Day 178 in the search for Rhonda Kitts Daugherty 

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Fireworks for La Follette set for July 3rd

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



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Photo from home 

     The long awaited opening of the new county jail is now official.  Inmates were moved into the new facility overnight with most going into dorm cells like this one where Sheriff Robbie Goins stands.  More pictures and the story on the historic transition are found further down this page.

Obit page on the fritz

     The WLAF Obituary Link is on the fritz.  However, the current obituaries are posted further down this page (past LHS info) and will be until the link is repaired.(05/26/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Motion date set in Stanfill case

By Susan Sharp

Daniel Stanfill has had several unproductive court dates in the last 17 months. His next one, June 6, may be a different story.

Stanfill stands accused of robbing Big O’s market at gunpoint in Jan. 2014. Since being charged with the felony, Stanfill, through his attorneys, has maintained his innocence. Part of that assertion has been a flurry of motions filed on his behalf. On Tuesday, Eighth Judicial Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton instructed both sides they could argue those motions next week.

The motions range from the expected, a change of venue, to the unexpected, a motion for the number of Beretta pistols owned and purchased throughout the Eighth Judicial District. There is also a motion reserving the right to file other motions.

Dave Dunaway, one of Stanfill’s three attorneys and his stepfather, is the author of the motions.

In the one asking for a change of venue, Dunaway cites the “extensive publicity” the case has received in the area. The Campbell County Sheriff’s Department and local print publications bear the culpability for the publicity, according to Dunaway.  There have been multiple social media posts about the case, he said. Along with this, Dunaway alleges there was an article published that said Stanfill confessed to the crime. That is “blatantly false and inaccurate,” according to the motion.

Dunaway also wants to make privy information regarding a number of items throughout the five county judicial district. In another motion, he asked the court to compel prosecutors to disclose three collections of information. He wants to know, how many people in the judicial district own white Ford Explorers or similar SUVs; the number of Beretta pistols owned and purchased in the district and “information on all unsolved robberies by a male with a gun during the last two years, including those happening since Jan. 3, 2014.”

His next request is to have any items seized from Stanfill’s home and car on Jan. 3, 2014 excluded from the case. According to Dunaway, the search was illegal so any items found as a result aren’t admissible.

The search lacked probable cause and Stanfill’s permission, Dunaway wrote in the motion.

Keeping with the theme of wanting portions of the case thrown out, Dunaway filed another motion.

In this one, he is asking the court to suppress statements his stepson may have made to police on Jan. 3, 2014. The motion states Stanfill was “taken into legal custody” by police with no supporting cause. During this time, it appears Stanfill talked to the police before he was advised of his Miranda Rights. Now, Dunaway wants any statements prior to the execution of Miranda Rights excluded from the case as well, according to the motion. Stanfill didn’t waive his rights, Dunaway said.

Lastly, Dunaway filed a motion asking the court for the opportunity to file further motions. He claims the request is not being made to “delay or encumber the court with unnecessary or irrelevant motions” but rather so he will be able to provide his client with an adequate defense.(05/28/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Broyles pleads guilty to DUI

By Susan Sharp

A Campbell County woman has lost her driver’s license for six years and has been sentenced to 120 days in jail. 

Angeline S. Broyles, 57, 904 Riverview Drive, LaFollette pled guilty to third offense DUI and the attempted possession of a schedule II controlled substance with the intent to deliver it on Tuesday.

As a result of her plea, Broyles was sentenced   to 120 days in jail with credit for time served. She has lost her driving privileges for six years and will spend those years on supervised probation, according to court records. Along with this, Broyles must pay court costs, a $3,100 fine and attend one MADD Victim Impact Panel.

Her charges and subsequent plea stem from an April 2015 incident in which she was pulled over by LaFollette Police after she allegedly crossed the white line three times, the arrest report said. When the LPD attempted to pull Broyles over, she stopped in her lane of traffic instead of pulling to the shoulder. Once police had her off the road, she was administered a series of field sobriety tests.

She failed them all, according to court records. A search of her car and purse revealed she had filled a 90 count Oxycodone earlier in the day, but there were only eight pills left in the bottle.  Police reportedly found $350 in a bag that also contained the pill bottle. Broyles allegedly told the police 30 of the pills were with a friend but she couldn’t remember where the remaining pills were. Broyles denied knowing the cash was in the bag and couldn’t account for where it came from, police said.  (05/28/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Campbell County makes history this morning

Long awaited jail is officially open

On Wednesday, there were 183 people, male and female, housed at the Campbell County Jail at Jacksboro.  It was just another overcrowded day for staff and inmates at the 91-bed facility.  But at 6:00 a.m. this morning, all that changed when the new jail was officially opened.  Overnight Campbell County went from a way-too-cozy 91-bed jail to a 324-bed facility.

The new justice center stretches down Valley Street taking up a large part of the town’s block.

Campbell County now has 12 maximum security cells.

Sheriff Robbie Goins tells WLAF that “we got what we need.”  He notes that ever since he took office back in 2010, the jail’s always been beyond capacity.  The sheriff, now in his second term in office, says that they now can house anybody, and that this is a much safer environment for all concerned.  He goes on to say that it frees up a constant worry about housing elderly inmates, too many inmates in one area, and safety.  Sheriff Goins points out that everybody has problems with overcrowding, and that Campbell County is not exclusive, but it may be now with 233 more beds.

As you can see the windows below are tinted and very hard to see through while the top windows are not.  This is where a last minute change came about placing non-tinted windows on the top half of this view from the command center.  Once seeing the difference, it’s easy to understand why the tinted windows on top would not’ve been practical.

There were concerns about the low roof section of the jail.  Sheriff Goins says razor wire is on that roof.  Not to mention the fact that the floor below this roof, covering the rec room, is a 25-foot drop.  This is a look from outside the rec room door toward the low roof side which is next to the election commission parking lot.

Jail Administrator Captain Eric Jones remembers the old days.  And the old days weren’t that long ago.  Jones, the man who Goins credits with putting in a lot of planning that catered to CC’s needs, recalls the 1960s built jail.  It was used up until just a short time back and had only 48-beds.  Jones recalls there were 115 inmates on opening night of the, at the time, new 2007 jail that only holds 91.

Jail Administrator Eric Jones (L) with his Jail Lieutenant Randy Comer say the added room has been a long time coming.

This is a commons area with a single television on the wall.  In the original plans, Goins says there were going to be televisions everywhere.  One he realized that, he scrapped the idea of lots TVs saying that money could be spent better elsewhere.

Just as much planning went into the new Campbell County Jail, so did the game plan that was carried-out beginning around 6:00 p.m. Wednesday night.  One-hundred and thirty-three male inmates made the 100-foot walk from the, now, old jail into the new facility.  All prisoners were classified for the short walk allowing them to be taken individually and in small groups.

From the command center of the new county jail, there more than fifty camera shots that rotate across the monitors.

Chief Deputy Aaron Evans and Sheriff Robbie Goins (L) communicate with the command center to enter into the commons.

As Sheriff Goins looks back a couple of years, he describes the situation as a “pressure cooker” when the largest jail population ever of some 265 inmates was squeezed into the 91-bed configuration.  Based simply on numbers, he says the males will occupy the newest facility even though female incarcerated here in Campbell County.

Sheriff Goins points toward the roll up rec room window, and later realized that they need to come up with a basketball.

Making fresh air and sunlight available for those being housed is a requirement.  This is the rec room window rolled open

The elevator offers another element of safety taking inmates directly to the back of the upstairs courtroom and away from the general public.

Goins calls the new facility easily a 16-million dollar structure that ended up costing around 12-million dollars.  The construction began in phases in 2011, and he praises the contractor for being so accommodating to the different offices that moved from the old part of the campus into the new justice center.  (05/28/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Concert press release is further down this page


Bartley last seen 270 miles from La Follette

School shooter faces additional charges

Tuesday.  3:30 p.m.  Blacksburg, Virginia.  That’s when and where the last contact was made by officials with the SCRAM bracelet that Kenneth S. Bartley was court ordered to wear.  It’s believed Bartley either removed the monitor or the battery for it went dead.

Just after lunchtime today, Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton signed a revised warrant for Bartley.  In conjunction with the original warrant, the revised warrant carries additional charges.

District Attorney General Jared Effler told WLAF’s Susan Sharp Tuesday night that Bartley’s information has been uploaded to NCIC.  Ellfer points out that by Bartley being listed with the National Crime Information Center database, it ensures if any law enforcement officers encounter Bartley, they can learn he has an outstanding warrant.  “This will let them know he is a wanted person,” Effler said.  “If he is in Tennessee we want him arrested and brought to Campbell County,” Effler said. ‘Our intent is to prosecute him on the violation.”(05/27/2015 - 2:30 PM)

Effler places Bartley in NCIC

By Susan Sharp

Kenneth Bartley is a wanted man.

Earlier this week, Eighth Judicial District Attorney General Jared Effler’s office received information Bartley was no longer living in Virginia. Bartley had been residing there with his one-time therapist, Erin TePaske, in hopes of getting his life on track.

That all changed after TePaske’s 3-year old son was injured and subsequently died two days later. The toddler was allegedly in Bartley’s care at the time the injury allegedly occurred.

“We have received information he (Bartley) is no longer residing at the residence in Virginia,” Effler said Tuesday night.  Effler’s office has notified Bartley’s probation officer of the change.

Effler has also taken steps to ensure if any law enforcement officers encounter Bartley, they can learn he had an outstanding warrant. Bartley has been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database. “This will let them know he is a wanted person,” Effler said. “If he is in Tennessee we want him arrested and brought to Campbell County,” Effler said. ‘Our intent is to prosecute him on the violation.”

Although Bartley is wanted for a violation of probation, is a misdemeanor violation. This means, he must be within the state boundaries for the warrant to have any teeth. Had Bartley been convicted of a felony charge, the violation would have been extraditable.

When Bartley was convicted of the charge that placed him on probation, it was a simple assault conviction involving his mother. Had there been the use of a weapon or bodily injury that would have given rise to the felony level, according to Effler.

Effler said his office has only dealt with Bartley at the misdemeanor level.

He is also urging anyone with information about Bartley’s whereabouts to contact the DA’s office at 562-4991.(05/27/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Bartley’s monitoring device not operable

     WLAF News has learned that the monitoring device school shooter Kenneth S. Bartley is required by court orcder to wear is not operating.  Reports coming in to WLAF are that Bartley is supposed to replace the batteries in the device when they go bad.  Sometime Tuesday, an official explains that it appears the batteries in the monitor died.  Up until that point, authorities knew where Bartley was at all times, because the device also acts as a GPS.  (05/27/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Greca bound to grand jury

By Beth Braden

The man accused of carjacking a City of La Follette employee at gunpoint saw his case bound over to a grand jury after a preliminary hearing before Judge Amanda Sammons on Tuesday morning.

Dale Greca was charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm during a dangerous felony and second offense driving on a suspended license after the May 6 incident. If he is indicted, he will be arraigned in criminal court on June 22. (05/27/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Man arrested for underage DUI on Memorial Day

By Beth Braden

A 20-year-old man was arrested late Monday night after he told police he believed he was in West Knoxville.

Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Franklin Ayers was on patrol just before 11 p.m. when he was told to be on the look out for a white Toyota at the intersection of Old Middlesboro Highway and Gen. Carl Stiner Highway in La Follette. Ayers spotted the car and he reportedly saw it swerve into the emergency lane and back into the roadway after the red light turned green. As they traveled west, Ayers saw the vehicle cross the center line four times, according to reports.

Trevor Randall Kennard

When Ayers initiated a traffic stop, he reportedly encountered Trevor Randall Kennard, 4433 Balraj Lane, Knoxville, behind the wheel of the car. Kennard allegedly exhibited slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and the smell of alcohol reportedly emanated from his person.

