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Local News

  • Early vote strong, official says

    Roane County Administrator of Elections Charles Holiway said he’s been pleased with the turnout for early voting.

    Prior to its commencement on July 18, Holiway was encouraging people to take advantage of early voting because of a longer-than-usual ballot this year.

    Figures from the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office showed 5,413 people voted early in Roane County through Wednesday.

    Election Day is Aug. 7.

    Saturday is the final day to vote early.

  • Ice cream company grows in Roane County

    Blue Bell Ice Cream announced on Monday that the substantial expansion of its Roane County distribution center is now complete.

    The project, which started in January, takes the facility from less than 2,000 square feet to 12,500 square feet.

    “Our newly expanded facility will allow us to better serve the Knoxville and Johnson City markets,” branch manager Ricky Holladay said in a statement. “We are very appreciative of all the support we have received from our customers in the markets that we serve.”

  • Fishing rodeo brings out families for fun

    Roane County Park’s waterfront was brimming with children and their fishing poles Saturday for the 24th annual Dennis Ferguson Fishing Rodeo for Kids.

    Five-year-old Julie Sherlin squealed delightedly, catching her first fish ever. She dubbed it a spiky fish.

    “I like spikey fish,” she told all who would hear gleefully.

    Her mother, Jennie Sherlin, helped her big brother Thomas fish as well.

    “You are so lucky Mommy knows how to fish,” she said.

    “I am so lucky; I fish, too,” agreed Julie.

  • Rockwood utility bills to rise

    Rockwood Water, Sewer and Natural Gas customers can expect to pay more soon.

    Rockwood City Council approved first reading of an ordinance to increase rates at their meeting Monday, at the request of Rockwood, Water, Sewer and Natural Gas officials.

    “The board looked at several options trying to make it an increase our customers could handle,” said manager Kim Ramsey to the Council.

  • An uncomfortable admission

    Roane County Commissioner Steve Kelley had intended to keep his mouth shut over a proposal to post “In God We Trust” at the courthouse in Kingston.

    “It’s going to pass,” his wife, Renee, counseled her husband. “Don’t say anything.”

    As the proposal was debated in June, Kelley could no longer hold back. When other commissioners questioned him about his opposition, he admitted that he is an atheist — he doesn’t believe in God.

  • Harriman lawyer suspended

    Harriman attorney Donice Butler has been suspended.

    The Tennessee Supreme Court has adopted the decision of a hearing panel in her disciplinary case, meaning a nine-month suspension.

    Ninety days of the suspension are active. The remainder is to be served on probation.

    The Supreme Court issued the suspension on Monday.

    Butler said she has a 10-day period before the suspension goes into effect.

  • Roane man killed in motorcycle crash in Vonore

    A 42-year-old Harriman man was killed in a Saturday morning motorcycle wreck in Monroe County.

    According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Michael W. Hileman was headed north on State Hwy. 322 in Vonore while riding a 1997 Harley Davidson.

    “For unknown reasons, the vehicle crossed the double-yellow center line and exited the left side of the roadway,” the report said.

    No other details about the accident were given.

  • Female robber sentenced

    A Roane County woman is headed to federal prison for her role in a multi-county robbery spree that occurred last September.

    Rufena Jean Bunch reached a deal with federal prosecutors in March and pleaded guilty to Hobbs Act robbery and aiding and abetting the use of a firearm during a crime of violence.

    Her sentencing hearing was held at the federal courthouse in Knoxville last week.

    Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan sentenced Bunch to 74 months – 50 on the aiding and abetting conviction, and 24 on the robbery conviction.

  • History Hound contest allows dogs to dig into the past

    Have a blast with your past at the East Tennessee History Fair.

    The “History Hound” dog costume contest is a feature event of the Annual East Tennessee History Fair being held on Saturday, Aug. 16.

    Bring your canine companion in his best historic costume to have him crowned History Hound.

    Local celebrities will be judging pets for “Most East Tennessee Spirit” and “Best Historic Costume.” Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. in Krutch Park in downtown Knoxville.

  • Civil War cemetery gets TVA help

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    The Kendrick Cemetery on New Hope Road sits on the edge of Watts Bar Lake, near a bank that was dissolving away.

    TVA recently took measures to remedy that, putting down a barrier of large rocks at the bank to stem erosion.

    TVA spokesman Travis Brickey said funds were allocated for the work after the agency was informed about the problem last year.

    Buddy Marsh, the man who called TVA, lives next to the cemetery on land he inherited from his family.