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Local News

  • No seat belt? You’ll pay more in fines as of Jan. 1

    State officials believe the increase in seat-belt fines will be an effective additional tool to curb traffic fatalities in the state.

    As of Jan. 1, 2016, the fine for seat-belt violations in Tennessee will more than double.

    The fine for a first-offense seat belt violation will be raised to $25, and the second and subsequent offense will be $50.

    “So far this year, state troopers have issued over 107,000 seat belt citations,” Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.

  • Ford dealership seeks $1 million-plus in aid to move to Kingston

    Jerry Duncan Ford is one step closer toward possibly relocating to Kingston ­— if the city will commit an estimated $1 million to $2.5 million in infrastructure and road construction.

    Jerry Duncan President and General Manager Marty Duncan pitched his proposal for Kingston Pointe before Kingston City Council Friday during a special called workshop.

    He is looking to purchase a 42-acre privately-owned tract of land just off Interstate 40. The land is currently owned by his father, Jerry Duncan, and Roane County businessman Steve Kirkham.

  • Chief mum about probe

    Rockwood Police Chief Danny Wright confirmed Tuesday his department is in the midst of conducting an internal investigation — but he would not say what the investigation is for.

    “I’m not going to discuss anything, because I have an internal investigation,” the chief said.

    “It is an open investigation.”

    Wright was asked about the possibility because of rumors of a police officer’s theft of evidence.

  • New year, new general sessions judge

    The Roane County Commission is planning to make an appointment for General Sessions Court judge during a special-called meeting on Jan. 4.

    Judge Jeff Wicks, who presides over sessions court Part I, turned in his resignation to the county on Monday.

    Wicks will take over as criminal court judge for the 9th Judicial District on Jan. 1.

    He will be replacing longtime Criminal Court Judge E. Eugene Eblen, who is retiring on Dec. 31.

  • Harriman Fire close to a ‘3’ ISO

    Staffing and training were the big focal point of a Harriman Fire Department study performed by the Municipal Technical Advisory Service.

    “Out of 100 total points, we were only about 2 points away from an ISO rating of 3, so that is why we are looking into the improvements,” said Harriman City Manager Kevin Helms.

    “Had it been five or more points it probably is not practical to do so from a purely cost versus benefit analysis, but since we are so close it may be possible to improve our rating without much expense,” he added.

  • Help Wanted: Harriman looking for new fire chief

    Harriman is seeking a new fire chief.

    Manager Kevin Helms said the city hopes to have the position filled by February.

    The city posted an advertisement recently for the position that was left vacant after former Harriman Chief Brad Goss resigned amidst employee complaints.

    Because of the need to respond quickly to emergency situations, the advertisement said the applicant would need to meet certain residency requirements.

  • Chesser gets 20 years on federal meth charges

    Another Roane County man has been hit with a lengthy sentence for his role in a local methamphetamine conspiracy.

    U.S. District Judge Pamela Reeves sentenced Timothy Chesser to 20 years in federal prison on Monday for conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of meth and possession of precursors used to manufacture meth.

    Chesser, 35, pleaded guilty to the charges in August.

  • Judge juggle leaves new seat vacancy

    The Roane County Commission will appoint someone to the general sessions court judge seat soon to be vacated by Jeff Wicks.

    Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced last week that he is appointing Wicks to the 9th Judicial District criminal court judge position. Wicks will replace longtime Criminal Court Judge E. Eugene Eblen, who is retiring on Dec. 31.

    In November, the commission appointed Peggy Collier to the District 6 commission seat held by her late husband, Bobby Collier.

  • Pinnacle Pointe loans in the past

    The last remnants of the investment the city of Harriman made toward developing the area that would become the Pinnacle Pointe shopping center is now closing.

    “We made the last payment on the Pinnacle Pointe loan. We no longer owe $3 million,” said Treasurer Charles Kerley.

    The city paid $157,326.40 in late November to close the door on the last of that debt.

  • SANTA PAWS