NEWPORT—Listen up, men. If you don’t think you can develop breast cancer, just ask Dennis Stokely and he’ll set you straight.
Stokely, who is in his mid-60s, dealt with prostate cancer, the “man’s disease,” first. That was in June of 2005. Prostate cancer is the same type of cancer that killed his dad, John Stokley, back in 1980. Many will remember John, who worked for years at the old Super Dollar and also at Northport Elementary School. John and his wife, the former Pauline White of Parrottsville, had eight children.
Of those eight, several have met cancer head on. Dennis’s brother William died of stomach cancer; another brother, David, of Las Vegas, who is retired from the Air Force, had melanoma. Younger sister Ella, who lives in Middlesboro, Kentucky, has bested cancer, too.
Dennis’s message to men regarding prostate cancer is simple and straight forward. “If you find yourself getting up several times during the night to pee, get yourself to a doctor for a PSA test!”
Dennis, who worked at Firestone (later Ace Products) for 28 years, starting Oct. 3, 1972, following his high school graduation in May of that year, discovered what would turn out to be breast cancer in November of 2012.
“I was taking a shower and found a lump,” said Dennis. “At first I thought it was just a cyst.”
But he sought a doctor’s opinion. “Dr. Thompson in Morristown did a needle biopsy with dye. It went to one lymph node.”
He underwent a mastectomy. “They told me to count to 10. When I woke up, I had a drain tube. I came home the same day.”
Stokely then began bouts of chemo, and after finishing those treatments, underwent radiation.
“I had a port,” recalled Dennis. “There was another guy there undergoing the same treatments. Edye Ellis, the television reporter from Knoxville, had breast cancer at the same time, and I used to see her when I went for my treatments.”
Everything regarding the treatment of his breast cancer was done in Morristown: from the diagnosis to the biopsy to the surgery to the treatments. “I’d have hiccups every time I went for treatments,” he laughed.
It’s now been seven years, and he’s been released. “I still have check-ups and take Flomax for the prostate. I took Tamoxifen for five years. I got the t-shirt and rang the bell!”
Today Dennis and his wife, the former Alger Ray, live on his family farm in Old Town.
He’s a big supporter of Celebrate Life Cancer Support Group and still attends their meetings. “I didn’t know about Celebrate Life when I had prostate cancer. It’s a great group. We meet the fourth Thursday at 7 p.m. at Smoky Mountain Home Health & Hospice.”
His advice to men regarding breast cancer?
“Check yourself just like a woman when you’re in the shower. If you find something, don’t wait around!”
COCKE COUNTY—Quietly a group of local citizens has begun work to create a shelter for Cocke County’s homeless adults and children.
They have been meeting at the home of Heather and Ryan Chambers, who have taken a strong interest in addressing the problem of the homeless in the area. A core group of concerned citizens of all ages is also taking up the challenge. One of those who has agreed to help and get the county involved is Fifth District Commissioner Dan “Pete” Bright.
Calling themselves The Hope House of Cocke County, the citizens have already established contact information to accept donations and communicate with likeminded organizations and fellow Cocke Countians. The group is gaining speed with their endeavor and are eagerly awaiting their approval for the 501c3 needed to purchase property and start building.
The group made its debut recently at the Newport Street Festival with a cookie-decorating booth. Volunteers passed out information and were happy to speak to all community members both supportive and against. They also hosted a booth at Parrottsville’s Heritage Days and will be in Del Rio toward the end of the month.
They will also have a table at the chocolate festival in November. In addition, The Hope House is planning a Christmas photo shoot that is for a donation only. For more information about these you can email the group.
The firstname.lastname@example.org is the address already in use, and they also have a Facebook page for ease of communication. Others that are making plans for fund raising and where to look for funds to build a home are Commissioner Bright, Aubrie Strange, Jennifer Hill, Savannah Strange, Joanne Moorecroft and Melanie Pannetta.
How big is the problem? Ryan Chambers quickly checked on the Internet to find the number of 554,000 as a national estimate of homeless in 2017.
