Family Evicted From Alcoa "Bad House"

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

Blount County, Alcoa (WVLT) -- On the map, its address is 112 Newcombe Road, but to many residents in Alcoa, it's simply become known as a bad house.

The home is where neighbors and the City of Alcoa say disturbances and drug dealing are commonplace.

That ended on Thursday when the city took action by boarding up the home.

They said it’s the first step in their fight to get rid of drug problems in Alcoa.

The move was similar to action taken two years ago to get rid of another home the locals called “Jack's Place.”

Police and public works employees boarded up the home of Johnny Walker and his family on Newcombe Street after a judge granted the city a temporary injunction to do so.

The reason is because they rules it was a public nuisance, generating repeated calls to police by people who saw drugs being dealt at the home.

One nearby resident is thankful.

"That's my grandmother's house,” said Kisha Walker, pointing to a nearby home. “I feel like the community is safer with this being gotten rid of.”

Johnny Walker and his family were given 24 hours to take what they could and leave the home.

But even if the home was a problem, other neighbors said they felt the family should have been given more time.

"I could see it if they were selling crack cocaine or making crack, then board it up and throw them out," said neighbor Kenneth Ivey.

After a search of the home, police say they found marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and a substance that tested positive for cocaine, but will kicking the family out make a difference?

Six blocks down the road on Howe Street, residents there remember "Jack's Place.”

It was torn down for the same reason, though residents debate how success it was.

"Yes, and then I think no because I still see things that need to be cleaned up," said Martha McQueen, a neighbor.

Some feel it would be better to speed up the process.

"Close down a lot more of these houses that they know are selling drugs," neighbor Denise Gaines said.

The walker family home is still in limbo.

In December, a judge must decide if he will grant a permanent injunction which could lead to the home being torn down.

As for "Jack's Place", McQueen says it would have been better not to have torn it down, rather turn it into a mini-police station.


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