Local News

  • Sen. Alexander prepared to block funding over dam fishing issue

    U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee has met with Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy, asking her to delay by seven months the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed fishing restrictions in tailwaters below dams on the Cumberland River.
    Alexander said that the cut of $255 million, or roughly 5 percent, that the Corps faces in automatic spending cuts justifies further consideration of the restrictions, and the exploration of alternatives with state agencies.

  • Leon Houston represents himself

    Leon Houston decided to change course in his federal case on Monday.
    He told U.S. Magistrate C. Clifford Shirley Jr. that he was unhappy with his court-appointed lawyer and wanted to represent himself.
    “Is that really what you want to do?” Shirley asked.
    “Yes, sir,” Houston responded. “That’s what I want to do.”
    Shirley told him such a move is unwise.
    “I honorably disagree,” Houston responded.

  • No parole for Manson clan man

    Charles Manson follower and Roane County High School graduate Bruce Davis won’t be getting out of prison.
    California Gov. Jerry Brown reversed a parole board’s decision that would have allowed Davis to go free.
    “We’re very disappointed,” Davis attorney Michael Beckman said. “This whole thing is politicized. It has nothing to do with Bruce Davis’ dangerousness. He’s not dangerous at all.”
    Manson and his followers went on a gory and well-documented killing spree in California in 1969.

  • Digging in
  • Dual-government meeting to be set

    Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes sent a letter to County Executive Ron Woody last month requesting a joint meeting between the Board of Education and the County Commission.
    “They (the school board) would like to discuss the upcoming budget and safety concerns in the schools,” Aytes said in the letter. He suggested April 1 and April 9 as possible dates.
    “If any of these dates are workable, please let us know, and we will set a time and place to meet,” the letter said.

  • Melton Hill draw-down to aid cleanup

    TVA will temporarily lower the water level of Melton Hill Reservoir beginning Friday, March 22, through Monday, April 1, to allow property owners to repair docks, stabilize shoreline and help pick up litter.
    The annual Melton Hill River Rescue cleanup day is Saturday, March 23.
    TVA will hold the water level of Melton Hill Reservoir between elevations 790 and 792 feet above sea level and begin raising the level to its normal elevation of 794 feet above sea level beginning April 2.

  • Bank robber pleads guilty

    Billy Joe Dugard has pleaded guilty to robbing five banks, including one in Kingston.

    He’s scheduled to be sentenced in U.S. District Court in New Albany, Ind., on May 31.

    In exchange for confessing to the crimes, federal prosecutors are recommending a sentence of 10 years in prison.

    “If the court accepts this plea agreement, defendant will be sentenced to 120 months imprisonment, and the amount of the fine and the amount of supervised release will be left to the discretion of the court,” the plea agreement said.

  • Harriman officials aim to fill up once-bustling medical facilities

    Harriman officials and area veterans dream big for a VA hospital in the former Roane Medical Center facility downtown.

    Officials also want to see the downtown buildings that once held medical facilities along Devonia Street taken out of city ownership and utilized.

    It’s something Councilman J.D. Sampson championed recently, talking about giving it to developers for residential projects.

    Mayor Chris Mason said they’ll be tackling the project head on this spring.

  • Newer, bigger jail now over capacity

    Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said he plans to send each commissioner a letter about overcrowding issues at the jail.

    The certified capacity is 174. At 4:34 p.m. on Feb. 25, Chief Deputy Tim Phillips said the inmate capacity was 233.

    He said it was 240 when he got to work that morning.

    “Every pod we’ve got has somebody sleeping on the floor,” Phillips said.

    There was 63 inmates in the women’s pod, which Phillips said is certified to hold 32.

  • Pay court fees, or lose your license

    As circuit court clerk, Kim Nelson doesn’t have the power to hold someone in contempt of court or put them in jail for not paying fines or court costs.

    She does, however, have a tool at her disposal that could get people’s attention.

    In 2011, Gov. Bill Haslam signed Public Chapter No. 504. According to Amanda Hughes with the Administra-