Your home for "now" - WLAF

Final score:  Cougar Baseball 3 McCreary Central Raiders 2






 Owls Nest - LHS

Tennessee Jamboree


Best of Times III 

La Follette

Heart of Grace

 Editorial Page (Letters)


                 CLICK to watch LIVE Channel 12

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: 

C & L FURNITURE - Downtown La Follette

Shop local.  It helps all of us.    


   Team HAVOC claimed the battle of north Knoxville 6U championship over the weekend.  At Powell’s Levi Park, HAVOC went 4 & 0 putting up 78 runs over those four games while only surrendering 28 runs.



Yager supports legislation to hold teachers and students harmless

In TNReady assessments

    (NASHVILLE, Tenn.), April ­­­20, 2018  --- The State Senate passed legislation Thursday, supported by Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) to hold teachers and students harmless in the TNReady testing assessments conducted for the 2017-2018 school year.   The measure was adopted in an amendment and as part of a Senate/House Conference Committee Report to Senate Bill 1623

   “I share the concerns and frustrations of the students, teachers and parents I’ve heard from this week about the TNReady tests,” said Senator Yager. “That’s why we passed this important legislation to make sure students’ grades and teachers’ evaluations are not adversely affected by cyber attacks or system failures.”    

   Presently, state law requires the test to count within the range of 15 to 25 percent of a student’s grade.  The legislation gives local boards of education the option to choose not to count the test at all, or to count it up to 15 percent of a student’s grade for this spring semester.  The bill stipulates that no TNReady test scores from this school year can be used for teacher employment termination or compensation decisions.

   The bill also prevents student performance and student growth data from the TNReady assessments from being used to identify a school as a priority school or to assign a school to an Achievement School District (ASD).  It further provides that the assessments administered this school year cannot be used to assign a letter grade to a school.

   Senator Yager said he is continuing to monitor the situation closely and is in contact with the Department of Education as an investigation has been launched into the matter.

   The legislation comes after students in many Tennessee counties experienced problems with TNReady online testing this week, including a suspected cyber attack on Tuesday.  Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced on Wednesday that she has asked the Davidson County District Attorney General to formally engage the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the State Office of Homeland Security in an investigation of the cyber attack. She also announced that she has engaged a third party with cyber security expertise to analyze Questar’s response to the attack.

   Commissioner McQueen has stated that there continues to be no evidence that any student information or data was compromised in the incident.

   Senator Yager also supported Senate Bill 1806 passed earlier this year placing a two-year moratorium on any additional statewide testing in Tennessee’s K-12 schools.  This legislation prevents any additional assessments from being implemented until the current system is operating correctly.   That new law became effective on April 12. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/20/2018-5:30PM)



Since 1967

Recovery court pushes ‘personal accountability’ to combat addiction

It’s not news that a drug epidemic has the state, and especially Campbell County, on their collective knees. The sound bites of the county being third in the nation for opioid addiction have flooded the news in recent months.

And while that is a compelling story, there is another story to be told about the people who are in the grip of addiction- and the people who are trying to help them.

In 2005, a judge fed up with seeing the same faces recycled before him said enough.

That is when Eighth Judicial Criminal Court Judge E. Shayne Sexton decided his district needed something different to combat the growing addiction problem.

“I stayed mad for my first five years as a judge,” Sexton said. Charged with dealing with the criminals of five counties, Sexton saw a trend- substance abuse was a common thread in too many cases coming before him.

He wanted to do something about that snowballing issue.

In time, the Eighth Judicial Drug Court was born.

In 2013, the court was rechristened Recovery Court because the court had become so multi-faceted. “Drug court didn’t touch all the bases that recovery court actually does,” said Sexton.

When Sexton began to notice addiction was creeping into the criminal court room, he also noticed probation, even coupled with harsher penalties wasn’t cutting it. “The sheer numbers get them,” the judge said of the state’s probation system.

Noting that probation officers didn’t have the luxury of focusing on one issue as recovery court does, he said that was where the difference in the two programs came into play.

“Some people thought this was going to be a ‘Hug a Thug’, it’s anything but,” he said. “We are pushing personal responsibility as the best prevention.”

Recovery court is a voluntary program for people, more specifically inmates, whose substance abuse related crimes has them facing jail time. Through a strict application process, offenders are given the opportunity to partner with the court in their recovery.

“I root for the ones that have the guts to try,” Sexton said.

Violent offenders are screened out and the ones hoping to dodge jail time eventually filter themselves out of the process. With routine drug screens, accountability and the expectation of employment, the program isn’t for every addict.

“Jail would be easier,” Sexton said.

Currently, the court can accommodate 40 participants. Sexton wants to see that number pushed to 50.

Since its inception, 289 people have participated in the court; 65 of them have made it to graduation.

In its first year, the court signed seven people. After that, the numbers began to steadily rise. In 2006, 14 new people signed onto the program. Each year, recovery court has seen double digit growth in the number of new participants who say they want a new start.

Last year, 2017, was the biggest year yet for the court- 40 new applicants came forward.

When the numbers are broken down, 26 of the 65 graduates were Campbell Countians. Scott County was a distant second with 14 graduates. The remaining 25 were from Claiborne, Union and Fentress Counties; the other counties in the Eighth Judicial District.

Furthermore, more females than male have graduated program with those figures being 39 and 26 respectively.

For the ones that have completed recovery court, it was the game changer for them.

Recently, the court hosted a graduation of four of its participants. Among those was Campbell Countain Matt McClellan. The young man had fought a losing battle with addiction until recovery court. During his introduction Sexton told the crowd that McClellan had endured some setbacks while in the court, but, he had persevered. As a result of his determination, McClellan’s life is back on track.

Standing before a packed room an emotional McClellan said his graduation “wasn’t the end, but a beginning.”

For more information about the Eighth Judicial Recovery Court call 423-907-7503.

To see statistics about the Eighth Judicial Recovery Court click here: (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED - 04/20/2018-6AM)




WWII vet passes

Williams was also a Shriner

   Mack Williams died yesterday.  He served the U-S in the Army during World War II and was an active member of the community.  Williams career was spent as an agent with American General Life Insurance Company.  He was also a Mason and a member of Campbell County Masonic Lodge #778 F.&AM.

  Williams will be laid to rest Saturday afternoon with a receiving of family and friends at 3 pm at Walters Funeral Home.  Mack Williams was 93-years old. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED - 04/20/2018-6AM)

Delinquent tax sale is Friday, May 4, 2018 – SEE LIST HERE

See entire list by CLICKING HERE

   The Notice of Sale of property for delinquent taxes by auction is Friday, May 4, 2018, at 9:00 a.m.  This is for the year of 2015 and any previous outstanding years.  In accordance with an order of the Chancery Court for Campbell County, Tennessee, in the office of the Clerk & Master for Campbell County, Tennessee, you are hereby notified that the property is scheduled to be sold for delinquent taxes, penalties, interest, and costs set forth:  records in the offices for the Clerk & Master, Property Assessor, and Register of Deeds for Campbell County, Tennessee, show the following information pertaining to the subject property (CLICK HERE):  this sale will be conducted in accordance with all terms and provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated Section 67-5-2501, et seq., and Tennessee laws generally, and in accordance with the rules of the Chancery Court for Campbell County, Tennessee, pertaining to Delinquent Tax Sales.  This notice is pursuant to the provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated Section 67-5-2502 and Tennessee law generally.  UNLESS PRIOR PAYMENT IS MADE TO THE OFFICE OF THE CLERK AND MASTER BY CLOSE OF BUSINESS ON THURSDAY, MAY 3, 2018, THE SUBJECT PROPERTY WILL BE SOLD ON FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2018, at 9:00 AM IN THE CHANCERY COURTROOM AT THE CAMPBELL COUNTY COURTHOUSE IN JACKSBORO, TENNESSEE. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED - 04/20/2018-6AM)

Another jump at the pump

Two hikes this week.  So far.

   We’re paying $2.45 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline this morning.  That’s up from $2.39.  The week started with us paying $2.35 a gallon.  A year ago, we were paying $2.09 a gallon here in Campbell County. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/20/2018-6AM)

Annual Child Abuse Prevention luncheon is next Friday

Tickets are on sale at 423.562.4190

By CCSD Chief Deputy Aaron Evans

Just a reminder that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. As board members of the Campbell County Children's Center, Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins and Chief Deputy Aaron Evans want to remind you of the Children's Center's Annual Child Abuse Prevention Benefit Luncheon on Friday, April 27, at the La ollette Church of God. It’s from noon until 1pm. The keynote speaker this year is Knoxville news anchor Ted Hall.

   Tickets are $25 each with all the proceeds benefitting the Campbell County Children's Center.  Tickets can be purchased by calling the Children’s Center at 423.562.4190.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED - 04/20/2018-6AM)

Pair of Caryville women arrested on multiple drug charges

‘Sells the substance to support her kids’ – CPD Officer Adam Southern

   Jamie Lee Davis doesn’t have a driver’s license and is not supposed to be driving- Caryville Police Officer Adam Southern knew that. However, on Wednesday at 9 pm, Southern saw Davis driving near Cove Lake Park and pulled over Davis in her 2003 Chrysler Voyager at the Shell gas station on Highway 116 at I-75.
Davis wasn’t able to produce a driver’s license and proof of insurance. From there, it was downhill for Davis and her passenger, 40-year old Amanda Kay Johnson. Johnson’s young son was also in the van.
   When asked if the 26-year old Davis and Johnson had anything illegal inside the van, both allegedly said no. Southern detailed in his report that he inventoried the van and items ranging from used syringes to bags of what’s believed to be meth to a possible sales list to a set of weighing scales were found.


Officer Southern sits behind a table of all the neatly organized items found in Davis’s van.  Except for the cash being tucked away in a side compartment of the vehicle, much of the items recovered were scattered all over the van.

   Once Johnson realized she was under arrest, she began crying hysterically, the report said. Southern wrote Johnson admitted the substance was hers, and that she sells it to support her kids, because she has no income.
   Davis faces multiple charges including driving without a license, endangering the welfare of a minor, violation of a drug-free school zone (within 1,000 feet of Cove Lake State Park) and driving while in possession of meth. Among Johnson’s charges are possession of a schedule II controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence, and felony possession of drug paraphernalia.
   Davis and Johnson remain in the county jail this morning. Each has a bond of $89,000. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/20/2018-6AM)

Big night for LMS Track and Field

Caldwell breaks record.  Five Lady Owls medal.

   Coach Greg Vincent’s La Follette Middle School Track and Field team had quite a showing on Wednesday night at the Christian Academy of Knoxville.  Out of 20 participating teams, the Lady Owls placed second in the overall rankings.  Along the way, five Lady Owls medaled with two medaling twice.

Lady Owl Erica Brock claimed first place in the discus at CAK

   Erica Brock took first place in the discus and second place in the shot put while Macy Caldwell won the 800 meter run and placed 2nd in the 1600.  Madison Johnson claimed second place in the high jump.  Elsewhere, Alivia Marlow took third in the 100 meter hurdles as Haylynn Willis placed 3rd in the high jump.  CLICK HERE to see the photo gallery.

Macy Caldwell crossed the finish line in the 800 meter run at CAK with a new LMS record of 2:31 besting the previous mark of 2:32.

   Coach Vincent tells WLAF, “We are very proud of our athletes.  Our team is turning up the intensity as we get closer to the post season.  They are consistently creating new personal records.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/20/2018-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF SHARYN VINCENT)


Cougars 6 Coalfield 1

Oneida wins over the Lady Cougars

So long, Cougar Seniors

Thursday was Senior Night at CCHS

   Cougar Soccer celebrated its six seniors Thursday evening at Cougar Field.  Coach Daniel Lasley honored his seniors prior to Campbell’s game with Oneida.

   The seniors are Chandler Thomas, Jacob Greenwood, Cort Burry, Noah Jackson, Riley Smith, and Ryan Roderick.

