Northern Marion gets heavy weather overnight

Just one example of many of the aftermath of the storms through the night of May 23 and early morning May 24

Updated 5/24/17 2:34 pm

The Whitwell, TN community received another unhealthy dose of mother nature in last nights storms. With several homes without power through much of the night and crews working throughout the night to clear roads and restore services, many are thankful for the diligence of the entities involved including Sequatchee Valley Electric Co-op (SVEC), the Whitwell Volunteer Fire Department, the Whitwell Police Department and the city’s street department.

Todd Brown, Whitwell Volunteer Fire Department Chief said, “We had trees and power lines down in 16 different locations. we did a have about 3 homes receiving minor damage and at least 2 vehicles. Over half of the city was without power until after midnight but thankfully SVEC worked non stop to restore power as soon as they possibly could. We had 15 responders from the fire department and 3 police officers out and our city manager so in all we had 19 responders working to clear streets and secure areas with lines down. Steve Lamb with Marion County EMA also responded with a portable generator to provide power to an elderly resident that uses an oxygen machine. No injuries reported but we did have an ambulance respond to one residence with damage for an unrelated medical issue.”

Be sure and see the May 30 Jasper Journal for complete coverage and pictures.


All schools county-wide bid farewell to their seniors

Clockwise from top left: South Pittsburg High School, Whitwell High School, Marion County valedictorian Seth Drey and Richard Hardy Memorial School celebrate the close of one chapter of their lives.

Marion County High School, Richard Hardy Memorial School, Whitwell High School and South Pittsburg High School all held their 2017 commencement ceremonies this past weekend.

Despite a less-than-ideal climate for some, the ceremonies were conducted without significant problems. There were some emergency heat-related emergency calls during multiple outdoor ceremonies from the audience.

A well deserved “congratulations” to the area graduates from the Jasper Journal and the South Pittsburg High School.

MCSD announces impound sale


The Marion County Sheriff’s Department will offer for sale, by public auction and the highest bid, the following list of vehicles on Saturday June 3, 2017 at the MCSD impound lot located at 5520 Highway 41, Jasper, TN 37347. Auction will start at 9 am CST. Gates will open for inspection at 8 am CST.

  1. 1995 Chevrolet Tahoe 5.7 Liter V8 VIN # 1GNEK13K0SJ455194
  2. 2003 Buick Century 3 Liter V6 VIN # 2G4WS52J431170423
  3. 2000 Mitsubishi Galant VIN # 4A3AA46G7YE041380
  4. 1977 Ford F100 VIN # F10GNY26613
  5. 1999 Ford F150 VIN # 1FTRF17W6XNA86093
  6. 2009 Nissan Altima VIN # 1N4AL21E19C139816
  7. 2007 Toyota FJC VIN # JTEZU111FS70003146
  8. 2003 Hummer HH2 VIN # 5GRGN23U23H127119
  9. 2001 Dodge Prowler VIN # 1C3EW65GS1V702370
  10. 2005 Chevrolet Corvette VIN # 1G1YY24U455110556 (Jasper Police Dept seizure)

Local LEOs participate in Hands Across the Border


Thursday night, many local law enforcement officers joined with officers across the region to clamp down on DUIs through the Tennessee Highway Safety Office’s Hands Across the Border campaign. As was being duplicated at many main thoroughfares on Tennessee’s state lines, local officers set up road blocks on State Highway 72 between Alabama and Tennessee.

Impaired driving is associated with more than 16,000 deaths and over 300,000 injuries each year in the United States according to cumulative highway accident reports. Whereas the focus of the stop is for those driving under the influence, other violations could be cited.

South Pittsburg accident results in no serious injuries


An accident in South Pittsburg around 1:30 this afternoon resulted in quite a spectacle, but mercifully no serious injuries. A pick up truck traveling on Cedar towards downtown was apparently struck by a vehicle pulling on to the road. The contact was significant enough to cause the truck to lose control and run over a retaining wall and onto more vehicles.

SPHS annual Senior Walk inspires SPES students


A nostalgic stroll through the halls where their academic ventures began serves as one of the final “staples,” short of commencement, for South Pittsburg High School seniors. Representative of where they came from, the seniors also serve as a vision for the elementary school children to finish high school.

Congratulations to all the area seniors.


Details of the pit bull ban in Jasper


The language of the proposed ordinance in Jasper, TN regarding pit bulls clarifies some questions.

