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Campbell at Clinton on Tuesday (01/16) is POSTPONED

POSTPONED - CCHS BASKETBALL - Tuesday, 01/16, at Clinton at 6:00 pm WATCH HERE






 Owls Nest - LHS

Tennessee Jamboree


Best of Times III 

La Follette

Heart of Grace

 Editorial Page (Letters)


                 CLICK to watch LIVE Channel 12

Smith's open 7-days a week - Sundays 1 to 5

Smith Hardware OPENS Monday - Saturday at 7:30 AM

Get the Time & Temp anytime, call 423.566.8463, a service of Terry's Pharmacy

WLAF’s “Business of the Day” today is: 

La FOLLETTE MONUMENTS - 423.562.1880

Shop local.  It helps all of us.    


   WLAF’s Charlie Hutson recalls snow on this date a couple of years ago.  This is the playground at East La Follette Baptist Church in 2015.  Your snowy Campbell County weather forecast is further down this page.

Closings, schedule changes, and postponements

For Tuesday, January 16

CLOSING AT NOON:  TCAT, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology, is closing at noon today

CLOSED:  NO 1 pm General Session Court docket today.  Jacksboro Metals.  Lace to Pearls and Nick & Ann's Frames-n-Finishes.  The Campbell County Senior Citizens Center is CLOSED.  NO Meals on Wheels on Tuesday. Campbell County Schools on Tuesday.  Roane State College (all campuses)

REGULAR SCHEDULE:  Campbell County Commission January regular meeting schedule:  Tuesday, January 16, 6 pm at the courthouse - The Airport Committee meets at 5:30 pm at the courthouse (01/16)

POSTPONEMENT:  The Tuesday (01/16) board meeting of the Campbell County Children’s Center is postponed until Tuesday (01/23) at 3 pm

DECISION ANNOUNCED AT NOON:  A decision on Tuesday night's CCHS at Clinton basketball games will be made at noon on Tuesday.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/16/2018-10:30AM)

HAPPY NEW YEAR from JB, Kip, & company at Kash & Karry

Director of Schools finalists interview at CCHS

Here’s a taste of Saturday’s interviews

On Saturday the three candidates vying for the Campbell County Director of Schools position were interviewed by members of the Campbell County Board of Education at Campbell County High School. WLAF selected four questions we felt were the best representation of the interview. Each candidate’s answer is shown in their own words and they are listed alphabetically with their responses. JC is Joan Crutchfield the current Title 1 director, JF is Jennifer Fields, Jacksboro Middle School principal, and DS is Singley, Jellico High School principal. CLICK HERE to see the questions and responses. The board will vote on the position on Monday, January 22, 6 pm, at the courthouse at Jacksboro. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/16/2018-6AM)

Campbell plays at Clinton tonight.  Maybe.

Decision on whether to play or postpone comes at noon

   We’ll know at noon today if Campbell plays its basketball games tonight at Clinton as scheduled.  Last Friday’s games at Anderson County were postponed until Friday, February 9.

   On December 1, Clinton split with Campbell at John Brown Gym.  The Lady Cougars won 58 to 41 while the Cougars lost 52 to 43 to the Dragons.  Both teams enter tonight’s district games after winning their past two contests over Scott and Central respectively.

   The Lady Cougars are 11 and 7 in all games to go along with a 6 & 0 record in District 3-AAA match-ups.  Campbell’s Cougars have won seven games against 11 losses and carry a 2 & 4 district mark.

   The WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network has all the live radio and internet coverage beginning at 6 pm.  Hear the games live over AM 1450 and FM 100.9 or watch the games televised live over  Josh Parker, Noah Smith, and Aaron Hopkins bring you all the fun.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/16/2018-6AM)


Since 1967


Icy morning back in 2015 at Ivy Dell


   WLAF’s Charlie Hutson pulled this photo out of the freezer from January 16, 2015.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/16/2018-6AM)


Grand jury issues multiple indictments

Twenty people to be arraigned this morning

The following indictments were handed down last week by the Campbell County Grand Jury. These people will be arraigned this morning.

-Daniel Ausmus- burglary, vandalism less than $1,000, resisting arrest

-Daniel Lance- theft of services, criminal trespass

-Lovenna Walden- false report, theft over $2,500

-Raven Roberts- reckless endangerment, public intoxication, possession of a schedule III controlled substance

-Megan Peters- vandalism over $2,500, aggravated burglary

-Tammy Walker- passing worthless check over $1,000

-Austin Marlow- two counts solicitation of sexual exploitation of a minor by electronic means, solicitation of a minor to commit statutory rape, stalking

-William Salyers and Travis Smith-  aggravated assault (both),  aggravated assault (WS), aggravated assault (TS), tampering with evidence (WS), tampering with evidence

-David Nelson- burglary of a motor vehicle, two counts of theft under $1,000 

-Bruce Aldridge- theft over $10,000, possession of a schedule II controlled substance (Meth), possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful use of a credit card

-Daniel Lance- stalking

-Daniel Ausmus- aggravated domestic assault, false imprisonment, assault

-Jamie Wagner – two counts of aggravated burglary, two counts of aggravated assault, assault, vandalism over $1,000, simple possession of a schedule III controlled substance, public intoxication

-Roberto Lagunes- domestic assault

-Nichole Marlow- possession of contraband in a penal facility

-Dennis Ward- aggravated assault

-Nichole Marlow- evading arrest, criminal impersonation

-Donald Young- violation of the HMVO Bar

-Tyler Harris- DUI, second offense driving on revoked license, violation of the implied consent law

-Tonya Drummonds- DUI, possession of a schedule II controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia

-Carrie Voelker- DUI, violation of the implied consent law

-Sharon Campbell- DUI

-Danny Cornett- second offense DUI (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/16/2018-6AM) 

Snow expected to develop and accumulate here in Campbell County

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY until 7 pm tonight

   The speed of the approaching swath of snow has slowed.  However, it is still on target to sweep through Campbell County this morning and through the afternoon.  Right behind the snow is much colder air.  Accumulating snow is expected so plan on slippery road conditions through the day as snow accumulations of up to three inches are expected.

   Time frame for the snow is 7 am through 7 pm on today with temperatures falling during the day all the way down to a low of 10-above (wind chills dip to minus 10) Tuesday night .

   Wednesday brings partly sunny skies, a high of 22, and sub-zero wind chills.  Temperatures warm Thursday through Sunday. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/16/2018-6AM)


   This morning’s flashback photo shows Cougars Trey Torres (L), a diving Darin Gillenwater, and a trailing (R) Roston Letner in a Cougars tournament game at Fulton from the 2013-2014 season.  

Results from Powers Poll oppose medical marijuana

State representative runs district-wide poll

Earlier this month, WLAF published two stories regarding medical marijuana and the possibility it could become legal in 2018 in Tennessee. Following that, we conducted a voluntary poll asking people if they favored or opposed medical marijuana – the results were 61 percent of Campbell Countains favored the passage while 39 percent didn’t. Those stories are further down this page.

Dennis Powers, 36th district state representative, commissioned his own poll. His poll, which consisted of a phone call to a sampling of registered voters in his district had the following results: 31.2 percent support medical marijuana, 58.9 oppose it while 9.9 percent were undecided. To see the poll CLICK HERE.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/15/2018-6AM)







Have you had your flu shot?

Health Department offers free shots

   Reported cases of influenza, the flu, are way up here in Campbell County and around the country.  The Campbell County Health Department is offering flu vaccines at no charge to its patients.  In a release from the CCHD, it states that it is extremely important for anyone over six months of age to get a flu shot now.

   For more information about the flu and free flu vaccines, simply call the CCHD at 423.562.8351.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/15/2018-6AM)


FBC pastor tenders resignation

Mills made the announcement yesterday

   Dr. Duane Mills has been the pastor of First Baptist Church of La Follette since 2011.  Yesterday, he announced to FBC members that he is stepping down after nearly seven years of service.  Mills final day in the pulpit is Sunday, February 11.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/15/2018-6AM) 



When do you need a financial advisor?

CLICK HERE for the latest CD Rates from Edward Jones Investments

From Zach Sheets, Financial Advisor

   If you could accomplish all your financial goals just by putting your paycheck into the bank every couple of weeks, you wouldn’t need the services of a financial advisor. But life isn’t that simple – and so, at some point, you may realize you need some professional assistance. But when?
   Actually, you might benefit from the services of a financial advisor during many life events, including the following:
   Starting your career – When you’re starting out in your career, you may encounter several questions related to your benefits package. Should you contribute to your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored plan? If so, how much, and where should you invest your money? Are the life and disability insurance policies offered by your employer sufficient for your needs? A financial advisor can help you answer these and other questions you may have.
   Getting married – When you get married, you’ll have to decide if, and how, you want to combine your finances. Also, you and your spouse may have different attitudes about investing and different tolerances for risk. A financial professional can help you find common ground.
   Changing jobs – When you switch jobs, what should you do with your old employer’s retirement plan? And how should you invest in the plan offered by your new employer? As was the case when you first began your career, you may find that a financial professional can help you make the right choices.
   Facing a layoff or buyout – You may never go through a layoff, or take a buyout offer from an employer – but if either of these events happens, you will face some financial decisions. And during such a potentially stressful period, you may be tempted to make some financial moves that won’t be beneficial. A financial advisor can suggest some strategies that may help you keep your investment situation relatively intact until you land your next job.
   Saving for college – If you have children whom you’d like to send to college someday, you’ll probably want to start putting money away as early as possible. A financial professional can show you the various college-savings vehicles, and help you choose the ones that are most appropriate for your needs.
   Getting divorced – If you are fortunate, you won’t ever experience a divorce, but, if it does happen, you’ll want to get the professional assistance necessary to ensure fair outcomes for everyone. You’ll obviously need to work with an attorney, but you may find that, in the area of investments, a financial advisor also can be useful.
   Entering retirement – As you near retirement, your key questions will switch – but not entirely – from putting money in to taking money out. How much can you withdraw each year from your 401(k) and IRA without running the risk of outliving your resources? When should you start taking Social Security? If you were to work a couple of years longer than you had originally intended, how would it affect your withdrawal strategies? Again, a financial advisor can help you with these issues.
   As you can see, most important life events will carry some financial concerns. But you don’t have to face these challenges alone – and by getting the help you need, when you need it, you can ease the transition from one stage of life to another.
   This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. (01/12/2018-10AM)

Mayor, Sheriff, and BOE Chairman pick up petitions to run for reelection

Thursday, August 2, 2018, is Election Day

Through lunch time Friday, 43 people had picked up petitions from the Campbell County Election Commission for the 2018 election.

This year will see multiple county offices on the ballot as well as the entire commission and half (5) of the school board seats.

Candidates will have until April 5 to qualify and April 12 to withdraw.

The following Campbell Countians now have petitions:

Register of Deeds

Greg Cross, Beverly Hall, Tom Hatmaker, Ronnie Huckaby, Ron McClellan, Patrick Silcox, Wilma Turner and Johnny Vanover


Aaron Evans, Michael Freeman, Jack Lynch and E.L. Morton**

County Clerk

Alene Baird**

County Trustee

Monty Bullock**

Circuit Court Clerk

Bobby Vann**


Robbie Goins**

County Commission

1st District

Keith Goins, Whit Goins**, Robert Higginbotham** and Harley Hill

2nd District

DeWayne Kitts** , Scott Kitts, Clifford Kohlmeyer** and Lonnie Welden**  

3rd District

Rusty Orick**  and Scott Stanfield**  

4th District

Charles Baird**, Johnny Bruce** and Sue Nance**

5th District

Tyler King and Stevie Rutherford

School Board

1st District

Jeffery L. Miller, Jr.

2nd District


3rd District

Faye Heatherly**  

4th District

Clint Bane** and Ronnie Lasley

5th District

Crystal Creekmore**


1st District

Elias Adcock and Kenneth Newsome

2nd District

Jamuel Patton

3rd District

Johnny Jones

4th District

Dewey Madison

5th District

Bruce Webb and Paul Webb

** Incumbent


Re-tire has new meaning for Bean

Tire Barn owner calls it a career

   August 15, 1983.  When I asked Marvin Bean when he opened the Tire Barn that’s what he said.  Without hesitation.

   Marvin’s Tire Barn was actually, really, in a barn back in those days.  And the name stayed even after Bean left the barn.  It didn’t take long for his business to grow out of the barn behind his home on Old Highway 63 in Speedwell.

Old friends L-R Jim Freeman, Bean, and Chris Arnold celebrated Bean’s retirement last Sunday evening at the Braden’s Chapel Baptist Church

  Bean’s barn business moved a stone’s throw west to a corner building across from Cawood United Methodist Church on old 63.  A few years later, the barn was moved to its current location that Bean closed a few days ago.  That’s in a building, for years a Texaco gas station, on new 63 a couple of miles east of the Speedwell Post Office.

Marvin’s Tire Barn spent its final years in this building

   Bean’s been in the re-tire business for half his life.  But this type of retire may take some getting used to.

   The week of January 8, 2017.  When I asked when Marvin’s Tire Barn officially closed, that’s the date Marvin Bean said.  With hesitation.

   We’ll miss you, Marvin. 

(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/12/2018-6AM)

Large Drug Seizure in La Follette

   In the early morning hours of January 11, 2018, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics Team executed a narcotics search warrant at the residence of Marvin Lee McGhee, 57, of 229 Howard Road La Follette, Tennessee. Investigators with the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office and Agents with the 8th Judicial Drug Task Force, prior to the execution of the search warrant, had conducted a several month long investigation into McGhee’s illegal sell of prescription narcotics. During the investigation, investigators conducted several undercover purchases of prescription narcotics from McGhee.

   During execution of the search warrant, investigators recovered large amounts of prescription medication that was being sold by McGhee. Investigators also located a large amount of US currency believed to be proceeds from the illegal sell of prescription narcotics. Investigators seized several vehicles from which McGhee used to transport and sell prescription narcotics.

This file photo of Marvin McGhee is courtesy of the Campbell County Sheriff's Department

   McGhee is facing charges of several counts of the sell and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance. Sheriff Robbie K. Goins stats “This case is an example of the opioid problem that law enforcement and our community is facing. We are committed to working with local, district, state, and federal resources to wage war against the opioid epidemic in our community.”   (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 01/11/2018-12:30PM)


   L-R Chuck Goins, Logan Hickman, and Wendell Phillips size up the project they began working on at 7 am yesterday morning at Campbell County High School.  More tiles to honor educators were placed on the wall that is just outside John R.W. Brown Gym.  The story and more photos are further down this page.


Family Fitness is first new C of C member of 2018

Ribbon was cut yesterday

Pastor James Coffey of The Harbor snips the ribbon Wednesday at Family Fitness

Family Fitness is part one of the many ministries associated with The Harbor Church.  Yesterday, Family Fitness officially became a member of the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce.  Chamber Director Christie Elkins told the crowd, “It’s fitting that Family Fitness becomes our first member in the New Year.  New Year.  New You.”

Coffey oversees the fitness center that is run by Verlin and Jessica Hatfield.  Coffey says new members are being accepted every day, and you can stop by four a tour anytime or call 423.566.1393 for more information.

Family Fitness is remodeling and expanding

Pastor Coffey notes that the church has owned the fitness center for a couple of years.  The Harbor, Coffey says, has 800 members and, last year alone, fed and clothed more than 25,000 people. 

(CORRECTION:  Family Fitness has 800 members - not The Harbor)


Ivey arrested, after attempting to flee

Jan. 3 proved to be an eventful day for Mark Mitchell Ivey. Ivey was driving on Highway 116 heading south, when Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Nathaniel Bostic saw him allegedly speeding. Bostic was able to use a radar and clocked the vehicle at 65 mph, the report said.

Ivey failed to stop when signaled by Bostic to do so. When Ivey reached Waddell Lane he stopped. Following procedure, Bostic asked Ivey to see his driver’s license; he got a Tennessee Identification Card instead. But, Bostic noticed something else, Ivey had a probation/parole card behind his ID card. Bostic noticed that Ivey was nervous and asked him to get out of the vehicle; Ivey allegedly refused and rolled up his window. While Bostic was attempting to check his license, Ivey drove away continuing on Waddell Lane until he came to a driveway. Bostic pulled in the driveway behind him and requested he get out of the car. Instead, Ivey drove through the yard with Bostic following, the report said. Ivey stopped at a chain link fence, put the car into reverse and began to back up nearly striking Bostic’s patrol car. Eventually, Ivey was forcefully removed from his car by Bostic and Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Rod Goins. Bostic spoke with the individuals in the car with Ivey who said they both begged him to stop the vehicle and he refused, according to a report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department.

Ivey, 36, 148 Davenport Road, LaFollette is charged with violation of probation (criminal court), speeding, drivers to exercise due care, driving while revoked, felony evading arrest, reckless endangerment and resisting arrest. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/11/2018-6AM)

Man claims to be God and asks to be shot

A disturbance at a Smith Oaks Lane home in Jacksboro had Campbell County Deputies Billy White, Dakota Williams and Mikey Comer in a risky situation.

When the three arrived at the home, they saw an open door and heard yelling inside the home. Three individuals inside the home were told come out. When they did they said Brian David Overton was in the back room, acting crazy and he had cut them with a butcher knife, the report said. One of the individuals said he had taken the knife from Overton, according to a report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department.

Overton then came out of the back stating “I am God.  Shoot me.”

He then allegedly hit White in the face. While was White was able to get in a hit of his own, Overton kept coming. This time, White again was able to duck under his swing and get him to the ground. When he was on the ground, White tried to get control of Overton only to get bit, the report said. White then struck him again on the face and he became increasingly violent. This led White to use his Taser, which also proved ineffective.

Again, White tried to gain control of Overton who grabbed at White’s gun and was able to reach the handle of the gun, unfastening one of the locks on the gun holster. During the scuffle, White was able to secure Overton’s hand and again struck him in the face in an attempt to get control him and the gun. When Williams noticed Overton was attempting to get White’s gun, he deployed a drive stun from his Taser which was ineffective as well. When deputies were able to get control of Overton, placing him in handcuffs, he then began banging his head against the baseboards of his home. He also kicked Deputy Noah Riggs. This resulted in Overton being shackled.

Overton, 42, 200 Smith Oaks Lane, Jacksboro is charged with assault on a police officer, aggravated assault on a police officer, two counts aggravated assault, aggravated assault by domestic violence and resisting arrest. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/11/2018-6AM)

Miller charged with DUI

Jeffrey Scott Miller pulled behind Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Tosha Tackett on Jan. 7 and ended up in jail.

Tackett was dispatched to Mill Road, LaFollette, about a man who was walking on the road and had allegedly been involved in a disturbance. While Tackett was talking the man, Miller pulled behind the patrol car. Tackett began to speak with Miller who had an open beer in the cup holder of the vehicle and a 12 pack with approximately five beers left in it. Tackett asked Miller how much he had to drink and he said he had consumed around eight or nine beers prior to pulling behind Tackett’s patrol car. Miller told Tackett that he couldn’t perform the standard field sobriety tests due to medical issues, Tackett noticed a smell of alcohol coming from Miller and noticed his eyes were blood shot and watery. Miller consented to a Breathalyzer and was transported to the LaFollette Police Department for the test to be performed. His blood alcohol was .168 according to a report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department.

Miller, 44, 1065 Alder Springs Road, LaFollette is charged with (DUI) driving under the influence. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/11/2018-6AM)

Honor an educator.  Help a student.

Educator Commemorative Wall expands

   Next time you’re at Campbell County High School, maybe at, say, homecoming on Friday, the 19th, take a look at the wall across from the big trophy case.  That’s the CCHS Relief Fund’s Educator Commemorative Wall.  All but a couple of the tiles honor/remember someone in education who played a key role in lives along the way.  Though there are some tiles honoring non-educators.

   The next time educator tiles are installed, Chuck Goins (L) and Wendell Phillips will be placing their own tiles on this wall.

  When an order is placed this summer for more educator tiles, three tile orders will include the names of Chuck Goins, Scott Lindsay, and Wendell Phillips.  These three men have played key roles in the project.  Goins and Phillips have been on hand to install every educator tile since the project began in 2013 while Lindsay has allowed the pair to take time away from other Lindsay Carpet and Paint Center projects to do the installations.  Lindsay donates the labor and the materials.  Lindsay and Phillips are CCHS graduates.

Logan Hickman, chairman of the CCHS Relief Fund sizes up Wednesday’s 21 educator tiles.

  The fund raising effort, an idea from Lansden Hill, is up to 193 tiles now.  Twenty-one educator tiles were installed Wednesday morning.

  This spring scholarships will be awarded to four graduating Campbell County High School Seniors through the Ken Bruce Memorial Scholarship Fund. 

  Tiles are $50 each and can be purchased by CLICKING HERE. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/11/2018-6AM)


Meet the director of schools finalists

Interviews are Saturday at Campbell High 

   This morning, WLAF introduces you to the three outstanding finalists who are vying to become the next director of schools here in Campbell County.  One of the three, Joan Crutchfield, Jennifer Fields, and Donna Singley, will take over for current DOS Larry Nidiffer who announced last year that he would retire this spring. The interviews, open to the public, will be held beginning at 9 am January 13 at Campbell County High School. 

   Further down this page, you will find a story on each of the finalists, their photo, and a link to their application packets.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/10/2018-6AM)

Interviews for new Director of Schools set Saturday at CCHS

WATCH the meeting here  

The Campbell County Board of Education quickly dispensed with routine business Tuesday night, approving reports, budget amendments and a change to board policy regarding training requirements for the transportation director with little discussion.

Chairman Clint Bane introduced the citizen members of the search committee tasked with interviewing and selecting a new Director of Schools. Those non-board members will not have a vote on the final selection but will participate in the interviews scheduled for this coming Saturday at Campbell County High School.  CORRECTION:  Citizen members of the search committee will not participate in the interviews.

All three candidates will be interviewed on Saturday, the first interview occurring from 9-11:30 a.m. with the remaining two candidates being interviewed beginning at 1:00 p.m. The interviews are being conducted in the CCHS auditorium so that interested members of the public can sit in if they wish.  The order of the interviews will be Donna Singley at 9 am, Jennifer Fields at 12:30 pm, and Joan Crutchfield at 2:45 pm.

Following the interview process, the board will hold a special called meeting on Monday, January 22 at 6:00 p.m. in the courthouse to vote on the new Director of Schools.

Retiring Director Larry Nidiffer will work with the new Director until Nidiffer’s current contract expires in June, in order to insure a smooth transition during the budget process. However, board attorney Dail Cantrell explained Tuesday night that state law forbids two people holding the position of Director at the same time.

Nidiffer will have to resign before the new Director can officially take office. The board will have to decide if they want to negotiate a new contract with Nidiffer in a consultant role, or delay the official naming of the new Director in order to have the two educators working together as “unofficial” co-directors.

The board must also decide how the vote on January 22 will be conducted, Cantrell added. “You can decide that the first nominee to receive a majority of six votes is hired, or you can nominate all three candidates, vote and if nobody receives six votes, drop the lowest person and vote again.”  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/10/2018-6AM)

Caryville announces contest winners

The Caryville Board of Mayor and Aldermen announced its Christmas Light Contest Winners for 2017 at Monday night’s meeting. First place was awarded to Jason Tackett who won $300, second place was awarded to Martha Tackett winning $200 and third place went to Don Cross winning $100.

Resolution 2018-01 was passed stating that the Town of Caryville received a HOME grant in the amount of $375,000 from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) in the Summer of 2016 to address substandard housing for low-income Caryville residents.  The Town of Caryville Board and Mayor approved the HOME program policies and procedures in its Aug. 8 meeting. Laura Ridenour, Administrative Assistant and City Court Clerk employee, applied to participate in the program and the program policies and procedures adopted by the Caryville Board of Mayor addresses the appearance of a conflict of interest and to whom it applies.  The resolution states that there is not a legal conflict of interest, and that Ridenour may proceed with the application process for potential participation in the Town of Caryville 2015/16 HOME program.

In the final business of the night, the board discussed having a six-month budget review to see where each department is financially at this point in the fiscal year and to see what items, if any, need to be purchased before the end of the fiscal year. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/10/2018-6AM)


Campbell wins a heart stopper at Central – WATCH here

Porter hits the game winner – Phillips has a career game

The Campbell County Lady Cougars took full advantage of Central’s 33 turnovers last night at Knoxville.  After a 12 to nothing start for Campbell, the Lady Cougars were off and rolling to a 56 to 25 victory.  As it ended up, 56 proved to be the magic number for Campbell in both games.

Skylar Boshears and Blair Medley, combined, scored more points than Central.  Bo led the way with 18 points while Medley hit on a dozen.  Haley Comer and Kayleigh Jordon chipped in seven points apiece with Madison Brady adding six.  Two points each came from Emily Ellison, Macy Monday, and Lexy Richardson.

