Local News

  • Kingston poised to OK budget today

    Kingston City Council will meet today, Monday, to likely approve the city’s budget for the 2014 fiscal year.
    A public hearing will start at 6:45 p.m. in Kingston Community Center. Council will convene in special-called session at 7 p.m. for the second and final budget reading.
    The budget for fiscal 2013-14 was approved on first reading at the June 11 regular council meeting.
    More important to most folks, Kingston officials approved a budget that doesn’t include a property tax increase.

  • Law enforcement train for worst-case scenario at RCHS

    East Tennessee law enforcement officials prepared for the worst possible scenario last week in Roane County High School’s empty hallways.
    An active shooter training course was presented by Government Training Institute out of Barnwell, S.C. and hosted by the Roane County Sheriff’s Office to help protect schools, including those without student resource officers.
    “Our children are the most precious commodity we have (but) it is not only for the children but all of us,” said Roane County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Rick Baker.

  • Lawyer asks to quit defending dad in starving boy’s case

    Matthew Dotson, the father accused of starving his son to death, may have to find a new defense attorney.
    His current legal advocate, Knoxville attorney Joseph Lodato, filed a motion in Roane County Criminal Court to withdraw from the case “due to his (Dotson’s) failure to fulfill contractual obligations,” Lodato said in the motion to withdraw.
    The motion has yet to be granted by a judge.
    Dotson and his wife, Amanda, are charged with first-degree murder in the death of their 2-year-old son Clifford.

  • No peace at final resting place

    Several tombstones have been knocked over at McCarroll graveyard, an African American graveyard near Harriman Cemetery.

    “We’re having some vandalism,” said Bronce Cleveland, one of the community members devastated by the destruction of the small graveyard that’s near Harriman Cemetery.

  • Janelle Arthur going from ‘Idol’ to Opry

    Janelle Arthur’s star shone brightly during this past season of “American Idol.”
    The Oliver Springs native, who made it to the top five on the televised talent-show-style program, will next showcase her country pipes at the legendary Grand Ole Opry.
    She’ll perform at the Opry House at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 19.
    “She’s really excited. She put on Facebook she has been wanting to sing on the Grand Ole Opry since she was 4 years old,” said Judy Arthur, Janelle’s proud mother.

  • Tax increase? No way, some say

    A proposed increase on the county’s property tax rate for schools isn’t popular with members of the public who spoke out during last week’s Roane County Commission meeting.
    “Any increase in property taxes is not only going to hurt everybody that’s here,” John Binseel said. “It’s not going to motivate anybody to move into Roane County.”
    The property tax bill on his Grande Vista Bay home last year was $2,731.

  • Beer permit? Would-be bar operator can’t even get beer board hearing

    The Roane County Beer Board refused to hear Roma L. Christopher’s application for a beer permit on Tuesday.
    “Because you all think I’m opening up for Grover Norton,” Christopher told the board.

    Norton, owner of the Grill & Pub, had his beer permit revoked for a year on Feb. 12. Christopher planned to operate from the same location, 2224 Harriman Hwy., under the name 27/61 Grill-N-Pub.

    According to her application, Norton still owns the property.
    The meeting lasted about five minutes.

  • Oliver Springs teacher lands in trouble

    A mowing job has landed one Oliver Springs High School teacher in serious trouble.
    Special education teacher Amelia E. Drennan is charged with felony reckless endangerment after police said she hired a man to mow at an address where meth labs were found.

  • Slipping Airport Road closed

    A popular shortcut between Rockwood into Cumberland County has been shut down.

    Roane County Road Superintendent Dennis Ferguson announced the decision to shut down Airport Road immediately Wednesday because of concerns about the stability of the roadway.

    “This road has dropped,” he said. “We’ve got some major cracking.”

    He said his department was contacted Tuesday by a traveler who almost wrecked because of the shifting roadway.

  • New insurance laws loom

    In about six months, every man, woman and child in the United States will be required to have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

    Can you and your family afford it?

    What options do you have?

    And what are the penalties if you don’t, say, get with the program?

    A representative from a new kind of health insurance entity was in Roane County recently to help dispel some of the fog.

    Lisa Preiss works with Community Health Alliance, a new company based in Knoxville.