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Today's News

  • Leon Houston retrial Day 1: Logan back on Leon Houston case

    From staff reports

    James Logan, the Athens attorney who led Leon Houston's defense in his July 2008 murder trial, is apparently back on the case.

    Logan was in court Monday when proceedings opened for Houston's retrial on double-murder charges. He was removed from the case in late July at Houston's request, and it had recently been learned that he had a $350,000 lien against property owned by the Houston family.

  • Cawood, board in records squabble

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    The conflicts continue between attorney Chris Cawood and the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility.

    The latest strife stems over a public records request Cawood sent to the board.

    Cawood asked the board for e-mails and text messages made or received by board attorneys Nancy Jones and Sandy Garrett on state computers or state-paid cell phones.

  • Rockwood man's dream leads him to 'America's Got Talent'

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    A Rockwood native made a long trek recently in hopes of making his big-time music dreams a reality.

    Kevin Neal, 38, went to Philadelphia, Pa., last month to audition for “America’s Got Talent,” an NBC summertime TV series in which contestants show off their varied talents.

    Neal said he saw the show advertising auditions near the show’s ending after July.

  • Leon Houston retrial Day 1: Judge quashes subpoenas for governor, U.S. judge

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Jury selection started in Leon Houston's murder trial on Monday, and doing the questioning for Houston is attorney James Logan.

    Houston fired Logan in July but asked that he be allowed back on the case Monday morning. Special prosecutor Kenneth Irvine objected, but Special Judge David Hayes allowed Logan to return.

  • Leon Houston retrial Day 1: Jurors could be seated Tuesday

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    The jurors who will sit in judgement of Leon Houston could be seated during the day on Tuesday.

    "It looks like we could perhaps do that with the progress we're making," Special Judge David Hayes said.

    Jury selection for Houston's retrial on murder charges started Monday. Questioning the potential jurors for Houston is attorney James Logan.

  • Leon Houston retrial Day 2: Houston jury seated; court to resume Thursday

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    The jury was selected for Leon Houston's murder trial Tuesday afternoon.

    The group consists of six men and six women. The two sides agreed on the group around 4:30 p.m.

  • Officials tweaking plans for schools

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    Preliminary plans and estimates for the Roane County Schools building plan are beginning to take shape.

    During a Monday work session, Roane County Board of Education members discussed details of tentative site plans for Bowers Elementary, Harriman Middle, Rockwood Middle and Rockwood High schools.

    All the plans had a contingency percentage added onto them. Cope Associates, architects for the Harriman plans, added a 10-percent contingency to the subtotals for each project.

  • Public overlook for TVA a no-go

    From staff reports

    TVA has flip flopped a bit on its plans for an overlook at the site of last year’s fly ash catastrophe.

    During a meeting of Roane County’s long term recovery committee in October, Steve McCracken, general manager of TVA’s recovery project, said the overlook would be open to the general public during the day.

    Now, according to an e-mail from TVA community relations manager Katie Kline, the overlook will only be used for operational purposes and scheduled visits, not general use by the public.

  • Officials find about 100 dogs in alleged puppy mill

    By DAVID DOONAN

    ddoonan@roanecounty.com

    Officers from Roane County Animal Control and the Ninth Judicial District executed a search warrant at an alleged puppy mill near Harriman Wednesday night.

    Roane County Animal Control Director John Griffin said the warrant was the culmination of a one-and-a-half-year investigation into an alleged puppy mill at the 446 Poland Hollow Road home of Margery Dodd.

  • Leon Houston retrial, Day 3: Prosecutor suggests Leon may have fired Maadi

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Rocky Houston’s Maadi rifle was fired 22 times during the 2006 shootout that took the lives of Roane County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Jones and his ride-along friend Mike Brown.