A majority of the often unruly crowd packed into the Loudon County Courthouse Annex meeting room Thursday evening for a Loudon County Board of Education meeting arrived with their minds made up.

Those who have been longtime subscribers and readers of the News-Herald know that for years, Herb Linginfelter was a regular part of the publication. Herb wrote about Lenoir City and what it was like growing up here long before U.S. Highway 321 developed into the busy hub it is now.

No matter how Lenoir City government characterizes its proposed stormwater utility fee, which is scheduled to come up for a final city council vote Monday, the benefits to the city budget are no different than a tax increase.

We learned Friday about a private, unannounced meeting held Thursday by the Lenoir City Board of Education. A report about that meeting can be found beginning on page A1 of this edition.

Now that Loudon County Commission has received a final recommendation from the Corrections Partnership Committee on constructing a new jail to address inmate overcrowding — a problem that has literally been on the radar for almost half a decade — it seems an end could be in sight.

While Loudon County, with its multiple boat ramps and easy access to the water on both sides of Fort Loudoun Dam, has become known as a destination for a couple high-profile fishing tournaments each spring and summer, the so-called Lakeway to the Smokies seems to no longer be a mere pitstop …

At a time when so much emphasis is being placed on Common Core curriculum and the four academic pillars of science, technology, engineering and math, we would be remiss if we didn’t highlight the important work being done to support the arts and humanities in the city and county school districts.

Perhaps this is just wishful-thinking and rote optimism on our part, but given how important Tellico Village and its various assets have been to the tax base in Loudon County the past 30 years, why can’t officials on both sides of the current delinquent property dispute simply sit down at a …

While Loudon County has certainly been fortunate to take advantage of a television and computer monitor recycling program through a federal government initiative, recent news that Unicor, the corporation that has been transporting and disposing of the equipment free of charge, will now levy …

We realize law enforcement is oftentimes tireless and thankless work, but officers demonstrate on a daily basis that they are looking to make a difference in neighborhoods and public places in the county, even if combating crime and keeping the public safe may seem at times like an uphill battle.

While we appreciate the sentiment behind offering a firearm safety program for students in Loudon County Schools, particularly in light of the number of recent national tragedies related to gun deaths, we have significant concerns about how such a class would be implemented.

Following the dissolution of the previous merchants association almost two decades ago, the corridor along Broadway Street in Lenoir City — despite a smattering of brave business owners willing to share their entrepreneurial spirit — has experienced something of a malaise in recent years, pa…

Although rainy and cool weather may have affected attendance numbers Friday for Loudon County Animal Shelter’s open house, it surely can’t dampen the impact the center has had through its long-standing work in the community, often difficult and thankless work, with help from volunteers and s…

After the Great Recession and the housing bubble rocked real estate development, turning a bunch of good intentions into test cases of untapped potential, the landscape across East Tennessee, bloated with incomplete resort communities and all-but abandoned projects, bears the indelible signs…

We were pleased to report in this edition that plans for an all-access playground in Lenoir City, which have been in the works for at least three years now, finally seem within reach. The Parks and Recreation Department anticipates a spring or summer completion.

Although the idea may seem counterintuitive at first glance, Lenoir City Board of Education’s recent move to buy the United Community Bank building on Broadway Street could prove a positive on multiple fronts, particularly for the continued development of downtown and for academic performanc…

Based on previous experience, local economic development officials would have likely been pleased to have a turnout of 150 or 200 people to the job fair that took place this week at the new Morgan Olson plant in Loudon.

We certainly encourage companies to consider making the switch to solar power as a way to trim costs and reduce their own carbon footprint, but we clearly have a long way to go in making alternative forms of energy more accessible to average homeowners.

While our report this week on child well-being offered a couple of positive takeaways, what should concern us is the limited progress the county seems to have made on poverty, even as we are surrounded by some of the most affluent neighborhoods in the state.

We were pleased to report in this edition that progress seems to have been made on the current push to save the bridge atop Fort Loudoun Dam, and doing so would not just be beneficial in the numerous ways outlined in the story. Creating additional greenway space could open up full access to …

We realize the abortive deal between Tate & Lyle, county government and the city of Loudon may have left a bad taste in the mouths of local officials and the public on payment in lieu of tax arrangements, but this should not prevent us from supporting future ideas for economic developmen…

This might be a good time to give a reality check to Loudon County Commission, some of whom, after passing a 2015-16 budget that included an $840,000 slash to the bottom line, seem to be sitting on their hands, while at least one commissioner has stepped up to the plate and is considering op…

As the Loudon County Corrections Partnership Committee prepares to move forward on a plan to renovate and upgrade the current Justice Center property rather than going with a more costly option, we would be remiss if we failed to give credit where it is due.