Kennard allegedly confessed to drinking a 40 oz. Pabst Blue Ribbon and a tall boy Heneiken beer. He performed poorly on field sobriety tests, according to reports, and seemed to be “very confused” about his location. He reportedly told Ayers he believed he was near Turkey Creek in Knoxville.

Kennard was arrested and charged with underage driving while impaired, failure to exercise due care and violation of the implied consent law. (05/27/2015 - 6:00 AM)

One arrested for marijuana at cemetery

By Beth Braden

A Duff man was jailed early Sunday morning after police found him at Owens cemetery with marijuana.

Brandon John Meadows

Sherrif’s Deputy Isaac Phillips was dispatched to the graveyard to investigate a disturbance when he saw Brandon John Meadows, 4632 N. U.S. 25, Duff, sitting in his vehicle.

When Phillips made contact with Meadows, he reportedly noticed a strong smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle. A search of the car allegedly revealed four baggies of a green, leafy substance in the center console of the vehicle as well as a pipe, grinder and marijuana cigarettes in the back seat.

Phillips was arrested and charged with possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.  (05/27/2015 - 6:00 AM)

One arrested at Whitman Hollow

By Beth Braden

 A Knoxville man was arrested after police say he was trespassing on a houseboat at Whitman Hollow Marina. 

On May 19, Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Wasson reportedly spoke with a female who told him Timothy Lee Jackson, 45, 237 Hillcrest Drive, Knoxville, was allegedly on her houseboat at Whitman Hollow. The victim told police she had called Jackson several times and asked him to leave, “but he refused to do so,” according to reports.

When Wasson arrived at the marina, he found Jackson on the houseboat and noted he allegedly smelled strongly of alcohol and had slurred speech.

Jackson allegedly told police he had consumed a bottle of vodka. He was removed from the houseboat, arrested and charged with criminal trespassing and public intoxication. (05/27/2015 - 6:00 AM)

La Follette meets in workshop session

Many items discussed

A four item agenda ballooned into an almost-hour long City of La Follette workshop on Tuesday evening.   From talk of purchasing brackets for the city light poles to hold flower baskets to sponsoring a fall festival were among the several items up for discussion. 

LUB vacancy

There’s a vacancy on the La Follette Utility Board.  James “Bear” Campbell, retired from LUB, and Jay Willoughby, president of the Chamber of Commerce, are two names mentioned surrounding filling the LUB spot.  Campbell was in the audience last night.

La Follette may be asked to relinquish its space at animal shelter

Animal Control Director Stan Foust alerted the mayor and council of changes coming to the county animal shelter.  Foust stated that the city has a 20% interest in the shelter, and that it may be asked to relinquish its office space at the shelter.  Mayor Mike Stanfield told Foust that the City of La Follette has more than 100-thousand start-up dollars invested in that shelter.  Mike Siwinski, a member of the animal shelter board, spoke up saying that it’s looking more like the Friends of Campbell County Animals will take over operation of the shelter by July 1.  Council decided to standby and see if it’s contacted by the county on the matter.

LFD looks to house new ladder truck

Fire Chief Gary Byrd told council that he is going to ask the planning commission at its Thursday meeting for a variance to build-on to Fire Station Number Two.  The additional space is needed to house the recently purchased ladder truck.  Byrd added that he has a second plan should the variance be denied.

Ice skating rink partnership in the works

The Town of Caryville is looking into having an ice skating rink at Cove Lake Park in next winter.  La Follette may be asked to join Caryville as a partner in the venture.

9-1-1 route to be repaved

At next Tuesday’s regular monthly meeting, council will vote on repaving a stretch of Memorial Drive.  Public Works Department Head Jim Mullins said it’s some 2,200 feet and will cost a shade more than $30,000 to resurface the city’s portion of an important emergency roadway.  Mayor Stanfield had just returned from checking out Memorial Drive saying that it’s in rough shape and only getting rougher.  Mullins pointed out that by spending the $30K now could save the city 20-thousand dollars next year.  Memorial Drive is most needed, because it leads to the county airport where the Lifestar helicopter is housed.

Tree cutting clean up lagging

“Notify him to clean it up, and if he doesn’t, have the city do it and then bill ‘em.”  That’s what was said a couple of times at last night’s workshop referencing a tree cutting and clearing project Jerry Campbell and his company were contracted to do.  It was pointed out that Campbell has not cleaned up and totally finished the tree cutting project he recently took on on South Tennessee Avenue.  Codes Enforcement Officer Stan Foust was directed by council to get in touch with Campbell.

LPD requesting promotions

Police Chief Jimmy Jeffries proposed to council the promotion of two policemen.  Jeffries asked that Steve Wallen be promoted to lieutenant and Homer Harold to sergeant.  He also requested permission to send a couple of personnel to an evidence training seminar this summer as well as travel expense reimbursement to officer Justin Parrott for his recent top finish with K-9 Dino at a southeast competition.  The chief is proposing to locate a recently obtained drug drop off container in the lobby at City Hall.  He says it looks very professional and is similar in size to a mailbox.

Newly anticipated playground areas to open

Youngsters have been anxiously awaiting the official opening of La Follette’s new playground equipment at Seargeant Park as well as the almost finished skateboard area at Liberty Park .  Parks and Recreation Director Johnny Byrge invited the community to Friday’s grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremonies at 10:00 a.m. at Seargeant Park immediately followed by the Liberty Park christening.

Arts Council asks to use PO

Jo Anne Myers and Karen Cumorich with the Campbell County Arts Council addressed council Tuesday night.  The duo explained about a promising grant that could bring as much as $8,000 to the Arts Council.  If the grant comes through, the arts group will need a venue to carry it out through programs.  Myers announced that the need for the old La Follette Post would be October 1, 2015, through September 30, 2016.

June meeting is last of year

La Follette meets in regular session Tuesday, June 2, at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall to vote on many of the items discussed at last evening’s workshop.  It will be the final meeting of the 2015 fiscal year.(05/27/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Record day at the Clerk & Master Office

Largest property sale and deposit in county’s history

     Newly appointed Clerk and Master Dennis Potter and his staff hit a grand slam on Friday.  It was a delinquent tax sale for the ages.  The annual event featured more than 200 pieces of property on the auction block last Friday morning, and, as a result, there was a record deposit at the end of a very long day.  Potter tells WLAF that the bank was gracious enough to accommodate the late hours he and his staff faced.  He says officials at the bank stayed over for almost two-hours to secure the county’s deposit which totaled well more than 407-thousand dollars.  Potter points out that those property owners who did not meet last Thursday’s deadline to beat Friday’s auction still have a year to redeem their property.(05/26/2015 - 6:45 AM)

Bartley comes home

By Susan Sharp

Sometimes things just don’t work out. Or at least that is the case with Kenneth Bartley.  Reports coming into WLAF indicate the convicted school shooter has returned from Virginia, where he was living with his former therapist, Erin TePaske. His family and legal advisors are declining to disclose where Bartley is at this time. Where he is not at this hour is the Campbell County Jail, according to Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins.

“Yes, there is an outstanding warrant for Kenneth Bartley but, as of this evening, he has not turned himself in at the jail,” said Goins. “When he does, Mr.  Bartley will be booked into our jail promptly.”

Bartley currently has an outstanding warrant for violating the terms of his probation. The agreement that allowed him to leave the state, and live with TePaske, included Bartley keeping his probation officer apprised of his physical address and abstaining from alcohol.  Bartley was also outfitted with a device that would monitor if he consumed alcohol. Court records indicate Bartley has failed to report his address and there have been multiple violations on the alcohol monitor.

Since Bartley’s violation was a misdemeanor charge, officials could not extradite him back to Tennessee.

Given that he has returned on his own, judicial proceedings can begin once he is located.

“We intend to arrest on that warrant and prosecute him,” Eighth Judicial District Attorney Jared Effler said last week after news broke that Bartley’s name was connected to the death of a toddler.

Tepaske’s 3-year old son sustained a massive head injury while Bartley was allegedly alone with him on Mother’s Day. The toddler, Beckett Podominick, died two days later.

Det. Gary Lose of the Vienna Police Department said the results of the autopsy are pending and the matter is still under investigation. (05/26/2015 - 7:00 PM)

Memorial Day in La Follettte

     Old Glory towers high above West Central Avenue on Memorial Day as it flaps in the breeze at the top of La Follette’s new ladder truck.

Nidiffer and Poston work to make smooth transition

By Susan Sharp

Watching Donnie Poston and Larry Nidiffer it is easy to believe the transfer of power that took place earlier this month was a smooth one. The two men have worked together for years and it shows. They have led the county’s largest employer as a team since Poston was made director of schools four years ago. When Poston announced his decision to step down, his next announcement was that Nidiffer was his pick to succeed him.

The coming days will be busy as Larry Nidiffer (R) works with Donnie Poston to finalize the 2015-16 school budget.  WLAF’s Susan Sharp sat down with the two men as the transition for each of them continues.

“I have always respected his work ethic. He is what the kids need,” Poston said of his successor. Poston’s last day is June 30. Until then he will remain on staff to assist in what he and Nidiffer deemed “the two most demanding months of the year.” Budget and personnel decisions will be taking center stage in the coming days. Few changes are expected in terms of personnel, according to Nidiffer. The one change this is definite is someone will be put in Nidiffer’s previous position. Before getting the nod to be DOS, he served as the secondary schools supervisor. That position is now open. “We want someone already in a leadership position,” said Nidiffer. The hire will bring a replacement at the principal level in one of the county’s schools.

But beyond that, Nidiffer said there will be few personnel changes.

One area where changes will be felt is in the schools. Nidiffer hopes to establish professional learning communities (PLC) in each school. Jacksboro and Caryville Elementary Schools already have these in place. A PLC is where educators focus on using strategies that meet the needs of the students. The communities’ emphasis is on critical and abstract thinking. “The students will learn to be good readers and good thinkers,” as a result of these PLCs, Nidiffer said.

The establishment of county wide PLCs is an undertaking Nidiffer is excited about.

However, before that happens, two old friends need to finish the business before them- the business of taking stock in what the last four years has brought to fruition.

As Poston looks back on his tenure as DOS, he believes rebuilding the morale of the system was what he needed to do. “The main thing Campbell County needed was healing,” said Poston. “We have had some bad events over the years.” He is quick to say that the restoration was a team effort. “It took everybody to make it happen,” Poston said.

Nidiffer wants to see the upswing in morale continue. His plan to continue the trend is to “provide communication on a regular basis.” “I have an ear and I will listen,” he said.

As the two men recall their time together, a sense of nostalgia hangs in the air. “He has been such an example of strength,” Poston said of his colleague. “I have seen him work under pressure without stripping his gears.” Nidiffer quickly acknowledged he has seen the same attribute in Poston. “He has patience and the ability to work through things,” Nidiffer said of his former boss.

Looking to the future, Poston is excited to see the school system from the other side of the desk. “I want to be part of change from the other end,” Poston said. This includes keeping his name on the substitute teacher and cook list. “I want to serve in a different role,” he said.  (05/26/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Man arrested when dope is found in shoe

By Susan Sharp

On May 19, the erratic driving of a man caught the attention of police. It also led to his arrest.

David J. Lee Griggs, 34, of Cleveland, Ohio, was driving north on I-75 when Campbell County Deputy Ryan Fletcher allegedly saw he was swerving. Griggs was also speeding up and then slowing down, according to CCSD records.

Fletcher followed Griggs for about four miles before “initiating the emergency equipment.” Once Fletcher had pulled the 2015 GMC Enclave to the side of the road, he was able to approach the vehicle. It was then Fletcher noticed “a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle,” the report said. Griggs allegedly consented to a search, which yielded “two large bags of a leafy green substance consistent with marijuana,” the report said.

