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Local News

  • Have yourself a Temperance Building Christmas

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    Harriman’s Temperance Building will be the focal point of Christmas pageantry during a showcase of holiday greenery.

    Christmas trees decked out in festive colors, wreaths and other decorations can be donated for the weekend festivities, including a private event called “First Peek” Christmas gala beginning at 7 p.m. Nov. 27. 

  • Witness, FBI agent disagree about interview after shooting

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    For the third time in less than 18 months, Mildred Anne Watts told a jury her recollection of what transpired in the May 11, 2006, shootout that left Roane County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Jones and his ride-along friend Mike Brown dead.

    The gist of her testimony Friday morning was the same as it has been in two previous trials. The first shots to ring out in the gun fight came from Jones' patrol car.

  • Pinnacle Pointe developers sue Harriman

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    Prestige Land Co., the limited liability company responsible for the development at Pinnacle Pointe, has filed the first complaint in the ongoing dispute between the developers and the city of Harriman over who owes whom.

    In the complaint, filed Friday in Roane County Chancery Court, Prestige developers make various claims and are requesting an award not to exceed $1.9 million.

  • Nov. 10 Update: Houston case soon to go to jury

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Leon Houston's fate could soon be up to a jury. The state rested its case

    in his retrial Tuesday afternoon and the defense is expected to conclude

    its case Wednesday.

  • Nov. 11 Update: Leon Houston trial expected to go to jury this afternoon

    By TERRI LIKENS

    tlikens@roanecounty.com

    The double-murder retrial of Leon Houston is three short witnesses away from going to the jury, defense lawyer James Logan said before lunch recess Wednesday.

    Jurors weren't called in until after 10 a.m., but in anticipation of soon-to-come jury deliberations, court officials hashed out details of jury instructions about an hour before.

  • Leon Houston leaves courthouse a free man

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Preparing for the worst, but praying for the best.

    Leon Houston said that's how he spent much of the day on Thursday. The worst never came.

  • Lights out for Kingston corridor plan

    By TERRI LIKENS

    tlikens@roanecounty.com

    Kingston’s plan to draw much-needed retail business to the city’s Gallaher Road corridor took what Mayor Troy Beets called “a kick in the mouth” recently.

    For years, the city has been taking steps to draw “upscale retail” businesses to the corridor.

    It has made zoning changes, annexed parcels and extended water and sewer lines.

    The hitch came with one of the last parts of the plan — lighting the interchange at Interstate 40.

  • Little white house could cost taxpayers $310,000

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Roane County Executive Mike Farmer said he doesn’t want people going through a metal detector to do business on the third floor of the courthouse.

    Because of that, the county could end up investing around $310,000 in a small white house adjacent to the new jail.

    The county purchased the house from Jon and Mary Wilson in August 2007.

    According to the Tennessee Real Estate Assessment Data Web site, the house had an appraised value of $99,000. However, the county paid $132,221 to buy it.

  • Fire displaces retirement community resident

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    A fire at Harriman Gardens Monday night has displaced one resident of the retirement community.

    “It was controlled real quick, controlled to that one apartment,” Harriman Assistant Fire Chief Brad Daniels said.

    Daniels said when firefighters arrived, no sign of fire was visible from outside. It was different inside, however. Two firefighters went inside to a hallway and found heavy smoke.

    The firefighters evacuated anyone in danger and began an internal attack on the fire, according to Daniels.

  • More skepticism of TVA involvement on reports

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    The Tennessee Department of Health’s recently released draft public health assessment on the ash spill underwent a TVA review before it was made public.

    Apparently that’s a common practice among agencies that have studied the disaster.  

    “We call it a courtesy review,” said Jeff Steevens, a research biologist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Research and Development Center.

    The ERDC looked into how Emory River dredging would impact fish.