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Today's News

  • Patton double-jeopardy argument flops

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    The state can prosecute former constable Mark Patton on charges he was indicted on in February.

    At a hearing Tuesday afternoon in Roane County Criminal Court, Special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood denied a motion by defense attorney Chris Cawood to toss out the indictment.

    Cawood argued that Patton should not have to face the criminal charges alleged in the indictment because Patton was forced to testify about those matters during his ouster trial in June.

  • REPORT: TVA shrugged off red flags

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    The TVA Office of the Inspector General was not fooled by the smoke-and-mirrors press conference TVA had on the root-cause analysis of the fly ash disaster.

    In a damning report released Tuesday, the agency’s watchdog accused TVA officials and the contractor charged with explaining what happened of engaging in a “delicate tap dance” to avoid answering questions about TVA’s responsibility for the disaster.     

  • Man charged in "ferocious" slaying

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Authorities charged a Roane County man Wednesday in what they called the "ferocious" overnight slaying of a Rockwood man.

    Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said deputies took Richard Carl Johnson Jr. into custody around 9 a.m. He's been charged with one count of voluntary manslaughter. Johnson is accused of killing Glenn R. McGee.

    Stockton said deputies responded to Johnson's home on Dodson Subdivision Road early Wednesday morning to investigate a fight call.

  • Man rolls dice with guilty plea

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Instead of taking his chances with a jury, Stanley Marsellies Brown decided to leave his fate up to a judge.

    Brown pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Roane County Criminal Court on Wednesday.

    Assistant District Attorney General Frank Harvey said Brown pleaded guilty blind, which means there was no agreement on a sentence between his lawyer and prosecutors.

    “The judge decides everything,” Harvey said.

  • TVA official seeks to restore trust

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    A day after a scathing report from the TVA Office of the Inspector General, TVA officials have begun trying to rehab a reputation that’s been severely damaged in the eyes of the public.  

    At Wednesday’s long-term recovery committee meeting, TVA environmental executive Anda Ray made this entreaty:

  • Pipe bomb found in home of murder-for-hire suspect

    From staff reports

    A burglary call led to the discovery of a pipe bomb at a home on Chilhowee Street in Harriman on Friday.

    Harriman Police Chief Randy Heidle said the residence belonged to Gregory Lynn Williford, who was recently arrested in a murder-for-hire plot.

    Heidle said the Knoxville Bomb Squad, ATF, Harriman Fire Department and Roane County Sheriff’s Office were all notified.

  • Houstons shed monitoring bracelets

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    The electronic monitoring bracelets brothers Rocky and Leon Houston had been wearing since their release on bond in March could soon be back in possession of the monitoring company. 

    “The bracelets are off,” Rocky said Friday. “They came off, I’m saying, about 9, 9:30 this morning, something like that.”

    Rocky said they were going to ship the bracelets back to Tracking Solutions LLC by mail.

  • Liquor stores may be open in Rockwood soon

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    jraymond@roanecounty.com

    The city that was a spot on the infamous Thunder Road will have two liquor stores opening their doors soon.

    These two liquor stores would be the first allowed in Rockwood and expect to be open by Labor Day, according to city recorder Jim Hines.

    In the November 2008 election, referendums for the allowance of package liquor stores and liquor by the drink were placed on the ballot after petitions were circulated and gained the required signatures.

  • Ash is 'hazardous' when in transport

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Whether trucks or trains, Roane County Emergency Management Director Howie Rose said it’s common for things in transit to have signs that denote potential hazards.

    Such is the case with the trains shipping ash from TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant to a landfill in Perry County, Ala.

  • Harriman officials OK'd to live elsewhere

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    Harriman has been in violation of its own charter, having multiple department heads residing outside the city limits.

    Now, after Harriman City Council unanimously approved charter changes that came back from the state assembly last month, that is no longer an issue.

    Among department heads living outside the city are Harriman Police Chief Randy Heidle.

    The council approved the changes, which included the deletion of a residency requirement, last month.