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     Zander Brown’s real father attended the preliminary hearing. The back of his car reads “My son is my superhero Zander Brown”. He denied comment on the case. (CHARLOTTE UNDERWOOD PIX)

Scary sight.  No injury.  No charges.  WLAF's Charlotte Underwood snapped these pix of a car that rolled over on Pinecrest Raod Tuesday afternoon.

Need a flat fixed?  JR's Tires and Used Cars can fix it.

A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM STATE REPRESENTATIVE DENNIS POWERS (CLICK HERE)

Child abuse case bound over to grand jury

By Charlotte Underwood

The child abuse case involving Eric and Nakita Morton has been bound over to the Campbell County Grand Jury.  After listening to testimony from an expert pediatric child abuse witness from Vanderbilt Burn Center in Nashville, General Sessions Judge Amanda Sammons denied the defense’s motions to have charges against Nakita and Eric Morton dismissed and chose to bind the case over to the Grand Jury, which meets again on Dec. 12.

Debra Lowen, the Head of the Pediatric Child Abuse department at Vanderbilt in Nashville testified that the burns on Zander Brown were abusive in nature. Based of this testimony and that of others, Judge Amanda Sammons ruled that the case be bound over to the grand jury.

Dr. Debra Lowen, who is head of Child Abuse Pediatrics at Vanderbilt, testified on the prosecution’s behalf.  Lowen stated that in her medical opinion, the burns on Zander Brown were a result of child abuse and that his burns were not consistent with the series of events described by Eric Morton as to how the burns happened.

Defense attorney Wes Hatmaker asked her if the burns were intentional and Lowen replied that she did not deal with intent.

“I don’t talk about intent, but in my expert medical opinion, this was an abusive injury.”

Lowen said the “flow patterns, the sparing of burns in certain areas and the lack of splash patterns” contradict Eric Morton’s explanation of events that Zander turned the hot water on himself and then was “running around in circles, before falling and striking his head in the tub.”

Eric Morton and Nakita Morton are escorted out of the court room after their preliminary hearing. The Mortons are accused of abusing Nakita’s son Zander Brown, who is still in Vanderbilt Burn Center. The case has been bound over to the grand jury.

Lowen said if Zander had turned the water on himself and was suddenly confronted with hot water, he would have retreated first to the back of the tub to get away from the burning water and if that had not worked, would have climbed out. According to testimony from Zander’s grandfather, the child could climb in and out of the tub on his own and had done so in the past. Lowen said she also based her view that the injuries were abusive in nature by the fact that Zander had bruising on both temples and other parts of his body, which according to her were not in correlation with a fall in the bath tub. Lowen also said the 2 and a half hour delay in medical attention caused Zander’s injuries to be worse, which was indicated in the lab work done on his internal organs, which were adversely affected.

“He needed emergency medical care and when he was not given that care immediately, it was medical neglect,” Lowen said.

When defense attorneys Bill Jones and Wes Hatmaker asked for charges to be dismissed because the burns were a result of an accident according to their clients, Assistant District Attorney Tom Barkley objected saying the fact that Eric Morton had admittedly scrubbed the blisters off of Zander’s burned body was child abuse in and of itself.

“Your honor that would have been excruciating to a child with burns of this degree; they together planned to withhold medical treatment to this child because they did not want DCS or the police involved – they cared more about themselves than in getting medical attention to the child,” Barkley said.  The medical expert also testified that it would be an incredibly painful experience and that there was evidence of possible older abuse.

“The MRI that was done on (Zander) showed several small areas of old blood in his brain that is indicative of prior insult, (injury),” Lowen said.

According to Lowen, Zander has second and third degree burns 60-percent of his body and he has already undergone seven surgeries.  After he went through the second surgery, he “coded” and had to be resuscitated with CPR.

Zander remains at Vanderbilt with life-threatening injuries and will most likely be there for another six to eight weeks. He has multiple surgeries ahead of him and the greatest risk he faces now is from infections. Lowen also said the burn team that is treating him has had difficulty because he lacks the healthy skin needed for skin grafts due to the severity and large portion of his body that was burned. He remains in a lot of pain and on a lot of pain medication, according to medical officials.  (10/21/2014 - 9:00 PM)

Let Eric Robbins and his crew at Robbins Guttering make your home brand new again.  Call Eric today at 423.566.5461.  Siding, gutters, windows, & more.

Campbell County Commission Meeting 10/20/2014

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Mortons accused of child abuse

By Charlotte Underwood

BREAKING NEWS:  Eric Morton and Nakita Morton are bound over to the grand jury.  WLAF’s Charlotte Underwood has more details coming up.  (10/21/2014 - 2:45 PM)

The couple accused of causing severe burns on Zander Brown sat quietly as they listened to testimony from state witnesses during their preliminary hearing in Campbell County Court this morning. Eric Morton, 32, and Nakita Morton, 22, are both charged with child neglect, while Eric Morton is charged with child abuse as well. Zander Brown, who turned four years old Friday, received second-degree burns while in Eric Morton’s care last month. According to the sheriff’s office, the child’s mother, Nakita Morton, left the child in the care of Eric Morton on Sept. 16 at the home where they were living with Nakita Morton’s parents.

