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Photo from home

     WLAF's Les Martin, the Voice of the Cougars, visits with victorious Head Coach Justin Price following Campbell's season opening win at Cumberland Gap.  The Cougars won 54 to 7.  See the game televised over WLAF-TV 12 on Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

Final Score:  Campbell Cougars 54 - Cumberland Gap 7

School officials dispute WBIR article

By Charlotte Underwood

Campbell County School officials disputed a recent WBIR Channel 10 article that states Campbell County has four schools on the state’s Focus list, meaning they are in the 10-percent of schools with the largest achievement gaps between groups of students. The schools erroneously listed on WBIR’s website include Jacksboro Elementary, Jellico High School, La Follette Middle School and Valley View Elementary.  The state’s education website does not list any Campbell County Schools as being on the Focus list. The only
Campbell County School listed on the state’s website at all is Caryville Elementary School, and it is listed positively as a Reward School in the top five percent of the state.

Campbell County Director of Schools Donnie Poston said he is unsure of where WBIR got its information and that to his knowledge; Campbell County does not have any schools this year on the Focus nor the Priority list, which is “a blessing.” Poston said the only explanation he could come up with regarding the schools being mistakenly listed as Focus schools was that “perhaps WBIR used old information that is no longer current.”

“The four schools listed in the article are the same four schools that were on the Safe Harbor list in 2010/2011,” Poston said, explaining that during that school year those were the four schools that did not make the state required Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).  The Safe Harbor program was a way to keep a school off of the Focus or Priority list for a year. According to Poston, former school Superintendent Dr. Michael Martin put those schools on the Safe Harbor list that year, which made Campbell County seem as if it had achieved complete AYP in all of its schools when that simply was not the case.  “That is the only thing I can think of why they would list those same four schools, but as far as being on the Focus or Priority list for the 2014/2015 school year, Campbell County is doing well and is not on those lists,” Poston said. (08/22/2014 - 11:30 PM)

State recognizes Caryville Elementary as a Reward School

By Charlotte Underwood

Caryville Elementary School is the only school in the county this year to receive a Reward Designation, according to a list recently released by the state. The designation means Caryville is in the top 5 percent of schools in the state for performance—as measured by overall student achievement levels—and the top 5 percent for year-over-year progress—as measured by school-wide value-added data. These 10 percent of schools receive recognition for their success under the accountability system. This year's list recognized 67 schools across the state for overall academic achievement and 84 schools for overall growth. In East Tennessee, 18 schools were named Reward Schools, with Caryville garnering the designation for “progress”.

Some of the teaching staff gathered together for a picture before celebrating the Reward School Designation at Caryville Elementary on Friday.

According to Assistant Principal Pam Walden, this designation is something the school is very proud of and has worked very hard to achieve. In the education business for 27 years, Walden said Caryville is among the best schools she has ever had the privilege to be a part of.

Caryville Elementary was recognized as a Reward School by the State on Thursday.

“It is truly an honor to be a part of the Caryville Staff; this is one of the hardest working staff I have ever worked with. The whole staff goes above and beyond for the kids in every way that they can,” Walden said. 

Assistant Principal Pam Walden cuts a Reward School celebration cake on Friday for faculty and staff at Caryville Elementary School.

Staff and faculty at other schools around the county sent email messages of congratulations to Caryville on earning the Reward School designation. These emails were read to the Caryville students during an assembly held this morning.

The Reward School designation means Caryville is in the top 5 percent for year-over-year progress—as measured by school-wide value-added data.

School Director Donnie Poston congratulated Caryville on the recognition and said he felt very blessed that no Campbell County Schools were on the priority list this year.

“Great job educators - keep up the fantastic work,” Poston said.

“The kids are proud, the staff is proud; Caryville is a great place to be,” Walden said.(08/22/2014 - NOON)

Campbell County High School Volleyball

Jellico High School Volleyball  (DAVID GRAHAM PIX)

Church youth group uses pink flamingos as a fundraiser

By Charlotte Underwood

If you wake up one morning and find a flock of gaudy plastic pink flamingos yard ornaments on your property, you may have been “flocked” by the Jacksboro East Baptist Church Youth Group. About ten youth group members go out in the cover of darkness and place the flamingos in people’s yards, often church congregation members. Used as a fundraiser, the pink menaces come with a note saying they will be removed if the property owner ponies up some money to cover their removal. According to church youth group member Jon Terry, the fundraising idea has been a lot of fun. He got the idea from a friend and then went online to find out more about it. He then went to the youth group leader who really liked the idea as well.

The pink menaces are deployed at night and come with sort of the opposite of a ransom note as the youth group members will only remove the gaudy pink yard ornaments if the property owner pays.

“It’s a lot of fun. We go out in the middle of the night and leave the flamingos in someone’s yard. We leave a note that says you have been flocked,” Terry said, adding that the group had even “flocked” one of its own members, which turned out to be quite funny. Terry said the youth group has raised a good bit of money with the fundraiser this summer.

East Jacksboro Baptist Church Youth Group members have been using “flocking” with flamingos to raise funds for youth group projects.

The money raised will go towards youth group activities such as camp and field trips. (08/22/2014 - 6:00 AM)

Substance abuse forum held in Campbell County

By Charlotte Underwood

Overdose is the number one cause of death in Tennessee. It used to be car accidents, but overwhelming substance abuse in young and old alike have brought about a new era of death and disease – the disease of addiction.

In an effort to improve the substance abuse epidemic, the Campbell County Health Council and multiple local agencies held a community forum yesterday to discuss the problem. The event was held at New Life Ministry in Jacksboro. Around 75 people attended the forum to “brainstorm” about ways to help solve substance abuse.

Over 70 people gathered together on Wednesday to discuss the problem of substance abuse and drug addiction in the county. The event was sponsored by the Campbell County Health Council.

A panel of substance abuse resources including the Metropolitan Drug Commission, Tennova, and Ridgeview were on site to field questions and speak about resource needs.

According to statistics from the Governor’s Report, young Tennesseans are using prescription drugs at a 30-percent higher rate than the national average.

