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Law Enforcement Searching for Arsonists
Thursday November 17, 2016

As firefighters continue to fight wildfires in Tennessee and seek out the arsonists who set them, the two suspects who were arrested Tuesday brings to seven the number of suspects arrested on suspicion of setting forest fires in the last 20 days.

That announcement was made during a news conference Tuesday near the site of a forest fire that has burned more than 1,116 acres in since Friday.

Officials say there still over 67 active fires burning 16,000 acres in the state. Year to date there have been 1,125 fires burning 37,000 acres, well above the average year in which the total acres burned is about 25,000.


Crossville Man Pleads Guilty to Illegal Elk Killing
WVLT/Peg Broadcasting News Thursday November 17, 2016

A Crossville man has lost his hunting privileges for one year. Timothy C. Copeland, 56, of Crossville pleaded guilty in Campbell County general sessions court to four charges pertaining to the illegal killing of a bull elk in October.

Copeland wass charged with shooting from a public road, hunting from a motor vehicle, hunting in a closed area and possession of illegally killed big game.

TWRA says Copeland was drawn to hunt in Elk Zone 5 but harvested the animal in Elk Zone 2 in violation of his permit. It requires hunters to stay within their drawn zone.

After the kill, Copeland and two observers took the animal to NCWMA headquarters for analysis by TWRA. Biologists became concerned when Copeland could not produce accurate GPS coordinates or identify the location where the kill was made.

In a plea deal, Copeland was ordered to pay court costs of $325.50 in addition to $9,750 in restitution for the bull elk. His privileges to hunt in Tennessee have been revoked for one year. Copeland is also reportedly not allowed to enter the TWRA elk hunt lottery for 10 years.


Smoke From Wildfires Poses Health Risks For Some Broadcasting News Thursday November 17, 2016

As smoke from several wildfires moves across the state, the Tennessee Department of Health is reminding residents there is an increased risk for a range of health effects, particularly for those with existing respiratory problems, pregnant women, the elderly and young children.

Evidence of potentially harmful exposure to smoke may include difficulty with breathing, light headedness, dizziness, chest pain and other symptoms. TDH recommends the following for personal protection:

If you have asthma or any other lung disease, consult your healthcare provider about medicines you are taking and any health effect you believe is associated with smoke.

Limit outdoor activities when smoke is smelled or seen.

Keep clean air filters in your home heating/cooling system and keep windows and doors closed as much as possible.

Consider using portable air filters to help reduce indoor air particle levels. Those with High Efficiency Particulate Air, HEPA, filters can be effective in removing irritants such as wildfire smoke.

Most dust masks commonly found at hardware stores will not protect your lungs from the small particulates found in smoke. Those considering the use of stronger N-95 masks should know these can significantly increase the work of breathing, possibly creating increased problems for those with impaired lung function or other respiratory conditions.

Avoid use of fireplaces, candles or gas stoves, and exposure to tobacco smoke inside your home.

Vacuuming in your home may stir up particulates in your home or business; avoid use of those without HEPA filters.

For more information on smoke-related risks from wildfires, visit the American Lung Association website.


Wildfires currently burning in East Tennessee
WVLT/Peg Broadcasting News Thursday November 17, 2016

As of Wednesday the Tennessee Department of Agriculture reported 67 active fires with more than 17,493 acres burned across the state.

Officials listed two major fires burning in East Tennessee, one on Neddy Mountain in Cocke County which involved 1,007 acres and was 85% contained, another on White Oak Circle in Morgan county involving 1,888 acres and 100% contained.
In Cumberland County, the Department of Agriculture reported three active fires involving 527 acres in Wattenbarger, Mt. View and Big Rock 3.

There are three active fires in neighboring Morgan County that have consumed over 2,100 acres. Those blazes are located on White Oak Circle, Claude Howard and Lee Cox Rd/Snow Hill.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has issued a proclamation declaring a regional ban on burning in 51 counties in response to the ongoing drought and destructive wildfires throughout Middle and East Tennessee.


Submitted: LT. Brian Eckelson, Crimestoppers Coordinator/Public Information Officer Wednesday November 16, 2016

Press Release: Crossville Police Department, Chief Mark Rosser

On Wednesday, November 16, 2016, at approximately 6 am City of Crossville Police Officer Scott Van Ruden responded to the report of a traffic crash on US Hwy 127 North, at The Cracker Barrel Restaurant. Upon the officers arrival, one of the parties involved in the crash was unable to be located. After the arrival of a K-9 unit, a check of the abandoned vehicles exterior was made. The K-9 alerted to the presence of narcotics inside the 2007 Dodge Charger, with Texas tags. Following a search of the vehicle, 9 large shrink wrapped bundles, of what is believed to be vacuum sealed marijuana, weighing approximately 22lbs each, were recovered. The street value of the bundles is estimated at approximately $22,000.00 each.

According to witness reports and video surveillance, the driver was a dark skinned, possibly Hispanic, male, 25-35 years old, medium build, wearing a blue/white striped baggy shirt and blue jeans. The suspect was carrying a brown bag/back pack, and is believed to have left in a late model, White, Hyundai 4 door car, possibly a Sonata.

Congratulations to the officers involved. This seizure ensures that over 200 pounds of illicit narcotics will never hit our streets. It also serves to solidify the Crossville Police Departments resolve to keep the citizens and visitors of our community safe. Job well done!

Anyone with information on the identity or location of the driver is asked to contact the Crossville Police Department at 931-484-7231 or call the Crossville-Cumberland County Crime Stoppers 24 hour tip hot line at 931-200-1173.

(Photos Courtesy Crossville Police Dept.)


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