Mortons leave the courtroom for lunch break (CHARLOTTE UNDERWOOD PIX)

According to statements made to law enforcement by Eric Morton and Nakita Morton, the burns were accidental. Eric Morton’s statement said that he had placed Zander Brown in the bathtub, in ankle deep water that was not too hot. He then heard the washer beep and turned the shower head on so the tub would not fill up too quickly, before going to check on the laundry. While he was gone, he heard Zander yell, then a few seconds later, he began to scream hysterically. Eric Morton stated to police that he ran into the bathroom and saw steam rising from the tub. He said Zander was running in circles and just as he was about to reach him in the tub, Zander fell and struck his face on the tub. His statement says it was an accident and that he never should have left Zander alone in the tub. Testimony from state witnesses, however, refute that the burns could have happened as a result of an accident.

During the beginning testimony today, the court heard from Campbell County Sheriff’s Detective Ricky Jeffers, who testified that in his opinion, the burns could not have been accidental as Eric Morton claims. Jeffers testified that he believed that based on not only his own opinion, but on the opinion from the Vanderbilt Burn Center Doctor who examined Zander Brown. Eric Morton described the burns as a mild sunburn in a text to Nakita Morton and said that he did not believe they were that bad, though in his statement to Jeffers, he acknowledged that when he put cold water on the burns, they blistered immediately. In a text that Eric Morton sent to Nakita Morton right after the burns happened, he said that “Zander has “expletive) himself up bad”.

The child received second degree burns to his head, neck, chest, abdomen, back, arms and legs. According to Jeffers, there was also bruising on the child’s face, hip, leg and lower back.

When Eric Morton sent Nakita the text, she and her mother were at K-Mart. They picked up burn crème to bring home and once they got home, they put the Duraplast and saran wrap on Zander’s burns. Zander’s grandmother also wanted to take him to the hospital immediately and began gathering his things for a trip to the hospital. Nakita Morton and Eric Morton would only allow the grandparents to take the child to the hospital after they agreed to tell a lie and say that Nakita Morton was bathing the child, when she heard the other child cry and left Zander in the tub. The grandparents said they only agreed to the lie in order to get the child out of the house to seek medical care. Once at the hospital, they told the truth of what they were told had happened.

Zander Brown’s grandfather, Tommy Daugherty, testified, saying that he arrived at the home around 11 a.m. that day and urged Eric Morton to allow him to take Zander to the hospital. He also testified that he was “physically afraid of Eric Morton”, which is why he did not just pick Zander up and take him.  Daugherty described Zander as quiet and unresponsive when he saw him after the burns happened. He described his appearance as “real red.”

“His skin looked real red, like hamburger meat you would see in the store.”

After the lunch recess, the court room is expected to hear from the Vanderbilt Burn Center doctor who examined Zander. (10/21/2014 - 12:15 PM)

Fleming turns self in to THP

     A four-time DUI offender sits in the county jail this morning.  But he’s there for more than just a driving under the influence offense.  Vehicular homicide is among the charges 42-year old Kevin Fleming faces. 

Kevin Fleming (COURTESY OF THE CAMPBELL COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT)

A sealed indictment was handed down last Friday at the courthouse at Jacksboro, and as a result, Fleming turned himself in to the Tennessee Highway Patrol just before 8:00 p.m. Monday night.  In Trooper Joe Brown’s report from July 21st wreck, he outlines that Fleming was the driver of a 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 truck carrying three others when it slammed into a tree on Patty Hill Road at Caryville. 

Charles Morris

Jay Carroll

Carl Daugherty, Jr.

One of Fleming’s passengers, 43-year old Charles Morris of La Follette, died soon after the crash.  Then on August 7, 39-year old Jay Carroll, also of La Follette, died from the injuries he sustained nearly three-weeks earlier.  It was less than a week later when 52-year old Carl Daugherty, Jr. of Caryville passed away.  Fleming’s bond is set at $250,000.  (10/21/2014 - 11:15 AM)

Couple in court for preliminary hearing on child abuse charges

By Charlotte Underwood

The couple accused of causing severe burns on a three-year-old boy are set for a preliminary hearing in Campbell County Court this morning. Eric Morton, 32, and Nakita Morton, 22, are both scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. in General Sessions Court after the child, Zander Brown, who turned four years old Friday, received second-degree burns while in Eric Morton’s care last month. According to the sheriff’s office, the child’s mother, Nakita Morton, left the child in the care of Eric Morton on Sept. 16 at the home where they were living with Nakita Morton’s parents.

The child received second degree burns to his head, neck, chest, abdomen, back, arms and legs sometime before 10 a.m, that day, according to the report.

According to court documents, Eric Morton told Nakita Morton about the injuries, but the couple did not seek medical treatment, allegedly for fear of getting the department of Children's Services or law enforcement involved.

It wasn’t until sometime after 12:30 p.m., the Mortons allowed the child's grandparents to take him to LaFollette Medical Center.

While at the hospital, doctors also observed the child had bruises on various parts of his body. He was subsequently flown to
Vanderbilt University Hospital.

Officials say the injuries were not present before the child was left with Eric Morton and are inconsistent with an accident.

Nakita Morton is charged with aggravated child neglect for allegedly failing or refusing to provide medical treatment for the child. Eric Morton is charged with aggravated child neglect for the same reason, as well as aggravated child abuse for allegedly intentionally causing the burns.

Officials say the charges will be enhanced under Haley's Law.
(10/21/2014 - 6:00 AM)

Medicare questions?  Healthcare questions?  Terry’s Pharmacy has answers.

