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LOCAL OFFICIALS NEED YOUR BLOOD

EMERGENCY BLOOD DONORS ARE NEEDED NOW IN THE TRI CITIES AREA. ANDY MCLAMB WITH THE MARSH REGIONAL BLOOD CENTER SAYS LOCAL RESIDENTS ARE BEING ENCOURAGED TO DONATE BLOOD, AS THE NEED IS CRITICAL, ESPECIALLY OVER THE NEXT 48 TO 72 HOURS. MARSH COLLECTION CENTERS ARE LOCATED ON EAST RAVINE ROAD IN KINGSPORT AND ON THE MAIN FLOOR AT BRISTOL REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER. IN ADDITION, MARSH’S KINGSPORT COLLECTION CENTER WILL OFFER EXTENDED HOURS THIS WEDNESDAY, STAYING OPEN UNTIL 6 P.M. MARSH REGIONAL BLOOD CENTERS SERVE 17 HOSPITALS IN NORTHEAST TENNESSEE AND SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA.

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THREE VEHICLE KINGSPORT ACCIDENT

KINGSPORT AUTHORITIES BELIEVE A POSSIBLE MEDICAL CONDITION CAUSED A THREE VEHICLE ACCIDENT AND SENT AN AREA MAN TO THE HOSPITAL. POLICE SAY 80 YEAR OLD RAY LEEPER OF CHURCH HILL WAS TRAVELING EAST ON CENTER STREET IN HIS 1997 MITSUBISHI WHEN, FOR REASONS UNKNOWN AT THIS TIME, IT WENT OVER A CURBING AND STRUCK A SECOND VEHICLE WHICH IN TURN STRUCK A THIRD VEHICLE. LEEPER’S VEHICLE LANDED UPSIDE DOWN. HE WAS TRANSPORTED TO WELLMONT HOLSTON VALLEY HOSPITAL WITH APPARENT NON-LIFE THREATENING INJUREIS. NO CHARGES HAVE BEEN FILED AT THIS TIME. THE ACCIDENT IS UNDER INVESTIGATION.

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KING TO SELL OFF MICHIGAN FACILITY

A BRISTOL TENNESSEE-BASED DRUG COMPANY IS SELLING OFF PART OF ITS ASSETS. DRUGMAKER KING PHARMACEUTICALS IS DIVERSING ITSELF OF ITS MANUFACTURING PLANT IN MICHIGAN. THE BUYER IS A NEW JERSEY-BASED PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY. ACCORDING TO KING OFFICIALS, KING WILL SELL ITS ROCHESTER PLANT TO SADDLE RIVER-BASED JHP PHARMACEUTICALS FOR 90 MILLION DOLLARS. THE MOVE IS EXPECTED TO CREATE GREATER OPERATING EFFICIENCY WITHIN KING.

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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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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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DRUGS AND GUNS SEZIED

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Howard Lewis Cleek

SCOTT COUNTY VIRGINIA AUTHORITIES HAVE SEIZED VARIOUS DRUGS AND GUNS AFTER RESPONDING TO A COUNTY RESIDENCE IN REGARD TO A DOMESTIC ASSAULT. INVESTIGATORS HAVE CHARGED HOWARD LEWIS CLEEK WITH MANUFACTURING MARIJUANA AND POSSESSION OF FIREARMS WHILE UNLAWFULLY POSSESSING A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE. WHEN OFFICERS ARRIVED AT THE HOME, THEY REPORTEDLY SMELLED MARIJUANA. A SEARCH DISCOVERED SEVERAL POT PLANTS GROWING NEARBY. SOME OF THE PLANTS WERE MORE THAN SIX FEET TALL. CLEEK WILL APPEAR IN COURT LATER THIS WEEK.

