Local News

  • Campaign chill
  • Looseleaf Laureate: Clubs, news outlets face similar challenges

    I recently had my first speaking engagement in Knoxville.
    As I looked around the lunchroom at the Foundry restaurant, the faces of the Northside Kiwanis members who invited me to talk about journalism and Roane County told me we had much in common.
    Many of the members were well past retirement age.
    Nationwide, Kiwanis and many similar service organizations, such as Rotary and Lions clubs, are struggling to repopulate their ranks as older members drift away or die.

  • Longtime Kingston trainer calling it quits

    Chip Ladd has been a sideline fixture at high school football games in Kingston for more than 20 years.

    Not any more.

    Last week, Ladd worked his last official game as athletic trainer for the Yellow Jackets.

    He is leaving his field duties to spend more time with his growing family, especially his granddaughter, Lydia, who recently celebrated her first birthday.

    “I’m just going to change my role a little bit on Friday nights. My wife has put up with me being gone three-plus months out of the year,” he said.

  • Rendezvous in Paint Rock

    More than 2,000 Boy Scouts swarmed across acres of farmland in Paint Rock last weekend.
    “This is a Great Smoky Mountain Council Rendezvous,” said Paul Sharp, a diector with the Great Smoky Mountain Council of Boy Scouts of America.
    “We haven’t done this event in six years,” he said.
    The event was held across several farms and troops from 21 counties in East Tennessee participated.
    In the chill, pink-faced boys, their breath lingering in the chilled air, roamed from their campsites to activity after activity.

  • Former candidate scraps with deputy

    It took pepper spray, tasering and a sheriff’s deputy’s tackle to subdue a former candidate for Roane County’s top political office after he was stopped for allegedly speeding.
    Miles Ledbetter Jr., who finished third in the 2010 campaign for county executive, was arrested on Sunday on charges of assault and resisting arrest. Ledbetter, 33, was also cited for speeding.

  • The GOP gaining ground?

    Republicans didn’t always have the upper hand in Tennessee.
    “Back in the old days, when I first got involved in politics, you had to beg someone to run as a Republican,” House Speaker Beth Harwell, R- Nashville, said. “Now that’s not the case.”
    Now Tennessee features a Republican majority in the state House and Senate along with a Republican governor.
    As Election Day approaches, the party appears poised to increase its dominance over state politics.

  • Reception for Chris Whaley at Roane State

    The public is invited to meet new Roane State Community College President Chris Whaley during a reception on Thursday, Nov. 1, at the college’s Roane County campus.
    The reception will be from 3:30-5 p.m. in the student lounge, which is located in the Dunbar Building.
    Whaley is Roane State’s fifth president. He succeeds Gary Goff, who retired after seven years as the college’s leader.

  • Roane Schools will improve on scorecard

    The Tennessee Department of Education plans to release the annual report card on schools Thursday.
    Roane County Schools will show progress, according to Director of Schools Gary Aytes, who said he’s already reviewed the report. 
    “We have made improvements,” Aytes said.
    He didn’t go into details at last week’s Board of Education meeting. He said the report card is embargoed until the state releases it.

  • Autism effort involves man on wheels

    Brian Patrick is going long distance to raise awareness of autism and also to raise money for autismspeaks.org.
    The 42-year-old in-line skater made a pit stop Friday in Roane County while on a cross-country crusade from Long Island, N.Y., to Laguna Beach, Calif.
    Patrick, who has two teenagers with varying degrees of autism, began his journey on Sept. 20 at Montauk Point, Long Island, in his native New York City.
    He hopes to reach the West Coast by Christmas.

  • Roane stays out of storm cleanup — for now

    The head of Roane County’s Office of Emergency Services said it’s not yet clear whether it will be needed for assistance in the wake of a superstorm in the northeast.

    “Right now we’re in a coordinating and monitoring phase, kind of waiting until storms pass by to see what they are getting,” said director Howie Rose.

    Rose said local officials are having daily operation briefings.

    Rose said regions have been put on standby, particularly the regions neighboring those most likely to be affected.