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Local News

  • Making martyr of activist hurts our reputation

    EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is opinion. We have posted it where we usually post news because we are disturbed by an escalating series of events recently involving the TVA ash spill and an activist working in the Swan Pond area.

    At a time when a reasoned touch has been called for, both TVA and local authorities have chosen a more ham-fisted approach.

    Our community's reputation could pay the price.

  • Fatality on I-40 near Exit 350

    By David Doonan

    ddoonan@roanecounty.com

    Police and emergency personnel were called early Monday morning to a fatal automobile accident on Interstate 40 westbound before exit 350.

  • George Hyatte pleads guilty to murder

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    George Hyatte, the former Brushy Mountain prisoner at the center of an August 2005 shootout at the Roane County Courthouse, pleaded guilty Monday to first-degree murder for his role in the death of corrections officer Wayne "Cotton" Morgan. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

  • County wants to haul ash to Midtown

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    The 5.4 million cubic yards of fly ash that spilled from TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant may never leave Roane County — even if TVA does decide to move it.

    County officials are considering reopening a Midtown landfill and charging TVA to dump the ash there.

  • Roane County sex offender charged with killing woman

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    A registered sex offender is in custody at the Roane County Jail after he allegedly killed a woman at his home Tuesday night. Authorities charged Lonnie Lee White of 130 Kerns Lane, off of Lawnville Road, east of Kingston, with reckless homicide.   

  • Houston brothers headed home

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    After being fitted with monitoring devices on Thursday afternoon, Rocky and Leon Houston are on their way home.

    “Tomorrow they're going to be sick as dogs because they're eating real food," said the brothers' sister, Lisa Burris, upon their release on bond after three years in jail on murder charges.

    The brothers were thankful as they paused outside Roane County Jail for a moment before being ushered home.

  • Going home: Houstons thank God, families upon jail release

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    The sound of clanking shackles were replaced by terms of endearment. 

    “I love you,” Rocky Houston said to his wife, Nancy, moments after he walked freely out of the Roane County Jail.

    After nearly three years behind bars on murder charges, Rocky and his older brother, Leon, returned to their South of the River community on Thursday after being released on bond.

  • 'We just ain't goin' to put up with it'

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Residents plan to put up a fight if officials move forward with plans to use a Midtown landfill as a dumping ground for the fly ash that spilled from TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant.

    That was the overwhelming consensus of the people who spoke at Thursday night’s meeting of Roane County Commission’s solid waste committee.

    “You will never have a dump in our community,” Mary Helen Nichols said. “Take it some place else.”

  • Davis town hall meeting turns to TVA talk

    By TERRI LIKENS

    tlikens@roanecounty.com

    Usually U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis’ town hall meetings  center on the same general topics: Social Security and disability issues, veterans issues and the like.

    But Saturday’s town hall meeting brought not only a bigger crowd but a broader list of topics.

  • Confusion reigns after Houston verdict; lawyer says retrial likely

    By TERRI LIKENS

    rceditor@bellsouth.net

    Neither side in the double-murder trial of Rocky Houston will find resolution in their Christmas stockings.

    A jury on Friday afternoon found Houston not guilty of some charges and could not agree on others.

    Judge James “Buddy” Scott did not immediately declare it a mistrial as he did when jurors could not agree in the trial last summer of Rocky's brother, Leon.