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Local News

  • Legislators reveal upcoming state road projects

    State Sen. Ken Yager and state Rep. Kent Calfee have released information from the Tennessee Department of Transportation regarding an update on state road projects in Roane County.

    “I am very pleased that we are moving on these road improvements,” said Yager, R-Harriman.

    “These projects are important to many citizens to help make our roads safer and more inviting for economic development.”

  • VEC officials warn against scammers calling to collect on ‘delinquent’ bills

    Volunteer Energy Cooperative officials warn customers that they have  received reports of an imposter attempting to collect money for what the caller says is “delinquent” electric bills.

    In one instance, the caller asked for a banking account number and a Social Security number before instructing the customer to purchase a pre-paid credit card and pay the bill with that card.

    The caller claimed that if payment was not received, the customer’s power would be shut off within the hour.

  • Industrial site gets special designation

    A prime parcel in the Roane County Industrial Park made the Select Tennessee program.

    The 44-acre site was not only receiving the coveted certification but also given a “plus” designation.

    “The state will personally premiere that site on the Select Tennessee website. Basically it puts our parcel out front of others because of certification. Major site selectors across the country and world will look at our site first,” said Darrell Williams, vice president of business development for The Roane Alliance.

  • Attorney fired up about anonymous comments

    Harriman attorney Donice Butler is fed up with anonymous comments being posted about her on Topix.com.
    So much so that she’s talking about filing a lawsuit against the website.

    “I’ve had it with people getting away with it,” she said. “If it were true, then the people who are saying it ought to have the courage to say who they are, and how they can prove it.”

  • Topix CEO: ‘We generally favor the rights of people to speak’

    Editor’s note: Topix CEO Chris Tolles contacted Roane County News reporter Damon Lawrence this month for a story Lawrence was working on about Topix.com. Here is part of their conversation.
    Lawrence: Some complain your website let’s users post slanderous and defamatory comments anonymously and people that are being talked about have no recourse. What’s your response to that?

  • Alleged prison construction scammer arrested

    It took two years, but the authorities finally caught up with Rickey Kenneth Hubbard.

    He faces 20 counts of criminal impersonation for allegedly duping people into believing the Tennessee Department of Correction had contracted with Yates Construction Co. to build a prison in Swan Pond.
    Hubbard claimed to be the project’s construction manager.
    Bracey Bahm got suspicious and contacted Kingston police on Aug. 15, 2011.

  • Flutter by on butterfly wings

    Betty and Jim Wilson have around 20 butterfly bushes around their Kingston home that have attracted a swarm of butterflies this year.
    Yellow and black tiger swallowtails were particularly attracted to the bushes one day last week.

    Betty said she loves to garden but jokes she doesn’t know how.
    “I try everything,” she said. “Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t”

  • Land values look to drop

    The next property reappraisal for Roane County is 2015.
    Values could decrease at that time, according to what officials said earlier this month.  
    “Roane County will probably go down,” said T.H. Brown, chairman of the Roane County Board of Equalization.
    “From what we are seeing, there’s definitely a decline in most areas as far as real world qualified sales compared to what we have as values in the assessor’s office,” Property Assessor David Morgan said.

  • Smoot lawyer: Money for bond was family’s, not his

    Should a man who is out of jail on a $250,000 cash bond be able to afford his own attorney?
    The answer is no in the case of accused killer Shawn Smoot.
    “He didn’t come up with that money,” attorney Bob Vogel said. “His family did.”
    Smoot was released from jail in March after his parents posted the $250,000 cash bond.

    Despite the six-figure surety, Smoot is still considered an indigent defendant in Roane County Criminal Court, which means the state is paying for Vogel to represent him. 

  • ‘They saved my life, without question’

    Chasity Pennington didn’t plan on getting her mammogram last year.
    It’s a good thing she did. If she hadn’t, it might have been too late to help her today.
    “To me, it is God’s work,” the Oliver Springs woman said. “If I had waited even a year, the outcome would have been totally different.”

    Pennington was diagnosed and treated for an aggressive form of breast cancer shortly after her mammogram by the University of Tennessee Medical Center mobile mammography unit.