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     Lowell Murray of La Follette marks a milestone.  He was arrested for the 70th time.  Details about Murray’s 17-year run of criminal activity in Campbell County are found further down this page.

Thompson honored with ‘Teacher of the Year’ award

By Susan Sharp

A Campbell County resident has been given a prestigious teaching award.

Amanda Thompson, La Follette, was named Tennessee Bankers Association's Financial Literacy Teacher of the Year for 2015.  This award honors one teacher in the state who has had an outstanding impact on financial literacy efforts within their community and school.

Thompson instructs students on tasks related to being in the business world

Thompson, wife of local insurance agent Travis Thompson, teaches Virtual Enterprise at Pigeon Forge High School. The class is a multidimensional, experiential learning model that allows students to establish virtual businesses. Students are able to learn hands-on business skills with the freedom to make mistakes without major consequences of the real world.

The simulated businesses start from the ground and grow into a thriving virtual enterprise.

When a new semester starts the students are introduced to the concept of operating a business.

 Thompson has the students develop resumes and cover letters then invites members of the business community into the classroom. The professionals have students take part in job interviews. “We try to give them a true interview experience,” Thompson said.

As the days progress, the students begin to establish their industries. Given the location of the school, several of the classroom run businesses have centered on tourism.

 “The kids get to see what it is like to run a company,” she said of the enterprises that exist solely in the classroom. There is clear enthusiasm for her class when Thompson speaks. The interactive learning experience is one of only 30 across the state. It has been under the care of Thompson for the last two years.

As she considers her class, Thompson draws on her own experience to teach.

In 2005, she graduated from ETSU with a degree in Corporate Finance and Investment. After spending some time in the business world, Thompson made the move to go back to school.

“I had thought about getting a teaching degree but I got in a hurry,” she said. When she went back to school, enrolling at LMU in 2008, it was with a defined goal. “I wanted to teach kids things that would be applicable in their everyday life,” Thompson said.

She now has her Master’s degree and her Ed.S.

Thompson helps students gain practical knowledge in the classroom setting

Discussing her award, Thompson becomes humble. “It makes me feel like people are recognizing the class,” she said. “I am greatly appreciative of it.”  (07/01/0215 - 6:00 AM)

TAMKO 30-year dim shingles, a square, $67.95 net July 1-July 17 at Kash & Karry

Two jailed after short Stinking Creek chase

Suspects held at gunpoint

By Beth Braden

Allegedly erratic driving caught the attention of a Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy during a Monday afternoon patrol in the Stinking Creek area.

Deputy Gary Jeffers was driving along Lowes Branch Road when he reportedly observed a maroon Ford Escape traveling on the wrong side of the roadway. The vehicle appeared to be driven by a white male with a female as a passenger, according to reports.

Jeffers began pursuing the vehicle with his lights and sirens on when it allegedly sped up and failed to stop at the intersection of Lowes Branch and Stinking Creek roads. The car reportedly continued on westbound on Stinking Creek Road at a high rate of speed. Jeffers temporarily lost sight of the vehicle as it turned onto Old Stinking Creek Road.

Two minutes later, Jeffers reportedly saw the vehicle again, only the occupants had allegedly switched places and the female was driving. When Jeffers gave chase a second time, the vehicle stopped in the 2200 block of Stinking Creek road.

Stephen Willis Campbell

The male occupant, Stephen Willis Campbell, 44, 2945 S. U.S. 25W, LaFollette, had to be wrestled to the ground before he could be placed in handcuffs. The struggle reportedly continued as Jeffers attempted to place Campbell in the patrol car. During a search of his person, Jeffers reportedly found a syringe in his right cargo pocket.

Shannon Lea Campbell

The female occupant, Shannon Lea Campbell, 36, 742 Melvin Hollow Road, Pioneer, allegedly had slurred speech and glossy eyes and reportedly admitted to taking a suboxone strip.

Stephen Campbell was arrested and charged with felony evading arrest, driving while license suspended/revoked, resisting arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving left of center, violation of a traffic control device and violation of the seatbelt law. This was his 23rd booking at the Campbell County Jail.

Shannon Campbell was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. (07/01/2015 - 8:30 AM)

One arrested following foot pursuit in Jacksboro

By Beth Braden

A Caryville man wracked up six charges after Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Fletcher reportedly saw him run a stop sign on Hollifield Drive.

Then Fletcher turned around to pursue the vehicle, the driver allegedly sped off  onto River Road where he ran a stop sign at Towe String Road and another at Pinecrest Road.

The driver then made a quick turn into the yard of 712 Pinecrest Road where he then left his vehicle and began running through a wooded area. Fletcher lost sign of the man, but found his wallet laying on the ground.

Jason Craig Parks

Documents in the wallet identified the suspect as Jason Craig Parks, 25, 447 Park Road, Caryville. Fletcher asked other deputies in the area to watch for Parks. A short time later, Parks was spotted riding in another vehicle with a different driver. Police were able to stop that vehicle and detain Parks, who allegedly said he ran because of a warrant for his arrest.

Parks was arrested and charged with violation of probation, felony evading arrest, driving while suspended, failure to yield, violation of a traffic control device and failure to maintain lane.

This was his 13th booking at the Campbell County Jail.  (07/01/2015 - 8:30 AM)

Murray booked through the county jail for the 70th time

Has faced more than 100-charges

You likely see him around La Follette.  Walking the streets.  You frequently see his name on the weekly arrest report.  His name is Lowell Murray.  This time, the 43-year old man who lives on South 5th Street in La Follette was able to stay out of his “home away from home” for a little more than four months.  But his streak of free days ended on Monday when he was picked up and charged for a 70th time.  Murray’s rap sheet fills almost three pages dating back to 1998 where he’s faced more than 100 charges.  Over his lengthy criminal career, his charges range from rape to DUI to domestic violence by assault to 20 public intoxication arrests.  Murray’s booking sheet lists his employer as “disabled.” 

Murray’s inmate charge history sheet(s) is four lines short of filling three pages

He remains in the county jail this morning on a $50,000 bond facing charges of DUI (2nd offense), simple possession of marijuana, driving while revoked, possession of drug paraphernalia, and theft of property $1,000 to $9,999.

Arrested 70 times.  How many times does a person have to be arrested to reach Otis Campbell of Mayberry status and get his own key to the jail? (07/01/2015 - 6:00 AM)

This Fourth of July, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’

A WARNING by the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office

Jacksboro, TN – The Fourth of July is a favorite holiday for many Americans.  Families and friends gather to celebrate our country with food, parades, parties, and fireworks. For many people, the celebration includes alcohol, but the holiday quickly goes from festive to fatal when people choose to drive after drinking. Over the July 4th holiday period in 2012 alone, 78 people were killed in alcohol impaired-driving crashes on our nation’s roads.

To crack down on drunk driving this Fourth of July, Campbell County Sheriff’s Office will be out in full force, aggressively targeting those who put lives in danger. “Campbell County Sheriff’s Office is ramping up their enforcement to make our roads safer this Fourth of July,” said Campbell County Sheriff Robbie K. Goins. “For everyone’s sake, don’t drink and drive or you will be arrested. The ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign means zero tolerance for drunk driving—no excuses.”

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),) show that 10,322 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in the United States in 2012—representing a third of all crash fatalities. Data shows that the Fourth of July holiday period is especially deadly. During the July 4th period in 2012 (6 p.m. on July 3 to 5:59 a.m. on July 5), there were 179 people killed in crashes, and 44 percent of those crashes were alcohol-impaired.

In every state, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher, yet people continue to break the law and drive drunk. According to the FBI, over 1.28 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics in 2012.  And the rate of high-BAC impaired driving is astounding. In fatal crashes during the July 4th period in 2012, more than one fourth (28%) involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .15 or higher—almost twice the legal limit.

NHTSA data also reveals that 46 percent of young (age 18-34) drivers were drunk (drunk (BAC of .08 or higher) while driving in fatal crashes over the July 4th period in 2012(6 p.m. on July 3 to 5:59 a.m. on July 5). Motorcycle operators are also overrepresented as the highest percentage of alcohol impaired drivers in fatal crashes. In 2012, more than one-fourth (27%) of the motorcycle operators in fatal crashes had a BAC of .08 or higher.

Drunk drivers are more common at night, too. Over the July 4th period in 2012, more than a third (39%) of the driver’s in nighttime fatal crashes (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) were alcohol-impaired, as compared to 16 percent of drivers in fatal crashes during the day.

“This Fourth of July holiday, you can show your patriotism by helping to make Campbell County roads safer for everyone,” said Sheriff Robbie K. Goins. “Remember,” you all have been cautioned, “to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. It’s as simple as that.”  Law enforcement is not messing around this Independence Day: if you’re caught driving drunk, you will be arrested. And keep in mind that aside from putting your life and the lives of others at risk, driving impaired can also lead to serious consequences. A DUI arrest can mean time in jail, loss of your license, and steep financial expenses; the average DUI costs about $10,000.

