Six years after his original indictment for the murder of his girlfriend, whose body was dumped in Roane County, we are still waiting for this trial to get underway...
Shawn Smoot was indicted on murder charges in July 2012, but failed to turn himself in. He was later captured in Mississippi, then released from jail after his parents posted a $250,000 bond in March 2014. A Roane County judge revoked bond for Smoot after he was arrested for DUI in McMinn County. Smoot had bonded out on the DUI charge.
In June, a judge issued an order with a list of evidence that is allowed in court, allowing an order of protection filed against by victim Brooke Morris, 23, against Smoot as evidence. However, several of the state’s witnesses were removed related to the order of protection because their testimony was hearsay and not admissible in court.
Here is more background in a case that has taken Roane County Deputies as far as Guam to retrieve testimony and evidence.
Central to this saga is Judge Eugene Eblen's decisions to release Smoot on bond after he previously jumped bail and returning the family's $250,000 bond even after Smoot ran from authorities and was found hiding in Mississippi. Eblen has since retired and is no linger involved.
A new Panasonic projector with new lens was installed at the Princess today, by Jon Chemay and Morgan Anderson (photos by Darren York)! The $7K projector is capable of projecting DVD or Blue Ray. The last projector was unable to do Blue Ray. The clarity and precision is MUCH, MUCH better; what you would expect of a Turkey Creek, or Oak Ridge movie projector. Darren York says the colors are stunning!
More on the blog about this wonderful news!
Let me start this by saying, "It's over!" I fully believe and conclude that there are no more dangers from coal ash as a result of the TVA ash disaster in 2008. Today the area is safe and has been turned into a spectacularly beautiful park. If you haven't visited the area around Swan Pond you should. The walking paths are excellent!
All that said, there is much to discuss about TVA's handling of the event and aftermath and a lot of people believe they are suffering sicknesses due to their involvement in the clean up work. This is a moderately long story that everyone in Roane County should read. Several details don't square with what I know to be true but the overall picture as truly painted.
"They get so wrapped up in the game that they forget they are playing it in the real world," Hopson says.
A real world consequence of trespassing on nuclear plant property could include the use of deadly force.
"The plants are very well-guarded," explains USNRC spokesperson David McIntyre, "The security officers do carry guns. They are authorized to use them if people get into the certain protected areas of the plant."
I realize that humans don't fear things on a rational basis so telling you that you are more likely to die from a white tail deer than a cougar may seem counter intuitive. Fact is that deer cause 1.2 million vehicle collisions in the U.S., triggering more than 200 deaths, some 29,000 injuries and $1.66 billion in costs associated with vehicle damage, medical bills and road cleanup.
If TN has 1/50th (which is not exactly the right way to figure this but I'm short for research time right now) of the damages that would be about $33 million that deer cost the public in TN. For comparison, the TWRA budget (the TN agency responsible for maintaining a bunch of deer for hunters to kill) is about $82 million.
So researchers have calculated how much money and lives we could save by bringing back a healthy cougar population: (Hint: more lives would be saved than we lost in Benghazi...We also lost $24 million in congressional costs to the GOP to hold those strange and pointless hearings)
Early Voting Locations
Kingston Community Center at 201 Patton Ferry Rd., Kingston TN 37763
Harriman Community Center at 631 Clinch St., Harriman TN 37748
Rockwood Community Center at 710 N. Chamberlain Ave., Rockwood TN 37854
First Christian Church at 100 Gum Hollow Rd., Oak Ridge TN 37840
Early Voting Dates & Hours:
July 15 - July 30, 2016
Monday - Friday 9 AM - 5 PM
Saturdays 9 AM - 1 PM
Absentee Voting: May 6 - July 28, 2016
President Barack Obama announced Thursday he is nominating Pete Mahurin, Michael McWherter and Joe H. Ritch to new terms on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Board of Directors...
McWherter, son of former Tennessee Gov. Ned McWherter, is owner and president of Central Distributors Inc. and Volunteer Distributing Co. in Jackson. He has been chairman of the board of First State Bank of Union City, Tenn. and on the board of directors of the Jackson Energy Authority.
