Local News

  • No school in Roane County on Friday, Jan. 31
  • Mistrial declared in Rocky Houston case

    A mistrial was declared Wednesday morning in Rocky Houston’s federal firearms case.

    Thirteen jurors — eight women and five men — were seated to hear the case on Tuesday. They were sent home early because of bad weather.

    On Wednesday defense attorney Michael McGovern informed the court that a juror whom Houston wanted challenged during jury selection was inadvertently not challenged and seated on the jury.

    After some discussion, the parties came to an agreement, and the court declared the mistrial.

  • 2013 Assessor of the Year Award
  • Kingston paving is oh, so close


    Kingston’s plans to use $380,000 in highway funds to pave Kentucky Street are in a temporary holding pattern, but still on schedule, according to city officials.

    Kingston has been accumulating state Surface Transportation Program funds for a few years now, and it’s come time to use them or lose them.

    A previous plan to use the money on a parking expansion for the Ladd Greenway was disallowed by the state.

  • Johnson seeks 2nd term as DAG

    District Attorney General Russell Johnson isn’t procrastinating when it comes to drumming up support.

    “I have already been out and about among the voters asking them to re-elect me,” he said.

    Election Day is Aug. 7. Johnson is seeking a second eight-year term as district attorney general for the 9th Judicial District, which is comprised of Roane, Loudon, Meigs and Morgan counties.

  • McFarland wants to sit on the bench

    Tom McFarland plans to hit the campaign trial again this year. However, he’s not running for Roane County attorney – the position he’s held for the last 16 years. McFarland is running for 9th Judicial District circuit court judge.

    “I believe I’m the best qualified candidate,” he said. “I believe that I have the experience and ability that no other candidate will have in the race.”


    Midtown Fire Department and a Roane County HazMat team responded to a recent gas leak on Old Hwy. 70 in Midtown. A controlled burn was underway on an old building when a gas line was accidentally hit and ignited. Harriman Utility Board handled the situation and turned off the gas before any further damaged was caused in the incident Friday.

  • Rocky’s courtload lightened



    Rocky Houston got a big boost before his federal trial got underway in Knoxville on Tuesday.

    Houston was charged with 14 counts of being a convicted felon in possession of firearms.

    Before the potential jurors were brought in for questioning, the government moved to dismiss 13 of the counts, leaving just one charge for the jury to consider.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney David Jennings said the dismissals were done to achieve judicial economy.

  • Leon Houston gets lawyer for appeal

    Leon Houston won’t have to represent himself in his quest for a new trial.

    He wants an attorney to handle the matter.

    U.S. Magistrate C. Clifford Shirley Jr. approved the request on Monday.
    Shirley appointed Knoxville attorney Mike Whalen to handle Houston’s motion for a new trial.

    “The defendant is a lay person of the law with limited skills, knowledge, training and the necessary experience,” Houston said in his handwritten motion seeking an attorney.

  • City lobs tennis courts back to schools

    The city of Kingston is looking to get out of the tennis racket.

    City officials are leaning toward dissolving their partnership with Roane County Schools over the tennis courts across from the Kingston Community Center.

    The courts were on school property, but Kingston has been providing the amenities — lights, nets, light maintenance and more.

    At a recent council meeting, however, it came to council’s attention that the courts have fallen into a state of serious disrepair — so much so that they have become a potential hazard.