Local News

  • Policy could nix valedictorians, salutatorians

    More changes could be coming to the class ranking policy for Roane County Schools.

    The Board of Education approved the latest revision on first reading during its Dec. 13 meeting.

    “There’s no way you’ll ever get everybody satisfied,” Board Member Sam Cox said.

    According to the revised policy, the school system will no longer publicly recognize valedictorians and salutatorians starting with the class of 2021.

  • Federal suit still pending

    A federal lawsuit against the city of Harriman and its former police chief is still pending.

    Joshua Bridges claims he suffered a “brutal assault at the hands” of Kenneth Humphrey. He’s suing the city and Humphrey for $1.5 million.

    The incident took place at a bar in Oak Ridge on June 30. Humphrey was the chief of police at the time.

  • Hackney settles with TDEC over tank

    H.T. Hackney reached a settlement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation in its underground storage tank case.

    TDEC Underground Storage Tank Division Director Stanley R. Boyd fined Hackney $2,400 over the summer for failing to conduct a system test for a suspected release.

    H.T. Hackney is located off Interstate 40 in the eastern part of Roane County. The company is a wholesale distributor focused primarily on foodservice products.

    The company said it overlooked correspondence on the system test issue and appealed the fine.

  • Full STEAM ahead ...

    A group of students from Oliver Springs High School put their STEAM skills on display at last month’s Roane County Board of Education meeting.

    “We’ve had a very good time teaching art and STEM and making it STEAM,” OSHS art teacher Amy Haney said.

    STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.

    The school board voted unanimously last May to allow OSHS to move to STEAM/block scheduling for the 2018-19 school year.

    “These kids are artists,” Haney said.

  • Smoot appeals to high court

    Shawn Smoot didn’t receive any judicial relief from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals.

    He’s still not done fighting his first-degree murder conviction, however.

    Smoot’s attorney, Bob Jolley, has asked the Tennessee Supreme Court to hear his case.

    Jolley filed an application with the high court last month.

    The court does not have to hear the appeal. A decision on the application is still pending.

    “They have not granted it or denied it yet,” Chief Deputy Clerk Joanne Newsome said.


    From the battle over the school building plan to the renewed angst of an ash spill revisited a decade later, 2018 was a big year in Roane County.

    The headlines of the Roane County News chronicled the year’s biggest stories and the increased circulation of specific issues indicated heightened levels of reader interest.


    Early in the year, readers began to get excited about the possibility of a school curriculum improvement program.

  • Exotic animals to be auctioned at Roane State facility

    An exotic animal auction to be held at the Henry/Stafford Agricultural Exposition Center at Roane State Community College has raised concerns among some local animal lovers.

    The Smokey Mountain Exotic Animal Auction – scheduled for April 27- 28 — is sponsored by the Smoky Mountain Alternative Livestock Auction Company.

    Local animal lover Emily Steele said the auction raises lots of questions and concerns.

    “I am concerned about the exotic birds,” she said.

    Exotic animals often have a murky background story, she said.

  • Santa Claus is coming to town ...
  • Adoption of police policy could net savings

    By Richard Evans

    Changing how they draft policy for the police department could mean significant savings for the city of Harriman.

    During the city council meting last Tuesday, Police Chief Baron Tapp presented a sample policy to members.

    The sample policy was created through the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, of which he, Lt. Darrell Owenby and Det. Kasey Mynatt are members.

    Earlier this year, the council voted to enter into a contract with Lexipol, a company which drafts police policy specifically for each state.

  • Man pleads guilty in scams on local elderly

    A Harriman man accused of scamming the elderly chose not to fight his charges.

    Mickey Jason Pressley pleaded guilty to his offenses in Roane County Criminal Court earlier this month.

    He was charged with six counts of financial exploitation of a vulnerable/elder adult and one count of theft of property under $1,000.

    “He pled to all seven counts,” District Attorney General Russell Johnson said. “Four years state probation with split of six months to serve.”