MarionCountyMessenger.com https://marioncountymessenger.com The Sequatchie Valley's Most Trusted News Source... Mon, 10 Dec 2018 00:39:53 +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 School Closings & Delays for Monday, Dec. 10th, 2018 https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/school-closings-delays-for-monday-dec-10th-2018/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/school-closings-delays-for-monday-dec-10th-2018/#respond Mon, 10 Dec 2018 00:35:52 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3580 Area School Closings & Delays from MarionCountyMessenger.com

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37 years later… A look at the Whitwell Mine #21 Tragedy on Dec. 8, 1981 https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/37-years-later-a-look-at-the-whitwell-mine-21-tragedy-on-dec-8-1981/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/37-years-later-a-look-at-the-whitwell-mine-21-tragedy-on-dec-8-1981/#respond Thu, 06 Dec 2018 15:35:24 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3578 “We are sharing this story again from 2017 for the memory and as a tribute to those who lost their lives in the tragic Mine 21 disaster on December 8, 1981 near Whitwell, Tennessee. We’ve added some new information at the bottom of this article detailing a new short documentary, “Mine 21,” that premiered in …

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“We are sharing this story again from 2017 for the memory and as a tribute to those who lost their lives in the tragic Mine 21 disaster on December 8, 1981 near Whitwell, Tennessee. We’ve added some new information at the bottom of this article detailing a new short documentary, “Mine 21,” that premiered in October 2018. We dedicate this to those 13 men, their families and loved ones who will forever miss them, all of our coal miner’s and those who continue to preserve the occupation’s rich history…and to the residents of Marion County — in an effort to preserve our county’s rich history and to ensure that upcoming generations will always have a link to their family and community’s past. To all of those who dedicate their time and efforts to preserve our local history — Thank You.”

December 8th, 1981 was a Tuesday. It was a clear and dry day, a bit windy, but overall fairly warm for the season in Whitwell, Tenn, a small coal-mining town nestled between the foothills of the Appalachian mountains bordered by the “big city” of Chattanooga to the east and snugged-up against the Cumberland Plateau right in the backyard yard to the West. Thanksgiving was past and the Christmas season was in full-swing that day with kids in school and residents going about their day-to-day lives.

Folks were doing their grocery shopping at Pickett’s or Smith’s Grocery, pumping gas at Castle’s, while Jim and Edward Hooper were no doubt busy filling prescriptions at Hooper’s Drug Store, and I’m sure at all of these places including James “Stoogey” Van Hooser’s barbershop you were hearing talk about the upcoming Tennessee Vols game against Wisconsin in the Garden State Bowl, under the coaching of Johnny Majors, that was set to take place at Giants Stadium in New Jersey the following Sunday. Yep, it was a pretty typical day until the smallest spark set forth by a cigarette lighter happened deep below Whitwell Mountain in a mineshaft about Noon and led to the thunderous explosion that forever changed things in the small town.

“There were no survivors…” – William B. Allison, President of Tennessee Consolidated Coal Co.

It was one of several coal mining accidents to happen that year in the south. 24 had died just in the week prior due to various accidents and collapses around coal country, but this was at home…in our community… These were the husbands, sons, grandfathers, uncles, cousins, brothers, friends and members of our community.

It changed the lives of the families of the 13 men that were lost in the Grundy Mining Company / Tennessee Consolidated Coal’s #21 mine tragedy that day along with changes to the communities in and around Whitwell in the years that followed and slowly led to even more changes in our small rural valley as a whole.

Over the past 36 years, Marion County has changed a good bit. We’ve seen growth in our communities both economically and in population, despite the news of an up-and-down economy on the national level. There have been so many changes that have taken place in our world since 1981 that it really looks like a different place worldwide. We’re connected to the internet, we’re connected by smartphones, our cars are smart, we stream music and movies, and even this very article — you’re reading it online…from an online newspaper! Who saw that coming in 1981? We’ve seen advances in medicine, safety, and so many other things these past 36 years and for many of us, we’ve watched all this from our vantage point right here in the heart of the Sequatchie Valley.

Yes, much change has taken place as our local industries have shifted over the years from the coal mining industry that built our small communities to newer or changing industries such as the continuing expansion of product manufacturing taking place at Lodge in South Pittsburg — going beyond the cast iron we’ve all known for so long to new and improved products sold worldwide. Or there’s the manufacture of Prologue fire logs — a carbon neutral, convenient and virtually smoke-free manufactured right here in the valley in Whitwell. While New Hope’s Colonial Chemical works daily to bring advancements in the personal care, household, industrial, and vehicle care markets with various products. Other local industries and manufacturers like Jasper Materials, Shaw, Tennessee Galvanizing, US Stove Company, Ply Gem, Valmont, Primex and others have taken over local job market for the blue collar worker where once they were found deep in the mines dotting the landscape of the Cumberland Plateau to bring out the much sought after coal needed to build those industries and power a growing nation.

