Corker dampens presidential speculation, calls ISIS ‘demonic’

Senator Bob Corker at ETEC

U.S. Senator Bob Corker, right, downplayed speculation of a possible presidential run during a visit to Oak Ridge on Friday, but he also didn’t rule out a campaign. At center is Jim Haynes, president and chief executive officer of Consolidated Nuclear Security, the new managing and operating contractor at the Y-12 National Security Complex.


He’s been asked the question before, and on Friday, U.S. Senator Bob Corker answered it again: Are you considering running for president in 2016?

Corker didn’t say “no,” but he did dampen the discussion. The Tennessee Republican pointed out that if he were a candidate, he would likely be making trips to Iowa and New Hampshire, key early stops in presidential campaigns, rather than visiting Oak Ridge and East Tennessee.

Still, after a short speech to the East Tennessee Economic Council on Friday, Corker, a Tennessee Republican, said every senator involved in policy decisions and helping to solve the nation’s problems probably thinks about a presidential run “from time to time.”

Corker was the guest speaker at ETEC’s weekly Friday morning meeting. During his talk, he bemoaned the nation’s lack of vision, saying the chief executive needs to have one but President Obama doesn’t lead toward one.

“Without vision, people bicker,” Corker said. The question is: Who is going to create the national vision? the senator said. The nation may need three priorities, he said. [Read more...]

Beer Board has show cause hearings for Lincoln’s, Moose Lodge

Lincoln's Sports Grille

Lincoln’s Sports Grille on South Illinois Avenue is pictured above. (File photo)

A city board on Thursday could consider revoking or suspending beer permits, or levying fines, on a restaurant and local organization that have previously had their permits suspended and sold beer or alcohol to a minor during a state sting in June, officials said.

The two businesses, Lincoln’s Sports Grille and Oak Ridge Moose Lodge #1316, are among five that sold beer or alcohol to a minor during a compliance check by the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission in June, officials said. The Oak Ridge Beer Permit Board plans to have show cause hearings for all five.

Thursday’s special meeting will be the fifth show cause hearing for Lincoln’s and the second for Moose Lodge, according to the Beer Board agenda.

Lincoln’s sold beer, a 16-ounce Bud Light, to a 19-year-old on June 9 after checking the person’s identification, according to the TABC records. It’s the second violation at Lincoln’s for sale to a minor by the TABC, the Beer Board agenda said, and the case is still pending.

Meanwhile, the Moose Lodge sold alcohol, a mixed drink vodka cranberry, to a 19-year-old on June 26 after checking ID, the state records said. It’s also the second violation at Moose Lodge for sale to a minor by the TABC, the Beer Board agenda said. Moose Lodge paid a $2,000 civil penalty for the violation and agreed to a 15-day suspension of their liquor-by-the-drink license. That suspension was in effect from July 13-27.

The Beer Board can revoke or suspend a beer permit during a show cause hearing. The board can also accept a civil penalty in lieu of a suspension. The maximum civil penalty is $2,500 per violation for selling beer to a minor, and $1,000 for all other offenses. [Read more...]

Y-12 hosts Medal of Honor recipients at Town Hall Forum


The Medal of Honor Knoxville Convention Committee has chosen the Y-12 National Security Complex to host a community event Friday, September 12, at 10 a.m., during this year’s convention.

Several Medal of Honor recipients will participate in a Town Hall Forum at Y-12’s New Hope Center located at 602 Scarboro Road.

The forum will be moderated by Hallerin Hilton Hill from WOKI’s Newstalk 98.7.The community is invited to attend, listen to recipients tell their stories, and answer questions from the audience.

Currently scheduled recipients for this Town Hall Forum include men who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. [Read more...]

Anderson needs members for Beer Board, Civil Service, Zoning Appeals


The Anderson County Board of Commissioners and the Nominating Committee are looking for citizens who would like to serve on the following volunteer committees:

Anderson County Beer Board

Five members, three-year terms, ending September 2017

The Beer Board was established for the purpose of licensing, regulating and controlling the transportation, storage, sale, distribution, possession, receipt and/or manufacture of beer. [Read more...]

Aqua Power fall session starts Sept. 8

The Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department aquatic exercise program, Aqua Power, will start its fall session September 8.

The instructor is Janice Greenwood, who holds numerous certifications in exercise programs, a press release said. This program is geared toward participants who wish to receive a workout in the water; individuals will be encouraged to work at their own pace and participants do not have to be able to swim or get their hair wet.

Classes will be held on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 7:30-8:30 p.m. The fee is $42 for a six-week session or $5 per class. [Read more...]

Guest column: City manager urges citizen engagement in key decisions

Mark Watson

Mark Watson

Many projects are happening in Oak Ridge at the present time. Our city does not slow down and is affected by issues at the state, federal, and local levels.

As your city manager, I am concentrating on matters such as the implementation of EPA sewer requirements on a tight timeframe, creation of a national park, development of a new mall, and installation of a new dispatch center.

Among its many other decisions, Oak Ridge will be facing a pair of major initiatives which particularly important for our community. The American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE), owned by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and managed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory contractor UT-Battelle, is under new leadership as veteran museum director David Moore takes the helm. With this change, the DOE knows that the long-term viability of a museum is dependent upon local and regional involvement.

Recently, the AMSE Foundation and the City of Oak Ridge have been co-hosting a series of community meetings about AMSE to discuss options for developing a new operating model for the museum. Two of four public discussions have been held about this topic.

