Local News

  • Stout’s new job now officially his

    Roane County Commissioners approved Scott Stout’s appointment as director of the Roane County Office of Emergency Services at Monday’s commission meeting. He had been the acting director of the agency.

    “I think Scott is very worthy,” Commissioner Carolyn Granger said. “He has paid his dues.”

  • County executive takes a dive

    Roane County Executive Ron Woody didn’t have any scuba diving experience, but that didn’t stop him.

    Last week, he went under the sea in Florida to visit Roane State Community College professors Bruce Cantrell and Jessica Fain. The two have been living at Jules’ Undersea Lodge at the Marine Resources Development Foundation in Key Largo, breaking a record for underwater living.

    “It was a wonderful experience,” Woody said.

  • State certifies county jail despite issues

    The Tennessee Corrections Institute’s Board of Control certified the Roane County Jail at its Dec. 3 meeting in Nashville.

    “We’re thankful for that,” Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said.

    TCI Detention Facility Specialist Denise Messer found overcrowding in the women’s housing pod during two jail inspections this year.

    However, following her last inspection on Sept. 12, Messer recommended that the jail be certified with another plan of action.

  • Murder case pushed back again

    Another date has come and gone without a trial in the Eric Gallaher voluntary manslaughter case.

    Gallaher is charged in the death of David Harvey, who was found dead outside the Grill & Pub on July 23, 2011. Police allege Gallaher punched Harvey after a fender-bender in the bar’s parking lot.

    Gallaher was scheduled to stand trial on Tuesday in Roane County Criminal Court, but the case was postponed.

    His attorney, Donice Butler, cannot practice law because she’s under suspension by order of the Tennessee Supreme Court.

  • Firefighters aglow in parade
  • GUEST OPINION: First Amendment getting a workout in recent days


    First Amendment Center

    Our First Amendment freedoms have been put to use — and put to the test — in recent days.

    In the U.S. Supreme Court chambers in Washington, D.C., an angry ex-husband sought to overturn his conviction for making threats over the Internet, claiming the violence-laced language and the vile visions he conjured up on Facebook were just “therapeutic efforts to address traumatic events,” even akin to some song lyrics.

  • GUEST OPINION: Election impact will be apparent


    Center on Congress

    Given all the words and images devoted to the midterm elections this fall, you’d think the results had told us something vital about the future of the country.

    In reality, they were just a curtain-raiser. It’s the next few months that really matter.


    Keith Gibson, the area appraisal supervisor for the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s Division of Property Assessments, asked Roane County Property Assessor David Morgan to provide a specific report on July 31.

    Nearly five months later, Gibson said he had yet to receive the report from Morgan.

    Gibson and Area Appraisal Manager Jess Conway said that’s one of the reasons the state has been unable to determine Roane County’s progress on being ready for the 2015 reappraisal.

  • Prosecutor’s office monitors meeting

    A prior commitment kept District Attorney General Russell Johnson from attending Monday’s Roane County Commission meeting about the county’s reappraisal.

    However, he sent Assistant District Attorney Generals Terry Stevens and Joe Caldwell instead.

    Last month, the Director of Assessments and Field Operations for the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s Division of Property Assessments sent Roane County Property Assessor David Morgan a letter expressing doubts about Morgan’s ability to complete a timely reappraisal.

  • Roane man puts twinkle in Christmas

    When Nathan Hartsuff was a child, the twinkling of Christmas lights made him as happy as did any of the toys he found nestled under the Christmas tree.

    Now he’s made a career out of that twinkle.

    The owner of Christmas & Landscape Lighting, also known as Hodgenicks, followed his family to Roane County four years ago and brought his business with him.

    On-the-job benefits aren’t fancy, but they suit Hartsuff.

    “I like the fact I can hang Christmas lights in a T-shirt and shorts,” he mused.