Local News

  • Natural gas rates up for Rockwood

    Rockwood Water, Sewer and Natural Gas is looking at a new rate structure for gas customers. That means an increase for its customers when bills come out this week.

    Public accountant Daniel Peterson presented his recommendation to the utility board to adopt a new methodology to address the difference between the price of gas and the actual revenue the utility makes.

  • County may help vets buy new van

    Roane County leaders could provide some help to Disabled American Veterans Post 86’s effort to get a new van. The county’s Non-Profit Committee met Monday and voted to donate $5,000 to the cause.

    “It was all positive,” Commissioner Darryl Meadows said, about the discussion that took place before the vote.

  • Ministry combines women, art

    On a typical Sunday at Bethel Presbyterian Church in Kingston a large crowd gathers to worship and the sound of gospel music can be heard.

    But on Mondays, there is a different tune.

    A group of about 12 women meet for the Bethel Arts Ministry, or as they like to call it — BAM — and work on different art pieces each week.

    Along with working on art projects “we also tell what’s going on in our lives and gossip,” Cathy McDowell said.

  • Imprisoned Houston brothers work on appeals while serving their time in Kentucky facilities

    After losing at the trial level, the Houston brothers are seeking relief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, where their federal convictions are being challenged.

    Leon Houston, 55, was convicted in November 2013 for using a telephone communication to threaten to kill Cleveland attorney James Logan.

    U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves sentenced him to the maximum five years in March.

    The 6th Circuit covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

    The U.S. Attorney’s Office must file a brief in the case by Dec. 22.

  • Man charged after naked child found wandering

    A Harriman man has been charged with child abuse and neglect involving a youngster age 6 or younger.

    Jack Chesser III, 20, was taken into custody after a Roane County Sheriff Deputy responded to Chesser’s home because of a call to 911 regarding a young child walking outside the residence naked and following around a dog.

    “The complainant stated they had been there for almost 45 minutes and no adults had come outside for the child,” said an incident report from the Roane County Sheriff Office.

  • Starved-child dad on third lawyer

    The father accused of starving his 2-year-old son to death is now on his third attorney.

    A. Philip Lomonaco of Knoxville filed a notice with the court last week that he’s now serving as the attorney for Matthew Dotson. Dotson’s previous attorney, Kent Booher, was suspended by the Tennessee Supreme Court in October for pleading guilty to two counts of statutory rape in Loudon County Criminal Court.

    Booher took over as Dotson’s attorney after Joseph Lodato was allowed to withdraw from the case in July 2013.

  • Trial for Rockwood’s Tom Pierce moved again

    Former Rockwood Public Works Director Tom Pierce was accused of using city funds to make personal purchases in 2013.

    He has yet to go to trial.

    A continuance was granted Nov. 17, and the new trial date is set for March 31 in front of Judge Eugene Eblen.

    “They need to go ahead and come out and get it over with,” said Councilwoman Peggy Evans.

    Evans said she was shocked when the accusations about Pierce emerged, and she called him immediately.


    Nothing makes the heart warmer than giving to a worthy cause.

    Except maybe if you are rewarded with the soft warmth of fresh bread baked by Dyllis Springs Elementary School third-grader Molly Duggins.

    Molly was inspired to bake bread to raise money after she saw a mailer sent from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital featuring a girl named Brooklyn.

    She decided to raise money to help St. Jude’s help children with serious ailments.

  • OS tells resident to sue

    James Horton said he was shocked by the response he got at last week’s Oliver Springs Board of Aldermen meeting.

    “A couple of things are clear,” Horton said. “OS doesn’t care what the charter says.”

    The town charter states, “the newly elected officers of the town shall take offices at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday in November, after the election results have been certified.”

  • Tiger Haven critic files lawsuit

    The dispute between Tiger Haven and neighbor Toby Rhynehart shows no signs of subsiding.

    Rhynehart has filed a civil action in Roane County General Sessions Court, alleging Tiger Haven operator Mary Lynn Haven built a chain link fence on his property and cut down some of his trees.

    “I’ve got pictures,” Rhynehart said. “I’ve got everything. I’ve got some things that she doesn’t even know about. You’ll just have to wait until trial.”