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Local News

  • Bronze Star Medal given decades late

    By DWANE WILDER
    dwilder@roanecounty.com
    Arville T. Sparks was wounded four times during a 10-month period while fighting in Italy and France during World War II.
    In fact, the U.S. Army sergeant once saved all the members of his platoon from being captured or killed.
    For his heroism in France on Oct. 20, 1944, the 87-year-old Roane County resident was nominated for several medals, including an esteemed  Bronze Star.

  • Ryans quits public utility board seat

    Roane County Election Commissioner Jim Ryans resigned his position with the County Board of Public Utilities last month.
    “I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and all those associated with the utility,” Ryans said in the resignation letter addressed to utilities board chairman Stan Malone.
    Ryans was already a member of the board when he was appointed to the Roane County Election Commission in 2009, but the dual roles later become an issue.
    The State Election Commission took up the matter in June.

  • Dyllis Springs ribbon cutting set Aug. 16

    Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes said the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Dyllis Springs Elementary School is scheduled for Aug. 16 at 6 p.m. 
    “It’s a beautiful building,” Aytes said. “I think it’s a building that community is going to be proud of.”
    Even though the ceremony is a few days later, Aytes said he expects the school to be ready for students for the first day of school on Aug. 13.
    Construction is complete, but some cleanup was needed and some furniture needs to be moved, he said.

  • Teacher evaluations still hot topic

    Tennessee’s new teacher evaluation system could undergo changes for years to come.
    “Our assumption is that we’re going to make some tweaks every year,” Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said.
    Huffman spoke with Roane County school system employees at the central office building in Kingston last week. The evaluation system that started last year was a hot topic. 

  • Troubled Kingston intersection getting help

    By MIKE GIBSON
    newsroom@roanecounty.com
    The bad news is that the revamping of the intersection of Hwys. 58 and 70 in Kingston will take a little longer than local officials had hoped.
    The good news is that the funding is already there, in these times of tight purse strings, and the delay is only a matter of months.
    The intersection is due for a number of improvements, including the addition of left-turn lanes. Kingston Mayor Troy Beets had originally hoped the project would be well under way this fall.

  • To clean up dilapidated Harriman properties, setting priorities is key

    Prioritizing is key to successfully tackling the cleanup effort in Harriman.

    That was what City Attorney Harold Balcom said recently at a workshop completely focused on what the city could do to more successfully handle the cleanup of delapidated properties in the city.

    Balcom suggested making a list of priority properties each year, just like the street committee makes a list of roads that most need to be paved.

    “Set priorities. What kind of priorities are we interested in dealing with in this cycle?” Balcom said.

  • Roane County High School marching band camp
  • Rockwood city budget up for second reading, final approval

    Might Rockwood finally put its budget to rest this week?

    On Thursday Rockwood officials are set to consider a second reading of the city’s 2013 budget at a special-called meeting at 4 p.m.

    At issue is whether to make final the proposed $6.3 million budget.

    It’s been a divisive issue, with three Rockwood City Council members favoring the proposed budget and three others equally as determined to continue to study and tweak it.

    First reading passed unanimously, despite previous failed attempts at passing a budget early on.

  • Women arrested at meth house

    Two women who returned to the scene of a meth lab were arrested Saturday night. Kerry
    Elizabeth Ivey, 30, and Rebecca Leigh Webb, 28, are charged with criminal trespassing.

    Last month they were charged with manufacturing a controlled substance, child endangerment and possession of drug paraphernalia when a meth lab and a 3-year-old child was discovered at 126 Broken Arrow Point.

    The residence was put under quarantine.

    According to the report on the criminal trespassing charges, an anonymous caller said two women were trespassing at the residence.

  • Honor Guard in need of a few good men

    The Roane County Military Memorial Honor Guard does its best to honor the lives of veterans, but dwindling numbers and an older set is making it harder.
    “We need some young guys,” said Glenn Collins, a member of the group. “To us, anyone under 70 is a young guy.”
    Collins and his fellow guard members serve beautifully, donning their dress uniforms for funeral services, which the organization does for no charge for families of honorably discharged veterans.