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Local News

  • Lights out on Ruritan Road, at least for now

    A stretch of Ruritan Road won’t be as bright in the near future.

    Harriman City Council members agreed to cover selected lights to test the impact. Whether the change is permanent depends on how the diminished lighting is viewed.

    “I talked to one of them in the neighborhood out there, and they think it would be a good idea,” said Councilman J.D. Sampson.

    Sampson recently marked lights he thought were unneeded, saving utility costs for the city. However, officials agreed to cover the lights first.

  • Kingston greenway project honored

    As Kingston’s Ladd Landing Greenway enters the next phase of its development — including exercise stations and bird-watching kiosks — it is already being recognized for excellence.

    Kingston City Council members learned at May council sessions that the greenway has been selected as a recipient of the John S. Wilder Rebuild Tennessee Award from the Tennessee Development District Association.

  • Fleischmann responds to criticism from opponent

    Congressman Chuck Fleischmann and his staff had been sidestepping questions about opponent Weston Wamp’s attacks.

    Fleischmann, who represents the state’s 3rd Congressional District, recently responded directly to some of Wamp’s criticism.  

    “I’m sad to hear that my opponent is trying to say negative things, but I’m going to continue to work hard to be the most effective, accessible congressman in America, and I think I’m getting that done,” Fleischmann said.      

  • FARMERvs.WOODY

    Mike Farmer showed some contrition at Thursday’s Roane County Tea Party meeting.

    “I did not work as well with the commission,” the former county executive admitted. “I did not keep everybody informed.”

    Communicating was the only thing Farmer indicated he would do differently in a second term.

    He doubled down on the interest heavy debt service plans for Plateau Partnership Park and the new jail.

  • Schools may want 8-cent tax hike

    The Roane County Board of Education will be asking for another property tax rate increase this year, according to early indications.

    “Last year, we asked for 14-cent tax increase,” school system business manager Eric Harbin said. “What we want to do this next year is ask for 8 cents.”

    The county’s current property tax rate is $2.18 per $100 valuation. Harbin said an 8-cent increase would generate about $904,000 for the school system.

    The school board didn’t get the 14-cent increase it asked for last year.

  • Racism lawsuit tossed

    Corey Hedrick, a Knoxville man who claimed he was subjected to racial and sexual harassment while working at the Kingston Fossil Plant, lost his legal fight against TVA.

    Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan dismissed Hedrick’s federal lawsuit last month. TVA filed a motion in January requesting the dismissal.

    “It’s sad that it got dismissed,” Hedrick said last week. “It was one of those loopholes they got me in.”

  • Plant closure ‘a bad rumor’

    Horsehead Corp. had been temporarily idling operations at its Rockwood facility earlier this month — but the move was by no means permanent, one company official said.

    “That’s a bad rumor,” said Ali Alavi late last week. “We are in the process of getting it started back up.”

    He added, “During the course of the winter with the bad weather, that impacted steel company operations to the point they were not generating the material we process at the plant.”

  • No bid? Not a problem

    Rockwood City Council easily passed an ordinance on first reading to change its purchasing policy.

    The policy change raises the $5,000 spending cap on goods and services.

    If it is passes on second and final reading, goods and services costing $9,999 or less will not require a bid process.

    “I think it just gives us a better business plan,” said Councilman Pete Wright.

    Officials said the cost of soliciting bids was reason for getting away from it.

  • Ratchet’s lease OK’d at Rockwood Golf Course

    A new lease means Ratchet’s Bar and Grill operator Sharon Rector Miller now pays an additional $100 a month.

    Originally Miller paid $800 a month for her use of the facility at the Rockwood Golf Course.

    Some city officials view Ratchet’s as an asset and the lease as a necessity.

    “Our golf course would be in trouble if they weren’t out there,” said Councilman Jason Jolly.

    Councilman Pete Wright, who said he used to be heavily involved with the golf course, agreed.

  • Attempted murder suspect nabbed in Roane

    An Anderson County attempted murder suspect was arrested in Roane County on May 11.

    According to a Roane County Sheriff’s Office report, Deputy Tyrel Lorenz made contact with 19-year-old Dakota Rogers on Highland Drive.

    “He appeared to be very nervous and was breathing very hard,” the report said.

    A warrants check revealed that Rogers was wanted out of Anderson County for attempted second-degree murder and aggravated assault.

    Rogers had a Knoxville address.