Local News

  • Agency stands by firing

    Omni Visions responded to a lawsuit filed by former employee Vickie Davis last week.

    The company said it had legitimate reasons for firing Davis on March 31, 2016.

    “Omni Visions learned on or about March 7, 2016 that the plaintiff (Davis) had photographed a minor’s confidential progress notes, which were stored in the facility’s chart room, and sent a photograph of the confidential records to a co-worker via text message on Sept. 26, 2015, without redacting the child’s name,” the company’s answer to Davis’ lawsuit said.

  • Record-low jobless rate a cause for celebration

    Roane County celebrated record-low unemployment with cake and ice cream Monday in an event held at Kingston City Park.

    Statistics recently released by the U.S. Labor Department indicated that Roane County has a jobless rate of 3.4 percent, the lowest recorded level in history.

    Roane Alliance President and CEO Wade Creswell said the unique statistical event was something that had never occurred before and deserved to be commemorated.

    “Celebrate every victory,” he said.

  • Changes afoot at Harriman’s Riverfront Park

    The farmers market pavilion at Harriman’s David Webb Riverfront Park is taking shape, and it won’t be long before farmers will be selling their bounty under it.

    “The farmers market pavilion is coming along well. I believe they will finish it next week. The only thing on it that may be missing is the light fixtures as no one appears to have the type we need in stock so they will have to be ordered. However, once they come in, it will only take a few hours to finish them,” said city manager Kevin Helms.

  • Heroes take the FALLS

    When Garrett Crandell decided to surprise his girlfriend, Harriman’s Haley Goldston, with a hiking trip to Cummins Falls State Park near Cookeville, little did he know that their July 5 adventure would be a day the duo would never forget.

    “I told her mom but I didn’t really tell her because I wanted it to be a surprise,” said Crandell, a Roane State Community College sophomore.

  • Wanted: Principal at Roane Co. High

    It looks like Roane County High School will have a new principal when the 2017-18 school year starts next month.

    Director of Schools Leah Rice Watkins said Lance Duff, who had been principal at Roane County High since 2009, is now the system’s CTE director. His replacement at the high school has not been named.

    “We’re still in the interview process right now, so nobody’s been named yet,” Watkins said.

    CTE stands for career and technical education. Watkins said the system currently offers several CTE programs.

  • Sound off about Kingston

    A strategic visioning workshop at Kingston City Hall this week will provide residents with a unique opportunity to participate in the government decision-making process.

    The “Kingston 2030” workshop is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 22. Members of City Council and various committees will be in attendance and refreshments will be served.

    “We really want the public to say what kind of city they want going forward,” said City Manager David Bolling.

  • Body of evidence turns out to be rope

    Authorities believe a man mistook a piece of rope for a body while fishing near Ladd Landing last week.

    After he reported finding a body in the water, rescue boats and divers searched the area. They didn’t find a body, but did find the rope with a lure attached to it.

    Roane County Sheriff’s Office Detective Greg Scalf said they believe the lure belongs to the fisherman who made the report.

    “We took it seriously,” Scalf said about the man’s report of a human body. “You have to.”

  • New contract for schools director

    A new contract for Director of Schools Leah Rice Watkins was unanimously approved by the Roane County Board of Education on Thursday.

    “I think she’s done a great job,” Board Member Darrell “Drack” Langley said. “She’s been under a lot of pressure, and she’s handled it well.”

    Watkins was an instructional supervisor for the Paris Special School District when she interviewed for the Roane County director of schools job in the spring of 2016. She beat out eight other candidates for the position.