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Local News

  • GUEST OPINION: Faith, not politics, keeps the Christ in Christmas

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES

    First Amendment Center

    If you ask me, America’s perennial turf battles over “Christ in Christmas” are about politics and power — and have little or nothing to do with authentic faith.

    Consider the Texas lawmakers who held a news conference earlier this month to remind people of their right to say “Merry Christmas” in public schools – thanks to the landmark “Merry Christmas law” they passed last year with great fanfare.

  • ETHRA faces two other lawsuits

    A Morgan County woman suing the East Tennessee Human Resource Agency in federal court is not alone in her allegations against the organization.

    Two men have also filed similar lawsuits in federal court.

    They have accused ETHRA and Loudon County of using probation orders to extend the time people are on probation in order to continue collecting costs and fees.

  • Christmas trash aftermath

    The ribbons and paper that once adorned the presents beneath Christmas trees are no longer quite so lovely.

    They’ve been making their way to the Roane County convenience centers and Roane County Recycling Center as the remnants of packaged toys, gift wrap and more are thrown away.

    “We have a lot every year,” said Ralph Stewart, Roane County Solid Waste coordinator.

    This year, extra containers were placed at the convenience centers because of the sheer amount of trash.

  • Man dies after I-40 accident

    A Cookeville man who was being treated for injuries sustained during an Interstate 40 accident Saturday morning had a heart attack and later died.

    According to preliminary reports, Jack Craig, 79, had the heart attack while being treated at University of Tennessee Medical Center for his injuries.

    Jack Craig and driver, Norma Craig, 70, were extracted from the 2014 Cadillac XLU after the two-vehicle collision near Gallaher Road.

    They were taken by ambulance to University of Tennessee Medical Center.

  • Grant unlikely for storm drain issues

    Harriman officials were eying a Community Development Block Grant for a significant project to repair the city’s aging storm drains.

    However, Evan Sanders, from Community Development Partners, who does the grant preparation and administration for Harriman Utility Board’s CDBG grants, explained that storm drains would likely be low on the priority list.

    “About 85 percent goes to water and sewer projects. That is the primary focus,” Sanders said.

  • Hands of Mercy opening Harriman site

    Hands of Mercy in Kingston has never served exclusively Kingston.

    The food pantry, which has been headquartered in Kingston for a number of years, recently acquired a new building in Harriman.

    The Harriman building, at 421 Devonia St., will serve as a satellite office.

    “I’m really hoping our presence in Harriman will make people realize we are in Kingston, but we’re not just a Kingston entity,” said Sharon Pinner, the food pantry’s director.

    “We serve all of Roane County.”

  • Kingston education leaders mourned

    The community is remembering Jess Plemons and Joe Woody, two local residents who passed away recently.   

    “I am sad at the news of the passing of two Roane County stalwarts, Jess Plemons and Joe Woody,” state Sen. Ken Yager said. “These two men have made many enviable contributions to Roane County and will be sorely missed.”

    Plemons passed away on Saturday, Dec. 20. He was 83. During his career in education he served as a teacher, football coach and Roane County school superintendent.

  • Hearing site too hard to find?

    A community organizing group is demanding the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation hold another public hearing on TVA’s application for a permit modification of its Class II landfill at the Kingston Fossil Plant.

    “We’ve got letters out to the governor and we’ve got phone calls in to TDEC,” Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment Board President Patrick Morales said.

    “We want a public hearing that’s not happening during the Christmas season.”  

  • Rockwood seeks federal grant to pave Airport Road

    To pave or not to pave.

    Rockwood City Council balked at paying for the paving of their portion of Airport Road back in November, when bids were considered and the lowest bid was in the $20,000 range.

    Mayor Mike “Brillo” Miller said he and Public Works Director Hugh O’Dell went up to the roadway when state officials were on site and were told they could get a federal safety grant with a 10-percent match.

    He estimates the city portion would be $5,000 if the grant is awarded.

  • Kingston’s White back on REU board

    Kingston City Councilman Don White is serving another term on the Rockwood Electric Utility Board.

    The REU retiree was recommended by the Kingston City Council, and Rockwood City Council approved the recommendation this month.

    Also reappointed this month is James “Russ” Cisson, to serve on the Rockwood Park and Recreation Board.

    The Rockwood City Council also approved the city’s holiday schedule for 2015.