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Local News

  • Board member seeks answers from LUB attorney

    At the LaFollette Utilities Board meeting Monday night, Frank Shaw had a couple questions for attorney Mike Hatmaker.
    Shaw asked Hatmaker about board member Kent Younce’s attendance at meetings.
    “I love him to death, but we have to have quorum,” Shaw said. “We have quorum, but we have to have all members present.”
    Younce wasn’t present at Monday’s meeting, and had missed another meeting, Shaw said.
    Hatmaker said it wasn’t his function to determine the eligibility of board members.

  • Hatmaker and Sexton crash city vehicle in West Tennessee

    Friday, LaFollette city council member Hansford Hatmaker and interim city administrator Cade Sexton wrecked a city vehicle on Interstate 40 East in Haywood County.

     “I wasn’t injured; Mr. Hatmaker wasn’t injured,” Sexton said. “I’m just thankful nobody got hurt.”

    Hatmaker was driving the vehicle at the time.

    “A non-city employee should not be driving a city vehicle,” said Councilman Bob Fannon on Tuesday referring to Hatmaker being in control of the vehicle.

  • Relay for Life committee to host kick off dinner for team captains

    The Relay for Life committee will host a kick-off event for team captains on Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. at Roane State Community College.
    “We’re going to be serving dinner for everyone who comes,” said Lindsey Lawson, publicity chair for the Relay for Life committee.
    Captains of teams participating in Relay for Life are invited to this event. Any group such as a church, business, or organization can form a team.
    The purpose of the event is to provide captains with information.

  • IRS may levy Jellico bank accounts, other findings outlined

    Jellico could see its bank accounts levied if the IRS isn’t paid today.

    In a Dec. 19 memo from part time CMFO, Sondra Denton, the board of mayor and alderman was advised that overdue payroll taxes and fines in the amount of $15,000 are due today.

    Payment for the second quarter of 2012 was submitted, but the third quarter payment has not been issued.

    Mayor Les Stiers hopes for mercy.

    “Hopefully we can get the penalty eliminated,” he said.

    Denton and Stiers have both been in contact with the IRS.

  • Local Pastor donates money for homeless grants

    A local pastor showed generosity at Tuesday’s LaFollette City Council meeting. Phyllis Clinger of Community Health of East Tennessee asked the city council for $2,624. This money would help pay for the matching portion of  $184,281 Department of Housing and Urban Development grant.
    This grant will assist the chronically homeless in LaFollette, Clinger said. CHET is prioritizing victims of domestic violence, disabled veterans and people coming out of drug court.
    “The goal is to serve nine families,” Clinger said.

  • More details emerge from Jellico Fuelman card account

    Jellico is operating with 20 fewer Fuelman cards after findings from the comptroller.

    “This came about because the comptroller pointed us in that direction,” said Jellico Mayor, Les Stiers. 

    In mid-December, the town had 38 fuel man cards. That number is now at 18.

    The town only has 20 employees.

    Records from Jellico indicate on Dec. 12, there were 33 employees and 38 vehicles eligible to use Fuelman. By Dec. 20, that number was down to 16 employees and 19 vehicles.

  • Sanitation fee re-added to some customer’s bills; letters don’t account for list

    Some Jellico Electric and Water System customers may notice higher bills after the town tacked formerly unpaid sanitation fees onto the charges.

    During a Dec. 4 special called meeting, the mayor and board of aldermen was presented a list of 34 residential and 27 commercial customers who have not paid sanitation fees. That was set to change with the bills mailed out in December.

    Jellico resident Amanda Gurganas was one of the citizens listed. She has rented her home for almost four years.

  • Caldwell sees no relief in rape conviction

    Jackie Caldwell’s failure to properly prepare an appeal has gotten it dismissed.

    Caldwell was convicted of aggravated rape and is currently serving a 22 year sentence. However, she has continued to ask for leniency filing multiple motions and appeals.

    The latest was a request for post conviction relief. Caldwell, who filed the motion on her own, was contending the sentence given in her case was improper and her lawyer at trial was ineffective, according to the Tennessee Criminal Court of Appeals records.

  • Six apply for chancellor position

    Six candidates have submitted applications to replace the late Chancellor Billy Joe White. White’s death in Nov. 2012 meant that after 30 years his position in the judicial community was open.

    He served as the chancellor in the Eighth Judicial District which is comprised of Claiborne, Campbell, Scott, Union and Fentress Counties.

  • LaFollette City court judge sees charges dismissed

    Wes Hatmaker’s legal charges have been dropped.

    In October 2012, the attorney and LaFollette City Court Judge was arrested for driving for on a suspended license.

    However, since his arrest Hatmaker has taken the necessary steps to restore his driver’s license, according to a motion filed by Deputy District Attorney General John Galloway.

    As a result, the charges were dropped in December 2012, general sessions records indicate.