Local News


    A revised dress code will be in place when students start the 2017-18 school year today – Wednesday.

    “I think people won’t even notice,” Roane County Board of Education Member Larry Brackett said about the changes.

    The board passed the revision in June. The old policy included a paragraph that said principals could take action against a student, volunteer or employee when “in the opinion of” school administration there was a violation of the dress code.

    The “in the opinion of” is no longer in the policy.

  • Police hurt on the job

    Two lawmen with separate municipal police departments have been injured in recent days while working roadway incidents.

    Both men are sergeants with their respective departments.

    Oliver Springs Police Sgt. Charlie Graham was struck while working a wreck on Thursday. Three days later, Kingston Sgt. Jerry Singleton had his left knee fractured when a vehicle fled the scene.

  • Sewer settlement a plus for Rockwood

    Rockwood Water, Sewer and Natural Gas officials have been waiting to see the remainder of a Front Avenue sewer line project completed after a disagreement between the contractor and engineers arose.

    The project stalled after the elevation of the newly installed sewer did not align with the elevation of the existing sewer to which the new line was to connect, and the parties responsible for the project couldn’t agree who should pay for the mistake.

  • Learn about Appalachia in new class

    Roane County News columnist and retired history teacher Mark Banker will offer a course focusing on the Appalachians.

    The course will be each Tuesday beginning Sept. 5 in the old Roane County Courthouse. It is sponsored by the Roane County Heritage Commission.

    “There are three guarantees,” Banker said. “Attendance policy will be lenient; no exams — for you to take and for me to grade!; and at the end of the course, you will know more and think differently about where we live than you do now.”

  • Loudon man faces sex crimes charges

    Brent Dillon Purdy, a 24-year-old Loudon man, turned himself in at the Roane County Jail last week on sex crime charges. He was indicted by the Roane County grand jury in June on one count of statutory rape and one count of sexual exploitation by electronic means. The crimes are alleged to have occurred during the summer of 2016.

    Jail records listed Purdy’s address as 505 Highland Ave., Loudon. He’s out of custody on a $20,000 bond while the charges are pending.


    The sun isn’t the only thing that might be blacked out on Aug. 21.

    “We’re going to blackout litter on Aug. 21 when the eclipse comes through,” Roane County Road Superintendent Dennis Ferguson said.

    To do that, the Road Department is encouraging students to bring five aluminum cans to school to be recycled in exchange for a pair of solar eclipse glasses.

  • Duo charged with shooting

    Jason Whitefield didn’t act alone when he allegedly shot a Lenoir City woman in Kingston earlier this year.

    He had help, and now he and the alleged accomplice, 28-year-old Crystal Dawn Benton, are facing charges in Roane County Criminal Court.

    Whitefield is charged with one count of especially aggravated robbery, two counts of child abuse/neglect and two counts of reckless endangerment.

    Benton is charged with especially aggravated robbery and two counts of child abuse/neglect  

  • Largen appeals annexation suit with Harriman

    Gerald Largen has not given up his fight against the city of Harriman just yet.

    The retired attorney and Harriman landowner is appealing the rulings of Roane County Circuit Court Judge Mike Pemberton, who dismissed Largen’s suit to void the city’s decades-old annexation into South Harriman.

    “That will be developing in the coming weeks with the [Tennessee] Court of Appeals,” said Harriman City Attorney Allison Rehn.

    Rehn is not representing the city in this case. Attorney Michael Kelley is.

  • Festival to celebrate naturalist’s trek

    Roane County Tourism and the City of Kingston will be hosting an event next month to commemorate the 150th anniversary of naturalist John Muir’s visit to the area.

    The Muir Festival at Fort Southwest Point on Sept. 9 will feature music, food and educational programs designed to bring attention to environmental issues. 

    Recognized as “The Father of the National Parks System” and the founder of the Sierra Club, Muir passed through Kingston on Sept. 12, 1867 on his 1,000-mile walk from Kentucky to Florida.