Updated March 29, 2015 02:37:36 PM
Erwin Police search for man in connection with death

According to the Erwin Police Department, officers are searching for a man believed to be involved in what was described as the "violent death" of 73-year-old Helen Peery on Friday, March 28.

In a press release issued by the department, the man is James H. Peery III, he is 50 years old, 6’5” tall and weighs 200 pounds, and he has brown hair and green eyes. He was last seen driving a 2001 green Ford Expedition with Tennessee tag # G79-21Y. He is considered armed and dangerous.

It is believed that James Peery has ties to Maryland and could be trying to return there, according to the department. He is also an avid outdoorsman and may be in a secluded area in the region. More...

Updated March 26, 2015 02:44:35 PM
Community asked to support to support Tayla

Tayla Smith is not letting Aplastic Anemia keep her down.

Tayla’s family spent the afternoon on Monday, March 23, at Fishery Park in Erwin as Tayla, brother, Trenton, and the rest of her family took in the day enjoying the activities on the playground.

It was a day without treatment, a day with no worries and mother, Felicia, is hoping her daughter’s story will inspire others. More...

Updated March 26, 2015 02:43:32 PM
Community rallies around family who lost home in blaze

After a fire engulfed their home on March 17, the Cole family from Unicoi has nothing but thanks for community members.

The family has received an outpouring of support since losing all their possessions in the blaze and it was evident during an event held at Teddy Bear Lane in Erwin on Saturday, March 20.

Lacie Barrett and husband, Matthew, helped organize a box truck to load donated materials for the Coles for a storage unit in Piney Flats, free of charge for three months. More...

Updated March 26, 2015 02:41:24 PM
Bennett resigns as assessor

The Unicoi County Commission unanimously accepted the resignation of Patsy Bennett as the county’s assessor of property during its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, March 23.

Bennett submitted her resignation in a letter dated March 17 and addressed to County Mayor Greg Lynch. The letter follows in its entirety:

“It is with great sorrow that I must inform you that I am resigning from my office of tax assessor of Unicoi County effective April 2, 2015. As you know I have not been in the office since late October because of my illness. I have kept in touch with the office making sure that it was running well, as well as doing some work from home. I have a good staff who served the citizens well in my absence. My hope was that my health would improve to the point that I could fulfill my obligations, but it was not meant to be. More...

Updated March 19, 2015 03:31:38 PM
Clouse chosen as interim director

A familiar face is now in charge of the Unicoi County School System.

During a meeting on Thursday, March 12, the Unicoi County Board of Education unanimously voted to appoint Tommy Clouse as its interim director of schools.

All members of the board were present at the meeting. More...

Updated March 19, 2015 03:30:54 PM
Contract options awarded to NFS

Millions of dollars in contract options were recently awarded to Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. (NFS).

According to a press release issued by the Babcock & Wilcox Company, the parent company of NFS, NFS received contract options from the U.S. Department of Energy, Naval Reactors Laboratory Field Office for work that will total $169 million.

In March 2014, NFS received a $302 million contract from the same office for fuel and materials services. According to the press release, the $169 million contract options were awarded under the $302 million contract. More...

Updated March 19, 2015 03:29:37 PM
Forney hired as public works director

Riki Forney is no stranger to the area and will be part of the Town of Erwin for years to come.

Forney was introduced as Erwin’s new public works director during the Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting on Monday, March 9.

After 14 years with a non-profit organization in Johnson City, the opportunity arose for Forney to continue to work for the town. Forney has served on the town’s Board of Downtown Revitalization as vice-chair. More...

Updated March 19, 2015 03:27:50 PM
Project aims at providing K-5 students with backpacks, supplies

An idea is taking form in Unicoi County to help school children in grades kindergarten through fifth grade to start the 2015-2016 school year on the right foot.

Wendy Broyles, of Rock Creek Elementary, and husband, Lee, came up with the idea of a “Back to School Carnival” event that is tentatively scheduled for July 25 at the National Guard Armory in Erwin.

The idea for the event came to the couple after attending a back-to-school event hosted by Harmony Free Will Baptist Church in Hampton, Wendy said. More...

Updated March 12, 2015 08:23:12 PM
Erwin BMA names overpass after Brown

A new name has been approved for the overpass being constructed in Erwin.

The Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously approved Resolution No. 1217-15 to name the overpass in memory of the late Pat Brown during its meeting on Monday, March 9.

“I’m thrilled and appreciate their support,” Lou Petterson, daughter of Brown, said of the BMA. “It has been up in the air for so long. I just don’t have words to express how happy I am and it’ll make a lot of other people happy, too. There have been numerous amounts of people asking ‘are they going to name that overpass after your daddy?’ He owned all that land and was in business since 1956. That’s where he spent his life and the fact it’s going to be named after him is remarkable because I was prepared for it to not be ... I’m just thrilled beyond words.” More...

