Body found in Nolichucky River

Greene County Sheriff Wesley Holt is reporting that his department is investigating a dead body found in the Nolichucky River Sunday evening.

The deceased, described as a white male, had not been publicly identified by press time.

Responding to the 7:30 p.m. call, deputies went to the boat ramp at Birds Bridge on the Old Asheville Highway. They met with the caller and rode in a boat to the location the body was spotted, about a mile upriver from the boat ramp, where deputies found the lifeless body snagged on a tree in the river.

The Greeneville Emergency and Rescue Squad responded with members and more boats to recover the body, which has been sent to the William L. Jenkins Forensic Center in Johnson City for an autopsy.

Those with information that may assist in the identification of the body is asked to call Detective Sgt. Jimmy Morgan at the Greene County Sheriff’s Department at 423-798-1800.

The case is considered active and ongoing, and more details will be released as the investigation progresses.

Three injured in Sunday crash

Three people were injured Sunday afternoon in a two-vehicle, head-on collision on the Hooper Highway at Ardell Road in Cocke County, authorities say.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol identified the drivers in the 12:48 p.m. collision as Lauren Rachel Taylor, a 32-year-old Johnson City resident, and Danny Simmons, 71, Granite Falls, North Carolina. Both drivers and a passenger in the Simmons car, Nancy Simmons, 76, were taken by First Call EMS and Gatlinburg EMS to the Newport Medical Center.

Troopers reported Taylor was traveling south on Hooper Highway, negotiating a curve to the right when she drove off the roadway on the right side. At that point, Taylor overcorrected and steered into the northbound lane, according to the THP.

Simmons was traveling northbound when Taylor entered into his lane and the vehicles collided, causing disabling damage to both vehicles. Taylor complained of head, neck and back pain. Mr. Simmons complained of chest pain from the deployment of the air bags, and Simmons complained of neck and chest pain from the air bag deployment as well as wrist pain.

Taylor was cited for failure to exercise due care.

GSMNP: $953M in 2018 local visitor spending

GATLINBURG (AP) — A National Park Service report says that visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park spent $953 million in communities near the park last year.

A park news release says the spending came from the 11.4 million visitors to the park in 2018. The spending supported more than 13,700 jobs in the local area.

The numbers are included in a peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Egan Cornachione of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service.

According to the report, there was $20.2 billion spent directly in communities within 60 miles of a national park in 2018 by more than 318 million national park visitors.

State parks offering free, guided hikes in June

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee’s state parks are offering free hikes guided by a ranger next month, in honor of National Trails Day.

Tennessee’s Department of Environment and Conservation says in a news release that all 56 state parks will be providing free hikes on June 1.

The department says that the American Hiking Society designates the first Saturday in June as National Trails Day, a day of public events aimed at advocacy and trail service. Last year, more than 100,000 people participated in National Trails Day events across the country.

Parks are offering a variety of ranger-led hikes, night hikes, history hikes, nature hikes and cleanup hikes along scenic waterways and rugged backcountry trails.

Invasive tick detected in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) — Public health officials say an invasive tick has been detected in Tennessee.

According to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, multiple organizations say two Asian longhorned ticks were found on a dog in Union County and five were found on a cow in Roane County.

The Asian longhorned tick has now spread to 11 states.

The tick is native to Southeast Asia, where it has been a pest of livestock, wildlife, and household pets, although humans are not immune from it.

Authorities say to date no cases of harmful diseases have been found in these ticks in the United States, though it is known to transmit illness in other countries.

3 ATV riders killed; 1 injured

JACKSBORO (AP) — Tennessee authorities say three ATV riders from North Carolina were killed when their vehicle fell down an embankment through thick brush.

Media outlets report a fourth person was found injured by emergency responders. The Campbell County Sheriff’s office said Monday the injured minor was airlifted to a Knoxville hospital. His condition was not immediately known.

The crash occurred Sunday in the area of a privately owned, off-road adventure park that offers riding trails.

Authorities have identified the dead as 47-year-old Ronnie Akins, 19-year-old Dillon Akins and 19-year-old Jonathan Laws, all of Weaverville, North Carolina.

The sheriff’s office says the ATV left a trail and fell more than 100 feet (30 meters). Rescuers had to cut through thick brush and trees to reach the crash site.

Police identify two teens killed in crash

HARRIMAN (AP) — Tennessee authorities have identified the two teenagers killed in a single-vehicle crash in Roane County.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol says 18-year-old Austin J. French and 16-year-old Joshua A. Freels, both of Harriman, were killed in the Sunday afternoon crash.

News outlets report that the driver, 18-year-old Holden J. Melton, was injured, as was another passenger, 16-year-old Kameron N. French.

All four were wearing seat belts.

Authorities say Melton was driving a 2002 Nissan Maxima around a left hand curve downhill when the vehicle ran off the right side of the road and hit a tree. The fatality report says criminal charges are pending.

Police: Boy fatally shot by sibling

MEMPHIS (AP) — Police in Tennessee say a boy has been fatally shot by a sibling inside a Memphis home.

News outlets report Memphis police said the child was taken to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in critical condition after he was shot Saturday afternoon but he later died.

Officer Louis Brownlee told WREG-TV that a boy of 9 or 10 was shot by a younger sibling. He says an investigation of the shooting is ongoing.