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Local News

  • Accused murderer back in Roane

    Despite his life sentence on federal drug charges, local authorities are still planning to put Ralph O’Neal on trial for a murder that happened in Roane County.

    O’Neal, 36, was recently moved from a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., to the Roane County Jail.  

    “We went to federal prison up in Indiana and picked him up,” Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tim Phillips said.

  • Church looks to move to old Kroger

    When Kroger moved to Midtown, it left a large vacant building in Rockwood and took with it the drawing power to the shopping center.

    No problem.

    A church that has outgrown its current location across from Riverfront Park in Harriman thinks that’s the ideal place to house its worship services.

    In fact, Nick Hill, pastor of Courts of Praise Church, wishes to not only purchase the Kroger building for church activities; he also wants to lease and rent the remainder for commercial use.

  • Operation REACH hopes support still will be there

    Organizers for Operation REACH said they are far from making their fundraising goal, but they are still optimistic it can be achieved with three weeks to go.  

    “The community of Roane County has always come through for us,” REACH president Jane Ollis said. “This year, they might be just a little bit slow or not thinking REACH is here on us right now. Sometimes it creeps up on us faster than we think.”

    REACH, an acronym for Roane Enriches Another Child’s Holiday, is in its 36th year.

  • Griffith belts one for Vols

    Dianne Griffith has entertained with her powerful pipes before.

    It wasn’t until recently that she sang for a crowd at Thompson Bolling Arena in Knoxville, however.

    Griffith, who performs with the Roane County Choral Society and the Knoxville Opera Company, sang The Star-Spangled Banner on Nov. 8, when the University of Tennessee’s Lady Vols soundly defeated Union University in exhibition play.

    More than 11,000 fans were in the stands.

  • County officials pass ambulance rate increase

    Roane County commissioners Bobby Collier and Nick Forrester represent the same district.

    Forrester said constituents flooded him with calls urging him to oppose a rate increase for ambulance service.
    Collier, on the other hand, said he didn’t receive any such calls.

    The contrast may have explained their votes.

    Saying he thought the rate increase made good business sense, Collier voted in favor of the rate increase, which passed by a 10-5 vote at Monday’s commission meeting.  

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: Charles Holiway offers common sense plan

    We were pleased to see Damon Lawrence’s front page article in Monday’s issue of the News entitled “Enforcing ID law to be a matter of trust at the polls.”

    This article arose from that abominable act of the legislature requiring government issued photo identification documents in order to exercise that most fundamental of Americans’ birthrights, the right to vote.

    In case you missed it, Damon’s first paragraph read thusly:

  • Princess preservation gets honored

    The effort to reclaim the majesty of Harriman’s Princess Theater continues to draw praise from those passionate about preservation.

    This time the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance announced that Harriman’s effort was a winner of the 2011 East Tennessee Preservation Award.

    The alliance named the award winners on Nov. 11 at Jonesborough’s International Storytelling Center, a part of the 2011 East Tennessee Preservation Conference held in Tennessee’s oldest town.

  • Reduced bond denied for backseat bandit

    Michael D. Buttram expressed his displeasure with a $25,000 bond on a charge of aggravated robbery, and asked Roane County General Sessions Court Judge Dennis Humphrey to lower it on Monday.

    “What I would like to know is something about your background and why you should get a reduced bond,” Humphrey told Buttram.

    After Buttram finished telling the judge some things about himself, the prosecutor asked court clerk Jennifer Melton to read off Buttram’s criminal history.

    “He’s got a theft of property,” Melton said.

  • Going for the Gold

     

    C.G. Sexton of Harriman waits to have his coins examined by THR & Associates at the Holiday Inn Express last month. The price of gold, silver and other metals have many people cashing in.

  • Harriman joins pain clinic skeptics

    Harriman may join a growing list of communities putting a moratorium on pain clinics until the state enacts a crackdown.

    A moratorium “would stop us from issuing any business permits for pain clinics,” Mayor Chris Mason said at a workshop on Tuesday. “It is just a temporary ban, and I think it’s a big issue.”

    Mason wants to schedule a meeting in order to discuss a moratorium resolution.