Campbell County Sheriff’s Office recommends these simple tips to prevent drunk driving:

•             Plan a safe way home before the fun begins;

•             Before drinking, designate a sober driver;

•             If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;

•             Use your community’s sober ride program

•             If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact [Local Law Enforcement];

•             If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.(07/01/2015 - 6:00 AM)

South Avenue closing Thursday

Tree work to keep street closed all day

     If you’re Thursday route includes going up or down South Avenue beside Gamble Motors, better do it early or late.  Before 9:00 AM.  Or after 4:00 PM.  A tree cutting/trimming crew plans to shut down the popular roadway from Hill Street down to Highway 25W to cut and trim along the power lines. (07/01/2015 - 6:00 AM)

La Follette moving forward in address issue

Even Senator Alexander is getting involved

Mayor Mike Stanfield paid a visit to WLAF on Tuesday morning and talked candidly about the City of La Follette’s address and sales tax dilemma.  He said that both post masters from La Follette and Jacksboro as well as a representative from Senator Lamar Alexander’s office are going to meet with city officials in the coming weeks.  Stanfield emphatically stated that he’s not trying to take dollars away from Jacksboro and the county, but that he just wants La Follette’s sales tax dollars coming to La Follette.  He says, after all, the city is providing police, fire, and other services to those businesses who are in the city but with another town’s address.  The mayor exclaims that he doesn’t know how it all became so far out of hand. 

At Monday night’s meeting, Councilman Hansford Hatmaker asked who was to blame for all of this.  Fellow council member Bob Fannon said, “We are; this council, the mayor!”  Fannon asked that someone be appointed to taking care of tax collection.

GIS mapping technician Johnny Seal, also a member of the La Follette Fire Department, was in attendance at Monday’s meeting.  Seal tells WLAF that the state goes by zip codes meaning that even if a business is in a city and uses another city’s address, the zip code determines where the sales tax dollars go. (07/01/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Commission again bogged down in conflict of interest flap as budget looms

As usual, the 2015-16 fiscal year will begin without an approved budget as county commissioners await a school budget that is dependent on last-minute information from the State Department of Education.

In the meantime, the commission has managed to approve most other segments of county spending, from sanitation, general fund expenditures, capital projects and local contributions to the highway fund. All of this was accomplished in committee votes, however, and could change when the full commission votes on a final budget and tax rate resolution later this summer.

On Monday night, in a recessed meeting, the commissioners approved a series of budget amendments to balance the various funds within the 2014-15 fiscal year that ends today (June 30). They also had to deal yet again with the issue of whether commissioners who work for the county are allowed to vote on the budget and tax rate, as Cliff Jennings challenged the votes of both Johnny Bruce and Sue Nance.

Bruce, an employee of the Education Department and Nance, who works for the ambulance service, both followed what has been the accepted practice of publicly declaring their conflict of interest before voting. Jennings, however, following up on previous contentions from James Slusher that such votes are illegal, challenged both when they voted on the list of budget amendments.

Mayor E. L. Morton asked if anyone would second Jennings’ challenge and after some hesitation, Ralph Davis provided the second. Morton had already recognized the vote and denied the challenge but following instructions from the County Attorney, called for another vote on whether the commission wished to uphold his decision or vote with Jennings.

Only Jennings and Whit Goins voted “no,” with Davis and Lonnie Welden abstaining, leaving Jennings’ challenge dead in the water.

“I simply want my challenge to be on the record while we wait for an Attorney General’s opinion,” Jennings stated.

Attorney Joe Coker stated that in most legal matters involving county government, the Attorney General leaves such advisory rulings up to CTAS (County Technical Advisory Service).  “Whether we will receive an Attorney General’s opinion or when is in question. They no longer issue opinions every time a local government official requests one,” Coker pointed out. “That is why county government relies on CTAS.”

Jennings repeated his previous doubts about rulings from the County Technical Advisory Service, insisting, “I haven’t dealt with CTAS before, but I dealt with MTAS when I was mayor. I sued them three times and won two of them.”

After the challenge was laid to rest, at least for the time being, the commission voted unanimously to accept the contract for the county’s worker’s comp, liability and general insurance coverage through the local government insurance pool managed by the E. E. Hill & Son Insurance Agency.

David Rutherford, with Hill Insurance, told commissioners that the county’s worker’s comp, liability and property coverage will increase by 15.5 percent in the next year but does no represent a rate increase.

“Your insurance rate remains the same. The increase is due to the added risk represented by the Justice Center and the increased number of employees through hiring SRO officers and additional jailers,” Rutherford explained.

Jennings, who chairs the Insurance Committee, made the motion to accept the contract, pointing out that other companies that offer coverage for local government declined to submit a bid.

Even without a rate increase, the added coverage for the Justice Center and more employees will leave the county paying over $148,000 in additional premiums in the upcoming year, giving the commission still one more hill to climb in coming up with a revenue plan.  (06/30/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Obit page on the fritz - OBIT PAGE IS REPAIRED & READY TO GO

     The WLAF Obituary Link is on the fritz. The current obituaries are temporarily posted at the bottom of this page.  (06/30/2015 - 6:00 AM)

La Follette passes 2015-2016 budget

Hatmaker casts dissenting vote

     Final reading on next year’s budget was Monday night at La Follette City Hall.  Council members Joe Bolinger, Bob Fannon, and Ann Thompson voted to pass the 2015-2016 budget while Councilman Hansford Hatmaker voted against passing it.  Hatmaker was not in attendance at last Thursday’s meeting where the finishing touches, including employee raises and newly discovered sales tax revenue, were added to the budget. (06/30/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Banning smoking in city parks coming up for a vote

Potential damage to new playground equipment a concern

     At Monday night’s City of La Follette workshop, Councilwoman Ann Thompson expressed concern about the newly installed playground equipment, especially the artificial grass, pointing out that La Follette just finished spending a healthy six-figures on the project.  “In the end, banning smoking all together in city parks may be the best idea.”  That’s what Councilman Bob Fannon suggested and requested to come up for a vote at next Tuesday’s July council meeting.  His thought came about after talk of setting smoking boundaries around playground equipment, designating a smoking area, and issuing fines to violators. (06/30/2015 - 6:00 AM)

 Eldridge, Pack recommended for LFD promotions

Fire Chief Gary Byrd ready to retire

     Mayor Mike Stanfield read La Follette Fire Chief Gary Byrd’s letter of retirement aloud before a workshop audience Monday night at City Hall.  Within the context of the letter, Byrd suggested that his assistant chief, Charles Eldridge, be promoted to replace him after Byrd’s July retirement.  Stanfield voiced his endorsement for Eldridge and suggested that Jimmy Pack be promoted to replace Eldridge as assistant chief.  Those moves will be on Tuesday’s regular monthly meeting agenda.  The mayor noted that Eldridge plans to retire in September. (06/30/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Campbell County “stars” play for titles

All-Stars teams aim for two championships tonight

The 5 & 6 year old All-Stars, aka the Orange Crush, play for a district championship tonight at Greenback.  The game comes about after the ‘Crush crushed Rockwood 20-7 on Monday night.  Coming out of the losers bracket, these stars have to win two games to claim the crown.

Keith Shanks 9 & 10 year old All-Stars, the Nationals, play in a 6:00 p.m. game today at Asbury Park at Caryville. 

Nationals coach Keith Shanks

The Nationals, led by strong pitching, are undefeated and top seed in the district heading into this evening’s championship game. (06/30/2015 - 6:00 AM - DAVID GRAHAM PIX)

Public works, police, and administration considering moves

May need to advertise one job opening

A City of La Follette workshop would not be a workshop without verbal jabs between Mayor Mike Stanfield and Councilman Hansford Hatmaker.  When the topic of hiring a city treasurer came up, and Stanfield said he knew of a woman who was interested in the job, is when Hatmaker landed the first jab.  He said that Stanfield couldn’t do that, because the opening had to be advertised.  Attorney Reid Troutman said he thought that that might be the case, and he said he would look into it.

Public Works Director Jim Mullens recommended that two part time employees within his department, Calan Dixon and Brandon Stanford, be promoted to fulltime.  Hatmaker said he wanted to see applications on the two men, and Mullens said he would make the apps available.

The retiring of longtime city employee Vickie Woodward leaves a vacancy inside the police department.  LPD Chief Jimmy Jeffries recommends promoting Susan Nash to communications supervisor.  Nash would replace Brenda Moses.  The chief wants to transfer Moses to replace Woodward as police systems manager. (06/30/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Telephone scam alert

Sheriff says do NOT give-out info

     Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins has a warning for you this afternoon.  The sheriff tells WLAF News that a foreign speaking Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scam is making its way around by telephone. Over the weekend and today citizens have reported an apparent telephone scam with someone claiming to be with the IRS.  The caller states that your taxes aren’t paid up, and they are requesting credit card or debit card information.  Goins says to please be aware and do NOT give any of this information or your personal information over the telephone, period. If you have any questions please call your CPA, tax preparer or the IRS.   (06/29/2015 - 1:00 PM) 

Senator Yager announces $14,590 in arts grants for Campbell County

Cultural Coalition & Friends of Cumberland Trail benefit

(NASHVILLE, TN) -- State Senator Ken Yager (R-Harriman) announced today that two arts grants have been awarded to organizations in Campbell County from the Tennessee Arts Commission.  The grants are made possible through an appropriation of state funds by the General Assembly, federal dollars from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by Tennesseans who buy specialty license plates.

Campbell Culture Coalition will receive a $9,000 grant and Friends of Cumberland Trail will receive $5,590 in the category of Rural Arts Project Support.

"I am very pleased these grants have been awarded to Campbell Culture Coalition and Friends of Cumberland Trail," said Senator Yager.  "I know they will put them to good use in preserving our cultural heritage for future generations in this county."

