Author Archives: Patrick Pebley

County Commission Holds Workshop in Preparation for Monthly Meeting

Commissioner Tom Hatmaker stood up for the citizen's wanting to speak to the commission during the workshop in spite of the fact that Mayor William Baird said they did not follow proper procedures to speak. Commissioners Beverly Hall, Sue Nance, and Hatmaker sacrificed their personal time so that the citizens could be heard.”][/caption]



The workshop began by addressing citizens concerns. Citizens who signed the book were allotted five minutes to address their concerns. The first to speak was Liam Goins. He requested an update on Valley View Roads due to the recent accident involving a child. Mayor William Baird assured Goins that the issue was being dealt with.

The second concerned citizen was Jim Slasher. He addressed issues that have arisen with the new Justice Center. His concerns involve the percentage of space that will house inmates. He said that of the 45,000 square feet of the new building, only 20,000 would be for inmates. There will be an additional 150 beds added, but his concerns are that this is still inadequate. He says, “Campbell County Justice Center as presently designed is going to be known for more than what it doesn’t do instead of what it does do.”

The next citizen to speak was Robert Henson. After a lively debate concerning his time limit, he began to readdress the issue of the County Powers Act. He asked the commission if the members had read and understood the document. The majority agreed that they had read it and understood it. He began questioning whether the board members understood the vocabulary of the document. Commissioner Ayers spoke on the issue, saying that she spoke with County Attorney Joseph Coker on the issue and he explained several of the parts that she wasn’t clear on. Her main reason for supporting the Act is that it will give the commission the ability to limit the amount of campaign signs that can be posted in the county. This has been a major issue, and the County Powers Act is the only way to regulate this. Several audience members asked why the citizens of Campbell County weren’t informed about this Act. In response, Commissioner Ayers said that the workshops are open to the public, and citizens are encouraged to attend. These meetings are held on the second Monday of every month at 6:00 P.M. Henson was given extra time from another citizen who had signed up to speak, and exceeded both.

Several citizens were unaware that they were required to sign up to speak during the meeting. Mayor Baird ignored Tom Hatmaker’s statement that there were more citizens who didn’t know they had to sign the book, as well as several audience members statements that they were unaware they had to sign the book and when asked again Mayor Baird told them, “It sits right up here every meeting.” Commissioner Hatmaker interjected and said these audience members may not have been aware of the policies of the commission. Mayor Baird responded by saying, “You can come next Monday night to the commission meeting and speak to the commission. An audience member asked if they could just sign the book now, and Mayor Baird replied, “You can sign it now for next Monday after we get through.” However, Commissioners Tom Hatmaker, Sue Nance, and Beverly Hall kindly volunteered to give up their own personal speaking time to allow these citizens to speak.

Commissioner Alvin Evans requested to put the County Powers Act back on the agenda for a revote, since several of the commissioners seem to be more informed on the issue than they were at the time of the first vote. Beverly Hall, and Tom Hatmaker are also in favor of a revote.

Beverly Hall gave up her five minutes to Citizen Billy Minser who is a member of the Board of Friends of Norris Dam State Park. He proposed that the continually addressed issue of building a lighthouse hotel, restaurant, and convention center permanently to rest.

Commissioner Steve Rutherford proposed that we get new dumpsters for Campbell County Schools. He pointed out that they are continually getting write-ups from Health Inspectors. The commission was concerned with budget issues, and pointed out that the county was facing one of the most difficult years for budgeting.

The regular meeting of the County Commission is Monday March 21st at 6 PM.

William L. Gray

age 65, of Middlesboro, Ky., passed away Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at St. Mary’s Campbell County.

Born to the late Lawrence B. and Dolly Ely Gray on October 24, 1945 and raised in Middlesboro, Ky. all his life. Preceded in death by brothers and sisters, Milford Gray, Ray Gray, Ruth Gilbert, Nadine Glaze, Jewell Wilford, Juanita Warf.


