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Local News

  • Jail time gets more educational

    Officials with the Roane County Sheriff’s Office have clamped down on what inmates can watch on TV at the county jail.

    “It’s limited to the channels that we’re letting them watch,” Chief Deputy Tim Phillips said.

    Instead of the inmates having carte blanche access to all available offerings, Phillips said they have been limited to educational channels.

    “It is jail, and we at least want them to try to learn something,” he said. “I think the Discovery and History channels can help that process.”

  • Growing up radioactive in Oak Ridge

    The Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association’s Jan. 9 meeting will feature former Tennessee state archaeologist Nick Fielder.

    Fielder will present the slide-illustrated lecture “Growing Up Radioactive in Oak Ridge: My Adventures from 1951 to 1976.”

    The lecture will be at the American Museum of Science and Energy at 7 p.m.

  • Connecting home and school through math
  • New year, old budget process

    Next year’s county budget process could look like a repeat of the one that took place this past spring and summer.

    “We’re still in the same budget situation,” business manager Eric Harbin told the school board earlier this month. “It’s either additional revenue or have to cut programs, which are people, or look at facilities.”

  • Meth lab numbers up for 2nd year

    This has been a busy year for Roane County as far as meth lab seizures go.

    According to the statistics provided by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, there have been 37 seizures through November.

    The county had 36 for all of 2011 and 2012.

    “That is why I have been behind the push to make pseudoephedrine a prescription requirement, to reduce meth labs,” District Attorney General Russell Johnson said.

  • Stockton once demoted sheriff’s hopeful

    Jared Hall left the Roane County Sheriff’s Office two months after he was demoted from sergeant to deputy.

    Hall, who now works for the Rockwood Police Department, has said he plans to run for sheriff in 2014.

    Sheriff Jack Stockton explained the reasons for the demotion in a letter to Hall dated Nov. 21, 2011.

    “In the past couple of years there have been several occasions where you have failed to be efficient as a supervisor,” the letter said.

  • Chilean student drawn to simple life in Kingston

    Exchange student Fernanda Garrido and Roane County High School student Carly Kennedy, of her host family, see many similarities between teenagers in America vs. Garrido’s home of Santiago, Chile.

    “We’re not super different actually,” Kennedy said.

    Garrido said she likes to watch movies, go hang out with friends and shop, all things Carly is familiar with.

    City life vs. country life is different, however.

    Life is simpler in Kingston.

  • Jobless figures down

    Roane is among Tennessee’s 93 counties that experienced a significant drop in its unemployment rate for November, according to statistics released late last week by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

    The state’s numbers show Roane County’s jobless rate at 7.2 percent, down substantially from the 8.0 percent reported in October.

    That puts the county on almost an even keel with last year. In November 2012, Roane County reflected an unemployment rate of 7.1 percent.

  • Ready for tax season? It’s coming ...

    The Internal Revenue Service will start accepting and processing 2013 tax returns on Jan. 31.

    The delay is to allow time to update, program and properly test all systems after the process was interrupted by the government shutdown in 2013.

    IRS spokesman Dan Boone said the agency expects Tennesseans to file about 3 million tax returns, with more than 2.5 million of those filed electronically.

  • Federal benefits expiring

    The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development is alerting more than 18,000 Tennesseans receiving federally extended unemployment insurance that those payments will soon end.

    The federal legislation that extended Emergency Unemployment Compensation expires at the end of 2013 in the absence of congressional action.

    “We don’t want people who are presently receiving EUC to be caught unaware, expecting their EUC benefits to continue into 2014,” said Labor Commissioner Burns Phillips.