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Local News

  • Fight over pastor breaks out at church

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Rockwood police responded to a report of a fight inside First Baptist Church of Lenoir Avenue on Feb. 21.

    James Knaff was the church’s pastor, but he said members recently voted to remove him from the position.

    That’s what sparked the altercation inside the church, according to a report filed by Rockwood police.   

    “A verbal fight began over the removal and at some point members began shoving,” the report states.

  • Cameras catch Houston spitting

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Rocky Houston’s propensity for spitting on people was on display for all to see Monday.

    This time his target was Roane County Circuit Court Clerk Angela Randolph.

    As first reported on the Roane County News Web site, a belligerent Houston spat in Randolph’s face at the conclusion of a court hearing.

    “He got mad and spit on Ms. Randolph, right in her face,” said Lucy Guy, who works with Randolph in the clerk’s office.

  • Crowded field might give Farmer edge

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    The number 117 is ingrained in Jack Stockton’s mind.

    That’s how many votes David Haggard beat him by in the 2002 race for Roane County sheriff.

    Stockton believes he could have beaten Haggard easily had there not been a third candidate — Jeff Clower — in the race.

    “I just think that the majority of the people in Roane County wanted a new sheriff and that third party split the vote up and he stayed in office again,” Stockton said.

  • County's financial adviser accused of fraud

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    A company that Roane County officials go to for financial advice has been accused of fraud by the  Securities and Exchange Commission.

    The complaint was filed against Morgan Keegan & Co. in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on July 21, 2009.

    According to the SEC, thousands of investors were hoodwinked by Morgan Keegan about the liquidity risks associated with auction rate securities.  

  • Rockwood rounds up suspects on drug charges

    By CHERYL DUNCAN

    cduncan@roanecounty.com

    Rockwood police spent the better part of the weekend rounding up and arresting almost 50 people suspected of selling and distributing drugs.

    The arrests are the culmination of a six-month undercover operation in which Josh Rymer, drug investigator for the Rockwood Police Department, worked with a confidential informant, said Rockwood Police Chief Bill Stinnett.

    A Roane County grand jury returned true bills in the cases late last week.

  • Hit-and-run driver surrenders to police

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    A Kingston man indicted on a vehicular homicide charge in the January death of a Harriman woman is free on bond.

    Charles Wayne Crass, 56, of 301 Orchard View Road, was released at about 6:15 p.m. Thursday, said Harriman Police Chief Randy Heidle.

    “He turned himself in last night,”  Heidle said Friday morning.

    Crass is accused of striking 33-year-old Elishea Gilreath with his vehicle on Harriman’s Emory Road.

  • Cleanup may lead to prosperity in Rockwood

    By CHERYL DUNCAN

    cduncan@roanecounty.com

    For the first time in decades, workers are on site at the old Roane Alloys property in the Roane County Industrial Park in Rockwood.

    This time around, however, workers are in the midst of undoing damage the former industry inflicted on the land and an adjoining body of water.

    But officials are confident that the cleaned-up property can again be used to generate jobs in the Tennessee Valley.

    “It will be an attractive site for business and industry,” said Rockwood Mayor James Watts.

  • Star shining brightly for Stan

    By CHERYL DUNCAN

    cduncan@roanecounty.com

    Rockwood’s “star on the mountain” is shining brightly over the city in hopes of a miracle.

    Rockwood Electric Utility turned on the gigantic lighted star atop Mount Roosevelt on Wednesday to remind the public to keep ailing Rockwood City Councilman Stan Wassom in their thoughts and prayers, said Vice Mayor Peggy Evans.

  • Fostering kindness: Payback time sweet on farm

    By TERRI LIKENS

    tlikens@roanecounty.com

    After fostering about 200 children over 40 years, Flo Charles admits there have been times she wondered if it was worth it.

    Those doubts may have been a little more frequent after her beloved husband, Clarence, died suddenly early last year.

    She still had four foster children at home, a pretty 137-acre farm to care for, hayfields to mow, cattle to feed and a house that had sustained the kind of abuse that only a small army of children can dish out.

  • Harriman's sweet tooth gets expanded options

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    Pattycake Pastries is flourishing — so much so that the owner is adding a doughnut shop.

    The shop will include a variety of pastries and specialty flavored coffees.

    “Pattycake Pastries is expanding for the demand of the community with a doughnuts shop,” said owner Mike Borman.

    The shop will hold a grand opening on Feb. 19 at 9 a.m.

    If it is anything like the Pattycake grand opening last November, expect lines at the door.