News Briefs:

New baggage scanner speeds up check in process
Four new pieces of equipment at the McGhee Tyson Airport are making it easier and quicker for travelers to get baggage inspected prior to passing through the check-in counter.

The Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority and the Transportation Security Administration on Feb. 13 announced they had expanded the explosive detection capability of the airport. The management has installed four TSA-certified Reveal CT-80 machines designed to inspect checked baggage for explosive components as part of the airport’s new explosive detection system.

The ability of the machine was explained as being akin to giving baggage both an x-ray and a cat scan. According to a press release, this equipment has changed the way TSA processes luggage.

Previously, TSA intercepted the bag after the passenger had checked in for their flight. Now passengers check in for their flight and then take their luggage to the closest EDS machine.

Federal security director Maggie Rhodes said the new machines will make baggage screening more precise and efficient in
meeting the common goal of a safe and secure aviation sector while at the same time working with the airport and airlines to provide better customer service.

MKAA Board of Commissioners Chair Kirk Huddleston said the safety of passengers and guests at the airport is a top priority. "The installation of the new EDS machines will allow us to speed up the screening process at the airline ticket counters because it eliminates the need to physically open the luggage that is being inspected," he said. "It is definitely a less intrusive procedure for our passengers."

Maryville man in custody following stand-off
A 65-year-old Maryville man and his 45-year-old son were arrested following a two hour stand-off early in the evening on March 6.

Lester Boling, 65, of Silverbell Drive, is charged with aggravated assault, and his son Lester Roy Boling, Jr., 45, is charged with possession of a firearm with intent to go armed. Both men were brought to the Blount County Detention Facility. Bond amounts and court dates have not been set at the time of this release.

At around 7:30 p.m., deputies responded to Boling’s residence on Silverbell Drive in reference to a possible attempted suicide. When deputies arrived, Boling’s girlfriend said that he had pulled a gun on her earlier in the day and was now threatening to kill himself. Deputies were told that he had at least one firearm inside the residence. All family members cleared the residence, and deputies attempted to contact Boling. Deputies formed a perimeter around the residence and attempted several times to get Boling to surrender. Residents in neighboring mobile homes were evacuated, and several of the evacuees were taken to a temporary shelter at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church. Blount County Special Weapons and Tactics Team members and the Crisis Negotiation Team responded to the address.

During negotiations with Boling, Lester Boling, Jr., arrived, and deputies found a pistol in his vehicle for which he did not have a permit. He was taken into custody and charged with possession of a firearm with intent to go armed.

Shortly after 9:30 p.m., Boling surrendered to deputies. The Criminal Investigation Division is continuing the investigation into the incident.

Blount Democrats plan meeting for reorganizing
The Blount County Democratic Party will hold a County Convention for Reorganization at 10 a.m. on March 24, 2007. The meeting will take place at the Blount County Courthouse, Room 430.

Doors will open at 9 a.m. The doors will be locked and meeting begun 10 a.m.

Members will pick a chairperson, vice chairperson(s), secretary, treasurer and the executive committee for Blount County and discuss the agenda for 2007. This meeting will involve open discussion and opportunities for county residents to express ideas and thoughts about the future.

All Democratic residents who are eligible voters of Blount County are urged to attend. For more information contact, Brandon Cook at 865-235-8244, or Dave Finch at 865-607-9430.

Man stabbed in Saturday night attempted burglary
A Knoxville man was charged on March 4 in connection with an attempted burglary of two men on Grove Street in Blount County Saturday evening, March 3.

Jeremiah Lumpkin, 33, of Knoxville, has been charged with especially aggravated burglary. He was being held on a $40,000 bond pending a hearing in Blount County General Sessions Court at 1:30 p.m. March 12.

Another suspect, a 25-year-old male, was stabbed by one of the burglary victims during the incident. He is listed in stable condition at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. A hold has been placed on him by the Sheriff’s Office.

One of the burglary victims, James Christopher, 37, received stab wounds and was taken to U.T. Medical Center for treatment where he was released from the emergency room this morning. Another male residing at the residence was also taken to U.T. Medical Center after complaining of chest pains. He was released Saturday evening.

Three other individuals, one man and two women, were brought in for questioning Saturday night, and released from the Blount County Detention Facility today. Future charges against these individuals may be pending.

Deputies responded to a residence on Grove Street at around 7:20 p.m. Saturday to the call of a stabbing and attempted burglary. At around the same time, Maryville Police and the Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence on Cates Street to the call of a man who had been stabbed. Through witness statements and ascertaining information from the call on Grove Street, it was determined that the two crime scenes were connected. The investigation also revealed that four other individuals were possibly involved in the attempted burglary. One female was still at the Cates Street residence, and three others had fled the Cates Street scene on foot.

Lumpkin was located a short time later at a convenience store on Montvale Road. Two Sheriff’s Office K-9 teams were brought in, and they tracked the other two individuals about two miles away to a residence on Sundance Road. The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Maryville Police Department. The investigation into the case is continuing.

Davidson named commandant of EPME at Air Guard Base
Chief Master Sgt. Deborah F. Davidson was named the 11th Enlisted Professional Military Education (EPME) commandant on Wednesday, Feb. 14, in a change of commandant ceremony at the I. G. Brown Training And Education Center located at
McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base.

Davidson joined the U.S. Force Air Force in June 1979 and served as a weather specialist until 1986 when she re-trained into the personnel career field. In 1992, she separated from the regular Air Force component and enlisted in the District of Columbia Air National Guard, where she served as a weather forecaster before becoming the noncommissioned officer in charge of military personnel flight readiness.

She joined the Air National Guard Statutory Tour program in December 2001, serving as the National Guard Bureau’s joint staff enlisted personnel manager. In that position, she facilitated all Army and Air National Guard enlisted personnel actions that affect career management programs for all Joint Staff enlisted members and advised the National Guard Bureau director and joint staff on enlisted personnel matters.

Davidson replaces Chief Master Sgt. Joseph E. Thornell Sr., who was selected as the superintendent of the Community College of the Air Force Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

The I.G. Brown Training and Education Center (TEC) was established in July 1968 at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base. It was first called the I.G. Brown Professional Military Education Center; named after Major Gen. I.G. Brown, the first director of the Air National Guard. His vision was for an academy fully staffed by Air National Guard personnel and located on an Air National Guard Base.

In 1998, the name was changed to the Training and Education Center. There are two major schools at the TEC: the Enlisted Professional Military Education (EPME) program and the Academy of Military Science. The EPME program is the outgrowth of the original vision of Brown and is focused on the development of enlisted leaders through the Noncommissioned Officer Academy and the Airman Leadership School.

Currently, the schools train more than 500 students a year.

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