Day 316 in the search for Rhonda Kitts Daugherty 

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


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



         Cougar Football 2015

Aug 21 Gibbs L 12-7

Aug 28 at Central L 28-0

Sep 04 Lenoir City W 34-13

Sep 10 at Grace W 33-28

Sep 18 at Clinton W 41-35 OT

Sep 25 Cocke Co. HC W 42-0

Oct 02 at Farragut

Oct 09 Bell County

Oct 16 Karns

Oct 23 Open date

Oct 30 at Oak Ridge


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   Friday's games - Final Scores

Bell County 41 - Campbell 31

Oneida 21 Jellico 0

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


Shop local.  It helps all of us.

Photo from home 

     The Caldwell sisters qualify for the state meet.  (L-R) Macy and Marley Caldwell are on their way to the state cross country meet and so is Marissa Nelson (pictured further down this page).

Let Robbins Guttering beautify your home


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

School Board meets in regular session tonight

     Valley View Elementary School will be recognized at tonight’s October meeting of the Campbell County Board of Education.  VVES is a reward school.  Also on tonight’s agenda is naming the basketball court at Jellico High’s Lindsay Gym.  It is expected to be named the John Clifton Court after the former JHS principal.  WLAF has the BOE story for you first thing in the morning right here.(10/13/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Commission again hears from Fifth District residents about road conditions

White Oak residents were back before the county commission Monday night to again plead for help with the deteriorating roads in their district.

Rev. James Bolton addressed the commission, pointing out that cold mix patches that were recently placed on graveled parts of Davis Creek Road to hold down dust were already becoming potholed from the wear of heavy logging trucks and other traffic.

Bolton asked the commission to consider voting to designate any future coal severance tax collected from mining in the Fifth District to be returned to that district for road maintenance.

“The county has collected millions of dollars in severance tax from our district through the years with little of it returned, while our roads have borne the damage from coal trucks and mining activity,” Bolton insisted. “We understand that mining is getting ready to resume in the Westbourne area and we would like to see the tax from that coal used to upgrade our roads.”

Cliff Jennings asked that Bolton’s request be placed on next week’s meeting agenda, but commissioners gave White Oak residents little hope that they had the power to designate any severance tax funds.

“Can we force the Road Superintendent to spend the severance tax in a particular district?” Rusty Orick asked.

“County Attorney Joe Coker replied with a flat “No,” going on to explain that state law dictates that the severance tax must be divided equally between schools and roads with the road portion going directly into the county highway fund.

“The county commission can earmark the money all day long, but we have no power to force the Road Superintendent, who is an elected official, to spend that money where we want it. We can only request it,” Orick added.

Another citizen, Robin Anderson, asked if the commission had looked into a rumored $1/ton usage fee that the paper company agreed to pay for logs hauled to the chip mill at Royal Blue.  Mayor E. L. Morton explained that the rumored fee does not exist.

“There is no record of Champion Paper Company ever agreeing to pay a usage fee for timber hauled over county roads. That information turns out to be simply a rumor,” Morton explained.

Jennings asked if the county could require loggers to pay a bond to cover wear on county roads, since coal operators were required to post a bond on haul roads.

However, it was pointed out that the bond on coal haul roads only covers the private roads constructed as part of a mining permit and does not include public roads.

The commissioners heard from a few other speakers at the workshop who had other concerns. Linda Daugherty with the Humane Society of Campbell County told commissioners that property owned by the Humane Society was in the county’s animal shelter and the Society requested that the property, consisting of a number of desks and other office furnishings, be returned to the Humane Society so it can be sold.

“We plan to use the proceeds to help support the Society’s spay and neuter program,” Daugherty said.

The animal shelter is currently being operated under contract by the Friends of Campbell County Animals group. Daugherty did not explain why the Humane Society and FCCA could not simply arrange to transfer ownership of the office furniture, or why the Society felt it necessary to go through the county commission to retrieve property it owns.

James Slusher also addressed the commissioners, this time expressing his view that by holding a “public hearing” by the FMS Committee on the topic of firing Finance Director Jeff Marlow, the county had set a precedent that any employee fired “at will” can request a hearing and be terminated only for “good cause.”

His argument drew no comments from commissioners, but seems to have overlooked the fact that the FMS Committee did vote to terminate the Finance Director but their action, like that of all committees, must be ratified by the full commission. The full commission voted against the FMS Committee’s recommendation to terminate, but most other county employees work under supervisors whose hiring and firings are not subject to commission approval.   (10/13/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Jay Muncy addressed Caryville about Code Red


CARYVILLE—In response to Alderwoman Vickie Heatherly’s suggestion Caryville implement an early warning system, Campbell County Emergency Management Director Jay Muncy spoke to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen about Code Red.

“I’m glad to see Mr. Muncy here,” Heatherly said.

At last month’s meeting, Heatherly proposed the town seek information about an early warning system. She had spoken to Mayor Jack Cannon about Jacksboro’s system, which uses horns.

“The only problem with sirens, sirens are vague,” Muncy said.

Somebody also has to turn the sirens on, and hills can block people from hearing them.

Jay Muncy gave a presentation on Code Red to the Caryville Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

Code Red uses an app to send various warnings to registered users through different media. In the event of various crises—such as missing children, gas leaks, terrorist threats or severe weather—Code Red alerts clients with tweets, text messages and emails.

Code Red doesn’t over saturate clients with unnecessary warnings, but targets those to whom the warning applies. If a storm will only cross through Jellico, Code Red will only alert people who live there.