Sisters: Phyllis Cheek, Dothan, AL

Nina Jocius, Dearborn, MI

Brothers: Bennie Gray, LaFollette

Elmer Gray, Knoxville

Sons: Steven Buis, Middlesboro, KY

Lawrence Buis, IN

Many nieces, nephews, and a host of other family members & friends

Graveside Services & Interment will be held 2 PM Sunday, March 20th at

Williams Cemetery – Glade Springs Rd., LaFollette

Arrangements by Cross-Smith Funeral Home

The Weekend Getaway: The Clinch River

A wonderful weekend getaway, just a stone’s throw from home, is the Clinch River. The cool, clear waters offer some exciting options for the sportsperson: kayaking, canoeing, trout fishing, striper fishing, and some of the most breathtaking scenic views you will ever experience. This is a chance to view nature at its best. There is a little something for everyone, from the water-lover to the hiker.

The Clinch River at sunset at Norris Dam State Park

Norris Dam State Park offers rustic cabins for those desiring overnight stays. There is camping available for RV camping, trailers, and traditional primitive camping is available to scouts and youth groups – by reservations only. There are trails available for hikers, bikers, and horses. Winding trails along the Clinch River offer scenic and peaceful nature experiences, and boast many species of wildlife and plant life in our area. The Norris Dam Marina provides lake access, and offers boat rentals, where fishers may explore Norris Lake to pursue largemouth and smallmouth bass, striper, walleye, and crappie in abundance. The Clinch River itself boasts some of the most impressive brown, brook, and rainbow trout fishing in East Tennessee. The state record brown trout was harvested in the waters of the Clinch River

There are several guide services available, such as CR Outfitters, Ian Rutter, and Mike Bone. These guide services offer both wading and boat trips along the Clinch River. CR Outfitters also offers a wide range of fly-fishing needs at the Fly Shop, located on the Norris Freeway, directly across from the Museum of Appalachia.

Of course, if it is fishing that interests you most, you will need to secure a current TWRA fishing license. Trout fishing requires an additional stamp. Also, when trout fishing on the Clinch, you must observe the slot limits and other regulations as outlined on the TWRA website:

There are also private cabins located along the Clinch River, offering overnight and weekend rentals. The Clinch River area offers a unique geographical experience, rich in diversity and sporting challenges. The next time you find yourself needing a little getaway, pack a picnic and take the family just down the road, or even rent a cabin or go camping. Try out life on the Clinch River, and you will definitely be rewarded.

Mr. Harold Raymond Parker

Mr. Harold Raymond Parker age 96, born November 10, 1912, in Detroit, MI passed away Wednesday, March 9, 2011, at Harvard Chase Assisted Living and Hospice of Mt. Clemens, MI after a short illness. Preceded in death by beloved wife, Edna (Teddy) Parker of 65 years, and beloved son, Glenn Harold Parker of Florida, parents, Claude and Maggie Parker.

Survivors: Daughter Lynn Parker McCullah and husband, Mike of Speedwell; grandsons, Kenny Ray Rowell and Christopher Rowell; great grandchildren, Claire and Emily Miller of California. Several other friends.

Services will be at a later date. Online condolences for Mr. Parker may be made at Walters Funeral Home of LaFollette is honored to be serving the family of Mr. Harold Raymond Parker.

Blue Devils exit post season play against Cloudland

After the best basketball run in the school’s history the Jellico Blue Devils bowed out of post-season play. They fell to the Highlanders of Cloudland 69-53 in the school’s first ever home TSSAA State Sectional round.
The first half told the tale of the game as the Highlanders took an early lead and forced Jellico star Cody Malicoat into early foul trouble. The Highlanders held a 24-12 lead at the half.
All was not doom and gloom for the Blue devils as Brent Ayers stepped up and led the offense. Ayers had 19 points in the contest to lead the Blue Devils.
Malicoat returned for the second half and was able to cut into the lead. In spite of the Devil’s heroic rally the Highlanders were able to hold onto the lead as the final quarter came to a close.
Malicoat ended the game with 13 points. Lee England also scored in double digits with 10.