly. Dogs must be on a leash. All you need to do is show up at 10 A.M. in the marina parking lot near the covered shelters.
Bring a typical New Year’s Day food to share if you wish to stay for lunch. People will drop off their food, sign in and pose for a group picture before car pooling a short distance to the trail head where a Park Ranger will lead a 2 ½ mile easy to moderate hike on the Millennium Trail. After which there will be food and socializing in front of the fireplace in Shelter #1, Those who wish to hike more may do the 2 mile Highland Rim Nature Trail next to the office following lunch.
The park is located at 1630 Edgar Evins Park Road, Silver Point, TN 38582. The entrance is in DeKalb County, on Center Hill Lake, approximately 20 miles north of Smithville, 20 miles west of Cookeville, and 60 miles east of Nashville, across the highway from Big Rock Market and Caney Fork Outdoors. From I-40 take exit 268 at State Hwy. 96 and Center Hill Lake. The physical address is 1630 Edgar Evins Park Rd., Silver Point, 38582
The Annual New Year’s Day Hike and Feast is jointly sponsored by Friends of Edgar Evins State Park and the park. For more information visit the Friends website at or on Facebook at or call the park office at 931-858-2114