** School Closings & Delays for Thurs. 2/11/16 **
(Updated 2/10/16 at 5:09pm)
Grundy Co. Schools - Closed
Marion Co. Schools - Closed
Polk Co. Schools - Closed
Richard Hardy School - Closed
Holly Ave. UMC - No Wed. Night (2/10) Services
This is the list of closings and delays we have at this time. We will update this list as needed. Feel free to share this on your timeline on Facebook for quick reference. ... See MoreSee Less
** Weather Outlook for Wed. Night and Thurs. 2/10/16-2/11/16 **
Probably our biggest question of the day has been, "Where did all of this snow come from? The forecast was for much less!" Yes, you're correct. It was. But we had a little help from some interesting geographic our local geographic layout here in the state!
Most people associate the term "lake-effect snow" with cities along the shores of the Great Lakes anywhere from South Bend, Indiana to Buffalo, New York. Lake-effect snow bands in these areas have been known to drop several feet of snow in a single day.
The weather phenomenon occurs when cold air masses move over warmer lake waters. As the warm lake water heats the bottom layer of air, lake moisture evaporates into the cold air above. Since warm air is lighter and less dense than cold air, it rises and begins to cool. The moisture that evaporates into the air then condenses and forms clouds and snow begins to fall.
Yes, this is far more common for our friends in the North, but that very same setup is possible here in the Tennessee Valley as well, however it's much less common and happens on a much smaller scale.
Portions of the Tennessee River, Mississippi River, and other bodies of water to our West are just wide and long enough to allow for small-scale lake-effect snow events to happen right here in our area. Over the past two nights, the wind was oriented in just the right way to produce some lake-effect snow showers over parts of our area and especially to our south in North Alabama (thanks to the Tennessee River and Wheeler Lake there).
Other geographic factors have also helped in the formation of the additional snow we've seen over the past 24 hours. And there's a slight chance for a little more of that for this evening and later tonight...but nothing major.
Taking a look at the latest radar we do see some more moisture off to our west over parts of middle Tennessee and Northwest Alabama. The radar might fool you into seeing this as a huge swath of snow, but in fact it's mainly just moisture that's not causing any actual significant snowfall. Temperatures in the state have mostly warmed to just above freezing with the exception of some locations such as areas along the Cumberland Plateau and to our extreme North bordering the Tenn/Kentucky line which remain below or near freezing. That combined with the cold dry air just doesn't leave a lot to make it out of the upper atmosphere. Basically, the atmosphere is acting like a large sponge and holding some of this moisture and those beneath what appears to be a large band of snow are actually only seeing cloud cover from above. That's not to say some flurries aren't out of the question, but we'll get into that in a moment...
Heading into the evening hours it will remain VERY cold. Lows tonight will drop into the mid 20's. That moisture we mentioned on the radar? We'll see that move through mainly as an increase in clouds along with a small chance for a flurry or two. Some very light accumulations are possible, but again we're not expecting anything major locally.
For Thursday we'll see a mix of sun and clouds as the highs climb into the mid 40's. More clouds move in to the area for Thursday night with lows in the mid to upper 20's. We'll see partly cloudy skies for Friday and it should be a bit warmer with highs in the low 50's.
Valentine's weekend promises to be good for those who love to cuddle! Another cold front moves through, highs will only be near 40 on Saturday with partly cloudy skies and much the same is expected for Valentine's Day on Sunday.
The next winter weather-maker we've mentioned previously promises to be interesting, at least from the forecasting perspective. Clouds will increase heading for Sunday night and lows will be near freezing Monday morning.
A wintry mix looks like it is heading our way for Monday. As the moisture makes its approach (depending on the exact structure of the atmosphere at that time) we stand to see the classic sleet, snow and rain mix develop and change with the elevation. This may change over to some light snow by Tuesday, but the good news is much warmer weather is on tap by Wednesday next week with highs approaching 60!
