Archer named president of Tennessee County Trustee’s Association

Rodney Archer

Rodney Archer

Anderson County Trustee Rodney Archer has been named president of the Tennessee County Trustee’s Association. Archer was voted into the office during an annual business meeting last week at the County Officials Conference in Chattanooga.

Archer has been Anderson County trustee since 2006, and he has been an active leader in the Trustee’s Association, a press release said. He previously served as the secretary of the statewide organization and was also recognized as Outstanding Trustee for the East Tennessee division in 2010.

The Association is not just a network; it is also an essential component of professional development for trustees across Tennessee, the press release said. [Read more…]

UT study: Percentage of uninsured in Tennessee at its lowest in a decade

KNOXVILLE—The percentage of uninsured Tennesseans is at its lowest rate in a decade, according to a report released Monday by the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

The report shows that 7.2 percent of Tennessee’s 6.5 million residents are uninsured, a 25 percent decrease from last year. The report also shows that 2.4 percent of children in the state are without insurance, a 35 percent decrease from last year.

The findings are included in “The Impact of TennCare: A Survey of Recipients 2014,” prepared by UT’s Center for Business and Economic Research, or CBER. The report’s authors are Angela Thacker, CBER research associate, and LeAnn Luna, CBER associate professor.

The declines coincide with the establishment of the Health Insurance Marketplace, which was put into place in early 2014 through the Affordable Care Act. The act also has had an impact on the state’s Medicaid program, TennCare, which has experienced the third highest new enrollment in its 20-year history. [Read more…]

Sewer rehab work continues week of Nov. 17

More rehabilitation work of the city’s sewer collection pipes is scheduled to continue this week, starting Monday, November 17.

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…]

Yager Chili Supper, Silent Auction set for Nov. 21

Ken Yager

Ken Yager

The 21st annual Chili Supper and Silent Auction sponsored by State Senator Ken Yager, a Harriman Republican, has been set for Friday, November 21, at Roane State Community College in Harriman. The fundraiser will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. EST, and proceeds from the silent auction will be donated to a local nonprofit organization, this year the Boys and Girls Club.

“The chili supper and silent auction is truly a community event and an opportunity to raise needed funds for a good cause,” Yager said in a press release. “No speeches and great chili make it a perfect event to see old friends and make new ones.”

One attraction is the use of local and state officials as “celebrity servers,” the press release said. This year, the celebrities include Majority Leader Mark Norris, senators Becky Duncan Massey and Mike Bell, and Department of Children’s Services Commissioner Jim Henry. Sheriff Jack Stockton and local mayors are expected to serve as well. [Read more…]

Short to speak at Democratic Women’s Club tonight; officers to be elected

Brenda Freeman Short

Brenda Freeman Short

Brenda Freeman Short, East Tennessee vice president of the Tennessee Federation of Democratic Women, will be the guest speaker at the annual business meeting of the Anderson County Democratic Women’s Club. The club meets at 6 p.m. Monday, November 17, at the Oak Ridge Power Squadron at 343 Emory Valley Road in Oak Ridge.

The club will hold election of officers for 2015. A spaghetti dinner with a choice of meat or vegetarian sauce will be served, and the cost is $5 per person. For reservations, e-mail Ann Mostoller at [email protected] or call Mary Matheny at (865) 483-8937. [Read more…]

Alexander: World’s fastest supercomputer will again be at ORNL

Summit Supercomputing Press Conference

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, second from left, a Tennessee Republican, at a Friday morning press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, right; Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, center; and representatives Bill Foster and Dan Lipinski. (Submitted photo)


U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander

Note: This story was last updated at 11:25 a.m.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory will have the world’s fastest next-generation supercomputer, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander announced at a Friday morning press conference with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, said the new computer will provide five times the performance of Titan, the current system, and support advanced scientific and materials research to improve economic and national security.

The “next-generation hybrid supercomputer” will be called Summit, and it will be delivered in 2017, the senator said.

“Once again the world’s fastest computer will be in the United States, and once again it will be at Oak Ridge,” Alexander said. “Supercomputing has helped Tennessee become a center for advanced manufacturing with the arrival of new companies, including several in the auto industry, creating thousands of good-paying jobs. Tennessee can continue to thrive and create many more good jobs with the use of this new supercomputer.” [Read more…]

Board orders demolition of Tyrone Road building, but Magic Wok excluded

Wender Building

A city board on Thursday ordered the demolition of this building on East Tyrone Road within 30 days. The Magic Wok restaurant, which is in a separate diner on the western side of the building, is not affected.


