Local News

  • With new hike, Kingston hotel taxes to rise to near 20 percent



    Guests who stay in Kingston hotels will soon pay 5 percent more in taxes.

    The Kingston City Council passed the second and final reading of an ordinance on Tuesday night to add an occupancy hotel/motel privilege tax to area hotels.

    The council is hoping for a $70,000 boost in revenue that will help with balancing the budget.

  • Feds: Water contamination minimal from exploded well



    Environmental officials were on scene Friday at the site of an oil-well fire in Oliver Springs that was still burning.

    Perry Gaughan, an on-scene coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said officials are monitoring air levels for contaminants.

    The plume of smoke from the fire can be seen from as far away as Ladd Landing in Kingston.

    Gaughan said he and contractors from Atlanta were planning on staying until the fire is out.

  • UPDATE: Residents seek answers after oil-well fire



    An out-of-control oil well that spewed crude and natural gas all afternoon and night Tuesday exploded before dawn Wednesday, seriously burning a man who was driving by.

    Oliver Springs residents of Cove Lane in Anderson County, which lies near the Roane and Morgan county lines, have been evacuated and may be out of their homes for several days.

    Many are angry and looking for answers about why the situation was allowed to escalate.

    Officials say the fire could take days to get under control.

  • Harriman vs. Kingston annexation hearing set



    A hearing on Harriman’s lawsuit to void Kingston’s annexation referendum is scheduled June 10.

    The lawsuit, filed by Harriman in February, would put a stop Kingston’s annexation property just west of the Hwy. 70 bridge — if Harriman is successful.

    Harriman officials contend that its annexation proceedings to annex all the way from its current city limits take precedent over the activities of Kingston.

  • Contractor Integrity Card; another safeguard for our older citizens

    Morgan County Executive, Becky Ruppe visited the Sunbright Senior Citizens to talk about adding a new idea to Morgan County's Elder Watch Program.

    Ruppe along with Gigi Schooler, Morgan County's Chamber Director plan to visit all the centers if possible to explain how the program can help.

  • Easter events set for Saturday


    Morgan County News Editor

    Members of the Morgan County Chamber of Commerce are anxious to host activities that will bring more visitors to the county and provide activities for local residents.

    With that in mind Chamber Director Gigi Schooler has planned the Chamber's first breakfast with the Easter Bunny for Saturday, March 22. The breakfast will be held at the courthouse from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m.

  • Library access ramping up at Harriman's Carnegie



    Access for the disabled is closer to a reality for people wanting to visit the Harriman Public Library.

    Harriman city coordinator Bob Tidwell has begun advertising for bids for the project, which involves grant money the city received in 2005 for improvements to the library and for crosswalk installments in the downtown area.

    Tidwell said the grant is more than $130,000, with a city matching portion of several thousand dollars more.

  • Born in China, Victoria now has a home in Harriman



    Happy squeals fill the Whaley home on Clinton Street in Harriman.

    Baby Victoria Leighanna Xiang Whaley, known as Tori, joyfully explores the world she has been welcomed into by adoptive parents, Cindy and Chris Whaley and her 8-year-old brother, Jonathan.

    She is the newest addition to the Whaley clan, who, after a lengthy adoption process, were able to bring her home from China in January, around her first birthday.

  • Hotel/motel tax gets a nod



    A decision to implement a 5 percent hotel/motel occupancy tax in the city of Kingston is moving forward.

    Kingston City Council voted 4-1 in favor of implementing the tax, with Councilman Brant Williams opposing.

    “This will adversely affect businesses,” Williams said.

    The tax increase would mean that guests who stay in one of the city’s four hotels would be paying a total of 19.5 percent in taxes.

    This includes the state tax, the county tax and the new city tax.

  • Runaway car hits man



    A Roane County man was run over after he tried to stop a car carrying three children from rolling down a hill.

    The incident happened on Wednesday around 7 p.m. on Watson Lane, according to Roane County Sheriff’s Office investigator Greg Scalf.

    Scalf said three children ranging in ages from 7 to 8 were in a car when it was knocked out of gear and started rolling down a hill.

    Steven Mead reportedly tried to stop the car from rolling and was run over.