Local News

  • Ruppe looks to God for answers on candidacy

    Rockwood City Recorder Becky Ruppe used to sit at a place of much more authority when she was Morgan County Executive.
    Some in Morgan County would like to see her return to the post she lost in an unsuccessful re-election bid in 2010. She was unseated by current Morgan County Executive Don Edwards..
    “That isn’t me,” Ruppe said at a recent Rockwood meeting, referring to Facebook postings saying she should run. She didn’t rule it out, however, when asked if she would consider a run.

  • Bond set for accused killer Shawn Smoot

    Bond for accused killer Shawn Smoot has been set at $250,000. Smoot is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 23-year-old Brooke Nicole Morris.
    Her body was found at Blair Road and Old Blair Road last October.
    Roane County Criminal Court Judge E. Eugene Eblen signed the order granting Smoot bond on Thursday.
    The order requires Smoot to sign a waiver of extradition, and he must report to the state probation office in Kingston twice a month.

  • Y-12 nuclear operations resume

    The National Nuclear Security Administration authorized the resumption of nuclear operations at the Y-12 National Security Complex on Wednesday.
    However, B&W Y-12, the contractor that operates the complex for the government, will be under enhanced federal oversight, according to the NNSA. 
    B&W Y-12 ordered a temporary stand down on Aug. 1 in response to a security breakdown that occurred on July 28.

  • TVA President Kilgore calling it quits

    Tom Kilgore, the man who promised to make Roane County whole following the December 2008 ash spill, is stepping down.
    The TVA president/CEO announced his intentions to retire by the end of the year on Thursday.
    “I look forward to working more on my farm,” Kilgore said. “And I am proud of TVA’s focus on low rates, clean, reliable energy and enhancing the economic growth in the Tennessee Valley.”

  • Focus on TVA ash left in river

    Another cost analysis  and engineering evaluation has been prepared for the TVA fly ash spill cleanup. 
    This one deals with the residual ash in the river system.
    Local waterways were inundated with ash following a dike failure at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant on Dec. 22, 2008.
    More than 5 million cubic yards of ash was released in what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regards as one of the worst environmental disasters of its kind in history.  

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Odds and ends help end writer’s dry spell

    Today’s column was hard to come by.
    I hit those kinds of dry spells sometimes and think to myself, do I give you an update on my 15-year-old cat, the one that ended up in a cast after I backed over him in May?
    Do I talk about my plans to visit the Sunshine and Lone Star states?
    Maybe I should share my recent adventure in the Sequatchie Valley.
    I think I’ll cover all of those topics.
    My big, gray-and-white tabby, Pony, so named because of his ample size, is doing fine after I nearly killed him.

  • Rockwood swim team a splash with kids

    Rockwood’s first swim team is giving many first-time competitive swimmers a chance to shine.

    And at a recent meet, that is exactly what team members did, getting ribbons in two of the five events they entered.

    Starting the season with 18 new swimmers and keeping 12, the youth showed they were up to the challenge and fun of competitive swimming.

    “I was glad that many stuck with it. It was a great start for our first year,” coach Cassandra Dothard said. “All the kids doing it loved it. Many of them, they don’t participate in other sports.”

  • Kingston officials balk at E911 plan to raise rates

    The E911 lost-revenue conundrum found its way into Kingston affairs again, but council members are still reluctant to sign on to an agreement that would have the city paying extra fees to counter shortfalls.

    Last spring, Roane County E911 Director Mike Hooks visited Kingston council and requested 911’s standard 3-percent increase. He also pitched a five-year plan based on the premise that 911 has been hemorrhaging money in recent money due to the rise of cellphones in favor of landlines. Local 911 centers are funded by a combination of local governments and taxes levied on phone service.

  • ‘Nice man’ shot to death

    An elderly man was found shot to death in his home Sunday evening.

    Authorities identified the victim as 85-year-old Russell C. Blevins of 138 Hart Orchard Road.

    “I believe a family member hadn’t heard from him, went to check on him, found him and then notified the 911 center,” said Roane County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tim Phillips.

    No arrests had been made as of press time Tuesday.

    “It’s an ongoing investigation,” Sheriff Jack Stockton said. “We’ve already interviewed a few subjects of interest. We’re running down all the leads we have.”

  • Plans in works for old fort

    Kingston Parks and Recreation Director Rick Ross is like an overgrown kid building a really cool toy fort.

    Only, rather than Legos and wooden blocks and plastic soldiers, this fort (you might recognize it as Fort Southwest Point) requires government grants and master plans — not to mention years of work and plenty of patience — to keep it on the grow.

    At the request of state Sen. Ken Yager, State Historic Preservation Officer Patrick McIntyre visited Fort Southwest Point in July for a tour and a pitch from Ross and Kingston Mayor Troy Beets.