Local News

  • State shuts down TVA gypsum pond

    The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation was not taking chances when the agency ordered TVA to stop using the gypsum pond at the Kingston Fossil Plant.

    The order was issued Dec. 17, just two days after a leak was discovered in the pond.

    “Our primary concern is that the structure is safe,” TDEC communications director Tisha Calabrese-Benton said. “That is the department’s focus as we move forward in investigating this leak, and that is the standard the department will insist on.”

  • Strummers strike a note with Walmart shoppers

    While scrambling for that last-minute Christmas present and navigating the steadily growing crowds at Walmart Supercenter in Rockwood, shoppers may have encountered two guitar-bearing high schoolers.

    For the past two months, Derek “Boomer” Gurney and Gabe Wasdin, both juniors at Roane County High School, have ambled up and down Walmart’s aisles, playing their guitars and chatting up customers.

    “A lot of people actually think we work for Walmart; that we’re hired entertainers, which we’re not” Gurney said.

  • State shuts down TVA gypsum pond


  • Judge to Leon: No more lawsuits


    That’s how attorney Frank Vettori described Leon Houston’s latest lawsuit against Roane County.

    “I have to charge Roane County for my services, and it doesn’t seem fair to Roane County to have to continue to pay for these kinds of lawsuits,” Vettori said Friday.

    Senior Judge Don Harris agreed. Not only did he dismiss the lawsuit, he also severely hampered Leon’s ability to bring future actions against the county.  

  • Rockwood looking at 15% hike in water rates

    The proposed Rockwood Water, Sewer and Gas Board water and sewer rate increases are higher than first projected earlier this month.

    Rockwood Water, Sewer and Gas Board will convene in a special-called meeting at 10 a.m. today, Monday, in Rockwood City Hall to consider a resolution recommending rate increases of 15 percent for water and 22.5 percent for sewer.

    Both increases, if approved, will become effective Feb. 1.

    A resolution to amend the utilities’ 2010-11 budget will also be discussed.

  • Harriman OKs motel tax boost for Expo Center

    Harriman hotel owners know who helps pay their bills.

    That’s why they’re supporting steps to help the Roane State Henry/Stafford East Tennessee Agricultural Exposition Center.

    Roane State Community College President Gary Goff has asked area governments to increase their hotel/motel taxes, with the difference going to support the Expo. Despite cuts, he said the operation is still expecting a shortfall between $75,000-$100,000.

  • Son threatens to burn dad's home

    A man sought help from authorities on Dec. 15 after his son reportedly poured gas on the house and threatened to burn it down.  

    Deputies with the Roane County Sheriff’s Office responded to the home on 1678 Old Harriman Hwy.

    Dispatch told the Blair Volunteer Fire Department to be on standby “in case it goes bad.” The fire department was later told they could stand down.

    Michael Allen Brown, 34, was arrested and charged with domestic assault, criminal attempt and vandalism.


  • Snow days hamper exams, affect lunch foods

    Students who missed mid-year tests last week because of the inclement weather and school closings have more time to study — or to forget what they’ve been taught.

    “It will be after we come back in January,” Roane County Director of Schools Toni McGriff confirmed about the test schedules.

    “It will not be the first day back,” she added. “They can have all of Christmas (vacation) to study.”

    McGriff said the exact days exams will be made up is not decided.

  • Ice, ice baby
  • Harriman wants to open dialogue on urban growth

    Roane County and its communities may soon meet for the first time in years to discuss their urban growth boundaries.

    Harriman Councilman Lonnie Wright made the motion to have Mayor Chris Mason request a meeting of the coordinating committee.

    The committee is a group of selected representatives from each community and the county who work together to reach agreement on changes to the urban growth boundary map.