Local News

  • New hospital ready to open

    Roane Medical Center’s new Midtown facility is almost ready to open. The finishing touches are being put on the state-of-the-art medical complex.
    “We move patients on Feb. 17. It is on a Sunday morning bright and early,” said Gaye Jolly, Roane Medical Center administrator.
    Before then, the hospital will have a public open house on Sunday, Feb. 10, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
    The celebration will include remarks from Tony Spezia, Covenant Health president and chief executive officer, as well as Jolly.


    Mark Anthony Ferguson, the man charged with domestic assault for allegedly attacking his grandmother, lived at 380 Allison Drive, Harriman. A front-page story that appeared in the Jan. 21 edition incorrectly stated his address.

  • Social media experiment on storm deemed successful

    The Roane County Highway Department and Roane County Office of Emergency Services and Homeland Security reached out on social media like Facebook to update residents on road conditions and weather updates during two recent winter weather events.
    Particularly last week, when icy rain hit the region, the two agencies updated their respective Facebook accounts frequently with information on various road conditions, accidents and news on changing weather.

  • Top state lawyer at courthouse

    Robert Lee, general counsel for the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, was at the Roane County Courthouse on Jan. 24 carrying a brown box.
    The chief lawyer for the department shared pleasantries with Trustee Wilma Eblen, and then walked into the County Executive’s Office to meet with some Property Assessor’s Office employees.
    “Just working on some matters with the assessor’s office,” he said, when asked what brought him to town.
    Lee said “no” when asked if he was investigating anyone.

  • County needs audit committee, state says

    The Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s Division of Local Government Audit has released the annual financial report of Roane County this month.
    The report covered the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2012, and had one finding and one best practice suggestion.
    The finding noted that computer  usernames and passwords were shared by employees in the Roane County Trustee’s Office.

  • Third Houston brother a mystery

    Clyde Houston had two sons, Leon and Rocky, according to his obituary. However, Cleveland attorney James Logan said in a court filing that Clyde also had a son named Tommy.
    “Diligent inquiry has been made of family members and persons within the community,” Logan wrote. “Research has not revealed the address of potential heir Tommy Houston.”
    Clyde was a former Roane County commissioner who lived in Ten Mile. He passed away on March 14, 2012.


    A story on a holdup at a Kingston pharmacy in the Jan. 21 edition of the Roane County News listed the value of drugs taken at more than $50,000. A pharmacist there said police were likely looking at the street value of the narcotics from Kinser Drugs, but the retail value was more like $5,000.

  • Meth lab in jail parking lot

    Showing up at the Roane County Jail in Kingston to bail someone out wasn’t the issue. The problem was having meth-making components in the vehicle.
    According to a Roane County Sheriff’s Office report, that’s what Kevin Anthony Ray admitted to on Jan. 26. He was charged with manufacturing a controlled substance.
    Third Street between Loveliss and Cumberland was shut down while Ray and two other occupants in the vehicle were decontaminated.
    The Dodge Durango he was driving was quarantined and taken to an impound lot.

  • Houston appeal critical to case

    The U.S. government used a state conviction as a basis for filing firearms charges against Rocky Houston. The legal process has yet to run its course on that state conviction, however.
    Rocky was found guilty in Roane County Criminal Court in 2010 for reckless endangerment and felony evading arrest.
    He now faces 14 counts of being a convicted felon in possession of firearms in U.S. District Court.
    Rocky appealed his state convictions with the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals.

  • Rockwood to meet on sewer upgrades

    Rockwood City Council will meet Thursday at 4 p.m. to approve resolutions regarding more than $1.4 million in Rural Development loan money to complete upgrades at the wastewater treatment plant.
    The upgrades are required under a Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation director’s order.
    “This goes back to the same project we have talked about more than a year now. We are just waiting on jumping through these last hoops,” said manager Kim Ramsey, who inherited the aging system’s problems from previous management.