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Local News

  • Parole granted again for Davis, Manson follower

    Charles Manson follower and Roane County High School graduate Bruce Davis has again been granted parole.

    The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Board of Parole Hearings issued the grant on March 12.

    Davis remains incarcerated because the parole board’s decision is subject to a 120-day review period.

    The governor of California can reverse the board’s decision and keep him behind bars.

    Davis, 71, is no stranger to the review process.

  • Bunch signs off on 2nd federal plea

    Rufena Jean Bunch has signed a plea agreement for the second time in her federal robbery case.

    The first one was signed on Nov. 4, 2013. She agreed to plead guilty to aiding and abetting Hobbs Act robbery and aiding and abetting the use of a firearm during a crime of violence. However, she reneged on that agreement when Knoxville attorney Bruce Poston was retained to represent her.

    Bunch, 26, signed another plea agreement on March 2.

  • Countywide cleanup four times a year

    Eight thousand pounds of trash, including a boat, were collected during the Great American Cleanup event throughout Roane County last week.

    “There are supposed to be 80 people countywide picking up trash today. We have different groups plus a lot of individuals,” said Dennis Ferguson, head of the Roane County Highway Department.

    “We are planning to have one four times a year. We thought this was a good way to kick off spring.”

    Sail Away Homes and Land employees regularly help cleanup the area of Hwy. 58 and Caney Creek Road.

  • Beets joins regional board

    Though he is already the city’s highest-ranking elected official, Kingston Mayor Troy Beets received a promotion of sorts this month.

    Beets was recently elected chairman of the board that oversees the East Tennessee Human Resources Agency, more commonly known as ETHRA, and its sister organization, the East Tennessee Development District.

  • TVA looks at long-term energy plan

    TVA today, March 26, will discuss progress in updating TVA’s long-range energy resources plan and more than 1,100 comments received from the public.

    “We are developing scenarios of things we cannot change, such as shifts in the economy or new regulations, and strategies for responding to them with the things we can control,” said Gary Brinkworth, program manager for the 2015 Integrated Resource Plan. “The next step will be testing these assumptions.”

  • Rockwood scores a perfect audit

    What a difference a year makes.

    Rockwood’s financial audit, once a source of controversy among city leaders, didn’t just make a turnaround.

    The auditors announced that they found nothing to report on the internal control and compliance portion of the audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013.

    “I can tell you there are no findings,” auditor Richard Hill said Monday. “There were no material weaknesses, no material instances of noncompliance.

  • Light bill’s too high

    One Harriman City Councilman is changing his tune about LED lights.

    J.D. Sampson previously said he doesn’t like the visibility with LED street lights.

    But after one disgruntled day signing off on the city’s utility bills from Harriman Utility Board he’s thinking the savings might be worth it.

    “I added them up, and this month what we will write a check to HUB for is $65,426,” Sampson said.

    “That is a bunch of money.”

  • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA vs. ROCKY JOE HOUSTON

    The secret pole camera police used to conduct surveillance of the Houston farm didn’t belong to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

    ATF Agent Jason Dobbs testified last week that the camera belonged to the Roane County Sheriff’s Office. It was used during the ATF’s investigation of Rocky Houston.

    A jury found Houston guilty last week of being a convicted felon in possession of firearms.

    The trial, which took place at the federal courthouse in Knoxville, provided insight on how the secret pole camera worked.

  • White poised to be first retiree on REU board

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    and MIKE GIBSON

    Roane Newspapers

    It didn’t take long for an ordinance changing Rockwood Electric Utility board’s appointment policy to be implemented.

    Rockwood officials signed off last month on an ordinance that allows former REU employees to serve as members of the board.

    That paves the way for Kingston City Councilman Don White to be appointed as that city’s board representative.

  • Sewanee Street home burns

    A fire engulfed a vacated Harriman home at 417 Sewanee St. Thursday morning.

    “You could see the smoke from [fire]station 1,” Harriman Fire Chief Brad Goss said. “Station 2 could see it when they topped the hill at Sexton’s

    (Automotive). It is an unoccupied residence.”

    Goss said he believes the fire started at the front of the home.

    “We had to cut holes to ventilate,” he said. “The house is so dilapidated, the roof was falling in.”