From fires, to football, and everything in between, many major stories have topped our newscasts this year.
Unicoi County hospital sale
2013 began much as 2012 ended for folks in Unicoi County -- trying to figure out the future of their local hospital. The hospital board approved selling the hospital to Mountain States Health Alliance. However, Wellmont also made a bid. After a series of legal maneuvers, Mountain States won out. Click here to read more.
Mouse's Ear bar destroyed in fire
An early morning fire halted shows at the Mous'es Ear Exotic Sports Bar in Gray. No one was hurt. The zoning laws have been changed in that area, so the club cannot be rebuilt there. Click here to read more.
86-year-old defends self during home invasion
A story from Bulls Gap captivated viewers all around the country and became the most-viewed story of all time on WCYB.com -- 86-year-old Louise Howard of Bulls Gap grabbed a shotgun when an intruder broke her door and came in. She and the intruder wrestled over the gun and it went off, hitting a wall. The intruder fled, but later turned herself in. Click here to read more.
Deputy goes undercover as high-schooler
This story almost sounded like a Hollywood movie script -- Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes told us his department had placed an undercover officer in area high schools to root out drugs users and sellers. Officer Donna Rogan posed as a student for ten months, and her work led to 14 arrests. Click here to read more.
ETSU Bucs football returns
Football fever returned to East Tennessee State University in April as university president Brian Noland announced the school would again field a team after a ten-year hiatus. The university was given approval by the State Board of Regents to increase student fees to help pay for football. Former University of Tennessee football coach Phil Fulmer was brought in as a consultant to help get the ball rolling. After a two month search, Carl Torbush was named as the head coach. The first game against Kennesaw State is scheduled for September 3, 2015 at Science Hill High School. Click here to read more.
State troopers injured in high-speed chase
In Scott County, Virginia, a high-speed chase injured two state troopers -- one critically -- and left a half-dozen cars damaged. Troopers told us Jason Byrns approached a police checkpoint in his car, then abruptly turned around and fled. They gave chase, and minutes later other troopers joined in. Click here to read more.
Pilot-Flying J investigated
Jimmy Haslam, brother of Tennessee governor Bill Haslam, had some problems in April. FBI agents blocked off his Pilot Oil-Flying J company offices and carted out boxes of records. An investigation revealed no improprieties by Haslam, but did find some of his employees had falsified records and not paid rebates to trucking companies. Click here to read more.
Virginia Intermont College's accreditation
Bristol's Virginia Intermont College got the bad news in April that its accreditation might not be reinstated. The cash-strapped school was using payment plans for vendors and services, due in part to long-term money issues. In June, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools said it would not renew VI's accreditation, but a court ordered SACS to keep VI in good standing. Click here to read more.
Local tie to national headline
In May, we reported an amazing story with ties to our area. Three women missing for more than a decade were found in a Cleveland, Ohio home where they had been held captive. One of them, Amanda Berry, has family in our area, and we spoke to her grandmother not long after Amanda called her. The man who took Berry and the others captive, Ariel Castro, later killed himself in jail. Click here to read more.
Eastman commits to Kingsport
Eastman Chemical made a huge announcement for the city of Kingsport in May. Eastman made a long-term commitment to stay in the Model City, which includes building a new headquarters on its campus there and adding jobs. Click here to read more.
Trail Days tragedy
In June, the Damascus Trail Days celebration took a tragic turn as an elderly man driving in the parade had a medical emergency and drove his car into a group of hikers, injuring several people. No charges were filed against the driver. Click here to read more.
McLeod Blood Center trial
A well-known Johnson City doctor was sentenced to two years in prison in June, despite his plea for probation. Dr. William Kincaid, who once practiced at the McLeod Cancer and Blood Center, was convicted of giving patients cancer medication that had not been approved by the FDA. Click here to read more.