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Local News

  • Leon Houston gets lawyer for appeal

    Leon Houston won’t have to represent himself in his quest for a new trial.

    He wants an attorney to handle the matter.

    U.S. Magistrate C. Clifford Shirley Jr. approved the request on Monday.
    Shirley appointed Knoxville attorney Mike Whalen to handle Houston’s motion for a new trial.

    “The defendant is a lay person of the law with limited skills, knowledge, training and the necessary experience,” Houston said in his handwritten motion seeking an attorney.

  • City lobs tennis courts back to schools

    The city of Kingston is looking to get out of the tennis racket.

    City officials are leaning toward dissolving their partnership with Roane County Schools over the tennis courts across from the Kingston Community Center.

    The courts were on school property, but Kingston has been providing the amenities — lights, nets, light maintenance and more.

    At a recent council meeting, however, it came to council’s attention that the courts have fallen into a state of serious disrepair — so much so that they have become a potential hazard.

  • Rocky Houston's federal charges dropped from 14 to one

    Rocky Houston scored a victory on the first day of his trial in federal court.

    Houston, originally charged with 14 counts of being a convicted felon in possession of firearms, had all but one of those charges dropped against him on Tuesday.

    See Wednesday's issue of the Roane County News for more details.

  • Roane County Schools closing at 10 a.m. Tuesday
  • Students “escape” from Fire Safety House

    By KAITLIN KEANE/kkeane@roanecounty.com

    Smoke, fire alarms, emergency exits and 911 calls to 911 were made from Bowers Elementary — all for the sake of learning.

    Roane County Schools and Harriman Fire Department partnered with East Tennessee Child-ren’s Hospital, Knoxville Fire Department and Red Cross to bring the Fire Safety House to Roane County elementaries.

    The trailer, which belongs to the Knoxville Fire Department, is constructed to simulate a house with a living room, kitchen and bedroom.

  • Houston may face jury this week

    The federal firearms case against Rocky Houston could finally go to trial.

    Houston faces 14 counts of being a convicted felon in possession of firearms.

    His trial is scheduled to start on Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Knoxville.

    The case has been scheduled for trial before — only to be postponed.

    As of late Friday, however, it was still listed on the U.S. District Court calendar for Tuesday.

  • School budget work off to gloomy start

    Roane County Board of Education’s January budget work session didn’t include positive news about the school system’s financial crisis.

    “It’s not getting any better,” business manager Eric Harbin said.

    What happens with the 2014-15 budget will be critical for the system’s future, according to Harbin.

  • Getting robot ready

    The Roane County High School robotics team is gearing up for its second season of robotics competition.

    It starts with the FIRST robotics Smoky Mountains regional competition. FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. The event is open to the public.

    “It is March 27 through 29 in Knoxville,” said advisor Cindy Holmes.

    The first day involves inspections and tweaking. The next day involves a round robin of competition.

  • Roane Health Dept.offers free flu shots

    Flu season is here, with seasonal influenza cases now reported across Tennessee.

    The Roane County Health Department is working to protect the community by providing free flu vaccinations to area residents until vaccine supplies are depleted.

    Patients may walk in to request a flu vaccine any time during regular clinic hours. The department is requesting people arrive no later than 3:30 p.m.

  • Successful songwriter has local connection

    Faith McCullah is one proud sister.

    The owner of Harriman’s Cochran Bookkeeping is sister of Dean Dillon, a successful songwriter of hit country music songs for artists like George Jones, George Strait and Kenny Chesney.

    “I’m really proud. He’s just like any brother — he’d do anything in the world for me as I would for him,” McCullah said.

    He was recently honored by performance right’s organization Broadcast Music Inc. as a BMI icon at the 2013 BMI Country Awards.