Lifeline Regional Coordinator Stan Grubb helped to initiate the forum in Campbell County by calling the health council. A recovering alcoholic who feels very passionately about his mission, Grubb works to “facilitate recovery” in a 16-county region that includes Campbell.

“I have buried five of my friends recently. This is life or death stuff we are dealing with here; it’s either the abundance of life or the destruction of death,” Grubb said to an attentive audience.

Lifeline Regional Coordinator Stan Grubb helped to facilitate the substance abuse forum held at New Life Ministries on Wednesday. A second meeting will be held on Oct. 15.

The sheriff’s department, the county mayor’s office, local churches, Helen Ross McNabb, Celebrate Recovery, AA, NA, Al-Anon/Ala-teen, Community Health of East Tennessee, CAB members, Anti-Drug Coalition, Shepherd’s Home, Government offices, and other service representatives from all over the county were also in attendance.

Out of the forum, it was learned that the county needs more resources such as addition support groups and meeting places. Prevention was deemed to be perhaps the most important, with an emphasis placed on the county’s youth who are very vulnerable.

In 2011, Campbell County ranked eighth highest for children removed from homes and placed in foster care, which is two times the state average. According to DCS officials, these numbers are directly linked to drug and substance abuse.

According to Interventionist Bill Lee with Cornerstone Recovery, talking about the disease is the most effective treatment.

Treatment specialists on the panels said people also need to realize that rarely does recovery happen on the first try.

“It often takes two or three or more tries; you have to keep trying again and again. You have to walk beside people and help them along – you have to speak life into people” Grubb said, adding that there was already enough shame and condemnation heaped upon the stigma of addiction.

“People need hope and encouragement; speak words of encouragement if nothing else,” Grubb said.

The forum was just the beginning and a second meeting will be held October 15.

For more information about receiving help with recovery, people can call 423.562.2526.  (08/22/2014 - 6:00 AM)

La Follette will get to vote on wine in grocery stores come November

By Charlotte Underwood

Well it’s official. In three months, La Follette residents will get to vote whether or not they want to allow local grocery stores to sell wine, according to election commission officials.  A petition with at least 117 signatures was needed to have the question added to the local option ballot in November. According to the election commission, there were more than enough signatures turned in by the Aug. 21st deadline. Grocery chain Food City was behind the petition. The store already sells wine in its stores in Virginia and Kentucky and wants to add Tennessee to that lineup.

The petition is worded “to authorize consumption of alcohol on the premise in La Follette”, because, according to Election Commission Administrator Ann Ayers-Colvin, a city has to have legalized liquor before wine can be sold in grocery stores. Caryville is currently the only municipality in the county with legalized liquor, but there are no grocery stores in Caryville.

On November 4th, a yes or no question of whether or not La Follette residents want wine to be sold in grocery stores will appear on the ballot.(08/21/2014 - 5:30 PM)

La Follette Police to hold another drug drop off day - TODAY

By Charlotte Underwood

If you have old, outdated or unwanted prescription medications or drugs, then bring them down to the second Prescription Drug Drop Off event sponsored by the La Follette Police Department on Friday. Due to the success of the most recent prescription drug drop off day, the La Follette P.D. decided to hold another event this Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at CVS and Walgreens pharmacies in La Follette. 

According to La Follette Police Chief Jimmy Jeffries, the department plans on conducting pill drop off days at local pharmacies quarterly from here on out.

“We are doing this one so soon on the heels of the other pill drop off because of the overwhelming response we had. We got everything from Aspirin to Oxys,” Jeffries said, explaining that the department collected 11,109 and a half pills during the one day event on July 26 when the department set up at Terry’s and Riggs pharmacies.

“We knew it was a service that was needed in the area and we want to continue to offer these drop off days to the public,” Jeffries said, explaining that the event provided people with an opportunity to clean out their medicine cabinets and safely get rid of medications that could otherwise pose a health risk if disposed of improperly.

“We have an incinerator and after we get a court order signed by a judge, we will burn and dispose of all the pills in a safe way,” Jeffries said, adding that he wanted to encourage the public to bring in their unwanted medications. According to Jeffries, not only do old, out dated and unwanted medication provide a safety risk to children that may be the home, these medications lying around can also attract thieves and drug addicts. Those taking medications into to be destroyed are not required to give their names or any information to the police about the medications they are bringing in.

“No questions are asked, no names or information is taken; we just take the medications to be disposed of,” Jeffries said.

Walgreens is located at 2109 Jacksboro Pike and CVS is located across the road at 106 Independence Lane. Officers will be set up outside the pharmacies with prescription drop off boxes. (08/21/2014 - 6:00 AM)

Chamber appoints interim director

By Charlotte Underwood

Earlier today, the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted to appoint John Branam as the interim director of the chamber since current director E. L. Morton will be sworn into office as county mayor at the end of the month.  Branam currently heads up the county’s Small Business Incubator program and has been active in the chamber in that position.  He will take over as the interim director on Sept. 1.  The board of directors voted that Branam would fill the interim position for four months at which point, the position will be revisited.

“We will decide at that time what we want to do with the position,” said Rhonda Longmire, who is on the board of directors.

“We wanted to appoint someone who was familiar with the board,” Longmire said, adding that Branam would be working closely with chamber board president Jay Willoughby during the next four months.

“John and Jay will be working closely together to make sure things go smoothly and that the chamber maintains its continuity,” Longmire said.

Morton will also remain active on the board in the capacity of county mayor, a board member position that was just added this year by former county mayor William Baird.  (08/20/2014)

Wender’s Furniture business feature of the week

By Charlotte Underwood

Looking for quality and customer service you can trust when you purchase your furniture, appliances and home decorations?  Come to downtown La Follette and shop at Wender’s Furniture, a family-owned business that has been selling quality furniture and offering good service for over 75 years.  Owned and operated by Tom Robards and his son Tommy, the business has been in the family since it began by Tommy’s great uncle John J. Wender.

Sofas start as low as $499. Customers can shop online at www.wenderfurniture.com.

Originally a dry goods/general store when it first opened in the 1930s, Wender’s sold a little bit of everything, with the furniture located in the upstairs part of the building.

