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Local News

  • County fire department proposed

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Roane County looks to be one vote away from establishing a county fire department.

    A resolution to create the Roane County Fire Department is on the agenda for Monday night’s county commission meeting.

    The commission is scheduled to meet in regular session at 7 p.m. at the courthouse.

    The county currently relies on the five volunteer fire departments to provide fire protection for the county.

  • Strange charged with TennCare fraud

    Staff reports

    A Roane County man has been charged with TennCare fraud for attempting to use TennCare to pay for forged prescriptions.

    Brian Everette Strange, 38, of Kingston, was arrested, according to the Tennessee Office of Inspector General.

    The Loudon County Sheriff’s Office assisted in his arrest.

    Strange is accused of using the personal identifying information of his physician by presenting forged prescriptions to a local pharmacy in Lenoir City.

  • Hall, Judkins show interest in office

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Two local attorneys have picked up the paperwork to be certified as write-in candidates in the August General Election.

    Current County Attorney Joe Judkins has yet to return his paperwork but local attorney Andrew Hall has already been certifiedas a candidate, according to Administrator of Elections Minnie Armes.

    The deadline to qualify as a write-in candidate for the August General Election is June 18.

  • Judge splits double-murder trials; Leon Houston to be tried first

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Two close-knit brothers accused of killing a sheriff’s deputy and his friend won’t be going to trial together.

    Judge James “Buddy” Scott determined there was validity in a prosecution motion to have separate trials for Rocky and Leon Houston.

    After hearing arguments from both sides in Roane County Criminal Court on Friday, Scott ruled the brothers will be tried separately.

    “I believe the state’s motion is well taken,” Scott said.

    Leon will face a jury first.

  • County tax hike not anticipated

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Americans are in the midst of some tough economic times.

    Gas and food prices are way up and bad news about the economy seems never ending.

    Local property owners might be happy to know that those responsible for drafting Roane County’s new fiscal budget don’t anticipate a property tax increase this year.

    Following last year’s 25-cent increase and a growth in sales tax revenue, members of the county budget committee say Roane County is in good economic shape.

  • Houston brothers to be tried separately

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Two close-knit brothers accused in the shooting of a police officer and his friend won't be going to trial together.

    Judge James “Buddy” Scott found validity in a prosecution request to have separate trials for brothers Rocky and Leon Houston.

    After hearing arguments from both sides in Roane County Criminal Court on Friday, Scott ruled the brothers will be tried separately.

    “I believe the state's motion is well taken,” Scott said.

  • Be a star - or part of one - on July 4

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    The Fourth of July is just around the corner and heavy on the minds of some people in Kingston.

    “It’s what we live and breathe right now,” said Rick Ross, Kingston parks and recreation director.

    Ross and his department are in charge of the Independence Day celebration.

    Something new this year will be a human flag that the public can be a part of.

    Daniel Lasris, a face and body artist out of Sevierville, came up with the idea along with his girlfriend Aline.

  • Harriman shoots for uniform weapons

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    rccindysimpson@bellsouth.net

    Harriman police officers may be getting even more uniform.

    Harriman City Council is seeking bids to purchase weapons of the same type for the department.

    Harriman Police Chief Randy Heidle said providing weapons is something more and more departments do.

    He believes that having the same arms will make the job even safer.

    With uniform weapons, the officers can share ammunition and, in a dire situation, will not have to learn how to use the unfamiliar weapon of another officer.

  • Computers taken in Sunbright School burglary

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Morgan County School officials are working with the Morgan County Sheriff’s office to find those suspected of breaking into Sunbright School last week.

    Director of Schools Mike Davis said alerts have gone out to parents warning them that some student information may be breeched as a result of the break-in.

  • New program approved for clerk's office

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Morgan County Commissioners have approved a new computer software program that will improve the accountability in the County Clerk’s Office along with service to its customers.

    Commissioners made the decision to go with the new program introduced to them by Business Information Systems (BIS) at the request of Clerk Carol Hamby.