Hartford man arrested following chase

A Hartford man who was wanted on a parole violation is in custody following a lengthy pursuit early Monday morning by Newport police.

Newport Sgt. Derek Wright said he spotted Wesley Sparks, 33, Big Creek Road, driving a pickup truck on Cosby Road with light and registration violations. When the officer attempted a traffic stop, Sparks fled onto Old Cave Church Road and sped through several residential neighborhoods.

Eventually, Sparks returned to Cosby Road and then headed east on Interstate 40 at speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour. Near the Waterville exit, the vehicle developed mechanical problems and Sparks stopped. He refused to cooperate with the arresting officers. He was eventually taken to the ground and then had to be tasered by Patrol Officer Paul Weber.

In addition to the parole, light and registration violations, Sparks was jailed on charges of no insurance, evading arrest, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, reckless driving, and reckless endangerment and resisting arrest.

No one injured in bus crash

A car that ran a red light and struck a school bus a little after 3 p.m. Monday resulted in no injuries, school officials said.

Dr. Jeff Perry said the car struck the bus at the intersection of North Henry and 4th streets.

The driver and students were on a special education bus and the students were transferred to another bus and taken home, school officials said.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is currently investigating the incident.

Education foundation banquet set

The Cocke County Education Foundation will host its annual Celebrating our Success Banquet on March 19.

Proceeds from the event are used to provide college scholarships to local students.

The organization honors individuals who graduated from Cocke County High Schools in the past. This year’s honorees are Dr. Eric Nease, Ronnie Nease, Mickey Blazer and the late Mary Dee Ottinger.

The 6:30 p.m. event is planned for Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church on Lincoln Avenue in Newport.

Tickets for $40 each are available at the Cocke County Schools Central Office on Hedrick Drive in Newport.

Partnership to host small business center

The Cocke County Partnership/Chamber of Commerce has announced it will host the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, which offers counseling services for existing or potential small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Chamber Executive Director Lynn Ramsey says a counselor will be available by appointment on the first Monday every month at the Cocke County Partnership/Chamber of Commerce office.

The next date for counseling is Monday, March 2.

The TSBDC is a network of professional business consultants with 14 centers, affiliate offices and an online center throughout Tennessee. The agency prides itself on providing expert business advice to all types of business whether a manufacturer, retailer, services provider, or professional; the agency is available “to help you help yourself.”

More than 100,000 businesses have received the TSBDC’s expert counsel in areas ranging from management to finance to international trade.

Anyone interested in meeting with the TSBDC is asked to contact Ramsey or Jennifer Ellison at the Cocke County Partnership/Chamber of Commerce office at 423-623-7201 to schedule an appointment.

2 arrested after stolen car connected to Amber Alert found

WILKENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Two people remained in custody Monday after sheriff’s deputies in North Carolina located a vehicle last week that Tennessee authorities in were searching for in connection with the disappearance of a 15-month-old girl.

William McCloud and Angela Boswell will be taken to northeastern Tennessee’s Sullivan County after agreeing to be extradited from North Carolina. They were arrested Friday on fugitive warrants unrelated to the toddler’s disappearance, said Lt. Logan Kerr with North Carolina’s Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a news release that McCloud and Boswell are “believed to have information” regarding the whereabouts of Evelyn Mae Boswell, who was reported missing Tuesday but was last seen the day after Christmas. The agency said agents and detectives questioned the couple traveling in a gray BMW as part of the ongoing investigation.

Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Andy Seabolt told The Associated Press authorities cannot say when McCloud and Boswell will be back in Tennessee because of security reasons.

The fugitive warrant for McCloud shows he is wanted for theft over $2,500. Boswell’s warrant shows she is wanted for a probation violation.

Authorities have received more than 400 tips since issuing an Amber Alert on Wednesday.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said it is trying to determine why the child’s disappearance was not reported to authorities sooner. The agency also said Dec. 26 is listed as the day Evelyn was last seen, but her mother and others have given conflicting dates.

Presidential primary early voting ends Tuesday

The last day for voters to cast early ballots in the March 3 presidential primary in Tennessee is Tuesday.

Early voting began Feb. 12 and ran Mondays through Saturdays.

Several Democratic presidential contenders have visited Tennessee. Nearly a quarter of primary delegates are up for grabs in the March 3 Super Tuesday contests, with 73 coming from Tennessee. Seven states will have more delegates than Tennessee on Super Tuesday.

Tennesseans need a valid photo ID to vote, including a driver’s license, a photo ID from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security or a passport. College student IDs are not acceptable.