Local rower earns invitation to USRowing Youth National Championships

Sarah Kate Rogers and Marc DeRose

Rower Sarah Kate Rogers, who has been invited to compete in the USRowing Youth National Championships in June, is pictured above with coach Marc DeRose. (Photo by Suzanne Rogers)


By James H. Rogers

Oak Ridge’s Sarah Kate Rogers has earned an invitation to compete in the USRowing Youth National Championships by virtue of her first-place finish in the women’s youth sculling singles (WY1x) at the USRowing Southeast Youth Championships earlier this month. Competing against other young women from Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee, she swept through the heats and won the 2,000-meter final in a time of 8:26.257, more than eight seconds ahead of any other sculler.

At next month’s national championship, which is from June 12-14 in Bradenton, Florida, Rogers will compete against as many as 27 other scullers through both heats and repechage for a coveted spot in the grand finals.

“The competition is incredibly tough,” Rogers said of the national event. “We all train and work as hard as we can to get to this point, and leave nothing on race day.”

Her competitors qualify from 11 separate national regions, and represent powerhouse rowing programs from the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southwest, Midwest, and the Pacific Northwest. Rogers is unique in this regard, rowing as an unaffiliated rower under the watchful eyes of her coaching team, Shannon Moore and Marc DeRose. [Read more…]

Roane County has public hearing, work session on budget on June 2

Roane County will have a public hearing and work session on the budget for next year on Tuesday, June 2.

The public hearing on the budget for Fiscal Year 2016, which starts July 1, will start at 6:30 p.m. June 2 in the Qualls Commission Room at the Roane County Courthouse in Kingston.

The Roane County Budget Committee will meet after that public hearing in the Qualls Commission Room at the Courthouse.

Then, the Roane County Commission will meet in a work session to discuss the FY 2016 budget in the Qualls Commission Room at the Courthouse in Kingston.

The meeting is open to the public.

No garbage pick-up in Oak Ridge on Memorial Day

Waste Connections Inc. will not pick up refuse or recyclables within the City of Oak Ridge on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25.

The regular Monday routes will be picked up the following day on Tuesday, and the regular Tuesday through Friday routes will be picked up the following days, Wednesday through Saturday.

Please have all refuse and recyclables out by 7 a.m. for the Tuesday through Saturday routes, a press release said.

“Thank you for your cooperation with this schedule adjustment,” the release said.

You can contact Waste Connections Inc. at (865) 482-3656 or visit www.WasteConnectionsTn.com for more information.

AC woman arrested in Knoxville assault

Information from WYSH Radio

An Andersonville woman has been arrested and charged in an attack that critically injured another woman at a North Knoxville motel this week, according to the Knoxville Police Department.

Denise Henry, 38, was arrested Wednesday night at a home on Strawberry Plains Pike and is being held on a $30,000 bond on a charge of aggravated assault for allegedly beating a woman outside America’s Best Value Inn and Suites on Merchant Drive.

KPD officers found 36-year-old Diana Trent unresponsive with severe head trauma about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. Trent was rushed to UT Medical Center, where she underwent emergency surgery.

Rocky Top has budget workshop, special meeting on June 2

The City of Rocky Top will have a special-called meeting on Tuesday, June 2, at 6:30 p.m. to present the 2015-2016 budget. A budget workshop is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. the same day.

The next fiscal year starts July 1.

BBB: OS water, sewer rate hike likely

Information from WYSH Radio

The Oliver Springs Town Council met Thursday night in regular session and then held a budget workshop. Our partners at BBB-TV report that the main topic at the workshop was how much of an increase in water and sewer rates will be necessary to offset a projected shortfall of almost $248,000 in the city’s Water and Sewer Department.

The city has already borrowed some $2.5 million to pay for repairs to the city’s aging sewer plant as mandated by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and repaying that loan led to much of the projected shortfall.

During the workshop, officials seemed to indicate that a 15 percent hike will be needed this year, but that will not be enough to meet future needs. Keeping the city’s Water and Sewer department going could require 2 percent to 3 percent rate hikes each year for the next several years.

No votes were taken during Thursday’s work session. The Oliver Springs Water Board will meet again on June 4 and could take some action at that time.

New Lifestar air medical base in Rockwood will serve Roane County

UT Lifestar Helicopter

A UT Lifestar helicopter (N135UT), pictured in the forefront, will be servicing Roane County. (Photo by University of Tennessee Medical Center)


A new Lifestar air medical base in Rockwood will serve Roane County, the University of Tennessee Medical Center announced Friday.

UT Lifestar Aeromedical Services plans to open the base later in the summer at the Rockwood Municipal Airport.

Last month, Lifestar reached an agreement with Air Evac EMS Inc. to assume responsibility for medical operations of the Air Evac Lifeteam located in Etowah, Tennessee, a press release said. Lifestar also operates a facility in Sweetwater. The Rockwood base will be staffed by one of the teams from the Etowah/Sweetwater facilities. Services in the Etowah/Sweetwater area remain in operation as usual, the release said.

“Lifestar is pleased to have the opportunity to move to the Roane County region,” said Jeff Gregory, Lifestar director. “Being located in this area will allow us to provide faster aeromedical services to the citizens and visitors in this region.” [Read more…]

TVA starts public process for future ash storage at Bull Run

Bull Run Fossil Plant

The Bull Run Fossil Plant in Claxton is pictured above in an aerial photo from August 2012.


