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Local News

  • Meth trade grows: Record number of labs anticipated in 2013

    Putting medicines containing pseudoephedrine behind the counter. Limiting how much you can buy. Electronic tracking. Requiring people to speak to a pharmacist and show ID before purchasing.

    Those are some of the measures the state has put in place to fight meth production.

    They haven’t worked, according to Tommy Farmer, director of the state’s meth task force.

    “Business is booming,” he said. “Literally and figuratively.”

  • VEC hopes camera on Houstons didn’t irk public

    Volunteer Energy Cooperative is in the business of supplying power.

    “We have no need to watch anyone,” Vice President of Operations Clyde Jolley said.

    Law enforcement might, though, and that’s why authorities sought the help of Volunteer Energy in its investigation of Rocky Houston.

    Jason Dobbs, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, testified in federal court that Volunteer Energy installed the pole camera that law enforcement used to watch Houston.

  • Financial ruin to recovery

    Jennifer Johnson’s family doesn’t fit the stereotype of poverty.
    But several bumps on the road of life road left their finances in shambles.
    Homelessness loomed.
    “We were behind on car, rent — every bill possible,” she said.
    Her husband, Kevin, injured his knee while in the Navy in 2011. They are struggling to get the disability they believe he deserves.

  • Man tied up, forced to write check

    A 43-year-old Harriman man was arrested Tuesday night in connection with an alleged home invasion that day at 132 Zeni Lane, Harriman.
    Billy Joe Wright, 43, is charged with aggravated robbery.
    Roane County Chief Deputy Tim Phillips said the incident report wasn’t immediately available, but the sheriff’s office did provide a few details. 
    It said the elderly victim was tied up and robbed. “At approximately 11:30 p.m., Wright was located and arrested without incident.”

  • Officials excited about youth world series possibilities

    When Roane County had a Dixie Youth tournament in the past it proved a boon for local businesses.
    The Roane Alliance Chief Executive Officer Leslie Henderson believes the economic impact for this summer’s tournament in Rockwood could be close to $250,000.
    “It is very exciting,” Henderson said.
    Pam May, director of tourism and marketing at The Roane Alliance, did the math.
    Fifteen out-of-town teams will visit Rockwood for the Dixie Youth tournament for 7 and 8 year olds.

  • Save the date

    The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s mobile household hazardous waste collection service will be in Roane County on May 11.

  • How often to test?

    The Roane County Board of Education is still grappling with what to do about its drug testing for athletes policy.

    Under current rules, parents and guardians can sign a form to opt out their children.

    Recently, the board was presented with a revised policy that would have removed the opt-out clause. It also included language to limit student athletes to two random tests per season when the results are negative.  

  • Three charged in string of burglaries

    Three men have been charged in a string of vehicle burglaries in different areas of Harriman.

    Harriman Police Chief Randy Heidle said the burglaries were concentrated around Margrave and Montcrest drives, but other areas were hit.

    Andrew R. Stockton, 18; Brandon Blake Hill, 19; and James Charles Luffman, 19; were all charged with theft over $1,000.

    Stockton was also charged with three counts of theft over $500, a count of theft under $500 and two counts of burglary.

    Hill was also charged with two counts of theft over $500, and

  • Houston: ‘Can’t rush justice’

    Leon Houston, representing himself at a recent hearing at the federal courthouse in Knoxville, frustrated the judge with his pace of questioning.
    Leon Houston faces one count of possessing firearms while being an unlawful user of a controlled substance.  His brother, Rocky, is charged with 14 counts of being a felon in possession of firearms.
    Both were arrested after authorities secretly had a camera installed on a public utility pole and watched them on their property.
    The brothers want to throw out any evidence related to the secret videos.

  • Kingston narrows manager search

    Kingston city officials are moving quickly to replace a city stalwart — city manager Jim Pinkerton, who retired last week.
    The council narrowed its list of applicants from the full 39 who applied down to eight at a special-called meeting late Friday afternoon.
    A meeting that is open to the public is set for 2 p.m. Thursday to further narrow that list to four or five finalists, according to Joyce Lewis, executive assistant to the city manager.
    She said the city council hopes to make a final decision as early as May 10.