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Local News

  • Lawyer goes after Houston land

    The signs brothers Rocky and Leon Houston have been accused of erecting South of the River could be coming down.
    Cleveland attorney James F. Logan Jr. has filed a petition in Roane County Probate Court to be appointed administrator of the estate of the brothers’ late father, Clifford Clyde Houston.

  • Airport key to progress, officials say

    The Rockwood Municipal Airport promise is why Vice Mayor Peggy Evans says she pushed so hard for Tennessee Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division monies to help develop T-hangars — storage space for aircraft that land at the airport.
    “I think it is vital for this whole area,” Evans said.
    She and others helped raise matching funds to go with the Federal Aviation Administration funds to build the T-hangars and fueling upgrades, which will be completed this spring.

  • YMCA promising, Kingston mayor says

    Roane County has trawled for its own YMCA in years past, but Kingston Mayor Troy Beets believes the next couple of years could see the county finally land the big one.
    After a number of failed attempts at bringing a “Y” to Roane over the years, the city of Kingston made a serious go of it in 2012 when it submitted a grant request to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency to build a “safe room” on a parcel of land donated by developer Matt Caldwell in the Ladd Landing commercial park.

  • New DOE security contract announced

    The U.S. Department of Energy announced last week that a $181,672,893 protective force services contract has been awarded to National Strategic Protective Services LLC.
    The contract period of performance is five years, which includes a three-year base and a two-year option period. A 60-day transition period was scheduled to start on Tuesday.

  • Dreams catapult Harkness from Harriman to big leagues at ESPN

    Dream big.

    Lewis Harkness said that's his message to young people growing up in Harriman.

    “Just because you’re from a real small town in Tennessee doesn't mean you can't end up somewhere big,” he said.

    Harkness knows from experience. The Harriman native is a studio director for ESPN in Bristol, Conn.

    “Everybody doesn't get a chance to work for ESPN,” said his father, Lee Harkness. “We're real proud of him.”

  • Lonely man goes after his grandma

    A Roane County man told police he tried to assault his grandmother because he can’t find a girlfriend.

    Mark Anthony Ferguson, 28, was charged with domestic assault on Jan. 14. His grandmother, Jeanette Ferguson, reportedly told police he was trying to get in her bedroom.

    “Ms. Ferguson states that she keeps her door barricaded with objects so Mark can’t get in,” a Roane County Sheriff’s Office report said.

  • Pinnacle Drive to open to nearby property

    Pinnacle Drive is yet another step closer to being opened to a parcel neighboring the Pinnacle Pointe development.

    Harriman City Council last week approved second reading of an ordinance to eminent domain an embankment to allow for the roadway’s access to a property, making it appealing to development in the growing Midtown area.

    Property owner Robert Bowen has appealed to city officials many times over the past several years because a number of interested parties have looked elsewhere due to lack of access to the shopping complex.

  • Leon Houston staying behind bars

    U.S. Magistrate C. Clifford Shirley Jr. ruled last week that Leon Houston must remain behind bars while his federal firearms case is pending.

    Defense attorney Joseph Fanduzz argued for release with conditions.

    “There are no conditions that could reasonably assure the safety of the community,” Shirley said.

    Leon Houston, 54, and his younger brother, Rocky Houston, 52, were arrested this month on federal firearms charges.

    Rocky Houston faces 14 counts of being a convicted felon in possession of firearms.

  • Sex offenders found with guns, making meth

    Derrick Swenson, a senior inspector with the U.S. Marshals Service, said it’s not uncommon to find weapons and narcotics when conducting compliance checks on sex offenders.

    That turned out to be the case earlier this month when the marshals teamed up with local law enforcement for Operation Honey Badger.

    Four sex offenders were arrested. Authorities checked on 80 during the three-day operation.

    Tony Andrew Collier and Daniel Leon Fritts were arrested for being in possession of firearms.

  • Bridge under flooding waters

    Roane County dodged the snowstorm bullet that struck other portions of East Tennessee late last week, but the county wasn’t immune from heavy rains and the ensuing flooding.

    Roane County Park, closed due to downed trees on Thursday, still had parts underwater on Friday, including a wooden footbridge along its popular walking trail.

    Friday’s sunshine was a welcome respite from the days of damp, dreary weather earlier in the week.