Local News

  • Weekend snow goes away fast

    Roane County was blanketed by snow on and off this weekend, concealing roadways in white Saturday morning and again briefly Sunday morning.
    Roane County Road Superintendent Dennis Ferguson kept the public updated at his Facebook account of road conditions.
    On Saturday even the main roads were covered in white.
    Harriman Fire Chief Brad Goss said the department was able to put their newest vehicle, the Ranger 1, into action.
    The small off-road vehicle was purchased with donations last year.

  • Houston determined to represent self

    Rocky Houston was reminded about the adage that says a man who represents himself has a fool for an attorney.
    “You understand the reason behind that saying?” U.S. Magistrate C. Clifford Shirley Jr. asked. “It’s not a very smart or wise thing to do.”
    Despite the risk and Shirley’s repeated advice that he do otherwise, Houston decided to proceed as his own counsel in his federal firearms case.
    “At this point, you’re giving up your right to be represented by an attorney?” Shirley asked.

  • Inmate jumps from balcony in Roane jail

    An ambulance responded to the Roane County Jail Tuesday morning after an inmate jumped from a balcony in one of the housing pods.
    A dispatch report said the inmate was “hurting all over.” He was taken to Roane Medical Center.
    Roane County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tim Phillips said he’s not sure why the inmate jumped.
    “There’s really no telling why,” he said. “Sometimes people do things for attention. I really don’t know.”

  • Things You Should Know: Feb. 12-27, 2013

    Editor’s note: The deadline for including items in Calendar is at least one week before the event. Items appear as a public service as space is available. Unless otherwise noted, all events and activities are open to the public.
    TUESDAY, FEB. 12

  • City and County Meetings: Feb. 7-27, 2013

    • Harriman City Council will meet in a grant workshop session at 1:30 p.m. in Harriman Municipal Office Complex.

    • Roane County Commission’s tourism committee will meet at 5 p.m. in The Roane Alliance offices at 1209 N. Kentucky St., Kingston.

  • Rockwood borrows to tackle required sewage changes

    More than $1.4 million in Rural Development loans were approved last week in Rockwood, enabling Rockwood Water, Sewer and Natural Gas to acquire grants that will allow the city to complete a $2.4 million oxidation ditch project at the wastewater plant this year.

    The oxidation ditch typically replaces the sewage aeration tank and provides better sludge treatment using biological organisms. The project is required by a Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation director’s order.

  • Rayburn’s Roane roots

    Roane County’s ties to a  an icon in federal government were re-established recently.

    Last month, a historical marker was resurrected noting that Sam Rayburn, the longest-serving speaker of the House in U.S. Congress, was born and spent his first five years of life here.

    Rayburn is more commonly associated with Texas, where his family moved in 1887, but he never forgot his Roane County ties and visited regularly until he died in 1961.

    His father, William Marion Rayburn, was a Confederate soldier.

  • Meth lab seizures up in Roane despite new laws

    Roane County experienced a 100-percent increase in meth lab seizures last year.

    The total for 2012 was 24, according to statistics provided by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
    In 2011, there was 12.  

    The number of seizures also increased statewide. Last year’s total was 1,811, up from 1,689 in 2011.

    This year isn’t shaping up to be better. Several labs were discovered in Roane County last month.

  • Grill & Pub in trouble again

    Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton is recommending revocation of the Grill & Pub’s beer permit after an employee was cited for selling alcohol to a minor.

    The citation was issued on Jan. 24. A special agent with the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission and an underage informant went into the bar, and Jennifer Lynn Sawin allegedly served the underage informant a Bud Light.

    “If I was recommending something to the board, I’d recommend that their license be revoked,” Stockton told the Roane County Beer Board last week.

  • Going off the road after 39 years

    A longtime Roane County Highway Department mechanic has decided this is his last winter to brave the cold weather.

    Joe Britton is retiring after nearly 39 years of working at the department, under at least six different road superintendents — Bob Collier, Charlie Norman, Grady Lassiter, interim Judy Bensey, Tom Hamby and current superintendent Dennis Ferguson.

    “I really didn’t like it that much, but the money was good enough to keep me here,” quipped Britton.