Signups for Boys, Girls Club youth baseball extended through next week

Signups for youth baseball at the Boys and Girls Club have been extended through next week.

Youth baseball is for boys and girls from ages five to 12. Signups are held at the club’s front desk from 2 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Children must be five years old prior to May 1. There is a $25 activity fee, and an active $15 club membership is required for children ages six to 10.

See the registration form here: Baseball Registration 2015.

Cumberland Trail work/hike scheduled for Saturday, March 21

Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning will sponsor a day of trail work and hiking on Saturday, March 21, on the segment of the Cumberland Trail State Park between Rock Creek Campground and Alley Ford at the Obed Wild and Scenic River. TCWP adopted this 2.5-mile section of the trail in 1998.

“We will concentrate on routine trail maintenance such as cleaning out clogged water bars, removing down logs and limbs, brushing the area along the trail, and finishing up at Alley Ford to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Obed River,” a press release said.

Participants should wear sturdy shoes or boots and bring work gloves, shovels, mattocks or pulaskis, loppers, clippers, and small bow saws or folding saws (Please, no chainsaws). Some hand tools and work gloves will be available at the event. Please bring clothing appropriate for weather conditions, and plenty of water, snacks, and a lunch. [Read more…]

DOE re-opening Clark Center Park after cleanup

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.


Federal officials have finished significant cleanup work at Clark Center Park after the winter weather a few weeks ago, and they are re-opening the park.

John Shewairy, assistant manager for administration in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office, said workers have roped off one area of the 80-acre park where a large tree fell. They won’t be able to clear that area until the ground dries up. [Read more…]



Volunteers needed to help clean up Norris Lake


The Norris Lake Project Team is looking for volunteers to help with the fifth biannual Five County Norris Lake Cleanup on March 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“Since 2011, volunteers from the counties surrounding Norris Lake have picked up over 15 tons of trash,” said Stephanie Wells, director of the Anderson County Tourism Council. “We continue to conduct two cleanups each year because Norris Lake is not only a recreational destination for residents and visitors, it is an economic driver for all five counties and we need to protect its shorelines.”

There will be several launch points in each of the five counties and numerous locations that volunteers can help by picking up and properly disposing of in trash. [Read more…]

Fourth-quarter comeback not enough as Wildcats fall to Mustangs in state quarterfinal

Note: This story was last updated at 4 p.m.

After falling behind by 12 points, Oak Ridge narrowed the Memphis East lead to two in a fourth-quarter comeback sparked by junior Darel Middleton, but it wasn’t enough as the Wildcats lost to the Mustangs in a state quarterfinal game in Murfreesboro on Wednesday.

It’s the end of the season for the Wildcats (29-4), who played their last game with senior Ted Mitchell.

Sophomore Tajion Jones hit four three-pointers for Oak Ridge in the BlueCross Basketball Championship game at Murphy Center at Middle Tennessee State University. Three of those were in the first two quarters, and they helped give the Wildcats a 30-28 lead at halftime. [Read more…]

North Boundary Trail hike postponed

North Boundary Hike

Organizers announced Tuesday that the North Boundary Trail hike that had been scheduled for Saturday, March 14, has been postponed.

“Unfortunately, the weather is not going to cooperate,” a statement from the City of Oak Ridge said. “We will reschedule this event at a later date.”

The six-mile hike has been organized by Oak Ridge municipal and school committees: the City of Oak Ridge Wellness Committee and Oak Ridge Coordinated School Health.

Community honors, pays tribute to Kocak in candlelight vigil at ORHS

Joey Kocak Candelight Vigil Balloons

Sophomores release balloons as other football players watch during a community candlelight vigil at Oak Ridge High School on Sunday for student-athlete Joey Kocak, who died at home on Wednesday. (Photo by Julio Culiat)


Note: This story was updated at 4:32 p.m.

The Oak Ridge community honored sophomore James Joseph “Joey” Kocak during a candlelight vigil at Oak Ridge High School on Sunday.

Friends and coaches shared their memories of Kocak, who had played on the football and basketball teams this year, during the candlelight vigil at Ben Martin Track at ORHS.

They encouraged the large crowd that attended to preserve their precious memories of Kocak, a 16-year-old sophomore who passed away at his home on Wednesday, March 4.

“I really hope that this isn’t the last time we’ll honor him,” said Mollie Turner.

Friends and coaches recalled Kocak’s memorable smirk, his playful moments, and his high-pitched singing on the back of the bus, belting out tunes like “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” [Read more…]

Clark Center Park temporarily closed as DOE assesses weather-related damage

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.


Clark Center Park in south Oak Ridge is temporarily closed while federal officials assess any damage to trees caused by the recent ice and snow, and to give workers time to remove any potential risks, such as trees that are ready to fall.

The park, normally open all year, could be closed for another week or so, depending upon the weather, said John Shewairy, assistant manager for administration in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office.

