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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Newport City Council
The Newport City Council met Tuesday in its regularly scheduled meeting. But what if they held a meeting and nobody came?; there were no members of the general public at the meeting. At the August meeting, resident Vickie Turner asked the council to provide her a variance to the city ordinance which allows only four dogs per residence. Turner said she was unaware of the restriction, pointing out that several of her dogs are elderly and in poor health. She promised to not have more than four dogs, as her pets die. The issue arose when a neighbor complained about the dogs barking at night, however Turner said that issue only arose only when a trespasser crossed her property. She agreed to construct a security fence to curtail the problem. At last evening's meeting, City Manager James Finchum told the council that Knoxville has a policy which allows a homeowner with hospice animals to exceed the limit of four, with an annual permit. And animals cannot be replaced, above the four head limit. "What got her on our radar was neighbor complaints about the barking. I told her even if we can work out an exclusion for her she would still have to address the barking and make her neighbors happy," Finchum said. He pointed out that the number of dogs owned by Turner does not address the barking issue. The city manager said employees do not go out looking for those who violate the number restriction, and the issue is addressed only when there is a complaint. After the council indicated general approval of the proposal, Finchum said he will present an ordinance at the October meeting. The body also took up the issue of grass clippings that are blown onto city streets. Finchum has received numerous complaints regarding the issue, and he said he has found streets covered in clippings. Currently there is no restriction against blowing clippings onto a thoroughfare, and some homeowners purposely blow the clippings onto the street. "You can wreck in a heartbeat on wet grass on the street," he told the council. And Finchum added that storm drains around the city frequently get clogged with grass clippings. Alderwoman Louanna Ottinger asked what options the council has to address the issue, and Finchum in response said the council could establish a code to outlaw the practice, with a fine for violators. Chief of Police Maurice Shults, himself a cyclist, told the council grass clippings on a road are dangerous."When you come around a curve and it is laying full of grass, it would just as well be covered in ice." The chief suggested an ordinance likely would noy be difficult to enforce after several property owners are cited for violating the regulation. In other action, John Clark was appointed to the Equalization Board to fill out the term of the late Ray Keifer. The council was told the asbestos abatement has been completed in the former Tanner School, and the renovation is about to begin. Members approved the purchase of a new street sweeper at a cost of $225,000, as well as the purchase of two new vehicles for the police department. One of the cars will be purchased with confiscated monies in the drug fund. Newport Vice-Mayor Mike Proffitt also recognized a number of businesses and residents who recently have beautified their properties.

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Friday, September 20, 2019

  • Burn permits required early in Tennessee

    Thursday, September 19, 2019

  • A Cocke County Wheel Tax ????
  • School bus crash in Newport
  • Undercover drug arrests
  • Graduation rate increases
  • Dignity in Aging Act
  • Fire caution

    Wednesday, September 18, 2019

  • Fire caution
  • GFL Environmental donation to DAV
  • Tennessee asks for block grant approval

    Tuesday, September 17, 2019

  • UT/Florida blood donation competition
  • Newport Riverwalk grant
  • Coleman to benefit The Hope Project
  • Cocke Legislative Body meets
  • Opioid lawsuit

    Monday, September 16, 2019

  • Animal hoarding investigation
  • McSween on local healthcare
  • McMahan arrest on chop-shop charges
  • Walters State enrollment is up
  • NU Customer Appreciation Day
  • GM employees on strike

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