DFET: Meet the candidates on Oct. 9

A local organization is sponsoring a Meet the Candidates event from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, October 9, in the Oak Ridge Civic Center Gymnasium. It’s been organized by Democracy for East Tennessee, and residents of Anderson and surrounding counties are invited, a press release said.

Candidates for the following offices have been invited: Oak Ridge City Council, Oak Ridge Board of Education, Tennessee House of Representatives 33rd District, State Senate 5th District, 3rd U.S. Congressional District, and U.S. Senate.

The election is November 4. The October 9 event will offer residents a chance to become better informed and acquainted with candidates by meeting with them on an individual basis at a single event, a press release said. [Read more...]

Repairs made to Jaycee Park walking trail

Information from WYSH Radio

Clinton Public Works and Parks and Recreation employees recently completed some much-needed work on the walking trail at Jaycee Park.

In a press release, Public Works Director Lynn Murphy said this is the first major repair effort on the trail in about 15 years. Murphy said that the city had received some complaints about the condition of the trails, which raised questions for officials about walkers’ safety.

Several sections of asphalt were either completely removed and replaced or, when possible, repaired. Officials hope that further improvements to the Jaycee Park walking trail can be made in the near future.

Opinion: Commissioner proposes small payment for some county employees

Myron Iwanski

Myron Iwanski

Note: This is a copy of a Tuesday email from Anderson County Commissioner Myron Iwanski to the Budget Committee and commissioners.

Budget Committee and Commissioners:

I think we were all pleased that for the fourth year in a row our year-end fund balance increased over the previous year. We owe a big thank you to our county employees for helping making this happen.

Four years ago, our fund balance was heading down to less than $500,000, and our credit rating was being effected. Beginning four years ago, by being more cautious with how we spend fund balance money and with the help of all our elected officials and employees, we increased the fund balance to the current $4,290,000.

One of the many things we did to turn this around was not giving our employees a salary increase for several years—except to cover the annual increases in health insurance cost. County-wide office holders, meanwhile, were given state-mandated increases in salaries.

I propose using a small portion of this fund balance to provide a small lump sum payment to those county general fund employees that did not get a state-mandated salary increase. [Read more...]

Household hazardous waste collection on Sept. 27

Anderson County Solid Waste Management, along with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, will be holding its Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, September 27, at the Oak Ridge Public Works Building at 100 Woodbury Lane.

See this flyer for more information: [Read more...]

Opinion: Fleischmann comments on passage of government funding bill

U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann

Chuck Fleischmann

By U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann

WASHINGTON, D.C.—On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a critical continuing resolution which will keep the government open until the end of the fiscal year and maintain funding for significant government operations.

“Today, I am happy to announce that the House of Representatives has passed a responsible and fiscally sound funding measure, which will prevent a government shutdown,” U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann said directly after passage. “By crafting a clean continuing resolution that maintains current funding levels, we have provided the American people and crucial parts of our government, such as the armed forces, with needed certainty. However, I am disappointed that the Democrat-controlled Senate could not manage to undertake its constitutional responsibility and pass a single appropriations bill. It is imperative that Congress returns to regular order and eliminates the need for these constant stopgap measures.”

In addition to keeping the government open, the bill also included the McKeon Amendment. This provides authorization for the president’s request to arm and train carefully vetted factions within the Syrian opposition in order to combat ISIS while providing for congressional oversight.

Chuck Fleischmann represents Tennessee’s District 3, which includes Oak Ridge, in the U.S. House of Representatives.

TDOT presents $237,500 signal timing grant to Oak Ridge

TDOT Commissioner John Schroer presents a signal optimization grant check to Oak Ridge Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller. (Photo courtesy City of Oak Ridge)

TDOT Commissioner John Schroer presents a signal optimization grant check to Oak Ridge Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller. (Photo courtesy City of Oak Ridge)


Grant for signal optimization

The City of Oak Ridge has been awarded a Tennessee Department of Transportation grant for $237,500 for a signal timing optimization project, and TDOT Commissioner John Schroer recently presented the award to Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller in Nashville.

The signal timing optimization grant is funded by the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, or CMAQ, which supports transportation projects that reduce air emissions from on-road sources and non-road sources, as well as projects that reduce traffic congestion, a press release said.

“The city is pleased to receive this grant which will significantly enhance air quality and reduce congested roadways,” Oak Ridge City Engineer Steve Byrd said in the press release.

The signal timing optimization project will target 26 traffic signals on Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge Turnpike, and Lafayette Drive. The program will synchronize these lights in order to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion and vehicle idling, and decrease commuter travel time. [Read more...]

Business executive, community volunteer running for City Council

Kelly Callison

Kelly Callison

Business executive and community volunteer Kelly Callison is running for Oak Ridge City Council in the November 4 municipal election.

Callison is chief operating officer of Information International Associates Inc. He is also vice chairman of the Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission.

In a press release, Callison said he thinks his community, business, and military experience will enable him to bring a cooperative and positive approach to city government. Callison said he will focus on “maintaining our great schools, improving housing, and increasing retail and commercial business.”

