Local News

  • No decision on Smoot bond

    Assistant Public Defender Walter Johnson’s argument for a bond to be set for accused killer Shawn Smoot was pretty simple.

    “In Tennessee you have a right to have a bond set,” he said.

    How much and what conditions will Smoot have to abide by if he gets out had yet to be determined at the conclusion of a bond hearing on Friday.

  • Rabies scare rattles Roane resident

    Carol Golliher is accustomed to seeing wild animals in her rural Roane County neighborhood.
    But when a suspicious-looking skunk waddled into her front yard last Thursday morning, she was concerned it might be carrying the deadly rabies virus.
    “It would walk a little ways, and then it would fall over,” Golliher said.
    Golliher’s home health nurse was the first one to encounter the struggling skunk.
    “She said, ‘Do you know you’ve got a skunk in your front yard?’

  • Road or creek bed? Court asked

    Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency legal counsel Sheryl Holtam said Wednesday she had yet to see the complaint Roane County Attorney Tom McFarland filed against the agency in chancery court.
    “It’s kind of hard to comment since I haven’t seen the complaint,” she said.
    The complaint accuses the TWRA of blocking a county road. Holtam said the road in question is more of a trail than anything else.
    “It looks like a creek bed,” she said.

  • Be on alert for real estate scam

    Roane County property owners should beware of an ongoing telephone-solicitation scam.
    According to Kathy May-Martin of Coldwell Banker in Kingston, callers claiming to work for a Florida real estate company are offering vacant-property owners a sweet deal if they pay part of the “commission” up front.
    Those who pay aren’t likely to see any money — except the what disappears from their bank account.

  • UT ‘Power T’ found in tomato

    A University of Tennessee fan with ties to this area found an unusual connection to the area — just in time for the start of football season.
    William H. Grant, who is retired and living in Oklahoma, but whose mother lives in the area, grew a ”Mr. Stripey” heirloom tomato with  a surprise inside.
    When the colorful tomato, most often known for its tiger stripes, was sliced for sandwiches one day, in its middle it revealed a “Power T,” the nickname for the University of Tennessee-style “T.”

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Is entrenched hot spell finally (finally!) over?

    It’s not quite official as I write this, but it may be so as you read it.
    The extended heat spell has broken.
    As I look at the 10-day forecast for our area, there isn’t a 90-degree temperature in sight. I know, I know. That could change, and it just might.
    But I repeat, the extended heat spell has broken.
    We should be dancing in the streets.
    I want to complain about the stifling heat of this summer and how, in response, I haven’t hiked, biked or paddled my kayak as much as usual.

  • Bronze Star Medal given decades late

    Arville T. Sparks was wounded four times during a 10-month period while fighting in Italy and France during World War II.
    In fact, the U.S. Army sergeant once saved all the members of his platoon from being captured or killed.
    For his heroism in France on Oct. 20, 1944, the 87-year-old Roane County resident was nominated for several medals, including an esteemed  Bronze Star.

  • Ryans quits public utility board seat

    Roane County Election Commissioner Jim Ryans resigned his position with the County Board of Public Utilities last month.
    “I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and all those associated with the utility,” Ryans said in the resignation letter addressed to utilities board chairman Stan Malone.
    Ryans was already a member of the board when he was appointed to the Roane County Election Commission in 2009, but the dual roles later become an issue.
    The State Election Commission took up the matter in June.

  • Dyllis Springs ribbon cutting set Aug. 16

    Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes said the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Dyllis Springs Elementary School is scheduled for Aug. 16 at 6 p.m. 
    “It’s a beautiful building,” Aytes said. “I think it’s a building that community is going to be proud of.”
    Even though the ceremony is a few days later, Aytes said he expects the school to be ready for students for the first day of school on Aug. 13.
    Construction is complete, but some cleanup was needed and some furniture needs to be moved, he said.

  • Teacher evaluations still hot topic

    Tennessee’s new teacher evaluation system could undergo changes for years to come.
    “Our assumption is that we’re going to make some tweaks every year,” Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said.
    Huffman spoke with Roane County school system employees at the central office building in Kingston last week. The evaluation system that started last year was a hot topic.