Stay with MarionCountyMessenger.com for the latest! ... See MoreSee Less
Here's another quick drive through Jasper this morning to give those 'out-of-towners' an idea of what we've seen so far here in the valley. Sequatchie Mountain and other areas along the Plateau have seen even more accumulation, some locally-heavier measurements near 4-1/2". If you have snow pictures where you are (South Pittsburg, Kimball, Whitwell, area mountains?) post them below! We'd love to see them! Could more winter weather and more snow be on the way by Monday? Stay with MarionCountyMessenger.com to keep up with the latest forecast! ... See MoreSee Less
Emily Anne WallaceThe sun has packed it down some but we measured over 4" top of the mountain Marion county8 hours ago · 5
Carol MurrayI'm so happy for all of you who were wanting snow ! Beautiful pictures ! Thanks for posting!7 hours ago · 1
Debra Skiles MillerLast night about 10pm. Still beautiful today on Monteagle Mountain6 hours ago · 1
Early voting begins today in Tennessee...
Despite the cold and snow, voters are headed to the polls Wednesday in the first day of early voting to make their choices in Tennessee’s March 1 presidential primary.
Tennessee’s ballot was set in December, which means several candidates who have dropped out of the race will still remain on the ballot. Voters will be able to choose between 14 Republicans and three Democratic candidates for president, depending on which primary they are voting in.
Voters will also choose among a long list candidates seeking to serve as delegates at party conventions.
Secretary of State Tre Hargett reminds voters to bring a valid government-issued photo ID with them. Student IDs are not accepted.
Voters can cast early ballots through Feb. 23. About one-third of ballots cast in Tennessee’s presidential primary in 2008 and 2012.
Early voting for Georgia began Tuesday, Feb. 9.
If you live in Alabama, you still have until February 15th to register to vote.
Alabama does not have early voting, but they do have absentee voting. ... See MoreSee Less
MarionCountyMessenger.com added 2 new photos.
Potential for significant snow event for Valentine's night and President's Day 2016...
Just when you think winter has run its course...another round takes us head-on!
We are again watching the potential for another winter weather event for our area coming up Sunday evening through Tuesday. Currently we are looking closely at two forecast models; the European and GFS model runs (seen here).
These latest runs are both forecasting some potentially significant snowfall for our area starting Sunday evening and ending sometime late Monday. Both models have stayed fairly consistent for the past few days and confidence is building given that changes have been minimal.
As of right now the tracking could change a bit for this system, but with moisture feeding from the Gulf combined with the low, widespread measurable accumulations are possible. This system will likely also pack a decent punch with windy conditions, which adds to complications for those traveling.
We are watching the European model closely, as it tends to be the best "performer" for our particular area in terms of winter weather events. The GFS tends to often be a bit erratic and often change too often to be as reliable, however it does have a decent showing for us during this event. The Canadian forecast models also show the area getting a pretty decent amount of accumulation, but again we are focusing mainly on the European.
Again, these are only forecast models and a lot could change between now and Sunday to affect our actual forecast, however the potential for widespread measurable accumulations are possible as of this latest model run.
Our team of Meteorologists and trained forecasters will be watching this closely and updating you with the latest as it becomes available at MarionCountyMessenger.com... ... See MoreSee Less
Dan FletcherWell... it is February. Now where's that groundhog? I'm going to kick his ass.11 hours ago · 4
Area Road Conditions...
(Updated 2/10/16 at 2:27pm)
In Marion County the main concern is secondary mountain roads, which have been reported as very slick and have patchy black ice spots.
*Grundy County reports snow and ice on all roads and urges motorists to use extreme caution.
*Sequatchie County is reporting clear roads and no problems.
*Hamilton County reports no closures and no problems expected at this time.
Northeast Alabama and Northwest Georgia are reporting no problems at this time. ... See MoreSee Less
Joshua Ellisoncoming home from work and in whiteside the snow is sticking to the road. not to icy. didnt have any problems19 hours ago
MarionCountyMessenger.comAs of 2:27pm on 2/10/16, we still have reports of snow and ice on mountain roads in Marion and Grundy Counties. All other locations reporting clear roads and no problems. Patchy black ice could be a concern tonight, however TDOT and others are working to re-treat roadways today to help keep that from becoming a problem.4 hours ago
First Case of Zika Virus Disease Reported in Tennessee...
