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Miller appointed to represent county’s 8th District

Newly appointed County Commissioner David Miller is sworn into office by Carter County Clerk Mary Gouge.

Members of the Carter County Commission appointed David Miller to fill the vacancy created earlier this year by the death of former Commissioner Rick Richardson.

Miller was one of four applicants seeking the vacant seat to represent the county’s 8th District. The other applicants were Cody McQueen, Jeff Guinn, and Donnie Graham. During the Commission meeting on June 17 the applicants who were in attendance were given the opportunity to address the full Commission.

After the first round of voting, the field was narrowed to the two applicants receiving the most votes – Miller and Guinn. In the second round of voting Miller received 14 votes while Guinn garnered 8.

Following the vote, Miller was sworn into office by County Clerk Mary Gouge and took his seat on the Commission. Miller joins Commissioners Kelly Collins and Robin McKamey in representing the 8th District, which includes the High School and Harold McCormick Precincts. In addition to serving on the County Commission, Miller will serve on the following committees: Buildings & Grounds, Health & Welfare, Rules & Bylaws, and Law Enforcement.

Miller will serve on the Commission through August 2020. Under state law, when a commission seat is vacated, the full Commission appoints a replacement to fill the vacancy until the next general county election. Richardson was elected to the Commission in August 2018 and his term would have expired in August 2022. The next county general election is slated for August 2020. Miller will serve on the Commission through that time and then the winner of the August 2020 election will serve the remaining two years of Richardson’s original term.

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County mourns loss of Commissioner Rick Richardson

Commissioner Rick Q. Richardson

On Monday morning officials and employees of Carter County government were saddened to hear of the passing of Commissioner Rick Richardson.

Commissioner Richardson was elected in 2018 to represent the county’s 8th District, which includes the Harold McCormick and High School Precincts. As a member of the County Commission, Mr. Richardson served as Chairman of the Buildings and Grounds Committee as well as a member on the Financial Management, Rules and Bylaws, Health and Welfare, and Law Enforcement Committees.

“I am very saddened to hear about the passing of Commissioner Rick Richardson,” Carter County Mayor Rusty Barnett said. “He was a dedicated commissioner who represented his constituents with honor and integrity. He will be greatly missed by his fellow commissioners and the county’s elected officials.”

Below is the obituary for Commissioner Richardson.

Rick Quinton Richardson

Rick Quinton Richardson, of Elizabethton, left all pain and suffering behind and went to live with his Lord on the morning of April 22, 2019.
Those left behind to cherish his memory include his two children, Keely Richardson Goodwin of Kingsport, and Cory Richardson of Elizabethton; his mother, Darlene Smith of Elizabethton; his two precious granddaughters, Jovie and Lindy Goodwin; and several special cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Quinton Richardson, and his only brother, Bill Richardson.
Rick Richardson was a devout Christian and a faithful and lifelong member of Borderview Christian Church, where he served as a deacon for over 20 years.
Rick was born and raised in Elizabethton where he led a life of service and leadership. A 1973 graduate of Elizabethton High School, he served his school as student body president.
He graduated from East Tennessee State University in 1978 with a B.S. degree in Journalism and started his career at the Johnson City Press in 1979 where he worked in advertising and multi media sales until his retirement in 2014.
Rick was elected to the Carter County Commission in 2018 to serve the 8th District (Harold McCormick and High School precincts), and he was the chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee which has oversight of the county’s facilities, as well as a member of the Financial Management, Health & Welfare, Law Enforcement, and Rules & Bylaws Committees.
Rick’s name was synonymous with Little League in Carter County, as he coached hundreds of youngsters for more than 20 years in the Elizabethton National Little League and later, the Cal Ripkin League. He also served as the president of the League. He served on the Elizabethton Twins Commission for years and just named to the Elizabethton Twins Stadium Task Force.
He also coached youth basketball at the Boys & Girls Club Elizabethton/Carter County for many years.
Rick was an avid gardener and rose grower, and was the founder and first president of the Watauga Valley Rose Society. He also served as a consulting rosarian for the American Rose Society for many years.
Finally, Rick was a passionate University of Tennessee Vol fan who attended as many UT football and basketball games as possible to root for his beloved Big Orange. For that reason, his family encourages those attending visitation and/or services for him to honor his love of the Vols by wearing Tennessee orange.
Rick Richardson’s life will be celebrated at Memorial Funeral Chapel, 212 North Main Street, Elizabethton, Tenn., on Wednesday, April 24, with Brother Scott Fisher, Senior Minister at Borderview Christian Church, and Randy Carrier, minister, officiating. Visitation for family and friends at Memorial will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday followed by a Celebration of Life service at 7 p.m. Graveside services will be conducted at Happy Valley Memorial Park, 2708 Elizabethton Highway, on Thursday, April 25, at 11 a.m. Active pallbearers, who are requested to assemble at the funeral home at 10:20 a.m. Thursday, will be Brother Randy Carrier, Leonard Febuary, Ray Don Markland, Scott Reynolds, Matt Fisher, Joel Norris, Jody Crowe, Raymond Morton, Jordan Hinshaw, Travis Lowe, Justin Wandell and Sage Richardson. Honorary pallbearers include Tony Bowers, Jerry Bowers, the Carter County Commission and the Borderview Christian Church family. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that Rick’s memory be honored with a donation to the Boys & Girls Club Elizabethton/Carter County, 104 Hudson Drive, Elizabethton, TN 37643 or to Borderview Christian Church, 1338 Bristol Highway, Elizabethton, TN 37643. Family and friends will assemble at the funeral home at 10:20 a.m. Thursday to go to the cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at our website at
Memorial Funeral Chapel is serving the Richardson family.

