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 [Read more…]

DOE Oak Ridge awards $11.3 million support contract to Alaskan native corporation

Allison White of Alutiiq and Kevin Hall of DOE Oak Ridge

U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge Office Manager Kevin Hall congratulates Allison White, director of operations, professional, and administrative services for Alutiiq LLC, on the recent award of an $11.3 million small business contract for support services to the DOE Oak Ridge Office. (Submitted photo)


The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office recently awarded a $11.3 million support services contract to Alutiiq Professional Training LLC.

The company is an Alaskan native corporation headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska, and a member of the 8(a) Business Development Program, a press release said.

The contract is for administrative and technical support services that total $11.3 million for a period of performance that is just under five years, including a seven-month base period and four one-year option periods, the press release said. The contract will employ approximately 36 people in Oak Ridge, the DOE Thomas Jefferson Site Office in Virginia, and the DOE Brookhaven Site Office in New York. [Read more…]



M&M Productions wins award for outstanding service, supplier of year

M&M Productions USA Pauly Awards 2015

Mike Brown, president and CEO of M&M Productions USA, right, accepts the Greater Knoxville Hospitality Association Pauly Awards for the Service/Supplier of the Year. Mary Bogert, general manager of the Knoxville Convention Center, left, nominated M&M Productions USA for the honor. (Submitted photo)


M&M Productions USA, a company based in Oak Ridge, has won the 2015 Pauly Award as the Outstanding Service/Supplier of the Year by the Greater Knoxville Hospitality Association.

The award was presented at the 11th Annual Pauly Awards, sponsored by the University of Tennessee Tourism Institute and Visit Knoxville, a press release said.

“Since 1988, our company has worked hard to ensure our clients in East Tennessee and across the country receive excellent customer service,” said Mike Brown, president and chief executive officer of M&M Productions USA. “We offer a one-stop service for our clients regardless of if they need to produce an event, live broadcast, or video. We have the equipment and experienced staff to exceed their expectations. We are honored to receive this award from the Greater Knoxville Hospitality Association recognizing our team’s hard work.”

M&M Productions USA received the award at the 11th Annual Pauly Awards sponsored by the University of Tennessee Tourism Institute and Visit Knoxville. [Read more…]

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Registration for Tennessee Valley Corridor Summit closes Monday

Includes discussion of federal missions in Oak Ridge

Registration for the annual Tennessee Valley Corridor Summit closes Monday. The summit will include a discussion of federal missions in Oak Ridge.

Organizers expect more than 300 national and regionals leaders at the 20th Annual Tennessee Valley Corridor Summit. It’s being held at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City on May 27-28. The Summit will be at the D.P. Culp University Center at ETSU.

“Hundreds of regional leaders will gather in Johnson City to focus on education from the business and industry perspective at the 20th annual Tennessee Valley Corridor Summit,” a press release said. “The sessions at the two-day event will focus on how to ensure tomorrow’s workforce has the skills they need to find quality jobs at home and how the region’s educational institutions can partner with businesses and organizations for better success.” [Read more…]

Enjoy Ridge City Ramblers, strawberries at Farmers Market

Ridge City Ramblers

The Ridge City Ramblers will play at the Oak Ridge Farmers Market in Jackson Square on Saturday. The Ridge City Ramblers are, from left, Gary Coleman, Mary Tuskan, Scott Linn, Abbie Hoerner, Tom Beehan, and Steve Reddick. (Submitted photo)


The Oak Ridge Farmers Market is hosting The Ridge City Ramblers in concert this Saturday (May 16). The concert is free, and it’s scheduled from 9-11 a.m. in the middle of the market.

Plus, it’s strawberry time in Tennessee! Locally grown, just-picked berries are plentiful this week in the market, which is open Saturdays from 8 a.m.-noon and Wednesdays from 3-6 p.m. in Jackson Square.

On May 23, the Oak Ridge Farmers Market will host its first ever Kids Day, a free event featuring live farm animals, crafts, games, and music for children.

Joint venture CU Insurance Services of Tennessee now open

CU Insurance Services of TennesseeA new joint venture between Y-12 Federal Credit Union and ORNL Federal Credit Union known as CU Insurance Services of Tennessee LLC is now open, a press release said.

