Local News

  • Cyclist killed in crash

    Dr. Verne Ephram Gilbert was an avid bicyclist. Sunday afternoon Gilbert died doing what he loved.

    Gilbert was out riding his bicycle when he was involved in an accident with a small sport-utility vehicle.

    Gilbert, who lived in Oak Ridge, died as a result of his injuries. He was 85.

    “He was in great shape and was pursuing his love of cycling, when he was struck by a car,” Gilbert’s obituary said.


    Baby Kayden Christopher crawls determinedly toward his grandmother and namesake Kay Christopher, a triumphant smile transforming his face as he reaches her.

    The squirming boy is feeling much better now that he has been off chemotherapy for weeks.

    When his family took him for his regular visit to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital earlier this month, they were joyfully stunned by the news the cancer cells in his brain tumor are gone.

    “Nobody expected for the cancer to be gone,” said Matt Christopher, Kayden’s father.

  • County supports gas tax

    Gov. Bill Haslam’s gas tax plan got a unanimous endorsement from the Roane County Commission last week.

    A resolution expressing support for the plan passed the Commission 15-0.

    “It looks like it’s going to be a very good thing for our state,” Commissioner David Bell said.

    Last month Haslam introduced the IMPROVE Act – Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy.

    It proposes to increase the state tax on gas 7 cents per gallon and on diesel 12 cents per gallon.

  • Soul Food SUNDAY
  • Rockwood makes marijuana arrests

    Rockwood police reported finding marijuana, a digital scale and other drug paraphernalia earlier this month. Interim Police Chief Bill Stinnett said two 18-year-olds and two juveniles are facing charges in the incident.

    According to the warrant, officer Brandon Smith observed a gray Saturn traveling at a high rate of speed.

    “I lost visual of the car,” the warrant said. “I found the car moments later at 736 Clymersville Road.”

  • Midway student arrested

    A Midway High School senior was taken into custody late Thursday afternoon for allegedly threatening to “shoot up the school.”

    A Roane County Sheriff’s Office warrant identified the 18-year-old as Houston Knight of 935 Laurel Bluff Road, Kingston.

    A joint statement released by Sheriff Jack Stockton and District Attorney General Russell Johnson said Knight was arrested “in connection with an online posting allegedly making a false report of a threat” to the high school in the South of the River area of Roane County.

  • ONE HIGH SCHOOL: Site to be determined

    It took three tries, but the Roane County Board of Education was able to garner enough support to move forward on a future plan for its high schools. By a 7-3 vote Thursday night, the school board approved the scenario that calls for building one new high school.

    The county’s current five high schools – Harriman, Midway, Oliver Springs, Roane County High and Rockwood – would all close under the plan. The new school, which would have a
    freshman academy or freshman wing, would be the only high school in the county.

  • Roane mourns history buff Parker

    Prominent Kingston community member Rachel Rose Parker died Thursday.

    She was 96.

    The wife of the late J.C. “Babe” Parker, who was a Kingston banker and longtime county historian, she shared her husband’s passion for history.

    She served on the Roane County Heritage Commission and playing a role in restoring the old Roane County Courthouse.

    Parker, a member of the Avery Trace Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, once ran for mayor of Kingston. She also served on the Kingston Regional Planning Commission.

  • Kingston teacher suspended

    Roane County Director of Schools Leah Rice Watkins said she suspended teacher John Plemens following his arrest on a harassment charge.

    “I became aware of that charge and have had to suspend him without pay pending the completion of the investigation,” Watkins said after last Thursday’s Board of Education meeting.     

    Plemens, 52, worked at Roane County High School.

    He was a history teacher, according to the school’s website.  

  • Officer cleared in Rockwood shooting

    An investigation has cleared Rockwood police of any wrongdoing in an officer-involved shooting incident that ended when the victim committed suicide on Feb. 7.

    Officer Rick Thomas was put on leave during an investigation into the shooting after it was determined he fired his weapon during the welfare check on Quentin Swicegood.

    The 58-year-old Kingston man was parked in the Tyler Pointe shopping center parking lot. Authorities said he went on to shoot himself.