The Mountain Press ■ Sevier County’s Daily Newspaper ■ Vol. 25, No. 339 ■ December 5, 2009 ■ www.themountainpress.com ■ 50 Cents
Hillside rules move forward
5American convicted in Italy
By DEREK HODGES Staff Writer
Woman sentenced to 26 years in prison for murdering roommate World, Page A5
Curt Habraken/The Mountain Press
5UT’s repeat performer Tennessee defensive back Eric Berry wins AllAmerica honor again sports, Page A8
Doctor returns from Baghdad Local physician back home after serving overseas Page A3
Weather Today Snow likely High: 38°
Tonight Partly cloudy Low: 24° DETAILS, Page A6
Obituaries James Hamrick, 69 Charles Henry Miller, 91 Imogene Parton, 83 George Worsham, 90,
DETAILS, Page A4
Joshua McLain and his wife Misty share a moment with their daughter Kailey, left, and fellow guardsman Steven Browning’s daughter Ehrin.
The royal treatment
Christmas party held for troops By ELLEN BROWN Staff Writer PIGEON FORGE — Members of the 278th Armored Calvary Division and their loved ones are preparing for the group’s deployment to Iraq — but on Friday at the National Guard Armory, it was all about celebrating the holiday season and family togetherness. The Family Readiness Group hosted the Christmas party for guard members and their families that lasted for most of the day. The event was planned as a special send-off for the 278th Division before they leave Sunday morning for Mississippi. After they receive training there, they will move on to Iraq. “We’ve done cookouts and other stuff like that, but nothing this big,” said Lt. Paul Keller. “This is the largest event we’ve ever done,” agreed Reena Brooks, president of the Family Readiness Group. “We decided we wanted to give our soldiers an elaborate celebration they deserve. The community support has been phenomenal. People have been so selfless, so giving.” Chef’s Catering prepared a big feast for the attendees, who also enjoyed music from DJ David Lee from Sundown. There was also arts See Party, Page A4
Index Local & State . . . . . A1-6 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . A2 Opinion . . . . . . . . . . . . . A7 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . A8-11 Money . . . . . . . . . . . A12 Advice . . . . . . . . . . . A15 Comics . . . . . . . . . . . . A15 Classifieds . . . . . . A13-14 Nation . . . . . . . . . . . . A5 World . . . . . . . . . . . . . A5
Corrections The Mountain Press is committed to accuracy. Please report factual errors by calling 428-0748 Ext. 214.
Curt Habraken/The Mountain Press
Brandon Neal demonstrates his dancing prowess on the dance floor, much to the delight of Ben Burns.
SEVIERVILLE — More than a year’s-worth of effort — hours-long meetings, debates over minutiae, field trips, PowerPoint presentations — on the part of the county’s Hillsides Taskforce has been boiled down to just five pages of proposed regulations. The most recent version of the group’s recommendations took another step forward Thursday morning, as the Planning Commission’s Rules and Regulations Committee voted unanimously to pass it on to the full commission. That body and the County Commission will each have to give their approval to the effort before the proposed rules go into effect. That document is something of an blending of the group’s recommendations and heavy edits by the county’s planning staff. Included are rules that would change the way development is done on steeply-sloped property that would kick in for property with an average slope of 30 percent or greater. That number is higher than the group’s suggestion of 25 percent because planning staffers worried the lower figure would cover too much of the county. Also changed from the original suggestions turned out by the task force is the proposal for a Hillside Overlay District, which has been completely removed from the current document. County Planner Jeff Ownby said that cut was made to streamline the rules and make them easier to enforce. What remains is the creation of a Critical Slope Floating Zone and rules that apply in it, part of recommendations originally made by an engineering firm brought in to the area to do a study on local development. That area, triggered at that 30 percent level, will be administered just like any other zoning designation, Ownby said. Planning staff members See Hillsides, Page A4
State, local crews prepare Santa Fund receives additional donations for predicted snowfall By DEREK HODGES Staff Writer As Sevier County faces its first snow potential of the season, local road crews are getting ready for their first test of what may be many this year. City, county and state workers were busy Friday loading salt into their trucks and spreading brine, a salt and water mixture that helps keep roads from becoming icy, on local thoroughfares. According to Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) spokesman Travis Brickey, workers with the state agency started preparing months before the first snowflake fell. That means stockpiling 53,000 tons of granular salt and 177,000 gallons of salt brine for the East Tennessee area. TDOT crews started Friday morning spreading that salty mixture on all state routes, U.S. highways and interstates in the area. Additionally, those
workers were out in force all night and will continue their efforts today putting down salt on slick spots. That work, however, will only cover those roads in the counties. For other local roads county crews will have to pick up the ball, while all thoroughfares in the cities will be seen to by municipal crews. In Pigeon Forge, Street Department workers spent Friday morning going over their equipment, some of which hasn’t been put into service in several months, to make sure everything is running as it should. “We did all of our checks this morning and now we’re just kind of waiting until we get the order to go out,” Supervisor Earl Ward said Friday afternoon. Ward is the one in charge of giving that order, keeping an eye on the radar and the skies through night and day to stay ahead of the precipitaSee Snow, Page A4
The Santa Fund is nearing the $6,000 mark, thanks to generous donors. The latest contributions: n $100: Jeffery and Georgia Scott n $25: Victor Rogers n $25: Charles Metcalfe n $25: In memory of Leah Avril by Clay Branton The Santa Fund benefits senior citizens and children who registered for assistance. It is coordinated by Jana Thomasson, publisher of The Mountain Press. 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.
