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   WANTED:  Authorities are still looking for fugitive Austin Parker this morning.  He told his father in a phone conversation on Sunday night, “I ain’t going back in that box again (jail cell).”  The detailed story of Parker’s latest saga is further down this page.

INSURANCE: Council discusses 2018 employee health insurance 


LaFOLLETTE—At Monday night’s workshop, the city council discussed next year’s employee health insurance plan with representatives from E. E. Hill & Son, Inc.  City officials asked E. E. Hill & Son, Inc representatives David Rutherford and Jonathan Finley to obtain quotes from Blue Cross Blue Shield.

“I think our employees are having a hard time dealing with Humana,” City Council Member Bill Archer said.

When choosing a plan for 2017, the city council chose to purchase a Health Reimbursement Account plan from Humana instead of BCBS because BCBS’s price increased by 20 percent. However, while BCBS administers its own HRAs, Humana doesn’t. This has required the City of LaFollette to spend $6,000 this year to contract with Benefits Assist in Knoxville, a third-party firm, to administer the HRA for the city. It has also required individual employees to submit bills and EOBs to Benefits Assist.

David Rutherford, from E. E. Hill & Son, Inc., expressed concerns that employees might not be filing their claims properly. While Rutherford can’t see individual employees’ information, only $10,000 has been paid out for the entire city so far. Rutherford said a more normal figure would be around $40,000.

Rutherford expressed concerns about what would happen to the claims that have not been properly filed if the city chooses a plan with BCBS in 2018, and no longer pays Benefits Assists to administer the HRA.

City officials said they did not want to change benefits for employees. Rutherford said he would also obtain a quote from Humana, and that it should be available by Oct. 15.

The council also asked if Rutherford could see how much health insurance would cost if the city employees were grouped together with the LaFollette Utilities Board employees. City Administrator Jimmy Jeffries said the agent who obtains quotes for LUB would coordinate with Rutherford.

Tree Lights

When Council Member Ann Thompson asked why there were Christmas lights in a tree in front of the Fleet Building, Mayor Mike Stanfield said the lights were put on the tree because a citizen had wanted something done to make the city look nice.

Thompson said it looks terrible.

“That’s your opinion,” Stanfield said.

Thompson said several citizens told her it looks bad.

When Jeffries asked if he should add to next Tuesday meeting’s agenda for the council to vote to remove the lights, Thompson said she would be outvoted on the issue. Stanfield said to leave the lights.

Jeffries told Fire Chief Charles Eldridge to change the way the lights are hung, making them go up and down, to make them easier to maintain.


Jeffries told the council he had talked to the owners of a building on 13th Street (at the corner of West Central Avenue) about removing it. The building sits on top of a sewer drain the city needs to repair.

Thompson asked if the owners would also remove the concrete debris when they were finished.

Jeffries said he would call and reiterate the concrete would need to be removed when the building was taken down.  (WLAF NEWS PLUBLISHED – 09/26/2017-6AM)


Monday was Bud Petitt Day in La Follette

WWII Combat Vet hits 96


   Mayor Mike Stanfield honored 96-year-old World War II veteran Edward “Bud”
Petitt with a proclamation declaring Sept. 25, 2017, "Bud Petitt Day" in La Follette. (WLAF NEWS PLUBLISHED – PHOTO COURTESY OF WLAF’S PETER SAWYER - 09/26/2017-6AM)


City of La Follette flags at half-staff

In honor of Mike Hill

   Mike Hill served the City of La Follette spending his career with the La Follette Utility Board.  When news of Hill’s death came, La Follette Mayor Mike Stanfield ordered city flags at half-staff yesterday.  (WLAF NEWS PLUBLISHED – 09/26/2017-6AM)

It’s “free meal” night at LUMC

Serving line opens at 5 pm

   Monthly meals have become common place for many area churches, and the La Follette United Methodist Church is one of the originators.  The church, across from the hospital, serves its meal the last Tuesday of each month.  This evening’s meal begins at 5 pm, and everyone is welcome.  (WLAF NEWS PLUBLISHED – 09/26/2017-6AM)

NEW HOURS at Premier Cleaners (08/10/2017)

Mon – Fri 7 am to 7 pm and Saturdays 8 am to 2 pm


LUB looks at opening a new bank account

By Courtney Goins

   The LaFollette Utility Board met for its regular scheduled meeting and workshop on September 25, 2017, at its offices on North Tennessee Avenue. The workshop began by going over financial reports for the month. The financial reports indicate growth in the community. The workshop also introduced bids for various projects in the different parts of the utility department, the bids include an RTV for the Water Treatment plant and tree trimming. The last item addressed at the workshop was opening a new bank account for the utility department with either Pinnacle Bank, based out of Nashville with a Knoxville office, or Community Trust Bank.

   The meeting started with a roll call and all members of the board were presented. The financial reports were approved as reported in the workshop. The next item on the agenda was to approve Lawson Building Supply, LLC to purchase a RTV for the Water Treatment plant. The board then went on to approve Baird Tree Trimming for trimming at the Sweet Gum Flats Circuit 224. The board also approved a bank transfer to open a new bank account either with Pinnacle Bank or Community Trust. The other business was the announcement of the next regularly scheduled meeting for Monday, October 30, 2017.  With no other business to address the meeting was adjourned. (WLAF NEWS PLUBLISHED – 09/26/2017-6AM)

Noah Smith reflects on the NFL

WLAF welcomes your comments to

I personally think that kneeling during the National Anthem is disrespectful and insulting to America and the veterans that have fought, are fighting, and have died for that sacred American flag. Yes, I agree that people have the right to kneel and express their opinions, but if you really want to protest inequality find a better way to do it. If these players that kneel during the National Anthem really want to protest injustice, they would be rallying for justice, they would be voicing their concerns at town halls, they would be out working to fix the injustices they see in America… but they won’t do it. They kneel for publicity. They kneel to be the headline of the 6 o’clock news. It is not about protesting injustice, it is about them making the headline of the news. They don’t care about peace, they don’t care about injustices, all they care about is their paycheck from the NFL. If these lousy coaches would grow a spine and tell their players to stand or they will be fired, see how many will kneel then. The vast majority of these players will do nothing to address these injustices they see outside of the game. Why would they? They get paid very well and live the good life. These players who kneel for the National Anthem are disrespecting our flag and our military. I was very upset and angered as I saw numerous players take a knee. What if our service men and women decided to “take a knee” for America? We wouldn’t be here! If you are upset about the injustices you see in America get out and run for office and press for change, but do not disrespect our flag, our military, or our veterans. As I said earlier, I am a firm believer that they have a right to kneel, and I have a right also to turn the game off and protest my total disapproval of their senseless and childish actions. I will respect our military and our flag until I die. If I have an issue with the American system, I will call up my elected officials or start a peaceful campaign to solve that issue. The NFL needs to grow up and stop disrespecting America just so they can get the headline of the 6 o’clock news. If you really want to kneel during the National Anthem, get down on two knees and pray for our country. Pray for peace and justice. Pray for the healing of our land. Pray for unity. Pray for each other. God Bless.
Thank you,
Noah Smith
Eagle Scout
Political Columnist

Since 1967

Police are still searching for wanted man
‘I ain’t going back in that box again’ –Austin Parker, fugitive

    “He called me last night (Sunday) about 10pm. He always calls from a restricted number. So, I have no idea where he is or what telephone number he’s using,” said Charlie Parker.  Parker is the father of Charles Austin Parker, the young man at the center of a Campbell County manhunt.
   The latest saga for Charles Austin Parker started last Wednesday afternoon when he threatened to throw a flower pot through the glass back door to his parents La Follette home, according to Campbell County Deputy Isaac Phillips’ report.

   The threat came when Parker’s father told his son that he didn’t have permission to be there, and that he needed to leave.  Instead, Austin Parker put his shoulder into the door, breaking its frame, and entering the home. The report outlines that Parker had come to the home to tell his mother, who was hiding in a closet, that he loved her.  Parker’s father told him to leave, the report said.
   That’s when a scuffle broke out, and the young man scratched his father’s arm making it bleed. The elder Parkers told his son that if he didn’t leave, he’d shoot him.  When he called E-911, his son ran on foot through the field in back of the
Green Lane home.
    “I’m Charles, and he goes by
Austin. Everybody in LaFollette knows him as Austin, even the police,” the elder Parker said.
   The father explained that Austin, whom he says has never worked much in his young life of 32-years, recently roughed him and his wife up. In this exclusive visit with WLAF News, Parkers explains that
Austin’s mother fell and broke her wrist during that episode. “I threatened to shoot him that day. I even fired a warning shot up in the air to let him know I meant business,” the father said.
   During the Sunday night phone call, Parker recalls that Austin told him that he wanted to see him again, and that, “I ain’t going back in that box. I’m not going back to jail.”

Pursuit starts after a Saturday confrontation with his girlfriend
   Three days after Parker’s encounter with his parents, he went to the apartment of his girlfriend, Tiffany Nicely, on General Carl Stiner Highway. Saturday evening around 7:30 pm is when Nicely called the cops on Parker.  CCSD Deputy Travis Bostic answered the call.  Upon arrival to Valley View Estates, Bostic details in his report that Nicely told him that Parker had allegedly forced his way into her car and had her drive. She described Phillips as becoming belligerent and then physically assaulting her by strangling her and hitting her many times.  Nicely then told the deputy that Parker drove off in her 2008 Chevy Impala Sedan.  Bostic drove Nicely back to her home and went looking for Parker.
   Bostic was notified that Parker had been seen on Valley View Estates Road.  Bostic soon spotted Parker in the Chevy, tried to stop him, and Parker sped away hitting speeds over 90 miles per hour as he headed east on Old Middlesboro Highway.  The chase went down
Moody Lane, toward Bethlehem Road, onto Victory Road, and then to Powder Mill Road.  On Powder Mill Road is where Austin Parker turned around and came back to a second entrance to the road, Bostic said in his report.
   That’s where the Chevy and the cruiser met head on with the Chevy nearly colliding with Bostic’s patrol car.  Bostic then jumped out of his car, pulled his service weapon, and gave Parker verbal commands, only to see Parker turn the sedan around and take off again.  That’s the last time Bostic saw Parker. 
Another deputy picks up the pursuit
   About 8:30 pm Saturday night is when Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Gary Jeffers picked up the pursuit of Austin Parker. Jeffers noted in his report that he found Parker in the stolen Chevy coming down Alder Springs road at a high rate of speed.  As he turned on the lights and siren, the Impala swerved toward Jeffers’ cruiser attempting to hit him head on. The deputy then trailed Parker over to
Mill Road as speeds hit 60 MPH in the 35 MPH zone. Jeffers describes Parker driving as extremely reckless, and that Parker drove on the wrong side of the road.
   CCSD Captain Jeremy Goins gave Jeffers permission to use his patrol car to stop the chase. Jeffers says he struck the Impala several times, but that each time Parker was able to correct his vehicle once he was spinning out. The pursuit ended up on
Glade Springs Road where another deputy became involved.  Parker swerved into the oncoming lane and tried to hit that patrol car head on.
   Parker ran the stop sign where
Glade Springs Road meets Old Middlesboro Highway and headed east again up Old Middlesboro Highway. That’s when Parker reached speeds of nearly 100-miles per hour in the 40 MPH zone, according to the report.  It was then that Goins terminated the chase in the interest of public safety.
Parker faces more than 25 charges
   Three reports were filed by three different deputies. Combined, Parker faces 28-charges ranging from aggravated assault on a police officer to vandalism under $1,000 to speeding and aggravated assault by domestic violence.
Sheriff Goins asks for your help
   Campbell County Sheriff Robbie K. Goins asks for the public’s help in bringing Austin Parker to justice. If you see or know the whereabouts of Austin Parker, Goins urges you to call him at 423.562.7446. (WLAFNEWS PUBLISHED – 09/26/2017-6AM)

Save the date!  The pig won’t wait!

Chamber’s annual Pig Roast is less than a month away

   The Pig Roast is Thursday, October 12.  Campbell County Chamber of Commerce Director Christie Elkins tells WLAF that the Chamber’s biggest fundraiser will be at 6 pm at the Ball Farm Event Center.  Now is the time to save the date. 

   Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children (ages 10 and under).  Tables are $150 for six or $300 seating a dozen.  To order your tickets and for more information, connect to or call 423.566.0329.

   It’s all sponsored by Champion Partners:  Community Trust Bank, La Follette Utilities, and Nova Copy.  Citadel Partners are:  Home Federal Bank, Powell-Clinch Utility District, Peoples Bank of the South, United Cumberland Bank, and Y-12 Federal Credit Union.  Cornerstone Partners:  Faith Promise Church.

   Rickard Ridge BBQ is catering with the auction conducted by Ayers Auction and Realty and Billy Ball serving as the auctioneer.  Fireworks are provided by Pyro Shows.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/13/2017-6AM)

 Let Robbins Guttering beautify your home


Siding, Guttering, Windows, and more – Robbins Guttering 423.566.5461

Sheriff Goins kicks off Fall DUI Crackdown

Focus is on fatality prevention, teen protection, and the arrest of DUIs

   Starting today, by the order of Campbell County Sheriff Robbie K. Goins, deputies are working overtime and are visible, in full force, on Campbell County roadways, in Campbell County neighborhoods, and along Campbell County streets.  All in an attempt to prevent fatalities, protect teen drivers by enforcement and education, and the immediate arrest of drugged or drunk drivers.

   Sheriff Goins ordered his staff this morning to quickly mobilize the "Sheriff's DUI Task Force."  The veteran lawman emphasizes, “That's what our citizens deserve and demand.” 

   "Fall, football, homecomings, and the new spirit of a season create the perfect storm of a time for tragedy and mistakes.  Tragedy and mistakes by folks who could make that deadly split second decision that could cost your family member their life.  We have to take steps and preventative measures to make sure we live up to our responsibility as law enforcement officers work day and night to ensure we do everything in our power to save someone's life, any life, and every life we can," said Sheriff Robbie K. Goins. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/25/2017-1PM)

Webb receives new court date

Michael Cody Webb, a onetime school employee, has seen his court date reset.

On Thursday, Webb, 25, appeared in General Sessions court to answer to six charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

His appearance was rescheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 3.

Webb, who was employed this summer as a janitor at Campbell County High School until this incident came to light, is accused buying alcohol for six juveniles and allowing them to drink it in his home; he faces one count per child.

Webb’s father is one of the assistant football coaches at Jacksboro Middle School and his brother is on the team. It appears that Webb made contact with the juveniles through football practice.

Webb was terminated “as soon as we heard about the incident,” Campbell County Director of Schools Larry Nidiffer said.

The charges are based on allegations, which were later confirmed by the six children involved, that Webb picked them up from school grounds on July 28 and purchased alcohol for them. Webb allegedly took the students to a local gas station where they gave him money to buy the alcohol, the report said.

According to the arrest warrant, Webb then took the juveniles back to his home, where they consumed the beverages and spent the night.

From the information listed in the arrest warrant, at least one of the juveniles was a teenage female.

Ten days later, a parent came forward to Brent Peel, the JMS Football coach, and reported the drinking.

The students weren’t punished by the school, because the drinking took place off school grounds and school hadn’t started, Nidiffer said.

Contributing to the delinquency of a minor is a Class A misdemeanor that carries a possible 11 months and 29 days in jail and/ or a $2,500 fine per charge. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/25/2017-6AM)

Lake with a view

Clean-up at Cove Lake continues today

   Sheriff Robbie K. Goins tells WLAF News, “Passers by are already stopping to take photos of Cove Lake.”  The veteran lawman explains that he and Campbell County Sheriff’s Captain Eric Jones came up with the idea to clear all the brush that’s grown up between the four lane in Caryville and Cove Lake.

Above is a “before” look and below is how the bank along Cove Lake is shaping up to look as crews work again today cleaning up heavy growth near the south Cove Lake bridge.

   Jones, also an Alderman for the Town of Caryville, and Goins enlisted the help of Campbell County Road Superintendent Ron Dilbeck along with county inmate volunteers.  Crews began last Wednesday with the project, and it continues this morning. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/25/2017-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF SHERIFF ROBBIE GOINS)

CHET’s “Hats-n-Hawgs” a fun time

Friday at The Stables

   Community Health of East Tennessee’s (CHET) annual “Hats-n-Hawgs” was a fun night last Friday night.  CHET’s 9th annual Chili and Wing Cook-Off was held at the Stables where BBQ, a chili and wing cook-off, music, and auctions (silent and live) made for a lively evening. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/25/2017-6AM)

Kidd speaks out on actions of professional athletes

Your comments to the Publisher are welcomed at wlaf

An open letter to all these highly paid idiots in the NFL, NBA and WNBA who are protesting American values:

These morons never learn even from recent American history.

Eldridge Cleaver was a Black Panther indicted for murder. In 1968 he jumped bail and fled to
Cuba. He couldn't stand it there so he talked them into letting him go to Algeria. It was not long until he wanted to work out a deal with the feds to come home. His statement was "Prison in America was better than living in Cuba or Algeria."

Jerry Kidd 


Crews attack trash on Saturday

Norris Lake clean-up was a success

Young and older alike helped out here at Indian River Marina

   The Norris Lake Project Team and Campbell County Litter Control put in quite a day on Saturday in and around Norris Lake.  The focus was on collecting shoreline litter near local marinas.  Areas where the concentration was focused included the marinas of Flat Hollow, Sugar Hollow, Powell Valley Resort, Whitman Hollow, and Indian River. 


Award winning Campbell County Litter Control Officer Glennis Monday (R) calls Saturday’s event quite a success with tons of trash and debris picked up.  Monday expresses appreciation to all who helped make the clean-up day a reality.



Louie Bluie’s 11th celebration is this weekend

The traditional parade starts at 12:45 pm. 

   On Saturday, the Louie Bluie Music and Arts Festival returns to Cove Lake State Park at Caryville.  The 11th annual festival runs from 10 am to 7 pm this Saturday, September 30.

   Every Louie Bluie festival promises music for everyone, and 2017 is no exception.  Grammy Award winner Don Flemons, fiddle prodigy Carson Peters and his band Iron Mountain, and energetic Cajun band Roux du Bayou top the list of musical performers.

   The four music stages will feature popular and emerging local, regional, and national acts.  Be sure to support local talent at the Rickard Ridge Stage, and don’t miss Louie Bluie favorites returning to renew their bonds with the festival.

   With music, art, and quilt shows, craft vendors and food vendors, Louie Bluie has enough fun to fill several days, but it’s all packed into seven hours in one beautiful location.

   Kids are especially welcome, with many activites targeted to children.  Be sure to have them there in time for the traditional parade, which starts at 12:45 pm. 

   Admission to the festival is free, but a donation of $5 per person or $10 per family is encouraged.

