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Local News

  • November city races heating up

    It’s election season — but it’s not the county’s August races that are grabbing attention in three Roane County towns.

    November is looking to be the election time to watch. Kingston, Oliver Springs and Rockwood all have mayoral races on the ballot.

    Rockwood voters will elect a new mayor in the fall. The city’s term limits prohibit incumbent Mayor James Watts from seeking re-election.

  • Polk Salad Festival back this weekend

    The Tennessee Polk Salad Festival was first started by David Webb with a country-fair atmosphere that celebrated the simplest of poor-man’s country food, the polk salad.

    After a yearlong hiatus, the festival has been picked up by the Roane County Arts Council, which is expanding on the original theme to incorporate a celebration of Appalachian foods and culture with other arts and activities.

    The festival will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 14 at Harriman’s David Webb Riverside Park.

  • Get creative, help others at Project Linus fest exhibit

    This year’s Tennessee Polk Salad Festival promises to offer plenty of fun times, but it also gives attendants a chance to give back in an artful way.

    Sticking with the theme of the arts, organizers are providing quilt squares in festive designs for festival goers to color.

    The quilt squares will go toward Project Linus, a nonprofit organization that provides new, handmade blankets and afghans for children who are ill or in need.

    Anyone can volunteer to make quilts for donation to Project Linus.

  • Final vote on Kingston budget set for Tuesday

    Kingston City Council members agreed at last week’s work session to put a tight, tidy budget on the agenda for its June 10 full council session for a second and final reading.

    The June 3 work session also saw council set a public hearing on the proposed budget — necessary by state law — for 6:45 on June 10.

    The meeting itself begins at 7 p.m.

    The proposed budget was approved on first reading last month.

    At just more than $5.4 million, it stands at about $100,000 less than the budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

  • Harriman leaders to mull charter changes

    Harriman City Council will consider final passage of proposed changes to the Harriman City Charter during its regular meeting Tuesday.

    The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in Harriman Municipal Office Complex.

    The Tennessee General Assembly approved the charter changes in late May.

    The charter changes include establishing a city manager position.

    The changes also make the city’s chief finance officer, city judge and attorney Council appointments.

    Presently, all are elected by city voters during the Harriman mayoral elections.

  • Farmers market now open for 2014 season

    Harriman’s farmers market is now open for the growing season.

    The market, which officially opened last weekend, features fresh produce and from 8 a.m. to noon (or sellout) each Saturday, and from 3 to 6 p.m. each Wednesday.

    “This is a true farmers market,” Harriman Councilman Ken Mynatt said. “People selling at this market are selling stuff they have grown. This is all Tennessee produce.”

    Margaret Jones is a regular that loves the camaraderie and good food.

  • Flipped truck stalls traffic

    Traffic was at a standstill on Interstate 40 in West Roane County when a tractor trailer carrying pet supplies overturned last week. The tractor trailer stretched out across all eastbound lanes of traffic at mile marker 341 and stalled traffic from the afternoon into the evening. The driver was sent to Roane Medical for minor injuries, and no other vehicles were involved in the crash.

  • Donate blood, get a free movie pass

    Medic Regional Blood Center has a special offer for all donors who give blood on June 11-12.

    Anyone who donates on those days will receive one free Regal Cinema movie pass that has no expiration date.

    This special incentive is designed to help boost the inventory during the slow summer season, said Christi Fightmaster of Medic’s public relations.

    “We are happy to have this opportunity to offer something that our donors really appreciate,” she said.

  • Sewage plant changes will improve things for STEP users

    Kingston water board members have created steps for STEPs — and now city sewage customers can feel a little better about waste.

    A few years ago, having upgraded its wastewater treatment plant, the city of Kingston placed a moratorium on so-called STEP, or septic tank effluent pumping systems, because the plant lacked a receiving station to dispose of the waste from those systems.

    Now, with the recent wastewater facility expansion, Kingston has a receiving station. 

  • Church mouse prompts book

    Myra Humphrey heard a story that needed to be told when she learned the tale of how a mouse once got into the organ at Kingston First Baptist Church. 

    “The thought came to me ― had to be from God ― that the story is yours to write. My feeling was where did that come from? I’ve never written a children’s book. I came home. I put it on paper. My daughter (Melanie Scott) is a good artist, so I asked her about doing some illustrations for the book, which she did,” Humphrey said.