Local News

  • Rockout to Roane’s latest workout craze

    A new fitness craze has participants making noise while they grove.

    Pound Rockout Workout was inspired by a pair of drummers, and the exercise, which incorporates weighted drumsticks, is catching on, including with area trainer Kay Houser.

    “They use music that has a really strong beat to it. It is just the kind of feeling you just want to hit them, and it is so much fun,” she enthused.

    Houser is teaching Pound Rockout Workout classes in the old Kroger building next to Elite Fitness Gym at 2305 N. Gateway Ave., Rockwood.  

  • Feds indict man caught with 7 lbs. of meth

    The California man allegedly busted with seven pounds of crystal meth in Kingston this summer has been indicted federally.

    Fernando Simon Eudave-Castaneda, who is also known as Seven, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

    A federal grand jury returned the two-count indictment against him on Aug. 11, but the U.S. Attorney’s Office had all the documents in the case sealed.

  • Kingston tax hike over first hurdle

    With a 5-2 vote and little discussion, Kingston City Council passed the first reading of the 2015-16 budget during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night.

    Vice Mayor Tony Brown, who had voiced his opposition last week to the proposed 23-cent property tax hike, voted against the $6.029 million budget, as did Council Member Sarah Humphreys.

    Voting for the measure were Council members Don White, Norman Sugarman, John Byrkit, Randy Childs and Mayor Tim Neal.

  • Building’s owners, past and present, rallied for Academy

    The multiple incidents that have occurred at Roane Academy this summer haven’t swayed businessman Steve Kirkham’s opinion about the facility.

    “I would like to see the community embrace them and give them an opportunity,” he said this week.

    Kirkham owns the property at 503 Cardiff Valley Road, which is where Roane Academy is located.

    “All I am is the landlord there,” he said.

    The facility is operated by Omni Visions.

  • Houston keeping attorney for retrial

    Leon Houston is tentatively facing a Sept. 29 retrial date in federal court.

    Houston, found guilty in November 2013 of making a threat via interstate commerce, had his conviction overturned in July, when the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals determined Houston’s jury was improperly instructed.

    Houston appeared Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Pamela Reeves and U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley Jr. at the federal courthouse in Knoxville.

    It was the first court appearance since the conviction was overturned.

  • Rockwood gets $250,000 for home repairs

    Rockwood formally kicked off the process for a $250,000 HOME grant it received.

    The grant will enable the city to help several homeowners renovate their homes in disrepair.

    Rockwood is also hoping to make a bigger impact if they are awarded a neighborhood stabilization grant through the Community Development Block Grant program.

    “If we get our CDBG in the next few weeks ― and we think we will ― then that will be about 10 more houses we can fix because it will be $500,000,” said City Administrator Becky Ruppe.

  • Three apply for criminal court judge

    Porsche Lyn Shantz and Walter B. Johnson joined Roane County General Sessions Court Judge Jeff Wicks as applicants for the criminal court judge vacancy in the 9th Judicial District.

    Johnson is an assistant public defender and Shantz is a staff attorney for the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

    E. Eugene Eblen, the district’s current criminal court judge, is retiring at the end of the year.

    The deadline to submit applications for the seat was originally set for Sept. 1.

  • Time for businesses off tax rolls to pay up

    Roane County will try to collect some of the property tax revenue that was forgone due to new construction not being picked up by the assessor’s office.

    Trustee Wilma Eblen said Property Assessor David Morgan recently provided her office with information that allowed it to bill the property owners for the 2014 tax year.

    “They have 60 days to pay without penalty,” Eblen said.

    Eblen said her office has received calls from some of the property owners that bills have been sent to.

  • 6-year-old burn victim airlifted