SuperTalk WFHG Local News Stories
Friday, May 22, 2015

THP Releases Name of Rogersville Woman Killed in Friday Crash on Route 66
A Hawkins County woman was killed Friday afternoon following a collision between her car and a tractor-trailer. A report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 72-yr-old Eileen K Porter of Rogersville was attempting to make a left turn onto Route 66 when she pulled into the path of an 18-wheeler driven by Ahmed Adan of Atlanta, Georgia which struck the driver side of the car. Porter was pronounced dead at the scene.

ATV Crash in Ohio Claims Kingsport Teen
A Kingsport teenager has been killed in an all-terrain vehicle crash in Ohio. According to a report from the Columbiana County Sheriff's Office, 18-yr-old Anthony Kaiser from his injuries after he collided with his older brother riding another ATV while riding in a field in Damascus, Ohio. Police were not sure if either driver was wearing a helmet.

Layoffs by Alpha Natural Resources Reach 500 In Past Two Weeks With Purge in WVa.
Another round of layoffs by Bristol, Virgina-based Alpha Natural Resources, this time in neighboring West Virginia. A company report says 439 coal miners are being idled at the Camp Creek Underground Mine and Preparation Plant in Wayne County. That brings the total amount of miners out of work for the company to 510 following layoffs last week at facilities in Kentucky and at two mines in Southwest Virginia. The company cites poor conditions for American coal in the world market as the reason for the layoffs.

Sullivan County Board to Hire Interim Director of Schools June 1
The Sullivan County Board of Education will hold interviews next week that will help them choose an interim Director of Schools. The BOE is accepting applications through May 27 and tentative plans call for the board to interview all applicants prior to their June 1 regular session and make a hire later that evening. Policy has also been changed so that an interim candidate can be considered for the full-time job. Current director Dr. Jubal Yennie leaves at the end of June for a similar position in Wyoming.

Bristol Teen Dies Following May 9 Crash in Washington County VA
A teenager has died as a result of injuries sustained in a crash in Washington County, Virginia earlier this month. The Virginia State Police reports 19-yr-old Luke Payne of Bristol, Va., was traveling in an SUV on Campground Road in the Reedy Creek area on May 9 when the vehicle ran off the left side of the road and hit an embankment, causing the 4x4 to overturn and eject Payne. Troopers report that Payne was not wearing a seat belt and speed was a factor in the crash.

Accused Carter County Killer Picks Up New Charge: Coercion of Witness
18-year-old Anthony Joseph Lacy picks up a new charge in jail in Carter County, on top of already facing charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder in the severe beating of a county jailer, and of assaulting a fellow inmate. Now, he's charged with coercing a witness. Authorities say an officer overheard Lacy instructing an inmate to tell a co-defendant in the murder case, “if he doesn't change his story, he's dead man.” Lacy and Demetrice Cordell are accused of killing Danny Ray Vance, a retired Roan Mountain State Park employee to rob him.

UPDATE: Avery Co NC Sheriff Said Car Involved in Fatal Police Pursuit in Carter County Was Stolen
Police in Avery County, North Carolina confirm the man driving a car involved in a fatal police pursuit that ended in Carter County was stolen. Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye said the man, who has not been identified, stole a car from Avery Recapping in Newland and then led his officers on a high speed chase. Frye said his deputies radioed Carter County for assistance and they joined the pursuit until the driver lost control went over the embankment and struck a tree on Roan Mountain. The THP said the passenger was killed.

Police Chase Ends with Fatal Car Crash in Roan Mountain
A police chase ends in a fatal crash in Roan Mountain, Tennessee. Carter County Sheriffs say that a car ran off Crabtree Road just before 10pm ending a chase that officers started in Avery County, North Carolina. They also confirmed that there was a fatality. There is no word on who the driver was or why they were being chased by the authorities. (EE)

Young Trio Admits to Shoplifting from Johnson City Business
Three women have been arrested after a shopping trip to Atlantis on East Main Street in Johnson City. Employees told police 19-year old Hannah Clayton, 21-year old Megan Collins and 20-year old Hannah Parrott came in the store together and left with a large number of items they didn't pay for. Johnson City officers say the women returned to the store a few days later and admitted to their crime and were arrested on felony shoplifting charges.

