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It's Official, VA Clinic Opening Back at Old Tri-County Location
The building previously occupied by Tri. County Medical has been leased to the contractor handling VA Clinic
It's Official, VA Clinic Opening Back at Old Tri-County Location

As we reported in the Standard last week, the Dover VA Clinic, at 1225 Spring St. will not reopen at that location. Chris Vadnais, with the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, confirmed to the Standard, they are planning on opening in the old Tri-County Medical building at 1406 Donelson Pkwy. He said, "This is the place we think would best meet our Veterans' needs. However, a formal agreement has not yet been made." He also confirmed, Sterling Medical Associates are the contractors for the facility and would be responsible for the lease. Vadnais stated Friday, October 4 in an email to the Standard, "Our intent is to restore local services as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, we will do everything we can to ensure no Veteran misses an appointment. We continue to see Dover patients at the Clarksville facility, and this will continue until the Dover clinic relocates. Care in the community may also be available at VA expense for Veterans who qualify and opt for that. We look forward to reopening the Dover clinic in its new location in the coming months and we sincerely regret the inconvenience this has caused."

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SCHS Golfer, Cunningham, Plays in TSSAA State Tournament
SCHS Golfer, Cunningham, Plays in TSSAA State Tournament

SCHS Rebel Golfer Kamaren Cunningham won the TSSAA Region 5 Golf Tournament, Monday, September 30 at Montgomery Bell and advanced to the state. The TSSAA State Tournament first round action started today, Tuesday, October 8 in Manchester, TN, at Willowbrook Golf Course. Second round starts tomorrow, Wednesday, October 9. Cunningham shot a 75 today, only four strokes off the lead. According to SCHS Golf Coach Nick Wallace, Cunningham, a Junior, is the first player Stewart Co. has ever had to win the Region 5 tournament. The top three qualify for the State Tournament as an individual. Cunningham won with a score of 72. Cunningham's 9 hole average on the year was 37.21 and he scored a low 34, three times. We wish him well in tomorrow's final round.

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Large Fire at Leatherwood Resort, Owner Burned
A few small boats were tied up in the Marina that caught fire. After drifting out they were towed to the boat ramp by officials.
Large Fire at Leatherwood Resort, Owner Burned

There was a massive boat fire at Leatherwood Marina Sunday. On Monday morning, Sept. 16, it was hard to tell, as the metal structure was still in tact and large boats that had caught on fire had sunk. There were a couple of small boats that had been tied off in a slip that caught fire and broke free, they were pulled up to the boat ramp. According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, they responded to a report of a houseboat fire, Sunday, Sept. 15, about 10:30 am in Stewart Co. A release Monday from TWRA, stated, "The fire occurred at Leatherwood Marina located on Kentucky Lake. The houseboat fire resulted in one injury. The injured victim was flown to Vanderbilt with burns to his legs and is expected to be released. The fire spread to multiple boats before being extinguished at 11:45 am. Four houseboats sunk and six other vessels were damaged during the fire. The exact cause of the accident is still under investigation." The Standard learned it was the owner of Leatherwood Resort, Scott Walin, who was burned in the fire. Several Stewart Co. agencies responded, including Fire Rescue, EMA, EMS and the Sheriff's Office. Paris Landing, TWRA and TEMA were also on hand. SC EMA Director Clint Mathis told the Standard, "We were able to keep it contained to the last set of boat slips. We fought it from the walkway inside of the Marina. The fire was rolling in there with massive quantities of gas in the boats." The SC Fire Dept. had a pumper truck pulling water from the lake and had to stretch a hose through the center of the boats on fire, according to Mathis. One of the boats that sank was a 43 ft. houseboat.

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Contractor to Add Wedges to Decrease 'BUMPS' at Bridges
The Dover Bridge is where the re-paving project starts and goes for six miles.
Contractor to Add Wedges to Decrease 'BUMPS' at Bridges

Kathryn Schulte, from TDOT, told the Standard, about the repaving project currently underway in Stewart County, "We've asked the contractor to add wedges to help smooth the rough bumps at the bridges, which they are working on tonight, Mon., Aug. 26. There will still be bumps at these roadway/bridge transition points until the paving work is complete, but they won't be as jarring. The resurfacing project on US 79 has a contract completion date of October 31, 2019. Right now the contractor is a little ahead of schedule, so the work may be completed early. The contractor is Jones Bros. Contractors, who had the low bid of $2,205,522." Many have complained on social media about the huge bumps at the bridges, especially at Papa Rock, and no suggested speed. The project runs from the Dover Bridge, for six miles North. The Standard has learned, all the work is being done at night, from 6 pm- 5 am. Crews started Sun. night, August 18, at 6 pm, milling, or grinding up the asphalt with a milling machine being led by dump trucks to haul it away. The only parts being milled are the bridges at Papa Rock, the High School and Dover.

