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Friday, May 26, 2017

Don Boley dead at 86 (updated)
Former Cocke County Clerk Donald Eugene Boley, passed away Thursday morning, at the age of 86 at Newport Medical Center. He attended Tennessee Tech on a football scholarship and graduated with a degree in Education. Upon graduation, Don served his country in the United States Army. After a stint in the US Army, he was a teacher and football coach at Cocke County High School and a principal at Del Rio Elementary School. He also worked as the personnel manager at Vernco and in 1974 was elected Cocke County Clerk. He served in that position for twenty years before retiring in 1994. Don was a member of Providence Baptist Church, an avid fisherman and longtime member of the Bassmasters Club, and he was a member of the Kiwanis Club. The funeral service will be held 2:00 p. m. Sunday afternoon, May 28, 2017 at Providence Baptist Church with Rev. Scott Gorrell officiating. Interment will be in Union Cemetery The family will receive friends from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the church prior to service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Providence Baptist Church or the charity of one’s choice.

Newport Utilities to hold public hearing on fiber-optic Broadband
The Newport Utilities Board meeting Thursday approved a plan to hold a public hearing on a proposal to offer fiber broadband services to the utility's customers. The Office of the State Comptroller has reviewed the plan for the fiber-optic Smart Grid Fiber network, including video,Internet and related services, as required by state law. It is to be funded with a start-up interdivision loan from the Electric System of $3.5 million from cash reserves, to be paid back at an interest rate of 4.5 percent. The plan developed by Magellan-Advisors,LLC, proposes a multi-year rollout, with a positive net income expected in year 3. The Phase 1 build-out will offer services to 6,977 residential and 1,191 business customers. Lichty said the state office is required to review the business plan to assess the reasonableness of the plan’s assumptions, in order to determine it's feasibility. After a review of the plan, the Comptroller’s written analysis said: - They could not determine the reasonableness of the projected uptake rate of 45% by Year Six. - The office pointed out that the plan did not consider market competition from current service providers. The Comptroller prefaced the written analysis in the report by saying his office had not attempted to compare the information from the Plan to Industry Standards; is not aware of any such industry standard for governmental entities providing these types of services, and the feasibility analysis is based on a “limited review” of the Plan. Lichty said the latest statistics on "uptake rates" from five other Tennessee municipal systems which have been in place eight or more years show: Bristol, TN 54%, Morristown 46%, Chattanooga 50%, Jackson 55%, Pulaski 49%. The board agreed to hold a public hearing on the plan in the utility's community room on June 1 from 5 pm-7 pm. Or written comments may be submitted to Mr. Roland A, (Trey) Dykes,III,Chairman, Newport Utilities Board, PO Box 519, Newport, TN. 37822 or via email at NUFiberStudy@newportutilities.com. Written comments will be accepted through June 15th. In other action, Finance Manager Sherrie Frisbee reported that the Electric Department shows a profitability of $1 million for the year, the Water Department is $1.8 million above budget, however the Sewer Department shows a loss of $266,000 for the year.

Jobless numbers
Tennessee’s county unemployment rates for April 2017 have decreased in all 95 counties, according to data released Thursday by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD). “One year ago, we had eight counties with an unemployment rate above 6 percent,” said Commissioner Burns Phillips. “This April, only two counties in the entire state reached that level. While we still have work to do, it is clear Tennessee is making progress in putting people to work.” Rhea County has the highest jobless rate in the state at 6.6 percent, and Williamson the lowest at 2.6 percent. Cocke County ranks 93rd in the state with a jobless rate of 5.9 percent. Other area numbers are ; Jefferson and Greene Counties 4 percent, Hamblen 3.9 and Sevier 3.7 percent.

Turner arrest and fire
A Del Rio woman who was taken into custody Thursday in connection with a shooting and assault incident on Wednesday, this morning reported a fire at her home. Cocke County Deputy Chris Barnes said 22 year-old Heaven Leeann Turner, Blue Mill Road, went to the residence of Crystal Lee Riddle and Ada Conard on Bull Mountain Road, who were caring for her three young children. Turner lives with Riddle's grandson. Turner allegedly pulled a handgun, accused Riddle and Conard of taking her prescription medication and ordered the women to leave their home. In addition to pointing the weapon at the victims, and firing three shots, the defendant allegedly scratched, bit, and repeatedly struck both subjects with her fists. The weapon was later recovered from the Turner residence. She was charged with domestic assault, aggravated assault and vandalism, but released on bond. John Riddle told Deputy Jonathan Ochs that he and Turner went to bed at 11 pm Thursday. He awoke at 2 am to find flames on the porch of their residence. He said he and Turner, gathered their three small children and fled the home. Riddle said there was no electricity to the porch and no flammables were stored there. According to Turner, following her arrest on Thursday, she heard members of the Riddle family say "We'll burn you out." The fire was fought by the Cocke County Fire Department and Del Rio Volunteer Fire Department for two hours this morning, leaving damage estimated at $13,000 to the home and contents. John Riddle said he has no insurance on the residence and contents.

Friday, May 26, 2017

  • Don Boley dead at 86 (updated)
  • Newport Utilities to hold public hearing on fiber-optic Broadband
  • Jobless numbers
  • Turner arrest and fire

    Thursday, May 25, 2017

  • Foland injured by falling tree
  • Karl Dean campaigns in Newport
  • TVA cutbacks
  • Memorial Day holiday travel
  • Summer jobs

    Wednesday, May 24, 2017

  • Tornado watch
  • Whitten charged
  • Run for the Wall
  • Newport Planning Commission
  • Organ donation

    Tuesday, May 23, 2017

  • Rescue Squad Week
  • Memorial Day boating
  • AHCA is being considered by the US Senate
  • Border Adjustment Tax
  • Commodity distribution

    Monday, May 22, 2017

  • Marrero injured in zip-line tower fall
  • Haney sentenced to six years
  • AHCA being considered by US Senate
  • Girl bitten by groundhog
  •    

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