Today's News

  • Jail ‘not working’ for drug offenders, judge says

    Roane County General Sessions Judge Dennis Humphrey is more than the judge for the new Roane County Recovery Court.

    He’s also a big cheerleader for the organization, singing its praises at the first steering committee team meeting.

    It’s a far cry from his days as a prosecutor, when he said the solution was jail and more jail.

    “That is not working, and it is expensive so we have to make some big changes,” Humphrey said.

  • November trial in Tiger Haven shooting case

    Days after he was accused of shooting at Tiger Haven, Toby Rhynehart said he couldn’t wait to go to court to prove his innocence.

    After two and a half years, he may get the chance to do so later this month.

    “We’re planning on having that trial the 19th unless something drastic changes,” Assistant District Attorney General Terry Stevens said.

    Stevens and Rhynehart attorney Mike G. Nassios appeared before Criminal Court Judge E. Eugene Eblen for a pretrial hearing earlier this week.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Spontaneous observations on various subjects

    Gentle reader, can you believe it?

    The coming week will mark the beginning of the one year countdown for the 2016 election of a new president of these United States and the Grand Old Party has yet to begin the serious winnowing out of their candidates for that office.

  • Yellow Jackets head to playoffs for first time since 2012

    Keeping up spirits during a winless season can be trying. Kingston head coach Brian Pankey knows what that’s like firsthand. His team suffered through one in 2013.

    “It was hard to keep them motivated, very hard to keep morale up,” Pankey said. “Everyday I would just remind them, it’s going to get better.”

    The better times are here. The Yellow Jackets head into the Class 3A playoffs with an 8-2 record and No. 8 ranking.

  • Rockwood linemen are motivated by food

    It takes hard work, dedication and talent to make a good offensive line. Sometimes it takes motivation as well, and for the Rockwood Tigers offensive line that motivation comes from food.

    “We strive for pancakes,” Senior offensive lineman Jacob Wilson said. “We have a pancake board and you want to have the most pancakes (blocks) each week.”

  • Harriman linemen have become unsung heroes

    Running backs, quarterbacks and wide receivers get the headlines, but most games are won by a select few players that go unnoticed. Those players are the offensive line and those unsung heroes have played a major role in Harriman's march to the playoffs in 2015.

    “It's a cliché, but the line is where you win games,” Harriman head coach Travis Tapp said. “For us to run the football, we have to be able to win up front and we've been able to do that this year.”

  • OH GOOD GRIEF: Interesting facts discovered from playoff brackets

    The TSSAA playoffs begin tonight, as Harriman (7-3) hosts Unaka (2-8) in Class A, Rockwood (8-2) hosts Happy Valley (6-4) in Class AA and Kingston (8-2) travels to Pigeon Forge (8-2) in Class AAA; however, I discovered some interesting factoids by looking at the brackets.

    Of the 192 teams who qualified for the Division I playoffs, 63 teams have .500 (5-5) or worse record — 7 in 1A, 15 in 2A, 6 in 3A, 10 in 4A, 9 in 5A and 16 in 6A, compared to only 9 unbeaten teams. There are 116 teams with records of 6-4, 7-3, 8-2 and 9-1.

  • Roane County teams march into playoffs

    After 11 long and grueling weeks, three teams from Roane County will be playing in the playoffs Friday night.

    Harriman and Rockwood will both be at home this week. The Blue Devils, No. 2 seed from Region 2-A, host Unaka, No. 3 seed from Region 1-A, while Region 2-AA champion Rockwood hosts Region 1-AA No. 4 seed Happy Valley.

    Kingston finished the season as the No. 3 seed from Region 2-AAA and will play at Region 1-AAA runner-up Pigeon Forge.

    The game time for all three games Friday will be at 7 p.m. instead of the usual 7:30.

  • Dad pleads for shorter sentence

    The father of a woman sentenced to 20 years in prison for her role in a Roane County meth conspiracy is pleading with a federal judge for leniency.

    “As a dad, I long for my daughter to be home everyday,” Rockie Elswick wrote in a September letter to U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier.

    Elswick’s daughter, Kristi Miller, was one of 21 people indicted in the meth conspiracy in 2010.

    Her 20-year sentence was the longest handed out to those involved.

  • First step in school chief search

    Roane County Board of Education will take the first step next week toward its search for a new director of schools.

    Chairman Darrell “Drack” Langley scheduled a work session at 6 p.m. on Nov. 12 to begin discussions.

    Gary Aytes, the current director, is in the final year of his contract.

    He announced over the summer that he does not plan to seek an extension.

    The school board hired Aytes in 2012.