Local News


    Kingston voters decided incumbent mayor Troy Beets has had enough time in office.

    Beets, who was first elected in 2005, lost his bid for a third term to Councilman Tim Neal, who will be taking the reins Dec. 1.

    “I really appreciate everyone coming out and voting. One of the reasons we, as a city council, changed the election day to coincide with the federal and state election was to get more people out to vote, and it did,” said Neal.

  • Voters pop cork on wine sales

    The wine in grocery stores referendum passed by big margins in Harriman and Kingston on Tuesday.

    According to unofficial returns from the Roane County Election Commission, 677 people voted for the measure in Harriman compared to 393 who voted against.

    In Kingston, 1,179 people voted for the referendum compared to 646 who voted against.

    “It was a bigger margin than I expected, but I kind of figured it would pass,” Kingston Police Chief Jim Washam said.

  • More than 14,000 vote
  • Rockwood mayor says city has money for bills

    In response to rumors about the state of the city’s finances, Rockwood Mayor James Watts made a point to reassure residents concerned about the city’s dwindling rainy-day fund.
    “I don’t want folks to think we don’t have enough money to pay our bills,” said Watts at a recent meeting. “We do.”
    He said he recently checked the bank account and found the city had about $500,000 in the bank.
    City funds fluctuate as bills are paid and revenues come in, so the amount in the account varies as things like payroll are paid out and sales tax rolls in.

  • Prediction: A more efficient government

    Harriman City Manager Kevin Helms first day on the job was Monday.

    The former Oak Hill manager expressed gratitude for the chance to serve in the city’s first managerial post.

    “I’m looking forward to getting to help the people of Harriman and try to do what I can to help them make it the community they want it to be,” Helms said.

    Helms will use his 18 years of experience in a Nashville suburb to bring progress to the city, officials hope.

  • County honored for openness

    One organization thinks Roane County does a pretty good job of keeping residents informed.

    The county received a Tennessee County Services Association Success Story Award for its efforts at the organization’s fall conference last week.

    “We’re pleased to get the award,” Roane County Executive Ron Woody said.

    Woody said TCSA asked counties to make submissions for the award, but there were no particular categories. Roane’s submission focused on communication and transparency initiatives.

  • Schools report card stays strong

    Overall, Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes said he is pleased with how the system fared on the latest state report card.

    “Our achievement has remained strong,” Aytes said.

    Roane County received A’s in math, science and social studies and a B in reading in the grades 3-8 achievement category.

    “Our value-added was not as good as we’d like, but overall we were pleased,” Aytes said.

  • New ambulance director starts at $51,000

    Timothy W. Suter, Roane County’s new ambulance director, is starting out with a salary of $51,000.

    “Most of our frontline managers make around $50,000, and we brought him in as a frontline manager,” Roane County Executive Ron Woody said.

    Suter most recently worked as a paramedic with Rural/Metro in Knox County. He started his new position with Roane County last month.

    Woody said Suter has the opportunity to increase his salary to $60,000, depending on how he performs in the coming months.

  • Prosecutors seek to keep rape suspect in jail

    A bond-revocation motion is still pending against rape suspect John Paul Little.

    A Monday hearing on the matter was rescheduled to Dec. 12.

    Little faces four counts of child rape in Roane County Criminal Court. He managed to make bond in the case in March after more than 18 months behind bars.

    Harriman police arrested Little last month on drug charges.

    Active meth labs were allegedly discovered at his Harriman home.

  • Christmas Kettle kickoff planned

    The Salvation Army Roane and Morgan County Service Unit will hold its 2014 Kettle Campaign Kickoff from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 11 at the Michael Dunn Center, 629 Gallaher Road, in Kingston.

    All volunteer bell-ringers and anyone interested in becoming a volunteer bell-ringer in Roane or Morgan counties are invited.

    Refreshments will be served, and live entertainment will be provided by The Joey Pierce Project JOLT.