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Man charged after burglary, assault
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SEVIERVILLE — A Sevierville man is facing a felony burglary charge, accused of forcing his way into his ex-girlfriend’s home and attacking a man who was there.

Waylon David Fletcher, 43, of Sevierville, allegedly went to his ex-girlfriend’s home on Palmer Court at about 6 a.m. Saturday and forced his way inside.

She told officers that he pushed his way through the door after she told him he couldn’t come inside.

He then attacked a man who was sleeping at the home. Deputies responding to the scene said the man was missing two teeth and had multiple cuts on his face when they arrived.

They charged Fletcher with especially aggravated burglary, a Class B felony that includes breaking into an occupied home and injuring an occupant.

Fletcher was being held Monday at the Sevier County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.

Contact Jeff at jfarrell@themountainpress.com or Twitter at @jeffmtnpress

Surrounded by teammates, seniors Mackenna Loveday and Emma Huskey embrace following the Sevier County High School Bearettes’ championship win over Jefferson County on Saturday night. For full game coverage, see Page A6.


International worker housing on agenda
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GATLINBURG — Members of the Environmental Design Review Board will consider more housing for international workers when they meet on Thursday. The Board of Zoning Appeals meets the same day.

Dan Reilly has submitted a request for review of plans for “Gatlinburg J-1 Housing” at 323 Ownby Street.

The term J-1 refers to international students who travel to the United States to work temporarily in jobs such as those in the tourism industry.

The project has already passed multiple steps on its way to approval.

Members of the Municipal Planning Commission approved a site plan in late 2019, and members of the Industrial Development Board met in November 2020 to discuss the project expected to contain 48 units in two buildings.

The development dedicated to housing workers involves a payment-in-lieu-of- taxes arrangement with Mountain Heritage Group LLC.

“The construction cost provided by the applicant is $3.3 million,” Gatlinburg spokesperson Seth Butler said in November 2020.

Ownby Street is located off Ski Mountain Road near the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Multiple complexes for such workers operate in Gatlinburg, including Smoky Mountain Student Lodge in the former Ogle’s Vacation Motel plus the Work and Travel Lodge in the former Ski View Motel. Ober Gatlinburg has operated a downtown dormitory for several years for its international employees.

EDRB members will take up three other new items of business:

• Proposed commercial building at 606 Parkway — requested by S.B. Property Management

• Signage for Olde Gatlinburg Place at 306 Baskins Creek Road — requested by Southern Signs

• Signage for Little Blue House at 651 Parkway, Suite 102 — requested by Nicole Hamois

One item of old business will be discussed by EDRB members. They will review proposed signage for Unique Gifts and Ts II at 812 Parkway, Suite 104. The request was submitted by Southern Signs.

Appeals board members will consider a request from Bucky Mabe for a variance from signage height guidelines for the commercial property at 727 Parkway.

They will also hear requests involving two proposed single-family residences.

One is for an area/yard/height variance for the property at 623 Bear Trail Lane. The request was submitted by Bradley and Elizabeth Jones.

The other is for variances from regulations on the number of dwellings on a lot and area/yard/height regulations. Maureen Martinson submitted the request for the two variances for the property at 225 West Holly Ridge Road.

Thursday’s EDRB meeting begins at 1:30 p.m., and the BOZA meeting starts at 3 p.m.

Both take place at 1230 East Parkway, Gatlinburg.

Information is available at www.gatlinburgtn.gov or 865-436-7792.

Contact Juli at jneil@themountainpress.com or on Twitter at @NeilWatsonJ.

COVID-19 vaccine available to 65 and up
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SEVIERVILLE — Sevier County residents who are 65 and older can now get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The state announced last week that residents in that age group would be eligible for the vaccine starting Monday. Staff at K-12 schools and child care facilities are also now eligible to be vaccinated.

Residents can now sign up for vaccinations with the Sevier County Health Department using the state’s website at covid19.tn.gov. They can schedule vaccinations at local pharmacies by contacting the pharmacies directly.

The county has made progress in catching up to the state average for vaccinations. As of Sunday, 9.23% of Sevier County residents have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine. The statewide figure was 10.56%.

Sevier County’s total number of active cases of COVID-19 continued to fall over the weekend, dropping from 294 Friday to 264 Monday.

The Tennessee Department of Health reported one new death over the weekend, and one new hospitalization.

There were 47 new positive tests reported over the weekend out of a total of 416, for a positivity rate of 11.3%.

Sevier County schools reported 14 positive cases among students and nine among staff this week. There were 133 students quarantined due to possible contact with the virus, along with 13 staff.

Contact Jeff at jfarrell@themountainpress.com or Twitter at @jeffmtnpress

Pedestrian killed on I-40 Sunday
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SEVIERVILLE — A 48-year-old woman died Sunday after being struck while walking on I-40 in Sevier County.

The woman, whose name is being withheld pending notification of her family, was apparently walking with another person and traveling east on the eastbound side of the interstate when she was struck.

The man who was walking with her and the driver of the car were not injured, Sevierville Police reported.

The collision happened at about 8:15 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, and two eastbound lanes of the interstate were closed until about 10:15 p.m.

Sevierville Police are still investigating the incident.

Contact Jeff at jfarrell@themountainpress.com or Twitter at @jeffmtnpress