Local News

  • Zoning changed, but that will bring unknown

    Rockwood officials have approved rezoning a piece of property.

    However, even they have no inkling of what business might go on the newly rezoned commercial property.

    The rezoned site is between Rockwood’s Walmart and Heritage Hills apartments.

    Developers were still mum, even though at the initial first reading of the rezoning from residential to commercial, they hinted they would elaborate more on potential retailers at the second reading.

  • Ducks, ducks, ducks
  • Oak Ridge National Lab develops fuel-creating yeast

    Biofuels pioneer Mascoma LLC and the Department of Energy’s BioEnergy Science Center have developed a revolutionary strain of yeast that could help significantly accelerate the development of biofuels from nonfood plant matter.

    The approach could provide a pathway to eventual expansion of biofuels production beyond the current output limited to ethanol derived from corn.

  • TVA ash spill cleanup one for the history books



    Perhaps it was a sign of a job well done, or at least done well enough, that only about 20 residents showed up at what was scheduled as the last public hearing on the TVA fly ash spill.

    In fact, the meeting was attended by slightly more public officials ― about 25 from TVA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

    Craig Zeller of the EPA, who has spent years overseeing the cleanup, gave the closeout presentation.

  • Tax hike gains favor, but not everyone’s a fan



    Both proponents and opponents of Roane County’s proposed tax increase spoke up loud and clear at a public hearing last week.

    Roane County is looking at a 30-cent tax increase for county residents and 29-cent increase for those who live in the city.

    Twenty cents of that would go to the general purpose school fund, and 2 cents to the education capital fund.

  • Pelfrey-Milsaps checking out of ‘Barbara’s library’



    Harriman Public Library will always be “Barbara’s library.”

    That is what library director Tammie Edwards said Thursday when she gave Barbara Pelfrey-Milsaps a plaque for her years of service.

    Pelfrey-Milsaps, longtime director of the Harriman library, retired at the end of last year. It’s been a long ride — she had been a member of the library since 1975, when she was 16 years old.

  • Heydel never forgot roots in Rockwood



    June Heydel, a former Rockwood resident who went on to help her husband, Bill Heydel, start Aflac insurance, died on June 3 after battling cancer.

    The pair had been together for 67 years after meeting and becoming sweethearts at Rockwood High School.

    “They were the loveliest couple you’d ever meet,” said Kenneth Heydel, Bill’s brother.

    “What Bill did June did,” he said. “In his career and whatever he did, she was part of it.”

  • Courthouse security better, still flawed

    Roane County has done a lot to improve security at the courthouse in recent years. The building now includes a vehicle sallyport, which allows officers to pull into a secure location and unload prisoners.

    There’s also a walk-through metal detector and surveillance cameras both inside and outside of the building.

    Despite the enhancements, Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said security flaws still exist. He pointed out two rooms where inmates are kept before entering the criminal courtroom.

  • Ren fair a success

    The Tennessee Medieval Faire kicked off its inaugural three-weekend season successfully, drawing crowds from across the region to the grounds.

    From jousting, fire whips and puppetry, there was something for all ages at the festival, which had about 3,280 visitors on Memorial Day weekend.

    Barrie Paulson, vice president, manager and entertainment director for Darkhorse Entertainment LLC,  is optimistic about the feedback they’ve received and what that means for the future.