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Local News

  • Houstons bond reduction denied

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    Roane Newspapers

    Judge James “Buddy” Scott has denied a defense request to reduce the bond for accused murderers Rocky and Leon Houston.

    “I am certainly disappointed,” said Randy Rogers, attorney for Rocky. “I think we demonstrated that the bond was excessive.”

    Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood set bond at $900,000 for each brother during a preliminary hearing in August. Defense lawyers argued that amount is excessive and way too much for two working men presumed to be innocent.

  • Bredesen spends time, hands out grant money

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    Roane Newspapers

    The Kingston Community Center was packed Wednesday for a visit from Gov. Phil Bredesen.

    Bredesen was in Roane County to announce grants awarded to Oliver Springs, Roane County and Rockwood and also to discuss ideas for economic growth, specifically in rural parts of Tennessee.

    Roane County and Rockwood received Community Development Block Grants for $500,000 each.

    Roane County will be using the money for a water line between Roane and McMinn counties.

  • Harriman canine a doggone good narcotics detective

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    Roane Newspapers

    Harriman’s narcotic dog did more than outshine other K-9s at a recent school competition.

    Dugan, a 6-year-old Labrador retriever, left about 10 other competitors in the dust in narcotics detection.

    His handler, Patrolman Guy McGill, said Dugan completed the search of a room in 6.8 seconds.

    The next closest time was about 30 seconds, according to McGill.

    “Everyone was kind of amazed. I was amazed,” McGill said.

  • Two plea deals in Hampton drug case

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    Roane Newspapers

    Two codefendants of Daniel Glen Hampton — the Rhea County man charged with distributing narcotics and with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Dorothy — are scheduled to change their innocent pleas to guilty.

    Larry Eugene Hampton, Daniel Hampton’s uncle, was scheduled to be in court Tuesday after press time to change his plea, while Daniel Lee Go-ins is scheduled for Wednesday.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugh B. Ward would only confirm that these agreements had been reached.

  • Two schools make 'top' list

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Morgan County Director of Schools Mike Davis said it was a wonderful surprise to find out two Morgan County Schools made the U.S. News and World Report’s “top schools” list in the nation.

    More than 18,000 schools in 40 states were assessed by the publication and School Evaluation Services, a K-12 education data research firm. In East Tennessee nine schools received the bronze award. In Tennessee only one school achieved a gold award status.

  • Drugs stolen during break-in

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Local law enforcement responded to a burglary at Ambulatory Care Center and Apothecare Pharmacy Sunday night.

    Sheriff Dennis Ledbetter said dispatchers were alerted at about 9:30 Sunday night when alarms went off at Ambulatory Care.

    Deputy Trevor Shadden responded for the sheriffs office and Chief Teddy Bales for the Wartburg Police Department.

  • Grace and Architecture

    With the historic Temperance Building looming behind her, professional figure skater Charis Bynum gives a demonstration at the temporary skating rink on Walden Street in Harriman. The rink, which was brought to town by Hooray for Harriman, is open for the public at various times through Christmas Eve. Skate rentals are available.

  • Constable issue will move into January

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    Roane Newspapers

    Local constables finally got a victory Monday night.

    A motion to waive the 12-day rule to permit the Roane County Commission to take up a resolution regarding the constable position failed 8-7.

    Commissioners Copper Bacon, David Currier, Benny East, Jerry Goddard, Mike Hooks, Chris Johnson, Howard Rose and Fred Tedder all voted against waiving the 12-day rule.

    Troy Beets, James Brummett, Ray Cantrell, Bobby Collier, James Harmon, Nadine Jackson and David Olsen voted in the minority.

  • Committee asks county to seek power over constables

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    Roane Newspapers

    The first step in what appears to be a long process in abolishing constables in Roane County was taken Thursday night.

    A resolution that would ask the county’s legislative delegation to give the commission the power to abolish or control the police powers of constables was passed unanimously by the legislative liaison committee.

    The request can be made to state Sen. Tommy Kilby and state Rep. Dennis Ferguson, County Commission Chairman Troy Beets said, by a majority vote of the county commission.

  • State board decertifies county jail

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    Roane Newspapers

    The aging Roane County Jail is no longer certified.

    The Tennessee Corrections Institute Board of Control voted to decertify the facility last week.

    The jail can operate as usual, but possible ramifications from the decertification could include higher insurance premiums and inmate lawsuits.