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Local News

  • Rockwood water, sewer pay off gas dept. debt two years early

    Rockwood’s water and sewer departments made their final payment on their debt to the gas department late last month.

    Councilman Pete Wright shared the good news with Rockwood City Council late last month — on the same week the final payment toward the approximately $1.165 million debt was made.

    “We are two years early,” said Kim Ramsey, who inherited the issue when she was named manager of Rockwood Water, Sewer and Natural Gas in 2011.

  • Harriman woman to plead to theft of gov’t funds

    Money that Kathy Ann Winters pilfered from the Alcoa City Schools and two professional organization was used to make purchases from department stores, buy gas and pay her mortgage and car notes.

    That’s according to a plea agreement the Harriman woman signed on May 15.

    She plans to plead guilty to one count of theft of government funds.

    A hearing is scheduled in U.S. District Court on Wednesday.

    “The defendant is pleading guilty because the defendant is, in fact, guilty,” the plea agreement said.

  • ‘Hey, lady!’ comment dismays speaker

    Westel resident Ann Pickel Harris got an earful from Roane County Commissioner George Nelson when she spoke ill of TVA at a recent work session.

    “Hey, lady! How do you know there’s arsenic over at the TVA?” Nelson asked.

    “Because the test said that, sir,” she responded. “You should have read it.”

    Nelson disagreed.

    “I live out there,” he said.

  • Boys & Girls Club plans for busy summer

    Boys & Girls Club of Roane County focused on the underserved middle-school age demographic when it opened this winter.

    Harriman Middle School’s old gymnasium soon filled with pre-teens and teens — youth in that awkward age of passage between childhood and adulthood where so many can go off track.

    “I think we have had a good four months. I’m happy, and people seem to be very excited,” said Dean Deathridge, chief professional officer for the Boys & Girls Club of the Clinch Valley, the group that oversees the Roane program.

  • Rockwood changes bid requirements

    Rockwood City Council this month approved an ordinance upping the bid amount that requires a formal bid process from $5,000 to $10,000.

    That now means anything $10,000 or less does not require a formal bidding process.

    The ordinance requires that purchases by department heads can be made for items less than $5,000 providing the funds are a line item in the budget, the purchase or contract is approved by the city administrator, recorder or city finance officer and pre-numbered purchase order is utilized.

  • N.C. ash spill follows Kingston cleanup path

    Like TVA in 2009, Duke Energy has agreed to allow the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to oversee cleanup of the Dan River ash spill in North Carolina.

    Duke and EPA signed the agreement on May 22.

    “Duke’s work will be subject to review and approval by EPA, in consultation with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality, to ensure full compliance with Superfund law,” the EPA said in a press release.   

  • Kingston pool open for business
  • Trash-to-gas plan has skeptics

    Representatives from a company looking to turn garbage into electricity didn’t seem to impress officials from Roane, Cumberland and Morgan counties on Wednesday.

    “How do we make money?” said Jason Perry of Alternative Engineering Solutions LLC. “We make money through tipping fees, and we make money through selling power back to TVA.”

    Alternative Engineering Solutions wants to build a plant at the Plateau Partnership Park, a joint industrial park venture between the three counties.

  • Pemberton asks for challenge dismissal

    Circuit court judge candidate Mike Pemberton has asked for a dismissal of the Roane County Chancery Court complaint that seeks to have him removed from the Aug. 7 ballot.

    Chattanooga attorney Wes Kliner filed the complaint against Pemberton and the Roane County Election Commission on May 16.

    Kliner represents Kingston resident Willis Hall, who contends Pemberton shouldn’t be on the ballot because he doesn’t live in the 9th Judicial District.

  • Whoops! TBI says Kingston good

    Kingston Police Department was erroneously listed as a Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System decertified agency in the state’s 2013 crime report.

    “We’ve actually been in compliance since 2013,” Kingston Police Chief Jim Washam said.

    The crime report is published by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

    “They should not have been listed in our 2013 report, because they were in good standing for data entry when the report was compiled,” TBI spokesman Josh DeVine said.