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Local News

  • Who likes Ike? Motorists don't

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    rccindysimpson@bellsouth.net

    Cars lined up and packed gas station and convenience store parking lots in Roane County Thursday evening and Friday morning.

    Frantic drivers queued to fill up in fear of dwindling gas supplies due to the oncoming Hurricane Ike.

    Gas prices often rose while drivers waited for their turns at the pump — if there was any gas at all.

    “We’ve got only premium gas left,” Kingston Raceway operator Jay Patel said around noon on Friday.

  • ACLU takes on student athlete drug testing

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    David Higgins expressed his dismay with the county school system’s drug testing policy for athletes last month.

    Now the ACLU is expressing its dismay with the threat of legal action.

    “These unsubstantiated searches make a mockery of the civics lessons taught in our classrooms, and should be roundly and readily rejected by parents and school officials alike,” Hedy Weinberg, executive director of ACLU of Tennessee, said in a news release on Wednesday.

  • Long-sought Swan Pond water contract signed and sealed

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    The city of Kingston has officially relinquished its hold on Swan Pond Road water customers who are trying to get pressurized municipal water.

    “We’ve got to get these people some water,” Councilman Kevin McClure said at the city council meeting Tuesday.

    The council had agreed to turn over its water customers on Swan Pond Road to Roane Central Utility District at last month’s meeting and sent a contract regarding the agreement.

  • Patton lawsuit prompts formal action on resignations

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    The ramifications from the Mark Patton case were evident at Monday night’s county commission meeting.

    When it came time to accept the resignation of Harriman Mayor Chris Mason from the Roane County Industrial Development Board, the commission didn’t simply acquiesce like it has in the past.

    Commissioner James Harmon made a formal motion to accept the resignation, and the commission voted unanimously by voice vote.

    Patton was elected as a constable in August 2006.

  • Harriman eyes land

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    rccindysimpson@bellsouth.net

    A piece of property adjacent to Harriman Riverfront Park may soon become city property.

    Harriman Councilman J.D. Sampson was given the go-ahead to talk to the property owner of what is referred to as the Skidmore property.

    It is a roughly 5.2-acre lot that Sampson feels is an ideal parcel to include with the park.

    Sampson said the property is appraised at $23,900.

  • Neighbors describe Highland parking woes

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    Residents of Highland Street appeared at the Kingston City Council work session last Tuesday night to discuss parking issues on their street, which just recently became a problem.

  • Expense issue still on table

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Thursday’s meeting of the Roane County Ethics Committee turned out to be a question-and-answer session.

    Members of the committee asked the questions, and Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham, the subject of complaints, did the answering.

    The committee, which consists entirely of elected officials, found her explanations on Tennessee Greenbelt law and property appraisal sufficient enough to find two of the complaints noncredible.

  • Sally port in works for courthouse

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    County officials see a better way to transport prisoners to and from the Roane County Courthouse.

    That’s why plans are in the works to construct a sally port on the side of the building.

    “It’s going to be done this fiscal year, and hopefully this calendar year,” County Executive Mike Farmer said.

    A sally port is a garage-like structure that will allow officers to take prisoners into the courthouse without exposure to the public.

  • Governor touts long-term care initiative during Kingston stop

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    Gov. Phil Bredesen was in Kingston on Wednesday to discuss new changes in long-term care, which will be the addition of more choices in home-and community-based services.

    The changes come in the form of a new law called the Long Term Community Choice Act of 2008 signed by Bredesen in June.

    “It gives families a lot more options,” Bredesen said.

    The act restructures the long-term care system and the way funds are spent, offering more than simply nursing home care.

  • Rugby gets grant to build heirloom greenhouse

    By STAFF REPORTS

    Rural Development Area Director Jerry Amonett and Historic Rugby, Inc. Executive Director Barbara Stagg today announced a federal investment of $25,000 to fund an agri-tourism and conservation project based on the distinctive history of Morgan County. The event took place at Rugby Visitors Center.