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Local News

  • Out-of-state fugitives nabbed in Roane

    Roane County has been the wrong place for people wanted in other states to hang out. Several of them have been arrested here this month.

    On Jan. 2, Rockwood Police Sgt. Jason Halliburton stopped a car on Gateway Avenue with an expired tag and one headlight out. Inside was Paul Daniel Stokley and Jessica Lynn Vause. According to the report, both were wanted in Kentucky for different charges.

  • Future of animal shelter hounds Rockwood officials

    Rockwood is looking for someone to fill its animal control and codes enforcement role.

    Mark Neeley handled the dual duties until he resigned this month.

    “The mayor and council haven’t made any decisions on the future of the shelter at this time,” said City Administrator Becky Ruppe.

    Rockwood Police Chief Bill Stinnett said the shelter was emptied after officials learned about Neeley’s resignation.

    Area rescues responded and took all the animals except one which was euthanized at the Roane County Animal Shelter.

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  • County looks to property near jail

    With the purchase of the Dollar General Store off for now, the county is eyeing other properties around the Roane County Jail.

    “We sent out notices to about seven property owners in and around the courthouse and jail,” Roane County Executive Ron Woody said.

    “We’ve had a couple of tentative offers from some, and we had some that said they’d get back with us.”

    The county is interested in the Dollar General building because it’s next to the Roane County Jail.

  • Schools mourn beloved teacher

    Many Kingston Elementary School students will miss the smiling face of fourth-grade teacher Melissa Brown Newman, who died unexpectedly Monday.

    “I can tell you outstanding lady, great teacher, loved by the students,” said Director of Schools Leah Rice Watkins.

    Students and colleagues were stunned and distraught over the death of the 41-year-old teacher referred to as Missy.

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  • Divine Intervention

    An age-old practice has found a new believer in someone eager to locate the lost graves of his ancestors.

    While science doesn’t typically support him, Ralph Martin believes the practice of using dowsing rods has helped him to locate the unmarked graves of a number of his ancestors and others.

    “I cannot tell you how many graves I have found,” Martin said. “I have found graves from the 1780s. It is probably just a carbon layer left.”

  • Fleeing driver accused of tearing up yard, boat

    A Rockwood man is accused of fleeing from police in a gold Ford Explorer last week.

    Colton Matthew Pennington reportedly damaged a resident’s yard and boat in the process.

    Rockwood Police Department Sgt. Kelly Pittman charged him with vandalism, introducing contraband into a penal institution, resisting arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia, manufacture/delivery/sale or possession of methamphetamine, evading arrest, driving on a revoked license, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident.

  • Freezing temps could affect lake weed growth

    Sub-freezing winter temperatures around Watts Bar Lake may help reduce the growth of invasive aquatic plants in the spring.

    “This severe cold period will go a long way toward reducing the re-emergence of some invasive aquatic plant species,” said Tim Joseph, chairman of the Watts Bar Ecology and Fishery Council.

    The Council was formed about a year ago to bring together stakeholders in the Watts Bar Lake area to formulate a strategy to deal with the problems caused by invasive weeds.

  • New tax law may impact county’s collections

    The new tax law may have had an impact on local property tax collections.

    Roane County Executive Ron Woody said the county had received 52 percent of its collections through the end of December. The prior year that number was 43 percent.

    “Part of that may be in reference to the president’s and Congress’ bill,” Woody said. “People may be doing some financial planning and paying some of their taxes a little early. That could be it.”

    The new tax law – Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – was passed in December.