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Local News

  • Free day at Museum of East Tennessee History

    The Museum of East Tennessee History offers free admission on Saturday, Sept. 27, in celebration of Smithsonian magazine’s 10th annual Museum Day Live!

    The event represents the commitment of the Smithsonian and other museums to make learning and the spread of knowledge accessible to everyone.

    Visitors who present the Museum Day Live! ticket will gain free entrance for two at participating museums on Sept. 27.

    The Museum Day Live! ticket can be downloaded at smithsonian.com/museumdaylive.

  • Borrowed robes for Pemberton

    New Circuit Court Judge Mike Pemberton has yet to be fitted for a robe, but don’t expect him to take the bench this week without the traditional judge’s garb.

    “I’ve been so busy, but I’m going to wear my father-in-law’s until I have time,” he said.

    Pemberton’s father-in-law is retired judge James “Buddy” Scott. They can share the robe now after Pemberton’s swearing-in on Sunday.

    “I’m really looking forward to it,” Pemberton said, about serving as judge.

  • Sincerely sworn, despite omission

    District 4 Roane County Commissioner Steve Kelley’s oath of office on Sunday was a little different than others during the swearing-in ceremony at the courthouse.

    Kelley, an atheist, only uttered “So help me,” where others ended their oaths with “So help me God.”

    “It’s just tradition,” Kelley said. “It doesn’t mean anything, because people swear to God and lie all the time.”

  • Stewart sidelined for now

    For a short time, Sarah Stewart appeared to be one of the officials taking office this week.

    Voting totals handed out on election night showed her winning the race for Roane County circuit court clerk by about 200 votes. Unbeknownst at the time, those totals didn’t include all the votes cast in the Aug. 7 election.

  • Hooray for cotton candy
  • Rockwood going after run-down homes

    Residents in Rockwood have issued a call to deal with dilapidated buildings.

    Rockwood officials have responded with a stronger stance, going to court on a case-by-case basis to get something done.

    First on the list is 526 W. Rockwood St., known as the Valentine House.

    “This is long overdue,” said Councilman Mike Freeman. “This house is an eyesore and is a dangerous place.”

  • GUEST OPINION: Why it matters to let creeps have their say

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES

    First Amendment Center

    Nothing does more to erode public support for the First Amendment than public stunts deliberately designed to offend people of faith.

    Think Fred Phelps and his minions waving hateful signs outside churches during military funerals. Or Terry Jones shouting, “Islam is of the Devil,” and setting fire to the Quran.

  • GLIMPSES: About THOSE liberals

    By MARK BANKER

    Author’s note: The following three premises are essential to this column.

    1) None of us sees the past or present with absolute clarity.

    2) Each of us has the capacity for glimpses of informed insight that draw from and reflect our personal values.

    3) Cordial, forthright exchange of those insights enhances our mutual well being.

  • Rockwood water, sewer rates going up

    Rockwood water and sewer customers will feel a bigger pinch in their wallets.

    Rockwood City Council approved, on 5-2 vote, the second and final reading of a request from Rockwood Water, Sewer and Natural Gas to hike sewer rates from 150 percent to 160 percent of the total water bill.

    “I think you need to think twice on this,” said Rockwood resident Roberta Dennis, who approached Council about the matter.

  • Public defender now in Kingston

    The 9th Judicial District Public Defender’s Office has moved from Harriman to Kingston.

    “It’s just more convenient — and it makes more sense to have it closer to the courthouse,” Public Defender Kim Nelson said.

    The new address is at 1013 Brentwood Way, Kingston. The new phone number is 376-4040.

    Nelson starts her eight-year term as public defender today – Monday.

    She was unopposed in the Aug. 7 election following the death of long-time public defender Joe Walker.