Various sources estimated that there are about 130 homeless in Cocke County of which 90 are children, most of the remaining are men. Some community members claim that there are upwards of 200 homeless in the county.
“It’s time to start looking at them as individuals,” said Heather Chambers, who chairs the meetings with co-president, Jennifer Hill. To help with that understanding she suggested some books to read: Toxic Charity, and Generous Justice. Both books are guidelines to the philosophy that the group subscribes to in attempting to help these people.
In no way does the group look to only house the homeless. Their mission is to build a space where these individuals can find avenues to education, getting and staying clean and finding jobs.
They are glad to have the support of Cocke County Mayor Crystal Ottinger, who told them she is willing to help in any way she can. Some local pastors have been welcoming this group to share their message about the needs of the homeless with church congregations.
Dr. Candi Overholt, who is a leader in Empower Cocke County, is among those seeking help for the homeless. She has been cheering the group on since inception.
While Bright and Heather Chambers visited churches and officials the good news they found: “We haven’t received any ‘Nos’.” State Rep. Jeremy Faison is also interested in finding solutions, said Hill. She said his encouragement has been motivating and knowing they have local government representatives behind them helps the group to move forward.
While they have not targeted a location for a shelter, or made a final decision whether to build or renovate an existing building, they are encouraged that the state and federal government provides sizeable grants for either.
Initially it might take a planning grant to move forward quickly. Ryan also added that, “The more people hear about this, the more hands are in it.”
Hope House leaders in Cocke County are using social media, Facebook, friends and whatever media works to get their message out now. They intend to continue working out of the Chambers’ home rather than spending money to rent a space to use for meetings.
The group is very open to any and all communication from fellow citizens whether it be for or against the shelter. “We really do want to work together with everyone to make sure this is done with acceptance and support from all community members,” said Heather. The goal is to do this peaceably, quickly, and with God’s guidance.
MORRISTOWN—Newport area residents Patricia Allbaugh and Janet Lewis will showcase their talents at the 44th annual Mountain Makins Festival at Rose Center in downtown Morristown on October 26-27. This year’s festival is presented by ORNL Federal Credit Union.
Patricia Allbaugh, of Parrotsville, returns to the festival with her award winning work. As a child, Allbaugh received her first needle-working lessons from her grandmother. She continues those traditions in her work today. She enjoys creating her own designs and has won several awards for her needlework at area fairs and festivals.
Also returning to the festival is Janet Lewis of Cosby. Janet hand-crafts high quality olive oil soaps utilizing locally grown and wild-gathered herbs and flowers.
Local Newport dance troupe, Steppin Out will also be showing their moves at the festival on Saturday, October 26.
Rose Center is Morristown’s signature landmark and the Mountain Makins Festival is its largest event of the year. Named “2016 Best Festival” by the Southeast Events & Festivals Association, the festival features sixty or more juried artists and craft makers, who will have their work for sale in the building and on the grounds. Storytellers, and demonstrators of traditional mountain crafts will be adding to the fun both days. Live music in a variety of styles will be performed from two stages throughout the weekend. Area dance groups will also perform both Saturday and Sunday. Games, crafts and activities especially for children are a favorite part of the festivities.
The Mountain Makins Festival is open Saturday, October 26, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, October 27, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $7 per adult or $10 for a 2-day pass. Children 6-12 years of age are $1, and children younger than 6 are free.
The festival is held in the building and on the grounds of Rose Center, located at 442 W. 2nd North Street in Morristown, TN. More information about the Mountain Makins Festival is available at Rose Center, 423-581-4330, or www.rosecenter.org/mountain-makins.
NEWPORT—Jonathon Laws, 4th District County Commissioner, was recently indicted by a Cocke County Grand Jury for driving under the influence following a traffic accident he had on Oct. 28, 2018.
Last October, Laws was involved in the single vehicle crash after he lost control of his 2014 Subaru on Cosby Cut Off Road and ran into a guard rail. THP Trooper Toby Cameron said Laws had a “strong” odor of alcohol about his person at the time of his arrest.
According to the indictment, a jury said Laws did unlawfully and knowingly, drive or was in physical control of an automobile on a roadway while under the influence.
