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

SMITH HARDWARE now has Bonnie Plants & Mayo Garden Seed

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: 

BYRGE SCREEN PRINTING - Downtown La Follette

Shop local.  It helps all of us.    


   L-R Debra Nelson, Codi Provins, and Traci Dower, the Ayers girls, proudly surround their father, Hack Ayers, last night at the annual Boy Scouts of America Campbell County Good Scout Award Dinner.  More photos from WLAF’s Charlie Hutson are further down this page.

Snip goes the ribbon

Chamber of Commerce welcomes newest member

   Balanced Life Fitness in the Woodson Mall officially joined the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce this morning.  In a 10-am ceremony, owner Pattie Thrasher welcomed a good sixed crowd and snipped the ribbon.

   Thrasher (with scissors in hand in above photo) has grown her business to the new, larger location after starting in a smaller building.  Balanced Life Fitness offers personal training, weight-loss coaching, yoga as well as food prep classes on healthy eating.

   On the back side of the mall, on the Jacksboro end, is the new location for Balanced Life Fitness.  For more details, stop by or call Thrasher at 865.617.1440.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/16/2018-11AM)

LPD Special Response Team strikes again

Two people arrested in predawn raid

   The La Follette Police Department 's Special Response Team executed its second search warrant within a 24-hour period today.  This morning, just before 7 am, at an east La Follette home occupied by Christopher Fontana, officers arrested Fontana and one more person at the same address; 708 East Beech Street in La Follette.  Police tell WLAF that the investigation is ongoing but involves selling prescription medication including Suboxone and marijuana. Drugs, personal property, firearms and a vehicle were seized from the Beech Street home and the two persons who were arrested inside the home.  Fontana ‘s charges include possession of a schedule III, felony possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a prohibited weapon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, all within a thousand feet of a school zone and next to a church.  Also arrested was Carolyn Cornett who had a capias bench warrant.  

   Almost 24-hours to the minute, the Special Response Team and members of the Drug Task Force arrested one person on South 8th Street in La Follette on Thursday morning.  Details on that arrest are further down this page. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/16/2018-11AM)


La Follette Police execute another search warrant

This morning’s wake-up call comes early

   The La Follette Police Department's Special Response Team made another wake-up call this morning around 6:30 am.  LPD Officers and K-9 Officers converged on a home at 708 East Beech Street; right next to a church. 


   Suspected drug activity prompted action by the LPD.  More details are coming later today from WLAF.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/16/2018-7:30AM)

It’s baaaaaack open

Master Donuts is open this morning




Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting today

   Balanced Life Fitness is located in Woodson’s Mall, on the Jacksboro wing behind Department of Children’s Services. You’re encouraged to attend today’s 10 am ribbon cutting and to check out their newly renovated gym space and find out more about personal trailer services, yoga classes, gym memberships and more.

   Kings Academy won 11 to 1 over the Cougars in baseball on Thursday.

   Inclement weather continues to push out the reopening date for Seargeant Park.  It could possibly open as early as the first week of April.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/16/2018-6AM)

Commission looking at steps to clean up county roadsides

The Campbell County Commission Environmental Committee will meet on Monday, March 26 at 6:00 p.m. at the courthouse to discuss ways to get the growing problem of roadside litter under control.

Heidi Marlow addressed the commissioners at their workshop on Wednesday, telling them, “The roadside along Demory Road is a disgrace,” referring to the amount of litter she observes when driving county roads.

 Several commissioners agreed, with Mayor E. L. Morton explaining that one of the two litter control officers had to be let go, leaving only Glennis Monday to supervise prisoner clean-up details and enforce anti-litter laws.

“Glennis simply can’t cover the whole county by himself,” Morton pointed out, “It’s simply not working out.”

Rusty Orick said that he had received complaints about litter from six people in the past two weeks, while others pointed out that the recent rash of rainy weather had washed much litter into ditches and roadsides than normal. Nevertheless. All agreed that litter is a growing problem. Mrs. Marlow told the commission that she had a number of suggestions to get people in the county involved. Ralph Davis then announced that he would call a meeting of the Environmental Committee to hear from citizens, including Marlow, and discuss ways to get the problem under control.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/16/2018-6AM)


Haines arrested for possession

 Reginald D. Haines was taking his house for a spin and wound up in jail on March 6.

Haines, was driving his white motor home on S. Main Street in Jellico when Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy John Minor noticed his alleged erratic driving.

 When Minor approached Haines, he noticed he was nervous and appeared very worried about being pulled over. Minor asked Haines if he was under the influence of any type of substance.  Haines said he wasn’t and to bolster his denial agreed to take a sobriety test and he agreed, the arrest warrant said.

 After a series of field sobriety test that Haines performed poorly on, he was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence. A subsequent search of the motor home allegedly revealed syringes under the driver’s seat.

 Haines offered a search of the vehicle; when a K-9 came to the scene, it indicated to the presence of illegal substances in the vehicle, the report said. Inside the motor home was allegedly multiple syringes as well as one blue pill believed to be morphine, a white pill believed to be oxycodone as well as a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana and 12 glass pipes consistent with marijuana use. A syringe with an unknown substance believed to be opana was found, and Haines allegedly said he had used the syringe to inject an opana, the report said.

    Haines, 48, 922 Weld Road, Wilton, Maine, was arrested and is charged with failure to maintain lane, driving under influence (DUI), possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of schedule VI-controlled substance and three counts possession of schedule II-controlled substance. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/16/2018-6AM)

Speeding stop exposes alleged drug use

 Christin Kyle Braden’s hurry to get home landed him in the jailhouse.

Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Nathaniel Bostic was on Highway 116 in Caryille on Saturday, March 10, when he used radar to clock a vehicle that was traveling 52-mph in a 45-mph zone. When Bostic stopped the vehicle and contacted Braden, he quickly noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.

Braden allegedly said he smokes when he gets off work. A search of Braden allegedly revealed rolling papers in Braden’s right front pocket, according to a report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department. When the vehicle was searched, Bostic found a small white container with two clear baggies with a crystal-like substance inside that appeared to be schedule II methamphetamine. Two clear baggies with a green leafy substance that appeared to be marijuana was found along with a clear glass smoking pipe in the glove box of the vehicle, another smoking pipe was found in the trunk of the car inside a Dewalt container.

   Braden, 20, 241 Duncan Road, Briceville was arrested and charged with speeding, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession schedule VI-controlled substance and possession of schedule II-controlled substance. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/16/2018-6AM)

Disturbance call ends in arrest

    A seemingly disorientated woman was arrested on Sunday, March 11 after causing a scene on Stiner Lane.

Marie Cynthia Uden was in the backyard of home on Stiner Lane in LaFollette talking to herself and throwing her arms around when Sheriff’s Deputy Tosha Tackett arrived. Uden allegedly told the officer she was looking for her missing cat.

Tackett’s request for identification led to Uden becoming irate, denying any wrongdoing.

A second request for identification resulted in Uden allegedly saying, “I have ID, but you aren’t getting it, I’ve done nothing wrong.” As the officer attempted to detain her for safety purposes, Uden jerked away from and ran to her vehicle, according to a report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department. Tackett attempted to grab the door of the vehicle but Uden shoved Tackett back out of the way and slammed the door shut and locked it. Another officer attempted to speak with Uden, but she continued screaming through the window of the vehicle, the report said.

Uden finally gave the officer her identification through the window of the vehicle. As police were attempting to check her driver’s license, Uden allegedly got out of the vehicle and started screaming at people exiting a church. This resulted in Uden’s arrest.

  Uden, 62, 9324 North Wood Park Way, Minneapolis, Minnesota, was arrested and is charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and assault on a police officer.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/16/2018-6AM)

Here are today’s tourney match-ups

WLAF & Big Creek Market’s March Madness Fun Run

   See if your team plays today in the opening round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament

12:15 pm - Peggy Watson – Providence Friars vs. Darren Storey – Texas A & M Aggies

12:40 pm - Chesni Orick - Cal State Fullerton Titans vs. David Chapman – Purdue Boilermakers

1:30 pm - Charles Huddleston – Wichita State Shockers vs. Briana Tiller – Marshall Thundering Herd

2:00 pm - Mark Chapman – Georgia State Panthers vs. Randy McGlone – Cincinnati Bearcats

2:45 pm - Jean Evans – North Carolina Tar Heels vs. James Parsons – Lipscomb Bisons

3:10 pm - Jimmy Wilson – Butler Bulldogs vs. Mark Honaker – Arkansas Razorbacks

4:00 pm - Billy Shears – Murray State Racers vs. Marie Carroll – West Virginia Mountaineers

4:30 pm - Ben Franklin – Nevada Wolf Pack vs. Laura Chadwell – Texas Longhorns

6:50 pm - Brenda Cantrell – Creighton Blue Jays vs. Kansas State Wildcats – Michael W. Heatherly

7:10 pm - Anna Paul – Michigan State Spartans vs. Ricky Freeman – Bucknell Bison

7: 20 pm - Barry Byrd – Xavier Musketeers vs. Barbara Ward – Texas Southern Tigers

7:27 pm - Teresa Carroll – Charleston Cougars vs. Missy Irwin – Auburn Tigers

9:20 pm - Leon “Swish” Caldwell – Virginia Cavaiers vs. Blake Ivey – UMBC Retrievers

9:40 pm - Greg Weaver – TCU Horned Frogs vs. Brenda Wilson – Syracuse Orangemen

9:50 pm - Trenna Pierce – Missouri Tigers vs. Bill Berry – Florida State Seminoles

9:57 pm - Sandra Whited – New Mexico State Aggies vs. Evan Cordell – Clemson Tigers

Since 1967

Thursday’s Opening Round Winners and Saturday Match-Ups

Rhode Island (John Perkins) vs. Duke (Steve Carroll)

Gonzaga (Vickie Marlow) vs. Ohio State (Tim Phillips)

Kansas (Janice Birchfield) vs. Seton Hall (Jerry Cantrell)

Loyola (Sharon Storey) vs. Tennessee (Clyde Brantley)

Villanova (Kemper Coker) vs. Alabama (Tina Cantrell)

Kentucky (Jennifer Robbins) vs. Buffalo (Linda Berry)

Texas Tech (Deb Woodson) vs. Florida (Josephine Comer)

Michigan (Gary Carroll) vs. Houston (Bill Lambert)

   Prizes from Big Creek Market will be awarded to those who have a team make it to the Sweet 16 and Final Four and then the National Champion.  In celebration of WLAF’s 65th year on the air in 2018, one of the prizes going to the person who has the National Champion is $65 in cash.  Good luck, and let’s have some fun.   (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/16/2018-6AM)

Ayers is 11th Good Scout Honoree

CLICK HERE to see all of Charlie Hutson’s photos

   The 2018 honoree at the Boy Scouts of America Campbell County Good Scout Award Dinner is long time Campbell County resident Sterling Haskel (Hack) Ayers. Hack Ayers describes himself as a country auctioneer from Stinking Creek, Tennessee. The 11th annual ceremony and dinner took place last night at the Ball Farm Event Center.  The money raised at the event supports Campbell County scouting in 2018. This yearly dinner has evolved into Campbell County's premier recognition banquet.
   Ayers is a life-long resident of Campbell County and a 1954 graduate of Jacksboro High School in 1954, where he was class president and captain of the football team. For more than 60-years, Hack has been the owner and operator of Ayers Real Estate and Auction. A life-long realtor and auctioneer, Hack has served as president of the Tennessee Auctioneers Association and is a member of its Hall of Fame. He is also past president and member of the National Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame. Hack has served the state and community in various capacities.

John T. “Jack” Reynolds (L), Chairman of the Board of Peoples Bank of the South, and his dear friend, honoree, Sterling Haskel “Hack” Ayers

   Politically, he was the Campbell County Clerk for four years and served as Campbell County’s Tennessee State Representative from 1966 to 1970. He has also served on the board of the Museum of Appalachia and on the board of four community banks. He is an active member of the La Follette Church of God and is also a charter member of the South Campbell County Rotary Club. In 2015, he published his autobiography, Hills, Deals, and Stills.

   Hack and his wife, Tomi, have been married 62 years and have three children, seven grandchildren, and six (soon to be seven) great grandchildren.
   Ayers' three daughters, Debra Nelson, Traci Dower, and Codi Provins, shared the speaker duties. Hack's great nephew and Eagle Scout, Noah Smith, served as the master of ceremonies. Nineteen
Campbell County citizens served as table hosts.
   Peoples Bank of the South proudly underwrote the dinner's expense for the eleventh year. The bank understands the hugely important impact scouting has on the boys and girls of
Campbell County.
   The previous award recipients are Mr. Edward Balloff, Mrs. Juanita Baird, Colonel Tommy C. Stiner, the five Baird brothers, General Carl W. Stiner, the Campbell County Honor Guard, Mr. Lansden E. Hill, the
Campbell County High School football team coaching staff, Mr. Mike Malicote, and Mr. John T. Reynolds.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/16/2018-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF’S CHARLIE HUTSON)


Browning’s in the running

Versatile coach applies for CCHS opening

   Ryan Browning’s fresh off coaching the girls basketball team at Jacksboro Middle School.   He stepped down last month.  That was preceded by two stints as Campbell Head Baseball Coach as well as a successful run as coach of the Lady Cougars basketball team.

   Browning, who teaches at CCHS, officially applied today for the Cougars head coaching vacancy.  He’s also married to Campbell County Lady Cougar legend Dr. Jill Cox-Browning.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/15/2018-1PM)


               Oxys and Opana part of LPD drug bust

Predawn raid on South 8th Street

   The La Follette Police Department 's Special Response Team assisted by the 8th Drug Task force executed a search warrant around 6:30 am this morning in east La Follettte.  It was at a home occupied by Barbara Gross at 823 South 8th Street in La Follette.  The investigation is ongoing and involves prescription medication including Opana and Oxycodone.

   Drugs, personal property and a vehicle were seized from that address.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/15/2018-8:30AM)




Commission receives some good financial news on future budgets

The Campbell County Commission held their re-scheduled workshop Wednesday evening and discussed at great length a number of issues. Ironically, two items that probably will have the greatest impact on future budgets and tax rates received only brief notice.

One was a brief comment from Mayor Morton that included in the meeting packet was a notice of a settlement in the county’s favor of a lawsuit by the Coal Creek Company.

Morton was referring to a notice of non-suit by the landholding company formerly known as the Coal Creek Mining & Manufacturing Company. The Coal Creek Company owns over 100,000 acres of mountain land in Campbell, Anderson and Morgan counties.

A few years ago, Coal Creek appealed its tax assessment to the State Board of Tax Equalization, arguing that their assessments were much too high and should be lowered, costing the counties involved tens of thousands of dollars in tax revenue each year.

Coal Creek argued that because much of the value of their land is represented by the coal reserves that lay underneath the surface, those reserves are now nearly worthless since no mining activity is currently occurring on the land.

The state board ruled that a significant part of the land’s value is still represented by the coal reserves, whether they are currently being mined or not. Coal Creek appealed that decision to court, suing the three counties involved to lower their taxes. The land company has now abandoned that appeal through a voluntary non-suit.

Since a victory in court by the land company could have been retroactive to the time of the initial appeal, Campbell County stood to not only lose future tax revenue but also be required to rebate overpaid taxes.

Another item brought to the commission’s attention was a request from Finance Director Jeff Marlow during the Budget & Finance Committee portion of the meeting. Marlow asked the committee to approve a re-issuance of bonds on a portion of the county’s debt at a lower interest rate.

 The refinancing of that debt will save Campbell County roughly $700,000 in future interest, Marlow pointed out. The commission wasted little time discussing the matter but immediately voted 13-1 to approve the refinancing.

The single “no” vote came from Cliff Jennings, who asked Marlow which bonding company is being used to re-issue the bonds. Marlow replied “Cumberland Securities.” Jennings later explained that his negative vote wasn’t against re-financing the debt but that he had objections to using that particular firm.

“We had some bad experiences with them when I was Mayor of LaFollette,’ Jennings explained.

During the budget meeting, the commission also held a lengthy discussion on a suggestion by Mayor Morton to reimburse Jeff Herrell some $7,000 for the cost of repairing a truck that had been used by the Sanitation Department when the motor seized up.

The truck was being used “on approval” pending a purchase, but no purchase order had been submitted or approved and the county returned the truck to its owner without buying it. Morton asked the commission to “support local business” by reimbursing Herrell for the cost of repairing the truck and called for a motion. The request was met by stony silence and died for lack of a motion.

During the workshop, commissioners were also introduced to their new part-time administrative assistant, Amanda Grodeman. She will take over handling commissioners’ communications and preparing agenda packets after Peggy Henegar retires in April.

Mayor Morton had earlier suggested transferring those duties to his office personnel, but commissioners voted to continue having their own office and part-time assistant. Grodeman begins work immediately in order to learn the job from Henegar over the next few weeks. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/15/2018-6AM)

Nidiffer honored by school board as new Director attends first meeting

WATCH the meeting in its entirety here

Former Director of Schools Larry Nidiffer was honored Tuesday night by a surprise proclamation and plaque from the school board, praising his many years of service to Campbell County schools.

Nidiffer began his career as a 4th grade teacher in 1973, eventually serving as a principal at two different schools before taking the reins as Director of Schools. Nidiffer continues to serve as a consultant to new Director Jennifer Fields until his upcoming retirement in June.

The school board also honored Cassie Kohlmeyer for being named as one of 21 students across the state to the Governor’s Prospective Teachers Panel. Kohlmeyer is a student in the Middle College Program, receiving college credits from Roane State Community College while working toward her high school diploma. She will finish her college education at Tennessee Tech University beginning this fall.

Ironically, another parent, April Bryant, addressed the board about problems involving the Middle College Program at CCHS, complaining that although her child was number one in GPA in her graduating class, Middle College students were not ranked by the school in their transcripts, causing problems with college applications.

Bryant protested what she termed as “unfair” the process that omits Middle College students from being included in the class rankings while other students receive class academic honors, and urged the board to “do away with the top ten system entirely.”

Board Chairman Clint Bane responded that he and the board applaud the students enrolled in the Middle College Program, but failed to discuss any solutions to Bryant’s complaint at the meeting.

New Director Jennifer Fields, in her first monthly report to the board, welcomed Victoria Lawson, who has been appointed by Fields as the new Federal Programs Coordinator at the Central Office.

Board attorney Dail Cantrell spent a good portion of the meeting explaining how school systems across the state may be impacted in upcoming school years by recent court cases involving how students with disabilities are handled. Cantrell told the board that changes in special education programs are likely to be the result of new case law as a result of the judicial rulings.

The board also unanimously approved a motion by Johnny Byrge to approve the Michael Brady Architectural Firm to draw up specifications to bid out construction of the new track at Campbell County High School. Byrge set a limit of $750 on spending for the specifications process.

Byrge also questioned reports that some SROs were being utilized as traffic cops at the beginning and end of school days. Byrge questioned whether school safety is being compromised during those periods and also expressed concerns he has received about SRO presence at school playgrounds, asking also if all school have installed metal detectors.

Attorney Cantrell, who is a member of the Anderson County School Board, pointed out that Anderson County still does not have safety officers at every school.

    “You’re ahead of us on school safety,” Cantrell told the board.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/15/2018-6AM)

Union spoils Cougars season opener

CCHS plays again today

   The Campbell County Cougar Baseball team fell in its home and season opener on Wednesday afternoon.  Union County outscored Campbell 9 to 4 yesterday at Brown-Archer Field.

Campbell Senior Noah Smith snapped this photo of fellow senior Zach Rutherford at last night’s game

   The Cougars play at Kings Academy today at 5:30 pm. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/15/2018-6AM)

Lady Cougars win over OR long time in the making

CLICK HERE to watch the CCHS victory

   From the best anyone can tell, Campbell County had not beaten Oak Ridge in 18-years.  That was until the Lady Cougar Softball team overcame the cold weather and the Wildcats on Tuesday evening at Chapman Field.

   Coach Rebecca Mongar modestly calls it, “A big win for us adding that we have been close with them in games but just haven't finished with the win.”  Campbell won 16 to 6 to open the season as well as the district schedule.  The former Lady Cougar, now head coach, says, “The girls really stepped up at the plate. We got up early and kept that momentum going.”

   Several Lady Cougars contributed big at the plate.  “Madison Wise had an awesome night in the outfield and Brenna Rutherford pitched a great game,” said Mongar.

   The coach goes on to say, “The team came together and got the job done.  I'm extremely proud of our team and the effort they put in Tuesday night.”

   Campbell hosts Cumberland Gap this afternoon at 5:30 pm on Chapman Field. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/15/2018-6AM)

Cougar Soccer starts season with a win

Big weekend is ahead

   “I saw some good things” is how Campbell Head Soccer Coach Daniel Lasley quickly sums up his team’s season opening win on Tuesday night.  The Cougars were pretty much in control from the start as they defeated a short-handed Oliver Springs team 8 to 4.

   Campbell County graduated a dozen players off last year’s team, and this year’s team has a lot of youth with 11 Freshmen.  There are six seniors on the 2018 version of the Cougars.

   Lasley says he is looking forward to get Riley Wallace and Cort Burry back into action.  Wallace has been cleared from injury to play while Burry awaits academic clearance after transferring to home schooling.  

   A big weekend awaits the Cougars.  CCHS takes part in the Smoky Mountain Cup on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Rocky Top Sports World at Gatlinburg.  They’ll play a game a day. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/15/2018-6AM)


Here are today’s tourney match-ups

WLAF & Big Creek Market’s March Madness Fun Run

   See if your team plays today in the opening round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament

12:15 pm - Oklahoma (Sandra Daugherty) vs. Rhode Island (John Perkins)

12:40 pm Wright State (Tony Fraley) vs. Tennessee (Clyde Brantley)

1:30 pm - NC Greensboro (Maxine Weaver) vs. Gonzaga (Vickie Marlow)

2:00 pm - Penn (Donna Hakala) vs. Kansas (Janice Birchfield)

2:45 pm - Iona (Bo Thompson) vs. Duke (Steve Carroll)

3:10 pm - Loyola (Sharon Storey)  vs. Miami (Jared Cantrell)

4:00 pm - South Dakota State (Edwin Chapman) vs. Ohio State (Tim Phillips)

4:30 pm - North Carolina State (Ben Byrd) vs. Seton Hall (Jerry Cantrell)

6:50 pm - Radford (Becky Heatherly) vs. Villanova (Kemper Coker)

7:10 pm - Davidson (Charles Copeland) vs. Kentucky (Jennifer Robbins)

7:20 pm - San Diego State (Lee Reynolds) vs. Houston (Bill Lambert)

7:27 pm - Stephen F. Austin (Jimbo Burton) vs. Texas Tech (Deb Woodson)

9:20 pm - Alabama (Tina Cantrell) vs. Virginia Tech (Kenneth Cordell)

9:40 pm - Buffalo (Linda Berry) vs. Arizona (Justin Wilson)

9:50 pm - Montana (Darlene Irwin) vs. Michigan (Gary Carroll)

9:57 pm - St. Bonaventure (Jerry Chadwell) vs. Florida (Josephine Comer)

   Prizes from Big Creek Market will be awarded to those who have a team make it to the Sweet 16 and Final Four and then the National Champion.  In celebration of WLAF’s 65th year on the air in 2018, one of the prizes going to the person who has the National Champion is $65 in cash.  Good luck, and let’s have some fun.   (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/15/2018-6AM)

First PM La Follette showtime is tomorrow night

“Where I Belong” opens Friday at 7 pm   

   Do you have your tickets for Postmark La Follette's newest production, "Where I Belong"? Performance dates are March 16-18th and March 23-25th, with 7pm show times on Friday and Saturday dates and 2pm show times on Sunday dates. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at Community Trust Bank and United Cumberland Bank. Postmark La Follette is located at 119 South Tennessee Avenue in La Follette. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/15/2018-6AM)


Tennessee County Commission Association meets

Orick serves on TCCA Board

   The Tennessee County Commission Association met on Monday at Nashville as part of the annual TCSA-COAT Tennessee County Services Association (TCSA) and County Officials Association of Tennessee (COAT) County Government Day conference March 12-13, 2018.

Campbell County Commissioner Rusty Orick delivers the Finance Committee report on Monday at the TCCA meeting.  He’s the TCCA Treasurer.

   Four Campbell County Commissioners, Johnny Bruce, Robert Higginbotham, DeWayne Kitts, and Orick, attended along with Mayor E.L. Morton.  Campbell County had more representation that Knox County did.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/14/2018-6AM-PHOTO COURTESY OF DEWAYNE KITTS)

CCHS wins on Opening Day

Soccer and Softball claim victories

   A cold wind and chilly temperatures didn’t hamper the Campbell County Cougar Soccer and Campbell County Lady Cougar Softball teams from winning on Tuesday. 

   The Lady Cougars dispatched Oak Ridge 16 to 6 to open the home and season schedule yesterday.  Temperatures will be a tad warmer when CCHS plays its next game; Thursday against Cumberland Gap at Chapman Field.  It’s a 5:30 pm start.

Brenna Rutherford (above) warms up with her catcher, Taylor Shanks, ahead of Tuesday’s season opener.

   Cougar Soccer won big at home yesterday in an 8-4 victory over Oliver Springs.  CCHS takes part in the Smoky Mountain Cup this weekend; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Rocky Top Sports World at Gatlinburg.

   Campbell Baseball was forced to postpone its first two scheduled games of the season this week.  The Cougars play Union County today at 5:30 pm at Brown-Archer Field.   (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/14/2018-6AM)


Leadership Campbell County accepting applications

For the Class of 2018-2019

   On behalf of Leadership Committee of Leadership Campbell County, the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for the 2018-19 Leadership Campbell County class! Email to request an application or pick one up at the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, 1016 Main Street, Jacksboro. Applications are being accepted from through March 31st, 2018, for the 2018-19 class. Leadership Campbell County is a nine-month leadership development program that identifies people of promise and familiarizes them with community issues and services. The program is designed to develop their leadership skills to prepare them for prominent business, cultural, and political roles.
Leadership Campbell County is informative, challenging, and motivational. It provides comprehensive training through interaction with the community’s top leadership, experimental learning, opportunities, and community service projects.
   Tuition of $500 assists with the cost of each training and the overnight trip to
Nashville at the end of the program. Participants must be available one day per month during business hours for the nine month program. Tuition may be paid by individuals or corporate sponsors. Tuition is nonrefundable and nontransferable. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/14/2018-6AM)

Yager receives RHA’s Legislator of the Year Award

Supports rural community healthcare

State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) has been recognized by the Rural Health Association of Tennessee for his outstanding support in providing healthcare services to children and adults in the state’s rural communities.  Yager received the group’s “2017 Legislator of the Year” award principally for his sponsorship of legislation that works to support rural communities and make Tennessee a better place to live.

“I am honored to receive this award,” said Senator Yager.  “It is very important that patients have access to treatment in rural communities of our state.  I look forward to continuing to work with the Rural Health Association to bring quality healthcare and economic development to Tennesseans in rural areas.”

In 2017, Senator Yager passed The Ground Ambulance Service Provider Assessment Act which greatly benefits rural ambulance services by bringing $19.7 million in federal funds for ambulance services through the state’s TennCare Program.

“This legislation sets a mechanism in place for cash-strapped Tennessee ambulance services to generate needed revenue through additional funds on TennCare transports,” said Yager.

Other pieces of legislation that he has influenced include the Rural Economic Opportunity Act to spur economic development of the state’s economically distressed counties, the Prescription Safety Act to revise regulation of controlled substances; legislation that impacts child abuse and the phase out of the Tennessee Hall Income Tax.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/14/2018-6AM)


Mr. & Miss CCHS.  Molly Ayers and Noah Smith.

Caryville moves forward with recreation plans


The Town of Caryville has completed its first step in a 10-year recreation plan.

 In a public meeting prior to last night’s regular monthly meeting. Patrick Pebley, alderman held a public meeting about the plans as required by the grant process. The purpose of the plan is to make improvements to the Caryville recreational facility and programs, making them accessible to all people. Phase One will be to build sidewalks make the concession stand and restrooms at Asbury Park ADA compliant. The projected cost of phase one is $143,500, which will be covered at a 50-50 match if the grant is awarded to the town. By making the park ADA compliant, it will open the town for other grant possibilities that could assist with the next two phases of the 10 year plan. Another requirement of the grant is for the town to have a recreation board. The Caryville Board of Mayor and Aldermen agreed to move forward with creating a board that will consist of three to five members.

With the upcoming baseball season, a reminder was given that the lights will be staying on longer at Asbury Park for games and practices. Alderman Beth Lawson discussed that some of the lights at Asbury Park need to be replaced, the board agreed to have Copeland Electric complete the work.

Mayor Bobby Stooksbury commended town employees, Trecia Kindred, Laura Ridenour and Eddie Hatmaker for identifying revenue that was going to the county incorrectly. The state was contacted and the revenue totaling approximately $60,000 per year will now be directed to the Town of Caryville.

In last month’s meeting, the possibility of a crosswalk was discussed for Pilot from their old location to the new location. Stooksbury said tonight that Pilot is willing to pay for the cost of the crosswalk and maintain it as well. Before they can move forward Pilot will need to go before the planning commission to discuss their plan.

The second reading of an ordinance on dwelling units, daycares, detached garages/carports and zoning ordinances was completed. A workshop will be held on March 26 at 6 pm to discuss upgrades for city hall. No grants are available for the project, but a loan for two percent interest has been located that can be used for anything that will reduce utility costs such as new doors and windows. The workshop will help the mayor and the aldermen to complete a list of what projects need to be completed and the priority of the projects. Lawson requested the board look at security cameras for the building inside and outside, the board will get three quotes on the cameras. Jerry Foust was awarded the contract for hay cutting at the 141 Industrial Park.

In final business of the night, the board discussed purchasing cellphones for the codes enforcement officer and the building codes officer. Aldermen Eric Smith and Eric Jones told the board they would like to have a monthly report of what each officer does monthly, like all the other departments submit.  Some members of the board feel that there is a lack of communication between the officers and the board. The board agreed to purchase the phones and have the officers attend monthly planning commission meetings.

Cindi Reynolds with the Chamber of Commerce gave a presentation to the board about the economic impact tourism has on Campbell County. In 2016, Campbell County was ranked 27th out of 95 counties.



Land sale means revenue for county

Thirty-three parcels back on tax rolls

Following last month’s surplus land sale the county has an additional $59,000 in the coffers and 33 parcels back on the tax rolls.

Each year, Campbell County has tracts of land that are fall into its ownership after the owners fail to pay taxes for three years. Once the county has ownership of the land it can auction the land, which is what occurred last month.

It is also what has happened for the last three years, according to Campbell County Deputy Mayor Andy Wallace. Over the last three years, the county’s ability to auction these parcels has resulted in “roughly 90 plus pieces of property” being purchased and added back to the tax rolls, Wallace said. When the county has ownership of the land, no taxes are paid.

