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Local News

  • School to start week later next year

    Summer has been over for almost two months, but it was a hot topic at last Thursday’s meeting of the Roane County School Board.

    “I think this heat thing, maybe not to this extreme, but I think it’s going to continue,” board member Mike “Brillo” Miller said.

    Because of that and a wave of air conditioning problems at schools opening this year, Miller offered a counter proposal to the 2008-09 school calendar.

  • Ruppe mulling bid for senate

    Morgan County Executive Becky Ruppe may very well attempt to become State Sen. Becky Ruppe.

    Since a poll was conducted several weeks ago that shows Ruppe as a viable candidate in the district to replace Sen. Tommy Kilby in 2008, Ruppe said she has been overwhelmed by the number of people encouraging her to run.

    "I must admit that this is one of the toughest decisions I have ever made. I love my job. I love Morgan County and the people I serve,” Ruppe said.

  • David Road remains closed

    When county commissioners voted last week to restore Davis Road to the county road list, members of the Pleas McCartt family were overjoyed. But their joy has now turned to dismay.

    They had hoped the road would be opened before Thanksgiving but it is looking like that will not happen.

    Road Superintendent Roy Smith had planned to send a crew to the Mill Creek community to open the road on Monday but held off once he was informed by counsel for Quenton Henry that an injunction was going to be filed to prevent the county from opening the road.

  • McGriff contract extended under fire

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    Roane Newspapers

    The Roane County School Board voted to extend the contract of Director of Schools Toni McGriff for two years at Thursday night’s board meeting.

    The action came in spite of strong opposition from board member Frank Mee.

  • City gives Harmon's school plan thumbs down

    Roane County Commissioner James Harmon did not get the support he hoped for from Harriman on his school building request.

    The Harriman City Council voted down a motion to write a letter supporting giving new money from a proposed quarter-cent sales tax toward the schools.

    “It is not an endorsement of Mr. Harmon’s plan,” Harriman Mayor Chris Mason said.

    Councilman Chase Tedder passed on the vote, while Councilmen Ken Mee, J.D. Sampson and Lonnie Wright voted “no.”

  • Three Trailblazers
  • Racial slurs prompt civil rights probe

    Racial slurs painted on the walkways outside the main entrance to Oliver Springs High School are being investigated by local authorities and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    The anti-Hispanic comments were aimed at a school administrator.

    “It was several different racial slurs,” Oliver Springs High School resource officer Steve Sanders said.

    About eight different places were defaced by blue painted words, in some cases including the last name of the administrator.

  • Change of course for Riverboat

    A request to defer payments from the Watts Bar Riverboat Co. to the city was pulled at Tuesday’s Kingston City Council meeting.

    Dave Westberg, head of the riverboat company, spoke during citizen comments to tell the council that he was pulling his request.

    “We have received some good, positive information and believe that we will be able to pay the city by this Friday,” Westberg told the council. “With that, we will leave it.”

    He did not explain the change of fortune, nor did he return a call from the Roane County News.

  • Houstons' bond remains at $900,000

    Rocky Houston was on his best behavior during Thursday's hearing at the Roane County Courthouse. However, that wasn't enough to convince Judge James "Buddy" Scott to lower his bond. After close to six hours of testimony, court recesses and arguments by lawyers, Scott decided that bond for Rocky Houston and his brother Leon Houston should remain at $900,000 for now.

  • Train strikes vehicle with woman in it

    Roane County E-911 received a call at 12:17 a.m. Tuesday that a train had just hit a car outside of Rockwood, with a female driver inside.

    The Norfolk-Southern train was traveling southbound and struck the vehicle at McNew Road near Manufacturers Road off of Hwy. 27.

    The accident was near the Roane County Animal Shelter.

    According to spokesman Robin Chapman of Norfolk-Southern, the car was parked on the railroad crossing.