“It’s only for the path of the storm,” Muncy said.

Code Red warnings aren’t limited to your home address. When Muncy travelled to Florida—a state that uses Code Red—he received alerts that were pertinent to his location in Florida.

Users who don’t own smart phones can receive warnings on their flip phone or landline.

In order to receive this service, Campbell County would have to sign a five-year, $28,000 contract with Code Red.

“For our size, we’re about $18,000,” Muncy said.

However, he recommended paying the $28,000 “to have the full Cadillac.”

The cost breaks down to $5,600 a year—which is 65 cents per person.

City Attorney Kathy Parrott and Muncy clarified how the cost would break down per municipality. Every city or town would pay 65 cents for each citizen within its limits.

Muncy presented Code Red to each city and town in Campbell County in 2012. Representatives from the company visited every municipality, traveling from Florida.

“It’s a big expense,” Muncy said.

While the county passed a resolution, not all of the towns approved Code Red. And it is Muncy’s goal is for all of Campbell County to embrace the warning system.

“It has to be all or none,” Muncy said.

However, Jellico was suffering financial problems when Muncy presented Code Red to the county.

“Things are getting better,” he said, in reference to Jellico’s financial situation.

Muncy is looking into less expensive alternatives, including companies that provide similar services.

“I am looking into other, cheaper sources that are pretty much the same,“ Muncy said.

Muncy discussed bringing companies to Campbell County every quarter to make presentations.

Muncy also mentioned the possibility of having a company design an app for the county. This app would not only send warnings, but could also be a way for people to engage in other services, such as receiving burn permits and paying utility bills.

Muncy told the board he would also look into the cost of sirens.

Loomis gives annual report

Mitch Loomis, representative of the East Tennessee Development District, gave an annual report on grants. The ETDD seeks grants to help Caryville finance expenses. Two purchases Caryville currently is seeking help with are a fire truck and a garbage truck.

Stanley hopeful for new business at Exit 141

Mayor Chris Stanley expressed excitement over TravelCenters of America and a Speedway that are coming to Exit 141.

“Seems like we’re getting closer,” he said in reference to TA. “We’re hoping they get done with that project soon.”

Hatmaker thanks Muncy

Fire Chief Eddie Hatmaker thanked Jay Muncy for providing two two-way portable radios for the fire department and six for the police department.

“I just wanted to thank him,” Hatmaker said. “Let y’all know.”

The radios receive better than what was previously used, Hatmaker said.

Caryville to host Trunk or Treat

Caryville will host Trunk or Treat on Oct. 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the field in front of Scotty’s.

“It’s usually a good little out turn,” Stanley said.

Asbury Park

The board approved receiving bids to build a back-stop at Asbury Park. This will create a third field.

Pest Control

The board gave approval for taking bids for a contract for monthly pest control.(10/13/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Trio moves on to state cross country meet

Last week, three young runners qualified to run in the state’s elementary and middle school cross country meet scheduled for later this month.

Among the three is a set of sisters, Macy and Marley Caldwell.

The Caldwell sisters posted times that made it easy for them to move to the next level.

Macy, a sixth grader at the Christian Academy of Campbell County (CACC), placed ninth in a field of 213 runners.

Little sister Marley, came in 42nd, among 504 runners. Marley is a third grader at CACC.

There were 468 runners who finished behind Marissa Nelson at last week’s state qualifying round.  When you look at it that way, Nelson’s 36th place finish is even more impressive.

Joining the girls on Oct. 24 at Victor Ashe Park in Knoxville will be Marissa Nelson. Nelson, who ran alongside the younger Caldwell last week, finished 36th in the race of 504 contenders.  Nelson is a third-grader at Jacksboro Elementary School. (10/13/2015 - 6:00 AM)

 Someone is placing harassing calls to some LUB customers

Officials warn of scam

     In a statement to WLAF this afternoon, officials with the La Follette Utility Board are warning of a scam.  It’s noted that some of LUB’s customers have been receiving harassing phone calls from a false third party solicitor.  LUB points out that it does not solicit payments by either checking account or credit/debit cards over the telephone.  If you have been contacted by someone demanding payment in order to avoid service interruption, you are encouraged to call the LUB office at 423.562.3316 or 800.352.1340. (10/12/2015 - 2:00 PM)

It’s sports time from WLAF's David Graham

     WLAF’s David Graham Sports Report is just a click away right here.  (10/12/2015 – 6:00 AM)

Warrior 5K set for Nov. 7

By Susan Sharp

It is only a few weeks until one of Campbell County’s leading events for area runners takes place.

The Christian Academy of Campbell County’s Annual 5k race is set for Nov. 7 at 9 am.

It is the third year the school has held the event that continues to grow in popularity.

“We are extremely excited to be having the race again. Each year the run has grown in popularity,” said Jennifer Caldwell, event organizer and CACC staff member.

“At this point we are making preparations for the run and encouraging area businesses to sign on as sponsors,” Caldwell said.

There are three levels of sponsorship.

The first is the Warrior level. For a $500 contribution, the business’s name and logo will appear on the back of the race shirt, which is being designed by local artist Allan Miller.

For a $250 contribution, the Gold level, the sponsor’s name and logo will be placed on the race banner.

Those contributing $100 or more will be given Purple level status.  This places their name on the listing that will go inside the race packets.

Other contributions will be welcomed as well, Caldwell said.

