Local News

  • Gay-divorce ruling overturned

    The Tennessee Court of Appeals has reversed former judge Russell E. Simmons Jr.’s decision in Roane County’s same-sex divorce case.

    In an opinion filed Tuesday, the court said it was obligated to do so because of June’s U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage across the country.

  • Woman beaten, red pickup a mystery

    Warren Dyer reportedly went looking for someone in a red pickup truck that he planned to beat up on July 22.

    It’s not clear if he ever found that person, but he did encounter a Rockwood police officer, who arrested him.

    Dyer, 29, remained in custody at the Roane County Jail Tuesday afternoon on charges of assault, burglary and failure to appear.

    According to the assault warrant, Rockwood Police Officer Chris Kennedy was dispatched to an apartment on West Rockwood Street about a domestic incident.

  • Drug needles a problem for police

    Hypodermic needles can make pat downs and searches risky for police officers. Kingston Police Chief Jim Washam said that’s why he advises his officers to look first before they touch anything.

    “We encourage them to wear some type of gloves, too,” he said. “Not all do.”

    Kingston Police Officer Nathan Wilson reported finding three hypodermic needles during an incident on July 25. Washam said such findings are not uncommon.

    “We run across that more and more everyday,” he said.

  • Margrave Bridge to be rebuilt

    A once-popular detour around Roane Street is being resurrected.

    City Manager Kevin Helms has been working with the state to address replacing the bridge at Margrave Street, which was torn down in 2011.

    “I’m ready for that to happen,” said Mayor Chris Mason about the news.

    “It was something as simple as that, having somebody full time to go talk to them,” Mason said.

    Years ago Harriman officials balked at added expenses of moving utilities at the bridge, and eventually the bridge was torn down.

  • Tangled up
  • GLIMPSES: Kingston’s CSA flag dustup


    Author’s note: The following three premises are essential to this column:

    1) None of us see the past or present with absolute clarity; 2) Each of us has the capacity for glimpses of informed insight that draw from and reflect our personal values; and 3) Cordial, forthright exchange of those insights enhances our mutual well being.

    Many important events have unfolded since I composed my last column.

  • GUEST OPINION: State of the 1st Amendment — as others see it


    First Amendment Center

    There’s no doubt that a huge number of Americans are unable to name the five freedoms protected by the First Amendment — national survey results each year since 1997 sadly leave little doubt about that circumstance.

    On a more positive note, when reminded of the core freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition, our fellow citizens line up behind them in large numbers.

    But when it comes to how those freedoms apply in everyday life?

  • Police respond to takeover attempt at Roane Academy

    Law enforcement responded to another disturbance at Roane Academy Monday evening.

    Roane County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tim Phillips said some juveniles housed at the facility injured some staff members.

    “They did cause a big ruckus and try to incite a takeover,” Phillips said.

    Monday’s disturbance followed an eventful weekend that included two escapes. That’s at least the fourth at Roane Academy in the past month.

  • Ex-trooper says crash victim’s friend was speeding

    Former state trooper Samuel Dean Norman has responded to a lawsuit that accuses him of causing a February car crash that resulted in the death of Elmer Solomon.

    Solomon’s widow, Sandra J. Solomon, is suing Norman in Roane County Circuit Court for $980,000 in damages.

    The fatal crash happened on Hwy. 61 on Feb. 6.

    Elmer Solomon was a passenger in a 2008 Nissan driven by his friend Merley E. Tilson.

    Solomon was the owner of the Nissan, which was traveling east on Hwy. 61.

  • Appraisal computer system may be changed

    Roane County Executive Ron Woody has filed a resolution that gives the County Commission the option to change the Computer-Assisted Mass Appraisal program that’s being used by the Property Assessor’s Office.

    Property Assessor David Morgan stopped using the state system last year in favor of the Patriot Properties CAMA system.

    Woody’s resolution calls for terminating the contract with Patriot and going back to the state system.