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Local News

  • Who’s going to clean up sludgy mess?

    In addition to wanting to know who was responsible for dumping gray sludge that ended up in the lake, Kingston officials also have questions about who will be responsible for cleaning up the mess.

    “Is that something TDEC (Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) will do and then go for reimbursement from the company?” City Manager David Bolling asked during a Jan. 20 meeting.

  • Schools needing $3.5 million to balance budget

    The Roane County Board of Education heard another gloomy finan-cial report earlier this month.

    Eric Harbin, the school system’s business manager, said the budget is out of balance by $3.5 million.

    “We need $3.5 million more of revenue or $3.5 million less expenditures,” he said.

    Harbin suggested the board start having budget work sessions to discuss the issue.

    “This budget will not work,” he said. “We can’t use this budget, so we got a lot of work to do.”

  • Rockwood officials to ponder various permit fees today

    Rockwood leaders will consider several ordinances on first reading today — Monday — that may lead to establishing new fees or updating old ones related to construction and property maintenance.  

    During the City Council’s monthly meeting at 6 p.m., Council members will consider and possibly take action on an ordinance establishing a permit fee for temporary occupancy of a single-wide mobile home or travel trailer.

  • CONTROL FREAKS: LEGOs put Cherokee kids in math, science frame of mind

    Several Cherokee Middle School students are taking a traditional children’s toy and learning important aspects of math and science.

    The team, the Control Freaks, are competing on Valentine’s Day in the 2014 FIRST LEGO League East Tennessee Championship at Tennessee Technological University.

    The team qualified for the competition after a robotics competition at a qualifier tournament in Knoxville.

    “These guys have really done a great job coming together as a team,” said Jill Hudson, Cherokee’s FIRST LEGO League instructor.

  • Rockwood teacher still in classroom after arrest

    Matthew R. Jones, a science teacher at Rockwood Middle School, is char-
    ged with felony aggravated stalking in the Middle Tennessee city of Dickson.

    Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes is aware of the allegations and expressed confidence that Jones will be exonerated.  

    “It happened to be filed by the husband of his ex-wife,” Aytes said.

    “Matt’s been to work for us every day,” the school director added, “so we feel pretty certain that it will be dismissed.”

  • Assessor employee terminated

    Cheryl Laxton said she knew it was only a matter of time after her husband confronted Roane County Property Assessor David Morgan.

    Laxton had been Morgan’s chief of staff until he abruptly fired her on Thursday.

    “We know why he fired me,” she said Friday. “There’s no doubt.”

    The termination came eight days after Charles Laxton went in Morgan’s office to confront him about the treatment of his wife and other female employees.

  • Do the crime, be ready to do the time

    Eva Hallene McNelley wasn’t a passive participant in the Roane County drug conspiracy that netted more than 200,000 oxycodone pills.

    The Rockwood woman had such a key role that the feds listed her second on the 23-person indictment that led to the pill ring’s demise.

    “She actively participated in the conspiracy on her own accord, and did so for a length of time,” Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan said at McNelley’s sentencing hearing last week at the federal courthouse in Knoxville.

  • Wanted-woman picked up after Kingston police call

    A woman who Kingston police say is wanted by the U.S. Marshals was arrested on Wednesday at 533.5 Greenwood St. The call came in as burglary in progress.

    Megan Nicole Lowe, 25, was found inside the residence when police showed up.

    “She was trying to unlock the door and couldn’t get it open, so we made entry,” Police Chief Jim Washam said. “The homeowner’s son had dropped her off. Supposedly this is the homeowner’s son’s girlfriend.”

  • Pine Ridge widening moving on schedule

    Workers have been busy on the widening project of Ruritan Road to Roane Street.

    “The completion date is May 31, 2016, and the project seems to be on track,” said Mark Nagi of the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

    “At this time the sewer line is being placed, and the electric poles,” are being installed Nagi said earlier this month.

    Crews were working on sewer lines at East Hassler Mill Road and will be working at Scarboro this month as well.

    Harriman Mayor Chris Mason is pleased with the progress.

  • Man trapped in tangled brush

    Rockwood and Roane County emergency personnel found a man who had been missing for over 24 hours on Wednesday afternoon.

    Harold West was known to go for walks in the areas near his Heritage Hills apartment, but when family noticed the 61-year-old had not taken his cane, they became concerned.

    “Late Tuesday, probably around 7 or 8 o’clock, one of the relatives reported he wasn’t at his home,” said Rockwood Police Chief Danny Wright.