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Today's News

  • 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.

  • Controversial constable turns himself in to authorities after indictment

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Roane County Constable Mark Patton is supposed to uphold the law, but he continues to be accused of running afoul of it. He was indicted by a Roane County grand jury this week on two counts reckless endangerment. Patton turned himself in Thursday night. He's supposed to be arraigned on Monday.

    "I can't wait to beat the cases and for justice to prevail," said Patton as he walked out of the Roane County Jail.

    The charges involve family members of top law enforcement officials.

  • Official: Suspicious death deemed one of 'natural causes'

    A man first believed to be the victim of a homicide died of natural causes, Roane County Sheriff's officials ascertained Friday afternoon.

    "It appears that the gentlemen died of natural causes based on the medical examiner's examination,” Roane County Chief Deputy Tim Phillips said.

    The man, whom Phillips described as "an elderly gentleman," was found dead mid-afternoon Friday in the front yard of a Robbins Road home just outside the Harriman city limits. Preliminary reports at the scene indicated that he may have been either stabbed or shot.

  • Mink ineligible to play for RSCC

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    He’s been splashed across the national news as a senior citizen athlete, but now it appears his time on the court may be fading.

    Ken Mink, 73, joined the Roane State Community College men’s basketball team last fall in hopes of fulfilling his dream of completing his college basketball career.

    As a young man, he first saw his dream go up in smoke when he was kicked from the team after he was accused of a prank on the coach of his Kentucky junior college.

  • Wampler leaving Rockwood parks, rec

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    Rockwood will be losing its longtime parks and recreation director.

    Robin Wampler, who has served in the role since 2001, has decided to return to his career with Jerry Duncan Ford in downtown Harriman, where he was once employed for 16 years.

    Wampler said his longtime friend, Marty Duncan, will soon take the helm of the dealership.

    “It is something that took a long time for me to decide, because I really like working with the kids,” he said.

  • Convenience wine sales bill could cost jobs

    By TERRI LIKENS

    tlikens@roanecounty.com

    Art Austin, owner of Cheers of Kingston, isn’t feeling too cheery lately.

    His liquor store stands to lose substantial business as a result of a bill that could allow the sale of wine at food stores.

    Austin knows all too well what that kind of competition can do to a small business. He ran the IGA in Harriman until big stores like Wal-Mart and Food City put him out of buiness.