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Local News

  • 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.

  • Teacher raises for education, experience no longer given

    Across-the-board pay raises for Tennessee teachers are ending.
    Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes said the state is moving to a system where raises are awarded on a merit system.
    “You can no longer give a raise based on years of experience or degrees,” he said. “I don’t approve of it. I don’t know of any other profession that you don’t get a raise for increasing your experience or your degrees.”

  • Man in the moon jailed

    A Rockwood man is accused of showing a woman his backside during a Sunday evening encounter on North Kingston Avenue.
    William Aaron Collett is charged with vandalism and indecent exposure in the incident.
    He’s scheduled to appear in court on May 20. 
    According to the police report, Pamela Ann Hamby told officer Josh Coffey that Collett cursed her and threw a dog leash, allegedly scratching the hood of her car.

  • Saddled in the Lord’s service

    Tim and Lynn Tuggle, feeling led by God, sold everything and started riding from California with a determination to make it to North Carolina.
    The couple, who founded Disciples of Jesus Horsemen and started their faith-led journey in 2010, are nearing the end of their long trek and were in Roane County for a short while this week.
    Locals provided feed for their horses and even helped them use the Roane State Community College Exposition Center to house their horses during the recent rough weather.

  • Talk about colorful

     

    The historic Cornstalk Heights neighborhood of Harriman features many colorful Victorian homes, but the garage shown above at 311 Cumberland St. outcolors them all. It is painted purple and orange and depicts witches and ghosts in a tug-of-war match. It also has flying witch mannequins above. Over the doors is a sign that says “Farnham’s Hardware, Sherwin-Williams Paints.”
     

  • Did you know

    ... that one of the more interesting stretches of railroads in the country ends at the edge of Roane County?

    A stretch of the Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway that runs between Somerset, Ky., and Oakdale once had 27 tunnels, earning it the nickname, The Rathole.

    The stretch is maintained by Norfolk-Southern Railroad, and all but four tunnels have been eliminated.

    Even so, the striking landscape includes plenty of deep, canyon-like cuts through the hills and enough high bridges to make the heart of any railroad enthusiast pound.

  • Housing chief put on paid leave

    Harriman Housing Authority Director Sheila Smith is on administrative leave with pay amidst a look into allegations.

    That is where Housing Authority Board Chairman Wayne Best left it when asked to confirm Smith was on leave.

    “Right now, there is no investigation going on,” Best said Friday. “We just have an attorney looking at some allegations.”

    Julia Clark is acting as interim director over the authority, which oversees public housing developments in Harriman.

  • TOYS FOR TOTS: Kingston sisters’ birthday gifts go to hurting kids

    Kingston sisters Anna Beth and Ellie Layne decided to do something different for their combined birthday party last month.

    Instead of gifts for them, they asked the invitees to bring an unwrapped toy to be donated to the Kids First Child Advocacy Center of the Ninth Judicial District.

  • Tax hike plea for education almost certain

    Roane County Board of Education Member Mike “Brillo” Miller implored county commissioners to not take a steadfast stance against a property tax rate increase at this stage in the budget process.

    “Don’t make the statement right now, ‘I’m not going to raise taxes,’” he said.

    “If I was sitting in your chair, would I be giving these men or these kids or anybody in this community a fair look?”