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  • Two children, 13 months and 2 months, found dead in Greeneville

    Published On: Dec 17 2014 11:40:44 AM CST
    Updated On: Dec 17 2014 07:16:11 PM CST
    GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -

    Greeneville police and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation continue to look into the death of two children Wednesday morning at a house in Greeneville.

    "It just rips my heart out. It's a tragedy. I didn't know them that well, but neighbors is neighbors. If they needed something, I would have been right there for them," said neighbor Vickey Holland.  Holland told News 5 that she's never seen anything like this happen in the 20 plus years she's lived in the neighborhood.

    Greeneville police said the preliminary investigation has not revealed much and the parents of the two siblings, 13 months and 2 months old, are not persons of interest.

    "This investigation is being handled as just a death, we don't have any idea or any reason to point at a suspicious death or not a suspicious death.We have to handle it the way we would any other," Detective Captain Tim Davis with the Greeneville Police Department told the media Wednesday afternoon.

    Captain Davis said it would be a long-term investigation and they will release more information as it is uncovered.

    "At this time we have no idea what is going on or what caused this," said Davis.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (Released for publication) "On December 17, 2014 at approximately 7:48 a.m. the Greeneville Greene County 911 center was notified of a 13 month old infant in distress at on North Hardin Street.

    Upon arrival of the Greeneville Fire Department the infant was found unresponsive.

    At that time a second infant, 2 months old, was found unresponsive within the same residence.

    Both infants were transported by the Greeneville, Greene County E.M.S. to the Takoma Hospital E.R. where both were pronounced dead on arrival.

    Investigation is ongoing and autopsies are to be performed by the Williams L. Jenkins Forensics Center in Johnson City, TN.

    -Det. Captain Timothy P. Davis"

  • Remembering a member of the WCYB family

    Published On: Dec 16 2014 10:46:46 PM CST
    Updated On: Dec 17 2014 10:15:17 AM CST

    Long-time WCYB reporter Jim "Conrad" Blankenbecler tragically passed away on December 16, 2014.

    It is with heavy hearts we share some sad news with you.

    Our friend and colleague Jim "Conrad" Blankenbecler died on Dec. 16, 2014.  Jim started working at WCYB in 1988. He will truly be missed.

    Jim Conrad was a native of Wise County, Virginia, and a proud high school graduate of JJ Kelly High School.

    Conrad graduated from ETSU, and first gained fame as the afternoon DJ on WETB in Johnson City. He was known as "Cosmic Conrad."

    Later he joined WOPI in Bristol.

    In June of 1988 Conrad joined WCYB, and his career as a master storyteller was born.

    His last story profiled a new organization that recycles and delivers flowers.

    He was survived by his wife, two daughters, and five grandchildren. Services are to be announced.

  • Deputies respond to possible bomb threat at Riverview Elementary

    Published On: Dec 17 2014 01:28:46 PM CST
    generic bomb threat
    BUCHANAN COUNTY, Va. -

    (Released for publication) Wednesday morning, December 17, 2014, at approximately 9:40 a.m., Deputies with the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Riverview Elementary School in reference to a possible bomb threat.

    The Virginia State Police, Grundy Fire Department and Rescue 33 Ambulance Service also responded. The handwritten threat was found on the wall of a student bathroom and the school’s resource officer was notified.

    The children at Riverview Elementary School were evacuated and taken by bus to Grundy High School for their safety. A Virginia State Police Helicopter was used to fly an explosives detection K-9 and his handler in from Wytheville, VA. The Virginia State Police K-9 searched the school and the K-9 did not alert on any threat.

    Every part of the school was searched for any threat. Once the school was cleared from any danger, the children were brought back to Riverview Elementary School.

    Investigators with the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office along with an explosives technician and agents with the Virginia Bureau of Investigation continue to investigate the case.

    This press release has been approved by Ray Foster, Sheriff.

  • Local foster parent loses home in fire

    By Olivia Caridi, ocaridi@wcyb.com
    Published On: Dec 17 2014 03:36:59 PM CST
    Updated On: Dec 17 2014 07:29:16 PM CST

    On Dec. 9, News 5 told you about a fire that destroyed a home in Kingsport. Soon after, a viewer told us that there's more to the owner - that she's been giving children in a need a home for 22 years.

    KINGSPORT, Tenn. -

    On Dec. 9, News 5 told you about a fire that destroyed a home in Kingsport. Soon after, a viewer told us that there's more to the owner - that she's been giving children in a need a home for 22 years.

    Her name is Robin Carter, and there's not much left of her home on Bridwell Heights Avenue. It was a place full of memories, birthday parties, and Christmases, that is now in ashes. "Your life is just gone," she says.

