JCP Week in Review, December 1

Jared Bentley • Dec 1, 2017 at 3:01 PM

According to an Associated Press report, former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty today to charges of making false statements to the FBI.

Court documents show Flynn has been charged with a single count of "willfully and knowingly" making false statements to the FBI on Jan. 24, and he has confirmed that he will now be cooperating with the office of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Flynn is the first member, or former member, of the Trump administration to be snared by the special counsel’s investigation, and the developments are a sign that the hunt may be intensifying.

For more information, or to keep abreast of the news as it happens, follow the proceedings on our website. We will report the facts, as always.


The past two weeks in Knoxville have been something to behold. UT head football coach Butch Jones was fired November 12, and since then the administration has been on a search for his replacement. It has not gone well.

After the Greg Schiano spectacle and the unsuccessful attempts to hire John Gruden, Duke’s David Cutcliffe, Iowa State’s David Campbell, Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, Purdue coach Jeff Brohm, NC State’s Dave Doeren, and Mike Leach of Washington State, the school’s Athletic Director, John Currie, has been fired.

There is a press conference scheduled for 4pm today, after the writing of this article or filming of the video segment, presumably to announce a new Athletic Director. Former head coach Phil Fulmer has been rumored as the replacement for Currie as AD, and the first item on his, or any replacement’s agenda will be hiring a new coach and moving on from the embarrassment of the last two weeks.

I’d like to wish the program, and all involved, the very best of luck moving forward, and hope they hire a proven winner to turn things around. Follow the search in the pages of the Johnson City Press.

There’s been a shake up of the staff at the Washington County Sheriff’s office, as Sheriff Ed Graybeal fired his daughter and son-in-law after discovering communications between the two discussing their use of illegal drugs.

Shelly Graybeal and her husband Scott Johnson, who had each worked at the sheriff’s office for more than a decade, were terminated from their employment Nov. 20, according to Chief Operations Officer Leighta Laitinen.

Communications were found between the two on a messenger app that revealed they had been using meth and other narcotics, although there was no indication or evidence the two possessed or used drugs while working. Graybeal, who was hired in 2004 by her father after he became sheriff, was a timekeeper, whose job was to calculate the amount of time county inmates had served. Johnson, a detention officer, started working at the sheriff’s office in 2001.

Laitinen said as soon as she told Sheriff Graybeal what she had learned, he was unwavering in his decision to fire the two.

To follow up on a story we reported earlier in the fall, Washington County commissioners voted Monday night to allocate more than $20 thousand in one-time funding to keep the three-man Boone Lake Association crew employed.

While not a unanimous decision, the group that many regard as a “homeowner’s association” will receive the money to continue cleaning the lake. The Association had previously paid for the crew with membership fees, which have dwindled since the work began at the Boone Dam.

Health, Education and Welfare Committee Chairman Tom Krieger said the money being appropriated will come from the $863,000 TVA Impact Fee.

The TVA Impact Fee is given to municipalities and cities where TVA is conducting significant construction projects or activity that places additional burdens on local infrastructure.

One last item - The Salvation Army Angel Tree shopping season is entering its final week with about 400 of the more than 2,000 children from the Johnson City area still in need.

Paper ornaments with the first name, age and Christmas needs and wishes of each child are available at Angel Trees located at The Mall at Johnson City, Walmart stores in Johnson City and Elizabethton and Barberitos Southwestern Grille.

Gifts for the children are due back at tree by Friday, Dec. 8, and scheduled for distribution in Carter County on Dec. 13 and in Washington and Unicoi counties on Dec.15, so if you have a chance to help, please do.

Believe me, if you choose a name from a tree you will make a difference in a child’s life this Christmas, and the feeling you get from being involved will be well worth it.

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