Local News

  • Woody issues tax-rate warning

    Roane County Executive Ron Woody has expressed concerns that an increase in the county’s property tax rate could hurt its chances to recruit industry.
    The rate is currently $2.18 per $100 valuation.
    The rate could rise this year with the school system facing a budget shortfall.
    At the same time, school and county officials are looking to beef up security at the schools.


    Rocky Houston couldn’t make up his mind on Friday.

    A hearing was held at the federal courthouse in Knoxville to address several motions he filed with the court.

    He initially told U.S. Magistrate C. Clifford Shirley Jr. he wanted to argue only one, but by the end of the hearing he ended up arguing all of them.

    Houston’s wavering, along with his continued tangents about alleged conspiracies, resulted in a long-winded hearing that lasted almost two-and-a-half hours.   

  • Kingston manager retiring

    Kingston will lose a stalwart come April 26, when city hall staple Jim Pinkerton logs his last hours as city manager.

    Pinkerton turned in his resignation on March 13, the day after the monthly Kingston City Council meeting.

    The announcement, which went out to the mayor and city council members in the form of an official letter, was reportedly a surprise to everyone, and some council members visited his office that day to implore him to reconsider.

    But Pinkerton said he is firm in his decision.

  • Harriman new part of national grant network

    Harriman put aside city money last year in hopes the city might become part of a national grant network that helps non-profit organizations and other grant seekers search for funding resources and other assistance.

    “The city of Harriman has been awarded the Foundation Library which is incredible news,” gushed Sarah McCoin to Harriman City Council last week.

    She said it will essentially serve the Ninth Judicial District and Cumberland County.

  • Calfee: Too busy to be in the spotlight

    Kent Calfee hasn’t made any national headlines during his first few months as a state representative.
    He said that’s been by design and good luck.

    “I’ve just kind of kept my head down and been trying to learn the system,” he said.

    Calfee, a former Democrat, defeated Julia Hurley in last year’s Republican Primary.

    In the General Election, he went on to beat Democrat Jack McNew and Independent Allen Cole in House District 32, which includes parts of Roane and Loudon counties.

  • Harriman aims to fix saggy floors in Temperance Bldg.

    Harriman’s most historic building is closer to getting desperately needed structural repairs.

    The Temperance Building’s basement and foundation are in poor shape, and work to repair those and a leaking roof have been bid out.

    “The floor is sagging,” said Mike Demyanovich, who serves on a committee committed to restoring the building.

  • Building codes on agenda for Harriman work session

    Harriman City Council will discuss the 2012 International Building Codes with building inspector Maria Nelson during a workshop at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 19 in Harriman Municipal Office Complex.

    Council members will be voting on ordinances to adopt the 2012 International Building Codes next month.

  • Wearin’ and eatin’ o’ the green


    Roane County Executive Ron Woody, right, dons a green tie and serves up sweet fare to guests such as Kingston Mayor Troy Beets during Woody’s annual St. Patrick’s Day reception Friday. The county executive had the annual event a couple of days early — St. Patrick’s Day was on Sunday.

  • OR man charged with child rape

    An Oak Ridge man was arrested for rape of a child by Kingston Police Department Wednesday.

    Christopher Blaine Luffman, 22, 829 W. Vanderbilt Drive, was in custody at the Roane County Jail late last week.

    Jail records show he has a $40,000 bond and court date of April 8.
    Most people don’t try to make up with a woman the way Warren Everett Dyer of Rockwood allegedly did on March 8.

    According to a warrant, Dyer beat her up after she told him more needed to be done to put their relationship on solid footing.

  • County native gets statue

    Now in his 90s, former Harriman resident Walter Douglas Smith helmed Francis Marion University from its first days as a state college.

    Recently, the Florence, S.C., school honored him with the unveiling of a statue on its campus.

    Smith was president from when the school opened with little more than 900 enrollees in 1970, until he retired in 1983.

    “I’m very pleased to have been a part, particularly to be there when the doors first opened in 1970. Today it is a very good campus,” Smith said.