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Local News

  • Senior center sought

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    Ann Griffin Varga is retired, and she’s looking for something to do.

    The problem: No central place exists in Roane County where she and others her age can share a pursuit of common interests and hobbies.

    Advocates for the area’s aging, however, hope to see that soon change with construction of a senior center in a central area.

    “We’re ready for it,” Varga said. “Us seniors don’t have any place to do anything in the winter.”

  • Rocky Houston released from jail

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Last week Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said he expected Rocky Houston to be released from jail any day now.

    That day came Wednesday.

    "I got an order from the court today about 12:35, and he was out of here shortly after 1," Stockton said.

  • Reappraisal notices hit mail

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Roane County property owners should receive their new appraisal notices in the next few days. Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham said they will be mailed out today, May 14. In this final installment of a question-and-answer session, Kirkham discusses several topics, including her reluctance to disclose the location of the reappraisal office.

    Why do the county and cities depend so much on your office to set their budgets?

  • New EPA rules could affect TVA cleanup

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rules to regulate coal ash could impact the non-time critical phase of TVA’s disaster cleanup.     

    “How it affects what we want to do with phase 2 and closure of the cell, we’re still sifting through that,” said Craig Zeller, the EPA engineer in charge of the non-time critical cleanup.

  • Rocky Houston release looms

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Rocky Houston now has something new in common with his brother.

    Both no longer have to face murder charges for the deaths of Roane County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Jones and his ride-along passenger Mike Brown.

    Leon Houston was acquitted in November on all charges in the deaths of the two men.

  • RSCC reaches around the world

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    Most people are familiar with student exchange programs for high school students.

    There are, however, such programs for college students, and Roane State Community College has eight exchange students.

    “It can be a lot of fun if you go into it with an open mind,” said Melissa Rahmanian.

    Rhamanian is program coordinator for Youth for Understanding. She also coordinates another program, Congress-Bundestag.

  • Kirkham prank backfires; Fla. police want apology

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Pranks can backfire.

    Just ask Roane County Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham and Panama City Beach police, who are demanding an apology from her.

    Kirkham sent her friend, Sherry Witt, the Knox County Register of Deeds, a letter that was allegedly from the Panama City Beach Police Department.

  • Berry votes to send $75K to own board

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Ron Berry wore two hats at Wednesday’s Roane County budget committee meeting.

    One as a Roane County commissioner, and the other as a member of the Chamberlain Board, which Rockwood officials say oversees the building where the county’s new veterans clinic is to be located.

    Berry is one of four commissioners who serve on the budget committee.

  • Bald eagle freed in rousing fashion

    STAFF REPORTS

    A bald eagle is back home — ready to once again soar over the waters of Watts Bar Lake.

    Wildlife officials released the bird back into the wild Friday at Kingston City Park after months of rehabilitation.

    The majestic raptor was  found injured in Kingston late last year.

    “We got a call off of Lawnville Road there was an eagle in the bushes,” said Vincent Pontello of Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

  • State lets deadline lapse in Houston murder trial appeal

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Time has run out for the state to appeal a decision that dismissed murder charges against Rocky Houston.

    The Court of Criminal Appeals in Knoxville rendered its decision on March 3.

    The state had 60 days from that date to appeal.  

    Joanne Newsome, the chief deputy clerk for the Tennessee Appellate Court Clerk’s Office in Knoxville, said Tuesday morning that her office had yet to receive anything from the state.