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Local News

  • Smith appointed new Rockwood city judge

    Rockwood approved James S. Smith as the new city judge to replace Mark Foster.

    There was only one issue of conflict with the vote, a lawsuit Smith has against Rockwood Electric Utility for damage to his building during construction of the utility’s new headquarters.

    “As a city council representative on the Rockwood Electric Utility Board I personally feel I should abstain on voting,” said Councilman Harold Holloway.

    He did abstain, while Councilman Jason Jolly, an REU employee, voted yes with Councilman Shane Trew and Mike Fuller.

  • Kingston to buy fire truck

    Kingston City Council last week unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the issuance of interest-bearing fire department capital outlay notes not to exceed $498,200 for the purchase of a new fire truck.

    The new 2017 Ferrara Cinder custom engine/pumper should be delivered in December.

    The new fire engine comes equipped to meet National Fire Protection Agency standards which will enhance firefighters capabilities during an emergency incident. The custom cab will transport five firefighters to and from emergency incidents, Kingston Fire Lt. Bradley Goss said.

  • Bilbrey completing goal of hiking Appalachian Trail

    John Bilbrey will accomplish a goal 40 years in the making when he reaches the top of Mount Katahdin in Maine this month.

    It is the last stretch of the Appalachian Trail for him to finish, having broken the 2,181 miles of trail into sections over the years.

    “I’m very proud of him. I think it is amazing he’s that passionate about it and stuck with it,” said wife Anita Bilbrey.

  • Cruisin’ wraps it up for 2017
  • Jim Smith up for Rockwood city judge post

    Rockwood Mayor Mike “Brillo” Miller will be recommending hometown attorney Jim Smith as the new city judge.

    “I think he’ll do a great job,” said Miller.

    Rockwood City Council will meet in special called session 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14, to consider Smith, who will replace outgoing judge Mark Foster. It’s the only item on the agenda.

    Smith, a Rockwood native, has had a downtown law office for many years.

    He was the 1966 valedictorian of Rockwood High School.

  • Man gets 18 years for child rape, sex crimes

    A Kingston man is going to prison for 18 years after pleading guilty to sex crimes in Roane County Criminal Court on Friday.

    Bob Lee Babineau was charged with two counts of child rape and seven counts of aggravated sexual battery. He reached a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to two of the aggravated sexual battery counts. The rest of the charges were dismissed.

    Assistant District Attorney General Bob Edwards said Babineau gave a confession, in which he described in graphic details his crimes.

  • Police say Knox man pointed a gun at his girlfriend

    Kingston police filed an attempted first-degree murder charge against a Knoxville man last week.

    According to the report on the incident, Chester Lynn McHaffie allegedly pointed a gun at his girlfriend’s face and pulled the trigger multiple times. The gun did not fire.

    Roger Murray reportedly witnessed the incident and told police McHaffie “was trying to kill” the girlfriend.

  • BOOKED UP: Eclipse watchers flock to Roane for once-in-a-lifetime experience

    NASA shows Roane County is among the great spots to watch a total eclipse and people are traveling from all over to find the perfect vantage point.

    Local hotels are booked solid from Sunday, Aug. 20, to Monday, Aug. 21, the day the moon briefly completely blocks the view of the sun.

    “All of our rooms are full for Sunday and Monday here,” said Gabe Collier, general manager of Whitestone Inn.

    “It is a nice surprise. August is typically an in-between month for us,” said Collier.

  • Radiation detected in old TVA pipes

    A report about some radioactive pipes is what prompted District Attorney General Russell Johnson’s trip to the Kingston Fossil Plant last Wednesday.

    The pipes are the property of TVA, which operates the fossil plant.  

    “This is very old piping once used to move bottom ash,” TVA spokesman Scott Brooks said. “It was demolished as part of the conversion to dry handling. It was cleaned and waiting to be scrapped. TVA processors, as part of their function, checked the pipes for radioactivity.”

  • Jim Smith up for Rockwood city judge post

    Rockwood Mayor Mike “Brillo” Miller will be recommending hometown attorney Jim Smith as the new city judge.

    “I think he’ll do a great job,” said Miller.

    Rockwood City Council will meet in special called session 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14, to consider Smith, who will replace outgoing judge Mark Foster. It’s the only item on the agenda.

    Smith, a Rockwood native, has had a downtown law office for many years.

    He was the 1966 valedictorian of Rockwood High School.