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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Cocke Partnership
The Cocke County Partnership Board of Directors were told Thursday evening that a rail spur will not be needed at the proposed new 700 acre industrial park, to the west of Newport. Partnership President Lucas Graham said a bridge over Sinking Creek, to accommodate the rail spur would have cost $2.5 million. However the firm which currently is most interested in the acreage, will not require rail service. Other firms that are interested in locating in the community are tourism and advanced technology related. The spec building has been refinanced through Commercial Bank at a reduced interest rate of five percent, and Daniel Ford was approved for an early payoff of the Eagle Plastics building in the industrial park. Lynn Ramsey reminded the board of a number of upcoming events. A Cocke and Sevier County Job Fair is scheduled for April 25, 10 am till 4 pm at the National Guard Armory. The Tennessee Career Coach also will be on site. Any employers who wish to recruit workers should contact the Chamber office at 423-623-7201. A Small Business Development Seminar is planned for the Community Center on May 4. Bruce Hayes of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center will address attendees during the event in celebration of Small Business Week. A Jeep Festival is planned for the Cocke County Fairgrounds on April 28 and 29. And the Kiwanis Ramp Festival is planned for the fairgrounds May 12 and 13. The Rhythm on the River Concert Series will kick-off June 1, on the Riverwalk. Mountain Edge will present the first concert, and concerts are planned for every other Thursday evening through July. A "Farm to Table" dinner is planned for the courthouse lawn on July 16. The event is sponsored by the Farm Bureau Women, UT Extension Service, Soil Conservation and the Newport Farmer's Market. Tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for 12 and under. Tourism Director Linda Lewanski reported that the community recently received positive coverage in the Dallas Morning News as well as World Property Journal which reaches 300,000 senior executives in 135 countries. Fifteen journalists will be here on a media tour in May with an eye to promoting the fact that the Smokies "are alive and well." Lewanski said some prospective visitors are staying home because of a misperception that the Smokies have burned down. She also reported that May 8 will begin Tourism Week in the national park, and that the national Great American Clean Up is continuing through May 30.

Mason ordered to serve sentence
A Cocke County man who in February, 2016 was placed on supervised probation for 20 years had another hearing Friday in Cocke County Circuit Court. Charles "Chucky" Mason, Jr., 38, Happy Hollow Road, Parrottsville, was ordered to serve the 20 year sentence by Judge Rex Henry Ogle. He will be required to serve seven years before he is eligible for parole. Mason had been given the lengthy probation term after he pleaded guilty as a Range II offender to the aggravated assault of three individuals. Last November, officers with the Cocke County Sheriff's office and the Tennessee Department of Corrections went to the Mason home on reports that the defendant had violated the provisions of his release. Methamphetamine, bullets and shotgun shells, various pills, and drug paraphernalia were found in the home. Probation Officer Darrell Kerr also testified that Mason had been tampering with his GPS ankle monitor. The defendant admitted to using methamphetamine and tested positive for Suboxone, he was not wearing a required drug patch and his GPS battery was dead. Drug charges from the incident are still pending in General Sessions Court. After hearing testimony from Officer Kerr and the defendant, the court began detailing the reasons he was going to order the sentence served. But when Mason attempted to interrupt, the court grabbed his gavel and said,"Shut Up." "I'm going to say some things that people have been afraid to say to you. While you have been on probation you have continued to do the same things that you have always done." The court went on to tell the defendant he has continued to use methamphetamine and other illegal drugs, and likely had weapons,even though they were not found by officers. "You've never accepted the fact that rules apply to you," the court said pointing to a previous incident in which Mason's probation was revoked after he tried to purchase a weapon, "Judge Ogle said. "He needs to go to the penitentiary just about more than anyone I have ever known. He needs to see that the rules apply to him just like anybody else." Mason has alleged that he was assaulted by inmates in the Cocke County Jail in September, 2015 and as a result he has filed a federal lawsuit naming Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes and former Jail Administrator Tommy Large, demanding $3.75 million for deprivation of civil rights stemming from the "beating", as well as punitive damages "to deter others from committing similar wrongs in the future," according to the legal action.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

  • Cocke Partnership
  • Mason ordered to serve sentence

    Friday, April 21, 2017

  • Charge lodged in school shooting threat
  • Cocke County fires
  • Cocke County crashes
  • Bolser mower incident
  • Hembree arrest
  • NU contractors to be working in the community

    Thursday, April 20, 2017

  • Talbott woman dies in cycle crash
  • Cocke School Board
  • Fuel tax hike is approved
  • National Park Week

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

  • Frank Solomon indicted
  • Solomon sentenced in Cocke County Circuit Court
  • Deteriorating roads and bridges
  • Rose indictment
  • Mackler senate candidate
  • Cruise Against Cancer

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

  • CLB declines to rescind fire civil service board
  • Thacker sentenced in vehicular homicide
  • Ramsey sues Cocke County
  • Underwood couple is injured
  •    

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