Watauga Man Charged With Embezzeling From Johnson City Water and Sewer Department
A few weeks ago, investigators started looking into stolen brass fixtures from the Johnson City Water and Sewer Department. They discovered an employee, 59-year old Danny Ray Clark had taken over 1,200 pounds of brass fittings and fixtures over the course of a year. The Watauga man then sold the stolen brass to various recycling dealers around the region. Clark is charged with embezzlement over $10,000.

Authorities Say Speed Was a Factor in Bluff City Crash
A portion Highway 11E in Bluff City was closed after a car driving toward Bristol lost control and rolled down a hill. Officials tell us two teens, both 17, were in the vehicle and speed appears to be a factor. The driver and passenger were taken to the hospital with injuries.

Kingsport and Sullivan County School Leaders Will Meet to Discuss Long Term Plans
Kingsport City Schools accepted a long term facilities plan earlier this week, now Sullivan County has accepted their separate, but parallel study. The two school systems plan to meet on June 16th to discuss the two reports. A major part of the plan, if approved, would involve Sullivan County having two high schools instead of four and selling one facility to Kingsport. A new $65 million high school would serve students from North, South and Central. Sullivan East would be renovated, North would be sold.

Elizabethton Covered Bridge Lawsuit Thrown Out
A series of summer concerts and the annual Covered Bridge celebration will go on as planned in Carter County after a lawsuit was thrown out. Tom Cowan lives next to the new stage built by the Covered Bridge and filed an injunction against the city stating the city would be violating its own noise ordinance. Cowan maintains parking is still an issue and says if any of his property is destroyed, he will sue the city for damages.

Kingsport Pastor Arrested on Money Laundering Charges
A Kingsport pastor has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of money laundering and theft over $60,000. Boyd Watson Holder, Jr. has been under investigation by the Kingport Police Department for two months. Prosecutors say Holder stole money from January 2010 through February of this year from Victory Apostolic Church. Amy Hinkle with the Prosecutor's Office confirms Holder was arrested sometime over night and has been bonded out of the Kingsport Jail.

Jennings Found Not Guilty by Jury in Baby Killing
Stephen Jennings' attorney argued to jurors that he is innocent in the death of his infant daughter, and that's what they decided after more than 7 hours of deliberation in Greeneville. The jury found Jennings not guilty of all charges, including first degree murder. That after a medical expert called by the defense cast doubt on the cause of death of 8 month old Abby Jennings in 2012. That doctor testified that be believes Abby was the victim of physical abuse, but in his opinion she died from complications of pneumonia diagnosed about a week before her death. The prosecution's star witness was Jennings estranged wife, Pooja, who's serving 25 years in prison after striking a plea bargain to testify against Stephen.

Arraignment Set for Johnson City Man Charged with Rape of a Child
A Johnson City man arrested for rape of a child is due for arraignment in court this morning. 64-year-old Hugh Campbell is facing three counts of sexual battery and aggravated sexual battery. Police say he came under investigation based evidence found by officers working in conjunction with child protection services.

Bristol Man Arrested for Raping 3-Year-Old
A Bristol man has been arrested for raping his three year old niece. Police say 20-year-old Andrew Bond of Fifth Street, Bristol Tenn., is facing two counts each of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery. He is set for a preliminary court hearing Tuesday. A police affidavit says he confessed to enticing his niece to play nude and then engaged in sexual activity with her.

