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Local News

  • Court secrecy ruling chilling

    By ERIK SCHELZIG
    The Associated Press
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Transparency advocates are warning about the ramifications of a recent Tennessee appeals court ruling that “high government officials” can keep documents secret if they deem them part of their decision-making process.

  • Rockwood sports complex vandalized

    Bathrooms at Rockwood’s Mike “Brillo” Miller Sports Complex were vandalized this weekend.

    City Recorder Becky Ruppe said three handles were torn from sinks, and soap dispensers were ripped off the walls. Park and recreation director Jody Mioduski said the sink damage was in the women’s bathroom next to the press box, while the soap dispensers were broken in both men and women’s rooms.

    “It is really sad,” Mioduski said.

    He estimated the damage around $200.

  • Special guest at firing range
  • Real bananas, no monkey business

    Some in Rockwood might think they are in the tropics with the unusual vegetation that has sprouted on Abels Valley Road.

    Ray and Raylene Myers have eight bananas trees growing in their yard.

    The oldest tree has been growing for 12 years, and this is the first year it has produced any fruit.

    “Never thought we’d ever see a banana,” Ray said.  

    Their son Edward gave his mother her first banana plant.

    “My wife just took off with it,” Ray said.

  • Loose change rejected by HUB

    It’s hard for Wendy Jackson to keep her lights on.

    She felt helpless when she went to Harriman Utility Board last week after her most recent outage and brought money she’d begged from family and friends — some of it in change jars.

    It was shortly before closing, and the clerks initially denied her the coins before changing their minds.

    “I had $281,” Jackson said. “They (originally) refused to take my change because it wasn’t rolled.”

  • More to come on greenway

    The gates are open and the ribbons are cut.

    So what’s next for the Ladd Greenway?

    We’ll know soon, after Kingston City Manager David Bolling gets word back from Tennessee Department of Transportation.

    But there are plans aplenty, for both the short term and the long haul, as local officials seek to make the greenway a fully realized, full-service park.

  • Judge hopefuls add big bucks to war chests

    Ninth Judicial District circuit court judge candidate Tom McFarland has raised $37,425 for his campaign, according to his first-quarter finance report submitted on April 9.

    “We’re right on schedule,” McFarland said. “We developed a plan at the beginning, and everything is going very well.”

    The judicial district consists of Roane, Loudon, Meigs and Morgan counties.

    “I want to point out that the reason we’re encouraged is our report will show that we’ve got support from every county,” McFarland said.

  • MOUNT PISGAH CHRISTIAN ACADEMY STUDENTS WORK TO FEED the NEED

    “On your mark ... get set ...  go!”

    With that call over the loudspeaker in Oliver Springs’ Mount Pisgah Christian Academy’s gym on Tuesday, two separate tables of students began scooping rice and beans into bags in a competition to be the first to fill a box with 20 meals.

    “This is the day they’ve been working for,” said educator Megan Burnham.
    The work with Feed the Need, a program through Champion Events, helps participants like Mount Pisgah combine fundraising with providing meals for the hungry.

  • Hardship account to help Kingston water customers pay bills

    Kingston Water Board plans to carry through with a measure to help disadvantaged city water customers when money gets tight.

    The uncertainty — at least for board members — lies in determining who will be eligible for assistance.

    The board approved a proposal at its April meeting that would allow Kingston water customers to voluntarily add a $1 donation to their monthly bills to fund a so-called “hardship account” to help pay overdue water bills for customers who are struggling financially.

  • Vets thrilled with new VA clinic

    Roane County’s veterans got a good look at the new Veterans Affairs Community Based Outpatient Clinic and its staff during its open house Wednesday in Shoppes at Walden Ridge.

    Congressman Chuck Fleischmann; officials from Humana, who will be operating the clinic through a contract with the VA; and local, state and other federal officials joined the veterans for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours.

    “It has been needed for a long time,” said Clyde Luttrell, an Oliver Springs veteran who had previously traveled to Knoxville for treatment.