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Construction Underway for $500,000 Staging Area/Morgue PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debbie Gregory   
Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Construction has started on the staging area/morgue that was a part of the Community Development Block Grant in the amount of $3,058,970, in a disaster recovery application following the 2008 tornado and 2010 flood.

When I talked with 911 Director Steve Jones last Thursday he described the new facility as a 50x100 foot structure, which is a 5,000 sq. ft. multiple purpose building. It is located behind the 911 Center next to the Macon County Justice Center on Highway 52 by Pass East in Lafayette.

“The facility is going to have several different parts to it including a maintenance area where equipment can be worked on and minor vehicle problems can be taken care of for the Sheriffs Office,” said Director Jones. “There is a wash bay where all the county vehicles can be washed and cleaned by the inmates, who do this work while they are incarcerated in the Macon County Jail.

“A section is set up for the maintenance person at the jail who doesn’t have an office anywhere and we found a location for him in the staging area,” said Jones. “We also have a storage facility for him to put everything it takes to maintain the justice center along with restrooms.”

Director Jones says there are other secured storage sections as well.

“The building will have a 12x12 walk in cooler and this is a temporary morgue area,” Director Jones explained. “We are continuing to get more and more people that have moved into our county that have family who live somewhere else and when someone dies there isn’t anywhere in the county to hold these individuals.”

“If you are out on the scene you have to be able to transport loved ones somewhere they can be held until the proper notification is made. You also have to find out what funeral home or what town they need to be making arrangements to go to.”

The 911 Director said the funeral homes don’t have anywhere to put them and it is an inconvenience to them. “We have actually had to take bodies to Sumner County and store them until we could find out what to do,” he added.

There are a lot of migrant workers in the county and unfortunately when something happens these bodies have to be held anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. “That’s what the morgue is, a temporary hold facility, and it is a big part of the building.”

Then there is a section that has a large storing facility that will be used as a loading dock where a tractor trailer truck can back up to it and unload. “There are two large 12x12 doors where you can back equipment in and if the Sheriffs Office goes out and picks up something they have to seize and search, they will have a secured location they can put it in now,” noted Jones.

“So it is a multiple purpose building that we call a staging area because that’s what we are doing, staging for a disaster. During the tornado disaster we had 18 bodies in the EMS bay that had to be processed and luckily we had a gentleman from the state to come up and process them for us. And then we had to get a refrigerated truck to come in and store the bodies until we could get them sent to the appropriate locations.”

Construction is underway and Jones said they hope to be in the building by May. “This is a 100% grant and all it is costing the county is the insurance and utilities. “It bid out for $459,400. The building will cost around $500,000 by the time we get it finished and it is equipped,” concluded 911 Director Steve Jones.



Chuck Cowan Dies in Sumner Wreck PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debbie Gregory   
Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Lafayette resident Chuck Cowan is dead following a Monday morning, January 13th, single-vehicle wreck in Sumner County.

Mr. Cowan was driving a westbound 1990 silver Toyota pickup truck on Hwy. 31 E at 4:29 a.m. when he veered off the road, struck a drain tile, went airborne, flipped the vehicle and landed on the passenger’s side of the truck. He was alone at the time of the wreck, which was in the Sideview Community of Sumner County.

According to the Sumner County Sheriffs Office he was pronounced dead at the scene by the Sumner EMS.

Mr. Cowan was a former member of the Macon County Board of Education, former owner of C & R Enterprises and at the time of his death he worked for a subcontractor of the US Postal Service. Chuck also coached youth sports.

The Sumner County Sheriffs Office investigated the wreck.

Funeral services will be at Anderson and Son Funeral Home, in Lafayette, but were incomplete at press time.

Deputy Injured in Hwy 10 Crash PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debbie Gregory   
Tuesday, January 7, 2014


A Macon County Sheriffs Office deputy was injured in a three-vehicle collision at a bad spot near the bottom of the Highway 10 South hill.

The crash happened around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday night, January 2, and the temperature was only 16° outside as emergency personnel rushed to the scene.

Deputy Ashley Tharp, who was driving a white 2010 Dodge patrol car, sustained a broken ankle and was transported to Sumner Regional Hospital in Gallatin, where she underwent surgery and is reported to be back at home.

THP Sgt. Edd Crouch investigated the crash and reconstructed what apparently occurred.

The Trooper stated that 19-year-old Hannah Ruth Borders, of Westmoreland, was driving northbound on Hwy. 10 South in a red 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt along with her teenage passenger, Brooke Ann Madison, also of Westmoreland. “Hannah Borders lost control, spun around and skidded backwards into the southbound lane of travel hitting the deputy’s patrol car,” said Sgt. Crouch. “The third vehicle was a blue 2001 Dodge Dakota, traveling southbound with 25-year-old Karissa Kay Hesson behind the wheel.”

“Karissa Hesson attempted to stop but couldn’t,” explained Sgt. Crouch, “striking the deputy’s car and the red Chevrolet Cobalt.”

Crouch also stated that Deputy Tharp got over as far as she could after seeing the red car lose control of the roadway.

According to Crouch, the two young women in the Cobalt were not restrained. They were taken to MCGH were they were treated and released.

Trooper Justin Mote assisted Sgt. Crouch at the scene. Traffic citations are pending. 

First responders were the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Macon County Sheriffs Office, Macon County EMS, Macon County Rescue Squad and the Macon County Chronicle.


Man Stabs Two in Apartment PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debbie Gregory   
Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Eric Pacheco

The Lafayette Police Department has arrested 24-year-old Eric Matias Pacheco, of 702 Courthouse View, for stabbing two people inside an apartment.

On Monday, December 23, Officer Danny Meador received a call that two people who had received stab wounds had been carried to the local hospital.

According to the report filed by Officer Meador, Eric Matias Pacheco entered an apartment at 705 Courthouse View and had an altercation with Adolfo Aguirre, age 19, of Lafayette. At some point, the teenager was stabbed with a knife. Then 21-year-old Carina Valencia was stabbed in the back. Both were transported to Macon County General Hospital.

Officer D. Meador has officially charged Eric Pacheco with two counts of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. His bond is set at $50,000. A General Sessions Court date is set for Wednesday, Jan. 8.

Serious Wreck on Hwy 10 Hill PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debbie Gregory   
Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Only four days after Christmas another serious wreck happened on the infamous Highway 10 South hill hurting a woman driver and two male juvenile passengers.

The accident occurred just before 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 29, with THP Trooper Justin Mote investigating.

Trooper Mote said that 51-year-old Connie Harrison, of Hartsville, was traveling northbound in a 1998 Ford Explorer, on Highway 10 South and was driving too fast for the road conditions.

“Harrison failed to maintain the proper lane of travel,” said Trooper Mote. “Her vehicle crossed the southbound lane of travel, struck a utility pole, and rolled onto its’ side.”

Rescue personnel were called to the scene, however Ms. Harrison got out of the vehicle herself. The EMS was able to get one juvenile out and Harrison got the other.

“Ms. Harrison and one young passenger were carried to Macon County General Hospital for treatment,” stated Mote. “Due to the weather conditions the helicopter couldn’t fly, so the other juvenile was taken for medical care to Vanderbilt Hospital by ground ambulance.”

The Highway 10 South hill was closed for a few hours while the North Central Telephone utility pole was replaced.

Charges are pending.

Responding to the scene were the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Macon County Sheriffs Office, Macon County EMS, Lafayette Fire Department, Macon County Rescue and the Macon County Chronicle.




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