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Local News

  • Month 3, and county leaders still waiting for Rep. Hurley to show

    Roane County Commission has waited for three months for state Rep. Julia Hurley to answer its request to attend its monthly meeting.

    The wait continues —  Hurley was again a no-show at last week’s June session.

    At the commission’s behest, Roane County Executive Ron Woody sent Hurley a letter requesting that she meet with the county’s leaders to explain why she didn’t file a bill pertaining to the Tiger Haven big-cat sanctuary on their behalf.

  • State rep on the job with Lenoir City utility group

    State Rep. Julia Hurley has a new career path besides public service.

    She’s now a customer service representative at Lenoir City Utility Board.

    “It’s just a part-time job. It is right down the road from my house,” said Hurley, who also has a home in Harriman with fiancé Chris Ahler.

    She began working a few weeks ago.

    “I guess about two Mondays ago; it has been about two weeks,” Hurley said Thursday.

  • Three charged in meth lab find

    Three people were arrested after an active meth lab was seized in a vehicle early Friday morning on Bowman Bend Road near Kingston.

    Justin Eric Ybarra of 122 Morris St., Harriman, along with Ashleigh Samantha Hargis of 144 Ross Williams Road, Lancing, and James Dwight Warren of 5426 Nashville Hwy., Deer Lodge, were arrested for charges of manufacturing, developing and selling controlled substances.

  • Brummett back in as alderman in OS

    He decided not to seek reelection, but it looks like Oliver Springs Alderman James Brummett may be around for a while.

    Brummett originally decided not to run for re-election to avoid any conflict of interest with his other seat as Roane County Commissioner.

    He said last week he will stay in his alderman seat another term after Deneise Terry, the only candidate who sought his seat, was found ineligible.

  • Kingston to swear in new councilmen

    A swearing-in ceremony for newly elected Kingston City Council members will be at 10 a.m. July 1 at Fort Southwest Point in Kingston.
    Kingston City Attorney Jack H. “Sandy” McPherson Jr. will administer the oaths of office.
    Outgoing council members Teresa Nichols and Brant Williams will receive plaques in appreciation of their service to the city.

  • Coal liquifaction plant moves on

    An industry that was pursuing land in Plateau Partnership Park has decided to go to Morristown, taking the hundreds of jobs it was proposing to create with it.

    Roane County Commissioners had heard that the plant might be locating in Morristown this week, but were unsure whether that move would come to fruition.

    “Will it happen in Morristown? Are they still talking to Plateau Partnership? I don’t know, either,” County Executive Ron Woody told commissioners Monday.  

  • Raises in store for equalization board

    Members of the Roane County Board of Equalization could be getting a boost in pay.

    On June 3, the county’s budget committee voted to increase the board’s pay from $100 to $150.

    “They shouldn’t get a raise,” Commissioner Randy Ellis said. “That’s a 50-percent raise for them when our employees are looking at nothing.”

    The budget committee is still working on a budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Raises for the county employees have not been included so far.

  • Geocaching: A treasure hunt by numbers

    Hidden all over Roane County are caches of hidden “treasure” that explorers search out just for the thrill of the hunt. 


    Geocaching has been a popular pasttime for 11 years and involves treasure-hunters plugging coordinates into a GPS device and navigating their way to find a stash of random trinkets with a log to sign.


    The size of caches hidden range from small, such as the inside of a bullet shell with a rolled-up piece of paper to sign, to large — a coffee can with a log and trinkets inside to trade and track online. 


  • Phillips attends prestigious FBI school

    Tim Phillips, chief deputy of the Roane County Sheriff’s Office, recently returned from spending 10 weeks at the FBI National Training Academy in Quantico, Va.

    “That was probably one of the best things I’ve ever done in law enforcement,” Phillips said. “You know, I’ve been to a lot of schools, a lot of seminars; but meeting the people, building the networks, getting the education, and being able to come back and utilize the information with the other people here is pretty awesome.”

  • School repair projects abound this summer

    Saying it needs more time for review, the Roane County budget committee has postponed its Friday meeting.

    On the agenda was the Roane County Schools budget, which is on the agenda for approved at the school board meeting Thursday.

    Officials have rescheduled that budget meeting for Wednesday, June 22, at 2 p.m.