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Local News

  • Harriman site on Superfund

    The Clinch River Corp. site, once a paper mill on the Emory River in Harriman, has been named to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
    That means federal help with cleaning up hazardous wastes left behind.
    The site had been recommended previously, but not officially placed on the list.
    An EPA news release said Superfund is a federal program “that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country.”

  • Probation violators fill jail

    District Attorney General Russell Johnson said last week he isn’t ready to soften his stance on probation violators.
    The Roane County Jail faces the prospect of decertification due to overcrowding. Many people are in jail for violating probation.
    “A lot of it is they’re testing positive on drug tests, or they’re picking up new charges,” Johnson said. “That just goes to show why those folks need to be in there longer if they’re not conforming to the rules and re-offending.” 

  • Ash spill meeting scheduled

    TVA, along with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, will hold a public meeting on progress of the Kingston Ash Recovery Project and long-term monitoring plans.
    The meeting will be Thursday, May 30, from 5:30-7 p.m. in the auditorium of Roane County High School in Building B on the school’s Spring Street side.

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Doing a little reassessing of my own

    Life can be humbling.
    I’d been in “a mood” since late last week, when I received a notice from the property assessor’s office increasing the assessed value of my modest — at best — 1950s ranch house by more than $20,000.
    They said the house I paid about $94,000 less than a decade ago was now worth nearly $145,000.
    You’d howl about this if you could see my house.

  • Midtown annexation IS possible

    The state senate bill that created an annexation moratorium does not necessarily protect all of Midtown’s Hwy. 70 corridor from Harriman’s reach after all.
    Instead, the bill’s moratorium against any city extending its corporate limits by annexation ordinance from April 1, 2013, to May 1, 2014, only extends to property used primarily for residential or agricultural purposes.
    It says nothing about commercial properties.
    Also, the citizen voting requirement for annexation is a no-go.

  • Jim Henry officially DCS director

    Forget the interim part: After a short stint filling in, Kingston’s Jim Henry is now the commissioner of the Department of Children’s Services.
    Gov. Bill Haslam announced the full appointment Tuesday to the beleagured department.
    Henry, the first commissioner of the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, had also been serving as interim director of DCS since February’s resignation of former DCS commissioner Kate O’Day.

  • Rocky’s case gets rockier

    Rocky Houston suffered another setback in his criminal case last week. U.S. Magistrate C. Clifford Shirley Jr. issued a report and recommendation, advising District Court Judge Danny Reeves to deny Houston’s motion to suppress pole camera footage.

  • Roane County Tea Party meets; co-chairman in D.C.
  • School board OK’s Aytes’ request to turn down pay raise

    The Roane County Board of Education voted 6-4 last Thursday to allow Director of Schools Gary Aytes to forgo his contracted $3,000 pay raise for the 2013-14 school year.
    The proposed budget for the upcoming year does not include across-the-board raises for school system employees, so Aytes said he didn’t think it was fair for him to get the raise.
    His salary will remain at $110,250 for the 2013-14 school year.

  • Schools may need 19¢ tax rate hike

    Roane County Board of Education member Mike “Brillo” Miller last month guaranteed the proposed budget for the 2013-14 school year wouldn’t require a 26-cent increase in the property tax rate to fund.
    “Will there probably be something? Yes, it will,” Miller said during a joint meeting with the Roane County Commission.
    Right now, that something is 19 cents.
    That’s the increase in the property tax rate school system business manager Eric Harbin is recommending the board request from the Roane County Commission.