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WASHINGTON CO. IN THE RUNNING


An auto assembly plant at a Magna location
Photo courtesy of Magna

ONE THOUSAND MORE JOBS COULD POTENTIALLY BE COMING TO WASHINGTON COUNTY VIRGINIA. MANGA INTERNATIONAL, A CANADIAN BASED COMPANY THAT HAS AN AUSTRIAN SUBSIDIARY, IS CONSIDERING A VEHICLE ASSEMBLY PLANT SOMEWHERE IN NORTH AMERICA. IF THE COMPANY DECIDES TO BUILD THE FACILITY IN THE COUNTY, IT WOULD LIKELY BE ON A PLOT OF LAND NEAR GLADE SPRING AND THE WASHINGTON-SMYTH COUNTY LINE. THE ASSEMBLY PLANT COULD EMPLOY UP TO ONE THOUSAND PEOPLE. MAGNA HAS MADE CARS FOR SUCH COMPANIES AS JEEP, CHRYSLER, MERCEDES, AND BMW.

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FLUCTUATING GASOLINE PRICES

IN THE PAST WEEK, GASOLINE PRICES HAVE BOUNCED UP AND DOWN ACROSS THE COUNTRY. FOR EXAMPLE, BRISTOL RESIDENTS HAVE SEEN GAS PRICES INCREASE BY 12.4 CENTS PER GALLON OF UNLEADED FUEL. OVER TEN CENTS A GALLON. AND ACCORDING TO WINDY VAN CUREN WITH TRIPLE A MID ATLANTIC, IT’S A TREND PRETTY MUCH EVERYWHERE THESE DAYS. SHE SAID MANY FACTORS AFFECT GAS PRICES. THEY INCLUDE STRONG DEMAND FOR GAS AND THE RISING COST OF CRUDE OIL AND DOWNED OIL REFINERIES, SUCH AS A REFINERY IN COFFEYVILLE, KANSAS WHICH SUFFERED SERIOUS FLOODING LAST WEEK. TRIPLE A OFFICIALS AREN’T SURE WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR GAS PRICES BUT BELIEVE THE PRICES ARE SURE TO FLUCTUATE AND FRUSTRATE DRIVERS.

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GIBBS CASE SENT TO GRAND JURY

THE CASE OF A GREENE COUNTY YOUTH CHARGED WITH VEHICULAR HOMICIDE HAS BEEN BOUND OVER TO THE GRAND JURY. 23 YEAR OLD DAVID MICHAEL GIBBS IS CHARGED WITH CONNECTION WITH THE APRIL 30TH ACCIDENT IN WHICH HIS TRUCK CRASHED INTO THE HOME OF 86 YEAR OLD KATE HOLT. SHE DIED MAY 3RD AT JOHNSON CITY MEDICAL CENTER FROM BLUNT TRAUMA TO HER HEAD. THE TRUCK DRIVEN BY GIBBS LEFT VANN ROAD, TRAVELED DOWN A HILL, AND CRASHED INTO THE BEDROOM WHERE HOLT WAS SLEEPING. GIBBS IS FREE ON 50-THOUSAND DOLLARS BOND AND WILL BE IN CRIMINAL COURT ON SEPTEMBER 7TH.

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BOWMAN HAS CASE BOUND OVER

A CARTER COUNTY MAN ACCUSED OF SHOOTING HIS WIFE HAS HAD HIS CASE BOUND OVER TO A GRAND JURY. 48 YEAR OLD DANA BOWMAN IS CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED SECOND DEGREE MURDER IN THE WOUNDING OF 44 YEAR OLD MELISSA BOWMAN AT A HOME ON RUSSELL HILL ROAD IN APRIL OF THIS YEAR. HE ALLEGEDLY FIRED NINE ROUNDS INTO A VEHICLE MELISSA WAS IN WITH ONE OF THOSE HITTING HER. BOWMAN HAS AN APPEARANCE SET IN CARTER COUNTY CRIMINAL COURT ON SEPTEMBER 14TH.

