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Local News

  • Dog attack leaves family shaken on Thanksgiving

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    The Wilson family found a whole new reason to be thankful this year on Thanksgiving.

    Thirteen-year-old Cory and the family were visiting with his Papaw just south of Wartburg along Highway 27.

    After dinner Cory took a walk along Rains Road with his friends, Katie and Cole.

  • Sunbright puts SUD on notice

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Time and again the meeting of the Sunbright Utility District threatened to get out of hand last Tuesday, Nov. 20. Voices were often raised with people talking over each other. More than once the utility employees attempting to keep the record of the meeting got lost in the noise.

  • County ordered to reduce inmate population

    BY DAMON LAWRENCE

    Roane Newspapers

    The clock is ticking for the Roane County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Jack Stockton said a state fire marshal has given them 30 days to reduce the inmate population at the county jail. Four days have already gone past, so the sheriff's office has just under four weeks to comply or face possible sanctions. Those could include having to shut down the entire jail.

  • Another young Roane resident gets new heart

    BY TERRI LIKENS

    Roane Newspapers

    Barely more than two weeks after a 12-year-old Roane County girl received a heart transplant, she’s getting company.

    Mason Kelly, an 11-year-old Walnut Hill Elementary fifth-grader, was at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville Tuesday morning undergoing a heart transplant of his own.

    His family got to Vanderbilt at 3 a.m. Tuesday, according to Carol Sensaboy, who works with Mason’s grandmother Rhonda Melton. Melton also made the trip to Nashville.

  • Knoxville woman killed on I-40

    BY DAMON LAWRENCE

    Roane Newspapers

    A Knoxville woman died after crashing her car on Interstate 40 in Roane County on Tuesday. According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol report, Laurel Parks was traveling west on the interstate around 7:30 a.m. when she ran off the left shoulder. The car over corrected, according to the report, and crossed both lanes before striking a concrete barrier.

    No other cars were involved in the accident. Parks, 21, was not wearing a seat belt. It wasn't immediately known if that might have made a difference.

  • Unwelcome march of the fire ants

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    Roane Newspapers

    An invader is changing the landscape of Roane County, and some residents who have seen their work firsthand are worried.

    Kingston residents are beginning to see concentrated mounds of them.

    Doug Brown, said he has just recently noticed the significant numbers — especially in areas in Roane County Park and near the Watts Bar Belle.

    “We are rapidly becoming infested here in Kingston,” Brown said.

  • Copper thieves strike 911 site

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    Roane Newspapers

    Businesses and homeowners aren’t the only ones being affected by copper thieves.

    Roane County E-911 Director Mike Hooks reports that a 911 installation on top of Mount Roosevelt was damaged by copper thieves.

    The 911 phone service was never lost, but Hooks said the fact that copper thefts can impact the system concerns him.

  • Role of constables questioned

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    Roane Newspapers

    The Roane County Commission selected Kingston police officer Caleb Strayer to fill the constable vacancy in the 6th District.

    The decision was made at Monday night’s commission meeting.

    The discussion turned out to be more about the validity of constables and how to get rid of them than filling the vacancy.

    Five commissioners passed when it was their turn to vote.

    One of the most outspoken was commissioner David Olsen.

  • Boy friend, not bike wreck killed Oliver Springs teen

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    Roane Newspapers

    Thomas Ray Johnson, accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend in 2005, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter this week in Roane County Criminal Court.

    Johnson was originally indicted on second-degree murder in the death of Pamela Nicole Williams of Oliver Springs.

    Johnson, 25, was scheduled to go to trial on Tuesday.

    As part of his plea deal, prosecutors recommended a five-year sentence on the voluntary manslaughter charge.

  • Alexander visits Harriman

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    Roane Newspapers

    U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee made a special visit to the Fairmont Head Start program in Harriman Monday.

    Alexander played a role earlier this month in the reauthorization legislation for the Head Start program nationwide as a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

    Alexander praised the Fairmont facility.

    Alexander said one of the reasons he came to Fairmont was to “call attention to one of the outstanding programs in the state.”