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Local News

  • This Harriman budget comes without tax hike

    Harriman City Council approved final reading of its 2014 budget recently with no tax increase.
    Harriman Mayor Chris Mason, however, for a second year, predicted one would be coming down the road.
    “I don’t know when our last increase in taxes was. I just want to give fair warning: It is coming. One day, there will be a tax increase,” Mason said.
    He even said that Treasurer Charles Kerley asks about raising taxes each year.
    “Wait, he didn’t say that,” Kerley quipped.

  • Kingston moves to pave Kentucky Street

    Kingston may have finally found a way to put its long-accumulating state highway funds to good use.
    Kingston City Council approved a measure at the July 9 full council meeting authorizing Mayor Troy Beets to apply to the Tennessee Department of Transportation for permission to use more than $300,000 in Surface Transportation Program funds — state funds municipalities receive annually, and which Kingston has been saving for three years now — to pave Kentucky Street.
    There’s a hitch in using STP funds, however.

  • VW success could be big for Roane center

    Sales success for Volkswagen could mean expansion for the car company’s new Southeast Regional Distribution Center in Roane County.
    Adam Randall, a parts operation specialist for Volkswagen, said the 459,000-square-foot facility was built to support the company’s goal of selling 1 million vehicles – 800,000 Volkswagens and 200,000 Audis – in the United States by 2018.

  • Second petition against lawyer postpones hearing

    The disciplinary hearing for Harriman attorney Donice Butler that was scheduled to take place this week at the Roane County Courthouse has been postponed.
    The Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility, which oversees the conduct of attorneys, filed a petition for discipline against Butler in May 2012.
    Another one was filed on Friday.
    “The board has requested the hearing be continued due to a supplemental petition that is before the hearing panel,” Rita Webb, the executive secretary for the board, said.

  • Sidewalk, paving on in Rockwood

    When Rockwood Street Department spent less than planned in last fiscal year’s budget, officials  quickly put it to use.
    Sidewalks have been replaced in areas along Gateway Avenue, and other paving projects were done.
    “Totally, we did around $40,000 worth of repairs out of funds he had left,” said Rockwood City Recorder Becky Ruppe.
    She said Hugh O’Dell, street department head, was able to do the work because he managed his budget well.

  • FINALLY HITTING THE HARRIMAN TRAIL

    It’s taken years to get the Cornstalk Heights trailway grant project underway.
    “The project has finally started,” declared Bob Tidwell, a grant coordinator for the city of Harriman.
    “They started removing brick sidewalks today on Walden Street on the block just past Trenton.”
    Workers began taking up the historic old brick walkways on Walden Street last week in preparation to level and return the historic bricks on a more stable walking surface.
    Handicap-accessible corners will be at street intersections.

  • Assessor OK with staffer selling real estate

    Cheryl Laxton continues to work as a real estate agent while serving as the chief of staff at the Roane County Property Assessor’s Office.
    Her boss, Property Assessor David Morgan, said that’s OK with him.
    “As long as it doesn’t get to the point where there’s any kind of conflict of interest with the office,” Morgan said.
    Laxton hasn’t tried to conceal her working as an agent with Coldwell Banker Jim Henry and Associates.
    She’s posted comments about it on her Facebook page.

  • SROs may be cut from school budget

    The county’s budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year could wind up in some peril if the Roane County Board of Education decides to cut out funding for school resource officers.
    The cost for the six SROs is shared between the school system and the county with the schools budgeted to contribute $210,000.
    The school board asked the county commission to increase the property tax rate by 14 cents to make up for a budget shortfall caused by a drop in state funding.

  • State inmates hike up jail roll

    State inmates are contributing to the overcrowding problems at the Roane County Jail, which has a certified capacity of 174.
    A July 2 inspection conducted by the Tennessee Corrections Institute noted that the population was 194.
    However, the population would have been 176, just two over capacity, without the 18 state inmates in custody that day.
    Dorinda Carter, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Correction, said it’s common for jails to house state prisoners.

  • No probation for convicted rapist

    A convicted rapist left the Roane County Courthouse criminal courtroom handcuffed and crying Wednesday afternoon.
    Darrell Wayne Griffin, 37, was charged with five counts of statutory rape by an authority figure.

    He pleaded guilty to three of the five counts in March. The other two were dismissed.
    Griffin was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday.
    “He’s doing three years at 100 percent,” Assistant District Attorney General Bill Reedy said. “There’s no probation.”