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Re-match Tonight; Jr. Pro Rebels Against McEwen; Rebel Pee-Wees Lost 88-86 in 2018
In what could be a record football score, certainly for Pee-Wees, the Jr. Pro Pee-Wees lost 88-86 in 6 overtimes against McEwen Saturday, October 6, 2018.
Re-match Tonight; Jr. Pro Rebels Against McEwen; Rebel Pee-Wees Lost 88-86 in 2018

In what was possibly a record football game score last year, 88-86, for any age group, the Stewart Co. Pee-Wee Football team played for more than two hours, Saturday, October 6, 2018 against McEwen at home. The Rebels travel to play McEwen tonight, Saturday, August 24, at 5 pm. Last year, the Pee-Wee Rebels tied the game at 40-40 at the end of regulation against the McEwen Warriors Pee-Wee team. The Rebels fought hard all year, last year, struggling with only nine players signed up to represent Stewart Co. in the Pee-Wee age group of 5-7 year olds. McEwen was gracious and showed sportsmanship in only playing nine as well, as they could have fielded 11. This year, the Rebels have fielded 11, but that's all.

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Charges Against Kirby Accomplices Dropped in Stewart Co., Crimes Committed in Montgomery Co.
Stewart County court ruled, these three defendants, accused of helping Kirby Wallace after the fact, committed their offenses in Montgomery Co.
Charges Against Kirby Accomplices Dropped in Stewart Co., Crimes Committed in Montgomery Co.

The three defendants charged with helping Kirby Wallace escape law enforcement after he killed Brenda Smith in Indian Mound, all had their charges dropped in Stewart Co. this morning, Friday, August 2. According to a Consolidated Order from Preliminary Hearing, it states in part, "The Court finds probable cause the offenses were committed but all occurred in Montgomery County, not Stewart Co...Accordingly, the territorial jurisdictional limits of Stewart County General Sessions Court are the geographic limits of Stewart Co." Because of that, 40 year old Derek Summers, arrested July 22, for tampering with evidence and theft over $10,000, 26 year old David Dover, arrested July 22, for accessory after the fact and tampering with evidence and 33 year old Mindy Harris, arrested July 23 for tampering with evidence and theft over $10,000 all had their charges dropped in Stewart Co. by Judge Andy Brigham. He told the Standard, all the crimes were committed after the fact and in Montgomery Co. "We learned during the preliminary hearing, every act was committed in Montgomery County," said Brigham. The original arrest warrants on the three were all signed by TBI officers. "After much research and talking with other judges, we were all of the opinion, I had to rule Stewart County did not have jurisdiction," Brigham added. The court filing further stated, "To be sure, the initial criminal episode, including the horrific crime of murder and theft, committed by Kirby Wallace, and for which he was recently convicted in Stewart and Montgomery Counties, by guilty plea, commenced in Stewart Co., and continued into Montgomery Co., the proof showed, that the offenses charged to the Defendants began and ended in Montgomery Co. None of the proof showed the defendants were present in Stewart County during any of the offenses." We have learned all the charges will be transferred to Montgomery Co.

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Kirby Wallace Hearing Reveals New Information About Bike
This bike was found by Sheriff Frankie Gray recently, near the Smith residence, after Kirby Wallace admitted in an interview to riding a bike to the house & stashing it in the woods nearby.
Kirby Wallace Hearing Reveals New Information About Bike

Kirby Wallace appeared in court in Stewart County, Wednesday, July 24. Wallace pleaded guilty in exchange for a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Media outlets from Nashville including News Channels 2, 4, and 5 were present, along with citizens and family members of victims from Wallace's crime spree. When Wallace entered the courtroom, everyone became silent. TN Dept. of Corrections (TDOC) officers in bullet proof vests escorted Wallace to his seat and surrounded him at all times. Judge Larry Wallace stated he believed there was an announcement from the DA. District Attorney, Ray Crouch, Jr., mentioned the state had a notice with the intent to seek life without parole. Wallace pleaded guilty to the first degree murder of Brenda Smith, attempted first degree murder of Teddy Smith, especially aggravated burglary, two counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated arson. Wallace's attorney Tim Potter stated, "We understand that as part of this plea negotiation, the state will forgo filing a notice of death." Judge Wallace stated, "As of right now those pleas indicate the intent to seek a life sentence without the possibility of parole." Kirby Wallace's only responses were, "Yes/No sir," when asked a series of questions from Judge Wallace.

