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Thursday, July 27, 2017

HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK: Thursday through Friday followed by cooler weather.

DAY ONE...Today and Tonight

Heat indices of 100 to 105 degrees will continue today before
cooler weather moves in. A cold front will sweep through Middle
Tennessee on Friday, bringing an increased chance of thunderstorms
to the mid state. Strong to severe storms are possible starting
tonight. The primary threats are damaging straight-line winds and
torrential rainfall.

Storms likely overnight Thursday and Friday

The potential for strong to severe storms will continue on Friday
as an unusually strong summertime cold front sweeps across the
mid state. Once again, damaging straight-line winds and torrential
rainfall are the main threats.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

TBI Adds Drug Conspiracy Suspect to ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ List

TBI Press Release:
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has a new addition to its 'Top 10 Most Wanted' list: Brandon Bradford.
Bradford (DOB 3-19-79) is wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to face a charge of Conspiracy to Distribute and to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Heroin. Ongoing investigation efforts determined Bradford and his co-conspirators supplied a street gang with large quantities of Heroin. Bradford is a known member of the Vice Lords with ties to Chicago and the Middle Tennessee area. He has a history that includes Aggravated Robbery and Felony Possession of a Handgun and, as such, should be considered armed and dangerous.
Bradford is an African-American man who stands 5’9” and weighs approximately 240 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information about Bradford’s whereabouts should contact the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND. There is a $1,000 reward for information leading to Bradford’s arrest.
Brandon Bradford

Injured Ozone Falls visitor rescued by Cumberland Co. Rescue Squad Monday evening

Info and photos courtesy of the the Cumberland Co. Rescue Squad.

At approximately 5:30 P.M. on Monday, July 24, 2017 the Cumberland County Rescue Squad responded to a fall incident at Ozone Falls off Highway 70 East. The patient was reported to have received multiple injuries after slipping while attempting to traverse the rocky trail to the base of the 110 foot waterfall.

The Rescue Squad arrived on scene, and with mutual aid provided by Crossville City Fire Department & Cumberland County Fire Department, they built a rope system to carry the patient over the treacherous terrain, up to the road where the ambulance awaited. Patient was taken to the hospital in stable condition.

The rescue operation lasted 2.5 hours with 19 squad members responding.

Rescue Squad members and emergency personnel
work to recover an injured visitor to Ozone Falls

Near the New Car Stores but not near the price!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sevier County Couple Charged in Child’s Death

TBI Press Release by Leslie Earhart 
KNOXVILLE – A joint investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Gatlinburg Police Department has resulted in the indictment of a Sevier County couple in connection with the death of their child.
On July 14th, at the request of 4th District Attorney General James Dunn, TBI Special Agents joined the Gatlinburg Police Department in investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of 2-year-old Kipp Phillips. On that day, officers with the Gatlinburg Police Department responded to a home in the 400 block of Laurel Avenue after being notified that a child had been left in a vehicle overnight. Upon arrival, the child was found deceased. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information leading to Anthony D. Phillips (DOB 3-14-91) and Jade E. Phillips (DOB 11-5-92), the child’s parents, as the individuals responsible for his death.
On Monday, the Sevier County Grand Jury returned indictments charging each with two counts of First Degree Murder, one count of Aggravated Child Abuse and one count of Aggravated Child Neglect. This afternoon, information was developed that Anthony and Jade Phillips were at a home in Westmoreland, Tennessee. TBI Agents, with the assistance of the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office, arrested the couple without incident. Both were booked into the Sumner County Jail where they are being held on a $250,000 bond.
Anthony Phillips

Jade Phillips

Gov. Haslam, Comm. Rolfe Announce Textile Corporation of America, Inc. to Create 1,000 New Jobs in Pikeville

