Fourth-quarter comeback not enough as Wildcats fall to Mustangs in state quarterfinal

Note: This story was last updated at 4 p.m.

After falling behind by 12 points, Oak Ridge narrowed the Memphis East lead to two in a fourth-quarter comeback sparked by junior Darel Middleton, but it wasn’t enough as the Wildcats lost to the Mustangs in a state quarterfinal game in Murfreesboro on Wednesday.

It’s the end of the season for the Wildcats (29-4), who played their last game with senior Ted Mitchell.

Sophomore Tajion Jones hit four three-pointers for Oak Ridge in the BlueCross Basketball Championship game at Murphy Center at Middle Tennessee State University. Three of those were in the first two quarters, and they helped give the Wildcats a 30-28 lead at halftime. [Read more…]

Learn more about Main Street Oak Ridge during joint meeting Monday

Main Street Oak Ridge Belk on March 2, 2015

The Belk store at the Oak Ridge City Center, which could be redeveloped as Main Street Oak Ridge, is pictured above.

 

There will be a presentation on Main Street Oak Ridge, the redevelopment of the former Oak Ridge Mall, during a Monday evening meeting.

The joint meeting will include the Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission and the Traffic Safety Advisory Board. It starts at 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 16, in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom.

The presentation will be given by Crosland Southeast, the North Carolina company that has proposed the redevelopment, and Cannon and Cannon Engineering. [Read more…]

North Boundary Trail hike postponed

North Boundary Hike

Organizers announced Tuesday that the North Boundary Trail hike that had been scheduled for Saturday, March 14, has been postponed.

“Unfortunately, the weather is not going to cooperate,” a statement from the City of Oak Ridge said. “We will reschedule this event at a later date.”

The six-mile hike has been organized by Oak Ridge municipal and school committees: the City of Oak Ridge Wellness Committee and Oak Ridge Coordinated School Health.

City Council schedules special meeting for ORPD review, investigation

Oak Ridge City Council on Feb. 9, 2015

The Oak Ridge City Council on Monday, Feb. 9, agreed to a third-party review of turnover and morale in the Oak Ridge Police Department but rejected requests for two other probes. On Monday, March 9, the Council did not consider a proposal from the Municipal Technical Advisory Service to conduct the 30-day review, but members did call for a special meeting on Friday, March 27, to consider a review or investigation. (File photo)

 

Note: This story was last updated at 8:20 p.m.

Despite concerns about the timing, the Oak Ridge City Council later this month will consider steps that could be used to help review or investigate—there has been a dispute over which word to use—the turnover, morale, and administrative policies in the Oak Ridge Police Department.

City Council members Trina Baughn and Rick Chinn requested the special meeting, and they asked that it be held at 6 p.m. Friday, March 27. They said the meeting could be used to discuss and vote on the parameters of an investigation and possibly select an investigator. The two members also want the Council to consider the merits, and possibly vote on, placing Oak Ridge Police Chief Jim Akagi on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.

Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch expressed concern about having the special meeting that week because officials from the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of Energy are expected to be in town. Gooch, who would prefer to discuss the issues in a regular meeting, said he thought it would be a mistake to have a special meeting like this that could interfere with the visit by NPS and DOE officials. [Read more…]

Zoning change approved by city officials helps Main Street Oak Ridge project

Main Street Oak Ridge Belk on March 2, 2015

The Belk store at the Oak Ridge City Center, which could be redeveloped as Main Street Oak Ridge, is pictured above on March 2.

 

Leasing, financing, and pre-construction work on the Main Street Oak Ridge project is progressing as planned, a developer said in late February, and a change to the city’s zoning ordinance approved on Monday will help the redevelopment.

James Downs, Crosland Southeast partner, said his company hopes to start construction late in the second quarter of 2015. It’s part of a plan to have a grand opening in the fall of 2016.

Survey crews from Cannon and Cannon have completed a boundary survey of the 60-acre site, the former Oak Ridge Mall, and field work is under way, said Ray Evans, the city’s retail consultant. [Read more…]

Council postpones vote on Turnpike stoplight at ORHS

Oak Ridge Turnpike and High School Stoplight

Note: This story was updated at 10:20 a.m. March 10.

The Oak Ridge City Council has postponed a vote on a contract to install a stoplight at the Oak Ridge Turnpike in front of Oak Ridge High School. The light could eliminate the need for a crossing guard.

City officials had said the light could be installed by August 2015, but the postponement of the contract vote to the April meeting will likely delay the completion date, possibly until after school starts later this year.

The installation could cost roughly $177,000. It would be paid for using unspent money from the Special Programs Fund, the fund set up for traffic, pedestrian, and bicycle safety projects using money from the traffic cameras that were removed last year. [Read more…]

Community honors, pays tribute to Kocak in candlelight vigil at ORHS

Joey Kocak Candelight Vigil Balloons

Sophomores release balloons as other football players watch during a community candlelight vigil at Oak Ridge High School on Sunday for student-athlete Joey Kocak, who died at home on Wednesday. (Photo by Julio Culiat)

 

Note: This story was updated at 4:32 p.m.

The Oak Ridge community honored sophomore James Joseph “Joey” Kocak during a candlelight vigil at Oak Ridge High School on Sunday.

Friends and coaches shared their memories of Kocak, who had played on the football and basketball teams this year, during the candlelight vigil at Ben Martin Track at ORHS.

They encouraged the large crowd that attended to preserve their precious memories of Kocak, a 16-year-old sophomore who passed away at his home on Wednesday, March 4.

“I really hope that this isn’t the last time we’ll honor him,” said Mollie Turner.

