Day 151 in the search for Rhonda Kitts Daugherty 

Pictures & stories surrounding the Rhonda Daugherty case are found by clicking the yellow ribbon


NHUNmMANPhoto from home:  Dogwood blooms - Dogwood winter. (04/15/2014thout an administrator since the fall of 2013, the city says it will soon be seeking to fill



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Photo from home

        Joe Moser doesn’t act his age.  Or look it.  Thursday was his 94th birthday celebration with help from Darlene Pruitt (L) and June Davis and a host of other Hardee’s “hangout” friends.  The story of the double purple heart recipient and WWII veteran is further down this page.


May is National Foster Care Month

Learn how to become a therapeutic foster parent through Camelot

EAST TENNESSEE- A family. It is what every child needs and deserves. Unfortunately, it is also something some children never get. Each year thousands of children are placed in foster care because the family they were born into is unable to care for them.

In an effort to highlight this problem and acknowledge those who step forward to become the family where there once wasn’t one, May has been named National Foster Care Month. It is a time to recognize the children afflicted by abuse and neglect, while also reaching out for more people to join the growing multitudes of foster parents.

It is also a time to focus on ways to create a bright future for the more than nearly 7,000 children and youth placed in foster care in Tennessee last year.

Child development experts agree that having a permanent home and family is key for a child to grow into a healthy and productive adult. When a child grows up in an environment with an adult who is committed to their long-term well-being and on whom they can depend, the child is simply in a better position to thrive.

Unfortunately, too many foster children lack this basic and stable environment to begin their lives and enter the foster care system because of parental abuse, neglect or abandonment. Removing a child from their home can be devastating and confusing for a child of any age, but the more a foster care child is moved within the system, the greater the chance that the child will lose contact with siblings, other family members, and other friends and adults who have been important in their lives—including neighbors, coaches and religious leaders.

That is where becoming a therapeutic foster parent through Camelot begins to make the difference. “We understand the challenges of children placed in foster care,” said Susan Sharp, licensure and recruitment administrator for Camelot said. “The material presented to our foster parents in training is designed to help lessen some of these traumas. Until a child can return home we want there to be as few moves as possible.”

Children enter foster care after being placed in state’s custody. Last year, this happened 6,954 times in Tennessee. That resulted in 8,180 children being in the legal care of an entity other than their parents or a family member.

“We appreciate the difficulties foster children face,” said Sharp. “And one of those is being removed from their home. By placing a newly removed child with a trained therapeutic foster parent, they are being placed in good hands.”

Once a placement is made Camelot Foster Parents are provided in home support that is tailored around the needs of the child and the home. This support is designed to assist in decreasing the distress foster children experience.

Classes begin soon and are free. For more information about Camelot and Camelot Foster Parenting call Susan Sharp at 423-566-2451 or email at (05/01/2015 - 3:30 PM)

Tommy Odell case bound to grand jury

Greg Isaacs represents Odell

By Beth Braden

The man accused of shooting his girlfriend to death last October could see his case escalate to criminal court after General Sessions Judge Amanda Sammons agreed there is probable cause to charge him with criminal homicide.

Tommy Odell has been in jail since Oct. 2, 2014, when police converged on his Caryville home and found 51-year-old Wanda Odell partially disrobed on the floor with gunshot wounds to the chest.

The victim’s son, Joby Byrge, was prosecution’s main witness in today’s hearing.

Byrge is currently incarcerated at the Campbell County Jail serving a sentence for attempted burglary. He testified he was at the 1096 Sharps Lane home when his mother was shot by her boyfriend of almost a decade.

“He accused my mother of stealing from him. Money or pills,” Byrge told assistant district attorney Tom Barclay.

Byrge said he was in the living room and could see into the bedroom where his mother and Tommy Odell were arguing. He said Tommy Odell ordered Wanda Odell to remove her clothing to prove she hadn’t taken anything from him. Ultimately, she disrobed until all that remained was her bra.

“She was scared. Terrified,” Byrge said.

After the gunshot, Wanda Odell ran from the bedroom

“She screamed, ‘Oh God,’ and come running through the hallway and collapsed in front me,” Byrge testified as he wiped away tears. “She was holding her chest.”

According to Byrge, Tommy Odell then threatened to kill him if he didn’t leave. He left the residence and called 911.

Tommy Odell

Tommy Odell’s attorney, Greg Isaacs — who also represented Campbell County High School shooter Kenneth Bartley, — wasted no time attacking Byrge’s credibility due to his prior criminal history and drug use. Isaacs maintained there’s no way Byrge could have had a clear view into the bedroom because of the viewing angle from the home’s living room.

“It would be impossible to see into the bedroom on an angle!” Isaacs said.

Byrge said he knew Odell was the shooter because he could see Odell’s outstretched arm with the gun.

Isaacs also accused Byrge of leaving the scene because of an active warrant for his arrest and having hatred for Tommy Odell.

“Nothing that happens to this man will bring my mother back and it’s not for me to judge,” he said.

Greg Isaacs also called Campbell County Sheriff’s Office Investigator John Long to the stand. Long testified that Tommy Odell told him the shooting was an accident — that he meant to scare his girlfriend but the gun accidentally went off.

