Roane State invites public to Manufacturing Day in Clinton on Friday

Roane State Manufacturing Day Open House Oct. 2, 2015

Roane State Community College will host an open house at its Clinton Higher Education and Workforce Training Facility as part of Manufacturing Day on Friday, October  2.

The event will last from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the facility, which is at 214 Nave Street in Clinton. The public is invited to visit the facility and learn more about Roane State courses in mechatronics and injection molding.

Representatives from area manufacturers will be at the facility to discuss job opportunities in manufacturing, and Roane State staff will demonstrate equipment used in its mechatronics and injection molding programs. [Read more…]

Eagle Bend Manufacturing expanding in Clinton, investing $55M, adding 127 jobs

Anderson County Animal Shelter Eagle Bend Donation

Ed Steinebach, right, general manager for Magna International’s Eagle Bend Manufacturing plant  in Clinton, is pictured above at an Anderson County Commission meeting in July. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)


Eagle Bend Manufacturing, an auto parts manufacturer, is expanding its operations in Clinton, investing $54.9 million, and creating 127 new jobs, officials said Thursday.

It’s the company’s second expansion in just over three years. The expansion was announced Thursday by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd.

“We want to thank Eagle Bend Manufacturing for choosing to reinvest in Tennessee and creating these new jobs in Anderson County,” Haslam said. “Tennessee continues to be a global leader in automotive manufacturing, thanks in large part to the strong network of suppliers located around the state, and today’s announcement supports our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

Eagle Bend Manufacturing produces major body structures and assemblies for the automotive industry. Officials said the expansion will allow the company to add a new building to its facility, making room for additional equipment to meet demand. [Read more…]

Chipotle Mexican Grill opening on South Illinois

Chipotle Oak Ridge Oct. 1, 2015

Chipotle Mexican Grill has applied for a beer permit for a store at 433 South Illinois Avenue, in the same shopping center as Great Clips, Pie Five Pizza, and Aspen Dental. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)


Chipotle Mexican Grill is opening on South Illinois Avenue. The restaurant will be in the same shopping center as the new Great Clips, Pie Five Pizza, and Aspen Dental.

The company’s website says the restaurant will be opening soon at 433 South Illinois Avenue.

Chipotle has applied for a beer permit, and the Oak Ridge Beer Permit Board will consider the application at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, October 7, in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Training Room.

The restaurant will be owned by Chipotle Mexican Grill LLC of Colorado.

More information will be added as it becomes available.

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Small businesses invited to participate in DOE national lab vouchers pilot

ORNL Industry Day Officials Sept. 24, 2015

David Danielson, left, DOE assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, is pictured above with officials at Industry Day at ORNL on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, when a 3D-printed vehicle and building were unveiled. Other officials include ORNL Director Thom Mason; U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann; Johnny Moore, ORNL Site Office manager; and David Milhorn, UT executive vice president. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)


Small businesses in the clean energy sector are invited to apply for assistance from the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratories through the department’s new Small Business Vouchers Pilot.

David Danielson, DOE Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, or EERE, announced the launch of the pilot website during EERE’s Industry Day event on Wednesday, September 23, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

“Small businesses that are developing the new clean energy technologies that are needed to cut carbon pollution and create good-paying American jobs often lack the resources necessary to move their innovative ideas from the laboratory bench to the marketplace,” Danielson said. “The EERE Small Business Vouchers pilot is designed specifically to help small businesses bring next-generation clean energy technologies to the market faster by leveraging the world-class capabilities of our national laboratories to solve small businesses’ most pressing challenges.” [Read more…]

Gem hunter presents Smithsonian-style gem show at Karen’s Jewelers Oct. 1-3

Ruby Specimens

Rubies in the “mother rock” in which they were found in Afghanistan will be on exhibit at Karen’s Jewelers. (Submitted photo)


Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Karen’s Jewelers will welcome an annual visitor bringing gems from Southeast Asia, Afghanistan, and Egypt for a three-day Smithsonian-style show in Oak Ridge.

Gary Bowersox will present rough gems and minerals, precision-cut gemstones and designer jewelry at Karen’s Jewelers in Oak Ridge from Wednesday through Friday, September 30-October 2. Bowersox has made Karen’s Jewelers a destination on his “Magnificent Gemstones of the World” event for nearly 20 years, according to proprietors Jonathan and Martha Hart.

More than 60,000 gems will be on display at the gem show and sale at Karen’s Jewelers, 1120 Oak Ridge Turnpike. The exhibit will be open from noon.-6 p.m. September 30, and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. October 1 and 2.

Among gems in the show will be a rare padparadscha sapphire from Sri Lanka, among many sapphires from the region. The gem is described as a delicate mix of pink and orange. Also from Sri Lanka will be sphene, another rare and brilliant green, orange or brown gemstone, along with moonstone and special zircons. [Read more…]

Photos: Jackson Square fountain operating, benches installed

Jackson Square Bench and Fountain Sept. 28, 2015

The $1 million renovation of the Jackson Square parking lot includes an interactive fountain, brick-like stone pavers, and new benches, landscaping, and lights. The fountain was operating on Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)


The new interactive fountain at Jackson Square was operating on Monday. It’s part of a $1 million renovation of the Jackson Square parking lot. The work was mostly funded with a Tennessee Department of Transportation grant.

Construction started in January and, according to the most recent publicly announced schedule, was expected to be substantially complete by September 15.

