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CONTENTS OF NOTE RELEASED

BRISTOL TENNESSEE POLICE HAVE RELEASED THE CONTENTS OF AN APPARENT SUICIDE NOTE LEFT BY THE MAN POLICE SAY WREAKED HAVOC ON WEDNESDAY NEAR DOWNTOWN WHEN HE ALLEGEDLY SHOT FOUR PEOPLE TO DEATH INCLUDING HIMSELF. THE INCIDENT AT EDGEMONT TOWERS ON ASH STREET HAS POLICE INVESTIGATING THE BACKGROUND AND MINDSET OF 26 YEAR OLD RUSTY RUMLEY JR. WHO WENT TO THE APARTMENT OF HIS FORMER GIRLFRIEND, BRANDI WATSON, TO MOVE SOME FURNITURE OUT. THAT’S WHEN HE APPARENTLY OPENED FIRE KILLING WATSON’S MOTHER, FRANCIS, BRANDI’S NEW BOYFRIEND 20 YEAR OLD BRANDON ROSKOS AND NEIGHBORS DANNY WAYNE MURRAY AND ROY MALONE. BRANDI WATSON WAS ABLE TO GET OUT WITHOUT BEING INJURED. MEANWHILE, IN THE NOTE TO HIS MOTHER AND FATHER, RUMLEY SAID HE WAS SORRY FOR WHAT HE HAD DONE. HE SAID HE WISHED HE COULD GO BACK AND UNDUE WHAT HE HAD DONE. RUMLEY WAS FOUND A SHORT TIME LATER IN SOME WOODS OFF RASNICK HOLLOW ROAD IN CARTER COUNTY. HE WAS DEAD FROM A SELF INFLICTED GUNSHOT WOUND.

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POSSIBLE LOTTERY COMPROMISE

Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey OF BLOUNTVILLE has signaled a possible compromise on lottery scholarship retention standards. The NORTHEAST TENNESSEE Republican said YESTERDAY he may agree to let students with a B-minus average keep their grants with a small reduction in the scholarship amount as an incentive to get back to the current B standard. Lawmakers have been debating whether to lower the cumulative grade point averaged needed to maintain a lottery scholarship. Under current rules, a student must be enrolled full time in college, have a GPA of at least 2.75 after their freshman year and a cumulative 3.0 GPA for subsequent years to keep the scholarship. The governor has said he supports lowering the retention GPA to 2.75.

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BRISTOL COMMUNITY STILL IN SHOCK

FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF THE MAN POLICE SAY WREAKED HAVOC ON WEDNESDAY IN BRISTOL TENNESSEE THAT RESULTED IN THE SHOOTING DEATHS OF FOUR PEOPLE IN ADDITION TO HIMSELF ARE STILL IN SHOCK OVER THE EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE MASSACRE. POLICE HAVE RELEASED THE TRANSCRIPT FROM THE 9-1-1 CALL MADE BY A NEIGHBOR. THE INCIDENT AT EDGEMONT TOWERS ON ASH STREET HAS POLICE INVESTIGATING THE BACKGROUND AND MINDSET OF 26 YEAR OLD RUSTY RUMLEY JR. WHO WENT TO THE APARTMENT OF HIS FORMER GIRLFRIEND, BRANDI WATSON, TO MOVE SOME FURNITURE OUT. THAT’S WHEN HE APPARENTLY OPENED FIRE KILLING WATSON’S MOTHER, FRANCIS, BRANDI’S NEW BOYFRIEND 20 YEAR OLD BRANDON ROSKOS AND NEIGHBORS DANNY WAYNE MURRAY AND ROY MALONE. RUMLEY WAS FOUND A SHORT TIME LATER IN SOME WOODS OFF RASNICK HOLLOW ROAD IN CARTER COUNTY. HE WAS DEAD FROM A SELF INFLICTED GUNSHOT WOUND. BRANDI WATSON WAS ABLE TO GET OUT WITHOUT BEING INJURED. POLICE HAVE RELEASED TWO SUICIDE NOTES ALLEGEDLY LEFT BY RUMLEY.