The Lady Cougars district record remains spotless at 6 & 0.  Their overall mark is 11 & 7. 

It didn’t look good for the Cougars early in the second quarter last night at Central. The home standing Bobcats built a 37 to 17 lead, and then the ‘Cats crumbled.  Campbell scored the final ten points of the first half and picked up where it left off in the second-half.  Carter Wells driving layup with 45-seconds to play in the third quarter put Campbell in front 42 to 41.  From there, it was nip and tuck.

Central nailed a three with a handful of seconds to play to take a 55 to 54 lead.  With less than 10-seconds remaining, John Porter took the inbound pass for the Cougars and drove the length of the floor strong to the bucket giving Campbell a 56 to 55 lead with his lay-in.  The Bobcats’ could not answer, and Campbell comes away with the one-point win.

Elijah Phillips finished with a double-double.  He ended up with 27 points and 10 rebounds to go along with a seven-for-seven night at the line.  Evan Jackson poured through 15 points.  Carter Wells score six points followed by four from Porter while Drew Jordan and Landon Addington scored two each.

It was quite a comeback for Campbell.  After trailing by 20 in the second quarter, the Orange-n-Blue outscored Central 39 to 18 the rest of the way.

The Cougars are now 7 & 11 with a league mark of 2 & 5.  Next up for the Cougars and Lady Cougars a Friday night trip to Anderson County.

The Voice of the Cougars, Josh Parker, along with Noah Smith and Aaron Hopkins have all the live coverage tonight over the WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network.  That’s live radio on AM 1450 and FM 100.9 plus the live telecast on and WLAF-TV 12. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/10/2018-6AM)


Joan Crutchfield

During Joan Crutchfield’s tenure as its principal, Jacksboro Elementary School was the highest performing school in Campbell County

Bringing nearly 28 years of experience to the table, Joan Crutchfield has thrown her name in for the Campbell County Director of Schools position.

Crutchfield has a BA in Education from Lincoln Memorial University and a Master’s Plus 30 from Tennessee Tech.

Her teaching license and endorsements include being a classroom teacher and professional administrator,

She currently serves as the school system’s Federal Projectors Director. This is her first year in the position that oversees the county’s compliance regarding the management of federal and state grants. In her career, Crutchfield has been involved in many areas of the school system.

She began as a classroom teacher in 1990. Until 2011 she was in the classroom, but was also mentoring new teachers and seeking new teaching strategies, according to her resume.

In 2011, she was granted her first job in education administration. She was promoted to principal at Jacksboro Elementary School. While there, she supervised a staff of over 70 and oversaw 600 plus students on daily basis. During her tenure at Jacksboro Elementary School, it was the highest performing school in the county, Crutchfield’s information packet said.

Five years later, Crutchfield became the county’s Lead District Academic Coach. In this role, she was to focus on programs that prepare students to ready and offer intervention to those who are struggling.

Now, she is ready to take her career to the next level of administration.

CLICK HERE to see Crutchfield’s complete application packet.

Crutchfield’s application packet came with two references from professionals who are well aware of the inner working of the county school system; former Campbell County Director of Schools Donnie Poston and Tammie Lay, the current elementary education supervisor.

She was “highly recommended” by Poston for the position he previously served in. He noted her “effective administration skills” as an area of strength for Crutchfield.

In her recommendation, Lay said Crutchfield “was not afraid of hard work” and had “effective leadership skills.” Most notably, Lay mentioned her colleague’s genuine belief in children’s ability to grow and learn thus achieving their goals.

Crutchfield’s interview will be the last of the day. It is scheduled to begin at 2:45 pm.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/10/2018-6AM)

Jennifer Fields

Jennifer Fields was the Campbell County Teacher of the Year in 2005.

With two and a half decades of experience, Jennifer Fields has decided to move her career to the next level by applying for the Campbell County Director of Schools.

Fields began her teaching career in 1992 as eighth grade reading teacher in the Anderson County School System. She then moved into the Campbell County School System in 1993 as a classroom teacher at Jacksboro Elementary where she taught first grade, kindergarten and fifth grade until 2011. After that, she moved to the assistant principal position at Jacksboro Elementary where she remained until 2013. While in the position she worked with Title 1, testing and teacher evaluation. She moved into the secondary educational field as an assistant principal at Campbell High School where she worked with the Title I program, testing and teacher evaluation until 2015. Fields next step in her career was in 2015 as principal at Jacksboro Middle School where she is currently.

In her career, Fields spent 18 years as an elementary teacher where she was able to implement several effective research based teaching strategies that promoted growth as indicated by student test scores that made her a level five teacher, according to her application packet. With a desire to improve student success, empower and motivate teachers, Fields sought a different position and became the assistant principal at Jacksboro Elementary. 

While at Campbell County High School, she a managed a Title 1 budget of $195,000 and completed the Tennessee Assistant Principal Leadership Academy. Fields said the role helped her to grow professionally and gain additional knowledge of the system and student needs.  CLICK HERE to see Fields full application packet.

In her current position, she has spent the last three years working with the students, teachers, faculty, staff and community of Jacksboro. She has implemented successful new programs, discipline referrals have been reduced by 50 percent, student enrollment has increased, and the students are progressing academically.

Fields has held several coaching positions during her career and was Campbell County Teacher of the Year in 2005.

Fields application packet included a letter of recommendation from Betty Goerss, educational consultant who said, “The experience, leadership skills and disposition the Jennifer brings to the position of Director of Schools will provide what is needed to lead Campbell County Schools forward in years to come. I highly recommend her for this position.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/10/2018-6AM)

Donna Singley

Donna Singley has completed the year-long Tennessee Boards Association Prospective Superintendents Academy.

   Come next year, Dr. Donna Singley, principal of Jellico High School, is scheduled to be the Chairman of the Tennessee Department of Education’s Principal Study Council. However, she has much bigger plans much closer to home. The veteran educator and administrator is one of three finalists hoping to be the next Campbell County Director of Schools.

   As it turns out, playing school with her younger brothers was just a precursor of what was to come for Singley. But it took an early career as a computer programmer to let her know she needed more than that to be full filled professionally.  “A career in education and administration has more than filled the void,” Singley said.

   You can CLICK HERE to see Singley’s entire application information. In a nutshell, she has been in education for 24-years with 15 of those coming in the classroom at Jellico High School, her alma mater, four as principal at Wynn School, and the last five as Jellico High School’s principal.

   Singley is strong on academics, however, she is also an active proponent of extracurricular actives for students. In fact, she helped form the JHS Student Council and was the sponsor of the Beta Club for 14 years along with being the sponsor for the Academic Team.

   Singley, the only finalist with a doctorate, has many ideas and would like to see some of those pan out if she is selected as the new director of schools. Another accomplishment that singles her out is her recent completion of the year-long Tennessee Boards Association Prospective Superintendents Academy.

   She sums up her view of education with this quote. “If you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires.”

   Her home is in Jellico. Her family roots in Campbell County run back past her grandparents.

   For a person as passionate about education as Singley, becoming the director of schools is a natural next progression.

Saturday’s first interview slot features Singley at 9 am at Campbell County High School. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/10/2018-6AM)



Campbell County takes on big pharmacy companies

As people continue to die from opioid overdoses and public entities lose money for the care of these individuals, government officials are fighting back through legal channels.

Last week, Campbell County joined those ranks.

In a 163 page lawsuit filed against pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors, the county has alleged these companies violated the RICO statute. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) was passed by Congress with the declared purpose of seeking to eradicate organized crime in the United States. In the past, crime families, police departments and motorcycle clubs have all been charged under RICO.

The county further alleged these companies acted with negligence, used fraud to promote the use of opioids and conspired in all of their actions.

While the county didn’t specify what it wanted in monetary damages, it did asked for costs associated with the case and to be compensated for the care of opioid addicts, along with other costs.

  To read the entire lawsuit, CLICK HERE.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/09/2018-6AM)


Campbell County Mayor EL Morton is pictured with Tennessee Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Lee. The two were awaiting President Donald Trump's address to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 99th annual Convention at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center on Monday.

Commission again embroiled in controversy over Sanitation Dept.

One predictable topic on the agenda at next Monday’s (CORRECTION - meeting is Tuesday, January 16) county commission meeting will be the embattled Environmental Services Department and its director, Walt Sutton.

After the commission deadlocked last month on a “vote of confidence” in the performance of the department, Mayor E. L. Morton broke the 7-7 tie to reject an attempt by Commissioner Ralph Davis to publicly censor Sutton’s job performance.

Undeterred, Davis brought up the subject again at Monday’s workshop, this time criticizing Sutton for purchasing a used truck without a purchase order that was later returned to the seller after the vehicle’s engine seized up.

Sutton defended his action, explaining that he had a verbal agreement to use the truck on a trial basis for a month and had arranged for insurance to cover the vehicle during the trial period.

Davis, however, argued that state law requires a purchase order for any purchase over $10,000 while the vehicle in question was to cost the county more than that amount. Davis then made a motion to turn the alleged violation of law over to the Office of the State Comptroller for possible action. That motion passed 12-1 with only Lonnie Weldon voting “no.”

Davis also challenged a budget amendment for the Sanitation Department to pay up to $15,000 to repair another vehicle by purchasing a new engine and transmission instead of purchasing a newer vehicle.

After a lengthy discussion on whether it would be better to repair the older vehicle or purchase a newer one, the commission’s Budget & Finance Committee voted to table the amendment until next week so that Sutton can get together more information on the costs.

Also on the agenda next week will be a discussion about improved air conditioning for the courthouse server room that houses all of the county’s computer systems. Jim Dial, who supervises the county’s myriad of computer systems, submitted a list of requirements that include round-the-clock cooling to keep the server room at a constant temperature of 65 degrees, since  the computer systems themselves generate a great deal of heat.

The county’s maintenance supervisor suggested that less expensive air conditioning units could be installed than the bid that Dial had solicited from TRANE, but Dial countered that the server room needs the air conditioning to enter the room through ducts rather that install the units directly in the room.

Dial pointed out that there can be no water intrusion into the server room, either by condensation or leakage, and that the cooling system must be able to be serviced without interrupting the operation of the server rack.

“We’re talking about a difference of a few thousand dollars, but if a server goes down because it overheats or is damaged from condensation, you’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Dial told commissioners, adding “It’s my responsibility to keep the county running.”

Sue Nance asked that the request be added to next week’s meeting agenda.

Only two people addressed the commission during the public input session of the workshop, including a spokesman for residents who are seeking an extension of high speed internet service into the Big Creek area and other communities beyond Demory.

Bryant Trochin asked commissioners if the county could take any kind of action to expand broadband service to over 187 homes in the Big Creek II subdivision and other homes in nearby communities.

The commissioners had few answers, since the area is served by AT&T and that utility has not yet agreed to expand to some of the more widely scattered rural areas.

The commission learned before Christmas that Highland Telephone Cooperative has obtained a federal grant to extend broadband service into Elk Valley, Jellico and parts of Stinking Creek. Unfortunately, that expansion is, so far, limited to areas west of I-75.

Highland could qualify for the federal grant because it is a non-profit utility. AT&T would not qualify for similar grant money, the commission learned. The Mayor’s office will try to arrange a meeting with Big Creek residents and AT&T officials to discuss the possibility for broadband expansion.

At the end of the workshop, Peggy Henegar, who has served as the county commission secretary for a number of years and before that, handled commission business in the office of several county executives/mayors announced her intention to retire on April 20.

Serving 26 years as a county employee, Henegar asked to switch to a part time position three years ago. Henegar told commissioners that this announcement should give them ample time to find a replacement.

“As I mentioned April 20th, 2018, will be my last day and April 22nd, I will be celebrating my birthday, my anniversary and my retirement with my toes in the sand in the Bahamas with loved ones,” Henegar closed in her official letter of resignation.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/09/2018-6AM)

One man’s struggle with addiction leads to recovery for others

Paul Bourff has spent the past 35 years of his life battling drug addiction.

He was raised by good parents who took him to church and raised him right, he said. Despite his parents’ teachings, Bourff still went the wrong way. The addiction issues began around the age of nine by smoking marijuana- it continued from there. Bourff spent several years of his life in and out of jail. 

But through his addiction came healing in the form of Celebrate Recovery. In 2008 Bourff was headed to prison, but was offered an opportunity to participate in drug court instead. Bourff recounted the days he stayed at a halfway house in Claiborne County that was named Celebrate Recovery.

While at the halfway house, and after being clean for eight months 15 days, Bourff relapsed.  Because of his relapse, he spent five days in jail.  Bourff began participating in the Celebrate Recovery program at Pump Springs Baptist Church at Harrogate and continued for a year. During the time at the halfway house, Bourff was working at night job.  That’s when the change came over him, he said. He surrendered his life to God and began a personal relationship with him.  Things began to turn around for him, Bourff said.

In 2014, Bourff and his wife, Kaye started their first Celebrate Recovery Group at Duff Baptist Church.  After two years there, they felt that God was leading them in another direction. The couple left Duff and began another Celebrate Recovery at The Harbor Church in La Follette last September.

After several months at The Harbor, Bourff said he felt like God had something else he wanted he and his wife to do. Bourff’s prayers led to a third Celebrate Recovery in LaFollette on Friday nights. That group will meet on Friday at 6 p.m. with food and fellowship until 7 p.m. and move into a large group with a lesson from the 12 Step Book and a testimony. The group will then break into smaller groups (men’s and women’s) from 8 p.m. -9 p.m.  It meets at 1327 East Central Ave. in LaFollette. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/09/2018-6AM)

Campbell returns to district competition tonight at Knoxville

Plays against Central

   The Cougars and Lady Cougars have not played a home basketball game in almost a month.  The big playing-away-from-home swing continues tonight at Central High School at Knoxville.  It’s a District 3-AAA match-up, Campbell’s first district game since December 12.

   The Lady Cougars are 10 & 7 in all games and 5 & 0 in the district while the Cougars are 6 & 11 overall and 1 and 4 in district games.  Both teams are coming off Friday night wins at Huntsville over Scott.

   The Voice of the Cougars, Josh Parker, along with Noah Smith and Aaron Hopkins has all the live coverage tonight over the WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network.  That’s live radio on AM 1450 and FM 100.9 plus the live telecast on (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/09/2018-6AM)

Bo to go to Furman

Skylar Boshears commits to the Paladins

By Pat Pebley – WLAF Sports

   Skylar Boshears is a name known not only to fans of Lady Cougar basketball she is known through out the region and among those that follow recruiting. She is already a member of the 1,000 point club at CCHS, and with a year and half left in her high school career, she is likely to challenge for the all-time Lady Cougar scoring record.
   Now we know where she is committed to playing her college ball. The Lady Cougar will trade in her blue and orange for some purple as she will become a Lady Paladin at Furman. The school is located in Greenville, South Carolina. Paladin Athletics are part of the Southern Conference which also boasts Tennessee schools ETSU and UTC.


It’s a “three Cougar family.”  Former Cougar Doug Boshears and his wife, former Lady Cougar Kim Ledford-Boshears, join their daughter, current Lady Cougar Skylar Boshears, at Furman University for this photo.  Skylar wears her mom’s jersey number, 32, for Campbell.

   Boshears has also visited schools such as Mercer and Ole Miss during her recruitment. With her participation in AAU basketball, she is one of the most looked at recruits in the history of CCHS.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/09/2018-6AM)



   Today, we say good-bye to a Jacksboro man, and thank you to his family, who gave his all for his community.  A celebration of life service is this afternoon from 3 pm to 7 pm at the Jacksboro United Methodist Church for Dr. Burgin Wood.  Knowing Doc Wood, he would not want today’s celebration nor the stories and photos we are featuring, but a life such as his must be celebrated, if not for him, for us especially given the fact that he was a native Campbell Countian.  Wood is pictured with his wife, Jo, in the above photos.  More stories and photos are further down this page. 



Morton invited to Trump’s speech

President is in Nashville this morning

   Campbell County Mayor E.L. Morton has been invited by the White House to come to Nashville  this morning.  Morton will be there to hear President Donald Trump speak at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 99th annual Convention at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.

   The mayor tells WLAF, “I appreciate the opportunity to join our Farm Bureau, Secretary Purdue and delegation to hear President Trump give his vision for Tennessee's largest industry today in Nashville.”

   Morton explains, “Since I was a kid hoeing tobacco in Demory, agriculture has changed quite a bit.  NAFTA, GMOs and 2-billion more people create challenges for Campbell County Farmers.  I am eager to hear the President's ideas on Ag economics, food production and distribution for America and the world.  Cows, calves and timber are big business here and an effective national policy is important to healthy markets for our cattle and timber and affordable groceries.”

   “I heard Secretary Sonny Perdue discuss our Ag economy last summer as a delegate to our National Association of Counties convention in Columbus, Ohio.  His Department of Agriculture has more bipartisan support than most others and affects everyday citizens more than most.  Not only does the Ag department affect food, but the farm bill funds mortgages, businesses and infrastructure across the country,” Mayor Morton said.

   “With the tax reform bill in place, agriculture could be President Trump's next big policy focus.  I am humbled to represent our citizens and hear the President speak this morning,” Morton concluded.

   This is Trump’s second visit to Nashville as president.  He was there in March hosting a rally at Municipal Auditorium.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/08/2018-6AM)

Wood’s patients were a close second to his family

Family becomes complete through adoption

“Little red headed girls up for adoption weren’t that popular among most couples looking to adopt in the 1960s,” said Stacey Wood-Heatherly. But that wasn’t the case when a call came to the Wood home in 1965.  “Absolutely!   We want that little girl,” was Doc Wood’s reaction to the call.

And that little red headed girl, barely two months old, was Stacey.

The adoption of Stacey completed the Wood’s family. She joined older brothers, Scott and Steve, who were also adopted and already living with Burgin and Jo Wood. The three youngsters aren’t related by blood.

For the trio, it’s been a life of seeing fruits of their dad’s labor in a career that spanned seven decades in Campbell County.  Stacey and Scott say they are accustomed to hearing things like “Your dad delivered me. Or look at this scar. Your dad sewed my arm back together.”

 Wood’s heaven on earth was being with his family on the farm.

It was a neck and neck race between Wood’s family and patients.

However, it was a photo finish with the family winning.

Countless times a ruptured appendix or a baby coming earlier than expected blew family plans right out of the water. And that’s not to mention someone showing up on the door step of the house or at the barn needing Doc to look at something or help them get on the road to recovery from a stomach bug or worse. The kids and Mamma Jo didn’t see that as interruption. Instead, they had a sense of pride in Doc. They were proud that it was their daddy people could call on at any time of day or night.

 When I asked if I could call their daddy a country doctor, Stacey shouted, “Absolutely!”  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/08/2018-6AM)

Down on his luck in Harlan County

Wood won them over

   One of the first stops a young Burgin and Jo Wood made after he graduated medical school was Benham, Ky., in Harlan County. In the mid-1950s, he was hired to be the doctor at the International Harvester Camp. Jo was his nurse, bookkeeper, and janitor.

Their tiny office was empty. No patients, not a single one.

They were outsiders, and it appeared no one wanted anything to do with them.

That is until Doc Wood happened upon two little boys and their horse. The boys’ horse was on its way to bleeding to death from an injured hoof.

Wood saved the horse that afternoon.

The story of the stranger spread throughout the camp.

The next morning, his office was full of patients.

   It was that one instance that instantly made Wood “one of them.” He became a part of the community overnight in his first stop along his medical career. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/08/2018-6AM)

Some things you may or may not know about Burgin Wood

He met his sweetheart in college

   “I chased him a little, but he didn’t run very fast,” said Virginia Jo Crutchfield-Wood of Tazewell. The campus of Berea College in Kentucky is where the slow chase took place.

Mrs. Wood is known to most everyone as Jo, because she doesn’t care much for Virginia Jo. But that’s what Burgin called her. And that was okay.

   Daughter Stacey Wood-Heatherly describes their marriage as “made in heaven.” She says they were true partners, and Dad was such a gentleman. Doc Wood was a door opening, holding hands kind of man, who also had a penchant for picking on Virginia Jo. He was always concerned more about her than himself; even up to the final days.

   She laughs at the frugality of her parents. “I’d see other doctors’ kids and where they lived, what they had, and what they drove, and I’m like, my dad does the same thing that theirs does,” Stacey said. Wood made it clear to his family, and to other doctors who would tutelage under him, that serving the community took precedence over money. Wood-Heatherly adds that her dad’s career was never about becoming wealthy.

Dr. Wood had the pleasure of making the trip to the World War II Memorial at Washington, D.C., in April of 2015.

Doc Wood is more than 20-years older than his baby sister, Jane, or Janie as he would often call her. He was both a big brother and father figure to Jane.  Wood-Heatherly calls her aunt, who was a career school teacher, the family caretaker. So much in fact, she has cooked or coordinated the nightly family dinner for years.

Dr. Wood was the founder and first chairman of the LaFollette Medical Foundation. Wood’s forward thinking was instrumental in making sure that the proceeds from the sale of what was once the LaFollette Community Hospital were reinvested in the community.

He served on the school board for two terms.

Doc Wood was a World War II veteran with the U.S. Navy serving three years. After his service, he returned to finish school.

 You know this iconic photo. The flag came from the USS Missoula the ship on which Wood was aboard at the Battle of Iwo Jima.

After the war and medical school at the University of Tennessee-Memphis, he opened his medical practice in LaFollette on November 11, 1958. Soon after, Wood brought Jo’s brother, Dr. Jim Crutchfield, in as his partner. At that time, there were no surgeons in Campbell County. So Wood and Crutchfield decided to become surgeons. They flipped a coin to see which one of them would go for surgical training first.

Wood was pretty much a hip, gall bladder, babies-type surgeon until he had to perform an emergency brain operation. He followed instructions over the phone to a “T” from a brain surgeon who walked him through the procedure; a prime example of Wood’s “whatever it takes” attitude.

Burgin and Jo were both pilots. Crutchfield was, too.

  The man who “loved doctoring” retired in December 2011. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/08/2018-6AM)

Wood was active up until his final days

‘I’m going to spend time with my family and feed my cows’ – Dr. Burgin Wood

It was in the summer of 2016 when Burgin Wood realized he was sick.

Dr. Wood told his doctors, “You know what this is, and I do, too. And let’s leave it at that,” his son-in-law, Mike Heatherly said.

Wood’s cancer was never diagnosed, but the country doctor knew time was short, and that he wanted to make the most of it. He told the doctors, “I’m going home to spend time with my family and to feed my cows.”

That family includes his wife Jo, their three children, six grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, and his sister Jane.  The cows lived on the 97-acres Doc Wood farmed.

 This photo of Burgin and Jo Wood was snapped circa 1960.  See the full photo gallery by CLICKING HERE.

Up until Thanksgiving, Wood’s duties around house and farm remained much the same including feeding cows, cats, and dogs and hauling off the family’s garbage. That’s when he started slowing down. Though he did make it to Lyk-Nu Body Shop for a December dinner that included some old friends like General Carl Stiner.

Dr. Burgin Henry Wood passed away at his home with family around on Thursday at 9:57 am.

His interment was yesterday afternoon at Jacksboro Cemetery on the hill across the road from where he graduated Jacksboro High School back in the 1940s.

The unique country doctor from Jacksboro was 93-years old. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/08/2018-6AM)

A New Year - time for new financial resolutions

From Edward Jones Financial Advisor Zach Sheets
   We’ve reached the end of another year and the start of a new one – which means it's time for some New Year’s resolutions. Would you like to study a new language, take up a musical instrument or visit the gym more often? All these are worthy goals, of course, but why not also add some financial resolutions?
Here are some ideas to think about:
* Increase contributions to your employer-sponsored retirement plan. For 2018, you can contribute up to $18,500 (or $24,500 if you’re 50 or older) to your 401(k) or similar plan, such as a 403(b), for employees of public schools and some nonprofit groups, or a 457(b) plan, for employees of local governments. It’s usually a good idea to contribute as much as you can afford to your employer’s plan, as your contributions may lower your taxable income, while your earnings can grow tax-deferred. At a minimum, put in enough to earn your employer’s matching contribution, if one is offered.
* Try to “max out” on your IRA. Even if you have a 401(k) or similar plan, you can probably still invest in an IRA. For 2018, you can contribute up to $5,500 to a traditional or Roth IRA, or $6,500 if you’re 50 or older. (Income restrictions apply to Roth IRAs.) Contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax-deductible, depending on your income, and your earnings can grow tax-deferred. Roth IRA contributions are not deductible, but earnings can grow tax-free, provided you don’t start taking withdrawals until you are 59-1/2 and you’ve have had your account at least five years. You can put virtually any investment in an IRA, so it can expand your options beyond those offered in your 401(k) or similar plan.
* Build an emergency fund. Try to build an emergency fund containing three to six months’ worth of living expenses, with the money held in a low-risk, liquid account. This fund can help you avoid dipping into your long-term investments to pay for unexpected costs, such as a new furnace or a major car repair.
* Control your debts. It’s never easy, but do what you can to keep your debts under control. The less you have to spend on debt payments, the more you can invest for your future.
* Don’t overreact to changes in the financial markets. We’ve had a long run of rising stock prices – but it won’t last forever. If we experience a sharp market downturn in 2018, don’t overreact by taking a “time out” from investing. Market drops are a normal feature of the investment landscape, and you may ultimately gain an advantage by buying new shares when their prices are down.
* Review your goals and risk tolerance. At least once in 2018, take some time to review your short- and long-term financial goals and try to determine, possibly with the help of a financial professional, if your investment portfolio is still appropriate for these goals. At the same time, you’ll want to re-evaluate your risk tolerance to ensure you’re not taking too much risk – or possibly too little risk – with your investments.
   Do your best to stick with these resolutions throughout 2018. At a minimum, they can help you improve your investment habits – and they may improve your financial picture far beyond 2018.