“I have had women come in here and tell me they bought everything from their wedding dresses to their first appliance from my great uncle John J.,” Tommy Robards said. Tommy’s grandfather Needham Robards and his uncle John J. had married sisters and after John J. opened up the business, Needham came down to help out with it, according to Tommy. Later on, Tommy’s father and grandfather bought the business from John J.  The business became primarily a furniture and home décor store in the early 1940s according to Tom Robards.

Personalized Norris Lake signs are available at Wender’s.

Wender’s has everything from A to Z, whether it's a stylish sofa for your living room, a new bed and mattress, a table and chair set for your dining room, appliances such as refrigerators, washers and dryers, patio and outdoor furniture or even game room furniture. Wender’s offers a great selection of furniture and has it in stock and ready for immediate delivery.  The store also has an impressive selection of styles, brands, colors and patterns to decorate your home.

Bassett dining room sets are also available at Wender’s. Call 423-562-2293.

“We have quality products and a price for everybody,” Tommy Robards said, explaining that sofas start as low as $499 and go up to “about as much as you wanted to put into one.”

Wender’s Furniture is located at 204 E. Central Avenue at redlight # 8 in La Follette.

The store also provides free delivery within a 50-mile radius of its location. This includes the setup of furniture and appliances.

Wender’s also carries grandfather clocks, appliances and much more. The store offers free delivery within a 50 mile radius of its location.

In addition to all the interior furniture and décor, Wender’s also offers a variety of outdoor furniture as well.

Wender’s also carries a variety of beds and bedroom furniture in stock.

“A lot of people are surprised we have outdoor patio furniture and don’t forget we sell the Big Green Egg grills,” Tommy said.

Don’t forget that Wender’s is the place to go for the Big Green Egg grills. 

Wender’s serves east Tennessee - La Follette, Jacksboro, Caryville, Jellico and areas around Norris Lake.

With the Bassett upholstery fabric and color options, Wender’s has the furniture to fit your decoration scheme.

Wender Furniture is located at 204 E. Central Avenue at red light # 8 in downtown La Follette. For more information, call 423-562-2293 or shop online at www.wenderfurniture.com.(08/21/2014 - 6:00 AM)

La Follette's Sheets earns prestigious national award

Zach Sheets of Edward Jones recently earned the firm's coveted Zeke McIntyre Pioneer Award, which recognizes new financial advisors who achieve high levels of success early in their careers with the financial services firm.  Sheets was one of only 405 of the firm's more than 13,000 financial advisors to receive the award.

Jim Weddle, the firm's managing partner, said the award is a strong indicator of a financial advisor's future success.

"We recruit and hire our financial advisors from among the best, so we expect them to do well," Weddle said. "But to achieve such success early in his career with Edward Jones is outstanding, and I commend Zach for his performance and dedication."

The award is named after Edward Jones legend Zeke McIntyre, who opened the firm's first branch office in 1957 in Mexico, Missouri.

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company, provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm's business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm's 13,000-plus financial advisors work directly with nearly 7 million clients to understand their personal goals -- from college savings to retirement -- and create long-term investment solutions that emphasize a well-balanced portfolio, diversified portfolio. Edward Jones embraces the importance of building long-term, face-to-face relationships with clients, helping them to understand and make sense of the investment options available today. (08/21/2014 - 6:00 AM)

Letter to the publisher

     La Follette resident Jerry Kidd is featured Saturday’s on the “Wild Bob and Ronnie” radio show heard over WLAF.  Today, he shares his thoughts of Tennessee doing away with virtual education.  WLAF welcomes your comments to wlaf@1450wlaf.com. (08/21/2014 - 6:00 AM)

           The Luddites have Attacked Union County Modernization of Schools
Union County experimented with "virtual" education beginning three years ago.  This is total computerization and individualization of a student's entire curriculum.  The student studies at home saving the county fortunes on transportation, meals, heating and air, discipline problems, maintenance, administration, etc., etc. 
About 200 children signed up the first year.  Close to the same in the second and third years.  TCAP scores were low the first year a student was involved but once the child "got the hang" of computer assisted and guided education, their scores began to improve in the 2nd and 3rd years.   A student could dress as he pleased, work when he wanted, he was comfortable doing his classes, he could eat and drink while working, and did not need a note to run down to the corner store.  The program was a success.  The company providing the individualized curriculum received most of the money earmarked for the education of that child and Union County received the rest.  The county education department was paid and all they had to do was test the children at the end of the year.
The word got around to other students and families how wonderful this new methodology was and that it worked.  Close to 700 signed up for the coming school year 2014-15.
Then the Luddites in the state department of education stepped in to bring the whole thing to a screeching halt. 

The Luddites were people who opposed modernization of factories with machines during the heyday of the Industrial Revolution during the beginning of the 18th Century.  They feared the new technology because of the potential loss of jobs to machines.  They would break into factories and smash the new technology.
Our appointed bureaucrats at the state department of education told the Union County school system that if this program was going to be this big of a success, in another year or two they would lose their students and their educational empire.  The 700 new applicants were cancelled.  This is dictatorial tyranny by narrow minded and ignorant bureaucrats who are more interested in their salaries and the maintenance of their cash generating empires than in the successful education of our children.  This is discrimination against success and open deprivation of the rights of our children to a quality education. 

The failure of our educational bureaucracies to properly implement modern technologies to personal and individualized education is criminal behavior.  Union County was helping pave the way to opening up educational methodologies that would advance education in Tennessee way beyond that of our neighboring states here in the South.  The parents of the children who have had the program cancelled for their children should file a class action lawsuit against the state department of education and the Union County board of education for "wimping out" and folding to the wishes of the Nashville bureaucrats. 

