Local News

  • Proton Power lays off half its workforce

    Business is apparently not as bad for Proton Power now as it was a few months ago.

    The company went through some layoffs at the end of 2017, but President and Founder Sam Weaver said Friday that they have begun to hire some of the dismissed workers back.

    “We’re still plugging along,” Weaver said.

    According to its website, Proton Power is the creation of Weaver and Dan Hensley. They developed a system of producing hydrogen from biomass and waste resources.


    One of Roane County’s finest has put away his holster and badge.

    Bo Smith celebrated on Feb. 23 with loved ones and colleagues who acknowledged his 28 years at the Kingston Police Department.

    “I told you I would give you all I had to give. It has been an honor to work with you guys. It seems like yesterday I just started,” Smith told a roomful of well-wishers on Friday.

    Kingston Police Chief Jim Washam has served with Smith many years. He said everyone has Bo stories to share.

  • Wallet cleaned out on counter

    A Rocky Top Market employee is suspected of emptying cash out of a 69-year-old customer’s wallet.

    According to a Rockwood Police Department report, Cecil Bowlin was at the 101 S. Gateway Ave., location on Feb. 20.

    “After paying for his purchase, Bowlin walked out inadvertently leaving his wallet laying on the counter,” Rockwood Detective Josh Rymer wrote in the report. “Bowlin discovered his wallet missing on this date (Feb. 21) and returned to the business to see if it had been turned in to employees.”

  • Roane officials take concerns about tax law to Capitol Hill

    Roane County officials took their concerns about education funding to Nashville last week.

    “We just tried to explain the impact of some legislation that might have had unintended consequences,” County Executive Ron Woody said.

    Of concern are state laws that grant sales and use tax exemptions for some businesses. The Roane County Board of Education passed a resolution in January, which said the negative fiscal impact to the school system could exceed $1 million this year.

  • Triangle Park racing against grant deadline

    The Triangle Park Association is in a use it or lose it situation with regard to money for improvements at F.R. Davis Park.

    The association was awarded $6,000 last summer from First Tennessee Bank for the triangle shaped park that inspired its common moniker of Triangle Park.

    Organizer Chrystal Jones hopes the city will help with matching funds so they don’t lose the grant, which she said is to resurface the basketball court.

  • Oak Ridge Airport awaits nod from FAA

    The Federal Aviation Administration has yet to grant approval for the proposed Oak Ridge Airport.

    Backers of the project are still hopeful the agency will. They shared their optimism with the Oak Ridge City Council during a meeting last week.

  • A View From Lick Skillet: Got it rough? Try living on meal and parched corn

    Gentle reader, you may recall having seen in the paper a notice of a presentation of a lecture concerning the lost town of Montgomery in Morgan County scheduled for presentation by Michael Nance at the headquarters building for the Obed Wild and Scenic River in downtown Wartburg last Saturday. We are pleased to report that, despite the rainy, overcast weather, there was a fine turnout to hear this interesting presentation, including several Roane Countians, among whom was your humble servant.

  • Man said to brag about child rapes on Facebook

    Numerous sex crime indictments were returned by the Roane County grand jury last week.

    One was against Brian David Gann, who was reportedly bragging on Facebook about raping children.

    “Detectives with the sheriff’s office worked with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and District Attorney General Russell Johnson’s Drug and Violent Crime Task Force to investigate this case,” the Roane County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

  • State, feds look into raw sewage dumped on roads

    State and federal agencies are investigating the dumping of raw sewage on Roane County roads.

    Roane County Deputy Road Supervisor Tony Brown said his department got a call about sewage dumped along about a 4-mile stretch of Bowman Bend Road earlier this month.

    It is suspected that the sewage discharge was intentional, possibly perpetrated by a commercial service that empties septic tanks.

    “It would have to be a pretty good-sized container,” said Scott Stout, director of Roane County Department of Emergency Services.