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ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGES FILED

A WASHINGTON COUNTY VIRGINIA MAN HAS BEEN ARRESTED AFTER ANIMAL CONTROL DEPUTIES RECEIVED AN ANONYMOUS COMPLAINT ABOUT SEVERAL HORSES IN EXTREMELY POOR CONDITION. 64 YEAR OLD C.A. WORLEY OF SALTVILLE HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH FIVE COUNTS OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS. ACCORDING TO SHERIFF FRED NEWMAN, WHEN DEPUTIES ARRIVED THEY FOUND FIVE HORSES INCLUDING TWO STALLIONS, TWO MARES, AND A COLT, THAT HAD NOT RECEIVED PROPER CARE FOR SEVERAL DAYS. THE HORSES WERE REPORTEDLY MALNOURISHED AND HAD SORES AND OTHER INJURIES. THEY HAVE BEEN SEIZED BY ANIMAL CONTROL DEPUTIES. THE ANIMALS WERE TRANSPORTED TO A LOCAL LIVESTOCK MARKET, CHECKED BY A VETERINARIAN, AND HOUSED AT THE LIVESTOCK MARKET WHERE THEY ARE BEING CARED FOR. ANIMAL CRUELTY IS A MISDEMEANOR PUNISHABLE BY A FINE UP TO 25-HUNDRED DOLLARS AND NOT MORE THAN TWELVE MONTHS IN JAIL ON EACH CHARGE. WORLEY IS SET TO BE ARRAIGNED ON JULY 20TH IN WASHINGTON COUNTY GENERAL DISTRICT COURT.

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HOLIDAY FATALITIES IN VIRGINIA

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE SAY THAT 16 PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN TRAFFIC CRASHES IN THE STATE DURING THE FOURTH OF JULY HOLIDAY.THAT’S ACCORDING TO PRELIMINARY NUMBERS OVER THE HOLIDAY PERIOD. TWENTY ONE PERSONS DIED IN TRAFFIC CRASHES DURING THE SAME PERIOD LAST YEAR. STATE POLICE SAY AT LEAST FOUR OF THIS YEAR’S FATAL CRASHES INVOLVED ALCOHOL. THE FATALITIES OCCURRED THROUGHOUT THE COMMONWEALTH, AND INCLUDED BRISTOL.

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PHARMACY ROBBER PLEADS GUILTY


Susong Pharmacy
Photo courtesy of WGRV Radio

THE SUSPECT ACCUSED OF ROBBING THE SAME GREENEVILLE PHARMACY ON TWO DIFFERENT OCCASIONS HAS ADMITTED TO THE CRIMES IN U.S. DISTRICT COURT IN GREENEVILLE. 42 YEAR OLD STEPHEN BLANGIN PLED GUILTY TO A DECEMBER 2O06 STICKUP AND AN ATTEMPTED ROBBERY IN FEBRUARY OF THIS YEAR OF SUSONG PHARMACY ON THE 11-E BYPASS AT FAIRGROUNDS ROAD. IN THE DECEMBER INCIDENT, BLANGIN MADE OFF WITH OVER 15-HUNDRED HYDROCODONE PILLS. THE SECOND ROBBERY WAS THWARTED WHEN THE PHARMACIST ON DUTY PULLED OUT A GUN AND WOUNDED BLANGIN. BLANGIN FACES UP TO 25 YEARS IN PRISON ON THE ROBBERY CHARGES, AND ANOTHER SEVEN YEARS TO LIFE ON USING A FIREARM IN THE COMMISSION OF A FELONY CHARGES. HE IS SLATED TO BE SENTENCED ON OCTOBER 22ND.

