The following press release has been issued by Clay County Sheriff's Office. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Clay County Sheriff Vice Davis said on Thursday December 22, 2016, Clay County deputies stopped a vehicle pursuant to a Be On Look Out (BOLO) issued by Cherokee County. The BOLO had been issued for a Silver Honda Civic with a black faded hood. The vehicle was located and stopped on Truett Camp Road.
The driver, Jeremy Peabody, 36, and the passenger, Constance Richardson, 26, both of Andrews, were detained at the scene pending further information from Cherokee County. A Cherokee County investigator arrived and deployed a K-9 which alerted to the presence of narcotics.
Sheriff Davis said a search of the vehicle was conducted and methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia were located in the vehicle. Both were arrested and taken to the Clay County Detention Center. At the detention center, more methamphetamine was located on Richardson.
Peabody was charged with Felony Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Driving on a Revoked License. He is still in the Detention Center under a $7500 secure bond.
Richardson was charged with Felony Possession of Methamphetamine, Felony Possession of Contraband in the Jail, Possession of Paraphernalia, and Possession of Marijuana. She is out of jail after making a $7500 bond. Both have a court date of January 3, 2017.
Sheriff Davis said he was glad this stop resulted in getting more drugs off the street to make our communities safer. He is also grateful to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office for the use of their K-9 while Clay County’s was unavailable at the time.
Tri-County Community College (TCCC) would like to congratulate the following students on being selected for academic honors for the 2016 Fall Semester. Students are selected for academic honors at the end of each semester in which they have earned 12 or more non-developmental credit hours in a degree, diploma, or certificate program; have earned a current and cumulative grade point average of at least 3.50; and have no grades of F, I, NM, U or WF for that semester.
Andrews, NC: Timothy P. Duggan, Jarrod El-Khouri, Dayna B. Haithcock, Ashley N. Kimble, Erin K. Madden, Emily C. Malin, Morgan M. Mashburn, Karen E. Morin, Cheyenne N. Patterson, Michael C. Scroggs, Shelley J. Silvers, Logan H. Stanley, Nathaniel R. Weaver, Hannah K. West, and Margaret S. White.
Blairsville, GA: Ethan B. Shaffer.
Brasstown, NC: Diana R. Anderson, Billie F. Cook, Jennifer L. Cowan, Cade Marsh, Madison L. Taylor, and April L. Wilson
Copperhill, TN: Angel B. Chastain and Michelle Chastain.
Culberson, NC: Sheri K. Bennett.
Farner, TN: Kayla M. Allen.
Fontana Dam, NC: Christopher S. Locke.
Hayesville, NC: Jacob C. Anderson, Alana J. Becerra, Keith P. Challis, Alyssa D. Cody, River C. Collins, Kolby S. Engelskind, Cheyenne F. Fedder, Justin C. Flanagan, Corinne W. Hanna, Seth L. Hatherly, Callie T. Jamison, Lois P. Johns, Ben A. Kelly, Amanda K. Ledford, Michael T. Lomauro, Tori L. Mills, Bryan J. Murrell, Melissa A. Myers, Hillary D. Owens, Theresa A. Parker, Emory E. Patton, Nathaniel D. Penland, Kelsey G. Phillips, Deborah K. Shira, Lauren A. Shively, Colton W. Thomas, Beth E. Thomason, Emily M. Vandewerker, and Madeline C. Harrison.
Marble, NC: Skyler N. Bolyard, Virginia R. Brown, Erica A. Godfrey, Michael A. Halovsky, Jr., Gregory K. Maxey, Julia E. Mays, Vicki M. Ray, Tory L. Shivers, Jr., and Darrell J. Watkins.
Mineral Bluff, GA: Ivy M. Collins.