In previous years, local cross country athletes have garnered the overall top spots but other running enthusiasts have also done well, according to Caldwell.

For more information about sponsorships or to register for race call Caldwell at 566-5294.  (10/12/2015 - 6:00 AM)

The LA Cruizers annual Open Car, Truck, & Motorcycle Show was Saturday

WLAF's Charlie Hutson shares these pictures



 Vendors were even selling food on the back deck of the old post office at Saturday’s Big Creek ATV Fall Festival.

Saturday’s winds were up just enough to keep Eagle One down until around sunset when this picture was snapped high above La Follette.

 This is one of the many “beauty scenes” along the ATV trails.

Big Creek ATV Fall Festival - a good time had by all

Jeffries calls it a “great turnout”

This dog is back from an ATV ride

City of La Follette Council Member Ann Thompson says “it exceeded our expectations.”  La Follette City Administrator Jimmy Jeffries describes the first-ever Big Creek ATV Fall Festival as having a great turnout.

 Saturday’s Big Creek ATV Fall Festival was an idea of Jimmy Jeffries that was first talked about close to five years ago.  Many who attended are hoping it becomes an annual event.

Thompson says there were visitors from as far away as California among, at least, nine other states.  Jeffries adds that there were close to 200 people on the organized ATV rides with an estimated three to four thousand people attending the all-day event last Saturday in downtown La Follette.

The event was not trouble-free.  The classic motorcycle (above) was stolen from Arnie Meredith’s Christmas Emporium while the woman (below) was stopped for speeding through the festival area.

Several vendors sold out before the event was even over.  The kids’ portion of the festival, with a bounce house and slide, was a big hit.

(L-R) Ann Thompson, Mike Stanfield, and Liza Jeffries were part of the team that did a follow-up on Sunday afternoon taking down signs along the ATV trails among other chores.

Both Thompson and Jeffries say that there was a lot of positive feedback.(10/12/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Cougars host Karns on Friday at 7:30 PM

Jellico at Sunbright Friday at 7:30 p.m.


Fields of Faith recap

   Click here to see Alaynah Carney’s creative work. It’s a quick recap of this year’s Fields of Faith.


It’s sports time from WLAF's David Graham

     WLAF’s David Graham Sports Report is just a click away right here.  (10/12/2015 – 6:00 AM)

Dabney delights in surprise

TV anchor delivers special presentation

Everyone in the house knew what was coming.  Except Teresa Dabney.  The almost 10-year CEO of Community Health of East Tennessee (CHET) never saw Thursday’s lunch time surprise coming out of the blue.  Until it landed. 

Longtime television and radio personality Alan Williams was the keynote speaker at Thursday’s CHET retreat.

Dabney just thought that longtime, beloved television news anchor Alan Williams of WLVT-TV CBS 8 of Knoxville was on hand to deliver a pep talk to the entire CHET staff.  And he did.  But after his uplifting message of how everyone’s job is important and why it’s important to keep a positive outlook, he nearly surprised Dabney to tears.

CHET’s CEO Teresa Dabney was totally surprised when popular TV News Anchor Alan Williams presented her with gifts at Thursday’s annual CHET retreat.  Dabney’s staff of 100 or so held the well kept secret until Thursday. 

It wasn’t until he began by quoting one of Dabney’s favorite lines of “I’m older than dirt” that she knew something was up.  At which time he presented her with a dirt cake made of pudding and crushed Oreos, among other ingredients.  To a standing ovation, Williams also handed her a gift card that came from a joint donation of the 100 or so staff members and members of the CHET board of directors.

A standing ovation seemed only fitting after everyone in attendance helped pull off the surprise for Dabney.

And about the surprise.  It all started months ago.  Credit goes to Penny Etter, CHET’s compliance officer, who, along with the rest of the event organizers was able to keep quiet about Thursday’s big surprise.  Dabney said she was overwhelmed. 

 Dabney’s Day and Williams appearance were featured during WVLT-TV’s Thursday evening news.

The lunch time fun was a part of an annual day-long event where everyone under the CHET umbrella comes together at one location for planning, training, and bonding.  This year, it was held at the La Follette United Methodist Church.

Rickard Ridge Restaurant catered a delicious barb-b-cue lunch.

CHET serves more than 5,000 Campbell Countians annually through its health clinic, domestic violence shelter, developmental center, and other branch services. (10/09/2015 - 6:00 AM)

 Name of shooting victim released

La Follette woman dies from a gunshot wound

The name of the woman found dead late last night in the yard of her Pleasant Ridge area home has been released by the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department.  Officials tell WLAF News that 59-year old Joyce Ann Ross, a mother of five and grandmother of 17, died from a single gunshot wound to the torso, according to preliminary reports.

It’s being described as a domestic related incident that is still under investigation.  CCSD Investigators spent the night, morning, and all day today preparing and executing search warrants for evidence related to the incident.

Just before 10:30 PM Wednesday night, a call came in to 9-1-1 Dispatch saying that there was a white female lying injured and unresponsive in the yard of a home at 610 Quail Run Lane in La Follette.  It turned out that the body was that of Ross, and that it was in the yard of the home where she lived.

