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Local News

  • County tax hike not anticipated

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Americans are in the midst of some tough economic times.

    Gas and food prices are way up and bad news about the economy seems never ending.

    Local property owners might be happy to know that those responsible for drafting Roane County’s new fiscal budget don’t anticipate a property tax increase this year.

    Following last year’s 25-cent increase and a growth in sales tax revenue, members of the county budget committee say Roane County is in good economic shape.

  • Houston brothers to be tried separately

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Two close-knit brothers accused in the shooting of a police officer and his friend won't be going to trial together.

    Judge James “Buddy” Scott found validity in a prosecution request to have separate trials for brothers Rocky and Leon Houston.

    After hearing arguments from both sides in Roane County Criminal Court on Friday, Scott ruled the brothers will be tried separately.

    “I believe the state's motion is well taken,” Scott said.

  • Be a star - or part of one - on July 4

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    The Fourth of July is just around the corner and heavy on the minds of some people in Kingston.

    “It’s what we live and breathe right now,” said Rick Ross, Kingston parks and recreation director.

    Ross and his department are in charge of the Independence Day celebration.

    Something new this year will be a human flag that the public can be a part of.

    Daniel Lasris, a face and body artist out of Sevierville, came up with the idea along with his girlfriend Aline.

  • Harriman shoots for uniform weapons

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    rccindysimpson@bellsouth.net

    Harriman police officers may be getting even more uniform.

    Harriman City Council is seeking bids to purchase weapons of the same type for the department.

    Harriman Police Chief Randy Heidle said providing weapons is something more and more departments do.

    He believes that having the same arms will make the job even safer.

    With uniform weapons, the officers can share ammunition and, in a dire situation, will not have to learn how to use the unfamiliar weapon of another officer.

  • Computers taken in Sunbright School burglary

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Morgan County School officials are working with the Morgan County Sheriff’s office to find those suspected of breaking into Sunbright School last week.

    Director of Schools Mike Davis said alerts have gone out to parents warning them that some student information may be breeched as a result of the break-in.

  • New program approved for clerk's office

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Morgan County Commissioners have approved a new computer software program that will improve the accountability in the County Clerk’s Office along with service to its customers.

    Commissioners made the decision to go with the new program introduced to them by Business Information Systems (BIS) at the request of Clerk Carol Hamby.

  • Second Florida murder suspect in custody

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    The chase is over.

  • Prosecutor requests separate Houston trials

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Brothers Rocky and Leon Houston sit at the same defense table during pretrial hearings. That might not happen when the cases against them go to trial. Special prosecutor Robert “Gus” Radford has filed a motion to have a separate trial for each brother. Previous indications point to a joint trial.

  • Stoll found hanged in jail cell

    By Judy Underwood

    Morgan County News Editor

    Robert Stoll, an inmate at the Morgan County Jail, was found dead Wednesday morning from an apparent suicide.

  • Rockwood to hold land tax rate to 85 cents

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    Rockwood City Council has approved the first reading of the city’s proposed fiscal budget for 2008-09.

    The budget does not include a property tax increase. It will remain at 85 cents per $100 valuation.

    ‘Times are hard on people right now,’ Mayor Mike ‘Brillo’ Miller said.

    ‘I just didn’t feel like it was the proper time to hit the people of Rockwood with a tax increase.’