Today's News

  • The Garden Gate: Keep cool in July’s heat

    July is usually a hot month, but this July so far has been the hottest one on record. Our air conditioners have been running full time — and we have been complaining full time, too.

    But have you considered what uncounted generations before us did to beat the heat before air conditioning was invented?

  • Look Back: A Little Something From Our Files From the Week of July 11

    25 Years Ago
    Officials studied possible ramifications of an error in a city charter amendment voted on in the Kingston city election. The amendment would change the dates for municipal elections. According to city attorney Sandy McPherson, the typographical error was made in drafting the proposed charter change in the form of a question. The date was correct in the bill that was sent to Nashville.

    10 Years Ago

  • GUEST OPINION: A victory for free speech from court

    A late June Supreme Court decision in United States v. Alvarez is a victory for free speech and common sense.

    The Supreme Court in a 6-to-3 vote struck down the Stolen Valor Act, which made it a crime to falsely claim military honors. The Court concluded that the act violated the First Amendment by criminalizing lies without a showing of fraud or other criminal conduct.

  • Man with Parkinson’s to hike mountain

    A former Roane County man hasn’t let Parkinson’s disease slow him down.

    In August, he plans to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania with Team Fox of the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

    Roger Long said his main focus is raising money for the foundation started by Fox, the actor known for the starring role in the movie Back to the Future,

    Fox also suffers from Parkinson’s disease.

    Long wants to show others how the disease can be largely overcome.

  • 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.