   Zach Sheets can be reached at or 423.566.4010. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/05/2018-9AM)

Ayers recognized five years in a row

   Jacksboro Police Officer Franklin Ayers was recognized by Mayor June Forstner at last night’s meeting of the Jacksboro Board and Aldermen. Ayers received the 2017 Impaired Driving Enforcement Award from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.  He also received the Bronze Enforcement Award from MADD for removing 38 impaired drivers from the Tennessee Roadways in 2016.  He has received this award five years in a row.  

  In other employee matters, the board agreed to hire police officer Zachary Wright and street/sanitation department employee Robby Lowe. 

  Frank Wallace with Caryville Jacksboro Utilities spoke to the board about a plan to correct the wash out issue on Spring Street behind city hall. Wallace said the work on correcting the issue to avoid further deterioration of the road could begin soon.

 Forstner requested the board approve Rolling Hills be added as a city street; the subdivision was built in 2003. The board agreed to add the street to the city. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/05/2018-6AM)

Tip ends in arrest

Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Tosha Tackett had taken a report from a residence last weekend, where some items had been stolen. Tackett received knowledge that Kenneth Isaiah Carroll was a suspect in the burglary and theft of a firearm at the home. Tackett was told that Carroll was a convicted felon and she checked for warrants on him and found that he had outstanding warrants from Anderson County for child support. Tackett was told that Carroll would be driving a 1999 Gold Durango with orange zombie stickers on the back, according to a report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department. Tackett was on patrol when she saw a vehicle matching the description at Sonic in LaFollette. When Tackett approached the vehicle, Carroll, got out and Tackett was able to identify the individual as the suspect. Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy David Wormsley asked Carroll if he had anything on him that would poke or stick him, he said that he had a pipe in the left front pocket of his jeans that he used to smoke meth. LaFollette K-9 officer Stephen Carroll took the K-9 around the vehicle and the K-9 alerted at the front driver’s door. When the vehicle was searched a small crystal-like substance was found, believed to be methamphetamine.

Carroll, 40, who gave his address as homeless, was arrested and charged with possession schedule II substance and hold for another agency. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/05/2018-6AM)

Wood was a “one and only”
 Beloved physician died on Thursday

  Burgin. It was a while before I realized Burgin had a last name.  That’s all my dad, Doc Freeman, ever called his longtime friend and neighbor. Burgin made house calls when someone at our house was sick. His boys, Scott and Steve, and my brother, Dan, and I played together as youngsters in the years before our sisters came along. As I grew a little older, I realized that Burgin was Dr. Wood.  “Not Woods”, my mom was always quick to say.
   Making house calls; spending that extra time with patients; being so personable. Those are qualities I have always associated with a doctor from times gone by.  Wood was that way years ago and not so long ago.
   Dr. Jim Farris described Wood as a “one and only.”  Farris worked with Wood for a long time. His concern for patients was evidenced in the extra time he took to size up a situation, come up with a plan, and then go at it full speed ahead.
   Early one morning at the La Follette Medical Center, Wood called Farris for a recommendation on a patient. Farris tells the story with a chuckle that he suggested a drug for Wood to use. Wood didn’t like the idea, and said if he wanted that drug used, then he needed to come up to the hospital and give it himself.
   Farris called Wood “a good man.”  He credits Wood, and Wood’s partner, Dr. Jim Crutchfield, for bringing modern medicine, for their era, to the area. He adds that Dr. Wood did a great deal for our community.
   Thank you, Burgin. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/05/2018-6AM)


WLAF’s “Pot Poll” results are in

Hundreds of you expressed your opinion

   After reading Susan Sharp’s two-part story this week on should medical marijuana be legalized in Tennessee, you know where State Representatives Jeremy Faison and Dennis Powers stand on the issue.  But WLAF wanted to know where you stand.  That’s why for the past 24-hours the WLAF “Pot Poll” was open.

  We asked you "Do you favor medical marijuana being legalized in Tennessee?"  Sixty-one percent of you who took part in our “Pot Poll” favored the legalization of medical marijuana leaving 39% voting against its legalization.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/03/2018-6AM)


Blessing Box fills a need, no questions asked

As temperatures drop, hope continues to rise thanks to the diligence of Sue Bray.

Bray works for the Campbell County Baptist Association and after seeing an article about Blessing Boxes she started researching the boxes. Blessing Boxes are small pantries stocked with free food and personal care items like toothbrushes and diapers for people in need. They are often found outside a church or home. There is access to the box 24/7, with no questions asked.

The local one is placed outside the Campbell County Baptist Association.

“The more I read, the more I felt the Lord putting a burden on my heart,” Bray said. She and Steve Ross, director of missions at the Campbell County Baptist Association, soon formalized a plan for a local Blessing Box.

Ross, who has a weekly fellowship with the pastors in the association, spoke to others pastors who agreed to help with the box.  He told them the size of the box to be placed outside the association. Being the first church to help, Coolidge First Baptist built the box at no charge and delivered it. Coolidge First Baptist also operates a food pantry, so they brought the first box of food as well.

 In the meantime, Bray and Ross were bringing food and water to put in the box. Through a monthly newsletter Bray writes that is sent to area churches, she shared the Blessing Box news with the association churches

After Bray shared the Blessing Box on her Facebook page, it was shared by her friends. When Bray posted a public update on her page, it was shared 89 times. After that food has been coming in on a regular basis. People are coming by daily, leaving and taking blessings, Bray said.

“Please know this is a God thing and He gets all the glory. Steve and I were just His instruments. It has been all the wonderful, caring people of Campbell County that have kept the box going, Bray said.

Since the weather has gotten extremely cold many have been bringing by small blankets, scarves, gloves, hats, and even coats. Bray said while the weather is harsh that is fine. However, after it warms up they prefer no clothing, because it’s not meant to be a clothes closet. “We don't mind the small warm stuff during this cold weather, but, I guess you can say its (the box) main purpose is to provide a place where people in need can come without being embarrassed or having to fill out a lot of paperwork just simply take what the need and give back to the box when they can no questions ask,” Bray said.  Items typically kept in the Blessing Box are canned food, canned meats, crackers, soups, peanut butter, rice, dry beans, canned fruit or fruit cups, cereal, oatmeal, water, toilet paper, flour, meal, coffee, just about anything food wise has been placed in the box. Bray reminded that the homeless have no way to cook or open the cans, so they ask if possible to bring the canned goods that have the pull top on them, also plastic forks and spoons.

“I would like to emphasis that this is not a Baptist thing,” Bray said. “We just had the box placed and it belongs to the community.”

The box is in front of the association at 707 West Central Ave., LaFollette, next to the Sonic.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/03/2018-6AM)


   This week, WLAF is bringing you stories regarding the legalization of medical marijuana in Tennessee. Today, we preview the bill and what it means for counties, citizens and state departments.  The first of the two stories is further down this page.

Medical marijuana and who benefits if it becomes legal

By Susan Sharp

A February vote in the state house of representatives could be the first step in legalizing marijuana in Tennessee.

Legalizing marijuana would also mean regulating it.

Under 11th District State Rep. Jeremy  Faison’s 66 page proposed House Bill No. 495, medical marijuana would become its own free standing business. 

We want to be able to grow, manufacture and sell medical marijuana right here in Tennessee,” he said.

The law, if passed in its current form, would provide for those practices.

However, multiple hurdles would need to be crossed before medical marijuana would be a business in the state.

If this law passes, the next step is to create a nine member cannabis commission. These appointees would be drawn from areas of state government that include the department of safety, agriculture and health. Speakers of the house and senate would also be allowed three appointees each. These people would include a health care professional, a patient and a pharmacist.

The commission would bear the responsibility of overseeing the medical marijuana trade in Tennessee. Each member would also be compensated at $6,000 per year.

While the passing of the law would make marijuana legal for medical reasons in the state, counties and municipalities would still have a say.

In the reverse method of passing a liquor referendum, citizens could just say no to medical marijuana. If a county was opposed to having grow facilities and dispensaries in its borders, then a referendum could be placed on the ballot to keep medical marijuana out of the area, Faison said.

However, if an area is welcoming to the idea, nothing would need to be done.

Grow facilities and dispensaries are set to be heavily regulated under the proposed law. The ratio of facilities to dispensaries is currently fixed at 5-1. People wanting to own, operate or work in these capacities  must be 21, have no felonies, not be behind on child support payments and be a state resident to begin with.

The manufactures and dispensaries will be expected to provide stringent security measures, including guards, have a medical office appearance and all employees must be registered with the cannabis commission.

As with any business marijuana will be taxed and thus generate revenue.

Under his bill, medical marijuana would provide revenue as a result of a 5 percent tax on the drug.

“This is not a way to raise revenue,” 36th District State Rep. Dennis Powers said.

Taxes would be applied to the sales price of the marijuana. That 5 percent would then be distributed as follows:

 -20 percent to the Tennessee Bureau Investigation for drug enforcement

-10 percent to local sheriff’s offices for training on, but not limited to, the Medical Cannabis Act

-10 percent to police departments for training on, but not limited to, the Medical Cannabis Act

-10 percent to the department of intellectual and developmental disabilities

-10 percent to the department of mental health and substance abuse services

-20 percent to the department of education

-10 percent to the state’s general fund to be earmarked in assisting veterans’ treatment court programs and establishing those programs where there are none.

-10 percent to recovery court programs

 Faison believes that eventually, medical marijuana could mean jobs for Tennesseans.

House Bill No. 495 lays out many rules about who can have access to medical marijuana, but it also spells out some restrictions as well.

Doctors won’t prescribe the use of marijuana, but instead, will be permitted to recommend its use for conditions deemed beneficial by the cannabis commission. They can’t prescribe it due to federal prohibitions on prescribing schedule 1 substances.

Insurance companies, whether state administered or privately run, will not be paying for medical marijuana. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t recognized or approved marijuana as medicine, according to  Because of its status as a schedule 1 substances under federal law, insurance companies won’t have to pay for the drug. Those who opt to use it will bear all of the cost.

Business owners and property owners can prohibit the use of medical marijuana on their grounds

Correctional facilities will not be required to allow inmates access to medical marijuana

Nothing in the law prevents an employer from disciplining an employee for using medical cannabis at work or being under the influence at work

Qualifying patients will only be allowed their allowable amount once every 14 days. Allowable amounts will be established by the cannabis commission.

Should the bill become a law, it will go into effect Jan. 1, 2019. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/03/2018-6AM)

A new fire truck is on the horizon for LaFollette.

City Council meets Tuesday afternoon

City of LaFollette Fire Chief Charlie Eldridge told LaFollette City Council last night that the upcoming purchase of a fire truck should be the last fire truck the city will need for the next 15 years. The council voted unanimously to approve a bid for $467,458. Eldridge said the fire department could pay part of the chassis cost, but requested council pay $100, 000 toward the chassis. The remaining balance for the truck will need to be financed. The city has about eight to 11 months to secure the financing, according to Eldridge.

 In last week’s workshop the council discussed donating a 1985 Kenworth fire truck to White Oak Fire Department. The department has been borrowing the truck for the past several months. It was agreed to donate the truck to White Oak with a stipulation that the truck could not be sold for a year. 

In administrative matters, four ordinances and resolutions were approved. Resolution 2018-01 will allow the city to apply for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for performing eligible community development activities that will benefit the majority of the residents of LaFollette.  The grant will be used for a sewer system improvement project. Resolution 2018-02 pertains to the city securing the assistance of an experienced and qualified administrative management services firm to assist in preparing and administering the City’s 2018 Community Development Block Grant Application. 

The next resolution, 2018-03, allows the city to secure the assistance of an experienced and qualified engineering firm to assist in the preparation and implementation of the City’s 2018 Community Development Block Grant Application. The city has solicited and evaluated statements of qualifications of interested professional engineering firms and determined that Fulghum, Macindoe and Associates, Inc. has the most appropriate experience, background and qualifications to provide the needed services. 

The final resolution, 2018-04, added $19,500 in revenue and expenditure amounts to the 2017-18 fiscal year budget. These dollars go toward fulfill four grants.

In other business:

-The council agreed to a one-year lease of the Dewey Hunter Center from the LaFollette Housing Authority.  The lease will only cost the city the monthly utility bill.  The city will only pay the utilities for the facility, keep the funds from any events and the lease will be revisited on a yearly basis. 

-A four-foot section of property on the North-West side of North Eleventh Street Bridge will be sold to the State of Tennessee for $1,400.  

-Equipment from the old skate park was declared as surplus equipment and will be donated to the Town of Jellico

-In the final business of the night, City Administrator Jimmy Jeffries told council he had spoken with Campbell County Mayor E.L. Morton about the Friends of Campbell County Animals operating the county animal shelter. Jeffries said that Morton assured him that the contract between the county and the Friends of Campbell County Animals included all cities within the county, also fees cannot be raised or changed per the contract.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/03/2018-6AM)

Director of Schools search takes next step

Credential review was Tuesday

   Five members of the Campbell County Board of Education and seven community members met Tuesday afternoon at the Board of Education’s Central Office at Jacksboro.  The group gathered for the candidate credential review of the three applicants who are vying to become the next director of schools.

   The three thick packets from candidates Joan Crutchfield, Jennifer Fields, and Donna Singley contained many items.  Some of the information among the pages included are a cover letter, resume, curriculum vita, teacher’s license, official college transcripts, letters of recommendation from five professionals, and board policy pages.  The three applicants met all the requirements to be considered for the post.

   Bella Lester, a student at Caryville Elementary School and daughter of BOE member Brent Lester, just happened to be with her father at the meeting yesterday.  She was asked by BOE Chairman Clint Bane to pull names out of a hat to determine what order the candidates will go during the interviews.  Donna Singley goes first followed by Jennifer Fields and then Joan Crutchfield.  Candidates will not be allowed to sit it on the other candidates interviews.  All applicants will be provided copies of the nearly 40 interview questions and will be asked the same questions.

   The day-long interview process is scheduled for Saturday, January 13, in the auditorium at Campbell County High School.  Singley will be interviewed at 9 am with lunch following, and then Fields interview starts at 12:30 pm with Crutchfield’s interview beginning at 2:45 pm.  Each interview is expected to take a couple of hours.  The event is open to the public.

   BOE members Bane, Faye Heatherly, Sharon Ridenour, Brent Lester, and Wallace Goins decided yesterday that they would like ballot voting when board members cast their vote for the new DOS on Monday, January 22.  It means that each member will have a paper ballot, will check their choice, and then have the votes tallied.  Each vote will also be made public.  Gail Parks, assistant to the BOE, along with BOE attorney Dale Cantrell will count the votes.  The full board will vote at its next meeting, Tuesday, January 9, on whether or not to use the ballot voting process.

CLARIFICATION of the above paragraph:  Ballot voting was discussed at yesterday’s meeting.  However, BOE members wanted to think about what method of voting they would like to use.  The method of conducting the DOS vote will be determined by the board prior to the vote on Monday, January 22.

   The community members in attendance yesterday were Jerry Chadwell, Tom Chadwell, Carolyn Cox, James Freeman, Eugene Justice, Jack Lynch, and JoAnn Overton.

  Current Director of Schools Larry Nidiffer plans to retire this spring.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/03/2018-10:20AM)

Deputy Comptroller pays a visit to Campbell County

Tuesday at the Rotary Club

   Tuesday, as usual, was Rotary Club Day.  The Rotary’s weekly luncheon at the La Follette United Methodist Church featured Tennessee’s Deputy Comptroller and Chief of Staff for the Comptroller Jason Mumpower.  The Bristol native was the guest of State Representative Dennis Powers.

   Powers notes, “Jason has served as the Deputy Comptroller and Chief of Staff for the Comptroller since 2010.  He brings 20 years of experience to the job including 14 years as a State Representative.  They do a great job of auditing and investigating fraud in local governments, agencies and nonprofit organizations.”

   Within the Comptroller’s Office, there are more than 500 employees and 11 divisions.  Powers adds, “They do a great job of auditing and investigating fraud in local governments, agencies and nonprofit organizations.  We are very fortunate to have Jason and Comptroller Justin Wilson making sure our tax dollars are being spent as they were meant to be.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/03/2018-6AM)




Will Tennessee be one of the next states to legalize medical marijuana?

Or will it be one of the last?

   Over the next two days, WLAF will bring you stories regarding the legalization of medical marijuana in Tennessee. Today, 36th District State Rep. Dennis Powers, who represents Campbell and part of Union and Anderson Counties, and 11th District State Rep. Jeremy Faison, who represents Cocke and part of Jefferson and Greene Counties, discuss the merits of passing House Bill 495. Tomorrow we will preview the bill and what it means for counties, citizens and state departments. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/02/2018-6AM)

Lawmakers debate legalizing medical marijuana

By Susan Sharp

As the move to legalize medical marijuana gains momentum across the nation, some in Tennessee are asking when and if sick Tennesseans will be allowed to alleviate their symptoms as others in  29 other states do.

Depending on who is asked, that answer varies, with both sides passionate about their stances.

“I don’t think we will ever get to that point (of legalizing marijuana),” 36th District State Rep. Dennis Powers said.

In 2016, Tennessee law was changed to allow people who suffer from epilepsy access to the oil of the cannabis plant. The oil has a medical value without the added euphoria that often accompanies the drug when used recreationally. However, that is where Tennessee lawmakers stopped with the measure. “I think that is as far as we are going to go,” Powers said.

If the THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical compound in cannabis responsible for a euphoric high, could be removed and the oil put in a more controllable form, Powers said the measure could garner additional support. “I don’t think I could ever vote for it the way it is now,” he said.

Other lawmakers, some within the Republican Party, disagree.

Eleventh District State Rep. Jeremy Faison, who is a Conservative Christian, is a staunch advocate for legalizing marijuana.

“I know for a fact it’s helped a lot of sick people and people in pain,” Faison said. Under House Bill No. 495, Faison is proposing an extension of the already enacted law that allows the use of cannabis oil. He wants to see the category of approved illness expanded beyond epilepsy. Under Bill No. 495, Cancer, HIV, Hepatitis C, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Diabetes, severe pain, muscle spasms and other medical conditions approved by the state cannabis commission would be qualifying conditions for a physician to recommend use of the cannabis oil.

Powers said allowing further access to the drug would not be in the best interest of the citizens. He has heard testimony from Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Agents who support the theory that marijuana is a gateway drug.

Faison disputes this philosophy. The same could be said of caffeine, alcohol and tobacco, he said. There isn’t a documented study that proves marijuana was ever the sole contributing factor in someone’s death, whereas, other substances, namely, alcohol and tobacco can’t make that claim, Faison added.

“This is a plant. It has never killed anybody,” he said.

If House Bill No. 495 passes in 2018, Faison said it will “be the strictest bill in America” that regulates medical marijuana. He believes 2018 will be the year medical marijuana is legalized.

“I believe we have the votes in the house,” Faison said of the February vote. Citing a poll taken of Republican primary voters, people Faison noted were the most conservative in the state, 60 percent of those polled, were in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.

 Noting that other states are seeing the merit in passing similar measures, he predicted that by the end of 2018, medical marijuana will be legal in 40 states. It is currently legal in 29. ‘We can do this now or we can be dead last,” Faison said. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/02/2018-6AM)

East Side Pizza is now delivering

Call 423.563.7090

   Jimmy and Brenda Wilson at East Side Pizza and Deli are now delivering.  Jimmy says to let them deal with the cooking and the cold, and they'll bring your meal to you.  Call in your pizza, sandwich, or salad order to 423.563.7090 or 563.7089.  East Side Pizza and Deli is located next to Food Lion in east La Follette.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/02/2018-8AM)

WLAF begins its 65th year of service

Came on the air in 1953

   Time marches on.  And when you have a barometer, for a better description, it can really seem fast.  Much is the case here at the old radio station.  Difficult to believe, but WLAF first aired on Sunday, May 17, 1953.

   Local radio stations are a unique commodity in this day and time, and the support of the community is what makes or breaks such a local radio station like WLAF.  We are pleased and honored that you’ve kept our locally owned and operated radio station on the air now in its 65th year.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/01/2018-6AM)

Get your free calendar today at Kash & Karry Building Supply

On South Indiana Avenue

   Kip Leach says we have lots of free Farmers Almanac Calendars to give-a-way and to stop by and get yours.  He, J.B. and everyone at Kash and Karry Building Supply wish you the best in 2018 and send along a “Happy New Year” wish.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/29/2017-6AM)

2017: A Historic Year

By: Derrick Lee Anderson
   My name is Derrick Lee Anderson and it is always a joy to be on the air at WLAF. Each Monday and Friday, I bring listeners the best in local radio.  That includes everything from playing the best in southern gospel music to informing viewers about what's going on in the local area. I also record the weather forecast every Monday evening and I even record commercials.  2017 will go down in history as one of the best years of my life. It's a year where great things took place.


This shirt is probably more of a cape, because WLAF’s Derrick Lee Anderson is a virtual “superman” behind the mic.

   First, let me take you back to June. It was in June that WLAF was being awarded Business of the Year by the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce.  When I found out that WLAF was being awarded Business of the Year, it excited me. It was on Thursday, June 22nd that WLAF was awarded Business of the Year at the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce's meeting which took place at the Ball Farm Event Center. Many of WLAF's employees came out to this special event. For me, it was a joy to witness a special event like
this one. It was at the event that I got to hear a wonderful speech from Lori Tucker, news anchor/reporter for WATE-TV in
Knoxville. It was a joy to listen to some of her stories about her career. I will never forget the one question she asked: "How many of you love to read and have a book going all the time?" I raised my hand because I love to read. In fact, I love reading my Bible and many Christian books on my phone. The keynote speech made this event one to remember. It was after this event that I not only got to meet Lori and chat with her, I also had my picture taken with her. It was such a blessing to be part of a special event like this.


WATE’s Lori Tucker poses with WLAF’s Derrick Lee Anderson.

   And now, let me now take you to July 24th. It was on this day that Lori Tucker's story on me aired during WATE's 6pm news and it was at the WLAF studios that I got to witness it. While watching the story, I sat in awe while seeing my mom and others being interviewed. One of my favorite parts of the story was that they showed me getting out of my dad's GMC Jimmy and was surprised to see Lori Tucker. It brought a smile to my face because it was a pleasant surprise. It was after the story aired that I gave myself a round of applause because Lori did such an amazing job on the story. It's my favorite news story of all time and the best part of all this: I was the story. I sent Lori an email thanking her for doing the story. I then got an email from her which brought a smile to my face. It's a joy to have Lori Tucker as my friend because she is not only a blessing, but also an inspiration to everyone including me. It's a reason why Lori Tucker is my favorite news anchor.
   It's been a joy to be part of these great moments. It's moments like these that I'll remember for years to come. And with that, the curtain is about to close on 2017 as 2018 will be coming in just a few days. I'm looking forward to a new year filled with hope and anticipation here in
Campbell County. I hope you'll be ready.
(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/29/2017-6AM)

WLAF continues its look back at 2017

October, November, and December are featured 


In an unprecedented move, district attorney generals from across East Tennessee took on the pharmaceutical industry. Eighth Judicial District Attorney Jarred Effler, joined by his counterparts from the sixth, seventh, ninth and 10 judicial districts filed the suit against seven pharmaceutical companies, a defunct pain clinic and three individuals. While no specified amount of damages was requested, the group is asked for the court to award punitive damages and legal fees. In the suit, it was alleged that the companies knew what they were doing when they introduced potent pain killers into the area. The companies knew they were addictive, but, went ahead putting profit over everything else, the suit said.