“We have limited access to the park so we can assess and tend to any damage to trees caused by the ice and snow of the past couple weeks,” Shewairy said Monday. “Once we have taken care of any potential safety concerns, we’ll restore access to the property.” [Read more…]

Candlelight vigil for Kocak this evening

James Joseph "Joey" Kocak

James Joseph “Joey” Kocak

There will be a community candlelight vigil for student-athlete Joey Kocak (#79) at 7 p.m. today (Sunday, March 8) at Ben Martin Track at Oak Ridge High School.

Kocak was 16 and a sophomore at ORHS. He died at home on March 4.

Kocak was the youngest of four children, and he was also a musician and loved the outdoors, his family said in his obituary. Kocak had been on both the football and basketball teams this year.

The Kocak family will be receiving friends on Monday, March 9, at St. Mary’s Church from 5-7:30 p.m., followed by the memorial service. A reception will be held at St. Mary’s gym, immediately following the services.

Oak Ridge Wildcat Football is asking the community to attend the candlelight vigil on Sunday evening. The vigil is hosted by the Oak Ridge Wildcat Football staff and boosters.

Lady Bobcats lose in state semifinal 63-45

Oliver Springs Lady Bobcats Rachel Griffith and Clarkrange

Senior guard Rachel Griffith (22) of Oliver Springs, who scored 15 points, looks for a shot during a 63-45 loss to Clarkrange in a Class A state tournament semifinal game in Murfreesboro on Saturday. (Photo by Kindell Moore) 


Note: This story was last updated at 11:19 p.m.

MURFREESBORO—The Lady Bobcats made it to the final four, but they fell short of advancing to the state championship game, losing to Clarkrange 63-45 in a state semifinal game in Murfreesboro on Saturday.

The Lady Bobcats (29-7) were unable to repeat their shooting performance of a day earlier. On Friday, Oliver Springs shot 60 percent from the field in a 67-41 blowout over Decatur County Riverside in a Class A quarterfinal game. But on Saturday, the Lady Bobcats were 32 percent from the field (16 of 50).

The Lady Buffaloes (31-5) got off to a 17-1 start and were up 34-17 at halftime, thanks in part to six three-point shots, or 18 points total. The Lady Bobcats were able to narrow the lead to seven (20-13) on a jumper by senior guard Emily Griffith late in the first quarter, but that was as close as they got.

Oliver Springs, which hadn’t been to the state tournament since 2009, narrowed the lead to 44-33 on a 15-10 run in the third quarter. [Read more…]

Lady Bobcats advance to state semifinals as Griffith sisters score 39

Oliver Springs Lady Bobcats Emily Griffith and Riverside

Senior Emily Griffith (11) of Oliver Springs scored 14 points, and her twin sister Rachel Griffith led all scorers with 25 as the Lady Bobcats coasted to a 67-41 win over Riverside in a state tournament quarterfinal game in Murfreesboro on Friday. Also pictured is Riverside senior Bree Linton (24) and freshman Deidre McElrath (11). (Photo by Kindell Moore)


Note: This story was last updated at 7:15 p.m.

MURFREESBORO—Senior Rachel Griffith of Oliver Springs scored 25 points, and her twin sister Emily Griffith had 14 points and six assists as the Lady Bobcats coasted to a 67-41 win over Decatur County Riverside in a state Class A girls’ quarterfinal game in Murfreesboro on Friday.

“During tournament time, they really, really stepped it up and started playing at a different level,” Oliver Springs Coach Michelle Christopher said of the sisters, who are both 5-foot-5 senior guards. “They both played really big today.”

Rachel Griffith, who led all scorers, picked up 19 of her points in the second half, including on repeated trips to the free-throw line. Griffith shot seven of 11 from the field and was 10 of 13 from the line.

As a team, the Lady Bobcats shot 60 percent (22 of 37) from the field. Meanwhile, Riverside struggled at 25 percent (14 of 57). [Read more…]

Oliver Springs, other state tournament games postponed

Murfreesboro Snow Ice on March 5, 2015

Ice covered about two inches of snow in Murfreesboro on Thursday morning, and the Oliver Springs Lady Bobcats state quarterfinal game has been postponed to Friday morning. (Photo courtesy


The Oliver Springs Lady Bobcats had been scheduled to play in a state quarterfinal game in Mufreesboro this morning (Thursday morning), but that game has been postponed to Friday morning.

All other TSSAA state basketball tournament games scheduled for today have also been postponed due to extremely hazardous road conditions. The Thursday schedule will resume at 11 a.m. Central time Friday (12 p.m. Eastern) in order to allow extra time for road conditions to improve in the morning.

Friday’s scheduled semifinal games will be played on Saturday beginning at 1:30 p.m. Central due to the Middle Tennessee State University’s women’s basketball game that is scheduled at 10 a.m. Saturday’s scheduled championship games will be played on Sunday. [Read more…]