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Local News

  • Officials believe Dyllis Springs will be a cost-saving school

    Construction on the new Dyllis Springs Elementary School is coming along.

    “We’re hoping by the first of the (2012-13 school) year everything is cleared up, ready to go and we’re moving kids in to start teaching,” Roane County Board of Education Chairman Sam Cox said.

    Cox and other board members toured the school earlier this month.

    “I hope it will help us save money on utilities and so forth,” Cox said. “With money as tight as it is right now, that’s going to be very important.”

  • Embattled Rockwood administrator offers budget

    Rockwood Mayor James Watts’ proposed budget for 2012-13 eliminates Rockwood City Administrator Jack Miller’s job and calls for a 25-cent increase in the city’s tax rate.

    Miller, however, had previously made a budget proposal that would begin to solve the city’s dire financial straights but without quite the pinch to taxpayers. His suggestions were distributed to city officials prior to Watts’ proposal last week.

  • School board takes tax increase off the table

    Two things about the 2012-13 school budget bothered longtime Roane County Board of Education Member Mike “Brillo” Miller.

    One was some support employees were excluded from getting a 2-percent raise.

    The other was having to ask the Roane County Commission for a 6-cent property-tax rate increase to fund the budget.    

    Those two issues were addressed at last week’s board meeting. Miller made a motion to give all support employees a 2-percent raise and use $739,233 of surplus to balance the budget.

  • Kids call fowl on Fun Day

    Samuel Corum proves he’s no chicken by getting up close with a fine-feathered friend during the recent Roane County United Way Famly Fun Day celebration.

    This chick was just one of the critters in the Extension Service exhibit that proved to be a popular draw for the event at Roane State Community College.

  • Aytes getting lower salary, short contract

    The Roane County Board of Education approved a contract for new Director of Schools Gary Aytes at last week’s meeting.

    Aytes will take over for retiring director Toni McGriff on July 1.

    His contract is only for two years. McGriff, by comparison, started with a four-year contract when she was hired in 2005.  

    The board does have the option to grant Aytes an extension before the contract expires on June 30, 2014.

    “It’s fine with me,” Aytes said about his contract.

  • Dad of tot says he was rarely home

    The Roane County Sheriff’s Office has released more information about the death of 2-year-old Clifford Dotson.

    Clifford lived with his parents, Amanda and Matthew Dotson, at 180 Lerchen Road in East Roane County.

    According to an incident report, an officer was dispatched to the address at 4:47 a.m. May 3 to investigate a suspicious death.

    “Fort Loudoun hospital in Lenoir City called in that Amanda Dotson had come to the hospital with a dead child,” the report said.

  • Change a common theme among state House candidates

    Room C of Kingston Community Center was packed full of folks from both sides of the political spectrum as candidates for Tennessee House of Representatives sounded off Thursday during a Roane County Tea Party forum.

    Members of the group were concerned about each of the candidates’ stands on the issues — and they were ready with opinions of their own.

  • Assessor candidate loses property to foreclosure

    Property owned by Roane County property assessor candidate Cheryl Laxton and her husband was foreclosed on by Citizens National Bank earlier this year.

    Laxton said she doesn’t think that should be a reflection on her ability to run the assessor’s office.

    “We were caught up in a downturn economy like so many other great people in Roane County,” she said.

    The property is located in Providence Place subdivision on Hwy. 58. Laxton said she and her husband purchased it in 2008 with plans to build mid-scale condos.   

  • Longtime Rockwood employee’s position cut

    Rockwood officials have cut a longtime employee in response to the city’s financial woes
    Finance officer Joby Lancaster, the person Vice Mayor Peggy Evans continually placed blame on for failure to pay payroll tax and Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System payments on time, was let go on Thursday, May 10. The city paid thousands of dollars in fines for the late payments.
    Auditors at one meeting said the fines from the IRS were the result from at least 10 different penalties.

  • Rockwood financial crisis

    Rockwood City Administrator Jack Miller may be out if the Rockwood City Council approves a budget proposed by Mayor James Watts.
    However, some council members are not so ready to see Miller go.
    Since Miller took office late last year, the city council has been more aware than ever about the financial strains the city is facing.
    One of those strains is a negative fund balance of more than $1 million, with city expenditures continuing to substantially outpace revenues.