Local News

  • Alleged police evader caught in Rockwood

    A man who allegedly led police on a high-speed chase was arrested in Rockwood on Wednesday.

    Wendell Scott Swint of Morgan County is charged with evading arrest, reckless endangerment, aggravated assault, driving on a suspended license, simple possession and resisting arrest.

    Police set up a checkpoint on Hwy. 70 on Monday as part of an investigation into the Sunday death of Johnny Franklin Douglas. According to a Roane County Sheriff’s Office report, Swint approached the checkpoint in a Ford Mustang, then stopped and turned around.

  • Board considers squeezing more into high school day

    The school day could include a seventh period for high school students in the future. Currently there are six periods.

    The Roane County Board of Education Policy Committee discussed the possible change earlier this month.

    “This would only affect Oliver Springs, Harriman, Rockwood and Kingston,” Policy Committee Chairman Wade McCullough said. “They’re on a six period, traditional day.”

  • Children’s meal program needs volunteers

    Rockwood Housing Authority’s Kids Cafe needs a volunteer coordinator to help provide a meal to the community’s children each Monday.

    “Once they meet these kids they’ll want to help,” said Jennifer Watson, housing manager of the Rockwood Housing Authority.

    The coordinator would plan the menu and shop for nutritious meals for approximately 60 children each week, as well as coordinate volunteers to help cook, serve food and clean up. The coordinator must also be interested in being a mentor to the children.

  • Meeting today for Roane TVA board

    The Roane County Economic Development Foundation will hold a

    special-called meeting at 10 a.m. today (Friday).

    Jim Hopson, a public relations official for TVA, said the projects involve Rockwood and Oliver Springs, but at press time, said he didn’t have details.

    The meeting is at Kingston City Hall in Ladd Landing.

    The foundation was created after the TVA ash spill at the Kingston Fossil Plant as part of an effort to “make whole” the area impacted by the disaster.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: It’s been quite a week for the old curmudgeon

    Gentle reader, today we have more topics roiling around in the old cranium than Carmen Miranda had Cavendish bananas in her headdress.

    (Younger readers can ask their parents to identify the effervescent Latin Bombshell, Carmen Miranda and her fabulous fruit adorned turbans, and can seek guidance on the Cavendish bananas in some botanical tome, or in the more likely source, the internet.)

  • Kindergarten: the next generation

    Naps and early dismissals have long been a thing of the past for yawning kindergarteners. They’re being taught more than ever under stricter guidelines.

    “Some children come to school with a wealth of knowledge,” said Roslyn Eskridge, a kindergarten teacher at Midtown Elementary School.

    “And others come that don’t know colors and shapes and numbers and letters,” she added. “But we are still expected to have them all reading by Christmas.”

  • Smoot back in custody after bond revocation

    Accused murderer Shawn Smoot returned to the Roane County Jail in shackles Tuesday afternoon.

    Smoot was charged with DUI in McMinn County on April 22.

    Roane County Criminal Court Judge E. Eugene Eblen revoked his bond in the murder case a day later and issued a warrant for his arrest.

    District Attorney General Russell Johnson’s Office said Smoot was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals at the Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute in Chattanooga around 11 a.m. Tuesday.

  • Ruppe gets promotion

    Rockwood City Council’s discussion leading up to promoting Becky Ruppe to city administrator was tame compared to what happened just before.

    Mayor James Watts referred to a social networking post that questioned the city’s recent perfect audit and called the poster “some idiot.”

    The post also accused the mayor and then-city recorder Ruppe of moving numbers about.

    Local businessman Bill Anderson, who was at the meeting, responded.

  • ‘In God We Trust’ proposal

    The words “In God We Trust” could soon be on display at the entrance of the Roane County Courthouse and in the Roane County Commission meeting room.

    A resolution calling for the words to be displayed at those locations is on the agenda for the May 12 county commission meeting.

    “It’s been something that more and more of my constituents, church members and pastors have brought to my attention,” said District 2 Commissioner Randy Ellis, who filed the resolution. “They would like to see it implemented.”

  • Suspicious death probed in East Roane

    A man was found dead from a gunshot wound Sunday afternoon, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is assisting the Roane County Sheriff’s Office in investigating the suspicious death.

    Johnny Franklin Douglas, 73, 33475 Kingston Hwy., was found near his workshop at his home.

    “The cause of death was definitely a gunshot wound to the area of the head,” said Sheriff Jack Stockton.

    Stockton said it cannot be determined if it was self-inflicted or if someone else did it by the trajectory of the shot.