Local News

  • After free wood dust-up, Ferguson rekindles program

    Roane County Road Superintendent Dennis Ferguson said he plans to restart his free wood program today – Monday – after shutting it down briefly earlier this month.

    The short demise apparently stemmed from a disagreement with Roane County Executive Ron Woody, who has questioned the legality of the program.

    “I didn’t threaten to shut it down,” Ferguson said. “I shut it down because he wanted a letter from the District Attorney General.”

  • Fire investigation

    Roane County Sheriff’s Office Detective John Mayes, left, and Kingston Police Department Detective Keith Kile investigated some potential evidence at the scene of Friday’s forest fire off Spring Street in Kingston.

    Heavy equipment heads into the hills off of Kingston’s Spring Street Friday evening to fight a forest fire.

  • County takes steps toward buying store beside jail

    Roane County officials want to have further discussions about the Dollar General Store before appropriating $25,000 to secure an option on the building.

    A resolution calling for such a move was on the County Commission’s Nov. 14 agenda. By a 13-0 vote, it was deferred to the property, jail study and sheriff’s liaison committees.

    “I think we want to move fairly fast on it, but we still have to make sure it goes through the proper channels,” Commissioner Darryl Meadows said.

  • Man pleads to sex abuse of 4-year-old

    The “accused” label was taken off Shawn D. McDavid last week.

    The 32-year-old Harriman man is now convicted of a Class C felony after pleading guilty on Nov. 16 to attempted aggravated sexual battery.

    His victim was 4 years old.


    The Tennessee Department of Health announced this week that 1,451 people died from drug overdoses in 2015, which is a record for the state.

    “Not one of these victims deserved this, and the tragedy of lives lost to overdoses becomes even more painful knowing these deaths can be prevented and are the horrible tip of the overdose iceberg,” Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner was quoted in a press release.

    The number who died from drug overdoses last year was more than the number who died from automobile accidents (962).

  • Ex-Lakewood Village manager sentenced for role in pill mill

    Applicants at Lakewood Village Apartments in Kingston can be denied admission for drug-related activity.

    However, a woman who admitted to obtaining oxycodone in a drug conspiracy managed the complex for months after pleading guilty in federal court.

    Rebecca Wells was sentenced on Wednesday by Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan.

    “Her activity did allow the conspiracy to obtain prescription medication for illegal distribution into the community,” Varlan said.

  • Harriman Christmas parade set to music

    This year’s Harriman Christmas parade promises to get people into the season of cheer, and organizers hope some changes will help capture that spirit even more so.

    Each float in the Dec. 1 parade must have a Christmas song theme.

    “I want this to be a parade people enjoy coming to and something special,” said Harriman Special Events and Public Relations Coordinator Rebecca Schwepfinger. “I think that is why people come to a Christmas parade is to get in that holiday spirit.”

  • Record-setting election heads for the records

    The Roane County Election Commission is planning to meet Monday, Nov. 28, to certify the results of last week’s election.

    Administrator of Elections Charles Holiway said he doesn’t expect any of the losing candidates to contest the results.

    “We didn’t have any races that were real close,” he said.

    In the Kingston City Council race, Norman Sugarman finished 182 votes behind third-place finisher Stephanie Wright, according to unofficial returns. The top three vote-getters earned the council seats.


    Gov. Bill Haslam has declared a regional ban on burning in Roane and 50 other Tennessee counties in response to the ongoing drought and destructive wildfires throughout East and Middle Tennessee.

    Residents in Roane and other counties covered by the regional ban are not permitted to conduct any open-air burning.

    The ban includes campfires and burning of brush, vegetation, household waste or construction debris.

    The ban will remain in effect until Dec. 15.

  • Breathe easier by staying indoors

    As smoke from several wildfires moves across the state, the Tennessee Department of Health is reminding residents there is an increased risk for a range of health effects, particularly for those with existing respiratory problems, pregnant women, the elderly and young children.

    “Area hospitals are already seeing people affected by the smoke, so we urge residents to stay indoors when and where possible, and to do all they can to reduce their exposure to smoke,” said Commissioner John Dreyzehner.