On the heels of the February auction, the county doesn’t have enough property at this time “to warrant another auction,” according to Wallace. “This was the best year we have had.”

And while the county doesn’t have enough land for an auction at this point, the annual tax sale is just a few months away. Wallace predicts following the annual sale, the county could find itself as the owner of some additional tracts.

However, a sale would still not happen until the fall due to the lengthy process of conducting the auction. The bid process alone takes around two months. Wallace said. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/13/2018-6AM)

CCHS Baseball and Softball try to open seasons today

Softball  and Soccer are at home

   Lady Cougar Softball tries to open its season at home again today.  First pitch between CCHS and Oak Ridge goes out at 5:30 pm at Chapman Field.

   Cougar Baseball throws out its first pitch of 2018 this afternoon at Coalfield.  That’s at 5pm against the Yellow Jackets.

      Cougar Soccer hosts Oliver Springs on today at 6 pm while Campbell Tennis plays Central at Tyson Park on Wednesday, March 21, at 4 pm.  CCHS Track and Field competes on Friday and Saturday, March 23-24, at Hardin Valley Academy. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/13/2018-6AM)



WLAF & Big Creek Market host March Madness fun

Here are the maych-ups

   Monday morning, Big Josh and Jim randomly drew the names of those of you who called or emailed WLAF on Friday.  They randomly pulled a tourney team name and matched it with a drawn name.

NCAA Bracket

   Here’s who is playing along: 

Bill Berry – Florida State Seminoles

Linda Berry – Buffalo Bulls

Janice Birchfield -  Kansas Jayhawks

Barry Byrd – Xavier Musketeers

Ben Byrd – North Carolina State Wolf Pack

Jimbo Burton – Stephen F. Austin Lumber Jacks

Clyde Brantley – Tennessee Volunteers

Leon “Swish” Caldwell – Virginia Cavaiers

Brenda Cantrell – Creighton Blue Jays

Jared Cantrell – Miami Hurricanes

Jerry Cantrell – Seton Hall Pirates

Tina Cantrell – Alabama Crimson Tide

Gary Carroll – Michigan Wolverines

Marie Carroll – West Virginia Mountaineers

Steve Carroll - Duke

Teresa Carroll – Charleston Cougars

Jerry Chadwell – The winner of UCLA Bruins & St. Bonaventure Bonnies

Laura Chadwell – Texas Longhorns

David Chapman – Purdue Boilermakers

Edwin H. Chapman – South Dakota State Jack Rabbits

Mark Chapman – Georgia State Panthers

Kemper Coker – Villanova Wildcats

Josephine Comer – Florida Gators

Charles Copeland – Davidson Wildcats

Evan Cordell – Clemson Tigers

Kenneth Cordell – Virginia Tech Hokies

Sandra Daugherty – Oklahoma Sooners

Jean Evans – North Carolina Tar Heels

Tony Fraley – Wright State Raiders

Ben Franklin – Nevada Wolf Pack

Ricky Freeman – Bucknell Bison

Donna Hakala – Penn Quakers

Becky Heatherly – The winner of LIU-Brooklyn Black Birds & Radford Highlanders

Michael W. Heatherly – Kansas State Wildcats

Mark Honaker – Arkansas Razorbacks

Charles Huddleston – Wichita State Shockers

Darlene Irwin – Montana Grizzlies

Missy Irwin – Auburn Tigers

Blake Ivey – UMBC Retrievers

Bill Lambert – Houston Cougars

Vickie Marlow – Gonzaga Bulldogs

Randy McGlone – Cincinnati Bearcats

Chesni Orick - Cal State Fullerton Titans

James Parsons – Lipscomb Bisons

Anna Paul – Michigan State Spartans

John Perkins – Rhode Island Rams

Tim Phillips – Ohio State Buckeyes

Trenna Pierce – Missouri Tigers

Lee Reynolds – San Diego State Aztecs

Jennifer Robbins – Kentucky Wildcats

Billy Shears – Murray State Racers

Darren Storey – Texas A & M Aggies

Sharon Storey – Loyola-Chicago Ramblers

Bo Thompson – Iona Gaels

Briana Tiller – Marshall Thundering Herd

Barbara Ward – The winner of North Carolina Central Eagles & Texas Southern Tigers

Peggy Watson – Providence Friars

Greg Weaver – TCU Horned Frogs

Maxine Weaver – UNC-Greensboro Spartans

Sandra Whited – New Mexico State Aggies

Brenda Wilson – Winner of Arizona State Sun Devils and Syracuse Orangemen

Jimmy Wilson – Butler Bulldogs

Justin Wilson – Arizona Wildcats

Deb Woodson – Texas Tech Red Raiders

Prizes from Big Creek Market will be awarded to those who have a team make it to the Sweet 16 and Final Four and then the National Champion.  In celebration of WLAF’s 65th year on the air in 2018, one of the prizes going to the person who has the National Champion is $65 in cash.  Good luck, and let’s have some fun.   (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/13/2018-6AM)


Women’s Expo is drawing near


The countdown is on for The Women’s Expo at Woodson’s Mall

The expo is slated from 9am until 6pm on April 7.

 “The mall merchants have wanted to host an event for quite some time,” said Rocky Coleman, one of the event’s organizers and co- owner of the Primitive Cottage. “This event will not only give women the opportunity to find unique services for themselves and their families, but it will also help highlight the businesses in the mall.”

Currently, over 50 groups have signed on to participate in the expo. From product vendors to social services organizations to child specific groups, the expo has been designed to offer a multitude of products that focuses on women. “The merchants realize that women are often the busiest members of a home. We wanted to give them a day that was about them,” Coleman said.

While people visits booths, they will also be given the opportunity to sign up for door prizes. “Throughout the day we will give away gift cards and merchandise as door prizes,” he said.   (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/13/2018-6AM)


The Norris Lake Project Team is looking for volunteers to help with the 8th biannual Five County Norris Lake Cleanup on Saturday, March 24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Union and Grainger Counties.

There will be several launch points in each of the five counties and numerous locations that volunteers can help by picking up and properly disposing of trash. The launch locations can be found online at or call (865) 457-4547 for location information.

“Since 2011, volunteers from the counties surrounding Norris Lake have picked up over 154 tons of trash,” said Stephanie Wells, director of the Anderson County Tourism Council. “We continue to conduct two cleanups each year because Norris Lake is not only a recreational destination for residents and visitors, it is an economic driver for all five counties and we need to protect its shorelines.”

There will be boats available to shuttle volunteers to and from the cleanup sites that are not accessible by land and barges will be used to transfer the trash back to the shore.  However, volunteers are welcome to bring their own boats.  All volunteers are encouraged to wear appropriate shoes, preferably boots, bring gloves and bring a life jacket.  

The Norris Lake Project Team is a grassroots effort of individuals, organizations, businesses and agencies to preserve the water quality of Norris Lake, conserve the land surrounding the lake and encourage the stakeholders of the lake to do their part in keeping Norris Lake the cleanest and safest recreational asset in Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Grainger and Union Counties.

Anyone interested in volunteering can visit to find the nearest location, to register and get more information. Volunteers can also register the morning of the cleanup. Minors must be accompanied by an adult and have a registration and release form signed by a parent. Call (865) 457-4547 or email for more information.

The Norris Lake Project Team is a partnership with the Anderson County Tourism Council, Campbell County Chamber of Commerce,   Union County Chamber of Commerce, Norris Lake Marina Association, Middle East Tennessee Tourism Council, Tennessee Valley Authority, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Norris Dam State Park, Big Ridge State Park, Anderson County Litter Grant, Campbell County Litter Control, Highlands HOA, Norris Shores HOA and Lone Mountain HOA. 

 (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/13/2018-6AM)


Winter Weather Advisory this morning

Light snow accumulation possible

Temps are around freezing and there’s moisture meaning we could have some light snow accumulation this morning.   A Winter Weather Advisory runs through 11 am this morning meaning that up to an inch of snow could stick here in Campbell County prompting slippery road conditions during your morning commute.  Once we clear lunch time, clouds decrease and so do rain and snow chances as temps struggle to make it out of the 30s.  The late day high is expected to reach 44-degrees.

 Tuesday and Wednesday bring cool sunshine and 40s.  It’ll be near 60 by Thursday. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/12/2018-6AM)


It’s National Public Schools Week

March 12 – 16

It’s Public Schools Week across America.  Campbell County Director of Schools Jennifer Fields states, “This is Public Schools Week and I would like to take this opportunity to say, Thank you, to our teachers, parents, administrators, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, assistants, custodians, secretaries, coaches, and school board members. Our students and school district depend on you and you are appreciated!”

“Communities are stronger and schools are better when we all work together to support public education.”  That’s according Carol Burris with the Network for Public Education (NEP).

Public Schools by the numbers is staggering.  The National Center for Education Statistics outlines that nearly 51-million are attending public elementary and secondary schools this school year.  More than three-million teachers work in public schools, according to the NEP.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/12/2018-6AM)

Public Meeting at 5:30 pm at Caryville

   You are invited to attend a Public Meeting this afternoon at City Hall for the Town of Caryville.  It starts at 5:30 pm.  The topic is on proposed recreational development activites.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/12/2018-6AM)


Election field not so big considering turned-in petitions

82 petitions requested compared to 44 returned and approved

Yes, there is still plenty of time to turn-in a petition for the August 2, 2018, Campbell County General Election.  And to request one for that matter.

Here’s a WLAF update on which 44 candidates have already returned their petitions and have had them approved as of close of business on Friday:

Petitions for these Campbell Countians have been requested, returned and approved as of close of business on Friday, March 2, 2018

State Representative (Republican Primary Election)

Dennis Powers**

Register of Deeds

Gary E. Berry, Greg Cross, Beverly Stanfield Hall, Tom Hatmaker, Ron McClellan, Patrick Silcox, June Turner and Johnny Vanover


Aaron Evans & Brian Younce

County Clerk

Alene Baird**

County Trustee


Circuit Court Clerk

Bobby Vann**


Robbie Goins**

County Commission

1st District

Whit Goins**, Robert Higginbotham**, Harley Hill, and John Ridenour

2nd District

Scott Kitts & Lonnie Welden**  

3rd District

T. Don Boshears, Rusty Orick**, Danny Sheckles, and Scott Stanfield**  

4th District

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

5th District

Ralph Davis**, Robert H. Hicks, Tyler King, Steve “Coach” Rutherford, and Ronnie Thomas

School Board

1st District

Wallace Goins**

2nd District

Josh James and Sharon Ridenour**

3rd District


4th District

Clint Bane** and Ronnie Lasley

5th District

Crystal Creekmore**


1st District

Kenneth Newsome

2nd District


3rd District

Johnny Jones

4th District

George Mefford

5th District

Samuel Tackett

Republican State Executive Committee Woman

Liz Holiway

** Incumbent

Qualifying deadline is Thursday, April 5, at noon.  Election Day is Thursday, August 2, 2018.  Early voting begins Friday, July 13.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/12/2018-6AM)

CCHS Baseball and Softball open seasons today

Both games are at home

   Cougar Baseball throws out the first pitch of 2018 this afternoon at Brown-Archer Field.  That’s at 5pm against First Baptist Academy.

   Across campus, Lady Cougar Softball christens its new season on Chapman Field.  Anderson County visits CCHS in a 6 pm first pitch.

   Cougar Soccer hosts Oliver Springs on Tuesday at 6 pm while Campbell Tennis plays Central at Tyson Park on Wednesday, March 21, at 4 pm.  CCHS Track and Field competes on Friday and Saturday, March 23-24, at Hardin Valley Academy. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/12/2018-6AM)

LAF & Big Creek Market host March Madness fun

Team match-ups are today

   This morning, Big Josh and Jim randomly draw the names of those of you who called or emailed WLAF on Friday.  Then they’ll randomly pull a tourney team name and match it with a drawn name.

   Here’s who is playing along:  Mark Honaker, Sharon Storey, David Chapman, Jennifer Robbins, Barry Byrd, James Parsons, Greg Weaver, Laura Chadwell, Justin Wilson, Teresa Carroll, Chesni Orick, Briana Tiller, John Perkins, Missy Irwin, Sandra Whited, Blake Ivey, Charles Copeland, Becky Heatherly, Mark Chapman, Linda Berry, Charles Huddleston, Maxine Weaver, Ben Franklin, Lee Reynolds, Clyde Brantley, Anna Paul, Vickie Marlow, Darren Storey, Barry Byrd, Jean Evans, Jimmy Wilson, Brenda Cantrell, Tony Fraley, Trenna Pierce, Deb Woodson, Edwin H. Chapman, Michael W. Heatherly, Jared Cantrell, Bill Berry, Ben Byrd, Bo Thompson, Ricky Freeman, Donna Hakala, Darlene Irwin, Gary Carroll, Jerry Chadwell, Janice Birchfield,  Billy Shears, Bill Lambert, Tina Cantrell, Randy McGlone, Josephine Comer, Kemper Coker, Marie Carroll, Kenneth Cordell, Barbara Ward, Peggy Watson, Steve Carroll, Jimbo Burton, Tim Phillips, Jerry Cantrell, Evan Cordell, Sandra Daugherty, and Brenda Wilson.

  Look for your name and your team Tuesday morning right here.  CLICK HERE to see the full bracket.

   Prizes from Big Creek Market will be awarded to those who have a team make it to the Sweet 16 and Final Four and then the National Champion.  In celebration of WLAF’s 65th year on the air in 2018, one of the prizes going to the person who has the National Champion is $65 in cash.  Good luck, and let’s have some fun.   (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/12/2018-6AM)





Orick arrested for theft

Free on a $2,500 bond

 On Sunday, March 4, David Paul Orick found himself in trouble with the police.  Orick was driving a green Dodge van matching the description of one that had left the scene of a theft on Towe String Road earlier on Sunday. Sheriff’s Deputy Dakota Williams was dispatched to the IGA parking lot to speak with Orick.  During the questioning, Williams allegedly noticed a rusty green Sears air compressor in the back of the van. When ask about the air compressor, Orick told Williams he had taken it from a house on Towe String Road saying it was laying against a fence, according to a report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department.

A witness told Sgt. Cody Chapman they saw a green Dodge van pull into the driveway of the home on Towe String Road and a man got out, walked onto the porch, and then went around the residence. A female then got out of the van, when Orick came around the side of the residence carrying the green air compressor. They loaded it into the van and left. Williams checked Orick’s license which came back as revoked, he then asked Orick if he had insurance on the van and he said he did not have insurance.

(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/09/2018-6AM)

Suspicious vehicle call ends in arrest

William Scott Lobertini was sitting in the backseat of a car on Shawnee Drive waiting for a friend and ended up in jail.

Sheriff’s Deputy Corey Laxton went to the 800 block of Shawnee Drive on Monday, March 5, to investigate a suspicious vehicle call. When Laxton arrived, he found David Teague parked with Ladona Hawkins and Lobertini in the back. Teague told Laxton that they were waiting to pick up another female who was at one of the homes in the neighborhood. When Laxton asked if there was anything illegal in the vehicle, he was told no. A search of the vehicle allegedly revealed a small plastic container that had several smaller baggies inside it. The small baggies contained a crystal-like substance believed to be methamphetamine, according to a report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department. Lobertini told police the baggies containing the crystal-like substance belonged to him. 

Lobertini, 41, 409 North Fourth Street, LaFollette is charged with possession of scheduled II controlled substance. He remains housed in the county jail this morning on a $25,000 bond for the possession charge.  However, Lobertini does not have a bond on a violation of probation charge. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/09/2018-6AM)









   It’s Championship Week for lots of young basketball players this week.  Top Gun’s five and six year olds (above) claimed a championship earlier this week.  David Graham shares this photo along with pictures of the rest of the championship winners further down this page.


Jackson named new LMS coach

Introduced today as girls basketball coach

   La Follette Middle School Principal Joey St. John introduced the Lady Owls new head basketball coach this morning.  The coach, who has seven years of head coaching experience, is Amanda Jackson.  The former Lady Onieda Indian and Lady Carson-Newman Eagle brings high school and college playing experience as well as high school and middle school head coaching experience to the Lady Owls. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/08/2018-1:30PM)

Accused shooter sees case reset

Remains jailed this morning

Kenneth “Wayne” Walden is slowly making his way through the judicial system.

Last month, Walden was arrested after he allegedly shot his sister- in- law with a high powered rifle along a neighborhood street in La Follette, according to the police report.

He was due in General Sessions court Tuesday.  Walden’s case, which includes an attempted first degree murder charge and three other felonies was reset until Monday, March 12 at 1 pm.

The charges stem from an incident where Walden is accused of firing a rifle into the car of his sister-in-law, Deborah Nelson. Nelson suffered two gunshot wounds to her left arm, the arrest warrant said. Nelson’s sister, who is also Walden’s estranged wife, had been staying with her following the filing of an order of protection against Walden.

The 58-year old Walden is charged with attempted first degree murder, aggravated assault and two counts of reckless endangerment.  He remains housed in the County Jail this morning on a million-and-a-half dollar bond. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/08/2018-6AM)

Grand jury indicts five

Four on DUIs

The following indictments were returned yesterday by the Campbell County Grand Jury:

-Gary Campbell- DUI

-Jennifer Hoskins-DUI

-Jennifer Hoskins- driving on revoked    

-Brittany Blackwell- two counts burglary of a motor vehicle, two counts vandalism less than $1,000, theft over $2,500, theft under $1,000

-Kenny Wallace -DUI

-Jason Wells- DUI (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/08/2018-6AM)





“We are the Champions”

Here are the rest of the champions

Top Gun 7 & 8 year olds

Warriors 9 & 10 year olds

Freedom of Grace 11 & 12 year olds

Cougars 13 & 14 year olds


WLAF continues its election coverage

Monday, WLAF announced it would host the Gray Insurance Meet the Candidates Forum Thursday, April 26, at 6 pm, at West LaFollette School.

As part of its complete election coverage, WLAF will publish questionnaires for the county commission and school board races. These will appear on in May.

Each candidate will answer the questions in their own words and their responses will not be edited.

As with the questions submitted for the forum, candidates will be asked questions developed by station staff and submitted by the public. WLAF is asking its readers, listeners, and viewers to submit one question per race, in writing, to: or to WLAF, 210 N 5th St, LaFollette, TN 37766. All questions must be labeled in accordance with the race they are being submitted for.

 Please submit all questions by March 28.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/07/2018-6AM)

CHET has job openings

Apply in person today

Community Health of East Tennessee (CHET) is looking to fill a couple of positions.  CHET is in need of an LPN and a Child Advocate.  Please apply in person to 130 Independence Lane.  That’s behind CVS.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/07/2018-6AM)

Women’s Expo set for April

First-ever event is set for Woodson’s Mall

A first of its kind event is coming to LaFollette on Saturday, April 7. Specifically, it is coming to Woodson’s Mall.

The Women’s Expo, slated from 9am until 6pm, is promising to help women focus on their families, but most importantly on themselves.

“The mall merchants have wanted to host an event for quite some time,” said Rocky Coleman, one of the event’s organizers and co- owner of the Primitive Cottage. “This event will not only give women the opportunity to find unique services for themselves and their families, but it will also help highlight the businesses in the mall.”

Currently, nearly 40 groups have signed on to participate in the expo. From product vendors to social services organizations to child specific groups, the expo has been designed to offer a multitude of products that focuses on women. “The merchants realize that women are often the busiest members of a home. We wanted to give them a day that was about them,” Coleman said.

While people visits booths, they will also be given the opportunity to sign up for door prizes. “Throughout the day we will give away gift cards and merchandise as door prizes,” he said.

The expo has been in the planning stages for about two months and as the date has grown closer, Coleman said he has been surprised by the number of organizations that have come forward wanting to be a part of what everyone hopes will be an annual event. “It seems that social media and word of mouth had helped drive this event,” he said. “We are a month out and do still have some free spaces open for anyone that still wants to be a part of this.”

   Anyone wanting to take part can call Coleman at 423-207-2190 for more information or to register.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/07/2018-6AM)


La Follette approves Central Avenue speed limit study

Hill promoted  - WATCH HERE

LaFollette Police Department has a new staff sergeant. Josh Hill was promoted to the position of staff sergeant at a salary of $38,208.98 effective March 17 at last night’s city council meeting.

The city will be hiring three part-time employees for 12 weeks to help with clean-up of the city. Funds in the amount of $15,000 will be reallocated from the Dossett Bridge Park to public works to pay the wages. Public Works Director Jim Mullens will be getting a new Chevrolet pick-up truck from West Chevrolet at the cost of $28,523 per the state contract.

The city had previously solicited bids for general contracting work at the old post office, four bid packets were picked up previously. One packet was submitted from Dixie Roofing in the amount of $87,000 to do the general contracting work, council voted to accept the bid.

Charlie Woods approached the council last week in the workshop about putting crosswalks on North Tennessee Avenue.  Last night the council agreed to put in two crosswalks. The new crosswalks will be located near the Royal Lunch Room and the north end parking lot on North Tennessee Avenue.  Concerns were raised about the speed limit through downtown, too.  So, at the workshop last week, Ann Thompson, City Councilwoman said she had spoken with TDOT and they can do a traffic study on the area between 13th street and Cumberland Avenue along Central Avenue upon the request of the mayor to see if the speed limit needs to be lowered. Mayor Mike Stanfield told council Tuesday evening that he would need a motion to request the traffic study to be done. Thompson made a motion to have the study done and Councilman Bill Archer seconded the motion, all members agreed with the motion.

The council had the final reading of Ordinance 2018-01 that will open an abandoned street located within the Winston Baird addition of the city on South 21st street near the property of Brian Tiller. Ordinance 2018-02 is an ordinance replacing any existing rules of the road municipal code and adopting by reference state traffic offenses and rules of the road had its final reading. A first reading of Ordinance 2018-03 amending the International Building Codes 2009 Edition, the International Residential Code 2009 Edition and the International Fire Code 2009 Edition to the 2018 Edition was done as well.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/07/2018-6AM)




Armed school guard bill has several hurdles to cross

‘We need to protect our most precious assets’ – Dennis Powers

   State Representative Dennis Powers of Jacksboro is co-sponsoring the School Safety Act of 2018.  Some lawmakers are calling this bill an emergency plan to protect schools and a model for the country to follow.  “The plan puts two armed guards in every school, even if a school has School Resource Officers (SRO), providing protection for school and after-school events,” Powers stated.  He points out that Local Education Authorities are not required to participate.

   The extra security officers will be off-duty officers who work locally as policemen, deputies, THP Troopers, TBI Agents, or constables.  It will cost the State of Tennessee $54 a day per officer.  Should the nearly 2,000 public schools take part, the annual bill for Tennessee could be as much as $39-million a year.  It would be paid out of the civil asset forfeiture fund.

   The bipartisan bill was introduced last Wednesday, but it has hurdles to clear before it goes to the floor for a vote.  The soonest the bill could go into effect is July 1, if it passes.

   If passed, the bill only has a shelf-life of four years.  Powers adds that this is not a total solution to the problem, because there are many other issues, such as mental health, that need to be part of that.  He goes on to say that it will provide immediate protection by guards who have been trained and know what to do if a shooting occurs.

   Powers emphasizes, “We need to protect our most precious assets, our children, and we feel this bill will do that.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/06/2018-6AM)

Arnold laid to rest this morning

‘He made wearing shorts and cowboy boots stylish’ – John Snodderly

   Jimmy Arnold will be laid to rest this morning at Powell Valley Cemetery.  Arnold, who passed away over the weekend, is described by friend John Snodderly as a very kind, soft spoken man who cared for his family and his church, La Follette United Methodist.

   Arnold was founder and operator of Dixie Turf and Tree, Greenway Farm and Home Center and J.L. Arnold Trucking Company. He was also President of Dixie Pine Coal Company.

   Snodderly says, “He was the only man I know that could make wearing shorts and cowboy boots stylish.”

   Jimmy Lynn Arnold was 80-years old. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/06/2018-6AM)

Caryville’s Jody Wright wins Number 700

Fulton is Murfreesboro-bound.  Again.

   There they were sitting on the front row of bleachers in the gym at Happy Valley High School.  It was March 1990.  Former HVHS Warriors Walter “Buck” Van Huss (1,021 wins) and Charlie Bayless (960+ wins) were chatting hours before Happy Valley was to host Fulton in a sub-state basketball game.  In-between two of the winningest high school basketball coaches in the history of the game was 29-year old Jody Wright.  And I had a front row seat to the conversation.

   Buck coached tiny Hampton to the state title in 1960 and won the bulk of his games at Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett.  Charlie and Buck both played at Happy Valley where Charlie coached for 60-seasons, 59 of them as the head coach, and led his 1974 Warriors to the state crown.

   Little did I know Buck would never coach another game.  He died that summer.  I had no clue that Charlie would coach until he was 88-years old.  And Jody.  Well.  I felt deep down he’d be successful.  But even in my best dreams for his success, I would never have thought he’d win 702 games.

Jody Wright led Fulton to its 700th win since taking over a struggling program in the 1980s

   Fast forward 28-years, three state titles, countless trips to the state tourney at Murfreesboro, and now 700 Falcon wins later, Jody starts getting his team ready this afternoon for one more ride to Murphy Center.  That comes after last night’s 90 to 57 win over Unicoi County on the floor of Jody Wright Arena.

   Some of his former players share a fun memory or two with Wright after Monday night’s win

   The one-time Caryville Cardinal said after the milestone win, “I'm just a small part of the puzzle right there but it's been a good run and the main thing is I'm glad we're still playing."

   Fulton learns tonight who it will be playing in next week’s state tourney.

   You may be wondering where those two other wins were earned.  In Wright’s first head coaching assignment, at Maynardville High School, he was 2 & 20-something just part of the learning experience like that March afternoon in 1990 with Buck and Charlie. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/06/2018-6AM)

“WLAF - Gray Insurance Meet the Candidates Forum” is April 26

6 pm at West La Follette School and live on WLAF

Even though the election is still five months out, the candidates have already been busy. With a nearly record number of contenders coming forward since petitions could be picked up in January, interest in the election is high. In an effort to help voters become acquainted with the contestants in the countywide races, WLAF is hosting the Gray Insurance Meet the Candidates Forum on Thursday, April 26, at 6 pm, at West LaFollette School. The forum will be open to the public while also being broadcast live on FM 100.9 and AM 1450 with the live telecast on WLAF-TV 12 and

The evening begins with candidates for the county clerk and register of deeds races being given two-minutes to introduce themselves to public. They will not take questions nor be asked questions by the moderators. They will have introductory time only.

Afterwards, candidates in the sheriff’s and county mayor’s races will participate in debates specific to the offices they are seeking.

Candidates will be asked questions developed by station staff and submitted by the public. WLAF is asking its readers, viewers, and listeners to submit one question per race, in writing, to: or to WLAF, 210 N 5th St, LaFollette, TN 37766, ATTN: Forum. Please submit your questions by Wednesday, March 28.

Candidates will be notified of the questions in advance and on Thursday, April 26, the questions will be drawn at random.

So far, 80 Campbell Countians have requested a petition to take part in the August election.  The list is further down this page.

The event will moderated by WLAF”s Jim Freeman and Susan Sharp. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/05/2018-6AM)


** Incumbent

(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/06/2018-4:30PM)


 idential Scholars Program.  The candidates were selected from nearly 3.6 million students expected to graduate this spring.


Campbell County High School Senior Noah Smith

Inclusion in the program, now in its 54th year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating from high school.  Smith was selected on the basis of superior academic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in the community and school activities.  READ MORE HERE.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/01/2018-6AM)



















Camel makes generous donation to CCSD

See more photos HERE

Campbell County Sheriff Robbie K. Goins and Camel Manufacturing teamed up to spruce up the sheriff's firing range. Sheriff Goins says, "We would like to thank Camel Manufacturing for their generous donation to our range. This high grade material made to box in a part of our range in inclement weather was a much needed accessory to our firing facility. They graciously provided this shelter at no cost out of the goodness of their hearts, and we can't thank them enough. They are a staple in this community and we appreciate them. Scott Campbell and the Camel's team worked alongside our inmate work detail to get the project done."  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/21/2018-6AM)   



   WLAF’s Pat Pebley snapped this “Team Time” photo from last week of the Campbell Lady Cougars.  CCHS hosts William Blount on Friday in the opening round of the region tournament.  Coach Brad Honeycutt shares his game preparation thoughts further down this page.


One person trapped in one-car wreck

The Campbell County Rural Fire Service freed one person Sunday afternoon from a wrecked SUV.  Up the valley, east of La Follette, around 2pm is where and when the mishap took place.

This vehicle left the roadway in the 500 block of Greene Lane

One person was trapped and soon freed from the wreckage by members of the Campbell County Rural Fire Service

The injured person was taken to the La Follette Medical Center and treated (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/20/2018-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF CCRFS CHIEF DANIEL LAWSON)

Edward Jones ranks 5th on Fortune’s 100 “Best Companies to Work For”

Zach Sheets is the local EJ Financial Advisor
By Great Place to Work and FORTUNE magazine
Financial services firm Edward Jones ranks No. 5 on the 2018 FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For list in its 19th appearance on the prestigious list, according to global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work® and FORTUNE magazine. The firm is the highest-ranking financial-services firm on the list.
   Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in St. Louis, provides financial services in the U.S. and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm's business, from the investments its financial advisors offer to the location of its branch offices, caters to individual investors. The firm's 15,000-plus financial advisors serve more than 7 million clients and care for $1 trillion in assets under management. Visit the firm's website at and its recruiting website at Member SIPC.

   The Campbell County Edward Jones Office is near the hospital on North Massachusetts Avenue.  Zach Sheets is your local EJ Financial Advisor, and says, “I am proud to work for a company that truly values the people who bring success to the organization and strives to create the best possible workplace for everyone.”  He offers a free portfolio review and retirement analysis.  Contact Sheets HERE.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/20/2018-6AM)

The latest from Kash-n-Karry Building Supply

Now in stock

   J.B. and Kip Leach at Kash-n-Karry Building Supply are now featuring decorative block glass windows.


These beautiful windows are now on display at Kash-n-Karry

   Decorative block windows at Kash-n-Karry Building Supply are $399 each.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/20/2018-6AM)

Tickets go on sale today for next Postmark La Follette performance

First performance is Friday, March 16

   “Where I Belong” is a story about life at a small country store set in the 1930s.  Tony Branam’s story comes to life next month on the Postmark La Follette Stage, and tickets go on sale this morning here in La Follette and Jacksboro.  The tickets, $10 each, are available at Community Trust Bank’s downtown La Follette offices and at United Cumberland Bank at Jacksboro. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/20/2018-6AM)

Lady Cougars working on post season road map

Play William Blount at home on Friday

   Campbell Coach Brad Honeycutt is trying to get his players in another mindset.  That’s what he and the Lady Cougars spent time on following Saturday night’s loss to Oak Ridge in the District 3-AAA Title Game.  Honeycutt calls it a mindset beyond the District Tournament.

