SuperTalk WFHG Local News Stories
Friday, October 24, 2014

Sullivan County Suspect Still At Large, Accused of Stealing Another Vehicle
A suspect in two theft cases is still on the loose in Sullivan County and investigators now believe he has stolen another vehicle. 52-year-old Tony Lee Leonard is a suspect in the case of a 1997 green Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck being taken from a residence on Buncombe Road in Blountville. Leonard is also accused of stealing a Chevy Lumina earlier this week. Police said Leonard should be considered dangerous because he could be under the influence of drugs.

Kingsport Man Arrested For Aiming Rifle at a Police Officer
A man in Kingsport is arrested after aiming a rifle at a Kingsport Police Officer. 19 year old Trahson White is under arrest pointing his laser mounted rifle at police who were investigating another crime. Officers were talking to a woman on Tranbarger Drive who's car had been stolen when one of them saw a red light pointed at his eye. Further investigating lead police to a home across the street on Allen Drive where they found White holding the rifle. No one was injured, but the suspect is being charged with aggravated assault. (EE)

A Comprehensive Study of Bristol, Virginia Planning and Zoning on Tap
Bristol, Virginia's Planning Commission is considering recommending that City Council hire an independent firm to conduct a comprehensive plan for development and zoning. Planning Commission Chairman Guy Odum says a proposal from a finalist firm to conduct the study will be outlined at a called meeting of the commission Tuesday night. He said, It's been about eight years since one was done. This will give us some outside eyes, some fresh eyes to look at it.” (LM

BVU to Consider Paying $5,000 for NEW CEO to Move to Bristol
Bristol Virginia Utilities has hired Bristol native Donald Bowman as BVU's new CEO, at a salary of $150,000. And now BVU authority will consider providing him relocation expenses. Doing that is among items on the agenda for BVU's regular meeting Monday. Chairman Ed Harlow said, “He's only asking for $5,000 and he's coming all the way from California.” (LM)

Two East Tennessee Assisted Living Facilities Fined $1,000
The Tennessee Department of Health's Division of Health Licensure and Regulation has cited two area assisting living facilities. Broadmore Assisted Living of Bristol was fined $1,000 for failing to maintain their dietary department in a clean and sanitary manner and failure to store medications properly. Emeritus of Kingsport was also given a $1,000 fine for failure to ensure all drugs were administered by a licensed professional and failing to follow protocol in medication storage for residents.

Kingsport Arrest Results from $60,000 Theft
Sullivan County authorities announce the arrest of Eric Roberts of Kingsport on charges of stealing more than $60,000 in heating and air conditioning units. The theft of six units happened at the business, Madison Investments on Brookside Drive. Authorities arrested Roberts and say they found the units in a van at his home on Stonegate Road. (lm)

Kingsport Suspects Try to Flush $12,000 in Crack Cocaine Down the Toilet
Two suspects were arrested by Kingsport police after they tried to flush an estimated $12,000 in crack cocaine down the toilet as officers searched their home. 36-year-old Quincy James and 20-year-old Jasmine Carr, both of Stafford Street were taken into custody after investigators found crack in several containers and in the kitchen sink, six grams of marijuana in a spice rack and $1,000 in drug money. James is facing several charges including tampering with evidence and possession of drugs within a 1,000 feet of a school zone. Carr is charged with simple possession.

Five Booked in Washington County After Year-Long Meth Investigation
Five people have been arrested and charged following a year-long investigation into a meth making operation in Washington County, Tennessee. 55-year-old Kimberly Repass and 34-year-old Michael Ratliff of Jonesborough, 35-year-old Ashley Ratliff of Telford, 31-year-old Chad Dunbar and 26-year-old Amanda Stanton of Chuckey are all charged in the case. Sheriff Ed Graybeal said the investigation is continuing and more charges are pending.

Suspected Corvette Thief Arrested, Charged for Scott County Incident With Deputy
A joint investigation between Scott County and Kingsport police has led to the arrest of a man suspected of leading deputies on a high speed chase last month in what turned out to be a stolen Corvette. 38-year-old Christopher Shane Seiber is charged with assault on a police officer, felony eluding and reckless driving after he ran over a deputy's foot at a checkpoint near East Carters Valley. Seiber is also facing charges of hit and run and theft in Tennessee.

