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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Newport City Council
Members of the Newport City Council were told Tuesday evening that political yard signs have created issues in the city. City Manager James Finchum said he has received numerous complaints because the current sign ordinance is outdated and has not been enforced until recently. The current law provides for a $50 per day fine for violators. Finchum said Codes Enforcer Mark Robinson has met with hostility from property owners when he confronted them regarding violations. That despite the fact that candidates agree to the regulations when they qualify as a candidate. "He has been told to leave properties by property owners who say it is their property and he can't force them to comply with the law. That's absolutely not true, but I hate to get to that," Finchum said. He suggested that the city needs a regulation "that the public can be satisfied with and we can enforce," adding that signs should be allowed 90 days before an election rather than the current 30 days. The city manager agreed to present a proposed modified ordinance at the May council meeting. Finchum said he has drawn up a proposed new budget which reduces the tax rate by 25 cents, to a rate of $2.64. A workshop has been scheduled for 5:30 pm on May 1 to discuss the proposal. He also announced plans to take up the crushed stone behind city hall and plant the area in grass, to provide a venue for the Rhythm on the River concerts. There have been concerns regarding the new traffic light on Main Street at the railroad depot. Finchum said the plan for the light was presented by TDOT and Norfolk Southern as a way to increase safety at the crossing. Initially, the two entities wanted to close the crossing and another at the police department. The manager said when there was resistance to the closures, the proposal for the light was presented as an alternative. TDOT said the city could reject the plan, however such a move would leave the city as the liable party if there was a collision with a train in the future. Finchum said he did not want the city to have that liability. The council approved an amendment to residential zoning regulations, allowing Special Exceptions as recommended by the Board of Zoning Appeals. Love Henderson a teacher talked to the council about the Work Ethic Diploma which presents evidence to a prospective employer that the graduating student has a good work ethic. Members also recognized; Child Abuse Awareness month, Public Safety Telecommunications Week, Animal Care and Control Week as well as Sanford and Glenda Overholt who recently cleaned up their property on River Street. David Veridol told the council that a Douglas Lake cleanup project, sponsored by Keep Cocke County Beautiful, is set for Friday, from 9 am till 1 pm. Participants will meet at the pull-off on Highway 25E, across from O'Dell Road.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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  • Alexander on Corker
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    Monday, December 10, 2018

  • First Baptist Church fire
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  • Williams arrest
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    Saturday, December 08, 2018

  • Friday evening hit and run in Cocke County
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    Friday, December 07, 2018

  • Shots fired at Hamblen officer
  • Jail and justice center options
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    Thursday, December 06, 2018

  • TennCare fraud is alleged
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  • Judge Carter Moore hears pleas
  • King arrest
  • Pennington found competent
  • Tennessee attorneys provide more free service
  • New laws effective January 1

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