The Welcome Center at Jellico was named Tennessee’s Welcome Center of the Year. Rhine Cummins and his staff welcome visitors to Tennessee’s Front Door each day and represent Campbell County and the state of Tennessee to the world. The Welcome Center has assistants on duty from 8 am until 6 pm daily and is open 24 hours.

Longtime community servant Jerry Cross died. Cross was remembered for the years he spent working for the people of Campbell County. He served them at both a state and local level.

The LaFollette Library held a food drive. The library is excused late fees in exchange for canned food in the month of November.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/29/2017-6AM)


Sherry Grant McCreary Neal was found safe following a search and chilly Halloween in the woods. Neal, a Campbell County native and 1981 CCHS graduate, is a real estate agent. Around noon on Oct. 31, she and Leslie Turner, of Ohio, had taken an ATV to look at a property along Chumley Mountain Road on Cumberland Mountain, according to reports.The two women reportedly got lost. Events went from bad to disastrous when they discovered their cell phones had no reception and then lost power.

Campbell County saw an uptake in tax revenues this month.

An average October will yield around $6 million in property tax collections, according to Campbell County Trustee Monty Bullock. However, a budget being passed on time by the county proved instrumental in collections totaling $7.9 million for October.

The LaFollette First Baptist Church celebrated first responders and veterans in a combined ceremony.

 “We wanted to find a way to say thank you to those people,’ said Pastor Duane Mills.

Campbell County held community soup kitchen and sleep out  to raise awareness about the rate of homelessness in the area.

One man is recovered from stab wounds while another man was in the county jail. Police arrested 33 year old David Spradlin of LaFollette and charged him with aggravated assault.

Plans were finalized in the search for a new director of Campbell County Schools.

James Kevin Bell, a former LaFollette resident, was found dead following a Knoxville shooting. Lamone Price Simmons, 35, and Tykemien Stewart, 18, both of Knoxville were charged with one count of first degree murder in the shooting death of Bell, according to Knoxville Police Public Information Officer Darrell Debusk.

Zachary Chase Crawford and Danielle Hale were denied a plea for a bail reduction

Michael Chesney agreed that he was guilty of vehicular homicide death of Kristian Leach. He was given 15 years as a Range II offender and lost his driver’s license for eight years.

Josh Comer asked withdraw his second degree murder plea less than three months after he entered it.

The plea wasn’t voluntary and he didn’t know what he was agreeing to, according to court records. He was told no.(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/29/2017-6AM)


The Jacksboro Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved its own raises. A budget amendment provided for the $4,823 yearly increase in payroll for mayor and aldermen.

Dr. Candice McQueen, the Tennessee Department of Education Commission visited Caryville Elementary School.

Appeals court says 24 years is fitting for Greca

Dale Greca, the man convicted of carjacking a LaFollette City employee in 2015, was told by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) that his 24 year sentence fits his crimes.

The due accused of accused of threatening witnesses in the Gabby Orton murder case had their charges dismissed. James Carl Comer, 69, and Joshua Aaron Comer, 19, were arrested just outside the court room in September at pretrial hearing in Josh Comer’s case. The two were alleged to have threatened two witnesses who were about to testify they saw Josh Comer abuse Gabby Orton. The two witnesses were Josh Comer’s other sons ages 14 and 17.

Campbell County Mayor EL Morton visited Washington D.C. as a guest of the Interlocal Government Agency, which is a division of the White House. During a conference conducted at the Eisenhower Building, Cabinet Members and their staff addressed the over 20, by invitation only, county representatives.

Campbell County Comprehensive High School’s Science Technology Engineering Math (S.T.E.M.) class is involved in an innovative venture. The STEM class is working with a 3-D  printing/design/animation/scanning, computer-aided design, virtual reality, augmented reality. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/29/2017-6AM)




LaFollette City Council seeks answers about animal shelter

The LaFollette City Council was approached last night at its workshop for additional funding to the Campbell County Animal Shelter, which is currently being operated by the Friends of Campbell County Animals (FCCA). 

Patricia Siwinski spoke with the council about reconvening the Animal Advisory Board which hasn’t met in about 18 months. She said the board could put in place plans and policies for the animal shelter which is currently operating as a 501 C3. Siwinski was concerned about who would pay for emergency medical expenses for any animal that was picked up in the City of LaFollette. City Administrator Jimmy Jefferies said that the city currently pays between 20 and 25 percent of the operating cost of the shelter through taxes paid into the county per their agreement with the county. Siwinski said the prior agreement with the county did not cover the cost of medical expenses, food or water and that all animals brought into the shelter are required to be on a 72-hour stray hold. After a lengthy discussion, Councilman Bill Archer said, “This discussion could go all night long.” 

Jefferies requested City Attorney Reid Troutman contact MTAS for an opinion on the situation. 

In other business, council discussed leasing the Dewey Hunter Center from the LaFollette Housing Authority for additional gym space. The lease would be for a year and can be revisited as needed, the city would be responsible for utilities, but would be allowed to keep all proceeds from events.

White Oak Fire Department has been borrowing a fire truck from the LaFollette Fire Department for the past six months. The council will vote on donating the truck to the department in their meeting next week. 

The parks and recreation department requested to have the old skate park equipment designated as surplus, so they could sell it for scrap. 

Mayor Mike Stanfield requested the council invite the City of Jellico to come and look at the equipment and see if they could use any of it at its skate park. If not, then it can be declared as surplus. 

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has requested to purchase a four-foot section of property near the 11th Street bridge on the northwest side for $1,400. 

Councilman Ann Thompson voiced her concern to the council that she feels there is a lack of communication between she, the city administrator and other council members. Thompson discussed not being made aware of different things going on in the city and alleged a violation of The Sunshine Law.   Jefferies countered Thompson’s allegations by saying he calls her and leaves her messages about the meetings. 

Thompson requested an update on when the sign would be hung at Pine Park renaming it the Ron Murray Park. Archer said there was issue in the last sentence of the proclamation where it said field instead of park. Jefferies has called Murray and asked if he would accept another location being named after him and he agreed to the East LaFollette Gym or Liberty Park (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/28/2017-6AM)


Quality Lawn Equipment has fulltime opening

Apply in person today

   The folks who sell Cub Cadet at Quality Lawn Equipment are looking for a fulltime person to handle the counter at the Jacksboro store.  Good computer skills and people skills are a must.  Owner Ed Smiddy asks that you apply in person with him between 9 am and 4 pm, Monday through Friday.  Quality Lawn Equipment is located at Indian Mound in Jacksboro.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/28/2017-6AM)

The Lady Cougars nip Fulton in a nail biter

Comer comes through in the clutch

   Campbell County had the lead on Fulton when it mattered most last night at Maryville.  At the end of the game.  The Lady Cougars led two to nothing and then 8 to 6 in the first quarter.  In-between ties of eight-eight and 48-48, it was all Lay Lay Manning and the Fulton Lady Falcons.

   Coach Brad Honeycutt’s Lady Cougars held the ball for the final two-minutes to take the game winning shot.  But there were complications on the way to the go ahead points.  With 10-seconds remaining, Skylar Boshears saw Emily Ellison under the bucket, and when she threw the ball across the lane to Ellison, Ellison attempted a shot that was stripped away from her.  Ellison tried to regain possession, and in the process, forced Lady Falcon Radashia Bailey to lose the ball out of play at the baseline.  At the three-second mark from under the Lady Cougar bucket, Blair Medley tossed the ball to an open Haley Comer at the top of the key.  All Comer had time to do was to catch, shoot, and score.  And Campbell won 51 to 48.

   Though Comer swished through the winning points, it was her second-half defense against Jalayah “Lay Lay” Manning that was also part of the game winning equation.  Campbell switched from zone defense to man-to-man for the second-half.  Manning ruled the first-half with 19 points but managed only two field goals and a free throw the rest of the way.

   Campbell County fell behind 37 to 25 midway through the third quarter as only one starter started the second-half.  But from there, Coach Honeycutt put his other four starters back in, and the Lady Cougars scored 26 of the final 35 points holding Fulton scoreless the final four-minutes.

   Manning was tops in the game with 24-points while Skylar Boshears led CCHS with 16 to go along with Madison Brady’s double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds.  Comer had ten second-half points to finish with 13.  Emily Ellison tallied five and Lexy Richardson had two.

   Fulton falls to 8 & 5.  Campbell’s winning streak stretches to eight for an overall mark of 9 & 4.  Fulton plays Anderson County today while Campbell takes on tourney host Maryville in the Renasant Bank Christmas Tournament.

   Three pm is air time for today’s Campbell-Maryville match-up.  The WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network has live television and live radio coverage.  That’s radio over AM 1450 and FM 100.9 with the telecast on WLAF-TV 12 and

CLICK HERE to see the tourney bracket.(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/28/2017-6AM)

WLAF continues its look back at 2017

July, August, and September are featured

JULY 2017

   Beginning July 1, the person named director of TCAT in 2016, Debbie Petree, is now President Debbie Petree.  The Tennessee Board of Regents voted unanimously out of 26 candidates to appoint Petree who is the first local person to lead TCAT.

   La Follette Mayor Mike Stanfield proclaims Saturday, July 8, 2017, as “Nannie White Day” in La Follette.  The woman who loves Little Debbie Snack Cakes turned 100-years old on July 8.

   Out of 386 Dixie Youth League Baseball Teams, Campbell County finished in the Top Three in the state.  The seven and eight year old All-Stars claimed third place over the weekend.

  TWRA asked the public for information about a deer that has been illegally shot from a road.

   Starting this morning (July 6) at 7:00 am at Katie’s Restaurant, La Follette Police Chief Bill Roehl kicks off his “Coffee with the Chief” program. It allows for a one-on-one conversation between members of the community and the chief to promote a stronger relationship between the La Follette Police Department and those it serves.

   Veteran educator David Wright age 66 of Jellico passed away Wednesday, July 19, at his home after a lengthy illness.

  Campbell County Sheriff Robbie K. Goins and his Deputies are out in force, patrolling the community but taking time to make sure our citizens are staying hydrated and safe.  Sheriff Goins tells WLAF, "The most important resource we have is our relationship with our community.  Having a proactive partnership with our community increases the effectiveness in reducing crime."

   Terms like skill gap and skill sets were likely not tossed around at the Jacksboro Area Vocational-Technical School back in 1967.  Fast forward 50-years and you’ll hear those terms used at the now titled Tennessee College of Applied Technology also known as TCAT.  TCAT celebrated its 50th year during July.

   Authorities believe a LaFollette woman likely made it out of a potential murder-suicide scenario just in time on Monday.  The LPD reported that the woman and the man, 44-year old Sammy Fritts of Ten Mile, were arguing about separating when Fritts became violent. He allegedly threatened to mutilate her and then began grabbing her by both shoulders, shaking her and pulling her around the small living room eventually throwing her to the floor. The report outlines he struck her several times on her head, arms, legs, sides and abdomen with his closed fist. Fritts also allegedly strangled her with both hands then his forearm. He eventually let her go, the report said.  Meanwhile, Fritts barricaded himself inside the home, located near the 13th street underpass, the LPD report said.  One La Follette Police Official tells WLAF News that police sized up the situation and were moving toward the house in less than a minute after arrival.  As the first officer stepped onto the front porch of the home, a gunshot went off inside the home.  Police found Fritts’ body inside the living room area dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

The Advisory Board of the Campbell Enhancement Fund (CEF) recently launched a campaign with a goal to raise $15,000; the fund’s hope is to award $10,000 in grants this year while adding $5,000 to their endowment fund to build for the future.

One-hundred and ninety years of experience with the La Follette Utilities Board walked out the door today.  For good.  Actually, the six people leaving LUB didn’t all retire the same day but have over the past several months.  They were all recognized and treated to a delicious breakfast.  And that makes it official for Jerry Riggs, Lendon Shelton, Vernon Wilhoit, Rusty Wier, Mike Hill, and James Walker.

   Po-Ho’s Ice Cream Stand moved to its newer location this spring, and the extra elbow room has made it easier to accommodate its long lines.  Po-Ho’s is now in the front of Whiteway Plaza next to the four lane in La Follette and hosted a Chamber of Commerce Cash Mob.

   “I’m happy to be able to preside over a meeting where we don’t have to discuss a tax increase,” said Campbell County Mayor E.L. Morton after last night’s (July 17) county commission meeting.  For a second-straight year, the Campbell County Commission passed its budget without a tax increase. 

Don Thomas and his wife of 63 years Helen died within days of each other ending their fairytale romance.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/28/2017-6AM)


On August 3, ground was broken on what will be Roane State College’s new Health and Science Wing.  RSCC Director Tracy Powers explains that the building was constructed eleven years ago, and that the new lab’s been a long time in the making.  Tracy Powers points out, “All graduates have to have a science with a lab and had to drive to Oak Ridge or Huntsville to meet that requirement.”  Four years ago, Representative Dennis Powers and Senator Ken Yager picked this project up off the mat and successfully revived the effort to obtain state dollars to build the much needed laboratory.

The Christian Academy of Campbell County (CACC) has found itself in the direst of circumstances.  Currently, the non-denominational, private school was $30,000 in red. The outstanding bills weren’t for outrageous or unneeded expenditures, but, instead are simply related to the cost of doing business, according to Interim Chairperson Tina Morton. Half of the debt is for back wages owed to teachers who fulfilled their 12 month contract but weren’t paid, she said. The remaining balance was for utilities, Internet and other “day to day costs that are still owed,” Morton said. The school ended up closing.

A New Beginning (ANB) is offering men who have recently been released from jail a chance to reassemble their lives. “We want to get them into a paying job immediately, get them trained and help them find other resources,” said Stacy Bosch, assistant director of ANB.

   Following a man’s confession he used a riding crop to discipline a five year old girl and her mother’s failure to stop him, the couple was arrested.  The Campbell County duo was arrested for child abuse that had risen to the level of “heinous” and “cruel,” according to police. Zachary Chase Crawford, 19, 251 Fall Creek Lane, Caryville, and Danielle Denise Hale, 20, 625 Main St., Jacksboro were charged with aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect, respectively. They were charged under Haley’s Law, which means, they are facing stiff penalties if convicted of the Class A felonies. Specifically, if convicted, the pair could face 15- 60 years in prison each. They would not be eligible for early release leaving Crawford and Hale to serve their sentences at 100 percent. Crawford and Hale, who are in a relationship, were arrested following an investigation by the Jacksboro Police Department.

August 1 marks the fifth anniversary of the official opening of the new La Follette Library.  Librarian Nancy Green welcomes you to the celebration.  It’ll be Tuesday, August 1, at 3 pm.

 On Tuesday, Aug. 1, BSH will celebrated a ribbon cutting at its new Caryville site.  In addition, there was a 20th anniversary celebration of BSH in Campbell County.

   “He was the best county mayor this place ever saw,” said former County Commissioner Mike Freeman.  The mayor Freeman’s referencing is Tommy C. Stiner, the man who served as the Campbell County Mayor from 1992 to 2002, died Wednesday morning (August 16) at his home following a lengthy illness.

   County Commissioner Cliff Jennings was absent from the Monday night workshop, where his longtime goal of establishing a veterans’ cemetery ran into a major roadblock.  Paul Bostic, representing the county’s Disabled American Veterans chapter, told the commission that DAV has voted not to accept the Davis Chapel property as a veterans’ cemetery.

   Goddard Tutoring and Educational Services hosts its Open House and Registration Event today at its new Jacksboro office.  That’s 11:30 am until 7 pm.  The new business is next to Pryor and Parrott Attorneys at Law.

The Cougar football team settled down and chapped Cherokee.  Season 43 of CCHS Football is off and winning.  Campbell is 1 & 0 after its 48-20 win over Cherokee.  It was the Cougars second biggest opening night win ever.  The 2014 season topped Friday night with a 54-7 win at Cumberland Gap.  The Cougars won the following Friday at Jonesborough over Davey Crockett.

Caryville Police questioned two suspects in back-to-back days of bomb threats.  On Tuesday afternoon (Aug 15), another bomb threat was called in to the MATIX Corporation.  Caryville Police Chief Brian Keeton tells WLAF News that two suspects were questioned surrounding the bomb threats made against the MATIX Corporation.  Threats were made Monday afternoon and again Tuesday afternoon to the plant located in the Collins Industrial Park at Caryville.  Keeton adds that the suspects are ex-employees. 

State Sen. Ken Yager (R-Kingston) announced the awarding of $120,000 in Clean Tennessee Energy Grants (CTEG) to Campbell County. Yager was informed of the grants being awarded by Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau. 

On Wednesday, Gov. Bill Halsam announced that he’s appointed La Follette Housing Authority Executive Director John Snodderly to the Tennessee Housing Development Agency Board of Directors.

   La Follette Mayor Mike Stanfield says, “I love the smell of fresh asphalt.”  Beginning yesterday morning (Aug 23) and for several more days to come, the mayor will have a daily chance to take a whiff of fresh black top.  The much anticipated resurfacing of many of the City of La Follette streets began yesterday in deep west La Follette.  Crews began at 7 pm and worked a long day to get the project underway.

   The Children’s Center recognized Odus Mundy at its annual fundraiser.  Odus Monday believes in not only supporting and giving back to his community, but also to the children in his community. Odus served on the Board for the Campbell County Children’s Center from 1993 to 2015. He has coached numerous little league baseball and basketball teams in Campbell County, and supports numerous organizations dedicated to children, including CASA, the Boys Scouts, the Holston United Methodist Home for Children, and Compassion International where he has sponsored children for over 12 years.

   Word spread pretty fast as soon as Coach Ron Murray hung up the phone Tuesday morning.  Former Tennessee player and coach Johnny Majors called to say he was headed to La Follette for lunch.  The Tennessee legend had lunch with friends at the Royal Lunch Room.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/28/2017-6AM)


Hurricane Harvey hit Texas last Friday.  Not much has happened here in Campbell County since, except that gas prices have jumped by 22-cents.  And the jump is not finished just yet.  We’re paying $2.29 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline this morning (Sep 1).

La Follette Assistant Fire Chief Jimmy Pack has noticed a lot of Florida and Georgia-tagged vehicles around the area today.  It’s prompted Pack to offer housing to those displaced by Hurricane Irma that are here in Campbell County.  Pack says, if they get calls, he’ll open a shelter to house these folks. 

The lights are on and the donuts are ready.  Fresh made donuts are back in La Follette as of 5 am this morning (Sep 7).  The thanks go to the husband-wife team of So and K-K Nhean for reopening the shop in the former location of Ralph’s Donut Shoppe

The Norris Lake Project Team will be hosting an “Island Invasion” on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The team has conducted a biannual Five County Norris Lake Cleanup in September since 2011.  This seventh year there will be a concentrated focus on the islands near Oak Grove Public Launch in Anderson County, near Big Ridge State Park in Union County and near Sugar Hollow Marina, Flat Hollow Marina and around the Doaks Creek Hatchery in Campbell County.

A LaFollette businessman filed a lawsuit claiming he was the victim of bullying and harassment at the hands of city employees. David “Arnie” Meredith, the owner of Merrydeath Antiques and Auction Gallery filed the suit naming LaFollette City Mayor Mike Stanfield and LaFollette City Administrator Jimmy Jefferies as the defendants. Stanfield and Jefferies were named in their professional capacities and individually. Meredith is asking for $600,000 damages. Within the suit, Meredith alleged a pattern of harassment, threats from Stanfield and secret meetings by city employees with the end result being to shut down his business and stop him from speaking out.

In a unique fund raiser, shooting enthusiasts will have an opportunity to show off their marksman skills in September.  A sporting clays tournament, with proceeds benefitting the Children’s Centers of Campbell, Claiborne, Fentress, Scott, and Union Counties will be held at the Chilhowee Sportsman’s Club, 7601 Old Railroad Bed Rd in Maryville on Sept. 29.

Zachary Chase Crawford and Danielle Denise Hale have been bound over to the grand jury. Crawford was charged with viciously abusing Hale’s daughter.

   A single bird knocked out power for a few thousand La Follette Utilities Board customers late Thursday morning (Sept 14) .  Many of those customers included all of the downtown La Follette businesses.  From Terry’s Pharmacy to WLAF to the Royal Lunch Room, it was dark and quiet for about half-an-hour.  LUB General Manager Kenny Baird tells WLAF that the bird hit the new La Follette District Substation on North Tennessee Avenue.  Crews had power restored not long after 11 am. 

Josh Comer, a 37- year- old high school dropout, plead guilty to second degree murder and two counts of child abuse in a child under the age of eight. Following Comer’s plea, Eighth Judicial District Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton sentenced Comer to 25 years to be served at 100 percent in the second degree murder case and 2.5 years for each child abuse count. Those will be served at 30 percent with all sentences to be served consecutively. This was sentence agreed upon by both prosecutors and Comer’s team of appointed lawyers. The plea came after two days of closed door wrangling between the two sides about a number of legal issues and a trial just days away.

   La Follette Court Assisted Living celebrates a special week.  It’s National Assisted Living WeekIt’s not your grandmother’s care facility.  Senior living is not quite like it was back in the 1960s or 70s.  In this day and time, assisted living facilities are “the” place to be for seniors.  Fortunately for Campbell Countians, La Follette Court Assisted Living Community (LCALC) is here.  Here on North Massachusetts Avenue next to the La Follette Medical Center.

   Clint Bane was elected to replace Mike Orick as chairman of the Campbell County Board of education on Tuesday night.  The change appears to have been uncontroversial, as Orick offered a motion to halt nominations and elect Bane by acclamation after Bane was nominated by Johnny Byrge. Sharon Ridenour then nominated Byrge as vice chairman and again, he was elected by acclamation, replacing Faye Heatherly.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/28/2017-6AM)

La Follette’s Foust finishes certification

Early Christmas gift for the city clerk

   The studying.  The traveling.  The balancing.  All have paid off for La Follette City Clerk Stan Foust.  The man who moved to the city clerk’s spot for the City of La Follette a bit more than a year ago just received his Municipal Clerk and Recorder Certification.

   Foust says, “The certification has taken a lot studying and time traveling back and forth to classes to complete the certification and maintain day to day operations in the office. I am very blessed to have a staff of two ladies, Donna Weaver and Jessica Roberts, that I was able to rely to make sure that our citizens were taken care of while I was out in class.”

   Working for the City going on 20-years, Foust previously headed up the codes department.  He adds that when he sets a goal, he gives it a 110% effort. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/27/2017-6AM)

WLAF continues its look back at 2017

April, May, and June are featured today

APRIL 2017

  A freak accident was inches away from possibly being a fatal accident early on a Thursday afternoon last April.  A giant oak tree suddenly, without warning, draped over power lines, a car, and South Tennessee Avenue. Steven Samperi, assistant principal at Jacksboro Elementary School, and his family were traveling up the hill toward the Claiborne Road-Loop Road split when the tree and a power pole slammed down on top of their Honda CRV. He was driving with his wife, Jami, in the front passenger seat and their two daughters in the back seat. “The tree hit the roof so hard that it touched the top of my head,” Samperi said with exhilaration in his voice. No one was injured the accident.

Caryville Chief of Police Brian Keeton and the Caryville Police Department conducted a high vigilant drug interdiction operation on back-to-back days.  “The purpose of the operation was to gain information and to eradicate drugs from the Caryville community,” the chief said. The operation netted 13 total citations coming in the form of seven drug citations and six arrests.

The flow of traffic on the four lane from the high school to Walmart was slowed due to road construction that lasted until the end of July.  However, Campbell County’s emergency services worked to ensure that first responders aren’t delayed by the heavy traffic.  Bruce Perkins, Campbell County Ambulance Director, said “The service had worked out some contingency plans. The ambulances used Old Jacksboro Pike as well exiting at Towe String Road in an effort to miss some of the traffic,” Perkins said. Along with this, the option of taking Brantley Lane to Memorial Drive and then to Towe String was also used.  In fact, these have routes have already been used and proved to be effective, according to Perkins.

Local pharmacist Bill Fannon of Riggs Drug retired after 40 years on the job.  Fannon was earlier elected mayor of Tazewell.

Jacksboro teen Logan Partin served as a page in the Tennessee Senate where he was sponsored by Tennessee State Senator Ken Yager.   The highlight of the day was when the Jacksboro 13-year old was allowed to place the ‘yes’ vote at Yager’s desk. What made it even more special is that it was a vote to approve sending money to local ambulance services including Campbell County.

Karlie Brooke Taylor, a one-time substitute teacher for the county, pleaded guilty to four counts of mitigated statutory rape.  She was sentenced to four years probation as part of the plea agreement.

The Children’s Center of Campbell County held its annual awareness and fundraising luncheon.  With a packed room, attendees heard WVLT Sports Anchor Mark Packer give a moving speech about the importance of being good parents as he also shared staggering statistics about child abuse.

