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

 

 

Owls Nest - LHS

Tennessee Jamboree

Vols

Best of Times III 

La Follette News.com

Heart of Grace

 Editorial Page (Letters)
 
 

 

                 CLICK to watch LIVE WLAF-TV 12

Smith Hardware is OPEN 7-days a week.

Smith Hardware opens at 7:30 AM Monday-Saturday

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

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

RICKARD RIDGE RESTAURANT – Barbecue at Cove Lake

 Shop local.  It helps all of us.

                                       Photo from home       

     Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputies are out in full-force this Super Bowl Sunday.  The story is further down this page.

          

 

 

Finals:

Rhea 35 Jacksboro 30

(Lady Eagles finish 2nd in East Tennessee)

Lady Cougars defeat Anderson

Anderson wins over Cougars

 

Super Bowl brings out full-force from Sheriff’s Department and others

Campbell County Sheriff's Office Deputies and Tennessee Highway Patrol Troopers will be out in full force this Super Bowl Sunday patrolling for drunk or drugged drivers. Fans don't let fans drive drunk. Here are some tips to be aware of: 

Keys to the game:

If you are hosting a Super Bowl party:

  • Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served alcohol ends up in an impaired driving crash.

  • Make sure all of your guests designate sober drivers in advance, or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers.

  • Serve a lot of food – and include a variety of non-alcoholic beverages at the party.

  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.

  • Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who considers driving while impaired.

 

If you are attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a sports bar or restaurant:

  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself—eat enough food, take breaks and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.

  • Designate your sober driver before the party begins and give that person your car keys.

  • If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend or family member to come and get you; or just stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.

  • Never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive while impaired. Remember, Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.

  • Always buckle up – it’s still your best defense against other impaired drivers. (02/06/2016-6PM)

    Let Robbins Guttering beautify your home

     

    Siding, Guttering, Windows, and more – Robbins Guttering 423.566.5461    

Next game:  Monday at HOME with Clinton

Miller downgraded to critical

Attacker’s bond set

Word this afternoon from the UT Medical Center at Knoxville is that stabbing victim Jess Miller has been downgraded to critical condition.  The 34-year old Miller, from La Follette, was stabbed four times in the abdomen on Wednesday evening in east La Follette.  Reports coming in to WLAF are that Miller underwent surgery earlier today and is currently in recovery.

Later Wednesday night, 44-year old Charles White turned himself in to police.  He’s charged with aggravated assault in the stabbing of Miller.  White remains in the county jail this afternoon on a $95,000 bond. (02/05/2016-2PM)

Longmire promoted to market president

Takes over at Community Trust Bank – La Follette

PIKEVILLE, KENTUCKY:  Mark A. Gooch, President and CEO of Community Trust Bank, is pleased to announce that Rhonda S. Longmire has been promoted to the position of President of the La Follette Market of Community Trust Bank.  She replaces Marvin L. Minton who retired last month.

Rhonda S. Longmire has been promoted to the position of President of the La Follette Market of Community Trust Bank

Longmire was formerly a Senior Vice President and Senior Market Lender at Community Trust Bank’s downtown La Follette office.  Her responsibilities include providing lending options and financial solutions to individuals and businesses in the market area and overseeing the daily operations of Community Trust Bank in the La Follette Market.  The LaFollette Market encompasses the Tennessee counties of Campbell and Anderson. 

Longmire has more than 40 years of banking experience.  She is a graduate of Roane State Community College and of the University of Tennessee where she earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree with a Major in Accounting.  She is also a graduate of The Southeastern School of Banking, The Commercial Lending School, and The Graduate School of Banking located in Madison, Wisconsin.

She is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants.  She is a past Adjunct Faculty Member of Roane State Community College and Lincoln Memorial University.

Currently, Longmire is President of the South Campbell County Rotary and the President-Elect of the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce.  She is a current member of the Board of Directors of Roane State Community College Foundation.

She is married to Jesse Longmire.  They have two children and three grandsons.  Longmire is a member of New Horizon Baptist Church, and she and Jess make their home in La Follette. (02/05/2016-NOON)

Fund for Campbell County awards $10,414

Supports local nonprofit organizations

The Fund for Campbell County, an Affiliate Fund of East Tennessee Foundation (ETF), announces the recipients of the 2016 Fund for Campbell County grants program. Eight organizations are being awarded grants totaling $10,414 to support their programs which provide a vast array of opportunities for Campbell County citizens. The grant recipients will be honored at a reception on Monday, February 8, 2016 in the Campbell County Chamber Conference Room beginning at 2:00 p.m.

Grants from the Fund for Campbell County have been awarded to the following:

Campbell County Children’s Center, Campbell County Historical Society, Campbell County Rural Fire Service, Community Health of East Tennessee, Food/Life Services of Campbell County, Great Smoky Mountain Council-Boy Scouts of America, LaFollette Middle Schools and Senior Citizens Home Assistance Services.

The Fund for Campbell County was founded in 1999 through gifts from local donors and a matching grant from East Tennessee Foundation and since then has contributed over $58,000 to more than a dozen charitable organizations in Campbell County. 

East Tennessee Foundation (ETF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, publicly supported community foundation serving 25 counties in East Tennessee. Established in 1986, its mission is to create permanent resources to enrich lives and strengthen communities in East Tennessee.  ETF has 15 Affiliate Funds, including the Campbell County Fund.(02/05/2016-1:30PM)

Final Four has Campbell County flavor

Lady Eagles keep dancing

     The Lady Eagles of Jacksboro are the Cinderellas of the East Tennessee State Basketball Tournament at Sevierville.  After a Tuesday night upset win over top seeded Liberty Bell, the Lady Eagles continue dancing toward the title.  Tonight at 7PM is when JMS takes on Maryville in the semi-finals.  The other semi-final game is today at 4:45PM when Cleveland battles Rhea County.  The two semi-final winners play for the East Tennessee State Championship on Saturday at 3-PM at Sevierville.(02/05/2016-8:30AM)

It was college football scholarship signing day at Jellico High on Thursday

Jellico Blue Devils Caleb Dople signed with University of the Cumberlands and so did Jordan 'Truth' Hammond while Jarrett Elmore signed with the Lynx out of Lindenwood University - Bellview, of Illinois.  (DAVID GRAHAM PIX)

            

It’s sports time from WLAF's David Graham

     WLAF’s David Graham Sports Report is just a click away right here.(02/05/2016–6AM) 

              

Miller upgraded to serious.  White awaits bond hearing.

Man was stabbed four times Wednesday evening

The man who was stabbed Wednesday night on the east side of La Follette has been upgraded to serious condition at a Knoxville hospital.  Reports coming in to WLAF from those close to the situation say that 34-year old Jessie Miller was stabbed four times in the abdomen around 6:45 PM Wednesday evening.  A few hours after the incident, 44-year old Charles White of La Follette turned himself in to police. 

Charles White is charged with aggravated assault. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CAMPBELL COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT)

The stabbing happened at the corner of East Hemlock and South 8th Streets in La Follette.  Miller was flown out by Lifestar soon after the attack and is being treated in the Surgical Critical Care Unit at UT Medical Center.  Reports coming in to WLAF are that Miller is scheduled to undergo another surgery this morning.

White faces aggravated assault charges and is being held in the county jail.  Bond is yet to be set for White.(02/05/2016-6AM)

Suboxone: Cannon continues to seek state regulations

By PETER SAWYER

JACKSBORO—Mayor Jack Cannon is continuing to seek state regulations on the suboxone clinic located across from the Dollar General Store in Jacksboro.

About a year ago, Cannon asked Rep. Dennis Powers and Sen. Ken Yager to pass legislation that would put regulations on the clinic similar to those on a pain clinic. However, lobbyists have delayed the bill from being passed into law, Cannon said.

Now that the legislature is back in session, he is hopeful the bill will be passed.

Restrictions on the clinic would help curb activities that are disruptive to surrounding businesses, Cannon said. Often too many people arrive at the clinic at once, and there is not enough room in the parking lot. Customers will circle the block.

Tammy Merritt, who is a field representative for Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, introduced herself to the Jacksboro Board of Mayor and Alderman. Merritt is getting to know community leaders and business owners in Fleischmann’s district. 

CDBG

The board passed a resolution that authorized Cannon to submit a 2016 Community Development Block Grant application on behalf of Caryville Jacksboro Utilities. CJUC will use this grant to finance the Dog Creek Sewer Rehabilitation Project, which is aimed at solving the problem of the creek overflowing into the sewer.

The project will cost $625,000, of which CJUC will have to pay $131,250.

Police Vests

The board authorized Police Chief Danny Chapman to get quotes to replace three outdate bulletproof vests. A grant will cover 50 percent of the cost for the vests.

Scanners

The board declared two of the library’s scanners dilapidated. One is eight years old, and the other is nine years old.(02/05/2016-6AM)

Remembering: 20 gather to honor the memory of Det. Mike Starrett

By PETER SAWYER

JACKSBORO—About 20 people gathered last night as Police Chief Danny Chapman retired Badge #302—which belonged to the late Det. Mike Starrett.

Chapman spoke about Starrett’s integrity, strength and faith.

“If you ever knew him, you’ll never forget him,” he said.

Starrett loved everyone—even evil people, Chapman said.

Jacksboro Police Chief Danny Chapman retired Badge #302—which belonged to the late Det. Mike Starrett last night prior to the Town of Jacksboro monthly meeting

Chapman read a prayer that hangs in his office—one that Starrett had liked. The prayer asks God for courage and compassion.

Chapman presented some of Starrett’s items in a shadow box to Jerri Starrett—Starrett’s widow.

“He was a fine gentleman,” Mayor Jack Cannon said. “He was really an outstanding person.”

Starrett volunteered his time in organizations outside of law enforcement, Cannon said.

Starrett died from injuries he sustained in a car accident while he was responding to a call last winter. (02/05/2016-6AM)

Leach and friends raise money for Lane family

More than $2,500 raised

     Alex Leach and friends performed, took tips, and sold CDs and gave all the proceeds to Conner Lane and his family. 

On Friday, January 15 at Rickard Ridge Restaurant, is when and where all the fun took place.  CLICK HERE to see Russ Rickard’s photo gallery.  Thanks for sharing, Russ! (02/05/2016-6AM)

Cougars face arch rival

CCHS versus Anderson Friday

     The Lady Mavericks are much improved.  The Mavericks have yet to win a game within the district.  It’s the perfect set-up for Anderson to snatch a couple of upset wins from Campbell on Friday night at Clinton.  Josh “Cha-Ching” Parker, Theron Overbay, Darin Gillenwater, and Noah Smith will be along for the action over the WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network.  Coverage begins at 6PM. (02/04/2016-5PM)

 

Man turns himself in to police

Involved in stabbing incident

     A La Follette man remains in critical condition this morning at a Knoxville hospital.  Detective Josh Hill with the La Follette Police Department tells WLAF News that 34-year old Jess Miller suffers from severe knife wounds to his abdomen.  Hill says the stabbing happened at 6:45PM last night in east La Follette at the corner of East Hemlock and South 8th Streets.  Miller was flown out by Lifestar at 7PM.  Later last night, around midnight, Hill reports that 44-year old Charles White of La Follette turned himself in to police.  White is being held in the county jail on aggravated assault charges.  (02/04/2016-10AM)

Early voting begins Wednesday

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE BALLOT

2016 is an election year.

The presentational primary will be held in Campbell County on Tuesday, March 1.  Early voting begins Feb. 10 and runs until Feb. 23.

The county will have two locations open for early voters.

The election commission in Jacksboro will host voting Mondays through Thursdays from 9 am until 4 pm. Fridays the hours will be extended from 9 am until 7pm with Saturday voting from 9 am until 1 pm.

In Jellico, ballots can be cast at the municipal building on Mondays through Thursdays from 9 am until 2 pm; Fridays 2 pm until 7 pm and Saturdays from 9 am until 1 pm.

Aside from the election of a president in November, there are numerous local offices on the 2016 ballot.

In August, voters will be given the opportunity to elect a property assessor, a road superintendent and five school board members.

Jan. 8 was the first day qualifying petitions were issued. The deadline to return them with the needed 25 signatures is April 7 at noon. The withdrawal deadline is a week later, April 14 at noon. Campbell County’s General Election is Aug. 4.  (02/04/2016-6AM)

Piece of CC history sits on JR’s car lot

Former sheriff’s truck for sale

     Longtime, former Campbell County Sheriff Rose Kitts’ pick-up truck is for sale.  The 1977 Chevy was bought new from Prater Chevrolet nearly 40-years ago.  The truck, including its custom, wooden cattle rack, is for sale at JR’s Tires and Used Cars in La Follette.  Check with Jeff Pace at JR’s at 423.494.8592. (02/04/2016-6AM)

And the birds still play before the snow goes away

     Since WLAF's Charlie Hutson snapped these bird pix this morning, we thought we’d take it one step further and stir up a fun memory from 1964 with the song, “The Bird Dance Beat” by the Trashmen.  CLICK HERE to dance along.

 

Sweets for the sweet

Ralph’s Donut Shoppe is taking orders

Whether you call it Valentine’s Day or Valentime’s Day, Ralph’s Donut Shoppe has just what you need for your sweetheart.  Sweets!  The crew at Ralph’s Donut Shoppe has come up with two tasty creations just for this Valentine’s Day.  Select from chocolate covered/strawberry filled donut holes and red velvet donut hearts with cream cheese icing.  The cost is $3 for a half-dozen, and a dozen is six-bucks.

Your order will be ready for pick up on Friday, the 12th, or Saturday, the 13th. (02/04/2016-6AM)

 

Homecoming was long overdue

Caryville Cardinal Conner Lane visits

WLAF’s Susan Sharp was on hand when Conner made his much anticipated visit to CES

October is the last time Conner Lane was at Caryville Elementary School.  Since.  A lot has taken place.  The 11- year-old CES student was diagnosed with a brain tumor and has been undergoing treatments.  Word is is that his last radiation treatment is today.

But on Wednesday, almost four months later, Conner was back at his school, if only for a short time. 

County Mayor E.L. Morton presented him with a proclamation, and his school mates turned out to cheer him onward.  (02/04/2016-6AM)

Cha-Ching Night at CCHS was fun

Lady Cougars ring up their 20th win

Campbell County kept the Powell Lady Panthers at bay on Tuesday night at John Brown Gym.  In the process, the Lady Cougars recorded their 20th win of the season against four losses and improved to 11 & 1 in the district in the 51-42 victory.

It was very warm inside JRWB Gym last night, but the Cougars were cold as Powell took the boys game 58 to 30.  That leaves CCHS at 13 & 11 with a league mark of 4 & 8.

WLAF’s Josh Parker, along with Byrge Screen Printing and B & M Tires, hosted “Cha-Ching Night.”  And it made for a fun night.  Cha-Ching is Parker’s trademark phrase when CCHS hits a three-point shot, and on Tuesday night, when a three went through, he tossed “Cha-Ching” T-Shirts to the crowd.

Next up for Campbell Basketball is a visit to Anderson County on Friday.  Coverage over the WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network begins at 6PM.(02/03/2016-6AM)

La Follette City Judge has law license suspended

 Second local attorney also reprimanded

 Two local attorneys have had their licenses to practice law temporarily suspended. Ironically, both men saw their privileges shelved for the same reason- misappropriation of funds.

La Follette City Judge and Jacksboro attorney Wes Hatmaker and LaFollette lawyer Mark Troutman both appeared before the Board of Professional Responsibility (BPR) of the Supreme Court of Tennessee within weeks of each other. The men appeared on unrelated accusations.

While the BPR didn’t disclose the exact nature of the allegations lodged against the two men, the press releases issued by the board that governs the conduct of attorneys said they had “misappropriated funds and posed a threat of substantial harm to the public.”

In both cases, the men had 30 days to conclude any outstanding business and were prohibited from accepting new cases. Along with this, any funds garnered through the practice of law in those 30 days must be placed in a trust where withdrawals can only be made under conditions set out by the court, according to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9.

Hatmaker’s 30 days began Jan. 29; Troutman’s began Dec. 18, 2015.

After the 30 day time period, Hatmaker and Troutman are precluded from practicing law, giving the appearance of practicing law and maintaining “a presence where the practice of law is conducted,” the BPR said through press releases.

Under Rule 9, the suspensions will remain in effect “until dissolution or modification by” the state supreme court. Rule 9 doesn’t provide a time frame for the suspensions other than that criteria.

Both attorneys have had legal difficulties in the past.

In Oct. 2012, Hatmaker was arrested by Jacksboro Police for driving on a suspended license. It was learned that Hatmaker had not had a driver’s license for 14 years at the time of his arrest. Court records reflected that his license had been suspended in Alabama for failing to pay a traffic ticket. The charges were dropped two months later when Hatmaker rectified the situation and presented the court with a valid driver’s license. During the course of these events, Hatmaker was and remained the La Follette City Judge where one of his duties was to preside over traffic court.

In July 2015, the Tennessee Court of Appeals issued an opinion pertaining to a commercial real estate transaction Troutman had been a part of in 2008.

Essentially, Peoples Bank of the South CORRECTION:  The bank referenced here should actually be Peoples Bank, based out of southwest Virginia, and not the local La Follette-based bank, Peoples Bank of the South, that was incorrectly reported. issued a $765,000 loan to Norris Marina Group, LLC for a parcel of property.  Norris Marina Group asked Troutman, who was acting as their attorney and as an agent of Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, to prepare the needed paperwork to finalize the matter. According to the opinion, Troutman informed both sides that all of the pertinent paperwork was in order to proceed. However, when Norris Marina Group, LLC defaulted on the loan, Peoples Bank learned they were second lien holder because all of the appropriate documents had not been filed.

Troutman allegedly later admitted he “merely assumed” the documents had been prepared and that “such a lack of verification constituted deviation from the standard of care by his office,” court records reflect.   A flurry of lawsuits and motions followed this revelation.

Ultimately, the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court granted Old Republic National Title Insurance Company a summary judgment in the case. A summary judgment means there is no real issue of fact or law that requires a hearing.

Appeals were later filed with the Tennessee Court of Appeals upholding the local circuit court. The appeals court sent the case back to Eighth District to handle the matter of costs which was split between Troutman and the bank.  (02/03/2016-6AM)

Incentives: Wallace encourages LaFollette to work with the County

By PETER SAWYER

La FOLLETTE—Campbell County Deputy Mayor Andy Wallace encouraged members of the LaFollette City Council to work with the county in offering incentives in order to attract industry.

“I think we all need to be on the same page when we go offering stuff,” Wallace said.

Wallace sees the city of LaFollette and the county working together in joint ventures.

The county commission has approved a matrix to offer businesses tax abatements when they locate in Campbell County. This will give businesses incentives to pay higher wages and add jobs by giving them tax breaks for doing so.

“The county has already adopted this,” Wallace said.

Other counties offer similar incentives. Wallace explained how the state of Tennessee loses business to Mississippi and the Carolinas because it doesn’t offer the same kind of incentives.

CDBG Grant

The council approved the resolution for a Community Development Block Grant, specifying that funds not exceed $500,000. This grant will fund a belt press at the Waste Water Treatment Plant. A belt press is a device that dewaters sludge—helping to reduce the holding time of solids at the plant and lowering costs.

The council also passed a resolution to allow Fulghum, MacIndoe & Associates to administer engineering services for the project and a passed a resolution allowing Community Development Partners, LLC to assist in the administration of the project.

Budget Amendments

The council passed various budget amendments, which included appropriating $38,715 from the General Fund Balance for the Fire Department. The Fire Department will spend $34,000 of this money to renovate Fire Station 2,  $2,500 on employee education, and $2,215 repairing clean air packs.

The budget amendment also assigned $37,175 from the State Street Aid Fund Balance to pay for $15,000 worth of repairs and maintenance for equipment, $10,000 worth of road and street improvement, and to pay $12,175 for lights and a scissor lift.

Some of the $7,535 made from the 2014 5K Run was used to pay for the 2015 5 K Run—$118 for advertising, $650 for contract services, and $1,882 for operating supplies.

Historical Society

The council suspended the rules in order to pass a motion authorizing city administrator Jimmy Jeffries to partner with the Campbell County Historical Society in applying for a $500,000 grant.

 The CCHS wants to use the money from this grant to renovate the old Post Office Building.

The majority of the money from the grant—$300,000—would be used to fix the roof, remove lead paint, paint, add new heating and air, install new windows, and possibly install a kitchen in the basement. The rest of the money would be used to maintain the building for a period of time after which the building would be self-sustaining.

The deadline for the grant is this month, so the council had to approve it at the meeting.

Off Highway Motor Vehicles

The council passed a resolution authorizing the operation of off-highway motor vehicles on certain state routes at designated times within the city limits.

This resolution was passed in anticipation that the ATV festival will grow in popularity. If that happens, ATV traffic will have to be directed to designated areas –which will require the use of state routes.  (02/03/2016-6AM)

               A man attacks a couple of women in La Follette

     Reports coming in to WLAF are that a woman was attacked by a man on
Sharps Circle on Monday.  Then on Tuesday, another woman was attacked by a man in the yard of her home near Pleasant Ridge Apartments.  One official tells WLAF that the man roughed the women up and verbally threatened them before they were able get away from him. Monday’s victim is reported to have suffered bruises while Tuesday’s victim had an object held up against her throat from behind.  Each
woman described the man being a different age; one young and one older.  Both said that he smelled of a stench as if he might be living outside and had not bathed in some time.  A K-9 and his partner scoured the area for the better part of four hours on Tuesday along Big Creek and near a popular cave on the south side of
Linden Park.  Despite seeing fresh footprints, after Monday’s rain, at the cave, the suspect was nowhere to be found. (02/03/2016-6AM)

Lady Eagles upset top tourney seed

JMS season continues

     It’s been a season where the Lady Eagles have seemed to do just enough to win.  And they did it again Tuesday night at Sevierville in the East Tennessee Tourney.

 

This is a photo of the Lady Eagles after finishing runner-up in last week’s district tourney held at Linda Agee Gym at JMS

This time the Goliath of the tourney fell as Jacksboro outpaced top seed Liberty Bell Middle School (Johnson City).  The final score of 41-37 advances JMS to Friday’s 7-PM Final Four game with the winner of Meigs County and Maryville. (02/03/2016-6AM - DAVID GRAHAM PIX)

It’s sports time from WLAF's David Graham

     WLAF’s David Graham Sports Report is just a click away right here.(02/03/2016–6AM) 

Couple charged with abuse and neglect

Found asleep in car with infant in backseat

Sometimes you just a need a nap.

But taking one in a car with a baby in the backseat could end with an arrest- or at least it did for Arvil Lee and Mary Angela Weaver.

Mary Angela Weaver

On Saturday, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to a store on Flat Hollow Road. The caller reported that two people had been sitting in a parked car for “several hours” and they were “slumped over,” the arrest report said. The caller also said he had knocked on the window to no avail.

