Archives for May 2017

Part of Kingsport Greenbelt to Close in July

(KINGSPORT) One section of the Kingsport Greenbelt will be closing starting next month, as crews make sewer line improvements.

The section from Industry Drive to the Scott Adams Skate Park will shut down in early July. That closure is expected to be in place for 3-4 weeks, weather permitting.

The complete 1-mile sewer line project is scheduled to be done by this time next year.

Johnson City VA Hospital Hosts Town Hall

(JOHNSON CITY) The Veterans Affairs hospital in Johnson City held a town hall Wednesday night where patients could voice their concerns or compliments about various aspects of VA care.

While some patients still complained about high wait times, hospital officials said since an upgrade to the emergency room had been completed, wait times have dropped dramatically.

The loudest concerns, though, came from people who were worried about the lack of opioid treatment and having the means to get to and from various medical appointments or procedures.

Greene Co. Gun Range Opening to Public

(GREENEVILLE) A former police training gun range in Greene County will be opening up to the public.

The county firing range is getting set to be open to civilians for the first time.

Thanks to a $1M state grant, the range is adding a building dedicated to hunting education, an administration building, two pistol ranges, a long gun range, and a skeet shooting range.

It’s expected to open later this month- but will still be a bit limited, only open to the public for 20 hours per week.

Second Rabies Case Found in Wise County

(WISE COUNTY, Va.) Health officials in southwest Virginia have confirmed a second case of rabies in Wise County.

This week, the USDA began its aerial drop of oral rabies vaccination packets to keep the disease from spreading. The packets are dropped within a 13 mile radius of where a positive rabies identification was made.

In our area, rabies is extremely rare. The last documented cases were found in bats in 2013 and 2006.

The USDA rabies drops are expected to go through the end of the week. Each plane carries- and then drops- nearly 20,000 packets each time it takes to the sky.

4 Charged in Attack on Pizza Driver

(JOHNSON CITY) — Four people now face charges for attacking a pizza delivery driver.

The assault happened Monday night on East Side Ave. in Johnson City. The Domino’s driver suffered a large cut to the back of his head and numerous other scrapes and bruises.

The assailants got away with four pizzas.

Police say 19-year-old Derik Bailey, 22-year-old Kevin Morris, and two juveniles face assault charges. All four suspects remain in custody.

Vacated Apartment Building Passes Inspection

(JOHNSON CITY) — Code enforcement officers approve repairs made to a vacated rental property.

The Board of Dwelling Standards has rescinded its order to vacate a Montgomery St. apartment building, according to a Wednesday report. The building is owned by Johnson City Police officer Michael Butler.

An inspection earlier this year turned up more than 90 health and safety violations, prompting city officials to order the property vacated until repairs were made.

Retrial Scheduled for Suspected Bank Robber

(GREENVILLE) — A retrial is ordered for a suspected bank robber.

Last week’s hearing for 37-year-old Timothy England ended in a mistrial. He is accused of robbing the Consumer Credit Union in Mosheim in 2015. England is also charged with intimidating a witness.

Legal officials agreed Wednesday to a new trial starting Aug. 21.

England was convicted of both escape and attempted escape from the Washington County Detention Center. Sentencing has been delayed until Sept. 25.

Bristol, Va., Eyes Education, Tourism to Balance Budget

(BRISTOL, Va.) — The latest budget proposal shifts the burden from firefighting to tourism and education.

The Bristol Fire Dept. avoided losing nearly a quarter of its force earlier this week when City Council backed away from that cost-savings plan.

The school system has now dropped a request for additional funding and is even giving back $75,000 allocated for capital improvement projects.

The Chamber of Commerce could see about that same amount in funding cuts while the Birthplace of Country Music Museum faces a 50-percent cut in city funding, from $100,000 to $50,000.

The first reading of the budget is set for June 13.

2 Hawkins Co. Deputies Injured in Crash

(CHURCH HILL) — Two Hawkins County sheriff’s deputies are recovering following a Wednesday morning crash.

The collision occurred just after 10 a.m. on Hwy. 11 W in Church Hill when the driver of an SUV pulled into the path of the police cruiser driven by Ofc. Marc Bass.

Bass and his passenger, Ofc. Dennis Sturgill, were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

84-year-old Robert Houchins of Church Hill suffered unspecified injuries in the crash. He is charged with failure to yield.

$1M Bond Set for Child Death Suspect

(ELIZABETHTON) — Bond is set for a gang member accused of killing his 3-year-old stepson.

28-year-old Demtrius Covington appeared in court Wednesday on a first-degree murder charge. Bond was set at $1 million.

Ja’Kari Phillips died in November at a local hospital. Police say the child was covered head-to-toe in bruises.

The boy’s mother, Ayonjaleea Phillips, was also in court Wednesday on an aggravated child endangerment charge.

Both Covington, a known member of the Bloods street gang, and Phillips are due back in court Sept. 8.