The Mountain Press ■ Sevier County’s Daily Newspaper ■ Vol. 25, No. 337 ■ December 3, 2009 ■ www.themountainpress.com ■ 50 Cents
Sevier’s windy cities
Ex-Forge leader Worsham dies at 90 By DEREK HODGES Staff Writer
5Future Lady Bulldog
to that part of Pigeon Forge. That sent police officers to intersections along the Parkway to
PIGEON FORGE — Former Pigeon Forge Mayor George Worsham, a man credited with helping to shape the city through his leadership during the 1970s, died Tuesday at the age of 90, leaving behind what City Manager Earlene Teaster calls “a Worsham huge hole.” Worsham served as a city commissioner from 1971 to 1979, including a stint from 1974 to 1975 as mayor. Teaster, who served with Worsham as a clerk for the city three decades ago, offered praise for him and sadness at his passing. “George was a very fine person and it’s a real loss to the city of Pigeon Forge and a sad time for those of us who knew him,” Teaster said. “He just absolutely loved Pigeon Forge, and a lot of really good things happened for the city, things that really shaped Pigeon Forge into what it is today, during his time in office.” Worsham began his service to the city 10 years after it was incorporated. During his tenure, Teaster said, Pigeon Forge implemented its gross receipts tax that has become a crucial source of income for the city, expanded the wastewater treatment facility, built a new welcome center, got a new post office and purchased the land for Patriot Park, among other things. “We did a lot of things under his leadership that
See WIND, Page A4
See WORSHAM, Page A4
G-P soccer player Schofield makes her college choice Sports, Page A8
5Out of the closet
Curt Habraken/The Mountain Press
Meredith Baxter reveals on national television she’s a late-in-life lesbian. CELEBRITIES, Page A6
Pigeon Forge street department workers chain saw a large cedar tree that is hanging on phone and cable lines on McMahan Road. The tree had already snapped the electric line.
Gusts of up to 80 mph sweep through county By DEREK HODGES Staff Writer
Tennessee execution State puts 1980 killer of three to death early Wednesday morning Page A5
Weather Today Partly Cloudy High: 46°
Tonight Partly Cloudy Low: 31° DETAILS, Page A6
Obituaries George Worsham, 90 Larry Hamrick, 69 Carol White, 66, Rebecca Mahon, 57 Roberta Shultz, 55 Wilma Gibson, 62
DETAILS, Page A4
Index Local & State . . . . A1-A6 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . A3 Money . . . . . . . . . . . . A5 Nation . . . . . . . . . . . . A5 Opinion . . . . . . . . . . . . . A7 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . A8 Classifieds . . . . . . . A9-12 Advice . . . . . . . . . . . A13 Comics . . . . . . . . . . . . A13
Corrections The Mountain Press is committed to accuracy. Please report factual errors by calling 428-0748 Ext. 214.
December entered with a roar this week as a cold front moving through the area brought wind gusts up to 80 miles per hour and brought trees down all across Sevier County. Emergency officials and crews with Sevier County Electric System were kept busy Wednesday responding to calls about trees down in roads and on power lines. At the peak, a few thousand folks were without power and traffic lights were off on a portion of the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, electric system Secretary/ Treasurer Allen Robins said. “Right now we have 91 outages affecting 1,833 of our 54,000 customers, but the number has been higher than that today,” Robins said early Wednesday afternoon. “The hardest-hit areas
Curt Habraken/The Mountain Press
A downed tree across Harrisburg Road awaits crews that were stretched to the limit. No power lines were affected and drivers could use alternate roads to get where they needed to go. are Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Wears Valley. We’re mostly seeing lines down and trees on the lines.” Crews also responded
to an incident in which a building’s awning was torn off and landed on power lines behind the James Manor Hotel, shutting off electric flow
Bite of Sevier offers tasty Toys for Tots fare By DEREK HODGES Staff Writer SEVIERVILLE — Just in case any residents had already made a full recovery from Thanksgiving, the local Marine Corps League detachment offered its annual Ruby Fox Bite of Sevier County on Tuesday evening, drawing a huge crowd to try dishes from 10 area eateries. The popular event serves as the last fundraiser of the year for the Sevier County Toys for Tots, which this year will likely brighten Christmas for 7,000 East Tennessee children. With the program seeing record demand, Tuesday’s gathering and the money it raised are more important than ever. “It’s critical that we do well here tonight,” Toys for Tots coordinator John Linnert said. “There are a lot of children in Sevier County who would have to go without this Christmas without the generosity of Amanda Williams/AC Photography people like the ones who are here tonight. We will make sure that every kid who needs it in this county Attendees of the annual Bite of Sevier County load their plates with offerings from 10 local has a toy under the tree.” eateries during the Tuesday evening event, a See TOTS, Page A5 fundraiser for Toys for Tots.
