Roane State educators complete record-breaking 73-day underwater stay

Bruce Cantrell and Jessica Fain Surface

Roane State professors Jessica Fain and Bruce Cantrell enjoy their first moments of sunlight after living underwater for 73 days. (Photos by Roane State Community College)


KEY LARGO, Florida—After a record-breaking 73 days living underwater, two local college professors surfaced Monday and enjoyed the feel of sunlight for the first time in more than two months.

They also celebrated the end of their mission to educate the public about ocean conservation, to inspire young people’s interest in science, and to make history.

Biology professor Bruce Cantrell and adjunct professor Jessica Fain from Roane State Community College in East Tennessee spent the fall living and working in Jules’ Undersea Lodge, an underwater habitat on Key Largo in Florida. Their underwater stay lasted 73 days, two hours, and 34 minutes, breaking the world record for longest time spent living underwater.

The two educators submerged October 3 at 12:08 p.m. EDT and surfaced on Monday, December 15, at 1:42 p.m. EST.

“There is a sun,” Cantrell said with a laugh as he and Fain broke the surface of the water. [Read more…]

TVA: Kingston Ash Recovery Project nears completion

TVA Kingston Fossil Plant Dike C Reinforcement

TVA Kingston Fossil Plant Dike C reinforcement (Photos courtesy TVA)


The Tennessee Valley Authority is in the final stages of the Kingston recovery project. The public utility says it’s fulfilling a promise to restore the area surrounding the Kingston Fossil Plant near Harriman following the coal ash spill in December 2008, the largest ash spill in U.S. history.

A major milestone was reached in early December, with the completion of the cover for a 240-acre permanent ash retention landfill. The new landfill, which has been fortified with an underground earthquake-resistant wall anchored in bedrock, is covered by a flexible-membrane liner and geo-composite fabric, two feet of clay, topsoil, and grass.

“We all know this incident shouldn’t have happened,” said TVA President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson, who visited the recovery site on December 17. “But we have learned from it and we are fulfilling our commitment to making it right.”

TVA says it’s also keeping its promise by returning the Emory River and surrounding waterways to pre-spill conditions, reforesting and adding vegetation to surrounding land, stabilizing shorelines, and adding wetlands and other wildlife habitats. TVA has opened Lakeshore Park, which features 32 acres of walking trails, fishing piers, a boat ramp, and docks. [Read more…]

Suspect arrested in shooting death of former Hardin Valley football player

The suspect in the fatal shooting of a former Hardin Valley football player in west Knox County on Saturday was arrested on Wednesday, authorities said.

Jack Bush, 19, turned himself in at the City-County Building just before 1 p.m. Wednesday, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office said. He was charged with voluntary manslaughter and was released on a $10,000 bond.

The shooting occurred just after 1 a.m. Saturday, December 13. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office said Bush came out of his home at 7777 Christen Lee Circle in west Knox County and confronted 19-year-old Evan Hall in the street. During the confrontation, Bush shot Hall, the Sheriff’s Office said. Hall was pronounced dead on the scene by Rural Metro.

Hall was a former Hardin Valley offensive lineman. He graduated in 2013.

MSTI hires Inklebarger as vice president, business unit manager

Randy Inklebarger

Randy Inklebarger


Randy Inklebarger, who has been hired by MS Technology Inc., said he didn’t have to think long about joining the company as its new vice president and business unit manager for engineering projects.

The choice was easy, he said, since his history with the company goes back to when it was founded. That was more than 20 years ago, and he has been impressed with them from the day they launched.

“I worked with them on some projects from the early days of the company,” Inklebarger said, adding that he was working with another local company at the time that had partnered with MSTI. “The decision to go work for them was easy.” [Read more…]

Application deadline extended for city boards, commissions

The deadline to apply to serve on city boards and commissions has been extended to December 31.

This year’s process is similar to previous years in that interested residents must complete a Boards and Commissions application and may attach additional documents that includes cover letters, references, and resumes. The application allows residents to choose and rank their top three board choices for membership consideration.

The application is available on the City’s website at Applications are also available in the City Clerk’s Office, Room Number 109, in the Municipal Building, located at 200 South Tulane Avenue. [Read more…]

Letter: Former Council member remains committed to helping city prosper

Anne Garcia Garland

Anne Garcia Garland

To the Editor:

There is no way to fully thank the people who have supported and inspired me during my service on Council and the run for re-election. For all of you who voted for me and helped in the campaign, I am very grateful. The past five-and-a-half years have been challenging and fun and fulfilling.

