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Local News

  • Hands of Mercy food drive set

    The need is year-round for the Hands of Mercy food pantry in Kingston. Unfortunately, giving tends to fall off after the holidays, director Sharon Pinner said. 
    “It’s not really something people do deliberately,” she said. “They just don’t think about it so much during the other times of the year.”

  • Schools needs may require tax hike, officials warn

    Sending a budget to Roane County Commission that doesn’t require a tax increase is a source of pride for Board of Education members.
    That may not happen this year.
    “I’ve looked at various options, redone estimates,” Roane County Schools business manager Eric Harbin said. “I’m not sure we’ll be able to continue the programming we have without asking for a tax increase.”
    Board members were advised about the financial outlook on the 2012-13 budget during a meeting earlier this month.

  • Help sought for Willard Park Cemetery upkeep

    Well-kept cemetery plots mean something to Franklin and Willie Goddard of Harriman.
    That was as clear as the pain in their voices Wednesday as they lovingly tended the Willard Park plots of their daughter, Debbie Garrett, who died last August, and her husband, who died about two years before.
    Franklin hauled large bags of fresh, black topsoil to cover the graves, and Willie carefully raked it out.
    They spoke of their daughter’s last days, and of her schoolteacher colleagues who had made a Christmas trek to the grave to decorate it and sing to her.

  • Checking out the 'Stangs
  • Physicians join fight against drugs

    Count many of Roane County’s doctors among those in the community concerned about the growing abuse of pain medication and physicians who prescribe it so readily.
    Throw in a sheriff whose own son has battled addiction to pain pills.
    What you end up with is a search for answers.
    A roomful of local doctors, Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton and state Sen. Ken Yager met recently to discuss what they can do to alleviate the problem.
    Stockton told of his own son’s issues with addiction and his recent treatment at a facility.

  • Rarity gets new name, county gets old taxes

    Things could be turning around for the once-beleagured Rarity Ridge subdivision.
    The Oak Ridge development has a new name — The Preserve at Clinch River — and Roane County recently received payment for back taxes on the properties. 
    Developer Mike Ross, who  went bankrupt and has been sued by investors in his handful of high-end Rarity developments, owed the county hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid property taxes.

  • Judge renders not-guilty verdict in rape trial

    A jury of seven women and five men was picked to hear the case of a Kingston man accused of a sex crime.
    However, they never got to deliberate.
    Assistant District Attorney General Bill Reedy said Criminal Court Judge Eugene Eblen granted a directed verdict of not guilty at the conclusion of the state’s proof on Tuesday.
    Michael K. Torrans, 46, was charged with aggravated statutory rape. Reedy said the judge’s decision means he cannot be retried under double-jeopardy rules.
    The alleged crime occurred on Memorial Day weekend in 2009.

  • Cancer survivor tribute part of Roane relay

    Relay for Life of Roane County is holding a tribute for local survivors of cancer this month.
    “We have a really exciting event,” said Relay chairwoman Fran Puckett.
    Relay organizers are hosting a survivors afternoon of fun on Sunday, March 25.
    “At lunch, we’re going to have finger foods for all survivors,” Puckett added.
    The reception will be from 1 to 2 p.m. in room O-105 of the  O’Brien Building at Roane State Community College.

  • Kingston man severely beaten

    STAFF REPORTS
    Kingston police are investigating an aggravated robbery that occurred on March 11. According to the report, officers went to 1217 Blossom Lane for a possible burglary in progress.
    David Gibson was found lying in the front yard when police arrived. He was in bad shape, according to the report, and was flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center by Lifestar.
    “The only thing I can tell you now is it’s an ongoing investigation,” Assistant Police Chief Gary Nelson said Friday.

  • Line insurance not a municipal thing, local utility warns

    Rockwood Water, Sewer and Gas has nothing to do with a water-line insurance sales pitch that has been circulating in the Rockwood service area.
    A customer recently shared a letter from a company called HomeServe USARepair Management Corp., providing insurance for the repair and service for the customer’s portion of water service line.
    The company has been in trouble in other state, resulting in settlements with state officials.
    “I would like our customers to know this is not through us or endorsed by us,” said manager Kim Ramsey.