Isaacs argued that the state hadn’t established any grounds for first or second degree murder and asked the charge be dropped to something lower.

“What we have here is this is probable cause for voluntary manslaughter,” Isaacs said. “It was physically impossible to see what [Byrge said he saw].”

The state disagreed.

“What we have is a man holding her at gunpoint,” Barclay countered.

Sammons agreed and Tommy Odell’s case has been bound over to the grand jury. If indicted, he will face arraignment in front of Criminal Court Judge E. Shayne Sexton at a later date. (04/30/2015 - 1:30 PM)

Hardee’s hosts a milestone birthday for Joe Moser

No room for candles; just friends

The “Good Lord.”  That’s to whom Joe Moser’s longevity is credited.  Oh, and a daily dose of a honey, vinegar, and orange juice concoction, too.  Now 94-years and a day old, the Campbell County native was surrounded by dear friends at breakfast time on Thursday morning at the La Follette Hardee’s.

Coffee at Hardee’s is standard issue for Joe’s Army of friends

Between handshakes, hugs, and pats on the back, Joe was able to get in a sip or two of coffee before everyone gathered around for a group photo.  Then a big chorus of "Happy Birthday."  One friend, Darlene Pruitt, calls him a loner, and said she wanted to make sure that this day was extra special.  Make no doubt.  It was.

Barbara Carroll wishes Joe a Happy Birthday

Jerry Lee Isaacs calls him “a keeper.”  Isaacs is better known as the Chicken Man, of late night network television fame, who often times shares a Hardee’s breakfast table with Moser.  Chicken Man turned 72 last weekend.  And though Joe is 22-years Chicken Man’s senior, they can relate.

As we wind around the table from left to right, there’s Chicken Man (in red jacket), Hugh Perry, Glen Massengill, Hugh Spradlin, and the guest of honor, Joe Moser

Moser, a widower, was born on the family farm at the forks of the Clinch and Powell Rivers near Grantsboro back on April 30, 1921.  In the early 1940s, he went away to serve in World War II and was a key part of General George Patton’s Third United States Army. 

He says the Lord brought him safely back from travels ranging from South of Casablanca to Berlin and Cicely, Italy, Belgium and to Holland.  But it wasn’t without wounds.  He was awarded two Purple Hearts.

Chickman Man leans in asking Joe why the cookie went to the doctor?  ...because he felt crummy.

Aside from the war and 31-years at General Motors at Dayton, Ohio, Moser’s been a Campbell County resident.  These days, when he’s not at Hardee’s, he can be found at his home here in La Follette. (05/01/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Paul Harmon threatens Joe with a birthday kiss

Republicans to meet tomorrow morning

May 2 at Shoney’s at Caryville

The Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner is two weeks from today (May 15).  Saturday morning is a planning session scheduled for 10:00 a.m. at Shoney’s.  Campbell County Republican Party Chairman Dennis Powers encourages all members to attend.

Four-Star Generals Carl Stiner and Burwell Bell will be featured as this year’s L-R Day Dinner honors our veterans.  The venue is The Stables up the valley with a 7:00 p.m. start.  Tickets are $30 each or eight for a table of $200.  For more information, the number to call is 423.562.5150.(05/01/2015 - 6:00 AM)

8th grade night Thursday night

     The 8th graders on the middle school baseball team are Landon Addington, Timmy Zupanic, Nate Smalls Johnson, Brett Longmire, Zach Sulfridge, Thomas Wilson, Gabe Carroll (not pictured), Hunter Richardson, Jarrod Tackett and Drew Jordan.   The Cougars won 13 to 5 over visiting Jellico at Brown-Archer Field.  (DAVID GRAHAM PIX)

Stooksbury takes seat at Million Dollar Round Table

Prestigious Membership is Exclusive to World’s Leading Financial Professionals

The Nationwide Financial Network is proud to announce that financial professional R. Grey Stooksbury of the Gary Gray Insurance Agency here in La Follette has achieved membership in the prestigious Million Dollar Round Table — The Premier Association of Financial Professionals.

Outstanding client service, ethics and professionalism have enabled Stooksbury to sell more than $1 million in life insurance and join the association’s nearly 38,000 members who are among the world's most successful life insurance and financial services professionals, representing 450 companies from 79 countries.  Stooksbury is a 1-year member of MDRT.


Stooksbury, who is married with two children, is a graduate of Campbell County High School and makes his home at Jacksboro.  He tells WLAF that he feels his detail to customer service is the foundation of his business.  You may see Stooksbury, a very active Shriner, taking part in next month’s Shrine Paper Sale on the four-lane in La Follette.

Attaining membership in MDRT is a distinguishing career milestone.  It requires Stooksbury to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics, focus on providing top-notch client service and continue to grow professionally through involvement in at least one other industry association.

“MDRT members like Grey are united in their commitment to help individuals, families and business owners gain financial peace of mind,” says MDRT President D. Scott Brennan.  “In addition, MDRT members have the opportunity to share ideas and best practices with their fellow members from around the world. It’s the greatest law of human nature: In sharing, we always receive more than we give.”

MDRT also provides continuing education opportunities, informative and inspirational meetings and encourages members to support community and charitable involvement through the MDRT Foundation.