Friends and coaches recalled Kocak’s memorable smirk, his playful moments, and his high-pitched singing on the back of the bus, belting out tunes like “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” [Read more…]

AC committee to discuss 2020 reappraisals, volunteer fire department funding

Johnny Alley

Johnny Alley

The Anderson County Operations Committee will discuss a plan for reappraisals in 2020 and a new funding plan for volunteer fire departments during a Monday evening meeting.

The discussion of the 2020 reappraisal plan has been requested by Anderson County Property Assessor John K. Alley Jr.

A Fire Commission proposal related to the new funding plan for volunteer fire departments has been requested by Anderson County Commissioner Tim Isbel.

The Operations Committee meeting starts at 6 p.m. Monday, March 9, in Room 312 of the Anderson County Courthouse in Clinton.

See the agenda here.

Council considers ORPD review proposal, ORHS stoplight, amendment for Main Street project

Oak Ridge City Council on Feb. 9, 2015

The Oak Ridge City Council on Monday, Feb. 9, agreed to a third-party review of turnover and morale in the Oak Ridge Police Department but rejected requests for two other probes. On Monday, March 9, the Council will consider a proposal from the Municipal Technical Advisory Service to conduct the review, which will also include administrative policies. (File photo)

 

Note: This story was updated at 1:10 p.m.

The Oak Ridge City Council on Monday night will consider a proposal to use the Municipal Technical Advisory Service to review turnover, morale, and administrative policies in the Oak Ridge Police Department.

The Council will also consider a contract to install a stoplight on Oak Ridge Turnpike in front of the Oak Ridge High School.

Also on tonight’s agenda is a resolution to appoint members of a joint city-school committee that will study options for repairing, replacing, or moving the Oak Ridge Preschool.

And Council members will consider a zoning ordinance amendment that could help the Main Street Oak Ridge project, which will redevelop the former Oak Ridge Mall. [Read more…]

Lady Bobcats lose in state semifinal 63-45

Oliver Springs Lady Bobcats Rachel Griffith and Clarkrange

Senior guard Rachel Griffith (22) of Oliver Springs, who scored 15 points, looks for a shot during a 63-45 loss to Clarkrange in a Class A state tournament semifinal game in Murfreesboro on Saturday. (Photo by Kindell Moore) 

 

Note: This story was last updated at 11:19 p.m.

MURFREESBORO—The Lady Bobcats made it to the final four, but they fell short of advancing to the state championship game, losing to Clarkrange 63-45 in a state semifinal game in Murfreesboro on Saturday.

The Lady Bobcats (29-7) were unable to repeat their shooting performance of a day earlier. On Friday, Oliver Springs shot 60 percent from the field in a 67-41 blowout over Decatur County Riverside in a Class A quarterfinal game. But on Saturday, the Lady Bobcats were 32 percent from the field (16 of 50).

The Lady Buffaloes (31-5) got off to a 17-1 start and were up 34-17 at halftime, thanks in part to six three-point shots, or 18 points total. The Lady Bobcats were able to narrow the lead to seven (20-13) on a jumper by senior guard Emily Griffith late in the first quarter, but that was as close as they got.

Oliver Springs, which hadn’t been to the state tournament since 2009, narrowed the lead to 44-33 on a 15-10 run in the third quarter. [Read more…]

Lady Bobcats advance to state semifinals as Griffith sisters score 39

Oliver Springs Lady Bobcats Emily Griffith and Riverside

Senior Emily Griffith (11) of Oliver Springs scored 14 points, and her twin sister Rachel Griffith led all scorers with 25 as the Lady Bobcats coasted to a 67-41 win over Riverside in a state tournament quarterfinal game in Murfreesboro on Friday. Also pictured is Riverside senior Bree Linton (24) and freshman Deidre McElrath (11). (Photo by Kindell Moore)

 

Note: This story was last updated at 7:15 p.m.

MURFREESBORO—Senior Rachel Griffith of Oliver Springs scored 25 points, and her twin sister Emily Griffith had 14 points and six assists as the Lady Bobcats coasted to a 67-41 win over Decatur County Riverside in a state Class A girls’ quarterfinal game in Murfreesboro on Friday.

“During tournament time, they really, really stepped it up and started playing at a different level,” Oliver Springs Coach Michelle Christopher said of the sisters, who are both 5-foot-5 senior guards. “They both played really big today.”

Rachel Griffith, who led all scorers, picked up 19 of her points in the second half, including on repeated trips to the free-throw line. Griffith shot seven of 11 from the field and was 10 of 13 from the line.

As a team, the Lady Bobcats shot 60 percent (22 of 37) from the field. Meanwhile, Riverside struggled at 25 percent (14 of 57). [Read more…]

Oliver Springs, other state tournament games postponed

Murfreesboro Snow Ice on March 5, 2015

Ice covered about two inches of snow in Murfreesboro on Thursday morning, and the Oliver Springs Lady Bobcats state quarterfinal game has been postponed to Friday morning. (Photo courtesy RoaneSports.com)

 

The Oliver Springs Lady Bobcats had been scheduled to play in a state quarterfinal game in Mufreesboro this morning (Thursday morning), but that game has been postponed to Friday morning.

All other TSSAA state basketball tournament games scheduled for today have also been postponed due to extremely hazardous road conditions. The Thursday schedule will resume at 11 a.m. Central time Friday (12 p.m. Eastern) in order to allow extra time for road conditions to improve in the morning.

Friday’s scheduled semifinal games will be played on Saturday beginning at 1:30 p.m. Central due to the Middle Tennessee State University’s women’s basketball game that is scheduled at 10 a.m. Saturday’s scheduled championship games will be played on Sunday. [Read more…]