Fletcher found the narcotics in Griggs’ shoe.

Griggs was arrested and charged with simple possession of marijuana. (05/26/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Lane charged with pair of crimes

By Susan Sharp

Joshua Kyle Lane recently found out that crime doesn’t pay.

Lane, 27, Lawson Lane, Jacksboro, was arrested last week on charges of aggravated burglary and theft over $1,000. Police believe he acted as lookout while two other men burglarized a house on Meadow Wood Circle in LaFollette.

The homeowner returned to the residence in early April to find nearly $5,000 in personal items gone, according to Campbell County Sheriff’s Department Det. Sgt. Freddie White’s report said.

Through a month long investigation White learned that Lane allegedly watched from a neighboring home as two other men entered the Meadow Wood home, relieving the owner of a number of items. Lane admitted that he had benefited from the crime when the others shared in the ill-gotten gains. Lane allegedly sold some of the items in order to purchase narcotics, the report said. (05/26/2015 - 6:00 AM)

LHS BEST OF TIMES IV SCHEDULE OF EVENTS (finalized – 05/25/2015)



You must have reservations and charge will be $25.00 per person 423-562-3282

FRIDAY, JUNE 05, 2015


Contact Bobby Heatherly or call Pro Shop @ 423-562-9130 or 423-871-0151



MEET AND GREET AT OLD LHS (La Follette Middle School) 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM




If you want to walk in the parade:

Cheerleaders meet in Dr. Isber’s parking lot by 9:00 AM

Classmates in parking lot between First Volunteer Bank and Pierce Furniture by 9:00 AM

***Please note traffic is going to be a problem with Beech Street closed.***






SUNDAY, JUNE 07, 2015



Here’s what the LHS Classes plan for the mini-reunions

Class of 1950 ,According to Vance Sharp, is meeting a few classmates at Cove Lake on Friday night, June 5 @ 6:00....

LHS Class of 1954 will have a mini-reunion on June 6th at the LaFollette Church of God located across from the
Campbell County High School. A social hour to mix and mingle will be from 3::30 to 4:30 with dinner and program beginning at 4:30. Can't wait to see everyone.

LHS Class of 1956 will be having a mini-reunion at the LaFollette Country Club on Saturday, June 6, 2015 from 2 – 4 p.m. Contact persons: Arizona Stooksbury Sowder or Barbara Overbey

LHS Class of 1957 will be at the tent provided for us at
Seargeant Park, following the parade on Saturday, June 06, 2015.

LHS Class of 1958 will meet at the Cove Lake Restaurant, Saturday, June 06, 2015 1:00 p.m. On Saturday, June 6, 2015, the class of '58 will have lunch at Rickards Restaurant in Caryville following the parade and opening ceremonies. If you plan to attend, please contact Linda (Graham) Morelock by May 15,, Facebook, or telephone 423-639-5836.

LHS class of 1959 will hold their mini reunion on Saturday, June 6th, 2015, 1:30 to 4:40 at Mamma's Kitchen Address: 3537 General Carl W Stiner Highway, La Follette, TN 37766
We have a private room, people can order lunch, drinks, snacks, and we will be able to share stories, memorabilia from our LHS days. Prizes will be awarded for various categories, speakers available, and opportunities to chat. We will use networking to try and reach as many 59 alums as we can. Please help if you have contact information.

LHS Class of 1960 will hold its class reunion activities on Saturday, June 6 at the former LaFollette Post Office located on
South Tennessee Avenue.

A Happy OWL reception is slated for 3 to 4:30 p.m. All LHS alumni and friends of the Class of 1960 are invited to stop by and visit during the reception.

Following the reception, a catered class dinner will be held at the post office facility between 5 -6:30 p.m. and requires class member reservations. The deadline for dinner reservations is May 25. Email: or call 423.566.3641 to make reservations. Class contact is Jo Anne McCloud Myers.

LHS CLASS OF 1961 From Shirley Kitts Davis --Henry and Phoebe Carter have graciously extended an invitation to the Class of 1961 to gather at their Tennessee home during Best of Times in June.  Saturday, June 6th at 2 o'clock1135 Loop Road. You are encouraged to bring a chair and a simple finger food.

LHS Class of 1962 reunion at Shanghai Marina Saturday, June 06, 2015 @ 2:00 p.m.

LHS Class of 1963 mini-reunion FRIDAY, June 5, 2015 at Cove Lake Park Recreation building from 4-7 p.m. Serving Charlie's pizza. $10.00. Person Contact persons: John Lovegrove or Peggy Hornsby

LHS Class of 1964 will be having a mini-reunion on, Saturday, June 6th from 2 until 4 p.m at West LaFollette Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. We're trying to reach everyone via Facebook, email or phone. Please help by letting your '64 friends know. Hoping to see all of you there.

LHS Class of 1965 will meet at McCloud’s Restaurant, Saturday, June 06, 2015 @2:00 p.m. for an informal luncheon. For more info, please email or call 937-742-7126

LHS Class of 1966 We will have a mini-reunion during the Best of Times Celebration on Saturday, June 6, 1-3PM, Campbell County Senior Center, 102 South 8th Street (just off East Central Ave). Hope everyone can attend. We need to discuss plans for our BIG one coming up next year! More info about this mini-reunion to follow in the next few weeks. Please share this with any friends you have because I'm not on everyone's friends list. I'll try to post it on the LaFollette High School Owls page, too. Help get the word out

Class of 1967 From Ann Ford Cobb: Mini Reunion will be on Saturday, June 6, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Cafeteria at
LaFollette Middle School (our old high school). We will have lunch from 12:00 to 1:00 with class photo at 1:30. Lunch of pizza, fruits, beverages, and cookies will be provided. Collection will be taken to cover the cost of food and beverages. During this time, we will make plans for our 50th Reunion and discuss other class business items.

Class of 1968 Per Sue Chadwell Bray—Will be meeting at Katie’s in downtown LaFollette , Saturday, June 06, 2 – 4 p.m.

LHS CLASS OF 1969 Will meet at Former Regions Bank (where Old Junior High was next to FBC) 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm Saturday, June 06, 2015. The meal will be catered. $15.00 per person. To make reservations, mail check to Lansden Hill at P.O. Box 1776, LaFollette, TN 37766 >>>Make check out to : “Class of 69” <<<

LHS Class of 1971 From: Rhonda Longmire...We will meet at 1:30 to 3:30 downtown at Community Trust Bank.  Just come bring anyone you wish. I will do light refreshments, etc so no one has to do anything. If anyone has other ideas...let me know but get the word out! We will meet on Saturday from 1:30 to 3:30 or later.

The classes of 1972, 73, 74, and 75 are meeting at The Pizza Hut for lunch on Saturday, June 6, 1:30 to 3:30. If you plan to attend contact Debbie L. Parrott or Robin Rutherford Barnhill know so we can give Pizza Hut a approximate count.
(05/26/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Temporary Obituary Placement


Wanda Jean McKamey

Wanda Jean McKamey, age 81, of Caryville, Tennessee passed away on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at her residence. Wanda was born on March 11, 1934 in Campbell County, Tennessee to the late Paris Sr. and Roxie Burress Ward. Wanda was a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses of LaFollette. She enjoyed reading, sewing, and spending time with family and friends. In addition to her parents, Wanda is preceded in death by her husband, Lewis McKamey, brothers, Henry, Timothy and Ricky Ward, and step-mother, Winnie Ward. 


Sons   Jeffrey Wayne McKamey       Caryville

Jonathan Wade McKamey     Caryville

Anthony Allen McKamey         Jacksboro

Timothy Owen McKamey        Caryville

Daughters Mildred Jean Robinson          Caryville

                 Myra Joann Carroll                    Knoxville

                 Marna June Coulter and Bobby    Maryville

                 Audrey Ann Carroll and Jerry        Rutledge

Brothers  Harvey Ward                         Caryville

                 Paris Ward Jr                       Caryville

Sisters   Wilma June Kennedy            Caryville

               Dorothy Williams and Tim    Jacksboro

21 Grandchildren

37 Great Grandchildren

Visitation: 12:00 – 2:00 PM Saturday, May 30, 2015 at Hatmaker Funeral Home, Lake City, Tennessee.

Funeral Service: 2:00 PM Saturday, May 30, 2015 in the Hatmaker Funeral Home Chapel with Brother Steve Cushard officiating.

Family and friends will meet at the Riverview Cemetery in Smokey Junction, Tennessee following the funeral service on Saturday, May 30, 2015.

You may also view Wanda’s guestbook online at

Hatmaker Funeral Home, Lake City, Tennessee is in charge of arrangements.

Yvonne Loma Lackie

Yvonne Loma Lackie, age 88, of Lake City, passed away on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge. Yvonne was born on March 17, 1927 in Oneida to the late James Everett and Ethel Silcox Byrd. She was a member of Island Ford Baptist Church. In addition to her parents, Yvonne is preceded in death by her first husband, Bill Bowling, and her second husband, Glad Athel Lackie, son: Bill Bowling Jr., and brother: James Byrd. 


Brother          Roy Byrd                                                  Lake City

Cousins         Billy Silcox                                               Huntsville

                       Roger Silcox                                            Jacksboro

                       Herman Neal                                            Cincinnati, OH

Special Friend      Johnny Foust                                         

A graveside service will be held for family and friends at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Lake City, Tennessee on Friday, May 29, 2015 at 10:00 AM with Rev. Charles Harness officiating.

You may also view Mrs. Lackie’s guestbook online at

Hatmaker Funeral Home, Lake City, Tennessee is in charge of arrangements.

Mildred D. Witt

Mildred D. Witt, age 81, of LaFollette went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at LaFollette Medical Center. She was a member of LaFollette Church of God. She enjoyed going to church, singing, attending Friday prayer meeting with Prime Timers, fishing, working with crafts, and playing pranks on everybody.

She was preceded in death by her parents General & Della (Lynch) Douglas, husband Sharkey Witt and sister Jewell Richardson.

She is survived by her sisters Lona Azalee Masten of Indiana and Jean Cross & husband Oscar of Ohio.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 – 8:00 pm on Thursday, May 28, 2015 at LaFollette Church of God with the funeral service to follow with Rev. Sunny Wilkes and Fred Watts officiating. Interment will be at 11:00 am on Friday, May 29, 2015 at Valley View Cemetery in Elk Valley.

Martin Wilson Funeral Home of LaFollette is in charge of these arrangements.

Mrs. Witt’s guestbook may be viewed at

William G. Powell

William G. Powell, age 89, of LaFollette  passed away Sunday, May 24, 2015. He was a member of West LaFollette Baptist Church. Mr. Powell was retired from State of TN Parks and Recreation and was a WWII veteran. He liked to hunt and fish, enjoyed blue grass music, woodworking and could fix anything. He loved his family very much.

He was preceded in death by his wife Mary Helen Powell; parents Maynard & Bonnie (Isley) Powell; brother Maynard Powell, Jr.; sisters Mary Powell Woods, Linda Powell and Cinda Draughn.

He is survived by his daughters Patricia A. Sexton of Oak Ridge and Linda G. Bruce & husband Luther of Cookville; brother Bobby Joe Powell of LaFollette; sisters Dorothy McGhee of LaFollette, Bonnie Kate Gross & husband Clarence of Powell and Claudette Love of Jacksboro; 3 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren, several nieces, nephews and a host of other relatives and friends; special nephew Condy Love and a special thank you to Ashley Robbins, caregiver for many months.

