Local News

  • Solar farm jolts grid

    Officials held a “power up” ceremony on Tuesday to celebrate the new solar farm at the East Tennessee Technology Park. 
    Restoration Services Inc. self-financed the 1.3 acre project as part of its Brownfield-to-Brightfield initiative.

  • Just-hired Rockwood official may get ax

    The short tenure of one of Rockwood’s most recent employees might come to an end if Rockwood officials get and approve the 2013 fiscal budget as proposed at a budget workshop Monday morning.
    Mayor James Watts has listed the salary line item for city administrator Jack Miller as zero.
    “Due to the financial situation we’re in, I just find it very difficult to put in that kind of salary,” Watts said.
    Councilman Mike Freeman wasn’t convinced that was the right choice.

  • Roane schools may need multi-year tax hike

    Roane County property owners could have to fork over more tax money in the new fiscal year.
    Roane County Schools business manager Eric Harbin told board members during a recent work session that the 2012-13 school budget will require a 6-cent property tax rate increase to fund. The board is set to vote on the budget at Thursday’s regular meeting.  
    “We wanted to get the tax increase as low as possible,” Harbin said.
    To do that, school officials are proposing to use $1.4 million of one-time monies to fund the budget.

  • State rep runners sound off

    n that saw one of her highly publicized initiatives pass, state Rep. Julia Hurley is ready to take on Kent Calfee in the Aug. 2 primary.
    “I’m very interested to hear him explain how he can do a better job, or even close to the job I’ve done,” Hurley said. “I passed the drug testing for welfare bill in my first term.”
    Hurley and Calfee are seeking the Republican nomination in State House District 32, which includes parts of Roane and Loudon counties.

  • NRC holding meeting on Watts Bar Unit 2

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has scheduled a meeting for Tuesday, May. 22, in Spring City to discuss the status of construction at the Watts Bar nuclear plant’s second unit. 
    The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. with the NRC staff discussing the Unit 2 construction schedule, including major milestones and potential challenges, with TVA representatives.
    Later, the NRC staff will be available to answer questions from the public. The meeting will be at the Spring City Municipal Building at 229 Front St.

  • Kingston 9-cent tax hike over 1st hurdle

    Kingston City Council members approved the city’s proposed budget for fiscal 2012-13 on first reading last week, but not without some dissent.

    The budget proposal passed 4-1, with the lone dissenting vote coming from Councilman Kevin McClure.

    McClure also left his council seat for a few minutes at the beginning of the meeting in order to speak out as a private citizen against the budget and its attendant tax increase.

    McClure was joined in his protest by a handful of other Kingston residents, including a few former city councilmen.

  • Count on math for a fun time


    Lots of counting — including using those handy fingers as an aid in solving problems — was the order of the day for Ridge View Elementary School’s recent Math Carnival. Games, prizes and activities centered around mathematical problems and reasoning. Students at the Rockwood school also performed skits covering such topics as mean, median, mode and range.

  • Kingston bank robbery suspect also accused in Indiana spree

    Billy Joe Dugard, the man suspected of robbing the Bank of America in Kingston, is also suspected of robbing banks in another state.
    According to a press release from the FBI, Dugard was arrested in Ohio on May 2.

    Ohio TV station ABC 6 had footage of Dugard being arrested, and reported that he was suspected of robbing banks in Indiana.

    “We’re kind of in the dark, too,” Kingston Police Chief Jim Washam said. “We don’t know a lot of the details from up there.”

  • Developer: Market won’t support appraisal of Ladd Landing condo

    People are still contesting 2010 property values two years after Roane County’s last reappraisal.

    During  a Tennessee Board of Equalization appeal hearing last month, Ladd Landing developer Matt Caldwell and associate Robert J. Fletcher argued the 2010 value on a condominium owned by Marie Caldwell in the Kingston development was too high.

    The Roane County Property Assessor’s Office has it appraised at $437,100.

  • Higher taxes draw ire of ex-officials

    It may not have been the biggest target — not if you’re looking at the bottom line, at any rate.

    But it was certainly the easiest.

    And so a handful of Kingston residents — and even one non-resident — took their turns at the microphone at the beginning of last week’s City Council session, lobbying against a proposed 9-cent property tax hike, and what they perceived to be the chief culprit in that increase, the town’s new city hall project.