Archives 5/2/08-6/30/08

I would like to address several of the blogs posted on this site pertaining to the demotion of Loudon County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy, Jimmy Davis. It is my opinion that the disciplinary action taken against Mr. Davis is a case of the punishment not fitting the crime. But what crime did Davis actually commit? To my knowledge, Mr. Davis was never accused of any wrong doing and in fact the TBI report completely exonerated him yet he was still punished.

Sheriff Guider/Aikens gave him two options. Divorce or demotion. Can you imagine any employer having the gall to actually threaten an employee with punishment if he didn't leave his wife? This has to be one of the most unethical if not illegal actions I have ever heard of an employer taking. To his credit, Davis refused to throw his wife and step child under the bus to satisfy Guider/Aikens.

What if we were all held responsible for the actions of our spouses? I know mine would be mortified. Besides it's not like there hadn't been other deputies with spousal problems. There was the one who pled guilty to child abuse, no punishment no demotion for her husband, then there was the grand theft of the little league money, no punishment no demotion for her husband. Before the election of Russ Johnson, the protector of the sheriff's department, one of the deputies was indicted every time the grand jury met. No punishments no demotions.  So what gives with Davis? Why was he singled out for punishment?

I don't personally know Mr. Davis or his wife very well but the few times I have interacted with him, he came across as a professional in every way and a credit to the department. Something I can not say for his superiors.  

On the topic of discipline at the sheriff's office, think about this. Mr. Guider/Aikens what about your married detective who has been having an ongoing sexual affair with a staff member of Russ Johnson's District Attorney's office. No disciplinary action, no demotion? I guess that's just considered good public relations with the DA's office or just a perk of being an employee of the sheriff's office. What about another high ranking official in the sheriff's office who has been carrying on years long sexual affair with a midlevel county employee? Again just good PR with the county? You want more examples? I've got plenty. The Loudon County Sheriff's Department is a moral cesspool yet sheriff  Guider/Aikens punishes one of his top employees who's only crime was to refuse to bow the his demands that he divorce his wife.

The punishment placed on Jimmy Davis was unjustified and indefensible and if Mr. Davis had any since at all he would get a lawyer and take the sheriff and his minions to the legal whipping post. How much longer will the citizens of Loudon County continue to turn a blind eye to the corruption that permeates every crevice of the LCSO?

Justice Knight 6/30/08

I guess the school board should pack their bags and head to the mountains.  They seem to get a lot done there, including spending money.   Maybe the new director will see the hypocrisy.

Outside Observer 6/30/08

in response to GI JANE 



Anonymous 6/30/08

I wanted to respond to the school boards budget cuts.  I find it hard to believe that they have thought this through.  They have cut a part time position that pays someone $25,000 a year to handle attendance and testing.  First, they are going to replace this person with someone who used to be part time and is now going to be full time.  They are also going to continue paying the person they are letting go to train the new person for the job.  It does not take a very educated person to see that there is not going to be very much money saved by doing this.  Second, the school board is obviously not aware of the importance of turning in attendance to the state.  If it is not done correctly or on time it could cost the school some funding.  Third the person that they are going to let go has put in almost 40 years of service with the Loudon County Schools, yet no one even had the courtesy of letting him know personally.  I know some of the school board members are fairly new and may not be aware of the service that this gentleman has put in but I think someone who has worked here for this amount of time deserves more.  I find it rude and inconsiderate to treat someone like this and I find it dumb to make a decision regarding our school system without all the information needed to make an educated decision.  There was one member that actually took the time to understand some of these positions so I want to say thank you to Scott Newman for doing your job as a school board member.  Maybe some of these other people will follow your lead and act for us instead of for themselves.  But I doubt it.  These uneducated decisions made by the ignorance of some our school board members will come back to bite someone I hope it will not be our students.  The sad thing is how many of them care?

Disappointed citizen! 6/28/08

This was discovered after the last attempt in 2006. I hope all Christians will again band together and beat this play for more. You are right it is strictly greed on the part of the 3 amigos.


Ed Bell, Barry Gordon, and  of course John Tuck

They just had to see if they had  more good luck

The good ole boys of Tellico, Loudon and also LC

To imbibe of their spirits had to drive  to Dixie Lee

The amigos thought, why go there to get their likker

When we can open stores here and make it quicker

So they got  their petitions and  set out  with  much glee

We have to get drunks, politicians, widows who can’t see

Sign here, it is the right thing to do you surely must know

We have got to get going so we can make some more dough

It’s the right thing to do, it’s not for the amigos three

No, it’s for the cities to get taxes and revenue you see

But , alas, how could voters do it to the amigos three

We got beat after all we’ve done, for Loudon and LC

Even if we do not live or shop in Loudon or Lenoir City

To have to go without our likker it just seems such a pity

But don’t you drunks worry, somewhere on down the road

We’ll be back, cause the amigos are in money-making mode  

Author Unknown 2006

Written in 2006 after the liquor store referendum failed. 6/25/08

About the proposed "Nepotism/Cronyism tax", that writer seems think this applies mainly to Lenoir City. I wonder if he knows how many relatives and cronies Mayor Arp has hired in the Loudon County government since he took that office.