   Named in honor of the late Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong, the iconic string band musician and visual artist who grew up in La Follette, the festival celebrates the diversity of music and culture that is Campbell County’s heritage and passion.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/25/2017-6AM)

Customer Appreciation Week opens today

PCUD celebrates you all week

   Whether you’re looking for a good deal on heating products, to take advantage of extra low propane prices, or you would just like a hot dog for lunch, this is the week to stop by Powell-Clinch Utility District.  It’s Customer Appreciation Week at PCUD in La Follette and Rocky Top.

   The folks at PCUD are serving up grilled hot dogs from 11 am to 1 pm each day.  There are also 20% discounts on heating products with zero-percent financing, and propane is $1.59 a gallon.  Certain restrictions apply to the heating product deals, financing, and the propane special. 

   The special pricing and hot dog lunches run through Friday September 29, 2017. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/25/2017-6AM)

LA Cruizers annual car show a fun time

Held Saturday at CCHS

   The 17th annual LA Cruizers annual open car, truck, and motorcycle show was quite an event.  It was held Saturday at Campbell County High School under a sunny sky.

   John Bryant, a Viet-Nam War Veteran, shows off his 1961 Chevrolet Corvette.  Bryant is from Oak Ridge. (PHOTO COURTESY OF CLARENCE LOWE).

   WLAF’s Charlie and Lindsay Hutson snapped photos from above the crowd and at ground level.  CLICK HERE to see all of their shots along with some photos shared by Clarence Lowe. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/25/2017-6AM)

   This Little Cougar cheerleader is having a fun football season.  More Raymond McGhee photos are further down this page.

Jellico man faces charges in officer-involved shooting incident

Ausmus pointed a gun at the JPD dispatcher

KNOXVILLE – An investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the indictment of a Jellico man on a number of charges, including aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.

Deron Ausmus showed up at the Jellico Police Department and pointed a gun at a dispatcher.

On August 24th, at the request of 8th District Attorney General Jared Effler, TBI Special Agents began investigating the circumstances surrounding an officer-involved shooting that occurred along South Myrtle Street in Jellico. The investigation revealed that the incident began when Deron Ausmus (DOB 04/24/79) showed up at the Jellico Police Department and pointed a gun at a dispatcher. Ausmus then fled into a nearby neighborhood. He was located at a home on South Myrtle Street. When Ausmus came out of the residence, he confronted officers with a gun. Two officers fired shots, striking him. He was transported to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, where he received treatment for his injuries.

This week, the Campbell County Grand Jury returned indictments charging Ausmus with four counts of Aggravated Assault, two counts of Reckless Endangerment with a Deadly Weapon, one count of Prohibited Weapons, and one count of Simple Possession. Today, Ausmus was served in the Knox County Jail, where he was being held on unrelated charges.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/22/2017-4:30PM)



Grand jury indicts five people

Arraignments are next month

The following indictments were handed down this week by the Campbell County Grand Jury.

-Uless Arnold- third offense DUI, DUI 3rd over .08, violation of the implied consent

-Sandy Wright - DUI

-Michelle Johnson- aggravated burglary, criminal trespassing, public intoxication

-Harley Miller – driving on a revoked license

-Robert Richardson- theft over $10,000, aggravated criminal trespass, vandalism over $2,500, aggravated assault, burglary, theft over $1,000, vandalism over $10,000, two counts of auto burglary, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon

Arraignments in these cases are scheduled for Monday, Oct. 30 at 8:30 am.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/22/2017-6AM)

School board kicks off search for new Director, delays decisions until October

Only six board members showed for workshop

Thursday afternoon the Campbell County Board of Education began the process for finding a new Director of Schools to replace Larry Niddifer, who plans to retire at the end of the current school year.

Six board members met in a workshop at the central office to discuss parameters and whether to conduct the search themselves or contract with the Tennessee School Board Association to advertise, take applications and present a list of top applicants to the local board for a final decision.

Board members at the workshop agreed to place the decision on the agenda for the October regular meeting, where the entire school board can vote on whether to utilize TSBA or conduct the search locally. Also on the agenda will be whether the board wants to limit advertisements and applicants to Campbell County or accept applicants from outside and advertise over a broader area.

Other issues still to be decided include setting a timeline and whether to change the parameters which were used to review qualifications when the last Director was hired.

There seemed to be general agreement that the board needs to have a new Director on board before the budget process begins for the 2018-19 academic year, but a definite timeline was among the topics that were left open until the October board meeting.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/22/2017-6AM)

Campbell County Chamber of Commerce continues growing

Large turnout for yesterday’s Chamber Coffee

   The signs are showing significant growth where the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce is concerned.  The large turnout at Thursday’s Chamber Coffee hosted by the La Follette Public Library is one of the biggest ever for the monthly gathering.  There was a time when you knew who would likely attend a Chamber Coffee, know the handful of attendees names and faces, but not so anymore.  As evidenced yesterday morning.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/22/2017-6AM)

Sporting clays tourney is next Friday

CLICK HERE to see full list of auction items

   The Eighth Judicial District Attorney’s Office is sponsoring a sporting clays tournament on Friday, September 29.

   The tournament, with proceeds benefitting the Children’s Centers of Campbell, Claiborne, Fentress, Scott, and Union Counties, will be held at the Chilhowee Sportsman’s Club, 7601 Old Railroad Bed Rd in Maryville next Friday.

   Teams of four will gather to shoot skeet and raise funds for the second year in a row.

   This is a 100 shot competition where shooters will participate in teams of four.  The entry fee is $125 per shooter, which will include lunch and a golf cart per team. There will be a morning and afternoon flight.  A silent auction will be held during the event and station sponsorships are available. Individual and team prizes will be awarded.

   Eighth Judicial District Attorney General Jared Effler tells WLAF, “The support for the second annual Clays for Children Sporting Clays Tournament has been overwhelming. The success of this event is a testament to the loving nature of our communities and the extraordinary work done by our children's centers on a daily basis to serve abused and neglected children.“

   All shooters must bring their own eye and ear protection along with shotguns and cartridges.

   The shoot will be held rain or shine.

    For more information, to donate items to include in the silent auction, or to register for the sporting clays tournament, contact the district attorney general’s office at 423-562-4991.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/22/2017-6AM)

Lady Cougars defeat Scott for the first time-ever

Horton leads the way with four goals

   If there was ever a worry that the Campbell County Lady Cougar Soccer Team was suffering from a mid-season slump, those concerns were put to rest last night at Huntsville.  The Scott Lady Highlanders raced out to an early 1-0 lead only to see Campbell come to life.

   Coach Bryan Horton tells WLAF Sports that moving Sam Lasley to a sweeper position paid dividends as she went on to play a great game.  Drew Leach answered the bell Thursday evening as she out fought a Scott defender to make a great cross to Lindsay Horton.  Horton promptly dribbled past the right side defender and shot the ball over the keeper. The Lady Cougars continued to out play the lady Highlander's all over the field.  The next goal came off a perfectly placed ball from a corner kick from Lasley as Horton placed the ball past the keeper.  Soon after that, before the half, the Lady Highlanders were charged with a hand in the box that allowed Horton to put this in for her third goal of the game giving Campbell a 3-1 edge at the half.
   After halftime, Scott came out with some real fire and had a couple of chances at goals, but keeper Ayden Massengill made some great saves. And within the first five minutes of the second-half, Kassie Dopp made a great play to win a ball in the middle, and Horton scored her fourth goal of the night.        

   Last night’s game was very physical with the Lady Cougars receiving three yellow cards and Scott high receiving two.  Scott was awarded two penalty kicks but missed both.  The Lady Highlanders were able to score a goal with less than five-minutes to go in the game, and CCHS picked up win 4-2.

   Like other teams the Lady Cougars have faced, Scott had a game plan to take Horton out of the game by making it hard for her to get the ball, and when she did get it not allow her to do much with it.  That backfired on the Highlanders as Horton rang up four scores.  Needless to say, the senior that wears jersey number 10 had a great game.  On the season, Horton has scored 22 goals, and there’s still plenty of soccer to go with three regular season games plus post season action.  

   The victory was extra special in that it was the first time ever that Campbell has defeated Scott in girls soccer.  It also marked the ninth win of the season for the Lady Cougars. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/22/2017-6AM)

Biggest and best show yet for LA Cruizers

Tomorrow from 10 to 3 at CCHS

   “We’ve had calls from other states asking directions,” said LA Cruizers Club President Thomas Hatmaker.  Hatmaker expects tomorrow’s annual LA Cruizers event to be their biggest and best yet.  He calls the feedback “great” and the weather forecast “awesome.”

   The annual show features classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles.  The display area is all around the Campbell County High School.  Show time is from 10 am until 3 pm.

   According to Hatmaker, there’ll be several vendors set up featuring lots of good food and drinks along with all the cool cars and trucks plus corn hole boards for everyone to use.  He adds, “Club members work very hard to make sure everyone who attends has a great time.”

   The LA Cruizers is more than a bunch of folks with classic vehicles.  Hatmaker points out, “At the end of the day, the proceeds will provide a Christmas for more than 60 children, $2,000 dollars for the Campbell County Cancer Association, and with $500 dollars going to the Campbell County Honor Guard. 

   Hatmaker personally thanks every individual who has worked or donated to the LA Cruizers, and says he’ll see you on Saturday.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/22/2017-6AM)

Six La Follette residents headed for hard time

Judge Sexton finds them in violation of supervised release

   Campbell County Criminal Court Judge E. Shayne Sexton recently found six people in violation of their supervised release and remanded them to Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) custody.

   Gregory S. Bolton age 48 of La Follette previously pleaded guilty to multiple charges including Attempted Sale of a Schedule I Substance and Felony Evading Arrest.  He received a suspended sentence of five-years supervised by TDOC.  Bolton was found guilty of violating the terms of his release and was sentenced to serve his five-year sentence in TDOC custody.

   Darien Noe age 23 of La Follette previously pleaded guilty to Theft of Property over $500 and Attempted Burglary and received a suspended sentence of two-years supervised by TDOC.  Noe was found guilty of violating the terms of his release and was sentenced to serve his two-year sentence in TDOC custody.

   Mark Perkins age 39 of La Follette previously pleaded guilty to Theft over $1,000 and received a suspended sentence of four-years supervised by TDOC.  Perkins was found guilty of violating the terms of his release and was sentenced to serve his four-year sentence in TDOC custody.

   Jennifer Snodderly age 34 of La Follette previously pleaded guilty to Theft over $500 and Resisting Arrest and received a suspended sentence of three-years supervised by TDOC.  Snodderly was found guilty of violating the terms of her release and was sentenced to serve her three-year sentence in TDOC custody.

   Horace Wallace age 40 of La Follette previously pleaded guilty to Vandalism over $500 and received a suspended sentence of two-years supervised by TDOC.  Wallace was found guilty of violating the terms of his release and was sentenced to serve his two-year sentence in TDOC custody.

   Jackson Tyler White age 26 of La Follette previously pleaded guilty to Burglary and received a suspended sentence of two-years supervised by TDOC.  White was found guilty of violating the terms of his release and was sentenced to serve his two-year sentence in TDOC custody.

   These six violators were prosecuted by the Office of District Attorney General Jared Effler and are being housed this morning in the Campbell County Jail.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/21/2017-6AM)

Yager-Powers bring dollars to Campbell County

More than $300-thousand dollars to aid fire service

State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) and Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro) announced Wednesday that Campbell County will receive a $315,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD). The CDBG grant will be used for fire service improvements.
"These funds will help tremendously in advancing fire protection for our citizens," said Senator Yager, who strongly supported the grant application. "I am very pleased that these funds are forthcoming, especially because only 38 percent of grant applications statewide were granted. I appreciate the excellent work by our local officials in helping to secure the funds and the department's attention to this needed project."
The funds were allocated under a procedure authorized by the Tennessee General Assembly. ECD administers the grant program based on priorities set at the local level where community needs are best known.
"This investment made in
Campbell County demonstrates our state's commitment to our firefighters and first responders," said Representative Powers. "I am grateful to Commissioner Rolfe and ECD for supporting their heroic efforts while enhancing the overall safety of residents in our community." (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/21/2017-6AM)

Writers’ club/guild starting up

First Tuesday of each month at West La Follette School

   A writers’ club/guild starts on Tuesday, October 3 at 6:30 pm.  Organizers plan to have the event the first Tuesday of each month.

   Pam McFadden is starting the club and welcomes you to be a part.  For more details, please call 865.318.2215.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/21/2017-6AM)

Basketball sign-ups start at Rec Center

Registration days are Monday through Saturday

   Chris Smith with the West La Follette Recreation Center announces CCYBA sign-ups.  The Campbell County Youth Basketball Association sign-ups are Monday through Fridays from 8 am until 5 pm.  Saturday sign-up hours are from 8 am until 2 pm.  The league is open to youngsters ages 5 – 14.  The registration location is the West La Follette Recreation Center. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/21/2017-6AM)

Little Cougars shut out Blue Devils 

By Raymond McGhee

   The Campbell County Hoppers traveled to Claxton on September 9 and left with a big win.  The Little Cougars shut out the Claxton Blue Devils with a final score of 30-0. 

   QB Landon Chadwell (18) throws a long pass with protection from Dawson Warren (19) 

   Dawson Warren (19) was the first to put points on the board for the Little Cougars.  Dawson quickly came back with a 2-point conversion to give the cougars an 8-point lead. Quarterback Landon Chadwell (18) threw several long pass completions throughout the game. Chadwell connected with Elijah Johnson (9) who ran the ball for a touchdown.  Landon Chadwell also scored for the Little Cougars when he ran the ball for a touchdown.  The Little Cougars led the Blue Devils at half-time with a score of 22-0. 

Jake Hatmaker (14) jumps & catches a pass deep in the end zone.  

   The Little Cougars put pressure on the Claxton Blue Devils and kept them from scoring. McKinley Robbins (35) sacked the Blue Devils quarterback.  Jake Hatmaker (14) scored for the Cougars when he jumped into mid air deep in the end zone to catch Chadwell's pass.   (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/21/2017-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF RAYMOND MCGHEE)

   Glennis Monday received a much deserved award, an inaugural award, on Tuesday.  The story on Campbell County’s Litter Control Officer is further down this page. L-R  Tennessee Homeland Security Director Commissioner David Purkey, Monday, and Campbell County Mayor E.L. Morton.

High fives for Level Fives.  Campbell County making strides.

‘Level 5 is a major accomplishment’ – Larry Nidiffer, DOS

   “Level 3 or above is great.  But Level 5 is a major accomplishment,” said Campbell County Director of Schools Larry Nidiffer.

   Nidiffer’s comments come after three Campbell County Elementary Schools earn Level 5 status.  Past Reward Schools, Caryville, Jacksboro, and Valley View are Level 5 schools.  The award is based on results from the 2016-2017 School Year.

   A preliminary public release from TVAAS came out on Friday.  TVAAS is the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System and measures how much students grow in a year shining light on student progress.

   It’s not easy for Tammy Lay to keep from smiling.  And rightfully so.  In addition to the three Level 5 schools, La Follette and Wynn Elementary Schools earned Level 3 status; which shows grade level growth.  Lay is Campbell County’s Elementary Supervisor and Assistant Director of Schools and tells WLAF, “I’m very excited for all of our elementary schools especially when looking at the growth.  That’s two years of academic growth above a Level 3.”

   Lay explains that longevity of the principal and stability mean a lot to a school in working together.  She points toward principals Lori Adkins of Caryville, LES’s Meredith Arnold, Jason Dotson at VVES, Bob Walden of Wynn, and JES’s Pam Walden.  Lay adds that she feels good about the elementary leadership in the county across the board.

   “The entire school reaps the motivational benefits, Lay says.  The whole atmosphere at the schools is paying off.” 

   Lay calls R2BR a difference maker.  That’s “Read To Be Ready.”  She says the R2BR collaboration is making a difference as academic coaches are seeing improvement in literacy scores.

   Other recognition for Campbell County Elementary Schools is pending based on actual test scores.  Lay expects those results within the next few weeks.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/20/2017-6AM)

Glade Springs man messes with wrong dog
LPD K-9 Officer Morris is fine; suspect is recovering

    James Norris had a hunch his girlfriend had called the cops on him. She had, but what he didn’t know was that among the responders was K-9 Officer Morris aka “Chuck” Morris.

   The report coming in to La Follette Police was that Norris had the woman on the ground and was beating her.  He reportedly is known as a runner.


James Norris is due back in court on September 28 (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CAMPBELL COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT)

   On Friday evening, just before 7 pm, LaFollette Police Officer Cory Lawson was dispatched to the Powell-Clinch/Poor Boy’s Diner area on a domestic assault in progress, the report said.

   Lawson saw Norris running away on foot from Poor Boy’s Diner.  Another report indicates that Morris, the 77-pound Belgian Malinois, became involved chasing Norris across the four lane through traffic.  K-9 Morris soon caught Norris biting him on the legs.

La Follette Police Officer Stephen Carroll with Morris, his K-9 partner.

   Lawson said Norris fell backwards trying to get away from Morris. That’s when Lawson says he saw Norris drawing his right hand back as to allegedly strike the K-9, according to the arrest warrant. Lawson soon found that Norris had a hunting knife on him. Lawson attempted to gain control of Norris. However, Norris wasn’t ready to give up yet, instead he was thrashing on the ground trying to hide his hands, the report said.
   Police also found drugs on Norris that included what appeared to be meth and mushrooms.
   After being stitched up from his dog injuries, Norris was taken to the Campbell County Jail at Jacksboro where he remains housed this morning on a $50,000 bond.
   He’s charged with possession of meth and attempted intentional killing of a police dog.
   Norris is scheduled to next appear in court on September 28.  This was the 52
nd booking into the Campbell County Jail for the 46-year old Norris.

   It was K-9 Morris’s second bite this month. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/20/2017-6AM)

You’re invited to help TCAT celebrate its 50th year

Celebration is Thursday, September 28th

   As much as the Tennessee College of Applied Technology has changed since 1967, it has also remained much the same.  It’s the same facility that began helping students from Campbell and surrounding counties fifty-years ago by continuing their education.  Though names and faces have changed and so has some of the curriculum.

   TCAT President Debbie Petree invites you to the celebration on Thursday, September 28 at 2 pm at the school on Elkins Road at Jacksboro.  Lunch will be served at 12:30 pm.  If you plan to attend the luncheon, you’re asked to call ahead to Camilla Gambrel at 423.566.9629, extension 123. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/20/2017-6AM)

Mills fund raising hike on hold

Foot injury happens ahead of snow storm

   A foot injury has put Duane and Karen Mills fund raising hike to benefit the Christian Learning Center on hold.  In a text update on Tuesday, Karen outlines that they were doing great and feeling strong until descending from nine-thousand feet on Cathedral Pass.  That’s where she suffered a hike ending foot injury.