(From PIKEVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Textile Corporation of America Inc. officials today announced the company will locate its headquarters and manufacturing facility in Pikeville. 
Textile Corporation of America will invest approximately $27.1 million and create 1,000 new jobs in Bledsoe County, representing the largest private investment in Bledsoe County’s history.
“We want to welcome Textile Corporation of America to Tennessee and thank the company for locating its new operations here, creating 1,000 jobs in Pikeville and making this historic investment for not only Bledsoe County but Tennessee as a whole,” Haslam said. “Tennessee’s central location and established workforce make it a prime location for companies like Textile Corporation of America to set up manufacturing operations. By choosing Pikeville, Textile Corporation of America is helping us get one step closer to our goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”
TN Governor Bill Haslam

A leading textile manufacturer, Textile Corporation of America utilizes state-of-the-art plants and machinery to produce quality industrial and institutional textile products including apparel, bedding, healthcare, hospitality, and kitchen linens. Textile Corporation of America will locate its headquarters and manufacturing facility in the Bledsoe County Industrial Building in Pikeville. The existing building is 186,000 square feet, including offices, and sits on 16 acres. 
The leadership team of Textile Corporation of America has both an unparalleled experience in manufacturing textiles around the world for the past four decades and an unwavering commitment to restoring America’s historic place as a global manufacturing center.
Pikeville's former DURA plant closed since 2004 soon to be
Textile Corp. of America location. Plant to make industrial
apparel and linens for hospitals, hotels and kitchens. 
(Photo from TN ECD)

Last week, Gov. Haslam announced that Tennessee’s unemployment rate for June was the lowest in recorded state history. At 3.6 percent, June’s rate declined from the revised rate of 4.0 percent in May. Meanwhile, U.S. jobless rate increased to 4.4 percent in June from 4.3 percent in May. Bledsoe County’s current unemployment rate is 4.5 percent.
“Tennessee’s unemployment rate wouldn’t be where it is today if it weren’t for the many outstanding companies that choose to call Tennessee home,” Rolfe said. “While we are certainly proud of the decline in our unemployment rate, we know there are areas of our state where Tennesseans struggle to find jobs. Textile Corporation of America’s commitment to create 1,000 jobs in Bledsoe County, a Tier 4 Distressed county, will have an incredible impact on the community and surrounding area. We appreciate the company’s investment in our state and look forward to building a lasting partnership in the future.”
“I could not be happier that my home state of Tennessee is leading the renaissance of American manufacturing with the announcement of this facility today,” Chattanooga businessman and Textile Corporation of America owner Ed Cagle said. “We are proud to call Pikeville, Tennessee home to our new mill. Millions of dollars of investment and the creation of a thousand jobs will be transformative to this county and region.”
Local officials thanked Textile Corporation of America for its investment and new jobs in Bledsoe County. 
“This is an exciting time for Bledsoe County,” Bledsoe County Mayor Gregg Ridley said. “As mayor of a Tier 4 economically distressed county, getting 1,000 local jobs is a pivotal moment in time for our citizens and an answer to many prayers. I welcome Textile Corporation of America to our community and trust they will experience many years of prosperity.” 
“We are so excited about the recent news for our town and county. It has been a long time coming and we want to thank everyone for their hard work and not giving up on bringing jobs to our area,” Pikeville Mayor Philip Cagle said. “We look forward to working with our new friends and for a long successful journey. We are thrilled for the future of our town and the jobs that this company is bringing to Bledsoe County and the surrounding counties.”
“Congratulations to Textile Corporation of America on its decision to locate a new facility in Pikeville, Tennessee,” John Bradley, TVA senior vice president of economic development, said. “TVA and Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative are privileged to partner with the State of Tennessee, the City of Pikeville and Bledsoe County to help companies create new jobs and prosperity in the community.” 

New Pikeville industry to be announced by Gov. Haslam Monday

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam will be in Pikeville this afternoon to make a new industry announcement related to the recent sale of the former DURA plant building that closed in 2004.  The building became property of the Industrial Development Board.

The new company is expected to hire hundreds of employees.

Times Free PRess story on DURA building sale

Crossville's Main Street through downtown closed most of this week.

