Each year, as December ends and the calendar flips to a new year, the Independent Herald takes a look back at the stories that made news during the preceding 12 months. Here are the headlines that made news in 2017:
January 5: Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area rangers assist with the recovery of three victims of a plane crash in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; all three died after a Cessna 182 fixed-wing, single-engine aircraft crashed into the side of a mountain at an elevation of 5,400 ft. • A trio of Scott Countians are facing drug charges after being arrested at a home on Ditney Trail east of Huntsville • What started with a $500 Firebird that David Marlar physically drove to the race tracks in the 1970s has morphed into a family tradition of dirt track racing excellence for the Winfield business owners and his sons, Mikey, Skylar and Cameron • Christopher N. Cox, a 36-year-old Scott County man facing child sex crimes locally, has been returned from Oklahoma, where he was arrested after fleeing.
January 12: Two Oneida men — Jonathan C. Lewallen, 25, and Juan C. Garcia, 27, were killed in a single-vehicle accident on Niggs Creek Road in south Oneida • The first snow of the winter season proves to be a nuisance, delivering light snowfall and frigid temperatures to the region • Florida-based Rennova Health Inc. announces that a separate group of investors will fund its hospitals division, which will begin with the reopening of Scott County’s hospital.
January 19: Scott County Sheriff’s Department deputies target more than 40 people as part of a round-up of drug offenders who were wanted for either selling narcotics or for violating terms of their probation; 14 were arrested and dozens more are being sought • What happened to Christina Bussell? That’s the question that remains unanswered more than five years after the disappearance of the 26-year-old Winfield woman, and a private investigator is hoping to unearth new answers • A Kentucky man — Tarance J. Jeffers, 23 — is busted for a string of thefts after being stopped on a simple ATV traffic violation • An Oneida couple — Mark A. Lay II, 24, and Casey Helton Strunk, 30 — have been charged with selling methamphetamine following a traffic stop in West Oneida.
January 26: Drug arrests have surged in Oneida, with seven different people arrested during a seven-day span, according to arrest warrants filed by Oneida Police Department officers • The Howard H. Baker Watershed Lake in West Oneida is nearing capacity as heavy rains continue in the aftermath of a significant drought, and the Town of Oneida’s emergency water rate hike may soon end • Scott County Commission authorizes County Mayor Dale Perdue to seek Community Development Block Grant funds for the purchase of ambulances that will boost the Scott County Ambulance Service’s aging fleet.
February 2: Kenneth L. Mullins, of Huntsville, has been arrested in connection with the death of a 40-year-old Kentucky man — Gary L. Roberts, of Pine Knot, whose body was discovered near his home • Scott County’s jobless rate increases sharply, jumping from 7.5 percent to 8.5 percent, according to new numbers from the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development • A Kentucky duo has been charged with child neglect, after cops say a mother forced her daughter to pee in a jar so that she could pass a drug screening.
February 9: Rennova Health Inc. announces that its soon-to-open hospital in Scott County will be named Big South Fork Medical Center, after a contest that sought suggestions from the community • Scott County Commission declines to reverse a controversial decision to opt out of the state’s building codes program, despite warnings from state officials that the county might be ineligible for grant funding if that decision was not reversed • Oneida High School announces its honor grads, with 20 students honored, including valedictorian Noah Hiatt and salutatorians Courtney Alley, Grant Marcum and Cal Smith • Randy Lowe, 52, of Straight Fork, has been arrested and accused of selling “large quantities” of methamphetamine • Billy Hall scores his 1,000th career point as a Scott High basketball player.
February 16: Two men — Arvil L. Lloyd and Adam Barnes — are charged in connection with the theft of an ATV, and the resulting investigation has revealed in a third person being arrested on drug-related charges • Three Scott County men — Robert D. Jeffers, Thomas E. Bedford and Jamie Brown — have been sentenced to prison after violating terms of their probation, the District Attorney General’s office has announced • Nearly six years after the death of Shada Lowe, an 18-year-old Roane State student who was killed in an accident involving an impaired driver, the Tennessee General Assembly has passed “Shadow’s Law” in her honor, allowing for roadside memorials that warn against DUI • An Oneida couple — Gregoy Woodward, 37 and Jodi King, 25 — have been charged with child abuse stemming from an investigation by Oneida Police Department • Scott High quarterback Billy Hall commits to Reinhardt University of the NAIA ranks.