   Oneida won over the Cougars  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/20/2018-6AM)

WLAF – Gray Insurance “Meet the Candidates” is Thursday

Meet the mayoral, sheriff, register of deeds, trustee, and clerk candidates

   In less than a week, you will be able to “Meet the Candidates” in Campbell County’s open-to-the-public event at West La Follette School aka West End Community Center.  The event begins at 6 pm.  If you can’t make it there in person, you can watch the live telecast over WLAF-TV 12 and  Live radio coverage airs over AM 1450 and FM 100.9.  It’s all made possible by The Gray Insurance Agency. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/20/2018-6AM)

Blakenship ‘parks between lines’, still gets DUI

On Sunday morning around 2:30 a.m., deputies responded to a call of a vehicle sitting in the roadway on Demory Road near Sugar Hollow Road in LaFollette. When Deputy Joshua Jeffers arrived, they allegedly found Carl Anthony Blankenship sitting inside his vehicle with the lights on, the motor running and a large amount of vomit in the road on the driver’s side of the vehicle, according to a report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department. They also found Blankenship asleep in the driver’s seat of the vehicle with the vehicle still in drive and his right foot on the brake.

After several attempts to wake Blankenship, Jeffers opened the driver’s door and put the vehicle in park. When Blankenship eventually woke up, he was disoriented and had blood shot watery eyes, the report said.

Jeffers ask Blankenship why he was parked in the road and he said, “Because you pulled me over”. As Blankenship was attempting to get his driver’s license and proof of insurance, he attempted to argue with police saying, “I don’t understand why you are bothering me. I parked perfectly between the lines.”

After a series of field sobriety tests, which he failed, Blankenship was arrested and transported to the Campbell County Jail.

At the jail, Blankenship consented to a Breathalyzer but was unable to complete on the first try. While he was waiting to give another sample, he allegedly demanded corrections officers handcuff him or chain him to the bench he was sitting on because if they didn’t he was going to get hurt or hurt someone due to his blood pressure being high.

When that failed, Blankenship allegedly told police he was going to get up and fight the correction officers, so he could go home.

Blankenship, 48, 1144 Low Gap Road, LaFollette is charged with driving under influence (DUI). (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/20/2018-6AM)




   Jacksboro Elementary School’s Reading Fair - STEM night was a smashing success.  These students were honored for their award winning “reading boards.”  The top photo is of the Grand Winners:  L-R Jenna Taylor, Sarah Bishop, and Eden Elkins.  First through third place winners are in the bottom photo.  Bottom photo: Top row L-R Mason Deardorff, Courtney Smith, Eden Elkins, and Allison May.  Middle Row L-R Kate Cordell, Sarah Bishop, Pari Patel, and Kourtney Torres.  Front row L-R Jenna Taylor, Kamryn Moser, Hunter Smith, and Kailyn Braden.  The story and more photos are further down this page.


Looking for a job?

Quality Lawn Sales and Service has openings

   The folks at Quality Lawn Sales and Service need a couple of people to work fulltime.  Quality is the local dealer for Cub Cadet and is located at Indian Mound at Jacksboro.

   Needed is one person to work the front counter.  It’s helpful if you have knowledge of parts, computer skills, and are capable of working well with customers.

   A technician is also needed to work in Quality’s service department.

   Please apply in person with owner Ed Smiddy between 9 am and 4:30 pm Monday through Friday. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/18/2018-6AM)

Caryville woman to serve 10-years

Pleads guilty for role in meth distribution conspiracy

   Some details emerge from a two-year investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  It involves more than 20 people, 12 of which are Campbell Countians.  The local agencies playing key roles are the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department, the Eighth Judicial District Drug Task Force, and the La Follette Police Department.

   On Monday, 55-year old Linda S. Ward of Caryville pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.  Ward’s sentencing is set for August where she faces a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence.

   The Department of Justice release also outlines that in February 2018, a federal grand jury returned a seven-count indictment against Ward and ten others alleging various narcotic, firearms, and money laundering offenses.  CLICK HERE to read the entire release.

Statement from Campbell County Sheriff Robbie K. Goins:
   "This latest federal case and offender roundup concerning illegal drug activities that has resulted in arrest and convictions of Campbell Countains is a prime example of what partnership, teamwork and leadership embodies. Thus far, federal convictions have netted 1,658 total sentenced months for these offenders of crimes perpetrated in Campbell County and the United States of America against our community. The time and effort of these investigations do not go unnoticed. I am proud of the teamwork of our office and others who have made this possible. We are honored to work together and look forward to continuing these efforts. We want drug dealers to know, we put them on notice now, we are coming for you and we won't stop until you are gone. Whatever it takes...." (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/19/2018-6AM)

Yager announces $1-million plus grant for Campbell County Schools

Earmarked for GEAR UP

   Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) announced today that Campbell County schools are receiving $1,158,710 as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) TN grant, which aims to increase the number of low-income students in Tennessee who are accessing and succeeding in higher education.

   The money will be awarded in seven budget periods starting June 1, 2018, and ending June 1, 2021.

   Campbell County GEAR UP Coordinator Monica Bane tells WLAF, “I am excited and happy to share some positive news about our school system.”

   “I am incredibly pleased to see these funds going towards supporting efforts in Campbell County to prepare students for success in college,” said Senator Yager. “This will provide valuable resources and opportunities for many students in Campbell County to further their education.”

   GEAP UP TN benefits middle and high school students in the following Campbell County schools: Campbell County High School, Jellico High School, Jacksboro Middle School, LaFollette Middle School, Jellico Elementary, Wynn Habersham Elementary, and Elk Valley Elementary. Students will receive tutoring, career guidance, comprehensive college advising, and mentoring that will continue through their first year of postsecondary education.

   “The school administrators, teacher, and students in Campbell County have a willingness to innovate and work diligently to ensure academic success. I was pleased to support their efforts to secure this grant, and I grateful for Representative Dennis Powers’ support and assistance in the House. Great things are ahead for students in Campbell County,” added Yager.

   This is Tennessee’s third GEAR UP grant. Tennessee’s first GEAR UP TN project, which began in 2005, resulted in a 22.8 percent increase in college-going rates in the nine rural school districts. Communities served by Tennessee’s second GEAR UP TN grant, which began in 2012, have shown impressive results, including over 9 percentage points of growth in college-going rates since 2012. Tennessee was one of ten states awarded a GEAR UP grant as part of the 2017 competition. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/19/2018-6AM)

Keller arrested for DUI

Found by LUB workers

   Last Thursday, Gilbert Allen Keller, II. was found by LaFollette Utilities employees allegedly passed out behind the wheel of his vehicle at a stop sign on Fincastle Drive, according to a report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department. When Deputy Tosha Tackett arrived, she spoke with the LUB employees who said they had attempted to wake Keller but were unsuccessful. Tackett saw the man sitting in the driver’s seat with the vehicle running at the stop sign. In speaking with Keller, Tackett noticed he allegedly had blood shot watery eyes and smelled of alcohol. Keller denied drinking citing his mother’s recent death and driving all night as the reason for his condition.

  Keller, 37, 5219 Brookeville Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland, is charged with driving under influence (DUI). (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/19/2018-6AM)

Grand jury indicts 10

The following people were indicted by the Campbell County Grand Jury yesterday. They will be arraigned in criminal court of April 30:

-Christie Bush- DUI, possession of a schedule IV controlled substance

-James Combs Jr., second offense DUI

-Jefferson Gibson Jr.- aggravated domestic assault, domestic assault, false imprisonment

-Preston Pierce- DUI, possession of drug paraphernalia

-Verlin Ratliff- second offense DUI, possession of a schedule VI controlled substance

-Stephanie D. Smith- DUI

-Aaron Brantley- DUI, possession of schedule II controlled substance with intent to sell in a drug free school zone, possession of schedule II controlled substance with intent to deliver in a drug free school zone, possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, possession of drug paraphernalia, simple possession  of a schedule VI controlled substance

-Christopher Watkins- DUI

-Thurman Marlow- theft over $10,000, four counts of burglary, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, evading arrest          

-Preston Pierce- DUI (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/19/2018-6AM)

JES hosts more than 500 parents

Reading Fair – STEM Night a success

   The halls at Jacksboro Elementary School were full of people, posters, and chatter last Thursday night.  And JES Principal Pam Walden was just fine with that.  It was Hollywood STEM and Reading Night.  The theme, appropriately enough, surrounded Hollywood namely Hollywood Children’s movies.


 Minverva McGonagall aka McKayla Miller was on hand


  Principal Walden praised fourth grade teacher Jessica Housley for bringing her “reading board” idea to JES.  It’s now a county-wide happening.

   In addition to the reading board showcase, there were fun games, experiments, and other activities for everyone.  Like “slime time” (above) as JES third grade teacher Lori Torres leads the fun charge.

  All reading boards were created at school by the JES students

(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/19/2018-6AM)



   On Friday, Caryville Fire Department Chief Eddie Hatmaker and his department put their new rescue truck into service. It's a 2017 Ford 450 4 x 4. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/18/2018-6AM)

The day Barbara Bush came to Campbell County

Ayers-Colvin's personal photos at the former Colonial House Restaurant at Caryville

   Ann Ayers-Colvin is the Administrator of Elections for Campbell County and shares her photos and memories of former First Lady Barbara Bush when Bush visited Campbell County in 1982.   

L-R: Elva Morton, Barbara Bush, Juanita Baird, and Vic King

   Ayers-Colvin says, “We have so many fond memories of our former First Lady Barbara Bush. My heart is broken today, because I feel we have lost a friend who loved our country and did everything she could to make it better. I was always impressed by the way she was just herself and didn't try to impress anyone!  I also like that every public speech she gave she always had something funny or witty to say no matter what the occasion and I think everyone felt more comfortable in her presence when she did that.”

L-R:  Barbara Bush and Juanita Baird

Barbara Bush meets Tomi Ayers (above) and Jerri Roach below

   Ayers-Colvin adds, “She was a role model in every aspect of her life and lived life to its fullest. I will always remembered from one speech where she said that we should aspire to be part of something bigger than ourselves and that has been my motto to this day!! I'm wearing pearls today in her honor and I will never wear pearls again without thinking about our wonderful friend and mentor First Lady Barbara Bush.  Rest in peace my friend!!”  (04/18/2018-11:30AM)

Talk of County’s efforts to work with CHET continues

Day and evening long email exchange on Tuesday - Kitts joins in

   “It sounds like the Commission (County Commission) acted against fighting opioid addiction in our county, but that wasn’t the case!”  That’s what County Commissioner Rusty Orick wrote in a late night email on Tuesday to 25 people, mainly county commissioners.

   Orick’s 11:06 pm email was the last of the day in a multi email exchange that was triggered Tuesday morning at 8:12 am with a question from County Commissioner Marie Ayers.  Ayers asked County Attorney Joe Coker if Monday night’s vote to not give CHET $45,000 for a counselor in a proposed joint effort to fight opioid abuse officially passed.

   Coker requested clarification from Kristy Godsey Brown, a legal consultant with County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS), on the 9 to four vote to not give CHET the $45,000.  Brown wrote in her conclusion, “As this is a state statute, it cannot be varied by local rule. Thus, regardless of the provisions in Robert’s Rules, a motion would pass with eight votes. As this vote was 9-4, it passed.”

   Orick wrote that “he is not against funding a way to help in this endeavor!”  He goes on to write that “There was not any agreement or contract for the commission to review, only a verbal commitment with Mayor Morton and CHET. This was only mentioned briefly at the workshop last Monday night.”

   The email from Orick closed with him writing, “I feel with all my heart that the county commission will approve an action on this matter when the 2018 budget starts.”

