County asks citizens to help identify roadside dump sites


If you live in a rural part of the county, you’re all too familiar with the sight of roadside dumps that at one time used to spring up like mushrooms along county roads, especially back roads with less traffic. They’re illegal of course, and may not be as common as they used to be, but they are as offensive and […]

A Holiday Slam

Suspicious fire and shooting under investigation

The Blount County Sheriff’s Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating a suspicious fire that occurred last week at a residence on Phillips Drive in the Straight Mountain area. The residence burned on the afternoon of Wednesday, Dec. 28, after the owner of the property reportedly blocked the driveway and refused to let firefighters and other rescue personnel […]

One new candidate qualifies as Jan. 13 deadline nears


Jackie Sivley, the incumbent, has qualified as a Republican candidate for the office of county board of education, place 2 (Blountsville), bringing to a total of six the number of county offices where one candidate is running unopposed as of Tuesday, Jan. 3. The other local offices with unopposed candidates are county board of education, place 1 (Hayden), county board […]

Churches alert: copper burglaries on the rise again

Church property committees: its time to consider the possible need for defensive action to protect one of your valuable assets – your church’s air conditioning unit. Thieves have recently hit as many as half-a-dozen rural churches in Blount County – perhaps others that have not been reported. They often vandalize the units on the spot for the copper which, if […]

Utilities policies questioned

I have received your notice that effective Jan. 1, 2012, certain “service charges” will be assessed unless one’s water bill is paid in any manner other than cash, check or money order. In addition, a $1.00 charge is assessed if “you do not bring your bill when you pay”. As a retired person, these charges seem unreasonable and appear to […]

Parent Portal coming for Blount County schools

The INow Parent Portal will debut next month, according to the Blount County school system. Parent Portal, which replaces STI Home, will be available to parents of Blount County system students beginning Jan. 13. Parents will receive new log-ins and directions with the first semester report cards that will be sent home that day. Parents will be able to set […]

Oneonta council lacks quorum

Only Mayor Darryl Ray and councilmen Tim McNair and Ross Norris attended the Oneonta City Council’s scheduled Dec. 27 meeting. With three councilors (Hal Buckelew, Mark Gargus, and Danny Robinson) absent, the body lacked a quorum. Unable to conduct any official business, the three only heard from Oneonta Business Association (OBA) president Sherry Pierce and Revenue Commissioner Chris Green. Green […]


Last week’s Top News Stories of 2011 in Blount County contained a couple of errors in editing. The article contained the statement that District Attorney Pamela Casey said her office was not subject to the bid law. The article should have said that Casey said the fund in question was not subject to the state bid law. At another point […]

Relay for Life