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Local News Stories from 92.3 WNPC
 
Monday, August 29, 2016

TVA rates to increase
The Tennessee Valley Authority will invest more than $2 billion in cleaner energy sources in the coming year as it continues to reduce operational costs and debt. The Board of Directors have approved a capital plan and new budget which is $330 million less than the prior year. It does contain a 1.5 percent retail rate increase, amounting to about $1.50 more per month for the average Valley customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month. The increase will take effect on Oct. 1 . Cost-effective, renewable energy is playing a more important role in TVA’s diverse portfolio. In 2015, 13 percent of the electricity TVA generated or bought was renewable, including hydro production. During Johnson’s report to the Board, he said that energy demand is not growing and even with healthy economic growth overall, the growth in power demand has been essentially flat for the past five years. “We expect load growth to stay flat for the foreseeable future,” Johnson said. “Our market is changing, and we and our customers are working to adapt to new business conditions that include reduced energy needs and increased demand for energy deficiencies and renewables.”

Weekend fires
Cocke County firefights responded to two serious fires in recent day. Just before 5 p.m. Friday, they responded to a blaze in a detached garage on the Marcus Mooneyham property on Golf Course Road. Firefighter Justin Shelton said the garage was fully involved when the first fire engine arrived on the scene at 4:48 p.m. The garage and it's contents were destroyed. Mooneyham told investigators he had a battery on a charger in the garage, and it may have started the fire however the investigation is continuing. The cause currently is listed as "unintentional". Cocke County Deputy Jonathan Ball said firefighters protected and saved the nearby structures. The home owner reported he heard a loud boom, looked outside and saw his garage on fire. A 1966 Chevrolet Malibu and a quantity of tools in the structure were destroyed. In addition, a 1949 Chevrolet 3100 parked near the garage was heavily damaged. Firefighters say the loss is placed at $110,000. Firefighters responded to a mobile home fire at 10:12 p.m. Saturday in a mobile home on Holt Town Road. Firefighter Shelton said firefighters found the home engulfed in flame. The structure was owned by Sandra Vinson and rented to Euedell Holt. Mr. Holt was found outside the home, however he reported he could not find his wife Bella Reece. He said he say his wife running into the home, to rescue the couple's cats. The firemen, joined by Centerview Volunteer Firefighter searched to burned out home for several hours but found no evidence of Ms. Reece. Deputy Travis Vaughn said Holt appeared very intoxicated, and an empty gas container was found at the corner of the residence. Sunday afternoon, Larry Holt of the Centerview unit said firefighters determined late Sunday afternoon that Ms. Reece had gone to another location and was safe. Investigators have not determined the cause of the blaze, which destroyed the $10,000 residence.

Healthcare gap is widening
Despite an explosion of new drugs and better ways to get treatment are reinventing how people consume health care, those Tennesseans who would most benefit from the latest technology simply can’t afford it. Across Tennessee and the country, the gap between the poor and the not so poor, has widened in recent years, according to a study by the Tennessee Justice Center. Income correlates to health care spending and is associated with longevity, according to studies that looked at long-term expenditures across income brackets and death records. The amount spent by people in the highest income brackets — people who are generally among the healthiest — increased from 2004 to 2012. But, spending in lower income brackets over the same period began to decrease — leading to a gap in money spent on health care, according to a study by the journal Health Affairs that looked at data from 1963 to 2012. Then the gap began to widen, signaling what the authors said was a "redistribution of care toward wealthier Americans." More and more insurance plans are shifting higher costs to patients through higher deductibles, but for people who haven’t seen real wage growth, higher bills are competing with food, fuel, utility and internet bills and rent.

Tinney arrest
An Arizona man who has been living at a Newport residence was jailed Sunday afternoon on a number of charges. Robert Tinney, 25, was begging for food at a Bryant Town restaurant in Newport, and was given $3.00 by local pastor Bob Moody. A short time later the pastor and Mike Kyker of Newport observed Tinney slamming the head of his dog onto the pavement and then punching the animal on the head. When confronted regarding the animal abuse, Tinney cursed the minister and Kyker, saying he was angry at the dog which had "tried to eat my sandwich". When Newport captain Amy Kyker tried to arrest the intoxicated man, he resisted and had to be tasered. Kyker assisted the officer in handcuffing Tinney and placing him into the patrol car. Once inside, Tinney kicked the patrol door leaving damage in excess of $500. He now is charged with aggravated animal abuse, felony vandalism, criminal impersonation, resisting arrest and public intoxication. Tinney also is wanted in Arizona on charges of aggravated assault, criminal damage and aggravated DUI. Animal Control took custody of the dog.