Murphy, NC: Michelle P. Clouser, Dillon C. Acevedo, Kamryn B. Adams, Naeem Ahmed, April L. Allen, Mark L. Allen, Krystal E. Baker, Samantha L. Barnes, Emily A. Beaster, Zane P. Beaster, Alexandria C. Bickel, Robin L. Bickel, Lillian G. Blomeley, Melissa L. Bohler-Munz, Catherine B. Breazeale, Jonathan A. Brege, Kameron M. Brown, Derek B. Burrell, Andrew J. Carroll, Sarah E. Carroll, Sarah B. Carter, Kacey M. Chandler, Angela D. Chapman, Mollie R. Cornwell, Samantha N. Dalrymple, Zachary W. Davis, Evan T. Deweese, Misty D. Dittman, Krystle L. Donald,William R. Donald, Ronney D. Freeman, Casey A. Gibbs, William L. Grove, Zachery M. Hales, Taylor L. Hamby, Joseph E. Helton, Colby K. Hensley, Raymond T. Hollenbeck, Molly J. Howard, David R. Hughes, Paul J. Jenkins, Trista L. Jones, Olivia J. Jordan, Matthew W. Kilpatrick, Pamela L. Kitchens, Connor B. Lance, Kayla S. Ledford, Kennedy Lee, Andrea Lentz, Allison S. Lequire, Jacob L. Lescalleet, James J. Lew, Kimberly J. Limon, Barbara W. Lovett, Shelby L. Lovingood, Keaton B. Marasco, Erin M. Martin, Veronica A. McMahon, Richard S. Mitchell, Ethan A. Moore, Joseph O. Morin, Kyle P. Newland, Erin N. Nicholson, Luther E. Nifong, Ruby M. O'Brien, Paul M. Oakowsky, Susanna B. Oberg, Gabrielle A. Payne, Stephanie L. Raper, John W. Rateliff, Emily B. Reid, Shannon L. Rhyne, Rachael I. Robinson, Billie I. Rudgers, Megan E. Shields, Jennifer D. Slucher, Jason L. Stalcup, Rebekah L. Stiles, Megan M. Swafford, April K. Twiggs, Kevin J. Ventura, Tamara K. Walker, Daniel N. Watkins, and James M. Wiley.
Robbinsville, NC: Cain A. Ammons, Carleigh R. Anderson, Carden A. Collins, Logan T. Crawford, Lydia L. Crowe, Amy E. Dockery, Shanda A. Dooley, Savanna R. Gladden, Shelby R. Hancock, Blaine C. Holland, Gloria F. Hyde, Holly S. Jackson, Jasmine F. Jiang, Tracey G. Jones, Terran O. Jordan, Brianna R. Jumper, Tyler P. Long, Jorge U. Martinez Leon, Cheri C. Massey, Kandace P. Matheson, Emily C. Nelms, Karli S. Odom, Tiffany D. Phillips, Ashley N. Riddle, Tyler Rivera, William S. Rogers, Lisa M. Saunders, Erica N. Stewart, Kammi D. Tacket, and Kinsley H. Werner.
Topton, NC: Taylor L. McCormick and Robert A. Wojdylo.
Warne, NC: Aaron L. Edrington, Amber N. Gilreath, Joseph R. Miller, Juliet H. Spafford, and Jamie R. Tiblis.
At the conclusion of a 5 day jury trial that began last week in Clay County Superior Court John Graham, 52, of Hayesville was convicted of Sexual Offense on a Child. He was sentenced yesterday to a maximum of 38 and a half years in prison, and he will serve at least 27 years and 11 months before he is eligible for release. If he is ever released from prison, he will be monitored by a satellite GPS tracking system and will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life. The case was investigated by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Haven Child Advocacy Center, the Sheriff of Union County, Georgia and the US Marshall’s Service.
“This conviction keeps a dangerous child predator off the streets for the rest of his life and sends a strong message to the community that the District Attorney’s Office places the highest priority on protecting our children and other especially vulnerable victims. I commend all of the dedicated professionals who partner with the District Attorney’s Office to give a strong voice to our littlest victims. Congratulations on a job well done,” said District Attorney Ashley Welch.
The following press release has been issued by Union County Sheriff's Office. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
On December 11, 2016 Union County Sheriffs Office received information that two dangerous fugitives from Missouri were staying at the Lakeside Inn.