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Standard Wins 5 Statewide Awards
Left to right: Staff Writers & Office Assistants Lauren Schmidt & Alexis Jones, Graphic Designer Tracy Kelley, Co-owner & Bookeeper Carrie Peppers, & Co-owner & Publisher Danny Peppers.
Standard Wins 5 Statewide Awards

The Stewart County Standard Newspaper won a total of five awards last week, four were for ad design and one for a news photograph. The Tennessee State Press Contests awards were presented Thursday, July 18 and awards in the 2019 Tennessee Press Association (TPA) Advertising & Circulation Ideas Contest were presented on Friday, July 19, at the Read House Hotel in Chattanooga, TN. The contest had 30 categories. Newspapers competed in four divisions: Non-dailies under 5,000 circulation, Non-dailies with more than 5,000 circulation (category the Standard competed in), Dailies under 15,000 circulation, and Dailies with more than 15,000 circulation. The 2019 Ideas Contest received a total of 650 entries from 30 newspapers. The Standard was just granted membership to the TPA in November of 2018. Originally, only paid subscriber newspapers were allowed. The TPA Membership Committee reviewed our application and changed the rules to allow postal receipts to be accepted as proof of circulation. We mail out nearly 6,000 papers each week. The Board of Directors officially accepted our application for membership at their meeting, November 15, 2018, so we were only able to submit entries from 2018.

The Standard would like to thank everyone in this county who has contributed with a yearly voluntary subscription since we started in 2015, and those who have paid for a subscription to view the paper on our website, www.StewartCountyStandard.com. It all helps with the cost of putting this paper out each week, but most of all, we want to thank the advertisers you see in the paper each week and those who run occasionally. We could not do this without them. Our staff does a great job of getting ads approved before deadline. We won four awards for ads in very competitive categories and it's due to our graphic designer, Tracy Kelley, who designs the ads and the support she gets from the staff on getting ads sold, the ad copy and getting them approved. The Standard won in our division; First Place for Best Black & White Ad for a Charlie's Tree Service ad. Second Place for Best Use of a Multi-Color Ad for the Houston County Chamber's Irish Day ad and Best 1/4 Page or Smaller Ad for Paris Christian Bookstore. We won Third Place for Best Black and White ad for the SCAMP & Humane Society Bake Sale ad. In the News Category we won Third Place for a photo I took of fog crossing the Paris Landing Bridge. As much as I would like to say it was due to photography skills, the photo was sheer luck and timing. One of the judges comments were, "A unique and impactful environmental event that isn't usually covered. The location is especially impactful as the image inspires something of a mystery in the subject matter." We will run the ads and photo winners in an upcoming issue of the Standard.

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Stoplight at Trace Won't Be Up Until Next Year
Due to a delay in paperwork for right of way, the stoplight at The Trace has been postponed.
Stoplight at Trace Won't Be Up Until Next Year

As many know, a stoplight has been in the works at the Trace for some time, and was scheduled to start this summer. The Standard was told recently, this has been pushed back. Kathryn Schulte, Community Relations Officer for the Tennessee Dept. of Transportation, mentioned that the project was scheduled to let in August, but unfortunately had to be moved to the October letting. The term 'let' in highway construction projects means, by definition, "The date by which bids are opened."

Schulte stated, "Closing on the last tract is now complete, but it wasn't finalized in time to get the project into the August letting. This was the tract on the McDonald's property. When working with large corporations it's not uncommon to encounter delays with this process. A few weeks prior to the letting, the construction department will set time on the contract. At that time we will know when the project is scheduled to be completed." According to Mayor Robin Brandon, it will take eight months to set the poles which will be this time next year before the new light is installed at that location. Brandon stated, "This is very disturbing to our citizens and we are unclear if this was a local or corporate decision on the part of McDonald's."

