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Local News

  • Rockwood tax rate going up

    By CINDY SIMPSON
    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    Rockwood leaders’ first approval of the city’s 2014 fiscal budget indicates that city property owners will be paying more when their tax bills arrive.

    The budget’s first reading, approved 4-1 last week, calls for a property tax rate of 95 cents per $100 valuation. That’s up 5 cents from last year.

    Vice Mayor Peggy Evans and Councilman Mike Freeman are usually on the same page fiscally, but this year she was the lone holdout against a rate increase.

  • 'I'm just thrilled to be here'

    David Bolling dived right into his new job as Kingston City Manager.
    “I’m just thrilled to be here and part of a great team,” he said Friday as he closed out his first week as the city’s chief administrator.
    “It is going to be a good experience, and I’m certainly grateful for the opportunity,” Bolling added. “I know they had a lot of good applicants for the position.

  • Acorns? We don't need no stinkin' acorns!

    Let the other squirrels forage for nuts- these furry little rodents in Roane County Park have invaded the human world with their appetite for salty snacks. Cheetos, potato chips and bread were among the bushy-tailed creature's feast one Monday, when Roane County Newspapers photographer Kaitlin Keane wandered up on them at lunchtime. It's a midday treat worthy of bringing out even the shyest of the bushy-tailed beasts. Who needs acorns when you have lots of chips at your disposal?

  • Inmate garden goes to weeds

     

    The Roane County inmate garden has fallen on hard times.

    A site that once rustled with tall, green cornstalks is now overgrown with brush and weeds.

    University of Tennessee Extension Agent Grant Palmer, who helped run the inmate garden program, blamed it on the weather.

    “We didn’t do it this year, and we didn’t do it last year,” he said. “With it being so wet, being able to get in there and get it tilled is what’s held us back.”

    The county started the garden back in 2008.

  • Pro2Serve ups commitment to child-reading program

    Pro2Serve Inc. promised to match the first $5,000 in donations for Roane Imagination Library last year, kicking off the yearly fundraising endeavor.
    This year, the company raised the bar and promised to match up to $7,500.

    Roane Imagination Library is well on its way to reaching that goal, thanks to a gift of $2,000 by Material and Chemistry Laboratory Inc. given at a reception honoring Pro2-Serve.

  • Schools change drug-test rules

    Last month the Roane County Board of Education approved the first reading of a revision to its policy on drug testing for student athletes. The revised policy would take effect if the board approves it on second reading this month. 

    “What we’re taking out of the policy actually does make it stronger,” Board Member Wade McCullough said.

    The revision will remove the opt-out clause in the policy and make all student athletes subject to  random drug testing.

  • Jenkins’ influence felt beyond classroom

     

    This year’s Roane County News Educator of the Year doesn’t just make a difference in the classroom.

    Dawn Jenkins does much more, including instructing a flourishing Bowers Elementary Dance Team.

    For her, children are a joy, and it shows in her dealings with them.

    “It doesn’t matter what age. I love them all,” she said. “I’ve always been drawn to children. I just think I was born to do this.”

  • Oak Ridge woman charged with DUI

    A woman was arrested for driving under the influence, reckless endangerment and driving on a suspended license after a four-vehicle accident on Hwy. 58 near James Ferry Road Saturday.

    Amanda Graham, 30, Oak Ridge, was treated at University of Tennessee Medical Center before being taken to the Roane County Jail and charged.
    Preliminary reports from Tennessee Highway Patrol indicated Graham’s vehicle was traveling southbound on Hwy. 58 in the northbound lane.

  • VOLKSWAGEN: 10-year tax abatement

    Volkswagen got a 10-year property-tax abatement as part of its deal to build a distribution center in Roane County.

    “They do not pay any tax,” said Leslie Henderson, president and CEO of The Roane Alliance.

    There was some talk recently about not offering similar deals to future industries, but it doesn't appear that will happen now.

    “There is no plan to exempt the school taxes,” Henderson said. “That was just something we were researching.”

  • Former asst. principal not rehired

    A former Roane County school administrator who had some run-ins with the law over the past school year may not be back in the fall.

    Donna Renee Moore had been assitant principal at Oliver Springs High School, but was then reassigned to a nonadministrative job at Midtown Education Center.

    “Her status right now is she is not hired back,” Director of Schools Gary Aytes said last week.

    Moore was moved to Midtown in March following her arrest for driving under the influence and violation of the implied consent law.