ASAP coalition wins award for work to reduce underage drinking


Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention of Anderson County (ASAP) has won a GOT OUTCOMES! Coalition of Excellence award by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, or CADCA. ASAP won in the “Milestones Award” category for their efforts to reduce underage drinking rates in the community, a press release said.

Sponsored by CADCA’s National Coalition Institute, the GOT OUTCOMES! Awards give national recognition to coalitions that make a strong case for their contribution to population-level substance outcomes by using an inclusive, data-driven, and comprehensive community problem-solving process. Coalitions complete a competitive and rigorous two-phase application process and are judged by a panel of experts at the federal, state and local levels.

The Milestone category provides newer coalitions—or those with more recently implemented strategies—the opportunity to highlight their contributions toward achieving community-level reductions in one or more substance abuse or substance abuse-related issues, the press release said. [Read more…]

Toys For Tots can be dropped off at AC Detention Facility through Dec. 15

Toys for Tots

The staff at the Anderson County Detention Facility has volunteered to let the facility be used as a Toys For Tots drop-off center for Christmas 2014.

Gifts for children that are new or unopened will be accepted in the drop-off box located in the Detention Facility lobby at 308 Public Safety Lane in Clinton. The box will be available to the public from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day until Monday, December 15.

Toys For Tots is an official activity of the United States Marine Corps and a mission of the Marine Corps Reserve, a press release said. First founded in 1947, the U.S. Marine Corps adopted Toys For Tots and expanded it into a nationwide community action project.

Now an international project, in 2012 Toys For Tots distributed almost 17 million toys to more than seven million children across the world, the release said. [Read more…]

Fleischmann to chair Congressional Nuclear Cleanup Caucus

Chuck Fleischmann and Mark Whitney

Pictured above are U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann, left, a Republican who represents Tennessee’s Third District, and Mark Whitney, acting assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management. (Submitted photo)


WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann will lead the Nuclear Cleanup Caucus, a group of lawmakers who have U.S. Department of Energy cleanup sites in their districts. Fleischmann’s district includes Oak Ridge.

The congressman made the announcement at a Tuesday morning press conference in Washington, D.C.

Fleischmann is a Tennessee Republican who is taking over caucus leadership from Representative Doc Hastings, a Washington Republican who is retiring at the end of this term.

“It is a great honor to serve as Chairman of this important caucus,” Fleischmann said after the press conference. “It is an absolute necessity that we ensure the success of our nuclear cleanup missions, not only in East Tennessee, but at all cleanup sites throughout our nation. I am excited to lead this bipartisan group of legislators from across the country and look forward to the work ahead.”

“From my time at Oak Ridge, I know firsthand how passionate and knowledgeable Congressman Fleischmann is about the nuclear cleanup mission,” said Mark Whitney, the acting assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management. “His deep understanding of the Office of Environmental Management’s mission and challenges make him an effective advocate as he leads the Cleanup Caucus into the future.”

Sewer rehab work continues week of Dec. 8

More rehabilitation work of the city’s sewer collection pipes is scheduled to continue this week, starting Monday, December 8.

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…]

Fuels for the final frontier: Y-12 to help create fuel for NASA space exploration

Y-12 Development's Roland Seals and NASA and DOE Officials

Y-12 Development’s Roland Seals explains Y‑12’s infrared heating capabilities to NASA and DOE Office of Nuclear Energy officials. (Photo by Brett Pate)


The Y-12 National Security Complex is taking their uranium expertise to the next level—outer space.

The NNSA Production Office (NPO) at Y-12 struck an agreement earlier this year with NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, to support the design of a small nuclear-powered reactor with the potential to lead to small fission power reactors for future space exploration missions.

For the first phase of the project, Y-12 will research materials and manufacturing processes for a physics demonstration of a kilowatt-range nuclear reactor, known as project Kilopower, using an enriched uranium-molybdenum metallic fuel core and a lithium-hydride shield. The Kilopower concept was a 2013 R&D 100 Award winner for proof-of-principle experiments performed at the National Criticality Experiments Research Center in Nevada led by Los Alamos National Laboratory in collaboration with NASA Glenn and National Security Technologies.

“Science missions are seeking greater power and functionality,” explained Lee Mason, chief of the Thermal Energy Conversion Branch at Glenn. “We’re planning to demonstrate the technology in a ground test using a prototype U-235 reactor core.” [Read more…]

U.S. House passes Manhattan Project park bill that includes Oak Ridge

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander

U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann

Chuck Fleischmann

Note: This story was last updated at 8:30 p.m.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that would create a Manhattan Project National Historical Park that would include Oak Ridge, federal officials said Thursday afternoon.

