City To Select Airport Manager

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.

Annie Ruth Bain

78 year old Annie Ruth Bain of Smithville died Monday at DeKalb Community Hospital. She was a homemaker and a member of the Buckner’s Chapel Methodist Church. The funeral will be Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. at the Chapel of Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. Phil Tollett and David Young will officiate and burial will be in the Hale Cemetery. Visitation will be Tuesday from 2:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. and Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the service at 2:00 p.m. Love-Cantrell Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. A list of survivors will be announced later.

Jennie Hubbard

99 year old Jennie Hubbard of Smithville and formerly of the Dry Creek Community died Tuesday at NHC Healthcare Center of Smithville. She was a homemaker and a member of the Dowelltown Baptist Church. The funeral will be Thursday at 2:00 p.m. at DeKalb Funeral Chapel. Wayne Malone and Donald Owens will officiate and burial will be in DeKalb Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be Wednesday from 1:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the service at 2:00 p.m. She was preceded in death by her husband, Alton Hubbard; a son and daughter-in-law, Willie and Freda Hubbard; her parent, Joe and Rebecca Adkins Arnold; sisters, Julie Tramel, Mary Smith, and Liza Bailiff; and brothers, Enoch, Delmar, Jody, Ralph Sr, and Willie J. Arnold. Survivors include nephews, Ralph, Jr. and his wife Ethel Arnold; James and his wife Inez Tramel; and Calvin and his wife Amy Tramel all of Smithville. Nieces, Ethel Ashford of Smithville, Ruby Deal of Nashville, Marie and her husband Mac McCormick of Georgia, Ruthene Self of Chattanooga, Dorothy and her husband Winfrey Hennessee of McMinnville, Georgie Hale of McMinnville, Lena Vann; and several great nieces and nephews also survive. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Carlos Munoz

Carlos Munoz died Monday at the North Valley Emergency Room in Dunlap. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by DeKalb Funeral Chapel.

WJLE Adds Audio Streaming As A New Service To The Public

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 (, 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”
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

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

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

Bain Crowned Fall Fest Queen

17 year old Jessica LeAnn Bain was crowned Fall Fest Queen at the conclusion of Saturday night’s pageant, sponsored by the Smithville Business and Professional Women’s Club.
Bain is the daughter of Larry and Teresa Johnson and Harold and Debbie Bain of Smithville.
She succeeds the retiring queen, 19 year old Whitney Rice, daughter of Brenda Rice of Sparta and the late Bobby Rice.
The first runner-up in the pageant was Britany George, the 14 year old daughter of Becky and Joel George of Smithville.
Second runner-up was 14 year old Laura Caroline Carter, daughter of Johnny and Laura Carter of McMinnville.
16 year old Sarah Elizabeth McBride was the third runner-up. She is the daughter of Lisa and Michael McBride of Smithville.
15 year old Rosemary Apple was the fourth runner-up. She is the daughter of Nick and Claire Apple of Smithville.
Others rounding out the top ten were Amber Evans, Jessica Cook, Brittney Cantrell, Keisha Poss, and Loni Easterwood.
The title of Miss Congeniality went to 17 year old Ashlee Nichole Moss, daughter of Greg and Wendy Moss of Alexandria.
A total of twenty four young ladies were featured in the Fall Fest Pageant, held at the DeKalb County High School gymnasium.

Local Man Arrested On Drug Charge By Smithville Police

Smithville Police arrested a local man around 1:54 a.m. Friday morning on a drug charge.
Chief Thomas Stufano says James Robert Davis II of 1638 New Home Road was arrested for driving on a suspended license while impaired and a narcotics violation.
Stufano, in a prepared news release, states that “Upon responding to the area of the Hardee’s parking lot, officers found Davis asleep at the wheel of his 2001 Lexus. After the initial investigation the city’s new Drug K-9 was brought to the scene and found that Davis was also in possession of marijuana and a large amount of cash that was tainted with drug residue.
Davis was arrested and booked into the DeKalb County Jail with a bond of $2,000. His car was towed and seized under the state’s forfeiture act.

Paul Ferrell

57 year old Paul Ferrell of Rock Island died Friday night at River Park Hospital in McMinnville. The body is at Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. Arrangements are incomplete.