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Local News

  • School officials oppose vouchers

    The Roane County Board of Education plans to take a symbolic stand against school vouchers.

    A resolution opposing such a program in Tennessee is on the board’s agenda Thursday.

    “I think vouchers would devastate the public schools,” Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes said. “They take public school money and shift it to private schools.”

    The Tennessee School Boards Association’s 2014 legislative agenda includes a bullet point about opposing school vouchers.

  • Harriman VA clinic? Not really

    A building can be located within Rockwood city limits, yet have a Harriman postal address.

    That’s the case with Roane County’s new Department of Veterans Affairs clinic at 2305 N. Gateway Ave., Harriman.

    “It’s in the city of Rockwood, although it has a Harriman address,” Harriman Mayor Chris Mason said.

    The location is the old Kroger shopping center, which is now called the Shoppes of Walden Ridge.

  • Slag on roads sparks concern

    Roane County’s Road Department used slag from a site the state once determined to be contaminated on several roadways.

    The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation was contacted after some of the material had been removed.

    It still lies in repaired areas of Thief Neck Drive near Rockwood.

    “The slag was removed before TDEC was made aware of the situation,” said TDEC spokeswoman Shannon H. Ashford. She said the state has since received a request for a beneficial reuse permit of this material.

  • Developer denies deal for tax relief bill

    State Sen. Ken Yager purchased a condo from Kingston developer Matt Caldwell just a few months after he helped get a law passed in the Tennessee General Assembly that could prove financially beneficial for Caldwell.

    Yager was the sponsor of Senate Bill 1346 that allows property owners to get a break on their 2009 and 2010 delinquent tax penalties because of the TVA ash spill.

    The disaster occurred at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant on Dec. 22, 2008.

  • Applying for steel mill jobs

    Kristin Barney, human resources and labor relations manager with Arcelor Mittal, spoke with interested applicants Thursday at the Tennessee Career Center. Close to 300 people turned out to explore information about the new steel mill jobs at an open house. Applications were filled out and representatives were available to have questions answered. Arcelor Mittal is looking to hold interviews this week.

  • Knife-wielding man robs Bojangles’

    Harriman police are searching for a suspect who reportedly robbed Bojangles’ Famous Chicken n’ Biscuits in Midtown late Thursday night.

    The robber, described as a black male, took $1,205 in cash during the heist at about 11:30 p.m.

    “He had a knife,” said Harriman Police Chief Randy Heidle.

    The chief said workers at the fast-food establishment were talking outside the Hwy. 70 restaurant when the man approached them, “forcing them inside the building.”

  • Kingston waiting to replace McClure

    Kingston City Council will keep the late Kevin McClure’s seat open for one month before voting on an interim replacement, in a show of respect for the departed councilman.

    “I wanted to at least recognize Kevin’s service, let it be known that we will miss him,” said Kingston Mayor Troy Beets.

    “I felt it was the right thing to do. Leaving the seat open for one meeting will be our tribute.”

    Council decided on the waiting period at the Jan. 7 council work session.

  • Cook, Holiway first to file

    The first candidates seeking public office in the 2014 elections turned in their qualifying petitions Friday.

    Daryl Cook, a Roane County sheriff’s deputy and longtime area lawman, officially tossed his hat into the ring for Roane County Commission.

    Cook is seeking one of three seats open for District 2. Four other hopefuls have picked up petitions but hadn’t returned them as of 4 p.m. Friday.

  • Free firewood helps save money, gives a hand up

    Lottie McLean of Rockwood was one of many who took advantage of free wood Thusday through a distribution program set up by Roane County Road Superintendent Dennis Ferguson.

    McLean said that this program was really going to help her family of five stay warm.

    “When you only have a Social Security income, it gets hard,” McLean said. “This is a blessing.”

    The wood being given away comes from storms and trees that need to be removed from roadways.

  • Lack of order may hold up tax relief

    The state law that provides relief from delinquent property tax penalties requires an order from a court finding TVA responsible for damage to an applicant’s property.

    There are questions about whether such an order exists.

    In August 2012, Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan issued an order that said nondiscretionary conduct on the part of TVA caused the ash spill in Roane County.