Local News

  • Man banned from county park as part of disorderly conduct ruling

    Brendon Seth Luffman, a 29-year-old Harriman man accused of masturbating in the swimming area at Roane County Park, had his case resolved in Roane County General Sessions Court on July 29.

    Luffman pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, a Class C misdemeanor.
    He was fined $10 and ordered to stay out of the swimming area at Roane County Park.
    He received no jail time. 
    Luffman was originally charged with indecent exposure in the June 30, 2012 incident.

  • Yager plans grant conference Aug. 29

    State Sen. Ken Yager will have a free grant conference to improve the opportunities for residents, organizations and government agencies to tap into a wide variety of available grant funds. 
    The conference will be on Aug. 29 on the main campus of Roane State Community College at 276 Patton Lane.
    “I am hosting this conference to provide useful information and contacts for local governments and non-profits in the 12th District with the goal of improving our communities,” said Yager. 

  • Archivists seek Civil War memorabilia

    Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Knoxville later this month to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by area residents for an exhibit titled “Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee.”
    Archivists will be at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay St., from 3 to 7 p.m. Aug. 15 and from 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 16.
    During that time, they encourage area residents to bring in original photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

  • Vehicular homicide trial underway

    Update: Nicole Lawson was found guilty of vehicular homicide reckless conduct on Tuesday in the 2009 death of Gary Pugh. The jury returned the verdict at 4:14 p.m. Lawson’s sentencing hearing was scheduled for Nov. 19.

    Previous version:  Testimony got underway Tuesday in the vehicular homicide trial of Nicole Lawson.
    She’s charged in the May 29, 2009 fatal wreck that left Gary Pugh of Crossville dead. The wreck occurred on Hwy. 70 in Roane County.

  • Back-to-School Rally set Saturday

    One hundred free school bags will be distributed Aug. 10 during the fifth annual Back-to-School Rally and Fun Day at F.R. Davis Park (formerly Triangle Park) on Unaka Street, Harriman.

    The event will be from noon to 4 p.m..

    Bags will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, and children must be present to receive them.

    Other attractions of the Triangle Park Association Inc. and Harriman American Legion Post 232 event are games, inflatables, door prizes and free hot dogs, chips and drinks.

  • Committee to take look at school budget

    Roane County Board of Education’s plan to fix its financial problems for the 2013-14 school year is not a done deal.
    The Roane County Commission, the funding body for the school system, still needs to approve the plan. That’s not simply a formality.
    “There have been amendments in the past year that have not been approved,” Board Member Wade McCullough pointed out at the July school board meeting.
    The budget committee, which includes four of the 15 commissioners, will discuss the plan on Wednesday.

  • Pit bull rescues on attack

    Two East Tennessee pit bull rescue groups are at odds with each other.
    Harriman-based East Tennessee Pit Bull Rescue Inc. and Break The Chain Pit Bull Rescue, which operates from Lenoir City, sued each other in Roane County General Sessions Court last year. Both suits were dismissed without prejudice in March.

    Months before the dismissal, a judge put a mutual restraining order in place that was supposed to prohibit the parties from making disparaging remarks on Facebook or talking and texting each other.


    Peeking under leaves and digging in the dirt are all part of a day of fun for Evans Heights youth in Rockwood.

    The Roane County Master Gardeners help the community’s children tend a thriving garden filled with a variety of produce from tomatoes and peppers to zucchini, pumpkins, Swiss chard, potatoes and chives.

    The group, which recently built birdhouses during one session, is fondly called the Kids Garden Club.

  • 200,000 pain pills believed obtained in conspiracy

    John Wesley Goss ran an elaborate oxycodone operation between September 2010 and June 2012.

    The method he used to obtain pills is described in the federal plea agreement he signed on May 1.

    According to the document, Goss managed a group of addicts who frequented pain clinics and pharmacies to obtain what is believed to be more than 200,000 pills of prescription pain medication.

  • Leon Houston’s federal firearms trial postponed

    Leon Houston’s federal trial on a firearms charge, scheduled to start this week, has been postponed.

    He filed a motion for a continuance on July 25.

    According to court records, the government didn’t object, and the motion was granted by U.S. Magistrate C. Clifford Shirley Jr.

    Houston, who is in custody at the Blount County Jail in Maryville, is charged in federal court with possessing a firearm while being an unlawful user of a controlled substance and threatening to kill attorney James Logan via telephone.