More than $4,000 worth of tobacco stolen in Edgemoor Road burglary

Marathon Gas Station on Edgemoor Road

More than $4,000 worth of tobacco was stolen from this Marathon gas station on Edgemoor Road in a Tuesday morning burglary, authorities said.


Marathon Gas Station Door After Burglary

Video footage from the store’s security system showed an unidentified man using what appeared to be a crowbar to break this glass door before entering the store and putting cigarettes and smokeless tobacco into a bag, authorities said.

More than $4,000 worth of tobacco was stolen from a gas station in a burglary on Edgemoor Road early Tuesday morning, authorities said.

The burglary at the Marathon gas station and store at 1060 Edgemoor Road occurred just before 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to store owner Sunil Patel of Oak Ridge.

Video footage from the store’s security system shows a white man of medium build using what appears to be a crowbar to break the glass on a front door before entering the store, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Michael A. Poole said in an incident report. The unidentified man then went behind the counter and placed cigarettes and cans of smokeless tobacco into a bag, Poole said. [Read more…]

Dowdell scores 27 as Lady Wildcats beat Halls 82-41

Oak Ridge Lady Wildcats Mykia Dowdell

Freshman post Mykia Dowdell (34) had 27 points for the Oak Ridge Lady Wildcats in a 82-41 win over the Halls Red Devils on Friday night. (Photos by Luther Simmons)


Freshman post Mykia Dowdell scored 27 points for Oak Ridge as the Lady Wildcats opened up a large lead in the second half of a 82-41 win over the Halls Lady Red Devils on Friday night.

The game was closer at halftime, when the Lady Wildcats were up 30-24. Dowdell led all scorers then with 11 points.

But Oak Ridge’s rebounding and defense improved in the second half, and the teamwork was better, Oak Ridge coach David Scott said. The Lady Wildcats scored 52 points in the second half alone.

Other leading scorers on Friday were Caelyn Thompson with 14 points, Princess Bates with 12, Courtney Ellison with 10, Jas Hembry with nine, and Destiny Kassner with seven. [Read more…]

Wildcats get game-saving block to stop Halls’ Moore, who had 34 points

Oak Ridge Ted Mitchell and Halls Braxton Moore

Oak Ridge senior guard Ted Mitchell (4) had a game-saving block against Halls senior guard Braxton Moore (0) as time expired in a 58-56 win for the Wildcats on Friday. (Photos by Melissa Livesey)


Senior guard Braxton Moore of Halls scored 34 points and hit six three-point shots against Oak Ridge on Friday, but a game-saving block by Ted Mitchell in the final seconds preserved a 58-56 win for the undefeated Wildcats.

The Red Devils scored almost half of their points on three-point shots, knocking down nine of them for 27 points.

But Oak Ridge’s depth and the number of players it used—along with the critical stop with less than six seconds remaining—allowed the Wildcats to prevail and improve to 9-0 overall and 3-0 in District 3-AAA. [Read more…]

3M will invest $135 million, create 100 jobs at Clinton manufacturing facility

Food Lion Distribution Center and 3M Company Manufacturing

The 3M Company purchased the former Food Lion Distribution Center on J.D. Yarnell Industrial Parkway in the Eagle Bend Industrial Park in Clinton on Friday. 3M paid roughly $14.4 million for the 772,00-square-foot building on 160 acres, and the company will use it to make products for the oil, gas, and automotive industries. (Photo courtesy Tim Thompson/Anderson County Economic Development Association)


Governor Bill Haslam

Bill Haslam

Note: This story was updated at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8.

NASHVILLE—The 3M Company has purchased the former Food Lion distribution center in the Eagle Bend Industrial Park in Clinton and will use it to manufacture products for the oil, gas, and automotive industries. The company is expected to invest $135 million and create 100 new jobs in Anderson County.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty joined 3M Company officials in Nashville to announce the company’s investment on Friday afternoon.

