Look Back: A Little Something From Our Files From the Week of Aug. 14

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By Cheryl Duncan, Assistant Editor

25 Years Ago
In what Roane County School Superintendent Jess Plemons called “a serious, difficult, painstaking, loss-of-sleep operation,” Roane County Board of Education decided to close Emory Heights Elementary School near Harriman. Students who had attended the school were transferred to Midtown Elementary and Cherokee Middle. The decision to close the school was part of the budget-cutting process in which the board faced a $900,000 shortfall. “This is not a negative move,” insisted board member Troy Beets. “We’ve got to bite the bullet instead of just chewing on marshmallows.”

10 Years Ago
An estimated $36 million in new construction on U.S. Department of Energy property led the Roane County Commission to drop the property tax rate by 3.5 cents. Though the intent might have been to soften the blow of a 31-cent increase approved only a month earlier, some leaders let it be known they weren’t buying it. “I think these figures were available before the budget was proposed to the full commission,” Commissioner Kent Calfee said. “I’m disappointed that these figures weren’t used.” Calfee, Copper Bacon and Benny East opposed the tax-rate increase, and they voted against the latest proposal. “The budget committee acted on the informa-
tion that was available,” Commissioner Don Wicks said. “We should be happy that we can do this.”

Five Years Ago
Kingston’s Cliff Nunley set a lofty goal for himself when he decided to hike every open trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He attained that goal and more — logging more than 900 miles in his mission to traverse the 800-plus miles of open trails at the park. That’s because he had to hike parts of some trails to access others. “One of the last two-mile sections I did, I had to hike 15 miles to get to it,” he explained. “It’s sort of a letdown when you get it done.”

One Year Ago
Rockwood youngsters found a way to make a big splash with a new sporting event. The city’s first swim team closed its inaugural season with 32 ribbons, including four first-place finishes. “All the kids doing it loved it,” said Cassandra Dothard, coach of the 12-member team whose members’ ages ranged from 5-12. “It was a great start for our first year.” Dothard’s love of swimming led her to start the team and an adult event. “You might not be able to do a legal stroke, but you don’t need to to get exercise,” she said.