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Today's News

  • Courthouse shooting trial looms

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Accused killer George Hyatte walked into a courtroom in Loudon County on Thursday shackled and flanked by four state prison guards.

    “The Tennessee Department of Corrections has the means and the ability to safely house George Hyatte in a secure manner,” said James Simmons, one of the attorneys representing Hyatte in his death penalty case.

  • Bond conditions debated for Houstons

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Even if he's able to come up with a $400,000 bond, Rocky Houston may have to remain in jail.

    “He may not get out if I don't have assurances,” Judge James “Buddy” Scott said.

    Scott said he wants to be assured Houston can follow reasonable conditions if released.

    “The reasonableness is what I'm trying to make sure that we have,” Scott said.

  • Houstons still in custody

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Brothers Rocky and Leon Houston left the courthouse on Monday in the same manner they have for going on three years now – in shackles.

    Future appearances might not include the restraints, provided the brothers can make bail and meet certain conditions set by the court.   

    “Yes, I understand that,” Rocky said, when Judge James “Buddy” Scott was explaining the requirements Rocky must follow if he's able to make a $400,000 bond.

  • Will anyone run for Kingston City Council?

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

  • TVA ash cleanup bears hefty price tag

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    jraymond@roanecounty.com

    The cost of the cleanup from the Dec. 22 fly ash spill is estimated between $525 million and $825 million.

    This possible bill was announced Thursday at TVA’s board meeting by TVA president and CEO Tom Kilgore.

    It does not include cost for litigation.

    Kilgore also announced that he has agreed to take a considerable pay cut.

  • County's attempt at jail expansion dropped

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    The first inmate is months away from being locked up at the new county jail on Third Street, but officials are already considering expansion.

    A resolution that would have allowed the county to spend $450,000 to acquire properties around the facility was brought before the Roane County Commission at its Feb. 9 meeting.

  • Houstons remain in jail for weekend

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Rocky Houston was at the courthouse on Friday, but his attorney — Randy Rogers — wasn't.

    Rogers' no-show prevented conditions for his client's release from being addressed, so Houston will be spending another weekend in jail. 

    “This was as quick as I could address those matters, but if they're not in a position to be addressed — and Mr. Rogers isn't here — then we won't be addressing those matters,” Judge James “Buddy” Scott said.

  • Scott stepping down from murder trial

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    The judge who sat through two high-profile murder trials and numerous hearings involving Rocky and Leon Houston is stepping down.

    Now the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts is looking for a new judge to preside over the Houston murder case. Judge James “Buddy” Scott abruptly withdrew from the proceedings.

  • Scott not talking; new Houston judge appointed

    Staff reports

    A bad heart?

    Fatigue?

    A conflict of interest?

    Any answer about why Judge James "Buddy" Scott is stepping away from the high-profile Houston murder trials won't be coming from Scott himself.

    The retired Anderson County judge, whose departure as special judge in the case was announced earlier this week, is not talking.

  • Former Oliver Springs doctor indicted for TennCare fraud

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    An Anderson County grand jury has indicted a former Oliver Springs physician on charges of TennCare fraud and misdemeanor reckless endangerment.

    Dr. Delvin E. Littell was arrested at his home on Wednesday, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Kristin Helms said. The doctor was investigated by the TBI, culminating in a search of his facility at the Oliver Springs Walk-in Medical Center in 2007.

    “It was all really a result of the search warrant,” Helms said.