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Local News

  • Authorities: Traffic stop of suspected illegal immigrants part of human-smuggling operation

    From staff reports

    Authorities are saying the Wednesday morning traffic stop of a van carrying a group of suspected illegal immigrants was part of a human-smuggling operation that originated in Houston.

    The van was stopped near the 362 exit of Interstate 40 in East Roane County. According to a press release from the 9th Judicial District Drug Task Force, the suspects were headed to New York.

  • Schools struggle to put together viable budget

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Putting together a budget for the 2010-11 school year could be challenging for school officials.

    As it stands, the general purpose school fund is out of balance by $1.3 million, school system business manager Eric Harbin said.

    “This is based on the best data that we have currently,” he said.

    Roane County’s share of the federal government’s Race to the Top money recently awarded to Tennessee is around $1.6 million.

  • Back taxes pile up: Almost $1 million in arrears

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Roane County Clerk and Master Shannon Conley received the 2008 delinquent tax list last week.

    She was shocked at what she saw.

    Conley said taxes are owed on 2,018 pieces of property.

    That amounted to $915,624.04 that should have gone into county coffers but didn’t.

    Roane County Delinquent Tax Attorney Richard Evans is now suing the property owners to collect the money.  

  • Road situation on development gets more complicated

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    In November 2008, Roane County Attorney Tom McFarland said he was confident the county would collect on a bond to ensure roads in Docks at Caney Creek subdivision are built to county specifications.

    McFarland said recently he’s still confident the county will collect, but it could take a protracted legal fight to do so.

  • School dress code plan has detractors

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Some people have complained that Cherokee Middle School’s proposed dress code would create an economic hardship.

    “‘Why am I having to pay extra money to get clothing for a public education?’ they tell me,” Roane County Board of Education Member Hugh Johnson said.

    Students who have a hard time financially could purchase low-cost “gently used items” from a school store that Cherokee would open twice a year. 

  • Rocky Houston guilty on two of six charges

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Rocky Houston went two-for-six as his own attorney.

    The jury in his police chase trial found him not guilty on two counts of aggravated assault, not

  • Voters may have double decision on constables

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Butch Barding said he doesn’t have a problem with letting voters decide whether Roane County should do away with the office of constable.

    Barding said he just has a problem with the question being on the same August ballot to elect constables.

  • Three up for county executive; sheriff's race has two contenders

    Election officials took filing petitions from four last-minute candidates Thursday to complete the filing for Roane County elections.

    Election Day is Aug. 5. The last-day filers were Fred Childress, a candidate for the Tennessee House of Representatives, 32nd District; Garvin J. Morris, County Commission, District 5; Kent D. Calfee, Constable District 5; and Brad E. Parish, Democratic State Executive Committeeman, 12th District.

    Others who met the noon April 1 filing deadline were:

    Roane County County Executive

    Mike Farmer

  • Harmon making another run despite health issues

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Campaigning could be in Roane County Commissioner James Harmon’s future after all.

    Despite setbacks from various ailments, Harmon said this week that he’s still planning to run in the August election.

    “I’m mending, and I think I will be all right,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, I’m going to run again. One more time.”

    The field in District 2 will be crowded.

  • Jury seated in Rocky Houston assault trial

    By DAVID DOONAN

    ddoonan@roanecounty.com

    A jury has been seated in the assault trial of Rocky Houston.

    The jury will decide the fate of Houston, whose charges stem from a car chase with law enforcement in 2004.