JCP Week in Review, March 30 - VIDEO

Jared Bentley • Mar 30, 2018 at 3:48 PM

Rather than cover anything on the national or international scene this week, all our stories are local, or regional.

Let’s start with some good news this week - the Washington County/Johnson City Animal Shelter has re-opened, with discounts on adoptions for cats and dogs.

After eight dogs came down with parvovirus this month, the shelter closed down for two weeks to allow employees to monitor the other dogs and deep clean the entire facility. While parvo can be fatal, hard-working shelter employees caught it early enough so that each dog has recovered and is healthy and ready for adoption.




Because dogs infected with the virus can take up to 10 days to start showing symptoms, officials decided to close the shelter for up to 10 days after the last diagnosis. That leaves a lot of dogs in kennels who need a good home.

Until further notice, the shelter will be running a $35 special on all dog adoptions and a $10 special on cats that are already spayed or neutered. The discounted fees include vaccines, microchipping and spaying/neutering for dogs.

For extra precaution, the shelter also discarded all of the dogs’ bedding and hard toys, so if you have any bedding items, toys, or anything that these dogs could enjoy, please visit the shelter and make a donation. A little goes a long way.

The Mountain City Police Department has seen its fair share of trouble lately. It doesn’t look as if trouble is going away any time soon.

First, it was two officers charged with drug crimes. Now, the state has found concerns with how police handle evidence, including drugs.

On Thursday, the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office released a report from its investigation into the MCPD’s property and evidence room, and as a result there is now limited access to the evidence by only the evidence custodian as well as a log of anyone who enters the evidence room.

The report determined the inventory log for the evidence room was unreliable and incomplete, and in some cases, evidence bags had been cut open and drugs were missing. Investigators were unable to determine what happened to the seized property because it was not clear who had been in the evidence room.

In many instances, the evidence log did not include incident numbers, defendants’ names, dates the evidence was submitted or received, or the disposition.”

Former Lt. Ronald Glen Shupe was sentenced earlier this month to more than three years in federal prison after pleading guilty to distributing and taking narcotics while on duty, and Ken Lane was charged in state court with conspiracy to possess schedule II drugs (oxycodone) with intent to deliver in a school zone, solicitation to commit delivery of schedule II drugs (oxycodone) and simple possession of schedule II drugs (methamphetamine).

36-year-old Janice Berry was charged with attempted first-degree murder and two counts of reckless endangerment Tuesday night for allegedly shooting her estranged husband at his Erwin home while their two children were present.

Sheriff Mike Hensley said deputies were dispatched to the home at 123 Shady Lane around 7:30 p.m. in response to a 911 caller who requested assistance with a unwanted guest at the residence. Deputy Zach Transki was the first on the scene, and saw Berry entering the home with a handgun in her hand. He called for backup and followed Berry into the home, where he heard four gunshots and moved to the room where the shots were fired.

The woman’s estranged husband, Cecil Berry, who lived at the home with the couple’s children, was wounded by two of the shots and underwent surgery Tuesday night. Two of the shots from Berry’s .40 caliber handgun struck the walls of the home, where the two children, ages 19 and 3, were present.

Janice Berry was jailed under $300,000 bond and is scheduled for a hearing in Unicoi County Sessions Court on May 31, and Deputy Transki was commended for handling the situation in an exemplary fashion and keeping the damage from the incident to a minimum.

Late Monday afternoon, as rush hour traffic whizzed by on Interstate 26, more than a dozen patrol cruisers from agencies around the state and a four-county judicial district escorted home the highest law enforcement officer in the district.

District Attorney General Tony Clark died unexpectedly Sunday morning in his hotel room in Nashville after he and relatives had attended a concert the night before. The line of officers who escorted him home on Monday started in Nashville with two Tennessee Bureau of Investigation special agents, and continued all the way home with THP officers and local law enforcement joining the procession.

Dozens of Clark’s family, friends, coworkers and employees — all seemingly one in the same — gathered along Peoples Street as the procession exited the interstate and drove Clark to Tetrick Funeral and Cremation Services. As his staff struggled with the “what now” questions and prepared to lay Clark to rest, the looming job of naming an interim successor now lies with judges in the district. Finding a replacement for the well-respected Clark won’t be easy.

To find out more about the story, and the appointment of Clark’s successor, follow the Johnson City Press, or search for the article here on our website.

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