Local News

  • ARRESTS Dec. 23-29, 2015

    Editor’s Note: Readers are cautioned that some names may be the same as, or similar to, other members of the community.

    Dec. 23 – Wendy Cecilia Webster, 39, 2311 Roane State Hwy., Harriman: driving on revoked/suspended license, manufacture, delivery, sale, possession of controlled substance; manufacture, delivery, sale, possession of controlled substance.

    • Jason Lee Anderson, 39, 321 Laurel Bluff, Kingston: driving on revoked/suspended license.

  • Kingston mourns loss of beloved pastor

    Kingston First Baptist Church’s longtime pastor, Charles “Sonny” Works lost a battle with cancer last week.

    His congregation recalls a man they could relate to who was more than a pastor.

    He was a friend.

    “He was the same person on Monday as he was on Wednesday as he was on Sunday in the pulpit,” said Gary Alley, the church’s student and young adult pastor.

    “There was no facade. He was truthful about his own transgressions, about his own walk in faith, which was very refreshing.”


    The United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program has caught the attention of Wade Creswell, president and CEO of The Roane Alliance.

    The program provides no interest loans to local utilities for projects that will create or retain employment in rural areas.

    “The ultimate recipients repay the lending utility directly,” the USDA states about the program on its website. “The utility is responsible for repayment to the agency.”

  • Road workers ready to take on winter

    Wet, rough and unseasonably warm weather has certainly kept the Roane County Road Department busy these last two weeks.

    But the department, under the leadership of Road Superintendent Dennis Ferguson, is also ready for any wintry weather that might come Roane County’s way in the months ahead.

    Ferguson recently met with city officials and county utility departments to outline the road department’s plans for winter weather.

    Those plans include equipping all vehicles with survival packs.

  • Californian with 7 pounds of meth accepts plea

    A California man caught with 7 pounds of crystal meth at a Kingston motel over the summer has accepted a plea deal in his federal case.

    Fernando Simon Eudave-Castaneda, who is also known as Seven, has agreed to plead guilty to possession with the intent to distribute 50 or more grams of meth.

    In exchange for pleading guilty, the government has agreed to dismiss a charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 50 or more grams of meth.

  • See government waste? Call up the hotline

    The Tennessee Comptroller’s Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline marked record achievement last year in its effort to help uncover the misuse of government funds and property.

    Confidential tips to the hotline helped to identify a record more than $1.1 million in confirmed thefts, shortages and questioned costs.

    These tips were reported through telephone calls to the toll-free hotline at 1-800-232-5454 and online submissions at comptroller.tn.gov/hotline.

  • Living with depression? Help is available

    The holidays have come and gone, but for those living with depression, the season can magnify exponentially the symptoms of depression.

    Claudia Cummings, biology professor at Roane State Community College and faculty adviser for the school’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, wants area residents to know they are not alone now.

    The honor society took on this topic earlier this semester, and its service project is promoting depression awareness and available options for those suffering from the disorder.

  • Dispose of tree ASAP

    The gifts have been removed from under the Christmas tree and, if it’s a cut tree, it’s swiftly losing its coat of green, and the needles are piling up on the floor.

    “Christmas trees are very flammable,” said Lorraine Carli, the National Fire Protection Association’s vice president of outreach and advocacy. “Trees dry out the longer they remain in the home, and can be consumed by fire in a matter of seconds.”

    All trees can burn, though dry ones can be engulfed by flames significantly more quickly.

  • A more costly certainty

    Taxes are one of life’s certainties.

    For Roane County property owners this year, that certainty was more taxes.

    Then again, it’s not everyday you see crowds rally officials to raise taxes.

    It was a formula ripe for an increase.

    An assessment year is always fraught with questions when it comes to property tax rates.

    Add in the fact that 2015 was a year immediately following a major county election, and educators and other supporters asking for leaders to raise the tax rate.

  • ACT changes to help scores

    One of Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes’ goals for 2016 is increasing the system’s ACT scores.

    A change in testing requirements could help.

    Aytes said the state is going to stop requiring all students to take the test.

    “It’ll help us tremendously,” he said.

    Aytes said the change is supposed to take place this year.

    “They have not set the percentage yet, but they say they’re going to,” Aytes said. “It looks like it’s going to be 80 to 85.”