Local News

  • Big bash marking judge’s retirement

    A retirement party is scheduled at the Roane County Courthouse on Dec. 18 for 9th Judicial District Criminal Court Judge E. Eugene Eblen.

    The party will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. on the second floor in the criminal courtroom.

    Eblen’s bailiff, Don Gooch, said he expects a big turnout.

    The district is made up of Roane, Loudon, Meigs and Morgan counties.

    “He’s got a lot of friends,” Gooch said.

    Eblen took over as criminal court judge for the district on Sept. 1, 1978.

  • False imprisonment, assault charges dropped

    Charges of aggravated assault and false imprisonment have been dismissed against Kelly Vance.

    The 37-year-old Rockwood man was arrested on those charges on May 30.

    According to the court records, the charges were dismissed on Nov. 9 on a motion by the state.

    The alleged victim in the case was Vance’s girlfriend, Kelsey Erickson. Court records said she did not want to prosecute.

    Vance, according to court records, has to pay a $150 attorney appointment fee by Dec. 7. He could face contempt proceedings for not doing so.

  • OS official wants litterbugs to pay

    Oliver Springs Alderman Omer Cox would like to clean up the town, but he is tired of being the one to do it.

    He told the Board of Mayor and Alderman Thursday during the group’s regular monthly meeting that he had periodically been picking up trash at various locations, and he would like to see the police chief look into purchasing surveillance cameras to catch perpetrators leaving their garbage.

    “I can pick up litter by the truck load,” he said. “If they are going to litter, we should make them pay for it.”

  • Reporter's Notebook: Could Leon Houston be home for Christmas?

    The maximum sentence Leon Houston faces for sending a threat via interstate commerce is five years.

    A federal jury found him guilty of the charge last week.

    Houston has already served nearly three years, so U.S. District Court Judge Pamela Reeves could chose to let him out with time served at his sentencing hearing scheduled for Dec. 21.

    If he does get out of jail, there will be some things he won’t be able to do because of the conviction, most notably possessing a firearm.

    Convicted felons are not allowed to do that.

  • $20,000 allotted to help assessor

    The Roane County Property Assessor’s Office won’t be without help when it tries to defend UT-Battelle’s appraisal to an administrative judge.

    Earlier this month, the Roane County Commission voted to spend $20,000 to allow the assessor’s office to hire outside help.

    “I don’t see that we have any choice in this issue,” Commissioner  Darryl Meadows said. “Regrettable.”

    UT-Battelle is the management contractor for the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

  • BACK IN CUSTODY: Escapee apprehended on New Hope Road

    Adam Phillips’ time on the lam lasted a little more than a week.

    The Roane County Jail inmate who walked off a work detail at the courthouse on Nov. 12 was apprehended Friday at a home on New Hope Road.

    “He complied with everything we asked him,” Roane County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tim Phillips said.

    “He came to the front door and opened the front door and we took him into custody.”

    Adam Phillips, 35, arrived back at the Roane County Jail in a police cruiser just before noon.

  • Little red caboose behind the — truck?

    You weren’t crazy if you thought you saw a caboose rolling down Kentucky Street in Kingston Thursday afternoon.

    It wasn’t on rails, but the railroad caboose formerly owned by Ray Milmann in Sugar Grove Valley made its way to a new home, Uncle Gus’s Mountain Pit Bar-B-Que in Ten Mile.

    “We bought it about three weeks ago at an estate sale,” said Roxanna Fuller, owner of Uncle Gus’s Mountain Pit Bar-B-Que.

  • Harriman may relax cold medicine laws

    Harriman officials are considering rolling back a 2013 ordinance that prohibited the purchase of pseudoephedrine without a prescription in the city limits.

    Mayor Chris Mason, a longtime proponent of the law that was an attempt to curb methamphetamine labs, now is interested in seeing the city look at dropping it.

    “There has been a drop in what we call home meth labs that use pseudo products,” he said.

  • Oliver Springs hit by late tax fallout

    Oliver Springs had a Wednesday morning visitor who sets the nerves of many government officials on edge.

    A representative of the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury was at Town Hall to look into what appears to be the borrowing of state street aid funds to pay the town’s bills.

    It was a decision officials said was made while property tax revenues are low — and with the intention of paying it back.

    “We had borrowed money. We have not misappropriated anything,” said Ramona Walker, Oliver Springs finance director.

  • Cities deal with property tax holdup

    Roane Newspapers
    Roane County Commission recently approved a resolution to borrow $1 million between county funds — and it appears Rockwood City Council will be following suit.

    On Monday, the Council will discuss a resolution to use $136,000 in the capital projects fund to pay the city’s bills.

    Both actions can be traced back to low property tax revenues caused by delayed tax notices.