Local News

  • Harriman police, fire take safety talks door to door

    A fire truck and police cars in a Harriman neighborhood might not be a sign of a neighbor’s misfortune.

    Harriman Fire Department and Harriman Police Department are teaming up to visit members of the community to talk about safety, from smoke alarms to ways to discourage burglaries and encouraging interest in watching out for each other.

    “I’m hoping to have the Neighborhood Watch program so strong in the city of Harriman that just about every neighborhood has some type of watch,” said Harriman Police Chief Randy Heidle.

  • Some Roane educators calling it a career

    Director of Schools Gary Aytes has been to a lot of retiree receptions at the Roane County bus garage over the years.

    Last week’s was different, however, because this time, Aytes was one of the retirees.

    “It’s been a great pleasure of mine to be associated with you,” he told the crowd.

    Twenty-five retirees were recognized at the ceremony, though not all attended.

    One who did was J. Kathy Brummitt, a special education teacher at Harriman Middle School.

  • Rockwood eyeing concerts to generate revenue

    Rockwood Mayor Mike “Brillo” Miller proposed an unusual way to generate revenue during a called workshop last week to discuss the 2016-17 city budget.

    Near the end of the meeting, he suggested the city mull hosting concerts at the sports complex named for him.

    “I would like for us to consider using $10,000 [from an expected $38,000 budget surplus] to start having entertainment at the recreation park,” he said.

  • Increase possible down the road for Harriman

    Harriman City Council will likely not consider a budget this year with a property tax increase.

    “It is still kind of early, but my feeling would be we will try to make a presentation without a tax increase,” said Harriman City Manager Kevin Helms.

    He was quick to add, however, the city will need to find somewhere to grow revenue in the near future, whether that is through a proposed local sales tax increase that will be on the ballot in November or a property tax increase.

  • Kingston kicks in reserves money to balance budget

    Unlike last year’s unforeseen delay, the city of Kingston is already close to passing its upcoming year’s budget.

    Kingston City Manager David Bolling and city fiscal officer Carolyn Brewer have been working on the city’s 2016-17 $7.567 million proposed budget, which calls for no tax increase.

    Council voted 5-2 to pass on first reading the proposed $7.567 million 2016-17 budget during the regular monthly meeting earlier this month.

  • Curious about the Obed’s park status?

    Obed Wild and Scenic River will have a ranger program on how the Obed became a national park in 1976.

    This unique program will be begin at 1 p.m. May 28 inside the Obed Visitor Center at 208 N. Maiden St., Wartburg.

    The talk will focus on the various grassroots efforts from area citizenry, which persuaded Congress to preserve the Obed. It will include a discussion on the role of TVA in the park’s 40-year history.

    Immediately following the talk, the park film, “The Obed: Find Yourself Here,” will be shown.

  • Assessor's employee turnover: Records show 30 changes in almost four years

    Employee turnover in the Roane County Property Assessor’s Office has become an issue in this year’s campaign.

    “We have had many, many employees come through that office,” said Molly Leggins Hartup. “The turnover rate has been very high.”

    Hartup is one of three people challenging incumbent David Morgan for the property assessor’s job. Since Morgan took over on Sept. 1, 2012, there have been roughly 30 employee changes in his office, according to County Payroll Officer Linda Stooksbury.

  • No insubordination cited in Hartup review

    “Very good at interpreting assessment laws and regulations. Knows her job and duties well. Our department will miss her.”

    Those are some of the comments Roane County Property Assessor David Morgan made about Molly Leggins Hartup in a performance review before she stopped working for his office.

    Hartup, a candidate in this year’s race for property assessor, said that proves she wasn’t an insubordinate employee like Morgan has claimed.

  • Schools chief to make $120,000 to start

    The Roane County Board of Education approved the contract for its new director on Thursday.

    “The negotiations went real well,” Board Mem-ber Mike “Brillo” Miller said.

    Miller negotiated the contract with Dr. Leah Rice Watkins after the board voted 7-3 on April 20 to select her as the next director.

    The contract is for four years, beginning on July 1 and expiring on June 30, 2020.

    The starting salary is $120,000.