The Arts Commission will award approximately 1,000 community grants in both urban and rural areas through the 2016 fiscal year, totaling $5.3 million. The allocation process involves a review by citizen advisory panels made up of Tennesseans with expertise in appropriate disciplines and a final review by the full 15-member Commission.

"I hope we will continue to see arts grant awards in
Campbell County," added Yager.  "I urge local arts organizations to apply for these funds and hope to see more awards announced next year." (06/29/2015 - 1:00 PM)

La Follette out hundreds of thousands of dollars; planning to ask for it back

By Susan Sharp

A potential windfall for the city of La Follette could mean a deficit for other area governmental entities.

It is a situation that began months ago when officials with LaFollette were contacted by a business concerned about its address. The group, La Follette Eye Clinic, believed they had established their business within the city but learned they had a Jacksboro address, according to La Follette Codes Enforcement Officer Stan Foust. As Foust and others explored this question other issues began to surface.

Representatives from LaFollette discovered there were businesses within the city limits that had allowed their licenses to expire. It was also learned that other businesses allegedly located in the city had never filed for a license.

It was the beginning of a predicament.

The first task was to determine who had not obtained their $30 license.

This entailed Foust and La Follette City Clerk Joy Ellison going door to door, compiling an inventory of which businesses had an expired license and which ones had never applied for one.

In all, over 70 La Follette businesses ended up on the list.

The majority of the list was comprised of beauty salons, storage facilities and cash stores.

The next step was define which of the businesses fell under the guidelines for needing a license, according to Ellison.

Businesses that manufacture a product, companies with less than $3,000 in annual sales and some professional groups such as attorney and physicians are exempt, according to www.tn.gov.

These groups accounted for less than half of the list the city had gathered.

Ellison and Foust then paid a visit to the businesses with either an expired license or those who had never obtained one.

The owners were given a deadline for getting a license and, overall, the response has been positive.

As of last week, the city had “received approximately half of the returns” from their visits, Ellison said. Or businesses had turned in the necessary paperwork to prove they were exempt from needing a license.

Those who fail to meet the deadline for acquiring a license will be cited to city court, Foust said. At that point their options will be slim. They can buy a license on the spot for $30 and pay court costs. The alternative would be to resist buying the authorization, pay court costs and face a $50 per day fine for each day the business operates without a license, Foust said.

The other prong of the conundrum was discovering which businesses the city had failed to recognize actually were in the city limits.

 La Follettte Mayor Mike Stanfield said the city would be reaching out to the post office and state comptroller’s office to reestablish the boundaries and hopefully bring those businesses back under city jurisdiction.

At Thursday night’s meeting it was revealed that Food Lion and Charley’s Pizza were among the businesses who had been paying their taxes to the wrong entity.

Food Lion’s taxes went into county coffers while Charley’s Pizza went to Jacksboro.

In nine months, between those two businesses alone, La Follette had missed $130,000 in sales tax revenue.

Earlier in the week, Stanfield acknowledged the city may have been losing much needed revenue because of the boundary confusion. “If we are providing services (to the businesses) we want to be paid for it,” he said. “We will go after what’s ours, but it’s not going to happen overnight.”

On Friday, Campbell County Deputy Mayor Andy Wallace said the county was aware of the boundary issues and the possibility La Follette could come and ask for the revenue it had missed. Wallace said the county finance was “working on the situation.”

Currently, the state comptroller’s office is evaluating the dollar amount the city could be owed in missing sales tax, Foust said. However, even though this problem appears to have been going on for multiple years, La Follette will only have the right to recoup a year’s worth of taxes. The money would come from the state but ultimately, the party who originally received the tax revenue would have to repay the state, Foust said.

It will be up to the city council to determine what avenue it wants to take to regain the dollars. It can simply ask the county and Jacksboro for a reimbursement or take court action if needed, according to Foust.

Of the 9.25 percent tax rate, the state garners 1.125 for administrative fees, the remaining eight percent is distributed according to where the enterprise is located, Ellison said. For example, if the business is in the county, the county would reap the remaining eight percent, but, if it is within a city’s boundaries, the city and county would each acquire four percent each.

Existing estimates are that there are 30 businesses that need to have their boundary issues decided, Foust said.

“I don’t know how it got this far out line,” Stanfield said. (06/29/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Jury finds Speedwell man guilty of DUI

Hid in weeds from deputies

Randy Lee ran.  But he could not hide.  Back on August 3, the 53-year old man, who makes his home on Powell Valley Shores Circle, drove his car off the road near his home, abandoned it, and tried to hide in the weeds from police. 

Randy Lee

Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputies Franklin Ayers and James McCall investigated the case and saw it through prosecution earlier today in Judge Shayne Sexton’s Criminal Courtroom at Jacksboro.

A jury found Lee guilty of driving under the influence, first offense, with a blood alcohol content of greater than .08-percent.  Sexton sentenced him to 10-days in the county jail, fined Lee $350, and revoked his driver license for a year.  The fine and revocation are minimums for a first offense DUI.  The 10-days in jail are not.  Assistant District Attorney General Mitchell “Blake” Watson tells WLAF News that the minimum jail time is 48-hours.  Watson, who represented the state in this case, adds that the fact that Lee hid confirmed he knew what he’d done.

TBI Special Agent Dave Ferguson provided expert testimony regarding the alcohol content in Lee’s blood.    (06/26/2015 - 4:30 PM)

A team of flag cars, La Follette Police cars, a driver and a backside driver eased down East Beech Street in reverse seven times Saturday backing beams to the Beech Street Bridge project site at Bog Creek.  From the former JR’s Tires at the start of East Beech Street to the creek, it took a little under fifteen-minutes to make the trip.  (CHARLIE HUTSON PIX)

Beech beams in place

Bridge building pace quickens

     “You’ll see it really come together now.”  That’s what bridge building veteran and La Follette Public Works Director Jim Mullens said Saturday as he watched two cranes lower one of the seven beams in place at the site of the Beech Street Bridge project over Big Creek.  He explained to WLAF News that the crew has made good progress, but up to this point, it doesn’t look like, to most, much progress has been made.  But Mullens has built quite a few bridges over the years in southeast Kentucky, interstates, and other parts of the region and realizes that a lot of progress has been made. 

Rear wheels turn easing beam near its pick-up site.(NICK THOMPSON PIX)

La Follette City Council Members Ann Thompson and Hansford Hatmaker were on-site to see Saturday’s “beam day” get underway around 9:00 a.m.  (NICK THOMPSON PIX)

The tedious task of setting seven 46-ton, a piece, concrete beams started in a downpour of rain at 9:45 a.m. Saturday in the heart of La Follette.  A low-boy, 18-wheeler, seven times, drove up East Central Avenue to the one-time JR’s Tires shop at the end of East Beech Street.  Then it backed down Beech to the bridge site with a driver and a wheel-man on the back end of the load helping steer the 50-foot load. 

Rain poured down a few times Saturday like when WLAF’s Charlie Hutson snapped the photo of the first beam unloading and placement.

The sky opened up and let the rain pour down heavily a few times during Saturday’s beam setting.  Once a beam was set, two crew members eyeballed it and put the tape measure to it.  If needed, and it was a time or two, the beam was slightly moved; once by a quarter-of-an-inch. 

Nick Thompson snaps a close-up of the first beam that was set on Saturday morning.

Big step taken Saturday as all seven beams are now in place. (CHARLIE HUTSON PIX)

The last beam was meticulously set in place at 4:00 p.m.  The bridge is projected to be completed and opened early this fall. (06/29/2015 - 6:00 AM)

$130K headed La Follette’s way

City’s efforts to rectify its sales tax woes paying off

Officials with the City of La Follette learned Thursday night that past sales tax revenue of more than 100-thousand dollars is on its way to the city’s coffers.  It’s all due to the recent efforts the city has made over the past two weeks to “get a handle” on its business licenses, sales tax revenue, and locating businesses within the city that use another town’s address.

Charley’s Pizza is inside the city limits of La Follette.  So is Food Lion.  However, sales tax from Charley’s have been going to the Town of Jacksboro while Food Lion’s sales tax dollars went to Campbell County.  And that’s been going on for quite some time; years in fact.  But that’s all changing now.  Future and some past sales tax dollars from those two businesses will be coming to the City of La Follette

From September 2014 through May of 2015, approximately $130,000 in sales tax revenue has been collected from Charley’s Pizza and Food Lion.  La Follette City Clerk Joy Ellison says that those dollars are now headed to the City of La Follette, but she’s not sure when they will start coming the city’s way.

Ellison added that there are still a lot more businesses, the majority are small, that will be buying a City of La Follette Business License.  Sales tax dollars from those businesses, like Charley’s Pizza and Food Lion, will begin coming La Follette’s way as well as taxes from several months back. (06/26/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Moore pleads guilty

By Susan Sharp 

A plea agreement has closed out a vehicular assault case.

On Monday, Marla Ann Moore plead guilty to DUI and simple possession of marijuana while the vehicular assault charge was dismissed. Moore was sentenced to 48 hours in jail with credit for time served. She was also sentenced to two years probation, assessed court costs and ordered to pay a $1,100 fine, according to court records.

Moore must also surrender her driver’s license for a year and attend a MADD panel.

The charges are a result of a June 2014 traffic accident.

