PACKAGE: Hazardous chemical found in Blount County well water, cautionary advisory in place for certain areas

MARYVILLE – A cautionary advisory has been issued in regards to the use of potable well water for certain areas in Blount County after a toxic chemical was found in the water.

City officials advised residents within the area to refrain from using well water after a sample taken within 350 feet of the July 2 train derailment, tested positive for a small amount of acrylonitrile. This toxic chemical was inside of the single-tank CSX train that derailed and caught on fire. Thousands of families within a two mile radius evacuated the area.

A map of the advisory site: This special advisory is directed to the area between Mount Tabor Road, Old Glory Road, West Lamar Alexander Parkway and Robert C. Jackson Drive.
A map of the advisory site: This special advisory is directed to the area between Mount Tabor Road, Old Glory Road, West Lamar Alexander Parkway and Robert C. Jackson Drive.

The advisory was issued for the area between Mount Tabor Road, Old Glory Road, West Lamar Alexander Parkway and Robert C. Jackson Drive.

“I cook with it, I bathe with it. We wash our clothes,” said Heather Breazeale.

She is trying to adjust to using water bottles instead of well water.

“It’s scary because its the only water we have,” she added.

Breazeale, her husband and two children live about half a mile from the derailment site.

Smoke from the train is still present hours after the derailment.
Smoke from the train is still present hours after the derailment.

“It’s not the short term we’re worried about. It’s the long term,” she said. “What could happen five or six years from now and being exposed to the water when it’s contaminated.”

The city of Maryville strongly encourages all residents with wells to allow officials to test the water.

Breazeale’s name is on the list.

“We never had to worry about anything like this before,” she said.

As a result of the one contaminated well, Breazeale has requested to have her well looked at by officials. For now, she does have concerns.

“Our question is how did they go about testing each individual well in the area,” she asked.

CSX says 46 wells have been tested, and results are back on half. Only one tested positive for acrylonitrile.

They’re closely watching the area near the one contaminated well and even though Brazeale isn’t too far from that well, she isn’t taking any chances until she gets her results back about whether her well water is safe.

“Currently we are not using the water,” she said. “Since this is our first day with us dealing with this, as far as bathing goes, we have not figured that out yet. I really don’t feel safe using the shower.”

The Environmental Protection Agency said monitoring and oversight operations are shifting to the Tennessee Department

 A cautionary advisory regarding potable use of well water has been issued for certain areas in Blount County. Municipal water is still safe, according to city of Maryville officials.
A cautionary advisory regarding potable use of well water has been issued for certain areas in Blount County. Municipal water is still safe, according to city of Maryville officials.

Environmental Conservation.

TDEC said it will be collecting its own samples from wells in the area.

Individuals requiring further information or instructions regarding well water testing should contact GHD – Environmental Consultants, which can be reached at (866) 812-9565 or visit the Community Outreach Center at Heritage Middle School.

PACKAGE: Lafolette city leaders hope to ban smoking at parks

LAFOLETTE  – The mayor and city council members are trying to crack down on smoking at parks and playgrounds in the area.

“I have no problem with people smoking, but us non-smokers have the right to not smoke,” said Mayor Michael Stanfield. “We’re not going to intrude on your rights, so don’t intrude on ours.”

“If we can teach these young kids not to smoke, maybe they’ll have a longer life,” said Mayor Michael Stanfield.
“If we can teach these young kids not to smoke, maybe they’ll have a longer life,” said Mayor Michael Stanfield.

For about two months, city leaders have been drawing up an ordinance to ban smoking, along with cigarette products. Their hope is that it will protect children from second hand smoke.

“It doesn’t look good,” said Angelia Gray. “It kind of bothers me with all of the kids around.”

The proposed ordinance would ban all tobacco products from the city’s ball fields, skate parks and playgrounds.

“I think it would be nice to get rid of it,” said the mother of two. “Their lungs are still growing.”