   Jacksboro held its town election in April.  Here are the results –


   June Forstner   90   Forstner wins


   Shayne Green   90  Green wins

   J.C. Miller          60    Miller wins

  Jerri Starrett       49

    The Ben Rogers Building is making a comeback.  For more than 50-years, Ben Rogers operated his insurance business at the corner of West Central and Nevada Avenues.  His close friends, Conrad and Andy Troutman, shared part of the building for their law practice.  Fast forward to 2017.  After the building sat empty for a time following Rogers’ death, it’s been totally gutted and remodeled.  The new owners, Todd and Tonya Overbay, are now leasing professional office space. 

    During spring break for the Campbell County Public School System, junior Noah Smith spent time at the state Capitol.  For the week, he shadowed State Senator Ken Yager in his office in Nashville.

    Norris Craft Boats celebrated its owners of the popular bass boats with its annual Spring Rally at Anderson County Park.

    In keeping with tradition, Shirley Rogers cut the pink ribbon on Thursday morning (April 13) right in the middle of South Tennessee Avenue signaling that the Dogwood Trails in La Follette are now officially open.  Mayor Mike Stanfield told the crowd to start here on South Tennessee, in front of City Hall, and follow the pink dogwoods painted on the streets. 

   Annual Easter Egg Hunts were held at Seargeant Park in La Follette and the Stanfield Church of God at Stinking Creek.

   Sheriff Goins, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department along with the DEA, Tennessee Highway Patrol, La Follette Police Department, Jacksboro Police Department, Caryville Police Department and the Jellico Police Department conducted a morning drug round up that went ‘round the county today (April 12).  "Operation Spring Forward" is a year-long undercover narcotics investigation that has yielded 30 Grand Jury indictments for the arrest of individuals who have allegedly sold drugs in Campbell County.  

   The Campbell County Cancer Association’s annual telethon held on April 8.  Though donations continue coming in, the count was a little more than $40,500 by late Saturday night.

   Campbell County Lady Cougar Skylar Boshears has a lot of basketball ahead of her.  But it’s the basketball behind her that helped her make the Knoxville News Sentinel – Pilot PrepXtra Basketball Team.

      Tennessee lawmakers passed legislation sponsored by State Representative Dennis Powers of Jacksboro.  The legislation reconnects Tennessee adults to higher education opportunities.  House Bill 531, also known as the Tennessee Reconnect Act, makes Tennessee the first state in the nation to offer all Tennessee adults without a degree access to community college tuition-free.  It comes at no cost to taxpayers. 

   Most Cougar fans know Seth Roberts for his time with Cougar football. Turns out he is an even more accomplished fisherman than he is a footballer. Now we know that Roberts will continue his fishing career as a Wildcat of Bethel University, where he will major in nursing.  On Tuesday morning (April 18), Roberts signed the paper work for his fishing scholarship with Bethel.

   There was quite an impressive start to the Wednesday, April 26, session of the Tennessee House of Representatives.  Thanks to a couple of Campbell Countians.  Stanfield Church of God’s Reverend Delmus Bruce opened with words of wisdom and a prayer.  Bruce’s daughter, Debi Mikesell, sang a stirring rendition of the national anthem followed by a standing ovation.

Daniel Dupuy, the victim of a drunk driving crash that took his life two years ago, was struck by Justin Heath Powell’s Ford F-150 truck on Butter and Egg Road in Jacksboro on Jan. 27. 2015. Pleading guilty to vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment, Powell was sentenced to 12 years in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Corrections. This term is to be served consecutively to a violation of probation sentence he is currently serving. 

   You may know him as a youth baseball coach.  An active member of the Lions Club.  Or Rotary Club.  He might even be your financial advisor.  However you know Zach Sheets, you know he is an active member of our community.  And Sheets is just as involved in his profession, financial planning.  He represents the financial services firm Edward Jones here in Campbell County with his office on the east side of the La Follette Medical Center on North Massachusetts Avenue.  After weeks of studying, he recently achieved the professional designation of Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor®.   Sheets tells WLAF that this latest addition to his certified financial advisor credentials is, “All about individual retirement plans.”  The likeable Sheets calls it, “A road map for pre and present retirees.”  He is now a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor.

   After months of renovation, Tony Lindsay reopened the Royal Lunch Room on North Tennessee Avenue.  Lindsay continues the tradition of serving the world’s best hot dogs all the while offering a game of pool in the back.

   Rabies clinics were held around Campbell County in late April.

   Ayers Real Estate & Auction Company auctioned the Hassie Stiner Farm on Woodson Lane east of La Follette. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/27/2017-6AM)

MAY 2017

The Campbell County Chamber of Commerce used May as an avenue to highlight area small businesses during the first week on its social media outlets, according to Christie Elkins, the chamber executive director.  Stressing the importance of small businesses to a community, Elkins pointed out that local business generates approximately 70 percent more local economic activity per square foot than big box retail, and money spent at a local business generates 3.5 times more wealth for the local economy compared to money spent at a chain-owned business.

Southern Sass Boutique recently celebrated its two year anniversary.

Nora Snodderly met her idol Dolly Parton, and her mother, Raewyn, shared the story and photos with WLAF.

Randy Boyd, who had recently announced his candidacy for the governor’s office, visited Campbell County in early May.

Virginia Seal, the woman charged with leaving her two- year-old child with only a pink blanket and pit bull plead guilty. She pleaded guilty to aggravated child abuse, aggravated child neglect and abuse in a child under eight years child old and child endangerment in a child under eight years old for the night she abandoned her toddler in a dog kennel as she wandered a Jacksboro neighborhood. Per her plea, Seal was sentenced to serve 13. 5 years on the first two counts and 15 years on the last count. The sentences will run concurrently, according to the plea form.  A court ordered mental health evaluation conducted earlier this year determined that at the time of her crime, Seal “wasn’t impaired by a severe mental disease or defect.”

The Lions Club annual carnival held in La Follette ran into a lot of rain in late April.  The carnival was able to stay over into the first week of May.

CHET’s Down and Derby event was quite a success on May 6. 

   A 15-year old Campbell County High School student bluffed about having a gun at school.  CCHS was placed on lockdown.  He eventually came clean that he was not telling the truth.  He was charged with filing a false report.

   Campbell County lost a true servant. Lawman Bill Rutherford passed away after recent health challenges.  Among Rutherford’s tours of duty are Deputy for the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department, assistant chief of police for Lake City, along with the JPD Chief assignment and his tenure as constable.  He was 72-years old.

   Valley View Elementary School Principal Jason Dotson is without a doubt a team player.  The leader at VVES sacrificed himself Thursday afternoon (May 4) for the sake of helping his school raise some funds.   More than 400 students took part in the “Tape Mr. Dotson to the Wall” challenge.  In the end, $463 was raised for VVES. 

More than 300 fifth grade students.  Eighteen groups to speak.  This year’s Campbell County Health Fair was twice as big as last year’s.  It was all made possible by Campbell County Coordinated Health in conjunction with the Campbell County Health Council at Jacksboro Middle School.

 On audition day, CCHS Band Director Adam Wright came out of his office after conferring with the judges and announced that the 2017-18 CCHS Band would have co-drum majors. They are Emily Ayers and Tiffany Hopson.

Arnie Meredith was featured on the show, American Pickers, on the History Channel on May 15.  It featured Meredith and La Follette at 9 pm on the world wide television network.

   It was an impressive showing for the Cougar Fishing Team during the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Challenge Series.  On Douglas Lake, six CCHS teams finished in the top 25.  Top 5 finishes went to Trevor St. John and Craig Wilson (3rd) and Seth Roberts and Dawson Hembree (5th).   

   Clerk and Master Dennis Potter conducted the county’s Delinquent Tax Sale on May 12.  Potter described the annual event as one of the most successful ever.  In this year’s sale, Potter explains that 78 separate properties brought a total of $510,485.47 from a courtroom filled with “standing room only” interested bidders.

   Jack Cannon was honored in early May at the Jacksboro United Methodist Church.  A good crowd turned out to say “thank you” to the man who just concluded a three-term stint as Jacksboro’s mayor.

   David Kitts retired after nearly 30-years with the La Follette Housing Authority.

   Cougars Gavin Cooper and Christian Shouse competed in the Spring Fling at MTSU in Mufreesboro. 

   Campbell County High’s Matt Laxton signed college scholarship papers to play for the University of the Cumberlands at Williamsburg.  This season, Laxton scored 38 goals and dished six assists.  Altogether, he leaves Campbell as the all-time leading scorer with 64 total goals.  That’s over the course of the Cougars first-ever two varsity seasons of soccer.  During Laxton’s career, CCHS won a total of 23 games.

  May 10 was declared “Shirley Sweat Day in La Follette” by Mayor Mike Stanfield.  Sweat marks her 50th year at the La Follette Medical Center in 2017.  She is far and away the longest tenured employee at the 61-year old hospital.

   Cougar Jared Bane is the first Campbell Tennis Player to reach the regional tennis tournament in quite some time. 

   Robert Dykes, one of the original members of the famed Glory Land Boys, died.  He was 77-years old.

   Ahead of the busy travel season, La Follette Chief of Police Bill Roehl kicked off LPD’s to “Click It or Ticket” on May 22.

   It’s an extra busy day around Peoples Bank of the South today, May 22.  The bank begins working on its second 100-years.  The 100th anniversary celebration was Saturday at The Stables where more than 700 folks turned out to help make it a memorable day.  Though today, May 22, is the official anniversary marking the day the bank opened in 1917 on the very same corner where it sits today.

   Longtime assistant principal at Campbell County High School David Jones retired at the end of the school year.

   The TWRA is on its way to La Follette at this hour (May 31).  The report of a bear in a dumpster at the Pleasant Ridge Apartments just came in.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/27/2017-6AM)

JUNE 2017

The 2017 Tennessee Cove Lake Mine Rescue Competition visited Cove Lake State Park.

Former Attorney Wes Hatmaker was sentenced following a guilty plea that he stole money from his clients.

Cove Lake 5K was June 10.  Director Clarence Lowe calls it an impressive turnout for the annual event.

We would be remiss by not noting today, June 5, 2017.  Twenty-years ago, during the lunch hour, in our tiny, tightknit community, a tragedy forever changed and touched all of our lives.  May God Bless us all. 

Emily Jeffords of La Follette was announced as the recipient of their 2017 Sarah Ketron Scholarship.  Jeffords is currently a student at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Jacksboro where she is studying Administrative Assisting.

  La Follette’s Splash Park celebrates the opening of its season today (June 1). 

Open Arms Minsitry’s Food Pantry received a little more than $4,000 in monetary donations and pledges Saturday night (June 3).  It proved to be a lot more than many of the OAM volunteers were expecting.

Members of the La Follette High School Class of 1972 held its 45th reunion on June 3 at an Oak Ridge restaurant.

   The Tennessee Historical Commission announces the addition of eight Tennessee sites to the National Register of Historic Places, and the La Follette Coke Ovens made the list.  The La Follette Coke Ovens were closed in 1924 as more efficient methods of production were now in use.

   Big Creek Market and Deli celebrated its 20th year in business in June.

   The La Follette City Council voted at its June meeting to table its appointing of a person to fill the opening on the La Follette Utlities Board.  Lee Reynolds, John Snodderly, and Janice Walker are the candidates for the vacancy.

   Members of the La Follette Police Department recently participated in the 2017 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Listening Tour held in Franklin, Tennessee.  The session focused on the changing complexities and dynamics confronting law enforcement. Chief Bill Roehl, Lieutenant Brian Tiller, and Detective Sergeant Josh Hill along with other members of various law enforcement agencies presented representatives of IACP with pressing issues encountered by our police officers.

   Director of Schools Larry Nidiffer announced his plans to retire in 2018.

   Campbell County Commissioner Rusty Orick describes the finalized budget as “all good.”  That’s in reference to the proposed 2017-2018 county budget that will come up for a vote in July.

   Campbell County Sheriff Robbie K. Goins congratulates his jail supervision staff on passing the Tennessee Corrections Institute  (TCI) Jail Certification. TCI is the states governing board on certifying county jails within Tennessee.

   Mildred Asbury was recognized for her 60th year with Peoples Bank of the South.

   Board of Education Chairman Mike Orick tells WLAF News, “No one lost a job out of the budget cuts, and that through attrition they were able to balance the 2017-18 school budget.”  He called it the tightest budget he’s ever seen.
   On June 23, all lanes of I-75 were shutdown at Vasper when a teenager threatened to jump from the train trestle that crosses America’s most traveled interstate.

District Attorney General Jarred Effler took the death penalty off the table this afternoon in the Josh Comer case.  Effler made it clear that he is in no way in favor of wavering on the death penalty.  He said, “The death penalty is not fitting for this case.”  Instead the state is going with first degree murder and asking for life without parole.

Campbell County Sheriff Robbie K. Goins and his staff hosted the first-ever Tennessee Corrections Institute Basic Corrections Officer Training Class this week in Jacksboro at the Career Center. Members from Campbell, Scott and Sevier Counties attended the training.

   On Monday, the La Follette Utility Board voted and approved the budgets and financial forecasts for the 2018 fiscal year during its monthly workshop and board meeting on Monday.  The budget includes a 3% wage adjustment for all LUB employees. The next item approved was an electric rate adjustment of 1.4% that will take effect in October of 2017.

  Caryville Mayor Robert Stooksbury, Senator Ken Yager, Representative Dennis Powers, Campbell County Mayor E.L. Morton, and others led the charge for the new road leading from I-75’s 141 Exit to the Erschel Collins Indusrtrial Park at Caryville.  Ground breaking for that new road was yesterday morning (June 26).

  The Campbell County Sheriff's Office is partnering with State Farm Agent Linda Kilgore and East Tennessee Children's Hospital.  As a result of the partnership, newly trained School Resource Officers (SROs) will be conducting a “free” child safety seat check in late June. 

  Postmark La Follette hosted its original play, “Mountain Voices”, at the former LaFollette Post Office building on South Tennessee Avenue.

  WLAF was named the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce’s “Business of the Year.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/27/2017-6AM)


Mass texts always bring humor on Christmas Day

Last one comes in at 1 am this morning

   Christmas morning at 8:14 am.  That’s when the first mass “Merry Christmas” text came in from a dear friend.  I looked at Sugar, and said, “Here we go.”  And we both laughed.  I’m sure there’s a way to disable receiving the next 30 or so texts that came through on my phone, but I’m not sure how to do that.  I should’a called Noah Smith.

   It’s nice seeing all the texts come through.  But it’s funny, too.  Because sooner or later, much later in this case, someone always responds by saying, “Who is this?”  It took until last night at 10 pm for the “Who is this?” text to come through.  But it did.  Couldn’t help but laugh.  There’s always that one person or more on the chain who does not realize that the text involved a whole bunch of people including strangers.

   Seventeen hours until the “Who is this?”  That may be a new Christmas Day record for me.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/26/2017-6AM)

WLAF looks back this week to 2017

Featuring three months a day


A 12 person jury convicted Norman C. Good, Jacksboro, of multiple crimes involving children. Following a two day trial, Good was found guilty of two counts of rape of a child, one count of attempted rape of a child, 14 counts of aggravated sexual battery, one count of attempted aggravated sexual battery, and two counts of solicitation of a minor to commit rape of a child.

A well-known Campbell countian died unexpectedly on January 3.  Officials with the Campbell County Sheriff's Department confirm to WLAF News that Jimmy Arnold passed away suddenly at Norris Dam State Park

   “It all came at once.”  That’s how Campbell County Road Super Ron Dilbeck sums up this morning’s quick blast of fine snow.   Just before 8 am on January 6, Director of Schools Larry Nidiffer called WLAF with his decision to call off classes immediately.  Many other closings and postponements soon followed.  Dilbeck says his crews were already out when school was dismissed.  He sizes up main roads as in good shape, and that the CCHD is now concentrating on side roads.  Casey Wilhoit, dispatcher with E-911, tells WLAF that more than ten accidents were called in to his control room.  There were far more “in the ditch” and “slid off the road” mishaps that were not reported.

Tourism proved itself to be Campbell County’s leading industry. In 2015, the $54.52 million dollars generated by the county’s visitors translated into a tax savings of $382.34 per household. The previous year’s savings per household was $365.31. The 440 jobs filled in the areas that take care of tourists, equated into just over $9 million in payroll for county residents. These numbers remained consistent from previous figures.

On January 5, State Senator Ken Yager turned 70-years old. 

Telos is making significant strides when it comes to becoming fully operational. On Wednesday, January 6, the piece of equipment the new power grid was installed for was set into place.

In an attempt to resolve 11 pending complaints against Campbell County General Sessions Judge Amanda Sammons, she and the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct (TBJC) reached an agreement. The agreement came after a turmoil filled two years for the first term judge.

The agreement was reached in lieu of any formal charges being pursued in those pending complaints, according to the release from the TBJC. Per the agreement, Sammons received a three year probation sentence. In the event any “meritorious” complaints are filed in those three years, the board can revisit the issue of Sammons’ probation. She also accepted the mentorship of a senior judge, specifically, Eighth Judicial Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton. Sexton will guide Sammons on “matters of law, procedure or ethics” as needed, the release said.

   The Board of Mayor and Aldermen for the Town of Jacksboro approved a pay scale for Jacksboro employees.

The Campbell County Chamber of Commerce hosted a Cash Mob at Fazoli’s on Januayr 13.

   The Caryville Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a list of roads to be considered for All Terrain Vehicle use.

Caryville leaders are working with Campbell County and the City of La Follette to allow ATVs the use of public roads. This will allow travelers using ATV trails to legally access local businesses for gas, food and lodging.

   Senator Ken Yager visited on-air at WLAF on January 19.

A one-time special education teacher convicted of killing her boyfriend, had her conviction upheld by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. In 2015, a jury deemed Lisa Elliot guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the death of Larry David Champlin. Authorities were initially called to the home because of alleged domestic disturbance. However, when they arrived Champlin was found on a bedroom floor with a gunshot wound to the neck. At trial, officers testified that Elliot said things had turned ugly when she poured out Champlin’s liquor.

   At La Follette’s January meeting, the city council voted to change the meeting times for the monthly workshop and meeting from 6 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  The council approved paying $9,800 to pave half of the Senior Citizens Center Parking Lot.  The council unanimously appointed Joe Bolinger Vice Mayor.

The council approved tearing down Walden Tavern (aka the Past Time Lounge), which sits on city-owned property. The work will be done in-house. While the council discussed eventually installing an RV park on the property, council member Ann Thompson said the project should be completed in phases.

   Before the January’s regular school board meeting, there was a reception honoring board member Faye Heatherly.  Heatherly has earned a prestigious space in the Tennessee School Board Association (TSBA) - she is the President Elect for 2017 and will move into the President’s position in 2018. 

   Bryce Roach is bringing his love of golf back to his hometown as he was hired as the new head golf professional at the La Follette Country Club.

   WLAF’s Noah Smith attended the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump at Washington, D.C.

   At the County Commission meeting, citing the Campbell County Cougars’ excellent season and return to the playoffs, Mayor E. L. Morton pointed out the Cougars’ number 7 ranking in the AP 5A poll, the fact that this senior class complied 33 victories – making them the “winningest class in school history.”

   The “Dean of Campbell County Barbers” turned 78-years old on January 13.  Happy Birthday to Ray Beeler! 

   Bethel Baptist Church’s radio broadcast “A Look at the Book” has been the longest running, daily, program for some time now.  For the record, today (January 30) marks 32-years on radio here in Campbell County for Dr. Clarence Duncan and Bethel

   It’s been about a year ago.  When Campbell High shot putter Zoie Mefford went down with a knee injury.  It was diagnosed as season ending.  Fast forward to January 2017.  Mefford is back.  And how.  Her parents were hoping for the best.  But maybe not quite this best.  On Mefford’s first time to throw competitively, it was the best.  A personal best throw of 31’ 10.75”.  That’s an inch and a half better than her pre-injury best throw.  

   Former Campbell High Head Football Coach Steve Rutherford died this afternoon (January 30) at a Knoxville hospital.  Word coming in to WLAF is that he passed away around 2 pm after undergoing a scheduled surgical procedure.  Rutherford was a former teacher, coach, and principal in the Campbell County School System in a career that spanned 31-years.  He currently served as Special Projects Coordinator and headed up Transportation for the Campbell County Board of Education.  “This community has lost a good man,” said Johnny Bruce who worked with Rutherford at the Board of Education’s Central Office.  Rutherford played for Bruce at CCHS when he was in his first-year as Cougar assistant in 1978.  Bruce goes on to say that, “He was a great guy, and that you could not ask for a better person.”  The former CCHS lineman is the first former player to become the head coach of the Cougars.  He coached the 1988 and 1989 seasons for Campbell.  Steve Rutherford was 54-years old.(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/26/2017-6AM)


Campbell County attorney Mark Troutman pleaded guilty of two counts of attempted theft over $60,000 and one count of theft over $10,000. Terms of his plea included Troutman serving a 15 year diversion sentence, paying court costs, fines and $4,207.04 in restitution. The restitution was for the harm Troutman caused to one victim’s credit and the out of pocket expenses of another victim.  Along with this, Troutman was barred from practicing law and given 500 hours community service to be performed at Cove Lake State Park.

   Benny Dykes is wanted by the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department.  And so is his son.  Brian.  In a release from Chief Deputy Aaron Evans, the younger Dykes, son Brian, age 28, is wanted in connection to a home burglary in the Coolidge community.  The elder Dykes, Benny, is wanted for violation of probation out of Campbell County Criminal Court.  The initial charge for 49-year old Benny Dykes of Old Ivy Hollow Road in La Follette is on an habitual motor vehicle offender offense.  Evans encourages both Dykes to turn themselves in to the Campbell County Jail immediately.

The Habitat for Humanity Store is moving.  Across the street.  Literally.  HHS is now at 117 East Central Avenue next to Lindsay’s Furniture and Appliance in downtown La Follette. 

Mike Rhoades, the most decorated football player ever to wear Campbell County Orange-n-Blue, signed scholarship papers to play college football at Tennessee Tech.

On February 1, the Lady Cougars basketball team won its 20th game of the season by defeating the Lady Panthers at Powell 46-44 to improve to 20 & 5.

   Tony Brown, long time front gate guard at Campbell County High School, died on February 9.  Frankie Bacon couldn’t keep from crying when she talked about Tony.  She said, “I was there when John (R.W. Brown) and Jean brought him home – John and I were like brother and sister, and Tony and the kids were like my own grandchildren.  Tony was a sweetie, a big teddy bear.”

   Benny Dykes, wanted by the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department, was apprehended February 7.  His son, Brian is still on the loose.

   The John D. And Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced that Campbell County is joining the Safety and Justice Challenge, a national $100 million initiative to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way the country thinks about and uses jails.  Community Health of East Tennessee (CHET) was chosen following a highly competitive selection process that drew applications from across the country.  CHET will receive short-term support of $50,000, is eligible for future funding opportunities, and has access to the resources, peer learning opportunities, and expertise of the Safety and Justice Challenge Network. 

   The La Follette City Council gave its approval to apply for a $1.5 million capital outlay note, which will be used to pave roads.  The council approved the first reading of an ordinance that will extend the city’s network of streets that allow for ATV traffic.  The ordinance will allow ATVs on Claiborne Road, because county officials want the city to allow ATV traffic to the county line in hopes that ATV traffic will extend from Lonas Young Memorial Park to the Cumberland Trail.  The ordinance also allows ATVs to use Beech Street to access a grocery store from the trail.

A stomach bug and the flu forced Campbell County Schools to close for a few days.

  Saturday, February 13, marked Senior Day at CCHS.  It was Senior Day for basketball, band, JROTC, baseball, softball, tennis, and dance.

   Local law enforcement gets its man.  Officers around Campbell County were looking for a suspected armed robber yesterday (February 8).  And they found him.

Right at 5:30 pm Tuesday, someone at the Caryville Shell spotted a person who matched the photo that police shared with WLAF and social media earlier in the day.  Caryville Police responded to the gas station and took 42-year old Tony (Anthony Wayne) White into custody.  In a statement from La Follette Police Chief Bill Roehl, the chief says, “With the help of tips from our community and a quick response from Caryville Police Officers, Anthony White of Caryville was taken into custody without incident Tuesday evening.”  White, who has been booked into the county jail now for a fifth time, was the key suspect in a Sunday night armed robbery of the Walgreens in La Follette.  Detectives told WLAF News early in the investigation that they felt confident they knew who the knife wielding robber was, and that it was just a matter of finding him.

   An “All Sports Reunion” was held Feb, 26 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the cafeteria at West LaFollette for those who played sports at Liberty Park.