Also, the Loudon County Sheriff's Office used to have a website and Sheriff' Guider's wife was listed as one of the detectives. Out of curiosity I watched that scandal sheet that's in all the convenience stores. She seemed to be the only detective that never got assigned a case to investigate. Every other investigator listed stayed pretty busy though.

Red Barron Greenback 6/23/08

After reading Mike Bluford's guest column, I had another great idea! Mike proposed:
A propeller tax of $50;
A luxury boat tax of $100;
an adult bicycles tax of $74;
a camper tax of $50 or $75 - adding $25 for 5th wheels
There was something missing - something which perhaps should be taxed, and would generate enough revenue in this county to build all of the needed schools. I propose:


Under this tax, anyone who has a job paying $30,000 or more, and who got it because he/she is related to the county mayor, or the sheriff, or any city or county department head, or a commissioner, or a city mayor (Hi, Fred!), or a city councilman.........or who got the job because he/she is a high school buddy of any of the above (Hi Shannon!) could contribute a percentage of their income to the building of schools.
What do you all think?
Dave Divelbiss
Lenoir City 6/20/08

I think a propeller tax is an excellent idea and makes much more sense to me than anything commission and the mayor have come up with lately. I am wondering if Tellico Village ever paid their part of the matching funds for Irene Lane and the red light. Maybe we could collect that to throw into the
I'd like to thank Bell, Gordon, and Tuck for their flyer. The price of stamps has gone up again, so I saved the stamp and threw their flyer in the trash where it belonged. If they have money to burn, maybe we can talk them in to funding Arp and commission instead of putting us in the poor house!

Keep those ideas coming sugar......they make sense to me!

Lulu 6/20/08

After attending the county commission meeting Monday night I came away feeling angry, shocked, disappointed and disgusted. I can honestly say I have never seen any government operate in such an unprofessional manner. I did notice one thing. During the school board discussion it struck me odd that of all the cuts being discussed, Commissioner David Meers main concern seemed to be about the family liaison positions. Those are the school board position no body really knows what they do. That got the old gray matter stirring.

Well, guess who has a family liaison position? You got it. Commissioner Meers wife. She retired a couple of years ago from teaching in the Loudon County school system, I think Philadelphia, and is now a family liaison. The job is part time, 100 days per year, and is paid nearly $27,000.00. Does anybody else see a problem here? Not only does Meers vote for his own raise he  is also making sure his wife's job is protected. Even though the family liaison positions were on the chopping block, guess what? They're staying in the budget.

See, this is what the problem is with the commission and the school board. They are all just taking care of each other with our tax money. There are 9 family liaison positions at a cost of more than a quarter of a million dollars per year. And by the way, Doyle Arp's cousin is also a family liaison. See, it never stops.

Loudon Lou 6/20/08

Tough questions for the Sheriff's Department:
  1. If Jimmy Davis was demoted then why is the county still paying him chief's pay?
  2. If we need an assistant chief so bad, then why has he not been replaced?
  3. The talk is - it's just a matter of time (until things blow over) and he will be chief again.
  4. Why is he a Sergeant, but not working regular like other Sergeants?  You would think he is still assistant chief because he comes and goes when he wants?
  5. Why has Callie Davis not done her community service or paid her fines, but drives a new 4-Runner?
  6. The Sheriff always asks for new cars. Why are certain Deputies driving a very old cars when there are other cars available, including a new black Crown Vic, must be awaiting its old owner.
  7. Why is Billy Hall still over the drug unit when Loudon is the last in the area as making drug raids and seizures?
  8. Seems like Mexicans are the flavor of the year.  If you are Mexican and drive a SUV with rims, trust me, you will meet Big Sgt. Billy Hall.
  9. Why do we have four K-9 dogs, just to get trophies?
  10. Looks like the little town of Vonore, TN has made 10 times the major drug arrests than Loudon County.
  11. Why does a part time deputy Leon Shields, have better equipment than the full time officers, including a fully automatic rifle.  Also, ask (him) does he know about missing ammo several months ago.  Ask the training officer, A.J.
  12. And last, but certainly not the least, why has 901, 902, 903, 942, 927, and 947 never put in a 40 hour work week and still gets paid?
  13. Also, ask the great Paul Curtis, FBI, DEA, ABC, DEF what he has done lately?  I'm sorry, he did win some dog contests.
GI Jane 6/20/08

Amen to outraged. This bunch of jokers has got to go. How is it possible for Loudon County to have such incompetent officials? All 10 commissioners don't have the common since God gave a goose.

Vote'em all out 6/18/08

NO WAY DOES COUNTY COMMISSION GET IT !! I just returned from the County Commission Budget committee workshop & regular Commission workshop.  I was there earlier this month (I am a county employee).  If I had been an out of towner or someone who doesn't know-my first reaction would have been- God help Loudon County & it's people!!  Their government is being run by idiots!!  After today I'm convinced. 