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Department of Health today has received confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the first person in the state to test positive for Zika virus disease. The individual had recently traveled to South America before returning to east Tennessee.
“We have been expecting an imported case of Zika virus disease and we believe more infections are likely as people travel to and from areas where the disease is currently being transmitted,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. "Zika virus, with its association with the birth defect microcephaly, is understandably scary and has captured all of our attention. But the good news is mosquito bites which transmit Zika are entirely preventable. Because there is no vaccine to prevent Zika virus disease and no specific medical treatment for those who are infected, TDH urges all who may be considering travel to the growing number of countries where there is evidence of the disease being transmitted to have heightened awareness and protect themselves and others from mosquito bites.”
The list of affected areas includes many countries in the Caribbean and South and Central America. The list changes frequently; to see the most current list, go to www.cdc.gov/zika/.
Except in pregnant women, Zika virus is almost always a very mild illness and for most people testing is not necessary. Approximately 80 percent of those infected never show symptoms of the disease while approximately 20 percent show only mild symptoms.
There is no vaccine to prevent infection and no specific antiviral treatment for Zika virus infection. Its most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. Pregnant women can be infected with Zika virus in any trimester and there have been increased cases of microcephaly possibly associated with Zika virus infections. Microcephaly is a condition where the head is smaller than normal and may lead to a child experiencing a variety of other health challenges including physical and speech functions, seizure, hyperactivity, coordination problems and other brain/neurological disorders. TDH advises women who are pregnant or of childbearing age to especially understand the risk of contracting Zika virus disease.
“Across Tennessee, thousands of college students, members of faith organizations, healthcare professionals and others are now planning spring trips to warmer locations for either fun or mission work,” said TDH State Epidemiologist Tim Jones, MD. “The Tennessee Department of Health cautions travelers headed soon to warmer climates to have an increased awareness about diseases spread by mosquitoes and to make mosquito bite prevention an essential part of their trip planning.”
TDH recommends the following for travelers to protect themselves against mosquitoes:
Apply repellants to skin often; these can include lotions, liquids or sprays. TDH and CDC recommend the use of repellants which contain DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane 3,8-diol and IR3535. Duration of protection varies by repellant; read labels on products to determine when reapplications are necessary for optimal protection. To learn more about insect repellants, visit cfpub.epa.gov/oppref/insect/.
Wear long, loose and light-colored shirts and pants and wear socks. Tucking shirts in pants and tucking pants into socks will help form a barrier. Wear closed shoes or boots instead of sandals.
Treat clothing with permethrin or purchase clothing pretreated with permethrin.
In remote locations lacking window screens and/or air conditioning, the use of bed nets is advised. These should reach the floor or be tucked under the mattress.
Avoid perfumes, colognes and products with fragrances that might attract mosquitoes.
Certain products containing permethrin are recommended for use on clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear. Permethrin-treated clothing repels and kills mosquitoes and other pests and retains this effect after repeated washing. Some clothing products are available pretreated with permethrin. It should not be used directly on skin.
TDH urges people who suspect they are infected with a mosquito-borne illness to seek medical help.
“While public health and medical professionals have a good body of knowledge about many mosquito-borne diseases, there is still much to learn about Zika virus disease,” Dreyzehner said. “At present there are still questions about its transmission through sex and other avenues. Pregnant women or people who develop a fever within one week of returning from an affected country should contact their personal healthcare professional for advice.”
The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. TDH has facilities in all 95 counties and provides direct services for more than one in five Tennesseans annually as well as indirect services for everyone in the state, including emergency response to health threats, licensure of health professionals, regulation of health care facilities and inspection of food service establishments. Learn more about TDH services and programs atwww.tn.gov/health.
- See more at 1.usa.gov/1QpYSN4.