    The home her grandfather built in 1942, where generations of her family has grown up, was destroyed by a fire on Dec. 9. Nothing was salvaged, memorabilia was lost - and the one thing she finds where her home used to stand is charred remains of the ornaments made by the 160 children she fostered in that home.

    Back in 1992, TRACES foster program opened up within Frontier Health in Kingsport. The first family to take in a teenager was Robin and her late husband.

    TRACES employees Kim Trantham and Kay Barger say Robin's main concern has been the children since the fire. "We tell her that we're taking  care of the kids, that she doesn't need to worry, our question is, 'How are you?'"

    But it's never been about her. And for someone who's given for so long, Robin is receiving for all she's done. "Foster kids have called me offering me places to stay, offering to help. Little ones have called me to make sure I'm safe. It just touches your heart, it's true love," she says.

    She and her family are currently staying in a motel while she looks at homes. If  you'd like to donate to Robin, a link to a GoFundMe account is here.

    News 5 called the Department of Children's Services for some statistics on fostering. There are currently 759 foster children in northeast Tennessee and only 646 foster homes. A spokesperson said the ideal amount would be 800 homes.

    If you are interested in being a foster parent, you can contact TRACES in Kingsport or the Department of Children's Services.

  • Read the latest StormTrack 5 Forecast

    Published On: Feb 27 2013 05:28:32 PM CST
    Updated On: Dec 18 2014 12:49:24 PM CST
    StormTrack 5 Team

    MOSTLY CLOUDY AND COOL TONIGHT

    LIGHT RAIN POSSIBLE LATE FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY

    HIGHER ELEVATIONS CAN EXPECT A LIGHT WINTRY MIX OF RAIN, SNOW AND SLEET

    This Afternoon: Mostly cloudy. Highs 40-46. Winds light.

    Tonight: Mostly cloudy and cool. Lows 23-28. Light wind.

    Friday: Mix of clouds and sun. Highs 40-47. Light northwest wind.

    Friday Night: Partly to mostly cloudy.  A slight chance of rain or snow late.  Lows 28-35. Light wind.

    Saturday:  A 60% chance of light rain.  A light wintry mix of rain/snow/sleet possible over the higher elevations. Little or no accumulation of snow. Highs 38-46. Light southwest wind.


    Weather Summary:

    We are tracking a weakening weather system in the StormTrack 5 Weather Center. There's a slight chance of a passing light rain shower through the afternoon.

    The clouds have been hanging tough and will stick around tonight as well. Any drizzle or rain should be ending before we get cold enough for a change to freezing drizzle or snow showers.

    Friday will be a partly cloudy day with temperatures near where we would expect for late December.

    StormTrack 5 meteorologists are tracking a system developing along the Gulf coast. That low will track mainly south of our region and then east of the southern Appalachians. Rain chances will increase Friday night into part of Saturday. Right now any precipitation looks light. It will be warm enough for light rain showers in the Tri-Cities. Those across the higher elevations, especially east of the Tri-Cities, should be alert for a light wintry mix or snow showers Friday night and Saturday with near freezing temperatures.

    Most areas will see only rain with this system as the freezing temperatures will be higher in the atmosphere.

    Sunday looks partly to mostly cloudy. A few showers are possible Monday.

    We will be tracking another storm system heading our way next week. This is a stronger system that will head for our area from the Rockies and southern Plains.

    There's a good chance of rain showers Tuesday. Wednesday is Christmas Eve and we will see some colder temperatures arrive with moisture in place. We will have a rain and snow mix or possibly snow showers. This may create a big travel concern for the Northeast and New England states. As for our area, right now snowfall looks light, but it is still early.

    We are tracking this system for the holiday and will keep you updated as we head for Christmas week. You should consider the possibility of slippery travel and be on the alert for mid-next week if you are traveling north and northeast for Christmas.

    Highs will be in the low to mid 40s through Sunday and upper 40s to lower 50s Monday and Tuesday with Wednesday near 40. Lows around 25 to 35 the next seven days.

    You can get the latest forecast and weather information on News 5, WCYB.com, and on the StormTrack 5 weather app.

    Our normal high is 47°, low 27°.

    Meteorologist Donnie Cox and David Boyd

  • Marinas watch lowering lake levels

    By Olivia Bailey, Multi-Media Journalist, obailey@wcyb.com
    Published On: Dec 17 2014 05:00:51 PM CST
    Updated On: Dec 17 2014 05:14:20 PM CST

    As the Tennessee Valley Authority works to find the cause of a sinkhole and the source of seepage at Boone Dam, they continue to lower lake levels.

    WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. -

    As the Tennessee Valley Authority works to find the cause of a sinkhole and the source of seepage at Boone Dam, they continue to lower lake levels. Boone Lake is currently nine feet lower than typical winter lake levels.

    One marina owner hopes TVA keeps levels where they are. Doug Sams owns Rockingham Marina on Boone Lake, and he said right now, he's just had to make a few adjustments. If the lake drops any more this winter, he says he's also looking at a drop in business.