   Since this morning’s publishing of 1450wlaf, County Commissioner DeWayne Kitts joined the email exchanges that began Tuesday morning.  Kitts allows, “I totally concur with Mr. Orick.  I’m NOT against fighting the opioid crisis that has plagued our community.  In my career as a mail carrier, I personally firsthand see what this epidemic has done to our community everyday!!  My family and friends,,, like many of yours have seen how opioids have impacted their daily lives. I have a deep compassion to find a solution to combat this horrific problem. Therefore I FULLY support fighting the opioid crisis that has plagued our great county.“ (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/18/2018-7:45AM)

   WLAF’s Charles “Boomer” Winfrey wrote from Monday night’s meeting: Morton repeated his proposal to use $45,000 of those funds to match another $45,000 from Community Health of East Tennessee, setting up a ophioid treatment program with a nurse practitioner/counselor, treatment drugs and expenses.  Rusty Orick repeated his contention that the expenditure should be delayed until the upcoming fiscal year budget is reviewed but after a long discussion, Morton called for a motion on a budget amendment to appropriate the money.  The full story is further down this page.  WATCH HERE  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/18/2018-6AM)

Warming Center begins new chapter

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. However, it has provided much more.

On the night the center opened it was utilized by eight people. Within three days the center was utilized by 22 adults and two children, not all spent the night, but some came to get warm and have a hot meal. As of today, the center has served 63 people, 29 people have applied for housing, 25 have been approved and 21 have been placed in permanent housing. Sixteen people have received have received birth certificates, 11 have identification cards and eight have received their Social Security cards.

Individuals who visited The Warming Center needed these items to obtain jobs; 20 individuals have found jobs through the assistance of The Warming Center and its volunteers.

Many of the individuals came to the Warming Center sought a variety of assistance; six people have received mental health services, nine have applied for health care and the Lions Club has assisted seven people with eyeglasses.

And while the tangible needs have been tended to, spiritual needs have also been met through the center. To date, 11 people have been baptized since they started attending local churches. Each person has been given a mentor as well, according to New Horizon Baptist Church Pastor Chris Thomas.

The Warming Center has served an underserved population in Campbell County. The homeless are hidden in our county, said Thomas. They live in abandon houses and buildings not visible to most of us.

Homelessness is not always a choice as many have learned listening to the stories from the people who have been served by the warming center. Some people have become homeless because of health problems that stopped them from working, family issues, addiction and some cases of homelessness have occurred after people have been released from addiction treatment centers with no place to go.

Thomas and New Horizon became involved when he was told by members of the church who were volunteering with The Warming Center something was happening and he needed to go check it out. He went and immediately saw the needs of showers and transportation and that’s when we got involved, Thomas said. (story continues further down this page)

The church provided transportation to and from its building, so people could shower, go where they needed to, and obtain proper identification to move forward with their lives.

After almost five months, The Warming Center will close its doors on April 27 to start a new chapter for the underserved population of Campbell County. The center is unable to accept anyone else at this time, Thomas said with tears in his eyes. “We have six people left in the center, three have been approved for housing and three have applied for housing,” Thomas said. The center has been existed because of people who have volunteered their time, energy and resources. Area businesses have been incredibly supportive in many ways, he said. Thomas feels this has brought on a revival within the community.

The center will close and move toward its next phase which is the Pathways Resource Center. The board for the new center has been established and is comprised of Melanie Cordell, Allen Shephard, Odus Mundy, Bethany Fritts, Brandon Elkins, Zach Walden and Thomas. The board will be working on fundraising and collaborating with Tony Simpson and New Beginnings to establish the new center.

Pathways Resource Center is looking for a permanent facility or land that will not only serve as temporary housing for the homeless but will also help to create people who are stable, working citizens of Campbell County. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/18/2018-6AM)

Walden bound over to Criminal Court
Appeared in court Monday

   The case of the man charged with shooting his sister-in-law is headed to the grand jury. Kenneth “Wayne” Walden, 58, appeared in Campbell County General Sessions Court on Monday.
   At 6:55 pm Tuesday evening, Feb. 13, Walden and Deborah Nelson, both of La Follette, were in separate vehicles where Sunset Drive meets Claiborne Road in the Indian River Village neighborhood, when Walden allegedly shot Nelson, La Follette Chief of Police Bill Roehl detailed to WLAF in his notes. 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, Campbell County Sheriff’s Department, and the Eighth Judicial 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.
   Walden, who is married to Nelson’s sister, remains in the county jail this morning on a $1.5 million dollar bond. His case could be presented to the grand jury as early as tomorrow. If he is indicted, Walden will be arraigned in Criminal Court on April 30.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/17/2018-6AM)

Lunch with Coach

Old Eagle and Owl catch up

   Jerry Dagley played in the very first high school basketball game I ever saw.  It was about 1961 when I sat on the row behind the Jacksboro bench.  Little did I know that a few years later Dagley, the Eagle, would be my coach, Coach Dagley, at La Follette High School.

Jim Freeman (L) and Jerry Dagley caught up over lunch Tuesday afternoon at the Royal Lunch Room.  David Stout came over to share a laugh or two and snap this photo.

   Thanks for lunch, Coach.  It’s my turn to buy next time. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/18/2018-6AM)

Cove Lake 5K date is set

Saturday, June 9 – 8 am

   The annual Cove Lake 5K will be on Saturday, June 9, at Cove Lake Park.  The early registration fee is $25.  CLICK HERE to sign-up.         

   Pre-registration runners receive a Cove Lake 5K T-shirt.  Proceeds from the race benefit the Friends of Cove Lake State Park. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/18/2018-6AM)


   Tribute performed during Saturday night’s Campbell County Cancer Association Telethon on WLAF.  L-R Scott Hill, Ric Miller, Todd Poston, and David Chambers on the keyboard (off camera).  CLICK HERE to see more Charlie Hutson photos.

Commissioners, Mayor at odds in contentious meeting

WATCH HERE on demand

The April meeting of the Campbell County Commission started out on an upbeat note, but steadily declined to a series of disagreements, sniping and exchanges between Mayor E. L. Morton and some commissioners.

County officials started the evening by gathering in a separate room to give retiring commission secretary Peggy Henegar a farewell party complete with cake and sandwiches.

Returning to the courtroom, Mayor E. L. Morton then recognized the CCHS Lady Cougars basketball team for their 13-1 record as district co-champions, breaking Oak Ridge’s 46-game district winning streak and advancing to the regional tournament as district runner-up. The commission proclaimed Friday, April 20 to be Lady Cougar Day in Campbell County.

Morton and the commission then honored the CCHS Junior ROTC Women Raiders team for their success at the national championships, where they won the rope bridge competition, finished in the top ten in several other events and seventh overall at the meet.

The commission’s agreeable mood began to fade shortly after the honored guests left the room, as Mayor Morton brought up his proposal for using the $59,000 gained by the recent sale of delinquent tax property.

Morton repeated his proposal to use $45,000 of those funds to match another $45,000 from Community Health of East Tennessee, setting up a ophioid treatment program with a nurse practitioner/counselor, treatment drugs and expenses.

Rusty Orick repeated his contention that the expenditure should be delayed until the upcoming fiscal year budget is reviewed but after a long discussion, Morton called for a motion on a budget amendment to appropriate the money.

Forster Baird made the motion, and accepted a qualification suggested by Orick to require written confirmation from CHET about the matching $45,000. The commission then passed the amendment 9-5, with Orick, Ralph Davis, Marie Ayers, Carl Douglas and Whit Goins all voting “no.”

Morton’s next proposal, to give several thousand dollars from the sale to various volunteer fire departments and the Rescue Squad, received no resistance, passing 14-0.

Finally, Morton’s request to use the remaining $10,314 for a second litter control officer was met with several questions about whether supervision would rest with the Sheriff’s Department or Environmental Services, and whether this new officer would be empowered to supervise jail prisoners and have access to a vehicle.

Finally, Orick made a motion to table the budget amendment until the next meeting in order to answer those questions. Morton responded that there was already a motion to pass the budget amendment on the floor. Dwayne Kitts resolved the impasse by withdrawing his second to the motion and action on the litter officer was delayed.

Orick had yet give up on his efforts to sidetrack the $45,000 to CHET. He then asked to allow a couple of speakers from the audience to address the commission. Morton ruled that no audience input is allowed after the commission workshop, but Orick made a motion to suspend the rules.

After that motion passed 14-0, a nurse in the audience was allowed to speak and criticize the decision to allow CHET to implement the drug program. At the end of the meeting, Orick again tried to block that expenditure, making a motion to rescind the earlier appropriation.

County Attorney Joe Coker pointed out that rules require that a two-thirds majority, or ten votes, are necessary to overturn a previous vote. This time, with Robert Higginbotham having been forced to leave the meeting earlier and Cliff Jennings absent due to sickness, Orick’s motion received nine votes but Morton ruled the motion failed.

Lonnie Weldon, Johnny Bruce, Forster Baird and Charles Baird all voted “no” on Orick’s motion.

In addition to the maneuvers from Orick, Morton also found himself in a verbal sparring match with Scott Stanfield over the Sanitation Department and decisions to buy equipment from outside vendors when it could be purchased locally. At one point Morton gaveled Stanfield down, but Stanfield replied, “I’m not finished.”

“You are,” Morton angrily responded.

The angry exchange finally ended when Orick moved to proclaim May as “Clean Up Month” in Campbell County.

“I’ve talked to Ron Dilbeck and if residents will bring their brush to a public road right-of-way, the Highway Department will haul it off for them,” Orick added. His motion to proclaim May 1-31 as Clean Up Month was passed unanimously. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/17/2018-6AM)

    Shelter director, allies respond to animal control complaints

“What we have here . . . is a failure to communicate.” Those immortal lines from the classic film “Cool Hand Luke” pretty well sum up the meeting Monday of the county commission’s Animal Control Committee.

Scheduled to air a number of complaints and grievances concerning FCCA’s (Friends of Campbell County Animals) administration of the county’s Adrion Baird Animal Shelter, commissioners instead ended up agreeing that the only complaint appears to be a lack of communication between shelter personnel and those voicing complaints.

John Vanover, who voiced displeasure to the commission last week with the way the shelter handled his efforts to adopt a Border Collie pup, repeated his complaint at the committee meeting.

Vanover said that having seen a photo of the puppy on Facebook, he had contacted shelter staff and asked to adopt it. He was told the animal would have to be held for a two-week quarantine period before adoption, but the pup was then sent off to an Animal Rescue shelter in Oliver Springs.

Shelter Director Priscilla Simpson explained to the commission that the dog had a highly contagious sickness and their policy was to not adopt out sick animals until cured in order to avoid spreading contamination. Missy Robbins, former director of the Claiborne County animal shelter, supported Simpson, telling the committee that Claiborne County has the same policy concerning adoptions.

“We couldn’t keep in at the shelter and endanger other animals. Our policy was to send sick animals to Rescue where they would be boarded with someone able to treat them,” Simpson explained.

When Vanover pointed out that nobody explained the policy or that the animal was sick when he enquired about adopting, Simpson admitted that there was a lack of communication. When the Director of East Tennessee Animal Rescue added that Vanover could still apply to adopt the animal once it is cured, he seemed satisfied with the explanation.

Vanover also pointed out that he learned about the animal on a Facebook post that announced it as up for adoption. That Facebook message was not posted by the shelter but the individual who had taken the animal to the shelter, Simpson explained.

Commissioner Ralph Davis repeated his complaint about not being notified about whether animal control ever responded to reports he had passed on to the shelter concerning loose dogs in Jellico. Again, the problem seemed to be lack of communication, Simpson admitted.

Finally, Simpson addressed Mayor E. L. Morton’s complaint that his office had been contacted by Holston Gas about the shelter being three month’s behind on paying its propane gas heating bill.

“We’ve held up on paying those bills because we suspect there’s a leak in the lines. Our shelter’s gas bill for all of 2017 was around $8,000. In the first nine weeks of 2018, the bill was $5,000,” Simpson pointed out.

“Again it’s a lack of communication. You should have called us about the suspected leak, Davis stated.

“We have been dealing with all our vendors directly,” Simpson replied, “You shouldn’t have ever received a call (from the gas company).”

“It is our business. You’re getting tax dollars,” Davis shot back. “Communicating with the commission is all we ask for.”

The committee then adjourned without taking further action. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/17/2018-6AM)

Ray found guilty of child rape

Sentencing set for June

     A Campbell County Jury found Marty Lynn Ray guilty of four counts of rape of a child; Class A felonies.  After a two-day trial, the verdict was reached late Friday afternoon in Campbell County Criminal Court at Jacksboro.