Arvil Lee Weaver

When CCSD Deputy David Wormsley approached the car, he saw the six month old child in the backseat. As he awoke the Weavers and spoke with them, he reportedly noticed Mary Angela Weaver, 44, Popular Lane, Jacksboro had “white powder inside her nose.” As she was questioned about it she allegedly told the officer it was “maybe half a hydro,” the report said.

Arvil Lee Weaver, 44, Popular Lane, Jacksboro, didn’t fare much better when he spoke with Wormsley. He had bloodshot eyes and couldn’t stand. As the officer searched the vehicle, he found “two pills both cut in half” in the driver’s door.

The Weaver’s estimated to police they had only been asleep an hour.

They were both arrested. He was charged with child endangerment, child abuse and neglect public intoxication, and possession of a schedule II and IV controlled substances.

She was charged with the same offenses but also with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a prescription drug without a prescription. (02/03/2016-6AM)

Students to line-up along lane for Conner  

To pay his fellow students a visit on Wednesday

Conner Lane, the 11- year-old Caryville Elementary School (CES) student who was diagnosed with a brain tumor, is visiting his friends on Wednesday.

WLAF’s Susan Sharp snapped this photo of Conner Lane back in December at his benefit 5K

Lane, who has not been in school since October of last year, will be driven by the school around 1:45 pm. While his immune system still isn’t strong enough to be in large crowds, Lane will see his friends as they wear blue, display get well posters and wish him a speedy recovery.

He is scheduled for his last radiation treatment on Thursday, according to CES Principal Lori Adkins.

“We are excited to see him and we continue to hope and pray that his tumor is shrinking,” she said. (02/02/2016-6AM)

Next game:  Tonight (02/05) at Anderson 

New multi-purpose lab coming to Roane State

Final approval expected in April

On Monday night during a joint address to the Tennessee General Assembly, Governor Bill Haslam unveiled his budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, a portion of which includes funding for a new multi-purpose lab for Roane State Community College in Campbell County

“Senator Yager and I have been working on this project for four years,” said Representative Dennis Powers, following the announcement by Governor Haslam. “We have sought budget amendments and we have tried to get this funding included in past budgets, to no avail.”
This year, however, because the state has experience an unprecedented budget surplus, funding for the much sought after project has been green-lighted by the Haslam administration.

“We have personally met with the Governor on multiple occasions and outlined the great need for this lab,” continued Powers. “We have students driving 30 to 40 miles to the Roane State campus, and then must drive again to Oak Ridge or Harriman to take a lab. In addition, most students enrolled in dual enrollment in high school must have a lab and it makes it virtually impossible for them to take courses that require such. This is absolutely fantastic news for our community.”

The proposed budget will likely be approved by the House and Senate sometime in early to mid-April. (02/02/2016-1:30PM)

Hensley held without bond

Accused of counterfeiting money

Last Wednesday, the La Follette Police Department received a BOLO (be on the look out) call.  Officers were looking for a silver Neon car that had just left the Skymart Shell, next to the La Follette Middle School.  Officials with LPD say that the driver of that vehicle entered that Shell market and tried to pass a counterfeit twenty dollar bill. Shortly, after the information of the suspect vehicle was dispatched, LPD Officer James Farmer located and stopped that car.  During this stop, Farmer found numerous counterfeit twenty and five dollar bills. Similar currency with the same serial numbers had been passed in a number of businesses within La Follette over the past few weeks. Farmer’s inventory also turned up various types of illegal drugs and a 1911 Colt Gold Cup, which had been reported stolen in a burglary from an Oak Ridge, Tennessee, home in 2013.

Ronald Lee Hensley of La Follette

Following this stop, Farmer took the driver of the suspected car into custody.  The driver is identified as 45-year old Ronald Lee Hensley of La Follette. Multiple charges have been placed on Hensley including meth and possession of a firearm in commission of a felony; however, other charges are still pending.  La Follette Police Investigators are working with Agents from the United States Secret Service to secure those charges.

Hensley remains in the county jail this morning without bond.  His court appearance is scheduled for Thursday, February 11, 2016.

If you have additional information, you are asked to please contact the La Follette Police Department at 423.562.8331.  (02/02/2016-10:30AM)

LPD warns of bogus 20s

Funny money showing up around La Follette

The La Follette Police Department (LPD) would like to make everyone, especially local businesses, aware that a high volume of counterfeit money is being passed in La Follette.  LPD is advising that you check all money that is being received and be extra cautious when receiving $20 bills.  When checking to see if a bill is counterfeit try using a Counterfeit Pen, this pen serves only one purpose and that is to determine the type of paper used to create the fake money.  Check the texture of the bill to see if it feels different from other bills. You can also check the Watermarks; every modern U.S. currency contains a water mark security feature.  By holding the bill up to the light you should be able to see a water mark next to the portrait of the president on the bill. Checking to see if the security thread is woven and running from the top to the bottom of the bill is another way to tell if a bill is counterfeit.
Over the past few weeks, officers with La Follette Police have taken approximately 12 reports from different business and individuals throughout our community.  LPD has made an arrest in connection with these counterfeit bills but believes there are more bills circulating in our area.  If you have any information or if you need help checking a possible counterfeit bill, please contact the La Follette Police Department at 423.562.8331.
 (02/02/2016-6AM)   

Free food give-a-way Saturday, the 13th

     There’s a “free food” give-a-way.  It’s Saturday (02/13) at 10-AM at the Caryville Elementary School.  Compassion Ministries is supplying and distributing the food.  No questions asked – no ID or proof of income is required.  You’re encouraged to arrive a little early in order to receive a ticket.  For more information, please call 865.755.9512.(02/02/2016-6AM)

WLAF’s web channel crosses two-million mark

Thank you for connecting to 1450wlaf.com

     Today marks a milestone here at WLAF.  Our web channel breaks the two-million visitor mark.  In less than three years, more than two-million of you have taken time to check us out.  And we greatly appreciate it!  That’s an average of around 3,000 visits each day, Monday through Friday, with a few thousand of you visiting over the weekends.  We are indebted to you for visiting and to our corporate partners who make 1450wlaf.com possible.(02/02/2016-6AM)

Savage indicted in false report of animal attack

Claimed he was attacked by a bear

A man who reported to authorities that he was attacked by a large animal this past September has been indicted on felony charges of a false report.

Michael Savage

Michael Savage, 27, of La Follette has been indicted by the Campbell County Grand Jury on charges of felonious report to an officer following a the claim that he was attacked by a large animal while walking along the road in the White Bridge area near La Follette.

He was arrested last week by the La Follette Police Department on separate charges and is being held on a $30,000 bond until his court date on February 8 at 8:30 a.m. (02/01/2016-12:30PM)

Governor Haslam unveils 2016 legislative agenda

Highlights focus on education, public safety, more efficient government

With the Second Regular Session of the 109th General Assembly now in full swing, lawmakers are busy in Nashville meeting with constituents and colleagues, voting on legislation on the House floor, and working to shepherd their bills through the legislative committee process.  

As House business continues at full-speed, Governor Haslam is also working on his legislative agenda, notifying lawmakers he will focus his efforts this year on making improvements to state education and public safety policies, while also working to make government more efficient and effective.

On Monday, February 1, lawmakers will hear from Governor Haslam as part of his State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature. During this televised speech, the Governor will unveil his full legislative agenda for the year, and legislators and the public will receive details about his proposed state budget.

So far, the Governor has revealed these areas to focus his attention:

·        The Focus On College and University Success (FOCUS) Act is the next step in the Drive to 55 and seeks to ensure Tennessee’s public colleges and universities have the tools they need to increase the number of Tennesseans with a college or technical degree to 55 percent by 2025. The legislation provides more focused support for the state’s 13 community and 27 technical colleges, increases educational autonomy by creating local boards for Austin Peay State University, East Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University, and the University of Memphis, and strengthens the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

·        The Public Safety Act of 2016 is the initial step in implementing recommendations by the Governor’s Task Force on Sentencing and Recidivism. Of the 12,588 people entering state prison last year, 5,061 — or 40 percent — were probationers or parolees sent to prison because they violated supervision conditions. The bill retools community supervision to reduce the number of people returning to prison for probation and parole violations. This legislation also addresses the most serious offenses driving Tennessee’s violent crime rate by setting up mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of three or more charges of aggravated burglary and drug trafficking, and increases the penalty for three or more domestic violence convictions to a Class E felony. The legislation would also allow law enforcement to seek an order of protection on a domestic violence victim’s behalf.

·        To address concerns raised regarding the selling of human fetal tissue brought to light in 2015 by some organizations, the Fetal Remains Act requires increased reporting of the disposition of fetal remains, prohibits reimbursement of any costs associated with shipping an aborted fetus or fetal remains, and establishes a mandatory assessment process for an ambulatory surgical treatment center performing more than 50 abortions annually.

·        The Efficiency in Handgun Permitting Act improves the process for gun owners and lowers the fee associated with obtaining a handgun carry permit. It extends the current five-year handgun carry permit to eight years, lowers the initial handgun permit fee from $115 for five years to $100 for eight years, and expands the renewal cycle from six months to eight years after the expiration of a permit before a person must reapply as a “new” applicant. Under this proposal, background checks will continue to be conducted at the time of initial issuance and at the time of renewal. Additionally, an internal background check will be conducted in the fourth year of the eight-year permit. 

A total of 42 bills have been filed on behalf of the administration, but the above pieces of legislation represent the governor’s priorities. (02/01/2016-1:15PM)

 Early voting begins next week

Today is last day to register to vote

It is an election year.

The presentational primary will be held in Campbell County on March 1. Today is the last day to register to vote in the primary.

Early voting begins Feb. 10 and runs until Feb. 23.

The county will have two locations open for early voters.

The election commission in Jacksboro will host voting Mondays through Thursdays from 9 am until 4 pm. Fridays the hours will be extended from 9 am until 7pm with Saturday voting from 9 am until 1 pm.

In Jellico, ballots can be cast at the municipal building on Mondays through Thursdays from 9 am until 2 pm; Fridays 2 pm until 7 pm and Saturdays from 9 am until 1 pm.

Aside from the election of a president in November, there are numerous local offices on the 2016 ballot.

In August, voters will be given the opportunity to elect a property assessor, a road superintendent and five school board members.

Current property assessor Brandon Partin and incumbent road superintendent Ron Dilbeck have already picked up the qualifying petitions for the August election, according to election commission records.

Alvin Evans is the only person to show interest in a school board seat at this point; he has picked a petition to run in the fifth district.

Jan. 8 was the first day qualifying petitions were issued. The deadline to return them with the needed 25 signatures is April 7 at noon. The withdrawal deadline is a week later, April 14 at noon. Campbell County’s General Election is Aug. 4.

Aside from these seats, a state primary will appear on the summer ballot. Multiple seats will be up for grabs but no candidates have stepped forward yet, according to election commission records.

In November, the state election will be held, along with municipal elections in La Follette and Caryville. Voting in these races is scheduled for Nov. 8. Qualifying petitions will be available beginning May 20 with a return date of Aug. 18. The withdrawal deadline is Aug. 25 at noon. (02/01/2016-6AM)

Legacy stays.  The man who built it moves on.

Friday was a touching day for Minton, family, and well wishers

CLICK HERE to see the photo gallery

By Jim Freeman

Around our house one name is all we need for some folks.  Like Sparks (Coach Ken).  Bill (Waddell).  And Marvin.  The one-name Marvin has been a part of our family, through banking, for more than 40-years.  Like so many things in life, I’ve always figured Marvin Minton would just always be at the bank.  And he was - until last Friday.  It was his last day before retirement, and what a day it was.  One I’d say Marvin will not soon forget.  I know I won’t.

Even though Community Trust Bank, for many years First National Bank, will carry on admirably under the leadership of Rhonda Longmire, it will never be the same.  And Rhonda will vouch for that, too.

Friday was a fun day hearing all the stories and sharing lots of laughs.  Campbell County Chamber  of Commerce Director John Branam said when Marvin started at the bank in the 1970s, weighed a 100 pounds less and had dark hair.

The former president of Peoples Bank of the South and its current chairman of the board, Jack Reynolds, exclaimed that he’s been in banking for 62-years, and that he’s still working toward retirement.  He calls his now former across-the-street competitor a “fair competitor.”

Rob Woodson was a shareholder and longtime member of the board of directors for First National Bank.  When he spoke of Marvin on Friday, he said Marvin had the ability to say the hard things that many people are not able to step up and say when they actually need to be said.

Marvin’s wife Alice and daughters, Tammy, Kimberly, and Tracy were by his side for the opening ceremonies.  Kimberly spoke for the family expressing great appreciation for all the bank and community has meant to them and done for them for more than 40-years.  Tracy eventually mustered up her courage to speak to the good turnout of folks in the lobby of the LaFollette office of Community Trust Bank.  Her words moistened up a few eyes including Marvin’s.

Branam, along with LaFollette Mayor Mike Stanfield and County Mayor E.L. Morton, presented Marvin with proclamations.  The top brass of Community Trust Bank was also on hand to offer kind words of appreciation.  It was just one of those days filled with good feelings.  Some bittersweet.  But all good.

So, Marvin, I won’t send a note or pick up the phone, I’ll just say it right here.  You have been very good to me all these years.  Sometimes probably too good.  And I will be forever indebted to you for what you’ve done for me, taught me, and for the patience you have used in dealing with me.  I am a better person for knowing you.  That said, you have earned and deserve a most wonderful retirement.  So have at it! (02/01/2016-6AM)

Lady Eagles keep winning

Play JC middle school next

     Jacksboro defeated Seymour on Saturday at Sevierville.  The Lady Eagles 44-36 win advances them to play on Tuesday also at Sevierville.  They’ll tangle with Johnson City’s Liberty Bell Lady Patriots.  CLICK HERE to see David Graham’s photos from the district tournament last week at Jacksboro Middle School.  (02/01/2016-6AM)

It’s sports time from WLAF's David Graham

     WLAF’s David Graham Sports Report is just a click away right here.(02/01/2016–6AM) 

Your eyes are not seeing things – final score 49 to 8

Lady Cougars pitch first half shutout

Coach Brad Honeycutt played every Lady Cougar that was suited up Friday night at Knoxville.  He probably would’ve played his daughter, too, but she’s not walking just yet.  Even at that, Campbell still blanked Central 27 to nothing at the half and coasted to a 49 to 8 victory.  Now.  In Honeycutt’s defense, he does have a very good basketball team, and one that’s also pretty darn good from the sixth man back.

Central’s miracle three at the buzzer on Friday night doomed the Cougars.  It forced overtime, and the ’Cats scratched out eight points to the Cougars five and won 50 to 47.  Central’s win comes after a big Thursday night win at Karns.

Sarah Cain swished the first three on the night as WLAF play-by-play announcer Josh Parker donned his “Cha Ching” T-shirt.  Cha Ching is Chinese for “it’s a three by Campbell County.”  Nah.  Just kidding.  But it is Parker’s trade mark way of saying a CC three-point shot is good.

Last Tuesday, Joe Whited at B & M Tires said, “We need Cha Ching T-Shirts.”  That idea is all Larry, Kolby, and Dawn Byrge at Byrge Screen Printing needed, and by Friday night, the shirt was a reality.  WLAF’s Theron Overbay surprised Parker with the shirt, and he proudly wore it all game long.

Come Tuesday night, some of you will be able to have your own Cha Ching T-Shirt when Powell visits Campbell.  For the rest of the home season, every time CCHS rings up a three, Parker will be throwing out Cha Ching T-Shirts. (02/01/2016-6AM)

Next game:  Tuesday with Powell at home 

Final Score:

Lady Cougars 49 - Central 8

Central 50 - Cougars 47 OT

PCUD Announces the Promotion of Stephen Harris to Operations Manager

This afternoon, Powell-Clinch Utility District is pleased to announce the promotion of Stephen Harris to the position of Operations Manager.  Stephen has been with PCUD for over 15 years and served previously as the Engineering Manager.

Powell-Clinch Utility District is pleased to announce the promotion of Stephen Harris to the position of Operations Manager.

He holds a Civil Engineering degree from the University of Tennessee where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.  Stephen is also chair of the Natural Gas Distributor’s Association of East Tennessee.  He is past chair of the Anderson County Chamber Board and current chair of the Chamber Bylaws Committee.  He is an active member of Eagle Bend Apostolic Church

Stephen resides in Rocky Top with his wife Amber Harris and daughter Caroline.(01/29/2016-NOON)

Cain cashes in on your votes & her talent

Lady Cougar is PrepXtra POW

     Lady Cougar Sarah Cain is the PrepXtra Player of the Week.  Thanks to your votes and her outstanding play, Cain is honored this week by PrepXtra. 

Campbell County’s Sarah Cain readies to toss in a free throw during last month’s win over Scott County.

Way to go, Sarah! CLICK HERE to read her story.  (01/29/2016-NOON)

Minton’s "last rodeo" is today

You are invited to the day-long celebration  

     Marvin Minton has been a part of the fabric of our community for almost 43-years.  And this is it, he retires today from Community Trust Bank.  The celebration starts this morning at 10-AM, and you're invited.  Minton’s story of how he landed in La Follette is further down this page.

Dilbeck, Potter respond to allegations

Dilbeck was a supervisor for several years prior to appointment

By Susan Sharp

Campbell County Road Superintendent Ron Dilbeck and his predecessor Dennis Potter are disputing an allegation that Dilbeck isn’t qualified to hold office.

Earlier this week, Estel “Blackie” Muse amended his $1.4 million wrongful termination lawsuit he has filed against the county. The basis for modifying the complaint was an assertion that Dilbeck lacked the credentials to step into Potter’s shoes when Potter was appointed as clerk and master. Specifically, Muse, who at one time was the assistant road superintendent, said Dilbeck had never been a supervisor, a key element required for the promotion.

However, on Wednesday, Potter shared a document with WLAF that verifies Dilbeck had been a supervisor for nearly six years when he was selected to become road superintendent. CLICK HERE to see the documentation.

A Campbell County Highway Department Employee Add/Change form shows that in Feb. 2008, Dilbeck was promoted to the position of supervisor within the department.

“I didn’t ask for the job,” Dilbeck said of his promotion that came last winter. Instead, Potter approached him after learning that he would soon be appointed clerk and master, according to both men.

“He was the best man for the job,” Potter said.

Within the latest version of the lawsuit, Muse claims that prior to Dilbeck’s appointment, he went to Potter, pointing out a section of Tennessee law that said in order for someone to hold the department’s top job that he had to have supervisory experience.

“Absolutely not,” was Potter’s response when asked if Muse did in fact come to him with that concern.

A few months later Dilbeck was officially appointed to the position by the county commission. David Dunaway, Muse’s attorney, has said the commission’s validation of Dilbeck has created an “actual controversy.”

Despite this claim, Muse isn’t asking for the court to remove Dilbeck nor is he asking for additional damages.

It appears to only have been added as information in the case.(01/29/2016-6AM)

Snow and ice - the gift that keeps giving

Members of this La Follette Street Department crew continue dealing with snow and ice issues.  This week it’s filling potholes.

WLAF’s Charlie Hutson trips back to 2011

This week in 2011, these new signs went up

TBI captures Claiborne fugitive in Kentucky

A New Tazewell man who was added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Top Ten Most Wanted list on January 4th is now in custody in Laurel County, Kentucky.

Rick James Brock was captured Thursday evening by U. S. Marshals. A tip earlier in the day led officers to Brock’s brother’s residence at 133 East Fifth Street in London, Kentucky. Brock’s brother is expected to be charged by U.S. Marshals for harboring him.

Rick James Brock was captured Thursday evening by U. S. Marshals.

Rick Brock, 51, was wanted by the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for four counts of Rape of a Child and four counts of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm. (01/29/2016-6AM)

H&R Block puts the “fun” back in Refund Season

Three Campbell Countians have won a thousand dollars each

Winner David Hicks (L) & Tax Professional Kristi Bowling      

     H&R block is putting the “fun” back in Refund Season.  Block is giving away a total of $32 million in the first month of tax season.  And Campbell Countians are among the winners.  Melissa Chitwood of Jellico is one of the early winners of one-thousand dollars along with Thomas Morrell of Jacksboro, and today’s winner is David Hicks of La Follette. 

From left Journey, Jacob and winner Melissa Chitwood and H&R Block Area Manager Dianna Massey

Anyone who files their taxes at a participating H&R Block office by Feb. 15 is automatically entered into the sweepstakes.  Thirty-two thousand people will win $1,000 from H&R Block. For more information, visit www.hrblock.com/grand. (01/28/2016-2PM PHOTOS SUBMITTED)

From left Lisa, Haley and winner Thomas
Morrell and Tax Professional LaDonna Hughett 

Cougars date with Clinton is reset

     Snow won out on Tuesday when Clinton was supposed to visit Campbell in basketball.  So, the District 3 game is re-set for Monday, February 8 at John Brown Gym.  The Cougars next play Friday at Central against the Bobcats.  The WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network coverage begins tomorrow at 6-PM.  (01/28/2016-6AM)

Documentation disputes claim by Muse

Story airs here Friday morning

Earlier this week, Estel “Blackie” Muse was granted permission to amend the $1.4 million lawsuit he has filed against the county. Muse claims he was pushed out of his position at the county road department for failing to play ball in other litigation.

In the recent addition to the suit, he also claims current road superintendent Ron Dilbeck isn’t qualified to hold the position.

However, there is documentation that disputes Muse’s claim - you can read more about this on Friday morning at www.1450wlaf.com (01/28/2016-6AM)

Nelson goes into frenzy when keys denied; charged with multiple crimes

By Susan Sharp

While others were sitting comfortably in their home during the recent snow, another family was locked in a battle.

On Jan. 23, David Anthony Nelson, 31, allegedly became angry when his girlfriend refused to give him her car. In turn, he took his wrath out on his family, the arrest report said.

David Anthony Nelson remains in the county jail this morning on a $300,000 bond

When Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Franklin Ayers arrived at the Lewis White Lane residence, he found Nelson sitting in a car in the road. Backtracking with the victims, Ayers was able to piece together the events of the evening.

When Nelson’s girlfriend refused to let him have her vehicle, presumably because he doesn’t have a driver’s license, he allegedly attempted to hit her. However, Nelson’s father, Fred, intervened and was struck repeatedly in the face by his son.

Trying to help his father, Nelson’s brother Adam entered the fray placing Nelson in a headlock. He got bit by his brother as he struggled to get free, the report said.

After this, Nelson allegedly struck a female in the home with a metal candlestick. His rampage not over, Nelson again attacked his father, this time using a mop handle to hit him on the neck and head.

Somewhere in the fracas, it must have occurred to Nelson that someone had called the police, because he his next move was to allegedly stuff a yellow shirt in a toaster oven and put the appliance under the bed as he issued the proclamation that “he was going to burn them out if he was going to jail.”

The family found the appliance on fire under the bed, and they quickly threw it outside.