   The coach and staff broke down exactly how the Region, Sub state, and State Tournament are laid out.  To Honeycutt’s surprise, many of his players did not know.  He calls a district title as the Lady Cougars first goal all the while pointing out that there is much more out there to achieve.  The fourth year coach says, “We want them to realize what they are still capable of accomplishing, and that begins Friday night.”

   William Blount was a 44 to 41 Monday night winner at Lenoir City over Hardin Valley.  The Lady Governors took third place in District 4-AAA’s Tourney and sport a 22 & 9 record.  The Lady Cougars are 20 & 9.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/20/2018-6AM)

L-R Campbell County Student Michael Riley (left), with Lt. Governor Randy McNally, Knoxville Christian School student Conrad Belitz, and Senator Ken Yager in the Senate Chamber.  The story on Riley’s trip to Nashville is further down this page.

Webb pleads guilty

After multiple court dates and a failed appearance, Michael Cody Webb has pleaded guilty to providing alcohol to minors.

On Feb. 8, Webb was slated to plead guilty to the misdemeanor charge, but he failed to show, according to law enforcement officials. This led to a warrant being issued for his arrest by General Sessions Judge Amanda Sammons. On Tuesday morning, WLAF, who has been covering the story since it broke in Aug. 2017, published the story detailing Webb’s absence from court and the subsequent warrant. A few short hours later, Webb appeared before Sammons. At that point, the judge voided the failure to appear charge and allowed the one-time school janitor to plead guilty.

Initially charged with six counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Webb’s plea allowed him to have five of those charges dismissed. Per the terms of his plea, Webb was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days probation along with court costs. As a condition of his probation, he is to appear in court again on July 31.

Webb, a former janitor for Campbell County Schools, was accused of buying alcohol for six juveniles and allowing them to drink it in his home; he faced one count per child.

Webb was terminated “as soon as we heard about the incident,” Campbell County Director of Schools Larry Nidiffer said.

The charges were based on allegations, which were later confirmed by the six children involved, that the 25-year old Webb picked them up from school grounds on July 28, 2017, and purchased alcohol for them. Webb allegedly took the students to a local gas station where they gave him money to buy the alcohol, the arrest report said.

According to the arrest warrant, Webb then took the juveniles back to his home, where they consumed the beverages and spent the night. One of these juveniles was a teenaged female.

Ten days later, a parent came forward to Brent Peel, the JMS Football coach, and reported the drinking. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/19/2018-6AM)       

Disturbance leads to arrest

Last Monday, just after midnight, a Pioneer man was found lying on his neighbor’s porch with his hands in the air shouting.  Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Billy White attempted several times to talk with the man who was identified as S. Donald Lindsay, but he refused to speak with White. Lindsay finally responded to the deputy saying that he wanted an ambulance. When White made another attempt to talk to him, Lindsay allegedly became aggressive and belligerent making threats to White. At one point during the incident Lindsay told White, “Your time is up, I’m gonna get off this porch and kill you and your family”, according to a report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department.  At this point, another deputy, Gary Jeffers, arrived at the residence and the man began to make threats and be aggressive toward Jeffers. Lindsay’s son arrived at the home at the same time the ambulance got there, and the elder Lindsay became incredibly aggressive, he stood up and made more threats to White, the EMT’s, Jeffers and Lindsay’s son.  When the 51-year old Lindsay was told he was under arrest, he became combative and attempted to knock White down.  White then forced Lindsay to the ground, cuffed him, and placed him under arrest.

Lindsay, of 6003 Highway 297, Pioneer, is charged with public intoxication, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/19/2018-6AM)     

CCHS’s Riley serves as a Page

Last week at Nashville

Campbell County High 9th grader Michael Riley served as a page in the Tennessee State Senate last Thursday, the 15th.  Riley was sponsored by State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston).  Page duties consist of anything from making copies, running errands, to distributing legislative information to members of the General Assembly.  They report to the Chief Clerk of the House and Senate.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/19/2018-6AM)       


   Thursday was National Career and Technical Education Signing Day, and TCAT of Jacksboro took part.  All these young men and women signed letters of commitment to attend TCAT upon graduation from high school this spring.  Students from both Campbell County High Schools and Cumberland Gap High School signed yesterday.  The story and more Pat Pebley photos are further down this page.

Housley resigns

    Campbell County Cougar Basketball Coach Matt Housley officially resigned today in the noon hour.  Housley notified Principal Jamie Wheeler and Athletic Director Sherry Chapman in a 12:10 pm meeting.  He met with the team at 12:30 pm today.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/16/2018-1PM)

Searchers locate a body at Exit 141

Believed to be that of a missing man

   Investigators are piecing together the clues surrounding the discovery of a body yesterday afternoon.  At 3:33 pm is when the call that a body had been found behind the Shell Station at Exit 141 of I-75 at Caryville came in to E-911 dispatch.

   Members of the Caryville Police and Campbell County Sheriff’s Departments along with the La Follette Rescue Squad responded on foot with search dogs to a wooded area near a ravine.  That’s where the body was discovered.  A vehicle parked near the gas station leads investigators to believe it belongs to a Knox County man who had been reported missing for several days.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/16/2018-6AM)

Nidiffer attends last board meeting as Director, steps down March 2

CLICK HERE for a copy of the 2018-2019 School Calendarr

Director of Schools Larry Nidiffer presented his final Director’s report at the Board of Education meeting on Thursday night. When the board next meets in March, Jennifer Fields will be sharing the podium alongside BOE Chairman Clint Bane.

Nidiffer will still be serving the school system in an advisory capacity until his retirement in June, and the board voted unanimously at the meeting to approve a memorandum of understanding and accept Nidiffer’s resignation as Director effective March 2.

They also approved a number of budget amendments, including one that transfers $50,000 from other funds to cover paying both Fields and Nidiffer during the three-plus months that both Directors will be employed during the transition period.

Most other actions by the board involved routine business, including approval of the 2018-19 school calendar, approval of a $50,150 bid to replace the intercom systems at Valley View and Jellico elementary schools and approval of several other budget amendments.   

A proposal to address future sick days and snow days by shortening the school day for make-up days ran into complications voiced by Finance Director Jeff Marlow. Marlow pointed out the challenge of meeting contractual pay obligations for teachers and the fact that janitors, cooks and other non-certified employees could not be paid for hours they don’t work.

No action was taken on the matter at this time.

The February board meeting was held on Thursday night because eight of the board members were in Nashville on the usual meeting night this past Tuesday, attending the Tennessee School Board Association’s “Day on the Hill.

Faye Heatherly briefly reported on lobby day, when board members met with both House and Senate members about some pending legislation. Mike Orick was unable to attend due to health problems, and was also absent from the board meeting.    (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/16/2018-6AM)


Is a Managed Account Right for You?
CLICK HERE for the latest CD rates from Edward Jones Investments

From Zach Sheets – Edward Jones Financial Advisor - "Free Portfolio Review and Retirement Analysis"
   As an investor, you’ll face many decisions over the years. How much should you invest? Where should you put your money? When is it time to sell some investments and use the proceeds to buy others? Some people enjoy making these choices themselves – but not everyone. Consequently, the type of investor you are will influence your thinking about whether to open a managed account.
   As its name suggests, a managed account – sometimes known as an “advisory” account – essentially is a portfolio of stocks, bonds and other investments chosen by a professional investment manager who makes the buy and sell decisions. Typically, each managed account has an investment objective based on your goals, and you may have some voice in investment choices – for example, you may be able to request that the manager avoid certain investments. Or, you might still work with a personal financial advisor who can help you identify and quantify your goals, define your risk tolerance, and track changes in your family situation – and who can then use this information to help guide the investment manager’s choices.
   Beyond this basic structure, managed accounts can vary greatly in terms of administration, reporting, fees and minimum balance.
   So, assuming you meet the requirements for a managed account, should you consider one? There’s really no one right answer for everyone. But three factors to consider are cost, control and confidence.
   Cost – Different managed accounts may have different payment arrangements. However, it’s common for a money manger to be paid based on a percentage of assets under management. So, if your manager’s fee is 1% and your portfolio contains $100,000, the manager earns $1,000 per year, but if the value of your portfolio rises to $200,000, the manager earns $2,000. Because the manager has a personal stake in the portfolio's success, this arrangement could work to your advantage. Be aware, though, that other fees may be associated with your account.
   Control – With any managed account, you will give up some, or perhaps all, of your power to make buy-and-sell decisions. If you have built a large portfolio, and you’re busy with work and family, you may like the idea of delegating these decisions. And, as mentioned above, you can still oversee the “big picture” by either working through a financial advisor or, at the least, having your goals, risk tolerance and investment preferences dictate a money manager’s decisions. But you will have to decide for yourself how comfortable you are in ceding control of your portfolio’s day-to-day transactions.
   Confidence – It’s essential that you feel confident in a managed account’s ability to help you meet your goals. And the various elements of a managed account may well give you that assurance. For example, some managed accounts include automatic rebalancing of assets, which, among other things, can help you achieve tax efficiency. Other features of a managed account – such as the experience and track record of the manager – also may bolster your confidence.
   Ultimately, you’ll need to weigh all factors before deciding whether a managed account is right for you. In any case, it’s an option worth considering. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/16/2018-6AM)

TCAT takes part in National Signing Day

CCHS, CGHS, and JHS students commit

   “You are the future of Campbell County.”  That’s how Campbell County Mayor E.L. Morton described the students who filled the meeting room at TCAT Jacksboro on Thursday morning.  The young men and women representing Campbell, Cumberland Gap, and Jellico High Schools committed to continue their journey of learning after high school at TCAT.

   Mayor Morton emphasized to the students that, “We want you here.  We want our talent to stay here at home.”

   Joseph Lowe, TCAT’s Student of the Year who enrolled in 2016, addressed and challenged the group.  Lowe said, “Today I can say that I have an impressive career portfolio that includes multiple certifications and career recommendation letters.  These are something you can all obtain from TCAT Jacksboro.”

   “You are our future workforce, our future business owners, our future Chamber of Commerce members,” said Chamber Director Christie Elkins.  Elkins added that, “We are more than thrilled to cheer you on today.”

Neka Ward (R), WLAF’s Saturday morning Bluegrass host, plans to graduate from CCHS in May and will enroll fulltime at TCAT.  She is joined by Advisor and GEAR UP Coordinator Monica Bane and Welding Technology Instructor Zach Baucom.

  “TCAT’s track record for graduation and placement is competitive with anyone anywhere.” That’s how Student Services Coordinator Tim Smith sums up TCAT.  Smith points out that 85% of signees successfully graduate from TCAT while the placement rate is 88%.

  There were more than 30 signees for nine fields on Thursday.  The fields are Automotive, Computer Information, Industrial, Power Sports, Powerline and Welding Technology along with Nursing, Cosmetology, and Pharmacy Tech.

      CLICK HERE to watch yesterday’s ceremony.   (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/16/2018-6AM)


WLAF’s Charlie Hutson snapped this photo of Pinky celebrating Valentine’s Day in style yesterday.

Accident leads to a DUI arrest 

A call of a crash at the intersection of Old Middlesboro Hwy and Valley View Road ended with Lisa Renee Hembree being arrested.  

Around 12:50 pm last Saturday (02/10), Crpl. Gary Jeffers with the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department responded to the call where the 50-year old Hembree had failed to stop at a stop sign and struck another vehicle. When Jeffers was speaking with Hembree, he noticed her eyes were glossy and bloodshot, she was also unsteady on her feet.  She was ask if she had taken any medication and she said that she had taken an oxycodone the night before around 9:30 pm or 10:30 pm but could not remember the exact time. She also told Jeffers that she had taken a Meloxicam around 9 am.

Hembree, of La Follette, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI), drivers to exercise due care, and traffic control device. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/15/2018-6AM)

Kitts arrested for PI

Thirty-fourth booking for the 35-year old

Kenny Lyle Matthew Kitts went to the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department to visit and ended up in jail.  

Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy John Minor was told by Deputy Larson that Kitts was in the visitation room of the jail and appeared to be intoxicated. Minor came in contact with Kitts who could not stand still and appeared to be severely impaired, according to a report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department. Minor asked Kitts if he had taken anything, and Kitts said he was clean, but his eyes appeared blood shot and his pupils were constricted.  Minor asked Kitts to stand as still as he could and close his eyes and estimate 30 seconds passing. Kitts couldn’t stand still.  He was jerking his arms, moving his head repeatedly and after 11 seconds, when he opened his eyes, he said 30 seconds had passed. 

Kitts, 35, of 131 Duplex Lane, LaFollette is charged with public intoxication. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/15/2018-6AM)


Shooting victim in surgery this morning

Continues recovering at a Knoxville hospital

Debbie Nelson is scheduled for another surgery this morning at a Knoxville hospital

   Debbie Nelson continues recovering this morning from wounds she suffered in a Tuesday night shooting.  The 47-year old La Follette woman is scheduled for another surgery today.

   Officials with the La Follette Police Department say Nelson was shot by her brother-in-law Wayne Walden at Indian River Village Tuesday evening.  Police are calling this a domestic situation.

   A source close to the family outlines that Nelson’s arm was shattered by a bullet from a military assault rifle.  Her husband was in the car with her when Walden fired the shot from his pick-up truck.  That was at the stop sign at the corner of Sunset Drive and Claiborne Road.

   Walden remains housed in the county jail without bond.  He is scheduled to appear in court this morning on charges from another incident. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/15/2018-6AM) 

New lights in the works at CCHS

Project began yesterday

   Lights for the Campbell County football field were lifted from an 18-wheeler on Wednesday morning.  The big rig was unloaded on the backside of the baseball field.

   The old lights are coming down this week with the new lights replacing them.  The current lights were installed in 1975.

   Safety concerns topped the list of reasons to replace the lights prompting one school board member to tell WLAF that these lights should have been replaced ten-years ago.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/15/2018-6AM) 



In a statement from Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott

Colonel releases statement about Trooper Isaiah Lloyd

   “After careful consideration and review, the Tennessee Highway Patrol Command Staff has advised me that Trooper Isaiah Lloyd conducted this traffic stop in a professional manner in an effort to protect the motoring public.

   The Command Staff, including females Major Cheryl Sanders and Lt. Stacy Heatherly, reviewed the traffic stop video cautiously and carefully several times to determine if Trooper Lloyd had acted inappropriately with Ms. Wilson (Patricia Aileen Wilson).  Along with the Command Staff, I concurred after a thorough review of the video that Trooper Lloyd did not act inappropriately with Ms. Wilson.  It appears that Trooper Lloyd conducted a search for contraband instead of a pat down for weapons.  The technique that Trooper Lloyd used during the traffic stop will be addressed internally.

   This will serve as my final statement regarding this matter pending the civil suit process.  I believe the civil suit to be without merit.

   Effective immediately Trooper Lloyd will return to active enforcement duty.”  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/14/2018-4PM)


   On this Valentine’s Day, you might think of Bowman Jewelers or Ideal Florist as the “heart specialists.”  And to a certain extent they are.  But if truth be told, Dr. Stephen Teague is Campbell County’s true, year-round, “heart specialist.”  The story on La Follette Medical Center’s resident cardiologist is further down this page.

Domestic situation escalates into a shooting incident

In La Follette, a man shoots his sister-in-law

   Reports coming in to WLAF are that one person remains in the hospital this afternoon and another is in the county jail.  Police tell WLAF that 58-year old Kenneth “Wayne” Walden of La Follette was taken into custody around 9 pm last night on Bethlehem Road east of La Follette while earlier in the evening Deborah Nelson of La Follette was taken by ground ambulance to a Knoxville hospital.  Police say Walden shot Nelson.

   Walden faces multiple charges including attempted first-degree murder.  Nelson, said by one officer, suffers from what appears to be a non-life threatening gunshot wounds to her left forearm and right hand.

Wayne Walden is being held in the county jail this morning on attempted first-degree murder charges.  (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CAMPBELL COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT)

   La Follette Chief of Police Bill Roehl details in his notes that at 6:55 pm Tuesday evening Walden and Nelson were in separate vehicles in the 600 block of Claiborne Road when Walden allegedly shot Nelson.  After the gun was fired, Nelson drove to the parking lot behind the LPD, and Walden left in the opposite direction.  LPD Officer James Farmer began giving first-aid to Nelson with the ambulance soon arriving and taking her to the hospital.

   Officers with the La Follette Police Department, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department, and the Drug Task Force were involved in the search for Walden and his white pick-up truck.  Walden led police out of La Follette and up the valley into the county.  After a couple of hours, when Walden was spotted again, he sped up, then lost control of his truck in a curve, and wrecked striking a tree on Bethlehem Road.  He was transported for treatment at the La Follette Medical Center.  Walden was later arrested.

   Chief Roehl notes that Nelson and Walden know each other.  Walden is married to Nelson’s sister.

   On the last day of January, deputies with the CCSD were called to Walden’s Gladefield Drive home in La Follette on a call of reports of a man “gone crazy” and was holding family members hostage.  He was charged with three counts aggravated assault by domestic violence.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/14/2018-1PM) 



‘Cats close Cougars season in heartbreaking fashion

Campbell ends the year at 9 & 19

   Like Howard Wolowitz mother once said, “There’s nothing but disappointment in here,” much the same can be said of the Campbell Cougars abruptly concluded basketball season.  Central hit a bucket with four-seconds to go to send the Cougars packing in a 51 to 49 loss at Halls High in last night’s opening night of the boys side of the bracket District 3-AAA Tournament.

Fans say so long to this special group of seniors.  L-R:  Jared Bane, Elijah Phillips, Colby “Stretch” Bailey, John Porter, Zach Rutherford, and Evan Jackson. (PHOTO COURTESY OF WLAF’S PAT PEBLEY)

   Campbell County held a 43 to 36 lead with 5:26 to play, but it was Central’s play that proved to be the difference.  Albeit hurried shot selection and turnovers by the Cougars were likely more their undoing than anything else.  Central scored 15 of the final 21 points and advances to play third seed Powell on Thursday night at Halls.

  The Lady Cougars open their tourney on Friday in a 5:30 pm semi-final game also at Halls.  The WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network will provide the coverage.  (WLAF NEWS PLUBLISHED – 02/14/2018-6AM)

And the Valentine winners are…

Drawing was yesterday on WLAF

   Winners in this year’s Valentine’s Day fun from WLAF were drawn Tuesday live on WLAF Radio.  Special thanks to Bowman Jewelers, Dr. Jill Browning, Common Ground Coffee Shop, El Pueblito Mexican Grill, Ideal Florist and Gifts, Lindsay’s Furniture & Appliance, and Logan’s Car Wash for playing along with us this Valentine Season.

   The winners are:

    His and her car washes - Manager’s Special Car Washes from Logan’s Car Wash:  Arvil Taylor

    Fajitas for two from El Pueblito Mexican Grill:  Christine Bagwell

    Flowers from Ideal Florist and Gifts:  Jeannie Pyle

    A Lindsay Furniture & Appliance $100 gift certificate:  Katherine Dossett

    An eye exam from Dr. Jill Browning in the Walmart Vision Center:  Shirley Fogelsanger

    A coffee prize pack from Common Ground Coffee Shop:  Barbara Cordell

    From Bowman Jewelers – a genuine pearl ring, earrings, and pendant:  Debra Rutherford

    Congratulations to all our winners and thanks to all those of you who registered and to our corporate partners.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/14/2018-6AM)

Yes, La Follette Medical Center does have its own cardiologist

Dr. Stephen Teague practices at LMC

   It seems only fitting, that during the month of February, American Heart Month, and on Valentine’s Day, to let you in on a little secret.  La Follette Medical Center has its very own cardiologist on staff.  And his name is Dr. Stephen Teague.

   Duke, Miami, Purdue, the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical School.  Teague’s curriculum vitae impressively outlines where he’s attended school or taught on staff.  But how did a cardiologist with such a pedigree find his way to La Follette Medical Center?  Location.  Location.  Location.

   The move to La Follette Medical Center in 2011 allowed the well-traveled Teague, who grew up in south Knoxville and loves the outdoors, to return to his native region.  Away from the office, Teague loves an active life and living on the Clinch River provides the perfect setting to stay active.  Whether he’s kayaking or tending to his vegetable garden, he is indeed on the go.

It doesn’t take long for the personable Teague to put patients at ease.

   Perhaps the first thing you notice about Doc Teague, aside from an office with heart related information and models on his desk to various framed fishing memorabilia on his walls, is that he is so friendly and down to earth.  Reason enough for him to glow when he speaks of working at La Follette Medical Center and the rest of the staff at LMC.  He calls the atmosphere and working relationships “fairly uncommon.”  Given his travels, he should know.

   Teague notes that what sets Tennova – La Follette Medical Center apart is congeniality.  He says it’s not like any group he’s been with before.  Helping you on the spot and being eager to help each other are the norm at LMC Teague adds.

   Between Teague and his Physicians Assistant, Jeff Nitz, there is a combined 70-years experience.  He describes Nitz as having a huge background and skills.  Additionally, he says that LMC’s diagnostic evaluation and management capacity equals what is found at other larger hospitals.

   Cold weather, Teague says, brings out angina patients with aching in their chests, and that could also be an indicator of heart disease.  He sees a lot of atrial fibrillation; a disease of aging, aka Afib.  At his LMC office, he sees adolescents to octogenarians and above.

   Women are eight fold more likely to die of heart disease than breast cancer putting them neck and neck with men, Teague points out, and that risk can be mitigated.  All the more reason why the American Heart Association identifies February as “heart month.”  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/14/2018-6AM)

Scheduling an appointment with Dr. Teague

Is in his La Follette office every morning

   La Follette Medical Center has done its part by having Dr. Stephen Teague on staff.  But it’s up to you to follow through if you think it’s time you need to see a cardiologist.  Teague takes self-referrals who have self-concerns over their situation, and Medicare patients do not need a referral and can call the office.  The number to call is 423.907.1740. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/14/2018-6AM)

Mountain View Diner joins Chamber of Commerce

Snipped the red ribbon on Monday

   The Campbell County Chamber of Commerce welcomes in another member.  Monday morning, up the valley, the red ribbon was cut signaling the joining of Mountain View Diner to the Chamber.



   Chamber Director Christie Elkins and a good crowd were on hand in support of Kenneth and (ABOVE) Margarita Fulton, the owners of the new eatery. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/13/2018-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF’S ANN RUTHERFORD)

Commission workshop includes many “hot topics,” lively debate

If several of the topics placed on the agenda for next week’s county commission meeting are any indication, setting the next county budget might include some lively debate.

Butch Kohlmeyer kicked off the controversial topics by asking that commissioners’ health insurance benefits be placed on the agenda, or rather eliminating those benefits. Ralph Davis argued with Kohlmeyer, asking him if he would suggest the change if Kohlmeyer, as a retired teacher, did not already have good insurance coverage.

Kohlmeyer countered that some other counties he has looked at provide coverage at much less than Campbell County’s $94,000.

While Kohlmeyer’s suggestion would eliminate some costs to taxpayers, another topic up for discussion would add a considerable sum to the budget. Robert Higginbotham asked that the commission consider restoring the commissioners’ discretionary funds.

Those funds were provided for each commissioner to designate donations to non-profit organizations that met certain requirements, such as volunteer fire departments, food services for the poor, services for senior citizens and even maintenance of cemeteries as well as extracurricular school programs.

The current commission eliminated the discretionary fund after it took office to avoid the costs.

One commissioner who refused to accept his share of the discretionary fund was Cliff Jennings. Jennings again asked that his favorite project, a county-sponsored veterans’ cemetery, be placed on next week’s agenda.

“I never took my discretionary money. I would contribute that to upkeep for the cemetery,” Jennings said.

Complaining that Mayor E. L. Morton had refused to sign the deed transferring school board property at Davis Chapel to the commission for the cemetery, Jennings said he would introduce a motion to allow the commission’s chairman pro-tem to sign all appropriate documents.

Morton replied that the papers to request a private act had already been sent to Nashville, but did not indicate whether he had signed the necessary documents.

The cemetery was not the only bone of contention between Morton and members of the commission. Sue Nance asked that hiring a new secretary for the commission be placed on the agenda, since the current secretary, Peggy Henegar, plans to retire in April and has put the commission on notice to find her replacement.

“I would suggest that you don’t need to hire a new person that the work of secretary for the commission can be done through my office. The skill sets are already there,” Morton stated.

Few of the commissioners liked the idea of letting the Mayor’s office handle commission communications and prepare their agenda packets.

“If it is done through your office with all the other duties you have, I fear it would be placed on the back burner,” Nance commented.

Several other commissioners voiced similar opinions in opposition to transferring the duties to Morton’s office. They finally agreed that the personnel & insurance committee would review applications for a full-time secretary position.

Ralph Davis continued his criticism of the operations of the Sanitation Department, setting yet another meeting of the Environmental Services Committee for next Tuesday. During the workshop, he brought up the subject of an anonymous letter and photographs that have been circulated to news media, government officials and other commissioners.

The anonymous letter showed photos of Davis’ company vehicle parked at county dumpsters and inferred that Davis was illegally dumping commercial trash. Davis denied the charges and suggested that someone in the Sanitation Department, perhaps Director Walt Sutton, was behind the letter.

“That person, whoever, doesn’t have enough courage to speak to me,” Davis complained. After he continued complaining about the letter, Mayor Morton finally said, “That’s enough.”

“That’s enough?” Davis replied, angrily making a motion to adjourn the workshop.

Other commissioners, who had not yet had a chance to add their topics to the agenda, objected to adjournment, making a vote necessary. Davis’ motion to adjourn failed by a vote of 12-2, with only Scott Stanfield supporting the motion.

Only one citizen appeared during the public input portion of the workshop. Ed Blackwell asked the commission to grant him permission to park a lunch trailer on courthouse property for two hours on business days in order to sell barbeque lunches.

The commissioners seemed agreeable but suggested that Blackwell check with the Town of Jacksboro to make sure he meets any local ordinances. County Attorney Joe Coker was asked to check with CTAS about a model for a policy to allow temporary private use of public property.

Deputy Mayor Andy Wallace told commissioners that they will need to vote to accept the bids offered by various buyers to purchase delinquent tax property being sold through the Mayor’s office.

Those bids, Wallace explained, are far less than the listed appraised value of the property, but those pieces of property are for the most part, over-appraised.

“This is property that was offered at auction for the amount of taxes and interest owed against it, but nobody was willing to pay that minimum bid, leaving it in the county’s hands,” Wallace pointed out, “but at least we can get it back on the tax rolls.”

The amounts offered will be posted in local news media and if anyone matches or exceeds the published bid, a final auction sale will held in the Mayor’s office at 6:00 p.m. on February 27.     (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/13/2018-6AM)


Webb fails to appear in court

Accused of buying alcohol for juveniles

After several court dates, Michael Cody Webb, a onetime school employee who faces multiple charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, failed to appear last week.

On Thursday, the 25 year-old was slated to appear in General Sessions court to answer to those misdemeanor counts. Following his nonappearance, a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Webb, a former school custodian with Campbell County Schools, is accused of buying alcohol for six juveniles and allowing them to drink it in his home.  He faces one count per child.

Webb was terminated “as soon as we heard about the incident,” Campbell County Director of Schools Larry Nidiffer said.

The charges are based on allegations, which were later confirmed by the six children involved, that Webb picked them up from school grounds on July 28, 2017, and purchased alcohol for them. Webb allegedly took the students to a local gas station where they gave him money to buy the alcohol, the report said.

According to the arrest warrant, Webb then took the juveniles back to his home, where they consumed the beverages and spent the night.

Ten days later, a parent came forward to Brent Peel, the Jacksboro Middle School Football coach, and reported the drinking.

Contributing to the delinquency of a minor is a Class A misdemeanor that carries a possible 11 months and 29 days in jail and/ or a $2,500 fine per charge.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/13/2018-6AM)

Caryville hires Library Director

WATCH the meeting HERE

The Town of Caryville has a new library director. The Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to promote Rashay Bolton as library director at last night’s meeting. Bolton has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development.

Caryville had a clean audit and came in $145,000 under budget for the year. Denise Davis with Ingram, Overholt and Bean, P.C. presented the findings of the 2017 audit to the board.  Davis said that the findings reflect Caryville being in a very good financial position.

The 10-year recreation plan for the town was discussed. Caryville will need to apply for funding by April 18 for Phase One of its project. Phase One will be to build sidewalks make the concession stand and restrooms at Asbury Park ADA compliant (Americans with Disabilities Act). The projected cost of Phase One is $143,500, which will be covered at a 50-50 match if the grant is awarded to Caryville. By making the park ADA compliant, it will open the town for other grant possibilities that could assist with the next two phases of the ten-year plan.

Fire Chief Eddie Hatmaker requested permission from the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to apply for a FEMA grant to purchase extraction equipment and air packs for the fire department.

In other business, an amendment ordinance on dwelling units, daycares, detached garages/carports and zoning ordinances was discussed. Mayor Bobby Stooksbury explained to the board that the amendment changed some wording and cleaned up the ordinance. Stooksbury pointed out the major change being accessory buildings are allowed in the rear yard only. The board agreed to a request from Pilot to draft a letter to TDOT requesting a traffic study on Howard Baker Hwy at Comfort Lane at the north Caryville Exit of I-75. Bids will be solicited for the hay cutting at the industrial park.  Stooksbury said this is standard procedure.

La Follette City Administrator Jimmy Jeffries spoke to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen about last year’s ATV festival in downtown La Follette. Jeffries said the festival brought in around 6,000-8,000 people in October 2017. Stooksbury and Jeffries agreed that the festival had a positive impact for both cities. This year’s festival will be held Saturday, Oct. 13.