   The Mills had already hiked 27 miles toward their more than 200-mile planned hike.  Karen says the challenge before her injury was a developing snow storm that they were hiking toward.

  The plan for the First Baptist Church of La Follette pastor and his wife now is to return at a later date and finish their hike in sections. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/20/2017-6AM)

  La Follette is going for more grant dollars

Eyes new sidewalks for North Tennessee Avenue

   Officials with the Tennessee Department of Transportation were in town earlier this month.  While here, they offered some suggestions to the City of La Follette.  “Since TDOT approves many of the grants the city applies for it might not be a bad idea to take its advice,” La Follette City Administrator Jimmy Jeffries surmised.

   At the moment, La Follette is waiting for construction to begin on Phase I of the Downtown Revitalization Project.  Phase I involves upgrades and improvements to three intersections along East Central Avenue at Indiana Ave., First St., and Tennessee Ave.

   Jeffries says, “One of the really good things about TDOT grants is that you don’t have to complete one particular project before you can apply for another grant.”  That’s where Phase II of the Downtown Revitalization Project comes in with regard to Tuesday’s City of LaFollette Public Meeting.  It was a chance to notify the community of the city’s intent to apply for more state grant dollars.

   Phase II is leaning toward new sidewalks up both sides of North Tennessee Avenue. The sidewalks would continue to Tank Springs.  Davina Gurschick is the project manager with Community Development Partners and led Tuesday morning’s public meeting.  Gurschick explained that this grant must be 51 percent sidewalk, and the sidewalks will include signage, lighting, landscaping, benches, and trash barrels.  She adds  the new sidewalks must connect to another part of the Downtown Revitalization Project.

   Jeffries points out that Phase II improvements will connect to the south side East Central Ave. walking trail coming from behind Wender Furniture, up the First St. breezeway, west along the south side of East Central Ave. and then up North Tennessee Ave.

    Gurschick says the City of La Follette handles 100 percent of the upfront costs such as acquiring the land, application process, and the like. Once the actual construction portion of the project begins, it is then an 80/20 matching grant.  She describes the process as lengthy, and that applications are very competitive all the more reason to put your best project proposal forward.  The deadline to apply for this grant is Oct. 3, 2017, with word on whether or not it is awarded to LaFollette coming by August of 2018.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/20/2017-6AM)

Monday receives Potter Award

Recognized Tuesday at Nashville

   “It’s amazing what he does for our county.”  That’s Campbell County Deputy Mayor Andy Wallace says about CC Litter Control Officer Glennis Monday.

   Monday’s many years of effort and service were recognized at a statewide awards banquet yesterday at Nashville.  It was the 2017 TDOT Keep Tennessee Beautiful Awards of Excellence Banquet.

   Monday received the Leadership Award named for Larry E. Potter; the Potter Law Enforcement Award.  In 1991, Potter helped establish the Shelby County Environmental Court making it the nation’s first such county-wide court.

   From all of us here at WLAF, Congratulations, Glennis.  You’re tops!  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/20/2017-6AM)


Photo from Home 

   Mid-term grades are back.  Did we mention the good news?  Pinky is Campbell County’s best dressed pachyderm.

   The Lady Cougars hosted Senior Night last night as CCHS Soccer blanked Clinton 3-0.  Coach Bryan Horton, a man for all seasons, snapped this photo before the start of the match.  The Lady Cougars from left to right around the Cougar Paw by Nathan Asher:  #22 Bethany McKamey, #35 Shae Bolton, #1 Pressley Leach, #4 Katie Condry, #5 Kassie Dopp, #6 Emily Sanders, #7 Bailey Rutherford, #10 Lindsay Horton, #11 Amber Mitchell, #19 Hannah Anderson, and #20 Mackenzie Owens

Commission avoids showdown with school board over budget transfer

BOE gets green light on 9 to 6 vote

County commissioners voted by a narrow margin on Monday night to approve a $1 million budget transfer passed last week by the Board of Education, avoiding a conflict with the school board that potentially could have ended up in court.

Newly elected school board chairman Clint Bane answered questions from commissioners for nearly 45 minutes before Rusty Orick made a motion to table the matter for a month until the October meeting.

“I don’t want to kill this, I just want to hear from the Finance Department about other possibilities for funding these projects,” Orick explained.

“The school board are elected officials the same as us. No matter what we do, they can go and do what they deem necessary,” Cliff Jennings countered. “I think we should go ahead, support this and let them go to work.”

School board attorney Dail Cantrell had sent a memo responding to county attorney Joe Coker earlier in the day in which Cantrell predicted that failure by the commission to “approve the expenditure for money that has already been appropriated” would be subject to judicial review. Cantrell continued to predict that the Chancery Court would find in favor of the school board in such a case.

Earlier, Bane had responded to some complaints that the $1 million being taken from the school fund balance would be used entirely for athletic programs rather than academic needs.

“The lights for the football field are in a dangerous state of deterioration. This is a safety issue, and as such a high priority,” Bane replied. 

Orick’s motion failed by an 8-7 vote and Jennings then offered a motion to approve the budget transfer, which passed by a vote of 9-6. Orick was joined by Butch Kohlmeyer, Lonnie Weldon and the three District 5 commissioners – Ralph Davis, Forster Baird and Carl Douglas, in voting against the board’s request.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/19/2017-6AM)

Kidd comments on BOE’s $1-million plans

WLAF welcomes your comments to

Dear Editor,
The esteemed Campbell County Board of Education has done it again. Though we are ranked in the bottom ten school districts (out of 134) in the entire state, sometimes in the bottom five, our board has voted to spend one million dollars primarily on athletic facilities and improvements -- NOT on improving our educational quality or improvements in our children's test scores.
When you offer the school system a way to bring up their scores from the very worst in the state, they say they have no money. But they have over a million dollars to spend on paving racing tracks and building new playing areas.
Nationally, about half the children in public schools participate in sports. Only about 2% receive scholarships of which the national average being approximately $9,000.00 a year each. ALL the children participate in the educational or learning process. So where does our school board spend their money? On that which benefits a minority....NOT on improvements in education.
We will have half the school board up for reelection next year. Personally, I think that half should go and two years later get rid of the rest until we elect a board that know what their job is. It is about educating children, NOT playing games. Obviously the superintendent needs to go as well.
I am not against sports. I love a good competitive ball game as much as the next fan. But there are priorities in the educational system and obviously our school board has lost their sense of responsibility.
As a beginning junior high basketball coach in 1968, we played a team that had nailed their goals outside to two trees. When you dribbled near the goal you had to dribble between the roots sticking out of the ground. We still had our games and had fun...but these schools were NOT ranked in the bottom ten in the state.
Campbell County just had a good Christian school fail because they could not raise a pitiful $30,000.00; but, we have over a million dollars to spend on running tracks and ball fields. This is what happens when the wrong administrators get control of your property taxes. Amazing.
Jerry D. Kidd
S Tennessee Ave
Lafollette TN 37766

(423) 201-4798  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/19/2017-6AM)

Morton predicts change order controversy could cost $35,000

At last night’s regular monthly meeting, the Campbell County Commission was divided over a legal issue that will definitely end up being decided in a courtroom, whether to settle a $7,000 bill from K. Carrender Construction Company for work that contractor did on the Walnut Mountain waterline project.

The contractor billed the county an additional $7,000 through a change order for unexpected expenditures when extra pipe had to be used for the project following a flood. The commission had previously passed a resolution that all change orders needed prior commission approval before payment is made.

However, the project engineer and Mayor E.L. Morton both signed off on the additional work in order to avoid delays in completing the project. The commission then voted to refuse to pay the bill since it violated their policy.

Last month, county Attorney Joe Coker reported on a pre-trial conference between himself, K. Carrender’s attorney David Dunaway and Circuit Court Judge William McAfee. Dunaway offered to waive his attorney’s fees if the county agreed to pay the $7,000 invoice, an offer Coker felt would be in the county’s interest to accept.

Commissioners voted to delay a decision until the September meeting, but little seemed to have changed in the past 30 days. Despite Morton’s prediction that going to court will likely cost as much as $35,000, seven commissioners supported a motion by Davis to not pay the bill.

Commissioner Dewayne Kitts had been forced to leave the meeting early, leaving the motion frozen in a 7-7 deadlock, but Morton then voted to break the tie and supported the motion to not pay and let the court decide the matter.

In addition to Ralph Davis, Marie Ayers, Forster Baird, Carl Douglas, Robert Higginbotham. Cliff Jennings and Scott Stanfield voted in favor of not paying and deciding the matter in court.

The commission also voted on a chairman and vice chairman and established their committees before adjourning.  Early in the meeting Morton was re-elected chairman for the commission with Johnny Bruce re-elected as vice chairman.

After some discussion, commissioners who have not previously served on the Financial Management Committee were elected. The new FMS Committee will consist of Jennings, Douglas, Stanfield and Whit Goins. All other committees were left as they previously existed except the Beer Board and Sanitation Committee Davis, Higginbotham, Kitts, Stanfield and Charles Baird were elected by acclamation to serve as the Sanitation Committee while Baird, Jennings, Davis, Stanfield and Sue Nance will serve on the Beer Board.

The commission also scheduled a meeting of the Ways & Means Committee for Monday, September 25 at 6:00 p.m.   (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/19/2017-6AM)


TITLE 6 COORDINATOR: Caryville Board appoints Wallace


CARYVILLE—At Monday night’s special called meeting, the board of mayor and aldermen approved the second reading of an ordinance to appoint Caryville-Jacksboro Utilities Commission Chairman Frank Wallace Title VI Coordinator.

Wallace will be able to answer questions from employees and other officials regarding violations to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Caryville officials intend to apply for an 80-20 matching recycling grant. If Caryville obtains the grant, the board plans to use it to finance the purchase of a recycling truck.

To apply for the grant, the board was required to designate a Title VI coordinator. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/19/2017-6AM)

Food City Food Show returns to Knoxville next month

October 6th and 7th

The Food City Food Show returns to the Knoxville Convention Center on Friday, October 6th and Saturday, October 7th from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. 

“We would like to thank our loyal customers, associates, media partners and celebrity chefs for making our annual Food City Food Show such a tremendous success.  We have an outstanding line-up planned for this year’s event and we invite everyone to come out and enjoy the festivities,” said Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer.

The Food City Food Show will feature live cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs throughout the day, in addition to product sampling, tasty recipes and exclusive money-saving offers from over 150 food vendors. 

Advance tickets are on sale now at Knoxville area Food City locations for only $8.00.  Tickets will also be available at the event for only $10.  Children 6 and under are admitted free of charge.

Event proceeds will benefit the United Way of Greater Knoxville.  United Way of Greater Knoxville ‘brings together resources to improve the lives of people in our community by helping them achieve their potential for self-sufficiency.’  For more information on the Food City Food Show, visit the website at  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/19/2017-6AM)



   And your 2017 Campbell County High School Homecoming Queen is … from the 2018 Senior Class, Miss Kirsten Roberts!  The queen is the daughter of Bennie and Candie Roberts.  Kirsten was escorted by Elijah Phillips (L) and Bennie Roberts.  Phillips is the son of Michael Phillips and Tracie Davis.  Thanks to WLAF's David Graham for the Homecoming Queen photo and to Charlie Hutson for his Homecoming Parade photo of the mighty Cougar Marching Band.  See more C-Hut photos further down this page

WATCH the CCHS Homecoming Parade

SEE the CCHS Homecoming Festivities

Final Score:  Cougars 41 - Gibbs 21


Potential jurors are urged NOT to read this story

   The following story contains information regarding the first degree murder trial of Josh Comer. He has been awaiting trial for three and a half years in the death of Gabby Orton. WLAF strongly urges prospective jurors not to read the following story so their knowledge of the case isn’t compromised.

Comer heads to trial date as court weighs what will be introduced at trial

As the clock winds down to the start of Josh Comer’s first degree murder trial, the court is deciding what a jury will and won’t see.

Comer stands accused of killing his then girlfriend’s three- year –old daughter Gabby Orton. The child’s mother, Amber Orton, is accused of not protecting Gabby; her trial date hasn’t been set.

In court Thursday, a host of motions was presented.  Among them was if a phone call made by Comer to his father could be used at the October trial.  Comer is being housed at the Knox County Jail, where all inmate phone calls are recorded.

In the call, Comer is contemplating pleading guilty in Gabby’s death.

“We believe it’s an admission of guilt,” Assistant District Attorney General Meredith Slemp told the court.  Bill Jones, one of three of Comer’s court appointed attorneys, took exception to the recording being offered as evidence.

Because Comer was only mulling over the idea of accepting a plea, Jones said allowing the recording to be played at trial could “have a chilling effect on pleas.”

“This was the largest, most difficult decision in his life,” Jones said reminding the court that at the time the recording was made, Comer was still facing the death penalty. The death penalty was removed by prosecutors in June.

As the question of the relevance of the audio was debated, Eighth Judicial District Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton opted for the recording to be heard to determine its significance.

When the call begins, Comer and his father spend a great deal of time discussing financial woes before Comer abruptly changes the topic.

“Me and a friend was talking last night,” he began. “If they (the district attorney’s office) would take a range 1 at 30 percent, hell, that would only be 12 years,” Comer said indicating if he could plead guilty and be sentenced at the low end of the confinement guidelines his estimate was that he would be behind bars for 12 years.

“I am tired of sitting here,” Comer lamented.

Flanked by his attorneys, Comer sat motionless as his next topic of conversation was the shiftlessness of his legal team. Offering up what he determined to be their unwillingness to help him, Comer commented his idea for a plea was better than anything they had suggested.

“They got to do what you tell them,” Comer’s father said. “They have to take it on down the line.”

“Go talk to the DA, tell them I’ll do 20 at range 1,” Comer told his father. “I am tired of f*****g with them.”

“This shows he has a guilty conscience,” Slemp said at the conclusion of the tape.

Jones argued the opposite insisting that Comer only wanted to stay alive at that juncture.

Sexton ruled the recording would not be part of the trial.

“It is a far stretch to make that audio relevant,” he said noting that some of the parts were “unsavory” which could inflame a jury. (This story continues with what’s on three cell phones)

Data from three phones will be dumped

 ‘We are walking around like it’s a bomb. Get the phone’ – Judge Sexton.

Moving from a phone call to the discovery of cell phones, the court next addressed a possible privacy issue.

In August, Comer’s attorneys discovered two phones they said had not been inventoried by the district attorney’s office. They were asking for Sexton to allow access to the information on the phones.

District Attorney General Jared Effler said the phones were included in documents turned over to the defense.

“Just how important is this phone to this trial,” Sexton asked.

Asserting the state had nothing to hide, Effler said Orton, who was in the courtroom, had a Fourth Amendment expectation, meaning her right to privacy was in play.

This sentiment was echoed by Orton’s court appointed attorney Mike Hatmaker.

Because the contents of the phone hadn’t been discovered yet, Hatmaker argued that Comer didn’t get access to them.

“She has a right to privacy no matter what Mr. Comer says,” Hatmaker insisted.

With Sexton pointing out to the attorneys that the contents of the phone could prove critical, he said it would be “reckless” not to discover the contents. He also noted that Comer had an “absolute right” to what was on the phone.

“We can’t pretend it’s (the phone) not there, the stakes are too high in this case,” the judge continued. “We have to strip that phone.”

With that, Hatmaker said he wanted to “respectfully suggest” that the court was about to go too far.

Sexton wasted no time in pointing out the “preposterous” nature of the moment.

“We are walking around like it’s a bomb. Get the phone,” he said.

Next came the question of if a data dump could be executed on what was now three phones in time for the October trial, Sexton left little room for negotiation of that point.

“That has to be done,” the judge said. “Start now.”

Gabby died in June 2014, which means this case has lingered in the courts for over three years.

“Get this done,” Sexton instructed. (This story continues with details of Gabby Orton’s injuries)

Gabby suffered from at least 10 different injuries

Witness expected to tell that Comer jumped up and down on child

The last motion to be taken up was if prosecutors would be permitted to introduce the litany of injuries Gabby suffered leading up to her death.

In the eight months prior to her death, prosecutors have either documented or obtained documentation of at least 10 different injuries.

Beginning in November 2013, Gabby was seen by her pediatrician for injuries that allegedly occurred when “a dog pushed her off the porch.” Afterwards, she was seen by various providers for injuries that included a fractured arm that was already healing, multiple abrasions and bruises, a swollen knee, vaginal bruises and hair loss. Slemp told the court the state had documentation and eyewitnesses that would state Comer was alone with the child when these injuries happened or caused them.

Prosecutors also planned to introduce a witness that will state he saw Comer sitting on Gabby and jumping up and down on her the day she died, Slemp said.

A review of case law is needed before a ruling can be given on allowing the injuries in at trial, Sexton said. The judge indicated that ruling would come at the Sept. 26 court date.

As court was adjourning, Don Eldridge (CORRECTION:  Eldridge's name is JOHN not Don), another of Comer’s attorneys, asked for his client to be moved back to the Campbell County Jail.

Before Eldridge could finish the request, Comer said, “No, I don’t want that, you don’t know what it’s like down there.” Eldridge withdrew the request.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/18/2017-6AM)

County commission expected to take up $1 million request

Meets tonight at 6 pm at the courthouse

   Last Monday night, at its workshop, the Campbell County Commission declined to approve a $1 million budget transfer sought by the Board of Education.  The transfer is for various capital projects, including replacing the lights at the CCHS stadium and a track & field complex for the high school.  The school board requested the transfer from its own undesignated fund balance.

   A motion to approve the budget amendment was offered after a lengthy discussion.  The motion failed for lack of a second.

   The committee then agreed to a motion to revisit the matter during its regular meeting, which is today at 6 pm, and to require the Director of Schools, Larry Nidiffer, and Board Chairman, Clint Bane, to appear before the commission to answer questions about the request. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/18/2017-6AM)

Speeder clocked at 126 miles per hour
‘That guy was driving like an a** hole’ – I-75 driver.

   It was in the middle of the day.  Around 2 pm.  On Interstate 75 here in Campbell County. Tennessee.  Highway Patrol Trooper Stephen Barclay outlines in his report that he was sitting stationary in his cruiser at Mile Marker 146 of I-75 northbound last Sunday, September 10th. Barclay believed a motorcycle that just passed by was speeding. The trooper was correct. He clocked the bike at 117 miles per hour in the 65-MPH zone.
   Aside from sitting still, Barclay notes that he had to pull out in heavy traffic. He soon noticed the motorcycle had amped up his speed to 126 MPH.
   Other drivers were motioning northward letting Barclay know that he was on the right track for the speeder as he gained ground. Barclay soon caught up to the motorcycle at Mile Marker 154 and noticed the rider riding on the dotted line and following too closely to other vehicles. The trooper quickly initiated a rolling road block to stop the bike.
   Barclay writes that as he placed the bike rider in handcuffs, other drivers were saying, “Thank you. That guy was driving crazy and like an a** hole!”
   The man Trooper Barclay arrested was identified as 27-year old Suprith B. Somashekar of
Chickadee Lane in Warsaw, Indiana. The white male was charged with speeding, reckless driving, and improper lane usage. 