It was still smoldering when the CCSD deputies arrived, the report said.

Also destroyed in the upheaval was a cell phone, broken by Nelson and a television set, allegedly finished off when Nelson threw an object through the screen.

Nelson was arrested and charged with arson, vandalism, aggravated assault by domestic violence, domestic violence and driving on a revoked license.(01/28/2016-6AM)

Fishing from a lake bank leads to a career at the bank

 Marvin Minton, a vital part of the Campbell County banking world, is retiring

Veteran banker Marvin Minton has mixed feelings as his retirement nears tomorrow. But he’s perhaps more apprehensive about what’s planned for him in a day-long going away party set to begin Friday at 10 am at the downtown LaFollette office of Community Trust Bank.  He points out that he knows for sure what he’s going to be doing Monday -  nothing.  Feb. 1 marks his first official day of life after banking.  In the meantime, he’s not so sure.

Marvin Minton moved to La Follette soon after graduating from LMU in 1973 and has been a fixture in the community ever since.

Minton’s almost 43-year career at mostly First National Bank (FNB) of LaFollette, now Community Trust Bank, started on a lake bank while fishing with one of his college professors way back in 1973.  He’d graduated Lincoln Memorial University in Dec. 1972 with basically a double major in accounting and business. His fishing partner, Professor Kermit Bailey of La Follette, had a son-in-law working at the newly opened Highland Park Branch of First National Bank and told Minton that the bank had a teller opening.  He applied, and on April 16, 1973, Minton entered the world of banking.

Jack Reynolds, past president and current chairman of the board for Peoples Bank of the South has worked across the street from Minton for most all of Minton’s 42+ years. Reynolds said he was “a fair competitor” and a “good man.”

In the mid-1970s, Clarence Farris, former FNB president, died just a few years after hiring Minton.  So, at age 28, Marvin was suddenly thrust upward in the ranks of the bank to second in command behind Fred Cain, Sr., who took over for Farris.  He points out that the death of Farris and the shock of being promoted stand out most in his memories of the bank.  Minton tells WLAF those moments brought life changing moves for him.

However, there was even more life changing events coming Minton’s way. Soon after his first big promotion he and his wife, Alice, started their family.  First there was Tammy in 1977 followed by sisters Kimberly, and Tracy. 

Minton credits his years in the Air Force, between high school and college, for instilling the discipline that has carried him through his successful career.  He says the plan was for him and a Claiborne County High School classmate to join the Air Force together and work on missiles.  They were “space nuts,” and were told they’d be together at least through tech training.  But Marvin says once they were taken in for physicals, he never saw his pal again.  It was a sad time for Minton who’d already signed on the dotted line for $96 a month and was forced to go on without his space nut companion.  Turns out his buddy failed his physical.  He can still quote what his sergeant for basic training said back in 1966, “Everything you’re getting these next six-weeks is what you asked for, because you volunteered.”

Minton was named president of FNB in the early 2000s and was there when Community Trust Bank purchased FNB in 2010-11.  Tom Robards, of Wender Furniture, was on the FNB board of directors when Minton assumed the presidency. Robards credits Minton for doing a great job; especially during the transition from FNB to CTB.

Minton is a little emotional when he talks about how LaFollette “is home” and how good the bank and community have been to him and his family.

Rhonda Longmire (L) succeeds Marvin Minton as the LaFollette Market President of Community Trust Bank

“Marvin has been a great mentor and friend, and I cannot express just how much that has meant to me through the years,” said Rhonda Longmire.  She’ll officially take over Minton’s LaFollette Market Presidency of Community Trust Bank on Monday and wishes him to have the best of times in his retirement.

Maryville is his retirement community where he and Alice built a home a couple of years ago.  And with most retirees, their motivation to move there was to be closer to family.  But he won’t be a stranger to his 40+ year home, Marvin will continue to serve as Community Trust Bank Advisory Board Director for the La Follette Market.

Minton says he knows customers have choices, and he’s thankful for everyone who had a part to play in accepting and supporting his family and his business career in banking.  There are no mixed feelings about that. (01/28/2016-6AM)

Charlise Snodderly Day in La Follette

Turns 96-years old today

Caleb’s college-bound

Caleb Dople and his parents on senior night in October 2015

Blue Devil to turn Patriot

     Hard hits and hittin’ the books are paying off for Caleb Dople.  The Jellico High Student-Athlete plans to continue both in the fall at the University of the Cumberlands at Williamsburg.  The JHS linebacker is scheduled to sign a college football scholarship with the Pats next month.  Way to go Caleb!  (01/27/2016-6AM-DAVID GRAHAM PIX)

Smith’s keeping pace with winter

More snow shovels on the way

     Last year, Sherman Campbell and Debra Miller of Smith Hardware decided to open seven days a week.  As a result, Smith’s stayed open during the worst of this past week’s winter weather.  Hundreds of sleds were sold, lots of plumbing parts and supplies, and all of Smith’s snow shovels were sold.  But Campbell says he’ll have a full stock of snow shovels back on the floor tomorrow.  And given February and March are still ahead so may be more snow.  (01/27/2016-6AM)

Muse says Dilbeck not qualified for office

CLICK HERE to see the complete lawsuit

By Susan Sharp

Estel “Blackie” Muse has modified the $1.4 million lawsuit he filed against Campbell County last year.

The original complaint alleged Muse was fired from his job with the county road department because of his “failure and refusal to remain silent about illegal activities” he had discovered and later gave testimony about in another lawsuit.

While that portion of the filing hasn’t changed, Muse is now challenging the qualifications of the man who currently holds the office of road superintendent, Ron Dilbeck.

According to the recently amended lawsuit, Muse was the assistant director of highways under former road superintendent Dennis Potter, thus he was next in line for the position when Potter resigned to become clerk and master.

His attorney, David Dunaway, noted this was the procedure under state law, but Potter didn’t follow it, taking it upon himself to appoint Dilbeck.

Muse said, in the suit, that he told Potter that Dilbeck lacked the qualifications to hold the office, but Potter chose to push on with the appointment. Specifically, Muse said he mentioned that Dilbeck had not been a supervisor or foreman in the department and that was one of the key qualifications in being promoted.

The county commission later endorsed Dilbeck’s appointment as road superintendent when it elected him into the position until the next election, which is in August, the lawsuit said. This move has created an “actual controversy,” according to Dunaway, because Dilbeck isn’t qualified to hold the position.

Despite this claim, Muse isn’t asking for the court to remove Dilbeck nor is he asking for additional damages.

It appears to only have been added as information in the case.

The original litigation Muse testified in, and was the alleged catalyst for his termination, centered on a traffic fatality that occurred in 2011. That is when a tree fell on the vehicle being driven by Terry Wayne Russell, killing Russell.

Russell’s family later sued the county citing negligence.

According to Muse’s lawsuit, the county had notice of the tree, but failed to take action about the potential danger. It also says this was the testimony he gave in the complaint filed by Russell’s next of kin.

After he gave his statement, Muse said he noticed a “change in attitude” from county officials.

In April 2015 he was fired for “personal reasons,” according to the original lawsuit.(01/27/2016-6AM)

Fire Protection: Hatmaker discusses hydrants

By PETER SAWYER

La FOLLETTE—La Follette City Council Member Hansford Hatmaker discussed fire protection with two La Follette Utilities Board representatives at Monday night’s workshop.

Hatmaker expressed his concern that not every home in La Follette is within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant.

City Administrator Jimmy Jeffries has met with LUB Chairman Kenny Baird to discuss the issue. LUB and the City of La Follette are working to fix the problem—which should require installing no more than two fire hydrants.

CDBG

The council spent little time discussing the lone agenda item—a resolution to approve a Community Development Block Grant. The resolution also stipulates the funds will not exceed $500,000. The council will vote on the resolution at next week’s meeting.

Budget Amendment

The council discussed a budget amendment resolution that will include a recreation grant, additional money for a sidewalk grant, a recycling grant, and money for work completed on Memorial Drive.

Elected Officials Academy

Jeffries spoke to the council about attending the Municipal Technical Advisory Service’s Elected Official Academy in Knoxville Feb. 26 and 27.

Legislative Meeting

The La Follette City Council plans to meet with state legislators in Nashville for a legislative update in March. Councilman Bob Fannon suggested inviting Rep. Dennis Powers and Sen. Ken Yager out for dinner during the trip to Nashville.

Spring Clean up

The city will hold a town hall meeting at 3:30 p.m. this Friday to discuss a spring clean up. The clean up will begin downtown in April. It will finish at the city limits by summertime.

Easter Egg Hunt

Jeffries announced LaFollette will host an Easter Egg hunt from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Dr. Lee J. Sergeant Park on March 25—which is Good Friday(01/26/2016-6AM)

Tennova Healthcare Offers Free Heart-Health Screenings

“Know Your Numbers” comes to 14 locations in East Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, TN  (January 25, 2016) – Tennova Healthcare is kicking off American Heart Month in February with free heart-health screenings at 14 locations.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. The key to preventing heart disease is managing your risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood glucose. Avoiding unhealthy habits like smoking and living a healthy lifestyle that incorporates good nutrition, weight management and physical activity can also reduce your risk for a life-threatening heart attack or stroke.

To learn your risk factors for heart disease, attend one of the following Know Your Numbers events:

Thursday, February 18

Tennova South

7323 Chapman Highway, Knoxville

Tuesday, February 23

Jefferson Memorial Hospital

110 Hospital Drive, Jefferson City

Wednesday, February 24

Newport Seventh Day Adventist Church

125 Headrick Drive, Newport

Thursday, February 25

Carter Senior Center

9036 Asheville Highway, Knoxville

Wednesday, March 2

Tennova Health & Fitness Center

7540 Dannaher Drive, Powell

Thursday, March 3

Physicians Regional Medical Center

900 E. Oak Hill Avenue, Knoxville

Tuesday, March 8

Halls Senior Center

4405 Crippen Road, Knoxville

Thursday, March 10

Burlington Branch–Knox County Public Library

4614 Asheville Highway, Knoxville

Wednesday, March 23

Lakeway Regional Hospital

726 McFarland Street, Morristown

Wednesday, March 30

Loudon County Senior Center

901 Main Street, Loudon

Thursday, March 31

Turkey Creek Medical Center

10820 Parkside Drive, Knoxville

Wednesday, April 6

LaFollette United Methodist Church

808 East Central Avenue, LaFollette

Thursday, April 7

Maryville Senior Center

702 S. Burchfield Street, Maryville

Tuesday, April 19

Clinton Community Center

101 Hicks Street, Clinton

The simple screening involves one prick of the finger. Participants will receive their cholesterol panel and glucose reading in less than 10 minutes. Eight-hour fasting is required.*

Appointments are required and will be scheduled between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Call 1-855-TENNOVA (836-6682) by Tuesday, February 16 to register for the free screening.

*Water and black coffee are allowed. You may follow your normal medication schedule. If you have diabetes, check with your physician before fasting. (01/25/2016-3PM)

Cain can be the Prep Extra POW; with your help

Voting ends Thursday at noon

OK Cougar Nation.  Let’s take ten-seconds and vote Sarah Cain as the Prep Extra Player of the Week.  Campbell County alumni and current student body numbers somewhere close to 10,000.  Given that, she should be a shoe-in.  However, she’s currently trailing, so your “Click for Cain” is needed – VOTE HERE!

Campbell County’s Sarah Cain readies to toss in a free throw during last month’s win over Scott County.

Cain poured through 11 points in last Monday’s 56-29 win at Oneida, and then came back on Tuesday night sparking her Lady Cougars to a key district win at Halls.  Cain dropped in 17-points in the win over the Red Devils, but she also scored the winning points on a trey in overtime as CCHS won 55-54. (01/25/2016-NOON)

Truancy cases rescheduled; other meetings as well

Last Wednesday’s (January 20) Truancy Cases in Juvenile Court are re-set.  The new date is Wednesday, February 10, at 9-AM.  You are asked to call Nancy to confirm at 865.776.9951.

Tonight’s Jacksboro City Court is postponed.  The new date and time are Monday, February 22, at 5-PM.

The Campbell County 4-H Public Speaking Contest is postponed tonight.  The rescheduled snow date is Monday, February 1, at 5-PM.  It will be held at the La Follette Elementary School.  (01/25/2016-11:30AM)

It’s sports time from WLAF's David Graham

     WLAF’s David Graham Sports Report is just a click away right here.(01/25/2016–6AM) 

Freezing fog, black ice, & pot holes

Relief in sight for road crews

Those who work to clear our roads generally don't catch a break until they're finished.  They are in for the long haul.  Given today’s sunshine and highs near 50-degrees, there may be some light at the end of the long winter storm tunnel that began last Wednesday morning.  Jerry Chadwell rode along with a member of the county highway department on Saturday and shares his photos by CLICKING HERE and video by CLICKING HERE.

Snow on Caryville Mountain Road was a foot-deep or deeper

Morning challenges include freezing fog, black ice, and pot holes.  Strong wind gusts keep today from feeling as much like spring as it felt on Sunday.  Though sunshine and highs near 50-degrees will go a long way toward making the day feel pleasant.  There’s a chance of rain for Tuesday with a chance of rain, freezing rain, and snow Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

WLAF thanks all those of you who worked way above and beyond the call of duty to help make life a little easier for the rest of us this past week.  (01/25/2016-6AM)

WLAF’s Charlie Hutson snapped some Sunday shots for us

Slusher found dead at his home

Was a combat veteran

By Susan Sharp

A vocal critic of Campbell County Government has been found dead at his home.

Jim Slusher, 71, of Jacksboro was found dead outside his home just before sunrise on Sunday, according to the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department. The CCSD was responding to a call from Slusher’s wife, Marilyn, when they found him near the home, dead of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the upper torso.

Slusher, who lived in the Hiwassee community, had moved to Campbell County several years ago becoming a fixture at county commission meetings.

Jerry Chadwell and Jim Slusher (R), in happier times, are pictured here on the set of Chadwell’s TV show.  This photo was taken on Wednesday, August 13, 2014, as the two celebrated the winning candidates from the previous Thursday’s election.  (PHOTO COURTESY OF JERRY CHADWELL)

Along the way, he formed a relationship with another outspoken critic of the county, Jerry Chadwell. Slusher soon found himself designated as Chadwell’s sidekick and in the latter part of 2015, the two became embroiled in legal problems.

The men were facing two separate defamation suits totaling $2.5 million dollars in possible damages. One suit was launched by the Campbell County Senior Citizens Center; the other was by first district county commissioner Marie Ayers.

Both suits alleged that Slusher and Chadwell had made disparaging comments about members of the center and Ayers on Chadwell’s self-supported television show “Straight Talk.”

And while the two had agitated many people in the community, others had still developed a fondness for Slusher.

Among those was Chadwell.

“Jim Slusher loved the people of this county as much as anyone I have ever known. Jim did the best he could to try to bring attention to issues that affected the citizens, letting citizens know how their elected officials where handling those matters,” Chadwell said of his friend’s sudden death.

Calling Slusher an “intelligent man, who loved to research issues so he could be a benefit to this community if he possibly could,” Chadwell said his sidekick had been instrumental in getting the road in White Oak paved.

He went on to say Slusher was a generous man who often gave the down trodden money from his own pocket.

“I could keep going, but I would like to end this by saying I wish you folks could have gotten the chance to know the man and the friend that I knew in my "Sidekick", Jim Slusher,” Chadwell said.

A statement from the county mayor’s office called Slusher a “valued member of the community” who served the citizens of Campbell County well.

“He was also a combat veteran who served the citizens of Campbell County and our nation faithfully. He will be sorely missed. His family is in our prayers,” county mayor EL Morton said.

Slusher’s body was taken for an autopsy. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Cross-Smith Funeral Home. (01/26/2016-6AM)

 Morning fire claims one life

 Mary Louise Moore dies in the early day blaze

By Susan Sharp

A morning apartment fire resulted in a death and others being displaced from their homes.

Shortly after 8 am, the Campbell County Rural Fire Service (CCFRS) was notified of an apartment fire at 129 Cherokee Trail, near Indian River Marina.

When crews arrived, they found a six unit complex with fire and smoke billowing through the shared attic, said CCRFS Chief Daniel Lawson.

Crews responded to an apartment fire this morning that resulted in a fatality. (Photo courtesy of Daniel Lawson)

They were able to get most of the building’s residents out with assistance from the La Follette and Jacksboro Fire Departments, but there was one fatality in the fire.

Lawson said the victim is identified as 63-year old Mary Louise Moore of Rockwood.

The fire is under investigation by the Tennessee Fire Bomb and Arson department but “appears to have started on top of a cooking stove,” Lawson said.

Of the six units, one apartment was damaged in the fire with the other six seeing damage from water and smoke.

Those who had to leave either went with family or the Red Cross until other provisions could be made.

While the blaze was quickly extinguished, Lawson said snow and ice can create issues when responding to a call. The snow covered roads can cause a delay in response time while roofs buried under slush present a different issue.

“When you are on a roof covered in snow, it is slick and you don’t know if there are holes under the snow,” Lawson said. (01/22/2016-4:30 PM)

CT Bank announces retirement reception for Minton

Veteran banker set to retire next week

LAFOLLETTE, TENNESSEE:  Ricky Sparkman, South Central Region President of Community Trust Bank, today announced that Marvin Minton, LaFollette Market President of Community Trust Bank, will be retiring.

Minton has been a vital part of the banking world in LaFollette, Tennessee for 43 years and on Friday, January 29, 2016 he will retire from Community Trust Bank.  “We value each and every one of our more than 1,000 employees and the contributions they make to their communities each and every day,” said Sparkman.  “We appreciate Marvin’s service to our company, as well as his service to his community.  We wish Marvin and his family the very best in the years ahead.”

Marvin L. Minton is ready to retire next Friday

Mr. Minton graduated from Claiborne County High School in New Tazewell, Tennessee in 1966.  He graduated from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee in 1972 with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Business Administration.  Mr. Minton is also a graduate of the Tennessee School of Banking.

Marvin Minton was employed with First National Bank of LaFollette, Tennessee from April 1973 until the conversion to Community Trust Bank in January 2011.  Mr. Minton held positions as Teller, Loan Clerk, Assistant Cashier, Cashier, Vice President, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer before becoming President and CEO at First National Bank.  He was also a member of the Board of Directors and the Board Secretary to First National Bank.  Mr. Minton served as Secretary/Treasurer, President and CEO and Member of the Board of Directors to LaFollette First National Corporation. In January 2011, Marvin became the LaFollette Market President with Community Trust Bank.

Mr. Minton has served in the South Campbell County Rotary Club as a member, Vice President and President.  He is a former Bank Representative to the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce.  Mr. Minton also served as the Treasurer of the Campbell County Better Schools Committee.  He will continue to serve as Community Trust Bank Advisory Board Director for the Lafollette Market.

Marvin and his wife Alice raised their three girls Tammy, Kimberly, and Tracy, in LaFollette, Tennessee.  They now reside in Maryville, Tennessee.

Community Trust Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Community Trust Bancorp, Inc.  Community Trust Bancorp, Inc., with assets of $3.9 billion, is headquartered in Pikeville, Kentucky and has 70 banking locations across eastern, northeastern, central, and south central Kentucky, six banking locations in southern West Virginia, four banking locations in Tennessee, four trust offices across Kentucky, and one trust office in Tennessee. (01/22/2016-6AM)

 

Six-inches of snow at La Follette City Hall on Wednesday captured in this Charlie Hutson snapshot

Snow causes major road problems

Officials advise people to stay home

By Susan Sharp 

“It’s bad with capital letters.”

That is how dispatchers at Campbell County 911 are describing today’s weather and the effect it is having on the roads.

Road crews have been working diligently  to get ahead of the snow on main roads, leaving secondary roads such as Edgewood Drive in La Follette still covered.   (Photo by Jackson Sharp)

For the better part of the morning, snow has been coming down making clearing the roads a futile effort, according to Campbell County Road Superintendent.

“It has been very busy,” Dilbeck said. “We started at 4:30 am.”

The initial pass on the roads removed the snow but when the larger flurries started coming down, crews were faced with a problem.

This is how old Highway 63 looked around 2:30PM this afternoon

“With what has come down in the last couple of hours it has covered what we treated,” Dilbeck said. The county is currently running 14 plows in an attempt to clear the roads but as snow continues to fall there doesn’t appear to be a quick fix.  Multiples passes have been made on the main roads in an effort to make them passable, but, many still have snow on them. And the secondary roads are even “more treacherous,” according to Dilbeck.

WLAF’s Noah Smith snapped this photo just before noon today

The 911 center has had multiple reports of accidents with some involving injury. In addition to that, there have been reports of vehicles off the road, many of which are four wheel drive. Interstate travel has proven to be a problem as well. A wreck at the 132 exit has caused traffic to grind to a standstill with one motorist calling WLAF to report he has been sitting in the stalled traffic for over three hours.

This is how Jerry Chadwell spent several hours today; sitting in northbound traffic on I-75 in Campbell County

“Please stay in. You don’t need the milk and bread that bad,” one dispatcher said.

“This is a heavier snow than what was predicted,” Dilbeck said noting that he and his crews would work “round the clock” if needed.

LUB’s Rusty Orick snapped this photo for us out at Lynch Hollow 

The bright spot in this snow event, has been that LaFollette Utility Board (LUB) has had “no problems whatsoever,” according LUB General Manager Kenny Baird.

“This kind of snow, a light, powdery mix, doesn’t hurt us,” Baird said. “The wet, heavy snows that is usually what gets us.”

However, the LUB trucks were prepped in the event the weather had caused power issues.  (01/20/2016-5PM)

Prime time for road crews

Have been out since snow started

     Fourteen snow plows are busy this morning across Campbell County.  Road Super Ron Dilbeck tells WLAF News that his crew has been out since 4:30-AM and is on the job for the duration.  He says that the snow is very dry and is blowing and is not really deep enough (around an inch so far) to effectively plow the roads just yet. 

They began with the main roads and are salting some but mostly using a mix of gravel and sand as crews work to clear Campbell County’s 700-miles of roads.(CHARLIE HUTSON PIX - 01/20/2016-7AM)

Free food give-a-way Saturday

Compassion Ministries will bring its mobile food pantry to Campbell County this week.

On Saturday, the organization will be at Caryville Elementary School to distribute food with no questions asked, according to CES Principal Lori Adkins. They will not be asking for identification or proof of income, she said.

The food will be given out beginning at 10 am, but those interested need to arrive a little earlier in order to receive a ticket.

Compassion Ministries is a multiple outreach initiative of Cornerstone Church, according to its website.

The Knoxville based ministry is supported by companies such Second Harvest Food Bank, United Healthcare and Campbell’s Soups.

