The Mountain Press ■ Sevier County’s Daily Newspaper ■ Vol. 25, No. 343 ■ December 9, 2009 ■ www.themountainpress.com ■ 50 Cents
Letters deadline Today is the deadline for The Mountain Press to receive letters to Santa Claus for publication in a special section of the paper. Letters must be received by 5 p.m.
Coach pleads guilty in fatality
Wesley Teaster gets probation in motor vehicle death By JEFF FARRELL Staff Writer SEVIERVILLE — Pigeon Forge volunteer baseball coach Wesley Teaster pleaded guilty Tuesday to vehicular homicide by reckless conduct in the 2008 wreck that caused the death of friend and fellow coach Jeremy Chesney.
In a plea agreement reached with prosecutors, Teaster, who helps coach the Pigeon Forge High baseball team, admitted that his reckless driving led to the May 4, 2008, wreck that took the life of Chesney, who was a passenger in Teaster’s Jeep. The plea agreement calls for a five-year suspended sentence, to
be served on probation. Attorney Bryan Delius has submitted an application for judicial deferral that would allow Teaster, who was 20 at the time of the accident, to have the crime removed from his record if he completes probation; Hooper will take that request up at a Jan. 4 hearing where he will also outline the con-
ditions of Teaster’s probation. Delius said his client wanted to make it clear there was no evidence Teaster was driving under the influence at the time of the wreck. “It’s been widely reported that he was under the influence, but the evidence does not bear that See teaster, Page A5
Douglas Cooperative clients feted Lintner
gets max sentence: 2 years
5Mrs. Sanford speak out
By JEFF FARRELL Staff Writer
S.C. first lady: I wouldn’t have stood with governor
PIGEON FORGE — In this season of giving, folks who depend on 24 local assistance agencies and social programs are relying on Sevier County residents make some gifts that don’t come bundled in paper or bows. Supporters of United Way of Sevier County are making their final push for the 2009 fundraising campaign. With only at most about a week left in the effort, they’re still a long way from their goal and worried this may be the fourth year in a row they’ve fallen short. If that’s the case, United Way Director of Marketing Elaina DeLozier says, it will likely mean further cuts for the organizations that depend on funding from the campaign. That, in turn, could mean local residents who need help, a booming population as the recession drags on, may have fewer options for finding it. “There really is an urgency to this,”
SEVIERVILLE — Judge Richard Vance sentenced Paul Lintner, former kitchen supervisor for the Sevier County Jail, to the maximum two-year sentence on Tuesday for having sex with a male trusty while employed at the jail. Lintner pleaded guilty last month to a single felony count of having sexual contact with an inmate. Lintner His defense attorney, Charles Sexton, said at the time Lintner was making that plea because it was in his best interest. The state dropped another five counts of the same charge at that time. Vance reviewed presentations from both sides before announcing the sentence. The primary factor turned out to be Lintner’s prior convictions, which include a federal tax evasion conviction and forgery charges that first landed him at the jail. He became kitchen supervisor after first serving as an inmate himself. “His prior felony convictions justify enhancing his sentence to the maximum,” Vance said. Lintner will remain free on bond until Jan. 2, when he will report to the jail to begin serving his sentence. In outlining the case against Lintner after his guilty plea, prosecutor Steve Hawkins said Lintner was exchanging favors for sex. He took the victim to visit with family at a local grocery store, and took the man home on Christmas Day while the inmate was serving his sentence. Family members took photos of Lintner at the Christmas party that day, Hawkins said. The state’s evidence
See united way, Page A4
See lintner, Page A4
Nation, Page A13
This time it counts SCHS, Seymour play as district rivals Page A8
Sevierville Rotary Club members prepare plates full of turkey, ham, and trimmings during their annual Christmas party for the clients of Douglas Cooperative. At right, Douglas Cooperative clients go through and enjoy their goody bags after the meal. Photos by Curt Habraken/The Mountain Press
United Way drive shifts into urgency
Tonight Mostly Cloudy Low: 24° DETAILS, Page A6
By DEREK HODGES Staff Writer
Obituaries Ralph Styles, 70 John Joyce, 59 Mary Miller, 86 Marie Broas, 81 Harold Matheson, 68 DETAILS, Page A4
Index Local & State . . . . A1-12 Opinion . . . . . . . . . . . . . A7 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . A8-10 Money . . . . . . . . . . . A11 Nation . . . . . . . . . A11-13 Calendar . . . . . . . . . A12 Classifieds . . . . . . A13-15 Advice . . . . . . . . . . . A16 Comics . . . . . . . . . . . . A16
Corrections The Mountain Press is committed to accuracy. Please report factual errors by calling 428-0748 Ext. 214.
Curt Habraken/The Mountain Press
Summer Blalock, 21, of Sevierville, sits by her wrecked 2002 Jeep Liberty after an accident on Pittman Center Road just south of Mitchell Bottoms Tuesday morning. The right side wheels left the road and the Jeep went down into the ditch, where according to a witness who was driving towards the jeep, the vehicle flipped 3-4 times. A lucky Blalock received minor injuries and was transported by family. The Sevier County Rescue Squad, Caton’s Chapel Fire Department, Sevier County Ambulance, and the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department responded.