March 2: Authorities fear a negative trend involving teenagers who are using and abusing illegal drugs, after a third juvenile defendant was arrested on drug-related charges involving a powerful synthetic drug that is sometimes fatal • A Helenwood man, Mark West, 42, has been arrested on charges of domestic abuse • Scott High School announces its honors list, which includes 10 valedictorians and three salutatorians; among them: valedictorians Ben Blakley, Cade Botts, Johnathan Bridges, Jordan Dopp, Amanda Ellis, Kloe King, Abbey Overton, Wesley Wunderlin, Victoria Yaden and Savannah York, and salutatorians Matthew Boshears, Courtney Bowling and Destiny Lawson • The Independent Herald launches its 20 Week Hiking Challenge with a 3.8-mile hike to Angel Falls in the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area • Oneida’s Lady Indians advance to the substate after stunning Meigs County in the Region 2-A Tournament.
March 9: A Scott County court has ruled that Litton Covered Bridge Road — the subject of much controversy after Scott County Commission declined to close it — must remain open and cannot be blocked by landowners • Facebook has led to the arrest of an accused drug dealer — Charles Allen Greene Jr., 33, of Huntsville • Scott County Commission is eyeing a solution that will allow Scott County to keep $350,000 in home rehabilitation grant funds despite declining to opt in to the state’s building codes program • Oneida High School’s Lady Indians win their first Region 2-A basketball championship in 15 years.
March 16: Nine people have been arrested in connection with a meth distribution bust, after an investigation that started with officers stopping to check on a woman who appeared to be asleep behind the wheel of a vehicle that was parked outside a Huntsville residence • Scott County’s jobless rate increases to 9.5 percent, even though the county added more than 100 jobs over the course of a month, according to new numbers from the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development • Meteorologists warn that a damaging freeze is likely, with arctic air scheduled to invade the region after a mild start to spring prompted an early start to the blooming season.
March 23: A 39-year-old Winfield man, Jason Adkins, was fatally injured when his vehicle crashed into a tree on Bethlehem Road • Scott County Commission votes to issue a request for proposals from parties interested in purchasing or leasing the old Scott County Jail, which has been vacant since 2008 • Legislation requested by County Commission would require a $10 fee for riders on trails at Brimstone or the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area during event weekends • The Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area marks its fourth consecutive year of increased visitation • The Town of Oneida celebrates its centennial, marking 100 years since its charter was issued in March 1917.
April 6: The annual Nancy Swain Watters Memorial Walk kicks off a month of awareness of child abuse and domestic violence in Scott County, with thousands of participants marching along U.S. Hwy. 27 through Oneida • Christopher N. Cox, 36, of Scott County, has been indicted on 37 felony charges related to the sexual molestation of children • Scott County Commission has given its okay to the transfer of ownership on a parcel of land at the Mid-County Industrial Park to Takahata Precision Tennessee • For the first time in a decade, Scott County’s unemployment rate is not among the 10 highest jobless rates in the State of Tennessee, after dropping more than two percentage points • Dominant pitching has Oneida High School’s baseball team off to a strong start on the season.
April 13: A bill that would allow ATVs on two sections of S.R. 63 between the Scott-Campbell line and Interstate 75 is set for its final vote in the Tennessee General Assembly • Trent Cross, who represents the 5th District on Scott County Commission, is arrested after allegedly discharging a firearm at a public campground in Sevier County • A Harriman man, Timothy Roberts, 22, is facing assault charges in Oneida after a fight over child custody in the parking lot of Walmart in Oneida • The Scott County Mayor’s Office launches a litter reporting program that allows motorists to make anonymous text tips if they see someone littering.
April 20: Fire departments and other emergency responders team up to conduct a mock accident at Scott High, in hopes of educating students on the dangers of impaired driving and distracted driving • Legislation passed by the Tennessee General Assembly is expected to generate $250,000 in additional revenue for the Scott County Ambulance Service • County Commission gives its final stamp of approval to a land transfer that will award Takahata Precision Tennessee with a parcel of property to aid its expansion in the Mid-County Industrial Park.
April 27: Major flooding ravages the Cumberlands, with heavy rains forcing road closures and damaging businesses and homes • The Tennessee General Assembly approves a gas tax increase proposed by Governor Bill Haslam, which is expected to generate funding for the state’s $10 billion backlog of road projects, including some projects in Scott County • A trio of suspects have been charged in connection with a drug stop in Oneida, with one of them accused of attempting to coerce a witness • The “Bible People,” an Oneida couple who give away Bibles to all who will take them, are still going strong, after distributing nearly 10,000 Bibles across the region.