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SCOTT COUNTY TO GET NEW JOBS

SOME GREAT ECONOMIC NEWS FOR SCOTT COUNTY VIRGINIA. ROGERS FOAM CORPORATION, A FABRICATOR OF ENGINEERED FOAM PRODUCTS, WILL INVEST 1.4 MILLION DOLLARS IN THE FACILITY. 50 NEW JOBS WILL BE CREATED AS A RESULT OF THE ACTION. COMPANY OWNER MATTHEW ROGERS SAYS VIRGINIA’S FAVORABLE BUSINESS CLIMATE, STRATEGIC LOCATION, SKILLED WORKFORCE, AND PROXIMITY TO MAJOR CUSTOMERS WERE ALL IMPORTANT FACTORS IN HIS DECISION TO LOCATE IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA.

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KITTEN KILLING UNDER INVESTIGATION

Hawkins County investigators are interviewing three men in the death of a kitten killed by fireworks on Sunday. Dana Campbell said she adopted three kittens that had been dumped near her rural home several weeks ago. On Sunday she and her husband went boating and on their return home saw three men sitting near a shed where the kittens stayed. Later she heard the men shooting off fireworks. One of the kittens was found dead, covered in fire extinguisher dust and with fireworks in his mouth. Sheriff Roger Christian said detectives are interviewing three persons of interest, one of them a juvenile. He called it “a heinous crime.”

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ELIZABETHTON’S MAN CONVICTION UPHELD

THE TENNESSEE COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS IN KNOXVILLE HAS UPHELD THE CONVICTION OF AN ELIZABETHTON MAN IN THE KILLING OF A STORE CLERK. WILLIAM MATNEY PUTNAM WAS CONVICTED OF FIRST DEGREE MURDER OF ANGELA MONTGOMERY. HE HAD SOUGHT POST CONVICTION RELIEF CLAIMING TO HAVE HAD INEFFECTIVE COUNSEL WHEN HE ENTERED A NO CONTEST PLEA AND RECEIVED A SENTENCE OF LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE. HE WAS LATER RESENTENCED TO LIFE WITH PAROLE AFTER FILING A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS. IN HIS MOST RECENT ATTEMPT TO HAVE THE CONVICTION GO AWAY, PUTNAM CLAIMED HE HAD BEEN ADVISED TO ENTER INTO AN ILLEGAL PLEA AGREEMENT. THE APPELATE COURT FOUND HIS CLAIM TO BE INVALID.

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ONE PLEADS GUILTY IN GAMBLING CASE

ONE OF TEN DEFENDANTS IN THE APPALACHIA GAMBLING PROBE HAS PLED GUILTY IN WISE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. 70 YEAR OLD BOBBY BOLLING ADMITTED TO OPERATING AN ILLEGAL GAMBLING ENTERPRISE. HE RECEIVED TWO YEARS OF SUPERVISED PROBATION AND A ONE THOUSAND DOLLAR FINE. HE ALSO FORFEITED ANY PROPERTY THAT WAS SEIZED DURING THE GAMBLING RAID. THE FUNDS WILL GO TO THE VIRGINIA STATE POLICE. JAMES TAYLOR, ANDREW TAYLOR, HUBERT SUMMERS, RONNIE HENRY, BILLY WOMBLE, LARRY THOMAS, DANNY LAWSON JR., FRED ROGERS AND MARLENE SUMMERS ARE ALSO FACING SIMILAR CHARGES. SUMMERS IS EXPECTED TO APPEAR IN COURT AUGUST 31ST, ANDREW TAYLOR ON SEPTEMBER 12TH AND JAMES TAYLOR ON SEPTEMBER 18TH. THREE BUSINESSES ON APPALACHIA’S MAIN STREET WERE SEARCHED IN MAY OF LAST YEAR. THE PROBE WAS CARRIED OUT IN CONNECTION WITH ALLEGATIONS THAT THE 2004 ELECTION WAS RIGGED.

