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Local News

  • No county budget vote until after Aug. election

    The 2014 county election could serve as a referendum on higher taxes for education.

    Last year the Roane County Board of Education requested a 14-cent increase in the property tax rate to fund the school system’s 2013-14 budget.

    The Roane County Commission did not approve the rate hike.

    If the school board makes another request for an increase this year, Roane County Executive Ron Woody said a vote on the 2014-15 county budget may not happen until after the Aug. 7 election.

  • Pinnacle connector work starting

    JG Mullins Construction Co. started work Thursday to open Pinnacle Drive from Midtown’s Pinnacle Pointe shopping center to the neighboring property owned by their partner Robert Bowen.

    Gary Mullins planned on removing the bank within the limits of the easement and putting down seed, straw and possibly gravel.

    “My idea is let the developer finish it,” said Mullins, referring to future buyers of the Bowen property.

  • Farmer says he’s not tax increase candidate in county executive race

    In 2007, then Roane County executive Mike Farmer lobbied hard for a 25-cent increase in the property tax rate. His lobbying worked, as the Roane County Commission approved the 25-cent rate hike that year.

    Farmer was voted out of office in 2010, but he’s picked up a petition to run for county executive again in this year’s election.

    Despite his record of lobbying for big tax increases, Farmer claims he’s not the tax increase candidate in this year’s race.

    “I would hope that no tax increase is necessary,” he said.

  • BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER FOR 4-H
  • THE BOYS OF SUMMER AT CAMP

    Carter Puckett, left, Riley Walker, center, and Keyton Hope await their turn to shine during Kingston Parks and Recreation’s third annual youth baseball camp earlier this month.

    “Our biggest thing is to get them excited about playing baseball at the start of the season,” said Rick Ross, Kingston parks and recreation director.

    The camp, open to ages 7-12 at Southwest Point, gave youths opportunities to work on their infield and outfield games, as well as pop flies, hitting and gaming fundamentals.

  • Roane jobless figures down

    Both Roane County and Tennessee are off to a good start in 2014 — at least on the job front.

    Unemployment rates for both the county and the state fell 0.1 percent to 7.2 percent in January, according to statistics released late last week by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

    Roane County’s is down 1.4 percent from the 8.6 percent rate in January 2013. The state is down 1.8 percent from a year ago, when its unemployment rate was 9.0 percent.

  • Roane teachers among best-paid

    During his tenure as president of the Tennessee County Services Association, Roane County Commissioner Bobby Collier said he got the feeling that officials from other counties were unsympathetic about the financial problems facing Roane County Schools.

    “When I asked why, they said it’s because you pay your people very well,” Collier said.

    According to the Tennessee Department of Education’s 2012-13 Annual Statistical Report, Roane County classroom teachers have an average salary of $49,240.

  • Former official dead

    Friends are remembering Rockwood resident and former Roane County commissioner Don “Duck” Wicks as a man who had a big impact on his community.

    Wicks, who is the father of General Sessions Judge Jeff Wicks, died on Wednesday. He was 77.

    He served on the Roane County Commission from 1986-94 and again from 2002-06.

    “Commissioner Wicks was one of the best commissioners I ever served with,” Roane County Attorney Tom McFarland said. “He knew the budget inside and out.”

  • Renaissance fair gets its ale

    Renaissance Festival organizers will be able to sell alcohol.

    Harriman City Council approved a special-event permit in the city’s beer ordinance in final reading Tuesday, March 11.

    The amended ordinance permits special event permit sales of beverages with an alcoholic content at or below 5 percent of weight.

    The ordinance was mainly approved to allow sales at what is referred to as the Harriman Industrial Park property on Fiske Road, which includes Emory River frontage.

  • Man struck by train in Harriman

    A Harriman man was hospitalized Sunday night after he was struck by a Norfolk Southern train near the Sonic Drive-in.

    Officials said Edward Wells, 79, appeared to have stepped out in front of the train.

    Wells suffered from a contusion on his head that was bleeding heavily and also had cuts and scrapes on his hands and left leg, according to police reports. He was taken by Lifestar to University of Tennessee Medical Center.