Local NewsCounty employee pay raise included in budget following a heated debate

By Jonathan Pleasant

As the first County Commission meeting since the newly elected members of the board were sworn in, Thursday night saw sweeping changes in Johnson County’s governing body and numerous items to discuss and debate, sometimes heatedly. The big issue of the night was to finalize and approve this year’s budget, yet with both former chairman and vice-chairman Freddy Phipps and John Brookshire no longer a part of the board, the first order of business was for County Mayor Larry Potter to call for nominations of a new chairman.

Only one nomination was actually heard when Commissioner Bill Adams called for Mike Taylor to take the seat. With no objections and full support Commissioner Huey Long called for the vote, and Taylor relieved Mayor Potter of duty. Next up was nominations for vice-chairman, with Jerry Grindstaff nominating former County Executive George Lowe who chose to withdraw his name for consideration on the grounds that one of the previously seated commissioners would be better suited. With that in mind, Commissioner Huey Long nominated Rick Snyder who ultimately agreed to serve and received full support from the rest of the board. With these two essential positions filled, the board turned to nominations for county attorney. Making a surprise announcement, current attorney Bill Cockett requested not to be nominated due to ongoing health concerns.  More...


Buckles rests on 43 years of laurels in county education

By Paula Walter

Gerald Buckles has been a consistent presence in the Johnson County School system since 1970. He has worn many different hats and served in numerous roles throughout his tenure. For the first time in 43 years, he will not be serving in any educational or school board capacity.

Buckles was born and raised in Shady Valley, attending both elementary and high school in Johnson County. He received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from East Tennessee State University. “ I thought about business, but I really didn’t like it,” he recalled. “I wanted to teach.” Buckles later went on to earn his master’s degree in Elementary Principalship and School Administration. “I wanted to be one who helps kids,” he added. “ You remember people who helped you. If you can help someone, help them. We have all had to struggle some. I believe in mentoring. Teachers need to help those starting out. We want to help make students successful. To see students successful, that’s what we should all strive for.” More...


‘Surviving the Snake’ ride exceeds its $15,000 goal

By Paula Walter

Despite a wet and rainy start, the Johnson County Community Hospital Foundation Board held its fourth Surviving the Snake bicycle ride on Saturday, September 13th. The goal for this year’s event was to net $15,000 necessary to replace the current cardiac exercise unit at the hospital.

The ride once again offered two different routes, both a 50K and 100K. The bicyclists began at Ralph Stout Park onto Route 421 North before heading out 167 west toward Doe. Not for the faint of heart, some of the more experienced seasoned riders made the steep climb up the mountain to the crossroads in Shady Valley. They then meandered down the hills through Damascus and Laurel Bloomery before arriving back at the park.  More...


Missing woman found unharmed

Peggy McMickle, a woman who had been reported missing from Johnson County, has been located and found to be safe in the area of Grayson County, Virginia.

Officers and investigators with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department took a report on September 14th from an acquaintance stating that he had not heard from McMickle since Friday, September 12th, which was unusual. She has family in Fries, Virginia which is located in Grayson County and also family in New Mexico, but her residence is in Johnson County, Tennessee. Both the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department and the Grayson County Sheriff’s Department were searching for McMickle and had issued press releases seeking assistance from the public in their search.

The Johnson County Sheriff’s office would like to thank the public for their assistance in the whereabouts of Peggy McMickle that they listed as missing and possibly endangered last week. More...


More Top Stories
Local News
• County employee pay raise included in budget following a heated debate
• Buckles rests on 43 years of laurels in county education
• ‘Surviving the Snake’ ride exceeds its $15,000 goal
• Missing woman found unharmed

Sports
• Four "F's"...Football, Food, Fellowship and Fenners
• Longhorns hammer Happy Valley at Homecoming 34-14
• JCMS 'Horns fall to undefeated Unaka Rangers 22-6
• JCHS golf advances to the regionals
• Three set win for JCHS volleyball team over Unicoi