SuperTalk WFHG Local News Stories
Thursday, August 27, 2015

Three Men Indicted, Bringing Total to Four in Arson Case in Hawkins County
Three men have been charged in an arson case that took place earlier this year in Hawkins County on the property of a Tennessee Highway patrolman. Michael and Russell Johnson, both of Bulls Gap, and Edward Moesley of Bean Station were indicted by a grand jury on arson and vandalism charges, according to Sheriff Ronnie Lawson. Investigators determined that two barns off of Highway 66 in the Persia community were delibertly set ablaze on February 13. 19-yr-old Cody Christian was indicted in the case in March.

Tennessee Prison System to Undergo Independent Review
The director of Tennessee's prison system has called for an independent review of facilities statewide following attacks on guards and other incidents including a lockdown at the Mountain City Correctional Center. Department of Corrections Commissioner Derrick Schofield said the American Correctional Association is conducting the study in light of concerns of current guards stating facilities are understaffed and making those prisons vulnerable to problems.

Special Funding Used to Help Construct New Housing in Kingsport
City housing leaders in Kingsport have approved over $4 million in special funding for new upscale apartments along Fort Henry and East Stone Drive. The agency plans to work with local developers using tax increment funding to help construct 265 units in South Kingsport and a new housing complex with over 160 apartments. Developer Mitch Cox also used the TIF funding method for a set of new apartments currently under construction off Bluff City Highway in Bristol, TN.

Ruling Could Impact Bristol Cop Killer on Death Row
It doesn't look like execution will be anytime soon for Nickolus Johnson, on death row for a decade for killing Bristol police officer Mark Vance. Johnson is in the early stages of a new round of appeals. But a new court ruling in Nashville clears one hurdle that could've staved off Johnson's other executions longer. The ruling against death row inmates says they failed to prove that Tennessee's lethal injection drug and method is cruel and unusual punishment because it leads to a painful and lingering death. Rather, the judge said it's had no such consequences when used for executions by other states.

Roan Mountain Man Charged with Kidnapping, Aggravated Assault
Carter County police said a man held two women against their will inside his Roan Mountain home. A police report said 18-yr-old Brandon Coleman prevented the victims from leaving the house by holding them at bay with a knife. A victim told police that Coleman eventually let the women out so they could call 911 and let officers kill him. Coleman is charged with one count of kidnapping and two counts of aggravated assault.

Tri-Cities Airport Wins Award for Financial Reporting
The financial management of Tri-Cities Regional Airport is an award winner. For the 16th consecutive year, it's won a "Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting." That's given by the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada. The "Certificate of Achievement" is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.

Moment of Silence for Slain Journalists before Governor Opens Address on Virginia Economy
Virginia's governor opened an address to General Assembly monies committees with a moment of silence for the two journalists shot and killed on live TV in Roanoke. Governor Terry McAuliffe went on to say the state as a $500 million revenue surplus and the upcoming two year budget will emphasize investment in education. He said the state's economy has made a remarkable turn around with improved state revenues, driven by new jobs and business investments. He specifically mentioned Qore Systems, an industry moving from Arizona to Glade Spring, investing $12 million and creating 140 jobs.

Reports: Woman Flees from Burning Building in Saltville
Saltville police confirm a woman was burned in a house fire and flown by medflight to a hospital. Assistant Chief Eric Puckett said the woman was burned in a fire in a house in the 500 block of Main Street. Reports are she fled on fire from the home and a passerby stopped and helped her. No further details were released by police concerning what happened or how the woman is doing.

Bristol Man Arrested for Arizona Murder 37 Years Ago
A cold case murder for 37 years in Arizona is cold no more following the arrest of a Bristol man. 54-year old Edward Meinhold of Highland Avenue in Bristol Virginia, an employee of the Royal Mouldings, is now awaiting a Sept. 1st hearing on transfer to Glendale, Arizona to face murder charges. Police there never gave up on the killing of Susan Schmidt, a college student found shot multiple times. Bristol police Sgt Steve Crawford says newly developed fingerprint evidence this spring led to Meinhold who's now jailed without bond, and insisting he's innocent. Crawford said, He denied knowing anything about it, and denied being involved in it.

Accused Dog Abuser Has Trial Delayed Several Months
A Bristol Tennessee sex offender accused of victimizing a dog has his trial put off several months. Court documents in Abingdon confirm that 47-year-old James Michael Foran, accused of sexually assaulting a dog owned by the man for whom Foran worked on Wallace Pike, is now set for trial Dec. 3rd. At the time of Foran's arrest, police said DNA testing done as a result of injuries suffered by the dog led to the charge of crimes against nature against Foran.

TVA and TWRA to Begin Vegetation Planting Around Boone Lake
Officials with TVA and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said they are working to minimize impact on species of fish due to the extensive water draw down on the Boone Dam Reservoir. TVA announced last month the waters around Boone Lake will remain low for the next five to seven years as repairs are done to fix an underground leak. The groups will planting vegetation on federal and private lands around the lake in the coming months to insure the fish have suitable habitat once waters come back up.

Police Identify Victim of Bluff City Mowing Accident
Authorities say it was a 71-year-old woman who died in a riding lawn mower accident in Bluff City. Police say Sandra Adamkeiwicz of Big Arm Branch Road she was mowing a slope in her yard when apparently the mower rolled over, pinning her underneath. Emergency officials responded and found her dead.

Future Uncertain For Greene Valley Developmental Center Site
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says it remains uncertain what will become of the site of the Greene Valley Developmental Center when it closes next year, eliminating nearly 600 jobs and ending services for the disabled there in Tusculum. Haslam said closing the 450-acre campus was a hard decision, but necessary because of high costs. He said hes committed to trying to find ways to bring jobs back to the site, possibly state agencies might locate there, or the site could be marketed to private investors.

Five Schools in the Tri-Cities Area Exceed State Average in ACT Test Scores
Five of 12 school systems in the Tri-Cities region exceed the state average in ACT scoring in data released by the TN Department of Education. Those include Bristol, Elizabethon, Johnson City, Kingsport and Sullivan County. The department reported marginal progress statewide in test scores. TN is one of 13 states in the US that requires all students to take the ACT.

Carter County Tomorrow Prepares for Legal Fight With County, Hires Lawyer and Allocates $40K
Carter County Tomorrow has hired attorney Charlton DeVault to defend them in a lawsuit the county has filed against them. Commissioners agreed to last week to go forward in the suit that would end a lease agreement on the Workforce Development Complex and have all monetary assets by CCT seized and turned over to the county, essentially ending the county's economic development service. The CCT also allocated $40,000 to fund the legal fight.

Johnson City Woman Hospitalized After an Attack at Her Home
A Johnson City man is jailed after breaking into a home and attacking a woman late Tuesday morning. Police say they were called to the Johnson City Medical Center to speak with the victim who suffered severe bruising, a broken nose, a rib fracture and possible injuries to her eardrum. They determined 45-year old Steven P. Smith broke into the victim's home and hit her multiple times and damaged her phone so she couldn't call for help. Smith faces multiple charges including Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Burglary, and Interference with Emergency Calls.

Neighborhood Market Hiring 95 Employees in Kingsport
Wal-Mart is opening Neighborhood Market grocery stores all across the country and plans for a Kingsport facility are underway. Executives say they're looking to hire nearly 100 workers, both full and part-time. They've set up a temporary hiring center at 1880 North Eastman Road between Golden Corral and Starbucks. They are accepting applications at that site Monday Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The store will open later this fall and officials estimate those hired will begin working in October.

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