The one thing that hasn’t changed is our community’s sense of community, compassion, and remembering our past. How we reach out to those around us that are suffering or in need hasn’t changed so dramatically since 1981 because we do seem to live in a genuinely caring community. That December day in 1981 was the day so many coal miner’s wives feared most — the day an accident would undoubtedly happen. It was dangerous work in the mines, but it was an honest day’s work and the pay was generally enough to support a family, even if only barely. Despite the known dangers and occupational hazards that existed with the job, many a man and their fathers and grandfathers before them chiseled, drilled, and made their ways deep into the honeycomb of mines in the Tennessee mountains every day to make their living and they did it with pride…and when tragedy did happen our communities in Marion County answered with all the help they could from offers of food for families and other needs from folks in South Pittsburg, Kimball and Jasper to help offered from people in another coal mining town just North of us across the county line in Dunlap. People were willing to show their support and do what they could do to help.

whitwell-mine-rememberance

That December day changed a lot of things locally and nationally. According to William B. Allison, president of the Tennessee Consolidated Coal Company which operated the mine under the subsidiary of Grundy Mining Company, said the worst accident in the company’s history. Emergency crews with air tanks worked for hours to reach those who’d been working in the mine only to find 13 men of the 30 who were in the mine when the explosion happened had perished. As family members, friends, and fellow miners began to gather outside of the company’s offices cries could be heard as the news was given to those about the ill fate of their loved ones and friends.

If you’ve never heard Confederate Railroad’s Danny Shirley sing “Whitwell Mine” — a song he wrote and released as a solo artist about the tragedy that happened that day, you should. It’s a very touching tribute to the 13 men we lost. Chances are the song will give a chill to your core, especially if you’re in any way connected to the tragedy. Whitwell native and musician Davey Smith also does a bit more ‘rocking’, yet serious heartfelt song about the mine with his band The Pearl Snap Preachers — “Whitwell Mine 21”both songs show the lasting effect this tragedy had on people in the community.

The United States Department of Labor later accused Tennessee Consolidated Coal and Grundy Mining Company of failure to evacuate workers from a methane-laden shaft and to adequately ventilate the shaft, and failure to enforce federal regulations prohibiting smoking in mines.

It was the beginning of the end of mining in the valley at this point. It remained as a significant industry in the Whitwell area until 1996 when the mines went bankrupt and the jobs went away. By the time I was coming up as a teenager in Whitwell the jobs were gone, the coal trucks had quit running, and the Whitwell area was changing. First with a slow fade as it seemed the old downtown had just…died. The heart and soul of the town were different with coal mining going away, but with time things got better, Whitwell grew and evolved and has been doing so ever since. Men like J.T. Shadrick, Harry Joe Hooper, Harvey Merritt, Frank Atterton, Dennis Brandon, and so many others handed-down stories of these men and the history of Whitwell’s coal mining past. The children and grandchildren of these men are now able to look back with a fondness for what their ancestors once did to make a buck. The memories, however, continue to live on and the celebration of the lives of those 13 men who died and all coal miners continue to be celebrated by the Marion County Coal Miner’s Museum at Whitwell.

The museum documents the history of coal mining in the United States, with special emphasis on the mines in Whitwell and Marion County. It’s open weekdays from 8am-4pm CST and Saturday from 8am-Noon CST. There is no charge to visit, but donations are always welcome. The museum is located at 900A Main Street in Whitwell at the former library location and can be contacted at (423)658-6868. More info is available online at www.CoalMinersMuseum.com or on their Facebook Page.

J.T. Shadrick, one of the museum founders and a former coal miner was one of the first men to go back into the mine after the explosion that happened that day. While he’ll tell you what he remembers of the tragic events that day, he’s likely to well-up with a few tears and choke-up a bit while speaking. These were men that Shadrick knew…some for many years. But Shadrick speaks with pride about our region’s rich heritage and the memory of these 13 men and all others who went way below the Earth to do their job in the mines. History definitely lives on despite the loss in Whitwell at the Marion County Coal Miner’s Museum, and hopefully, you’ll visit soon to hear more about the stories of these men.

Today we’ve taken a moment to pause and remember those who our community lost 36 years ago in one of the worst mining accidents in Tennessee history. May they continue to rest in peace and may we never forget them or their legacies and our deep-rooted history, even if it’s through the tragedy that brought such sorrow to our community on a mild December day.