For more information about Saturday’s event call (865) 755-9512. (01/18/2016-6AM)

Snow began falling just before 4-AM

Slippery spots developing

     Well.  Here it is.  We knew that with all this cold air locked in place, and moisture on the way, the stage was set for accumulating snow.  There’s the better part of an inch now and more snow is on the way.  We’ll have pockets of moderate, fine snow fall during the balance of the day with the bulk of the white stuff falling by 4-PM.  Temps will not make it above freezing making for a slippery day and night ahead.  It still looks as if accumulations will range from a couple of inches to three inches with higher totals on the mountain tops of Campbell County.  The snow ends late tonight  likely as freezing rain with lows sliding to 25-degrees and the Winter Weather Advisory due to expire at 10-PM. (01/20/2016-6AM)

Homecoming at JMS

Morgan Smith is crowned Queen

     Tuesday night  was homecoming 2016 at JMS.  Congratulations to Miss Morgan Smith on being crowned the 2016 JMS Basketball Homecoming Queen. She was escorted by Bryan Hicks.

Congratulations to Miss Morgan Smith on being crowned the 2016 JMS Basketball Homecoming Queen.

Morgan is an 8th grader and the daughter of Brad and Pam Smith.  Also, from last night's game, Nolan Lees, with only 2.4 seconds left on the clock, JMS down to the Rams of Robertsville in overtime,(55 - 54) made a 3 to win the game, 57 - 55  and helped JMS finish in 4th place. 

Nolan Lees unloads the game winner

JMS hosts the district tourney starting on Saturday. Details on the Sports Report (below).

It’s sports time from WLAF's David Graham

     WLAF’s David Graham Sports Report is just a click away right here.(01/20/2016–6AM) 

Campbell sweeps Halls

Lady Cougars tally their 18th win

Halls had the final shot.  Campbell County had the final say.  Sarah Cain’s right wing trey, in overtime, swished the Lady Cougars to victory Tuesday night over Halls.  Cain’s three withstood the Lady Red Devils charge to win as Campbell held on for a 55-54 win that improves CCHS to 18 & 4 in all games and 9 & 1 in the district.

It was Halls that looked like the team that played at Oneida on Monday night and might be a tad weary from back-to-back games.  But you know that it was Campbell County that was on the road as Halls was away from game action on Monday.  Halls nailed a bucket at the first-half buzzer, came out with a big three and a deuce to take an early 35-30 second-half lead.  That’s when the Cougars caught fire by outscoring Halls 15 to 7 in the third quarter and then 27 in the 4th quarter to Halls 14.  In the end, CCHS froze the Red Devils with a 70 to 51 victory.  The Cougar JVs were also victorious by a count of 53-47.

Campbell returns to the hardwood on Tuesday when Clinton comes to town.  The WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network coverage starts at 6PM. (01/20/2016-6AM)

Campbell County Road Superintendent Ron Dilbeck

     Campbell County Road Superintendent Ron Dilbeck is preparing for the predicted bad weather.  Road crews are being placed on standby and plows have already been attached to the trucks in the event that the predicted snow and ice does make an appearance.  Current forecasts are that the snow will begin after midnight continuing throughout the day on Wednesday with possible accumulations of one to three inches.  A wintry mix is projected for later Wednesday along with cold temperatures.  Dilbeck said his staff was ready if the predictions panned out.  Along with the equipment and crews, gravel has already been taken to the parts of the county the county that are often the worst hit such as White Oak.

Claims of greatness doesn’t stop arrest for Massengill

By Susan Sharp

A disturbance call took an interesting turn last week for Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Wasson.

Last Wednesday, he was asked to investigate a disturbance call on McDeerman Road in Jacksboro. When he arrived, Wasson located 23-year-old Amanda N. Massengill essentially wandering the street.

At this point, she introduced herself to the officer as “Jesus Christ reincarnated,” the report said. With Wasson continuing to question Massengill, she allegedly told him she was searching for her husband identifying him as her “resolute twin.” While she was able to tell Wasson theses items of information, Massengill couldn’t tell the officer where she was or where she lived. After some searching, Wasson located Massengill’s family in the neighborhood. They allegedly told the police she “had drug problems in the past.”

Wasson asked then Massengill if she would perform a series of field of sobriety tests, going as far as to demonstrate what he was asking her to do, the report said. Massengill didn’t acknowledge Wasson’s instructions.

When he asked to perform the walk and turn sobriety test, Massengill opted to dance circles in the driveway, according to the report.

She was arrested and charged with public intoxication. (01/20/2016-6AM)

 Jennings says he will sue to block votes by fellow commissioners

Campbell County Commission meets Tuesday night

The postponed meeting of the Campbell County Commission, held on Tuesday night this month due to the MLK holiday, featured a series of mood swings ranging from upbeat to combative, with lengthy discussion and debate on practically every issue that came up.

The meeting started on an upbeat note, as Congressman Chuck Fleischmann made an appearance to honor retiring Assistant District Attorney John Vanover.

Fleischmann praised Vanover’s 42 years of service to law enforcement and presented him with a U. S. flag that flew over the Capitol in Washington on the day of Vanover’s official retirement. Several commissioners took the opportunity to praise Vanover as well, Johnny Bruce recounting his days playing football with him while Cliff Jennings pointed out that Vanover had served the City of La Follette before the “DA’s office stole him from us.”

Once the regular meeting agenda resumed, Jennings lost no time in tossing a bit of cold water on the rosy warmth in the room, again objecting as commissioners Bruce and Sue Nance voted on motions to approve spending measures.

Jennings then announced that he was tired of waiting on a State Attorney General’s opinion as to whether it is legal for Bruce and Nance, both county employees, to vote on motions that involve the budget.

“I plan to bring a lawsuit and ask for a declaratory judgment on whether they can vote, and ask the court for a restraining order against them voting until a decision is rendered,” Jennings told the commission.

County Attorney Joe Coker has advised the commission that the law allows commissioners who are county employees to vote on spending motions as long as they publicly declare their potential conflict of interest, but Jennings has consistently challenged that ruling, demanding an Attorney General’s opinion and formally objecting whenever his fellow commissioners register a vote.

Ralph Davis then once again objected to the county’s bidding process, asking why a construction project for the expanded parking lots near the Justice Center were not brought before the commission for approval.

Finance Director Jeff Marlow explained that the commission had voted to approve the project, financed primarily by a federal grant, over three years ago, although the project had been postponed until the Justice Center construction was completed.

“The process, once a project is approved and funded, is for the FMS Committee to review the bids and approve a contractor,” Marlow explained. “The money for the local match has already been set aside in the budget for the project.”

“You mean the previous commission voted for this and we have no say in it?” Davis, who was removed from the FMS Committee last year, asked.

“That’s how the process works. The project has already been approved by the county legislative body,” Marlow concluded.

The commissioners then turned to discussing approval of a final payment to Merit Construction Company, the primary contractor on the Justice Center. A final payment of $60,000 was retained by the county until any deficiencies in the project were addressed.

Merit agreed to accept $51,902 to settle some uncompleted provisions in the contract, but refused to cover $3,251 that was paid to Nancy Leach to cover damages she claimed the construction project caused to her home across the street.

“Merit was never asked to participate in this cost and never agreed to pay for this work,” the company wrote to Mayor E. L. Morton, pointing out that their insurance adjustor had inspected the Leach house and determined that any damages were pre-existing when construction began.

Jennings again served as the lightning rod, making a motion to pay Merit but withhold the money the commission had already paid to the Leach family. “If they want to sue, let ‘em sue,” Jennings pointed out, adding that he doubted the company will go to court over $3,251.

Mayor Morton reminded the commission that the county will also have to pay Merit’s legal costs if the company wins a lawsuit, adding, “The commission voted to pay for painting the Leach house as a way to address the inconvenience to that family by being located adjacent to the jail construction. I feel that they (Merit) will sue and they’ll probably win.”

Jennings’ motion failed by a vote of 8-6, with Davis, Nance, Forster Baird, Lonnie Weldon and Whit Goins joining Jennings in refusing to pay.

Davis then offered a motion to pay Merit the $51,902 they have requested and the commission finally put the long-delayed Justice Center to rest, approving the final payment 13-2 with only Jennings and Nance voting “no.”

The commission also voted unanimously to continue with a waterline extension grant that would connect lines running between Pioneer and Elk Valley, eventually linking LaFollette Utilities and Jellico Utilities’ service areas.

Although that grant has already been approved and partially completed, commissioners spent considerable time debating whether the county was committing the utilities to a service area without their input. Commissioners voted to move forward only after learning that the county’s matching share has already been paid and no additional local money is involved in the $652,000 project.

The commission also unanimously approved a request from Morton to adopt a tax incentive program that would encourage industrial investment and the hiring of local employees by offering abatements on business personal property tax ranging from 88 percent to 20 percent over a seven year period.

Morton explained that neighboring counties already have the program in place and have successfully recruited industrial prospects through its implementation. He also informed the commission that a “foreign investor” is in the process of purchasing the vacant A&S Steel Building and an announcement is expected soon that will bring 40 to 100 new jobs to that location in the Ridgewood community.

“There is a 99.9 percent certainty that they will proceed with a startup date sometime in the fourth quarter of 2016 or the first quarter of 2017,” he added.

The commission then turned to a request from Robert Higginbotham to expand the hours at the Well Springs convenience center to seven days a week. The discussion grew contentious at times, with Rusty Orick questioning whether residents in other districts will demand expanded hours as well.

“There is only enough money in the sanitation budget to expand hours at the one center. There will be no other expansions in the current budget,” Morton pointed out.

Orick ended up supporting the motion, while warning, “If we have a budget shortfall next year, it will be rolled back.” The motion to expand hours at Well Springs passed 13-2, with only Jennings and Weldon voting “no.”

Finally, the commission debated Ralph Davis’ request that the county purchase the building in Jellico that houses the County Clerk and Property Assessor’s satellite offices.

The building’s owner has now installed a new metal roof on the building, and continues to ask that the county pay $125,000 for that building and an adjacent building that is rented by a beauty shop, Davis explained.

Davis has promoted the purchase as a long-term investment that will save the county $1,200 a month in rent while providing rental income from the other tenants. Jellico Mayor Forster Baird, however, opposed the deal, protesting that parking is insufficient and continuing to promote the idea of building a new county services complex on city-owned land that would house not only the clerical offices but the ambulance service and Sheriff’s Department field office.

After much discussion, the commission finally approved 12-3 a motion by Marie Ayers to authorize Mayor Morton to negotiate for the building and pursue necessary inspections by structural engineers before a final appropriation is voted upon. Baird, Johnny Bruce and Butch Kohlmeyer all voted against the motion. (01/20/2016-6AM)              

Cougars, Lady Cougars win at Oneida

CCHS plays at Halls tonight

Landon Reese put the Cougars in front with 1:50 to go in the game.  Jacob Walden kept the Cougars ahead.  Reese’s bucket reclaimed the lead for Campbell at 52 to 51.  On the Oneida Indians home court, Walden made himself at home by knocking down nine free throws over the final 85-seconds to insure a 61-54 win for CCHS.  Walden finished with 22-points giving the Cougars their 12th win against 9 losses (3 & 6 in District 3).

The Lady Cougars Skylar Boshears rang up a career high 22-points as Campbell outpaced Oneida 56-29.  It took a quarter and a half before Oneida tallied its first field goal.  The Lady Cougars are 17 & 4 in all games and 8 & 1 in District 3 games.

CCHS plays within the district tonight at Halls.  The WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network has the coverage beginning at 6-PM. (01/19/2016-6AM)

Powers awarded top conservative honors

Local state representative scores high

(NASHVILLE) — The American Conservative Union (ACU), the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization, announces that State Representative Dennis Powers (R–Jacksboro) has been awarded the coveted ACU ‘Award For Conservative Excellence’.

State Representative Dennis Powers (R–Jacksboro)

The award, which is presented to those members of the Tennessee General Assembly who scored between 90 and 100 percent on the ACU Tennessee 2015 State Legislative Rating, is the organization’s highest and most revered honor available to lawmakers.

“I am honored to be presented this award by the American Conservative Union,” said Representative Powers. “I am committed to working with my colleagues in the Tennessee General Assembly to lower taxes, cut government waste, and help create an environment in our state where businesses can grow and thrive. I am thankful for organizations like the ACU who recognize the work of our conservative Republican majority and look forward to advancing our shared Tennessee values even further in the coming weeks.”   (01/19/2016-6AM)

Mountain top removal, property rights, and common good

Sharp has an idea where both sides win

     A ban on mining.  Mountain top removal or not.  Those topics surfaced last week during a public hearing held at Campbell High by the federal Office of Surface Mining.  Boomer Winfrey’s story from that meeting is the next story down on this page.  Ronnie Sharp or ronnie, as he prefers, has taken time to offer his opinion, and it’s a good on, on how both sides, miners and mountain top lovers can get what they want.  CLICK HERE for ronnie’s thoughts.  (01/18/2016-2PM)

Lady Cougars 55 Halls 54 OT

Cougars 70 Halls 51

Cougars host Clinton on Tuesday

Air time is 6:30-PM here

Citizens express views on petition to ban mining on 67,000 acres

Public hearing last night at CCHS

Nearly a hundred people attended the fourth in a series of public hearings held by the federal Office of Surface Mining on Thursday night at Campbell County High School. The hearings were scheduled to receive public comments on an OSM proposal to designate 67,000 acres of ridge tops in four Tennessee counties as “unsuitable for surface mining” in response to a petition filed by the State several years ago under the administration of Governor Phil Bredesen.

As with the hearings held in three other affected counties, the majority of comments from speakers strongly supported the petition, which would make mining off limits in a zone 600 feet on either side of ridge tops within the Don Sundquist Wildlife Management Area (click here to see map). While the State owns the surface land within the boundaries of the management area, most of the mineral rights are still under private ownership and could be mined under provisions in the deed and current regulatory law.

While the area under review also covers land in Anderson, Scott, and Morgan counties, over half of the affected land lies in Campbell County, stretching from the mountains above Stony Fork northeast to the Hatfield Knob area popular for it’s elk herds.

OSM offered five “alternatives” for public review, ranging from denying the petition, which would leave the area open to all mining activities, to the State’s original request, which would forbid any and all mining along ridge tops in the petition area. OSM’s “preferred” alternative would offer a compromise in which the 67,000 acres would be off limits with the exception of “re-mining” previously mined lands.

“At the first three hearings, speakers in favor of mining have predictably supported the first alternative, to deny the petition, while those against mining support designating even more land off limits to mining,” Earl Bundy, director of OSM’s Knoxville field office said. “Most speakers have supported the petition so far.”

Most of the thirty speakers at the hearing in Campbell County spoke in favor of a fourth alternative, in which re-mining would be allowed but the area to be designated off limits would be increased to 76,000 acres, reflecting additional ridge top areas that OSM has identified within the management area that were not included in the original petition.

Not everyone was in agreement with the proposal, however. “You’ve got a bunch of outsiders coming through telling us how to live. I pay my land taxes,” LaFollette coal trucking company owner Bert Hatmaker complained, referring to the coal opponents as “freeloaders’ in some of most combative comments of the night.

Hatmaker was referring to several college students who spoke in favor of the petition but are from Roanoke College in Virginia, working as volunteers for a semester in the Eagan community.  Campbell County resident Paul Baxter, on the other hand, pointed out “Coal is part of this county’s heritage. I like coal but I’m against strip mining.”

CCHS teacher Tom Chadwell was another local voice that was raised in favor of the petition. “I live in a home that borders the northeast boundary of that petition area, on land that’s been in my family since 1872,” Chadwell pointed out. “At one point they were mining so close to my home that OSM forced the company to install a seismograph on my land to monitor the blasting.”

Absent from the hearing were the dozens of coal company employees that used to turn out any time a mining permit was being publicly challenged in the county. Perhaps their absence can be explained by the fact that presently there are no current coal mining operations in the county and have not been for nearly two years.

County Mayor E. L. Morton led off the testimony by thanking everyone, on both sides, for their input and pointing out that tourism, as well as coal, are both important to the county’s economic well-being. Former State Representative Gloria Johnson, however, may have summarized the future when she reminded the audience and OSM officials, “There are 145 jobs involved in some way in surface mining in Tennessee. There are 300,000 jobs involved in tourism.”

Bundy told the audience that OSM will accept written comments until January 25 and that OSM will make a final determination on the lands unsuitable petition “sometime this summer.”  (01/15/2016-6AM)

Special request at CCHS.  (CHARLIE HUTSON PIX)

 

West End Marathon is robbed at knife point

Second armed gas station robbery in a week

     On Sunday evening at approximately 7:20pm an unknown subject believed to be a male walked into the West End Marathon Gas Station located at 706 West Central Avenue in La Follette. The subject was described as wearing a blue and light colored hoody, blue jeans and tennis shoes. The person showed a knife to the cashier and demanded that the cashier give him all the money out of the register. After receiving the money from the register he exited the store and got into what witnesses described as a brown or gold color sedan. Investigators from the La Follette Police Department are following leads at this time and will be providing updates as information becomes available.  La Follette Police are also investigating a similar robbery that took place at the Murphy Gas Station near Woodson Mall last Wednesday morning.(01/18/2016-7AM)

Free food give-a-way Saturday

Compassion Ministries will bring its mobile food pantry to Campbell County this week.

On Saturday, the organization will be at Caryville Elementary School to distribute food with no questions asked, according to CES Principal Lori Adkins. They will not be asking for identification or proof of income, she said.

The food will be given out beginning at 10 am, but those interested need to arrive a little earlier in order to receive a ticket.

Compassion Ministries is a multiple outreach initiative of Cornerstone Church, according to its website.

The Knoxville based ministry is supported by companies such Second Harvest Food Bank, United Healthcare and Campbell’s Soups.

For more information about Saturday’s event call (865) 755-9512. (01/18/2016-6AM)

CHET hosting smoking cessation classes

Free classes begin February 23

By now everyone knows smoking is a bad habit to have.

This list of negative effects it has on the body is extensive such as developing an increased risk for diabetes, brittle bones and premature aging.

Another fact about smoking is that it is hard to stop, and a support system has been proven to be an important aspect in stopping the practice.

For those who want to quit but need extra assistance, Community Health of East Tennessee (CHET) is holding a series of workshops designed to help people stop smoking.

The classes begin Feb. 23 and will be held on Tuesdays until April 5. There are two options for attendance; a morning session will be held from 10 am until 11 am and an evening session from 5 pm until 6 pm.

Studies have shown that nicotine can be as addictive as heroin. When a person smokes, the brain develops additional receptors to accommodate the large doses of nicotine being introduced into the body, according to smokefree.gov. For this reason, those who attempt to stop smoking all at once are largely unsuccessful.

However, the CHET classes will take a more measured approach with the first class being an information session that helps people prepare to stop smoking.

Each week a different topic will be presented that will encourage the participants and inform them.

The last class is scheduled to be a celebration.

For more information on the classes call 423-563-1005 or 563-1054. (01/18/2016-6AM)

Gas prices continue sliding downward

WLAF’s Charlie Hutson snapped a photo of Sunday’s gas price.  We were paying $1.81 a year ago.

Classes for fostering start in two weeks

Additional foster homes needed

Camelot is looking for new foster homes.

Each year across Tennessee, thousands of children are removed from their homes leaving them feeling confused and often frightened. These children need places to feel safe and to heal. That is the role of a Camelot foster parent.

Camelot Foster Parents serve as alternative parents to children who need structure, guidance, reassurance and love.

To help families in becoming Camelot Foster Homes, the agency offers 23 hours of therapeutic based training that promotes an understanding of where the child came from and assists families in knowing how to meet their needs.

Camelot strives to make matches ensuring that children are placed with families who can appreciate their circumstances. By looking at the needs of each particular child referred by the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) and comparing those needs with the strengths, experiences, and preferences of the foster families, a home can be located.  Information is then shared with the foster parent(s) about the prospective foster child. The final decision about placement rests with the foster parents.

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.

There is also daily reimbursement in order to help care for the child.

Classes to become a licensed Camelot foster home begin Feb. 1 at the LaFollette office. For more information about fostering with Camelot call 566-2415.(01/18/2016-6AM)

 It’s sports time from WLAF's David Graham

     WLAF’s David Graham Sports Report is just a click away right here.(01/18/2016–6AM) 

Homecoming 2016

CCHS splits with Karns

Jessica Stanley and her Lady Cougars won on the court Friday night over Karns as she later led the Homecoming Court.  CLICK HERE to see the Homecoming Festivities.  CCHS improved to 17 & 3 with a 48-36 win over Karns.  Campbell is 8 & 1 in the district. 

Jessica Stanley (4) defends as Carla Beams (43) and Julia Powell (24) ready for a rebound.

Karns fought back from a halftime deficit to take its game with the Cougars 81 to 67.  CCHS is 11 & 9 and 3 & 6 in the league.  CCHS plays at Oneida tonight.  WLAF has the coverage beginning at 6:30 PM over the WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network. (01/18/2016-6AM)

Cougar Nick Lees escorts 2016 Homecoming Queen Jessica Stanley 

Yager co-sponsors bill calling for online voter registration

Says it’s an electronic age

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.), January 15, 2016  – Senate State and Local Government Committee Chairman Ken Yager (R-Kingston) and House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) have filed legislation providing for the establishment of an online voter registration system for Tennesseans.  Voters with an unexpired driver's license or personal identification card issued by the Department of Safety will be able to go to an official state website where they will be able to register to vote online.

"In an electronic age, it makes sense to provide electronic registration if we have proper safeguards and validation steps," said Senator Yager.  “This legislation provides those assurances to make voter registration more convenient for Tennesseans and hopefully encourages more citizens to participate in the election process.”

“Online voter registration supplements the traditional paper-based registration process and will help encourage more Tennesseans to become involved in the political process,” said Representative McCormick. “We serve at the will of the people and I look forward to having even more constituents provide their input on important legislative decisions made within the General Assembly.”

Under Senate Bill 1626 / House Bill 1742, the voter registration application would be reviewed electronically.  If the request is confirmed to be valid, the new registration would be added to the state’s voter registration list after being reviewed by the respective county election commission office.  The validation step is done by comparing the information on the online registration form against the information provided by the same individual when he or she received a driver’s license or their state-issued identification card.

“This is an opportunity for us to meet customers, the taxpayers, where they are and provide them yet another way they can register to vote. Tennesseans will have the ability to register from the comfort of their homes and even in the palm of their hands on mobile devices,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett who is advocating for the bill. “This proposal is about making government work better for its constituents.”