The renovation includes a reconfigured parking lot, landscaped pedestrian plaza with parking, the interactive fountain, stone pavers, curbing, asphalt paving, utilities, new lights, benches, sidewalks, and upgrades under the American with Disabilities Act.

It’s the first major renovation at Jackson Square, the city’s original town center, in 70 years. The $741,609 TDOT Enhancement Grant was awarded to the city in June 2012.

There had been some concerns this summer among business owners, city officials, and residents about delays in the project. But the frustrations seemed to ease, at least publicly, after the fountain arrived in August.

The work appeared to be mostly done on Monday, September 28. Here are photos from Jackson Square on Monday.

Jackson Square Fountain Sept. 28, 2015

The $1 million renovation of the Jackson Square parking lot includes an interactive fountain, brick-like stone pavers, and new benches, landscaping, and lights. The fountain was operating on Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

[Read more…]

New Goodwill store now open

Goodwill Staff, Business Leaders, Oak Ridge Chamber on Sept. 18, 2015

The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce organized a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Goodwill store on Emory Valley Road on Friday, Sept. 18, 2015. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)


The new Goodwill store on Emory Valley Road opened on Friday, September 18.

The new store replaces the former Oak Ridge Goodwill, which was located on South Illinois Avenue.

There was a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new store on Friday, September 18.

“The new location…will provide a brighter shopping space with a significantly larger center for job training efforts,” the company said.

Executives said the new store, located at 697 Emory Valley Road, next to the new Hank’s Market, will continue to receive and sell donations of gently used clothing and household goods. Proceeds from the sale of goods in this and other Goodwill stores will fund job training programs and employment opportunities for people with barriers to employment in and around Oak Ridge, a press release said. [Read more…]

Alexander Guest House renovation restores grandeur at historic hotel

Alexander Guest House Ballroom and Cafeteria Sept. 23, 2015

The ballroom and cafeteria area is pictured above at the Alexander Guest House, which converted the beloved but long-vacant Alexander Inn hotel into an assisted living center. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)


It’s been a dream for years, and now the preservation and transformation of the former Alexander Inn is nearly complete.

The two-year, $8 million construction and renovation project is almost finished, and Alexander Guest House could open as an assisted living facility in about two weeks, said Rick Dover of Dover Development of East Tennessee.

Sixty percent of the 64 apartments are already reserved, Executive Director Jody Daugherty said during a media tour Wednesday. Among those who will live there are Jean Stone of Oak Ridge and Dean Ford of Oliver Springs. They participated in the media tour on Wednesday.

“I think they’ve done a remarkable job of restoring it to its grandeur,” said Stone, a longtime Oak Ridge resident who has “many fine memories” of parties, weddings, wedding receptions, and club meetings, among other events, at the historic two-story hotel. “Once I saw what they’re doing here, I wanted to come here. I think it will be a lovely place to live. It’s absolutely tremendous.”

The historic two-story hotel was built as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project during World War II, and top scientists and dignitaries once stayed there. [Read more…]

ORNL: Car, building are 3D-printed, can power each other

ORNL 3D-Printed House and Vehicle on Sept. 24, 2015

A 3D-printed vehicle and building that were part of a nine-month research demonstration project were unveiled on Industry Day at ORNL on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. The natural gas-powered car and solar-powered building can provide electricity to each other. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)


A car and house built using large-scale 3D printers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory can provide power to each other, and they’re part of a project designed to answer “what if” questions that could lead to innovations in building and car construction and energy use, storage, and consumption, researchers and officials said Wednesday.

The 210-square-foot house—it’s a solar-powered building—and the printed utility vehicle—officials affectionately call it a PUV—were printed at ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility on Hardin Valley Road.

They were unveiled at ORNL on Wednesday during the lab’s first-ever Industry Day. The building and PUV are part of a project called the Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy, or AMIE, demonstration.

Additive manufacturing is the process used to build something one layer at a time. One of the most well-known examples is the Shelby Cobra car 3-D printed on a large-scale polymer printer at the MDF. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden admired that vehicle—and joked about taking it for a spin—during a trip to East Tennessee in January. [Read more…]

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Atomic City car, bike show to benefit historic group on Oct. 3

Atomic City Car and Bike Show

A car and bike show on October 3 will benefit the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association.

ORHPA plans to use the proceeds to repair the Midtown Community Center, also known as the Wildcat Den, on Robertsville Road.

“Few of the 1940s Manhattan Project buildings remain standing in Oak Ridge,” organizers said. “The goal of the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association is to preserve our past. This is our history!” [Read more…]

Photos: Jackson Square parking lot work continues Thursday

Jackson Square Fountain and Landscaping

New landscaping is in the foreground and the interactive fountain is in the background at Jackson Square as construction continued on the $1 million parking lot renovation on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)


The $1 million renovation of the Jackson Square parking lot continued Thursday, with the goal of finishing the project in time for Taste of Anderson County on Saturday.

Construction started in January on what has turned into one of the most closely watched projects in Oak Ridge. Work is funded with help from a $741,609 Tennessee Department of Transportation Enhancement Grant that was awarded to the city in June 2012. The TDOT grant covers 80 percent of the work, and it requires a 20 percent city match.

The work is reported to be the first major renovation at Jackson Square in 70 years. It includes a landscaped pedestrian plaza with parking, an interactive fountain, stone pavers, curbing, asphalt paving, utilities, benches, sidewalks, and upgrades under the American with Disabilities Act. [Read more…]