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Friday, June 30, 2017

TBI Agents Investigating Cookeville Arrest-Related Death

TBI News Release by Josh DeVine
At the request of 13th District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway, TBI Special Agents continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a man while in the process of being arrested overnight by officers from the Cookeville Police Department.
Preliminary information indicates the incident occurred at approximately 12:30 Friday morning, when the Cookeville Police Department received a call alerting them to a man, identified as Richard Thomas Sparks (DOB 1-20-80), walking in the median of Interstate 40 near Mile Marker 288. When an officer arrived and made contact with Sparks, he became combative. A second officer arrived to assist, and the two were able to place Sparks on the ground in handcuffs. A short time later, however, Sparks became unresponsive. The two officers suspected an opioid overdose and administered a dose of naloxone, which was not successful in reviving Sparks. The officers then attempted to use a portable Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), which was also unsuccessful. Medics transported Sparks to Cookeville Regional Medical Center, where doctors pronounced him deceased.

TBI Agents gathered relevant information, interviews, and evidence at the scene early this morning in connection to this active and ongoing case. In turn, investigative findings will be submitted to the District Attorney General for his further review and consideration. As a reminder, the TBI acts as ‘fact-finders’ in its cases. The decision as to whether the actions of the officers were justified rests solely with the District Attorney General.
Per TBI policy, the agency will not identify the officers involved in this incident and will instead refer questions of that nature to their department.

Property tax reduction proposal fails to pass council.

After an attempt to reduce the Crossville city property tax rate failed to receive enough votes for passage, the city council went on to approve the third and final reading of the city's budget and tax rate.

Councilman J. H. Graham caught some of the council off guard when right at the start of the meeting he made a motion to waive the rules to take up consideration of the tax rate first at the meeting. The rule waiver was approved and Graham said that he would like to see the tax rate dropped from the state certified 59.05 cents down to 55 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Graham gave several reasons for the action, including current strong sales tax collections and people who talked to him during the election saying they wanted property tax reductions from increases and reappraisals. Graham estimated that the change would reduce the property tax collections by $172,000 for the coming fiscal year or $43,000 per tax penny. Graham added that the reduction could be funded from the city's current fund balance expected to be some $13.5 million at the end of the current fiscal year.

“I feel very comfortable that the City of Crossville is in great shape as far as the fund balance in concerned,” added Graham

Council member Pamala Harris seconded the motion and noted that the city had a lot of expenses with projects and capital outlay that even that amount of reduction in revenue could create problems in the long run.

Mayor James Mayberry said he was comfortable at the current time but added, “There are lots of things that we want to do that we haven't even got to. Economist are talking about potential downfalls and cyclical economy slowing down and our biggest income to run our community is off of sales tax but we have no control over that.”

Harris brought up the proposed special census as a way to increase revenue as well. Graham said that the increase in state shared taxes could cover the loss of revenue. Discussion on capital expenditures followed that are planned for the next year and part of the future capital spending plan.

City Council members discuss a possible property tax 
reduction during a June 29 called meeting.

After a some further discussion, the vote was called for and failed in a 2 to 2 tie. Graham and councilman Danny Wyatt voted in favor while Harris and Mayor Mayberry voted against. Council Scot Shanks was out of town and unable to attend the meeting.

Councilwoman Harris proposed a smaller reduction and moved to make the tax rate 57 cents for the coming fiscal year but her motion did not receive a second.

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With that, Mayor Mayberry moved that the city property tax rate be set at the state certified rate of 59.05 cents for the 2017-18 budget year. A second on the motion was given by councilman Graham.
The motion passed with 3 aye votes and Mr. Wyatt opposed.

Later in the meeting the council approved the full 2017-18 fiscal year budget at a $1.9 million deficit that will be covered out of the estimated $13.5 million fund balance. The budget motion by Mayor Mayberry was seconded by Mr. Wyatt and passed with four votes in favor. Council also unanimously approved the resolution for the non-profit donations.

