MarionCountyMessenger.com https://marioncountymessenger.com The Sequatchie Valley's Most Trusted News Source... Thu, 15 Feb 2018 19:49:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://i0.wp.com/marioncountymessenger.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/cropped-favicon.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 MarionCountyMessenger.com https://marioncountymessenger.com 32 32 114146871 Alabama judge grants bond reduction for man accused of killing a Jasper man in early January https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/alabama-judge-grants-bond-reduction-man-accused-killing-jasper-man-early-january/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/alabama-judge-grants-bond-reduction-man-accused-killing-jasper-man-early-january/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 19:44:11 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3121 SCOTTSBORO, Ala. — Two Hearings were held in a Scottsboro courtroom on Wednesday in the cases of Christopher McCallie and Brittany Smith, the brother and sister who are accused of murdering 38-year-old Joshua Todd Smith in the early morning hours of January 16, 2018 in Stevenson. Initially McCallie was arrested following the incident, but as …

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SCOTTSBORO, Ala. — Two Hearings were held in a Scottsboro courtroom on Wednesday in the cases of Christopher McCallie and Brittany Smith, the brother and sister who are accused of murdering 38-year-old Joshua Todd Smith in the early morning hours of January 16, 2018 in Stevenson.

Initially McCallie was arrested following the incident, but as the investigation continued in the days that followed investigators fingered a second suspect, 30-year-old Brittany Joyce Smith, McCallie’s sister, who also lived at the home on Sharon Drive in Stevenson where the murder happened.

At one of those hearings, the motion to reduce bond filed by Attorney Robert Ray on behalf of McCallie was made. McCallie’s mother testified that her son has lived with her throughout his life, stating that he has never been in trouble other than one juvenile case that was instigated by a dare and was later dismissed.

Christopher McCallie (left), and sister Brittany Smith (right), wanted in connection of the murder of Joshua Todd Smith of Jasper, Tenn. on Jan. 16, 2018 at a home in Stevenson.  (Photo: Courtesy Jackson Co. Sheriff’s Office)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

District Judge Don Word stated that he would get an order prepared, however he did not indicate if the motion would be granted or denied. McCallie has been held in the Jackson County Jail with a bond of $250,000 since his arrest in January.

The order released a short while later states, “The Defendants motion to reduce bond is granted. The defendants bond shall be reduced to $50,000.”

“As an additional condition of the defendant being released from jail on bond in this case the defendant shall report to the Jackson County Court Community Corrections Office monthly and comply with all directives of the Jackson County CCO pending further Order of the Court. The defendant shall not leave Jackson County without permission from the Court or the Jackson County CCO,” the order continued.

Prior to McCallie’s hearing, a hearing was held on the state’s motion to remove an appointed counsel due to conflict of interests in the Brittany Smith case after defense counsel Parker Edmiston visited the Jackson County Jail, stating he was there to see a client and was permitted to visit with Christopher McCallie.

It’s alleged that following that, Edmiston appeared with Brittany Smith at the Jackson County Sheriff’s office where she then gave a statement to investigators and confessed to the murder of Todd Smith. Edmiston later visited McCallie in the Jackson County Jail a second time following this.

District Attorney Jason Pierce argued that the State would anticipate McCallie would testify against Smith and it would be inappropriate for Edmiston to cross-examine McCallie. Edmiston argued that both defendants in the cases would have to right to waive any conflict that might present itself, explaining that he had in fact visited McCallie and transported Smith to the Jackson County Sheriff’s office after receiving a request from the defendants mother.

Edmiston also argued that information given to him by McCallie is not privileged due to being obtainable elsewhere, such as in his written statement, further arguing that he is not a necessary witness to the case.

Judge Word continued the Preliminary hearings of both parties and is expected to review the statements given by both defendants prior to issuing an order regarding the removal of appointed counsel.

 

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“Flu Shot Friday” Event Provides Free Flu Vaccines Across Tennessee https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/flu-shot-friday-event-provides-free-flu-vaccines-across-tennessee/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/flu-shot-friday-event-provides-free-flu-vaccines-across-tennessee/#respond Wed, 14 Feb 2018 16:38:09 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3117 NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Get a flu shot! The Tennessee Department of Health is urging all Tennesseans who have not yet received a flu shot this flu season to get one as soon as possible, as seasonal influenza remains widespread across the state. Tennessee county health departments are providing flu vaccine at no charge to patients …

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Get a flu shot! The Tennessee Department of Health is urging all Tennesseans who have not yet received a flu shot this flu season to get one as soon as possible, as seasonal influenza remains widespread across the state. Tennessee county health departments are providing flu vaccine at no charge to patients while supplies last and are holding special “Flu Shot Friday” clinics from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. local time Feb. 16 in all locations to increase the number of people vaccinated across Tennessee.

