Anderson County receives $64,600 in funding to reduce tobacco use

Tennessee Commissioner and Anti-Tobacco at Anderson County Health Department

Anderson County has received almost $65,000 in funds to support initiatives that reduce tobacco use. Local officials recently received the check from Tennessee Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner. (Photo Courtesy of Anderson County Health Department)

CLINTON—Tennessee Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner visited the Anderson County Health Department on Friday to present $64,600 in funding as part of the Tennessee Tobacco Settlement Program.

Dreyzehner was in East Tennessee last week to present tobacco settlement checks to the Roane County Health Department ($38,860) and the Loudon County Health Department ($38,103) as well as the check to Anderson County.

Each county in Tennessee will receive funding annually during the three-year program to reduce the burden of tobacco use in the state.

Locally, the Anderson County Health Department is using the funds to support a new “Baby and Me—Tobacco Free” program as well as a partnership with Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) of Anderson County and the Coordinated School Health programs in each of the three school systems in Anderson County. [Read more...]

Lee keeps seat on housing board despite Council member’s removal request

Anne Garcia Garland, Trina Baughn, and Chuck Hope

The Oak Ridge City Council on Monday rejected a request to remove resident Joe Lee from a city housing board. Pictured above at left is Council member Anne Garcia Garland, who made the request. Also pictured are Council members Trina Baughn and Chuck Hope.

Note: This story was last updated at 11:20 p.m.

Those who wanted to remove Joe Lee from a municipal housing board said he had shown contempt for Oak Ridge City Council members, insulted traffic camera critics, embarrassed the city, and bullied others.

But those who wanted to keep him on the board said Lee ought to be given a second chance. They said he had performed well on the board—the Oak Ridge Board of Building and Housing Code Appeals—particularly when considering the city’s code violation cases against the Applewood Apartments.

On Monday, the Oak Ridge City Council rejected the request to remove Lee from the board. The proposal failed in a 2-4 vote.

Voting in favor of the removal were Council members Anne Garcia Garland and Trina Baughn. Voting against it were Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller and Council members Charlie Hensley, Chuck Hope, and David Mosby. [Read more...]

Earth Day to feature free activities, events for healthy living, environmental education

IJAMS Earth Day 2009

The IJAMS Nature Center booth is pictured above during Earth Day 2009. (File photo)

The seventh annual Earth Day festival will feature free activities and events that promote healthy living and environmental education, and encourage individuals to create and contribute to a sustainable community, a press release said.

The festival is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 26 at Alvin K. Bissell Park in Oak Ridge.

It’s hosted by Keep Anderson County Beautiful.

There will be a Trashformations art exhibit created by local area students made from recycled/found materials. There will also be outdoor games and races for children, a bike rodeo for kids, healthy food vendors, exhibitors showcasing educational booths, and neighborhood games such as hopscotch, bocce, croquet, flying discs, ladder ball, and a special reduce, reuse, recycle game. There will also be a special area for pre-school children. [Read more...]

Sewer rehab work continues this week

More rehabilitation work of the city’s sewer collection pipes is scheduled to continue this week.

The work is being done by Hurst Excavating and Morgan Contracting under contract with the City of Oak Ridge. It includes rehabilitating sewer collection pipes within city easements in yards and in roadways, a press release said.

Residents should already have received color-coded letters and door hangers (orange for Hurst Excavating and purple for Morgan Contracting) providing general information and each contractors’ contact information. [Read more...]

Council approves stoplight project at SR 95, Bethel Valley Road

Highway 95 and Bethel Valley Road Stoplight

Note: This story was updated at 11:30 p.m. March 14.

Hoping to improve safety, state officials plan to install a stoplight west of Oak Ridge National Laboratory at the intersection of State Route 95 and Bethel Valley Road.

The stoplight and other geometric improvements have been endorsed by Johnny O. Moore, U.S. Department of Energy manager at the ORNL Site Office.

“This intersection poses safety problems for the general public, as well as employees of ORNL, and these proposed improvements would be greatly appreciated,” Moore said in a Feb. 6 letter to Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson.

The project could cost $200,000. The Tennessee Department of Transportation would fund it through the Federal Highway Administration Highway Safety Project. Oak Ridge City Engineer Steve Byrd said this type of project qualifies for 100 percent federal funding.

On Monday, the Oak Ridge City Council approved an agreement that would make the city responsible for maintenance after the stoplight is built. The annual maintenance cost for the city is expected to be about $1,500. [Read more...]