When Deputies arrived, the couple had fled the premises. The S. E. R. T. Team along with CID personnel and K-9 Team were called and a search of the area began. Shortly thereafter, Deputy McConnell and K-9 Lacey tracked the fugitives to an abandoned house behind Lakeside Inn and they were taken into custody without incident.
The fugitives have been identified as Timothy Perkins and Angela Laycock of Leadwood, Missouri. They were wanted for 1st Degree Assault and three counts each of Armed Criminal Action.
Special thanks to Union County 911 dispatch and all Deputies for a job well done and a quick end to a dangerous situation.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park will officially reopen to the public on Friday, December 9 in conjunction with the reopening of the city of Gatlinburg. Newfound Gap Road, Little River Road, and several visitor areas have been closed since the evening of Monday, November 28 due to the Chimney Tops 2 wildfire.
"The past eleven days have been the most challenging and emotional days our community has likely ever had to endure," said Superintendent Cassius Cash. "The amount of love, strength, and support offered to our community has been inspirational not only to us, but also to those watching from across the world. Our community has shone brightly in the midst of this disaster and proven that we are truly mountain tough."
The National Park Service joins Gatlinburg in welcoming visitors back to the area. Newfound Gap Road, Little River Road, the Gatlinburg Bypass, and the Spur will reopen at 7:00 a.m. on Friday, December 9. Park visitor centers at Sugarlands, Oconaluftee, and Cades Cove will resume their regularly scheduled operating hours. Cherokee Orchard Road will remain closed at this time.
The following trails are closed due to wind or fire damage: Chimney Tops Trail, Road Prong Trail, Sugarland Mountain Trail from Mt Collins Shelter to Little River Road, Huskey Gap Trail, Rough Creek Trail, Old Sugarlands Trail, Twin Creeks Trail, Baskins Creek Trail, Bull Head Trail, Rainbow Falls Trail, Trillium Gap Trail, Grapeyard Ridge Trail from Campsite 32 to Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Gatlinburg Trail, Cove Mountain Trail, Sugarland Valley Nature Trail, Noah Bud Ogle Nature Trail, Cove Hardwood Nature Trail, the Sugarlands Horse Concession trails, and the quiet walkways along Newfound Gap Road.
The safety of our visitors is our primary concern and we ask that everyone explore only areas of the park that remain open and abide by trail closures. Visitors are required to remain in their vehicles when passing through the burned areas and should not enter any burned areas by foot. Visitors are reminded that though the area has received heavy rains in recent days, firefighters are still actively establishing containment lines to ensure the fire is fully extinguished.
Motorists are reminded to carefully travel along the roadways and to allow crews safe work space. Public Information Officers will be on site near the Gatlinburg entrance of the park and at overlooks along Newfound Gap Road to answer questions regarding the fire.
Several upcoming park events have been postponed or cancelled. The Festival of Christmas Past, scheduled for December 10, has been cancelled. The Hike 100 Centennial Challenge celebration, scheduled for December 9 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center, has been postponed. The Holiday Homecoming at the Oconaluftee Mountain Farm will take place as planned on December 17. Details regarding each of these events will be released to the public as soon as they become available.
For more information on temporary road and trail closures, please visit the park website at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm.
Sevier County, City of Gatlinburg, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, and Great Smoky Mountain National Park Joint News Release
Sevier County Fires Update, 12/8/16
On Friday, December 9, the city of Gatlinburg will be reopened for business and to the general public at 7:00 a.m. Motorists may enter the city through the all major roadways including the Spur, East Parkway (Hwy. 321), and Newfound Gap Road. Major roadways are expected to be open throughout the city, but some side roads may remain closed to accommodate utility work.
"I am proud of how hard our community has worked to provide assistance to those devastated by the fires," said Gatlinburg City Manager Cindy Cameron Ogle. "We focused this week on allowing our residents and business owners the opportunity to return to their properties in privacy as we started the cleanup and healing process together as a community. We have much more work ahead of us, but for now, I look forward to standing behind our business community as we reopen tomorrow to the public and get people back to work."
