Forecast calls for good weather for Earth Day Festival on Saturday

Earth Day Logo


With temperatures forecasted to be 80 degrees and no chance of rain, it looks like Saturday will be a great day to celebrate our lush green environment and play outdoors. Keep Anderson County Beautiful will be hosting the seventh annual Earth Day Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at A.K. Bissell Park in Oak Ridge.

A big emphasis in this year’s festival will be showing children how to play ”neighborhood games” that require simple instructions and no costly equipment. Believe it or not some kids don’t know how to play hopscotch or play double jump rope (see demo here) or even sing the child’s rhythmic, ” Strawberry Shortcake, huckleberry pie…”

Many other simple games will be demonstrated with time for kids to learn how to play. Student chess club players will help novices learn how to play with large and traditional size chess pieces. There will be a recycle relay and basketball free throw, bocce, croquet, flying discs, and ladder ball. Prizes will be offered. [Read more...]

UT Arboretum to have presentation on bats on Thursday

Bat at UT Arboretum

Northern Long-eared Bat (Photos courtesy of Middleton Photos)

The University of Tennessee Arboretum will host a presentation on bats—“Let’s Go BAT-ty”—from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday.

Gerry Middleton, a biologist who has studied bats extensively, will present a slide show at the Visitor’s Center to discuss his two-year study of Arboretum bats. Using his “bat detector,” he will take the group outside to look for the nocturnal creatures.

A biologist with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation in the U.S. Department of Energy-Oversight Office, Middleton promised that this will be an opportunity for all ages to learn more about the local bat population, a press release said. Middleton has an master’s degree in wildlife and fisheries from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. [Read more...]

Get your tickets to support MMC Casino Night 2014

MMC Casino Night

Grab your best girl and swing into Methodist Medical Center’s Casino Night 2014! The 40s-themed event will celebrate Oak Ridge’s heritage as a military town, and promises to be a night of fun, food and fancy footwork. (Photo courtesy MMC)

Tickets are still available for the Methodist Medical Center Foundation’s Casino Night 2014: Secrets, Science and Swing on Saturday, April 26, at 6:30 p.m. in the New Hope Center at Y-12. This year’s theme hearkens back to the early days of Oak Ridge when the street were in mud, couples were in the mood, and mum was the word.

Guests at Casino Night will enjoy dinner and dancing, as well as silent and live auctions that include tickets to local and national attractions, local art, fine jewelry, weekend getaways, and week-long trips in the Rocky Mountains, Sunset Beach, and the Caribbean. The band Soul Candy and the Traffic Jam will provide late night entertainment. [Read more...]

Stone Soup Ministry serving free community meal Friday

Stone Soup Community Meal

From left to right, volunteers Jinx Watson, Beatrice Holt, Todd Sherline, and daughter Poppy prepare for guests at a recent ORUUC Stone Soup Free Community Meal. The next meal will be served on April 25. (File photo)

Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church will be serving a free community meal on Friday, April 25. Dine-in or takeout will be available from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Social Hall of the church.

This month’s meal includes homemade tomato soup, sandwiches, chocolate cupcakes, and milk.

The Stone Soup Ministry free community meal is held the last Friday of every month at the same time in the Social Hall of the church. Food for the free monthly meal is provided by the ORUUC congregation along with financial support from several members of the Oak Ridge Community. [Read more...]

Community meal at Oak Ridge Family Bible Church on Wednesday

Oak Ridge Family Bible Church Logo

Oak Ridge Family Bible Church will host its monthly community meal, Dinner with our Neighbor, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

This event began a number of years ago and has not just been feeding the community, but has also been a time of building relationships and helping neighbors during lonely and difficult times, a press release said.

The Rev. Robert May said: “There are many folks in our area that will sit down to have a meal alone, and it is our aim to give them an opportunity to have a meal with someone who cares and possibly make some new friends. Also, there may be some folks that are finding it difficult to feed their family, and the dinner we serve might relieve that pressure.” [Read more...]

Altrusa to host author Jay Searcy on Wednesday

Jay Searcy

Jay Searcy

On Wednesday, the Oak Ridge chapter of  Altrusa Club International will be hosting Jay Searcy from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel.

Searcy is an acclaimed newspaper man and author of “The Last Reunion.” The topic of his presentation is  “The Last Reunion—Stories of wartime life in Oak Ridge.”

The Doubletree Hotel is located at 215 S. Illinois Ave.