In a cooperative effort to improve Main Street/Highway 127 through the old downtown portion of Crossville, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and the Crossville Street Department are working to improve the road since it was previously announced that the area would not be repaved until 2020.
Portions of Main Street will be closed much of the week as
TDOT and Crossville Street department work on paving.

Starting Monday morning the downtown area has been closed to through traffic between 6 AM and about 4:30 PM while work to improve the road takes place.  Crossville Street Superintendent Kevin Music said that if things went well they should be wrapped up by Thursday evening but rain or other issues could delay the completion.  The TDOT and city crews are working together on the project.
Rough areas of pavement are being removed and repaved
as part of the project. 

The project is cutting out rough areas of pavement and new strips of asphalt are being laid down hoping to reduce the roughness of travelling on the road.

Almost ready for the roller.

Filling in the cracks.

City of Crossville crews clean out the cuts.

Some of the cleaning needs a hand touch.

Cuts waiting cleaning and preperation

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Hot Rods on a Hot Saturday for a Downtown Crossville Cruise In

Main Street Crossville was full of Hot Rods on a very
hot Saturday but lots of lookers enjoyed seeing
the automotive history.

Lots of trucks and cars to check out every fourth Satuday.

A fast car in front of the old THP office. 

Vintage pickup truck in front of the Palace Theatre. 

Near the new car stores; not near the prices!
Crossville's CARFAX Advantage Dealer

Some of the older vehicles on display.

Many Cars on display for all tastes.

Checking under the hood!

The monthly Cruise Ins are a family event.

Herbie the Love Bug and Friend

You don't see many Studebakers these days.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Council considering TDOT transportation alternative grants for sidewalk and depot improvements

After returning a similar grant several years ago, the Crossville city council is considering applying for a grant from TDOT to help pay for downtown sidewalks and possibly other improvements at the Crossville depot.
City Council members L-R: J.H. Graham, Danny Wyatt,
Mayor James Mayberry, Pamala Harris and Scot Shanks

While no action was taken during the July, the topic is expected to come up at the August work session and regular meeting to consider applying for 80/20 grants that could fund sidewalk improvements and other pedestrian/bicycle improvements for non-drivers as well as possible work on the Crossville Tennessee Central Railroad depot.
Full city council discussion on TDOT grants

A public hearing is planned for the August 8th city council meeting date and the matter on the agenda for council's consideration of the city applying for the grants that are due October 3 this year. The total estimated cost of the project would be $3.2 million dollars with the city's match portion at $640,000.

Downtown sidewalk condition file photo

After some issues with fine print on some of the city's previous grants, the council said they want to see the completed grant before it is submitted.

Crossville Depot

Friday, July 21, 2017

Crossville Waterfest Event at Meadow Park Lake July 22 from 3-8 PM

The annual Waterfest event at Meadow Park Lake is Saturday July 22 featuring lots of outdoor activities fro kids and adults.

Sponsored by the City of Crossville, Obed Watershed Community Organization, Veolia, TSRA and Meadow Park Lake, the event starts at 3 PM and ends at 8 PM.  Activities both on and off the water are planned.

Photo courtesy of Crossvillewaterfest

Events included:

  • Free Paddle Fun from 3 to 6 PM on canoes, kayaks, sit and stand paddle boards including help from a certified TSRA instructor.
  • Twilight Paddle will be from 6 to 7 PM
  • Pontoon boat torus of Meadow Park Lake from 3 to 7 PM to see the lake and wildlife including possible eagle sightings.
  • LIVE MUSIC from 5 to 8 PM includes the Emory Bluff Band, the Mattingly Family Band and Manshoes. 
  • Live animal exhibits from Cumberland Mountain State Park, native fish tank from TWRA, and more.
  • Kids activities from 3 to 6 PM including crafts, bubbles and games.
  • Free water from Cumberland Medical Center.
  • Free Ice Cream and Kettle Corn from City of Crossville.
  • Food available including  BBQ, hot dogs, veggie burgers and sodas.