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Rooms Added to Paris Landing Inn; Price Tag Now $34.5 Million
STAFF PHOTO.
Rooms Added to Paris Landing Inn; Price Tag Now $34.5 Million

The demolition of the Paris Landing Inn, originally scheduled to be done by February of this year, looks to be complete but work at the site appears to be at a standstill. David H. Roberson, Office of Communications Director with the TN Dept. of General Services, in a recent email to the Standard, stated, "Demolition of the existing Inn continues; completion is expected by the end of June. The 2019-20 budget revision will provide additional funding for additional rooms and increase the total project budget to $34,545,000." The Standard first reported on the budget for the Paris Landing Inn Demolition in March of 2017, we were told then the state could demolish the current inn at the park and build a new one at a cost of $23.07 million.

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Last Day for Memorial Photo Wall at Visitors Center, Fri. May 31
The Photo Wall at the Visitors Center includes service members from TN who have died during service since 911.
Last Day for Memorial Photo Wall at Visitors Center, Fri. May 31

A photographic War Memorial honoring our country's fallen military from the War on Terror since 9/11 is at the Stewart Co. Visitors Center, through Friday, May 31, from 8 am - 4:30 pm. It includes service members from TN who have died during service since 911. Cory Hewitt, who was killed in a suicide bombing in December of 2004 is the only one representing Stewart Co. in the somber memorial. The Opening Ceremony introducing the memorial was from 4-6 pm Friday, May 24. Veteran Service Officer, Kathy Freed spoke and honored local sponsors and presented their representatives with a Certificate. Sponsors included, Keith Tester with VFW Post 4730; Daniel Hyleman with Houston/Stewart Disabled American Veterans; Mayor Robin Brandon with the Stewart County Mayor's office; Don Bailey with the American Legion Dover Post 72; and Melissa Parker, Ski Witzofsky, and Kathy Veazey with the Stewart Co. Arts & Heritage Council.

Indian Mound woman, Charlene Thompson set up a display of her family members who served for the opening ceremony. She had a display of her great grandfather, grandfather and father's many military decorations and information about their service to our country. Her great grandfather, Major Harry Packard served in the Philippines during WWII and survived the Bataan Death March but was killed by friendly fire on a POW ship. Her grandfather, Brigadier General Edmund Thompson, served in Vietnam and the office he had in the Pentagon was hit in the 9/11 attacks. Her father, Sergeant First Class Matthew Thompson served in the Cold War. Thompson said, "Memorial Day was not created for sales or BBQs, or trips to the beach. It was created as a special day to remember those we've lost who gave us the freedom to do those things. I'm happy most Americans won't ever know what it's like to get that knock or phone call. I wouldn't want any family to know that feeling. I wish everyone could understand what military families, especially Blue and Gold star families feel around this time of year when we see how much Americans forget that today is about remembering."

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Congressman Mark Green Visits Stewart County for a Town Hall Discussion
US Congressman Mark Green talks to Stewart Co. residents Monday at the Stewart Co. Visitors Center.
Congressman Mark Green Visits Stewart County for a Town Hall Discussion

US Congressman for Tennessee's 7th Congressional District, Mark Green, was at the Stewart Co. Visitors Center for a brief Town Hall discussion, Monday, April 22 at 2 pm. There was a large turnout at the meeting which was listed in the Standard Event Calendar last week. Green talked about the team he has set up and introduced them. Green said, "I believe we have built a very good team, we cover 19 counties, I obviously can't be everywhere at one time. We hired some extra field reps, I believe being responsive to people is the biggest thing that makes an elected or appointed official good at their job." Green introduced Mark Crane as Field Representative for our area. A Retired Night Stalker, with multiple trips to Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Green. His office is located at 128 N. Second St. in Clarksville.

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Major Meth Bust in Stewart County Tuesday Night
K9 Handler Shane Keatts, Stormy and Deputy Bo Riner with items confiscated in a Meth bust last night.
Major Meth Bust in Stewart County Tuesday Night

38 year old, Jennifer Ruth Barber of Clarksville, TN, was booked into SC jail, last night, Tuesday April 9 at 11:55 pm, on several counts, including: Manufacture/sell/deliver/possession of Schedule II Substance, promotion of methamphetamine manufacture, possession of a handgun while intoxicated, possession of a weapon during felony, driving while in possession of meth, altering, falsifying or forging an auto title, driving under influence, driving un-insured, unlawful removal of registration decal, unregistered vehicle, unlawful drug paraphernalia, simple possession or casual exchange, speeding 21 miles over the speed limit, and two counts of violation of the light law. Stewart County Public Information Officer, Paulette Redman told the Standard, Barber was pulled over on Hwy 120 in Stewart Co. She had 60 grams of Methamphetamine, a weapon, and $1,300 cash when she was taken into custody. Officer Bo Riner made the stop and Deputy/K9 Handler Shane Keatts brought Stormy, the Sheriff's Office trained dog out and found the drugs. Barber's court date is scheduled for April 16, her total bond is $140,000.

