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Hawkins pediatrician charged with public intoxication at high school basketball game

Jeff Bobo • Dec 12, 2016 at 5:44 PM

CHURCH HILL — A Hawkins County pediatrician known for his generosity and devotion to children’s health and fitness was arrested Saturday night and charged with public intoxication during a basketball game at Volunteer High School.

Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Michael Draine, who was working the game, stated in his report that shortly after 7 p.m. he was told by several people about an intoxicated spectator who was later identified as Dr. Chris Calendine. 

“Upon making contact with Mr. Calendine, I smelled a strong odor of alcohol about his person,” Draine stated in his report. “While walking Mr. Calendine outside, I observed he was swaying and could not walk straight.”

Calendine, 45, 261 Rivergate Manor, Rogersville, was booked into the Hawkins County Jail at 9:58 p.m. and released shortly after 11 p.m.

The Times-News was unable to contact Calendine for comment Monday.

Calendine is the Cherokee High School football team physician.

Hawkins County has a zero tolerance policy for alcohol use on campus by school employees.

In November, two Rogersville Middle School teachers resigned rather than face dismissal after they reportedly consumed alcoholic beverages at a Rogersville restaurant during a lunch break and then returned to school during the in-service day on Election Day while students were off.

On Monday, the Times-News asked Director of Schools Steve Starnes how an arrest and/or potentially a conviction for public intoxication on a school grounds would affect Calendine’s status as a team physician or any other school programs in which he participates.

Starnes said he was still compiling facts about the situation and was unable to make a comment Monday.

Aside from being a well known Rogersville pediatrician, Calendine is the founder of Rogersville based "ProStrength & Speed" free youth fitness program.

He also made headlines in May when he contributed $10,000 to the reward fund for kidnapped third-grader Carlie Trent, a move that sparked other contributions and resulted in the reward growing to $40,000.

Calendine received numerous supportive messages on his Facebook page after news of his arrest began circulating on social media.

One person stated, “Don't let it get you down and keep being a great guy and doctor.” Another person stated, “You're a great man Doc and you will always have our respect. Stay strong, it'll pass.”

Another person stated, “I for one owe you a debt that can never ever be repaid my daughter is here today because of your quick thinking and because your a great doctor. ... You hang in there and don't pay any attention to what others who think they are perfect have to say.”                                                       

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