For more information, contact Stooksbury at (423) 562-3346 or (04/30/2015 - 6:00 AM)

WLAF shares written exchanges between LPD Chief and Miller

Chief says Miller quit the LPD.  Miller says he did not quit.

     Two days removed.  It appears a cat got out of a bag that likely was not supposed to be let out.  This is in reference to the letter that La Follette City Council member Hansford Hatmaker brought up right after Mayor Mike Stanfield adjourned Monday night’s council workshop.  The “cat that got out of the bag” was a letter written by La Follette Police Chief Jimmy Jeffries to Monty Miller.  After the adjournment of the workshop, attended by several people including Jeffries, Miller, and a contingent of LPD officers, details of the letter were not discussed.  But once Hatmaker presented the letter, everyone, but Hatmaker and City Attorney Reid Troutman, left the meeting table.  Hatmaker and Troutman then discussed the letter in terms that were vague to those in attendance who were not privy to the letter.  Miller is a 19-year veteran with the La Follette Police Department.  In the letter, Jeffries writes that Miller, a Detective Lieutenant with LPD, quit on April 10, 2015.  In a response letter, Miller wrote to Jeffries that he did not quit or resign.  Given the fact that Councilman Hatmaker brought up the letter at a public meeting, and that Miller has given WLAF permission to print his letter, here are both letters.  (04/29/2015 - 2:00 PM)

 On April 15, 2015, La Follette Police Chief Jimmy Jeffries, in a letter, wrote to Monty Miller:

Dear Mr. Miller:

As you know, on or about April 10, 2015, you appeared in my office and we discussed issues regarding your employment with the City of La Follette Police Department.  Further, I advised you of certain deficiencies in your job duties and your need to remedy.  At that time, you stated to me that you could not meet these standards and you delivered to me your badge and identification and walked out of my office.

It is my position that you have resigned your position as Lieutenant Detective with the City of La Follette Police Department.  Moreover, I accepted your resignation effective immediately on April 10, 2015, and it is my position that you are no longer employed with the City of La Follette.

Please make arrangements with Lt. Lynch to return your City issued weapons and property and get any personal property you might have at City Hall.

If you have any questions regarding any post employment matters, please feel free to call.

Sincerely, James Jeffries, Chief of Police

In an April 16, 2015, letter to Chief Jimmy Jeffries with mayor, council, and city attorney copied, Detective Lieutenant Monty Miller wrote:

Dear Chief Jeffries,

Please accept this correspondence as the fourth attempt to obtain a status from you regarding my return to work.  Upon reporting for duty on the morning of Monday, April 13, 2015, I met with the mayor at his request to discuss the events that took place on Friday, April 10, 2015, in your office.  At the conclusion of that meeting, I was told by the mayor (Stanfield) that you and I needed to meet and work out any problems that we had.  Later that morning, you came into my office and told me that I was not supposed to be back at work before talking to you.  I was not aware that I was not supposed to be at work for any reason.  After asking you if we could talk at that time, you stated that you were busy and had to leave and demanded that I leave as well.  This was the first attempt to speak with you.  On Tuesday, April 14, 2015, I contacted you by phone in a second attempt to discuss the same.  Again, I was not provided an answer on my return to work or offered a discussion.  The phone call quickly failed due to technical difficulties at your end.  Today, Thursday, April 16, 2015, you contacted me by phone to discuss the issues at hand.  You stated that I had quit/resigned my position and that you “just didn’t know about things” and was “still processing.”  I would like to clarify that I did not quit or resign my position as Lieutenient of the La Follette Police Department.  This third attempt of a discussion was again left with no resolution.

I have been employed with La Follette Police Department continuously since 1996.  I take a great amount of pride in my position and of my accomplishments in the last 19 years.  I look forward to hopefully having many more years to come at the La Follette Police Department.

Please contact me at your earliest convenience regarding this matter.

Respectfully, Monty Miller

Date for regular BOE meeting moved

Word from school board secretary Gail Parks is that May’s meeting date is changed.  The regular session school board scheduled for Tuesday, May 12th, has been changed to Thursday, May 7th, 6:00 p.m., in the lower level courtroom of the courthouse.

There is a special called school board meeting for Monday, May 4 at the courthouse at Jacksboro.  The purpose of this 6:00 p.m. meeting is to vote for a new director of schools.  Related stories are found further down this page. (04/29/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Man charged with theft, child endangerment after Walmart incident

Police recover three loaded weapons

By Beth Braden

A Corbin, Ky., man was jailed after garnering a handful of charges last Thursday.

Jacksboro Police Officer Michael Caudill was dispatched to Wal-Mart on reports of a theft. On the scene, Caudill spoke with loss prevention officers who told him that a male suspect had allegedly stolen $451.93 worth of property and then got into a Nissan Maxima, reports said.

At that moment, Caudill saw a vehicle matching that description leaving from the grocery side of the store. Caudill allegedly encountered Kenneth Wilburn Adams, III, 225 Foley Road, Corbin, Ky., in the passenger seat of the vehicle, according to reports. He reportedly had glassy, droopy eyes, slurred speech and was having trouble keeping his balance.

Kenneth Wilburn Adams

During Caudill’s investigation, Adams’s driver, Kayla Adams, allegedly revealed that there was a .38 special in the glove box. Caudill recovered the weapon and found it to be loaded with six rounds.