The signature already on record with the state would become the signature on record for voting. If the information does not match, the applicant would be directed to print and complete the application and mail it to the county election commission office in their county of residence to be processed.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a total of 29 states plus the District of Columbia offer online registration, and another two states have passed legislation to create online voter registration systems, but have not yet implemented them. (01/15/2016-6AM)

           Senator Yager asks for constituent input in upcoming legislative session
                         Email the senator at sen.ken.yager@capitol.tn.gov

(NASHVILLE) -- The 2016 session of the 109th General Assembly opened on Tuesday, January 12 with a host of issue on tap for legislators.  Among the top priorities for legislators this year is continuing the state's forward momentum on job development and education attainment to further improve the state's economy, while managing state government as efficiently and effectively as possible.  Some of the other key issues expected to be on the 2016 legislative agenda are criminal justice reform, truth in sentencing, healthcare, transportation, prescription drug abuse and taxes.
State spending will be the predominant driver for legislative action in 2016.   Revenues in
Tennessee have shown a healthy trend over the last several months.  The State Funding Board met in November and projected next year's growth will range from $376 to $525 million.  Although the legislature will continue a conservative fiscal approach to spending taxpayer dollars, the healthy revenue growth is very good news as the General Assembly looks ahead at the 2016-17 budget year.  Governor Bill Haslam will deliver his recommendations for Tennessee's budget on February 1.
I will continue the practice of sending out Senate reports during the 2016 legislative year and appreciate the local papers who publish them.  We now send video updates to our papers and audio statements to radio stations during the legislative session which I hope you will access.
You can also keep up with what's going on in
Nashville by going to the General Assembly's award winning website at www.capitol.tn.gov<http://www.capitol.tn.gov>.  I urge you to take a look at the redesigned website which offers Tennesseans with live video streaming of our meetings and a tremendous amount of information regarding our legislature and the issues before us.  For example, you can easily track every bill I file through this website.  In addition, many of your local access and PBS stations re-broadcast the meetings.  These technological advancements make this General Assembly the most transparent in our state's history.
Please write, tweet, email or call me with your comments or questions.  My address is G-19 War Memorial Building,
Nashville, TN 37243, my phone number is (615) 741-1449 (toll free 1-800 449-TENN ext. 11449), my email address is sen.ken.yager@capitol.tn.gov<mailto:sen.ken.yager@capitol.tn.gov>, and my Twitter account is at @Yagertweet.  We try to answer every call and I can assure you if you send me a letter or email, I will read it myself.  And don't forget you can contact me, too, at my personal website, kenyager.com
Finally, sometime after the legislative session begins I will distribute my constituent questionnaire which will ask your opinions of issues we may face in the legislature.  Please invest some time to complete the questionnaire and return it.  Volunteers will compile the statistics and I personally read every written comment.  Go to my website at
www.kenyager.com<http://www.kenyager.com> to look at the results from the 2013 survey
I am privileged to represent the best district in the state (no bias at all)!  The twelfth district is composed of seven of the finest counties in East Tennessee and the
Upper Cumberland.   It's important that I hear from you.  Thank you for letting me serve.(01/15/2016-6AM)

Citizens express views on petition to ban mining on 67,000 acres

Public hearing last night at CCHS

Nearly a hundred people attended the fourth in a series of public hearings held by the federal Office of Surface Mining on Thursday night at Campbell County High School. The hearings were scheduled to receive public comments on an OSM proposal to designate 67,000 acres of ridge tops in four Tennessee counties as “unsuitable for surface mining” in response to a petition filed by the State several years ago under the administration of Governor Phil Bredesen.

As with the hearings held in three other affected counties, the majority of comments from speakers strongly supported the petition, which would make mining off limits in a zone 600 feet on either side of ridge tops within the Don Sundquist Wildlife Management Area (click here to see map). While the State owns the surface land within the boundaries of the management area, most of the mineral rights are still under private ownership and could be mined under provisions in the deed and current regulatory law.

While the area under review also covers land in Anderson, Scott, and Morgan counties, over half of the affected land lies in Campbell County, stretching from the mountains above Stony Fork northeast to the Hatfield Knob area popular for it’s elk herds.

OSM offered five “alternatives” for public review, ranging from denying the petition, which would leave the area open to all mining activities, to the State’s original request, which would forbid any and all mining along ridge tops in the petition area. OSM’s “preferred” alternative would offer a compromise in which the 67,000 acres would be off limits with the exception of “re-mining” previously mined lands.

“At the first three hearings, speakers in favor of mining have predictably supported the first alternative, to deny the petition, while those against mining support designating even more land off limits to mining,” Earl Bundy, director of OSM’s Knoxville field office said. “Most speakers have supported the petition so far.”

Most of the thirty speakers at the hearing in Campbell County spoke in favor of a fourth alternative, in which re-mining would be allowed but the area to be designated off limits would be increased to 76,000 acres, reflecting additional ridge top areas that OSM has identified within the management area that were not included in the original petition.

Not everyone was in agreement with the proposal, however. “You’ve got a bunch of outsiders coming through telling us how to live. I pay my land taxes,” LaFollette coal trucking company owner Bert Hatmaker complained, referring to the coal opponents as “freeloaders’ in some of most combative comments of the night.

Hatmaker was referring to several college students who spoke in favor of the petition but are from Roanoke College in Virginia, working as volunteers for a semester in the Eagan community.  Campbell County resident Paul Baxter, on the other hand, pointed out “Coal is part of this county’s heritage. I like coal but I’m against strip mining.”

CCHS teacher Tom Chadwell was another local voice that was raised in favor of the petition. “I live in a home that borders the northeast boundary of that petition area, on land that’s been in my family since 1872,” Chadwell pointed out. “At one point they were mining so close to my home that OSM forced the company to install a seismograph on my land to monitor the blasting.”

Absent from the hearing were the dozens of coal company employees that used to turn out any time a mining permit was being publicly challenged in the county. Perhaps their absence can be explained by the fact that presently there are no current coal mining operations in the county and have not been for nearly two years.

County Mayor E. L. Morton led off the testimony by thanking everyone, on both sides, for their input and pointing out that tourism, as well as coal, are both important to the county’s economic well-being. Former State Representative Gloria Johnson, however, may have summarized the future when she reminded the audience and OSM officials, “There are 145 jobs involved in some way in surface mining in Tennessee. There are 300,000 jobs involved in tourism.”

Bundy told the audience that OSM will accept written comments until January 25 and that OSM will make a final determination on the lands unsuitable petition “sometime this summer.”  (01/15/2016-6AM)

Marlow jailed after wreck, alleged drug use

A Jacksboro woman found herself under arrest last week after she wrecked a car and was then caught with a needle in her arm.

Samantha Brooke Marlow, 24, allegedly ran her boyfriend’s car into a ditch in the Pleasant Ridge area prompting police to investigate the crash. When Campbell County Deputy David Wormsley arrived, he found Marlow’s boyfriend waiting for her return. She had told him she was going for assistance, the report said.

Wormsley waited 30 minutes for Marlow to return then began a search for her. Going to a home on Quail Lane, the officer spoke with a homeowner, who acknowledged Marlow was in the home. Wormsley allegedly found her in a bathroom “with a hypodermic needle in her right arm,” the report said. Even though the officer repeatedly asked Marlow to remove the needle, he wound up having to complete this task. Aside from the needle, Wormsley found a suboxone strip, along with spoon containing a dark liquid, in the bathroom with Marlow.

She was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. (01/15/2016-6AM)

Payment of drug debt gets Nabors nabbed

Being in possession of a stolen vehicle recently got a Knoxville man arrested in Campbell County.

Campbell County Deputy Ryan Fletcher was searching for a white Toyota Forerunner that had been stolen in Knoxville last week when he found one on West Street in LaFollette.

After asking the dispatch center to investigate the license plate number, it came back as the stolen SUV, the report said.

That is when Fletcher began to question 45-year-old William Wayne Nabors.

Nabors quickly admitted he had no idea who the owner of the vehicle was. He allegedly told police “it had been given to him by a drug dealer in Knoxville who owed him $60,” the report said.

Nabors was arrested at this point.

Fletcher then searched the vehicle allegedly finding several needles and a bag of Nabors’s belongings.

Nabors was charged with theft of property over $1,000 and possession of drug paraphernalia. (01/15/2016-6AM)

 

Nelson nabbed in ‘Fury’

Former CCSD employee

A former employee of the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department was arrested yesterday as part of Operation Winter Fury.

Glen Nelson, a one-time litter control officer for the CCSD, was nabbed in the early morning round up.

Glen Nelson, a one-time litter control officer for the CCSD

An investigation into Nelson’s on the clock behavior was launched in June 2015 after the department received reports of “inappropriate conduct,” according to Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins.

At that point Goins requested the Eighth Judicial District Attorney’s Office and Drug Task Force start an independent investigation. In less than seven days, the investigation was completed.

Nelson was immediately fired from his job as a litter control officer. He had worked sporadically for the CCSD since 1997. At that the time of his dismissal, Nelson’s only duty was to take inmates on litter patrol. That is where he allegedly ran afoul of the law.

While on duty, Nelson allegedly met up with females and would trade them narcotics if they exposed themselves.

Nelson was booked in on simple possession, official misconduct and delivery/ sell of a controlled substance.

He bonded out on a $200 bond shortly after his arrest. (01/14/2015-6AM)

Criminal case settled on Monday 

The following cases were resolved in criminal court on Monday through the use of plea agreements:

Jonathan R. Tackett- violation of sexual offender registry; placed in Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) custody

Dena Brooke Baird- introduction of contraband into a penal facility, criminal impersonation, driving on a revoked license; credit for time served

Martin Christopher Davis- third offense DUI, driving on a revoked license; 120 days to serve with credit for time served, 18 months probation, court costs, $1,100 fine, attend a MADD Expert Panel and loss of driver’s license for six years

Billy Jay Randolph- aggravated burglary; six months to serve with credit for time served, four years supervise probation, court costs, $400 restitution

Terry Wayne Munsey- promotion of methamphetamine- 49 days to serve with credit for time served, two years’ probation, court costs, $2,000 fine

Anthony Lee Goins- promotion of methamphetamine manufacture; 176 days to serve with credit for time served, four years supervised probation, court costs, $2,000 fine

Anthony Hope Goins- promotion of methamphetamine manufacture, driving on a revoked license second offense; 176 days to serve with credit for time served, four years supervised probation, court costs, $2,000 fine

Wendy Deshae Goins- promotion of methamphetamine manufacture; 30 days to serve with credit for time served, two years supervised probation, court costs

Albert Lee Cupp – aggravated domestic violence; 90 days to serve with for time served, six years supervised probation, court costs, $200 restitution

Clayton Campbell- second offense driving on a revoked license; fourth offense DUI greater than .20; two days to serve, 11 months, 29 days probation, court costs, 150 days to serve, two years probation, $3,000 fine, loss of license for eight years, the cases will run concurrent

Adam S. Berry- violation of the HMVO; 30 days to serve (over 15 weekends), three years probation, court costs, $350 fine

Nicole Kathleen McKnight- theft over $500; two years supervised probation, court costs, $75 fine, $5,357.85 restitution

Joanie Amanda King- theft  over $500; three years supervised probation, court costs, $75 fine, $1,000 restitution

Freddy W. Lay- DUI; two days to serve with credit for time served, 11 months, 29 days probation, court costs, $350 fine, attend one MADD Impact Panel, loss of license for one year

John Wesley Cox, Jr.,- theft under $500, possession of a schedule IV controlled substance; 20 days to serve with credit for time serves, 11 months, 29 days supervised probation, court costs, $825 in fines

Michael Richard Sloman- two counts of aggravated assault; six years supervised probation, court costs

David Wayne Wilson, Jr., -three counts of burglary; 186 days to serve with credit for time served, eight years probation, court costs, $450 fine, $2,000 restitution

Joseph M. Isbell- two counts of possession of schedule VI controlled substance with intent to sell; three days to serve with credit for time served, five years probation, court costs, $5,000 fine

Sara Franklin- resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, possession of drug paraphernalia; 11 months, 29 days probation, court costs, $150 fine, $50 to CCSO Drug Fund

Dimitrius Marco Lamas- DUI, possession of a schedule II controlled substance, simple possession of schedule II controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia; 180 days to serve with credit for time served, nine years probation, court costs, $3,350 fine, , attend one MADD Impact Panel, loss of license for one year

Erik Scott Smith- felony evading arrest, felony reckless endangerment, second offense driving on a revoked license, possession of a prohibited weapon, speeding; three years unsupervised probation, court costs (01/14/2015-6AM)

Criminal court violators turned over to TDOC

On Jan. 11, Eighth Judicial Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton found the following individuals in violation of their supervised release and remanded them to Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) custody:

Adam Hurst, Caryville, had previously pled guilty to vandalism over $500, and received a suspended sentence of two years supervised by TDOC. He was found guilty of violating the terms of his release and was sentenced to serve his two year sentence in TDOC custody.

Ronnie Hutchinson, Jacksboro, had previously pled guilty to promotion of methamphetamine manufacture, and received a suspended sentence of four years supervised by TDOC. He was found guilty of violating the terms of his release and was sentenced to serve his four year sentence in TDOC custody.

Sarai M. Keelean, La Follette, had previously pled guilty to promotion of methamphetamine manufacture, and received a suspended sentence of two years supervised by TDOC. She was found guilty of violating the terms of her release and was sentenced to serve her two year sentence in TDOC custody.

James McCulley, La Follette, had previously pled guilty to fourth offense DUI and violation of HMVO bar, and received a suspended sentence of one year supervised by TDOC. He was found guilty of violating the terms of his release and was sentenced to serve his one year sentence in TDOC custody.

Joshua Ridenour, La Follette, had previously pled guilty to felony evading arrest, and received a suspended sentence of one year supervised by TDOC. He was found guilty of violating the terms of his release and was sentenced to serve his one year sentence in TDOC custody.

Shane Trombly, Knoxville, had previously pled guilty to three counts of theft of property over $1,000 and two counts of desecration of venerated objects, and received a suspended sentence of seven years supervised by TDOC. He was found guilty of violating the terms of his release and was sentenced to serve his seven year sentence in TDOC custody.  (01/14/2016-6AM) 

Caryville First grader wins $1,000 TNStars Scholarship


Nashville, TN - Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr. started 2016 by awarding $1,000 scholarships to the ten winners of the TNStars, 10 Kids: $10,000 Holiday Scholarship Giveaway. The winners and their families gathered at the Tennessee State Capitol this week for a special celebration with the Treasurer, joined by Speaker Beth Harwell and Representatives Susan Lynn and Mike Carter.
One of those ten winners is Emma Lawson, a first-grader at
Caryville Elementary School. TNStars College Savings 529 Program, a program of the Tennessee Treasury Department, hosted the holiday scholarship giveaway last month.  Emma's father, Adam Lawson, was one of the 2,300 who entered the contest.
“You entered the contest because you care about your child's future," Treasurer Lillard said in an address to the families of the scholarship recipients. "I hope you will continue to save for each of their futures. The money contributed into a TNStars account will grow as your child grows."
Six year old Emma already has big plans for her future. She told TNStars representatives that she plans to be a veterinarian, or "pet doctor". She has a bright smile and even brighter future.
Research shows that children with college savings accounts are six to seven times more likely to attend a four-year college, compared to children with no dedicated account.
Treasurer Lillard told each winner, "The scholarships awarded to you today will get you started-and I can't wait to see where you go next."
Winners of the TNStars, 10 Kids: $10,000 Holiday Scholarship Giveaway were selected at random and include families from every region of the state. The beneficiaries range in age from 5-20.

TNStars $1,000 Scholarship Winners: (from left to right) Jack and Ella White, Alexander Martin, Nolan Bertram, Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr., Emma Lawson, Grace Apilado, Lexi Blankinship, and Christian Patterson (Photo Credit: Dawn Majors, Tennessee State Photographer)

The full list and photos of all winners can be found here: http://treasury.tn.gov/holidayscholarshiptnstars/winnerphotos.html>.
About TNStars:
Nationally ranked for investment performance, TNStars is designed to give
Tennessee families high quality investment options at a low cost to help them put aside money for higher education expenses. Tennesseans can invest directly with the program and money can be withdrawn tax-free from a TNStars account as long as it is used for qualified post-secondary education expenses. Funds invested in TNStars 529 accounts can be used at any post-secondary institution that accepts Federal Financial Aid, including four-year public or private universities, and college of applied technologies in or outside the state of Tennessee.
Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and family friends are invited to open and give to TNStars accounts.
For more information about the TNStars College Savings 529 program, visit TNStars.com. 
  (01/14/2016-6AM) 

Operation Winter Fury

                       Year long undercover narcotics investigation yields indictments

Campbell County Sheriff Robbie K. Goins announced this morning that law enforcement is on the ground arresting and actively seeking nearly 50 of the county's alleged drug offenders and probation violators. Evidence has been gathered for nearly a year in this investigation. Drugs, money, vehicles and property has been collected in several search warrants and presented as evidence to a Campbell County Grand Jury. Dubbed "Operation Winter Fury" is a nearly year-long undercover drug investigation by Sheriff's drug investigators and the District Attorney's 8th Judicial Drug and Violent Crime Task Force. A Campbell County Grand Jury met last week hearing criminal evidence against these individuals who have made decisions to pollute our community with drugs, and returned true bill indictments.

"These investigations, indictments and arrests are products of citizen concerns, undercover investigations and a committed decision by law enforcement to hold these people accountable as many times as it takes, for as long as it takes. “I have made it clear from day one that we will fight the illegal drug system, the pill mills and careless and reckless prescription dispensing where ever it takes us and to whom ever we need to investigate, arrest and prosecute. After receiving concerned citizen reports, along with our own intelligence we, along with the District Attorney’s 8th Judicial Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, started the nearly year-long tedious undercover operations that have yielded these indictments and arrests on specific individual’s today." said Campbell County Sheriff Robbie K. Goins. "The Campbell County citizens and I have more resolve and patience than these alleged drug dealers that make the choice to help ruin the very fibers that our county and communities are built strong on. By listening to one another and working together, today is the greatest of the end result and proof that the product of our working relationships are our best decision for all of our Campbell County families and it's children. We will continue to do this together and listen when our citizens speak. We have to extend our special appreciation and thanks to our partners in law enforcement: District Attorney's 8th Judicial Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, Tennessee Highway Patrol, LaFollette Police Department, Caryville Police Department, Jacksboro Police Department and the Jellico Police Department for their assistance, resources, manpower and continual concern." concluded Sheriff Goins.(01/13/2016-10AM)

Hatmaker arrested on drug charges

Council member picked up at his home

     La Follette City Councilman Hansford Hatmaker was arrested at his home this morning.  Reports are that officers with the 8th Judicial Distict Drug Task Force and the Tennessee Highway Patrol woke Hatmaker from a dead sleep around 7:30-AM at his La Follette home.  Officials tell WLAF News that he is indicted with two counts of the manufacture/delivery/sale of schedule IV narcotics.  Hatmaker’s case was one of this week’s sealed indictments handed down by the Campbell County Grand Jury.  His bond is set at $10,000.  (01/13/2016-8AM)

74-year old La Follette City Councilman Hansford Hatmaker

Response from the City of La Follette on Hatmaker arrest

     We at the City of LaFollette have been made aware of this morning’s arrest of a LaFollette City Councilman.  As per the requirements of the City Charter, the City of LaFollette will reserve any action until the conclusion of the criminal prosecution proceedings.  Following the judgment in this matter, the City of LaFollette will follow all provisions of the City Charter including Article 4, Section 8.  No further comment at this time. (01/13/2016-9AM)

Article 4, Section 8 of the City of La Follette Charter reads:  Vacancy in the Office of Mayor or Councilman.  The City Council may, by resolution, declare a vacancy in the Office of Mayor or on the City Council if either the Mayor or Councilman resigns, dies, moves his residence from the city, is convicted of malfeasance (wrongdoing) or misfeasance (transgression) in office, a felony, a violation of this charter or election laws of the state, or a crime involving moral turpitude (corruption).  However, no member of the City Council can resign his position for the purpose of being appointed to a longer term on the same body.

Any person convicted of malfeasance or misfeasance in office, a felony, or a crime involving moral turpitude shall be prohibited from holding office with the city for a period of ten (10) years thereafter.

The remaining Councilmen may appoint a qualified person to fill a vacancy in the Office of Councilman until the next regular city election.  If the vacancy is not so filled within forty-five (45) days, the Mayor shall appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy within fifteen (15) days.  At the next regular city election, vacancies shall be filled in the following manner:  four-year terms shall accrue to the person or persons receiving the highest number of votes and two-year terms shall accrue to the person or persons receiving a lesser number of votes in order to continue the pattern of staggered terms. (01/13/2016-1PM)

Armed robbery this morning

Man heads out on foot

     This morning, La Follette Police are looking for the person who robbed the Murphy’s gas station.  Detective Josh Hill tells WLAF that Murphy’s was robbed at knife point around 3-AM today.  Hill says an unknown person wearing all black walked into the store, held up a knife, and demanded all the money from the register.  The robber told the clerk to put all the money in a bag he’d brought with him.  The clerk told Hill that the robber walked out of the store heading toward Jacksboro.  The investigation continues.(01/13/2016-7AM)

Criminal court convenes for first session in 2016

Correction in this story

Monday marked the first session of the year for Campbell County Criminal Court.

Last week, the grand jury, for the six month term, was seated and went right to work issuing 34 sealed indictments, most related to narcotics charges.

Other indictments, that were not sealed include:

April Griffe, the band booster (Correction:  funds were taken from the Campbell County High School Chorus; not the band) accused of siphoning school funds for her personal use is also slated to appear.  Today, her attorney former assistant district attorney Scarlett Ellis, could announce that Griffe is ready to plead in the case or she could ask for a delay in the matter.

Other indictments, that were not sealed include:

Colin Joe Monday- two counts of felony evading arrest, reckless endangerment

Andrew Terris Odell- two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of assault, especially aggravated kidnapping, theft under $500

Dustin Dewayne Metzler- - two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of assault, especially aggravated kidnapping

Rhonda Kaye Jenkins- DUI, DUI with minor

Donny Ray Marlow- DUI over.08, DUI

Darrell Glen Griffin- two counts of sexual battery, indecent exposure

Roy Linton Seiber- DUI with a minor

John Wesley Cox- aggravated criminal trespass, three counts of theft under $500, resisting arrest, two counts of possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, possession of a schedule II controlled substance

On today’s docket, is Lowell Murray, a habitual offender who usually racks up misdemeanor charges.  However, it appears the district attorney’s office will be pushing for a trial for Murray, who has incurred more than 70 arrests since 2000.

And Virginia Seals, the woman charged with leaving her toddler at a local dog kennel while she was in an alleged drug induced fugue, is also on the docket.  As with Griffe, there could be a plea or the case could be reset. (01/13/2016-8AM)

State scores win in Comer/Orton case

Photos of Gabby’s injuries to be viewed by jury

By Susan Sharp

Sitting in the courtroom on Tuesday morning as 40 enlarged photographs of Gabby Orton’s bruised and beaten body were displayed was disconcerting, but, it was nowhere near as painful as the deceased toddler’s final week.

During the hearing on multiple motions in the death penalty case, prosecutors spent a large part of the morning working to have the color photographs made something the jury would see. Naturally, the defense attorneys were opposed to this idea, but Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton agreed that the images were important enough that a jury should see them.

“Their probative value outweighs any prejudicial affect they might have,” the judge said.

