Local News 2020

MAN PLEADS TO MURDER

A MAN ACCUSED IN A 2018 SHOOTING DEATH AT A KINGSPORT BAR HAS PLEADED GUILTY TO SECOND-DEGREE MURDER.  WILLIAM NEWKIRK JUNIOR OF BRISTOL VIRGINIA ENTERED THE PLEA EARLIER THIS MONTH.  HE WAS 16 AT THE TIME OF THE SHOOTING AND WAS ORIGINALLY CHARGED WITH FIRST-DEGREE MURDER IN THE DEATH OF BRETT RODGERS AT THE HOG WILD SALOON.  NEWKIRK WAS SENTENCED TO 19 YEARS IN PRISON.

MURDER SUSPECT FOUND GUILTY

ONE OF 6 PEOPLE CHARGED WITH THE KIDNAPPING AND MURDER OF A NORTH CAROLINA MAN WAS FOUND GUILTY IN JOHNSON COUNTY.  ROBERT LITTLETON WAS CHARGED IN THE JANUARY 2018 DEATH OF CARLTON EDMONSON OF BURKE COUNTY NORTH CAROLINA.  EDMONSON’S FAMKLY RECEIVED PHONE CALLS DEMANDING RANSOM WITH THE CALLER SAYING THEIR SON HAD BEEN KIDNAPPED.  EDMONSON’S BODY WAS NEVER RECOVERED.  THE FIVE OTHER SUSPECTS WILL HAVE SEPARATE TRIALS.  LITTLETON WILL BE SENTENCED OCTOBER 4TH.

JOHNSON CITY SCHOOLS—COVID-19 PROTOCOL

THE JOHNSON CITY SCHOOL SYSTEM HAS RELEASED COVID-19 PROTOCOLS FOR THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR.  MASKS WILL BE OPTIONAL FOR STUDENTS, FACULTY AND VISITORS.   THERE’LL BE SIGNS AT EACH SCHOOL RECOMMENDING MASKS FOR ANYONE NOT FULLY VACCINATED.   MASKS WILL BE REQUIRED ON ALL TRANSIT AND ATHLETIC BUSES. THERE’LL ALSO CONTINUE TO BE ENHANCED CLEANING AT ALL SCHOOL FACILITIES.     COVID-19 TESTING WILL BE PROVIDED FOR ALL STUDENTS, FACULTY AND STAFF AND PARENTAL CONSENT WILL BE REQUIRED FOR ANY STUDENT TESTING.   THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR IS AUGUST 4TH.  

WASH CO COMMISSION—BITCOIN

WASHINGTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS THIS EVENING WILL HEAR FROM BRIGHTRIDGE OFFICIALS—ABOUT A BITCOIN MINING OPERATION IN THE COUNTY.  BRIGHTRIDGE OFFICIALS WERE ASKED TO COME TO THE MEETING—AFTER COMMISSIONERS HEARD CONCERNS FROM RESIDENTS ABOUT NOISE IN THE LIMESTONE AREA OF THE COUNTY.  TONIGHT’S COMMISSION MEETING BEGINS AT 6:00 AT THE JUSTICE CENTER IN JONESBOROUGH.

SUMMER WELLS SEARCH—EQUUSEARCH

A NON-PROFIT SPENT THE WEEKEND SEARCHING FOR SUMMER WELLS.  THE 5-YEAR-OLD WENT MISSING FROM HER HAWKINS COUNTY HOME JUNE 15TH.  EQUUSEARCH CREWS WIDENED THE SEARCH AREA TO MORE THAN JUST THE BEECH CREEK COMMUNITY.  AUTHORITIES ARE STILL LOOKING FOR A RED OR MAROON LATE 90’S TO EARLY 2000’S MODEL TOYOTA TACOMA WITH LADDER RACKS.  THAT TRUCK WAS SEEN IN THE AREA THE TIME SUMMER WENT MISSING.  IT’S THOUGHT THAT PERSON COULD BE A WITNESS—NOT A SUSPECT—IN THE CASE.

ASSAULT ON JUVENILE

THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES AFTER A 10-YEAR-OLD ELIZABETHTON GIRL WAS ASSAULTED.  TWO JUVENILES ARE CHARGED WITH ESPECIALLY AGGRAVATED KIDNAPPING AND AGGRAVATED ASSAULT.  THE VICTIM HAD BRUISES AND SWELLING ON HER FACE, ARMS AND LEGS.  THE GIRL SAID HER ASSAILANTS HELD HER DOWN AND ASSAULTED HER WITH HER HANDS BEHIND HER BACK.  SHE WAS THEN LOCKED IN A PANTRY BEFORE BEING RELEASED.  THE JUVENILES WILL APPEAR THIS WEEK IN CARTER COUNTY JUVENILE COURT.

SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER TO RESIGN

A WASHINGTON COUNTY VIRGINIA SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER WILL RESIGN JULY 31ST.  TERRY FLEENOR SAYS HIS RESIGNATION COMES AS HE CAN’T SUPPORT THE POLITICAL CLIMATE IN THE COUNTY—AND HE ALSO CITES HIS FAMILY AND THE STRESS AND HARRASSMENT BECAUSE OF POSITIONS HE’S TAKEN ON VARIOUS ISSUES. FLEENOR ALSO ASKS THE BOARD TO LISTEN TO CONCERNS VOICED BY TEACHERS AND STAFF.

HARMAN ICE—WEST WALNUT STREET

THE CITY OF JOHNSON CITY WILL PURCHASE THE HARMAN ICE PROPERTY AT 724 WEST WALNUT STREET.  THE PURCHASE PRICE OF $2.5-MILLION DOLLARS WILL COVER RELOCATING THE BUSINESS—AS CITY OFFICIALS SAY IT’S A KEY PART OF STORMWATER CONTROL—AS PART OF THE WEST WALNUT STREET REHAB.   BY USING THE PROPERTY, IT’LL REDUCE THE COST OF THE PROJECT BY ABOUT $600-THOUSAND DOLLARS.  WORK ON WEST WALNUT BETWEEN BUFFALO STREET AND UNIVERSITY PARKWAY WILL BEGIN IN AUGUST OR SEPTEMBER.

HOT WEATHER—TAKE PRECAUTIONS

THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER ARE HERE—AS THIS WEEK, THERE’LL BE SOME OF THE HOTTEST WEATHER OF THE YEAR—WITH HIGHS IN THE 90’S AND HEAT INDEX VALUES OVER 100 AT TIMES—ESPECIALLY LATER THIS WEEK.  IT’S IMPORTANT THAT YOU DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.   ALSO, IF YOU’RE OUT IN THE HEAT, ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES CAN DEHYDRATE YOU QUICKER AND ACTUALLY CAN MAKE YOU SICK IN A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME.