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Local News

  • DA opens review on Kirkham request

    Accusations about impropriety on the part of Roane County Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham were apparently serious enough to spark an investigation by District Attorney General Russell Johnson.
    County Attorney Tom McFarland told Kirkham in a letter last week that she was out of line for requesting raises for the five-member County Board of Equalization.  

  • Store fined for underage sales

    Harriman Beer Board divvied out a $1,500 fine to a convenience store that has been repeatedly busted for selling to minors in police stings.
    Harriman Police Chief Randy Heidle said a clerk at Lee’s Food Market No. 5 sold to an underage undercover officer on Aug. 13. The clerk, Wanda Davis, was cited, and store representatives said she has been terminated.
    “The last sting we did in August, [Lee’s] was the only one that failed,” Heidle said.

  • New county officers sworn in

    The Circuit Courtroom at the Roane County Courthouse was packed with family, friends, county employees and officials on Wednesday.
    The occasion that brought people out was the swearing-in ceremony for officials who were elected in August.
    “I was sweating all over,” Sheriff Jack Stockton joked. “I didn’t know if (Ron) Woody was swearing me in or if I was swearing him in.”
    Woody, the new county executive, was the first to be sworn in, with Sessions Court Judge Jeff Wicks doing the honors.

  • McFarland vs. Kirkham — again

    Roane County Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham is livid over a letter sent to her by County Attorney Tom McFarland.
    The letter, dated Sept. 1, said Kirkham is out of line by requesting raises for the five-member County Board of Equalization.
    “Taking actions that may be construed as improperly influencing the Board of Equalization to uphold her reappraisal numbers is improper, if not illegal,” McFarland said.
    Kirkham said McFarland should be ashamed of himself.

  • Physicians Plaza to locate across from Pinnacle Pointe

    With the anticipated move of Roane Medical Center to Midtown on the horizon, several healthcare providers are already planning a move to a new Physicians Plaza of Roane County.

    The plaza will be directly across from Pinnacle Pointe shopping center, on Hwy. 70 near Interstate 40 Exit 350.

  • Kim Nelson steps down from school board

    Circuit Court Clerk Kim Nelson has resigned her seat on the Roane County Board of Education. Nelson was elected circuit clerk in August. She was elected to the school board in 2008, and still had two years remaining on a four-year term.

    Nelson was sworn in as circuit clerk Wednesday morning at the courthouse. Her reason for resigning from the school board was explained in a statement she passed out.

  • New county exec shakes up emergency management team

    During the campaign for Roane County executive, Ron Woody promised to make changes to the emergency management department. He was true to his word.

    Shortly after being sworn in at the courthouse Wednesday morning, Woody said emergency management director Howie Rose and assistant director Scott Stout will each have a 9 percent pay reduction.

    “We will save enough money on the 9 percent to pay someone part time to come in and give us some leadership and direction,” Woody said.

  • More than 700 appeal property assessments

    After three months of hearings, the work could finally be winding down for the Roane County Board of Equalization.
    “Our last day is the 27th or 28th of September,” said board member Wilma Walker. “We hope.”
    Roane County is on a five-year reappraisal cycle. Notices of new property values were mailed out in May.
    Despite an economic downturn and an environmental disaster of national proportions, property values have risen in Roane County — some by huge amounts.   

  • Volunteer fire departments may get more money

    The county’s budget, whenever it’s passed, could include additional money for the volunteer fire departments.
    Blair, East, Midtown, South and West are Roane County’s five volunteer departments. Each receives $35,000 a year in contributions from the county for operating expenses and capital outlay.
    Earlier this year the budget committee voted to recommend that the amount be increased to $40,000.      

  • Mason confident about Harriman downtown's future

    Confident would be a good word to describe how Harriman Mayor Chris Mason sounds when he talks about drawing developers downtown.
    He even sees future progress on a number of buildings owned by a man the city has bumped heads with on compliance before, including on a building that has roof problems that have caused water to run into a neighboring owner’s store.
    “If we can find an interested developer, we’re 160 days away from taking ownership,” Mason said.