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Local News

  • Driver tells authorities he was trying to outrun demons

    John Watson Helvey, 45, was charged with DUI and evading arrest on March 13.

    “Mr. Helvey stated he was being chased by demons and was running for his life,” the Roane County Sheriff’s Office report said.

    The report said Helvey passed a deputy at a high rate of speed on Interstate 40, and didn’t stop when the deputy activated his emergency equipment.

    “The vehicle passed several vehicles in the emergency lane at a high rate of speed in an attempt to get away,” the report said.

  • Roane clerk first witness in Rocky Houston federal trial

    Roane County Circuit Court Clerk Kim Nelson was the first witness called to testify Monday afternoon in Rocky Houston's federal trial on being a convicted felon in possesion of firearms.

    Nelson testified that Houston was convicted of felony evading arrest in 2010.

    She was followed to the stand by Jason Dobbs, the lead U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent on the case.

    The morning was taken up by jury selection. Four men and 10 women were seated to the jury in the U.S. District Courthouse in Knoxville.

  • Ford dealership may be on move to Kingston site

    Jerry Duncan Ford may be moving to Kingston.

    “I have heard about this possibility, but as far as I know, this is not a done deal,” said Leslie Henderson, president and CEO of The Roane Alliance.

    The Ford dealership, a downtown Harriman fixture, was bought by Jerry Duncan in 1975.

    Duncan’s son, Marty Duncan, has operated the dealership since 2009.

    Though Marty Duncan declined comment, Harriman Mayor Chris Mason wished the dealership well if the move comes to fruition.

  • 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.