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Local News

  • Harriman downtown demolition starting up

    The first steps are beginning in physically removing the remaining buildings surrounding the site of the former Miller & Brewer Department Store.

    The removal started last week with abatement activities and preconstruction activities, according to a schedule from Roane County.

    County Executive Ron Woody said he hopes to eventually return the property back to private use and on the tax rolls.

    “The county government sees no government benefit for county use,” he said.

  • Houston headed back to E. Tenn.

    Leon Houston could soon be back in East Tennessee.

    On July 9, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned his federal conviction for threatening to kill his former attorney via interstate commerce.

    The court remanded the case back to U.S. District Court for further proceedings.

    Houston remained an inmate at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, Ky., after the ruling.

    That may change soon.

  • Man accused of wielding machete at ex, new suitor

    A Rockwood man is accused of threatening his ex-girlfriend and her new beau with a machete.

    Toby L. Elliott, 38, is charged with two counts of aggravated assault and vandalism in the Aug. 13 incident.

    Deputies were dispatched to 860 Winton Chapel Road, where they spoke with Pamela Vandan and her boyfriend, Kristopher Havlik.

  • Motorist drives into pasture to elude cops

    Christopher William Dawson, a 42-year-old Athens man, allegedly drove his car into a South of the River pasture in an attempt to elude authorities during a police pursuit last week.

    “He drove out into the middle of the pasture and proceeded to spin out and drive from one end of the pasture to the other end,” Roane County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Gary Morse wrote in Dawson’s arrest warrant.

    The pursuit started on Aug. 17 when Morse was responding to 661 Sweetwater Road to investigate a suspicious vehicle.

  • Harriman sprucing up its image

    Harriman officials decided to get a jump start on the next spring’s cleaning.

    City workers are sprucing up the joint, starting with Harriman Fire Department power washing the walls of the William Hamilton Browder Bridge on Roane Street.

    “That is just one of our many little projects,” said Harriman Mayor Chris Mason.

    They plan to get volunteers to paint the bridge after the pressure washing is complete.

    Other projects, most using public image repair funds from TVA after the Dec. 22, 2008 ash spill, will be coming.

  • Smith calls it a career at utility

    Benton Smith knows his way around Rockwood Water, Sewer and Natural Gas.

    Smith decided to retire this year after years of dedicated work and growing close to his coworkers.

    “In 22 years, I was never late a day ― rain, sleet or snow,” said Smith.

    The crew leader loves the people he works with.

    “They try to make it better for you all the time, and safer,” he said. “All the supervisors are great.”

    Before going to the utility, Smith worked different jobs, including strip mines and construction.

  • Westcare conference unites agencies

    Westcare in Harriman was the host site for an Impact Conference.

    Most of those attending the three-day conference were affilated with agencies providing services to the community.

    “We try to bring people together,” said Cinda S. Sagnes, project director.

    Sixty people attended the conference with special guest speaker the Rev. James Davis.

    Davis explained how he changed from a life of crime to contributing to the community.

    He discussed what he did to help inspire change in his community of Mechanicsville in Knoxville.

  • Sheriff's office captain saves man from drowning

    Awesome. That’s how Shannon Rasco described Roane County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Tim Hawn.

    Hawn saved Rasco’s boyfriend from drowning after he fell down an embankment and into some water Friday afternoon off Blair Road.

    “It was amazing what he did,” Rasco said of Hawn.

    Hawn went down the steep embankment, pulled Rasco’s boyfriend out of the water and held him until help arrived.

  • Roane Academy unneighborly fracases worry those close by

    Some residents and business owners hold the Roane County Commission responsible for the problems that have occurred at Roane Academy.

    “It’s your fault,” Rockwood resident Joseph Vought told commissioners at their Aug. 10 meeting.

    “You’re the one that allowed this to happen.”

    Roane Academy, which is owned by Omni Visions, is a treatment facility for male juveniles in the Roane County Industrial Park.

  • Flooding closes Kingston Elementary

    Too much rain in too short of time.

    Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes said that’s what caused a flooding incident that prompted the cancellation of classes at Kingston Elementary School on Thursday.

    “We had about 2 inches of water that came in,” Aytes said. “It doesn’t look like there was any damage; just water.”

    Wednesday evening’s rain was the culprit. Aytes said the water entered the school underneath the doors.