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Local News

  • DA opinion: Kirkham raise request not out of line

    Roane County Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham was not out of line when she wrote a letter requesting raises for the County Board of Equalization. This according to District Attorney General Russell Johnson, whose investigation into the matter exonerates Kirkham of any ethical or criminal wrongdoing.

  • Rarity's Ross still in the hole on taxes

    Despite a big payment that came in last month, Oak Ridge Land Co. LLC still owes Roane County money.
    Developer Mike Ross is the registered agent for the company, which failed to pay 2008 property taxes on hundreds of parcels in his Rarity Ridge and Rarity Oaks developments.
    Clerk and Master Shannon Conley said the county received payment last month of approximately $311,000.
    Conley said the check came from Regions Bank, and it still didn’t cover all of what Oak Ridge Land Co. owes in 2008 unpaid property taxes, penalties and other fees.

  • Two killed in separate crashes

    By Damon Lawrence and Cindy Simpson

    Two young Roane County men lost their lives Friday morning in separate crashes on major thoroughfares.

    Anthony Dale Basler, 23, died at the scene of a 6:22 a.m. crash on Interstate 40 near the Buttermilk Road exit.

    Ninety minutes later, 26-year-old Cody E. Sackett of Kingston was killed on Hwy. 58 in a two-vehicle crash near River Road.

  • Utility loans may be illegal, state says

    An official with the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office determined last week that Rockwood Water, Sewer and Natural Gas may have violated state law by allowing interdepartmental borrowing of operating funds.
    Rod King, general manager of the utilities, and the city board governing the operations have openly admitted the more profitable gas department has loaned money to the water and sewer departments.
    A comptroller’s office review of city finances indicates, however, that the issuance of such loans was not previously approved as required by statute.

  • Tiger Haven buys more land, but has no plans to expand

    Tiger Haven has purchased 11 acres adjacent to its big cat sanctuary in East Roane County.
    Freddie L. Pesterfield is listed as the seller on the warranty deed, which was filed with the Register of Deeds Office last month. The purchase price for the property was listed at $66,000.
    Tiger Haven is located on Harvey Road. According to its website, Tiger Haven is home to more than 280 big cats. Most are tigers, lions, leopards and cougars.

  • Harriman won't put manager on ballot

    Harriman voters won’t get a say on whether they would like to have a city manager-style of government.
    At least not yet.
    While some Harriman City Council members have said they’d prefer a decision from city voters over having to make one themselves, that’s not how the majority voted last week when council member Ken Mynatt took steps toward giving constituents that choice on the Nov. 2 ballot.
    “This way, we let the citizens decide,” he proposed in making a motion to that end.

  • One-minute meeting tells bigger story in Rockwood

    With less than a minute between opening and closing gavel raps, Rockwood Water, Sewer and Natural Gas Board’s called meeting on Tuesday could go down as the shortest on record.
    What wasn’t said, however, overshadowed what was supposed to be discussion about possible increases in gas and water rates.

  • State says assessor's request OK

    State officials said Roane County Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham did no wrong when she requested raises for the five-member County Board of Equalization.     
    “We looked at that, and we don’t see it’s an issue,” said Robert Lee, general counsel for the Tennessee  Comptroller’s Office.
    District Attorney General Russell Johnson said he’s also spoken with Lee and could wrap up his investigation into the matter on Friday.

  • EPA bows to pressure, sets Knoxville coal ash hearing

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has done an about-face:
    It will now hold a hearing on proposed coal ash rules closer to Roane County, site of the Dec. 22, 2008, catastrophe that got the government talking about the need for tougher ash regulation.
    “EPA will hold a final hearing in Knoxville, Tenn., the week of Oct. 25,” the agency said in an e-mail.
    Officials said they were still  making arrangements on the exact date and place.

  • Harriman gets perfect score from state on waterworks

    Harriman Utility Board got a perfect score — a 100 — on its sanitary survey of the utility’s waterworks.
    The Tennessee Division of Water Supply conducted the survey July 21.
    While plants do receive the high score, its a rarity, according to Harriman Utility Board officials.
    “I can’t tell you how proud I am of our water plant operators and our water crew,” HUB Manager Chuck Flora said.
    “You don’t get those 100s by yourself,” said Frankie Davis, water and gas superintendent.