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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.

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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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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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