In Memorium of the 13 Miners lost on December 8, 1981: Danny “Mort” Cooley, Larry Cooley, Edward French, Lee Grimes, Jacob Kilgore, Charlie Myers, Harvey Nolan, Gaylon Parsons, Jimmy Wayne Rogers, Darrell Rollins, Jack “Jackie” Tate, Roy “Mule” White, and Frankie Wilburn.

2018 Follow-up:

Earlier this year, news of a documentary about the Mine 21 disaster was announced and has recently been screened across the region.

The short documentary, “Mine 21,” follows a young woman’s search for answers about the tragedy, which took the life of her grandfather — one of the 13 who died that day. On her search, she discovers that her grandmother’s heroic fight for justice helped save lives.

“Mine 21” produced by Sewanee University classics professor Chris McDonough, directed by videographer and Sewanee alum Stephen Garrett, and unveiled through the eyes of two of the university’s current students, Kelsey Arbuckle and Alexa Fults, whose pasts are intimately linked to the mines.

Mine 21 Trailer from EmpyreanMedia on Vimeo.

The documentary was premiered as a free screening at Monteagle Elementary School on October 24th, with other free screenings following at the Sewanee Union Theatre and recently at Whitwell Middle School on November 13th.

Additional screening dates have not been announced at this time or a release or available digital download, but more information can be found at Mine21.com, including contact information for the producers.

Reported By: Logan Carmichael

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Rock fall forces lane closures on I-24 West near Monteagle https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/rock-fall-forces-lane-closures-on-i-24-west-near-monteagle/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/rock-fall-forces-lane-closures-on-i-24-west-near-monteagle/#respond Thu, 06 Dec 2018 07:42:20 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3576 TDOT is closing two lanes of I-24 west Thursday near Monteagle. A recent rockfall on Interstate 24 West at mile marker 136.2 in Marion County near Monteagle resulted in several rocks spilling out onto the interstate and into the travel lanes, according to a Tennessee Department of Transportation news release. Engineers with TDOT’s Geotechnical Engineering Section assessed …

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TDOT is closing two lanes of I-24 west Thursday near Monteagle.

A recent rockfall on Interstate 24 West at mile marker 136.2 in Marion County near Monteagle resulted in several rocks spilling out onto the interstate and into the travel lanes, according to a Tennessee Department of Transportation news release.

Engineers with TDOT’s Geotechnical Engineering Section assessed and recommended that the rockfall hazard in this area be addressed as soon as possible.

The slope where the rockfall originated is adjacent to the fast lane of I-24 West. As a precautionary measure, TDOT crews will close lanes 1 (fast lane) and 2 (middle lane) in the vicinity of the rockfall site  until the repairs are successfully made to the slope. Traffic will use lane 3 (slow lane) and the shoulder to travel through the area until the slope can be stabilized.

Traffic will be shifted into this temporary configuration beginning at 9:00 CST on Thursday, Dec. 6.

During the shift, traffic on I-24 West will be temporarily reduced to a single lane for a short period of time. Once the shift is complete, two lanes (the slow lane and the shoulder) will be opened to traffic. I-24 West at mile marker 136.2
will remain at two lanes until this rockfall area can be addressed.

From your desktop or mobile device, get the latest construction activity and live streaming SmartWay traffic cameras at www.TNSmartWay.com/Traffic. Travelers can also dial 511 from any land-line or cellular phone for travel information, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TN511 for statewide travel or Chattanooga area alerts @Chattanooga511 or any of TDOT’s other Twitter pages.

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Man accused of threats against Sequatchie County High School released on bond with multiple charges https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/man-accused-threats-sequatchie-county-high-school-released-bond-multiple-charges/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/man-accused-threats-sequatchie-county-high-school-released-bond-multiple-charges/#respond Tue, 04 Dec 2018 17:16:59 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3574 Zachary Damian Key has been released on bond as of last week, but returns to court today (Tuesday, Dec. 4th, 2018) to face charges of making false reports, 5 counts of statutory rape, and rape/sexual battery. Key, a former Sequatchie County High School student was charged for threatening to “shoot up” the school on social media …

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Zachary Damian Key (Photo: Dunlap Police Dept.)

Zachary Damian Key has been released on bond as of last week, but returns to court today (Tuesday, Dec. 4th, 2018) to face charges of making false reports, 5 counts of statutory rape, and rape/sexual battery.

Key, a former Sequatchie County High School student was charged for threatening to “shoot up” the school on social media back in March. While being questioned for those accusations, it came to light that Key was involved in an ongoing statutory rape investigation which has led to additional charges.

Judge Justin Angel set bond for Key at $5,000 in Sequatchie County Circuit Court Wednesday, Nov. 28, with the following restrictions: Key must live with his grandmother, wear a GPS tracking monitor, and have no access to the internet and no contact with the victim.

