Local Weather January 7, 2010 8 145th YEAR - NO. 35 SERVING CHESTER COUNTY SINCE 1865 75 CENTS First of the decade arrives Jan. 1 Baby Bradley Alton Hampton By James A. Webb General Manager Steward out of hospital, charged with murder The man allegedly responsible for the death of a Henderson Police Officer has been released from the hospital and formally RICKY charged with his STEWARD murder. Henderson resident Ricky Steward was arrested and placed in Madison County custody Saturday after spending nearly three weeks in Jackson-Madison County General Hospital for multiple gunshot wounds he received during an armed robbery shootout with local law enforcement officers resulting in the death of Henderson Police Capt. Dennis Cagle on Dec. 13. Steward was charged with murder in perpetration of a felony, attempted first degree murder and aggravated robbery. A court date for Steward has not yet been set. Ricky Steward’s wife, Cheryl Steward, who was also charged in the death of Cagle, will face a judge at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan.22. According to court documents, she has hired Indiana attorney Dock McDowell Jr. from Merrillville who is licensed to practice law in Tennessee. Cagle was responding to an armed robbery call at the local grocery store when he and Sheriff’s Deputy Don Purvis engaged in a shootout with the perpetrator. Cagle was shot once in the abdomen after exchanging several rounds of gunfire with Steward on Dec. 10 during an attempted armed robbery at Save-A-Lot. He is the first law enforcement officer in Henderson and Chester County to die from wounds suffered in the line of duty. County Commission to meet next Monday The Chester County board of commissioners will meet at 6:30 p.m. in regular session on Monday, Jan. 11 at the Public Safety Building. Their brief agenda includes: officials report for second quarter, approve updated county road list, and any other business to come before the Commission. Ronnie and Rhonda Hampton celebrated the new year like many, attending a party at a relative’s home. At the time they did not realize, however, that they were also celebrating the birthday of their second child. Bradley Alton Hampton arrived at 8:34 a.m. Jan. 1 after delivery at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital, joining his big sister, two-year old Bricey. “We were on the way home from the party when I started having labor pains,” said Rhonda. “I thought it was nothing, but it got worse.” They phoned their doctor who urged them to go straight to the hospital, and they arrived about 5 a.m. “I expected to go back home, because I did not think I was in labor,” Rhonda concluded. However, since Rhonda had experienced gestational diabetes, the decision was made to undergo a C-section, and Bradley arrived on the scene Photo by James A. Webb, Independent Ronnie and Rhonda Hampton are the proud parents of the first Chester County baby born in 2010 at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. Bradley Alton Hampton spent his first week in ICU after arriving at 8:34 a.m. Jan. 1. shortly therafter. Bradley was a big surprise for the Jacks Creek couple since he was not due until Jan. 28. Bricey hasn’t seen her brother yet. “She’s been asking ‘Is baby here mommy, baby here?’ She is anxious to see him.” The Hampton’s have simple dreams for their children. “I want Bradley to be able to go to college, and build a good life for himself, and do whatever he wants,” Rhonda said. “I just want him to do well for himself,” said Ronnie. “But right now I just want to go home.” The family hoped to bring Bradley home Thursday, just in time for his first snow fall. Long-time Tennessee politician Henderson man leads deputy on county line chase dies following brief illness What would have been a routine traffic stop turned into a dual county car chase early Sunday morning for Chester County law enforcement. Raymond A. Neisler Jr., 31, of Henderson, was arrested with multiple charges including felony evading arrest, driving under the NEISLER influence, reckless driving, driving on a cancelled/revoked license, violation of registration law, and failure to pay fines. According to the arrest report, Deputy Jason Walker observed a white Cadillac driven by Neisler go across in the southbound lane near the intersection of Hill Street and Third Ave. As Deputy Walker attempted to stop the vehicle, Neisler began to speed up and flee. The pursuit ensued on Hwy 200 and into the Luray community in Henderson County. During the chase Walker noted Neisler was weaving in and out of traffic and decided to stop pursuit due to safety concerns of other vehicles. Neisler turned onto Crucifer Road in Henderson County as the deputy backed off but still followed and noticed the Cadillac pull into a driveway and Neisler exited his vehicle and was then approached by Deputy Walker and arrested. After giving a breathalyzer test, it was determined Neisler was nearly twice over the legal limit registering 0.18 and was found to have a warrant for his arrest for failure to pay fines. He is being held in Chester County custody with no bond set and awaiting his court date this Friday, Jan. 8. One of Tennessee’s longest serving politicians has died following a brief illness. Somerville native John Shelton Wilder, Sr., died Friday, Jan. 1 at a hospital in Memphis at 88 years of age. Wilder represented Chester County among other west Tennessee counties in his district as he served as Speaker of the Senate and Lt. Governor for the state of Tennessee. According to the Fayette LT GOVERNOR Falcon, Wilder was one of the JOHN SHELTON WILDER longest serving freely-elected legislative leaders in the world serving two two-year terms and 10 four-year terms through the mid-century and into the early millennium. “While we often agreed on issues, I don’t know that there are two people in Tennessee politics whose political styles are more different that John Wilder’s and mine,” said Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen in a statement. “Despite that, or perhaps because of it, we worked together well, we got some things done, and we grew a genuine friendship. It was a privilege to know this unique Tennessean; I wish it could have been for a longer time.” Funeral services for Wilder were held Sunday, Jan. 3 at Peebles West Funeral Chapel at Oakland. A private ceremony was held in the Belmont Cemetery in Fayette County near the See WILDER, Page 2 Chester County campaign season kicks off Roll out the red, white and blue paraphernalia, the local campaign scene is officially underway in Henderson and Chester County. As of Jan. 1, candidacy packets are ready to be picked up at the county election office. Michele White, administrator for Chester County election commission, announced this week that persons interested in running for office during the Aug. 5, 2010 county general and state primary elections can pick up a candidate packet at the office located at the back of the historic courthouse during office hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The deadline for qualifying for candidacy will be noon April 1. Offices up for election include: County mayor, sheriff, city aldermen (three at-large vacancies), county commissioners, school board districts one, two and six, county road superintendent, county clerk, register of deeds, circuit court clerk, and county trustee. For more information contact White at 989-4039. Photo by Julie Pickard, Independent Henderson resident Tim Faulkner picks up his election packet from Patsy Rich Tuesday morning as he seeks re-election for city alderman. The qualifying deadline for interested candidates is noon on April 1.