“We are having these clinics to emphasize it’s not too late to get vaccinated because we expect a lot more weeks of seasonal flu that we all know has already been intense. Vaccination is still the best protection we have against this serious and deadly illness,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “Yes, wash your hands, avoid touching your face, stay home if you are sick but above all get vaccinated. It can help you and those around you stay healthy and if you do get sick, it just might save your life.”

All Tennessee county health departments are holding Flu Shot Friday clinics Feb. 16 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. local time. This includes all rural county health departments and health department clinics in Chattanooga-Hamilton County, Jackson-Madison County, Knoxville-Knox County, Nashville-Davidson County, Memphis-Shelby County and Sullivan County. No appointments are needed to receive a flu shot during this event. Find a map of local health department locations
and contact information online at www.tn.gov/health/health-programareas/localdepartments.html.

TDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a yearly flu vaccine for everyone aged six months and older. Unfortunately, flu vaccines don’t work as well against H3N2 viruses, which means some people who get vaccinated may still get sick; however, flu vaccination helps make illness milder for those who do get sick. Flu vaccines also work better against H1N1 and influenza B viruses, which are also circulating in Tennessee right now.

Most people with the flu will have a mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. However, groups including infants, the elderly and people with certain medical conditions are at highest risk of getting severe complications from the flu. Anyone who believes he or she may have the flu should contact a health care provider and should begin antiviral medications if recommended by the provider as soon as possible.

The flu virus is highly contagious, so it’s important for people who are sick to stay home and make every effort to avoid contact with others for at least 24 hours after their symptoms have resolved to help prevent further spread of the illness. This includes staying away from work, school, and other public places while ill.

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Around Town: Feb 16th – May 6th https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/around-town-feb-16th-may-6th/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/around-town-feb-16th-may-6th/#respond Tue, 13 Feb 2018 16:50:33 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3113 Email your local church, community, or civic organization event information or flyers to us — News@MarionCountyMessenger.com!   Feb. 16 Disney Live! Mickey and Minnie’s Doorway to Magic. 3 and 7 p.m. UTC Arena. Feb. 17 Kimball Softball League Registration — 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM (noon) at the Kimball Town Hall, 675 Main Street in …

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Email your local church, community, or civic organization event information or flyers to us — News@MarionCountyMessenger.com!

 

Feb. 16
Disney Live! Mickey and Minnie’s Doorway to Magic. 3 and 7 p.m. UTC Arena.

Feb. 17
Kimball Softball League Registration — 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM (noon) at the Kimball Town Hall, 675 Main Street in Kimball. This is for ages 3-14 yeas old. For more info contact Parks & Rec Director, Billy King, at 423-356-1623.

Feb. 17
VFW Post 6362 Auxilary Hot Dog & Chili Fundraiser at the Jasper VFW Hall located at 102 Pine Ave.  Come for a hot dog, chili, slaw, Fritos, crackers and a drink for only $6. The event starts at 11:00 AM CST.

Feb. 17
Comedian James Gregory — “The Funniest Man in America” — will be performing a stand-up comedy show at South Pittsburg’s Princess Theatre. Show time is 7:30 PM CST. Tickets available at https://public.ticketbiscuit.com/FunniestMan/Events/326745

Feb. 19
PRESIDENT’S DAY — Government, US Postal Service, schools and most city and county offices will be CLOSED.

Feb. 20-27
Whitwell Senior Center in partnership with the Tennessee Dept. of Health is hosting — Take Charge of Your Diabetes. This will be hosted at the Whitwell Senior Center at 900 Main Street in Whitwell every Tuesday, from Jan. 23rd – Feb. 27th. The time is 1:30 – 3:30 PM CST.

Feb. 22-25
Houston Museum Antiques Show & Sale benefiting Chattanooga’s Houston Museum. Friday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Feb. 24, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Feb. 25, 12-4 PM EST. Admission is $10 and covers all three days of the show and sale. Preview party on Feb. 22 at 7 PM EST. isn’t included in the general admission price. Preview part tickets are $75, which also gives unlimited access to all three days of the show. At Stratton Hall, 3146 Broad St.  For more information call 267-7176 or visit www.thehoustonmuseum.org.