May 4: A Scott County couple — Mark A. Lay II and Brittany R. Ware — were arrested after being found in possession of methamphetamine for resale and several hundred dollars in cash while parked at the Paint Rock Car Wash in east Oneida • High winds left many without power, keeping crews from Plateau Electric Cooperative busy throughout the day on May 1 as they worked to restore power in Scott and Morgan counties • Scott County’s jobless rate drops six-tenths of a percentage point to 6.8 percent, while the number of working Scott Countians continues to increase • A Kentucky man — Justin L. Slone, 23, of Pine Knot — accused of transporting marijuana across the state line to sell in Tennessee has been arrested in Oneida • Oneida High School’s baseball team wraps up the regular season District 4-A championship and enters the postseason as the district’s top seed.
May 11: Scott High School awards a total of $2.3 million in scholarship dollars during the school’s annual senior awards banquet, a week before graduation • The Tennessee Fire Marshal’s Office is urging Tennesseans to be “fire-wise” and protect their property from wildfires like the ones that ravaged much of the eastern part of the state last fall • A child welfare check at an Oneida residence leads to the arrest of Michael W. Easter, 40, on charges of meth possession for resale and child endangerment • Scott High football players Billy Hall and Hayden Byrge will take their game to the collegiate level, after Hall signed with Reinhardt University in Waleska, Ga., and Byrge signed with East Tennessee State University in Johnson City during a joint signing ceremony at the school • Oneida defeats Scott High on the soccer field, winning 6-5 on penalty kicks.
May 18: A Scott County woman — Denise N. Aldridge — has been indicted by a grand jury after allegedly exploiting an elderly woman and stealing more than $10,000 from her • The Scott County Board of Education votes down a proposal to pave the parking lot at Scott High School, at a cost of about $250,000 • An Oneida woman — Jacklyn D. Barger, 25 — has been charged with child neglect and drug possession after allegedly falling asleep at the Oneida McDonald’s and leaving her child unattended • Scott County Commission has given its approval to the purchase of a half-acre of land to make repairs to Sawmill Road in Robbins, which was damaged by mudslides following torrential rains earlier in the spring • Jason Pike has been named head basketball coach at Oneida Middle School.
May 25: Two people have been killed in a head-on collision in Winfield, and identified as Jeffrey Maney, 28, and Gayle Bridges, 60, both of Winfield • Thousands of visitors are expected to flock to Huntsville for the annual White Knuckle Event, with country music star Lee Brice scheduled to headline the Memorial Day weekend event • Mark Kline has been re-elected to Plateau Electric Cooperative’s board of directors, out-polling Jim Marcum to retain his seat • Oneida High School’s Baylee Thomas has signed a basketball scholarship with Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn. • Former University of Tennessee football star Jermaine Copeland delivers message to youth attendees at Scott High School’s summer basketball camp.
June 1: A Georgia man is dead following a late-night, officer-involved shooting in Oneida, and has been identified as Ron “harlan” Lewallen, 30, of Dalton, Ga. • Scott County Commissioner and retired U.S. Army Col. Sam Lyles addresses attendees at the annual VFW Post 5669 Memorial Day ceremony in Oneida, urging them to learn about the veterans who have helped to define America’s presence in the world • Scott County’s jobless rate falls to a 16-year low, dropping to 5.5 percent • Brimstone’s White Knuckle Event is a smooth one, law enforcement and first responders say • Oneida’s Sidney Dishman signs a basketball scholarship with Union College in Barbourville, Ky.
June 8: A Winona Man — Robert Scott Wright, 46 — has drowned at Huntsville’s Flat Creek Reservoir, and authorities are speculating that a broken boat seat may have contributed to his accidental death • Cops say that a teacher — Tara L. Lay, 41, who teaches at the Scott County Alternative School — violated state law by altering a drug test • An Arkansas kidnapping convict — Tameria Moore, 37, of Little Rock — has been arrested in Oneida and charged with being a fugitive from justice • A proposal presented by Kevin Acres to the Oneida Special School District Board of Education would rename the Oneida High School football stadium in honor of the late Jim May, the school’s all-time winningest coach, who died of a heart attack in 1997.
