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Local News

  • Price of justice is often costly

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Counties must provide certain services for jail inmates.

    One of them is health care.

    That’s why David Cosgriff was released from jail in 2008.

    Covering his health care costs had become a financial burden on the county.

    Cosgriff is now back in jail after having been found guilty of second-degree murder.

    “The financial burden will fall on the county again,” Prosecutor Frank Harvey said.

  • Opposition rears up against tax increase

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Bill Griffin said he didn’t have the answers to all the county’s financial problems. However, he did have a lot of issues to address with local officials during a public hearing on the county’s proposed 2009-10 budget.  

    “I don’t think anyone in Roane County would think the ash spill increased our property values,” Griffin said.

  • Ash resolution may not fly

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Residents may not get the chance to vote on a fly ash referendum after all.

    Commissioner James Harmon said election officials have informed him that it might not be legal to let voters decide whether to use a Midtown landfill as a fly ash dump.

    Despite the uncertainty, the county budget committee still voted 4-0 on Thursday to send the fly ash resolution to the commission for a vote.

  • Delay in exiting burning home may have cost man's life

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    A Roane County man died in a fire over the weekend. Blair Fire Chief Clarence Nelson said first responders were dispatched to 859 Skyline Drive a little after 7 a.m. on Saturday. Nelson said the initial report came in as a car fire, but when first responders arrived they found a mobile home on fire.

    Entry was made into the residence and the body of Richard Eddy was discovered inside. Nelson said he believes Eddy called 911 after he was awaken by a smoke detector  

  • Man dies in accident related to fly ash spill

    By TERRI LIKENS

    tlikens@roanecounty.com

    An Iowa man has indirectly become the first fatality of the TVA fly ash disaster.

    According to TVA officials, 55-year-old Larry LaCroix died after an accident on the job at TVA's Kingston Fossil Plant Monday morning.

  • County approves 9-cent property tax rate hike

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Commissioner James Harmon continued to voice opposition to a property tax increase at Monday’s county commission meeting.

    His motion to send the 2009-10 fiscal budget back to committee for further discussion failed, however.

    “To send it back you need to have some suggestions on what to do with it,” Commissioner David Olsen said.

  • County seeks to keep 'lucrative' fly ash

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Somewhere along the road to recovery from the TVA fly ash disaster, people learned there could be some hefty profits in the coal combustion waste produced by the utility company.

    Roane County officials took a step toward cashing in on Monday.

    The county commission voted 11-2 on a resolution that calls for County Executive Mike Farmer and County Attorney Tom McFarland to negotiate with TVA about the possibility of storing future fly ash in a Midtown landfill.

  • UPDATED: Controversy flares up over legal payment

    By TERRI LIKENS

    tlikens@roanecounty.com

    A feud — or a gray area?

    A clash between two Roane County elected officials has flared up again, this time over a legal payment.

    Roane County Attorney Tom McFarland, who has had several public clashes with Roane County Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham, called the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the district attorney general’s office to investigate a county payment to Kirkham’s private attorney.

  • Electronic monitoring company says it is turning off Houston bracelets for nonpayment

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

     

    Tracking Solutions LLC wants to be paid. Because brothers Rocky and Leon Houston haven't been doing so, the company plans to stop the electronic monitoring service it has been providing for the brothers since their release on bond back in March.

     

    “Due to the actions of the defendant, all electronic monitoring shall cease July 31, 2009, at midnight,” Tracking Solutions owner Kristen Zachary wrote in a letter to the Roane County Criminal Court.

  • Time running out for Margrave bridge

    By CHERYL DUNCAN

    cduncan@roanecounty.com

    It looks like a bridge on Harriman’s Margrave Drive is destined for closure.

    “I don’t want to have the liability of closing it, and I don’t want to have the liability not to close it,” Mayor Chris Mason said. “But I will for safety.”

    A recent inspection by Norfolk Southern Railway recommends the bridge be closed to traffic.

    The railroad company owns the bridge which runs underneath and supports the mostly residential city street.