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Local News

  • State cuts big blow to Dunn Center

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    Roane Newspapers

    What looked like a good Christmas present could turn out to be a lump of coal for special-needs facilities like Michael Dunn Center.

    The good news was Michael Dunn officials said they might not have the 5.7 percent cuts in state fees based on their services for October-December.

    But it appears the facility will be greeting the new year with a series of deeper cuts from the state.

    Wade Creswell, Michael Dunn’s director of development responsibilities, explained the situation.

  • Developers contend Harriman owes them

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    Roane Newspapers

    An investigation released by state auditors last spring showed that Pinnacle Pointe developers owe Harriman more than $230,000 for work the city paid for excavating and grading the site.

    Now the developers have come back with an audit of their own that indicates the city instead owes them more than $200,000.

    Jim Scott, a former assistant district attorney at the Kingston office, is representing Steve Kirk-ham and Jerry Duncan, partners in Prestige Land Co. which developed Pinnacle Pointe.

  • Crete still coming to Roane

    By TERRI LIKENS

    Roane Newspapers

    Have you wondered what happened to trucking firm that bought Atomic Speedway and plans to build a trucking center there?

    Crete Carrier Corp. paid $1.3 million for the property last January and announced plans to start work on its trucking center as early as this fall.

    The problem is, things haven’t worked as quickly as Crete officials hoped.

    “It’s taken a little longer to get things put together,” said Karel Znamenacek, executive vice president of the Lincoln, Neb.-based firm.

  • Santa may bring it, but recycling center makes it go away

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    Roane Newspapers

    A flood of cardboard, wrapping paper and other trimmings was almost enough to have Roane County recycling center employees saying, “Bah, humbug.”

    With other county transfer stations closed, as always, on Wednesday, the remnants of Christmas Day ended up at the recycling center.

    “It has been a madhouse. We already emptied that compactor twice this morning,” center employee Larry Clark said.

  • Calendar of Events

    Editors note: The deadline for including items in this section is at least one week before the event.

    FRIDAY, DEC. 28

    Alcoholics Anonymous will meet at 7:30 p.m. in Midtown Valley United Methodist Church. Call Lee at 376-3023 for details.

    Mid-East Community Action Agency senior activities will have bowling at 1 p.m. in Tri-City Lanes, Midtown. Call 354-0450 for details.

    SATURDAY, DEC. 29

    Serene Solutions, an Alcoholics Anonymous group, will meet at 6 p.m. in Luminary United Methodist Church, Ten Mile. Call Amanda at 567-5251 or 717-7010 for details.

  • Lawyer says Houston case taking too long

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    Roane Newspapers

    Accused murderer Leon Houston has been incarcerated for more than 19 months without a trial.

    That has his lawyer steamed.

    “One of my greatest concerns that I’ve tried to voice since day one is this case is going to end up taking far too long,” attorney James Logan said.

    Now, after numerous hearings, motion filings, legal maneuvers and even mental evaluations for the defendants, there’s still no end in sight to the Houston case.

  • Help on the landscape for war-torn family

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    Roane Newspapers

    After the devastating loss of her husband in Iraq almost two years ago, Tonya Herrera heard many horror stories of people taking advantage of widows of soldiers.

    In this respect, Herrera has been lucky. She has some green-thumbed guardian angels watching out for her.

    Herrera, originally of Harriman, moved back to Roane County from California after her husband, U.S. Army Staff Sgt, David Herrera, was killed in a roadside bombing in Baghdad.

  • Kingston Council holding special called session

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    Roane Newspapers

    Kingston City Council, perhaps following the city of Harriman’s playbook, plans to discuss annexation by referendum of properties on Hwy. 70 in Midtown.

    The Kingston council will meet in a special-called session Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at the public library to discuss a resolution that would bypass the county urban growth committee and put annexation to a vote of the affected residents.

    The properties are west of the Clinch River Bridge between the Clinch River and the Harriman city limits.

  • Mason wants Harriman to be Keep Roane Beautiful's pilot program

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    Roane Newspapers

    Harriman Mayor Chris Mason is jumping at the chance to participate in a pilot curbside recycling program.

    With the help of a recent grant, Keep Roane Beautiful wants to start the curbside recycling program by early next year and is looking for a community to start in.

    The program would include pickup of recyclables such as plastic and paper. While aluminum might be included, Keep Roane Beautiful coordinator Wendy Jackson said many people recycle aluminum themselves.

  • Extra tax-freeze workload could cost taxpayers

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    Roane Newspapers

    Homeowners 65 years old and older can start applying for

    the senior property tax freeze on Jan. 2.

    Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham said she doesn’t know how her office will manage the extra work once they do.

    She plans to ask the county to fund additional staff for her office.

    “The workload will increase tremendously with this tax freeze,” she said.