Local News

  • Attorney Leon Houston wins

    For months, U.S. Magistrate C. Clifford Shirley Jr. implored Leon Houston to get an attorney in his firearms case.
    Turns out he didn’t need one.
    Representing himself, Houston was acquitted in U.S. District Court in Knoxville on Wednesday.
    “Praise God!” he shouted when U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves read the jury verdict.
    Reeves sent the jury of eight women and four men back to deliberate at 3:33 p.m. The court clerk notified the parties that the jury had reached a verdict about an hour later.

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Snake-a-phobes, you’d better skip this one

    It’s official, folks. My life has grown too interesting.
    This week, I was bitten by a snake.
    Before breakfast.
    In my own basement.
    From overhead.
    It started, as so many things in life do, with the need to find something clean to wear. That prompted a trip downstairs to see what might be in the dryer.
    While I was bent over sorting through the clean-clothes offerings, I heard a light clunk overhead behind me.
    I figured a mouse had gotten in, and turned and looked over my shoulder.

  • New Rockwood armory a priority

    Rockwood might be getting a new National Guard Armory building in the next few years.

    Maj. Gen. Terry M. “Max” Haston, Tennessee’s 75th Adjutant General, came to tour properties in Rockwood last week.

    He also stopped in to talk to Rockwood Civitan Club.

    “It is a lengthy process, but this is the first step toward that,” said state Sen. Ken Yager. “It will take us a few years, but we are going to have an armory.”

  • Smoot accused of stalking

    A Knox County woman claims she’s being stalked by accused murderer Shawn Smoot.

    Kimberly N. Isenberg was granted a temporary order of protection against him in Knox County Circuit Court on Monday.

    “I fear that Shawn is stalking me, and I am afraid,” Isenberg said in court documents.

    Smoot has a first-degree murder charge pending in Roane County Criminal Court for the 2011 death of Brooke Nicole Morris. He’s out on bond in that case.

  • Leon Houston acquitted on federal weapons charge

    Leon Houston has been acquitted of a federal weapons charge by a federal jury. "Praise God," Houston shouted when the judge read the verdict in U.S. District Court in Knoxville Wednesday. Houston acted as his own attorney in the trial, which began Monday. He was accused of possessing firearms while being an unlawful user of a controlled substance.  

  • Prosecutorial team gets depth

    The addition of two new assistant district attorneys could be crucial for the future of District Attorney General Russell Johnson’s office.
    Deputy District Attorney General Frank Harvey and Assistant District Attorney General Patti Murphy plan to retire next summer.  
    “They’re our two most senior, other than (Assistant District Attorney General) Bill (Reedy),” Johnson said. “I don’t have a lot of trial experience outside of Frank and Bill.”

  • Progress on Manhattan Project park subject of public meeting

    The Oak Ridge Heritage & Preservation Association’s next membership and public meeting will be held Thursday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Midtown Community Center (102 Robertsville Road) in Oak Ridge.
    Karen Doughty, Department of Energy Environmental Management, will present a status update of the K-25 Historic Preservation initiative.  Doughty is responsible for the project management oversight and will review the status of the project.
    The Request for Proposals have been received and are being evaluated.  There were nine pre-qualified bidders.


    On Friday, Nov. 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. bring household recyclables to the Roane County Recycling Center in Midtown in honor of America Recycles Day 2013.
    Representatives from Keep Roane Litter Free and Roane County Recycling Receive will distribute useful information about recycling and litter awareness in Roane County.
    The oublic can also view the recyclable material sorting process, take the “I Recycle” pledge and meet representatives from recycling vendors and industries as well as litter pick-up employees and volunteers.

  • Holiday fire season is time for caution

    Holiday activity and excitement tend to make people less careful at a time when they should be even more cautious.
    In the United States, there are an estimated 47,000 fires every holiday season that claim more than 500 lives a year.
    The Hearst Burn Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center has joined with the New York City Fire Department to offer these special tips for the holiday season:

  • Power outage for South of the River

    About 500 Volunteer Energy Cooperative customers in Roane County will experience a brief power outage from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6.
    The area affected is on Hwy. 58 north of Woody Lane. Neighborhoods affected include Anglers Cove, Marney Cove, Mariners Point, Southwest Point and Riverchase.
    The outage is required to allow VEC crews to complete system improvements that will increase the capacity and reliability of service in the area. VEC apologizes for any inconveniences the outage may cause.