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Local News

  • Lawyer: Agency admits fault

    Chris Buttram had no experience with dike inspection when he arrived at the Kingston Fossil Plant in October 2008.
    “I had heard of them, but I’d never seen one,” he said.
    Despite that inexperience, TVA charged him with writing a key report about the inspection.
    Attorney Jeff Friedman said it was that kind of conduct on the part of TVA that caused the dike to fail two months later.
    “The disaster was a tragedy the likes of which this state and country had never seen,” Friedman said.

  • Ambulance service finances better, but ...

    Roane County officials think changes at the ambulance service have turned the rocky operation around, but the entity isn’t out of the woods yet.

    Consultant Jack Jinks, who has worked for Roane County Executive Ron Woody first at Emergency Management Agency and now with interim director Howie Rose at the ambulance service, made a presentation Tuesday about how operational changes and conditions at the Roane County Ambulance Service have changed over the last few months.

  • Alexander to give up GOP leadership post — but not ideology — in January

    U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee told colleagues this week that he will step down from the Senate Republican leadership in January when he completes four years as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.

  • Man charged with cruelty after dead hounds found

    Matthew Tyler Walls, a 19-year-old Roane County resident, was arrested on Sept. 16 and charged with three counts of aggravated animal cruelty.
    Animal Control Director John Griffin said officers responded to Walls’ home at 251 Clear Springs Road near Kingston, where they discovered six hound dogs on the property. Three were dead.
    “Nothing but bones,” said Griffin, who said officials were alerted to the situation by an anonymous caller. He said the smell of dead animals probably prompted the call.

  • Grill & Pub owner allowed to keep permit

    Grill & Pub owner Grover Norton left the Roane County Courthouse Tuesday evening having been found in violation of his beer permit. However, he also left the courthouse with the right to still sell beer at his establishment outside Harriman.
    In exchange for not contesting the violation, the Roane County Beer Board voted 4-1 to allow the permit to remain in effect subject to certain conditions.
    “I’m happy with what went on,” Norton said about the meeting.

  • Patriot Flag on its way to OS

    An American flag that will be donated to the World Memorial in honor of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, will fly high in Oliver Springs on Sept. 22.

    Disabled American Veterans Chapter 26 will hoist the 30-by-56-foot Patriot Flag at Beech Park Baptist Church in Oliver Springs. The flag presentation will be from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

    The flag will be retired in an Oct. 2 ceremony at the World Memorial in Escondido, Calif.

  • Wandering tot found, sleepy uncle at large

    Rockwood police took out an arrest warrant on a man after a toddler in his care was found wandering in the street on Thursday.

    The warrant against James Saylor, 30, is for felony reckless endangerment.

    “Apparently he was asleep and the baby got out of the house,” Rockwood Police Chief Bill Stinnett said. “He didn’t have no idea the baby got out.”

    A motorist found the 2-year-old boy in the middle of the road on Evans Street around 11 a.m.

  • Tiger Haven files litigation against suing neighbors

    Last week Tiger Haven filed a $2.5 million counterclaim against the neighbors who are part of the lawsuit that was brought against the sanctuary in June.

    Citing extensive media coverage, Tiger Haven attorney S. Douglas Drinnon also asserts his clients cannot receive a fair trial in Roane County and is asking the court for a change of venue.    

    “Plaintiffs and various other Roane County residents and officials have initiated, pursued and promoted a very public campaign against the defendants,” Drinnon wrote.

  • Proceedings could go on for weeks, court officials predict

    Opening statements in the TVA ash spill civil trial are set to start today – Monday – at the federal courthouse in Knoxville.

    A number of Roane Countians are suing TVA over the disaster, which occurred at the Kingston Fossil Plant on Dec. 22, 2008.

    “Our case is going to be based on TVA’s own documents,” plaintiffs’ attorney Jeff Friedman told U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Varlan.    

    Varlan held court last Thursday to go over some pending motions and logistical issues for the trial.

  • Ouster move in Rockwood targets mayor, councilwoman

    Rockwood Mayor James Watts and first-term Rockwood City Council member  Jane Long are the subjects of two recall petitions filed with the Roane County Election Commission.

    The petitions, filed by Stephen Rose of Rockwood Village Apartments, asks for the two city leaders to be recalled pursuant to the Rockwood charter “for cause, malfeasance and general failure in duties, failure to provide proper oversight guidance and leadership to the city and it’s department and employees.”