A brother and sister were arrested and jailed Thursday after the Washington County Grand Jury indicted the pair for first degree murder in the 2019 death of their mother. The indictments stem from allegations of abuse and neglect involving 68 year old Sheila June Murray, after she was hospitalized and later died.
During the course of the investigation, authorities determined that Michael Murray and Karen Murray, the victim’s children, were responsible for the abuse and neglect that resulted in her death.
On Thursday, the Washington County Grand Jury returned indictments charging both Michael Murray, 40, and Karen Murray, 45, with first degree murder. Later that afternoon, with the assistance of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, both were arrested and booked into the Washington County Jail with bonds set at $250,000.
City Manager Pete Peterson, who has served as Johnson City’s top executive since 2005, announced Thursday his intention to retire at the end of 2021.
Peterson said his announcement will allow the City Commission time to select a replacement and for an adequate transition period. The city will have eight months to go through a search and selection process. He has worked for the city for 31 years, starting as a development specialist in 1991. He was named assistant city manager in 1995, interim city manager in 2004 and assumed the post permanently in 2005.
During the course of his career, the press release said, the city has also achieved an AA bond rating and grown its fund balance from $2 million to $35 million while maintaining the lowest property tax rate in the region. Peterson was named City Manager of the Year in 2010 by the Tennessee City Management Association.
Among other projects, Peterson told the Press the city has also made many recent accomplish ments downtown, pointing to the construction of new parks and infrastructure to control flooding.
Walnut Street is continuing with its progression, and will begin to look a little different as the months pass. As the Model Mill property nears completion, the facade at JRH Brewing should go through some changes as well.
When COVID-19 came to the region, the economic fallout hit JRH Brewing and its owner, John Henritze, hard. The brewery’s sales fell significantly this past year, declining to about 25% of the normal level. Although it had received an economic injury disaster loan and some assistance from the Paycheck Protection Program, the brewery has taken a major hit.
In late 2019, Henritze reached out to larger breweries, including those in Asheville and Knoxville, in search of partnerships. He also contacted Stephen Callahan, the owner of Tennessee Hills Distillery in Jonesborough.
In October of last year, Callahan checked back to see if the brewery would be willing to sell its assets to him and his business partner, Scott Andrew. The JRH folks ultimately opted to do so.
Callahan and Andrew plan on bringing a multi-million dollar project to West Walnut Street that will encompass three properties along the roadway, which will include setting up shop in JRH Brewing’s old home. Callahan and Andrew bought the brewery’s equipment and have the rights to JRH Brewing’s recipes for three years. They also purchased outright the Tree Streets Pale Ale and the Tannery Knobs IPA.