Local News

  • Houston vehicle chase case goes on a few tangents



    A brief hearing about a charge of disorderly conduct and assault against Leon Houston had just wrapped up Tuesday afternoon when deputies escorted Rocky Houston into the courtroom to deal with another matter.

    Leon and his attorney James Logan had business to discuss, but his younger brother told him it could wait.

    “Where you going?” Rocky asked.

    “He’s (Logan) wanting to talk,” Leon responded.  

  • Landfill clears another hurdle



    Members of Roane County Commission’s solid waste committee don’t yet know the economic impact of allowing TVA to store fly ash in a Midtown landfill.

    They want to find out, however.

    The committee voted unanimously on Friday to recommend that County Executive Mike Farmer and County Attorney Tom McFarland enter into negotiations with TVA to study the cost and benefits of allowing fly ash to be dumped in the landfill.

  • Ash committe miffed on late notice of health study



    TVA informed a congressional subcommittee recently that it plans to contract with Oak Ridge Associated Universities to address the health concerns of local residents.

    Members of Roane County’s long term recovery committee were irked because they didn’t know about those plans.

    “We thought that we might find out maybe ahead of the game,” County Executive Mike Farmer told TVA officials Wednesday.

  • AG opinion may boost election chief



    Will he stay or will he go?

    That’s a question swirling around Roane County Administrator of Elections Tony Brown.

    Some think Brown, who said he’s voted in Democrat primaries for years, will go because of a newly appointed Republican majority to the five-member Roane County Election Commission.

    However, ousting Brown because of party affiliation might be against the law.

    That’s the opinion of  Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper.

  • Jail hire request substantially reduced



    Eight full time and four part time.

    Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said that’s how many additional employees he thinks it might take to operate the county’s new jail.  

    “We’ve done assessments, walkthroughs and looked at every angle about making the housing pod safe for the inmates and also the officers,” Stockton said. “That would probably be a minimum number that we would need to make it safe.”

  • EPA noted ash radiation concerns



    Three weeks after the disaster at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency handed over the job of lead federal agency to TVA.

    The EPA-to-TVA transition came just days after an EPA on-scene coordinator expressed concerns about a radiation report that was generated during the agency’s response to the disaster.       

    How significant those concerns may be has yet to be established.

  • Lawyers add plaintiffs in ash spill lawsuit



    Seven lawsuits against TVA have been filed in the nearly four months since the rupture of an ash pond at the Kingston Fossil Plant that released 5.4 million cubic yards of the ash into the surrounding rivers and across land.

    One lawsuit in particular has doubled in plaintiffs since it was filed on Feb. 18.

    Robin Greenwald, an attorney with Weitz and Luxenberg, said the original 108 plaintiffs have grown to more than 200.

  • Neighbors protest Dogwood Music Festival



    Alan Gordon left the courthouse Wednesday night wondering what’s the use of paying county taxes.

    Sally Rhynehart left wondering if she'll wake up one morning with a Woodstock party going on in her neighborhood.

    Joey Jaccard departed the building with unanimous approval to hold an arts and music festival off of Dogwood Valley Road.

    Gordon, Rhynehart and two other area residents spoke against Jaccard receiving a special-use permit to hold the festival.

  • Brown bows out in committee controversy



    Amid controversy, Roane County Administrator of Elections Tony Brown withdrew his name for consideration for the Roane County Long Range Recovery Committee.

    Brown would have replaced Matt Caldwell as one of Kingston’s representatives. Caldwell stepped down due to a possible future conflict.

    Councilwoman Teresa Ferguson suggested Brown as a potential candidate.

  • UPDATED: Community mourns tragic death of RCHS senior

    People loved James E. Sams III, No. 8 on the Roane County High School football team, for his winning smile and his athleticism. But it was Sams' intelligence that won him an academic scholarship to Tusculum College. All that was lost Tuesday evening when Sams died in a head-on crash on Hwy. 70. Sams wasn't wearing a seatbelt when his car crossed over the center line on Hwy.