Archives for September 2016

Police chief in Jonesborough on administrative leave

JONESBOROUGH — The Jonesborough Police Department has another issue.

The town attorney has confirmed that police chief Matt Hawkins has taken administrative leave.

However, he cannot comment any further than that because an internal investigation has already started.

Hawkins’ disappearance comes weeks after Maj. Natalie Hilton’s resignation.

Hilton tells WCYB-TV that she has filed complaints against the chief, claiming harassment and a hostile work environment.

JC business catching its breath after discovery of explosive device

ELIZABETHTON — People at Big John’s Closeouts in Elizabethton hope for a normal day today.

Johnson City’s police chief says his bomb squad had to go behind the store yesterday to deal with a possible device.

Elizabethton Police wanted the squad to investigate an area near North Watauga Avenue and Railroad Street near the Tweetsie Trail.

The squad safely took care of the device.

Noli Truck suspect appears in court today

JOHNSON CITY — The woman accused of stealing a popular Johnson City food truck appears in court in Jonesborough today.

Law enforcement finally caught up with 36-year-old Eleanor Black of Maggie Valley, N.C. in Mars Hill, N.C.

It took her into custody for driving the stolen Noli Truck.

At the time of her arrest, Black apparently identified herself to officers as Rhonda Kay Proffit.

State court reverses sentence in Sullivan Co. abuse case

BRISTOL — A state court has reversed a Sullivan County judge’s decision to deny a woman judicial diversion after her conviction of failing to report suspected child sexual abuse.

Rosa Honeycutt failed to report suspected abuse while working as superintendent of the Tri-State Baptist Children’s Home in Bristol.

Now a state appeals court has reversed the trial court’s decision, granting Honeycutt judicial diversion.

Investigation continues into cross bow theft

BRISTOL — The investigation continues into who stole a cross bow and case from a store in Bristol, Tenn.

Police say someone entered the Bass Pro Shops store at the Pinnacle on the night of Sept. 22.

Footage shows this man walked through the store and into the archery section.

Police say he placed a Parker Tornado Cross Bow and put it in a case.

Report: Drugged driving passes alcohol in Tenn. road deaths

NASHVILLE — Drugged driving has passed drunken and distracted driving as a factor in Tennessee road deaths.

The number of deaths from crashes involving drug-impaired drivers has jumped 89 percent over a five-year period.

Experts have identified the rising prevalence of prescription drug abuse as the reason for the increased.

The Tennessean cites an analysis of Tennessee Highway Patrol data in its report.

Man receives 60 years for raping elderly Blountville woman

BLOUNTVILLE — A man has received 60 years in prison for raping, kidnapping, and robbing an elderly Blountville woman.

A judge has sentenced 23-year-old Larry Stumbo following his conviction in July.

The judge says Stumbo must serve the entire sentence, making him ineligible for parole.

Prosecutors say he held the woman at gunpoint after entering her home two years ago.

Nurse practitioner receives two years in prison

JOHNSON CITY — A nurse practitioner from Jonesborough has received two years in prison.

Court has sentenced 47-year-old Sherry Barnett for her participation in the unlawful distribution and dispensing of oxycodone in Johnson City.

Barnett has pleaded guilty to working with three others to issue unlawful prescriptions to patients without medical examinations.

Court documents show these people have improperly given over 60,000 oxycodone pills.

Search continues for sex offenders after apprehension of one

KINGSPORT — Investigators have found one sex offender, but the search for others continues.

Officials say Samuel Dennison did not report his location and missed a reporting period in June.

Police keep looking for two violent sex offenders: Joen Sera and Shawn Hayes.

They also look for aggravated statutory rape suspect Anthony Goodman, and they want Paul Zamorano for statutory rape.

County owes Bristol and Kingsport $183K in liquor-by-the-drink revenues

BLOUNTVILLE — Sullivan County now owes Bristol and Kingsport a combined $183,000.

This follows the loss of two lawsuits that sought liquor-by-the-drink revenues in the cities from 1984 to 2014.

The county sued two years ago to receive over $2 million in revenues from the tax the cities collected.

The Herald Courier reports court dismissed the suits in February, but it did not rule on counter claims at that time.