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Today's News

  • Coffman’s the marrying kind

    Una Coffman takes great pride in her long stint as Roane County Commissioner, the lone female voice in a roomful of men for 12 of those 16 years.
    One of the numerous duties that inspires her most of all — and as a former commissioner she can perform — is marriage ceremonies.
    “I didn’t even know we could do weddings,” she admitted. “I’ve met some really fascinating people, interesting people.
    “It has been a real joy to me.”

  • Educators ramping up support for more taxes

    Director of Schools Gary Aytes is encouraging people who support a property tax rate increase for schools to show up in droves for a public hearing on the county’s 2013-14 budget.
    The meeting is scheduled for today – Monday – at 6:30 p.m. at the Roane County Courthouse in Kingston.
    The actual vote on the budget, however, is expected at the regular monthly commission meeting on July 8.

  • Did previous pay raises throw off school funds?

    Pay raises for school personnel have been brought up a lot during this year’s county budget process.
    Members of the Roane County Commission’s budget committee contend the school system wouldn’t be facing a shortfall if it hadn’t given them out the past few years.
    “I did not see any future planning being conducted under the prior school administration, and I’m not so sure how they’re looking at it now,” Roane County Executive Ron Woody said, “other than asking the Roane County taxpayers to bail them out.”

  • BUGGED OUT
  • Board to look at extending Aytes’ contract

    A contract extension for Director of Schools Gary Aytes could be on the agenda at next month’s Roane County Board of Education meeting.
    In 2012 the board picked Aytes to succeed Toni McGriff, who retired. Aytes has one-year remaining on a two-year contract.
    “I want to thank all the faculty and staff, the administrative staff here for helping me make it through the first year,” Aytes said.

  • It’s official: Taxes going up in Rockwood

    Rockwood residents will be paying a little more in city property taxes in the coming fiscal year.
    Rockwood City Council last week approved second and final reading of a budget that includes a 5-cent property tax increase.
    That brings the city’s property-tax rate to 95 cents per $100 valuation toward a budget with $5.4 million in expected general fund revenue and expenditures.
    “I still have the same objections now as I did before,” said Vice Mayor Peggy Evans, who cast the only dissenting vote on the budget.

  • Chamber supports online sales tax

    The Roane County Chamber of Commerce board of directors voted unanimously last week to support the Marketplace Fairness Act.
    Support for the act comes upon recommendation of the Chamber’s government relations committee.

    The act empowers states to collect sales tax on purchases made from online-only vendors.

  • Changes to aid in unemployment backlogs

    The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development has made organizational changes aimed to improve access to unemployment benefits’ self-service features and reduce a backlog of those who have applied for benefits.

    “Decreasing the backlog means fewer follow-up calls, and opening access to self-service allows callers to directly find the information they need without any delays,”said Employment Security Administrator Linda Davis.

  • Upcoming workshops aim to help small businesses succeed

    Roane State Community College’s Tennessee Small Business Development Center is offering free workshops this week to help small businesses in the area succeed.

    All workshops will be in the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce at 1400 Oak Ridge Turnpike.

    The first, Employers vs. Contractors, will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 25.

    Jeff Ginsburg, director of human resources at Oak Ridge’s LeGacy Resource Corp., will discuss differences between a W2 employee or 1099 contractor, as well as the legalities and costs involved for a business.

  • Road dept. retirees to be honored at luncheon

    Roane County Highway Department will honor five retiring employees during a luncheon celebration from noon to 3 p.m. June 27 at the Highway Department at 3072 Roane State Hwy., Midtown.

    Road Superintendent Dennis Ferguson and his staff will honor retirees Larry Alford, Judy Bensey, Joe Britton, Donna Patterson and Ronnie Turpin.

    A special tribute will be paid to the memory
    of Charles Norman, a former road superintendent who died March 24.
    The band Outta the Blue will take the stage at noon.

    The event is free and open to the public.