Local News

  • 30-foot Santa draws big rooftop attention

    For years drivers on Hwy. 27 between Harriman and Rockwood have been greeted by a giant inflatable Santa perched on the roof of Wholesale Furniture.

    The store, which has also used an inflatable gorilla and a pumpkin to attract attention, added the jolly 30-foot-tall figure about eight years ago, said manager Phillip McMillan.

    He said customers and passersby have grown attached to the Santa over the years.

    “They’ll stop by and take photos,” he said.

  • Some view lake weeds as positive

    Not everyone is in favor of eradicating Watts Bar Lake of aquatic weeds.

    District 6 County Commissioner David Bell told his fellow commissioners earlier this month that he’s heard from nearly three dozen constituents who like having it in the water.

    “They’ve called me like crazy,” Bell said. “I guess because they know I’m an outdoorsman or a sportsman. They like catching fish, killing ducks, so on and so forth, and they feel that it brings more to Roane County having that here as opposed to not having it.”

  • Childs, Evans now vice mayors

    The cities of Kingston and Rockwood have new vice mayors.

    Randy Childs was confirmed to the post last week during Kingston City Council’s regular monthly meeting, while Dudley Evans was confirmed Monday at Rockwood’s regular City Council meeting.

    Both were top vote getters in their respective 2015 city elections, a designation that has become standard in selecting vice mayors.

    Childs is a first-term Kingston Council member.

  • The REASON for the SEASON
  • REACHing out
  • From the EDITOR’S Desk: Tammaros’ compassion inspiring

    I was driving around the county Monday looking for interesting holiday images to photograph when I got a call from the newsroom asking me to stop by an address on Allison Drive in Harriman where a fire had occurred Sunday afternoon.

    I expected to stop by the house, take the photo and head back to the office.

    When I got to the house it was apparent the home was a total loss. I also saw a vehicle parked in the driveway. I could have taken the photo and left but I noticed a couple of people in the garage.

  • Eight years later, and ‘everything is fine’

    Craig Zeller, a remedial project manager with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund Division, oversaw cleanup of the TVA ash spill during the final years of the restoration.

    Zeller said this week that no problems have been detected at the site since the cleanup was completed in 2015.

    “Everything is functioning at the closed cell the way it was designed/constructed,” Zeller said via email. “Groundwater quality remains fine around the perimeter, etc.”

  • FIRES to fire

    Louis and Helen Tammaro left their Allison Drive Harriman home on Sunday morning for a drive up to the fire-ravaged area around Gatlinburg.

    “We thought we’d head up there and spend some money to help them recover from the fire,” said Helen Tammaro.

    Just a few hours later, they received a call from the Roane County Sheriff’s Office that they never expected.

    “The house was on fire,” she said.