5 Convicted For Disturbing Artifacts On TVA-Managed Land

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

An investigation by the Tennessee Valley Authority has resulted in the conviction of five people in federal court for the theft of cultural artifacts from TVA-managed property.

The cases involved three separate incidents in which TVA Police investigators witnessed the suspects removing artifacts.

In one case, investigators saw a man bringing up Native American artifacts while diving at Pickwick Reservoir in June. Joey Willis, of Tuscumbia, Al., was found guilty in federal court in Huntsville of a misdemeanor violation of the Archaeological Resource Protection Act or ARPA. He was ordered to pay more than $250 in fines and penalties.

In another case heard in Huntsville, a Tennessee man was found by TVA investigators digging for Native American artifacts on the shore of Guntersville Reservoir in February. Don Hawkins, of Monteagle, Tn., was convicted of a misdemeanor ARPA violation and was fined $500, plus court costs. Hawkins was fined another $250 for misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

The third case involved three people from Stevenson, Al., who were found digging along the shoreline at Guntersville by investigators gathering evidence from the previous case just a few hours earlier. Deborah Arnold, Darius Hutchens and James Owens, all from Stevenson, were each ordered to pay more than $250 in fines and penalties for ARPA violations.

“These cases demonstrate that our investigators are out in the field aggressively working to protect our region’s cultural history,” said David Jolley, TVA vice president of Security and Emergency Management. “We will prosecute anyone who takes historic artifacts from TVA property.”

Mr. Jolley added that it is illegal to take any artifacts, including arrowheads, from TVA-managed property. He said if any of the suspects violate ARPA a second time, the penalties could be up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for business customers and distribution utilities that serve nine million people in parts of seven southeastern states at prices below the national average. TVA, which receives no taxpayer money and makes no profits, also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development.


Attorney General Slatery Names Solicitor General

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery announced that Andrée Sophia Blumstein will join the office as solicitor general.   Mrs. Blumstein will oversee appellate litigation in state and federal courts, review written opinions, and advise the attorney general. “I could not be more pleased that Andrée has accepted this important appointment,” Attorney General Slatery ... (click for more)

Northwest Georgia’s Unemployment Rate Falls To 7.1 Percent In September

The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that the unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region in September was 7.1 percent, down 1.0 percent from 8.1 percent in August. The rate in September of last year was 7.8 percent. The rate dropped because there were 4,034 fewer unemployed people in the Northwest Georgia area in September, according to the federal government’s ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke, Chattanooga Police Department, And Community Members Reach Out To Group Members To End Violence

The city of Chattanooga held a call-in on Thursday night, as part of the Violence Reduction Initiative. Dozens of law enforcement officials, community members, social service providers and clergy gathered to deliver a message to over 20 members of violent groups in Chattanooga. Family members of the probationers watched the call-in from another building. Although the call-in was ... (click for more)

Man Airlifted To Erlanger After Early Morning Crash In Bradley County

Bradley County EMS responded to an early morning crash Thursday at 7 a.m. at the intersection of Lauderdale Memorial Highway and Walker Valley Road in Charleston. Three ambulances and an EMS supervisor responded to the scene. There were three vehicles involved and one car left the roadway.   One adult man suffered serious injuries and it was determined that he needed ... (click for more)

Chairs Cost How Much?

Many times while growing up, I would go to the store with my parents. More often than not, I would see something I wanted, and ask my parents to buy it for me. More often than not, they said no. “Why?” I asked. “Son, money doesn’t grow on trees.” That’s a phrase I’m sure many of us have heard more than once over the course of our lives. However, I have since learned that they were ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Dear Friend Luther

One sunny morning in June years ago, the renowned radio icon Luther Masingill was on his way back to the WDEF studios on South Broad Street when he stopped for a red light and noticed a young couple in a car idling next to his familiar light blue Ford pickup. “What caught my eye was a buck-toothed boy eating a banana in the back seat,” he explained in an aside to that day’s lunchtime ... (click for more)