The Beer Board approved the beer permit application for P.K. Patel at the Pioneer Shell at Exit 141, the north Caryville Exit on I-75.  He is purchasing the business from his brother in-law, Vic Patel. P.K Patel is also purchasing State Line Liquor and has completed all 13 steps required by Caryville.  Which means that he can now move forward to the Alcohol Beverage Commission and request to be placed on its agenda for approval of a liquor license.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/13/2018-6AM)

Baseball coaches meeting is Sunday

2 pm in La Follette

   Even though it’s the dead of winter, it’s time to start preparing for baseball season.  Dixie Youth League Baseball Coaches are scheduled to meet this Sunday at 2 pm.  The meeting takes place at the Rec Center in La Follette on West Beech Street; formerly West La Follette School.   (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/13/2018-6AM)


Lady Cougars crack KNS Top Ten

Last poll of the regular season

   WLAF’s Josh Parker can quit complaining.  At least about the Knoxville News Sentinel’s Top Ten Girls Basketball Poll leaving his beloved Lady Cougars of Campbell out of its rankings.  As of Monday, the 19 & 8 Lady Cougars are ranked 6th.  It’s their first poll appearance this season.  Good work, Josh!  See the entire poll HERE.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED-02/13/2018-6AM)

Sudden death season starts tonight for the Cougars

6pm at Halls versus Central in District Tourney

By Pat Pebley

   The regular season ended Friday night as the Cougars and Lady Cougars made up a snow postponed game at Anderson County. The Lady Cougars picked up a 67-48 win over the Lady Mavericks to finish 13-1 in the district. They share the regular season championship with the Lady Wildcats of Oak Ridge. The two basketball powerhouses split regular season games, but the Lady Cougars won the tie breaker to have the top seed in the district tournament that started last night at Halls High School. The Lady Cougars receive a double bye and automatic berth in the regional tournament because of their district championship. They also have the week off all the way up to Friday at 5:30. The Lady Cougars will not know their opponent until the opening rounds are completed.
   The Cougars ended the regular season in a shootout loss to the Mavericks by a score of 60-58. They have a tougher road to hoe than their female counterparts. They will play against Knox Central tonight at Halls with a 6 o’clock tip off.  This is a win or go home game for the Cougars.

   Campbell Head Coach Matt Housley calls Central a solid team with a couple really talented players.  He adds that their coach, Andy Hill, does a good job of getting their best players the ball in their scoring spots. Housley points out that both of our games this year have been dog fights, and this one will be no different.  “It’s just going to come down to who wants it more,” he says.

   Coverage begins at 6 pm tonight on the WLAF-B & M Tires Sports Network.  Watch the game televised live over and hear the live radio version on AM 1450 and FM 100.9.  Josh Parker, Noah Smith, and Aaron Hopkins have the action.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED-02/13/2018-6AM)


Morning mishap sends one to the hospital

Happened just after 9 am

   One person was injured and taken to a Knoxville hospital by ground ambulance.  The driver of the truck had to be extricated in the single-vehicle accident that happened near Miller’s Bridge on old Highway 63 east of La Follette.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/12/2018-2PM-PHOTO COURTESY OF CHIEF DANIEL LAWSON)


   After the buzzer ended the half in last Thursday night’s home game with Oak Ridge, Campbell Head Coach Matt Housley and stalwart Cougar Team Manager Shayne White presented senior Evan Jackson with a ball and plaque to commemorate his accomplishments of reaching the one-thousand point plateau for his career at CCHS. The story and more Pat Pebley photos are found further down this page.

Flood waters at Newcomb

Rains rough up Campbell County over the weekend

Road crews kept busy

   It was a long weekend for members of the Campbell County Highway Department.  Road Superintendent Ron Dilbeck tells WLAF News that large amounts of rain fell county-wide leaving some roads covered with water and debris.  As of Sunday evening, there were still a few county roads that were flooded.

Here’s a look at Old Highway 63 at Caryville on Sunday afternoon.

   Pots holes have cropped up here and there.  The weekend’s rain washed out lots of patches on roads all across the county and even created new pot holes.  Keeping an eye out for pot holes is critical in keeping you and your car safe.

   Dilbeck adds that a few culverts were even washed away.  He goes on to say that several locations with slide potential continue to be monitored.  As water starts receding, Dilbeck notes that he and his crews will know more about just how much damage has been done.  Crews worked into Sunday night around Campbell County. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/12/2018-6AM)

Rain and flood potential return by mid-week

Campbell County received about four inches of rain

   After a beautiful March-like day on Friday, rain settled-in in the wee hours of Saturday morning.  Rounds of rain, heavy rainfall at times, fell through early this morning.

   Slight chances of rain dot the Campbell County weather forecast today and Tuesday.  Cool 40s for highs are expected today before 50s arrive tomorrow.  Increasing chances of rain return on Wednesday and linger through Friday, and with those chances come more flood potential.

WLAF’s Charlie Hutson snapped this high water photo of Cove Lake on Sunday afternoon

   Flood waters continue receding across Campbell County as patches of fog, drizzle, and rain are here and there.  Though the heavier rain has ended and flood waters are receding, please don’t drive through flood waters if you encounter them.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/12/2018-6AM)

La Follette Medical Center is officially “Acute Stroke Ready”

Three Tennova Healhcare Medical Centers receive the advanced certification

   Tennova Healthcare announces that LaFollette Medical Center, Lakeway Regional Hospital and Newport Medical Center have earned Advanced Disease-Specific Care Certification for Acute Stroke Ready Hospitals from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. This certification recognizes hospitals equipped to treat stroke patients with timely, evidence-based care prior to transferring them to a primary or comprehensive stroke center.

   “Stroke certification recognizes Tennova as a leader in stroke care, providing a higher standard of service for stroke patients,” said Tony Benton, market chief executive officer for Tennova Healthcare in East Tennessee. “Earning stroke center certification at our community hospitals underscores our commitment to providing life-saving care to patients—close to home.”

   The three Tennova hospitals recently underwent a rigorous onsite review. To earn Acute Stroke Ready certification, rural or critical access hospitals must meet a variety of standards, including:

·        A dedicated stroke-focused program

·        Staffing by qualified medical professionals trained in stroke care

·        24/7 ability to perform rapid diagnostic and laboratory testing

·        Ability to administer intravenous clot-busting medications to eligible patients

·        Availability of telemedicine technology

·        Collaboration with local emergency management agencies

   Previously, North Knoxville Medical Center and Physicians Regional Medical Center earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers, reflecting the high level of quality care and competence in treating stroke patients. Jefferson Memorial Hospital and Turkey Creek Medical Center are also certified as Acute Stroke Ready Hospitals.

   “Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States,” Benton said. “On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, and someone dies of a stroke every four minutes. If people having a stroke can access advanced care more quickly, more lives can be saved and more people will avoid the disabilities that stroke so often causes.”

   Tennova encourages people to know the symptoms of a stroke. Use F.A.S.T. to remember the warning signs:

·        FACE – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop or is number?

·        ARMS – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

·        SPEECH – Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Are the words repeated correctly? Or slurred?

·        TIME – If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

   For more information or to find a doctor, call 1-855-TENNOVA (836-6682) or visit  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/09/2018-6AM)

Cumberland Gap Medical’s sign goes up Friday

Finishing touches at its new location

   Cumberland Gap Medical moved to its new east La Follette location a few weeks ago.  On Friday, its sign was put up at the new office at the corner of East Central Avenue and North Cumberland Avenue.

   Dustin Woodson (green shirt) and his crew took down the Cumberland Gap Medical sign from its former location at Riggs Drug in La Follette and re-set it at the new offices.

   Cumberland Gap Medical is open Monday through Friday.  Walk-ins are welcome.  To schedule an appointment, call 423.201.9799.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/12/2018-6AM)

Campbell closes regular season with a split

Lady Cougars win.  Cougars fall in a close one. 

   The second-season begins Tuesday night for the Campbell Cougars.  The Cougars lost their comeback bid on Friday night at Maverick Gym as Anderson County completed the regular season sweep of Campbell.  The Mavericks won 60 to 58.

   In a game that was originally scheduled for January 12, Elijah Phillips tallied 18-points while John Porter posted 15.  Landon Addington was Campbell’s third double-figure scorer with 10.  Evan Jackson scored six, Drew Jordan four, Jared Bane three, and Carter Wells added two points.

   Campbell takes a 9 & 18 record into tomorrow night’s 6 pm game with Central at Halls in the opening boys game of the District 3-AAA Basketball Tournament.  The Cougars won both regular season meetings with the Bobcats.

   The Lady Cougars swept the season series with Anderson following Friday night’s 67 to 48 victory.  The District 3-AAA Champs wrap up the regular season with 19 wins against 8 losses to go along with a 13 & 1 league record.

   Blair Medley enjoyed a career night Friday night with four second-half threes to finish with 17-points.  Madison Brady had 18, Emily Ellison a dozen, Skylar Boshears added nine, Haley Comer chipped in seven while Lexy Richardson and Myra Sexton had two points each.

   District Tourney action for the Lady Cougars begins Friday evening at 5:30 pm in the semi-finals.  Depending on how the opening round and quarterfinal games shake-out, Campbell could play Clinton, Halls, or Karns.

   The WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network has all the post season coverage of the Cougars and Lady Cougars.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/12/2018-6AM)

Big Senior Night for Evan Jackson

Goes out with a bang in final home game

By Pat Pebley

   Senior night is a big deal every year as so many wonderful students athletes are honored. That alone would be a big deal for Evan Jackson. But it also had another significance for the senior shooting guard. As the half neared the buzzer, Jackson drained one of his signature three point shots. This particular shot put Jackson at 1,000 career points as a Cougar.

You could feel the excitement from the Cougar Crazies who had been counting down the last several games as Jackson closed in on the historic mark.


   Jackson’s career stats are impressive. The three-year starter had 279 career three point shots going into the game. He hit a career 38% from beyond the three point arc.  Robert Covington of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots a similar percentage in comparison. He is also one of the few Cougar basketballers to be a three-time first team District 3-AAA All-District selection.
Jackson is not just all about athletics. The senior also excels in the class room. As he is wrapping up his academic career, he is carrying a weighted 4.07 grade point average due to his taking advanced classes that add weight to his GPA.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/12/2018-6AM)


Cutt’s “Coach of the Year”.  Again.

Seven CCHS players are named “All-District”

   The regular season is over.  It’s time for the honors.

   Campbell County finished the regular season Friday night against arch-rival Anderson County.  And won rather handily; 67 to 48.  CCHS heads to the post season as District 3-AAA Champions at 13 & 1 and 19 & 8 in all games.

   Lady Cougars Skylar Boshears, Madison Brady, Haley Comer, and Emily Ellison were named to the All-District Team.  Lexy Richardson, who missed the first half of the season with injuries, made the Honorable Mention Squad.

   For the second time in his four seasons as Head Coach of the Lady Cougars, Brad Honeycutt was named District 3-AAA “Coach of the Year.”  Coach Honeycutt credits his “great players” for earning him the honor.

   The Mavericks nipped Campbell in the night cap Friday night by a final of 60 to 58.  CCHS wraps up the regular season at 9 & 18 with a 4 & 10 district won-loss record.

   Cougars Evan Jackson, Elijah Phillips, and John Porter earned All-District 3-AAA distinction.  Drew Jordan was named to the Honorable Mention Team. 

   The district tournament brackets are further down this page.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/10/2018-2:30PM)

   Sheriff Robbie K. Goins officially announces that he will seek a third term as sheriff.  The story is further down this page.

District 3-AAA

Girls Basketball

District Tournament Bracket

All games will be played at Halls

Monday’s games

Game # 1 - 6th Seed Anderson County plays 7th Seed Central at 6 pm

Game # 2 - 5th Seed Clinton plays 8th Seed Karns at 7:30 pm

Wednesday’s games

Game # 5 – Winner of Game # 2 vs. 4th Seed Halls at 6 pm

Game # 6 – Winner of Game # 1 vs. 3rd Seed Powell at 7:30 pm

Friday’s games

Game # 9 – Winner of Game # 6 vs. # 2nd Seed Oak Ridge at 4 pm

Game # 10 – Winner of Game # 5 vs. 1st Seed Campbell at 5:30 pm

Saturday’s games

Consolation Game at 3 pm

Championship Game at 6 pm

District 3-AAA

Boys Basketball

District Tournament Bracket

All games will be played at Halls

Tuesday’s games

Game # 3 - 6th Seed Campbell County plays 7th Seed Central at 6 pm

Game # 4 - 5th Seed Halls plays 8th Seed Clinton at 7:30 pm

Thursday’s games 

Game # 7 – Winner of Game # 4 vs. 4th Seed Anderson County at 6 pm

Game # 6 – Winner of Game # 3 vs. 3rd Seed Powell at 7:30 pm

Friday’s games

Game # 11 – Winner of Game # 8 vs. # 2 Seed Karns at 7 pm

Game # 12 – Winner of Game # 7 vs. 1st Seed Oak Ridge at 8:30 pm

Saturday’s games

Consolation Game at 4:30 pm

Championship Game at 7:30 pm




Win for you and your sweetheart

WLAF’s Valentine fun going on now

   All you need to do is sign-up to have a chance to win this Valentine season.  The following corporate partners are making it all possible.

   From Ideal Florists beautiful flowers to car washes at Logan’s Car Wash and Common Ground Coffee Shop’s special sweetheart coffee package, there are lots of items up for grabs this Valentine’s Day.  Dr. Jill Browning is featuring an eye exam and El Pueblito Mexican Grill is giving away fajitas for two.  Lindsay Furniture & Appliance is giving away a $100 gift certificate.

   Bowman Jewelers is giving away a set that includes a 10K white gold, genuine pearls and diamond ring, earrings, and pendant.  Total value of the set is $499.99.

   Register to win today at Bowman Jewelers, Dr. Jill Browning’s office, Common Ground Coffee Shop, El Pueblito Mexican Grill, Lindsay Furniture & Appliance and Ideal Florist.

   Winners will be announced at noon on Tuesday, February 13, live over WLAF AM 1450 and FM 100.9.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/09/2018-5PM)

McGhee is free on $100K bond

Two others arrested in same case

   Marvin McGhee spent little time at the Campbell County Jail on Thursday.  In a pre-dawn raid yesterday morning, McGhee was arrested by the Campbell County Sheriff;s SWAT Team and officers with the 8th Judicial Drug Task Force at McGhee’s Howard Road home.  The raid was prompted by an arrest warrant for several drug charges from an indictment handed down by the Campbell County Grand Jury.

McGhee was taken into custody without incident.

   The 58-year old McGhee is free this morning on a $100,000 bond.  He faces multiple charges including the manufacture, delivery, and sell of a controlled substance, Schedule II, in a drug free zone.

Jennifer Allen was arrested at the home on Howard Lane.

   Also arrested Thursday morning at McGhee’s home east of La Follette was 44-year old Jennifer Allen.  She is facing drug charges and lists her address the same as McGhee’s.

   Forty-year old Corey Overton of Hatmaker Ridge Road at Jacksboro was arrested later yesterday morning.  He, too, was picked up on drug charges.

   Allen is out of jail on a $20,000 bond.  Overton remains housed in the county jail this morning on a $30,000 bond.   (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/09/2018-6AM – PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CAMPBELL COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT)

    Jackson joins Cougar Elite

Tops 1,000 points

   It was quite a senior night last night for Cougar Evan Jackson.  The senior sharpshooter shot himself past the 1,000 point barrier last night in Campbell’s home loss to Oak Ridge.

  Congratulations, Evan! (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/09/2018-6AM)

A family dispute ends peacefully despite SWAT being called to the scene

On Jan. 31, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office received reports a man “gone crazy” and was holding family members hostage in a Gladefield Drive house.  As CCSO Deputy Darryl Chapman was responding to the call, he saw a gold SUV stopped in the middle of the road near Howard Road.  When Chapman spoke with the man in the car, he reported being assaulted while he was at the residence.  A female with the man said she too was assaulted.  The woman said the alleged aggressor was her father and her assault occurred when she attempted to intervene as he tried to attack her mother. Walden had also chased people in the house with a filleting knife, according to the report.

Chapman, accompanied by Sgt. Matt Wasson, went to the residence. However, no one answered the door. A subsequent interview of the couple revealed Walden had allegedly chased the two and his wife around the house with the knife while threatening to kill anyone who disclosed the events, the report said. At this point, the female told police her child was still in the home. Police returned to the home with Det. Ken Daugherty in hopes he could help negotiate.  Just after midnight, police began trying to talk with Kenneth Wayne Walden using a loudspeaker on the patrol car.

During negotiations, Walden came out of the home twice by himself but quickly returned inside the home. Three different times, Walden came out of the home holding his toddler grandson in front of him. When Walden’s wife came out of the house, he ordered her back in the house, which she did, the report said. On his final trip out of the home, using his grandson as a shield, the Campbell County S.W.A.T. was waiting by the porch. They quickly grabbed the child and arrested Walden.

Walden, 58, 123 Gladefield Drive, LaFollette is charged with three counts aggravated assault by domestic violence.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/09/2018-6AM)

CCSO finds man on the run

A complaint about a theft led to the arrest of a man wanted in two states.

On Feb. 3, Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Nathaniel Bostic was flagged down on Demory Road by a man who said he gave Michael Bedford Smith $2,000 to buy a generator for him, and he had yet to get it.

The man said Smith had contacted him about staying in a camper on Marina Lane.  He also said Smith’s vehicle was inside a building at 2341 Demory Road.  When the officer and the theft victim went to look for Smith, it was to no avail.  But, Bostic saw the backseat of Smith’s vehicle had a large hole that led into the trunk and nothing was covering it up. The second time Bostic was inside the building, he noticed that the hole was covered with a blanket and what appeared to be blue jeans under the blanket, which turned out to be Smith attempting to hide.

During a search of the car, police allegedly found a bag in the back seat where Smith was hiding with a small clear container with rolling papers, a marijuana grinder with residue and other drug paraphernalia.

Smith had a Bermuda driver’s license and he claimed that because he was Bermuda resident he lacked a Social Security number. Not believing Smith’s story, Bostic continued to investigate and soon found a credit card in Smith’s wallet. The credit card had the name Michael B. Smith. That information, along with a birthday, helped Bostic to learn Smith had an outstanding warrant out of Georgia for aggravated assault on a police officer and they wanted him back.

Smith was also wanted in Michigan, but they would not extradite. Smith was arrested and charged with fugitive from justice, criminal impersonation, and hold for another agency. Smith waived extradition to Georgia, but has to face his charges here before transferring. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/09/2018-6AM)

Valentine's Day - consider financial gifts for all your Valentines
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   Valentine’s Day is almost here – and it’s a pretty big business. In fact, U.S. consumers spent about $18 billion on their valentines in 2017, according to the National Retail Federation. Of course, recipients certainly appreciate flowers, candy, jewelry and so on, but this year, consider going beyond the traditional favorites to give your loved ones something more long-lasting – a financial gift.
   And, while you’re doing so, why not also go beyond the traditional definition of a “valentine”? After all, not all that $18 billion went to spouses or significant others. A sizable amount also went to non-romantic connections, including children, parents, friends, teachers – even pets. So, in the spirit of ecumenical Valentine’s Day gift-giving, here are some suggestions for financial gifts for your loved ones:
   For spouse or signficant other – One valuable gift to your spouse or significant other might be an IRA contribution. While you can’t directly contribute to someone else’s IRA, you can certainly write a check to that person for that purpose. This gift is particularly valuable because many people have trouble coming up with the maximum annual IRA contribution, which, in 2018, is $5,500, or $6,500 for individuals 50 and older. As an alternative to an IRA contribution, you could give shares of a stock issued by a company whose products or services are enjoyed by your spouse or signfiicant other.
   For your children – It’s never too soon to start saving for college for your children. Fortunately, you have a few attractive college-funding vehicles available, one of which is the 529 Savings Plan. You can generally invest in the plan offered by any state, even if you don’t live there. If you do invest in your own state’s plan, you might receive a tax incentive, which could include a deduction, match or credit. Plus, all withdrawals from 529 Savings Plans will be free from federal income taxes and, in most cases, state income taxes as well, as long as the money is used for qualified college or graduate school expenses of the beneficiary you’ve named. (If a withdrawal is taken from a 529 Savings Plan but not used for a qualified expense, the portion of the withdrawal representing earnings is subject to ordinary income tax and a 10% federal penalty.)
   For your parents – You can probably find a number of thoughtful and valuable financial gifts for your parents. You could, for example, offer to pay a month’s worth of their premiums for their auto or health insurance. Even if they are on Medicare, they may still be paying for a supplemental policy, so your gift may well be appreciated. But you might want to go beyond helping them with just a single component of their financial situation and instead provide them with assistance for their “big picture.” To do so, you could arrange a visit with a trusted financial professional, assuming your parents aren’t already using one. This person could look at all issues, including investments, retirement accounts, long-term care and estate-related financial strategies, and then make appropriate recommendations and even referrals to other professionals.
   Everyone likes the hearts, flowers and sweets of Valentine’s Day. Nonetheless, give some thought to making financial gifts – they can make a difference in your loved ones’ lives long after the chocolates are eaten and the roses have faded. 
(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/09/2018-6AM)

Yager resolution seeks to address public safety threat

It’s posed by cell phone use behind prison walls

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.), February 8, 2018 – Legislation which seeks to address the public safety threat posed by contraband cell phone use by prison inmates was approved this week in the Senate State and Local Government Committee.  Senate Joint Resolution 492, sponsored by Senate State and Local Government Committee Chairman Ken Yager (R-Kingston), asks the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), major cellular providers, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) “to take a proactive and collaborative approach, in conjunction with correctional officials nationwide, to effectively disrupt the use of contraband wireless communication devices obtained by inmates.” 

    There were over 1,500 incidents with cell phones in Tennessee prisons last year.

     Speaking in favor of the bill was Department of Correction Commissioner Tony Parker, who told committee members that murders have been arranged and carried out on Tennessee correctional officers, criminal enterprises continue to thrive, victims have been stalked, witnesses have been threatened, escapes have been arranged and prison riots have been orchestrated all from within prison cells using contraband cellphones. He said these events are becoming common instances as more cellphones illegally infiltrate state correctional facilities. 

   “In years past, I never would have considered the issue of cell phones being a major problem in our prisons,” said Parker. “But, I will have to say that in the last 15 years it has become one of the most significant security threats that we have in our facilities.”

   Parker recounted a 2005 case in Roane County when inmate George Hyatte shot Correctional Officer Wayne “Cotton” Morgan in an escape attempt. He said Hyatte and his accomplice coordinated the escape using a smuggled cell phone.

   “This was an unconscionable and tragic act which I will remember for the rest of my life,” said Sen. Yager, who arrived at the Roane County Courthouse soon after that crime was committed.  “Despite the efforts of our outstanding corrections officials, we need some help from the Federal Communications Commission to give us the tools we need to eradicate the use of cell phones by inmates in prisons.” 

   Parker said the department is committed to tackling this problem, including working with the state’s congressional leaders in asking federal officials to stop the flow of contraband.

   Introducing contraband into a correctional facility is a Class C felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

   The resolution now goes to the full Senate on final approval(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/09/2018-6AM)

Robbie Goins announces re-election bid for third term

Touts dedicated staff, law enforcement accomplishments and community involvement

Jacksboro, TN- Campbell County Sheriff Robbie K. Goins announced this morning his intentions to seek a 3rd term for the office of Campbell County Sheriff. Sheriff Robbie Goins was elected sheriff in 2010 with an overwhelming majority and was re-elected in 2014 with over 72% of the vote. Sheriff Goins said, I am seeking a 3rd term because we still have important work to do together. When I took office in 2010 methamphetamine labs were a demonstrable problem. We’ve whittled that down to nearly nothing today. Now, we are being overrun by the opioid crisis and I believe we have so much to do and my staff has, and is, working hard everyday to fight this problem in its many ugly forms. We need your prayers.”

Since Goins was elected in 2010 the sheriff’s office has grown in many areas and garnered many accomplishments, along with, many law enforcement actions. SInce 2010 the sheriff’s office has answered and initiated almost 110,000 calls for service. Sheriff Goins calls it, “Unprecedented. The amount of calls over these last several years is a prime example of the  leadership and hardwork of this fine staff and they have my full confidence and support. I would put them up against anyone, anytime. It also proves the need for our office and the call for new and better resources.”

The fruits and labors of our sheriff’s office is laid out in the following accomplishments since 2010:

Drugs: Nearly $500,000 in illegal drug money profits have been seized from drug dealers and reused into new drug abuse investigations. Nearly 150 vehicles have been seized from drug related investigations that were proven to be connected to the sell of drugs and when awarded, sold at public auction. The office has generated nearly $165,000 in monies from the sale of property connected to drug offenses at public auctions. Nearly 200 people have been indicted by the grand jury through drug investigations and prosecuted in criminal court. Nearly 500 other drug offense related arrests have been made since 2010. The office has logged nearly 250 arrests for drunk or drugged driving since 2010. SInce 2010 the sheriff’s office has educated nearly 3,000 school children with D.A.R.E. and the newly created L.E.A.D. Program that educates school aged children in the dangers of drugs.               

Community Involvement: The sheriff’s office has been ultimately dedicated to its community in many different ways including the presence at: Hosting the Sheriff’s Back to School Bash and serving thousands of Campbell County children, as well as, working with the school system and many other great organizations. Replacement blood drives for people in need, Church Safety and Security Seminars, National Night Out, Louie Bluie and many other community events. We participate and work with Habitat for Humanity, Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless, Shepherds Home, TVA, Food Life Services, Open Arms Ministry, Senior Citizens Center, the Campbell County Historical Society, Community Health of East Tennessee and many other churches and non-profit organizations. We also provide the adoption and cleanup for 9 cemeteries in Campbell County. We paint schools, classrooms, sporting field houses, Campbell County Chamber of Commerce office and many others with inmate labor and no cost to taxpayers.           

Awards, Certifications and Grants: The sheriff’s office has been recognized nearly every year by the Tennessee Highway Safety Office for its exemplary efforts of its officers in D.U.I. and drug enforcement, along with, its highway safety efforts. The newly expanded Campbell County Jail has been state certified for the first time in over a quarter century. Nearly $300,000 in grants have been awarded by the Tennessee Highway Safety Office  and utilized by deputies. We have also partnered with Children’s Hospital of East Tennessee in grants giving children free bicycle helmets and child safety seats to parents totaling nearly $50,000.

Jail: Led by a dedicated jail staff, the newly needed jail expansion opened a few years ago creating over 300 inmate beds for housing. A yearly average of over 3,000 arrestees come through the booking office of the Campbell County Jail. The new jail also received, for the first time in over a quarter century, its prized state certification. Almost 300,000 meals are served from the jail kitchen every year.

School Resource Officers: The sheriff’s SRO program has placed a deputy in nearly every Campbell County School for law enforcement presence and safety. It’s a one of a kind division in our area. It’s 13 deputies are placed all across Campbell County Schools by working with the Campbell County School Board, Director of Schools, Campbell County Commission, along with cooperation from, school principals, teachers, students, parents and other staff. The SRO’s provide many services aside from direct law enforcement duties that include; teach the new anti-drug L.E.A.D. Program to school children. They are trained in child passenger safety seat installation, hosting 4 checkpoints in Campbell County, where 108 families were served. The SRO’s provide law enforcement and safety enforcement at every home game for football, basketball and soccer sports at our schools. The SRO’s have investigated and criminally charged individuals for several serious threats and actions against our schools and children.           

Corporals: Just recently, by working with county officials, we were able to promote first time ever corporal positions into the chain of command, streamlining the structure of the office to be more effective and efficient for our citizens at no extra burden to taxpayers. 

K-9 Program: Just this year the sheriff authorized the expansion of the office’s K-9 Unit bringing it to its largest and most fruitful to date for a total of 3 K9's on duty full time, including the first ever K-9 assigned directly to Campbell County Schools.

“It is with the most humble of heart that I thank you and your family for allowing me to serve as your sheriff. It's an honor and privilege. We’ve been through a lot together. We’ve seen suffering together and we’ve seen sacrifice together. We’ve also accomplished many successes together. We have so much more work to do together and I look forward to it. Our campaign together has never really stopped. We strive every day to provide you and your family with the best possible service we can give you. Perfect we’re not, but proud we remain. I am so proud of my hardworking and dedicated staff. I could not do it without them or your heartfelt support and prayers. I ask you and your family, again this year, to support my reelection, ours, so our services can continue together.” said Sheriff Robbie K. Goins.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/09/2018-6AM)


   Dailee helps dad, Tony Lindsay, through a busy lunch hour on Wednesday at the Royal Lunch Room on North Tennessee Avenue in La Follette.

Predawn raid this morning

In east La Follette

   In a joint effort, the DEA, 8th Judicial District Drug Task Force, La Follette Police Department, and the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department worked this area in east La Follette before sun up this morning.  This is the corner of South 14th and East Beech Streets where drug activity is suspected.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/08/2018-8:30AM)


And the winners are:  three universities

Banner day for scholarship signings at CCHS

Three regional universities are getting more than five ball players.  They are getting five quality young people who will proudly represent Campbell County High School at the collegiate level.

Though school was out yesterday, you would not have thought it given the large turnout in support of Lindsay Horton, Elijah Phillips, Zach Rutherford, Gary Seibers, and Seth Smith.  Many in attendance agreed that the large number of signings was the largest such event in school history.

L-R Zach Rutherford, Elijah Phillips, and Seth Smith sign to play football at the University of the Cumberlands at Williamsburg.

Campbell Cougar Head Coach Justin Price calls Rutherford the most decorated player on this year’s team.  He smiled when describing Phillips large skill set on offense, defense, and special teams.  The 7th year head coach talked of first-year player Smith’s big upside of potential and his big physical presence.

Gary Seibers, who wore jersey number 74 for Campbell, signed to play football as a Phoenix for Cumberland University at Lebanon, Tennessee.

Price talked about all the tackles Seibers made as a Cougar.  He said Seibers drew a lot of double-teams which was one of the keys to success for the Cougar defense and calls Seibers one of the best linemen in the region.

Coach Price said, “It’s always a special day for the student-athletes and their families as they take that next step of their journey, and I’m glad to be a part of it.”  Both Cumberland and Cumberlands compete in the Mid-South Conference of the NAIA. 

With mom, dad, and brother on hand, Lady Cougar Soccer standout Lindsay Horton signed to play for the LMU Railsplitters at Harrogate.

Lindsay Horton’s path as a Lady Cougar is rather unique.  Her mother, Misty, is a former Lady Cougar while her father, Bryan, was her soccer coach at CCHS and prior to high school.

  At a very young age, Horton made the decision to make soccer a high priority in her life which made Wednesday’s signing that much more rewarding.  Playing soccer two and three nights a week on club teams at Knoxville really cut into “being a kid” time for Horton who was either playing soccer, studying or going to school.  Anytime she was asked if she wanted to continue at this pace, the answer was the same.

 The goal of playing soccer at LMU for Horton started in elementary school when the Railsplitters held youth soccer camps here in Campbell County.  Though she received two other college offers, LMU had the inside track.

 After Wednesday’s signing, Horton now has a new goal; to be an impactful player at LMU.  That’s why she’s been in the gym working out three days a week preparing to begin working with her soccer skills coach.

  It goes without saying that Horton’s father and coach, Bryan, could not be prouder of his player and daughter who excels on the field and in the classroom.