Stay with MarionCountyMessenger.com for the latest local, county, state and regional news, information and updates online and on social media.

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Cold weather makes valley waterfowl hunting red hot https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/cold-weather-makes-valley-waterfowl-hunting-red-hot/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/cold-weather-makes-valley-waterfowl-hunting-red-hot/#respond Tue, 04 Dec 2018 16:53:53 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3570 Normally, as Artic temperatures settle into the Tennessee Valley we relax in our cozy homes. But for Tennessee Valley Authority’s Natural Resources team, the cold weather signals a great opportunity for waterfowl sportsmen along the Tennessee River and on the utility’s 290,000 acres of public lands. “The Tennessee Valley is an important stop for birds …

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Normally, as Artic temperatures settle into the Tennessee Valley we relax in our cozy homes. But for Tennessee Valley Authority’s Natural Resources team, the cold weather signals a great opportunity for waterfowl sportsmen along the Tennessee River and on the utility’s 290,000 acres of public lands.

“The Tennessee Valley is an important stop for birds migrating down the western side of the Appalachians,” says TVA Natural Resources manager David Brewster, based in Guntersville, Ala. “We work year-round improving habitat on our public lands and the cold doesn’t stop us from promoting recreation.”

The Tennessee Valley—located in the Mississippi Flyway zone—is the perfect place for hunting waterfowl. Get out and enjoy time with your family and friends.

Each fall, waterfowl leave their northern breeding grounds as they navigate south toward warmer climates down the 2,300-mile Mississippi Flyway to the Gulf of Mexico. The Tennessee River is positioned inside the eastern half of the flyway and provides waterfowl 11,000 miles of shoreline and 650,000-acres of water upon which to rest and feed during their seasonal migration.

“Waterfowl follow river systems,” says Brewster. “TVA reservoirs offer birds plenty of shallow water coves, shorelines, and islands and great hunting for sportsmen.”

TVA Recreation Economy

Decoys, duck calls, and steel-shot ammunition are commonly purchased products, making duck hunting just one of the sports that support 130,000 recreation jobs throughout the Valley, according to a 2017 TVA and University of Tennessee recreation study. In total, TVA’s reservoirs attract almost $12 billion to the region each year.

“I’ve got friends that drive 60 miles from Nashville to hunt with me,” says Tim Goss of New Johnsonville, Tennessee. “They’ll get a hotel and stay three nights just to hunt. This river is big money and helps our local economy year-round.”

But for Goss, the sport is more about family and friends than economics. He believes duck hunting is an opportunity to reunite with old friends and a needed alternative to video games for kids.

“It’s just a good all-around family-friendly sport,” he said.

Get in on the Action

Brewster agrees. There’s still plenty of time for Valley hunters to get in on the action, he says, before the season closes at the end of January. Early in the season the birds are scattered due to low-water conditions. Once the water rises into food plots that flank the river, the added food sources will cause more birds to congregate in those areas.

“Right now, birds are coming in for a few days to rest and then moving on to find better food sources,” Brewster says. “It’s kind of like going to a fast food restaurant. If there’s too long of a line, we’ll go down the street to find another.”

Be Successful

For those who want to duck hunt the Tennessee River, TVA doesn’t require any special license. However, there are federal, state and local laws and regulations that must be followed. Brewster recommends that hunters download the TVA Undeveloped Recreation Lands app. This will help all hunting enthusiasts, identify the TVA’s undeveloped land that is open to the public for recreational use.

“TVA cares about the environment and I hope everyone gets out and has a safe, enjoyable season,” Brewster concludes.

Press Release: TVA

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St. Andrew’s Sewanee School to offer Christmas Revels concert on Wed., Dec. 12th https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/st-andrews-sewanee-school-offer-christmas-revels-concert-wed-dec-12th/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/st-andrews-sewanee-school-offer-christmas-revels-concert-wed-dec-12th/#respond Tue, 04 Dec 2018 16:48:24 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3567 St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School will offer its first Christmas Revels Concert on Wednesday, December 12 at 7:30 p.m. in McCrory Hall for the Performing Arts on the SAS campus. The concert, under the direction of SAS music director J.R. Ankney, is a festival of lessons and carols with audience participation. “I have spent a lifetime steeped …

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St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School will offer its first Christmas Revels Concert on Wednesday, December 12 at 7:30 p.m. in McCrory Hall for the Performing Arts on the SAS campus.

The concert, under the direction of SAS music director J.R. Ankney, is a festival of lessons and carols with audience participation.

