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Commissioner does ‘not support’ keeping media from Sevier County COVID-19 meeting

Sevier County leaders held a meeting Monday, inviting business owners to discuss COVID-19 and how to curb the spread of the virus.
LeConte Center
LeConte Center(WVLT)
Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 9:41 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Sevier County leaders held a meeting Monday, inviting business owners to attend to discuss COVID-19 and how to curb the spread of the virus. Media was not invited, and one area commissioner took to social media to explain his frustration with the decision.

According to some who attended the meeting, held at the LeConte Center, health leaders encouraged them to follow the CDC protocol for dealing with the coronavirus during reopening.

Pigeon Forge commissioner Ken Maples took to Facebook after the meeting’s conclusion, saying the information provided was “regurgitated” and “nothing new.”

My apologies to all who attend the city/county meeting today... from what I understand it was regurgitated basic info......

Posted by Ken L. Maples on Monday, June 29, 2020

Maples also apologized for the fact that the meeting was closed saying, “I also do not support closing meetings such as this to only a certain sector of folks as well as not allowing the local media to attend...so my apologies for this also.”

He added that the county needs “clear, straightforward, and transparent communication from all sectors of our government regarding this issue.”

A spokesperson for Pigeon Forge said the meeting was closed to allow business owners to speak candidly to leaders about problems, issues, and questions.

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