Y-12 employee-led Help to the Smokies team still going strong

Y-12 Employees Help the Smokies

Y-12’s Help to the Smokies employee-led team volunteered at a Great Smoky Mountains National Park cleanup event on Nov. 8. The team contributed 154 hours in restoration and enhancement activities during the event. (Submitted photo)


Note: This story was updated at 10:40 a.m. Nov. 26.

Y-12’s employee-led Help to the Smokies team tacked another 154 hours onto their already massive volunteer service record at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park during their annual volunteer work day on November 8. Since its start, the volunteer team has contributed about 14,000 hours in the Park.

Some 22 volunteers assisted park staff in maintenance and refurbishment of Loop B campsites at the Cosby Campground. The volunteer team performed general restoration activities for 31 individual campsites. These activities included elevating, leveling, and resetting 31 picnic tables, distributing and applying 85 tons of gravel covering to 26 campsites, and leveling selected camp fire rings. [Read more…]

ORISE accepts apps for summer research with Homeland Security

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education is accepting applications for the 2015 U.S. Department of Homeland Security Summer Research Team Program for Minority Serving Institutions, or MSI. The program engages faculty and student teams in research that provides opportunities to better understand the mission and research needs of DHS and to strengthen the talent pool of scientists and engineers, a press release said.

ORISE administers the program for DHS through ORISE, which is managed by Oak Ridge Associated Universities for the U.S. Department of Energy.

The 10-week summer research program provides faculty and student teams from Minority Serving Institutions with opportunities to conduct research at the university-based DHS Centers of Excellence. The DHS Science and Technology Directorate Centers of Excellence network is an extended consortium of hundreds of universities generating ground-breaking ideas for new technologies, while collaborating to serve DHS’ many mission needs, the press release said. [Read more…]

No garbage pickup on Thanksgiving

Waste Connections Inc. will not pick up refuse or recyclables in Oak Ridge on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 27.

The Thursday routes will be picked up on Friday, November 28, and the Friday routes will be picked up on Saturday, November 29. Please have all refuse and recyclables out by 7 a.m. for the Friday and Saturday routes, a press release said.

“Thank you for your cooperation with this schedule adjustment,” the release said.

For more information, contact Waste Connections Inc. at (865) 482-3656 or visit www.WasteConnectionsTn.com.

Oak Ridge city manager hires assistant

Bruce Appleton

Bruce Applegate

Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson has hired an assistant.

Bruce M. Applegate Jr. will help the city manager plan, organize, develop, coordinate, maintain, and direct the overall operations and activities of the city, a press release said. He will help provide supervision for special projects and task forces, and participate in the recruitment and promotion of new and existing businesses and industries. In addition, he will assist in developing, planning, and implementing goals and objectives for the city. Applegate’s employment will become effective December 1.

“I am excited to join the staff of the City of Oak Ridge,” Applegate said. “I am eager to begin working with the city staff to address the upcoming projects aimed at bettering the community. The variety of tasks will give me an opportunity to engage with both city officials and community members to appropriately create solutions to meet Oak Ridge’s needs. I feel fortunate to be joining the city, and look forward to demonstrating my appreciation through hard work….Having gone to school in Oak Ridge, I relish the opportunity to give back to a city that has given to me.” [Read more…]

Gooch elected mayor, Smith mayor pro tem

Oak Ridge City Council November 2014

The new Oak Ridge City Council is pictured above. From right they are new member Kelly Callison, continuing member Charlie Hensley, new members Rick Chinn and Warren Gooch, continuing members Chuck Hope and Trina Baughn, and new member Ellen Smith. Council members are elected in staggered terms, so Baughn, Hensley, and Hope won’t be up for election until 2016. Callison, Chinn, Gooch, and Smith won their seats in the November 4 municipal election.


Note: This story was last updated at 9 a.m. Nov. 25.

New Oak Ridge City Council member Warren Gooch has been appointed mayor, and returning City Council member Ellen Smith has been elected mayor pro tem.

The two were appointed to serve two-year terms by the seven-member Oak Ridge City Council during a Monday night meeting, the first after the November 4 municipal election.

It’s the first elected office for Gooch, a lawyer, although he previously ran for Anderson County mayor in August 2012. Gooch was the top vote-getter in the November 4 municipal election, and he is the city’s 10th mayor, according to City Council member Chuck Hope, who also sought to be mayor.

“I do think our best days are ahead of us,” Gooch said after two members switched votes and cast ballots for him, breaking an impasse that had lasted through five rounds of voting. “Great things happen here every day, and they have for 70 years.” [Read more…]

Oak Ridge leaf pickup starts Monday

City of Oak Ridge Seal

The annual citywide leaf pickup program will begin Monday, November 24.

City collection efforts will follow the schedule below as closely as possible, a press release said. The proposed schedule is a general guide and can vary considerably from the actual schedule due to the amount of leaves and weather conditions.

