Today's News


    The buzz of chainsaws echoed throughout Kingston late this week as cleanup continued from a tornado that tore through Tuesday afternoon.

    Emergency officials originally called the blast straight-line winds, but the National Weather Service of Morristown weighed in with the tornado confirmation Wednesday.

    Much of Roane County saw power outages and hundreds of downed trees after the storm that spawned the EF0-rated twister.

    An EF0 rating means winds can get as high as 86 mph. The Kingston storm’s winds peaked at 80 mph, officials said.

  • Harriman approves change to city manager government form

    After years of off-and-on debate, the Harriman City Council voted to change its charter, establishing a city manager form of government.

    “If we are ever going to move ahead in this town, we’re going to have to do it, or if we don’t we are just going to continue on like we have for the last eight or nine or 10 years ... Good things, yeah, have come, good things have happened, but so many we got passed by (on) we really could have had a shot at,” said Councilman Lonnie Wright.

  • Raises included in Rockwood budget

    A 2014-15 budget with a 5-cent property tax increase passed unanimously at Rockwood City Council Monday night.

    The increase takes the property tax from 95 cents per $100 valuation to $1 per $100 valuation.

    “I still have a lot of objections to this, but we have to pass a budget. I’ll go ahead and say yes with the hopes we can amend some of this,” Councilwoman Peggy Evans said.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: True conservatives don’t change constitutions

    Knowledgeable reader, we are sure that you are familiar with the old expression about wolves masquerading in sheep’s clothing — well, that is a very apt description of many of the so-called conservatives who think that the majority of present day voters are conservatives, and in some areas and in some aspects they are doubtless right.

  • Anti-drug group gets new home
  • Polk Salad fest is back

    The green leaves of poke salad sustained many a country family through the lingering chill of early spring.

    “My mother-in-law, that was her saying,” said Diane Sutton. “She said, ‘If you could live until poke came up you could make it another year.’”

    Sutton admitted she didn’t realize until years later that poke and other spring plants were a relief for hungry families fearing a prolonged winter and shortage of food.

  • Six charged after police check house

    Six people were arrested on drug charges after Rockwood Police went to a house at 5542 Roane State Hwy.

    “We got information there was a (meth) lab there,” said Rockwood Police Chief Danny Wright.

    Officer Brandon Smith, with assistance from Sgt. Jason Haliburton and officers Rick Thomas and Kendal Mitchell, went to the house where they discovered what they believed to be lab components of a one-pot method of making methamphetamine.

    Roane County Sheriff Office deputies John Mayes and Mark Steinmann responded as meth lab technicians to help dispose of the material.

  • Neal to run for Kingston mayor

    Kingston Vice Mayor Tim Neal has decided to throw in his hat for a higher office.

    He plans to compete against incumbent Kingston Mayor Troy Beets.

    “It is time for me to run for mayor,” Neal said.

    He had nothing bad to say about his opponent.

    “Troy has done a good job. It is just time for a change. I feel like we need more stuff for the public,” said Neal.

    The lifelong resident of Kingston would like to see more waterfront development, including more pavilions like the one at Kingston City Park.

  • New hearing on Pemberton residency case

    The judge assigned to the Mike Pemberton candidacy case will hold a hearing in Roane County Chancery Court on Thursday at 9:30 a.m., according to Clerk and Master Shannon Conley.

    Pemberton faces Tom McFarland in the race for circuit court judge of the 9th Judicial District, which consists of Roane, Loudon, Meigs and Morgan counties.

    Chattanooga attorney Wes Kliner filed a complaint last month on behalf of Kingston resident Willis Hall, contesting the Roane County Election Commission’s decision to put Pemberton on the ballot.

  • County budget vote after election

    It looks like a vote on the 2014-15 county budget won’t happen until after the Aug. 7 election.

    A big portion of the spending plan is the school budget.

    The Roane County Board of Education is scheduled to meet on Thursday at 7 p.m.

    Chairman Everett Massengill said he had the school’s proposed 2014-15 budget removed from the agenda.

    “It will probably be next month before we pass it,” he said.

    Early voting for the election starts on July 18. The school board usually meets the third Thursday of the month.