Local News

COVID-19—TENNESSEE

THERE ARE NOW 4634 CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19 IN TENNESSEE.  THAT’S AN INCREASE OF 272 CASES FROM WEDNESDAY.  THERE ARE ALSO NOW 94 DEATHS, UP FROM 79 REPORTED ON WEDNESDAY.  THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ALSO REPORTS 505 HOSPITALIZATIONS AND 921 RECOVERIES. IN THE REGION, SULLIVAN COUNTY HAS 34 CASES, WASHINGTON COUNTY HAS 32 CASES, GREENE COUNTY 22 CASES AND HAWKINS COUNTY HAS 21.  CARTER COUNTY HAS 3 CASES, JOHNSON COUNTY 2 AND UNICOI COUNTY 2 CASE.

AVOID HEALTH HAZARDS IN PORTION OF CLINCH RIVER DUE TO POTENTIAL THREATS OF RAW SEWAGE

THE VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH RECOMMENDS AGAINST RECREATIONAL WATER USE BY PEOPLE AND PETS, AND CONSUMING FISH FROM A PORTION OF THE CLINCH RIVER IN RUSSELL COUNTY, DUE TO THE SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT SERVING THE TOWN OF CLEVELAND BEING DAMAGED ON APRIL 4TH. EVEN WITH PRECAUTIONS, THERE REMAINS A HIGH LIKELIHOOD THAT RAW SEWAGE MAY OVERFLOW FROM THE SEWAGE COLLECTION SYSTEM AND TREATMENT PLANT, AND ENTER THE CLINCH RIVER UNTIL REPAIRS ARE COMPLETED. THE ADVISORY EXTENDS ALONG THE CLINCH RIVER IN RUSSELL COUNTY, FROM THE CAMPGROUND IN THE TOWN OF CLEVELAND, TO THE PUBLIC BOAT LAUNCH AT CARTERTON.

 COVID-19—SEASONS CANCELLED

DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND IN KEEPING WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIREMENTS, THIS YEAR’S JOHNSON CITY PARKS AND RECREATION YOUTH SOCCER, GIRLS SOFTBALL AND GIRLS T-BALL SEASONS ARE CANCELLED.  STAFF WILL BEGIN PROCESSING REFUNDS THE WEEK OF APRIL 13TH.  REFUNDS WILL BE IN THE FORM OF A CHECK PAYABLE TO THE PERSON WHO PAID FEES AT THE TIME OF REGISTRATION.  ALL REFUNDS WILL BE MAILED.

PAVEMENT REPAIR PROJECT ON GREENBELT

A SECTION OF THE KINGSPORT GREENBELT IS SCHEDULED FOR PAVEMENT REPAIRS BY CITY WORK CREWS STATING MONDAY. THE SECTION FROM OREBANK ROAD, AT THE EXCHANGE PLACE PARKING LOT, TO CREEK VIEW DRIVE, AT THE BRIDGE NEAR JOHN B DENNIS, WILL BE CLOSED PERIODICALLY DURING THE WEEK. CITIZENS ARE ASKED TO AVOID THIS SECTION OF THE GREENBELT, WHILE THE NEEDED REPAIRS ARE BEING CONDUCTED.

GOVERNOR LEAVES SCHOOL CLOSINGS QUESTIONS UNANSWERED

DURING HIS END OF THE WEEK COVID-19 PRESS CONFERENCE YESTERDAY, NEITHER GOVERNOR BILL LEE NOR DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION COMMISSIONER PENNY SCHWINN GAVE ANY INSIGHT FOR THE FUTURE OF TENNESSEE SCHOOLS. THE GOVERNOR’S CURRENT ORDERS MANDATE THE CLOSURE OF TENNESSEE SCHOOLS THROUGH APRIL 24TH. A MODEL FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON’S INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH METRICS AND EVALUATIONS PLACES A SURGE IN TENNESSEE IN MID APRIL, WITH APRIL 24TH LANDING JUST ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CURVE, ACCORDING TO DATA RELEASED THURSDAY. LEE SAID THAT WHAT THEY’RE MOST INTERESTED IN, IS MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION AT THE RIGHT TIME.

SECOND HARVEST ASKS FOR MONETARY DONATIONS AD NEED RISES

SECOND HARVEST FOOD BANK IS IN NEED OF MONETARY DONATIONS TO PURCHASE FOOD THROUGH FEEDING AMERICA AND OTHER WHOLESALERS. DUE TO THE PANDEMIC AND ITS IMPACT ON LOCAL JOBS, THE FOOD BANK IS HELPING MANY PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER HAD A NEED BEFORE. SECOND HARVEST IS NOT ASKING THE COMMUNITY TO COLLECT FOOD DONATIONS OR HOLD FOOD DRIVES AT THIS TIME, DUE TO THE POSSIBILITY OF CONTAMINATION. BUT MONETARY DONATIONS ARE NEEDED, AND CAN BE MADE ONLINE AT NET FOOD BANK DOT ORG, OR BY MAIL TO 1020 JERICHO DRIVE, KINGSPORT TENNESSEE, 37663.