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FORMER DUFFIELD FUNERAL HOME OWNER SOUGHT

A DUFFIELD VIRGINIA FUNERAL HOME HAS SHUT ITS DOORS AFTER THE FORMER OWNER WAS RECENTLY INDICTED BY SCOTT COUNTY GRAND JURY ON FRAUD CHARGES. ANTHONY CARSON ROBBINS FACES 51 COUNTS OF FRAUDULENTLY OBTAINING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS AND ALLEGEDLY CHEATING PEOPLE OUT OF THEIR LIFE SAVINGS. ROBBINS HAD BEEN UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR NEARLY EIGHT MONTHS WHEN HE DISAPPEARED. THE VICTIMS LOST NEARLY 81-THOUSAND DOLLARS AFTER PURCHASING PRE-NEED FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS.

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WISE ART TEACHER ADMITS TO WRONG

A WISE COUNTY VIRGINIA ART TEACHER HAS ADMITTED TO CONTRIBUTING TO THE DELINQUENCY OF A MINOR. 26 YEAR OLD NAOMI MIRANDA PETERS OF GATE CITY, ENTERED A GUILTY PLEA YESTERDAY IN WISE COUNTY JUVENILE AND DOMESTIC RELATIONS COURT. SHE WAS ORDERED TO SERVE ONE YEAR ON UNSUPERVISED PROBATION FOR ASKING A STUDENT TO LIE TO POLICE DURING AN INVESTIGATION OF AN ALLEGED IMPROPER RELATIONSHIP SHE HAD WITH A FEMALE STUDENT AT APPALACHIA HIGH SCHOOL. AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE ALLEGED IMPROPER RELATIONSHIP IS REPORTEDLY ONGOING.

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SW VIRGINIA SOLDIERS TO DEPLOY

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MORE SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA SOLDIERS WILL BE DEPLOYED OVERSEES SOON. A TOTAL OF 22 SOLDIERS WILL LEAVE THE NATIONAL GUARD ARMORY IN RICHLANDS ON THURSDAY MORNING. THEY WILL BE LEAVING FOR TRAINING AND EVENTUAL DEPLOYMENT TO IRAQ. 16 SOLDIERS WILL DEPLOY FROM CEDAR BLUFF. ANOTHER SIX SOLDIERS WILL BE HEADING OUT FROM BIG STONE GAP. THESE SOLDIERS WILL TRAIN IN WISCONSIN, AND THEN DEPLOY IN SUPPORT OF OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. A CEREMONY IS SLATED FOR THURSDAY MORNING AT 10 O’CLOCK AT THE NATIONAL GUARD ARMORY ON THE CAMPUS OF SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE IN RICHLANDS. THE PUBLIC IS INVITED.

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BUTLER WOMAN IS CHARGED


Quincey Childers

ELIZABETHTON POLICE SAY A BUTLER TENNESSEE WOMAN IS BEHIND BARS FOR NUMEROUS COUNTS OF ALLEGEDLY PICKING UP FRAUDULENT PRESCRIPTIONS AT SEVERAL AREA PHARMACIES. 23 YEAR OLD QUINCEY CHILDERS WAS ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH NINETEEN COUNTS OF OBTAINING A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE BY FRAUD. IN MAY, THE ELIZABETHTON POLICE DEPARTMENT RESPONDED TO THE MEDICINE SHOPPE PHARMACY ON WEST ELK AVENUE UPON REPORTS OF A FEMALE, LATER IDENTIFIED AS CHILDERS, WHO ATTEMPTED TO PICK UP A PRESCRIPTION FOR HYDROCODONE. ACCORDING TO SGT. MICHAEL MERRITT, FURTHER INVESTIGATION REVEALED THE WOMAN HAD CALLED IN PRESCRIPTIONS TO THREE OTHER AREA PHARMACIES, TOO. EARLIER THIS MONTH, A CARTER COUNTY GRAND JURY HANDED DOWN AN INDICTMENT BINDING HER CASE OVER TO A GRAND JURY. CHILDERS HAS BEEN BOOKED INTO THE COUNTY JAIL, AND IS SET TO APPEAR IN CRIMINAL COURT ON AUGUST 10TH. SHE IS CURRENTLY LODGED IN THE CARTER COUNTY JAIL IN LIEU OF 100-THOUSAND DOLLARS BOND.

