Local News 2020

AMBER ALERT—SUMMER WELLS

THE SEARCH CONTINUES FOR A MISSING 5-YEAR-OLD HAWKINS COUNTY GIRL.  AS MANY AS 100 PEOPLE ARE SEARCHING FOR SUMMER WELLS, WHO WENT MISSING FROM HER HOME IN THE BEECH CREEK COMMUNITY TUESDAY NIGHT.  AN AMBER ALERT REMAINS ACTIVE—AND FIRST RESPONDERS SAY IT’S A DIFFICULT SEARCH—WITH STEEP AND DANGEROUS TERRAIN.  SUMMER IS 3-FEET TALL, WEIGHS ABOUT 40 POUNDS AND WAS LAST SEEN WEARING GRAY PANTS AND A PINK SHIRT.  SHE COULD ALSO BE BAREFOOT.  IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION, CONTACT THE HAWKINS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE OR CALL 1-800-TBI-FIND.

JC—WEST WALNUT STREET

WORK WILL BEGIN LATER THIS SUMMER ON A MAJOR OVERHAUL OF THE WEST WALNUT STREET CORRIDOR IN JOHNSON CITY.   CITY COMMISSIONERS THURSDAY APPROVED A $30.5-MILLION DOLLAR BID TO REHAB WEST WALNUT FROM BUFFALO TO UNIVERSITY AND WORK WILL INVOLVE REPLACING WATER AND SEWER LINES AND MAKING THE ROADWAY MORE PEDESTRIAN FRIENDLY.    IT’S THE LARGEST GENERAL-FUNDED PUBLIC WORKS PROJECT IN THE CITY.    WORK IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN AUGUST 1ST AND WILL TAKE 2 YEARS.  COMMISSION ALSO APPROVED THE FISCAL ’22 BUDGET ON THIRD AND FINAL READING.

JC ’22 BUDGET

JOHNSON CITY’S FISCAL ’22 BUDGET IS IN PLACE.  AT $302-MILLION DOLLARS, IT’S THOUGHT TO BE THE LARGEST BUDGET IN CITY HISTORY.  IT’S BALANCED WITHOUT A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE AND INCLUDES SUBSTANTIAL INVESTMENTS IN CAPITAL PROJECTS AND EQUIPMENT AND A 4-PERCENT PAY RAISE FOR CITY EMPLOYEES.  IT ALSO INCLUDES AN ADDITIONAL $18-MILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT.  OF THAT, $5-MILLION WILL GO TOWARD REHABBING WEST WALNUT STREET AND $13-MILLION FOR NEW ATHLETIC FIELDS AT WINGED DEER PARK. THE NEW BUDGET YEAR STARTS JULY 1ST.

NORTHEAST STATE-REGULAR CAPACITY

ALL CLASSES AT NORTHEAST STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE WILL RETURN TO REGULAR CAPACITY ON JULY 6TH.  FACE COVERINGS WON’T BE REQUIRED FOR THOSE WHO ARE FULLY VACCINATED, BUT FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T, MASKS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING ARE RECOMMENDED.  FALL SEMESTER CLASSES AT NORTHEAST STATE WILL BEGIN AUGUST 23RD.

TEEN ARRESTED FOR STEALING VEHICLE

JOHNSON CITY POLICE HAVE ARRESTED A 16-YEAR-OLD AND CHARGED HIM WITH STEALING A VEHICLE.  IT STEMMED FROM AN INCIDENT ON INDIAN RIDGE ROAD—WHERE OFFICERS FOUND THE JUVENILE HAD ALLEGEDLY STOLEN A TOYOTA 4-RUNNER.  HE REPORTEDLY STRUCK ANOTHER VEHICLE BEFORE FLEEING THE SCENE.  OFFICERS FOUND THE 4-RUNNER IN THE BACK PARKING LOT OF SCIENCE HILL HIGH SCHOOL WITH THE JUVENILE IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT.  THE TEEN WILL APPEAR IN JOHNSON CITY JUVENILE COURT.

AUSTIN NAMED INTERIM CHIEF

MATT AUSTIN HAS BEEN APPOINTED INTERIM POLICE CHIEF IN BRISTOL TENNESSEE.  AUSTIN HAS BEEN WITH THE DEPARTMENT 30 YEARS IN A VARIETY OF POSITIONS.  AS MAJOR, HE HAS OVERSEEN OPERATIONS, INCLUDING PATROL AND CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS. AUSTIN WILL SERVE UNTIL THERE’S A PERMANENT REPLACEMENT FOR BLAINE WADE, WHO IS RETIRING.   THERE’S A NATIONWIDE SEARCH FOR HIS SUCCESSOR.