“I have spent a lifetime steeped in the rich Anglican tradition of the Festival of nine lessons and carols,” said Ankney. “On Christmas eve, I eagerly awaited the choir of King’s College England singing the beautiful opening hymn Once in Royal David’s City with a young chorister chosen at the last moment to sing the opening verse. Equally powerful to me is the celebration of the winter solstice, and its not-very-coincidental proximity to the celebration of Christmas. Many years ago, I had the unique opportunity to attend one of the first performances of a Christmas Revels at the Sanders Theatre on the campus of Harvard University. I was struck by the joyousness of the night, how the entire audience became a part of the event, that there seemed to be a shared love of hearty singing, and that I was suddenly part of a large party that spilled off the stage and into and around the entire audience.”

Close to 100 SAS student musicians and readers will be a part of the event. The audience will sing together and be sung to. There will be dancing. “We will hear God’s word about his promise for the world,” according to Ankney. “We will listen to wise and beautiful words from poets about the traditions and meanings of the season. And, we will revel in the family spirit of SAS that is – for one night – free from commercials, too many Santas, and the hysteria of the season.”

The concert is free and open to the public. McCrory Hall will open for general seating at 7:15 p.m. Following the concert, there will be a holiday reception in the Spencer Room in the Langford Building.

 

ABOUT ST. ANDREW’S-SEWANEE SCHOOL: St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School is a private, co-educational, Episcopal, boarding and day college preparatory school serving 250 students in grades 6-12. We CHALLENGE our students to fulfill their greatest potential while helping them to cultivate lives of BALANCE and JOY

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TN Department of Education releases new school report card https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/tn-department-of-education-releases-new-school-report-card3565/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/tn-department-of-education-releases-new-school-report-card3565/#respond Tue, 04 Dec 2018 16:21:56 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3565 Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen released a new, redesigned state report card for 2017-18 on Tuesday. McQueen says this tool was developed over the past year with educators, parents, and community organizations and includes a number of new features based on that feedback, including school ratings, a Spanish translation of the site, and additional new …

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Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen released a new, redesigned state report card for 2017-18 on Tuesday.

McQueen says this tool was developed over the past year with educators, parents, and community organizations and includes a number of new features based on that feedback, including school ratings, a Spanish translation of the site, and additional new data about the performance of different student groups. The new report card was desogned with the intention of helping families better understand school performance and in an effort to support student success.

The updated design of the report card and information that is included in the tool, including the new rating system, is based on input the department received as it developed a plan to transition to the new federal K-12 education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, and has several components that are unique to Tennessee.

“We want families to have easy access to information about their school’s performance and how it is meeting the needs of all students, and we want them to have that context on a variety of metrics that encompass success,” Commissioner McQueen said. “The report card provides parents and community members with an additional snapshot of information to understand how their school is performing, see successes, and know where to ask questions and get engaged.”

While this isn’t something new, as the department has published a state report card for a number of years; the newly-redesigned version includes a number of updates. For instance, this is the first time, the report card provides schools with ratings on up to six indicators designated in Tennessee Succeeds, the state’s ESSA plan.

These indicators capture different aspects of school performance and include academic achievement, academic growth, chronic absenteeism, progress on English language proficiency, and graduation rate. The report card also includes a new measure called the Ready Graduate indicator that that looks for students’ readiness for college and career to let families know how students are being prepared for life after graduation.

The rating system provides a score of 0.0 to 4.0 on each indicator (similar to a GPA, with 4.0 being the highest). Parents can click through to see more information behind each rating, including how both the full student population and different student groups are performing. Ratings are based either on how well the school is doing overall or how much it improved over the last year; the school receives the higher of the two.

The department has shared more information about the rating system and indicators, as well as context on how schools were rated in 2017-18, here.

Additional new features include a new full Spanish translation of the website, an opportunity for principals and superintendents to share messages about their schools, and a wealth of new metrics, including new details on the performance of different student groups and new data in areas like discipline and attendance.

The department will continue to update and improve this tool in future years as it receives additional feedback, which families can share via the report card home page. To view the new report card, click here.

Links to schools in Marion County:

 

Links to Tennessee districts in our immediate area:

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Tennessee Highway Patrol Dispatcher indicted by Hamilton County Grand Jury https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/tennessee-highway-patrol-dispatcher-indicted-by-hamilton-county-grand-jury/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/tennessee-highway-patrol-dispatcher-indicted-by-hamilton-county-grand-jury/#respond Tue, 04 Dec 2018 15:42:06 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3562 A Tennessee Highway Patrol dispatcher has been indicted by the Hamilton County Grand Jury for going into the records system and obtaining private information. 25-year-old Jennifer Hicks of Dunlap is charged with unlawful electronic surveillance, three counts of misuse of official information, three counts of official misconduct, two counts of unlawful electronic surveillance and computer …

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Jennifer Hicks

A Tennessee Highway Patrol dispatcher has been indicted by the Hamilton County Grand Jury for going into the records system and obtaining private information.