Feb. 24
Whitwell Dizzy Dean Softball and the City of Whitwell will be hosting at clean-up day at the Whitwell Park on Saturday, Feb. 24th to get the park ready for the upcoming softball and baseball seasons. For more info, contact the City of Whitwell at 423-658-5151.

March 3
Denim & Diamonds: Once Upon a Time fundraiser.  Tickets are now on sale at chattdenim.net. Chattanooga physicians and community leaders will come together at 7:00 PM EST on Saturday, March 3, at the Chattanooga Convention Center for an evening of music and food, and a celebration of healing.

March 6-7
Jasper Elementary School 2018-2019 Kindergarten Registration Days… 8:30 AM until 2:00 PM CST. Parents will need to bring with them a copy of the child’s birth certificate, social security card, shot record, and physical.

March 9
Tree Day 2018 is Friday, March 9th with the Marion County Soil Conservation District. FREE tree seedlings will be available at the USDA Service Center office (next door to the Jasper Post Office) beginning at 8:00 AM CST. Varieties include Sawtooth Oak, White Oak, White Pine and Yellow Poplar seedlings. It’s first come, first served. For more info, call 423-942-2244, Extension 3.

March 10
VFW 6362 Pancake Breakfast at the VFW Hall located at 102 Pine Ave. in Jasper. 6:30-9:30 AM CST.

March 10
Cherokee Area Council’s John Ross District “Derby Days” with the Boy Scouts of America and Cub Scouts from around the John Ross District will be held at the First Baptist Church of Lakeview, located at 10 Hudson Street in Rossville, GA. $5 early registration (through 2/15) and $7 at the door for Scouts and siblings. Check-in time is 8:30 AM EST with races beginning at 9:30 AM EST. Scouts will race in both the Pinewood Derby and Raingutter Regatta and have the chance to experience Space Derby, but no true Space Derby race will be held. More info by contacting Don Horvatt at (706)200-2002 or email donhorvatt@gmail.com.

March 10
The Hunter Museum’s young patron group, Avant-art, will host its premier annual museum fundraiser, Hunter Underground, at 8:00 PM EST. At Underground, the museum’s basement will be converted from a maze of art storage to a chic night club with music, entertainment, and art. The evening will feature DJ Summer Dregs, heavy hor d’oeuvres, creative cocktails and – new this year – a dance party in the loading dock. Hunter Underground tickets must be purchased in advance and are available at http://www.huntermuseum.org or by calling 267-0968. Tickets are $60 for Hunter Museum members and $75 general admission and include event admission, food, and drinks. Must be 21 or older to attend.

March 11
Daylight Saving Time BEGINS at 2:00 AM Central — SPRING FORWARD ONE HOUR before going to bed on Sat., March 10th, 2018.

March 15
“Inspired” — A Community Art Share Event for Kids. Children in Marion County are invited to come and share their artwork with the community and have some face time with other creative people. The event is sponsored by The Creative Zone, LLC. in South Pittsburg and the The American Legion Post 62. The event begins at 6:00 PM CDT at the American Legion Post 62 on Elm Ave. in South Pittsburg (next to the Elementary School and across from City Hall). Admission is FREE and there’s NO entry fees. Participants are grades K-12, and they are encouraged to bring up to 5 pieces of their artwork and their sketchbooks and/or tablets for digital works. Sign-up deadline is Friday, March 9th, 2018. Sign up early to reserve table space by calling the Creative Zone at 423-228-3252.

March 24
The Humane Educational Society will host Rescues on the Runway 6:00 PM EDT. at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Includes food, silent and live auction, and a shelter pet runway.  Formal attire is required.  Advance tickets are $85 and a table of eight is $640.  Tickets at the door are $90.  For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

March 31
The Jasper EGGstravaganza is back! A fun-filled day is planned to celebrate with the kids and see all of the eggs the Easter Bunny has left for hunting! There will be inflatables, music, concessions and tons of fun at this FREE event for the whole family! The EGGstravaganza starts at 11:00 AM CDT followed by the 2018 Jasper Parks and Recreation Baseball & Softball Opening Ceremonies at 2:00 PM. More info at http://www.facebook.com/jasperegghunt/

