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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Former jailers arrested
Two former Cocke County jailers were arrested Wednesday afternoon on charges handed down earkier this week by a Cocke County Grand Jury. The sealed presentments allege that Heather Boyd, 33, Point Pleasant Road, Newport and Kyle VanDaley, 20, Overlook Way, Newport took drugs into the jail for inmates, and so both defendants are charged with introduction of contraband into a penal institution and official misconduct. The presentments say the former jailers "did take, send or otherwise cause (methamphetamine) to be taken where prisoners are quartered." Boyd allegedly took the drug into the inmates on June 6, and VanDaley allegedly committed the same offense on July 8. The former employees were terminated some time ago by Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes after the alleged offenses came to light. Both defendants are free on $7,500 bonds in the case investigated by Cocke County Detective Lt. Robert Thornton. Also indicted by the grand jury is Christopher Busler, 19, Orchard View Drive, Newport, who is charged with six counts each rape of a child and aggravated sexual battery. A Cocke County man faces sex charges in connection with alleged incidents in May and June. Busler was arrested in July by Cocke County officers after he allegedly admitted to having sex with a nine year-old male on three occasions. But the charges handed down by the grand jury allege additional similar offenses with another person under the age of 13 in the same time frame. Bond for Busler is set at $500,000.

Commodity distribution next week
Douglas Cherokee Cocke County Neighborhood Service Center will distribute USDA Commodities at the National Guard Armory on Armory Road on Tuesday, August 22. Distribution will be from 8:30am till noon & 1pm till 3pm. USDA Food Commodities are offered through the Neighborhood Service Center and are funded under an agreement with the Department of Agriculture. Eligibility is determined at the time of service and is only available to Cocke County residents. Recipients must bring one of the following documents to the distribution; Food Stamp Card, Proof of AFDC, Proof of 2017 SSI, Proof of residence in Public Housing or Proof of current LIHEAP assistance. If an individual does not fit into a category, they should bring proof of their household income. Recipients must be low-income and fall under the 150 percent of the poverty income guidelines. Recipients must bring their documentation with them each time USDA Commodities are distributed. If a recipient needs someone else to pick up commodities for him or her, a permission slip must be used. This slip must be picked up in advance at the Cocke County Neighborhood Center office at 353 Driskill Circle, Newport. No one will be excluded from participation in or denied benefits, based on the grounds of handicap, and /or disability, age, race, color, religion, sex or national origin. For more information, contact the Cocke County Neighborhood Center at 423-623-3066.

Black bear caution
More and more black bear are moving into residential areas in East Tennessee. Wednesday morning Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes responded to the Carson Springs Road at Edgemont Elementary School to slow traffic. The sheriff said there was a mother bear and 3 cubs directly across the road from the school. "We prevented the bears from going into the parking lot, and the bears were not injured. All are safe, we were just taking measures to ensure the safety of the children," added the sheriff. Wednesday afternoon officials of the Cherokee National Forest issued an emergency order aimed at reduce human and black bear encounters. The Cherokee National Forest is home to about 1,500 black bears, but only a few lucky visitors will catch a glimpse of one of these reclusive animals. It is best for bears and for forest visitors and neighbors that a healthy respect and distance is maintained. There are many specific things people can do to avoid attracting black bears, and good sanitation is a key to many of these. Odors attract bears to potential food items. Carefully controlling odors associated with food and products that humans use prevent bears from being conditioned to being near people. This means storing food, garbage, cooking gear, and scented cosmetics (including toothpaste) where bears cannot get them. Once conditioned, a bear is dangerous. It may approach humans closely and come into camps or near homes to search for food. And then it may be necessary to destroy the animal. In most situations, bears have a natural fear of humans that helps them survive. Black bears are wild and their behavior is sometimes unpredictable. Although extremely rare, attacks on humans have occurred, inflicting serious injuries and death. Treat all bear encounters with extreme caution. The Cherokee National Forest has worked with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to install bear-resistant trash cans at many recreation sites. Officials say in the extreme case that you are attacked by a black bear, try to fight back using any object available. Act aggressively and intimidate the bear by yelling and waving your arms. Playing dead is not an appropriate response.

East Tennessee has retirement affordability
If you are looking for an affordable, attractive retirement community............don't move. Few of us can look forward to a cushy retirement. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s Retirement Confidence Survey, six in 10 workers report feeling at least somewhat confident that they’ll have enough money to retire comfortably, but only 18 percent have a high level of confidence. And nearly four in 10, have little or no retirement savings. Many are even worried about covering basic living expenses once they leave the workforce. If such a large proportion of American workers cannot grow a nest egg for their future, what other options provide a pathway to a comfortable retirement? For some, the only solution is to keep working. Or you can retire an area where you can stretch your dollar without sacrificing your lifestyle. To help Americans plan an affordable retirement while maintaining the best quality of life, WalletHub’s analysts compared the retiree-friendliness of communities across the country. The survey found East Tennessee has the third lowest adjusted cost of affordable living among areas in the US, and West Tennessee ranks second best in the cost of living.

Park officials continue their search for teen
Park rangers are continuing to search for a Blount County teenager believed to be lost in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Austin Bohanan, 18, was reported missing at about 8 p.m. on Sunday. He was last seen hiking off-trail in a remote southwest corner of the park on Friday evening. Twenty-four members of the Park Search and Rescue Team are searching for the teen. They’re also are getting help from a Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter and two canine search teams. Only a limited number of trained searchers are being used because dog teams can be hampered by additional people in the area. Park rangers say the teen was on a day hike with his stepfather when they became separated. The circumstances are still being investigated, but rangers say it is a very tough area to search because there is little to no cell service and no trails. “This terrain is very difficult to navigate. It’s very full with lush vegetation – mountain laurel thickets, which make it very difficult for crews to maneuver through,” said Jamie Sanders with the park. Park rangers say their major concern for Bohanon is dehydration or possible trauma because the terrain is so rough.

Tree cutting to slow traffic in Gatlinburg
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has announced temporary, single-lane closures along the Gatlinburg Spur (US 441), Gatlinburg Bypass, and Cherokee Orchard Road through September 29 for the removal of trees along the roadways. Although the roads will remain open, motorists should expect single-lane closures during daylight hours. No work will be allowed on holidays or on weekends from Friday evening through Sunday evening. And work will not be allowed on Monday, August 21 due to expected heavy solar eclipse traffic.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

  • Former jailers arrested
  • Commodity distribution next week
  • Black bear caution
  • East Tennessee has retirement affordability
  • Park officials continue their search for teen
  • Tree cutting to slow traffic in Gatlinburg

    Wednesday, August 16, 2017

  • Cocke Grand Jury
  • Fletcher Ervin obit
  • Agribusiness grants
  • Dolly to record children's CD
  • Cocke County energy grant

    Tuesday, August 15, 2017

  • Tax freeze for seniors
  • KOA Lane fire
  • Lee touts vouchers
  • Seniors and opiods
  • Comments on Sunday officer involved shooting

    Monday, August 14, 2017

  • Shooting Update
  • Cocke County officer involved shooting fatality
  • McMahan charges are pending
  • Clevenger injured in Saturday incident
  • Morris arrested on drug charges
  • Help to protect the Golden-Winged Warbler
  • Gas prices expected top drop

    Sunday, August 13, 2017

  • Smokies offers new education initiative
  • Roe recuperating following surgery
  • New truancy guidelines
  • Munsey sentenced

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