Local News

  • More popular Ladd Park needs, drumroll ... even more parking

    With Ladd Park shaping up as first-rate outdoor recreational facility, Kingston officials have found themselves in a strange predicament: possessed with an ample waterfront but with an inadequate supply of dry land.

    To be more specific, they lacked the kind of dry land with parking spaces on it. And having the nicest park facility in the world is useless if it can’t accommodate those who would come to visit it.

  • Rockwood budget is fill-in-the-blank

    A blank slate. Rockwood officials essentially are getting one this month.

    Rockwood City Recorder Becky Ruppe created a document of budget expenditures and revenues for council members to fill in the blanks for what they would like to see the city spend in each line item.

    Members of the finance committee got theirs at the recent comittee meeting. The forms include budget figures for previous years and information about the actual budget expenses in recent years.

  • Lifestar liftoff in Kingston
  • Ordinance would allow non-Rockwoodians to own liquor stores in city

    Owners and operators of Rockwood liquor stores are required to live in the city at least three years before applying for a liquor store privilege license.

    Rockwood City Council will consider changing that requirement with the first reading of an ordinance at its meeting today, Feb. 25.

    “I asked the city attorney to get a legal opinion of the Rockwood ordinance as it was written,” said Mayor James Watts. “The legal opinion is you cannot put a residency restriction on a liquor ordinance.”

  • ‘She’s a heckuva cook:' Rockwood police clerk does a sweet turn for N.J. officers

    Thomas Boyd, the police chief in Seaside Heights, N.J., has never met Kathy Griffin in person, but he knows something about her.   

    “She’s a heckuva cook,” he said.

    Seaside Heights was one of the towns devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Griffin, a Rockwood Police Department records clerk, said she saw Boyd and some of his officers on TV during a benefit concert held for the victims last year.  

  • State antes up funds for Roane State security

    The Tennessee Building Commission last week approved $306,000 for Roane State Community College to extend security upgrades to its campuses, including the main campus in Roane County.

    “In this day and age, unfortunately, there are increasing numbers of incidents and threats to educational institutions,” Roane State President Chris Whaley said.

    “We want to take every step we possibly can to increase security for Roane State students, faculty and staff and for community members,” he added.

  • Keeping kids safe: Price tag high to protect priceless resource

    Beefing up security at schools in Roane County won’t be cheap.

    A committee tasked with making a recommendation on how to make schools safer estimates the cost at $1.8 million. The figure includes the price of hiring 12 school resource officers and upgrading camera systems at some schools.

    “I’m committed to trying to make our schools more secure,” Commissioner Randy Ellis said during the committee’s meeting last week.

  • No true bill on Kirkham

    The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office looked into some issues that involved former Roane County property assessor Teresa Kirkham and current Property Assessor David Morgan.

    Neither resulted in criminal charges. An addendum posted on the District Attorney General’s website said the Roane County grand jury chose to take no action on the matters when it met last week.

    Kirkham’s involved the reduced appraisal on the Regions Bank building in downtown Harriman.

  • Rockwood to open bids for new fire truck

    Rockwood Fire Department may be adding a new fire pumper to its aging fleet.

    Rockwood City Council will open bids for a new vehicle at 5:30 p.m. today, Feb. 25, before the regularly scheduled meeting.

    The last fire department vehicle was purchased in 2000.

    “We are getting to the point our reserve fleet — they are all over 30 years old,” said assistant fire chief Matt Crabtree at a meeting last month.

    Crabtree said they spent several thousand dollars in maintenance on just one vehicle in 2012.

  • Rockwood may change rules for administrator

    The minimum qualifications for a city administrator in Rockwood includes a college degree and training in municipal management, public administration, business administration, planning or comparable experience.

    A candidate is also required to move to the city within 90 days.

    Mayor James Watts is proposing changes to both those categories. Rockwood Finance Committee put off the ordinance until next month.