Local News

  • Rockwood adds to reserves — barely

    Penny-pinching has become the norm in tough economic times, and small cities like Rockwood are not immune.

    It’s always good when there’s some left over at the end of the month to put into savings.

    Even if it’s a penny.

    A penny — 1 cent — is what Rockwood was able to add to its dismal reserve/emergency balance  at the end of December.

    That brought the fund to $189.51 — 1 cent more than November’s $189.50 balance.

  • School board reviews drug testing policy

    The Roane County Board of Education changed its policy on drug testing for student athletes several years ago after it was threatened by the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee.

    That’s still a sore spot with some board members.

    “I don’t like it,” Mike “Brillo” Miller said.

    The previous policy mandated random drug testing for athletes during the academic year in grades 7-12.

  • Butler hearing slated

    The disciplinary hearing for Harriman attorney Donice Butler is set for 9 a.m. July 18-19 in Roane County Courthouse.

    The hearing had been scheduled to take place last month, but was postponed.

    Butler has been accused of misconduct by some of her former clients.

    The Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility, which oversees the conduct of attorneys, is seeking to have her disciplined over the allegations.

  • City due to start budget talks for FY14

    Rockwood officials aren’t waiting until spring to start talking fiscal budget 2014.

    Rockwood City Recorder Becky Ruppe laid out a tentative schedule of what she’d like to see the budget calendar be for this year.

    The schedule begins this month, with department heads due to receive forms to list budget requests.

    Ruppe believes the city can pass a budget by July 1.

    “I don’t see any reason why we can’t make this happen,” she told the Rockwood finance committee.

  • Another meth lab found: Two jailed in latest 100 Oaks incident

    Police reported finding a meth lab at 100 Oaks Apartments last Tuesday.

    That’s the same complex where police arrested seven people in connection with a lab last month.

    Tuesday’s incident resulted in two arrests. James Christopher Lombardo, 33, and Arthur Lee Wilson, 47, are charged with promotion of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

    The apartment complex is at 900 E. Wheeler St., Rockwood.

  • County gets big refund on Kingston water bills

    The city of Kingston wrote a check to Roane County for $106,162.74 last week.

    The money was a refund for overcharges on the county jail’s water bills.

    “We ended up billing them for water that we didn’t sell them because the meter was giving us an inaccurate reading,” Kingston City Manager Jim Pinkerton said.

    Roane County Executive Ron Woody said Kingston Mayor Troy Beets brought him the check on Feb. 4.

    “It’s a lot of money for a city to turn over at one time,” Woody said.

  • Alexander rankled by report of decline in health insurance

    U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., pounced on a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office that said 7 million fewer people will have employment-based health insurance by 2022 because of the Affordable Care Act.

    The controversial law, commonly referred to as Obamacare, was passed by Congress in 2010.

    “The Congressional Budget Office’s nonpartisan report confirms the failures of the health care law,” Alexander said in a prepared statement.

  • Barter brings its act to Roane

    The Barter Theatre, Virginia’s state theatre, did production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Roane County High School last week.

    Seen here is Helena, who is pursued by both Lysander and Demetrius. Lysander originally is in love with Helena’s friend Hermia, but a woodland spirit named Puck accidently uses a love spell on him instead of Demetrius.

  • Rockwood makes first payment to utility

    The city of Rockwood recently paid a portion of what is still owed in TVA funds to the Rockwood Water, Sewer and Natural Gas Department.

    “It is the first time we’ve been able to make a payment,” said Rockwood City Recorder Becky Ruppe of the $18,500 payment.

    The remaining $100,000 debt is what the city owes for TVA funds designated for Rockwood Water, Sewer and Natural
    Gas projects by the Roane County Eco-
    nomic Development Board after the Dec. 22, 2008, ash spill at Kingston Fossil Plant.

  • Watts Bar Utility District closes on $6.855 million loan

    Watts Bar Utility District of Roane, Rhea and Meigs counties has closed on a $6.855 million loan through the Tennessee Utility Assistance, LLC municipal finance program.

    The loan will be used to refinance outstanding bonds for significant interest cost savings of more than $726,000.

    Standard and Poor’s, one of the major credit rating agencies, assigned its “A+” rating to the Series 2013 Bonds.