The Mountain Press ■ Sevier County’s Daily Newspaper ■ Vol. 26, No. 246 ■ September 3, 2010 ■ www.themountainpress.com ■ 75 Cents
September 3 - 9, 2010
On Smoky Mountain Entertainment
Teen driver wins case in court By STAN VOIT Editor
On the tube
Maggie Q has the title role in “Nikita,” which premieres Thursday on The CW.
5On the tube this Thursday Maggie Q snags title role in The CW’s “Nikita” inside
SEVIERVILLE — Criminal charges were dismissed Thursday against the teenage driver of a car that crashed on Allensville Road last year, leaving one person dead and the other three occupants injured. Corey Robinson, now 18, was charged with reckless homicide and
reckless endangerment. He was driving car the night of May 2, 2 0 0 9 , Robinson when it crashed into a tree. The wreck killed his best friend, Matthew Gentry, who was seated next to him
in the front seat, and injured two friends in the back seat, Josh Lethco and Corey Tibbs. Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood of Somerville in western Tennessee heard the case in juvenile court after local judges Dwight Stokes and Jeff Rader recused themselves. Robinson was 17 when the accident occurred, which is why the case was heard
in juvenile court. Juvenile court cases typically are not open to the public, but Robinson’s attorney, Charles Poole, reported the outcome to The Mountain Press. Speeding was not the issue, Poole said. All parties agreed Robinson was driving over the speed limit, though the two sides didn’t agree on how much over. Poole said the case came down
United Way under way 5The Perfect Gift Mountain life, Page B1
Entertainment Curt Habraken/The Mountain Press
United Way Campaign Chairwoman Amy Pangelinan talks about this year’s goal.
Rapper T.I. arrested again only five months after prison release Page A6
Weather Today Isolated Storms High: 89°
Tonight Isolated Storms Low: 59° DETAILS, Page A6
Obituaries Wallace Layman, 72 Grady Smith, 74 Robert Brittle, 71 Tommy Rhodes, 72 DETAILS, Page A4
Index Local & State . . . . A1-16 Money . . . . . . . . . . . . A5 Opinion . . . . . . . . . . . . . A7 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . A8-13 Nation . . . . . . . . . A14-16 Classifieds . . . . . . . B5-10 Advice . . . . . . . . . . . B11 Comics . . . . . . . . . . . . B11 Calendar . . . . . . . . . B12
Corrections The Mountain Press is committed to accuracy. Please report factual errors by calling 428-0748 Ext. 214.
See teen, Page A4
Election for clerk this year ruled out By STAN VOIT Editor
Need for blood donations continuous
Celebrities in the news
to whether Robinson had acted recklessly, and Judge Blackwood agreed with Poole’s contention that the young driver had not been. “He was a 17-yearold, limited-experience driver with three buddies in the car, and two 12-packs of beer, going to a party at the end of Allensville Road called
Campaign chair says $500,000 goal ‘doable’ By ELLEN BROWN Staff Writer PIGEON FORGE — United Way honorary campaign chairman Danny Devaney — also known as “Scraps” in Hoot N’ Holler’s dinner show — was clearly in good spirits at United Way of Sevier County’s 2010 Campaign Kickoff on Thursday at The Inn at The Christmas Place. He drew plenty of laughs from attendees as he encouraged new United Way board member (and good sport) Roger McFalls to fit him into a “straight jacket” with several belts, then attempted to get out of the jacket in record time. “I’m all fired up!” Devaney told the crowd. “We’re not going to just meet our goal, we’re going to beat our goal. If everyone can convince five people to come out and help, think what kind of a difference it would make. We’re going to raise a whole lot of money and help a whole lot of people.” United Way 2010 Campaign Chairwoman Amy Pangelinan of BB&T announced that the organization had set a campaign goal of $500,000. “I think it’s doable,” Pangelinan said. “One of the things I love about East Tennessee is the way the community comes together. We get behind things that See campaign, Page A4
Curt Habraken/The Mountain Press
United Way honorary chairman Danny Devaney encourages board member Roger McFalls to tie him good and tight as Devaney interjects a little humor into the kick off meeting.