Banning smoking isn’t a bad idea, even for those who smoke.

Cigarette butts litter a picnic table close to a park in downtown LaFollette.
Cigarette butts litter a picnic table close to a park in downtown LaFollette.

“It doesn’t bother me if I’m asked to step outside to smoke,” said Shonda Davis.

There are not plans for fines or tickets to enforce the law, if passed. Instead smokers would be asked to go outside of the park to smoke.

“It’s all about the kids,” said Stanfeild. “My live is about over here. If we could teach these young kids not to smoke and what tobacco and alcohol do to the body, maybe they will have a longer life.”

PACKAGE: 9-year-old girl donates hundreds of items to Sevier County food bank

NEW MARKET  – Crowns, coloring and cats are all favorites of Ivy Maples. Another thing this nine-year-old girl likes to do is volunteer.

She donated 553 items to the Sevier County Food Ministry on Monday, with a tiara placed upon her head.

“What she’s brought in, we figure that she could help for at least every dollar, she could help about three families,” said Mannie Burnett with Sevier County Food Ministries.

This is a huge help for an organization that operates on donations.

“[Giving] makes me feel happy,” Maples said. “I donated canned food, boxed foods, clothes and stuffed animals.”

As part of her community service for a pageant, Maples has been collecting one can at a time since March.

“There’s a lot of hungry people out there and it hurts to be hungry,” she said.

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“[Giving] makes me feel happy,” Ivy Maples said. “I donated canned food, boxed foods, clothes and stuffed animals.”

But, it’s the children in those families Maples was most worried about.

“If they can’t afford food they definitely can’t afford toys,” she said. “Because toys, a couple of my Monster High dolls are $30 just for the doll.”

This is the second time the fifth grader has donated to the food bank.

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Ivy Maples donated 553 items to the Sevier County Food Ministry on Monday, with a tiara placed on her head.

“As a mother, it makes me so proud of her. It tells me that as a parent I’ve done something right,” said Maples’ mother Pam Brehm.

“It makes me very happy because I know somebody’s day will be made,” said Maples.

About 1,600 families come each week to Sevier county Food Ministries in the summer for help.

Staff said the winter months are generally the toughest because most families who rely on tourist-related jobs are out of work needing help.

Maples is also competing in the Amerifest Nationals, modeling competition in July.

PACKAGE: Amber Alert issued for Hawkins County teen last seen with sex offender

SURGOINSVILLE – An Amber Alert has been issued for a 14-year-old Hawkins County girl last seen with a 41-year-old man who has an active

Hayleigh Wilson, 14, is described as a white female, 5-foot-5 and 150 pounds with black hair and hazel eyes. Benjamin Shook, 41, is described as a white male, 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.
Hayleigh Wilson, 14, is described as a white female, 5-foot-5 and 150 pounds with black hair and hazel eyes. Benjamin Shook, 41, is described as a white male, 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.

warrant for failing to register as a sex offender.

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Surveillance video captured Hayleigh Wilson and Benjamin Shook at a Walmart in Marion, North Carolina. (Source: TBI)

Hayleigh Cheyenne Wilson left her Surgoinsville home on Monday at 10 p.m., according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Authorities said later spotted her on surveillance video at a Walmart in Marion, North Carolina on Tuesday morning in the company of 41-year-old Benjamin ‘Ben’ Shook, a sex offender out of Georgia.

TBI saidShook has an active warrant out of Georgia.

“You don’t know if she’s going to be home tomorrow or a year from now. I want Hayleigh to know that we love her and we want her home, we won’t stop looking for Hayleigh. She’s our little girl,” said the teen’s father Eddie Wilson.

Wilson said the last few days have been every parents’ worst nightmare.

“She’s a respectable little Christian girl, but yet she got lured in,” he said.

There’s the belief Hayleigh met Shook in an online chat room.

