Category Archive: News

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Radiothon for the Coffee County Children’s Advocacy Center on December 1st

Childrens AdvocacyJoin WMSR, Thunder Radio for a Radiothon to support the Coffee County Children’s Advocacy Center on December 1st from 4 PM-7 PM. During these three hours, you will get a chance to learn more about the Center and the services provided to children and families in our community. This is your chance to give a gift of hope and healing.
There will be small tokens of appreciation for those that gives gifts of $10, $25, $50 or $100.
There will special guests that will speak during the Radiothon from law enforcement, District Attorney Craig Northcott and many others.
Coffee County Children’s Advocacy Center, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Donations may be tax deductible. There is never a fee for their clients.
The Coffee County Children’s Advocacy Center was founded in late 2004 by a group of local activists led by the Coffee County Church Women United. In June of 2005, they officially opened their doors to serve the children of Coffee County.
Specific benefits to children of a Children’s Advocacy Center are:
* Less trauma to the child due to a single interview
* More immediate follow-up to reported cases
* More efficient mental health and medical treatment
* Increased successful prosecution
* Consistent support for child victim(s) and the non-offending caregivers
Call in the night of the Radiothon to WMSR at 728-1320 or anytime to the CCCAC at 723-8888.

Sportsmen and Businessmen’s Organization Donates to Law Enforcement Christmas Charities

L_R Sheriff Steve Graves and Pete Sain

L_R Sheriff Steve Graves and Pete Sain

The Coffee County Sheriff’s Department and Sheriff Steve Graves would like to thank Pete Sain, one of the founders of the Sportsmen and Businessmen’s organization for their recent donation. The generous donation will be used by the sheriff’s department for the annual Christmas charity. Each year the department supplies food and toys to those in need.
SBCO also donated to the Manchester City Police Children’s Fund. This money will be used to purchase toys, clothing and food for children of our community in need this holiday season.
Sain hands check to Manchester Mayor Lonnie Norman as others look on.

Sain hands check to Manchester Mayor Lonnie Norman as others look on.


The Coffee County Sheriff’s Department is currently taking sign-ups for the Christmas boxes. If you want to sign your children up for this program, you will need to come in person to the sheriff’s department at 76 County Jail Lane in Manchester. You will need to bring the child’s birth certificate or court documents showing you have full custody of your child or children. You will also need to bring proof of residency that you live in Coffee County, such as an electric or water bill with your name on it. You cannot be on any other agency’s list.
If you have any questions you may contact Shannon at the sheriff’s department at 931-570-4409.

UPDATE–Three People Facing Charges in Tullahoma

Katelyn Nicole Matis

Katelyn Nicole Matis

Three people have been charged with kidnapping and robbing a man on Tuesday.
According to a warrant obtained by Tullahoma Police Investigator Rana Pawlowski, Katelyn Nicole Matis, 26, of Freeman Street in Tullahoma, John C. Hinkle, 30, of Circle Drive Tullahoma and Tommy Wayne Wilkerson age 44 of Wheeler St Tullahoma were all charged.
According to the warrants, a man was found on Old Brick Church Road in Franklin County where he had been thrown out of a vehicle after allegedly being kidnapped at Eastgate Apartments in Tullahoma.
According to the warrants, the victim was picked up in Birmingham, Alabama and taken to Eastgate Apartments. The victim told police that his attackers then removed his clothes and robbed him of $320.

John C Hinkle... Photos provided by the CCSD... Photo of Wilkerson was not available at news time.

John C Hinkle… Photos provided by the CCSD…

He told police that the three held him at gunpoint. He became fearful of what was about to happen and began to fight “for his life.” The three are charged with allegedly striking the man in the head and tied him up and placed him in a closet. After leaving him in the closet for a while they removed him and placed tape around his face and hands and led him to a truck. The victim stated that an older man drove him to Old Brick Church Road and left him. According to warrants, the man told the investigator that Hinkle and Matis talked of killing him before they released him.

