Local News

  • Jail gets thumbs up from inspector



    Tennessee Corrections Institute Deputy Director Lance Howell released a copy of the Roane County Jail’s most recent inspection report last week.

    It contains good news.

    Jail inspector Denise Messer recommended that the jail be certified with an updated plan of action. That’s not the end of the matter, however.

    The TCI Board of Control will review the recommendation at its meeting in Nashville on Dec. 3.

  • Skating rink closes down


    Roane Skating is the latest of local attractions to announce its closing.

    The skating rink announced its last skate on Saturday, Sept. 27, ending the following morning.

    “We thank you for your patronage and support over the years,” said a recording at the rink.

    It was a tough decision for Virgil Thompson and his wife Jennifer, who took over the rink from Virgil’s uncle, Bill Thompson, a few years before the former Rockwood city councilman died in 2013.

  • Aytes: ‘Assured’ tax hike would pass: Ellis denies claim

    Not receiving additional funding from the Roane County Commission wasn’t the thing that Director of Schools Gary Aytes said disappointed him about this year’s budget process.

    “What was disappointing was they didn’t tell us the truth,” he said. “Two or three days before the meeting, they assured us.”

    Aytes declined to comment when asked who he was referring to when he said “they.”

    “I better not say,” he said.

  • Director taking $3,000 pay raise

    Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes opted to accept his $3,000 raise this year.

    His contract calls for the increase, but Aytes decided to forgo it last year because there was no across-the-board raises for school system employees in the 2013-14 school budget.

    There’s also none in the 2014-15 budget.  

    “There’s step raises built in, and I turned it down last year, so this year I let them keep it in,” Aytes said, following a budget committee meeting earlier this year.

  • Splitting TVA image funds a wasted chance to unite Roane

    Roane County has yet to decide what to do with its $150,000 in public image repair funds, but The Roane Alliance is already considering ways to utilize the money.  

    “We are in the planning process for the potential funds if they are allocated to The Alliance,” President/CEO Wade Creswell said.

    “We don’t have that finalized.”

    The $150,000 is Roane County’s share of $1 million the Roane County Economic Development Foundation divvied up last month.

  • Drug incinerator first in region

    The Roane County Sheriff’s Office got a little heated last week with the introduction of a new drug disposal incinerator.

    “We didn’t have one in this region,” Sheriff Jack Stockton said of the new apparatus, which will be convenient for both his officers and all law-enforcement agencies in the county.

    The sheriff’s office was able to purchase the incinerator with a grant with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

    State Sen. Ken Yager and state Rep. Kent Calfee helped secure the funding.

  • DAV post needing new van


    Calvin Wright of Harriman is among the area veterans who is taken for treatment by the Disabled American Veterans Post 86 van. The Veterans Administration requires vans to be replaced when they reach 150,000, and the present one is close to that mark. Call 304-0162 to donate.

  • Rockwood board approves gas study for Plateau Park

    Rockwood Water, Sewer and Natural Gas Board has approved a proposal for a preliminary engineering study to explore extending natural gas service to Plateau Partnership Park.

    ‘The plan is still that the utility would only extend if it were financially supportive by the new customers and not the existing system customer base,” said Manager Kim Ramsey.

    “Once again, that decision is tied to the type of customer attracted to the industrial park; although, the board and I all agree that this extension must be financially self-supporting.”

  • Rockwood dips into reserves

    Rockwood officials are using money set aside from the sale of the TENCLO building, as well as $100,000 from the reserve and emergency fund, to get through a tough spot.

    The fall is always a tight financial season for city governments, and Rockwood is no different. Rockwood’s new reserve and emergency fund balance was $10,263.41.

  • Keep your cotton-pickin’ hands off my constitution!

    In November, Tennessee voters will decide whether a window allowing state income taxes will remain open or be almost permanently closed.

    Amendment 3 on the Nov. 4 ballot will give voters an opportunity to decide the matter.

    Voters can chose to vote “yes” or “no” to adding the following language  to the Tennessee Constitution: “Legislature shall not levy, authorize or otherwise permit any state or local tax upon payroll or earned persoal income or any state or local tax measured by payroll or earned personal income.”