Crossville's Palace Theater events scheduled for July

Upcoming events at Crossville's Historic Palace Theatre

July 2017
7/6   (Thurs)     Buddy Holly Tribute with Kenny James 7 PM $15
7/8   (Sat)       Flight 101 Beatles Tribute Band 7 PM $15/ $10 for students/child
7/11 (Tues)     Jeannie Fitzgerald & Greg Wilson duo Still Here 7 PM $15
7/15 (Sat)      Conway Twitty Tribute with Jack Brickles 7 PM $17
7/21 (Fri)      Elvis Impersonator Austin Irby 7:30 PM $20
7/22 (Sat)      “Solid Country” with Tommy Dee, Regina Stephens, and many more 7 PM $15
7/28 (Fri)      Anthony Woolbright 7PM $15/ $7 for students and children
7/29 (Sat)      Ultimate Oldies Rock N’ Roll Show 7 PM $20

*Tickets for most events may be purchased at the Palace or online by cash, check or credit card.               
Palace Box Office hours are Tuesday through Friday 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM

All tickets sales are final.  Events listed are subject to change.
Order by phone 931-484-6133 
or by internet at
Email the Palace at

Jim Young Reporter is sponsored by
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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Newport Woman Indicted, Accused of Filing a False Report

TBI release by Leslie Earhart
KNOXVILLE – An investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has led to the indictment of a Newport woman accused of falsely reporting sexual abuse involving a child.
In February, at the request of 4th District Attorney General James Dunn, TBI Special Agents began investigating allegations of child sexual abuse made by Lorinda Gail Sutton. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information that indicated Sutton had not been truthful and the incident she reported did not occur.
This week, the Cocke County Grand Jury returned indictments charging Sutton (DOB 11/5/75) with one count of Filing a False Police Report and one count of Falsely Reporting Child Sexual Abuse. Today, Sutton was arrested and booked into the Cocke County Jail on a $2,500 bond.
Lorinda Sutton

CROSSVILLE FLASHBACK: Council works on Holiday Lake Dam problem

(Editor's note: This project came out of a state dam inspection that required work on the dam.  As the work moved forward the city ran into problems with the additional water in the lake and if that was a "taking" of land.  It was discovered that different deeds described the lake water line boundary in different ways and eventually the city left the dam at the level it was but with better control of the water levels. The project was finally completed in 2009)

Council works on its dam problem (July 2002)

The Crossville city council looked at options last Thursday for work required to bring the Holiday Hills Lake dam up to standards required by the Safe Dams Act while also improving the city’s control of the lake’s water level.
Council approved the option recommended by engineer Scott Christian of ECE Services at an estimated cost of $350,000 for work on the dam plus an additional cost for work on the bridge that crosses the dam’s spillway. Based on the council’s action, ECE will have a final report to present to the council at their regular meeting on August 13 with more detailed cost estimates on the project.
Once the final proposed plan is approved by the council in August it will be submitted to the state for their initial approval. When the full plans are prepared, the state must again approve the plan before the project can be put out for bids.
Engineer Scot Christian with ECE explains the plan
to the city council.
The plan chosen would widen the spillway over the dam from the current 32 feet to 150 feet and armor the dam using heavy riprap and rocks. The armor is to maintain the integrity of the dam should water ever flow over the top of it in the event of a super rain event. The spillway includes an upgraded weir system to control the actual water level in the lake. A weir is a gate like device that can be raised or lowered from the bottom.
One side benefit of the proposed dam improvement project is that it will raise the level of the lake by some 9 inches. This means the lake will hold more water increasing the capacity of the lake.
Just over a year ago the city received a notification from the state that the Holiday Lake dam was in apparent violation of the Safe Dams Act. At the time, the city was looking at making improvements to the Holiday Lake dam spillway and weir to better control the level of the lake for the city’s water plant intake.
That 2001 letter indicated that the Holiday Hills dam appeared to violate the Safe Dams Act based on a very unlikely Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) rainfall event of 29.85 inches of rain in a six-hour period. Based on calculations prepared by the state, such a PMP rain event would cause the water behind the Holiday Lake dam to rise more than two feet above the top of the dam and should the dam fail, it would threaten several houses and bridges below the dam.
During the council’s meeting in June of 2001, council approved amending ECE Services contract to include a study and report on improvements to bring the dam into compliance. ECE was already working on the spillway and weir project at the time.
At last week’s meeting, Christian explained to the council the reason for the state’s 2001 classification. He said that because the dam could be topped and potentially fail in such a PMP rain event that the ensuing flood would threaten 4 houses along with several bridges and roads downstream from the dam. Because loss of human life could result from such a dam failure is the reason for the states classification change in 2001.
The bridge across the spillway portion of the dam is currently is classified as one of the worst bridges in Cumberland County and is at the top of the list for state funds to improve it according to Christian. If the city receives funding form the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) 70 percent of the replacement bridge’s cost would be covered by state funds. The cost of a new longer bridge is estimated at $225,000. The city’s 30 percent share would be $67,500.
Crossville Mayor J. H. Graham III commented, “We have to look at both the dam and the bridge situation at the same time.”

