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Today's News

  • Election field has several changes

    Three candidates exited the upcoming election before the withdrawal deadline. Daryl Cook and Mona Gardner Wright pulled out of the race for District 2 county commission, and Sam Russell withdrew from the Harriman City Council race.

    Cook, who works as a school resource officer, said he exited the race for personal reasons.

    “Things in my life may change, and it may be time to run later, but right now is not a good time,” he said.

  • Fun times add up at Bowers Elementary

    Bowers Elementary hosted its annual Reading and Math nights this week.

    The events are a way to show students and their families that learning can be fun. They also allow parents to be involved in their child’s education.

    A Bingo for Books event was held in the cafeteria along with a complimentary dinner for families.

    In the gym, each teacher had a math station where she could play a game or do a math activity with the students and their families.

  • Don White joins REU board

    STAFF REPORTS

    Kingston City Councilman Don White is now the first retiree from Rockwood Electric Utility to sit on its board.

    White, a longtime city councilman, was approved as Kingston board representative by the Rockwood City Council in late March.

    He replaces the late Kevin McClure as the Kingston City Council representative to the utility.

    Councilwoman Peggy Evans believes REU retirees like him can be an asset to the board because of their knowledge of the utility.

  • 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.