I am proud to have served during an economically difficult period and to have participated in many positive efforts that have begun to reinvigorate both the commercial and the residential interests of our city.

To any and all citizens who have questions or issues, I remain committed to helping the city prosper. Please feel welcome to email me at [email protected] or write to me at 120 Outer.

And thank you again for allowing me to serve.

Anne Garcia Garland

Oak Ridge

Burgan named assistant procurement manager at DOE Oak Ridge

Jeff Burgan

Jeff Burgan (DOE photo/Lynn Freeny)

Jeffrey R. Burgan was recently named assistant manager for procurement and contracts at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office.

In his new position, Burgan leads a staff of 30 federal employees and is responsible for overseeing, administering, and support of procurement and financial assistance awards servicing site management offices for the Department’s Office of Science national laboratories across the United States, a press release said.

His responsibilities also include contractual management of the Nuclear Energy Oak Ridge Site Office and the ORO Small Business Program. [Read more…]

Photos: Welcome home for Afghanistan vet

Oak Ridge Fire Department Tower Truck

The Oak Ridge Fire Department and its tower truck help welcome home an Afghanistan veteran on Saturday. (Pictures by Tom Scott)


The Oak Ridge community and the Oak Ridge Fire Department welcomed Sgt. Charles Dozema upon his return from a nine-month tour in Afghanistan at the intersection of the Oak Ridge Turnpike on Saturday afternoon.

Here are a few pictures by Tom Scott. [Read more…]

After tip, investigative work, sex offender wanted in Sullivan arrested in Heiskell

Glen Reed Keller

Glen Reed Keller

After a tip by a resident and investigative work by dispatchers, Anderson County deputies on Tuesday arrested a man in Heiskell who was wanted by the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office in Blountville for violating the sexual offender registry.

Glen Reed Keller, 43, was arrested Tuesday evening at a home on White Oak Lane in Heiskell community, Anderson County  Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mark Lucas said.

The Anderson County Communications Center had received a tip from a citizen who had watched a news report on television concerning Keller. Dispatchers had seen the same broadcast. The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office had sent a news release to the local media in the Tri-Cities, area which was shared with a local TV outlet in Knoxville, Lucas said. [Read more…]

Roane sheriff seeks help solving Rocky Top robbery

Rocky Top Midtown Robbery

The Rocky Top Market in Midtown was robbed on December 7, and the Roane County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help solving the crime, authorities said.

A man entered the Rocky Top store at about 2:35 a.m. Sunday, December 7, and demanded cash, a press release said.

The suspect is considered armed and dangerous, the release said. Anyone with information is asked to call the Roane County Sheriff’s Office at (865) 717-4722 or the anonymous tip line at (865) 717-4217, or contact authorities through the sheriff’s website at or through a private message on Facebook.

Update: Y-12 spill involved less than one gallon of flammable solvent

Y-12 National Security Complex Scarboro Road Entrance

The Scarboro Road entrance to the Y-12 National Security Complex is pictured above in March 2014. (File photo)

Note: This story was last updated at 3:34 p.m.

The chemical spill at the Y-12 National Security Complex on Tuesday morning involved less than one gallon of a flammable solvent, and the substance has evaporated, a federal official said Tuesday afternoon.

The spilled solvent was acetonitrile, and it’s used in chemical processing at Y-12’s Purification Facility, said Steven Wyatt of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

It spilled onto the floor at about 10:24 a.m. Tuesday. The cause is unknown. The spill was detected by sensors. There was no fire and no injuries.

Wyatt said the acetonitrile was not involved in uranium enrichment work at Y-12. [Read more…]

Update: Y-12 chemical spill contained; less than 10 workers in building at time of spill

Y-12 Aerial Photo June 2012

The Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge is pictured above in June 2012. (Photo courtesy NNSA)


Note: This story was last updated at 1:12 p.m.

The Purification Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge was evacuated Tuesday morning after a chemical spill, officials said. Fewer than 10 people were in the building at the time of the spill, and none were in the immediate area.

There were no injuries, and federal officials and Y-12 staff have accounted for all workers, the National Nuclear Security Administration said.

The spilled material is acetonitrile, a liquid solvent used in chemical processing operations, said Steven Wyatt of the NNSA.

Everyone was evacuated from the building, which is on the east end of the plant, Wyatt said. The spill was reported at 10:24 a.m. Tuesday.

[Read more…]