Local News

  • Autism can’t stop Amazing Jake

    Around Bowers Elementary School in Harriman, fourth-grader Jake Wray is known as “The Mayor.”
    The 9-year-old makes friends everywhere he goes and even has his own Facebook page, GetJakeWray1millionfans, which he has used to make friends from all over the world, including Russia, India and Germany.
    His sense of connection, including 785 Facebook fans, is  all the more remarkable considering he has autism, a disorder that stymies communication and social interaction

  • Armor-plated possums? Not quite

    While accompanying her father to a doctor’s appointment this summer, Annie Boyer of Oak Ridge spotted what she thought was a dead armadillo near the Midtown exit of Interstate 40.
    Her husband thought she was imagining things.
    “We just had a good laugh about it,” Boyer said. “But I know I saw what I saw. So I said I’m going back to take a picture of it.”

  • RSCC search narrows

    One of four finalists for president of Roane State Community College has withdrawn.
    Keith Cotroneo, president of Mountwest Community and Technical College in Huntington, W. Va., is no longer in the running.
    Those who remain are Christopher L. Whaley, vice president of Student Learning and chief academic officer at Roane State Community College; Elizabeth Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs at Northeast Lakeview College in Universal City, Texas; and W. Michael Stoy, president of Middle Georgia College in Cochran, Ga.

  • Harriman officers honored

    Harriman Police Department patrolmen were honored for their heroism recently for their rescue of a young boy from a perilous spot.
    The officers saved the child, who was hanging from a small bridge over a flood-level creek at Baumgartner Road on July 20.
    Kasey Mynatt, Brian Turner and Ridge Richardson were on patrol when they were sent to Baumgartner about a child that was about to fall into flood waters.
    Harriman Police Chief Randy Heidle said the officers waded into the creek, and with the help of an unknown community member, ,pulled the boy up to safety.

  • Kingston gets unexpected funds

    Kingston Council members learned last week the city will be able to pay some extra expenses from two big projects with additional money from the grant/loan programs that funded them.
    It might not be scrupulously accurate to call them “extra” expenses.
    City Manager Jim Pinkerton said the roughly $66,000 project to build a waterline across the Clinch River was supposed to have been part of the Rural Development Administration’s grant/loan for the now-completed Rockwood waterline.

  • Harriman seeks new employee over hospital

    A new employee may be overseeing Harriman’s numerous hospital buildings, including the main facility that may be left empty when Covenant Health moves Roane Medical Centers’ operations to Midtown early next year.
    Council member Kenyon Mee developed a job description for a new employee for council to consider.
    “Now it is getting down to the nitty gritty,” he said.
    “It is going to be a problem, and someone needs to be in place before they leave,” agreed Mayor Chris Mason.

  • Lee tax evasion case ‘unusual’

    The criminal case involving William Edward “Eddie” Lee is not something the District Attorney General’s Office encounters on a regular basis.

    “That’s a sales tax evasion case, which just by that fact alone makes it unique,” Assistant District Attorney General Bill Reedy said. “In my 37 years of being in this business, I’ve maybe dealt with three to four of those.”

    Lee owns Big E’s Quick Mart in Rockwood, the Go Mart in Harriman and Big E’s Tobacco Outlet in Kingston.

  • Rockwood discusses late fees, penalties

    Should Rockwood City Council have approved the penalties and interest paid to the IRS?

    Some on Rockwood City Council felt the payments should have come to council for a vote.

    “It is legal. It is a general operating expenditure,” said city attorney Greg Leffew about whether the city council had to approve it first.

    Councilman Mike Freeman disagreed.

    “To me that is not a general operating expenditure,” Freeman said.

    “I would like to know where the money came from,” Councilman Bill Thompson asked.

  • Man offering start-up grants to aid success

    One former Harriman resident wants to share what he’s learned over the years for career success.

    Mel Clemmons also wants to share the opportunities given to him by giving out significant start up grants to a handful of individuals that show they have a winning goal, whether a new business venture or going back to school for a new career.

  • Businessman pleads guilty to 3 counts of sales tax evasion

    William Edward “Eddie” Lee pleaded guilty to three counts of sales tax evasion in Roane County Criminal Court on Friday.

    Lee owns Big E’s Quick Mart in Rockwood, the Go Mart in Harriman and Big E’s Tobacco Outlet in Kingston.

    He entered a guilty plea for each business.

    Criminal Court Judge E. Eugene Eblen sentenced Lee, 44, to eight years probation. Lee was granted judicial diversion.

    He was also ordered to pay $280,752.52 to the state of Tennessee in restitution.