Looking Back: a little something from our files

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compiled by Cheryl Duncan

25 Years Ago
New leaders — and new places to eat — were on the menu in Harriman and Kingston. First the leaders: Longtime Harriman educator Gene Thurman was tapped to lead Harriman City Schools in the wake of Superintendent Lucille Buttram’s retirement. Thurman, who served as Buttram’s assistant superintendent, had previously been guidance counselor and principal at Harriman High School. In Kingston, Frank Robinette of Clarksburg, W.Va., was hired as city manager. City leaders said they were particularly impressed with his experience in water and sewer matters. As for the eateries: Harriman welcomed Taco Bell with a Sunday afternoon preview party, and Kingston officials were on hand for the breakfast opening of Hardee’s.

10 Years Ago
Harriman’s Larry Lively lamented the demise of the classic Volkswagen Beetle as the last of its model rolled off the assembly line in Puebla, Mexico. “People bought these cars and kept them in their families, passing them on from generation to generation,” said the man who once owned Larry’s Hot VW. “A large percentage of people in Roane County were put through college in Volkswagens. When they graduate and get their own car, they pass the VW on to the next kid.”

Five Years Ago
High gas prices took their toll on business and family pocketbooks, particularly on food budgets. Food pantries in the region reported more people were seeking assistance in a time which saw milk prices rise by 51 cents a gallon over a year’s time. “We’re seeing a lot of first timers,” said Tom von Berg of Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee. “Many are new recipients who were former donors.” With 10,000 people in Roane County at risk for hunger, von Berg said Second Harvest was getting fewer large donations of food from manufacturers, a loss equal to 2 million pounds of food or 1.5 million meals.

One Year Ago
Two incumbent Republican members of the Tennessee House of Representatives were unseated in their Party’s primary races. Kingston’s Kent Calfee unseated Julia Hurley, a one-term representative from Lenoir City. And Jim Cobb’s representation of part of the Rockwood area was short lived with Ron Travis’ victory. Both men would go on to claim their House seats in November. In the county’s general election, newcomer David Morgan unseated longtime Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham, and former state Rep. Dennis Ferguson bested two candidates in the road superintendent’s race.