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Today's News

  • Emergency chief defends spending

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Take-home vehicles. Expensive sunglasses. Too many employees.

    Those are some of the issues that have been brought up about Roane County’s emergency management department over the past year.

    In a lengthy interview, director Howie Rose addresses numerous issues and seeks to provide insight on why his department has a need for certain items, such as flat-screen televisions and flashy rims for emergency vehicles.    

  • Couple dies after sex charges filed

    From staff reports

    A couple facing criminal charges in Roane County was found dead at a home in the Westel community of Cumberland County last week.

    Cumberland County Sheriff Butch Burgess said a relative discovered the bodies of James Phillip Jones, 46, and his wife, Linda Mae Jones, 35. Cumberland authorities have yet to make a ruling on whether the deaths were the result of a murder-suicide or double suicide. Burgess said officials are still awaiting autopsy results.

  • Computer ratings like Rockwood

    The 2009 season was a good one for the Rockwood Tigers and if Sonny Moore’s 2010 Computer Power Ratings are correct, the 2010 season could be even better for John Webb’s squad.

    Moore’s ratings predict Rockwood will go 9-1 in the regular season and the Tigers are also picked to win the District 3-A title according to the computer.

    The computer basis its preseason predictions on past success and then gives each team in the state a power rating.

  • EMA budget, taste in shades scrutinized

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Roane County’s proposed emergency management budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year is $592,355.

    In contrast, Loudon County, which has two interstates crisscrossing it, has an emergency management budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year that’s less than half that.

    “The data is going to tell you if you need to look further into something,” county executive candidate Ron Woody said. “What the data tells me is we need to look closer at our emergency management.”

  • Local berry growers balance work, rewards

    By TERRI LIKENS

    tlikens@roanecounty.com

    On one of the hottest weekends in July, husband-and-wife team Joe Matlock and Rita Senko put out the all-call to their friends: the blueberry crop is ripe and ready.

    The two, who work desk jobs on the Oak Ridge Reservation during the week, live on a bit of acreage near the Roane-Cumberland county line on Hwy. 70. Much of their land is wooded, but they share one 4-acre plot of cleared land with 230 blueberry bushes.

  • Debt burden weighs on voters

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Roane County has a population of 53,508, according to a recent U.S. Census estimate.

    If every resident contributed $1,000, that still wouldn’t be enough to pay off the county’s $56 million debt.

    By comparison, nearby Loudon County’s debt is $27.3 million for about 47,000 residents.

    The candidates running for Roane County executive have all spoken  during the campaign about lowering the debt.

  • Unpaid fines a priority for clerk hopefuls

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Looking forward won’t be the only priority for Roane County’s next circuit court clerk.

    The candidates have all said they plan to look back to try and collect court costs and fines that have gone unpaid.

    “We’ll be going back through the records and seeing if we can collect if you can prove it’s not been paid,” Bob Alford said.

  • Goodman looking forward to normal life after tour in Iraq

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    Another of Roane County’s good men is back home after serving in Iraq.

    Mark Goodman, a specialist with the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Second Squadron Troop E out of Jamestown, returned Thursday afternoon to his Oliver Springs area home, where a large gathering of family and friends waited.

    His wife, Andrea, children Bryson, 8, and Kylie, 6, and other family members picked him up from Smyrna that afternoon.

  • Tigers tourney run ends

    After weeks of waiting, the Rockwood AAA All-Stars made their postseason debut at the 2010 Dixie Youth AAA State Tournament in Rockwood. The Tigers made their hometown fans proud by winning two games and finishing sixth overall in the 15-team field.

    Rockwood’s tourney run didn’t get off to a great start as the Tigers dropped a 10-2 decision against Madison Central on Friday, but the Tigers bounced back with a 15-2 victory over Tellico Plains on Saturday and a 9-2 victory over Madison Central on Sunday.

  • Roane left out of own story in movie

    By TERRI LIKENS

    tlikens@roanecounty.com

    At the end of this month, a Roane County event will once again be getting national attention.

    Problem is, the colorful event is from 1938 — and most people won’t know it took place here.

    The living funeral of Felix “Bush” Breazeale of East Roane County’s Cave Creek community is the subject of “Get Low,” with a star-studded cast led by Robert Duvall, Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek. The movie will begin showing in theaters around the country on July 30.