25-year-old Jennifer Hicks of Dunlap is charged with unlawful electronic surveillance, three counts of misuse of official information, three counts of official misconduct, two counts of unlawful electronic surveillance and computer offenses.

The indictment said she obtained information that had been gained from a wiretap and made it public.

According to the indictment, it says she took the action “for her benefit or to harm another.”

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UPDATE: Arsonist wanted in Whitwell High fire arrested by Marion County Sheriff’s Department https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/update-arsonist-wanted-whitwell-high-fire-arrested-marion-county-sheriffs-department/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/update-arsonist-wanted-whitwell-high-fire-arrested-marion-county-sheriffs-department/#respond Mon, 03 Dec 2018 20:50:26 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3557 UPDATE — Dec. 5, 2018: We now have more information on the motive behind Robert Cameron Dalton’s arson attempt at Whitwell High School last weekend. Family members of Dalton have come forth in recent days to say that 18-year-old Dalton was bullied in middle and high school. Dalton’s mother told investigators that this school year …

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Robert Cameron Dalton (Photo: Marion Co. Sheriff’s Dept)

UPDATE — Dec. 5, 2018:

We now have more information on the motive behind Robert Cameron Dalton’s arson attempt at Whitwell High School last weekend.

Family members of Dalton have come forth in recent days to say that 18-year-old Dalton was bullied in middle and high school.

Dalton’s mother told investigators that this school year would’ve been his senior year at the school, but Dalton’s mother decided to homeschool her son due to bullying.

Dr. Mark Griffith, Director of Schools in Marion County, says he takes these accusations very seriously and has asked that school administration in Whitwell look deeper into the matter for any possible documentation of the alleged bullying for review.

Griffith says the matter is still under review, but so far administrators have found no statements of documentation where any bullying was reported, but says his staff will continue to look into the matter. In the meantime, he has asked the courts to forbid Dalton from visiting any school property in the county.

Dalton’s mother has made a public Facebook post stating, “My Cameron is a sweet loving hard working young man who would give a shirt off his back. None of us know what happened or why he did this but none of his family deserve to see the negative comments that are being made.” 

In another post she says, “I accept I can’t stop the talk no matter how bad it hurts me to hear it. My son is not a monster nor am I a bad parent. He made a bad choice. All I ask is see how you’d feel if this were your child.”  She continues by asking that people please remember her other two younger children are innocent and don’t deserve the backlash they’ve received by some.

Dr. Griffith says while everyone awaits a ruling, he has encouraged his staff to talk more openly about bullying with students in an effort to prevent incidents like this one by educating the students as well as teachers and other staff about bullying.

Dalton remains in at the Marion County Jail at this time. His charges are arson and burglary.

 

Previous Story — Dec. 3, 2018:

The suspect wanted for starting a fire at Whitwell High School over the weekend has been arrested.

Marion County Sheriff Ronnie “Bo” Burnett says through video surveillance and evidence recovered at the scene, investigators were able to link the arson attempt to 18-year-old Robert Cameron Dalton of Whitwell.

Burnett says Dalton was arrested on Monday after a search warrant was issued and other clues linked him to the fire.

At the press conference on Monday afternoon, investigators confirmed that Dalton was a former student of the school; however, they would not elaborate on any possible motives at this time, stating that more would come to light as the matter went to court. The Sheriff said this was Dalton’s first run-in with local law enforcement.

Dalton has been charged with arson and burglary and is being held at the Marion County Jail at this time. No bond has been set at this time.

We will bring you more information as it becomes available. Stay with MarionCountyMessenger.com for the latest updates on this developing story.

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Tennesseeans Warned to Beware of Holiday Scams https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/tennesseeans-warned-beware-holiday-scams/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/tennesseeans-warned-beware-holiday-scams/#respond Mon, 03 Dec 2018 18:26:25 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3555 NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As the holidays approach, the Tennessee Department of Commerce warns buyers that if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Tennessee’s high ranking for fraud and financial abuse complaints to the Federal Trade Commission has motivated local groups to come together to help prevent scams. Kevin Walters, communications …

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As the holidays approach, the Tennessee Department of Commerce warns buyers that if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Tennessee’s high ranking for fraud and financial abuse complaints to the Federal Trade Commission has motivated local groups to come together to help prevent scams.

Kevin Walters, communications director at the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, said it’s a real challenge.

“Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated. They are cunning and they’re ruthless and, a lot of times, they’re anonymous,” Walters said. “And they can use technology to cloak phone numbers to hide their location.”

He said this year, cases of fraud and financial abuse are up more than 33 percent statewide.

Doing research on special offers and charitable groups is key, especially during the holiday season. Walters warned that scammers use these organizations as a cover to take advantage of a person’s good nature – and it’s okay to say “no” to giving your financial information to anyone over the phone.

