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Today's News

  • VA hospital push gains steam

    Advocates for a VA hospital in the Roane Medical Center in downtown Harriman have gotten the federal government’s attention, including Congressman Jeff Miller, the chair of the House committee on Veterans Affairs committee.

    He is joining Congressman Chuck Fleischmann and Congressman Scott DesJarlais in Roane County on Friday for a tour of the medical center, which will be vacant once Covenant Health moves into a new facility in Midtown.  

  • Smoot waives arraignment

    Shawn Smoot waived arraignment in his first-degree murder case on Monday.

    Assistant Public Defender Walter Johnson was appointed to represent him.

    Smoot is accused of killing 23-year-old Brooke Morris. Her body was found at Blair Road and Old Blair Road last October.

    The Roane County grand jury indicted Smoot for her death last month.

    “I really don’t know anything about it,” Johnson said about the case “I just got appointed here about 30 minutes ago.”

    Johnson said Smoot has pleaded not guilty.

  • House hopefuls vow health care repeal

    Gary Johnston, co-chairman of the Roane County Tea Party, put Ron Bhalla, Chuck Fleischmann and Weston Wamp on the spot Thursday night.

    “In front of you, you have a two-page document up there,” Johnston said.

    The document was a pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

  • Winds leave wake of damage in Rockwood

    Strong winds whipping across Roane County in Thursday storms left many without electricity and caused damage in a number of areas.

    One of the hardest hit areas was Rockwood, where a billboard toppled onto the roof of the near Subway restaurant.

    Witnesses said the wooden poles supporting the billboard snapped at about 6:30 p.m.

    The National Weather Service in Morristown reported winds in excess of 60-70 mph in the Rockwood area.

  • ORNL $$ to enhance learning for Boy Scouts

    A $150,000 gift from UT-Batelle to the Boy Scouts of America Great Smoky Mountain Council will enhance STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education at Camp Buck Toms near Rockwood.

    UT-Batelle is the contractor that runs Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy.

    “One of the things we’ve tried to do over the years is focus our community engagement around education, particularly science education and STEM,” ORNL laboratory director Thom Mason said.

  • Man charged with exposing self at park

    Brendon Seth Luffman had other intentions besides staying cool when he went for a dip in the swimming area at Roane County Park on June 30.

    According to a Roane County Sheriff’s Office incident report, three adults told a deputy they saw Luffman masturbate in the water while watching children swim.  

    “The same three complainants all stated they watched Mr. Luffman then clean his hands and genital area before exiting the water,” the report said.

  • Child found with 4 adults at meth lab campsite raid

    A Roane County sheriff’s deputy out on patrol Friday discovered a meth lab off Old Elverton Road outside Harriman.

    Four adults and a 6-year-old boy were decontaminated at the scene.

    “EMS transported him to the hospital just for precaution,” Chief Deputy Tim Phillips said. “DCS (Department of Children’s Services) accompanied the ambulance to the hospital.”

    The adults were taken to the Roane County Jail. Phillips said they will face drug charges.

  • ORUD growing into Kingston

    Kingston’s utility service has grown by a factor of three over the last 12 years; in the last month, its course of expansion looks to be almost exponential.

    Kingston City Council heard an annual report from Oak Ridge Utility District General Manager Ben Andrews at a recent session.

    The Oak Ridge utility purchased the Kingston franchise from Rockwood in November 2000. Today, ORUD serves an area that Andrews describes as “the Eastern half of Roane County.”

  • Tire shop damaged by blaze

    Goodyear in downtown Harriman is closed temporarily because of a fire that damaged part of the building in the wee hours Thursday morning.

    Harriman Fire Chief Brad Goss said the fire was contained to the right side of the building.

    “It was around about 4:30 a.m. when we got the page. It was in the office area and storage,” Goss said.

    “It appears to have started in the upstairs like where you have storage,” he added.

  • Early voting starts Friday

    Beginning Friday, July 13, registered voters will have the opportunity to cast their ballots for the Aug. 2 state primary and county general elections.

    Roane County Administrator of Elections Charles Holiway is encouraging voters to take advantage of early voting.

    “Early voting is a convenient way for voters to be sure their voices are heard,” Holiway said. “With this kind of flexibility, I hope that our voters will not miss this opportunity to exercise their right to vote.”