Carter County Authorities Quickly Catch Armed Robbery Suspect
A Carter County woman told officers she was robbed at her home on Peters Hollow Road by a man wearing a ski mask. The victim says he knocked on her door and when she answered, he pointed a gun at her and demanded cash, jewelry and prescription medications. Detectives were quickly able to track the suspect thanks to information from witnesses and a K9. When investigators found Christopher Price, he had some of the stolen items in his possession. He also had loot from other recent robberies in the Stoney Creek area. Price remains jailed in Carter County on aggravated robbery charges. Authorities say other charges are pending.

Jury Convicts Southwest Virginia Retail Store Owners of Selling Synthetic Marijuana
They’re in their 60s and 70s and prosecutors say they operated retail stores with names like “Get it Here” and “Smokeez” in Southwest Virginia that sold "extremely dangerous" synthetic marijuana. Prosecutors also say they were part of an illegal operation stretching to Gainesville, Florida. After a federal jury found them guilty, those facing hefty prison sentences and fines include 72-year-old James Pirtle, his wife, 66-year old Linda Pirtle, both of Coeburn, 63-year-old Douglas Eugene Stephens and 68-year-old Cecil A. McConnell Junior, both of Pound. Sentencing will be in January. (LM)

Sentence Reduced for Bristol Man Convicted of Child Rape
Sentence reduced for a Bristol man sent to prison for 25 years for child rape. Antwan Hudson, 19 at the time, was convicted of having sex with an 11-year-old female relative. That was four years ago. Now Judge Robert Montgomery reduces the sentence to 10 years, finding Hudson is due relief because of evidence his defense attorney was ineffective. Authorities say that attorney, David Mullins, has apparently left the area and has been unresponsive to court inquiries regarding his performance. (LM)

Carter County Gets Stern Warning on Finances From Comptroller
The Tennessee Comptroller's office has cautioned Carter County on its finances following a review of two years of budgets including the just-approved 2015 spending plan. Deficiencies have been detected, a letter to Mayor Leon Humphrey said, which could lead to financial problems in the future. County Finance Director Ingrid Deloach said the biggest concern was the general school fund balance that she said has been a major problem since she was hired. It's now at $3 million dollars after school positions were cut and an elementary school was closed to shrink the budget gap.

Mold Forces Closure of Indian Springs Elementary
The discovery of mold in a classroom wing of Indian Springs Elementary in Sullivan County has forced the closure of the school today and will lead to first- and second-grade students to be relocated to classrooms in a nearby church activity center beginning Monday. Director of Schools Dr. Jubal Yennie said the wing of the school will be closed indefinitely until repairs are made. Initial air-quality testing revealed elevated mold spore growth in those areas of the school.

Dangerous, Possibly Drugged, Suspect Wanted in Sullivan County
Sullivan County officers are looking for 52-year-old Tony Lee Leonard. He's been identified as a suspect in two theft cases, including stealing a white Chevrolet Lumina from a residence on Reedy Creek Road in Bristol, Tennessee. He is also a possible suspect in several other crimes. Police did say that Leonard is believed to be under the influence of illegal drugs and should be considered dangerous. Anyone with information on Leonard's whereabouts can contact Sullivan County detectives.

New Virginia Road Funding Formula in Question for Coalfield's Expressway, Other Projects
Virginia Delegate Terry Kilgore of Scott County voted for the bipartisan bill that now mandates a new funding formula for road projects. Kilgore's also a strong advocate of the next phase of the Coalfields Expressway, which apparently will not be exempt from a review again of its cost benefit under the new formula. Kilgore says in its favor is huge private coal company investment. He said, “Hopefully that will get rated high.” (LM)

Bristol, Virginia Working to Get Revenue Bonds to Market for The Falls Project
City officials report progress toward getting construction underway on the long planned Cabella's store for The Falls Development in Bristol, Virginia. The latest on preparing for a revenue bond issue from Assistant City Manager Andrew Trivette: “Timetable is we have to market the bonds first. We actually sign a commitment to purchase with our underwriter and the commitment to purchase will likely be the end of this month.” (LM)

USDA Awards $3 Million to Scott County, Va., for Broadband
Rural parts of Scott County, Va., are one step closer to getting broadband Internet service. The US Department of Agriculture announced a $3 million grant award for the Scott County Cooperative that the group plans to use to for digital cable installation in various parts of the county. The monies are from a USDA rural improvement program called Community Connect Grants that help areas with telecommunication projects that can aid in economic development and quality of life issues.

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