   According to court records, Somashekar appeared in Campbell County Court on Thursday, pleaded guilty to failure to maintain lane and speeding (126/65MPH), paid his fines and left.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/18/2017-6AM)

LA Cruizers, Louie Bluie, Pig Roast, ATV Fest are all but here

Cruizers big show is this Saturday

   Saturday is the day for the annual LA Cruizers Car Show.  At this moment, it looks like the weather is going to be good for the big event.

   All the fun starts at 10 am at Campbell County High School.  There’s still time to buy a $5 raffle ticket for a chance at the 2006 Ford Fusion give-a-way.  The car is furnished by Short-Redmond Ford.

   All of us here at WLAF say “thank you” to the LA Cruizers for all this special group does for our community.

   Louie Bluie is Saturday, September 30th at Cove Lake Park.

   Save the date for the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Community Pig Roast and Auction.  It’s Thursday, October 12, at 6 pm, at the Ball Farm Event Center.  Tickets are on sale now at 423.566.0329 or

   “Two” is coming to town!  Ralph Stanley, II, is scheduled to perform as part of the annual Big Creek ATV Festival.  The third annual event is Saturday, October 14, in La Follette. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/18/2017-6AM)

Cougars open season at 4 & 1 for third time ever

Fun day and night for Homecoming 2017

   The Cougars shook off a determined Gibbs Eagles team on Friday night as they posted a 41-21 victory on Homecoming Night.  For only the third time in school history, CCHS is 4 & 1 after its first five games to start a season; all during the Price Era.  The Cougars were 4 & 1 in 2013 and 2014.   A season ago, Campbell made history with its first-ever 5 and oh start.

 “It’s no Mystery.  The Eagles are History.”  That’s the theme of the senior float in Friday’s parade.

   Campbell takes this Friday off from game action.  Next up is a home game with Powell on Friday, September 29th.  The WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network has all the live radio, television, and internet coverage. 

   Jonesy” fittingly served as the Grand Marshal in Friday’s CCHS Homecoming Parade.  CCHS Principal David Jones retired back in June.

   CLICK HERE to see Charlie Hutson’s Homecoming Parade photos.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/18/2017-6AM)


TOP PHOTO:  Karen Mills aka Stargazer (L) and Duane Mills aka Boomerang broke camp at Yosemite Thursday morning and embarked on a 200+ miles trek to Mount Whitney.  Their story is further down this page.

BOTTOM PHOTO:  L-R Ricky Collingsworth, Dustin Woodson, and Josh Rogers represented the Dump Your Junk team and won the 2017 CCHS Basketball Benefit Golf Tournament.  Details are down this page.





Gabby Orton's murder trial takes a step on Thursday
Potential jurors cautioned not to read WLAF's coverage

Yesterday, a hearing was conducted in the Gabby Orton murder trial. The defendant, Josh Comer, has been awaiting trial for over three years. During the course of the hearing, both sides argued about matters that would or would not be made available to the jury. Eighth Judicial District Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton deemed that some of the items were not relevant to the trial and thus, the jury wouldn’t be privy to them.

WLAF will not publish a story on the hearing until Monday in order to give prospective jurors ample time to be notified by the court to abstain from coverage. Again, on Monday, WLAF will publish a full account of the hearing and asks that if you are a potential juror not to read our coverage. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/15/2017-6AM)

TELOS Global is hiring!

CLICK HERE for more information

   TELOS Global is hiring.  TELOS, located in the former A & S Steel building at Ridgewood, specializes in leading edge press hardening solutions.

   In a release from Campbell County Mayor E.L. Morton, Morton details that TELOS is looking for experienced tool and die makers, a press operator, as well as CMM/Lab Tech.  Resumes will be reviewed immediately and should be sent to  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/15/2017-6AM)

One bird takes down town

Thursday power outage closes businesses

   A single bird knocked out power for a few thousand La Follette Utilities Board customers late Thursday morning.  Many of those customers included all of the downtown La Follette businesses.  From Terry’s Pharmacy to WLAF to the Royal Lunch Room, it was dark and quiet for about half-an-hour.

 It’s believed the first kamikaze mission was flown in September of 1944.  This bird carried on the tradition with a kamikaze attack on the North Indiana Avenue Substation yesterday morning.

   LUB General Manager Kenny Baird tells WLAF that the bird hit the new La Follette District Substation on North Indiana Avenue.  Crews had power restored not long after 11 am.  .  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/15/2017-6AM)

Monday and Wallace promote FOF

Fields of Faith is less than a month away at CCHS

   Fields of Faith is set for Wednesday, October 11, 6:30 pm at Campbell County High School.  It’s an evening of song, worship, and praise that will be held at Dossett Stadium and is open to the public.

   Over the years, the names and faces of the students who take part and help promote the event change.  This year is no different.  CLICK HERE to see what organizer Brian Miracle, Cougar Riley Wallace, and Lady Cougar Macey Monday have to tell you about the upcoming special night.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/15/2017-6AM)

Busy, but fun, week at CCHS culminates tonight

Homecoming 2017 is celebrated

   Which float will take first place?  If themes count, the Campbell County High Class of 2018 certainly has a clever edge.  They are:  Seniors – “It's No Mystery, the Eagles Are History,” Juniors – “Smoke the Eagles,” Sophomores – “Cage the Eagles,” and Freshmen – “Steam Roll the Eagles.”

   For the 2016 CCHS Homecoming Queen, Bryce Dossett, it won’t be quite as suspenseful tonight at the CCHS Homecoming as it was a year ago.  However, for this evening’s queen contestants, it will be an “edge of your seat” event as they await the announcement of the 2017 queen, who will be crowned by Dossett.

   Here are all the young ladies who will participate in homecoming.  From the Freshman Class are  Megan Asher, Julia Ayers, Shelby Bargy, and Rainey Laxten with the Sophomore Class being represented by Chloe Bostic, Tara Evans, Chloe Lester, and Shaylan Sharp.  Junior Class participants are Jaiden Hargrave, Latisha Higginbotham, Lauren Johnson, and Kaylee Welch, and from the Senior Class, it is Jasmine Kinsler, Kirsten Robers, Tiarra Slover, and Shaylan Williams rounding out the court.

     Here’s the timeline for today and tonight.  First.  Campbell High dismisses students at 12:30 pm.  Then.  La Follette’s Central Avenue puts everything else on hold for the 1:45 pm 2017 CCHS Homecoming Parade with former CCHS Prinicpal David Jones serving as Grand Marshall.  Finally.  Homecoming festivities begin at Dossett Stadium at 6:50 pm with the Cougars taking on Gibbs in the football game at 7:30 pm.

   Watch the CCHS Homecoming Festivities and the game televised “live” in living color right here on the WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network.  Coverage begins at 6:40 pm.

   Go Cougars!  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/15/2017-6AM)

Mills mission is underway

Hiking to raise $$ for Christian Learning Center program

   And they’re off!  First Baptist Church of La Follette Minister Dr. Duane Mills and his wife, Karen, took their first steps toward their 220-mile goal beginning Thursday morning.  The couple, known as Boomerang (Duane) and Stargazer (Karen) on the trail, broke camp yesterday at Yosemite and started hiking toward Mount Whitney.  They are hiking the John Muir Trail, the premier hiking trail in the United States.

  The couple is using their vacation time to hike to raise funds for the Campbell County Christian Learning Center.  The Christian Learning Center is a released time Bible education program where Campbell County High School students may leave school to attend off-campus Bible classes during the school day. The county’s takes place at Hillcrest Baptist Church.

   If you’d like to sponsors the Mills connect to and select the JMT tab.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/15/2017-6AM)

Mid-week golf tourney benefits CCHS Roundball

Coach expresses appreciation

   Cougar Basketball season is just under two-months away.  But it took center stage Wednesday.  On the Greens at Deerfield.  That’s where CCHS hosted a golf fundraiser for its boys basketball program.

   Campbell County High School Head Basketball Coach Matt Housley was overwhelmed with the support.  Housley and his Cougars would like to thank the Greens at Deerfield for hosting its 2017 Cougar Basketball Golf Tournament fundraiser as well as Premier Lawn Service, Dump Your Junk, First Volunteer Bank, People's Bank of the South, Bill Snodgrass, Clint Bane, Dixie Turf, Walters Funeral Home, Norris Docks, La Follette Utilities, Brian Nelson, Robbie Heatherly, Johnny Bruce, Mikey Comer, and the Jacksboro Riggs for participating in the event.

   The Cougars open their season at home on Tuesday, November 14.  CCHS hosts the William Blount Governors.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/15/2017-6AM)



TOP PHOTO:  Further down this page, see what Former WLAF Radio Personality is up to these days at the La Follette Court Assisted Living Community.

BOTTOM PHOTO:  Macey Monday’s classy creation is getting us ready for Friday night’s Homecoming at Campbell High.  CCHS dismisses classes on Friday at 12:30 pm followed by the Homecoming Parade in downtown La Follette at 1:45 pm.  Homecoming Festivities start at 6:50 pm Friday night at Dossett Stadium.  Kick-off for Gibbs and the Cougars is 7: 30 pm.  Friday’s weather is expected to be near perfect.

Prices earn their stripes every home game

Cougars host Gibbs on Friday

Campbell Associate Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator Matt Price sizes up his latest white stripe on Pat Kerr Field Wednesday afternoon. 

   Price, his twin brother, Head Coach Justin, their father, Jeff, and others pour their pride, pains, and passion into the field where CCHS plays its home games.  And it shows.  It’s also that drive and detail in their coaching that have elevated the Cougars to a winning program.

   Wind blew and a raindrop or two fell as field prep was being done yesterday.  The wind was so cool it felt like mid-October.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/14/2017-6AM)

Intoxicated man takes paranoia to extreme

‘15 men were shooting at me’ -  Eddie Chadwell

   Imagine the surprise of the residents at a home on Coal Lane in Jellico?  According to the report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department, on the evening of last Thursday, a red bearded man was beating on their door saying, “someone is trying to kill me.”

   Eddie Wayne Chadwell of Brick Plant Hollow in Jellico (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CAMPBELL COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT)

   Deputy Walter Harmon outlines in his report that 27-year old Eddie Chadwell of Pioneer told him that, “he was seeing things and that 15 men were shooting at him.”  Harmon deemed Chadwell a danger to himself and took him to the county jail on a charge of public intoxication.

   It was Chadwell’s ninth booking at the Campbell County Jail.  He is being held this morning on a $7,000 bond.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/14/2017-6AM)

Speeding gets driver to jail in short fashion

Chased, caught, and cuffed in the neighbor’s yard

   Brandon Chapman wasn’t as fast as he thought he was; behind the wheel or on foot.  When the call of a speeding driver on Lindsey Mill Circle came in to the E-911 Dispatch Center, deputies had a hunch that proved true.

   Deputies Nathanial Bostic and Mike Comer had prior knowledge that the 33-year old Chapman was wanted on multiple outstanding warrants for his arrest.  According to the report, Bostic and Comer went to a home where Chapman was on the front porch of, spotted the deputies, and ran from them.

Brandon Harold Chapman of Lindsay Mill Circle in Lake City (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CAMPBELL COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT)

   Chapman was ordered to stop but kept running toward Mountain Lake Marina into a neighboring yard where he fell across a gate.  Bostic tried to taze him but to no avail.  Chapman kept running until he fell again and was taken into custody after a brief struggle.

   Chapman is facing multiple charges including leaving the scene of an accident and evading arrest.

   His bond is set at $50,000 and remains housed in the Campbell County Jail this morning.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/14/2017-6AM)

Criminal didn’t deserve a break today

Arrested in the McDonald’s parking lot

   Once spotted, Campbell County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Nathanial Bostic was instantly on to Greg Phillips.  Bostic, in his report, writes that he was advised that Phillips was out and about driving  a 2017 Silver Chevy Cobalt.

Gregory Shawn Phillips of Towe String Road in La Follette (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CAMPBELL COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT)

   Having prior knowledge of Phillips outstanding warrants for his arrest, he conducted a traffic stop in the parking lot of the Jacksboro McDonald’s.  On Friday evening, Bostic arrested Phillips, of La Follette, and took him to the Campbell County Jail.  He’s facing violation of probation, criminal impersonation, and theft of property under one thousand dollars charges.

   This was the 35-year old Phillips 32nd booking into the Campbell County Jail.  He continues to be housed this morning in the county jail without bond.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/14/2017-6AM)

La Follette Court Assisted Living celebrates special week

It’s National Assisted Living Week

   It’s not your grandmother’s care facility.  Senior living is not quite like it was back in the 1960s or 70s.  In this day and time, assisted living facilities are “the” place to be for seniors.  Fortunately for Campbell Countians, La Follette Court Assisted Living Community (LCALC) is here.  Here on North Massachusetts Avenue next to the La Follette Medical Center.

   Goodies are out for guests this week at La Follette Court Assisted Living.

   Extra care and personal touch set LCALC apart while the atmosphere is a mix of professional care and family living.  Rhonda Graves is the administrator for the La Follette Court Assisted Living Community, and points out that being a family owned and family operated facility really makes the difference.

    September 10-16 is National Assisted Living Week.  This year’s theme is “Family is Forever.”

    Graves explains, “LCALC is here to help the elderly in our community.  We prepare all the meals, have activities, and help with life’s daily duties like house work and laundry, as well as providing transportation to doctor visits.”  She adds that there are VA benefits available to those who qualify.

   Former WLAF Radio Personality Harold Branam, now 85-years old, makes his home at La Follette Court Assisted Living.  He’s quick to point out, “Everything’s good here!  It’s a good place to live when you have to live some place – a good place.”  Harold’s been at LCALC for a few years now. 

When we caught up with Branam on Wednesday, he had his scanner turned up and WLAF-TV 12 turned up even louder.  He was listening to Soppin’ the Gravy on WLAF.

   Graves and her staff at La Follette Court Assisted Living Community invite you to come out and celebrate with the residents and staff.  It’s also a good chance to tour the facility.

   Activities Director Robin Baird has extra fun lined up all this week.  Darlene Prewitt sings today at 1:30 pm with Camellia Home Health hosting bingo Friday at 1 pm.  Saturday afternoon is when Rev. Don Allen and members of the Duff Baptist Church host a service at 5:30 pm.

   LCALC is family owned and family operated.  Graves says their slogan is “We offer the best in carefree living – After all, you’ve earned it!”

    For tours or more information, please call Rhonda Graves at 423.562.6730 or connect to  (09/14/2017-6AM)


   Glennis visited yesterday.  Campbell County’s Litter Control Officer Glennis Monday stopped by for a visit at WLAF yesterday.  He was over to talk about next weekend’s Five-County Norris Lake Clean-Up.  Details are further down this page.

School Board OKs $1 million transfer, elects new chairman

Bane is the new BOE Chairman.  Byrge is vice-chair.

The Campbell County Board of Education created a potential confrontation with the county commission on Tuesday night by approving a budget transfer to spend $1 million from the school system’s undesignated fund balance on various capital projects.

On Monday night, the commission, meeting as a budget & finance committee, declined to approve the transfer when not one commissioner would second the motion.

The next night the school board heard from a couple of teachers who urged the board to consider the need to commit more resources to academic needs instead of sports facilities. Half of the $1 million planned in the capital projects appropriation would go to replace lighting at the CCHS football stadium and upgrade the track.

“75 % of teachers have substandard desks in their classrooms, many have projectors with blown out bulbs and other things that need replacement. The sports facilities aren’t the only things that need improvements,” Sharon Marlow reminded the board.

Tom Chadwell added, “One hundred percent of students and their families depend on academics, while a smaller number are involved in sports and a very small number benefit greatly from sports through scholarships.”

“This is really a safety question,” new board chairman Clint Bane pointed out. “Those light posts at the stadium are coming apart and need to be replaced before one collapses.”

Later the board voted on the budget transfers, four of which were already approved by the commission. When the $1 million came up for discussion, Faye Heatherly offered a motion to approve with Johnny Byrge seconding her motion.

Mike Orick , who had been replaced at the start of the meeting as chairman, voted “no,” while Crystal Creekmore abstained. The other board members all voted “yes” as the motion passed 8-1-1.

Before the vote, Johnny Byrge quoted from a story on the WLAF website (story is further down this page) and asked the board’s attorney if the commission could legally control the school board’s spending of school funds.

“Once those funds are in the school system’s fund balance, county commissions cannot restrict the way the board utilizes the money as long as the state’s minimum level remains in the fund balance. That’s state law,” the attorney replied.

The commission had voted on Monday to request the board chairman and Director of Schools to appear before the commission next week to explain the need for the budget transfer. If they do, it will be a new chairman that will speak to commissioners after Clint Bane was elected to replace Orick as chairman on Tuesday night.

The change appears to have been uncontroversial, as Orick offered a motion to halt nominations and elect Bane by acclamation (CORRECTION:  it was not by acclamation) after Bane was nominated by Johnny Byrge.  The vote was 8 to 2 with Orick and Creekmore voting no for Bane.

Sharon Ridenour then nominated Byrge as vice chairman, and he was voted in replacing Faye Heatherly (CORRECTION:  he replaces Clint Bane).

Several people asked to address the board in addition to teachers. Parents Isaiah and Bridget Lawson asked the board to find a way to provide more nursing care at schools, pointing out that their child suffers seizures that require a nurse to administer medicine. That nurse moves to a different school in the afternoon, forcing the parents to remove their child in afternoons for his own safety.

The board asked that the school system’s four full time RNs work on a schedule plan to address the problem.

Robert Robertson spoke to the board about the former Davis Chapel school building, which the board had agreed to turn over to the county commission so the property could be used as a veteran’s cemetery. Robertson pleaded for the board to reconsider and allow him to set up a non-profit group to reopen the building as a community center.

Robertson claimed to have a petition with 251 signatures supporting the community center idea, but did not say how many of those signatures came from people actually living in the Davis Chapel community.

“A lot of people want it back, a lot don’t,” Robertson admitted.

The building still belongs to the Board of Education, Mike Orick explained, but the school board had an agreement to turn it over to the commission in return for support for more SRO security officers.

“We made an agreement with the county commission. We can’t help it that Mayor E. L. Morton won’t sign the deed of transfer,” Orick pointed out.

“We will wait until we see what the county commission decides to do before taking any action,” Bane finally told Robertson.

