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Local News

  • Looseleaf Laureate: This motorcycle mama born to be mild

    I wrote last week about taking the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course and getting my license.
    What I didn’t mention in that column was that I bought a motorcycle a few days before the class began.
    I’d been scanning ads for a few months and had made a handful of calls. I’d even looked at a promising bike  — a Suzuki Boulevard 800 a man was selling in Oak Ridge.
    I also stopped at a couple of dealers, which is where I found my bike.

  • Lawyer lands behind bars

    Attorney Spence Bruner of Roane County was arrested for contempt of court on Wednesday.
    According to an order from the Court of Criminal Appeals in Knoxville, Bruner was ordered to appear before a panel of the court on Sept. 18.
    The court directed that a warrant be issued for his arrest after he failed to show up.
    Bruner, of 211 Riggs Chapel Road, Harriman, was booked into the Roane County Jail at 11:16 a.m. He was released a short time later on a $5,000 bond.

  • Roane County dairy produces organic milk

    Little bare feet, brown with dust, as children explore the expanse of farmland that is their heritage.

    That is the vision Chuck and Julie Johnston have for their three children. It’s also one of the reasons they bought their dairy, which is part of Organic Valley, the largest farmer-owned organic cooperative.

    “We wanted our kids to grow up this way,” said Julie Johnston, who, with Chuck, has been on the farm for nine years now. “We bought all our equipment and bought our cows.”

  • Whaley gets nod at RSCC

    A longtime Roane State employee, Roane State alumni and Harriman resident has been recommended as the next Roane State Community College president.
    Chris Whaley, currently vice president of student learning and chief academic officer at Roane State, will be recommended by Chancellor John Morgan to the full Tennessee Board of Regents and ask them to approve him in a special telephone meeting on Monday, Oct. 1, at 3 p.m.
    Whaley was grateful for Morgan’s recommendation.

  • Courthouse to stay voting site in spite of controversy

    The Roane County Courthouse will remain an early voting location for the Nov. 6 election.
    In August, the Roane County Election Commission directed Administrator of Elections Charles Holiway to send a letter to the state, requesting that the county be allowed to use Kingston Community Center instead of the courthouse.
    Holiway said he recently became aware of a state law that would have made the move OK, but after checking with the community center, he decided that it was best for early voting to remain at the courthouse for the time being. 

  • Mayfield pleads guilty, gets diversion

    Michael Mayfield pleaded guilty in his tire-cutting case Monday morning in Roane County General Sessions Court.
    Mayfield, the son of Mayfield Dairy Farms President Scottie Mayfield, was charged with vandalism under $500 in April.
    Kingston police said he used a pocketknife to cut a tire stem on Tyler Threadgill’s 2005 Audi that was parked at the Roane County Courthouse. 
    Threadgill is a campaign staffer for U.S. Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, who defeated Scottie Mayfield and two other opponents in the Aug. 2 Republican Primary.

  • Courthouse gala a hit

    More than 100 people attended the Ninth annual Heritage Gala held Saturday evening at the historic Roane County Courthouse in Kingston.
    All funds raised from the event go back into restoration of the 157-year-old building, which is one of only seven antebellum courthouses still standing in Tennessee.
    This year’s gala is the first to be held in the recently refurbished upstairs courtroom.
    “We had planned to last year, but the elevator failed inspection,” said Darleen Trent of the Roane County Heritage Commission.

  • Chancellor recommends Harriman's Whaley as Roane State president

    A longtime Roane State employee, Roane State alumni and Harriman resident will be recommended as the next Roane State Community College president.

    Chris Whaley, currently vice president of student learning and chief academic officer at Roane State, will be recommended by Chancellor John Morgan to the full Tennessee Board of Regents and ask them to approve him in a special telephonic meeting on Monday, Oct. 1, at 3 p.m.

  • Schools rally to hold onto $1 million in TVA funds

    Officials with Roane County Schools expect a surplus when the $32 million building program is finished.  

    “It looks like we’re going to have in excess of $1 million remaining,” Director of Schools Gary Aytes said at last week’s Board of Education meeting.

    “Any items that have been purchased, but not paid, we’ve accounted for, we think,” added Lee Maines, who was hired to oversee the $32 million program for the school system. “We feel pretty good about our numbers.”

  • Bible, boat tools of fisherman’s trade

    It wasn’t a bolt of lighting, but it was just as dangerous and had the same effect.

    Rockwood native Wesley Strader was employed as a high-wire lineman for Tennessee Valley Authority when he was nearly electrocuted during an accident at work.

    That’s when he made the decision to do something different with his life.

    “I had nightmares about it,” said Strader, 40, now living in Spring City.