AC Commission replaces Phillips with Bates

Zach Bates

Zach Bates

WYSH Radio/Oak Ridge Today

The Anderson County Commission has voted to replace Chris Phillips in Commission District 4 with the man whose vacated seat he won in August.

Phillips resigned his Commission seat—won in the August 7 election—so that he could return to work as the county’s budget and accounts director after leaving that post earlier this year to become city recorder in his native Rocky Top. Phillips left the county government to help the town update its accounting practices as it makes the transition from Lake City to Rocky Top and prepares for what is expected to be a busy time for the city. [Read more...]


Council to discuss DOE funding, support tonight

Oak Ridge City Council

The Oak Ridge City Council has a special meeting tonight to discuss U.S. Department of Energy support and funding. (File photo/August 2013)


The Oak Ridge City Council will discuss U.S. Department of Energy funding and support during a special meeting tonight. It’s described at least in part as an “information-gathering session.”

The special meeting was called by City Council members Trina Baughn and Charlie Hensley. Hensley, in particular, has raised questions about whether DOE is paying its fair share to the city.

Here’s the language outlining tonight’s discussion:

“to discuss and possibly take action on a plan to engage DOE officials with regards to their obligations to the City of Oak Ridge and its citizenry. Let it [the special meeting request] include formally requesting, in writing, a DOE Community Assistance Review as allowed within AECA 1955, PL 84-221, DOE Order 2100.12A, and other supporting legislation, including those self-sufficiency plans dating from 1980 through a Council Resolution and other joint local government collaborative action to include a specific date for a response.”

[Read more...]


County Commission to consider OR mall TIF, District 4 appointment

Oak Ridge Village Area Rendering


The Anderson County Commission will consider extending the tax increment financing agreement for the former Oak Ridge Mall from 20 years to 30 on Monday morning.

The Anderson County Operations Committee recommended approving the 10-year TIF extension during a meeting last week. The TIF would use new property tax revenues generated at the mall site and 120 surrounding acres included in the TIF area to help pay for the redevelopment. [Read more...]

The Volunteers, a U.S. Army band, perform for free at Grove

The Volunteers

The Volunteers

The Volunteers of the U.S. Army Field Band will play for free this afternoon at the Grove Theater in Oak Ridge.

The show starts at 4 p.m. today (Sunday, October 19). It’s presented by Masskus Productions.

The Volunteers are the musical ambassadors of the U.S. Army in Washington, D.C., a press release said.

“Since 1981, The Volunteers has been bringing the Army story to life through rock, pop, country, and patriotic music,” the release said. “Whether rocking out major arenas around the country, thrilling crowds at community events, or entertaining veterans in more intimate shows, these soldier-musicians proudly represent their fellow soldiers for hundreds of thousands of Americans each year.” [Read more...]

Garcia Garland running for re-election to City Council

Anne Garcia Garland

Anne Garcia Garland

Oak Ridge City Council member Anne Garcia Garland is running for re-election in the November 4 municipal election.

In a press release, Garcia Garland said the City Council has now begun to function like a team, the vision she had for it when she was first elected.

“The five members who have been meeting to consider policy and long-term planning have begun to realize how much more can be accomplished in this way,” Garcia Garland said. “I believe that if we can do this as a Council, then we should be able to work in a similar manner with the Board of Education and move forward together.”

Actions by the city government have shown that TIFs (tax increment financing) are useful for investing in new businesses, and the growth of the Illinois Avenue corridor is healthy, Garcia Garland said. She said Council encouraged the Kroger development by changing zoning and permitting traffic signals, and that center inspired the investment in Oak Ridge by the new mall developers. [Read more...]

Savara has meet and greet this evening

Aditya "Doc" Savara

Aditya “Doc” Savara

Aditya “Doc” Savara, a candidate for Oak Ridge City Council, has a meet-and-greet this evening.

“With so many people entering the race for Oak Ridge City Council, it’s helpful to have a chance to get your questions and issues heard,” Savara said.

The meet-and-greet is on East Drive between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. today (Sunday, October 19).

To RSVP and receive further details, send an email to [email protected].

Public meeting Tuesday on proposed roundabout near ORHS

Oak Ridge Proposed Roundabout


The City of Oak Ridge has released a potential design of the proposed roundabout near Oak Ridge High School, and a city board will accept public comments on the possible intersection change during a Tuesday evening meeting.

The roundabout could be built at the five-way intersection of Providence Road, Pennsylvania Avenue, East Pasadena Lane, and North Tulane Avenue. City officials aren’t fond of the term, but many residents refer to the intersection as “Malfunction Junction.”

