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Hawkins Co. lawyer appointed 3rd District Circuit Court Judge

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam's office announced Thursday a former state senator and Hawkins County lawyer will be replacing retiring Third District Circuit Court Judge Kindall T. Lawson.

Mike Faulk will serve the counties of Hawkins, Hamblen, Greene, and Hancock.The 59-year-old served two sessions as state senator for Claiborne, Grainger, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson and Union counties according to a press release from the governor's office.

He has worked in the Faulk Law Office in Church Hill in Hawkins County since 1982.

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Study: 1 out of 4 East TN kids lives in poverty

New data shows about 25 percent of children in Tennessee are now living in poverty on average, according to the newest Kids Count data report.

Those numbers vary greatly throughout East Tennessee. Cocke County has the highest number in our area with nearly 49 percent of children living below the poverty level. Union, Fentress, Campbell and Claiborne counties also have high numbers.

Knox County has the lowest in East Tennessee at 17 percent.

Tennessee ranked 39th overall for child well being, down three positions from the previous study.

Prosecution will seek death penalty against Bean Station shooting suspect

(WBIR-Rutledge) A former police officer charged with killing two people and injuring two others in a shooting spree at a Bean Station pharmacy waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Thursday morning.

The accused shooter, Jason Brian Holt, appeared in court at the Grainger County Justice Center for the second time since the arrest.

District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn says the state will seek the death penalty against Holt.

Because Holt did not have a preliminary hearing, his case will face a grand jury.

5 Claiborne Co. bridges closed after failing inspections

(WBIR-Claiborne Co.) Five bridges have been closed in Claiborne County after TDOT said it found serious problems during this week's inspections.

Of the 67 bridges in Claiborne County, TDOT has inspected 38. Five failed inspections.

"The biggest thing about it is when they make that recommendation, and if we don't do something and someone gets hurt, we're going to be liable so I'm not going to put myself in that position. So we're going to shut them down as a mandate," said Bill Fultz, the Claiborne County Road Superintendent.

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Dog found on playground with broken leg now up for adoption

The dog rescued by a group of Claiborne County school children is now ready to be adopted.

In April, New Tazewell elementary students saw the dog, who they've named TNT, come out from one of the bushes on school grounds with a noticeable limp.

Volunteers help build a Speedwell church

(WBIR-Speedwell, TN) More than 150 volunteers from 18 different states are spending the week in Speedwell.

On Saturday, Mobile Baptist Builders started working on what will be the new Haynes Flat Baptist Church.

The old church is more than 90 years old.

By the time the church is built, Haynes Flat Baptist Church will have saved about $200,000 in labor because of volunteers.

East TN 14-year-old graduates college, begins master's at Harvard

You'll find Eugenie de Silva, like most teenagers, behind her laptop or playing sports. But she's got more on her plate than the typical 14-year-old from Harrogate.

"I've already completed the first assignment for my class this summer," de Silva said.

Her class is not for a high school or even middle school curriculum. She's taking a graduate research class to start her master's degree at Harvard University.

"I would probably be in 8th grade but I'm currently doing master's level work at Harvard University," de Silva said.