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Nellie Settle Only Remaining Election Commissioner; Four New Ones Named, Three Sworn In
Three Republican replacements on the Election Commission, (L-R) Tim Borens, Carol Lovin, and Robert Girndt were all officially sworn in at the election office today, by Election Administrator Daniel Perigo.
Nellie Settle Only Remaining Election Commissioner; Four New Ones Named, Three Sworn In

After three commissioners resigned in two weeks, just ahead of the end of their two year terms, the new Stewart County Election Commission met, Tuesday, April 2, at 4:30 pm. There were all new members except for one, long time Democrat Commissoner, Nellie Settle. They met to select a chairman and go over organizational procedures for new commissioners. Three Republican replacements were appointed by the State Election Commission, Monday, April 1, after being recommended by District 75 State Rep., Bruce Griffey. The three, who were expected to be placed on the commission, Tim Borens, Robert Girndt and Carol Lovin were all sworn in at the meeting. Lovin was named Chairman. One surprise, long time Stewart Co. resident, Jane Bagwell, was named by the State Election Commission to replace the Democrat Commissioner who resigned last week. Bagwell was at the meeting but couldn't vote yet because she has not been made official. Settle is considered a hold over and said she will wait to be sworn in with Bagwell. We will have more on the first meeting of the new commission in next week's Standard.

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Lock C on Cumberland Could Be Restricted by Ft. Campbell.
A map showing the old Lock C site on the Cumberland, proposed to be designated military use only.
Lock C on Cumberland Could Be Restricted by Ft. Campbell.

According to the US Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District, they are in the process of reclassifying the Lock C site in Montgomery Co., TN, on the Cumberland River, from Multiple Resource Management (MR)-Low Density Recreation to MR-Future/Inactive Recreation Area. A press release sent to the Standard, stated in part, "This designation will allow the Corps to reassign the area to the U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Campbell. The Lock C site has historically been used by the Army to transport equipment on the Cumberland River and, in 2018, the Corps issued a Permit to Fort Campbell for the purpose of loading and unloading barges along the shoreline of a 14.64-acre portion of the site. The permitted area has visual remnants of the old lock wall, contains a rudimentary boat ramp, and currently receives light recreational usage from boaters and bank fishermen. The Army has subsequently requested more proprietary control over the area and the Corps has agreed to reassign the area to Fort Campbell. This reassignment would allow the Army to construct security fencing, gates, and barricades to restrict public access to the site."

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Another Stewart Co. Election Commissioner Resigns
Election Administrator Daniel Perigo talks with Chairman Kyle Mallory today before the ballot boxes were officially locked and certified for the upcoming election.
Another Stewart Co. Election Commissioner Resigns

One of only two Democratic representatives on the Stewart Co. Election Commission turned in her resignation today, effective immediately. Democrat Martha Vaughn turned in a letter of resignation at the local Election Commission office at 1:50 pm, before a 4:30 called meeting. Chairman Kyle Mallory said it was a surprise. The resignation didn't leave enough, a required three Commissioners, for a quorum to vote. They were able to officially lock the ballot boxes after someone from the State Election Commission gave the okay with one Republican Election Commissioner, Mallory, and one Democrat Election Commissioner, Nellie Settle, who has been on the commission for many years. Two Republican Election Commissioners resigned on March 12, 2019. Vaughan resigned today, leaving only two. Mallory said he will not be appointed and there should be four new Election Commission members, three Republicans and one Democrat appointed by the state legislature, April 1, 2019. We will have more on this story in next week's Standard.

