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Local News

  • First look at new hospital brings smiles

    Less than a year remains until the new Roane Medical Center in Midtown opens its doors in February 2013.
    Construction has come a long way, and Covenant Health, members of the medical community and local officials and community members gathered Wednesday for a tour of the building and a brief ceremony.
    “We are here to celebrate the progress and the people who have brought us here,” said Tony Spezia, Covenant Health Inc. chief executive officer. Covenant took over the hospital from the city of Harriman several years ago.

  • LAST CHANCE: Mother-daughter look-alikes

    There’s still time to get your photos in for this year’s Roane County News mother-daughter look-alike contests.
    Once again, Roane County News will be giving out $100 worth of gift  cards for each contest.
    The winning look-alike mother and daughter will each receive a $50 gift card.
    We also have a similar contest for fathers and sons.
    Entrants can submit pictures that show the family similarities at any age. Photos might be infant shots of the mother and daughter, or current shots of the adult and child — together or separate.

  • Looseleaf Laureate by Terri Likens: Oliver Springs — where the confident kids are

    I don’t get up to Oliver Springs as much as I should, I decided as I drove through the peaceful countryside, car windows down to take in the honeysuckle-scented air.
    It’s a quirky little place with strong we-take-care-of-our-own values. The residents of any town that is split between the far corners of three counties might feel the same.
    I’d been invited to spend Tuesday evening at Career Day at Oliver Springs Elementary School.

  • Fleischmann reacts to vandalism

    Third District Congressman Chuck Fleischmann said he was in Washington, D.C., when he learned a staffer’s car was vandalized by the son of one of his political rivals.

    “At first it was more disbelief, but as the truth unfolded and came out, I guess first and foremost I was thankful that nobody got hurt,” Fleischmann said.

    The incident occurred at the Roane County Courthouse on April 24.

  • Aytes appointed new director of schools

    The Roane County Board of Education appointed Gary Aytes as the new director of schools. Aytes and Donald Andrews, superintendent of Randolph County Schools in North Carolina, were the finalists for the job.
    The 10-member board unanimously selected Aytes, Roane County’s elementary education supervisor, during a special-called meeting Thursday evening.
    “It feels great,” Aytes said. “It’s very rewarding to know that people think that you are capable of doing the job.”

  • Local man or N.C. official?

    Although they’ve only known each other for a short time, Donald Andrews and Gary Aytes have developed a mutual respect for one another.
    The educators indicated that appreciation will continue no matter which of the two the Roane County Board of Education picks for the director of schools position.
    The other finalist for the job, John Green, was a no-show for Saturday’s last round of interviews, so the board will decide between Aytes and Andrews at a special-called meeting on Thursday.

  • Student falls from truck, dies

    An Oliver Springs High School football player died Monday morning from injuries sustained in a Sunday fall out of the back of a pickup truck.
    Police say the accident involving 17-year-old Aaron Brady Walls happened at 9:38 p.m. Sunday on the southbound side of Coal Hill Road in front of Coalfield High School in Morgan County.
    Walls was flown to University of Tennessee Medical Center by Lifestar.
    Investigating Trooper Matt Chitwood received confirmation Walls died at 10:24 a.m. Monday.

  • Rockwood man charged in bank robbery

    A suspect in the April 25 US Bank robbery was taken into custody Tuesday.
    Justin C. Solock, 24, Rockwood, is facing a federal charge for bank robbery.
    “He was originally arrested on some outstanding warrants; then during the ongoing investigation he became a suspect (and was) later charged with robbery of US Bank,” said Rockwood Police Chief Bill Stinnett.
    Stinnett said Solock had already been taken into custody last week on outstanding warrants and was later arrested for the robbery.
    Stinnett was pleased an arrest was made quickly.

  • Legal bills footed for Rockwood official

    Rockwood has approved paying the legal fees Vice Mayor Peggy Evans incurred when she retained an attorney to deal with ethics violations lodged against her by building inspector Jim Hines.
    City officials said a check totaling $1,960 was written to Evans on March 26.
    At the April 23 Rockwood City Council meeting, former Rockwood City Councilman Harold Ishman took issue with the payment of the fee — including that Evans voted to pay it to herself.
    He felt it was ethically inappropriate for Evans to vote on something that benefited her.

  • Hurley’s welfare drug-test bill gets legislative approval

    State Rep. Julia Hurley’s drug testing for welfare recipients bill passed the House on Tuesday by a 73-17 vote.
    The bill passed the Senate last month and will now head to the governor.
    The bill was controversial and sparked some heated debate on the House floor Tuesday.
    “Thanks for bringing this bill,” said state Rep. David Alexander, R-Winchester.
    “I applaud what you’re doing,” said state Rep. Rick Womick, R-Rockvale. “As an airline pilot, I get drug tested every time we turn around.”