Archives for March 2017

Testimony Concludes in Domestic Kidnapping Trial

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. — A kidnapping trial now rests in the hands of a jury.

Testimony wrapped up Friday in the case of Luis Olivera, who is charged with aggravated kidnapping and false imprisonment. He is accused of hog-tying his ex-wife in her Washington County, Tenn., home in late 2015. The couple’s 5-year-old son hid in a closet and called police.

The ex-wife, Sheri Swartz, took the stand Friday. She told the court she does not remember much about the incident. A therapist testified that Swartz suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Facebook Feud Turns into Arrest for Assault

HAWKINS COUNTY — A social media spat turns into an arrest.

The Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office says 25-year-old Hunter Price of Rogersville faces charges of kidnapping and aggravated assault, according to a Friday report. Price allegedly hit his wife in the mouth, choked her, and pointed a gun at her while threatening to kill her.

Price also allegedly broke a phone to prevent his wife from calling 911. She was able to leave the next morning and contact police.

Investigators say the altercation started over a Facebook post.

Elderly Virginia Man Earns 7th Drug Conviction

RUSSELL COUNTY, Va. — An elderly man is sentenced to prison for his seventh drug crime conviction.

A judge sentenced 81-year-old Barney Johnson of Honaker to 10 years behind bars for distributing a controlled substance.
Johnson was first convicted in 1993 on four counts and sentenced to 15 years. Once paroled, he was convicted again in May 2000 and sentenced to life plus 40 years. Johnson was released on geriatric parole in 2006.

Prosecutors say his criminal record shows Johnson has no intention of stopping his drug activity if released. They admit that his latest 10-year sentence is likely a life term.

Coal Suit

Area coal outfits want some of their taxes paid back…Jim O’Reilly…

A civil suit filed in Wise County by three coal-related companies is asking for more than half-a-million dollars in refunds and reductions…this after claims of over-billing and incorrect tax assessments by the Commissioner of Revenue and Treasurer’s offices. The lawsuit deals specifically with machinery taxes for the three businesses.

Coal Suit

WISE COUNTY-Area coal outfits want some of their taxes paid back.

A civil suit filed in Wise County Circuit Court by three coal-related companies is asking for more than half-a-million dollars in refunds and reductions…this after claims of over-billing and incorrect tax assessments by the Commissioner of Revenue and Treasurer’s offices.

The lawsuit deals specifically with the machinery and personal property taxes for the three businesses.

Police ID Body Found at Elizabethton Walmart

ELIZABETHTON — Police identify the woman whose body was found in a parking lot last weekend.

Investigators say 60-year-old Carolyn Pleasant of Kingsport died at some point during a several-week period when her car was parked at the Walmart on Over Mountain Dr. Her body was found this past Saturday evening.

So far, no foul play is suspected in the death. Pleasant suffered no apparent trauma, though autopsy results are pending.

Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Child Sex Abuse

BRISTOL, Va. — Bond is denied for a man arrested for sexually abusing a three year old family member.

Police say Tracy Alvin Holt was taken into custody on multiple counts following an investigation into the suspected abuse that began last month after a call to the Bristol Regional Medical Center.

Holt’s next court date has not yet been set.

Sullivan County Sales Tax Revenues Up

BLOUNTVILLE — Some good news and bad news when it comes to March sales tax revenues in Sullivan County.

Authorities say county wide tax collections were up nearly four percent from 2016 but in Bristol revenues were down over $25,000 from March of last year.

Total March sales tax colllections were $4.15 million with most of that collected within the city of Kingsport.

Saltville Apartment Fire Deemed Suspicious

SALTVILLE — A fire at an apartment complex Friday morning is now being investigated as suspicious.

The fire broke out around 4:30am at North Fork Manor on Elizabeth Street resulting in three apartments being damaged displacing a number of families.

There’s been no reports of any injuries.

Investigators from the Virginia State Police and Saltville are looking in to the fire’s cause.

Emory & Henry Hires Provost

EMORY — The administration at Emory & Henry college has filled a new position.

The college announced that Dr. John Wells is appointed to become its first provost and he will be supervising the college’s enrollemnt management and academic divisions along with acting as president when Dr. Jake Schutrum is not available.

Most recently Wells was executive vice president and chief academic officer at Mars Hill University in North Carolina