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Stewart Co. Election Commissioners Resign; Mention State Rep. Bruce Griffey and County Commissioner Vincent Gray
Stewart Co. Election Commissioners Resign; Mention State Rep. Bruce Griffey and County Commissioner Vincent Gray

Long time Stewart Co. Election Commissioner, Betty Gibbs, and more recently appointed Commissioner, James Adcock, also Chairman, resigned from the commission last week. They both turned in a letter of resignation at the SC Election Commission Office, Tues., March 12, at the regularly scheduled meeting. Their two year terms will be up the end of March. In a copy of the draft, yet unofficial, minutes from the March 12 meeting, it is stated, Adcock asked Election Administrator Daniel Perigo if he had talked to newly elected District 75 State Representative, Bruce Griffey. Perigo answered, "Yes, Bruce called after getting several phone calls from a member of the election commission and other people about upcoming election commission appointments." Adcock asked Perigo, "Did he tell you to call Vincent Gray?" He was referring to County Commissioner, Vince Gray who supported Griffey in the election. Perigo answered, "Yes, he said Vincent Gray is a trustworthy person to call and he knows people in the community." Adcock asked, "Did you talk to Vincent?" Perigo answered, "Yes, he said that if there were any changes, he didn't think I should be worried because I was doing a great job, and if I had problems to call Bruce." According to the draft minutes, Adcock asked the dialogue between Perigo and Gray be added to the minutes and then immediately stated that he and Betty Gibbs were resigning effective immediately and submitted the resignation letter to Perigo, who faxed it to the state, and then sat down. The last notation in the minutes stated, Election Commissioner Martha Vaughn reminded everyone that they needed to adjourn the meeting. Gibbs made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Vaughn and the meeting was adjourned. Perigo said the meeting was properly adjourned, with a quorum, because the State Election Commission hadn't officially accepted the resignations. Election Commissioner Kyle Mallory was absent, leaving four commissioners.

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Two Stewart Co. Election Commissioners Resign Abruptly, 3 Weeks Before Term Ends
Two Stewart Co. Election Commissioners Resign Abruptly, 3 Weeks Before Term Ends

Long time Stewart Co. Election Commissioners, Betty Gibbs, and Chairman James Adcock resigned this week. They both turned in a letter of resignation at the Election Commission Office, Tues., March 12, after the regularly scheduled commission meeting. The letter turned in at the local election office, addressed to James H. Wallace, Jr., State Election Commissioner, signed by both Adcock and Gibbs, but obviously written by Adcock, states, "I regret to inform you that myself and Commissioner Betty Gibbs will be resigning as Stewart Co. Election Commissioners effective immediately. Due to unethical outside political interference, we feel we can no longer effectively, efficiently and ethically perform our duties as commissioner and chairman. The lack of proper protocol, respect and decency with which myself and fellow commissioners are being shown is undeserving of the many years of election commission experience held by this commission." The letter went on to state, "This commission prides itself on fairness and accountability of the election process for the voters of Stewart Co., TN. It is a great disappointment that some do not share in these same goals and values." Republican Election Commissioner, and SCHS teacher, Kyle Mallory, will now be acting Chairman on an interim basis. Mallory has missed many meetings since being named the Republican representative and told the Standard, "I have made various requests to have those meetings moved to a different time than 10 am, that request has been denied. I have not been able to attend due to work. I'm very well aware of how the process should be done, how it has been done and there has been no unethical or illegal act in the appointments of new commissioners. In my opinion, these allegations in the resignation letter are baseless." Mallory went on to state, "Daniel Perigo, in my observations on election day and other encounters has shown integrity beyond reproach and is an extremely hard worker." Mallory did tell us, "I do not know of any unethical behavior of any elected political figure. I do know I am not being re-appointed as a Stewart Co. Election Commissioner in April." This means, there will be no Republican representation. The Election Commission is next schedule to meet on Tuesday, March 26, time to be determined, Mallory said it will not be at 10 am.

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Illness Closes Stewart Co. Schools Rest of This Week
Stewart County schools released at regular time Tuesday, March 12 but are closed the rest of this week.
Illness Closes Stewart Co. Schools Rest of This Week

Stewart Co. Schools Director Leta Joiner confirmed this afternoon, schools will be closed Wednesday, March 13, Thursday, March 14, and Friday, March 15 due to illness, including strep, both types of flu, A & B, and stomach viruses with a lot of vomiting reported. She said, "We have a high number of staff and students out at all four schools. Dr. Lee said it is the worst he has seen this season with the number of people ill, especially children." According to Joiner, the school system has three stockpiled days left and there is a possibility the days taken for flooding could be waived. Joiner said the high school held ACT tests for Juniors today. All activities on school grounds are canceled for the rest of this week. She wanted to let parents know, 8th Grade Orientation Night at the high school scheduled for Thursday night, March 14 will be re-scheduled.

