http://www.morgancountynews.net/todaysnews/rss.xml en Hunt sentenced to 33 years http://www.morgancountynews.net/content/hunt-sentenced-33-years <img src="http://www.morgancountynews.net/sites/www.morgancountynews.net/files/imagecache/thumb85/justice_gavel_0.jpeg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Despite sobbing on the witness stand and pleading for mercy, convicted murderer Erskine &ldquo;Andy&rdquo; Hunt Jr., was sentenced to 33 years in prison Friday.</p> <p> A jury had convicted the former Oakdale resident earlier this year of second-degree murder in the December 2015 shotgun death of his girlfriend Dolly Meyers, and he was in Morgan County Criminal Court Friday before Judge Jeff Wicks for sentencing.</p> <p> &ldquo;Dolly was everything to me,&rdquo; he said from the witness stand. &ldquo;The choices I made that night &hellip; were to protect the only thing I loved.</p> Morgan County on 'distressed list' http://www.morgancountynews.net/content/morgan-county-distressed-list <img src="http://www.morgancountynews.net/sites/www.morgancountynews.net/files/imagecache/thumb85/don_agriculture_meeting.jpg" alt="Morgan County Executive Don Edwards recently met with Jai Templeton, Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture to discuss the county&#039;s placement on the Distressed Counties list by the Appalachian Regional Commission." title="Morgan County Executive Don Edwards recently met with Jai Templeton, Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture to discuss the county&#039;s placement on the Distressed Counties list by the Appalachian Regional Commission." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Morgan County has a top ten ranking, but for all the wrong reasons.</p> <p> It has been designated as a distressed county by the Appalachian Regional Commission, which prompted a recent visit from the state Commissioner of Agriculture, who offered some help and some hope to the county.</p> <p> Jai Templeton and staff met with Morgan County Executive Don Edwards to discuss the designation, and ways it has been &mdash; and could be &mdash; addressed on state and local levels.</p> HonorAir Knoxville heroes welcomed home http://www.morgancountynews.net/content/honorair-knoxville-heroes-welcomed-home <img src="http://www.morgancountynews.net/sites/www.morgancountynews.net/files/imagecache/thumb85/david_payne_arriving_honor_air_flight.jpg" alt="David Payne, center, and George Wright, at right, are part of the recent group of veterans participating in the Oct. 4 HonorAir Knoxville trip to Washington, D.C. Here, the group had just disembarked at McGhee Tyson Airport. " title="David Payne, center, and George Wright, at right, are part of the recent group of veterans participating in the Oct. 4 HonorAir Knoxville trip to Washington, D.C. Here, the group had just disembarked at McGhee Tyson Airport. " align="left" hspace="6" /><p> David Payne&rsquo;s smile said it all.</p> <p> The Vietnam-war Veteran was grinning from ear to ear earlier this month when he and around 120 vets returned from Washington, D.C., as part of the 25th HonorAir Knoxville flight program, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.</p> <p> &ldquo;It was just a wonderful trip, I&rsquo;m so glad I didn&rsquo;t miss it,&rdquo; said Payne, who was a Deer Lodge resident when he served his tour of duty in Vietnam as a member of the Army calvary, but now lives in Wartburg.</p> Sunbright falls short in last regional matchup http://www.morgancountynews.net/content/sunbright-falls-short-last-regional-matchup <img src="http://www.morgancountynews.net/sites/www.morgancountynews.net/files/imagecache/thumb85/img_1917.jpg" alt="Sunbright’s Hunter Bunch (24) runs the ball. Bunch finished the night with 74 total yards." title="Sunbright’s Hunter Bunch (24) runs the ball. Bunch finished the night with 74 total yards." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> It was a must-win game for both the Midway Green Wave and the Sunbright Tigers, but Midway wanted it more in the second half and came away with a 21-14 victory.</p> <p> The Tigers had the chance to score on their opening drive, but fumbled the ball a yard shy of the end zone and allowed Midway to recover. Midway was unable to capitalize, but took a huge scoring opportunity away from Sunbright.</p> <p> &ldquo;That was a killer,&rdquo; Sunbright&rsquo;s acting head coach Joe Kent said. &ldquo;I think that&rsquo;s the difference in the ball game.