News from across the state
Posted: Friday, November 25, 2011 8:02 pm
Man says he was
surprised by pardon
JONESBOROUGH (AP) — An East Tennessee man who received a pardon from President Obama said at first he thought someone was playing a joke on him.
Tom Ledford, who applied for the pardon three years ago, said he picked up his telephone Monday and a woman told him Obama had just signed his presidential pardon, according to the Johnson City Press.
Ledford was said he was certainly grateful, but it puts a big responsibility on him.
“Now I’ve got to be really careful I don’t do anything,” to disappoint this country, he said.
Ledford and four other people were pardoned Monday, marking Obama’s third set of pardons. None of those pardoned have been well-known.
Ledford pleaded guilty in 1995 to one count of conspiracy to commit gambling after testifying to a federal grand jury about a poker machine business for which he had been working. He was sentenced in 1995 to one year of probation and paid a $50 fine.
Fire victim benefits from stranger’s donation
KNOXVILLE (AP) — A Knoxville grandmother who lost everything in a house fire last month says she’s been overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers.
Katherine Williams told The Knoxville News Sentinel that last month’s fire was so swift, her grandson staying with her didn’t even have time to put shoes on before they fled.
She found a place to live, but needed furniture. That’s when an 84-year-old woman she never met stepped in to help.
The woman spotted Williams’s name on a prayer list at her church, and promptly handed over a $1,000 shopping spree she had won earlier in the year from a local furniture store.
“It’s hard to put into words how I feel. I’m telling you, I was so grateful to know there’s such kindness out there that someone would do that for me,” Williams said. “… All you hear about is the bad things that have happened, and the kindness of everybody has just overwhelmed me.”
Jeff Bayless, a store manager with Sofas and More, said he’s never seen anything like it in the six years he’s worked at the store.
Wamp’s son in race
for dad’s old seat
CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Republican Chuck Fleischmann, who is in his first bid for re-election to Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District seat, could normally ignore a GOP candidate still too young to even serve in Congress. But this opponent is a Wamp.
Weston Wamp, who will reach the required minimum age of 25 in time for the Nov. 6 election, is keeping a busy schedule speaking to civic clubs and political groups in the solidly Republican district.
He is seeking the seat that his father, Zach, held for eight terms before giving it up to make an unsuccessful run for governor in 2010.
Wamp is heading a new marketing venture in Chattanooga and said he believes this country is headed in the wrong direction, that the politics are too divisive and that it’s up to his generation to change that.
“We need leadership that will transcend party politics,” Wamp recently told the Kiwanis Club of Chattanooga.
Wamp, whose birthday is in March, said he is “running for Congress because Washington needs an infusion of fresh blood and new ideas in order to end the political gridlock that is now threatening the future of our country.”
Published in The Messenger 11.25.11