Local News

  • Fire damages two homes in Harriman area

    Area firefighters were kept busy last week fighting blazes in and around Harriman.

    Multiple agencies responded to a Wednesday house fire that gutted a 1463 Webster Road home.

    Tommy Reed, who lived in the home, paced as firefighters worked to put out the blaze.

    The home is listed as belonging to Jane Reed.

    At press time, no suspected cause of the fire was available.

    Roane County Emergency Management Director Scott Stout confirmed an unidentified firefighter appeared flushed, and his vital signs were checked.

  • Kingston to consider recreational rehabilitation

    Kingston City Council members will vote on resolution this week in support of continued recreational activities within the city’s parks and recreational system.

    The resolution adds momentum to an effort to revitalize the newly acquired Gertrude Porter Park.

    Council last week discussed an effort to obtain a state Local Parks and Recreation Fund grant for the park.

    The park was deeded to the city by Roane County Commission in February.

  • Houston land will help poor

    Roane County Habitat for Humanity now owns some of the property that Rocky and Leon Houston lost in foreclosure.

    On March 12, 2009, the brothers and other members of the Houston family signed a deed of trust on four tracts of land that named Cleveland attorney James Logan as the beneficiary.

    The property was used to secure attorney fees and expenses for Logan.

  • School team gives Roane thumbs up

    The AdvancED review team that observed Roane County Schools last month came away impressed.

    Now the school system is in line for accreditation by the agency.

    “Based on our findings, we do recommend that you be accredited for a five-year term, and we will present that to the AdvancED Accreditation Commission,” Sharon Zimmers told the Roane County Board of Education on Feb. 20.

    The AdvancED Accreditation Commission meets in June.

  • Estes in trouble with law again

    Jim Estes, the father who twice allegedly violated an order of protection at Bowers Elementary School, has more legal trouble.

    Last month he was indicted

    on seven counts of prescription drug fraud. The charges are Class D felonies.

    According to the indictment, the 48-year-old Estes unlawfully obtained or attempted to obtain Diazepam and Carisoprodol on seven different occasions in 2013.

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Morgan, Roane can find success together

    East Tennessee is about as homogenous as homemade granola.

    Everybody has their own recipe.

    My point is, although Roane and Morgan counties are close neighbors, they are strikingly different.

    Roane tourism has evolved around the deep waters of Watts Bar Lake. Meanwhile, the roar of traffic on Interstate 40 helps fuel the economy.

    Morgan is more remote. Its waters, especially the Obed Wild and Scenic River, run fast, free and clear.

    Those streams and the breathtakingly beautiful mountains and valleys make it an outdoor paradise.

  • Caregiver acquitted at rape trial

    Glen Curl, a Sunbright man who worked as a caregiver for the Michael Dunn Center, was acquitted of a rape charge in Roane County Criminal Court on Thursday.

    “I’m very pleased,” defense attorney Bob Vogel said. “I think it’s a good verdict. I think it’s the right verdict.”

    Prosecutor Bill Reedy also spoke about the case following the not guilty verdict.

    “We put forth everything we had,” he said. “Unfortunately, the jury said it wasn’t enough, but that’s the way it goes.”

  • Midway Middle students build, compete with working robots

    Engines hummed faintly at the cafeteria of Midway Middle School Tuesday as a fleet of tiny vehicles prepared to pick up  “toxic” waste.

    Three teams of students in the EXCEL after-school program there were trying out robotics products they had built.

    “They are developing vehicles to handle dangerous substances,” said instructor Mike Beard, a retired chemical engineer.

    In this case, the “dangerous” products were simple plastic containers.


    From staff reports

    Leon Houston was sentenced on Tuesday to five years in prison for threatening to kill the attorney who successfully defended him against first-degree murder charges in 2010.

    “He is truly a dangerous person,” said U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves when he handed down the sentence at the federal courthouse in Knoxville.

    “He has no remorse or respect for human life,” the judge continued. “He only respects his own twisted sense of justice.”

  • VA clinic set to open today

    The new Veterans Affairs Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Rockwood is scheduled to open today – Wednesday, according to a press release from the Department of Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System.

    The clinic is in the old Kroger shopping center, now called the Shoppes of Walden Ridge.

    The VA said a grand opening ceremony for the new clinic is scheduled for April 16.