“You don’t know if she’s going to be home tomorrow or a year from now. I want Hayleigh to know that we love her and we want her home, we won’t stop looking for Hayleigh. She’s our little girl,” said the teen’s father Eddie Wilson.
“You don’t know if she’s going to be home tomorrow or a year from now. I want Hayleigh to know that we love her and we want her home, we won’t stop looking for Hayleigh. She’s our little girl,” said the teen’s father Eddie Wilson.

“He’s just a total stranger,” said Wilson.

Days after the Amber Alert, the family said they’re worried sick.

“If she was to see this I want her to know that I’ll never quit looking for her,” said Wilson.

He has a simple plea for Shook: “For Hayleigh’s sake I just ask you to be man enough to bring her

home safe. Just let her out and go your own way but bring my little girl home.”

Hayleigh is described as a white female, 5-foot-5 and 150 pounds with black hair and hazel eyes.

Shook has several tattoos and was wearing a blue shirt, with “Ford” written on it, dark shorts, a camouflage baseball hat. He is described as a white male, 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.

Investigators believe they may have been driving in a maroon or burgundy (purple) 2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac with Tennessee tag D6020D. (Stock image)
Investigators believe they may have been driving in a maroon or burgundy (purple) 2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac with Tennessee tag D6020D. (Stock image)

Investigators believe they may have been driving in a maroon or burgundy (purple) 2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac with Tennessee tag D6020D.

Family members say they’ve not had any contact with Hayleigh yet but say police told them on Tuesday night they received a ping on Shook’s cell phone out of Morristown. The Wilsons say right now Hayleigh and Shook could be anywhere.

If you have any information on Hayleigh Wilson or Ben Shook,  contact the Surgionsville Police Department at 423-272-7121 or call 1800-TBI-FIND.

PACKAGE: Body cameras not yet part of the uniform for Roane County deputies

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In Roane County, they aren’t apart of the uniform, but some officers have taken matters into their own hands by purchasing a body camera.

KINGSTON – Many law enforcement agencies across East Tennessee are starting to wear body cameras as part of the uniform.

In Roane County, they aren’t apart of the uniform, but some officers have taken matters into their own hands by purchasing a body camera.

Deputies are equipped with a video camera in their patrol car.

“I think with technology where it is, it offers that extra accessory to what we do as far as law enforcement and having in car video,” said police chief Tim Phillips.

Before officers can wear body cameras on their uniform, there are a few factors that should be considered.

“We don’t have a police set in place for body cameras,” said Phillips. “We don’t have anything in regards to the retention of the video or who owns the video.”

There are also questions raised on whether or not it’s constitutional if an officer wears a body camera in a person’s home.

“We want to make sure that we have good clarification on where we stand on that,” he said. “We certainly don’t want to infringe on anybody’s constitutional rights.”

For those reasons, Phillips said officers should not wear the body cameras; but he’s not against them.

“Unfortunately there has been officers that have been killed in the line of duty out on traffic stops and things like that,” he said. “The video has helped capture individuals.”

Kingston resident, Gary Johnson, agrees.

“I think it’s a great idea for sure,” he said. “You can’t hide it. The video speaks for itself. There’s been a lot of instances where the video has saved people’s lives.”

The next hurdle for Roane County deputies is to find funding.

“Technology is good, but with technology comes a hefty price tag,” said Phillips.

There has not been an official release date for body cameras for the Roane County Sheriff’s Office. Phillips is also looking at a new system that pairs body cameras with in-car cameras.

A bill introduced in the state House requires all officers to wear body camera, if money from grants, donations or federal government is provided to the department.

This bill comes after a national call for more transparency in police interactions with the public following the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed teen in Ferguson, Missouri.

At the national level, President Barack Obama has pledged more than $260 million to match state funds and outfit 50,000 officers with body cameras.

The move would require congressional approval.

If the Tennessee version passes both chambers and is signed by the governor, it would take effect on January 1, 2016.