March 31
Jasper Parks & Recreation Baseball & Softball 2018 Opening Ceremonies… Come out for a day of fun early with the Jasper EGGstravaganza and stay to celebrate the opening ceremonies for the 2018 baseball and softball season in Jasper! More info by CLICKING HERE to visit the Town of Jasper Parks & Recreation Facebook site

April 7-8
Sucomos Mountain Goat Trail Race Weekend, including the 5th annual Mountain Goat Trail Run & Walk. On Saturday, the 5-mile run will begin at 10:00 AM CDT in downtown Sewanee; a 2-mile walk will begin at 10:00 AM CDT at Pearl’s Fine Dining. Both will finish at Mountain Outfitters in Monteagle. Prizes will be awarded for fastest men’s and women’s times, as well as for best runner’s costume. Sunday’s 13.1-mile run will begin in downtown Tracy City and finish in Sewanee. Online registration is through UltraSignup; the link is here.

April 14
VFW 6362 Pancake Breakfast at the VFW Hall located at 102 Pine Ave. in Jasper. 6:30-9:30 AM CDT.

April 24-25
Jasper Elementary School 2018-2019 Pre-K Registration Days.Parents will need to bring with them a copy of the child’s birth certificate, social security card, shot record, and physical along with proof of address and proof of income. Dates for the required workship — TBA.

April 28-29
The National Cornbread Festival takes place in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, including the 2018 National Cornbread Cook-off, Celebrity Cook-off, Cornbread Alley, Amuesment Rides (Fair), Lodge factory tours, live entertainment, music, street performers, the Cornbread Cruise-In at nearby Dixie-Freeze, and much more! This year, it’s also the 1st Annual Cast Iron Collectors Tent hosted by Lodge… Bring your favorite piece of cast iron cookware to show your fellow collectors, learn about cast iron history from Lodge historians, participate in cast iron trivia contests, and compete to win some special limited edition items from Lodge. Non-collectors are also welcome — Sunday 4/29/18 from 9:00AM until Noon CDT.  For more information on all of the other festival events — visit them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NationalCornbreadFestival/  or on the web — http://nationalcornbread.com/

May 5-6
Valley Fest 2018 is back in Dunlap with LOTS of things for everyone to enjoy! Come for the music and live entertainment — including the legendary Marshall Tucker Band LIVE on Sat., May 5th; with other performances by Cody McCarver, Jason Crabb, Glory Road, Carolina Calling, Smith & Wesley, The Cumberland Band, OGYA World Music Band, Red Rogues, Jimmy Dormire and the Peace Merchants….and more! Also enjoy the car show, art & craft show and sale, pageant, Run/Walk, children’s area, and many more great events for the whole family! Valley Fest is open on Saturday 9:00AM – 9:00PM CDT and Sunday 11:00AM – 5:00PM CDT. Daily admissions are $8 for adults and $2 for children. Advance wristbands for both days are available at Dunlap area banks, Music Makers, and the Cookie Jar Cafe. Reserved seating for concerts is an additional $25 and available at the Chamber of Commerce in Dunlap. More info at www.valleyfestonline.com.

 

Email your local church, community, or civic organization event information or flyers to us — News@MarionCountyMessenger.com!

 

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Director of Whitwell’s Orena Humphreys Public Library indicted on theft charges following State Comptroller’s investigation https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/director-of-whitwells-orena-humphreys-public-library-indicted-on-theft-charges-following-state-comptrollers-investigation/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/director-of-whitwells-orena-humphreys-public-library-indicted-on-theft-charges-following-state-comptrollers-investigation/#respond Fri, 09 Feb 2018 18:07:41 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3106 WHITWELL, Tenn. — An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has resulted in the indictment of Marilyn Frazier, the director of the Orena Humphreys Public Library in Whitwell. Comptroller investigators determined that at least $3,680.37 went missing from the library from January 2016 through June 2017. This money included reimbursements submitted by the director that …

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WHITWELL, Tenn. — An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has resulted in the indictment of Marilyn Frazier, the director of the Orena Humphreys Public Library in Whitwell.

Photo: TN State Comptroller Release

Comptroller investigators determined that at least $3,680.37 went missing from the library from January 2016 through June 2017. This money included reimbursements submitted by the director that was paid to the library for various expenditures. Several of these reimbursements were never deposited into the library’s checking accounts.