Updated March 12, 2015 08:21:41 PM
NRC returns NFS to 'normal' level of oversight

Since 2004, Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS) has operated under a level of increased oversight by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), including the addition of a second resident NRC inspector at the facility.

The NRC announced last week that because of improved performance by NFS in recent years the company is returning to “normal” levels of NRC oversight and inspection similar to other facilities of its type.

According to a press release issued on March 5 by the NRC, “... sustained improvement over the past several years, verified by NRC inspections, led to the conclusion that a return to the normal or core oversight level is warranted.” More...

Updated March 12, 2015 08:20:44 PM
March is UT Extension month

Unicoi County will be one of 95 counties across the state taking part in Extension Month throughout the remainder of March.

According to a press release issued from University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, the month will be used with various events across the state to help bring exposure to each UT Extension office and to help commemorate the 105-year-old program.

"It is often said, unfortunately, that UT Extension is one of Tennessee’s best kept secrets,” said Ty Petty, Unicoi County Extension Agent. "So we’re trying to change that and we want to make sure people realize that we are here and offering services to all the local citizens and that we provide an important service to the community. More...

Updated March 12, 2015 08:19:06 PM
System announces schedule changes

From Staff Reports

Due to the recent inclement weather, the Unicoi County School System has made schedule changes.

A press release from the system reported that the end date for the third nine weeks has changed because of the days missed. The end date for the third nine weeks is now March 20. More...

Updated March 05, 2015 01:12:55 PM
UCHS Mock Trial team advances to state

The Unicoi County High School Mock Trial team successfully argued for a return to the state competition by receiving first-place honors at the regional mock trial competition for Districts 11 and 12 on Saturday, Feb. 28, in Washington County.

The 11 students that make up the team will compete in the state competition set for March 27-28 in Nashville.

“I couldn’t remember the last time we had a team finish first,” UCHS coach Sarah Shults said following the event. “I’m so excited for the team. They’re a great group of students that have put in a lot of work to get to this level. I couldn’t be any prouder of the team.” More...

Updated March 05, 2015 01:11:54 PM
Search for director officially begins; Community asked to fill out online survey

The search is now on for a new director of schools for Unicoi County.

The Unicoi County Board of Education announced they were accepting applications for a new Director of Schools on Friday, Feb. 27, on the school system’s website.

According to the release posted, any potential candidate must have teaching experience and principal or supervisory experience. More...

Updated February 25, 2015 03:29:55 PM
Commission chooses MedicOne

Barring any complications, the company providing ambulance services to Unicoi County will not change come April 1. The county’s current contract for ambulance service was set to expire that day. Failure to sign a contract before that date would have left the county without an ambulance service.

During a regularly scheduled meeting of the Unicoi County Commission on Monday, Feb. 23, the panel voted 7-2 to give Unicoi County Mayor Greg Lynch and County Attorney Doug Shults authorization to enter into a contract with MedicOne Medical Response, the company that has provided ambulance service to the county for the last four years.

Voting in favor of MedicOne were commissioners Gene Wilson, Glenn White, John Mosley, Marie Rice, Gene Wilson, Jason Harris and Bridget Peters. Voting against MedicOne were Walter Garland and Kenneth Garland. More...

Updated February 25, 2015 03:28:50 PM
Training key for 911 staff

When emergencies arise in the Valley Beautiful, local operators are on the clock for any situation.

For Unicoi County’s 911 dispatchers, training is vital for them to successfully handle the many emergency calls received at their office on Jackson Love Highway in Erwin.

In recent months, dispatchers have used their training to talk two women through childbirth.  More...

Updated February 20, 2015 05:17:33 PM
Residents warned of scam involving newspaper subscriptions

Johnson City Press Staff Reports

We have received reports from several area residents of a scam involving newspaper sales.

Anyone receiving a call purporting to sell Erwin Record subscriptions via an allegedly charitable organization identified as "Life Giving Memories" should collect information, including a phone number, and report the call to local law enforcement. More...

Updated February 19, 2015 03:15:44 PM
Number of animals euthanized at shelter decreases

The Unicoi County Animal Welfare Board met on Tuesday, Feb. 10, to discuss recent progress at the facility and the year ahead.

Different resources at the shelter have allowed the Unicoi County Animal Shelter (UCAS) to drop numbers considerably low, according to graphs presented during the meeting.

One of the more drastic improvements from previous years was the result of increased adoptions for both cats and dogs. The increase adoptions reduced lives lost in the shelter. More...