   Campbell County Criminal Court Judge E. Shayne Sexton ordered the 47-year old Ray back into immediate custody of the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office where he will await sentencing scheduled for Monday, June 18. 

    Ray, of Cherry Bottom Road-Caryville, was initially charged on November 10, 2016. The arrest followed an investigation by Detective-Sergeant Ricky Lee Jeffers with the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department.  Ray (pictured above) was arrested at his Cherry Bottom home without incident.

   Investigators acted on a request from the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services to further investigate allegations made by a young female.  That was in July 2016.

   This case was investigated and prosecuted by the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office. The Campbell County Children’s Center and the Department of Children’s Services were also an integral part of the investigation and trial.

   At trial, the state was represented by Assistant District Attorneys Lindsey Cadle and Meredith Slemp. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/17/2018-6AM-PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CAMPBELL COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT)


   Macy’s making us proud!  Records are falling all around LMS runner Macy Caldwell.  The story and another photo of the young record setting runner are further down this page.

Pop Shop “stop” gets more than 80,000 likes

Shady shack shutdown on Friday

   When news of the raid on The Pop Shop in La Follette broke on WLAF and Facebook Friday afternoon, response went off the chart.  Calls came in to the radio station asking who was involved while Facebook received more than 80,000 likes about the raid.  Cars were driving past the shop blowing their horns along with applause and shouts of “it’s about time” with some “thank yous.”

   THIS VIDEO has had more than 12,000 views on Facebook.  Comments are pushing a thousand with the great majority in favor of the raid and shutdown.  More than 500 shares have been recorded.(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/16/2018-7AM)

Cancer Association telethon a success

Raised more than $35,000

   Saturday night’s annual Campbell County Cancer Association telethon on WLAF was a hit.  At the West End Community Center aka the West La Follette School, the CCCA raised $35,630.31.

   Lots of local entertainers performed.  Mason T. and Carl Capps opened the evening.  Vanessa Dupuy and Bobbie Archer sang as well.  Tribute also graced the Dottie Rogers Stage.  Second Chance, the group with the most members, performed in the 8 pm hour.  Closing out the evening was New Harvest.  New Harvest celebrates its 30th year this month.

New Harvest performs on Saturday night  

   CCCA Treasurer Clarence Lowe tells WLAF, “Traditionally, we have more donations dropped off at our office the week after the telethon.  So, that total will likely increase.”  The office is in the West End Community Center.  If you would like to donate, please mail your check to the CCCA, P.O. Box 122, Jacksboro, Tennessee 37757. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/16/2018-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF’S CHARLIE HUTSON)

City officials deny knowledge of Pop Shop activities

Allege politics is the issue

Even with its obvious location, LaFollette City officials are claiming they had no knowledge of the criminal activities taking place at the little yellow building perched on the side of Highway 25W.

But as of Friday, they could no longer feign ignorance about the problem that has repeatedly been reported to the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department.

Just before 3 p.m. on Friday, officers with the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department, the Eighth Judicial Drug Task Force and the TBI raided the Pop Shop, a location that had been under investigation for six to eight months.

Joe Bolinger, the City of LaFollette Vice- Mayor and longstanding council member, was among those present when authorities swooped in armed with a search warrant. Also there was Jimmy Ivey, the store owner.

“Joe was here,” said Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins. The sheriff noted Bolinger was calm and soon left the scene on his own. Bolinger is also an employee at the LaFollette Utilities Board.

Bolinger, Ivey and Jennifer Brown, a woman reported to be Bolinger’s girlfriend, had been the targets of the investigation that other agencies assumed when LaFollette failed to act, according to Goins. Ivey is listed as the business owner, Brown worked there and Bolinger was a constant fixture at the store. During   the investigation he was seen interacting with customers and advising them what products he could resale, authorities said.


WLAF’s Jim Freeman (L) was on the scene during the Friday raid on the Pop Shop. He was able to follow the events as they unfolded. Freeman was also able to get details from Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins.

Throughout the investigation authorities discovered criminal activity that allegedly included fraudulent uses of EBT cards, commonly referred to as food stamp cards, narcotics trafficking, and stolen goods being sold out of the shack.

“Our officers have conducted drug buys from this location,” the sheriff said standing outside the store on Friday.

Indictments will be sought for those who were running the store and who participated in illegal activities, Goins said.

Police agencies outside the city chose to act when city officials didn’t act, Goins said.

The citizens’ complaints and reports were passed onto Jimmy Jeffries on at least two occasions, according to Goins. Once when he was the chief of police and later in his current capacity as city administrator.

“As a professional courtesy I told Jimmy what was being reported to me,” Goins said.

While the city could have primary jurisdiction in crimes committed in its borders, the sheriff’s department has dominion over the entire county meaning it can conduct an investigation anywhere in the county.

And despite the significant evidence that was amassed during the joint investigation, LaFollette officials claim they had no knowledge of the alleged crimes going down on the busiest street in their city. 

When LaFollette Mayor Mike Stanfield was contacted by WLAF about his vice- mayor’s involvement in   the criminal enterprise, his response was “Oh my God, I had not heard anything about it.”

Stanfield contended he had no idea Bolinger was involved in the store.

“The last I heard it was run by Phillip Hatmaker,” Stanfield said adding “I go in there sometimes and buy a pop.”

When asked if he would be contacting Bolinger about the raid, Stanfield said, “He is probably in jail.”

As Stanfield lamented about the “good being done in the city” and how the raid “had shot” his day, the question of Bolinger’s status with the city was broached.

“If he is convicted as felon he (Bolinger) will automatically come off the council,” Stanfield said. “You break the law, you go do the time.”

The multi-term mayor further insisted the city hadn’t received any reports about illegal activity at the store. “But, it’s an election year,” he said.

Jeffries took the same approach focusing on politics instead of the crimes allegedly being committed in LaFollette.

“I know what the purpose of these allegations are,” Jeffries said via text Friday night. “I am the only opposing candidate in the sheriff’s race. This is not the appropriate way to start a campaign. I don’t remember the sheriff even mentioning that in passing much less reporting it on several occasions or however it was he said it on the WLAF live stream. My contact with him has been extremely limited since I have been at the city. I’m not going to get caught up in this type of politics.”

When authorities went into the shop on Friday they were armed with a search warrant that gave them authority under the Fraudulent Receipt of Food Stamps Assistance law.

Under that law, anyone who uses, or helps someone else use food stamps in any manner except their expressed purpose, can be convicted of a Class E Felony or Class A Misdemeanor. The distinction in the penalties correlates to the amount of the fraud, according to the law. Anything over $100 is a felony while under $100 is a misdemeanor.

A Class E Felony carries a sentencing range of one to six years in prison per count. The Class A Misdemeanor carries 11 months, 29 days in jail per count.

Bolinger, Ivey and Brown could be charged with multiple crimes once the case is presented to the grand jury. The presentment could also include narcotics charges.

“The Eighth Judicial Drug Task Force is assisting state and local agencies in an ongoing investigation and we expect the results to be presented to the grand jury in the near future,” Jarred Effler, eighth judicial district attorney general said. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/16/2018-6AM)

Tennova Healthcare presents help for heel pain

Health system marks “Foot Health Awareness Month in April”

   If your first few steps out of bed in the morning cause a stabbing pain in the heel of your foot, it’s very likely you are suffering from plantar fasciitis. April is Foot Health Awareness Month, and Tennova Healthcare has some tips to help you put your best foot forward.

   “Plantar fasciitis involves the inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot, and connects your heel bone to your toes,” said R. Brent Harbin, D.P.M, a podiatrist with Tennova Foot and Ankle. “The pain is typically worse first thing in the morning or after other long periods of physical inactivity.”

   According to Dr. Harbin, an estimated 10 percent of Americans will experience the condition at some point in their lifetime. It is most common in adults between the ages of 40 and 60. Risk factors that increase your likelihood of a plantar fasciitis diagnosis are:

        ·         Being female

·         Running, as a sport or hobby

·         Being overweight

·         Having a job that requires a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces

   The condition typically starts gradually with the sensation of mild pain at the heel bone, often referred to as a stone bruise. Individuals with plantar fasciitis are more likely to feel the pain after, as opposed to during, physical exercise.

   “Plantar fasciitis is a fairly common and treatable overuse injury,” said David Harrison, D.P.M., a podiatrist with Tennova Foot and Ankle. “However, left untreated it can become a chronic condition that prevents you from maintaining your activity level. It can also cause knee as well as hip and back problems, because plantar fasciitis can change the way you walk.”

   Under normal circumstances, the plantar fascia acts as a shock-absorbing “bowstring,” supporting the arch in your foot. Repetitive or chronic tension and stress on that bowstring can create small tears in the fascia and a resulting inflammation, though in many cases the cause of plantar fasciitis isn’t clear.

   “Footwear with proper arch and heel support is the best way to try and prevent foot pain and injuries,” Dr. Harrison said. “But if you find yourself with a diagnosis or suspected case of plantar fasciitis, there are some steps you can take at home.”

   The team at Tennova Foot and Ankle offers the following advice for those suffering from heel pain:

        ·         First, consider keeping weight off your foot until the initial inflammation subsides, applying ice to the painful area in 20-minute intervals throughout the day.

·         Stretching exercises for your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia are the best treatments to address the injury and prevent reoccurrence.

·         A qualified podiatrist, orthopedist or physical therapist can provide a definitive diagnosis and help to develop a program you can follow at home. They can also advise you on how and when to return to your desired level of activity so you don’t hinder your recovery.

   Most importantly, don’t write off foot pain as something you just have to live with. Talk with a healthcare provider about any issues that send you to the medicine cabinet regularly for managing pain, or that restrict your level of movement and quality of life.

   Tennova Foot and Ankle has five convenient locations in East Tennessee: LaFollette, Clinton, Knoxville, Maryville and Powell. For more information or to find a doctor, call 1-855-TENNOVA (836-6682) or visit  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/16/2018-6AM)

Perfect day to kick-off the Dogwood Trail

Shirley Fox Rogers opens the trail

L-R Mayor Mike Stanfield, Codes Officer Daniel Smith, Rogers of the Hill and Valley Garden Club, City Administrator Jimmy Jeffries, and Councilman Lonnie “Hot Rod” Wilson.  Friday’s cutting of the pink ribbon signaled the start to La Follette’s Dogwood Trails.  CLICK HERE to see all of Charlie Hutson’s photos. 

Jordan Amburn and Adoration performed Sunday night at Calvary Worship Center in La Follette. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/16/2018-6AM-PHOTO COURTESY OF WLAF’S DERRICK LEE ANDERSON)

Caldwell breaks two records.  Eyes another.

18-year old record falls

   Last week, La Follette Middle School runner Macy Caldwell broke two records.  On April 9, Caldwell broke one of her own records.  The LMS 1600 meter mark of 5:35 was broken by Caldwell two seasons ago.  It stood until she shattered it by a full six-seconds at 5:29 in a meet at Anderson County.

   On Thursday at Oak Ridge, she broke Lady Owl Jennifer Vincent’s record in the 3200 meter.  The old record was 12:22.  Caldwell’s new standard is 12:20.  Vincent’s record time stood for 18-years.

   Caldwell, shown here at last Monday’s meet at Anderson County, attends J. Frank White Academy at Harrogate, lives in La Follette, and runs for LMS.  JFWA does not field a track team allowing Caldwell to run for the Lady Owls.

   The 8th grader hopes to get the 800 meter record before the season is over. She ran 2:33 on Thursday which is just one second off the record time. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/16/2018-6AM)


Pop Shop "stop" - BREAKING NEWS from WLAF

Sheriff Robbie Goins closed a La Follette business today

Campbell County Sheriff closed a La Follette business.  The story is further down this page.

