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Local News

  • Roane County News snags seven TPA awards

    The Roane County News received seven awards, including first place for Damon Lawrence’s investigative reporting, during the annual Tennessee Press Association awards ceremony on Friday.

    “Damon wins out not just for story but his continued pursuit of news and insight,” judges wrote about Lawrence’s work.

    “Great job getting after it.”

  • Charges may be coming in marijuana find

    The marijuana authorities eradicated in Roane County last week could lead to criminal charges.

    “No one was arrested yet, but we do have some information we’ll present to a grand jury and try to seek indictment at a later time,” said Jason Poore, the east team leader for the Governor’s Task Force on Marijuana Eradica-tion.  

    After finding about 2,470 plants on July 11, Poore said the task force, working in conjunction with the Roane County Sheriff’s Office, discovered close to 500 plants the following day.

  • Harriman still irked at paying more in taxes

    Harriman officials are  going to voice their displeasure in writing with what they feel is unfair county taxation.

    J.D. Sampson was one of four Harriman City Council members who, with Harriman Treasurer Charles Kerley, attended a Roane County Commission meeting in opposition of higher property taxes for Harriman and other cities.

    “We felt it was unfair to tax us and give the residents outside the city a decrease,” Sampson said.

  • Insurance bids lead to conflict in Rockwood

    One of the many bidders for the city of Rockwood’s and Rockwood Water, Sewer and Gas combined insurance policy calls one council member mom.

    John Evans of The Evans Agency submitted bids when the city recently advertised, looking at combining insurance between the traditional city employees and the Rockwood Water,
    Sewer and Natural Gas employees.

    Evans is the son of Peggy Evans, the city’s vice mayor.

  • Hines stepping back from duties

    Jim Hines wears many hats in the city of Rockwood, but he soon may be wearing only one.

    Hines said he has talked to Mayor James Watts about retiring in the fall and staying on as a contractor for a few days a week for building inspector duties.

    He currently serves in the multiple roles of building inspector, city recorder and city administrator.

    “I’m going to go ahead and retire, come back as a contract employee,” Hines said.

    His responsibilities grew too heavy for the outgoing inspector.

  • Scopes Trial missing link is here

    This weekend marks the 86th anniversary of the famed Scopes Trial in Rhea County.

    Residents there have turned the event, dubbed the “Monkey Trial,” into an annual festival.

    What does this infamous showdown on evolution at the courthouse in Dayton have to do with an obscure, sunken grave in Roane County?

    A lot more than you might think. But first, a little background.

  • Officials: 30-percent water-rate hike unavoidable

    Rockwood Water, Sewer and Gas officials say they’ve done a lot to cut costs, but a 30-percent increase in water rates is necessary to stay afloat.

    That was the response given to a lone opponent who attended the utility meeting Monday evening to speak against the increase.

  • State rep. to be assessed for desk damage

    State Rep. Julia Hurley doesn’t think carving the initials JCH into her desk is worthy of attention.

    “I feel that this desk is not a news story,” she said by email Tuesday.

    News organizations and bloggers saw it differently.

    “Deskgate” has spawned headlines and blog posts across the country.

    And the gesture could hit her in the pocketbook.

  • McFarland heads attorneys association

    Ascending to president of the Tennessee County Attorneys Association was no surprise for Roane County Attorney Tom McFarland.
    He was elected vice president of the organization in 2010. 
    “The way our organization is set up, I’ll serve as vice president for a year and then I’ll be installed as president next year,” McFarland said in May 2010.
    His peers followed the custom and elected him president at the TCAA conference in Memphis back in May.  

  • Riding out the heat