However, before Sexton made the ruling, Dr. Christopher Lochmuller of the Knox County Regional Forensic Center spent over an hour in the witness chair outlining the images that painted a picture of a child whose tiny body was subjected to repeated blows.

Lochmuller told District Attorney General Jared Effler he had taken over 200 photographs during the toddler’s autopsy but following the state’s request had narrowed his submission to 40 that would show the “totality of the injuries.”

Less than four pictures into the presentation, observers, including a number of veteran law enforcement officers, were visually saddened by the number of bruises the child had. The pictures at this point had shown her small feet and legs riddled with bruises that ranged from the size of a grape to the size of an apple.

When Lochmuller said Gabby’s injuries were consistent with someone who had suffered a crash or fall from a high structure, Jim Orton, Gabby’s father had had enough.

Sobbing as he left the courtroom, Jim Orton said, “I can’t watch this.”

In a photo showing the right side of Gabby’s face, a large circular bruise, which covered the majority of her cheek could be seen.  The mark rested just below her eye.

As Effler and Lochmuller went through each of the 40 photographs, a photo of the child’s entire body was shown; her small frame took up only a quarter of the steel table she was placed on.

With each photo Lochmuller pointed out the bruises; there were bruises on her forehead, her legs, torso, arms, back, toes, fingers and neck. Through the doctor’s testimony it became clear that it would have taken less time to pinpoint the places on her body that didn’t have injuries.

Internal autopsy photos were also shown.

They portrayed two separate wounds to the three year old’s diaphragm. In the next picture, Lochmuller communicated these were injuries to her colon.

“These are totally different injuries than the previous two,” Effler asked.

“Yes,” Lochmuller said.

He deemed the wound to the colon area “the most significant injury of her body.”

“The area was basically completely torn,” Lochmuller said.

As others winced showing distress for what the child had suffered, Amber Orton, Gabby’s mother sat in the jury box with her attorney Mike Hatmaker. In her pink jail attire, she attempted to wipe her tears, but, had difficulty since her hands were cuffed and shackled to her waist. Her co-defendant and one time paramour, Josh Comer sat relaxed, leaning to one side of his chair.

When one of Comer’s three attorneys stood, it was public defender Dale Potter who attempted to have a go at Lochmuller.

Taking on the photos, Potter asked Lochmuller if the bruises were the cause of death. This question was met with a no. Potter’s next move was to question the age of the bruises pressing the doctor for an answer telling him “Mr. Comer’s life depends on this.”

“They are minutes to days old,” Lochmuller said of the bruises.

Still attempting to question the need for the photos, Potter pointed out that some of the photos repeated themselves. Which ones do you need, he asked.

Lochmuller said, with his voice which had remained composed until this moment, all of them were essential because they are “showing you this child was beaten before she died. This child was beaten to death.” 

Potter went through the bulk of the 40 photos with the doctor asking why each one was needed. Lochmuller again explained they demonstrated the “totality” of Gabby’s injuries.

Wrapping up his questioning, Potter asked for the toddler’s cause of death.

“Blunt abdominal trauma,” was Lochmuller’s reply.

In his argument to the court, Potter said the photos were “prejudicial.” He also stated the injuries “could have been caused by anyone” and the detailed pictures would only “inflame a jury” and “muddy the waters.” “They imply the defendant did this, whoever the defendant is,” Potter said.

Continuing on this path, Potter told the court there was no way to know if the perpetrator of the bruises was the one who “caused the death blow.”

In the end, Sexton allowed all 40 photos to be included for the trial.

“Out of necessity the state must show a protracted issue of abuse,” the judge said. Noting the photos were “graphic” Sexton said they were relevant due to the charges.

Comer is charged with felony murder by aggravated child abuse and Amber Orton is charged with aggravated child abuse by neglect.(01/13/2016-6AM)

 It’s sports time from WLAF's David Graham

     WLAF’s David Graham Sports Report is just a click away right here.(01/13/2016–6AM) 

Campbell County woman charged in homicide of her grandmother

KNOXVILLEAn investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and detectives with the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department has resulted in the arrest of a La Follette woman who is charged in the death of her grandmother.                                                                

At the request of 8th District Attorney General Jared Effler, TBI Special Agents and Campbell County detectives began investigating the death of 84-year-old Mona Marcum, who was found deceased Tuesday at her home on Cedar Creek Road in La Follette. During the course of the investigation, Special Agents developed information that led them to Jodi Lee Smith, the victim’s granddaughter, as the individual responsible for Mrs. Marcum’s death. 

Tuesday afternoon, Agents arrested Smith, 33, on a charge of Criminal Homicide. She was booked into the Campbell County Jail and will be arraigned Wednesday morning.  

Smith to be arraigned this morning

Jodi Lee Smith, the woman charged with killing her grandmother, will be arraigned this morning.

Jodi Lee Smith

Just before 9 am yesterday morning, a female called 911 claiming she had committed a violent crime against her grandmother.

Campbell County Deputies were dispatched to 2900 Cedar Creek Road, La Follette, arriving in just minutes.

When they arrived they found a deceased white elderly female, 84-year old Mona Marcum.

Smith was arrested and is being held without bond until hearing.

Campbell County Jail records reflect that Smith has four prior bookings for charges ranging from failure to pay child support to resisting arrest.(01/13/2016-6AM)

Group proposes elective Bible study program for CCHS students 

A group of ministers and other supporters addressed the Campbell County Board of Education Tuesday night with a proposal to bring a voluntary Bible study program to Campbell County High School students.

Karen Mills, wife of the pastor at First Baptist Church of La Follette, told the board that the Release Time Program is a non-profit faith based program not funded with public money.

If the board approves the program, students who choose to participate would receive elective credit. They would travel off campus to Hillcrest Baptist Church for the classes and back to the school for the remainder of their school day.

“This program was approved by the U. S. Supreme Court and is already in place in 32 states,” Mills explained, “It is not yet in Tennessee but legislation sponsored by Representative Dennis Powers was signed into law last April allowing Tennessee schools to participate.”

The program is non-denominational but Christian based, she explained.

Board member Danny Wilson asked why the program had to be held off-campus and not in the high school. “We could rent a room at the high school,” Mills replied.

Director Larry Nidiffer told the board that a committee would review the proposal and come back with a recommendation.

The board also heard a request from the football coach at La Follette Middle School for an appropriation to purchase new helmets for 25 players at around $100 apiece. Most of the helmets that are currently in use are approaching eight years old. Safety guidelines recommend that the helmets have an effective life of ten years, after which they no longer provide adequate protection, the coach explained, adding “It’s a safety issue.”

Wilson pointed out that with 40 players, that would still leave around 15 children playing with older helmets, although those 15 were purchased later.

“We should get them all new helmets,” he argued “the longer we wait, the more expensive they will get.”

Board chairman Mike Orick announced that the school department has closed on the purchase of a building adjacent to the central office that will be remodeled and become part of the central office complex.

“We will try to sell those surplus properties in the spring,” Orick said of two pieces of school real estate that the board voted to sell to help pay the cost of buying the new building.

He added that much of the work of remodeling the recently purchased building is being carried out with free labor, while the board is also receiving help from the Highway Department in paving parking lots.

Before adjourning, the board also scheduled a workshop on January 26 to review and begin the evaluation process for the annual evaluation of the Director of Schools. (01/13/2016-6AM)

 

More details coming in morning death

Young woman being questioned

     In a release from Chief Deputy Aaron Evans with the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department - Just before 9 am this morning the Campbell County 911 Center received a call from a female stating she committed a violent crime against her grandmother. Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to 2900 Cedar Creek Road in Lafollette and arrived at 9:06am. Preliminary, officers arrived finding a deceased white elderly female. The crime scene was secured and 1 female has been detained, without incident, for further questioning and investigation. A cause of death will not be officially determined until the completion of an autopsy by the medical examiner. At the request of the 8th Judicial District Attorney's General Office the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will be the primary investigative agency on this case. (01/12/2016-10:30AM)

A Campbell County woman found dead

Apparent homicide

     Investigators with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are on the scene of a possible homicide at this hour.  The Cedar Creek Community, 2900 Cedar Creek Road, is where a call to E-911 came in this morning at 8:50-AM reporting a death.  Officials tell WLAF News that an elderly woman is dead, and that foul play is suspected.  According to E-911 records, there is a history of calls to 911 from this home.(01/12/2016-9:45AM)

Industry: Wallace discussed the possibility of bringing 500 jobs to the County

By PETER SAWYER

CARYVILLE—Campbell County Deputy Mayor Andy Wallace addressed Caryville leaders about 500 manufacturing jobs that may potentially come to Campbell County.

A German company has shown interest in locating a project called “Yosemite” at the industrial park at the 141 Exit.

“It is a very large project,” Wallace said.

While the business has shown interest in Campbell County as a possible location, that is only the “first hurdle,” Wallace said.

“We are in competition with other communities,” he said.

Other possible sites are in an adjacent county and out of state. However, the Tennessee Valley Authority is offering the company incentives to locate the project in Tennessee, and Wallace will help promote property in Campbell County.

“I’m here to promote Campbell County,” he said.

One of the ways Wallace intends to do this is by offering tax abatements through the industrial development board. This would give businesses coming to the county incentives to pay higher wages and add jobs by giving them tax breaks for doing so.

“This is a system that other counties (around us) use,” Wallace said.

The county commission must approve the system before the industrial development board can implement it.

A & S

Wallace also talked about the likelihood of the A & S building getting new ownership soon—which could bring 40 to 100 jobs to the county.

“Things are starting to move in the county,” Wallace said. “Things are looking up.”

Purchasing Policy

The board passed the second reading of an ordinance that will enact changes to its purchasing policy.

The changes will allow department heads—instead of three board members—to sign purchase orders for expenses $100 or less. It will also raise the minimum price for seeking sealed bids from $1,500 to $3,000. Expenses from $500 to $3,000 would require three quotes.

Panic Button

The board approved participation in the Pool’s Property Conservation Matching Grant Program. The mayor and aldermen intend to use this grant to help finance the installation of panic buttons in the municipal building. The grant will reimburse Caryville half the cost of the project. Participation in this year’s grant cycle ends in the middle of February. If the town is not able to receive the grant by then, City Recorder Pat Donahue will seek to obtain next year’s grant.

Tires

The board approved paying Doyle’s Tires $540 for two tires for a backhoe.

Citations

The Police Department issued 25 citations last month— a severe increase over the three that were issued in December of 2014.

Finances

The Town of Caryville only spent $86,000 of its $108,000 December revenue.(01/12/2016-6AM)

 

Centurian, business woman passes over the weekend

Reynolds devoted 74-years to Peoples Bank of the South

     She played on the La Follette High girls basketball team.  Married her sweetheart.  And spent nearly a lifetime in banking.  Mildred Reynolds went to work at Peoples Bank in 1932 and didn’t completely retire until the next century; 2006.  Reynolds was a businesswoman probably before that term was coined.  She rose from an entry level job all the way to executive vice-president and cashier at PNB.  Among her many accolades and honors, she was named “woman of the year” in La Follette.  Reynolds also served as treasurer for the City of La Follette.  Visitation is mid-day Thursday at the First Baptist Church of La Follette.  The complete obituary is posted here.  Mildred Childress Reynolds was 102 years old. (01/12/2016-6AM) 

Murray headed to trial 

By Susan Sharp

Lowell Murray, a man who needs no introduction in law enforcement circles, is about to meet 12 new faces.

In Campbell County Criminal Court on Monday, he was again told that prosecutors intend to take his latest charges to trial.

Assistant District Attorney General Mitchell Watson announced during the morning session that Murray’s charges scheduled for trial March 8 and 9 needed to move. The arresting officer is pregnant and will be on maternity leave that week, Watson said. However, this didn’t get Murray, a man that collects charges, off the legal hook. Watson had another set of charges at the ready to be tried that week.

This brought an immediate protest from Dale Potter, Murray’s court appointed attorney.

Potter said the state had yet to provide him with any information on the charges they now proposed to try.

Watson outlined these charges were essentially the same ones that had just been moved. Potter continued his objection to the change in the lineup.

His second protest was met by Assistant District Attorney General Meredith Slemp who offered to “go to the office and get it (the information.)”

The information in question related to Murray’s charges of two third offense DUIs, theft over $1,000, simple possession, driving on revoked license and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton asked Potter if he was given the discovery could he try the case.

“If they insist on trying it,” Potter said.

“I think they are,” Sexton said.

As the legal wrangling ended, Murray attempted to ask a question, only to be silenced by Potter. (01/12/2016-6AM) 

VA Office reopens Thursday

Burial for Walden this morning

     The father of Campbell County Veterans Affairs Director Kevin Walden will be laid to rest this morning.  Reverend Ancil “Jerome” Walden passed away Saturday at a Jellico Nursing Home.  The elder Walden will be buried today at 1-PM at the Douglas Cemetery at Oswego.  As a result the Campbell County Veterans Affairs Office is closed until Thursday morning.  Reverend Walden was 82-years old.(01/12/2016-6AM) 

Commission workshop features headaches from sewage to rundown buildings

Campbell County commissioners could hardly be blamed if they felt like Monday night’s workshop was a delayed New Year’s hangover, considering the number of headaches and problems that confronted their first meeting of the year.

The bad news began with a report from the county maintenance supervisor, who listed a variety of problems with county buildings ranging from roofs to HVAC systems in need of repair. Potential legal problems over the final payment on the new justice center, a “stinky” problem with the animal shelter and a dangerous road are other problems that the commission will have to deal with at next Tuesday’s regular meeting.

The justice center complication revolves around a $3,251 payment that the commission voted to make to Nancy Leach to cover damages she claimed were caused by the construction project to her family home, located directly across the street.

However, Merit Construction’s insurance carrier denied the claim, ruling that none of the damage was due to the construction work. The company wrote to Mayor E. L. Morton that “Merit was never asked to participate in this cost and never agreed to pay for this work.”

Still owed a final payment of $60,000, Merit has agreed to deduct $8,098 for other work that was not fully completed, but Finance Director Jeff Marlow told commissioners that if the county withholds the additional money that the county has spent on the Leach house, Merit will likely go to court.

“We’ll need to make a decision next Tuesday night,” Morton told the commission, adding that if the county loses in court, they will also be liable for Merit’s legal fees and court costs.

The county’s animal shelter, which survived a year of problems ranging from repeated parvovirus epidemics to the Humane Society’s efforts to reclaim most of the shelter’s office furniture, now has suffered problems with the sewer system that serves both the shelter’s animals and restrooms and kitchen.

Septic tank overflows have caused major disruptions and a smelly mess in the office area, but only one of the shelter’s two septic tanks has even been located so far. Efforts to clean out the line and locate the septic tank that serves the restroom and kitchen have so far proved unsuccessful, even with use of a 300-foot plumber’s snake.

Ambulance Director Bruce Perkins also gave commissioners something else to worry about, explaining that the county service is missing out on potential revenue from non-emergency ambulance runs because of a shortage of vehicles.

“We need one more vehicle so that we don’t have to turn down requests for routine transport due to the need to keep adequate vehicles available for emergencies,” Perkins explained. However, the ambulance service fund balance does not have enough to cover another ambulance purchase.

Finally, the commission was greeted with another road headache from the Fifth District, but one over which the county has little control. Ralph Davis reported that a Kentucky logging company ‘got greedy” and clear cut timber right up to the highway right-of-way of State Highway 90 on Morley Mountain.

The problem. Davis explained, is that stretch of highway is extremely narrow and steep and the trees had afforded some protection if a vehicle goes off the road.

“Now if someone leaves the road, there’s nothing to break their fall. I talked to TDOT officials and the slope is too steep to install standard guardrails,” Davis said. He asked the Mayor to discuss the matter with TDOT and see if another solution can be found. (01/12/2016-6AM)    

Spelling is the “buzz” at La Follette Elementary School

Friday was Spelling Bee Day at LES

Friday, January 8, was Spelling Bee Day for students at the La Follette Elementary School.  The 2016 LES Script Spelling Bee winner is 3rd Grader, Christina Treadway.  Peyton Brandenburg is the runner-up.

Congratulations to go out this morning to those who took part in Friday’s Spelling Bee at La Follette Elementary School.  Pictured left to right seated: Andrea Wilson, Johnny Byrge, Lena Nelson.  Standing left to right: Runner-Up Peyton Brandenburg, Sharon Johnson, Judy Pressley, Stephanie White, Christina Treadway-Spelling Bee Champion.

Both Christina and Peyton receive the Britannica Encyclopedia on-line version, a certificate, and a trophy. Christina advances to the Regional Bee set for March at Knoxville. The winner at Knoxville then advances to National Bee at Washington D.C.
Congratulations also go out to Meredith Bell, Autumn Chapman, Jaden Drummonds, Adam Gunter, Ava Henegar, Shelby Lowe, Ethan Mizzell, Trinity Monday, Joshalyn Tipton, and Cory Trent who all qualified for the finals last Friday at LES.
(01/11/2016-6AM)

Criminal court convenes for first session in 2016

Today marks the first session of the year for Campbell County Criminal Court.

Last week, the grand jury, for the six month term, was seated and went right to work issuing 34 sealed indictments, most related to narcotics charges.

Other indictments, that were not sealed include:

Colin Joe Monday- two counts of felony evading arrest, reckless endangerment

Andrew Terris Odell- two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of assault, especially aggravated kidnapping, theft under $500

Dustin Dewayne Metzler- - two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of assault, especially aggravated kidnapping

Rhonda Kaye Jenkins- DUI, DUI with minor

Donny Ray Marlow- DUI over.08, DUI

Darrell Glen Griffin- two counts of sexual battery, indecent exposure

Roy Linton Seiber- DUI with a minor

John Wesley Cox- aggravated criminal trespass, three counts of theft under $500, resisting arrest, two counts of possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, possession of a schedule II controlled substance

On today’s docket, is Lowell Murray, a habitual offender who usually racks up misdemeanor charges.  However, it appears the district attorney’s office will be pushing for a trial for Murray, who has incurred more than 70 arrests since 2000.

April Griffe, the band booster accused of siphoning school funds for her personal use is also slated to appear.  Today, her attorney former assistant district attorney Scarlett Ellis, could announce that Griffe is ready to plead in the case or she could ask for a delay in the matter.

And Virginia Seals, the woman charged with leaving her toddler at a local dog kennel while she was in an alleged drug induced fugue, is also on the docket.  As with Griffe, there could be a plea or the case could be reset.(01/11/2016-6AM)

Legislative session opens tomorrow at Nashville

State Representative Dennis Powers shares a preview

The 109th Tennessee General Assembly will once again be gaveled into Session on January 12, 2016.  A few of the issues that my fellow legislators and I will encounter are:

  • The Budget - This is always our number one priority because its one of our main duties as stated in the Constitution:  "The General Assembly reviews and revises the governor’s proposed budget and passes tax laws to provide needed revenue.”  With an approximately $33 billion budget, there is a lot of work to be done between the legislative and executive branch to make sure we, unlike Washington, provide a balanced budget as required by our Constitution.  Due to our recent years of fiscal restraint, we are projecting a budget surplus this year.

  • Transportation - This will be a big issue as we try to determine how to keep our 95,000 miles of roads, 1,100 miles of interstates and 19,000 bridges safe and maintained.  We have approximately $5.5 billion in immediate road project needs and $5.7 billion in project needs in the near future.  The gasoline tax has not been raised in 27 years (1989) and each dollar in tax revenue in 1989 is now worth .48 cents, with all other things being equal, we only have the ability to do about 1/2 of the maintenance and new construction that we were in 1989 when the population was 4.8 million and it is currently 6.7 million.  That is our dilemma.

  • Education - We have worked on improving education in Tennessee for the last five years and have made great strides.  For two years in a row, Tennessee has been the fastest improving state in the nation by showing the largest academic growth on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).   We have made education a top priority and thanks to the hard work of teachers, principals, superintendents, parents, school board members and many others, we are showing great gains and now other states are looking at Tennessee as a model.  We will continue to be the frontrunner in secondary education with the TN Promise, and now the TN Reconnect for adults, as the only state in the nation to offer two years of community college or technical college free for all its residents!

  • Economy - In 2013 and 2014, Tennessee won “State of the Year” for economic development by Business Facilities Magazine and 2015 was the best year of economic development in the state of Tennessee’s history.  In 2014, we set an all-time job commitment record of 24, 221 jobs and then broke it in 2015 with 25,837.  Our goal for 2016 is 29,000 jobs.  Unemployment is down, the education and personal income per capita level is the highest ever and we have the highest GDP ever recorded for our state.  

Although the state of Tennessee is setting new records, Campbell County is still listed as one of the 21 “distressed” counties in Tennessee.  Our goal with the Tennessee Rural Task Force is to identify our strengths and weaknesses and partnership with Economic and Community Development, Dept. of Tourism, etc.,  and continue to promote ideas which will provide an educational, trained workforce to attract more jobs to our area.  The good news is that there are several companies looking at our area for possible job sites and if we can get our Primacy bill passed this Session, there will be a lot of good-paying jobs created that are related to the mining industry.  2016 should be a exceptional year for state of Tennessee and all of its great people that I am honored to represent in the Tennessee House of Representatives.(01/11/2016-6AM)

 It’s sports time from WLAF's David Graham

     WLAF’s David Graham Sports Report is just a click away right here.(01/11/2016–6AM) 

Campbell visits Oak Ridge Tuesday, January 12, 2016

on the WLAF -  B & M Tires Sports Network

Final Scores

Lady Cougars 68 - Gibbs 43

Cougars 68 - Gibbs 51

 

Thanks to Russ and Mary Anne Rickard for sharing photos with us from Conner Lane’s special night last Friday night at Caryville Elementary School. 

WLAF’s Joe Monroe served as master of ceremonies 

     It was a big night for Conner Lane.  Lane, who was unable to attend, knew, though, that his community had come together for him on Friday night at his school, Caryville Elementary.  (01/11/2016-6AM)

There’s still time to sign up for health insurance and avoid a penalty 

Tennova Healthcare application counselors can assist you to enroll for coverage 

For those who remain insured there’s still time to sign up for health insurance and avoid the penalty.

Tennova Healthcare can assist individuals and their families to evaluate the available health plans and determine if they are eligible for Medicaid, known as TennCare in the state of Tennessee, or other insurance options.

“With some people lacking access to a computer and others just needing some guidance maneuvering through the Marketplace website, our application counselors can help. It’s important to call for an appointment now, because the enrollment deadline is Jan. 31,” said Neil Heatherly, chief executive officer of Physicians Regional Medical Center and Tennova Healthcare’s East Tennessee market leader.

The penalty fee for not having insurance has increased this year. For those who can afford health insurance coverage in 2016, but don’t enroll, they may have face a penalty of $695 per adult, $347.50 per child or up to $2,085 for a family or 2.5 percent of family income, whichever is higher. Plus, without insurance, individuals are financially responsible for all of their medical costs.

