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Local briefs, March 14, 2007

March 14th, 2007 1:06 am by Staff Report








Five arrested in Bristol prostitution case


JC man accused of running vehicle off road


Jonesville OKs auxiliary police force


Appy Power rate hikes stir complaints


Democrat wins state Senate seat


Five arrested in Bristol prostitution case

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BRISTOL, Tenn. - Bristol, Tenn., police have arrested four men and one woman following a two-month prostitution investigation in the State Street area, Assistant Police Chief Steve Templeton said Tuesday. "Most of it is downtown on State Street. That's where the contacts were made," Templeton said. The Bristol Tennessee Police Department's Street Crimes Unit used male and female undercover officers for the investigation. "We used a female officer and let her walk downtown and had different men approach her and solicited sex for money," Templeton said. Once the offer was made, other officers conducting audio and visual surveillance moved in for the arrest. Those charged in the two-month investigation are: Eugene W. Lane, 50, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., Bristol, Tenn.; Joseph E. Baldwin, 42, 301 Spring Hollow Road, Marion Va.; Daniel E. Norris, 30, 15 13th St., Bristol, Tenn.; Michael W. Royston, 50, 6969 Hwy. 421, Bristol, Tenn.; and Catherine Allard, 39, T-9 Clinton Ave., Bristol, Va. All the men were charged with patronizing prostitution within 1.5 miles of a school or within 100 feet of a church. Allard was charged with prostitution within 100 feet of a church.


JC man accused of running vehicle off road

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JOHNSON CITY - A Johnson City man who allegedly ran another vehicle in which his wife was a passenger off the road was arrested Monday on reckless endangerment charges. According to the Johnson City Police Department, Howard E. Presnell, of 1714 E. Unaka Ave., was charged with four counts of reckless endangerment and one count of violation of an order of protection. The incident happened about 6 p.m. Monday on East Watauga Avenue near Elm Street when Presnell, driving a 1997 Saturn SL, was following a 1995 Suzuki Sidekick. Presnell's wife was one of the passengers, which also included three young children. Police said Presnell swerved into the path of the Suzuki and forced it off the road. Presnell was arrested later that night and jailed on an $11,000 bond. He is scheduled for a hearing in Washington County General Sessions Court on Thursday.


Jonesville OKs auxiliary police force

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JONESVILLE - During its regular March meeting Tuesday, the Jonesville Town Council unanimously adopted two ordinances allowing for the establishment of a town auxiliary police force. Mayor Beryle Greer said the ordinances now allow the town to establish a force that can be used for anything from crowd control at town events to working emergency situations. A force will not be established until other paperwork has been taken care of, he said. Council members also agreed to host a bike rally from Cumberland Bowl Park on May 19, accepted the resignation of Allen Minor from the town's Planning Commission, voted to pay Planning Commission members $50 per meeting, and agreed to offer free debris removal during Spring Cleanup Week, the date of which is yet to be scheduled. The meeting ended with a closed session to discuss personnel and the possible hiring of a part-time police officer.


Appy Power rate hikes stir complaints

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ROANOKE - Three Appalachian Power Co. rate increases that boosted monthly bills some 30 percent or more in recent months have prompted thousands of complaints to the State Corporation Commission. The regulatory commission has received more than 26,000 telephone calls, e-mails and letters from western Virginia residents. When monthly bills are received, the volume can reach 1,000 a day, SCC spokesman Ken Schrad said Tuesday. "The division has handled more complaints in four to six weeks than it has in the last four years," he said. The full commission will make a decision on the rate increase once it receives a report from a hearing examiner. If the commission decides the increase is too high, Schrad said, it would order Appalachian to make refunds plus interest.


Democrat wins state Senate seat

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MEMPHIS - Democratic Rep. Beverly Marrero defeated Republican attorney Larry Parrish Tuesday night in a special election to fill the state Senate seat vacated by Democrat Steve Cohen. Cohen left the District 30 seat after he was elected to Congress in November. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Marrero had 4,310 votes, or about 56 percent, and Parrish had 3,310 votes, 43 percent. Both candidates said before the election they didn't expect a high voter turnout. Also elected in Tuesday's special election was Democrat G.A. Hardaway to House District 92.


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