Local News

  • $500,000 voting-machine bill?

    The need for election accountability may cost Roane Countians big — as much as $500,000.

    And that’s with the state chipping in.

    An election paper trail means Roane County could have to purchase new voting machines in the next few years. Even with the state chipping in, Administrator of Elections Charles Holiway estimated the cost for the county could run as high as $500,000.

  • Landfill seepage being addressed by county officials

    Issues continue to arise with the old landfill in Midtown, according to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

    “The old Roane County Landfill is in post-closure and for several years has had small localized seeps along with occasional landfill gas issues,” TDEC spokeswoman Kelly Brockman said. “This has caused final-cover grass to die in spots.”

    Brockman said the state has asked Roane County to install vent pipes and cover the seeps with plastic when it rains.

  • Petition at Walmart gets too few signers to allow sales of wine

    A measure to allow wine sales in grocery stores won’t be on the ballot for Rockwood voters in November.

    That means there will be no wine sales at Walmart.

    Roane County Administrator of Elections Charles Holiway said the retail giant led a late push to get the measure on the ballot, but couldn’t get enough qualifying signatures by the Aug. 21 deadline.

  • County looks at sales tax for revenue

    An increase in the Local Option Sales Tax sparked a lot of discussion during a Roane County Commission workshop on Thursday at the courthouse. The current rate is 2.5 percent. It is eligible to go to 2.75 percent. 

    Commissioner Bobby Collier said the increase could help alleviate some of the funding woes facing the school system.

    “I’m going to support that,” he said. “It just makes good sense to me.” 

  • Harriman vets honored with diplomas

    Two Harriman High School would-be graduates didn’t make it to their caps and gowns when they were young men.

    Instead, over 40 years later Melvin Page and Chester Edwards both got their diplomas at the Roane County School Board meeting last Thursday thanks to legislation that permits diplomas to be issued to veterans whose education was interrupted by their service in World War I, World War II, the Korean War or Vietnam War. 

  • Schools have no backup plan if tax hike fails

    Roane County Commissioner Ron Berry was surprised to hear that school officials don’t have a contingency plan in place in case their request for a 9-cent increase in the property tax rate doesn’t get approved.  

    Director of Schools Gary Aytes said they didn’t think a backup option was needed. 

    “We felt pretty confident that’s what we could get,” he said. 

    The 9-cent increase will generate $1.017 million. School officials are counting on the money to fund their 2014-15 budget. 

  • Harriman budget has no tax increase

    The 2015 budget passed easily with no tax increase at the special-called Harriman City Council meeting Thursday.

    Harriman City Councilman J.D. Sampson didn’t make a motion to raise taxes, but he thought it would be a good idea. He said costs will continue to rise, and raising taxes now in addition to debt payoffs in the next year or two will mean more money in the city’s coffers for paving and other needs. 

    “I aint going to make the motion to raise taxes, but I think as the mayor has said the time is coming,” Sampson said.

  • Judge assigned in McFarland lawsuit

    Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade has appointed Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood to hear Tom McFarland’s election lawsuit. 

    McFarland lost to Mike Pemberton in the race for 9th Judicial District circuit court judge. He’s now suing Pemberton, the Roane County Election Commission and Tennessee Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins in Roane County Chancery Court. 

  • Meadows managed bank not a problem for trustee

    The Roane County Trustee’s Office can continue to do business with United Community Bank after Darryl Meadows becomes a county commissioner on Sept. 1. That’s the opinion of Greg Leffew, who will become the county attorney on that same day. 

    The trustee’s office banks with United Community Bank, where Meadows serves as the branch manager.