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Local News

  • Habitat back to home building

    Roane County Habitat for Humanity recently broke ground on its first home in more than two years.

    “It’s been two years in the making,” said Habitat for Humanity President and Kingston City Councilman John Byrkit. “We’re just so excited we could bust.”

    The last two homes were built in 2009 on Pine Ridge Road in Harriman. This new home, surrounded by others on Hope Circle in Kingston, will be the first of three the nonprofit, Christian organization will build for new partner families.

  • Honoring King


     

  • Kingston mistake meant lower tax bills

    A clerical error has cost the city of Kingston about $70,000 in revenue — and resulted in one employee being placed on administrative leave.
    Taxpayers, however, got a break in the mistake — one they will have make up for next year.
    When Kingston adopted its current budget, city council members approved a $1.0834 property tax rate per $100 assessed valuation. However, the rate that was sent to the state, as required, was $1.034, and that’s the rate that went out on property tax bills.

  • Auditors clarify Rockwood irregularities

    It wasn’t just a couple of mistakes that led to IRS penalties and interest for the city of Rockwood.
    Instead, the city had multiple penalties and interest, possibly 10 or more over the two-year period of 2009-2010.
    That led to almost $50,000 in fines, according to Suzie Jones Clay, vice-president at Daniels, Uselton & Clay, P.C., which did the city’s fiscal year 2009-2010 audit.
    One required report was filed more than a year late, Clay said.

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Here’s some gold many of us could do without

    The menace has arrived.
    I first noticed the dusting of yellow powder on my dark red car Monday around lunch time.
    Pollen.
    Evil pollen.
    None of us should be surprised by the early emergence of the hay fever season, particularly with the nearly nonexistent winter we just closed the books on.
    Daffodils began blooming in January and flowering trees that usually flower first and then get leaves are flowering and leafing simultaneously this year.
    Hay fever sufferers are doing just that — suffering. You’ve seen them.

  • Hands of Mercy food drive set

    The need is year-round for the Hands of Mercy food pantry in Kingston. Unfortunately, giving tends to fall off after the holidays, director Sharon Pinner said. 
    “It’s not really something people do deliberately,” she said. “They just don’t think about it so much during the other times of the year.”

  • Schools needs may require tax hike, officials warn

    Sending a budget to Roane County Commission that doesn’t require a tax increase is a source of pride for Board of Education members.
    That may not happen this year.
    “I’ve looked at various options, redone estimates,” Roane County Schools business manager Eric Harbin said. “I’m not sure we’ll be able to continue the programming we have without asking for a tax increase.”
    Board members were advised about the financial outlook on the 2012-13 budget during a meeting earlier this month.

  • Help sought for Willard Park Cemetery upkeep

    Well-kept cemetery plots mean something to Franklin and Willie Goddard of Harriman.
    That was as clear as the pain in their voices Wednesday as they lovingly tended the Willard Park plots of their daughter, Debbie Garrett, who died last August, and her husband, who died about two years before.
    Franklin hauled large bags of fresh, black topsoil to cover the graves, and Willie carefully raked it out.
    They spoke of their daughter’s last days, and of her schoolteacher colleagues who had made a Christmas trek to the grave to decorate it and sing to her.

  • Checking out the 'Stangs
  • Physicians join fight against drugs

    Count many of Roane County’s doctors among those in the community concerned about the growing abuse of pain medication and physicians who prescribe it so readily.
    Throw in a sheriff whose own son has battled addiction to pain pills.
    What you end up with is a search for answers.
    A roomful of local doctors, Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton and state Sen. Ken Yager met recently to discuss what they can do to alleviate the problem.
    Stockton told of his own son’s issues with addiction and his recent treatment at a facility.