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Solar Eclipse Info Monroe County TN

Sheriff’s Department Addresses August 21 Eclipse

Monroe County Sheriff Tommy Jones posted a statement on Friday regarding the total solar eclipse of August 21 and its possible effect on the county residents and businesses and the actions of the sheriff’s department. “The Monroe County Sheriffs Office has an important message for the residents and business owners concerning the upcoming eclipse.” Read full statement here…
Solar Eclipse Info Monroe County TN

Tips for Residents As Eclipse Approaches

Compliments of the City of Sweetwater Sweetwater city officials released the following statement on Thursday, listing several suggestions and information regarding the August 21 total solar eclipse and how local community residents can prepare for the once-in-a-lifetime event. Read full statement here…
Solar Eclipse Info Monroe County TN

Schools Closing for Solar Eclipse

Will Burn an “Inclement Weather Day” The Monroe County director of schools said on Friday the county schools and the city schools of Sweetwater had decided to use an “inclement weather day” for the August 21 total solar eclipse. “Safety is always of the utmost concern when dealing with our students and employees,” said Tim Blankenship, “and we feel that it is in the best interest […]
Solar Eclipse Info Monroe County TN

Is Monroe County Prepared for 111,000 Eclipse Visitors?

August 21 Total Solar Blackout Overwhelming Challenge According to the website “GreatAmericanEclipse.com” on Monday, projections for out-o-county visitation for the August 21 total solar eclipse are running from between 27,000 and 111,000 persons, the first figure the “lowest,” the second the “highest.” But expect the highest. Booking and reservations that began seven to eight months ago are reportedly sold out in Sweetwater and Tellico Plains […]
Solar Eclipse Info Monroe County TN

Solar Showdown – Events & Updates

MADISONVILLE Total Eclipse of Kefauver Park The “Total Eclipse of the Park” will take place at Kefauver Park in Madisonville on August 21, instead of the initial location of Houston Park behind the new library. The City of Madisonville made the announcement on Thursday. The solar eclipse event will still take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. complete with vendors, […]
Hodge Hawkins Vote Buying and Conspiracy Trial Sentencing Reset Monroe County TN

Hawkins’ Voting Conspiracy Sentencing Reset

Feds Move Date for Hodge Trial to Next Year The federal court voting conspiracy sentencing hearing for Betty Hawkins, aka Betty Jane Best, of Ballplay, has been moved seven months ahead. The scheduled trail date for co-defendant Brian Keith “Wormy” Hodge of Vonore has also been changed and locked in for 2018. View full story […]
Brian Keith Hodge Indictment Vote Buying and Conspiracy Monroe County TN

Feds Hit “Wormy” with New Vote Fraud Conspiracy Charges

“Superseding” Indictment: Seven Counts Including Witness Tampering Served in February with a 14-count federal indictment for conspiracy to buy votes and vote buying prior to the 2016 Monroe County general election, Brian Keith Hodge, also known as “Wormy,” was charged in a “superseding” indictment with witness tampering, conspiracy to commit voter fraud, and five counts […]
Racketeering Monroe County TN Vote Buying Investigation 2017 Brian Hodge Gun Ruling

Judge Denies Hodge’s Firearm Request

Vote-Buying Indictment Parameters Unchanged One week after federally indicted vote-buying suspect Brian “Wormy” Hodge asked for a modification of his bond – to permit him to work as a deputy in the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department – a federal judge in Knoxville on Tuesday said no. In a memorandum and order filed on April 25, […]
Brian Keith Hodge Indictment Vote Buying and Conspiracy Monroe County TN Sheriff Jailer

Magistrate to Rule on Hodge Working as Jailer

Tuesday Hearing Latest Wrinkle in Vote-Buying Case Accused vote buyer Brian Hodge appeared in federal district court in a bond hearing on Tuesday, asking a judge to rule whether he can serve as a jailer at the Monroe County Jail and work with the present chief deputy, Randy White, for whom he allegedly bought votes […]
Brian Keith Hodge Indictment Vote Buying and Conspiracy Monroe County TN

Vote-Buying Conspiracy Trial Reset

Hodge Moves from April to October The 14-count vote buying conspiracy trial of Brian Keith “Wormy” Hodge of Vonore was rescheduled in a pre-trial conference on Friday, United States Magistrate Judge Clifford Shirley ordering the April 24 jury trial date reset and extended to Tuesday, October 17. Shirley granted a motion by Hodge’s attorney Michael […]
Hodge Hawkins Agrees to Plea Vote Buying Monroe County TN

Hawkins Agrees to Plea to Vote Buying Conspiracy

Punishment Includes Up to Five Years Prison, $250K Fine One of two Monroe County residents who have been charged with vote buying and conspiracy in the federal election of 2014 has entered a plea agreement in federal court in Knoxville. According to paperwork filed in the United States Eastern District Court on Monday, Betty Jane Best, also known as Betty Hawkins, will formally plea on Tuesday, April 11, […]
Brian Keith Hodge Betty Jane Best Hawkins Monroe County TN Vote Buying Investigation

Hodge, Hawkins Indicted for Vote Buying and Conspiracy

Feds Unseal Grand Jury Indictment The sealed federal indictment against Brian “Wormy” Hodge and Betty Hawkins that was brought by a grand jury in Knoxville and filed in the United States Eastern District Court of Tennessee on February 7 was unsealed on Monday. It charges both defendants with one count of conspiracy to buy votes and 13 counts of vote buying.  Count One […]
Brian Keith Hodge Betty Jane Best Hawkins Monroe County TN Vote Buying Investigation

United States of America Versus Hodge and Hawkins

Federal Indictments Sealed The federal attorney general for the Eastern District of Tennessee has sealed its indictments against two Monroe County residents, according to court records that BUZZ obtained on Monday. The records, filed on February 7, 2017, specifically named “Brian Keith Hodge, aka Wormy” and “Betty Jane Best, aka Betty Hawkins.” On that date, United States Attorney Nancy Stallard Harr issued a “Motion to […]
Racketeering Monroe County TN Vote Buying Investigation 2017

Why the Talk of Racketeering?

There’s a reasonable possibility the word “racketeering” will be a word of interest in coming days. It’s seldom used in small towns but appears for the most part in cities and urban areas where crimes and gang members proliferate. Racketeering – it has a ring. It’s used to describe “organized crime.” For the record, racketeering is a criminal activity best defined in 18 US Code 1961 […]
Brian Keith Worm Hodge Arrested Blount County TN

Former Deputy Detained by Feds

In Custody Late Thursday, Out Friday A Monroe County Sheriff’s auxiliary deputy was placed in custody by federal agents at his workplace on Thursday and held in detention at the Blount County Jail for approximately 30 hours before being released. He was identified by the Blount County Jail‘s “online inmate system” as 32 year old Brian Keith “Worm” Hodge. Reportedly, agents arrested him while he […]
Ethan's Happy Place Panhypopituitarism Monroe County Tellico Plains TN

Ethan’s Happy Place

Between Madisonville and Tellico Plains sits a house that is home to young Ethan and his family. Ethan Rickman is an eight-year-old child who is a student at Tellico Plains Elementary School. He loves riding the bus to school and back home each day. And he actually leaves home with excitement each morning, ready to […]