Other potential options studied by ECE Services including substantially lowering the current spillway that would have had detrimental effects on the water plant intake. Also, an expensive series of smaller lakes above the dam could have held more water in the event of a large rainfall. Also studied was purchasing the downstream houses and demolishing them. Because of the bridge and roads involved though, human life could have still been threatened and the problem would not have been solved.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Council work session to follow June 29 special called meeting on budget.

The Crossville city council has a work session scheduled for Thursday June 29 at 5:15 PM following the special called meeting to approve final reading of the 2017-18 fiscal year budget and other items.

Because the regular day that the council would meet for its monthly work session is July 4th the council decided to move the monthly work session a bit earlier in order to celebrate the holiday and since a special called meeting was already scheduled council decided to go ahead and hold the work session.
Crossville City Hall

The work session will discuss items that may be on the regular July council meeting that will be held July 11 including the bid on solid waste collection for the city. With the contract expiring the council voted to rebid the service. The deadline to bid was June 6.

The only bid received was from Waste Connections/Cumberland Waste Disposal, the current contractor. The current waste collection contract costs the city $360,929 per year and the new contract is estimated to be $239,846 with the city picking up yard waste and leaves. The bid for twice a year yard waste/leaf pickup by Cumberland Waste would be $152,683 and the city is recommending to the council that the city, not the contractor, do the yard waste/leaf pickup. The city has the purchase of a leaf vacuum truck in the new fiscal year's budget for the service.

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Council will discuss the plan with a decision expected to be voted on in the July regular meeting.

Downtown sidewalks and Main Street striping plans will be up for discussion. The item has been requested on the agenda by councilwoman Pamala Harris.

Several grants are on the agenda for discussion including the Transpiration Alternatives Grant. That grant could be used for sidewalks, streetlights and pedestrian signals for downtown. The grant pays 80 percent of the cost. Also on the agenda is a police vest grant and the airport maintenance grant

Road closing approvals are up for consideration for the August Friday at the Crossroads, a 70E block party July 14 and the Scarecrow Festival in October.

A contract with an engineering for for a study on the city's raw water supply for Meadow Park Lake is on the agenda. If approved the J. R. Wauford & Company will perform preliminary engineering on the project for $15,000.

Another engineering contract for work on the industrial site development project to create a pad for construction is up for consideration. Following a request for qualifications the selection committee selected TARE Engineering for the work at $60,000 has been recommended.  

Saturday, June 24, 2017

June Downtown Crossville Cruise In Brings people and vehicles together.

From April to October each year there is a Cruise In featuring vintage vehicles on each Fourth Saturday.  The weather for June's Cruise In was beautiful and cars were out in full force with car aficionados looking and asking questions to the owners.

Downtown Direction sign for travelers

Checking out the "rides."

A variety of different cars.

Check under the hood.

Hot Rods and muscle cars

Main Street lined with cars.

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Purple power.

Wut is it?

Early El Camino


Classic 70's American Motors Gremlin

You have to have a picture of the back of a Gremlin.

Pretty sure this one is an Oldsmobile.

Ready to run.

Willys Pickup

Friday, June 23, 2017

Crossville PD Search Warrant Nets Various Narcotics.

The Crossville Police Department continues efforts to protect the citizens of the City of Crossville and Cumberland County. On June 15, 2017 a Search Warrant was executed by the Crossville Police Department’s Narcotics Unit and the joint City/County Tactical Response Unit, at the Plateau Road residence of 57 year old James J. Wilson and 57 year old Joy R. Wilson in Crossville, TN. Various narcotics were recovered during the search.

