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Local News

  • Martin fires back on travel issues

    Amid a major flap concerning the out of state travel of board of education members and school system employees, Dr. Michael Martin, director of schools, is making few apologies.

    Sitting in the central office’s conference room Monday morning, Martin and others who participated in the conference and fact-finding mission were confident their explanation of the recent travel would be enough to silence most of the critics.

  • Tragic fire claims life of toddler, mother and infant remain in serious condition

    On Friday evening, LaFollette Firefighters who had responded to two dangerous fires in two days attended a chaplain service.  The severity of the blazes and the aftermath were the reasons for the service.

    The firefighters that responded to the fatal fire at 803 West Cherry Street on Friday morning were not emotionally prepared to give CPR to all three victims in the house, said LaFollette Fire Chief Gary Byrd.

  • Massengill flips on husband; charges reduced

    After Ann Massengill agreed to a plea that reduced her charges and has her testifying against her husband, she was granted probation.

    Facing four counts of attempted first-degree murder Massengill saw those downgraded on Monday. Instead, she pled guilty to aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.

    These charged resulted in a four-year probation sentence, given Massengill provides “statements consistent with those given to (Jacksboro) Chief (Danny) Chapman” in the case against her husband, the plea agreement said.

  • Cheel to spend eight years behind bars

    Royal Cheel will have quite awhile to cool his heels following court on Monday.

    Under the plea agreement he consented to Cheel was sentenced to eight years in prison for two counts of aggravated robbery and burglary.

    The 27 –year- old Pioneer man managed to evade authorities for nearly a year until his luck ran out last month.

    That is when a joint investigation conducted by the LaFollette Police Department Detective division and the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department caught up with Cheel.

  • Ellison going to prison

    It took Gerard Shawn Ellison less than two months to rack up enough charges to net him a two-year prison sentence.

    On Monday Ellison agreed he was guilty of felony escape, felony evading arrest and felony possession of drug paraphernalia. In return, Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton sentenced Ellison to the two-year term behind bars.

  • Keathley continues to circumvent the court

    If a “continued refusal” on Howard Frank Keathley’s part to acknowledge responsibility for his crimes was the driving factor behind a 90-day jail sentence recommendation in November, odds are he is looking at more time now.

    Keathley was scheduled to appear in court this week on a narcotics charge but failed to show up.

    This has become a pattern for the convicted narcotics trafficker.

    There has been an outstanding warrant for his arrest since January.

    Before that, there was a court order revoking his bail.

  • Duo pleads guilty to meth crimes

    Samuel Duran Chapman and Angel Satina Bailey now know their fate for a February meth arrest.

    On Monday the pair appeared in criminal court clad in their jail attire and shackles. It is a look Chapman will have to get use to.

    After admitting his guilt to the attempted initiation to manufacture meth, Chapman was sentenced to spend six years behind bars. Throughout the proceedings, he grinned often.

    Bailey, who plead guilty next, received probation.

  • Middle school teacher suspended

    An investigation into the actions of a Jacksboro Middle School teacher is underway.

    On Wednesday Dr. Michael Martin, director of schools, was forced to suspend a male faculty member with pay while questions concerning his contact with a student are being investigated.

    “I made the decision to suspend a staff member due to allegations of improper conduct with a student,” Martin explained on Thursday morning.

  • Celebrate Recovery draws awareness at Friday breakfast

    natasha@lafollettepress.com  

    Celebrate Recovery has been helping people with hurts and hang-ups for years. 

    But with recent efforts by the Leadership Class of Campbell County a new kind of awareness will be paid to the volunteer’s efforts.

    The leadership class, established by the chamber of commerce, is comprised of 11 individuals from various businesses in the county.

  • St. Mary’s CEO attends US Senate panel

    natasha@lafollettepress.com  

    A Campbell County executive recently had his voice heard in Washington, DC., speaking out on medical care for veterans in rural areas.

    On Feb. 26 St. Mary’s CEO Alan Watson participated as a representative at a United States Senate Committee Panel discussion speaking from a rural hospital perspective.

    “We spoke of the challenges with no veteran’s hospitals in the area,” said Watson.