Local News

  • Jail balcony jumper identified

    Roane County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tim Phillips said the inmate who jumped from the balcony in one of the jail’s housing pods last week is Dustin Sargent.
    He and Elizabeth Cureton were arrested on Feb. 1 for promotion of methamphetamine and simple possession.
    The two were in a car that allegedly contained morphine pills and meth-making materials.
    The incident at the jail happened on Feb. 5.
    Phillips said Sargent didn’t provide a motive for jumping.

  • Public sees new hospital

    A crowd filled the lobby of the new Roane Medical Center on Sunday. They were excited to take a sneak peek at the state-of-the-art facility.
    They got up-close looks at the latest technology, including the four operating rooms and advanced cardiac catheterization lab.
    “I love it! I think it is beautiful,” said Sheril Shannon, whose adult son, Michael Shannon, suffers from spina bifida. “His primary care physician uses Roane Medical Center.” 

  • King must wait to join board of education

    Roane County Commission’s attempt to appoint former Kingston football coach Vic King to the vacant District 5/6 Board of Education seat didn’t go as planned.
    “There’s really not a vacancy legally at this time,” Commission Chairman James Brummett said.
    Marjorie Earick was elected to a four-year term in District 5/6 last August. She resigned last month for personal reasons.
    The commission was gearing up to vote King in at Monday’s meeting, but County Attorney Tom McFarland asked Brummett to take a short break.

  • Houston loses car-chase appeal

    Rocky Houston will not be getting a new trial in his car-chase case.
    The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals released an opinion on Monday denying his request.
    “We affirm the judgments of the trial court,” the opinion said.
    On April 1, 2010, a Roane County jury found Houston guilty of misdemeanor reckless endangerment and felony evading arrest. The case stemmed from a 2004 police chase that ended with his pickup truck flipped on its top.

  • Fire damages uninsured Kingston home

    A Kingston house fire at 110 Shubert St. Monday night started in the kitchen.
    “The cause of the fire was cooking on the stove,” said Kingston Fire Chief Willie Gordon.
    Firefighters were called to the scene shortly after 8 p.m.
    “Most of the heavy damage was in the kitchen, but there is smoke damage throughout the house,” Gordon said.
    The home belongs to Monica Berkshire, who lived there with her two teenage sons and boyfriend.
    Gordon said the family had no home insurance and will be starting over.

  • Grill & Pub's beer permit revoked

    The Roane County Beer Board voted Tuesday to revoke the Grill & Pub’s beer permit for one-year.
    Sheriff Jack Stockton drove to the bar north of Harriman following the meeting to inform owner Grover Norton about the revocation.
    “I’m just here to deliver the message,” Stockton said.
    The sheriff also warned Norton to not serve any beer.
    “I’m advising you not to do it because that’s just more trouble,” Stockton said.  

  • Rockwood adds to reserves — barely

    Penny-pinching has become the norm in tough economic times, and small cities like Rockwood are not immune.

    It’s always good when there’s some left over at the end of the month to put into savings.

    Even if it’s a penny.

    A penny — 1 cent — is what Rockwood was able to add to its dismal reserve/emergency balance  at the end of December.

    That brought the fund to $189.51 — 1 cent more than November’s $189.50 balance.

  • School board reviews drug testing policy

    The Roane County Board of Education changed its policy on drug testing for student athletes several years ago after it was threatened by the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee.

    That’s still a sore spot with some board members.

    “I don’t like it,” Mike “Brillo” Miller said.

    The previous policy mandated random drug testing for athletes during the academic year in grades 7-12.

  • Butler hearing slated

    The disciplinary hearing for Harriman attorney Donice Butler is set for 9 a.m. July 18-19 in Roane County Courthouse.

    The hearing had been scheduled to take place last month, but was postponed.

    Butler has been accused of misconduct by some of her former clients.

    The Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility, which oversees the conduct of attorneys, is seeking to have her disciplined over the allegations.

  • City due to start budget talks for FY14

    Rockwood officials aren’t waiting until spring to start talking fiscal budget 2014.

    Rockwood City Recorder Becky Ruppe laid out a tentative schedule of what she’d like to see the budget calendar be for this year.

    The schedule begins this month, with department heads due to receive forms to list budget requests.

    Ruppe believes the city can pass a budget by July 1.

    “I don’t see any reason why we can’t make this happen,” she told the Rockwood finance committee.