Callison and his family came to Oak Ridge seven years ago and have been active in the community from the beginning, the press release said. Besides serving as vice chair of the Municipal Planning Commission, Callison is a member of the East Tennessee Economic Council, a member of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce Advocacy Task Force, a board member of Contact CareLine, president of the Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary Club, and a member of the Oak Ridge Chapter of the League of Woman Voters. [Read more...]

Forum to feature candidates for school board, TN House, Congress

Vote Logo

A Wednesday evening forum will feature candidates for Oak Ridge Board of Education, U.S. Congressional District 3, and Tennessee House District 32.

The forum starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Oak Ridge High School Amphitheater at 1450 Oak Ridge Turnpike. It’s been organized by the League of Women Voters of Oak Ridge.

Candidates for Oak Ridge Board of Education have been invited to speak and answer questions. They include  incumbent Bob Eby and seven other candidates: Jean Hiser, Andrew Howe, Mike Mahathy, A. Paige Marshall, Laura McLean, Laurie Paine, and Aaron Wells.

There are three school board seats available in the November 4 municipal election. Eby is the only incumbent seeking re-election; Dan DiGregorio and Jenny Richter are not.

Candidates with opposition in the state and federal general election have also been invited to speak and answer questions. In the U.S. House, Republican Representative Chuck Fleischmann of District 3, which includes Oak Ridge, faces challenges from Democrat Mary M. Headrick, who also ran two years ago, and Independent Cassandra J. Mitchell. [Read more...]

Gov. Haslam, Bredesen to discuss Amendment 2 at UT on Wednesday

Governor Bill Haslam

Bill Haslam

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and former Governor Phil Bredesen will discuss a constitutional amendment that could affect the judicial system during a Wednesday celebration of Constitution Day at the University of Tennessee.

Amendment 2 to the Tennessee Constitution will be on the ballot in November. It proposes new checks and balances to the governor’s appointment of Supreme Court and intermediate appellate court judges. It also protects the rights of Tennesseans to vote to retain or replace those judges in retention elections, UT said in a press release.

Haslam and Bredesen will discuss the amendment at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Toyota Auditorium of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy. The discussion will be moderated by Doug Blaze, dean of UT’s College of Law.

It’s part of the Baker Center’s celebration of Constitution Day on Wednesday. Free and open to the public, the day’s events will also include: [Read more...]

UT’s Medal of Honor involvement very special for grad student and her dad

Peter and Laura Lemon at Medal of Honor Convention

Medal of Honor recipient Peter Lemon, on the right, sits next to his daughter, Laura Lemon, a University of Tennessee doctoral student. They are surrounded by UT public relations students, some of whom are in Laura Lemon’s class. (Photos courtesy UT)


KNOXVILLE—Graduate teaching associate Laura Lemon found herself in an interesting spot at last week’s Medal of Honor Town Hall at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

On one side of her sat her public relations students, eagerly taking notes to write a press release about the event. On the other side sat her father, Medal of Honor recipient Peter Lemon.

A doctoral student, Laura Lemon said her involvement with UT’s Medal of Honor Project began last year when she went to Assistant Professor Nick Geidner’s office for help in one of his classes that she was taking.

Geidner directs the Medal of Honor Project, which is an award-winning service-learning collaboration between UT’s School of Journalism and Electronic Media and the 2014 Medal of Honor Convention, held last week in Knoxville. (It included a Town Hall Forum in Oak Ridge on Friday.) Through the project, students produced written, audio, and video pieces related to the convention. Although the convention is over, the project will continue sharing stories about Medal of Honor recipients and become a model for other universities that want to partner with future conventions. [Read more...]

Medal of Honor recipients honored at Y-12

Medal of Honor Recipients at Y-12 National Security Complex

Medal of Honor recipients Herschel “Woody” Williams (USMC, WWII, Iwo Jima); Ron Rosser (US Army, Ponggilli, Korea); and Wesley Fox (USMC, Quang Tri, Vietnam) were welcomed by CNS President Jim Haynes (far left) and NNSA Production Office Manager Steve Erhart (far right) at the Medal of Honor Town Hall Forum held at Y-12’s New Hope Center on Friday. (Photo courtesy CNS)


Three Medal of Honor recipients were honored at the Y-12 National Security Complex during a Town Hall Forum on Friday, part of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s annual convention held in Knoxville last week.

The Medal of Honor recipients honored at Y-12 were Herschel “Woody” Williams (U.S. Marine Corps, Iwo Jima, World War II), Ron Rosser (U.S. Army, Ponggilli, Korea) and Wesley Fox (USMC, Quang Tri, Vietnam). They were welcomed at Y-12’s New Hope Center by CNS President Jim Haynes and Steve Erhart, manager of the National Nuclear Security Administration Production Office.

The three recipients discussed their experiences and answered questions from the public. Williams and Rosser also toured the Y-12 National Security complex with Haynes and Y-12 Historian Ray Smith. The group visited 9731, Y-12’s pilot plant during the Manhattan Project, and the south ridge of the site.

Many of the honorees also visited area schools, where Tennessee leads the nation in adopting the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation’s Character Development Program. To learn more about the program, go to http://www.mohknoxville.com/character-development/.

See also this story from the Medal of Honor Town Hall at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.