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Dandridge, Tennessee

February 21, 2011

Human Remains Found in New Market

Human remains were discovered on Foothill Road on Friday, February 18, 2011.
According to Sheriff G.W. “Bud” McCoig, a call came into the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office around 7:30 am Friday morning. The call was received from a citizen that lives in close proximity to the place the remains were found. The caller stated that the family dogs had brought what looked like human remains into the yard. Sheriff McCoig responded to the call and was joined at the scene by Detective Owens of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Dept. 
Upon arrival at the caller’s residence, they discovered what appeared to be human remains and some decomposed clothing that appeared to be pants. 
After collecting the bone, the dogs led Detective Owens to the rest of the remains. The remains were located about 20 feet off of Foothill Road. The Sheriff had the scene roped off and called the University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Center to mark and collect bones. UTK Forensic Anthropology Center is world renowned for it’s expertise in dealing with human remains.
According to Sheriff McCoig, the remains appear to be male and are several months old. Decomposed clothing was found and is being evaluated. 
Jefferson County has one missing male. 
Steve Buchanan, a Dandridge native, went missing in July. Although the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Dept. conducted an extensive search and investigation, the case remains open. Buchanan, an avid hunter, lived several miles from the site of the discovered remains. Sheriff McCoig hopes to make DNA comparison between the remains found and Buchanan.
In a follow up on Saturday, Rebecca Taylor – Assistant Coordinator for Forensic Anthropology - Center stated that DNA results may not be available until late next week. She confirmed that they do have some decomposed clothing but no hunting rifle was found at the scene.
Although the UTK Forensic Anthropology Center does not determine cause of death, manner of death has been deemed homicide.
Assisting the Sheriff’s Dept. were Attorney General’s Office Detective Hutchison, and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Attorney General Jimmy Dunn was also at the scene.

County Commission Special Called Meeting
Jefferson County Board of Commissioners held a special-called session on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 6:00PM in the Jefferson County Historic Courthouse.
Chairman Marty Mills called the meeting to order. Commissioners Musick, Sheets, and Cureton were not present for roll call, however Cureton arrived later.
Director of Schools, Dr. Charles Edmonds addressed the County Commission. 
Edmonds stated that by April 7, 2011 - $1,000,059.00 out of the $10.7 million Bond (One of two bonds in question) must be allocated toward construction. He proposed some “fast track” options that the School Board may employ to reach that amount of outlay. Options included land purchase (20 acres at roughly $9,000 per acre) – Survey of Land – and excavation - all large expenses that will total close to the $1 million that the School Board must obligate by the April deadline. 
Edmonds reminded the Commission bids must be accepted on these projects. Dr. Edmonds also addressed the Commission about proposed renovations for Jefferson County High School. He stated that major renovations such as new roofing, plumbing, and HVAC, are necessary and costly. Edmonds cautioned that any amounts talked about in funding needs past are obsolete. Retenbach, the School Board’s architects, are currently putting a price tag on the renovations. Dr. Edmonds stated that great thought should be given to replacing the modulars.
The County Commission went into recess for an executive session with their attorney. Upon return to the Special Session, Commissioner Griffin, Chairman of the Finance Committee, made a motion to change the $10.7 million bond to allow for elementary school construction. Cureton 2nd the motion – and passed unanimously. 
Commissioner Turner made a motion regarding altering the use of the $16 million school bond. Motion was 2nd by Commissioner Beeler. Upon discussion Commissioner Scarlett stated that he would like to know the final tally of cost for renovation at JCHS before voting and moved to table the $16 million bond issue until that information is available. Motion to table was 2nd by Commissioner Blevins. Motion passed.
In other action the County Commission appointed the Director of Finance to handle and sign approval of the $10.7 million bond. The State requires a designated person to handle the bond. 
The Chairman of the Budget Committee, Commissioner Scarlett brought budget amendments recommended by the budget committee – unanimously approved.

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