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Local News

  • Woody: EMS overtime stems from scheduling

    Commissioners had questions at the Feb. 14 meeting about the amount of money that’s being spent on overtime in the Roane County ambulance department.      

    “We have some overtime issues, but bear in mind part of our overtime is scheduled overtime for our employees when we hire them,” Roane County Executive Ron Woody explained.

    From July 1 to Feb. 10, $316,171.66 was spent on overtime pay.

  • Źumba: Exercise craze is a big hit locally

    One of the hottest exercise crazes has found Kingston.
    A large group  of women of all fitness levels and ages crowd onto the dance floor for Zumba at South Eastern Clogging Co.
    It’s one of the fitness facility’s most popular offerings.
    “We started in October. Since October we’ve averaged around 170 (participants) a week in just Zumba. Sometimes we’ve had weeks where we have over 200 come through,” said instructor Paulette Ray.

  • Harriman board weighs conditions for blight in downtown properties

    Figuring out what should qualify as blight in a community is a key part of the cleanup effort in a redevelopment district, but it can be tricky business.
    Making that determination comes before letters can be sent to property owners citing them for unkempt conditions and giving them a deadline to clean it up.
    Harriman’s Redevelopment Advisory Board spent an entire meeting recently deciding just what conditions qualified as blight.

  • Taking a walk
  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Bringing up birdie ... a retrospective

    You’ve heard them — the birds are out in force again.

    In a few weeks, major spring migrations will be under way, and the birds that stay put will be courting and breeding.

    If you’ve followed this column much, you’ll know I love wild birds, but I’ve never aspired to have one in captivity. I have raised two birds — always with the goal of setting them free. The first was a nestling I found when I delivered newspapers in what seems like a lifetime ago.

    The more recent one was Arrow.

  • Time to pay your property taxes

    Monday is the deadline to pay 2010 property taxes.

    Roane County Trustee Wilma Eblen said people who pay after the deadline will be assessed a penalty of 1.5 percent.

    That amount increases by 1.5 percent each month the taxes are late.

    The Roane County Trustee’s Office is on the first floor of the courthouse in Kingston.

    Eblen said the office will be open on Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • Customers hate paying for sewer they don't use

    An increase in Roane County sewer rates is not what drew the ire of two people who showed up for a recent public hearing on the matter.

    “I thought Russia was the only place you had to pay for something you didn’t get,” said Lewis Jordan of K&K Lock and Key. “To me, it’s the principle of the thing.”

    Jordan’s complaint refers to the mandate that anyone with access to county sewer lines is required to pay the monthly fee, regardless of whether they receive the service.

  • Next step pondered for Rockwood utility operation

    It’s been months now since Rockwood City Council dissolved and then took over as the Rockwood Water, Wastewater and Gas Board.

    The city established an advisory board to make recommendations to the utility.

    Officials are saying they are taking steps to implement some of those suggestions.

    Councilwoman Peggy Evans, who has been the most demanding for changes within the utility, wants to move forward with the general manager search.

  • Fishing around
  • Laid-off ambulance worker speaks out

    Jack Jinks’ first assignment was overseeing the Roane County Office of Emergency Services.
    Now County Executive Ron Woody has him doing the same at the ambulance department.
    “We’re starting a little bit more hands-on management at the ambulance department because of some of the issues,” Woody said.
    The ambulance department was a hot topic at the Feb. 14 commission meeting. Woody assigned Jinks to the department the next day.