Local News

  • Car plows through daycare



    A Henry Center teacher’s quick actions likely saved a napping girl when a vehicle drove into the day-care facility Monday afternoon.

    Tammy Newberry moved the child only moments before the vehicle came through, according to Michael Dunn President and CEO Mike McElhinney.

    “The teacher heard a noise and grabbed the child and pulled her away,” McElhinney said. “A second later, the car came crashing through the wall.”

  • Leon Houston likely to be released following outburst




    Authorities removed Leon Houston from a courtroom after a commotion during a hearing for his younger brother, Rocky Houston, on Friday afternoon.

    Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton confirmed that Leon would be charged with contempt of court for the disturbance, which erupted when Special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood was ruling on Rocky's motion to have him recused.


  • Missing woman not forgotten



    Cheryl Payne may be gone, but she’s not forgotten.

    Family and friends commemorated her birthday with a roadside observance on Thursday.   

    “She would have been [39] years old today,” said Payne’s sister, Tammy Braden. “We haven’t ever got out and really done anything like that. Every year something has happened, or I was just too emotional and couldn’t do it.

  • Alcohol opponents emerge in Rockwood



    Liquor sales in Rockwood were approved in 2008 with little outcry, and loosened church and school boundary restrictions were passed late last year with no public opposition.

    That resistance was apparently building, however, and it came to a head Monday when about 70 people affiliated with various churches crowded into city hall to face Rockwood City Council.

  • Little house looms large in exec race



    Roane County Executive Mike Farmer told commissioners in January there was nothing illegal about his decision to renovate a small white house adjacent to the new jail.

    One of the candidates planning to run against him in the August election begs to differ.

    “The more you look into that, it makes less and less sense every time,” Ron Woody said. “It’s a wonder somebody hasn’t called the DA to say, ‘Hey, you need to look into this.’”

  • Will Kilgore testify in ash spill lawsuits?



    TVA President/CEO Tom Kilgore had a terse response when asked if the fly ash catastrophe at the Kingston Fossil Plant was preventable.

    “Everything is preventable, including any car accident you have,” Kilgore said on Dec. 23, 2008, a day after a dike failure at the plant released 5.4 million cubic yards of ash into the environment.

  • Motorist charged in cyclist’s road death



    The driver of a pickup that struck and killed an avid Oak Ridge cyclist on Gallaher Road will face charges.

    A Roane County grand jury returned an indictment for criminally negligent homicide against driver Justin Anthony Pattterson in the Aug. 25 death of John W. Daugherty.

    Daugherty, 78, was an accomplished cyclist who participated in many road races and cycling events.

    Daugherty was riding toward Oak Ridge on the shoulder of Hwy. 58 in Kingston when he was struck.

  • County borrows millions



    Roane County Commission has given its stamp of approval for the county to borrow several million dollars for a number of capital projects and the refinancing of outstanding debt.

    All together, the county’s loans will be around $8.8 million. Morgan Keegan representative Scott P. Gibson said that money includes about $3.4 million in new debt and refinancing about $5.4 million in old debt, including a number of capital outlay notes.

    Commissioners were not unanimous in their votes for the loans.

  • Wassom sworn in with late-husband's Bible



    Judy Wassom made a vow to the people of Rockwood immediately after taking her oath of office Monday as a new member of Rockwood City Council.

    “I’ve got to quit running stop signs,” she quipped as laughter ensued. “I’m going to work on that.”

    That was one of the lighter moments in what was perhaps one of the more poignant openings of a Rockwood council meeting, the first since the untimely death of Wassom’s husband and council predecessor, Stan Wassom.

  • Burned body part of "elaborate suicide,' officials say


    A call to a brush fire took a strange turn early this week.

    A man’s body was found burning in the fire in a wooded area behind his home on Monday evening.

    His wife is the one who called in the fire, authorities said.

    “We’re calling it some sort of elaborate suicide,” said Kristin Helms, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

    Helms said the man has been identified as Victor Gordon of 151 Scenic View Drive, Roane County.