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Local News

  • TVA completes retaining wall at Kingston

    The Tennessee Valley Authority has achieved a significant milestone in its cleanup of the ash spill at the Kingston Fossil Plant – the completion of an earthquake-resistant, underground retaining wall around the containment cell at the recovery site.

    The wall, which completely surrounds the 240-acre containment cell where recovered ash will be permanently stored, was completed on Feb. 20, almost a month ahead of schedule.

  • Prosecutor may run for public defender

    Kingston attorney Terry L. Stevens II picked up a petition on Monday to run for public defender for the 9th Judicial District.

    That creates a potential conflict of interest, because Stevens currently works as a prosecutor for the 9th Judicial District Attorney General’s Office.

    “At my direction, Assistant District Attorney Terry Stevens has contacted the U.S. General Counsel for the federal Hatch Act to request a formal opinion on the issue since his DUI prosecutor position is federally funded,” District Attorney General Russell Johnson said.

  • Rocky trial still on

    Rocky Houston’s federal trial remains on schedule for March 17, despite a late effort by his court-appointed attorney to get off the case.

    Michael McGovern filed a motion to withdraw just hours before Monday’s 1 p.m. status conference.

    The timing didn’t sit well with U.S. Magistrate C. Clifford Shirley Jr. He admonished both McGovern and Houston, who also filed a last minute motion to get rid of McGovern.

    “I take it you’re not going to argue against his request to withdraw,” Shirley asked Houston.

  • Lack of talk led to cellphone snafu, Farmer says

    Mike Farmer blamed a communication snafu for the high taxpayer funded cell phone bills incurred during his time as county executive. One of the bills was $660.25. Another one was $512.56. Several others ranged from $425 to $450.

    “It appears that there was a miscommunication between purchasing and the provider on the text messaging package when the line was established,” Farmer said.

  • Legislation would stymie Harriman annexation efforts

    Harriman officials aren’t too pleased about proposed state legislation that would require annexation of a territory by a municipality be subject to approval by the majority of the residents in the proposed territory.

    “We desperately need to annex in Midtown,” said Harriman Councilman J.D. Sampson.

    Harriman has invested heavily in the Midtown area. Investments include contributions to the Pinnacle Pointe Shopping Center anchored by Kroger and Lowe’s and the city’s part in the expansion of the Interstate 40 interchange.

  • Putting on the dog

    Roane County Sheriff K-9 Deputy John Mayes and his four-legged partner, Max, paid a visit to some Bowers Elementary third-grade students.

    “I think we have a serious drug problem, and I want our children to be safe,” Lillian Stevens, third grade teacher, said.

    Stevens said having police officers come out and make themselves known takes a lot of the fear of them from the students.

  • Lon Mee work is wrapping up

    The movement of utilities on Lon Mee bridge on Harriman’s Pansy Hill Road is near completion.

    Harriman Utility Board manager Bill Young said they are running tests on the water line currently before putting it online.

    “The paving will come as the weather clears up hopefully pretty soon,” he said.

    The road has had temporary lane closures and workers directing traffic while the move was completed over many months. Several cuts in the road have been made to move the lines on both Pansy Hill and on Emory Drive as well.

  • Help sought for cemetery

    Bullard Cemetery sits almost forgotten off Old Roane Street in Harriman, but help is on the way.

    Ralph Magill hopes more people may come forward who know someone buried at the cemetery next to the former Harriman Baptist Tabernacle building.

    “I received five letters on it so far,” said Magill.

    He hopes to get a crew from the Morgan County Correctional Facility for cleanup help. In addition to clearing out the wooded area, more hard work is needed.

  • Honoring Roane veterans: Compiled stories, photos to be published in upcoming book

    After a night of fun celebrating a comrade’s 20th birthday, Gerald W. Lay and the rest of the crew of a B-17G were awakened Saturday, Nov. 25, 1944, with news they had to fly a bombing raid to a German oil refinery.

    It was only his second mission. The crew had been in England only a month, and it was one that ended with Lay averting the enemy for days before becoming a prisoner of war at Camp Stalag 1 at Barth, Pomerania.

  • Harriman takes aim at slumlords

    Harriman may try a new tactic in addressing what officials refer to as slum lords renting out property in disrepair.

    Harriman Treasurer Charles Kerley suggested a policy in which the city would be able to go into the rental property and clear it for habitation before a landlord can rent a piece of property.

    “You can’t go in and charge a fee to re-rent,” Kerley said. “You have to have an inspection fee.”

    Kerley said he thinks it might go a long way toward stopping landlords from renting substandard property.