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Local News

  • Schools mourn beloved teacher

    Many Kingston Elementary School students will miss the smiling face of fourth-grade teacher Melissa Brown Newman, who died unexpectedly Monday.

    “I can tell you outstanding lady, great teacher, loved by the students,” said Director of Schools Leah Rice Watkins.

    Students and colleagues were stunned and distraught over the death of the 41-year-old teacher referred to as Missy.

  • THAT’S SNOW BIZ
  • Divine Intervention

    An age-old practice has found a new believer in someone eager to locate the lost graves of his ancestors.

    While science doesn’t typically support him, Ralph Martin believes the practice of using dowsing rods has helped him to locate the unmarked graves of a number of his ancestors and others.

    “I cannot tell you how many graves I have found,” Martin said. “I have found graves from the 1780s. It is probably just a carbon layer left.”

  • Fleeing driver accused of tearing up yard, boat

    A Rockwood man is accused of fleeing from police in a gold Ford Explorer last week.

    Colton Matthew Pennington reportedly damaged a resident’s yard and boat in the process.

    Rockwood Police Department Sgt. Kelly Pittman charged him with vandalism, introducing contraband into a penal institution, resisting arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia, manufacture/delivery/sale or possession of methamphetamine, evading arrest, driving on a revoked license, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident.

  • Freezing temps could affect lake weed growth

    Sub-freezing winter temperatures around Watts Bar Lake may help reduce the growth of invasive aquatic plants in the spring.

    “This severe cold period will go a long way toward reducing the re-emergence of some invasive aquatic plant species,” said Tim Joseph, chairman of the Watts Bar Ecology and Fishery Council.

    The Council was formed about a year ago to bring together stakeholders in the Watts Bar Lake area to formulate a strategy to deal with the problems caused by invasive weeds.

  • New tax law may impact county’s collections

    The new tax law may have had an impact on local property tax collections.

    Roane County Executive Ron Woody said the county had received 52 percent of its collections through the end of December. The prior year that number was 43 percent.

    “Part of that may be in reference to the president’s and Congress’ bill,” Woody said. “People may be doing some financial planning and paying some of their taxes a little early. That could be it.”

    The new tax law – Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – was passed in December.

  • Service postpones school board meeting

    The Roane County Board of Education’s regular meeting for January was rescheduled.

    The board was scheduled to meet in regular session on Thursday, Jan. 18, at Rockwood High School at 7 p.m.

    Director of Schools Leah Rice Watkins said the meeting was moved to another day so school officials could attend services for Melissa Brown Newman.

    Newman taught at Kingston Elementary School. She passed away on Jan. 15.

    Watkins said the board is now scheduled to meet on Jan. 25, at Rockwood High School.

  • Director eyeing new E-911 center

    One of the goals Mike Hooks has as director of Roane County E-911 is to leave the operation better than he found it.

    One of the things on his to-do list before he leaves is a new 911 center.

    “Our facility was built too small in 1993,” Hooks said. “We have came to the point with the advancement in technology and the need for more space for personnel in case of a disaster.”

  • Vets honor service with sub replica

    Veterans of the U.S. Navy’s “silent service” have created a one of a kind scale replica nuclear missile submarine for use in parades and events.

    Members of the Smoky Mountain Base of U.S. Submarine Veterans built the more than 40-foot-long 1/10th scale replica of the 425ft U.S.S. Andrew Jackson (SSBN-619) at a metal-working shop in Spring City.

    The replica sub presently parked in Kingston has appeared in veterans parades in Knoxville and won first prize in the Oliver Springs Christmas Parade last month.

  • Roads closer to county upkeep

    The Roane County Commission approved a resolution last week to cover the cost of a survey in Pioneer Village subdivision.

    The price tag was trimmed from $40,000 to $10,000.

    “Jimmy Hill, the surveyor that I’ve been working with on this, he’s indicating that the cost of the survey itself for all the roadways would be $4,850,” County Attorney Greg Leffew told Commission.

    Pioneer Village is south of Rockwood. Last August, the Commission voted 11-2 to accept portions of West Williams Road, Lake Overlook Road and Bournemouth Drive.