Budget committee is made up of bumbling fools.  Point proven when Bennie Sims was trying to explain budget for LC schools.  The always sour Commissioner Nancy Marcus (yes, even worse-her husband Bill is seeking re-election to the very same school board) (does anyone besides me see a conflict of interest for wife to vote husband's best interest????) anyway-Ms. Marcus asked if the monies suggested for textbooks meant a book for every child. And then asks if that's something we really need??? This woman was an educator!!!  Bet if the vote was for BOE member's raises. she  wouldn't have asked anything.  Where's the concern for our future.  YES, NANCY, CHILDREN DO NEED TEXTBOOKS!!!!  They need safe, clean, climate controlled schools-not trailer park facilities. They need qualified, caring teachers who want to see the students learn & grow, not having to share cramped  asbestos filled spaces with no ventilation & tiles falling from the ceiling when it rains.  No one-especially a child- deserves the inhumane facilities we call schools in Loudon County. 

My suggestion I hope is well received by the public- it's well past time to rid this county of commissioners & school board members who have no clue or even worse  THEY DON'T CARE. PLEASE  VOTE, it's the only hope for change. Think about this, your kids deserve better.  Do your part to give it to them.

Apparently Ms. Marcus-in my opinion-has a vendetta against county employees-she does not consider us as tax payers nor voters.  Everyone has heard her tirade concerning the county employees not paying enough percentage of our insurance.   Again speaking for myself-naturally I don't want to pay more-who does, but I realize everything else increasing & I have to pay more every where else.  I won't gripe about an insurance increase, just don't spring it on me all at once.  We all have budgets & try to live within our means.  She tries to make us, loyal employees, as the bad guys.  Employees have had no input at all into neither coverage or costs-county commission decided for us. 

A few years back George Miller was Mayor when co. commission passed a resolution to create a Employee Benefit Committee.  Members never met.  Last year after a show of concern by several co. employees, Arp  announces a committee for employee benefits/insurance would be formed & would meet by August --never formed, never met.  Tonight Arp announces a committee for employee benefits/insurance with all elected county officials, appointed officials Fred Chaney and Dana Zehner along with Commissioners Shirley Reno & you guessed it...Nancy Marcus would meet & make recommendations back to full commission by the July workshop date.  Ain't gonna happen.  How can all these people agree when/where to meet??  Get the Sheriff, Co. Court Clerk, Trustee, Road Commissioner, Property Assessor, General Sessions Judge and all the others to agree to where & when will be virtually impossible. What benefits/costs??? And have this accomplished in a few weeks...sure!  I personally know that several of these officials do not carry the county insurance, so why do they care what we pay or what coverage we have.  Ms Marcus wanted Edward Headlee to serve on committee.   As of July 1st he's gone anyway...besides he was on school insurance which is totally different from ours! Perhaps Arp & Marcus just want to say "Well, we tried & nobody would meet with us so this is what you got-now pay up."   

So back to original question-Does Co. Commission or School Board have a clue?  Answer NO!  Nor does anyone care.  They got their 10% raises, laptops, meals paid for & all the conferences our tax $$ can pay for.  Harold Duff, another retired educator, works for the Juvenile Center & serves on Co. Commission.  Must be nice to vote for your own raise, benefits, etc.  Pretty much same with David Meers-principal, on co. commission-again vote for your own.  Does anyone see any of this as wrong?!?


Wow!  It just doesn't end.  Is there anyone on the County Commission or Loudon County School Board that even knows what a budget is?  In my budget, if I don't have the money, I don't get it.  I don't go to my employer when I want something and say, "Hey, I want a new car, please give me a raise to cover it!"  Seems like our local government keeps sticking their hand in our pockets until they have reached the lint in the bottom!  The old saying is, give the government more money...they will spend it and want more. 

Put a $50 wheel tax on the citizens...raise the property taxes...add a 1/2 cent sales tax...when will the madness stop? 

I think everyone that holds a commission seat, a mayor's seat, a BOE seat should be ousted.  The concern of a citizen is not in their best interest.  The almighty dollar is what holds their interest.  I say kick them all out!

Thanks Van for keeping the citizens informed and for all of your hard work!
No Wool Over My Eyes 6/16/08

I am assuming Van Shaver is responsible for the Vote Against $50 Wheel Tax Signs. If so I want to thank him for getting the word out. If it is someone else, then thanks to them. People better get out and vote if they don't want another tax slap.

Berry 6/16/08

The problem I have is this. Even though "they" say that the revenues from the wheel tax, property tax, because you breathe tax, will go for schools, that does not necessarily mean what we common folks might think it means. Most would say well that means, air conditioning and heat and textbooks and sprinkler systems and things like that but.... in reality it could mean, sister needs a job, create a position for her or nephew is starting college so my wife's brother needs a raise.  It could even mean new computers for the School Board Members.  Not until they can justify the waste that currently exists should any increase be given.  I mean get real, we gave increases and they spent it on a worthless hunk of land to the tune of more than 2 mil. The money that was wastefully spent on that land could have solved most, if not all, of the problems our schools had at that time. I do not feel comfortable handing them the checkbook anymore.