There will not be an election in November to choose a new county clerk. Relying on opinions from several officials, County Mayor Larry Waters said Thursday voters will not elect a new county clerk until 2012. Why? The resignation of County Clerk Joe Keener II is not official until it is accepted by the full County Commission, several state officials say. Waters accepted Keener’s letter of resignation on Monday, which would have been more than 60 days from the November election — time to get the clerk election on the ballot. However, opinions from the Tennessee attorney general, the comptroller’s attorney and the state coordinator of elections were all in agreement that the resignation won’t be official until the entire County Commission accepts that. That will be done at a special meeting of the commission next Thursday. At that meeting, the commission is expected to name Chief Deputy Clerk Karen Cotter as interim clerk — she is now serving in a temporary role. At some point the commission will set up a process for appointing someone to serve as clerk until the 2012 election. See election, Page A4
D.C. rally reassures local man ‘Our country is not gone yet ...’ By ELLEN BROWN Staff Writer Fox News pundit Glenn Beck reported that 500,000 people attended his “Restoring Honor” rally in Washington on Saturday — a crowd that included Sevierville businessman Bill Burke. “I decided about two months ago that I was going,” said Burke, owner of Wild Bill’s Army Navy Store. “I went by myself, and my wife stayed here to run the store. The crowd over there was unbelievable — it was one of the best things I’ve ever seen.” Burke had a purpose for going, and he did not come away disappointed. “This was something I had to do for myself and my country,” he said. “It reassured me that our country is not gone yet.” Held on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial, the rally was intended to “restore honor to America,” Beck had said. Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was one of the event’s
headliners, stating she was there as “the mother of a soldier.” Religious themes, charity and national service were the topics at the forefront. Beck had urged parents to bring their children, and Burke said that he saw many of them there. “It was all ages, lots of kids,” he said. “They had members of the military on stage, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece was even there — she delivered a beautiful speech. “The rally was associated with the Tea Party — we all knew that — but they didn’t talk about politics. It was very peaceful. Everyone was there for the American people.” Burke, a New York native who has had his Sevierville store for around three-and-a-half years, said that he is “a patriot all the way.” “I was telling some folks from Long Island the other day about it, that there were 500,000 people out there just like them,” he said. “That said to the Submitted government, ‘Open your eyes — there Sevierville businessman Bill Burke attended the recent are people out there who really care.’” “Restoring Honor” Rally in Washington, which was held in front of the Lincoln Memorial. n email@example.com
A2 ◆ Local
The Mountain Press ◆ Friday, September 3, 2010
TDOT halting highway lane closures for holiday weekend Submitted Report The Tennessee Department of Transportation is once again halting all lane closure activity on interstates and state highways for the Labor Day holiday travel period. More than 600,000 Tennesseans are expected to travel by car this holiday. Construction crews will stop
all lane closure activity beginning at noon on Friday through 6 a.m. Tuesday. “The Labor Day holiday is one of the busiest travel periods of the year,” said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. “As thousands of people hit the road in Tennessee, we want to ensure they get to their destinations quickly and safely without road construction delays.”
While lane closure activity will be stopped, workers will still be on site in many construction zones. Drivers convicted of speeding in work zones where workers are present face a fine of $250 to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums. The summer travel season is expected to close with almost 10 percent more travelers dur-
ing the Labor Day weekend than during the same period in 2009. AAA Auto Club South projects 658,864 Tennesseans will travel this Labor Day holiday, with 629,301 traveling by car and 18,242 traveling by air. Nationwide, travel is expected to be up 10 percent compared to 2008. Tennessee is anticipated to experience a 9.7 percent increase in travel through
the state compared to last year’s numbers. For up-to-date travel information, motorists can call 5-1-1 from any land line or cell phone or visit www.tn.gov/tdot/tdotsmartway. Travelers can also get instant traffic alerts by following TDOT on Twitter. For a list of available Twitter feeds visit www.tn.gov/tdot/mediaroom/ info.htm.