Moore was traveling on Highway 63 in Campbell County when her 1996 Dodge allegedly left the road, striking a guardrail. This is when her passenger was ejected from the vehicle, according to Tennessee Highway Patrol Officer Michael Wilson’s report. The passenger incurred “serious bodily injury,” court records said.

Moore told Wilson the crash occurred when a bicycle crossed her path as she was driving on the highway. As she waited to be transported for treatment of her injuries, Moore continued to talk to Wilson. During the course of the conversation, Wilson noticed Moore had “a slow and slurred speech” along with “droopy eyelids,” his report said. She told Wilson she had taken her prescribed suboxene earlier that day, however, as Wilson put Moore through a series of field sobriety tests, she told the officer she “wanted to be honest with him.” This is when she allegedly disclosed she had been smoking marijuana earlier.

An inventory of the vehicle yielded a burnt marijuana cigarette in the floor of the car, the report said.  (06/26/2015 - 6:00 AM)

City of La Follette employees getting raises

All fulltime employees to receive a 2% bump in pay

The City of La Follette began the evening on Thursday searching for dollars.  Dollars to help provide raises to its employees.

At Thursday night’s La Follette City Council meeting - from left around the table are City Finance Director Terry Sweat, Mayor Mike Stanfield, Vice-Mayor Joe Bolinger, and Council Members Ann Thompson, and Bob Fannon.

As Mayor Mike Stanfield, Vice Mayor Joe Bolinger, Council Members Bob Fannon and Ann Thompson settled in around the big conference table in the city courtroom, they quickly learned that the idea of the E-911 Board taking on one dispatcher’s salary was not going to fly.  It couldn’t.  At least legally.  The E-911 Board convened at 5:00 p.m. Thursday and had no choice but to reject the proposal of taking a $30,000 dispatcher salary off the city’s hands and paying it out of the E-911 budget.  E-911 Chairman Jack Widener, a retired LPD chief, told the five other E-911 board members that after talking with state officials and the E-911 attorney, he learned that the board could not legally accept the proposal.  Widener added that the only way it could make an increase would be if the city matched it.

However, the news quickly brightened up when City Recorder Joy Ellison explained that the city had approximately $130,000 in just discovered sales tax revenue coming (related story above).  Ellison said it’s all a part of the efforts she and Codes Officer Stan Foust have made the past couple of weeks.  The pair is shoring up La Follette’s efforts when it comes to businesses having a business license, sales tax revenue the city is due, and locating businesses within the city that use another town’s address.

After some discussions, questions, and answers, the mayor and three council members that were present decided they could comfortably give all fulltime city employees a raise.  All fulltime city employees will receive a two-percent raise while the 34-fulltime members of the police department will also receive an additional 50-cents an hour raise.  Department heads Ellison and Foust will each receive $1,500 along with a two-percent increase in pay.

City Finance Director Terry Sweat will now take the balanced budget he presented to council at last Tuesday’s meeting and add the raises and past sales tax revenue to the budget.  He will then bring it before council for a vote on Monday.  (06/26/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Nuts-n-bolts for La Follette

     The City of La Follette will soon be updating its website.  Gravel will be spread over the sidewalk project taking place on East Central Avenue for better footing for those attending Saturday’s Farmer’s Market at Traffic Light 8.  An ATV ride from Ride Royal Blue to the heart of La Follette and back to RRB is set for Saturday, October 10.  The city voted to install several security cameras throughout City Hall months ago.  It will now install those cams.  La Follette’s fireworks show is Friday, July 3rd at dark with the Roane State College campus serving as the launch site.  The La Follette Utilities Board is helping its neighbors at Caryville-Jacksboro Utilities by selling them water while CJU works through challenges with its water supply.  Monday at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall mayor and council meet for a public hearing followed by the adjourned in-session June meeting to vote on next year’s budget, and that’s followed by the June workshop.   (06/26/2015 - 6:00 AM) 

New laws are promising in fighting prescription drug abuse in Tennessee

An Editorial by Senator Ken Yager submitted to WLAF

(WLAF welcomes viewpoints at wlaf@1450wlaf.com)

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.), June 25, 2015 - Prescription drug abuse in Tennessee is a very serious health epidemic, but our state legislature has continued to make significant progress in our efforts to curb it.  As of July 1, three new laws will be enacted to tackle the problem of prescription drug abuse and addiction, including one bill that I sponsored which tightens the requirements for medical directors and owners of pain management clinics.

Opioid pain relievers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl and hydromorpone are responsible for three-fourths of all prescription drug overdose deaths according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).  The CDC reports<http://www.cdc.gov/psr/prescriptiondrug/2013/TN-pdo.pdf> that Tennessee's overdose death rate of 16.9 per 100,000 population is significantly above the national rate of 12.4 percent.

The legislature has made great strides in cracking down on bad operators of pain clinics over the past several years, including requiring state oversight and a monitoring program for certain prescription drugs. This new law makes changes to current pain clinic certification requirements, including that the medical director or owner must be a licensed physician who holds the required continuing medical education and subspecialty certification in pain medicine.  Medical directors must meet the new requirements by July 1, 2017.

Similarly, legislation I co-sponsored this year repeals
Tennessee's Intractable Pain Treatment Act in an effort to reduce opioid abuse in Tennessee.  The new law was supported by the state's district attorneys and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The Intractable Pain Treatment Act was passed in 2001 and included a "Pain Patient's Bill of Rights" which gave patients a great amount of responsibility to choose opiate medications as a first line of treatment even through other modalities of pain relief exist.  Under the law's "Patient Bill of Rights," physicians were required either to provide requested opiate medication or refer to physicians who will.

Since the passage of the 2001 law,
Tennessee has experienced multiple negative consequences, including being ranked second in the nation for the rate of opioid pain relievers sold per 10,000 persons.  Prescription opioids also rank as the worst abused drug among individuals receiving state-funded treatment services in Tennessee.

While addressing opioid abuse, it is very important that we focus on treatment.  The third bill set to go into effect on July 1 aims to save the life of a person seeking medical assistance for a drug overdose.  The Addiction Treatment Act of 2015, which I co-sponsored, prevents certain criminal drug charges from being filed against an individual who is seeking emergency medical assistance upon experiencing an illegal drug overdose if it is their first time.  The protection also applies to good Samaritans assisting them in seeking medical care.  The bill does not prohibit police officers from charging either of these individuals with other crimes based on evidence.

Another section of the bill restricts the prescription of Buprenorphine, a semisynthetic opioid with a variety of formulations like Subutex and Suboxone, to the treatment of opiate dependence in accordance with Federal Drug Administration (FDA)-approved limitations.  This action prevents the drugs from being used for pain management, keeping Buprenorphine from being prescribed for indications not approved by the FDA and in amounts that are not within recognized parameters.

Finally, the legislation authorizes the Commissioner of Health to make available recommendations for training first responders in the appropriate use of opioid antagonists, specifically naloxone hydrochloride. The recommendations must include a provision concerning the appropriate supply of opioid antagonists to first responders to administer consistent with the requirements of this new law.

The new statute was supported by the addiction treatment and recovery community in collaboration with the Tennessee Medical Association.

Prescription drug abuse has a far reaching effect on our state.  It has touched virtually every family in Tennessee.  Although the passage of this recently enacted legislation gives us viable tools to combat abuse and to transform lives of many Tennesseans and their families for the better, we cannot stop here.  There is still much work to do before we truly address the problem we face with drug abuse in Tennessee.  I hope you will join me in that fight.(06/25/2015 - 4:00 PM)

Muse agrees to his guilt in drug case

By Susan Sharp

Edgar Lynn “Whitey” Muse has seen his narcotics case disposed of in criminal court.

On Monday, Muse plead guilty in a case where he was facing 15 various felony counts that included possession of numerous types of drugs with the intention to sell them.

Muse garnered the charges following a brief investigation by the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department last summer. He was arrested as part of a narcotics roundup.

While the investigation into Muse’s current activity was brief, authorities within the department had “known for several years” that Muse was allegedly dabbling in the drug trade.

When officers entered the home, they found evidence to support their suspicions.

Court records indicate Muse had drugs such as Oxycodone, Alprazolam, Marijuana and Dihydrocodeinone in quantities that were significant enough to be considered eligible for resale.

Also in the home were well over 20 types of guns, court records said.

Muse and his wife, Linda, were both arrested.

In court, her charges were dismissed.

So were the majority of his.

Muse plead guilty to two counts of sale of schedule II controlled substance. In exchange for his plea, Muse was sentenced to six years supervised probation and assessed a $4,000 fine. If he has the fine paid off in three years and doesn’t violate his probation, Muse will be transferred to unsupervised probation, the agreement said.

He also agreed to a number of special conditions as it related to drug convictions.

Among them are, he will let anyone in the medical field who is providing care for him know he has a narcotics conviction and he will not share any of his prescribed medications.(06/25/2015 - 6:00 AM)

“Give Me a Reason” test available

By Susan Sharp

The distribution centers for the at home drug testing kits for minors are ready for business.

Following two training sessions last week, five area entities stepped forward to aid in the community’s battle against substance abuse.

Terry’s Pharmacy, Katie’s Restaurant, the First Baptist Church of LaFollette, the Campbell County Baptist Association and the Community Health Clinic (CHET) are the locations where the free kits will be dispersed.

The tests are designed specifically for use by legal guardians of children under the age 18. They are to be used in the home to assist guardians in determining if a child could be abusing narcotics, a press release issued by the Campbell County Anti-Drug Coalition said.

