Local News

  • Burglars eye officer’s property

    Two burglary suspects picked the wrong house last week.

    Not only did it belong to a police officer, but it also featured a surveillance system that helped lead to their arrest.

    The suspects, identified as Michael Shawn Walker and Shawn Edward Ridener, are facing multiple charges in the incident.

    Jamie Melton, an officer with the Kingston Police Department, lives at the home, which is located in the city of Rockwood. Melton was at work on Jan. 24 when the incident happened.

  • Police look into Harbor Freight theft

    Rockwood police are looking into an alleged theft of cash committed at Harbor Freight.

    According to the report, Sgt. Jason Halliburton responded to the store earlier this month and spoke with Dan Butler, who works in loss prevention.

    He told Halliburton a former employee stole $6,507.98 in cash over a span of about three-and-a-half months.

    The scheme reportedly involved the ex-employee punching in a UPC code from merchandise on the shelf and making a gift card.

  • Snow day welcome reprieve from sickness in the schools

    Interim Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes welcomed Tuesday’s cancellation of classes.

    The school system has been dealing with some sickness issues, and he was hoping the time off could help that subside.

    “We got to 11 percent last Friday,” Aytes said. “Normally you get up around 15 percent you have to start looking, especially if it’s your staff and you can’t get subs.”

    School officials decided to cancel classes Tuesday because forecasts called for snow.

  • Oak Ridge hopes to take off with airport

    By Richard Evans/Hugh G. Willett

    Oak Ridge officials are optimistic that plans for an airport at the old K-25 site will soon take off.

    Oak Ridge is the largest city in Tennessee without an airport.

    City Manager Mark Watson said a new airport is still a few years away, but the project is moving forward.

    “We are on the state’s master plan and eligible for grants,” he said.

  • Dad’s trial for child starvation to start today

    What was possibly the final pretrial hearing in the child starvation case was held at the Roane County Courthouse on Jan. 23.

    Two-year-old Clifford Dotson died on May 3, 2012. His parents, Matthew and Amanda Dotson, were accused of starving him to death.

    Amanda Dotson reached a plea deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty in September to facilitation of first-degree murder by child neglect and aggravated child abuse. She’s serving a 40-year prison sentence.

  • Commission not happy with updated road list

    Roane County’s updated road list didn’t include three roads that the Roane County Commission voted to adopt in August 2017.

    Some commissioners had a problem with that.

    The roads, Bournemouth Drive, West Williams Road and Lake Overlook Road, are in Pioneer Village subdivision south of Rockwood.

    “They are county roads and they need to be on our road list,” Commissioner David Bell said at the Jan. 14 Commission meeting.

    The updated road list was on the agenda under committee reports and correspondence.

  • Sparky given warm goodbye at retirement party

    The Kingston Public Works Department bid a fond farewell to Doug ‘Sparky’ Romines after a 23 year career by holding a reception for him at the city garage earlier this month.

    Doug, affectionately known as “Sparky,” got his nickname early in his career.

    Romines said he had just started at the department when the rest of the staff were in a safety meeting and he decided to tackle the task of fixing a tractor that had accidentally been filled with gasoline instead of diesel fuel.

  • County has clean audit

    Roane County’s latest audit had no findings.

    “It’s always good not to have any findings,” Roane County Executive Ron Woody said. “That’s for any organization.”

    Roane County is audited annually by the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury. The latest audit was released on Friday. It covered the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2018.

    “Our audit resulted in no findings,” the Comptroller’s Office said.