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GOVERNOR KAINE SET FOR PRE-K

VIRGINIA GOVERNOR TIM KAINE SAYS HE STILL PLANS TO OFFER UNIVERSAL, BUT NOT MANDATORY, PRE-KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM IN THE COMMONWEALTH WITHOUT RAISING TAXES. HE SAYS THE PROGRAM FOR FOUR YEAR OLDS WILL HAVE TO BE PHASED IN AND HAS ESTIMATED THE PROGRAM WILL COST ABOUT 300 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR. A NEW STUDY RELEASED SAYS WHILE PUBLICLY FUNDED PRESCHOOL IS A WISE INVESTMENT FOR VIRGINIA, IT COULD COST MORE THAN KAINE PREDICTS. ACCORDING TO THE STUDY, IF EMPLEMENTED IN 2008, A HIGH QUALITY PROGRAM AVAILABLE TO ALL THREE AND FOUR YEAR OLD VIRGINIANS WOULD COST NEARLY 850 MILLION DOLLARS

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MAN ON MOST WANTED LIST CAPTURED


Jonathan Wells

IT DIDN’T TAKE AUTHORITIES LONG TO DOWNSIZE THEIR LIST OF MOST WANTED PEOPLE IN WASHINGTON COUNTY TENNESSEE. AN ANONYMOUS TIP LED DEPUTIES TO JONATHAN WELLS YESTERDAY AFTERNOON. HE FACES CHARGES OF FAILURE TO APPEAR IN COURT, SALE OF COCAINE AND VIOLATION OF PROBATION. AUTHORITIES HAD BEEN SEARCHING FOR WELLS FOR THE LAST YEAR AND-A-HALF.

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TENTATIVE TRIAL DATE IS SET

A TENTATIVE TRIAL DATE HAS BEEN SCHEDULED FOR ONE OF THE MEN ACCUSED IN A 2005 KINGSPORT CANDLE SHOP MURDER. LESLIE ALLEN WARE IS FACING CHARGES OF FIRST DEGREE MURDER IN THE DEATHS OF JEFFREY NOLAN AND TERRENCE ALEXANDER AT THE SOLE CANDLE SHOP IN NOVEMBER OF 2005. WARE LEFT THE STATE FOLLOWING THE MURDERS. HE WAS ARRESTED IN NEW YORK EARLIER THIS YEAR. WARE WAS ARRAIGNED EARLIER THIS WEEK. HE IS TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED TO GO ON TRIAL IN MARCH. THE STATE HAS REPORTEDLY NOT DECIDED IF THEY WILL BE SEEKING THE DEATH PENALTY IN THE HIGHLY-PUBLICIZED CASE.

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BUCHANAN COUNTY TEEN HAS MURDER CASE BOUND OVER

A BUCHANAN COUNTY VIRGINIA TEEN ACCUSED OF KILLING HIS FATHER HAS HAD HIS CASE BOUND OVER TO A GRAND JURY. 19 YEAR OLD ADAM CHAPMAN IS CHARGED WITH FIRST DEGREE MURDER IN THE SHOOTING DEATH OF 51 YEAR OLD DAVID CHAPMAN. HE’S ALSO CHARGED WITH USE OF A FIREARM IN THE COMMISSION OF A FELONY. THE INCIDENT OCCURRED AT THE FAMILY HOME ON WHITT BRANCH ROAD IN THE ROWE SECTION OF THE COUNTY IN DECEMBER OF LAST YEAR. DAVID CHAPMAN WAS SHOT IN THE HEAD WITH A 12 GAUGE SHOTGUN. ADAM CHAPMAN ALLEGEDLY CONFESSED TO THE CRIME. THE BUCHANAN COUNTY GRAND JURY CONVENES ON OCTOBER 31ST.

