Our network

Plans move forward to build new Monroe Co. Jail

(WBIR-Madisonville) A permanent fix to overcrowding at the Monroe County Jail is one step closer to a reality after a committee voted to recommend building a new facility outside of downtown Madisonville.

Mayor Tim Yates said the current downtown jail is only certified to house 138 inmates, but typically it houses 70 inmates more than it's certified.

"We were up to be de-certified by the state, and we have a plan of action," said Yates.

Community Sponsors

Nick Saban makes speech in Vol territory

One of the Vols' biggest rivals made an appearance in Big Orange Country Tuesday for a speech.

Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban traveled to the McMinn County city of Athens for the event. More than 1,500 people attended the Athens Chamber of Commerce event at a cost of $50 per ticket.

Previous Story: Nick Saban event increases security after death threats

McMinn Co. Sheriff's Office teaches kids about law enforcement

(WBIR-Athens) Nearly three dozen McMinn County kids embarked on unique adventure on Tuesday.

They went to jail, but not for doing anything wrong. The McMinn County Sheriff's Department put 35 kids through their Youth Law Enforcement Academy. Fourth through sixth graders jumped on the obstacle course to test their physical ability.

McMinn County deputy Joe Guy said the academy teaches children about all types of law enforcement techniques and procedures - from crime scene investigation to firearms safety.

From stockbroker to artist

Now she is an artist but Paula Marksbury started out as a stockbroker.

"One day I said wrong side of the brain working so I went to Vermont and started working with two master glass blowers," Paula Marksbury said.

For the past 13 years she's focused on a specific type of glass art called kiln formed fused glass. As part of the process she bakes it in a giant kiln at her studio in McMinn County outside Athens.

Nick Saban event increases security after death threats

University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban will be in Big Orange country Tuesday night to speak at a benefit dinner.

You might expect that some UT fans would be unhappy.  But the organizers, Athens Chamber of Commerce, say it's gotten out of hand.

"I think Athens should be used in target practice for the United States Air Force. I also think beatings are in order for the [expletive] who come to see Saban," wrote an upset fan in an email to Athens Chamber of Commerce President Rob Preston.

Police say they found drugs in baby's crib

Police say they found drugs in a baby's crib when responding to a complaint about drug activity. It happened at an apartment in the Forest Hills apartment complex in Athens Tuesday.

Inside, an officer found a plate with white residue and multiple prescription bottles. As he went into a bedroom, the officer says the man who lives there, Clifford Brabson picked up a baby and slipped something underneath the baby's pillow. The officer told Brabson to lift the baby, and found more drug residue on plates, scales and straws.

The art he creates really rocks


There's something about a rocking chair that just makes you want to sit for awhile and relax.

A man in McMinn County specializes in comfortable chairs that are also works of art.

Some of the wood working tools in Jim McGie's studio belonged to his grandfather.

"I discovered those old tools and they became the toys I played with growing up." Jim McGie said.

He's made brooms and bowls and spoons making rocking chairs is what he loves.