  LMU plays at the NCAA Division II level and is a member of the South Atlantic Conference.  Carson-Newman and Tusculum are among the teams LMU plays each season in the SAC. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/08/2018-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF'S NOAH SMITH)

Yager offers students chance to learn about government first-hand

As a Senate Page

   State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) Wednesday invited local students in grades 6 - 12 in the 12th senatorial district to experience the legislature in action as a Page in the State Senate. An adult is required to accompany pages under the age of 18. The page duties consist of anything from making copies, running errands within the Capitol building, to distributing legislative information to members of the General Assembly. The student pages report to the Chief Clerk of the House and Senate.
   "This is the best civics lesson I can imagine," said Senator Yager. "Student pages are right there with us on the Senate floor. They get a unique front-row view of the lawmaking process."
   Students wishing to be considered as a Senate page can contact Senator Yager online at<> or or they can call his office at 615-741-1449. The pages will also receive a tour of the capitol. Parents or teachers are invited to attend with their child or student.
   "We will certainly take care of as many requests for pages as we can before the General Assembly adjourns," added Yager. "I look forward to sponsoring many local students in our State Senate."  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/08/2018-6AM)


Chamber of Commerce hosts first Lunch & Learn of 2018

   Y-12 Federal Credit Union presented the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce’s first Lunch and Learn of the year on Wednesday. Employees from Y12FCU discussed the perils of identity theft and gave tips to help avoid being scammed by thieves. With this topic as the first in the 2018 series, Christie Elkins executive director of the chamber wants to use it as a starting point for the rest of the year. “The goal is to build on the Lunch and Learn series, because it’s an added value for chamber members,” she said. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/08/2018-6AM)

Grand jury convenes; indicts five

Two indicted for DUI

On Wednesday, the Campbell County Grand Jury handed down the following indictments:

-Wayne Moore- four counts of attempted second degree murder, three counts of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment

-Jason Younce- DUI, possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia

-Nathan McBride and Maggie Kennedy- sale of imitation controlled substance, delivery of imitation controlled substance, possession of a schedule III controlled substance

-Nathan McBride and Maggie Kennedy – two counts of possession of a schedule II controlled substance, possession of a schedule III controlled substance (McBride only), criminal simulation, driving on a revoked license  (McBride only), possession of a firearm during commission of dangerous felony, possession of a firearm by convicted felon (McBride only), violation of traffic control device  (McBride only)

-Jerri Birchfield- DUI  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/08/2018-6AM)

Thompson questions Smith’s lack of certification

City addressing lead paint issue at old P-O ... WATCH MEETING HERE

A fee for use of the city owned old post office building was to be discussed at the meeting, but that item was postponed until the April City of La Follette Council meeting. The item was postponed until current issues with the building could be addressed by the city.

Discussion of the current issue of removing lead paint turned into a warm exchange between City Administrator Jimmy Jeffries and Councilmember Ann Thompson. Thompson ask why Codes Officer Daniel Smith was working on being certified to remove the lead paint but has not obtained his code director certification. Jeffries explained Smith had attempted to take the class to become certified, but the class he signed up for was cancelled. He continued that Smith was on the waiting list for the next class and in the interim, he has been taking other courses pertaining to the job.   (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/07/2018-6AM)

Campbell County schools are closed the rest of the week

Thursday and Friday basketball games will be played

Students and teachers are home this morning.  Home recovering from illness or avoiding illness.   Campbell County Director of Schools Larry Nidiffer made the call to close schools the rest of the week after learning of Tuesday’s poor attendance numbers.  Nidiffer tells WLAF that, “Other school systems around have had to close due to illness, and we’re next.  He pointed out that nearby Scott County’s attendance numbers were really good yesterday but Campbell’s were not.”

Schools are being disinfected ahead of Monday’s reopening.

Campbell County’s home basketball games with Oak Ridge will be played as scheduled Thursday night.  On Friday, Campbell will play at Anderson High.  Anderson County schools are also closed the rest of the week due to illness.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/07/2018-6AM)

Council promotes two employees, tables two items

At last night’s LaFollette City Council, several ordinances were approved, and two employees were promoted. 

Matthew Forsyth was promoted to a full-time level II patrol officer at a salary of $29,580. Rick Collinsworth was promoted to maintenance crew leader at a salary of $32,292.69. 

The council approved several ordinances and resolutions. Ordinance 2018-01 will open an unabandoned street located within the Winston Baird addition of the city near the property of Brian Tiller. Ordinance 2018-02 is an ordinance replacing any existing rules of the road municipal code and adopting by reference state traffic offenses and rules of the road was approved.  

The final ordinance was Resolution 2018-07 declaring a 1985 Kenworth Fire Truck as surplus property and donation to the White Oak Fire Department. Resolution 2018-05 to pay for engineering services for Cannon and Cannon for the new amphitheater, more than half of the project will be paid for from the proceeds of the 5-K race, the annual Santa Trot 5-K. Resolution 2018-06 is an amendment to the original 2017-18 budget that will pay for a defibrillator for city hall and purchase property for a proposed campground.  The council accepted a bid of $32,480 from Boshears Paving for the expansion and resurfacing of the walking trail. 

In last week’s workshop, council discussed tearing down the Ulyess Ford property to create more parking for the East LaFollette Sports Field. At last night’s meeting members of the council, members of the LaFollette Youth Football League came to voice its concern. Coach Josh Etters spoke to the council about the leagues plan to start fixing the house in the spring to utilize it as a field house. The league will be storing its equipment, supplies and uniforms in the house. Concerns were expressed by the council about codes for the use of the house. Given the concerns of the council, it was decided they will research the issue and put the item on the agenda for next month. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/07/2018-6AM)

Mayor and Council to present plaque for heroic actions

Five-year old boy helps his mom

Last week, a pre-schooler turned hero.  In response, Mayor Mike Stanfield had a plaque prepared to present to Ivan Kerestessy for his heroic actions, extraordinary bravery and quick response.  However, the youngster was not able to attend last night’s City of La Follette Council meeting.

Kerestessy, who is five years old, called 911 last Tuesday, January 30, when his mother had a medical emergency, remained on the phone with them and waved first responders into the home. Kerestessy was not present to receive the plaque due to illness.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/07/2018-6AM)

Five CCHS student-athletes to sign scholarships this morning

Horton, Phillips, Rutherford, Seibers, and Smith

Four Cougars and one Lady Cougar will sign this morning to play college ball in the region. 

Lindsay Horton (kicking ball)

“Miss Do All” Lady Cougar Soccer player Lindsay Horton is taking her game to Harrogate.  She’ll sign this morning at 10:30 am in the Commons Area of Campbell High with the LMU Railsplitters.  LMU is a member of NCAA Division II.

Elijah Phillips

Zach Rutherford

Gary Seibers is Number 74

Seth Smith Number 50

Elijah Phillips, Zach Rutherford, and Seth Smith plan to play as Patriots for the University of the Cumberlands football team at Williamsburg while Cougar teammate Gary Seibers is headed to Middle Tennessee to become a member of the Cumberland University Phoenix.  Ironically, the trio will face Seibers along the way, because both schools are members of the Mid-South Conference of the NAIA.

The Cougars will sign at 10 am at CCHS.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/07/2018-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF’S PAT PEBLEY)

What a fun night for an old Vols’ fan

Tennessee tops Kentucky in a nail biter

By Jim Freeman

  In the end, it was a fun night for this old Vols’ fan.  Along the way, it wasn’t so much fun at times as Tennessee squeezed out a win at Rupp Arena.  It seemed like Tennessee committed a hundred turnovers last night at Lexington and that Kentucky shot 200 free throws.  The Vols won 61 to 59.

  Tennessee defeated Kentucky in the last meeting at Memorial Gym at Lexington back in 1976, and it won the first-ever meeting with the ‘Cats at Rupp Arena in 1977.  Last night’s Vols’ win at Rupp Arena brought back memories of those two back-to-back season sweeps of Kentucky.  And, as you know, season sweeps of Kentucky are few and far between.  So are wins at Rupp.

  Besides this season’s sweep, the two in 1975-76 and 1976-77 along with the three-sweep in 1978-79, are etched in my memory.  The 1978-79 sweep included a Tennessee win in the SEC Tournament.

  Beating Kentucky never gets old for this old Vols’ fan. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/07/2018-6AM)

Turned over tanker was actually leaking

18-wheeler hit the ditch at Duff turnoff

A minor, non-injury accident turned into a major clean-up effort on Tuesday.  The ordeal began soon after 5 am yesterday morning along Highway 25W north of La Follette.  It  lasted until around 2:30 pm on the south side of the Duff Railroad Underpass.  An 18-wheeler tanker truck slipped off the road after it made its way through the underpass heading toward La Follette.

The driver was not injured, and it initially appeared that the tanker was not leaking.  A bit later it was discovered that some of the load of non-hazardous liquid had actually leaked out through a vent, according to Campbell County Emergency Management Agency Director Jay Muncy.  Muncy adds that firefighters of the Campbell County Rural Fire Service located the leak and stopped it.

The full tanker had to be unloaded into another tanker before it could be up righted and hauled off.

Two other wrecks happened Tuesday morning

The first wreck of the three wrecks on Tuesday morning happened at Mile Marker 151 on the south bound side of I-75.  At 1:42 am is when officials say a car hit the end of a guard rail splitting the car into two pieces.  Two of the four occupants in the car were ejected.  The pair was flown out by Lifestar to a Knoxville hospital.  The mishap closed both lanes of that side of the interstate for a few hours.

Around 5:30 am, a truck wrecked close to Mile Marker 158 on the north bound side of I-75.  No one was injured, but one lane was closed for a while for the clean-up.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/07/2018-6AM)



   Lifelong childhood friends (L) Burgin Wood and Glen Lay are pictured here at a gathering at Lyk-Nu Auto Collision Center in December.  Arnold Ray Poteet looks on.  Wood died last month.  Lay passed away last week.  The story is further down this page.  (PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE FREEMAN)

Lunch and Learn to discuss identity theft

The Campbell County Chamber of Commerce’s first Lunch and Learn of the year is tomorrow.

Identity Theft: Awareness and Prevention will be presented by Y-12 Federal Credit Union at noon. The event is free, but an RSVP is needed, said Christie Elkins, executive director of the chamber.

Approximately 15-million United States residents have their identities used illegally each year with monetary losses totaling over of $50 billion, according to

That means approximately 7-percent of all adults have their identities misused with each instance resulting in approximately $3,500 in losses, the website said.

With this topic as the first in the 2018 series, Elkins wants to use it as a starting point for the rest of the year.

“The goal is to build on the Lunch and Learn series, because it’s an added value for chamber members,” she said.

In order to attend the presentation contact Elkins at 423.566.0329 by Wednesday morning.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/06/2018-6AM)

Warming Center Provides Hope for the Homeless

When temperatures began to plummet in early January, a warming center was opened at the Community Center in LaFollette. The center was to provide a warm place for the homeless and those without adequate heat to stay warm during the extremely cold weather but has provided much more.

On the night, the center opened, it was utilized by eight people. Within three days the center was being used 22 adults and two children, not all spent the night, but came to get warm and have a hot meal. The center served 43 people, one family with children that has since moved to the Scott County Homeless Shelter, ten people have found permanent housing, one male has gone to the Shepherd’s Home, three individuals went to rehab and two people went back to living on the streets, according to Melanie Cordell with the Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless.  During this time, New Horizon Baptist Church provided transportation to those staying at the shelter, so they could get their birth certificates, social security cards and apply for housing.

The center moved on Jan. 10 to the Party Place at the East Gate Center in LaFollette but had to move again on Feb. 1. At that time, New Horizon Baptist Church offered two rooms of the church to be used as a temporary shelter. The center continues to need donations of staff to stay at the center, hot meals, laundry detergent and money for the laundromat for those staying at the center.

Cordell said that center has a long term need to find a 3,000 to 4,000 sq. ft building to operate a homeless program. The center needs hygiene kits, blankets, pillows, drinks, snacks, cleaning supplies, individual lock boxes or lockers so people can lock up their medication and valuables.  Donations are needed to help to continue moving residents into housing. Anyone interested in donating may contact Melanie Cordell at 423.494-0173. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/06/2018-6AM)

A month later, 73 petitions have been picked up

WLAF’s Parker plans to run

    January 5 was the first day anyone could request a petition to run for office in the August 2018 election.  On that first day, 21 Campbell Countians stopped by the Campbell County Election Commission Office at Jacksboro for a petition.  A month later, 73 petitions have been handed out.  There are two more months left to request a petition.

   Carl B. Douglas, an incumbent County Commissioner from District 5, received a petition on Monday.  So did George Mefford.  Mefford is seeking the Fourth District Constable Post.  Josh Parker, a one-term school board member a few years back, is vying for a seat on the County Commission in District 4. 

   Qualifying deadline is Thursday, April 5, at noon.  Election Day is Thursday, August 2, 2018.  Early voting begins Friday, July 13.  CLICK HERE to register to vote.

   See the entire list of those who have petitions further down this page.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/06/2018-6AM)

Lay was a friend to many

WWII Vet passed on Friday

   By now you know that Glen Lay died on Friday.  His services are tomorrow.

   “I thought the world of Glen, said Mike Freeman with Lyk-Nu Auto Collision Center.  After he retired, he’d ride with me here and there when I’d go fetch car parts.”

   The photo above was snapped back in December at a get-to-gether at Lyk-Nu.  It was the last time Glen Lay and Burgin Wood were together.

   Lay and Wood were born within days of each other in October of 1923, attended the same school, played together, and were childhood friends to the end.  Something you just don’t see every day.

   The two served on separate ships in the U.S. Navy in World War II.  A friend of Lay and Wood, the late E.L. “Dugan” Wilson, also served in the Navy in WWII.

   Somewhere along the way, Lay’s ship sunk near Alaska.  As the story was repeated over the years, he would tell Freeman that it was from friendly fire.  Freeman always ribbed Lay that, “Wood and Wilson knew what they were doing.”

   Lay’s family receives friends tomorrow from 1 pm to 3 pm at Cross-Smith Funeral Home in La Follette.  Interment, with Military Honors presented by the Campbell County Honor Guard, will be at Cumberland View Cemetery.

Glen Kenneth Lay was 93-years old.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/06/2018-6AM)

These Campbell Countians have picked up petitions through close of business on Monday, February 5, 2018.

State Representative (Republican Primary Election)

Dennis Powers** and Michael Evans

Register of Deeds

Greg Cross, David B. Griffith, Beverly Hall, Tom Hatmaker, Ronnie “Pete” Huckaby, Ron McClellan, Patrick Silcox, June Turner and Johnny Vanover


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

County Clerk

Alene Baird** and Todd Nance

County Trustee

Monty Bullock** and Paul Pierce

Circuit Court Clerk

Bobby Vann**


Robbie Goins** and Jimmy Jeffries

County Commission

1st District

Ronnie Bostic, Keith Goins, Wallace Goins, Whit Goins**, Robert Higginbotham**, Harley Hill, and John Ridenour

2nd District

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

3rd District

Dewayne Baird, T. Don Boshears, Tom Campbell, Rusty Orick**, Joshua Parks, Danny Sheckles, and Scott Stanfield**  

4th District

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

5th District

Forster Baird**, Ralph Davis**, Carl Douglas**, Tyler King, Stevie Rutherford, Terry Singley, and Ronnie Thomas

School Board

1st District

Wallace Goins**, Jeffery L. Miller, Jr., John James Christopher Minor, and Marvin Rutherford

2nd District

Mark Honaker, Josh James and Sharon Ridenour**

3rd District

Faye Heatherly**  

4th District

Clint Bane** and Ronnie Lasley

5th District

Crystal Creekmore**


1st District

Elias Adcock, James Gross, Sam Ivey, and Kenneth Newsome

2nd District

Larry Ford and Jamuel Patton

3rd District

Johnny Jones

4th District

Dewey Madison ** and George Mefford

5th District

Bruce Webb and Paul Webb

** Incumbent

(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/06/2018-6AM)

CCRFS makes third run in two days

Home saved on Sunday

   The Campbell County Rural Fire Service answered three house fire calls over the weekend.  Yesterday morning, around 4 am, firefighters with the CCRFS responded to a report of a house fire east of La Follette.  It was at a home on South Village Lane just off Old Middlesboro Highway.

   The fire was contained to the home’s heating unit.  There were no injuries and no major damage according to CCRFS Chief Daniel Lawson. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/05/2018-6AM-PHOTO COURTESY OF DANIEL LAWSON)

County issues $9 million bond

Campbell County has taken a step in helping Jellico residents have affordable, low income housing.

It began with a meeting of the county’s Industrial Development Board last week. The board, which Campbell County Mayor E.L .Morton said, had been “reinvigorated,” agreed to issue the $9 million bond.

“This is the first bond in my term,” Morton said. “This has been our first real request.”

Municipal bonds are debt securities issued by these organizations to bondholders. A bondholders acts as a lending institutions and the loan is expected to be paid back at face value at a certain date. Industrial bonds are generally used for brick and mortar investments. The structure of this bond offered a tax savings to the investors, he said.

In this case, the county issued a private developer the bond to update 123 living units at Jellico Towers, according to Morton. The money will go towards modernizing the units with very little inconvenience to the residents, he said.

Morton said the industrial board is important because it is comprised of citizens who screen applicants that want to invest in the area. It is “citizen driven” allowing them to “filter (applications) against their lifestyles.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/05/2018-6AM)

BOE working its way to DOS contract signing

Fields expected to sign on March 1

   Recently appointed Director of Schools for Campbell County Jennifer Fields is expected to sign a contract with the Campbell County Board of Education next month.  According to Chairman of the Campbell County Board of Education Clint Bane, there is a special-called meeting of the BOE scheduled for Thursday, March 1, 6 pm, at the Courthouse at Jacksboro.  After Fields signs the contract that night, she will officially become the DOS the next day.

   The Board of Education will vote to approve Fields’ contract at its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, February 13.  In a straw poll at last week’s workshop, the board voted to pay Fields a base salary of $115,000 and a contract of four-years, the maximum allowed by the state and longer than previous DOS contracts for Campbell County.  Bane explained that the fact that Fields has an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) professional degree was reason to pay her roughly 4,200-dollars more than current DOS Larry Nidiffer is making.  However, Fields’ contract does not include any goal driven bonuses.  Bane said, “I feel like that’s a fair trade-off.”

   Although Fields contract does not include any goal based incentives, she will still be required to meet board criteria.  Bane adds that the board is still working on that criteria.  He points out that the four criteria the BOE expects Fields to meet will be part of her evaluation.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/05/2018-6AM)

Gala planned for Feb. 9

An “especially dressy event” is planned to support a new local Bible program. It will also serve as evening to celebrate Valentine’s Day locally.

The Gala Agape is set for Friday, Feb. 9, at The Stables.  A night of prime rib, live music, ballroom dancing and a coffee bar will also go for the good cause of offering a Bible class to high school students.

For several months, there has been a ground swell of support for the Release Time Bible Education program slated to begin this fall. Within this program, students at Campbell County High School will be permitted to leave campus to attend a Bible class at nearby Hillcrest Baptist Church.

To help facilitate the program, the school system has agreed to build a sidewalk between the two buildings and install a gate, according to Sherry Shope, who is helping to spearhead the course.

The hope is to offer two classes that students can choose between.

“The curriculum has yet to be determined,” Shope said. Organizers for the Released Time class and state officials are working together to make a decision so the students can be credited an elective for the class.

Offering this class in not proselyting but instead, allowing the Bible to be taught in “an academic rigorous fashion,” she said.

However, this effort will need funds to come to fruition so the gala has been organized to help with that. The money raised will be put towards purchasing the curriculum, hiring a certified teacher and other administrative costs, according to Shope.

Currently, over 100 tickets have been sold.

Tickets are $75 and those interested have until Wednesday to purchase them. To purchase tickets or help sponsor the event contact Bonita Farias at

“We hope this will be everyone’s Valentine’s Day date,” Shope said. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/05/2018-6AM)

Charley’s the Queen

Charley Leach, escorted by Rusty Robards, was recently crowned Homecoming Queen at J. Frank White Academy at Harrogate.



One man is dead.  Two homes are total losses.

Firefighters work all night long.  Into this morning.

One person died when his Demory home caught fire soon after midnight this morning.  (PHOTO COURTESY OF IZAK BRIGHT)

   A Campbell County man lost his life this morning when his Demory home burned.  Fire Chief Daniel Lawson with the Campbell County Rural Fire Service tells WLAF that the call of the house fire in the 2800 block of Demory Road came in at 12:47 this morning. 

   The victim is identified as Mike Cooper.  Cooper was 62-years old.

   Crews were on the scene of the Demory fire until sun-up this morning. (PHOTOS COURTESY OF CCRFS CHIEF DANIEL LAWSON)         

   The CCRFS received mutual aid from the Caryville Fire Department.  Four trucks and 13 firefighters fought the blaze.  Lawson deems the mobile home a total loss.

   Caryville’s Fire Department battled its second mobile home fire this week in the same park.  This morning at 5:25 am is when the CFD responded to Spruce Lane.  Assistance was not far behind from the Jacksboro Fire Department and the CCRFS.

The fire at this home at Caryville started just before 5:30 am this morning. (PHOTOS COURTESY OF CFD CHIEF EDDIE HATMAKER)

   The homeowner suffered minor burns and was taken to the La Follette Medical Center.  No firefighters were injured.

   One firefighter has been going since 4 am Friday.  Many other firefighters are in a similar boat.  But when there’s a fire and those responding need assistance, the brother hood of firefighters bands together.  That was the case when the first fire alarm sounded this morning just before 1 am.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/03/2018-11AM)

Warming Center needs volunteers and donations

Seventeen people are currently being housed at the center

The Campbell County Warming Center has moved to New Horizon Baptist Church in LaFollette. The center remains a community shelter, housed temporarily at this church facility.

The Center has an immediate need for volunteers to staff the center. Other needs for the center are hot meals, blankets, drinks, snacks, laundry detergent and money to use at a  Laundromat for those staying at the center.  Currently there are 17 people staying at the center.

Anyone interested in assisting with the needs at the center can contact Melanie Cordell at 423.494.0173. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/02/2018-6AM)


How Can You Improve Your Financial Fitness This Year?

CLICK HERE for the latest CD Rates from Edward Jones Investments
From Zach Sheets – Edward Jones Financial Advisor

   If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get healthier, you may already be taking the necessary steps, such as improving your diet and increasing your exercise. Of course, physical fitness is important to your well-being – but, at the same time, don’t forget about your financial fitness. Specifically, what can you do to ensure your investment situation is in good shape?
Here are a few “healthy living” suggestions that may also apply to your investment portfolio:
   Build endurance – Just as exercise can help build your endurance for the demands of a long life, a vigorous investment strategy can help you work toward your long-term goals, such as a comfortable retirement. In practical terms, this means you will need to own some investments with the potential to provide long-term growth. These are the investments that, ideally, you can hold on to for decades and eventually reap the benefits of capital appreciation. Of course, growth-oriented investments, such as most types of stocks, will rise and fall in value over the short term, and there’s no guarantee of profits, or even preserving principal. But if you choose wisely, and you’ve got the patience and discipline to hold on to your investments through the market’s ups and downs, you may well be rewarded.
   Maintain an ideal “weight” – You can help yourself stay healthy by maintaining your ideal weight. This can be challenging – as you know from the recently finished holiday season, it’s easy to put on a few extra pounds. And, just as inadvertently, your portfolio can tack on some unneeded weight, too, in the form of redundant investments. Over time, you may have picked up too many similar investment vehicles, resulting in an overconcentration, or “flabbiness,” that can work against you, especially when a market downturn affects the asset class in which you’re overloaded. So, you might be better off liquidating some of your duplicate, or near-duplicate, investments, and using the proceeds to help broaden your investment mix.
   Get proper rest – Many studies have shown that we need adequate rest to stay alert and healthy. In your life, you’ve probably already found that if you over-tax your body, you pay a price in your overall well-being. If you look at your investment portfolio as a living entity – which, in a way, it is, as it certainly provides life to your goals and aspirations – then you can see that it, too, can be weakened by stress. And one of the main stress factors is excessive trading. If you’re constantly buying and selling investments in an attempt to boost your returns, you may rack up hefty fees, commissions and taxes – and still not really get the results you wanted. Plus, if you’re frequently moving in and out of different investments, you’ll find it hard to follow a unified, long-term strategy. So, confine your trading to those moves that are really essential – and give your portfolio a rest.
   To enjoy your life fully, you’ll want to take care of your physical and financial health – and, as it turns out, you can make similar types of moves to help yourself in both areas.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/02/2018-6AM)

Scherder Arrested for DUI

Call of a reckless driver ends in a DUI arrest

Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Tosha Tackett responded to a reckless driver call on Pinecrest Road on Jan. 25. Before deputies could arrive, Danielle Marguerite Scherder wrecked her vehicle into a ditch, according to a report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department. Tackett was speaking with the woman when she noticed a smell of alcohol coming from her. She was observed to have slurred speech, blood shot watery eyes and unable to stand. Deputy David Wormsley was assisting Tackett and asked if she had consumed any alcohol and she said, “yes sir”, he then asked how much alcohol she had consumed and she said, “no sir”. Scherder was given field sobriety testing, but was unable to complete testing, because she was unable to stand on her feet without assistance. She did agree to submit to the preliminary breath test but was unable to properly blow into the toximeter and give a sufficient sample, saying that “Jesus told her not to”. She then agreed to a draw of her blood for blood alcohol testing. When Campbell County EMS attempted to obtain a sample of blood, she then became irate and refused testing.

Scherder, 33, 238 Hollifield Drive, Jacksboro is charged with violation implied consent law and driving under influence (DUI).   She was released on a $3,000 secured bond.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/02/2018-6AM)


Verbal altercation leads to arrest


Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputies Nathaniel Bostic and David Wormsley answered a domestic call on Demory Road in LaFollette last Saturday around 4 pm.  Before deputies could get to the residence, they were told Stephen Thomas Wills had left the home. Deputies continued to Demory Road and found Wills at the home. When deputies spoke with the woman at the home she said she requested someone to come to her home to look at her dryer. While at the home Wills, the woman’s former boyfriend, now roommate, got into a verbal altercation that led to Wills coming at the dryer repairman with a pick axe. The woman said that she began to request the defendant leave the home at around 8:30 that morning. The woman and Wills had a verbal altercation about him leaving at first, and, according to the report, he then became physical taking her arms and putting them behind her back. He then took her phone and refused to let her have it so she could call the police. Bostic found the pick axe in plain view in the back seat of Wills vehicle. Bostic asked Wills for permission to search the vehicle and Wills gave verbal consent for him to search the vehicle. Bostic found an item, and it was identified by the repairman as the pick axe, Wills was using to threaten them. When Officer Aaron Adkins was patting Wills down, he discovered a glass smoking pipe with residue in it.

Wills, 31, 364 Demory Road, LaFollette, is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, false imprisonment, aggravated assault and domestic assault.  Wills is free on a $30,000 secured bond.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/02/2018-6AM)

 Cougars recognized.  Community thanked.

CCHS holds annual football banquet

By Pat Pebley – WLAF Sports Director
Every year, the Cougar Nation gathers at Ball Farm to celebrate Cougar Football. On the first day of February 2018, the tradition continued. As the crowd devoured the meal Coach Justin Price took to the podium and got the event started. He recognized countless support staff and community members that help make things happen behind the scenes.
   County Mayor E. L. Morton then took the podium and gave the crowd a history lesson about riding on his father's, who was coaching Cougar Football at the time, tractor to go seed the field. He then read a proclamation naming Friday, February 2, as “Cougar Football All In Day” in
Campbell County,
   The coaches then took back over and began recognizing players. Chris Honeycutt told a special story of how he had the privilege of coaching Bailey Miller for seven years as he was coach at LaFollette Middle when Miller entered 8th grade. This is a rare thing for any coach.

   The All-Region team was also recognized. This included the region's receiver of the year Shawn Marcum, tight end of the year Elijah Phillips, and Zach Rutherford was named District Co Offensive Player of the year, an honor he shares with
Oak Ridge’s Johnny Stewart.
   Rutherford and Marcum also were named to the All Hero team by WVLT, were members of the All PrepXtra team, and were named
All State.
   Rutherford and Phillips are also expected to sign soon with the University of the Cumberlands.  Gary Seibers may also be joining his teammates in
Williamsburg though he is also in talks with Union College.
  After the awards were handed out, the crowd was entertained by Isaac Ward's highlight film before ending the evening.

(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/02/2018-6AM)


   Sterling Haskel (Hack) Ayers is a country auctioneer from Stinking Creek, Tennessee.  He will be honored next month at the Boy Scouts of America Campbell County Good Scout Award Dinner.  The story is further down this page.

School officials monitor illness

No plans to cancel school ‘yet’

While children across Campbell County wait to see if illness will bring an unexpected vacation, there is not one in sight.

Central office personnel have been monitoring the situation, according to Director of Schools Larry Nidiffer.  As of Wednesday evening, “We are not canceling school yet” was the official word from Nidiffer.

Spikes in absences at Caryville Elementary School and Jacksboro Middle School have been noted, but only at those schools. For a cancelation, absences system wide would have to reach 20-percent. That means approximately 1,080 students would need to be sick before officials could cancel school. Illnesses do have a tendency to start in one location and spread, so school staff is monitoring attendance daily in an effort to track the sickness.

“We have been out a lot already,” Nidiffer said. Campbell County only has six snow days left, which would be used if school were cancelled due to illness.

(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/01/2018-6AM)




Hot Rod and Johnny take in the Vols game

Tennessee defeats LSU

   Vanderbilt alum and former President of the University of Tennessee Lamar Alexander took a moment to have his photo snapped at last night’s Vols-LSU basketball game at Thompson-Boling Arena.  L-R La Follette City Council member Lonnie “Hot Rod” Wilson, Senator Lamar Alexander, and Campbell County School Board member Johnny Byrge.  By the way, Tennessee won 84 to 61.(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/01/2018-6AM)

Date change for middle school baseball tryouts

Friday, February 9 at CCHS

   Campbell County High School Head Baseball Coach Chris Mayes is looking for future Cougars.  Coach Mayes is hosting middle school baseball tryouts on Friday, February 9 (date change) , at the high school.  The event begins at 4 pm.

   Mayes urges those who plan to attend the tryout to be ready for about any kind of setting.  He says to bring baseball cleats and sneakers, because depending on the weather, the tryouts might be held inside, on the field, or in the parking lot.  Each player attending the tryout needs to bring their own glove and bat.

   For more information, call Mayes at 423.562.8308.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/01/2018-6AM)

Middle school soccer sign-ups going on

   It’s sign-up time for any sixth, seventh, or eighth grade boy interested in playing soccer on the middle school soccer team.  This is open to all students in Campbell County middle schools.  Call Coach Bryan Horton at 423.494.6569.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/01/2018-6AM)

Cougars blitz Clinton by 30 at Dragons Den

Jackson closes-in on 1,000 points

   Generally basketball games between Campbell and Clinton are nip and tuck, down to the wire nail biters.  But last night’s third meeting of the season for the old rivals was the exception to that rule.  The Cougars pulled away early and then kept padding their lead all the way to a 67 to 37 win at Lockard Gym.

