New After Dark series continues with Pirate Night, ‘The Goonies’ on Friday

Oak Ridge After Dark

Note: This story was updated at 3:15 p.m. July 18.

Almost 1,000 people attended the first-ever After Dark event in Oak Ridge last week, and the summertime entertainment series continues again this week, with Pirate Night scheduled for Friday, July 18.

The movie, “The Goonies,” will be be shown indoors in the Oak Ridge Civic Center Gymnasium because of the rain. It’s expected to start around 7 to 7:30 p.m. The Civic Center is at– 1403 Oak Ridge Turnpike.

Call the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau at (865) 482-7821 or visit the Historic Oak Ridge Facebook page for details or questions.

Children are encouraged to dress as their favorite character in conjunction with the movie, a press release said. Characters from the movie will be on hand for photo opportunities.

“So, bring your blankets to sit on the gymnasium floor or you can sit on the gymnasium bleachers,” the press release said. “Get out of the rain and enjoy a movie with your fellow Oak Ridgers!” [Read more...]

Sheriff: Eighteen arrested of 26 indicted on drug-related charges

Paul White

Paul White

Eighteen of the 26 people indicted on drug-related charges by an Anderson County grand jury in June and July have been arrested, Sheriff Paul White said Thursday. Four were arrested in June after the indictments were returned, and the other 14 have been arrested since Monday, the sheriff said in a press release.

The arrests are the result of long hours of hard work by investigators of the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit, White said. The agencies that cooperated in the investigations were the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, the Clinton Police Department, the Oak Ridge Police Department, the Rocky Top (Lake City) Police Department, the 7th Judicial District Crime Task Force, and the District Attorney General’s Office.

“Our thanks for the teamwork from all the law enforcement agencies involved in these investigations,” which are ongoing, White said.

Here is the list of those arrested and their charges, as reported by the Sheriff’s Department: [Read more...]

Oak Ridge hosting 2014 USRowing Club National Championships this week

USRowing Club National Championships

The USRowing Club National Championships started Wednesday and ends Sunday at the Oak Ridge Marina. (Photo courtesy USRowing)


Story courtesy USRowing/Luke Reynolds

Crews from across the country ranging in every age and skill level converged on Oak Ridge this week for the 2014 USRowing Club National Championships, which started Wednesday and ends Sunday on Melton Hill Lake.

Philadelphia’s Vesper Boat Club is the defending overall team points trophy winner. The team brought nearly 200 junior men and women to compete on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J., in 2013 and also took the men’s and women’s trophies to sweep the event.

This year, around 1,500 athletes from 80 different clubs will be participating in the event, which is hosted by Oak Ridge Rowing Association.

“The city is really trying their best to welcome people to Oak Ridge,” said Oak Ridge Rowing Association President Terry Holley. “The businesses are very excited for this regatta and all regattas hosted by USRowing. [Read more...]

Methodist ties for fourth in state in best hospital ranking

Methodist Medical Center Entrance at Night

The main entrance to Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge is pictured above at night. (Photo courtesy Covenant Health)


Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge tied for fourth in the state in an annual ranking of America’s best hospitals compiled by U.S. News and World Report.

MMC tied for fourth with Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville. Covenant Health’s third major medical center, Parkwest Medical Center in Knoxville, ranked ninth in Tennessee.

All three were in the Top 10 for metro areas, a press release said. All three were lauded for high performance in a variety of specialties such as gastroenterology and GI surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, and pulmonology, among others. All three hospitals also achieved patient satisfaction levels that are higher than national and state averages.
 [Read more...]

School walk zones changed to actual walking distance, rather than ‘as crow flies’

Bruce Borchers

Bruce Borchers

Parents of Oak Ridge students have been expressing concerns that the new 1.5-mile walk zones approved in June were based on a 1.5-mile air radius (“as the crow flies”) rather than actual walking distances.

On Wednesday, Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers announced that school officials were changing the calculation of the walk zone to actual walking distance for 1.5 miles “as the crow flies. The change is expected to cost $200,000.

Here’s the statement from Borchers: [Read more...]

DOE-Oak Ridge Office names diversity, employee concerns manager

Moses Madera

Moses Madera

Moses Madera, a United States Air Force veteran, was recently named manager of diversity programs and employee concerns for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office.

In this job, Madera will serve as the principal staff adviser to the Office of Science in Oak Ridge and site managers on equal employment opportunity (EEO), diversity, affirmative employment, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), environmental justice, and reasonable accommodation programs, a press release said. Madera will also manage the employee concerns program.

“We are really fortunate to have someone of Moses’ caliber join our office,” said Larry Kelly, manager of DOE-ORO. “He brings a wealth of knowledge in EEO and diversity to the table, and we’re looking forward to his guidance and expertise in his new role on our leadership team.”

Madera comes to ORO most recently from the U.S. Department of the Navy, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Keyport, Washington, one of Naval Sea Systems Command’s field activities, where he had been the deputy equal employment opportunity officer since 2012. While there, he was responsible for continuous improvement of the EEO, diversity, and special emphasis programs, along with ADR and reasonable accommodation programs. [Read more...]

