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Look Back: A Little Something From Our Files From the Week of Nov. 13

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By Cheryl Duncan, Assistant Editor

25 Years Ago
Don’t make a bet with middle schoolers unless you’re prepared for an office al fresco. That’s what Jody McLoud learned as principal of Kingston’s Cherokee Middle School. McLoud made a wager with Cherokee seventh-graders that he would move his office to the school’s roof if each seventh-grader would read seven books during Cherokee’s readathon. The students kept their part, and so did McLoud — who took some good books to read at his temporary open-air office while cheerleaders and the student body cheered him on.

10 Years Ago

Was it a sign of things to come? Five years before an ash spill at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant made international headlines, Swan Pond Road was closed to traffic when a retaining wall around an ash pond sprang a leak at the plant. The road closure was to enable TVA to clean up and repair the ash pond. An unnamed TVA spokesman told the Roane County News leaks from such ponds, which hold ash generated by the coal-fired plant, are rare. The spokesman added that the ash does not pose an environmental risk.

Five Years Ago
Rocky Houston’s day in court on double first-degree murder charges was postponed when Judge James “Buddy” Scott ordered a new jury pool to be selected because the original empaneled group had no jurors younger than 40. “We’ve got a higher percentage of 60-, 70- and 80-year-olds on this jury panel than I’ve ever seen in 30 years of practice,” insisted Houston defense attorney Randy Rogers. The jury pool was selected using a computer program that randomly chooses the names of driver-license recipients, Circuit Court Clerk Angela Randolph said. “I’m just telling you, I put in information, and it generated the list, and that’s the list it generated,” she said during a hearing on the matter.

One Year Ago
Did you feel that? It was the question asked around the county — and the Southeastern U.S. — when a 4.3-magnitude earthquake centered in Eastern Kentucky rattled more than a few Roane Countians. “It shook the curio cabinet and shook around pretty good,” said Walter Calbaugh of Kingston. “There was no trouble telling what it was. There was no doubt.” Kingston wasn’t the only Roane County locale reporting tremors; residents of Harriman, Rockwood, Grande Vista Bay, Ten Mile and Midway also reported feeling the Earth move. “We had a lot of people that were scared, but no damage was reported,” said Howie Rose, Roane County Emergency Management director.