   Cougar Evan Jackson lit up the night with 32 points, 14 in the first half and 18 in the second.  The senior sharpshooter hit the bull eyes eight times beyond the arc all the while inching him closer to 1,000 points.  Jackson’s count sits at 981 career points.

   Acting Head Coach Troy Arnold finished his stint subbing for Coach Matt Housley who ends a two-game TSSAA suspension for picking up two technical fouls at last Friday’s Karns game.  Arnold challenged the team after Tuesday night’s 35-point loss at Oak Ridge.  He said, “We can either end this season as individuals or we can start a run and unite.  I’m telling you what.  They answered the bell.”  Campbell made it a 65-point swing from Tuesday night to last night’s 30-point win.

   Elijah Phillips tallied 13 points and eight boards with Drew Jordan putting up six points and pulling down eight rebounds.  Landon Addington score five followed by four from Carter Wells, three from Jake Lane, two points each from Zach Rutherford and John Porter.  Porter led all rebounders with nine.

   Clinton defeated Campbell 52-43 at Brown Gym on December 1.  The Cougars won over the Dragons at Maryville in the Heritage Christmas Tournament (12/22) by a score of 57 to 50.

   The Cougars are 8 & 16 in all games.  In District 3-AAA, CCHS is 3 & 8.

   Campbell has two home games remaining one Friday and one next Thursday.  Tomorrow’s game is with Central.  The WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network has the live radio and televised coverage beginning at 6 pm.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/01/2018-6AM)

Lady Cougars survive Oak Ridge win
Improve to 17 & 7 after victory over Clinton

   Campbell Coach Brad Honeycutt was not going to enjoy the Oak Ridge win until his Lady Cougars took care of business on Wednesday night. And they did. Campbell outscored home standing Clinton 61 to 40 to improve to 11 & 0 and stay atop the District 3-AAA ledger.
   Honeycutt is giving his team today off ahead of Friday's home game with Central. He says his team's legs are gone and their minds are gone. Understandably. They've been playing really hard. The Lady Cougars will practice on Saturday as the 4th year head coach calls it “taking a breather” with today’s break.
   The Lady Cougars were led by Emily Ellison and Skylar Boshears. The pair scored 30 points; 15 points each. Madison Brady added nine. Elsewhere, Lexy Richardson had six, Kaleigh Jordan four, Kaitlyn Ivey and Haley Comer three each, Blair Medley and Myra Sexton and Macy Monday had two points a piece.
   The Lady Cougars are 17 & 7 and sitting in first place in the district at 11 & 0.

   Campbell has two home games remaining.  One Friday and one next Thursday.  Tomorrow’s game is with Central.  The WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network has the live radio and televised coverage beginning at 6 pm.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/01/2018-6AM)


11th annual Good Scout Award Dinner is March 15

Hack Ayers is this year’s honoree

   Logan Hickman, chairman of the eleventh annual Boy Scouts of America Campbell County Good Scout Award Dinner, is pleased to announce that the 2018 honoree is long time Campbell County resident Sterling Haskel (Hack) Ayers. Hack Ayers is a country auctioneer from Stinking Creek, Tennessee. This yearly ceremony and dinner will occur at the Ball Farm Event Center, 2107 General Carl W. Stiner Highway, LaFollette on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 6:00 PM. The money raised at the event will support Campbell County scouting in 2018. This yearly dinner has evolved into Campbell County's premier recognition banquet.
   Hack Ayers is a life-long resident of
Campbell County. A graduate of Jacksboro High School in 1954, he was class president and captain of the football team. He has been the owner and operator of Ayers Real Estate and Auction for over 60 years. A life-long realtor and auctioneer, Hack has served as president of the Tennessee Auctioneers Association and is a member of its Hall of Fame. He is also past president and member of the National Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame. Hack has served the state and community in various capacities. He was the Campbell County Clerk for four years and served as our Tennessee State Representative from 1966 to 1970. He has also served on the board of the Museum of Appalachia and on the board of four community banks. He is an active member of the LaFollette Church of God. He is also a charter member of the South Campbell County Rotary Club. In 2015, he published his autobiography, Hills, Deals, and Stills. Hack and his wife, Tomi, have been married 62 years. They have three children, seven grandchildren, and six (soon to be seven) great grandchildren.
   Mr. Ayers' three daughters, Debra Nelson, Traci Dower, and Codi Provins, will share the speaker duties. Hack's great nephew and Eagle Scout, Noah Smith, will serve as the master of ceremonies. Nineteen
Campbell County citizens will serve as table hosts.
   Peoples Bank of the South is proud to underwrite the dinner's expense for the eleventh year. The bank understands the hugely important impact scouting has on the boys and girls of
Campbell County.
   The previous award recipients are Mr. Edward Balloff, Mrs. Juanita Baird, Colonel Tommy C. Stiner, the five Baird brothers, General Carl W. Stiner, the Campbell County Honor Guard, Mr. Lansden E. Hill, the
Campbell County High School football team coaching staff, Mr. Mike Malicote, and Mr. John T. Reynolds.
Logan Hickman, Dinner Chairman
Peoples Bank of the South; 423-562-4921;

(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/01/2018-6AM)



   You have a chance to win these beautiful items from Bowman Jewelers and WLAF this Valentine season.  All you need to do is sign-up at Bowman Jewelers, Dr. Jill Browning’s Office, Common Ground Coffee Shop, El Pueblito Mexican Grill, Lindsay Furniture & Appliance and Ideal Florist.  More details are further down this page.

It’s a rivalry now

Campbell beats #6 OR on ‘Cats Court

   It’s tough to play at Oak Ridge.  It’s even tougher to win there.  State ranked Number Six Oak Ridge led at the end of the first and second quarters last night on its home floor, Jill Prudden Court.  But it was Campbell County leading after the third and fourth quarters.  At one stage, the Lady Cougars were ahead by 11.  CCHS won for the first time in three seasons over the Lady Wildcats with a 56 to 54 score.

   The Lady Cougars were led by Madison Brady’s 20 points with 18 of those keeping Campbell close in the first-half.  Brady pulled down a dozen rebounds for another double-double. Haley Comer knocked down three treys and finished with 14 points.  Emily Ellison scored all nine of her points in the second-half as Skylar Boshears tallied eight followed by Lexy Richardson who poured in five including her first three-pointer of the season.  Blair Medley did not score but her big steals helped flip the court on Oak Ridge.

   Campbell is 16 & 7 and is all alone at the top of the District 3-AAA standings at 10 & 0.  Oak Ridge slips to 17 & 5 and 10 & 1 in the league.

   Oak Ridge blew open the boys game in the second half.  The Cougars were down a dozen at the mid-game break.  The gap widened to 22 after three quarters with the Wildcats winning 89 to 54.  Troy Arnold served as interim coach for Campbell as Head Coach Matt Housley served the first of a two game suspension for being ejected in last Friday’s game at Karns.

   John Porter totaled 13 points with Evan Jackson and Elijah Phillips each scoring a dozen.  Drew Jordan finished with nine points followed by five from Landon Addington, two from Zach Rutherford, and one from Carter Wells.

   The Cougars are 7 & 16 and 2 & 8 in the district. The WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network has all the coverage of Campbell at Clinton beginning at 6 pm with the Lady Cougars followed by the Cougars-n-Dragons.  Josh Parker, Noah Smith and Aaron Hopkins send you the live action over AM 1450 and FM 100.9 radio and the live telecast on  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/31/2018-6AM)

School Board gives tentative approval to Director’s contract

At a workshop session Tuesday night, the Campbell County Board of Education roughed out a proposed contract for newly hired Director Jennifer Fields that includes a $115,000 annual salary and a term of four years.

Most of the contract provisions adopted by the board were similar to the existing contract for retiring Director Larry Nidiffer, but the board spent significant time discussing Fields’ term of employment and salary before taking straw votes on those two items.

Former board chairman Mike Orick argued for a three-year term but in the end, was the only board member to oppose a four year term in the straw vote. The decision is only tentative and the contract provisions will not become official until voted upon at the next regular board meeting.

Orick also disagreed with other board members on the proposed salary for the new Director. Fields asked for a base salary of $115,000, but Orick said he would prefer the $105,850 (base contract) that was in Nidiffer’s original contract.

“I’m looking at Nidiffer’s current salary that is $110,800,” chairman Clint Bane pointed out. (the $110,800 includes state raises)

“That’s not fair, the additional money is paid due to a state raise,” Orick argued.

Other board members agreed that Nidiffer’s current salary of $110,800 due to a state-mandated raise for all certified school employees would be a minimum starting point. It was then pointed out that another state-mandated raise is expected in the current year that would boost the salary level to $115,000.

One by one, other board members voiced agreement with the $115,000 figure and when a straw vote was held, Orick was again the only member to vote “no,” commenting, “I believe the board will be criticized for setting it that high.” 

During the discussion, Fields pointed out some of the challenges she will face as the new Director, observing at one point, “Only 21.9 percent of Campbell County students made the grades and test scores necessary to qualify for a HOPE scholarship.”

“The teen pregnancy rate is higher that the percentage earning HOPE scholarships,” she added.

She also assured the board that some of the rumors that have been making the rounds since she was hired are not true. “I have no intention of closing Elk Valley Elementary” Fields pointed out.

Before the workshop ended, Bane reported on his meeting with Nidiffer and Finance Director Jeff Marlow to work out the details for a transition when Fields officially assumes the position on March 2.

“Mr. Nidiffer will submit a letter of resignation effective March 2. A budget amendment will then be drawn up to cover the remaining $37,000 in his contract as he works with the new Director to assure a smooth transition,” Bane reported. The board will vote on the terms of Fields’ contract and Nidiffer’s letter of resignation at their next meeting in February. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/31/2018-6AM)

Morton makes the most of trip to D.C.

Attends White House Conference on Rural Prosperity

   Campbell County Mayor E.L. Morton attended Tuesday’s Conference on Rural Prosperity event at Washington, D.C.  The mayor shared some of his thoughts with WLAF through the day.  He notes that Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zincke supervises the Office of Surface Mining which recently permitted coal operations near Peabody Mountain.  Morton adds that the office is funding the return of coal permitting primacy for the State of Tennessee.  He calls it pro energy, pro public lands and committed to environmental stewardship.

Zincke, a former Seal Team Commander, speaks to the group that included Morton

   Also on Tuesday, Grace Job, special assistant to the president, discussed federal investment to address the fact that children go to McDonald’s to get internet in rural America.  Job pointed out that the bill is eighty-billion dollars to connect Americans who are underserved for broadband, and that the president’s executive action in Nashville earlier this month began spending for that purpose.  Morton explains that Campbell County’s build out for broadband is pacing the fastest expansions in Tennessee, and that he was working yesterday for resources to keep up with that growth and move Campbell County to 100% coverage.

Speaker Harwell, Deputy Commissioner of Ag Tom Womack, Dickson County TN Mayor Bob Rial with Mayor Morton at Whitehouse Conference on Rural Prosperity. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/31/2018-6AM)

New school zone is almost here

Lights erected on Tuesday


Approval for new school zone lights at CCHS came a couple of years ago.  Work on the new lights for the Campbell County School Zone began last week and finished on Tuesday.  It’s not be determined when the old lights will come down and the new lights will begin operation.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/31/2018-6AM)

Tennova Healthcare recommends hitting the proper sleep target for better heart health

   You may already appreciate the value of a good night’s sleep. After all, who wants to fall asleep during a much-anticipated lunch date or that important 3 p.m. conference call? However, Tennova Healthcare reports one of the best reasons to consistently pursue the right amount of quality sleep is the impact it can have on your heart health.

   “In the last 50 years, sleep duration has decreased an average of two hours per night for adults in the United States,” said Dewey McWhirter, M.D., a sleep medicine physician and medical director of the Tennova Sleep Centers at North Knoxville Medical Center, Turkey Creek Medical Center and Newport Medical Center. “During that same period, medical research has proven that poor sleep habits definitively correlate to an increased risk of heart disease.”

   A European study published in 2011, for example, involved the sleep patterns of nearly 475,000 people. The results indicated that short sleepers—defined as those who sleep less than six hours per night—had a 48 percent higher risk of premature death from coronary heart disease, and a 15 percent greater risk of a stroke when compared to those who slept six to eight hours per night.

   But too much sleep is not much better. The study revealed that long sleepers—those who sleep an average of nine or more hours per night—showed a 38 percent increased risk of developing or dying from coronary heart disease, and a 65 percent higher risk of stroke than those who regularly got between six and eight hours rest each night.

  Experts say that while a lack of sleep doesn’t necessarily cause heart disease, insufficient sleep can increase the associated risk factors. For example, studies have shown a link between shortened sleep cycles and increased coronary artery calcification, a predictor of subsequent coronary artery disease. Similarly, studies reveal that shorter sleep is also tied to elevated blood pressure.

   “For most people, blood pressure drops during sleep,” Dr. McWhirter said. “It’s possible that these abbreviated sleep cycles are not long enough to allow for that valuable dip in blood pressure.”

   There are also some indirect factors aligning sleep patterns with heart health. For instance, a lack of sleep can increase insulin resistance, a risk factor for the development of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease; and C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation that has been shown to be predictive of cardiovascular disease. Reduced sleep also interferes with appetite regulation, often resulting in overeating or poor food choices.

   “The effect of sleep on the heart is a relatively new area of study, and drawing direct correlations is difficult—even for experts,” Dr. McWhirter said. “Nonetheless, enough research has been compiled to safely assert this: Getting less than six hours of sleep per night on a regular basis is not a good idea.”

   Here are some tips to help you get a better night’s sleep:

·        Exercise regularly, but not right before bed. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days, but avoid any rigorous exercise within three hours of bedtime.

·        Switch to decaf. Studies show there are benefits to be derived from drinking coffee, but after 3 p.m. consider switching to water or decaffeinated beverages. You may be surprised how impactful that post-dinner cup of coffee can be on a good night’s rest.

·        Establish a routine. Give your brain a chance to move into sleep mode. Switch off the TV or video games at least two hours before bed. Consider a 10-minute meditation practice just before climbing into bed, or a low-key yoga program especially designed for evening relaxation. These will not only help you fall asleep, but will ensure a higher quality of sleep through the night.

·        Avoid sleep medicines. Medication designed to induce rapid or deep sleep may have value in the short-term, but can do tremendous damage to your long-term sleep habits. Additionally, recent studies have shown that even the occasional use of sleep aids a couple of times per month can elevate the risk of premature death.

·        Address sleep apnea. If you suffer from sleep apnea or excessive snoring, do not underestimate its impact on your health or your heart. Treatments for both conditions have seen major advances over the past decade, and are now more convenient and effective in restoring sleep and proper breathing.

   “Sleep is one of the most significant and underrated aspects of our overall health and longevity,” Dr. McWhirter said. “It’s also one of the easiest things to fix with some modest lifestyle modifications.”

   Tennova Sleep Centers in Knoxville, Powell, LaFollette, Newport and Jefferson City provide comprehensive sleep disorder diagnosis and treatment. From sleep apnea to restless legs syndrome, the team at Tennova Sleep Centers can help you find a better night’s sleep.

   For more information or to find a qualified sleep medicine physician, call 1-855-TENNOVA (836-6682) or visit  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/31/2018-6AM)

Friends of Cove Lake seeking new members

Next meeting is Monday at the park

   Chances are if you live in or even near Campbell County then you have used Cove Lake State Park. What most people do not realize is there is a group of citizens who help keep the park the destination that it has become. The Friends of Cove Lake is a concerned group of citizens who have banded together to assist in protecting, preserving and promoting the beauty and the splendor of Cove Lake State Park. They give selflessly of their time, talents and energy to help ensure the park’s integrity is intact for future generations to enjoy. This organization was formed in 1996 and has held numerous events and completed many projects to benefit the park. The most famous of these events is the annual Cove Lake 5K race that draws in runners from around the region. The group has also held clean up days in the park, installed kiosks for park related announcements, and helped provide the fishing pier in conjunction with the TWRA.
   To find out more about the group or how to get involved, interested citizens are encouraged to come to monthly meetings the first Monday of every month at 6:00p.m. The meeting place is the Cove Lake Recreation Building.

   The next meeting is Monday, February 5, 6 pm.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/31/2018-6AM)

Win for you and your sweetheart

WLAF’s Valentine fun going on now

   All you need to do is sign-up to have a chance to win this Valentine season.  The following corporate partners are making it all possible.

   From Ideal Florists beautiful flowers to car washes at Logan’s Car Wash and Common Ground Coffee Shop’s special sweetheart coffee package, there are lots of items up for grabs this Valentine’s Day.  Dr. Jill Browning is featuring an eye exam and El Pueblito Mexican Grill is giving away fajitas for two.  Lindsay Furniture & Appliance is giving away a $100 gift certificate.

   Bowman Jewelers is giving away a set that includes a 10K white gold, genuine pearls and diamond ring, earrings, and pendant.  Total value of the set is $499.99.

   Register to win today at Bowman Jewelers, Dr. Jill Browning’s office, Common Ground Coffee Shop, El Pueblito Mexican Grill, Lindsay Furniture & Appliance and Ideal Florist.

   Winners will be announced at noon on Tuesday, February 13, live over WLAF AM 1450 and FM 100.9.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/31/2018-6AM)



   Aside from spending some time with Caty Davis, Miss Tennessee, WLAF’s Noah Smith was in Nashville Monday night for the State of the State Address.  Smith’s account and more photos are further down this page.


City of LaFollette discusses meeting agenda 

Meets in workshop session

   At last night’s City of LaFollette workshop several ordinances were discussed, along with hiring two employees for the city. 

-Police Department

The LaFollette Police Department is looking at adding another officer. In next week’s, council meeting it will vote on hiring Matt Forsyth as a full-time officer at an annual salary of $29,580. Forsyth is a certified K-9 handler. An amendment to the general fund of the police department (Resolution 2018-06) to the 2017-18 budget will also be on the agenda. The amendment will correct the way the payables are generated and adjusts the budget accordingly.  Plans for a firing range for the police department appear to be coming together. The old brush dump at Ivey Dell can be converted to a firing range at a small cost to the city by utilizing in-house labor. The police department currently utilizes a firing range owned by TWRA. 

-Ordinance and Resolutions

The council will have the first reading of Ordinance 2018-01 that will open an abandoned street located within the Winston Baird addition of the city near the property of Brian Tiller. Ordinance 2018-02 is an ordinance of the City of LaFollette, replacing any existing rules of the road municipal code and adopting by reference state traffic offenses and rules of the road, this will be a first reading.  The final ordinance on last night’s agenda was Resolution 2018-07 declaring a 1985 Kenworth Fire Truck as surplus property and donation. 

-Parks and Recreation

Rick Collingsworth will be promoted to Maintenance Crew Leader at a salary of $32, 292. 69 effective Feb. 17.  The department will be accepting a bid for the walking trail resurfacing and expansion at Dr. Lee J. Sergeant Park. The council will also be discussing tearing down the Ulyess Ford property to create more parking for the ball field on South 14th Street in east LaFollette. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/30/2018-6AM)

Chamber welcomes 265th member

Tri-State Realty is the latest member

   The Campbell County Chamber of Commerce welcomed its 265th member on Monday morning.  Tri-State Realty snipped the ribbon to officially signify its membership.  The offices are located in the former Winchester Law Building across from Short-Redmond Ford. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/30/2018-6AM-PHOTO COURTESY OF DEPUTY MAYOR ANDY WALLACE)

Powers measure scheduled for today

Second Amendment sales-tax holiday

  State Representative Dennis Powers wants a second sales-tax holiday weekend- for guns.
Tennessee already has an annual July tax holiday weekend that eliminates sales tax on clothes, school supplies, and computers.
   This morning in
Nashville, the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee will again hear about a bill that would offer to eliminate taxes on guns for the first weekend in September. The measure, filed by Powers last spring, would create a Second Amendment sales-tax holiday.

   Powers tells WLAF, “My Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday would give consumers who spend on firearms and firearms ammunition a sales tax break on the first weekend of September during the beginning of hunting season each year. Our Second Amendment is one of the most inestimable protections of our Constitution, and my goal is to make it more affordable for those who wish to hunt and/or protect their family.” 

     At 10:30 am the committee is scheduled to meet in House Hearing Room III.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/30/2018-6AM)

Baird, Boshears, Honaker and Powers request petitions

List has grown to 65 potentials

   At this rate, even with several petitions likely to never be returned, come August, there will be a very large ballot for Campbell County’s General Election and the state’s primary election.  As of close of business on Monday at the Campbell County Election Commission Office, 65 petitions had been requested since January 5.

   Picking up petitions yesterday were Dewayne Baird and T. Don Boshears for County Commission – Third District.  Mark Honaker now has a petition for School Board – Second District.  The only incumbent among the four is State Representative Dennis Powers who plans to run for a fifth term.

   Qualifying deadline is Thursday, April 5, at noon.  Election Day is Thursday, August 2, 2018.  Early voting begins Friday, July 13.  See the entire list of those who have petitions further down this page.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/29/2018-6AM)

Campbell and Oak Ridge meet for third time as unbeatens

‘We must play four quarters’ – Lady Cougar Head Coach Brad Honeycutt

   For the third straight season, Campbell (9 & 0) and Oak Ridge (10 & 0) face off with spotless records in District 3-AAA.  That will change tonight on Jill Prudden Court.  In all games, the Wildcats are 17 & 4 while Campbell is 15 & 7.

   Campbell Head Coach Brad Honeycutt says, “We’ve gotta win one before it’s going to be a rivalry.  So, we’re wanting to win one and hopefully make a statement.”

   As Honeycutt put together tonight’s game plan, he used Morristown West as his blueprint.  West is similar to Campbell and played at Oak Ridge in December falling 51 to 43.

   “We have to play four-quarters,” Honeycutt stresses.  He recalls that the past five meetings have been close games until the fourth quarter.  He describes Oak Ridge as a tough team that finds a way to win.  The ‘Cats are especially good at getting to the rim.

   The coach hopes his Lady Cougars and the Cougars have a good following tonight at Wildcat Arena.  He calls fan support key.

   This game was originally penciled-in for December.  Oak Ridge had another game it wanted to play, and that’s why both teams will play each other over a ten-day span. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/29/2018-6AM)

Housley’s home tonight while Cougars play away

CCHS plays at Oak Ridge

   When Coach Matt Housley spoke up about the bad taste of one official’s home cooking on Friday night at Karns, he was tossed.  But the Cougars proceeded to set Karns kitchen on fire with a 37-point fourth quarter.  The Beavers held on for a two-point win after leading by 25 points entering the last quarter.

   “The secret’s out, Housley told WLAF Sports after Monday’s practice.  Our team knows how well it can play, and I hope they continue playing like that tonight at Oak Ridge.”

    The WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network has all the coverage of Campbell at Oak Ridge beginning at 6 pm with the Lady Cougars followed by the Cougars-n-Wildcats.  Josh Parker, Noah Smith and Aaron Hopkins send you the live action over AM 1450 and FM 100.9 radio and the live telecast on  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/29/2018-6AM)

What a day in Nashville for Noah Smith

CCHS Senior takes in Haslam’s final address

By Noah Smith

   I was honored yesterday to meet Miss Tennessee while in the State Legislature’s Building, now called the Cordell Hull Building.  Also yesterday, Governor Haslam delivered his final State of the State Address and I was there!  It was an honor to receive a seat on the House floor along with members of the General Assembly and the Governor’s Cabinet.

   As I walked into the chamber, I was met with numerous protestors, but also ample brave and courageous Tennessee State Troopers. The Chamber was filled with all of the members of the legislature along with guests and members of the Executive and Judicial Branches of Tennessee Government.

I was honored to be invited to attend this year’s Address and be on the third row from the Governor. 

   This State of the State Address was different from the rest, being the Governor’s last Address. Governor Haslam highlighted the great work that had been accomplished over the past seven years but challenged Tennessee to not stop now but to continue on to greater prosperity.  He highlighted the fact that more than 500-million dollars in taxes had been cut and many regulations rolled back.  He also noted that Tennessee’s unemployment rate is at its all-time low of roughly three-percent.  Haslam showcased his administration’s successes and the State’s successes, but he left Tennessee with a challenge; don’t stop now, keep moving forward.

   He reintroduced his Tennessee Together initiative to fight the Opioid Epidemic. This will be the Governor’s last major problem to tackle. He sees it as a real threat to our State and has developed a comprehensive plan to address and fix it.


State Senator Ken Yager (bottom right corner) before last night’s address

   Governor Haslam also announced his intentions to reform the juvenile court system.  This topic is one that the Governor cares for deeply. He expressed his concern with so many kids being lost in the system, with no chance to recover.

Altogether, Governor Haslam’s final State of the State was a very encouraging message on the state of Tennessee.  I’m grateful to have been invited and honored to have had the pleasure of attending.  It’s another experience to put under my belt, and one that I will never forgot.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/29/2018-6AM)

These Campbell Countians have picked up petitions through close of business on Monday, January 29, 2018.

State Representative (Primary Election)

Dennis Powers**

Register of Deeds

Greg Cross, David B. Griffith, Beverly Hall, Tom Hatmaker, Ronnie "Pete" Huckaby, Ron McClellan, Patrick Silcox, June Turner and Johnny Vanover


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

County Clerk

Alene Baird** and Todd Nance

County Trustee

Monty Bullock** and Paul Pierce

Circuit Court Clerk

Bobby Vann**


Robbie Goins** and Jimmy Jeffries

County Commission

1st District

Ronnie Bostic, Keith Goins, Wallace Goins, Whit Goins**, Robert Higginbotham** and Harley Hill

2nd District

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

3rd District

Dewayne Baird, T. Don Boshears, Tom Campbell, Rusty Orick**, Joshua Parks, Danny Sheckles, and Scott Stanfield**  

4th District

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

5th District

Forster Baird**,  Ralph Davis**, Tyler King, Stevie Rutherford, and Terry Singley

School Board

1st District

Wallace Goins**, Jeffery L. Miller, Jr., John James Christopher Minor, and Marvin Rutherford

2nd District

Mark Honaker, Josh James and Sharon Ridenour**

3rd District

Faye Heatherly**  

4th District

Clint Bane** and Ronnie Lasley

5th District

Crystal Creekmore**


1st District

Elias Adcock, Sam Ivey, and Kenneth Newsome

2nd District

Larry Ford and Jamuel Patton

3rd District

Johnny Jones

4th District

Dewey Madison

5th District

Bruce Webb and Paul Webb

** Incumbent

(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/30/2018-6AM)

Coach 'Cutt keeps his word

The story behind the Lady Cougar coach is further down this page

L-R:  Lady Cougar Emily Ellison, Coach Brad Honeycutt and his knee pads, Lady Cougars Raley Snodgrass and Macey Monday (PHOTO COURTESY OF WLAF’S JOSH PARKER)

   Dr. Lovie Stallworth treats a patient at Servolution next to Powell Valley Middle School.  Servolution offers medical and support services free of charge to patients in need.  The full story about this nearby rural health clinic is further down this page.


County selling land through auction

CLICK HERE to see what’s on the block

Campbell County currently has nearly 30 parcels of land on the auction block.

When owners fail to pay the taxes, the county can claim the land, auctioning it off for the taxes owed. For this sale, there are 23 tracts available in the Alder Shores area of the county. Another six are scattered throughout LaFollette.

Under terms of the sale, bids have already been submitted to the county mayor’s office. However, for 10 days following the opening of the sealed bids, interested buyers can still place a written bid by increasing the offer by 10 percent. The deadline for a bid increase is Feb. 8.

While some of the tracts have been valued at $25,000, the highest bid placed in the auction for any area is $3,000 for a nearly two acre tract. Other bids are as low as $100.

County Mayor EL Morton will notify the winning bidders. Any parcel with multiple bids will be auctioned in the lower courtroom on Feb. 28 at 6pm.

Minimum bids were established last month when the auction began, however, no bid was close to the minimum posted by the county. Under the terms of the sale, those bids will be accepted at the discretion of the mayor and the county commission.

The biding process will close out on March 6.

The county is reserving the right to reject bids.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/29/2018-6AM)

Honeycutt wearing his knee pads today

Lady Cougar Coach ”pays up”

   “When are you going to get your knee pads, Coach?”  Today!

   For Lady Cougar Coach Brad Honeycutt, his team just wasn’t coming up with enough loose balls.  So, after getting knee pads for his players, they’ve responded with extra hustle and have been getting more than their share of loose balls.

   Week before last, one Lady Cougar asked Honeycutt when he was going to wear knee pads?  He said, “If we go three and oh next week, I’ll wear them on Monday.” 

   Campbell went 3 & 0 last week.  And it’s Monday.  And Friday night after the Karns win, Coach told Josh on the WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network that he’d be wearing knee pads over his khaki pants today. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/29/2018-6AM & 1:30PM-PHOTO COURTESY OF WLAF’S JOSH PARKER)

Open Arms Food Ministry hosts “Jail and Bail” event

Valentine’s Most Wanted Round-Up is February 12-16

The volunteers at Open Arms Food Pantry host a Valentine’s event called “Jail and Bail.”  How it works is a Valentine warrant is issued for your arrest by an Open Arms Deputy Sheriff.  You are picked up by the Open Arms Sheriff and brought to the Open Arms Jail where you will be arraigned by Judge Sherry.

Bail is set at $100, and it must be paid before you can be released.  Your donation can be raised before being picked up or you can call family and friends from the Open Arms Jail to help make your bail.

Funds from “Jail and Bail” help Open Arms Food Pantry feed families struggling with hunger.  You are encouraged to participate by calling ahead (423.566.6723) with a donation or by playing along with the annual Valentine’s Most Wanted Round-Up.

The Open Arms Food Pantry is on McGhee Lane at Jacksboro across from the National Guard Armory.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/29/2018-6AM)

Middle school soccer sign-ups going on

   It’s sign-up time for any sixth, seventh, or eighth grade boy interested in playing soccer on the middle school soccer team.  This is open to all students in Campbell County middle schools.  Call Coach Bryan Horton at 423.494.6569.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/29/2018-6AM)

Campbell nearly catches Karns.  Housley out for two games.

Lady Cougars coast.  Remain perfect.

   The Campbell Lady Cougars ran away from Karns and rang up their 15th win of the season.  Karns ran away from the Campbell Cougars, but the Cougars nearly caught ‘em.

   Campbell County blitzed the winless Lady Beavers by a count of 58 to 17.  Skylar Boshears led the way with 16 points followed by Emily Ellison’s nine, Macy Monday had seven, Lexy Richardson and Kaitlyn Ivey scored six points each.  Raley Snodgrass chipped in five, while Alyssa Brown, Haley Comer, and Madison Brady tallied three points apiece.