Denton arrest
A man who allegedly wrecked the car owned by his wife, and abandoned her in an isolated area of Cocke County last week, now faces charges. Cocke County Deputy Timothy Snapp said he responded to a call of distress late Friday afternoon from a woman who was in the Gulf, a very isolated area on the eastern edge of the county. He found Breanne Denton, Lucia Street, walking along an unnamed road "exhausted and dehydrated" Ms. Denton,27, reported that she and her husband had been camping on Thursday and as she slept in her Ford Explorer, her husband, Jason Denton, Branch Road, Newport began driving her vehicle. The woman said she became angry at her 22 year-old husband, and the next thing she knew he had driven off the roadway and rolled her auto. The vehicle came to rest on it's top. After punching his wife on the face, Mr. Denton left on foot, leaving her behind. Ms. Denton believed her husband was going for assistance but he didn't return, so at nightfall, she slept in her wrecked vehicle. Friday morning, Ms. Denton began walking until she was able to obtain cell phone service and call for help. After rescuing the woman, Deputy Snapp arrested Jason Denton at his home on charges of domestic assault, false imprisonment, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to render aid, driving on a revoked license and no insurance.

Adopt-A-Highway
Want to help beautify your surroundings? Why not Adopt A Highway.....and make a difference in your community. The Tennessee Department of Transportation is inviting individuals, groups schools and businesses to participate in the program to show pride in their community, make a difference in the environment, get some exercise and build relationships. Organizations can also save the recyclables and use them as a money maker. And you will get a recognition panel on the Adopt-A-Highway sign. TDOT District Coordinator Shannon Kelley-George says nearly everyone qualifies as an Adopt-A-Highway participant. Any group or individual may apply for participation in the program. There is no fee required to participate in the program, just your time, effort, and concern for the environment. TDOT provides volunteers with all necessary supplies and safety materials. Filled trash bags are removed from the roadsides by TDOT crews. Participants must be at least 12 years old. Volunteers who are 12 – 17 years-old must have parental permission to participate in litter pickups. TDOT requires adult supervision at a ratio of one (1) adult for every five (5) youths under age 18. Groups are asked to make a commitment to adopt approximately two miles of roadway for at least one year and conduct a total of four litter pickups on their adopted stretch of roadway. The TDOT district office will provide caution signs, work vests, gloves, trash grabbers, trash bags, and pickup service. There also are safety briefings for your group, or your group can watch the safety video on the TDOT website. We have waivers that will need to be signed by participants. Most state-owned roadways are eligible for adoption, excluding the major interstate system. Call 423-623-1227 to participate or with questions.

Monday, August 29, 2016

  • TVA rates to increase
  • Weekend fires
  • Healthcare gap is widening
  • Tinney arrest
  • Denton arrest
  • Adopt-A-Highway

    Friday, August 26, 2016

  • Tennessee may loose highway funds
  • Smokies celebrate Park Service 100th birthday
  • Messick charged with arson and vandalism
  • Shooting fatal traffic crash (update)
  • Grassy Fork Walk/'Run
  • Cosby Beta Club
  • Ottinger vetoes the Cocke County Budget
  • Shooting/fatal crash probe continues
  • Davis injured in Thursday morning crash

    Thursday, August 25, 2016

  • Shooting and traffic crash update
  • Cocke County shooting/traffic crash fatalities
  • Jefferson County Grand Jury
  • Dottavio arrest on drug offenses
  • Solomon arrest
  • Health insurance still relatively inexpensive for many

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016

  • Newport Utilities institutes RE-MIN
  • Newport Planning Commission recommends amendment of R-1 zoning restrictions
  • Del Rio couple faces meth charges
  • Healthcare insurance to become more expensive

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016

  • CLB approves new budget
  • Mathis run
  • Shokley arrest
  • Gutierrez given 20 year federal prison term
  •    

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