Today's News

  • Judge hopefuls interview Friday

    The Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments is still planning to meet today – Friday – in the Raider Room at Roane State Community College to interview the people who applied for the 9th Judicial District criminal court judge position.

    The meeting is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    E. Eugene Eblen has held the seat since 1978. He’s planning to retire at the end of the year.

    Jeff Wicks, Walter Johnson and Porsche Lyn Shantz have applied to takeover the position once Eblen steps down.

  • It’s time for more county rivalry games

    The 2015 regular season reaches the halfway point Friday night, and Roane County fans can celebrate by not leaving the county borders to watch any of Roane’s five teams in action this week.

    Those five teams will participate in only three games, as two of the contests feature in-county games. Only Kingston plays an out-of-county foe when the Jackets host Greenback at Dr. Nat Sugarman Memorial Field.

  • National Hunting and Fishing Day on Saturday

    The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will be celebrating 2015 National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD) on Saturday, Sept. 26.

    NHFD was established by the U.S. Congress in 1972 and recognizes hunters and anglers for their contributions to wildlife conservation. The NHFD is an event celebrated in all 50 states annually on the fourth Saturday in September.

  • Margrave bridge work starting May ’16

    It looks to be at least another couple of years before motorists can anticipate driving across a new Margrave Street bridge in Harriman.

    “They are estimating construction to begin in May 2016 and allow 14 months for construction, so we are looking at about June 2017,” said Harriman City Manager Kevin Helms.

    Tennessee Department of Transportation will construct the bridge, which will allow motorists to cross over the Norfolk Southern Railway tracks on the busy downtown street.

  • Kingston school flooding costly

    Last month’s flooding at Kingston Elementary School proved expensive for the school system.

    Director of Schools Gary Aytes said the cost to redo damaged tiles is around $125,000.

    The bulk of that amount – $100,000 – is being covered by insurance.

    “The insurance company has said they will pay, so we collected $100,000 from insurance to redo the tile in two parts of the Kingston Elementary School,” he said.   

    The work has already started.



    East Tennessee’s most famous crooner was in Rockwood — at least in spirit — Saturday to raise money for student writers’ scholarships and awards. Jeanette Bradley portrays country legend Dolly Parton in Greg Johnson’s Legends show, which highlighted this year’s Roane Writers Group’s Gala. Like her famous counterpart who frequently travels with her best friend, Judy Ogle, Bradley brought along best friend Becky Whaley for the show. The performance also included Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash impersonations.

  • Mother, daughter jailed

    A Kingston woman is accused of setting her 19-year-old daughter’s couch on fire.

    Tracie Lynn Lemons is charged with arson and two counts of reckless endangerment in the incident.

    Kingston police were dispatched to 807 Sturgess St. at 2:15 a.m. on Sept. 18.

    “Lauren (Lemons) told officers that her mother, Tracie Lemons, had broken into the residence and set her couch on fire,” the police report said. “Officers could smell a strong odor of smoke bellowing from the residence.”

  • Time to think about Thanksgiving

    The number of needy families getting their Thanksgiving meals from Hands of Mercy and the Kingston Police Department grows each year.

    It’s that time of year again for the partnership to begin collecting donated food items for the event in earnest.

    This year they have set a goal for 800 families.

    “Last year we wanted to do 750 and wound up doing 800,” Kingston Police Chief Jim Washam said.

    “This year, our goal is 800, but we may do more.”

  • GLIMPSES from a Teacher Historian by Mark Banker

    Author’s note: The following three premises are essential to this column: 1) None of us see 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; and 3) Cordial, forthright exchange of those insights enhances our mutual well being.

    The irregularity of this column is not due to a dearth of deserving topics.

  • INSIDE the First AMENDMENT by Charles Haynes

    Kim Davis, the now famous county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, is out of jail, back to work — and not interfering with the clerks in her office who are processing marriage licenses for same-sex couples.

    Davis, who objects to gay marriage on religious grounds, is apparently satisfied that removing her name and position from the licenses sufficiently guards her freedom of conscience.

    What better way to commemorate Constitution Week than with a good old-fashioned American compromise?