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TDOT Commissioner at Groundbreaking PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debbie Gregory   
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

TDOT Commissioner John Schroer attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the Highway 10 hill reconstruction project last Friday. He is pictured shaking the hand of Macon County Mayor Shelvy Linville. (Photo by D. Gregory)

Many people have had horrific losses in their lives due to traffic accidents on the deadly Highway 10 South hill and this was reality for countless years. But thanks to Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer and Macon County Mayor Shelvy Linville everyone gathered last Friday afternoon at the groundbreaking ceremony for the reconstruction project…the new reality.

The circumstances leading to the reconstruction project being finalized began in the spring of 2013 when Mayor Shelvy Linville received the TDOT three-year transportation plan. The Highway 10 South hill project, involving a 1.7 mile stretch, wasn’t included. Three weeks later an article appeared on the front page of the Macon County Chronicle entitled “Highway 10 Hill on Backburner Again”. This was the first in a series of front page articles that was printed in the Chronicle.

Shortly after the article appeared, a public meeting was set with Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Deputy Commissioner and Chief Engineer Paul Degges to discuss Highway 10 in Macon County. He talked about the three phases of a TDOT project and the specifics of State Route 10.

Degges said that the Highway 10 Hill construction project hadn’t been cancelled, shelved or anything else. He went on to say that TDOT tried to make sure they spread the money around and the problem was, that there is a whole lot more need out there than there is dollars.

However, Mayor Linville was relentless in his efforts to see the reconstruction started and he knew words were his most powerful tool and he continued to speak to anyone who would listen. The Mayor also began sending TDOT numerous accident reports occurring on the Highway 10 hill, involving serious injuries and fatalities.

The Mayor’s persistence paid off and he received a letter from Commissioner John Schroer on Friday, June 14, 2013, stating that the department had been monitoring all the accident reports in that vicinity and working with the local Division Office of the Federal Highway Administration. Commissioner Schroer said that he was pleased to report that he had been able to identify funding under one of the safety programs to deliver the project.

Commissioner Schroer stated that he could certainly appreciate the mayor’s position and that he shared Linville’s goals in wanting to provide the safest roads possible for all Tennesseans, therefore he had directed his staff to accelerate the schedule.

The letting of bids for construction on the 1.7 mile stretch of highway, including the hill was Friday, May 23, 2014, and Twin K. Construction, Inc., was the low bidder at $15,419,073.30.

At the groundbreaking ceremony Commissioner Schroer spoke of the expense involved with building roads and the fact that this phase alone would cost over 15 million dollars. He said that the accident data over the past two years made this particular stretch of highway eligible for funding through the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Safety Program. “Construction should begin within 30 to 45 days,” the Commissioner said.

Mayor Shelvy Linville said on behalf of all the citizens of Macon County he thanked everyone for whatever part they played in getting this project moving, whether it was large or small. “I especially want to thank TDOT Commissioner John Schroer and Governor Haslam. I want to thank TDOT employees Jon Armstrong, ROW Agent; Steve Allen, Safety Program Director; David Layhew, Asst. Chief Engineer of Region 3 and Lorri Lange for all their help.”
“I would also like to thank Debbie Gregory with the Macon County Chronicle,” said Mayor Linville, “because she certainly helped me bring this much need project to the forefront with her coverage.”

Mayor Linville said he made the statement over a year ago that he would not be satisfied until he saw orange barrels and bulldozers on that hill. “I believe I’m going to see that soon.”

“Hopefully, when this phase is completed, we will see an end to the fatalities on this hill and maybe phase 2 can begin on the Highway 10 Project in the not too distant future.”

Added City Mayor Richard Driver, “This was the day we have been waiting for and I would like to thank the Tennessese Department of Transportation and Commissioner John Schroer. I would also like to praise the efforts of County Mayor Shelvy Linville for his hard work in getting this project to this point. We all owe him a big thank you.”

