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Today's News

  • 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.

  • Roane man killed in motorcycle crash in Vonore

    A 42-year-old Harriman man was killed in a Saturday morning motorcycle wreck in Monroe County.

    According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Michael W. Hileman was headed north on State Hwy. 322 in Vonore while riding a 1997 Harley Davidson.

    “For unknown reasons, the vehicle crossed the double-yellow center line and exited the left side of the roadway,” the report said.

    No other details about the accident were given.

  • Female robber sentenced

    A Roane County woman is headed to federal prison for her role in a multi-county robbery spree that occurred last September.

    Rufena Jean Bunch reached a deal with federal prosecutors in March and pleaded guilty to Hobbs Act robbery and aiding and abetting the use of a firearm during a crime of violence.

    Her sentencing hearing was held at the federal courthouse in Knoxville last week.

    Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan sentenced Bunch to 74 months – 50 on the aiding and abetting conviction, and 24 on the robbery conviction.

  • Civil War cemetery gets TVA help

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    The Kendrick Cemetery on New Hope Road sits on the edge of Watts Bar Lake, near a bank that was dissolving away.

    TVA recently took measures to remedy that, putting down a barrier of large rocks at the bank to stem erosion.

    TVA spokesman Travis Brickey said funds were allocated for the work after the agency was informed about the problem last year.

    Buddy Marsh, the man who called TVA, lives next to the cemetery on land he inherited from his family.

  • Tot drowns at birthday party on Orchard View Road

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    A young girl died at a pool party at a private home Saturday afternoon.

    Officials are not releasing the the child’s name, but the incident happened during a birthday party on Orchard View Road.

    “They started cutting the birthday cake and realized the 3-year-old was missing from the group. She’d taken her ‘floaties’ off,” said Sheriff Jack Stockton.

  • Decision on tax hike up in the air

    School officials didn’t get a yes on their request for a 9-cent increase in the property tax rate when they met with the Roane County Commission’s Budget Committee last week.

    They didn’t get a no, either.

    The committee voted 4-0 to pass the budget along to the full commission without a recommendation.

    “This is what we expected,” Director of Schools Gary Aytes said. “We’re good.”  

  • HABITAT FOR HUMANITY: Building up to the American dream

    Jesse Hall and his family will hopefully be in their own home by Christmas.

    They are the latest recipients of a Habitat for Humanity home in Roane County.

    “Right now I’m just tired of picking up and moving,” Hall said.

    “We decided it was just time to settle down.”

    He added, “I think it is the greatest thing in the world these people are doing for us. It is just showing Christian fellowship and there are still people in this world willing to help and there are still people that care.”

  • CHRIS AHLER: Athletic tourism key for Roane

    Harriman City Councilman Chris Ahler moved back to his hometown three years ago.

    “I think anyone who opens their business and lives in a municipality is going to take a strong interest in the leadership and decisions that affect them,” said Ahler, who helps people with retirement and estate planning.

    He was appointed to Council to fill the unexpired term of Chase Tedder, who resigned to pursue a career in the National Park Service.

    He later was elected to the seat and is vying for his first full term.

  • WAYNE BEST: Recreation, youth focus for council candidate

    Wayne Best thinks focusing on the city’s youth and young families is key to seeing Harriman thrive.

    “I think Harriman has great potential,” the Harriman City Council candidate said. “We need to work together. We need to agree to disagree, but we have to work past that to make sure our city and community grows.”

    He’s got adult children and recently started the child rearing again, this time with a young son he helps coach in sporting activities including city league baseball and basketball.