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Monday, July 31, 2017

Tennessee Highway Patrol Conducts Cookeville Traffic Stop, Locates 28 Pounds of Marijuana

Press release from THP: Search Reveals 18 Vacuum Sealed Packages of Marijuana
COOKEVILLE - On 7/12/17 Trooper Al Seitner of the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) Cookeville District stopped a vehicle in Putnam County for following another vehicle too closely. The driver, 25-year-old Jonathan Kossa of Cookeville, Tennessee appeared extremely nervous for a simple traffic violation. While talking to Kossa, Trooper Seitner observed a large cardboard box in the back seat of the vehicle. When asked what was in the box, Kossa said he did not know as he was transporting the box for his roommate.

Consent to search the vehicle was requested and Kossa denied. Trooper Seitner requested K-9 assistance from the Cookeville Police Department. Their K-9 made a positive alert on the vehicle. A search of the vehicle revealed 18 vacuum sealed packages of marijuana (approximately 28 lbs) inside the cardboard box.
Kossa was arrested for possession of Schedule VI narcotics for manufacture, sale and delivery. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Crossville council to consider reestablishing airport committee, Chamber contract and other items during Tuesday work session

After abolishing the Crossville Airport Committee ten years ago the Crossville city council will discuss bringing it back during the upcoming council work session Tuesday August 1st at 5:00 PM.

The Crossville Memorial Airport opened in 1934 and the first airport committee, made up mainly of local pilots was formed in the 1950's. The year 2007 saw a number of changes at the airport including the ending of the airport committee because the airport had an airport manager. The reestablishment of the airport committee discussion will be lead by city manager Greg Wood.
Crossville Memorial Airport building

Other topics on the work session include the contract between the city and the Chamber of Commerce in exchange for their funding as well as stopping the monthly report by the chamber to the council during their regular meeting.

The contract covers services that that the chamber will provide including industrial recruitment, retiree recruitment, tourism attraction, existing industry programming, leadership development, and downtown development. The chamber would receive $77,400 in exchange for the services provided. One of the things the chamber has been working on is a score card covering the services that it would provide to the city monthly that includes all the topics listed as well as work on workforce development and chamber membership numbers.
Chamber of Commerce building

For sometime, chamber director Brad Allamong has been reporting to the council during their regular meeting and the item for discussion suggests that the report could be provided with the city manager's report to save time during the council meeting and save Allamong a trip to the council meeting.

With the current lessee of the Crossville depot not interested in continuing the lease after it expires at the end of August, the city is considering operating the attraction itself in connection with the Palace Theatre. City manager Wood will be discussing the possibility with the council during the work session.

Council will also revisit a proposal to charge for street closings based on the expenses to the city for street department and law enforcement personnel needed. Council had approved a policy earlier this year then approved a motion last month not to charge for any street closings. The policy also included references to 5K runs and static displays such as the cruise ins so the council will consider the adoption of a revised version.

Council will discuss the transportation alternative program or TDOT-TAP grant again for possible improvements to downtown sidewalks. The grant is an 80/20 grant with the city providing a 20 percent of the total funding as a match. The council had suggested using a second grant for work on the Crossville depot but because the depot is not on the historic register, it is not eligible.

The total estimated cost for the sidewalk work is just over $2.6 million. The city's portion would be almost $530,000.

City manager Wood has been in his position for 6 months now and council members have provided feedback through an evaluation. The overall score covering 10 areas of work came in as 4 out of a possible 5 and council has provided additional written suggestions as well. The council could consider a salary increase.
Crossville city manager Greg Wood

Council will also discuss a possible purchase of the remainder of the old handle mill property on Webb Avenue. Ronnie Webb is interested in selling the property along with another small lot across the street. The two properties total 2.85 acres. Webb is asking $597,000 for the properties. The state appraisals total $193,500. Webb has said he would accept the middle of three commercial appraisals and the city has priced that process at $9000.
The properties the city is looking at include the blue lot at the top
and the property across 5th St. at the bottom 
of the photo with structures.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Cumberland Co Commission to consider 2017-18 budget and tax increase Monday

With a 6 cent property tax increase proposed to fund school construction, the Cumberland County Commission budget committee has a special called meeting and two public hearings set for Monday July 31 starting at 5 PM.