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3 Million Gallons of Water a Second Going Through KY Dam: Lake Levels Dropping
Water levels on Ky. Lake should start dropping rapidly with the water being spilled through the Ky. Dam
3 Million Gallons of Water a Second Going Through KY Dam: Lake Levels Dropping

The Standard received information through a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Conference Call Friday, March 8 about the current river levels in our area. James Everett, Manager of Operations Support for the River Operations Center, stated, "We saw a record rainfall in February, we actually got a break in the weather for about a week here in the first week of March. It allowed us to move large volumes of water through the system." Everett then gave a status update starting with the tributary system and stated, "We used the time we had dry weather to evacuate as much water as possible through those tributaries." Everett discussed how they continue to release a tremendous amount of water out of the Kentucky Dam, and are near to the release of record. Everett stated, "400-430,000 cubic feet per second, which is close to the release rate of record, which we haven't seen since the 1950's. That's about 3 million gallons per second on Kentucky Dam."

We have also been in contact with Scott Brooks, TVA Public Relations Staff, who stated, "In general, on Kentucky we should see levels start to come down now that the levels on the Ohio River are dropping. TVA does not control the water releases during a flood control operation. That is the Army Corps." Water levels for Barkley lake, as of Friday afternoon, were 362.5 feet above sea level, down from a high of 369.1, Monday, March 4. Levels on Kentucky lake were at 362.48, from a high of 368.37 on Monday. Both are steadily dropping, so we should see levels in our area coming down. Summer pool for both lakes in Stewart Co. is 359 feet above sea level.

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Wild Hog Problem Growing in Our County
These hogs were caught on a game camera recently in the Walker Ridge Rd. area of Big Rock.
Wild Hog Problem Growing in Our County

The Standard was the first media to report on wild hog sightings in LBL in March of 2018. We contacted Chris Joyner, Public Affairs representative with Land Between the Lakes (LBL) after hearing reports of sightings. He replied to our email then, stating, "We have local cooperative farmers that farm in LBL that have reported crop damage from hogs." Now they seem to be growing in population and Joyner said most all of the sightings in LBL were located in Stewart Co. He sent us a video of 23 being trapped, and we posted it to the Stewart County Standard Facebook page. He said they were caught with another three that stayed next to the trap, near Fort Henry Rd. in Stewart County. Joyner said there were a total of 70 trapped last year in LBL, mostly in Stewart Co. We have also received reports of other feral swine in our county. Joyner said the USFS is working on a plan to eradicate them. "It's not an easy solution, we are looking at different alternatives. We have to find out how many we have, collaborate with stakeholders, officials from counties involved, and do an evaluation," he said. According to Joyner, USFS officials met with representatives from Ky. & TN Wildlife Resource Agencies in Nov. and a company that traps them, "Trapping alone is not enough, we are putting together a plan for the next step. A more aggressive strategy is recommended, including shooting them from a helicopter but that would only be pursued after a significant evaluation," he said. Meanwhile, the hogs are multiplying, as sows can have two litters a year with 10-15 in a litter. Joyner said they can be devastating to not only crops but turkey and deer populations as well. They compete for resources and will eat turkey eggs and even turkeys. "They will eat just about anything," he added. Joyner said LBL does not allow hunting of hogs. "Each agency said, 'do not allow public hunting,' it makes it very difficult to trap and eradicate. We are being told the best way is through the air option. We have to prepare for every eventuality. At this point right now, night time targeting or poisoning is not an option. The federal government will not accept the liability of a hunt on federal land. They are known to carry 45 possible diseases that can be transmitted, serious diseases. The only option we have right now is to destroy the animal and leave it in place," he said. Hunting also enables the hogs to learn the best ways to avoid humans according to Joyner.

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Ft. Campbell 19th ASOS Training in Dover
Soldiers could be seen in Dover next to City Hall Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 19.
Ft. Campbell 19th ASOS Training in Dover

If you thought you saw Apache Helicopters circling Dover today, you did. Phones were ringing at Dover City Hall about 2 pm, with people concerned about seeing military helicopters circling Dover for nearly an hour. The soldiers on the ground in full gear were not happy to see me with a camera. They were next to City Hall and there were at least three helicopters circling Dover with a crowd gathering across the street at the Shell station. Dover City Police Chief and Administrator, Kim Wallace said they had come in and asked if they could train in the area. At first the soldiers were asking we not take pictures. We were finally able to speak with one of the soldiers who asked we not publish the faces of any of the soldiers. He said they were from the 19th Air Support Operations Squadron or 19th ASOS, from Ft. Campbell.

