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Local News

  • Balanced county budget to address needs of sheriff

    Despite some challenges, the Roane County Commission’s budget committee plans to present a spending plan for the 2016-17 fiscal year that doesn’t seek an increase in the property tax rate.

    “I think we are addressing some real needs at the sheriff’s department and jail, along with maintaining the budgets in the other departments with no tax increase,” Commissioner/Budget Committee Member Darryl Meadows said.

  • Judge denies motion to delay Smoot trial

    Nearly five years have passed since Brooke Nicole Morris was found dead.

    Her accused killer has yet to face a jury, but that could change this summer.

    On Tuesday Criminal Court Judge Jeff Wicks denied a motion to postpone Shawn Smoot’s scheduled July 25 trial at the Roane County Courthouse.

    “The court is not inclined to continue this matter any further,” Wicks said.

    Smoot’s defense attorney, Bob Jolley of Knoxville, filed a motion for a continuance on Friday. Jolley is Smoot’s fifth court-appointed attorney.

  • 25 apply to fill Rockwood High principal post

    Rockwood High School isn’t the only place where a new face will be occupying the principal’s office this upcoming school year.

    Roane County Schools also has principal openings at Ridge View Elementary School in Rockwood and Dyllis Springs Elementary School near Oliver Springs.

    Alan Reed retired as principal at Rockwood High this year.

    Director of Schools Gary Aytes said Dyllis Springs principal David Stevens also retired and Ridge View principal Robin Smith resigned.

    Interviews for the open positions are under way this week.

  • ‘Big Hero 6’ voted to be shown at Cobbler Festival

    The votes are in — online voters have cast their ballots and chosen “Big Hero 6” to be shown as the sundown outdoor movie at the inaugural Harriman Fruit Cobbler Festival.

    The festival will be from 5 to 10 p.m. July 23 at David Webb Riverfront Park, Harriman.

    Activities at the festival also include the fruit cobbler competition and family activities.

    Visit www.cityofharriman.net or the city’s Facebook page for details.

  • GLIMPSES: 9/11 aftershocks and Election ’16

    By Mark Banker

    Author’s note: The following three premises are essential to this column: 1) None of us see the past or present with absolute clarity; 2) Each of us has the capacity for glimpses of informed insight that draw from and reflect our personal values; and 3) Cordial, forthright exchange of those insights enhances our mutual well being.

    When our great-grandchildren attempt to make sense of our lives in the 21st century’s first two decades, they will surely point to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and their wide-ranging aftershocks.

  • Kingston Library hosts Olympic Day

    Kingston Public Library children’s librarian Barbara Thorbjornsen wants to make reading fun for area kids this summer. She showed that Wednesday as the library hosted a special Olympic style event at Southwest Point.

    “It’s part of our summer reading program,”  Thorbjornsen said. “The theme this year is sports so I thought I’d do an Olympic Day with the kids.”

    “We’ll have a different program every Wednesday in June at 1 p.m. The next two weeks we will be doing face painting and balloon animals.”

  • Midway coach moved: Sheriff says Leffew center of investigation

    Midway High School boys basketball coach Jon Leffew has been reassigned by the school system.

    “He is transferred to Harriman Middle School eighth grade,” Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes said Thursday.

    Aytes was mum about what led to the transfer.

    “It was a better place for him,” Aytes said about Harriman Middle School.

    Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said Leffew was the subject of a recent investigation conducted by his office, though he didn’t provide details about the allegations or the result.

  • Lack of court reporter prompts delay in child starvation case

    Circuit Court Judge Mike Pemberton quickly realized there was a problem when he took the bench for a hearing in the Clifford Dotson starvation case on Friday.

    “Where’s the court reporter?” he asked.

    Pemberton stepped down from the bench to find out, and later announced the hearing was postponed over the lack of a court reporter.

    “I don’t know who dropped the ball,” he said.

  • Harriman doctor’s DUI case going back to court

    The DUI case against Dr. Clary Foote was on the June 13 Roane County General Sessions Court criminal docket.

    There was no resolution, however, as the case was reset for Aug. 22.

    District Attorney General Russell Johnson said his office is still waiting for the results of Foote’s drug screen.

    Foote, who has a doctor’s office in Harriman, was arrested for DUI by State Trooper Robert Woody on April 17.

  • Family Promise looking to BBQ to raise money

    Roane County’s best home cooks will be offering up tantalizing juicy barbecue, and it’s all for a good cause.

    Family Promise of Roane County, a nonprofit hoping to help area homeless families, is hosting its first barbecue cook-off on Saturday, July 16, at Roane County Park.

    “What better fun in the summer than licking barbecue off our elbows?” quipped Kathy Hoch.

    “We are hoping to have it be a good thing and a yearly event.”