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Today's News

  • Red Cross CPR class
  • No raise for airport director

    Rockwood Municipal Airport manager Danny Collins is not getting a $4,000 annual increase proposed in a contract renewal.

    Rockwood City Council tabled the item last month, and opinions had changed little since that time, including the disapproval of Councilman Harold Holloway.

    “The last meeting I was against it. That hasn’t changed,” said Holloway.

    Holloway said he has nothing against Collins, but he said the raise would put him above that of other department heads.

  • Kingston Library prepares for a new era

    The focus of improvements at the Kingston Public Library have been on the building itself: expansion, maintenance and renovation of the building itself.

    That is expected to change soon. This week, Kingston Library Board members hope to choose a new library director who’ll focus on people and programming. A special-called meeting at the library has been set for Thursday at 5 p.m., when board members will choose from a handful of finalists.

    The board voted to let longtime library director Steve Jacks go last fall.

  • Do the crime, be ready to do the time

    Eva Hallene McNelley wasn’t a passive participant in the Roane County drug conspiracy that netted more than 200,000 oxycodone pills.

    The Rockwood woman had such a key role that the feds listed her second on the 23-person indictment that led to the pill ring’s demise.

    “She actively participated in the conspiracy on her own accord, and did so for a length of time,” Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan said at McNelley’s sentencing hearing last week at the federal courthouse in Knoxville.

  • Assessor employee terminated

    Cheryl Laxton said she knew it was only a matter of time after her husband confronted Roane County Property Assessor David Morgan.

    Laxton had been Morgan’s chief of staff until he abruptly fired her on Thursday.

    “We know why he fired me,” she said Friday. “There’s no doubt.”

    The termination came eight days after Charles Laxton went in Morgan’s office to confront him about the treatment of his wife and other female employees.

  • Rockwood teacher still in classroom after arrest

    Matthew R. Jones, a science teacher at Rockwood Middle School, is char-
    ged with felony aggravated stalking in the Middle Tennessee city of Dickson.

    Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes is aware of the allegations and expressed confidence that Jones will be exonerated.  

    “It happened to be filed by the husband of his ex-wife,” Aytes said.

    “Matt’s been to work for us every day,” the school director added, “so we feel pretty certain that it will be dismissed.”

  • Schools needing $3.5 million to balance budget

    The Roane County Board of Education heard another gloomy finan-cial report earlier this month.

    Eric Harbin, the school system’s business manager, said the budget is out of balance by $3.5 million.

    “We need $3.5 million more of revenue or $3.5 million less expenditures,” he said.

    Harbin suggested the board start having budget work sessions to discuss the issue.

    “This budget will not work,” he said. “We can’t use this budget, so we got a lot of work to do.”

  • Who’s going to clean up sludgy mess?

    In addition to wanting to know who was responsible for dumping gray sludge that ended up in the lake, Kingston officials also have questions about who will be responsible for cleaning up the mess.

    “Is that something TDEC (Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) will do and then go for reimbursement from the company?” City Manager David Bolling asked during a Jan. 20 meeting.

  • Rockwood officials to ponder various permit fees today

    Rockwood leaders will consider several ordinances on first reading today — Monday — that may lead to establishing new fees or updating old ones related to construction and property maintenance.  

    During the City Council’s monthly meeting at 6 p.m., Council members will consider and possibly take action on an ordinance establishing a permit fee for temporary occupancy of a single-wide mobile home or travel trailer.

  • Railroad crash survivors sue

    Survivors and the family of those who died when a car was hit by a train near Harriman are suing Norfolk Southern Railway Co., Norfolk Southern Corp. and three railroad employees.

    The suit alleges the railroad failed to provide adequate audible and visual warning of an oncoming train at the crossing on Mountain View Road, where two young people died last May and two others were injured.

    Darius Gallaher, a former Roane State Raider basketball player, was driving a 2000 Nissan Maxima through the crossing when it was struck by the train.