Local News

  • Battle over appraisal computer systems heats up

    Can Roane County afford to switch back to the state’s Computer-Assisted Mass Appraisal program?

    No, says Roane County Property Assessor David Morgan, who ditched the state system last year in favor of the Patriot Properties CAMA system.

    “My staff made a team decision to switch to Patriot after looking at other systems, and we felt that it was the best fit for Roane County,” he said.

    “We have also spent a year learning this new system and tailoring it to the needs of our office and the needs of the taxpayers.”

  • Dumped Creekwood asphalt pile a mystery

    A pile of asphalt was left on the side of Creekwood Road South of the River.

    It looks like someone was doing patchwork recently, because there is new asphalt on the road in spots.

    The Tennessee Department of Transportation has not done any work on the road, according to spokesman Mark Nagi.

    “The Tennessee Department of Transportation is responsible for interstates and state routes,” he said.

    “Local roads would primarily be the responsibility of local authorities.”

  • Man drowns at Caney Creek

    A 20-year-old man reportedly drowned Saturday evening near the Caney Creek boat dock across the lake from Roane County Park.

    Preliminary reports at the scene indicate the man was among a group who had been fishing in the area.

    "He had apparently jumped in the water and, from what I understand, tried to retrieve a fishing pole and he didn't resurface," Roane County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Tim Phillips said. 

    Phillips said he received a message that the drowning victim's name was Dustin Branson. 

  • Man charged in burglary of storage unit

    An investigation into a storage unit break-in led to burglary and other charges against a Rockwood man last month.

    Kingston police, with assistance from Rockwood and Harriman officers executed a search warrant at 329 Lenoir Ave., Rockwood, on July 22.

    “The residence was occupied by William Wright,” Kingston police said in a press release. “The search revealed several items, which were reported stolen from a storage unit in Kingston.”

    Police said one of the items found was reported stolen in October 2010.

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  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Federal lawsuit shows school system failure

    Kind reader, it is with a mixed feeling of sadness and outrage that we write the following, for it concerns mistreatment of a child by the very people whose job it is, and whose professional claim of skill and expertise it is, to take care of children.

    The child, whom we will obviously not identify by name, was a little boy who entered kindergarten in Roane County in 2005.

  • GLIMPSES: Was Civil War a waste? Historian gives his take


    Author’s note: The following three premises are essential to this column.

    1) None of us see the past or present with absolute clarity; 2) Each of us has the capacity for glimpses of informed insight that draw from and reflect our personal values; and 3) Cordial, forthright exchange of those insights enhances our mutual well being.

  • Harriman man giving away store

    Terry Webb’s auto electric repair shop in Harriman is old-school, for those who remember places like his.

    The decor is accented with pegboard, the combined smell of grease and dust is somehow pleasant, and the guys in the shop get along like family.

    To Webb, they are.

    That’s why, when his fight with cancer leads to what he believes will be its inevitable conclusion, he’s making sure the store will be theirs.

  • Bowers start complicated by widening

    All Roane County Schools are scheduled to open on Monday.

    Director of Schools Gary Aytes said the only place where there might be an issue is Bowers Elementary School because of the widening project on Ruritan Road.

    The project includes new entrances to the Harriman school.

    “We’re a little concerned with the Bowers situation,” Aytes said. “It looks a little rough right now with the road construction, but they assure us they’re going to have us two entrances ready by Monday.”