Youth Pride Fest in Oak Ridge May 31

Clockwise from Olivia Erkins, Caroline Dobyns, Keith Coyle, Kawon Whiteside, Anne Backus (president of Oak Ridge PFLAG), Joe Sears, Particia Edou, Alex Todd, Misty Neergaard

The Pride Fest planning committee is pictured above. Clockwise from left to right starting in the back row are Olivia Erkins, Caroline Dobyns, Keith Coyle, Kawon Whiteside, Anne Backus (president of Oak Ridge PFLAG), Joe Sears, Particia Edou, Alex Todd, Misty Neergaard. (Submitted photo)

Oak Ridge’s first Youth Pride Fest will be Saturday, May 31.

It’s for all East Tennessee LGBTQ youth and allies under the age of 21, and parents.

The Youth Pride Fest will be held at First Presbyterian Church from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. May 31. Youth should register by May 24 to attend the full day.

In the morning, there will be discussions on activism and being involved, spirituality, and coming out, as well as a presentation, “Love is not black and white” by members of the ORHS chapter of GSA. During the day, there will also be a scavenger hunt with prizes. [Read more...]

Myricks to be honored for ‘lifetime of commitment’ on April 29

Tim Myrick and Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity

Tim Myrick, back row second from left, is pictured taking a lunch break during a build with college students who come during spring break every year to participate in Habitat builds. (Photos by Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County)

He’s helped build every one of the 58 homes built by Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County since it started in 1992 and served on the board. He helped plan and oversee renovations at the Oak Ridge High School, been a member of the Red Cross Disaster Relief team, and along with his wife, grown thousands of Christmas trees that were donated to the American Cancer Society and Holiday Bureau for fundraising.

In recognition of their work, Tim and Teresa Myrick will be honored this month for their “lifetime of commitment to the people of Oak Ridge and Anderson County.” The reception will be hosted by Habitat for Humanity, and it is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 29, at the New Hope Center at Y-12 National Security Complex. [Read more...]

Sister City group has April 25 dinner for middle school exchanges with Japan

Oak Ridge Naka-shi Middle School Exchange

Participants in the Oak Ridge/ Naka-shi, Japan 2013 Middle school exchange, frolic in the ocean on the Japanese coast. (Submitted photos)

The Sister City Support Organization, in cooperation with the City of Oak Ridge and Oak Ridge Schools, has sponsored the visit of middle school students to our sister city of Naka-shi, Japan, for 22 years.

In support of the 2014 Middle School exchange, the Sister City Support Organization is hosting a spaghetti supper on Friday, April 25. The supper will be held at the First United Methodist Church from 5:30-8 p.m. Student exchange participants and SCSO board members will don Japanese “happy coats” and kimonos to serve the main course and an array of delicious homemade desserts. [Read more...]

ARC Anderson County to have anti-bullying seminar May 1

There will be a free anti-bullying seminar at the Oak Ridge High School Amphitheater from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. May 1. This presentation is open to the public, but it will focus on those with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Speakers will be Frank Meeuwis, Scott Finney, and Will Mc Millan from The Arc Tennessee in Nashville. The Arc Anderson County is an advocacy organization that helps those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

Teachers who attend will receive a certificate for in-service hours.

To attend, please call (865) 481-0550 by April 18 to register as seating is limited.

EnergySolutions contributes $50K to Habitat over five years


When building houses for those in need, Habitat for Humanity seeks volunteers, supplies, and monetary donations. In an effort to help the organization achieve its goals, EnergySolutions contributed $50,000 to Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County over a period of five years to support housing developments in both Oak Ridge and Clinton, and the company also assisted the organization with transporting much-needed supplies to the community.

Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County is an ecumenical ministry founded in 1992 that builds simple, decent, and affordable houses with participating families, and works with diverse individuals, organizations, and faith communities to serve others. Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County accepts monetary donations, as well as ink cartridges, cell phones, aluminum cans, and even vehicles to recycle, and the Habitat ReStore accepts gently used household items, furniture, appliances, and even building materials to resell. [Read more...]

United Way raises $1.17 million, about 90 percent of ‘bold’ goal

Greta Ownby and Edwena Crowe

UWAC Board President, Greta Ownby, left, announces Edwena Crowe, right, as Volunteer of the Year. (Submitted photos)

The campaign was complicated by the partial government shutdown in October, but the United Way of Anderson County raised close to $1.2 million this year, or about 90 percent of its goal.

The results were announced at an annual meeting and campaign announcement at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge on Thursday.

The campaign goal, which was described as “bold,” had been $1.3 million. The total amount raised was $1,172,742. The United Way said this will allow for stable funding for its agency programs.

“Unfortunately, we will not be able to increase funding to our community partners,” UWAC Executive Director Rick Morrow said. ”Last year’s total resulted in a reduction of $200,000 to the funding pool, and this year’s total will only allow for continued funding at that level.” [Read more...]