The investigation is still ongoing and will continue. An autopsy will be performed to determine the official cause of death. (10/08/2015 - 5:00 PM)

Indictments handed down

The following indictments were returned the by the Campbell County Grand Jury:

- Jennifer Ellen Trout Greca- public intoxication; possession of a schedule IV controlled substance; introduction of contraband into a penal facility

- April Gentry- DUI with a minor present; DUI

- Tonya Faye Heatherly- driving on a revoked driver’s license (second offense); violation of the Tennessee Financial Law

- Lauren Ashley Jones- possession of a schedule II controlled substance; possession of a drug paraphernalia (10/08/2015 - 6:00 AM)

"Property rights: Private citizen feels city should take action against property owners"


La FOLLETTE—A neighboring dumpster was the dominant grievance Nevada Avenue resident Bob Robbins brought before the city council Monday night.

“I think it’s a slap in our face that a dumpster would be put across the street from a taxpayer’s house,” Robbins said. “It’s on their property, but who’s gonna smell this every day?”

This dumpster was installed at an up and coming apartment complex for low income and elderly tenants, and is being developed by an agency out of Knoxville.

“The site plan was approved by the proper authorities,” Public Works Department Head Jim Mullins said. “It is being built according to that site plan.”

 Bob Robbins addresses the council about issues on Nevada Avenue.  “We’re crossing a line here.” – City Attorney Reid Troutman in reference to the city’s proposed involvement in a private property dispute.

Robbins expressed concerns tenants will leave trash bags on the ground around the dumpster.

Mullins explained the city has a litter policy.

“If they don’t keep it cleaned up, we can see to it that they do,” Mullins said.

Robbins voiced apprehension the truck that empties the dumpster will make noise and damage the street. He reiterating that, although aware the dumpster sits on somebody else’s property, he feels its presence in the neighborhood is like a “slap in the face.”

“Ain’t no respect for people that lived on the street for 40 years,” Robbins said.

There are currently no tenants living in the apartments, but Mayor Mike Stanfield estimated the dumpster is emptied three times a week.

Council member Bob Fannon suggested having the trash picked up only once a week to avoid damage to the road.

However, the property owners have a contract with a company that uses small dumpsters and picks the trash up with small trucks, Mullins said.

The council discussed the possibility of asking the property owners to move the dumpster.

Council member Joe Bolinger asked if Codes Enforcement Officer Stan Foust and Mullins could meet with the owners to discuss moving the dumpster.

While Mullins didn’t think he could “leverage” the owners into moving the dumpster, he believes the city can have the property owners put a fence around it.

Council member Ann Thompson suggested writing a letter to the owners.

However, Foust and City Attorney Reid Troutman pointed out there isn’t much the city can do.

There are other apartment complexes that use dumpsters, and the city can’t dictate where owners place them, Foust said.

The situation involves private property, Troutman said.

“We’re crossing a line here,” he said.

Because in this particular instance the property owners took the city’s sidewalk, the council has an issue, Fannon said.

The property owners dug up or covered the city’s sidewalk—which will be restored, Mullins said.

Robbins also addressed the council about drainage problems on Nevada Avenue.

“The water is running (on to) our property,” Robbins said.

The developer filled the drainage ditch with dirt and put sod on top of it.

The problem with the ditches will also be solved, Mullins said.

The drainage issues begin further up the street, said Butch, another citizen who lives on Nevada Avenue.

“The apartment has compounded the whole problem,” he said. “Made it worse.”

Butch would appreciate anything the city could do, he said.

“We can curb that side of the street,” Mullins said. “I think (we’ll) take care of most of your problems.”

Fannon continues to seek a solution to lost revenue

In the on going quest to recoup lost revenue, Fannon suggested the council send letters to the 27 La Follette businesses that use Jacksboro addresses suggesting they get mail boxes at the LaFollette Post Office. This would be a preventative measure to keep these businesses from losing mail if the city decides to change their addresses in the future.

“We don’t want to cut off their mail supply,” Fannon said.

Fannon also spoke with Rep. Dennis Powers, whom he hopes will help La Follette receive a list of the names of LaFollette businesses whose sales tax revenue goes to Jacksboro every month. This way, the city of La Follette can file a Situs Report on a monthly basis to recover lost revenue.

The council is currently awaiting more information from Troutman before pursuing an action to change the zip codes. The council had received information that if the city was sued, it could only talk about the fact that it changed the zip codes. Fannon feels this is too limited, and doesn’t present the council the opportunity to present enough of a case— one that would involve the revenue the city has lost because of the incorrect zip codes.

“I think Bob can take responsibility, so if anybody goes to jail,” Hatmaker joked.

However, Hatmaker made it clear he supported Fannon in pursuing a solution to regaining LaFollette’s revenue.

“It’s our money, clear as a whistle, and they’re getting it,” Hatmaker said.  “(That’s) big bucks, it ain’t small bucks. Let’s take on the federal.”

Fall Festival

The city of La Follette will host the Big Creek ATV/UTV Fall Festival this Saturday from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. This block party will encompass not only downtown LaFollette, but also surrounding trails, as visitors will be able to ride in and out of the mountain on ATVs via the Cumberland trail. Over 40 vendors will sell food and crafts. There will be games, live music, a LA Cruizers Car Show, and kids activities.  A fireworks show will be held at 9 p.m. Those who register for the grand prize drawing—a $1250 ATV/UTV Trailer—must be present to win. For more information, go to or

Mullins needs $15,000 to begin work on Belle Meade

In order to accommodate two potential businesses, La Follette needs to install 708 feet of a storm water sewer at Belle Meade.

While the La Follette Public Works Department can accomplish the task, Mullins estimated it would take $15,000 worth of concrete pipe.

“It’s something we’ve got to do,” Bolinger said.

