Today's News

  • Kingston seeks cheaper rates on employee health insurance

    In their never-ending quest to cut costs, Kingston City Council members looked to reduce one of the city’s largest annual outlays by calling for new insurance quotes.

    In the end, though, council members decided that other pastures aren’t always greener and elected to stick with the current package—a combination of Cigna and Blue Cross, obtained through the state of Tennessee—to provide insurance benefits for its employees.

  • Changes being considered in Rockwood parks management

    Rockwood City Council will be deciding the fate of park and recreation director Jody Mioduski at its meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday.

    Mioduski was put on administrative leave earlier this month, and many officials were left initially in the dark about why he was out.

    Mayor James Watts confirmed Tuesday that Mioduski’s future with the city would be part of the discussion Thursday, and said they’d had calls from residents about his “management style.”

    Watts said he feels it is time to move in a different direction.

  • Kingston tightening budget belt

    Kingston City Council members prepared for the coming year of fiscal belt-tightening by approving on first reading a spartan budget plan for 2014-15 at the May 13 council meeting.

    Kingston City Manager David Bolling called it “a tough budget … a necessity budget,” and the numbers bear him out.

    The general fund in the 2014-15 plan — which still has to pass a second reading at June council sessions — is set at nearly $5.3 million, about $100,000 less than the current one.

  • Rockwood eyes modest tax hike

    Rockwood officials will likely have the first reading of its budget Thursday at 6 p.m.

    At press time, officials said the proposed budget includes a property tax increase of 5 cents — from 95 cents per $100 valuation to $1 per $100 valuation.

    “Basically I am going to let the council take the budget and go through it and make recommendations,” said Mayor James Watts.

    What of the proposed 5-cent hike?

  • Yet another residency challenge

    The controversy surrounding the residency of circuit court judge candidate Mike Pemberton is not over.

    Chattanooga attorney Wes Kliner filed a complaint with the Roane County Chancery Court, contesting the Roane County Election Commission’s decision to put Pemberton on the ballot for the Aug. 7 election.

    Kliner represents Kingston resident Willis Hall, a former client of Tom McFarland. Pemberton and McFarland face each other in the race.

  • The Garden Gate: Flowers once governed society’s fashion sense

    What is in fashion governs us more than we realize.

    There are fashions in everything: clothes, foods, decorative arts, jewelry, hair styles, home decor, music, dance and drama, manners and morals, and, surprisingly, flowers.

    Wearing flowers is at a low point currently, but flowers were worn as lapel corsages or hair ornaments with almost any outfit in the 1930s and ’40s. And this was the heyday of the gardenia.

  • Look Back: A Little Something From Our Files From the Week of May 21

    25 Years Ago
    Kingston property owners who did not live in the city had their hopes — and their votes — dashed with a 1987 Kingston City Charter change. It was the first time in many years non-residents who own property were excluded from determining Kingston mayor and City Council members. Consequently, it kept residents of Harriman, Rockwood, Oliver Springs and Oak Ridge who owned property in Kingston from voting in two of the county’s municipal elections.

  • ‘Smoke’ returning to Crossville stage for its 21st season

    One of Cumberland County Playhouse’s most popular productions, “Smoke on the Mountain,” returns to the stage of the Crossville theater on May 30.

    Now in its 21st consecutive year at Cumberland County Playhouse, “Smoke” continues to play to sold-out crowds and delight audiences again and again.

    “The publisher, Samuel French Inc. — the oldest and largest publisher for plays and musicals in the world — tells us it’s the most popular show they license,” said director Weslie Webster.

  • Sunsphere observation deck now open

    The observation deck of the Sunsphere in Knoxville’s World’s Fair Park is now open and offering an updated experience.

    In addition to basic upgrades including new floor and ceiling tiles, the observation deck features updated information on the numerous and diverse educational and entertainment opportunities Knoxville has to offer.

    “The Sunsphere is the first thing many people see when they come to visit our city and a favorite spot for locals in the community,” said Kim Bumpas, president of Visit Knoxville.

  • Arrests: May 9-14, 2014

    Editor’s Note: Readers are cautioned that some names may be the same as, or similar to, other members of the community.
    May 9 — Christopher Michael Bunch, 23, 224 Pickard Hollow Raod, Harriman: failure to appear. Bond $3,000; court date June 30.

    • Ronald Shane Easter, 28, 4824 Dixie Lee Hwy., Spring City: theft $500 or less, two attachments. Total bond $1,050; court date July 7.

    • Tiffany Laura Edwards, 35, 305 W. Dunn St., Rockwood: failure to appear. Bond $100,000; court date July 21.