Local News

  • School officials await final budget vote

    Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes last week updated the school board about two meetings school officials had with the Roane County Budget Committee on the school system’s proposed budget for the 2015-16 school year.

    Other than Aytes’ brief update, not much else was said about the budget during the meeting.

    “I appreciate the budget committee for the County Commission for the effort they’re giving to try to help us out with our budget,” Chairman Mike “Brillo” Miller said during the meeting.

  • Dual tax rate has cities’ opposition

    A plan to increase the property tax rate more for city residents than those who own property in the county may not pass.

    Under the proposal recommended by the Roane County Budget Committee, city residents will receive a tax hike of 31.5 cents per $100 valuation compared to 28.5 cents for those in the county.

  • Schools look at double valedictorian option

    Another valedictorian could be the solution to an issue that was brought to the Roane County Board of Education’s attention last month.

    Brandon Buck, a student at Oliver Springs High School, said he was concerned his participation in the middle college program at Roane State Community College hurt his chances of becoming valedictorian.

    The board’s policy committee discussed the issue and recommended adding a middle college valedictorian to its class ranking policy.

  • Two pleasure boats run on steam

    A pair of friends who share a special hobby decided Roane County was the perfect starting point to enjoy a slow cruise to Chattanooga on the Tennessee River.

    What’s different about the cruise is both of their boats are outfitted for steam.

    Timothy Lynch from Connecticutt and Tom Ray, now living in Georgia, took off from the Caney Creek Marina in mid-May, then shuttled back to get their vehicles to tow the boats back.

    At 4 nautical mph, it was slow going. It was also toasty and tight quarters.

  • Ferguson’s second civil suit dismissed

    General Sessions Court Judge Jeff Wicks wasn’t taking any chances this time.

    On Friday, he signed a suit that dismissed Discover Bank’s civil action against Roane County Road Superintendent Dennis Ferguson.

    Wicks wanted it to be known that the dismissal was due to an agreement between Discover and Ferguson.

    “At the request of plaintiff (Discover), this matter is dismissed without prejudice,” Wicks wrote on the suit Friday.

  • OS kids shine in ventures

    Timothy Mallett, Ashley Handy, Dallis Parsons and Matthew Charles, all eighth-graders at Oliver Springs Middle School, were recognized at last week’s Roane County Board of Education meeting.

    Mallett and Charles were honored because each made a perfect score on the math portion of the ACT Explorer


    “For those of us that have never experienced that, that means they did not miss a question,” Director of Schools Gary Aytes said. “That’s a really high accomplishment.”

  • Tax hike for sheriff’s office? It all depends on who you ask

    Officials aren’t on the same page about the proposed budget for the Roane County Sheriff’s Office.

    Last month, Sheriff Jack Stockton told the Roane County News his budget won’t require an increase in the property tax rate.

    County Executive Ron Woody disagrees. He said the sheriff’s budget that was approved by the budget committee includes a 1-cent increase in the rate.

    “We didn’t ask for any tax increase on our budget,” Stockton told the Sheriff’s Liaison Committee last week.

  • Mayor vows to hold Rockwood tax rate, unless ...

    Rockwood leaders are scheduled to have first reading of the city’s 2015-16 budget at a meeting at 6 p.m. May 28.

    Mayor Mike “Brillo” Miller said he’s still tweaking the budget he’ll present to Council that day.

    One thing he doesn’t plan on messing with is how much money the city gets in property tax.

    “Our tax rate is $1. It will not go above that unless our appraisals come in and says to get the same amount we had last year we’ll have to be above that,” Miller said.

  • OS water rate hike likely

    Oliver Springs water customers may be paying more this summer.

    The Oliver Springs Board of Aldermen met in a budget workshop recently and discussed what they said was a necessary raise in rates.

    “We are looking at 15 percent,” said Mayor Jerry Vann. “Probably down the road, it will have to go up more.”

    Vann said Oliver Springs water customers have not had a rate increase in a few years.

    “They should have been going up about 2 percent every year,” he added.

  • TVA Swan Pond auction in July

    J.P. King of Gadsden, Ala., is handling the auction of TVA properties in Swan Pond.

    The TVA board of directors approved the auction of 62 parcels along Emory River Road earlier this month.

    TVA acquired the properties following the Dec. 22, 2008, ash spill at the agency’s Kingston Fossil Plant.

    Ric Perez, a senior vice president of shared services for TVA, told the board that TVA staff is convinced returning the parcels to private ownership is the best thing to do.

    The 62 parcels cover about 77 acres. Twenty-three have houses on them.