Today's News

  • Lawyer has lien against Houston property



    Property has enabled brothers Rocky and Leon Houston to hire attorneys and get out of jail while murder charges have been pending against them.

    That saving grace is apparently unavailable to them right now. 

    “All my property is tied up in an attorney that has been allowed out,” Leon told Special Judge David Hayes during a hearing in September.

    Attorney James Logan has a lien on four tracts of the Houstons’ property for $350,000.

  • State, feds lax in fining for fly ash in Emory



    Toss an aluminum can in the Emory River, and the law says it’s a $50 fine.

    The penalty for releasing 3 million cubic yards of fly ash into the river, however, is not yet known.

    The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has yet to fine TVA for the fly ash catastrophe that occurred on Dec. 22, 2008. A dike failure at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant released 5.4 million cubic yards of fly ash into the environment. TVA said most of the ash ended up in the Emory River.

  • Health insurance ride may end for Rockwood officials



    A number of elected and appointed Rockwood officials now have the opportunity to sign on to the  health insurance plan offered to city employees.

    But if Mayor James Watts has his way, those days may soon be over.

    “I’ve been on this council 20 years, and I’ve never asked the city to pay for my hospitalization insurance,” he said. “I don’t think it’s right.”

  • Could fly ash be a boon to county?



    If any place deserves to become a business hub for turning fly ash into useful products, Roane County Executive Mike Farmer said that place should be Roane County.

    Farmer and representatives with Tech 2020 have been pitching a plan to start an “Advanced Coal Combustion Products Center” here.

    Fly ash is a byproduct of coal burning. It is already used in building materials like cement and grout.

  • Princess to be more than a regional arts center



    The Princess Theater project is much more than renovating a movie theater.

    The theater and surrounding buildings are planned to entertain but are also to be used for arts education for local students.

    “It really can be a very vital economic impact on the community,” said Frank Sparkman of Sparkman & Associates, the architectural firm hired to renovate the theater.

  • 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



    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'



    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



    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



    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.