Charges will be presented at a future session of the Cumberland County Grand Jury. The Crossville Police Department thanks the T.B.I. / H.I.D.T.A. Drug Task Force, the 13th Judicial Drug Task Force for their help in the investigation. This action was the result of the month’s long, joint investigation and undercover operations of our agencies and it continues the Crossville Police Department’s resolve to promote a better community to all residents and visitors of the Plateau.

Any questions, please contact the Crossville Police Department 931-484-7231.

Crossville Police partner with DEA on Federal Arrest

The Crossville Police Department continues its efforts to protect the citizens of the City of Crossville and Cumberland County. On June 14, 2017, following the conclusion of a joint narcotics investigation conducted by the Crossville Police Department Narcotics Unit working jointly with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), officers arrested 43 year old James "Jimmy" D. Sherrill, via a Federal Arrest Warrant.

Mr. Sherrill was served with the active Federal Arrest Warrant and Transported to Nashville, TN for Booking, by the U.S. Marshal's Service, without incident. This action was the result of the month’s long, joint investigation efforts of local, state and federal law enforcement  agencies and it continues the Crossville Police Department’s commitment to work tirelessly while providing a greater level safety for our community and to all visitors of the Plateau.

Any questions, please contact the Crossville Police Department 931-484-7231.

Tornado Watch issued for Middle Tennessee

The National Weather Service has Issued a Tornado Watch for Middle Tennessee until 8:00 PM.

A tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for the possible formation of severe thunderstorms or tornadoes.

Stay aware of changing weather conditions.

Tennessee Counties included are:
ANDERSON             BEDFORD             BLEDSOE
BLOUNT               BRADLEY             CAMPBELL
CANNON               CLAIBORNE           CLAY
COFFEE               CUMBERLAND          DE KALB
FENTRESS             FRANKLIN            GILES
GRAINGER             GRUNDY              HAMILTON
JACKSON              KNOX                LAWRENCE
LINCOLN              LOUDON              MACON
MARION               MARSHALL            MCMINN
MEIGS                MONROE              MOORE
MORGAN               OVERTON             PICKETT
POLK                 PUTNAM              RHEA
ROANE                RUTHERFORD          SCOTT
SEQUATCHIE           SMITH               TROUSDALE
UNION                VAN BUREN           WARREN
WHITE                WILSON

Hazardous Weather Outlook issued for Friday June 23

THe National Weather Service has issued this Hazardous Weather outlook
for Friday June 23 and into next week. 

DAY ONE...Today and Tonight.

The remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy will bring heavy rainfall to
the mid-state today. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect until 7 am
Saturday morning for areas generally along and north of I-40,
including all of the Nashville Metro area. 1.5 to 2.5 inches of
rainfall is expected, but locally higher amounts are possible.
In addition to the heavy rainfall, severe weather is also a possibility for all of Middle Tennessee today. While damaging straight line winds will be the main threat, isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out this afternoon and this evening. .DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...Saturday through Thursday. Rises on area rivers and creeks will be possible Sunday and Monday as rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy run off. Minor flooding will be possible.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Crossville PD Announces Sobriety Enforcement Checks


The City of Crossville Police Department will be conducting sobriety enforcement checks and saturations throughout the city of Crossville, beginning on June 30, 2017 at 6:00 pm until approximately 2:00 am.

These checkpoints and saturations will be located on:
  • U.S. HWY.127,  
  • U.S. HWY 70, 
  • U.S. HWY 70N, 
  • State Route 392, 
  • State Route 101 and will also include 
  • Lantana Road and
  • Genesis Road

Special attention will be placed on the impaired driver, the unrestrained driver and occupants, child restraint law violators and other traffic related violations.

WESTBOUND I-40 closed due to tractor trailer overturned at 305 Mile marker

Interstate 40 westbound in Cumberland County -
Crash - Overturned Tractor Trailer at MILE MARKER 305 (Mile Marker: 305) reported at 1:14 PM 6/22/2017 and estimated to be cleared by 5:15 PM 6/22/2017 (Central Time Zone).

Westbound traffic is affected with roadway closed. 

