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Local News

  • Yager a busy bill sponsor in legislature

    Bills haven’t been flying out of state Rep. Kent Calfee’s office this legislative session.

    According to the Tennessee General Assembly’s website, Calfee had sponsored no bills as of Tuesday morning.

    That’s not the case with state Sen. Ken Yager.

    The website showed Yager sponsoring seven bills as of Tuesday morning.

  • Fire’s cause may never be known

    Harriman officials may never know what started the Jan. 8 fire that destroyed the home of the former Miller & Brewer Department Store.

    “As of right now, the fire has been ruled as an undetermined fire,” said Harriman Fire Chief Brad Goss.

    “That much fire with that much heat — the chances of finding something is going to be slim to none,” the chief added. “That is the reason we are looking at undetermined.”

    Goss said steel beams in the building were warped by the intense heat.

  • Accused killer seeking fifth attorney

    Already on his fourth attorney, Shawn Smoot wants another one.

    Smoot, jailed on a first-degree murder charge, filed a handwritten motion in Roane County Criminal Court on Jan. 28 asking the judge to remove attorney Stanley Barnett as his defense counsel.

    “I don’t have any comments on that right now,” Barnett said Friday. “That will be dealt with at the motions hearing.”

    Barnett was appointed to represent Smoot last July after his third attorney, Tom Slaughter, was allowed to withdraw because of a conflict.

  • Friday Fit Club blazing trails in Kingston park

    Former Olympian and East Tennessee personality Missy Kane is exploring the trails and walkways of Roane and Anderson counties in a new Covenant Health program called Friday Fit Club.

    Last month, those interested in the walk/hiking group met at its first planning meeting at Methodist Medical Center and walked the Melton Hill Greenway afterward.

    On Friday, they were at Kingston City Park’s walking trail around the lakefront, named after former Councilwoman Betty Brown.

  • ‘It’s not just those people’: Town hall meeting brings Rx drug overdoses home

    The 17 people who Dr. William Bennett said died last year from prescription drug overdoses in Roane County weren’t forgotten at a town hall meeting last month.

    Yellow and black police tape was affixed to empty chairs in their remembrance.

    “It’s here,” Bennett said about the prescription drug abuse issue. “It’s in Roane County. It’s a terrible problem.”

  • Woman key to Roane pill ring found guilty

    A Georgia woman accused of running a pill mill operation in Chattanooga was convicted by a federal jury last month.

    Barbara Lang, also known as Aunt Bea, was found guilty on 21 of 31 counts, including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, maintaining a drug-involved business and structuring financial transactions to evade reporting requirements.

    Her trial at the federal courthouse in Chattanooga lasted 25 days and featured testimony from more than three dozen witnesses.

  • Meth gets Jenkins 20 years in prison

    Christopher Ryan Jenkins, a 28-year-old Rockwood man, is heading to federal prison for 20 years.

    The stiff sentence was handed down last week by U.S. District Judge Pamela Reeves.

    Jenkins was one of 17 people indicted in a meth conspiracy last July.

    He pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine precursors.

  • Ruritan Road widening on schedule

    Work continues on Harriman’s Ruritan Road widening project.

    Tennessee Department of Transportation spokesman Mark Nagi reports the project is on track for its May 31, 2016, completion date.

    The completed road will have four through lanes and a center turning lane, and county and city officials hope it will increase the area’s commercial appeal and help with traffic congestion.

  • NAACP looking to film documentary on Roane during civil rights movement

    The local chapter of the NAACP wants to know what it was like for African-Americans in Roane County during the civil rights movement.

    The organization is requesting that anyone with a story to share contact them for a documentary it hopes to put together.

    “Young people today have no idea what it was like to live in a segregated society, so we’re looking to interview people who were alive at that time and will share their memories with us,” said Mary Ellen Blencoe, a member of the Roane County NAACP’s executive board.

  • Pawning guns gets man time in federal prison

    A federal prison cell awaits a Rockwood man, who pleaded guilty last year to illegally possessing firearms.

    Timothy Wayne Sanders was set to stand trial on Nov. 4.

    After the judge denied one of his motions prior to jury questioning on the day of the trial, Sanders decided to plead guilty to the indictment that charged him with two counts of being a convicted felon in possession of firearms.

    Prior to his arrest in the federal case, Sanders was living with his aunt and uncle on Douglas Avenue in Rockwood.