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Today's News

  • Schools needing $3.5 million to balance budget

    The Roane County Board of Education heard another gloomy finan-cial report earlier this month.

    Eric Harbin, the school system’s business manager, said the budget is out of balance by $3.5 million.

    “We need $3.5 million more of revenue or $3.5 million less expenditures,” he said.

    Harbin suggested the board start having budget work sessions to discuss the issue.

    “This budget will not work,” he said. “We can’t use this budget, so we got a lot of work to do.”

  • Rockwood officials to ponder various permit fees today

    Rockwood leaders will consider several ordinances on first reading today — Monday — that may lead to establishing new fees or updating old ones related to construction and property maintenance.  

    During the City Council’s monthly meeting at 6 p.m., Council members will consider and possibly take action on an ordinance establishing a permit fee for temporary occupancy of a single-wide mobile home or travel trailer.

  • CONTROL FREAKS: LEGOs put Cherokee kids in math, science frame of mind

    Several Cherokee Middle School students are taking a traditional children’s toy and learning important aspects of math and science.

    The team, the Control Freaks, are competing on Valentine’s Day in the 2014 FIRST LEGO League East Tennessee Championship at Tennessee Technological University.

    The team qualified for the competition after a robotics competition at a qualifier tournament in Knoxville.

    “These guys have really done a great job coming together as a team,” said Jill Hudson, Cherokee’s FIRST LEGO League instructor.

  • Rockwood teacher still in classroom after arrest

    Matthew R. Jones, a science teacher at Rockwood Middle School, is char-
    ged with felony aggravated stalking in the Middle Tennessee city of Dickson.

    Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes is aware of the allegations and expressed confidence that Jones will be exonerated.  

    “It happened to be filed by the husband of his ex-wife,” Aytes said.

    “Matt’s been to work for us every day,” the school director added, “so we feel pretty certain that it will be dismissed.”

  • Assessor employee terminated

    Cheryl Laxton said she knew it was only a matter of time after her husband confronted Roane County Property Assessor David Morgan.

    Laxton had been Morgan’s chief of staff until he abruptly fired her on Thursday.

    “We know why he fired me,” she said Friday. “There’s no doubt.”

    The termination came eight days after Charles Laxton went in Morgan’s office to confront him about the treatment of his wife and other female employees.

  • Do the crime, be ready to do the time

    Eva Hallene McNelley wasn’t a passive participant in the Roane County drug conspiracy that netted more than 200,000 oxycodone pills.

    The Rockwood woman had such a key role that the feds listed her second on the 23-person indictment that led to the pill ring’s demise.

    “She actively participated in the conspiracy on her own accord, and did so for a length of time,” Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan said at McNelley’s sentencing hearing last week at the federal courthouse in Knoxville.

  • Food City cites employees for volunteerism

    Food City stores in Harriman, Kingston and Oliver Springs recently recognized employees through the supermarket chain’s Claude P. Varney Volunteer Recognition Program.

    Savannah Daugherty of the Harriman store was honored for her work with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and Anderson County Rescue Squad.

    The Kingston store applauded Tiffany Martin for her work with Anointed Praise and Worship’s women’s ministry.

  • Volunteer Energy Cooperative launches online, mobile account tracking tools

    Volunteer Energy Cooperative, which serves South Roane County in its 17-county service area, is helping electricity consumers take control of their energy use and costs in 2015 with a full array of online and mobile account tracking and management options that was launched Jan. 15.

    VE-Bill, VEC’s online bill presentment and payment service, has been upgraded to include a wealth of tools.

    The addition of the mobile app SmartHub allows VEC members to take all these tools on the go.

  • Midway closes out season on high note

    The Midway Middle School Lady Green Waves lost their first and only game of the year on Jan. 5 at Wartburg. But the Lady Waves picked up the pieces and blew through the last six games of the season to finish with a 17-1 record and the number one seed in the area 4AA tournament.

    The Lady Waves will play their first game Saturday at 3:30 against the winner of the Rockwood/Harriman match up.

  • Lady Cats take care of Sunbright

    It was business as usual for the Lady Bobcats Tuesday night at Sunbright.

    After getting out to an early lead over the Lady Tigers, Oliver Springs cruised to a 48-28 victory.

    “It was a win, that’s about all I can say,” Lady Bobcats head coach Michelle Christopher said.

    “I guess a big plus for my kids is the effort. They definitely missed a lot of shots they normally hit, but they just kept working hard and getting after it. That’s what I always teach them no matter what.”