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Local News Stories from 92.3 WNPC
Thursday, October 02, 2014

Holt pleads to murder and attempted murder
A former Bean Station police officer who walked into Down Home Pharmacy on Highway 25E in Bean Station in May of last year, robbed the business of a large quantity of Oxycodone pills, before killing two and injuring two others, Wednesday pleaded guilty in Grainger County Circuit Court . Jason Holt, 37, plead guilty to two counts of felony first degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. Holt was then sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder charges plus 25 years in prison for the attempted murder charges. "I'd just like to say to the victims and their families that I'm sorry. I won't ask no one to forgive me because I probably wouldn't forgive myself. I have ruined five families," the sobbing defendant told Judge Duane Slone . District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn said the plea agreement was reached because, "I've got to consider the feelings of the victims, the surviving victims, the victims family and how this case would play out." The pharmacy owner, Stephen Lovell, of Morristown, and Richard Alexander Sommerville, of Bean Station, died at the scene. And two workers at the pharmacy were injured - Alexia Gail Wilson, 45, of Morristown, and Janet Cliff, of Rutledge.

Newport Harvest Street Festival
The streets of downtown Newport will be filled with people, food, crafts and entertainment this weekend as an East Tennessee tradition continues! The 29th. Annual Harvest Street Festival will feature a wonderful line up entertainment all around the courthouse, so bring your favorite lawn chair, pick out a spot at the entertainment stage and let performers take you back to the good ol’ days. This year, Stanley Black and Big Creek Bluegrass, Tennessee Borderline and Brookfield Drive will be on stage during Saturday's event. On Sunday, traditional gospel will feature the Smith Family, Carson Creek singers, Spirit of Smoky and Glory Bound . There will be lots of local and regional crafters. Everything from cookbooks full of recipes from some of the best cooks around, oil paintings, pencil drawings, children’s toys, face painting, décor, and many other handmade items will be on available. Kiddie Land will be available for an endless time of fun for children, you can saddle up and ride the horses that will be on site courtesy of Bible Believer’s Cowboy Church. Children up to 16 years of age will compete in pageants according to their age bracket. The Miss Newport Harvest Festival pageant; for females ages 16-21 years old will be held Saturday on the entertainment stage. As always, there will be a diverse line up of entertainment. This year, Stanley Black and Big Creek Bluegrass, Tennessee Borderline and Brookfield Drive will be on stage Saturday. And then on Sunday, traditional gospel will feature the Smith Family, Spirit of Smoky, Carson Creek Singers and Glory Bound . There will be old-timey activities around the Courthouse. Again this year, the storytelling tent will offer several different tellers including Pastor Jimmy Morrow, East Tennessee Overhill Intertribal Descendants and Sons of the Confederate Veterans. The street festival is hosted by the Cocke County Partnership.

NU may hire a new General Manager
A judge says Newport Utilities (NU) may hire a new general manager, but the replacement should also know he/she may not keep the job. General Manager Glenn Ray resigned his post under pressure in late April and then filed a lawsuit in Cocke County Circuit Court naming the utilities board and three of it's members as defendants. Ray says he was asked to resign with a severance package or be removed from the post. The plaintiff argues he was forced to leave after he refused to perform illegal favors for board members, and he alleges the special meeting of the utility board at which time his ouster was discussed, was not adequately advertised. The litigation asks that a jury find that the actions of the board were illegal, the actions taken during the "illegal" meeting of the board are void, that the board be enjoined from hiring a new General Manager, that Ray receive back pay and that he receive damages determined by the court. The NU board recently has been interviewing prospective candidates for the position of General Manager. In early September, Attorney Wayne Kline representing Ray, filed a motion with Judge Richard Vance asking that the board be enjoined from hiring a new general manager until the issues in the complaint are addressed or the court holds a hearing on the merits of the temporary injunction. Now Judge Vance has issued an order saying Ray will not suffer irreparable harm if the utility hires a replacement while the lawsuit is pending. But the court adds it is "of the opinion that the replacement manager hired would run the risk of being terminated should Plaintiff prevail under the causes of action in his lawsuit."

Thursday, October 02, 2014

  • Holt pleads to murder and attempted murder
  • Newport Harvest Street Festival
  • NU may hire a new General Manager

    Wednesday, October 01, 2014

  • Marching band competition
  • Gas prices to continue to drop
  • Haslam wants budget cuts
  • Early morning brawl injures five and sends two to jail
  • Cody home damaged by fire

    Tuesday, September 30, 2014

  • Garrett arrested on fraud charges
  • Update on U.S. Nitrogen
  • CLB considers insurance for employees

    Monday, September 29, 2014

  • Chicken house destroyed by fire
  • Owensby stabbed in Newport bar
  • Newport residents jailed on aggravated animal cruelty charges
  • Ellison injured and jailed
  • Lovell and Shelton ordered held without bond

    Saturday, September 27, 2014

  • Williams held without bond
  • Rabies vaccine is being distributed
  • Miller Recycling receives SBA award
  • Officers search for Vick
  • Hay bales set on fire
  • Friday football scores

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