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JOHNSON CITY MAN CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED RAPE

A JOHNSON CITY MAN IS BEHIND BARS AFTER BEING ACCUSED OF ATTEMPTING TO RAPE HIS FORMER GIRLFRIEND. 36 YEAR OLD FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ WAS CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED RAPE. OFFICERS ANSWERED A CALL TO A RESIDENCE IN SOUTH JOHNSON CITY AFTER RECEIVING A REPORT OF AN ATTEMPTED RAPE. UPON ARRIVAL, THE VICTIM REPORTEDLY TOLD THEM THAT HERNANDEZ HAD COME INTO HER HOME UNINVITED AND FORCED HER ONTO THE BED WHERE THE ALLEGED ASSAULT OCCURRED. AFTER THE ATTEMPTED RAPE, HERNANDEZ ALLEGEDLY RAN, BUT WAS LATER APPREHENDED BY OFFICERS. HE IS CURRENTLY LODGED IN THE WASHINGTON COUNTY DETENTION CENTER ON A 50-THOUSAND DOLLAR BOND. HERNANDEZ WILL APPEAR IN WASHINGTON COUNTY GENERAL SESSIONS COURT TO BE ARRAIGNED ON TUESDAY.

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GRAINGER COUNTY PLAYER WINS LOTTERY


And the winner is…

OFFICIALS WITH THE TENNESSEE LOTTERY SAY A BEAN STATION PLAYER IS RICHER TODAY…TO THE TUNE OF $605,876 AFTER WINNING THE LATEST JACKPOT IN FRIDAY NIGHT’S LOTTO 5 DRAWING. NO ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE UNTIL HE OR SHE COMES FORWARD TO CLAIM THE MONEY. IN ADDITION, SATURDAY NIGHT’S POWERBALL DRAWING PRODUCED 31,846 WINNERS IN THE STATE OF TENNESSEE INCLUDING NEARLY 8,000 POWER PLAY WINNERS WHO TRIPLED THEIR PRIZE. MEANWHILE, WEDNESDAY NIGHT’S POWER BALL JACKPOT HAS GROWN TO AN ESTIMATED $36 MILLION.

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TRI CITIES STUDENTS ARE HONORED

TWO TRI CITIES AREA STUDENTS ARE AMONG RECENTLY HONORED HIGH SCHOOL JUNIORS WHO HAVE ESTABLISHED OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC RECORDS AND EARNED TOP SCORES IN A RESEARCH PROJECT CONTEST. ANDREW HERRON OF DOBYNS BENNETT HIGH SCHOOL IN KINGSPORT WAS HONORED FOR MATH, WHILE RACHEL COLLINS OF GREENEVILLE HIGH SCHOOL RECEIVED RECOGNITION IN THE FIELD OF SCIENCE. STUDENTS WERE INVITED TO COMPETE FOR THE COMMENDATIONS EACH YEAR AS PART OF THE TENNESSEE HONORS PROGRAM. TO BE ELIGIBLE, STUDENTS MUST HAVE EARNED A 3.4 GRADE POINT AVERAGE AND COMPLETE A RESEARCH PROJECT IN THE ARTS, LANGUAGE ARTS, SCIENCE, SOCIAL STUDIES, MATH, OR CAREER TECHNICAL EDUCATION.

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CITY OFFICIALS TO MEET WITH RESIDENTS

KINGSPORT OFFICIALS WILL CONDUCT A PUBLIC INFORMATION AT THE ROCK SPRINGS UNITED METHODIST CHURCH ON MONDAY, JULY 9TH AT 7:15 P.M. THE PURPOSE OF THE MEETING IS TO MEET WITH LOCAL RESIDENTS AND ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT UPCOMING ANNEXATIONS. THE KINGSPORT BOARD OF MAYOR AND ALDERMEN HAS ALREADY SECURED FUNDING AND BUDGETED FOR A NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, FIRE STATION, POLICE PERSONNEL TO CREATE A NEW POLICE ZONE, AND SEWER LINE EXTENSIONS IN THE AREA. AT THE MEETING, INFORMATION ON PROPOSED ANNEXATION AREAS, ZONING, SEWER LINE ROUTING, AND EXTENSION OF SERVICE TIMELINES WILL BE PROVIDED. EVERYONE IS INVITED TO ATTEND.