While searching the vehicle, another officer on scene reportedly found a fully loaded AR-15 with one round in the chamber and a loaded 30-round magazine beside it. Police also discovered a fully loaded Stevens 12-gauge shotgun with six shells in the trunk, according to reports.

At that point, police discovered a 9-month-old baby boy in the backseat. Kayla Adams told police the child was their son, reports said.

As the investigation continued, police reportedly found a pill bottle with 3.5 white pills, 12 yellow pills, 14.5 blue pills and one large blue pill. Kenneth Adams allegedly told police the pills were all his and not his wife’s. 

As far as the items allegedly taken from Walmart, police recovered three boxes of ammunition, one scope, two magazines, one wax, on AR stock, two covers, one light, one grip and one belt.

Kenneth Adams was arrested and charged with theft of property less than $500, possession of schedule IV controlled substances, public intoxication, unlawful carrying of a weapon, possession of a handgun while under the influence, vandalism and child endangerment.  (04/29/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Jacksboro police arrest five on sex charges

Details of crimes currently unavailable

The Jacksboro Police Department arrested five people in two days on various sex-related crimes ranging from statutory rape to rape of a child.

On April 27, officers arrested the following people

• Matthew V. Daugherty, 19, 116 Lake View Lane, Jacksboro, unlawful photographing in violation of privacy, rape of a child and aggravated sexual battery

• Norma Craig Good, 77, 219 Eagle Bluff Road, Jacksboro, aggravated sexual battery, attempted rape of a child, attempted sexual battery, solicitation of a minor


• Eddie Bill Goodman, 23, 243 Thelma Circle, Jacksboro, statutory rape


• Brittany Dakota Teeple, 21, 242 Mountain Road, Caryville, statutory rape

On April 28, officers also arrested Kurt John Albertelli Jr., 30, 204 S. 13th St., LaFollette, and charged him with attempting to solicit sexual exploitation of a minor.

Details behind those arrests and investigations were not immediately available.  WLAF will have more information as it becomes available. (PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE CAMPBELL COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT - 04/29/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Early AM wreck leads to charges for Rocky Top woman

By Beth Braden

A Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy took a woman to jail after he came across her wrecked vehicle around 1:30 a.m. on April 25.

Deputy James McCall was traveling westbound on Highway 116 when he saw a vehicle over the embankment in front of Crabapple’s Bar with the driver door open and a witness attempting to help the driver out of the vehicle, according to reports.

Upon further investigation, McCall observed Lou Ann Roberts, 58, 140 Bryant Circle, Rocky Top, to be staggering and unsteady on her feet, reports said.

Lou Ann Roberts

Roberts allegedly told McCall she’d been drinking and “missed the road” the report indicated. In his report, McCall noted that Roberts had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage about her person and had watery, blood shot eyes and slurred speech. She allegedly became belligerent and uncooperative and McCall didn’t administer any field sobriety tests because of the level of intoxication, reports said.

Roberts was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, violation of Tennessee’s financial law, violation of the implied consent law and failure to exercise due care.  (04/29/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Public justice center tour postponed

Last minute work wrapping up

     Thursday was supposed to be the day for the general public to see the new “jail.”  However, the public tour of the new justice center is postponed.  That’s the word from the county mayor’s office.  WLAF will announce the new date for the tour once it’s decided.

Campbell County High School Criminal Justice students of teachers Amy Hammac and Larry Bolton receive a tour of the new justice center (CHARLIE HUTSON PIX)

Over in a blink

Cougar baseball finishes 11 & 19

It was a snowy, icy February weekend, and Coach Chris Mayes said, “We’ve gotta get in a practice.”  And the Cougars did.  Brown-Archer Field was covered in snow, so Campbell baseball players hit the gym with an indoor practice. 

Tate taps a bunt.  Number 7, McGhee, plays his final game as a Cougar.

With the start of baseball season only days away, the Mayes coached Cougars were way behind in prepping for the season opener.  But they weren’t alone.  No other baseball team could get outside for a regular practice either.  So here.  A blink later.  The 30-game season is now over.

Virgil White slides and stretches safely back to first base

Joe Monroe (L) and David Graham broadcast their final game of the season as Campbell falls to Oak Ridge on the Wildcats home field

As Cougar fans slowly trickled in for the 5:30 p.m. first pitch on Tuesday afternoon, they were all optimistic for a win in this sudden death match-up with Oak Ridge.  Though looming in the back of their minds, they knew that this could be it for the 2015 season.  And sadly.  It was.

Cougar Ben Bostic just misses tagging out a Wildcat

Tuesday night’s 6 – 0 loss to Oak Ridge at the ‘Cats’ Bobby Hopkins Field stung.  But it was that empty feeling of knowing the season, along with the high school careers of five seniors, had just ended for everyone wearing orange and blue.  As the game wound down, memories of that first at bat at T-Ball from just a few years ago crossed minds and hearts and so did a memory or two from the past few short weeks. (04/29/2015 - 6:00 AM - RAYMOND MCGHEE PIX)

You're out!  Virgil White tags.

