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Today's News

  • ONE HIGH SCHOOL: Site to be determined

    It took three tries, but the Roane County Board of Education was able to garner enough support to move forward on a future plan for its high schools. By a 7-3 vote Thursday night, the school board approved the scenario that calls for building one new high school.

    The county’s current five high schools – Harriman, Midway, Oliver Springs, Roane County High and Rockwood – would all close under the plan. The new school, which would have a
    freshman academy or freshman wing, would be the only high school in the county.

  • Midway student arrested

    A Midway High School senior was taken into custody late Thursday afternoon for allegedly threatening to “shoot up the school.”

    A Roane County Sheriff’s Office warrant identified the 18-year-old as Houston Knight of 935 Laurel Bluff Road, Kingston.

    A joint statement released by Sheriff Jack Stockton and District Attorney General Russell Johnson said Knight was arrested “in connection with an online posting allegedly making a false report of a threat” to the high school in the South of the River area of Roane County.

  • Kingston teacher suspended

    Roane County Director of Schools Leah Rice Watkins said she suspended teacher John Plemens following his arrest on a harassment charge.

    “I became aware of that charge and have had to suspend him without pay pending the completion of the investigation,” Watkins said after last Thursday’s Board of Education meeting.     

    Plemens, 52, worked at Roane County High School.

    He was a history teacher, according to the school’s website.  

  • Officer cleared in Rockwood shooting

    An investigation has cleared Rockwood police of any wrongdoing in an officer-involved shooting incident that ended when the victim committed suicide on Feb. 7.

    Officer Rick Thomas was put on leave during an investigation into the shooting after it was determined he fired his weapon during the welfare check on Quentin Swicegood.

    The 58-year-old Kingston man was parked in the Tyler Pointe shopping center parking lot. Authorities said he went on to shoot himself.   

  • Roane mourns history buff Parker

    Prominent Kingston community member Rachel Rose Parker died Thursday.

    She was 96.

    The wife of the late J.C. “Babe” Parker, who was a Kingston banker and longtime county historian, she shared her husband’s passion for history.

    She served on the Roane County Heritage Commission and playing a role in restoring the old Roane County Courthouse.

    Parker, a member of the Avery Trace Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, once ran for mayor of Kingston. She also served on the Kingston Regional Planning Commission.

  • SMILE: You may be on camera

    The Roane County Sheriff’s Office could soon join the list of agencies to equip its officers with body cameras.

    The cameras have already arrived at the sheriff’s office. Chief Deputy Tim Phillips said they are waiting to finalize the body camera policy and conduct officer training before rolling them out.   

    “When we push it out, we want to make sure it’s right — and we don’t get in a hurry and get it out there,” he said.

  • Purchasing policy changes afoot

    Harriman officials may soon be able to make purchases for $5,000 and less without prior Harriman City Council approval.

    Earlier this month the Harriman City Council approved first reading of an ordinance that would amend the city code from its current wording requiring any purchases in excess of $2,000 shall receive prior approval by a majority of the City Council.

    The change would still require a majority of City Council to approve a purchase in excess of
    $5,000.

  • RCHS teacher jailed for harassment

    John Plemens, a teacher at Roane County High School, was arrested for harassment Wednesday afternoon.

    “He’s been having some altercations with his ex-wife’s boyfriend,” Kingston Police Chief Jim Washam said.

    According to the warrant filed in the case, Kingston Sgt. Roy Montgomery met with the alleged victim, Garvin Clay Morris, at the Roane County Sheriff’s Office Monday afternoon.

  • School board votes to build one new school

    High school education in Roane County could look vastly different in the future. Thursday night the Board of Education voted to build one new high school for the county.

    None of the county’s current five high schools would remain open under the plan. The new school would serve the Midway, Oliver Springs, Harriman, Roane County High and Rockwood districts.

    “There’s no looking back,” Vice Chairman Rob Jago said. “The decision is made. The real winners are our children. They’ve all won.”

  • Midway senior arrested for threatening to 'shoot up school'

    A Midway High School senior was taken into custody late Thursday afternoon for allegedly threatening to "shoot up the school."

    A Roane County Sheriff's Office report identified the 18-year-old as Houston Knight of 935 Laurel Bluff Road, Kingston.

    A joint statement released by Sheriff Jack Stockton and District Attorney General Russell Johnson said Knight was arrested "in connection with an online posting allegedly making a false report of a threat" to the high school in the South of the River area of Roane County.