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Local News

  • Early Voting begins Friday

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Early Voting for the August General Election and the Democratic and Republican primaries will begin on Friday, July 18.

    Just for Early Voting, the Election Commission office will be open a half-day on Saturday.

    Administrator of Elections Minnie Armes said the county’s only Early Voting site will be in her office on the first floor of the Morgan County Courthouse.

  • Paranoia or conspiracies?

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Former General Sessions Court judge Thomas Austin made thousands of rulings for nearly three decades before a federal grand jury indicted him for extortion and money laundering in 2006.

    Whether or not any of those rulings were tainted remains a mystery. Authorities apparently haven’t investigated his prior court decisions to find out.

  • Murder trial starts today

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Some moments create everlasting memories.

    Kingston police Lt. Gary Nelson had one a little over two years ago. He was one of the first officers to see the deceased bodies of a sheriff’s deputy and his civilian partner.

    “Me and two other officers were the first three on the scene,” Nelson said.

    “I’ll never forget that day.”

    That day will be relived over and over in a Roane County Criminal Courtroom for the next few weeks.

  • July 15: Jury in place in Houston murder trial

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Opening arguments are expected to begin Wednesday morning in the Leon Houston murder case.

    It was slow going, but jury selection finally ended Tuesday afternoon with a jury in place.

    The case was expected to pick up again at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning.

    The launch of Leon Houston's double murder trial Monday reflected the difficulties of trying to pick a jury in a small county.

  • Six candidates vie for three seats

    DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Three people will represent Kingston on the Roane County Board of Education when new terms start in September.

    Which three is the big question.

    Voters will give the answer in the coming weeks.

    Six candidates are vying for three seats.

    Danny Holloway, Earl Nall and Tyler Overstreet are the incumbents.

    Rob Jago, Hugh Johnson and Kim Nelson represent the newcomers.

  • Subdivision residents raise stink with city

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    The Kingston City Council faced a standing-room-only crowd of residents from an unhappy subdivision Tuesday.

    Homeowners at the Villages of Center Farms approached council members two months ago because they were upset about paying full sewer rates when the city is not processing their sewage.

    Homes in the upscale subdivision have step systems, where only “gray water” is allowed to be sent to the sewer plant and sewage solids have to be hauled off at residents’ expense.

  • DA looking into missing records

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    District Attorney General Russell Johnson is looking into the disappearance of some records that have come up missing from the Roane County budget director's office. The TBI is involved in the investigation.

  • Hyatte files to remove death penalty option

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    rccindysimpson@bellsouth.net

    A tentative trial date has been set for George Hyatte, charged with first-degree murder in a death penalty case for his alleged involvement in a courthouse shootout that took the life of prison guard Wayne “Cotton” Morgan.

  • Rockwood recruits Stroh for industry

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    The city of Rockwood is hoping the addition of a new member to their team will be able to encourage industry to their area.

    The new jobholder is a familiar face across Roane County.

    The city council approved the hiring of Beverly Stroh to the newly added position of industrial recruiter.

    Stroh currently works for The Roane Alliance as the manager of tourism and marketing.

    And the hope of city officials is that she will do the same, only concentrating on Rockwood.

  • 3 run unopposed for school board

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    While some of his counterparts will be out campaigning hard this summer, Rockwood school board member Mike “Brillo” Miller can take it easy with the politicking.

    A candidate can do that when he doesn’t have an opponent.

    Miller is running unopposed in District 1.

    “I’m glad,” Miller said. “I’d rather not have to go out and beat on doors this summer.”