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Today's News

  • Shhhhhh ... don't mention the ash spill

    By TERRI LIKENS

    tlikens@roanecounty.com

    For one sunny September afternoon, recently, the TVA disaster ceased to exist for many residents of Swan Pond.

    The evidence otherwise was right there in front of them: the Emory River, crisscrossed with booms and barriers and dotted with barges and dredges involved in removing millions of cubic yards of ash that glutted the river.

  • What to do now with the old jail?

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Roane County Commission will hold a work session at 7 p.m. on Tuesday to discuss possible uses for vacant properties.

    The session will be held at the courthouse.

  • Burglary task force formed

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    The sheriff is not the only one vowing to get tougher on lawbreakers now that Roane County has a new jail.

    District Attorney General Russell Johnson is saying his office will as well.

    “We are relieved that the new jail is finally ready to accommodate the people who need to be in jail,” Johnson said in a statement.

    Overcrowding was a problem at the old jail. To try and keep the population down, many people who belonged in jail got a pass.

  • TVA black plume grabbing attention

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Something was falling from the sky in the Swan Pond community on Friday.

    The material was coming from one of the smoke stacks at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant.

    “I’ve actually gone over and watched it fall,” Roane County Executive Mike Farmer said. 

    Dark-looking smoke could be seen billowing out of one of the smoke stacks throughout the day Friday.

  • 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.