“If someone’s contacting you to get that information and you’ve never spoken to them before, and they’re calling you out of the blue, again, that’s a red flag that they’re probably after more than just a donation to their charity,” he said. “They’re probably after much more than that, and it could lead to some real problems down the road for you and your family.”

In 2017, the FTC said Tennesseans filed more than 43,000 fraud reports, totaling losses of almost $14 million.

Walters added seniors and adults with disabilities are among the most vulnerable targets for scams. TDHS Adult Protective Services received more than 4,000 complaints of financial exploitation in the past year.

“So, the problem of fraud and identity theft is growing, across Tennessee and all segments of the population, in particular for elderly and vulnerable adults,” Walters said.

He said it’s important to report scams to local law enforcement, and get information from the AARP Fraud Watch Network at aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.

Reported By: Antionette Kerr

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Christmas Parades and Holiday Events for the Marion County Area 2018 https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/christmas-parades-holiday-events-marion-county-area-2018/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/christmas-parades-holiday-events-marion-county-area-2018/#respond Mon, 03 Dec 2018 18:09:42 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3534 :30 It’s that time of the year when we start feeling the holiday spirit and try to find ways to enjoy the Christmas Season with our friends, neighbors, family and loved ones. Here’s a list of some upcoming Christmas Parades and other events around the area for you to enjoy this 2018 season… Monday December …

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It’s that time of the year when we start feeling the holiday spirit and try to find ways to enjoy the Christmas Season with our friends, neighbors, family and loved ones. Here’s a list of some upcoming Christmas Parades and other events around the area for you to enjoy this 2018 season…

Monday December 3 & Tuesday December 4

  • Elf, Jr. The Musical at Jasper Elementary – 6:30 PM CST (tix available at JES office)

Wednesday December 5

  • Live Nativity at Kimball Baptist Church (Kimball, TN): From 6-8pm CST

Thursday December 6

  • Live Nativity at Kimball Baptist Church (Kimball, TN): From 6-8pm CST
  • Elf, Jr. The Musical at Jasper Elementary – 6:30 PM CST (tix available at JES office)

Friday December 7

  • Live Nativity at Kimball Baptist Church (Kimball, TN): From 6-8pm CST
  • Red Bank Christmas Festival (Red Bank, TN): 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm at City Park
  • Ringgold Downhome Christmas Expo (Ringgold, GA): 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm at Ringgold Depot – Official
  • Candlelight Tours at the Vann House*(Chatsworth, GA): 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm at Chief Vann House Historic Site

Saturday December 8

Sunday, December 9

Saturday, December 15

  • South Pittsburg Annual Christmas Parade (South Pittsburg, TN): Begins at 10am CST
  • Bridgeport, AL Annual Christmas Parade (Bridgeport, AL): Begins at 11:30am CST
  • Jasper Annual Christmas Parade (Jasper, TN): Begins at 6pm CST
  • First Baptist South Pittsburg Cantata “What A Beautiful Name”: 7pm CST
  • Home for the Holidays Concert (Chattanooga, TN): 7:30 pm at Tivoli Theater
  • Wreaths Across Chattanooga (Chattanooga, TN): Noon at Chattanooga National Cemetary
  • A Walk Through Bethlehem (Ringgold, GA): 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Crosspointe Church
  • Breakfast with Santa (Signal Mountain, TN): 9:00-11:00 a.m. at Signal Crest United Methodist Church
  • “Nooga Nutcracker” (Chattanooga, TN): 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm at Walker Theatre

Sunday, December 16

 

