Local News

  • Roane County Schools closed for solar eclipse

     Roane County Schools has decided to close on Aug. 21 because of the solar eclipse.

    “This is a once in a lifetime event and we want to support those families who want to participate in the viewing together,” Roane County Director of Schools Leah Rice Watkins said Sunday. “Further, there are amazing educational events scheduled throughout the region for our students to enjoy.”

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: On apple dumplings and John Muir observance

    Gentle reader, you would think that having long since passed the octogenarian milestone, the old curmudgeon would discover few new experiences, and by and large this is so, but last week he discovered an entirely new gastronomic experience thanks to the culinary skills of Judy West.

    As a result of our annual paean to the apple stack cake, Miss Judy knew of our appetite for old-fashioned desserts, so one day she asked if I had eaten apple dumplings.

  • No further suspects in homicide

    By Damon Lawrence and Cindy Simpson

    Sam Northern, a man described as a prime suspect in a homicide investigation, was found dead inside his Harriman Housing Authority apartment Tuesday afternoon.

    Harriman police said Wednesday that no wrongdoing is suspected in Northern’s death.

    “There are no signs of foul play,” Chief Derek Pacifico said. “No signs of trauma or anything to indicate that this is a homicide.”

    Northern was 55 years old.

  • ARISEN from the ASHES?

    Some officials contend the work that’s been done to try to help Roane County overcome the stigma of the ash spill has been setback by recent coverage of a lawsuit filed by people who worked during the cleanup.

    “I think we were headed in the right direction as far as any type of stigma that we were dealing with,” said Wade Creswell, president/CEO of The Roane Alliance. “This has refreshed the issue in people’s minds.”

  • Kingston water interconnect pays off for hospital

    A water interconnect installed to assure Kingston’s water supply came in handy during a recent water problem at Roane Medical Center.

    An accidental breach of a water line between Harriman and Midtown a few weeks ago resulted in a loss of water to the medical center.

    “The hospital doesn’t have water storage,” said Kingston City Manager David Bolling.

    Roane Central Utility District general manager Bob Creswell said his engineers went to work right away to get the water back to the hospital in less than an hour.

  • FEMA program may help Harriman recoup storm cleanup costs

    Harriman hopes a Federal Emergency Management Agency pilot program will mean more aid to recover from the cleanup of the storms that ripped through the area in May.

    City Manager Kevin Helms recently said they had moved 419 dump truck loads of debris.

    FEMA would typically reimburse a city 75 percent of the approved cost to remove debris, including contractor costs, city equipment use, dump sites and disposal costs and overtime to personnel. The state would then contribute 12.5 percent, leaving the city with 12.5 percent of the approved cost.


    A revised dress code will be in place when students start the 2017-18 school year today – Wednesday.

    “I think people won’t even notice,” Roane County Board of Education Member Larry Brackett said about the changes.

    The board passed the revision in June. The old policy included a paragraph that said principals could take action against a student, volunteer or employee when “in the opinion of” school administration there was a violation of the dress code.

    The “in the opinion of” is no longer in the policy.

  • Police hurt on the job

    Two lawmen with separate municipal police departments have been injured in recent days while working roadway incidents.

    Both men are sergeants with their respective departments.

    Oliver Springs Police Sgt. Charlie Graham was struck while working a wreck on Thursday. Three days later, Kingston Sgt. Jerry Singleton had his left knee fractured when a vehicle fled the scene.

  • Sewer settlement a plus for Rockwood

    Rockwood Water, Sewer and Natural Gas officials have been waiting to see the remainder of a Front Avenue sewer line project completed after a disagreement between the contractor and engineers arose.

    The project stalled after the elevation of the newly installed sewer did not align with the elevation of the existing sewer to which the new line was to connect, and the parties responsible for the project couldn’t agree who should pay for the mistake.