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Local News

  • McGriff announces retirement

    The time has come for the Roane County Board of Education to search for a new director of schools. Board Chairman Sam Cox received a letter from current director Toni McGriff, informing him of her intentions to retire at the end of the fiscal year.
    “I want to give the board time to do what they need to do,” McGriff said.
    The board hired McGriff in 2005. She’s received two contract extensions during her tenure, with the most recent coming last March for one year.

  • No plans to prosecute for audit finding

    District Attorney General Russell Johnson does not plan to prosecute anyone for an audit finding in the Roane County Road Department.
    State auditors discovered a road department employee asked a vendor to change the date on an invoice for diesel fuel. By changing the invoice date, the $22,766.24 purchase was inappropriately expensed in the 2011-12 fiscal year on the county’s accounting records instead of the 2010-11 year, when the purchase was actually made. 

  • Hurley supports Roane’s stand on Sunshine Law

    State Rep. Julia Hurley hasn’t always agreed with the Roane County Commission.
    However, the Lenoir City Republican said she supports the county solons when it comes to the Sunshine Law.
    “I think the way that it is right now is fair to the voters,” Hurley said. “I think it’s fair to the public.”

  • Conflict of interest reason Simon not reappointed to zoning commission

    By MIKE GIBSON
    newsroom@roanecounty.com
    What looked to be a run-of-the-mill reappointment took a strange twist when Kingston Council failed to re-up Celia Simon for another five-year term on the Historic Zoning Commission on Dec. 13.

  • Annexation on Harriman officials mind

    Harriman officials disagree on whether to proceed with annexing the Emory Gap and Childs Memorial areas.
    Councilman J.D. Sampson, who has been pushing for annexation to grow the city and potentially its coffers, believes it’s plausible because both these two areas of the county are surrounded by the city limits already.
    “I make a motion now to put Emory Gap and Childs Memorial on notice. We’re turning it over to the planning commission to draw up a plan of service,” Sampson said.

  • REACH wraps up Christmas

    Aisles and check-out lines at Wal-Mart were packed Friday night, Dec. 9, and the next morning after kids and their familes shopped for Christmas with help from Operation REACH. Jessica Ross and Rodney Harback of Operation REACH help fill bags during the shopping extravaganza that Friday, as seen in the second photo. Families were given a budget of approximately $225 to fill carts with anything they wanted or needed, which included groceries as well. The first photo includes Wal-Mart employee Linda Cushman and REACH volunteer Carolyn Neeley helping bag items during the rush.

  • Rockwood Middle club makes a gleeful noise
  • Harriman may shift focus of grant efforts

    For years, Harriman Utility Board has gotten much of its desperately needed funds for sewer rehabilitation through Community Development Block Grants.

    Now the grant source may be changing its emphasis from infrastructure to other types of projects.

    That is what Harriman City Coordinator Bob Tidwell shared with the Harriman City Council recently.

    Brown Pearman Russell LLC, which, for a fee, helps communities secure grants, wants to work with Harriman, Tidwell added.

  • Break-in at Harriman church dampens holiday mood

    Parishioners at Trenton Street Baptist Church in Harriman were greeted by a disheartening sight when they opened the church’s doors Sunday morning.

    Someone had broken into the church through a window, then broke through a fiberglass pane in the door of the church office to gain entry and take items from inside.

    The church had been in the process of setting up a security system.

    “They took a security camera–digital recorder,” said Pastor Gene Nelson. “They got some cash — not a whole lot.”

  • Drinking incident discussed at commission

    Two former ambulance employees — one of them involved in an alleged drinking-on-duty incident — addressed the Roane County Commission during the public comment portion of Monday’s meeting.
    Robert Cooker resigned on Dec. 1.
    His resignation letter stated he left for health and other reasons.
    However, Cooker claimed he was forced out over an incident that involved alcohol.