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Local News

  • Court disbars Austin

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    Roane Newspapers

    Former Roane County Judge Thomas Alva Austin will be looking for a new line of work when he’s released from federal prison.

    His days of practicing law appear to be over after he was disbarred by the Supreme Court of Tennessee.

    The state’s high court issued the order on Dec. 13.

    According to a court press release, Austin consented to the disbarment.

    The press release also states Austin may apply for reinstatement of his law license after five years.

  • SUD commissioners resign

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Sunbright Utility District has a history of problems and turnover in both employees and members of its board of commissioners. As of Monday more changes are coming.

    Board president Roy Freels and commissioner Russell Scott have both resigned and Bryant Jones, the SUD Manager, walked off the job.

    “If I had known how bad it was I would’ve never taken the appointment,” Scott said Tuesday.

  • Used car dealers target of OS study

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    Roane Newspapers

    Oliver Springs may be the place to go for used car salesmen.

    At least, that is the concern of officials worried that Oliver Springs is not benefiting in the increase of the lots opening in the town.

    Oliver Springs Town Manager David Bolling said another business is getting ready to open soon.

    Ways to make sure the facilities are meeting regulations and actually benefiting the town were discussed briefly during the Oliver Springs Board of Aldermen meeting last Thursday.

  • Emergency info may be a phone call away

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    Roane Newspapers

    Roane County emergency management director Howie Rose is looking to make sure residents get important information about potential dangers in the most timely manner.

    He’s spearheading an effort to add an emergency service that would notify them with a phone call.

    “What it does is it allows us to give pertinent emergency information to the public by their home phone,” Rose said. “The system will actually call the home phone number.”

  • Harriman man faces gladiators

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    Roane Newspapers

    A Harriman man faced down the ultimate opponents during weeks of competition in Los Angeles this fall.

    Jeff Chapman, 26, was one of 12 male finalists to compete in the return of

    American Gladiator, a television competition that pits men and women against a fearsome group of muscled annihilators.

    "It is basically done tournament style," Chapman said of the events.

    Competitors were first partnered up in pairs of men and women before facing the

    gladiators in a variety of events, according to Chapman.

  • Parent company of newspaper explores sale

    STAFF REPORTS

    Roane Newspapers

    Landmark Communications Inc., the parent company of the Roane County News, has hired national investment firms to explore selling the Norfolk-based company.

    "I can confirm that Landmark Communications has retained investment banks JPMorgan and Lehman Brothers to assist in exploring strategic alternatives, including the possible sale of the company's businesses," said Richard F. Barry III, vice chairman of the company.

  • Sheriff's office investigating New Year's death

    BY DAMON LAWRENCE

    Roane Newspapers

    The Roane County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of a 23-year-old man found lying in a ditch on New Year's Day.

    According to sheriff's office detective Bryan Walker, the body of Travis Daniels was discovered off of Black Jack Road in Rockwood around 1 p.m. The death is being treated as a homicide.

    “Whenever we have a suspicious death we treat it as a homicide until we can prove otherwise,” Walker said.

  • Lighting issue ready to enter new phase

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    Roane Newspapers

    In his quest to bring darker skies to Roane County, Tamke-Allan Observatory director David Fields says he is aligning himself with the countrys top leader.

    President George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 on Dec. 19.

    Bush touted the bill as a commitment to energy conservation and efficiency.

    Fields contends the goal of the light pollution measures he's been pushing is the same.

  • State cuts big blow to Dunn Center

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    Roane Newspapers

    What looked like a good Christmas present could turn out to be a lump of coal for special-needs facilities like Michael Dunn Center.

    The good news was Michael Dunn officials said they might not have the 5.7 percent cuts in state fees based on their services for October-December.

    But it appears the facility will be greeting the new year with a series of deeper cuts from the state.

    Wade Creswell, Michael Dunn’s director of development responsibilities, explained the situation.

  • Developers contend Harriman owes them

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    Roane Newspapers

    An investigation released by state auditors last spring showed that Pinnacle Pointe developers owe Harriman more than $230,000 for work the city paid for excavating and grading the site.

    Now the developers have come back with an audit of their own that indicates the city instead owes them more than $200,000.

    Jim Scott, a former assistant district attorney at the Kingston office, is representing Steve Kirk-ham and Jerry Duncan, partners in Prestige Land Co. which developed Pinnacle Pointe.