He stated they were training on communications from ground to air and wanted to be close to Ft. Campbell but also away from base. He said his name was Eddie and they were checking their equipment, more or less practicing in different areas. He did say this was the first time he had been in Dover. According to Ft. Campbell, the mission of the 19th Air Support Operations Squadron, Blue Lightning, is to integrate air and space power into combat plans and operations of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). They provide tactical air control and a weather station for Campbell Army Airfield. The squadron has about 130 people, and are located in several locations around Fort Campbell, KY.

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Body of Missing Stewart County Man Found
Missing Stewart County man, Matthew Hutchins, was found deceased today.
Body of Missing Stewart County Man Found

Unfortunately, Stewart County Sheriff Frankie Gray said the body of Matt Hutchins was found in a wooded area adjacent to his property in Big Rock at approximately 11:30 am, Thursday, February 14. Hutchins was reported missing from Walker Ridge Rd. in Big Rock, Friday, Feb. 1, by his companion of 19 years, Shelly Mills. We ran a story of him missing in the Tuesday, February 12 Standard after Mills called the office last week and sounded extremely worried. She said, "I've been with him for 19 years and he's never done anything like this. I talked to him at 3:24 pm, Thursday, Jan. 31, and told him I would be home in a couple of hours." According to Mills, he had just spent $321 on materials to enclose the pump house at their home. Mills added, "When I got home about 6 pm, I expected him to be there but there were no lights on in the cabin and he wasn't there. Mills said both of Hutchins' vehicles were still at the cabin as well as a 4-wheeler. "Matt, his keys, wallet, and a handgun he carried were all that was missing. Gray said the Sheriff's office had checked his phone records and bank account and talked to employees he worked with and anyone who would have had contact with him. Gray said the Sheriff's office wanted to do a more detailed search of the area friends and family had searched already. Gray said, "The TBI and the Sheriff's office will continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death, "but there doesn't appear to be any signs of foul play."

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Stewart Co. Receives $35,000 Grant for Rail Spur
The rail spur will be located close to the Spec building shown here in the Stewart-Houston Industrial Park
Stewart Co. Receives $35,000 Grant for Rail Spur

The Stewart-Houston Industrial Park, has been granted $35,155, to conduct an archeological survey, prepare topography and grading plan, and perform a rail feasibility study. The grant is one of 13 handed down by TN Gov. Bill Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe, part of more than $5 million in Site Development Grant funding. According to an email the Standard received from the Governor's office, "The Site Development Grant program is part of the larger Rural Economic Opportunity Act supported by the Tennessee General Assembly for the last three years. The grants are intended to help rural communities overcome barriers to achieve Select Tennessee site certification, and prepare them to receive economic development projects that will create jobs in their communities. The funds assist communities in completing infrastructure needs and making engineering improvements on project-ready sites."

Rolfe said, "When a company is looking to expand or locate new operations in our state, one of the most important assets a community can have to land a project is a shovel-ready site. I am proud of these 13 communities for taking the initiative to be better prepared for economic growth with the assistance of the Site Development Grants." Stewart County Mayor Robin Brandon said, "This Site Development Grant (SDG) allows us to lay the foundational groundwork that is needed to further develop this property. No matter who comes in, federal, state, or private corporation, archeological surveys, environmental impact studies, 10 acre topographical maps, and rail feasibility studies must all be completed. This SDG addresses all of these areas, pays for them, and clears the decks for the Stewart Houston Industrial Park Building. To continue to work to bring industry to our two county's shared economic opportunity zone." All that is required for the grant is for the County Commission to agree to pay $3,900 according to Brandon and he will be presenting it soon.

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TVA Plans $560 Million Investment to Steam Plant
Cumberland City Steam Plant Manager Michael Rawlings looks on as a worker is working on the coal chute that unloads coal from barges.
TVA Plans $560 Million Investment to Steam Plant

According to Cumberland Fossil Plant Manager, Michael Rawlings, TVA Civil Projects General Manager, Kristopher Johnson, and Project Manager, Jared Beasley, there will be more than 500 million dollars invested at the Cumberland City Steam Plant site over the next six years. This is just on the property outside the plant, with several environmental projects, including a new landfill, wastewater bottom ash de-watering facility, and wastewater pond re-purposing. The $500,000,000 doesn't include $68 million planned for capital projects inside the plant.

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