Maryville College to host Sept. 15 reporter imprisoned in Iran
Emergency Radio Service presents highest award
The Sevier County Emergency Radio Service has presented its highest award, honorary life membership, to John Mathews, director of Sevier County EMA; and D. Todd Spence of Sevier County EMS/Rescue Squad. The Honorary Life Member’s Award is given to individuals who contribute to emergency operations above and beyond what can be expected. The awards were presented by Rick Sawaya Sr., president of SCERS, and Darrell Sperry, Sevier County radio service officer.
Neyland Stadium gets new look Volunteers open Saturday night Submitted Report KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee welcomes fans to campus Saturday for the first home football game of the season. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. against the Skyhawks UT Martin. Gates open at 4 p.m. VideoSeat pay-perview will televise the game. Fans approaching Neyland Stadium will immediately notice the new plaza at Gate 21, complete with an arched entrance, permanent bench seating, brick walkways and
landscaping. Just outside Gate 21, a new amphitheater serves as the location for a live broadcast of the kickoff show. Other features of the newly-renovated stadium: The Tennessee Terrace, a 1,804seat area located just below the club seats on the west side; a large display area at Gate 16 that eventually will house a statue of Gen. Robert Neyland; and large murals of legendary former Vols on the exterior of the stadium, featuring Neyland, Johnny Majors, Al Wilson, Peyton Manning, Doug Atkins and Reggie White. UT Athletics will introduce a fan text messaging system. The system allows
fans to request immediate assistance from event management and security personnel through a text message. From a personal cell phone, fans can text the location and details pertaining to an incident, including the section, row and seat number, to 69050. The start of the traditional Vol Walk has been moved in front of the C-8 parking lot on Volunteer Boulevard, east of the intersection with Lake Loudoun Boulevard. The walk will begin at 3:45 p.m. The band will begin marching at 4:20 p.m. in front of the old band building on Volunteer Boulevard.
Fans also can attend the College of Arts and Sciences’ Pregame Faculty Showcase, now in its 21st year. Held two hours before each home game kickoff in the University Center Ballroom, Cathy Leach, professor in the School of Music, will speak on “Sound the Trumpet! Why This Versatile Instrument Is So Popular.” Only fans with permits can park on campus. UT encourages fans to use shuttle buses from the university’s Kingston Pike building, the Knoxville Civic Coliseum, the Old City and Market Square areas of downtown Knoxville and Farragut High School in west Knoxville.
Libraries set book discussions for the month Submitted Report Several book clubs are sponsored by the Sevier County Public Library System. The Fireside Book Club features contemporary, eclectic books.
The Inspirational Reading Club focuses on an author and his or her works instead of a specific book. The Literary Novels Book Club discusses previous and more recent classics. Each club holds a monthly meeting. September meeting dates, authors and books:
Fireside Book Club: 10 a.m. Sept. 10, King Family Library, to discuss Lisa See’s “Peony in Love.” Call Virginia Borelli at 365-1666 for more information. n Inspirational Reading Club: 1 p.m. Sept. 8, Seymour Library, to discuss B.J. Hoff and her books. Call Janet n
Persichetti at 573-0728 for more information. n Literary Novels Book Club: 5 p.m. Sept. 24, Kodak Library, featuring Harry Bernstein’s “The Invisible Wall: A Love Story that Broke Barriers.” Call Danielle Smothers at 9330078 for more information.