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TWO UNICOI COUNTY MEN ARRESTED

AS THE RESULT OF A TRAFFIC STOP, TWO UNICOI COUNTY MEN ARE FACING DRUG-RELATED CHARGES AND A LARGE QUANTITY OF A VERY ADDICTIVE DRUG IS OFF THE STREETS. SHERIFF KENT HARRIS SAID THE SEIZURE AND ARRESTS CAME ABOUT AFTER OFFICERS STOPPED 46 YEAR OLD RICKY CANTRELL FOR FAILING TO STOP AT A STOP SIGN. WHEN OFFICERS SEARCHED CANTRELL’S CAR, THEY FOUND 90 OXYCONTIN PILLS WITH THE NAME “BLAIN CUTLER” ON THE BOTTLE. OFFICERS SEARCHED CUTLER’S RESIDENCE ON HARDIN LANE WHERE THEY FOUND A LOADED 38 CALIBER PISTOL. SHERIFF HARRIS SAYS THEY HAD PRIOR INFORMATION THAT CUTLER HAD BEEN ALLEGEDLY SELLING DRUGS. CANTRELL WAS CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF SCHEDULE TWO DRUGS AND STOP SIGN VIOLATION. CUTLER WAS CHARGED WITH THE SALE OF SCHEDULE TWO DRUGS AND POSSESSION OF A GUN DURING THE COMMISSION OF A FELONY. CANTRELL WAS RELEASED ON A 3-THOUSAND DOLLAR BOND, WHILE CUTLER IS FREE ON A THOUSAND DOLLAR BOND.

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LOCAL WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY

A CHURCH HILL WOMAN ACCUSED OF GUNNING DOWN HER HUSBAND HAS ADMITTED TO THE CRIME IN HAWKINS COUNTY CRIMINAL COURT. 42 YEAR OLD PATRICIA LEDBETTER WAS CHARGED WITH FIRST DEGREE MURDER IN THE SHOOTING DEATH OF 41 YEAR OLD DAVID LEDBETTER. SHE WAS SET TO GO ON TRIAL, BUT ENTERED A GUILTY PLEA ON TUESDAY TO VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER. LEDBETTER WAS SENTENCED TO TEN YEARS IN PRISON.

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MASSIVE DRUG ARRESTS UNDERWAY

A MAJOR DRUG BUST IS UNDERWAY IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA. OPERATION STREET SWEEPER 8 MEANS OFFICERS ARE KNOCKING ON DOORS AND LOOKING AROUND POUND VIRGINIA FOR 32 PEOPLE INDICTED ON DRUG CHARGES BY A MULTI-JURISDICTIONAL GRAND JURY. SINCE OPERATION STREET SWEEPER BEGAN IN APRIL 2006, SOME 300 SUSPECTS HAVE BEEN ARRESTED. ACCORDING TO WISE COUNTY COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY RON ELKINS, THE ROUNDUP IS THE RESULT OF A THREE-YEAR INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGED ILLEGAL ACTIVITY IN THE POUND AREA. ELKINS SAID MOST OF THE CHARGES ARE RELATED TOT HE DISTRIBUTION OF PRESCRIPTION NARCOTICS. ELKINS BELIEVES THE MASS ARRESTS ARE ANOTHER STEP IN KEEPING WISE COUNTY A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE.