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Plans for Carter County resort to be unveiled at upcoming meeting

ELIZABETHTON STAR – Carter County residents will get their first look at plans for a new lakeside resort planned for the Watauga Lake area during Tuesday’s Carter County Planning Commission meeting at 3 p.m.

The project, being developed by Daniel Goodhall and his family, is one he says could one day provide as many as 500+ jobs in the county.

To read more CLICK HERE.

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Carter Planning Commission litter complaints upheld in court

JOHNSON CITY PRESS – A chancellor ruled Wednesday against the owners of five parcels the Carter County Planning Commission argued were in violation of the Carter County Litter Regulations.

These properties have been before the Planning Commission for a lengthy period because of the alleged violations.

After hearing testimony in the five cases, Chancellor John Rambo ruled in each case that the properties had “not been maintained in a manner which the public welfare requires.”

To Read More CLICK HERE.

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HOME grant workshop scheduled

Carter County has received a $500,000 HOME grant from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) to rehabilitate homes. The HOME program goal is to bring sub-standard housing units into compliance with HUD housing quality standards as well as local building codes and health/safety concerns. Examples of eligible work may include plumbing, electrical, foundations and sub-flooring repair, roof repairs, window and door replacement, and handicap accessibility items. The work will be completed by area contractors and will be at minimal cost to qualifying homeowners.

First Tennessee Development District is hosting a separate public information session for all qualified citizens of Carter County to learn how to apply for home rehabilitation grant assistance. Residents living in Carter County will attend a workshop held on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 10 a.m. at the Carter County Courthouse, Second Floor Courtroom, 801 E. Elk Ave., Elizabethton.

All of the following criteria must be met to qualify:

1. Meet low-to-moderate income guidelines

2. Have proof that you own your home and the land on which it is located for a minimum one year

3. Reside permanently within the Carter County Limits

4. All property taxes paid up to date.

Applications for grant assistance will be distributed during the public meeting. Individual applicant interviews will be scheduled. All applications are scored by program criteria and will be priority ranked by scores. Based on the final number of applications received, everyone who qualifies may not receive grant assistance since the program has a limited amount of funds.

Any persons wishing to attend with special needs of accessibility please contact the Carter County Mayor’s Office at (423) 542-1801.

For more information on the home repair grant program, contact First Tennessee Development District at 423-722-5122.

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Carter Budget Committee looking at ways to increase county employee salaries next fiscal year

JOHNSON CITY PRESS – The Carter County Commission is beginning the process of developing the county budget for the 2019-20 Fiscal Year, and some preliminary discussion worked its way into the discussions of the Budget Committee on Monday night.

Several commissioners pointed out that the county has fallen behind in the salaries being paid to county employees.

To Read More CLICK HERE.

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Carter School Resource Officers wearing vests that alerts headquarters when deputy is shot or stabbed

JOHNSON CITY PRESS – The Carter County Sheriff’s Office will be first law enforcement agency in the region to use a new technology that detects when a deputy’s ballistic vest is shot or stabbed and sends an alert to the department.

To Read More CLICK HERE.
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County Mayor urges homeowners to apply for home repair grant

I want to start off by thanking everyone for the chance to serve as Carter County Mayor. I am humbled by this opportunity.

As you may have recently seen in the news, Carter County has been awarded a $500,000 HOME grant from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency to help local residents repair their homes to bring them up to code and correct any health or safety concerns with the residence. This is a wonderful program that will benefit our community and I am pleased that Carter County is able to be a part of it.

Through this program, residents who meet the low-to-moderate income guidelines, reside permanently within Carter County, have proof they have owned their home and the land it is located on for at least a year, and are up-to-date on their property taxes can qualify for grant assistance in repairing their homes. The grant will cover home repairs such as handicap accessibility issues, roof repairs, window replacements, and a variety of other repairs that will make the homes safer and more energy efficient.

All of the home repairs through the program will be completed by contractors in our area which will help keep that money in our local economy. The repairs will be completed at a minimal cost to homeowners who qualify for the grant.

I am very excited about this program and the opportunity it provides residents in our community who are in need of assistance. I also want to thank the staff at First Tennessee Development District for helping us obtain this grant funding and for administering the grant as we begin working with homeowners in our community.

Applications are reviewed on an individual basis and staff from First Tennessee Development District will be conducting individual applications interviews once applications begin to come in. The applications will be scored based on program criteria and projects will be placed on a priority list based on those scores. Funding for the program is limited, so unfortunately there may be homeowners who qualify but may not receive any assistance funding.

First Tennessee Development District will be hosting a public meeting about the qualifications for the grant and what all types of repairs the grant covers on Tuesday, January 29, at 10 a.m. in the courtroom here at the Carter County Courthouse.  Applications for grant funding to complete home repairs will be distributed at the meeting.

I urge anyone who is interested in applying for this grant to please attend the meeting so you can get the information you need to apply.


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Carter County hopes to bring the community together to create a new EMS building

WCYB – A new EMS building could be coming to Carter County.

Mayor Rusty Barnett says it’s his top priority.

The piece of land was donated to the county to be used to help the community. The land is off Highway 321 near Whaley Town Road.

The closest EMS service from the area is more than 8-miles away.

To See the WCYB news report, CLICK HERE.

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