Eastbound traffic is affected with no delays.

National Weather Service issues statements on Tropic Storm Cindy effects.

Tropical Storm Cindy to impact Middle Tennessee today through
Friday night.

Tropical Storm Cindy has made landfall on the Gulf Coast this
morning. Although it will quickly weaken as it moves further
inland, its remnants will still have a significant impact on the
weather across Middle Tennessee today through Friday night.

As the storm moves into the Lower Mississippi Valley tonight and
then across Middle Tennessee late Friday and Friday evening, look
for widespread showers and thunderstorms to spread across the
region. The prolonged exposure to copious tropical moisture will
contribute to significant rainfall amounts and possible flash
flooding, especially Friday and Friday night.

In addition to the heavy rainfall potential and flooding threat,
there is a marginal risk of severe storms across all of Middle
Tennessee today and tonight, and a marginal or slight risk of
severe storms Friday and Friday night. The primary threat
continues to be damaging straight line winds, but tropical systems
are also known to spawn weak, short-lived tornadoes.

Crossville Storm Clouds from earlier this month


DAY ONE...Today and Tonight

The remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy are expected to produce
significant rainfall amounts across Middle Tennessee beginning
today. Flooding impacts today and tonight will be minimal, and
restricted mainly to ponding of water on roads during heavy
downpours. In addition, there is a marginal risk of severe storms
across the entire mid state, with damaging straight line winds the
primary threat.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...Friday through Wednesday

Rainfall amounts will intensify on Friday and Friday night as the
storm center moves directly across Middle Tennessee. Two day
rainfall amounts will average 2 to 4 inches, with most of this
occurring Friday and Friday evening. There is also a marginal or
slight risk of severe storms, with damaging straight line winds
once again the primary threat. However, it is important to
remember that tropical systems are known to produce weak, short-
lived tornadoes.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Crossville city council called meeting on June 29 agenda includes budget, tax rate and more.

Crossville city council will meet in a special called meeting June 29 with the third and final approval of the city's new fiscal year budget and tax rate on the agenda. The meeting is set for 5 PM and will be followed by a work session.  The work session agenda will be released next week. 

The new tax rate, certified by the state following the countywide reappraisal is $0.5905 per $100 of assessed value. The new rate is a 4 cent drop from the previous year's tax rate of $0.63.

Crossville City Hall

In addition to approving the final version of the 2017-18 budget with a $1.9 million deficit that will be covered by the city's large rainy day general fund balance, city employees will see a 2.5 percent raise. Council will also approve the list of non-profit donations.

Other ordinances on third reading that are part of the consent agenda will include the third and final reading of the budget amendment for the current year's funding of the Garrison Park redevelopment, the city's amended tree removal ordinance and the year end budget adjustments.

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Council will also consider second reading of the ordinance regarding sewer extensions outside the city limits but in existing developments.

The final item on the agenda covers discussion and action on helping replace an HVAC unit at the Fair Park Senior Center. One of the current units has failed and will cost $12,000 to replace. Council,man Danny Wyatt is proposing that the city split the cost with the county to replace it.

A work session for the July regular council meeting on July11 follows the special called meeting
More on the work session at this link.

Aviagen Opens New Modern Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Crossville

Aviagen Press Release:

The Crossville facility features advanced diagnostic technology to support Aviagen’s expanding Pedigree operations.

Crossville Mayor Mayberry says he’s proud to have Aviagen as part of this community and wishes the company continued success. “Aviagen has been an important part of Crossville for many years, with several facilities located in our community,” says Crossville Mayor James Mayberry. “We are pleased to see the successful expansion of Aviagen with this new diagnostic laboratory, as well as the progress and prospect of new jobs it may bring.”

The new diagnostic laboratory replaces an existing smaller one that has been in operation in Crossville since 1994 and will serve the diagnostic needs of Aviagen’s pedigree poultry breeding stock. The expansion was needed to fulfil an increasing demand for Aviagen breeds worldwide. The Crossville laboratory is Aviagen’s second in the U.S. to service internal breeding operations and numbers among the company’s seven laboratories, which are strategically positioned throughout the continents. The laboratory will initially be staffed by 28 highly skilled personnel, including veterinarians, microbiologists and technicians.