(This story originally appeared on Tennessee Department of Health's website) ... See MoreSee Less
** School Closings & Delays for Wed. 2/10/16 **
Updated: 2/9/16 at 8:14pm CST
Belvoir Christian Acad.: Opening 10am EST
Bledsoe Co Schools: Closed
Bowman Hills School: Delayed 2hrs
Bradley Co. Schools: Delayed ; 2hrs
Calvary Christian: Delayed; 2 hours
Chatt Girls Leadership: Delayed; 2hrs
Christ Legacy Acad Ath: Closed
Cleveland City Schools: Delayed; 2hrs
Cleveland State-All Sites: Delayed 2hrs
Dayton City Schools - Opening 10am EST
Grundy Co Schools: Closed
Hamilton Co Schools - Delayed; 2hrs
Marion Co Schools: Closed
McMinn Co Schools: Closed
Orange Grove: Buses 2 hours late
Polk Co Schools : Closed
Rhea Co Schools: Closed
Richard Hardy School: Closed
Sequatchie Co Schools: Closed
UTC: Opening at 10am EST
Van Buren Co Schools: Closed
Jackson Co Schools: Delayed; 3hrs
Calhoun City Schools: Delayed; 2hrs
Catoosa Co Schools: Delayed; 2hrs
Chattooga Co Schools: Delayed; 3hrs
Chickamauga City Schools: Delayed; 2hrs
Dade Co Schools: Delayed; 2hrs
Fannin Co Schools: Closed
Murray Co Schools: Delayed; 2hrs
Oakwood Christian Acad: Employees report at 9:15am
Walker Co Schools: Delayed; 2hrs
Whitfield Co Schools: Delayed 2 hours
Holly Ave. UMC - No Ash Wed or Eve Services
Note: This is our complete list of closings and delays. If you do not see your school or business listed, you should assume that they are operating on regular schedule. We will update this status when new information is available. Thanks! ... See MoreSee Less
TN Education Commissioner makes statement on TNReady testing debacle...
Tennessee State Education Commissioner Dr. Candice McQueen said her department is not blaming schools or individual school districts for the online testing crash that is forcing a return to the pencil and paper format. "We take full responsibility," she told reporters in Nashville. She also said she was hearing more "frustration" from Southeast Tennessee and Hamilton County than any other part of the state.
In response to the state's reported $107 million, five-year contract with Measurement Incorporated, she said only $1.6 million had been paid so far, because the state is paying "as deliverable." She said the current focus is to deliver paper-format tests to schools, which will take several days.
Responding to criticism that her department had been "arrogant" in dealing with school district concerns, she said her department had only tried to be helpful and supportive during the practice test process, and that school districts' investments in technology would prove to be beneficial in the long run.
Schools are expected to receive guidance and information later this week as to how to proceed with paper testing. Until then, all TNReady testing is suspended in Tennessee's public schools. ... See MoreSee Less
MarionCountyMessenger.com added 2 new photos.
Scam in nearby Sequatchie County preys on new property owners...
New property owners in neighboring Sequatchie County are being targeted in a scam that's happened in the county before, and could happen anywhere!
According to the Register of Deeds office for Sequatchie County, they're now again seeing a rise in letters that offer to provide you with a copy of your deed and profile of property for a price, usually in the $80-$90 range.
The letter looks official (as seen here) and the sender is hoping to trick you into purchasing information you already have or could get from the county office for as little as a $.25 a page.
Officials in Sequatchie County ask that if you, your friend, or a loved one receives one of these letters to throw it away. And to also share this with anyone you know who is purchasing or has recently purchased property in Sequatchie County.
While we've had no reports of this happening in Marion or other counties around us, it's not impossible that it could happen. If you receive something like this in the mail, check with your local county office using a phone number found in the local phone book or on the official government office's website (not from any numbers or web addresses found on the materials mailed to you).
Always keep an eye out for scams like this, and remember; just because it looks legit -- it might not be! ... See MoreSee Less
Kisha Sherrill HutchinsWe got one in the mail a few weeks ago and we called the bank and they said it was a big scam that was going on and for us to throw it away!!!1 day ago · 1
Chattanooga State is Closing at 4:30 PM; No PM classes... ... See MoreSee Less
A quick drive in the snow in the Jasper area this morning. Main roads are clear at this time, however be extra cautious on mountain and secondary roads as well as bridges and overpasses where ice could be present. ... See MoreSee Less
The Winter Weather Advisory continues for Marion County along with all adjacent counties, including our friends in Alabama (Jackson) and Georgia (Dade). A Winter Weather Advisory means that generally light wintry precipitation can be expected along with some (mostly) minor travel issues. A few pockets of snow showers/flurries continues across the area overnight tonight. This activity will not amount much, however, additional development will be possible especially closer to daybreak.