Parents, not the "robber barons" in our state capitol, should decide the direction of their children's education.  By parental retaking of the control of their children's education the stupid idiotic educational illusionary dreams of the bureaucrats, such as Common Core and No Child Left Behind, could be deposited in the waste dumps of society along with the rest of the purple hazed garbage of the government classes.
Our big beautiful public schools (warehouses) has again become brick and glass cathedrals to the ignorance of our school administrators.
(08/21/2014 - 6:00 AM)
Jerry Kidd

La Follette Police exceed state average on closing cases

By Charlotte Underwood

Closing a case is perhaps one of the most satisfying feelings a cop can have. According to La Follette Police Chief Jimmy Jeffries, cases only get closed if officers are out doing their jobs and working hard.  Once a case is closed, it gets “cleared” in Tennessee’s Incident-Base Reporting System.  The state has a case-closed average of 37.68, while as of July, LaFollette P.D., has an average of 45.78-percent, which according to Jeffries means the officers are going above and beyond.

“All the officers have been working really hard and we have had a lot going on,” Jeffries said, explaining the department’s recent involvement in multiple operations and activities.  Participating in the recent Federal drug round up this summer which ended in the arrest of 59 drug dealers is just one of the many things officers have been working on. 

The La Follette Police worked in conjuncture with the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department, the Drug Enforcement Agency and other groups in that operation.

The La Follette Police Department also recently helped the Governor’s Marijuana Eradication Task Force and the sheriff’s department in the finding and destroying of over a million dollars worth of weed.

“That is drugs that will never come down off the mountain and hit our streets,” Jeffries said. He is also proud of the investigative work which has closed several child abuse cases that his department had been working on.

“We have been working several child abuse cases and have had a high success rate in closing those cases, which is very important to these officers,” Jeffries said, adding that he wanted the public to know that the officers are not only doing their jobs, but are going above and beyond because they care.

Jeffries said too often the only thing you hear about police departments is bad publicity or when officers mess up and that he wants the public to know that the officers at La Follette are “going above and beyond.”

The tornado also brought out the best in the La Follette Police Officers who traveled up to the storm site and worked all night cutting trees and moving debris out of the road after many of them had already worked a shift.  Others stayed and worked a double shift so the fresh crew could go up and help with the tornado efforts as well.

“They stay as late as it takes , they come in at 2 and 3 in the morning and stay just as late if that’s what’s needed to close the case and keep the public safe,” Jeffries said. (08/20/2014 - 6:00 AM)

Cougar Football kicks off Friday over the WLAF - B & M Tires Sports Network

"list of corporate partners grows"

     The defending district champs are geared up for the gridiron.  Your Campbell Cougars visit the Cumberland Gap Panthers this Friday night in a 7:30 p.m. kick-off.  WLAF has all the live coverage.  Special thanks to all the corporate partners who make the live radio and live web telecasts possible; Eric Robbins and Robbins Guttering, former Lady Cougar Dr. Jill Cox-Browning, Community Trust Bank, B & M Tires, Charley's Pizza, Grace Rehab, Byrge Screen Printing, Terry's Pharmacy, Campbell County Heating & Air,

The “new look” Cougar headgear features a player’s number on one side of the helmet with an outline of Campbell County on the other side with a Cougar paw inside.  The helmets are white.  However, when light shines on the new hats, they turn different colors mainly gray.

Cumberland Gap Medical, Farmers Insurance Agent Travis Thompson, American Cable, Peoples Bank of the South, Marathon Oil, State Farm Agent Tabatha Smith, VitalCare Medical Transportation, Powell-Clinch Utility District, and Fazoli's.  Brent Allen and the Voice of the Cougars Les Martin have the call over WLAF beginning at 7:00 p.m. Friday.   (08/20/2014 - 5:00 AM)   

Siren set to sound on Thursday

La Follette Mayor Mike Stanfield points to the roof of city hall.  Stanfield says the siren that will be tested for a solid minute on Thursday at noon is at the fire hall end of the building.


Don’t be alarmed when you hear a loud siren on Thursday around noon.  But take note.  La Follette is testing its siren, located at city hall, that will be used to alert you of life threatening weather.  That’s this Thursday, and it’s only a test. (08/18/2014 - NOON)

Sheriff and police reports

By Charlotte Underwood

La Follette Police make multiple assault arrests

A Jacksboro man was arrested for assaulting another man with a baseball bat over a car deal, according to a La Follette police report.  Ricky Lee Herron, 45, was arrested on Aug. 16, after officers were dispatched to a fight and disturbance on Loop Road.  Once they arrived, officers found that Herron and five other men had “jumped out”, with Herron holding a baseball bat to confront the 31-year-old victim about a car sale.  


Herron then struck the victim in the back of the head with the bat as the victim and a witness attempted to leave. According to the police report, the victim then took the bat away from Herron and held him down with the bat until another man came by and broke up the fight and took the bat away and the police arrived.  Herron was charged with aggravated assault and taken to the county jail.

Two other assault arrests occurred on Aug. 16, when Kelsey A. Dennis, 25, of La Follette, and Shala Denise Sanchez, 26, got into a verbal argument, which turned physical.  Officers were dispatched to East Elm Street in reference to a fight.  



Once they arrived, they found both Dennis bleeding from her nose, with several red marks and swollen areas on her face.  Sanchez also had a knot on her forehead and several swollen areas as well.  Both women were arrested and charged with assault. Dennis garnered the additional charge of criminal trespass as she was the one who came onto the Sanchez property, according to the police report.

In an unrelated assault case, Michael Christopher Savage, 27,of LaFollette, was also arrested for aggravated assault on Aug. 13 after he allegedly pulled out a knife and threatened another man, according to his arrest report.


When officers arrived, Savage admitted to pulling the knife out and threatening the victim.  He was arrested and taken to jail.

Several arrested for DUI

Clarence L. Marlow, 36, was arrested in the movie theatre parking lot on DUI charges after several individuals saw him driving erratically.  When officers arrived at the movies, they found Marlow sitting in a vehicle with his keys in his pocket.  


He had a strong odor of alcohol about him.  Marlow told officers he had been dropped off at the theatre and that he had only drunk a “fifth of Jose Cuervo Tequilla.”  Officers asked him to perform a field sobriety test, on which he performed poorly.  Marlow was charged with DUI, violation of the financial responsibility law and driving on a suspended license. It was his fourth driving on a suspended license charge.