The board also scheduled a workshop on Thursday, September 21 to begin discussing a search for a new Director of Schools to replace Larry Niddifer, who is planning to retire at the end of the current academic year. The workshop will be at 5:00 p.m. at the central office.    (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/13/2017-6AM)

Shepherd versus Taylor as JMS and LMS tangle

Cousin act is friendly rivalry

   When Jacksboro and La Follette square-off in volleyball, it becomes a family matter of sorts.  That’s when cousins Hollie and Gracie compete against each other.

   Hollie Shepherd is a 7th grader and plays for the Lady Eagles of Jacksboro while her cousin, 6th grader Gracie Taylor, is a La Follette Lady Owl.


   The duo posed for WLAF’s David Graham. L-R Gracie Taylor and Hollie Shepherd. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/13/2017-6AM)

Today will always be Carl Stiner Day in Campbell County

We salute you today, General

   The words Four-Star General Carl Stiner spoke back in the 1990s are forever etched in my mind.  It was the rainy day when Highway 63 through Campbell County was named the General Carl Wade Stiner Highway.

   Campbell County's very own Four-Star General turned 81-years old last week.

   Others were popping up umbrellas as the general stood in the mist and said, “When someone asks who is or was Carl Stiner tell them he was a farm boy who grew up in this valley and had the honor to serve the greatest country on earth.  Yes.  Just tell them that.”

   From that day forward, it was proclaimed that September 13, would always be known as “General Carl Stiner Day” in Campbell County.

   Thank you, General Stiner. 

   FOOTNOTE:  The story on the General aired at 6 am on WLAF Radio and here on  During the Trading Post (in the 8 am hour) on WLAF AM and FM, a veteran called in some items to sell and ended his call with, “I’d like to comment on Mr. Stiner.  He’s a great person.  A person from Campbell County who is just a farmer; a common person.  But it’s very humbling for a veteran to stand in the presence of a man who has held the power of the United States Military in the palm of his hand.  And I thank him very much.”

(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/13/2017-6AM and 10AM)

We’re still on the lookout for Harley, the dog

Missing since last month

   My friends and I are still holding out hope for Harley.  He’s the Australian Shepherd who went missing on August 21.

   One buddy lost his dog a few years ago.  He was found a couple of weeks later.  My ole dog Pup-Pup was gone one time for almost a month.  Talk about a homecoming.


This Harley is a dog; not a hog.  If you know his whereabouts, please call 423.494.5853.

   Harley is an Australian Shepherd, is 10-months old, chestnut and white in color, and was last seen at his home in the Country Club area of La Follette.  If you see Harley, please call 423.494.5853. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/13/2017-6AM)

LPD opens Citizens Police Academy

First class was last night

  La Follette Police Chief Bill Roehl and staff held their first La Follette Police Department Citizen’s Police Academy Class Tuesday night at City Hall.  Sixteen people, mostly local business owners, attended the inaugural session.

   It was an efficient and informative two-hour session.  Roehl served as host with assistance from Detective Josh Hill and Lieutenant James Lynch.

   The chief, a more than 40-year police veteran, served as Knoxville’s second highest in command within the KPD Force for years before retiring.  He’s been La Follette’s top cop since August of 2015.

   LPD Lieutenant James Lynch points out the room where evidence stored as well as the breathalyzer machine.

   Goals were among the items discussed last night.  Roehl emphasized that if we’re not doing anything else, we must accomplish this goal.  And that goal is to “actively address the traffic, order maintenance, and crime issue inside the City of La Follette.”  That breaks down to traffic enforcement strategies which address high volume traffic during rush hour, work closely with the Tennessee highway safety program to target drunk drivers, aggressive drivers, safety belt violators, and child restraint violations and needs.

   La Follette’s style of leadership is “Transformational Leadership.”  Roehl describes it as a change agent – one focusing on achievement.  The chief notes that police work is a continual learning and training process as laws change each year.

   LPD established its first Neighborhood Watch under Roehl’s leadership.  This first one is at Village Apartments on Loop Road.

   Walk throughs are also part of the daily LPD.  There are walk throughs at the La Follette Medical Center, the schools, and the La Follette Housing Authorities.

   The six-week session is on Tuesdays concluding on October 17.  Roehl plans to conduct a Citizens Police Academy each year.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/13/2017-6AM)

Glennis is looking for some volunteers

As the lake goes down, the trash floats up on shore

   The Norris Lake Project Team will be hosting an “Island Invasion” on Saturday, September 23, from 9 am to 1 pm.  And Campbell County Litter Control Officer Glennis Monday is asking for our help.

   The team has conducted a biannual Five County Norris Lake Cleanup in September since 2011.  This seventh year there will be a concentrated focus on the islands near Oak Grove Public Launch in Anderson County, near Big Ridge State Park in Union County and near Sugar Hollow Marina, Flat Hollow Marina and around the Doaks Creek Hatchery in Campbell County.

  Pontoon boats, furnished by Flat Hollow and Indian River Marinas, are available to shuttle volunteers to and from the islands and barges will be used to transfer the trash back to the shore. However, volunteers are welcome to bring their own boats. All volunteers are encouraged to wear appropriate shoes, preferably boots, bring gloves and a life jacket. Trash bags will be provided.

   Volunteers will be able to trade their trash bags for a free “Island Invader” t-shirt at all locations.

   If you are interested in volunteering, visit or call 423.562.2526 to register and get more information.   Volunteers can also register the morning of Sep. 23. Minors must be accompanied by an adult and have a registration and release form signed by a parent.   (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/13/20017-6AM)


   911 remembered yesterday.  L-R Gary Cordell, Aaron Evans, Kayleigh Daugherty, Robbie Goins, Breanna Paul, and Mike Miller are pictured at Sheriff Goins office.  Goins is thankful to Daugherty and Paul of Cash Express for their support through a signed card and cake.

Locked and loaded - LUB crews headed to help down south

Could be gone up to a week

L-R:  Steve Reynolds, Richard Nelson, Tim Malicote, Brad Ivey, John Baird, Richard Goodman, and Travis Malicote all left out for Chattanooga today.

   Crews with the La Follette Utilities Board are on their way to Chattanooga at this hour.  Seven men, two bucket trucks, one digger truck, and a one service truck hit the road around 1:30 pm this afternoon.  Kenny Baird,  General Manager with LUB, tells WLAF that the crews will be doing storm restoration work in Hamilton County.  Baird goes on to say that there was extensive damage overnight on Lookout and Signal Mountains.  The men could be gone for a day or up to a week on this mission.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/12/2017-2PM)


By the Campbell County Sheriff's Department

   Anthony "Moose" Roberts of La Follette is wanted by the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department on a violation of probation.  Roberts is 49-years old, weighs 200-pounds and stands 5-feet, ten-inches tall has blue eyes and brown hair.  If you know of his whereabouts, you are urged to call Sheriff Robbie Goins at 423.562.7446.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/12/2017-3PM)

LUB Crews are headed to help

Tim Malicote prepped water to go

LUB's Richard Nelson drives one of the big rigs.

Crawford and Hale headed for grand jury

Zachary Chase Crawford and Danielle Denise Hale have been bound over to the grand jury.

Crawford, 19, 251 Fall Creek Lane, Caryville, and Hale, 20, 625 Main St., Jacksboro were charged last month with aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect, respectively.

In court Friday, the duo was bound over to the grand jury. The next date for the grand jury is Oct. 11.

Crawford is charged with viciously abusing Hale’s five-year-old daughter. Hale’s charges are because she allegedly knew about the abuse and failed to stop it. 

Crawford allegedly confessed he had inflicted the injuries to the five-year-old girl.

The 19- year-old told police he had used “discipline” on the little girl that included hitting her with an open palm, striking her with a horse’s riding crop and that he also “disciplined” her with his “mouth by using his teeth.” Crawford allegedly went on tell police he “strangled” the child “around her neck using his legs.” He allegedly applied so much force around the neck, petechiae resulted. Petechiae is a condition that occurs when capillaries rupture leaving blood spots in the eyes.

The Jacksboro Police Department learned that Hale was leaving her daughter alone with Crawford despite having knowledge of the abuse, police records indicate.

On at least three separate occasions in the course of a week, Hale said she “observed injuries” on her child. According to her arrest report, Hale said she spoke with Crawford telling him to stop “as each incident got worse.”

They have been charged under Haley’s Law, which means, they are facing stiff penalties if convicted of the Class A felonies. Specifically, if convicted, the pair could face 15- 60 years in prison each. They would not be eligible for early release leaving Crawford and Hale to serve their sentences at 100 percent.

Crawford and Hale are still being held this morning in the county jail.  Crawford’s bond is $500,000 while Hale’s is $100,000.

The little girl has been placed in the care of the state. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/12/2017-6AM)

Powers in Phoenix for Balanced Budget Convention

One of seven Tennessee lawmakers attending

   “The nation’s debt is spiraling out of control, thanks to the blatant and utter disregard for controlled spending in Washington,” said State Representative Dennis Powers.  The man who represents the 36th District in Tennessee, which includes his home county, Campbell, is in Phoenix this morning.  Powers is there along with six other Tennessee lawmakers representing the state at the Balanced Budget Amendment Planning Convention. 

   The Tennessee Seven has filed a resolution to begin the process of preparing for an Article V convention.  This is the first national convention of the states convened since 1861, when states met to discuss an amendment they hoped would avert a civil war.  At least 19 states are represented.

 Representative Powers is pictured here with his niece while on the campaign trail in 2016.

   Powers explains to WLAF News, “I am honored to represent Tennessee as a delegate at the upcoming Article V Planning Convention in Phoenix.  One of the most difficult tasks my colleagues and I address every year in the House chamber is balancing our budget, which we are required to do under Tennessee’s Constitution. Together, we keep state spending in check and demonstrate fiscal responsibility to the hardworking families we serve across our state.”

   The purpose of the four-day convention at the Arizona Capitol is to prepare for an anticipated convention convened under Article V of the U. S. Constitution to propose a balanced budget amendment and to recommend a set of rules under which such a convention would be governed.  The resolution submitted to the convention by the Tennessee delegation is the first draft of rules presented for consideration.  

   Powers said, “The nation’s debt is spiraling out of control, thanks to the blatant and utter disregard for controlled spending in Washington. It is my hope that myself and other members of the Tennessee delegation can work together with representatives from other states next month in order to ensure that the folks in our nation’s capital abandon their reckless ways and are held accountable for their actions. We must put an end to this egregious type of government waste that is crippling our great nation.”

   The goal of amendment backers is to eliminate the federal deficit and drive down the national debt, which is approaching $20-trillion.  Congress debated a balanced budget amendment in the mid-1990s, but it did not pass.

   Powers has been Campbell County’s state representative since 2010.  He currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Republican Caucus.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/12/2017-6AM)

New chamber members snip ribbons

Campbell County Chamber of Commerce continues growing

   Pictured above is the ribbon cutting at Y-12 Federal Credit Union in La Follette.  The office is located across from Doyle’s Tire Shop.

   The photo below is Monday’s ribbon cutting at The Local in La Follette.  The new restaurant is next to Ayers Auction and Real Estate.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/12/2017-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF’S ANN RUTHERFORD)

Commission postpones action on $1 million school board transfer

The Campbell County Commission on Monday night declined to approve a $1 million budget transfer sought by the Board of Education for various capital projects, including replacing the lights at the CCHS stadium and a track & field complex for the high school.

The school board requested the transfer from their own undesignated fund balance, but commissioners fell into their old habit of attempting to dictate school spending despite the fact that they really have no power to do so under state law.

Several commissioners during the Monday budget committee meeting questioned whether the school department could draw their fund balance down without risking a shortfall at the beginning of the school year when revenues are down.

“We don’t want to see another 1982,” Rusty Orick commented, referring to the year when the school budget ran short at year’s end and bus service had to be discontinued.

Cliff Jennings finally offered a motion to approve the budget amendment, in an effort to end the discussion. He succeeded, as his motion failed for lack of a second.

The committee then agreed to a motion to revisit the matter during their regular meeting next Monday and to require the Director of Schools and board chairman to appear before the commission to answer questions about the request.

Surprisingly during the workshop, no citizens asked to address the commissioners about complaints or requests, but a trio of businessmen took up the public input time with a sales pitch that they claim will save the county money on equipment purchases.

Jim Thompson of J. M. Wood Auction presented a plan where the county would purchase a new heavy machinery vehicle such as a tractor or loader for the Sanitation Department, use it for one year and then sell it through the auction company for a guaranteed sales price of 85% of the original cost while purchasing a new replacement.

The devil may be in the details on their proposal, however, as the draft contract requires the original machinery to be in practically new condition or the 85% guarantee price would be void. The county would have to avoid any serious dents, dings or other mishaps during a year of heavy use to keep their resale guarantee intact.

The workshop concluded with another discussion of the Sanitation Department, as Director Walt Sutton and two foremen were asked to attend a called meeting of the Sanitation Committee.

The meeting turned into more of a one man inquisition, as Commissioner Ralph Davis directed what he described as “a list of 30 questions” to Sutton and his foremen. The session turned dicey on a few occasions, with one of the foremen telling Davis, “I’ve been hearing comments that you wanted to take away my job.”

“I only want answers to my questions. If you’re doing your job I have no desire to take it from you,” Davis replied.

At another point, Mayor E. L. Morton tried to answer a question directed at Sutton. “I didn’t ask you, I asked him,” Davis curtly informed the Mayor.

The committee meeting finally ended with a discussion of a proposal from the State of Tennessee to set up a regional recycling program that would involved Campbell and several neighboring counties and be operated through the Campbell County center. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/12/2017-6AM)

FIRE TRUCK: Caryville Board approves purchasing chassis


CARYVILLE—At Monday’s regular meeting, the board of mayor and aldermen approved spending $47,000 on a chassis for a 2017 Ford F450, which will be used by the Fire Department.

The Town of Caryville intends to purchase the bed for the truck in Knoxville, and will also need to outfit it with lights. While the total cost for the truck is estimated to be around $65,000, town officials said purchasing a custom F450 normally costs around $100,000.

The money to purchase the truck is coming from the Special Fire Protection Fees that come from water bills. The Town of Caryville currently has $107,240.56 from Special Fire Protection Fees.

When Vice Mayor Beth Lawson asked if the Fire Department needed the money from these fees for anything else, Fire Chief Eddie Hatmaker said he is waiting for a grant that will help purchase a fire engine.

Mayor Robert Stooksbury said if Caryville uses the grant to purchase a fire engine, the town would only be responsible for $39,000 of the purchase. Stooksbury also said that by the time Caryville would have to pay for the fire engine, the Special Fire Protection Fees would have replenished.


The board approved hiring Rachel Bolton to work in the library as a temporary employee. Bolton will work about 32 hours a week.

Bolton was hired to help Library Employee Logan Birdsong while Library Director Robyn Turner is absent for three months due to medical reasons.

Pest Control

The board approved entering a year-long contract with Mitchell’s Termite and Pest Control for $37 a month. Mitchell’s Termite and Pest Control will spray the Municipal building each month for mice, spiders, ants, and cockroaches.

Bomb Threats

Three bomb threats were called into Matix during the month of August. The Tennessee Highway Patrol and Caryville Police Department swept the building but found no bombs.


In August, the Town of Caryville received $121,251.46 in revenue and spent $112,295.43. Revenues exceeded expenditures by $8,956.03.

The Town of Caryville received a late $34,000 check that will be attributed to September’s revenues.

Budget Amendments

The board approved the first reading of an ordinance to amend the operating budget for the current fiscal year.

The amendment increased the budget by $1,700 for the purchase of polo shirts. It also increased the Police Department’s budget by $3,100 for repairs and maintenance. It also increased the Fire Protection and Control fund by $3,100 for uniforms.

The board also approved the second reading of an ordinance to amend the operating budget for the 2016/2017 fiscal year, making corrections for expenditures.

Trunk or Treat

Beth Lawson discussed hosting Trunk or Treat at the ball park in front of Scotty’s on Tuesday, Oct. 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Last year, the Town of Caryville hosted Trunk or Treat on a Saturday, instead of on Halloween, which was on a Monday.

This year, however, after coordinating with Campbell County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Aaron Evans and LaFollette City Recorder Stan Foust, she decided to host it Halloween night.

She said she needs volunteers, from churches and businesses to individuals, who are willing to decorate and hand out candy.

Road Block

The board approved a road block for Open Arms Ministry on Sept. 30 at the stop sign next to Shoney’s.

Transportation Alternative Grant

The board approved applying for a Transportation Alternative Grant.

Felony Warrants

The Police Department had six felony warrant arrests in August.


Ronnie Lasley, Luke Petree, and Jane Petree spoke to the board about water flow issues on their property and a neighbor’s property at Pike Lane. Lasley, Luke Petree, and Jane Petree—who are relatives—live on a family farm that has been divided three ways. Luke Petree is Jane Petree’s son, and Lasley’s nephew.

A neighbor who has been experiencing flooding issues, was seen by Luke Petree’s uncle, who also lives on one of the three parts of the family farm, digging into a rock wall that separates his property from the farm, Luke Petree said in an interview after the meeting.  Digging into the wall would cause water to flood into Jane Petree’s basement, Luke Petree said.

Stooksbury said he would talk with Caryville-Jacksboro Utilities Commission Chariman Frank Wallace and Scott Bowlin from IRTEC to find a solution that would solve the problem.

Title 6 Coordinator

The board approved appointing Wallace Title VI Coordinator for the Town of Caryville. Caryville is applying for a recycling grant that requires a Title VI Coordinator.

ATV Festival

The board discussed using a booth to promote the Town of Caryville at the ATV Festival in LaFollette on Saturday, Oct. 14.


Alderman Eric Jones spoke to the board about taking steps to improve the municipal building’s appearance. He suggested beginning with planting shrubbery in front of the building.

Because money is available in the budget, other board members encouraged him. Alderman Lloyd Lawson suggested he go to a nursery. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/12/2017-6AM)

Two people injured in Saturday evening car wreck

One patient had to be cut out of the car

   A car hit a telephone pole Saturday evening on East Central Avenue in La Follette and injured two people.  The crash happened around 6 pm near North 12th Street across from the Methodist Church.

Lifestar landed in the La Follette Methodist Church parking lot

   According to officials, the accident trapped one of the injured in the car.  First Responders with the La Follette Fire Department extracted that patient and ended up sending both to the hospital.  One patient was flown by Lifestar with the other taken by ground ambulance.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/11/2017-6AM-PHOTO COURTESY OF BRAD YOUNG)

Cougars overcome sloppy first half to whip East

Fell behind 3 to nothing at Morristown

   “The first-half was sloppy by CCHS standards.”  That’s according to Campbell Head Football Coach Justin Price.  Against the East Hurricanes, Price’s Cougars fell behind 3 to nothing early but came back to claim a 7-3 halftime lead.  The 7th year head coach adds that, “We never got into a rhythm.”