Family will receive friends 6:00 - 8:00 pm on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 in the Martin Wilson Chapel with funeral service to follow at 8:00 pm with Rev. Hobert McCreary officiating. Interment will be at 2:00 pm on Wednesday in Indian Creek cemetery with Campbell County Honor Guard in charge of graveside service.

Martin Wilson Funeral Home of LaFollette is in charge of these arrangements.

Mr. Powell’s guestbook may be viewed at

Ted D. Johnson

Ted D. Johnson, age 65, of LaFollette passed away on Monday, May 25, 2015 at LaFollette Medical Center. He was of the Baptist faith. Ted was a Vietnam Veteran and served in the military from April 8, 1969 to January 24, 1971. He was a machinist by trade and retired from Y-12 in Oak Ridge after nearly 22 years. His passion was working on old cars.

He was preceded in death by his father Johnnie S. Johnson and grandparents Billy & Rushie Hill.

He is survived by his wife Wanda B. Johnson; mother Roxie Johnson; daughter and son-in-law Michelle & Dr. Gregory Mabry of Clarksville; granddaughter Brianna Lynn Mabry; brothers Randall, Bruce, and John & wife Rhonda  Johnson all of LaFollette; sisters Brenda Johnson and Nancy Smith & husband Rick of LaFollette; 1 niece and 5 nephews. He was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by family and friends.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 – 8:00 pm on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at Martin Wilson Funeral Home with the funeral service to follow with Rev. Sampson Ridenour officiating. Interment will be at 11:00 am on Thursday, May 28, 2015 at Powell Valley Cemetery.   

Martin Wilson Funeral Home of LaFollette is in charge of these arrangements.

Mr. Johnson’s guestbook may be viewed at

Amber Renee Dick

Amber Renee Dick, age 26, of LaFollette passed away on Thursday, May 21, 2015. She was a member of Bear Wallow Baptist Church. Amber was a loving wife and mother she cherished her family and friends. She always greeted everyone with a huge smile and was a friend at all times. She will always be remembered and missed by all. Her family and friends will faithfully carry on her legacy so her newborn son will know her and love her as we all did. She was preceded in death by son, Shaun Anthony Combs; grandparents, Paul and Anna Lou McKamey.


Husband: Jarret Dick

Daughter: Shelby Renee Dick

Newborn Son: Jarret Axl Dick

Parents: Sherry and Wayne McKamey, Greg Combs

Brothers: Daniel Draughn, Joshua Draughn, and Samuel Combs

Grandparents: Betty and Roy Draughn, and Mae Combs

Mother-in-law: Tammy Dick

Special friend and sister Danyelle Bertran

Special cousin: Rhonda Wilson

Service 8 PM Monday Cross-Smith Chapel

Rev. Jerry Foust, Rev. Jason Freeman, and Rev. Randy Comer Officiating

Interment 11 AM Tuesday at  Indian Creek Cemetery

Condolences may be given online at

Family will receive friends 5 PM to 8 PM Monday Cross-Smith Funeral Home

Arrangements by Cross-Smith Funeral Home




        Jason Crabb scheduled as the headline artist for the 98th Celebration Weekend of the LaFollette Church of God has now been announced.  Beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 13, 2015, a video of Jason Crabb will be shown immediately preceding the appearance of Jason Crabb, who will make his third appearance live in concert at the sanctuary at the LaFollette Church of God.  Last year’s concert was the concert of the year for the LaFollette community when Jason Crabb made his first appearance to the City of LaFollette.

       To top off the 98th Celebration Weekend, beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 14, 2015, the Lore Family will provide the praise music before the introduction of Dr. Donald Walker, former Tennessee Bishop and Overseer of the Tennessee Church of God. 

    During the 2-day event, seven (7) authors contributing to the book, “One Voice Can Make a Difference”, will be honored after publication of this book will be presented.  Both Jason Crabb and the Lore Family, while enormous in talent, are humble and grateful for the opportunity of participating in the 98th Celebration Weekend with the LaFollette Church of God.  Dr. Walker, the speaker on Sunday, June 14, 2015, is an articulate and learned Bible Scholar.  This will be Dr. Walker’s first appearance at a Celebration Weekend for the LaFollette Church of God.  Those individuals with LaFollette Church of God who have experienced Dr. Walker’s messages first-hand, agree that the LaFollette community will be truly blessed by Dr. Walker’s appearance.  

      One ticket, at a cost of $25.00 per person, will provide entry for both concert events beginning Saturday, June 13, 2015 through Sunday, June 14, 2015.  Tickets for the 98th Celebration Weekend may be purchased from LaFollette Church of God, 1906 Jacksboro Pike, where the concert will be held, Gifts From Above, 1926 Jacksboro Pike, LaFollette, Tennessee.  Tickets may also be purchased online from I-Tickets/Christian Happenings and may be accessed by calling 800-965-9324.  For additional information about this event, those interested in attendance may call the LaFollette Church of God to speak with the Church Secretary, Ms. Pam Olivio, at 423-562-3500, or may also be purchased through Joy Levitt, a Director for Missions Work.  Seating is limited, and tickets are limited.  The price at the door on the day of the event will be $30.00.  Anyone interested in purchasing a ticket to ensure seats for this 2-day event should purchase their tickets in advance.  Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 13, and at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 14. 


Keepers of the Flame; a Tribute to Veterans

By Charlotte Underwood from November 2013

You see them every day. You pass them on the sidewalk and in the grocery aisles. Perhaps one is your neighbor or sits next to you at church. They are even your friends and family. But do you know their story? Do you know their sacrifice? Do you know the love and honor and duty they gave to this country? They are our veterans. They come from all walks of life and span many years, multiple wars, times of conflict and peace. But they all have one thing in common. No matter their age, whether they guarded the home front or their boots touched foreign soil; they are heroes of a nation. More than that, they are the hometown heroes of Campbell County and each has a story to tell. They are the “keepers of the flame,” according to army veteran General Carl W. Stiner.

In honor of Veterans Day, several veterans living in Campbell County were kind enough to share experiences and memories from their time in the military both at home and overseas.

Navy veteran Edward Balloff, WWII

Navy veteran Ed Balloff enlisted in the naval reserve in 1939. Balloff was 20 years old and in the middle of law school at Vanderbilt when he enlisted.

In order to go into the naval reserve and quickly get back to his legal studies, Balloff had to meet certain requirements.

World War II veteran Ed Balloff spent the war in the United States Navy.

“We were what they called 90-day wonders; if you had a degree, you weren’t married and could pass a physical, then you could go into the reserve,” Balloff said.

“They were drafting people, so I enlisted in the reserve. At the time, they told me I would just be taking a two week cruise in the summer and then the war started and I was the first student they pulled out of law school,” recalled the 93-year-old veteran with a rueful smile.

Born and raised in La Follette, Balloff soon found himself training on an old World War I warship called the Prairie State, which was anchored in the Hudson River at 195th Street in New York.

“It looked like Noah’s Ark,” Balloff described. There were 1,000 midshipmen being trained on the ship, men from all over the country and all of them single and with college degrees. If you did everything right and passed all your tests, then you got to go ashore and have “liberty”, which basically meant you got to go have fun and have some time off from military duties. As Balloff put it, “New York was a great place to have liberty.” He described the city during his time there as “full of midshipmen and sailors.”

“We would get off the ship and walk to Broadway and catch a subway. A lot of us would go to the Astrotel, which had a bar and an orchestra that played all the time. There was always girls hanging around you could dance with; you didn’t have any trouble having a good time in New York City,” Balloff said.

Trained as a gunfire liaison officer, Balloff would go ashore with the army and help spot navy guns. This was in the Atlantic.

“The first place we went, some army camp, we spotted navy gunfire, after the army troops went inland, we went back to the ship,” Balloff said. After that he became a line officer, before ending up on an Amphibious Staff as a gunnery officer responsible for taking LSTs (landing ship, tank) to Europe. LSTs is the military designation for naval vessels created during WWII to support amphibious operations by carrying significant quantities of vehicles, cargo, and landing troops directly onto an unimproved shore.

“We would load them at the Naval Depot in Yorktown to take ammunition to England for the invasion of France,” Balloff said.

Afterwards, he was sent out into the Pacific Ocean to be stationed on another amphibious staff. After leaving San Francisco, he spent four months out in the ocean looking for the staff. While he was out looking, the staff had returned to the U.S. and by the time Balloff himself returned to the U.S., the war was finally over.

During his time in the military, Balloff met many people. He recalled one of the more memorable characters from his military days as a fellow soldier who he trained with.

“I had some of my training with a guy named Sam Ballard. When we were at Notre Dame, he slept in the bunk above me. His father was the editor of the Times Picayune in New Orleans. Sam Ballard would sing these French ditties and let’s just say once you heard them translated, they weren’t as funny as they were in French,” Balloff said with a laugh.

Shortly before he and Ballard were shipped off to different regions of the war front, Ballard asked to borrow Balloff’s alarm clock.

That was the last Balloff saw of Ballard for four years, until the war’s end.

“I was at a naval hospital in San Diego and just out of the blue I heard this voice singing these familiar French ditties. Well, there was Sam Ballard lying on his stomach in a hospital bed because he had been shot in the butt. He laughed and said, ‘Ed, I’ve got that clock of yours’ and he did, he gave it back to me, of course I don’t think it even worked anymore; it was all rusty because he had been out in the Pacific,” Balloff laughed.

When he did return home, he resumed his studies and obtained his law degree. He remembered the war being something that no one really talked about much.

“When we came back, everyone was involved in the war. All the women were working and when the war ended, we came back and went on our merry way,” Balloff said, adding that no one necessarily acted like it was a big deal to be a veteran at the time.

“We didn’t even think about the war when we got back; nobody asked us what it was like and we just wanted to get on with our lives,” Balloff reflected.  “When we were over there, we knew we were in it till the end. When the war was over, well, thank God we got out alive.” (Sadly, Ed Balloff passed away in 2014)

Air Force veteran Jo Anne Myers, Cuban Missile Crisis

Air Force veteran Jo Anne Myers enlisted in 1960 because it was something different to do, something maybe a “little rebellious.”

“I always wanted to travel and do something different. Back in my era, there were limited opportunities for women and I wanted something more challenging, so I signed up,” Myers said.

She was stationed in Texas during the Cuban Missile Crisis, which, according to Myers was “pretty intense.”

“We were on lockdown and you had to call in all the time; we had to report our whereabouts at all times,” Myers said, recalling getting military briefings and updates in the movie theatre at the military installation.

“We really had no idea how serious it was until later; when you’re 20 years old, you think you’re going to live forever,” Myers said, adding that she remembered reading about it later and thinking how close the country came to a nuclear event. During her time in the military, Myers was trained as a dental hygienist and had the opportunity to work with  astronauts.

While working as a dental hygienist, Myers said it was exciting to meet people like Charles Conrad, who was the second man to walk on the moon.

“He had a small split between his top two teeth and he was very concerned about it,” Myers said, recalling Conrad as being a “very nice man.” She also met John Glenn after his Apollo 11 flight.  Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth.

When Myers signed up for the Air Force, she had wanted to be a pilot.

“They told me no way, that’s not going to happen. It wasn’t until later women were allowed to become pilots,” Myers said. She served in the air force for three years and recalls the bonds she formed with fellow soldiers during that time.

“I did my training at Lackland Air Force Base and I am still in touch with some of my friends from those days. Now we keep in touch with Facebook, which is something I never would have imagined then,” Myers said, adding that she had good memories of her time in the military.

“I served with nurses that were later sent to Vietnam and I can’t imagine what they experienced there, but women have always been on the forefront of war whether we want to recognize it or not,” Myers said.  As far as being a veteran, she said she didn’t think about it too much.  “I am proud to have served my country. The experiences meant so much to me and I learned so very much, but I don’t think it separates me from other women who have not served.”


