Local News

  • Why was state prisoner on work crew?

    How did an inmate sentenced to state prison end up on a Roane County Jail work crew? That’s a question surrounding the recent escape of Adam Phillips.

    “You got to be sentenced before you can be even considered to be on a work detail,” Roane County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tim Phillips explained.

    Adam Phillips, no relation Tim Phillips, pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery, theft, burglary and vandalism in July and was sentenced to 12 years in state prison.

  • Future school calendars set

    The first day of school for the next two school years are set. The Roane County Board of Education approved the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school calendars at the Nov. 19 meeting.  

    Classes begin on Aug. 10 for the 2016-17 school year. Classes will start on Aug. 9 for the 2017-18 school year.

    Both calendars include a one week fall break and one week spring break.

  • Harriman eyes solar initiative

    Solar energy may save the city of Harriman money on its utility bills.

    Officials are looking at a proposal to work with a company to install solar panels at several locations in the city.

    “This is a cost cutting measure. It is deemed as revenue, but it really is a cost cutting. It is a forward looking thing, which is great and very beneficial for our citizens,” said City Councilman Chris Ahler.

    Councilman Ken Mynatt said the city needed to do something to address its utility costs.

  • Harriman Home Tour marks 25th

    Cornstalk Heights Historic Community Organization is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its annual Historic Harriman Christmas Tour of Homes.

    “We’ve been blessed to have the neighborhood support this event over the years,” said Diana Knobloch, this year’s chair.

    “The tour has become a fundraiser for the Cornstalk Heights Historical Community Organization. We also like to showcase our beautiful homes. There are not too many communities left that have the number of homes built in the 1890s-early 1900’s like we do.”

  • Nostalgia, gifts fill Rocky Top General Store

    Rocky Top General Store has been a Harriman fixture for decades.

    David Webb and his family started with Webb’s Furniture in downtown Harriman in 1959 and moved the store to its current location on Ruritan Road in the 1970s, changing its name to Rocky Top General Store because of its many items.

    “When we got here and had so many different things we changed it to general store,” said Webb.

    And boy does it have so many different things.

  • Boy Scouts’ tree sale a holiday tradition in Kingston

    Ted Dailey was not even old enough to be a Cub Scout the first time he remembers helping with Troop 101’s Christmas Tree Sales.

    “It was 1961 or ‘62,” he said. “My big brother, George, was in Scouts, and I was the tag along little brother.
    “We cut them down and sold them along Highway 58. They were Cedar Trees - the kind of Christmas Trees they had back then.

    “We sold them for a quarter or 50 cents, or a dollar if they were really big ones.”

  • Silent Light event a time of quiet reflection

    There is a quiet place to listen to the stillness and sit in contemplation this Advent season.

    Each Monday during Advent, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church is holding an event called Silent Light.

    The church will be open from 5:30 to 8 p.m. to allow people to sit quietly in the sanctuary.

    “We are going to have just candlelight. No sermon. No music,” said Lynne Spires.

    Prayer and quiet reflection, or meditation, are concepts part of the church for a long time.

  • Bus crash hero cited

    The memories of the Oct. 21 school bus crash haven’t faded for Eugene Garza.

    The Oliver Springs High School sophomore was one of 22 students on the bus that landed on its side in a ditch during an accident on Mahoney Road.

    “I was actually listening to music on my phone, and I just felt it start tipping,” he recalled.

    “My window just so happened to be open in the bus. I was sitting in the farthest back seat, and if it were shut, I probably would’ve got that same cut as one of the other students did.”

  • It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like CHRISTMAS

    Michael Walden is keeping up a long-time Christmas tradition, but he is not alone – he has a nearly 40-year-old blueprint to follow.

    Walden is the current owner of Rockwood’s famous “Christmas House” on Wheeler Street.

    He purchased the home in 2014 from Cotton Human, who had decorated his entire yard with a plethora of lighted Christmas décor for years.

    This tradition gave the house its name, and has been one children – and adults – eagerly anticipate every year.

  • Smoot roommate called on for evidence

    Prosecutors still have a chance to get some crucial gun evidence introduced at Shawn Smoot’s murder trial.

    They extradited his former roommate from Guam to testify at a pretrial hearing in Roane County Criminal Court on Nov. 20.

    Brett Melacarro said he saw a Kel-Tec P-32 pistol on the kitchen table of the condominium he and Smoot shared in Knoxville.

    “I walked up and I asked Mr. Smoot what’s this?” Melacarro testified. “He said it was a pistol he carries in his console.”