Local News

  • STEAMPUNK: Imagination, say hello to the Victorian era

    Steampunk is an increasingly popular science-fiction style that features steam-powered gadgetry, Victorian-era garb and more.

    “It is one of the largest growing genres,” said RJ Foster.

    It’s a niche that RJ Foster and wife, Roseanna Cooper-Foster, decided to explore after attending MegaCon, a science fiction event that features a little bit of everything from comic books, anime and popular science fiction movies and television programs.

  • 2-week term breaks may be in students’ future


    Nine-two could become more than just numbers for Roane County students.

    School officials plan to explore a calendar where students would go to school for nine weeks and then get a two-week break.

    “It increases the time off during the year by two weeks, so that means you have to start a little earlier and maybe end a little later,” Director of Schools Gary Aytes said.

    “It has good points,” he added. “Probably the big drawback is you’re starting earlier in the year.”

  • Mission Lazarus Roane dentist committed to helping build Honduras clinic

    Each year doctors, dentists and other medical personnel donate time, equipment and more to help the less fortunate.

    Mission Lazarus is one such program, which helps individuals in Honduras and Haiti, and Raymond Holmes is one of the many Tennessee dentists who has donated time on trips and is helping to get a dental clinic formed in Honduras so they can do more than pull and clean teeth.

  • Making repairs after the thaw


    Shawn Clark with the Kingston Water Department works on sawing out asphalt to repair a water main break along Hwy. 70 due to below-freezing temperatures that swept over East Tennessee the week of Jan. 6. This was the fourth repair Kingston had. Oak Ridge Utility District helped locate the break.

  • Rockwood area may boast biggest race

    Roane County Commission’s 1st District race could turn out to be one of the biggest, if the number of qualifying petitions picked up is any indication.

    As of 4 p.m. Friday, incumbents Ron Berry and Benny East could face five contenders for three seats to represent the district that includes Rockwood and surrounding areas.

    Both Berry and East picked up their qualifying petitions last week from the Roane County Election Commission. The third incumbent, Copper Bacon, said last week he does not intend to seek re-election.

  • Yager: No bill deal struck with Caldwell in exchange for condo


    State Sen. Ken Yager said his condo deal with Kingston developer Matt Caldwell had nothing to do with a bill he got passed that could benefit Caldwell financially.  

    “I keep my private business totally separate from my legislative work,” Yager said.

    Yager was the sponsor of Senate Bill 1346 that allows property owners to get a break on their delinquent tax penalties because of the TVA ash spill. 

  • Shillings tapped for alderman


    Don Shillings was selected on Thursday to fill the remainder of James Brummett’s seat on the Oliver Springs Board of Aldermen.

    He was one of two applicants.

    “Council made the motion to put Don in,” said Oliver Springs Mayor Chris Hepler.

    “I think he’ll do fine. He’s served two terms before. It is good to have a full council,” Hepler said.


    Federal agents raided a Department of Energy subcontractor’s Oliver Springs facility Thursday.

    FBI agent Marshall Stone would only confirm the agents were at the Oliver Springs headquarters of Transportation, Operations and Professional Services on Thursday.

    “We don’t want to jeopardize the ongoing case,” he said.

    Stone said the ongoing investigation is a joint effort between the FBI, DOE and the Internal Revenue Service. 

  • Goddards face bittersweet celebration

    District 2 Roane County Commissioner Jerry Goddard and his wife, Sherron, will celebrate their 49th wedding anniversary next month.

    The keepsakes gathered over those years were lost in a fire at the couple’s Cemetery Lane home last month.

    “Every single thing was lost,” he said. “Forty-nine years of saving stuff gone down the drain.”

  • Rockwood to look in on elderly

    The Rockwood community was devastated by the hypothermia death of resident Ray Knight during a recent cold snap.

    Officials are keen to try out a new way to help prevent such tragedies in the future.

    Rockwood Police Chief Danny Wright and Fire Chief Mike Wertz have come up with a program they call R U Safe, which allows needy elderly to be referred to the city for wellness checks during extreme weather.

    They hope to build a database of all those who might need looking in on.