From David Graham (L), Joe Monroe, and the entire WLAF crew, we say “thank you” for allowing us to be a part of this special 2015 Cougar baseball season.  WLAF sends a special "thanks " to Raymond McGhee for sharing his shots with us this season.

He said.  He said.
Police Chief says Detective Lt. quit.  Detective Lt. says he didn’t.

The City of La Follette’s regular monthly workshop on Monday night featured a light agenda discussing routine business.  That is until, as the meeting was being adjourned, a letter was slapped down on the big glass top table.  Council member Hansford Hatmaker spoke up saying that “we need to talk about this letter.”  It’s an item that was not on the evening’s agenda.  However, the workshop agenda does leave room for additions.  Mayor Mike Stanfield said that he was going home, because he just adjourned the workshop.  Stanfield walked out while council members Joe Bolinger, Bob Fannon, and Ann Thompson continued listening as they picked up their papers and slowly eased away from the table. 

Well after the workshop officially ended, council member Hansford Hatmaker (L) and city attorney Reid Troutman continued with talk about the letter that was from Police Chief Jimmy Jeffries to Detective Lt. Monty Miller

Although, Hatmaker continued talking at the table with City Attorney Reid Troutman.  It was about the letter that surrounds the happenings from earlier in April within the La Follette Police Department.  A source very close to the situation, tells WLAF News that it was April 10, or thereabouts, when La Follette Police Chief Jimmy Jeffries says that Detective Lieutenant Monty Miller, a 20-year veteran, quit the LPD.  Miller claims that he didn’t quit.

Mayor and council look toward city finance director Terry Sweat as he talks about the cost of installing new time clocks

Hatmaker and Troutman continued talking as Fannon, now sitting in the audience, interjected saying that since it was brought up, it will be on the agenda for the next council meeting.  Hatmaker fears a lawsuit.  Troutman explained that one of two things can come from the “he said, he said” controversy.  One, Mayor and council can back Jeffries, the department head for LPD, or two, allow Miller to keep his job. 

It was a quiet, routine workshop last night at La Follette City Hall until a fire call came in and the four firemen in attendance jumped from their seats and hustled down the hall to answer the call.

Miller, along with a large contingent of La Follette Policemen, was in attendance.  We may or may not see how all this plays out at May’s regular monthly council meeting on Tuesday, May 5, 6:00 p.m. at city hall.  WLAF News will be there.  (04/28/2015 - 6:00 AM)

La Follette may ditch time clock idea

Administrator search to kick into high gear

La Follette is ready to begin searching, again, for a new city administrator.  Applicants from weeks and weeks ago are still in the running as council will consider spending $4,000+ on statewide print advertising for the opening.  Council looks to take the ad money from the city administrator’s fund that is already in the budget.  It plans to have a fulltime administrator in place by late summer. 

City Finance Director Terry Sweat tossed out some big dollar amounts when talk of installing highly sophisticated time clocks came around.  The cost, in the neighborhood of $30,000, generated a lot of discussion about sticking with the current time card procedure and putting the responsibility of better keeping up with hours city employees submit on department heads and employees.  Mayor Mike Stanfield says that only a few employees abuse the system.   (04/28/2015 - 8:00 AM)

Shepherd’s Home likely getting another home

TML conference is coming up

Property donated to the city by Wells Fargo, the former Mack Williams home on East Prospect Street, was discussed.  A vote will come up at next week’s regular meeting on whether or not to allow the Shepherd’s Home to take over the property.  It was noted that the house needs quite a bit of interior remodeling, but that the outside appears to be OK.

The Tennessee Municipal League’s annual conference is coming up June 7 – 10 at Nashville.  Councilman Hansford Hatmaker and La Follette’s Finance Director Terry Sweat plan to attend.  Others had schedule conflicts.  (04/28/2015 - 8:00 AM)

County giving rest of land back to city

It involves the WLS land swap from years back

City Attorney Reid Troutman told council Monday night that when the city and the county swapped land a few years back, there was an oversight.  Troutman will handle two quit claim deeds, if approved at the May 5 council meeting, to transfer part of the tennis courts and Liberty Park from the county’s name to the city’s name.  Parks and Rec Director Johnny Byrge notes that, as a result, construction of the city’s new skate park cannot begin until this item is cleared up.  Troutman says it will be a simple vote to accept the property from the county.  Byrge says construction on the new playground equipment, where the old equipment is near the old West La Follette School (now community center), is set to begin May 11, and that it should be completed before the end of the month.  Byrge also told council that it will cost around $3,000 for paving, making it handicap accessible, at the new playground.

Council will vote on Tuesday night on whether or not to lease meeting space to an Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous group.  It was mentioned that the city should let the group have space for free in the West End Community Center.  Councilman Bob Fannon said that he understands that the AA/NA charter would not allow it to accept the space for free.  It was then suggested that a one-year, $100 a month lease, be offered.   (04/28/2015 - 8:00 AM)

LFD add-on will accommodate new ladder truck

First responder classes set for May

Assistant Fire Chief Charles Eldridge presented a building plan at the workshop about adding two new bays onto Fire Station Number 2, which is located near the high school.  The purchase of a new ladder truck is prompting the enlargement of the building.  The rough estimate is around $40,000, and that’s with the city doing a good portion of the work.  Terry Sweat mentioned the money could be taken from the fund balance.

