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Local News

  • Constable Patton removed from office

    Roane County Constable Mark Patton has lost his office as a result of a judge's decision, according to District Attorney General Russell Johnson.

    Johnson said he received word Wednesday afternoon that Judge Russell Simmons Jr. has decided that testimony in last week's ouster trial was enough to warrant the embattled constable's removal from office.

  • Mark Patton removed from office

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    For years people have been saying Mark Patton was unfit to hold the office of Roane County constable.

    On Wednesday, a judge agreed. In an eight-page ruling, Circuit Court Judge Russell Simmons has determined that Patton should be ousted from office.

    “I think justice has been served,” Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said Wednesday from the courthouse.

  • Kingston explores banning guns in city parks

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    jraymond@roanecounty.com

    The right to bear arms, in public parks.

    Starting Sept. 1, permit holders will be allowed to carry their loaded guns into parks.

    The Tennessee General Assembly recently passed the law, and now municipalities will have the right to either accept or opt out of this law.

    The Kingston City Council discussed this option at Tuesday night's meeting.

    Councilwoman Teresa Ferguson brought the topic before council and is in favor of opting out of the law.

  • Houston brothers say they can no longer afford monitoring

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    A judge let Rocky and Leon Houston out of jail on bond — and he’s apparently the only one who can send them back if conditions of the bond aren’t being followed.

    “The judge sets the conditions of release, so it’s always up to the judge what happens,” special prosecutor Kenneth Irvine said.

    One of the conditions of release is electronic monitoring. The Houstons are required to pay for the service.

  • Midtown Drive-In closing in August

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    jraymond@roanecounty.com

    The days of catching a movie at the Midtown Drive-In are numbered.

    Owner Douglas Freeman has put the historic drive-in up for sale and plans to close down operations the first of August.

    Manager Charli Michaels said the drive-in just isn’t drawing in big crowds like it has in the past.

    “We’re just pulling in a couple hundred,” Michaels said. “We should be pulling in 600 or 700.”

  • 278th on the move again

    STAFF REPORTS

    The Tennessee National Guard 278th Armored Calvary Regiment received mobilization orders on Monday that will go into effect later this year.

    Where they are going and when they will be leaving are still mysteries, however.

    The exact date and location of deployment have not yet been announced.

    This National Guard unit, the largest in Tennessee, is headquartered in Knoxville, and is composed of more than 3,000 soldiers.

    The regiment’s Troop C of the 1st Squadron is based in Rockwood.

  • Price of justice is often costly

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Counties must provide certain services for jail inmates.

    One of them is health care.

    That’s why David Cosgriff was released from jail in 2008.

    Covering his health care costs had become a financial burden on the county.

    Cosgriff is now back in jail after having been found guilty of second-degree murder.

    “The financial burden will fall on the county again,” Prosecutor Frank Harvey said.

  • Opposition rears up against tax increase

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Bill Griffin said he didn’t have the answers to all the county’s financial problems. However, he did have a lot of issues to address with local officials during a public hearing on the county’s proposed 2009-10 budget.  

    “I don’t think anyone in Roane County would think the ash spill increased our property values,” Griffin said.

  • Ash resolution may not fly

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Residents may not get the chance to vote on a fly ash referendum after all.

    Commissioner James Harmon said election officials have informed him that it might not be legal to let voters decide whether to use a Midtown landfill as a fly ash dump.

    Despite the uncertainty, the county budget committee still voted 4-0 on Thursday to send the fly ash resolution to the commission for a vote.

  • Delay in exiting burning home may have cost man's life

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    A Roane County man died in a fire over the weekend. Blair Fire Chief Clarence Nelson said first responders were dispatched to 859 Skyline Drive a little after 7 a.m. on Saturday. Nelson said the initial report came in as a car fire, but when first responders arrived they found a mobile home on fire.

    Entry was made into the residence and the body of Richard Eddy was discovered inside. Nelson said he believes Eddy called 911 after he was awaken by a smoke detector