Coeburn man pleads guilty to multiple burglaries

A Wise County, Virginia man pleaded guilty in Circuit Court last week to taking multiple items during a burglary spree in March.

A report from Commonwealth's Attorney Chuck Slemp said Michael Jason Sluss, 26, of Coeburn, faces more than 100 years in jail for the crimes that were committed while he was on probation after being given a suspended sentence for a drug possession charge in 2014.

Sluss confessed to breaking into multiple homes in the Flatwoods community in March and stealing more than $200 in items including a firearm, Slemp said.

Sluss will be sentenced on nine felony counts including breaking and entering and grand larceny on February 17.



Cumberland Bowl Park Christmas Lightings

2016 Lights In The Park

Opens Saturday November 26th at 6pm



Sunday – Thursday 6pm to 9pm

Friday – Saturday 6pm to 10pm



$5 Dollars Per Car

$1 Dollar Person Walking



Reward for information on Eric Jones increased

The U.S. Marshals Service has increased the reward offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of Eric Monroe Jones who is wanted on murder charges in the death of his ex-wife.

The reward has been increased from $1,500 to $2,000.

Police have been looking for Jones since Monday, when they found the body of Janina Gina Lorraine Jefferson, 38, at the Appalachia water plant. She was shot at least once, according to Maj. Grant Kilgore. 

The couple's divorce was finalized in September. 

Citizens should call 911 or contact local law enforcement or the Wise County Sheriff’s Office at 276-328-3756 with information.

Jones is considered armed and dangerous. He should not be approached.


Bristol Herald Courier

SWVA Museum presents “Tea With Mrs. Claus”

The Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park will present the annual “Tea with Mrs. Claus” program on Dec. 11 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

A proper tea will be served, and Mrs. Claus will read classic Christmas stories and lead guests in singing traditional Christmas carols.

Seating is limited, and advance reservations are required.

For more information, or to register, please call the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park at 276-523-1322.

Farmers may be eligible for federal aid after drought

Farmers in Lee County may be eligible for federal aid under an agricultural disaster declaration issued as a result of the recent drought throughout parts of Virginia, Tennesse, and Kentucky.

Counties including Harlan County in Kentucky, Claiborne County in Tennessee, as well as Lee County, were designated natural disaster areas on Nov. 23, 2016, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible parishes have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

Other FSA programs that can provide assistance, but do not require a disaster declaration, include the Emergency Conservation ProgramLivestock Forage Disaster ProgramLivestock Indemnity Program; Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program; and the Tree Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at

Coeburn woman receives 13 years for drug offenses

A Coeburn woman received a 13 year sentence in prison Monday in Wise County Circuit Court after entering prior guilty pleas to a variety of drug offenses.

Wise County Commonwealth's Attorney Chuck Slemp said Patsy Ann Motz, 52, pleaded guilty to distribution of Schedule I synthetic drugs Ab-Pinaca, Alpha-PVP and Ab-Chminaca, distribution of Schedule III drug Buprenorphine, three counts of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, operation of a common nuisance and one probation violation.

During Monday's sentencing hearing that involved testimony from multiple witnesses, Motz was sentenced to 35 years with 22 years suspended. The suspended sentenced is conditioned on successful completion of five years probation following her release of serving her 13 year term.

Slemp said the case stems from investigations conducted by the Southwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force focusing on illicit synthetic drug sales and abuse. Slemp said the investigation showed between November, 2014 and November, 2015 Motz operated a drug distribution operation from her home in the Riverview section of Coeburn.

Motz was accused of obtaining synthetic drugs from North Carolina to distribute in Wise County, and conspiring with others to sell the narcotics while on active supervised probtion at the time for weapons and prior drug offenses.


Food City and BMS host fundraiser to benefit Gatlinburg

In the wake of the devastating fires sweeping Gatlinburg and Sevier County, Food City and Bristol Motor Speedway have teamed up to host a number of initiatives, including a fundraising campaign to benefit local relief efforts. 

Beginning December 1st and continuing through December 7th, Food City locations throughout Kentucky, Virginia and east Tennessee will participate in a fundraising campaign.  Customers wishing to make a monetary donation will be invited to do so at the checkout, with the contribution conveniently added to their order total.  100% of the funds raised will benefit the Gatlinburg/Sevier County Relief Fund. 

Food City has pledged a $50,000 contribution to kick-off the fund-raising efforts.  Earlier in the week, the company also donated a tractor-trailer load of bottled water and Gatorade to assist local crews battling the raging fires.   
“Many of our friends and neighbors have been devastated by these tragic fires, including a number of our Food City associates,” says Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer.  “We have teamed up with our friends at Bristol Motor Speedway and a number of our media partners to provide some much-needed assistance with the relief efforts.  We encourage our loyal customers and associates to join us in support of this critical mission.”

BMS will also be collecting donations for the Gatlinburg/Sevier County Relief Fund initiatives from The Pinnacle Speedway in Lights via red buckets at the holiday display ticket booths beginning tomorrow. The program will run through the end of Speedway in Lights on Saturday, Jan. 7. In addition, BMS will match proceeds raised at this Thursday’s Speedway in Lights towards the relief initiatives.

“While we can’t undo the damage from wildfires, we can all play a major role in relief efforts by donating money,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager at Bristol Motor Speedway. “Gatlinburg and Sevier County hold a special place in the hearts of NASCAR fans and all of us at Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway. When you visit the Speedway this holiday season, we encourage you to bring along a little something extra to help our neighbors in need.”

The Speedway has also opened the Medallion campground to the RV community/campers displaced by the fires.  The lot offers complimentary camping spaces with full water and electrical hook-up at no charge. Those interested should contact the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL. 

Anyone interested in making a monetary donation via Bristol Motor Speedway can visit the main ticket office at the O. Bruton Smith Building during normal business hours or by calling the ticket office.

“We would certainly like to thank Bristol Motor Speedway for their partnership on this critical initiative, as well as our media partners – WVLT, WIVK, WCYB, WXBQ and WYMT,” says Smith.

Pound man faces charges after interfering with police

A Wise County man is now facing drug charges after interfering with a police situation last week.

Pound Police Chief Tony Baker says two officers responded to a call at the Wildcat Gas Station in Pound over an individual who borrowed someone else's car and hadn't returned it yet. The case was resolved without charges. However, while officers were speaking with the individual, 44 year old Danny Lee Mullins Jr. exited the gas station and proceeded to attempt to interfere in the discussion between the officers and individual. The officer asked Mullins not to interfere with police business, but Mullins went back inside the business and called 911, reporting to Wise County Central Dispatch “there were two knucklehead cops that didn't know what they were doing, and that he was a lawyer and knew the law better than the police.”

Central Dispatch notified the officers that Mullins had two outstanding warrants and they placed Mullins under arrest. Once in custody, a search of Mullin's person revealed a substance believed to be methamphetamine, along with needles and a spoon.

Mullins was charged with possession. The Virginia Bar Association website show no records of a Danny Lee Mullins, Jr. possessing a license to practice law.

Baker says Mullins considers himself a self-proclaimed sovereign citizen.


Burn ban lifted

The burn ban for Lee County has been lifted as of noon Wednesday.

LCSO taking donations for Sevier County

The Lee County Sheriffs Office and Jonesville Police Department are taking donations of canned food, bottled water and blankets to those in need in Sevier County TN. If you can help please drop off items at the Lee County Sheriff's Office or Jonesville Town Hall. Any items donated need to be at the drop off locations by Friday the 2nd at 10am. If you have any questions call 276-346-7754