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Local News

  • Republicans split Roane district

    The days of Roane County belonging to a single Tennessee House district appear over.
    A portion of the county will join House District 31, primarily in Rhea County, under a Republican-led redistricting plan unveiled by state legislators Wednesday.
    “That really is an injustice for Roane County to be put in that position,” said Rockwood Mayor James Watts, a Democrat. “I’m very disappointed in it.”
    The situation also puts Roane County in the situation of not having a resident state representative.

  • 13-year-old top firefighter for Blair VFD

    Ty Sather is just 13, but he already has his eye on a career.
    “I’ve been interested in firefighting pretty much my whole life,” he said.
    It looks as though Ty is on the right path. He was chosen 2011 firefighter of the year for the Blair Volunteer Fire Department.
    “It’s amazing, this young man is as sharp as he is,” Blair Chief Clarence Nelson said.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Laureate finds reasons to like January

    If there’s anything to like about the starkness of January, it’s returning to normal after all of the excesses of the holidays.
    Don’t get me wrong — I enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas and their emphasis on people, food and fun.
    And while I generally keep my New Year’s Eve celebrating on the quieter side, I enjoy bringing in a new calendar year, too.
    By the time New Year’s Day has arrived, I am ready to return to simpler, healthy eating and focus my attention on the needs of everyday life.

  • Apartment fire over pizza place

    One of the apartments above Mama Mia’s Restaurant & Pizzeria caught fire on Dec. 30.
    Kingston Fire Department Chief Willie Gordon said no one was inside apartment No. 5 at the time of the fire.
    The resident had gone to work, he said. 
    “The fire started around the wall heating and air unit,” Gordon said. “No other residents had to be moved, and the business wasn’t damaged. It was due to the quick response.”

  • Unused shelter not a bad thing

    No one took advantage of a shelter for stranded motorists that was opened at Roane State Community College Monday night, but officials with the American Red Cross weren’t disappointed.
    “We never look at it as that’s too bad,” said Louie Keeling, mass care manager for the Red Cross. “We look at it as, well, that’s great that they didn’t need us.”
    The area was hit with a brief snow spell on Monday. Keeling said a series of accidents on Interstate 40 prompted the opening of the shelter. 

  • Blood tests to increase in DUIs

    Changes in state DUI law mean that police may be requesting more blood tests for suspected offenders.
    Mandatory testing is required for anyone with a prior drunken driving conviction, vehicular homicide or vehicular assault, involvement in a crash with injury or death to someone other than the suspected intoxicated driver and someone with a child younger than 16 in the vehicle.
    One detail that remains, however, is how those tests will be paid for.

  • Illness kills woman in jail

    A female inmate at the Roane County Jail died of illness Friday morning.
    Sheriff Jack Stockton said Crystal Marlena Price, 26, was found unresponsive in a holding cell by herself.
    “They had started CPR, and then they transported her,” Stockton said. “She passed away shortly after that.
    “I hate that it happened,” Stockton added.
    District Attorney General Russell Johnson said the preliminary autopsy results showed that Price died of pneumonia.

  • Mike Farmer heading up program at RSCC

    A new program at Roane State Community College aims not only to train employees but also to encourage the growth of industries they can work in.
    Combining the effort of job creation and job training is an important aspect of the ACE program, or the Advanced Composite Employment Accelerator, which is now headed up by former county executive Mike Farmer.
    “It is a wonderful program. They got it about right,” Farmer said. “So many times, we focus on one or the other.”

  • Man charged with sexual exploitation

    STAFF REPORTS
    A Harriman investigator has played a major role in the arrest of a Lenoir City man on charges of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor last week.
    Harriman Detective Dan Schneider, who also is on the Internet Crimes Against Children division of the Harriman Police Department, was involved in a six-month investigation that led to the Dec. 28 arrest of 29-year-old Mark Klotz.
    Klotz was booked into the Loudon County Detention Center and was released on a $10,000 bond.

  • ANOTHER VIEW BY TRE HARGETT: New law in effect requiring voter picture ID

    As a new law that will require Tennesseans to show photo identification when they vote goes into effect this month, Division of Elections officials are continuing their voter outreach efforts.
    Our focus, up to this year’s elections and beyond, is educating voters about what this law will mean to them. Our voter outreach efforts so far have been unprecedented. I commend Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins, his staff, county election officials and all the other individuals and groups across the state who have worked so hard to get the message out.