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LIMESTONE MAN BEHIND BARS

A LIMESTONE MAN IS BEHIND BARS AFTER POLICE SAY HE HELD HIS WIFE AGAINST HER WILL. DEPUTIES RESPONDED TO LESTER SNAPP ROAD IN LIMESTONE TO CHECK ON THE WELFARE OF 22 YEAR OLD MARY KAUFFMAN. UPON ARRIVAL, DEPUTIES DISCOVERED THAT THE WOMAN WAS BEING HELD AGAINST HER WILL BY HER HUSBAND, 21 YEAR OLD SANFORD KAUFFMAN. ACCORDING TO SHERIFF ED GRAYBEAL, THE COUPLE HAD APPARENTLY BEEN HAVING MARITAL PROBLEMS AND BEEN SEPARATED. MRS. KAUFFMAN HAD MET WITH HER HUSBAND TO VISIT HER CHILD. AFTER SHE ARRIVED AT THE RESIDENCE, MR. KAUFFMAN ALLEGEDLY TOOK HER CAR KEYS AND GOT A 22 CALIBER RIFLE AND LAID IT ON THE TABLE. HE TOLD HIS WIFE SHE WAS NOT LEAVING. SANFORD KAUFFMAN WAS ARRESTED WITHOUT INCIDENT, AND HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH AGGRAVATED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND AGGRAVATED KIDNAPPING. HE IS BEING HELD IN THE WASHINGTON COUNTY DETENTION CENTER UNDER BOND OF 75-THOUSAND DOLLARS. HE WILL BE ARRAIGNED ON WEDNESDAY IN GENERAL SESSIONS COURT.

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LOCAL MAN HAS APPEAL DENIED

AN APPEALS COURT JUDGE HAS UPHELD A SULLIVAN COUNTY JURY’S VERDICT OF A MAN CONVICTED OF REPEATEDLY SEXUALLY ASSAULTING HIS STEPDAUGHTER. JEFFERY RATLIFF IS CURRENTLY SERVING A LIFE SENTENCE AFTER BEING FOUND GUILTY ON SIX COUNTS OF INCEST AND RAPE OF A CHILD, ONE COUNT OF AGGRAVATED SEXUAL BATTERY AND ONE COUNT OF ESPECIALLY AGGRAVATED SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF A MINOR.

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COUNTIES FORM DROUGHT COALITION

Five East Tennessee counties are banding together in what may be the state’s first regional water coalition. The mayors of Claiborne, Grainger, Hancock, and Union counties – all just north of Knoxville – met with Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale on Monday to discuss preparing for future droughts. Gov. Phil Bredesen urged such cooperation last year when it became clear that at least 20 water systems in the state were under mandatory conservation measures at least in part because of a lack of planning and partnerships with neighbors.

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CARTER COUNTY BONES IDENTIFIED

CARTER COUNTY INVESTIGATORS SAY THE HUMAN REMAINS FOUND IN A WOODED AREA ALMOST TWO WEEKS AGO ARE THOSE OF A LOCAL WOMAN. SHERIFF CHRIS MATHES SAID THE REMAINS ARE THOSE OF 34 YEAR OLD MEGAN VANCE OF JOHNSON CITY. SHE HAD BEEN MISSING SINCE JANUARY 3RD, 2002. VANCE’S IDENTITY WAS POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED THROUGH DENTAL RECORDS. HER REMAINS WERE FOUND OFF OLD MILLIGAN HIGHWAY. POLICE BELIEVE VANCEW MAY HAVE FALLEN DOWN AN EMBANKMENT AND FROZE TO DEATH. SHERIFF MATHES SAID NO FOUL PLAY IS SUSPECTED, AND THE DEATH APPEARS TO BE ACCIDENTAL IN NATURE.

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WELLMONT RECEIVES AWARD

WELLMONT HEALTH SYSTEM HAS RECEIVED THE 2007 EXCELLENCE AWARD FROM THE TENNESSEE CENTER FOR PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE. THE AWARD HIGHLIGHTS THE HEALTH SYSTEM’S 3-YEAR JOURNEY TO TRANSFORM INTO A PHYSICIAN-LED ORGANIZATION THAT PLACES THE UTMOST EMPHASIS ON PATIENT SAFETY AND SUPERIOR HEALTHCARE SERVICE. THE EXCELLENCE AWARD IS PRESENTED TO AN ORGANIZATION THAT HAS DEMOSTRATED MANAGEMENT EXCELLENCE THROUGH ITS PRACTICES AND ACHIEVEMENTS AND EXHIBITED WORLD-CLASS PROCESSES THAT SERVE AS ROLE MODEL FOR OTHERS. WELLMONT PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER SAID THE ORGANIZATION ACCEPTED THE AWARD BECAUSE OF THEIR DETERMINATION AND PERSERVERANCE TO PURSUE EXCELLENCE IN HEALTH CARE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE.

