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Local News

  • TVA cleanup could need 35,000 trucks

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Thousands and thousands of trucks hauling ash out of Roane County.

    That could happen under some of the alternatives being considered to dispose of the ash that spilled during the disaster at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant.

    “I know the idea of 35,000 trucks running through the neighborhoods doesn’t make anybody real happy,” EPA remedial project manager Craig Zeller said. “It causes some concern.”

  • Rockwood says goodbye: Councilman loses health battle

    By CHERYL DUNCAN

    cduncan@roanecounty.com

    John Stanley “Stan” Wassom, a first-term Rockwood City Council member whose zeal for history left an indelible imprint on the city’s Christmas Tour of Homes, died Sunday morning in Parkwest Medical Center, Knoxville.

    He was 68.

  • Eighth-grader takes loaded handgun to school

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    Sheriff Jack Stockton has confirmed a handgun was found at Harriman Middle School around 9 a.m. Thursday.

    “It was frightening, but I’m very proud of our students for them coming forward so it could be addressed,” said Director of Schools Toni McGriff.

    The 13-year-old male student accused of taking the gun allegedly told police officers he felt he needed a weapon there after he heard others saying they were taking a weapon to school, Stockton said.

  • Fight over pastor breaks out at church

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Rockwood police responded to a report of a fight inside First Baptist Church of Lenoir Avenue on Feb. 21.

    James Knaff was the church’s pastor, but he said members recently voted to remove him from the position.

    That’s what sparked the altercation inside the church, according to a report filed by Rockwood police.   

    “A verbal fight began over the removal and at some point members began shoving,” the report states.

  • Cameras catch Houston spitting

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Rocky Houston’s propensity for spitting on people was on display for all to see Monday.

    This time his target was Roane County Circuit Court Clerk Angela Randolph.

    As first reported on the Roane County News Web site, a belligerent Houston spat in Randolph’s face at the conclusion of a court hearing.

    “He got mad and spit on Ms. Randolph, right in her face,” said Lucy Guy, who works with Randolph in the clerk’s office.

  • Crowded field might give Farmer edge

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    The number 117 is ingrained in Jack Stockton’s mind.

    That’s how many votes David Haggard beat him by in the 2002 race for Roane County sheriff.

    Stockton believes he could have beaten Haggard easily had there not been a third candidate — Jeff Clower — in the race.

    “I just think that the majority of the people in Roane County wanted a new sheriff and that third party split the vote up and he stayed in office again,” Stockton said.

  • County's financial adviser accused of fraud

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    A company that Roane County officials go to for financial advice has been accused of fraud by the  Securities and Exchange Commission.

    The complaint was filed against Morgan Keegan & Co. in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on July 21, 2009.

    According to the SEC, thousands of investors were hoodwinked by Morgan Keegan about the liquidity risks associated with auction rate securities.  

  • Rockwood rounds up suspects on drug charges

    By CHERYL DUNCAN

    cduncan@roanecounty.com

    Rockwood police spent the better part of the weekend rounding up and arresting almost 50 people suspected of selling and distributing drugs.

    The arrests are the culmination of a six-month undercover operation in which Josh Rymer, drug investigator for the Rockwood Police Department, worked with a confidential informant, said Rockwood Police Chief Bill Stinnett.

    A Roane County grand jury returned true bills in the cases late last week.

  • Hit-and-run driver surrenders to police

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    A Kingston man indicted on a vehicular homicide charge in the January death of a Harriman woman is free on bond.

    Charles Wayne Crass, 56, of 301 Orchard View Road, was released at about 6:15 p.m. Thursday, said Harriman Police Chief Randy Heidle.

    “He turned himself in last night,”  Heidle said Friday morning.

    Crass is accused of striking 33-year-old Elishea Gilreath with his vehicle on Harriman’s Emory Road.

  • Cleanup may lead to prosperity in Rockwood

    By CHERYL DUNCAN

    cduncan@roanecounty.com

    For the first time in decades, workers are on site at the old Roane Alloys property in the Roane County Industrial Park in Rockwood.

    This time around, however, workers are in the midst of undoing damage the former industry inflicted on the land and an adjoining body of water.

    But officials are confident that the cleaned-up property can again be used to generate jobs in the Tennessee Valley.

    “It will be an attractive site for business and industry,” said Rockwood Mayor James Watts.