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Local News

  • Roane mourns history buff Parker

    Prominent Kingston community member Rachel Rose Parker died Thursday.

    She was 96.

    The wife of the late J.C. “Babe” Parker, who was a Kingston banker and longtime county historian, she shared her husband’s passion for history.

    She served on the Roane County Heritage Commission and playing a role in restoring the old Roane County Courthouse.

    Parker, a member of the Avery Trace Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, once ran for mayor of Kingston. She also served on the Kingston Regional Planning Commission.

  • Kingston teacher suspended

    Roane County Director of Schools Leah Rice Watkins said she suspended teacher John Plemens following his arrest on a harassment charge.

    “I became aware of that charge and have had to suspend him without pay pending the completion of the investigation,” Watkins said after last Thursday’s Board of Education meeting.     

    Plemens, 52, worked at Roane County High School.

    He was a history teacher, according to the school’s website.  

  • Officer cleared in Rockwood shooting

    An investigation has cleared Rockwood police of any wrongdoing in an officer-involved shooting incident that ended when the victim committed suicide on Feb. 7.

    Officer Rick Thomas was put on leave during an investigation into the shooting after it was determined he fired his weapon during the welfare check on Quentin Swicegood.

    The 58-year-old Kingston man was parked in the Tyler Pointe shopping center parking lot. Authorities said he went on to shoot himself.   

  • Purchasing policy changes afoot

    Harriman officials may soon be able to make purchases for $5,000 and less without prior Harriman City Council approval.

    Earlier this month the Harriman City Council approved first reading of an ordinance that would amend the city code from its current wording requiring any purchases in excess of $2,000 shall receive prior approval by a majority of the City Council.

    The change would still require a majority of City Council to approve a purchase in excess of
    $5,000.

  • SMILE: You may be on camera

    The Roane County Sheriff’s Office could soon join the list of agencies to equip its officers with body cameras.

    The cameras have already arrived at the sheriff’s office. Chief Deputy Tim Phillips said they are waiting to finalize the body camera policy and conduct officer training before rolling them out.   

    “When we push it out, we want to make sure it’s right — and we don’t get in a hurry and get it out there,” he said.

  • From the EDITOR’S Desk: Only criminals commit gun crimes

    The first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights.

    These rights are not granted by the Constitution; they are protected by the Constitution. These rights are endowed by our Creator and exist independent of any governmental license.

  • RCHS band gets $2,000 boost

    Roane County High School Band Director Zack Williamson received a gift that was music to his ears last Friday afternoon, as Jamestown Assisted Living Community presented the RCHS band with a check for $2,000.

  • Trustee’s office open last Saturday for tax payments

    Business has been slow this month at the Roane County Trustee’s Office, which is odd since this is one of two months the county receives most of its property tax revenue, according to officials.

    “That property tax comes in basically two times a year,” Roane County Executive Ron Woody said. “It comes in December and it comes in February.”

  • Rockwood sewer repair bid less than $1 million

    The Rockwood Water, Sewer and Gas Board took steps Tuesday to expedite emergency sewer line repairs.

    In a special-called meeting, the Board voted to approve a contract with Sevierville-based Adams and Sons Inc. to repair a sewer line that had failed Jan. 14. At the time of the break, Water Sewer and Gas General Manager Kim Ramsey estimated it might cost over $1 million for repairs, but bids for the project came in under that amount, she said.

    The Adams and Sons bid is $897,859.

  • READY TO RECONNECT

    For Carol Davis, it’s never too late to continue education.

    That is why Davis, who has raised her children as a working mom, hopes to finally attain that associates or bachelors degree thanks to Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to offer last dollar scholarships to adult students so they can attend community college for free.

    “I actually want to go back in business administration. My goal is to go back for a bachelor’s degree or associate’s. I think it would better my pay,” said Davis.