JCP Week in Review, January 26

Jared Bentley • Jan 26, 2018 at 4:32 PM

A local man with a valid handgun carry permit made his play as the latest “good guy with a gun,” firing at three suspected shoplifters after watching them leave the West Market Walmart with merchandise in hand this morning.

Shots were reported around 8 a.m., and when police arrived, they spoke to a man, whose name was not released, about his involvement.

According to a press release, the unnamed citizen saw a suspicious man with a buggy containing several items that were not bagged. He followed the person out and saw him loading items into a gray Jeep Cherokee with tag number 6D1-5Z9. When confronted, the suspect jumped into the passenger’s side of the jeep and the driver “displayed what the patron believed to be a handgun and pointed it in his direction,” according to police.

A second concerned citizen followed the Jeep onto McKinley Road, where the driver of the Jeep stopped, got out of the vehicle, and again brandished a weapon. Witnesses told police there was one white man, a second man of unknown race and one white female in the Jeep. Investigators are poring over surveillance footage, and have recovered approximately $1,350 in items left by the suspects.


Johnson City Police are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 423-434-6158. To text an anonymous tip, text “423JCPD” and your tip to 847411.

If you’re like me, you probably don’t have a lot of love for your internet provider. Well, hope may be coming down the road.

Electric utility BrightRidge plans to offer high-speed internet, television and telephone services to most of its 78,000 customers within eight years.

Citing today’s need for internet access for business, education and communication, BrightRidge’s board of directors unanimously voted Tuesday to seek regulatory approval for an eight-year phased plan to bring both broadband wireless and fiber-optic services to its customers.

The phased rollout, at an expected rate of one phase per year, will begin in Johnson City and part of Washington County, with wireless service started by May. According to the timeline, limited availability of the services will be provided in Jonesborough, Colonial Heights, Piney Flats and western Carter County in year two.

For more information on the project and it’s timeline, visit our website.

The debate over whether Tennessee will legalize medicinal marijuana is about to reach a significant milestone.

This past week, Sen. Steve Dickerson and Rep. Jeremy Faison officially introduced the Medical Cannabis Only Act of 2018, which, if passed, would legalize oil-based medical marijuana products for Tennesseans with certain health conditions. The law would only permit oil-based products; flower or raw marijuana use would still be outlawed.

A Vanderbilt poll released in December showed nearly 80 percent of registered Tennessee voters support doctors having the option to prescribe medical cannabis to patients, and while this bill falls far short of the Marijuana laws of other states, it is a big step forward in accepting the medicinal properties of the plant.

It’s estimated 800 medical cannabis products are currently on the market and available to patients in legalized states, but not Tennessee. Arkansas, Florida, West Virginia and 27 other states have already authorized similar access to medical cannabis.

On Saturday, women from all walks of life across our country marched for equality, and the crowds in Johnson City let themselves be heard as well.

The marches were a repeat of last year, when thousands showed up to march for women's rights the day after Donald Trump was sworn in as president. The marches reached far beyond Washington, D.C., to cities across the country, drawing crowds of thousands.

More than 35 community organizations were represented at Saturday’s march in Johnson City, including area Democratic parties, Women Matter Northeast Tennessee, the Tri-Cities Chapter of the NAACP, the Pride Community Center, Indivisible, the Muslim Community of Northeast Tennessee, and many more.

At Founders Park, participants gathered in the amphitheater to sing together and listen to speakers that included local activists, community leaders and political candidates.

Whatever you believe, however you resolve your political or personal leanings, our democracy is strongest when voices are heard. Make a concerted effort to have your voice heard. Show up. Stay informed. Speak your mind. Vote your conscience.

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