The saliva based test quickly yield results.  It checks for a variety of drugs including Amphetamines (Adderall, Meth, and Ecstasy), Barbiturates (Tranquilizers), Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, and Roofies), Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Methadone, Opiates (Codeine, Heroin, Morphine, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone), Phencyclidine (PCP), and Marijuana (THC), the website Operationunite.org said. Using a mouth swab, the donor is to saturate the tip of the swab. Afterwards, the sponge is placed in a self- contained screening device. In 10 minutes the results are ready.

“I thought it would be a good thing for us to get involved with,” said Justin Wilson, pharmacists at Terry’s. He discussed the possibility of the stores becoming part of the initiative with his boss, Rissa Pryse, who quickly gave him the green light.

Currently, each location has three tests available. “There are no questions asked,” Wilson said of the process for obtaining a test. No information is required after the test is completed either. There is an anonymous card that can be returned to Operation Unite in Kentucky if the test is positive, but that is optional and only for funding purposes, according to Wilson.

“If we give one test out that’s great. If not we still have them,” he said.

For Katie Goins, owner of Katie’s Restaurant, the reason to become a distributor is more personal.

“There are so many young people on drugs now it is the least I can do,” said Goins.

And while a popular eatery may seem an odd place to pick up a free drug screening kit, Goins said she just wants to “be a help of any kind.”

She also guarantees that anyone interested in obtaining a kit won’t be “embarrassed.” The envelope the kits come in are large and white but Goins promises they will be camouflaged going out the door.

Currently, she has nine kits available.

“People can come in anytime we are open and get one,” she said. (06/25/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Resignations tendered at Tuesday’s E-911 Board meeting

Byrd and Woods stepping aside

     Come the end of July, La Follette Fire Chief Gary Byrd plans to retire from his 40+ year career with the city.  Part of his parting of the ways process includes tendering his resignation from the city’s 911 Board where the chief has served for several years.  Byrd, who served for about 14-years, will be replaced by the next fire chief.  Board member Charlie Woods also turned-in his resignation.  Woods has served for the better part of ten years. (06/24/2015 - 1:45 PM)

FBC making a difference

Pastor thrilled with this week’s activities

     From passing a basketball to painting a house, it has indeed been a full and productive week for the community by way of First Baptist Church of La Follette. 

FBC partnered with 1st Baptist Church of Pelham, Alabama, for a week crammed full of activities.  Block parties with free food, Bible camps, a sports camp, and home restoration projects highlight a week that’s touched countless lives.  Click here to see and hear a taste of this week in La Follette.  (06/24/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Moore pleads guilty

By Susan Sharp

A plea agreement has closed out a vehicular assault case.

On Monday, Marla Ann Moore pleaded guilty to DUI and simple possession of marijuana while the vehicular assault charge was dismissed. Moore was sentenced to 48 hours in jail with credit for time served. She was also sentenced to two years probation, assessed court costs and ordered to pay a $1,100 fine, according to court records.

Moore must also surrender her driver’s license for a year and attend a MADD panel.

The charges are a result of a June 2014 traffic accident.

Moore was traveling on Highway 63 in Campbell County when her 1996 Dodge allegedly left the road, striking a guardrail. This is when her passenger was ejected from the vehicle, according to Tennessee Highway Patrol Officer Michael Wilson’s report. The passenger incurred “serious bodily injury,” court records said.

Moore told Wilson the crash occurred when a bicycle crossed her path as she was driving on the highway. As she waited to be transported for treatment of her injuries, Moore continued to talk to Wilson. During the course of the conversation, Wilson noticed Moore had “a slow and slurred speech” along with “droopy eyelids,” his report said. She told Wilson she had taken her prescribed suboxene earlier that day, however, as Wilson put Moore through a series of field sobriety tests, she told the officer she “wanted to be honest with him.” This is when she allegedly disclosed she had been smoking marijuana earlier.

An inventory of the vehicle yielded a burnt marijuana cigarette in the floor of the car, the report said. (06/24/2015 - 6:00 AM)

One arrested in court for intoxication

By Beth Braden

A man in general sessions court earned his third arrest after allegedly falling asleep in the courtroom.

Tyler Jerome Bowlin

Tyler Jerome Bowlin, 23, 1310 Keswick Road, Williamsburg, Ky., was in court last Thursday when officers allegedly found him slumped over on the bench. Bailiffs roused Bowlin and took him to the conference room where he allegedly exhibited slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet. Bowlin admitted taking a suboxone strip before coming to court and was allegedly unable to pass a field sobriety test.

He was arrested and charged with public intoxication.  (06/24/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Brown learns from the Vols

Multi-sport athlete Dalton Brown, with Vols Head Coach Butch Jones, took part in the Tennessee Football Camp earlier this month.  The La Follette youngster also excels at basketball and soccer.

Shears sentenced in robbery case

By Susan Sharp

Being a frequent customer at an area gas station didn’t work out so well for Kenneth D. Shears.

In Sept. 2014, he was arrested and charged with robbing the West End Marathon Station after witnesses identified him by name as the masked robber.

On Monday, Shears learned his antics that night carried nearly a year of jail time. During a criminal court hearing on Monday, Shears pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated robbery. This was a reduction in charges from his original charges.  Following his initial arrest, Shears was charged with aggravated robbery, simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest and tampering with evidence.

Per his plea agreement, Shears was sentenced to 271 days in jail, with credit for time served. Afterwards, he will spend eight years on supervised probation. Any financial matters such as court costs, fines and restitution will be settled on July 27, according to court records.

His trouble began when he walked into the La Follette gas station with a bandana covering his face and told the cashier he wanted what was in the register. Standing there with “a large knife” Shears allegedly advised the clerk to “hurry and she wouldn’t get hurt,” La Follette Police Officer Charles Duff’s report said.  Taking a handful of cash, Shears turned and ran for the door, as he removed the bandana. This is when the clerk recognized him as a regular customer.

Two witnesses outside the store also knew who the now unmasked man was, according to the LPD report.

Tracking down the evidence, Duff was soon able to locate Shears at his home, where he was laying on the couch.

During a search of the apartment, Duff located the clothes Shears was believed to have been wearing during the robbery. Inside the pocket of the shorts, Duff discovered what was later confirmed to be a schedule II controlled substance, opana.

Faced with the proof of his crimes, Shears allegedly admitted the drugs were his and that he robbed the store. He even agreed to show the police where he stashed the loot, the report said.  Walking towards the kitchen, Duff allegedly told Shears not to touch anything, the police would take care of it. But it wasn’t the money, Shears was after. As Shears “lunged into the cabinet” a “burnt spoon wet with melted opana” was what he appeared to be after, the report said.

 As he struggled with Duff, Shears attempted to get the spoon in his mouth, the report said. The melted narcotic ended up in the floor. Police later found the cash believed to have been taken from the store in Shears’ wallet. (06/24/2015 - 6:00 AM)

The following pleas were entered in Campbell County Criminal Court on 06/22/2015

•Tabitha Lynn Lewis, theft less than $1,000, sentenced to 5 years supervised probation, pay court costs, $74 ECF and $9,200 to EZ Rentals

• Dale Everett Lloyd Jr., one count aggravated domestic assault, 2 counts driving on a revoked license, violation of the financial responsibility law, violation of the registration law — all counts to run concurrent, sentenced to 4 years supervised probation, pay court costs, $100 fine

• Charles Austin Parker criminal impersonation, two counts driving on a revoked license 4th offense, felony evading arrest, violation of the financial responsibility law, sentenced to three years in prison, pay $800 to victim

• Adam Quinton Albright, evading arrest, possession of schedule VI controlled substance; sentenced to one year judicial diversion, one year supervised probation, pay court costs and $250 fine, must abide by special conditions of probation for drug related offenses

•Edgar Lynn “Whitey” Muse, two counts of schedule II controlled substance, sentenced to 6 years supervised probation, pay court costs and $4,000 fine, must abide by special conditions of probation for drug related offenses

• Casey L. Lemarr, two counts of theft of property $1,000-$10,000, sentenced to 104 days in jail with credit from March 10, 2015-June 22, 2015, 4 years supervised probation, pay court costs, $150 ECF and $3,275 restitution to victims

• Tammy Lynn Ross, two counts of introduction of contraband into a penal facility, sentenced to 5 years supervised probation, pay court costs

• Aaron Scott West, theft less than $1,000, violation of an order of protection, sentenced to 3 years judicial diversion, 3 years supervised probation, pay court costs, $75 ECF and $4,350 to the victim

• Kurt Jacob Veach, attempted possession of schedule I with intent to deliver, cultivation of more than 10 plants, sentenced to 8 years supervised probation, pay court costs, $4,000 fine and forfeit $2,500 to CCSO drug fund

• Gregory Hugh Walden, violation of the habitual motor vehicle offender bar, simple possession of schedule II controlled substance, sentenced to split confinement of 30 days with credit for time served, 4 years supervised probation, pay court costs and $750 fine

• Stephen Lynn Kidwell, promotion of methamphetamine, sentenced to 4 years of supervised probation, pay court costs, forfeit $500 to CCSO drug fund, must abide by special conditions of probation for methamphetamine related offenses

• Marla Ann Moore, simple possession of marijuana third offense, DUI, sentenced to split confinement of 48 hours with credit for time served, 2 years of supervised probation, pay court costs and $1,100 fine, surrender driver’s license for 1 year, attend MADD victim impact panel

