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Local News

  • Alternative-lifestyle lodge deal is off

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Robert F. Whiteside Jr. may still get to see his property become a church camp for children after all. That's because plans to turn it into an adult resort have been canned.

    The pending sale between Whiteside and Gary Foster for Whiteside's Roane County property is off.

    “It's done,” said Doug McDannel, who works for Whiteside and lives on the property. “They're not coming.”

  • School's diesel budget about on empty now

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    One of the fundamental duties of a school system is getting students to and from school.

    That’s becoming more expensive.

    School buses run on diesel fuel, and the cost for that fuel has increased substantially.

    The Roane County school system was paying $2.33 per gallon for diesel fuel in March 2007.

    This March, the price was $3.28 per gallon, and it can take as much as 100 gallons to fill a school bus.

    The school system is seeking an additional $200,000 for diesel fuel.

  • Sunbright man killed in wreck

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    A 19-year-old Sunbright man died from injuries he sustained in a one car accident early Sunday morning.

    According to a report filed by Trooper Josh Thorne with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, three young men were traveling north on US Highway 27 at about 3 a.m. Sunday.

    Joshua A. Bell, 18 of Sunbright was driving a 2001 Ford Ranger pickup truck. Passengers in the vehicle were 18 year old Jacob Good of Lancing and Sean Griffith, 19 of Sunbright.

  • Brushy Mountain Prison as a tourist attraction?

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Would the historic Brushy Mountain Prison in Petros make a good tourist attraction? Perhaps even a bed and breakfast? Local officials will be giving that question much thought between now the inevitable closing of the prison.

    Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Correction George Little and Commissioner of the Department of Tourist Development Susan Whitaker made the trip to Morgan County last week to meet with members of the Chamber of Commerce.

  • Student says neigh to high gas prices

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    This one-man protest march came complete with horse shoes.

    Rockwood High School senior Bradley Walker, fed up with the high price of gas, saddled up his horse, Pumpkin, and rode to school Tuesday.

    “I can’t afford gas,” Walker said. “It’s getting ridiculous.”

    Walker made a sign that read, “Solution to higher gas prices” and slung it over his horse’s side as they made the 4-mile, 45-minute commute to school.

  • Kingston looking at 5-cent tax hike

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    Kingston officials have worked more with the city’s proposed 2008-09 fiscal budget, and it looks like residents can expect a 5-cent increase in the property-tax rate.

    The increase would mean a tax rate of $1.35 per $100 valuation.

    “It’s a whole lot better to raise taxes 5 cents each year than raise it 20 cents at one time,” Mayor Troy Beets said.

  • Proposed train-cleaning facility over first hurdle

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    rccindysimpson@bellsouth.net

    Harriman City Council approved the first reading last week of an ordinance changing the Harriman Coal Terminal property from open space to heavy industrial.

    A public hearing on the ordinance preceded the meeting.

    The request came from Brian Cook, who hopes to use part of the property along the railroad tracks for a railroad-car cleaning facility.

    Harriman building inspector Maria Nelson said Cook would still need to get approval of building permits for his proposed future development.

  • Houston shooting: Two-year redux

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    The white house with the green tin roof at 412 Barnard Narrows Road stands quiet now.

    For careful observers, however, there are still signs that two years ago, something bad happened there.

    Last month TBI agents took chunks of wood out of a tree that sits just off the road to search for bullets from the shootout that occurred at the home two years ago.

  • UPDATE: Alternative-lifestyle resort proposed

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Robert F. Whiteside Jr. said he always envisioned his property turning into a church camp for children.

    Some locals say there’s nothing church-like about what the property will become if plans to turn it into an adult resort and campground come to fruition.

    On its Web site, the Rosebud Lodge is described as a place where adults 18 and older can escape from work, children, family, neighbors and city life.

  • 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.