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Local News

  • Yankee Doodle gal celebrates 100th birthday

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    Living to be 100 years old is remarkable enough, but this centenarian is special in more ways than one.

    Elizabeth Rains was born on the Fourth of July in 1908.

    To help celebrate, Rains was asked by to be the special guest grand marshal for the Kingston Fourth of July Parade.

    Rains joked that she needed to practice her parade wave.

    “I think it’s a little late to change the way you wave,” her niece, Amanda Miller, shot back.

  • Powers suddenly alone on HUB board

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    rccindysimpson@bellsouth.net

    The table where the Harriman Utility Board members sit was largely unoccupied at what should have been the regularly scheduled June board meeting.

    Three of the board’s five members — chairman Walter Jordan, Randy Milburn and Homer Harmon — had given utility manager Chuck Flora a letter announcing their decision to resign.

    The resigned board members said in the letter that they realized the city wants to go in a different direction.

  • Patterson arraigned; bond set at $250,000

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    A local man accused of a weekend murder was arraigned in Roane County General Sessions Court Monday before Judge Dennis Humphrey.

  • Teaching positions will not be cut; at least not for now

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Members of the Morgan County Board of Education are waiting for input from county commission before making more cuts in the budget for schools.

    The Board and members of the county's budget committee met last week to go over the budget for schools.

    Director of Schools Mike Davis outlined the areas where school administrators and the Board have worked to trim their own budgets and said that an additional $151,000 is still needed to balance the proposed budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year.

  • Houston jurors will be sequestered

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    How much does it cost to sequester a jury?

    The county is estimating it will take $80,000 for the trials of Rocky and Leon Houston.

    The brothers will be tried separately, and Judge James "Buddy" Scott has ruled that both juries will be separated from the public during the trial.

    The county's 2008-09 fiscal budget will have $80,000 earmarked for jury sequestration.

  • Rockwood rejects 15-year-sewer plan

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    A 15-year plan for the Rockwood Wastewater Plant was shot down at a recent city council meeting.

    When the vote took place to adopt the plan, which includes upgrades and improvements to the plant, Councilmembers Ray Collett, Gene East and Dudley Evans said they needed more time and passed.

    More deliberation is needed because included in the plan is a way to pay for the projects, which includes rate increases for customers, they said.

  • UPDATE: Judge allows Leon Houston to withdraw sequestering request

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Not wanting to be a burden to the taxpayers, Leon Houston has withdrawn his request to have the jury sequestered in his double murder trial. James Logan, Leon's lead attorney, told Judge James “Buddy” Scott about his client's change of heart during a hearing in Roane County Criminal Court on Monday.

    “Mr. Houston has expressed his confidence in the people of Roane County,” Logan said. “He does not want to inconvenience the people or the taxpayers in any shape, form or fashion.”

  • Oliver Springs man charged with murder

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    An Oliver Springs man is behind bars at the Roane County Jail on first-degree murder charges. According to the sheriffs office, Ricky Patterson allegedly stabbed David Lowe sometime around 5 p.m. on Saturday at a home on Quarry Road. Lowe, 50, was later pronounced dead at Roane Medical Center.

  • Music pioneer remembers

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    rccindysimpson@bellsouth.net

    Helen Fox is a pioneer — one of the first women to play on the Grand Ole Opry at a time when it wasn’t considered proper for a young woman to perform without her husband.

  • Tent City jail for Roane?

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio hails himself as America’s toughest sheriff.

    Arpaio’s Tent City, an outdoor jail in the deserts of Phoenix that houses inmates under rows of tents surrounded by razor-wire fencing, is nationally known.

    With inmate counts up and the costs of jails soaring, could a similar situation work in Tennessee?