Shelter’s Champagne Auction set for Saturday By ELLEN BROWN Staff Writer
The Sevier County Humane Society is gearing up for its biggest fundraiser of the year, its Champagne Auction, set for 1 p.m. Saturday at the Sevierville Civic Center. “This allows us to continue to serve our homeless animals and the citizens of Sevier County,” said Humane Society board member Cheri Hagmeier. “It’s an afternoon of festivities and fun. There’s See AUCTION, Page A5
Santa Fund gifts are meaningful to givers, receivers The true joy of Christmas is in giving, not receiving, That’s why gifts to The Santa Fund are so meaningful. The Santa Fund provides a happier Christmas to seniors and children, who have signed up through local agencies. The fund is coordinated by Jana Thomasson, publisher of
The Mountain Press. The latest contributions: n $50: R i c h a r d Keveson n $30: Pauline Davis Contributions can be made
in two ways: n Mail to The Mountain Press, P.O. Box 4810, Sevierville 37864 n In person at our offices, Riverbend Drive across from TRW in Sevierville, weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. All contributions will
be acknowledged in The Mountain Press, unless the donor wishes to remain anonymous. Donations also can be made in memory or honor of other people. The deadline for donations is Dec. 18. Call 428-0756, ext. 217, with questions.
A2 â—† Local
The Mountain Press â—† Thursday, December 3, 2009
Man charged in connection with vehicle deaths in park From Submitted Reports ASHEVILLE, N.C. â€” A Cincinnati man has been charged in connection with the deaths of two people in an Aug. 19 vehicle accident in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Clyde L. Grubbs, 74, of Cincinnati faces two criminal counts in connection with a motor vehicle accident that occurred in Swain County, N.C., and claimed the lives of two South Carolina motorcyclists. Grubbs was charged on
Nov. 3 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina. He is charged with death by vehicle, a Class I misdemeanor, and driving left of center. If convicted, he faces up to six months in jail for the first and more serious charge.
Grubbs is scheduled to make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Asheville on Dec. 14. According to the charges contained in the federal bill of information, two persons were fatally injured when their motorcycle was hit by
a vehicle driven by Grubbs. According to official documents, Grubbs was traveling southbound on Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 411) driving an Oldsmobile Bravado mid-sized SUV when he allegedly crossed the centerline and sideswiped a
2008 Mercury Milan sedan, then continued on to hit a Harley-Davidson motorcycle head-on. The driver of the Mercury, a 41-year-old man from Waynesville, N.C., was treated and released from Swain County Hospital.
Man charged with making false report From Submitted Reports
The Sevier County Choral Society presents two Christmas concerts in the Sevier County area. Pictured is the group during a performance last year at Gatlinburg Presbyterian Church. Director is David Wright, far right front.
Choral Society sets two holiday concerts From Submitted Reports The Sevier County Choral Society will present two concerts featuring holiday music. The schedule: n 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11, First United Methodist Church, 214 Cedar St., Sevierville n 4 p.m. Dec. 13, Gatlinburg Presbyterian Church, 237 Reagan Drive Admission is free. A donation box for contributions will be at the door.