A2 â—† Local
The Mountain Press â—† Saturday, December 5, 2009
Community Calendar Editorâ€™s Note: The community calendar is printed as space permits. Only noncommercial, public events held in Sevier County will be considered. They are listed by date. To place an item phone 4280748, ext. 214, or e-mail to editor@themountainpress. com. Items may be faxed to 453-4913.
Saturday, Dec. 5 Haircut Benefit
Jack The Clipperâ€™s Hair Studio, 7419 Chapman Highway, will give haircuts for $15 from 9-4 to benefit a Sevier County woman who has cancer. All of the proceeds will go to her medical expenses. 5777600.
Sevierville Christmas Parade 11 a.m. on Forks of the River Parkway and Court Avenue. 453-6411. Toys for Tots sign-ups 9-5, Belz Mall (old KB Toy Store). Picture ID, proof of residency, birth certificate or social security card for each child. 429-9002 or e-mail johnlinnert@ mc11206.com
UT Medical Center mobile mammography screenings 9-4, Roaring Fork Baptist Church, Gatlinburg. Insurance filed. 305-9753. Annual yule log burning 5:30-7 p.m. at Pittman Center Town Hall. Free. Includes food, caroling and Santa Claus.
Angel Food orders: n 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Gum
Santaâ€™s Workshop at Pathways Church, 1126 Wagner Drive, Sevierville, 8-11 a.m. Includes pancake breakfast, pictures with Santa, crafts.
Hills Creek Baptist Church in Gatlinburg benefit auction, dinner and singing 4-7 p.m. Proceeds go to youth group. 654-6826.
Toys For Tots
Yule Log Burning
Stand Baptist Church, 3031 Veterans Blvd., Pigeon Forge. 429-2508. n 10-2 and 4-7, First Smoky Mountain Church of the Nazarene, 2652 Upper Middle Creek Road. 9081245. n 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. River Of Life Outreach, 110 Simmons Road, Seymour. 679-6796. n 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., The Fatherâ€™s House, 139 Bruce Street, Sevierville. 2869784 or 230-1526.
Heaven Bound Baptist Church benefit singing 2 p.m. featuring Answered Prayer and Locust Ridge singers. Donations accepted for Margie Vance medical expenses. 654-1283.
Bradleyâ€™s Chapel Baptist Church singing 7 p.m., with Nickel Family. 908-3224.
Holiday Craft Fair
MountainBrook Village Holiday Craft Fair 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 700 Markhill Drive. 428-2445, ext. 107.
Sunday, Dec. 6 â€œNight in Arabyâ€?
â€œNight in Arabyâ€? stage musical 3 p.m. at Gatlinburg Elks Lodge, to benefit Christmas Basket Fund for families in need. $10. 436-7550.
Holiday Skate Sale!!! â€œ#1 Selling Skate on Marketâ€? Reidell R3 All Sizes only $99
Seymour Story Time
Spaghetti dinner at Shady Grove Methodist Church, 1675 Harold Patterson Road, Dandridge, 12:30-2 p.m. $6 adults, children 6 and under and veterans free. (865) 397-7453 for tickets.
Angel Food orders: n noon to 1 p.m. River Of Life Outreach, 110 Simmons Road, Seymour. 679-6796.
Monday, Dec. 7 Gold Wing Riders
Gold Wing Road Riders Association meets 6:30 p.m. at IHOP Sevierville. 660-4400.
LeConte Photographic Society meets 6:30 p.m., First Presbyterian Sevierville. Rob Mosely
of PicsReasy in Raleigh, Va., will present program.