Army veteran, Gen. Carl W. Stiner, Vietnam

“There’s a great honor to serving one’s country and preserving our peace for the future generations,” said General Carl W. Stiner. Commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army in May 1958, General Stiner served his country for 35 consecutive years, before retiring in 1993. A veteran of Vietnam and multiple other conflicts, General Stiner recalls how difficult it was for soldiers returning home from that war.


General Carl W. Stiner is retired from the U.S. Army and is a Vietnam veteran.

“The hard part was while we were over there fighting, the peace movement had taken place back home and we didn’t know the consequences of that. When the troops started returning, they were treated terrible and some vets were even killed in Oakland, Calif., just because they were wearing their uniforms. But those of us who were there knew we were doing the right thing; trying to stop communism,” Stiner said.

 Over the years, over 30 million men and women have proudly worn a U.S. military uniform.

“They are the keepers of the flame. They wore those uniforms in the hope and belief that America would always remain a land of liberty and peace because of their actions and by their sacrifice they have secured our inalienable rights and our freedom,” Stiner said, adding that the “blessings are ours only as long as we are willing to sacrifice to retain them.”

Over one and a quarter million soldiers have paid the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives so that others may remain free.

Army and coast guard veteran, George Moses

A veteran of both the army and the coast guard, George Moses said he graduated basic training two days after Vietnam ended.

“I was young and volunteered for the army to go to war. All through basic training, they told me I was going to war and then suddenly it was all over,” Moses said. With Vietnam having just ended and the peace movement in full swing, the country was a volatile place for soldiers returning from war, as well as current soldiers traveling for their duties.

 “When I was in the army, Vietnam was ending so I would travel in my civilian clothes to the airport to keep from being assaulted by protestors,” Moses said. Despite this negative experience as a military man, Moses said he enjoyed his time in the military and that it had made him “grow up.” While in the army, Moses was part of a nuclear detection unit attached to the 82nd Airborne.

“I have always been proud of being a veteran and of my military time, but I haven’t always been proud of the American people and how they treated veterans and soldiers,” Moses said, adding that he felt it was hard for those who had not served in the military to “truly understand what it means to be a veteran and serve one’s country.” 

Army veteran, Mike Stanfield, Vietnam

La Follette Mayor Mike Stanfield knows what it means to serve, though he did not enlist by choice. Drafted into the army to go to Vietnam at the age of 20, Stanfield said he was proud to have served his country nonetheless. Having never been out of Campbell County, Stanfield suddenly found himself traveling across the country for training and then quickly shipped to Vietnam to fight a war he was really too young to understand.

La Follette Mayor Mike Stanfield, far right, spent one tour in Vietnam. Most of his time was spent as an MP, or military police officer.

“Being a veteran, serving your country, well, it was like a job; you gave it 100 percent and just hoped you got to come home to your family. We’ve all done things we didn’t want to do, but we had to do it.” Stanfield said.

He completed one tour of Vietnam from 1971-1972.

“I had only been married about three months and my wife hated I was going to war; she didn’t know what was going to happen to me and neither did I,” Stanfield said. Trained as a heavy equipment mechanic, Stanfield was sent over seas.

“When I flew in and first got a look at the place, I noticed there were all these black bags lined up on the beach; they were bodies waiting to be flown home on the same plane I had arrived on.” He said he remembered thinking, “God, what have I got into here?”

“When we landed in the holding station that was Cam Ranh Bay, I got my orders to go to Da Nang and even though my MOS (military occupational specialty) was as a heavy equipment mechanic, I was assigned to be a cop, an MP,” Stanfield said, explaining that was how the military worked.

“If they need a cop, then you’re a cop; for a while, I was even a pots and pan man in the kitchen. In the army, it’s what they want you to be and that’s what you are,” Stanfield said. After settling in, he was assigned to the 87th Infantry Company, which was part of a transportation company. As a military police officer, Stanfield helped to provide security for troops and equipment in Da Nang, which was a compound about the size of LaFollette. During this time, he saw a lot of his friends and fellow soldiers die. He described the stress-full atmosphere that contributed to so many Vietnam era vets returning home with drug addictions.

“Each day you were always wondering if it would be the one that would take you out; there was so much death and shells going off all around you,” Stanfield said. He also recalled returning home from the horror of war and arriving in Oakland, Calif., to an ungrateful public.

“People were spitting on us and calling us names; it was turmoil,” Stanfield said. Like many other veterans, he attempted to find solace in alcohol.

“I haven’t drunk in 20 years, but I did then when I came back from the war. I drank to forget it all,” Stanfield said. And though many years have passed, he has never forgotten.

“I can still see their faces sometimes; I can still see the death.” Yet despite all this, Stanfield said he would not trade the time, nor did he regret serving his country.

“What I did was nothing compared to what some soldiers gave.”

When he was back home in La Follette, Stanfield said he and his wife wanted to have a child.

“Lisa really took away that void that war had left in my heart,” Stanfield said.

Civilian, Rae and Greg Mihal, Dessert Storm

Civilians have served in times of war as well. Rae Mihal and her husband Greg are two prime examples of civilians serving their country and soldiers in a time of need during the Gulf War. The Mihals spent about 20 years living in Saudi Arabia because they worked there in the oil industry. They have lived in Campbell County since 2000. Coming from a family of military supporters and enlisters, Mihal said she felt a strong compassion to help the American troops. She currently has two grandchildren enlisted in the military.

Campbell County resident Rae Mihal, along with her husband Greg lived in Saudi Arabia and participated in the Host a Soldier program. She stands surrounded by Gulf War soldiers whom she took into her home during prior to the war’s start.

“We stayed in Saudi Arabia during the build up of armed forces and the proceeding Gulf War. We saw our brave young men and women from all branches of our armed forces getting ready to right the wrong done when Iraq invaded Kuwait, not knowing who would live and who would die,” Mihal said. She and her husband participated in a “Host a Soldier” program that changed their lives forever. They would host soldiers about three times a week.

“The troops were brought by bus across the dessert and offloaded into cars and vans outside our gates. When they came to us, they were dirty, smelly and scared,” Mihal recalled, adding that the troops had arrived overseas well before their supplies and some of them had been in the same socks for a week.

“They would feel so bad and not want to even take their boots off or come in the house because they were worried about their feet smelling,” Mihal said. She and her husband would send them straight to the shower, she would start their clothes in the wash and the soldiers would be given some of her husband’s clothes to wear while theirs were washed and dried.

“They were just so grateful for the smallest of things, hot meals, clean clothes, stamps and envelopes or a chance to call loved ones at home; we were able to provide that in gratitude for their service and those times were some of the best of my life,” Mihal said emotionally. She would bake cookies and take them out into the dessert in bushel baskets. Other Americans living and working over there participated in the program as well.

“They would take them ice cream, they would take grills out into the dessert and cook them breakfast; anything to make them feel appreciated,” Mihal said.

Having lived in Saudi Arabia for so long, Mihal did not see her family or even Americans often and suddenly her home was filled with young American soldiers homesick and scared.

“They were like family,” Mihal said, describing a house full of soldiers for Thanksgiving, Christmas and much of the time in between. While in Saudi Arabia, she did get to see her brother who was in the military at the time. She had not seen him in about 10 years.

Rae Mihal had a house full of female soldiers for Thanksgiving.

“His commanding officer allowed him to come and stay with me and that was so special.”

The Mihals received several awards from the U.S. military for their efforts and support of the American troops.

“I wouldn’t trade anything for the time spent being with our soldiers. When they say our bravest and our best, that’s our military; it is just astronomical what these young people do and give to protect us and our lives.”

From all of us here at WLAF, thank you to all of our veterans. (REPRINTED FROM NOVEMBER 2013 - PHOTOS SUBMITTED)

Delinquent tax sale makes for a busy day 

Record day for Clerk & Master

Typical crowd.  That’s how longtime, now retired, Clerk and Master Bill Archer summed up the attendance at today’s delinquent tax sale at Jacksboro.  And “typical” is a full house in the lower courtroom of the old section of the courthouse.  People come from everywhere and bring their cash.  Pockets, pocketbooks, and briefcases are filled with cash for most all who attend the annual sale today.

More than 200 pieces of property were on the auction block this morning as County Attorney Joe Coker and new Clerk and Master Dennis Potter conducted the auction.  The use of computers, compared to the old days of pen and receipt book, makes for a lot less work and a more efficient way to prepare receipts. (05/22/2015 - 1:00 PM)

Changes abound for Jackson Heights & Knox Housing Partnership

Name changes and facelifts continue

On a rainy day, last October, the transformation of the drug and prostitute infested Jackson Heights Apartment Complex on Nevada Avenue began.  That’s when Jackson Heights became Nevada Heights.  The raindrop covered groundbreaking triggered changes that continue today. 

Today signaled the name change of the Knox Housing Partnership to HomeSource east tennessee.  HSET spokesperson Rhonda Clay tells WLAF that since Knox Housing Partnership is doing so many projects inside and outside Knox County, a name change was only fitting; thus today’s celebration.

Upon completion, Nevada Heights will have17 units of fully renovated affordable apartments, available to low-income households. Five of the 17 units have been set aside for seniors.

La Follette’s Peoples Bank of the South is one of the lending institutions that is providing the funding.  Logan Hickman, Executive Vice President at Peoples Bank of the South told WLAF last year at the groundbreaking that this project is literally in our back yard.

Clay calls it accessible, affordable housing, and HSET is now taking applications for tenants for Phase One that is expected to be completed sometime this fall.  The number to call about leasing is 865.970.1777.(05/22/2015 - 1:00 PM)

Martin’s Orange takes the O & B Game

WLAF’s Les Martin, the radio, TV, and DOTCOM Voice of the Cougars, was the honorary coach of the winning Orange Team on Thursday night at Pat Kerr Field.  Martin calls it an honor to have been on the Cougars sideline for the 25 to 17 win over the Blue.  Martin has been the only voice calling all the games during the Price Era at CCHS, and that makes him the winningest broadcaster in the history of Campbell County Cougar Football.

Campbell opens the season on Friday, August 21 at 7:30 p.m. against the Gibbs Eagles at Dossett Stadium.  Martin and the WLAF crew will be there to send you the action. (05/22/2015 - 6:00 AM - DAVID GRAHAM PIX)

   L-R  Blake Kitts, Johnny Seal, Eddie Hatmaker, Donnie Cross, Shawn McGlone, & Dusty Davis of the La Follette Fire Department’s “A” Shift spent Thursday cuttin’ up cars.

LFD’s “A” Shift sharpens its “A” game

Unsung heroes quietly go about honing their life saving skills

These guys never get any recognition.  They just save lives and move on to the next challenge.  They’ll tell you that it’s all just a part of a 24-hour shift.  The “A” Shift of the La Follette Fire Department started its day Thursday at 7:00 a.m., but it wasn’t a typical day.  It was a training day on the Jaws of Life.  Crew members are required to log eight-hours of extrication time on the equipment annually, and Thursday was that day for 2015.

It takes a good amount of upper body strength to use the hydraulic rescue tool.  Eddie Hatmaker cuts through the back door of the blue practice car provided by Maynard’s Auto Parts.

Maynard Sweat with Maynard’s Auto Parts supplied the practice cars and even hauled them to and from the practice site in the old bowling alley parking lot.  And did the team of six practice!  They cut, pried, and rammed a couple of vehicles.  Then they flipped ‘em and attacked from the top up and bottom down. 

Aside from practicing cut, spread, or ram techniques, the heart of Thursday’s training centered around safely and quickly extracting patients

Though EMT Shawn McGlone handles the cutter with relative ease.  It’s not light by any means.  McGlone says it weighs a good 60-pounds.  There are many pieces of equipment with the Jaws of Life; the spreader, cutter, ram, and several stabilizing jacks.  Firefighters change in and out of gloves as needed with the extricating gloves being not as bulky as their fire gloves.  The medical gloves were used Thursday when they practiced taking a person out of the cars.

