Local News

  • GUEST OPINION: Experts give 2014 a barely passing grade of C-minus


    Center on Congress

    For the second straight year, a group of academic experts who were asked to evaluate Congress’s performance gave the institution a barely passing grade of C-minus.

    “This is a dismal assessment,” said Indiana University political scientist Edward G. Carmines, director of Research for the Center on Congress at Indiana University.

    The C-minus grade for 2014 is the same mediocre mark the institution earned in 2013.

  • Roane deputy involved in shooting

    Roane County Sheriff’s Deputy John Mayes was involved in a shooting Monday night.

    Sheriff Jack Stockton said the incident occurred at westbound Exit 340 on Interstate 40.

    “There was a pursuit,” Stockton said. “The pursuit got off westbound. There was a wreck. The officer got out of the car to approach the vehicle. The vehicle tried to get away and come at the officer and the officer opened fire.”


    Lifestar airlifted two people to University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville for treatment for injuries sustained in a head-on collision Friday afternoon on Hwy. 61 near Harriman. Lifestar landed at the Hwy. 27/61 split north of Harriman to load the patients, who were taken to the helicopter from the crash site at the former Scandlyn Lumber Co. Neither the identities of the victims nor the extent of their injuries had been released by press time. Multiple emergency services agencies responded to the crash, which is under investgation by the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

  • Smoot getting another attorney — again

    Stanley Barnett and Shawn Smoot were allowed to sever their attorney-client relationship on Friday.

    Smoot said he was unhappy with Barnett’s services and no longer wanted his representation.

    Barnett, in turn, said the relationship had become adversarial, and he could not continue to serve as Smoot’s defense attorney.

    “Under these circumstances, the court is probably going to have to relieve you as counsel,” Criminal Court Judge E. Eugene Eblen told Barnett during a hearing at the Loudon County Courthouse.

  • Dumping infuriates Kingston leaders



    Officials from Kingston and the state were quick to track down the culprit in last month’s illegal dumping incident that fouled a stream from Peach Street to Watts Bar Lake.

    It turned out the white sludge material involved concrete byproducts dumped by a contractor doing work for Oak Ridge Utility District in the Buttermilk Road area.

    The dumped material ran about a mile downstream to the lake.


    The Taco Bell in Kingston had another new sign put up last week — but this time it had nothing to do with weather.

    Its message was straight to the point:

    Micaiah, Prom? -Noah

    The message was posted Wednesday for all to see as teenage traditions took form.

    Roane County High School junior Noah Cash asked his best friend Micaiah Allen, senior homeschool student, to prom in the most unique of ways.

    “I would do anything for her,” Cash said.

  • Harriman manager may be able to surplus items



    Harriman City Manager Kevin Helms may soon be able to follow through on a simple housekeeping task without going before Harriman City Council.

    The City Council voted on first reading of an ordinance last week that would give Helms the responsibility to surplus city personal property, with the sale of any single item estimated to have a value exceeding $1,000 to come first to the full Council.

  • County, cities pooling road resources, pending approval



    Roane County’s Road Department is making agreements with the county’s four cities to work together and share resources.

    Rockwood City Council approved the agreement at last month’s meeting, and Harriman City Council approved it this month.

    “It is something we should have been doing a long time ago,” said Rockwood Mayor Mike “Brillo” Miller.

  • County may put cap on funding for nonprofits



    Some officials want to see a cap on the amount of money Roane County donates to nonprofits.

    The County Commission’s budget committee voted unanimously to recommend a resolution to the full Commission that will limit the amount to $140,000 for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

    The commission is expected to consider the resolution at its Feb. 9 meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. at the courthouse in Kingston.

  • Harriman OKs Allison Rehn as city’s attorney



    Harriman selected attorney Allison Rehn to fill the city attorney post left vacant when Harold Balcom resigned last


    “I’m just thankful you’re interested in the position,” Harriman City Councilman Chris Ahler said.

    “We need to fill it, and you have great credentials.”

    Added Councilman Wayne Best, “I’m just glad we have somebody to call when we have a problem.”