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Local News

  • Budget shortfalls — pay raises

    Do ambulance workers deserve a raise when their department is in such dire financial straits?

    That’s a question county commissioners could have to answer in the coming weeks.

    Gloria Wright, director of the ambulance service, has requested a raise of 5 cents an hour for her employees.

    Roane County Executive Ron Woody said the request came as a shock to him.

    The ambulance department is projected to have just $18,000 when the fiscal year ends June 30.

    That’s not enough to keep the department operating.  

  • Electrical outage victims left to wonder

    Approximately 2,000 Rockwood Electric Utility customers were without electricity much of Saturday after a piece of equipment on top of a power pole blew up, setting fire to a power line near RedBones on the River.
     

    Some were without power for more than five hours. With nightfall coming and temperatures heading into the teens, they were left hanging on their options.

    That could change, according to Kendall Bear, general manager of REU, but not any time soon.

  • Mother of Patton child describes hardship

    When Mark Patton was “Walking Tall” as a constable, he was also falling short — in his child support payments.

    Lynne Harris has a daughter by Patton, a former Roane County constable. He was recently jailed in McMinn County for not paying his child support.

    “He wanted to hold all police officers to the same standard of law they held other people to, but yet at the same time he was not paying his child support,” she said. “To me, that’s ridiculous.”

  • Outsourcing to prevent tax hike OK with new commissioner

    On election night last August, Nick Forrester said he believed the voters wanted Roane County government to tighten its belt.

    Five months later the first-term county commissioner said he believes that’s still the case.

    Forrester said that’s why he won’t support a property tax increase to solve the problems facing the county’s ambulance department.

    “I think there’s ways we can go about that, other than raising property taxes,” he said.

  • Covenant applies for $72 million hospital

    Covenant Health has given notice about its intent to apply for a certificate of need for the new hospital in Midtown.

    According to the notice, the existing hospital — Roane Medical Center — has 105 licensed beds, including 10 swing beds. The new hospital will have 54 licensed beds, including 10 swing beds.

    The swing bed program is available for Medicare patients who need transition care.

    The only change for the Medicare patient under a swing bed program is the level of care.

  • SNOW! Roane County Commission cancels meeting

    A heavy blanket of snow prompted Tennessee to declare a state of emergency Monday. Tennessee Emergency Management Agency called in additional staff to monitor the winter storm that dumped 6 to 8 inches of snow across Roane County by Monday morning — with more on the way.

    Staff at TEMA's facility in Knoxville and Jackson were placed on duty, and a number of TEMA staff and emergency service coordinators from the Departments of Safety  and Transportation reported to TEMA's headquarters in Nashville.

  • Y-12 earns ‘Excellent’ ’10 rating

    B&W Y-12 earned an “Excellent” rating of 94 out of a possible 100 from the National Nuclear Security Administration for its 2010 performance, resulting in a fee award of $45.2 million for the management and operation of the Y-12 National Security Complex.
    B&W Y-12 was awarded more than $2.8 million for work that Y-12 performed for other government agencies, and more than $5.4 million for managing one of the largest American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contracts in the nation, which includes demolition or cleanup of several aged facilities at Y-12.

  • IRS offers help with payroll tax laws

    The Internal Revenue Service has released instructions to help employers implement the 2011 cut in payroll taxes, along with new income-tax withholding tables that employers will use during 2011.
    Millions of workers will see their take-home pay rise during 2011 because the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 provides a 2-percentage point payroll tax cut for employees, reducing their Social Security tax withholding rate from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent of wages paid.

  • What legacy will Ferguson leave?

    Basic Education Plan. Tennessee Lottery. A failed push for a state income tax.

    Dennis Ferguson witnessed them all from his chair in the Tennessee House of Representatives. And, with the exception of the proposed income tax, he voted in favor of them — and the budgets to fund them.

    “There was a lot of times I had to hold my nose and turn my head, but I voted for it,” he said of the budgets that he’s approved over a 20-year period. “Everything’s not been perfect, but I believe the good outweighs the bad.”

  • Four charged in meth lab operations

    A strong chemical smell tends to be an obvious sign of meth activity.

    Deputies detected the smell at a home on River Road last Tuesday.

    “We talked to the people there and saw signs and evidence that meth was being cooked and being used,” Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said. “We took four people into custody and actually found the components of the lab where they had recently been cooking.”