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Roane State grad tends to her family farm while pursuing degree in agribusiness

Jacey Queener is shown with one of the horses she tends to on the family farm in Anderson County’s scenic Dutch Valley community.

Recent Roane State grad Jacey Queener had her hands full this past spring between studying for finals, tending to a barnyard full of farm animals and working as a student ambassador for the Roane State Foundation – all while adapting to changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. But she handled all those challenges coolly as she eyed what’s next: online courses at the University of Tennessee-Martin, on her way to a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness. Queener, 19, is the daughter of James and Connie Queener. The family owns and tends farmland in Anderson County’s picturesque Dutch Valley community several miles outside Clinton. Farm chores include the daily care and feeding of horses, cows, pigs, goats, rabbits, cats, donkeys, dogs and chickens. With those responsibilities, things can get hectic, Queener said. Last fall, she found herself on the road, driving each day to the University of Tennessee Veterinary Clinic to check on two ailing goats and a horse, then heading back to Roane State as a final exam loomed. “It was hard, but I managed,” Queener allowed.

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Steven Harmon, Anderson County native, elected to national board


Anderson County native Steven A. Harmon, president and CEO of Community Electric Cooperative, has been elected to the board of directors of the National Cooperative Services Corp. NCSC held its annual meeting on Aug., during which Harmon was elected by a vote of the membership of 430 electric cooperatives across the nation to represent District 1. District 1 encompasses the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia, and includes the District of Columbia. Harmon, a 1980 graduate of Clinton High School, began his career in 1981 at Clinton Utilities Board, and has since progressed through the ranks from Carl Hashbarger’s tree-trimming crew at CUB to now (since 2013) the president and CEO at Community Electric Cooperative in Windsor, Va. Harmon also serves as president and CEO of CEC’s for-profit subsidiary, RECORE, LLC. Prior to his move to Virginia, he served from 2006-2012 as executive vice president and general manager at Pioneer Electric Cooperative in Greenville, Ala. Harmon has also since leaving CUB earned a bachelor’s of business administration degree from Bryan College (Dayton), and an MBA from Auburn University at Montgomery (Ala.).

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Anderson County mirrors state in selection of Hagerty

Anderson County fell in line with the rest of Tennessee in choosing Bill Hagerty as one of the two candidates who will face off in the race for a United States Senate seat in November. Of the 47,928 registered voters in Anderson County, 23.1-percent casts ballots in the Aug. 6 election — 11,051 total votes being cast. “All things considered, it went very well,” Anderson County Administrator of Elections Mark Stephens said. Stephens said that holding an election during a pandemic presented challenges, but it was also a learning tool. The Aug. 8 Anderson County General Election and Primary was expected to have a low turnout — there were no contested county seats — and Stephens noted the Election Commission was able to see what worked well, and what needed to be fine-tuned before the November election, especially in regard to social distancing and other procedures at various precincts.

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Oak Ridge couple have bond set at $1 million each

Bond for two Oak Ridge residents facing five felony criminal counts, including first- degree murder, has been set at $1 million each. Sean Finnegan, 52, and his 22-year-old girlfriend, Rebecca Elizabeth Dishman, went before Anderson County Criminal Court Judge Don Layton Friday, Aug. 7, and Monday, Aug,10, respectively. They are each facing a first-degree murder charge in connection with the strangulation death of 36-year-old Jennifer Gail Paxton, described in court documents as a “homeless” woman. Dishman appeared Friday. She has been charged with first-degree murder, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated kidnapping, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence. Court records show she was given a court-appointed attorney. On Monday. Finnegan was also given a $1 million bond and appointed an attorney by the court. He faces charges of first-degree murder, aggravated rape, aggravated kidnapping, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence. Both are scheduled to appear in Anderson County General Sessions Court at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18.

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Anderson County Covid-19 Data


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