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Local News

  • Party affiliations at issue in race

    A voter doesn’t have to be a member of the Republican party to vote in its primary on Aug. 2.
    State Rep. Jim Cobb contends Ron Travis is banking on that to beat him in House District 31.
    District 31 includes three precincts in Roane County — Glen Alice, Eureka and Rockwood Ward 1. The district also includes Bledsoe, Rhea and Sequatchie counties.
    “His plan is to try to get as many Democrats as possible voting in the Republican Primary and swing the outcome that way,” Cobb said.

  • Early voting to close Saturday

    Early voting for the Aug. 2 election ends Saturday.
    People can vote early at the Roane County Courthouse in Kingston, Harriman Community Center, Rockwood Community Center and First Christian Church in Oak Ridge.
    The locations will be open on Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.
    On Thursday before 2 p.m., 4,344 people had voted during the early period in Roane County, according to figures from the Election Commission.

  • When dirt isn’t cheap

    By DWANE WILDER
    dwilder@roanecounty.com
    Not all dirt is equal.
    Understanding that can make a big difference in a new-construction budget.
    When shopping for a piece of land on which to build your dream house, Don DeSha says, it always pays to do a little digging.
    DeSha, a Harriman resident, is a partner with Oneida native Randy West in Soil Solutions Inc., a consulting service for anyone interested in having a septic system installed.
    Clients include both residential and industrial developers.

  • McGriff retires with $15,000 bonus

    Toni McGriff’s last evaluation as Roane County director of schools resulted in a $15,000 bonus.
    The bonus was based on Board of Education assessments of her performance, and a point system was used to determine the amount.
    A score below 480 would have resulted in no bonus. A score between 661-700 would result in a $15,000 bonus. McGriff scored 686.School board attorney Chuck Cagle tallied the score.
    McGriff retired as director of schools on June 30.

  • Looseleaf Laureate: This season’s sting has no relation to sunburn

    After the past mild winter, it should come as no surprise that the bugs are bad this year.
    I expected as much from the usual three summer pests: mosquitoes, chiggers and ticks.
    And I haven’t been surprised by the odd ant invasion. I figure they were either looking for water (during the June drought), or trying to get away from it (during July’s soaking rains).
    What really has surprised me are the  veracity of my encounters with stinging insects.

  • Mayfield going negative after all?

    U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann’s campaign is accusing a rival campaign of going negative.

    Fleischmann, Ron Bhalla, Scottie Mayfield and Weston Wamp are vying for the Republican nomination in the 3rd Congressional District, which includes Roane County.

    The Mayfield campaign has released a TV ad and sent out a news release accusing Fleischmann of aiding the agenda of President Barack Obama.

    Fleischmann, according to the release, is first in casting votes with Obama and last in cutting spending.

  • Suit filed in one-punch death

    A year after their son died outside the Grill & Pub, the parents of David Lee Harvey have filed a $3 million lawsuit against accused killer Eric Gallaher and pub owner Grover Norton.
    Attorney Scott McCluen filed the lawsuit on behalf of Roy and Rebecca Harvey on Monday in Roane County Circuit Court.
    Devin Lee Bertram, Anderson Treavin Wright and Gallaher’s brother Derek are also named as defendants in the lawsuit.

  • Rockwood breaks budget impasse, increases taxes

    After weeks of contention, Rockwood City Council unanimously passed the first reading of the 2013 budget.
    The budget so far includes an increase to 90-cent tax-rate, which is down from the initial $1 per $100 valuation that was first proposed and later dropped to 95 cents per $100 valuation. The current tax rate is 75 cents per $100 valuation.
    “I’m happy we started out with a tax rate of a $1 and now we dropped it 10 cents to 90,” Councilman Jason Jolly said.

  • McGriff hopes to work with rural schools as retiree

    As her tenure as Roane County director of schools was winding down, Toni McGriff said she was looking forward to some R and R.
    “I don’t have any immediate plans other than just resting and reflecting a little bit I guess,” said McGriff, whose retirement became effective June 30.
    In addition to taking some R-and-R, McGriff said she’d also like to do some consulting work for rural school systems in her retirement.

  • E-book use rising at state library

    The Tennessee State Library and Archives says the popularity of its  Regional E-book and Audio Download System program has been on the rise over the last fiscal year.
    READS is a free program that offers thousands of digital e-books and audio books to patrons of public libraries that belong to the Tennessee Regional Library System with the simple click of a mouse.
    Digital titles can be downloaded to a personal computer or a variety of portable devices.