New CCHS coach introduced

   New Campbell Boys Basketball Coach Darrell Cox (white shirt, orange-n-blue tie) was officially introduced to his players (and the community over WLAF) on Friday morning at Brown Gym.  Coach Cox said, “I’ll guarantee our players two things; I’ll work very hard, and you will, too.”  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/13/2018-9:45AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF’S NOAH SMITH)


   Elk Valley Elementary School 5th graders are the first Campbell County students to complete Sheriff Robbie Goins (L) new program called LEAD.  The story and more photos are further down this page.

CCSD, DTF and TBI put a lid on The Pop Shop

Cash for pops biz loses its fizz

Sheriff Robbie Goins interview - CLICK HERE

   The elephant that’s been sitting alongside the four lane in the City of La Follette was finally caught this afternoon.  Countless complaints of people driving in droves to the dusty little yellow building in La Follette were finally answered on Friday.

After requests from Goins to the City of La Follette, he says, went unanswered, he, his officers, the Drug Task Force, and the TBI took charge

     Sheriff Robbie Goins and the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department along with the Drug Task Force and the TBI worked together to shutdown the shady business that is accused of swapping cash for soft drinks and cigarettes.  According to Goins, these items were purchased with EBT cards and then turned in for cash at The Pop Shop.  He adds that pot was also sold out of the store.

   During today’s raid that culminated after months of undercover work and the execution of a search warrant, three key players in the operation, Goins says, were on hand at the store.  They are Jimmy Ivey, Jennifer Brown, and Joe Bolinger. 

Bolinger, wearing a light blue LUB T-shirt, exits the store

   The sheriff says Ivey owns the store, Brown works there, and Bolinger is involved.  Bolinger is Vice-Mayor for the City of La Follette and is also listed as the Water Treatment Plant Supervisor for La Follette Utilities on the LUB website.

Ivey, in the overalls, re-enters the store  

Goins says that no arrests were made today, but that indictments on Ivey, Brown, and Bolinger are in the works.

   The sheriff says, “People are fed up with this (the illegal activities).  I have been getting numerous calls weekly about this.

Sheriff Goins is interviewed by WATE-TV 6 reporter Madisen Keavy.  All during the hours officers were on scene, countless cars and trucks passed shouting, waving, cheering, and blowing their horns.  

   WLAF News is working on more stories for you surrounding today’s big bust that will be published here by Monday at 6 am.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/13/2018-5:30PM)

Friday the 13th drug bust

CCSD Tac Team and CPD conduct the raid

  Sheriff Robbie K. Goins announces that in the early morning hours of Friday the 13th, the  Campbell County Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics Team executed a narcotics search warrant at 147 Falin Lane at Caryville  The Caryville Police Department assisted.  Prior to the execution of the search warrant, investigators with the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, La Follette Police Department and 8th Judicial Drug Task Force conducted several undercover purchases of crystal methamphetamine from an individual inside the Falin Lane home.

Law enforcement rush the home soon after daybreak today

   During execution of the search warrant, investigators recovered quantities of crystal methamphetamine, marijuana, and prescription medication that were being sold by individuals from inside the mobile home. Investigators also recovered US currency that is believed to be proceeds from the direct sale of illegal narcotics. Investigators seized a vehicle from an individual.  The vehicle was used to transport and facilitate the sale of narcotics.
   Individuals will be facing charges for the sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance, felony possession of schedule II controlled substance, and possession of a schedule VI controlled substance.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/13/2018-11:30AM)

CLICK on the Cougar paw to watch the introduction of Coach Darrell Cox


District attorneys win battle in opioid lawsuit

Attorney general withdraws motion to have them removed

On Thursday morning at Jacksboro, district attorney generals in East Tennessee crossed a significant hurdle in their lawsuit against the pharmaceutical industry.

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, III, had filed a motion asking the court to remove the district attorneys from the lawsuit so the state could take the lead role in the pending litigation.

However, it is the attorney general’s office who is no longer a party in the suit after that office withdrew its motion to have the district attorneys removed.

“We have always felt confident in our legal authority to bring this suit,” 8th Judicial District Attorney General Jared Effler said Thursday evening.

The motion by the attorney general was a “detour” in the legal battle, he said.

Judge John McAfee presided over Thursday morning’s case

Slatery had opposed the involvement of the district attorneys across the state, but, the East Tennessee motion was the first to be withdrawn, according to Effler.

“We can now focus on those responsible for this epidemic,” he said.

“Today’s announcement is a major victory for our suit. I greatly appreciate the attorney general’s willingness to work with fellow district attorneys and myself as we attempt to stop the flow of illegal opioids into our communities,” Effler said.  “My goal is to make our communities a safer place to work, worship, and raise our families, and today’s victory is a major step towards that end.”

Last fall, 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.

Within the suit, the group alleged the pharmaceutical companies knowingly engaged in deceptive and harmful practices when they flooded the market with opioids.

With the in-state battle settled, the suit against the pharmaceutical companies can move forward.

The next step in that litigation could involve the opioid manufactures asking for the suit to be dismissed.

One such motion to dismiss is already slated to be heard in Sullivan County next month.

No specified amount of damages was requested in the initial filing, but the district attorneys did ask for the court to award punitive damages and legal fees.

The hope is that any money the drug companies would be ordered to pay in the event of a victory would be distributed into the counties affected by the opioid crisis. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/13/2018-6AM-PHOTO COURTESY OF DENNIS POTTER) 

 La Follette man’s first book is published

 Jerry Kidd has just published his first book, "The Lynching." It is based on the true story of Jerome Boyatt from the community of No Business, Tennessee, on the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River.

This is the cover of “The Lynching.”

   In the early spring of 1933, Jerome Boyatt defends himself and his brother from an unlawful police assault and in the process kills the high sheriff of Pickett County, Tennessee, and his deputy. This deputy is also the sheriff's son. More than one posse, especially one from out of state led by the other son of the dead sheriff, tried for weeks to find and apprehend Boyatt. The police use torture, kidnapping, threats, terrorism and even murder in their attempts to catch Boyatt. The story centers around the misuse of police authority and the overreach of the law when out of control. This story encompasses history, crimes, corruption, mystery, excitement, and action, all for a great presentation of the thesis of how government can easily go astray.
   The book is available on You can search "The Lynching" or the author "Jerry Kidd" to find the historical novel. The book is available in Kindle and as a paperback. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/13/2018-6AM)

Stooksbury returns to Campbell County

CCHS grad is a home lending advisor

   Grey Stooksbury (above) of Jacksboro is working back in his home county.  The Campbell County High and MTSU graduate is based at Y-12 Federal Credit Union and is serving as a home lending advisor. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/13/2018-6AM)

Sheriff Goins graduates first LEAD Class

   Congratulations to the sheriff's first LEAD Class Graduation, Elk Valley Elementary School 5th graders.  LEAD is Drug Abuse Resistance Education.

Under the instruction from Deputy John Minor the LEAD Program is the new anti-drug education program.

LEAD was implemented by Sheriff Robbie Goins to replace DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) this year.

   The Campbell County Sheriff’s Department will provide the leadership, resources and management to ensure law enforcement agencies have the means to partner with our educators, community leaders, and families by providing proven and effective programs to deter youth and adults from drug use, drug related crimes, bullying and violence. We are committed to reinforcing the mutual respect, goodwill and relations between law enforcement and their communities. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/13/2018-6AM)

General Assembly approves Primacy and Reclamation Act

Will allow Tennessee to reclaim control over state’s surface mining coal industry

   Legislation allowing Tennessee to reclaim control of the state’s surface coal mining industry has passed the House of Representatives.  The Primacy and Reclamation Act, sponsored by Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) and Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro), brings direct oversight to the state through a system of issuing permits and enforcing regulations by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). 

   The Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation, and Enforcement (OSM) within the U.S. Department of the Interior was given the authority to control surface mining in Tennessee 34 years ago. 

   “Tennessee is the only actively producing coal state that does not regulate itself and instead is regulated by the Office of Surface Mining in the federal government,” said Senator Yager.  “Being regulated by the federal government has put our state’s coal mining industry at a competitive disadvantage, which has a negative impact on job creation in some of the state’s most economically distressed counties.  The Primacy and Reclamation Act of Tennessee maintains stringent environmental control over coal mining, while providing an opportunity for the state to control its own destiny, stimulate investment and create jobs.”

This is a file photo snapped at the WLAF studio in 2013.  L-R WLAF's Jim Freeman, Senator Ken Yager, and Representative Dennis Powers

   “By bringing direct oversight to the state through TDEC, Tennessee’s coal mining industry will gain permit predictability, benefit from local regulation and enforcement, and be on a level playing field with other states across the nation,” said Rep. Powers.  “Since Tennessee is blessed with a variety of coal that can be used for steelmaking in the industrial process and as part of the silicon market, we still have a lot of future left for Tennessee coal mining.”

   The legislation makes clear that all funding for primacy will come from the federal government and the surface coal mining industry.  Yager and Powers have worked with members of the Haslam and Trump administrations and Tennessee’s congressional delegation to identify potential sources of funding.  Once the program is up and running, the legislation provides that ongoing costs will be split evenly between the federal government and fees assessed on the industry.

   “We feel very strong that these opportunities will come to bear and allow us to overtake the direct regulation of coal mining in Tennessee,” added Sen. Yager.  “However, if the federal funding does not come through then the state will not be obligated to implement or run the primacy program.”

    “For too long, we have allowed the federal government to dictate the direction of this important industry in our state. I am pleased that this measure will restore Tennessee’s authority over it, and I know it will lead to the creation of quality jobs that will allow Tennessee to continue its recent economic momentum,” Rep. Powers concluded.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/12/2018-6AM)

WATCH CCHS Baseball, Soccer, and Softball HERE

CLICK HERE to watch select Campbell Baseball, Soccer, and Softball games.   (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/12/2018-6AM)

Wilson arrested on I-75

A Michigan man found himself behind bars after taking a walk on the interstate.

Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Corey Laxton was assisting the Caryville Police Department with the call about a man walking on Interstate 75 when they noticed the man, who was later identified as Robert Dean Wilson, walking north in the south bound lane and tried to make contact with him.

Seeing the police, Wilson ran across the median and began walking in the opposite direction. Laxton attempted to get near Wilson but traffic prevented him. Laxton was trying to turn around when Sgt. Michael Owens arrived at the scene. Owens also saw Wilson walking south in the north bound lane and attempted to make contact him. This only drew obscenities from Wilson who insisted he was fine then ran across the interstate. Owens futilely told Wilson to stop several times. Laxton arrived back at the scene only to see his fellow officer and Wilson running across the interstate. Officers eventually had to use a Taser to stun Wilson so they could arrest him, according to a report from the Campbell County Sherriff’s Department.

Wilson, 54, of Detroit, Michigan, is charged with resist stop frisk halt search and other.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/12/2018-6AM)


Ohio man arrested twice in three days

Sik I. Hayden recently had a run of bad luck- he was arrested twice in three days.

Last, Friday, Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Allen saw Hayden walking on Pinecrest Road. When Allen stopped to ask him if everything was alright, Hayden ignored him. Allen then turned his car around, pulled beside the man and told him to stop, but he continued to ignore him and kept walking. Allen got out of his car and told the man to stop, but was met with Hayden screaming and cursing at him. He grew more aggressive toward Allen, prompting the officer to call for assistance. Allen also pulled his Taser. When he ordered Hayden to the ground, he refused all orders and refused to identify himself, according to a report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department. Deputy Billy White arrived at the scene and helped Allen arrest Hayden. During the arrest deputies noticed a strong smell of beer on his breath and discovered had three full Bud Light cans on him.

Three days later, Hayden found himself in trouble again. This time Deputy Darryl Chapman went to a suspicious person call on Hiwassee Drive.  A neighbor noticed a man at a residence in the area and had approached him because he didn’t live there. The man allegedly became belligerent with the caller who in turn called the police.

When Chapman arrived, he found an Asian male sitting in the back area of the home.

As Chapman attempted to talk with him, he was met with an obscenity, according to a report Campbell County Sheriff’s Department. At this point, Chapman saw a partially flattened aluminum can with black residue on it. This type of can is used for smoking methamphetamine or crack style cocaine and can be used for other drugs, Chapman noted.