City Administrator Jimmy Jeffries suggested Mullins meet with City Finance Director Terry Sweat to see where he could find $15,000 in the budget.

The council passed a motion to authorize the project if the $15,000 is found.

Danielle Massengill

The council approved hiring Danielle Massengill as a full-time police officer. Massengill, currently a part-time officer, will begin her tenure as a full-time officer on Oct. 17 with an annual salary of $27,540.

Michael Satkowski

The council approved hiring Michael Satkowski as a full-time police officer. Satkowski, currently a part-time officer, will begin his tenure as a full-time officer on Oct. 17 with an annual salary of $27,540.

Destroying hard drives

The council approved destroying old computer hard drives that belong to the police department. The hard drives have to be destroyed, and the last time this was done they were incinerated, Jeffries said

Council authorizes Public Works transactions

The council authorized Mullins to trade two old trucks for one new dump truck and a 30-foot equipment trailer.

Post Office

The council approved paying the utility bill for the old Post Office building. The Campbell County Historical Society has been using the building for six months. However, the utility bill has been about $32 lower since the CCHS began using it.

Beech Street

Beech Street will be open Saturday, but will be closed again a few days next week.(10/07/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Postmark LaFollette opens October 10 with “Dispatch” exhibition

The Campbell County Historical Society presents the first program in a five part series of historical, cultural, and arts exhibitions and displays with added activities and events at the former La Follette Post Office, on South Tennessee Avenue, beginning Saturday, October 10 at 10 a.m.

The kick-off program, free to the public, is titled, Dispatch, and will run through November 14. The exhibit is an overview of Campbell County’s industries, arts, occupations, challenges, interests and notables during expansion and transitional cycles from 1900 through 1950. The exhibit consists of photographs, narratives, multi-media presentations, and selected artifacts.

Added events and activities for opening day include a “Trailmix” welcome in support of the city sponsored guided ATV Trail Rides in the Cumberland Mountain and the accompanying Big Creek Festival in downtown La Follette.

Also on opening day, an award winning short documentary, Merry Death Collector, featuring local entrepreneur, Arnie Meredith, will be screened at 30 minute intervals from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The film maker, Ben Murphy, will be on hand to share his film and to discuss the making of the documentary with visitors. Meredith will join the film maker for a 1 p.m. screening and discussion.

On November 5, the first of two photography classes for youths, ages 11 to 14 will be held at the former post office in downtown La Follette. Rachel Boillot, an accomplished photographer with a published collection of her photography, will provide instructions. The resulting photographs by the students will be presented in a special exhibition at a later date. Parents may pick up a registration form during the open exhibit hours at the former post office at 119 S. Tennessee Avenue, or at the Campbell County Historical Society museum located at 235 E. Central Avenue. There is no fee, however, the classes are limited in size and will be on a first come basis.

Other programs and activities for the year-long project include ongoing oral history interviews with various Campbell County residents. The newly collected oral histories, which began in September, will be combined with a collection of older recorded interviews to produce a special multi-media oral history exhibition scheduled for July, 2016.

During the month of December, the Postmark La Follette project will present a delightful winter holiday display created, sponsored, and produced by the talented Campbell County Junior Leadership under the direction of their faculty advisor, Gina Adrian. Two additional major exhibitions, plus an arts filled program, will round out the schedule through September, 2016.

The Postmark LaFollette project is also tasked as the lead entity to compile local county data requirements for a national study on the economic impact of public events sponsored by non-profit and volunteer organizations engaged in arts, cultural and historic programs.

Regular hours of operation for the “Dispatch” Exhibit are: Thursdays & Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Fridays 2 to 8 p.m. Group tours may be scheduled on other weekdays or at other times during the exhibition period. School groups, service organizations, and other groups may contact the Postmark LaFollette project at the Campbell County Historical Museum telephone: 423.566.3581 or email: PostmarkLaFollette@g.mail. com.

The Postmark LaFollette project is funded in part by a creative place making grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission and by a local match donor, the in kind services of project partners, and by donations from individuals and corporate sponsors. The project venue is generously provided by the City of LaFollette.  (10/07/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Release violators turned over to TDOC

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

-Benny Ray Dykes had previously pled guilty to violation of habitual motor vehicle offender bar, and received a suspended sentence of one year supervised by TDOC. He was found guilty of violating the terms of his release and was sentenced to serve his one year sentence in TDOC custody.

-Alan Arthur Eaton had previously pled guilty to theft of property over $1,000, and received a suspended sentence of three years supervised by TDOC. He was found guilty of violating the terms of his release and was sentenced to serve his three year sentence in TDOC custody.

-David Lee Foust had previously pled guilty to violation of the sex offender registry, and received a suspended sentence of two years supervised by TDOC. He was found guilty of violating the terms of his release and was sentenced to serve his two year sentence in TDOC custody.

-Jacent William Jones had previously pled guilty to burglary, two counts of theft of property over $500, and evading arrest and received a suspended sentence of four years supervised by TDOC. He was found guilty of violating the terms of his release and was sentenced to serve his four year sentence in TDOC custody.

The above violators were prosecuted by the Office of District Attorney General Jared Effler. (10/06/2015 - 6:00 AM)


Food show returns to Knoxville Convention Center

Food City hosts the huge event

The Food City Food Show will return to the Knoxville Convention Center on Friday, October 16th and Saturday, October 17th from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.  Food City is once again teaming with media partners Knoxville News Sentinel, Volunteer TV 8 and WIVK FM 107.7.   

