News

New housing development will bring almost 200 new rooftops to Clinton


Charles G. Seivers Boulevard and Miller Road
Work began in earnest last week on a 64-acre tract near the intersection of Charles G. Seivers Boulevard and Miller Road for a proposed housing development. Early plans call for 127 detached homes and another 60-90 attached housing units. The number of attached housing units will depend on the which floor plan is selected, said Nicci Hollingsworth, who is overseeing the development. Grading of the site — which includes placement of utilities — is expected to take about eight months. Once grading is completed Hollingsworth said there will be “multiple” builders working in the development. She added local contractors are being selected for the work. “We hope to have people moving in within a year,” Hollingsworth said. She noted that it has taken almost a year to get the development ready for site preparation, but now that work has begun it’s exciting to watch it unfold. “This has been my baby for a year now,” she said. “It’s been a labor of love.”

City awarded $25,000 grant for dog park


Boyd Foundation President Randy Boyd, right, talks with Anderson County Chamber of Commerce Presi- dent and County Commissioner Rick Meredith (left) , and Clinton Mayor Scott Burton after presenting the City of Clinton a $25,000 grant for a dog park.
The Boyd Foundation presented the City of Clinton with a Dog Park Dash grant for $25,000 last week.

The grant will go towards the construction of a dog park.

But, as Boyd Foundation president Randy Boyd says, dogs don’t drive themselves to the park. It’s a people park, too.

“One of the things that’s neat in small towns like Clinton is that this seems to be something that really galvanizes the community,” said Dog Park Dash Grant Coordinator and spokesperson Harrison Forbes.

Forbes said Parks and Recreation Director Jason Brown and Clinton Community Center employee Taylor Huddleston were the driving force behind the grant. They encouraged the community to send in letters of support and participate in a social media campaign to win the grant.

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Nurse practitioner faces eight drug charges


TONIA RENEE SUTTLES
An investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has led to the indictment of a Clinton woman on charges that she fraudulently obtained prescription drugs.

In February, 2017, after receiving information from the Knoxville Police Department, TBI Special Agents with the Drug Investigation Division began investigating allegations that Tonia Renee Suttles, 46, was obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

Information obtained during the investigation revealed that over a two-year period, while working at two medical practices in East Tennessee, Suttles used her position as a nurse practitioner to fraudulently obtain prescription medications.

Last week, the Anderson County Grand Jury returned indictments charging Suttles with eight counts of Prescription Drug Fraud.

On Thursday, Aug. 8, with assistance from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, Agents arrested Suttles.

She was booked into the Anderson County Jail on a $25,000 bond.

‘They ain’t no kin to me’

Rocky Top woman charged with arson of home of family with children


SHARON LEE BRADEN
Sharon Lee Braden, 48, Rocky Top, was arrested Monday on charges of aggravated arson, three counts of aggravated assault, and reckless endangerment related to a June fire at an Offutt Road residence in Clinton.

Anderson County Sheriff’s Office detective Sean Flynn issued the arrest warrants as a result of evidence collected during his investigation and statements made by an eye witness.

The witness reported that he saw Braden start the fire and when he approached her she fled.

The victims, Randy Cox Sr. and two minors, were able to evacuate safely from the home.

The witness stated Braden approached him at Sammy’s Market in Rocky Top a few days later and told him he “should have let Mr. Cox burn in the fire.”

The witness explained there were also two children in the home and Braden allegedly responded, “They aren’t no kin to me”.

Anderson County Sheriff, Russell Barker, praised the work by Detective Flynn.

“Detective Flynn did a great job on this case. His hard work resulted in removing a very dangerous person off our streets” Barker stated.

The Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fire incident involving a vehicle and camper that occurred Monday at the same address.

Braden is a suspect in that investigation as well.

Braden is being held at the Anderson County Detention Facility on a $260,000 bond.

County will meet twice to set 2019-2020 budget

Anderson County Commission met at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13, the first of two special called meetings, to finalize the 2019-2020 budget.

The second special called meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15.

Last Thursday, Aug. 8, the Anderson County Budget Committee met in a day session to rework a proposed 18.25-cents tax increase.

The Budget Committee forwarded at 10-cents tax increase to commission after that session.

Five-cents will go to schools, 4.5-cents will be earmarked for the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, and ½-cent is set aside for the county’s capital outlay projects.

If the 10-cents increase passes, the Anderson County tax rate would sit at $2.8903 per $100 assessed value.

Clinton residents’ property tax will $2.8589 per $100 assessed value.

Reports of debit/credit card ‘skimmers’ on the rise locally

Increase seen at local gas stations

According to Clinton Police Det. Danielle Alexander, there has been an increase in skimmers at local gas stations.

Banks have noticed it, too. While there are many more reports of skimmers in Knoxville, they’ve been reported in Clinton lately as well.

Skimmers are malicious card readers attached to ATMs or pay-at-the-pump card readers that steal the info from the magnetic strip on your bank card.

The Federal Trade Commission offers the following tips to prevent your card info being stolen by skimmers:

• Make sure the gas pump panel is closed and doesn’t show signs of tampering.

Many stations now put security seals over the cabinet panel. If the pump panel is opened, the label will read “void.”

• Look at the card reader itself. Does it look different than other readers at the station? Try to wiggle the card reader before you put in your card.

If it moves, report it to the attendant. Then use a different pump.

• If you use a debit card at the pump, run it as a credit card instead of entering a PIN.

That way, the PIN is safe and the money isn’t deducted immediately from your account.

• If you’re really concerned about skimmers, pay inside rather than at the pump.

• Monitor your credit card and bank accounts regularly to spot unauthorized charges.

If your card info is stolen, report it to the bank and police as soon as possible. Many banks will refund fraudulent transactions.

Reaching out to Veterans; reaching out to families

Combat veteran’s music is stepping stone and story of healing

Zeke Vanderpool of Andersonville has done his time with 20th Special Forces Special Operations.

Retiring in 2013, Vanderpool said he knew there was something — he wasn’t sure what — he needed to do.

“I used to sit around outside, on the porch, play a little guitar, just fooling around really,” he said.

“And I realized I was doing that, sitting around playing music, when I needed to regroup,” he said.

He noticed other veterans were doing it as well.

He calls it telling stories of their lives and their happenings — and that’s what his music is really, it’s telling stories.

“It’s the power of the story, the power of the music,” Vanderpool said.

He soon found that veterans were responding to the music. They began to open up, to share.

Vanderpool said it’s not a miracle. It’s just a way one veteran can relate to another. Call it an ice breaker, if you will, but it works.

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Mavs scrimmage Scott


Anderson County’s Stone Hatmaker cuts away from Scott County player to avoid being tackled. Anderson County faced off against Scott County on Friday, Aug. 9 in a scrimmage. There were no injuries, and both teams played hard. Full pads were used in preparation for the first games of the regular season Anderson County’s first game takes place against Clinton on Aug. 23. Their final scrimmage of the season takes place on Aug. 13 at Morristown East.