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Local News

  • Airport work continues
  • Reporter’s Notebook: Rocky represents himself last week, talks about dead

    Speaking ill of the dead doesn’t sit well with U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves. Rocky Houston found that out at his sentencing hearing on Thursday.

    “Mr. Houston, let me stop you right there,” a clearly unhappy Reeves said when Houston alleged something about Roane County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Jones.

    Jones and his ride-along friend Mike Brown died in a shootout with Rocky Houston and his older brother Leon in 2006.

  • Farmer vs. Woody: Plateau Park, sunglasses are part of debate

    Roane County Executive Ron Woody said he’s not surprised some commissioners from Cumberland and Morgan counties want Mike Farmer back in office.

    “They got $2.5 million out of us last time he was in office, so of course they want him back,” Woody said. “They understand they got a good shot to get more money with Mike Farmer.”

  • Rejuvenating a lost art

    Canning, a colorful and tasty culinary art is being revived, thanks to the help of the Roane County UT Extension office.

    They are doing thi s with their Canning College, a beginner’s guide to canning.

    The three part class covers water bath canning, pressure canning and freezing and drying.

    “We hope that people can get a good sense of how to can at home,” said Justin Thomas, UT Extension agent. “And how to take care of their own harvest.”

  • Judge hears case on same-sex split

    One of Russell E. Simmons Jr.’s final decisions as circuit court judge could be a landmark one. Simmons, who is retiring on Aug. 31, has been asked to rule on the constitutionality of the state’s marriage laws.

    The issue landed in his court in March when Frederick Michael Borman filed for divorce from Larry Kevin Pyles-Borman. The two men were married in Iowa, but they were residents of Roane County.

    Tennessee doesn’t recognize same sex marriage.

  • Long-range consolidation plan in works

    New or consolidated high schools could be in Roane County’s future. The Board of Education voted this month to start the process of selecting an architect to study the needs of the school system and recommend a long range plan for replacing or consolidating high schools.

    “This is a step forward and this will give us some insight with the aging facilities we have, and hopefully get on track for some type of building program,” Board Member Rob Jago said.

  • Kingston boat racing: Bigger, better

    Despite some icky weather last year, the return of boat racing to Kingston’s July 4th holiday celebration was a big hit.

    Now city parks officials are prepping for an even bigger — and, they hope, less rainy — four-day run of big-time power boat racing in 2014.

    Oval-track boat racing used to be a regular feature of the mid-summer holiday in Kingston.

    Save for a couple of years when the city hosted drag-style boat racing, it went without its annual dose of speed-on-the-water for the better part of 20 years.

  • Triathlons also bring in silver, gold for city

    Kingston is becoming a haven for Iron Men — the kind in running shorts, swimsuits and cycling shoes.

    The city hosted triathlon-style races for the third year in June, including a sprint triathlon and a half-Iron Man on June 14, and a kid’s triathlon the week before. The spring events included a 600-meter sprint, a 16-mile bike race, and a 6-kilometer run, while the half-Iron Man featured a mile swim, a 56-mile bike race and a half marathon.

  • Hazari wows at reading program
  • Rocky sentence? Not max

    Rocky Houston didn’t receive the maximum punishment on Thursday, but he came close.

    The sentencing guidelines on his federal conviction ranged from seven to nine years in prison.

    U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves went with the top of the guidelines and sentenced Houston to nine years.

    “This man is dangerous and you should protect the public for as long as you can,” Assistant U.S. Attorney David Jennings said, when arguing why Houston deserved nine years.