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EVENTS ANNOUNCED AT BMS

ANOTHER GREAT YEAR OF EVENTS AT THE WORLD’S FASTEST HALF MILE TRACK. BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY OFFICIALS HAVE UNVEILED ACITIVITIES COMING UP FOR THIS YEAR. AMONG THE EVENTS THIS YEAR AT THE SPEEDWAY ARE STOCK CARS AND FIREWORKS ON JULY 5TH AND A LATE MODEL SERIES EVENT IN AUGUST. MEANWHILE, AT THE DRAGWAY, THERE WILL BE SEVERAL NEW EVENTS THIS YEAR INCLUDING MEGASAURUS – NIGHT OF FIRE AND THUNDER VALLEY VOLKS RALLY IN APRIL. MONSTER TRUCKS WILL INVADE BMS IN JUNE.

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FLU OUTBREAK HITS ITS PEAK

THE FLU HAS ARRIVED TO SOME 44 STATES INCLUDING THE TRI CITIES. ACCORDING TO JENNIFER WILLIAMS, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICABLE DISEASES WITH THE SULLIVAN COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT , THIS IS THE TIME OF YEAR THAT THE FLU IS AT ITS PEAK. LAST WEEK, SULLIVAN COUNTY REPORTED 376 FLU CASES TO THE TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH. HOWEVER, KINGSPORT CITY SCHOOLS ARE STILL IN SESSION. AMY GREEAR WITH THE KCS SAID STUDENT ATTENDANCE HAS BEEN STEADY – AROUND 92 PERCENT, SO THEY HAVE NOT CONSIDERED DISMISSING SCHOOLS AT THIS POINT. HOWEVER,. SHE SAID SHOULD STUDENT ATTENDANCE DROP BELOW THE 90-PER CENT MARK, THEY WILL THEN RE-ASSESS THE SITUATION.

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FLU SHUTS DOWN AREA SCHOOLS

OFFICIALS WITH ONE HAWKINS COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM SAY AN OUTBREAK OF THE FLU IS FORCING THEM TO CLOSE THEIR DOORS THE REST OF THE WEEK. ROGERSVILLE CITY SCHOOLS WILL BE OUT BECAUSE OF NUMEROUS FLU CASES AS WELL AS AN OUTBREAK OF A STOMACH VIRUS. THE SCHOOL SYSTEM WILL BE CLOSED THURSDAY AND FRIDAY TO PREVENT GERMS FROM SPREADING.

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VA. TO DEPORT SEX OFFENDERS (AP)

Officials say they searched state and federal data bases to find 171 convicted sex offenders who were illegally in Virginia. As a result, the offenders are being deported to Argentina, Bolivia, Germany, Laos, Mexico, Scotland and dozens of other countries. At a news conference in Richmond on Wednesday, Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell announced the results of “Operation Predator.” He was joined by Virginia State Police and leaders of U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The officials said the 171 offenders are either incarcerated and being processed for removal from the U.S. or already in federal custody. Eighty-four offenders found in the search had already left the country or had been deported.

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INMATE BACK BEHIND BARS

A CARTER COUNTY JAIL INMATE WHO WALKED AWAY FROM A WORK CREW ENJOYED ONLY A SHORT AMOUNT OF FREEDOM BEFORE BEING APPREHENDED. JUBAL SHOULDERS OF BRISTOL WAS WORKING ON A LITTER CREW FRIDAY WHEN HE MADE HIS GETAWAY. THE EAST SIDE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WENT INTO A LOCK DOWN MODE UNTIL SHOULDERS WAS CAPTURED. AUTHORITIES SAID HE MADE THE MISTAKE OF USING A PAY PHONE A BIG LOTS. SHOULDERS IS NOW FACING A NEW CHARGE OF FELONY ESCAPE AND WILL ANSWER THE CHARGE IN GENERAL SESSIONS COURT TOMORROW MORNING.