Investigators also noted donations to the library that were never deposited, and library money spent to purchase food and cigarettes, which was not allowed.
Additionally, investigators have raised questions about $2,166.54 in disbursements made by the library. These disbursements included cash withdrawals, donations, employee reimbursement, charges for gas, and purchases made without adequate supporting documentation. Investigators question whether many of these disbursements were for a business-related purpose.
Frazier also created at least eight invoices in the names of other entities to support library expenditures. Although these vendors provided a legitimate service to the library, the director should never create an invoice for a vendor.
On February 5, 2018, the Marion County Grand Jury indicted Marilyn Frazier for theft.
“This investigation has revealed many deficiencies in the operations of the Orena Humphreys Library,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “Most notably, the library operated with little management oversight, and the library did not have a policy governing how money was to be collected and spent.”
The investigation document can be viewed by CLICKING HERE
If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee, call the Comptroller’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-232-5454, or file a report online at www.comptroller.tn.gov/hotline.
Press Release

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Former South Pittsburg police officer indicted Monday for assault https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/former-south-pittsburg-police-officer-indicted-monday-assault/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/former-south-pittsburg-police-officer-indicted-monday-assault/#respond Thu, 08 Feb 2018 23:21:19 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3102 An investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the arrest of a former South Pittsburg police officer, who has been charged with assault and official misconduct. The TBI says 27-year-old Officer Joshua Chance is accused of assaulting a man on Old Jasper Road after he was detained by law …

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An investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the arrest of a former South Pittsburg police officer, who has been charged with assault and official misconduct.

Joshua Chance (Photo: TBI)

The TBI says 27-year-old Officer Joshua Chance is accused of assaulting a man on Old Jasper Road after he was detained by law enforcement on October 7, 2017, which MarionCountyMessenger.com first reported on October 10, 2017.

At the request of 12th District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor, on October 10, 2017, TBI Special Agents began investigating the then-South Pittsburg police officer on an allegation of assault. During the course of the investigation, agents developed information that during law enforcement response to the residence on Old Jasper Road, Chance assaulted an individual after the man had been detained by law enforcement officers.

Chance is no longer an employee of the South Pittsburg Police Department.

On Monday, the Marion County Grand Jury returned indictments charging Chance with one count of Assault, one count of Aggravated Assault, and one count of Official Misconduct.

 

Video surveillance from the scene of the incident — provided by a reader via Facebook…

 

On Thursday morning, Chance surrendered himself to a TBI Agent and was booked into the Marion County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

 

Report from TBI Release

 

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Kimball’s air ambulance coverage extended to volunteer firefighters https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/kimballs-air-ambulance-coverage-extended-volunteer-firefighters/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/kimballs-air-ambulance-coverage-extended-volunteer-firefighters/#respond Wed, 07 Feb 2018 17:07:57 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3100 At the February meeting of the Town of Kimball Board of Mayor and Alderman, the board began discussion of renewing the city’s membership with the AirMedCare Network, the emergency air transport service which covers the cost of emergency air transportation to medical facilities in the provider’s 38-state network area. Kimball has provided this special coverage …

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At the February meeting of the Town of Kimball Board of Mayor and Alderman, the board began discussion of renewing the city’s membership with the AirMedCare Network, the emergency air transport service which covers the cost of emergency air transportation to medical facilities in the provider’s 38-state network area.

Kimball has provided this special coverage for city employees and their families since 2013 and has voted annually to continue providing the coverage.

During the talks, Alderman John Matthews opened the discussion with the board on extending this coverage to volunteer firefighters in the city. Matthews suggested that this would be of benefit should a firefighter go into a house fire or other situation and need to be airlifted out due to an injury.

Currently, The Kimball Volunteer Fire Department has 17 firefighters, three of which are already covered as city employees. They project that extending this coverage to the remaining members of the fire department would only cost the city an estimated $500 to $1,000 annually. The city currently pays around $1,000 each year to cover city employees.

Kimball Fire Chief Jeff Keef said this will come as a benefit to his firemen and he did not have a problem with the board adding the coverage.

The board voted unanimously to extend the coverage to their volunteer firefighters.

Kimball along with the Town of Jasper also pay annually for a site membership that covers all of their town’s residents as long as the flight originates in Marion County.

Residents in these areas and around the county can upgrade to a full membership that will cover emergency flights in AirMedCare’s 38-state network, which includes 230 helicopters and includes Erlanger Health System’s Life Force helicopters. The upgrade costs under $100 per year for a household. Applications and information can be picked up at the City Hall in Jasper and Town Hall in Kimball. You can also signup online at www.airmedcarenetwork.com.

