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Local News

  • EMA budget, taste in shades scrutinized

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Roane County’s proposed emergency management budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year is $592,355.

    In contrast, Loudon County, which has two interstates crisscrossing it, has an emergency management budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year that’s less than half that.

    “The data is going to tell you if you need to look further into something,” county executive candidate Ron Woody said. “What the data tells me is we need to look closer at our emergency management.”

  • Local berry growers balance work, rewards

    By TERRI LIKENS

    tlikens@roanecounty.com

    On one of the hottest weekends in July, husband-and-wife team Joe Matlock and Rita Senko put out the all-call to their friends: the blueberry crop is ripe and ready.

    The two, who work desk jobs on the Oak Ridge Reservation during the week, live on a bit of acreage near the Roane-Cumberland county line on Hwy. 70. Much of their land is wooded, but they share one 4-acre plot of cleared land with 230 blueberry bushes.

  • Debt burden weighs on voters

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Roane County has a population of 53,508, according to a recent U.S. Census estimate.

    If every resident contributed $1,000, that still wouldn’t be enough to pay off the county’s $56 million debt.

    By comparison, nearby Loudon County’s debt is $27.3 million for about 47,000 residents.

    The candidates running for Roane County executive have all spoken  during the campaign about lowering the debt.

  • Unpaid fines a priority for clerk hopefuls

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Looking forward won’t be the only priority for Roane County’s next circuit court clerk.

    The candidates have all said they plan to look back to try and collect court costs and fines that have gone unpaid.

    “We’ll be going back through the records and seeing if we can collect if you can prove it’s not been paid,” Bob Alford said.

  • Goodman looking forward to normal life after tour in Iraq

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    Another of Roane County’s good men is back home after serving in Iraq.

    Mark Goodman, a specialist with the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Second Squadron Troop E out of Jamestown, returned Thursday afternoon to his Oliver Springs area home, where a large gathering of family and friends waited.

    His wife, Andrea, children Bryson, 8, and Kylie, 6, and other family members picked him up from Smyrna that afternoon.

  • Roane left out of own story in movie

    By TERRI LIKENS

    tlikens@roanecounty.com

    At the end of this month, a Roane County event will once again be getting national attention.

    Problem is, the colorful event is from 1938 — and most people won’t know it took place here.

    The living funeral of Felix “Bush” Breazeale of East Roane County’s Cave Creek community is the subject of “Get Low,” with a star-studded cast led by Robert Duvall, Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek. The movie will begin showing in theaters around the country on July 30.

  • Rockwood water rate hike looming

    By CHERYL DUNCAN

    cduncan@roanecounty.com

    The water rate increase that’s loomed large in Rockwood for the past several months looks to be on its way to reality.

    The form it will take — across the board shared among all customers or by those with the highest amount of usage — will be discussed Tuesday during a joint meeting between Rockwood City Council and Rockwood Water, Sewer and Natural Gas Board.

    The special-called work session will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Rockwood City Hall.

  • New school site announced

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    The Roane County Board of Education has chosen a site for its new elementary school in the Oliver Springs/Dyllis area.

    Board member Wade McCullough said the site is on Ollis Road, which is off Old Harriman Highway.

    “It’s four miles south of Oliver Springs,” he said.

    Bonnie June Raby owns the property. The board has a memorandum of understanding to purchase 25 acres at $9,800 per acre, for a cost of $245,000.

  • Facebook campaign lands teen state 4-H leadership role

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Adults aren’t the only ones campaigning this time of year.

    Kingston resident Mason Van Horn said he spent the last couple of months campaigning to become Tennessee 4-H Council president.

    The stumping paid off. Van Horn, 17, was elected president at last week’s 4-H Roundup in Martin.   

    Officials from 4-H said the last time a Roane Countian was president of the state council was in 1951, when C.J. Cate held the position.

    “It’s pretty cool,” Van Horn said.

  • Rockwood taxpayers could owe more soon

    By CHERYL DUNCAN

    cduncan@roanecounty.com

    On paper, it looks good.

    But some Rockwood property owners whose holdings went up in value during this year’s county reappraisal could find themselves paying more in taxes if city leaders follow through with a proposal to maintain the 2010 property tax rate of 85 cents per $100 valuation.