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Local News

  • Kingston moves on on budget committee

    By MIKE GIBSON
    newsroom@roanecounty.com
    After tabling it a few months back, Kingston City Council members decided a  budget committee might not be such a bad idea after all.

    Technically, the correct title of the new board created at the July council meeting is the Financial Review Committee.

    “Budget committee” is what it was called last spring, when the idea came up at a council work session, but died for lack of support.

    Its reintroduction this month, however, is a different story.

  • New hearing date set in Butler case

    By DAMON LAWRENCE
    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Attorneys Donice Butler and Chris Cawood participated in a conference call Wednesday morning to discuss a new scheduling order for Butler’s disciplinary hearing.

    The Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility, which oversees the conduct of attorneys, is seeking to have Butler punished over allegations that she violated rules of professional conduct.

  • Rockwood eyes waterfront development again

    By CINDY SIMPSON
    csimpson@roanecounty.com
    Acres of lakefront property are a potential boon Rockwood officials want to capitalize on.

    They hope to do so with a mix of recreational opportunities, focusing first on water trails and walking trails but also looking at one large field as a possible recreational vehicle park.

    Mayor James Watts said he and City Recorder Becky Ruppe had been talking about possible grants to make such a project happen.

  • Alt school on chopping block

    The Roane County Board of Education is trying to decide how to make $1.582 million in budget cuts after its request for a 14-cent increase in the property tax rate was refused by the Roane County Commission. 
    The board heard a recommendation from Director of Schools Gary Aytes on what cuts to make during a Monday work session.
    “Our goal here was two-fold,” Aytes said. “First, protect achievement and, second, to protect our people’s jobs.”

  • State begins work on Hwy. 58/70 mess

    There may be some delays driving through Kingston over the next two or three months, but take heart — the inconveniences should serve to alleviate the city’s most severe traffic issue over the long haul.
    This month, the long-awaited restructuring of the intersection of Hwys. 58 and 70 begins, along with a massive repaving project, and the addition of high-tech traffic control systems on the affected roadways.
    The state-funded project began July 13 and continues through September.

  • Flooding temporarily shuts down firehall

    Rockwood Fire Department’s Station No. 2 on South Kingston Avenue is temporarily closed after heavy rainwater came through the rear walls and flooded the building.
    A crack in the wall had water pouring through it, and water seeped in elsewhere.
    Even the firefighters’ living quarters were flooded during the heavy rainfall that fell over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
    Fire equipment was moved to Station No. 1, and the ambulance service moved to Midtown.

  • Man in police chase caught in Kingston

    A Tellico Plains man wanted on 22 charges stemming from a police chase was arrested in Kingston late Sunday night.
    The charges against Austin C. Burns included reckless endangerment, evading arrest, aggravated assault and leaving the scene of an accident.
    “He stole a truck from his girlfriend’s mother,” Kingston Assistant Police Chief Gary Nelson said. “He ran from the deputies, ran from us, hit one of our cars, hit a van full of people up in Oak Ridge and then took off in the woods.”   

  • This Harriman budget comes without tax hike

    Harriman City Council approved final reading of its 2014 budget recently with no tax increase.
    Harriman Mayor Chris Mason, however, for a second year, predicted one would be coming down the road.
    “I don’t know when our last increase in taxes was. I just want to give fair warning: It is coming. One day, there will be a tax increase,” Mason said.
    He even said that Treasurer Charles Kerley asks about raising taxes each year.
    “Wait, he didn’t say that,” Kerley quipped.

  • Kingston moves to pave Kentucky Street

    Kingston may have finally found a way to put its long-accumulating state highway funds to good use.
    Kingston City Council approved a measure at the July 9 full council meeting authorizing Mayor Troy Beets to apply to the Tennessee Department of Transportation for permission to use more than $300,000 in Surface Transportation Program funds — state funds municipalities receive annually, and which Kingston has been saving for three years now — to pave Kentucky Street.
    There’s a hitch in using STP funds, however.

  • VW success could be big for Roane center

    Sales success for Volkswagen could mean expansion for the car company’s new Southeast Regional Distribution Center in Roane County.
    Adam Randall, a parts operation specialist for Volkswagen, said the 459,000-square-foot facility was built to support the company’s goal of selling 1 million vehicles – 800,000 Volkswagens and 200,000 Audis – in the United States by 2018.