- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 15 Jun 2008.
Deputy Dad loves Children
PHOTO SUBMITTED Judge Duane Slone, left, performed the adoption ceremony for Armondo and Jackie Fontes who are shown with their new children, Keko and Jasmine on May 4, 2007.
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Published: 10:38 PM, 06/15/2008
Author: David Popiel
Source: The Newport Plain Talk
June brought in a wave of heat, afternoon thunderstorms and even a pounding o hail last week in our hometown as we crest the month and head towards July.
Many of you have Dads in their everyday lives, and as today is Father's Day I thought you might enjoy the celebration of a local family you know. When my friend Tunney Moore was sheriff, a fellow named Armondo Fontes joined his ranks May 1997. The Plain Talk was on the eve of becoming a daily newspaper. Armondo, who is from Tucson, Arizona, moved to Cocke County in 1990 and graduated from Cocke County High School in 1993. After a factory stint he was looking for something more challenging, started Walters State and eventually got into law enforcement. Armondo said he was blessed to meet and marry Jackie Fielder in 1997. Perhaps you know her parents Mike and Teresa Fielder of Edwina. Her grandparents are the late Junior Ball and Geneva Ball. Mike's parents are from Virginia. I didn't get into how and why Armondo ended up in Newport, but his Mom, Lorraine McDonald, lives here with her husband, Ron McDonald (not the same person as Ronald McDonald). And Deputy Fontes' Dad, the senior, is living in Tucson.
For several years, Jackie worked for Newport Federal Bank but is now a fulltime Mom, which makes Armondo happy. He told me that about five years ago he also learned he has a half-sister, who sought him out and found him. Last month, I heard the Fonteses were going to have a baby, after being unsuccessful for 11 years. That's why they already had three adopted children. Yes, on the birthday of Roslyn at Mercy Health Partner's OB unit in Newport, they also adopted Noah. How this came about is the real story here and presented to me by Armondo. There was a judge important in the process, a friend of mine and yours, Circuit Judge Duane Slone. Many years ago, Plain Talk friend Judge Ken Porter, retired, helped relatives with a similar adoption procedure. It is something they love to do.
This past May 30, Jackie and Armondo celebrated their 11th anniversary and here is the rest of the story. They wanted children and are a strong Christian couple but became frustrated after years of no success. Tennessee Department of Children's Services helped them become foster parents. "We were fortunate to not have many children come through our home and then be taken away because you do get attached quickly. The children that enter your home lack love, attention, stability, and some are victims of physical abuse. Most every child we encountered were victims of drug or alcohol abuse by their parents," Armondo told me. In 2005 DCS placement informed them of a four-year-old girl and five-year-old boy. "I will never forget the day we picked them up, as they sat in the back seat of the worker's car crying and scared of the unknown. After words of encouragement when we got home, my little boy, Keko, saw my patrol car. His face lit up and said, 'You didn't tell me you was a police man'." In October 2005 they got a call about an infant. Armondo met the worker on Nov. 1, 2005, and saw Noah, who was six days old. "I called my wife and informed her of the good news and she was ecstatic. Noah was in foster care for two years and at times the foster care process was stressful but well worth the wait. There was always concern that Noah would be taken away, if his biological parents quit using drugs and provided a stable home with love. If this happened we would be sad, but would be able to rejoice that Noah would be safe and the parent would be drug free with a healthy lifestyle for Noah." As time went on the parents did not change their lifestyle of drug use and instability. Eventually, termination of parental rights were filed and ordered. Thirty days later an adoption date was set for May 20, 2008 at 9:00 am. What was just as exciting was the parents were expecting the first biological baby after 10 years of marriage and the birth date was around the same time. "My wife surprisingly informed me in September 2007 she was pregnant. Just when you loose faith God quickly reminds us that He is still in control." It was important for them to adopted Noah on May 20, because they had waited so long. Then on May 19 Jackie went into labor. The happy day of adoption was in the morning and they were going to miss it. At 9:10 a.m. Jackie delivered Roslyn. Then at 11:30 a.m. Circuit Judge Duane Slone arrived at the hospital OB unit with their adoption attorney, Lucy Hooper, and he performed the adoption of Noah. "It was an awesome day and a day we will never forget. Lucy Hooper spoke with me earlier in the morning before Roslyn was born and she set up the adoption for us because she knew