Local News

  • Early voting, courthouse bad mix

    District Attorney General Russell Johnson is not a fan of having early voting at the Roane County Courthouse, where a number of elected officials have offices.
    “The current early voting situation provides what is perceived as an unfair advantage to these office holders,” Johnson said in a letter addressed to Roane County Administrator of Elections Charles Holiway.
    David Morgan, a candidate in this year’s race for property assessor, contended that incumbent Teresa Kirkham was campaigning from her office inside the courthouse during early voting.

  • Hines remains as Rockwood bldg. inspector

    Rockwood building inspector Jim Hines is safe from elimination — for now.
    Rockwood City Council voted to keep Hines, who was on the agenda to be eliminated at Vice Mayor Peggy Evans’ request.
    Mayor James Watts broke a tie vote on the issue, siding with Councilman Jason Jolly, Councilman Pete Wright and Councilwoman Jane Long.
    Cleanup was an issue brought up at the meeting, and Evans used that time to say she didn’t think Hines did enough to work with codes enforcement and dealing with overgrown lots and dilapidated buildings.

  • RSCC library to close temporarily

    The library at Roane State Community College’s main campus will be closed Tuesday, Aug. 7, through Friday, Aug. 10, while a new heating and air conditioning system is installed.

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Living the athlete’s dream ... as seen on TV

    Like many of you, I’ve caught bits and pieces of the Olympics after work and in my down time.
    Watching the tail end of the USA women’s volleyball team’s match against China Wednesday brought back some strong memories of my long-gone days in sports.
    I have always been athletic. I played varsity tennis, basketball and volleyball in high school, earning me a “most athletic” title in the senior superlatives, and an unwanted “Superjock” nickname from otherwise well-intentioned friends.

  • Y-12 security breach shakes up feds

    A security stand down at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge could last into next week, according to the National Nuclear Security Administration.

    “All nuclear operations have been halted as we go through this security stand down,” NNSA spokesman Steven Wyatt said. “We expect this to be lifted next week.”

    A security breach occurred at the complex on Saturday, July 28, when three people were able to make their way into a protected area.

  • Rockwood welcomes Little Caesars

    Rockwood mayor James Watts cut the ribbon Wednesday for the newest Little Caesars pizzeria at the corner of South Gateway Avenue and East Rockwood Street.

    On hand to welcome the new eatery were members of the Rockwood Industrial Development Board, as well as a few hungry customers.

    The new restaurant is the fifth Little Caesars location and second in Roane County for EFRC Enterprises, a family operation consisting of Erwin and Fumiyo Epple, Robert Lockhart and Chanda Pressley plus spouses and three grandchildren.

  • Kirkham, Hurley lose in Roane, Ferguson wins

    It was a tough night for female incumbents in Roane County.

    Longtime Roane County Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham has lost her seat to opponent David Morgan, according to unofficial Roane County returns. Morgan received 3,537 votes to Kirkham's 3,048.

     Roane County also gave the nod to Kent Calfee, the opponent to incumbent 32nd District State Rep. Julia Hurley in the Republican Primary. Calfee, a former Roane County commissioner, received 3,414 votes to Hurley's 2,372.

  • Housing market feels uptick

    Real estate and construction in Roane County look dramatically different from pre-2008, before the housing market took a national nosedive.
    New home construction is sparse.
    Instead, consumers are buying moderately priced existing homes or remodeling their existing structures.
    The profit margin — if there is one — is also not nearly as good as it was in the past for those looking to sell.

  • Obamacare supported in Democratic primary

    Repealing the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obama-care, is a common battle cry amongst the candidates seeking the Republican nomination in the 3rd Congressional District.  
    You won’t hear any repeal talk on the Democratic side, however.
    “It is half a loaf, and the Republicans are saying they would rather have no loaf at all,” Mary Headrick said.

  • Mullins deal in works on tax penalties, fees

    Under the direction of Chancellor Frank Williams, lawyers have drafted an order that would eliminate penalties, interest and fees from the delinquent tax bill of Roane County road superintendent candidate Brian Mullins.
    Mullins was in court on July 20 fighting the 18-percent interest, attorneys fees and other penalties on his delinquent tax bill, which is running in the thousands-of-dollars range.