 How sad it has been in Macon County through the years to see so many people seriously injured or killed on the Highway 10 South hill and we are indeed thankful to the Tennessee Department of Transportation and Commissioner John Schroer for officially moving ahead with the reconstuction project.  

Man Ejected From Car in Crash PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debbie Gregory   
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

This car cash occurred on Highway 52 West on Monday morning, June 16. (Photo by K. Belle)

On Monday morning, June  16, a 19-year-old Westmoreland man was ejected from his car in a crash on Highway 52 West. 

According to investigating officer Trooper Justin Mote, Brette Fykes was traveling west on Highway 52 in a silver 2006 two-door Chevrolet, when he failed to maintain the proper lane of travel and went off the westbound side of the road and struck a guard rail.

“Mr. Fykes wasn’t wearing a seat belt and he was ejected from the automobile,” said Trooper Mote. “He was carried by air medical to Vanderbilt Hospital, in Nashville, Tennessee.”

The Rescue Squad established a landing zone at Frito Lay.

Those responding to the crash were the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Macon County Sheriffs Office, Macon County EMS, Rescue Squad and the Macon County Chronicle.

 Vanderbilt spokesperson, Paula Jones, stated on Monday afternoon, that Mr. Fykes was listed in stable condition.

Two Jailed by RBS Police PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debbie Gregory   
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A rash of thefts in Red Boiling Springs have been occurring and Officer Jimmy Morgan, of the Red Boiling Springs Police Department, arrested 29-year-old Joey Ray Pruitt and 35-year-old Terra Hope Pruitt in connection with these crimes.

“I recently obtained some information from one of these theft victims, who stated they had went to the Trading Post and recognized some off their missing property,” said Officer Morgan. “I went and spoke to the owner and that’s how I identified Joey and Terra Pruitt as persons of interest at that time.”
Officer Morgan located the two suspects and brought them in for questioning. “They denied everything at first but I finally got a confession,” said Morgan, who arrested both individuals on June 2.
The officer told the Chronicle that several items had been taken from Molly Cooper’s barn, which is located behind the suspects residence on Oak Grove Road. “During the investigation I found out that an air compressor taken from the Cooper barn was at a pawn shop in Tompkinsville, Kentucky,” continued Officer Morgan. “I went to the shop and there it was, along with a receipt that showed the suspect’s name.”
Joey Ray Pruitt, age 29, of 2881 Oak Grove Road in Red Boiling Springs, is charged with theft of property (4 counts), aggravated criminal trespassing (4 counts , burglary (4 counts),and violation of probation. Bond is set at $24,750.
Terra Hope Pruitt, age 35, of 2881 Oak Grove Road in Red Boiling Springs, is charged with theft of property (3 counts) and violation of probation. Bond is set at $2,250. 
Morgan said there is still a lot of items that are missing from several different break-ins and this is an on-going investigation. “If anyone has any information please call the Red Boiling Springs Police Department at 699-2011.”
Macon County Hillbilly Days, June 19-21 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jessie Williams   
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

2014 Mr. Hillbilly Bill Gordon

Pack up the lawn chairs and bring the entire family out to the 39th Annual Macon County Hillbilly Days event sponsored by the Lafayette Lions on June 19, 20 and 21 at Key Park.

Beginning on Thursday, June 20th, an opening ceremony will be held at 6 p.m., followed up by the Itty Bitty Hillbilly Beauty Pageant at 6:30 and a cakewalk also at 6:30 p.m.

Friday, the gospel concert will take place at 6 p.m. with around eight groups performing, and the highly anticipated ‘All-You-Can-Eat Fish Fry’ will be sure to draw a crowd. Cost for the fish fry, which includes catfish, slaw, fries, Mr. Ercie’s famous hushpuppies and a drink, will be $8 per adult and $5 for children 12 and under. 

Saturday will be jam-packed with exciting instrumental events for all ages kicking-off at 10 a.m. with a flat top guitar showdown, followed by mandolin, beginning fiddle (under 16), harmonica, claw hammer banjo, Scruggs style banjo, Jr. Fiddle (ages 16-50), Sr. Fiddle (51 and up) and the 5th Annual Ped Scruggs Memorial Fiddle Challenge.

