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Friday, February 16, 2018

Newport animal shelter
Newport and Cocke County have been in negotiations for months regarding funding for the animal shelter, owned and operated by Friends of the Animal Shelter. Although Newport has set up it's own shelter in downtown, the Friends shelter has been taking county animals for months. In addition, the county has been making a monthly contribution to the shelter for a number of months. Newport has not yet signed the contract with the Friends group. The issue of county acceptance of a longer-term contract was sent to the General Committee for its consideration. The members met Thursday evening and agreed to recommend to the full Cocke County Legislative Body that the contract be signed. Commissioner Jimmy Lindsey said the shelter at one time received $60,000 annually from the county and he was initially opposed to increased funding. However now that $100,000 has been included in the county budget, he questioned why the contract has not been signed. "Why don't we go ahead and give them their money so they can operate ? It's already there... forget about what the city going to do or not going to do," argued Lindsey. The committee voted to recommend that the contract be signed, on a motion by Shalee Benson and a second by Lindsey. After the committee voted unanimously to fund the shelter, Lindsey said he believes it is time for the county to institute tougher regulations with regard to spay and neutering. But CLB Chair Clay Blazer said he doesn't believe such an ordinance would be enacted by the full CLB. There also was discussion regarding office space for County Animal Control Officer Scottie Shelton. Mayor Crystal Ottinger said Shelton currently has a cell phone and mostly works out of his vehicle. However, he also at times works out of the Friends shelter.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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