I've been on a bunch of boards and a commission or two. This is my favorite not for profit group. the good work they do is tangible and exciting. There are a number of species of fish that still exist on this planet due to their good work. Kim Trevathan from the Knoxville Mercury came out to the Palooza. I'm proud to note that he paid for his ticket to support the good work.
This is a good thing from our half State Representative...
State Rep. Ron Travis, R-Dayton, agreed.
“In a perfect world, I would like everyone to know exactly what their bill will be,” Travis said. “I don’t want to be surprised because someone wasn’t in my network. I shouldn’t be out another $10,000 to $20,000 because somebody I didn’t check wasn’t in my network. I think if you’re not in the network, you shouldn’t get paid any more than those in it.”
West Roane County Volunteer Fire Department ((link...)) will hold an open house on Saturday, July 23, from 9 am to 1 pm at Station No. 1 at 1303 Pumphouse Road in Rockwood, Tennessee.
Free 10-year smoke detectors are available while supplies last. Come see the firefighting equipment and our new fire truck, meet your volunteer firefighters, and visit with your neighbors.Continued...
For only the second time in a year, a NASA camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite captured a view of the moon as it moved in front of the sunlit side of Earth.
We have AT&T DSL internet service with no prospects for faster internet thanks to State Representative Kent Calfee. The highest speed we can buy is 1.5 megabits. We continually test out at 0.4 to 0.8 MB and the tech rep said that they consider 1.2 MB all we get. So that means we are paying 25% more than we should be on a percentage basis. AT$T has declined to reduce our cost, calling our service a "best effort" product. Let any other business try that and see what they get.
"I ordered the 4 egg omelette and you said I only get three."
AT$T: Too bad...We only have to give you 3 eggs but you'll have to pay for 4 because that's our deal."
"But you actually only gave me 1 egg!"
AT$T: What's your point?"
Update: The agent just told me that for 1.5 mb accounts they only have to provide 0.87 mb. For 3 MB DSL they only have to provide 1.57 MB.
Does anybody out there have a satisfactory satellite service?
I'm really concerned that about 40% of the American electorate thinks these are the traits that would make a good President:
Last day to Register to Vote
July 5, 2016
May 6, 2016 – July 28, 2016
July 15 – July 30, 2016
Dr. Michael Freidman, will be the guest speaker at the Roane County Democratic Party meeting on July 14th at 7:00 p.m. at the cottage in Roane County Park. He is a Democratic candidate for the Tennessee 3rd district congressional seat currently held by Chuck Fleischmann.
As scientific tools evolve so does the precision with which we can date ancient fossils. We can also micro examine things in ways that reveal far more information than ever before.
New research has congealed to reveal that insects that would be indistinguishable from our modern butterflies lived on our Earth 45 million years before the first flowers came into existence. Today we know this family of insects as lacewings, of which the common ant lion or "doodle bug" is the most recognizable example. As flowers evolved so did the required pollinators, among them butterflies and their caterpillars.
Fascinating and amazing to watch the growth of scientific knowledge.
Tennessee Republican State Executive Committee member Mark Winslow...
“My state political party is beyond salvage,” Winslow wrote. “Oh, sure, we’re drifting along on inertia, collecting PAC checks and distributing the money to favored candidates or using the money to pay staffers to take out those who are not favored.”
“We pat ourselves on our collective supermajority and claim that legislative status absolves every wrong deed,” he continued. “Our soul rotted away some time ago.”
According to Winslow, the state party “is really nothing more than a small corrupt core group who view our party as their private club and personal piggy bank.”
3500 skilled workers out of a job is a huge slam on the local economies.
Gay Henson, president of Local 1937 of the TVA Engineering Association, said the planned staff cuts will hurt many communities in the Tennessee Valley and limit the scope and power of the federal utility by eliminating many skilled and highly paid engineers and nuclear operators.
"The effects of the decline in TVA's workforce is far reaching," she said. "Whole communities have been hit pretty hard, especially in rural areas of the valley."
There are a number of good articles that you should read:
Humans are artificially driving evolution (Not in a good way)
Early Bird Wings Preserved in Amber (From our "Got your missing link right here" Dept.)
