Local News

  • Fall Fun: Bring it on!
  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Hadn’t we better learn about Muslims pretty soon?

    Gentle Reader, isn’t the intrusion of Islam into the current Republican presidential primary contest extraordinary?

    First there is the big brouhaha set off by that crew-cut, wild-eyed, ultra right-wing fellow who posed the question to Donald Trump about what he would do about the Muslims and their training camps, prefaced by the tired old assertion that our Hawaii-born, born-again Christian president was in fact a Muslim.

  • Hall’s Dime Store first of problem buildings to go

    The last remnants of Harriman’s Hall’s 5-10-25-Cent Store came down Thursday morning after the majority of the building was torn to the ground Wednesday.

    The 519 Roane St. structure is in the same block as the former Miller & Brewer store, which was gutted by fire on Jan. 8. Hall’s, which sold a mish-mash of items, was known for its candy counter.

    “As kids, we all went there for fresh candy out of the old wood and glass counters,” said Blake Kirkland. “My mom went there as a child also.”

  • 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.

  • 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.”

  • 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?