Apr 19 2015
11:53 am
By: WhitesCreek

The Tennessee legislature continues to amaze and disappoint...

Without doubt, the most entertaining debate of this year’s legislative session came in two days of impassioned House floor discourse on whether the Holy Bible should be Tennessee’s official state book – a striking contrast to the utter lack of discussion on most everything else considered.


Apr 16 2015
05:22 pm

Yager and Calfee vote Yes to take away the Roane County Commission's ability to control weapons in County Parks.


What a waste of time...

After hours of debate in the House earlier this week, the Tennessee Senate on Thursday likely dealt the Bible-as-Official-State-Book bill a death blow for the year by sending the bill back to committee for further review.


Apr 16 2015
10:49 am

Thursday, April 16 at 6pm
Kingston Public Library

Gerald L. Augustus, Author and Civil War Historian:

“The Civil War in Tennessee, The Loudon County Area of East Tennessee in the War 1861-1865," Published May, 2000

"The Battle of Campbell’s Station, 16 November 1863," Published September, 2013

Mr. Augustus is a retired teacher and principal from Lenior City Schools. Originally from Kentucky, he received his masters from the University of Tennessee. He is an avid collector of all things Civil War. Besides his books, he co-wrote and edited "Loudon County and Its People 1870-1999," has been published in antique magazines, and has been featured in the Heartland Series, “The Hidden Battlefield. “ Mr. Augustus has much to share with us about Tennessee’s role and involvement in the Civil War.

Refreshments will be served. This event is part of our "Thursday Night at the Library" series.

Sponsored by
Kingston Public Library

This event is free and there is no need to RSVP.

More information at the Kingston Public Library.

The level of maturity in our state legislature continues to nosedive. While Roane is not party to this lawsuit, there is no question we have been greatly harmed by the BEP formula. The message from the Legilature seems to be, "We're going to hurt your schools and if you fight back we'll hurt you even more." This is a sad situation for our school children.

Last month, school boards in Hamilton, Bradley, Polk, McMinn, Grundy, Marion and Coffee counties sued Republican Gov. Bill Haslam. The suit charges the BEP formula is underfunded by hundreds of millions of dollars and thus violates the Tennessee Constitution, which provides the state will offer a free system of education.

The Senate's and, later, House Finance Committee added an amendment Wednesday night to the proposed state budget implementation bill. The amendment, which will be considered in the bill that will be heard in both chambers today, specifically bars the systems from using any state or BEP funds for attorneys' fees, court costs or other expenses associated with the litigation.


Yager gives "Because we can!" as reason for changing this longstanding legal protection for those accused.

A preliminary hearing is designed to make prosecutors show some ever so slight evidentiary basis for the charge leveled against the accused. Let’s say our old buddy Joe swears on a stack of Bibles you stole his Bible. Joe gets a warrant. You get arrested. You then have the absolute right to ask for a preliminary hearing at which the state must convince a judge a Bible was probably stolen and you probably did it. It’s a low, low standard, but that’s OK because all that probable cause finding does is open the door for a grand jury review of the charge.

The prosecution would rather skip the thing because it a) forces them to put on evidence that might not yet be ready for legal prime time (odds are they haven’t even interviewed Joe before court) and b) gives the defense a fishing pole with which they can start gleaning details about the prosecution’s case and, more importantly, its evidentiary strength.

And that’s why Yager’s bill is a bit of a head scratcher.

A new lawsuit by Tennessee Clean Water Network and the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association goes after TVA for polluting groundwater and TDEC for letting them do it. TVA has the clever response that it is TVA's groundwater and they can pollute it if they want to. This is not the first time this attitude has shown itself and it is very disappointing in an agency that is supposed to serve the public.

The new lawsuit claims TDEC's January suit does not address all of the problems at the plant, including multiple permit violations and toxic seepage into Sinking Creek and the Cumberland River, a drinking source for millions of people.

It also suggests that TDEC Commissioner Robert Martineau might have a conflict of interest. The suit states that Martineau previously represented TVA as legal counsel.


I'm pretty stunned at this!


This is really just strange.

The official version of how a Roane County detainee wound up dead was this — Dustin Barnwell overdosed on muscle relaxers and stopped breathing as a result.

