Local News

  • Aytes wants to give back $3,000

    Gary Aytes’ contract with the Roane County Board of Education calls for him to get a $3,000 raise this year.
    Aytes, the county’s director of schools, wants to forgo the pay increase.
    It’s an issue of fairness, he said. 
    The 2013-14 proposed budget the school board discussed during a work session on Tuesday does not include across-the-board raises for school system employees.
    “It’s really not fair for me to get a raise, and nobody else,” Aytes said.

  • Local Tea Party says it was IRS victim

    A report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found the Internal Revenue Service improperly singled out Tea Party groups applying for tax exempt status.
    Officials with the Roane County Tea Party say their organization was one of those groups.
    “It’s upsetting that the IRS can be used in this manner,” local Tea Party communications director Chuck Smith said.
    The inspector general report said the IRS Determinations Unit would identify applications from groups that had Tea Party in their names.

  • Robinette case goes to grand jury

    The drunk driving case of Steven Robinette, a former candidate for Roane County property assessor, was bound over to the grand jury Monday.
    Kingston police charged Robinette with DUI and violation of the implied consent law last November. Officer Jerry Singleton said Robinette performed poorly on sobriety tests and refused to take a Breathalyzer test.
    With the case now bound over, Robinette could face a possible indictment by the Roane County grand jury. The grand jury is scheduled to meet on June 17.   

  • More crowded jail was praised, not threatened

    The Roane County Jail had more inmates when it was inspected in 2012 than it did when it was inspected earlier this month.
    However, the 2012 inspection resulted in a recommendation that the jail be certified where the one that occurred this month did not.
    The jail has a certified capacity of 174 inmates. According to Tennessee Corrections Institute records, the population was 200 when the jail was inspected on Feb. 6, 2012.
    Inspector Joe Ferguson marked “not overcrowded” on his report and recommended the jail be certified.

  • Ex-firefighter accused in threat to burn sister’s car

    Keith Lynn Hephner Jr., a former volunteer firefighter who was indicted for arson, is accused of threatening to set fire to his sister’s car.
    He faces two counts of domestic assault in the alleged incident, which occurred on May 12 at 1048 Dogtown Road.
    According to a Roane County Sheriff’s Office incident report, Sarah Connin told police that family had gathered to celebrate Mother’s Day when Hephner got upset and started using foul language.

  • Top This

    Due to storm damage to the Temperance Building, crews have begun replacing the entire roof on the Harriman landmark.

  • Jail decertification risk

    Less than four years after it opened, the Roane County Jail is in danger of decertification.
    Denise Messer, a detention facility specialist with the Tennessee Corrections Institute, inspected the jail on May 2.
    “Certification cannot be recommended at this time,” Messer wrote in her report. “A reinspection will be conducted on or before July 2, 2013.”
    The jail’s certified capacity is 174. The population the day of the May 2 inspection was 188.

  • Annexing out for a year in Midtown

    Midtown residents can rest easy for a year.
    That’s how long they have before Harriman city officials can set their annexation sights on the area again.
    Members of the Harriman City Council, however, are pondering what a yearlong state moratorium on annexation and potential law changes regarding growth boundaries could do for their chances of annexing commercial hot spots along the Hwy. 70 corridor.

  • Fun, focus on college savings

    Five bucks and some change will give Tennesseans access to some of the state’s best-known family-friendly attractions later this month.
    Across the state, people can visit a minor league baseball game, a museum or zoo on May 29 for only $5.29 each. People can also register online to win prizes and perks that day.
    It is all part of an effort to raise awareness about the Tennessee Treasury Department’s TNStars College Savings 529 Program, which offers families a low-cost way to save money for college expenses while receiving certain tax advantages.

  • Santek opening facility in Roane

    The old CAST Transportation site on Farmer Road will soon be home to a maintenance facility for Santek Waste Services.
    “We did sign a lease on that building,” Cheryl L. Dunson, executive vice president of marketing for Santek, said last week.
    Santek is headquartered in Cleveland.
    According to its website, the company manages 16 solid waste landfills, three transfer stations and four waste collection companies in a nine-state region that includes Tennessee.
    The old CAST Transportation site includes a 20,000 square-foot warehouse.