VOTE NO for the Wheel Tax!!!!!!! 6/16/08

I am writing in hopes you can help get the word out. I myself am single Mother of three children. There are so many more of us then people realize. We get help from the state, because the state won't enforce the court child support orders. As for myself I have had an order for support since 1999 and I have received roughly about three thousand dollars, tell me how I am to raise a child on that. We go to court they find him in contempt and then give him a lawyer. Where's the justice in that for my child? Why are they still out free causing more problems in society? They won't work. They will steal, lie and cheat their way through to stay out of jail. It is time for the system to work for the CHILDREN and not for the useless parents as they call themselves....
Thank you Deborah6/16/08

I would like to remind the school board that they are sitting on a 2.2 million dollar property that they bought last year. Why not put that back on the market? Even if they cannot find someone as a big a fool as they were to buy it, whatever it would bring would be that much off that budget they are trying so hard to balance. Let us not forget that they wasted that money when the time comes to vote in a wheel tax.

JoAnne LC 6/12/08

I can not believe the letter Nancy Marcus sent to the other commissioners wasn't a stark violation of the sunshine law. She told them how to vote and told them how she would vote if they didn't go her way. This has to be a violation. Even if it weren't it was still one of the most blatant unprofessional actions I have ever seen from an elected official. She has to go.

Margaret 6/10/08

In regard to seeing the new proposed budget I see that the animal shelter is asking for 112,361.00 above what was budgeted last year. I seem to remember Mayor Arp strenuously stating that if the county were "good neighbors" by taking in Blount County's animals, they would pay their own way. It did not sound feasible at the time. Now we see what Arp doing a favor for his buddy
Cunningham has cost US in taxpayer monies. I shutter to think how many of our pets were euthanized as well.

Mayor Arp, in my opinion you sir are a liar and a crook.

Lulu in LC 6/10/08

Let us be sure not to gossip about issues in our county. Facts are okay but hearsay is unacceptable. It is not okay to post things that we heard when out and about in the community. It is our duty to be provided a government that is honest and open, yet we do nothing but further damage it when we gossip and spread rumors. Keep it factual and clean Loudon County.
Amanda 6/6/08

To: LCE 6/3/08
You are right. A TBI agent was in town Monday afternoon, looking for the primary witness in that case. And they found him.
But TBI investigators are just fact-finders. They do not make decisions. The good old boy network still has the District AG of their choice in office.
It was on Russell Johnson's watch that Aikens' charges went away.
TBI also wrote a report that convinced the grand jury to indict Headlee and Hemelright - all except for one juror. Who do you suppose put that juror one there?
Maybe I sound cynical. I hope I'm wrong. But as long as the crooks have their person in place to protect them optimism eludes me.
L.C. Crookwatcher 6/4/08

Maybe, just maybe, something good might be happening. Apparently the TBI is in town investigating Brookshire and Hurst's cover up of the employee's personal information being leaked to the public. Do politicians never learn? It's not the act that gets people in trouble, it's the cover up that gets them. We can only hope.

LCE 6/3/08

Since Ms. Marcus' election she has done nothing beneficial to the citizens of Loudon County. It seems that her only goal is to take as much as she can from as many people as she can.  Ms. Marcus says that she cannot justify $200,000.00 for benefits but she somehow can justify putting pretty columns up at the court house for $300,000.00, now how does that benefit anyone?  The schools are suffering, the Police Officers are working all the overtime  they can get just to get by and are driving cars that are falling apart.  I have also seen that Marcus approved Somewhere between $300k and $400k for a PRIVATE road that the citizens of Loudon County will probably never travel on.  Does she own a piece of property in Tennessee National or what???  Her priorities are not intended to help the citizens of our county they are obviously only intended to benefit herself.  It is a horrible thing that the people that live their lives everyday to protect and serve the citizens of Loudon County the most have to fight the hardest just to have necessary benefits and needed funds to do their jobs.  Nancy Marcus You Are a Disgrace to this County and are one of the Biggest  HYPOCRITES  I have ever seen.  I pray that there will be several candidates run against you in the next election for I will vote for anyone other than you.  I won't make the same mistake twice !!!

Unhappy in Loudon 6/3/08

To Keith 5/27/08:


Déjà vu? 


According to the May 30, 2008, Knoxville News-Sentinel:


Two plead guilty in Loudon fatal stabbing


Two men entered guilty pleas in Loudon Criminal Court to reduced charges in connection with the stabbing death of a Lenoir City man.


Steven Glenn Dean …was killed Dec. 6, 2005, and his trailer was set afire…


David Trentham, 31, of Harriman, pleaded guilty Wednesday to voluntary manslaughter and arson and was given two concurrent four year sentences.  He has been jailed since September 2006 and was given credit for time served.


Co-defendant Ralph Dewayne Moore, 33, (also of Harriman)…pleaded to being an accessory after the fact to voluntary manslaughter.  He received a three-year sentence and was given credit for time served. 


The two men were originally charged with second degree murder.


With this plea agreement and credit for time served, these two will be walking the neighborhoods of Harriman faster than you can say déjà vu or Swifter Justice.


