Law Enforcement Offers Reward For Those Aiming Lasers At Aircraft

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The deliberate targeting of aircraft by lasers has increased over 1,000 percent in the last eight years.  Directing lasers at an airplane or helicopter can temporarily blind a pilot and creates a real safety risk for everyone on board and people on the ground, said officials.  In 2013, there were almost 4,000 reported laser strikes; an average of 11 incidents a day.  Improvements in technology and the availability of low cost lasers have contributed to the problem.    

In 2012, due to the risks associated with an increase in these types of incidents, the President signed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which included a provision making it a federal felony to aim a laser pointer at an aircraft.  This crime carries a penalty of up to five years in federal prison.  In addition, a civil fine of $11,000 can be imposed for Interference with a Flight Crew.   

Pursuant to a national public awareness campaign, for the next 90 days, a reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of individuals aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft.  The Knoxville FBI office, in collaboration with the FAA, Department of Homeland Security (including the Transportation Security Administration [TSA] and the Federal Air Marshals), Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority, Blount County Sheriff’s Office, Alcoa Police Department, and the McGhee Tyson Air National Guard are tracking these incidents locally and will investigate reported violations of these statutes. 

Laser incidents directed at aircraft may be reported to the FBI, the local law enforcement agency, or by calling 911.  



Tennessee State Trooper Arrests 3 Men On Drug Charges; Seizes Crystal Meth In Coffee County

A Tennessee state trooper arrested two previously-convicted felons and another man on drug charges earlier this week after stopping their vehicle for speeding in a construction zone in Coffee County.  Trooper Donnie Clark  on Tuesday  afternoon stopped a sport utility vehicle for a speeding violation on westbound Interstate-24 near the 115 mile marker. Upon initial ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: UTC Has Official Opening For New $50 Million Library

UTC on Thursday held the official opening for its new $50 million library at Vine and Douglas. The five-story library replaces the Lupton Memorial Library at Vine near Palmetto, which will be converted for classrooms. It took four years to build. (click for more)

Shelley Andrews Will Be Missed - And Response

Shelley Andrews was one of the kindest, most thoughtful and most effective laborers in our community.  Her work with the Friends of Moccasin Bend was exemplary.  She listened, she learned and she led with dignity and class. Her brave battle with ovarian cancer was a testament to her positive spirit and commitment to her work on behalf of the people of this region. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: This One’s For ‘Grifter’

Back in October of 2013 a Facebook page called “OAF Nation” was created to “boost the morale” of the heroes who make up our nation’s military.” It was tongue-in-cheek satire, putting funny captions on every-day pictures that showed members of the Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard as they defended our country. Our fighting men and women loved it. It quickly went viral and today ... (click for more)

Abbott Fuels Sale Creek Rally Past Whitwell

(Story will be updated) Hayden Abbott, one of several Sale Creek basketball seniors honored between games Thursday night, hit back-to-back 3-pointers to key a fourth-quarter comeback and lead the District 6-A regular season champion Panthers to a stirring 68-57 victory over the gutty Whitwell Tigers. With the Tigers leading by six points, Sale Creek’s Spencer Hodge’s putback ... (click for more)

McCallie Promotes Three in Athletics Dept

McCallie School has announced the promotion of three employees into administrative roles in the Athletic Office. Jeff Romero, Mike Newman and Ralph Potter have all been promoted to new or reconfigured positions.  “From a practical standpoint, responsibilities of a modern athletic program have grown beyond the ability of a single person to manage,” said Associate Headmaster ... (click for more)