Attempts to calm Hayden were met with verbal aggression.  Chapman continued to try and speak with Hayden soon learning he had been dropped off and told to find a job. When Chapman asked if the home was his residence he started shouting obscenities again.

Hayden was arrested and charged with resist stop frisk halt search, disorderly conduct and public intoxication in the first incident and disorderly conduct, criminal trespassing and public intoxication in the second incident.

The 39-year old Hayden lists Huber Heights, Ohio, as his hometown.  He is classified as homeless. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/12/2018-6AM)



   Gavin is now a Buccaneer.  Campbell’s Gavin Cooper signed this morning to run for ETSU as he continues his stellar career at the collegiate level.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/11/2018-11AM-PHOTO COURTESY OF WLAF’S PAT PEBLEY)


   Mindy Hall, Angie Peters Williams and Rayma Daugherty take a minute to enjoy some fun at the photo booth at CASA’s Bluegrass Breakdown on Saturday night.  More photos, courtesy of Rayma Daugherty, and the story are further down this page.

School Board quickly dispenses with routine agenda, promotions 

WATCH the meeting here

Board members Faye Heatherly and Crystal Creekmore were unable to attend the monthly meeting of the Board of Education on Tuesday night, but the other eight members lost little time in unanimously approving a routine agenda of reports, adoption of upgraded science textbooks and tenure for teacher Amanda Thompson.

The only item not receiving eight “yes” votes was a budget amendment that transferred $3,275 into the Gear Up program. Board chairman Clint Bane disqualified himself from voting on the motion because the recipient of the funds is his wife, Monica Bane, who heads up the program designed to prepare students for advanced education.

Director Jennifer Fields told the board that Mrs. Bane had successfully applied for a state grant that will provide $25,000 for both CCHS and Jellico High to purchase technology and equipment designed to help students attending college.

Clint Bane later explained that Nashville had approved expansion of the program through summer months, expanding his wife to a full twelve-month employee with resultant salary increase. Attorney Dail Cantrell added that a majority of five out of nine votes instead of the usual six would be needed for approval.

That distinction was unnecessary, as the board voted unanimously for the amendment to transfer the necessary funds.

Cantrell also reported that the Education Department had received a freedom of information request from a “media outlet” for the names of all applicants for the vacant coaching job at CCHS. That request was eventually granted after a delay and Cantrell advised that in future, all formal FOI requests should be directed to him.

It was later confirmed that the unnamed “media outlet” was the local LaFollette Press, which had been unable to simply obtain a list of applicants without filing the formal request under state law.

Board member Mike Orick was welcomed back after missing last month’s meeting due to hospitalization. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/11/2018-6AM) 

Cooper stops running long enough to sign with ETSU

The record setting Cougar will run for the Bucs

By Pat Pebley

   If ever Bruce Springsteen's hit “Born To Run” applied to anyone it would be Gavin Cooper. Well before his high school days, Cooper was dominating distance running.  When he finally arrived on campus at CCHS, he stepped into his high school running events immediately and began a dominating four-year journey.

   Gavin Cooper (red shirt) readies to run in the Cove Lake 5K in 2016.  Cooper took first place that June day

   The distance specialist has dominated many cross country events, everything from the 800 to 3200 meter events in track and even outside events like the annual Cove Lake 5K race.  He has been so good that he was nominated as one of the most dominant athletes in any sport in the PrepXtra area.

   Now Cooper will run on to the next level. The Cougar will sign the papers to trade the Blue and Orange for the Blue and Gold of East Tennessee State University.  He will sign this morning to become a Buc in a 10 am ceremony in the Commons at Campbell County High School. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/11/2018-6AM)

Powers sponsored initiative on coal mining passes

Will lead to job creation 

   Monday evening, Republican lawmakers passed an initiative sponsored by State Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro) designed to create jobs in the mining industry.
   House Bill 571, also known as the Primacy and Reclamation Act of Tennessee, restores sovereignty over mining and reclamation operations to our state.
   Currently, Tennessee is the only state in the entire nation that allows the federal office of surface mining to regulate all surface mining and reclamation operations. This has been the case ever since our state relinquished control to the federal government in 1984.
   This initiative is expected to create more than 1,200 new mining jobs.
   "For too long, we have allowed the federal government to dictate the direction of this important industry in our state, " said Representative Powers. "I am pleased that this measure will restore Tennessee's authority over it, and I know it will lead to the creation of quality jobs that will allow Tennessee to continue its recent economic momentum."
   House Bill 571 now awaits Governor Haslam's signature. Additional information is available by clicking here
(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/11/2018-6AM)

Cox is excited about coaching the Cougars

‘It’s about the kids and the community’ – Coach Darrell Cox

   “At some point most people want to go back home,” said Darrell Cox, the man who became the sixth-ever head basketball coach at Campbell County High School on Monday.  Cox tells WLAF, “I’m comfortable where I am, but I think it’s time.  Timing’s everything.”

   The 50-year old coach has three priorities from the get-go.  Number one is hiring assistant coaches.  The second is team camp.  Third is holding tryouts.  Cox knows there’s a lot of work ahead of him, but he says he’s not afraid of work.

   Cox lives, teaches, and coaches in Clarksville.  However, he and his wife, Angie McCreary-Cox, both CCHS graduates, grew up here in Campbell County.  The new coach says he’ll be on the job here when the school year is out. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/11/2018-6AM)

CASA hosts 17th annual event

On Saturday night, the community came together for CASA’s 17th annual Bluegrass Breakdown for abused and neglected children. Approximately 275 people attended. Proceeds from the event go toward helping serve abused and neglected children daily. Executive Director Mindy Hall said this was the best year yet for the event.

Sheriff Robbie Goins addresses the attendees

Cindi Reynolds and Sarah Cooper enjoying the festivities

The event featured food, live music by New Harvest, Tennessee 90, R&R and New River Rising Silent.  Live auctions with special drawings were held.  Judge Amanda Sammons, Sheriff Robbie Goins, CASA Advocate Nancy Harrison and David Pollard were guest speakers for the evening. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/11/2018-6AM)



   Darrell Cox (# 52) leaped at the chance to come back home to coach his alma mater.  Stories and more photos on the new CCHS basketball coach are further down this page.  The above photo was snapped in the winter of 1985, Cox’s senior season at Campbell High.


Commissioners hear good news on tourism, animal shelter woes

Although the county commission is still a few weeks away from beginning the annual budget process, Mayor E. L. Morton and several commissioners are already tossing out suggestions for how to spend any excess money that might be available.

Community Health of East Tennessee has offered to hire a nurse practitioner and drug counselor to deal with the opioid epidemic and overdoses. “If the county will provide $45,000, CHET will match that to cover the costs,” Morton told the commission.

When Rusty Orick commented that such a commitment should be done through the budget process, Morton replied, “I would suggest taking the money from the $59,000 we received from the delinquent property sale to cover the county’s share.”

Morton added that another $10,000 from the sale could be applied to hire an additional litter control officer immediately, rather than waiting until July when the next budget would take effect, adding, “My recommendation is to use the $59,000 in revenue in this budget cycle.”

The commission has yet to see whether declining enrollment will have an effect on state education funding and next year’s school budget, but several other commissioners tossed out ideas for using any excess funds, whether from the property sale or other sources.

Butch Kohlmeyer made a pitch for the county to help the Senior Citizen’s Center, which is short of funding for its Meals on Wheels program. “We need $4,000 more to have enough to pay wages and costs,” Kohlmeyer explained without suggesting where the money would come from.

Ralph Davis brought up the topic of replacing some of the smaller cans at convenient centers with larger 40 cubic yard containers, pointing out that in the long run the Sanitation Department would save money by having to make fewer runs to empty the containers.

All of these financial wish lists will probably be left on hold until at least April 26, which has been re-scheduled as the first budget meeting to begin planning the next county budget.

The commission workshop started out on a positive note, with the dedication of an art display in the new section of the courthouse. The artwork, which celebrates the diversity of cultures and origins among Campbell County residents, was created by several middle school students and sponsored by the Campbell County Culture Coalition.

Commissioners then heard a report from Cindi Reynolds, Tourism Director for the Chamber of Commerce. Reynolds handed out samples of advertising that has been published in numerous statewide and regional publications and shared some statistics with the commissioners on the impact of tourism and various special events on the county’s economy.

“According to Snapshot, a state study of tourism impact, Campbell County ranks 27th out of 95 counties in tourism revenue, with $57 million annually. That breaks down to 65% from the lake and 35% from the mountains and 490 jobs,” she explained.

The next person to speak focused on a familiar problem for commissioners, as John Vanover told the commission about a problem he had with the county animal shelter. Vanover tried to adopt a dog that had been posted on the shelter’s website, but was told to wait two weeks as the animal was in quarantine. When he checked back, the animal had been sent to a rescue shelter in Oliver Springs, Vanover complained.

Mayor Morton then added that he had received other complaints about the shelter, including one person whose animal was picked up and somehow sent to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Ralph Davis and others added complaints as well, and Vice Mayor Andy Wallace informed the commission that he had been contacted by Holston Gas, which claimed the animal shelter is $4,700 behind on their bill for heating the facility.

Holston just received the December payment. The shelter has not yet paid for January through March,” Wallace added.

“FCCA is under contract. The county isn’t responsible for those bills,” Rusty Orick pointed out.

Wallace suggested that the commission request a monthly financial statement from the FCCA, adding, ‘Taxpayers’ money should not be spent on late charges on bills.”

The subject of the shelter will come up again next Monday, as the commission scheduled a meeting of the Animal Control Committee at 5:00 p.m. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/10/2018-6:30AM)


La Follette Medical Center and Tennova encourage a “spring clean”

April is National Defeat Diabetes month

   Spring has arrived in East Tennessee. That means it’s time to put away your winter coats and sweaters, open the windows, and do some spring cleaning. While you may be clearing out closets, wiping down doors and knobs, vacuuming under beds, and sprucing up your yard for warmer days, one important thing to add to your spring cleaning list is your health.

   April is National Defeat Diabetes Month, and Tennova Healthcare is taking this opportunity to encourage those living with diabetes to make a commitment to healthy lifestyle habits, which is critical to effectively managing the disease.

   “Diabetes is a life-altering and life-threatening disease,” said Deborah Russell, FNP, a certified family nurse practitioner (above) with Tennova LaFollette Medical Center Clinic – South. “People diagnosed with diabetes are at greater risk for heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, blindness, amputation, as well incurring serious financial and emotional hardship”

   “Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to preventing significant damage to your health and longevity,” Russell said. “Knowing the risk factors, recognizing the warning signs, adopting healthy habits, and seeking access to quality medical care are all essential to taking control of diabetes.”

   Here are four things diabetics can do to clean out and clean up their diabetes care:

1.      Clean your equipment. Make sure your blood sugar meter is in tip-top shape. Inspect test strips to ensure they haven’t expired. If you check for urine ketones, double-check the expiration date on the vial or package of strips. Now is also a good time to take stock of your other diabetes supplies, including insulin syringes, pen needles, pump supplies and batteries. Make sure all of your diabetes medications are up-to-date and not expired, and store all medication at the correct temperature.

2.      Clean out your refrigerator and cabinets. Along with cleaning out moldy or rotting food in your fridge, and tossing out old, stale food from your cupboards, think about some healthy eating goals for the warmer weather. Commit to eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and legumes. Stock your pantry with healthy snacks. Nuts, seeds, whole-grain crackers, cheese sticks and popcorn are good choices.

3.      Clean up our activity plan. Spring is a great time to spruce up your physical activity plan. The possibilities are endless: take a walk, go for a swim, ride a bike, sign up for a class. If you are unsure where to start, talk to a doctor or nurse practitioner, or schedule a few personal training sessions.

4.      Gain control of your diabetes management. While taking time to restock your supplies and setting goals for physical activity, it’s also a good idea to clean up your diabetes care plan. Make (and keep) all appointments with your healthcare providers. This includes regular medical visits, sessions with a dietitian or diabetes educator, eye exams and blood work.