L-R Crossville Mayor James Mayberry; Bennett Harper, Aviagen Crossville 
general manager, Pedigree Division; Craig Morton, Aviagen 
global director, R&D; Carolyn Miller, Aviagen Crossville 
veterinarian; Eric Jensen, Aviagen vice president, 
Veterinary Services; Keith McCay, Aviagen director, Pedigree/Great 
Grandparent Operations; Greg Wood, Crossville city manager; 
Tom Womack, deputy commissioner, Tennessee Department of Agriculture

“The Crossville laboratory features modern equipment, leading technology and the industry’s most advanced expertise,” says Keith McCay, Aviagen’s director of Pedigree/Great Grandparent Operations. “Through its advanced capabilities, it provides the level of diagnostic services needed to continually monitor and protect our flocks against harmful pathogens.”

“Aviagen remains dedicated to the health, welfare and safety of our quality breeding stock. As we broaden the reach of our business both domestically and globally, this new laboratory will help us continue to effectively safeguard our elite pedigree breeding stock,” adds Dr. Eric Jensen, vice president of Veterinary Services for Aviagen North America. “Maintaining the highest standard of biosecurity has always been and will remain a foremost priority for Aviagen.”

Aviagen continues to further its commitment to optimal poultry health, welfare and biosecurity with the opening of a new veterinary diagnostic laboratory in Crossville, Tenn. Diagnostic testing began at the new facility in April, and the grand opening was celebrated on June 19. The new diagnostic laboratory encompasses 13,680 square feet (4,170 square meters) of areas dedicated to highly specialized capabilities such as enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), molecular diagnostics and virus isolation testing. Other routine laboratory work will include bacteriology, serology, genomics research and pathological exams. 

McCay also recognized the efforts of Danny Dillard of Highland Construction for making the new laboratory a reality. Dillard and his team went above and beyond to effectively meet our specialized facility needs and quality requirements, while adhering to an aggressive timeline for completion.” 

Since 1923, Aviagen® has established itself as the world's leading poultry breeding company, developing pedigree lines for the production of commercial broiler chickens under the Arbor Acres® , Indian River® , and Ross® brand names. The Rowan Range® and Specialty Males® are specialty breeding stock from Aviagen that offer greater flexibility for customers to meet specific or niche market requirements. The company is based in Huntsville, Alabama, USA with a number of wholly-owned operations across the United Kingdom, Europe, Turkey, Latin America, India, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S., and joint ventures in Asia. Aviagen employs more than 3,900 people and has a distribution network serving customers in more than 100 countries. For further information, please visit

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

County EMS donates lifesaving equipment to city fire department

The Crossville fire department has received 3 advanced life support cardiac monitors and defibrillators from the Cumberland County EMS.  The equipment, valued at some $75,000 was being retired from the county's EMS when they upgraded the equipment and through the efforts of Dr. Mark Fox the units are being passed along to the Crossville Fire Department.

L-R Dr. Mark Fox, Co. EMS Director Chris Miller,
Crossville Fire Chief Mark Turner and Mayor James Mayberry. 

According to CHief Mike Turner, the units will be used in first responder program.  Two of the units will be put in fire trucks that respond to medical emergencies and one in the car of the assistant fire chief Chris South.

"We hope we never have to use these," said Chief Turner, "but our paramedics will use these in a heart attack or cardiac situation."

Dr. Fox, who serves as medical director for both the County EMS and Crossville Fire Department said that he acted to facilitate the transfer and that EMS director Chris Miller had worked hard to on the transfer.  Said Fox, "This is a perfect example of interlocal government cooperation and it's resulted in this lifesaving equipment to remain in the community."

Crossville council approves changes to Airport FBO's contract.

Crossville city council approved changes to the contract between the city and Crossville Aero, the fixed base operator of the Crossville airport.