the importance of Noah to us. After speaking to her, she informed us that when she asked Judge Slone to perform the adoption, he was excited himself to do the adoption. Judge Slone was also the judge who performed the adoption of Jasmine and Keko in May 2007. Dad Fontes said all four children are doing great. They are compassionate, caring, tender hearted, fun, and smart. "Biological does not matter to us because as Christians we are all adopted into the family of God and we are all his children through Christ. Noah is being a wonderful big brother and Jasmine and Keko are both a huge help with the new baby. Finally, all the people who know my wife and I have been wonderful. We can't go anywhere without someone approaching us and congratulating us on our baby girl and the final adoption. People may say bad things about Cocke County, but unless they live here and experience the closeness of the community they don't have a clue. My wife and I are blessed to live here and to be cared about by so many people," he said. "How many places can you go into town to pick up something and spend a lot more time inside the store because of caring people taking time out of their busy schedule to have a conversation with you? The people of my community have made me want to stay in Cocke County. Jackie and I are truly blessed and want to raise our children here so one day they will be good productive citizens. We also want to thank the many of you who have remembered us in your prayers and thoughts."
In plain talk, while some may see children as a burden, the true Dads love them all and work for a good home and a safe, happy future.
Just Plain Talk - Deputy Dad loves Children
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 8 Dec 2009.
Fontes announces candidacy for sheriff
NEWPORT-Sgt. Armando Fontes has announced his candidacy for Cocke County Sheriff.
Fontes graduated from Cocke County High School in 1993 and began his law enforcement career in 1996 as a reserve deputy. He furthered his education by receiving an Associate's Degree in Public Safety from Walters State Community College in 2001. He also has attended more than 500 hours of miscellaneous law enforcement in-services and has business management skills.
"My family and I want to thank the many people in Cocke County for their support and encouragement of me running for sheriff," said Fontes. "As I have previously stated, I intend on running for this office and I just want to let those abroad know that I intend to run for true change and true service for the people of Cocke County."
Fontes said among his top concerns are substance abuse and home burglaries.
"Our community is in a battle against substance abuse and it's obvious when the FBI and TBI are constantly making arrests in Cocke County," said Fontes. "I have seen the devastating effects that drugs and alcohol can have on families. There is a serious problem with drug use in our community and, as a result, there is a tremendous rise in home burglaries. I love Cocke County, it is my home and I want to make it a safer place for everyone to live in so all can live without fear."
Fontes and his wife have four children and they are active members in Cornerstone Church.
During his career as a deputy, Fontes has served as a school resource officer, educating children about good decision-making, saying no to drugs and being a leader.
Fontes said, "If elected, the only promise I am making is for true change, professional standards, hard work, committed service and to be a man of my word. If elected, by motivating employees and building their talents, I know the name of Cocke County will grow in a positive direction."
Fontes concluded, "I am running as an independent candidate in the August 2010 general election because I want the support of both republicans and democrats."
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 16 Jul 2013.
Ruritan Club names Fontes officer of the year
(c)NPT 2013 PHOTO BY NELSON MORAIS
The Parrottsville Ruritan Club awarded Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes, center, with its annual Officer of the Year title on Monday, July 8. Shown with Fontes is, on the left, Fred Lee, chairman of the citizenship and patriotism committee of the Parrottsville Ruritan Club, and Derrick Woods, a member of the same committee, administrative captain in the sheriff's department, and a former recipient of the Officer of the Year title.
Author: Nelson Morais
PARROTTSVILLE-The Parrottsville Ruritan Club selected Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes as its 2013 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, and awarded three $1,000 scholarships, on Monday, July 8.
The awards were made at the Ruritan Club's annual family picnic held in the Parrottsville town park, according to club secretary Don Erts.
Fred Lee, chairman of the citizenship and patriotism committee of the Parrottsville Ruritan Club, said "as far as I know" Fontes is the first sheriff ever awarded the recognition of officer of the year by the club, at least for the past 18 years.