  World War II veteran Garland “Poppie” Eubanks passed away.  Eubanks worked at La Follette Utilities until he was in his 80s and was a member of the La Follette Church of God for 67-years.  Eubanks was 91-years old.  Garland was a family man and earned the respect of his peers by the way that he took care of his family,” said Kenny Baird, general manager of La Follette Utilities. LUB is where Banks worked for almost 60 years; a record Baird said will likely not be broken.

Last August (2016), Jacksboro Police Department responded to a call that County Court Clerk Alene Baird and one of her employees, Hilda Green, had a dispute. A member of the district attorney’s office also came to the scene, according to reports.  Reports indicated the two women had argued with Green being the one to call police.  Baird wasn’t arrested, but was given a citation for assault. At a previous hearing, the judge and local district attorney’s office recused themselves from the case.  During court February 16, Baird’s case was reset until September 2017. If there have been no further issues, the case will be dismissed at that time.

In conjunction with other leading schools from around the nation, TCAT Jacksboro is holding National Technical Letter of Intent Signing Day from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm on February 16, 2017. Selected new students for the 2017-2018 school year will take part in a signing ceremony, similar to an athletic signing, at TCAT Jacksboro 265 Elkins Road, Jacksboro.  “By signing our incoming students to Letters of Intent, we’re telling them that we’ve reserved a place for them and we want them. Technical education will prepare them for a strong career,” said Debbie Petree, TCAT Director.

February 17, served as ribbon cutting day at the new-look court room at Jacksboro.  District Attorney General Jared Effler says he’s worked in a lot of court rooms across Tennessee.  But he calls Campbell County’s renovated downstairs court room one of the nicest, if not the nicest, he’s seen.

   Trevor St. John has had successful fishing career for the Campbell County Cougar Fishing Team.  Next year he will be fishing as a Lion.  St. John has signed a scholarship to fish for Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee.

House Majority Leader Glen Casada announced Tuesday that State Representative Dennis Powers has been chosen to shepherd House Bill 531 through the legislative process on behalf of Republican leadership.
House Bill 531 is part of Governor Haslam's legislative package for the year, which is traditionally handled by the House Majority Leader. Because of Representative Powers' leadership abilities, however, he was handpicked to lead the charge in getting the legislation passed and will handle all details relating to the bill.

   Jellico Head Basketball Coach Mike Reynolds tells WLAF Sports, “Our team is playing very well as team right now.”  He calls tomorrow night’s first round Region 2-A match-up with Meigs County “do-able” if the team play continues.   Playing hard.  Playing well.  And defending well.  Those are the keys Reynolds said that started the Blue Devils run to the District 4-A Tournament Championship.  He hopes his team can continue playing with those attributes.  Jellico has won its last four games and is 17 & 15.

   Campbell County was well represented at the Governor’s Ninth Annual Volunteer Stars Awards ceremony.  At Franklin, Campbell County High School Senior Devan Foust was recognized as an outstanding youth volunteer; a Volunteer Star.  The awards ceremony honors and celebrates volunteerism in Tennessee. 

   Campbell’s Lady Cougars finished the season at 22 & 9 losing in the opening round of the region tourney at Maryville against the Lady Rebels.  The Cougars season ended in an overtime loss to Clinton in the district tournament at Clinton to end the year with 19 wins. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/26/2017-6AM)

MARCH 2017

Leslie Logan Smith pleaded guilty to second degree murder in the stabbing death of his one-time girlfriend Lora Henegar. He was given a 35 year prison sentence, which he will serve at 100 percent, according to court records.

The 25-year veteran of officiating basketball games already has a girls state tournament and private school state tournament on his resume’.  But he calls this one, the boys tourney, “The big one.”  Bobby Vann worked the Tennessee State Boys Basketball Tournament at Murphy Center at Murfreesboro including the AAA title game.

Campbell County native and World War II veteran Alvin Carmany died.  He fought at Normandy in D-Day which was the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany.  Alvin Carmany was 90-years old.

March life saving Saturation Patrol was a success.  The joint effort conducted by the Jacksboro Police Department, Campbell County Sheriff’s Department, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol accomplished what it set out to do by targeting to reduce crashes, complaints, bring law violations into compliance, and save lives.  The trio centered its efforts around a stretch of highway in Jacksboro described as a crash ridden site.  The target area was around the Walmart entrance just off the four-lane at Zaxby's and the car wash, along where Mount Perkins Road meets U.S. Highway 25W. The trio describes the area as "infested" with unknowledgeable and unfamiliar drivers that are evidently uneducated about Tennessee law.  A total of 72 citations were issued over the two-day operation.  In addition to the citations, eight people were arrested.

   “They’re extending the storage lanes.”  That’s what La Follette Public Works Director Jim Mullens tells WLAF.  You’ve likely seen activity the past few days around the traffic light where the Four Lane meets Towe String Road and Jane Way at the Four Lane near Charley’s Pizza.  Mullens explains to WLAF that crews are extending the storage lanes or turning lanes at those intersections.  He says that too much traffic is forced out into the passing lane too often and the improvements are expected to take care of that.

   The Big Creek Market & Deli Final Four Fun Run began in mid-March on WLAF.  Calls and emails were taken to fill the NCAA Basketball Tourney bracket as folks played for prizes from Big Creek Market during the tourney.

   A La Follette native has joined a prestigious Kentucky law firm.  Scott Miller, a Campbell County High School football standout and graduate, joined Sturgill, Turner, Barker and Moloney, PLLC.   Miller, who retired from the Kentucky State Police after reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, was with the KSP for 19 years.

   Back in his days as a Cougar, Gunner St. John was known for his excellence both on and off the basketball court. Now as a Royal of Johnson University (Knoxville) this excellence is being recognized on a national level. St. John has been awarded the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCCAA) Pete Maravich Award. This award recognizes the outstanding NCCAA student-athlete in Men’s Basketball and highlights excellence in competition, skill, academics, and Christian service during his career.  St. John is a senior at Johnson University and has averaged 10 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. For his career, St. John averaged 9.5 points and 4.5 rebounds a contest, with his play helping turn the program around and make an appearance in the 2016 Division II National Championship.

   Caryville-Jacksboro Utility District was recently awarded the title of Best Tasting Water in Region 3.  The competition, held by the Tennessee Association of Utility Districts (TAUD), took place last Thursday at the La  Follette Recreation Center.  The drinking water samples were judged on their clarity, bouquet, and taste.

   Grace Burgess left little doubt why she was selected to represent the state as Miss Tennessee.  At La Follette Elementary School, she wowed students, staff, and faculty with her beauty, kindness, intelligence, and personality.  She read to the school’s Pre-K students, including Karen Holder’s class. 

   March 8 was International Women's Day to celebrate the equal rights of women all across the world.  Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins tells WLAF that, “Here at our office we honor this day and our fine women by appreciating and thanking some of our finest who are working at the time of this post.”  Goins goes on to say, “There are many more who aren't available at this specific time but we appreciate them equally.  Help us thank them and celebrate with us by thanking yours.” 

   State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) has received the “Legislator of the Year” Award for from the Tennessee Development District Association’s (TDDA) Southeast Development District for a second time. Yager received the award at the TDDA Reception in Nashville.   The awards are given to those legislators who have shown leadership and put forth considerable effort on behalf of their cities and counties.  

   Librarian Robyn Turner and the Caryville Public Library are extra special to Campbell County Chamber of Commerce Director Christie Elkins.  The library was one of the first organizations to become a chamber member when Elkins became the director last year.  On Wednesday morning, there was a special VIP Ribbon Cutting ceremony at Caryville City Hall where the library is housed.  Turner incorporated the ribbon cutting with the library’s Preschool Story Time.

“I don’t know why you did what you did, or what happened, but what I do know is that you killed my aunt. You took her from her family, and you left two children motherless.” These are the words written by a young man that encapsulate his entire family’s pain of losing their loved one- Lora Henegar.  Henegar was stabbed to death in December 2015, by her boyfriend, Leslie Logan Smith following an argument.  Smith pleaded guilty to second degree murder garnering a 35-year prison sentence, which he will serve at 100 percent, according to court records.

   The La Follette council approved spending $7,400 to put an RV Park where Walden Tavern used to be located.  Council member Lonnie “Hot Rod” Wilson found $2,400 in two years of back pay, $3,100 from the wine tax, and $2,000 from Food City and Food Lion. He said using the money is a way to create the RV Park without using the Fund Balance.  The council approved the final reading of an ordinance that allows ATVs on Claiborne Road and Beech Street. The ordinance includes Claiborne Road to allow ATV traffic to the county line. County officials hope to extend the network of roads that permit ATV traffic from Lonas Young Memorial Park to the Cumberland Trail. The use of Beech Street will allow people riding on the Cumberland Trail to come into the city and purchase groceries.

   Four of the Richardson brothers didn’t see all of World War II, but they came close.  Ott served under General George Patton.  James was with Merrill's Marauders.  J.C.’s regiment was the first to storm Omaha Beach.  And Worth fought for the 24th Infantry in the South Pacific Theatre as a separate regiment.  J.C. survived the Normandy landing at Omaha Beach.  However, a few months later, he died fighting in the Battle for Brest, France, which is described as one of the fiercest battles fought on the Western Front during World War II.  Ott (Otis) died after the war.  James, who was featured a few years ago by WLAF, lives in Jacksboro.  One of Worth’s son, Jack, tells WLAF News that his father was fairly healthy up until about a year or so ago.  He’d battled ailments until his death March 6.  He says his dad did talk some about the war.  Worth was part of the occupation force in Japan and saw the devastation from the atomic bombs first hand.  He also saw General Douglas MacArthur.  Worth Richardson was 90-years old. 

   CASA hosted its 16th annual Bluegrass Breakdown fundraiser.  It was held at the Ball Farm Event Center.

   Two-sport Cougar standout Landon Reese signed college football scholarship papers with Maryville College.  Reese played football and basketball for Campbell High and will play football at MC.

   “I’m a 1929 model,” Jack Reynolds says with a grin referencing his birth year.  The man who headed up Peoples Bank of the South for more than 30-years was honored at the 10th annual Boy Scouts of America’s Campbell County Good Scout Award Dinner.  Scouting plays a key role in the Reynolds family that includes four Eagle Scouts. 

   With guns drawn and a house surrounded by police, a home invasion suspect quietly gave up this morning.  An alert La Follette Police Officer, Isiah Lawson, spotted a stolen car out of Knox County a little traveling toward La Follette on the four lane.  Lawson did a turn around and began pursuit of a silver 2008 Nissan Altima.  The officer then lost sight of the car.  However, within minutes, tips from citizens were called-in leading Lawson, other LPD officers, and Campbell County Sheriff’s Department Deputies to a brick home in east La Follette.  That’s when police pulled their weapons and surrounded the last house on the east end of East Ash Street; directly across from the La Follette Medical Center.  It was a tense few minutes.  While officers took positions around the home, the woman inside the home received a phone call from the E-911 Dispatcher telling her that she would soon be receiving a phone call from a restricted number, and that she should answer the call.  LPD Detective Josh Hill tells WLAF News that the suspect, 38-year old Jeff Smiddy, talked with police and followed their commands.  Soon, Smiddy quietly gave up and was held until Knox County officials arrived.

 A Jacksboro attorney had his license to practice law temporarily suspended by the Supreme Court of Tennessee.  The state’s highest court found that Brent Gray posed a threat of substantial harm to the public.  Under Section 12.3 of Supreme Court Rule 9, an attorney can be immediately suspended if they pose a threat of substantial harm to the public.  Gray is the fourth local attorney to be suspended from the legal profession in 15 months.  In Dec. 2015, Wes Hatmaker and Mark Troutman were both suspended with similar wording from the court.  In September 2016, Timothy Paul Webb, of Jacksboro, was suspended from practicing law for five years, retroactive to December 15, 2015, with two years to be served as active suspension and the remainder on probation. 

   The Campbell County Board of Education voted unanimously to approve a resolution to be sent to the State of Tennessee opposing school vouchers. Chairman Mike Orick  announced that the board would also ask the county commission to pass a resolution of non-support.  “Diverting state funds to a voucher program to subsidize parents who want to send their children to private schools would decimate public education, particularly in rural school districts,” board member Faye Heatherly pointed out.

Since Lifestar’s move to Campbell County, nearly three years ago, having the lifesaving medical helicopter housed at the Campbell County Airport stirs a sense of pride among the locals. Knowing Valley View native Josh Claiborne is a part of the crew adds icing on the blades.  On average, Lifestar 4 makes from eight to 10 flights a week. And it’s not uncommon for the sleek machine and its three-member crew to answer 15 to 20 calls during a summer hitch, also known as a week’s shift.  Lifestar 4 serves a 50-mile radius. However, veteran pilot Rich Ristine points out the crew does fly beyond their coverage area when needed. 

   Cougar Soccer’s home schedule kicked off.  Scott County took on CCHS as the Cougars christened their new soccer field. 

   In late March, clean-up work along Big Creek in La Follette was completed.

   Forty plus teams took part in a track and field meet at Hardin Valley including the Campbell Cougars.  Lady Cougar Mackenzie West finished 5th overall in the hurdles, winning her flight, all the while setting a new personal best with a time of 16.39 seconds.  Lady Cougar Zoie Mefford was second in the shot put with a personal best throw of 35-feet, ten-inches.  Cougar Christian Shouse came in 6th in the high jump with a jump of five-feet, ten-inches.  

   Educating Campbell County students and parents about the risk of tobacco is one of the missions of the Campbell County Health Council.  To help carry out that mission, a large group of community leaders visited Caryville and Jacksboro Elementary Schools earlier this month on Kick Butts Day on March 15.  It’s all a part of the council’s incentive for a Tobacco-Free Campbell County.  The goal is to educate students and parents on the risk of Tobacco and to teach children to take a stand against the use of tobacco products including the e-cigarettes.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/26/2017-6AM)



Phyllis Randolph of La Follette won WLAF's "World's Smallest Christmas Stocking" stuffed with $500 cash

   Bill Waddell’s (R) idea of giving away the “World’s Smallest Christmas Stocking” was well received as upwards of 4,000 people registered for a chance to win the stocking that was stuffed with $500 cash.  Phyllis Randolph’s (L) name was drawn by Mayor Mike Stanfield yesterday at noon live on WLAF.  The story is further down this page.

Morning fire.  Multiple accidents on I-75.

Rain is moving out

   Fog/rain, heavy traffic, speed, and a construction zone made for a dangerous combination on I-75 here in Campbell County earlier today.  Saturday morning was simply a mess on I-75 from about Mile Marker 137 to MM 156 in both directions.  One official said, “It’s generally this way when rain and fog are part of the driving equation.  He added that there were several accidents, and there were some injuries.”

   Jacksboro Metals had a fire around 10 am this morning.  Campbell County Rural Fire Service Chief Daniel Lawson explains that heat from a welding project found some fuel that sparked the fire.  Firefighters thought it best to let the fuel source burn out since it was contained to a small area of the business.  It soon burned out. 

   Fred Cole, manager at Jacksboro Metals, explained that there was no real damage, and said that no one was injured.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/23/2017-6:30PM)

Christmas message from Sheriff Robbie Goins K. Goins

   As your sheriff, I would like to take a moment to express my sincerest and most heartfelt Christmas wishes to all the citizens of Campbell County. The Christmas season is more than a tree. It is the time of year we rejoice the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, by sharing love with our families, neighbors, and friends. We too often allow the true meaning of Christmas to be overcast by gifts and distractions. We should take a moment and thank God for giving us the ultimate gift, his Son, who died on the cross for our eternal salvation.

   I want to express my appreciation for all the men and women wearing a badge across our beloved county this Christmas season, especially my deputies. They sacrifice time from their families so you and others may enjoy a safe and happy Christmas season.
   Our deputies are the peacemakers as the Holy Scripture in Matthew 5:9 states, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called Sons of God.” The 23rd Psalm states, “Though I walk through the shadow of the valley of death, I shall fear no evil. This evil is where our deputies tread daily and strive from becoming consumed by its grasp. Christmas time is no different for them. Please join with me in a prayer to keep our law enforcement safe so that we may enjoy the safety and security of a blessed Christmas with our families.
(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/22/2017-3:30PM)

Cougars stop skid with win over Clinton - WATCH

Santa’s next.  Then a tourney in Florida.

   This morning at Maryville, Clinton spotted Campbell County a ten-point lead and never recovered.  The Cougars hot start left the Dragons dry for the first five and a half minutes of the game.  Though Clinton closed the gap to make it a tight finish, Campbell kept the Dragons just far enough away to post the 57 to 50 win on the final day of the Heritage Christmas Tournament.

   In the process, the Cougars won for the first time since December 7 and snapped a four game losing streak.  During that slump, CCHS averaged only 44 points a game making today’s 57 points a step in the right direction.

   John Porter, who missed the Wednesday tournament opener due to illness, came back with two strong performances Thursday and today.  So much in fact, he was named to the all-tournament team.  Porter posted 14 points and six rebounds this morning following a dozen points yesterday.

   Elijah Phillips 15 points led the way against Clinton with 11 of those coming after halftime.  Carter Wells had a career game today with 13 points and helped CCHS to its fast start.  Evan Jackson had seven points, Drew Jordan had six and five boards, while Bryce Duncan added two points.

   The 5 & 7 Cougars await Santa and then a mid-week trip to Pensacola, Florida.  When you see the bracket CLICK HERE, it is correct, except for the days.  The tournament is Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  The  times are Central Time.

   Campbell plays the Gadsden Southside Panthers (Alabama) on Thursday afternoon.  The “audio broadcast only” will be over the WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network on AM 1450, FM 100.9, and  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/22/2017-3:30PM)


   La Follette Library announces holiday schedule

Merry Christmas’ – Nancy Green

   Librarian Nancy Green announces the holiday schedule at the La Follette Public Library.  Along with a “Merry Christmas” wish, Green details that the library will be closed Saturday, December 23 through Tuesday, December 26.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/22/2017-6AM)

Longtime city employee laid to rest this morning

City flags remain at half-staff

   There are times a La Follette Police cruiser, with lights on, will be parked in the Central Avenue turn lane during the receiving of friends at a funeral home.  However, that wasn’t the case yesterday in front of Cross-Smith Funeral Home.  There was a La Follette Street Department work truck in the East Central turn lane.  That’s because last night’s service was for longtime street department employee R.B. Williams.

   La Follette Mayor Mike Stanfield ordered city flags at half-staff after learning of Williams passing on Tuesday.  Williams spent 30-years with the city as a supervisor and mechanic in the street department.  He was also a U.S. Army veteran.  His interment is this morning at 11 am at Campbell Memorial Gardens.

   R.B. Williams was 82-years old.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/22/2017-6AM)

Tennessee rings in New Year with new laws

No more talking on a cell phone in an active school zone

When the New Year starts, new laws into effect in Tennessee.

Some of the laws such as those governing cell phones, barbers and handgun permits will have a direct bearing on daily life for many residents.

Senate Bill 0954 - Cell phones in school zones

This bill could end up costing people money. It makes talking on a handheld cell phone in a school zone while the warning lights are flashing punishable by a fine of up to $50.

House Bill 0689- Handgun permits

For those who have served in the military, this new law creates a shortcut in the permit process. This bill creates an exemption to the firing range portion of the training required to get a handgun carry permit. If the applicant can prove they successfully passed small arms training or combat pistol training in any branch of the United States armed forces, they can be exempt from that portion of the process.

Senate Bill 0032- Barbers

This bill allows -a barber to perform services in a home for anyone. In the past, a barber could only come to a person’s house to cut their hair if they were ill. However, a residential barber certificate is required to perform these services.

 House Bill 0322- School transportation

This bill establishes a school transportation supervisor program to oversee transportation services for school districts and charter schools. The bill also requires new school bus drivers to complete a training program before they can drive a school bus and requires a bus driver to be at least 25 years old before they can get an initial bus driver license.

Senate Bill 0723-Campus free-speech

This bill recognizes students’ right to free speech and directs institutions of higher education to give students the freedom to speak, write, listen, challenge, learn and discuss any issue, as long as they don’t violate the First Amendment. The bill also directs institutions not to deny student activity fees to student organizations based on the viewpoints of the organization. And an institution can’t bar guest speakers invited to campus by students or faculty just because the speaker’s speech might be considered offensive or otherwise disagreeable.

Senate Bill 0597- Disabled persons

This bill gives a competent adult with a functional disability, or a caregiver of a minor child or incompetent adult, to direct and supervise a paid personal aide to perform health maintenance tasks. Health maintenance tasks are tasks that a person without a functional disability or a caregiver would normally do for themselves.

House Bill 1291-Marijuana jurisdiction

This bill removes the Alcoholic Beverage Commission’s jurisdiction over enforcement of criminal offense involving marijuana.

Senate Bill 0194- Headlights

This bill amends a current bill to prohibit any vehicle with steady-burning lights to have any color light, other than white or amber, whether they are steady or flashing. Exceptions include emergency vehicles, school buses, mail carriers and authorized law enforcement vehicles.

Senate Bill 0429 - Prescription drugs –

This bill authorizes the Board of Pharmacy to create a voluntary prescription drug donation repository program to allow people to donate prescription drugs and supplies to be used by eligible individuals. The drugs have to be in their original sealed, tamper-evident packaging and must be inspected before they are dispensed by a licensed pharmacist.

House Bill 1392 - Alarm systems

This bill allows a homeowner to cancel a contract for alarm services that is longer than two years by giving 30 day notice to the alarm system contractor if the homeowner has to sell the property for medical reasons. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/22/2017-6AM)

Merry Christmas from the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce

Board of Directors and Staff send wishes

   The Chamber Board of Directors and staff were honored to take a small part in last week's Shop with a Cop program, handing out Chamber Treat Bags to children that participated in the Shop with a Cop two-night event. Board members worked both behind the scenes, baking cookies, gathering hygiene items, and assembling treat bags, as well as handing out Chamber Treat Bags at Wal-Mart after the children had completed their Christmas shopping. The Chamber Board of Directors and staff worked together to support fellow board member Jerri Starrett and the Jacksboro Police Department, as Ms. Starrett and JPD continue to grow Shop with a Cop and tremendously bless the children in our community.
   A huge thanks to our Board of Directors: John Branam, Tracie Davis, Gary Farwick, Nancy Green, Bryan Horton, Tracy Lobertini, Rhonda Longmire, Brent McNeeley, Mayor EL Morton, Angie Poteet, Paul Rumberger, Cyndi Russell, Jerri Starrett, Tabatha Smith, Melinda Wilson, and committee chairs Becky Aiken and Debbie Petree, for creating a tangible way for the Chamber to show love this holiday season.
   Merry Christmas, from our Chamber family to yours, Christie Elkins Executive Director, Campbell Co Chamber of Commerce. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/22/2017-6AM)


Snodderly breaks out his Christmas suit


When John Snodderly is not celebrating Christmas, he is the Executive Director at La Follette Housing Authority.

   Be safe, call a tow truck

For almost 20 years, AAA and Budweiser have partnered to fight impaired driving by providing the Tow to Go program.  While it’s great to have that safety net in place, AAA and Budweiser would rather see motorists planning ahead so they don’t need it. This means choosing a Designated Driver, staying where they are celebrating, or arranging for another form of safe transportation whenever anyone celebrates away from home with alcohol.

For those that don’t plan ahead and need the Tow to Go program, it is available starting today through 6am Tuesday morning, Jan. 2.  The following guidelines apply:

-Trucks will provide a confidential local ride to a safe location within 10 miles

-The AAA tow truck takes the vehicle and the driver home

-Free and available to AAA members and non-members

Tow to Go may not be available in rural areas or during severe weather conditions

Since its inception in 1998, Tow to Go has safely removed more than 24,000 impaired drivers from roads across the Southeast and Midwest. It is designed to be a safety net for motorists who did not plan ahead when drinking away from home on celebratory holidays. It is offered based on the availability of AAA drivers and tow trucks during times of high call volume. The Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation provides Tow to Go to help keep all motorists safe from the dangers of impaired driving.

   To use the Tow To Go Service call:  (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/22/2017-6AM)

Randolph wins WLAF’s “World’s Smallest Christmas Stocking”

Stocking is stuffed with $500 cash

   When Phyllis Randolph bought furniture the other day at Pierce Furniture Gallery, store owner Ron Pierce told her she’d win the WLAF Christmas promotion.  She laughed and said she’d never won anything before.  Until yesterday.  Randolph’s name was drawn from close to 4,000 entrants in WLAF’s “World’s Smallest Christmas Stocking” promotion.


Phyliss Randolph, a loyal listener of WLAF Radio, picked up her stocking and cash yesterday presented to her by WLAF’s Bill Waddell

    On Wednesday, one name was drawn from each registration box at the nine participating sponsors, Bowman Jewelers, Gifts from Above, Litho-Craft Printing and Office Supplies, Common Ground Coffee Shop, Radio Shack, Jacksboro GNC, Doyle’s Tire Shop, Pierce Furniture Gallery, and United Cumberland Bank.  Then yesterday, live on WLAF Radio, La Follette Mayor Mike Stanfield drew the winning name from the nine finalists.