June 15: Scott County launches a litterbug hotline that allows motorists observing littering to report violators via text message • The Scott County Board of Education has reversed an earlier decision and has approved the repaving of the Scott High School parking lot, at an estimated cost of about $250,000 • A Scott County man — Harry Dilts, 37, of Oneida — has been charged following a brief standoff with cops amid a domestic dispute at a Leatherwood Road residence • The Town of Huntsville’s Firemen’s Fourth Festival has been revamped, and organizers aim for it to be bigger and better than ever.
June 22: A compliance check conducted by the Scott County Sheriff’s Department finds that 48 of the county’s 49 registered sex offenders are in compliance with the state’s registration requirements • Scott County Commission adopts a public records policy that will dictate how the county’s government offices handle requests for public records • An Oneida man, identified as Teddy Norris, 44, was arrested after challenging a police officer to a fight • Scott County’s U12 AYSO soccer team, Pink Chaos, wins sectional games in Knoxville.
June 29: A team of law enforcement personnel from multiple agencies target dozens of alleged drug traffickers in a round-up that followed an undercover investigation • Four months after getting out of prison, a sex offender — Ricky V. Lewallen, 37, of Oneida — landed in jail after visiting a state park in violation of Tennessee’s sexual offender registration law • Seven people have been charged in connection with an alleged drug smuggling operation at the Scott County Justice Center.
July 6: Scott County’s unemployment rate has dropped to 4.2 percent — its second lowest rate ever — based on new numbers from the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development • A new state law removes implied consent for warrantless blood draws in suspected DUI cases • Scott County is a candidate for official designation as a Healthier Tennessee Community, Governor Bill Haslam’s Foundation for Health & Wellness has announced.
July 13: Momentum builds to rename the Oneida High School football stadium in honor of the late Jim May, with former player Stan Pennington addressing the Oneida Special School District Board of Education • A Scott County man — Derek S. Nagy, 35 — has landed in jail after allegedly stealing loose change from a vehicle parked outside the Scott County Food Court • The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is seeking information on a deer that was poached in Huntsville; the large buck was reportedly shot from a roadway around sunrise • The Independent Herald’s Twenty Week Hiking Challenge concludes with a hike to the Twin Arches and Charit Creek Lodge.
July 20: Scott County landowners face a 12-cent tax hike as County Commission’s Budget Committee recommends a $2.49 property tax rate in an effort to balance the budget for fiscal year 2017-2018 • First National Bank’s Mini-Grant program surpasses $1 million in aid to local educators • William Kim Bankston, convicted of murdering his wife in 2001, is set to face a state parole board as he seeks early release from prison • The Scott County Industrial Development Board and the Scott County Chamber of Commerce have jointly announced that Scott County schools will receive water bottle filling stations via a project funded by grant dollars • A lawsuit alleges that an inmate contracted tuberculosis while housed at the Scott County Justice Center • Delinquent taxpayers have been put on notice that their properties will soon be sold at auction.
July 27: All that remains of Litton Covered Bridge is a crumbling concrete abutment in the middle of Paint Rock Creek, but the road leading there has become a lightning rod for controversy • The Independent Herald wins five first place awards at the annual University of Tennessee-Tennessee Press Association press contests • Big South Fork Medical Center announces that it will open its doors for the first time on Tuesday, Aug. 8.
August 3: Scott County Sheriff Ronnie Phillips denies that an inmate who died at the jail was denied treatment, after the inmate’s mother files a lawsuit alleging that her son — Benny Shane Pemberton — died because he was not treated for an infection that became progressively worse over the course of a two-week stay at the jail in 2016 • Container Technologies Industries in Helenwood is searching for welders, underscoring manufacturing’s return to the industrial scene in the wake of the Great Recession • A dispute over parking has led to the arrest of a Huntsville man, Zachary J. Daugherty, after a woman was airlifted with injuries sustained in the dispute.
August 10: Big South Fork Medical Center has officially opened its doors after the hospital was closed for 13 months • Scott County’s proposed property tax increase is a no-go, temporarily, after county commissioners reach an impasse • An opioid lawsuit is being considered by Scott County Government, after County Commission gives the county’s attorney the go-ahead to research the issue.
