Today's News

  • GUEST OPINION: Religion vs. government battles ahead

    First Amendment Center
    Let’s start the New Year with a conundrum as old as the Republic: When religious convictions clash with secular laws, how far should government go to accommodate religious claims of conscience?

    From Colonial conflicts over the refusal of Quakers to take up arms to the more recent refusal of Jehovah’s Witnesses to salute the flag, American history is replete with robust arguments over the limits of “free exercise of religion” as guaranteed by the First Amendment.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: More on Second Amendment background

    From reports we have heard, Sec. of State Hillary Clinton is soon going to appear before one or more congressional committees to testify about the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other U.S. employees were killed, or murdered.

  • Harriman sidewalk signs must go

    Roane County Commissioner Randy Ellis thinks Harriman should make some changes to its codes enforcement.

    Ellis, whose family owns a small business called Ellis Surplus and Salvage, recently was miffed to find out he has been violating city codes by having a small sign on the downtown sidewalk.

    Other businesses, such as the bakery, also have had such signs, but officials said they also have been notified they must go.

  • Kingston seeks rehab funds

    The deadline looms for Kingston’s latest try at a Community Development Block Grant for 2013, the city council learned at this month.

    The CDBG is a $500,000 federal housing rehabilitation grant administered through the state. The grants require no matching funds.

    Kingston applied in 2012, but did not receive it.

    Council voted to try again. A community meeting on Dec. 18 saw 25 or more local residents express an interest in participating in the program.

  • AMTEC program seeks applicants

    Anyone interested in Roane State Community College’s nationally recognized Advanced Materials Training and Education Center — a no-cost, high-tech training program for those who are unemployed or underemployed — is invited to an upcoming informational meeting at the college’s Roane County campus.

    The meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 22, from 6 to 7 p.m. in Room O-101 in the O’Brien Humanities Building.

    Call (865) 481-5436 to reserve a seat.

  • Quick arrest in drugstore holdup

    Kinser Drugs in Kingston was robbed on Wednesday of $53,460 worth of pills.

    Claude Damon Ladd, 226 Little Johnson Valley Road, Kingston, has been charged with aggravated robbery in the incident.

    Kingston police received a call around 5:15 p.m. concerning a robbery at the store.

    “Upon arrival I spoke with Cameron Hamby and witnesses, which stated that a white male entered the store from the Third Street entrance yelling at everybody, ‘This is a robbery and I am not kidding,’” the police report said.

  • Rocky Houston indicted

    A federal grand jury returned a 14-count indictment against Rocky Houston on Tuesday. All 14 counts charge him with being a convicted felon in possession of firearms.

    He appeared before U.S. Magistrate C. Clifford Shirley on Wednesday for arraignment.

    “Sir, there will be a conflict of interest right here,” Rocky claimed.

    His brother, Leon Houston, listed Shirley as a defendant in a lawsuit that was filed in federal court in 2003. Rocky argued that’s why Shirley needed to recuse. The judge declined to step aside, however.

  • Looseleaf laureate: Want to share your Blizzard of ’93 memories?

    January’s winter mood swings have been extreme this year.

    We’ve gone from comfortable shirt-sleeve weather to heavy rain and floods, then winter storm warnings and, so forecasters say, bright sunshine.

    I remember one January that was pretty monochromatic — read that as snowy white and bitterly cold.

    In January 1978, I managed to make my way through a winter storm back to campus at Western Kentucky University.

  • 18-year-old accused of computer theft

    A Rockwood teen is facing theft charges for allegedly stealing computers from Roane State Community College.

    Steven Austin Clark, 18, of 310 Douglas Ave., was arrested on Tuesday.

    The warrant said the computers were stolen from a computer lab in the Technology Building.
    Authorities said Clark took six computers, two at a time.

    The alleged thefts occurred between Nov. 1 and Dec. 14.

  • Flooding from heavy rains impacts Roane


    TERRI LIKENS/Roane Newspapers
    Several days of heavy rains resulted in flooding throughout Roane County. These signs at Kingston City Park are usually well away from the water. Below, park benches and playground equipment were submerging rapidly Thursday, and the walkway path was underwater.