Beginning next week, Tuesdays and Fridays are the days to ask Medicare and healthcare questions.  The person to ask is Grey Stooksbury.  He’s at the Terry’s Pharmacy La Follette location twice weekly, Tuesdays and Fridays, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Stooksbury of the Gray Insurance Agency may be reached at 423.562.3346.(10/212/2014 - 9:00 AM)

Commission’s final vote sets 1.99 tax rate, no wheel tax hike

The final act in the county commission’s 2014 budget drama was without much drama Monday night, as the commission calmly approved a $1.99 property tax rate that will provide enough additional funding to open the new jail at the end of the year and provide four full-time security officers at four of the county’s more isolated elementary schools.

With a $30 wheel tax increase eliminated, the commission’s vote two weeks ago to provide $500,000 for paving roads, $250 local raises to teachers and $500 raises to all other county employees was also off the table, as the final budget eliminated all of those increases.

The wheel tax increase approved at the special called meeting on October 8 was ruled last week to be invalid by the County Municipal Advisory Service because an increase in the wheel tax requires a two-thirds “super majority” vote on two consecutive monthly meetings.

The wheel tax increase fell short of the mark, only passing 9-6, while the budget deadlines also left no opportunity for meeting the two meeting requirement even if a tenth vote could be found.

The county is now left with the task of determining if the wheel tax itself was legally enacted back in 1990, as well as the $10 increase that was passed four years ago. According to research reported by County Attorney Joe Coker, the original wheel tax ordinance in 1990 received the necessary votes, being approved 14-0 at two meetings. The gray area is that one of those meetings was a recessed session and Coker told commissioners that he has asked the state Attorney General for a legal opinion.

“Attorney General’s opinions normally take anywhere from one to three months,” Coker told the commission.

The commission wasted no time Monday night in getting the budget finalized and behind them. After dispensing with approval of minutes and notaries, County Mayor E. L. Morton opened the discussion by announcing that three motions were required – to approve the budget, the tax rate and the appropriation resolution spelling out what revenues pay for which expenditures.

Rusty Orick offered a motion to approve the budget with Marie Ayers seconding his motion. The motion passed 9-5 with Scott Stanfield, Sue Nance, Whit Goins, Charles Baird and Cliff Jennings voting “no” and Carl Douglas absent.

Lonnie Weldon then made a motion to approve a property tax rate of $1.99 on each $100 of assessed value. That motion passed 11-3 with Stanfield, Jennings and Goins all voting “no.” Marie Ayers moved to approve the appropriation resolution, which passed by the same 11-3 vote.

Morton then brought up the subject of allowing citizens to address the commission at the regular monthly meetings. “I come from the principal that people have a right to speak,” Morton told the commission. “The previous commission voted to limit public input to only the workshop session. I would like to see public access at both.”

Rusty Orick pointed out that the previous limits had been enacted because some people were taking more time than they were allowed, resulting in lengthy meetings and interruptions during commission deliberations. “People need to sign in to speak and adhere to the time limits,” Orick urged.

Sue Nance quickly made a motion to allow public input at regular meetings, with Marie Ayers seconding the motion. Cliff Jennings asked that the motion clarify when speakers would be allowed their three minutes, with Nance adding to her motion that the public comment period would be at the beginning of meetings.

The commission then voted 14-0 to once again allow public comments and input at regular commission meetings as well as at the monthly workshops. Three people from the audience took advantage immediately of Morton’s invitation to speak. James Slusher and Buddy Hale both briefly commented on the budget deliberations. A third man who failed to identify himself urged commissioners to speak directly into their microphones because people sitting toward the back of the courtroom have a hard time hearing their discussion.

Another major topic was postponed until next month. Whit Goins asked that his motion to decrease the size of the commission from fifteen to ten members and the school board from ten to five be postponed “because not everybody is here tonight.”  (10/21/2014 - 6:00 AM)

Court date for Campbell County woman charged with murder is changed

By Charlotte Underwood

The woman who was involved in the murder of Knoxville man Kenneth G. Koster was slated to appear in General Sessions Court this morning. Monica Leigh-Ann Briggs, 36, was wanted for questioning in the murder of Koster, whose body was found on Enix Lane in Campbell County. He had been shot to death.  However, Briggs’ court appearance has been moved to Friday morning.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation had been looking for Briggs and another person, 43-year-old James Bradley Phillips, for questioning in relation to the case. After a brief manhunt, Phillps was shot and killed by police at the Wendy's on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge at around 9:40 on Sept. 14.

Briggs, who was with Phillips at the time, was arrested on charges of public intoxication. According to court documents, her family had reported her missing.

Briggs was returned to Campbell County and charged with premeditated felony murder in court on Monday, September 15 where she pleaded not guilty via her court-appointed lawyer. Her bail was set at $750,000.

According to the TBI statement during her arraignment, Briggs told police she assisted in planning and and carrying out Koster's murder.

In an interview with investigators she stated that she put a firearm in Koster's left ear and pulled the trigger.

A neighbor found Koster's body wrapped in plastic on Enix Lane, when police got there they also found cleaning supplies, a rifle, and a handgun.

The report says Briggs fled in pick-up truck, later Koster's bloody clothes, his wallet and Brigg's wallet were found in that truck. (10/21/2014 - 6:00 AM)

The year 2014 in gas prices – so far

     Gas prices continue sliding.  The year 2014 started with gas prices in Campbell County at $3.09 a gallon.  The highest price for a gallon of regular unleaded self-service gasoline topped out at $3.49 on April 22 of this year.  Since September 6, prices have crept downward 31-cents to the current cost of $2.88 a gallon.  Prior to this latest falling trend, the lowest price of gas in 2014 came at $2.99 on February 3. (10/20/2014 - 6:00 AM)

General Sessions Judge Amanda Sammons denied setting a bond for Bartley, citing his prior convictions and flight risk as reasoning, as well as the risk to the community and the victims.

