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Local News

  • Board keeps $68 million price tag on program

    The Roane County Board of Education vowed to make some cuts to its $68 million building plan during a joint work session at Roane State Community College last month.

    “We’ll cut every place we can cut to bring this price down,” Board Member Mike “Brillo” Miller pledged on March 27.

    “As Mr. Miller said, we’ll do our best to cut it down,” Board Member Danny Wright added.

    That didn’t happen on Thursday.

  • Calfee proud to serve 32nd District three terms

    Incumbent 32nd District State Representative Kent Calfee, R-Kingston, will look to secure his fourth term in the November 2018 election.

    “I want to continue adding on to the successes of my last six years,” Calfee said.

    A former Roane County Commissioner and part-time farmer who retired from Oak Ridge National Lab, Calfee said he is proud to have been a part of the legislative effort to fund and promote higher education.

    Last year he carried the bill in the house that would expand participation in community colleges.

  • Work session on new school now at RCHS

    The site of the Roane County Commission’s April 26 work session has changed.

    The work session was previously scheduled to take place at the Roane County Courthouse, but Commission Chairman Ron Berry said it will now be held at the Roane County High School auditorium.

    He said crowd accommodation is the reason behind the change.

    “We may not have 20 people there, but if we have 100 people there I don’t want them to not be able to listen,” Berry said.

  • Suspected drug deal linked to gunshot victim

    A man walked into Roane Medical Center on Thursday around 5:30 p.m. with a gunshot wound.

    Law enforcement authorities said he was shot during a suspected drug deal gone bad on Fred Davis Junior Road.

    “Instead of selling pills they were going to rob him,” Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said on Friday.

    “So we got what looks like a robbery and a dope deal gone bad combination.”

    Stockton identified the shooting victim as John R. Lakin.

  • Harriman eyes lot for fire training

    Harriman Fire Department has found a new use for a city owned piece of property that could benefit all of Roane County.

    Harriman Fire Chief Brad Daniels proposes using the former Coleman Log Company property for a fire tower and burn room for training purposes.

    It’s on lower Margrave Drive, past the Harriman Public Works.

    “This has been a goal of mine and the men of the department. We need a place where we can sharpen our skills on a daily basis so we can give the best service to our citizens,” said Daniels.

  • Harriman police chief resigns

    Less than two years on the job, Harriman Police Chief Derek Pacifico has resigned.

    “Although there is still much to do, it has come time for a change in leadership,” Pacifico said in a letter posted on the Harriman Police Department’s Facebook page. “As such, as of midnight Sunday the 22nd, I have resigned my position as Chief of Police.”

    A post from Pacifico said the letter was sent to the men and women of the Harriman Police Department.

  • Former RPD officer charged with domestic

    A former police officer is facing a domestic assault charge. David Blake Norman, 32, was booked into the Roane County Jail on April 17 around 11 p.m.

    The alleged victim is his wife.

    Roane County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Tim Hawn spoke with Danielle Norman about the alleged assault earlier that day.

    “Danielle stated that Blake struck her in the side of the face on the right side, causing her nose to bleed,” Hawn wrote in an incident report.

    The report also said Hawn noticed blood and bruising on Danielle’s face.

  • Blencoe hopes her bid for office inspires Dems

    Mary Ellen Blencoe, Democratic candidate for the 32nd District State House of Representatives seat, is enthusiastic about being a part of the election process even though she admits that she might not even be living in Roane County come the Novemeber election.

    Backed by Roane County Democratic party leaders wearing “Blue Wave” t-shirts that symbolize the party hopes for the 2018 election, Blencoe told the meeting of local Democrats that she made the decision to run as more of a statement of encouragement to Democrat voters and candidates.

  • Watkins gets performance bonus of 15k

    Roane County Director of Schools Leah Rice Watkins received a $15,000 performance bonus in 2016-17, her first year on the job.

    The bonus is the maximum amount allowable under the contract she signed with the Roane County Board of Education. The contract was set to expire on June 30, 2020, but the board extended it last year to June 30, 2021.

    The $15,000 bonus was in addition to the $120,000 salary Watkins received in 2016-17. Her salary for 2017-18 is $125,000.

    The bonus amount is based on the school board’s evaluation of the director.

  • Roane County positive despite audit findings

    Roane County’s most recent state audit noted some findings in the Office of Director of Accounts and Budgets.

    “The office had deficiencies in budget operations,” the audit said.

    The audit occurs annually and is conducted by the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury. It was released last month.

    One of the deficiencies listed said total expenditures in the General Debt Service Fund exceeded total appropriations by the County Commission by $11,564.