   “The most important aspect of cleaning up your diabetes care is to feel like you are in control again,” Russell said. “Share your diabetes management plan with family members so you can get the support of those around you to accomplish your goals. Staying organized—just like you do in other areas of your life—will help you succeed.”

   Tennova Healthcare offers preventive, diagnostic and treatment services at North Knoxville Medical Center, Physicians Regional Medical Center, Turkey Creek Medical Center, Jefferson Memorial Hospital, Lakeway Regional Hospital, LaFollette Medical Center and Newport Medical Center. With more than 200 primary care physicians working in collaboration with other medical specialists at multiple locations across the region, the health system is dedicated to offering quality care for every member of the family—close to home.

   For more information or to find a doctor, call 1-855-TENNOVA (836-6682) or visit (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/10/2018-6AM)

Darrell Cox is Campbell’s new coach

‘He knows what it takes to win’ – Coach Ron Murray

   In the 1980s, Len Pierce had the Campbell County Cougar Basketball Program rolling.  The 1984-85 team featured John Garner, Robbie Heatherly, Joey St. John, Todd Kitts, Kip Leach, Terry Mefford, Paul Provins, Ben Raines, Mark Stepp, Jeff Sweat, Chuck Wells, David Woodward, and Darrell Cox. 

This photo is of the 1984-85 Cougar Basketball Team

   On Monday morning, Cox accepted the Cougars head coaching job.  La Follette Owl Coach Ron Murray, who, by the way turns 88-years old today, has spent a lot of time with Cox, on the phone and in person, the past few weeks.  Murray says, “There’s talent in that school, and Cox will do a good job.”

   Murray likens Cox returning to when the Price twins took over the football program in 2011. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/10/2018-6AM)

Caryville looks to hire temporary library assistant

WATCH the meeting HERE

   The Caryville Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted last night to advertise for a temporary library assistant. The current assistant will be going on maternity leave soon.

   The board discussed other changes in the library as well. The library has $19,000 the board agreed to move from salaries to equipment. The funds will be used to make needed equipment improvements to the library. 

   The board held a first reading of Ordinance 2018-04 that will amend the 2017-18 budget. The general fund’s original budget for operating supplies was $2,200 and will be increased $3,500 for a total of $5,700. Fire protection and control was increased by $62,000.  This amount will pay for items needed to be added to the fire truck. 

   Alderman Patrick Pebley addressed old business to the board. Pebley told the board they need to correct some issues at Asbury Park from a 2006 recreational grant before they move forward with the 10-year Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The park needs two signs that will cost $100 each. Walkways from the parking lot to the ball field need to be firm, stable and slip resistant. Board members discussed the use of crush and run (generally pulverized stone and stone dust) for the walkways, as well as the appropriate width of the walkway. The park will need two marked ADA designated parking and the merry go round will need to be removed for safety reasons. The board voted to remove the merry go round to start moving forward with correcting the issues.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/10/2018-6AM)

Cox is coming home to coach the Cougars

‘He’ll do a great job up there’ – Coach Jody Wright

   Darrell Cox is coming home.  After all, as Fulton Head Basketball Coach Jody Wright puts it, “He (Cox) has always been a Campbell County Guy.”

   The former Cougar standout also starred at LMU in Harrogate during his college days.  He’s a member of the LMU Hall of Fame as is Wright.

Darrell Cox becomes the second former Cougar to lead the CCHS Boys Basketball program. Matt Housley was the first.

   Cox served as an assistant for one season on Wright’s Fulton staff.  Fulton won the state tournament that season, 2009, and the season before.  Wright points out, “Darrell was a huge part of that championship with the job he did with our post players.”

   Wright adds, “Cox has a lot of pride in where he came from, and the success they had when he was there.  I’m excited for Darrell as he gets a chance to come back home.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/10/2018-6AM)



   La Follette Police Department Sergeant Charles Duff (R) receives his Drug Recognition Expert certificate from Chief of Police Bill Roehl (L).  Duff is the first officer from the City of La Follette Police Department to be accepted into and complete the internationally acclaimed program.  The story is further down this page.

Forum date draws closer

WLAF – Gray Insurance “Meet the Candidates”

The invitations have been sent for the WLAF- Gray Insurance Meet the Candidates Forum.

On April 26, at 6:00 pm, at West LaFollette School, the public can hear from the host of candidates seeking office in August.

The forum will be open to the public while also being broadcast on WLAF Radio AM 1450 and FM 100.9 and televised live over WLAF TV 12 and

Last week, the invitations were sent to those running in the county trustee, county clerk, register of deeds, mayor and sheriff’s races.

If a candidate fails to receive theirs by the end of this week, contact WLAF at 423.562.1450.

County trustee, county clerk and register of deeds will be given two minutes to introduce themselves to the audience. 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 race will participate in debates specific to the offices they are seeking.

The forum will be moderated by WLAF”s Jim Freeman and Susan Sharp.

As part of our 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 our readers and viewers to submit one question per race, in writing, to: or to WLAF, 210 N 5th St, LaFollette, TN 37766. The deadline for the questionnaires is April 20.  Questions will also be accepted over the telephone at 423.562.1450.

All questions must be labeled in accordance with the race they are referencing. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/09/2018-6AM)

 Low income home energy assistance available

Call today to apply

   The East Tennessee Human Resource Agency (ETHRA) is accepting applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for Campbell County.  You must call the LIHEAP Energy Line at 1.844.309.0416 (toll-free) to make an appointment.  If you received assistance since July 1, 2017, you cannot apply again at this time.  Applications will be taken at the ETHRA office in La Follette directly behind The Local at 2301 Jacksboro Pike, Suite 4B.

  The sponsor of this program is the Tennessee Housing Development Agency.  The goal is to provide assistance to low-income households to offset the high costs of home energy. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/09/2018-6AM)


Duff is now a Drug Recognition Expert

Completes Drug Recognition Program

Veteran police officer Charles Duff is the first to complete an internationally acclaimed drug training program.  In its efforts to continually battle the drug problem, La Follette Chief of Police Bill Roehl is proud to announce that Sgt. Charles Duff has successfully completed the Drug Recognition Program through the Tennessee Highway Safety Office. 

Once trained and certified, DREs become highly effective officers skilled in the detection and identification of persons impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. DREs are trained to conduct a systematic and standardized 12-step evaluation consisting of physical, mental and medical components.

The Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) program has received international acclaim for its success in identifying the drug-impaired individual. Although the focus of the DRE curricula is on the identification of the drug-impaired driver, DRE skills are applied to many different law enforcement activities. These activities include screening of any individuals who maybe under the influence of drugs. DREs are frequently called upon to differentiate between drug influence and medical and/or mental disorders.

Roehl states, “The certified DRE is an extremely valuable tool for combating the adverse impact of drugs on the community we serve.”  Sgt. Duff is the first officer from the City of La Follette Police Department to be accepted into and complete the DRE program. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/09/2018-6AM)

 Jacksboro Fire department will get new equipment

First reading held on accessory building zoning amendment

The Jacksboro Fire Department will be getting new equipment soon. The Board of Mayor and Aldermen agreed to accept the only bid ($25,407.70) they received. The equipment will be purchased with funds from a grant received from the LaFollette Medical Foundation.

Office employee Emily Hicks will now be able to sign payroll checks in the absence of City Recorder Emma Caldwell. The board approved the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System employer rate of 3.6% effective July 1, 2018.  This is the current rate. A contract with the East Tennessee Development District for local planning services was approved in the amount of $7,425.  This is the annual fee.  Mayor June Forstner told the board that she had received a phone call earlier in the evening from the street department informing her that the clutch had gone out on the brush truck and it will cost $1,200 to repair it.

The board held the first reading of Ordinance No. 116 last night adding an amendment to the zoning policy for R-2 Residential.  It states that customary accessory buildings are to be located in back yards and no closer than five feet to any property line.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/06/2018-6AM)

Agencies work together to complete arrest

Campbell County Sheriff’s Department deputies along with a Norris Police Officer arrested a Rocky Top man on Saturday, March 31. Deputy Nathaniel Bostic went to Highway 441, the Norris Freeway, about a vehicle that had wrecked. Before Bostic arrived, he was told by dispatch that Norris Police Officer Joe Cuel was detaining Michael Rennie Stewart about the accident and that he was possibly impaired. When Bostic arrived, Cuel told him that Stewart had wrecked at the western overlook of Norris Dam State Park. Cuel told Bostic that Stewart was allegedly seen throwing beer cans out of the vehicle onto the ground where multiple cans were found in front of the vehicle. Once Bostic was able to speak with Stewart, he could smell the alcohol and requested he perform field sobriety tests, according to a report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department.

After several field sobriety tests, Bostic asked Stewart on a scale of one to 10, one being completely sober and 10 being the worst drunk he had ever been where was he, allegedly Stewart said he was a three, four or five. He was then asked to submit to a breath or blood test, Stewart said he wouldn’t take the test because he had consumed alcohol the day before. He then said another reason he wouldn’t consent was because he was drunk. Bostic asked if he could get Stewart’s wallet and registration from his vehicle and while he was getting the items, he noticed some empty beer cans of Miller Lite Beer on the shoulder of the road where the crash happened.

Stewart, 52, 163 Owens Drive, Rocky Top is charged with drivers to exercise due care, violation of Tennessee financial law, criminal littering, driving under influence 2nd offense and violation implied consent law. .  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/06/2018-6AM)

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 – 04/06/2018-6AM)

   Deadline has passed.  Here’s the final list of names.

Candidates have one week to withdraw and not be on the ballot

   The total number of names expected to be on the August ballot is 85.  Of that total, 79 are locals.

   Added this morning are third district county commission candidates Dewayne Baird, Stan Foust, and former county commissioner Lynn Letner.  For county commission in the first district is former county commissioner David Adkins.  In the second district, Mark Honaker is running for school board.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 04/05/2018-1PM)

State Representative (Republican Primary Election)

Dennis Powers**

State Representative (Democratic Primary Election)

Cassandra Mitchell

Register of Deeds (10)

Gary E. Berry, Greg Cross, Brittany Miller Foust, Pete Huckaby, Beverly Stanfield Hall, Thomas Hatmaker, Ron McClellan, Patrick Silcox, June Turner and Johnny Vanover

Mayor (6)

Aaron Evans, Mike Freeman, Jack Lynch, E.L. Morton**, David G. Young, & Brian Younce

County Clerk

Alene Baird** & Todd Nance

County Trustee

Monty Bullock** & Tommy Overton

Circuit Court Clerk

Bobby Vann**


Robbie Goins** & Jimmy Jeffries

County Commission

1st District (7)

David Adkins, Keith W. Goins, Whit Goins**, Robert “Higgy” Higginbotham**, Harley Hill, Zachary Marlow, and John Ridenour

2nd District (6)

Otis Hatfield, Scott "Scotty" Kitts, Cliff “Butch” Kohlmeyer**, Jay Muncey, Lisa Stanfield Lester & Lonnie Welden**  

3rd District (8)

Dewayne Baird, T. Don Boshears, Stan Foust, Lynn Letner, Lawrence “Rusty” Orick**, Josh Parks, Danny Sheckles, and Scott Stanfield**  

4th District (4)

Charles “Goat” Baird**, Johnny “Coach” Bruce**, Sue Nance**, and Josh Parker

5th District (7)

Forster Baird**, Ralph Davis**, Carl B. Douglas**, Robert H. Hicks, Tyler King, Steve “Coach” Rutherford, and Ronnie Thomas

School Board

1st District (4)

Wallace Goins**, Jeffrey Miller, John Minor, and Marvin T. Rutherford

2nd District (3)

Mark Honaker, Josh James, and Sharon Mills Ridenour**

3rd District

Faye Heatherly** & Travis Thompson

4th District

Clint Bane** and Ronnie Lasley

5th District

Crystal McNealy Creekmore** & T. Lauren Wright


1st District

Barney Cox, Sam Ivey, and Kenneth Newsome

2nd District

Larry R. Ford & Jamuel Patton

3rd District

Johnny Jones

4th District

Dewey Madison & George Mefford

5th District

Samuel (S.L.) Tackett & Paul Webb

Democratic State Executive Committeeman

Bob Cowan

Democratic State Executive Committeewoman

Tracey Vought Williams

Republican State Executive Committeeman

Roger Burks, Randy Ellis, & Jim Cobb

Republican State Executive Committeewoman

Elizabeth “Liz” Holiway

** Incumbent

   Election Day is Thursday, August 2, 2018.  Early voting begins Friday, July 13.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/05/2018-1PM)

Taxi cab policy will be amended in LaFollette

WATCH the meeting here on demand

 The City of LaFollette is changing how taxis are regulated in the city.