It would take a civil-rights lawsuit and two years of legal wrangling for a crucial detail missing from that official version to emerge. Barnwell, 26, did not stop breathing on his own. Instead, medics paralyzed his lungs via a drug and then allegedly flubbed the insertion of a breathing tube.


This year’s legislative session is drawing to a close over the next couple weeks, and we can’t thank you enough for speaking out against vouchers. We know we’ve asked you to contact legislators several times but it’s so important that our lawmakers hear voices other than the big money organizations that attempt to pit elected officials against our schools.


Apr 13 2015
08:25 am

The GOP has a serious problem in that Obamacare has been a resounding success and the great state of Tennessee has lost a couple of billion dollars due to Republicans being unable to admit they were flat out lying about it. They can;t stand to see Federal tax dollars get away, so now they have to play these silly games, each hoping the other will crack and do the right thing. Doing the right thing is not something that comes easy to a Republican, but let's hope a few of them let their greed overtake their political rantings and get Insure Tennessee passed. People are dying for this legislation to pass. Really dying!

That and more at the Buzz:


Apr 10 2015
08:07 am
By: WhitesCreek

Insure Tennessee town hall blasts no-show Harwell, others

Lawmakers could soon be packing heat on Capitol Hill

Guiding principles for a more enlightened U.S. education policy

Roadblocks to the budget


Fines for employers who risk employee lives must be large enough and clear enough to get the attention of companies. In addition to fining a corporation, the people who make decisions regarding this need to be held personally responsible. In this case the fines aren't even large enough to cover the cost of the investigation into this accident.

A Tennessee construction company is being fined $6,400 for violations in connection with a December trench collapse in Roane County that ended up burying a worker in dirt up to his chest.

Danson Construction, which has a Sparta, Tenn., mailing address, is being fined $3,200 for violations related to excavation requirements and $3,200 for violations tied to protective systems, according to documents obtained by 10News.


We are represented by idiots, and yes both our state Reps voted for this. The national media is picking up on this. Could our elected officials PLEASE stop making this state a laughing stock? It drives up the cost of the concessions the governor has to give giant corporations to bring jobs here.


The Roane County Commission needs to step up and get in Senator Yager's, Rep. Calfee's and Rep. Travis's face about voting to take away local control of our parks schools and businesses property rights. Do you want a State Representative from Memphis deciding whether you will have to sit next to a person with a gun at high school football games?


Roane County's Jim Henry has done quite a lot of good work. It's good to see him honored.

Childhelp, which advocates for abused and neglected children, announced that Henry and his staff will be honored with the Childhelp Voice of the Children Award on April 22 at the Childhelp National Day of Hope celebration in Washington, D.C.

“The outstanding work that Jim and his team are doing for Tennessee’s at-risk children and families should be brought to the forefront,” said Sara O’Meara, co-founder, CEO and chairman of the board for Arizona-based Childhelp. “The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services is a beacon for the fight against child abuse and neglect. It is a wonderful program, parts of which should be implemented in every state throughout the country.”


Apr 8 2015
07:18 am

Authorities have accused a former Roane County man of being a member of the Ku Klux Klan and plotting with two Florida prison guards to murder an inmate.

Roane County News

The supporters of the "Don't Say Gay" Bill that got laughed out of existance are back with more divisive unnecessary disruptive legislation that would ultimately allow discrimination in a state employee due to "religious" beliefs.

“We are health care professionals,” Morris added. “We need to act like it.”

The New Civil Rights Movement’s David Badash observed that the bill seemed to be using religion as a “door to hide and cower behind.”

“The concept of so-called ‘religious liberty’ as it’s being (mis)used is faulty,” Badash wrote on Tuesday. “If anti-gay people want a reason to not help gay people, they should have the personal courage to do so, and accept the consequences.”

These people continue to be paid to embarrass us in the national media.


Check out the debut issue of the Roane County Post, Wed. April 8 2015. That's tomorrow. I like the idea of alternative news sources. We'll be watching to see how this one goes forward as a weekly up against the thrice weekly Roane County News. There should be room for both rags in today's environment.


This speaks louder than anything we could say about the fact that more guns don't make you safer. The NRA is a sales wing for gun manufacturers and doesn't give one bean about your "safety" or the safety of your children in schools or parks.