   The Lady Cougars are 15 & 7 in all games and 9 & 0 in District 3-AAA games; tied with Oak Ridge for first place.

   Karns held a 25-point lead over the Cougars after three quarters of play on Friday night on its home court.  With 6:30 to go in the fourth quarter, Carter Wells right side lay-in started a scoring fire for CCHS.  It triggered an 18 to 3 run that pulled the Cougars to within ten at 64 to 54.  That’s when Karns called time out and Campbell Head Coach Matt Housley exchanged words with an official.  And two quick whistles later, Housley had two technical fouls in his pocket and was heading to the Cougar locker room.

   Assistant coaches Troy Arnold and Jeff Campbell finished the game as co-head coaches.  The Cougars reeled off 19 more points while Karns put up 11.

   Campbell outscored Karns 37 to 14 in the fourth quarter but fell short 75 to 73.  If the 37-point quarter is not a school record, it’s mighty close.  This is the same Cougar team that struggled to score 36 points over four quarters last Tuesday in a home loss to Powell.

   As a result of the technical fouls and ejection, Housley will not be allowed to coach tomorrow night’s game at Oak Ridge and the Wednesday game at Clinton.  He is also fined $250.

   Elijah Phillips led the charge with 21-points while John Porter poured through 16-points.  Landon Addington had a career night with 15 while Evan Jackson knocked down 15-points.  Carter Wells added four followed by Drew Jordan with two.

   The Cougars are 7 & 15 overall and 2 & 7 in District 3-AAA games.

   WLAF has all the live radio and televised coverage of Campbell at Oak Ridge on Tuesday night.  Josh Parker, Noah Smith, and Aaron Hopkins send you the action from Wildcat Arena beginning at 6 pm over the WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network.  That’s live radio on AM 1450 and FM 100.9 and the live telecast on  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/29/2018-6AM)

Servolution now designated as a rural health clinic

At Servolution Health Services, their arms have always been open wide to serve. Now they are open even wider.

The clinic was recently designated by the State of Tennessee to operate as a rural health clinic. The most significant change, is that they will now be able to see children.

The decision to become a rural health clinic and begin taking insured patients was made to enable Servolution’s ability to continue to offer medical and support services free of charge to patients in need and to offer other services to the community at large.

The mission statement is “His Heart, Our Hands, In Service to Others.”  But, because the clinic couldn’t take insurance like Medicare and Medicaid, they couldn’t provide services to all the people who needed them. Now they can better meet needs in the community. Services offered in the past to those without insurance who meet income guidelines are still available free of charge.

Changes include regular office hours Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 pm. A broader range of services- in addition to medical care, support services such as Living with Chronic Illness Classes, Dining with Diabetes, and Stay Active and Independent for Life exercise classes are offered. They will continue to expand other support services, including behavioral health care, in the upcoming months.

In addition to medical director, Dr. Lovie Stallworth who specializes in pediatrics and internal medicine, there is a Nurse Practitioner, Kim Langub and Physician’s Assistant Lauren Anderson on staff.

Servolution accepts Medicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, TN Care, KY Medicaid, Humana, United Healthcare, AARP, Met Life, Cigna, Mutual of Omaha and Tricare.

 Next to the Powell Valley Middle School is where Servolution Health Services is located at 181 Powell Valley School Lane at Speedwell and can be contacted at (423) 419-5070. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/29/2018-6AM)


La Follette City Administrator to run for sheriff

Jeffries is former police chief

   Jimmy Jeffries served La Follette as its chief of police from February 2011 through early August of 2015.  Since, he’s been the City Administrator for La Follette.  Late this afternoon, he picked up his petition to run for sheriff.  That now puts two people in the running for sheriff, the incumbent Sheriff Robbie Goins and now Jeffries.

   Tom Campbell and Joshua Parks each picked up petitions to run for County Commission in the Third District while Marvin Rutherford requested a petition for First District School Board.

   Perennial candidate Virgil Kidwell has yet to decide which offices he will seek.  He checked-in with the Election Commission Office a couple of times today as he weighs his options.

   That brings the total names on the ballot, so far, to 61.  Election Day is Thursday, August 2. 

   Further down this page, see the complete list of the Campbell Countians who have requested petitions.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/26/2018-4:30PM)

     Claire Chambers, escorted by Elijah Phillips, was crowned Homecoming Queen last night after the Campbell-Farragut basketball games.  Chambers is the 43rd CCHS Queen.  (PHOTO COURTESY OF WLAF’S PAT PEBLEY)


The CCSD showcases its new K-9 Unit

Meet Mya, Santo, and Daisy

   Sheriff Robbie K. Goins showcases a new K-9 unit this week.  The new unit is comprised of Corporal Wayne Barton and K-9 Mya, Deputy Travis Bostic and K-9 Santo, and Deputy David Wormsley and K-9 Daisy.


L-R Deputy David Wormsley and K-9 Daisy, Sheriff Robbie Goins, Corporal Wayne Barton and K-9 Mya, and Deputy Travis Bostic and K-9 Santo.

   Mya, a yellow Labrador, will be assigned to the school system and will be trained in drug detection and tracking.  Santo, a German shepherd, will be assigned to patrol and will be trained in drug detection, tracking and apprehension.  Daisy, a Dutch shepherd, will be assigned to patrol and will be trained in the detection of human remains and tracking.
   Sheriff Robbie K. Goins said, "I am proud of these new additions and proud to have dedicated employees willing to serve and take the big responsibility of housing, raising, working with and living with these K-9's. We are proud and thankful and look forward to having them serve Campbell County. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/26/2018-6AM)

BOE Contract Committee meets Tuesday

Next step in DOS process

   Jennifer Fields was named as the next Director of Schools for Campbell County last Monday night.  Next Tuesday night, the DOS Contract Committee meets to begin structuring a contract for the new director.  School Board Member Sharon Ridenour is heading up the committee and will hold the meeting at 6 pm in the lower level conference room of the Central Office. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/26/2018-6AM)

Senator Yager offers students chance to serve as a page

   State Senator Ken Yager invites local students in grades 6 – 12 in the 12th senatorial district to experience the legislature in action as a Page in the State Senate.  An adult is required to accompany Pages under the age of 18. The page duties consist of anything from making copies, running errands within the Capitol building, to distributing legislative information to members of the General Assembly.  The student pages report to the Chief Clerk of the House and Senate.

   "This is the best civics lesson I can imagine," said Senator Yager. "Student pages are right there with us on the Senate floor. They get a unique front-row view of the lawmaking process."
   Students wishing to be considered as a Senate Page can contact Senator Yager online at or they can call his office at 615-741-1449. The pages will also receive a tour of the capitol.  Parents or teachers are invited to attend with their child or student.

   “We will certainly take care of as many requests for pages as we can before the General Assembly adjourns,” added Yager.  “I look forward to sponsoring many local students in our State Senate.”  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/26/2018-6AM)

Put a Trusted ‘Quarterback’ on Your Financial Team
CLICK HERE for the latest CD Rates from Edward Jones Investments

From Zach Sheets, Financial Advisor

On February 4, the eyes of most of the country – and much of the rest of the world – will be on Minneapolis, site of Super Bowl LII. As a fan, you can admire the way Super Bowl quarterbacks direct their teams. But as an investor, you can learn something from the big game by putting together your own team to help you achieve your financial goals – and you may find it helpful to have your own “quarterback.”

Who should be on your team? Your financial strategy will involve investments,
taxes and estate planning, so you will likely need a financial advisor, a tax professional and an attorney. Ideally, your financial advisor – the individual with the broadest view of your financial situation – should serve as the quarterback of this team. And, just as a quarterback on a football team must communicate clearly with his teammates, so will your financial quarterback need to maintain consistent contact with the other team members.

Let’s look at a couple of basic examples as to how this communication might work.

First, suppose you are self-employed and contribute to a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA. Because your contributions are made with pre-tax dollars, the more you put in, the lower your taxable income. (In 2018, the maximum amount you can contribute is $55,000.) Your financial advisor can recommend investments you can choose from to help fund your SEP IRA. Yet you will want your financial advisor to share all your SEP IRA information with your tax professional. When it’s near tax-filing time, your tax professional can then let you and your financial advisor know how much room you still have to contribute to your SEP IRA for the year, and how much you need to add to potentially push yourself into a lower tax bracket.

Now, let’s consider the connection between your financial advisor and your attorney – specifically, your attorney handling your estate planning arrangements. It’s essential that you and your financial advisor provide your attorney with a list of all your financial assets – IRAs, 401(k)s, investments held in brokerage accounts, insurance policies and so on. Your attorney will need this information when preparing your important legal documents, such as your will and living trust – after all, a key part of your estate plan is who gets what. But it’s imperative that you and your financial advisor convey some often-overlooked details that can make a big difference in the disposition of your estate. For example, your financial advisor might suggest that you review the beneficiary designations on your IRA, 401(k) and life insurance policies to make sure these designations are still accurate in light of changes in your life – new spouse, new children and others. These designations are meaningful and can even supersede the instructions you might leave in your will or living trust. Consequently, it’s important for you and your financial advisor to share this information with your attorney.

It can be challenging to meet all your financial objectives. But with the right team in place, and a quarterback to help lead it, you can keep moving toward those goals – and you might cut down on the “fumbles” along the way. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED - 01/26/2018-7AM)

Harris arrested for DUI

Kelly Shane Harris found himself unsuccessful in trying to outrun the police.

On Jan. 20, Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Nathaniel Bostic saw a 2002 black Nissan Xterra on Highway 25 in Jacksboro. Bostic was told by Deputy Jeff Allen that the vehicle had passed him traveling at a high rate that Allen estimated to be 88 mph, according to a report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department. When Bostic saw the vehicle, he estimated the speed to be approximately 89 mph. Bostic clocked the vehicle at 91 mph in a 45-mph zone. Bostic pulled out and traveled at speeds of 90 mph in an attempt to catch the suspected vehicle. Bostic was able to stop the vehicle on Highway 25 at Paris Nance Road.

Bostic went to the driver’s side of the vehicle where he found Harris who was alleged to have glossy, watery eyes and slurred speech. Bostic noted that there was a smell of an alcoholic beverage coming from the vehicle. Bostic ask Harris if he had been drinking and he said he was sorry. He then ask Harris if he had a driver’s license and said he did not, but that he had an identification card. When Harris got out of the vehicle, Bostic noticed that he was unsteady on his feet and had to be assisted in walking to the rear of vehicle. Harris was requested to perform field sobriety test and he refused, and when ask why not he said he was impaired. Harris was ask on a scale of one to ten, with one being completely sober and ten being falling over intoxicated where he was and Harris said he was a nine.  Bostic attempted to the horizontial gaze nystagmus test and he could not focus, when ask why he was having difficulty Harris said he was drunk.  Harris was given a breathalyzer test with a result of .181 BAC.

Harris, 37, 1692 Pinecrest Road, Jacksboro is charged with speeding, violation of TN financial law, drivers to exercise due care, driving while suspended and driving under the influence.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/26/2018-6AM)


Speeding leads to arrest

On Jan. 17 around 9 p.m., Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy John Minor noticed a dark colored vehicle traveling east on 25-W just past Ridge Road at an extremely high rate of speed. Minor got behind the vehicle and attempted to catch up, but had problems doing so due to high speeds and traffic. Minor could see the vehicle the entire time and saw it pass several other vehicles in what appeared to be erratic. The vehicle swerved several times and did several lane changes before Minor could catch up and pass the vehicle at 80 mph in a 45-mph zone, according to a report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department. Minor was able to stop the vehicle in the Wal-Mart parking lot. The officer spoke with the driver of the car Christopher Dziczkowski and ask him if he knew why he was stopped, he responded that he was speeding. Minor noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle and ask if there was anything illegal in the car, Dziczkowski said he had smoked some marijuana in the vehicle. Jacksboro Officer Franklin Ayers was talking with the driver of the vehicle while Minor ask the passenger in the car to get out. Ayers noticed Dziczkowski got nervous when he began asking if there was anything else in the vehicle and allegedly lied several times about there being anything else in the vehicle. While Minor was talking with the passenger, she said the Dziczkowski had put some pills in a small compartment in the center console. The pills were removed and believed to be a schedule II narcotic due to their marking and Dziczkowski admitted the pills were his. During a search of the vehicle a small blue Crown Royal bag was found under the driver’s seat containing two empty bags with marijuana residue along with a small green pipe with marijuana residue.

Dziczkowski, 28, 166 Tear Drop Lane, Heiskell is charged with reckless driving, possession of schedule II and possession of drug paraphernalia. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/26/2018-6AM)


Lady Cougars win a big one.  Cougar comeback falls short.

Campbell splits with Farragut on Homecoming night

By Pat Pebley – WLAF Sports Director

   Traditionally the Lady Cougars have had a rough road against the teams they play when they make it to the regional tournament. For homecoming, they faced one of those teams in the Lady Admirals from Farragut. This time the Lady Cougars would not be denied.
   They jumped out to an early lead and though the Lady Admirals battled hard they were not a match for the Lady Cougars. In a tough fought game, the Lady Cougars sent the Lady Admirals back to Knox County with a decisive 61-52 victory.
   The Lady Cougars were clicking on all cylinders in the game and Skylar Boshears put 29 points on the board in one of her best outings of the season thus far.  Boshears scored the first 13 points of the game pushing Campbell to a 13-nothing lead.  The Furman signee tallied 15-points in the first quarter alone.
   At halftime of the Lady Cougar's contest, Junior Jordan Tolliver was named Mr. Spirit.
   In the boys contest the Admirals managed to come out on top in spite of a furious comeback by the Cougars.  Though it was a valiant effort by the Cougars, the Admirals held on to their lead when the final buzzer sounded. The final was 72-62.
   After the basketball ended, homecoming began. Senior cheerleader Claire Chambers was crowned by last year's queen, Alexis North, as the new homecoming queen. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/26/2018-6AM)

Deputy joins school board race

Petition pick-ups slowing

   Except for some usual late additions, the bulk of those looking to run for office in August have requested a petition.  Qualifying day is still a long way off; April 5 at noon.

   Sheriff’s Deputy John Minor was the lone person to get a petition on Thursday.  He joins Wallace Goins and Jeffery L. Miller, Jr. in seeking the District 1 School Board seat.

   That brings the total names on the ballot, so far, to 58.  Election Day is Thursday, August 2.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/26/2018-6AM)

Register of Deeds

Greg Cross, David B. Griffith, Beverly Hall, Tom Hatmaker, Ronnie Huckaby, Ron McClellan, Patrick Silcox, June Turner and Johnny Vanover


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

County Clerk

Alene Baird** and Todd Nance

County Trustee

Monty Bullock** and Paul Pierce

Circuit Court Clerk

Bobby Vann**


Robbie Goins** and Jimmy Jeffries

County Commission

1st District

Ronnie Bostic, Keith Goins, Wallace Goins, Whit Goins**, Robert Higginbotham** and Harley Hill

2nd District

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

3rd District

Tom Campbell, Rusty Orick**, Joshua Parks, Danny Sheckles, and Scott Stanfield**  

4th District

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

5th District

Forster Baird**,  Ralph Davis**, Tyler King, Stevie Rutherford, and Terry Singley

School Board

1st District

Wallace Goins**, Jeffery L. Miller, Jr., John James Christopher Minor, and Marvin Rutherford

2nd District

Josh James and Sharon Ridenour**

3rd District

Faye Heatherly**  

4th District

Clint Bane** and Ronnie Lasley

5th District

Crystal Creekmore**


1st District

Elias Adcock, Sam Ivey, and Kenneth Newsome

2nd District

Larry Ford and Jamuel Patton

3rd District

Johnny Jones

4th District

Dewey Madison

5th District

Bruce Webb and Paul Webb

** Incumbent

(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/25/2018-7PM)


  The women described as “awesome lunch ladies,” Kim Claxton and Amanda Pyle of Elk Valley School, play a key role in the latest success of the Campbell County School.  The story is further down this page.

 Fields planning for first day

‘I am most excited about boosting the morale among teachers ‘- Jennifer Fields

Still spinning from Monday night’s unanimous vote, Jennifer Fields, Campbell County’s new director of schools, is ready to get to work.

The 25-year veteran educator has long and short term plans for the county’s education system.

“I definitely want to see an increase in technology,” she said of a long range goal. Having technology in the hands of students will be important in achievement and test scores, she said. But, that doesn’t mean an improvement in test scores will need to wait.

“Our test scores don’t reflect the capability of our students,” Fields said. “We have good, strong teachers, too.”

Fields addresses the capacity plus crowd on Monday night immediately following her appointment as Director of Schools

The county’s lackluster test scores have been a concern for several administrations. In Field’s eyes, there is a “disconnect” occurring at some point. “The test scores are not reflecting the good things we have happening in our schools,” she said. Part of her undertaking as the new director is to find that disconnect and examine remedies for it.

As March 2, her first day as DOS looms on the horizon, Fields is also looking at immediate objectives.

Her first task will be to confirm if a number of central office staff plans to retire. If they do, Fields’ will need to replace them in order to build her core staff. After that, she wants to see the school system’s budget. In all this, she wants as minimal disruption as possible for the students. “I want it to be as normal as possible our students,” she said.

In her tenure as DOS, Fields wants everyone to have ownership in the schools. She wants feedback from the board, staff, parents and students about what they see as the needs of the system. From that a plan will be formulated to address the necessities and a five year plan will also be developed, she said.

“I want us to move beyond compliant to beyond exceptional,” Fields said.

Coming from a family of educators, her mother and grandmother taught 42 and 36 years respectively, and both of her sisters are teachers, Fields understands the importance of student growth. A portion of the plan to improve schools will be to not only look at the county’s comparison schools, but, at schools across the state.

The comparison schools for Campbell County are in Anderson, Claiborne, Scott and Union counties. Fields intends to see what they do well while also looking at Rewards schools across the state.

Given that the school system is the county’s largest employer, the new DOS also wants to market it like a business. This includes an annual report for wide distribution that will not only highlight students and staff accomplishments but will address the bottom line.

And while there is business to be conducted in her first days, Fields is also looking to add some personal touches to those moments.

“I am most excited about boosting the morale among teachers and emphasizing the positive things our students and teachers accomplish,” she said. “If we keep the kids at the focus of very decision we make, we will have a beneficial outcome.”  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/25/2018-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF’S CHARLIE HUTSON)

Point in Time Count starts tonight

Campbell County will be conducting a Point in Time Count on Jan. 25 from midnight until 11:59 pm.

Who counts as homeless during the Point in Time Count?  People who lack fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residences; who are in a shelter or transitional living situation designed to be temporary; or are in a public or private place not meant to be a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.

The 2017 Point in Time Count revealed 886 persons who were homeless. Of the 886 persons; 40 people were living unsheltered; 39 were in emergency shelter; 35 in transitional housing and 762 were precariously housed (staying with a friend/relative but did not pay rent or have a permanent residence of their own).

This data is then used to generate money to help needy individuals and families who find themselves needing emergency services or housing.  Please contact the County Mayor’s Office at 423-562-2526 for more information or to help with the Point in Time Count.   Data sheets are available at these locations:  Community Health of East Tennessee at 563-1045; libraries; city hall offices within the county; County Mayor’s Office; Food Life Services; Open Arms Ministry; utility companies and public housing offices.   (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/25/2018-8AM)

Recreation plans to be unveiled today

Final plans for future recreation in Campbell County will be unveiled this afternoon at 3 pm at LaFollette City Hall. The unveiling follows months of surveys and public meetings.

The public is invited to attend and give input on a draft ten-year park and recreation master plan. The meeting will provide an opportunity to present the draft plan and gather input regarding elements of the plan.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/25/2018-8AM)

Home lost.  Firefighter injured.

Three agencies respond

   Around 5 pm Wednesday afternoon, is when the call of a house fire came in to E-911 Dispatch.  Campbell County Rural Fire Chief Daniel Lawson explains to WLAF that a home on Moonview Drive, east of La Follette, caught fire.  He calls the house a total loss, and adds that one firefighter suffered a knee injury.

Fire destroyed this home at Powell Valley Shores on Wednesday afternoon


Crews from the La Follette Fire Department and Caryville Fire Department provided mutual aid to the CCRFS at the Powell Valley Shores home.  It wasn’t until 10 pm Wednesday night when crews left the scene.  All-in-all, 15 firefighters fought the blaze, and there were multiple fire trucks on the scene. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/25/2018-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF CCRFS CHIEF DANIEL LAWSON)

The 2018 CCHS Basketball Homecoming Court Candidates
Homecoming is tonight after the Cougars game
Carlie Baldwin    Courtney Adkins
Claire Chambers    Drew Leach
Lindsay Horton    Blair Medley
Chloe Pierce    Destiny Wormsley

Abby Bruce    Kerstin Douglas
Olivia Goins    Ryleigh Hatmaker
Piper Williamson    Brittany Rinehart
Dani Woodson    Raley Snodgrass
Bryson McCulley    Paul Nguyen
Blake Taylor    Jordan Tolliver  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/25/2018-6AM)

Pierce to challenge Bullock for Trustee

Fifty-eight hopefuls look to August

   After a flurry of petition requests, the pace is down to a trickle.  On Wednesday, Paul S. Pierce picked up a petition to run for Trustee; the only petition request of the day.  He’ll challenge current Trustee Monty Bullock.  Since Bullock defeated George Asbury in 1990 to become Trustee, he has only been challenged once.

   The entire list of 58 names and the offices the people behind those names are seeking list found further down this page. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/25/2018-6AM)

IDB to meet on Wednesday

At the Courthouse

   The Industrial Development Board (IDB) will meet next Wednesday, January 31.  That will be at 6 pm in the lower courtroom of the Courthouse at Jacksboro. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/25/2018-6AM)





Breakfast before books sets the tone at Elk Valley School

EVS is county’s top breakfast participant

   “We have awesome lunch ladies,” exclaims Nancy Lay.  And she should know.  She is not only the principal at Elk Valley School, she’s one of the many who enjoys delicious meals at the school everyday.  Lay smiles when she brags on Kim Claxton and Amanda Pyle, the “lunch ladies.”

   EVS’s student body of more than 120 students sends a ringing endorsement as well.  For the first semester of this school year, a whopping 92% of those students, Grades K through 8, enjoyed breakfast in Claxton and Pyle’s cafeteria.  That’s more than 110 students starting their day with breakfast.

   Campbell County School Nutritionist Vicki Woodard calls Elk Valley’s numbers “very high,” especially when you consider White Oak and Wynn having what are considered good numbers of 76% and 68% respectively. 

Woodard calls the cafeteria a very inviting place to eat, and says that the murals painted on the walls a few years back really enhance the setting.

   Principal Lay personally greets each student as they enter EVS in the mornings.  In addition to her words of encouragement, she always extends an invitation to enjoy breakfast before they hit the books for the day.

   CLICK HERE for more photos

   The Nutrition and Coordinated School Health (CSH) work closely together to improve students overall experience when it comes to eating and taking care of yourself.  Woodard and CSH Director Johnny Bruce work to convey to students and teachers the big part breakfast plays in helping the day go better.

   As a result of taking the top spot in breakfast participation in Campbell County, Bruce is presenting Lay and Elk Valley School with an $800 mini-grant.  Lay says she and the “awesome lunch ladies” are aiming for even higher participation in the school’s breakfast promotion this semester.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/25/2018-6AM)


Powers, Yager step up for fallen officers today

Fighting for more dollars for beneficiaries

   Last year, Representative Dennis Powers and Senator Ken Yager introduced a bill that would increase the amount of money beneficiaries could receive for a law enforcement officer killed while on duty.

   Under their legislation, beneficiaries would be eligible for up to $50,000.  That’s double the current allowable amount.

   Powers tells WLAF that the 2015 death of Jacksboro Police Detective Mike Starrett helped influence his thought process.  He explains that he also met with the Police Benevolent Association regarding the issue.  Powers points out, “We are losing, on average, five officers in Tennessee in the line of duty each year.”

   Senator Yager notes to WLAF that the bill hasn't been scheduled in the Senate.  He adds that Mike’s death motivated him to sponsor the bill in the Senate.

   Hugh Powers, Powers father, was the Chief of Police for La Follette in the 1960s so Powers knows first-hand what a law enforcement officer’s family goes through each day.  He calls it “our duty” to do as much for these first responders who put their lives on the line each day for our safety and well-being.  Powers calls, “Providing additional financial assistance at their time of need is inconsequential compared to them losing their lives, defending ours, in the line of duty.”

   The House State Government Subcommittee has the bill on its agenda when it meets at 1:30 pm this afternoon in House Hearing Room 4 at Nashville. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/24/2018-2PM)

Campbell is 27th in the state in tourism dollars

Chamber of Commerce features a “Round Here Dining” map

The Campbell County Chamber of Commerce has several restaurants as members ranging from mom and pop diners to national chains. The chamber has produced a “Round Here Dining” map with about 50 restaurants listed. Because restaurants are a huge part of the tourism and hospitality industry, the chamber is focusing on two local eateries in this month’s monthly tourism article.

Most of the local community knows about Rickard Ridge at Cove Lake State Park.  While dining you have a gorgeous view of the lake and the Cumberland Mountains. Make sure you bring a big appetite because the food is amazing and the portion sizes are more than enough. The meats are smoked by owner and BBQ Pit master Mark Rickard.  Rickard’s smoke chicken is renowned and has been the winner of the famous BBQ festival Memphis in May.  Rickard Ridge has been visited by people from all 50 states and 36 countries.

Secondly, Katie’s Restaurant and Catering in downtown LaFollette is one of the local gems.  Katie Goins, owner, makes her restaurant a haven for locals and tourists alike. Her double bacon cheeseburgers are famous in the ATV community. On any given day, you can find tourists from as far away as California with their ATVs parked out front, enjoying Katie’s cuisine.

Restaurants, whether chains or locally owned diners, provide an invaluable service in the tourism industry.  In 2016, Campbell County was number 27 out of 95 Tennessee counties. Tourists spent $57.09 million, generated $11.27 million in worker paychecks, created $3.42 million in state tax revenue and generated 490 jobs. Most importantly, if it were not for tourists, each Campbell County household would pay $402.63 more in taxes each year.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/24/2018-6AM)

James picks up lone petition on Tuesday

Fifty-seven hopefuls look to August

   Of course it’s more than six-months until the August 2 election.  But there’s no shortage of chatter about the seemingly far away event.  Talking names and politics in Campbell County months ahead of an election is commonplace; much like talking up Tennessee Football in February.

   Josh James picked up the only petition on Tuesday at the Campbell County Election Commission Office.  James plans to run for a seat on the school board in the second district.  As of this morning, incumbent Sharon Ridenour is the only other person who has picked up a petition to run for that post.  Ridenour requested her petition last Thursday.

   The entire list of 57 names and the offices the people behind those names are seeking is found further down this page. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/24/2018-6AM)

Morton attends Tuesday night forum

Five gubernatorial candidates speak

   County mayors from across Tennessee attended last night’s 2018 Gubernatorial Forum on Education at Nashville.  Campbell Mayor E.L. Morton attended the hour-long event that featured five gubernatorial candidates; three Republicans and two Democrats at Belmont University.  Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh are the Democrats who spoke while Republicans featured former Economic and community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd, Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell, and Williamson County business leader Bill Lee. 

   Former State Senator Mae Beavers was scheduled to attend the event but could not due to the sudden death of her mother.  U.S. Representative Diane Black did not attend Tuesday night citing a scheduling conflict.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/24/2018-6AM)


Middle school baseball tryouts are set

February 3 at CCHS

   Campbell County High School Head Baseball Coach Chris Mayes is looking for future Cougars.  Coach Mayes is hosting middle school baseball tryouts on Saturday, February 3, at the high school.  The event begins at 10 am.

   Mayes urges those who plan to attend the tryout to be ready for about any kind of setting.  He says to bring baseball cleats and sneakers, because depending on the weather, the tryouts might be held inside, on the field, or in the parking lot.  Each player attending the tryout needs to bring their own glove and bat.

   For more information, call Mayes at 423.562.8308.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/24/2018-6AM)

Lady Cougars win.  Cougars fall short.

CCHS remains perfect in the district

   At Brown Gym, the Campbell Lady Cougars put up 24-points in each half last night while clamping down on Powell defensively.  CCHS outpaced the Lady Panthers 48 to 37 to improve to 8 & 0 in District 3-AAA games all the while staying atop the league standings.  In all games, the Lady Cougars are 13 & 7.

   Sophomore Madison Brady led the Lady Cougars with 18 points; 12 in the second-half.  Skylar Boshears tallied nine with Emily Ellison adding eight followed by six points each from Haley Comer and Lexy Richardson as Kaleigh Jordan had one.

   Powell’s 20 first-quarter points set the tone last night for the Panthers on Brown Court Campbell County trailed 20 to 12 after one and finished the first-half with an impressive close to the second quarter, but it could not carry that momentum into the second half.  Powell outscored the Cougars 32 to 16 in the final two quarters to win 55 to 36.

   Elijah Phillips was tops in scoring for CCHS with 15 points.  John Porter’s ten points all came in the first half.  Drew Jordan scored four with Evan Jackson and Jake Lane putting up three points apiece.

   The Cougars are now 2 & 6 in district games.  Overall, Campbell is 7 & 13 in all of its games.

   Thursday night is Homecoming.  Festivities are after the boys game.  The Lady Cougars play Farragut at 6 pm followed by the Cougars game at 7:30 pm.  The WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network has all the live coverage. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/24/2018-6AM)




   Jennifer Fields (L) and Larry Nidiffer will work hand-in-hand for the next few months as Nidiffer, the Campbell County Director of Schools, hands the baton to Fields who was voted Monday night by the Board of Education to succeed him when he retires this spring.  More Charlie Hutson photos and reaction are found further down this page.

Younce joins the growing field of mayoral candidates

Goins picks up two petitions

   Add Brian Younce’s name to the now field of five in the running to become the Campbell County Mayor.  Younce, in his college days was Student Government President at the University of Tennessee, is a local businessman perhaps best known for owning Beacon Finance.  He majored in business at UT in the early 1990s.

   Also picking up petitions over the past couple of days are Forster Baird (commission), Larry Ford (constable), Wallace Goins (school board and commission), Sam Ivey (constable), and Danny Sheckles (commission).

   The 2018 election is more than six months away on August 2.  This year sees multiple county offices on the ballot as well as the entire commission and half of the 10 school board seats up.  Candidates have until April 5 to qualify and April 12 to withdraw.

