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Local News

  • REU transformer problem douses lights

    Much of Rockwood lost power Monday after a late afternoon transformer problem.

    Rockwood Police directed traffic at intersections for several hours until power was restored.

    The problem was at Rockwood’s primary substation, said Kendall Bear, Rockwood Electric Utility manager.

    Bear estimated 4,000 to 5,000 customers were impacted by the outage.

    Two transformers were both de-energized when the breakers that feed them tripped.

    One transformer has been isolated and the load switched to the other while TVA runs diagnostics.

  • CSI: Roane County Youth Edition

    A group of middle school-aged students were immersed in their own crime scene investigation this summer.

    The Roane County Sheriff’s Youth Academy was like a “CSI” spinoff that took place at Roane County High School.

    Instead of relaxing by the pool or playing video games, these students were able to get a better look into what the sheriff’s office does and what all goes into law enforcement.

    There’s another benefit.

  • Cooling-off period proposed for Harriman council

    Harriman elected officials may find it harder to seek city employment after they have served.

    A policy proposed by Harriman City Councilman Lonnie Wright would require at least four years between an elected official’s time in office and any employment with the city.

    “I think it is a good ordinance,” Wright said.

    He said he’d heard from residents who were concerned a city official might resign and seek an office like the newly established city manager position.

  • Tornado brush cleanup big job

    Kingston, designated an official “Tree City” by the Arbor Day Foundation, might well be called Brushburg lately.

    After last week’s tornado, piles of the stuff are everywhere.

    City manager David Bolling said the city is working to clear that away as quickly as possible.

    The tornado came without warning Tuesday, June 10, skiping along a forested ridge that parallels busy Kentucky Street.

    Although no one was seriously hurt, 80-mph winds caused extensive damage to trees, signs and powerlines.

  • Poke is back as Harriman’s pick

    After a one-year hiatus, the Polk Salad Festival returned to Harriman’s David Webb Riverfront Park on Saturday.

    The plant’s name is typically spelled “poke,” Harriman follows the spelling used in “Polk Salad Annie,” sung by Elvis Presley.

    Dian Sutton said 2014 was a good year for picking poke, and she and others made sure plenty was available for festival-goers.

    “All the money from our poke dinner goes to local veterans programs,” Sutton said.   

  • POLICE BLOTTER: Coke-fueled paranoia, road rage on interstate

    A Dandridge man faces criminal charges in Roane County General Sessions Court for during a June 8 alleged road-rage incident on Interstate 40. Jefferson Douglas Wyrosdick, 66, is charged with felony aggravated assault, felony reckless endangerment and possession of a firearm during commission of a dangerous felony.

  • Another victory for judge hopeful

    Senior Judge Ben H. Cantrell on Thursday dismissed a complaint challenging the Roane County Election Commission’s decision to put circuit court judge candidate Mike Pemberton on the Aug. 7 ballot.

    Afterward, Pemberton said he’s ready to move on and talk about issues that “the 9th District’s citizens think matter.”

    “And that’s experience, competence, integrity and work ethic,” he added.

  • ‘In God We Trust’ draws leader’s ire

    Roane County Commissioners have some passionate feelings about the resolution that would put “In God We Trust” on the courthouse.

    “That will make me feel less a part of our county government — because I’m atheist,” Commissioner Steve Kelley said.

    “I don’t believe that there is a God.”

    That prompted a quick response from Commissioner Fred Tedder.

    “I don’t believe there’s such a thing as an atheist,” he said.

  • West earns better fire rating

    The ISO rating system for fire protection isn’t complicated.

    “The lower the number, the better you are,” said West Roane County Volunteer Fire Department Chief Charlie Redwine.

    West Roane County got better recently, lowering its rating from a 6/9 to a 5/8B.

    “That’s something we’re real proud of,” Redwine said. “That’s how a lot of people look at their fire department.

    “The first thing they ask is, what’s your fire protection rating?”

  • Garbage-to-electricity firm still on, rep says

    A representative for Alternative Engineering Solutions LLC said last week the company’s plan to build a facility in Plateau Partnership Park is not dead.

    “We are still moving forward,” Jason Perry said on June 11.

    That differs from what Roane County officials reported at the June 9 commission meeting.

    Roane County Executive Ron Woody and Commissioner Ron Berry both said the company was no longer pursuing a site in the industrial park, a joint venture between Roane, Cumberland and Morgan counties.