In an unrelated DUI arrest, a La Follette couple went to jail on Aug. 14, after driving drunk and striking a telephone poll on Lake Road.  James Terry Chapman, 45, along with his wife Sandra K. Chapman, were both arrested after officer arrived on the scene of the accident and found James behind the wheel of the vehicle, which had just struck the pole.  



When he attempted to get out of the vehicle, he was very unsteady on his feet.  Deputies attempted to perform a field sobriety test, but had to stop because James Chapman kept falling on the ground.  He was charged with DUI, driving on a suspended license and failure to exercise due care.  His wife was also arrested as she was the registered owner of the vehicle and had a strong smell of alcohol coming from her.(08/20/2014 - 6:00 AM)

Missing Ipad

     Missing Ipad with a "pink" cover from in or around the American Cable Store (Dish Network Store) in Food City Center. Please if found (or call if you have any information) return to American Cable for a reward.

Late night stabbing sends one man to the hospital

     Police describe it as a domestically fueled incident.  Reports coming in to WLAF are that Monday night just before 10:00 p.m. (9:44 p.m.) is when a call came in to E-911 that a 54-year old man had been stabbed.  Deputies say the man’s son-in-law, 33-year old Anthony Byers of La Follette, was booked into the county jail at 1:08 a.m. this morning charged with aggravated assault. 

Anthony Byers

It’s reported that Byers briefly refused to come out of the home on Bethel Lane, which is east of La Follette off Glade Springs Road in the Victory community, before the incident ended peacefully.  The victim, Ferrall Reynolds, was transported by ground ambulance to the UT Medical Center at Knoxville.  The investigation is still in its early stages. (08/19/2014 - 6:00 AM)

Commission approves relief for tornado victims, honors Bobby White’s service

The Campbell County Commission voted Monday night to approve the local match for a $400,000 grant to provide disaster relief for residents who lost or sustained heavy damage to their homes during the tornado that struck the Speedwell community on July 27.

All twelve commissioners seconded the motion, which authorizes a joint grant application from Claiborne and Campbell counties to the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA).

If approved, affected residents will be eligible to apply for up to $40,000 to repair or rebuild destroyed or damaged homes. $300,000 of the total will go to Claiborne County residents, where most of the damage was sustained, with $100,00 available to Campbell County citizens.

Each county must provide 50% in matching funds, but Mayor William Baird explained at last week’s workshop that money already expended by the counties for emergency response and clean-up work will cover most if not all of the counties’ matching share.

In what was for most commissioners, their final meeting before the new commission takes office, business was dispensed with quickly, consisting of approval of routine reports and minutes along with several motions involving grant applications that had to be handled immediately.

In addition to the THDA disaster grant, the commission unanimously approved a local match of $59,145 toward a $473,000 ARC grant for a digital works training facility, to be shared with Scott County. The project will be housed at the Campbell County Technology Center and the county’s share will be covered by providing the facility rather than an appropriation of funds.

The only motion not receiving unanimous approval involved application for an ARC grant to pay a $161,000 fee to Norfolk-Southern Railroad for the rail spur into Oswego Industrial Park. The county will be required to provide 20% of the funding for the project and was approved 11-1, with Bob Walden voting “no.”

Before adjourning, David Adkins presented a certificate of appreciation from the entire commission to Commissioner Bobby White for his sixteen years of service to the county. White announced earlier this year that he is retiring from public service and did not run for re-election.  (08/19/2014 - 6:00 AM)      

Medicare questions?  Terry’s Pharmacy has the answers.

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)

Post-election doldrums: commission has light agenda, school board fails to meet

Correction to this story:  Rusty Orick "did" attend the 2 1/2 hour workshop

County government for the most part took the week off in the wake of last Thursday’s elections. The Campbell County Board of Education convened Tuesday night but only four board members attended. Lacking a quorum to conduct business, Chairman Rector Miller invited members Sarge Collins and Johnny Byrge and outgoing board member Johnny Creekmore to say a few words.

Miller then expressed his own emotions about his four years on the board, telling the incoming board that he had intended to support Director Donnie Poston and fight for teachers’ raises if he had been re-elected and urging the new board to do so as well.

Josh Parker, who did not run for another term, Homer Rutherford, who is suffering health problems, defeated board members Scott Hill and Eugene Lawson along with school board holdovers Mike Orick and Danny Wilson were all absent from the meeting.

The new board members, however, were well represented. Attending the abbreviated meeting were Sharon Mills Ridenour, Faye Heatherly, Clint Bane and Crystal Creekmore. All four, along with Wallace Goins, will be sworn in officially in time to assure that the board can resume conducting business in September.

On Monday night, the county commission was more successful in gathering enough members to conduct business at their workshop and a special called meeting. Only Wendell Bailey and (Rusty Orick did attend the meeting) missed the brief workshop where Mayor William Baird mentioned several items that will be on next week’s agenda.

Those subjects include approval of a grant application in partnership with Claiborne County to seek $400,000 in rehabilitation funds from THDA to aid residents who lost homes in the recent Speedwell tornado. The counties’ matching contributions will all be covered by in-kind expenditures including clean-up and recovery work that has already been carried out, Baird told commissioners.

The commission will also be asked to approve a contract with Med Trans that will insure that the Campbell County Ambulance Service will be reimbursed for all services provided to UT Lifestar, even if no ground transportation is involved. The contract was unanimously approved by the EMS Committee before the workshop convened.

The special called meeting had one purpose, to vote on the final contract with Med Trans for lease of space at the Campbell County Airport for a permanent hangar and helipad for the Lifestar regional base, which will be relocated to Campbell County. The commission voted unanimously to approve the contract.  (08/13/2014 - 6:00 AM)

Caryville Meeting August 11, 2014


Candidates win by being new to politics, mysterious and not the ‘good ole boys’

Boomer's Corner

By Charles "Boomer" Winfrey

The August election is over, which may help explain why the weather forecast calls for a cool-down later this week – all the political hot air has finally settled out of the atmosphere. Things have also settled enough for yours truly to sit back and take a closer look at the results and come up with some conclusions about exactly what voters were looking for in the way of our county and district officials for the next few years.

