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Today's News

  • Early vote strong, official says

    Roane County Administrator of Elections Charles Holiway said he’s been pleased with the turnout for early voting.

    Prior to its commencement on July 18, Holiway was encouraging people to take advantage of early voting because of a longer-than-usual ballot this year.

    Figures from the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office showed 5,413 people voted early in Roane County through Wednesday.

    Election Day is Aug. 7.

    Saturday is the final day to vote early.

  • Ice cream company grows in Roane County

    Blue Bell Ice Cream announced on Monday that the substantial expansion of its Roane County distribution center is now complete.

    The project, which started in January, takes the facility from less than 2,000 square feet to 12,500 square feet.

    “Our newly expanded facility will allow us to better serve the Knoxville and Johnson City markets,” branch manager Ricky Holladay said in a statement. “We are very appreciative of all the support we have received from our customers in the markets that we serve.”

  • Fishing rodeo brings out families for fun

    Roane County Park’s waterfront was brimming with children and their fishing poles Saturday for the 24th annual Dennis Ferguson Fishing Rodeo for Kids.

    Five-year-old Julie Sherlin squealed delightedly, catching her first fish ever. She dubbed it a spiky fish.

    “I like spikey fish,” she told all who would hear gleefully.

    Her mother, Jennie Sherlin, helped her big brother Thomas fish as well.

    “You are so lucky Mommy knows how to fish,” she said.

    “I am so lucky; I fish, too,” agreed Julie.

  • Rockwood utility bills to rise

    Rockwood Water, Sewer and Natural Gas customers can expect to pay more soon.

    Rockwood City Council approved first reading of an ordinance to increase rates at their meeting Monday, at the request of Rockwood, Water, Sewer and Natural Gas officials.

    “The board looked at several options trying to make it an increase our customers could handle,” said manager Kim Ramsey to the Council.

  • Alexander bus stops, senator not on it

    U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s campaign bus stopped in Kingston Wednesday, but he wasn’t on it.

    According to his “Little Plaid Blog” detailing his campaign stops, Alexander had to return to Washington, D.C., to vote against President Barack Obama’s funding request for the immigration crisis on the Mexico border.

    “He still has not proposed a serious plan to secure the border and deal with the influx of unaccompanied minors entering our country,” Alexander said in a prepared statement.

  • Open Rockwood council seat filled ­— until election

    Rockwood City Council has a new member.

    Samuel H. Seat Jr., the operator of Juniors Restaurant in downtown Rockwood, was appointed to the position. Mayor James Watts said Seat expressed interest in the opening.

    “I just feel honored to be here. I hope I do a good job. I’m really interested in seeing growth,” said Seat.

    He said he invested everything he has into Rockwood and wants to see it thrive.

    Seat is taking the place of the late Pete Wright, who died July 1 after a long illness.

  • Tom Pierce case continued until August

    No progress was made in the case of a former Rockwood official accused of using city funds for private purchases of items — including weapons.

    Former Rockwood Public Works director Tom Pierce was at his status hearing on July 21, but it was continued until Aug. 15.

    Cases not resolved this term will be scheduled at that time for the next term, which will start in November.

    Pierce is accused of buying guns, ammunition, clothing, cameras and photography equipment on the city’s dime between 2009 and 2012.

  • Housing Authority fire does extensive damage, but only to one unit

    Harriman Fire Department was dispatched to a structure fire at 10:55 a.m. Tuesday at a Harriman Housing Authority apartment at 704 Clinch St.

    The resident wasn’t home when the accidental electrical fire started sometime Monday night.

    The fire started in the bedroom, which caused heavy smoke and fire damage that affected the whole apartment.

    The apartment windows were shut tight, which helped keep the fire from spreading.

    “There wasn’t enough oxygen to sustain it, so it smothered itself out,” Goss said.

  • An uncomfortable admission

    Roane County Commissioner Steve Kelley had intended to keep his mouth shut over a proposal to post “In God We Trust” at the courthouse in Kingston.

    “It’s going to pass,” his wife, Renee, counseled her husband. “Don’t say anything.”

    As the proposal was debated in June, Kelley could no longer hold back. When other commissioners questioned him about his opposition, he admitted that he is an atheist — he doesn’t believe in God.

  • Harriman lawyer suspended

    Harriman attorney Donice Butler has been suspended.

    The Tennessee Supreme Court has adopted the decision of a hearing panel in her disciplinary case, meaning a nine-month suspension.

    Ninety days of the suspension are active. The remainder is to be served on probation.

    The Supreme Court issued the suspension on Monday.

    Butler said she has a 10-day period before the suspension goes into effect.