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Local News

  • Paper? Check. Pencil? Check. iPad?

    Students at more Roane County schools could be allowed to use iPads, iPhones, iPods and other like devices during the school day next school year.

    Last July, the Board of Education approved a trial program for the 2013-14 school year that allows personal communication and personal electronic devices to be used by students attending Midway High School and Cherokee Middle School.

    The board’s policy committee voted last week to recommend expanding the program to all high schools for the 2014-15 school year.

  • Rockwood ponders hiking bid minimum

    Rockwood City Council approved a change to its purchasing policy several years ago to allow city representatives to purchase anything costing  less than $5,000 without advertising for competitive bids.

    Tonight — Monday — the council will consider first reading of an ordinance that would up that minimum to $10,000.

    “My motion would be that we move the required bid amount to $10,000 — but anything $5,000 or above has to be approved by city council,” said Councilman Jason Jolly.

  • Midtown traffic lights set to go on next week

    The westbound off-ramp at Interstate 40 and Pine Ridge Road is nearly finished.

    Traffic lights, which have been in place and covered in black plastic for several weeks, will soon be lit, Tennessee Department of Transportation spokesman Mark Nagi confirmed late last week.

    “The contractor is scheduled to be on the job site Monday, May 5, 2014, to adjust the lights and turn them on for the seven-day flashing,” Nagi said.
    The schedule is weather permitting, he added.

  • Rockwood may replace bridge

    A longtime dream of Rockwood officials — replacing the narrow bridge to the Roane County Animal Shelter on Manufacturers Road — may finally become reality.

    City officials said they were told the state has a surplus of $600,000 for bridge repairs in Roane County.

    “I advised Nashville we do want that bridge fixed,” said Mayor James Watts.

    The city will be required to match 2 percent — or roughly $6,000 of the $300,000 estimated bridge repair cost — through a state grant.

  • Rockwoodian arrested for firing gun at police, female

    A Rockwood man is accused of shooting toward a police officer, a patrol car and a fleeing female Thursday evening.

    Terry Alvin Jones, 45, is charged with two counts of attempted second-degree murder in the incident at 603 S. Douglas Ave.

    “We received a call on a domestic complaint,” said Rockwood Police Chief Danny Wright.

    “What happened was the female — the woman — came running out toward Brandon Smith — Officer Smith,” Wright said.

  • ‘Rad’ skills help kids defend themselves

    Midtown Elementary first- and second-graders were able to stand their ground after facing a kidnapping scenario, thanks to the help of the radKIDS self-defense training course.

    “We hope they never have to use these skills,” said Missy Lane, Roane County juvenile court youth service officer and truancy officer.

  • McFarland not letting go

    Tom McFarland’s position wasn’t swayed by the Roane County Election Commission’s unanimous decision to put Mike Pemberton on the ballot for the August election.

    “It still doesn’t change the fact that Mike Pemberton doesn’t live in the district,” McFarland contended.

    McFarland and Pemberton face each other in this year’s race for 9th Judicial District Circuit Court judge.

  • Accused killer on the lam?

    At press time Thursday, accused murderer Shawn Smoot was still at large.

    “We don’t know where he is, but everybody is on the look out for him,” District Attorney General Russell Johnson said.

    Johnson said that includes the U.S. Marshals Service.

    A warrant has been out for Smoot’s arrest for more than a week after Roane County Criminal Court Judge Eugene Eblen signed an April 23 order revoking his bond.

    Prosecutors moved for the revocation after Smoot was charged with DUI in McMinn County.

  • Official’s tax status puts seat in jeopardy

    It’s been a tough couple of years for Harriman City Councilman J.D. Sampson.

    According to the Tennessee Trustee’s website, Sampson still has not paid his 2012 or 2013 property taxes and personal property taxes of $7,890.

    “I guess I’m going to have to close down. I can’t seem to get any jobs,” said Sampson, who runs Sampson Group, a maintenance and custodial service.

    He said he recently bid on work at a variety of companies, but he’s not heard back yet.

  • TCAP incentives offered

    Roane County students started state TCAP testing Tuesday.

    With the pressure upon them, one middle school wanted to celebrate with a pep rally.

    Cherokee Middle School students created TCAP banners, performed skits, had Minute-

    To-Win-It-style games and group relay races.

    “We have students who really get really stressed out about TCAP’s,” said Amber Henderson, a seventh-grade math teacher. “The pep rally is a time for the kids to forget about the stress and just have some fun.”