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BREDESEN WANTS SOME CHANGES

Governor Phil Bredesen has already laid out his top priorities for the current legislative session. But he has many more ideas contained on a complete list of his agenda. The 79 proposals include immediately revoking licenses for anyone arrested for drunken driving, a reshuffling of the state veterans’ homes board and allowing the state to sell confiscated liquor in online auctions. Other administration bills would: Make murdering a probation or parole officer a capital crime; allow TBI agents to make traffic stops while in pursuit of suspects; create environmental rules for rock harvesting; and require people charged with most felonies to give up their handgun carry permits pending the completion of their criminal cases.

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BRISTOL MALL IS RE-OPENED

THINGS ARE BACK TO NORMAL THIS AFTERNOON AFTER SHOPPING AT THE BRISTOL MALL WAS CUT SHORT THIS MORNING. OFFICIALS SAY A NOTE WAS DISCOVERED ON THE EMPLOYEE BATHROOM DOOR AT J.C. PENNEY THAT ALERTED POLICE TO THE POSSBILITY THAT A BOMB COULD BE INSIDE THE MALL. AFTER A THREE-HOUR SERACH BY EXPLOSIVES-DETECTION UNIT FROM THE BRISTOL VIRGINIA POLICE DEPARTMENT, NO EVIDENCE OF A BOMB WAS DISCOVERED. JUST AFTER NOON, EMPLOYEES WERE BACK AT WORK, AND THE BRISTOL MALL RE-OPENED TO THE PUBLIC.

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MEADOWVIEW PAIR CHARGED

TWO MEADOWVIEW VIRGINIA RESIDENTS ARE BEING HELD WITHOUT BOND IN THE SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA REGIONAL JAIL IN ABINGDON FACING NUMBEROUS DRUG-RELATED CHARGES. A SEARCH WARRANT WAS EXECUTED AT A RESIDENCE ON HILLMAN HIGHWAY IN MEADOWVIEW WHERE POLICE SEIZED APPROXIMATELY FIVE POUNDS OF MARIJUANA, VARIOUS DRUG PARAPHERNALIA, APPROXIMATED 75-HUNDRED DOLLARS IN CASH, TWO FIREARMS, AND TWO MOTOR VEHICLES. ACCORDING TO SHERIFF FRED NEWMAN, 26 YEAR OLD ROLANDO AGUILAR, ALSO KNOWN AS CHAD WAYLON WHITSON, IS WANTED BY UNICOI COUNTY TENNESSEE AUTHORITIES, TOO ON SIMILAR CHARGES. 22 YEAR OLD INDIA NICOLE TESNEAR, ALSO OF MEADOWVIEW, IS FACING NUMEROUS CHARGES. THE TWO LIVED TOGETHER AT THE RESIDENCE. BOTH HAVE ARRAIGNMENTS SET FOR MARCH 4TH IN WASHINGTON COUNTY DISTRICT COURT.

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CHURCH HILL MAN CHARGED IN DEATH

A CHURCH HILL MAN ACCUSED IN THE TRAFFIC DEATH OF A GATE CITY VIRGINIA WOMAN HAS TURNED HIMSELF IN TO AUTHORITIES. 34 YEAR OLD DAVID ROBERTS IS CHARGED WITH VEHICULAR HOMICIDE AND VEHICULAR ASSAULT. HE’S ACCUSED OF CAUSING A CRASH THAT CLAIMED THE LIFE OF 72 YEAR OLD FRANCIS TAYLOR AND INJURED HER SON, 44 YEAR OLD CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR. ROBERTS WAS ALLEGEDLY UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS WHEN HIS CAR CROSSED THE CENTER LINE ON CARTERS VALLEY ROAD AND STRUCK TAYLOR’S VEHICLE HEADON. ROBERTS IS BEING HELD IN THE HAWKINS COUNTY JAIL ON 100-THOUSAND DOLLARS BOND.