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Today's News

  • Funding for schools all but certain with TVA money

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    County commissioners only listened when supporters of the school system’s building plan showed up at their meeting in June.

    This time, the commissioners may do more than just listen.   

    The county commission will meet in special session on Thursday to consider and possibly take action on the building proposal.

  • What's a few million dollars?

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    TVA’s big announcement last week was apparently $3 million short.

    Both the news release put out by the agency and the remarks from executive Anda Ray said TVA was providing “approximately $40 million” to Roane County and its communities for economic development.

    TVA spokeswoman Barbara Martocci said in an e-mail Monday the actual amount is $43 million.    

  • Cyclist's death gets look from DAG's office

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    The cycling community has expressed concerns as to why a motorist who struck and killed a cyclist last month has not been charged.

    After hearing those concerns, District Attorney General Russell Johnson’s office has issued an explanation.

    The fatal crash happened on Aug. 25 on Gallaher Road in Kingston.

  • School board considers flu virus threat

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Current school board policy on attendance does not make reference to any particular illness. One school board member wants the board to consider altering the policy because of one, however.

    At last week’s board meeting, Rob Jago wanted the board to consider a temporary modification of the attendance policy because of the H1N1 flu.

    When it came time to discuss it, Jago changed his mind.

  • Group shows interest in papermill

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    A new group wants to submit a proposal to study the former American Kraft Papermill property.

    Officials had recently met with Cornerstone Technologies Inc., who plans to submit a proposal to do another study at the papermill site.

    Cornerstone has good timing, coming forward shortly after city officials renewed interest in the property on the Emory River.

  • Still no lawyer for Leon Houston

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Leon Houston’s retrial on double murder charges appears destined to start on Nov. 2.  

    “This case has been pending long enough,” Special Judge David Hayes said. “It will go to trial on Nov. 2.”

    Several issues about the upcoming trial were discussed during a hearing on Friday.

    Hayes wanted to get everything hashed out because he told Houston it would be the last time they would see each other until Nov. 2.

  • Schools get $32 mil from TVA

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Probably the biggest question with the school system’s building plan has always been how to pay for it.

    The answer came earlier this month, when TVA decided to give Roane County $43 million in an effort to make amends because of the fly ash catastrophe at Kingston Fossil Plant.

  • Ash spill oversight change made

    TVA's Anda Ray is moving deeper into the background, and Steve McCracken, who has managed three extensive environmental recovery and remediation projects for the Department of Energy, will join TVA as general manager of the Kingston Ash Recovery Project.

  • Officials miffed at behind-back decisions

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Officials are still mulling what to do with some vacated county property.

    However, one thing appears clear, some decisions about the space have already been made without input from the county’s property committee.

    George Myers, the man who oversaw construction of the new jail, told commissioners during a recent workshop that he’s been doing extensive work on a small, white house the county owns adjacent to the new jail.  

  • TVA still studying ash flurries

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    The cause behind the ash that floated through the air on Sept. 18 from the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant is still unknown.

    “We’re still investigating what has happened,” Kingston Fossil Plant Manager Leslie Nale said.

    “We believe the particulate is primarily fly ash,” she added.

    Nale said the plant began test burning higher sulfur coal on Sept. 7 after receiving a variance from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.