Local News

  • Talk about colorful


    The historic Cornstalk Heights neighborhood of Harriman features many colorful Victorian homes, but the garage shown above at 311 Cumberland St. outcolors them all. It is painted purple and orange and depicts witches and ghosts in a tug-of-war match. It also has flying witch mannequins above. Over the doors is a sign that says “Farnham’s Hardware, Sherwin-Williams Paints.”

  • Did you know

    ... that one of the more interesting stretches of railroads in the country ends at the edge of Roane County?

    A stretch of the Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway that runs between Somerset, Ky., and Oakdale once had 27 tunnels, earning it the nickname, The Rathole.

    The stretch is maintained by Norfolk-Southern Railroad, and all but four tunnels have been eliminated.

    Even so, the striking landscape includes plenty of deep, canyon-like cuts through the hills and enough high bridges to make the heart of any railroad enthusiast pound.

  • Housing chief put on paid leave

    Harriman Housing Authority Director Sheila Smith is on administrative leave with pay amidst a look into allegations.

    That is where Housing Authority Board Chairman Wayne Best left it when asked to confirm Smith was on leave.

    “Right now, there is no investigation going on,” Best said Friday. “We just have an attorney looking at some allegations.”

    Julia Clark is acting as interim director over the authority, which oversees public housing developments in Harriman.

  • TOYS FOR TOTS: Kingston sisters’ birthday gifts go to hurting kids

    Kingston sisters Anna Beth and Ellie Layne decided to do something different for their combined birthday party last month.

    Instead of gifts for them, they asked the invitees to bring an unwrapped toy to be donated to the Kids First Child Advocacy Center of the Ninth Judicial District.

  • Tax hike plea for education almost certain

    Roane County Board of Education Member Mike “Brillo” Miller implored county commissioners to not take a steadfast stance against a property tax rate increase at this stage in the budget process.

    “Don’t make the statement right now, ‘I’m not going to raise taxes,’” he said.

    “If I was sitting in your chair, would I be giving these men or these kids or anybody in this community a fair look?”

  • Animals attack pigs near campus

    Several pigs were killed last month in what is believed to be two animal attacks at a small farm next to the walking trail at Roane State Community College’s main campus in Roane County.

    “We had a call from Roane State because some of the workers drove by there and saw some of the dead pigs,” said Josh Strickland, animal control officer at the Roane County Animal Shelter.

    Later, E911 dispatch called animal control because Frank Burgess’ horses were out in a nearby church parking lot.

  • Paid ’09 taxes keep Caldwell properties off the auction block

    Kingston developer Matt Caldwell has been catching up on some of his unpaid Roane County property taxes.

    Clerk and Master Shannon Conley said his 2009 delinquent taxes were recently paid, preventing the properties from going to auction.
    Conley said her office also received payments on some of Caldwell’s 2010 and 2011 delinquent taxes.

    Following the controversial 2010 countywide reappraisal, Caldwell filed numerous appeals with the State Board of Equalization contesting values on his properties. Those appeals are still pending.

  • New law forgives penalties on ash spill land

    Roane County’s legislative delegation got a bill to pass the General Assembly during the recently completed session that will provide relief for delinquent property taxpayers because of the TVA ash spill, a disaster that occurred more than four years ago.

    “This is a local bill for Roane County,” state Rep. Kent Calfee told his colleagues in the House. “We had the Tennessee Valley Authority Kingston Steam (Fossil) Plant ash spill few years ago. This is to forgive the penalty and lower the interest rate on unpaid taxes.”

  • Kingston manager gone fishing with retirement rod


  • Rockwood TVA money put in special fund

    Rockwood is making sure there is no appearance of impropriety when it comes to its use of the leftover TVA money from the Roane County Economic Development Foundation.

    The city received its most recent request of $716,805 on April 11.

    “They have been put in a special account,” Mayor James Watts told council recently.

    City officials previously caught some flack when Rockwood Water, Sewer and Natural Gas did not immediately receive its portion of TVA money designated for water and sewer projects.