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Local News

  • Why no TVA funds for Midtown school?

    Roane County Schools’ $32 million building program didn’t include any projects at Midtown Elementary School.

    “They were in pretty good shape,” Director of Schools Gary Aytes said. “There was no big needs there.”

    The $32 million building program was funded with money TVA made available to the county because of the ash spill at the Kingston Fossil Plant.

    More than 5 million cubic yards of fly ash spilled over 300 acres following an early morning dike failure on Dec. 22, 2008.

  • Reed: 18 kids, one host and varied cultures

    Alan Reed first volunteered as a host family when two college students needed a place to stay as they finished their degree programs at Roane State Community College.

    Coach Randy Nesbit asked Reed to consider it, and the Rockwood High School principal soon found he enjoyed learning about the young people and their countries, Croatia and the Bahamas.

    “Just sitting around and talking and finding out different things about their countries enthused me that would be really neat for our high school students,” he said.

  • International students at home in Rockwood:Rural living adjustment for Vienna’s Pochieser

    Moises Pedroza decided America would be a great place to become more fluent in English.

    The soft-spoken Colombian 16-year-old is attending Rockwood High School this year as an exchange student.

    “I chose this place because nobody speaks Spanish here,” Pedroza said. “In Colombia, English is very important for college work and jobs.”

    He’s staying with Rockwood High School Principal Alan Reed, who has hosted numerous exchange students, including Moises’ brother, Javier.

  • International students at home in Rockwood: Moises second Pedroza to stay with principal

    Moises Pedroza decided America would be a great place to become more fluent in English.

    The soft-spoken Colombian 16-year-old is attending Rockwood High School this year as an exchange student.

    “I chose this place because nobody speaks Spanish here,” Pedroza said. “In Colombia, English is very important for college work and jobs.”

    He’s staying with Rockwood High School Principal Alan Reed, who has hosted numerous exchange students, including Moises’ brother, Javier.

  • Could TVA disaster have been prevented?

    During his closing argument in the 2011 TVA ash spill trial, plaintiffs’ attorney Jeff Friedman told the federal judge presiding over the case that signs of impending failure were everywhere.

    Friedman wasn’t referring to the Dec. 22, 2008 disaste. He was talking about the fateful Oct. 20, 2008, inspection of the dike that would fail just more than two months later.

    That inspection was performed by TVA employees Chris Buttram, Jamey Dotson and John Albright.

  • $1 billion later: Ash cleanup likely to continue into 2015

    Five years after the ash spill, the area around TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant still remains an active construction site.

    “I would estimate we are about 85 percent complete,” said Craig Zeller, the project manager for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is overseeing the cleanup.

    Work is expected to continue well into next year.

    “The bulk of the ash recovery project should be completed a year from now,” Zeller said. “We may have some minor loose ends to tie up, perhaps into February 2015.”

  • Suit: Lag in report of alleged sex abuse

    A lawsuit filed against Roane County Schools alleges a Midway Middle School special-needs student was sexually abused by another student on a school bus in October 2012.

    Bus driver Steve Hunter, Midway Middle School Principal Nadine Jackson and Middle School Supervisor Tony Clower are also named as defendants.

    The alleged victim and his mother are identified in the lawsuit as John Doe and Jane Doe.

    Their attorney, Stephen S. Duggins of Chattanooga, said that’s due to the highly sensitive nature of the case.

  • City looks at fines for false alarm repeaters

    Security alarm owners with repeated false alarms may see penalties in their future.

    For now, Rockwood tabled an ordinance that would require a permit for all alarm systems and charge a fine for those with excessive false security alarms.

    It could, however, come back at a future meeting.

    “We are having a lot of problems with folks setting off alarms and the police or fire departments has to respond and there is no problem,” said Mayor James Watts. “This ordinance is to hopefully deal with those folks setting off the alarms.”

  • TDOT revisits intersection

    The busy intersection of Hwy. 70 and Pine Ridge Road was one of the problem areas Tennessee Department of Transportation staff took a look at when meeting with the public in Roane County last week.

    State Rep. Kent Calfee took the TDOT members to the intersection, which includes access to Walgreens and Pattersons Home Appliances.

    Steve Patterson, who regularly sees accidents from his storefront, also stopped by The Roane Alliance to discuss the intersection with TDOT representatives.

    They were aware of the issues, according to one TDOT official.

  • Rockwood steers clear on cold meds

    Rockwood won’t be joining the effort to regulate certain cold medicines.

    Rockwood City Attorney Greg Leffew recommended the city not pass such laws, which are aimed at making methamphetime ingredients harder to get.

    Leffew noted recent opinions by the state attorney general and Municipal Technical Advisory Service that such local laws were illegal.

    Councilwoman Peggy Evans, who has medical professionals in her family, said she believes those who want to make the drug will find a way around any restrictions.