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Local News

  • Older school buses to stay on road

    Old school buses can stay on the road years longer, giving school systems a break on replacement costs.

    A bill that extends the use of school buses has been approved in the Tennessee General Assembly.

    “Currently, school buses in Tennessee are allowed to operate up to 15 years with a 200,000-mile limit, whichever comes first,” a Senate news release said.

    Senate Bill 1966 will allow buses to be used until they have reached 18 years of service.

  • Leon Houston imprisoned in Oklahoma

    Leon Houston is at the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.

    The transfer center houses federal inmates in-transit to other facilities.

    U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves sentenced Houston to five years for using a telephone communication to threaten to kill Cleveland, Tenn., attorney James Logan.

    A federal jury in Knoxville found him guilty of that charge in November.

  • Road budget comes with pay raise

    Road Superintendent Dennis Ferguson and his staffers appeared before the Roane County Budget Committee on Monday.

    The committee unanimously approved the road department’s proposed operating and capital budgets for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

    The capital budget is $1.12 million. It has $120,000 earmarked for a long-arm tractor and $150,000 earmarked for a dump truck and two “F-250-type” trucks.

    The capital budget has another $50,000 earmarked for a storage building.

  • Schools foundation presents its wish list

    Roane County Schools Education Foundation has been given three areas to focus fundraising on this year.

    They include expanding the robotics program at Roane County High School to the other four high schools, adding an ACT test preparation program, and adding security cameras at some of the schools with older systems.

  • Election field has several changes

    Three candidates exited the upcoming election before the withdrawal deadline. Daryl Cook and Mona Gardner Wright pulled out of the race for District 2 county commission, and Sam Russell withdrew from the Harriman City Council race.

    Cook, who works as a school resource officer, said he exited the race for personal reasons.

    “Things in my life may change, and it may be time to run later, but right now is not a good time,” he said.

  • SWEET TIMES AT THUNDER ROAD FEST
  • Pemberton says filing McFarland ‘attack’

    Mike Pemberton, a candidate for 9th Judicial District Circuit Court judge, said he’s not concerned about the complaint filed with the Roane County Election Commission that alleges he’s not a resident of the district.

    Pemberton faces Roane County Attorney Tom McFarland in the August election.

    “When this issue was first raised by my opponents, we did, as any good lawyer would do, our research on it,” Pemberton said.

    “We are not the least bit concerned about Mr. McFarland’s latest attack.”

  • Tax rolls: Hopeful owes $11

    Roane County property taxes were due by Feb. 28. County Attorney Tom McFarland paid some of his on April 2.

    He incurred $33 in penalties/interest for the late payment.

    “I know my taxes are paid in full,” McFarland said. “If I owed any interest, I paid it.”

    McFarland said that was the only comment he would make to the Roane County News on the matter.

    As of Tuesday afternoon, he still owed $11 on his 2013 personal property tax bill, according to county records. Personal property taxes were also due on Feb. 28.

  • Smoke empties facility

    Smoke filled the second story of Rockwood’s Victorian Square Assisted Living Tuesday morning, but 52-53 residents were safely evacuated with no injuries sustained.

    “The smoke was definitely heavy on the second floor — so heavy in that one wing you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face,” Rockwood Fire Chief Mike Wertz said.

    “All the residents are fine,” he continued. “It could have been a serious situation. Just praise the Lord things were in our favor a little bit.”

  • School board gives Aytes $14,500 bonus

    Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes received a $14,500 bonus last year.

    His contract with the Board of Education calls for a bonus each year, with the amount not to exceed $15,000.

    The 2012-13 school year was Aytes first as director of schools. His bonus is based on the school board’s evaluation of his performance.

    Aytes’ base salary was $110,250, but his total compensation for the year was $126,250.