The indictment indicated that Laws consented to a blood draw the night of his accident. The results reveled he was under the influence of marijuana and the alcohol concentration in his blood showed to be .183 percent.
NEWPORT—A total of 27 people were arrested Friday afternoon after a Cocke County Grand Jury returned indictments earlier in the week.
According to Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes, several offenders were arrested on various drug related charges following investigations conducted by Cocke County Narcotic Agents. Several were also arrested on other charges.
Of those arrested were;
Suzanna B. Cole, 43, charged with sale of schedule II – cocaine and delivery of schedule II – cocaine.
Tiffany Evans, 20, charged with sale of methamphetamine and delivery of methamphetamine.
Fred Green, 67, charged with sale of schedule II- methamphetamine .5 grams or more, delivery of schedule II – methamphetamine .5 grams or more, sale of methamphetamine and delivery of methamphetamine.
Brandon Wayne Haney, 41, charged with sale of methamphetamine, delivery of methamphetamine, sale of schedule II – cocaine and delivery of schedule II – cocaine.
Nancy Ann Johnson, 64, charged with sale of schedule II – cocaine and delivery of schedule II – cocaine.
Roger Lynn Kirkpatrick, 33, charged with sale of schedule II – methamphetamine .5 grams or more and delivery of schedule II – methamphetamine .5 grams or more.
David Wayne Shultz, 52, sale of methamphetamine .5 grams or more and delivery of methamphetamine .5 grams or more.
Michael Smelcer, 47, charged with sale of methamphetamine and delivery of methamphetamine.
Donovan Jamal Treece, 22, sale of schedule II – cocaine and delivery of schedule II – cocaine.
Miranda Acuff, 32, charged with resisting arrest.
Forest Blake Beason, 26, charged with violation of probation.
Jennifer Francis Caro, 43, charged with violation of probation
Katrina Nicole Dorsey, 45, charged with violation of probation.
Brandon Earls, 23, charged with violation of probation.
Darrell L. Francis, 61, charged with failure to appear.
Melinda Ann Gann, 36, charged failure to comply with child support.
Kathy Holt, 55, charged with violation of probation.
Nathaniel Aaron Kennedy, 28, charged with driving on revoked license, theft over $1,000 and evading arrest.
Ralph Levering, 34, charged with resisting arrest.
Charlie McNabb, 44, charged with escape and violation of probation.
Jennifer Dawn Monday, 34, charged with failure to comply with child support.
Ronny Slagle, 49, charged with aggravated sexual assault.
Jerred M. Turner, 33, charged with resisting arrest.
Stanley N. Turner, charged with resisting arrest.
Jimmy Dean Walker, 50, charged with failure to comply with child support.
Jason Randell Williams, 44, charged with theft of property over $500.
NEWPORT—The Newport Police Department responded to two burglaries at local businesses over the weekend.
On Friday, officers were dispatched to Backway Inn concerning a burglary that occurred. Upon arrival, Patrolman Michael Robey spoke with Randall Lindsey, who said when he arrived at the business, he noticed the back door was open.
Lindsey said as he walked in he noticed a safe was broken into and items were scattered on the floor.
The report did not indicate if anything was reported stolen.
Burglary at Audrey’s Sports Bar
Law enforcement officers are searching for a white male who fled from Relax Inn in a Nissan Sentra after he broke into Audrey’s Sports Bar Saturday afternoon.
Patrolman Jordan Douglas was dispatched to the bar in reference to a burglary alarm.
Upon arrival, Ptl. Douglas spoke with the owner, who showed officers a hole in the wall where the suspect gained entry.
Officers then reviewed video surveillance that showed a tall, white male enter through the hole in the wall, walking slowly around the bar. As the alarm system sounded, the male ran out of the business.
According to the report, officers spoke with an employee at Relax Inn, who said the male parked a Nissan Sentra at the hotel and then jumped a fence and went behind the building.
The employee said he witnessed the male return to the vehicle and flee from the scene.
Officers were able to obtain the vehicle’s tag number.
Nothing was reported stolen.