Updated February 19, 2015 02:25:09 PM
Downtown construction proceeding on schedule

Downtown revitalization was on top of the agenda during a regularly scheduled meeting of the Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen held Monday, Feb. 9 at Erwin Town Hall.

The third phase of the town’s downtown revitalization project is currently on schedule, according to Jonathan Shipley, with Tysinger, Hampton & Partners, the engineering firm working on the project.

“Construction is progressing on schedule,” Shipley said. “Storm sewer installation began today, it will be projected two to three weeks before completion.” More...

Updated February 19, 2015 12:29:07 PM
UCHS FFA students sow first plants in new greenhouse

Months of work by the Unicoi County High School Future Farmers of America culminated with a step toward self-grown produce for the school last week.

After starting the 2014-2015 academic school year working on bedding for plants and working on their greenhouse, UCHS students were able to start planting vegetables during a ceremony hosted at the Indian Creek Nursery on Thursday, Feb. 12.

“You can see we built a lot of beds out of fiberglass,” UCHS agriculture teacher Lucas Anders said. “They’re definitely tired of drilling and bolting fiberglass together. They moved all this soil in with wheelbarrows, so they’re definitely excited. They get to see the planting and fertilizing stage and by the end of the semester, they get to see the growth and production, so they’ll get to see all sides of it. More...

Updated February 04, 2015 01:29:12 PM
Chamber announces event to showcase recreation

A new event will highlight the outdoor activities available to residents and visitors of Unicoi County.

According to Amanda Delp, executive director of the Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce, the inaugural Northeast Tennessee/Western North Carolina Outdoor Adventure Expo will be held on May 16 and 17 at the Erwin National Guard Armory.

“The Outdoor Adventure Expo is an event dedicated to outdoor recreation and adventure, as well as the lifestyle that surrounds them,” Delp said. “Attendees will enjoy this two-day event offering a vast array of events and exhibits under one roof. Whether one’s passion is hunting, fishing, camping, boating, hiking, biking, horseback riding, rafting, ATV riding, archery or shooting sports, once at the show attendees will be able to browse and purchase a multitude of items.” More...

Updated January 28, 2015 01:39:12 PM
MSHA: New UCMH 'right on schedule'

A new hospital is in the future for Unicoi County, according to Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA).

The health system, which acquired Unicoi County Memorial Hospital (UCMH) in 2013, announced last week that strategic planning for the proposed 20-bed facility is ongoing by the UCMH visioning committee.

According the health system, the new facility will be located near Exit 40, just off I-26 in the southern section of Unicoi County. MSHA is expected to close on the property for the new UCMH in July. More...

Updated January 13, 2015 03:01:25 PM
Sheriff warns of IRS scam

Sheriff Mike Hensley and the Unicoi County Sheriff's Department is warning citizens of an IRS-related scam. According to Sheriff Hensley, an individual posing as an IRS agent has called local residents saying he has a warrant for the arrest of the person he has called. In order to prevent being arrested, the person asks the resident to pay funds to him.

This is a scam, Hensley said. Anyone who receives a call is asked to contact the UCSD to make a report. Hensley has been in contact with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the matter.

The UCSD can be reached by calling 743-1864. More...

