Local News


    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.

  • Rocky Houston's federal charges dropped from 14 to one

    Rocky Houston scored a victory on the first day of his trial in federal court.

    Houston, originally charged with 14 counts of being a convicted felon in possession of firearms, had all but one of those charges dropped against him on Tuesday.

    See Wednesday's issue of the Roane County News for more details.

  • Roane County Schools closing at 10 a.m. Tuesday
  • Students “escape” from Fire Safety House

    By KAITLIN KEANE/kkeane@roanecounty.com

    Smoke, fire alarms, emergency exits and 911 calls to 911 were made from Bowers Elementary — all for the sake of learning.

    Roane County Schools and Harriman Fire Department partnered with East Tennessee Child-ren’s Hospital, Knoxville Fire Department and Red Cross to bring the Fire Safety House to Roane County elementaries.

    The trailer, which belongs to the Knoxville Fire Department, is constructed to simulate a house with a living room, kitchen and bedroom.

  • Houston may face jury this week

    The federal firearms case against Rocky Houston could finally go to trial.

    Houston faces 14 counts of being a convicted felon in possession of firearms.

    His trial is scheduled to start on Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Knoxville.

    The case has been scheduled for trial before — only to be postponed.

    As of late Friday, however, it was still listed on the U.S. District Court calendar for Tuesday.

  • School budget work off to gloomy start

    Roane County Board of Education’s January budget work session didn’t include positive news about the school system’s financial crisis.

    “It’s not getting any better,” business manager Eric Harbin said.

    What happens with the 2014-15 budget will be critical for the system’s future, according to Harbin.

  • Getting robot ready

    The Roane County High School robotics team is gearing up for its second season of robotics competition.

    It starts with the FIRST robotics Smoky Mountains regional competition. FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. The event is open to the public.

    “It is March 27 through 29 in Knoxville,” said advisor Cindy Holmes.

    The first day involves inspections and tweaking. The next day involves a round robin of competition.