Convicted felon faces several charges after crash

A convicted felon from Hamblen County who apparently was hospitalized following a Sept. 8 one-vehicle crash on East Andrew Johnson Highway was charged with a wide range of felony and misdemeanor following his release, according to authorities.

Charles Russell Collins’ biggest problem is the 55 grams of crystal meth allegedly found inside his crashed vehicle. The other drugs Collins, a 52-year-old man who lives on Beacon Light Road in Whitesburg, allegedly was carrying include four hydrocodones, one phentermine pill and 2.2 grams of marijuana, according to Deputy Donnie Davis.

Davis also charged Collins with his third offense DUI, driving on a suspended license and no insurance. Following the crash, the defendant allegedly said he did not know what had happened, according to a warrant.

Collins pleaded guilty to a felony meth charge 2018. Instead of a prison term, the defendant was given a 10-year community-corrections sentence, according to court records.

Cocke County chop shop busted

Cocke County narcotics officers and other deputies have filed charges following the discovery of a vehicle chop shop last Thursday.

Deputy Lt. Chris Gregg said he and other officers went to the residence of 55 year-old Charles McMahan on Big Creek Road in Hartford after receiving reports that a stolen truck was on the property. McMahan allegedly was holding methamphetamine and Suboxone.

“We also found a vehicle that had been partially stripped and VIN (vehicle identification number) plates removed from one vehicle on the scene, and placed on another,” Gregg said. “We also found a VIN plate that had been drilled off of another vehicle.”

One recovered vehicle, a 1990 Toyota truck valued at $3,500 was reported stolen by Hollis Allen, who lives on Allen Road in Newport on Jan. 21.

McMahan was taken into custody on charges of operating a motor vehicle chop shop, theft over $1,000, alteration of an engine or serial number and possession of methamphetamine and Suboxone. McMahan also had an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court

Cat hoarding case reported in Newport

The Friends Animal Shelter in Newport has issued a statement on social media calling on area residents to assist in a recent case of animal hoarding.

Shelter manager Elisha Henry said animal control officers on Friday responded to a mobile home in the Flatwoods area where a large number of animals were found.

“Calling all rescues, shelters and fosters … we have a massive hoarding case in Cocke County,” Henry wrote. “It is beyond any description. Around 100 cats total, litter boxes are so full that there are maggots crawling around. The home and cages are full of fleas, flies and maggots. The smell is enough to knock you over.”

Henry said 13 cats were removed on Friday and animal control officers will return to the home today to pick up additional animals.

“We do not have the room for them. Please share, please help,” Henry wrote.

No charges have been filed as the investigation continues.

Few seek tuition break from Virginia college

WISE, Va. (AP) — A college in southwest Virginia is seeing limited interest in an inaugural program that offers discounted tuition to students from Appalachia.

The Roanoke Times reports that the University of Virginia’s College at Wise enrolled 23 students through the program that was created to boost enrollment. Officials previously have said they hoped the new discount would eventually bring in about 100 additional students to school.

Lawmakers passed a law this year granting in-state tuition at the college for students from the Appalachian region, which stretches from New York to Alabama and includes all or parts of 13 states. Yearly in-state tuition is about $18,000 less than the out-of-state price tag.

Apparel firm to make $7.5M expansion with 220 jobs

HENNING (AP) — An apparel company is planning to invest $7.5 million in an expansion in western Tennessee that is expected to create more than 220 jobs.

The Department of Economic and Community Development announced that VF Corporation will expand its operations in Henning and will set up a new distribution facility in Covington.

VF Corporation was founded in 1899 and has a group of outdoor, active and workwear brands, including Vans, The North Face, Timberland and Dickies.

The expansion of the Henning manufacturing facility is expected to create 162 jobs, while the new Covington center is expected to create 66 new jobs. The new distribution operations will be located in an existing building in Tipton County.

1 injured in marina fire, 4 boats sink

DOVER (AP) — Tennessee authorities say a boat exploded causing a fire at a marina on Kentucky Lake.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said the boat explosion and fire was reported Sunday at Leatherwood Marina in Stewart County.

One person was injured and airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville and four houseboats sank due to the blaze.

The blaze has been extinguished, but authorities say boaters should stay clear of the area due to debris.

Inmate at prison dies, facility placed on lockdown

WHITEVILLE (AP) — An inmate at a Tennessee state prison has died and officials say the facility is on lockdown while the death is investigated.

News outlets report prison operator CoreCivic spokeswoman Amanda Gilcrist said Hardeman County Correctional Facility officers responded Saturday to an inmate who called for assistance with his cellmate. Gilcrist said officers found the cellmate unconscious, and he was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Gilcrist did not release the inmate’s name or cause of death.

She says the prison in Whiteville will remain on lockdown while the Tennessee Department of Correction investigates the death.

Police charge man with killing woman, infant

MEMPHIS (AP) — Police in Tennessee have charged a man with killing a woman and an infant who were found dead in a burned home.

News outlets report the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Saturday that 25-year-old Enoch P. Zarceno-Turner was charged with murder, arson and other counts in the deaths of 32-year-old Heather Cook and her 4-month-old son Bentley Cook.

Police say the mother and son were found dead Friday in a partially burned residence in Memphis. Both had suffered multiple stab wounds.

A police affidavit says Zarceno-Turner is the father of the infant and had argued with Cook over custody arrangements.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Zarceno-Turner has an attorney.


Deputies fatally shoot man who pointed weapon

OOLTEWAH (AP) — Officials say Tennessee deputies have fatally shot a man who pointed a weapon at them.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says in a statement that six Hamilton County deputies responded Saturday to a report of a suicidal man in Ooltewah. The statement says deputies shot 76-year-old James Hilton Glaze when he pointed the weapon at responding officers. Glaze died at the scene.

The deputies who shot Glaze were not identified.

The bureau says it will investigate the shooting and turn over any evidence to the local prosecutor’s office.

No Deal: Auto workers strike against GM in contract dispute

DETROIT (AP) — More than 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers walked off General Motors factory floors or set up picket lines early Monday as contract talks with the company deteriorated into a strike.

Workers shut down 33 manufacturing plants in nine states across the U.S., as well as 22 parts distribution warehouses.

It wasn’t clear how long the walkout would last, with the union saying GM has budged little in months of talks while GM said it made substantial offers including higher wages and factory investments.

It’s the first national strike by the union since a two-day walkout in 2007 that had little impact on the company.

GM workers joined striking Aramark-employed janitors assigned to GM facilities on the picket lines Sunday night at a sprawling factory on the border between Detroit and the small town of Hamtramck.

Striking GM employees were joined on the picket lines by workers from Ford and Fiat Chrysler, who are working under contract extensions.

UAW Vice President Terry Dittes, the union’s top GM negotiator, said a strike is the union’s last resort but is needed because both sides are far apart in negotiating a new four-year contract. The union, he said Saturday, does not take a strike lightly.

GM, however, said it offered pay raises and $7 billion worth of U.S. factory investments resulting in 5,400 new positions, a minority of which would be filled by existing employees.

GM would not give a precise number. The company also said it offered higher profit sharing, “nationally leading” health benefits and an $8,000 payment to each worker upon ratification.