   Randolph, of La Follette, did not hesitate when asked what she would do with the cash, “Take my babies shopping.”  Thursday afternoon after claiming her cash, she took her two, ages five and seven, grandchildren shopping.

   Thanks to all the sponsors and those of you who signed up and played along.  Merry Christmas!  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/22/2017-6AM)



   Bailey Marlow has been found.  Details are forthcoming. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED - 12/21/2017-2:30PM)

WLAF’s “Smallest Christmas Stocking” given away today

Someone is going to win $500

   WLAF’s “World’s Smallest Christmas Stocking” will be given away today at noon live on the air.  Right before the CBS News, La Follette Mayor Mike Stanfield will be on hand to draw out the winner’s name.  The winner will be selected live on AM 1450, FM 100.9, TV 12, and DotCom.  The winner wins $500 cash from WLAF and the participating sponsors.

   Wednesday was the day that finalists were selected from each registration box at the sponsor locations.  The names of the final nine are:  Tyler Ridenour – Bowman Jewelers, Phyllis Randolph – The Pierce Furniture Gallery, Ed Davis – Litho-Craft Printing and Office Supplies, Sandra Thompson – Common Ground Coffee Shop, Janet Jackson – The Radio Shack, Michael Franklin – Jacksboro GNC, Wanda Wilhoit - Gifts from.   Above, Charles Copeland – Doyle’s Tire Shop, and Jenny Daugherty – United Cumberland Bank.

   Good luck to you Final Nine, and thanks to all of you for playing along.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/21/2017-6AM)

BOE sets date for vote on new director

One-month away

   Last Friday was the deadline to apply for the upcoming director of schools opening for the Campbell County School System.  The Board of Education announces this morning when the vote to elect a new director will be; Monday, January 22, 2018, at 6 pm, at the courthouse at Jacksboro.

   The candidates are Joan Crutchfield, Jennifer Fields, and Donna Singley.

   Current Director of Schools Larry Nidiffer plans to retire in early 2018.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/21/2017-6AM)

Osgood is retiring from radio, too

Signs off at the end of the year    

   None of us is getting any younger.  And that also goes for longtime CBS television and radio host Charles Osgood.  Charlie turns 85-years old in January.

   When he stepped away from CBS Sunday Morning back in the fall, I knew then that it would just be a matter of time before he signed off on radio.  Well.  That day is next week.

   I awoke this morning to the sad email from him announcing that December 29 will be his last day on WLAF with The Osgood File.  Here is what he wrote:  "Thanks to you, my valued affiliates, clients, and friends, I recently reached nearly fifty years of The Osgood File by announcing a renewal with Westwood One.  Although I was very much looking forward to continuing to see you on the radio, unfortunately my health and doctors will now not allow it.  So I will retire from The Osgood File and radio at the end of the year with great appreciation for all the success we've had together.  I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and the best of everything in 2018."

   However, WLAF will be able to air evergreen versions of The Osgood File through the middle of January until we figure out just what to do to try and fill the void.  But who on earth will be able to step in to do that is the million dollar question?  Osgood has been on the air with his daily reports since 1971.

   We will miss “seeing you on the radio,” Charles Osgood Wood, III.  Thanks for the ride.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/21/2017-6AM)

   Shop with a Cop was a huge success.  Pictured are some of the volunteers who helped make it happen last Thursday and Friday at the Jacksboro Walmart.  The story is further down this page.

 Campbell County Earns Prestigious AARC Seal of Approval

Campbell County and the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce have earned the prestigious Seal of Approval from the American Association of Retirement Communities (AARC) – the nation’s leading organization for helping local governments and private communities attract retirees.  The AARC Seal of Approval is presented annually to recipients that demonstrate a cutting-edge commitment to attract retirees through lifestyle programming, amenity development, communication programs and education.

Campbell County is a stunning example of a successful retirement community in East Tennessee,” AARC Chairperson Andre’ Nabors said.

“The Seal of Approval Communities are highlighted on the Retire Tennessee website and also in the booklet that is handed out at several Ideal Living Resort and Retirement Expos. Campbell County has made a commitment to be a “Best in Class” lifestyle for retirees”, said Ramay Winchester, director of Retire Tennessee.

“Retirees today are looking for more than just rest and relaxation. They have an active lifestyle and Campbell County offers those experiences. It offers endless camping locations for roughing it in the beautiful mountains or camping to your heart’s content” Cindi Reynolds, Campbell County Chamber of Commerce’s director of Tourism and Retirement said. “Campbell County is blessed with the most beautiful wildlife management area, boasting 600 miles of ATV trails and approximately 60,000 acres for hunting. It is the only county in Tennessee with four state parks. With over 2,900 square miles of surface area and 800 miles of shoreline, Norris Lake is sure to fulfill all boating, fishing, and water sports needs. Campbell County is home to 11 marinas and was named the “Marina Capital of Tennessee” by the state of Tennessee. “

“Nature provided McCloud Mountain with the largest chain of exposed stone chimneys in the nation. Thirty-two distinct chimney formations gracing the north side can be enjoyed by the Chimney Skywalk, offered to McCloud Mountain Lodge & Restaurant visitors. With soaring cliffs and majestic arches, McCloud Mountain is an awe-inspiring place to visit. It may be one of the South’s best-kept secrets” said Reynolds.

“Every fall, the Louie Bluie Music and Arts Festival comes to Cove Lake State Park. The festival celebrates the life and music of Howard Armstrong who spent his childhood days in Campbell County in the 1920s.  Armstrong is an internationally acclaimed string band musician, artist, storyteller, and writer. In October annually, downtown LaFollette is host to the Big Creek ATV Festival. It is a celebration with music, food, vendors and most of all, ATV rides through our beautiful Cumberland Mountains. All of our natural beauty, arts and culture, and opportunities to volunteer make Campbell County a choice destination for retirement,” said Reynolds. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/20/2017-6AM)

“World’s Smallest Christmas Stocking” finalists selected today

Winner’s name to be drawn on Thursday at noon on WLAF

   WLAF’s “World’s Smallest Christmas Stocking” contest nears a winner.  One finalist from each participating sponsor will be drawn today at Bowman Jewelers, Doyle’s Tire Shop, Gifts from Above, Jacksboro GNC, Litho-Craft Printing & Office Supplies, Pierce Furniture Gallery, Radio Shack, Common Ground Coffee Shop, and United Cumberland Bank.  Drawings will take place live over WLAF AM and FM through the day today.

   The name of the winner of the “World’s Smallest Christmas Stocking,” that’s stuffed with $500 cash, will be drawn from the nine finalists.  That drawing takes place live at noon on Thursday here at the WLAF Studio on North 5th Street in La Follette. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 11/24/2017-7AM)

Ole St. Mick’s makin’ the rounds

Santa’s local helper delivered goodies yesterday

   Mickey Carter of Mickey and Son Lawn Care was out and about delivering Christmas Cheer to his customers.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/20/2017-6AM)

La Follette workshop is Wednesday

5:30 pm at City Hall

   Given the way the holidays are falling, the City of La Follette plans to hold its workshop next Wednesday rather than on the customary last Monday of the month. Among the items on the agenda are to discuss animal control and leasing the Dewey Hunter Center from the La Follette Housing Authority, review a beer board application, donate a fire truck to the White Oak Fire Department, and declare old skate park equipment as surplus.

   The workshop starts Wednesday, December 27, at 5:30 pm, at City Hall.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/20/2017-6AM)

Postmark La Follette is calling auditions for its next play

Starting January 9

   “Where I Belong” is the next performance coming to the Postmark La Follette Arts and Cultural Center.  It’s an original play by local author Tony Branam and is a comedy about the happenings at a country store in La Follette set in the 1930s.  It debuts in March.

   Auditions are Tuesday, January 9, and Wednesday, January 10, from 6 pm to 9 pm.  Call backs are January 11 with first full cast read-throughs on January 15.  There’s still a need for a stage manager, assistant stage manager, and a costume designer.  Email if you’d like to work behind the scenes.

   Everything takes place at the old La Follette Post Office at 119 South Tennessee Avenue.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/20/2017-6AM)

Cougar named TSWA All-State

Shawn Marcum is tabbed

   Campbell County Football wide receiver Shawn Marcum was named All-State 5-A this morning.  The six-one senior was recognized by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association for his outstanding efforts this 2017 season that saw his team record a 7-win season.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/19/2017-8:30AM)


   These 62 Campbell County High School students just graduated from the Peoples Bank of the South Personal Finance Class.  The story is further down this page.  (PHOTO COURTESY OF LOGAN HICKMAN)


Cougar named TSWA All-State

Shawn Marcum is tabbed

   Campbell County Football wide receiver Shawn Marcum was named All-State this morning.  The six-one senior was recognized by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association for his outstanding efforts this 2017 season that saw his team record a 7-win season.

Class 5A

QB: Kolten Gibson, Walker Valley
QB: Grayson Tramel, Shelbyville
RB: Tai Carter, Summit
RB: Kaemon Dunlap, Beech
WR: Avery Brown, Shelbyville
WR: Shawn Marcum, Campbell County
WR: Zake Westfield, Walker Valley
OL: Ollie Lane, Gibbs
OL: Mason Leatherwood, Summit
OL: Cade Mays, Knoxville Catholic
OL: Cole Pulley, Beech
OL: Bryn Tucker, Knoxville Catholic
K: Paxton Robertson, Knoxville Catholic
ATH: Darian Davis, Columbia

DL: Adarius Cox, Oak Ridge
DL: Jordan Davis, Southwind
DL: Tyreece Edwards, Knoxville West
DL: Marcus Webb, Munford
LB: Drew Francis, Knoxville West
LB: Ty Boeck, Soddy-Daisy
LB: Chaz Williamson, Beech
LB: Cobe Angel, Oak Ridge
DB: Hunter Huff, Knoxville Halls
DB: Caleb McQueen, Kenwood
DB: D.J. Mitchell, Knoxville Catholic
DB: T.J. Neal, Hillsboro
P: Ian Cummins, Knoxville Central
ATH: Dashon Bussell, Knoxville Catholic  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/19/2017-8:30AM)

Mayor breaks tie to support Sutton

Bowman Jewelers honored.  Monday was JMS Golden Eagle Day.

The Campbell County Commission deadlocked Monday night on a “vote of confidence” in the performance of the Department of Sanitation and by extension, director Walter Sutton.  Mayor E. L. Morton then broke the 7-7 tie vote to reject the attempt by Commissioner Ralph Davis to publicly censor Sutton’s job performance.

Davis and Morton exchanged some heated words at last week’s workshop when Davis began listing what he perceived as failures by the Department of Environmental Services to carry out commission motions.

Morton told Davis, “You want me to fire Walt. I’m not going to do it.” Davis then replied that perhaps the commission should change the system and take some of the mayor’s authority to “help you straighten it out.”

At the regular meeting on Monday night, Davis did not repeat his list of complaints about Sutton, but merely made a motion for a vote of confidence. “If you agree that changes are needed, vote ‘no,” If you’re satisfied with how things are going, vote ‘yes,’” Davis stated.

After Scott Stanfield seconded the motion, several commissioners commented on the issue, including Marie Ayers who said she was satisfied with some things and not others, especially, the delay in implementing an increase in commercial dumping fees passed by the commission.

CORRECTION – CORRECTION – Below is the corrected vote count.

When the vote was tallied, Davis and Stanfield were joined in voting “no” by Ayers, Carl Douglas, Robert Higginbotham, Cliff Jennings, and Whit Goins. An equal number of commissioners voted “yes,” and Lonnie Weldon abstained, leaving the Mayor to break the tie vote.

Those voting “yes” were Morton, Goat Baird, Forster Baird, Johnny Bruce, DeWayne Kitts, Butch Kohlmeyer, Sue Nance, and Rusty Orick.

This is a photo of the voting board for the above vote from last night’s county commission meeting

Davis then immediately made a motion to adjourn and the commissioners, having already dispensed with their routine business, quickly headed for the door.

Fortunately, the meeting started out on a more upbeat note, as parents and coaches joined the players from the Jacksboro Middle School football team to receive official recognition from the commission.

Mayor Morton told a packed standing-room crowd that December 18 has been proclaimed as Jacksboro Golden Eagle Day in Campbell County in honor of the team, players and coaches.

Jacksboro posted a perfect 10-0 record in winning the East Tennessee Middle School Championship, scoring 368 points to only 40 for their opponents.

The commission also continued its practice of honoring longtime Campbell County businesses. Bowman’s Jewelers was recognized for 84 years of dedication to the community, having been founded in the 1933 by J. Everett Bowman as simple watch & clock repair shop.

Today, Jerry, Gail and their son Matthew Bowman have continued the business as a family tradition, expanding the business. Jerry Bowman thanked the commission on behalf of all the family members who attended the meeting, including School Board member Faye Bowman Heatherly.(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/19/2017-6AM)

Sky is the limit for CCHS’s STEM class

Students learn innovative skills

Campbell County Comprehensive High School’s Science Technology Engineering Math (S.T.E.M.) class is currently involved in an innovative venture. The STEM class is working with a 3-D printing/design/animation/scanning, computer-aided design, virtual reality, augmented reality.

Dr. Dwayne Lee, the S.T.E.M. Program instructor, is very excited about the possibilities of this technology sparking interest in the minds of students.

“This is technology needed by local industries now. The demand for working knowledge with these skills is here already. Local industries need people trained in these areas to prototype parts for manufacture,” said Lee.

The S.T.E.M. Program teaches computer-aided design (CAD) also.  “One of the many things my S.T.E.M. Program teaches students to do is how to use precision measurement tools, such as micrometers and calipers. Then students translate those dimensions into a computer designed part”, said Lee.


The new agriculture barn currently being built on the campus of the high school is an example of this technology Lee teaches.

The technology is not limited to strictly mechanical design. “We can take a building that we created in 3D and allow a person to walk through it using virtual reality. With the use of augmented reality, we can show what that same structure looks like in the actual environment in which it is to be built,” he said.

The new agriculture barn currently being built on the campus of the high school is an example of this technology Lee teaches. Starting with only hand-drawn outlines of the barn dimensions on a sheet of paper, the S.T.E.M. Program produced the barn in 3D, right down to the rafters and every single piece of wood needed. The S.T.E.M. program even did a virtual reality walk-through of the new agriculture barn with the agriculture instructors.

S.T.E.M. students also learn other skills related to computer-aided rapid prototyping of parts when creating a functional bolt and nut. In addition, they use that project to create a negative from which a wax mold of the bolt is created.


The S.T.E.M. Program entered a working 3D printed piston inside a cutaway of an engine for this year’s competition in Knoxville

Computer animation is also taught in the S.T.E.M. class. Students can learn to animate a robot character on the computer screen. “I use many of the same exact computer programs used by colleges and universities in my program. This way, when students do decide to take this as their career path, they are already familiar with the programs they will be trained on,” said Lee.

The S.T.E.M. Program entered a working 3D printed piston inside a cutaway of an engine for this year’s competition in Knoxville. The 3D designed and printed piston was an exact working replica of the original piston.


These are some of the creations by the CCHS STEM class

The S.T.E.M. program started with one 3D printer in the classroom, now it has eight 3D printers, with plans for more in the near future.  Lee hopes to have one 3D printer for every student in the class within a year. 

“We are not limited to printing with plastic filament in our 3D printers. We can also print with wood filament, metal filament, and even chocolate filament. Students can use our 3D hand-held computer scanner to 3D scan an object, upload that file, and then create 3D print of that scanned object” said Lee.

A student of the S.T.E.M. Program uploaded his 3D Simpsons House project onto YouTube. Using virtual reality goggles in Lee's S.T.E.M. Program, people can walk through the house, and it feels like as though they are in the house.  WATCH HERE. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/19/2017-6AM)

  Third personal finance class graduates

PNB of the South partners with CCHS

   Last Thursday, Peoples Bank of the South honored 62 graduates from the Peoples Bank of the South Personal Finance Class.  The class is a web-based financial education course designed to provide students with the critical skills needed to make sound financial decisions.

   Logan Hickman, the Executive Vice-President of Peoples Bank of the South, explains to WLAF that this is the third semester of the financial education program.  He adds that Peoples Bank has partnered with leading education technology company EverFi, Inc., to bring this interactive, web-based financial education program to several schools across the state. Peoples Bank partnered with CCHS personal finance teachers, Anna Castleberry, Kathy Lipps, and Brad Honeycutt.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/19/2017-6AM)


   This big sign is expected to be erected today at the former Pine Park as the name of the west La Follette park was officially changed on Friday to Ron Murray Park.  Murray (R) was honored with an afternoon ceremony as he was joined by friends and former players.  More photos and the story are further down this page.

Caryville sweeps county tournament

Held Thursday and Friday at JMS

   Caryville’s girls basketball team on Thursday night won over La Follette at Agee Gym to ring up its fourth-straight county championship.  The Lady Cardinals defeated LES 30 to 18.  CES finishes the year 12 & 0.

Caryville takes the title.

   Elk Valley claimed the small school county title.  The Lady Elks outscored Wynn 29 to 16.

Lady Cardinals Bella Lester (L) and Colie Thompson celebrate their championship

   On Friday night at Jacksboro Middle School, the boys team from Caryville Elementary School claimed the large school county tournament boys championship.  CES won an exciting game with La Follette by a final score of 42 to 30.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/18/2017-6AM)

LMS’s Stewart is moving on in Spelling Bee

Won on Friday

   La Follette Middle School 8th grader Stewart Thacker won the LMS Spelling Bee on Friday, December 15.  Thacker won with the word “allowance.”  Alyssa Disspayne, an LMS 6th grader, was runner-up.

Pictured with Stewart Thacker are LMS assistant principal April Melton and Principal Joey St. John. Stewart will represent LMS at the Regional Spelling Bee in Knoxville on Saturday, March 17, 2018.  

   Stewart is the son of Chris and Crystal Thacker.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/18/2017-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF LMS GUIDANCE COUNSELOR LINDA PRIM)

Friday’s LCAL Christmas party was memorable

‘This is a God called thing’ – Doris Duncan

Years ago, Doris Duncan was struggling with grief over the loss of two of her children. Searching for a way to manage the grief in her heart, she channeled it into helping others.

Duncan became the defacto social director at LaFollette Court Assisted Living.

Now, the 79-year-old is a fixture at the home where many of the residents are her age or younger.

Doris Duncan enjoys planning parties for the residents at LaFollette Court Assisted Living. On Friday, she hosted the annual Christmas Party for the residents. She distributed gifts and spent the afternoon with them.

Each month, Duncan hosts a birthday party for the residents, visits each Sunday and hosts an annual Christmas party.

The first year, Doris and her husband, Raymond, held the Christmas party, they had lost two children.

“We took the money we would have spent on them at Christmas and held the party for the residents,” Doris Duncan said.

During the party on Friday, Duncan was clearly in charge of the event. She directed the staff and volunteers with the energy of a young woman. Her actions were not that of a woman who fell just three short months ago resulting in a broken hip. Instead, they were that of a woman on a mission. “This is a God called thing,” Duncan said between stops at the dinner tables.

The residents look forward to Duncan’s visits. She makes it a point to spend time with each one of them.

Surrounded not only by the residents, Duncan, was surrounded by her family as she carried out her duties on Friday afternoon.

“Her heart is here,” granddaughter Amy Malicote said. “She never leaves a room without praying with them (the residents.)”

 When Duncan isn’t at LaFollette Court Assisted Living, she is volunteering at Goodwill or directing the Shoebox Ministry at Cedar Hill Baptist Church. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/18/2017-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF BILLIE ANN EVANS)

Pine Park became “Coach” Ron Murray Park on Friday

Named for the La Follette sports legend

   “I didn’t know anything about this until this morning.”  That was the first thing Coach Ron Murray said to me when I offered congratulations on Friday afternoon inside the La Follette City Hall Auditorium.  Pine Park, located a stone’s throw across the railroad tracks from Murray’s South Avenue home, was renamed in his honor to “Coach” Ron Murray Park.

County Mayor E.L. Morton (L) presents the county proclamation to Coach Ron Murray

   Murray received proclamations from State Representative Dennis Powers and County Mayor E.L. Morton, and MOrton declared it Ron Muurray Day in Campbell County.  La Follette Mayor Mike Stanfield proclaimed Friday as “Ron Murray Day” in La Follette and also presented a proclamation to the man who was coaching the La Follette High School Owls Basketball team when Stanfield was a high schooler.

   The old coach told the crowd that included Four-Star General Carl Stiner (R), “I was lucky in life to love sports as much as I did.  God could not have had a better path for me.”  Murray grew up over on East Ash Street where there was a basketball goal on each side of the street.

   The 87-year old starred in football and basketball at La Follette High School and holds the distinction of playing on the first LHS Basketball team that was coached by the legendary John R.W. Brown (1948-49).  He is also the only person to have worked on the staffs of General Robert R. Neyland at Tennessee and Adolph Rupp at Kentucky.

   La Follette Mayor Mike Stanfield (L) proclaimed Friday as “Ron Murray Day” in La Follette and also presented a proclamation to the man who was coaching the La Follette High School Owls Basketball team when Stanfield was a high schooler.

   Murray said, “Kentucky’s win over Elgin Baylor led Seattle to claim the 1958 NCAA Basketball Championship is a great memory. Coach Rupp said if we can’t win in our own living room and on our front porch, we’re hurting.”  The Kentucky legend was referring to his team playing the ’58 regional tournament on the Wildcats home floor and the championship at Louisville.

   Ronnie, as his late wife Billie Murray called him, is known around town as a two-time coach of the La Follette Owls and the man who started the Little League Basketball program in La Follette.  Across the state, he is known as the man who started the state’s education release program.  After he retired from coaching, Murray worked for the State of Tennessee.

Coach Ron Murray played on John Brown’s first LHS Basketball team

   La Follette Parks and Recreation Director Johnny Byrge said he expects the Murray sign will be erected today at the former Pine Park.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/18/2017-6AM)

 Director of School application deadline passes

Three candidates have applied

   The Campbell County Board of Education’s Director of Schools application deadline was this afternoon at 4 pm.  The three candidates WLAF announced to you over the past few weeks remain the only names in the pool.  They are Joan Crutchfield, Jennifer Fields, and Donna Singley.

   Crutchfield, retired as the principal at Jacksboro Elementary School, is currently working in the Central Office while Fields and Singley are principals; Fields at Jacksboro Middle and Singley at Jellico High.

   Current DOS Larry Nidiffer plans to retire next spring and his replacement will be voted upon in early 2018.  WLAF will announce on Thursday the date, time, and venue of when the BOE will vote on its new director of schools.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/15/2017-4:30PM)


   For a kid who loves Nerf guns, last night’s Shop with a Cop was a quite a night for 12-year old Mark Wolkotte.  Behind him is “his cop,” Campbell County Sheriff’s Sergeant Cody Chapman.  Their story on last night’s fun run through the Jacksboro Walmart and more photos are further down this page.

Comers granted dismissal

   The duo accused of accused of threatening witnesses in the Gabby Orton murder case had their charges dismissed on Wednesday.

   James Carl Comer, 69, and Joshua Aaron Comer, 19, were arrested just outside the court room in September at the pretrial hearing in Josh Comer’s case. The two were alleged to have threatened two witnesses who were about to testify they saw Josh Comer abuse Gabby Orton. The two witnesses were Josh Comer’s other sons ages 14 and 17.

  As the court broke for lunch, the two older Comers followed the juveniles to the parking lot of the courthouse. It was there they allegedly told the boys that testifying against their father would result in physical injury. They also called them names, the arrest reports said.

  James Comer saw both of his coercion of a witness counts dismissed and Joshua Comer’s two counts of coercion along with an assault charge were also dismissed. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/15/2017-6AM)

Pine Park is renamed today

La Follette honors Ron Murray

   The old coach is getting his day today.  And rightfully so.  Mayor Mike Stanfield proclaims today “Coach Ron Murray Day in La Follette.”

   Murray coached the La Follette Owls basketball teams over two different stints in the 1960s and recorded some milestone wins including a regional tournament win at the University of Tennessee’s Alumni Gym over state power the South Rockets.  The nearly 90-year old Murray starred in football and basketball as an LHS Owl.  He played on the legendary John R.W. Brown’s first La Follette basketball team in 1948-49.

   Former Campbell Head Basketball Coach Len Pierce (L) caught up with his high school coach, former La Follette Coach Ron Murray, at a Cougar basketball game in January 2015.