The six-man crew spent the day in the parking lot of the old bowling alley which is just a stone’s throw from Traffic Light 5

The “A” Shift was the first La Follette crew to use the Jaws of Life after the city bought the life saving tools with funds from the La Follette Medical Foundation in March of 2014.  Veteran Firefighter Eddie Hatmaker, 26 years at LFD as of May 6, says the “A” Shift has performed seven extraditions in all, most of any LFD shift. 

In this simulation, Johnny Seal is cutting out the windshield to get to the patient

First Responder Johnny Seal recalls one extrication where the two front doors, the front seat, and one whole side of the truck was taken out to remove a woman with a broken hip.  He says she was fine with them cutting up her new truck to get her out adding that you never know when someone could bleed to death in a mishap like that.

After lunch, the car was flipped, & the “A” Shift went to work from the bottom inward

Hatmaker notes that the hydraulic rescue tool aka the Jaws of Life paid for itself the very first time it was used last year.  LFD, Caryville, and Jacksboro all now have the Jaws of Life tools.  The La Follette Rescue Squad has had a Jaws of Life for years.  The first known Jaws of Life used in the U-S was back in 1963. (05/22/2015 - 6:00 AM)


Number 1, Justin Bowlin, is one of the quickest players to ever wear the Jellico Blue shown here versus Sunbright

Tennessee’s all-time assist leader signs

Justin Bowlin inks with UVA-Wise today

He did it all.  And then some.  For Jellico High School.  Number 1 in the blue and white is moving on up to the college ranks.  Justin Bowlin, who broke the state’s all-time assist mark half-way through his senior season, signed this morning to play college basketball with the University of Virginia at Wise Cavaliers.  Bowlin started all four seasons for Coach Mike Reynolds Blue Devils, and led JHS to a lot of wins in that span of time.

It’s a big day at Jellico High as Justin Bowlin signs to play NCAA college basketball 

Bowlin’s ball from Coach Mike Reynolds recognizes his new State of Tennessee all-time assist mark

UVA-Wise is a member of NCAA II and the Mountain East Conference.  Bowlin and the Cavs will take on the likes of LMU, West Virginia State, ETSU, the University of Charleston, and others in the 2015-16 season.  (05/21/2015 - 4:00 PM - DAVID GRAHAM PIX)

Bowlin takes it to the hole and scores against Oliver Springs

The high school art show is Sunday

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at CCHS

     It’s a long standing tradition at Campbell High.  The Art Show.  The students of art instructor Georgea Green host their annual “Student Art Show” on Sunday at the high school.  The event is open to the public and showcases some incredible creations by Green’s talent laden students.  Green tells WLAF that some students may even sell some of their creations, and that many pieces are award winning works.  Students will be awarded ribbons and cash on Sunday.  Some of Green’s students took part in the “tobacco free parks” campaign, and you can see a sample of their talents by clicking here.(05/21/205 - 6:00 AM)

Graduation televised “live” on WLAF-TV 12

 See the CCHS ceremonies Saturday, May 30 at 10:00 a.m.

     Countdown to May 30th is creeping along for Campbell High Seniors.  WLAF brings you another first.  The 2015 graduation ceremonies from LMU will be televised live over WLAF-TV 12 on Saturday, May 30 at 10:00 a.m.  WLAF’s Charlie Hutson, LHS Class of ’75, snapped this photo.

Aquaknox at your service

By Susan Sharp

If you are looking for a dealer that will put you in the right boat and take care of you after the sale, look no further than Aquaknox at Shanghai Marina.  An added benefit, is you can have lunch at the dock while you make the decision to buy or are waiting on routine service, said Managing Partner Bryan Courtney.

Aquaknox is a relatively new company in Campbell County that is making a big splash.  Started in 2012 by the Courtney family, which includes father Dalan and mother, Susan, Aquaknox is striving to meet all of the aquatic needs of those who frequent Norris Lake.  “We basically service everything but personal watercrafts.  We also handle the warranty work for Mercury, Yamaha, Indmar and the brands we sell,” Courtney said.  Those brands include Mercrusier, Mercury, and Chaparral. Harris, Manitou and Tige.  Aqauknox is equipped to handle all parts of service for these crafts expect for vinyl and upholstery work.  That gets contracted out, according to Courtney.

When it comes to service, Aqauknox prides itself on being on the cutting edge of marine expertise.  Courtney and his staff are focused on continuing education attending several conferences a year.  In the past year, they attended four.  They also added another layer of training by contracting with a consultant who will conduct monthly reviews and nationwide peer meetings.

Along with the knowledge the Aquaknox staff brings to the table, they also bring convenience.  The company offers online scheduling at  “We can handle pickup and delivery while our clients are at home,” Courtney said.  The telephone number is 423.566.9529.

Among the many values that Aquaknox upholds, they also see the value of fun.  Through the years, Aqauknox has been involved in continuing education, accountability programs and consumer education, but there is one above all else Courtney wants to see his clients experience- “Our ultimate goal is simply being fun to work with,” he said.  “We want our customers to look forward to calling on us.”  The belief at Aquaknox is that when people walk away from a transaction, they should feel as though they got their money’s worth.

Currently, Aqauknox is a standalone operation that is experiencing growth.  Courtney estimates the marine center will see 750 boats this year.  And while that projection is exciting, it could be more than the four employees can handle. According to Courtney, during the summer months, Aqauknox will add three additional employees.  Right now, he is also looking for a mechanic.

“We are desperately trying to add another full-time marine technician,” Courtney said.  In fact, he is encouraging people to apply for this position before summer blitz begins.(05/21/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Department of Family Services now involved in death of toddler babysat by Bartley

By Beth Braden

Child protective services is now investigating the death of 3-year-old Beckett Josef Podominick, the toddler left in the case of convicted Campbell County High School shooter Kenneth Bartley, Jr.

News broke last week that Bartley was babysitting Podominick for Erin Tepaske, his former counselor-turned-roommate on Mother’s Day when the child reportedly suffered a fall. He died two days later from a head injury, according to the Vienna, Va., police department.

On Tuesday, Virginia’s Department of Social Services told WLAF that child fatalities in Virginia are investigated by child protective services when “child abuse and/or neglect are suspected.” Those deaths are also reported to the medical examiner and the Commonwealth Attorney’s office.

“In terms of the death of Beckett Podominick, we can confirm that the Fairfax County Department of Family Services is investigating this death,” said Joron Planter, public relations rep for the Virginia Department of Social Services

It was unclear when the DFS aspect of the investigation began. Results of Podominick’s autopsy are not yet available, though Tepaske has reportedly said Bartley is innocent of any wrongdoing.

Bartley moved to Vienna—a suburb about 20 miles west of Washington, D.C.—with Tepaske in February in order to avoid jail time after multiple run-ins with the law following his 2014 release from prison. Before leaving Tennessee, he was outfitted with a monitoring device to detect any alcohol consumption and was supposed to attend drug and alcohol rehabilitation while he was in Virginia. A court order from Judge E. Shayne Sexton also mandated he report on his progress every 45 days. A warrant was issued for his arrest in April due to violating the terms of that probation. (05/19/2015 - 5:00 PM)

Officials still investigating toddler’s death


By Susan Sharp


Officials are continuing to look into the death of toddler that Kenneth Bartley was living with in Virginia.  On Mother’s Day authorities went to the residence in the Northeastern Section of Vienna in response to a 911 call for a 3 year old male child had fallen and received a head injury. Upon the arrival of the officers, the child was being treated by members of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, according to a press release issued by the Vienna PD.

 The boy was taken to the hospital and died two days later.

“The investigation is still on-going and there are no charges filed,” said Vienna Police Spokesperson Dept. Gary Lose on Tuesday. “A case of this nature requires a thorough investigation.”

    Bartley had been living in the home with Erin Tepaske and her son, Beckett Podominick since February. TePaske is Bartley’s former counselor.

  In was in February that Bartley was allowed by the courts to move out of state. The conditions of Bartley’s move included keeping his probation officer apprised of his physical address and abstaining from alcohol.  Bartley was also outfitted with a device that would monitor if he consumed alcohol. Since that time, a warrant has been filed for Bartley allegedly not following those conditions. If he returns to Tennessee, he can be arrested on that warrant. (05/19/2015 - 2:30 PM)

La Follette Police increase seat belt enforcement

“Click it or ticket” campaign runs through May

The La Follette Police Department is partnering with the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office to step up seat belt enforcement from May 18 to 31, just ahead of one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. 

“Every day, unbuckled motorists are losing their lives in motor vehicle crashes,” said Chief James Jeffries.

As we approach Memorial Day weekend and the summer vacation season, we want to make sure people are doing the one thing that can save them in a crash—buckling up.”

Tennessee reached its highest seat belt usage percentage last year at 87.71%. However, Tennessee is still considered a “low use” state on a national level. According to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, over half of Tennessee’s traffic fatalities in 2014 were not restrained at the time of the crash.

Each year, the University of Tennessee Center for Transportation Research performs an observational seat belt survey. The results of this survey indicate that male pickup truck occupants have the lowest rate of seat belt use statewide. This statistic holds true for both rural and urban areas.

Last month, Governor Haslam signed a bill that will increase Tennessee’s seat belt fine beginning in January 2016. “The fine is more than doubling,” said Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott. “The statistics speak for themselves—when we have more people buckling up, we have more people walking away from crashes. Start making the smart decision now before it costs you.”

“Our law enforcement partners receive funding each year specifically to take part in this campaign,” said Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole. “They will be looking for seat belt violators, and they will ticket you. If you think not wearing your seat belt doesn’t impact anyone but you, you are wrong. Every citizen is impacted by medical and emergency expenses, lost productivity, increased insurance premiums, and property loss. This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the pain and suffering of your friends, family, and the law enforcement and emergency personnel working the crash.”For more information on seat belt safety, visit  (05/19/2015 - 6:00 AM)

FCCA offers proposal to take over animal shelter operations

Commission OKs two-week shutdown for cleaning

County commissioners voted Monday night to approve Mayor E. L. Morton’s plan for dealing with problems at the county’s embattled animal shelter, starting with a new director and a two-week shutdown of the shelter while crews conduct a thorough cleaning of the facility.

The cleaning operation is intended to rid the shelter of a continuing parvovirus epidemic. Morton told the commission that a thorough cleaning of the drains and a controlled burn of the ground surrounding the facility should eradicate the virus that has recurred at least eight times since last fall.

Morton said that a “scorched earth” approach is needed, including a final treatment with a new UVC light technology that will expose and eliminate any lingering signs of the stubborn viral contamination.

The commission also unanimously approved Morton’s nomination of Mez Bruce as the new shelter director. She has already transferred from her position in the Mayor’s office to working full time at the shelter. Bruce, Morton explained, is highly qualified with a Master’s degree in animal science and training in veterinary technology.

The commission also received a proposal from the Friends of Campbell County Animals organization to assume operation of the shelter after the cleaning operation is completed and the new fiscal year begins in July.

Patricia Simpson with FCCA presented the group’s business plan, which would call for transferring the $100,000 now allocated by the county for shelter operations to FCCA. That non-profit organization would then assume complete responsibility for operating the shelter, paying Bruce as the full-time shelter manager and paying four part time employees.

“Animal control would remain with the county under the Mayor’s office,” Simpson pointed out, “including the salary of the officer and maintenance of the vehicle.”

Simpson added that FCCA’s goal is to improve the quality of customer service with the public to increase the rate of pet adoptions, to work with a low cost clinic to make spay & neuter services more affordable for low income families and to impose a strict cleaning protocol for the shelter.

