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Local News

  • OUCH! Tax assessment hikes leave some gasping

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    If the crowd that gathered in Claude and Judith Prater’s Sequoyah Shores living room Monday evening was any indication, there are some upset property owners in Roane County.

    The source of the anger is the reappraisal notices that arrived in the mail over the weekend.

    Claude said he gasped when he saw the appraised value on his property was nearly half a million dollars.

  • Utility head accuses council trio of illegal meetings

    By CHERYL DUNCAN

    cduncan@roanecounty.com

    The general manager of three Rockwood public utilities is accusing three Rockwood City Council members of violating the Tennessee Open Meetings Law in an attempt to oust him from his job.

    In a lawsuit filed Thursday in Roane County Circuit Court, Rod King contends Rockwood Vice Mayor Peggy Evans and council members Ray Collett and Bill Thompson had secret meetings to discuss action that would lead to his removal as head of Rockwood Water, Wastewater and Natural Gas.

  • TVA goes with on-site ash storage for Phase 2 cleanup

    STAFF REPORTS

    Cheaper and least disruptive.

    TVA cited those factors for choosing on site disposal for the ash that’s removed in Phase 2 of the disaster cleanup.

    Phase 1, which is nearing completion, involved removing ash from the Emory River. Phase 2 includes removing ash from the embayment and closing the failed dredge cell.

    TVA said the work is expected to take almost four years and cost about $270 million.

    Three alternatives were considering for Phase 2; TVA went with the cheapest option.

  • Kilgore can be deposed in TVA lawsuits

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    TVA’s attempt to prevent Tom Kilgore from being deposed was unsuccessful.

    In a ruling handed down Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Bruce Guyton ruled that plaintiffs suing TVA over the fly ash catastrophe can depose Kilgore, the agency’s president and CEO.

  • Senior center sought

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    Ann Griffin Varga is retired, and she’s looking for something to do.

    The problem: No central place exists in Roane County where she and others her age can share a pursuit of common interests and hobbies.

    Advocates for the area’s aging, however, hope to see that soon change with construction of a senior center in a central area.

    “We’re ready for it,” Varga said. “Us seniors don’t have any place to do anything in the winter.”

  • Rocky Houston released from jail

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Last week Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said he expected Rocky Houston to be released from jail any day now.

    That day came Wednesday.

    "I got an order from the court today about 12:35, and he was out of here shortly after 1," Stockton said.

  • Reappraisal notices hit mail

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Roane County property owners should receive their new appraisal notices in the next few days. Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham said they will be mailed out today, May 14. In this final installment of a question-and-answer session, Kirkham discusses several topics, including her reluctance to disclose the location of the reappraisal office.

    Why do the county and cities depend so much on your office to set their budgets?

  • New EPA rules could affect TVA cleanup

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rules to regulate coal ash could impact the non-time critical phase of TVA’s disaster cleanup.     

    “How it affects what we want to do with phase 2 and closure of the cell, we’re still sifting through that,” said Craig Zeller, the EPA engineer in charge of the non-time critical cleanup.

  • Rocky Houston release looms

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Rocky Houston now has something new in common with his brother.

    Both no longer have to face murder charges for the deaths of Roane County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Jones and his ride-along passenger Mike Brown.

    Leon Houston was acquitted in November on all charges in the deaths of the two men.

  • RSCC reaches around the world

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    Most people are familiar with student exchange programs for high school students.

    There are, however, such programs for college students, and Roane State Community College has eight exchange students.

    “It can be a lot of fun if you go into it with an open mind,” said Melissa Rahmanian.

    Rhamanian is program coordinator for Youth for Understanding. She also coordinates another program, Congress-Bundestag.