Eldridge pointed out that with the retirement of Captain Jackey Coffee, the chief, Gary Byrd, not able to make the meeting, would like to promote a fireman to captain in Coffey’s place.  Coffey will receive the traditional $100 retirement check from the city.

Council learned that Fireman Scott Moore lost his glasses down a drain as he and crews were clearing the way for high waters around Fire Station Number 2 a few weeks ago.  Eldridge said that Moore’s claim for reimbursement was denied and asked council for assistance.  Council said, if approved at the next meeting, that it will reimburse Moore $500 of the $742 his glasses cost.  A fellow firefighter told WLAF that Moore was replacing the lost glasses with the exact same type of glasses.

A First Responder Class is coming up in May.  Eldridge told council that two members of the ambulance service will be certified to teach the class by the time the class rolls around.  He said that Danny Sheckles, no longer with the ambulance service, previously was the only first responder instructor in the area.   (04/28/2015 - 8:00 AM)

Goins gets nod from Mullins

Amos Richardson retires

Jim Mullins, street department head, shared with council that Amos Richardson has retired.  Mullins recommends Steve Goins, a part time employee, be promoted to fulltime to take over for Richardson.  Mullins complimented Goins on his skills and positive nature and asked that he be moved up by May 18th, which begins a pay period. (04/28/2015 - 8:00 AM)

Bricks in place; more on the way

Seargeant Park is home to the LHS Bricks

Lee J. Seargeant Park, in the heart of La Follette, now sports a growing display of engraved bricks.  Most all of the bricks are related to a La Follette High School alum in some form or fashion.  Best of Times IV president Chig Cole tells WLAF that 23 bricks are not yet in place but will be included in Phase Two. 

She adds that the bricks on the ground are in the order in which she received the actual brick request.  Cole goes on to say that if you were in the last of the ordering frenzy, she apologizes that there was not enough room in this first phase.  So, the sooner more brick orders are placed, the sooner Phase Two is completed.

The plan for Phase Two is to be on the opposite side of the pavilion, and it will take a total of 315 bricks for second installment.  That comes out to 225 bricks in the patio and 90 in the sidewalk.  Cole notes that she’s not sure how long it will take to make it to the 315 brick mark, but that you’d better get your order in ASAP.  Contact Cole at to place your order.

Seargeant Park is named after the late Dr. Lee J. Serageant, Jr.  Doc, who practiced medicine into the 2000s, was also an LHS grad. (04/28/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Director of schools interviews finished up Saturday

Larry Nidiffer and Bob Walden now wait to see which one the school board selects next Monday night to serve as the next director of schools for Campbell County.  Nidiffer, the assistant director of schools, and Walden, principal at Wynn School, interviewed before a handful of people Saturday morning and afternoon respectfully.

In the end, there were only four applicants.  Rita Goins was chosen as one of the three finalists but pulled out of the running last Thursday while Sherry Parr was not selected as part of the final three.

Monday night, May 4, at 6:00 p.m. at the courthouse, the school board will vote for the new director of schools, either Nidiffer or Walden, to take over for the retiring Donnie Poston.  The new DOS assumes the office at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 5.(04/27/2015 - 6:00 AM)           

Torres takes home more awards

     He’s likely the most heralded two-sport athlete in the 40-year history of Campbell High.  Trey Torres is on his way to Carson-Newman to play football for the Eagles, but he’s also coming off a 1,000 point-plus basketball career at CCHS.  And just last week, the” almost” former Cougar picked up more awards. 

Trey Torres (L) and his Campbell High Basketball Coach Matt Housley attended the Knoxville News Sentinel Prep Extra Awards Banquet last Wednesday at Thompson-Boling Arena (PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHNNY BYRGE)

Already named the MVP of District 3-AAA in basketball, Torres received plaques for “Prep Extra Player of the Week” for December 13 and for making the All-Prep Extra Team.  Orange and Blue jersey number 24 in football and number 15 in basketball will likely never be worn quite the same for probably another forty-years. (04/27/2015 - 6:00 AM)

The greenhouse at the high school opens M-F mornings at 8:30 a.m.  Little Bentlee Stanford welcomes you to come find the flowers and vegetable plants for your spring planting.  Eric Reynolds (holding Bentlee) says the greenhouse is open Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. through 5:30 p.m. 

The high school’s greenhouse is open

     The Campbell County High School Greenhouse is open!  That’s music to many of you who like quality plants at bargain basement prices.  The man behind the ZZ Top-like beard, FFA Advisor and CCHS teacher Eric Reynolds, has plenty of flowers and vegetables available beginning this morning at 8:30 a.m. 

CCHS students are ready to help you find what you want and answer your questions about flowers and vegetables

Look for Reynolds and the CCHS Greenhouses on the Jacksboro side of the school Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. through 5:30 p.m.  The CCHS Class of ’94 alum says the price for a three-pack of vegetables is $1.50 and it’s $1.50 per four-inch pot of flowers. (04/27/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Better turnout for afternoon session as Walden is interviewed

More than 50 people attended the director of schools search afternoon session today at La Follette Middle School.  Wynn School Principal Bob Walden was the second of the two candidates for DOS to interview today.  The assistant director of schools, Larry Nidiffer, completed his round this morning. 