Sue Nance offered a motion to approve transfer of the shelter to FCCA but Finance Director Jeff Marlow suggested that the vote be delayed until next month while a careful review of FCCA’s proposal is conducted.

“We need to look at the financial plan and be sure we’re comparing apples to apples as far as cost before you give final approval,” Marlow cautioned. Nance then withdrew her motion and added she will renew the motion at the June commission meeting.

The commission also gave tentative approval to a request from Morton to transfer $38,000 from the Mayor’s office budget to a number of other projects. This money is surplus in the current fiscal year due to savings in insurance premiums that were initially budgeted, Morton explained.

“Because I am a military retiree, I did not use $17,000 that was allocated for my health insurance and we did not use everything that was budgeted for other insurance in my office,” Morton explained, adding, “This is a one-time savings and I don’t expect this surplus to continue after the current fiscal year.”

Morton asked that $29,000 be transferred to cover the cost of patching pavement on Memorial Drive, another $4,000 to improve a county road in White Oak, $2,000 to anti-drug abuse programs and $3,000 to help cover the cleaning costs at the animal shelter. In response to questions, Morton explained that Memorial Drive is in a deteriorated condition and numerous potholes need to be patched.

“This road serves the county airport where ambulances are now bringing patients to the MedFlight helicopter pad. It also serves as access to one of the county’s largest private employers, Thermidor. That company is looking at plans to expand and we need to do whatever we can to encourage their continued growth,” Morton pointed out.

“If business leaders fly in here to look at moving their operations to Campbell County, that road is the first thing they will see. Unless it’s improved, that’s a bad start,” Cliff Jennings commented.

Morton added that he would like to see the entire road re-paved but the money isn’t available for anything more that the patching operation he proposed. The commission unanimously approved the use of the funds, pending a formal budget amendment that must be brought before the budget & finance committee for final approval.

Commissioners also asked about the progress on selling a number of tracts of property that have been in county ownership for several years through delinquent tax auctions.

Tax enforcement officer Charles Winfrey told the commission that all of the property has been located and “for sale” signs are presently being placed on all of those with public road access.

“I want to caution you not to expect a financial windfall from the sale of this property,” Winfrey explained. “I’ve now been to every tract on the list and much of it has little value. There’s a reason why nobody bid on these properties at previous delinquent tax auctions. Some are too small or too steep to be of much value while others have no public road access.”

Winfrey added that in many cases, the most likely buyers would be adjacent landowners who might want to add to their property, preserve their privacy or clean up an overgrown lot next to their homes. (05/19/2015 - 6:00 AM)    

La Follette getting outdoor activity areas ready

Any plans for an indoor swimming pool?

La Follette, along with help from federal grant dollars, is investing a few hundred thousand dollars in its youth.  The new playground is well on its way to completion at Seargeant Park while the new skate park is coming right along in place of the tennis courts next to Liberty Park.

Planting a seed here.  Has anyone given any thought to an indoor swimming pool in La Follette?  Clinton has an indoor swimming pool.  Guess where a third to half of the Clinton swim group lives?  Yep.  Campbell County. (05/19/2015 - 6:00 AM - CHARLIE HUTSON PIX)

Farmers Market is baaaack

7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. every Saturday

     Farmer John says it’s going very well.  That’s what he told WLAF Saturday afternoon just before rain sent everyone packing and scurrying from the Farmers Market at Freeman Park in downtown La Follette. 

Megan Colley and Farmer John return for the second-year of the Farmers Market in downtown La Follette.  The market opened Saturday and runs every Saturday through October from 7:00 AM – 1:00 PM 

It was a dry market place until about 12:15 p.m. on the day the Farmers Market officially opened.  Farmer John beamed when he spoke of old customers coming back around on this first Saturday, and says he was pleased with the addition of new vendors and well as new customer faces.  The hours for the Saturday Farmers Market are from 7:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and sometimes beyond 1:00 with the market scheduled to carry-on every Saturday through October.  Farmer John points out that he will be open at Freeman Park on Fridays beginning in July. (05/19/2015 - 6:00 AM - CHARLIE HUTSON PIX)

Branson indicted by grand jury

Grand jury convened Friday

By Susan Sharp

Alonzo Adam Branson is headed for criminal court. On Friday, the 60-year-old LaFollette man was indicted on multiple charges. They include eight counts of trafficking for commercial sex, two counts of attempting to solicit a minor by means of rape of a child, attempting to solicit sexual exploitation of a minor, possession of a schedule II controlled substance with intent to sell in a drug free school zone and possession of a gun in the commission of a dangerous felony.

While Branson is facing a laundry list of charges, the ones that could net him the most time is the trafficking charges. According to state law, trafficking for commercial sex is a class B felony. Depending on Branson’s prior criminal history, if he is convicted or pleads guilty to these counts, he could be in jail for several years. Each count carries an eight to 30 year sentence, state law says.

Branson found himself in trouble with authorizes after he became the focus of a lengthy investigation into his alleged criminal activity with minors.

In April, was served with a search warrant by the Campbell County Sheriff's Office, CCSD SWAT Team, investigators from the LaFollette Police Department, along with officers from the District Attorney General's 8th Judicial Drug Task Force, according to a press release issued by the CCSD. Authorities had received information that Branson was attempting to trade sex for narcotics with children ages nine through 12, police said.

Branson is set to be arraigned in criminal court May 26.  (05/18/2015 - 6:00 AM)

O’Dell indicted in girlfriend’s death

Remains in jail this morning

By Susan Sharp

Tommy O’Dell was indicted Friday in the death of his longtime girlfriend, Wanda O’Dell. After prosecutors presented their rendition of the events that transpired in the couple’s Sharp Lane home in Oct. 2014, a grand jury indicted the 62-year-old man on charges of first degree murder, felony murder and aggravated assault.

Police reports indicate, the couple, who had been together over a decade, had been arguing when Tommy O’Dell shot his girlfriend. When authorities arrived at the Caryville residence, they found Wanda O’Dell had been fatally wounded in the head and chest.

Tommy O’Dell has insisted the shooting was accidental.

He is set to be arraigned in criminal court on May 26. In the meantime, he remains in the Campbell County Jail on a $1 million bond.  (05/18/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Terry’s Pharmacy opens its new location today

Across from Charley’s Pizza

Dr. Rissa Pryse officially unlocks the doors to the new Terry’s Pharmacy location this morning at 9:00 a.m. 

After a weekend of wall-to-wall moving and last minute prep, the Jacksboro store is finally moved from its longtime corner next to Eagle Market.  The new spot is across from Charley’s Pizza next to Smokey’s Shell on the big four-lane highway. 


Pryse tells WLAF that it’s the same friendly faces and fast, accurate service, but it’s just at a bigger, better locale. 

The hours remain the same; Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Terry’s original pharmacy is in La Follette at Traffic Light Number 9 on East Central Avenue. (05/18/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Nidifer’s contract is finalized

By Susan Sharp

With the signing of the contract, Larry Nidifer is officially the new director of Campbell County Schools.

“It is basically the same as Donnie (Poston’s) contract,” Campbell County Board of Education Chairman Mike Orick said. The major difference is the buyout clause. Poston’s was $5,000, a sum that Orick deemed “totally ridiculous.” Nidifer’s is $50,000.

A buy-out clause would come into play if the board of education chose to terminate Nidfer’s contract without cause. After serving him with a 10 day written notice, the board would have 30 days to pay him the $50,000, according to the contract.

Orick believes upping the ante from $5,000 to $50,000 gives the board reason to pause before making the decision to terminate Nidifer.

Nidifer’s contract extends until June 30, 2018, which means he will be the DOS after the 2016 election. In each election, the school board sees half of its seats on the ballot. Orick hopes the $50,000 will “keep the politics out of it,” he said referring to DOS serving at the will of the board and the possibility of getting new members next year.

Other terms of the contract include Nidifer’s annual salary. Currently, it is set at $105,850. According to the contract, the BOE will have discretion over possible raises Nidifer could receive. The DOS’s annual evaluations will occur no later than Feb. 15 of each year and could have a bearing on any potential pay increases.

 When Nidifer receives his annual evaluation board members will be looking at some key items in order to judge his performance. Among those will be attendance and graduation rates. The expectation is that there will be increases in both areas, the contract says. And the BOE will also consider county wide test scores in order to gauge Nidifer’s performance.

Should the board and Nidifer determine a parting of the ways is best, that is also covered in the contract. They can reach a mutual agreement, Nidifer could be terminated for cause, the state BOE could ask for his removal or the local BOE could remove him without cause. The latter is where the $50,000 pay out would happen.

While Nidifer is DOS, he will be expected to conduct five public forums a year, one in each district and reside within Campbell County, according to the contract. (05/18/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Tobacco-Free Campbell County is kicking butts; cigarette butts

Working with school athletic departments

L-R La Follette Mayor Mike Stanfield, Loretta Phillips, and Tammy Hamby admire the artwork of CCHS and JHS students at Seargeant Park    

     You see them everywhere; cigarette butts.  Hundreds of what’s left after a cigarette is used up have been picked up at La Follette’s Seargeant Park.  It’s part of the “Knock Tobacco out of the Parks” campaign that is spearheaded locally by Loretta Phillips and Tammy Hamby.  Phillips is with the Campbell County Health Council while Hamby represents the Campbell County Health Department.  Phillips tells WLAF that the program is made possible through tobacco settlement funds by way of a Tennessee state funded program.

Local coaches kicked-off the campaign, Knock Tobacco out of Parks, that directly works with the athletic departments at Campbell County Schools  encouraging student athletes, coaches, and P-E teachers not to use tobacco products.  L-R Coaches Dustin Buckner, Matt Price, Johnny Bruce, Mike Reynolds, and Matt Housley

Seargeant Park serves as a benchmark for the rest of La Follette and Campbell County parks.  Phillips explains that after this first cigarette and tobacco pick-up, with help from county jail inmates, they’ll go for two-weeks without picking up anymore butts and such.  Then she and her team will come back in two-weeks, pick up again, and compare the counts from pick-up one to pick-up two.  They will then erect signs around Seargeant Park encouraging visitors to help keep the park clean.  Two weeks after the signs go up, they’ll have another butt pick-up day, and then they will compare those numbers.

Phillips & volunteers picked up hundreds of cigarette butts in less than an hour

Students from Jellico and Campbell High Schools created several posters for the “knock tobacco out of the parks” campaign.  The Health Council voted for one of the several outstanding posters that were created to be used in the parks.  Deseree Harseson from CCHS created the winning sign.  See all the artwork by clicking here.  (05/18/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Deseree Harseson's winnning creation


New details surface in Bartley matter

By Susan Sharp

The investigation into the death of a 3- year-old Virginia boy is continuing. The child was allegedly injured at the home of his mother, Erin Tepaske.

Tepaske made local headlines several months ago when she stepped forward in support of Kenneth Bartley. Bartley became a notable local figure in 2005 when he shot and killed a high school principal. He later plead guilty in the shooting death of Campbell County High School Assistant Principal Ken Bruce. Bartley was also plead guilty to two counts of  attempted murder when bullets from his gun struck another assistant principal and the principal. Following a new trial, he found not guilty of the later acts.

Earlier this year, Bartley moved to Vienna, Va, to TePaske’s home. On Sunday, authorities in Vienna responded to a call of a child being severely injured. Authorities went to the residence in the Northeastern Section of Vienna in response to a 911 call for a 3 year old male child that had fallen and received a head injury. Upon the arrival of the officers, the child was being treated by members of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, according to a press release issued by the Vienna PD.

The child was taken to the hospital and died on Tuesday. An autopsy was later performed. The results are pending, Det. Gary Lose of the Vienna Police said. The Vienna Police consider this an open investigation.

