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Local News

  • Illness at a peak in county

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Peaks and valleys are common in every cold season.

    “This could be considered a peak,” said Bonnie Hinds, public information officer for the East Tennessee Regional Health Department.

    Like many of its surrounding counties, Roane County hasn’t been able to escape those peaks, either.

    School was cancelled on Feb. 22 because of illness, and some principals reported large groups of students and teachers being out sick.

  • Commissioners may be invited to tour schools

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    The Roane County Commission has yet to give the school system’s $47 million facilities plan an up or down vote.

    Until that happens, there’s no reason to alter the plan.

    That seemed to be the consensus among the school board members who attended a school board retreat at the Oak Tree Lodge in Sevierville this past weekend.

    The purpose of the outing was to discuss the plan and whether any modifications could be made to lessen the amount.

  • Harriman calls Council meeting; hospital agreement on agenda

    BY CINDY SIMPSON

    rccindysimpson@bellsouth.net

    Harriman may be voting Monday on a proposed lease agreement between the city and Covenant Health for the takeover of Roane Medical Center.

    According to a legal advertisement, the city Council will meet on March 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the conference room of the Harriman Utility Board building to discuss the Covenant lease agreement.

    Mayor Chris Mason had been given the go-ahead to hire an attorney knowledgeable of contract law to look at the contract.

  • Stoll's record includes domestic assault, PI, drugs

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Robert Stoll is scheduled to appear in Morgan County Court on Thursday for a preliminary hearing on charges of second degree murder in the deaths of 25-year-old Jessica Hatmaker and her unborn child.

    Stoll, whose wife Melissa said during an interview last week that her husband is not violent and is a good husband and father, has an extensive history with police in Florida, California and Michigan as well as here in Morgan County.

  • $63,500 awarded to local groups

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Various groups and organizations in Morgan County will benefit from the state’s community enhancement funds awarded by legislators.

    Sen. Tommy Kilby and Rep. John Mark Windle handed out checks totaling $63,500 last week at the courthouse.

  • Floyd Hammond Jr. sought

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    Roane County Sheriff’s officers were on the hunt Friday for a man they suspected to be selling drugs.

    The sheriff’s office had a drug search warrant for Floyd Hammond Jr.’s home off of Old Harriman Highway.

    “I know he’s dangerous and usually armed,” Sheriff Jack Stockton said before the search.

    Hammond was also involved in a shooting at his home on Jan. 19, Stockton alleged.

  • Roofers accused of selling cocaine on the side

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    rccindysimpson@bellsouth.net

    A Harriman couple who owns a roofing company in the downtown area has been charged with multiple counts of the sale of cocaine.

    A Roane County grand jury handed down an indictment last week on Laura Pierce and her husband James E. Pierce, of 474 Emory River Road, for several counts of the sale of .5 grams or more of cocaine.

    The indictment charges Laura Pierce, 50, on seven counts, while 49-year-old James Pierce is charged with two counts.

  • Charton pitched more than geology lessons

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    rccindysimpson@bellsouth.net

    Harriman’s Pete Charton is remembered by many Roane State Community College alumni as the lanky professor who taught them about rock formations and soils in his geology classes.

    Longtime Boston Red Sox fans, however, remember Charton as a rookie pitcher who shared the field with some of the most legendary players of Major League Baseball.

    Charton only played a year of big league ball, but it allowed him to follow a dream for a boyhood passion he shared with his father.

  • Does school retreat violate Sunshine Law?

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    The Roane County Board of Education has scheduled a retreat at the Oak Tree Lodge in Sevierville Friday and Saturday to discuss its building plan.

    The school system did not disseminate notice of the taxpayer-funded retreat until Wednesday.

    Public notice of such outings is required by the Tennessee Sunshine Law. According to Director of Schools Toni McGriff, that requirement was met.

    “All we have to do is give 24 hours’ notice,” McGriff said.

  • Rockwood to settle Butler lawsuit

    By JENNIFER RAYMOND

    rcraymond@bellsouth.net

    The case of the city of Rockwood against the estate of the late Howard Butler, former city recorder and judge, has finally come to an end.

    After a little more than six years of battling, city officials have decided to settle for about $27,000.

    “The amount of money left in the estate is very minimal,” Mayor Mike “Brillo” Miller said.

    The city sued the estate after half a million dollars worth of city money was allegedly stolen by Butler.