Gray Elementary Resource Officer Suspended, Under Investigation
A sheriff's deputy who is a school resource officer at Gray Elementary School in Washington County, Tennessee is suspended with pay...after an incident caught on video. According to Sheriff Ed Graybeal, he is investigating if Officer Scott Baines failed to act in a DUI investigation. This stems from an incident in which a woman became violent amid allegations she was intoxicated while picking up her kids at the school.

TWRA Issues Preliminary Data on Fatal Boone Lake Crash
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has released preliminary findings in the investigation of Boone Lake boater killed earlier this month near Piney Flats. The report shows that 47-yr-old Mark Simpson received fatal head injuries on May 9 when his boat ran aground on the shoreline left bare by low pool levels on the lake, causing the boat turn over and go airborne over a 130 foot area, ejecting Simpson. A TWRA official said it will still be weeks before a final ruling in the crash is made. Boone Lake is currently at wintertime levels due to repairs at TVA's Boone Dam. (KC)

Police: Church Hill Scam Turns Dangerous
A slew of calls by scam artists to a home in Church Hill, claiming to be IRS collectors, and then a double down...the scam artist hijacked that home's phone number to summon police, apparently hoping that would convince the victim to meet the phone demands. But Church Hill Police Chief Mark Johnson said in this case, it caused officers to believe a violent home invasion was in progress, involving men armed with AK-47s. Because of that, Johnson said officers responded with weapons drawn, and that was dangerous for the people in the home as well as the officers. He says residents should be on alert to scam artists who claim to be from the IRS. He stresses that the IRS does not call people to collect taxes.

Jury Deliberating in Child Killing Trial in Greeneville
The jury is out in Greeneville at the first-degree murder trial of Stephen Jennings, accused of killing his infant daughter. The prosecution's star witness was the baby's mother, Pooja Jennings. She's already serving a 25 year prison sentence for child neglect. The couple was living apart and the baby was in her father's care when Abbie Jennings was taken to the hospital, suffering severe trauma and later died. It's a case of he said, she said...the mother blames the father and Jennings, through his attorney's questioning, blames her.

Eastman's Costa to Present at Deutsche Bank Global Industrials Conference
Eastman Chemical Company stockholders will be eager to hear CEO Mark Costa addressing the Deutsche Bank Global Industrials and Basic Materials Conference. Notice is out from Eastman that the presentation is June 4th in Chicago and will be aired live on Eastman's website for investors,

Funeral Services Scheduled for Toddler That Drowned in Scott County, VA
Funeral services have been scheduled for a Scott County toddler that drowned in his family's swimming pool earlier this week. An investigation is still ongoing in the death of 2-yr-old Nolan Thomas Williams. His body was found in the pool at the family's home in the Yuma community. EMTs performed CPR on the child but he was pronounced dead at an area hospital. The services will take place Friday evening in Gate City.

Data Shows Greene County Paid More For Audit Than Hotel/Motel Tax Took In
Greene County lawmakers ordered an audit of its hotel/motel tax revenue due to an oversight by former county clerk David Thompson. It turns out the cost of having the audit done was double what the tax actually took in. The county reports Tax Management Service charged the locality $14,000 to do the audit. The results showed Greene County only took in $7,100 in tax payments from hotel/motel owners.

Hawkins Sheriff: Sliger Murder Not Random
Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson says that the woman that was murdered in Mooresburg earlier this week likely knew her assailant. 79-yr-old Margaret Jack Sliger was found dead outside her home on Isenberg Lane from what police said was multiple injuries, but Lawson believes that the homicide was not random. Despite information reported from the TN Highway Patrol yesterday, Lawson said a suspect is not in custody but wants residents to report any signs of suspicious activity.

Boil Water Notice Issued for Nickelsville by VDH
Water customers in Nickelsville in Scott County are under a boil water notice following a major water line break. The Virginia Department of Health is advising residents to either boil water or use bottled water for cooking or drinking purposes. Low pressure following the break resulted in untreated water, which if not boiled and consumed could lead to stomach ailments. The town is in the process of refilling its system water tanks but the notice is in effect until further notice.

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