The first thing the casual observer might conclude is that voters took a “Throw the bums out” approach to this year’s elections. Out of eleven county commissioners running for re-election, only five survived. School board incumbents were shut out completely, all four incumbents going down in flames. Incumbent County Mayor William Baird finished third in a four-way race, Incumbent County Clerk Debbie Wilson lost to a former employee while all four incumbent judicial officials were sent packing.

But it isn’t that simple. Voters returned several former commissioners and board members who they had rejected four years ago or longer. Some incumbents’ defeats can be attributed to other factors. Steve Rutherford had no time to campaign with his father seriously ill, and since being transferred from principal at Valley View to Jacksboro Middle School, he lacks the physical presence in the First District he once enjoyed.

Alvin Evans and challenger Charles Vermillion may have suffered from their dual roles on the embattled Jellico City Council, while Wendell Bailey has legal problems of his own.

But, with the wisdom of hindsight, I have attempted here to give my analysis of what voters wanted and what they did not want in 2014.

Number one: the surprise factor. Voters appear to prefer the devils they don’t know to the devils they know. Out of 33 county commission candidates in the five districts who either appeared at the televised candidates’ forums or were profiled in the La Follette Press, only ten were elected. Ten candidates avoided the forums completely and were “unavailable for comment” when the Press put together its election guide. Half of those mystery candidates were elected to office.

All of the school board candidates were profiled, but Wallace Goins, who gained notoriety for running a laid-back, practically “non”- campaign, defeated board chairman Rector Miller, who was campaigning all over the place.

Number two: Recycling is a no-no. Ten candidates for office have been county officials before and were attempting political comebacks of a sort. Former commissioner Whit Goins and former school board member Faye Heatherly regained seats they lost four years ago. Lynn Letner, Gary Perkins, David G. Young, Mark Wells and Scott Kitts all remained political has-beens, as did former Environmental Services Director Tip Jones.

The one exception was in the fifth district, where voters decided to recycle commissioners Carl Douglas and Forster Baird. Fifth District voters apparently are big on recycling, as ousted commissioners Terry Singley and J. L. Davis were also comeback kids from previous elections.

Number three: the decline and fall of the “Good Ole Boy’s Club.” Fifteen women ran for office in the August general election. Eight of them were elected. Of the seven female candidates who lost their races, three lost to other women while only one female incumbent, District Attorney Lori Phillips-Jones, lost to a man.

Number four: Governor, better stay in Nashville. Three 8th Judicial District incumbents were all appointed by Governor Bill Haslim: Chancellor Andy Tillman, DA Lori Phillips-Jones and Public Defender Mark Blakley. All three lost.

So what does this say about Campbell County politics? I think it tells us that if you want to be elected to public office next time around, be a woman who has never held office before, running against a field of male opponents. Avoid being interviewed by the news media, avoid candidate’s forums and definitely avoid being endorsed by the Governor. Odds are greatly in your favor.

While Campbell County voters appear fed up with controversies, bickering and continuation of the status quo, Anderson County voters appear to love it enough to ask for more of the same in their choices.

The constant feuding between County Mayor Terry Frank and Sheriff Paul White will continue for four more years, as both were handily re-elected. The bickering between Frank and the county commission will also continue, as most commissioners were re-elected. The political map in general moved a bit farther to the right, with two judicial candidates, both Democrats and one a longtime incumbent, being defeated while the Democratic Circuit Court Clerk also lost.

A courthouse that was once dominated by an entrenched Democratic political machine is now much more Pachyderm in nature, but my only conclusion from Anderson County results is that voters enjoy nasty political bickering and want it to continue.

The Town of Lake City, uh Rocky Top, will have its election later this fall, but the name change has already had repercussions. I hear that all of the candidates who have so far qualified for mayor and city council have seen their petitions rejected by the Anderson County Election Commission and must re-submit them before the qualifying deadline.

Seems too many of the voters who signed the petitions put down their address as “Lake City,” which is no longer being recognized as a legitimate address since the town formally changed its name. Personally, I’m just going to use a zip code from here on. Let ‘em judge for themselves whether I live in Lake City, Rocky Top or Coal Creek!

The election season is not the only thing to be winding down around here. My garden has shifted into its Dog Days decline, with green beans all but exhausted, onions harvested, squash and zucchini on the way out, cucumbers dried up, broccoli devastated by beetles and tomatoes getting scarce.

It’s been a good garden year, however. There are still sweet potatoes to be dug, butternut squash ripening and carrots still in the ground that Bugs Bunny would be proud to steal. The corn, however, was a total failure.

We’ve never had the best luck with corn, passing up on the traditional Hickory Cane variety to grow yellow sweet corn that comes in later in the summer. An insect devastated the crop for several years, laying eggs that hatched into voracious caterpillars that grew fat on the tender kernels.

I finally followed some advice from an old hand and applied a few drops of mineral oil to the silks when the ears first began forming and that worked, the bugs apparently not too fond of the liquid laxative.

Then this year, for the first time I discovered the true meaning of the phrase “crows in the corn.” I don’t know if there’s any truth to the old superstition that crows are an omen of bad tidings, precursors of war or famine and other natural disasters, but shortly after Lake City changed its name to Rocky Top, a murder of crows (Yes, that’s what they call a flock of crows) invaded the flood plain of Coal Creek.

In no time at all the birds had stripped the husks from every mature ear and eaten the kernels. I tried the mineral oil on the crows and they just ate it that much faster, but at least I had the satisfaction of giving the varmints a case of the runs. Once they consumed all of the mature corn, they moved on to the immature ears and stripped them bare until nothing was left.