“We would like to thank our customers, associates, media partners and celebrity chefs for making our Food City Food Show such a huge success.  We have an outstanding line-up planned for this year and I’m confident everyone will be pleased with the results,” said Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer.

The Food City Food Show will feature live cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs throughout the day, in addition to product sampling, tasty recipes and exclusive money-saving offers from over 150 food vendors.   

Advance tickets are on sale now at Knoxville area Food City locations for only $8.00.  Tickets will also be available at the event for $10.  Children 6 and under are admitted free of charge.

Event proceeds will benefit the United Way of Greater Knoxville.  United Way of Greater Knoxville ‘brings together resources to improve the lives of people in our community by helping them achieve their potential for self-sufficiency.’  For more information on the Food City Food Show, visit the website at  (10/06/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Labor Day 2014 to Labor Day 2015 in your county mayor's office

A message from Mayor Morton

On Labor Day, 2014, I began the work many of you asked me to do in your behalf.  I spent the majority of my time and staff energy doing that work and little time talking about it.   With the first year complete, and some work done in key areas you and I discussed during campaign season, it is time to write you. This year included a large volume of work in and on County government and key components of community and economic development.   

While there is plenty of work left to do, our work in government included: Eliminating a $700K debt for a government office and ambulance building in Jellico; Cutting my budget by $23K; Cutting Building Maintenance by $30K; Cutting Litter Control by $46K; Cutting the County Park by $4K; Eliminating four drive home vehicles from Ambulance, Tax Enforcement and Building Maintenance departments; Posting jobs vacancies so you can apply; Hiring County Citizens through interviews; Hiring your Road Superintendent; Opening the new jail; Seeking and gaining Citizen input through community meetings and open public meetings; Re-establishing a functional Animal Shelter;  Zero budget growth in Sanitation, Ambulance and Animal Control services, Healthcare insurance savings over $200K and much needed work underway on some very rough county roads.  You and I talked about making these changes, cuts and savings.  That is why I am happy to report reduced costs and more Citizen input to County government.

I will continue to work hard for these efficiencies every day I am in office because that is what you asked me to do.  We continue however to face federal, state and judicial mandates in the toughest economy of our lifetime.  They have resulted in costs that neither you nor I want.  Those costs include a jail with annual operating costs of $1.5M and new State education funding requirements over $250K per year.  Your Ambulance Service is up against a $300K Medicare reimbursement deficit.  Strangely, a California community saw a $300K Medicare reimbursement increase in funding the minute we lost ours.  This happened all across Appalachia.  I travelled to the Capitol and met your Congressmen and Senators and asked them to help, as our Ambulance Service faces a sink or swim year.  What I found is that no one in government can eliminate it but the Secretary of Health and Human Services and she refuses to do so.   I will continue to fight to correct what appears to be a crooked subsidy to California. I was not involved in the decision to build the jail.  Sheriff Goins had little, if any input to that decision and none of us can impact State education requirements.  We are however, responsible to operate our ambulance service, fund our jail, buildings, grounds and schools.  Looking at these added costs and having no growth, options were and are few.

I could choose to (1) Veto the budget and most likely have a judge carry out budgeting in our behalf, under penalties and reduced state funding, or (2) Deny your other elected County Officials funding, which has resulted in courts often overturning budgets in the past.  What I proposed last year was to spend $1.2M from fund balances to hold the property tax rate down.  That offset 18 cents for a $1.99 rate in 2014/15.  This year I made proposals that eliminated 23 cents and I am still frustrated with the remaining $2.25 rate.

I want your tax rate to be lower and I will continue to work for it.  So what opportunities do we have?

During last year’s campaign I said we should aim at I-75 then, aim our piece of I-75 at the business world. That is what we are doing.  Our interstate properties continue to draw prospects and we are marketing aggressively.  We have joined with City Councils to market and offer these industrial properties and we continue to do so to earn new jobs.  You did not want a full time Industrial Developer and we heard you.  We cut it out of the proposed budget and we are fighting on with what we have.  We are talking to, learning about and working with our existing industries to anticipate needs and show them we support them and help them grow.  We have an opportunity to expand broadband access to existing businesses, industrial parks, schools, colleges and libraries through federal grants and workforce investment.  This will also enable more affordable home access.  This will elevate our worker training levels more quickly in the short term when business prospects ask for it…and they do.  It creates a more competitive stance to win automotive manufacturers. We hosted industrial site consultants in February to learn more about today's needs and demands for relocating companies and how best to market to them.  We are working to identify good future properties so we are ready after the 80 available acres in the county go into business.  We have studied the specifications of the A&S Building and while we do not own it, we provide as much information as needed when requests come in.  By the end of October, Campbell County will have our first heavy rail head just minutes from a switch accessing two rail lines and I-75.  We have quality offerings and I am committed to competing them to win industrial business and jobs.

The Chamber Retail Committee began work this week to support our retailers and help start new businesses.  I serve on that Committee and it has great support from the business community.  We are seeing the third fastest receipt growth in the state in restaurant, tourism, hotel and recreation businesses.   This creates a large number of temporary tax payers.  The state Tourism Commissioner spent a day with us last month to see our attractions.  He is a farmer and former NASCAR promoter for Richard Childress, Dale Earnhardt and Bristol Motor Speedway.  He helped schedule UT vs Virginia Tech.  He knows Tennessee and he knows his stuff.  After his visit, he more than tripled state funds for Campbell County tourism promotion.  He believes we can grow tourism, automotive manufacturing, retail, transportation, agriculture and other businesses in an “all the above” approach.  I do too. 

