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Local News

  • Kingston gets post-tornado disaster relief

    Kingston Mayor Troy Beets helped secure $150,000 for the city of Kingston’s disaster relief efforts.

    He gave Katie Moore, the East Tennessee liaison for the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, an hour-long tour pointing out damage done by a tornado that buzzed the city on June 10.

    “The mayor did a great job of telling the story,” said Moore. “We saw trees sitting on the tops of houses, gutters and siding ripped off, lots of damage.”

  • Mayor Beets rises in state municipal group

    Kingston Mayor Troy Beets was already an active member of many statewide municipal government organizations; now you can add one more credential to his resume.

    Beets was selected as the next statewide vice president of Tennessee Municipal League at the association’s June meeting.

    He was already a district director for TML.

    Tennessee Municipal League is a statewide coalition of local governments that lobbies for legislation favorable to municipalities; it also provides a number of services to its member cities.

  • Lawyer’s comments subject of scrutiny

    The Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility is looking into comments Harriman attorney Donice Butler made about the hearing panel that ruled in her disciplinary case.

    Some of Butler’s former clients accused her of wrongdoing, and the board filed a disciplinary petition over the allegations. In April, the three-member hearing panel that heard the case found Butler violated rules of professional conduct in five of the six complaints.

    Butler claimed the hearing panel ruled against her because they were bought off by the board.

  • ‘God We Trust’ plaque approved

    The words “In God We Trust” will soon be affixed to both sides of the Roane County Courthouse.

    Commissioners amended a resolution on Monday to put the phrase over the north and south entrances to the building.

    “It’s on all of our currency, and a lot of courthouses across the country and the state of Tennessee,” Commissioner Ray Cantrell said. “Why not here?”

  • Hiccup on mixed-drink revenue could give city coffers hangover

    City coffers will be taking a hit after a decision to start enforcing the payment of a city portion of mixed drinks taxes to the local school systems.

    “For years, many local governments were not sharing that tax or did not know they were supposed to share that tax with the school system,” said state Sen. Ken Yager.

  • Stationery rebuts McFarland denial in judicial race

    A letter recently sent to the city of Rockwood requesting Mike Pemberton’s utility bills arrived in a Tom McFarland law firm envelope.

    Pemberton and McFarland face each other in the race for 9th Judicial District circuit court judge.

    The letter was signed by Willis Hall, a former McFarland client, who challenged the Roane County Election Commission’s decision to put Pemberton on the ballot.

    Pemberton and his supporters contend the envelope is proof McFarland was behind the effort.

  • RSCC teacher readies for undersea class

    Roane State Community College biology professor Bruce Cantrell will finally have a chance to teach Roane State students about living and working under the sea. And he’ll do it while he lives and works under the sea.

    Cantrell and faculty member Jessica Fain will live and teach from an underwater habitat for 72 days this fall. While they live in a space the size of a college dorm room submerged about 25 feet, Cantrell and Fain will host weekly shows titled Classroom Under the Sea.

  • STUDY ABROAD?

    A grant awarded by the Tennessee Board of Regents helped Roane State Community College students participate in study abroad programs this spring.

    Access and Diversity grants are awarded by the Tennessee Board of Regents to projects promoting diversity, enhancing inclusiveness, and strengthening the presence of underrepresented groups on campuses statewide.

  • Fleischmann will be no-show

    The Roane County Tea Party planned to have U.S. Congressman Chuck Fleischmann and rival Weston Wamp appear at a debate forum in Kingston on Thursday.

    Now Fleischmann will not attend.  

    “Congress is in session during that time, so he will not be there,” Fleischmann spokesman Jordan Powell said Sunday.

    The Tea Party sent out a press release on July 10 that said, “Both candidates have agreed to attend.”

  • Schools asking for 9-cent tax hike

    The Roane County Board of Education approved a $64.8 million budget on Thursday that requests a 9-cent increase in the property tax rate.

    “It’s certainly not what we need, but it will keep us going for two or three years,” Director of Schools Gary Aytes said. “By that time, we hope the economy will recover and the state will come through with some more funding.”

    The budget passed by an 8-2 vote. Mike “Brillo” Miller and Danny Wright were the two who voted no.