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Local News

  • County to restructure debt

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    When county commissioners meet on Aug. 11, one of the decisions they will have to make will be how to restructure the county’s debt.

    Scott Gibson, with the county’s financial advisory group, spoke to members of the budget committee about the impact the poor economic housing market has had on the county’s bonded indebtedness.

    Gibson explained that providers for the county’s municipal bonds have fallen below an AAA rating.

  • Free breakfasts planned for students

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    Peggy Hamby, director of Food Services for Morgan County Schools, is going to try out a special breakfast promotion during the first month of school.

    Hamby said that during the month of August any child eating breakfast at school will not be charged. Breakfast at school will be free for all children. All your child has to do is show up in the school cafeteria and get in line.

    Hamby said that if the program is successful it may actually continue beyond August.

  • School board hopefuls face off

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    The sports complex at Kingston’s Fort Southwest Point was bustling with activity Thursday evening.

    Parents and kids lugging ball equipment littered the grounds, with most bypassing the forum set up for the District 5/6 school board candidates.

    The few who hung around the baseball field got to hear the six hopefuls discuss such issues as overcrowding at Kingston Elementary School and securing funding for a building program.

  • Church case set for trial Tuesday

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    rccindysimpson@bellsouth.net

    An Oliver Springs couple accused of taking funds from their church two years ago are set to be in court Tuesday.

    Gary E. Thomas and his wife Wanda J. Thomas, both of 770 Mahoney Road, are to appear in a Roane County courtroom at 9 a.m. on charges of theft from New Fairview Baptist Church in Oliver Springs.

    “I don’t know at this point if it is going to be a trial or going to plea,” said Assistant District Attorney Frank Harvey.

  • McGriff focus of school board race

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    School board candidates Kim Nelson and Hugh Johnson are blunt.

    No, they said, when asked if they would have voted to extend the contract for Director of Schools Toni McGriff.

    There was still more than a year left on the contract when the Roane County Board of Education voted to extend it for two years last November.

  • Man hopes to be Big Loser

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    rccindysimpson@bellsouth.net

    Inspiration can come from all sorts of places.

    For Marshall Gilmore, the inspiration to lose weight came from a network reality show he now hopes to compete on.

    After watching “The Biggest Loser” on NBC, Gilmore is going through the process to win a spot on the show, which begins filming in September.

    He’ll learn this month if he has made it.

  • Jury 'just couldn't make it' 100 percent

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    rclawrence@bellsouth.net

    Pretty rough. That’s how one of the jurors who pondered the fate of accused murderer Leon Houston described the deliberating process.

    “We just couldn’t come together with a full, 100-percent verdict,” Ernest Bilbrey said. “We tried and tried and tried, just couldn’t make it.”

    After two days of deliberating, the jury announced that it was hopelessly deadlocked Sunday afternoon.

    Judge James “Buddy” Scott declared a mistrial.

  • Budget includes pay raises

    By JUDY UNDERWOOD

    Morgan County News Editor

    It looks like support staff working for Morgan County Schools will get a pay increase after all.

    Director of Schools Mike Davis and Board Chairman Terry Armes met with the budget committee Thursday night and the two groups came to a compromise that should put at least a few more dollars in the hands of some of the county’s lowest paid employees.

  • 'Violence doesn't solve anything'

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    rccindysimpson@bellsouth.net

    A former Harriman woman was lucky that it took longer than usual to make her trek to church Sunday.

    Sara Pierce, a senior English major at the University of Tennessee, was late for services at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church near the university.

    That’s where police say Jim David Adkisson, also a former Harriman native, injured several and took the lives of two members during the morning services as children performed a play.

  • Officials face lawsuit in inmate's death

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    rccindysimpson@bellsouth.net

    A lawsuit against the Roane County Jail and county officials in the 2000 death of an inmate has been cleared to go to trial.

    A federal appeals court ruled Friday that correctional officers, paramedic Duranda Tipton and Dr. Thomas Boduch can all be held liable in the death of 29-year-old Sonya Denise Phillips.

    Phillips was in the Roane County Jail awaiting trial on charges of first-degree murder in the death of her infant child.