    The level of Boone Lake typically varies about 20 feet from summer to winter, but dropping any lower can cause some problems. "We've got the deepest water of any marina on Boone Lake, but you can see even now, this dock I've had to disconnect," he said. "It's being held with ropes right now. I had to disconnect that dock and swing it around to keep it in water where it's floating."

    The news about lowering lake levels came suddenly for some boat owners. "Unfortunately, by the time they told us they were going to do this, it was too late to get the big boats out of here. The perfect solution was get your boat out of the lake, but there was no way of doing it," boat owner Tom Buchanan said.

    Buchanan lives on his boat all year long, and he had to move to a different boat slip just to keep his home afloat. "My boat is 40 feet long, and it's a true inboard, so the propellers are about four feet underwater," Buchanan said. "So I've got to have at least four to five feet just to keep my props from touching the bottom."

    Sams says TVA has told him they are trying to keep the levels within a five-foot range, but there's no promise it won't drop. "If they were to take the lake any lower than they are right now, I will basically have to disconnect all of my docks. That includes fuel lines, 400 amp electrical service," Sams said.

    He said those adjustments would add up to tens of thousands of dollars. If those services were disconnected, that means Buchanan would have to go without. "The problems it would cause for living down here would be astronomical. You wouldn't have any electricity. You wouldn't have any water," he said.

    All they want are answers. "If there's any way they could  give us certainty about we're going to bring it up for recreational levels for the summer, then everybody would just breathe a sigh of relief," Sams said.

    It's a situation some just can't risk. "I have to stay with the boat. I live on it. Everything I own is in it," Buchanan said.

    Sams tells us Boone Lake is one of the busiest lakes around, and summer tourism generates millions of dollars. He said boat sales have already dried up this season and could suffer more as the year goes on.

    A spokesperson for TVA will only tell us that a team of engineers are working hard and evaluating data to find answers to the seepage. They're hoping to have a plan in place in January.

  • Person airlifted to hospital after car wreck in Unicoi County

    By Kristen Quon, Producer/Reporter, kquon@wcyb.com
    Published On: Dec 17 2014 09:14:21 PM CST
    UNICOI COUNTY, Tenn -

    A person was airlifted to the hospital after a wreck in Unicoi County this evening.

    Route 107 was blocked for an hour while police worked to clear the wreck.

    According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, three cars were involved.

    One person was flown by helicopter to Johnson City Medical Center, two others were taken by ambulance.

    Officers say it appears one of the cars may have turned in front of the other two.

  • Kingsport man charged with shaking baby

    By News 5 Staff, news@wcyb.com
    Published On: Dec 17 2014 04:35:30 PM CST
    KINGSPORT, Tenn. -

    A baby is in the hospital with severe brain damage as a result of Shaken Baby Syndrome, according to Kingsport Police.

    James Casteel is charged with aggravated child abuse. He is accused of shaking a six-month old child, while he was in his care.

    Police say, Casteel was staying in a storage building with no running water at the time of the incident. Casteel's mother found the baby unresponsive and called 9-1-1.

    The mother of the child, Amber Keys was in jail at the time. Keys was released to be with her child. She has since been arrested again for violating the terms of her probation.

  • Utah woman finds abandoned baby in garbage can

    A Kearns, Utah, woman called 911 when she found a newborn baby alive in the garbage behind her house.

  • Remembering Jim Conrad

    Long-time WCYB reporter Jim "Conrad" Blankenbecler tragically passed away on December 16, 2014.

  • Player Of The Year -- Science Hill QB Malik McGue

    Science Hill quarterback Malik McGue is the 2014 News 5 WCYB High School Football Player Of The Year.

  • Puppies stolen in Craigslist deal gone bad

    Police in Richmond, Virginia, are asking for help locating a suspect in connection to a robbery after a Craigslist deal went bad. Authorities said Tion L. Oliver is a suspect in the armed robbery of six pit bull puppies last week.

  • Man says flowers on wife's grave turn purple

    A California man recently lost the love of his life. Now he's convinced she's sending him a message from beyond the grave.

  • Not everyone is happy with U.S.-Cuba thaw

    The ringing of the bells in Havana signals a thaw in the Cold War-era feud between Cuba and the U.S. it’s a thaw that resulted in the repatriation of Alan Gross, imprisoned in Cuba for five years. Not everyone was happy with the news: Cubans who fled the Castro regime and now live in Florida protested the decision Wednesday in Miami.

  • Boy, 4, saves grandma by dialing 911

    A 4-year-old boy saves her grandmother's life by calling 911.

  • Marinas watch lowering lake levels

    As the Tennessee Valley Authority works to find the cause of a sinkhole and the source of seepage at Boone Dam, they continue to lower lake levels.