Shop your Crossville CARFAX Advantage Dealer

Thursday, July 20, 2017

CROSSVILLE FLASHBACK: 8 years ago city council used eminent domain to access Lake Tansi water

Your Crossville CARFAX Advantage Dealer is

Lake Tansi, the peaceful side of Cumberland County
(Editor's note: the action lead to a law suit filed against the city by residents of Lake Tansi that was eventually settled out of court.  The water harvesting has been used for several years and no complaints have been heard about the project recently.)

July 2009
Council approves eminent domain for Tansi Lake water

Standing Room crowd

Lake Tanis resident shirts

The crowd was standing room only and included television news coverage but when the dust cleared the Crossville city council approved moving forward with an eminent domain action to water harvest from Lake Tansi over the strong objections of some of the residents.

The showdown had been coming for some time. As part of the city's plan to expand Meadow Park Lake additional water will need to be used for drinking while the dam is under repair and construction and also to help fill the larger lake once the dam is raised some 23 feet.

The city has been working toward the lake expansion for several years and has sought water harvesting rights from Lake Tansi as far back as 2004 when the Tansi Property Owners Association (POA) asked the city for permission to connect some of the POA's buildings to the sewer line that runs through Tansi to Brown Elementary School. That offer was refused by the POA in 2004 and again in 2007 when the POA returned to the city again seeking sewer service.

Crossville Mayor J. H. Graham III started the discussion by pointing out that the council met some 10 to 12 years ago and discussed a plan including roads, infrastructure, water and sewer to meet the needs of a future community population estimated to grow to some 100,000 people.

“We want to make sure the community has a pristine and potable water supply in an area with no large rivers or lakes,” explained Graham.

City Engineer Tom Wolf told the council and the audience that according to the recent raw water study the city is currently at about 75 to 80 percent of its capacity of generating 7.5 million gallons of drinking water per day. To meet the estimated demand 40 years in the future will require doubling the capacity to 14 million gallons per day. The plan is to raise the Meadow Park Lake Dam 23 feet to allow a 20 foot increase in the current level of the lake.

A study of the costs of the necessary water harvesting component to sustain the lake showed that the Tansi option was the most cost effective at a cost of $5 million and the lowest annual operating costs. The study also looked at water harvesting from the Caney Fork River some 4.5 miles away from Meadow Park Lake with an initial cost of $15 million and also looked at pumping water up from Watts Bar at an initial cost of $61 million.

“We are trying to insure that the people of the county and their children and grandchildren will have clean potable water to drink, commented Councilman Boyd Wyatt.

City manager Ted Meadows outlined 4 or 5 meetings with Tansi representatives in the last several weeks. Meadows said he'd made proposals and presented an MOU but it was not accepted.

Meadows outlined three reasons that the city would need to use Lake Tansi water. One would be in the case of a federally declared drought emergency and as bad as last summer was, Meadows said it was never declared an emergency.

The city would also need water while Meadow Park lake is drained to make repairs on the lake side of the dam. During that time the water from Tansi would be pumped directly into the treatment plant and not into the lake according to Meadows. This would be needed to make sure the area had adequate drinking water and would be needed to continue until the dam is repaired.

“We can't pull 4.5 million gallons out of Holiday Lake to meet the area's water demand,” explained Meadows. “We plan to do the work during the wet season and the work should take about 4 to 6 months.”

The final reason the city would pump water from Tansi would be to help fill the newly expanded lake once the dam is raised. This water would only be taken when there is excess water in Lake Tansi and water is flowing over the dam.

Meadows said, “I hope enough people are learning facts rather then fears or rumors that have been out there.”

Meadows advised the council his recommendation was to move forward on this action as soon as possible because if the city loses the $2 million grant that cost will be reflected in future water bills. According to Meadows, the expansion of Meadow Park Lake solely depends on pulling water from lake Tansi.

City clerk Sally Oglesby said that the state revolving loan officials wanted an answer on the city's plan the day after the council meeting. She said the city might have until the end of the month to decide what do do but it was not guaranteed. She explained that the state had to use the funds or lose them so if Crossville couldn't use the money it would probably go elsewhere in Tennessee.