Cougars ring up four unanswered touchdowns at Morristown on Friday night

   Price points to several factors; the previous week’s heartbreaking loss, practice time last week was cut short by rain and lightning, and a long bus ride to Morristown.  He’s quick to note that, “Morristown East has a pretty good football team, too.”

   Cougar Crazies race across Morristown East’s football field on Friday night.

   Coach Price says he felt comfortable with the halftime edge, but he needed his Cougars to come out and get going in the second-half.  And they did.  He describes senior quarterback Zach Rutherford’s performance as “lights out.”  Price and Rutherford had a private skull session at the half and compared first half notes, because Price knows, “As Zach goes, so go the Cougars.”

Campbell whip East 28 to 3. 

   “And what can you say about our defense?” Price asks.  He says that the Cougar defense has performed so well the last two weeks.

   The Cougar "D" had a big game Friday night.

   Campbell hosts Gibbs on Friday night at Dossett Stadium in its annual homecoming game.  Kick-off is 7:30 pm.  “Live” televised coverage begins right here on at 6:40 pm over the WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network.  Les Martin and Brent Allen have the call.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/11/2017-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF'S PAT PEBLEY)

The General turns 81-years old

Carl Wade Stiner visits the sheriff and staff

   The General made a stop yesterday at the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office.  Sheriff Robbie Goins expresses that he is thankful for his presence at the office on Thursday and to help celebrate his 81st blessed birthday. Here's to wishing a heroes hero, General Carl W. Stiner, a happy birthday and so many more!  L-R:  Hank Hamblin, Aaron Evans, Carla Stiner Reel, the General, Robbie Goins, and Monty Bullock.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/08/2017-9AM)

RAISES: Board approves wage hike


JACKSBORO—At Thursday night’s regular meeting, the board of mayor and aldermen approved raising the salaries of three employees to $10 an hour.

At a special called meeting in August, the board approved increasing the starting wage for all fire fighters, including members of the auxiliary, to $9 an hour. The board also decided that the wages of the fire fighters and the auxiliaries will increase to $10 an hour when they become certified.

Mayor June Forstner used the fire fighter’s raises as a justification for increasing the salaries of three other full-time employees, who have each worked for the Town of Jacksboro for at least two years.


The board gave approval to three Caryville-Jacksboro Utilities Commission projects.

After projects were completed on a few streets last month, CJUC Chairman Frank Wallace said it was discovered that water was flowing onto Teague Lane from Hilltop Drive. CJUC plans to extend a culvert to divert the water into Eagle Bluff Springs Creek.

On Myers Street, a creek passes through 36-inch culverts in the driveways of two property owners. While these culverts were recommended by the state at the time the properties were built, during times of rain, the creek swells, which leads to flooding. CJUC intends to remove the culverts, creating enough space for the creek to pass freely beneath the driveways.

Fire Fighters

The board approved hiring Noah LeMaster, Tristan Nelson, and Dylan Leach full-time to the Fire Department.


The board approved a $100.88 monthly contract with Thermocopy to lease a wireless copier for the Police Department. The Police Department needed to replace toner, which costs $100, for the old copier about every three weeks. Officers will be able to send reports to the wireless copier.

Thermocopy will also carry out two unused machines.

Street Department

The board approved spending $125 to replace a handle on the Street Department’s Super Duty F350.

Road Block

The board approved a road block for Walmart on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Intersection of Liberty Street and Main Street, and at the Intersection of Main Street and 25W.   Walmart intends to take donations for Children’s Hospital.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/08/20017-6AM)

Date for “Island Invasion” is announced

Five-county clean-up clears tons of trash at the annual event

The Norris Lake Project Team will be hosting an “Island Invasion” on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

The team has conducted a biannual Five County Norris Lake Cleanup in September since 2011.  This seventh year there will be a concentrated focus on the islands near Oak Grove Public Launch in Anderson County, near Big Ridge State Park in Union County and near Sugar Hollow Marina, Flat Hollow Marina and around the Doaks Creek Hatchery in Campbell County.

Since 2011, volunteers have picked up over 200,000 pounds of trash but there is still a lot more to pick up.  There will be launch points in each of the five counties that contain Norris Lake where volunteers can register and get an assigned location.

There will also be boats available to shuttle volunteers to and from the islands and barges will be used to transfer the trash back to the shore. However, volunteers are welcome to bring their own boats. All volunteers are encouraged to wear appropriate shoes, preferably boots, bring gloves and a life jacket. Trash bags will be provided.

Volunteers will be able to trade their trash bags for a free “Island Invader” t-shirt at all locations.

The Norris Lake Project Team is a grassroots effort of individuals, organizations, businesses and agencies to preserve the water quality of Norris Lake, conserve the land surrounding the lake and encourage the stakeholders of the lake to do their part in keeping Norris Lake the cleanest and safest recreational asset in Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Grainger and Union Counties.

These cleanups can’t happen without volunteers, partners and sponsors that include TVA, Debbie Boeck with Gables and Gates Realtors and Morristown Marine.

If you are interested in volunteering, visit to register and get more information.   Volunteers can also register the morning of Sep. 23. Minors must be accompanied by an adult and have a registration and release form signed by a parent. Volunteers can also call toll free to 800-524-3602 or email for more information.

The Norris Lake Project Team is a partnership with the Anderson County Tourism Council, Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, Claiborne County Chamber of Commerce, Grainger County Chamber of Commerce, Union County Chamber of Commerce, Norris Lake Marina Association, Middle East Tennessee Tourism Council, Tennessee Valley Authority, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Norris Dam State Park, Big Ridge State Park, Anderson County Litter Grant, Campbell County Litter Control, Sunset Bay HOA, Hickory Point HOA, Norris Shores HOA and Lone Mountain HOA.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/08/20017-6AM)

Meredith sues the City of LaFollette

Names Stanfield and Jeffries as ringleaders

A LaFollette businessman has filed a lawsuit claiming he has been the victim of bullying and harassment at the hands of city employees.

David “Arnie” Meredith, the owner of Merrydeath Antiques and Auction Gallery filed suit yesterday naming LaFollette City Mayor Mike Stanfield and LaFollette City Administrator Jimmy Jefferies as the defendants. Stanfield and Jeffries were named in their professional capacities and individually. Meredith is asking for $600,000 in damages.

Within the suit, Meredith alleges a pattern of harassment, threats from Stanfield and secret meetings by city employees with the end result being to shut down his business and stop him from speaking out.

To see the full allegations, CLICK HERE.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/07/2017-6AM)

Donuts are back

Master Donuts opens in former Ralph’s location

   The lights are on and the donuts are ready.  Fresh made donuts are back in La Follette as of 5 am this morning.  The thanks go to the husband-wife team of So and K-K Nhean for reopening the shop in the former location of Ralph’s Donut Shoppe.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/07/2017-6AM-PHOTO COURTESY OF WLAF'S CHARLIE HUTSON)

SLUM CLEARANCE: City approves first two readings of ordinance


LaFOLLETTE—At Tuesday night’s meeting, the city council approved the first two readings of an ordinance that would clear “unfit” structures.

The ordinance acknowledges the presence of unfit dwellings: “the City Commission finds that there exists in the city structures which are unfit for human occupation or use due to dilapidation, defects increasing the hazards of fire, accident or other calamities, lack of ventilation, light or sanitary facilities, or other conditions rendering such dwellings unsafe or unsanitary, or dangerous or detrimental to the health, safety and morals, or otherwise inimical to the welfare of the residents of the city.”

The ordinance allows a public officer to conduct a preliminary investigation after receiving a complaint from a public authority or five or more residents. If the public officer’s preliminary investigation determines the complaint is valid, he or she would notify the owner of the dwelling to appear at a hearing, where the property-owner has a chance to answer the complaint.

If, at the hearing, the public officer determined the dwelling is unfit, he or she can order the owner of the building to either make repairs and improvements to the structure, vacate, and close the structure, or remove the structure.

If the owner does not comply with the orders of the public officer, the public officer would have the authority to carry out the orders and charge liens against the property owners for the expenses.

The ordinance also says that no new unfit structures can be erected in the city.

The ordinance will not take effect until the final reading is approved. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09-06-2017-6AM)

Job openings at Rice Oil

Apply in person today

   Rice Oil is in need of cashiers and deli personnel.  You are encouraged to apply in person at the main office; 700 West Central Avevue-behind the Marathon station. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09-06-2017-6AM)

Adkins is onboard as a fulltime police officer

La Follette Police Officer Aaron Adkins

   The council approved hiring Aaron Adkins full-time to the Police Department
with an annual salary of $29,437.40. Adkins has been working part-time for
the Police Department. Adkins is POST certified and went to the

La Follette approves new parking areas for West End Community Center


LaFOLLETTE—The La Follette City Council approved spending no more than $25,000 to pave two parking areas at the West LaFollette Community Center.

Paving a parking lot on the west side of the community center would first involve removing dirt and concrete. City officials said the labor could be completed by city workers. However, they said paving the parking lot would cost about $15,000.

Head Start has agreed to pay for the preparation of the site of another parking lot at the community center. The site preparation involves stripping dirt, setting blocks, and backfilling. However, Head Start has requested the city pay for the asphalt, which is estimated to cost $10,000.

ADA Transition Plan

The council approved hiring Cannon and Cannon to create an Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan. The council also approved having Mayor Mike Stanfield send a letter to the Tennessee Department of Transportation for the ADA Transition Plan.

TDOT requires the City of LaFollette to have an ADA Transition Plan in place by 2019.

Drug Testing

After holding a public hearing, the council approved the final reading of an ordinance to amend the drug and alcohol testing policy for the city. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09-06-2017-6AM)

LaFollette eyes more grant dollars


LaFOLLETTE— The City of La Follette Council approved a resolution to amend the operating budget on Tuesday night.

The amendment was necessary because the city must spend $100,000 on a 50/50 matching grant that was received after the council adopted the 2017/2018 operating budget. The amendment will allocate the $100,000 from the fund balance.

TAP Grant

The council approved a resolution that authorizes the city to apply for another Transportation Alternative Grant.

While the city is currently using a $500,000 Transportation Alternative Grant to revitalize downtown, it can apply for another before it uses up the grant it is currently using. City Administrator Jimmy Jeffries said the city could use the grant from the upcoming cycle to continue the work begun by the first grant.


The council approved a resolution authorizing the city to participate in the TML Risk Management Pool Drivers Safety Matching Grant Program.

Chamber Coffee

The Public Library is scheduled to host the Chamber of Commerce Networking Coffee on Sept. 21 at 8 a.m.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09-06-2017-6AM)

Webb’s arrest warrant published

CLICK HERE to see the warrant

On Friday, published a story regarding the arrest of 25- year old Michael Cody Webb.  Webb was charged with six counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  He stands accused of purchasing alcohol for six juveniles and then allowing them to drink it at his home.

This story drew several hits to the website along with multiple comments.  We at stand by the story and are publishing Webb’s arrest warrant for the public to view.  There were six arrest warrants issued.  Each one contains the same information with the only difference being the name of juveniles.  The arrest warrant is publishing has the names of the juveniles redacted because they have not been charged with a crime. 

The full story is further down this page.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/05/2017-6AM)

 Webb allegedly bought alcohol for students

A former Campbell County School employee has been fired and is now facing legal charges.

After allegedly buying alcohol for six juveniles and allowing them to drink it in his home, Michael Cody Webb has been charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

He faces one count per child.

CORRECTION TO THIS PARAGRAPH:  Webb, Jacksboro, had been employed at the school as a janitor for around six months prior the incident, according to Larry Nidiffer, Campbell County Director of Schools.  Before that, the 25-year-old worked at Campbell County High School as special education assistant.

CORRECTION:  Campbell County High School Principal Jamie Wheeler has let WLAF News know that, “Webb was never a special education assistant at CCHS, and that he was only a custodian, and that he was just employed as a custodian the last week of July and the first week of August (2017).”

Michael Cody Webb was picked up by authorities on August 11 and was released the same day according to sheriff’s department records.  (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CAMPBELL COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT)

Webb also has a loose affiliation (Coach Brent Peel wants it to be known that Webb has no affiliation with the JMS team.) with the Jacksboro Middle School Football team; his father is one of the assistant coaches.  Nidiffer said it appears that Webb made contact with the juveniles through football practice.

Webb was terminated “as soon as we heard about the incident,” Nidiffer said.

The charges are based on allegations, which were later confirmed by the six children involved, that Webb picked them up from school grounds on July 28 and purchased alcohol for them.  Webb allegedly took the students to a local gas station where they gave him money to buy the alcohol, the report said.

Specifically, Webb purchased Mike’s Hard Lemonade, a mix of malt liquor, natural flavors and carbonated water with a five percent alcohol content, and Ultra Light Beer, the arrest report said.  The children and Webb, who according to his jail intake sheet is married, then went to his Oak Street home where the juveniles “consumed the alcohol in his (Webb) presence, and spent the night.”

 From the information listed in the arrest warrant, at least one of the juveniles was a female.

Ten days later, a parent came forward to Brent Peel, the JMS Football coach and reported the drinking.

The students weren’t punished by the school because the drinking took place off school grounds and school hadn’t started, Nidiffer said.

Contributing to the delinquency of a minor is a Class A misdemeanor that carries a possible 11 months and 29 days in jail and/ or a $2,500 fine per charge.

Webb, who is free on a $4,500 bond, will be arraigned on Thursday, Sept. 21.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 09/01/2017-6AM)

   Odus Mundy was honored at Tuesday’s Campbell County Children Center’s annual fundraiser.  L-R Emily Byrge, Rudy Mundy, Addie Mundy, and Odus Mundy.  Keisha Hughes story is further down this page.

Children’s Center recognizes Mundy at its annual fundraiser

Served on CCCC Board for more than two decades

By Keisha Hughes
   Odus Monday believes in not only supporting and giving back to his community, but also to the children in his community. Odus served on the Board for the Campbell County Children’s Center from 1993 to 2015. He has coached numerous little league baseball and basketball teams in
Campbell County, and supports numerous organizations dedicated to children, including CASA, the Boys Scouts, the Holston United Methodist Home for Children, and Compassion International where he has sponsored children for over 12 years.
   He has also served on the Campbell County Industrial Board, and currently serves on the board of A New Beginning, Inc whose mission is to mentor and help better those who have fallen victim to addiction in
Campbell County. He also currently serves on the Dream Team at Hope and Stand and volunteers with the Wounded Warriors Hunt sponsored by the National Wildlife Turkey Association. He is active in his church, where he is a group leader for children.
   To sum up Odus in a few words, he trusts God, he prays always, and works hard to serves others. Odus truly loves
Campbell County and has dedicated his life to serving others, especially children. .  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 08/31/2017-6AM)

TOP PHOTO:  Tuesday, at lunch, Tony Lindsay presented the old coach, Coach Ron Murray with the 9-ball found under the old pool hall.  Murray said that he always played 9-ball.  The story is further down this page.

BOTTOM PHOTO:  This group of CCHS students is among the many other volunteers who helped make last night’s fundraiser for the Campbell County Children’s Center such a success.  The story is on down this page.

Children Center’s annual fundraiser a success

‘Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.’ – General Jarred Effler

   “We are in this county, because we have a county that cares about kids,” said Tracie Davis.  Davis is the CEO of the Campbell County Children’s Center and spoke with WLAF at last night’s annual CCCC fundraiser.  She goes on to say, “I’m extremely humbled by the turnout, because without this event, we couldn’t exist.”

Tuesday night’s annual CCCC fundraiser was very well attended

   Eighth Judicial District Attorney General Jarred Effler points out that “thank you” is inadequate for what the community does for our children’s center.  Effler is proud to say, “We are the only rural judicial district in Tennessee that has a CAC in each of its counties.  Because of that, we are so much more effective in prosecuting child abuse and neglect cases.”

   Davis explains that the CCCC receives state and federal funding.  However, that funding comes with a 20% match requirement.  That’s where events like last night’s play big for the Campbell County Children’s Center.

   The fundraiser was held at the Ball Farm Event Center where countless volunteers played a role. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 08/30/2017-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF’S NOAH SMITH)

Tamer passes boards

Carries on family tradition in medicine

Emily Tamer is preparing to follow in the footsteps of many family members.

Tamer, an August graduate from Lincoln Memorial University’s Physician Assistant program, recently passed her board exams. Once her licensure paperwork makes its way through state channels, Tamer will start working in a field she hopes to find as exciting as fulfilling.

Emily Tamer, center, is pictured here with her mother and sisters on graduation day.

A physician’s assistant (PA) is overseen by a doctor, but, still has autonomy in their practice. A PA can see patients, order lab work, write prescriptions as well as diagnose and treat ailments. The role of a PA is based on the medical model, while a nurse practitioner, and is based on the nurse model, according to Tamer.

Tamer, who is a third generation medical practitioner, hopes to start in family medicine to achieve a broad knowledge base. Afterwards, she may concentrate on a particular field, she said.

But, at this point, she is enjoying having school behind her and career ahead of her.

“I never thought I would get to this point,” Tamer said of completing school and passing the boards. Her biggest challenge was staying focused the closer she got to the end of her journey.

“It was the best news I felt like I have ever had,” Tamer said of passing her boards. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 08/30/2017-6AM)

Tech tales from the field and the stands

Johnny Majors and Jim Farris share their stories

   Word spread pretty fast as soon as Coach Ron Murray hung up the phone Tuesday morning.  Former Tennessee player and coach Johnny Majors called to say he was headed to La Follette for lunch.

Friends for more than 60-years.  (L) Coach Ron Murray and Coach Johnny Majors.

   The old coaches, Majors, Murray, and Jim Smelcher, took over the big table at the Royal Lunch Room with some friends and fans.  Smelcher, a Lake City native, was a Tennessee teammate of Majors and was the head football coach at Bearden back in the 1960s.

   All the attention was on Majors.  And I couldn’t help but ask.  What was your favorite game in your playing days?  Majors shot back in his snappy, distinct tone, “Georgia Tech.  1956!”  CLICK HERE to hear Majors full account.

   Ironically, the Vols open the 2017 season, some 61-years later, on Monday night at Atlanta against Tech.  There’s a lot on the line for that one but not near as much as in that ’56 match-up.

   The 80+ year old Majors recalled that afternoon on Grant Field as if it were yesterday.  “We would quick kick it on third down some in those days.  We had the ball at our 15-yard line; third and three, and Georgia Tech’s safety went deep thinking I’d punt.  But I didn’t – running for a first down instead.  Then on first down, I did quick kick; first and only time I ever did on first and ten.  That punt sailed 69-yards, and we backed up Tech at its 12-yard line.”

Coach Johnny Majors (L) and Royal Pool Room Owner Tony Lindsay take time out for a David Graham photo.