   Here is a list of the 56 Campbell Countians who now have petitions as of the end of the day on Monday. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/23/2018-6AM)
Register of Deeds

Greg Cross, David B. Griffith, Beverly Hall, Tom Hatmaker, Ronnie Huckaby, Ron McClellan, Patrick Silcox, June Turner and Johnny Vanover


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

County Clerk

Alene Baird** and Todd Nance

County Trustee

Monty Bullock** and Paul Pierce

Circuit Court Clerk

Bobby Vann**


Robbie Goins**

County Commission

1st District

Ronnie Bostic, Keith Goins, Wallace Goins, Whit Goins**, Robert Higginbotham** and Harley Hill

2nd District

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

3rd District

Rusty Orick**, Danny Sheckles, and Scott Stanfield**  

4th District

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

5th District

Forster Baird**,  Ralph Davis**, Tyler King, Stevie Rutherford, and Terry Singley

School Board

1st District

Wallace Goins**, Jeffery L. Miller, Jr., and John James Christopher Minor

2nd District

Josh James and Sharon Ridenour**

3rd District

Faye Heatherly**  

4th District

Clint Bane** and Ronnie Lasley

5th District

Crystal Creekmore**


1st District

Elias Adcock, Sam Ivey, and Kenneth Newsome

2nd District

Larry Ford and Jamuel Patton

3rd District

Johnny Jones

4th District

Dewey Madison

5th District

Bruce Webb and Paul Webb

** Incumbent

(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/25/2018-7PM)

Rutherford will be puttin’ on a Patriots uniform

Cougar rifleman to join Phillips at UC

By Pat Pebley

   Zach Rutherford started his career at CCHS with big shoes to fill as he was set to replace Ethan Jeffers, who had set every significant Cougar passing record. Rutherford overcame injury and not only filled those shoes but surpassed them on many levels.
   Now the gunslinger will be taking his game to the college level. Rutherford will be heading north to
Williamsburg to become a University of the Cumberlands Patriot. He will not be the only Cougar alumni playing there as Elijah Phillips has already committed to the school.

Rutherford (L) is joined by former UC and Cougar Phillip Wells.  Wells wears many hats on the Patriots staff including being the teams recruiting coordinator

   In a tweet, Rutherford had this to say about moving on to the college level, "I would like to give the ultimate thanks to God for the opportunity to glorify him through the game of football. Thank you to my Dad for introducing me to the game of football and thank you to my Mom for staying by my side through thick and thin while supporting me in every way possible. Also thank you to all my coaches throughout my life, especially Coach Justin Price, for developing me into the player I am today. As for all the schools that have been recruiting me for the past few months thank you for the opportunity to have been a part of your program. However, after a long and well thought out discussion with my family, I am humbled to say that I will be attending the University of the Cumberlands to further pursue my academic and athletic career.”  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/23/2018-6AM)

Senator Ken Yager invites you to share your thoughts in 2018

Editorial by Ken Yager

The 110th General Assembly has reconvened for business with the state’s budget and legislation to curb opiate abuse expected to headline this year’s action. Some of the other key issues that will be considered this year include education, economic development, juvenile justice and welfare reform, to name a few. 

Last week the Senate addressed mostly organizational matters such as the appointments of committees and the adoption of rules. However, this week the committees will get down to work on the many important issues before us.

In Tennessee, we are fortunate to have an excellent website, which provides more transparency for the citizens of our state to review legislative actions.  I encourage you to use this website to read legislation, find bill sponsors, and keep track of progress being made in our committees and on the Senate floor.  All of our committee meetings and floor proceedings are streamed live and archived on the legislative website.

As your State Senator, it is important to know my constituents’ opinions.  I invite you to contact me regarding any bill that is going through the legislature.  Your thoughts matter to me.

Below are the many methods you can use to contact me:

·        Email:

·        Twitter: @yagertweets

·        Phone: (615) 741-1449

·        Personal Website:  / Legislative Website:

·        Mail:  425 5th Ave. N. Suite 774 Cordell Hull Bldg.; Nashville, TN 37243

Sometimes there is no substitute for a good face-to-face conversation. If you are interested in visiting Nashville, I am happy to meet with you personally.  However, if coming to Nashville is not an option for you, then we can meet back in the district at the Kingston office. Whatever way you would like to meet, please call my office, and we will set up an appointment.

I have an outstanding staff in Nashville, so if I am unavailable when you call, my staff is very helpful and can assist you.

For our state legislature to function properly, it is important for constituents to share their thoughts.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your state Senator. I am privileged and honored to have this duty. I look forward to hearing from you. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/23/2018-6AM)

Fields overwhelmed by support to lead CC Schools

‘I want to be known for encouraging’ – Jennifer Fields

   A couple of minutes after being voted to become the next Director of Schools for Campbell County, Jennifer Fields told WLAF, “It was an overwhelming show of support to get a unanimous vote especially against such wonderful candidates who were also applying for the position.”

   Before a jam packed lower level courtroom at the Campbell County Courthouse, the Campbell County Board of Education voted, in alphabetical order, on its three finalists for director of schools Monday night.  The first candidate to six votes would get the nod.  Joan Crutchfield received three yes votes.  Fields then was voted-in unanimously by a count of ten-oh meaning that Donna Singley’s name did not come up for a vote.

  When asked how her thinking was different now since walking into the courtroom last night, Fields said, “I am looking more at a big picture.  It’s no longer isolated to a classroom or to a single school.  It’s the entire district.  It’s not just the students, but it’s the parents, the teachers, the community members.”  Fields calls the education system the one largest area that can bring about the most social change, and the educators are the key leaders in doing that. 

   CLICK HERE to see Charlie Hutson’s photo gallery. 

·  Fields spent time at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels saying it enabled her to see the strengths and deficits.  She said, “It’s being able to see that the deficits can be so easily strengthened, once you know what they are, and that it’s not out of reach.  That was what motivated me to apply for this.”

   Still ahead for Fields is to work through the contract process and transition from her principal post at Jacksboro Middle School to the Central Office.  She adds, I am just so excited and motivated.  I think what keeps educators doing a great job is not becoming complacent in one area but always reaching outside your comfort zone.  The reason we are educators is that because we have greater need to do more, and this is the greatest position you can be in to reach the most students, and it can be very exciting.”

   WLAF asked Fields what she wants to be known for as Director of Schools.  She responded by saying, “I want to be known for encouraging, being a motivator strengthening our teachers and facilitating them the way that they facilitate our students and creating unity among the county and in our entire school system.”  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/23/2018-6AM)




      Cougar Elijah Phillips says “yes” to play football for a nearby college.  WLAF Sports Director Pat Pebley shares Number 15’s story further down this page.  Pebley’s photo, above, is of Phillips against Crockett at Jonesborough back in an August game that Campbell won.







Evans announces for Mayor

Friday at the Ball Farm Event Center

   It would not be a story on Campbell County Mayoral candidate Aaron Evans without a selfie.  WLAF’s Derrick Lee Anderson (L) shares this photo with us while WLAF’s Noah Smith brings a recap of the night’s event to us a bit later.

  Evans tells WLAF that it was a “perfect night.”  He adds, “I cried a little, laughed a lot, and had a good time.”  Evans was impressed with the crowd.

  This may be the earliest campaign rally type event ever for a Campbell County election.  Election day is Thursday, August 2, 2018.

  Petitions for the election continue to be picked up.  So far, Evans, Michael Freeman, Jack Lynch, and Mayor E.L. Morton have picked up petitions to run for county mayor. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/22/2018-6AM)

Evans celebrates birthday and more

By Noah Smith

Aaron Evans’ birthday celebration came with a big announcement. If you haven’t heard already, Aaron Evans is running for County Mayor. On Friday, Evans held a birthday celebration that was open to the public at the Ball Farm Event Center in LaFollette. Many people came out to the event that not only celebrated Aaron Evans’ birthday, but came to hear a big announcement by Evans. The Ball Farm was filled with people throughout the night, with over 200 in attendance. The event featured cake, drinks, cake, dinner, and more cake. Local elected officials attended, as well as candidates seeking to run for office in 2018. Evans’ even had his own selfie station that has a big hit. Notably in attendance was Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, who is now seeking John Duncan Jr.’s 2nd District Congressional seat. Evans’ began the night with dinner, followed by his big announcement. SEE PHOTO GALLERY HERE

People gathered around the podium as Evans was set to make his big announcement. Evans started by thanking the people who have helped him to get to where he is now. He continued by highlighting several failures and mismanagements he sees in the current county government, from the ambulance service to the sanitation department. Evans also expressed grave concern over the county “hitting your wallet over, and over, and over, and you get nothing back for it.” Evans sees Campbell County as a place with great potential but a place that currently lacks the leadership to seize that potential. Evans also expressed great thanks to our county educators and pledged to do more to help them and ensure our students have access to the needed educational supplies. Evans continued by listing statistics of Campbell County and highlighted the fact that Campbell County is one of 19 counties across Tennessee that is considered a “Distressed County.” Evans pledged to do more for the homeless and needy in our county and pledged to help our veterans get the resources they deserve. Evans wants to get Campbell County going again, but with the help of everyone, not just a few. Evans received several rounds of applause and the crowd greeted him well. Evans has adopted the slogan of “Make Campbell County Strong Again,” which is a spinoff of the famed phrase by Donald Trump, “Make America Great Again.” The County Mayor’s race is definitely one to watch in August. Several candidates have already announced, with several more rumored to pick up petitions. It’s anyone’s to win and will no doubt be an exciting race to watch. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/22/2018-8:30AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF NOAH SMITH)

Chase leads to charges and damages

Campbell County man gets a lot of attention

   Sheriff Robbie K. Goins has released information of a Sunday morning call from the Pinecrest Community. Sheriff Goins states that at 10:25 a.m. his deputies were dispatched by Campbell County E-911 to Stooksbury Lane where a male was allegedly threatening suicide with a loaded syringe. Before their arrival, new information was obtained from the home by Campbell County E-911, that Daniel Lance, age 24, the male with the alleged syringe, had allegedly ran over his step-father with a vehicle and fled away from the scene. 
Corporal Gary Jeffers and Deputy Jeff Partin were responding and nearly on scene when Jeffers spotted Lance approaching him from the opposite direction on Pinecrest Road. Jeffers radioed Deputy Raymond C. Surber who was farther behind them. Therefore, Surber could turn around in time to intercept Lance's vehicle.  Deputy Surber was awaiting him as Lance passed and attempted to stop him with Jeffers and Partin closing in from behind.  Lance refused to stop for Deputy Surber's lawful command of blue lights and sirens.  


WLAF’s Pat Pebley shares this photo of the end of Sunday morning’s chase.

   “Jeffers returned to the scene on Stooksbury Lane to begin the investigation of the events leading to the pursuit,” said Sheriff Goins. The corporal reports that family members were allegedly trying to prevent Lance from leaving the residence before help could arrive for him and them. Corporal Jeffers reports that Lance's step-father pulled his truck in behind Lance's car to prevent Lance from leaving for Lance's own safety and welfare. Jeffers investigation along with witnesses and victim' statements led him to believe that Lance's vehicle rammed the truck at least three times in its driver's side once was with his step-father, Johnny Ford, still inside the truck. This caused extensive damage to the truck and the rear of Lance's vehicle. 
   Daniel Lance was already on bond for previous charges. There were outstanding warrants for his arrest on other separate incidents; two counts of forgery and two counts of theft of property under $1,000.00. 
   Sheriff Goins says that his deputies will be charging Lance with aggravated domestic assault, felony reckless endangerment based events at
Stooksbury Lane.  Sheriff Goins adds that Lance will receive the charge of felony evading arrest based upon the initial refusal to stop for deputies.  Sheriff Goins states that his deputies are currently working to place more charges on Lance. They will come from the district attorney's guidance of the entire incident before other agencies become involved. 
   The sheriff points out that the Tennessee Highway Patrol will be investigating the conclusion of the vehicle pursuit in front of the IGA Store on Jacksboro Pike, in La Follette and will place charges as well. The Jacksboro Police will also have separate charges based on this incident tying to an ongoing investigation in its jurisdiction. 
   Daniel Lance, who received medical treatment, is being housed this morning in the county jail.
CORRECTION:  Lance was not taken to the county jail.  Instead, according to his mother, he was flown by Lifestar Sunday afternoon to a Knoxville hospital where is in on life support this morning.

 Sheriff Goins wants to thank all the men and women of law enforcement that made the arrest without any injuries to by-standers. Sheriff Goins thanks the Jacksboro and La Follette Police Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/22/2018-11:30AM)

Hold the salt

Logan’s Car Wash offers a cabin fever cure for cars

WLAF’s Charlie Hutson shares a photo of a busy Logan’s Car Wash.  Since Thursday, the car wash has been a very popular place. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/22/2018-6AM)

Jefferson County woman dies in head-on collision

Happened Sunday morning at 4:30 am

A grinding head-on crash claimed the life of young Dandridge woman this morning at 4:33 am on a stretch of I-75 in Campbell County.  On the northbound side, at Mile Marker 140, is where Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Josh Kennedy responded to a two-vehicle accident on I-75 at Caryville.  The trooper outlines in his report that 30-year old Amber Pauley of Dandridge was driving her 2007 KIA Rio Sedan the wrong way in the northbound lanes when she hit a 2016 RAM 500 Box Truck.  Pauley was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Dodge was driven by 36-year old Igor Lyashenko of Taylors, South Carolina.  He was wearing a safety belt and suffered injuries.  Pauley was not wearing a safety belt.  Trooper Kennedy said, “Wearing a safety restraint would have made a difference.”

No citations were issued and no charges have been filed.  The northbound lanes of I-75 were closed for more than four hours.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/21/2018-7PM)

Motion to exempt senior citizens from wheel tax fails to pass

The Campbell County Commission held their regular meeting Friday night after Monday’s foul weather caused a postponement, and one of the most contentious issues - the controversy surrounding the Sanitation Department, barely earned a mention as other topics dominated the discussion.

One of those issues was a motion offered by Commissioner Cliff Jennings to exempt all citizens over the age of 65 from paying the $45 wheel tax.

His motion immediately received push-back from several commissioners who questioned what the effect of such an exemption would have on the budget. Finance Director Jeff Marlow replied that it was impossible to estimate the impact because vehicle registration records do not include the age of vehicle owners, but it could cause a shortfall of as much as $150,000 to be made up elsewhere.

Jennings replied that the census showed 17 percent of Campbell County residents are over 65, but the impact would be less because the exemption would be limited to one vehicle per owner and not all residents over 65 own a car.

The discussion continued until Jennings called for a vote on his motion, which would require ten “yes” votes to pass. The motion failed by two votes, 8-5, with Marie Ayers, Sue Nance, Rusty Orick, Scott Stanfield and Lonnie Weldon voting “no.” Carl Douglas missed the meeting while Johnny Bruce had to leave before the subject came up.

Jennings also re-opened the subject of his often-touted idea for a veterans’ cemetery on county-owned property at the site of the former Davis Chapel School. Jennings accused Mayor E. L. Morton of refusing to sign the deed from the Department of Education that would transfer the property.

“This commission voted 15-0 for the cemetery but the mayor is fighting it,” Jennings complained.  He added that a private legislative act would be needed, while Morton asked where the $5,000 a year in upkeep would come from. Finally, Morton agreed to pass the request for a private act on to Nashville, but the act would then have to be brought back to the commission for final approval.

The meeting got off to a contentious start when Courthouse Maintenance Supervisor Tony Hill argued with a representative for TRANE about the specifications and costs involved in a new heating & air system for the room housing the county’s computer servers.

Jim Dial, who oversees the county’s I.T. systems, specified the kind of air conditioning system he required to protect a half million dollar’s worth of server equipment housed in an upstairs room at the courthouse.

He asked a TRANE representative to attend the meeting to answer commissioners’ questions, but Hill questioned the TRANE proposal, arguing that it was no better than estimates he had received from three other firms that all would cost less.

A lengthy debate ended with Marie Ayers observing that the commission was being asked to compare apples and oranges. Ayers and Rusty Orick suggested that Dial draw up the specifications he requires to protect the servers and that the county ask the other companies to offer proposals based on those specs that can then be compared with the TRANE bid. Orick’s motion to that effect was approved unanimously.

The commission was also in the mood to name some county facilities. Orick moved to name the county bridge on Towe String Road in honor of Dr. Burgin Wood. His motion to name the span the Boshears-Wood Bridge passed unanimously.

The commission also unanimously approved a recommendation from the Airport Committee to name the landing field at the Campbell County Airport in honor of late County Executive Tom Stiner and to name the terminal in honor of longtime airport manager Bert Loupe.

A request from Patricia Simpson to cut a new metal frame door in the county-owned animal shelter building was approved but there was some confusion about who would do the work since no money was budgeted for the construction. Hill told commissioners that he didn’t have enough help to do the work in-house, and Marie Ayers moved to ask the CCHS Building Trades Department if they would take on the project. Her motion passed unanimously.   (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/22/2018-6AM)


Pats get a “dandy” in Phillips

Cougar commits to Cumberlands

By Pat Pebley

   Elijah Phillips has been a force in Cougar Athletics the last few years. On the football field he was like MacGuyver, talented at every aspect of the game.  On the basketball court, he is still a dominant big man.  Now it looks like he will be terrorizing opposing teams once again on the gridiron, this time on Saturdays as a Patriot.

   Phillips has verbally committed to play football at the University of the Cumberlands at Williamsburg, Kentucky.  Phillips tweeted this statement out on Friday, "First and foremost I would like to thank God for blessing me with the ability to play the sport I love.  To my family and friends, thank you for all the love and support you've given me.  To my high school coaches, thank you for pushing me every day and making me the athlete I am today.  I would also like to thank all of the coaches that took the time to recruit me during this process.  With that being said I am humbled to announce that I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at The University of the Cumberlands."

   Cumberlands, with an enrollment of 6,000, is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Mid-South Conference.  Some of the other members of the MSC are Georgetown, Pikeville, Cumberland (Tennessee) and Reinhardt.

   In 2013, Cumberlands was the Number 1 football team in the NAIA with a 13 & 0 record entering the national championship game.  The Patriots lost to Grand View (Iowa) in the title game by a final of 35 to 23

  Former Campbell County Cougars Phillip and Stephen Wells are coaches for the University of the Cumberlands.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/22/2018-6AM)


Kash & Karry has what you need for winter

Open Monday through Saturday

   Since 1985, Kash & Karry Building Supply has been there for us.  This winter season is no exception.  Kip Leach reminds you that Kash & Karry can help you through these cold winter days with ice melt and shovels.  K & K also has all plumbing heat tapes and pipe insulation. 

   The family owned and operated business is on South Indiana Avenue at Stop Light 9 and is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 am to 5 pm and on Saturdays from 7:30 am until noon.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/19/2018-10AM)

One dead.  One injured.  Thursday night wreck.

SUV tumbles 80-feet down an embankment

   The driver of an SUV is injured.  His passenger is dead.  THP Trooper James Raines explains to WLAF News that at 6:34 pm Thursday night a 1998 Ford Explorer driven by 38-year old Billy Dews was traveling north on Oak Grove Road in south Campbell County.  Raines goes on to detail that Dews SUV veered right off the road and began to roll before coming to a final uncontrolled rest some 80-feet down an embankment. 

   Dews passenger was 36-year old Justin Huckaby.  Huckaby was pronounced dead at the scene.

   Both men, from Rocky Top, were wearing their seat belts.  Trooper Raines notes that wearing a seat belt did not make a difference.

   Criminal charges are pending.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/19/2018-8AM)


Campbell County in 2018

Mayor Morton looks back and ahead

   Campbell County Mayor E.L. Morton has taken time this week to reflect on accomplishments in 2017 all the while looking ahead to 2018.  CLICK HERE to read the mayor’s comments.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/19/2018-6AM)



What Should You Do With Your Tax Refund?
for the latest CD Rates from Edward Jones Investments

From Zach Sheets, Financial Advisor

   You may not get much of a thrill from filing your taxes, but the process becomes much more enjoyable if you're expecting a refund. So, if one is headed your way, what should you do with the money?
   The answer depends somewhat on the size of the refund. For the 2017 tax year, the average refund was about $2,760 – not a fortune, but big enough to make an impact in your life. Suppose, for example, that you invested this amount in a tax-deferred vehicle, such as a traditional IRA, and then did not add another penny to it for 30 years. At the end of that time, assuming a hypothetical 7 percent annual rate of return, you’d have slightly more than $21,000 – not enough, by itself, to allow you to move to a
Caribbean island, but still a nice addition to your retirement income. (You will need to pay taxes on your withdrawals eventually, unless the money was invested in a Roth IRA, in which case withdrawals are tax-free, provided you meet certain conditions.)
   Of course, you don’t have to wait 30 years before you see any benefits from your tax refund. If you did decide to put a $2,760 tax refund toward your IRA for 2018, you’d already have reached just over half the allowable contribution limit of $5,500. (If you’re 50 or older, the limit is $6,500.) By getting such a strong head start on funding your IRA for the year, you’ll give your money more time to grow. Also, if you’re going to “max out” on your IRA, your large initial payment will enable you to put in smaller monthly amounts than you might need to contribute otherwise.
   While using your refund to help fund your IRA is a good move, it’s not the only one you can make. Here are a few other possibilities:
   Pay down some debt. At some time or another, most of us probably feel we’re carrying too much debt. If you can use your tax refund to help reduce your monthly debt payments, you’ll improve your cash flow and possibly have more money available to invest for the future.
   Build an emergency fund. If you needed a new furnace or major car repair, or faced any other large, unexpected expense, how would you pay for it? If you did not have the cash readily available, you might be forced to dip into your long-term investments. To help avoid this problem, you could create an emergency fund containing three to six months’ worth of living expenses, with the money kept in a liquid, low-risk account. Your tax refund could help build your emergency fund.
  Look for other investment opportunities. If you have some gaps in your portfolio, or some opportunities to improve your overall diversification, you might want to use your tax refund to add some new investments. The more diversified your portfolio, the stronger your defense against market volatility that might primarily affect one particular asset class. (However, diversification, by itself, can’t protect against all losses or guarantee profits.)
   Clearly, a tax refund gives you a chance to improve your overall financial picture. So take your time, evaluate your options and use the money wisely.
   This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.
(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED - 01/19/2018-6AM)

 2018 Good Scout Award Dinner date set


   The 2018 Campbell County Good Scout Award Dinner is set.  Haskel “Hack” Ayers is this year’s Good Scout Award honoree.  WLAF’s Noah Smith, an Eagle Scout, serves as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.  The annual event is set for Thursday, March 15, 6 pm, at the Ball Farm Event Center (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/19/2018-6AM) 

Powers, Tennessee Legislature kick off second half of 110th General Assembly

   The Second Regular Session of the 110th General Assembly officially convened last week in Nashville, with lawmakers gathering to continue the work they were elected to perform by the people of Tennessee.

   This kick off by the state legislature marks the 26th time that the General Assembly has met in a Second Regular Session, the first time being 1968 with the 85th General Assembly.

   Immediately prior to then, the General Assembly convened on the "first Monday in January, next ensuing the election,” meeting in odd numbered years only.

   The practice of meeting every other year was proposed to be changed by the 1965 Limited Constitutional Convention, and was officially approved by voters on November 8, 1966. The change took effect with the 85th General Assembly, with the legislature meeting in both odd and even numbered years since that time.

   The bill filing deadline for this year has been set for Thursday, February 1, meaning all proposals, except bills of local application, must be filed by that deadline in order to be considered in the 2018 legislative session.


Powers is caught on camera earlier this week before getting down to business

    As session officially begins, my colleagues and I in the General Assembly have an array of issues on the table that we will discuss and debate in Nashville. The work for 2018 will build on last year’s momentum and accomplishments that saw the passage of a balanced budget, tax cuts for all Tennesseans, investments in the state’s Rainy Day Fund, drastic improvements in education, and multiple pieces of legislation to help invigorate Tennessee’s private sector. 

   This year, we will focus on the state’s ongoing opioid and drug epidemic which claimed the lives of more than 1,600 Tennesseans in 2016 alone. Following the work of Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell’s Ad Hoc Task Force on Opioid Abuse of which I am a member, lawmakers begin 2018 with official recommendations that will help shape legislative initiatives related to the state’s opioid problems.

   Additionally, House members will work to reform the state’s juvenile justice system this year. Last fall, the Joint Ad Hoc Blue Ribbon Task Force on Juvenile Justice released its findings following an exhaustive study of the state’s current system. The overall goal of the task force was to shrink the number of nonviolent youths placed out of their homes and in turn save incarceration costs for the state.

   Finally, I remain committed this year to supporting legislation that will further advance Tennessee as an attractive destination for businesses and families. Our state saw record low unemployment rates in 2017. As of December, statewide unemployment was 3.1 percent — a full percentage point lower than the national average. These statistics are in addition to the nearly 400,000 net new private sector jobs that have been created in Tennessee since 2011.

   Together, we have made great strides as a state, but there is more work ahead of us in the coming months. I am eager to get to work, and I welcome your thoughts, suggestions, and feedback. Thank you for placing your trust in me; it is an honor and a privilege to serve the residents of our community.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/19/2018-6AM) 


Roads treated, approach with caution

Temps in the single-digits this morning

“Passable” is the word Campbell County Road Superintendent Ron Dilbeck is using to describe the bulk of the county’s roads.

After snow and frigid temperatures left county roads coated in a wintery mix this week, Dilbeck and his crews have been working virtually nonstop to clear the snow.

In fact, in preparation for the weather Campbell County Highway crews started at 4:30 am Tuesday trying to prep the roads. However, when the heavy band of snow came in with a blast of artic air on its heels late Tuesday, crews went into overtime- literally. Trucks ran until 2 am on Wednesday; four hours later, they were back out on the roads. With over 700 miles of county roads, Dilbeck said it takes a tremendous amount of work to make the roads drivable.

And after the hours put in, Dilbeck said late Wednesday, “The majority of the roads were treated and are passable.” The fifth district, which is home to Jellico, White Oak, Stinking Creek and Duff, still had some troublesome areas but crews continued to work on them.

“These guys have done a great job,” Dilbeck said of his staff.

Running 16 trucks equipped with snow plows, along with pickup trucks with plows attached, crews moved snow and spread a gravel/ rock mixture throughout Tuesday night and Wednesday, according to Dilbeck.

The 10 to one mix of gravel and salt, respectively, allows the county’s materials to go further, Dilbeck said.

The graded rock is mixed in with salt “allowing us to treat more roads than with salt only,” he said.

As of late last night, county road employees were concentrating on the outlying parts of the county. Despite their work, Dilbeck still advised people “to use caution” this morning because spots of black ice were possible.

Today’s high will be 35 but will dip well below freezing tonight with a forecasted low of 14. Friday brings a projected high of 50. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/18/2018-6AM)


Visit to check on family ends in arrest

When Campbell County Sherriff’s Corporal Joshua Jeffers went to a home on Log Lane, he was responding to a welfare check. Instead, the call ended in an arrest.

When Jeffers arrived at the home on Jan. 10 he spoke with Amanda Suzanne Albright and advised her of her Miranda warning. Albright said she understood and did not want an attorney at the time of questioning, according to a report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department. Albright told Jeffers that she had a handgun under the passenger seat of her vehicle. She gave permission for Jeffers to search the vehicle and get the handgun, because she did not want the handgun. Albright alleged that two males had dropped it off at her house and said they took it from a fight. Jeffers found the handgun in the vehicle under the passenger front seat in a black back pack inside of a Christmas stocking. Jeffers checked with NCIC and the handgun was listed as stolen on Dec. 7, 2017 by Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Raymond Surber.

Albright, 37, 136 Log Lane, Jacksboro is charged with theft of property under $1,000 by knowingly obtaining and exercising control over the property without the owner’s consent and violation of probation. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/18/2018-6AM)

Cougar Football Banquet postponed

Reset for February 1st

   The pats on the back.  The hardware.  And the “atta boys” will have to wait for another couple of weeks.  Tonight’s annual Campbell County Football Banquet is postponed until next month.  And that audible by Head Coach Justin Price, as usual, was a good call.  It’ll give this special bunch of Cougars a chance to have the kind of turnout they deserve; a great one.

   Price, and his twin brother Matt, along with countless others, will say goodbye and job well done to some 60 Cougars.  Fifteen of those honored are seniors.

   Tickets to the, now Thursday, February 1, banquet are available by calling the high school at 423.562.8308.  Start time is 6 pm at the Ball Farm Event Center.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/18/2018-6AM)

Home destroyed by fire.  No injuries.

Temps were in the teens

   It wasn’t the worst conditions to fight a fire, but it was close.  Ice and snow all around, temperatures in the lower teens along with a sub-freezing Wind Chill Index were what firefighters with the La Follette Fire Department were up against Wednesday night in east La Follette as they fought a house fire.

No one was injured in last night’s house fire

   Firefighters believe the home in the 600 block of East Fir Street was empty.  The call of the blaze came in just after 7:30 pm.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/18/2018-6AM-PHOTO COURTESY OF LFD CAPTAIN EDDIE HATMAKER)



   The Pink PALS presented a check to the Campbell County Cancer Association on Tuesday.  L-R Virginia Miller, Clarence Lowe, and Garnetta Henegar. Miller and Henegar represent Pink PALS (Positive Attitude Love Support) while Lowe is the Director of the CCCA.  The story on how the funds were raised is further down this page.

Twenty-one Campbell Countians make the dean’s list

Make that 22 Campbell Countians - Codi Hatmaker also made the Dean's List

University of Tennessee releases honor list

   You won’t find Codi Hatmaker’s name on the link from the University of Tennessee, because she was inadvertently left off of it.  But we did want to note that the CCHS grad from Jacksboro also made the Dean’s List.

   Twenty-one Cambell County Students attending the University of Tennessee at Knoxville qualified for the dean’s list during the Fall of 2017 Semester.  To be eligible for the dean’s list, students must complete at least twelve credit hours, not counting work taken on a satisfactory/no-credit basis.  To qualify for the dean’s list, an undergraduate student must earn a term grade point average of 3.80 to 4.00 (summa cum laude), 3.65 to 3.79 (magna cum laude), or 3.50 to 3.64 (cum laude).  CLICK HERE to see the complete list.   (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/17/2018-5PM)

Pink PALS makes a big donation

Benefits local cancer patients

   Pink PALS 2017 fundraiser, “Paint the Town Pink,” is how members raised all this money to benefit local cancer patients.

   Sheila Falls, with Pink PALS, sends along a “thank you” to all the merchants who bought bows from them to decorate La Follette for October, “Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”  “Paint the Town Pink” is a reminder to the women of Campbell County to make sure they got their annual mammogram/ultrasound. 

Sheila Falls extends appreciation to the Campbell County Cancer Association for all it does for the cancer patients and their families here in Campbell County

   More than 95% of all the funds the CCCA raises goes directly to help local cancer patients.  For more information about the CCCA, call 423.562.2246.  The office is open Monday-Wednesday (9am – 1 pm) in the former West La Follette School building. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/17/2018-6AM)

 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)


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) 


   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)

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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