The good news is some individuals may qualify for financial assistance from the government toward the cost of the premium and other financial obligations like co-pays or deductibles. The assistance is based on based on household income and dependents.

Medicaid

In all states, Medicaid provides health coverage for some low-income people, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. In some states, the program covers all low-income adults below a certain income level.

“While Tennessee has not expanded it Medicaid program, government subsidies to help citizens obtain coverage are available, depending on income and other qualifications,” Heatherly said. “We can help screen these individuals and, if they qualify, we can enroll them at any time with health coverage beginning immediately.

“Let us help take the frustration out of the enrollment process,” Heatherly said. “Call Tennova for an appointment today. And let us help you get a healthy start to the New Year.”

To make an appointment with an application counselor, call the Tennova hospital here in La Follette before Jan. 31.  The number is 423-907.1200. (01/11/2016-6AM)

Meetings tonight

Caryville & County

     The mayor and board of aldermen for Caryville meet this evening in the regular monthly meeting.  That’s at 6-PM at Caryville City Hall.  WLAF’s Peter Sawyer covers the story and brings it to you first thing in the morning right here.  Also at 6-PM tonight is the monthly workshop for the Campbell County Commission.  That’ll be at the courthouse, and WLAF’s Boomer Winfrey will be on hand to file a report for you right here tomorrow morning. (01/11/2016-6AM)

Active.  Very active day around Campbell County on Thursday

Two bodies found.  LifeStar flies out.

A car wreck in front of the high school triggered a most busy couple of hours for first responders late Thursday afternoon.  That accident call came in just before 5-PM.  About 35-minutes later, another crash happened near the same stretch of the four-lane about 300-yards further toward La Follette.  Traffic was snarled for more than an hour from just below Rainbow Restaurant all the way back to Walmart.  Adding to the jam was a fender bender on the La Follette-bound side under the Woodson Shell stop light.  There were no life threatening injuries in any of these three mishaps, however, it was reported that one person from the fender bender was taken to jail. 

At 5:10-PM, word of an ATV accident at Caryville was called-in.  Darkness was settling in as crews headed up Red Ash Mountain to render aid and rescue an injured man.  Reports coming in to WLAF are that 76-year old John Charles Black of Knoxville was flown out by LifeStar, and that he is listed in serious condition this morning at the UT Medical Center at Knoxville.

WLAF has learned that two bodies were discovered Thursday.  The body of one man, believed to be homeless, was recovered at a La Follette mobile home park.  Preliminary cause of death is a drug overdose.  On the north side of the county, a man’s body was found near Jellico.  His cause of death is believed to be from hypothermia.(01/08/2016-6AM)

Homicide case reset

 Smith's bond reduced

Leslie Logan Smith, 41, the man arrested in a pre-New Year’s stabbing, appeared in Campbell County General Sessions Thursday.

His case was reset until March.  Smith remains in the county jail on a $750,000 bond that was reduced from one-million dollars.

Smith was arrested and charged with criminal homicide after the La Follette Police Department was notified of a possible stabbing at 510 E. Central Ave. in the late hours of Dec. 30. When officers arrived, they discovered “a female victim stabbed multiple times in a downstairs apartment,” LPD Chief Bill Roehl Roehl said. She was transported to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The victim was later identified as 36-year old Lora Henegar of La Follette.(01/08/2016-6AM)

Conner’s concert begins at 7pm

Silent auction includes an autographed UT football 

By Susan Sharp

Tonight, a community will again embrace a young man that everyone now knows by his first name- Conner.

A concert will be held at Caryville Elementary in support for Conner and his parents, Curtis and Wendy Lane. Since October, Campbell County has prayerfully and lovingly cared for this family. It was in the fall that the CES fifth grader was diagnosed with multiple brain tumors.

In an effort to help ease the financial burdens that an illness can bring, family friend Brad Smith has organized this evening’s event.

The night will include a silent and a live auction along with bluegrass music.

Bidding in the silent auction, that includes a handmade quilt and wreath, will begin at 6:30 pm, Smith said. The music will start at 7 pm. At 8pm, the live auction will begin. In recent days, the donations for that portion of the evening began to pour in. On the block will be a Butch Jones autographed football and weekend getaway in Pigeon Forge, according to Smith.

Following the live auction, Jimbo Whaley will perform.

WLAF’s own Joe Monroe will serve as master of ceremonies for the night.

Conner will attend the concert, Smith said. However, his latest round of medications has left his immune system compromised so he won’t be able to greet guests as he previously has.

Admission for adults is $10 and $5 for children.

All of the proceeds from the night will go to the family.(01/08/2016-6AM)

Shop with a Cop: Forstner thanks those involved

The Town of Jacksboro meets Thursday night

By PETER SAWYER

JACKSBORO—Vice Mayor June Forstner used Thursday night’s meeting as an opportunity to thank Police Chief Danny Chapman and everyone else who participated in Shop With a Cop.

“Mike Starrett had always headed that up,” Forstner said. “And it fell on Danny’s shoulders this year.”

Not only did the 300 participating children shop with a member of local law enforcement, but they were also fed, told the Christmas story and given New Testaments.

“It’s more than just a gift shopping thing,” Forstner said.

Forstner believes the event needs more publicity.

“It’s a blessing when you can see the reaction of (the) children,” Forstner said.

Holiday workers

Forstner wasn’t the only thankful member of the board. Mayor Jack Cannon showed appreciation to those who had to work over the holidays, specifically naming law enforcement and the fire department.

Jason Shears

The board approved hiring Jason Shears to the Police Department as an officer.

Police Car

The board approved a $1,622 bid from Jacksboro Body Shop to repair a police car that was damaged in a crash.

IFI Grant

The board approved a town hall meeting for Caryville Jacksboro Utilities. At the meeting, CJUC will apply for a CDBG grant that will finance an In Flow Infiltration Grant.(01/08/2016-6AM)

 

Goins, Cadle acquire new positions in DA’s office

The coming of the New Year has brought two people to new positions within the Eighth Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

District Attorney General Jared Effler announced the appointments this week.

District Attorney General Jared Effler, (right), filled two positions in his office this week. Lindsey C. Cadle, (left), has joined the Campbell County District Attorney’s Office while Josh Goins, (center), was promoted to director of the Eighth Judicial Drug Task Force.

Josh Goins has been appointed as the new Director of the Eighth Judicial District Drug Task Force.  Goins, a native of Campbell County, began his law enforcement career as an auxiliary deputy for the Campbell County Sheriff's Office in 2002. Goins continued his training in 2003, completing Walter’s State Basic Police Recruit School. Upon graduation, Goins served as a patrolman for the La Follette Police Department from 2003-04 and continued his career at the Campbell County Sheriff's Office in 2004. While at the CCSD, he was a patrolman later being promoted to road sergeant, detective and then detective sergeant over the Campbell County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit. 

In 2009, he became an agent with the Eighth Judicial Drug Task Force (DTF) later being promoted to assistant director. In addition to his 13 years as a veteran law enforcement officer, Goins has attended numerous trainings and schools including police instructor school, firearms and SWAT training.

Goins is proud to serve the citizens of the Eighth Judicial District and is honored to lead the DTF as director to continue the fight against drugs and violent crime in the years to come. 

The second appointment this week was that of an assistant district attorney.

Lindsey C. Cadle was appointed as the newest Campbell County Assistant District Attorney. Her position became available after the retirement of John Vanover, former criminal investigator. 

Cadle lives in Harrogate with her husband, Isaac, and sons, Hudson and Norris.  Prior to becoming an assistant district attorney general, she practiced law in Tazewell at Stanifer and Stanifer, Attorneys at Law for 10 years handling a multitude of both civil and criminal cases.  She graduated cum laude from East Tennessee State University in 2002 and earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University Of Memphis School Of Law in 2005. Cadle is dedicated to the zealous representation of the State of Tennessee and the Eighth Judicial District to ensure justice is served, and the citizens of this district can rest assure that those who commit crimes will be fervently punished.  (01/07/2016-6AM)

Three car wreck sends two to the hospital

Rush hour traffic is snarled Wednesday afternoon

     Traffic was stopped for a while in both directions on the four-lane Wednesday afternoon.  Just after 4-PM is when a three-car, rear end collision happened near the Wier Woods entrance at Community Trust Bank.  La Follette Police Chief Bill Roehl tells WLAF that two people, in separate vehicles, were injured, neither seriously.  One woman was taken by ambulance to the La Follette Medical Center.  Another woman, who is pregnant, drove herself to the hospital to be checked out.(01/07/2016-6AM)

Help wanted

Fulltime job opening

     The Shepherd’s Home Thrift Store in Woodson Mall is in need of someone to work
full time.  The job entails lots of heavy lifting and odd jobs.   Qualified applicants must pass a drug test.  Please apply in-person Monday thru Friday from 10 – 6.
(01/07/2016-6AM)

Weaver charged  with fourth offense DUI

A Campbell County man may have celebrated New Year’s into the next day, netting his fourth DUI in the process.

Arvil Lee Weaver, 44, of Jacksboro was arrested on Saturday by Jacksboro Police, after his erratic driving stirred suspicion.

Arvil Lee Weaver

JPD Officer Billy White noticed Weaver’s Toyota Corolla when it allegedly crossed the center line four times then overshot a turn and ended up in the turning lane, according to the arrest report. When White conducted a traffic stop, questioning Weaver about his driving, the repeat offender denied any problems claiming he was “just very tired,” the report said.

Weaver’s problems continued when he had to use the steering wheel to exit the vehicle and didn’t heed White’s instructions, the report said. Once Weaver was out of the Corolla, White reportedly noticed a “white foamy substance on both corners” of Weaver’s mouth. This led to a series of sobriety tests, which Weaver allegedly failed resulting in his arrest.

Weaver was charged with fourth offense DUI, failure to exercise due care and failure to maintain lane.(01/07/2016-6AM)

Threesome cool their heels in jail following stabbing and home invasion

By Susan Sharp

Three people arrested early on New Year’s Eve have seen their criminal cases reset.

Crystal Sweat, Derick Gibbs and Tyler Conley were charged with especially aggravated robbery and theft under $500 last week after a failed home invasion.

Yesterday, they appeared in Campbell County General Sessions Court only to have their cases delayed until Jan. 14.

Police charged the trio after responding to a call on Cliffside Drive in La Follette.

When officers arrived, they found Conley injured, the report said. He was en route to the hospital when Campbell County Sheriff’s Det. Freddie White discovered “two large kitchen knives in the road” near the residence, his report said. Furthermore, the knives were coated with a red substance that appeared to be blood.

As the CCSD continued its investigation, officers found an open door and a screen door with the glass knocked out. Inside the home, they found what appeared blood on several pieces of furniture, the floor and the walls. It was clear a struggle has occurred, White’s report said.

All three remain in the county jail without bond.  (01/06/2016-6AM)

Elections: Council decides not to pursue policy change

By PETER SAWYER

La FOLLETTE—Leaders decided not to change a policy that requires public officials to vacate their position before running for La Follette City Council.

At last week’s workshop, Council Member Bob Fannon made a case for changing the policy. He reasoned changing the policy would allow those currently sitting on the city council to pursue higher offices, such as county commissioner, without giving up their seats.

In the 2012 election, former City Council Member Wayne Kitts had to vacate his seat in order to run for mayor. He lost the election.

However, a closer look at the policy revealed this policy is not exactly a two-way street. While the city charter requires a candidate for La Follette City Council to leave whatever elected positions he or she holds in order to run, whether a current Lafollette City Council member would have to do so to run for another body, such as the county commission or state legislature, would depend on the rules of that group. Should that person win the election, he or she would then have to leave his or her seat on the city council. However, the city council seat would not necessarily have to be risked in order to run.

Freeman Park

The Parks and Recreation Department will finance a project to surround Freeman Park with a split rail fence. The project will fence off everything but the sidewalk openings and the back end—where the park meets an alley.

The money will come from the Parks and Recreation Department’s General Fund.

Pool’s Property Conservation Matching Grant Program

The city council approved enrolling in the Pool’s Property Conservation Matching Grant Program.

This program provides a 50/50 matching grant. Last year, La Follette received $125,000 to help finance playground equipment at the skate park.

Parks and Recreation Department Head Johnny Byrge is considering several options for 2016, such as making the walking trail wider or building an amphitheatre.

Parks and Recreation Ordinance

An ordinance that would effectively treat the walking trail like other city parks was tabled. City Attorney Reid Troutman advised revisiting and possibly updating the two-year old parks and recreation ordinance first.

Council members talked about the possibility of regulating hover boards and drones in city parks.

Walking Trail

The council discussed the replacement of three broken lights along the Walking Trail.

Public Works Department Head Jim Mullens pointed out the possibility of the Walking Trail closing at night. He questioned the need for spending money replacing lights along the Walking Trail if it will be closed when it is dark.

Byrge estimated the project will cost about $1,500.

However, Council Members Joe Bolinger and Bob Fannon expressed a desire for lights on the trail to help the law enforcement.

Contracts

The council tabled an ordinance that would allow the city to enter into two-year employment contracts with department heads and the city administrator.

Kent Younce Day

Today is Kent Younce Day, commemorating his return to La Follette to start Security Finance 50 years ago. (01/06/2016-6AM)

Kent Younce Day in La Follette

     Mayor Mike Stanfield declares today, January 6, 2016, as Kent Younce Day in La Follette.

Campbell whips rival AC Tuesday night at Brown Gym

Cougars & Lady Cougars win 

District 3’s top team lived up to its standing Tuesday night at John Brown Gym.  Sarah Cain led the Lady Cougars past Anderson County in a 60 – 28 win.  Cain’s 17 points carried Campbell to 14 & 3 overall record and 6 & 0 mark in the league.

The Cougars raced out to a 28 – 9 first-half edge and held on for a tight win over their next door neighbor rivals.  Elijah Phillips chipped in 5 critical 4th quarter points and led the Cougars with 11 markers.  CCHS rode the Mavericks to a 44 – 39 victory to improve to 10 & 7 and then 2 & 4 in District 3.  Ironically, the Cougars won their last game by the same score, 44 – 39, when they defeated Oneida on December 22.

Next up?  Gibbs.  Friday.  At Corryton.  WLAF has the coverage over the WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network. (01/06/2016-6AM)

Campbell visits Gibbs Friday, January 8, 2016

on the WLAF -  B & M Tires Sports Network

Just Sports returns to WLAF-TV 12 tonight at 9-PM

     Brent Allen (L) and Les Martin (R) return to host Just Sports tonight on WLAF-TV 12.  The show airs from 9-10 PM.  This file photo with Cougar Head Football Coach Justin Price was snapped following CCHS’s second-round playoff game with West at Knoxville in November of 2013.  The Cougars finished 10 & 2 that season. (01/05/2016-6AM)

Tractor Supply nears opening date

WLAF’s Charlie Hutson snapped a photo as some of the finishing touches are put on the new Tractor Supply that will soon open.

Lawson has big day at state capitol

She’s one of 10 statewide scholarship winners

A Campbell County student is a big winner.  Late Monday afternoon at Nashville, scholarships to winners of the TNStars, Ten Kids: $10,000 Holiday Scholarship Giveaway were presented to ten students from across Tennessee.  Emerallia “Emma” Lawson, who attends Caryville Elementary School, was on-hand at the state capitol to receive her $10,000 scholarship.  Lawson was one of ten winners out of a pool of more than 2,300 families that registered for the contest.  Emma is the daughter of Adam and Nikki Lawson.

TNStars Scholarship winners range in age from five to twenty and come from every region of the state.  During the month of December, TNStars promoted the giveaway. For more information on TNStars, visit TNStars.com  (01/05/2016-6AM)

Claiborne County man makes TBI’s Top Ten

Brock is added to most wanted list

NASHVILLEThe Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has a new addition to the state’s Top Ten Most Wanted list, Rick James Brock of New Tazewell.

Rick Brock is wanted by the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for four counts of Rape of a Child and four counts of aggravated Assault with a Firearm.

Rick James Brock of New Tazewell (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE TBI)

Brock is a 51-year-old white male with brown hair and brown eyes. He’s 5 feet 10 and weighs around 206 pounds, and has a tattoo of a lion on his right arm. Brock has a violent criminal history and should be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Rick James Brock is urged to call the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND (1-800-824-3463). There is a $1,000 reward being offered for information leading to his arrest.  (01/04/2015-3:30 PM)

WLAF’s Charlie Hutson captured this January 1 gas price

     At the start of 2015, we were paying $1.95 for a gallon of gas here in Campbell County.  New Year 2016 begins 30-cents less.(01/04/2016-6AM)

You’ve missed ‘em.  So have I.  We all have.

Ralph’s Donut Shoppe reopens

     The holidays are over.  And so is the wait for one of those delicious donuts from Ralph’s Donut Shoppe in La Follette.  The shop reopened this morning at 4-AM.  But you’d better hurry.  They’re open until the last one is sold.  That may be 11 or noon.(01/04/2016-6AM)

Increased efforts to promote normalcy among Tennessee's Foster Kids

Eight-thousand children in Tennessee spent the holiday break with their foster families, and recent efforts at the national and state level are making it easier for them to experience a normal childhood.

Things that many kids take for granted - going to slumber parties and school field trips - can be complicated for children in foster care. That's starting to change, thanks to changes at the state and national level. The importance of normalcy is highlighted in a report released this month by the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, a part of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The federal Strengthening Families Act, signed into law last year, requires state foster-care agencies to create a system that enables caregivers to authorize participation in typical activities such as field trips and camps. Michael Leach with the Tennessee Department of Children's Services says it's an important step forward.

 “These young people, they need normal and healthy experiences, healthy relationships. They need to be involved with activities and be with their peers. It brings positive memories," said Leach.

Todd Lloyd with the Annie E. Casey Foundation says historically the limitations placed on foster children can impact their experience for the long term. "Some settings could be very restrictive and have policies that don't allow after-school activities or don't allow transportation or even certain rites of passage for adolescents: learning to drive a car, being able to go to the prom," he said.

Currently, some foster children in Tennessee "age out" of the system at 18, and the Casey report recommends states extend the age to 21 for all. Leach says beyond policy, what is most important is that the needs of children are placed above red tape and concerns over litigation. I'm not sure it's a legislative thing or a policy thing, I think it's really a culture thing. Making sure that we're not driven by fear or liability concerns, and we're more driven for what's right for our young people," according to Leach.(01/04/2016-6AM)

CCHS Art Department sees multiple activities

     Raegan Paul and Electra Lowe, who are currently Campbell County High School art students, are enjoying a bit of notoriety some artists wait a lifetime for. Their work is on display in a gallery. Paul and Lowe both have pieces on display at the Knoxville Museum of Art Student Exhibit. Their work will be displayed until Jan. 10.

 Frosty is waiting for snow here on North 5th Street.

The CCHS Art Department has also been painting windows of its sponsors including: Short Redmond Ford, McDonald's, LaFollette Utilities, Eagle Bluff Childcare, and Tabatha Smith-State Farm agent.  The art department also invites the community to take part in its annual fundraiser. When shopping at Food City remind them you want your “school bucks” to go to the art department at CCHS. (01/04/2016-6AM)

Camelot is looking for new foster homes

Each year across Tennessee thousands of children are removed from their homes leaving them feeling confused and often frightened. These children need places to feel safe and to heal. That is the role of a Camelot foster parent.

Camelot Foster Parents serve as alternative parents to children who need structure, guidance, reassurance and love.

To help families in becoming Camelot Foster Homes, the agency offers 23 hours of therapeutic based training that promotes an understanding of where the child came from and assists families in knowing how to meet their needs. Beginning Feb.1, Camelot will offer the training at its La Follette office. The seven week series will be taught on Monday nights from 5:30 pm until 8:30 pm.

Camelot strives to make matches ensuring that children are placed with families who can appreciate their circumstances. By looking at the needs of each particular child referred by the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) and comparing those needs with the strengths, experiences, and preferences of the foster families a home can be located. Information is then shared with the foster parent(s) about the prospective foster child. The final decision about placement rests with the foster parents.

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.

There is also daily reimbursement in order to help care for the child.

For more information about fostering with Camelot call 423-566-2415.(01/04/2016-6AM)

Boomer’s Fractured Forecasts

2016 news? Try skunk apes, brawling seniors and roads that glow in the dark

By Charles "Boomer" Winfrey

It’s that time of year again. Other media outlets give you all the news that you really don’t want to hear – the most recent mass shooting, political scandals, Bengazi, Donald Trump’s latest rant about Muslims, immigrants, liberals, feminists or liberal feminist Muslim immigrants or his fellow Republican presidential candidates.

A question comes to mind – if all of those Republicans running for President are as useless as he says, why does The Donald support that party in the first place?

But I digress. What I really want to say is that we here at WLAF/Channel 12 like to do things a little differently. Instead of bringing you all that depressing news that you don’t really want to hear, we’re here to give you the equally depressing news that hasn’t happened yet.

Without further ado, here are Boomer’s Fractured Forecasts for 2016!

January – At the first Campbell County Commission meeting of the year, James Slusher addresses the commission and compliments them on their good work in pushing forward with projects such as the Oswego rail spur and waterline extensions. He also congratulates Mayor E. L. Morton on his “excellent selection of personnel to operate the highly efficient county animal shelter.”

Mr. Slusher then thanks the commission for their time and sits down without further comment. Fifteen commissioners stare at each other in shocked silence until the Mayor asks ambulance service personnel present in the audience to check Mr. Slusher’s vital signs and transport him to the LaFollette emergency room for a thorough examination. 

February – Local talk show host Jerry Chadwell urges senior citizens to attend an “Elderly Lives Matter” rally in front of the courthouse after rumors surface that several people are injured when police break up an altercation between two groups of seniors during a Valentine’s Day dance hosted by the LaFollette Senior Citizens Center.

The rally is cancelled, however, when it is revealed that the injured parties were all police officers and sheriff’s deputies. Two LaFollette officers are run over by an electric wheelchair piloted by 82-year-old Filbert Milsap while Campbell County deputy Daryl Chapman suffers a concussion when struck by a wooden serving spoon wielded by 89-year-old Cloretta Koonz. A fourth officer is injured when struck by a flying walker, reportedly aimed at center director Butch Kohlmeyer.

March – Contractors finally complete all corrections to the railroad spur at Oswego, but Norfolk Southern engineers then discover that the original survey had been accurate after all and the new spur is now eight feet off the mark.

In a contentious meeting, county commissioners finally vote to spend another $156.49 to complete the Oswego rail spur after the Mayor offers to donate the money out of his own salary, pointing out that Acme Metals Recycling, Ltd. is prepared to locate a plant in the industrial park but lack of access to railroad transport would be a “deal breaker.”

April – The mysterious “anonymous investors” who were prepared to finance the Rocky Top theme park are finally revealed when the FBI and IRS file indictments against all of them for tax fraud and conspiring to participate in a multimillion dollar numbers racket in East Knoxville.