Apr 7 2015
07:44 am

Both of Roane County's representatives and State Senator Yager have voted in favor of stripping the County Commission's control over whether guns are allowed in local parks. Since there has been absolutely ZERO coverage of this in the local newspapers I suppose it is left to RoaneViews to keep folks informed.

At any rate,here is the big question:

Why are our county leaders sitting by and letting their own power within their own county be stripped by their own state representation?

Roane County state Representatives Kent Calfee and Ron Travis both voted against a Senate version of the Guns in Parks Bill that Senator Yager supported that would effectively kill the bill due to lack of resolution between the House and the Senate. Our lamb in sheep's clothing governor is actually against this bill but has given no leadership and no indication whether he will veto it. With the NRA convention about to start in Nashville, our local little dog legislators are falling all over themselves to prove they can sell out local governments to the arms manufacturers the NRA represents.


Apr 4 2015
07:32 am

Regardless of strong opposition to their plans to store ash in the "gypsum" landfill, TVA is plowing right along as if all the questions have been settled and there is no public outrage.

"TVA seeks comment on ‘dewatering’ facility at Kingston, would allow dry storage"

If built, the bottom ash/pyrite stream would leave the coal plant and be pumped via conveyor to the new dewatering facility. Moisture would be removed, and the dry product would be loaded onto trucks and hauled to an onsite landfill for disposal. The waste water would be processed and eventually discharged according to regulatory requirements.


The Guns in Parks Bill is in trouble. Somehow an amendment got added that would include the Capital in with our parks as a place people with Concealed Carry permits could take their guns. Legislators didn't seem to be all that enthusiastic about letting guns into their chambers. In explaining why the Capitol building should NOT allow CC and why parks SHOULD allow CC There was this:

Guns in parks today exist by law-breakers. What we're saying is we want those law-abiding citizens that have demonstrated the ability to operate a weapon to be there and to avert a crime, which has happened many times across this country and this state. So, I think we're being naive-like if we say there is no guns in park, and this is a guns in parks. This is not. This is letting permit holders there to defend unarmed citizens.

Casada's answer then is that we need more guns to protect people who don't have guns, except that at the Capitol they have great security and don;t need these extra guns to be safe.

The transcript is here. You try and figure it out.


Apr 2 2015
03:59 pm

The state Senate has voted to ban drones from recording images above ticketed events with more than 100 people in attendance.


“A person commits an offense who intentionally carries an explosive, explosive weapon, permanently disabled firearm, hoax device, imitation firearm, machete, or sword openly within one hundred fifty feet (150′) of the real property that comprises the grounds or facilities of a public or private preschool, elementary school, middle school, or secondary school,”

I wish I were making this up...


Water flows downhill and takes everything with it. Around here that means it all goes into Watts Bar Lake and winds up on or near shore. Way back in the last century we played a part, along with a large number of other civic minded folks, in getting an annual clean up going on. With a few bumps along the way this tradition of giving something back to improve your community continues.

The Watts Bar Lake Association has a web site that is a little out of date but it's a wonderful tool to get everyone involved. If you are interested in helping clean up Saturday April 11, the guy to call is Peter Giroux at 404-304-1115.

I promise you'll enjoy yourself with a bunch of good people.

Apr 1 2015
07:31 am
By: WhitesCreek

If you want the best information on about any subject you should go to membership supported sites with a clear history of objectivity. I am continually amazed at the wide range of subjects Mother Jones covers and the accuracy of their reporting. This is a prime example:

Last week, lovers of rice rejoiced when The Washington Post reported on a simple trick to improve the nutritional value of the food. According to researchers in Sri Lanka, all you have to do is add a fat (they used coconut oil) to the cooking water, cool your rice over night, and voila!—up to to 50 percent of the calories (a cup of rice contains about 200 when cooked conventionally) are gone.


Mar 31 2015
09:18 am

A federal judge on Monday sentenced a retired Tennessee Valley Authority police officer to home detention and probation for his role in providing police protection for an illegal $1 million poker game.


Mar 31 2015
08:48 am
By: WhitesCreek

Koch Brothers group relaunches ads to defeat Insure Tennessee

Will governor veto guns in parks? Harwell recommends against it

Voucher bill clears Senate 24-8


Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid / TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.