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Local News

  • Racial slurs prompt civil rights probe

    Racial slurs painted on the walkways outside the main entrance to Oliver Springs High School are being investigated by local authorities and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    The anti-Hispanic comments were aimed at a school administrator.

    “It was several different racial slurs,” Oliver Springs High School resource officer Steve Sanders said.

    About eight different places were defaced by blue painted words, in some cases including the last name of the administrator.

  • Change of course for Riverboat

    A request to defer payments from the Watts Bar Riverboat Co. to the city was pulled at Tuesday’s Kingston City Council meeting.

    Dave Westberg, head of the riverboat company, spoke during citizen comments to tell the council that he was pulling his request.

    “We have received some good, positive information and believe that we will be able to pay the city by this Friday,” Westberg told the council. “With that, we will leave it.”

    He did not explain the change of fortune, nor did he return a call from the Roane County News.

  • Houstons' bond remains at $900,000

    Rocky Houston was on his best behavior during Thursday's hearing at the Roane County Courthouse. However, that wasn't enough to convince Judge James "Buddy" Scott to lower his bond. After close to six hours of testimony, court recesses and arguments by lawyers, Scott decided that bond for Rocky Houston and his brother Leon Houston should remain at $900,000 for now.

  • Train strikes vehicle with woman in it

    Roane County E-911 received a call at 12:17 a.m. Tuesday that a train had just hit a car outside of Rockwood, with a female driver inside.

    The Norfolk-Southern train was traveling southbound and struck the vehicle at McNew Road near Manufacturers Road off of Hwy. 27.

    The accident was near the Roane County Animal Shelter.

    According to spokesman Robin Chapman of Norfolk-Southern, the car was parked on the railroad crossing.

  • 'Higher standard' needed for constables

    Roane County Commissioner Mike Hooks had some pointed questions for constable candidate Ray Murray during a public hearing earlier this month.

    “Could you elaborate on your formal law enforcement training and whether or not you are a graduate of any law enforcement academy?” Hooks asked.

    “No, I’m not a graduate of any law enforcement academy,” Murray responded. “No law enforcement training is required.”

    Murray is right.

  • A proud and solemn day
  • Emory River land acquisition completed near Frozen Head

    Late last week, Governor Phil Bredesen announced that the Emory River acquisition adjacent to Frozen Head State Natural Area and Park has been completed. The acquisition is part of an overall 127,854 acre project to connect forestlands in Morgan, Scott, Campbell and Anderson counties.

  • County restores Davis Road to list

    County commissioners voted Monday night to restore Farley Davis Road to the road list at 1.7 miles.

    The situation has been under review by the road committee for several weeks and members of the McCartt family were happy with last night’s decision.

    Descendants of Pleas and Annie McCartt brought their concerns along with their attorney to the October Morgan County Road Committee meeting.

  • 'Dropout factories' dropping off list

    Local school officials have plenty of allies in their dismay about a recent study conducted by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

    A Google search of the term “dropout factory” reveals pages and pages of stories on the Internet of schools across the country disputing the findings of the study.

    Dropout factory was the label Johns Hopkins researchers gave high schools whose graduating classes were 60 percent or less the size the same class was when it entered the high school.

  • Gas spike hits hard

    Feeling like your pockets are being drained at the pump?

    You aren’t alone. Heading into the weekend, Tennesseans were paying around $3 a gallon for regular unleaded gasoline.

    “There’s a lot going on right now, and none of it is real good as far as gas prices are concerned,” said Don Lindsey, a spokesman with AAA East Tennessee.

    Last year about now, the average price of regular unleaded gas in Tennessee was $2.08.