Local News

  • Harriman leader wants more TVA funding for city

    Harriman City Council member J.D. Sampson is still on his crusade to secure part of the $900,000 he said still remains of TVA restitution monies available for the Kingston Fossil Plant ash spill.

    “We lost gas, water and power in Swan Pond,” he said of the December 2008 disaster. “Kingston didn’t lose nothing.”

    He points out that the Swan Pond area is in Harriman’s urban growth boundary, and TVA’s subsequent purchase of properties takes away potential property tax revenue and utility customers from the city.

  • Officials eyeing recruiter for development

    Harriman is the latest Roane County municipality to consider hiring an industrial or retail recruiter to draw business to the area.

    “In my opinion, with Midtown coming on like it is, I think either you all  or us need to have a retail recruiter of our own,” Mayor Chris Mason recently told the Harriman Economic Development Board.

    He praised the work of Darrell Williams, The Roane Alliance’s director of business development, but added, “I think we have enough to keep Darrell busy.”

  • ‘I think God was very good to us’: Kingston United Methodist rebuilding to be done in October

    Change is in the air at Kingston United Methodist Church.

    After fire engulfed the sanctuary April 30, church leaders and members have been coordinating details in the rebuilding process.

    Rebuilding is estimated to be completed in October (“It could be sooner or later – I don’t know,” Pastor John Anderson said), and the church’s insurance coverage has taken care of all the more than $1 million in damage.

    “I think God was very good to us,” pastor John Anderson said.

  • Not the eggman, but maybe the walrus

    Kingston resident Fay Eblen shows off her walrus-shaped cucumber she picked in her garden late last month.

    While it’s not known if the mustached cuke is Paul, as The Beatles sing in “Glass Onion,” it’s pretty obvious that he bears an uncanny resemblance to that other tune, “I Am the Walrus.” 

    Goo goo g’joob.

  • Sheriff's youth camp takes to the water

    Cassi Maggard, Adele Phillips (first photo) and Emily Thompson (second photo)  take a cruise on the Sheriff's boat on Watts Bar Lake at the end of the Sheriff's Youth Camp last month.

  • Woody not alone in Plateau Park doubts

    Roane County Executive Ron Woody is not the only county head who sees a problem with the Plateau Partnership Park agreement.

    Morgan County Executive Don Edwards does as well.

    “Morgan County has no more money to put into this project nevertheless,” he wrote in an email to Woody on July 1. “We must rework this agreement ASAP.”

    The industrial park is a joint venture between Cumberland, Morgan and Roane counties.

  • Boost in pay on for some officials

    Some of Roane County’s highest-paid officials will be better compensated in the new fiscal year.

    General Sessions Court judges Dennis Humphrey and Jeff Wicks, Director of Schools Toni McGriff and County Attorney Tom McFarland are all getting hikes in pay.

    The raises for Humphrey, Wicks and McFarland are state mandated.

    McGriff’s contract with the Board of Education calls for annual raises.

  • Too close for comfort? Rebuilding on lots in historic district a violation of town’s zoning laws

    When Harriman was formed more than a century ago, lots were sold in small sizes.

    Many homes, including large Victorian ones in the Cornstalk Heights historic district, were often built close together with small yards.

    In many instances, those conditions would violate the city’s present zoning ordinances.

    “If my house burned down today, I couldn’t rebuild it,” said Buddy Holley, a Harriman City Council member who lives in the Cornstalk Heights district.

  • Wrestling returns to Hooray

    The return of wrestling to Hooray for Harriman’s Labor Day Festival was a big hit in the past, and bigger names will likely bring even bigger crowds to this year’s event on Sept. 5.

    “That was the biggest draw,” said festival chairman Randy Ellis. “I bet you there was 800 to 1,000 people at the wrestling last year.”

  • $30,000 allotted to clean up meth labs

    The proposed budget for the Roane County Sheriff’s Office grew by $30,000 last month when the budget committee adjusted it to provide funding for the clean up of methamphetamine-producing labs.

    Tommy Farmer, director of the Tennessee Meth Task Force, said the average cost to clean up a meth lab is $2,500.

    Local governments used to rely on federal funds to clean up meth labs. They had to come up with another source of funding after the federal money dried up.