Scott McCluen

For years, never afraid to sign my name.   June 3, 2008

I just attended my first county commission meeting and I can only say, WOW. I have never seen a more dysfunctional group in my life. If it wasn't such a serious matter, it would be funny. I can not believe these are the men and women who are supposed to be looking out for us citizens. We would be better off with a bunch of fifth graders in charge. Does Doyle Arp really think he's funny? All of these men and women are a disgrace to their jobs. If this is the best the county has to offer, we're in big trouble.

Raymond 6/3/08

Mr. Divelbiss, I am sorry that you had to be put under duress and harassed because you tried to let the mayor and city administrator know about a terrible mistake made by one of the officials at city hall. I do not blame you for pointing the mistake out to us as employees or past employees and I do know that the mistake that was made was being covered-up by those officials. I also know that you tried to let the mayor and city administrator know what had happened with our pertinent personal information 3 1/2 months before you contacted the employees to inform them of the mistake because nothing was being done to protect our personal records. It is a shame that these types of actions go on in our town, but then, you can understand now why I do not go along with the appointment of any of the jobs of the City Recorder-Treasurer-City Court Clerk Office. Our City Charter plainly spelled out that these positions would be voted by our citizens who are qualified to vote in a Lenoir City election. I thank you for pointing this out in your media and I do agree with what you have reported.

Debbie Cook 6/2/08

Is it just me, or is the News Herald getting all their stories from Just about everything I have read in the paper is old news from Van's web site. Do they pay him for using his stories? If not they should. keep up the good work Van.

Mike 6/2/08

I see Commissioner Nancy Marcus is again trying to get her hand into the pockets of Loudon County employees. Now that Mayor Arp has solved the pesky problem of large public turnouts at meetings, she’s ready for another round!
County employees do not have union representation. If they did, the term “prior rights” would be an issue.
Before accepting employment, individuals evaluate both the pay and benefits in making their decision. To tell a potential employee they will have certain enumerated benefits, and then revoke any of those benefits after they have worked for 8, 10, or 12 years, would be considered a breach of contract by most fair-minded people. But without a labor contract it is legal.
Whenever a reduction of benefits is involved in labor negotiations, a demand that “prior rights” be recognized by management is always asserted by union representatives. If benefits are reduced, it will only be towards those hired from that day forward.
It is attitudes and actions like Ms. Marcus’ that provoke unionization.
David Divelbiss
Lenoir City 6/2/08

Have you seen the latest?  Marcus is after employee money again and all in the name of schools and education.  I can't help but laugh how they want to take and take money from others but give to developers to pay for a road.  I mean they bought a #*$& road I may never drive on and didn't have to and wasn't obligated too but they have a problem paying for someone's health care.  Why would anyone want to work for the county if it isn't any better than working at Mcdonalds.  How bout this the commissioners give up their salary and the road commissioner doesn't get a raise.  Can't manage money?  Go back to school.

I would gladly pay more on insurance if you can guarantee me that ALL of that money goes to the kids. NOT  to the mayor and his castle or for your laptops and business retreats.

Mrs. Marcus, get your things together you only have 2 years left!!!

Gilligan -   5-29-08

In light of the criticism about Russell Johnson’s work as District Attorney General, this may seem like a minor matter, but it isn’t.

A statement Johnson made to the Knoxville News-Sentinel requires correction because the comment was dangerous as it could have an impact on some people’s future behavior - particularly those that don’t know any better than to be misled by the statement.

In relation to Officer Graves' DUI case, District Attorney General Russell Johnson was quoted in the Knoxville News-Sentinel as saying “It’s not illegal to drink while driving (emphasis added), but it’s not very smart, especially for a law enforcement officer”.

This comment should be seen by almost everyone, as a very obvious, incorrect statement of the law.  It is particularly troubling that it was made by Johnson who is clothed with such apparent and persuasive authority by virtue of his position as District Attorney General. 

It is troubling that his incorrect statement of the law might influence the behavior of those impressionable people who now may believe, by reason of the statement, that it is not illegal to drink while driving, as Johnson apparently believes.

That is not the law. T.C.A. 55-10-416 Open container law provides “(a) (1) no driver shall consume any alcoholic beverage or beer or possess an open container of alcoholic beverage or beer while operating a motor vehicle in this state…. (b)(1) a violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor….”

By virtue of his comment that it is not illegal, the deterrent effect of law prohibiting drinking and driving in Loudon, Meigs, Morgan and Roane counties, counties that Johnson serves as chief prosecutor, is lost. 

The cost of consuming alcohol and driving is staggering:

In Tennessee in 2003, 447 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic crashes. Those deaths represent 37% of all traffic fatalities.

In the United States in 2003, 17,013 people were killed in alcohol related traffic crashes - an average of one every 31 minutes. Those deaths represent 40% of all traffic fatalities.

An estimated 513,000 people are injured in alcohol-related crashes each year, an average of 59 people per hour or approximately one person every minute.

About three in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some time in their lives. (NHTSA, 2000)


In Tennessee it is illegal to drink alcoholic beverages and drive.  


Drinking and driving can ruin your life and can ruin the lives of others that you harm resulting in serious criminal and civil liability.


Too many people in our communities have been injured or have died because of drinking and driving. The belief that drinking and driving is legal is an affront to them.