Last week, we heard from the directors of the MUSE in Knoxville, the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, and the new Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol to hear how today’s museums remain current and relevant to their visitors. Turnout for the first two meetings has been very encouraging; the next public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 25, from 6-8 p.m., when heritage tourism will be discussed. [Read more...]

Sewer rehab work continues week of Aug. 25

More rehabilitation work of the city’s sewer collection pipes is scheduled to continue this week, starting Monday, August 25.

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.

Motorists, pedestrians and cyclists are urged to use extra care and caution when traveling on the streets with sewer work areas, a press release said. Temporary road repairs will be made, and loose gravel should be expected until the patches are permanently paved. [Read more...]

Oak Ridge receives $237,000 air quality grant for traffic signal timing


Oak Ridge has received a $237,500 air quality grant that will be used to coordinate the operations of traffic signals at 26 intersections on three main roads: Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge Turnpike, and Lafayette Drive.

The grant will improve the management of current and future traffic flow and reduce congestion and vehicle idling, according to a project summary posted by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

It was one of 31 grants totaling more than $27 million announced in 11 communities across Tennessee on Friday. The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement, or CMAQ, grants were announced by TDOT Commissioner John Schroer.

The grants are meant to reduce congestion and improve air quality. Funded projects include expansions of the TDOT HELP truck program statewide, improvements in traffic signal timing, cleaner transit buses and alternative fuel vehicles purchases, and protected bicycle lanes in Chattanooga. The grants also include a multimodal river port in Clarksville, and expanded transit service in several areas. Another project will include the addition of a bicycle-pedestrian trail on the Harahan Bridge in downtown Memphis. [Read more...]

Swearing-in for county’s elected officials to be broadcast on ACTV

Robin Biloski

Robin Biloski

Officials elected or re-elected in Anderson County on August 7 will be sworn in on September 2, and ACTV, the county’s television station, will broadcast it for residents.

The swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for 9 a.m. September 2 in the Criminal Courtroom on the third floor of the Anderson County Courthouse in Clinton.

ACTV is “pleased to play a part in this special event and provide our citizens a first-hand look at this official act by their government officials,” Anderson County Commissioner Robin Biloski said in a press release.

“Our ACTV Committee wanted to provide our residents an opportunity to see actually how important the oath of office is for those who were elected in the August 2014 election,” said Biloski, chairwoman of the Anderson County TV Committee. “ACTV is always looking at new ways to educate and inform our citizens of what actually happens in government, and we thought this was an exciting way to begin our new terms of office.” [Read more...]

Nineteen candidates for Oak Ridge City Council, School Board

Vote Logo

Note: This story was last updated at 2 p.m.

Ten candidates have qualified to run for Oak Ridge City Council in the November 4 municipal election, and there are nine candidates for Oak Ridge Board of Education—a total of 19 candidates.

It’s the largest field of candidates in recent memory, and it’s not immediately clear when, or if, there has been a field as large.

The deadline to qualify as a candidate in this fall’s municipal elections in Anderson County was noon Thursday.

There is a mix of incumbents and newcomers in Oak Ridge, Clinton, Rocky Top (Lake City), Norris, and Oliver Springs.

Oak Ridge

In Oak Ridge, two incumbents, including Mayor Tom Beehan and Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller, are not seeking re-election. Meanwhile, the other two incumbents whose terms expire this November, Anne Garcia Garland and David Mosby, are running for another four-year term.

In addition to Garcia Garland and Mosby, the other Oak Ridge City Council candidates are:

  • Kelly Callison,
  • R.G. “Rick” Chinn,
  • Warren L. Gooch,
  • Gary L. Love,
  • Pedro J. Otaduy,
  • Aditya “Doc” Savara,
  • Ellen D. Smith, and
  • Eric Tobler.

[Read more...]

Mayor Beehan won’t seek re-election to City Council

Tom Beehan and Gary Wade

Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan, left, is pictured above earlier this month with Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade at Razzleberry’s Ice Cream Lab and Kitchen. Beehan will not seek re-election to Oak Ridge City Council in November.


Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan, who has served on the City Council since 2001, will not seek re-election in November.

Beehan said he has been considering whether to run “for some time,” and he announced his decision to not seek re-election on Wednesday. Before making the decision, Beehan said, he wanted to be sure that quality candidates with a vision for the city’s future were ready to run.

“It’s clear that there are candidates who have the vision and ability to serve the community on City Council,” Beehan said in a press release. “I have enjoyed serving Oak Ridge as mayor and as a City Council member, but I think it is time for new leadership to take a fresh look at moving Oak Ridge forward.”

Beehan said he has spent 20 years as an elected official in local government in Oak Ridge and in Covington, Kentucky—before his family moved to Oak Ridge.

“I consider this a retirement from public service as an elected official, but I plan to continue to be engaged in community activities,” Beehan said. [Read more...]

Corker travels across Tennessee, with stop in Oak Ridge on Friday

U.S. Senator Bob Corker

Bob Corker

U.S. Senator Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, is traveling across the Volunteer State this week, and he’ll be in Oak Ridge on Friday morning.

Corker is scheduled to talk to the East Tennessee Economic Council at 7:30 a.m. Friday. The speech is in the Homer Fisher Room at the University of Tennessee Outreach Center at 1201 Oak Ridge Turnpike.

Starting Wednesday, Corker, who is in his second term in the U.S. Senate, will also visit Hamilton, Sevier, Sullivan, Greene,and Knox counties. This week’s visits follow a seven-county swing through Middle and West Tennessee last week, a media advisory said.