Josh Smith, WJHL

Josh Smith


Blountville, TN, United States

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Recent articles by Josh:

Veterans Voices: Shelved for years, unclaimed veterans’ remains get final resting place at Mountain Home

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Veteran funerals happen regularly at the Mountain Home National Cemetery in Johnson City, but a memorial service held on Jan. 18 was different from the rest. On that day, four burials happened during one memorial service for four veterans who died without friends or family to claim them or to […] → Read More

Veterans Voices: Tri-Cities military and medical history in need of permanent home

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Two years ago, artifacts tracing the medical and military history of people in the Tri-Cities were on display at the Museum of Mountain Home on the Veterans Affairs campus in Johnson City. Now, many of those artifacts are drying out after a waterline break Christmas weekend. Some of the museum-worthy […] → Read More

Waterline break damages military and medical artifacts from now-closed museum at Mountain Home

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Historic military and medical objects that once were displayed in a Johnson City museum are being dried out and salvaged after a waterline break in the building where they were being stored. A waterline inside Beeson Hall froze and then broke during the historic cold snap that gripped much of […] → Read More

Veterans Voices: Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Col. Dan Bishop serving veterans at ETSU

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – In his office on the campus of East Tennessee State University, Dan Bishop may be far from the Middle East where he spent much of his 26 years in the United States Army. But talk to him and you’ll soon discover the Middle East is never far from Dan Bishop. […] → Read More

Veterans Voices: 120 years of US history revealed at Mountain Home National Cemetery

The following is the final in a series of Veterans Voices reports on the Mountain Home National Cemetery in Johnson City, Tennessee. JOHNSON CITY, Tenn (WJHL) — Before there was the Mountain Home National Cemetery, there was a United States congressman with a dream. “Preston Brownlow, who was the first district Congressman, wanted to have […] → Read More

Veterans Voices: Mountain Home National Cemetery expanding

The following is the second in a series of Veterans Voices reports about the Mountain Home National Cemetery. JOHNSON CITY, Tenn (WJHL) — A national cemetery for veterans in the heart of Johnson City is growing. More than 17,200 veterans are buried at the Mountain Home National Cemetery in the heart of Johnson City on […] → Read More

Local student singers honored in national ensemble

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – Two students from Elizabethton High School (EHS) have been honored as some of the best singers in the nation. EHS students Emmaline Grubbs and Gabriel Short were named to the National Association for Music Education’s All-National Honor Choir and sang in the 2022 All-National Honor Ensembles last month near Washington, D.C.. […] → Read More

Veterans Voices: Eric Horton working statewide to connect businesses and vets

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — A Tennessee veteran is doing his part to help connect veterans to the businesses that need them. Eric Horton is the executive services administrator of business solutions at the Tennessee Department of Labor Workforce Services For him, it’s the evolution of public service that springs from years spent in the […] → Read More

Watch The Santa Train: Celebrating 80 Years Live

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – Not long ago, The Santa Train was on life support. The Appalachian Christmas tradition began on November 27, 1943. Wars, economic recessions and the deaths of all its founders couldn’t stop an army of volunteers from loading a train with Christmas gifts and giving them all away to families in small […] → Read More

Tri-Cities Original: Kenny Chesney reflects on his ETSU roots

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — When a crowd packed the Martin Center for the Arts in Johnson City last week for the 40th-anniversary concert celebrating ETSU’s Bluegrass, Old-Time and Roots Music program, everyone was expecting great music. But they weren’t expecting the surprise introduction by ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland. “Ladies and gentlemen, please join […] → Read More

Budget committee advances pay increase for Carter County Sheriff’s Office

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — Employees of the Carter Country Sheriff’s Office may be on the verge of getting a long-awaited pay increase. Tuesday night, the Carter County Commission Budget Committee voted to increase pay by $5 an hour for all patrol and corrections employees in the sheriff’s office. That’s a total of 133 employees. Sheriff […] → Read More

Veterans Voices: Sonny Coclough reflects on service in two American wars

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — For most soldiers, one war in a lifetime is more than enough, Sonny Colough served in two. He was born Arthur C. Coclough III, but friends and family called him Sonny. Teenage life in Kingsport, Tennessee took a dramatic turn in July 1969, when Sonny dropped out of high school in […] → Read More

Retired U.S. Rep. Phil Roe honored by national veteran organization

ATLANTA (WJHL) — Retired Tri-Cities congressman Phil Roe has been honored by the America’s Warrior Partnership at its annual meeting in Atlanta. Roe, a Johnson City Republican who represented Tennessee’s First Congressional District from 2009 to 2021, was awarded the Leo K. Thorsness Leadership Award for service to veterans communities. Thorsness was a Medal of […] → Read More

Tennessee National Guard on alert to deploy to Florida for Hurricane Ian

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Tennessee National Guard is preparing to send more than a thousand personnel to Florida ahead of Hurricane Ian. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced today that he has already received offers of support from several states, including Tennessee. The Tennessee National Guard confirmed to News Channel 11 that it is […] → Read More

Veterans Voices: Sam Jones still serving decades after 3 tours of duty in Vietnam

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — A Tri-Cities Vietnam veteran is finding new ways to serve through local government and in organizations that help veterans and their families. In late 1968, Sam Jones was a 19-year-old student at Milligan College when he was drafted into the Vietnam War. “Couldn’t even buy beer,” he said, laughing at […] → Read More

Veterans Voices: Phil Roe awarded American Legion’s highest honor

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Phil Roe says, at first, he was confused by what the person on the other end of the phone call was saying. “I said, ‘You sure you got the right guy?’ And they said, ‘Yeah, we’re sure we got the right guy.’” “They” were the American Legion contacting the retired […] → Read More

Veterans Voices: Vietnam veteran Doug Taylor launches careers for future physicians

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Every student who’s ever studied at the Quillen College of Medicine knows him. Doug Taylor has been a part of the school since it opened. But some of them might not know that decades ago, Taylor left family and home to fight in a war on the other side of […] → Read More

County wants to acquire former Sullivan Middle School

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — A closed Sullivan County school building could re-open for community use if the county commission gets its way. Thursday night, the Sullivan County Commission approved a resolution to pursue purchasing the former Sullivan Middle School in the Sullivan Gardens community. The resolution says the goal is to “ensure that such grounds […] → Read More

Sullivan County to spend $2.6 million on Kingsport Justice Center renovation, expansion

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Sullivan County commissioners voted to spend more than $2 million to help with the renovation and expansion of the Justice Center in Kingsport. The county voted to give $2.6 million toward the modernization and expansion of the building at the corner of Shelby and Market streets. The county’s money will go […] → Read More

Veterans Voices: John Brady’s Patriot Popcorn a refuge for veterans in need

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — John Brady can’t pop the corn fast enough. His business, Patriot Popcorn in downtown Johnson City, has been open for just a couple of months. Already, customers claim their uniquely flavored crunchy snacks as quickly as he can pop a batch, season it to order, and bag it up for […] → Read More