$1,000 bond. u Claude Nelson Hall, 25, of 1060 Valley View Circle in Sevierville, was charged Sept. 2 with public intoxication. He was being held. Julienne Kathleen Kebert, 33, of 414 Maryville Highway in
MARYVILLE — Roxana Saberi, an IranianAmerican journalist who was falsely accused of espionage and imprisoned for 100 days in Iran, will speak on Sept. 15 at the Clayton Saberi Center for the Arts on the Maryville College campus. Her lecture, titled “On the Streets of Tehran,” will focus on the six years she lived in Iran as a journalist and witnessed the developments leading up to the 2009 disputed Iranian election, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of Iranians calling for freedom and fighting for free and fair elections. The Iranian regime reacted by using deadly violence to stop to the protests, which sparked outrage among its citizens, as well as the international community. During her lecture, Saberi will discuss the political, cultural and historical significance of those events as they continue to develop and explain what it means for human rights and democracy, the Middle East and the world. Free and open to the public, the lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. A book signing for her memoir, Minor Emergency Room “Between Two Worlds: “Get it Right The 1st Time” My Life and Captivity in Iran,” will follow the lec- Full-Service Clinic offering:
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arrests Editor’s Note: The following information was taken from the intake reports at the Sevier County Jail. All people listed within this report are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law. u Phillip Allen Bemis, 31, of Appelton, Mo., was charged Sept. 2 with being a fugitive from justice. He was being held. u Jordan Dale Candler, 31, of 1480 Wendron Moor Drive in Sevierville, was charged Sept.. 2 with public intoxication and disorderly conduct. He was being held. u Rachel Ann Dean, 49, of 2570 Herb Ownby Way in Sevierville, was charged Sept. 1 with driving on a suspended license. She was released on $500 bond. u Daniel Ray Dodson, 19, of 408 Cynthia Lane in Seymour, was charged Sept. 1 with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was released. u Crystal Freeman, 28, of Commerce, Ga., was charged Sept. 2 with disorderly conduct. She was being held in lieu of
ture. Saberi grew up in Fargo, N.D., and is the daughter of Reza Saberi, who was born in Iran, and Akiko Saberi, who is from Japan. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a master’s in international relations from Cambridge University. Saberi arrived in Tehran in 2003 as a freelance journalist to open a news bureau for the independent broadcast news agency Feature Story News. FSN distributed her reports to broadcasters around the world, and Saberi’s work soon became familiar to many international audiences. She also occasionally contributed to NPR, PBS and Fox News. On Jan. 31, 2009, while researching a book on Iran, Saberi was arrested and put in solitary confinement. Blindfolded and interrogated for hours, she was promised freedom if she would falsely confess to being a spy. Saberi’s plight triggered an international uproar. On April 8, the Iranian government charged Saberi with espionage and sentenced her to eight years in prison. On May 10, her appeal was heard by an Iranian appeals court, and Saberi was freed from Evin Prison on May 11 — after 100 days in prison.
Seymour, was charged was released on $1,500 Sept. 1 with possession bond. of a schedule II substance. She was released on $1,000 bond. u Amy Lee Marlette, 39, of 535 Golf Road in Pigeon Forge, was charged Sept. 1 with public intoxication. She
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Friday, September 3, 2010 â—† The Mountain Press
Regular exercise needed for people with arthritis
Paula York, left, executive director of Douglas Cooperative in Sevierville, has been named Executive Director of the Year by the Tennessee Network of Community Organizations. Sen. Doug Overbey, right, of Maryville was selected Legislator of the Year.
Douglas Cooperativeâ€™s York named Executive of the Year Submitted Report Paula York, executive director of Douglas Cooperative in Sevierville, has been named Executive Director of the Year by the Tennessee Network of Community Organizations. York has served in various capacities with TNCO, including president. During the past year her efforts as co-chair of the membership committee have resulted in increased
membership in TNCO, revision/updating of dues formula, a reception for Legislative Day, the planning of annual membership meetings and awards luncheons, and a public relations tool kit for members to use. York continues to be active in the East Tennessee Regional TNCO provider group. York has been employed at Douglas Cooperative Inc. in Sevierville since 1988. She also worked
at Emory Valley Center in Kingston from 1978 to 1988. York graduated from Berea College in 1977 with a B.A. degree. She received her M.S. from the University of Tennessee in 1999. She is a member of Seymour United Methodist Churchâ€™s Finance Committee and Seymour United Methodist Women. She has a 25-year-old son, Brian.
