Local News

  • State enforcing tougher vehicular homicide law

    The state is getting tougher on people who commit vehicular homicide.

    A new law that took effect on Jan. 1 makes vehicular homicide defendants ineligible for probation if alcohol or drugs are involved.

    “We have a lot of victims who are frustrated by the fact that they are eligible for probation,” Assistant District Attorney General Bob Edwards said. “Victims’ families are unhappy about it, so I think this is going to be something that the victims’ families are going to be very appreciative of.”

  • No money to replace old bridge to campground

    A plan to open up 80 acres for recreational use in the Caney Creek area hit a snag last month, when the Roane County Commission defeated a resolution to earmark $111,000 for a bridge project.

    “It came out of budget committee with a recommendation,” County Executive Ron Woody said.

    That didn’t sway a majority of the commissioners, some of whom said they believe the resolution isn’t fair to the Swan Pond community.

  • School buildings among retreat discussion topics

    The Roane County Board of Education is planning a retreat in early 2017.

    “Where will that be?” Board Member Hugh Johnson asked at the Dec. 15 meeting.

    “We’re still trying to figure that out,” Chairman Sam Cox responded. “We was going to go to Gatlinburg for that, but with all the fire damage up there we’re not sure yet.”

    Cox said the tentative dates for the retreat are Jan. 27-28.

    He said it will focus on the state of Roane County Schools.

  • Woman dies at Cash Saver

     Kingston Fire Department received a call around noon on Friday about a woman found unconscious in the bathroom of the Cash Saver grocery store at 615 N. Kentucky St. in Kingston. Responders found the woman not breathing.

    The woman who has not been identified pending notification of relatives, was pronounced dead at the scene.

    "She went to the restroom and management went to check on her about 20 to 25 minutes later," according to Kingston Fire Chief Willie Gordon.

  • Roane County’s TOP STORIES

    An ex-Marine turned baker was thrust into the spotlight in late February, but not for her military service or baking skills.

    What garnered Laura Ann Buckingham attention was an alleged plot to have her son’s father, Bradley Sutherland of Indiana, killed.

    The plot was reportedly foiled by Buckingham’s then-boyfriend, ex-Marine sniper Joe Chamblin.

  • From the EDITOR’S Desk: Biggest stories left a big impact

    As the Roane County News wraps up the last issue of the year, it’s an opportunity to reflect on what 2016 has been all about.

    To me it’s been all about moving to a new county, starting a new job at the Roane County News in April and getting to know a new group of great people.

    As I reflect on the new experiences some of the biggest stories of the year also come to mind.

  • Man says trio robbed, beat then left him at boat ramp

    Three people have been charged in an alleged robbery that occurred on Dec. 21.

    The alleged victim, Derrick Harmon, was found at a boat ramp laying on the ground screaming. Multiple objects may have been used to beat him.

    “He thinks there was possibly a ball bat,” Roane County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bryan Walker said. “There’s also a machete used in it. Possibly a golf club, possibly a hammer, a couple different items used on him.”


    Rick Morrow learned a lesson in civil law the hard way.

    In Tennessee, the statute of limitations to bring a lawsuit is a year from the incident.

    Morrow claims that on Nov. 7, 2015, he was injured when he bit into a McDonald’s hamburger and was stuck by what appeared to be a hypodermic needle.

    His lawsuit against the restaurant, however, wasn’t filed in Roane County Circuit Court until Nov. 17 of this year.

    “We filed, but it was like 10 days late, so we just voluntarily dismissed it,” Morrow said.

  • Driver gets 8 years for vehicular homicide

    A Lenoir City man received an eight-year prison sentence for his role in a 2013 Roane County traffic death.

    Otto Joseph Flachbart III pleaded guilty earlier this year to vehicular homicide by intoxication.

    He was behind the wheel of a truck that crashed on Sept. 15, 2013 on Hwy 327.

    A passenger in the truck, 48-year-old Fred M. Collins Jr. of Oliver Springs, was killed.

    Trooper Matthew Armes indicated in his report that Flachbart was under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash.