Cable channel 15 debuts with Harriman parade

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By Cindy Simpson

Harriman cable government access channel 15 had its first broadcast Thursday evening surrounded by an audience of live viewers.

Those viewers were the crowd gathered along downtown streets as the Harriman Christmas parade was taped with commentary from “The Heartland Series” personality Bill Landry and Harriman officials.

“We decided it was a great time to start,” said Harriman Mayor Chris Mason. “It is really the first time we have been ready to try and pull it off.”

Comcast viewers have had glimpses of the new channel with photos from Harriman and Roane State Community College. But Thursday marked the first broadcast.

“We decided to go live a little before the parade around 6:40 p.m. Dec. 2 with the City Council to welcome everyone formally,” Mason said.

“Bill Landry, Ken Mynatt and myself were the emcees, and it was filmed by Doug Mills.”

Mills was involved in the filming of “The Heartland Series.” He donated his time to filming the parade.

Mason is excited about this, the first of many community-focused broadcasts.

“Next year, there should be local students actually filming and editing this event for school credit,” he said.

“How cool is that?”

The television station will be utilized as a teaching tool for Roane County students. Landry will teach a class on media production next semester. The class will use the TV station in downtown Harriman and its equipment to film and edit their projects.

One project will be producing material to be shown on the other side of the adjacent Princess Theater.

That building, which has already been gutted, will be a sort of welcome center and also have dressing rooms and restroom facilities for the theater.

The welcome center is the convergence of two walking trail projects. The trails will follow Roane, Walden and Morgan streets, the latter two of which were both paid for through grant funds.