Having carried their omen of impending disaster to Rocky Top and having stuffed themselves on my corn, the birds flew, or in the case of some of the most gluttonous, wobbled, on up the creek toward City Hall, presumably to apply for jobs with the new Rocky Top Public Works Department.  (08/12/2014 - 8:00 AM)     

Record day for WLAF

     WLAF radio, television, and dot com enjoyed its most listened-to, watched, and visited day in the 61-year history of the station on Thursday.  More than 20,000 of you either visited www.1450wlaf.com, listened to WLAF AM and FM, or watched WLAF-TV 12.  And we thank you!  (08/08/2014 - 3:00 AM) 

Election results bring change

By Charlotte Underwood

      Campbell County has a new mayor.  E.L. Morton won in a run-away race for the county mayor’s office, easily outstripping incumbent William Baird and other candidates.  Morton received 4,022 votes, while Jack Lynch came in second with 2,346 and Baird came in third with 2,186.  Fred Cole garnered 748 while Marvin Rutherford finished with 194.

     Morton, members of his family, friends and old school mates gathered at the Holiday Inn Express to celebrate the big win before heading down to WLAF to give a big thanks to all his supporters.

     Morton said he was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support.  “Tonight’s a blessing and an affirmation.  I feared letting people down and not being able to deliver, but the people supporting our campaign came through and didn’t let that happen. I am really proud to represent the people that voted for us and look forward to being the mayor of Campbell County for everyone.  Morton said he had prayed long and hard about running for office.

     “I prayed not to do it, but I got a different answer and win lose or draw, I was responsible for doing that much at least.  I am relieved it’s over, but I look forward to building the community we want in the future.  We deserve only what we earn, but I believe the people of Campbell County are willing to work hard to earn it,” Morton said. 

Morton said he looked forward to going to work for the people of the county.

     Incumbent Sheriff Robbie Goins is going to enjoy another four years in office as he swept the polls against Gary Perkins and Pete Hatfield.  Votes for Goins totaled an amazing 6,986 while Perkins had 1,752 and Hatfield finished with 882.

     Goins said he was honored to receive the vote of confidence from the people of the county.  “I am so thankful to the voters; I think the people liked what we have been doing for the past four years and they showed that in support at the polls,” Goins said, adding that while he had felt good about the turnout, he did not know how overwhelming the support would be.

     “Everyone has been so positive these past four years about what we have been doing; we are all excited to get back to work for another four years,” Goins said, adding that he was “thankful and blessed.”
     Amanda Sammons ousted incumbent Joe Ayers for Sessions Court Judge in a fairly close race with a total of 3,698 votes. Ayers received 3,296. Challenger Kathy Parrott had a showing of 2,495 votes.

      Sammons said she felt excited and was still in shock over winning.  She said she wanted to thank the voters who put her in office.  “Thank you so much for entrusting me with your vote and your support,” Sammons said, adding that she looked forward to taking office and getting started.

     In Campbell County, Jared Effler is receiving more votes for the district attorney general’s office with 4,189 votes over Lori Phillips-Jones who had 3,992. Effler was declared the winner not long before midnight Thursday.

     In Campbell County, Leif Jeffers received 4,552 for the public defender’s office while Mark Eric Blakely garnered 3,612. Jeffers also won the other counties in the district to become the new public defender.

    In the Chancellor race, Elizabeth Asbury won with 6,743 votes to Andy Tillman’s 2,507 here and was victorious overall to earn the right to be the next chanellor.  Dormas Miller won the Register of Deeds office with 5,288, while Beverly Hall had 2,782 and Danny E. Wilson had 297.1

     The new county clerk is Alene Baird with 3,262. Lynn Letner received 703, while Todd Nance had 2,948 and incumbent Debbie Wilson had 2,721.

     First District County commissioners are N. Marie Ayers who received 677, while Whit Goins received 721 and Robert Higginbotham received 675.

     Second District County commissioners are Dewayne “Mailman” Kitts with 1,039, Cliff Kohlymeyer with 641 and Lonnie Weldon with 696.

      Kitts said he wanted to thank the voters for everything.

      “Well it’s an honor to win; I want to thank the voters.  The people in the district really showed me their support,” Kitts said, saying he sensed the people in his district wanted a change.

     “I made a lot of friends in the second district; really honored and thankful for everyone who voted. I am going to be a committed commissioner and do what I can for the people,” Kitts said, adding that he never thought he would be doing this.

     “I want to make a positive influence on the community and I invite the public to come and sit down with me if they need to talk,” Kitts said.

     County commission third district winners are Cliff Jennings with 627, Rusty Orick with 786 and Scott Stanfield with 886. 

     Fourth district county commissioners for the fourth district are Charles Goat Baird with 1,028, Johnny Coach Bruce with 1,098 and Sue Nance with 1,075,

     County commission fifth district representatives are Forster Baird with 709, Ralph Davis with 840 and Carl B. Douglas with 714.

     School board first district member is Wallace Goins with 1,289 against Rector Miller’s 666.

     Second district school board saw Sharon Ridenour win with 815 against Randy Comer’s 764.

     Third district school board member is Faye Heatherly who won a close race with 797 votes against Scott Hill’s 774 and Virgil Kidwell’s 185.

     In the school board district four, Clint Bane won with 748 against Tim Woods with 526 and Eugene Lawson’s 682.

     School Board District five saw Crystal Creekmore winning with 586 while Elsie Bates Crawford garnered 505, Johnny Creekmore had 402 and Ned Smiddy received 346.

     Congress third district sees Weston Wamp beat Chuck Fleischmann in the third district congressman race with 2464 against Wamp’s 2357 in Campbell County.  Fleischmann was eventually able to win and keep his seat in Congress.  (08/08/2014 - 2:30 AM)