Bartley arraigned after latest assault arrest

By Charlotte Underwood and Jim Freeman

Following his latest arrest, school shooter Kenneth S. Bartley appeared shackled, yet relaxed in General Sessions Court this afternoon at Jacksboro.  Bartley, who has been arrested three times now since being set free earlier this year, is charged with domestic assault after a Thursday night incident involving his mother, Rita Broyles.  According to the arrest warrant, Bartley threatened to strangle his mother, with whom he was living, after she refused to give him money for a cab. Broyles was eventually able to get away from Bartley and go to a neighbor’s house before calling the police.

Kenneth S. Bartley appeared in court once again this morning, this time on assault charges regarding a Thursday incident involving his mother. After the assault, Bartley was briefly on the run, before turning himself into authorities on Saturday.

Around 1:30 p.m. this afternoon, General Sessions Judge Amanda Sammons explained to Bartley that his charge of domestic assault is considered a violent offense.  The judge explained that that charge coupled with Bartley’s prior convictions poses risk concerns; risk to the community, the victims, and of flight.  As a result, Sammons said that no bond is appropriate. Bartley visibly yawned as she explained this to him.

Bartley was already on supervised probation as a result of two incidences that happened over the summer surrounding his father, Kenny Bartley. After his mother called 9-1-1 on Thursday night, Bartley fled her home and went on the run, before eventually turning himself in to authorities late Saturday morning. Broyles stated to police that she was in fear of her son and that when she refused to give him $70 for a cab, he threatened to strangle her and “cause her to pass out.”

Bartley’s next court appearance on these particular charges will be Nov. 20 at 9 a.m. in General Sessions Court. He also has an upcoming appearance scheduled in criminal court for his violation of probation charge.

After Bartley turned himself in, Judge Shayne Sexton signed a no bond order on Bartley’s violation of probation.  Bartley will next appear before Judge Sexton on the violation of probation charge. According to court documents, Bartley freely admitted to drinking alcohol and also tested positive for THC from marijuana, both of which violated his probation.

Until this year, the younger Bartley had been serving time over the November 2005 shooting of three Campbell High Principals, one fatally.  In late February, Bartley was convicted in the reckless homicide death of Campbell County High School Principal Ken Bruce, along with possession of a firearm on school grounds and drug charges.  All convictions stem from that 2005 shooting.  The now 23-year old was given credit for his eight-years of time served and became a free man after a sentencing hearing on April 7th

Court house Bailiffs loaded Kenneth S. Bartley into the transport van to be taken back to jail after his arraignment at the courthouse this afternoon.

Judge Amanda Sammons told Bartley that he was to have no contact with his mother.  Kenneth S. Bartley returns to Sammons’ court on Thursday, November 20 at 9 a.m.(10/20/2014 - 2:45 PM)

Terry’s Pharmacy hosts healthcare answer sessions on Mondays

If you have questions about Medicare and healthcare, then Terry’s Pharmacy is the place to be on Monday mornings. With the Affordable Healthcare Act being implemented, lots of people have questions about what’s going on. From 9:30 a.m. to noon on Mondays, there will be a representative of a multi-company insurance group on hand to answer those questions.

You have questions about Medicare and healthcare?  Miranda Ford has answers every Monday at Terry's Pharmacy.

“Plans will go away and new plans will become available; patients really need to come talk to this woman because she can hopefully answer their questions and help them select the right plan. She is non-biased and not representing any particular company,” said Raewyn Snodderly of Terry’s Pharmacy. Those that are new to Medicare or are turning 65 and those who need extra help on prescription drug co-pays are encouraged to attend. Those who receive Medicaid/TennCare, QMB or SLMB are also encouraged to attend.

“She will look at the medication list and how much they are prescribed and will then help choose the best health care plan for each patient,” Snodderly explained.

For more information, call Terry’s Pharmacy at 423-562-4928. It is located at 310 E. Central Avenue in La Follette. (10/06/2014 - 6:00 AM)

Early voting continues

It’s a big November ticket for Jellico; not so much for Caryville and La Follette.  However, La Follette may have the hottest item on the ballot.  The referendum for La Follette is whether or not to legalize the sale of alcohol.

On Jellico’s big ballot, Forrester Baird and Larry Meadors will challenge current Mayor Les Stiers while a bakers dozen other candidates will battle it out for six alderman seats.  Three incumbents, Pam Carbaugh, Coach Alvin Evans, and Charles Vermillion have opposition from William Michael Bridges, Novella Brooks, Jamie Lawson, Charlotte Lindsay, Sarah Beth McQueen, Wanda Perkins, Gail Sharp, Ranee’ Voyles, and Louise Walden.

At Caryville, three alderman seats are up.  Ward 1’s candidates are Jerry Chadwell facing Dwayne Gibson.  Gibson was appointed to finish an unexpired term.  David E. Smith is unopposed in Ward 2.  Beth Lawson challenges Ward 3 incumbent Mark Stanley.

La Follette is electing two council members.  Joe Bolinger is running for re-election.  Ann Thompson, who was appointed to finish a term, is seeking to keep that seat.  Perennial candidate Virgil Kidwell, who is also the Democratic nominee for state representative, is running for city council.

Also of local interest, aside from electing a governor and U.S. Senator, Kidwell faces incumbent State Representative Dennis Powers while Mary Headrick challenges Congressman Chuck Fleischmann.  On the north side of the county, longtime Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. faces three challengers.  There are also four very complicated constitutional amendments on the ballot.  You may see the entire ballot by clicking on this icon

Early voting runs through October 30th.  At Jacksboro at the Election Commission Office, early voting hours are Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., Fridays 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Saturdays 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  At the Jellico Municipal Building, early voting days and times are Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., Fridays 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Saturdays 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.   Election Day is Tuesday, November 4th.  WLAF provides coverage on election night on AM, FM, TV, DOT COM, Facebook, and Twitter.  (10/15/2014 - 9:30 AM)

First Baptist Church of La Follette 10/19/2014

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Owens Shoe Store is located up above Scottie’s at Caryville

Owens Shoe Store is WLAF’s business of the week

By Charlotte Underwood

Deer season is upon us and Christmas is just around the bend, now’s the time to get that pair of boots for winter. Whether you need work boots, hunting boots, cowboy boots or muck boots, Owens Shoe Store in Caryville has got boots for all occasions. With name brands like Rocky, Red Wing, Muck, Georgia, Durango and Ariat, the shop carries a large selection of boots in stock, but can also order any size you need from these companies.  The boots will be delivered in seven to 12 days at no charge for shipping to the customer and if the boots don’t fit, that’s not a problem, as they will just put them on the shelf and order you another pair.

Dickies work pants and clothing is also available at Owens Shoe Store in Caryville. And if they are too long, Owens will also hem them

Owned and operated by Everett Owens, the shop opened up on Main Street in Caryville in 2008.

According to Owens’s daughter-in-law Jody, who works at the store in the mornings, Muck boots are one of their best sellers because the four-wheeler riders love them.

The shop also sells Peet boot dryers for those evenings when you need your boots dry the next morning.

Ariat boots are a popular seller at Owens Shoe Store in Caryville

Owens sells Dickies brand work clothing, as well as Walls brand hunting clothing and Rattlers brand snake chaps, which are also a big seller for those who enjoy four-wheeling in the mountains. Clothing can also be ordered to size and is delivered to the store in seven to 12 days at no cost to the customer. The shop will also do basic hemming jobs to work and hunting clothes.

Hand-worked leather belts can be found in Caryville at Owens Shoe Store

Leather belts and different name brand hunting knives such as Case, Remington, and Buck can also be found at Owens.

Owens Shoe Store is located at 195 Main Street in Caryville, 0.1 miles past Shoney’s on the left. The store is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8: 30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information call 423-562-2138 or email at OwensShoes@bellsouth.net. (10/16/2014 - 6:00 AM)

It’s burn permit time in Campbell County

It’s leaf and brush burning time in Campbell County, but not without a burn permit. According to the Tennessee Forestry Department, the official wildfire season begins Oct. 15, today, and continues through May 15 of 2015. Anyone doing outdoor burning during this time frame is required by state law to obtain a burn permit, free of charge, from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Forestry Division.

There are two options to obtain a burn permit. The first option is to call your local forestry division between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or go online any day of the week 9 a.m. through midnight at www.burnsafetn.org. Online permits only take a few minutes to obtain and are available for all Tennessee counties, with the exception of a few. Restrictions for online burn permits include that they are only applicable for individual debris piles 8 foot by 8 foot or smaller. Anyone seeking to burn debris piles larger than this must call the local forestry office for a permit. Also, if the property requesting a burn permit is inside a city limit or a restricted area, the owner is responsible for obtaining a permit from the city and following local ordinances.

The Forestry Division also warns that during times of drought or dry weather, burn permits may be restricted or cancelled. Anyone burning illegally during these times are subject to receiving a citation and may be responsible for the costs associated with the extinguishment of their fire.

Safety tips for outdoor burning include: do not burn adjacent to forest or grassland, watch the wind, have tools and help on hand to contain the fire, dig a line down to mineral soil around the fire, notify your neighbors, get a permit, check with local burn ordinances and most important of all, never leave your fire until it is completely out.

For information about obtaining a burn permit locally by phone, call 423-562-7838, or visit www.burnsafetn.org to get one online. (10/15/2014 - 6:00 AM)

Caryville approves purchases; makes plans to discuss personnel policies

By Charlotte Underwood

The Caryville Mayor and Alderman board approved several purchases during its meeting Monday evening, including a used controller for the red light that comes off the interstate. The controller had malfunctioned several months ago and Progression Electric had installed one of its own light controllers until they could determine if the old one could be repaired. The part that controls the light could not be ordered, which left Caryville with two options. Progression Electric said the town could either purchase the used controller that was already installed for $1,200 or a new one for $3,700, which came with an additional programming cost of $600. The board voted to go with the $1,200 purchase. The used light controller is expected to last eight to ten more years.

A 50-ton salt purchase was approved so the town can get ready for the coming winter at a cost of 79.78 per ton for a total cost of $3,989.

Two new front tires for the garbage truck at a cost of $610 and new rear tires for the F-550 truck at a cost of $748 were also approved.  The board voted to pay for the library’s yearly technical support at a cost of $1,100.

Organizers for the “Stand at the Cross” event received permission to use town hall chambers for their final meeting on Oct. 28, before the event is held on Nov. 8. Open Arms Ministry also received permission to hold a fundraising road block on Oct. 31 in front of Shoney’s.

