Local News

  • Harriman budget set for finalization Tuesday evening

    Harriman officials are scheduled to vote on second and final reading of the 2016 budget at a special-called meeting on Tuesday.

    Harriman City Council is scheduled to meet in a public hearing to begin at 6:25 p.m.

    The meeting will follow at 6:30.

    If the budget passes as amended on first reading, it will include a new certified tax rate of $1.2197 per $100 valuation, which should generate the same amount of property tax revenue as last year.

  • Child burned before Labor Day recovering

    The 6-year-old boy who suffered burns at a Kingston residence is expected to recover, his mother said last week.

    “He’s OK,” Jennifer Waldo said. “He’s got to go back to Nashville Tuesday to get looked at again to see if they’re going to have to do skin grafting.”
    The incident happened at 1461 Mobile Drive on Sept. 4.

    According to the police report, Waldo took her three children there to visit her uncle, John Oscar Hicks. He was reportedly burning some brush when they arrived.

  • Reported swindling lands trio behind bars

    Oak Ridge police arrested three people last week for allegedly swindling an elderly person.

    “The total amount involved in this criminal enterprise was $96,370.38,” stated warrants against Carmalita Genovea Bruschi, Jackie Lee McGhee and Marty McGhee.

    All three have been charged with exploitation of an elderly person and theft.

    They were arrested on Sept. 9.

    Bruschi’s and Jackie McGhee’s address is listed in jail records as 137 Latimer Road, Oak Ridge.

  • Mums the WORD

    It’s been said that if you love your job, you will never work a day in your life.

    That’s kind of the case for Becky Brown, owner of Brown’s Green House in Harriman. She started her business more than 20 years ago on Ruritan Road, and has been going strong ever since.

    “I like everything about it,” Brown said of her business. “I’m my own boss, I like fooling around with plants, and I like dealing with people. I get to see a lot of people here.”

  • Rockout to Roane’s latest workout craze

    A new fitness craze has participants making noise while they grove.

    Pound Rockout Workout was inspired by a pair of drummers, and the exercise, which incorporates weighted drumsticks, is catching on, including with area trainer Kay Houser.

    “They use music that has a really strong beat to it. It is just the kind of feeling you just want to hit them, and it is so much fun,” she enthused.

    Houser is teaching Pound Rockout Workout classes in the old Kroger building next to Elite Fitness Gym at 2305 N. Gateway Ave., Rockwood.  

  • Feds indict man caught with 7 lbs. of meth

    The California man allegedly busted with seven pounds of crystal meth in Kingston this summer has been indicted federally.

    Fernando Simon Eudave-Castaneda, who is also known as Seven, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

    A federal grand jury returned the two-count indictment against him on Aug. 11, but the U.S. Attorney’s Office had all the documents in the case sealed.

  • Kingston tax hike over first hurdle

    With a 5-2 vote and little discussion, Kingston City Council passed the first reading of the 2015-16 budget during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night.

    Vice Mayor Tony Brown, who had voiced his opposition last week to the proposed 23-cent property tax hike, voted against the $6.029 million budget, as did Council Member Sarah Humphreys.

    Voting for the measure were Council members Don White, Norman Sugarman, John Byrkit, Randy Childs and Mayor Tim Neal.

  • Building’s owners, past and present, rallied for Academy

    The multiple incidents that have occurred at Roane Academy this summer haven’t swayed businessman Steve Kirkham’s opinion about the facility.

    “I would like to see the community embrace them and give them an opportunity,” he said this week.

    Kirkham owns the property at 503 Cardiff Valley Road, which is where Roane Academy is located.

    “All I am is the landlord there,” he said.

    The facility is operated by Omni Visions.

  • Houston keeping attorney for retrial

    Leon Houston is tentatively facing a Sept. 29 retrial date in federal court.

    Houston, found guilty in November 2013 of making a threat via interstate commerce, had his conviction overturned in July, when the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals determined Houston’s jury was improperly instructed.

    Houston appeared Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Pamela Reeves and U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley Jr. at the federal courthouse in Knoxville.

    It was the first court appearance since the conviction was overturned.

  • Rockwood gets $250,000 for home repairs

    Rockwood formally kicked off the process for a $250,000 HOME grant it received.

    The grant will enable the city to help several homeowners renovate their homes in disrepair.

    Rockwood is also hoping to make a bigger impact if they are awarded a neighborhood stabilization grant through the Community Development Block Grant program.

    “If we get our CDBG in the next few weeks ― and we think we will ― then that will be about 10 more houses we can fix because it will be $500,000,” said City Administrator Becky Ruppe.