At 1 p.m., the Fried Pie Contest will be held at the back pavilion, followed by an the Billy & Joanna Roark Community Service Award and the Mr. & Mrs. Hillbilly contest will be held around 3:45. This year’s Mr. Hillbilly is Bill Gordon and the 2014 Mrs. Hillbilly is Latise Jones. The two will battle it out to see which club raised the most money, with the loser receiving a pie to the face!

Singing and dance competitions will take begin at 4 p.m. with the Buck Dance competition (ages 15 and under), followed by the 16 and up Buck Dance performers at 4:15, male vocalist performances at 4:30 p.m. and female vocalist performances at 5:30 p.m.

First place winners in the music and dance competitions will win $150 in the Jr. Fiddle & Sr. Fiddle categories, $50 in the buck dance, harmonica and beginning fiddle categories and $100 for all other categories.

Second place winners will win $75 in the Jr. & Sr. Fiddle categories, $25 in the buck dance, harmonica and beginning fiddle categories and $50 in all other categories.

Third place winners will receive $35 in the Jr. & Sr. Fiddle categories, $15 in the buck dance, harmonica and beginning fiddle categories and $25 in all other categories.

The entry fee for each category is $5.

The Bluegrass Band Competition, better known as “The Big Show,” will end the 3-day event at 7 p.m. on Saturday, with the first place winner bringing home $700, the second place champ awarded $400 and the third place victor presented $200. A $30 entry fee is required to compete in the bluegrass competition and first and second place bands will perform for 30 minutes each after the competition is completed.

Those planning to compete in any of the competitions are to be registered at least one hour prior to the scheduled time of the category competing in. 

Judges for this year’s competitions will be Ken Collins, Lisa Gore and Jonah Beasley. Sound and equipment will be provided by James Arnett.

Other activities for guests to enjoy throughout the event will be a variety of arts and crafts booths, contests and plenty of games and rides for children.

“We already have over 100 vendors scheduled to set up booths during this year’s Hillbilly Days,” said Lafayette Lioness Club Secretary Monica Gann, “and we are still getting calls from people!” 

Those who plan to attend are encouraged bring their lawn chairs and settle in for a day of Bluegrass music, entertainment, food and fun!

“Everyone looks forward to this event each year,” Gann remarked. “It’s a fun, family-friendly event, and it serves a great purpose. We hope to see everyone at this year’s Macon County Hillbilly Days…you won’t want to miss it!” 

For general about this year’s Hillbilly Days event, contact Monica Gann at 666-5196 or B.J. Blankenship at 699-2495. For craft or booth information, contact B.J. Blankenship by phone or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Man Shoots at Hanestown Road Home PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debbie Gregory   
Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Corey Jenkins

The Macon County Sheriffs Office received a call between 8:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Friday night, May 30, that Corey Jenkins was at the residence of Mark Roark, on the Hanestown Road, and was shooting a firearm toward the home where there were people standing outside. Mr. Roark is Mr. Jenkins’ father-in-law.

Sheriff Mark Gammons and other members of the Macon County Sheriffs Office responded to Hanestown Road, which is near the Kentucky State line.

According to Sheriff Gammons, at that time Jenkins left in a reckless manor of driving and ran thru a hayfield several times before managing to get back on the road. “He then drove back to his residence in Allen County.”

Shortly after obtaining warrants for Mr. Corey Jenkins, the Allen County Sheriffs Office went to his residence to arrest him, but he wasn’t at home. 

The next morning they located Mr. Jenkins, arrested him and transported him to the Allen County Jail where, as of press time, he is awaiting extradition back to Macon County.

The Macon County Sheriffs Office has filed charges against Mr. Jenkins for possession of a fire arm with the intent of going armed and five counts of aggravated domestic violence.

Allen County Sheriff Cook is seeking warrants for Mr. Jenkins for fourth degree assault domestic violence for an incident that happened on Monday, May 26.

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