Joe Looney, acting as city attorney in the absence of Ken Chadwell discussed the process for eminent domain and the city's ability to use it even outside of Crossville's corporate limits.

The motion was made to move forward with the eminent domain condemnation but in the mean time Meadows was told to continue negotiations between the city and the POA. According to Meadows, the city attorney has been working with the POA's attorney, Knoxville's Bud Gilbert on the matter.

The unanimous vote in favor of the motion elicited groans and grumbling from the Tansi crowd and Councilman Carl Duer spoke to the group telling them that he had lived on Holiday Lake for many years and there had been no major problems with the use of the lake for water. Duer told the Tansi residents that the city was not trying to penalize or hurt them and that the water was important. He also urged them not to let their emotions get out of hand.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The original Crossville train depot for the Tennessee Central is NOT the one in Crossville today.

I have been told that the very first Crossville depot was actually a box car parked on a siding until a building could be built. The photo below shows the first constructed Crossville Depot and is from a series of postcards that were published around 1905, the time of the construction of the Cumberland Co. Courthouse.  The series of postcards all have similar writing as you see here and included in addition to the Courthouse and the depot, banks and churches.  There is no identification as to who took the photos or who printed the series of postcards.

Another question is where exactly was this early depot located.  I have been told it was across the street from the current depot, possibly on the location of the Triangle building but have been unable to confirm this.  While the quality of the over 100 year old photo printing is not the best you can make out a a possible structure or something behind the depot on the right side.  It appears the photo was taken in the winter by the coats on those in the photo and the bare trees. 

By the way, THIS is the depot building that Sergeant Alvin C. York would have left from to go to WWI and returned to on his way home to Fentress Co.  This building burned in February 1925 (about 5 weeks after records show a fire extinguisher was installed) and the current depot building was built and opened in about June of 1926. 

For modern, dependable transportation,

Current Crossville Depot built in 1926

Monday, July 17, 2017

CROSSVILLE FLASHBACK 2007: Discussion on new library covers need to buy railroad property never completed

During the city attorney's report at city council's July meeting, Will Ridley told the council that he had a call from the county attorney and said the county was having trouble with old Railroad property that was under the site of the new Art Circle Public Library.

According to Ridley, “Some of that property runs behind the amphitheater that the city owns and it's my understanding that the city owns that property and they would like for us to potentially negotiate purchasing that property. I know you all had talked about bathrooms and other things in that area.”

Image from state comptrollers property website showing
railroad property running through library property.

Councilman J. H. Graham commented that he believed the railroad right of way was 100 feet wide and he thought the county received it free and clear years ago. He added, “Before we start talking about buying something, I want a title opinion. Somebody didn't get a title opinion if they are asking $40,000 for what the library is sitting on.” Mr. Ridley assured the council he would look at the property.

The Ten year Crossville Flashback story below is from January 2007 and recaps a discussion with the council about the property including the railroad property as plans for the new library was moving forward. One of those addressing the council was the late Carol Darling. Also discussed was a possible widening of Webb Avenue that was under consideration.

Jim Young Reporter sponsored by

(News Story from January 2007 giving Crossville city council update on library plans)
New Library coming closer to reality?

Carol Darling, left, and architect David Collins, right, 
go over early library plans in January 2007 with city council.

Crossville city council members expressed their support for the latest proposed location of a new library building as it was presented at the Council's regular January meeting.

The proposal to locate a new 30,000 square foot library building along Webb Avenue behind the Cumberland County Courthouse was presented by Carol Darling, a board member of the Caney Fork Regional Library and David Collins, with architects McCarty Holsaple and McCarty. The proposed location would take a block of Division Street closest to Webb Avenue and cover part of the site of the old Turner Day Woolworth handle mill and the old railroad right of way.

Darling started out by thanking the city council for their financial support of the Imagination Library, a program developed by Dolly Parton that provides books to all young children in the county. According to Darling, 40 percent of the eligible children in the county have been registered for the program. That number is well above the expected goals for participation in the program and everyone involved in the program is extremely happy with that success.

