Local News

  • Victim removal training
  • Roane ACT scores drop, state scores rise

    Roane County Schools’ recent performance on the ACT came under fire during a County Commission workshop last week.

    The average score for Roane County students in 2013 was 19.2. It dropped to 18.8 this year.

    “We were very disappointed in our ACT tests,” Director of Schools Gary Aytes said of the outcome.

    “That particular class (last year’s juniors) last year has been kind of a thorn in our side ever since they were in third grade coming up,” Aytes said. “That happens.”

  • Kingston paving project will be done mostly after dark

    Kingston City Manager David Bolling gave updates on a couple of ongoing projects at Kingston’s latest city council work session on Aug. 5.

    One involved the Gallaher Road sewer line, enabled by a federal grant and loan program. It is “for all intents and purposes, done,” Bolling said.

    The latest phase of that project involved expanding sewer line capacity at Paint Rock and Gallaher Road. Bolling said all that remains to finish the project is about 20 “punch list” items, which are “mostly cosmetic things.”

  • $500,000 voting-machine bill?

    The need for election accountability may cost Roane Countians big — as much as $500,000.

    And that’s with the state chipping in.

    An election paper trail means Roane County could have to purchase new voting machines in the next few years. Even with the state chipping in, Administrator of Elections Charles Holiway estimated the cost for the county could run as high as $500,000.

  • Landfill seepage being addressed by county officials

    Issues continue to arise with the old landfill in Midtown, according to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

    “The old Roane County Landfill is in post-closure and for several years has had small localized seeps along with occasional landfill gas issues,” TDEC spokeswoman Kelly Brockman said. “This has caused final-cover grass to die in spots.”

    Brockman said the state has asked Roane County to install vent pipes and cover the seeps with plastic when it rains.

  • Petition at Walmart gets too few signers to allow sales of wine

    A measure to allow wine sales in grocery stores won’t be on the ballot for Rockwood voters in November.

    That means there will be no wine sales at Walmart.

    Roane County Administrator of Elections Charles Holiway said the retail giant led a late push to get the measure on the ballot, but couldn’t get enough qualifying signatures by the Aug. 21 deadline.

  • County looks at sales tax for revenue

    An increase in the Local Option Sales Tax sparked a lot of discussion during a Roane County Commission workshop on Thursday at the courthouse. The current rate is 2.5 percent. It is eligible to go to 2.75 percent. 

    Commissioner Bobby Collier said the increase could help alleviate some of the funding woes facing the school system.

    “I’m going to support that,” he said. “It just makes good sense to me.” 

  • Harriman vets honored with diplomas

    Two Harriman High School would-be graduates didn’t make it to their caps and gowns when they were young men.

    Instead, over 40 years later Melvin Page and Chester Edwards both got their diplomas at the Roane County School Board meeting last Thursday thanks to legislation that permits diplomas to be issued to veterans whose education was interrupted by their service in World War I, World War II, the Korean War or Vietnam War. 

  • Schools have no backup plan if tax hike fails

    Roane County Commissioner Ron Berry was surprised to hear that school officials don’t have a contingency plan in place in case their request for a 9-cent increase in the property tax rate doesn’t get approved.  

    Director of Schools Gary Aytes said they didn’t think a backup option was needed. 

    “We felt pretty confident that’s what we could get,” he said. 

    The 9-cent increase will generate $1.017 million. School officials are counting on the money to fund their 2014-15 budget.