Local News

  • Ren Fair clears city hurdles

    The last government obstacle to a Renaissance Festival in Harriman was handled when the city passed final reading of an ordinance to rezone the property.

    “C2 (commercial) would be a better fit for the Renaissance Festival,” said Mayor Chris Mason.

    Nobody opposed the rezoning from open space during a public hearing Tuesday.

    Barrie and Lars Paulson originally wanted to open this summer, but after the late start, decided to move their opening to the fall.

  • Consignment sale also helps food pantry

    Tulle and twinkling sequins covered the walls at the Kingston Community Center last weekend as a charity prom dress sale went on.

    The “Say Yes to the Dress” consignment sale was put on by Roane County High School senior Amber Luttrell.

    Girls from all over the county donated dresses to be sold during the community event.

    These girls are doing more than just getting a little money back; they are also helping Roane County.

  • Watts Bar nuclear work on schedule

    Work on Watts Bar Nuclear Plant’s Unit 2 reactor remains on schedule and on budget, according to TVA.

    The project team has shifted its focus from large-scale construction to completion and testing of individual plant systems.

    TVA this week released its sixth quarterly update on the progress of the Watts Bar 2 project, covering the August-October 2013 period.

  • Hatcher finds second family while serving up country fixin’s

    Ethel Hatcher started working at Cracker Barrel to help her daughter through school.

    She has stayed on more than three decades after she found a second family among the many employees she’s met along the way.

    Hatcher is 80 years old and has been working as a hostess at the country-cooking mainstay in Harriman since 1982.

    The mother of two sons — and then two daughters 14 years later — Hatcher currently works one or two days a week.

  • Hearing postponed for Grill & Pub hopeful

    Roma Christopher didn’t appear before the Roane County Beer Board on Tuesday as scheduled.

    County Attorney Tom McFarland said Christopher’s lawyer contacted him and asked that her beer permit hearing be postponed.

    “We agreed to put it off until the next meeting,” McFarland said. “I want to make sure that everyone understands that when the time comes, there’s no question that they were able to put on their case the way they put it on.”

  • $3k raise approved for Brown

    Deputy Road Superintendent Tony Brown is in line to get a raise in the middle of the county’s fiscal year.

    He currently makes $53,040.

    By a 14-1 vote on Monday, the Roane County Commission approved a highway department request to increase his salary $3,000.

    George Nelson was the only commissioner to vote against the resolution.

    Commissioner Benny East made a motion to postpone the resolution for 30 days, but it failed by a 9-6 vote.

  • Postive option for kids opens

    The gymnasium at Harriman Middle School filled up quickly with young people on the first day of the Boys & Girls Club opening.

    Cheerful voices echoed off the walls on Monday.

    “I just thought it was a good place to excel and do better,” said Adrianna Hicks.

    “I thought it would be a good place. I love sports, so I thought it would be a pretty fun place (to play games),” said Hailey Ladd.

    Hicks said children today often get into trouble after school because they have “something to prove.”

  • School officials oppose vouchers

    The Roane County Board of Education plans to take a symbolic stand against school vouchers.

    A resolution opposing such a program in Tennessee is on the board’s agenda Thursday.

    “I think vouchers would devastate the public schools,” Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes said. “They take public school money and shift it to private schools.”

    The Tennessee School Boards Association’s 2014 legislative agenda includes a bullet point about opposing school vouchers.

  • Harriman VA clinic? Not really

    A building can be located within Rockwood city limits, yet have a Harriman postal address.

    That’s the case with Roane County’s new Department of Veterans Affairs clinic at 2305 N. Gateway Ave., Harriman.

    “It’s in the city of Rockwood, although it has a Harriman address,” Harriman Mayor Chris Mason said.

    The location is the old Kroger shopping center, which is now called the Shoppes of Walden Ridge.

  • Slag on roads sparks concern

    Roane County’s Road Department used slag from a site the state once determined to be contaminated on several roadways.

    The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation was contacted after some of the material had been removed.

    It still lies in repaired areas of Thief Neck Drive near Rockwood.

    “The slag was removed before TDEC was made aware of the situation,” said TDEC spokeswoman Shannon H. Ashford. She said the state has since received a request for a beneficial reuse permit of this material.