OTHER HOLIDAY EVENTS

  • Rock City’s “Enchanted Garden of Lights” runs through January 21st, Hours vary by date (closed Christmas Eve). More info at http://www.seerockcity.com/events/entry/enchanted-garden-of-lights
  • IIce On the Landing at the Choo Choo Gardens… Ice skating fun returns through January 21st, Hours vary by day. Open select hours — more at www.iceonthelanding.com.
  • Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s North Pole Limited Adventures run on select dates through Dec. 30th. Real trains take riders on an imaginary journey to the North Pole. Along the way, you’ll be treated to refreshments, storytelling, and occasional sing-a-longs. As the train gently rolls down the rails, a number of lighted displays can be seen outside. Once the train pulls into the “North Pole”, a special guest boards for a visit. Evening trains depart at 5:30pm and 7:30pm EST. Earlier trips on Saturdays have been added departing at 11:30, 1:30 & 3:30pm EST. More at http://www.tvrail.com/events-exhibits/rides/north-pole-limited
  • Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s Hiwassee Holiday Train —  All aboard for a Hiwassee Holiday Adventure!  For the second time, “Santa Trains” will operate along the beautiful Hiwassee River from Delano to Reliance.  First, parking for this trip will take place at Hiwassee River RR (9406 U.S. Highway 411) in Delano, TN rather than the Etowah Depot.  Upon departure, riders will enjoy light refreshments, storytelling, and Christmas carols.  When the train arrives at the turn back location in Reliance, Santa will board and walk through the train greeting children during the return trip. More at http://www.tvrail.com/events-exhibits/rides/santas-hiwassee-holiday-train
  • Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s The Summerville Santa Special:  All aboard for a Georgia holiday adventure: The Summerville Santa Special Train Ride!  Trains depart from the festively-decorated, historic Summerville Depot for a one-hour and 15-minute ride to Trion and return.  Along the way, riders will be treated to light refreshments, storytelling, and Christmas carols.  As the train pulls into Trion, Santa Claus will climb aboard and walk through the train greeting children during the return ride to Summerville.  Tickets are $18 for everyone age 2 & up (plus nominal handling fee.)  More at http://www.tvrail.com/events-exhibits/rides/summerville-santa-special
  • Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s Night Caps with St. Nick: Guests will board our first-class, round-end observation car for a journey to the North Pole at TVRM’s Grand Junction Station. Along the way, attendants will serve beverages and dessert plates while costumed storytellers and entertainers read “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” sing carols and entertain passengers during the trip. Upon arriving at the North Pole, St. Nicholas (the original Santa) will board the train. St. Nicholas will visit with guests and talk about Christmas past until the train returns to Grand Junction Station. This adults-only excursion. Persons under 21 years of age are not permitted. More at http://www.tvrail.com/events-exhibits/rides/nightcaps-with-st-nick
  • Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s Christmas Dinner Train: Enjoy a four-course dining experience on board a restored 1924 dining car while traveling leisurely through portions of Chattanooga on the Railroad Museum’s Christmas Special Dinner Train. This unique opportunity allows patrons to enjoy not only a railroad excursion trip but also fine dining en route while the train travels along the rails. Passengers are encouraged to choose their entrée as tickets are ordered. More at http://www.tvrail.com/events-exhibits/rides/christmas-special-dinner-train
  • Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s New Year’s Eve Dinner Train: Trips include a three-course dining experience usually on board a restored 1924 dining car. Excursion trains will depart from Chattanooga’s Grand Junction Station in the evening, traveling at a leisurely pace through portions of urban East Chattanooga before reversing direction and returning to Grand Junction. (Departure times is 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time) The travel time is just right for the complete meal in a vintage dining car. More at http://www.tvrail.com/events-exhibits/rides/new-years-eve-dinner-train
  • Ruby Falls Christmas Underground Enjoy a magical holiday adventure for the whole family! Visit the Ruby Falls gem mines and discover Joystone, a rare gemstone that helps spread the spirit of Christmas! An adventure to see Santa leads to an ice cave where you will watch gemstone miners play, catch a view of the Northern Lights and journey through the Sugar Plum Fairy Village. Help Santa and his miners search for Joystone and experience the celebration of this special holiday! More info now at http://www.rubyfalls.com/special-events/ruby-falls-christmas-underground/
  • The Tennessee Aquarium’s “Holidays Under the Peaks” brings the wonders of nature and some of the greatest gifts to share with family and friends. This year, the Aquarium is offering nearly a dozen fun ways to make special memories with the ones you love. During Holidays Under the Peaks, guests of all ages will be delighted by new holiday programs, SCUBA Claus sightings and more. More at www.tennesseeaquarium.com.

 

If you have an upcoming event that’s not listed here, please email the info — including time, date, ticketing information (if necessary) and location and contact info to us — Editor@MarionCountyMessenger.com

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Marion County Democratic Party hosting “Potluck Christmas Meeting” Dec. 11th https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/marion-county-democratic-party-hosting-potluck-christmas-meeting-dec-11th/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/12/marion-county-democratic-party-hosting-potluck-christmas-meeting-dec-11th/#respond Mon, 03 Dec 2018 18:07:54 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3553 Katie Tillman, chair of the Marion County Democratic Party, has announced that the regular meeting for December will be held on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. The meeting will be a Potluck-style Christmas Meeting. The meeting will take place at 6:30 PM CST at the Kimball Town Hall at 675 Main Street in Kimball, Tennessee. Tillman …

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Katie Tillman, chair of the Marion County Democratic Party, has announced that the regular meeting for December will be held on Tuesday, December 11, 2018.
The meeting will be a Potluck-style Christmas Meeting.
The meeting will take place at 6:30 PM CST at the Kimball Town Hall at 675 Main Street in Kimball, Tennessee.
Tillman says all are welcome to come and enjoy the fellowship, just please bring a dish for the potluck.

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