Tuesday, off and on snow showers can be expected. It looks like minor accumulations ranging from just a dusting to perhaps an inch or two on the plateau where some enhancement of this activity can be expected. Due to the showery nature, exact snow amounts will widely range over short distances. Travelers are urged to remain cautious as conditions (roadways and visibilities) will vary, again, over a very short distance. ... See MoreSee Less
We are already seeing some flurries around the Marion County area this afternoon. We don't anticipate any major issues with travel this afternoon, but please do use extra care and caution while traveling this afternoon. Stay with us for the latest news and information! ... See MoreSee Less
Down to the final few games before the District Tournament in area high school basketball.
Seen here is Garrett Raulston going up for two against Whitwell for the Pirates last Friday night at the Brooks-Fuqua Gymnasium. South Pittsburg won 76-45.
The Pirates were set to face Boyd Buchanan tonight at home, however that has been cancelled due to risk of winter weather. The game is now scheduled for Thursday night.
(Photo contributed by Neil Bennett) ... See MoreSee Less
The Sequatchie County Sheriff's Office and Dunlap Police have posted online: "It is with great sorrow to say that Former Sequatchie County Sheriff Joe May, passed away this afternoon."
Sheriff May served Sequatchie County from 1986 until 2002, and stayed heavily-involved in the community after he left the Sheriff's office.
Our thoughts and prayers to his family, friends, and to the officers who served under him in Sequatchie County. ... See MoreSee Less
Cody CookstonHim and his wife both were great people. We used to set up in his yard for 127 Sale and they both were always really nice to us.3 days ago · 1
Linda HobbsLoved Mary and Joe May they were caring loving people. Prayers for the family.3 days ago · 1
Kimberly LuetkeThoughts and prayers for all his family and friends he will be truly missed RIP Joe3 days ago
Anna MathisMy thoughts and prayers for the family of Sheriff Joe May.He was a friend to me and went to the same church.Rest in peace Sheriff Joe May.Such a shock to hear.God be with his family.3 days ago · 1
Nathan DavisJoe was a better sheriff then Ronnie Hitchcock. If anybody had a problem sheriff May would find a way to solve the problem. R.I.P Sheriff Joe May3 days ago · 2
Richard WelchanceSheriff Joe Mays was the last of his kind. He was a great guy to know and work with.3 days ago
Melissa D OlingerMy thoughts and prayers are with his Family . And all the mine friends he made over the mine years of severs in Dunlap .He also severed in Pikeville under sheriff Carlton Nipper . He will be missed2 days ago
Frankie HollandHarry Holland said my mother thought he hung the moon because he was so friendly to her and her group that attending auction in Cartwright or Dunlop,and I was also a fan of Joe.RIP.2 days ago
BREAKING: Marion County High School OC, Joey Mathis, has been named new MCHS Warriors Head Football Coach following the recently-announced resignation of Ricky Ross last week. ... See MoreSee Less
Jimbo ShadrickCongratulations Coach Joey well deserved you'll do great I'm sure of that3 days ago · 1
Bradley AdamsHe coached me as a linebacker when he moved from Rome, GA. Best coach I have ever had. He will do big things with that school1 day ago · 5
UPDATE: A joint investigation by Special Agents from TBI and Whitwell Police Department has resulted in arresting Holly Hardest, 30, on murder charges of 5-year-old Lucas Dillon.
Hardesty has been charged with First Degree Murder and aggravated Child Abuse.
Whitwell Police discovered the severely injured boy at a home Jewell Lane Road, last March. He was taken to the hospital where he later died from injuries as a result of blunt-force trauma.
Hardesty's bond was set at $50,000.
Arrest made in connection with death of 5-year old Lucas Dillon...
The Marion County jail has confirmed that a woman has been arrested in connection to the death of 5-year-old Lucas Dillon of Whitwell.
