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Local News

  • Fly ash health studies to begin

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    People worried about their health because of the TVA ash spill could get a free medical screening courtesy of TVA.

    The agency is paying Oak Ridge Associated Universities to address the health concerns of locals because of the disaster.

    Wendy West, a spokeswoman for ORAU, said the screenings should begin soon.

    “We’re waiting on some final checks and balances on the screening protocols to make sure everything is a go,” she said.

  • Two churches struggle back after TVA disaster

    By TERRI LIKENS

    tlikens@roanecounty.com

    Swan Pond Baptist Church has long sat in the shadow of the tall, twin stacks of the Kingston Fossil Plant.

    In fact, the church’s history is intertwined with TVA’s. The house in which founding members first began meeting is now TVA property across the street.

    The Dec. 22, 2008, ash spill at the plant didn’t make a direct hit on the church’s property, but it did strike a blow.

  • Hyatte gets to see security measures she prompted

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Often tragedy is the catalyst behind change.

    Earlier this month, Jennifer Hyatte saw firsthand the results of the tragedy she caused at the Roane County Courthouse.

    Following her testimony at the trial of former prison guard Randall Ridenour, Hyatte exited the building through the county’s new sally port.

  • Leon Houston goes back to jail, too

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Leon Houston pleaded with Special Judge David Hayes not to send him back to jail.

    “I’m asking for mercy from the court,” he said.

    Hayes wasn’t moved to grant it. He ordered Houston back to jail on Thursday for violating conditions of his bail.

    “I love you,” Houston said to his sister, Debbie Cofer, before he was taken back to a holding cell.

    Houston and his younger brother, Rocky, were released from jail in March.

  • TVA reparations money may be coming to Roane

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    TVA money could soon be flowing into Roane County.

    The TVA board of directors last week authorized CEO Tom Kilgore to begin the process of allotting monies to Roane County as a response to the fly ash spill at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant.

    The county’s major cities, communities and other entities are to receive money in the allotment.

  • Ruritan Road work to begin

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    The Tennessee Department of Transportation is looking at a spring 2011 starting date for constrution to widen Harriman’s Ruritan Road from Pine Ridge Road to Roane Street.

    A crowd gathered last week in Bowers Elementary School to hear more about the widening project, which will encompass a stretch of roadway of less than a mile.

  • Cyclist killed in Gallaher Road accident

    STAFF REPORTS

    State troopers are investigating a fatal accident on Gallaher Road in Kingston.

  • Patton may cut deal on criminal charges

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Former constable Mark Patton could be on the verge of accepting a plea deal in his criminal cases.

    “No deal has been signed,” Patton attorney Chris Cawood said. “We’re trying to negotiate.”

    Patton was indicted in February on two counts of reckless endangerment and one count of official misconduct.

  • Courthouse evacuated over 'irregularities'

    STAFF REPORTS

    The Roane County Courthouse was evacuated Monday morning for what Sheriff Jack Stockton said were precautionary reasons.

    “We found some unsecured doors to the courthouse,” Stockton said.

    Stockton said some suspicious wiring also contributed to the evacuation.

    A detection dog was brought in to search for explosives. None were found.

    The courthouse was opened for normal business after officers determined everything was safe.

  • Three vie for Hooks' open seat

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Three people expressed interest in the District 1 open commission seat during a public hearing at the Roane County Courthouse on Tuesday.

    Ron Berry, Robert Myers and Bill Wright made up the trio.

    “One thing I’ve always felt more important than others is as a member of this commission, it’s true that you represent your district,” Berry said. “But you also primarily represent this county.”