   Dr. Jim Farris, Jimmy in his high school years, attended that 1956 classic along with his buddy, Jimmy Higdon; both juniors at La Follette High School.  It was their first Vols away game.  Higdon’s father, Carl, owned the Royal Lunch Room back then.  Farris recalls catching up with a couple of his La Follette buddies, Bob Robards and Horace Brown, when they made it to campus in Atlanta.  They were freshmen that fall at Georgia Tech.

   Farris remembers sitting in the south end zone on that November afternoon.  He says he can still see Majors, on the north end of the field, throwing a long pass that was caught by a Volunteer after two Tech defenders collided.

   Majors said, “We won it on a touchdown after Tommy Bronson, our fullback, plunged in from a yard out.  We had one of the worst extra point kicking teams in the nation, and we missed the extra point.”

   Tennessee won that SEC “game of the decade” six to nothing.  The Vols went on to finish the season ranked second in the country, but ranked first for the week after the Tech win.  Majors said that on college football’s 100th anniversary in 1969, Sports Illustrated listed its Top 100 Games of All Time.  That UT-GT game was voted second best ever.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 08/30/2017-6AM[-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF'S DAVID GRAHAM)

It’s not your average 9-ball

‘I’m thinking it’s from the 1930s’ – Tony Lindsay

   Tony Lindsay revived the tradition of the Royal Lunch Room a few months ago.  And along the way, he dug up some history.  Literally.

You can see some of the old billiard balls on top of this cooler inside the Pool Room.

   He tells WLAF that as he and his crew were digging under the old floor to make way for the new floor, they saw something roll.  It was a billiard ball.  “About 15 in all, Lindsay adds.  He says they were all found in the front corner of the building on the alley side.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 08/30/2017-6AM)

   Friends and relatives joined 8th Judicial District Drug Task Force Director Josh Goins at last week’s TBI Leadership Academy graduation.  The story is further down this page.

 LUB: LaFollette Utilities to acquire Clearfork Utilities Commission?

TVA rate increase is passed on to LUB customers


LaFOLLETTE—LaFollette Utilities Board Chairman Kenny Baird spoke to the city council about the possibility of LUB acquiring Clearfork Utilities Commission.

“It could fall through, but it’s looking promising,” Baird said.

Clearfork Utilities Commission serves water to 570 customers in the White Oak and Clarifield area, and received $300,000 in water rates. CUB customers already receive electricity from LUB, who has invested millions of dollars in serving electricity to the area.

CUB’s three employees plan to retire, Baird said. A plant operator wants to stay on for six months and then work with LUB as a contractor.

CUB has money saved that could be used to finance system improvements. CUB also has low debt.

Baird said CUB customers are excited about the prospect of LUB acquiring CUB. He said the changeover may require CUB board approval, or a vote from the CUB customers.

TVA Rate Increase

The Tennessee Valley Authority has increased their rates by 1.5 percent, and LUB will increase their rates by 1.5 percent in October.

Baird said to look for two more wholesale rate increases from TVA in 2018 and 2019.

Water Rates

Baird said the average water rate in the East Tennessee Development District for 2017 was $42 for 5,000 gallons of water. LUB has charged $33.02 and CJUC has charged $41.67.(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 08/29/2017-6AM)

La Follette eyes another TAG Grant

City is currently using a half-million dollar grant


Transportation Alternative Grant

City Administrator Jimmy Jeffries spoke to the council about applying for another Transportation Alternative Grant. The city is currently using a $500,000 Transportation Alternative Grant to revitalize downtown. However, the city can apply for another before it uses up the grant it currently has. Jeffries said the city could use the grant from the upcoming cycle to continue the work begun by the first grant.

Council Member Ann Thompson asked about a section of sidewalks at the intersection of First Street and Central Avenue. She asked if the council could do anything to repair the sidewalks before the ATV Festival.

Jeffries said the city is currently in the middle of using money from the first cycle Transportation Alternative Grant to repair the sidewalks. He said he spoke to GRW, an engineering firm, and if the city does anything to repair the sidewalks on its own, then it loses the grant money.

However, he said he would speak to Community Development Partners Wednesday to see if there was anything that could be done.

ADA Transition Plan

Jeffries recommended the council hire Cannon and Cannon, an engineering firm, to create an Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan. While the Tennessee Department of Transportation requires the City of LaFollette to have an ADA Transition Plan in place by 2019, Jeffries said the details of the plan do not necessarily have to be implemented by that time.

Cannon and Cannon would conduct an assessment, and then write a plan. Because the process is expensive, Jeffries asked if the city and the Campbell County government could receive a lower rate if they were evaluated together.

Beech Street Bridge

The council debated adding handrails to the walkways on both sides of the Beech Street Bridge and making them ADA compliant. While some officials spoke in favor of adding handrails on both sides, others talked about adding them to one side only.

West LaFollette Community Center

Mountain Valley Head Start has offered to pay the city $10,000  to add additional parking near the playground at West LaFollette Community Center. The project would cost about $20,000, requiring a bank to be cut, a retaining wall to be added, and the spaces to be paved.

Budget Amendment

The city received a 50/50 matching grant after the adoption of this year’s operating budget. Therefore, the council must pass a resolution to amend the budget to move $100,000 out of the fund balance to pay the grant’s match.


The council discussed repairing a culvert underneath property belonging to Lisa Robinson.

Public Works Department Head Jim Mullens said before any work could begin on the culvert, a metal building on the property would have to be removed.

Jeffries and Mullens said it is not in the city’s financial interests to remove the building. Jeffries said he could contact Robinson, asking her to remove the building.

The city does not have the equipment necessary to fix the culvert once the building is removed. Therefore, the city would have to either hire a contractor to fix the culvert, or hire an operator with the proper equipment to assist in the work. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 08/29/2017-6AM)

La Follette City Hall door left open after hours

Thompson discovers open door on Friday night


Open Door

Council member Ann Thompson said a door had been left open when she came to city hall to check her mail on a Friday night. After checking her mail, she said she received an anonymous tip that people intended to enter city hall.

City Treasurer Barbara Wilson said the last person to leave that night, Data Processing Manager Joy Beth Chapman, was unaware that the door sticks.

Ann Thompson said somebody should make sure the doors are closed.

Mayor Mike Stanfield said a police officer could check the doors.

When City Administrator Jimmy Jeffries said he should be alerted about people wanting to enter city hall after hours.  Ann Thompson said that’s why she was telling him about the incident.

Bob Fannon

Council members discussed an offer local business owner Bob Fannon allegedly made to the beautification board after a worker allegedly cut down trees in front of his business.

Members of the council said Fannon promised to give the beautification board $500 and plant shrubs in front of his business. However, Stanfield said Fannon had promised $1,000 in addition to planting shrubs. Stanfield said he would hold Fannon to his word. Stanfield said he would hire a nursery worker to plant shrubs and charge Fannon for the labor.

Council Member Bill Archer advised having Fannon produce in writing what he is willing to give to the beautification board.

Clays for Children

The council discussed using $500 of discretionary funds to sponsor a team for the Children Center’s Second Annual Clays for Children tournament.

Aaron Adkins

The council discussed hiring Aaron Adkins full-time to the Police Department with an annual salary of $29,437.40. Adkins is currently working part-time for the Police Department. Police Chief Bill Roehl said Adkins is POST certified and went to the State Academy. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 08/29/2017-6AM)

Goins graduates from the TBI’s Leadership Academy

Intensive two-week session

On Thursday, August 24, 2017, Josh Goins, director of the 8th Judicial District Drug Task Force, graduated from the prestigious Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Leadership Academy. This intensive two week course featured as instructors some of the most prominent leaders in law enforcement from across the nation, and focused on principles that the graduates can take back to their respective agencies.

Goins (C) was joined on this special occasion by District Attorney General Jared Effler (L) and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn (R)

Goins was pleased to be joined on this special occasion by Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn, District Attorney General Jared Effler and a host of friends and relatives. General Effler noted, "I'm extremely proud of Josh and the leadership he exhibits on a daily basis; graduating from this course will certainly make him an even greater leader for our DTF."  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 08/29/2017-6AM)

   Fields of Faith is set for Dossett Stadium on Wed, October 11 at 6:30 pm.

  THP uses interdiction to combat crime

Busy day for THP on Friday in Campbell County

If a chain is only as good as its weakest link, then Troop C of the Tennessee Highway Patrol is titanium.

Troop C is led by veteran THP Lt. Stacey Heatherly. She has assembled a team that blends experience with enthusiasm and the result is dedicated cadre of troopers who take their duties to heart.

An Ohio man tells the troopers “to put the cuffs on” after they discover he is wanted in Ohio.

On Friday, Troop C spent its shift conducting an interdiction day in Campbell County. Interdictions are used to search for criminal intent that varies from impaired driving to narcotics and sex trafficking. Throughout the day, the troopers traveled the roadways of Campbell County investigating possible crimes.

A man passing through Caryville was stopped for a traffic violation. When the troopers contacted dispatch asking for a warrant check, they got a hit. Their violator was wanted in Ohio and had an extradition order for “anywhere east of the Mississippi (River).” He was arrested and will later be extradited back to Ohio.

At the Campbell County Jail, Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. Stacey Heatherly and Trooper Matt Raines inventory cash that was seized from one of the first arrests of the day.

In LaFollette, a man who gave his car a jack rabbit start after seeing Trooper Matt Raines was pulled over. Raines soon discovered that neither he nor the passenger had a valid driver’s license even though they were driving in downtown LaFollette. This meant the two had to sit and wait for a licensed driver to come and retrieve them.

As the shift progressed THP searched assisted the LaFollette Police Department with a DUI stop, looked for a couple that fled on a four wheeler when they noticed a THP car and broke up a fight on the side of I-75. And this was only a fraction of the crimes the THP touched on Friday.

But the quality that stood out most of all was the unity in the troop.

Troop C covers Anderson, Scott and Campbell Counties, a large land mass that is home to over 135,000 people. On top of that, I-75, one of the most traveled roads in the country, runs through the heart of Troop C’s territory. There are 12 troopers, two sergeants and a lieutenant.

Two men wait while Trooper Matt Raines searches a car that was pulled over on traffic stop in LaFollette.

Given that amount of work, it would be easy for the troop to become overwhelmed. However, just the opposite is what has occurred.

Each trooper feels privileged to be part of the group. They cite strong leadership and camaraderie as the keys behind their teamwork.

“We have unit cohesion,” said Trooper Aaron McGhee. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 08/28/2017-6AM)  

Couple arrested for “heinous” child abuse

Following a man’s confession he used a riding crop to discipline a five year old girl and her mother’s failure to stop him, the couple was arrested on Wednesday.

 The Campbell County duo has been arrested for child abuse that has risen to the level of “heinous” and “cruel,” according to police.

The couple was charged under Haley’s Law.

Zachary Chase Crawford, 19, 251 Fall Creek Lane, Caryville, and Danielle Denise Hale, 20, 625 Main St., Jacksboro have been charged with aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect, respectively.

They have been charged under Haley’s Law, which means, they are facing stiff penalties if convicted of the Class A felonies. Specifically, if convicted, the pair could face 15- 60 years in prison each. They would not be eligible for early release leaving Crawford and Hale to serve their sentences at 100 percent.

Crawford and Hale, who are in a relationship, were arrested following an investigation by the Jacksboro Police Department.

Last week, the JPD went to Hale’s home on Main Street to conduct a welfare check on her five-year-old daughter.

When police arrived at the home, they noticed “severe bruising” on the little girl’s body, according to JPD Chief Danny Chapman. As the child was receiving medical care, first locally, then at Children’s Hospital in Knoxville, police were investigating how the child had been so severely injured.

Part of this investigation included questioning Crawford. During the course of questioning, Crawford allegedly confessed he had inflicted the injuries to the five-year-old girl.

The 19- year-old told police he had used “discipline” on the little girl that included hitting her with an open palm, striking her with a horse’s riding crop and that he also “disciplined” her with his “mouth by using his teeth.” Crawford allegedly went on tell police he “strangled” the child “around her neck using his legs.” He allegedly applied so much force around the neck, petechiae resulted. Petechiae is a condition that occurs when capillaries rupture leaving blood spots in the eyes.

Police determined that Crawford used “a dangerous weapon” on the little girl during the course of the abuse that is estimated to have happened over seven days.

And during this period of torture, Hale was allegedly aware what her boyfriend was doing to her child, the arrest report said.

The JPD learned that Hale was leaving her daughter alone with Crawford despite having knowledge of the abuse, police records indicate.

On at least three separate occasions in the course of a week, Hale said she “observed injuries” on her child. According to her arrest report, Hale said she spoke with Crawford telling him to stop “as each incident got worse.”

Crawford and Hale were arrested on Wednesday and are still being held.

The little girl has been placed in the care of the state.(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 08/25/2017-9PM) 

CLICK HERE to watch Tom Stiner's service from August 19, 2017

Commissioners delay decision on offer to settle water line lawsuit

Courtroom named in honor of Tom Stiner

The Campbell County Commission voted unanimously Monday night to name the courtroom where they meet in honor of late County Executive Tom Stiner. That action, along with a resolution recognizing CJUC Director Frank Wallace were among a handful of actions that were resolved at the poorly-attended meeting.

With only eleven commissioners attending, several contentious issues were postponed until next month, including a decision on a lawsuit involving a final payment to the contractor that installed water lines on Walnut Mountain.

K. Carrender Construction Company laid the lines under a CDBG grant, but billed the county $7,000 on a change order when a flood caused the company to have to lay more pipe than expected.

The commission, which had earlier set a policy that all change orders on bids must be approved by the county commission before payment, refused to pay the $7,000, despite the fact that project engineer Robert Campbell, La Follette Utilities and Mayor Morton had signed off on the change.

Carrender sued, and a preliminary hearing was held last week before Circuit Court Judge McAfee. County Attorney Joe Coker, David Dunaway representing the company and Judge McAfee agreed to bring a recommendation before the commission that if the county will agree to pay the initial invoice, Dunaway will waive his attorney’s fee of $450 per hour and the case would not go to court.

The Judge agreed that the commission’s policy is clear but that in the Walnut Mountain case, unexpected weather problems led to special circumstances and the change order seemed justified to avoid costly delays.

Several commissioners, however, expressed their determination to fight it out in court on Monday night.

“I’ll never vote to pay for it,” Ralph Davis proclaimed, while Cliff Jennings added, “Change orders are nothing more than a way to rig your bid.”

Mayor E L. Morton and Coker urged the commissioners to read the transcript of the Circuit Court hearing before making a decision, and understand fully the reasoning behind the Court. Dunaway, for his part, points out in the transcript that if the case goes to trial, his attorney’s fee will exceed the $7,000.

The commission agreed to postpone a decision until the September meeting, which is the absolute deadline set to avoid a trial, possibly by jury.

Jennings, who missed the commission workshop last week, is not yet ready to abandon his goal of establishing a veterans’ cemetery on the school board’s Davis Chapel property.

Last week, the members of the Disabled American Veterans declined an offer by the county to hand the cemetery over to them, telling the commissioners that they do not have the ability or the funds to keep up the grounds.

“The DAV said they couldn’t afford it. They didn’t say they didn’t want it,” Jennings pointed out, adding that he feels spending a couple of thousand dollars a year to maintain the cemetery grounds is worthwhile to honor the county’s veterans.

Jennings then offered a motion to go ahead with accepting the property from the school board and establishing the cemetery, but then agreed to withdraw his motion until next month.

The commission did manage to approve an amended waste tire contract with Kitts Tires for disposal of old tires brought into the Towe String Road facility or various convenience centers. Kitts will receive $68 per ton for disposal of used tires and an additional $100 per month for rental of trailers where the tires can be stored until removal.

Jennings and Whit Goins both voted “no” on the motion, Jennings arguing that he wanted something in the agreement to protect the county from having to pay for the same tire twice.

“We need to insure that those tires are shredded or otherwise destroyed so he doesn’t sell some as used tires and then we have to pay to dispose of them all over again,” Jennings insisted.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 08/22/2017-9AM)

A New Beginning plans to offer a fresh start

‘We aren’t looking to screen people out”- Stacy Bosch, assistant director of ANB

By Susan Sharp

It is a story that is becoming all too common: a man gets arrested, loses his job, his family and his home. When he is released from jail, his old life is gone. There is nowhere and no one to turn to.

This is a narrative a new organization in Campbell County wants to change.

The board and staff at A New Beginning saw this cyclical problem along with the damage it was doing to the community so instead of lamenting about it, they chose to act.

A New Beginning (ANB) is offering men who have recently been released from jail a chance to reassemble their lives.

“We want to get them into a paying job immediately, get them trained and help them find other resources,” said Stacy Bosch, assistant director of ANB.

To do this, ANB will be reaching out to local employers asking for them to join forces by giving these men opportunities their criminal past may have previously precluded them from.

The program, designed for men who have been released from jail within three months of applying to ANB, is prepared to help men reestablish a work history and an income, Bosch said.

Currently, there are five men in the program. ANB wants that number to increase.

In order to qualify for the program, and a job, applicants must first have a desire to work and change their lives, according to Bosch. The men must also be able to pass a drug screen, pass a background check that will focus on if violent offenses are present and be willing work with a mentor. After that, the ANB staff will work with the men on a variety of topics from parenting to budgeting.

And on the occasion that the desire is there, but, the sobriety isn’t, ANB will also help the man work towards getting clean then, the rest of the program will be implanted, Bosch said.

“We aren’t looking to screen people out,” she said. “We are trying to find candidates.”

As the Boschs review the applications they look for honesty more than anything. “The more information we have, the more we can help,” she said. She also said each case is screened on its own merits.

Bosch and her husband, Dave, who is the executive director, see ANB as an opportunity for Campbell County to reach a forgotten population.

“This is a huge door of opportunity for this community,” Bosch said of the possibility to counteract the negative effect narcotics has had in Campbell County.

Plans are also underway to build dormitory style housing for the men in ANB.

By the end of 2017, ANB hopes to be able to house 30 men. The men will pay to live in the dorm that will offer private rooms complete with a bathroom. A community room and kitchen is included in the plans. Participants in the program will have the option of living there from six to 12 months.

Currently, the program needs men willing to be mentors and businesses willing to hire ANB participants.

ANB isn’t prepared to accept women at this time. They hope to implement a women’s program at a later date.

For more information call 423-449-9006 or visit (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 08/21/2017-6AM)

Hundreds pay respects to Stiner on Saturday

Full day of honoring the war hero and local leader

   They came in overalls, coats and ties, pretty dresses, and pant suits.  But there was one common thread.  Tom Stiner.

   For the balance of Saturday, members of the community and from outside Campbell county, paid their respects to the former Campbell County Mayor and war hero.  Receiving of friends was from noon until 3 pm followed by the service at First Baptist Church of La Follette.  The service featured music from Kevin Walden, remarks and a “Letter to My Father” delivered by Duane Mills, and Jim Dossett handled the eulogy.