During the Tuesday evening meeting, the Oak Ridge Traffic Safety Advisory Board will discuss the city’s grant application for the roundabout under the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Transportation Alternatives program. The discussion will include an overview of the project, and the public will be allowed to comment. [Read more...]

Safety, health, business manager running for OS Town Council

Nathan Benson

Nathan Benson

OLIVER SPRINGS—Nathan Benson of Oliver Springs is running for Oliver Springs alderman in Ward 4 in the November 4 municipal election.

Benson and his wife Jennifer (Wright) Benson graduated from Oliver Springs High School in 2001. They have two children named Riley and Addison Benson that attend Norwood Middle and Elementary schools.

Benson served in the Tennessee Army National Guard 278th Armored Calvary Regiment as a calvary scout after graduating from high school. During his six years in the service, he was deployed to Iraq as a sergeant assigned to the Regimental Protective Services Detail.

Benson is now employed with Canberra Industries in Oak Ridge as the safety, health, and business improvement manager, a press release said. He has been employed with them for nearly 12 years, including his leave of absence to serve overseas. [Read more...]

ET hospitals, health departments sponsor community forum on Ebola

Ebola Virus

A colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealing some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion.
(Photo credit: Frederick A. Murphy/Public Health Image Library (PHIL))

All the hospital systems and facilities in the Knoxville area have joined with the Knox County Health Department to sponsor an unprecedented community forum to educate the public about Ebola and address any questions and concerns about the disease, a press release said.

The East Tennessee Health Forum on Ebola is open to the public and will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 21, in the auditorium on the lower level of the Knoxville Convention Center. Parking will be available in the Poplar Street parking lot across Cumberland Avenue from the center and free in city garages, including nearby Locust Street Garage.

Medical experts from the Knox County Health Department, Blount Memorial Hospital, Covenant Health, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, TeamHealth, Tennova Health System, and the University of Tennessee Medical Center will discuss the disease, its treatment, and the measures being taken to protect the public. [Read more...]

Deemed ‘unlikely’ here, but county officials take preventive measures for Ebola virus

Art Miller and Terry Frank

Art Miller, left, director of the Anderson County Health Department, talks with County Mayor Terry Frank about local preventive measures concerning the Ebola virus. (Photo courtesy of Anderson County government)


CLINTON—Anderson County officials are aware of the few cases of the Ebola virus in the United States and are taking early preventive measures in the unlikely event that the virus occurs here, the Anderson County Mayor’s Office said Wednesday.

Preventive measures being taken by local Health Department and emergency officials include conferencing, protocol reviews, and in-service training. This will help ensure that they “know what to do in the unlikely event that a case of the Ebola virus occurs here,” a press release said.

The release said staff members at the Anderson County Health Department recently completed a “table-top exercise” aimed at allowing the employees to plan ahead and be prepared. They used a hypothetical case and followed already-established protocol to deal with the hypothetical case. The procedures involved isolation of the hypothetical Ebola patient upon presentation to the Health Department, protection measures for other Health Department patients and staff members, and immediate communication between the local Health Department, Anderson County Emergency Medical Service, Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge, and the Health Department’s regional office in Knox County, as well as the Tennessee Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Similar exercises have been conducted in every health department office across Tennessee,” said Art Miller, director of the Anderson County Health Department. [Read more...]

Save the Date: Second public meeting on Clark Center Park on Oct. 27

Clark Center Park Water View

A view of Melton Hill Lake near a boat ramp and between two picnic areas at Clark Center Park in south Oak Ridge.


The second public meeting on Clark Center Park will be held during the Oak Ridge City Council work session scheduled for Monday, October 27, at 7 p.m. The meeting will be at the Oak Ridge Municipal Building at 200 South Tulane Avenue.

The first meeting was in August. The 80-acre park could be transferred from the U.S. Department of Energy to the city.

The DOE’s Oak Ridge Office is in the process of reviewing the agency’s land holdings across the Oak Ridge Reservation, including Clark Center Park (formerly known as Carbide Park). [Read more...]

Progress PAC endorses three each for City Council, BOE

Kelly Callison

Kelly Callison

Ellen Smith

Ellen Smith

Warren L. Gooch

Warren L. Gooch


The new Progress PAC political action committee has endorsed three candidates each for Oak Ridge City Council and Oak Ridge Board of Education.

The three candidates endorsed in the City Council race are Kelly Callison, Warren Gooch, and Ellen Smith. The three endorsed in the School Board race are Bob Eby, Paige Marshall, and Laura McLean.

“PAC board members feel these candidates best support exceptional schools and jobs in Oak Ridge via teamwork between the Board of Education and City Council,” a press release said. [Read more...]