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Local News

  • Alt school on chopping block

    The Roane County Board of Education is trying to decide how to make $1.582 million in budget cuts after its request for a 14-cent increase in the property tax rate was refused by the Roane County Commission. 
    The board heard a recommendation from Director of Schools Gary Aytes on what cuts to make during a Monday work session.
    “Our goal here was two-fold,” Aytes said. “First, protect achievement and, second, to protect our people’s jobs.”

  • State begins work on Hwy. 58/70 mess

    There may be some delays driving through Kingston over the next two or three months, but take heart — the inconveniences should serve to alleviate the city’s most severe traffic issue over the long haul.
    This month, the long-awaited restructuring of the intersection of Hwys. 58 and 70 begins, along with a massive repaving project, and the addition of high-tech traffic control systems on the affected roadways.
    The state-funded project began July 13 and continues through September.

  • Flooding temporarily shuts down firehall

    Rockwood Fire Department’s Station No. 2 on South Kingston Avenue is temporarily closed after heavy rainwater came through the rear walls and flooded the building.
    A crack in the wall had water pouring through it, and water seeped in elsewhere.
    Even the firefighters’ living quarters were flooded during the heavy rainfall that fell over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
    Fire equipment was moved to Station No. 1, and the ambulance service moved to Midtown.

  • Man in police chase caught in Kingston

    A Tellico Plains man wanted on 22 charges stemming from a police chase was arrested in Kingston late Sunday night.
    The charges against Austin C. Burns included reckless endangerment, evading arrest, aggravated assault and leaving the scene of an accident.
    “He stole a truck from his girlfriend’s mother,” Kingston Assistant Police Chief Gary Nelson said. “He ran from the deputies, ran from us, hit one of our cars, hit a van full of people up in Oak Ridge and then took off in the woods.”   

  • This Harriman budget comes without tax hike

    Harriman City Council approved final reading of its 2014 budget recently with no tax increase.
    Harriman Mayor Chris Mason, however, for a second year, predicted one would be coming down the road.
    “I don’t know when our last increase in taxes was. I just want to give fair warning: It is coming. One day, there will be a tax increase,” Mason said.
    He even said that Treasurer Charles Kerley asks about raising taxes each year.
    “Wait, he didn’t say that,” Kerley quipped.

  • Kingston moves to pave Kentucky Street

    Kingston may have finally found a way to put its long-accumulating state highway funds to good use.
    Kingston City Council approved a measure at the July 9 full council meeting authorizing Mayor Troy Beets to apply to the Tennessee Department of Transportation for permission to use more than $300,000 in Surface Transportation Program funds — state funds municipalities receive annually, and which Kingston has been saving for three years now — to pave Kentucky Street.
    There’s a hitch in using STP funds, however.

  • VW success could be big for Roane center

    Sales success for Volkswagen could mean expansion for the car company’s new Southeast Regional Distribution Center in Roane County.
    Adam Randall, a parts operation specialist for Volkswagen, said the 459,000-square-foot facility was built to support the company’s goal of selling 1 million vehicles – 800,000 Volkswagens and 200,000 Audis – in the United States by 2018.

  • Second petition against lawyer postpones hearing

    The disciplinary hearing for Harriman attorney Donice Butler that was scheduled to take place this week at the Roane County Courthouse has been postponed.
    The Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility, which oversees the conduct of attorneys, filed a petition for discipline against Butler in May 2012.
    Another one was filed on Friday.
    “The board has requested the hearing be continued due to a supplemental petition that is before the hearing panel,” Rita Webb, the executive secretary for the board, said.

  • Sidewalk, paving on in Rockwood

    When Rockwood Street Department spent less than planned in last fiscal year’s budget, officials  quickly put it to use.
    Sidewalks have been replaced in areas along Gateway Avenue, and other paving projects were done.
    “Totally, we did around $40,000 worth of repairs out of funds he had left,” said Rockwood City Recorder Becky Ruppe.
    She said Hugh O’Dell, street department head, was able to do the work because he managed his budget well.

  • FINALLY HITTING THE HARRIMAN TRAIL

    It’s taken years to get the Cornstalk Heights trailway grant project underway.
    “The project has finally started,” declared Bob Tidwell, a grant coordinator for the city of Harriman.
    “They started removing brick sidewalks today on Walden Street on the block just past Trenton.”
    Workers began taking up the historic old brick walkways on Walden Street last week in preparation to level and return the historic bricks on a more stable walking surface.
    Handicap-accessible corners will be at street intersections.