   At 2 pm this afternoon at City Hall, a ceremony takes place to honor Murray.  According to the proclamation, Pine Park will be officially named Ron Murray Park.  The park sits inside a city block surrounded by West Walden, North 17th, North 19th, and West Prospect Streets in west La Follette. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/15/2017-6AM)

Campbell County Basketball heads into tournaments

Cougars play next week, the Lady Cougars the week after

   Campbell County basketball fans like me will miss not having a couple of games to follow tonight.  The Cougars don’t swing back into action until Wednesday.  And it’ll be December 27 before the Lady Cougars take the court for a game.

   Click on the following tournaments to see the brackets and where Campbell County is seeded in each.

   Cougars:  Heritage Pre-Christmas Tournament – December 20-22 at Heritage High School

   Lady Cougars:  Maryville Christmas Tournament – December 27-29 at Maryville High School

   Cougars:  “In the Game Innisfree Hotels” Tournament – December 28-30 at Gulf Breeze, Florida

    The WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network will send you coverage from each tournament.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/15/2017-6AM)

 Shop with a Cop brings out the best in everyone

Special night for a 5th grade boy

   Everyone playing a part in last night’s Shop with a Cop event at the Jacksboro Walmart had their reasons.  All those reasons made for a very special and most memorable night for a bunch of Campbell County youngsters.

Mark Wolkotte (R) with his brother, Ethan, were first in line at Thursday night’s Shop with a Cop

   Jacksboro Police Chief Danny Chapman enjoys seeing the legacy of his best friend, late JPD Detective Mike Starrett, carried on through what was Starrett’s passion, Shop with a Cop.  Chapman, along with JPD Sergeant Pam Jarrett, expressed appreciation to all those who made donations to make this 19th Shop with a Cop a reality.  The chief also points to all the police, fire, rescue, EMTs, and others who came out to spend a few hours of their personal time last night to help the little ones shop.

Jacksboro Police Chief Danny Chapman and late Detective Mike Starrett’s widow, Jerri, joined with Santa to start off the evening

   Jacksboro Elementary School fifth grader Mark Wolkotte did the best he could to contain his excitement.  But he couldn’t.  And his lack of containment added to the evening as he and “his cop,” Campbell County Sheriff’s Sergeant Cody Chapman, made their way around the store shopping for the 12-year old.  The brown eyed boy didn’t take long to find what he wanted, a Nerf gun and Poke Man.

CCSD Sergeant Cody Chapman keeps a tally for Mark Wolkotte as he shops

   Starrett’s widow, Jerri, was on hand to help.  She says, “This was his (Mike) time of year.  He loved this better than anything.  I just wanna keep on what he’s been doing.”  With her voice slightly breaking, she added, “Mike would be proud.”

   And in the end, there were 400 reasons this season for the community to come together.  Chapman says that’s a hundred kids (reasons) more than last year. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/15/2017-6AM)


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Cumberland Gap Medical is open in its new location

At Stop Light # 10

   Cumberland Gap Medical officially opens in its new location this morning at 8 am.  The family owned and operated medical facility is now located at the corner of East Central and North Cumberland Avenues.  You can’t miss it.  It’s across from the County Annex building at Stop Light 10.

Cumberland Gap Medical was located in the big Riggs before moving to its new corner offices.

   APRN and owner Amanda Brown, along with members of her staff, was busy getting last minute chores finished up yesterday.  Brown said, with a laugh, that she’d be there all night, if need be, to be ready to open this morning.

   Cumberland Gap Medical was located in the big Riggs before moving to its new corner offices.  Brown points out that there is plenty of parking right next to the building, and that the phone number is still the same; 423.201.9799.  She adds that walk-ins are welcome, and that they are now accepting new patients.

CLICK HERE to see all the services Amanda Brown and her staff provide.

   Office hours at Cumberland Gap Medical are Monday through Friday, 8 am until 4:30 pm.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/14/2017-6AM)

“Booze It or Lose It” in La Follette

LPD joins with the THSO this holiday season

   The La Follette Police Department is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) to increase impaired-driving enforcement through December 31st, surrounding the holiday season. The THSO’s statewide Booze It and Lose It campaign is part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over nationwide mobilization.
   Increased state and national messaging about the dangers of drunk driving, coupled with increased sobriety checkpoints and high visibility enforcement, aim to drastically reduce the number of drunk-driving crashes, injuries, and fatalities this year. 

   La Follette Police Chief Bill Roehl requests that you please drive responsibly this Holiday Season. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/14/2017-6AM)



School board holds brief meeting to conclude end of year business 

Crutchfield joins DOS candidates Fields and Singley

“Silent Night” might well define the monthly meeting of the Campbell County Board of Education on Tuesday night. With both board chairman Clint Bane and former chairman Mike Orick forced to miss the meeting, the board spent as much time meeting behind closed doors in an executive session with attorney Dail Cantrell as they spent concluding routine business in public.

According to Director Larry Nidiffer, the executive session was a briefing by Cantrell about state law involving cannabis oil, which can be either legal, legal by prescription only or totally illegal, depending on the percentage of THC contained in the product.

Nidiffer said that the school system has received some reports of cannabis oil showing up in local schools and discussed with Cantrell legal options for controlling the substance.

During the rest of the meeting, the board approved all reports and executive actions involving school trips and formerly approved the list of questions to direct at the candidates for Director of Schools. That list was finalized at a workshop on Saturday and three applications have been received for the position. Applicants are Joan Crutchfield, Jennifer Fields, and Donna Singley.

Joan Crutchfield joined the field of director of schools candidates this week.

Two items that were to be advertised for bids, the track at Campbell County High School and tennis courts at Jellico High School, were both postponed and removed from the agenda.

The meeting ended with a round of holiday best wishes as the board concluded business for the year, with the exception of interviews and workshops involving the hiring process for a new Director of Schools.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/13/2017-6AM)

CLICK HERE to watch the Christmas Parade from WLAF

Made possible on WLAF by:  Aaron Evans, C & L Furniture, Shepherd's Home Thrift Store, Tom Hatmaker, Litho-Craft, City of La Follette, & Wender Furniture

See Charlie Hutson and Lindsey Hutson photos HERE


Two apply for DOS job

Application window closes next week

With less than two weeks left for applicants to apply for the Campbell County Director of Schools position, only two people have expressed an interest in the job.

Donna Singley, principal at Jellico High School, and Jennifer Fields, principal at Jacksboro Middle School, have had their transcripts forwarded to the search committee, according to Clint Bane, board of education chairman. College transcripts are a part of the packet candidates need to submit in order to be considered for the position.


Jennifer Fields is principal at Jacksboro Middle School

Principal of Jellico High School is Donna Singley

A workshop is scheduled for Saturday at 9 am to begin forming interview questions for the applicants.

The current qualifications for the new director include:

-        Must be a Campbell County resident or property owner

-        An Ed.S is preferred

-        Minimum of five years in school administration

-        Minimum of 10 years classroom experience

In order to apply for the position, applicants must provide five professional references, a list of any bankruptcies, and foreclosures along with a history of any or closed litigation for the past 10 years.

The submission window for the application packets will be open until Friday, Dec. 15.

   The projected start date for the new director of schools is March 2, 2018.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/05/2017-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF SCHOOL WEBSITES)





 Tuesday (08/26/2017) , at lunch, Tony Lindsay presented the old coach, Coach Ron Murray with the 9-ball found under the old pool hall.  Murray said that he always played 9-ball.  The story is further down this page.

Tech tales from the field and the stands

Johnny Majors and Jim Farris share their stories

   Word spread pretty fast as soon as Coach Ron Murray hung up the phone Tuesday morning.  Former Tennessee player and coach Johnny Majors called to say he was headed to La Follette for lunch.

Friends for more than 60-years.  (L) Coach Ron Murray and Coach Johnny Majors.

   The old coaches, Majors, Murray, and Jim Smelcher, took over the big table at the Royal Lunch Room with some friends and fans.  Smelcher, a Lake City native, was a Tennessee teammate of Majors and was the head football coach at Bearden back in the 1960s.

   All the attention was on Majors.  And I couldn’t help but ask.  What was your favorite game in your playing days?  Majors shot back in his snappy, distinct tone, “Georgia Tech.  1956!”  CLICK HERE to hear Majors full account.

   Ironically, the Vols open the 2017 season, some 61-years later, on Monday night at Atlanta against Tech.  There’s a lot on the line for that one but not near as much as in that ’56 match-up.

   The 80+ year old Majors recalled that afternoon on Grant Field as if it were yesterday.  “We would quick kick it on third down some in those days.  We had the ball at our 15-yard line; third and three, and Georgia Tech’s safety went deep thinking I’d punt.  But I didn’t – running for a first down instead.  Then on first down, I did quick kick; first and only time I ever did on first and ten.  That punt sailed 69-yards, and we backed up Tech at its 12-yard line.”

Coach Johnny Majors (L) and Royal Pool Room Owner Tony Lindsay take time out for a David Graham photo.

   Dr. Jim Farris, Jimmy in his high school years, attended that 1956 classic along with his buddy, Jimmy Higdon; both juniors at La Follette High School.  It was their first Vols away game.  Higdon’s father, Carl, owned the Royal Lunch Room back then.  Farris recalls catching up with a couple of his La Follette buddies, Bob Robards and Horace Brown, when they made it to campus in Atlanta.  They were freshmen that fall at Georgia Tech.

   Farris remembers sitting in the south end zone on that November afternoon.  He says he can still see Majors, on the north end of the field, throwing a long pass that was caught by a Volunteer after two Tech defenders collided.

   Majors said, “We won it on a touchdown after Tommy Bronson, our fullback, plunged in from a yard out.  We had one of the worst extra point kicking teams in the nation, and we missed the extra point.”

   Tennessee won that SEC “game of the decade” six to nothing.  The Vols went on to finish the season ranked second in the country, but ranked first for the week after the Tech win.  Majors said that on college football’s 100th anniversary in 1969, Sports Illustrated listed its Top 100 Games of All Time.  That UT-GT game was voted second best ever.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 08/30/2017-6AM[-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF'S DAVID GRAHAM)

It’s not your average 9-ball

‘I’m thinking it’s from the 1930s’ – Tony Lindsay

   Tony Lindsay revived the tradition of the Royal Lunch Room a few months ago.  And along the way, he dug up some history.  Literally.

You can see some of the old billiard balls on top of this cooler inside the Pool Room.

   He tells WLAF that as he and his crew were digging under the old floor to make way for the new floor, they saw something roll.  It was a billiard ball.  “About 15 in all, Lindsay adds.  He says they were all found in the front corner of the building on the alley side.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 08/30/2017-6AM)

 WLAF is business of the year

Tabbed by members of the Chamber of Commerce

In front of a packed room, WLAF was named Campbell County’s Business of the Year last night. The honor, bestowed on the station by the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, was one that took the owners and staff by surprise.

A healthy crowd was on hand Thursday night at the chamber’s annual event

”I was caught off guard when Christie (Elkins) called to tell me we had won,” said Jim Freeman of WLAF. “To say we are humbled is an understatement.”

As Freeman and Bill Waddell, president and co-owner, walked to the front of the room at the Ball Farm Event Center to accept the award, they were given not only a deafening round of applause, but a standing ovation.

It was an overwhelming moment for the entire staff.

   It was quite a night for WLAF.  WLAF’s Bill Waddell proudly accepted the trophy as WLAF was named the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce “Member of the Year.”

“You are our community, you are our friends, “Waddell said as he held the large crystal award.

“It was a total team effort by all those who are a part of the WLAF Team,” Freeman said.

“WLAF is the heartbeat of this community,” Elkins, the chamber’s executive director said. “I tell everyone you get up, have your coffee, spend some time with Lord and then check 1450.” (06/23/2017-7AM-PHOTO COURTESY OF WLAF'S CHARLIE HUTSON - CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS)

   Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual meeting last night

Tucker and Hutson steal the show

   It started from the git-go for WLAF’s Charlie Hutson and WATE’s Lori Tucker.  C-Hut was there with his camera last night as guests were in the food line at the annual Campbell County Chamber of Commerce.  Once Lori spotted him right beside her, the friendly jostling began.  And it carried on through the evening.

Lori Tucker has been the evening news anchor at Channel 6 for 24-years

   The award winning television news anchor was last night’s keynote speaker.  Tucker shared her life’s story in a nutshell with the full house of chamber supporters mixed with a few back and forth humorous jabs between she and Hutson.

A few of the WLAF team members who were in attendance last night are pictured here with WATE’s Lori Tucker.  L-R:  Derrick Lee Anderson, Bill Waddell, Lori Tucker, Jim Freeman, Harold Branam, and Susan Sharp.


Smiles all around.  L-R Cindi Reynolds, Lori Tucker of WATE, and Christie Elkins.  Reynolds is the chambers Director of Tourism and Retirement while Elkins is the executive director of the chamber.

   Always graceful chamber director Christie Elkins served as the evening’s emcee leading praise for all the businesses and individuals who keep the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce strong as it heads into its 33rd year.  There are more than 230 members of the Campbell Chamber.

   Leadership Chair Missy Tackett recognized the 2016-2017 Leadership Class of Leeann Adkins, William Arbo, Kimberly England, Penny Etter, Travis Forsyth, Anthony Hamblin, Wendy Pittman, Olivia Robbins, Larry Tanis, and Chris Whaley.

The chamber presented Lori Tucker with two huge gift baskets.  Among the items is her very own WLAF T-Shirt

   Five members are retiring from their chamber of commerce board of director’s duties.  Chamber Chair Rhonda Longmire thanked Kenny Baird, Karen Cumorich, Debbie Petree, and Debbie Samples.  Longmire rounds out the five stepping away from the board this year.

   Cynthia Russell is the new chamber chairman for 2017-2018.  She welcomed incoming board members John Branam, Kevin Brown, Gary Farwick, Nancy Green, Brent McNeely, Paul Rumberger, and Melinda Wilson, Chair Elect.

   Last night’s event was held at the Ball Farm Event Center.  (06/23/2017-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF'S CHARLIE HUTSON)


   We have a dilly of a Dolly story to share with you this morning.  More photos of Nora Snodderly’s visit with her hero, Dolly Parton, and her story are further down this page.


 All aboard!  Nora Snodderly brought her mom and dad, Raewyn and John, onboard her new best friend’s tour bus.  Dolly Parton just had to meet the girl with the big hair bow.

Mom, daughter and Dolly - a pre-mother’s day memory

Assignment becomes more than a story

By Raewyn Snodderly

Publisher’s note: When Raewyn volunteered to cover the premier of Dolly’s new “Smoky Mountain Adventures” Dinner Show for WLAF, we had no idea the day would turn into a lifelong memory. But it did, and here’s how it all came about.

  As a mother, you always want to see your daughter or son dream, dream of big things, places and have high hopes. My husband, John, introduced our daughter, Nora, to musical legends several years ago. For those of you who know John, you know he is an avid fan of legends such as Johnny Cash, Porter Wagoner, Dolly Parton, and Kenny Rogers. Those are just a few of his country artists, but he of course loves the hard rock and roll as well. One night Nora was introduced to Dolly Parton. From then on a love affair began! She, of course, had already been introduced to Dolly’s Imagination Library. Each month we received a book and it became an exciting time for Nora and Zeke, our son, when the mail came. As her love for books grew, her love for music grew as well. We often watch YouTube videos of Dolly, to the point of having to tell Nora that we must do our chores and finish our homework before we watch YouTube videos. Then came the records, her daddy made a trip to Merideath Antiques and acquired many of Dolly’s records. So every Friday night, we had dinner and would listen to Dolly.

Dolly was eager to hear what Nora had to say.

   When the fires happened in Sevier County, we sat as a family and watched fire rip through the beautiful mountains we love. We told stories about visiting the mountains. John shared stories about his many trips with his grandmother and People’s Bank of the South. I shared stories of family trips with all of my cousins and of course our trips with LaFollette United Methodist Church to Resurrection each year. We shared family stories visiting my mother and step-father’s cabin, which was Nora’s first adventure as a baby. The night of the fires was a somber and heartbreaking night in our household. However, Dolly jumped into action and did what she does best- she helped out and established the “My People Fund.” Nora was in awe. She said, “Mom, she is helping people she does not know.” She made a proclamation that night, “Mom, Dad, I love Dolly, I want to meet her one day and tell her thank you!” John and I looked at each other and snickered and said to her, “You may not meet Dolly but we can admire her through her music, her park and her books.”

  Fast forward a few months later, the weekend coming up was Dolly’s big homecoming weekend. We decided in light of the scheduled events we would make a trip to Dreammore Resort and attend the Dolly Parton homecoming parade. Nora knew of these plans and we had been very open with the fact that she would only see Dolly from a far.

   After numerous conversations with Nora, I overheard her prayer one night and it went something like this: “Dear Lord, I know you know Dolly, I love Dolly and I really want to meet her. Please help me, because I have so much to tell her.”

   All I could think was as a family we bless our food, attend church and pray, but if we do not meet Dolly, what will my daughter think about praying? That’s when our planned events took a real story book turn, and it was Nora’s prayers that were answered!

   For many of you who know me, I take pride in my southern roots. In fact, manners are one of the most important lessons that I took from both of my grandmothers and mother. We learned early on that no matter the situation, always mind your manners. You also may not know this, but Nora had her first hair bow in her hair 20 minutes after she was born. Every southern girl needs a hair bow and the bigger the better. So as a Southerner raising a daughter, I am aware that it is important to mind your manners and wear your hair bow.

   The night prior to the Dollywood parade and the Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures Dinner and Show, we checked into the resort, and saw Dolly’s bus. We asked around and Dolly was in for the night, so we took off and went swimming. After a long night of swimming, Nora and I went to check on Dolly’s bus. Nora began by saying, “Momma, she is in there.” My response was “Yes baby, but we will only get to see her at the dinner show and the parade.” She then reminded me that she had prayed about meeting Dolly, and the best was she “had Dolly in her heart!” At that moment in time, an angel appeared in the form of a gentleman asking “Do you like Dolly?” After a conversation, we learned he worked on Dolly’s staff. We introduced ourselves and let him know we would be at the show. The man was a jewel as he talked to Nora about the bus, Dolly’s love for her people and the love for kids. Nora, of course, naturally talked his ear off (she gets that from her daddy).

   The next morning was the big day; it was our chance to see Dolly Parton, but Nora was convinced saying, “We will meet her, Mom!” She had faith that her prayers would be answered. As we headed out for a fun filled day our first stop  was “Dolly Parton’s new “Smoky Mountain Adventures Dinner” show. We arrived for the premier at 8:45 am, only to find out that we were an hour early. Nora was a trooper, as we waited, and then it happened- Dolly’s bus pulled into the parking lot. As we stood there anxiously awaiting Dolly’s appearance, her team went in and out, in and out. You know that angel I mentioned? He came out of the bus. He came over to his new friend and said “Good morning Nora with the big pink hair bow. Are you ready to see the show?” Nora was extremely excited!

   We continued to stand there waiting on Dolly’s arrival and then there she was, as beautiful as ever, full of spunk and happy to greet her fans.  Next thing I know, I hear Nora anxiously shout “Dolly, we love you!” Dolly stopped and said “I love you, and I see you with the big pink bow!”

   We were on cloud nine! Nora’s dreams came true and her prayers had been answered. Or so we thought. After Dolly moved inside, we went in and found our seats. We were watched the show with the media and guests of Dolly. It was then announced that so much money was raised for the “My People Fund” the endeavor would continue. As Dolly spoke she talked of why this show was so near and dear to hear heart. It was about her momma and daddy and her family traditions growing up in Locus Ridge. The root of the show was “food, faith and family.”

  After the show, Nora’s life changed forever. We exited the show and noticed that Dolly had re-entered her bus. It was John’s idea to hang around for a moment. As we stood there and watched her staff go in and out, here came Nora’s buddy. He approached Nora and said, “Hey Nora with the big pink bow, do you want to meet a good friend?”  And with those words, Nora, John and I were headed onto Dolly’s tour bus. John and I were speechless, truthfully John stuttered, and I was in shock. Nora was extremely excited. She made herself at home and climbed right into Dolly’s lap. They discussed school, music and her love for books. Nora told Dolly that she prayed really hard to meet her, and she knew in her heart that she would meet Dolly one day. She then did something that, as a mother, I will always be proud of. She thanked Dolly for the Imagination Library books and explained that for many in rural Appalachia (yes, those words were used by a 6-year old) that was all they had. Dolly encouraged Nora to still read, wear those big bows, and to continue to pray. As we stood for pictures and she posed, John and I stood speechless, proud that our daughter recognized that Dolly is a good steward of her time and fortune. We were proud that Nora thanked her profusely for the books mailed to every child in the state. We were proud that she learned to love and respect someone so much that has such a big heart for her community. We were most proud, that as parents, she had faith that she would meet Dolly. We doubted, but, she had faith.

It was a day Nora “and” Dolly will not soon forget.

   As we approach this Mother’s Day weekend, remember that although our kids look up to us as parents, we as parents often learn from our children. So, as we wrapped up a fun weekend with our children we were still asking each other, “Did that really happen?” At the end of the weekend as we were having dinner and celebrating such a great day, Zeke had a huge announcement.

   He stood proud and tall at the table and said “Mom, Dad, YaYa, B, I met someone famous….I met Johnny Cash!” (05/12/2017-6AM)





     Several outstanding corporate partners make the WLAF Election Returns possible.  They are Terry’s Pharmacy, Community Trust Bank, East Side Pizza, Litho-Craft Printing & Office Supplies, United Cumberland Bank, Byrge Screen Printing, Bowman Jewelers, Attorney Greg Leach,  David Bales Buick-GMC, Main Street Shell, First National Bank, State Farm Agent Lynn Ray, El Pueblito Mexican Grill, Beacon Finance, Gamble Motors, State Representative Dennis Powers, Wender Furniture, Peoples Bank of the South, and Gary Gray Insurance.                                          

Warriors celebrate winning season and Coach King

Christian Academy hosts annual basketball banquet

By Susan Sharp

There was an air of festivity last Thursday night as the Christian Academy of Campbell County Warriors celebrated a winning season. There was recognition for a hard fought season that ended with a county championship. There were comments about how each player had developed in distinct ways over the season but, among all of the glory and accolades there was also something- someone missing. Coach Vic King had led the Warriors to a county championship in 2013. This served to steel his determination for a repeat in the 2014 season. “When Coach King first asked me to help him coach this team, he said we were winning the county championship this year,” said Dusty Paul, the one-time assistant and now head coach for the Warriors. “I told him okay. I was just honored to be sitting with him on the bench.” Paul played for King in middle school.

And while the young team would oblige with a repeat they did it in memory of King instead of with him. The longtime basketball coach was in his second year coaching the Warriors when health problems arose. He fought hard but just before Thanksgiving King died. It was a blow the team struggled with.

Yet, with the help of Paul and a desire to make King proud, the Warriors pulled off a victory in the final game of the county tournament beating Wynn Elementary School. Adding to the triumph, several of the players walked away with tournament honors.

Thursday night allowed the boys to enjoy their win while paying tribute to the coach who believed in them when they didn’t believe in themselves. Trophies and tributes were showered on the team who suffered a loss that most adults would struggle with. “I lost my coach my junior year,” said Starla Berry, Lady Warriors head coach. “I know how hard that can be to come back from. But these young men did it and pulled off a great season.”

“Coach King was a legend around here and we were lucky to have him,” said Ollie Medley, CACC administrator. As she addressed the players who had gathered in the gym for Thursday’s banquet, Medley held in her hand a stack of notes the Warriors had written for the King family. Each one detailed what King had meant to his team. Medley said the notes would be delivered to King’s wife, Shelly, and daughter, Katie Cave. Along with this the women will each be given a basketball signed by all of the players.

Medley also unveiled a plaque memorializing King that will hang in the CACC gym. Kevin Corner, who played on King’s first team in 1977 was on hand to represent King’s family. “I can see why he loved this place,” Corner said surveying the audience. “He was all about class and this school obviously has that. He loved you boys.” Sharing memories of when he played for King, Corner said “Our team was the alpha and you boys, you are the omega. You are the end of an era.”  (04/20/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Coach King’s Corner

     Coach Vic King left us in November 2014.  In honor and memory of him, we’ve created a “Coach King’s Corner.”  Click Coach’s picture to access Coach King’s Corner.  (03/23/2015)


This picture of Coach was snapped by Charlie Hutson on Friday, May 17, 2013, in front of the former Regions Bank (where La Follette Junior High/High School once stood).  It was where the 60th anniversary of WLAF was celebrated.   





Precinct-by-precinct.  District-by-district.  WLAF has all the final numbers.

     You asked.  WLAF delivered.  WLAF's Coach Vic King has taken all 184 pages of the election numbers and posted them right here.  Just CLICK.  (08/12/2014 - 8:00 PM)







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