I have been asked if I "believe" in Evolution? My reply is that evolution is not a "belief system". It is a scientific fact. It is a conclusion that nearly every scientist on this planet has examined and accepted. There is exactly zero contradictory evidence. James Randi's article is excellent if you are curious at all.
Sometimes life just loads you up and strength is needed. Our thoughts go out to Jim.
"Deputy Governor Jim Henry lost his wife of 48 years, Pat Henry, to cancer this morning. Pat was selfless. She spent her life devoted to her family and others and will be sorely missed. Crissy and I are praying for Jim, the Henry family and their many, many friends across the state," Haslam said in a statement Monday morning.
This is a tragic and heroic story. I'm glad to see the monument being cared for. Here are links to two Ray Collett posts on the flood from first hand accounts:
And today's story about the work at the monument:
Today, White’s Creek is peaceful and the flow of water is gentle. But in the early morning of March 23, 1929, a flash flood roared down White’s Creek. Scouts and their leaders from troop 45 were huddled in a cabin asleep when the rising water of the creek took everyone by surprise. Seven boys drowned. Scoutmaster James Wright drowned while trying to save one of his scouts.
75% of Americans support background checks and other measures to keep assault weapons out of the hands of potential terrorists and the mentally ill. Not Republicans, it appears.
Melanie Sherrod is raising money for an environmental cause in memory of her late husband, Marc Sherrod. Marc was the Pastor at Bethel Presbyterian Church before he passed away from cancer. He was a good person and gave much to our communities.
Melanie sent more info:
I am riding the Tour des Trees again this year raising money for the TREE FUND, a non-profit organization for urban tree research and education. Caleb Sherrod, Graham Waldrip and Friends will be giving a benefit jazz fund raiser for me at Bethel on July 22 at 7:00. Light snacks will be provided. Cost of admission is a donation to the TREE FUND.
More information on the tour:Continued...
You would think a business would be supportive of our local community given that it would do better if the local community did better. Of all the good things that happened in Roane County this weekend the Roane County News Front Page is a scandal sheet with three Damon Lawrence stories full of accusation and innuendo to make us look bad. I think we should make a habit of skipping the RCN front page and go straight to page two. Goose Lindsay always makes me feel good about my home county.
The Summer Solstice in Roane County, Tennessee, USA is on
Monday, June 20, 2016 at 6:34 PM EDT.
It's also the first time a full moon was on the solstice since 1967. The next time this happens will be June 21, 2062. (link...)
Thank goodness the New Madrid Fault line is all the way on the other side of Tennessee. Got insurance?
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Military Department says it plans to conduct one of the largest statewide disaster preparedness exercises in its history.
Tennessee law allows for special protections for exceptional Tennessee Waters while preserving landowner's rights. Tennessee law preserves private ownership to the "bed and bank" of waterways flowing through private land. Trespass law, for instance, applies to the banks of a stream, islands and the bed of a stream. Legally this means that fishermen are trespassing if they walk up a stream without the property owner's permission. None of that changes with Scenic River designation. This is an excellent tool for promoting and protecting our streams.
The push for designation came about from the support of local landowners and with the assistance of The Nature Conservancy, American Whitewater, and the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation assisted in preparing the bill filed by The Nature Conservancy. Senator Ken Yager and Representative Ron Travis introduced SB2520/HB2566. The State Scenic River designation provides protection to the river without impacting property rights. The designation also promotes public awareness about river stewardship and long-term protection of the river and its corridor.
Other RoaneViews blogs
- Tennessee Medieval Faire - 3 BIG days - Memorial Day weekend! (mushy)
- Darren York - New Princess manager (mushy)
- "An Evening of Remembrance" - Black History Month Event (mushy)
- Last Two Movie Nights In 2015 (mushy)
- Babahatchie Community Band Tonight At The Princess (mushy)
- Forth Annual Dr. Eric Littleton Christmas Concert (mushy)
- The "Last Dance" was great! (mushy)
- GRAND PREES "Last Dance" - August 15th - Princess Theatre (mushy)
- WWII Reenactment at the Secret City Festival (mushy)
- The three-in-one concert Saturday was great! (mushy)