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Local News

  • Inmate dies in Roane County Jail

    The District Attorney General’s Office is investigating the death of inmate at the Roane County Jail. District Attorney General Russell Johnson said the male inmate died at the jail Friday morning.

  • Teacher makes students oink at kid

    A kindergarten teacher at Bowers Elementary School was suspended without pay for one day last month over an incident that occurred in her classroom.

    The teacher — Debbie Hayes — also received a scathing letter from Roane County Director of Schools Toni McGriff.

    According to the letter, another teacher reported that she entered Hayes’ classroom on March 16 and saw a student in the middle of a circle of other students.  

  • Watts Bar Belle era over

    When the paddlewheeler Watts Bar Belle chugged away from its Kingston dock two years ago, it left a number of issues in its wake.

    For Kingston city officials, the chief among those was settled this week.

    The boats owners agreed to hand off the boat’s dock at 58 Landing for the city’s use.

    In return, the city is giving up trying to recover money officials believed was owed by the failed enterprise.

  • Ellis shoots down rumor he's running for state office

    Randy Ellis has never been short on political ambitions.

    However, despite rumors otherwise, the District 2 county commissioner insists he’s not eyeing the state representative seat currently held by Lenoir City Republican Julia Hurley.

    “I have no plans of running for state representative,” he said.

    Ellis ran unsuccessfully for Roane County Register of Deeds in 2006 and Harriman City Council in 2009.

    He ran successfully for county commissioner in 2010.

  • Correction on Rocky Houston court record

    A clerical error at the courthouse led to incorrect information being printed in the March 30 edition of the Roane County News on the status of an ongoing court case involving Rocky Houston.

    Because the bond that Houston had paid at the time had been typed in the wrong box, court records the Roane County News obtains indicated that Houston had paid a traffic ticket of $1,000 and had been convicted in an assault.

  • Roane State rocks in helping get work

    Roane State knows what it takes to help its students find jobs.
    The Tennessee Higher Education Commission ranks community colleges across the state on their job placement and Roane State blew all its rivals out of the water.
    “You can see that it is the highest of any institution in the community colleges in the state. Of course, the higher education commission only looks at job placement in community colleges, not universities,” said Karen Brunner, assistant vice president of Institutional Effectiveness and Research.

  • Midway Elementary principal in running for Loudon County job

    Keevin Woody, the principal at Midway Elementary School, is one of five finalists for the director of schools position in Loudon County. 
    The Loudon County Board of Education was set to vote on the list of finalists on Thursday, April 7.
    “We will be voting on that list of five and either leaving it that way, or adding one or two,” Vice Chairman Gary Ubben said.

  • Spring, glorious spring
  • Kirkham Vs. Kirkham: Divorce drives property value dispute

    Convenience-store magnate Steve Kirkham is contesting the reassessment of his property in Roane County based on bad blood between him and his ex-wife.

    Kirkham was once married to Roane County Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham. Last year’s countywide reappraisal was conducted by her office.

    Administrative Judge Mark Minsky held a pre-hearing conference on Monday to discuss Steve Kirkham’s motion to have his 2010 property appraisals declared null and void.

  • Lawyer hopes to practice again

    A Harriman attorney hopes to quickly resolve his suspension from practicing.

    “I hope I can also make it clear to the public, and specifically to my clients, that under the suspension order I can continue representing my existing clients until April 25,” said Spence R. Bruner in a statement to the Roane County News. “My attorney, Chris Cawood, and I are making every effort to have this matter resolved in my favor by that date so I do not lose any time at work,” Bruner said.