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Today's News

  • Teacher's incest case revisited

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Criminal Court Judge E. Eugene Eblen denied Kevin Spurling’s request for judicial diversion in October 2008.

    Judicial diversion allows a person to go through probation, and upon its successful completion, have the crime they are convicted of erased from their record.

    Spurling is a former school teacher in Knox County. He was indicted in February 2006 for statutory rape and incest. The Roane County victim was his then 14-year-old stepdaughter.

  • Fingerpointing begins on Rose Circle mess

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    South of the River Constable Butch Barding suspects officials may have been playing politics with a junkyard case.

    Roane County accused James and Patricia Woods and Dean and Nola Howard of operating a junkyard at 123 Rose Circle.

    The county filed its complaint against the property owners in July 2006, but the case didn’t get settled until last week.  

  • Napier leads Cherokee to next round

    By GOOSE LINDSAY

    Roane Newspapers

    Cherokee's Jade Napier put on a show Friday night.

    The Lady Jacket point guard scored a game-high 24 points in less than three periods of play to lead Ashley Brackett's squad to a 48-34 victory over Robertsville in the first round of the TMSAA Large School Division Sectional Tournament at Sevierville Middle School.

    Napier and her Lady Jacket teammates put Friday's game away early. Cherokee raced out to an 18-5 lead after six minutes of play with 10 points from Napier leading the way.

  • UPDATE: Police arrest husband in honeymoon murder case

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    A man accused of killing his wife while honeymooning in Pigeon Forge is in custody at the Sevier County Jail. Pigeon Forge Police Chief Jack Baldwin said Brian L. Umphrey was captured by Athens police Tuesday afternoon.

    Umphrey, 34, has been charged with first-degree murder. He's accused of killing Cassandra M. Petry of Rockwood. Pigeon Forge police discovered her body in a motel Monday night. Police said Petry, 36, appeared to had been stabbed.

  • Constable race might be moot

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Ten people have picked up petitions to run for constable positions in the August election, according to the Roane County Election Commission Web site.

    Their campaigns could be a waste of time if the county commission follows through with a referendum on constables.

  • Kingston edgy over budget stresses

    By TERRI LIKENS

    tlikens@roanecounty.com

    Behind every discussion at the Kingston City Council workshop this week loomed a budget that has not lived up to expectations.

    The repercussions of that budget put an edge in many city officials’ voices Tuesday night.

    Falling revenues were the main complaint, but city financial director Carolyn Brewer noted another reason for belt-tightening.

  • New jail not coming close to capacity

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Roane County has a long way to go before it reaches capacity at the new jail.

    The facility was designed to hold 172 prisoners. Sheriff Jack Stockton said 105 people were incarcerated on Feb. 2. The average population is also running well below 172.

    “Normally we’re running between 110 and 118, something like that, pretty steady,” Stockton said.

    Commissioner James Harmon scoffed when told about the numbers

  • Deal reached in 'extreme eyesore' case

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    South of the River constable Butch Barding was skeptical that a three-and-a-half-year-old junkyard case would go forward on Thursday.

    He may be right.

    Attorneys said they had tentatively worked out a deal Tuesday afternoon.  

    Roane County had accused James and Patricia Woods and Dean and Nola Howard of violating county zoning laws by operating a junkyard at 123 Rose Circle.

    The case was on the Chancery Court docket for Thursday.

  • Proposed charter changes stymie Harriman

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    A full-time city manager and term limits for elected officials are the major changes Harriman officials have proposed for the city charter.

    Opinions vary, however, on following through with the changes. A city manager, for example, would change Harriman’s form of government.

    “People on the street prefer a full-time mayor,” said council member J.D. Sampson.

  • Season ends for HMS

    By BROWNIE ROSE

    Roane Newspapers

    After finishing in the Area 4 Small Division Tournament, the Harriman Middle School Lady Blue Devils played their pening round of the TMSAA East Tennessee Small Division Sectional Tournament opener against Area 2 No. 3 seed Sunbright. Harriman came close, but were upset by visiting Lady Tigers, 31-26, to see their season come to an end.o