Local News


    Authorities were on the lookout for a lion last month after a woman reported seeing one in her yard on Lakeshore Vista Drive.

    The home is near Tiger Haven, a big-cat sanctuary that houses tigers, lions, leopards and cougars.

    The search appeared to be on the wrong track, however, county officials said.

    “It definitely was not a cat and it was not a cat from their (Tiger Haven) place,” Roane County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tim Phillips said.

  • State details tax assessor’s multiple issues

    The county now has in hand a letter from a state official expressing “serious concerns” about Roane County Property Assessor David Morgan’s ability to complete an acceptable reappraisal on time.

    Don Osborne, the director of assessments and field operations for the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s Division of Property Assessments had already notified the State Board of Equalization about Roane County’s current state of noncompliance on the 2015 reappraisal.

  • Park’s disc golf pulling in people

    The Wilsons, party of nine, traveled all the way from Crossville just to partake in disc golf offered at Roane County Park.

    “Our park doesn’t have one and there is nothing else to do,” Rachel Wilson, mother of eight, said.

    The family first got introduced to the game a couple months ago as her oldest son played it away at college.

    “We liked it a lot so went out and bought more Frisbees today,” Rachel said.

  • Special meeting on TVA fund spending

    Kingston City Council set a paving plan in motion, and set a course to dispense with image rehabilitation funds from Tennessee Valley Authority at last month’s session.

    Coincidentally, both actions involved roughly similar sums of money. In the first action, council voted to award the repaving of Kentucky Street to Rogers Group out of Oak Ridge.

  • Branching out
  • Cameras help catch vandals

    Kingston police have charged two juveniles for vandalism incidents that occurred inside the city last month.

    Damage was done to the women’s bathroom at city park, a trash container at Byrd Field and the NAACP building on Greenwood Street.

    The first incident occurred on Dec. 6.

  • Rehab help for county inmates

    Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton is hopeful a partnership with WestCare Foundation can keep his jail population down and help inmates get on the right track.

    WestCare provides assistance to people with substance abuse and mental health issues. The organization is supposed to be opening a facility in Harriman in 2015.

    “Hopefully, WestCare will be a part of our in-house jail treatment program,” Stockton said.

  • Lung screens open to many more

    Starting Jan. 1, individuals at high risk for developing lung cancer may be eligible for screening at no out-of-pocket cost.

    In Tennessee, this includes many with private insurance, individuals who are enrolled in their state health insurance marketplaces and people enrolled in state Medicaid expansion who will be eligible for early detection screening without cost to them.

  • REU to stay in downtown Rockwood

    Rockwood Electric Utility is looking to do what the community wants — and that is remain downtown.

    In November, the utility purchased three downtown buildings adjacent to its current location.

    REU general manager Kendall Bear said the buildings are what locals refer to as the old Booth Funeral Home; the Bilbrey building, which is also known as the Peterman Building; and the radio station building. They are at 309, 319 and 329 W. Rockwood St.

    The Peterman building is a three-story building and the other buildings flank it.

  • GUEST OPINION: Faith, not politics, keeps the Christ in Christmas


    First Amendment Center

    If you ask me, America’s perennial turf battles over “Christ in Christmas” are about politics and power — and have little or nothing to do with authentic faith.

    Consider the Texas lawmakers who held a news conference earlier this month to remind people of their right to say “Merry Christmas” in public schools – thanks to the landmark “Merry Christmas law” they passed last year with great fanfare.