3M purchased the 772,000-square-foot building on 160 acres on J.D. Yarnell Parkway in the Eagle Bend Industrial Park for roughly $14.4 million. The sale closed on Friday, said Tim Thompson, president of the Anderson County Economic Development Association. [Read more…]

U.S. House passes Manhattan Project park bill that includes Oak Ridge

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander

U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann

Chuck Fleischmann

Note: This story was last updated at 8:30 p.m.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that would create a Manhattan Project National Historical Park that would include Oak Ridge, federal officials said Thursday afternoon.

Passage of the bill, pursued for years by historic preservationists, was announced by U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander and Representative Chuck Fleischmann, both Tennessee Republicans. It was an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, which passed in a 300-119 vote.

The bill would designate three sites that were part of the World War II-era Manhattan Project. Besides Oak Ridge, the sites include Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Hanford, Washington. The U.S. Senate is expected to pass the 2015 NDAA legislation without amendments before adjourning for the Christmas recess, perhaps as early as next week, according to the Atomic Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that has helped lead efforts to establish the park for more than a decade.

The Manhattan Project was a top-secret federal program to build the world’s first atomic bombs. Oak Ridge sites that would be included in the park are the Beta-3 racetracks and Alpha Calutron magnets at Y-12 National Security Complex and the K-25 Building site at the East Tennessee Technology Park. [Read more…]

Protesters object to benefits changes at Y-12

Y-12 Benefits Protest Becky Montgomery

Protesters object Thursday afternoon to changes to health insurance benefits announced at the Y-12 National Security Complex in October. At center is Becky Montgomery, who retired from Y-12 in June after 35 years.


Note: This story was last updated at 10 p.m.

About 150 demonstrators protested outside the Y-12 National Security Complex on Thursday afternoon, objecting to changes in health insurance benefits that could take effect January 1.

The protesters, mostly Y-12 retirees, said they would end up paying much more for fewer benefits. They want the U.S. Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration to reverse course.

“We’re here to try to stop it,” said Charlene Edwards, who retired from Y-12 in 2006. [Read more…]

Orr confirmed as DOE under secretary for science, energy

Franklin M. "Lynn" Orr Jr.

Franklin M. “Lynn” Orr Jr. (Photo courtesy Stanford University/Franklin Orr)

WASHINGTON, D.C.—More than a year after his nomination was announced, Franklin “Lynn” Orr has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the under secretary for science and energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. Orr was confirmed Thursday.

As under secretary for science and energy, Orr will oversee all of DOE’s science research programs, including a majority of the national laboratories.

This position is part of the department’s s recent reorganization, which expanded the under secretary for science role to encompass both science and energy, a DOE press release said. Orr’s role will include oversight of research in the Offices of Science, Fossil Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Nuclear Energy, Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Indian Energy, and the Technology Transfer Coordinator.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is an Office of Science lab. [Read more…]

Watson could be considered as president-elect of international management group

Mark Watson

Mark Watson

Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson could be considered to become president-elect of the International City/County Management Association, or ICMA.

Watson is one of only 41 members across the world who qualify to serve as president, according to a November 24 memo to the Oak Ridge City Council. He could become the first ICMA president from Tennessee in the 100-year history of the organization.

The seven-member City Council on Monday is being asked to support Watson’s participation.

“If selected, he would be in line to become president of the professional association that represents 9,000 appointed city managers, administrators, and assistants from across the United States and the world,” said Michael W. Walker, executive director of the Tennessee City Management Association. [Read more…]

With deadline looming, supporters hopeful that Manhattan Project parks legislation will pass

Manhattan Project National Historical Park House Hearing

Pictured above at a June 28, 2012, U.S. House hearing on the Manhattan Project National Historical Park Act are, from front left, Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation president; Heather McClenahan, executive director of the Los Alamos Historical Society; and D. Ray Smith, Y-12 National Security Complex historian. Gary Petersen, Tri-City Development Council vice president, is pictured in the background. (Photo courtesy of Atomic Heritage Foundation.

