Local News

  • Yager pumped about possible gas-tax revenues

    State Sen. Ken Yager favors Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to raise the state’s fuel tax rate, lower sales tax on food and adjust other revenue sources.

    The plan proposes a road user fee of 7 cents per gallon of gas and 12 cents per gallon of diesel. It would also increase car registration fees by $5 for the average passenger vehicle, place annual road user fees on electric vehicles and increase charges on vehicles using alternative fuels.

    It also includes a 3 percent charge on rental cars.

  • From the COUNTY: How far can we move the needle?

    By Ron Woody

    The buzz around the Courthouse and Board of Education has been what will our leaders do about the future of education in Roane County?

    The initial discussions were about consolidation of high schools with an acceptable debate change to: What should the delivery of future education services look like?

    I applaud both the school board, the County Commission and the public for focusing the discussion on the future of education and not on consolidation.

  • FIVE High schools and scenarios

    The Roane County Board of Education last weekend got a refresher on potential construction and consolidation plans for the county’s high schools.

    Lewis Group Architects presented the board with five scenarios last year. It went over those scenarios again during the board’s retreat at Roane State Community College on Saturday.

    Scenario 1 calls for keeping Midway and Oliver Springs and combining Harriman, Roane County High and Rockwood into one new school.

  • Million dollar sewer break

    Repair of a major sewer line break that occurred in Rockwood Jan. 14 will likely cost more than $1 million.

    Kim Ramsey, general manager of Rockwood Water, Sewer and Natural Gas, reported on the leak during Rockwood City Council’s regular monthly meeting last week.

  • Oliver Springs man jailed for sexual battery and assault

    Johnnie Lee Anderson, a 45-year-old Oliver Springs man, was charged with aggravated sexual battery over the weekend.

    The alleged victim told Roane County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Seth Hammons that Anderson pushed her on a couch at his residence, hit her, pulled off her pants and underwear, and touched her private area with his hand.

    Anderson and the alleged victim knew each other. She told Hammons that they were together at a tavern in Oak Ridge, and she left him there because he was calling her derogatory names in front of the other patrons.

  • Ruritan Road completion celebrated

    State and Harriman officials celebrated the widening of Ruritan Road with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday afternoon.

    The roadway, completed in the fall, has improved traffic flow and promises to have other benefits as well.

    “I’m happy to be here, happy to celebrate this new highway we built. It is great,” said Sen. Ken Yager.

    “I’m confident it will lead to economic development along this area. That is what it was for — besides safe travel for people,” said Yager.

  • Alleged boat ramp robber back behind bars

    One of the suspects in an alleged December robbery was arrested over the weekend. Larry Shane Chrisco was charged with violating bond conditions.

    According to the warrant, Harriman police responded to 511 Clinch St. on Sunday to investigate a report about a man beating a woman.

    The alleged victim, Shannon Drake, wouldn’t let police in the residence, but they made entry anyway due to the circumstances. The warrant said police checked a bathroom while inside.

  • Rockwood woman’s term commuted

    Prayers were answered for the family of a woman serving time in federal prison.

    Kristi Miller was sentenced to 20 years for her role in a Roane County methamphetamine conspiracy. She wasn’t scheduled to be released until Nov. 19, 2027. Her sentence will end earlier now.

    On Jan. 19, his last full day in office, President Barack Obama granted Miller’s request for clemency.  

    “She’s ecstatic,” Miller’s father, Rockie Elswick said.  

  • Rockwood water hike gets first approval

    Rockwood’s water rates are one step closer to increasing.

    The City Council voted unanimously on first reading last week to approve a 2.5 percent increase, a change that had been approved by the Rockwood Water Sewer and Natural Gas department last July.

    The rate increase will apply to customers both inside and outside the city.

    Sewer rates will not be increasing.