Local News

  • Good news for schools in grad rates, math

    Improvements in math and graduation rate: Those were the two things Director of Schools Gary Aytes said he was most proud of about Roane County Schools 2012 state report card.
    In the academic growth category, Roane County received a C in math in 2011.
    In 2012 the county scored an A.
    The graduation rate went from 78.2 percent in 2011 to 88.8 percent in 2012. 
    “That’s tremendous,” Aytes said.
    Aytes said the disappointments were in reading/language, science and the ACT.

  • Pill-pushing defendant faces extra punishment

    Two prior drug convictions mean trouble for John Wesley Goss in his federal drug case.
    Goss, of Rockwood, was one of 23 people charged with oxycodone trafficking and money laundering conspiracies earlier this year.
    “Deaths are alleged to have resulted from the use of oxycodone in connection with the drug conspiracy,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
    The FBI referred to Goss as the lead defendant in the case.
    According to court records, Goss was convicted twice in federal court in the 1990s on drug charges.

  • Holocaust survivor: ‘Look what hate does’

    Punishment for sassiness today might earn a child a slap on the bottom or a few minutes in timeout.
    For Jewish children who mouthed off to the Nazis or their collaborators, the consequences were much more severe.
    “A boy, maybe 10 or 12, talked to the guards and sassed them,” Arthur Pais recalled. “They shot him.”
    Pais is a survivor of the Kovno Ghetto and the Dachau Concentration Camp. The young boy being shot is among his most vivid memories from the Holocaust. 

  • Oliver Springs to stay dry

    Oliver Springs joined many other small communities in having a referendum to allow package stores to sell alcohol in its city limits.

    Voters in the Anderson County portion of the town supported the referendum permitting package stores by three votes at 360 voting for it and 357 voting against it.

    Roane County voters, however, turned the tide in favor of not having the stores with votes of 126 for permitting package stores and 162 against it.


    Six decades after serving a nation that refused to let him fight because of the color of his skin, former U.S. Marine Albert Winton Sr. finally got some well-deserved recognition last week.

    He was awarded a bronze replica of the Congressional Gold Medal.

    A packed house at Victorian Square Assisted Living in Rockwood gave Winton a standing ovation as he received the nation’s highest non-combat award last Thursday night from Tennessee Commissioner of Veteran Affairs Many-Bears Grinder.

  • TVA ash to be left in river, plan says
  • TVA ash to be left in river, plan says

    The residual ash in the Clinch and lower Emory rivers will be dealt with through natural river processes and continued long-term monitoring. 
    “It was based on extensive research, including human health and ecological risk assessments, and aligns with the majority of public comments received on the EE/CA (Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis) alternatives,” TVA said in a news release. “The selection was also approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.”

  • RMS students vote

    Rockwood Middle School students got a hands-on civics lesson Monday when they had a chance to vote for the U.S. president in a mock election.
    School librarian Maranda Summers, a former history teacher, presided over the election process that included helping students register to vote, teaching information about the candidates through newspaper articles and other sources, and then finally to enter the voting booth and cast a ballot.

  • Smoot can’t make bond

    Criminal Court Judge E. Eugene Eblen granted bond for accused killer Shawn Smoot in August.
    Smoot, 40, a former insurance agent, has remained incarcerated, however.  His bond was set at $250,000.
    According to court records, his parents inquired about putting up out-of-state property for the bond. They were informed that was not acceptable, court records said.
    Smoot is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 23-year-old Brooke Nicole Morris. Her body was found at Blair Road and Old Blair Road in October 2011.