An amendment introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday includes the creation of a long-sought-after Manhattan Project National Historical Park that would include Oak Ridge, and supporters are hopeful that the legislation, which has bipartisan support, will pass before the end of the legislative session.

The bill appears to have a “really good chance of moving forward,” said Kati Schmidt, spokesperson for the National Parks Conservation Association.

Besides Oak Ridge, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park would also include Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Hanford, Washington. Those three areas were among the sites involved in the Manhattan Project, a top-secret federal program to build the world’s first atomic bombs during World War II.

There is currently no national park commemorating the project, which is considered one of the most significant events of the 20th century. Historic preservationists, including in Oak Ridge and at the Atomic Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., have tried for years to change that. [Read more…]

Football players add depth as Wildcats basketball improves to 8-0

Darel Middleton

Darel Middleton

On Monday, Oak Ridge Coach Aaron Green said the football players who have started playing basketball showed a “little bit of rust” in a 75-36 drubbing of Clinton. By Tuesday, it appeared that those players had shaken off some of that rust in a more competitive 77-65 win over Powell.

The biggest improvement, at least in terms of scoring, came from 6-foot-6 junior center Darel Middleton, who was playing against his former team on Tuesday. On Monday at Clinton, Middleton had six points total, or less than one basket per quarter. On Tuesday at home against the Panthers, he had 18 points, a team high.

Middleton, who missed the opening games this season because of the football playoffs, also picked up six rebounds on Tuesday. Green said Middleton, who plays defensive end and wide receiver in football, is very athletic, can score inside, and is a great passer.

“His presence in there is a factor,” Green said. [Read more…]

Mall redevelopment close to goal line

James Downs of Crosland Southeast Retail Update

James Downs, Crosland Southeast partner, gives an update on the redevelopment of the former Oak Ridge Mall during a Tuesday morning Rise and Shine, sponsored by the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, at The Courtyards Seniors Living on Briarcliff Avenue. (Photo courtesy Kathy Gillenwaters)


Ray Evans

Ray Evans

Note: This story was last updated at 1 p.m. Nov. 3.

If it were a football game, the long-awaited redevelopment of the former Oak Ridge Mall would be in the “red zone”—not across the goal line yet but close enough to score, a project executive said Tuesday.

Seventy-five percent or more of the new retail space has been leased or is under negotiation, said James Downs, partner of Crosland Southeast, the North Carolina commercial real estate firm that has proposed the project.

The company could have a groundbreaking in the spring of 2015. Construction work, which will include demolition of areas between anchor stores, could be completed by the summer of 2016, making it available to retailers by the fall of 2016. [Read more…]

Y-12 prepared for possible Ferguson-related protests, but none reported

Y-12 Prepares Ferguson Protest Preparations

The Y-12 National Security Complex and City of Oak Ridge prepared for possible protests related to the announcement of the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri, on Monday night. Y-12 had appeared on a list of possible Ferguson-related demonstration sites, but there didn’t appear to have been any protests at Y-12 as of Tuesday afternoon.


The Y-12 National Security Complex and Oak Ridge and regional law enforcement agencies had prepared for possible protests at Y-12 on Monday, when the grand jury decision was announced in Ferguson, Missouri, but there didn’t appear to have been any protests at the Oak Ridge plant as of Tuesday afternoon.

Y-12 had appeared among a list of demonstration sites on the Ferguson National Response Network Web page. The Y-12 protest was scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Monday, the day of the grand jury announcement, and demonstrators were asked to bring cell phones, cameras, signs, and megaphones.

But there didn’t appear to be anyone near the Scarboro road entrance to Y-12 at about 6:30 p.m. Monday or later at about 9:30 p.m. Scarboro Road was hemmed in on one side by Y-12’s temporary fence and on the other by City of Oak Ridge traffic barrels, cones, and police tape. Temporary barricades were erected to block Y-12’s entrances, and concrete barriers inside the main entrance appeared to have been angled in the roadway to deter or slow down unwanted visitors. [Read more…]