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Local News

  • Large meth lab found near Rockwood

    Roane County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Smith found a massive meth-lab in some woods near Rockwood.


    Initially, Smith found 250 pounds of anhydrous ammonia, a methamphetimine ingredient. According to a news release, Deputies Mark Steinmann and Mitch Grigsby and Roane County Emergency Management Agency personnel also responded.


    An anhydrous ammonia lab was found in a large tent, camouflaged with black plastic and brush.

  • Massacre jitters felt here, too

    School safety is at the forefront after a tragic school shooting in Connecticut last week took the lives of 20 children and six educators.
    This week Roane County Schools took steps to reassure families and children by coordinating with local law enforcement to have officers at every school when students walked through the doors Monday morning.
    Every community has a school resource officer shared between the high school, elementary and middle schools.
    However, for at least the remainder of this week, a greater police presence will be seen.

  • Roaming sex offender nabbed

    Registered sex offender Jasper Lee Russell has found it difficult to stay out of trouble.
    He was arrested on Sunday for failure to timely register or report. That’s not the first time he’s been arrested this year.
    Russell, 56, was arrested in April on weapons charges. He was also indicted by the Roane County grand jury in June for aggravated sexual battery against a child under 13 years old.

  • Kingdom Heirs to help Midtown VFD

    The Midtown Volunteer Fire Department is having a fundraiser at the Princess Theatre Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. Chief Randy Scarborough said the event will feature Dollywood’s gospel-singing quartet, the Kingdom Heirs.
    Doors open at 6 p.m. Reserve tickets are $20 and general admission is $15. Proceeds benefit the volunteer fire department.
    Tickets can be purchased at Rocky Top General Store, 316 Ruritan Road, Harriman; Jerry’s Used Furniture, 2744 Roane State Hwy., Harriman; and Ellis Surplus and Salvage, 525 Morgan St., Harriman. 

  • Kingston changes sign laws

    Three public hearings; three new ordinances on the agenda; and zero drama or excitement as the hearings went off without any serious voices of dissent, with few words of input at all at Kingston City Council’s Dec. 11 full council session.
    The hearings were to give residents a chance to voice concerns about potential new ordinances that were on the night’s agenda for a second and final reading.
    The first was an ordinance amending the city’s existing sign ordinance to address new types of signs that have proliferated in recent years.

  • Rainy day wreck
  • Park thoroughfare named for Hal Jones

    Hal Jones spent much of his time at David Webb Riverfront Park working in the earth for the Harriman Garden Club, often seen at the park in his white pickup.

    It is why it seemed fitting to name the park’s main roadway Hal Jones Boulevard in tribute to the tireless gardener, who passed away last month.

    “He has worked on it probably with me for the last 20 years,” said David Webb, the park namesake.

  • Red Cross helped fire victims

    Volunteers from the American Red Cross provided emergency assistance to three Harriman residents after a fire last week destroyed their home at 517 Old Valley Road.  

    In addition to providing food, clothing and comfort items, volunteers are working with the residents to help them access community resources.

    The Red Cross is seeking additional volunteers in Roane County.  

    For information about volunteering, call 210-9605.

  • More indecision over Harriman city manager

    Harriman’s discussion of the city manager form of government pops up regularly throughout the years, always ending in indecision.

    It was much the same at a special-called meeting last Tuesday.

    This time, Councilman J.D. Sampson broached the issue, asking for the meeting initially but sticking with his support of an administrator over changing to a city manager-style government.

    “I want an administrator-type government where the council can control what is going on,” Sampson said.

  • Support for road not shared by county officials

    Sharon Brown usually comes alone when she addresses the Roane County Commission about road problems in her subdivision.

    Last week’s meeting was different, however.

    “I have several people from Pioneer Village standing up (in the audience),” she said.

    Brown lives on Bournemouth Drive south of Rockwood. The ruts are so bad on the dirt and gravel road that Brown said delivery trucks have stopped coming. For months, she’s been asking commissioners to do something about the situation.