Tommy Wayne Wilkerson

Tommy Wayne Wilkerson

Matis and Hinkle were booked into the Coffee County Jail early Tuesday morning and Wilkerson was charged later in the day. Hinkle and Wilkerson were charged with, especially aggravated kidnapping, especially aggravated robbery, aggravated assault and aggravated sexual battery. Bond was set at $100,000 each. Matis was charged with, especially aggravated kidnapping and especially aggravated robbery. Her bond was set at $50,000. All three are scheduled to appear in Coffee County General Sessions Court on Jan. 12.

Tuesday Night Storms Cause Damage in Coffee County

stormsStorms left behind damage in Coffee County Tuesday night.  At 9:14pm a trained storm spotter reported a tornado five miles northeast of Tullahoma near Hwy 55.  The spotter also witnessed flying debris and pea-sized hail.  At least one house was damaged in the Sharondale area.  A tree fell on a home in Lakewood Country Club.  Another fallen tree made Cedar Street impassable Tuesday night.  More downed trees had to be removed from N. Jackson Street.  McDonalds restaurant on N.Jackson Street received wind damage to the roof of its building.  Multiple trees and power lines were also reported down across the north end of Tullahoma.

Tullahoma City Schools and Grundy County Schools were closed Wednesday.

Firemen come together to Help

Local Firemen ready to help... Photos provided

Local Firemen ready to help… Photos provided


At the request of the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Mutual Aid Network and Tennessee Emergency Operations Center, Manchester Fire and Rescue received a request to build some teams to deploy to the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area to assist with wildland and other fires occurring in that area. Manchester Fire-Rescue coordinated with Tullahoma Fire Rescue, Fayetteville Fire Rescue, Hickerson Station VFD, Hillsboro VFD, New Union VFD and Coffee County EMA to bring together a “Task Force” to respond to the personnel in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge areas. The Task Force departed as a group from Manchester Tuesday morning.
Trucks leaving for Gatlinburg

Trucks leaving for Gatlinburg

All departments came together and provided an Aerial Engine, 2 Engines, 2 Support Vehicles with All Terrain Utility vehicles and the District 6 Heavy Rescue Truck. The teams will be deployed to that area for the next few days to support efforts ongoing in that area.
According to reports, 3 people have lost their lives in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge areas. 100’s of buildings were also lost due to was is being called an inferno.

Tennessee Prisons Needing Workers

Jail2Officials say there are more than 800 staff vacancies in Tennessee’s public and private prisons amid ongoing complaints from employees, inmates and others about pay, benefits, safety and other concerns.
State Department of Correction spokeswoman Neysa Taylor tells The Tennessean that currently, there are 519 vacancies at the state’s 10 public prisons, representing roughly 11 percent of the workforce.
Taylor says her agency is looking at new ways to recruit and retain employees.
Jonathan Burns, spokesman for CoreCivic, the company previously known as Corrections Corporation of America, says there are 306 vacancies at Tennessee’s four private prisons. That represents a vacancy ratio of 18.6 percent.
Burns says vacancies represent the total possible number of positions at each facility, not the number needed to keep the facilities safe and secure.

Westwood Student Wins Essay Contest

Natalie Fibelkorn.. Photo provided

Natalie Fibelkorn.. Photo provided

Westwood Middle School is very proud to announce that Natalie Fibelkorn, 6th grade, has won first place in the Lions Club Outreach Anti-Drug Awareness Essay Contest. She has won first place in the local Manchester round and her essay will be submitted in the district level contest in January.
Natalie and her family have been invited by the Manchester Lions Club to the awards ceremony on December 13th at the Oak Restaurant at 6:30. Westwood teachers and administration are very proud of Natalie’s accomplishment!