Pray for wisdom for those in law enforcement and in our judicial system. Pray that this law will be enforced.  Ephesians 6:12


We will be safer for it.


Scott McCluen

Never afraid to sign my name          May 28, 2008

I can not believe that the Lenoir City council is taking advice from Judge Terry Vann. Instead of taking advice from him, they should be trying to kick him out of office. He is a total disgrace to Lenoir City. This man owes the IRS $170,000.00 in back taxes. How in the world can he continue to be a judge that sits in judgment on anybody? This is a true travesty of justice.  Would the councilmen take his advice on paying taxes?

David F. Lenoir City 5/28/08

"Sheriff Tim Guider said officials believe Ward lured Booth to the campground early that morning. When Booth and Ward arrived, an alleged robbery attempt by the three suspects led to a struggle in which Booth sustained blunt force injuries before receiving a single, fatal gunshot wound to the back of his head." Steven A. Bridges was sentenced to 15 years in prison for second-degree murder in the death of Stephen Booth of Lenoir City. Bridges’ attorney, Bruce Poston, had worked out a plea agreement with District Attorney General Russell Johnson.

For this crime which was without doubt premeditated murder, DA Russ Johnson worked out a plea agreement with the killer for a 15 year prison term. 15 years for killing an 18 year old child. I know Stephen Booth may not have been a model citizen but he was only 18. He still had plenty of life to have made changes.

I just can't help but wonder if Johnson would have made the same agreement if the person who was murdered had been a close friend or family member of his. 15 years for premeditated murder. Only in Loudon County could a murderer get such a slap on the wrist.

Keith 5/27/08

To Teresa Karimian,

  I heartily applaud your passion for wanting the school system fiasco straightened out, and I salute you for having the guts to stand up to fight for what you believe. I do however think you are addressing the wrong body for a solution. This has nothing to do with commission under funding the schools nor the coffers being bare of money, or the need being great to raise higher taxes.

The county is in good condition financially- or would be if Doyle Arp would reign in his excessive spending. The schools would do likewise if they had a school board who was financially responsible. No one has yet to explain that 2.2 million dollar real estate deal in which Headlee purchased worthless property last year. Has anyone seen the bottom line for the "retreat" the school board treated themselves to not long ago? Why do we still have problems with the school buildings that need fixed and why did we pay for work that was not done? The list of irresponsible spending is endless.

What I resent most is that a good majority of our school children do not live in this county. Their parents do not pay taxes to this county. Yet I and everyone else is expected to fund their children's education by having our taxes raised. It is much easier to raise taxes than to deal with all the problems.

No one seems willing to get off their behinds to do that, and unless we find a way to make our officials do that, I fear we are all in for some very lean years. A tax raise will hurt much more than senior citizens. Middleclass is now struggling along with the poor. New schools will not help much if the children have to go hungry to get them.

You should also ask Doyle Arp why we paid 300,000 to remodel the county building, but were not allowed to speak our mind at the last workshop. My thought is that we had nothing to say that he wanted to hear.

Fed up in LC 5/27/08

Let's see, Aikens walked, Arden walked, Hall walked, Davis walked, Bowen walked, Cosner walked, Wilson walked,  Wilson 2 walked, Burnett walked, Adams walked, Fowler walked and I'm sure there are many many more we don't know about. District Attorney, Russ Johnson is doing a real bang up job. And by the way, I know Van Shaver has the Daily Edition, Smut Sheet, on this site and I don't know why. The content of the smut sheet in 100% controlled by a certain chief deputy. It's just a propaganda rag for the sheriff's office and now Russ Johnson.

An old friend 5/25/08

I'm not sure that getting rid of Arp is possible (I am not an attorney), but I am told that an ouster suit can be brought against him. Problem is even if you had him dead to rights, is there one judge in this county who is not a part of the "good ole boy system?"  If you think you are up to the task, I would be glad to contribute to a fund to help you do it..........any others willing?

Lulu in LC  5/25/08

Operation Apprehension could only be considered an utter failure. Somebody should find out just how much that debacle cost the tax payers. 78 arrests out of 560 warrants? Most curious to most people is how on earth could the Loudon County Sheriff's office have that many outstanding warrants?  Knox County only had 75. Who really made money on Operation Apprehension? Chaney Bonding Company. Anybody really want to get in on a good story, there's you one. Why is it that the only bonding company name and phone number listed at the Justice Center is Chaney Bonding? Who actually owns Chaney Bonding Company? Why aren't there other companies listed? Somebody's getting rich.

Bill 5/25/08

I know there is a lawyer somewhere reading this and could you answer a good question.  Can the mayor (Arp) be sued or something for running a wasteful government?  Is he not doing the same thing as the Enron people did just in the face of the public.  I mean how can you violate the law and not get called on it.  How can you give yourself a raise.  Who do i need to talk to in Nashville to get legislation passed to cap the salary of mayors or get the 5% changed?  How do I become a lobbyist for the people to get this crap stopped, wait isn't that what senators and representatives are for?  Does anyone know what can be done or should my children and I have to suffer while the county officials get rich?  This sounds more like a dictatorship than a democracy.

