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Country's first July 4th parade rolls through Gatlinburg


(WBIR) The first 4th of July parade in the country for 2014 wrapped up long before sunrise on Friday.

Gatlinburg kicked off the patriotic celebrations with its 39th annual 4th of July midnight parade. The event honored military veterans and heroes.

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Gatlinburg prepares for annual 4th of July midnight parade


(WBIR, Gatlinburg) - Gatlinburg is gearing up for its 39th annual 4th of July Midnight Parade. The parade, which honors military veterans and heroes, will start at 12 a.m. Thursday and last into the early Friday morning hours.

Camping and lawn chairs were already lined up on the curb in downtown Gatlinburg as early as 5:00 a.m. Thursday morning, more than 15 hours before the parade starts.

The city is expecting around 100,000 spectators which will give businesses there a big boost.

Former Sevier Co. inmate files lawsuit against county


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(WBIR) A former Sevier County inmate is suing the county after he claims jailers beat him and refused to give him medical care, which nearly killed him, according to court documents filed this month.

Gregory Bald closed after several close bear encounters


(WBIR) The Great Smoky Mountains National Park announced Thursday its temporarily closing down several trails after hikers experienced some close encounters with bears.

Park officials said Gregory Bald and nearby trails including Gregory Bald Trail and Wolf Ridge Trail from Parson Bald to Gregory Bald will be closed for the time being.

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Selling fireworks in East TN: A 24/7 job


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(WBIR-Seymour) Tents have been popping up around East Tennessee full of fireworks.

The Fourth of July means big business for those who sell them but it also takes dedication.

Seymour woman's death ruled a homicide


(WBIR) The medical examiner confirmed a Seymour woman found dead in her home was a victim of homicide.

The Sevier County Sheriff's Office identified the woman as 72-year-old Susan C. Kokenge. Officials aren't releasing her cause of death due to the ongoing investigation.

Deputies said Kokenge's fiancée called 911 Tuesday afternoon, claiming he came home to find the 72-year-old dead inside her house on Bream Court.

TBI, Sevier Co. officials investigate woman's death as homicide


(WBIR) The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Sevier County Sheriff's Office said they're investigating a suspicious death in Seymour.

Deputies responded to a home on Bream Court late Tuesday afternoon. A man called 911, claiming he came home to find his fiancée dead inside the house.

Officials said the case is now being treated as a possible homicide.

Deputies won't release the 72-year-old woman's name until her family is notified.