Local News

  • School funding formula gets look

    Local officials were happy to hear that Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has formed a task force to study the state’s Basic Education Program.

    “I think it’s a good idea,” Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes said. “It certainly has some flaws.”

    The Basic Education Program, or BEP, is the state’s funding formula for public schools.

    “You got the urban systems who are upset,” Aytes said. “You got the rural systems who are upset.”

  • Schools found out about snow the morning of

    Tuesday’s snowy weather caught Roane County school officials off guard.

    “We checked the forecast the night before and they were calling for nothing,” Director of Schools Gary Aytes said. “I actually checked it at 6:30 or 7 that morning, and they were still calling for nothing.”

    Things changed just after 8 a.m.

    “The National Weather Service contacted us about 8:15 and told us this mess was coming in,” Aytes said.

    Aytes said that alert from the weather service was a big help.

  • “Love Letters’ free at Princess

    Roane State Community College’s Karen Brunner and Bruce Borin will star in “Love Letters,” a unique two-person play Feb 6-7 at the historic Princess Theatre in downtown Harriman. Admission is free.

    The show begins at 7 p.m.

    Written by A.R. Gurney, “Love Letters” traces the lifelong correspondence of the dutiful lawyer Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and the lively, unstable artist Melissa Gardner.

  • Officials awaiting report on darter in Cumberland

    In compliance with federal environmental laws and regulations, the U.S. Corps of Engineers Nashville District is actively consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the discovery of new populations of an existing endangered species in Lake Cumberland, Ky.

    Until this consultation is completed, the Corps will target a maximum pool elevation of 705 feet, the same as the 2013 recreation season’s elevation.

  • Wamp says race won’t be 2012 repeat

    Earlier this month, Weston Wamp announced that he will again take on Chuck Fleischmann in the Republican primary for Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District.

    So what has changed since voters handed Wamp his hat two years ago?
    For one thing, this time it’s a head-to-head race — not the three-man field that included Scottie Mayfield in 2012.

    For another, the newly married Wamp will be 27 when election time rolls around this year. He said he has matured a lot since he faced voters two years ago.

  • No school in Roane County on Friday, Jan. 31
  • Mistrial declared in Rocky Houston case

    A mistrial was declared Wednesday morning in Rocky Houston’s federal firearms case.

    Thirteen jurors — eight women and five men — were seated to hear the case on Tuesday. They were sent home early because of bad weather.

    On Wednesday defense attorney Michael McGovern informed the court that a juror whom Houston wanted challenged during jury selection was inadvertently not challenged and seated on the jury.

    After some discussion, the parties came to an agreement, and the court declared the mistrial.

  • 2013 Assessor of the Year Award
  • Kingston paving is oh, so close


    Kingston’s plans to use $380,000 in highway funds to pave Kentucky Street are in a temporary holding pattern, but still on schedule, according to city officials.

    Kingston has been accumulating state Surface Transportation Program funds for a few years now, and it’s come time to use them or lose them.

    A previous plan to use the money on a parking expansion for the Ladd Greenway was disallowed by the state.

  • Johnson seeks 2nd term as DAG

    District Attorney General Russell Johnson isn’t procrastinating when it comes to drumming up support.

    “I have already been out and about among the voters asking them to re-elect me,” he said.

    Election Day is Aug. 7. Johnson is seeking a second eight-year term as district attorney general for the 9th Judicial District, which is comprised of Roane, Loudon, Meigs and Morgan counties.