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Local News

  • Does the time fit the crime?

    Scottie Hill and his family left the Roane County Courthouse upset on March 27. Nearly two months, later that frustration was still there.

    “The court system is just not right,” Hill said in a May phone interview.  

    His opinion of the court system was formed by the case involving the man who killed his mother. Nancy Hill died in a head-on car crash on Gateway Avenue in Rockwood on June 20, 2011.

  • School lunches to cost more starting next fall

    Students who pay full price for lunch could have to fork over an extra quarter when they return to school.

    The proposed budget for the 2013-14 school year calls for a 25-cent increase in lunch prices.

    Roane County Schools Food Service Coordinator Linda Wilson said the increase is expected to bring in an additional $60,000 of revenue.

  • Backpack program to feed hungry schoolchildren needs more support

    Children shouldn’t have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from.

    Some of Roane County’s youth won’t have to during school-year weekends, thanks to a program that sends backpacks home filled with healthy meals and snacks.

    The Food for Kids program of Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, needs help to continue offering the quality treats for the students and to potentially expand to more students.

  • O’Neal murder trial postponed once again

    The July 9 murder trial for Ralph O’Neal has been postponed.

    O’Neal is accused of killing Ronnie Dean Cofer in August 2007.

    Cofer’s body was discovered in a ditch on Clax Gap Road. Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said Cofer had been shot.

    Assistant District Attorney General Bill Reedy said O’Neal’s lawyer, Bob Vogel, has been accepted to the Trial Lawyers College in Wyoming for a three-week period around that time.

  • Testing the waters

    The Rockwood Fire Department is in the process of checking all 400 hydrants in the city. Fire fighter and first responder, Jason "Lunch Box" Kilby, and Capt. David Kirby worked on North and South Chamberlain Avenue Monday.

    Hydrants that aren't used often the water at first is a muddy color to it due to the lack of water circulation.
    It takes around 4 to 5 weeks to check every hydrant to make sure nothing has changed and that the water pressure is in good working order Kirby said.

  • Three juvenile girls — ages 11-14 — accused in break-in, vandalism at Ridge View school

    Rockwood Police Chief Bill Stinnett said his department took out petitions in juvenile court for vandalism and burglary against the three female suspects who allegedly broke into and ransacked Ridge View Elementary School on May 24.

    “Their ages were 11, 12 and 14,” Stinnett said.

    Juvenile court is not one of public record, so what happens to the suspects if they’re found guilty of the charges might not be aboveboard.

  • Letting go: After 31 years, Bowers principal calls it a career

    Educating Harriman’s children has been a big part of Candace Lett’s life.

    From classroom teacher to superintendent of the now-defunct Harriman City Schools system, she’s played a major role in the lives of generations of Harriman students.

    After spending years as principal of Bowers Elementary, Lett is drawing that part of her life story to a close. She retired at the end of the 2012-13 school year.

  • Rockwood eyeing second tax rate hike in two years

    Last year’s 15-cent property tax rate increase met squabbles amongst Rockwood City Council members.

    But a proposed 5-cent hike to 95 cents per $100 valuation in the 2014 draft budget didn’t get a lot of debate during recent budget talks.

    In fact, the usually vocal Vice Mayor Peggy Evans has remained largely silent so far, although earlier in the year she said she would not support raising taxes.

  • Ready to hear about ash cleanup progress

    Donna Campbell of Harriman waits for the TVA public meeting to start Thursday in the Roane County High School auditorium.

    The meeting was to address progress on the cleanup of the area affected by the December 2008 fly ash spill at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant.

    According to TVA, 94 percent of the ash had been removed from the Middle Embayment as of May 26.

  • Neighbor accused of robbing Harriman eatery

    A Harriman woman is accused of getting more than take-out at the Chinese restaurant Yum Yums No. 8 last Tuesday.

    Rebecca Lee Sandifer, 34, 1108 S. Roane St., was arrested for aggravated burglary for allegedly taking off with $325 from the cash register.

    Sandifer lived across the street from the restaurant.

    “We kind of had a good suspect within 30 minutes of the robbery,” Harriman Police Chief Randy Heidle said.

    “By 2 a.m., we had her in custody.”