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Federal Fugitive Arrested In Cumberland County, Tennessee After 5 Years On The Run
Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Tennessee Wednesday July 26, 2017

Press Release:

Defendant Disappeared During Trial And Was Convicted In Absentia

Ronald Eli Lewis, 72, of Sparta, Tenn., was arrested by U.S. Marshals and TBI agents Wednesday morning in Cumberland County, Tenn., announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith of the Middle District of Tennessee.

Lewis and his cousin, Clifford Lewis, were convicted in March 2012 of conspiring to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana throughout Middle Tennessee. The verdicts stem from the attempted delivery of nearly 900 pounds of marijuana to the Lewis? family farm in Sparta, Tennessee on March 28, 2007. Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation had tracked the marijuana to the farm, where the defendants were arrested as they began to unload it. The jury heard evidence that the delivery was part of a larger scheme to ship thousands of pounds of marijuana via tractor trailer from Texas to Tennessee.

A few days after the trial began in March 2012, Ronald Lewis, who was free on bond, failed to show for the remainder of the trial. Lewis was subsequently convicted in absentia. His cousin, Clifford, was also convicted and later sentenced to prison. Two other co-defendants, Jimmy Clinton Smith, of Texas and Eliseo Gavin, of Oklahoma, had previously pleaded guilty and were later sentenced to prison.

The investigation into the drug distribution conspiracy was conducted by the DEA and the TBI. The fugitive investigation was conducted by the U.S. Marshals' Joint Fugitive Task Force including the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.


Art Circle Public Library Giving Away Free Solar Eclipse Glasses
Peg Broadcasting News/NASA/ Wednesday July 26, 2017

Beginning Tuesday, August 1, 2017, Art Circle Public Library card holders can get a free pair of solar eclipse glasses when they check out at least one book, audio CD, DVD or magazine on the subject of science. Limit one pair of glasses per person while supplies last.

The total solar eclipse is Monday, August 21 and Crossville is in the Path of Totality. The total eclipse of the sun will sweep across the United States from approximately noon to 3 p.m. Central Time. The eclipse will reach totality at about 1:26 p.m. CT in Tennessee. The Duration of Totality in Crossville and Cumberland County will last about 2 minutes 34 seconds. For those planning to view the solar eclipse make sure you have the proper eye protection.

According to NASA, you should never at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device. Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer ? the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury. Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device.

An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed sun is pinhole projection. For example, cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other. With your back to the sun, look at your hands? shadow on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images on the ground, showing the sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse.

A solar eclipse is one of nature?s grandest spectacles. By following these simple rules, you can safely enjoy the view and be rewarded with memories to last a lifetime.


Branch Bridge Repairs Moving Forward
Jared Cerullo/Crossville Chronicle Wednesday July 26, 2017

Bridge repairs on Old State Route 28 over Branch Bridge are moving forward. Cumberland County leaders have approved the only bid that came in to repair the short span. Adams Contracting submitted the sole bid for about $107,000. Work should begin within the next couple of weeks, according to the Crossville Chronicle.


First Day of School in Cumberland County is Thursday, August 3, 2017
Peg Broadcasting News Wednesday July 26, 2017

The summer break is coming to a close. The first day of school in Cumberland County is Thursday, August 3, 2017. Friday, August 4 is an Administrative Day with no students. The first Full Day of School is Monday, August 7.


Two Injured in Head-on Collision on Hwy 70 North
Peg Broadcasting News Wednesday July 26, 2017

Two people were injured in a head-on collision shortly after noon Tuesday in the 7700 block of Hwy 70 North in Cumberland County. According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, a 2001 Ford F-150 pick-up truck driven by 36-year-old Nea Skiles of Jamestown was traveling west when it crossed over the centerline and struck a 2012 Hyundai Sonata in the far left front. The Ford then side swiped the Hyundai and rolled over before coming to rest in the roadway. Skiles was airlifted to UT Knoxville. The driver of the Hyundai, 75-year-old Bruce Wood, of Crossville, was taken to Cumberland Medical Center by ambulance. The THP reports that both drivers were wearing seat belts. The accident remains under investigation.


Ben Lommand
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