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Local News

  • Is there a double-duty problem for Meadows?

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Until he’s told otherwise, Roane County Commissioner Darryl Meadows said he plans to continue serving on the Industrial Development Board that oversees Plateau Partnership Park.

    The park is a joint venture between Roane, Cumberland and Morgan counties. Each county has three representatives on the board.

    When Meadows became a Roane County commissioner on Sept. 1, some questioned whether he could continue to serve on the board.

  • EPA has good news for Harriman

    By CINDY SIMPSON
    csimpson@roanecounty.com
    Harriman’s been eyeing the former papermill site off Emory Road for recreational use for years.
    The city is getting closer to the reality, according to a letter from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
    “We anticipate that once any cleanup that may be required is done that the land will be suitable for commercial, industrial, or recreational uses,” said Scott Miller, EPA project manager.

  • Seven arrested after Harriman meth labs found

    By KAITLIN KEANE

    kkeane@roanecounty.com

    Seven people were arrested on meth-related charges Wednesday night after Harriman Police searched a home at 942 Sevier Drive.

    “This has been a problem house,” said Harriman Police Chief Randy Heidle.

    Detectives went there in search of two theft suspects, and smelled the odor of methamphetamine, police said. Everyone inside the residence were evacuated for safety reasons. Detectives found three active one-pot meth labs in the walls.

    Heidle said the house may be condemned.

  • Schools architect plan has critics

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Some officials are skeptical of the school system’s plan to hire an architect.

    Director of Schools Gary Aytes said an architect will look at the school system’s operations and make recommendations.

    “That’s kind of the problem with the architects that do that,” Roane County Executive Ron Woody said. “They’ll always come up with a building program.”

    Aytes didn’t dismiss the notion.

  • School closing rumors swirling

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    With talk about consolidation and steep cuts in education, rumors are swirling around Roane County about school closings.

    Director of Schools Gary Aytes said his advice to people who are concerned is to contact the central office and don’t rely on Facebook and other social media.

  • Jail gets thumbs up from inspector

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Tennessee Corrections Institute Deputy Director Lance Howell released a copy of the Roane County Jail’s most recent inspection report last week.

    It contains good news.

    Jail inspector Denise Messer recommended that the jail be certified with an updated plan of action. That’s not the end of the matter, however.

    The TCI Board of Control will review the recommendation at its meeting in Nashville on Dec. 3.

  • Skating rink closes down

    From STAFF REPORTS

    Roane Skating is the latest of local attractions to announce its closing.

    The skating rink announced its last skate on Saturday, Sept. 27, ending the following morning.

    “We thank you for your patronage and support over the years,” said a recording at the rink.

    It was a tough decision for Virgil Thompson and his wife Jessica, who took over the rink from Virgil’s uncle, Bill Thompson, a few years before the former Rockwood city councilman died in 2013.

  • Aytes: ‘Assured’ tax hike would pass: Ellis denies claim

    Not receiving additional funding from the Roane County Commission wasn’t the thing that Director of Schools Gary Aytes said disappointed him about this year’s budget process.

    “What was disappointing was they didn’t tell us the truth,” he said. “Two or three days before the meeting, they assured us.”

    Aytes declined to comment when asked who he was referring to when he said “they.”

    “I better not say,” he said.

  • Director taking $3,000 pay raise

    Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes opted to accept his $3,000 raise this year.

    His contract calls for the increase, but Aytes decided to forgo it last year because there was no across-the-board raises for school system employees in the 2013-14 school budget.

    There’s also none in the 2014-15 budget.  

    “There’s step raises built in, and I turned it down last year, so this year I let them keep it in,” Aytes said, following a budget committee meeting earlier this year.

  • Splitting TVA image funds a wasted chance to unite Roane

    Roane County has yet to decide what to do with its $150,000 in public image repair funds, but The Roane Alliance is already considering ways to utilize the money.  

    “We are in the planning process for the potential funds if they are allocated to The Alliance,” President/CEO Wade Creswell said.

    “We don’t have that finalized.”

    The $150,000 is Roane County’s share of $1 million the Roane County Economic Development Foundation divvied up last month.