Local News

  • Teen indicted on felony sex charge

    A South of the River teen is facing a felony sex crime charge in Roane County Criminal Court.

    Jack Martin Hornbeck, 17, was indicted by the Roane County grand jury on Oct. 17 on one count of attempted aggravated rape. He was booked into the Roane County Jail last week.

    “It’s not common, but it does happen in facilities across our state and other states,” Roane County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tim Phillips said. “You’ll have a juvenile commit an alleged crime and they’ll decide to treat him as an adult.”

  • Multi-county chase ends in Harriman

    A Cumberland County pursuit ended in Harriman last week, thanks to the deployment of spike strips.

    Rockwood Police Department’s Brandon Smith provided the spike strips, but Police Chief Danny Wright said all Roane County agencies worked with the Tennessee Highway Patrol and Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office on the incident.

    “It was a good team effort,” Wright said.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: More on poor state of Roane education — Part IV
  • INSIDE the First AMENDMENT: What’s fit for the Web? What doesn’t fit?

    By Gene Policinski

    So, consider the internet to be one, big ol’ bucket of free expression — news and information pouring in constantly.

    And then consider what would you want poured into that bucket? What would you keep out?

    If you live in the United States and live under the First Amendment, the immediate answer to “in-out” questions, with few exceptions, is “Whatever I want.”

    Nothing in the 45 words that define our core freedoms provides for limits or gives specific guidance to anybody.

  • State: Heidle abused supervisory role

    A state Comptroller’s Office investigation into former Harriman Police Chief Randy Heidle indicates he did indeed use city-owned property and used personnel to do non-city related errands for him.

    Investigators with the Office of the Comptroller of the Treasury interviewed employees about the allegations of malfeasance.

    A letter to City Manager Kevin Helms reported the interviews “revealed an environment in which department management tolerated and even ordered abuse related to using department employees and property for personal purposes.”

  • AT LAST: Boat slips dock in Kingston

    After almost a year of planning, public discussion and regulatory approval, Kingston’s boat slips have arrived at 58 Landing.

    The floating docks and boat slips with covered spaces for 18 boats will be available for use in the spring 2017 boating season, said Kingston City Manager David Bolling.

    The facilities were purchased for $90,000 from the Rarity Ridge development off of Gallaher Road. Money for the purchase came from funds TVA gave Roane County communities to make up for physical and perception damages from the 2008 Kingston Fossil Plant ash spill.

  • Drunk driving among arrests

    A Rockwood road block last week netted six DUI charges and about 30 other citations for various offenses, reported Rockwood Police Chief Danny Wright.

    “It was very successful,” he said. “We did it last year, and had about half the number of cars than we did this year, and we had more DUIs and arrests [this year]. The percentage was higher.”

    The road block was conducted last Friday night on Hwy. 27, near Big Lots.

  • Broadband internet big plank in Overstreet’s campaign platform

    Tyler Overstreet, independent candidate for the office of 32nd District state House of Representative in the Nov. 8 election, outlined his platform and answered questions from citizens during a Tuesday forum in Kingston Community Center.

    Overstreet had challenged incumbent 32nd District representative and Republican candidate Kent Calfee to debate him at the event.

    Calfee did not attend, citing a previous commitment to speak at a Drug Task Force meeting.


    Harriman businessman David Webb and his family are finishing a chapter of their lives at the end of this month.

    Rocky Top General Store will be closing its doors Oct. 31, after being in business at its Ruritan Road location since 1970.

    The store, which opened in 1959 as Webb’s Furniture in downtown Harriman, was later changed to a general store because the merchandise went beyond furniture into gifts and other items.

    “It is kind of mixed emotions. We want to retire, but we enjoy our work too. We felt it was time,” said David Webb.