Local News

  • Pill ring leader says he’s dying of cancer

    John Wesley Goss, the mastermind behind an elaborate Roane County pill ring, could be released before sentencing.

    According to his attorney, Goss is suffering from stage 4 cancer and has three months to live.

    “In view of the exceptional circumstances in this case, the court has the authority to release Mr. Goss pending sentencing,” federal defender Paula R. Voss said in a motion for release.

    Voss included a letter from Goss’ doctor with her motion.

  • Shelters helpful during cold snap

    Whether huddling close and camping out around fires or heaters or seeking a safe place away from home, Roane County residents without power did what they could to stay warm this week.

    For some, that meant seeking help at a shelter like the one the American Red Cross provided at Kingston First Baptist Church.

    Carol Golliher said she got so cold on Tuesday that she called 911 — because she didn’t know where else to turn.

  • Family makes due while waiting for electricity

    Last week was an adventure in pioneering for Jonathan and Leann Isham and their brood.

    The family of six — including twin toddlers Ella and Anna — were making due Thursday in their Edwards Lane home while waiting for the electricity to be restored.

    “You can see your breath in any other room,” said Leann, huddled up on a couch with elder children Tristan and Olivia.

    “I have to curl up in a ball,” quipped Tristan.


    Tony Dean Stanley, a 44-year-old Roane County man, died of hypothermia last week.

    “He was found yesterday,” Roane County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Boduch said late Thursday afternoon.

    “We can’t be sure exactly when the death occurred, but sometime between Sunday (Feb. 15) and yesterday (Feb. 18).”

    Boduch said Stanley was last seen alive on Sunday, Feb. 15.

    He lived in the Eagle Furnace area south of Rockwood.

  • School closings possible next week

    Officials Thursday discussed the icing and tree situation around the county.

    “We’ve got a lot of areas of the county that are in pretty good shape now,” Roane County Executive Ron Woody said. “The situation that we really have to monitor the next two days is ... we have a lot of trees leaning over the roads in certain areas.... We’re also expecting some more bad weather coming in Friday night/early Saturday morning.”

  • Almost there getting power on across county

    Rockwood Electric Utility’s situation is no longer looking so bleak.

    The utility had about 1,500 customers out earlier in the week, and only about 200 customers without power on Thursday morning.

    “We are pecking away at it. We made really big progress yesterday evening and all night,” said REU manager Kendall Bear. He is hoping all will have power by the weekend.

    Areas still without power Thursday were Dogwood Shores, Wolf Creek and Holder Ford in the Kingston area and New Hope and other areas near Rockwood.

  • County road worker seriously hurt in aftermath

    Road Superintendent Dennis Ferguson said highway department employee Scott Martin was still in the hospital on Thursday after a tree crushed him in the winter storm cleanup.

    “He’s in good spirits,” Ferguson said. “It’s going to be a long recovery, but he’s going to be OK.”

    Martin was injured Tuesday while cutting trees near Camp Buck Toms.

  • Fire forces woman from home

    Nasty weather caused a house fire in Rockwood this week.

    Icy rain caused fallen trees on Monday, including one across a power line that caused a house fire at 625 Tarwater St., authorities said. It was the home of an elderly woman who is now staying with family.

    Rockwood Fire Department’s Capt. Tim Robinson said the tree yanked down the lines and caused it to short out the fuse box and the heating unit in the home. That started fires on both ends of the house in the attic.

  • Weather issues won’t complicate school calendar yet

    With roads still covered in ice and blocked by fallen trees, Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes said the decision on Wednesday to cancel school for the rest of the week was an easy one.

    “South of the River, we still got a lot of roads blocked with trees,” he said. “My road is bad. I had to use four-wheel drive to get out this morning, so it’s just not safe.”

  • TVA breaks February use record

    TVA broke an all-time February power demand record Thursday morning with an estimated 32,109 megawatts at 7 a.m., when the average temperature across the region hovered at 7 degrees.

    In its 82-year history, this is TVA’s highest ever demand for the month of February.

    The previous record was 31,045 megawatts set on Feb. 5, 2009, when the Valleywide temperature was 15 degrees.

    TVA’s all-time power demand record is 33,482 megawatts on Aug. 16, 2007.