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Carter County HOME Grant workshop planned

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, Jan. 29, 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.

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Elizabethton comes together to celebrate local veteran’s 100th birthday

ELIZABETHTON STAR – A few days before her actual birthday, Florence “Helen” Shoopman Fetzer celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday, December 30, at the Sycamore Springs Assisted Living Center. Hundreds of well-wishers joined her for the celebration, filling the narrow hallways of the assisted living center and filling the building with celebratory noises and shouts.

To Read More CLICK HERE.

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County offices to close in observance of Christmas holiday

Offices at the Carter County Courthouse, the Justice Center Annex, and the Carter County Election Commission will be closed December 24-26 for observance of the Christmas holiday. The Carter County Clerk’s Office which is normally open a half-day on Saturdays will also be closed this Saturday, Dec. 22 for the holiday. Offices will re-open on Thursday, December 27 for normal hours at 8 a.m.

The Carter County Health Department will be closed December 24 and 25 for the holiday and will reopen for normal business hours at 8 a.m.

The Carter County Landfill, Carter County Recycling Center, Roan Mountain Convenience Center, and Little Milligan Convenience Center will be closed Saturday, December 22, and December 24-25 for the holiday. Those locations will reopen for normal business hours on Wednesday, December 26. The landfill will open at 7 a.m. that day with the Recycling Center opening at 8:30 a.m. The Roan Mountain and Little Milligan Convenience Centers will return to their normal operating days and times.

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Benny Lyons named WJHL’s Community Hero of the Week

WJHL – If you live in Carter County, this week’s community hero has touched your life in some way.

His name is Benny Lyons.

Benny was nominated by his friend, Scott Fletcher, who said Benny has served Carter County for many years, in several different capacities such as being a member of the Stoney Creek volunteer fire department for more than 20 years

To view the story WJHL did on Benny Lyons, CLICK HERE.

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Carter County preparing for inclement weather from winter storm

ELIZABETHTON – With the National Weather Service forecasting that a major winter storm that will move through the region this weekend and early into next week, officials in Carter County are encouraging residents to prepare now as weather forecasts predict this region will see potentially significant impacts from the storm.

According to Carter County Mayor Rusty Barnett, the most recent update received from the National Weather Service calls for the possibility of “moderate to heavy snow accumulations” in the region. There is also a possibility for freezing rain, sleet, and ice with the storm system.

“We would like to encourage everyone to prepare in advance so if we do see a lot of snowfall they don’t have to try to get out and pick up supplies after the roads have become dangerous,” Barnett said.

To ensure residents are ready for this winter storm and any possible power outages, Barnett recommends they make sure their Emergency Kit is fully stocked.

“Be sure to have enough food, water, medicine, batteries, clothes, and pet supplies for at least seven days,” Barnett said. “Residents may also want consider purchasing battery-powered rechargers for cellphones.” Barnett also recommends residents should fill up their vehicle gas tanks and generators before the weather system moves in on Saturday. Residents have some cash on hand in case of power outages, as stores may not be able to accept credit or debit cards, Barnett said.

In the event of severe inclement weather, Barnett said on Friday morning he and Carter County Emergency Management Agency officials worked together to identify potential shelter locations.

“We have been working with partners in our community as well as the Carter County School System to have emergency shelters on standby in case people need to evacuate their homes,” Barnett said.

In the event a shelter is opened, Barnett said an announcement will be given to local media agencies.

“We can’t announce locations in advance because we don’t know what areas may be hit hard,” Barnett said. “We have to make sure location is safe and has the needed power before we can open a shelter there.”

Carter County has an alert system that residents can sign up with for free. The system allows users to select what type of alerts they receive and how they receive them, whether it’s by phone, text message, or email. Simply go to to signup. Weather alerts are automated and are sent when the National Weather Service issues an alert for an affected area.

If you don’t already have Emergency Kits, you can go to this site for help in putting your kit together:

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Carter County Health Department prepares to launch flu vaccine program

With the holiday spirit in full swing, illnesses are preparing to enjoy the parties, too. Health officials are hoping to curb the risk of disease before it can even begin.

Tennessee’s Department of Health has dedicated the entirety of next week towards making this year’s flu vaccine as accessible as possible, launching a campaign called FightFluTN and advertising free flu shots during the entire week of December 3 to December 7.

To Read More CLICK HERE.

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Unaka High School wins top awards at Top Wrench competition

ELIZABETHTON STAR – A small school with a new team, the students at Unaka High School said they were just excited to be there. When they won first and third place in several categories, however, beating out hundreds of other schools, they said they knew they were going places.

Scotty Johnson, teacher at Unaka High School, runs both the Collision Repair class and its associated after-school club.

To Read More CLICK HERE.

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Early Voting sees record turnout in Carter County

When the early voting polls closed in Carter County on Thursday afternoon a record number of residents had cast their ballots.

At the end of the day on Thursday, a total of 9,722 Carter Countians had voted in the mid-term elections. This is more than twice as many as took part in early voting during the 2014 mid-terms, which 4,196 residents voted early.

In addition to the high turnout at the early voting polls, Carter County Administrator of Elections Tracy Harris said new voter registrations saw an increase ahead of this election. According to Harris, she and her staff received 1,600 new voter registrations ahead of the deadline to participate in this election.

Carter County currently has 34,028 registered voters in the county. So, with 9,722 residents casting their ballots early, voter turnout in the county is already at 28.5 percent with Election Day yet to come.

Harris credits the rise in early voting and voter registration numbers to high interest in the state and federal races appearing on the ballot.

Polls will be open on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Those already in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote. The results from early voting will not be calculated until after the polls close on Election Day.

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