A message from Sheriff Goins

     The votes are in, and I have been declared the winner by our local media with an overwhelming majority of votes, and I am comfortable with saying, victory is ours! I can't express in words how thankful and appreciative I am for the enormous vote, victory and the confidence you and your family have trusted me with again for another four years.  I am honored and thankful to serve as your sheriff.  From my heart, I thank you.  I thank God first, and I have to thank my family, my wife Janice, my dad R.L., my sisters Pam and Sherry, my mom for looking down on me, and I have to thank and congratulate my brother-in-law, Trustee Monty Bullock and so many more along with my niece Lyndsey Surber.  Thank you for all your hard work, volunteering, door-to-door, donations, phone calls, cooking for our rallies, face booking support and word of mouth politicking.  I also must thank my team of dedicated professionals that work hard for you and your family around the clock, everyday in the office, on the road, in the jail and at the courthouse.  It has taken time and patience to develop our team of smart, trusted and dedicated individuals that I believe serve all of us with distinction. Also, I have to thank you and your families for you vote, trust, working relationships, support and care.  We simply could not be successful without you all and the working relationships we have formed together.  I am excited and thankful that you all were not swayed by the uneducated, uninformed and half truth politics of my two opponents.  Yet, I offer them good will and blessings.  We ran a good solid, clean, focused campaign based on the record of accomplishments we have gotten done together the past four years.  Obviously, we done things right and earned your vote and we will continue to move in the direction we started together four years ago, one which you not only deserve, but demand.  We have done so, so much good together and after Thursday night, your vote, support and dedicated commitment, we will continue to do great things together that need to be done in the name of our county's future, it's children and all of our citizens.  It has and will be my highest honor to continue to serve with you, as your sheriff. Victory is ours together!  Thank you again, God bless  -Sheriff Robbie K. Goins  (08/08/2014 - 6:00 PM)

Finals ‘14 – The 2014 Election Returns from WLAF is presented by:

Attorney Greg Leach of Sexton, Sexton, & Leach Attorneys 423.569.8341

Ron's Golf Carts & La Follette Indoor Flea Market - behind Long John Silvers

American Cable in the Woodson Mall-Food City Center is your home for DISH

Since 1961, Litho-Craft Printing & Office Supplies on West Beech Street

Zach Sheets with Edward Jones Investments 423.566.4010

First National Bank 423.566.1624 - next to Subway on the four-lane

Terry's Pharmacy of La Follette & Jacksboro - walk-in, drive-up, or we'll deliver

Beacon Finance "where pigs fly" on North Tennessee Avenue

State Farm Agent Tabatha Smith in the Fleet Building in La Follette

Attorney David H. Dunaway 423.562.7085

Holston Gases - Jacksboro - 423.562.7596

The Gray Insurance Agency where "Nationwide is on your side"

Community Trust Bank, building communities built on trust

David Bales Buick GMC - locally owned & operated by the same family since 1966

Wender Furniture Company in La Follette is home of the Big Green Egg

Since 1933.  Our name means a great deal.  Bowman Jewelers at Traffic Light 8.

Dave's Lawn Mower Parts - behind Scottie's at Caryville

PCUD - Powell-Clinch Utility District.  Natural.  Propane.

American Trust Bank.  Thanks for 10-great years.

La Follette Glass...  "Auto-Commercial-Residential"

FM is now a part of the WLAF media platforms 

     Who would have thought that WLAF would have a television station before it was able to secure an FM signal?  But that’s how it’s played out.  WLAF signed on as an AM radio station in 1953, added WLAF-TV 12 in 1990, and, as of this morning, now has an FM signal.  It is FM 100.9.  The new FM is a simulcast of 1450 WLAF.  The website, www.1450wlaf.com, is also one of the WLAF’s mediums.(08/07/2014-6:00 AM)

FBC of La Follette morning services are now online

     Click here to see and hear the Sunday morning service from the First Baptist Church of La Follette from August 3, 2014, with church pastor Dr. Duane Mills. (08/03/2014 - 7:00 PM)

Hear Hatfield here

     Listen to the new Tennessee Sports talk show called "Show Cause" with La Follette`s Keith Hatfield heard here on WLAF & broadcast out of the Basilio Studio in Knoxville, Tennessee every Friday from 1 pm to 3 pm.

Check this out on Chirbit 


ESPN-SEC Network airs in August

     It`s about 90 days to the TENNESSEE VOL kick off on the new ESPN Network.  ESPN-SEC Network which begins August 14, 2014. See our local Dish Retailer “American Cable” in the Food City Center soon to be connected to the new SEC Network.  Do not miss the Vols first two games of 2014.  Visit them in the mall or click below. .... 

Click the cap to watch the 2014 CCHS Graduation Ceremonies

2014 Campbell Football Schedule

August 14 or 15                       Jamboree                      A

August  22                              Cumberland Gap            A

August 29                               Lynn Camp                  H

September 5                          Central *                      H

September  12                         Anderson County*          A

September 18                          Clinton*                         A

September 26                          Halls*(HC)                     H

October 3                                Oak Ridge*                    A

October 10                             Gibbs*                          H

October 17                              Open Date                    - -

October 24                              Karns*                          A

October 31                             Powell*(SN)                 H                           

Miss a WLAF news story?

     Maybe a friend told you about a story here on 1450wlaf.com, and you can't find it?  If it's not on this front page, simply check our News Archives.  That link is up this page a bit and to the left.  Thank you for visiting 1450wlaf.com.                    

Join Tony Basilio & La Follette's Keith Hatfield weekdays at 12:00 over WLAF

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Scott Kitts for County Commissioner





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Photo: CCHS Class of 1984    

     Due to what little amount of feedback we have received regarding having both the dinner AND the picnic, the reunion committee has voted to cancel the dinner. As of now, our 30th Class Reunion will be as follows: Family Picnic Saturday, August 23, 2014 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Cove Lake State Park Shelter #1 110 Cove Lake Lane Caryville, TN 37714 Cost: $10/adult & $5/child (under 10) Cost covers: shelter rental, purchase of hot dogs, hamburgers, buns, drinks, ice, BBQ supplies (charcoal & lighter fluid), plates, cups, napkins, and cutlery.

      Please feel free to bring the following: Your family Side dish or dessert Chairs We are asking classmates to RSVP to our Facebook page or call Lisa Smith Kelly at 317-538-3732 or Pam Cooper Fekete at 865-318-9540 by July 1st so we can have a head count for purchasing food, etc. Your money should be received by July 15th. Checks should be made payable to: CCHS 30TH REUNION P.O. Box 411 Lenoir City, TN 37771-0411 c / o William Lovely, Treasurer 

     NOTE : Several of us are planning to go to dinner later that same night as an ADULT ONLY evening. If anyone would like to join us, please feel free. We have not decided on where so if you have suggestions, feel free to make them. You are responsible for your own dinner if you decide to join our party but we hope you can make it!