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Local News

  • Rockwood council member dies weeks after taking husband’s seat

    By CINDY SIMPSON

    csimpson@roanecounty.com

    Judith “Judy” Owings Wassom, a longtime community advocate who succeeded her late husband, Stan, on Rockwood City Council only four weeks ago, has died.

    She was 67.

    Wassom, a Roane County High School English teacher by profession, was found unresponsive in her Rockwood home Sunday by her son-in-law, J.J. Neerman. Despite efforts to resuscitate her, she was later pronounced dead at Roane Medical Center.

  • Relay for Life breakfast in Rockwood Saturday

    First Presbyterian Church at 429 W.

  • TVA survey reveals bass aplenty

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

     

    If TVA’s sport fish survey of Watts Bar Lake is any indication, anglers competing in next week’s Bass Federation National Championship should have plenty to catch. 

    The first two stops Wednesday morning yielded dozens of largemouth bass.

  • Shooting really case of self-defense?

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Man reportedly shoots intruder armed with a hatchet.

    A clear case of self-defense right?

    Maybe not — in one Roane County case.

    More than a year has past since authorities said Donald Goldberg told them he shot Steven Dishman in self-defense.

    The agency conducting the investigation has yet to close the Casey Road case.

  • Rarity Ridge owes more than $500,000 in back taxes

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Mike Ross earned a reputation as a major player in the upscale real-estate market, thanks to his line of Rarity developments.

    Much was expected when Ross decided to bring one, Rarity Ridge, to Roane County.

    But instead of fulfilling his tax obligations to the county, Ross’ companies have been corporate deadbeats. Oak Ridge Land Co. LLC, whose registered agent is Ross, has not paid its 2008 property taxes on 433 pieces of property.

  • Land values rising -- blame the media

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Roane County Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham said people should blame the media if they are disappointed when new tax appraisal notices start arriving in the mail.    

    “The news media has made it so negative that we’re all in this economic decline and everything is going south and no property values are increasing,” Kirkham said.

  • Election not stirring registration race

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    An upcoming election to decide who will serve on the county commission and who will sit in the county executive’s office for the next four years isn’t exactly been a boon for voter registration.

    “I haven’t seen any increase,” Roane County Administrator of Elections Charles Holiway said. “That could change as we get closer to Election Day.” 

    Election Day is Aug. 5. Some of the other offices up for grabs include circuit court clerk and sheriff.

  • No action on dress-code policy -- yet

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    School officials are apparently considering changes to Roane County Board of Education’s dress-code policy.  

    “Principals, administrators are looking at this particular policy,” Board Member Wade McCullough said. “The code of conduct committee is looking at it to see if there’s any upgrades needed in this policy that is in place today.”

  • Authorities: Traffic stop of suspected illegal immigrants part of human-smuggling operation

    From staff reports

    Authorities are saying the Wednesday morning traffic stop of a van carrying a group of suspected illegal immigrants was part of a human-smuggling operation that originated in Houston.

    The van was stopped near the 362 exit of Interstate 40 in East Roane County. According to a press release from the 9th Judicial District Drug Task Force, the suspects were headed to New York.

  • Schools struggle to put together viable budget

    By DAMON LAWRENCE

    dlawrence@roanecounty.com

    Putting together a budget for the 2010-11 school year could be challenging for school officials.

    As it stands, the general purpose school fund is out of balance by $1.3 million, school system business manager Eric Harbin said.

    “This is based on the best data that we have currently,” he said.

    Roane County’s share of the federal government’s Race to the Top money recently awarded to Tennessee is around $1.6 million.