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Local News

  • Upgrades planned for Gertrude Porter Park

    Kingston’s newest city park is an old one.

    But it will be as good as new, once planned renovations are finished.

    Roane County officials moved to deed Gertrude Porter Park to the city of Kingston at a February meeting.

    The park, off Hwy. 58 near the confluence of the Tennessee and Clinch rivers, currently has a number of athletic and related amenities, including a baseball field and playground.

    But it could use some work.

  • Motorcyclist killed in Hwy. 70 wreck first 2014 fatality

    A Knox County man was killed in a Feb. 21 wreck in Roane County.

    The Tennessee Highway Patrol said Rick W. Berry was riding a Honda VF1 motorcycle on Hwy. 70 near Gallaher Road around 4:40 p.m. when he ran off the right side of the roadway and struck a culvert.

    Berry, 62, was wearing a helmet.

    No other vehicles were involved in the wreck.

    Emergency records painted a desperate scene.

    The E-911 report said Berry was found unconscious with blood coming out of his mouth.

  • Rockwood event draws plenty of seniors

    “B-6….”

    “N-33….”

    “I-26….”

    “I used to be 26,” someone shouts, as laughter follows.

    “O -75….”

    “That’s how old I am now,” is retorted from the other side of the room.

    Rockwood Community Center has started a Senior Lunch and Bingo once a month, and it has exploded.

    In partnership with Mid-East Community Action Agency, they have turned a low-key get-together into a sizeable gathering.

  • Kingston hopes to help fix homes

    Kingston city officials have received U.S. Housing and Urban Development home grants in the past, but this year’s application will require some careful navigation.

    “It’s a little bit tricky this time,” said City Manager David Bolling, who laid out plans to apply to the program this year at February city council sessions. “The parameters have changed. And that’s going to make for more hoops to jump through. In my opinion, it’s also going to limit our ability to help the people who most need help.”

  • Election primary drift allowed

    Despite the cross-voting controversy that occurred in 2012, it looks like Republicans will continue to have an open primary this year.

    The state party didn’t express concerns about it, either.

    “We want Republicans to participate and vote in those primaries, but state law allows anyone to participate and we want to follow state law,” said Tennessee Republican Party Executive Director Brent Leatherwood.

  • Kingston officials seek to promote tweets

    Kingston officials decided in February that the Ladd Greenway project is for the birds.

    Which isn’t to speak ill of it, in this instance. At the February council sessions, council members heard updates on the latest greenway improvements and discussed a plan to make the park a bird-watching destination.

  • Seat-belt effort ramping up

    The Governor’s Highway Safety Office launched a new highway safety campaign aimed at increasing seatbelt usage across the state. The Seatbelts Are For Everyone is designed to increase seatbelt and child passenger safety restraint usage in Tennessee. The Roane County Sheriff Office is just one of the law enforcement agencies participating in the campaign.

    “We want to save lives and by bringing up seat belt usage, we will help do that,” Sheriff’s Lt. Bobby Anderson said.

  • County cashing in on brine

    Roane County Deputy Road Superintendent Tony Brown said his department sells brine for 25 cents a gallon to the cities of Kingston and Harriman.

    It costs his department about 6 cents a gallon to make.

    “The 6 cents is what I’m making it for us,” Brown said.

    When selling it to cities, Brown said he has to take into account overhead.

    “The 25 cents takes care of my tank, the machine, the maintenance and the labor,” he said.

  • Sex case charges reduced

    A deal in an alleged sex crime case allowed a Franklin man to plead guilty to misdemeanor charges in Roane County Criminal Court last week.

    In October 2008, William M. Etheridge was indicted on one count of sexual activity or simulated sexual activity involving a minor.

    While he was indicted in 2008, Etheridge wasn’t arrested until February 2011.

    Prosecutor Bill Reedy said a deal was struck because the alleged victim didn’t want to pursue the case.

  • Bobsledding: It’s not just for Sochi

    While the bobsled competition in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics is now complete, that hasn’t stopped one Ridge View Elementary pre-kindergarten class from taking the highly competitive winter sport into their own hands.

    Kaila Gunter’s 20-student Olympic team is made up of four bobsleds to compete against each other, Kenya, Jamaica, London and the Netherlands.

    The bobsleds, each created out of large refrigerator boxes then covered with paper and colorfully decorated by the students, represent Kenya, Jamaica, London and the Netherlands.