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Local News

  • Watch out for possible hazards over holiday

    The holidays are a relaxed time for families and friends to spend time together, but before children are out of school for the holidays and tiny friends and relatives come to visit take some time to poison proof your home.

    One of the most important poison prevention tips is to make sure that alcoholic drinks and products are placed out of a child’s reach. This is especially important at parties and holiday gatherings when children can find cups containing leftover alcohol within their reach.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Evangelical Christians: recall the eye of a needle

    Last week we wrote some on the topic of the right-wing Republicans and their war upon the poor, concentrating on their efforts to reduce Food Stamps (a.k.a. SNAP).

    Today we would focus our attention on one particular segment of these radical right-wing Republicans, i.e. the so-called Evangelical Christians.

    Last time we questioned how any Christian, whether clergy or laity, could support these efforts against the poor.

  • Sheriff’s race opponent emerges

    Jared Hall, a patrolman with the Rockwood Police Department, is planning to run for Roane County sheriff in 2014.

    “I know a lot of the people in the county — the good guys and all the bad guys,” he said Thursday. “I love most everybody. I don’t think there’s anybody I truly hate.”

    Hall has been with the Rockwood Police Department since January 2012.

    Prior to that, he worked for the Roane County Sheriff’s Office for nine years, reaching the rank of sergeant.

  • Teachers’ pay changes in the works

    Roane County Schools is still in the process of putting together a differentiated pay plan for teachers.

    In June the state Board of Education mandated that school systems put the plans in place.

    “The problem with that, just like all state mandates, is you have to do it estimating what kind of money you’re going to get for raises and that’s hard to do, but we’ll have it ready,” Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes said.

  • Tiger Haven shooter arrested again

    Toby Rhynehart was arrested on Tuesday for failure to appear in court in the Tiger Haven shooting case. His attorney, Donice Butler, called it a misunderstanding.

    “I’m over here (Roane County Courthouse) now trying to figure out what the problem is and work on getting him released,” Butler said Wednesday. “I know he did not intentionally fail to appear.”

    Rhynehart was released from jail Thursday afternoon, according to the Roane County Sheriff’s Office.

    He was indicted in October for reckless endangerment.

  • Lawsuit against Harriman police likely to be dismissed

    The outcome of Wednesday’s trial in Roane County Criminal Court could prove fatal for Ryan Brandon’s federal lawsuit against the city of Harriman and former police officer Jajuan Hamilton.

    Brandon claims he suffered severe injuries when he fell to the pavement after Hamilton used a Taser to subdue him in 2009. He accuses the city and Hamilton of violating his constitutional rights, excessive force and battery.

    A federal judge stayed the lawsuit in 2011 pending the outcome of his criminal case.

  • Home burns while family Christmas shops
  • Houston decides to keep lawyer

    For the time being, attorney Michael McGovern will continue to represent Rocky Houston in his federal firearms case.

    Houston previously sought to get rid of McGovern, claiming he had a conflict of interest and was a key witness in the case.

    Houston also claimed he could no longer discuss trial strategies with McGovern and he’d be denied a fair trial if McGovern wasn’t replaced.

    McGovern responded by filing a motion to withdraw as Houston’s court-appointed attorney.

  • Courts gear up against ex official

    The former Rockwood Public Works official charged with misusing public funds will have a status hearing Friday at 9 a.m.

    Tom Pierce allegedly purchased cameras and equipment, numerous guns and clothing for himself.

    Pierce resigned before a state investigative audit showed he amassed at least 11 guns and ammunition on the city’s dime.

    The guns and other items, totaling $32,725 were believed to have been purchased using a city credit card between 2009 and 2012. Pierce was indicted in February.

  • Cities told cold med bans not legal

    City ordinances banning the sale of ephedrine- and pseudoephedrine-related products without a prescription are illegal, according to a Dec. 6 opinion from Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper Jr.

    The authority to regulate the sale of those products, often used in the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine, sits with the General Assembly, not city or county governments.