Local News

  • Teen counts his blessings a week after crash

    Taylor Hamby says he’s lucky to be alive following last week’s crash on Interstate 40 near Midtown last week.

    Kingston Fire Chief Willie Gordon said after the wreck he had never seen anyone pinned in a vehicle like that in 35 years.

    “I know I’m lucky to be alive,” Hamby said after returning home from six days in University of Tennessee Medical Center.

  • Largest taxpayer settles on appraisal

    UT-Battelle has settled its property appraisal dispute with Roane County.

    According to an agreed order signed last month, appraised value of the property is now $73.995 million for the 2014 and 2015 tax years.

    The previous values, which UT-Battelle disputed, was $98.164 million for 2014 and $87.954 million for 2015.

    Roane County Executive Ron Woody said he’s glad the issue is resolved because UT-Battelle is the county’s largest taxpayer.

  • Police chief retires amid allegations

    Harriman Police Chief Randy Heidle quietly retired Tuesday after a laundry list of accusations came to light last week.

    “This letter is to clarify that the city of Harriman discontinued the investigation into the ethical, policy and mismanagement allegations against Chief Randy Heidle due to the fact that, if proven true, the most severe action that the City could take would be to terminate his employment with the city,” Harriman City Attorney Allison Rehn said in a prepared statement Thursday afternoon.

  • It’s almost time to make the doughnuts

    Dunkin’ Donuts representatives confirmed this week they will be locating in a retail shop under construction on Hwy. 70 in Midtown.

    “The future Dunkin’ is planned for Hwy. 70 at Griffith Drive,” said Michelle King, Dunkin’ Donuts senior director of global public relations.

    King said the shop “is expected to open by the end of the year.”

    Harriman City Manager Kevin Helms said site plans indicate the shop will include a drive-thru for customers to get the store’s trademark coffee and sweet treats.

  • Earlier Fishing Rodeo not just for kids anymore

    The Dennis Ferguson Fishing Rodeo is celebrating its 26th year by including some new fishermen and area businesses.

    Always known as an event for youngsters, this year’s Rodeo is opening up to include senior citizens ages 65 and older.

    It will also serve as a health and information fair for those who attend.

    The Rodeo will be Saturday, July 30, at Roane County Park.

    Registration beings at 8 a.m., and fishing starts at 9.

    The free event will include trophies for ages 5-14, and for fishers older than 65.

  • Another delay in Gertrude Porter Park rehab

    Despite several months of delays, Kingston’s Gertrude Porter Park has suffered another setback, and it is unclear when construction will begin on the park.

    Kingston City Manager David Bolling sent a memo to City Council members last week, noting that the original low-bid contractor, Wright Construction, had notified city officials that the company would not be honoring the bid price.

    A representative of that company said its own excavation subcontractor was not honoring his bid, leading Wright Construction to ask for more money, according to the memo.

  • From the EDITOR’S Desk: Kingston, as Edith Miles knows it

    Since I began working in Roane County several months ago, it has been my goal to learn as much as I can about the history of the area.

    I have been enlightened by the writings of Gerald Largen, a well-known attorney and commentator on all things related to Roane County. Gerald has a unique style of mixing local history with his own personal observations and political beliefs.

  • ‘I’ve never seen a man volunteer better’

    David and Mildred Webb were honored at Saturday’s Polk Salad Festival in Harriman.

    State Rep. Kent Calfee and state Sen. Ken Yager read and presented the couple with a proclamation from the Tennessee General Assembly.

    Harriman City Councilman Lonnie Wright also read a proclamation from Harriman Mayor Chris Mason, which declared June 11 David and Mildred Webb Day.

    “We appreciate all the attention, all the awards and all that good stuff,” David Webb said. “Sure do.”

  • Police chief complaints numerous

    Harriman Police Chief Randy Heidle is accused of a long list of misconduct, ranging from ill treatment of employees to using city-owned property in personal vehicles.

    One accusation is that he or a strawman purchased a 1993 Chevrolet Caprice that was worked on by a mechanic while it was on the GovDeals.com auction website.

    He is also accused of taking a console from Harriman police storage and putting it on his personal Dodge Charger he later sold.

    Heidle remained on leave with pay as of Tuesday morning.

  • County bans Tiger Haven expansions

    A stalemate over a perimeter fence at Tiger Haven could be on the verge of a conclusion.

    The Roane County Commission approved a resolution Monday that calls for Tiger Haven to obtain a building permit for the fence and not expand the housing of big cats onto other parcels.

    In exchange, the county agrees to not sue Tiger Haven over the fence and acknowledge that the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is the proper authority for inspecting the fence.