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  • Assistant Band Director accused of sex with student

    By Preston Ayres, payres@wcyb.com
    Published On: Aug 29 2014 07:18:01 AM CDT
    Updated On: Aug 29 2014 07:20:50 AM CDT
    Ethan Tate
    KINGSPORT, Tenn. -

    A grand jury has indicted a former assistant band director with the Sullivan County school system on statutory rape charges.

    Kingsport Police say Ethan Tate had at least 13 sexual encounters with a 16-year-old girl between September of 2013 and February of this year.

    The Sullivan County grand jury indicted Tate on 13 counts of statutory rape by an authority figure.

    Tate was arrested Thursday afternoon by Kingsport Police.

    Ethan Tate is being held at the Sullivan County jail on a $50-thousand dollar bond.

  • Former sheriff's office employee charged with statutory rape

    Published On: Aug 29 2014 11:34:10 AM CDT
    paul thomas morrison
    HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. -

    (Released for publication) On August 28, 2014, Mr. Paul Thomas Morrison III was processed into the Hawkins County Jail on three (3) counts of statutory rape. Allegations were relayed to the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office in July 2014, at which time the allegations were referred to the Hawkins County District Attorney’s Office.

    The Hawkins County District Attorney’s Office conducted a full investigation into the allegations. Any further details pertaining to the investigation will need to be addressed by the Hawkins County District Attorney’s Office.

    Mr. Morrison was previously employed by the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office as a Court Security Officer, and he had been employed for nearly two (2) years.

    Mr. Morrison resigned his position with the Sheriff’s Office in July 2014. Mr. Morrison did post a $20,000.00 bond on August 29, 2014.

    No further comments will be released by this office due to Mr. Morrison’s investigation being carried out by the Hawkins County District Attorney’s Office.

  • New phone app is creating an anonymous outlet for bullying

    By Callan Gray, cgray@wcyb.com
    Published On: Aug 28 2014 10:27:57 PM CDT
    Updated On: Aug 28 2014 10:33:28 PM CDT
    WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. -

    A new social media app could be creating an anonymous outlet for bullying. The app is called Streetchat and we found out it’s being used by students at least 50 high schools in our area.

    We first heard about this app on Thursday when a concerned parent called saying it's being used as a weapon by bullies.

    "It's a way for other kids to go anonymously and post nasty things about other children without having it traced back to them," said Emily, a parent of a child at Sullivan East.

    She asked us not to use her last name because she didn't want her comments to be held against her child.

    We decided to check out the app and discovered Streetchat describes itself on the Apple website as "a fast reliable way to share your thoughts, gossip and talk about things around you." The app was created by a group called Factyle.

    When you download the app it asks you to pick from more than 50 high schools in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. We chose Science Hill and started scrolling through posts made by students at that school.

    The posts weren't too bad at first and could even be considered nice, like one saying "hope everyone had a good day, hope tomorrow is better."

    The further we scrolled through the posts, the worse they became. We saw a post claiming a boy cheated on his girlfriend and another showing a cartoon of someone being slapped in the face with a caption describing someone above it. Other comments were so sexually explicit we couldn't air them in our story.

    Johnson City schools spokesperson Debra Bentley told us they're trying to keep students off of Streetchat.

    "We consider this a social media tool just like Facebook and Twitter and those are blocked," said Bentley.

    Even though the students can't get on through the school's Wi-Fi, they can still access it at Science Hill through their own data plans.

    "That is a violation of the technology use policy for the students," said Bentley.

    Bentley told us anyone who uses the app at school will have their phone confiscated.

    She said any student who feels as though they are being bullied should tell a teacher immediately.

    The school can't do anything when the students are home so Emily is asking other parents to keep a close eye on what their kids are posting.

    "We need to know what our children are doing," said Emily. "We need to know not only if they're being the one being bullied but if they're the one doing the bullying as well.

  • Could your dog's heartworm medication be dangerous?

    By Kyle Benjamin, kbenjamin@wcyb.com
    Published On: Aug 28 2014 10:03:10 PM CDT
    BRISTOL, Tenn. -

    Some dog owners are raising concerns on the internet about a popular medication that kills fleas and heartworms, claiming it may also kill the dog.

    Trifexis is a combo pill that tackles two big problems for dog owners. Heartworms and fleas.

