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Local News

  • Assessor OK with staffer selling real estate

    Cheryl Laxton continues to work as a real estate agent while serving as the chief of staff at the Roane County Property Assessor’s Office.
    Her boss, Property Assessor David Morgan, said that’s OK with him.
    “As long as it doesn’t get to the point where there’s any kind of conflict of interest with the office,” Morgan said.
    Laxton hasn’t tried to conceal her working as an agent with Coldwell Banker Jim Henry and Associates.
    She’s posted comments about it on her Facebook page.

  • SROs may be cut from school budget

    The county’s budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year could wind up in some peril if the Roane County Board of Education decides to cut out funding for school resource officers.
    The cost for the six SROs is shared between the school system and the county with the schools budgeted to contribute $210,000.
    The school board asked the county commission to increase the property tax rate by 14 cents to make up for a budget shortfall caused by a drop in state funding.

  • State inmates hike up jail roll

    State inmates are contributing to the overcrowding problems at the Roane County Jail, which has a certified capacity of 174.
    A July 2 inspection conducted by the Tennessee Corrections Institute noted that the population was 194.
    However, the population would have been 176, just two over capacity, without the 18 state inmates in custody that day.
    Dorinda Carter, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Correction, said it’s common for jails to house state prisoners.

  • No probation for convicted rapist

    A convicted rapist left the Roane County Courthouse criminal courtroom handcuffed and crying Wednesday afternoon.
    Darrell Wayne Griffin, 37, was charged with five counts of statutory rape by an authority figure.

    He pleaded guilty to three of the five counts in March. The other two were dismissed.
    Griffin was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday.
    “He’s doing three years at 100 percent,” Assistant District Attorney General Bill Reedy said. “There’s no probation.”

  • ‘Please don’t open it back up’

    Oak Ridge attorney Mike Ritter compared the Grill & Pub to an old house that needs a facelift. He insisted his client, Harriman resident Roma L. Christopher, was the one who could fix it up.
    “It’s standing by itself and it doesn’t look good and it’s been in shambles,” Ritter said. “Someone with integrity can come along and make that house look a lot better, and I submit to you that’s what these people intend to do.”

  • Kingston gears up for belated Fourth bash

    The National Weather Service is calling for mostly sunny skies on Saturday.
    That’s what the city of Kingston is counting on.
    After having to cancel the majority of the city’s Fourth of July
    activities due to last week’s torrential rains, Kingston plans to celebrate America’s 237th birthday this weekend with a bash befitting The Land of the Free, albeit a week late.
    The pinnacle event for Smokin’ the Water, Kingston’s Independence Day celebration, starts at dark Saturday.

  • State orders plan of action for Roane County Jail

    The overcrowding situation at the Roane County Jail is not that dire, according to Tennessee Corrections Institute records.
    The jail was built for 172 inmates, but has a TCI certified capacity of 174 because the county was able to add two beds in protective custody.
    The population was 194 when TCI inspector Denise Messer inspected the jail on July 2. Eighteen of the people in custody that day were Tennessee Department of Correction inmates.
    Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said last week that the inspector recommended the jail be decertified.

  • Saving CEMETERIES

    Nestled in the woods and overgrowth next to the old Harriman Baptist Tabernacle on Old Roane Street hides numerous old graves.
    The old church and fellowship hall is across the street from the current church building.

    Church member Ralph Magill hopes someone in the community will step forward and identify someone responsible for the graves or offer to help fix up the overgrown plots.
    “If they want to send us any paperwork. If they know anything about it,” Magill said.

  • Man tries to break into jail

    Most people want out of jail.
    Benjamin Heath Clark apparently wanted in Wednesday morning.
    At approximately 2 a.m., Kingston police were dispatched to the Roane County Jail on Third Street about a possible drunk person.
    “Upon arrival, I found Mr. Clark standing at the exit door of the RCSO (Roane County Sheriff’s Office), and had been trying to get in the jail side door,” Kingston Officer Roy Montgomery wrote in his report.

  • Hit Watts Bar Lake with Louie Buoy

    “Louie Buoy” is the winning name for the Roane County Visitors Bureau’s new “buoy” character created to help promote Watts Bar Lake.
    The whimsical character is the first in a line of “weebul peepul” (or WBL PPL in chat slang) created to help promote the assets of Roane County’s Watts Bar Lake.
    The character was created by Lisa Horstman, children’s book illustrator and author.