4-H club meetings to resume The Homeschool 4-H Club will have its organizational meeting at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, in the 4-H Office at 752 Old Knoxville Highway, adjacent to the Sevier County Fairgrounds. The club is open to any homeschool or private school students in grades 4-12, residing in Sevier County. In-school 4-H clubs will begin with organizational meetings scheduled during October. Every fourththrough 12th-grade student in the Sevier County School System will have the opportunity to join a 4-H club at their local school. Announcements regarding the 4-H meetings will be made at each school. 4-H is the youth organization of the United States Department of Agriculture and The University of Tennessee Extension. 4-H encourages youth to develop their unique skills and talents to the fullest potential. Members â€œlearn by doingâ€? through hands-on activities and community involvement that empower youth to develop and strengthen life skills. Educational efforts target ten basic life skills that have been identified as essential for adult success. Targeted life skills include: achieving goals, building relationships, communicating, ethical decision making, healthy lifestyle choices, leadership, positive self-esteem, responsible citizenship,
responsibility and teamwork. Currently there are over 3,800 members in Sevier County in 200 organized clubs. Each of these clubs has a set of five officers that provide leadership to their individual club. Through the club activities and individual project work emphasis is placed on community citizenship involvement along with the development of leadership and public speak-
ing skills. There are a multitude of learning experiences offered throughout the year. These include speech, poster, essay, baking and photography contest; 4-H project work; hands-on workshops for each event; craft workshops; pet show, exhibiting livestock; summer workshops and several different camp experiences. There are no fees to join 4-H in Sevier County. If you need more information, contact me or visit utextension.tennessee.edu/sevier. â€” Glenn Turner is a Sevier County agricultural extension service agent.
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apply heat or cold treatments to the area you will be exercising. Heat relaxes your joints and muscles, while cold can reduce pain and swelling. n Cool down after exercising. Cooling down for five to 10 minutes after exercising lets your process spread out over heart slow down and several weeks or more. helps your muscles relax. A good general rule is To cool down, simply do to stop exercising if you your exercise activity at start having sharp pain or more pain than usual. a slower pace, such as walking slowly. n Know your bodyâ€™s n The more you move, signals. During the first the more you can move. few weeks of your exerTalk to your doctor about cise program, you may the right kind of exercise notice that your heart beats faster, you breathe for you. The University of faster and your muscles feel tense when you exer- Tennessee Extension in Sevier County will be cise. These are normal offering a free Arthritis reactions to exercise. Foundation Exercise n Warm up your musProgram Series from cles before exercising. 9:30 â€“ 10:30 a.m. Begin your activity at a Mondays and Thursdays, slow pace and gradually Oct. 4-28. Registration work to a faster pace. is required. Class size is n Wear comfortable limited, and participants clothes and shoes. n Donâ€™t hurry. Exercise are accepted on â€œfirst come, first serve basis.â€? at a comfortable, steady â€” Linda Hyder is a pace that allows you Sevier County agriculturto speak to someone al extension service agent without running out of who works with family breath. This pace gives and consumer sciences your muscles time to programs. Call her at 453relax between each rep3695 or e-mail to lhyder@ etition. utk.edu. n Before exercise,
Gatlinburg offers first aid, CPR classes GATLINBURG â€” The Gatlinburg Recreation Department announces Red Cross first aid and CPR classes to be held at the Community Center. Classes will be held Wednesdays according to the following schedule: Sept. 15, Adult CPR; Sept. 29, First aid; Oct. 13, Child & Infant CPR; Oct. 27, Adult CPR; Nov. 10, First aid; Dec. 1, Child & Infant CPR The classes begin at 5:30 p.m. and
last approximately three and one-half hours. A $10 registration fee must be paid at the Community Center by Tuesday before each class. The balance of $12.50 for CPR class must be paid on the day of the class. The same book and supplies will be used in the first aid class, if taken by the same person. For more information, contact Sherry Jochen at 436-4990.
