Local News

  • BOE group endorsing traditional calendar

    With uncertainty about the upcoming budget, the 2015-16 school year might not be the best time for school officials to implement a new, balanced calendar.

    “I don’t want to have a balanced schedule, no money and can’t start,” Roane County Board of Education Member Rob Jago said.

    Jago chairs the board’s educational committee, which met last week to discuss the school calendar.

    He proposed going with the traditional calendar for the 2015-16 school year and a balanced calendar for the 2016-17 school year.

  • State bill could affect Tiger Haven

    State Sen. Ken Yager and state Rep. Kent Calfee filed a bill in the General Assembly last week that could impact Tiger Haven, a sanctuary for big cats in East Roane County.

    According to the General Assembly’s website, the bill was filed for introduction on Feb. 12.

    “As introduced, requires cages at facilities for holding Class I wildlife be constructed and maintained to provide sufficient space for each animal to have adequate freedom of movement,” the summary of the bill states.

    “Sufficient space” is not defined.

  • Jolley makes five for Smoot murder case

    Criminal Court Judge E. Eugene Eblen signed an order last week appointing Knoxville defense attorney Bob Jolley to represent Shawn Smoot.

    Jolley is Smoot’s fifth court appointed attorney.

    Three of his previous attorneys withdrew because of conflicts.

    Smoot and his fourth attorney, Stanley Barnett of Maryville, had a mutual parting of ways.

    Smoot was unhappy with his representation, and Barnett said the attorney-client relationship had become adversarial to the point where he couldn’t continue.

  • Afternoon tea gives lessons in self-respect

    Triangle-cut chicken salad sandwiches, mini quiche, chocolate-covered strawberries, mini brownies and warm tea was the spread for Harriman High School girls during a trial run of an afternoon tea earlier this month.

    “We want to teach all girls to be respected in today’s society,” said Gail Becker of the tea, an effort of Potter’s House Fellowship and Proverbs 31 Finishing School.

  • Man accused of crashing into assessor, driving away

    Roane County Property Assessor David Morgan was the victim of an alleged hit-and-run last week.

    According to Kingston police, Morgan was headed north on Third Street in a Toyota on Feb. 10 when a Mazda minivan driven by Ethan Alexander Wilson left the south lane of travel and collided head on into the vehicle driven by Morgan.

    The crash report said Morgan, 45, was not injured.

    Wilson allegedly fled the scene. Kingston Police Officer Nathan Wilson said he made contact with him at 215 E. Race St.

  • Aytes among directors signing on for maintaining standards

    Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes was one of the 114 superintendents to sign a letter asking the Tennessee General Assembly to not mess with the state’s academic standards during this legislative session.

    “We’ve changed standards several times in the last few years,” Aytes said. “We have high standards now that amps up the rigor for all of our students.”

    The names of the superintendents who signed the letter were listed in a press release the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents put out last week.

  • Roane’s top firefighters of the year
  • Largen moves to strike city motion

    Self-proclaimed curmudgeon Gerald Largen is now challenging the authority of an attorney selected by the city of Harriman to handle the annexation challenge suit he filed late last year.

    His latest filing is a motion to strike the motion to dismiss filed by Knoxville attorney Michael Kelley, hired by Harriman officials to tackle Largen’s suit.

    Largen, a retired Kingston attorney and Roane County News columnist, is asking the court to require Kelley file proof of his authority to represent the city.

  • New name for May opening

    A regional renaissance festival in Harriman just got bigger with a name change.

    Darkhorse Entertainment, LLC, which premiered the East Tennessee Renaissance Festival at its October 2014 preview show, has changed the event’s name to the Tennessee Medieval Faire for its grand opening on May 16.

    “Our festival name has changed, but the delightful family content will stay the same,” said Barrie Paulson, vice president/manager and entertainment director.