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Local News

  • Lawyer says Houston case taking too long

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    Roane Newspapers

    Accused murderer Leon Houston has been incarcerated for more than 19 months without a trial.

    That has his lawyer steamed.

    “One of my greatest concerns that I’ve tried to voice since day one is this case is going to end up taking far too long,” attorney James Logan said.

    Now, after numerous hearings, motion filings, legal maneuvers and even mental evaluations for the defendants, there’s still no end in sight to the Houston case.

  • Help on the landscape for war-torn family

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    Roane Newspapers

    After the devastating loss of her husband in Iraq almost two years ago, Tonya Herrera heard many horror stories of people taking advantage of widows of soldiers.

    In this respect, Herrera has been lucky. She has some green-thumbed guardian angels watching out for her.

    Herrera, originally of Harriman, moved back to Roane County from California after her husband, U.S. Army Staff Sgt, David Herrera, was killed in a roadside bombing in Baghdad.

  • Kingston Council holding special called session

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    Roane Newspapers

    Kingston City Council, perhaps following the city of Harriman’s playbook, plans to discuss annexation by referendum of properties on Hwy. 70 in Midtown.

    The Kingston council will meet in a special-called session Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at the public library to discuss a resolution that would bypass the county urban growth committee and put annexation to a vote of the affected residents.

    The properties are west of the Clinch River Bridge between the Clinch River and the Harriman city limits.

  • Mason wants Harriman to be Keep Roane Beautiful's pilot program

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    Roane Newspapers

    Harriman Mayor Chris Mason is jumping at the chance to participate in a pilot curbside recycling program.

    With the help of a recent grant, Keep Roane Beautiful wants to start the curbside recycling program by early next year and is looking for a community to start in.

    The program would include pickup of recyclables such as plastic and paper. While aluminum might be included, Keep Roane Beautiful coordinator Wendy Jackson said many people recycle aluminum themselves.

  • Extra tax-freeze workload could cost taxpayers

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    Roane Newspapers

    Homeowners 65 years old and older can start applying for

    the senior property tax freeze on Jan. 2.

    Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham said she doesn’t know how her office will manage the extra work once they do.

    She plans to ask the county to fund additional staff for her office.

    “The workload will increase tremendously with this tax freeze,” she said.

  • Cutting-edge art

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    Roane Newspapers

    Shards of richly colored glass cast a warm glow in the home and heart of a Kingston craftsman.

    John Johnson and his wife, Shar, developed a love of stained-glass artwork when they attended a workshop nine years ago.

    Now the Johnsons have set up a workshop in their basement.

  • TVA scrubber projects moving along

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    Roane Newspapers

    The price of cleaner air in Roane County will come in a billowing white cloud.

    It’s part of the newest scrubber project for the Kingston Fossil Plant, which offiicials say is moving along as scheduled.

    Rick Christensen, scrubber manager, said the project involves the construction of two scrubber towers to remove sulfur dioxide emissions — a major source of pollution from the plant.

  • Governor visits to award grants

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Gov. Phil Bredesen came in person last week to deliver grant checks totaling some $1 million to various local entities.

  • Road remains closed; lawsuit filed

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    It looks like a judge will decide whether or not Farley Davis Road in the Mill Creek community will be opened.

    Descendants of Pleas McCartt thought their mission to get the road opened was successful.

    The road leading to their family homeplace was blocked by a property owner who put up a barricade of rocks and concrete

    Road Superintendent Roy Smith had planned to remove the mound of rocks but left them in place once the suit was filed last week.

  • These Santas carry handcuffs

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    Roane Newspapers

    Red and white are usually the colors that come to mind when most youngsters think of Santa Claus.

    This past Saturday, however, Santa wore brown and olive and came dressed as the Tennessee Highway Patrol for one Roane County family.

    Courtesy of money raised by the highway patrol, a group of siblings was allowed to go on a $100 shopping spree for Christmas.

    Troopers Teresa Brown, Angie Jeffers, Keith Stout and Gary Snow served as escorts for the young shoppers.