Bartley had been living in the home with Tepaske and her son, Beckett Podominick. Since Sunday’s incident details about Bartley’s current legal standing has surfaced. Several weeks ago, a probation violation warrant was filed in Campbell County Criminal Court on Bartley for not keeping up his end of the deal that sent him to Virginia. The agreement that allowed him to leave the state included Bartley keeping his probation officer apprised of his physical address and abstaining from alcohol.  Bartley was also outfitted with a device that would monitor if he consumed alcohol. The transdermal device combines alcohol testing with house arrest monitoring, according to the SCRAM website, a manufacturer of such devices. The mechanism is designed to test the offender every 30 minutes. It does not require the offender to parctipate in the testing procedure.

Alcohol had been a factor in all of Bartley’s recent arrests.

However, Bartley has failed to report his address and there have been multiple violations on the alcohol monitor, according to court records.

Because this is a misdemeanor charge, there is not standing to extradite Bartley back to Campbell County, according to state law. If he were to return to Tennessee on his own, then judicial proceedings could begin. “We intend to arrest on that warrant and prosecute him,” Eighth Judicial District Attorney Jared Effler said on Friday of Bartley’s unknown return to the state. If Bartley were prosecuted and deemed guilty of the violation, the manner of service would be determined by the judge. In the end Bartley would  be responsible for the balance of his sentence, according to Effler. (05/15/2015 - 5:00 PM)

A fun Big Josh Day at WLAF

WLAF's Charlie Hutson shares the evening through his photos

     Some thought it was his birthday.  Others wondered if he was retiring.  Nope.  It was just a day for us to celebrate the cornerstone of the radio station, Big Josh Etter.  Your bright, good morning voice for the past 10-years has agreed to stay on for, at least, another 25-years. And that’s good news for all of us. 

Big Josh Etter with his main squeeze, Sandy, was all smiles Thursday night.  Sandy, thanks for letting Josh come out to play at the radio station everyday.

Part of the WLAF crew was on hand Thursday night to celebrate Big Josh.  From L – R, Theron Overbay, Derrick Lee Anderson, Bill Waddell, Ann Rutherford, Big Josh Etter, Harold Branam, and Jim Freeman

L-R Grandaughter Sandra and daughter Penny shared in the fun with Big Josh

L-R Son Josh, Big Josh, and Bob Fannon enjoy a laugh

Later this year, Big Josh turns 75-years old which means he’ll have to hold on to the birthday card Dr. Cline and his wife Sarah brought him a few more months.  Special thanks to all those of you who made it a really nice turnout for Big Josh’s get-together Thursday evening at The Party Place.  Carl and Mason T. Capps along with New Harvest topped the event with a couple of hours of great music.  So.  For now.  The birthday celebration will have to wait until December. (05/15/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Owls getting set for Best of Times IV

Mailing address for Class of 1969 reunion is posted

     The “Best of Times IV” reunion of La Follette High School is coming!  It’s the weekend of June 4-7.  Here’s what we’ve been able to gather, so far, about what some of the classes are planning. (05/15/2015 - 4:30 PM)

Class of 1950

Classmates from the LHS Class of ’54 plan to meet at Cove Lake on Friday, June 5, at 6:00 p.m.

Class of 1954

The LHS Class of '54 hosts a mini-reunion on June 6 at the La Follette Church of God located across from the Campbell County High School.  A social hour to mix and mingle will be from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. with dinner and program beginning at 4:30.

Class of 1956

The 1956 Class from La Follette High School is having a mini-reunion at the La Follette Country Club on Saturday, June 6, 2015, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.  Contacts are Arizona Stooksbury Sowder and Barbara Overbey.

Class of 1957

Members of the La Follette High School Class of ’57 meet at the tent provided at Seargeant Park.  That’ll be after the Saturday morning parade June 6.

Class of 1958

The LHS Class of 1958 meets at the Cove Lake Restaurant (Rickard Ridge BBQ), Saturday, June 6, at 1:00pm.  If you plan to attend, please contact Linda Graham Morelock by May 15 at, Facebook, or telephone 423-639-5836

Class of 1959

The LHS class of 1959 holds its mini reunion on Saturday, June 6, 2015, 1:30 p.m. to 4:40 p.m. at Mamma's Kitchen at 3537 General Carl W Stiner Highway, east of La Follette.  The class has reserved a private room where you can order lunch, drinks, and snacks while sharing stories and memorabilia from the LHS days.  

Class of 1960

The LHS Class of 1960 will hold its class reunion activities on Saturday, June 6, at the former La Follette Post Office located on South Tennessee Avenue.  A “Happy OWL” reception is slated for 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.  All LHS alumni and friends of the Class of 1960 are invited to stop by and visit during the reception.  Following the reception, a catered class dinner will be held at the post office facility between 5:00 and 6:30 p.m. and requires class member reservations.  The deadline for the class dinner reservations is May 25.   Email: or call 423.566.3641 to make reservations.  The LHS Class of 1960 contact is Jo Anne McCloud Myers.

Class of 1961

Henry and Phoebe Carter extend an invitation to the Class of 1961 to gather at their Tennessee home during the La Follette High Best of Times IV on Saturday, June 6, at 2:00 p.m.  That’s at1135 Loop Road.  You are encouraged to bring a chair and finger foods.

Class of 1962
The LHS Class of 1962 reunion is at Shanghai Marina on Saturday, June 6, 2015, at 2:00 pm

Class of 1963

Members of the La Follette High School Class of 1963 plan a mini-reunion Friday, June 5, at the Cove Lake Park Recreation building, also known as the pavilion.  That’s from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.  Contact persons are John Lovegrove and Peggy Hornsby.

Class of 1964

LHS Class of '64 hosts a mini-reunion on June 6 from 2:00 until 4:00 at the West La Follette Baptist Church Fellowship Hall.

Class of 1965
The LHS Class of 1965 meets at McClouds’s Restaurant, Saturday, June 6, 2015, at  2:00 pm

Class of 1966
Members of the LHS Class of 1966 hosts a mini-reunion during the Best of Times Celebration on Saturday, June 6, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Campbell County Senior Center at the corner of East Central Avenue and South 8th Street (across from Walters Funeral Home).

Class of 1967

Ann Ford Cobb says there will be a mini reunion for the Class of ‘67 on Saturday, June 6, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the cafeteria at La Follette Middle School, the old high school.  Lunch is from noon to1:00 with class photos at 1:30.  Lunch consists of pizza, fruits, beverages, and cookies and will be provided.  A collection will be taken to cover the cost of food and beverages.  During the mini reunion, members of the LHS Class of 1967 we will make plans for the 50th reunion.

Class of 1968

The gathering place for members of the LHS Class of 1968 is Katie’s Carry-Out on North Tennessee Avenue.  That’s Saturday, June 6, from 2:00 to 4:00.

Class of 1969

The Class of ’69 members meet at the former high school and junior high location which is now the old bank building next to First Baptist Church in La Follette from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 6.  The meal is a catered meal at $15.00 per person.  Please make your checks payable to the “Class of ‘69" and mail to Class of '69, P.O. Box 1776, La Follette 37766

Class of 1971

The Class of ‘71 meets from 1:30 to 3:30 at the downtown La Follette offices of Community Trust Bank.

News surrounding Kenneth Bartley surfaces out of Virginia

By Susan Sharp

Reports coming from Vienna, Va. Indicate that convicted school shooter, Kenneth Bartley, may have borne witness to a toddler’s death.

On Thursday morning, Det. Gary Lose, of the Vienna Police Department, confirmed that on Sunday authorities responded to a call of a child being severely injured. He said the three -year -old male child later died but the “manner of death had yet to be determined.” An autopsy was performed on Tuesday and the results are pending, Lose said. He would not confirm or deny Bartley’s involvement, if any.

Bartley has been living in Virginia with his one-time counselor, Erin TePaske, for several months. After being granted a new trial in the 2005 Campbell County High School shooting, Bartley was convicted of a lesser charge, reckless homicide.  In 2007, he plead guilty to one count of second degree murder and two counts of attempted second degree murder. Following the plea, Bartley was sentenced to over 40 years in jail.

But as a result of the new trial and subsequent verdict, Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood deemed that the young Bartley had served his time.

After being released from prison, Bartley attempted to live with first his father and then his mother. Neither situation worked. Each parent wound up having to call police when their son began drinking and became physically aggressive, police reports have indicated.

As an effort to resolve his legal problems and gain a fresh start, Bartley offered the court his option of moving to Virginia with TePaske. However, the stipulations to the move included Bartley was to undergo counseling, find a full-time job, and submit written progress reports every 45 days. Along with this, he is required to wear an ankle monitor that ensures that ensures he doesn’t drink alcohol.

Lose said the Vienna Police Department considered this an open investigation. He said it could several days before the medical examiner reached a conclusion in the child’s death.(05/14/2015 - 1:30 PM)

May is National Foster Care Month

Learn how to become a therapeutic foster parent through Camelot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Warriors celebrate winning season and Coach King

Christian Academy hosts annual basketball banquet

By Susan Sharp

There was an air of festivity last Thursday night as the Christian Academy of Campbell County Warriors celebrated a winning season. There was recognition for a hard fought season that ended with a county championship. There were comments about how each player had developed in distinct ways over the season but, among all of the glory and accolades there was also something- someone missing. Coach Vic King had led the Warriors to a county championship in 2013. This served to steel his determination for a repeat in the 2014 season. “When Coach King first asked me to help him coach this team, he said we were winning the county championship this year,” said Dusty Paul, the one-time assistant and now head coach for the Warriors. “I told him okay. I was just honored to be sitting with him on the bench.” Paul played for King in middle school.

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

And while the young team would oblige with a repeat they did it in memory of King instead of with him. The longtime basketball coach was in his second year coaching the Warriors when health problems arose. He fought hard but just before Thanksgiving King died. It was a blow the team struggled with.

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

Yet, with the help of Paul and a desire to make King proud, the Warriors pulled off a victory in the final game of the county tournament beating Wynn Elementary School. Adding to the triumph, several of the players walked away with tournament honors.

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

Thursday night allowed the boys to enjoy their win while paying tribute to the coach who believed in them when they didn’t believe in themselves. Trophies and tributes were showered on the team who suffered a loss that most adults would struggle with. “I lost my coach my junior year,” said Starla Berry, Lady Warriors head coach. “I know how hard that can be to come back from. But these young men did it and pulled off a great season.”

“Coach King was a legend around here and we were lucky to have him,” said Ollie Medley, CACC administrator. As she addressed the players who had gathered in the gym for Thursday’s banquet, Medley held in her hand a stack of notes the Warriors had written for the King family. Each one detailed what King had meant to his team. Medley said the notes would be delivered to King’s wife, Shelly, and daughter, Katie Cave. Along with this the women will each be given a basketball signed by all of the players.

Medley also unveiled a plaque memorializing King that will hang in the CACC gym. Kevin Corner, who played on King’s first team in 1977 was on hand to represent King’s family. “I can see why he loved this place,” Corner said surveying the audience. “He was all about class and this school obviously has that. He loved you boys.” Sharing memories of when he played for King, Corner said “Our team was the alpha and you boys, you are the omega. You are the end of an era.”  (04/20/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Coach King’s Corner

     Coach Vic King left us in November 2014.  In honor and memory of him, we’ve created a “Coach King’s Corner.”  Click Coach’s picture to access Coach King’s Corner.  (03/23/2015)


This picture of Coach was snapped by Charlie Hutson on Friday, May 17, 2013, in front of the former Regions Bank (where La Follette Junior High/High School once stood).  It was where the 60th anniversary of WLAF was celebrated.   

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

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





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

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








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