Stolen Vehicle from Manchester Crashes in Bradley County–Man Charged

John Robert Nicholson... Photo provided by the CCSD

John Robert Nicholson… Photo provided by the CCSD

On Monday, November 21, 2016 a male subject allegedly stole a van from 2278 Hillsboro Blvd at the Circle K gas station.
The vehicle was located the next day in the early morning hours in Bradley County, TN. The vehicle had been involved in a crash on Interstate 75. The man apparently fled the scene and was located a short time later by Cleveland Police. The man was identified as John Robert Nicholson of Madison TN.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol worked the accident and advised that at the crash scene they found a firearm, ski mask, blood and other suspicious items.
Nicholson was arrested and charged by Manchester Police Investigator Brandon Tomberlin with theft of property. His bond was set at $100,000 and he’ll appear in Coffee County court on December 19, 2016. He is also facing charges in Bradley County.
The value of van was estimated to be worth $12,000 and was a total loss due to the crash.

More on Fatal Coffee County Accident and another one in Grundy County

Fatal accident5The Tennessee Highway Patrol now confirms that four people lost their lives in a one-vehicle crash on Interstate 24 on Saturday afternoon in Coffee County. The accident occurred at the 107 mile-marker eastbound.
The vehicle was 1986 Toyota Celica with a TN tag and allegedly was traveling at a high rate of speed and attempted to change lanes and lost control.
The driver was not able to regain control and left the interstate and struck a tree.
No names were given by the THP as they say the investigation is continuing.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol worked a fatal crash in Grundy County over the weekend. Early Saturday morning THP responded to an accident on St. Route 108 near St. Route 56. It was a single vehicle crash with one female victim.
The identity of the victim has not been released yet. The age of the driver is said to be 19.

Motlow State adds Student Ambassadors

Motlow State Community College recently named 17 students as Motlow Ambassadors for the 2016-17 academic year. Ambassadors pictured are, from the Moore County campus: Brittney Crownover, Will Davis, John McVay, Leslie Rodriquez, Adam Yardumian and Emily Yardumian. From the Smyrna campus: Madison Caruthers, Dylan Hudson, Derek Hunt, Daniel Williams and Morgan Turner. From the McMinnville campus: Hanna Bess, Parker Hildreth, Lacey Jones and Hannah Smith. From the Fayetteville campus: Lauren Clardy and Rachel Edwards. Motlow State Community College photo.

Motlow State Community College recently named 17 students as Motlow Ambassadors for the 2016-17 academic year. Ambassadors pictured are, from the Moore County campus: Brittney Crownover, Will Davis, John McVay, Leslie Rodriquez, Adam Yardumian and Emily Yardumian. From the Smyrna campus: Madison Caruthers, Dylan Hudson, Derek Hunt, Daniel Williams and Morgan Turner. From the McMinnville campus: Hanna Bess, Parker Hildreth, Lacey Jones and Hannah Smith. From the Fayetteville campus: Lauren Clardy and Rachel Edwards. Motlow State Community College photo.

Seventeen Motlow State Community College students recently went through an intense 12-hour boot camp that culminated with them being named the inaugural group of Motlow State Ambassadors.
Motlow’s Division of Student Affairs hosted the boot camp. The students, who represent all four of the Motlow campuses, went through intensive leadership training; including values clarification, leadership styles, customer service excellence, diversity exercises, social media communication, and dinner with President Dr. Tony Kinkel and members of Motlow’s leadership team.
The event culminated with certification for surviving the boot camp and reciting the ambassador creed, which reads, “I am an ambassador for Motlow. I serve my community with integrity and honor. I support and defend the values of the institution. I am accountable to my team. I practice respect, both for myself and for others. I act with courage to do what is needed and what is right. I strive for excellence in all that I do, and demonstrate pride as a Motlow Buck.”
Among the activities the ambassadors will participate in are: leading campus tours, attending special events as representatives of the College, and preparing and facilitating orientation to new students during the summer.
“The ambassador program is unique in that it develops student leadership skills and project management experience,” said Kirsten Moss-Frye, Motlow’s dean of students. “These ambassadors will enhance the student-centered culture at Motlow and be better prepared for the workforce in a diverse world. The ambassador program will enable them to articulate how their college education transfers into real-world experiences and help build confidence as they advance in their education and in life.”
The team will be participating in several holiday parades throughout Motlow’s 11-county service area, and will resume training in the spring for their activities which will carry into summer.

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