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Local News

  • Part 2: Property assessor Q&A

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Roane County has one of the highest property tax rates ($2.72) in the area. Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham said the Roane County Commission will be required by law to decrease the tax rate this year because of the reappraisal. However, that does not mean everyone in the county will be paying less taxes. Kirkham explains how that’s the case in Part 2 of a question and answer session with the Roane County News.   

    How will some people end up paying more if the tax rate is decreased?

  • Roane County's Manson link seeks release

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    If high school yearbook quotes are supposed to tell something about a person, Bruce Davis’ was quite fitting.

    “An angry young man,” reads the quote accompanying his senior picture.

    That would prove true for Davis later in life.

    The 1961 graduate of Roane County High School was a member of the murderous Charles Manson Family. The cult went on a violent killing spree in California in 1969. Their victims included actress Sharon Tate.

  • Roane State Expo Center safe, for now

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    It was on the chopping block, but the Henry/Stafford East Tennessee Agricultural Exposition Center at Roane State Community College is now safe from budget cuts.

    While the college faced substantial cuts, officials were able to make some smart changes.

    “Even with all the budget cuts, I want to make sure we still offer a quality education,”  Roane State President Gary Goff said.

    The college had funding cuts of $1.33 million.

  • Audit targets Oliver Springs officials

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    Improper dental insurance coverage and the city manager’s personal charges on an Oliver Springs credit card were all listed in a letter announcing a state’s investigative audit from July 2009 to March 2010.

    The letter was from Dennis Dycus, director of the Division of Municipal Audit.

    Three Oliver Springs officials were the main focus of the audit by the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasurer.

  • Deputy's car involved in Sunday accident

    By DAVID DOONAN

    ddoonan@roanecounty.com

    A routine county prisoner transfer turned into a two-vehicle accident Sunday morning.

    According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, a Roane County Sheriff's Office patrol car driven by Deputy Dustin Hensley, was transporting two prisoners from Rockwood to the Roane County Jail on Hwy. 27 in front of Walmart when a pickup driven by Craig Johnson of Spring City pulled out onto the highway into the path of the patrol car.

  • Rockwood to pull board health insurance

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    A pricey perk that was once an option for members of Rockwood City Council and some of the city’s other boards and commissions is being eliminated.

    Rockwood City Council approved a resolution Monday night prohibiting health insurance benefits to members of council, boards, commission or authorities elected or appointed by the mayor or city council beginning July 1.

    Currently the city is paying approximately $325,000 for insurance benefits citywide.

  • Q&A on property-tax reassessments

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Property is reappraised every five years in Roane County.

    This year’s might prove more contentious than years past.

    “It may be the crucifixion for me,” Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham said. “That’s what I’ve called it.”

    Some in the community have expressed dismay with her declaration that property values have increased in Roane County. The following is Part 1 of a question-and-answer session between Kirkham and the Roane County News.

  • Inspections indicate problems at landfill

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    A violation was noted during separate Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation inspections of the closed Roane County landfill last year.

    The July 27, 2009, inspection noted a violation because the facility did not correspond with permit conditions.

  • County's white house won't be appraised

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    The property assessor’s office has spent a lot of time appraising property this year.

    One property that didn’t get appraised was a small white house adjacent to the new jail.

    “We won’t appraise it because it’s county-owned property,” Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham said. “Anytime the county or city buys a piece of property, it comes off the tax roll.”

    When the property was on the tax roll, it was appraised at $99,000.

  • Rockwood council member dies weeks after taking husband’s seat

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    Judith “Judy” Owings Wassom, a longtime community advocate who succeeded her late husband, Stan, on Rockwood City Council only four weeks ago, has died.

    She was 67.

    Wassom, a Roane County High School English teacher by profession, was found unresponsive in her Rockwood home Sunday by her son-in-law, J.J. Neerman. Despite efforts to resuscitate her, she was later pronounced dead at Roane Medical Center.