August 17: An historic solar eclipse will be visible in Scott County on Monday. It is the first eclipse with a path of totality from coast to coast in 99 years, and while the path of totality will not pass through Scott County, total obstruction of the sun will be visible as nearby as northern Morgan County • Scott County Commission reaches a compromise, passing a nine-cent property tax rate that will balance the budget and raise the salaries of county employees but not increase the fund balance, as originally sought by County Commission’s Budget Committee • The Scott County Sheriff’s Department targets underage parties, arresting several and issuing citations to others.
August 24: Scott County’s first delinquent tax properties hit the auction block as Scott County targets tax delinquency for the 2006-2007 tax years • A Harriman man who allegedly tried to force an Oneida police officer off the road amid a pursuit that reached speeds of 100 mph was returned to the custody of local authorities • Scott County Commission officially adopts the county’s budget for fiscal year 2017-2018 • Oneida begins the high school football season with a 35-0 win over Claiborne.
August 31: The Oneida Special School District’s former food services director, Verna Wright, has been indicted on charges that she misappropriated at least $60,000 in funds for personal benefit • New research reveals that Scott County’s rate of opioid prescriptions is 1.6 to 1, meaning 1.6 opioid prescriptions are written for every man, woman, boy and girl in the community • Fire alarm forces school evacuation at Burchfield, but turns out to be a false alarm • A Winfield man — James Logan Shoemaker, 24 — has been indicted on charges of possessing child pornography • Gracie Cox is crowned Miss Scott County Fairest of the Fair.
September 7: Hurricane Harvey roared ashore in Texas, but his impact is felt in Scott County, as gas prices soar to $2.50 • Total employment at Big South Fork Medical Center reaches 130, exceeding expectations, according to hospital marketing director Wayne King • An Oneida man suspected of stealing a car in Florida — Roy Avery Foster, 27 — has been nabbed by local authorities • An alleged drug dealer, Anthony T. Anderson, 37, has been arrested in Oneida.
September 14: The Town of Huntsville has proposed to acquire and restore the old Scott County Jail, telling County Commission that they’re dedicated to the purpose of preserving the jail and its history but that they do not intent to pay for it • A pair accused of dealing methamphetamine have been arrested near Oneida City Park • Scott County Commission discusses funding for a damaged fire repeater.
September 21: Scott County pledges its support for state legislation that would redirect significant tax revenue from Tennessee’s oil and gas industry to local coffers, potentially serving as a shot in the arm for the county’s financial plight • The Improve Act, approved by the Tennessee General Assembly, will add $700,000 for local road maintenance in Scott County • Six different accused drug dealers have been arrested in Oneida as a result of investigations by local police • Scott High uses a late touchdown and a final defensive stand to earn the season’s first victory in dramatic fashion at Gatlinburg-Pittman.
September 28: Huntsville Mayor Dennis Jeffers reiterates his town’s pledge to preserve the old Scott County Jail, if county officials will transfer ownership of the facility to the town • An ATV pursuit involving the Tennessee Highway Patrol ends with a crash and the arrest of a suspect identified as Cory Phillips • State Rep. Kelly Keisling, R-Byrdstown, meets with local officials and recalls the flack he caught over supporting Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposed gas tax increase • A Scott County man, Curtis L. Smith, 55, has been charged with growing marijuana at his Forest Ridge Road home in Robbins • Oneida High School’s golf team concludes a memorable and historic season that saw the Indians go undefeated.
October 5: The Tennessee Department of Transportation has scaled back plans to improve Alberta Street through Oneida, and will instead focus on improvements to the intersections of Depot Street and Third Avenue • Huntsville’s proposed acquisition of the old Scott County Jail clears its first hurdle and will be considered by the full County Commission later this month.
October 12: An Oneida man — Randal J. West, 53 — is arrested after injuring several people and a dog with his motorized wheelchair outside the Oneida Family Motel • Eighth Judicial District Attorney General Jared Effler has joined a lawsuit that targets drug makers and places blame for the region’s opioid crisis on the pharmaceutical industry • Scott High’s girls soccer team advances to the school’s first-ever district championship game with a 1-0 victory at Anderson County.
October 19: Six suspects have been arrested in connection with a meth ice bust in Winfield, while a seventh suspect remains on the loose • A 40-year-old Winfield man — Michael J. Jones — has been arrested on charges that he engaged in sexual activity with an underage girl at the Oneida Family Motel, marking the second sexual assault at the beleaguered Oneida business in a five-day span • Both Scott and Oneida win district championships in girls soccer, marking an historic night for local athletes.
