|Monday, September 01, 2014|
|Hooper calls on Cocke County officials to improve local workforce|
As the NewsSource reported last week, a number of local officials were sworn into office on Friday. Circuit Judge Ben Hooper called on them to do their best. He again pointed out that Cocke County has problems with it's workforce, which he said is currently ranked at 92nd. out of the 95 counties in Tennessee. "Now you all are gonna be talking about business, everybody talks about jobs. Crystal Ottinger, all of you....until we do something to get a labor force in this county, don't expect to have anybody coming in. Who would want to come here now when you don't have anybody to work?" The judge went on to say those who are good workers go primarily to Hamblen and Sevier Counties to work. Judge Hooper said he was recently told that the largest employer in Cocke County is the education system. The Cocke County Legislative Body recently voted to end funding for economic development and tourism promotion in the county at the end of the year. The outgoing CLB discussed the possibility of setting up new economic development and tourism programs but the new budget does not include funding for such efforts. Mayor Ottinger told the audience she is hopeful the new county officials will work to change the county's reputation and improve the local workforce. "We will do what it takes to make Cocke County a better place," she told the audience.
|Woudstra faces sexual charges|
Cocke County authorities say they were contacted Saturday with allegations that a 24 year-old Newport man had been having sexual relations with a 14 year-old female. Deputy K9 Sgt. Chris Gregg said he talked with Kevin Ray Woudstra, Jr, Moore Hollow Road, who "admitted to having sexual intercourse with the juvenile female victim." The officer said he had been contacted by the mother of the female who said her daughter had admitted to the allegations and that Woudstra had asked that he be contacted if she was pregnant. Although the defendant had been issued a "no-contact" order in June, he reportedly continued to send messages by phone and social media, to the girl. Because the age difference between the girl and Woudstra is more than ten years, he is charged with aggravated statutory rape, and his bond is set at $10,000.
A Cocke County man has been arrested on charges he recently misused 911 services. Newport Patrolman Josh Holt said Richard Grooms, 48, Seabrook Street, Newport reported Saturday that he had been struck over the head with a baseball bat, but when officers went to his home, they were told the subject was not there and had not been there. Later Grooms again called 911 saying he wanted to speak with officers but when they responded, he again was gone. Officer Holt says within the last two months officers have received "fifteen fake (911) calls" from Grooms' phone number. The suspect now is charged with two counts of the misuse of 911.
A Cocke County Jail inmate faces charges after officers say they smelled smoke coming from a cell on Saturday. Deputy K9 Sgt. Chris Gregg said inmate Aaron Michael Binkley, 38, Jones Cove Road, Sevierville, gave corrections officers a rolled cigarette and a lighter. As a result he was searched and was found to have a plastic bag containing suboxone pills and marijuana between his buttocks. Additional tobacco was found in the inmate's personal belongings. Now Binkley is charged with introduction of contraband into a penal facility as well as possession of suboxone and tobacco.
Monday, September 01, 2014Hooper calls on Cocke County officials to improve local workforce
Woudstra faces sexual charges
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