COVERED BRIDGE FESTIVAL CASUALTY OF COVID-19

AS THE LIST OF FESTIVALS AND EVENTS CANCELLED DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC GROWS, THE LATEST CASUALTY APPEARS TO BE THE ANNUAL COVERED BRIDGE FESTIVAL IN ELIZABETHTON. AFTER SOME DISCUSSION ABOUT THE FESTIVAL, ALTHOUGH THE COUNCIL DID NOT TAKE ANY ACTION, IT APPEARED TO HAVE A CONSENSUS THAT THE FESTIVAL SHOULD NOT BE HELD AS SCHEDULED THIS YEAR. COUNCILMAN JEFF TREADWAY SAID THE WEEKLY COVERED BRIDGE CONCERTS ARE STILL TAKING PLACE, AND PERHAPS ONE OF THOSE EVENTS MIGHT TAKE ON SOME COVERED BRIDGE FESTIVAL THEMES.

MAN ACCUSED OF SHOOTING AIRSOFT GUN AT NEIGHBORS

A ROGERSVILLE MAN IS FACING CHARGES, AFTER BEING ACCUSED OF SHOOTING AN AIRSOFT GUN AT NEIGHBORS SATURDAY NIGHT. ACCORDING TO THE HAWKINS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE, DEPUTIES WERE CALLED TO LIGHT ROAD FOR AN ASSAULT. THE CALLER STATED HER NEIGHBOR, 38 YEAR OLD MICHAEL BRANDON DYKES, SHOT AN AIRSOFT GUN AT HER AND MULTIPLE OTHER NEIGHBORS, WHILE STANDING IN HER YARD. THE REPORT INDICATED THAT ONE OF THE NEIGHBORS WAS HIT IN THE FACE BY AN AIRSOFT PELLET. WHEN DEPUTIES ARRIVED, DYKES DENIED SHOOTING THE GUN, AND CLAIMED THAT HIS NEIGHBORS HAD BEEN YELLING AT HIM FROM ACROSS THE STREET, BUT HE HAD BEEN INSIDE THE HOUSE. THE VICTIMS SHOWED OFFICERS VIDEO OF THE INCIDENT, AND THE DEPUTY COULD HEAR SHOTS BEING FIRED TOWARD THEM IN THE VIDEO. DYKES WAS CHARGED WITH AGGRAVATED ASSAULT, AND IS SCHEDULED TO APPEAR IN COURT MAY 13TH.

COEBURN MAN SENTENCED TO TWO YEARS IN PRISON

A COEBURN MAN HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO TWO YEARS IN PRISON. 38 YEAR OLD ANTWAIN JAMES HALE WAS SENTENCED TO 9 YEARS 6 MONTHS IN PRISON, BUT 7 YEARS 4 MONTHS WERE SUSPENDED. HALE WAS CONVICTED OF MULTIPLE CHARGES, INCLUDING STRANGULATION, ASSAULT, AND POSSESSION OF METH, STEMMING FROM THREE SEPARATE INCIDENTS. HE REMAINS IN THE REGIONAL JAIL IN DUFFIELD, AND IS AWAITING TRANSFER TO THE VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS.

TWO CAR CRASH BACKS UP TRAFFIC

A TWO VEHICLE CRASH BACKED UP TRAFFIC ON INTERSTATE 81 BACKED UP TRAFFIC FOR SEVERAL HOURS THURSDAY. VIRGINIA STATE POLICE SAID THE CRASH TOOK PLACE IN THE SOUTHBOUND LANES OF I-81 AT THE EXIT 3 ON-RAMP, WHICH TURNS INTO I-381. INVESTIGATORS DAY THE IMPACT OF THE CRASH CAUSED ONE VEHICLE TO OVERTURN. THE DRIVERS OF THE TWO VEHICLES WERE TREATED FOR MINOR INJURIES. THE CRASH REMAINS UNDER INVESTIGATION.

SWVA UNITED WAY CREATES RELIEF FUND

THE UNITED WAY OF SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA IS ACCEPTING DONATIONS TO ESTABLISH A COVID-19 RELIEF FUND. THE UNITED WAY WILL HELP PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY EXPERIENCING THE DETRIMENTAL ECONOMIC EFFECTS RELATED TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. UNITED WAY PRESIDENT TRAVIS STANTON SAID THE UNITED WAY IS FORMING A REGIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL TO DEVELOP A RESPONSE STRATEGY FOR SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA. YOU CAN MAIL YOUR DONATION TO UNITED WAY OD SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, COVID-19 RELIEF FUND, PO BOX 644, ABINGDON VIRGINIA, 24212.

INTERSECTION CHANGE TODAY

THE JONESBOROUGH STREET DEPARTMENT IS COMPLETING STREET CONSTRUCTION WORK, THAT WILL RESULT IN A REALIGNMENT OF NORTH CHEROKEE STREET ABOUT THE WASHINGTON COUNTY JUSTICE CENTER. THE NEW STREET CONNECTOR BETWEEN NORTH CHEROKEE STREET AND SMITH LANE WAS SCHEDULED TO OPEN TO TRAFFIC THIS MORNING. MOTORISTS NEED TO USE CAUTION WHEN APPROACHING THE NEW INTERSECTION, ESPECIALLY TRAVELING ON NORTH CHEROKEE, BECAUSE THE TRAVEL LANES HAVE CHANGED, AND NORTHBOUND TRAFFIC MUST NOW STOP AT THE NEW STREET CONNECTOR.