SuperTalk WFHG Local News Stories
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Jailer Fired After Arrested for Shoplifting in Johnson City
Sheriff Ed Graybeal in Washington County, Tennessee has fired a jailer arrested for shoplifting at a Sam's Club. Former Sheriff's Lt. Rick Edens of Telford was charged with misdemeanor theft and accused of shoplifting about $250 worth of merchandise from Sam's Club on Franklin Terrace in Johnson City. (LM)

THP Confirms Fatal Scooter Crash in Bluff City
A man was killed in Bluff City when the scooter he was riding was struck from behind by another vehicle. Information from the Tennessee Highway Patrol said 29-year-old David Osborne was traveling southbound on Hickory Tree Road when he was hit from behind by a vehicle driven by 58-year-old Bobby Taylor, also of Bluff City. The crash is still under investigation.

Bristol, Virginia Revenue Bonds Sold, Cabela's Construction to Begin
A big day for Bristol, Virginia as revenue bonds issued for construction of the Cabela's outdoor store in The Falls Development are purchased by investors. Proceeds are set at nearly $34 million dollars. Councilman Guy Odum and other city leaders are elated. Odum said, “It's what we've all been hoping for and now we'll get to see the fruition of that with Cabela's starting construction here in December.” (LM)

Official: Voting Machines Statewide Could Need Overhaul or Inspections
The official in charge of Virginia's elections says the state's voting machines are in need of inspections and possible overhauls. Department of Elections commissioner Edgardo Cortes said almost a dozen localities across the Commonwealth reported voting machine malfunctions during last month's election and most of those related to the age of the devices. Cortes also said there is no reason to believe the mishaps were intentional and a full statewide review should eliminate future voting delays.

Joining a Regional Jail Set for Discussion by Bristol, Virginia City Council
Bristol Virginia is considering an additional $2.5 million annually... to use a regional jail. that option versus the $40 million long term expense of building a new city jail. City Council will consider tonight how to proceed and find the money since it is near its debt limit. Sheriff Jack Weisenberger continues to emphasize the advantages of keeping the jail local and that money is not the only issue. He said it “benefits not only to the city, but the community, to the courts to the families of inmates." (LM)

Johnson City Gets Grant to Curb Domestic Violence
Johnson City's getting $240,000 in state grant funding to work on reducing domestic violence. The money will be used to establish a family justice center to provide victims advocacy, and assistance from medical professionals, police, the courts and other services, all in one location. (LM)

Gas Prices Continue to Drop Across the Tri-Cities
Officials with East Tennessee AAA say we'll have more money in our pockets to buy a bigger turkey this year thanks to lower fuel prices. At an average of $2.64 a gallon in the Tri-Cities, we're paying the lowest price in five years. Prices are down six cents from a week ago and experts expect our totals at the pump to continue to drop through the end of the year.

Four Arrested for Trying to Smuggle Drug in County Jail
Where there's a will, there's a way - that may apply to an effort uncovered at the Unicoi County jail with visitors accused of trying to smuggle into the jail the drug suboxone by concealing it is a wrist watch. Deputies monitoring jail phones heard talk abut it and now say they caught four suspects in the act, two in jail, two outside, including Richard Timothy Gray, Michelle Marie Hallum, Jeffery James Jones and Anthony Tucker. (LM)

Sullivan County Detectives Investigating Shooting at Bluff City Teen Home
Detectives with the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office are investigating a shooting that took place over the weekend at a teen group home in Bluff City. Employees of Crossing Point, a center operated by Frontier Health, reported hearing gunshots just before 3.30 am Sunday morning. Public Information Officer Leslie Earhart said, “At approximately 5.30 am as employees were walking outside, they noticed a bullet hole in a window next to the office door. At that point, they looked around the office and found a slug lying in the floor next to a chair.” No injuries were reported.

Downtown Growth in Bristol Attracts Unwanted Crime
With business and residential development growth in downtown Bristol, there also are more problems with homeless people, loitering, vagrancy and even more serious crime. A recent attempted armed robbery of a pedestrian, leading to the arrest of two people, was impetus for a meeting of businesses and residents with city leaders and police. Police say they are stepping up manpower and patrols downtown and Bristol Tennessee Chief Blane Wade says all suspicious activity needs to be reported. He said, "Direct us. Give us that call. Give us a heads up because when we know there's a problem that's what we do – we like to cure it.” (LM)

TVA to Maintain Below-Normal Winter Pool Levels as Seepage Investigation Continues
The Tennessee Valley Authority continues its investigation into a seepage leak located just below the wall of the Boone Dam. The agency announced that they plan to keep water levels on river and lake systems connected to the reservoir at 12 feet below normal winter pool levels for the foreseeable future and could draw the water down more if repairs or other exploratory measures are needed. The seepage and a 10-foot wide sinkhole were found at the complex last month.

Heaphy Stepping Down from U.S. Attorney's Office in SW Va.
Timothy Heaphy has announced he is stepping down as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia effective Dec. 31. Heaphy served in that role for five years, including trying several high-profile cases in Abingdon, including an off-label pharmaceutical suit settlement with Depakote maker Abbott Labs that reaped $1.5 billion. Heaphy will be joining the international law firm of Hunton and Williams in Richmond. Anthony Giorno will become acting U.S. Attorney on Jan. 1.

GOP Helps Pillion's War Chest Grow for Dec. 9 Special Election
State Republican leaders continue to fill the campaign war chest of candidate Todd Pillion of Abingdon who is running in a special December 9 election for the 4th District seat in Virginia House of Delegates. Data from the Virginia Public Access Project shows the state GOP has allocated $70,000 to Pillion's political action committee in the past two months. Pillion is opposed by Democratic candidate Donnie Rife, who is a retired coal miner and chairman of the Dickenson County Board of Supervisors.

NC Women Arrested for Prostitution in Elizabethton
Two women from North Carolina have been arrested and charged after making a deal with undercover police officers in Elizabethton for sex. 24-year-old Rebecca Payne of Raleigh is charged with prostitution and 33-year-old Shannon Hill of Wendell is charged with promoting prostitution. The duo reportedly arranged to meet the undercover officer in Elizabethton after police targeted the two after responding to an online escort service. Both will appear in court next month.

Three Injured from Car Accident on South Holston Dam Road, SCSO Investigating
Sullivan County Sheriff's Office are investigating a car accident that landed three men in the hospital. This weekend Officers say that the driver of a 1997 Lexus was driving South on South Holston Dam Road when he lost control of the car, drove off the roadway, and ran into a tree on the passenger side. There were three passengers in the car and they were all transported to Johnson City Medical Center. The passenger in the front seat had to be airlifted for life-threatening injuries. No charges have been made, but officials are still investigating the wreck. (EE)

Erwin Mayor is Confident Liquor Policies Will be In Place Soon
Erwin's mayor expects that the liquor policies for the town will be ironed out soon. The city is still working on plans of liquor-by-the-drink policies and retail package stores two years after the referendums passed in the poles. Doris Hensley, the mayor of Kingsport, says that officials have discussed a possible two liquor-by-the-drink maximum policy and package store licenses. There are still several regulations and requirements to look through, but mayor Hensley expects for the plans to be in place by March of next year. (EE)

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