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Local News

  • Local artist takes to the wheel

    When Kingston resident Larry Gabbard sits down at the potter’s wheel, there’s no telling what might come of it.

    Each technique offers something different.

    Glaze, temperature and clay all play their parts in the methodical and creative process. The possibilities seem endless.

    Samples of his creativity are being featured at the Kingston Public Library through the rest of the month.

  • Ambulance charges stay where they are

    The idea of raising rates that the Roane County Ambulance Department charges for transport services didn’t have Commissioner Nick Forrester’s support.

    “I think there’s others ways that we can go about bringing in revenue, rather than raising rates of our citizens,” he said. “I just want to say that I’m opposed to it, and hope you’ll agree with me.”

    Seven others did and a motion to raise the rates failed 8-7 at Monday night’s commission meeting.

  • Airport booster has nearby farm

    One of Rockwood Airports biggest supporters believes the facility could be an economic boon for the community.

    The airport’s success could be an economic success for her family, as well, but Councilwoman Peggy Evans said that hasn’t crossed her mind when fighting for investment in the airport.

    More than 500 acres of a Cumberland County farm not far from the airport belong to the Tom Evans family, including his widow, Peggy Evans, and their children.

  • Who is next to head the schools?

    Roane County Board of Education Member Frank Mee said he’s concern about the lack of action on the system’s top position.

    Director of Schools Toni McGriff’s contract is set to expire on June 30.

    The board has not voted to extend the current contract or start the search for a new director.

    “We can’t just wait until the end of the year to address this,” Mee said. “If we’re going to be looking for one, we need to get the word out right now, so if anyone is interested they can get in touch with us.”

  • Cleaning up
  • Felon now guilty of cop posing

    A Rockwood man who posed as a federal agent to commit a home invasion was found guilty in federal court last Thursday.

    The jury convicted Ricky Eugene Cofer of impersonation of an officer and being a convicted felon in possession of a pistol.

    Cofer was indicted on four counts, but the government dismissed two of them “in order to mainstream the issues before the court.”

  • Hurdle cleared for land annexation

    Harriman officials are moving forward with a referendum to annex three properties neighboring where Covenant Health plans to build a hospital in the Midtown area.

    Harriman City Council approved Mayor Chris Mason’s request to put the referendum involving about  five residents on the June ballot.

    Councilman J.D. Sampson said he hadn’t had a chance to visit with other area residents, but he plans to see if he can generate any interest from others who might like to be in the city.

  • Austin facing DA opposition in fight for citizen rights

    District Attorney General Russell Johnson is still planning to oppose Thomas Alva Austin’s petition to have his rights restored.

    Austin was a Roane County General Sessions Court judge before he went to prison for extortion.

    “As I have stated to you earlier, it is my intention to oppose the petition and I will be filing a formal response in the near future since it now appears that you intend to move forward with the request,” Johnson wrote Austin attorney Browder Williams.

  • Bowers marks soulful link with Fisk Jubilee Singers

    Students at Harriman’s Bowers Elementary School got treated to 140 years of tradition last Wednesday.

    The Fisk Jubilee Singers gave a rousing performance inside the school gym.

    “We’re honored to have them,” first-grade teacher Christy Ruskey said.

    The singers are students at Fisk University in Nashville. They travel the country and the world performing.

    In 2009, they received a Grammy nomination for a collaboration with music artist Jonny Lang.  

  • EMS in $300,000 range for overtime

    Some Roane County commissioners want the ambulance department to look into reducing the amount of overtime its giving employees.

    From July 1 to Feb. 10, $316,171.66 was spent on overtime pay. There is still more than four months left in the fiscal year.

    Commission Chairman James Brummett has suggested the department “work intuitively on all scheduling to avoid excess overtime.”