Music will include Vivaldiâ€™s â€œGloriaâ€? as well as familiar carols and popular holiday music, including â€œI Wish You Christmasâ€? and â€œLook to the Dayâ€? by John Rutter, â€œFour Christmas Carolsâ€? arranged by Tenna Chinn, â€œFour English Carolsâ€? arranged by John Emert, â€œJoy to the Worldâ€? by David T. Clydesdale, â€œGesu Bambinoâ€? by Pietro Yon, and â€œFinale for Christmasâ€? arranged by Phillip Kern. The Choral Society sponsors
a scholarship program for high school students who participate with the group. Scholarship money is $500 per calendar year of participation. Patrons of the Sevier Choral Society receive recognition in the concert program. Donation categories range from $24 and under to Sustaining Patron for $1,000. For information about advertising and patron sponsorships, contact David Wright, 429-0252.
tion and learned that the crime scene and report A Sevier County man did not match. Further has been charged with investigation determine making false reports in that Moore had made the story up and caused the connecinjury to himself, Sheriff tion with Ron Seals said. a stabbing Moore was charged that was with filing a false report, reported and his bond was set at on Nov. $3,500. Additional charg20 es are pending into anothAllan er alleged false report Dwaine Moore filed several weeks Moore, 27, Moore prior to this incident. of 2366 Webb Road, Sevierville, had gone to Fort Sanders Sevier Medical Center with a laceration to the chest and told authorities he had been stabbed while walking in his neighborhood. Sheriffâ€™s detectives â€œI can unlock great conducted an investigainformation with my fingerâ€?
Here Comes Santa Claus! at Sevier Farmers Coop Saturday, December 12, 2009 9:30a.m.-1:00p.m.
Have your picture taken with Santa for $5 and receive a 4x6 color picture while you wait.
Sevier Farmers Co-op Chapman Hwy. Sevierville
(OURS -ON &RI AM PM s 3AT AM PM
Sevierville man held after burglary charges Submitted Report A Sevier County man has been arrested in connection with a home burglary on Old Newport Highway. Officers responded to a 911 call from a resident on Old Newport Highway who confronted a suspect who allegedly had just
burglarized his home. Officers arrived and arrested Bobby Joe Parton, 46, of 3104 Old Newport Parton Highway, Sevierville. Detectives found that
Parton forced open a side door and entered the residence, Sheriff Ron Seals said. The home owner, who was working outside, discovered the burglary and located the subject as he was exiting the front door. The home owner detained the suspect and called 911 until officers
arrived, Seals said. Parton was charged with aggravated burglary, theft of items worth over $500 and vandalism over $500. He is being held at the Sevier County Jail without bond. A hearing has been set in Sevier County General Sessions Court.
Reports of nuisance bear sightings up locally By BOB MAYES Managing Editor SEVIERVILLE â€” Sevierville police spokesman Bob Stahlke says the number of calls about nuisance bears is higher than usual this year, but an officer responding to an unusual one Wednesday found nothing. Animal control officer Dave Clinton responded to a call that came in around 12:30 p.m. from the Denton Road area saying a very young cub was in a tree, Stahlke said. However, by the time Clinton and a representative from the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency arrived, the cub had left and there was no sign of his mother. Several sightings of a mother bear and a cub had been reported in the area, including one on Tuesday night in which the caller said she thought the mother might have been shot. â€œThe caller ... said she heard gunshots in the area where she saw the mother and her cub,â€? Stahlke said. â€œWe have no evidence the
mother was shot, although it is unusual to see a cub without its mother.â€? Stahlke said it appears that this mother and cub are not the same family as the mother and three cubs that have been spotted several times in the vicinity of the Pigeon ForgeGatlinburg Airport. â€œWe think there is more
than one group, but we arenâ€™t positive,â€? he said. He reminded anyone who spots a bear in a residential area to follow the standard advice offered by law authorities. â€œOur advice is to leave them alone,â€? Stahlke said. â€œKeep your distance. Do not feed them under any circumstances because
this just keeps them in the area. Remember, they are wild animals and are dangerous.â€? Anyone who spots a bear should call the Sevierville Police Department at 4535506. n email@example.com
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