Oneida, TN (2010-11-29) Thanks to the generous efforts of Scott County residents, over thirteen hundred suffering children worldwide will enter the New Year with new hope. Scott County residents joined Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, to pack 1335 shoe boxes with simple items most people take for granted, including toothpaste, toys and school supplies (923 were collected at the Scott County Collection site while 412 were collected at other collection centers from Scott County organizations). The shoe boxes will soon be hand-delivered to hurting children around the world using whatever means necessary—sea containers, helicopters, boats, camels…even dog sleds! “In spite of the unstable economic climate, people gave generously to the world’s largest Christmas project has an ongoing tally of over a million shoe box gifts being collected from caring U.S. families, schools, churches and community groups,” stated Jessica H. Chambers, local organizer for the event. “On behalf of our community, I would like to thank the local collection sites, volunteers and everyone who packed an Operation Christmas Child shoe box gift,” she added. “These simple gift-filled shoe boxes communicate to hurting children that they are loved and not forgotten,” Chambers concluded. Though the Scott County drop-off location is closed until November 2011, shoe boxes are still being accepted. Gifts are received year-round at Samaritan’s Purse, 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, N.C., 28607. To get involved, you may go online to www.samaritanspurse.org or call (423) 539-1112.
Huntsville, TN (2010-11-27) Thanksgiving is usually a time of rest and relaxation, but his holiday weekend, the Scott County Sheriff’s Department took the opportunity to turn up the heat on a couple of repeat offenders that were on the lam. Jesse Dwayne Perry, 26, of Oneida and Joseph D. Winnie, 25, of Pioneer, were both taken into custody early Saturday morning by the Scott County Sheriff’s Department on outstanding warrants. Winnie, stated authorities, had been on the run for months, while Perry had failed to appear in court on theft charges lodged against him in October. According to an arrest warrant from the Scott County Sheriff’s Department, Winnie was wanted for violation of probation on several charges, including domestic assault and evading arrest (two counts), which dated back to May 2008. Since that conviction, Winnie has allegedly eluded authorities on several occasions, failed to appear in court on evading arrest charges, and failed to report to his probation officer. The court issued a capais warrant for his arrest for failure to appear on March 10, 2010. Later that month, his probation officer petitioned the court for revocation of his probation. Since then, Winnie had been on the run. Winnie is being held in the Scott County Jail without bond. Authorities allege Perry, along with two others, burglarized an Annadale home in October. The trio allegedly took and sold several pieces of jewelry. Perry was picked-up on outstanding charges of aggravated burglary and theft of over $1,000. He is being held in the Scott County Jail under a $25,000 secure bond.
Jefferson City, TN (2010-11-26) A Scott High football standout has been tapped to play in the annual East-West All-Star football classic. A prolific Oneida running back has been chosen an alternate for the game. Scott High School’s Jacob Sexton was among the top high school seniors chosen to play in the fourth annual Toyota East vs. West All-Star Classic at Carson Newman College on December 11, 2010. Sexton, best known for his prowess at quarterback for the Highlanders, was selected to play for the East team; however, Sexton will be catching passing instead of throwing them. Sexton, a 6-2, 185 pound senior, is one of six players chosen to play Wide Receiver in the game. Sexton will share playing time with Desmund Horne (5-11, 175), of Maryville; Steven Isom (6-2, 180), of Alcoa; Keenan Hale (6-2, 185), of McCallie – (SYRACUSE); Ron Durbin (6-2, 190), of Gatlinburg Pittman; and Kelvin Clay (6-1, 171), of Red Bank. Parrish Gaines (6-3, 185), of Smyrna was chosen an alternate. Sexton wasn’t the only local player mentioned. Oneida’s Sam Woodard was also chosen an alternate for the East team, an outstanding honor for the AA player. In the event any of the other three players chosen for the team are unable to make the game, Woodard, a 6-2, 195 senior will be tapped to play Safety. This year’s list of players includes three Duke commitments, six players committed to sign with Southeastern Conference schools and a number of other Division I schools including Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech and Syracuse. Nearly a dozen players who were finalists for Mr. Football Awards have agreed to play in the game. “We’re very excited about the list of players who have committed to play in this year’s game,” said Bill Marbet, executive director of the Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association, the event’s sponsoring organization. “Coaches and players alike all across the state consider this to be the premier game of its kind in Tennessee and we’re extremely proud to have such an outstanding list of players who have accepted an invitation to play in our game,” he added. Besides the early commitments and Mr. Football finalists, several other outstanding players have agreed to play in the prestigious game. Anderson County QB Tanner Williams, who has virtually rewritten the record book for passing yardage, and C.A.K.’s Quinn Epperly will battle for signal caller duties on the East team. Williams had a banner senior campaign with more than 3,700 yards through the air for the Mavericks. Epperly threw for 2,324 yards as a senior. Kickoff for the game is scheduled for Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 12:30 (EST). It will be carried live by WVLT-8 in Knoxville.
