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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Newport/Cocke County honors Dr. David McConnell
The Newport/Cocke County community turned out Friday to honor long time Medical Examiner Dr. David McConnell. The physician says he had many interesting experiences during his 43 years in the position. In particular he remembers the Red Lantern Massacre on Christmas Eve 1975, in which four men died and two were injured by gunfire. So what exactly does a Medical Examiner do ? "The purpose of the medical examiner is to evaluate unattended deaths, and deaths that were met by foul play," explained Dr. McConnell. "Working with the Office of the Attorney General, we communicate and determine if an autopsy is indicated and if so we transfer them to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville." The event was hosted by LifeCare Emergency Medical Services, the parent company of Cocke County Ambulance Service, which provides medical transport services in Cocke County. Dr. McConnell was presented with the recognition by Valerie Fancher, Executive Director of the Newport/Cocke County Chamber of Commerce. She said the physician co-founded the Family Practice Center in 1982. "It is important for new residents, tourists and businesses, that want to develop here, that we have great healthcare in our community," said Fancher. "When Dr. McConnell founded the Family Pracice Center he brought that key element here.It's an important selling point for anyone who lives here or wants to re-locate here."

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