Local News

  • Man found in river ID’d

    Authorities identified the man found floating in the Emory River last week as 33-year-old Wayne Alexander Ruppe of Oakdale.

    “So far it doesn’t appear that there’s any foul play,” Roane County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tim Phillips said.

    Some people out fishing on Sept. 10 saw Ruppe’s body floating face down in the river and called 911.

    Phillips said Friday that the investigation into his death continues.

  • Morgan deputy’s badge found during Rockwood traffic stop

    Drugs along with a Morgan County sheriff’s deputy badge were found during a traffic stop in Rockwood this month. The occupants of the vehicle, passenger Stephanie Lynn Foland and driver Jeffrey Wade Hinds, are facing charges in the incident.

    According to the report, Hinds and Foland were in a Mitsubishi Galant that was stopped at the intersection of Wilder and Bates on Sept. 9.

  • Police say teen tried to set girl on fire

    A Rockwood teen is accused of pouring lighter fluid on his girlfriend and threatening to set her on fire.

    Kenneth Samuel Messimer, 18, is charged with aggravated domestic assault in the incident. He turned himself in at the Roane County Jail on Sept. 10.

    “He was showing one active warrant out of Roane County General Sessions Court for the offense of aggravated domestic assault,” the arrest report said. “The warrant was originally reported by Sgt. Dwayne Gray of the Rockwood Police Department.”

  • Missing guns put Warren on leave

    Harriman Sgt. Kent Warren remains on leave without pay as an investigation into missing firearms that have since been located continues.

    “Unless the video shows otherwise, it would seem like they (the firearms) had at all times been within the property and possession of the department,” City Manager Kevin Helms said.

    He said they would release more details in the future as the investigation into the departmental matter is closed.


    The case has concluded for one of the parents accused of letting their 2-year-old son starve to death in 2012.

    Amanda Ann Dotson appeared in Roane County Criminal Court Thursday morning with her attorney Wesley Stone.

    “I understand that we have a plea agreement. Is that correct?” Circuit Court Judge Mike Pemberton asked.

    “Yes, your honor,” Stone responded.

  • Harriman chief on leave

    Harriman Police Chief Kenny Humphrey is taking a leave of absence — and it’s not clear whether he’ll be returning to duty or when that might be.

    “Earlier today, Chief Humphrey notified me that he needed to deal with some personal matters and requested a leave of absence,” City Manager Kevin Helms said Wednesday.

    “I approved this request because I did not feel it in the best interests of Chief Humphrey, the Department, or the City for him to continue serving while he felt his focus should be elsewhere,” he added.

  • ON CUE
  • Lender cashes bad checks, out almost $1,800

    The Cash Express in Rockwood told police it lost more than $1,700 when five personal checks were cashed at the business. Rockwood police are investigating.

    According to the report, Sgt. Jason Halliburton spoke with employee Tonya Johnson when he responded to the business to look into the matter.

    Johnson told Halliburton the checks totaled $1,777.50.

  • Mom in child starvation case pleads guilty

    A mother accused of starving her son to death pleaded guilty in Roane County Criminal Court Thursday morning.

    Amanda Ann Dotson was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree murder based upon child abuse, first-degree murder by child neglect, aggravated child abuse and aggravated child abuse by neglect.

    Dotson’s attorney reached a deal with prosecutors, and she pleaded guilty to facilitation of first-degree murder by child neglect and aggravated child abuse.

  • Freeberg accepts post with Anti-Drug Coalition

    Roane County Recovery Court Coordinator Ashley Freeberg sat down with her clients and colleagues on Friday to tell them she will be leaving to be a prevention coordinator at Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition.

    Freeberg, who got her start in the probation system, said she welcomes the chance to get in the schools and community to work on preventing drug abuse.

    “I’m excited about this new position,” she said. “Honestly, I feel this brings my career full circle.”