Ordinance 376, scheduled for a public meeting and a second and final reading at the June 12 town meeting asserts that pits bulls possess a “strong fighting instinct,” “a diminished tendency to bark, growl, or otherwise warn their prey of intent to attack,” “a genetic predisposition to aggressiveness,” as well as “current methods of control by pit bull owners in the Town of Jasper…have proved to be insufficient in protecting the public.”

The criteria from which these samples are pulled have instigated the Town of Jasper to propose restrictions on owners of pit bull breeds, which includes “bull terrier breed of dog,” “Staffordshire bull terrier,” “American pit bull terrier,” “American Staffordshire terrier,” and “dogs of mixed breed or of other breeds than listed above listed which breed mixed breed is known as pit bull, pit bull dogs, or pit bull terriers.”

The proposed restrictions include registering the animal with the town (including at least two color photographs of each dog registered), enhanced confinement including “confined in a locked pen, kennel, or other secure enclosure that is suitable to prevent the entry of children and is designed to prevent the dog from escaping.” This includes a lock operated by a key or a combination lock. The pen “must have secure sides and a secure top attached to the sides. The pen may either have an attached floor to the sides or the sides will be embedded into the ground not less than two feet. The same clause under “Confinement” states, “The enclosure shall include shelter and protection from the elements and shall provide adequate exercise room, be adequately lighted and ventilated and kept in a clean and sanitary condition.”

When transported for veterinary care, the dog must be affixed with a muzzle to prevent biting, but not interfere with the breathe or the sight of the dog.

Owners of the dogs will be required to “prominently display” a sign that reads “Beware of Dog.” Owners will also carry a public liability insurance with a single incident minimum of $100,000.

The proposed ordinance also expressly forbids the entry of new dogs of the description above from entering the town limits. “It shall be unlawful to keep, harbor, own or in any way possess a pit bull dog within the corporate limits of the Town of Jasper, TN.” The restrictions are laid out expressly for existing dogs and dog owners.

Marion County Seniors recognized in this week’s Journal & Hustler


High school seniors and their families will have an additional commemoration available this week as the South Pittsburg Hustler (5/18) and the Jasper Journal (5/16) will have the annual nod to seniors special section.

Whitwell High School, North Jackson High School, Richard Hardy High School, Marion County High School and South Pittsburg High School seniors are recognized in the section. Marion County Newspapers would like to thank all the participating schools for allowing us to continue this tradition. Celebrating our youth is our path to tomorrow’s leaders.

Well done seniors!

Vess looking forward to South Pittsburg City Administrator position

Gene Vess

Gene Vess was selected by the South Pittsburg Board of Mayor and Commissioners as the new City Administrator for the city last week. Vess doesn’t officially start with the city until May 30, but his family is using the time to transition “back home,” as Vess refers to South Pittsburg. Vess acknowledges there are some challenges, but is optimistic about the opportunities he sees for the city.

The former South Pittsburg Postmaster conceded that his only reason for leaving the city was to further his career with the USPS. “I left because I wanted to move forward with the postal service, which I did, but we always considered South Pittsburg where we’d come back to even if it was for retirement. This opportunity allowed us to come back,” Vess said.

Vess says he’s excited about getting to work. “There’ll be some challenges,” Vess continued, “But I think we’ll go in the right direction pretty quickly.” Briefly, Vess touched on the conditions of the park. “It’s a question of we’ll get out of it what we put into it. When my girls were playing, there was a core group of 12-15 of us that volunteered for the park board and we were coaches and periodically did work on the park. You can’t expect 2-3 people to do all the work.”

Vess has already retained housing in South Pittsburg and has embraced the leisurely pace before formally starting work. “I told the mayor I was ready to go anytime, but he wanted me to start on the 30th. This gives me a chance to get moved in and put my house up for sale.” Vess hinted that he looks forward to being a mainstay at Pirate football games and becoming reinvested in the community.


30 on the Square officially opens


A new restaurant officially opened their doors todayWith a juice bar, a breakfast menu and some boilerplate sandwiches, 30 on the Square in Jasper looks to appeal to a wide array of customers.

Angie and Rudy Brown opened the restaurant, creatively, on the courtyard square, in Jasper. Angle Brown said, “I was working in corporate america and the company I was working for ended up being sold four times in three years and I was tired of my retirement bottoming out every time I turned around so we decided to fill a need here in Jasper.”

Eventually, the restaurant will branch out into catering and after hours events. We wish them well.