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Today's News

  • Another delay in seven-year-old O’Neal murder case

    A missing key witness has delayed the Ralph O’Neal murder case.

    “We’ve had a subpoena out for her since Feb. 27,” Assistant District Attorney General Bill Reedy said. “She has been nowhere to be found, despite almost weekly attempts to locate her.”

    O’Neal is charged with first-degree murder in the August 2007 death of Ronnie Dean Cofer. Reedy said Pamela Smith, the key witness, was with Cofer the night before his death.

  • Pemberton says filing McFarland ‘attack’

    Mike Pemberton, a candidate for 9th Judicial District Circuit Court judge, said he’s not concerned about the complaint filed with the Roane County Election Commission that alleges he’s not a resident of the district.

    Pemberton faces Roane County Attorney Tom McFarland in the August election.

    “When this issue was first raised by my opponents, we did, as any good lawyer would do, our research on it,” Pemberton said.

    “We are not the least bit concerned about Mr. McFarland’s latest attack.”

  • SWEET TIMES AT THUNDER ROAD FEST
  • Tax rolls: Hopeful owes $11

    Roane County property taxes were due by Feb. 28. County Attorney Tom McFarland paid some of his on April 2.

    He incurred $33 in penalties/interest for the late payment.

    “I know my taxes are paid in full,” McFarland said. “If I owed any interest, I paid it.”

    McFarland said that was the only comment he would make to the Roane County News on the matter.

    As of Tuesday afternoon, he still owed $11 on his 2013 personal property tax bill, according to county records. Personal property taxes were also due on Feb. 28.

  • Smoke empties facility

    Smoke filled the second story of Rockwood’s Victorian Square Assisted Living Tuesday morning, but 52-53 residents were safely evacuated with no injuries sustained.

    “The smoke was definitely heavy on the second floor — so heavy in that one wing you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face,” Rockwood Fire Chief Mike Wertz said.

    “All the residents are fine,” he continued. “It could have been a serious situation. Just praise the Lord things were in our favor a little bit.”

  • School board gives Aytes $14,500 bonus

    Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes received a $14,500 bonus last year.

    His contract with the Board of Education calls for a bonus each year, with the amount not to exceed $15,000.

    The 2012-13 school year was Aytes first as director of schools. His bonus is based on the school board’s evaluation of his performance.

    Aytes’ base salary was $110,250, but his total compensation for the year was $126,250.

  • First woman to serve on Rockwood council dies

    The first woman to serve on Rockwood City Council died at her home Sunday.

    Katherine Irene Allen Albertson of Harriman was appointed to fill the term of her husband, John Henry Albertson Jr., upon his death, said Arvel McNelly, a former Rockwood mayor and longtime member of Rockwood Planning Commission.

    “He died of cancer,” McNelly remembered. “He was on there about two years. The council appointed her to fill out his term. She didn’t run” afterward.

  • KINGSTON: Grant leftovers for Gallaher Road?

    With leftover grant and loan money from a previous project sitting dormant, Kingston City Council members are looking to ensure economic development along the  Gallaher Road corridor with increased water capacity.

    At an early April work session, Council placed a motion to consider how to spend around $780,000 in combined leftover grant and loan funds on the agenda for the full council session on April 8.

    The money is left from the Rockwood waterline interconnection project, which tied Kingston to Rockwood waterlines through Midtown.

  • Kingston holds Arbor Day event

     

    KAITLIN KEANE/Roane Newspapers
    Jason O’Shell with the Tennessee Department of Forestry, left, distributes some tree seedlings to Amanda Monore in the rain. The city of Kingston celebrated Arbor Day on Saturday, March 29, at the Roane Alliance Home and Garden Show at Fort Southwest Point. Tree seedlings of bald cypress, Southern red oak, black cherry and white pine were given away to anyone interested.

  • WINDPOWER

    One hundred and eight pinwheels were planted in front of the Roane County Courthouse last week in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

    Each pinwheel represents a Roane County child who was identified as a victim of abuse during the 2012-13 fiscal year.

    Chris Evans-Longmire, executive director of the Child Advocacy Center of the 9th Judicial District, said the even more troubling thing about that number is many more victims go unidentified.