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Local News

  • LANDFILL LIKELY FOR PRISTINE AREA: PLANS HATCHED TO STORE COAL ASH, SOLID WASTE AT 300-ACRE DUMP SITE

    DUFF—George Hyfantis, president of Quantum Environmental and Engineering Services, LLC, spoke with county officials Monday night about the possibility of a 300-acre landfill coming to Westbourne, in the Duff community. Hyfantis works for Ketchen Land Company, Inc. and Davis Creek Energy, LLC, which tentatively plans to build a landfill to store solid waste and industrial coal ash deposits there.

  • ‘SNAKE SALVATION’: SERPENT-HANDLING PREACHER TO STAR IN 16-SHOW NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SERIES

    LaFOLLETTE—A serpent-handling preacher is expected to star in an upcoming reality series produced by National Geographic. The show — titled “Snake Salvation” —  is expected to begin airing 16, half-hour-long episodes, with back-to-back shows debuting 9 and 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 10. Producers of the show have been tight-lipped about details, but it’s expected to center around the life of 22-year-old Tabernacle Church of God pastor Andrew Hamblin and his controversial congregation.

  • EX COP GETS 20 YEARS FOR SEXUALLY EXPLOITING MINOR

    LaFOLLETTE—A former LaFollette Police Officer will spend the next 20 years behind bars.
    Michael Shane Baker, 40, appeared in jeans and a white T-shirt in Campbell County Criminal Court to answer to a July 2012 indictment charging him with 22 counts of especially aggravated exploitation of a minor and 21 counts of solicitation of sexual exploitation of a minor.
    Baker was charged after a multi-agency investigation between the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, TBI and the Internet Crimes Against Children taskforce.
    The victim was a female from Georgia.

  • Jellico sees property tax reinstated, rate did not change

    JELLICO – A July 29 agreement about a dollar tax-hike had dissolved by the time the board reconvened on Monday.

    Last week, the Board of Mayor and Alderman combed through the budget in a three-hour workshop with Union Bank President Allen McClary offering his suggestions and advice for balancing the budget.

  • Jellico board decides to keep Denton, hires new recorder

    JELLICO—Officials have decided to ask part-time certified municipal finance officer Sondra Denton to return to work to train the newly selected town recorder.

    Denton has worked with the town since former town recorder Linda Douglas resigned on Dec. 4, 2012.

    Denton’s original contract dated Dec. 11, 2012 was presented at Monday night’s workshop. The contract lays out her stipulations for work, including a retainer of $250 per month as well as $95 per hour. The town also pays Denton the state mileage rate at 55 cents per mile.

  • SHUTTERED SHELTER TO REOPEN UNDER NEW DIRECTOR

    JACKSBORO—A new director will be at the helm of operations at the county’s Adrion W. Baird Animal Center.  
    The shelter has been closed since April 11 when County Mayor William Baird asked the TBI to investigate alleged misdeeds by former director Betty Crumley.
    Michael Aiken will oversee the shelter’s direction.

  • JELLICO COP SAYS MAYOR PUSHED ‘TICKET QUOTA’ TO BOOST BUDGET

    JELLICO—A former cop claims he was fired for refusing to comply with a mayoral directed “ticket quota” plan.
    Officer H. Wayne Conrad had worked with the town of Jellico for 18 years when he and Officer David Douglas were dismissed on July 3.
    Mayor Les Stiers says the dismissals are temporary “furloughs,” and he hopes to reinstate the officers when finances permit.
    On Aug. 1, Conrad filed a suit in Circuit Court asking to be reinstated to his post or for $1.5 million in compensation.

  • Dixie Roofing wins $269k LaFollette City Hall bid

    LaFOLLETTE—City officials approved a $269,900 contract with Dixie Roofing, Inc. to repair a section of city hall’s roof.
    Council Member Hansford Hatmaker stood against the rest of the council because Dixie Roofing didn’t have the low bid.
    “We took the highest bid,” he said. “We didn’t follow bid procedures. You just voted to increase tax dollars $150,000 by not taking the lowest bid.”

  • City purchases $29K Ford Explorer for city admin

    LaFOLLETTE—City leaders approved purchasing a 2014 Ford Explorer from Rainbow Ford for City Administrator Billie Russell.
    The Explorer costs $29,636—$2,364 less than the $32,000 that was budgeted for it.
    Council member Bob Fannon asked council member Stephanie Grimm—who made a motion to purchase the vehicle—to specify who could use the Explorer.
    Grimm amended her motion to only allow city employees and those appointed by Russell to drive it. Grimm’s motion passed with only council member Hansford Hatmaker voting against it.

  • LaFollette police dog dies

    LaFOLLETTE—K-9 Officer Diesel died unexpectedly Sunday.
    “He will be sadly missed,” said Sgt. Brian Tiller, Diesel’s handler said.
    Diesel was a Malinois. The LaFollette Police Department got him from Dale Wright.
    “The two and a half years he was here, he did several vehicle seizures and numerous drug arrests,” Tiller said.
    LaFollette Police Chief Jimmy Jeffries said the LPD will search for another dog.