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Today's News

  • 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.”

  • 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.

  • 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.”

  • 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.

  • United Way sets $400,000 campaign goal this year

    Roane County United Way kicked off this year’s fundraising drive with a breakfast bash at Michael Dunn Center and recognizing some of the many partners the organization works with.

    This year’s fundraising goal is $400,000, and the campaign is until the end of November.

    “Roane County United Way takes the guessing out of giving,” director Dina Jackson told a roomful of people Thursday morning.

  • Brrrrrr ... Blue Bell stocks ice cream to the rafters in massive freezer

    The biggest part of Blue Bell Creameries Roane County expansion is its massive freezer.

    Company officials said that part of the building is around 10,000 square feet.

    “As you can see, we have ice cream that runs all the way up to the rafters,” said Chad Staten, Blue Bell’s branch manager in Nashville.

    Staten and other Blue Bell officials were in town last month to celebrate completion of the company’s new branch distribution center in Roane Regional Business and Technology Park.

  • On first day of third term, sheriff says he’ll run again

    The opponent was different this year, but the result was the same for Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton.

    He will start his third four-year term today – Monday – after another decisive election victory.

    “It’s an honor to serve as sheriff of this county,” Stockton said. “I hope to serve this four years the same way I served the last two terms.”