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Local News

  • Plateau Park: Will the cooperative venture pay off?

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    A great day for Roane County.

    That’s how County Executive Mike Farmer described the Plateau Partnership Park before a ground-breaking ceremony last fall.

    It was also an expensive day for the Roane County taxpayers.

    Plateau Partnership Park is a joint industrial park venture between Cumberland, Morgan and Roane counties. Each county reportedly agreed to issue bonds of $2.5 million for the project.

  • McGriff semifinalist for Knox schools post

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Roane County Director of Schools Toni McGriff was one of 12 semifinalists for the superintendent position of Knox County Schools.

    The Knox County Board of Education met on Monday at the Andrew Johnson Building in downtown Knoxville to discuss the candidates.

    McGriff wasn’t one of the five candidates the board chose to bring in for interviews, but that doesn’t mean she’s out of the running for the position.

  • Trial continued for OS couple

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    rccindysimpson@bellsouth.net

    The trial of an Oliver Springs couple accused of stealing thousands in funds from an area church has been continued for the second time.

    Gary E. Thomas and his wife Wanda J. Thomas, 770 Mahoney Road, were indicted in June 2006 on charges of theft from New Fairview Baptist Church in Oliver Springs.

    Gary E. Thomas was charged in one count of theft of property $60,000 or more, while his wife Wanda faces one count of theft of property, $10,000 to $60,000.

  • Illness at a peak in county

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Peaks and valleys are common in every cold season.

    “This could be considered a peak,” said Bonnie Hinds, public information officer for the East Tennessee Regional Health Department.

    Like many of its surrounding counties, Roane County hasn’t been able to escape those peaks, either.

    School was cancelled on Feb. 22 because of illness, and some principals reported large groups of students and teachers being out sick.

  • Commissioners may be invited to tour schools

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    The Roane County Commission has yet to give the school system’s $47 million facilities plan an up or down vote.

    Until that happens, there’s no reason to alter the plan.

    That seemed to be the consensus among the school board members who attended a school board retreat at the Oak Tree Lodge in Sevierville this past weekend.

    The purpose of the outing was to discuss the plan and whether any modifications could be made to lessen the amount.

  • Harriman calls Council meeting; hospital agreement on agenda

    BY CINDY SIMPSON

    rccindysimpson@bellsouth.net

    Harriman may be voting Monday on a proposed lease agreement between the city and Covenant Health for the takeover of Roane Medical Center.

    According to a legal advertisement, the city Council will meet on March 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the conference room of the Harriman Utility Board building to discuss the Covenant lease agreement.

    Mayor Chris Mason had been given the go-ahead to hire an attorney knowledgeable of contract law to look at the contract.

  • Stoll's record includes domestic assault, PI, drugs

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Robert Stoll is scheduled to appear in Morgan County Court on Thursday for a preliminary hearing on charges of second degree murder in the deaths of 25-year-old Jessica Hatmaker and her unborn child.

    Stoll, whose wife Melissa said during an interview last week that her husband is not violent and is a good husband and father, has an extensive history with police in Florida, California and Michigan as well as here in Morgan County.

  • $63,500 awarded to local groups

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Various groups and organizations in Morgan County will benefit from the state’s community enhancement funds awarded by legislators.

    Sen. Tommy Kilby and Rep. John Mark Windle handed out checks totaling $63,500 last week at the courthouse.

  • Floyd Hammond Jr. sought

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    Roane County Sheriff’s officers were on the hunt Friday for a man they suspected to be selling drugs.

    The sheriff’s office had a drug search warrant for Floyd Hammond Jr.’s home off of Old Harriman Highway.

    “I know he’s dangerous and usually armed,” Sheriff Jack Stockton said before the search.

    Hammond was also involved in a shooting at his home on Jan. 19, Stockton alleged.

  • Roofers accused of selling cocaine on the side

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    rccindysimpson@bellsouth.net

    A Harriman couple who owns a roofing company in the downtown area has been charged with multiple counts of the sale of cocaine.

    A Roane County grand jury handed down an indictment last week on Laura Pierce and her husband James E. Pierce, of 474 Emory River Road, for several counts of the sale of .5 grams or more of cocaine.

    The indictment charges Laura Pierce, 50, on seven counts, while 49-year-old James Pierce is charged with two counts.