Your County Commissioners have a plan to take advantage of this increase in visitors and visitor spending.  They propose a referendum to consider increasing your sales tax from 9.25% to 9.75% next spring.  This allows visitors to share the load in the 2017 budget and beyond (around a Million bucks a year).  If I didn’t believe it would reduce your property tax and overall tax burden, I would say so.  If you vote for it, I am committed to reducing your property taxes to get as close as possible to that $1.99 rate so many of you clearly advocated.  Your Commissioners tell me they will back this plan.  I believe them.  If you are unsure about it, you have my veto as insurance.

Every day, a hundred Kentucky and Illinois coal cars travel through Morley, Duff, LaFollette and Jacksboro to Bull Run, where the generators can now burn our Appalachian coal.  Kingston can too.  TVA published its 10 year plan last month and Bull Run and Kingston remain dedicated to coal for ten years. I solicited the TVA Board (it’s on video on the TVA website) to buy Campbell County Coal when operators begin production, hopefully by the first of the year.   In addition to well-paid mining, heavy equipment, trucking, mechanic and production jobs, the fuel and parts supply chains create spending power that churns through our suppliers, gas stations, restaurants, clothiers and grocery stores.

Having gone through a full budget cycle and business year, I see potential for $100K in efficiency gains in your Sanitation Department through scheduling, training and role alignments, equipment updates and improved processes.  Sheriff Goins is beginning to offset jail operating costs this year by housing state inmates when space is available and our crime stats are improving.  Coal severance taxes can potentially provide some relief if mine operators can reach production.  Our Teachers are producing Reward Schools. This community re-established an extinct Elk population a full ten years ago now.  Retail and hospitality sales are up. Our Animal Shelter euthanasia rate is as low as any in the region.  We have two winning high school football teams.  Some think those things could not happen here.  Some say we can’t win.  We can.  We will.

Honored to Serve You,

E.L. Morton (10/06/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Hutson hovers high above Campbell County

Eagle One is sending back some great pix

     “Let me fly it, Poppy.”  That’s all it took for WLAF’s Charlie Hutson to hand over the controls of the newly acquired Eagle One to his daughter, Lindsey.  Eagle One is a drone with a built-in camera that now allows Hutson One “and” Hutson Two to fly a camera high above Campbell County snapping pictures just for you. 

Hutson hovers over the new Beech Street Bridge on Sunday afternoon.

C-Hut, as we call Charlie Hutson, says Eagle One flies about 250 feet or so up, has a full-mile circumference, and operates on a battery that has about a 20-minute life.  It weighs less than two-pounds and is lifted skyward by four propellers.  The new addition to C-Hut’s photo artillery allows him, er-uh, Lindsey, to go high up for a picture and still be about a half-mile from the site. 

 Many folks are wondering when the new bridge will open while many others are hoping it will be open in time for this Saturday’s Big Creek ATV Fall Festival.

C-Hut notes that Eagle One will automatically “come home” when the battery begins waning.  So, from today forward, Charlie Hutson aka Poppy and C-Hut, and Lindsey will be sharing pictures with us from high and low around Campbell County.  (10/05/2015 – 6:00 AM)

 Recovery court holds graduation; helps addicts move forward

By Susan Sharp 

The Eighth Judicial District Recovery Court provides an encompassing view of addiction.

From participants being brought into the courtroom in jail jumpsuits accessorized with shackles to graduates whose new found self-respect is worn on their faces, recovery court sees it all.

That was the scene when the court convened on Wednesday.

(Left to right) Jessica Mason, Jessica Lowe, Nikita Bransetter, Judge Shayne Sexton, Eric McCloski, Josh Neubert and Aaron Field following last week’s recovery court graduation.

Kicking off its afternoon session with its largest graduating class to date, six members were congratulated for completing the 18 to 24 month program. Participants come into the program in the throes of addiction, facing prison, mounting court costs and often times restitution to their crime victims.

To graduate, all of those issues must be resolved. For those who sign on for drug court, they know it will be a long hard road- one where relapse is waiting around every corner.

And while the graduation took center stage, when court began, there was sobering a reminder as to how much is at stake.

Katie Jo, a young, attractive woman, approached the bench in her shackles and pink jail garb. Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton, who has done double duty by presiding over recovery court from its inception, asked her what has happened. Katie Jo has clearly relapsed.

She begins a meandering explanation for her setback. What can be gleaned from Katie Jo’s dialogue with Sexton is not new to the court. She was sober, had completed the first phase of a recovery program and was slated to graduate soon. She was looking forward to having her own home and a job. Then she became involved in a relationship. He, too, was an addict, and they relapsed together.

It is agreed that Katie Jo will return to her sober living house and take another run at sobriety.

A few participants later, Austin approaches the bench.

“How are you doing,” Sexton asked.

Austin, too, is wearing shackles and a jail jumpsuit.

“I am sick,” he says shaking his head.

Sexton pushes him for more information.

“I am disgusted with myself,” Austin says.

Through this exchange, it is revealed that Austin is the man Katie Jo began dating and eventually relapsed with.

“What led to your relapse,” Sexton continued.

“I get depressed even when things are going good,” Austin told the court. ‘” I never get depressed when things are going bad.”

He also had months of sobriety behind him and was on track for graduation when he began using again.