Holly Hardesty was arrested late Friday. She's charged with first degree murder and aggravated child abuse.
Lucas was found severely injured in a home on Jewell Lane Road in Whitwell in March of 2015. He was taken to the hospital and later died from his injuries.
Investigators say the boy died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Hardesty is being held on $50-thousand dollar bond. ... See MoreSee Less
Jennifer McNeeceThere's a bigger fine that you get for abusing animals!!! She beat and killed a child!! She needs to be beat to death with a broom handle4 days ago · 19
Kathie Pretzel JuenglingA truly heartbreaking story. What's this woman's connection to the child? Is she a friend or relative of the family?4 days ago
Gyvon JanteTheres always been people abusing and harming children, but this age seems to be excessive! Likewhat the hell is going on? Fathers were are more likely to be suspect but so many MOTHERS! Why?4 days ago · 4
Sebrina Butcher-Cooperkilling a child only nets you a 50,000 with only ten percent down?? is that how it works.? very sad.4 days ago · 5
Veronique RutherfordSo sad but happy they got her!! There's never enough punishment as far as I'm concerned4 days ago · 1
Tonjia Liles RichterThat is so terrible....he was such a cute little boy. How could someone harm an innocent child?4 days ago
Sarah HendrixPoor baby boy! I'm so glad this evil, hideous POS is arrested. I hope she spends the rest of her life in a cell. Rest in peace Lucas4 days ago · 3
Randy FloodFriends this is sad , this is a soul that never had the chance to live in this present world but he in a place where no one can harm him any more, I surprize the bond is so low4 days ago · 3
Jeanette Nicole LongShe should have been in jail since the day she abused him she was trusted to take care of him while his dad worked and she hurt that baby and she should have no bond and hung in the town square and beat with a ball bat in the head and that still wouldn't be enough justice for Lucas and his family Deanna Van Hoosier Whitney Van Hoosier. Jessica Pardo and Nathan dillion I pray that her arrest gives you all a little peace Rip Lucas ...4 days ago · 11
Sarah SwaffordWill it ever stop where is the law on chid abuse do drugs you are under the jail abuse a helpless child and nothing4 days ago · 3
Robin McBrayer BranumBasically for $5,000 she can walk the streets again? Animal abusers get higher bonds than that!! 😡 their bonds should be higher as well!!4 days ago · 5
Marion County head coach resigns to take McCallie position...
Rumors have been circulating for several weeks, and those rumors were finally confirmed this week as Marion County High School head football coach and athletic director Ricky Ross has resigned his position with MCHS to become McCallie School's new defensive coordinator.
In his tenure at the school, Ross helped Marion reach the Class 2A state championship game as runners-up in his two years in the head coach position at the school -- 2014 and 2015.
In an interview with the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Ross made the statement, "this was just the best situation, long term, for my family."
"I love the kids I coach, and everybody knows that Marion County is going to have a great team next year. I think they have a chance to win it all next year, but I can't live in that moment, and that makes it tough.
"Looking at those young men you love and who've done what I asked them to do, and telling them about this, that's as hard a day as I've had in my professional career. It doesn't mean I don't love them but everybody has to do what's best for their family. (McCallie) has been a really good offensive team and they've had some good parts, so I'd like to hope that we can make their defense better and add to the whole there." Ross said.
Ross, 42, was also very successful at Calhoun, Georgia where the team there won eight straight region titles while he was on the defensive staff. The team also reached Georgia's Class AA state championship game in all five years he was the defensive coordinator, winning the title in 2011.
Ross played linebacker at Cumberland University and spent his entire coaching career in Georgia before making the move to Marion County to begin the 2014 season.
Marion will now look to replace Ross. He's the fourth coach since 1996 to stay just two years with the longtime program. His replacement will be the 10th head coach for the school in the past 20 years. ... See MoreSee Less
Jimbo ShadrickBest to you Rick. If there's anything we can do for you we're always here for you at Automotive Unlimited7 days ago
Clarissa SwaffordGood luck.. You are a great coach and the boys did great.. Thanks for your service at MCHS.. You made me love high school football again I watched the games on tv.6 days ago