In coordination with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDEC), Sevier Solid Waste, Inc. has established a temporary landfill site that will accommodate all debris associated with the recent disaster. The debris landfill will be open, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m. and on Saturday at 6:30 a.m. through 11:30 a.m. via the current landfill entrance on Ridge Road.
Local officials have provided the following update:
The following press release has been issued by Hiawassee Police Department. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The Hiawassee Police Department has continued its drug interdiction effort during the month of November, which has resulted in six additional felony drug arrests and two vehicle seizures.
We are pleased to work closely with the Towns County Sheriff’s Office and their newest canine member, Hunter, a Belgian Malinois. Hunter, along with his handler Deputy McCarter, assisted the HPD on a traffic stop and alerted the officers to the presence of drugs that would have otherwise not been located.
Since the beginning of September, 21 individuals have been arrested on felony drug charges in the Hiawassee city limits. An additional nine were arrested on misdemeanor drug charges.
The following individuals were arrested and are presumed innocent until proven guilty:
Gatlinburg, TN - On Wednesday, December 7, property owners, business owners, renters and lease holders are allowed to return to full-time occupancy of their properties. Federal, State and local officials have worked hard to make sure that areas affected by the wildfire will be safe for reentry. As citizens transition back into areas affected by wildfires, please be aware of the following safety tips and resources available.
As you return home you may find debris, exposed electrical wires, smoldering materials, unstable structures, and other hazards. Please examine all areas of your property before allowing children and pets into those areas. More tips can be found at #ChimneyTops2Fires and #cobblynobfire Facebook page.
Ash from structure fires can contain hazardous materials. Tips for cleaning up ash include: To avoid spreading ash in the air wet down ash before attempting removal or use a HEPA-type vacuum cleaner to clean dust contaminated surfaces. Do not use leaf blowers, a shop vacuum or wash ash into storm drains. Ash can be placed into garbage bags or other containers that prevent it from being disturbed. You may want to wear an N95 face mask to protect exposure to ash particles and wash exposed skin thoroughly afterwards. For more information about ash cleanup and other potential hazards: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/cleanupworkers.html
Gatlinburg residential and household waste pickup is running as scheduled in accessible areas.
Water supplies have been greatly affected by firefighting activities. The substantial loss of water in certain storage tanks and water lines may cause water to appear cloudy or discolored for a period of time. Running a substantial amount of water through all outlets in the plumbing system should expel the discoloration. If you have questions about your water service, please call the Gatlinburg Water Department 436-4681. County water customers on Birds Creek who have questions about their water service can call Sevier County Water Department at 865-744-3852.
The Sevier County Electric System has worked hard to reinstate power and continues to reconstruct destroyed power systems in some neighborhoods. While many areas have been cleared of downed power lines and had power restored, new situations may arise where power has been lost or lines come down. Remember: never cross downed powered lines. Please report downed powerlines to Sevier County Electric system at 865- 453-2887.
If you smell gas on your property, call Sevier County Utility District immediately. Be aware that damaged propane tanks could be leaking after a fire. Do not transport leaking propane tanks in your car or dispose of the tank in the trash. If you smell gas or detect a leaking propane tank call 911 or report the leak to the Sevier County Utility District 24-hour emergency line 865-453-3272.
Loss of power to refrigeration and freezer units can cause food to spoil. Immediately discard cooked and uncooked foods that may have spoiled. If food looks bad or smells bad, throw it out. When in doubt, throw it out. For more information, visit:
Please beware that lost pets may be in the area. They may be frightened and possibly dangerous. The Sevier County Humane Society has set up an animal care center at the Sevier County Fairgrounds. To report lost or missing pets call the Sevier County Humane Society at 865-453-7000.
Safety and Security
The Department of Safety and Homeland Security is dedicated to providing assistance to those impacted by the unfortunate disaster.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) will continue to assist local law enforcement and state agencies in the recovery process. Currently, we are providing public safety to the residents as they re-enter the Gatlinburg area. Please be mindful for the potential of looters. If you detect criminal activity call 911.
