Local News

  • Authorities: Former exec hopeful threatened to blow up Nashville studio

    The harassment charges against former Roane County executive candidate Miles Ledbetter Jr. stem from threats he allegedly made against Sony Music.

    According to an affidavit, Ledbetter called Sony Music offices in Nashville on Dec. 23 and threatened to blow up employees and members of the music community.

    His phone number was identified by Sony Music’s caller ID system.

    Robert J. Creighton, director of international security for Sony Music, called Ledbetter on Christmas Eve and left a message for him to call back.

  • Roane State Music Recital
  • Cooking up a '12-Days-of-Christmas' feast

    For many, Christmas has been long over.

    The gifts have been unwrapped; the tree has been taken down; the new year has already been celebrated — but really, the traditional Christmas season only recently ended Jan. 6.

    In the kitchen at Luminary United Methodist Church in Ten Mile, Lynnea McHenry cooked for the church’s 12-course meal celebrating the famed 12 days of Christmas, which ended with Epiphany. The meal is a fundraiser for the church.

  • The troubling disappearance of Karen Beard

    Twenty years after a 35-year-old Kingston mother’s disappearance from Roane County, the case still runs cold.

    Karen Beard hasn’t been seen since Jan. 15, 1991.

    Her car was abandoned near Center's Ferry Bridge, and personal items that someone would be expected to travel with were left in her Harriman home.

    She was seven-and-a-half months pregnant with her third child and in the middle of a custody battle with her ex-husband, Reece Beard, over their then 8- and 5-year-old daughters.

  • Art — it's what you make of it

    Russell Allion has a passion for art.

    He had a blank canvas to work with this week.

    Allion spent much of Tuesday constructing large pieces of snow art, including one he called “Frosty having a bad day.”

    He used PVC pipe to shape the extended arms. He also helped neighbor children build Frosty a girlfriend.

    By late Tuesday afternoon he was busy carving out skeletal areas on a snow zombie.

    In the past Allion has carved out a snow couch and recliner.

  • Road salt dwindles; costs up

    Road salt supplies have dwindled for the area as the Southeast was blasted with the worst wintry weather in recent years.

    “I’m out of salt,” said Harriman street superintendent Darrell “Drack” Langley. “I’m using rock and sand right now. Our roads are decent.”

    Harriman only had “maybe a truckload” of salt on Wednesday, Langley said.

    The street department was saving that for emergency use until the city is restocked.

  • Kids hurt in snow-slung kayak incident

    Three children were hurt in an accident involving a four-wheeler on Wednesday in Rockwood.
    The accident happened at Brickyard Springs around 3:30 p.m.
    Rockwood police and first responders were dispatched to the scene.
    According to the police report, the juveniles were in a kayak that was being pulled behind a four-wheeler.

  • Budget shortfalls — pay raises

    Do ambulance workers deserve a raise when their department is in such dire financial straits?

    That’s a question county commissioners could have to answer in the coming weeks.

    Gloria Wright, director of the ambulance service, has requested a raise of 5 cents an hour for her employees.

    Roane County Executive Ron Woody said the request came as a shock to him.

    The ambulance department is projected to have just $18,000 when the fiscal year ends June 30.

    That’s not enough to keep the department operating.  

  • Electrical outage victims left to wonder

    Approximately 2,000 Rockwood Electric Utility customers were without electricity much of Saturday after a piece of equipment on top of a power pole blew up, setting fire to a power line near RedBones on the River.

    Some were without power for more than five hours. With nightfall coming and temperatures heading into the teens, they were left hanging on their options.

    That could change, according to Kendall Bear, general manager of REU, but not any time soon.

  • Mother of Patton child describes hardship

    When Mark Patton was “Walking Tall” as a constable, he was also falling short — in his child support payments.

    Lynne Harris has a daughter by Patton, a former Roane County constable. He was recently jailed in McMinn County for not paying his child support.

    “He wanted to hold all police officers to the same standard of law they held other people to, but yet at the same time he was not paying his child support,” she said. “To me, that’s ridiculous.”