• Kelly Bruce Dople, introduction of contraband into a penal facility, sentenced to 3 years supervised probation, pay court costs

• Hanna M. Overton, violation of the habitual motor vehicle offender bar, sentenced to 18 months supervised probation, pay court costs

• Tammy Jane Morgan, felony evading arrest, sentenced to 4 years supervised probation, pay court costs and $300 restitution

• Marvin Wayne Phillips, violation of the habitual motor vehicle offender bar, sentenced to one year supervised probation, pay court costs

• Michael Ray Allison, violation of the habitual motor vehicle offender bar, sentenced to 2 years supervised probation, pay court costs

• Charles Ray Arnold, theft greater than $1,000, sentenced to split confinement with credit for 24 days served, 2 years supervised probation, pay court costs, $75 ECF, $3,192

• Adam Quinton Albright, possession of schedule II controlled substance, sentenced to 1 year judicial diversion, 11 months 29 days supervised probation, pay court costs, $750 fine, abide by special conditions of probation for methamphetamine related offenses

• Sabrina Leanna Brown, auto burglary, possession of schedule III controlled substance with intent to sell, possession of drug paraphernalia, sentenced to split confinement with 44 days of jail credit, two years supervised probation, pay court costs, $2,000 fine and $400 restitution, abide by special conditions of probation for drug related offenses

• Carolyn Sue Blankenship, attempted sale of schedule II controlled substance, sentenced to 2 year supervised probation, pay court costs

• Kenneth Dewayne Shears Jr., aggravated robbery, theft less than $500, sentenced to 8 years supervised probation, 11 months 29 days unsupervised probation, pay court costs, $225 ECF and restitution

• James Daniel Cooper, DUI, simple possession schedule IV controlled substance, sentenced to split confinement with credit for 2 days served, 1 year supervised probation, pay court costs and $1,100 fine, surrender driver’s license for one year and attend one MADD victim impact panel

• Dustin Lee Spradlin, introduction of contraband into a penal facility, sentenced to 5 years of supervised probation

• Paul Edward Goins, theft less than $500, two counts reckless endangerment, sentenced to two years in prison with a jail credit from Oct. 8, 2014-June 22, 2015

• Danny Eugene Snead, theft greater than $1,000, sentenced to 2 years supervised probation, pay court costs, $75 ECF, $600 restitution

• Daniel Louis Benoit, DUI, sentenced to split confinement of 48 hours with credit for time served, 1 year supervised probation, pay court costs and $350 fine, surrender driver’s license for 1 year, attend one MADD victim impact panel

• Danny Lee “Cracker” Blankenship, casual exchange, sentenced to 11 months 29 days of unsupervised probation, pay court costs, $750 fine, forfeit $500 to JPD drug fund (06/24/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Two jailed in alleged Walmart, Gamestop thefts

By Beth Braden

An empty gift card and broken game container led to charges for two people in Jacksboro last week.

Jacksboro Officer Bill White was dispatched to the Walmart plaza area in response to a shoplifting call where he encountered Dustin Dewayne Green, 29, 603 Rose Hill Drive, La Follette, and Jessika Nichole Green, 29, 593 County Road 675, Briceville.

Dustin Dewayne Green

According to police, Jessika Green bagged all her items, swiped a gift card with no money and then proceeded to leave the store without paying. Jessika Green allegedly told police she was just going outside to get money from her boyfriend and then would return and pay for the items.

Jessika Green

As officers questioned the pair, the manager of Game Stop approached the officer with a torn video game container and reported that Dustin Green was responsible for stealing a video game. When police searched his Game Stop bag, they allegedly recovered the game. Dustin Green then allegedly blamed the theft on his daughter.

Both Greens were arrested and charged with theft less than $500.  (06/24/2015 - 6:00 AM)

La Follette man arrested after juvenile struck by car

By Beth Braden

One man was jailed after police say he chased a juvenile into oncoming traffic.

Campbell County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Michael Owens responded to a disturbance call near the White Bridge on Demory Road.

Jonathan Honden Brandenburg

At the scene, witnesses told the officer an ambulance was needed for a juvenile who had been hit by a car. The juvenile’s age was not listed in the report.

Owen’s investigation revealed that Jonathan Honden Brandenburg, 303B S. 5th St., LaFollette, had been chasing the juvenile with a large stick, threatening to do bodily harm, according to reports.

The fleeing victim then reportedly ran into the road and was struck by a vehicle traveling down Demory Road.  By the time the officer arrived, Brandenburg and another juvenile suspect had fled the scene.

Brandenburg was located, arrested and charged with aggravated assault. (06/24/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Bell asks for continuance in Fleming case

By Susan Sharp

A man who was the driver in a single car accident that resulted in three deaths, has seen his court date postponed.

Kevin Fleming, 43, Jacksboro, is facing multiple counts of vehicular homicide following the July 2014 crash.

On Monday, his attorney, James Bell, asked for a continuance in the case.

Bell is having Fleming’s blood retested and is conducting his own accident investigation.

“I am doing my own forensics,” Bell said following court on Monday.

Fleming’s next court date is Aug. 17.

The accident that claimed three lives and left Fleming with life threatening injuries occurred in the Ridge Road area of Caryville. According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol report that was released following the crash, Fleming was the driver of a Dodge 2500 Ram truck,  that was traveling south on  the narrow country road. The vehicle is believed to have left the right side of the road. That is when Fleming allegedly over corrected to the left, sending the truck up an embankment, the report said. After going up the embankment, the Dodge struck a tree sending it into a short lived spiral. It eventually came to rest on its right side, the THP report said.

All four occupants of the truck were airlifted to U.T. Medical Center.

Charles Morris, Carl Daugherty, Jr., and Jason Carroll all died as a result of the accident.

THP Trooper noted in his report that none of the men was wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. Brown further noted the use of restraints could have made a difference in this accident.

Along with the vehicular homicide charges, Fleming was charged with DUI.(06/23/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Former JHS school teacher learns her fate

A one-time Jellico High School special education teacher, convicted of killing her live-in boyfriend, is scheduled to report to prison next month.

On May 8, Lisa Estelle Elliott was convicted of voluntary manslaughter, a class C felony.  Investigators say she shot and killed her live-in fiancé in the early February of last year.  She was later indicted for second-degree murder.

The 48-year old Elliott, who previously taught at JHS, reports to prison on July 12 for shooting her lover, L. David Champlin, during the course of an alcohol fueled argument in 2014.  The tragic event unfolded just before 5:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, February 2, where the two made their home on King David Lane.  That’s on the on the south end of Elk Valley. 

The voluntary manslaughter charge is sending Elliott to prison for four years.  Judge E. Shayne Sexton made the determination this morning.(06/22/2015-11:30 AM)

Reynolds prepares to highlight all county has to offer

By Susan Sharp

Like a captain charting a course, Cindi Reynolds’ approach to county tourism has been chosen; Reynolds plans to shine a spotlight on Campbell County as it has never been done before.

Last week was her first week as the county’s director of tourism and retirement. It was a whirlwind of well wishes from county commissioners and reestablishing her contacts at the state level. Yet, the woman who is no stranger to the inner workings of the county’s chamber of commerce, took it all in stride.

“I get to promote my hometown. How great is that,” Reynolds said as she flashed a smile.

Looking at the many enticements that could bring people into the county, Reynolds said she planned to focus on all of them.

“You need to start with what you have and for us that is state of the art marinas. All of them have a special niche they bring to the table,” she said. Norris Lake boasts it is the cleanest lake in the state and Reynolds intends to use that a selling point.

While Norris Lake is quite possibly the chief tourism draw for Campbell County, Reynolds said it was just the foundation of tourism. Adventure vacations and nature vacations also have an appeal to travelers. “Yes, we have the lake, but, there is also Royal Blue and we have a zip line, here in Campbell County,” she said. Reynolds also made note of the 400 elk that roam the wildlife area in the county along with a nearly endangered bird that is being studied in Campbell County by the University of Tennessee. “And don’t forget those beautiful leaves we have every fall,” she said.

Reynolds’s list of promotable items doesn’t stop there. In the last few years the county has developed a thriving arts community. “We have a museum, there is Art in the Park, annual ghost walk tours and the Louie Bluie Festival,” she said noting she plans to promote each one.

In an area where industry is needed, Reynolds is encouraging the community to embrace tourism as just that.

According to recent statistics, tourism in Campbell County is a multi-million dollar a year business that continues to grow. In support of this point, Reynolds mentioned a recent fishing tournament recently hosted by the county. Conservative estimates are that in brought in roughly $344,000. With 196 boats in the tournament, this translated into 91 hotel rooms being booked and thousands spent at local gas stations and restaurants. But it doesn’t stop there. “They enjoyed being here so much, they are coming back,” Reynolds said. This is the type of repeat business she hopes to foster because that is the other side of her position.

“Tourists become your retirement community,” she said. When people choose to transition from the workforce there are qualities they look for in a community, according to Reynolds. “We have all of them,” she said. “We have places to worship, where all denominations are represented, and we have good healthcare and plenty of opportunities to volunteer.”

Throw in the lack of a state income tax income and it becomes a win for everyone.

Given the inviting elements the county has to offer, Reynolds has developed a strategy to market them. Her first goal is to develop a strong online presence. “When people Google a lake vacation I want us to be the first one that pops up,” she said.

