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Local News

  • Kingston gets unexpected funds

    By MIKE GIBSON
    newsroom@roanecounty.com
    Kingston Council members learned last week the city will be able to pay some extra expenses from two big projects with additional money from the grant/loan programs that funded them.
    It might not be scrupulously accurate to call them “extra” expenses.
    City Manager Jim Pinkerton said the roughly $66,000 project to build a waterline across the Clinch River was supposed to have been part of the Rural Development Administration’s grant/loan for the now-completed Rockwood waterline.

  • Harriman seeks new employee over hospital

    A new employee may be overseeing Harriman’s numerous hospital buildings, including the main facility that may be left empty when Covenant Health moves Roane Medical Centers’ operations to Midtown early next year.
    Council member Kenyon Mee developed a job description for a new employee for council to consider.
    “Now it is getting down to the nitty gritty,” he said.
    “It is going to be a problem, and someone needs to be in place before they leave,” agreed Mayor Chris Mason.

  • Lee tax evasion case ‘unusual’

    The criminal case involving William Edward “Eddie” Lee is not something the District Attorney General’s Office encounters on a regular basis.

    “That’s a sales tax evasion case, which just by that fact alone makes it unique,” Assistant District Attorney General Bill Reedy said. “In my 37 years of being in this business, I’ve maybe dealt with three to four of those.”

    Lee owns Big E’s Quick Mart in Rockwood, the Go Mart in Harriman and Big E’s Tobacco Outlet in Kingston.

  • Rockwood discusses late fees, penalties

    Should Rockwood City Council have approved the penalties and interest paid to the IRS?

    Some on Rockwood City Council felt the payments should have come to council for a vote.

    “It is legal. It is a general operating expenditure,” said city attorney Greg Leffew about whether the city council had to approve it first.

    Councilman Mike Freeman disagreed.

    “To me that is not a general operating expenditure,” Freeman said.

    “I would like to know where the money came from,” Councilman Bill Thompson asked.

  • Man offering start-up grants to aid success

    One former Harriman resident wants to share what he’s learned over the years for career success.

    Mel Clemmons also wants to share the opportunities given to him by giving out significant start up grants to a handful of individuals that show they have a winning goal, whether a new business venture or going back to school for a new career.

  • Businessman pleads guilty to 3 counts of sales tax evasion

    William Edward “Eddie” Lee pleaded guilty to three counts of sales tax evasion in Roane County Criminal Court on Friday.

    Lee owns Big E’s Quick Mart in Rockwood, the Go Mart in Harriman and Big E’s Tobacco Outlet in Kingston.

    He entered a guilty plea for each business.

    Criminal Court Judge E. Eugene Eblen sentenced Lee, 44, to eight years probation. Lee was granted judicial diversion.

    He was also ordered to pay $280,752.52 to the state of Tennessee in restitution.  

  • Dyllis Springs: Students help cut ribbon to open school that arose from the ashes

    Breelyn Woodward loves everything about Dyllis Springs Elementary School.

    “She just hates that she has to leave it after this year,” grandmother Vickie Gouge said.   

    Breelyn, a fourth grader, and Kansas Butler, a pre-K student, helped officials celebrate the completion of Roane County’s newest school.

  • Lower school pupil numbers concern Harriman leaders

    Dwindling numbers of students attending schools in Harriman has not escaped the notice of city leaders.

    In response, Harriman City Council members may appeal to the Roane County Board of Education to redistrict the school system so that an even distribution of students are enrolled at the schools.

  • Race is on for Storm the Fort

    Most people would consider the notion of swimming, then biking and running in the late-August heat to the point of exhaustion a perfectly miserable way to spend a day.

    To the 132 participants in last year’s Storm the Fort Triathlon, it was just perfect. Or at least that was tenor of feedback that Kingston Parks and Recreation Director Rick Ross got at the conclusion of the city’s first triathlon event.

  • Bug may stymie brush situation

    Brush piling higher and higher at the city property known as the Harriman Industrial Park near Fiske Heights continues to bug Harriman officials.

    But what really bugs them is an insect that prevents the city from chipping the brush and giving it away or selling it for mulch.

    The brush at the site is collected by street department crews from city property and from residents requesting roadside pickup of yard debris, particularly after foul weather.