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Local News

  • BOOKED UP: Eclipse watchers flock to Roane for once-in-a-lifetime experience

    NASA shows Roane County is among the great spots to watch a total eclipse and people are traveling from all over to find the perfect vantage point.

    Local hotels are booked solid from Sunday, Aug. 20, to Monday, Aug. 21, the day the moon briefly completely blocks the view of the sun.

    “All of our rooms are full for Sunday and Monday here,” said Gabe Collier, general manager of Whitestone Inn.

    “It is a nice surprise. August is typically an in-between month for us,” said Collier.

  • Radiation detected in old TVA pipes

    A report about some radioactive pipes is what prompted District Attorney General Russell Johnson’s trip to the Kingston Fossil Plant last Wednesday.

    The pipes are the property of TVA, which operates the fossil plant.  

    “This is very old piping once used to move bottom ash,” TVA spokesman Scott Brooks said. “It was demolished as part of the conversion to dry handling. It was cleaned and waiting to be scrapped. TVA processors, as part of their function, checked the pipes for radioactivity.”

  • Jim Smith up for Rockwood city judge post

    Rockwood Mayor Mike “Brillo” Miller will be recommending hometown attorney Jim Smith as the new city judge.

    “I think he’ll do a great job,” said Miller.

    Rockwood City Council will meet in special called session 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14, to consider Smith, who will replace outgoing judge Mark Foster. It’s the only item on the agenda.

    Smith, a Rockwood native, has had a downtown law office for many years.

    He was the 1966 valedictorian of Rockwood High School.

  • Put on your ‘Q’ to help homeless

    Taste the best barbecue chicken and ribs Roane County has to offer and support a good cause on Saturday, Aug. 19.

    Family Promise of Roane County is holding its second annual bluegrass and barbecue cook-off at shed 2 at Roane County Park. Tasters Alley opens from 3 to 5 p.m. giving visitors a chance to try their favorites.  Meals are $10 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and younger.

    Six judges will decide the best of the best in barbecue chicken and ribs, and customers can vote for the people’s choice for the best homemade sauce.

  • 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.