Replacing Lost Driver licenses or State issued Identification
Tennessee Driver Services Division continues to work with residents who lost their license or identification card. Tennessee citizens can apply for a duplicate license at the Sevier County Driver Services Center. The center is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The center is located at 1220 Graduate Drive, Sevierville, TN.
The driver services mobile unit will be parked at the Coordination Center located at The Boyd's Bear Distribution Center at 149 Cates Lane in Pigeon Forge, TN on Wednesday, December 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Boyd's Bear Distribution Center Resources
The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance and the Department of Labor continue to provide consumer information at Boyd's Bear Distribution Center at 149 Cates Lane in Pigeon Forge, TN. Citizens can speak with representatives about filing insurance claims, building permits, unemployment benefits and replacing lost driver's licenses and State issued ID's.
Local Recovery Website and Hotline
Sevier County has launched an official recovery website, www.mountaintough.com and a hotline to serve as a single resource for information related to the recent wildfires in Sevier county. The hotline number for local residents is 2-1-1 and 865-215-4211 for callers outside the local area. The call center is open Monday - Friday 7:00am to 6:00pm.
December 7, 2016
Incident Summary: The Chimney Tops 2 Fire was reported in Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Gatlinburg, TN on Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at approximately 5:20 pm. The wildfire began burning in a remote location (Chimney Tops) of the park in steep terrain with vertical cliffs and narrow rocky ridges making access to the wildfire area difficult for firefighting efforts. On Monday, November 28th, the exceptional drought conditions and extreme winds caused the wildfire to grow rapidly, causing numerous new wildfire starts from embers carried miles away and downed powerlines in and adjacent to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The wildfire was determined to be human-caused and is currently under investigation.
Chimney Tops 2 fire did not increase in size yesterday and is estimated to be 17006 acres. Due to more accurate mapping, the Cobbly Nob fire is now estimated to be 819 acres, but there has been no actual growth in the fire size. Containment has increased to 64% on Chimney Tops 2 and is up to 67% on Cobbly Nob. Despite the rain, heat still exists within the fire perimeter. Smoke may be visible within the fire perimeter from time to time, and firefighters will continue to patrol and mop any hot spots that may be a threat to the containment lines or structures.
Chimney Tops 2 fire
Cobbly Nob Fire:
Today property owners, business owners, renters, and lease holders are being allowed to return to full-time occupancy beginning at 7:00 amthrough the East Parkway (Hwy. 321) entry point. A curfew will be in effect from 10:00 pm until 6:00 am both today and Thursday. Use caution when entering the burned area.
The City of Gatlinburg plans to reopen for business and to the general public on Friday, December 9 at 7:00 am. Major roadways are expected to be open, but some city roadways may remain closed to accommodate utility work.
Even though the fire is not 100% contained, the areas opening to the public have been deemed safe. The area will continue to be monitored and patrolled. Firefighters will continue to provide structure protection and will maintain a presence in these areas until the fire is 100% contained.
Though there is little or no active fire evident at this time, everyone should use caution when entering the burned area. Be prepared for other hazards that may be present on your property. These include, but are not limited to: hazards trees, footing, parking, collapse of structural material, and utilities. We will continue to mop up and patrol and provide for public and firefighter safety. For detailed information on safely returning to your property, please follow us on our Facebook, website, or call us (information above).
On Wednesday, December 7, property owners, business owners, renters, and lease holders will be allowed to return to full-time occupancy beginning at 7:00 a.m. through the East Parkway (Hwy. 321) entry point. The curfew will then be in effect from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. on both Wednesday and Thursday. Delivery trucks (food service, etc.) may enter through the East Parkway (Hwy. 321) entry point and the Spur entrance checkpoint to Gatlinburg. Only delivery trucks can enter through the Spur checkpoint.
The City of Gatlinburg plans to reopen for business and to the general public on Friday, December 9 at 7:00 a.m. Major roadways are expected to be open, but some city roadways may remain closed to accommodate utility work. More information will be provided throughout the week.
Local officials have provided the following update: