Local News

  • State says Roane’s schools exemplary

    Director of Schools Leah Rice Watkins could hardly contain herself on Thursday.

    “I asked the principals if they heard me squeal from central office about my excitement around this,” she said.

    The excitement had to do with Roane County Schools being designated as an exemplary school district for the 2016-17 school year.

  • Teen indicted for shooting soldier

    A Roane County grand jury returned a true bill for reckless homicide for the Harriman teen accused of killing his sister’s boyfriend on Aug. 28, 2016.

    Jacob Kinney, 16, is accused of shooting MarStratton Gordon, a U.S. Army soldier who was at the Kinney home visiting Amber Kinney.

    Roane County Juvenile Judge Terry Stevens bound the case over to criminal court this summer.

    “It went from being bound over as second-degree murder to being indicted as D-felony reckless homicide,” said District Attorney General Russell Johnson.

  • Indictment: ORNL production manager possessed child porn

    A man who worked as the isotope production manager at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is accused of possessing child pornography.

    John W. Krueger, 369 Axton Drive, Knoxville, was indicted by the Roane County grand jury on Oct. 16 on one count of sexual exploitation of a minor. According to the indictment, Krueger “did knowingly possess material, in excess of 50 images, that includes a minor engaged in sexual activity.”

  • Puckett sentencing delayed until late 2018

    Nearly two years have passed since a Kingston woman pleaded guilty in a pill mill case, and she still doesn’t know how much time she’ll serve in federal prison.

    Stephanie Puckett was scheduled to be sentenced last December, but that hearing was reset to Tuesday, Oct. 10.

    Puckett didn’t learn her fate that day because the hearing was reset to Nov. 13, 2018.

    Puckett pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone in 2015.

  • Elector’s mail back to normal

    The amount of mail Roane County resident Liz Holiway receives now has returned to normal. That wasn’t the case after last year’s presidential election.

    Holiway was one of the state’s 11 presidential electors. She was bombarded with mail from around the country in the week’s following the election.

    The senders were imploring her not to cast her electoral college vote for Trump.

  • Jago heads up school board for 2017-18

    The Roane County Board of Education selected Rob Jago to serve as its chairman over the next year.

    The board picks a new chairman each September.

    Jago served as vice chairman this past year.

    He succeeds Sam Cox as chairman.

    “I think you’ve done a tremendous job and I think Rob will follow right along with you,” Board Member Hugh Johnson told Cox.

  • County receives grants for ADA lake projects

    Roane County Government will have ribbon-cutting ceremonies today — Oct. 20 — for two recreational improvement projects.

    The projects involve putting the projects in align with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

    They include an ADA-accessible kayak/canoe launch in partnership with the city of Kingston at a TWRA access area. Also involved is an ADA-accessible courtesy dock at the Little Emory TWRA access launch area.

    The ribbon-cutting ceremonies will start at 10 a.m.


    From staff reports

    Harriman’s Clean City Initiative is off to a great start.

    Junk is being picked up and overflowing the dumpsters behind Harriman Municipal Office Complex.

    City officials clarified requirements for the cleanup before the second week gets underway on Oct. 23.

    Residents need to place the items they wished to be picked up on the curb outside their residence on the Monday of the week of their free pickup.

  • Officials taking train excursion

    Lhoist North America in Crab Orchard and the Southern Appalachian Railway Museum is planning a fall colors train ride for public officials, including Rockwood City Council members.

    The train would leave from Lhoist in Crab Orchard and travel to Rockwood before returning to Crab Orchard. Lhoist is the old Franklin Limestone location.

    “Right now it is county officials and the state representatives and a couple of ones like that,” said Sam Maynor.

  • Pair charged with minor solicitation

    A 57-year-old Rockwood man was charged with solicitation of a minor on Saturday, Oct. 14, for allegedly propositioning a 16-year-old male on Gateway Avenue.

    According to the report, the teen was walking home from work when Ricky Gene Lee approached him.

    “Mr. Lee asked him how he was doing, then said he was sexy and he could do better things for him than any girl could,” the report said.

    The teen told Lee to leave him alone, but Lee continued to follow him.