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Local News

  • Rockwood man earns hefty sentence

    A Rockwood man was sentenced to 262 months —nearly 22 years — in federal court this week on his charges of posing as a federal agent to commit a violent Oak Ridge home invasion in 2009.

    In February, a jury convicted Ricky Eugene Cofer of impersonation of an officer and being a convicted felon in possession of a pistol.

    In addition to his federal sentence, he is already serving time in the state prison system.

  • Cost of college jumps

    Roane State Community College and Tennessee Technology Center will both see rising tuition and fees after the Tennessee Board of Regents approved increases last week for all its institutions.

    The board also approved a 3-percent cost-of-living allowance for all regular, eligible board of regents employees.

    Roane State and other community college students across the state can expect to pay $132 more per semester.

    Tennessee Technology Center at Harriman students can expect to pay $80 more per semester.

  • Drug dealer in court on murder charge

    Convicted drug dealer Ralph O’Neal was arraigned for first-degree murder in Roane County Criminal Court on Monday.

    He’s charged with the August 2007 murder of Ronnie Dean Cofer.

    Sporting dreadlocks, O’Neal entered the courtroom in handcuffs and dressed in a striped jail uniform.

    He pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.  

    O’Neal’s legal troubles date back years.

    He was indicted on federal drug charges in 2008.

  • Director sums up state of Roane County Schools

    By TONI McGRIFF
    Director, Roane County Schools
    School year 2010-11 was very challenging for Roane County Schools. 
    Our teachers and students were working with new, more rigorous standards and with a new more rigorous method of measurement. 
    The standards were increased in 2008-09, and teachers prepared for the changes through training, realignment of the curriculum and review of new assessment methods.
    The new measurement scale was approved by the State Board in 2009 and was applied to the results in the spring of 2010. 

  • Beets elected to TML board

    Troy Beets, Kingston mayor, was elected to the board of directors of the Tennessee Municipal League during the league’s annual conference recently held in Murfreesboro.
    Kay Senter, mayor pro tem of Morristown, was elected president.
    Beets was nominated as a director at- large by a six-member nominating committee composed of municipal officials statewide.
    He was then elected for a one-year term by a majority vote of the entire membership.

  • Lightning strikes
  • Quilters donate to hospice group
  • Tax hike likely for city dwellers

    Property owners in Harriman and Oak Ridge aren’t the only ones who could see an increase in their county property taxes.

    People who own land in Kingston, Oliver Springs and Rockwood could as well.

    When the Roane County Budget Committee finished work on Friday, the proposed property tax rate for Kingston, Oliver Springs and Rockwood was $2.14 per $100 valuation. That represents an increase of about 4 cents.

    The proposed rate for Harriman was $2 per $100 valuation, an increase of about 5.5 cents.

  • All hands on deck for Kingston raft race

    Kingston City Manager Jim Pinkerton and Public Works Director Tim Clark are professional city administrators.

    But when it comes to the city’s annual Fourth of July raft race, the gloves are off — and the trash-talking is on.

    Good-naturedly, of course.

    “It’s our chance to be a kid again,” Clark said.

    The two have fervently competed together in the Fourth of July’s Raft Race for four years. And while they count successes on the job, it’s a different story on the water.

  • Rockwood water rates going up

    Rockwood water and sewer customers will soon see rate increases.

    The question is how much.

    “We need to be aware that the state in November, if something isn’t done, then we are not going to be able to show we’re covering our operating expenses and the state will take over at that point as far as the rates,” warned Rockwood Water, Sewer and Natural Gas General Manager Kimberly Ramsey during a workshop with the governing board last week.