During the meeting, board member Vickie Heatherly brought up the town’s personnel policies and said she wanted to have a meeting to discuss them because she didn’t feel they were being followed. A workshop has been set for Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. to discuss policies.

Trunk or Treat for the town of Caryville is scheduled for Halloween on Oct. 31 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the field in front of Scotty’s restaurant. (10/15/2014 - 6:00 AM)

Roads, raises out as state rules $75 wheel tax vote is invalid

Less than a week after approving a budget and tax rate that included a $30 increase in the county’s wheel tax, commissioners found themselves nearly back on square one Monday night as they discovered that their vote to set a $75 wheel tax was invalid.

Legal advisors with the County Technical Advisory Service (CTAS) informed Finance Director Jeff Marlow and County Attorney Joe Coker on Monday afternoon that state law requires a change in the wheel tax to be approved by a “supermajority” of ten commissioners on two separate votes at consecutive monthly meetings.

The motion last week to approve a wheel tax increase to cover raises to county employees and asphalt for the highway department passed by only a vote of 9-6, meaning it did not receive the required number of votes while the commission cannot afford to wait for a second vote in November even if a tenth vote could be found supporting the increase.

James Slusher was in the audience armed with the same information that CTAS had shared, bringing along attorney Mike Hatmaker as he threatened to sue the commission if they failed to abide by the law.

“Not only was your vote last week illegal, but the vote to increase the wheel tax in 2010 to $45 was illegal and I can’t find evidence in the records in 1990 that you followed the law when the wheel tax was first passed,” Slusher complained.

He stopped short of suggesting that the county should refund all wheel tax collections since 1990, an act that would undoubtedly bankrupt the county, close the schools, halt all law enforcement, road maintenance and governmental functions and probably result in a state takeover under martial law.

Slusher went a step further by suggesting that necessary road paving projects could be funded from the county’s fund balance, which he claimed was bloated with $8 million. “Only a ten percent fund balance is necessary,” Slusher claimed.

Finance Director Marlow brought the discussion back to earth at last, pointing out that most of the fund balance accounts in schools, roads and other funds are protected by law and can’t be transferred back and forth to cover costs in other departments.

Marlow and Coker both informed the new commission that when the previous commission voted to increase the wheel tax in 2010, CTAS had given exactly the opposite advice, telling the county that a simple majority vote was all that was needed.

“I advised the commission that I thought a two-thirds vote was necessary at that time, but CTAS told us otherwise,” Marlow recalled.

“I’ve not dealt with CTAS but have with MTAS (Municipal Technical Advisory Service),” Cliff Jennings observed. “Their legal opinions are just that – opinions.”

“I’ve sued them (MTAS) four times and won three times,” Jennings claimed, referring to his tenure as mayor of La Follette.

Mayor E. L. Morton finally brought all the recriminations and blame shifting to a halt by announcing, “We’ve got a situation where we’ve got an illegal wheel tax vote. We need to move on and take some action.”

Marlow pointed out that commissioners had two options since the wheel tax is off the table. “You can eliminate the funding for road paving and raises and leave the tax rate where it currently stands at $1.99 or you can vote to raise the rate to $2.12 and leave the raises and paving in the budget.”

“The issue is the $1.99 tax rate,” Morton observed. “We can leave the $1.99 unchanged and still meet the deadlines for setting the budget, and make adjustments in spending next Monday.”

After more discussion that basically traveled in circles and more comments from Slusher, who at times seemed determined to chair the meeting from the audience, Lonnie Weldon finally offered a motion to take an unofficial straw vote on leaving the $1.99 rate unchanged.

That unofficial motion passed 10-3 with Whit Goins, Jennings and Scott Stanfield voting “no” while Carl Douglas abstained and Johnny Bruce was absent.

With that more or less assurance that the tax rate will remain unchanged next week, Trustee Monty Bullock and Property assessor Brandon Partin both told the commission that they could proceed with having the tax rate certified in time to get out property tax statements next week. That would still give taxpayers time to pay and qualify for the two percent discount before November 1, Bullock said.

After a brief recess, the commission reconvened the workshop to set the agenda for next week’s regular meeting. Among the items to be discussed will be Whit Goins’ motion passed at a budget committee meeting to decrease the number of commissioners from fifteen to ten and the number of school board members from ten to five, a move that Goins insists will save taxpayers money.

“We can’t make that change until the next election,” Marie Ayers pointed out. “That’s four years away.”

“There’s an election in two years,” Goins replied, referring to the staggered terms of five school board members. If Goins’ motion is approved by the commission, none of the five school board members whose terms expire in 2016 would be able to run for re-election.

Ayers asked to also place on the agenda a discussion for holding a special election to place a sales tax referendum before the voters. “I would urge commissioners to not use any of your discretionary funds until we decide about a referendum,” Ayers suggested, pointing out that the $37,000 remaining in the individual discretionary funds might be needed to cover the $36,000 cost of a special election. (10/14/2014 - 6:00 AM)       

                                                                                            

If you care for a scare, Dread Woods Haunting is there

By Charlotte Underwood

     Dread Woods Haunting is happening every Friday and Saturday night during October. The fun starts at dark and runs till midnight.

It’s a fundraiser for the Campbell County Children's Center hosted by the Wright Family and the Sheriff's Office. Cost is $10 adults, $7 children.