    However, a growing number of pet parents say the medicine killed their pet. In fact, a local veterinarian says there have been close to 1,000 cases reported to the FDA.

    A Change.org petition to have manufacture Eli Lilly pull the drug has more than 3,400 signatures. A Facebook page for the same cause has 5,600.

    Dr. Kate Zimmerman, who runs Tri-County Veterinary Hospital told News 5 she believes most dog owners don't have a reason to worry.

    "Trifexis is a prescription drug. It should never be used outside a valid patient, client, veterinary relationship, because it is not safe for all dogs. There is no drug in the world that is safe for all dogs, or all people or all anything else," said Zimmerman.

    Trifexis is popular with dog owners. The product website claims the drug is the number one selling combination canine parasiticide.

    Although Dr.  Zimmerman said she believes there is no direct link between the drug and the deaths of dogs
    she is not sold on the product.

    "Having an oral product you cant wash off is really, really appealing, but when I started looking at the research, I don't think there is enough of it," said Zimmerman.

    However, the Food and Drug Administration, the agency that would do the research, is more concerned with products that may hurt the dog owner.

    " The people are always going to trump the dogs.  And we just don't have the funding to do an independent look at pre-existing lab work, pre-existing conditions. You give this drug, and it does what?" said Zimmerman.

    The American Veterinary Medical Association says that an independent review of pathology reports on the dogs believed to have died from Ttrifexis found the drug was not the cause of death. The FDA said it is aware of the claims and is closely monitoring those claims.

     Dr Zimmerman says she has some clients who use Trifexis.

    " I tell the owners, if it is working and you're happy, go for it, said Zimmerman " The thing that pet owners need to do is keep parasites out of their pets, treat them for heartworm, and keep fleas and ticks off the top."

    Dr. Zimmerman told News 5 the best thing to do is talk to your veterinarian and decide how you want to treat your dog. She says there isn't one blanket answer, because no two dogs are the same. She did say that if you use Trifexis, you should also consider using a product to target ticks, because the insect is so prevalent in this region.

  • 5-year-old waiting for bone marrow transplant

    By Lyndsey Price, lprice@wcyb.com
    Published On: Aug 28 2014 04:48:13 PM CDT

    Most 5-year-olds look forward to going to school for the first time and meeting new friends, but one girl in Smyth County is not able to.

    SMYTH COUNTY, Va. -

    Most 5-year-olds look forward to going to school for the first time and meeting new friends, but one girl in Smyth County is not able to.

    Kids in Smyth County are back in school. "Sometimes we do a crafts, and I made a puppy dog," says 5-year-old Nevaeh.

    For 5-year-old Nevaeh Bruner, instead of starting kindergarten at Chilhowie Elementary School, has CES teacher Leslie Frye coming to her house, "Nevaeh is receiving the same education through home bound as the other kids in the classroom. So she's not falling behind and she'll be prepared when she's coming back to school," adds Frye.

    That's because Nevaeh has Aplastic Anemia, which is a blood disorder where the body's bone marrow doesn't make enough new blood cells.

    Her great aunt Pam Buchanan, who cares for Nevaeh, says she was diagnosed last November right before her fifth birthday. "When they got her there, the blood counts were around 6,000. If they wouldn't have got her there within a couple of days they she wouldn't have made it," she explained.

    Pam says they tried several different types of medicine to help, including what she's on now, oral chemotherapy. "They finally found one that was actually starting to work, but as it was bringing her levels up then they noticed it was causing kidney failure," she said.

    Pam says Nevaeh has stage two kidney disease.

    Now, doctors are trying to slowly take her off that medicine so she can get ready for her bone marrow transplant. The good news is that doctors say they have two perfect matches, but after the transplant there is only a 50-50 chance it will work.

    Until then Nevaeh can't be around other kids in case they are sick. "When her levels drop really low she will not even be able to go to Walmart or anything unless she's got a mask on," adds Buchanan.

    Nevaeh also has to watch what she eats. "She has a maximum of 30 minutes to eat it. It cannot be fixed more than 30 minutes," says Buchanan.

    Now Nevaeh stays positive and hopes she'll be able to go to school next year. She told us about the one thing she's looking forward to most. "I would like to play with my best friend at school," says Nevaeh.

    Nevaeh's family set up an account to help with medical bills and travel expenses. Click here for the fund.

