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Beer board refuses to hear woman's application

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By Damon Lawrence

The Roane County Beer Board refused to hear Roma L. Christopher’s application for a beer permit on Tuesday.
“Because you all think I’m opening up for Grover Norton,” Christopher told the board.
Norton, owner of the Grill & Pub, had his beer permit revoked for a year on Feb. 12. Christopher planned to operate from the same location, 2224 Harriman Hwy., under the name 27/61 Grill-N-Pub.
According to her application, Norton still owns the property.

The meeting lasted about five minutes. Beer Board Chairman Copper Bacon got no response from the other board members when he asked for a motion to hear the application.
“The board is not going to listen to your application,” Bacon told Christopher.       
“So I’m being denied?” she asked.
“Yes,” Board Member Chris Johnson said.
“It’s not that you’re denied,” Board Member Randy Ellis added. “There just wasn’t a motion before the board to hear the application.”
Christopher asked for an explanation, but she didn’t get one.
“We’re going to adjourn this meeting,” Bacon said.
Roane County Commissioner Fred Tedder, who doesn’t serve on the beer board, said he is against Christopher operating out of the Grill & Pub under a different name.
“I don’t want anybody there,” he said. “That’s my opinion.”
A Facebook page called “Help Me Stop the Grill and Pub in Harriman from Reopening” also had 578 likes Tuesday afternoon. 
David Lee Harvey, a 46-year-old Harriman man, was found dead outside the Grill & Pub on July 23, 2011. Eric Gallaher is charged with voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault-bodily injury in Harvey’s death.
Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said Harvey’s death was one of many incidents that caused police to respond to the Grill & Pub. He recommended that Norton’s permit be revoked after Jennifer Lynn Sawin was cited at the bar on Jan. 24 for allegedly selling a Bud Light to an underage informant.