Local News

  • ‘Please don’t open it back up’

    Oak Ridge attorney Mike Ritter compared the Grill & Pub to an old house that needs a facelift. He insisted his client, Harriman resident Roma L. Christopher, was the one who could fix it up.
    “It’s standing by itself and it doesn’t look good and it’s been in shambles,” Ritter said. “Someone with integrity can come along and make that house look a lot better, and I submit to you that’s what these people intend to do.”

  • Kingston gears up for belated Fourth bash

    The National Weather Service is calling for mostly sunny skies on Saturday.
    That’s what the city of Kingston is counting on.
    After having to cancel the majority of the city’s Fourth of July
    activities due to last week’s torrential rains, Kingston plans to celebrate America’s 237th birthday this weekend with a bash befitting The Land of the Free, albeit a week late.
    The pinnacle event for Smokin’ the Water, Kingston’s Independence Day celebration, starts at dark Saturday.

  • State orders plan of action for Roane County Jail

    The overcrowding situation at the Roane County Jail is not that dire, according to Tennessee Corrections Institute records.
    The jail was built for 172 inmates, but has a TCI certified capacity of 174 because the county was able to add two beds in protective custody.
    The population was 194 when TCI inspector Denise Messer inspected the jail on July 2. Eighteen of the people in custody that day were Tennessee Department of Correction inmates.
    Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said last week that the inspector recommended the jail be decertified.


    Nestled in the woods and overgrowth next to the old Harriman Baptist Tabernacle on Old Roane Street hides numerous old graves.
    The old church and fellowship hall is across the street from the current church building.

    Church member Ralph Magill hopes someone in the community will step forward and identify someone responsible for the graves or offer to help fix up the overgrown plots.
    “If they want to send us any paperwork. If they know anything about it,” Magill said.

  • Man tries to break into jail

    Most people want out of jail.
    Benjamin Heath Clark apparently wanted in Wednesday morning.
    At approximately 2 a.m., Kingston police were dispatched to the Roane County Jail on Third Street about a possible drunk person.
    “Upon arrival, I found Mr. Clark standing at the exit door of the RCSO (Roane County Sheriff’s Office), and had been trying to get in the jail side door,” Kingston Officer Roy Montgomery wrote in his report.

  • Hit Watts Bar Lake with Louie Buoy

    “Louie Buoy” is the winning name for the Roane County Visitors Bureau’s new “buoy” character created to help promote Watts Bar Lake.
    The whimsical character is the first in a line of “weebul peepul” (or WBL PPL in chat slang) created to help promote the assets of Roane County’s Watts Bar Lake.
    The character was created by Lisa Horstman, children’s book illustrator and author.  


    Commissioners unanimously agreed Monday night that the county’s property tax rate should remain the same.
    The resolution to keep the tax rate at $2.18 per $100 valuation for the 2013-14 fiscal year passed 13-0.

    “We’ve got some tough times ahead of us,” Commissioner Stanley Moore said. “That’s the reason I couldn’t vote for another tax increase.”
    Two commissioners – Bobby Collier and Steve Kelley – did not attend the meeting.

  • Nuckols OK’d for Rockwood vacancy

    James Nuckols was selected Monday to fill a vacancy on Rockwood City Council.
    Nuckols will fill the unexpired term of Bill Thompson, a first-time council member who died last month after a lengthy illness.
    “I’m just tickled to death he’s interested,” said council member Jason Jolly. “I know him and his family.”
    Nuckols, a former member of the Rockwood Water, Sewer and Natural Gas board, was selected by Mayor James Watts and approved by Council members Jane Long, Jason Jolly and Pete Wright.

  • Big rain creates big problems

    A deluge of rainfall and thunderstorms over a course of several days last week and through the weekend left the ground saturated and resulted in power outages around the county.
    “Our guys have worked around the clock since Thursday,” said Tony Brown, assistant to Roane County Road Superintendent Dennis Ferguson.
    “The biggest thing we had was trees falling across power lines and roads.”

    Airport Road, which was already closed because of sliding, suffered more because of the heavy rain.

  • Rocky Houston trial rescheduled

    Rocky Houston has an attorney in his federal criminal case.
    Appointing him one on Monday wasn’t easy, however.
    “If you want an attorney, I will be the one to appoint them,” U.S. Magistrate C. Clifford Shirley Jr. said.
    “I’m asking for a non-biased judge to appoint my attorney,” Houston responded.
    “I am a non-biased judge,” Shirley said. “Either I appoint you a lawyer, or there isn’t a lawyer appointed for you.”