Drama among the participants is common, so when Katie Jo abruptly stands to speak, the recovery court team is unfazed. Sexton allows her to weigh in the question of the couple’s shared relapse.

She gives the exact date the pair began using again. For her it is easy to remember, because it is the day she discovered she was pregnant with their child.

“It just sent everybody down,” Katie Jo said, rather unapologetically.

“What is disturbing is that you would use when you found out when you were pregnant,” Sexton said.

After some further questioning, Austin is allowed to return to the recovery house that he initially lived in when he began recovery court.

“Relapse and reoffending run hand-and-hand for addicts,” Sexton later said. “The recovery court team tries to respond as quickly as possible when one of our participants relapses.”

Often, jail time is part of the sanctions for an infraction of the rules. It is not meant to be punitive but rather beneficial, according to Sexton.

“We want them to cool their heels and see what went wrong so we can deal with it,” the judge said.

This is where recovery court differs from criminal court - it sees the addiction as part of a larger problem and attempts to assist with it.

Recovery court is not easy under the best of circumstances. That is why having the graduation ceremony as a part of the court session is so significant, Sexton said.

“They (the participants) need to know there is an end,” he said.

For the six who graduated, their end was poignant.

Sexton deemed the six a “close knit” group who had not only their own ups and downs but had undergone some with the recovery team as well.

“They had been through a great deal,” Sexton said. “I am so proud of these men and women for committing to their recovery. Each now has full-time employment and is taking care of themselves and their families in a law abiding, clean sober environment.”

Jessica Lowe, one of the graduates and a Campbell County native, wasn’t worried about the past last week. As a graduate, whose court and legal obligations had been atoned for, she was only looking forward.

Lowe, who has been sober for 20 months, summed up her recovery court experience saying, “I went from being a junkie to being somebody.”

Her substance use began at the age of 12 in an attempt to fit in at school.

By her senior year in high school, she was “eating pain pills.”  At 18, she found a pain clinic who treated her scoliosis with a cocktail of over 400 pills a month. Between selling the pills for $30 each and taking them, within 10 days those pills were always gone. This was a vicious cycle for Lowe- get the pills, take the pills, sell the pills, need more pills. That was the treadmill of her life until 2014 when she was arrested yet again.

That is when she was offered recovery court. It was an option that Lowe quickly exercised.

She offers a story about a conversation with her 12- year- old son that validates her decision to join the program.

“We were in the car the other day and he told me he was proud of me,” Lowe said as her eyes began to tear up. “I thought I would have a junkie for a mom for the rest of my life, but I don’t,” Lowe said her son shared with her.

“It’s those little moments,” Lowe said of her newfound sobriety.(10/05/2015 - 6:00 AM)

What’s in a name?

County elk needs a handle; contest being held

By Susan Sharp

The Campbell County Mayor’s office, along with the chamber of commerce is hoping to get the county’s school children involved in a project.

They want the children to help name the elk pictured on the county logo.

Manuel Mesa, a local artist, has been instrumental in the development of an art project that bears the elk’s resemblance, according to Campbell County Deputy Mayor Andy Wallace.

Mesa organized several children in the painting of tiles that when assembled together are a picture of the elk.

Eventually, the tiles will be mounted and placed on permanent display at the new justice center.

But first, the elk needs a name.

School aged children in the county are being asked to help name the animal that currently lacks a moniker.

A two-part contest is being held to determine what its name will be.

The first portion of the contest asks for children through the 12 th grade to submit a possible name for the large mammal. Students have until Oct. 23 to submit a name for the elk.

Coloring sheets will be distributed to the county elementary schools and information sheets about the contest to the middle and high schools. Paper ballots are available at all the county’s public libraries. The ballots will be submitted to the chamber of commerce. Volunteers will be picking up the ballots from each school or the ballots can be dropped off at the chamber office. There will also be a survey monkey site set up for submissions.

Each child is asked to submit only one submission.

Of the submissions, three will be available for Campbell Countians to vote on.  People will be able to vote with paper ballots or online. This portion of voting will end Nov. 24.

The winner will be announced at the Campbell County Christmas Parade on Dec. 5. The child that submits the winning name will win an Android Tablet complete with a case, along with a guided ATV ride to Hatfield Knob to see the elk. The winner can bring one adult to accompany them on the trip. (10/02/2015 - 6:00 AM)


October is domestic violence awareness month

Community Health of East Tennessee (CHET) is recognizing the month by hosting two events.

The first is the Break Free 5k to held Saturday at Cove Lake State Park. Runners can stop by the CHET administrative offices for a registration form or register the day of the race. Early registration has a $25 fee, while day of registration is $30.

Later this month, on Oct. 23, the annual chili cook off will be held at Idlestone Lodge from 6 pm until 8pm. The cost is $5 per ticket. Chefs and tasters are needed.

Having a month set aside to recognize domestic violence helps to underscore that it is a cross cultural issue. National statistics have revealed that one in four women will experience domestic violence in their life.

For more information on domestic violence or these events, call 562-1156. (10/01/2015 - 6:00 AM)



Local medical group needs nurse

Opening at Cumberland Gap Medical

     Cumberland Gap Medical in La Follette is in need of another nurse for its staff.  CGM offers a fun, family friendly, professional atmosphere along with competitive pay.  Interested nurses need to 423.201.9799. (09/21/2015 - 6:00 AM)








Warriors celebrate winning season and Coach King

Christian Academy hosts annual basketball banquet

By Susan Sharp

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coach King’s Corner

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


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





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

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








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