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Local News

  • 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.

  • Tip foils prank at Rockwood High

    A group of Rockwood teens must have been disappointed when their small prank went awry last week.
    A school employee was tipped off that there would be a prank at Rockwood High School on the night of Thursday, May 10. The employee kept an eye on security cameras and saw the group of pranksters enter through the boiler room, move into the hallway and drop what a Rockwood police report characterized as “inappropriate pictures.”
    No damage was done to the school and the male teens ran out of the building after dropping the pictures.

  • Police Explorers help sick girl

    The dreams of a sick little girl will be answered, thanks to help from the Kingston Police Department Explorer Post 376.
    The Explorer Post adopted 12-year-old Kimberly through Make-A-Wish Foundation of East Tennessee.
    “We have made her an honorary Explorer for life. She decided she wanted to do this, and she loves the post,” said Matthew Sackett, Explorer Post adviser.
    “She came to our meeting last month; for the first time we got to meet her,” Sackett added.