&rdquo;</p> Travis Armes feels the love at fund-raiser http://www.morgancountynews.net/content/travis-armes-feels-love-fund-raiser <img src="http://www.morgancountynews.net/sites/www.morgancountynews.net/files/imagecache/thumb85/armes_3_1.jpg" alt="Travis Armes at last week&#039;s fund-raiser to help with his medical expenses." title="Travis Armes at last week&#039;s fund-raiser to help with his medical expenses." align="left" hspace="6" width="64" height="85" /><p> Rural communities in East Tennessee often take care of their own, and that&rsquo;s just what happened in Petros Saturday as the community rallied to help Travis Armes.</p> <p> Armes, 34, has battled numerous health problems over the past three months, including congestive heart failure. Between jobs and without insurance, Armes&rsquo; medical bills are staggering so the community held a benefit Saturday at Petros-Joyner Elementary School. The event included food, games, vendors and music.</p> Sheriff's lawsuit postponed http://www.morgancountynews.net/content/sheriffs-lawsuit-postponed <img src="http://www.morgancountynews.net/sites/www.morgancountynews.net/files/imagecache/thumb85/freytag_glen_1.jpg" alt="Sheriff Glen Freytag " title="Sheriff Glen Freytag " align="left" hspace="6" width="137" height="85" /><p> &nbsp;</p> <p> While the lawsuit Morgan County Sheriff Glen Freytag filed requesting more department funding was postponed last week, it is still moving forward.</p> <p> The case, originally set for Aug. 14-16, has been reset to Dec. 19-21 in Morgan County Circuit Court.</p> <p> Morgan County Executive Don Edwards, representing the county in the suit, was in a car accident the preceding week, forcing the delay, according to Morgan County Attorney Andrew Hall.</p> <p> &ldquo;He said he would not be able to sit through three days of a trial,&rdquo; Hall reported last week.</p> Nemo Bridge recipient of $1 million-plus grant http://www.morgancountynews.net/content/nemo-bridge-recipient-1-million-plus-grant <img src="http://www.morgancountynews.net/sites/www.morgancountynews.net/files/imagecache/thumb85/img_8584.jpg" alt="Many state and local dignitaries were present for the official grant announcement last week at the foot of the historic Nemo Bridge. Pictured are, from left, Chief Ranger Matt Hudson of the Obed Wild and Scenic river Park; John Robbins, field representative of state Rep. John Mark Windle’s office; U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann; Brock Hill, state deputy commissioner for parks and conservation; T.J. Aytes from the Morgan County Executive’s office; and Park Manager Bob Fulcher of the Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park. " title="Many state and local dignitaries were present for the official grant announcement last week at the foot of the historic Nemo Bridge. Pictured are, from left, Chief Ranger Matt Hudson of the Obed Wild and Scenic river Park; John Robbins, field representative of state Rep. John Mark Windle’s office; U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann; Brock Hill, state deputy commissioner for parks and conservation; T.J. Aytes from the Morgan County Executive’s office; and Park Manager Bob Fulcher of the Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park. " align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> &nbsp;</p> <p> One of the area&rsquo;s most historic landmarks will receive a major facelift and renovation, thanks to a collaborative effort between local, state and federal government agencies.</p> <p> The historic Nemo Bridge was officially awarded more than $1 million in restorative funds last week from Tennessee State Parks, the Federal Highway Administration, the National Park Service and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.</p> Solar Elipse comes to Wartburg http://www.morgancountynews.net/content/solar-elipse-comes-wartburg <img src="http://www.morgancountynews.net/sites/www.morgancountynews.net/files/imagecache/thumb85/img_8906.jpg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> For Miette Jones, Monday was &ldquo;the most important thing ever, and the most important day of my life.&rdquo;</p> <p> The St. Louis youngster was visiting the Obed Wild and Scenic River Visitor&rsquo;s Center with her mother, Ginny Carpeta, and family friend, Jessica Abel, to witness the total solar eclipse.</p> <p> &ldquo;It was awesome, just amazing,&rdquo; said Abel, who had traveled from Nashville.</p> <p> The trio said they camped locally all weekend, leading up to Monday&rsquo;s once-in-a-lifetime event.</p> <p> Lily Huckeby was also impressed.</p>