Local News

  • Cases delayed because of defender’s illness

    Criminal court cases in the 9th Judicial District are being continued due to the absence of Assistant Public Defender Walter Johnson.

    District Attorney General Russell Johnson, no relation, said Walter Johnson has undergone heart bypass surgery.

    “(Criminal Court) Judge (Eugene) Eblen’s decision has been to continue everything,” Russell Johnson said.

    Roane, Loudon, Morgan and Meigs counties make up the 9th Judicial District. Russell Johnson said the cases being impacted are the ones where Walter Johnson is the opposing attorney.

  • Two local TDEC grants awarded

    Roane County and Rockwood both received grants for used motor oil collection through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

    Rockwood received $13,800 for a tank, canopy, pad, heater, pump and absorbent. Roane County received $9,200 for a heater and pump.

    “Used motor oil collection grants assist local governments in improvising and expanding used oil infrastructure for the collection of used oil from do-it-yourselfers,” according to a TDEC news release

  • GUEST OPINION: Duck Dynasty Flap


    First Amendment Center

    OK, America: Here’s a quick, basic course in the First Amendment:

    Lesson No. 1. “Duck Dynasty”’s Phil Robertson has a First Amendment right to state his views on homosexuality, minorities and pretty much anything else on this unlikely reality-TV star’s mind, whenever he wants.

  • Police ID I-40 body, but still unsure what happened to him

    The Tennessee Highway Patrol on Thursday released the name of the man whose body was found early Christmas morning on Interstate 40 in Roane County.

    THP criminal investigators identified the man as Brian William Taylor of Heath Springs, S.C.

    Taylor is described as a 42-year-old white male, wearing blue jeans, a blue and white plaid flannel shirt and tan work boots.

    THP said its Criminal Investigation Division is looking into every possible scenario, including foul play.

  • Kingston city councilman dies


    Longtime Kingston City Councilman Kevin McClure has died.

    McClure, 46, lost a battle with colon cancer Sunday.

    McClure, who had held a city council seat for more than a decade, was a champion of small-business interests.

    A tall, burly man, he had his own landscaping business, often hurrying into city council meetings still in his work clothes.

  • Another death for city of Kingston

    Kingston police officer Tim Arnold died Saturday.

    Police Chief Jim Washam said Arnold, 50, was captain over the reserve division and also worked as a part-time patrolman.

    “Our guys got a call to go to his house on Saturday for a medical emergency,” Washam said. “We got there and CPR was already in progress by some of the family. My guys, first responders for the fire department and Roane County ambulance service responded.”

    Washam said Arnold was taken to Roane Medical Center.

  • Three’s a crowd
  • Yard waste solution: Sausage power?

    As brush piles grow bigger for small communities like those in Roane County, a green waste recycling project may be the solution.

    “We have a lot,” said Rockwood City Recorder Becky Ruppe. “It costs about $10,000 a year,”

    Harriman’s ever-growing pile is on city property on Fiske Heights.

    It needs to be dealt with for a Renaissance Festival that wants to locate on the property. The entry to the proposed fair site is where the sizable pile is now.

  • Movie tickets for blood donors

    Medic Regional Blood Center is struggling to meet the needs of area hospitals and will offer a special holiday incentive to get people to roll up their sleeve. Each donor on Monday, Dec. 30, will receive a pair of Regal Cinema movie passes with no expiration date.

    “We usually give away a single pass to donors, but we are in desperate need for donors and thought we would offer two tickets to sweeten the pot,” said Christi Fightmaster, director of public relations.

  • K-25 plant demolition a notable moment in history

    A significant piece of national and Roane County history came down last week with the final demolition of the K-25 building.

    “A number of people from Roane County worked up there,” Roane County Executive Ron Woody said. “They helped build it, and once it was built they worked in the facility.”

    K-25, built in 1943, was part of the Manhattan Project. It was once the world’s largest building under one roof.