“These individuals planned to launder the gambling proceeds through a theme park, but legal complications sidetracked their scheme. Local political and business leaders were duped into cooperating.” the indictment charges. 

Officials for the town formerly known as Lake City receive some good news, however, when Harvey Ray Adamson, who bears a strong resemblance to former “Super Twang” promoter Hal Royce Abramson, announces that he has put together a syndicate of investors who plan a Country Music resort in Rocky Top.

May – Harvey Ray Adamson announces a groundbreaking ceremony for the first development in his new music resort, the “Rocky Topless Lounge.” Pointing out that the lounge will be part of a complex including the adjacent Rocky Flop Motel, Adamson declines to name the chief financial investor behind his plans, simply stating, “He predicts it will be Huge.”

At month’s end Campbell County officials schedule a ribbon cutting for the finally completed Oswego railroad spur, but cancel the ceremony when Norfolk Southern announces that due to declining coal production in Eastern Kentucky, the railroad is closing it’s Jellico line. Acme Metals Recycling Ltd. decides to relocate their new facility to Tucumcari, New Mexico.

June – After a referendum on increasing the local option sales tax fails to pass by a vote of 5,237 to 13, county commissioners are again faced with the challenge of how to pay for paving roads without additional tax revenue.

Desperate to collect $60,000-plus in coal severance tax that the State mistakenly sent to Anderson County, county officials threaten to sue. Instead of paying up, Anderson County Road Superintendent Eddie Long offers to send his road crews to help re-pave Davis Creek Road in White Oak.

“I have 600 truckloads of excess fill dirt and 3,000 tons of recycled asphalt from the City of Oak Ridge that you can use to raise the grade on that road,” Long offers. White Oak residents are skeptical, especially when they notice that motorists no longer require headlights to drive the road after dark.

July – Based on crime statistics that rated LaFollette as (and I’m not making this up) the state’s tenth most dangerous city in which to live, Tennessee Department of Corrections officials predict that the Campbell County Jail will need to expand by a minimum of 100 additional beds within two years to meet federal regulations and avoid a lawsuit.

“Let ‘em sue! We’ve spent enough on that jail” Commissioner Cliff Jennings proclaims. He instead makes a suggestion that the county hire additional litter control officers and keep prisoners on the road 24 hours a day.

“That way we can use the same bed for two or more convicts, since one will always be out picking up litter,” Jennings points out.

When asked for an estimate on the costs to expand the Justice Center, Finance Director Jeff Marlow merely responds, “Justice Center? What justice center?” while staring blankly into space.

August – A rhubarb between LaFollette City Council and the U. S. Postal Service resurfaces when 63 homeowners and over two dozen businesses are served with delinquent property tax notices.

Many of the accused delinquent taxpayers attend a council meeting to protest that they never received a property tax notice in the first place, all of the city’s tax bills having been mailed to a LaFollette zip code while the taxpayers’ mailing addresses are in Jacksboro.

“We couldn’t force the federal government to change those zip codes,” Councilman Bob Fannon told the irate taxpayers, “But we can send our tax notices to a LaFollette address. If you don’t like it, get a post office box.”

Later in the month, the Chancery Court Judge rules that LaFollette failed to give sufficient notice and vacates the delinquent penalties and interest billed by the city, telling LaFollette officials, “If you don’t like it file an appeal, but make sure you use the proper zip code.”

September – After a year long investigation, TWRA wildlife biologists and pathologists conclude that injuries suffered by a LaFollette man in 2015 near Lonas Young Park were, in fact, “caused by a wild animal of unknown origins,” although not a black bear as the victim had alleged.

Rumors abound that the infamous LaFollette “Skunk Ape” may have been responsible for the attack, especially when the victim tells news media that he did smell a strong odor as he was being mauled, but “I thought I had just soiled my pants.”

Once again cryptozoologists swarm all over the county, searching for evidence that the Skunk Ape, suspected of being a distant cousin of the Abominable Snowman or Big Foot, actually exists. Several leads are pursued but in each case the suspected Skunk Ape turns out to be a local drunk with really bad body odor.

October – To raise money for the new CCHS soccer stadium, the school board agrees to host a “haunted high school” fundraiser during the week before Halloween. Vampires staff the concession stand while Freddie Kruger sells admission tickets to tour the laboratories of mad scientists, attend an Edgar Allen Poe literature symposium and cheer on a game of “zombie basketball.”

Things begin on the wrong foot when a local funeral home agrees to loan the school several caskets for decoration in the gym, including one containing a mannequin disguised as a rotting corpse.

The offensive line of the Cougar football team, dressed as werewolves, picks up the caskets before opening night. “Wow, they really did a good job on that dummy corpse. It’s really ugly” one werewolf proclaims.

Unfortunately, the boys accidentally pick up the wrong casket, containing the mortal remains of Stinking Creek resident Carlisle McCracken. The error is discovered at half time when members of the cheerleading squad crawl into the coffin to pose for photos with the “dummy” corpse.

The school department considers canceling the haunted high school until hundreds of phone calls begin coming into the central office, inquiring about reservations and group discounts.

“We could have really sold tickets if the funeral home had allowed us to keep Mr. McCracken for the rest of the week,” School Board member Johnny Byrge proclaimed. “Unfortunately his family had other plans.”  

November – Cryptozoologist Austin Munk announces to the news media that he has discovered the lair of the fabled Skunk Ape, residing in a cave in the Pinecrest area of Campbell County. Dozens of deer hunters grab their rifles and swarm the woods, only to discover that the mysterious creature is merely Finance Director Jeff Marlow, living off the grid until the final change orders on the Justice Center are completed.

While the deer hunters return home in disappointment, a handful of county commissioners rush to WalMart to purchase ammunition.

In national news, Donald Trump defeats Bernie Sanders in the November presidential election, Hillary Clinton having dropped out of the race after Bill runs off with her Iowa campaign coordinator.

December – President-Elect Donald Trump holds a press conference to announce that he has already kept the first of his campaign promises.

We are building a wall along the entire border with Mexico and the Mexicans are paying for it, just as I promised,” Trump tells the assembled reporters. The Donald fails to add that the wall is being constructed on the Mexican side of the border.

“We might be able to accommodate the eleven million Mexican citizens who want to return home,’ Mexican President Alvaredo Diaz explains. “But we simply cannot find room for the 100 million American liberals, minorities and women who are asking for political asylum in our country.”   (01/04/2016-6AM)                     

Jellico Hospital hires new CEO

RN Dowell is veteran CEO

The Jellico Community Hospital Board has a new Chief Executive Officer.

Kim Dowell, RN, will begin her new leadership position on January 25, 2016.

“We are excited for Kim to join our organization as we work collaboratively to ensure that quality of care remains the priority for our community,” said Allen McClary, chairman of the JCH board. “We are also grateful and want to express sincere thanks to Keith Richardson, interim CEO, for his dedicated service.”

Dowell, along with her husband Mike, will move from Lenoir City in order to accept the position, where she was Director of Patient Care Services for Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge. With a long history of healthcare service in Tennessee, she held previous roles as CEO of both Jamestown Regional Medical Center in Jamestown, and Haywood Park Community Hospital in Brownsville. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee and Master of Hospital Administration degree from Texas Woman’s University-Houston.

As Dowell comes on board and becomes familiar with the organization, she will be working closely with CHC executives and JCH leadership.

Jellico Community Hospital became part of CHC earlier this year, when CHC entered into a relationship with the City of Jellico for long-term lease of the hospital facility and its CarePlus Center located in Williamsburg, Ky.

CHC owns, manages and supports more than 25 community hospitals nationwide, bringing practical solutions that help community hospitals enhance efficiencies, improve quality and strengthen financial stability. CHC leaders have significant expertise in all areas of hospital and clinic operations and management.(12/31/2015-6AM)

Comptroller’s Hotline Helps Protect Taxpayers

1.800.232.5454 is a free phone call

The Tennessee Comptroller’s Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline is marking a record achievement in its effort to help uncover the misuse of government funds and property.

Confidential tips to the hotline helped to identify a record $1,112,500 in confirmed thefts, shortages and questioned costs for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015. These tips were reported through telephone calls and online submissions to the hotline.

This year’s notifications concerned a wide range of entities including municipalities, counties, state agencies, federal agencies, and non-profit recipients of government funds. Substantive notifications are reviewed and investigated by Comptroller staff or referred to the appropriate agency or program for further action.

Since Oct. 1983, the Comptroller of the Treasury has provided a toll-free hotline for any citizen to report government fraud, waste and abuse. Additionally, all state agencies, as well as agencies receiving community grant funds, are required to call attention to the hotline by posting a sign in a prominent place.

“The hotline plays an important role in holding government accountable to its citizens,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “While I’m pleased to see the hotline is serving its purpose, the ultimate goal is to eliminate fraud, waste and abuse in government.”

If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee, call the Comptroller’s toll-free hotline at (800) 232-5454, or file a report online at: www.comptroller.tn.gov/hotline. (12/31/2015-6AM)

Wednesday night stabbing victim identified

Young woman originally from Anderson County

     The name of the woman who was stabbed to death on Wednesday night has been identified.  La Follette Police Detective Josh Hill tells WLAF that the next of kin of 36-year old Lora Henegar has been notified of her death.  (12/31/2015-2:30PM)

Smith charged with criminal homicide

Two stabbings happen within an hour last night

By Susan Sharp

Police are currently investigating two seemingly unrelated stabbings that occurred within an hour of the other last night.

Just after 11 p.m., the La Follette Police Department was notified of a possible stabbing at 510 E. Central Ave., according to LPD Chief Bill Roehl. When officers arrived they discovered “a female victim stabbed multiple times in a downstairs apartment,” Roehl said. She was transported to the La Follette Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

Officials are withholding her name pending notification of her family. However, they have made an arrest in the case.

Leslie Logan Smith, 41, of Robin Road in La Follette, has been arrested and charged with criminal homicide, Roehl said.  Roehl calls Smith the alleged boyfriend of the victim.  This matter is still under investigation.

Less than an hour later, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department was called to a Cliffside Drive residence in the Powell Valley area.

When they arrived officers found that a homeowner had foiled a burglary by stabbing one of three suspects. While all three fled the scene, they were later located and arrested, according to CCSD Chief Deputy Aaron Evans.

Crystal Sweat (age 30 of Thelma Circle – Jacksboro), Derick Gibbs (age 31 – homeless) and Tyler Connelly have been charged with especially aggravated robbery and theft under $500. Sweat and Gibbs have been arrested but Connelly was transported to the hospital for treatment of his wounds. It is believed he was stabbed in the “lower extremities” Evans said.

Currently, Connelly is in recovery following surgery for his injuries.

This too is an ongoing investigation. (12/31/2015-11AM)                       

                    Tennessee State Parks Kick Off 2016 with First Hikes
Nashville, Tenn. - Tennessee State Parks will sponsor free, guided hikes at all 56 parks beginning on Dec. 31, and going throughout the day on January 1.
"Our First Hikes have been very popular and we are excited to continue them as part of our series of statewide hikes," said Deputy Commissioner for Parks and Conservation Brock Hill. "These hikes are a great way to kick off the New Year with friends and family while also enjoying our beautiful parks."
Tennessee State Parks' First Hikes of 2016 are part of
America's State Parks First Day hikes initiative in all 50 states. While some of the hikes will be throughout New Year's Day at various times, others will begin on Dec. 31 and go in to the New Year. Some hikes will be approximately one mile in length and tailored for novice hikers, while others are lengthier and geared toward more experienced hikers.
For more information, including a detailed regional listing, please visit
http://tnstateparks.com/about/special-event-cards/first-hike. (12/31/2015-6AM)

Big Doug Atkins was one of a kind

Former Vol & Chicago Bear dies

By Jim Freeman

It’s interesting the stories that come flooding back to my mind when someone I know passes away.  And with former College and NFL Hall of Famer Doug Atkins, there are quite a few.  For me, I had easy access to Doug, because he was my brother-in-law’s (Ron Anderson) best friend.

One day I sat down in a brand new recliner at my sister Joyce’s house.  And I asked her why one of the arms was hanging half-way down the side of the chair.  She laughed saying that Doug slipped, attempting to sit in it, fell on the arm, and broke it.  Doug’s playing weight in the NFL was 300-pounds though he wasn’t quite that big after his playing days, but he was still a large man.

Ron and Doug were regulars at every summer’s NFL Hall of Fame week at Canton, Ohio.  One summer, they rented a condo for the week, and on Sunday morning after induction day on Saturday, my sister awoke to find Ron, Doug, John Riggins (Washington Redskins), and Lonnie Warlick (Minnesota Vikings) all sound asleep in the living room on couches and recliners.  She said they dwarfed the furniture; quite a funny sight.

The late Jack Hughes, long time La Follette realtor, was Doug’s tutor one year at the University of Tennessee.  Jack told me that he once gave Doug an answer sheet to a test he was about to take, but Doug lined up the sheet the off center.  Instead of acing the exam, Atkins ended up scoring a 70.  Jack said Atkins was elated with his score.

Doug’s career ended with the New Orleans Saints.  One night as the team was flying back home, Doug had had a few beers, and learned that the radio color announcer had roughed him up on that day’s broadcast.  Doug leaned over the play-by-play announcer and told off the color announcer.  As he did, everyone on the plane went totally silent.  Until the play-by-play guy said, “Are you going to let him talk to you like that?”  Atkins and everyone else on the flight broke into a much needed laugh.

Thanks for the memories, Doug! (12/31/2015-6AM)

Pig Roast auction pays off for art programs

(Left to right) Emily Ward, Cindi Reynolds, Campbell County director of tourism, Dee Day, JHS art instructor and Emily Ray.

     When the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual pig roast and auction earlier this year, the décor of beautifully painted gourds and pumpkins was provided by the art departments from Jellico and Campbell County High Schools.

(Left to right) Jon Branam, director of the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, Raegan Paul and Shaylei Stevenson, CCHS Art Instructor Georgea Green and Cindi Reynolds, Campbell County director of tourism.   

The artwork was included in the auction bringing in over $1,000 to the schools.  Both schools will be having art shows in the spring showcasing their work.  (12/30/2015-6AM)

Insurance: City Council approves BCBS “S” plan for 2016

La Follette meets in a special-called meeting

By PETER SAWYER

La FOLLETTE—Monday night, the La Follette City Council approved renewing the city’s plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield for 2016.

Renewing the city’s “S” Plan cost $886,009—$882,697 in annual premiums and $3,312 in administrative costs—a 6.76 percent increase from 2015. However, the amount of money the plan will cost will not become evident until the end of 2016. This is due to the nature of the plan, which is a Health Reimbursement Account. Each employee is responsible for only $1,500 of the $5,000 deductible. This means the city must reimburse BCBS $3,500 of the deductible for each employee. The more employees use their insurance, the more costly the plan will be for the city.

Under the “S” Plan, regular office visits cost $30, and specialist visits cost $50. Generic drugs cost $8, preferred brands cost $40 and non-preferred brands cost $60.

UT Medical Center is leaving the “S” Network. City employees interested in keeping doctors affiliated with UT Medical Center need to enrol in the “P” Network before Jan. 1. Enrolling in the “P” network costs $43.20 for an employee, $90.72 for an employee and his or her spouse, $79.06 for an employee and his or her child or $131.11 for a family.(12/29/2015-6AM)

Elections: Fannon suggests changing policy

La Follette meets in workshop session

By PETTER SAWYER

La FOLLETTE—Council Member Bob Fannon suggested changing a policy that requires La Follette City Council members to vacate their seats in order to run for other offices.

“I don’t think you should have to resign if you run,” Fannon said.

He pointed out that other municipalities in Campbell County do not have a similar restriction. Forrester Baird is both mayor of Jellico and a county commissioner. Fannon said there would be a benefit to the city if a person could sit on the city council and county commission.

If the city council votes to change the policy, the state would have to approve the change, Fannon said.

Fire Protection

Hatmaker addressed the council about the infrastructure at the golf course, pointing out that the water lines in the back are not compatible with the equipment used by the Fire Department.

Because the golf course is part of the city, Hatmaker insisted the city needs to provide adequate fire protection.

City Administrator Jimmy Jeffries said he intends to speak to La Follette Utilities Board General Manager Kenny Baird about the issue in January.

Freeman Park

Council Member Ann Thompson suggested adding a split rail fence to Freeman Park.

“Make it look more complete,” she said.

The project would fence off everything but the sidewalk openings, and the back end, where the park meets an alley.

Parks and Recreation Department Head Johnny Byrge said there was room in his budget for the plan.

Contracts

Fannon suggested changing city policy to allow two-year contracts for department heads.

Regular meeting

Mayor Mike Stanfield and the City of La Follette Council meet on Tuesday for the January regular monthly meeting.  That’s Tuesday, January 5 at 6-PM at City Hall. (12/29/2015-6AM)

Macedonia Baptist Church Christmas play

Watch it here

     Enjoy the 2015 Macedonia Baptist Church’s Christmas play.  CLICK HERE to watch the entire program.  (12/29/2015 - 6AM)

Second lawsuit filed citing defamation

Chadwell and crew looking at a possible $2.5 million in damages

By Susan Sharp

In less than one week, two exceedingly vocal critics of nearly everything in Campbell County, have been hit with two defamation lawsuits.

Jerry Chadwell and Jim Slusher were sued for the second time on Thursday (Christmas Eve). This time it was First District Campbell County Commissioner Marie Ayers that called foul on the pair. She is asking for $1.5 million in damages.

While Ayers is an elected official and therefore subject to a certain degree of public scrutiny, she believes the actions of Chadwell and Slusher were spiteful in nature thus elevating their activities to the level of defamation.  Click here to see the entire complaint.

The suit, which was filed by David Dunaway, alleges that in the last six months, Chadwell and Slusher, while on Chadwell’s self-supported local cable channel 12 television show “Straight Talk” made statements about Ayers that basically painted her as an elected official who has utilized county resources for her own benefit. Specifically, on the Oct. 28 broadcast of Chadwell’s show, the duo is alleged to have said Ayers had “coerced” the county road superintendent into paving a road adjoining her private property. There is no truth to this statement, according to the filing. Furthermore, Slusher, who has repeatedly been referred to as Chadwell’s “sidekick” is alleged to have taken his accusations a step further.

Ayers, who is the middle of her second term as a county commissioner, was accused of blocking public land use, when in fact she owns the tract of property in question. Within the suit, Dunaway said he can produce documents that not only prove Ayer’s ownership of the Pinecrest property but that verify the land has been in her family over 100 years. Taking it a step further, Dunaway said that at no point had easements been granted to any public entity, thus Ayers wasn’t blocking any public access. Because Chadwell and Slusher made comments that painted Ayers, and her property, in a negative light, the land has become “unmarketable,” the lawsuits says.

However, these are not the only points in the circuit court filing. Aside from being accused of using county resources for her own benefit and obstructing access to land, which is hers, the twosome have  referred to Ayers, a college graduate and certified public accountant, as “one of the worst commissioners in Campbell County.”  Along with this, Ayers says in the filing that Slusher has slandered other members of the county commission, but she doesn’t cite which members.

Chadwell and Slusher’s comments “were intended to and did reach the public at large,” thus causing Ayers difficulties in the majority of her personal and business relationships, according to the lawsuit.

Just days before this suit was filed, Chadwell, Slusher, Jerry Kidd, Lerly Murphy and Bruce Burkett were sued by the Campbell County Senior Citizens’ Center for defamation.

Within that suit, the group is accused of making disparaging remarks about the members of the center that include calling them “Nazis” and “atheists.”

Again, these remarks are alleged to have taken place on Chadwell’s talk show.

Editor’s Note: Jerry Chadwell and his guests are not employees of WLAF. Their opinions are theirs and do not reflect the view of the management, owners or staff of WLAF.(12/28/2015-6AM)

It’s sports time from WLAF's David Graham

     WLAF’s David Graham Sports Report is just a click away right here.(12/23/2015–6AM) 

 

Senior citizens strike back filing defamation suit

Asking for $1 million in damages

By Susan Sharp

The senior citizens of Campbell County are fighting back against a group who they allege have defamed them over the course of the last six months.

Last week, the Senior Citizens Center filed a $1million lawsuit (CLICK HERE TO READ) against Bruce Burkett, Jerry Chadwell, Jerry Kidd, Lerly Murphy and James Slusher. The members of the Senior Citizens Center claim this band of individuals has spread rumors and innuendo that, at best has damaged the reputation of the center which has existed for 41 years. They allege the group has used Chadwell’s self-styled television talk show “Straight Talk” on WLAF-TV12 as the avenue for its campaign against the nonprofit center.

The lawsuit, filed by Dave Dunaway on behalf of the elders, explains that despite the organization conducting Bible studies, taking part in multiple community service projects and providing meals to the elderly who are homebound, Chadwell has allowed them to be branded as “Nazis” and “Atheists” on his weekly television show. Together, the quintet has also made allegations of misconduct and improper use of fund by those in charge of the center.

Along with this, these five people have also attacked the “integrity and honesty of the members and management” at the center, which constitutes “malicious, willful and wanton tortious interference” with the businesses the center currently has dealings with, the filing said. Furthermore, it could have the same effect on entities the seniors might have dealings with in the future.

In essence, the chatter of these people has caused a great deal of unnecessary controversy for the senior citizens center.

While Chadwell bears the brunt of the suit, because most of the contentions have occurred on his show, the others’ alleged actions are sketched out in the action as well.

Kidd is reported to have made statements of rowdy and violent behavior occurring at the center over and above having made “disparaging remarks about the women” at the center, Dunaway penned.

Burkett and Slusher stand accused of making comments to advance their own agendas and for Burkett specifically, in retaliation for having been booted from the center, when he violated its code of conduct, the lawsuit said.

Lastly, Murphy, found herself embroiled in the lawsuit after she appeared on Chadwell’s show where she made accusations regarding the mishandling of funds thus, according to Dunaway, hindered the donations to the Meals on Wheels program, operated by the center.

When these individuals made their inflammatory statements, they knew they were false, the lawsuit said.

Editor’s Note: Jerry Chadwell is not an employee of WLAF and his views and opinions are his.    (12/21/2015-6AM)

 

Roane State breaks for the holidays

Classes start back Monday, January 19

     All Roane State campuses and centers will be closed from Saturday, Dec. 19th through Saturday, Jan. 2nd for the holidays and will reopen Monday, Jan. 4th.  Classes will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 19th.  If you have questions about spring semester registration, please connect to www.roanestate.edu and click on the announcements link.(12/18/2015-6AM)

                    

 It’s sports time from WLAF's David Graham

     WLAF’s David Graham Sports Report is just a click away right here.(12/16/2015–6AM) 

 

    

 

Click the ribbon for pictures & stories surrounding the Rhonda Daugherty case

  

 

 

    

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 Bravenet.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 








 

  












Free Web Counter
Free Web Counter

 


For WLAF videos, CLICK here



 

 

 

        

 

 

 

Call on Stan with NOVA Copy 865.243.COPY