Look for Dread Woods just past Food Lion in La Follette on Highway 63, follow the blue lights. A county patrol car will be parked at the gate. (10/07/2014 - 6:00 AM)

 Cougars play at Karns on Friday, the 24th, over the WLAF - B & M Tires Sports Network

"list of corporate partners grows"

     The Cougars visit the Karns Beavers on Friday night (10/24) at 7:30 p.m.  WLAF has all the live coverage.  Special thanks to all the corporate partners who make the live radio and live web telecasts possible; Eric Robbins and Robbins Guttering, former Lady Cougar Dr. Jill Cox-Browning, Community Trust Bank, B & M Tires, Charley's Pizza, Grace Rehab, Byrge Screen Printing, Terry's Pharmacy, Campbell County Heating & Air, First National Bank,

The “new look” Cougar headgear features a player’s number on one side of the helmet with an outline of Campbell County on the other side with a Cougar paw inside.  The helmets are white.  However, when light shines on the new hats, they turn different colors mainly gray.

Cumberland Gap Medical, Farmers Insurance Agent Travis Thompson, American Cable, Peoples Bank of the South, Marathon Oil, State Farm Agent Tabatha Smith, VitalCare Medical Transportation, Powell-Clinch Utility District, Wrap It Up Construction, Lace-to-Pearls Ladies Consignment Shop, Clayton Homes, Stan Hawkins & Nova Copy, and Fazoli's.   

WLAF adds editorial page 

     Due to a more than expected response (and counter response), WLAF continues the public discussion and opinions over on our newly created WLAF Editorial Page. Please feel free to contribute or respond to this or any other topic by emailing WLAF at wlaf@1450wlaf.com. Thank you for connecting to WLAF AM-FM-TV-DotCom. See additional updated responses. (10-06-2014 - 7:30PM)

 WLAF Editorial Page Click Here

 

 

 

 

 

Listen to Keith Hatfield`s “Show Cause” 

     Keith Hatfield`s Sports talk show called “Show Cause” is heard here on WLAF each Friday following Tony Basilio from 1 pm to 3 pm. Keith will break down the Vols opening football game while also interviewing new Tennessee basketball coach Donnie Tyndall in this weeks show which is archived on the WLAF Archive page and currently can be heard by clicking the player below.  Hatfield who is from LaFollette is a member of and broadcasts out of the Tony Basilio Sports Network from the “Ray Mears” Studio in Knoxville.


Check this out on Chirbit 

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)

 

Election results bring change

By Charlotte Underwood

      Campbell County has a new mayor.  E.L. Morton won in a run-away race for the county mayor’s office, easily outstripping incumbent William Baird and other candidates.  Morton received 4,022 votes, while Jack Lynch came in second with 2,346 and Baird came in third with 2,186.  Fred Cole garnered 748 while Marvin Rutherford finished with 194.

     Morton, members of his family, friends and old school mates gathered at the Holiday Inn Express to celebrate the big win before heading down to WLAF to give a big thanks to all his supporters.

     Morton said he was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support.  “Tonight’s a blessing and an affirmation.  I feared letting people down and not being able to deliver, but the people supporting our campaign came through and didn’t let that happen. I am really proud to represent the people that voted for us and look forward to being the mayor of Campbell County for everyone.  Morton said he had prayed long and hard about running for office.

     “I prayed not to do it, but I got a different answer and win lose or draw, I was responsible for doing that much at least.  I am relieved it’s over, but I look forward to building the community we want in the future.  We deserve only what we earn, but I believe the people of Campbell County are willing to work hard to earn it,” Morton said. 

Morton said he looked forward to going to work for the people of the county.

     Incumbent Sheriff Robbie Goins is going to enjoy another four years in office as he swept the polls against Gary Perkins and Pete Hatfield.  Votes for Goins totaled an amazing 6,986 while Perkins had 1,752 and Hatfield finished with 882.

     Goins said he was honored to receive the vote of confidence from the people of the county.  “I am so thankful to the voters; I think the people liked what we have been doing for the past four years and they showed that in support at the polls,” Goins said, adding that while he had felt good about the turnout, he did not know how overwhelming the support would be.

     “Everyone has been so positive these past four years about what we have been doing; we are all excited to get back to work for another four years,” Goins said, adding that he was “thankful and blessed.”
     Amanda Sammons ousted incumbent Joe Ayers for Sessions Court Judge in a fairly close race with a total of 3,698 votes. Ayers received 3,296. Challenger Kathy Parrott had a showing of 2,495 votes.

      Sammons said she felt excited and was still in shock over winning.  She said she wanted to thank the voters who put her in office.  “Thank you so much for entrusting me with your vote and your support,” Sammons said, adding that she looked forward to taking office and getting started.

     In Campbell County, Jared Effler is receiving more votes for the district attorney general’s office with 4,189 votes over Lori Phillips-Jones who had 3,992. Effler was declared the winner not long before midnight Thursday.

     In Campbell County, Leif Jeffers received 4,552 for the public defender’s office while Mark Eric Blakely garnered 3,612. Jeffers also won the other counties in the district to become the new public defender.

    In the Chancellor race, Elizabeth Asbury won with 6,743 votes to Andy Tillman’s 2,507 here and was victorious overall to earn the right to be the next chanellor.  Dormas Miller won the Register of Deeds office with 5,288, while Beverly Hall had 2,782 and Danny E. Wilson had 297.1

     The new county clerk is Alene Baird with 3,262. Lynn Letner received 703, while Todd Nance had 2,948 and incumbent Debbie Wilson had 2,721.