Note: This story was last updated at 12:55 p.m. Nov. 14.

Despite a plea for another extension, a city board on Thursday ordered that a commercial building on East Tyrone Road be demolished within 30 days. The demolition order does not apply to the popular Magic Wok restaurant, which is in a separate diner on the western side of the building.

The Oak Ridge Board of Building and Housing Code Appeals had previously given the building owners more time to develop a repair or demolition plan, including a five-month extension in June. At Thursday’s meeting, board members suggested they hadn’t seen enough work take place since then.

“I’m seeing very little progress,” said board member Joe Lee, who made the motion to demolish within 30 days, which is what the city staff had requested. “This has been an ongoing issue for a decade or more.”

The city staff said the partially occupied commercial structure has been declared unfit for human occupation or use because of code violations, and a demolition deadline expired Thursday. The staff said the estimated cost of repairs exceeds 50 percent of the building’s value, which is an important benchmark for issuing a demolition order. The staff has said the building is in a state of disrepair, lacks adequate fire and panic exits, and the roof and interior have not been adequately maintained for several years.

The motion to demolish the building at 123 and 135 East Tyrone Road was approved in a 6-0 vote on Thursday. Voting in favor of that motion were Chair Bruce LeForce, Vice Chair Philip Nipper, Secretary Amy Seiber, Lee, and board members Phil Yager and Leonar Vaughen. Board member Aaron Wells was not present. [Read more…]

WYSH: Update on county mayor’s records request in Clinton

Information from WYSH Radio

Updating a story that WYSH Radio brought you last week, officials with the city of Clinton say they are awaiting a response from the Anderson County Mayor’s Office to their response to her request last week for e-mail and other electronic communications involving City Codes Officer Curtis Perez.

Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank requested all e-mails involving Perez and anyone in the County Public Works Office as it pertains to David Crowley, the director of Public Works for Anderson County. Crowley is under indictment for allegedly inspecting five homes without the proper certification, and that case has resulted in turmoil in the Anderson County Courthouse.

After the request was made last week in Clinton, officials decided to wait for guidance from the University of Tennessee’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service, or MTAS, as to how to respond, and they placed Perez’s computer into the evidence room at the Clinton Police Department until they received that guidance. The city declined the request for records, saying that it was too vague, but indicated they would provide the desired information when they received a more specific request. [Read more…]

Clinton Christmas tree lighting, parade coming up soon

The City of Clinton’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony will be held on Friday, November 28—the day after Thanksgiving—at Hoskins Lane Park off of Market Street in downtown Clinton. The celebration will begin at 4:30 p.m. with face painting for children, hot chocolate, and cookies.

Music will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by remarks from Mayor Scott Burton and City Manager Roger Houck, and then the lighting of the city’s traditional Christmas tree.

Clinton’s annual Christmas Parade will be held on Saturday, December 13, at 6 p.m. in downtown Clinton. The grand marshals will be recently retired City Council members Charlie Lyons and Jerry Shattuck.

Update: Repairs to Johnson Gap Road Bridge could begin soon

Information from WYSH Radio

Anderson County Commission Chairman Robert McKamey says he has been in regular contact with a project manager for CSX Railroad, and the repairs planned at the Johnson Gap Road Bridge are still expected to begin before the end of this month.

The bridge has been closed for almost a year and a half after state inspectors determined it was unsafe for travel. Residents and emergency responders have complained bitterly about the extra time that it now takes to get to and from Clinton from that part of Dutch Valley.

Earlier this year, the company gave the county two options for addressing the problem—replacing it at county expense or repairing it at theirs. The County Commission voted to let the company pay for repairing the bridge, and McKamey told WYSH Radio in Clinton that the project is slated to begin sometime in the second half of November and could be completed by the end of the year.

Veterans Day Parade in Clinton tonight

The 8th Annual Anderson County Veterans Day Parade is tonight in downtown Clinton.

This years’ theme is “Welcome Home for All Iraq/Afghanistan War Veterans.” This year’s grand marshal will be all Anderson County Iraqi/Afghanistan War Veterans.

The parade starts at 6 p.m. today (Tuesday, November 11). It’s presented by the director of veterans services for Anderson County and the Clinton American Legion Post #172 in partnership with the Tennesseans for Living History. [Read more…]

Sewer rehab work continues week of Nov. 10

More rehabilitation work of the city’s sewer collection pipes is scheduled to continue this week, starting Monday, November 10.

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…]