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Local News

  • 72 days under the sea

    Two Roane State faculty members plan to live under the surface of the ocean for 72 days this fall semester.

    If successful, they will not only set a world record for living underwater, but will also provide a unique educational experience by teaching from their underwater quarters.

  • Pemberton also seeks to be judge

    Another candidate has joined the race for 9th Judicial District circuit court judge.

    Mike Pemberton filed his petition with the Roane County Election Commission on Monday.

    “I’ve practiced law for 30 years, and have tried a lot of lawsuits,” he said. “I’ve always had an interest in being a judge and now is the time.”

    Pemberton, a Rockwood native, joins Roane County Circuit Court Clerk Kim Nelson and Roane County Attorney Tom McFarland as candidates in the race.

  • Rockwood retiree sets sights on falls

    For nearly 33 years, Roy Cook has been the go-to guy to fix a city vehicle or climb around the ceiling of Rockwood City Hall laying wire for a sound system.

    He even made Christmas ornaments at the city hall.

    “They kept sending paychecks every two weeks,” Cook quipped. “And I enjoyed the work.”

    Cook was head mechanic before he recently retired.

    City officials say they’ll miss him.

    “Roy’s loss is going to be a tremendous loss to the city of Rockwood,” Mayor James Watts said.

  • Duke Energy contacts TVA

    Duke Energy reached out to TVA following the ash spill this week at Duke’s Dan River Steam Station in Eden, N.C.

    TVA spokesman Scott Brooks confirmed Duke’s call for help.

    TVA knows first-hand what it’s like to deal with an ash spill. On Dec. 22, 2008, a dike failure at the agency’s Kingston Fossil Plant released more than 5 million cubic yards of ash.

  • Truck versus trees
  • Plucked from the ice

    Neil Crass hadn’t used the boat he purchased last year.

    “I bought it to duck hunt in and had never gotten to take it out,” he said. “About two weeks ago I was thinking, why in the world did I buy this boat?”

    He’s not asking any more.

    Crass, his son, Hunter, and Blair Volunteer firefighter Larry Sather used the boat Saturday to rescue three boys who had fallen into the Emory River.

    The incident began around noon on Saturday in the area of 161 Lakewood Estates Lane.

  • TVA ash spill mediation gets extended again

    Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan has approved another extension in the TVA ash spill mediation. It’s the fourth time Varlan has done so since he ordered the sides into mediation on Nov. 20, 2012.

    The ash spill occurred at the Kingston Fossil Plant on Dec. 22, 2008. The spill released more than 5 million cubic yards of fly ash.

    TVA became a magnet for lawsuits after the disaster, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regards as one of the worst ever.

  • Now North Carolina is dealing with ash spill

    Officials with Duke Energy and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources were responding to a coal ash spill in Eden, N.C. Ash spilled into the Dan River.

    According to Duke Energy, a broken stormwater pipe at the retired Dan River Steam Station in Eden caused the breach.

  • After 50 years on board, McNelley steps down

    A longtime Rockwood planning commissioner and former Rockwood mayor has resigned from the Rockwood Board of Zoning and Planning Commission.

    He was put on the planning commission since shortly after World War II by Col. Clint H. Putman.

    “I worked with him to organize and put together the planning commission,” McNelley said. “It has been more than 50 years.”

    McNelley, 86, he decided to take a step back. He is continuing his role on the 911 board and his involvement in his church activities.

  • Changes for REU board mean former employees can serve

    Former employees can now sit on the Rockwood Electric Utility Board.

    Rockwood City Council unanimously approved first reading of an ordinance to allow retirees or former employees to be on the board that oversees the utility’s operation, including its budget, and potentially issues that impact retirees or former employees themselves.

    City Council members believe it will give the board the benefit of the former employees’ knowledge and expertise.