The contract changes brought up some discussion by council members and caught Crossville Aero's Chris Bennett off guard as he was unaware the item was on the council agenda though he was at the meeting.
Crossville Airport building

The item was originally under the council's consent agenda but was pulled out for separate discussion and action by councilwoman Pamala Harris. Ms. Harris asked city attorney Will Ridley if he was given an opportunity to review the agreement? Mr. Ridley said he saw it when the council did as part of the previous weeks work session but said he did not have a hand in drafting the document.
Council discusses airport contract changes

Harris said she felt that anytime an agreement of that nature the city attorney should be involved in drafting it. In addition Harris added that she would like the administration to share the document with the attorney.

Harris asked Ridley if he was OK with the agreement and Ridley said he was.

Crossville city manager Greg wood, left, and 
city council members

Mayor James Mayberry moved to approve the item and a second was given by councilman Danny Wyatt. Mayberry asked if the new city manager Greg Wood had negotiated the items of the agreement and Wood said that the agreement memorializes the agreements that had previously been made. Those agreements included an increase in the flow fee for fuel sales from 5 to 10 cents per gallon and an additional $200 a month rental fee for the use of the new hanger and paying for the hanger's utilities.
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Councilman Wyatt asked Mr. Bennett if he was good with the changes? Bennett said he was fine but had not seen the agreement and did not know it was on the agenda. Bennett added that he knew the changes had been talked about so they were not a surprise to him.

Wyatt added that he agreed with Ms. Harris that the city attorney should review the documents. Manager Wood said he had been educated on the issue and would see to it in the future,

The council voted unanimously to approve the contract amendment.

Monday, June 19, 2017

TBI Special Agents Investigating Coffee County Shooting that Injured Two Deputies

Information from TBI Press Release:
At the request of 14th District Attorney General Craig Northcott, TBI Special Agents are investigating the circumstances surrounding a Monday afternoon shooting that left two Coffee County deputies injured.
Preliminary information indicates the incident began just before 3:00 PM, when Coffee County Deputy Wade Bassett, 71, went into the holding cell on the third floor of the Coffee County Justice Center to take inmate Michael Eugene Bell (DOB 12/8/1979) back to the jail. Bell had been in court that day for a discussion date regarding kidnapping, domestic assault and multiple other charges he faced. As the deputy prepared to get Bell for transport, Bell attacked him, and the two engaged in a significant struggle. The inmate was able to gain control of the deputy's weapon, and shot Deputy Bell one time before fleeing down the stairs. When he got to the first floor, Bell shot Deputy Wendell Bowen, 56, on his way out the door.
The early investigation shows that after fleeing the Justice Complex, Bell ran about a block away, entered and then exited a home on Madison Street. He then fled to a yard at an adjacent home, where he was found deceased from a self-inflected gunshot wound to the head.
Deputy Bassett, who was wearing a bullet-proof vest, sustained significant hand and arm injuries, as well as injuries sustained from the bullet striking his body armor in the abdomen area. He was transported to Vanderbilt University Hospital, where earlier tonighthe was listed in stable condition. Deputy Bowen was shot in the abdomen area, and was transported to Erlanger Hospital, where he was undergoing surgery earlier in the evening.
TBI Investigation at Coffee County
 The TBI currently has Agents gathering relevant information, interviews, and evidence in connection to this active and ongoing case. The Violent Crimes Response Team vehicle from the Nashville office, with several Special Agent/ Forensic Scientists, will work through the night to collect evidence. All investigative findings will be submitted to District Attorney General Northcott for his further review and consideration.
General Northcott announced that due to the investigation going on at the courthouse, the Coffee County Justice Center will remain closed on Tuesday.

Crossville Flashback: 16 years ago Crossville Council looking at new lakes near Meadow Park Lake

Alternative lake location from 2001

Another alternative lake location from 2001

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Council studies possible new lake locations.

The Crossville City Council continues working toward expansion of the city’s water production capability and approved Lamar Dunn & Associates to prepare a preliminary cost estimate on a detailed engineering study of a new lake on Meadow Creek.

Council reviewed some very preliminary maps and size estimates prepared by Tim Begley of the city’s planning office. The maps show two possible dam and lake locations with the areas that would be flooded. Begley prepared the maps based on topographic profile maps and he advised council some additional geologic issues need to be studied.

