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Local News

  • Officials won't release phone records

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    The legal fight to obtain phone records continues in two court cases involving Roane County officials.

    In one, former constable Mark Patton is suing Roane County to get his old job back.

    One of the allegations in the lawsuit is county commissioners violated the state’s Open Meetings Law by discussing the constable matter outside a public meeting.

  • Few county races coming in August

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    With so much attention being given to the various presidential primaries and caucuses, it’s easy to overlook the county general election that will be coming in August.

    Part of that is because there simply aren’t that many races on the ballot and another part of it is that there are even fewer challenged races.

    Biff Wilson, who was appointed by county commissioners to fill the unexpired term of his late wife Susie Kittrell Wilson, is running unopposed for Morgan County Assessor of Property.

  • School Board honors schools, employees

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Most of Monday night’s school board meeting was devoted to honoring schools and employees for their hard work and achievements this school year.

    The school board members hosted an appreciation dinner for Sunbright and Oakdale schools as well as cafeteria workers prior to their meeting at the Central Office.

    Sunbright and Oakdale made the U.S. News and World Report’s “top schools” list in the nation late last year.

  • Firestorm brewing over alternative lifestyle lodge

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    A quiet rumble. That's the way zoning officer Kay Christopher described the public firestorm that's starting to brew over a plan to bring an adult resort to Roane County.

    "You know it's about to hit," Christopher said.

  • Utility works on 15-year plan

    By JENNIFER RAYMONDee

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    >The Rockwood Water, Wastewater and Natural Gas Board is trying to get one step ahead of the game.

    In order to do that, the board has established a 15-year strategic plan for its facilities, including improvements and upgrades.

    “We’re trying to be proactive,” Chairman and City Councilman James Neal said.

    The board will meet with city council and representative John West from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation at 6 p.m. May 6.

  • Official irked at jail delays

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Chris Johnson’s official title is 6th District County Commissioner.

    However, he’s vowing to become overseer of the county’s new jail project. Construction is months behind schedule, and Johnson said he’s hopping mad about it.

    “I have not heard any explanation that satisfies me why we can be four months behind,” Johnson said.

  • Committee sees progress now in jail construction

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Roane County Executive Mike Farmer said he’s not happy with the state of the county’s new jail project.

    “I’ll be happy when (Sheriff) Jack (Stockton) locks up the first person,” Farmer said.

    Farmer made those comments at the end of a jail construction oversight committee meeting on Wednesday.

  • Dark horse or spoiler? Fenner runs for senate

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Ken Yager and Becky Ruppe might not be the only 12th District state senate candidates on the ballot in the fall.

    Christopher Fenner plans to give the voters yet another choice.

    The Roane County resident said he’s running for the senate seat as an independent.

    Yager, a Republican, and Ruppe, a Democrat, are the obvious frontrunners in the race.

    But Fenner has been a political underdog before.

  • Kingston proposed tax increase 7 cents

    By JENNIFER RAYMONDee

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    The trend this budget season seems to be aiming for a tight one.

    Kingston City Council discussed expected revenues and expenditures for the 2008-09 fiscal year and to determine which capital improvements are the most important for the city.

    The council, which met last week, was joined by department heads who approached council with their needs.

    Expected revenues are about $5.079 million, which is an increase of $673,985, or 15 percent over last year.

  • Budget Cut ... Advantage Center in jeopardy

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    It’s a joy to be first in many things in life but if you’re Robert Griffith, lately it doesn’t feel so good.

    Griffith is the first local victim of a $200,000 state budget cut. The reason — he has a drivers license.

    The 47-year-old had been enrolled at The Advantage Center in Wartburg since it opened its doors in Morgan County in 1995. Prior to that he was enrolled with Emory Valley Center and rode a van from his home in Morgan County to Oak Ridge for services.