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Local News

  • Kirkham prank backfires; Fla. police want apology

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Pranks can backfire.

    Just ask Roane County Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham and Panama City Beach police, who are demanding an apology from her.

    Kirkham sent her friend, Sherry Witt, the Knox County Register of Deeds, a letter that was allegedly from the Panama City Beach Police Department.

  • Berry votes to send $75K to own board

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Ron Berry wore two hats at Wednesday’s Roane County budget committee meeting.

    One as a Roane County commissioner, and the other as a member of the Chamberlain Board, which Rockwood officials say oversees the building where the county’s new veterans clinic is to be located.

    Berry is one of four commissioners who serve on the budget committee.

  • Bald eagle freed in rousing fashion

    STAFF REPORTS

    A bald eagle is back home — ready to once again soar over the waters of Watts Bar Lake.

    Wildlife officials released the bird back into the wild Friday at Kingston City Park after months of rehabilitation.

    The majestic raptor was  found injured in Kingston late last year.

    “We got a call off of Lawnville Road there was an eagle in the bushes,” said Vincent Pontello of Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

  • State lets deadline lapse in Houston murder trial appeal

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Time has run out for the state to appeal a decision that dismissed murder charges against Rocky Houston.

    The Court of Criminal Appeals in Knoxville rendered its decision on March 3.

    The state had 60 days from that date to appeal.  

    Joanne Newsome, the chief deputy clerk for the Tennessee Appellate Court Clerk’s Office in Knoxville, said Tuesday morning that her office had yet to receive anything from the state.

  • Crimefighting cuts ahead

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    State budget woes could affect crimefighting in Roane County.

    The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which local law enforcement agencies depend on for forensic services, is facing cuts that could leave  dozens of agents out of work.    

    “TBI is now facing sending home 58 field and forensic agents in order to reach the $4 million in cuts,” TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm said in an e-mail.

  • Schools sue Oliver Springs over water bill

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    School officials believe Oliver Springs High School’s water bill was too high.

    The town’s water department agrees. In fact,  they admitted the overcharges in water and sewer services in an answer filed by their attorney to a lawsuit brought on by the Roane County school system.

    According to the answer, however, fault does not totally lie with the water department.

  • Chlorine gas leak closes Poland Hollow Road

    By DAVID DOONAN

    ddoonan@roanecounty.com

    A chlorine gas leak at a Midtown residence sent one man to the hospital and lead to the evacuation of homes on Poland Hollow Road.

    According to Howie Rose, director of the Roane County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, a chlorine gas leak at the Harriman home of Marjorie Dodd, 446 Poland Hollow Road, forced the evacuation of

    residents. Dodd has been in the news in the past months over charges she had been running a puppy mill.

  • Police vehicles take beating in crashes

    From staff reports

    This week has been rough for local authorities.

    A routine sheriff’s office prisoner transfer turned into a two-vehicle accident, and in another accident, a Rockwood officer drove into a utility pole.

    A Roane County Sheriff’s Office patrol car driven by Deputy Dustin Hensley was transporting two prisoners from Rockwood to the Roane County Jail on Hwy. 27 in front of Walmart Sunday morning.

  • Part 2: Property assessor Q&A

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Roane County has one of the highest property tax rates ($2.72) in the area. Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham said the Roane County Commission will be required by law to decrease the tax rate this year because of the reappraisal. However, that does not mean everyone in the county will be paying less taxes. Kirkham explains how that’s the case in Part 2 of a question and answer session with the Roane County News.   

    How will some people end up paying more if the tax rate is decreased?

  • Roane County's Manson link seeks release

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    If high school yearbook quotes are supposed to tell something about a person, Bruce Davis’ was quite fitting.

    “An angry young man,” reads the quote accompanying his senior picture.

    That would prove true for Davis later in life.

    The 1961 graduate of Roane County High School was a member of the murderous Charles Manson Family. The cult went on a violent killing spree in California in 1969. Their victims included actress Sharon Tate.