 

 

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Marshall pleads guilty to theft from Sequatchie County Fair https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/marshall-pleads-guilty-to-theft-from-sequatchie-county-fair/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/marshall-pleads-guilty-to-theft-from-sequatchie-county-fair/#respond Wed, 07 Feb 2018 15:59:55 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3097 DUNLAP, Tenn. — Karen Marshall, one of the two women accused of taking funds from the Sequatchie County Fair Association early last year, entered a guilty plea and was sentenced on January 26, 2018, by Circuit Court Judge Justin C. Angel in Sequatchie County. Marshall had served as the fair board’s president prior to the …

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DUNLAP, Tenn. — Karen Marshall, one of the two women accused of taking funds from the Sequatchie County Fair Association early last year, entered a guilty plea and was sentenced on January 26, 2018, by Circuit Court Judge Justin C. Angel in Sequatchie County.

Karen Marshall (Photo: Courtesy Sequatchie County Sheriff’s Dept.)

Marshall had served as the fair board’s president prior to the incident.

Investigators determined that Marshall had used two schemes to steal at least $2,000 by writing and cashing them and using the fair’s debit card for personal benefits.

Her sister, Pamela Smith, who served as the fair association’s treasurer was also indicted last year after she stole nearly $5,200 from the fair association by writing and transacting at least 10 unauthorized checks, including checks to herself and to cash.

Both women admitted to investigators that they used fair association money for personal use and both resigned their positions on the fair board.

On January 23, 2017, the Sequatchie County Grand Jury indicted each of the women on one count of theft over $1,000. Smith pleaded guilty in February 2017 and was sentenced by Judge Curtis Smith to two years’ “judicial diversion” in which she would undergo supervised probation and be required to pay $5,200 in restitution to the Sequatchie County Fair Board Association.

Marshall’s case, however, was complicated by a previous record of theft. Marshall was indicted by the Sequatchie County Grand Jury Sept. 22, 1997, for stealing $1,419 from McDonald’s restaurant while working there as a manager.

Through a pre-trial diversion in that prior incident, Marshall was allowed to avoid going to trial on those charges by agreeing to pay restitution and court costs. Once those requirements were met, her record would have been expunged. However, according to Circuit Court Clerk Karen Millsaps, at the time of her indictment last year, those conditions were not met and the charges were not expunged.

In the almost year that’s elapsed since Marhsall’s 2017 indictment, those previous matters have been cleared-up and she was able to plead guilty to theft of property over $1,000 at the January 26th sentencing hearing.

Judge Angel sentenced her to a two-year supervised probation sentence and she must pay court costs along with $2,000 in restitution to Sequatchie County Fair Board Association.

 

 

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Does somebody owe YOU money? Millions turned over annually to TN Department of Treasury https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/somebody-owe-money-millions-turned-annually-tn-department-treasury/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/somebody-owe-money-millions-turned-annually-tn-department-treasury/#respond Wed, 07 Feb 2018 14:49:41 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3090 Have you ever cancelled a utility service? Have you closed a bank account or left a job? While it doesn’t apply to everyone, often times that utility company will owe you a refund…or your bank account accrued some interest that wasn’t paid-out upon closing. Or maybe the job you left forgot to pay you for …

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Have you ever cancelled a utility service? Have you closed a bank account or left a job? While it doesn’t apply to everyone, often times that utility company will owe you a refund…or your bank account accrued some interest that wasn’t paid-out upon closing. Or maybe the job you left forgot to pay you for unused vacation time. How does this happen, you ask? Easy. Often these things are done following a life change, such as moving or changing addresses and phone numbers leaving the company with no way to contact you.

Each year millions of dollars are turned over to the State of Tennessee by businesses and organizations who cannot locate the owners.  This includes intangible assets such as bank accounts, stock certificates, checks, unclaimed wages, refunds, and even gift certificates.

The Tennessee Department of Treasury has complied an online list of persons owed money. On this website you can find the information regarding Unclaimed Property that you are looking for.

