Forestry predicts subdued fall colors in Smokies

MARYVILLE (AP) — A forestry professor says the fall leaf colors in the Smoky Mountains will be more subdued this year.

Wayne Clatterbuck tells The Daily Times that color changes probably won’t happen until November. And when they come, they will likely be of short duration.

The University of Tennessee professor says the problem is the recent heat and lack of rain. Clatterbuck says some species of trees that require more moisture already will have lost their leaves by the time the leaves start to change.

He says species like oaks will retain their leaves and “sort of turn burnt red.” But tulip poplars and cherry trees are expected to just drop their leaves without any color change except to brown.

Man faces child abuse charges

A Morristown man has been charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse or neglect in connection with the alleged wounding of a 1-year-old boy and disregard of his 2-year-old sister, according to the Morristown Police Department.

Bond for the defendant, Johnny Franklin Miller Jr., 28, was set at $10,000. Taylor Rayden Hopkins – the children’s mother and Miller’s live-in girlfriend – was taken into custody on Monday in connection with the incident at their shared Jefferson Street residence.

Acting on a tip from a concerned family member, MPD Detective Lt. Vicki Arnold went to the defendants’ residence and learned the 1-year-old had bruises and bumps on his head. Hopkins, 22, told police Miller was alone with her son when he sustained the injuries, according to arrest warrants.

Neither Miller nor Hopkins notified police or sought medical treatment for the injured infant, according to Arnold, who reported both children were checked out a hospital and the Department of Children’s Services has joined the investigation.

The second count of aggravated child abuse or neglect stems from Miller’s allegedly exposing the 2-year-old girl to drugs. Police found a small quantity of marijuana and drug paraphernalia on a night stand beside Miller and Hopkins’ bed. Hopkins reported the drugs belonged to Miller, according to a warrant.

White Pine man pleads guilty to exploitation

A 38-year-old White Pine man has pleaded guilty to soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor by electronic means and solicitation of a minor in a case that involved a 16-year-old female family member, according to court documents.

Chad Winters was sentenced to one year in jail and ordered to pay $200 in fines. Winters will be compelled to register as a convicted sex offender for the rest of his life, according to a judgment sheet.

Carl R. Greene, a 77-year-old Hamblen County man, pleaded guilty to theft over $60,000 was given a nine-year, split-confinement sentence and ordered to pay $83,500 in restitution to the estate of a deceased family member, a court official said. He will have to serve one year behind bars.

The others who pleaded guilty Monday or during this term of criminal court are:

Donnie Lee Jefferson, 38, burglary and two counts of theft under $1,000; three years; $225 restitution;

Jody Wayne Helton, 39, theft over $2,500 and two counts theft under $1,000; four years split confinement to serve on year; 11 months, 29 days; $2,931restitution.

Timothy Blair, 49, DUI; 10 days; $450 fine; license revoked for one year.

Remains of Korean War soldier to be buried

MEMPHIS (AP) — Remains belonging to a soldier from Tennessee who was killed in the Korean War are scheduled for burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

State officials said Tuesday that the remains of Capt. Rufus J. Hyman, of Memphis, are scheduled to be interred Wednesday at the cemetery in Virginia.

Hyman was a 23-year-old Army infantry officer when his division began fighting the North Korean Army near Kwonbin-ni, South Korea, in 1950. Hyman was declared missing in action on July 30, 1950.

One year later, the American Registration Service Group found an isolated burial near Hyman’s last known location. But the remains couldn’t be unidentified. In October 2017, the remains were disinterred. Hyman was identified through dental records and DNA testing in February.

A day of mourning is set for Wednesday in Tennessee.

Commission announces $44.4M initiative

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Appalachian Regional Commission has announced $44.4 million for 54 projects affecting coal-impacted communities in Appalachian states.

The commission said Tuesday that the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization Initiative aims to create or retain over 5,700 jobs. It said the initiative also seeks to leverage more than $39 million in private investment, create or retain 2,940 businesses and train thousands of workers and students.

More than $14.6 million will develop business incubators, increase access to capital and provide other services in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Over $13 million will support broadband development in New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Man charged with murder, arson

KINGSPORT (AP) — A Tennessee man has been charged with first-degree murder and aggravated arson in the death of his ex-girlfriend, whom he had been court-ordered to avoid.

The Bristol Herald Courier reports 30-year-old Nathaniel White-Young was arrested Monday in the attack on 37-year-old Melissa Mingle.

A Sullivan County sheriff’s report says neighbors of the 37-year-old found her unconscious outside of her home near Kingsport on Sunday.

Responding authorities then discovered Mingle’s home was on fire. Sheriff’s Capt. Andy Seabolt says authorities later learned Mingle had a son and determined he was safe.

Voters appeal ruling in election security lawsuit

MEMPHIS (AP) — A group of voters is appealing a judge’s dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the security of voting machines in Tennessee’s largest county and calling for a switch to a handwritten ballot and a voter-verifiable paper trail.

Lawyer Carol Chumney says Shelby County Advocates for Valid Elections has filed an appeal to U.S. District Judge Thomas Parker’s ruling last month that their lawsuit failed to show that any harm has come to them and that they have no legal standing.