Local News

  • Capitol Christmas tree from OS for second year in a row

    It’s a tree-peat — make that repeat — for the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.

    For the second consecutive year, a tree from the grounds of UTIA’s Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center has been chosen to be the Christmas tree for the Tennessee State Capitol.

    The approximately 75-foot-tall Norway spruce, which was planted on the grounds of the Center’s Cumberland Forest, was felled on Nov. 20.

  • Classroom Under the Sea making a splash

    Roane State Community College’s Classroom Under the Sea is doing more than breaking a world record for living in an underwater habitat.

    Professors Bruce Cantrell and Jessica Fain are making waves in education with a weekly program that exposes people to knowledge about the ocean, its coral reefs and animals, and experts in varied fields of study.

    Not only is a class at Roane State offered through the program, but videos are streamed for free and include lab projects anyone can do.

  • Harriman couple under indictment for child abuse

    A Harriman couple was arrested on Thursday following an indictment by the Knox County grand  jury, according to a press release from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

    Laurel Harmon, 26, and her boyfriend Robin Mayes, 27, are charged with aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect.

    Bond for both Harmon and Mayes was set at $300,000.  

  • Radio Shack closes up shop in Rockwood


    Radio Shack has closed in Rockwood. The electronic store’s sign has been removed from the front of the store it occupied in Tyler Pointe, and signs advise customers that the nearest store isnow in Oak Ridge. “Radio Shack can confirm we are closing our Rockwood location,” a corporate representative said. “However, we will continue to have additional stores in the area to serve our customers. We are grateful for the service of our dedicated associates.”

  • Reappraisal trouble creates scramble

    Officials were not happy to learn that trouble already is looming over Roane County’s 2015 reappraisal.

    In a Nov. 10 letter to Property Assessor David Morgan, the director of assessments and field operations for the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s Division of Property Assessments expressed doubts about the assessor’s office ability to complete an acceptable reappraisal program on time.

  • Changing reappraisal cycle may not be option

    Counties in Tennessee are allowed to reappraise on four-, five- or six-year cycles.

    Roane County is on a five-year cycle, and its next reappraisal is slated for 2015. Because of the Roane County Property Assessor’s Office apparent inability to conduct the 2015 reappraisal on time, there have been discussions about going to a six-year cycle, which would give the county more time.

    That may not be a good idea for a several reasons, however.

  • Ash spill workers’ lawsuit dismissed

    All along, Jacobs Engineering Group contended it was entitled to the same immunity granted to contractors in the litigation over the TVA ash spill. Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan agreed and dismissed a lawsuit that accused Jacobs of lying to ash spill cleanup workers about the safety of fly ash.

    “The court finds that derivative discretionary immunity applies here,” Varlan ruled. “Thus, plaintiffs’ claims will be dismissed.”

    Varlan’s order applies to three cases and affects more than 50 plaintiffs.

  • Concert aims to help school system

    This weekend, two Harriman High School alumni will team up with their bandmates to support the local school system.

    Hillbilly Jedi will be at the Princess Theatre at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22. The band includes Steve Collins and Mark Ray, both of whom graduated from Harriman High School in 1977.

    “I just hope it is going to be a lot of fun. We have been excited ever since we found out we were going to get to do it. We are going to see people we haven’t seen in a long time,” said Ray.

  • Tax problems close Big E’s

    Several Roane County businesses belonging to Rockwood’s Eddie Lee have been seized by the state for allegedly failing to pay state taxes.

    Signs on the closed businesses popped up this week. They read: “Warning: Tennessee State Government Seizure, This property has been seized for nonpayment of Tennessee state taxes by virtue of a levy issued by the Department of Revenue, Tax Enforcement Division .... All persons are warned not to remove or tamper with this property in any manner.”

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: The pros and cons of Keystone pipeline stated

    Last week’s column was, as the constant reader knows, the annual pre-Thanksgiving publication of Dr. Martin Rywell’s versionn of the traditional Tennessee Apple Stack Cake.

    In that column we make mention of the fact that Dr. Rywell was married to one of the Stone girls, of the Stone’s Department Store family.