Currently, the city has two taxi cab services in operation and has an application for a third service. But those services will be seeing some changes in operating policies. The council had a first reading of ordinance 2018-04 that will include a non-refundable application fee of $250 for a new company or a nonrefundable fee of $50 for a renewal application. Renewal applications are for companies that currently hold a valid Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity within the city.

Also, at last night’s meeting, the city adopted resolution 2018-09 that will allow the city to move forward with opening its own driving school. The city currently has two officers who are certified instructors and the police chief would oversee the daily operations of the school.

 Final 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 completed during the meeting.

Resolution 2018-08 amending the original 2017-18 budget in the amount of $97,600 was discussed, an additional $7,300 was added to the amendment. This amount will pay MTAS $7,300 for the codification and revision of its ordinances based on the current population of 7,456. Several city codes need to be updated, because they are antiquated at this time.

At last week’s workshop City Administrator Jimmy Jeffries brought the issue of the old post office before the council. Last week Jeffries told the council that Karen Cumorich and Joanne Myers of the Campbell Culture Coalition had requested the windows on the building be replaced with wood instead of the vinyl the city is planning to use. The wood windows will help to maintain the authenticity of the building. Jefferies said the cost of two wooden windows equals the cost of 20 vinyl windows. Council members agreed to wait until last night to make a final decision pending Senator Ken Yager’s previous statement that he would try to assist with additional funding to purchase wood windows if the council could wait a week. Mayor Mike Stanfield requested council move forward with the approval of the renovations, since they have waited a week and Yager has not been able to supply additional funds as of today. Jeffries suggested the original wooden windows could be placed in storage in the basement of the old post office in case funds become available to repair them at a later date.

The Campbell County Regional 10-year Parks and Recreation Master was adopted, Jeffries told council members the plan can be modified and extended anytime during the 10 years. Council discussed having a general service agreement with Cannon and Cannon for professional services that would allow the city to utilize their services on an hour by hour basis, council agreed to the agreement stating services were not to exceed $15,000.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/04/2018-6AM)

   Evidence related to illegal drug activity located

229 Water Street at Jacksboro

At 7 pm last night, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team executed a narcotics search warrant at 229 Water Street at Jacksboro.  Investigators with the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office and 8th Judicial Drug Task, prior to executing the search warrant, conducted undercover operations by purchasing crystal methamphetamine and suboxone from someone at the home.

This mobile home is located in the last block of the west end of Water Street

During execution of the search warrant, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office Swat Team, Agent’s with the 8th Judicial Drug Task Force and the Jacksboro Police Department came into contact with the persons living at the home.

During the search of the home, investigators located and were able to seize evidence directly related to the sale of illegal narcotics. 

This investigation is ongoing. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 04/03/2018-6AM) 

CCSD makes quick arrest in hit and run

 A quick investigation followed by a confession led to Kimberly Baird’s arrest last week.

Baird was allegedly traveling on Highway 116 in Caryville on March 25 when she drove up on another vehicle at a high rate of speed, crashing the front end of her vehicle into the other vehicle, the report said.   Baird then allegedly drove around the other vehicle and left the scene of the accident, according to a report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department. The victim was able to tell Deputy Corey Laxton the vehicle was a grey SUV. During this time, another deputy found what he believed to be the vehicle involved in the accident. He stopped the vehicle, noticing the front of the vehicle had major damage.

 Laxton went to the stopped vehicle and spoke with Kimberly Ann Baird, the driver, who “had a strong smell of alcohol” about her.

  As Baird was quizzed about her drinking, she simply nodded yes when asked if she had been drinking, the report said. “Apparently too much” was her alleged response when officers asked how much she had consumed.

  Baird then allegedly admitted she consumed over four drinks in the past couple hours, according to the report.

Baird, 34, 140 Brook Place Lane, Apt.1, LaFollette is charged with leaving scene of accident, driving under influence (DUI), possession of schedule VI controlled substance.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 04/03/2018-6AM)



   A memorable banking career comes to a close today at Peoples Bank of the South.  Gary Petree, caught tidying up the parking lot, will officially retire at the close of business this afternoon.

 Petree’s passing the baton today

‘What would you think about working here?’ – Mildred Reynolds

   Who but Gary Petree would take the time most mornings to tidy up the parking lot at the mall branch of Peoples Bank of the South?  Yep.  There he is wearing a coat and tie with broom and dust pan in hand making sure “his” parking lot is in proper order when “his” customers begin arriving.  Well.  It’s not really “his” bank, but for the past almost 40-years the Senior Vice-President cared for it and its customers as if it were.

 WLAF caught up with Petree last week at his office

   It seems pretty cut and dried.  The late Mildred Reynolds with then Peoples National Bank simply asked Gary Petree, “What would you think about working here?”  Petree said, “Yes,” and thirty-nine and-a-half years later he’s calling it a career at Peoples Bank of the South.  But there’s a lot more to it than that.

   Petree’s connection to his career at PNBS can actually be traced all the way back to his elementary school days at Ridgewood School.  Somewhere along the way, second or third grade, a new teacher and coach came to Gary’s school; Eugene Lawson.  Unknown to either at the time, this is where the boy from Vasper’s path to Peoples began, and it was because of the Lawson link.

Petree lived out his career not far from his childhood home at Vasper

   It was at Jacksboro High School where Petree flourished in the gym and on the field.  The basketball and football star went on to wear his trademark number 22 jersey for the Maryville College Football Team as a running back and wide receiver.  He also ran track at MC running the 100, 220, and 440 relay.

   Lawson tells a story typical of Gary’s competitiveness, determination and speed.  In eighth grade, Lawson recounts that Petree was intentionally tripped during the 100-yard dash in the May Day events only to get back up and win the race.

   It was over lunch at the Royal Pool Room on North Tennessee Avenue in La Follette when the blunt speaking Lawson asked Petree, “What are you going to do now after graduating from high school the other day?  Go back to Vasper and sit up on that red clay bank?”  Gary said he’d like to go to school but didn’t have the money.

Dewayne Baird (R) officially takes over for Petree on Monday

   Lawson told him, “Come on.  I know where we can get it.”  They walked across the street to Peoples Bank.  Mildred Reynolds loaned Petree, with Lawson co-signing, the money for his first year of college.  When school was out that next spring, Gary worked construction, and sometimes a second job, over the summer, and he paid off the note.  That happened again and again and again until Petree graduated from MC.

    In the late summer of 1978, Lawson was at the bank when Mildred Reynolds asked him, “What ever happened to that Petree boy?  Bring him in here.  I want to see him.”  Petree met with her explaining that he was looking for a job and had applied at a few places, including some banks.  That prompted the long time banker to ask, “What would you think about working here?”  Gary started work in September. 

   Petree says, “I’ve tried to help those like me over the years.”  He calls technology and regulations the biggest changes during his career.  Fond memories for him include when they’d work Saturdays being busy making $500 loans.  “It was a close-knit group back in those days he recalls adding that we’d all eat lunch at the bank and then balance and go home.”  The reason Petree likes community banking so much is it’s where you can help the most people.  He points to having his two children as being the biggest influence on his life.

   John T. “Jack” Reynolds, former president of Peoples Bank of the South and current chairman of the board said , “I sure hate to see him leave us.  He’s a good man and a good banker.  He keeps everything moving right along.”  Reynolds adds that Petree spent much of the day yesterday scoping out real estate.  “He made a lot of real estate loans for us,” Jack Reynolds said.  Reynolds is quick to add that Petree’s been awfully good to his parents.

   So who’s going to fill those big shoes?  Dewayne Baird.  Baird and Petree have been preparing for this day for a while.  Gary feels very good about Baird and says he will do a good job.  Baird, who grew up at Mt. Paran, is anxious to take on a leadership role and describes this as a great opportunity.  Dewayne has been with Peoples for five years come November.  Even though he is retiring, Petree will still be at the bank a day a week most weeks.

   Oh, and Dewayne.  The broom and dust pan are in that back closet next to the conference room.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/30/2018-6AM)

   The Shepherd’s Home is now under The Harbor umbrella

‘It was the last chance to keep it going’ – Pastor James Coffey

   Initially, he had hesitation.  But with Glorifying God and changing statistics as the mission of The Harbor, how could lead pastor James Coffey say no?  And he didn’t.  When it was announced to the some 650 people in attendance at last Sunday morning’s worship service that The Harbor was taking over operations of the Shepherd’s Homes and thrift store, a standing ovation served as a ringing endorsement to Coffey’s decision.

   Unofficial word of the transition has been stirring for a few weeks.  Though it was not officially and publicly announced until this past Sunday.

   “It was top heavy and was not going to make it through the spring,” states Coffey.  The operation includes a Shepherd’s Home for men in La Follette and the original home at Jacksboro, for women, along with the Shepherd’s Home Thrift Store in Woodson Mall.

   Coffey explains that part of transferring a 501(c) (3) organization involves the termination and release of employees.  He adds that everyone is welcome to re-apply for their job.  Although The Harbor has found guaranteed employment for those who were released, and that some will even be making more money.

   The Harbor is taking on all debts and financial obligations of the Shepherd’s Home.  Coffey is quick to note that the Shepherd’s Home is still a community ministry, and that The Harbor needs the community.  He describes the Shepherd’s Homes and thrift store as a vital ministry.

   Once Coffey realized that The Harbor was the Shepherd’s Ministries’ last chance at survival, he knew he could not afford to hesitate any longer.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/28/2018-6AM)

gh social media to CHET’s latest program, “Women in Need,” to Generation Rx to Families First and more.

Help me solve my mystery

$500 reward offered

   They know where he lives.  They knew what was in his garage.  They were so bold they quietly came into his detached garage and stole from him while he slept in his nearby home.  However, it was not just by accident.  These thieves did their homework.

   In order to steal the items they did, they knew they needed to quietly move a hundreds-of-pounds motorcycle with very little light in tight quarters.  Stolen were three go karts, a weed eater, and an air compressor.  A fourth go kart ended up not being hauled away, because it was later found near the garage.

   With neighbors all around, this happened late last May in the Crestwood Subdivision at Fincastle between 10 pm and 5 am.  That’s the area behind Judy’s Grocery Store.

   The homeowner is offering a $500 reward for the arrest and conviction of the go kart thieves.  He says it’s a chance for someone to earn some very early Christmas or vacation cash.  The number to call is 423.494.0193.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/27/2018-6AM)


LA Cruizers Cruze-In schedule is set

   Classic cars.  Street rods.  Rat rods.  The LA Cruizers season is less than a month away starting up on Saturday, April 14, 6 pm (until 9 pm) on North Tennessee Avenue in La Follette.  There’ll also be music, food-n-fun at the 11 scheduled events.  All Saturdays.  Locations are split between downtown and at Hardee’s.

Downtown – North Tennessee Avenue

April 14, May 12, June 9, July 28, August 18, and September 1

Hardee’s – on the four lane

April 28, May 26, June 30, July 7, and October 13 (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/21/2018-6AM-CHARLIE HUTSON PHOTOS)

     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)





























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







 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)






   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.

   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.

   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)







Watch our news video archives on our Youtube channel - WLAFTV12


View my Message Forum
Free Forums by

















Free Web Counter
Free Web Counter



For WLAF videos, CLICK here

For WLAF CH 12 Programs







Tweets Honeybee WLAF (@WLAF1450) on Twitter