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Local News Stories from 92.3 WNPC
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

TBI investigating Cocke County Highway Department
Half a dozen agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spent all day Monday seizing records and downloading computer files associated with the Cocke County Highway Department. The agents from the Knoxville and Nashville offices visited the highway department offices on Lower Quarry Road, telling Highway Superintendent Kenneth Ford the investigation was at the request of the attorney general's office. "They just showed up and said they wanted some file information.Some people here in the county get mad because you are trying to save money and they cause you all kinds of trouble. Politics, that's what it is, 100 percent politics," Hall told the NewsSource. He says the agents took records documenting how much rock has been hauled out, and purchases and receipts. Superintendent Ford said he was told what the investigation is about. "Somebody alleged I misused county equipment. It's nothing but politics. You got a bunch in this county, and they've done it for years. The county has bought stuff from them and they charge them ten times more than they ought to and when you stop it it makes them mad. That it in a nutshell." The superintendent said he told a female agent he will cooperate in anyway and take her anywhere in the county and "if you ask me about something, if I've done it I'll tell you I've done it and tell you why I've done it." The superintendent went on to say, " I've stopped most of the stealing over here and if I know of anyone who is stealing I'll fire them. It's as simple as that." "I'd just like the people of Cocke County to know that since I've been over here, we've corrected alot of problems here at this office. I'm not going into detail, but we've corrected a bunch of 'em. And I made several people mad. And when you make 'em mad, when they are robbing the county, they're gonna try to get back at you. And that's what it is." Another agent spent most of the day at the courthouse annex looking at records in the county finance office. Cocke County Mayor Vaughn Moore said the investigation is confined to the Highway Department. "The agent requested records for payroll, invoices and purchase orders for the road department and the road department only." District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Cocke County Legislative Body takes up Webb situation
Members of the Cocke County Legislative Body (CLB) meeting Monday evening took up the issue of Heather J. Webb and her candidacy for the school board seat from the Fourth District. After she qualified to run for the seat, the state Comptrollers Office discovered that Webb's home on New Cave Church Road is actually in the Sixth District, and apparently has been for years. Webb says she and her neighbors have always voted in the Fourth District and she asked the commission to agree to put her home in the Fourth District. Webb said she recently received a new voting card putting her in the Sixth District, meaning she cannot vote for herself in the upcoming August 7 election. Jason Mumpower of the comptroller's office told the CLB the situation has three alternatives; the candidate can run for office and if she wins could move to a residence in the Fourth District, she can run for the position and if elected, resign the seat or she can run and if she wins, petition the CLB to re-district her into that district. Webb indicated the 15 voters in the eight homes that would be affected by the redistricting, want to be in the Fourth District because that is where they have voted for years. Commissioner Michael McCarter made a motion to allow the candidate to run and if she is elected to consider a redistricting before Webb is sworn into office. Tommye Dean Jones of Del Rio, also expressed similar concerns, saying her home now is in a different district from her farm property. She said 38 people are affected by the recent finding,so the commission agreed to also consider that situation after the election. The body recognized Cocke County Firefighters Rick Gregg and Martin "Coby" McGaha, who on June 21, rescued Sherry M. Jarnagin from her burning home on Friendship Road in Cosby. When the firemen arrived on the scene Ms. Jarnagin was not outside, so they donned air packs and entered the home to find the victim "unresponsive and barely breathing." Mayor Vaughn Moore said if the men had not taken quick action it is very likely Jarnigan would not have survived. Fire Chief William Smallwood told the commission the fire totally destroyed the kitchen where the victim was found. " When things are dark and scary, the house you are trying to save is full of smoke, just when you think you are alone you feel a hand on your shoulder and know your brother firefighter has your back," Chief Smallwood said as he read the citation. The chief said both firefighters are " Cocke County hometown heros" because of their unselfish service. Partnership President Don Hurst talked about the ten acres owned by the county at the new intersection of Highways 25/70 and 411 in Reidtown. The site is to be divided into six parcels and recently was appraised at a price of $350,000 to $650,000 per acre. He said the plans are to put the money from the sale into an account for the purchase of additional industrial property. Members voted to support a motion by McCarter that, because the site is county owned property, the county mayor and the chair of the CLB be on the committee that determines the sales price and where the receipts should go. The commissioner said the county may decide to keep some of the acreage for a fire substation in the future. The body also discussed the status of the Ace Products site on Industrial Road which recently reverted to the Partnership after the owner defaulted on the lease/purchase payments.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

  • TBI investigating Cocke County Highway Department
  • Cocke County Legislative Body takes up Webb situation

    Monday, July 21, 2014

  • Jabo's robbed
  • Newport investigating alleged child abuse incident
  • Webb to ask to be re-districted
  • Tennessee gets more federal dollars than it pays
  • Alford looses EMT license
  • Miller indicted on burglary and theft charges
  • Ray names Newport Utilities in litigation

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • Early voting is underway
  • Budget discussions continue
  • Cocke County fires
  • EDC hears Ace site presentation

    Thursday, July 17, 2014

  • Blue Cross wants to hike premiums
  • Lottery raises big bucks for education in Tennessee
  • Fire destroys camper
  • Church members visit Jefferson County following last year's bus crash

    Wednesday, July 16, 2014

  • Weld sentenced on federal meth charge
  • Budget committee considers requests
  • Barnes charged with violating sex offender restrictions
  • Judge Ben Hooper imposes sentences

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