Recently the Wise County Sheriff’s Office announced that Sgt. Zac Clifton and Sgt. Myles Cote had recently completed the FBI First Line Supervisor School that was held in Richmond, Va. Before their attendance at this training; both deputies had to be accepted through an application process. The class was restricted to a limited number of participants. Sheriff Oakes has had several supervisors approved for the training over the years. Topics covered during the training range from leadership principals, supervising different personalities and age groups, and numerous other legal issues.
According to the latest Press Release from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office; law enforcement seized Meth, a Schedule IV drug, along with a firearm on Tuesday afternoon. Deputy Chad Rouse conducted a traffic stop on Tuesday afternoon and requested assistance from Sgt. Scholl and his K-9 Lolek to assist. A search of the vehicle was then performed, and during that time that found Methamphetamine, Schedule IV drug and a firearm. Both occupants of the vehicle were charged with Possession of Methamphetamines, Possession of a Schedule IV drug and Possession of a Firearm while Committing a Drug Offense. Sheriff Parsons commends all officers involved and especially their newest member K-9 Lolek for a job well done.
In today’s local news; the Toys for Tots drive is underway in both Lee and Wise Counties. Donations of new, unwrapped toys are greatly needed for age birth thru age 18. Distribution of toys is scheduled for December 21st.
Locally the following businesses are recognized as collection sites to accept toy donations this year:
Farmer’s & Miners Bank, Grabeel’s IGA in Rose Hill, Home Appliance, Lee Bank & Trust Company, Pennington Gap’s Town Hall, Pennington Pharmacy, Powell Valley National Bank, Stone Mountain Health and the Dusty Monkey.
All monetary donations will be accepted at any branch of Farmer’s & Miner’s Bank, Lee Bank and Powell Valley National Bank.
Recipients need to register in order to receive toys; and registration is for all children from birth to age 18 that reside in either Lee or Wise County. To register your child requires a parent’s photo ID or proof of legal guardianship, for proof of current residence one other form of ID for parents or guardians is required. The child’s birth certificate and one additional ID will be required for the child.
Registration is available at the Pennington Gap Community Center on November 17th beginning at 10 a.m. and lasting until 1 p.m. and December 18th from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Volunteers are still needed to help with the campaign this year and interested individuals or those requiring additional information may phone 1-765-220-1285.
Town leaders are expected to discuss the plans of a logging company that wants to begin operating near the Big Cherry Reservoir in Big Stone Gap. The company states it intends to protect the Watershed by not cutting within 100 feet on each side of the river or lake and a minimum of 50 feet on each side of the stream that feeds into the lake.
In a tragic accident that occurred in Wise County, officials stated that 60 year old Fred Russell of Kentucky was killed at the scene when his vehicle allegedly ran off of U.S. Route 23, rolling over several times and hitting another vehicle. Rushed to the hospital but later succumbing to their injuries were passengers from the other vehicle, 54 year old Pamela Stanley and 53 year old John Stanley. Officials added that the investigation is ongoing.
For travelers headed into Tennessee this week, you should be aware that the Tennessee Highway Safety Office alongside local law enforcement personnel have partnered together all this week for Operation Incognito. With the intention to enforce the Distracted Driver, Move Over and additional motorists laws. Using large black and tan buses to observe possible traffic violations; these bus tours hope to beat the last one which had more than 1,800 citations issued statewide in Tennessee.
Recently in Scott County Virginia, a two vehicle crash has resulted in the death of one adult passenger. According to the Virginia State Police, a car turned left in front of a pickup truck on Monday afternoon, at the intersection of State Route 23 and Route 871. No names have been released at the time of this statement but one adult was pronounced dead at the scene and the drivers of both vehicle were transported to the closest hospital. The VSP went on to say that charges are indeed pending at this time.
Recently the Stone Mountain Health Services Black Lung Program was recognized nationally when it received the Virginia Rural Health Association’s 2018 Best Practices in Rural Health Award for their ongoing efforts to address Black Lung in Appalachia. The Black Lung Team was also awarded the “Team of the Year” by the Virginia Commonwealth Healthcare Association.
The Black Lung Program was created and designed to aid with the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment, along with enhancing the quality of life for individuals with chronic respiratory issues. The program is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration in order to be able to provide specific services to local miners.
In total, the Black Lung grantees served 13,122 area miners from July 1st, 2016 until June 30th, 2017. SMHS clinics served 2,474 miners, and roughly 20% of the total miners served were done so by the grantees.
Staff members at the Black Lung Clinics cite their success as the result of a strong relationship to the community. Many of the Black Lung Clinic employees are from the region and can relate with the miners and their families.
Individuals with Black Lung Disease have a buildup of coal dust that leads to the creation of small areas of damaged lung tissue that appear on chest x-rays. Recently an increase of the advanced form of the disease called Progressive Massive Fibrosis or PMF in area miners, in central Appalachia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee has been noted. Individuals with PMF have increased lung damage.
SMHS offers medical screening for Black Lung; available at low cost and any miner, whether surface or underground is eligible for the screening. Individuals may contact the St Charles office at 276-383-4428 for additional information.
Recently the State Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy has approved a new Strip Mine Permit in nearby Wise County. The JW Construction Company was the recepient of the permit for the Turkey Branch Surface Mine. This operation is a re-mining of land that had previously been 'stripped' in the early 1970's before the passage of the Federal Surface Mining and Reclamation Act went into effect in 1977. The permitted site just over 108 acres.
The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 the SMCRA is the primary federal law which regulates the environmental effects of coal mining in the United States. SMCRA created one program for regulating active coal mines and a second program for reclaiming abandoned mine lands.
According to Scott County Commonwealth's Attorney Dan Fellhauer, Ashley Marie Cowan, accused of felony child abuse and felony child neglect in a case that left her one year old child blind has pled no contest to all charges this week. Cowan is expected to be sentenced on January 11, 2019.
Cowan allegedly assaulted hospital staff when she was asked about the child's injuries. The staff at Niswonger Children's Hospital contacted the authorities when the child was brought in with extensive brain bleed and retinal hemorrhages.