     First District County commissioners are N. Marie Ayers who received 677, while Whit Goins received 721 and Robert Higginbotham received 675.

     Second District County commissioners are Dewayne “Mailman” Kitts with 1,039, Cliff Kohlymeyer with 641 and Lonnie Weldon with 696.

      Kitts said he wanted to thank the voters for everything.

      “Well it’s an honor to win; I want to thank the voters.  The people in the district really showed me their support,” Kitts said, saying he sensed the people in his district wanted a change.

     “I made a lot of friends in the second district; really honored and thankful for everyone who voted. I am going to be a committed commissioner and do what I can for the people,” Kitts said, adding that he never thought he would be doing this.

     “I want to make a positive influence on the community and I invite the public to come and sit down with me if they need to talk,” Kitts said.

     County commission third district winners are Cliff Jennings with 627, Rusty Orick with 786 and Scott Stanfield with 886. 

     Fourth district county commissioners for the fourth district are Charles Goat Baird with 1,028, Johnny Coach Bruce with 1,098 and Sue Nance with 1,075,

     County commission fifth district representatives are Forster Baird with 709, Ralph Davis with 840 and Carl B. Douglas with 714.

     School board first district member is Wallace Goins with 1,289 against Rector Miller’s 666.

     Second district school board saw Sharon Ridenour win with 815 against Randy Comer’s 764.

     Third district school board member is Faye Heatherly who won a close race with 797 votes against Scott Hill’s 774 and Virgil Kidwell’s 185.

     In the school board district four, Clint Bane won with 748 against Tim Woods with 526 and Eugene Lawson’s 682.

     School Board District five saw Crystal Creekmore winning with 586 while Elsie Bates Crawford garnered 505, Johnny Creekmore had 402 and Ned Smiddy received 346.

     Congress third district sees Weston Wamp beat Chuck Fleischmann in the third district congressman race with 2464 against Wamp’s 2357 in Campbell County.  Fleischmann was eventually able to win and keep his seat in Congress.  (08/08/2014 - 2:30 AM)

Finals ‘14 – The 2014 Election Returns from WLAF is presented by:

Attorney Greg Leach of Sexton, Sexton, & Leach Attorneys 423.569.8341

Ron's Golf Carts & La Follette Indoor Flea Market - behind Long John Silvers

American Cable in the Woodson Mall-Food City Center is your home for DISH

Since 1961, Litho-Craft Printing & Office Supplies on West Beech Street

Zach Sheets with Edward Jones Investments 423.566.4010

First National Bank 423.566.1624 - next to Subway on the four-lane

Terry's Pharmacy of La Follette & Jacksboro - walk-in, drive-up, or we'll deliver

Beacon Finance "where pigs fly" on North Tennessee Avenue

State Farm Agent Tabatha Smith in the Fleet Building in La Follette

Attorney David H. Dunaway 423.562.7085

Holston Gases - Jacksboro - 423.562.7596

The Gray Insurance Agency where "Nationwide is on your side"

Community Trust Bank, building communities built on trust

David Bales Buick GMC - locally owned & operated by the same family since 1966

Wender Furniture Company in La Follette is home of the Big Green Egg

Since 1933.  Our name means a great deal.  Bowman Jewelers at Traffic Light 8.

Dave's Lawn Mower Parts - behind Scottie's at Caryville

PCUD - Powell-Clinch Utility District.  Natural.  Propane.

American Trust Bank.  Thanks for 10-great years.

La Follette Glass...  "Auto-Commercial-Residential"

FM is now a part of the WLAF media platforms 

     Who would have thought that WLAF would have a television station before it was able to secure an FM signal?  But that’s how it’s played out.  WLAF signed on as an AM radio station in 1953, added WLAF-TV 12 in 1990, and, as of this morning, now has an FM signal.  It is FM 100.9.  The new FM is a simulcast of 1450 WLAF.  The website, www.1450wlaf.com, is also one of the WLAF’s mediums.(08/07/2014-6:00 AM)

Click the cap to watch the 2014 CCHS Graduation Ceremonies

2014 Campbell Football Schedule

August 14 or 15                       Jamboree                      A

August  22                              Cumberland Gap            A  W  54 - 7

August 29                               Lynn Camp                  H  W  64 - 0

September 5                          Central *                      H  W  35 - 27

September  12                         Anderson County*          A  L  35 - 14

September 18                          Clinton*                         A

September 26                          Halls*(HC)                     H

October 3                                Oak Ridge*                    A

October 10                             Gibbs*                          H

October 17                              Open Date                    - -

October 24                              Karns*                          A

October 31                             Powell*(SN)                 H                           

Miss a WLAF news story?

     Maybe a friend told you about a story here on 1450wlaf.com, and you can't find it?  If it's not on this front page, simply check our News Archives.  That link is up this page a bit and to the left.  Thank you for visiting 1450wlaf.com.                    

Join Tony Basilio & La Follette's Keith Hatfield weekdays at Noon over WLAF

Presented by these outstanding corporate partners:

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Rickard Ridge Bar B Que

Jeff Sweat Investment Services

Pop’s Wine & Liquor

Doug Boshear's Paving

Valley Roofing

Stan Hawkins & Nova Copy

Paul Construction 

Kash & Karry Building Supply

Minton's Tire & Service Center

Beltone Hearing Aids

Monogramming Mayhem

     

            

                                                         

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