Ringgold, GA (2010-11-24) A former Scott County man was killed in a motorcycle accident in Georgia Sunday night. Gary Eugene Burress, Jr., age 30, of Cohutta, Georgia was reportedly killed Sunday evening when his motorcycle struck an oncoming car. According to published reports, Burress was riding his motorcycle on U.S. Highway 41 near downtown Ringgold around 8:15 p.m. Sunday night, when he allegedly attempted to improperly pass another vehicle. Burress’ motorcycle reportedly struck a Hyundai Accent head on. Locally, Burress is survived by his mother, Joy K. Taylor, and a sister, Aneisa Hope Burress, both of Helenwood.
Oneida, TN (2010-11-22) Two Oneida men have been arrested on theft charges by the Oneida Police Department. Robert M. Sexton, 31, and Leonard Phillips, 24, both of Oneida were arrested last week on theft charges following an investigation into a home burglary in south Oneida. According to an arrest warrant filed by Officer Blake Murphy of the Oneida Police Department, the Scott County Sheriff’s Department recovered a stolen television from Sexton on November 15, 2010. Upon further investigation, the television was linked to a home burglary on North Lake Drive in Oneida. When questioned by Cpl. Gerry “Greasey” Garrett of the Oneida Police Department, Sexton allegedly admitted to the crime. Sexton further implicated Phillips, claiming that both went to the home on November 15, 2010 and took the 42” television, along with a Wii game console, a Parker crossbow and a Bear compound bow. Furthermore, the pair allegedly sold the stolen television to a couple in west Oneida for $300, who bought it believing Phillips need the money to pay a utility bill. Sexton and Phillips were each charged with aggravated burglary and theft of over $500.
Huntsville, TN (2010-11-15) The Scott County Commission voted Monday night to not reverse its decision to opt out of new residential building code regulations recently imposed by the State of Tennessee. By a 13-1 vote, with Commissioner Ron Blevins casting the lone “aye” vote, the Commission rejected a resolution that would have reversed its October 18, 2010 decision to opt out of new, more stringent building codes being implemented by the State. According to Intergovernmental Committee Chairman Willie Boyatt, who opposed the legislation, inclusion in the regulations might be more detrimental to future growth in the community than the possible loss of grant funding from opting out. Other nearby counties likewise have decided to invoke a clause in the legislation that allows individual counties to opt out of the regulations. “Morgan, Fentress, and Union Counties, to name a few, have opted out (of this program,)” stated Boyatt. Blevins argued the regulations would protect banks, insurance companies and homeowners. By opting out, the county will lose fifteen points on select grant applications, which could jeopardize future grant funding; however, grants affected by the legislation are limited. Presently, a $100,000 energy efficiency grant recently awarded to the county could be subject to the penalty, which could result in the loss of funding. “The State has said they will reevaluate those awards on December 15,” said County Mayor Jeff Tibbals. The county recently spent about $7,000 to replace a HVAC system in the emergency communications building, an expenditure paid for with emergency funds from the grant. If the State revokes the grant, then the county would have to pat for the system out of its fund balances. While the State purports the building regulations would result in better workmanship, inspections made under the new codes are not binding and no warranty is implied. Commissioner Sam Lyles, in opposing the regulations, remarked, “It sounds like a bunch of bureaucracy.”