We were troubled by news this week that not only are state officials considering a move to allow government offices to charge a fee to inspect public records, but the seeds of this pernicious idea, which could restrict free access to documents under certain circumstances, seem to be germinat…

We were pleased to report this week that test scores, while not off the charts, at least indicate that the educational needle seems to be moving in the right direction, as Loudon County and Lenoir City school districts met a wide majority of 11 benchmarks as outlined in a report on Tennessee…

We were struck this week by the almost stunning juxtaposition of two concurrent events, both of which highlight a real divide that seems to exist in this county between children who are afforded plenty of opportunities to succeed in the short and long term and those who come from families in…

If readers take away any message from our examination of this year’s National KIDS COUNT Data Book report, we hope it will be that we as a community and state have much work to do in meeting the basic needs of our young people.

Although Loudon County officials have wrangled with Tate & Lyle and Kimberly-Clark for the better part of four years over a property tax dispute that could mean a loss of significant revenues for the county, we are encouraged that local officials and Tate & Lyle could be inching towa…

While we have reported on the pill epidemic in Loudon County seemingly trumping all other law enforcement concerns at the moment, one problem that does not seem to ebb and flow with passing trends is domestic violence, and unlike other vices that may be more contingent on a person’s specific…

With commission having already approved funding for phase two of Board of Education construction projects at Loudon High and Highland Park Elementary schools, and with the Corrections Partnership Committee apparently leaning toward renovating the current Justice Center rather than building a…

While graduation from high school is traditionally a seminal moment in the lives of many students as they embark on a new life in college or set their sights on a career path, the memorable occasion is too often marred by potentially dangerous behavior that could follow a wayward young perso…

Realistically speaking, the Loudon County Solid Waste Disposal Commission’s push to potentially challenge the constitutionality of a 1 percent fee it has been paying to the trustee’s office for years in exchange for the county’s financial management services never really had much legal tract…

If experience has taught us anything in the last five years in Loudon County, and particularly along the U.S. Highway 321 corridor, well-meaning, small business owners with good ideas and a capitalistic spirit have to do more than just put up a sign, open the doors and expect an avalanche of…

Given the glacial progress of various road and bridge projects across Loudon County, from the paving project along Highway 11 to the $70 million Fort Loudoun Dam bridge project that routinely causes a bottleneck along Highway 321, readers more than likely groaned at the number of times the w…

In order for Lenoir City’s central district to again attract newcomers and develop a robust character and charm of its own, one that is reflected back in so many black and white photos of a bustling Broadway Street from the mid-20th century, private investment and a little ingenuity may be t…

We’ll leave it to readers to decide whether this was mere coincidence or bitter irony, but on the same day — Wednesday of last week — that Loudon County Board of Education met to discuss an anticipated budget deficit of $1.6 million, a few miles away local law enforcement, county and court o…

Rarely does an entire community get to come together to not only honor current officials who are charting a path forward in various sectors like education, business, law enforcement and local government, but recognize exemplary students, some of whom will no doubt be the leaders of tomorrow …

While the blast of sleet, ice, snow and near record low conditions no doubt presented an unusually challenging week for commuters in the county, as precipitation covered roadways and then refroze on subsequent nights when temperatures continued to plummet, travel was made a little less trepi…

Although a recent spate of crashes in Knox and Loudon counties seems to have reopened discussion about the potential for retrofitting school buses with seat belts, lawmakers might do well to consider the long-term safety implications and costs associated with making knee-jerk reactions to in…

While Lenoir City Intermediate/Middle School’s technology night certainly provided parents with an opportunity to get a firsthand look at innovations that are helping children succeed in their studies, bolstering technology in education has a wide range of implications that could reach well …

In a county and region facing ongoing challenges related to childhood obesity, diabetes and an overdependence on fast food that is, to our own detriment, both convenient and affordable, it’s safe to say that we all could stand to be a little healthier in the long run.

Like many communities across East Tennessee, Loudon County is, for the most part, a place that is both keenly aware of the dire social and economic circumstances facing some of its most vulnerable members, and volunteers in numerous nonprofit agencies actively work to meet the challenges hea…

As disturbing as the idea of a department head supposedly siphoning additional funds off law-abiding residents, accepting gifts and prohibiting interracial couples from getting married, which was outlined in a lawsuit that leveled dozens of allegations against Loudon County Clerk Darlene Rus…

Although officials in the last couple years have kicked around multiple options for revitalizing the business sector along Broadway Street, seemingly with more uncertainty than decisiveness, plans to renovate the historic Waller Building and formulate a hybrid approach to road and sidewalk r…

While nurses and staff at local assisted living facilities may have a clinical, nuts and bolts understanding of dementia, macular degeneration and other disorienting diseases and symptoms that impact patients, it’s likely that few have been able to understand what residents were going throug…

While leaders in nonprofit agencies are certainly taking the right approach in trying to solve the  problem of ineffective charitable work by sitting down and working through some of the most pressing concerns facing the community, the main message from the meeting of these 20 representative…