Newport Street Department changes hours

The city of Newport Street Department hours have changed as of July 1.

The new hours are Monday – Friday from 6 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. due to the current high temperatures.

Household trash must be at the pickup location by 6 a.m. on the regular pickup date. For any household trash not out when the city’s trash crew comes by a residence it will not be picked up until the next week.

For all other pickups, please contact the street department at 423-623-5246 to be placed on the pickup schedule

USDA reminds no fireworks in National Forest

USDA Forest Service officials at the Cherokee National Forest remind visitors fireworks are not allowed on national forest land at any time.

Fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices are prohibited (possessing or discharging) on all national grasslands and national forest lands year-round, regardless of weather conditions or holidays. Regulations are enforced, and violation is punishable as a misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment of not more than six months, or both.

National forest visitors are reminded to ensure that all fires are extinguished and cold to the touch before leaving them, and to check local weather forecasts prior to and during an outing.

The Cherokee National Forest covers 650,000 acres of public land in ten east Tennessee counties, including Cocke County. It offers many popular areas for camping, boating, picnicking, hiking and a variety of outdoor activities.

Crash knocks out power

Newport Utilities says a number of customers lost power for several hours Sunday afternoon when a utility pole on Highway 25E in Cocke County was cut down at 11 a.m.

Curtis Williamson, electric department manager, says a total of 363 customers lost power.

Cocke County Deputy Zachary Shelton said Jessica Purkey, 24, Ned Clark Road, Bean Station, was southbound near Fortune Way, and while rounding a curve, an oncoming car drifted into her lane. Purkey said she swerved to the right, slid through the grass and struck the utility pole

Neither the driver nor her passenger, Carl Anthony Pruitt, 44, Rock City Road, Newport, were injured.

Shelton said the utility pole was split in half by the impact.

Mental health safety net program to expand

NASHVILLE (AP) — Public health officials say more Tennesseans are now eligible for free mental health services under the state’s behavior health safety net program.

Under legislation that went into effect Monday, the mental health program for the state’s uninsured was given an additional $5 million. It broadened eligibility by changing the income criteria from 100% of the federal poverty level to 138%. The change will allow up to 7,000 more Tennesseans to receive safety net services.

The expansion was pitched by Gov. Bill Lee and later adopted by the Tennessee Statehouse during this year’s legislative session.

The behavioral health safety net program serves an estimated 32,000 Tennesseans annually.

It was first launched in 2005 and is overseen by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

State halting construction lane closures for holiday

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials are halting construction-related lane closures on interstates and state roads for the Fourth of July holiday extended weekend.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation says the closures will be paused from noon on Wednesday through 6 a.m. on Monday.

Some long-term lane closures for construction projects will still be in place.

Reduced speed limits will still be in effect if workers are present in construction zones, even if lanes are not closed.

Department of Transportation Commissioner Clay Bright says an estimated 985,000 motorists are expected to travel Tennessee’s interstates and state routes over the holiday.

Man dies from injuries suffered in Tennessee apartment fire

NASHVILLE (AP) — A man injured in a Tennessee apartment fire has died.

Nashville police say 24-year-old Jarmarcus Carney died Sunday, a day after being critically injured in the fire. Police said in a news release Monday his death is considered accidental.

Two others were also taken to a hospital. Police said 20-year-old Cedric Fitzgerald remains hospitalized, while 43-year-old Ammie Gaines was treated and released.

Police said the cause of the fire remained under investigation.