Anderson Commission, School Board candidates at Thursday forum

Candidates in contested races for Anderson County Commission in Districts 6, 7, and 8 in Oak Ridge, and for Anderson County School Board in District 7 have been invited to take part in a Thursday evening forum.

The candidates are expected to speak and answer questions. The unopposed candidate for School Board in District 6 will be introduced.

The forum starts at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Oak Ridge High School Amphitheater at 1450 Oak Ridge Turnpike. It’s been organized by the League of Women Voters of Oak Ridge. [Read more...]

Seventeen arrested, 26 indicted on drug-related charges, sheriff says

Paul White

Paul White

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department arrested 17 people on drug-related charges on Monday and Tuesday following drug investigations during the last few months, Sheriff Paul White said Wednesday.

These charges are mostly result from the sale or possession for resale of prescription or legend drugs, as well as marijuana- and methamphetamine-related offenses, White said. The charges were included in 35 indictments against 26 people returned by an Anderson County Grand Jury in June and July after investigations by the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit.

White said deputies started making arrests on the indictments and related drug-activity investigations on Monday.

He said those indicted for the manufacture, sales, delivery, or possession either sold to undercover agents or were in possession of illegal drugs for resale. Of the 26 people indicted, 19 were charged with prescription narcotics offenses, three were charged with cocaine offenses, three were marijuana-related, and one was on methamphetamine charges. [Read more...]

Roane approves ‘In God We Trust’ signs

Roane County Courthouse

The Roane County Courthouse in Kingston is pictured above. (Photo by Sara Wise)

WYSH Radio/Oak Ridge Today

The Roane County Commission voted 13-1 on Monday to place the words “In God We Trust” at three locations in the Roane County Courthouse in Kingston. The signs will be similar to those placed above all four entrances at the Anderson County Courthouse last year and the one placed above the entrance to the Oak Ridge General Sessions Court building.

The Roane County proposal was made earlier this year, but commissioners initially balked at approving it until it made its way through the property committee.

The black granite signs will be placed above the north and south entrances to the Courthouse. A bronze plaque inscribed with “In God We Trust,” which is the national motto, will also be placed in the Commission meeting room, which also serves as a General Sessions courtroom. As in Anderson County, the signs will be paid for by private contributions. [Read more...]

High Places Church has Summer Youth Camp at Big Ridge next week

High Places Community Church is having its Summer Youth Camp at Big Ridge State Park next week.

This week-long camp tradition has been going on for more than 30 years, providing a unique youth-oriented life experience that takes place in a natural outdoors setting, a press release said. The camp is for sixth- through 12th-grade youth, and this year’s theme is “Catching Fire.”

The camp runs from 11 a.m. Monday, July 21, to noon Saturday, July 26. [Read more...]

Spotlight: Art of Crystal Polley highlighted in July at Oak Ridge Library

Crystal Polley Artwork at Oak Ridge Public Library


The art display at Oak Ridge Public Library for the month of July consists of photographs and paintings from artist Crystal Dawn Polley.

Polley has used cameras her whole life to remember friends and family. She grew up using Kodak, Minolta, and Fuji cameras.

Digital cameras have changed her format, but not her vision.

Polley is a graduate of Shawnee State University with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, specializing in photography. She was actively involved in the college art gallery and was art editor for Silhouette, the college arts magazine. [Read more...]

Oak Ridge first EPA green power community in Southeast

EPA Green Power Community

Oak Ridge has been recognized as the first Green Power Community in the Southeast by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Pictured above from left during a Monday night Oak Ridge City Council meeting are Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan; Tennessee Representative John Ragan, vice chair of the House Energy Task Force; Robin Manning, executive vice president of external relations for the Tennessee Valley Authority; Marlene Witt, Oak Ridge business office manager; and Oak Ridge Electric Director Jack Suggs.


KNOXVILLE—The Tennessee Valley Authority has been recognized as a Top 10 utility leader in green power program sales, and Oak Ridge has been designated the first Green Power Community in the Southeast by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

TVA was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In the first NREL Top 10 ranking in a decade, TVA landed at No. 9 nationally with green power sales of 199,067 megawatt-hours in calendar 2013, thanks to TVA’s Renewable Energy Solutions programs and participating local power companies, a press release said.

Oak Ridge is one of the participating communities, and it received the EPA designation based in part on TVA green power purchases. TVA and Oak Ridge officials had a brief ceremony to celebrate during a Monday night Oak Ridge City Council meeting.

“TVA is proud to be recognized nationally for our strong and growing support of renewable energy,” said Patty West, director of TVA’s Renewable Energy Solutions. “Cost-effective, renewable energy is an important part of TVA’s diverse portfolio of energy-generation sources.”

A key to TVA’s renewable energy sales has been Green Power Switch, or GPS, which TVA launched on Earth Day 2000 with local power companies and members of the environmental community as the first-of-its-kind renewable power purchase program in the Southeast, the press release said. [Read more...]