Look Back: A Little Something From Our Files From the Week of Aug. 28

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By Cheryl Duncan, Assistant Editor

25 Years Ago
The first-ever Hooray for Harriman Labor Day festival was shaping up to come in with a song and go out with a bang. Festivities were scheduled to kick off with a parade featuring Harriman High School’s Rhapsody in Blue Band performing “Hooray for Harriman,” inspired by “Hooray for Hollywood.” Food, musical entertainment, games for all ages were among the attractions. The pinnacle, however, was to be when Mayor Jerry Davis signed Harriman’s application to the Main Street revitalization program. Harriman was among 13 Tennessee cities vying for three open spots.

10 Years Ago

Flags flew at half staff in Harriman as the city mourned the loss of two of its leaders. Longtime Harriman City Council member Mary Harback passed away in her sleep, and George Ed Wilson Jr., a businessman whose name was synonymous with the town’s hosiery industry, succumbed to a heart attack in his Knoxville home. Both were lovingly remembered for their devotion to Harriman and its people. “She was a class act who always had the community and city at heart,” recalled Lonnie Wright about Harback. “She was always there anytime anyone needed her.” Wilson, a Rockwood native who was founder and chairman of Harriman Hosiery Co., “was a gentleman in every sense of the word,” Roane County Mayor Ken Yager said. “I have had the privilege of George Ed’s friendship for over 30 years and never heard him speak an unkind word against anyone.”

Five Years Ago
Two petitions circulating in Rockwood proposed to end the city’s days as a “dry” town. One petition would allow residents to vote on whether to allow package stores to sell liquor; the other called for a vote to allow liquor by the drink. Though a number of familiar names, including those of Rockwood City Council members Ray Collett and James Neal, were on the petitions, “it’s been quiet,” Mayor Mike “Brillo” Miller said. “That’s the way to do it, I guess — let the people decide.” Rockwood voters joined those in Clinton and Cumberland County in deciding liquor issues in November.

One Year Ago
A federal judge ruled that TVA is liable for damages from the December 2008 ash spill at the Kingston Fossil Plant, provided each plaintiff can show he is entitled to relief under claims of negligence, trespass or private nuisance. The 130-page order was made public more than 10 months after the conclusion of a federal trial in which a number of residents and property owners filed suit against the federal agency. Judge Thomas Varlan ruled that TVA failed to properly train and inform its personnel in proper procedures for coal ash management and inspection, which he said was a contributing cause of the dike failure.