2021: A year in reviewThe top 10 stories of the past year – Claiborne Progress


The past year has been filled with good news and bad news; fun times and hard times. As we take a look back at 2021, The Claiborne Progress would like to share with our readers the best stories of 2021 based on the visits to our website, www.claiborneprogress.net.
As of December 26, 2021, we have welcomed nearly 600,000 visitors to our site. While there, they read stories and viewed photographs about local government news, crime in the area, sports, and more.
Below is a list of the top 10 stores of 2021, along with the number of visitors who viewed each story on our website, and a brief portion of that story.

10. Tazewell’s new man dies in accident
Web page visits – 5,078
Release Date: May 4, 2021
A New Tazewell resident died in an accident involving two vehicles late Monday afternoon. Kenneth Widner, 53, was heading south on Cumberland Gap Parkway (Hwy 25E) in Harrogate when his 2013 Kia Forte made a connection to the flat part of a semi-truck.
The 2015 Peterbilt straight truck, driven by Christopher Bingham of Harrogate, was stationary in the left turn lane at the motorway intersection. 25E and Patterson Road. Widner slammed into the right rear of the semi-trailer bed with enough force to continue under the bed, shearing through the roof and top of the vehicle, according to Private THP Chadwick Arnwine.
Widner was pronounced dead shortly after the crash due to the extent of his injuries.

9. Lawsuit for $ 2.5 Million and Over Alleges CCSO and TPD Violated Minor Civil Rights
Web Page Visits – 5,459
Release Date: November 19, 2021
The parents of a 14-year-old teenager have filed a federal lawsuit against Claiborne County, the Town of Tazewell collectively, and certain individuals employed by the Sheriff’s Office and the Tazewell Police Department. The lawsuit alleges that their child’s civil rights were violated in an incident on November 8, 2020.
The official complaint claims that excessive force was used on the minor during an early morning traffic stop. The 14-year-old and a friend took an ATV to grab snacks at a local market, the document said.
A Claiborne Sheriff’s Deputy spotted the ATV traveling without its lights on and attempted to stop the traffic. Rather than comply, the minor made the decision to continue. The deputy radioed the incident and was joined by other officers in the prolonged pursuit on country roads and through construction sites, ultimately stopping the ATV.

8. Push to find the Massengill truck
Web Page Visits – 6,651
Release Date: February 24, 2021
It has been a week since Tazewell resident Aaron Massengill got into his last known van and drove through the night. The 28-year-old’s lifeless body was found almost six days later along Ferguson Ridge Road.
As the county mourns her passing, family and friends ask “why?” “
Sandy Clark, who led the massive volunteer search effort, took to her Facebook page to encourage anyone with knowledge of the location of Massengill’s truck to call authorities.

7. Massengill found, the county weeps
Web Page Visits – 6,783
Release Date: February 23, 2021
An official word has been released by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation regarding the disappearance of a missing Tazewell man on the night of February 16.
An intensive search by law enforcement and volunteers has found the body of Aaron Massengill, which was found Monday afternoon by a resident along Ferguson Ridge Road in Tazewell.
The 28-year-old had been missing for nearly six full days with “no information” coming Sunday night, according to Sandra Clark who led the search.

6. Baird quits E-911 after a “demotion”
Web Page Visits – 6,825
Release Date: Jun 4, 2021
Veteran dispatcher Mary Jo Baird has resigned following what is essentially a “demotion” as acting manager of the Claiborne E-911 system. The Claiborne Emergency Communications Board decided at its May meeting to appoint Claiborne Sheriff Bob Brooks to the post with immediate effect.
One of his first jobs was to name dispatcher Tammy Day as his assistant, putting Baird back in the dispatcher pool. A 32-year veteran of the service, Baird was appointed interim director when former executive director Roger Hager decided to step down.

5. Grand jury charges dentist with sex charge
Web Page Visits – 11,576
Release Date: January 26, 2021
Dr Melvin Donesky, 61, has been indicted by the Claiborne County grand jury on two counts of sexual assault against one of his dental office workers.
Evidence was presented at the hearing by Detective Gary Ruszkowski, the New Tazewell Police Lieutenant, who is the lead investigator in the case. Donesky was arrested by Ruszkowski on January 26, right after the real bill was issued. Donesky was back on the streets about an hour and a half later, having posted a guaranteed bond of $ 10,000.

4.TBI tracks down Massengill murderer as county mourns
Web Page Visits – 11,801
Release Date: February 28, 2021
More than 400 people gathered on Saturday to pay tribute to the family of the late Aaron Massengill whose lifeless body was found on February 22 along Ferguson Ridge Road in Tazewell. As the funeral procession made its way to the church, people lined the streets with signs and balloons, their heads bowed.

3. SNAP benefits changes begin October 1
Web Page Visits – 24,921
Release Date: Aug 31, 2021
For the first time in several decades, the US Department of Agriculture is revising a guideline called the Thrifty Food Plan, which helps determine the benefits of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) nationwide. The change will take effect Oct. 1, but University of Tennessee extension professionals are advising families to start assessing household food budgets now.

2. Tazewell woman sustains brain injury, removed from resuscitation system
Web page visits – 25,067
Release Date: July 11, 2021
A woman from Tazewell has left a grieving community after an abnormal fall down a flight of basement stairs left her with traumatic brain injuries. Brittany Procy spent almost two weeks fighting for her life in an intensive care unit. Friends and family initially remained hopeful in her recovery, taking to Facebook to keep everyone in the know.
Several messages from July 2 called for prayer when his condition deteriorated. About a week later, Procy was removed from the resuscitation system and received medical comfort with no life-saving measures in place.

1. Justice pleads guilty to 96 counts of rape, incest
Web Page Visits – 37,909
Release Date: Jun 4, 2021
Dominique Rashad Justice, 28, pleaded guilty today to a total of 96 charges of a sexual nature. The court admitted 28 counts of child rape, 48 counts of incest and 20 counts of aggravated statutory rape – all involving her biological half-sister. He was arrested and charged in 2019 for actions that appear to have been committed over many years.


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