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Local News

  • HANDS OF MERCY event

    Food and fun are cheap commodities if you attend this weekend’s Hands of Mercy Food Drive.

    All that organizers ask in return for the free festivities is that attendees donate a nonperishable food item to the drive from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday.

    Attendees can eat, thanks to Wampler’s Farm Sausage, just across the county line.

    “Wampler is going to give you a hot dog lunch with coke and potato chips,” said Sharon Pinner, Hands of Mercy director.

  • News story puts hitch in murder trial

    The attorney for Milford Barnett asked the judge overseeing his client’s second-degree murder case for a continuance and change of venue.
    The trial was scheduled to start on Tuesday, but Walter Johnson claimed the jury pool was tainted by a story that appeared in the Monday edition of the Roane County News.

  • Tom Pierce administrative leave extended

    Rockwood Public Works Director Tom Pierce continues to be on administrative leave without pay after auditors raised red flags about some questionable city credit card purchases.
    At a meeting Monday, Rockwood officials said Pierce’s attorney asked for more time to gather and present information to defend his case.
    Mayor James Watts asked council members to consider extending his administrative leave, an issue that wasn’t on the agenda.

  • Kingston’s A1 debt rating highest possible

    By MIKE GIBSON
    newsroom@roanecounty.com
    The cost of a new Kingston City Hall will be thousands of dollars cheaper — as will the annual tally of the rest of the city’s debt — thanks to the foresight of Kingston City Council.
    In November, Council moved to apply for an issuers rating from Moody’s Investors Service, at a one-time cost of $5,100 dollars.
    For the relatively small cost, the move offered Kingston the opportunity to save significantly on current and future loans should it receive a high rating from the firm.

  • New policy bans pets at courthouse

    Pets won’t be permitted in the Roane County Courthouse under a plan Sheriff Jack Stockton is crafting.
    “We’re going to go by what the law says, and it looks like service animals are going to be the only animals that are going to be permitted into the courthouse,” he said. “All of them that fall under the Disability Act.”
    The situation is under review after state Rep. Julia Hurley took her Chinese crested into the courthouse. 

  • Massengill still deciding on school board

    As of Tuesday morning, Everett Massengill was not among the people the Roane County Election Commission had identified as candidates for the Aug. 2 election.
    Massengill represents District 7, the South of the River area, on the Board of Education.
    Earlier this year, Massengill said he would not seek another term.
    District 1 Board Member and former Rockwood mayor Mike “Brillo” Miller said he was trying to get him to reconsider.
    On Monday, Massengill said he was still pondering the situation.

  • Kingston YMCA has been long-sought-after project

    By MIKE GIBSON
    newsroom@roanecounty.com
    If Kingston’s newly proposed YMCA project seems like a surprise, Mayor Troy Beets said it’s only because you haven’t been paying attention.
    “We’ve been working on bringing in a YMCA for years and years,” said Beets, noting that the city has been close to getting a facility on occasions past. “It’s a surprise to some people, but it didn’t happen overnight.

  • Little Bit gets a whole lot of protection
  • Champagne songstress
  • ‘He treated her horrible’

    Vickie Nevels doubts the Milford Barnett murder trial will go forward as scheduled on Tuesday in Roane County Criminal Court.

    She has good reason to be skeptical.

    Barnett, her younger half-brother, is accused of killing their elderly mother, Pearl Barnett. It’s been nearly five years since Pearl Barnett’s death, and Nevels has seen the trial postponed several times.

    “It’s been horrible for me these past five years,” she said.