October 26: A Robbins man, William Clinton Robbins, has been convicted in the shooting death of a 20-year-old Clinton man, but the jury failed to convict Robbins on the more serious charge of second degree murder, instead returning a guilty verdict on a lesser charge • The fledgling Scott County Family Justice Center seeks to meet domestic violence head on within the local community • The Town of Huntsville’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen has voted to take Scott County’s lead and pursue delinquent taxpayers • Big South Fork Medical Center has cleared its final hurdle and will receive licensure allowing reimbursement from the federal Medicaid and Medicare programs • Oneida’s Lady Indian soccer team wins its first-ever region title.
November 2: Scott County’s unemployment rate has dropped to an all-time low of 3.8 percent, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development • Giving law enforcement a fake identity lands a Corbin man in jail after its revealed that the name he gave was that of a man who was wanted on criminal charges • Burchfield School’s football team wins the Area II football championship.
November 9: Four people from Kentucky have been arrested in a meth bust in Scott County, after what began as a routine traffic stop • The Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area is chosen as one of three Tennessee sites for a special colorblindness viewer that allows sufferers of colorblindness to see fall colors in their full splendor • Winfield School renews its requests for lights for its football field.
November 16: A deadly crash closes S.R. 63 east of Huntsville; the victim is identified as David K. Tackett, 41, of Campbell County • The Scott County Board of Education requests bids for lighting for the Winfield School football field • Deer hunters are finding whitetail deer scarce in Scott County, but an outbreak of EHD isn’t entirely to blame, wildlife officer Wade Young tells the Independent Herald.
November 23: A driver has been airlifted from a serious traffic accident on S.R. 63 east of Huntsville, the second significant crash along that stretch of roadway in a week’s time • Two people from Helenwood have been charged with child abuse in a drug case after investigators found “filthy” and “abhorrent” conditions inside their home • The high school basketball season gets underway, with teams from Oneida and Scott High in action in TSSAA Hall of Fame games.
November 30: A high-speed pursuit in Oneida ends with the arrest of Jason H. Goodman, 38, of Sandcut Apartments, and no injuries • A domestic dispute leads to the arrest of Nathan Q. Lawson, 27, of Oneida • The Black Creek fire tower has been added to the National Register of Historic Places • Shonda Ellis Duncan has been named the interim director at the Scott County Women’s Shelter • The 69th Scott County Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade is scheduled for Saturday.
December 7: Meth crimes dominate the Scott County Grand Jury’s last term of 2017, with drug possession and drug trafficking making up the bulk of the 14 indictments returned • The old Scott County School Bus Garage in Huntsville — once a Hudson car dealership — has been razed • Lumber King wins judge’s choice at the annual Scott County Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade • What started as a theft case at the Oneida Walmart turned into a drug probe with four people arrested on various charges • Scott County’s own Billy Hall, a true freshman quarterback at Reinhardt University in Georgia, leads his team to the NAIA national championship game.
December 14: Churches throughout Scott County are exploring ways to protect their parishioners from violence in the wake of increasing church shootings • A Scott County sex offender — Derrick Slaven, 33 — has been charged with raping a 13-year-old girl • Oneida’s boys basketball team has jumped to a 2-0 start in District 3-A play.
December 21: The Scott County Sheriff’s Department conducted an unusual traffic enforcement sting for the holidays — instead of handing out citations, Sheriff Ronnie Phillips and his team of deputies handed out gift certificates and frozen turkeys • Scott County’s medical examiner — County Commissioner Trent Cross — has been receiving a salary in violation of state law, the state comptroller’s office says • Billy Jason Carson, the Cleveland, Tenn., man accused of running down a renowned Monster Truck driver at a 2015 concert in Huntsville, has entered a guilty plea, facing up to six years in prison • An Oneida man accused of inappropriate sexual contact with two young girls has pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
December 28: Eighth Judicial District Attorney General Jared Effler has announced the hire of a dedicated prosecutor — Christy Smith — to handle domestic violence cases in Scott County • Huntsville Mayor Dennis Jeffers details progress that is being made at the old Scott County Jail, where efforts are being made to restore the 100-year-old structure • Randy Byrge, a client coordinator at the Scott County Recovery Court, details his decade-long battle with substance abuse and how he found his way back • Burchfield School’s middle school band is bucking a trend with nearly 40 percent of the school’s student body enrolled in either beginner or advanced band.