  Stiner was born, raised, and buried in Powell Valley.  His interment, military presentation, and Black Hawk fly over was at Powell Valley Memorial Gardens.

   On the program of the memorial celebrating the life of Tom Stiner, there was a note “In Appreciation.”  It read:  “We thank you for attending this service for Tom.  He would’ve been very pleased to be so honored.  Our heartfelt thanks go out to each one of you.”

   CLICK HERE to read community responses on Tom Stiner and Charlie Hutson's photo gallery.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 08/25/2017-6AM)


 Yager announces 5th annual Grant Conference

September 20 at RSCC-Harriman

NASHVILLE, Tenn. State Sen. Ken Yager (R-Kingston) announces his fifth annual Grant Conference will be held on Wednesday, September 20, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Roane State Community College at Harriman. The conference will focus on providing local governments, community groups and nonprofits pertinent information on available grants and the best practices for preparing a competitive application.

“The goal is to never let a grant opportunity pass by without local governments, community groups and nonprofits knowing how to tap into it,” said Yager. “I learned how import grants can be during my tenure as County Executive (now Mayor). The right federal, state or local grant can make the difference in going forward on a needed project.”

Admission to the conference is free, but registration is required. Registration is open until September 12th at

“For the past four years, this conference has been met with tremendous success. The grants received have helped improve communities in my district and statewide,” added Yager. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 08/14/2017-11AM)

Cigna deal includes La Follette Medical Center

New agreement means added services for Cigna Local Plus carriers

A four year agreement between Tennova Healthcare and Cigna will provide thousands of families throughout the community with in-network access to healthcare services at LaFollette Medical Center.

For state employees or those who work for companies that offer Cigna Local Plus as an insurance option, it means that they no longer have to travel outside our community for high quality, convenient hospital services.

 This agreement has Cigna Local Plus joining BlueCross BlueShield Network S and other major insurance plans with in-network access to diagnostic and treatment services at LaFollette Medical Center. These hospitals already participate in Cigna OAP, PPO and HMO products.

“As a result of this agreement, thousands of families throughout the community will now have access to Tennova’s caring team of skilled medical professionals and our wide variety of services at our hospitals in LaFollette, Newport and Jefferson City,” said Tony Benton, market chief executive officer for Tennova Healthcare in East Tennessee. 

Tennova Healthcare is always close to home and ready to meet the medical needs of individuals and their families,” Benton said. “And now—with in-network access for state employees as well as those who work for companies that offer Cigna Local Plus as an insurance option—we are even better able to serve the local community.”

For more information about Tennova Healthcare, call the La Follette Medical Center at 423.907.1200 or visit (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 08/07/2017-6AM)

WLAF is business of the year

Tabbed by members of the Chamber of Commerce

In front of a packed room, WLAF was named Campbell County’s Business of the Year last night. The honor, bestowed on the station by the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, was one that took the owners and staff by surprise.

A healthy crowd was on hand Thursday night at the chamber’s annual event

”I was caught off guard when Christie (Elkins) called to tell me we had won,” said Jim Freeman of WLAF. “To say we are humbled is an understatement.”

As Freeman and Bill Waddell, president and co-owner, walked to the front of the room at the Ball Farm Event Center to accept the award, they were given not only a deafening round of applause, but a standing ovation.

It was an overwhelming moment for the entire staff.

   It was quite a night for WLAF.  WLAF’s Bill Waddell proudly accepted the trophy as WLAF was named the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce “Member of the Year.”

“You are our community, you are our friends, “Waddell said as he held the large crystal award.

“It was a total team effort by all those who are a part of the WLAF Team,” Freeman said.

“WLAF is the heartbeat of this community,” Elkins, the chamber’s executive director said. “I tell everyone you get up, have your coffee, spend some time with Lord and then check 1450.” (06/23/2017-7AM-PHOTO COURTESY OF WLAF'S CHARLIE HUTSON - CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS)

   Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual meeting last night

Tucker and Hutson steal the show

   It started from the git-go for WLAF’s Charlie Hutson and WATE’s Lori Tucker.  C-Hut was there with his camera last night as guests were in the food line at the annual Campbell County Chamber of Commerce.  Once Lori spotted him right beside her, the friendly jostling began.  And it carried on through the evening.

Lori Tucker has been the evening news anchor at Channel 6 for 24-years

   The award winning television news anchor was last night’s keynote speaker.  Tucker shared her life’s story in a nutshell with the full house of chamber supporters mixed with a few back and forth humorous jabs between she and Hutson.

A few of the WLAF team members who were in attendance last night are pictured here with WATE’s Lori Tucker.  L-R:  Derrick Lee Anderson, Bill Waddell, Lori Tucker, Jim Freeman, Harold Branam, and Susan Sharp.


Smiles all around.  L-R Cindi Reynolds, Lori Tucker of WATE, and Christie Elkins.  Reynolds is the chambers Director of Tourism and Retirement while Elkins is the executive director of the chamber.

   Always graceful chamber director Christie Elkins served as the evening’s emcee leading praise for all the businesses and individuals who keep the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce strong as it heads into its 33rd year.  There are more than 230 members of the Campbell Chamber.

   Leadership Chair Missy Tackett recognized the 2016-2017 Leadership Class of Leeann Adkins, William Arbo, Kimberly England, Penny Etter, Travis Forsyth, Anthony Hamblin, Wendy Pittman, Olivia Robbins, Larry Tanis, and Chris Whaley.

The chamber presented Lori Tucker with two huge gift baskets.  Among the items is her very own WLAF T-Shirt

   Five members are retiring from their chamber of commerce board of director’s duties.  Chamber Chair Rhonda Longmire thanked Kenny Baird, Karen Cumorich, Debbie Petree, and Debbie Samples.  Longmire rounds out the five stepping away from the board this year.

   Cynthia Russell is the new chamber chairman for 2017-2018.  She welcomed incoming board members John Branam, Kevin Brown, Gary Farwick, Nancy Green, Brent McNeely, Paul Rumberger, and Melinda Wilson, Chair Elect.

   Last night’s event was held at the Ball Farm Event Center.  (06/23/2017-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF'S CHARLIE HUTSON)


ORDER your DVD copy of the 2017 Graduation by clicking here

   WLAF's coverage of the 2017 Campbell County High School Graduation is made possible by these outstanding WLAF Corporate Partners:  Cross-Smith Funeral Home - City of La Follette - First National Bank - Litho-Craft Printing and Office Supplies - LUB – La Follette Utilities -Hope and Stand - Shepherd’s Home Thrift Store - Walters Funeral Home - Peoples Bank of the South - Sheriff Robbie K. Goins - Wender Furniture Company - PCUD – Powell-Clinch Utility District - Robbins Guttering - United Cumberland Bank - La Follette Eye Clinic - State Farm Agent Lynn Ray


   We have a dilly of a Dolly story to share with you this morning.  More photos of Nora Snodderly’s visit with her hero, Dolly Parton, and her story are further down this page.


 All aboard!  Nora Snodderly brought her mom and dad, Raewyn and John, onboard her new best friend’s tour bus.  Dolly Parton just had to meet the girl with the big hair bow.

Mom, daughter and Dolly - a pre-mother’s day memory

Assignment becomes more than a story

By Raewyn Snodderly

Publisher’s note: When Raewyn volunteered to cover the premier of Dolly’s new “Smoky Mountain Adventures” Dinner Show for WLAF, we had no idea the day would turn into a lifelong memory. But it did, and here’s how it all came about.

  As a mother, you always want to see your daughter or son dream, dream of big things, places and have high hopes. My husband, John, introduced our daughter, Nora, to musical legends several years ago. For those of you who know John, you know he is an avid fan of legends such as Johnny Cash, Porter Wagoner, Dolly Parton, and Kenny Rogers. Those are just a few of his country artists, but he of course loves the hard rock and roll as well. One night Nora was introduced to Dolly Parton. From then on a love affair began! She, of course, had already been introduced to Dolly’s Imagination Library. Each month we received a book and it became an exciting time for Nora and Zeke, our son, when the mail came. As her love for books grew, her love for music grew as well. We often watch YouTube videos of Dolly, to the point of having to tell Nora that we must do our chores and finish our homework before we watch YouTube videos. Then came the records, her daddy made a trip to Merideath Antiques and acquired many of Dolly’s records. So every Friday night, we had dinner and would listen to Dolly.

Dolly was eager to hear what Nora had to say.

   When the fires happened in Sevier County, we sat as a family and watched fire rip through the beautiful mountains we love. We told stories about visiting the mountains. John shared stories about his many trips with his grandmother and People’s Bank of the South. I shared stories of family trips with all of my cousins and of course our trips with LaFollette United Methodist Church to Resurrection each year. We shared family stories visiting my mother and step-father’s cabin, which was Nora’s first adventure as a baby. The night of the fires was a somber and heartbreaking night in our household. However, Dolly jumped into action and did what she does best- she helped out and established the “My People Fund.” Nora was in awe. She said, “Mom, she is helping people she does not know.” She made a proclamation that night, “Mom, Dad, I love Dolly, I want to meet her one day and tell her thank you!” John and I looked at each other and snickered and said to her, “You may not meet Dolly but we can admire her through her music, her park and her books.”

  Fast forward a few months later, the weekend coming up was Dolly’s big homecoming weekend. We decided in light of the scheduled events we would make a trip to Dreammore Resort and attend the Dolly Parton homecoming parade. Nora knew of these plans and we had been very open with the fact that she would only see Dolly from a far.

   After numerous conversations with Nora, I overheard her prayer one night and it went something like this: “Dear Lord, I know you know Dolly, I love Dolly and I really want to meet her. Please help me, because I have so much to tell her.”

   All I could think was as a family we bless our food, attend church and pray, but if we do not meet Dolly, what will my daughter think about praying? That’s when our planned events took a real story book turn, and it was Nora’s prayers that were answered!

   For many of you who know me, I take pride in my southern roots. In fact, manners are one of the most important lessons that I took from both of my grandmothers and mother. We learned early on that no matter the situation, always mind your manners. You also may not know this, but Nora had her first hair bow in her hair 20 minutes after she was born. Every southern girl needs a hair bow and the bigger the better. So as a Southerner raising a daughter, I am aware that it is important to mind your manners and wear your hair bow.

   The night prior to the Dollywood parade and the Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures Dinner and Show, we checked into the resort, and saw Dolly’s bus. We asked around and Dolly was in for the night, so we took off and went swimming. After a long night of swimming, Nora and I went to check on Dolly’s bus. Nora began by saying, “Momma, she is in there.” My response was “Yes baby, but we will only get to see her at the dinner show and the parade.” She then reminded me that she had prayed about meeting Dolly, and the best was she “had Dolly in her heart!” At that moment in time, an angel appeared in the form of a gentleman asking “Do you like Dolly?” After a conversation, we learned he worked on Dolly’s staff. We introduced ourselves and let him know we would be at the show. The man was a jewel as he talked to Nora about the bus, Dolly’s love for her people and the love for kids. Nora, of course, naturally talked his ear off (she gets that from her daddy).

   The next morning was the big day; it was our chance to see Dolly Parton, but Nora was convinced saying, “We will meet her, Mom!” She had faith that her prayers would be answered. As we headed out for a fun filled day our first stop  was “Dolly Parton’s new “Smoky Mountain Adventures Dinner” show. We arrived for the premier at 8:45 am, only to find out that we were an hour early. Nora was a trooper, as we waited, and then it happened- Dolly’s bus pulled into the parking lot. As we stood there anxiously awaiting Dolly’s appearance, her team went in and out, in and out. You know that angel I mentioned? He came out of the bus. He came over to his new friend and said “Good morning Nora with the big pink hair bow. Are you ready to see the show?” Nora was extremely excited!

   We continued to stand there waiting on Dolly’s arrival and then there she was, as beautiful as ever, full of spunk and happy to greet her fans.  Next thing I know, I hear Nora anxiously shout “Dolly, we love you!” Dolly stopped and said “I love you, and I see you with the big pink bow!”

   We were on cloud nine! Nora’s dreams came true and her prayers had been answered. Or so we thought. After Dolly moved inside, we went in and found our seats. We were watched the show with the media and guests of Dolly. It was then announced that so much money was raised for the “My People Fund” the endeavor would continue. As Dolly spoke she talked of why this show was so near and dear to hear heart. It was about her momma and daddy and her family traditions growing up in Locus Ridge. The root of the show was “food, faith and family.”

  After the show, Nora’s life changed forever. We exited the show and noticed that Dolly had re-entered her bus. It was John’s idea to hang around for a moment. As we stood there and watched her staff go in and out, here came Nora’s buddy. He approached Nora and said, “Hey Nora with the big pink bow, do you want to meet a good friend?”  And with those words, Nora, John and I were headed onto Dolly’s tour bus. John and I were speechless, truthfully John stuttered, and I was in shock. Nora was extremely excited. She made herself at home and climbed right into Dolly’s lap. They discussed school, music and her love for books. Nora told Dolly that she prayed really hard to meet her, and she knew in her heart that she would meet Dolly one day. She then did something that, as a mother, I will always be proud of. She thanked Dolly for the Imagination Library books and explained that for many in rural Appalachia (yes, those words were used by a 6-year old) that was all they had. Dolly encouraged Nora to still read, wear those big bows, and to continue to pray. As we stood for pictures and she posed, John and I stood speechless, proud that our daughter recognized that Dolly is a good steward of her time and fortune. We were proud that Nora thanked her profusely for the books mailed to every child in the state. We were proud that she learned to love and respect someone so much that has such a big heart for her community. We were most proud, that as parents, she had faith that she would meet Dolly. We doubted, but, she had faith.

It was a day Nora “and” Dolly will not soon forget.

   As we approach this Mother’s Day weekend, remember that although our kids look up to us as parents, we as parents often learn from our children. So, as we wrapped up a fun weekend with our children we were still asking each other, “Did that really happen?” At the end of the weekend as we were having dinner and celebrating such a great day, Zeke had a huge announcement.

   He stood proud and tall at the table and said “Mom, Dad, YaYa, B, I met someone famous….I met Johnny Cash!” (05/12/2017-6AM)

  Ben Rogers Building now leasing

Old building has rebirth

    The Ben Rogers Building is making a comeback.  For more than 50-years, Ben Rogers operated his insurance business at the corner of West Central and Nevada Avenues.  His close friends, Conrad and Andy Troutman, shared part of the building for their law practice.

   Fast forward to 2017.  After the building sat empty for a time following Rogers’ death, it’s been totally gutted and remodeled.

The Rogers side of the structure was the two story with the Troutman side to the right.  Ray Bolton’s Barber Shop, though connected, is not for rent.

     The new owners, Todd and Tonya Overbay, are now leasing professional office space.  A single renter is already operating out of the Rogers Building, and there is room for more.

   One and two room offices are now available.  A monthly lease includes utilities and internet.

   For more information about professional office space in downtown La Follette, call the Overbays at 423.494.5625.  (04/03/2017-6AM)

   Cougars region is set for the next five seasons

Class 5-A Region 3 Football Classification for 2017-2021

   Here’s who Campbell County is joined by in its new region.  WLAF will release the 2017 schedule in the coming weeks.

Campbell Cougars

Clinton Dragons

Fulton Falcons

Karns Beavers

Oak Ridge Wildcats

Powell Panthers

                                          West Rebels  (11/11/2016-3PM)                                 


     Several outstanding corporate partners make the WLAF Election Returns possible.  They are Terry’s Pharmacy, Community Trust Bank, East Side Pizza, Litho-Craft Printing & Office Supplies, United Cumberland Bank, Byrge Screen Printing, Bowman Jewelers, Attorney Greg Leach,  David Bales Buick-GMC, Main Street Shell, First National Bank, State Farm Agent Lynn Ray, El Pueblito Mexican Grill, Beacon Finance, Gamble Motors, State Representative Dennis Powers, Wender Furniture, Peoples Bank of the South, and Gary Gray Insurance.                                          

Warriors celebrate winning season and Coach King

Christian Academy hosts annual basketball banquet

By Susan Sharp

There was an air of festivity last Thursday night as the Christian Academy of Campbell County Warriors celebrated a winning season. There was recognition for a hard fought season that ended with a county championship. There were comments about how each player had developed in distinct ways over the season but, among all of the glory and accolades there was also something- someone missing. Coach Vic King had led the Warriors to a county championship in 2013. This served to steel his determination for a repeat in the 2014 season. “When Coach King first asked me to help him coach this team, he said we were winning the county championship this year,” said Dusty Paul, the one-time assistant and now head coach for the Warriors. “I told him okay. I was just honored to be sitting with him on the bench.” Paul played for King in middle school.

And while the young team would oblige with a repeat they did it in memory of King instead of with him. The longtime basketball coach was in his second year coaching the Warriors when health problems arose. He fought hard but just before Thanksgiving King died. It was a blow the team struggled with.

Yet, with the help of Paul and a desire to make King proud, the Warriors pulled off a victory in the final game of the county tournament beating Wynn Elementary School. Adding to the triumph, several of the players walked away with tournament honors.

Thursday night allowed the boys to enjoy their win while paying tribute to the coach who believed in them when they didn’t believe in themselves. Trophies and tributes were showered on the team who suffered a loss that most adults would struggle with. “I lost my coach my junior year,” said Starla Berry, Lady Warriors head coach. “I know how hard that can be to come back from. But these young men did it and pulled off a great season.”

“Coach King was a legend around here and we were lucky to have him,” said Ollie Medley, CACC administrator. As she addressed the players who had gathered in the gym for Thursday’s banquet, Medley held in her hand a stack of notes the Warriors had written for the King family. Each one detailed what King had meant to his team. Medley said the notes would be delivered to King’s wife, Shelly, and daughter, Katie Cave. Along with this the women will each be given a basketball signed by all of the players.

Medley also unveiled a plaque memorializing King that will hang in the CACC gym. Kevin Corner, who played on King’s first team in 1977 was on hand to represent King’s family. “I can see why he loved this place,” Corner said surveying the audience. “He was all about class and this school obviously has that. He loved you boys.” Sharing memories of when he played for King, Corner said “Our team was the alpha and you boys, you are the omega. You are the end of an era.”  (04/20/2015 - 6:00 AM)

Coach King’s Corner

     Coach Vic King left us in November 2014.  In honor and memory of him, we’ve created a “Coach King’s Corner.”  Click Coach’s picture to access Coach King’s Corner.  (03/23/2015)


This picture of Coach was snapped by Charlie Hutson on Friday, May 17, 2013, in front of the former Regions Bank (where La Follette Junior High/High School once stood).  It was where the 60th anniversary of WLAF was celebrated.   





Precinct-by-precinct.  District-by-district.  WLAF has all the final numbers.

     You asked.  WLAF delivered.  WLAF's Coach Vic King has taken all 184 pages of the election numbers and posted them right here.  Just CLICK.  (08/12/2014 - 8:00 PM)







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