published Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Reward raised in man's slaying and other news from the areas around Chattanooga

Reward raised in man's slaying

KINGSTON, Tenn. — The family of an 85-year-old Roane County slaying victim has increased the reward for information in his death, authorities said.

The reward for information leading to a conviction in the death of Russel Charles Blevins has grown from $3,000 to $5,000, according to a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation release.

On Aug. 12, family members found Blevins, of 138 Hart Orchard Road in Kingston, shot multiple times in his home.

"It's just an odd situation," Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said earlier this month. "Almost nothing was disturbed."

The family had been trying to reach Blevins, but when he didn't answer they went to check on him around 8 p.m. on Aug. 12, the sheriff said. Blevins' body was found on the living room floor.

A preliminary autopsy report indicates that Blevins had been dead 10 to 12 hours when he was found, he said.

Investigators believe an M-1 30-caliber carbine rifle was taken from Blevin's home, and Stockton said several other weapons were left in place.

Anyone with information about the slaying is urged to call the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND (1-800-824-3463) or the Roane County Sheriff's Office at 865-376-5582.


Students stable after bus crash

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — A dozen students remain hospitalized after a school bus ran off the road and rolled at least three times in northern East Tennessee.

The incident Thursday afternoon came as the bus carried 63 David Crockett High School students home after classes.

Washington County Director of Schools Ronald Dykes said Friday that the 12 students still in the hospital were all in stable condition and that doctors expect all of them to make full recoveries -- an outcome he called miraculous.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security on Friday identified the driver as Brenda K. Gray of Jonesborough, who is in her mid-50s.

Dykes said Gray has driven for the county schools for six years and was a school bus driver in Texas before that.


Preparedness app ready

NASHVILLE — Tennesseans can download a new app for their iPhones and iPads called ReadyTN, a preparedness program developed by the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency.

The app is available through the App Store or the iTunes store.

ReadyTN will provide location-based information on severe weather, road conditions, open shelters and local government contacts. The app also provides preparedness tips.

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