Local News

  • Leon Houston federal trial to start today

    After multiple delays, Leon Houston could finally face a federal jury this week.
    As of late Friday, his trial on a firearms charge was still listed on the U.S. District Court calendar.
    According to the calendar, the trial is scheduled to start today – Monday – at 9 a.m. in the federal courthouse in Knoxville.
    Houston was previously scheduled to stand trial in March, August and September, but all those trial dates were postponed.
     He’s charged with possessing a firearm while being an unlawful user of a controlled substance.


    Two-year-old Kameron Pelfrey, dressed as SpongeBob SquarePants, is among the trick-or-treaters frequenting Rockwood’s Kingston Avenue on Halloween night. Superheroes, princesses and those wearing spooky garb to reflect the season are among those scooping up the treats. Look for more little goblins and sweethearts in Wednesday’s issue of the Roane County News.


  • Special bowling for special people

    Jasmyn Stinnett stares intently, bowling ball in hand.
    “Let’s go, Jasmyn!” cheered Ericka Pesterfield, who said Jasmyn is one of her best friends.
    Jasmyn, however, wasn’t happy with her efforts.
    She snuggled on the lap of her mother, Sophia Stinnett, in the crowded seats around Tri-City Lanes in Midtown.
    “I need to work on my bowling skills,” Jasmyn said plaintively.
    “You have awesome bowling skills,” Sophia Stinnett assured her daughter.

  • Be wary of callers claiming to be IRS

    The Internal Revenue Service is warning consumers about a sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, throughout the country.
    Victims are told they owe money to the IRS. and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer.
    If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license.
    In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.

  • State veterans affairs head to speak at Rockwood BPW

    Tennessee Commissioner for Veterans Affairs Many-Bears Grinder will be the guest speaker for the Rockwood Business and Professional Women’s meeting on Nov. 19.
    The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in Victorian Square at 214 S. Chamberlain Ave.
    Dinner will be $10 per person. Reservations are required no later than Nov. 8 and many be made by calling Gladys at Victorian Square at 354-1133.

  • New faces, new places at 9th District DAG office

    Expansions, departures and shifts in manpower have resulted in substantial changes at District Attorney General Russell Johnson’s office.
    Today — Friday — the 9th Judicial District office will have a swearing-in ceremony at the Roane County Courthouse for new assistant district attorney generals Tiffany Smith and Alyson Kennedy.
    Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood will do the honors.

  • Court forces EPA’s hand

    More than three years after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held a Knoxville hearing for input on its plan to regulate coal ash, the agency has failed to implement the regulations.
    This week, a federal judge may have given the EPA the spark it needs to get moving.
    Judge Reggie B. Walton ordered the agency to file a written submission with the court setting a proposed deadline “for its compliance with its obligation to review and revise if necessary its Subtitle D regulations concerning coal ash.”

  • Halloween fun for the young
  • More time granted in TVA mediation

    The parties involved in the TVA ash spill litigation were granted an additional 105 days to mediate on Oct. 24.
    “This litigation shall continue to be stayed during the mediation,” Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan said in the order granting the extension.
    The plaintiffs and TVA filed a joint motion requesting the additional time on Oct. 22. It was the third joint request for an extension since Varlan ordered the parties to mediate on Nov. 20, 2012.
    The first request was granted on March 21. The second one was granted on July 12.

  • Blake Norman honored as top Rockwood officer

    Rockwood Police Department officer Blake Norman was recognized as officer of the quarter at the Rockwood City Council meeting Monday.
    “He’s one of those fellows that we can all be proud of. Blake has led the department in arrests,” and been consistent with all his duties, Mayor James Watts said.
    Watts said arrests alone don’t qualify Norman for the honor.
    Norman arrives early for work and leaves late and has a great attitude, follows orders and has a high energy level, according to Watts.