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.


Sound Living Counseling Celebrates Grand Opening Aug. 30

Sound Living Counseling will celebrate its Open House and Dedication with ribbon cutting ceremony on Aug. 30 from  11:30 a.m. –4 p.m.  The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce will coordinate this event, taking place at 6727 Heritage Business Court, Suite 720. Sound Living Counseling is a center expanding to serve the needs of people in the community. The mission ... (click for more)

UNUM Hosts Back To School Bash For Chambliss Children

UNUM hosted its annual Back to School Bash for the school-aged children spending the summer at Chambliss Center for Children.   This year more than 175 UNUM employees came out to host a special day on our campus that included inflatables, games, a petting zoo, snow cones, face painting, hot dogs, burgers and more. They also stuffed 125 backpacks full of the required ... (click for more)

Nashville Man Arrested By TBI For Trafficking 12-Year-Old Texas Girl For Sex

Special Agents in the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Human Trafficking Unit, working alongside local and federal partners, have arrested and charged a Nashville man accused of trafficking a 12-year-old from Texas for the purposes of commercial sex. On Friday evening, the TBI received information from the U.S. Marshals Service about the possible whereabouts of a Texas ... (click for more)

Michael Ford Sentenced To More Than 13 Years In Prison On Drug Charges

Michael Shawn Ford has been sentenced to 13 and a half years in prison on drug charges. On April 20, 2105, Ford was arrested at his house in East Ridge. Police found him hiding in the closet with a laundry bag which contained a loaded pistol and 7.9 grams of crystal meth. Officers said that two backpacks were found in the same bedroom, one with 257.3 grams of crystal meth ... (click for more)

Olympic Events On The Ocoee River Made History – But It Wasn’t Easy

It started with a simple “what if” question while Atlanta officials were working on a bid to host the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.  A group of amateur kayakers from the city began asking themselves: “What if Atlanta’s bid is successful? Then where would the Olympic whitewater canoe and kayak races be held?”  To some of the members of that group, the answer was obvious. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Don’t Kick A Man’s Neck

From the minute my brothers and I each became cognizant, my dad started teaching us the rules of becoming a man. Dad was from deep in Mississippi and he’d been taught a lot of life’s secrets from his father. These lessons have been passed for generations and, the older I have become, I’m convinced a lot of them were borne from The Sermon on the Mount. Our favorite, back in the ... (click for more)