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Local News

  • Witnesses recall alleged Patton abuse

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Witnesses on Tuesday detailed a pattern of intimidation and unlawful conduct by Roane County Constable Mark Patton.

    The testimony came during an investigative hearing conducted by District Attorney General Russell Johnson and County Attorney Tom McFarland. The two are considering filing an ouster suit against Patton, and they deposed several witnesses Tuesday morning at Johnson's office.

  • School drug testing policy stays intact

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    The Roane County Board of Education didn’t budge on its policy of random drug testing for student athletes at Thursday night’s meeting.

    If some of the comments made is any indication, it might take a lot more than threats from the American Civil Liberties Union to get the board to budge.

    “I supported that policy, and I’m not going to change my mind on that policy until the law shows me it’s different,” board member Mike “Brillo” Miller said.

  • Ex-Wellington Place employee accused of making bomb threat

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    Kingston police have arrested a former Wellington Place employee they believe called in a bomb threat to the assisted-living facility on Aug. 30.

    Krystal Webb, 26, of Kingston, was taken to Roane County Jail around 12:30 p.m. Friday after officers of the Kingston Police Department picked her up at her home.

    Police Chief Jim Washam said Webb has admitted to making the call as a prank.

    Webb is charged with facilitating a bomb threat, Washam said.

  • REU passes on TVA hike

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    Starting Oct. 1, Rockwood Electric Utility customers will see a significant increase in their monthly bills.

    Last month, TVA announced about a 20-percent rate increase in electricity passed on to utility companies.

    On Tuesday, the REU board approved passing the increase on to its customers.

    According to General Manager Kendall Bear, customers will see an increase of $14.20 a month per 1,000 kilowatt hours used.

    “We hate it for our customers,” Bear said.

  • Constable Patton jailed

    By DAMON LAWRENCE & TERRI LIKENS

    For a short while, Constable Mark Patton found himself in a place where he vowed to put others – behind bars. He smiled Thursday night as he walked into the Roane County Jail at 8:20 p.m. to be booked on three counts of assault.

    After posting bond of $3,000, Patton was free again by 9:20.

    The charges stem from an incident that occurred at Kingston City Park on Wednesday. Patton got into an altercation with some young men, including the son of Roane County Executive Mike Farmer.

  • County adopts monthly expense reporting

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    County employees must now submit claims for travel expenses within 30 days or lose the opportunity to get reimbursed.

    The mandate comes after the Roane County Commission voted unanimously to amend the county’s policy last week.

    “Claims for reimbursement of travel expenses submitted after 30 days of the date of completion of the travel will not be paid,” the resolution states.

  • DA says inmate's death was suicide

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    An investigation into the May 28th death of an inmate at the Morgan County Jail has been concluded.

    Ninth District Attorney General Russell Johnson issued a statement on Monday that the death of Robert Stoll has been determined to have been suicide.

    Johnson said Stoll apparently used a string from his hooded sweatshirt to hang himself from the cell door closure arm.

  • Riding on the 'New River Train'

    By JEAN POLLARD

    Morgan County News

    What better way to spend a summer afternoon than to drive a few miles, board a real train and take a wonderful ride through the beautiful mountains and relax and enjoy the scenery?

    This past Saturday I had the privilege to do just that. I had been asked by a member of the New River Scenic Railway to 'dig up' some information on the New River area with stories of the communities and those who had once lived along the river and the railroad tracks.

  • Davidson gets plea deal -- again

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Opening statements were never made in Howard Davidson's first-degree murder trial. The trial never got that far because prosecutors reached a settlement with Davidson when court was in recess for lunch on Wednesday.

    Davidson pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in exchange for a 10-year prison sentence. He could have been sentenced to as much as life had he been convicted of first-degree murder.

    “Very,” Davidson attorney Michael Ritter said, when asked was he pleased with the deal.

  • 'Video' murder trial set to begin

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    The first-degree murder trial of Howard Davidson is scheduled to begin today, Sept. 17, at the Roane County Courthouse.

    Special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood will be presiding. Davidson is accused of shooting Michael Fair to death in May 2005.

    The trial could last three days.

    Criminal defense attorney Patrick Cooley is serving as a special prosecutor in the case.