Today's News

  • GUEST OPINION: This time was supposed to be different


    Center on Congress

    Congress is approaching adjournment with no serious talks to make mutually acceptable headway on the budget. This is no way to do business.

    The most important function Congress serves is to debate and pass the federal budget. I know — it also levies taxes, imposes or relaxes regulations, and once in a while nudges our social, economic or political order in a meaningful way. But the budget tells the government what to do and makes it possible to do it. Everything else follows from that.

  • Back-to-school time in Roane County

    Roane County students returned to classes for the 2015-16 school year on Monday.

    “We’re looking forward to a great year,” Kingston Elementary School Principal Sheila Sitzlar said.

    Students in Amanda Burd’s fourth-grade social studies class got to learn about the island, an area of her classroom that includes beach chairs, a faux surf board and orange rug.

    That’s where students get to sit if they do well in class.

  • ‘Worse than we ever imagined’

    State official Jason Mumpower described Roane County Property Assessor David Morgan’s work on the reappraisal as fundamentally flawed earlier this year.

    Mumpower, the chief of staff for the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, didn’t have nicer things to say about it Monday, either.

    “I don’t know how I can be more straightforward than to tell you that we found the situation much worse than we ever imagined,” he said.

  • Fisherman drowns at Caney Creek

    A fishing outing turned tragic for a Harriman man Saturday evening. Police said 20-year-old Dustin Branson drowned after jumping off the dock at Caney Creek to retrieve a fishing pole.

    “It apparently fell in the water, and then he went in after it and tried to recover it,” Roane County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tim Phillips said.

    Roane County E-911 received a call about the incident at 9:11 p.m. Help was quickly dispatched to the scene.

  • Aytes makes it clear that this is his last year

    Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes likes fishing and traveling.

    He should have plenty of time to do that after the 2015-16 school year. Aytes said last week that this is his final year as director.

    “I’m not going to ask for an extension on my contract,” he said.

    Aytes signed a two-year contract when the Board of Education hired him to succeed Toni McGriff in 2012. The two-year extension he got in 2013 ends on June 30, 2016.

  • First day memories
  • Branson funeral service Tuesday night

    Funeral arrangements for Dustin Cole Branson are complete.

    Branson, 20, drowned Saturday night at Caney Creek boat dock.

    Kyker Funeral Home, Harriman, is in charge of services.

    The family will receive friends in Kyker Funeral Home chapel, Harriman, from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Funeral services will immediately follow, with the Rev. Jeremy Sexton officiating.

    Burial will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12, at Calvary Cemetery, Kingston.

  • Out to Lunch: Shazam! Food at Scramblez worth the drive

    I’m always looking for different place to go “Out to Lunch.”

    When I heard about a Spring City restaurant called Scramblez, I didn’t know what to expect.

    It is open only from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

    Is it a breakfast place featuring varieties of omelets and egg presentations?

    Maybe it’s a burger joint or a sandwich shop? Or a soup and salad specialty tearoom?

    It’s all of that and more.

  • There’s an app for that


    A Nashville-based startup, Scorebird has developed a mobile app that provides real-time score updates from high school athletic events.

    Roane County Schools will be participating, starting this fall, in the Scorebird program.

    “We agreed to sign up,” Roane County Schools Athletic Director Tony Clower said. “We thought it would be a pretty good benefit to our fans.”

  • Football season close to kickoff

    Harriman High School will host a football jamboree on Friday, Aug. 14. The event starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $6.

    Harriman Athletic Director Bobby Clark said Rockwood will face Cumberland County in the first matchup. Kingston versus Midway will follow and Harriman will take on Oliver Springs in the final matchup.

    The jamboree site switches each year.

    “Oliver Springs had it last year,” Clark said. “We got it this year. Next year, I think, will be Rockwood or Kingston.”