CU Insurance Services of Tennessee was formed to “provide a wide variety of personal insurance solutions to members, including homeowner, automobile, personal umbrella, boat, fire, RV, and motorcycle coverage,” the press release said.

“The new agency represents several top-rated carriers to allow members to customize protection while focusing on a premium payment plan that fits their budget,” the release said. [Read more…]

ADFAC: Give Mom a late Mother’s Day treat—on purpose!

Popeyes Dine and Donate May 2015

Ada LaRose and Leo Mauk-Olson stop by Popeye’s in Oak Ridge for a quick after-school snack. Dedicated to providing “Louisiana Fast” food, Popeye’s menu takes a step outside the box, offering chicken and seafood prepared spicy or blackened. Side items range from freshly made biscuits and Cajun fries to red beans and rice and jambalaya. (Photo submitted by ADFAC)


On Monday, May 11—the day after Mother’s Day—several local restaurants will donate a portion of their sales to support Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties, or ADFAC.

Across Oak Ridge and Anderson County, these 12 restaurants provide a unique opportunity for a slightly late gift that gives back to the community.

“The moms in our lives do so much to help us and others,” said Cande Seay, chair of the Dine and Donate committee. “A special meal out is a great way to show your appreciation of Mom’s hard work. Dining out on Monday, May 11, at one of our fabulous Dine and Donate restaurants gives you the chance to treat your Mom and pay it forward in her honor!”

Restaurants participating on Monday, May 11, are: [Read more…]

BES Technologies celebrates one million gallons of recycled water

BES Technologies Rad Waste Water Laundry Operations

BES Technologies LLC, or BEST, has reached a major milestone by recycling one million gallons of radiological waste water through its laundry operations at the East Tennessee Technology Park.

“This represents the prevention of one million gallons of water that would have gone into our environment, but instead was cleaned and re-used,” a press release said. “This recycling process not only avoids environmental insult, but also allows for savings to be passed on to customers by cleaning and reusing water.”

The press release said the laundering service uses a state-of-the-art radiological water treatment system, and it is able to reuse more than 70 percent of the water used in its process. [Read more…]

Investigation continues, suspect info released in Y-12 FCU kidnapping, extortion

Oak Ridge Police Department at Y-12 Federal Credit Union

Oak Ridge Police Department officers and detectives responded to the Y-12 Federal Credit Union on Tuesday morning, April 28, for what was later reported to be a kidnapping and extortion plot involving a credit union employee’s family and the Oak Ridge branch of the credit union.


Authorities continue to investigate a kidnapping and extortion plot involving the Y-12 Federal Credit Union in Oak Ridge last week, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has released some information describing the three suspects.

The alleged kidnapping and extortion started at about 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, April 28, when a credit union employee’s family was kidnapped from the Whittington Creek neighborhood in west Knox County in an effort to extort money from the credit union, the FBI said in a press release on Wednesday.

“The employee’s family was held at gunpoint for a period of time before being released in the Gettysvue Country Club parking lot in Knoxville, around 9:25 a.m.,” the release said. “Upon being released, the victims were able to seek help from a nearby residence. During the law enforcement response, the suspects fled and remain at large. No injuries were reported, and no money was taken from the credit union.” [Read more…]

Top issues identified: Housing, population, Main Street, retail

Warren Gooch

Warren Gooch

A community survey has identified housing, population, and the development of Main Street Oak Ridge and retail shopping as top issues, Mayor Warren Gooch said Tuesday.

Other top issues include jobs and economic development, and public relations efforts to promote the city.

High priorities on a list of potential capital investments or projects include infrastructure improvements, a new preschool, and funding of an incentive program for people buying or renovating a house.

Ten groups have participated in the survey since January 1, Gooch said. Those groups include the League of Women Voters of Oak Ridge, the three Rotary clubs, Oak Valley Baptist Church, Anderson County Tea Party, Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce coffees, Leadership Oak Ridge, Neighborhood Watch awards banquet, and citizens at large.

Gooch, who gave a speech to the League of Women Voters of Oak Ridge on Tuesday, said residents can still participate in the survey.

Here are survey results as of April 30, 2015:

What is the most important issue facing Oak Ridge?

[Read more…]