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Along with medicine, rest and other parts of your treatment program, regular exercise can keep your joints in working order so you can continue your daily activities. It may also prevent further joint damage. Almost everyone can do some form of exercise, and exercise is beneficial because it keeps your muscles, bones and joints healthy. The stronger the muscles are around your joints, the better they will be able to support and protect those joints â€” even those that are weak and damaged from arthritis. Exercise also helps keep your joints as flexible as possible, allowing you to maintain your independence and quality of life. The Arthritis Foundation recommends the following tips for encouraging movement: n Control your weight: Lose one pound, and thatâ€™s four pounds of pressure off each knee. Losing as little as 11 pounds may reduce joint pain and help prevent knee arthritis. n Donâ€™t do too much too fast. Building endurance should be a gradual
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A4 ◆ Local
The Mountain Press ◆ Friday, September 3, 2010
Wallace Edward Layman
Wallace Edward Layman, age 72 of Sevierville, passed away Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. Mr. Layman was retired from ALCOA after 33 years of service and was a member of Murphy’s Chapel United Methodist Church. He was preceded in death by his parents, Pearl and Katie Lee Layman and brothers, James and Asa Layman. Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Marlene Layman; daughters and sons-in-law, Kelly and Stan Howard, Rebecca and Brent Cusick; grandchildren, Ben Howard and wife Loralyn, Charlotte Howard, Brady and Braxton Cusick; nephew, Steve Layman; special niece, Jamie Brackins and other nephews and nieces; and sisters-in-law, Carolyn Williams, Janette Layman-Ballard. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1942. Funeral service 11 a.m. Saturday in the West Chapel of Atchley Funeral Home with Rev. Royce Bailey, Rev. Janet Edwards and Rev. John Clark officiating. Interment will follow in Murphy’s Chapel Cemetery. The family will receive friends 4-6 p.m. Friday at Atchley Funeral Home, Sevierville. n www.atchleyfuneralhome.com
Grady Edward Smith Grady Edward Smith, age 74 of Sevierville, passed away Wednesday, September 1, 2010. He was a faithful member of Banner Baptist Church. Mr. Smith was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Mary Smith; sisters, Louise Young, Ezalee Ward and baby sister Iva Ruth Smith. Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Hattie Maples Smith; sons and daughterin-law, Ronnie and Bonnie Smith, Jerry Smith; daughters and sons-in-law, Evelyn and Rodney Shults, Linda and Curtis McCarter; grandchildren, Stephanie Patterson and husband Matt, Steven Smith and wife Amanda, Nicolas Shults, Shelby Smith, Kirsten McCarter, Haley McCarter; great-grandchildren, Alley Ownby, Hayden Patterson, Emily Patterson; brothers, Ray, Henry, Floyd, Fred and Gene Smith; sisters, Kate Gray and Peggy Smith; and his special friends at church. Memorial contributions may be made to The Gideon’s International, Sevierville/Kodak Camp, P.O. Box 5277, Sevierville, Tennessee, 37864. Funeral service 7 p.m. Friday in the West Chapel of Atchley Funeral Home with Rev. Clay Sutton and Rev. Jerry Ogle officiating. Interment 10 a.m. Saturday in Williamsburg Cemetery. The family will receive friends 5-7 p.m. Friday at Atchley Funeral Home, Sevierville. n www.atchleyfuneralhome.com
Robert F. Brittle
Robert F. Brittle, age 71 of Sevierville, passed away Wednesday, September 1, 2010. Mr. Brittle was a member of First Baptist Church, Pigeon Forge. “Whistling Bob,” as he was affectionately known, sang throughout the county at nursing homes, churches, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the annual Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge. He was preceded in death by his father Gabriel Brittle and mother Aline Trussel. Survivors include his wife, Sharon Brittle; daughters and sons-in-law Monica and Lesley Mitchell, Teresa and Bill Wiggins; grandchildren, Lauren, Lindsey and Matthew Mitchell; sister, Betty Rose Remaley and husband Robert Remaley, Sr.; nieces and nephews, Gail Collins, Gladys Premo, Terry Redwine, Barbara Cuellar and Robert Remaley, Jr. The family will receive friends 1-2 p.m. Saturday with memorial service to follow at 2 p.m. Saturday in the East Chapel of Atchley Funeral Home. Rev. Timothy Dunahoo will officiate. Arrangements by Atchley Funeral Home, Sevierville. n www.atchleyfuneralhome.com
Tommy E. Rhodes
