JCP Week in Review, August 18

Jared Bentley • Aug 18, 2017 at 2:16 PM

I start things off today with breaking news, as a police chase on 26 has resulted in police drawing their weapons, according to radio traffic, in pursuit of a suspect who fled the scene somewhere around mile marker 46 near Unicoi. One deputy reported he fired shots at the vehicle in an attempt to flatten its tires. Police are still searching for the suspect, and updates will be posted at johnsoncitypress.com as they occur.

While our nation awaits decisions from its Commander-in-chief regarding North Korea and Venezuela, or we listen for the continuation of the collusion case against said Commander-in-chief, we had a whole new issue dominate discussions this week: racism and violence.

While the rest of the world looks on, our country continues to discuss and argue the virtues of bigotry and hatred on open forums and social media, and everyone has taken their turn to weigh in. I’ll not waste time discussing the matter here, as I’m sure anyone who might be watching has already formed an opinion and heard all the information they wish to hear. President Trump’s comments have been recorded, and there are plenty of avenues for all of us to express our support or regret.

There are several fine articles in the Johnson City Press regarding the events in Charlottesville and their aftermath, including Nathan Baker’s article on Confederate monuments on our website. Feel free to join the discussion online and let your voice be heard.


A youth leader, coach, volunteer firefighter and EMT were among 11 men charged this week in a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation operation targeting human trafficking where adults seek out sex with women, men or children for money, officials said Tuesday.

Johnson City EMT Samuel Adam McMurry, youth church leader Matthew Still, and Sullivan North assistant baseball coach Brandon Sumney are just three of the men arrested. The rest of the men charged with trafficking include Gregory Hart, Bradley Laws, Jose Alejandro Rivero, Joseph Miller, Israel Morales, Christopher Ginley, Kevin White. Kingsport’s Maegan Manis was also arrested in the sting and charged with prostitution.

For the full list of charges and details on the case, visit our website.

At the beginning of the summer, photos surfaced on facebook of the carcass of a starved dog left to die in a Johnson City apartment. People were enraged, and for good reason, and they took to the social media platform to find the culprit and involve authorities.

An investigation began in late May after 29-year old Lindsey Price’s landlord at her Northridge condo found the long-rotted carcass of an adult black and brown dog. Animal control officials said Price adopted a 12-week old puppy in 2015 and renamed her Luna. Animal Shelter Co-Director Tammy Davis said she was certain the dog found inside the condo was that same puppy.

Price appeared briefly in Washington County General Sessions Court this week for her first hearing since being arraigned on charges of animal cruelty, aggravated animal cruelty and abandonment. She has demanded a trial, so the case was reset to give time for the state and defense to subpoena witnesses. Her bench trial has been scheduled for Oct. 11.

After more than a year of discussion and a decision to remove fluoride from Jonesborough’s water supply, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen decided to reverse its decision and continue water fluoridation in a unanimous vote.

On Monday, Aldermen Chuck Vest, David Sell and Jerome Fitzgerald reversed their initial votes to remove fluoride from the water supply.

The decision came after the board was presented with a recommendation to send a letter to Jonesborough customers that would start a 30-day countdown of the discontinuation of fluoridating the water. When presented with the agenda item, Vest, who made the motion in February to remove fluoride from the water, made a motion to to continue fluoridation instead.

Sell, who also voted against fluoridation in February’s meeting, said a couple months of heavier research and some studies from sources like the Mayo Clinic and local experts influenced him to change his mind on the subject. At the end of the day, Sell said that to him, the science points to keeping fluoride in the water and helped him make one of the toughest decisions he’s ever had to make on the board.

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