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Local News

  • Kingston edgy over budget stresses

    By TERRI LIKENS

    tlikens@roanecounty.com

    Behind every discussion at the Kingston City Council workshop this week loomed a budget that has not lived up to expectations.

    The repercussions of that budget put an edge in many city officials’ voices Tuesday night.

    Falling revenues were the main complaint, but city financial director Carolyn Brewer noted another reason for belt-tightening.

  • New jail not coming close to capacity

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Roane County has a long way to go before it reaches capacity at the new jail.

    The facility was designed to hold 172 prisoners. Sheriff Jack Stockton said 105 people were incarcerated on Feb. 2. The average population is also running well below 172.

    “Normally we’re running between 110 and 118, something like that, pretty steady,” Stockton said.

    Commissioner James Harmon scoffed when told about the numbers

  • Deal reached in 'extreme eyesore' case

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    South of the River constable Butch Barding was skeptical that a three-and-a-half-year-old junkyard case would go forward on Thursday.

    He may be right.

    Attorneys said they had tentatively worked out a deal Tuesday afternoon.  

    Roane County had accused James and Patricia Woods and Dean and Nola Howard of violating county zoning laws by operating a junkyard at 123 Rose Circle.

    The case was on the Chancery Court docket for Thursday.

  • Proposed charter changes stymie Harriman

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    A full-time city manager and term limits for elected officials are the major changes Harriman officials have proposed for the city charter.

    Opinions vary, however, on following through with the changes. A city manager, for example, would change Harriman’s form of government.

    “People on the street prefer a full-time mayor,” said council member J.D. Sampson.

  • Habitat for Humanity issues call for help

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    There is more to Roane County Habitat for Humanity than hammers, saws and willing hands to build new lives for people.

    The chapter is in dire need of people willing to take on the responsibilities of board members.

    The board is down to half of what it should be — a situation that is threatening its existence.

    “We’re struggling to keep our board alive,” said board member and secretary Darla Watson. “We need versatile people.”

  • Park View residents sue Rockwood

    By CHERYL DUNCAN

    cduncan@roanecounty.com

    True to their word, some residents of Park View subdivision have filed a lawsuit in Roane County Chancery Court to fight against Rockwood’s incorporation of their community into the city.

    No court date has been set for Chancellor Frank Williams to hear the suit, which was filed against the city by Ronald and Carolyn Taylor, George H. White, Charles Blanton, J.C. and Sandra Morgan, S.J. and Judy Snipes, Ron Hogue, Mary Whitley, Bill W. Capps, M. Reba Scarbrough, Ronnie E. Johnson and Bobby Lang.

  • After-hour petition pickup stirs courthouse controversy

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    An anonymous phone call.

    Inquiries by the county’s top law enforcement officer and prosecutor.

    One official not wanting her name mentioned and another saying it isn’t a big deal.

    This was some of the fallout of Commissioner Ron Berry’s trip to the courthouse to pick up his petition to run for office.

    Berry reportedly contacted the election commission office on Jan. 21 and asked that his qualifying petition be prepared in advance of his arrival.

  • TVA missed testing snafu for 4 months

    By TERRI LIKENS

    tlikens@roanecounty.com

    Tucked between messages that the ash spill cleanup is on track and human health has not been compromised, an environmental official at TVA’s ash spill meeting Tuesday had some news the public probably won’t feel as good about.

    One is that the Emory River closure, which was due to expire in the middle of February, is now being extended into May.

  • More TVA funds given

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    More TVA reparations money has been appropriated by the Roane County Economic Development Foundation.

    The foundation board met last Tuesday and voted to fund requests from the city of Rockwood, Roane County and The Roane Alliance.

    Rockwood should get a big infrastructure boost with the TVA money.

    The board approved the city’s request of a bit more than $1.9 million for upgrades to its water and wastewater systems.

    Two paving projects are also included.

  • TVA says no to long-term health study on ash impacts

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Roane County’s request for a TVA-funded long-term health study has been denied.

    In a letter to Roane County Executive Mike Farmer, TVA environmental executive Anda Ray said the agency doesn’t feel such a program is necessary at this time.