Steven Rhodes and wife Diane, and Sam Rhodes; three grandTommy E. Rhodes, 72 of children; brothers, Lawrence and Sevierville, died Wednesday, Jesse Rhodes; sister, Rhoda Aug. 25, 2010. Ogden; nieces and nephews. He was a vetIn lieu of flowers, memorial eran of the United contributions can be made the States Air Force World Wide Work of Jehovah’s and retired from Witness at the local congregaSenior Flexonics tion. in Bartlett, Ill. Memorial service 2 p.m. before moving to Sevierville in 2000. He was a Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010 member of the local congrega- at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witness, 1316 Jay Ell Rd., tion of Jehovah’s Witness. Sevierville, with L. “Bud” Wolf Survivors: wife, Dorane officiating. Cremation arrangeRhodes; children, Jerry Rhodes ments by Atchley Funeral Home, and wife Lisa, Eileen Engel and Sevierville. husband Ed, Jane Rhodes,
3From Page A1
The Point,” Poole said of his client. Robinson’s actions did not rise to the legal definition of reckless, Poole said. That’s not the way parents of two others in the car saw it. Zayne McPeek and Phyllis Gentry, parents of Matthew Gentry, were upset over the judge’s ruling. “We’re both so angry and disappointed at the whole system,” McPeek said after the trial ended. “We’ve got to be able to tell these kids something. We just told these kids that if you can prove it’s an accident and have enough money to hire the right people, you can get out of it.” McPeek said he wanted Robinson to testify in court that he was “sorry for what he did. All I wanted was for him to stand up and be accountable.” Corey Robinson did not testify. Phyllis Gentry said, “I am irate at this while the whole justice system in this screwed up county gets by with taking a life with no punishment at all. It’s like my son’s life meant nothing.” Both were critical of the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s investigation of the accident. McPeek said THP “totally botched this case.” Poole indicated the highway patrol mishandled the investigation to determine car speed. Poole’s own experts found the car had been traveling in excess of the 35 mph speed limit, but not as fast as the 60 mph claimed by troopers in their evaluation of the scene. Poole said the judge believed his expert witnesses
more than the prosecution’s. Chrissty Tibbs is the mother of Corey Tibbs, who was seriously injured in the wreck and has permanent disability. She called the dismissal of charges “an injustice. “It’s like we told all kids and teenagers that it’s OK to drive reckless. The Tennessee (Highway Patrol) screwed up everything, and this kid walks free. It was an injustice to my son,” she said. Corey Tibbs’ testimony was a key part of the case, Poole said. Poole pointed out conflicts in separate statements Tibbs gave authorities. Tibbs’ mother said his medication causes memory lapses. Poole said he and the Robinson family asked that the Tibbs and Gentry families be allowed in the courtroom for the trial, something he said is not usually permitted in juvenile court cases. Poole said the Robinson family wanted the other two families to hear the testimony and evidence. Poole said Judge Blackwood, in dismissing the charges, ruled the incident was “an unfortunate teenage accident.” “There was no joy on either side,” Poole said. “Nobody was smiling and laughing on our side. It was a tragic accident. We all realize that. Corey Robinson lost his best friend and will forever feel that loss. Accidents happen, and that is what this was.” Phyllis Gentry said she and the other parents should have been allowed to testify. A civil suit filed against Robinson and his family by some of the other families is still pending. n firstname.lastname@example.org
State, Alabama complain about EPA ash hearings CHATTANOOGA (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is hearing gripes from Tennessee and Alabama officials who feel left out as the agency goes across the country asking if coal ash should be federally regulated as a hazardous material. Those are the two states most affected by the December 2008 spill in East Tennessee that sent a wave of toxic-laden coal ash and sludge into the Emory River and covered 300 acres, damaging homes, burying roads and raising health concerns. Some residents near a garbage landfill in rural west Alabama are not happy about trainloads of the ash being shipped to their neighborhood for disposal. The EPA is holding public hearings in Virginia, Colorado, Texas, North Carolina, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Kentucky before deciding if coal ash will be regulated for the first time as a “special” hazardous material. EPA officials aren’t saying why the agency won’t put Tennessee on the hearing schedule. EPA e-mails say the agency has held public hearings in Tennessee since the spill at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston Plant and anyone who wants to comment can send an e-mail message or letter until the comment period ends Nov. 19. EPA officials did not answer an Associated Press e-mail asking if they might add Tennessee and Alabama to the schedule of public hearings that continue through September. One Tennessee politician, Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, wants a public hearing in Tennessee.
