• Chilly weather heats up business for Starnes

    Roane Countians who depend on wood stoves for heat and the chimneys they’re connected to now have a place to turn to for service, products and answers — and just in time for cold weather.

    Jody Starnes turned his passion for wood stoves and chimneys into a career, opening Starnes Chimney Sweeps Woodstoves and Patio Store in Kingston.

    He’s a chimney sweep who sells and installs chimney inserts and wood stoves.

  • Wendell’s Diner fare tops in magazine guide

    It’s no secret to folks in Roane County that Wendell’s Diner in Midtown has some of the best burgers around.

    Now people outside of Roane County are finding out. Wendell’s Diner was recently tabbed in Garden & Gun Magazine’s “Guide to the South’s Best Burgers.”

    “We’re very proud of this,” owner Wendell Ruppe said. “We don’t even know how we got nominated. We don’t know if they had someone come in or if someone nominated us, but this is great.

  • Chamber unveils new Web presence

    The Roane County Chamber of Commerce has worked for many years to offer new ways to grow area businesses.

    One of those ways is through a newly designed, more interactive website that provides more opportunity for members and the community to engage in ways never before possible.

    The website — www.RoaneChamber.com — is now up and running.

    “With the dependence our society has on digital communication, the way the Chamber serves its members must also change,” said Wade Creswell, president and CEO of The Roane Alliance.

  • The Bridge at Rockwood earns national accreditation

    The Bridge at Rockwood has achieved 2015 accreditation as a skilled nursing facility actively performing Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement activities.

    “We couldn’t be prouder of our team of caregivers for the compassionate, quality care they work so hard to offer, which is reflected by this accreditation,” said Kathy Owens, chief nursing officer for Signature HealthCare, parent company of The Bridge at Rockwood.

  • Earl Duff Subaru gives Stellar Care

    Earl Duff Subaru in Harriman has been in business for more than 40 years.

    A big reason why is how they treat their customers.

    That customer service was recognized recently when the dealership received Subaru’s Stellar Care Award for a fourth straight year.

    “It’s the biggest goal I set for us every year,” Earl Duff Subaru Dealer Principal Tim Duff said. “In my opinion, it’s the biggest award given by Subaru because it’s based on how you treat the customer.”

  • Poor Boys opens in Kingston

    Roane County Chamber of Commerce recently had a ribbon-cutting celebration for Poor Boys Towing & Auto Repair at 2379 Kingston Hwy., Kingston.

    Taking part in the celebration are, front row from left, Christy Brown, Madison Stout, owner Greg Rose, Melissa Rose, Marcus Mendoza, Saundra Bandy, Paulette Ray of The Roane Alliance; and back row, Joe Barr, Roger Parker, Matthew Libby, Rose Meza and Tudd Barr.

  • Jolly new Cato store manager

    Renee Jolly of Rockwood was recently named store manager of the Rockwood Cato store.

    The store is in Tyler Pointe Shopping Center at 1140 N. Gateway Ave.

    Jolly’s previous work experience includes 15 years as the owner and operator of Precision Cuts. As store manager, Jolly’s responsibilities include assisting customers in wardrobe selection and creating an easy shopping experience with color-coordinated visual presentations.

  • Workshop focuses on how to grow business

    Roane County Chamber of Commerce and SCORE will have their Lunch and Learn Workshop Series on “How to Grow Your Business” on Sept. 22 in The Roane Alliance at 1209 N. Kentucky St., Kingston.

    Lunch will be served at 11:50 a.m.; the workshop will be from noon to 2 p.m. The workshop is free for Chamber members, with a maximum of two participants per membership; others pay $35.

    Space is limited; call 376-5572 for reservations.

  • Out to Lunch: Try some bangers and mash at Rugby’s Harrow Road Café

    Our latest “Out to Lunch” adventure, a day trip to the Harrow Road Café in historic Rugby, offered some interesting sight seeing.

    “You know, I remember the scenic mountain views we’re seeing, and it’s almost as enjoyable as the food,” my wife, Carol, said as we traveled to Rugby. She was referring to “Out to Lunch” article on Harrow Road Café in August 2008.

  • OUT to LUNCH:Burgers still a staple at Bob’s, but new entrées shine, too

    “Burgers, barbecue pork and grilled-chicken sandwiches are the most popular items, plus the fried bologna sandwich,” Bob Alford told me when I was writing an “Out to Lunch” article on Bob’s Burgers in April 2008.

    He started Bob’s Burgers and, in 2008, owned it with his wife, Debbie.

    Gosh, it doesn’t seem like it was seven years ago. On the 2008 visit, I ordered the well-known “Burger.”

    The Alfords decided to hang it up earlier this year. The Midtown restaurant, still bearing the founder’s name, is up and running under new ownership.