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NO CHARGES AS RESULT OF BOATING FATALITY

A HAMBLEN COUNTY TENNESSEE GRAND JURY HAS DECIDED NOT TO INDICT ANYONE IN A BOATING ACCIDENT LAST YEAR THAT CLAIMED THE LIFE OF A GREENEVILLE MAN AND LEFT HIS FATHER CRITICALLY INJURED. THE GRAND JURY PANEL RULED THAT NEAL ALLEN RICKER DIED AS A RESULT OF A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT. TWO BOATS COLLIDED LAST AUGUST ON CHEROKEE LAKE. LARRY RICKER, A TEACHER AT CAMP CREEK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AND FORMER FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL COACH AT SOUTH GREENE, WAS CRITICALLY WOUNDED IN THE ACCIDENT. MICHAEL AND SHELIA RIDDLE, GARY LAMONS AND SUSAN WARD WERE ALSO TREATED FOR INJURIES.

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SCOTT COUNTY SCHOOL SECRETARY INDICTED

A SCOTT COUNTY VIRGINIA GRAND JURY HAS INDICTED A FORMER SECRETARY AT A COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL. CAROLYN BURKE IS CHARGED WITH THREE COUNTS OF EMBEZZLEMENT AFTER ALLEGEDLY TAKING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FROM GATE CITY HIGH SCHOOL. THE INDICTMENT ALLEGES SHE TOOK MONEY FROM SCHOOL FUNDS THAT WERE SET ASIDE FOR STUDENT TRIPS, ADMISSIONS AND FUNDRAISERS. SHE’S EXPECTED TO TURN HERSELF INTO AUTHORITIES TODAY AND HAS AN ARRAIGNMENT DATE SET IN SCOTT COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT ON JULY 30TH.

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DAVIS HAS PRELIMINARY CONTINUED

THE FORMER BIDDER OF JOHNSON CITY’S DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MADE HIS FIRST APPEARANCE IN COURT AFTER ALLEGEDLY STEALING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FROM CITY COFFERS. DANNY LYNN DAVIS IS CHARGED WITH THEFT OVER TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS, FORGERY AND MONEY LAUNDERING. JUDGE JAMES NIDIFFER HAD SOME STERN WORDS FOR DAVIS….

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DAVIS CLAIMS TO HAVE TRIED TO FIND A LAWYER, BUT HASN’T HAD ANY SUCCESS AT THIS TIME. MEANWHILE, DISTRICT ATTORNEY GENERAL TONY CLARK CONTINUES TO SORT THROUGH ABOUT 50 BOXES OF DOCUMENTS…..

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DAVIS IS ACCUSED OF USING A BOGUS COMPANY CALLED GRAY HOME IMPROVEMENTS TO WIN BIDS AND ALSO USING SUBCONTRACTORS TO FINISH THE PROJECTS AND POCKET THE REST OF THE MONEY. DAVIS WORKED FOR THE CITY FOR 29 YEARS AND THE THEFT AND FORGERY IS BELIEVED TO GO BACK AT LEAST A DECADE. HE WAS TERMINATED FROM HIS JOB LAST MONTH.

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BRISTOL ROBBERY UNDER INVESTIGATION

BRISTOL TENNESSEE POLICE ARE ASKING FOR YOUR HELP IN LOCATING A BANDIT THAT HELDUP THE SHELL GAS STATION ON VOLUNTEER PARKWAY. AUTHORITIES SAY A BLACK MALE ENTERED THE BUSINESS BRANDISHING A KNIFE AND ORDERED THE CLERK TO GIVE HIM THE MONEY FROM THE CASH REGISTER. HE FLED WITH AN UNDETERMINED AMOUNT OF CASH. THE SUSPECT IS 5-8, 170 POUNDS, LAST SEEN WEARING A WHITE SHIRT AND DARK COLORED BASKETBALL SHORTS. ANYONE WITH ANY INFORMATION IS ASKED TO CALL THE POLICE DEPARTMNET ON TIPS.