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Local News

  • Feds want to add to gas tax

    State officials aren’t the only ones looking at a gas tax hike. Federal officials are considering one as well.

    U.S. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee and U.S. Sen. John Thune of South Dakota spoke about the issue on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace last month.

    “I think we have to look at all the options,” said Thune, a Republican and chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

  • Rockwood to discuss image-repair funds

    Rockwood could be finalizing what the city wants to use its $100,000 in public-image-repair money from TVA.

    “I’m still researching it and trying to come up with it. I’ve gotten some things in mind that would better our city,” said Mayor Mike “Brillo” Miller.

    Miller will present his proposals and discuss other ideas with Rockwood City Council at a 5 p.m. special called meeting today, Wednesday, Feb. 4.

    He did have a few ideas already, however.

  • Yager a busy bill sponsor in legislature

    Bills haven’t been flying out of state Rep. Kent Calfee’s office this legislative session.

    According to the Tennessee General Assembly’s website, Calfee had sponsored no bills as of Tuesday morning.

    That’s not the case with state Sen. Ken Yager.

    The website showed Yager sponsoring seven bills as of Tuesday morning.

  • Fire’s cause may never be known

    Harriman officials may never know what started the Jan. 8 fire that destroyed the home of the former Miller & Brewer Department Store.

    “As of right now, the fire has been ruled as an undetermined fire,” said Harriman Fire Chief Brad Goss.

    “That much fire with that much heat — the chances of finding something is going to be slim to none,” the chief added. “That is the reason we are looking at undetermined.”

    Goss said steel beams in the building were warped by the intense heat.

  • Accused killer seeking fifth attorney

    Already on his fourth attorney, Shawn Smoot wants another one.

    Smoot, jailed on a first-degree murder charge, filed a handwritten motion in Roane County Criminal Court on Jan. 28 asking the judge to remove attorney Stanley Barnett as his defense counsel.

    “I don’t have any comments on that right now,” Barnett said Friday. “That will be dealt with at the motions hearing.”

    Barnett was appointed to represent Smoot last July after his third attorney, Tom Slaughter, was allowed to withdraw because of a conflict.

  • Friday Fit Club blazing trails in Kingston park

    Former Olympian and East Tennessee personality Missy Kane is exploring the trails and walkways of Roane and Anderson counties in a new Covenant Health program called Friday Fit Club.

    Last month, those interested in the walk/hiking group met at its first planning meeting at Methodist Medical Center and walked the Melton Hill Greenway afterward.

    On Friday, they were at Kingston City Park’s walking trail around the lakefront, named after former Councilwoman Betty Brown.

  • ‘It’s not just those people’: Town hall meeting brings Rx drug overdoses home

    The 17 people who Dr. William Bennett said died last year from prescription drug overdoses in Roane County weren’t forgotten at a town hall meeting last month.

    Yellow and black police tape was affixed to empty chairs in their remembrance.

    “It’s here,” Bennett said about the prescription drug abuse issue. “It’s in Roane County. It’s a terrible problem.”

  • Woman key to Roane pill ring found guilty

    A Georgia woman accused of running a pill mill operation in Chattanooga was convicted by a federal jury last month.

    Barbara Lang, also known as Aunt Bea, was found guilty on 21 of 31 counts, including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, maintaining a drug-involved business and structuring financial transactions to evade reporting requirements.

    Her trial at the federal courthouse in Chattanooga lasted 25 days and featured testimony from more than three dozen witnesses.

  • Meth gets Jenkins 20 years in prison

    Christopher Ryan Jenkins, a 28-year-old Rockwood man, is heading to federal prison for 20 years.

    The stiff sentence was handed down last week by U.S. District Judge Pamela Reeves.

    Jenkins was one of 17 people indicted in a meth conspiracy last July.

    He pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine precursors.

  • Ruritan Road widening on schedule

    Work continues on Harriman’s Ruritan Road widening project.

    Tennessee Department of Transportation spokesman Mark Nagi reports the project is on track for its May 31, 2016, completion date.

    The completed road will have four through lanes and a center turning lane, and county and city officials hope it will increase the area’s commercial appeal and help with traffic congestion.