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Local News

  • GUEST OPINION: First Amendment getting a workout in recent days

    By GENE POLICINSKI

    First Amendment Center

    Our First Amendment freedoms have been put to use — and put to the test — in recent days.

    In the U.S. Supreme Court chambers in Washington, D.C., an angry ex-husband sought to overturn his conviction for making threats over the Internet, claiming the violence-laced language and the vile visions he conjured up on Facebook were just “therapeutic efforts to address traumatic events,” even akin to some song lyrics.

  • GUEST OPINION: Election impact will be apparent

    By LEE HAMILTON

    Center on Congress

    Given all the words and images devoted to the midterm elections this fall, you’d think the results had told us something vital about the future of the country.

    In reality, they were just a curtain-raiser. It’s the next few months that really matter.

  • ROANE REAPPRAISSAL BLUES

    Keith Gibson, the area appraisal supervisor for the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s Division of Property Assessments, asked Roane County Property Assessor David Morgan to provide a specific report on July 31.

    Nearly five months later, Gibson said he had yet to receive the report from Morgan.

    Gibson and Area Appraisal Manager Jess Conway said that’s one of the reasons the state has been unable to determine Roane County’s progress on being ready for the 2015 reappraisal.

  • Prosecutor’s office monitors meeting

    A prior commitment kept District Attorney General Russell Johnson from attending Monday’s Roane County Commission meeting about the county’s reappraisal.

    However, he sent Assistant District Attorney Generals Terry Stevens and Joe Caldwell instead.

    Last month, the Director of Assessments and Field Operations for the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s Division of Property Assessments sent Roane County Property Assessor David Morgan a letter expressing doubts about Morgan’s ability to complete a timely reappraisal.

  • Roane man puts twinkle in Christmas

    When Nathan Hartsuff was a child, the twinkling of Christmas lights made him as happy as did any of the toys he found nestled under the Christmas tree.

    Now he’s made a career out of that twinkle.

    The owner of Christmas & Landscape Lighting, also known as Hodgenicks, followed his family to Roane County four years ago and brought his business with him.

    On-the-job benefits aren’t fancy, but they suit Hartsuff.

    “I like the fact I can hang Christmas lights in a T-shirt and shorts,” he mused.

  • State talking reappraisals tonight

    Despite assurances from Roane County Property Assessor David Morgan, some officials still want to hear from the state regarding the upcoming reappraisal.

    “Nothing’s changed,” Commissioner Ron Berry said Friday.

    Don Osborne, director of assessments and field operations for the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s Division of Property Assessments, sent Morgan a letter on Nov. 10 that caught the attention of Berry and other officials.

  • SAY ‘CHEESE’!

    Rockwood Police Department has joined the ranks of law-enforcement officials who are using body cameras to capture the moves of their officers when out on patrol.

    The department’s patrolmen all now have body cameras so their interactions with the public will now be captured on video.

    “We look at it as a two-edged sword,” Rockwood Police Chief Danny Wright said. “It protects the public, but it also protects that officer.”

  • Kentucky St. paving to begin in March

    Kingston City Council took the next step in pushing forward a long-anticipated paving plan — though it also pushed back the Kentucky Street project by settling on a tentative starting date of mid-March.

    At its Dec. 2 work session, council placed a measure to select a contractor for the Kentucky Street paving project on its Dec. 9 full council agenda.

    Rogers Group of Oak Ridge submitted the winning bid, according to Kingston City Manager David Bolling.

    The plan is to repave Kentucky Street from Interstate 40 through town to Hwy. 70.

  • Cleanup underway on Rockwood’s Elm St.

    Rockwood officials keep trying to tackle cleanup, and some of the most frequent areas of complaint are slowly getting dealt with.

    Elm Street has changed drastically since the tragic death of a Rockwood veteran who froze to death last winter in one of his dilapidated homes on the tiny side street.

    Ray Knight owned multiple properties on Elm Street. He lived in the one where he fell through the floor and froze to death in January.

    “I’m just glad it is getting done,” said neighbor Charlie Young.

  • Last Classroom Under the Sea slated Thursday

    In their final Classroom Under the Sea episode before resurfacing, Roane State Community College professors Bruce Cantrell and Jessica Fain will reflect on their 73-day underwater mission and discuss the future of ocean preservation.

    The live program starts at 1 p.m. Dec. 11. Viewers can watch at roanestate.edu/classroomunderthesea and on youtube.com/classroomunderthesea.

    Cantrell and Fain have lived and worked in an underwater habitat — Jules’ Undersea Lodge on Key Largo in the Florida Keys — since Oct. 3.