Bob Walden responds to Crystal Creekmore's question about school security

Unlike years ago, when voters cast ballots for a superintendent of schools, these days, it comes down to the county’s 10 school board members.  Actually, six school board members.  That’s how many votes Walden and Nidiffer each need to take over as the director of schools.  It will be an alphabetical vote in that Nidiffer will be voted upon at 6:00 p.m. before Walden on Monday, May 4, at the courthouse at Jacksboro. 

The afternoon session of interviews started today at 2:00 p.m.

The person tabbed to be the next DOS will take over first thing the next morning at 7:30 a.m.


Walden was a police officer for 8-years before starting a career in education

If Nidiffer is the new DOS, a new assistant director of schools will need to be appointed.  Should Walden be voted in as the new DOS, Wynn School will need a new principal.  Either way.  Changes are in order. (04/25/2015 - 3:30 PM)

Public Works Director Jim Mullins and crew begin repairs to the fountain at Freeman Park on Friday evening  (CHARLIE HUTSON PIX)

Interview portion of DOS hunt underway this morning

     Twenty-five cars in the parking lot.  Thirty-one people in attendance.  A rainy day.  It’s not election day, but if it was, I’m not so sure candidates would be feeling very upbeat about their chances under these circumstances.  But in this race, it’s only 10-voters that count, and they’ll all be casting a ballot come Monday, May 4; one likely by Skype. 

La Follette Middle School Auditorium

At 10:00 a.m. today on the stage at the La Follette Middle School Auditorium, members of the Campbell County School Board began asking questions to the first of two candidates up for consideration in the search for a director of schools to replace the retiring Donnie Poston. 

Nidiffer stands as school board member Faye Heatherly asks a question

Larry Nidiffer, assistant director of schools, is the morning interviewee while Wynn School Principal Bob Walden sits in the interview chair this afternoon at 2:00 p.m.(04/25/2015/11:30 AM)

Powell, Dotson, others to be arraigned in May

Grand Jury convenes today

When crash victim Daniel Dupree, a 21-year old man from Clinton, passed away on January 28, additional charges appeared likely in the incident surrounding his death.  Those additional charges were handed down today to 30-year old Justin Powell of Jacksboro when the Grand Jury convened this morning at the courthouse at Jacksboro.  Powell will be arraigned on May 5 on charges of vehicular homicide, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and DUI.  Dupree died from injuries he suffered during an accident which occurred on Butter and Egg Road in early January.  The wreck happened when police say Powell was traveling on the wrong side of the road at a high rate of speed and struck Dupree’s vehicle.  Both men had to be cut out of their vehicles by emergency personnel and were flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center at Knoxville.  According to a Jacksboro Police report, moments before the mishap, Powell had been involved in a domestic altercation with his wife, Beth, at Eagle Market, and that he had attempted to hit her with his truck before fleeing the scene.  Powell, age 29 at the time of the January 9 chain of events, has been booked a total 35 times over the years and is currently housed at the county jail tonight on a $500,000 bond.

Also today, 28-year old David Dotson’s case came before the Grand Jury.  He will be arraigned on May 5 on charges of two counts of rape of a child and aggravated sexual battery.  The man from Rocky Top was arrested on March 8 by sheriff’s detectives after the investigation concluded that Dotson did have unlawful sexual contact with a seven-year old girl.  Reports coming in to WLAF are that the rapes took place on two separate occasions.  Dotson was picked up just before dawn on that Sunday morning at a home on the south end Campbell County.  Officials note that Dotson was a friend of the girl’s family.  Dotson remains housed in the county jail this evening on a half-million dollar bond.  (04/24/2015 – 6:30 PM)


LHS classes needed for the Best of Times Parade

Best of Times IV is just a few weeks away.  Pam Thompson Webb, Class of ’73, is heading up the Saturday morning parade and is calling all classes to participate.  Members of classes of each year are needed to walk in the parade on Saturday morning, June 6, and carry the banner for their class.  Pam’s telephone number is 423.494.7724.

The next meeting for officers and helpers is Sunday, May 17 and 24 at 3:00 p.m. at the La Follette Methodist Church. (04/24/2015 - 9:00 AM)

DA terminates director of Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force

     In early March, Melvin Bayless was placed on administrative leave with pay.  Yesterday, District Attorney General Jared Effler terminated Bayless.  Nearly two months ago, Effler requested the TBI and state comptroller to conduct a complete investigation into the procedures and protocols of the 8th Judicial District Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force which was headed up by Bayless.  In the March 2015 news release, officials said the probe pertained to the storage and disposition of evidence and cash.  Steve Carson is serving as interim director for the DVC Task Force that serves Campbell, Claiborne, Union, Scott, and Fentress Counties.  To avoid any potential conflicts of interest, General Effler is requesting a Pro Tem Prosecutor to determine what, if any, action should be taken in light of these investigations. (04/24/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Raymond McGhee shares "photos of a win" as CCHS wins 10 - 7 over Anderson


Oh, my!  What a Senior Night for the Baseball Cougars

Oggie’s walk-off single scores winning run in 8-7nail biter

As much as Tuesday’s home loss to Halls is forgettable, Wednesday’s Senior Night, extra innings victory, is unforgettable.  Some fans missed Wednesday night church.  Ben Bostic’s grandmother, Faye Heatherly, had more to celebrate than just her birthday.  Brandon Miller’s dad, PA announcer Mike Miller, was a bit jittery before the evening unfolded calling it a bittersweet night.  And even though Tate McGhee’s uncle, Raymond, couldn’t make the pre-game ceremony for the seniors, it was the way the Cougars clawed back for their Senior Night win that will be forever remembered.

