(c)2013 NPT PHOTO BY DAVID POPIEL Angie Rolen, at left, and Rhonda Evans, who is co-owner of the Jewelry Connection, have been best friends since childhood. Rhonda was celebrating Angie's good fortune in the return of her late mother's diamond rings.
Friday, March 22, 2013
(Last modified: 2013-03-22 18:23:09)
 
Author: David Popiel
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

Just when you thought it was safe to plant your garden on spring's arrival last Wednesday at our hometown, winter staged a comeback with blossom-biting frost and snow the last days of the week.

Before we move along talking about who I've met, let me correct an important error made last week talking about Memorial Baptist Church. At Kiwanis Club Alvin Watts, who is pastor emeritus of the church, said the correct name for the pastor is Harold Ball. I should have remembered this since he was voted people's choice pastor for two years in a row. 

Final steps in gun permit

We have been talking about the process of getting a handgun carry permit, assuming you can buy any bullets in Newport these days. Sheriff Armando Fontes offers some free training classes during the year. One of his trainers is Detective Kevin Benton. You are warned by Kevin and others that you have only six months from the date of you training class certification to complete the application process. If you don't, you must retake the training class. Within the six months you must go to a state driver's license issuing office, either Morristown or Sevierville, in the case for Cocke Countians. If you attend a private class, costs are about $50.

Kevin and others who hold permits advised me to go to Sevierville. The state driver's license issuing office, if you are traveling to Sevierville, is easily reached by turning left at the traffic light in front of Sevier County High School onto Industrial Park Drive. You can see the office from Hwy. 411, if you look closely. It is next to the state Workforce Development Career Center. Once you go into the office and fill out an application, the friendly folks will photograph you and collect your $115 fee.

Before you quit after this step you must get electronic fingerprints, and, no, you cannot go to the sheriff's office or jail where these officers still do paper prints. I chatted with Fast Cash Pawn owner Roy Jones, who is a native of southeastern Kentucky. His business has the computer and scanning device, and your handgun carry permit fee is paid as part of the $115 paid to the state. Many other workers, especially anyone who works with children, are required to get E-prints that are sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the FBI. Jones said that his clerk, Stephanie Nickell, might do as many as 40 people's fingerprints per day. Most employers such as health and education charge a $42 fee and only a fraction is paid out to Fast Cash Pawn. There are scanning stations in Greeneville and Morristown, too. "If you have anything to do with a child you will have to get fingerprinted," said Jones, referring to teachers, day care workers, and even contractors working at schools. "We are getting tons of people from Cocke County." There are 67 sites in Tennessee with E-scan service, and all appointments are made by phone or Internet only. Don't just try to walk in and get this service. Then, you go home and wait several weeks. I was surprised how quickly the permit arrived in the mail to my home.

Happy to have rings returned

Last week I mentioned coming across a story about lost diamond rings but reflecting on those words decided it should be, found diamond rings because the person who accidentally lost track of them never knew what she had done.

Mary Pitner of the Jewelry Connection called to tell me of this story. You recall we visited with her last year on stories, one being the found baby book that made its way back to the now-grown mother who was glad to get her baby book back. Mary and her daughter, Ronda Evans, are from Sevier County. It was their friend of many years and from Sevier who told me the rest of the story.

My first stop in learning the story was a visit to The Closet off Morristown Highway just across from the gas utility. The owners of the business did not want their names mentioned because they didn't want the spotlight on them but the woman who got the rings back. But Angie Rolen agrees they are Good Samaritans in doing what was right to return rings valued at thousands of dollars.

Angie had gone to the The Closet as many folks do to place items for sale on consignment. The items included clothing, knick knacks, housewaress and a particularly interesting jewelry box. However Angie did not open the box then. "I'm so thankful for honest people," Angie told the two women at The Closet after they found the rings in the jewelry box and called Angie to pick the rings up. She promptly took these to her lifelong friend, Rhonda at the Jewelry Connection where they are in the safe.

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