Click here to visit the website or visit http://www.treasury.state.tn.us/unclaim/ for more…

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OUTDOORS: A Silver Lining to Winter Weather for TN Forests https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/outdoors-a-silver-lining-to-winter-weather-for-tn-forests/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/outdoors-a-silver-lining-to-winter-weather-for-tn-forests/#respond Wed, 07 Feb 2018 14:35:00 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3088 KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The frigid temperatures experienced in parts of Tennessee this season – and likely future visits by Jack Frost – have at least one benefit: Low temps help kill the hemlock woolly adelgid, a non-native species responsible for killing thousands of mature hemlock trees. Forestry experts are in a race against time to …

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The frigid temperatures experienced in parts of Tennessee this season – and likely future visits by Jack Frost – have at least one benefit: Low temps help kill the hemlock woolly adelgid, a non-native species responsible for killing thousands of mature hemlock trees.

Forestry experts are in a race against time to preserve the plant species. Nathan Hoover, forest health specialist with the state Division of Forestry, said his department and other conservation groups are working to preserve what they can.

“It’s something we’re going to deal with for perpetuity. It’s going to be forever. We’re losing trees rapidly,” Hoover said. “We have to treat them to save them to keep them on the land, preserve the genetics, preserve the actual hemlock forest, and then focus on that long-term control objective. It’s just about creating that equilibrium.”

As the hemlocks die, they are commonly referred to as “gray ghosts” in the forests because of their appearance.

The invasive insect arrived in the U.S. from Japan in the 1950s, and once it reached the northern Appalachian Forest, it spread rapidly to the Southeast. Hemlocks provide valuable ecosystem services in Appalachian forests, including cover for wildlife and cooling shade along waterways.

Josh Kelly, public lands biologist with Mountain True, said if you haven’t heard of the problem, there is a dismal reason for that.

“I think the reason it’s not in our radar anymore is because most of them have already died,” Kelly said. “Once it was in the Appalachian range where there are a lot of hemlocks, it spread really rapidly north and south, and first arrived in our area in 2001 and was pretty much everywhere by 2007.”

Hoover said while it’s an uphill battle, there are things Tennessee citizens can do to preserve what is left.

“Private land owners can inventory their property, find the hemlock trees on their property and then put together a treatment plan for those trees in order to protect them,” Hoover said. “You can inform other people about it. You can contact the Tennessee Division of Forestry for that information.”

Kelly and Hoover say the origin of the deadly insect – a non-native bug – is a reminder of the importance for the public and private sector to exercise caution when importing plants and trees from other countries. According to the Center for Invasive Species Protection, since European settlement began in North America, nearly 500 non-native tree-feeding insects and disease-causing pathogens have been introduced into the United States. About 80 of these have caused notable damage to our trees.

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Tax Man Cometh: Free Help Available to All Tennesseeans https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/tax-man-cometh-free-help-available-tennesseeans/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/tax-man-cometh-free-help-available-tennesseeans/#respond Wed, 07 Feb 2018 14:32:02 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3086 NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It’s a good weekend to start collecting what you need to settle up with Uncle Sam. Tax forms are arriving in mailboxes daily across Tennessee and that means it’s tax time. For people overwhelmed by the task, there is free help available for people of all ages and all income levels. The …

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It’s a good weekend to start collecting what you need to settle up with Uncle Sam. Tax forms are arriving in mailboxes daily across Tennessee and that means it’s tax time.

For people overwhelmed by the task, there is free help available for people of all ages and all income levels. The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program – now in its 50th year – is under way, and state coordinator Pamela Holcombe says it offers an army of volunteers across the state to help where computer programs may fail.

“There are some nuances, some things that people can take advantage of that they might not be aware of,” she says. “Expenses that they can deduct, and some things that they can’t, that they may think they can. It just helps to keep from having an issue with the IRS.”

The recently passed tax law changes will not impact your 2017 return. You can find your nearest Tax-Aide Center by going to aarp.org/findtaxhelp or by calling 888-227-7669.

Holcombe adds it’s important to bring the original Social Security card for everyone filing on your return, photo ID’s for you and your spouse if you have one, and all tax documents. She says a good way to make sure you don’t forget a form you need to complete your taxes is to pull out last year’s file.

“We can’t finish a return unless we have all of that. The best way to find that out is to look at last year’s return and see how many W-2s they had, and how many 1099s they had, and make sure they have all of those unless they closed an account or quit a job,” says Holcombe.

All AARP Tax-Aide volunteers are certified by the IRS and AARP and are trained annually to be aware of any new changes to the tax law.

