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73rd Annual Cocke County A&I Fair returns July 20-24

COCKE COUNTY—The Cocke County Fair Association is happy to announce the return of the 73rd annual A&I Fair.

The group is excited for all the new entertainment that will be a part of the 2021 year.

A new carnival company will be joining the midway this year’s fair. Fox Creek Amusements from Kentucky will bring in all the rides that locals love.

The J BAR K Professional Rodeo Company will be joining the fair this year for a two night Rodeo with 8 different events included each night from roping, to saddle bronc riding, and barrel racing, just to name a few, and of course who can forget the bull riding.

This year the association is happy to invite RWA Revolutionary Wrestling Alliance, to the fair for a two night “Battle at the Fairgrounds” with former WWE/WCW/ECW & current IMPACT Wrestling Star “The Swingman” Johnny Swinger. Catch him and all the stars of RWA.

The Demolition Derby is sure to be a slamming show, and of course the fair will also have all the amazing livestock shows and entertainment, making this the best fair the association has ever had.

The theme this year is “Jam Packed Fun” and they have tried to jam pack all kinds of amusement, so there will be something for everyone.

They look forward to seeing everyone at the 73rd Annual Cocke County A&I Fair.

Gates open at 4 p.m. and gate admission for July 20-22 is $8.00 per person children 3 and under get in FREE. Arm bands can be purchased separately for carnival rides.

July 23-24 is one price night, $15 grants access to the fair as well as all the carnival rides.

Newport's Mason Lodge awarded original charter number

NEWPORT—Newport’s Mason Lodge #4 was originally chartered by the Grand Lodge of North Carolina as Newport Lodge #50 on December 6, 1806. The Newport lodge worked under that charter until the formation of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee on December 27, 1813.

It was one of the 9 founding lodges of the Grand lodge of Tennessee. At that time it was given the charter number of 4. Sometime around 1836 Newport Lodge lost its charter during the anti-masonic movement that was sweeping the nation. On October 3, 1854 Newport lodge was issued another charter of #234 and resumed work in Cocke County.

The lodge remained under that charter for the past 167 years constantly working in the community and helping children. On March 24, 2021 at the annual Grand Lodge convention the members and Grand Lodge staff decided to award Newport Lodge with its original charter number of #4 to accurately reflect its heritage and service to the community. The lodge building that sits on Mims Avenue has been there since it was built in 1866 and still operates to this day.

The original lodge building was burned during the Civil War. Newport Lodge served as the first formal school house for Newport before Newport Grammar School was built. The lodge still retains quite a bit of its originality including the brick that was made on the site of the building in 1866 and is one of the oldest buildings in Newport.

Newport Lodge #4 meets on the first Monday of every month at 7:30 p.m. and has served the community for the past 215 years.

Operation Quarantine leads to multiple arrests

COCKE COUNTY—In the last Cocke County Grand Jury, thirty-two people were indicted for the Sale and Delivery of Schedule II (methamphetamine and/or heroin). On Friday, June 25, the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) conducted “Operation Quarantine” where CCSO Narcotics Division officers arrested eighteen individuals following their investigations.

During the arrest operation, CCSO received assistance from the Newport Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, White Pine Police Department, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Sevier County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security.

Following the first stage of arrests, seven individuals were arrested for their indictments, while others on scene were arrested for outstanding warrants.

Six of those indicted were currently incarcerated in various correctional facilities on other charges.

Those arrested for the Sale and Delivery of Schedule II included Joseph McMahan, Oscar Tozer, Amanda Ball, Marsha Helton, Kelsey McMahan, Ashley Player, Joshua McKnight, April Stokely, Charlie McMahan, Derek Francis, Dalton Fox, Thomas Edwards and Joseph James Barrett.

Arrested on Capias were Brandi Ellison and Kenny Wright.

Arrested on Circuit Court Violation of Probation charges were Jessica Ferrier and Erik Buckingham.

Steven Black was also arrested during the operation for Aggravated Child Abuse.

During the pandemic, a grand jury was not available due to rulings of the Supreme Court, so the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the community for their patience, as well as express their sincere appreciation for all the agencies whose resources assisted the community.

The arrest operations will continue until all thirty-two indictments are served.

Due to the rules of an indictment, the CCSO is not allowed to release any name of defendants until they are arrested. They will continue to release the other names as they are arrested. The next operation is under way.

No new COVID cases reported in last week

COCKE COUNTY—No new COVID-19 cases have been reported in the county over the last seven days. The county’s case total remains at 4,545.

According to the state health department, there are still two active COVID cases in the county.

No new fatalities or hospitalizations have been reported in the county.

Only 265 new vaccinations have been reported in the past week, bringing the total to 26,928 doses administered.

Just less than 40% of the county has received at least one dose, and about 36.5% are fully vaccinated.

The following is a list of surrounding counties showing their total COVID-19 count compared to active cases, as well as their population percentage that has received at least one dose versus percent fully vaccinated:

Sevier: 13,597/41 (38.22%/34.27%)

Hamblen: 8,684/16 (32.12%/29.42%)

Greene: 8,045/15 (36.80%/33.05%)

Jefferson: 6,333/12 (40.79%/37.19%)

The CDC reported 250 new cases as of July 4 for the state of Tennessee, which brings the total to 867,407 cases in the state. A total of 800 new cases have been reported in the last seven days.

Only three new fatalities were reported across the state, which brings the total to 12,571 lives lost in Tennessee.

As of July 5, there have been 5.33 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered in the state to 2.87 million Tennesseans. Now over 42% of the state has received at least one dose, and nearly 38% are fully vaccinated.

Across the nation, 15,555 new cases were reported on July 4.

The national case total continues to push over 33.5 million cases since the outbreak of the virus.

There were 287 new deaths reported, pushing the national toll over 603,000 lives lost to the virus.

More than 330 million doses of the vaccine have been administered to over 182 million Americans. Recent data shows that 55% of all Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 47.4% are fully vaccinated.