Local News

  • Lots to blame for ash illness, death

    Jacobs Engineering Group isn’t planning to go down alone.

    Attorneys for the contractor contend others also bear responsibility for the alleged injuries sustained by people who worked at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant during the ash spill cleanup.

    The workers are suing Jacobs for damages in federal court.

    “We’ve got over 30 people that have died, over 30 cancer cases,” said attorney Jim Scott, who represents some of the workers. “The volume of disease and death is sickening.”

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: R.E. Lee, “le chevalier sans peur et sans reproche”

    Gentle reader, recall that this column is written early in the week, so a whole heap of things could have happened betwixt its composition and its circulation, but we think the observations contained herein will still be valid, if dated.

    * * *

    The Continuing controversy over generals from the south, especially the recent imbroglio in Charlottesville, Virginia, has produced the usual harvest of witless commentary: One that irritated the old curmudgeon was from a commentator on NPR who described General Robert E. Lee as a “leader of the Confederacy”.

  • Coming soon to a lake near you ...

    One of the world’s biggest fish will be prowling the waters near Rockwood’s Tom Fuller Park next month.

    Those already daunted by the thought of what is lurking below the rippling water may want to avoid “Jaws on the Water,” the spine tingling viewing of Jaws at Tom Fuller Park at 1369 Pumphouse Road at 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3.

    “Mitchell Creek Marina at Dale Hollow Lake has put it on the past couple of years and my girlfriend and I have gone,” said Chase Clem, Rockwood parks and recreation director.


    Drug abuse continues to have deadly consequences in Roane County.

    According to numbers provided by Roane County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Boduch last week, 19 people have died from drug overdoses in 2017.

    “Seven are still pending,” Boduch said. “The others have been confirmed.”

    When Boduch investigates a suspected overdose death, he sends blood samples to the TBI lab for confirmation. The cases are considered pending until he gets confirmation from the lab.

  • No one in car struck by train

    Rockwood police said a Norfolk Southern train struck a 1997 Jeep Cherokee Sunday morning. The report said there were no occupants in the Cherokee when it was hit. However, police were looking for two suspects in connection with the incident.

    “I (Officer Kendall Mitchell) spoke with the conductor of the train that struck the vehicle,” the report said. “He said while the train was traveling north on the tracks, he and the engineer saw the vehicle sitting beside the tracks with no one in or around it before the train struck the vehicle.”

  • Rockwood opening ballpark for eclipse viewing

    Rockwood Parks and Recreation is welcoming folks to take advantage of the open space at Mike “Brillo” Miller Sports Complex to enjoy the total eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21.

    Rockwood Park and Recreation Director Chase Clem said the complex will be open and concessions will be available.

    “It will be cool to see something you’ll never see again probably,” Clem said.

    “To be able to host something like that is pretty awesome.”

  • Smith appointed new Rockwood city judge

    Rockwood approved James S. Smith as the new city judge to replace Mark Foster.

    There was only one issue of conflict with the vote, a lawsuit Smith has against Rockwood Electric Utility for damage to his building during construction of the utility’s new headquarters.

    “As a city council representative on the Rockwood Electric Utility Board I personally feel I should abstain on voting,” said Councilman Harold Holloway.

    He did abstain, while Councilman Jason Jolly, an REU employee, voted yes with Councilman Shane Trew and Mike Fuller.

  • Kingston to buy fire truck

    Kingston City Council last week unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the issuance of interest-bearing fire department capital outlay notes not to exceed $498,200 for the purchase of a new fire truck.

    The new 2017 Ferrara Cinder custom engine/pumper should be delivered in December.

    The new fire engine comes equipped to meet National Fire Protection Agency standards which will enhance firefighters capabilities during an emergency incident. The custom cab will transport five firefighters to and from emergency incidents, Kingston Fire Lt. Bradley Goss said.

  • Bilbrey completing goal of hiking Appalachian Trail

    John Bilbrey will accomplish a goal 40 years in the making when he reaches the top of Mount Katahdin in Maine this month.

    It is the last stretch of the Appalachian Trail for him to finish, having broken the 2,181 miles of trail into sections over the years.

    “I’m very proud of him. I think it is amazing he’s that passionate about it and stuck with it,” said wife Anita Bilbrey.

  • Cruisin’ wraps it up for 2017