Contributions for Santa Fund climb to nearly $7,000 The Santa Fund inched toward the $7,000 mark Tuesday with nine new contributions. The latest donations, bringing the total to $6,870: n $200: Anonymous n $100: In memory of Julie n $100: In memory of Dr. Edward Wear n $100: Anonymous n $50: In honor of Sgt. 1st
Class Michael n $15: In memory of Brenda McNaughton Huskey by Mary Anne The Santa Fund benefits seniors and Randy who signed up for help through McNaughton Douglas Cherokee and children n $30: Harold registered through their Boys & and Dolores Baker Girls Club branch. n $25: Doyle and Contributions can be mailed to Carol Frazier The Mountain Press, P.O. Box n $15: In memory of Kay 4810, Sevierville 37864; or made Parton in person at our offices, Riverbend
Drive 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 428-0746, ext. 217, with questions.
A2 â—† Local
The Mountain Press â—† Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Huck is an 8-month-old terrier mix. Nine-year old Gabby is a Persian mix. Adoption fee for cats and dogs is $100 and includes their first set of vaccinations, spay/neuter and microchip. The Gnatty Branch Animal Shelter is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Adoptions Options booth at the Great Smokies Flea Market is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Fest of Christmas Past is Saturday From Submitted Reports NATIONAL PARK â€” Great Smoky Mountains National Park announces the 34th annual Festival of Christmas Past celebration scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Sugarlands Visitor Center. The event, sponsored in cooperation with Great Smoky Mountains Association, is free to the public. Festival of Christmas Past is an annual celebration of the culture of the Smoky Mountains, with an emphasis on the Christmas season. â€œAround Christmas time, people gathered in churches, homes and schools, and many of them celebrated the holiday through music, storytelling and crafts. Festival of Christmas Past allows us to pause and remember some of these traditions,â€? said Kent Cave, North District resource education supervisor. The festival will include old-time mountain music featuring the Lost Mill String Band, Boogertown Gap and South of the River Boys. Demonstrations of traditional domestic skills such as the making of baskets, lye soap, quilts, and apple butter will be ongoing throughout the day. Other special programs that will be presented include: n 9:30 a.m., old-fashioned harp singing led by Bruce Wheeler, Paul Clabo and Martha Graham n noon, Cuz Headrick telling stories of the holiday season n 1 p.m., â€œStories of the Pastâ€? session, presented by Smoky Mountain Historical Society n 2-3 p.m., â€œMemories Along the Trail.â€? Costumed interpreters will lead a short walk from the visitor center and talk about life in the mountains.
Seymour parade set for Saturday From Submitted Reports SEYMOUR â€” Seymourâ€™s 16th annual Christmas parade will be Saturday. The parade leaves from Valley Grove Baptist Church at 4 p.m. It will end at the Kroger store. L a s t y e a r â€™ s Landry parade can be viewed on YouTube by searching for Seymour Tennessee 2008 Christmas Parade. Applications to be in the parade are available at TriCounty News on Chapman Highway. Call 577-5935 for more information. This yearâ€™s grand marshal is Bill Landry of the Heartland series. He is currently involved with Roane State Community College restoring its Princess Theater. This is Landryâ€™s second time as grand marshal for the Seymour parade.
Allen Ray Doane, 55, of 3115 Sims Road, Sevierville, was brought to Sevier County to face previous charges of sexual battery. The listing published in Mondayâ€™s arrests reports was not a new charge. Editorâ€™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 Valerie Lynn Fennell, 29, of 4031 Hitching Post Road in Pigeon Forge, was charged Dec. 8 with two circuit court warrants. She was being held in lieu of $70,000 bond. u Katherine May Gonzalez, 49, of 244 Conner Heights Road in Pigeon Forge, was charged Dec. 7 with a misdemeanor warrant from general sessions court. She was being held. u Tony Craig Hardin, 28, of Maryville, was charged Dec. 7 with contempt of court. He was released on $1,600 bond. u Robert Lynn McCarter, 36, of 1146 Powder Mill Road in Gatlinburg, was charged Dec. 7 with general theft. He was being held in lieu of $1,500 bond. u Heath Barkley Sanchez, 25, of Knoxville, was charged Dec. 7 with violation of pre-trial bond release conditions and a misdemeanor warrant from general sessions court. He was being held. u Jarod Gary Seal, 29, of Dandridge, was charged Dec. 7 with a fourth count of DUI, violation of implied consent law and violation of open container laws. He was released on $5,000 bond. u Rodney Edward Shackleford, 28, of Newport, was charged Dec. 7 with a misdemeanor warrant from general sessions court. He was being held. u Brittney L. Shipley, 25, of Newport, was charged Dec. 7 with theft of property worth $1,000 to $10,000 and burglary. She was released on $5,000 bond. u Steven David Standifer, 30, of 2540 Parkway 163 in Pigeon Forge, was charged Dec. 8 with driving on a suspended license. He was released. u Ronnie Chris Stansbury, 67, of 3741 Thomas Cross Road in Sevierville, was charged Dec. 7 with reckless endangerment. He was released on $2,000 bond. u Paul Jay Vasallo, 37, of 404 E. Douglas Dam Road in Sevierville, was charged Dec. 7 with forgery and aggravated burglary. He was being held.
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A favorite pastime for mountain folk was to play and listen to music. Boogertown Gap band will perform traditional southern Appalachian music along with other musicians during the Festival of Christmas past celebrated on Saturday.
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