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Local News

  • Neighbors protest Dogwood Music Festival

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Alan Gordon left the courthouse Wednesday night wondering what’s the use of paying county taxes.

    Sally Rhynehart left wondering if she'll wake up one morning with a Woodstock party going on in her neighborhood.

    Joey Jaccard departed the building with unanimous approval to hold an arts and music festival off of Dogwood Valley Road.

    Gordon, Rhynehart and two other area residents spoke against Jaccard receiving a special-use permit to hold the festival.

  • Brown bows out in committee controversy

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    jraymond@roanecounty.com

    Amid controversy, Roane County Administrator of Elections Tony Brown withdrew his name for consideration for the Roane County Long Range Recovery Committee.

    Brown would have replaced Matt Caldwell as one of Kingston’s representatives. Caldwell stepped down due to a possible future conflict.

    Councilwoman Teresa Ferguson suggested Brown as a potential candidate.

  • UPDATED: Community mourns tragic death of RCHS senior

    People loved James E. Sams III, No. 8 on the Roane County High School football team, for his winning smile and his athleticism. But it was Sams' intelligence that won him an academic scholarship to Tusculum College. All that was lost Tuesday evening when Sams died in a head-on crash on Hwy. 70. Sams wasn't wearing a seatbelt when his car crossed over the center line on Hwy.

  • Rockwood city councilman dies

    BY JENNIFER RAYMONDee

    jraymond@roanecounty.com

    After suffering from a stroke and pneumonia in February, Rockwood City Councilman Gene East passed away on Thursday morning.

    East was at The Bridge at Rockwood doing rehabilitation and recuperating and seemed to be doing much better, but was taken to Methodist Medical Center at Oak Ridge earlier in the week for an infection, city officials said.

    “He had gotten out some and was using a walker,” city recorder Jim Hines said.

  • Emotions run high as election chief replaced

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Tony Brown might still be Roane County’s administrator of elections if all the people who attended Friday’s election commission meeting had a chance to vote.

    However, the only people who had a say were the newly sworn commissioners.

    They voted 3-2 to not retain him.

    “Guys, this is political,” election commissioner Mike Pemberton said. “Bottom line, Mr. Brown has been fired because he’s a Democrat.”

  • George Hyatte wants to take back guilty plea

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Criminal Court Judge Eugene Eblen asked a direct question and got a direct answer from defendant George Hyatte during a plea hearing on March 9.

    “Do you understand fully what you’re charged with and what you’re pleading guilty to?” Eblen asked.

    “Yes,” Hyatte responded.

    Despite his affirmation in open court, Hyatte now wants to flip flop on his guilty plea, claiming he was hoodwinked.

  • Slain deputy had Kingston ties

    By TERRI LIKENS

    tlikens@roanecounty.com

    Authorities in the Sunshine State aren't the only feeling the loss after two officers were shot to death while making a domestic disturbance call in Florida's Panhandle Saturday.

    Kingston Police Chief Jim Washam was a longtime friend and classmate of Okaloosa County Sheriff's Deputy Warren York. York was killed with fellow deputy Burt Lopez in a brief shootout with a man accused of beating his wife.

  • Sheriff once again adds to number of proposed new jailers

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Some Christmas gifts just keep on giving. The new Roane County Jail could be the project that just keeps on costing.

    Sheriff Jack Stockton has revised the number of additional staff he said he’ll need to operate the facility. He previously put the number at eight full time and four part time.

  • Fly ash from Emory on move again

    By TERRI LIKENS

    tlikens@roanecounty.com

    After several days of rain, one look at the water was all it took for residents to realize that the monster plug of ash in the Emory River was on the move again.

    “It was pretty clear to our guys, too,” said Meg Lockhart, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

  • TVA critics point to mess after recent rains

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    I told you so.

    That’s what some critics of TVA are saying now that water has risen and icky substances can be seen floating atop local waterways.

    TVA activist Rick Cantrell attributed it to the fly ash spill and the agency’s plan to remove the ash from the Emory River.