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Today's News

  • Taking a minute to speak out

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    What would you say if you got 60 seconds to speak to the world?

    At noon recently, on a hot and muggy day in the heart of Washington, D.C., the world heard everything from birthday wishes to a call to national action in education and housing to a reminder that developed nations need to pay attention to violence and poverty in small African nations.

  • Oliver Springs anticipates hike in tax rate

    By CINDY SIMPSON
    csimpson@roanecounty.com
    Oliver Springs officials approved a 30-cent property tax-rate increase at the Board of Aldermen meeting last week.

    Part of the hike is in anticipation of drops in property value.

    City Manager Becky Campbell said property values in the area are expected to decline because of property reappraisals, “so in order for us to come out equal, we need to do 15 cents.”

    The hike is what officials estimate the certified tax rate will increase to for the town to pull in the same revenue it did last year.

  • Redistricting looms, drivers found

    Who needs a billboard when you have the side of a big yellow bus?

    Finding candidates to fill some open bus driver positions was proving difficult for Roane County Schools.

    That changed when school officials strung up a hard-to-miss sign on the side of a school bus.

    The bus was parked in a high-traffic area near school administration offices at Hwy. 70 and Bluff Road.

    “We weren’t getting many responses,” Director of Schools Gary Aytes said.

    “Then we parked that bus out there and had 20 applications. It worked.”

  • Youngsters test endurance

    Kingston’s Splash and Dash Kid’s Triathlon had more than 15 participants this year.

    “This is maybe the third or fourth year we’ve done this” said Rick Ross, Kingston’s parks and recreation director. “It keeps growing every year.”

    Ross commended participants because they were outside attempting the event Saturday rather than indoors playing video games.

    Ella Lemons won in the 8-10 girls category, while Nick Pelfrey led the boys in the 8-10 boys category.

  • Youngsters test endurance

    Kingston’s Splash and Dash Kid’s Triathlon had more than 15 participants this year.

    “This is maybe the third or fourth year we’ve done this” said Rick Ross, Kingston’s parks and recreation director. “It keeps growing every year.”

    Ross commended participants because they were outside attempting the event Saturday rather than indoors playing video games.

    Ella Lemons won in the 8-10 girls category, while Nick Pelfrey led the boys in the 8-10 boys category.

  • Wheels of justice grinding slowly

    Often it’s the victim’s side that expresses frustration at pace of the criminal court system in Roane County.

    In the case of Roy Cook, it’s the defendant.

    Cook was indicted on one count of extortion on Oct. 21, 2013. The alleged victim is his brother, Andrew Cook.

    “I want the charge dismissed and I want to find out why this thing ever got this far,” Roy Cook said. “Every time I’ve ever gone to court, I sit around for two hours and waste my time,” he said.

  • Decision could free Leon Houston

    The fate of Leon Houston, one of the most notorious men in Roane County, is now in the hands of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Houston was found not guilty in a bloody 2006 shootout that left a sheriff’s deputy and his ride-along friend dead. He was later convicted in federal court over statements made on the jail communications system that he wanted to kill one of his former defense lawyers.

    However, U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a Pennsylvania case put Houston’s 2013 conviction in question.

  • Canning College
  • Budget decision expected soon

    There could be action on Roane County’s 2015-16 budget at next month’s County Commission meeting.

    After doing some research, Roane County Executive Ron Woody said he believes the commission can vote to appropriate money for the different county budgets without setting the property tax rates that will support those budgets.

  • Lifestar lessons