In order to achieve this, Reynolds plans to take the ball already in play and keep running with it. “There is no need to reinvent the wheel. We have a lot of good traction coming out of the mayor’s office and I want to build on that,” she said. To further this goal, she also plans to piggyback the tourism/ retirement piece onto the existing chamber website. Throwing in a Facebook page, as well as an Instagram page and a Twitter feed, Reynolds is using a blitz approach.

“We want people to go and like us on all of those. Each week we are going to be promoting something specific,” she said. “We have the best of the best here.” (06/22/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Campbell High Graduation 2015

Tennessee’s unemployment rate decreases to under 6%

Lowest rate in the state since 2008

     The number of unemployed persons in Tennessee is the lowest since March 2008.  Tennessee’s May rate declined to 5.8%, the fourth consecutive monthly decline.  Over the past year, Tennessee’s unemployment rate decreased from 6.5% to 5.8% while the national rate declined from 6.3% to 5.5%.  Total nonfarm employment increased 10,000 jobs from April to May.  The largest increases occurred in leisure/hospitality, education/health services, and trade/transportation/utilities.  Individual county numbers will be released next Thursday.(06/19/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Brady facing multiple sexual assault charges

By Susan Sharp

A La Follette man has been indicted and arrested for crimes he allegedly committed against two small children.

Earlier this week, Ronald Brady, 51, 306 Country Oaks Lane, La Follette, was arrested by the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department for two counts rape of a child and two counts of aggravated sexual battery.

His victims were the children of someone he was closely associated with, according to CCSD Det. Ricky Jeffers.

The arrest came at the end of a two month long investigation where it was determined that Brady allegedly sexually abused the two children at times when they had been left in his care, Jeffers said. The assaults are believed to have occurred in the last year.

Although Brady had close ties to the family, his access to the children was stopped the minute the mother learned of the allegations. “She (the mother) has done everything she can to protect these children,” Jeffers said.

Brady was arrested at a Caryville motel where he had been living. Jeffers said Brady was arrested without incident.

“Cases of this nature are among the most disturbing that law enforcement has to encounter,” said Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins. “This is a case our department vigorously pursued and in the end Det.  Jeffers got the indictment. We will see this case through till the end because at this point we become the voice of the victims.”

The rape of a child charge is a Class A felony, which carries a sentence of 13 to 60 years depending on the defendant’s criminal history, according to state law.

Currently, Brady is being held in the county jail on a $200,000 bond. (06/18/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Bidding is open for county land sale

35+ pieces of property are available

     Campbell County Mayor E.L. Morton is taking your bids on property that is available for sale by the county.  These properties were acquired by Campbell County through past delinquent tax sales.  Property on the block ranges from Rarity Mountain lots to seven Hiwassee I pieces of land to as big a piece of property as 6.9 acres in the Roses Creek-Primroy area.  Forms for bidding are available now at the mayor’s office at the courthouse at Jacksboro.  Initial bidding deadline is Friday, June 26, 2015, at 4:30 p.m. (ET).  However, during the ten (10) days following the publication of the above notice in the newspapers and WLAF radio station web page, any person may bid by increasing the first offer by ten percent (10.00%) or more. This offer must be proposed in writing to the County Mayor of Campbell County with a deadline for these offers of Friday, July 17th, 2015, at 4:30 p.m. (ET).  Click here to see the entire list of property as well as details on how to bid. (06/19/2015 - 6:00 AM)

75 to 100 La Follette businesses are operating without a biz license

La Follette is missing out on thousands of tax dollars

Talk about next year’s City of La Follette budget took a back seat to business license and sales taxes discussions at Thursday night’s budget meeting.  The fact that upwards of one-third of businesses are operating within the city and are conducting business without a license, quickly became the main topic of the evening.  City Clerk Joy Ellison explains to WLAF that she recently realized that no one was keeping up with businesses within the city and their licenses.  Ellison points out that former interim city administrator Cade Sexton and his successor, Billie Russell, had each been keeping up with business licenses and sales tax through the State of Tennessee’s Situs report which tracks sales tax for Tennessee cities.  After requesting a Situs report, Ellison discovered that between 75 and 100 businesses are operating without a business license.  She says that the state is able to go back on the current year and previous year and see that those sales tax dollars go to the City of La Follette.  Ellison estimates that there are between 250 and 300 businesses in the city.

A business license costs $30 annually which quickly adds up to around $3,000 just for the licenses that have not been purchased by the said businesses.  Potentially thousands of sales tax dollars are in addition to that.  Ellison goes on to say that each of the almost 100 businesses will be receiving a notice within the next few days to purchase a business license.  According to Ellison, one of the big names on the list is the Krystal.  The hamburger restaurant’s business license was last updated in 2009.  She says that it is a requirement to have a license, and that it’s ultimately up to the business owner to make sure that they have a license.

La Follette is scheduled to meet in budget workshop again on Tuesday, June 23, following a 5:30 p.m. 911 board meeting at City Hall.  The city’s June council meeting continues in session at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, June 22 at City Hall prior to the monthly workshop.(06/12/2015 - 3:00 PM)

National Night Out set for August

By Susan Sharp

A night to celebrate the community and the police who protect is just around the corner.

On Aug. 4 Campbell County will host its fifth National Night Out.

This is an annual community-building campaign designed to encourage police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods a safer, better place to live, according to the NNO website. The hope is the event will enhance the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community and provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances, the site continues.

Traditionally, Campbell County’s NNO has been a place of festivity and merriment.

“The biggest benefit of this night is the community comes together for it,” said La Follette Police Chief Jimmy Jefferies. His department will be charged with the tasks of security and traffic.

The event is still in the planning stages, he said. What has been established is it will be Aug. 4 from 6p.m. until 8p.m. at Seargeant Park in La Follette. (06/12/2015 - 6:00 AM)

LPD offers handgun safety course

Chief says it’s a way of giving back to the community

The La Follette Police Department is offering a “free” basic handgun safety and handling course.  LPD Chief Jimmy Jeffries tells WLAF that the course is the first and third Thursday of every month through October beginning at 4:00 p.m. at the City of La Follette.  He calls it a good service for the public and that it’s a way to give back to the community.

Some of the material covered in the class includes safe handling, proper loading and unloading of the weapon, and general firearm safety.  The class concludes by firing 50 rounds at the Royal Blue Firing Range.  Participants need to bring a handgun along with 50 rounds of ammunition.  For more information and to register, Jeffries says to call 423.562.8331. (06/11/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Summer feeding program runs through July

Free lunches for youngsters

It’s that time of year to “be cool” and to be a part of the daily Summer Feeding Program.  Any youngster between the ages of two and 18 is welcome to a free lunch everyday, Monday-Friday, at several locations around La Follette and Jellico.

The free lunch schedule for the south side includes the La Follette Rec Center at the Splash Park between 12:30 and 1:00, La Follette Housing Authority at Alexander Circle 11:15-11:45, Village Apartments 11:55-12:15, Pleasant Ridge Apartments 11:15-11:40, Campbell High 11:30 to 12:30, and Lonas Young Park 11:45-12:15.

North side free lunches are scheduled for Jellico High 11:30-noon, Myrtle Street Housing Authority noon-12:20, Harding Street Housing Authority 11:00-11:20, Login Street Authority 11:30-11:50, Newcomb Baptist Church 12:30 to 1:00, and Jellico Elementary 11:30-noon.

Breakfast is served at both high schools from 8:00-8:30. (06/11/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Obit page on the fritz

     The WLAF Obituary Link is on the fritz. The current obituaries are posted here and will be until the link is repaired.(06/04/2015 - 4:00 PM)

Temporary Obituary Placement

Pamela Sue York

Pamela Sue York, age 51, of LaFollette passed away Friday June 25, 2015.  Preceded in death by parents, Clarence Smith Jr & Betty Keck Smith; Grandparents, Clarence & Rosie Smith and Roscoe & Bertha Keck

Survivors

Husband:  Allen York

Daughters:  Brandy Day

                   Alicia York

                   Tabitha York

Son:  Christopher York & Bree

Grandchildren:  Morgan, Landon, Braxton

Sister:  Darlene Gregor & husband Mike

Very special Aunt & Uncle, Rhonda & Dave Kesterson and a host of brothers & sisters-in-law

Services 2 PM Sunday Cross-Smith Chapel

Interment Powell Valley Cemetery

Condolences may be given online at http://www.cross-smithfuneralhome.com/

Family will receive friends 12 Noon to 2 PM Sunday Cross-Smith Funeral Home

Arrangements by Cross-Smith Funeral Home

Martha Ann Archer

Mrs. Martha Ann Archer age 80 of LaFollette, passed away Wednesday, June 24, 2015.  She was a Charter Member of New Freedom Community Church.  Preceded in death by Husband, Cecil Archer, Daughter, Charlotte Lett, Son, Jarvis Carr, Parents, Hugh and Stella Daugherty, Sisters, Magdalene Orick and Mary Bean, Brothers, Jim Daugherty, Charles Daugherty, and Buddy Daugherty, Stepdaughter, Patsy Bolinger.

Survivors:  Son, Timothy O. Carr and Karen Hickman; Former Daughter-in-Law, Barbara Carr; Granddaughter, Mrs. Carrie Carr Wrigley and husband, Jonathan Wrigley; Great Grandchildren, Andrew, Nathan and Hailey; Grandson, Timothy R. Carr and wife, Mary Carr; Great Granddaughter, Destiny all of Jacksonville, NC; Stepson, David Archer, Sr.; Step-Daughter, Brenda Robbins; Step-Grandson, David Archer, Jr.; Sister, Bell Miller; Several other Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren.  Close personal family friend, Mrs. Phyllis Leach and Family of LaFollette, TN.  Several nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. 

