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Today's News

  • Some Roane educators calling it a career

    Director of Schools Gary Aytes has been to a lot of retiree receptions at the Roane County bus garage over the years.

    Last week’s was different, however, because this time, Aytes was one of the retirees.

    “It’s been a great pleasure of mine to be associated with you,” he told the crowd.

    Twenty-five retirees were recognized at the ceremony, though not all attended.

    One who did was J. Kathy Brummitt, a special education teacher at Harriman Middle School.

  • Rockwood eyeing concerts to generate revenue

    Rockwood Mayor Mike “Brillo” Miller proposed an unusual way to generate revenue during a called workshop last week to discuss the 2016-17 city budget.

    Near the end of the meeting, he suggested the city mull hosting concerts at the sports complex named for him.

    “I would like for us to consider using $10,000 [from an expected $38,000 budget surplus] to start having entertainment at the recreation park,” he said.

  • Increase possible down the road for Harriman

    Harriman City Council will likely not consider a budget this year with a property tax increase.

    “It is still kind of early, but my feeling would be we will try to make a presentation without a tax increase,” said Harriman City Manager Kevin Helms.

    He was quick to add, however, the city will need to find somewhere to grow revenue in the near future, whether that is through a proposed local sales tax increase that will be on the ballot in November or a property tax increase.

  • Kingston kicks in reserves money to balance budget

    Unlike last year’s unforeseen delay, the city of Kingston is already close to passing its upcoming year’s budget.

    Kingston City Manager David Bolling and city fiscal officer Carolyn Brewer have been working on the city’s 2016-17 $7.567 million proposed budget, which calls for no tax increase.

    Council voted 5-2 to pass on first reading the proposed $7.567 million 2016-17 budget during the regular monthly meeting earlier this month.

  • Assessor's employee turnover: Records show 30 changes in almost four years

    Employee turnover in the Roane County Property Assessor’s Office has become an issue in this year’s campaign.

    “We have had many, many employees come through that office,” said Molly Leggins Hartup. “The turnover rate has been very high.”

    Hartup is one of three people challenging incumbent David Morgan for the property assessor’s job. Since Morgan took over on Sept. 1, 2012, there have been roughly 30 employee changes in his office, according to County Payroll Officer Linda Stooksbury.

  • No insubordination cited in Hartup review

    “Very good at interpreting assessment laws and regulations. Knows her job and duties well. Our department will miss her.”

    Those are some of the comments Roane County Property Assessor David Morgan made about Molly Leggins Hartup in a performance review before she stopped working for his office.

    Hartup, a candidate in this year’s race for property assessor, said that proves she wasn’t an insubordinate employee like Morgan has claimed.

  • Schools chief to make $120,000 to start

    The Roane County Board of Education approved the contract for its new director on Thursday.

    “The negotiations went real well,” Board Mem-ber Mike “Brillo” Miller said.

    Miller negotiated the contract with Dr. Leah Rice Watkins after the board voted 7-3 on April 20 to select her as the next director.

    The contract is for four years, beginning on July 1 and expiring on June 30, 2020.

    The starting salary is $120,000.

  • Grant to fix up Roane Regional site for new industry

    The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development has awarded Roane County a $356,072 grant for further development of the Jones Road site in Roane Regional Business and Technology Park.

    The grant will fund the clearing and grading for a building pad to accommodate a minimum 100,000-square-foot building.

  • Grant in hand, but work on park stalled

    The sign in the field next to Gertrude Porter Memorial Park on Roane Street in Kingston reads “Future Site of The State of Tennessee LPRF Grant Project.”

    The sign, now almost covered by grass, has been standing in the field since shortly after Gov. Bill Haslam visited the site in October 2014 to announce a $250,000 grant that would have added another ball field, two soccer fields, a playground, a greenway and restroom facilities.

  • School facilities ‘wasted, empty’ space

    The Roane County Board of Education received another presentation from its architect earlier this month.

    This one looked at elementary and middle schools, in addition to the high schools.

    “What we’re going to present is a complete assessment of your school system,” Todd Brang, vice president of business development and marketing for the Lewis Group Architects, told the board.

    “Where you stand today and what it may look like 10 to 20 to 30 years from now.”