The Tennessee Valley Authority is asking for public input on its plans to expand the dry onsite storage of ash and other coal combustion products generated at Bull Run Fossil Plant in Claxton.

TVA is proposing to build a new dry storage area on TVA property next to the plant to provide greater capacity for managing coal combustion products at Bull Run. TVA is seeking public comments on an environmental review of the project.

Bull Run Fossil Plant, which has state-of-the-art air pollution controls, is expected to play a continuing role in TVA’s coal-fired generating fleet, a press release said.

“The Bull Run storage project is consistent with TVA’s commitment to convert all wet coal combustion product storage systems to dry systems,” the release said. [Read more…]

Anderson County celebrates Memorial Day on Monday

Anderson County Memorial Day Wreath-laying

From left, Anderson County Veteran Services Director Leon Jaquet, Mayor Terry Frank, and Tennessee Representative John Ragan take part in a Memorial Day wreath-laying ceremony on Memorial Day 2014 at the Anderson County Courthouse in Clinton. (File photo)


CLINTON—On Monday, May 25, Anderson County will honor the men and women “who have paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we may enjoy the freedoms so many take for granted,” officials said.

Anderson County will conduct its seventh annual Memorial Day Ceremony, beginning at 10 a.m. Monday at the Veterans Memorial next to the Anderson County Courthouse in Clinton, 100 North Main Street.

Guest speakers will include American Legion Post #172 First Vice Commander Zach Farrar and District 33 State Representative John Ragan. There will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the Veterans Memorial by official guests and Anderson County officials.

And, thanks to generous donations from Hardees and Bojangles restaurants in Clinton, veterans and citizens who attend the Memorial Day Ceremony will receive free sausage biscuits beginning at 9:15 a.m. at the Courthouse, a press release said. Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank will also provide free coffee and bottled water.

DOE Oak Ridge awards $33.4 million telecommunications contract

DOE Oak Ridge Telecommunications Contract

Robert Forshay, left, partner alliance manager with Black Box Network Services, and Kevin Hall, manager of DOE’s Oak Ridge Office, sign a telecommunications contract for the Oak Ridge Federal Integrated Communications Network. (DOE photo/Lynn Freeny)


The U.S. Department of Energy’s Integrated Support Center-Oak Ridge has awarded a $33.4 million telecommunications contract to Mutual Telecom Services Inc., doing business as Black Box Network Services, or Black Box.

Black Box is responsible for providing operations, maintenance, and upgrades to the Oak Ridge Federal Integrated Communications Network at the Oak Ridge Townsite, East Tennessee Technology Park, Y-12 National Security Complex, Office of Secure Transportation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. The Oak Ridge Townsite refers to the Federal Building, Office of Scientific and Technical Information, Building 2714 Complex, and various locations in the local vicinity.

“We are pleased to announce Black Box as the Oak Ridge Reservation’s integrated telecom service provider,” Oak Ridge Office Manager Kevin Hall said. “This selection comes after many months of evaluations by our selection team for this crucial service, and we are excited to have Black Box on board as our new partner.”

The company has more than 30 years of experience supporting U.S. government locations with similar needs and requirements. Black Box is located in Needham, Massachusetts. The contract has a two-year base and three one-year options. A 90-day transition begins on June 1.

Kids Day at the Oak Ridge Farmers’ Market on Saturday

Kids Day at the Oak Ridge Farmers Market

Photo by East Tennessee Farmers Association for Retail Marketing


Don’t miss Kids Day at the Oak Ridge Farmers Market in Jackson Square this week. This free event on Saturday, May 23, will feature live farm animals, crafts, games, music, and a chef at the Market offering samples of the season’s best produce.

Kids Day activities are from 9-11:30 a.m., while the market is open 8 a.m.–noon. The highlight of the morning is a kids FARM Market Scavenger Hunt. Children will hunt for live farm animals and other interesting items brought by the farmers from their homes. Among the items they’re bringing are small farm animals, beekeeping gear, a sheep fleece, an anvil, and more!

Entertaining songs for kids and kids-at-heart will be provided by Tom Beehan, banjo player and former mayor of Oak Ridge, and several of his musical friends.

Children will have a chance to learn about healthy eating with a “My Plate” craft activity led by Anne Brock, author of the popular blog FlourSackMama.com. [Read more…]

JMS Atomic Eagles win Rising Star award at Razorback Invitational

JMS Atomic Eagles at Razorback Invitational

The Jefferson Middle School Atomic Eagles, a FIRST LEGO League team, are pictured above at the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas, from May 14-17. (Photo by Yvonne Dalschen)


The Atomic Eagles, a FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team from Jefferson Middle School in Oak Ridge, received the Rising Star award at the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on May 14-17.

This competition hosted 72 FLL teams from around the world. Thirteen different nations and 31 different states were represented.

The Rising Star award is given to the team that the judges notice and expect great things from in the future.

Thomas Proffen, the team mentor, received the second-place adult mentor award. This award goes to the mentor whose wisdom, guidance, and devotion are most clearly evident in the team’s discussion with the judges. He has been volunteering with the Atomic Eagles since 2013, when Lego League was restarted at Jefferson Middle School by coaches Janie and Harold Shanafield. Proffen is the director of the Neutron Data Analysis and Visualization Division in the Neutron Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. [Read more…]