Darling went on to describe how small and inadequate and out of date the current library building is and how the limited the space available means users of the library are unable to enjoy the kind of comfort most library's provide. Darling added that there are currently only 8 seats in the reference department. Darling said that the proposed new location was approved by a consensus of the board.

David Collins works for McCarty Holsaple McCarty, architects that have worked on the library expansion plans for a number of years. Collins told the council that the location of the library would allow for what he called a “governmental center” that would include the courthouse square and buildings behind and in front of it that make up a campus of government offices and facilities.

The new proposed library building would be 30,000 square feet, three times the size of the current building and capable of handling the community's library needs for many years into the future.

Darling said that the library was seeking several types of help from the city for the project including closing and abandoning a portion of Division Street and East Street. In addition, the city is being asked to provide funding to pay for the portion of the handle mill property needed for the project. An option of the property needed has been signed between the property owner and the library at a cost of $125,000.

Council members generally approved the plan and Crossville Mayor J. H. Graham III said he felt the council would approve putting $125,000 in the upcoming 2006-2007 fiscal year budget for purchase of the land as requested.

The cost of any railroad right of way property is unknown at the current time, but is expected to have some cost. In addition, because of the Sprint fiber optic communications cable that runs in the railroad right of way, no construction can take place over that property, but it can be paved over for parking.

Mayor Graham also talked about the potential increase in traffic along Webb Avenue with the new library location and plans the city has previously discussed for widening the road to allow it to handle additional traffic. Graham asked that the library designs take future widening of the road into account so the city could continue with plans to help the traffic flow through the area.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Crossville Council OKs Garrison Park budget amendment with some members still opposed to grant

The Crossville city council finally approved the third and final reading of a budget amendment needed to approve payment for work already done and paid for as part of the Garrison Park redevelopment project. One council member opposed the measure based on the project requiring that the fence around the park be removed.

The council started second guessing the project after discovering details that had been previously provided to them in agenda materials including that the fence around the park would be removed. The other controversy in the project is the removal of the grandstand built in the late 1940s that is in disrepair and unable to meet ADA requirements for handicapped access.

Prior to the July council meeting, members review the
Garrison Park concept plan.  L-R Pamala Harris,
Mayor James Mayberry, J.H. Graham, city manager Greg Wood
and Scot Shanks.

At this point, the council has approved acceptance of the grant contract from the State of Tennessee for $500,000 in a 50/50 match and has approved contracts with the engineering firm designing the project and the grant administrator in previous actions.

Council discussion on Garrison budget amendment

Some council members then looked at the details of the work and have appeared to want to slow the process until some changes can be made or abandon it all together. The state has told the city the grant agreement requires them do do certain things in order to complete the grant including the removal of the fence and grandstand. The state said that the fence could be put back up completely or partially if the city wants to. According to city manager Greg Wood, the current model for public parks is to have open un-fenced access to the amenities.

The project also includes a splash pad, a playground, new basketball court and restroom facilities at the park.

Councilman J. H. Graham moved to approve the budget amendment at the amount paid for the work and was seconded by Mayor James Mayberry.

Jim Young Reporter is sponsored by

Councilman Danny Wyatt said he would not support the matter “because we've learned a lot of things over the last month or two.” Wyatt complained about having to tear down the chain link fence adding, “The taxpayers paid for this fence and it's in good shape.”

Mr. Graham commented that he only intended for the bills already paid to be covered under the budget and he was “not supporting any contracts or accepting the grant or anything else.”

After some confusion expressed by councilwoman Pamala Harris, city clerk Sally Oglesby explained to the the council that the grant had been accepted and the contracts approved months ago.

Prior to the vote being taken, Mayor Mayberry clarified once more that the vote was strictly on the budget amendment to cover expenses already paid for the previous fiscal year. The motion passed with three aye votes from Graham, Mayberry and councilman Scot Shanks. Council members Wyatt and Harris voted no.