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Local News

  • Rocky, Leon Houston arrested for contempt of court

    Brothers Rocky and Leon Houston were arrested Thursday morning after Chancellor Frank V. Williams III found them in contempt of court.

    The two men, who in 2006 were accused of murder in the shootings of a Roane County sheriff's deputy and ride-along friend, were in court to contest one of their lawyers taking Houston family property in payment for representing him.

    Leon was acquitted in the shootings, while Rocky was released as a result of a technical error by one of the judges in the case.

  • Borrowing for buses gets alternate spin

    Roane County Commissioner Randy Ellis has been telling constituents the county is not borrowing money to purchase school buses.

    County Executive Ron Woody said Ellis is wrong.   

    “We’re going to borrow the money,” Woody said.

    Instead of borrowing money to purchase the school buses, Woody wanted the county to ask the school system to buy the buses with money in its operating budget or fund balance.

  • Kingston betting lights on drawing retail

    Kingston city officials are aglow about the city’s latest accomplishment — a half dozen towering light clusters at the Gallaher Road exit of Interstate 40.

    Those, along with the addition of more traditional street lights along the exit, are intended to signal to businesses and, eventually, shoppers, that this is the intended site of Kingston’s future business district.

  • Harriman fire team keeps children safe in vehicles, too

    That perfectly good looking child-restraint seat that has served you for a while may be a hazard waiting to happen.

    Just ask the Harriman Fire Department. And you can, too, because it holds regular child-restraint safety checkpoints. The department works hard to make sure one of the five certified firefighters is on each shift so anyone stopping by can have their seat checked or installed.

  • Tax bills finally hit the mail

    People who own land in Roane County no longer have to wait to find out how much they owe in property taxes.

    Roane County Trustee Wilma Eblen said the new tax cards are in the mail.

    “Part of it was taken to the post office yesterday (Monday), and the remainder of it was taken this (Tuesday) morning,” Eblen said, “so everyone should be getting them soon.”
    Normally people would have received the cards around the first of October, but this year’s controversial countywide reappraisal caused a lot of delays.

  • Masons make $50,000 contribution to community

    After selling Masonic Lodge No. 367 , members of the Paint Rock Free and Accepted Masons donated all of their assets, totaling approximately $50,000, to area churches, cemeteries, children’s hospitals and Midway High School.

    Due to the low membership of 27 members of the Paint Rock Masonic Lodge, which was chartered in 1868, and the costliness of upkeep, the lodge was sold to Brian Parks, who plans to convert the building into a grocery and grill, secretary Charlie “Gene” Walker said.

  • ‘Nutcracker’ audience urged to give to animals

    “There are days you come into work and you cry because you know you have to put animals down,” said Kayla Morton, Roane County Animal Shelter office manager and kennel assistant.

    “You know you have to make the decision of which animal gets to stay another day or which animal doesn’t get to make it ... and that’s the worst part about working here.”

    The Roane County Animal Shelter receives nearly 100 cats and dogs into the shelter each week with minimal space to accommodate them.

  • Kingston police help give holiday dinner to others

    Christmas is still weeks away, but the spirit of giving is already alive and well in Roane County.

    Hundreds of local families got the chance to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner thanks to that spirit, which was on display Tuesday at Kingston City Park.

    The Kingston Police Department teamed up with Hands of Mercy to hand out boxes of food to those in need.

    Police Chief Jim Washam said the recipients were able to choose either a ham or turkey and got all the fixings to feed a family of six to eight.

  • Nutcracker 2010: Holiday tradition all in the family for some performers

    A number of Roane County families ushered in the holiday season over the weekend by queuing in line for Black Friday sales and trimming the Christmas tree.

    Roane County’s Ochs family, however, has been in the holiday spirit for months. And they and others will see their hard work pay off Thursday, when “The Nutcracker” opens for its first show at Roane State Community College.

  • Surplus revenue earmarked for airport

    Rockwood Councilwoman Peggy Evans didn’t need a airplane to be floating on air last week.

    The fired-up councilwoman, who is on the airport steering committee, was elated after she received permission to allot the revenues gained by the surplus of several vehicles to a match for funds to make improvements at the Rockwood Municipal Airport.

    “I’m absolutely thrilled to death,” she said. “No matter what, it could really be a lot.”