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Fire destroyed a home and damaged a barn on Lower Clift Drive early Monday afternoon in Newport. Several fire departments responded to the blaze including the Cocke County Fire Department, Cosby Fire and Grassy Fork Volunteer Fire Departments. The home was a complete loss. The cause of the fire was not known at the time of publication. Look for more details in the Thursday edition of The Newport Plain Talk, or check online at

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Red Regiment Band ready to take the field

NEWPORT—During the long, hot days of summer and the return to school, many high school students devote hours upon hours perfecting their athletic skills in preparation of taking to the football fields as players and cheerleaders.

So do members of high school bands, who proudly don the uniforms of their schools, attend camps devoted to the perfection of marching shows and put in endless hours of practice, both at home and at school, to present a perfect show.

Members of the Cocke County High School Red Regiment Band recently held band camp at the school where, under the guidance of Cameron Blair, director, Kathy Sotelo and Travis Hicks, assistant directors, and color guard instructors Ashlyn Neas McCaul and Hannah Palmer, they worked under a grueling hot sun to bring this year’s show together.

Cameron is a brass specialist, Sotelo oversees the woodwinds, and Hicks specializes in percussion.

As the new kid on the block, Hicks looks forward to his work with the local group. A Pennsylvania native, he accepted his first full-time position to work at CCHS. He earned his master’s degree at Lee University, where a professor told him about the job opening here.

Based on the Robert Frost poem, this year’s show, “The Road Less Traveled,” will bring together 72 band members marching and playing together in a time-honored tradition. Cameron came up with the concept of the show and arranged the music.

They will debut their show at the first CCHS home football game.

Channing Wright, drum major, and Mikayla Alley, assistant drum major, will lead the troops on the ground. Other student band leaders include Hannah Koster, percussion captain, and Cierra Bailey and Emma Talley, color guard co-captains.

In addition to entertaining the crowds at the football games, the band will also vie for honors at four competitions: Clinton, Tennessee High, John Battle, and Alcoa.

One seriously injured, another charged following accident

GRASSY FORK—A Newport man sustained serious injuries after he was ejected from a vehicle on Old Fifteenth Road Saturday morning.

Cocke County Sheriff Deputies identified the male as Brody Williams, 22, 9th Street. Williams was airlifted to UT Medical’s Trauma Center.

On Saturday, several first responders were dispatched to the area of Old Fifteenth Road concerning a single vehicle accident around 1 a.m.

Upon arrival, Lt. Michael Whitmer reported he observed one passenger, identified as Williams, lying outside the vehicle in severe pain. Williams was transported to Grassy Fork Elementary School where he was later airlifted to UT Medical Center.

Lt. Whitmer said he then came in contact with the driver, Kyler S. McGill, 20, Huff Road, Cosby, who said as he was negotiating a curve, he attempted to down shift in order to slow down. However, he made contact with loose gravel and lost control of the vehicle.

The 1990 Geo Tracker left the roadway and drove off a 6 foot embankment and flipped onto its side. The impact caused Williams to be ejected from the vehicle.

While speaking with McGill, Lt. Whitmer said he detected an odor of alcohol about his person. When asked if McGill had consumed alcohol, he admitted to drinking “four beers” two to three hours prior.

Deputies administered a field sobriety test to McGill and he reportedly “did well” on some tests and poorly on others.

McGill was charged with underage driving while impaired and violation of financial responsibility. No other injuries were reported.

Rural Medical Services holds luncheon to honor stakeholders

NEWPORT—Rural Medical Services, Inc. recently held a luncheon to say thank you to the stakeholders that help the company provide quality care to the community.

As a community health center Rural Medical’s goal is to provide better care for all. The support of the stakeholders ensures that the community has easy access to high-quality affordable healthcare.

Health centers provide preventive and primary care services to 28 million people. Without them, companies cannot curb health care costs and protect communities from preventable diseases.

Health centers provide care to people who disproportionately suffer from chronic disease and lack access to affordable, quality care. While Rural Medical’s approach is community-based and local, collectively they generate a nationwide ripple effect.

Health centers lower healthcare costs to the tune of $24 billion a year, reduce chronic diseases and stimulate local economies.

Rural Medical Services, Inc. provides family practice care, pediatrics, obstetric, behavioral health, case management, care coordination, dermatology, bilingual staff, immunizations and more.

Health centers are not just healers, they are innovators who look beyond medical charts to address the factors that may cause poor health, such as poverty, homelessness, substance use, mental illness, lack of nutrition and unemployment.

They also collaborate and partner with hospitals, local and state governments, social, health and business organizations to improve health for people who are medically vulnerable.