Passage of the bill, pursued for years by historic preservationists, was announced by U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander and Representative Chuck Fleischmann, both Tennessee Republicans. It was an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, which passed in a 300-119 vote.

The bill would designate three sites that were part of the World War II-era Manhattan Project. Besides Oak Ridge, the sites include Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Hanford, Washington. The U.S. Senate is expected to pass the 2015 NDAA legislation without amendments before adjourning for the Christmas recess, perhaps as early as next week, according to the Atomic Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that has helped lead efforts to establish the park for more than a decade.

The Manhattan Project was a top-secret federal program to build the world’s first atomic bombs. Oak Ridge sites that would be included in the park are the Beta-3 racetracks and Alpha Calutron magnets at Y-12 National Security Complex and the K-25 Building site at the East Tennessee Technology Park. [Read more…]

Watson could be considered as president-elect of international management group

Mark Watson

Mark Watson

Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson could be considered to become president-elect of the International City/County Management Association, or ICMA.

Watson is one of only 41 members across the world who qualify to serve as president, according to a November 24 memo to the Oak Ridge City Council. He could become the first ICMA president from Tennessee in the 100-year history of the organization.

The seven-member City Council on Monday is being asked to support Watson’s participation.

“If selected, he would be in line to become president of the professional association that represents 9,000 appointed city managers, administrators, and assistants from across the United States and the world,” said Michael W. Walker, executive director of the Tennessee City Management Association. [Read more…]

With deadline looming, supporters hopeful that Manhattan Project parks legislation will pass

Manhattan Project National Historical Park House Hearing

Pictured above at a June 28, 2012, U.S. House hearing on the Manhattan Project National Historical Park Act are, from front left, Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation president; Heather McClenahan, executive director of the Los Alamos Historical Society; and D. Ray Smith, Y-12 National Security Complex historian. Gary Petersen, Tri-City Development Council vice president, is pictured in the background. (Photo courtesy of Atomic Heritage Foundation.

An amendment introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday includes the creation of a long-sought-after Manhattan Project National Historical Park that would include Oak Ridge, and supporters are hopeful that the legislation, which has bipartisan support, will pass before the end of the legislative session.

The bill appears to have a “really good chance of moving forward,” said Kati Schmidt, spokesperson for the National Parks Conservation Association.

Besides Oak Ridge, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park would also include Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Hanford, Washington. Those three areas were among the sites involved in the Manhattan Project, a top-secret federal program to build the world’s first atomic bombs during World War II.

There is currently no national park commemorating the project, which is considered one of the most significant events of the 20th century. Historic preservationists, including in Oak Ridge and at the Atomic Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., have tried for years to change that. [Read more…]

EPA: Oak Ridge is a Green Power Community of the Year

ORNL Bethel Valley Solar Array

Construction was completed in 2008 on a 288-foot-long, 51.25 kilowatt solar system (second-largest in Tennessee) that will supply power to the office building that houses researchers associated with Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s buildings technology programs. (Photo courtesy ORNL)


Oak Ridge has been recognized as a Green Power Community of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Oak Ridge is one of only two cities to receive the award. The other is Medford, Oregon.

Oak Ridge is one of 19 Green Power Partners and four suppliers from across the country receiving Green Leadership Awards given each year by the EPA. Awardees are recognized for their achievements in advancing the nation’s renewable energy market and reducing greenhouse gas emissions fueling climate change, a press release said.

The 2014 Green Power Leadership Awards will be presented on Wednesday, December 3, at the annual Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Sacramento, California. [Read more…]

Holiday party for seniors on Dec. 5

Oak Ridge Senior Center Holiday Party

The Oak Ridge Senior Center is having a holiday reception for area senior citizens from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, December 5. (Photo courtesy Oak Ridge Senior Center)


The Oak Ridge Senior Center is having a holiday reception for area senior citizens from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, December 5.

“Come join us for a light lunch of sandwiches, chips, and cookies, as well as holiday music and fellowship,” a press release said.

The Senior Center guitar group will be playing live Christmas music. Bingo will be offered, and door prizes given away. Goodie bags will be given out while they last. The event is sponsored by the Oak Ridge Senior Center and made possible by many generous donations from area businesses, the press release said.

For more information about this and other programs at the Oak Ridge Senior Center, call them at (865)425-3999 or visit their website at

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…]