Reported by: Stephanie Carson

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High Electric Bills? TVA Rates Questioned by TN Groups https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/high-electric-bills-tva-rates-questioned-tn-groups/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/high-electric-bills-tva-rates-questioned-tn-groups/#respond Wed, 07 Feb 2018 14:29:48 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3083 KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Your high electric bill this winter may have to do with more than just cold temperatures. A study of Tennessee Valley Authority rates for residential and industrial customers, released Tuesday, raises questions about TVA’s rates for each of those groups. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy commissioned the study by Synapse Energy …

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Your high electric bill this winter may have to do with more than just cold temperatures.

A study of Tennessee Valley Authority rates for residential and industrial customers, released Tuesday, raises questions about TVA’s rates for each of those groups.

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy commissioned the study by Synapse Energy Economics.

Melissa Whited, principal associate at Synapse Energy Economics, was one of the study authors who found residential rates have increased at the same time rates for industrial customers are going down.

“The burden is really on TVA to show that these rate reductions for large industrial customers are justified,” Whited states. “If you are simply subsidizing large industrial customers in a manner that actually increases costs for all customers, that’s not beneficial from an efficiency standpoint.”

By comparison, industrial rates at non-TVA utilities have not decreased at the same rate as those offered by TVA utilities.

The report found that residential customers paid $1.4 billion more between 2011 and 2016, compared with what they would have paid if they’d received similar breaks that industrial customers received.

The Tennessee NAACP and Friends of the Earth are supporting the Alliance’s efforts.

In a statement, TVA says it was not contacted to verify numbers in the report and that it has a mission of economic development to attract large companies to the region.

The Tennessee Valley Authority Act, which created the agency, mandates the utility make power available to consumers at the lowest possible rates.

David Freeman, who chaired TVA from 1977 to 1984, says the agency is failing to fulfill its contract with the people it serves.

“They’re looking at it just like an ordinary utility, which is they’ve got a bunch of captive customers so they’re socking it to them and cutting rates to the industrial customers who’ve got the flexibility to go to solar power or otherwise,” he states.

Whited says the impact it has on consumers’ ability to invest their dollars in other aspects of the economy cannot be underestimated.

“Rate increases for residential – and, to a lesser extent, to small commercial – customers certainly have an impact on a household’s ability to use their hard earned money for any other needs they have, any other investments,” she states.

Freeman and others are calling on Congress to step in to enforce the contract TVA has with the American people.

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Friends of the Earth are considering legal action against the agency.

Reported by: Stephanie Carson

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Rep. Scott DesJarlais (TN-04) Presses Colleagues For Stronger Military With Consistent Funding https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/rep-scott-desjarlais-tn-04-presses-colleagues-stronger-military-consistent-funding/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/02/rep-scott-desjarlais-tn-04-presses-colleagues-stronger-military-consistent-funding/#respond Tue, 06 Feb 2018 15:04:29 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3096 WASHINGTON, D.C. — At a House Armed Services Committee hearing today, Secretary of Defense James Mattis discussed combat readiness and long-term military strategy with members of Congress. In his opening remarks, the Secretary focused on budget problems, particularly a series of short-term bills to fund the federal government. “We expect the men and women of …

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — At a House Armed Services Committee hearing today, Secretary of Defense James Mattis discussed combat readiness and long-term military strategy with members of Congress.

In his opening remarks, the Secretary focused on budget problems, particularly a series of short-term bills to fund the federal government. “We expect the men and women of our military to be faithful in their service, even when going in harm’s way,” said the retired Marine Corps General. “We must also remain faithful to them. As Speaker [Paul] Ryan said in January, ‘our men and women in uniform are not bargaining chips.’”

Potentially tonight, the House of Representatives will vote on a Continuing Resolution that maintains current spending levels for most domestic programs but fully funds defense this year. The bill would improve troops’ pay, benefits, training, and equipment. Deploying the latest technology would deter U.S. adversaries, explained Congressman Scott DesJarlais, a Committee member who attended today’s hearing.

He emphasized Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran, and the continuing danger of Islamic terrorism, urging the Senate to pass defense measures the House has approved numerous times. Senate rules allow a few members to block important votes. Last month, to preserve an Obama-era order granting amnesty to illegal aliens, Minority Leader Charles Schumer led an effort to shut down the government.

“For the sake of political expedience, some are demanding special favors, focused on unrelated issues,” said Rep. Desjarlais (TN-04). “For the sake of national security, we must rebuild our country’s depleted military, as the vast majority of Americans are demanding.”

“The Senate will have the opportunity to fulfill our most important duty, providing for the common defense.”

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