Campbell High was down early and stayed down until the game was on the line.  And on the line again.  Visiting Union County jumped out to a four-oh lead through the first two-innings.  Campbell still trailed 6-3 heading into what might well have been the inning that could’ve sent the Cougars packing, the 7th, but that wasn’t the case.  The Cougars knotted the game at six and forced an 8th inning.  A 9th.  Then a 10th inning.

No one was leaving early on a night that was quickly turning chilly and growing later by the pitch.  It was going on four-hours from Tate McGhee’s first pitch of the game at 6:00 p.m. to almost 10:00 p.m. when the Patriots and the Cougars opened a 6-6 10th inning.

Union finally thought it had a little breathing room, again, when it took a 7-6 lead.  That is until the Cougars took the Pats breath away in the bottom of the tenth.

Max Farris opened the inning with a single.  Then stole second.  McGhee’s centerfield triple brought the speedy Farris home from second to tie the game at seven.  Brandon Miller and Virgil White are then intentionally walked before Andrew Evans pops out to first.  With the bases loaded, one-out, and the game tied, Matt Ogden steps into the batters box and readies to send the Cougars out as winners.  Oggie slaps a hit to the Union shortstop and McGhee hustles home for the game winning RBI giving Campbell an 8-7 win.

McGhee gets the win after pitching nine and two-thirds innings.  Fellow senior Andrew Evans came on in relief to get the final out in the 10th inning.

It was a night, a win, and memory that the five Cougar Seniors, Ben Bostic, Andrew Evans, Tate McGhee, Brandon Miller, and Jonathan Riggs won’t soon forget. (04/23/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Marathon commission meeting to continue

County commission earning “lengthy meeting” reputation

     Word from the county mayor’s office is that Monday night’s long meeting will wrap up next month.  That’s not to say it’s going to take that long to conclude.  It’s just been re-set to continue.  The County Commission is scheduled to finish its April Business during the May workshop on Monday, May 11, 2015, 6:00 p.m. in the lower court room of the county courthouse at Jacksboro.(04/22/2015 - 7:00 AM)

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.

Two basketballs were signed by the  Warriors. The basketballs will be given to King’s family while the plaques will hang in the CACC gym.

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.

The 2014-15 Warriors display their banner proclaiming them County Champs.

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.

Kevin Corner thanks Ollie Medley on behalf of the King family for a plaque that memorializes King.

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)

Vann case to be tried in Campbell County

Claiborne County circuit court clerk to assist

     Lonnie Vann, who faces first-degree murder charges in the death of Rhonda Daughtery, will be tried at the Campbell County Courthouse at Jacksboro.  However, District Attorney General Jarred Effler tells WLAF News that to err on the side of caution and to preclude any appellate issues in the future, the case has out-of-county assistance.  Effler adds that given the unfortunate circumstances and unique situation, Claiborne County Circuit Court Clerk Jackie Rosenbalm will act as a pro-tem clerk safe guarding paperwork and communicating with potential jurors.  Rosenbalm will have custody and control of all documents surrounding the Vann case and will travel to Campbell County for all facets of the trial.  All stories, details, and pictures of the Vann case are found by clicking here.  (04/17/2015 - 5:30 PM)

Upcoming CCHS events

WLAF to televise graduation live 

     The Campbell High prom is coming up on Saturday, May 2, at the Expo Center at Knoxville.  Tuesday night, May 12, at 6:00 p.m. is Senior Awards Night in the high school auditorium.  The Orange-n-Blue spring football game is Thursday, May 21 at 7:00 PM at Dossett Stadium.  Graduation 2015 is set for the Tex Turner Arena on the LMU campus at Harrogate on Saturday, May 30, beginning at 10:00 a.m. WLAF will televise graduation “live” over (04/10/2015 - 3:30 PM)

La Follette Middle School “Students of the Month”

     Each month, the La Follette Middle School tabs six students as “students of the month.”  That’s two students from each grade, 6-8.  Click here to see the most recent “students of the month.”  (04/10/2015 - 7:00 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.   

Campbell County’s most followed medium, WLAF, reaches a milestone

     Thanks to you, our listeners, viewers, readers, and corporate partners, WLAF’s media platforms continue expanding and reaching more Campbell Countians everyday.  Whether it’s AM 1450, FM 100.9, WLAF-TV 12, or, we’re glad you connect with us.  This morning, WLAF’s “dotcom” surpassed the one-million visitor mark!  It took a tad more than one-year, but we did it.  (10/28/2014 - 2:30 PM)





Precinct-by-precinct.  District-by-district.  WLAF has all the final numbers.

     You asked.  WLAF delivered.  WLAF's Coach Vic King has taken all 184 pages of the election numbers and posted them right here.  Just CLICK.  (08/12/2014 - 8:00 PM)








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