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• Movie Night - 'Foxcatcher' joins trend of movies based on true stories (Feb. 4, 2015 issue)
• Senior Center News - Billiards event beginning in February (Feb. 4, 2015 issue)
• From the Publisher's Desk - Haggis now arriving at Gate 5 (Jan. 28, 2015 issue)
• Travel Talk - Tips offered for international travel case (Jan. 28, 2015 issue)
• A Refreshing Knapp - 'Softly' saying this on cancer (Jan. 28, 2015 issue)
• Movie Night - 'American Sniper' brings real hero story to powerful movie (Jan. 28, 2015 issue)
• Library Happenings - Library offers tutors online (Jan. 28, 2015 issue)
• From the Publisher's Desk - Maybe I shouldn't eat that so late (Jan. 21, 2015 issue)
• Travel Talk - Cusco blends Quechua with Spanish culture (Jan. 21, 2015 issue)
• Ready, Willis and Able - Hunter blows his own horn (Jan. 21, 2015 issue)
• Library Happenings - Library offers tax form options (Jan. 21, 2015 issue)
• Senior Center News - ETSU pharmacy students offer tips (Jan. 21, 2015 issue)
• Movie Night - 'Taken 3' brings entertainment, lacks sense (Jan. 21, 2015 issue)
• From the Publisher's Desk - I have some confessions to make (Jan. 14, 2015 issue)
• Travel Talk - Machu Picchu in breathtaking mystery (Jan. 14, 2015 issue)
• Hood's Winks - Some fuel given for thought (Jan. 14, 2015 issue)
• Library Happenings - Masterpiece Theatre captures imagination in show (Jan. 14, 2015)
• Movie Night - 'Unbroken' shows human spirit (Jan. 14, 2015 issue)
• Nerds Eye View - New Year brings entertainment buzz (Jan. 14, 2015 issue)
• From the Publisher's Desk - New Year offers fresh approach (Jan. 7, 2015 issue)
• A Denney for Your Thoughts - Resolve to allow for reflecting (Jan. 7, 2015 issue)
• Travel Talk - Plan ahead for Machu Pichu (Jan. 7, 2015 issue)
• Movie Night - Top 10 movie picks of 2014 (Jan. 7, 2015 issue)
• Senior Center News - Grant brings free exercise opportunities (Jan. 7, 2015 issue)
• Travel Talk - Many options found locally for welcoming in New Year (Dec. 31, 2014 issue)
• From the Publisher's Desk - Santa's working under pressure (Dec. 31, 2014 issue)
• Hood's Winks - Can't miss elephant in room (Dec. 31, 2014 issue)
• Library Happenings - More staff picks announced (Dec. 31, 2014 issue)
• Movie Night - 'Night at the Museum' rated 'decent' (Dec. 31, 2014 issue)
• From the Publisher's Desk - Gifts unwrapped all year long (Dec. 24, 2014 issue)
• Library Happenings - Staff names top picks for 2014 (Dec. 24, 2014 issue)
• Movie Night - 'Hobbit' delivers all for trilogy (Dec. 24, 2014 issue)
• Senior Center News - Center recruiting for chartered trip to Pigeon Forge (Dec. 24, 2014 issue)
• One Blue Nation - Students reached through fine arts (Dec. 24, 2014 issue)
• From the Publisher's Desk - My star doesn't shine so bright (Dec. 17, 2014 issue)
• Travel Talk - St. Augustine offers history and delivers lots of charm (Dec. 17, 2014 issue)
• Ready, Willis and Able - Train still fascinates in history (Dec. 17, 2014 issue)
• Library Happenings - New juvenile books arriving soon (Dec. 17, 2014 issue)
• Senior Center News - Center announces fashion show event (Dec. 17, 2014 issue)
• Movie Night - 'Exodus' entertaining but not accurate (Dec. 17, 2014)
• One Blue Nation - High school uses testing to improve (Dec. 17, 2014 issue)
• From the Publisher's Desk - Luckily, I don't have everything (Dec. 10, 2014 issue)
• In the Stars - Stargazers have treat coming with Geminid meteor shower (Dec. 10, 2014 issue)
• Hood's Winks - Webinars bring new dimension (Dec. 10, 2014 issue)
• Library Happenings - Holiday memories stirred by books (Dec. 10, 2014 issue)
• Movie Night - 'Horrible Bosses 2' may be funniest of year (Dec. 10, 2014 issue)
• From the Publisher's Desk - Santa, please bridge the gap (Dec. 3, 2014 issue)
• A Denney for Your Thoughts - Following No. 1 from land sea (Dec. 3, 2014 issue)
• Movie Night - 'Mockingjay' fills in middle of 'Hunger Games' trilogy (Dec. 3, 2014 issue)
• Library Happenings - Library looking forward to new books (Dec. 3, 2014 issue)
• From the Publisher's Desk - Christmas is staring at me (Nov. 26, 2014 issue)
• A Refreshing Knapp - Life brings many odds to weigh (Nov. 26, 2014 issue)
• Movie Night - 'Interstallar' brings bold, massive scope to screen (Nov. 26, 2014 issue)
• Library Happenings - Bring home books for holiday reading (Nov. 26, 2014 issue)
• Senior Center News - Annual Christmas event set for Dec. 4, 5 (Nov. 26, 2014 issue)
• From the Publisher's Desk - 'Hats off' to an amazing lady
• Ready, Willis and Able - Bonnie continues to inspire (Nov. 19, 2014 issue)
• Library Happenings - Thanksgiving serves up side of reading (Nov. 19, 2014 issue)
• Movie Night - 'Big Hero 6' falls short of earning its super status
• County Chatter - Cains Trio has multi sounds in new release (Nov. 19, 2014)
• Nerd's Eye View - Fall TV offerings bring 'Dead' to life (Nov. 19, 2014 issue)
• One Blue Nation - Faculty turns to employers for input (Nov. 19, 2014 issue)
• From the Publisher's Desk - Nice to Know We're Missed (Nov. 12, 2014 issue)
• From the Publisher's Desk – Visits more "Ben"eficial to me (Nov. 5, 2014 issue)
• From the Publishers Desk - Learning fun beyond the book (Oct. 29, 2014 issue)
• From the Publisher's Desk - Clowning around not always fun (Oct. 22, 2014 issue)

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