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Local News Stories from 92.3 WNPC
Monday, August 31, 2015

Gas below $2.00 a gallon
Gasoline prices in Cocke County dropped below $2.00 per gallon over the weekend and motorists in Tennessee should find the lowest Labor Day gas prices in a decade, next weekend. The current state average of $2.17 is $1.04 cheaper than the price during last year's holiday. The current national average price of gasoline is $2.48. Last week, the price of oil dropped below $40 a barrel, the lowest settlement price since February 2009, when the national average price of gasoline was $1.90. "Low gas prices are added incentive for Americans to take a road trip this Labor Day weekend," says Mark Jenkins, of AAA - The Auto Club Group. He points out that low gasoline prices are an added boost in disposable income, giving travelers more money to spend on lodging, shopping, and dining out." Motorists will likely continue seeing gas prices move lower through the rest of the year," Jenkins said.

Mentors needed for Tennessee Promise
Gov. Bill Haslam says he wants to see more students apply for the next class of Tennessee Promise. which offers eligible high school seniors the chance to go to community or technical college without paying tuition. And the governor is hopeful that more adults will volunteer to mentor those students, which he argues could be a key ingredient to their success. Almost 7,400 mentors went through training last year, or about one for every eight Tennessee Promise students who originally applied. Haslam thinks a smaller ratio and more face time could increase a studentís chances of making it to college. In hopes of attracting more mentors this year, and boosting their efficacy, Tennessee Promise organizers are tweaking the program, changing when and how mentors interact with students. Organizers with tnAchieves, a nonprofit that pairs most Tennessee Promise students with their mentors, are pushing back the recruitment deadline and developing a new system that will encourage mentors to devote more time to each studentís college transition. This yearís deadline to apply to be a mentor has been pushed back by almost three weeks, to Nov. 20. And tnAchieves staffers are working with leaders in many counties to target adults who might be willing to participate.

Sullivan County triple homicide
A gunman killed three relatives in a surprise attack witnessed by several children in a home in Sullivan County over the weekend. The 19-year-old attacker was shot and wounded by another family member during his getaway and was captured a short time later. A half-dozen children were in the home during the shooting spree and one girl was injured, according to Sheriff Wayne Anderson. Leading up to the Saturday evening rampage, the assailant parked his vehicle nearby, walked up a steep hill and opened fire when he reached the house . Two women died of gunshot wounds and were pronounced dead at the scene. And a man found on the front porch with gunshot wounds was airlifted to a hospital, where he later died. "It's the most horrific thing I think I've seen," the sheriff said. Authorities had not yet identified the victims. The suspect is identified as Robert Seth Denton of Bristol. Denton has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder, aggravated assault and felony reckless endangerment. Denton was related to the victims, however at last report investigators were trying to determine a motive for the shootings.

Dax Martin is jailed
A Cocke County builder was taken into custody over the weekend on theft charges. Cocke County Detective Bryon Murr charged Thomas "Dax" Martin, 45, Old Cave Church Road, Newport, with two counts of theft over $1,000. Robert Wagner of Parrottsville says Martin took a trimmer from his property after doing work at the residence. In addition, James Russell Turner of Cosby says Martin took an air conditioner and weed trimmer from his property. In addition, Turner says he paid martin $2,100 to do work on his property, but the work was not done. Martin also is charged with violation of probation.

Bryant is back in jail
A woman who was released from jail last week on a probation violation charge, now is back behind bars. Misty Bryant, 38, Sherwood Drive, Newport, had earlier been placed on the criminal trespass list at Walmart and banned from the store. But she allegedly entered the store on Saturday and attempted to push a shopping cart with $293 worth of items from the store. She now is charged with theft and criminal trespassing.

Stokely charged with assault
An elderly Del Rio man faces charges following a Saturday dispute over a property line. Cocke County Deputy Lt. C.J. Ball said George W. Stokely, 83, Point Road, is charged with aggravated assault. Connie Ray Jones, Dry Fork Road, told the officer that he and Stokely have been involved in an ongoing property dispute for several days and on Saturday, Stokely pulled a loaded .38 handgun and pointed it at him. Jones says he grabbed the gun to prevent the defendant from shooting him. But Jones says Stokely then grabbed him by the throat and choked him. Lt. Ball said Jones had red marks on his throat and the weapon was seized.

Monday, August 31, 2015

  • Gas below $2.00 a gallon
  • Mentors needed for Tennessee Promise
  • Sullivan County triple homicide
  • Dax Martin is jailed
  • Bryant is back in jail
  • Stokely charged with assault

    Sunday, August 30, 2015

  • Popcorn Sutton distillery continues to grow
  • Parrottsville home destroyed
  • Suboxone to be better controlled
  • Prison System to be reviewed
  • Judge says lethal injection is constitutional

    Friday, August 28, 2015

  • Jobless rates, job fair and resume workshop
  • Ogle couple taken into custody
  • Yancey memorial set
  • Slone rules against Norwood

    Thursday, August 27, 2015

  • Two injured in separate vehicle incidents
  • Jeff Grand jury report
  • Coker evidence suppressed

    Wednesday, August 26, 2015

  • Newport Utilities trying to resolve lawsuits
  • Another walk in clinic coming to Newport
  • Business continues to grow in Tennessee
  • Road closure

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