Angel Food orders: n 2-5 p.m. Gum Stand Baptist Church, 3031 Veterans Blvd., Pigeon Forge. 429-2508 n 10-2 and 4-7, First Smoky Mountain Church of the Nazarene, 2652 Upper Middle Creek Road. 9081245. n 8:30 a.m. â€“ 3:30 p.m. Kodak UMC, 2923 Bryan Road. 933-5996. Credit card and EBT orders at www.angelfoodministires. com.
Prayer In Action
Prayer In Action, Concerned Women of America, meets at 6 p.m., Pigeon Forge UMC. 4360313.
Preschool story time 11 a.m. at Seymour Library. 573-0728.
Sevier County High Football boosters meet 5:30 p.m. in Steve Brewerâ€™s classroom at fieldhouse. Player parents invited. 679-5162.
Beekeepers Association meets 7 p.m. at courthouse, upstairs. Potluck dinner. 453-1997.
Womenâ€™s Bible Study
Garlands of Grace womenâ€™s Bible study: n 10 a.m. Seymour Heights Christian Church (enter last door on right side), Chapman and Boyds Highway, Seymour n 1 p.m., Gatlinburg Inn, Gatlinburg
GateKeepers menâ€™s community Bible study, 6:30 p.m., 2445 Scenic Mt. Drive, Sevierville. (865) 310-7831.
Tuesday, Dec. 8 S.I.T.
Seniors In Touch (S.I.T.) meets 5 to 6 p.m., MountainBrook Village, 700 Markhill Drive, Sevierville. 428-2445.
Garlands of Grace
Womenâ€™s Bible Study: n 1 p.m. Foxtrot B&B, Gatlinburg. 426-0313. n 6:30 p.m. UMC, Pigeon Forge. 640-7904.
$10 $20 and $50 Perfect gift for the whole Family 2891 PARKWAY PIGEON FORGE, TN (LOCATED AT TRAFFIC LIGHT#4 IN PIGEON FORGE)
Angel Food orders: n 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Gum Stand Baptist Church, 3031 Veterans Blvd., Pigeon Forge. 429-2508.
Wednesday, Dec. 9 Dinner/Auction
Seymour United Methodist Church annual Gifts for the Christ Child dinner, silent auction. 573-9711.
Sevierville Story Time
Preschool story time 10:30 a.m., Sevier County Main Library. 453-3532.
For Santa to call your child age 4-9, contact Sevierville Community Center. Calls will be made 6-8 p.m. Dec. 15 and 17. Registration through Dec. 9. Space limited. 453-5441 to register.
Thursday, Dec. 10 Womenâ€™s Bible Study
Garlands of Grace womenâ€™s Bible study: n 9 a.m. UMC Pigeon Forge n 2 p.m. Blue Mountain Mist B&B, Pullen Road n 6:30 p.m. Seymour UMC, back entrance n 6:30 p.m. Sevierville UMC, Conference Room
TOPS weight loss chapter meets 6 p.m. Parkway Church of God, Sevierville. 755-9517 or 429-3150.
Gatekeepers menâ€™s Bible study, 6:30 p.m. 1328 Old Newport Highway, Sevierville. 908-0591.
Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries provides hot meals 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Sevierville.
Friday, Dec. 11 Kodak Story Time
Preschool story time 11 a.m. Kodak Library, featuring Puppet Lady. 9330078.
Sevierville Garden Club to travel to Racheff House for Christmas Greens Tea. Meet at Senior Center at 10:45 a.m. to carpool.
Softball Team Benefit
Sevier County High School softball team hosts silent auction/spaghetti dinner in cafeteria at 6:30 p.m. $5; children under 4 free. Tickets at door or by calling 202-9097.
Choral Society Concert
Sevier County Choral Society holiday concert 7:30 p.m., First United Methodist Church, Sevierville. Free. 429-0252 or 800-987-7771.
New Hope Christmas Show
â€œChristmas â€” Around the World and Through the Agesâ€? will play today, Saturday and Sunday at New Hope Church in Kodak, 2450 Winfield Dunn Parkway. Performances are at 7 p.m. today and Saturday. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. A final performance is 10 a.m., Sunday. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. Call 804-3300 for free tickets.
SCHS Softball Fundraiser
Sevier County High School Softball Team spaghetti dinner 6:30 to 7:15 p.m., auction 7:15 p.m., in the school cafeteria. Tickets $5 each. Proceeds for building and equipment funding. 696-9993.
OUR GIFT TO YOUâ€Ś $ 49.95 HOLIDAY SPECIAL
#OMPLETE 3YSTEM #HECK s #LEANS #OILS s 4OP /FF &REON UP TO LBS /FFER %XPIRES
Holiday Gift Certificates Available Now:
Center pool to close at 3:30 p.m. for swim meet.
Save up to $3000 on new systems LAST CHANCE TO RECEIVE STIMULUS REBATE