Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Latest News

A Cookeville man is one of two people arrested this week in a home invasion case out of East Tennessee. Authorities say 24-year-old Tommy Wayne Garrett of Cookeville was charged along with two other men with forcing their way into a home in Claiborne County, north of Knoxville, Tuesday night. Claiborne County sheriff's deputies say the incident happened around 6 p.m. Tuesday night. The victim, a 58-year-old woman, said the men demanded her medication. And they say she threw things at them until they left, carrying an as-yet unknown amount of her property. When deputies tracked down the suspects in that home invasion, they also found a vehicle sought in connection with a convenience store robbery, along with other evidence from that robbery. Garrett is also charged with especially aggravated robbery in that case. He is being held on a $250,000 bond. A spokesman for the sheriff's office says he believes the crimes were drug-related.

Putnam County's budget committee chairman says the group "shouldn't have any great surprises going forward." The committee has asked department to present zero-increase budgets for the upcoming year, along with plans that would implement three percent and five percent cuts. The county's budget coordinator, Debby Francis, says the road department, the school system, and the non-profit agencies have all submitted their plans and says "most everybody has been real good about not asking for an increase." The committee will meet Monday night to discuss a schedule for making decisions on next year's budget.

Charges of murder, arson and aggravated assault are pending against an Overton County man, who allegedly killed two family members Wednesday morning in a dispute over land. That according to TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm. Authorities say Kevin D. Clark killed his brother and mother and then held police in a standoff. They say Kevin Clark had apparently gotten into a fight with his brother, Roy, at a home on Hassler Road, which is off the Hanging Limb Highway northeast of Monterey. Police said the argument escalated and Clark shot and killed his brother and then his mother, Veda, who was also at the home. After shooting and killing his family members, police said Clark set their house on fire and ran to his home a few blocks away. Clark then barricaded himself inside his home and shot at police during a standoff. Derrick Ledbetter, an Overton County sheriff's deputy was grazed in the left shoulder by a bullet. Clark was finally arrested after being talked out of the home by a local preacher.

Burgess Falls State Park will offer a series of day camps this summer for young people who will be entering the fourth or fifth grade in the 2009-2010 school year. Both a basic Ranger Camp and an advanced camp will be offered. In addition, several "mini" camp sessions will be held for students entering the first, second and third grade in the upcoming school year. Park manager Bill Summers says that class topics for Junior Rangers enrolled in the basic program include Reptiles and Amphibians, Aquatics, Birds of Prey, Insects and Spiders, Ecology and Introduction to Biological Research. An advanced Junior Ranger 2 program also will be offered for those who have completed the basic camp. Advanced class topics include Basic Hiking and Camping Workshops, Map and Compass, Organic Gardening, and Advanced Aquatics. There is a $20 non-refundable fee per student for the basic Junior Ranger day camp and a $25 fee for the advanced Junior Ranger 2 program. For more information or to request a registration packet, call the park office at 432-5312.

The newest grocery store in Cookeville will have its grand opening later this week. Officials with Food Lion say they will have a grand opening in their newly renovated location at 377 West Jackson Street on Wednesday, May 20th, starting at 8 am. The space was abandoned a couple of years ago when the Bi-Lo store closed down. Food Lion also has a store on the east side of Cookeville on Spring Street. Store manager Barry Shelton says the hours at the new location will be 7 am to 11 pm.

Basketball player Zac Swansey of the University of Georgia is transferring to Tennessee Tech next year. The Bulldogs' sophomore point guard started 17 of 31 games last season, but was said to be unhappy over the firing of coach Dennis Felton. He said he chose the Golden Eagles over Dayton and the College of Charleston. He will have to sit out next season as part of the NCAA’s transfer rule and will have two years of eligibility remaining. Tech is coached by Mike Sutton, a longtime Tubby Smith assistant who was with him at Georgia. The Gorlden Eagles, who were 12-and-18 last year, will graduate two senior guards after next season.