Funeral Services Saturday 12 P.M. at Walters Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Tim Dupuy and Rev. Michael Franklin officiating.  Interment to follow at Peabody Cemetery.  Family will receive friends from 10 A.M. to 12 P.M. before funeral services.  Online condolences for Mrs. Archer may be made at www.waltersfuneralhome.net.  Walters Funeral Home of LaFollette is honored to be serving the family of Mrs. Martha Ann Archer. 

Kenneth M. Martin, Sr.

Mr. Kenneth M. Martin, Sr. age 81 of LaFollette passed away Wednesday, June 24, 2015.    He was a Retired U. S. Army Veteran with 22 years of service, and was of the Church of God Faith.  Preceded in death by two Children, his Parents, Hubert and Pearl Marlow Martin, Sister, Viretta and brother, Hubert Jr.

Survivors:  Wife, Vieva Reese Martin; Children, Debbie, Kenny Jr., Sharon, Scott, Henry, Mitchell, and Charity; Step-Daughters, Deborah and Dedra; several Grandchildren; several Great-Grandchildren; Sisters and Brothers, Drama, Jimmy, Arnold, and Darlene.  Several nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
 
Funeral services Saturday 4 P.M. at Walters Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Hansford Bolton officiating.  Interment to follow at Woodlawn Cemetery with full Military Honors conducted by the Campbell County Honor Guard.  Family will receive friends from 2 to 4  P.M. Saturday before funeral services.  Online condolences for Mr. Kenneth M. Martin, Sr. may be made at www.waltersfuneralhome.net.  Walters Funeral Home of LaFollette is honored to be serving the family of Mr. Kenneth M. Martin, Sr.

Frances Louise (Humpston) Johnson

Frances Louise (Humpston) Johnson passed away Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at the UT Medical Center in Knoxville, TN.  She was born in Lafollette, TN the daughter of John and Sallie (Smith) Humpston.  She graduated from Jacksboro high school, where she was a majorette in the school band, and attended Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN.  She held various administrative positions in East TN and New Orleans, LA.  She was a talented member of several East TN knitting clubs, a ceramic pottery artist, and a church organist for many years.  She was a beloved mother, sister, wife, and friend to all who knew her, as well as a constant companion to Bailey, her faithful West Highland Terrier.

She is survived by her husband, Wilford, son Derrick (Meredith), daughter Tiffany VanScoy (Randy), sisters Helen Hubbs (Charles), Mildred Nuspliger (Robert), nephews Brian Nuspliger, Brad, Greg, and Brian Johnson, Brother-in-Law Carl Johnson, and several loving cousins.  The family will be receiving friends at Hatmaker Funeral Home in Lake City, TN on Friday, June 26, 2015 from 5:00 until 7:00 pm.  Burial will follow at 10:00 AM Saturday, June 27 at Norris Memorial Gardens in Norris, TN

You may also view Frances Johnson’s guestbook online at www.hatmakerfuneralhome.com

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

Earl Leonard

Earl Leonard, age 73 of Centerburg, Ohio, formerly of Vasper, Tennessee, passed away on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. Earl was born July 18, 1941 in Vasper, Tennessee to the late Lee “Zeak” and Minnie Louise Whaley Leonard. Earl spent 48 years owning a construction company. In addition to his parents, Earl is preceded in death by his brother, Charles Leonard.

Survivors:

Wife                               Annie Leonard                                          Centerburg, OH

Children                        Schranetta Brigner                                   Johnstown, OH

                                      William Leonard                                        Caryville, TN

                                      Sherry Cramer                                          Beavercreek, OH

                                      Dan Leonard                                             Marengo, OH  

Siblings   Ann and Paul Hayes             Caryville, TN

     Floyd and Denise Leonard  Lake City, TN

     Bill Leonard                           Caryville, TN

                Curt and Jackie Leonard      Caryville, TN

                David and Bobbi Leonard                      

                Lee and Carol Leonard          Lake City, TN

                Louise Wilson                         Jacksboro, TN

                Susie Hill                                 LaFollette, TN

                Schranetta Debord                Caryville, TN

9 Grandchildren
Visitation: 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM Friday, June 26, 2015 at Hatmaker Funeral Home.
Funeral Service: 1:00 PM Friday, June 26, 2015 in the Hatmaker Funeral Home Chapel.
Interment: To follow funeral service at the Vasper Cemetery in Caryville, TN.

You may also view Earl’s guestbook online at www.hatmakerfuneralhome.com

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

Linda Sue Dillie

Linda Sue Dillie, age 68, of Muncie, IN went to be with the Lord at 9:20 p.m. on Thursday June 11, 2015, after a long hard battle with cancer. Linda was surrounded by her devoted husband, loving family, and wonderful daughter, Angie, who never left her side.  Linda was born on June 13, 1946, in Muncie, IN to the late Wesley and Dolly (Wallace) Comer. Linda was a hard worker. She worked for Sheller-Globe Corporation as a supervisor for 25 years, then for several years at Borg Warner and retired with the closing of the plant as a supervisor. Soon after she worked for a short time at Rural King and she loved every minute of it.  Linda always kept herself busy and loved going on shopping trips with her daughter and nieces.

Linda was happily married to the love of her life, Larry Dillie for 38 years, who survives.  In addition to her husband Linda is also survived and deeply loved by her four children Wes (Michelle) Foster, Angie (Chris) Vannice, Doug (Jackie) Foster, and Tim (Melissa) Foster; 10 grandchildren Adam (Amber), Katie, Brandon, Ashley(Derek), Matthew, Jonathon, Garrett, Jocey, Timmy, and Allison; 2 great-grandchildren Joshua and Hailey; 2 sisters Shirley (Phillip) Ritter and Judy (Dean) Meadows; several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Visitation was held on Tuesday June 16, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at Garden View Funeral Home 10501 N. Indiana 3, Muncie, IN.  Funeral services followed at 1:00 p.m. at the funeral home, with Pastor Jerry VanNatter officiating. Burial was in the Gardens of Memory Cemetery, Muncie, IN.

Linda’s family would like to give a special thanks to the 5th floor staff and everyone at the Cancer Center at Ball Memorial Hospital.
Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Linda to I.U. Health Ball memorial Hospital Cancer Center.

This obituary notice is courtesy of Walters Funeral Home of LaFollette, TN.

Harold "Andy" Wright

Harold "Andy" Wright, age 40 of LaFollette passed away Monday, June 22, 2015.  Member of Midway Baptist Church.  Preceded in death by grandparents, Ed & June Wright and Henry & Bonnie Smiddy.

Survivors

Daughter:  Andrea Wright

Parents:  Harold & Linda Wright

Brothers:  Brian Wright

                 Glenn Wright

Services 7 PM Thursday Cross-Smith Chapel

Rev. Mike Smith officiating

Interment 11 AM Friday Peabody Cemetery

Condolences may be given online at http://www.cross-smithfuneralhome.com/

Family will receive friends 5 PM to 7 PM Thursday Cross-Smith Funeral Home

Arrangements by Cross-Smith Funeral Home

Six long months of hurt, heartache, and mystery

Rhonda Daugherty’s been missing since December 2

“The good part of my life is over.”  With a deep sigh, Nancy Kitts shares from her heavy heart with WLAF.  Since news of Rhonda Kitts Daugherty’s disappearance surfaced on Tuesday night, December 2, there’ve been 184 hard-to-sleep nights for her mother, Nancy, and others.

Rhonda’s mom calls Mothers Day a hard day.  She says, “I’m still a mother, but I don’t have my only child anymore.”  I have grandchildren but no Rhonda.  We still miss her, and home is still very lonely without her.

“She never leaves my mind,” said Nancy Kitts, who sadly points out that she’s slowly come to the realization that she’ll never run into Rhonda, like before, out shopping ever again.  But it’s the prayers, family, and friends that keep her going.

Kitts’ son-in-law Charles Daugherty, whom she says is more like a son, discloses to WLAF that trying to stay busy and keeping some sort of a normal schedule helps.  He’s hoping for encouraging news that Rhonda can be found and given a proper funeral.

Law enforcement officials tell WLAF that the search continues, as weather permits.  Members of the La Follette Rescue Squad and the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department were out searching a couple of days last week.  They spent time on the water at Cedar Creek and did some spotty random checks at different locations around Norris Lake.  One officer adds that the lake is up and boating activity is high making for limited visibility hampering under water cameras and sonar.

Five-weeks after losing Rhonda, Kitts’ husband Boyd died from a long battle with cancer. All the more reason, the past six-months have been so painful. 

Lonnie Vann appeared in Campbell County Criminal Court in early May.  Vann is charged in the kidnapping and murder of the 44-year-old Rhonda Daugherty.  Vann was arrested and charged with crimes relating to her disappearance and what authorities have come to believe was her subsequent murder.  Vann is scheduled to again appear in Judge Shayne Sexton’s Criminal Courtroom on Monday, August 17 at 9:30 a.m.

In the meantime, Vann remains in the Knox County Jail on a $1 million bond.(06/02/2015)

       

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.

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 1450wlaf.com, 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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