Local News

  • Cost of greenway up over $2.5 million

    By Mike Gibson

    It seems that neither cost overruns nor bad bidding nor special requests from businesses will keep a series of Kingston improvement projects from moving forward.

    A Thursday work session saw Kingston City Council members place on the agenda for Tuesday’s full council meeting three items concerning three big projects — the Ladd Greenway, the expansion of the wastewater treatment plant, and the sewer extension on Gallaher Road.

  • Back to school

    Mary “Cricket” Lewis picks up her No. 94 bus at Roane County Schools’ bus garage Friday afternoon in anticipation of today’s first day of school for the 2011-12 year.

    If things kicked off according to schedule, Lewis began her route at about 6:55 a.m. near the Harriman Police Department on Russell Street.

    Motorists are reminded to exercise caution around school areas and in school parking lots as excited children enter and depart from the premises.

  • Alleged mom killer’s trial put on hold

    From staff reports

    A murder trial scheduled to take place this week in Roane County Criminal Court has been postponed.

    Milford Barnett is accused of killing his mother, Pearl Barnett, in April 2007.

    District Attorney General Russell Johnson said the public defender got permission to be out of court this week because his wife was sick.   

    The trial may get reset for later this month.  

    “It’s possibly going to be moved to Aug. 23,” Johnson said.


  • Rockwood students heading to class in new digs

    The old band room at Rockwood High School was damp in more ways than one.

    Not only did the roof leak, but band members said the space could dampen their spirits.

    “If you would sit the wrong way on your chair, you’d flip off backwards and keep going because you couldn’t stop,” senior Kaleigh Snipes said.

    Fortunately for current and future members, the old band room is a thing of the past.

  • Bowers to join rest of county in starting school on Monday

    While the community enjoyed the results of the school construction project in Rockwood on Thursday, some Harriman parents and students wondered if the work would postpone classes for Bowers Elementary.

    Roane County Director of Schools Toni McGriff put those worries to rest late last week.

    She said she expects Bowers to open on time.

    McGriff had previously said the school year at Bowers might be delayed for a week.

  • Rockwood 'picked' for TV show about antiques

    Finding a gem in a heap of junk is a popular television show gimmick nowadays, and the hosts of one of them may have found treasure in Rockwood.

    The History Channel’s “American Pickers,” a show geared at searching through antique stores, garages and junkyards, came to downtown Rockwood last month and visited local businessman Bill Wright.

    Wright operates an antique business in the city and is locally known for his singing.

  • Harriman bridge being dismantled

    Norfolk Southern has started tearing down the bridge on Harriman’s Margrave Drive, according to City Coordinator Bob Tidwell.

    “That is not going to stop our plan to work with them to rebuild it, because it has to be torn down anyway,” Harriman Mayor Chris Mason said.

    Harriman officials have been trying to get assistance in replacing the bridge after it was learned that in addition to the cost of rebuilding it, there would be cost involved in moving utilities.

  • Petition filed to ban beer from bar

    Roane County Attorney Tom McFarland has filed a petition to revoke the Grill & Pub’s beer permit.

    “This is a situation that has gone too far,” he said. “It’s dangerous to the public.”

    A man was killed outside the Grill & Pub on July 23. Officials say that’s just one of many incidents that have occurred at the bar, which is on Hwy. 61 between Harriman and Oliver Springs.

  • Judge rules on TVA lawsuit

    A court ruling puts restrictions on lawsuits against TVA for the fly ash spill that occurred at the Kingston Fossil Plant.

    This week U.S. District Judge Thomas A. Varlan granted the agency’s request for summary judgment against claims of personal injury and emotional distress.

    TVA’s request for summary judgment against claims of property damage, trespass and nuisance were denied.
    An assessment prepared by the Tennessee Department of Health concluded that the ash spill should not pose a health risk to the community.

  • TVA aims for fun

    Since the massive 2008 ash spill in Swan Pond, meetings between the public and TVA have tended to be angry and intense.

    Not so at an open house in Kingston Tuesday, when agency officials unveiled details on its plans to develop much of the property it has bought up since the spill for recreational uses.

    Those uses include ball fields, birding trails and general recreation facilities, although officials said they also are looking at adding firefighting support to the area.