Huntsville, TN (2010-11-15) After spending two months attempting to thwart or limit an increase in county employee health insurance premiums, the Scott County Commission has voted to increase its contribution to each employee’s premium, offsetting most of the increase for an employee benefit plan; however, employees with family insurance coverage will be significantly more. Ken Coffey, the county’s account executive with Barnes Insurance Brokers, laid out several options for county employees at Monday night’s meeting of the Scott County Commission. After gathering information from nearly every county employee, Coffey approached several companies, including the county’s current carrier, Humana, along with Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Tennessee, United Healthcare, CIGNA, and Trustmark. Of the four alternatives, only BCBS returned a quote, which turned out to be significantly higher than the rate quoted by Humana. “BCBS rated the County as a Risk Rating of 8, with 10 being the highest, which accounts for the high quote,” Coffey said. Humana, which offered the lowest quote of the companies that showed interest, also agreed to give a two-percent discount on the renewal rate, given the county’s verbal commitment to increase its contribution. The additional discount brought the quote for an individual employee, with a $1,500 deductible, to a total of $447.75/month. For family coverage, the rate would be $1,117.24/month. In an effort to offset the cost bore by employees, the Scott County Commission voted to absorb the increase in the individual plan, agreeing to raise its contribution to $276.88 per month; an increase of $84.72 per employee per month. Currently, 71 county employees have single coverage, while 8 carry a family plan. The measure will cost the county roughly $60,000 over the next nine months. Those employees on the family plan will be responsible for the premium increase above and beyond the county’s individual employee contribution. Alternatively, the county will also offer employees a plan with a higher deductible ($3,000/person) and fewer benefits. The secondary plan would cost $401.84 per month, requiring an employee contribution of $57.67 per pay period. In July, Humana informed Coffey that renewal rates would be increasing by approximately 24%. Since that time, Coffey and the county have been pursuing other options, including different plans with Humana, as well as other potential carriers. As part of the renewal, the county will hold an open enrollment period for all employees next week. The new plan benefits will become effective on December 1, 2010 and end on September 30, 2011.
Oneida, TN (2010-11-15) An Oneida woman has been arrested and a second suspect is being sought following a raid of a suspected methamphetamine lab in Oneida. Rhonda West, age unknown, of Plateau Drive in Oneida was arrested Monday night after authorities allegedly found methamphetamine and meth making materials inside her home and in an adjacent outbuilding on her property. Authorities also found four children in the home, whom were taken into protective custody by the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. At approximately 7:30 p.m. Monday night, narcotics officers from the Scott County Sheriff’s Department, along with Oneida K-9 officer Floyd Sexton went to West’s home to investigate a possible methamphetamine lab. After being granted access by West, authorities allegedly found methamphetamine and several precursors used in the manufacturing of meth. Additionally, officers found several containers of meth oil and enough precursors capable of producing over 2 ounces of meth per week in an adjacent outbuilding. West with charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, initiating the process to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, promotion to manufacture methamphetamine and child abuse and neglect. Authorities are also searching for another person suspected in connection with the operation; however, the identity of that person has not been released.
Huntsville, TN (2010-11-15) A Robbins man wanted on outstanding warrants has been charged in connection with a Cumberland County burglary. Jerry Wayne Phillips, age unknown, of Robbins, who was arrested on Friday on outstanding General Sessions and Criminal Court warrants, has been charged with theft following the discovery of a stolen all-terrain vehicle at his residence. The Scott County and Morgan County Sheriff’s Departments arrested Phillips Friday without incident at his home on White Oak Circle on the outstanding warrants. At the home, authorities allegedly found items linked to a home burglary in Cumberland County. Upon further investigation, Scott County Detective Randy Lewallen reportedly found several other items related to the burglary, including a 2001 Kawasaki ATV, a four-wheeler trailer and a stolen handgun at other locations in Scott County. In an unrelated case, Cpl. Gerry “Greasey” Garrett and the Scott County Sheriff’s Department recently teamed up to recover a stolen 42” HDTV taken during a home burglary in Oneida.
Oneida, TN (2010-11-13) Three term incumbent Clara Terry was re-elected to the Highland Telephone Cooperative Board of Directors. Clary Terry, who was first elected to represent the 286/569 exchanges on the HTC Board of Directors in November 2001, outpolled her lone challenger, Jerry Burchfield, during the cooperative’s annual election on Saturday. In her successful re-election bid, Terry received 329 votes, while Burchfield tallied 297. Terry will represent the Oneida area for another three years.