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Local News

  • Harriman board weighs conditions for blight in downtown properties

    Figuring out what should qualify as blight in a community is a key part of the cleanup effort in a redevelopment district, but it can be tricky business.
    Making that determination comes before letters can be sent to property owners citing them for unkempt conditions and giving them a deadline to clean it up.
    Harriman’s Redevelopment Advisory Board spent an entire meeting recently deciding just what conditions qualified as blight.

  • Taking a walk
  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Bringing up birdie ... a retrospective

    You’ve heard them — the birds are out in force again.

    In a few weeks, major spring migrations will be under way, and the birds that stay put will be courting and breeding.

    If you’ve followed this column much, you’ll know I love wild birds, but I’ve never aspired to have one in captivity. I have raised two birds — always with the goal of setting them free. The first was a nestling I found when I delivered newspapers in what seems like a lifetime ago.

    The more recent one was Arrow.

  • Time to pay your property taxes

    Monday is the deadline to pay 2010 property taxes.

    Roane County Trustee Wilma Eblen said people who pay after the deadline will be assessed a penalty of 1.5 percent.

    That amount increases by 1.5 percent each month the taxes are late.

    The Roane County Trustee’s Office is on the first floor of the courthouse in Kingston.

    Eblen said the office will be open on Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • Customers hate paying for sewer they don't use

    An increase in Roane County sewer rates is not what drew the ire of two people who showed up for a recent public hearing on the matter.

    “I thought Russia was the only place you had to pay for something you didn’t get,” said Lewis Jordan of K&K Lock and Key. “To me, it’s the principle of the thing.”

    Jordan’s complaint refers to the mandate that anyone with access to county sewer lines is required to pay the monthly fee, regardless of whether they receive the service.

  • Next step pondered for Rockwood utility operation

    It’s been months now since Rockwood City Council dissolved and then took over as the Rockwood Water, Wastewater and Gas Board.

    The city established an advisory board to make recommendations to the utility.

    Officials are saying they are taking steps to implement some of those suggestions.

    Councilwoman Peggy Evans, who has been the most demanding for changes within the utility, wants to move forward with the general manager search.

  • Fishing around
  • Laid-off ambulance worker speaks out

    Jack Jinks’ first assignment was overseeing the Roane County Office of Emergency Services.
    Now County Executive Ron Woody has him doing the same at the ambulance department.
    “We’re starting a little bit more hands-on management at the ambulance department because of some of the issues,” Woody said.
    The ambulance department was a hot topic at the Feb. 14 commission meeting. Woody assigned Jinks to the department the next day.    

  • County vehicle burns

    A Roane County ambulance was one of the vehicles that got destroyed in last week’s fire at Turpin Auto in Harriman.
    “It was our backup ambulance,” Roane County Executive Ron Woody said.
    Woody said the loss shouldn’t disrupt service.
    He said the county has five ambulances that run 24 hours a day and one that runs 10 hours a day.
    “If we were to have one to go out, the ambulance that just runs 10 hours a day would become a 24-hour ambulance,” he said.

  • Sides square off over teacher negotiations

    The president of the Roane County Education Association is no fan of the bill that would abolish teachers unions’ ability to negotiate with local boards of education.

    In fact, Jeff Davis, RCEA president and a teacher at Rockwood High School, called the bill a blatant attack on the Tennessee Education Association and its members.