Here are a few guidelines for the program: [Read more…]

Oak Ridge company wins $15.9 million contract

HME Minority Business Excellence Award

HME Inc. Co-Founder Henry Perry, right, with Tony Spezia, Covenant Health president and CEO, when HME was awarded the Knoxville Chamber Partnership’s Minority Business Excellence Award in May 2011. (Submitted photo)

An Oak Ridge company has won a $15.9 million contract to provide facilities operations and support services to the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama.

The contract was awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency, a press release said.

HME is a Small Business Administration-certified HUB (Historically Underutilized Business) Zone and economically disadvantaged woman-owned business headquartered in Oak Ridge. HME first received the contract to provide facilities operations and support services for the CDP facility in 2009.

The CDP is a national training facility that prepares state and local emergency response personnel to respond to terrorist attacks involving weapons of mass destruction by providing advanced, hands-on training. This national training program was developed for firefighters, law enforcement personnel, emergency medical technicians, E-911 operators, and other emergency response personnel, their trainers, and supervisors.

During Fiscal Year 2013, the CDP trained a total of 49,500 students, including 14,000 resident students, 2,500 non-resident, 8,000 indirect, and 25,000 Academy students, the press release said. [Read more…]

Sewer rehab work continues week of Nov. 24

More rehabilitation work of the city’s sewer collection pipes is scheduled to continue this week, starting Monday, November 24.

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. [Read more…]

Four City Council members say they’d like to be mayor

City of Oak Ridge Seal

Note: This story was updated at 3:03 p.m.

Four members of the new Oak Ridge City Council that starts Monday have announced that they would like to be mayor. One would like to also be considered for mayor pro tem.

The seven-member City Council, which has four new members, will appoint a mayor and mayor pro tem during its Monday night meeting. The City Council picks two of its members to serve as mayor and mayor pro tem after each municipal election every two years.

In letters to Council, current member Chuck Hope said he is interested in serving as mayor and so did City Council members-elect Rick Chinn and Warren Gooch.

Former City Council member Ellen Smith, who regained a seat in the November 4 election after an election loss two years ago, said she would like to be considered for mayor or mayor pro tem. Under the City Charter, the mayor pro tem presides at meetings when the mayor is absent or temporarily disabled. [Read more…]

Letter: Chinn wants to be mayor, help attract new families, industries

Rick Chinn

Rick Chinn

City Manager Mark Watson and honorable members of Oak Ridge City Council,

First, I would like to congratulate the new members elected to Council and express my enthusiasm in working with the three sitting members of Council for the coming years. I feel we have a great group of leaders and know that if we work together, we can accomplish some great things for the City of Oak Ridge.

In my opinion, a key to making these great things happen is working together in electing and supporting our new mayor. That said, I would like to officially announce my interest in becoming the new mayor.

I believe the mayor’s position is much more than cutting ribbons and running the monthly meetings. The mayor, in my opinion, is the chief lobbyist of the city.

We are unique from most cities in the fact that our health as a city is tied closely to the choices that are made by both state and federal lawmakers. [Read more…]

Letter: Smith seeks mayor, mayor pro tem spot; cites experience, knowledge

Ellen Smith

Ellen Smith

Fellow members of the Oak Ridge City Council:

I respectfully request that you consider me as a candidate for the positions of mayor and mayor pro tem when the new Council convenes on Monday, November 24.

This is in many respects a brand new Council, with several new members who are eager to move the city forward in a positive direction. I share that eagerness, but I also believe that we need experienced leadership to achieve our goals.

Leadership with experience and in-depth knowledge of our city government will be vitally important in ensuring the progress we seek—by ensuring that Council works effectively and efficiently. I can supply that necessary experience and knowledge in a leadership role. What I bring to the job includes over five years of experience as a Council member, in-depth knowledge of city business and the background of the issues and decisions Council will need to deal with, and personal acquaintance with the other members of the city leadership team (both Council members and staff) and their goals and priorities for Oak Ridge. [Read more…]

Letter: Gooch wants to be mayor, make city efficient, business-friendly

Warren L. Gooch

Warren L. Gooch

Dear City Council colleagues,

I am submitting this letter to express my interest in being elected mayor. I believe our next mayor must provide bold leadership, vision, energy, and a commitment to excellence in our schools, city services, and quality of life.

During the recent campaign, I spoke about my vision and goals for Oak Ridge and my expectations for city government to become more efficient, responsive, and business friendly. The voters, across our city, clearly embraced my message.

As mayor, I pledge to be a consensus builder and to work with each of you, the Board of Education, and city staff to help move Oak Ridge forward. For over 70 years, city leaders have dared to undertake initiatives that have made Oak Ridge a great place to live, work, and raise a family. I am confident that working together our best days are still ahead.

I respectfully ask for your support.

Warren Gooch

Oak Ridge City Council member-elect