    Click here to follow Nevaeh’s journey on Facebook.

  • Giraffe tries to ride motorcycle (and fails)

    Published On: Aug 28 2014 08:06:40 AM CDT
    Updated On: Aug 28 2014 09:28:16 AM CDT
    Giraffe tries ride motorcycle

    YouTube

    Who knew giraffes have a thing for motorcycles?

    A giraffe took a biker gang in South Africa by surprise when it tried to ride one of their BMW motorcycles.

    In a video posted to YouTube by user Ryno Greeff, the giraffe is seen ambling over to the bike (whose rider had just gotten off) and trying to climb on. Its long, spindly legs slip against the side for a few seconds in one gigantic cute fail.

    Turns out the bike, which may have been mistaken for a female friend, just wasn't made for him.

    The video was posted to YouTube last year, but is just now gaining traction after appearing on Reddit.

    Watch the video below or by tapping here:

  • Salmonella outbreak in Washington County, Tenn.

    By Callan Gray, cgray@wcyb.com
    Published On: Aug 27 2014 10:45:53 PM CDT
    WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. -

    Health officials are investigating a salmonella outbreak in Northeast Tennessee.

    Twenty-five cases of salmonella have been reported so far this year. Nineteen of those occurred in our region over the last two weeks and 15 of those people live in Washington County, Tenn.

    "It built up pretty quick just in the last week so we've kind of ramped up our efforts and the investigation to try to find a link," said David Kirschke, the medical director for the Northeast Tennessee Regional Health Department.

    Kirschke explains they've been calling each person diagnosed to try and find the source.

    They ask questions like "where have you been grocery shopping?" or "have you been in contact with animals?"

    "We haven't found any common links between any of them," said Kirschke. "It does look like there's several different serotypes of salmonella."

    Kirschke told us that means it's less likely these cases are related.

    Last year by this time, there were 33 cases of salmonella reported in the Volunteer State but those were more spread out.

    "We don't have an unusually high number for the year but they're all clustered in this time period, which impels us to do an investigation," said Kirschke.

    Those people who got salmonella over the last two weeks range in age from seven years old to 54-years-old.

    Kirschke said the best way to prevent salmonella is to make sure you thoroughly cook poultry, ground beef and eggs and wash all fresh fruits and vegetables.

     

  • Cops: Meth suspects threw toilet at imagined attackers

    Published On: Aug 28 2014 02:27:30 PM CDT
    Updated On: Aug 28 2014 06:53:58 PM CDT
    Meth suspects toss toilet

    Jackson County Sheriff's Office

    Three people in Florida were so high on meth that police say they imagined their home was under attack, tossing a toilet and bathroom sink out the window at imaginary "intruders."

    Jackson County sheriff's deputies also found numerous windows shot out and multiple holes in the walls.

    They were called to the home by reports of suspicious noises and cries for help, the Dothan Eagle reported.

    Matthew McDaniel, 30, Damian Hines, 21, and Madison Douglas, 18, had to be convinced that the "attackers" had left before emerging from the home.

    Officers found a small amount of meth and a "shake-and-bake" meth lab inside.

    According to the police report:

    "(The suspects) completely removed a large rear window from the house on the second floor and threw the bathroom sink at the imaginary attackers. Chunks of sheetrock, wood, firearm parts and anything they could tear out of the residence was thrown outside, including the toilet, which was ripped from the floor. In total, more than $10,000 damage was done to the residence."

    All three now face charges of possession and attempted manufacture of meth, as well as felony criminal mischief.

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    Join News 5 WCYB's Jordan Conigliaro and Casey Goetz along with Bristol Herald Courier Sports Editor Jim Sacco as they breakdown this week's high school football games.

  • Dog saves kids from swarm of bees

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  • Students forced to sit in hot bus as punishment

    A school bus driver in Ohio resigns after forcing students to sit in a hot bus as punishment for being "rowdy."

  • New phone app is creating an anonymous outlet for bullying

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    The bare truth? It's not illegal to walk around naked in Kansas, as some people in Topeka recently discovered.

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    Meteorologist Donnie Cox has your Friday midday StormTrack 5 forecast.

  • Settlement could come soon for former Sullivan County Highway workers

    Some Sullivan County workers who were let go back in January could get their jobs back if a settlement is approved.