-The rock in the hard place   3-23-08

Loudon County Residents should be ashamed that they are represented by a DA of Johnson's Quality.  Over the past month, he has accepted a plea agreement from a lady who almost killed a child.  Punishment-no more daycare for three years.  Had a written confession from police officer in which he couldn't get grand jury indictment.  Lastly, he lets the blonde BLIMP former chief deputy's wife off with a slap on the wrist for her umpteenth offense.  It is honestly an embarrassment that this man represents Loudon County.  Boy, he sure is strong on those Child Abuse/Neglect issues that he touted as a state representative.   I guess he was afraid she would beat him in court like everybody else has.  DA Johnson isn't part of the solution, he is a major cause of the problem.  
Caesar 5/21/08

We can rant and rave all day long about this county government but nothing is going to happen until 2010.  I just wish I knew of some legal way to fight what this government has done.  Seems that if it was so bad then someone in Nashville would take notice.  I really hope the mayor knows he will be thrown out of office in 2010 along with the commissioners up for reelection.

-The Barber 5-21-08

0peration Apprehension- How much money did this operation cost the Loudon county taxpayers?
Would be interesting to know.

Anonymous 5/21/08

I want to address some concerns I have as a Mother about the proposed Pilot Truck Stop On Highway 72 in Loudon. I am asking the Loudon City Council to vote NO on this for the sake of the health, safety and welfare of our children. This truck stop would be within a mile of the Tate and Lyle Park on Highway72 where children play ball and other functions are held. New ball fields are planned in the near future also such as soccer and football as well as restrooms. A truck stop that could have prostitutes, drugs and transients in the same area of our children playing in the park is just too DANGEROUS! The increase of traffic is a major concern. Bus loads of children come in from other places for ball games. We also have schools that are not very far from this proposed truck stop site.

There is the health issue with the added air pollution also. In recent news it has been addressed about the link between diesel fuel and children brain tumors. I believe Loudon is still listed under non attainment for air quality and should not even entertain the idea of adding more which could put children at risk for asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

I believe I remember reading in a recent Knoxville News Sentinel article there was information about Pilot being banned from doing business in the State of California for environmental reasons. It appears they are NOT a good neighbor business according to these recent news articles.

We can have good positive growth on Highway 72 if it is done responsibly and carefully. It can also be destroyed with one bad judgment call such as a truck stop I believe. Who would want to build a business next to a truck stop, just another truck stop!

Please attend the meeting--Loudon City Council Monday night at 7:30 pm and speak out for the health and safety of the children of our area!

Concerned Loudon Mother 5/18/08

Lenoir City council takes advice from Terry Vann? Have they forgotten that this is the same noble judge who owes the IRS $170,000.00 in back taxes? How is it possible for Terry Vann to be a judge when he is guilty of failing to pay his taxes? Instead of kissing his a** they should be booting him out of office.

LC Lucy 5/18/08

The Sweetwater teacher that had sex with his students knew what he was doing when he committed his crime in Loudon County. He should be able to cut a sweetheart deal with DA Russ Johnson. How much trouble could the teacher be in? After all Johnson gave the boy 15 years for cold blooded murder. Raping a juvenile shouldn't get more than 30 days or so.

Rangle 5/18/08

Operation Apprehension, what a joke. It should be called Operation Let'em go. 78 arrests out of 560 warrants. How on earth could the Loudon County's sheriff's office have so many outstanding warrants? They should check the chief deputies desk if they want to find out where all the warrants are. It's all just a lot of hype. Oh and by the way, I know Van Shaver has the Daily Edition/smut sheet on this web site but I hope everybody knows that that paper is nothing more than a propaganda rag for the LCSO controlled lock stock and barrel by the sheriff's office.

Not Fooled At All 5/18/08


You think we got problems with our government?  Look at what the Supreme Court did in California...they are allowing gay marriage.  How would this county feel about that in our own state?

All I can say is you better look up to the sky because someone is coming...and soon.

Perry Winkle 5-17-08

Is anybody really surprised that Loudon City Council is going to let Pilot build a truck stop? That's just what Loudon needs. Another business to add more smell and pollution to our air. I'm sure the big rollers looking at locating to Tennessee National will be happy to drive by a truck stop on their way to their million dollar homes. At least if any city councilmen need to pick up a hooker or a little dope, they wont have to go all the way to Knoxville.

Holding My Nose In Loudon 5/16/08

I see where the mighty DA Russell Johnson can't get a man convicted even with a sworn confession in Monroe County.  Seems like the law enforcement types of our local counties can get off either with or without a grand jury indictment.  Russell decided to let Aikens off even though a grand jury said to proceed.  Now a grand jury says no to a cop who steals, then confesses to the crime.  What does that make DA j now trying to convict the bad people?  If I'm a criminal then I would take my chances on going to trial cause he's about O for 5 now.  I'd bet those Houston boys will eat him up down in Roane County when they get a hold of him.  Russell can't help his boy in another county I don't guess. 
Caesar 5/16/08

The current economic situation is hitting everyone in the state and when you read Maryville is contemplating raise property taxes by 12% it is so ridiculous.  Have they realized if they keep imposing increases they are pushing for people to leave the city or the area.  

