Local News

  • 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.

  • State worried about reappraisal

    Many Roane County residents considered the 2010 property reappraisal a disaster.

    Now the state is raising concerns about the next one, coming in 2015.

    The state is worried that the Roane County Property Assessor’s office may not be capable of completing the 2015 reappraisal on time.

    Don Osborne, director of assessments and field operations for the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s Division of Property Assessments, expressed his doubts in a Nov. 10 letter to Property Assessor David Morgan.

  • Schools look for better in new state commissioner

    Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes has a list of traits he’d like to see in Tennessee’s next education commissioner.

    “I’d like to see one that’s a good communicator and one that just really stands for public education,” Aytes said. “If they will do that, we’ll be in good shape.”

    Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced last week that Kevin Huffman, the current education commissioner, is stepping down to move into the private sector.

  • Four charged with DUI

    With a flurry of winter holidays on the horizon, celebrations can carry over onto the roadways.

    With that in mind, Rockwood Police Department and Tennessee Highway Patrol had a multi-agency sobriety checkpoint Friday night.

    About 400 vehicles came through the North Gateway Avenue and Delozier Lane checkpoint that was sponsored by the Governors Highway Safety Office. Out of five arrests made, four were DUIs.