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Local News

  • Early Voting to begin for August election

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Voters will soon begin to cast their ballots in the August General Election. Early voting will begin on Friday, July 18.

    Election Day will be Thursday, Aug. 7.

    Races on the August ballot include:

    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.

  • Massengill, Rose square off for school board seat

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawence@bellsouth.net

    Two men want what’s best for the schools located South of the River.

    The voters from that area will have to decide which one can best make that happen.

    Long-time school board member Everett Massengill is being challenged for his District 7 seat by newcomer Howie Rose.

    The district includes the three Midway schools.

    “I’ve never run for anything before,” Rose said. “It’s really been a learning experience.”

  • Efforts to keep records private may be too late

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawence@bellsouth.net

    Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham’s fight to keep certain portions of her cell phone bills private might be too late.

    Steven Robinette, Kirkham’s opponent in the August election, wants to see the call detail records of her cell phone bills and won the right to do so in court.

    Now Kirkham has taken further steps to block the records, but they’ve already been turned over.

  • Some boaters undeterred by gas prices

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Drew Neklason is quick with the math these days.

    “At $4 a gallon with a 21-gallon tank, it’s 80-something bucks,” Neklason said.

    Neklason is referring to the cost to fill up his boat.

    An avid boater, Neklason isn’t letting the high price of filling up stop him from taking advantage of the beautiful waterways that run through Roane County.

    He said he’s still taking his boat out and enjoying everything the water has to offer.

  • Yankee Doodle gal celebrates 100th birthday

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    Living to be 100 years old is remarkable enough, but this centenarian is special in more ways than one.

    Elizabeth Rains was born on the Fourth of July in 1908.

    To help celebrate, Rains was asked by to be the special guest grand marshal for the Kingston Fourth of July Parade.

    Rains joked that she needed to practice her parade wave.

    “I think it’s a little late to change the way you wave,” her niece, Amanda Miller, shot back.

  • Powers suddenly alone on HUB board

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    rccindysimpson@bellsouth.net

    The table where the Harriman Utility Board members sit was largely unoccupied at what should have been the regularly scheduled June board meeting.

    Three of the board’s five members — chairman Walter Jordan, Randy Milburn and Homer Harmon — had given utility manager Chuck Flora a letter announcing their decision to resign.

    The resigned board members said in the letter that they realized the city wants to go in a different direction.

  • Patterson arraigned; bond set at $250,000

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    A local man accused of a weekend murder was arraigned in Roane County General Sessions Court Monday before Judge Dennis Humphrey.

  • Teaching positions will not be cut; at least not for now

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Members of the Morgan County Board of Education are waiting for input from county commission before making more cuts in the budget for schools.

    The Board and members of the county's budget committee met last week to go over the budget for schools.

    Director of Schools Mike Davis outlined the areas where school administrators and the Board have worked to trim their own budgets and said that an additional $151,000 is still needed to balance the proposed budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year.

  • Houston jurors will be sequestered

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    How much does it cost to sequester a jury?

    The county is estimating it will take $80,000 for the trials of Rocky and Leon Houston.

    The brothers will be tried separately, and Judge James "Buddy" Scott has ruled that both juries will be separated from the public during the trial.

    The county's 2008-09 fiscal budget will have $80,000 earmarked for jury sequestration.

  • Rockwood rejects 15-year-sewer plan

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    A 15-year plan for the Rockwood Wastewater Plant was shot down at a recent city council meeting.

    When the vote took place to adopt the plan, which includes upgrades and improvements to the plant, Councilmembers Ray Collett, Gene East and Dudley Evans said they needed more time and passed.

    More deliberation is needed because included in the plan is a way to pay for the projects, which includes rate increases for customers, they said.