Our county is doing the same thing and nobody wants to take responsibility for who did what or who did not do what.

I have worked for corporations since 1990’s and worked for small business prior and in between with my own practice..  No one in the county has mention the word “trim payroll” and the reason is because the good old boy network and they don’t want to let go their relative(S).

I have questions /issues for the local government:


  • How come you don’t take the steps Governor Bredesen is taking in trimming payroll with Non essential personnel.
  • When was the last time they reviewed how they do business and ways to save costs at all levels.
  • Have they considered trimming admin/operations costs?
  • The local government can not continue passing the bucket to the residents because they will reach the top of everyone and what is going to happen? They will start fleeing the county.
  • How come they have not questioned the illegals living in the county to attend our schools – it takes money to hire translators to deal with parents or some students.
  • How come they can not even take responsibility on the school starting date; this is the most unacceptable, stupid and dumb action the education board had taken.
  • How come the financial gurus for the county government – did not start forecasting, budgeting the upcoming budget issues months ago. They were aware the economy was slowing down, they knew gas prices were not coming down.


This county government along with other county government are loosing the grip on how to do business, how to keep schools in shape, and the citizens will have the last word.


GO BLESS USA 5/14/08
Mr. Nelson, Mr. Nelson----You should be ashamed of yourself. How dare you compare "linemen" to our soldiers in the war. That just proves your ignorance, RESIGN!!!!! You now have enough family employed.  Did you go to "Anger Management" classes? Of course not. How in the world you, the mayor, the attorney and even some of your employees sleep at night is beyond me.       

BLIND SIDED  5/12/08

If the Divelbiss story is true and I'm sure it is, then Matt Brookshire and Dale Hurst should resign. I have no big issue with Maggie Hunt. I'm sure she didn't send the email to the wrong person on purpose but for Brookshire and Hurst to ignore it or worse just try to cover it up puts them on a whole different level. They may have committed a crime by keeping it a secret. This is just one more example of the mayor's incompetence.

Recipient of a letter. 5/8/08

I can't believe how the city is so hypocritical.
Ok  Matt, time to act and act fast.  Who is going to lose their job over this?  It better be someone because this is a BIG TIME screw up much worse than abusing city property or the like.  For all the past employees and current employees who have been jacked by your staff I feel we deserved the same punishment.  FIRE SOMEONE or don't get reelected, huh like you would anyway!
-Really Ticked 5-8-08

About the Dave Divelbiss story concerning Lenoir City's failure to fess up to the private information leak: I would like to remind everybody that this is a perfect example of why Maggie's position should REMAIN an elected position (after all, THEY appointed someone who has trouble sending an email.) It also explains why Terry Vann wanted Debbie Cook gone- all sorts of mayhem can happen and no one would be the wiser. I am sure that if Debbie had made such a mistake, she would have rectified the situation immediately.
Those 68 people ought to sue the pants off the city. Although my name is not on the list, I thank Mr. Divelbiss for his honesty. I think we all owe him our gratitude for publicizing the facts, and proving once again the city's lack of integrity and the distain with which these officials hold those who elected them.

JoAnne Turner 5/8/08


URINE TEST (I sure would like to know who wrote this one! They deserve a pat on the back!)

Like a lot of folks in this state, I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit. In order to get that pay check, I am required to pass a random urine test with which I have no problem. What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test. Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it for them? Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on their A** , doing drugs, while I work. . . . Can you imagine how much money the state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check? Pass this along if you agree

Something has to change in this country -- and soon!

L.J.E 5/6/08

Your right on the money just wondering , I was told by the general manager 14 years ago I was more  than able to do the job but his hands were tied. I also talked to seven employee's said your same words. About the school's that need $$ Get Hedlee to sell the property on 321.He did it make him fix it. Don't make tax payer's pay for BOE mistakes. Also I see at least 9 gov cars sitting at their homes. and they want a wheel and increase property tax? PLEASE!!!!!

Has anyone ever noticed the hiring practices of Loudon utilities is a joke? If your DAD doesn't work there, you dont DRINK
everyday with a present employee, you don't have a FAMILY MEMBER on the board or go to "THERE" church your out of luck.  Just wish more people would open there eyes and just look at who is getting the jobs they would see how L LOUDON GOVERNMENT is being ran.

Would everyone quit whining about why someone was low balled or high balled in the director search.  I think if someone picked Mickey Mouse as the candidate there would be some idiot that would complain their person wasn't picked and try to analyze the reason they weren't picked and try to make someone look bad.  But hey, that's politics right?
Mickey mouse politics that is.
-Goofy  5-3-08

Your article "Hocus Pocus" just reaffirms my belief that Lenoir City officials are about as loony as they come- especially Judge Terry Vann. It has always been apparent that they think of us as "dumb hillbillies", but to think we are dumb enough to swallow this latest makes me wonder about their visions of grandeur. What is next? Maybe he will try to convince us he is the second coming next? In my opinion Brookshire, Vann, Littleton and Nelson all ought to be carted off to the loony bin!

Lulu 5/3/08

Amen to "From the inside looking out: !!!!! 4/12/08

Anonymous 5/2/08