Local News

  • School closed for rest of the week; other closings and cancellations

    Roane County Schools

    Roane County Schools are closed for the rest of the week.


    Kingston trash pickup

  • Roane schools, courthouse closed Tuesday

    Treacherous road conditions mean Roane County students get another day off Tuesday.

    Roane County School Director Gary Aytes made the decision on Monday afternoon.

    More snow days may be coming for students.

    "It doesn't look good," Aytes said when asked the question about Wednesday. 

    "I look for us to be closed Wednesday," he said. "But we'll make that decision tomorrow."

  • Morgan compliance deadline up

    Friday was the deadline for Roane County Property Assessor David Morgan to make corrective actions on the 2015 reappraisal.

    Whether he’s done enough to satisfy the state remains to be seen.

    “We will have staff in place to monitor the progress reported, and we would expect it will be later [this] week before any conclusions are made with regard to the status of the ongoing reappraisal program,” said John Dunn, spokesman for the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury.

  • 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.