City, schools have wellness fair on May 21

Oak Ridge Wellness Fair 2011

Flu shots are given at an Oak Ridge Wellness Fair in November 2011. (File photo)

The City of Oak Ridge Wellness Committee and the Oak Ridge Schools will host the 2014 Wellness and Safety Fair on Wednesday, May 21, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Oak Ridge Civic Center. The fair is open to Oak Ridge City employees, Oak Ridge School employees, retirees, and their families. The fair will then be opened to the public from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Sandy Sexton at (865) 425-3414 or [email protected].

Judicial candidate Spitzer appoints Shelton as campaign treasurer

Ryan Spitzer, Rogan, and Patti Shelton

Pictured above are Ryan Spitzer, center; his treasurer Patti Shelton; and Spitzer’s son Rogan. (Submitted photo)

Ryan Spitzer, a candidate for judge in General Sessions Court, Division I, has named Patti Shelton as his campaign treasurer, a press release said.

Shelton is a former director of Girls Inc. of Oak Ridge, and she is a community volunteer in many organizations, the press release said.

“Ryan has knowledge of the law and a professional demeanor that will serve him well as a judge, and I’m excited to be working on his campaign,” Shelton said. “He is my son-in-law, and I have come to know him as a caring and sincere member of our family who gives 150 percent to whatever he does.” [Read more...]

Photos: Oak Ridge Egg Hunt on Saturday

Oak Ridge Egg Hunt

Hundreds of children hunt about 15,000 eggs during the annual Egg Hunt at Alvin K. Bissell Park in Oak Ridge on Saturday.

Hundreds of children hunted about 15,000 eggs during the annual Egg Hunt at Alvin K. Bissell Park in Oak Ridge on Saturday. Here are a half-dozen pictures.

[Read more...]

NIOSH renews ORAU contract for sick worker program

Andy Page

Andy Page

Contract could be worth about $150 million over five years

For the second time in about five years, a federal health and safety institute has renewed its contract with Oak Ridge Associated Universities for the support it provides on a sick worker program. The new contract could be worth about $150 million during a five-year period.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health awarded the contract to a team headed by ORAU in Oak Ridge. Under the new contract, ORAU and its partners Dade Moeller and Associates Inc. and MJW Technical Services Inc. will continue to support NIOSH and its work under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act, or EEOICPA, a press release said.

Last renewed in 2009, this contract has been managed by ORAU for more than a decade, and this is the second time NIOSH has renewed with ORAU and its partners, the release said. [Read more...]

Anderson County tourism leaders eye new building

Anderson County Tourism Council

The Anderson County Tourism Council building on Highway 61 near Interstate 75 is pictured above. (Photo courtesy Anderson County Tourism Council)

Information from WYSH Radio

The Anderson County Operations Committee on Monday will consider a request from the Anderson County Tourism Council to sell the log cabin that currently houses the organization’s offices and the county Welcome Center, and purchase a much larger cabin located near the current headquarters.

The current welcome center has been housed in an 1,800-square-foot former Jim Barna log cabin since 1998, but officials said that with a staff expansion in the works, they need more space. The cabin that they are interested in purchasing measures some 3,500 square feet and has a current asking price of $280,000.

The current welcome center would have to be sold at auction as it is a county-owned property, and a minimum bid would be set after an independent appraisal is conducted. The Operations Committee meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday in Room 312 of the Anderson County Courthouse in Clinton.

Board orders demolition of five homes in Highland View

117 Wade Lane Home

A city board on Thursday declared this home at 117 Wade Lane to be unfit for human habitation and ordered it demolished within 90 days.

Note: This story was updated at 11:40 p.m.

From the outside, the homes look they’re in decent shape and not the worst in the neighborhood.

But inside and underneath, problems range from collapsing floors and settling foundations to leaking roofs and tens of thousands worth of mold damage.

On Thursday, a city board declared the five vacant homes to be unfit for human habitation, and members ordered them demolished within 90 days. The city could use federal money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to buy and demolish the homes. [Read more...]

Alexander: Red Team Review of UPF could be model for other DOE projects

Uranium Processing Facility

Pictured above is the proposed Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12 National Security Complex, with the administrative area in the front and the fortified section of the building in the rear. (Submitted image)

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander on Wednesday called for a special Senate hearing on whether an ongoing review of the Uranium Processing Facility in Oak Ridge could serve as a model to improve oversight of U.S. Department of Energy projects, a press release said.

In a hearing held by the Appropriations Subcommittee for Energy and Water Development, of which he is the lead Republican, Alexander noted that Thom Mason, director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is currently conducting a “Red Team” review of UPF. Mason’s Red Team members are using the same process that has made the Office of Science the only office in DOE that successfully manages efficient and cost-effective projects, said Alexander, a Tennessee Republican. [Read more...]