National headlines this week are filled with stories about hearings and confirmations, historic meetings and resignations, another mass shooting, and the hero who stepped forward to put a stop to it.
With that, and so much more happening nationally, I’ve decided to stay local yet again for the latest Week in Review, and start the round-up with the sad news from West Poplar Street Tuesday morning.
Sam Roark and his wife, Mildred were found by a relative shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday, dead from gunshot wounds, in a bedroom of the house where they lived at 114 W. Poplar St. JCPD announced at the scene that officers were not looking for a shooting suspect, and the public was not in danger after the shooting.
No one else was in the residence when the bodies were found, and a weapon was found near the bodies of the couple, who had lived at the house for several years. Relatives and neighbors were gathered near the residence as investigators gathered evidence and medical personnel removed the bodies.
Until the autopsies are complete and those reports given to investigators, no further information will be released.
To brighten up things later Thursday morning, Johnson City firefighters played rescuers to a family of ducklings who had fallen into a storm drain.
Engine 4 got the call to respond to a drain at Johnson City Medical Center, where nurses and maintenance workers heard the cry and made the discovery of the ducklings in distress.
After a few minutes of trying to coax the ducklings to one side of the drain and being unsuccessful, the firemen worked together and drew them in by playing YouTube videos of mother duck sounds. About 45 minutes later, all nine ducklings were out of the drain and back in their nest nearby, with the mother duck returning not long after.
“That’s the great thing about being a fireman, is you never know what you’re going to do that day,” said firefighter Tim Conley “It’s nice to have something good like that with everybody working together.”
In the latest local election news, Joe Grandy’s mayoral campaign is still having major issues with Mark Ferguson’s non-affiliated, but highly supportive PAC, the Taxpayers Fighting Back for Washington County.
The PAC once again created problems for Grandy, as it has called into question a $1,000 contribution made by a behavioral health company to Washington County mayoral candidate Joe Grandy’s campaign, claiming the donation is a conflict of interest.
In February, Grandy — serving in his role on the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency board — voted to approve a “change of control” that permitted Acadia Healthcare to take majority ownership of an 88-bed mental health hospital in Hamilton County.
Just over 50 days later, Grandy’s campaign received a $1,000 contribution from Acadia Healthcare Company, according to his campaign’s latest filing.
In a statement to the Johnson City Press, Grandy denied owning any shares of the company and dismissed the conflict of interest allegation, calling it a “clearly legal contribution.”
A breakdown of the monies raised and given by local candidates and groups can be found in Zach Vance’s full article on our website.
A Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office jailer was fired Saturday morning after he fell asleep while on watch over an inmate, who then escaped in the deputy’s personal vehicle.
Deputy Buck Owens was supposed to be guarding inmate Donovan Austin, who was receiving treatment at Bristol Regional Medical Center, but just before 7 a.m., Sheriff Wayne Anderson was notified that Austin left the hospital and drove away in Owens’ vehicle, which had been parked in the hospital’s lot.
Deputies soon found Austin and the vehicle within an hour of leaving the hospital, leading to a short chase that ended at the Interstate 81/Airport Parkway interchange.
I’d like to end today’s episode on a good note, though, and show you this young man’s photo once again. This is James Shaw, Jr., the man who risked his life in Nashville earlier this week and took down an armed killer during a shooting spree inside a Waffle House. He not only risked his life, saved the lives of others, and stopped what was sure to be a deadlier exchange with authorities, he spent the next few days raising over $165,000 for the families of the victims.
So folks, while we bicker and debate about politics, partisanship, and plausibility, can we also remember to keep people like James Shaw, Jr. in our thoughts, and hope that we may have more like him in our future? Thanks for watching.