meet to select their nominees instead of having voters choose in primaries. “After talking to all the state agencies, that’s not possible,” Waters said. “It is what it is. We’ll deal with it on that level.” The special commission meeting will be at 6 p.m. Thursday on the third floor of the courthouse. On Wednesday, a representative of the Tennessee Election Commission said he believed the county may actually be required to begin plans for a special election from the moment
a resignation letter is tendered. That would mean the clerk’s job opened up Monday, well before the 60-day window. Sevier County Commissioner Bryan Delius, an attorney, pointed out during the group’s meeting Wednesday that there is a State Supreme Court ruling that supports the idea of an immediate vacancy. But those opinions were overwhelmed by others that convinced Waters not to have an election in November. Officials with the
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have launched a “theft and embezzlement investigation” into the Sevier County clerk’s office, apparently focused on Keener. The TBI probe was requested after auditors discovered some financial discrepancies and called in more auditors to go over the books. Keener, who had served as clerk since 1992, at first took a leave of absence, then resigned on Monday in the letter to Waters. In his letter he made reference to paying back money to the office.
22 agencies operating in Denver. 3From Page A1 “I think that’s a great story, something that we can all get behind,” she we’re passionate about.” said. She went on to tell Executive Director Tom how United Way began: Newman also offered In Denver, a priest, two words of encouragement. ministers and a rabbi “I’ve been executive recognized the need to address their city’s welfare director of United Way for all of four months problems. They created the Charity Organizations now,” he said, garnering applause. “The mission of Society, the first “United United Way is to mobilize Way” organization, to the community. We’re serve as an agent to collect money for local health going to do whatever we can, to provide each of and welfare agencies, as well as to coordinate relief our community partners services, counsel and refer with as much support as we can.” clients to cooperating Newman noted that agencies and make emerwhile the organization gency assistance grants in previously had a staff cases which could not be of three, it now consists referred. of himself and Kathy In its first effort, the Voncannon, administraorganization raised $21,700 in a consolidated tive assistant. “Everyone is costfundraising campaign for
cutting, and so are we,” he said. “Over the last few months, we’ve been looking at foundation issues. We’re looking long-term — we’re going to do things right. “We’re excited and optimistic; Sevier County will rise to the occasion. We’re asking for your help, for your friends’ help.” Community Partners of United Way of Sevier County include the following: Boy Scouts Great Mountain Council, Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains, Child and Family Services Tennessee, Douglas Cooperative; Epilepsy Foundation,
Girl Scouts of Tanasi Council, Legal Aid of East Tennessee, Hearing and Speech Foundation, Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center, Safe Space, Samaritan Place; Senior Citizen Home Assistance Services, Sevier County Children’s Shelter, Sevier County Council on Aging, Sevier County Help Fund and Seymour Volunteer Fire Department. For more information on the organization and its 2010 campaign, visit www.uwosc.org.
3From Page A1
It would be the same appointment process used to name an interim sheriff after the death of Bruce Montgomery in 2007. Waters said he at first thought his acceptance of the letter would serve as the official acceptance. Since that happened more than 60 days before the Nov. 5 general election, it was possible to have a special election for clerk on that ballot. Political parties would
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