Because this is a reappraisal year a second public hearing by the full county commission is set for 5:30 PM to give the public a chance to comment on the plan to exceed the certified tax rate from the reappraisal. Real property values in the county have increased by some $40 million from 5 years ago and personal property is up by some $4 million.  The way the reappraisal works is these increases are offset by a reduction in the tax rate to provide the same revenue to the county.

The certified tax rate is set at $1.5053 by the Tennessee Comptrollers office and the county is proposing a tax rate of $1.5653.  The tax rate for last year was $1.5275

The county property tax rate is divided up as follows:
$0.5962 for the general fund,
$0.6159 for the general school fund,
$0.1207 for the solid waste/sanitation fund, and
$0.2325 for the debt service fund

In addition, the county commission has a resolution before it to authorize the issuance of debt not to exceed $12,350,000

The County Commission will convene in special session at 6 PM Monday July 31 to consider those resolutions along with full 2017-18 county budget and the appropriations for non-profit charitable organizations.

Friday, July 28, 2017

CROSSVILLE FLASHBACK 2007: Council planning work session on downtown improvements.

Downtown Crossville in 2007


Crossville City Council hears about downtown improvement suggestions

Crossville city council will schedule a work session in the near future with representatives of Downtown Crossville, Inc. to discuss several proposed downtown improvements.

Downtown Crossville Inc. (DCI) representative Frances Carson addressed the council at their regular August meeting. Carson displayed a number of pictures that showed the kind of improvements they wanted to see in the downtown area.

“This proposal is just a starting place,” explained Carson who talked about three areas of initial concern including parking, truck traffic and cruising.

On parking, Carson said they hoped to get public parking areas in downtown better marked so visitors could find them more easily and they also hoped to find additional locations for more parking as well.

In order to reduce the amount of truck traffic through downtown, DCI had been working with the city street department to provide better signs including signs that would indicate trucks coming from Homestead could easily get to I-40 using the Milo Lemmert Bypass rather then coming through the downtown area. They also wanted to have signs indicating the optional truck route further back from the intersections in order to give the trucks more warning that the alternate routes are available and they connect back to 127.

Carson said the group had been working with the police department on the issue of cruising. She stressed that the problem was not local kids but those who were from out of county and also older. Some of the problems reported by downtown property owners and businesses included cruisers staying later, litter and other unsanitary activities.

Carson said the group “was not opposed to local cruising” as the local residents generally went home earlier and were much less of a problem.

Carson explained that the group had done a lot of research and they had looked at several other cities that had improved their downtown areas. Some of the ideas DCI looked at seemed right for Crossville while others might be less successful.

According to Carson, the group is looking to expand it's partnerships. A number of Main Street property owners and business operators are already involved and the group has been working to keep the existing businesses on Main Street while trying to find more businesses to put in currently empty buildings.

“We'd like to ask for a work session with the council,: said Carson, “and we'll be requesting some funding but we want to explain what the funding will do.”

A work session will be scheduled in the near future. Crossville Mayor J. H. Graham asked that the meeting be in the evening so businesses owners could also attend.

It's already starting... 127 Yard Sale's 30th event officially runs August 3-6th

The world famous 127 Yard Sale is coming up soon though early dealers are already setting up in some locations.  Local Residents either love the bargains or hate the traffic after the 30 years years the sale has been held.

Link to map of 127 Yard Sale route.

Many local businesses along the route rent space to sellers from 
other locations during the sale.

The yard sale covers 690 miles from Addison Michigan to Gadsen Alabama and started 30 years ago in 1987 based out of Jamestown in Fentress County Tennessee. 

When searching for Bargains visit
Right on Highway 127 at I-40
in Crossville.

Traffic will be heavy along the route and drivers are encouraged to give themselves extra time to travel along 127 during the sale.  Traffic gets congested and with people parking along the shoulder even though that is not legal, it can make it very difficult emergency vehicles trying to respond.

Above and below are
some early vendors set up at East Ln near 

CANCELLED AMBER ALERT: Ten Year Old girl missing from Cleveland Tennessee

The girl was recovered from a wooded area near her home.

A Tennessee statewide AMBER Alert has been issued by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on behalf of the Cleveland, TN Police Department for 10-year old Yazmin Linares Medina, a Hispanic female who stands 5'2" and weighs 100 pounds. Yazmin has brown hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing a white shirt and green/brown shorts. She was carrying a black jump rope and was last seen around 8:20 p.m. EST, walking in the area of Parker Street and 20th Street in Cleveland. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Yazmin, please call Cleveland P.D. 911 or TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

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