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Local briefs, April 3, 2007

April 3rd, 2007 12:18 am by Staff Report










Keokee man recaptured after escape


Ribbon cutting set for new Dairy Hart


Pennington Gap council calls meeting


Hawkins Solid Waste Committee meets


MEOC Transit to hold car wash fund-raiser


1 dead in small plane crash in NE Tenn.


Bredesen pushes cigarette tax hike


Keokee man recaptured after escape

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JONESVILLE - A Keokee man compounded his legal woes Friday when he briefly escaped custody while being booked on larceny charges, said Lee County Sheriff Gary Parsons. The sheriff said Jason Hale, 20, Route 1, Box 301, Keokee, was charged after he managed to obtain keys to the electronics department at Wal-Mart on March 18. On March 27 he returned to the store and stole two Playstation machines, Parsons said. The theft was recorded on surveillance equipment, and Hale was arrested on charges of petit larceny for the key theft and grand larceny for the electronics theft. Hale had already been booked on the larceny charges, the magistrate had denied him bond, and he was awaiting transfer to the regional jail at Duffield when he dashed out the back door of the jail, said the sheriff. Officers fanned out across town, and within an hour and a half Deputy Roger Gates was able to recapture Hale without incident in a subdivision behind Happy Mart. Additional charges of escape were placed against Hale, who is now in custody at the regional jail, still without bond, said Parsons.


Ribbon cutting set for new Dairy Hart

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CHURCH HILL - The paint is dry, the parking lot is striped, and the stove will be hot for this morning's grand opening of the new Dairy Hart restaurant on Main Boulevard in Church Hill. Monday evening the Church Hill Planning Commission approved the final site plan for the new Dairy Hart, and a ribbon cutting will be held this morning at 9 a.m., with the restaurant scheduled to begin serving at 10 a.m. The current location on Main Boulevard is directly across the street from the original Dairy Hart. J.C. and Ann Duncan purchased the restaurant in 1964, and in 1969 moved it to the intersection of 11-W and Silver Lake Road where it operated until this past July. Developers Bill Powers and Jeff Thacker recently completed construction of the restaurant building for new Dairy Hart proprietor Michelle Hensley.


Pennington Gap council calls meeting

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PENNINGTON GAP - Pennington Gap Mayor Jimmy V. Smallwood has scheduled a special called meeting for 4 p.m. Wednesday to discuss police department matters. The meeting will be held in council chambers at the Municipal Building.


Hawkins Solid Waste Committee meets

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ROGERSVILLE - On Monday the Solid Waste Committee of the Hawkins County Commission held its first organizational meeting since the 2006 county election last August. The committee elected Phill Barrett as chairman, Charlie Newton as vice chairman and Tim Simpson as secretary. The committee also agreed to meet again later this month to discuss potential capital outlay projects it will request for the 2007-08 fiscal year budget.


MEOC Transit to hold car wash fund-raiser

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BIG STONE GAP - Mountain Empire Older Citizens Transit will host a fund-raising car wash from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on April 28 at its transit center in Big Stone Gap. Cost is $5 per vehicle, and all proceeds will be used to benefit the MEOC Emergency Fuel Fund for the Elderly.


1 dead in small plane crash in NE Tenn.

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TAZEWELL, Tenn. - An Ohio restaurateur was killed Monday when the small plane he was flying crashed in Northeast Tennessee, authorities said. Larry Sanders, 58, was flying his Piper PA-28 from his hometown of Wapakoneta, Ohio, to meet his wife in Pigeon Forge, The Knoxville News Sentinel reported. Pigeon Forge is about 45 miles south of the crash site. Dispatchers received calls shortly before 9 a.m. from residents who said the small plane's engine was struggling before it went down in a wooded area, Claiborne County Sheriff's Deputy Bill Davidson said. A cause for the crash is being investigated.


Bredesen pushes cigarette tax hike

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NASHVILLE - The state will expect more rigorous K-12 standards from school superintendents if a plan to boost education funding through a hike in the state's cigarette tax succeeds, Gov. Phil Bredesen said Monday. Bredesen, a Democrat, wants to raise the cigarette tax from 20 cents to 60 cents per pack and use the bulk of the projected $219 million in new revenue on education programs. The governor encouraged members of the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents to support his plan by calling their legislators on both sides of the aisle. Bredesen said the new education money would be crucial to unlocking resources needed to improve standards at public schools.


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