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Local News

  • Only five more days until Super Saturday

    Saturday’s going to be a special day — and not just because it’s the weekend or the week before Christmas.

    It’s not only special, it’s Super Saturday.

    That’s the name Roane County Chamber of Commerce has chosen for Dec. 18, which is being touted across the county as the day for all residents to Shop Roane First this holiday season.

    Chamber members said the dedicated shopping day serves as a reminder that it boosts the local economy when consumers spend their dollars with Roane County businesses.

  • Sex offender pleads guilty in ’09 death

    Lonnie Lee White was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the death of  Misty Dawn Wilmeth.

    White, a convicted sex offender, was indicted for second-degree murder in June 2009.

    He reached a deal with prosecutors and pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter on Friday in Roane County Criminal Court.

  • Rockwood lights up the holidays
  • Walnut Hill's festive finale

    Younger children giggled as Walnut Hill Elementary School’s fourth- and fifth-graders danced, sang and performed in their Christmas-themed garb.

    They witnessed and performed in “Santa’s Holiday Playlist,” the last Christmas program at the Harriman school.

    “It is our last play because our school is shutting down,” explained fifth-grader Sara Hamby, 10.

    The Roane County Board of Education plans to close Walnut Hill once renovations to nearby Bowers Elementary School are completed.

  • County courting industry

    Officials are considering a package of incentives to try and land a new industry.

    The Roane County Industrial Development Board and The Roane Alliance are recruiting a distribution industry for Roane Regional Business and Technology Park.

    To try and help that effort, a resolution asks the Roane County Commission to waive the building permit fees.

    “Our industrial folks say that could be significant,” Roane County Executive Ron Woody said. “It could be the icing on the cake that helps them go here.”

  • Scammers try spiel on Roane detective

    Scammers have gotten so bold that they even tried to pull one over on a law enforcement officer.

    Bryan Walker, an investigator with the Roane County Sheriff’s Office, received a call last week from someone purporting to be from his credit card company.

    “I knew it was a scam, because I don’t even have the particular credit card they were asking me about,” Walker said.

  • Operation REACH continues to grow

    Bobby Collier had just finished handing out Christmas baskets with another Jaycee member 36 years ago when he discovered something disturbing on the drive back to Kingston.
    He saw one of the basket recipients at a bar.
    Collier knew the bar owner and decided to inquire further.
    “I said, ‘That guy who just pulled in, what did he get?’” Collier remembered.
    The bar owner told him the man got a 12-pack of beer.
    “I said, ‘What did he pay for it with?,’” Collier recalled.
    The bar owner pulled out the Christmas basket.

  • Congress: No boost to Social Security

    A move to provide people on Social Security with a financial boost was stymied in Congress on Wednesday.
    There will be no cost-of-living adjustment increase for Social Security recipients in 2011.
    However, there was legislation pending in Congress to provide a one-time payment of $250.
    The measure fell short of the two-thirds majority vote it needed to pass the House.
    In the Senate it failed to reach the 60-vote filibuster-proof margin.
    House Republicans said the possible cost of $14 billion was a concern.

  • RCSO part of area drug bust

    The Roane County Sheriff’s Office was one of about a dozen law enforcement agencies credited with helping bust up a multi-state drug conspiracy.
    According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the conspiracy involved trafficking cocaine and crack as well as money laundering.
    “It took some major drug traffickers off the street, and they’re facing 10 years to life in federal prison,” Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said.
    A federal grand jury returned a 76-count indictment on Nov. 16. Federal search warrants were executed at locations in Knoxville, Alcoa and Rockford earlier this month.

  • How Nutcracker ballet made us nuts

    Each holiday season, many families attend the only ballet they’ll see all year: “The Nutcracker.”
    But how did “The Nutcracker” become such a popular tradition?
    The story itself is quite old, and the one we see onstage is a popular adaptation by the French author Alexandre Dumas, best known for writing “The Three Musketeers.”
    Once the story made the leap from page to stage, history was in the making.
    Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky composed “The Nutcracker” as his final ballet, taking on the project with a marked lack of enthusiasm.