The maps compare the current Meadow Park Lake and two separate possible lakes down stream on Meadow Creek. In the first option, a single large dam is built below the current lake and the existing 266-acre lake plus the new impoundment totals 640 acres. The now existing lake becomes part of the new larger lake and increases the old lake’s depth by 2 feet. The total estimated volume of the proposed lake, including the increased level of the current lake raised 2 feet would be almost 4 billion gallons of water.

A second possible option is to go farther down stream where the creek gorge is deeper and build two dams that would create a 450-acre new lake. Under this option the current Meadow Park Lake would not be affected. The second proposed lake would be longer and narrower creating a 450-acre lake. The total volume of the new lake would be 3.6 billion gallons in addition to the current Meadow Park Lake.

Also mentioned was the possibility of raising the height of the dam and the water level of the second lake from the 1760 to 1800 elevation level that could create a lake holding some 20 billion gallons of water.

Councilman Wyatt praised Begly’s work and added, “The next question is, what will it cost?”

The meeting answered a few questions, but many of questions still remain, including the question of whether or not there is enough water in Meadow Creek to fill a lake of the size proposed.

Bob Burnett who lives in the area of Meadow Creek addressed the council and said that while he is not an engineer, “I don’t know where the water will come from to fill this lake.” Burnett said he has lived on the creek for 20 years and often there is no water at all in the creek during the dry days of summer.

While all the options are in the very early stages, Mayor Graham said water harvesting from other area rivers might be one possible solution.

The Mayor reminded the council members that such a lake project would be substantial. “We’ve spent 7 million for a water treatment plant, but this is the big one!” emphasized Graham. “This one will hurt.”

Saturday, June 17, 2017

After assurances fence and Field "A" are safe, council moves forward on Garrison Park improvements.

Crossville city council agreed to move forward with the planned redevelopment of Garrison Park while the city plans to keep the perimeter fence around the park and the so called Field “A” intact.

The city received a $500,000 grant toward the project to remove the late 1940's grandstand, put in a playground, a splash pad, a new basketball court and a rest room. The city is to match the state funds for the total cost of $1 million for phase one of the project. It is unclear if or when additional work might be done on the park.
Initial design plan for Garrison Park improvements

The action on the June agenda was a budget amendment for the current fiscal year to move forward with contracts for design and grant administration. Council members Danny Wyatt and Pamala Harris both expressed concern about the need to retain the fence around the park and the larger ball field at the park.
L-R: City manager Geg Wood, council members J.H. Graham
and Danny Wyatt, Mayor James Mayberry and council members
Pamala Harris and Scot Shanks. 

The item was pulled out of the consent agenda for separate action and discussion by councilman J. H. Graham and councilman Danny Wyatt addressed his concerns saying, “I'm all about building this park over there but I want it done correctly.” Wyatt mentioned the fence around the park and said it would be very expensive to replace.

Entrance to Garrison Park

The other item Wyatt sought clarification on is the ability to leave Field A since it is part of the second phase of the project that is not currently funded or under consideration. Wyatt also questioned why if the grandstand was part of Field A was it part of this project.

Mayor James Mayberry responded, “The bleachers were one of the biggest health and safety issues with the whole deal and why it was a priority.”

Councilwoman Pamala Harris said her biggest concern was if there was a guarantee that the city could conserve Field A and conserve the fence. “I'm just uncomfortable unless I know these things can be saved,” added Harris.

Check the great lineup of vehicles at

Mayor Mayberry said that he had a verbal assurance that the state would use common sense about the safety provided by the perfectly good fence and there should be no reason to remove it. Mayberry added that he had been to the Tennessee Municipal League meeting and found out that park designers like to have parks feel more open without fences but that safety is a concern.

Mayberry said that with the removal of the grandstand a backstop fence would be required as well.

Discussion of a possible big tournament in the Fall came up and it was estimated that no work on the field would start before the first of 2018 and the grant funds must be used within 2 years.

Video of council discussion on Garrison Park

With one final reading still to go, the city will request an answer in writing by a special called meeting on June 29th when the final reading is expected to take place along with the final reading of the 2017-18 budget.

With that, Mr. Wyatt made the motion to approve contingent on getting an answer by the third reading and was supported by Mr. Graham and the motion passed unanimously.

The longtime park has been the location of a baseball field since the 1920's according to property records and at one time was the location where the Cumberland County Fair was held.