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Local News

  • RCHS debuts grand band room

    With a steadily growing band and a dedicated leader, Roane County High School proudly unveiled its new band room at a concert Tuesday.

    “I’m blessed to have this facility,” said band director Zack Williamson.

    The $804,000, 5,000-square-feet facility was filled with those wishing to have a sneak peek at the building funded by part of the TVA funds given to the Roane County school system as reparation for the Kingston Fossil Plant ash spill in December 2008.

  • Couple sues ash cleanup company after miscarriage

    Another federal lawsuit has been filed against Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. over its handling of the TVA ash spill cleanup.

    This one, filed on behalf of Spring City residents Joe and Taylor Cunningham last month, accuses the company of causing a miscarriage.

    A dike failure at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant in December 2008 released more than 5 million cubic yards of fly ash.

    The disaster sparked a billion-dollar cleanup.

    Jacobs had a contract with TVA to provide safety for cleanup workers, the lawsuit said.

  • Bears learn too at Kingston Elementary

    Keaton Swicegood, left, and Ellie Layne talk into whisperphones as they read library books to their bears on Bring Your Bear to School day at Jennifer Raymer and Elisabeth Igou’s Kingston Elementary kindergarden classroom. 

    This week the students are learning about the letter “B” and are incorporating the bears in all subjects.
    For example Raymer explains how the students will use the bears during Math to help with counting.

  • More time for Leon Houston?

    The government isn’t happy that Leon Houston’s sentencing range is 10 to 16 months.

    So much so that Assistant United States Attorney David Jennings is planning to present evidence to argue why Houston deserves more time.

    “The calculated guidelines range of 10-16 months does not adequately reflect the criminal history of the defendant, nor his danger to the community,” Jennings said in a court filing last week. “Therefore, the United States will be seeking an upward departure from the guidelines range.”

  • REU breaks usage record

    TVA wasn’t the only one breaking records during the frigid cold snap last month.

    Rockwood Electric Utility also set a record at 7 a.m. on Jan. 7.

    “We had an al-time system peak,” said system engineer Bill Musrock. “We were right at 89 megawatts.”

    The previous record was 86 megawatts in 2009.

    “We have several programs we use to help keep our peaks down. Peak shaving is very valuable to us,” Musrock said.

  • Fleischmann, Wamp good with UAW loss

    Congressman Chuck Fleischmann applauded the outcome of the secret ballot election at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.

    So did his opponent, Weston Wamp.

    Employees there voted against being represented by the United Auto Workers.

    “I am very happy with the results of this vote,” Fleischmann said in a prepared statement. “Volkswagen has been a wonderful part of Chattanooga, and I look forward to their continued growth.

  • $500 reward offered after field damaged

    Tennessee Eagles Radio Control Club is trying to find out who has been riding a four-wheeler on its flying field, damaging the earth during the wet winter weather in recent weeks.

    There’s even a reward involved.

    Safety officer Bob Freels said club members are willing to pay $500 to someone providing information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

    “It has taken us seven years to get the grass to grow there. We try to take care of it,” said Freels.

  • TVA wants discrimation suit dismissed

    TVA has formally asked for dismissal of a federal lawsuit filed by a Knoxville man last July.

    Corey Hedrick claims he was subjected to racial bullying and sexual harassment while working as a laborer for G.UB.MK Constructors at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant in 2011. G.UB.MK had a contract with TVA, the suit said.

    He claims G.UB.MK and TVA retaliated against him when he tried to protect himself from alleged bullying and harassment.

  • A better bird

    A stressed cockatoo that was rescued from a house permeating with toxic methamphetamine fumes is finally growing back its feathers.

    “We have been taking it to the vet,” said Charles McPherson of One Stop Pet Shop in Rockwood.

    He took in the bird after it was confiscated from a meth house in Morgan County last year and given to the Roane County Animal Shelter.

    McPherson said the bird was put on antibiotics, but blood tests showed its kidneys might be abnormal.

  • Roane Central rates up by 20%

    Roane Central Utility District customers might experience a bit of sticker shock when they receive their next water bill.

    The utility’s board approved a 20-percent water rate increase Thursday to make up for a decrease in water sales to TVA, Roane Central’s biggest customer.

    Utility Manager Bob Creswell said the federal agency has made improvements to its Kingston Fossil Plant.

    “The result of that has reduced their use of water that they buy from us by about three-fourths,” Creswell said.