‘Fight like Mikey’ inspires schools, community

Information from WYSH Radio

It has been an emotional week in Oliver Springs as Norwood Middle School, Grand Oaks Elementary School, and the community have been honoring a 13-year-old boy who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Mikey Carter was a member of the Norwood Middle School football team, and when his teammates hosted Grace Christian Academy on Tuesday night, his younger brother Isiah was named honorary captain, allowed to wear his brother’s jersey and even scored a touchdown on a special play designed just for him. Mikey, who was a lineman for the Jaguars, is now too sick to play football and is at home in hospice care.

Tuesday night’s game also included the presentation of a check to the Carter family from Grace Christian to help with the family’s medical expenses, and both teams signed a football for the family and gave them posters of encouragement for Mikey.

The tributes did not end there, as on Wednesday, the football field at Grand Oaks Elementary School was named in his honor. If you would like to help the family offset the costs of Mikey’s care, you can donate by visiting their GoFundMe page at http://www.gofundme.com/dktqrc.

Accident at Deal’s Small Engine critically injures owner

Information from WYSH Radio

WYSH has learned that an accident Thursday afternoon at Deal’s Small Engine in Clinton has critically injured owner Lamar Deal.

Preliminary information indicates that while unloading lawn mowers from a tractor trailer at the business, a cable securing the mowers snapped, and Deal was struck in the chest. The Clinton police and fire departments responded to the scene and transported Deal to the football field, where he was airlifted to the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

More information will be added as it becomes available.

Former Oak Ridge rowing director could lead ORCVB

Marc DeRose

Marc DeRose

Note: This story was updated at 5:55 p.m.

A former Oak Ridge rowing director could become the next executive director of the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The ORCVB board of directors on Thursday voted 4-3 to offer the job to Marc A. DeRose, subject to reference checks. If hired, DeRose will replace former longtime director Katy Brown, who became ORCVB president in 2006 and left in July to take a new marketing and promotions job covering Knoxville and Chattanooga.

DeRose was hired by the Oak Ridge Rowing Association in August 2013, and he resigned from his head coach and rowing director position in May of this year, saying the job was “not the right fit for me and my family,” the ORRA said in a press release this spring.

Other candidates for the ORCVB job, which offers a starting salary of $45,000 per year, were Lila Wilson, director of special events for the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend, and Naomi Asher, executive director of CASA of the Tennessee Heartland. ORCVB board members said Asher withdrew her application, saying she wanted to continue working for CASA.

Wilson received three votes on Thursday, picking up one less than DeRose’s four. [Read more...]

School board candidates field questions on technology, tax increases

Oak Ridge Board of Education Forum

A. Paige Marshall, left, one of eight candidates for the Oak Ridge School Board, answers a question during the League of Women Voters’ Candidate Forum Wednesday night. To her right are candidates Mike Mahathy, Andrew Howe, Jean Hiser, and incumbent Bob Eby, with WUOT radio host Matt Shafer Powell, who posed the questions. (Photo by Rebecca D. Williams)


Fielding public school questions about technology, tax increases, and the teaching of science versus religion, eight candidates for the Oak Ridge School Board tried to distinguish themselves from one another Wednesday night at the League of Women Voters’ Candidate Forum held at the Oak Ridge High School Amphitheater, to a crowd of about 150.

Board candidates offered largely similar answers, with the greatest difference of opinion posed by Aaron Wells. He spoke against school tax increases and one-to-one technology in schools.

“The biggest impact on me growing up was when my teachers gave me one-to-one education,” Wells said. “How many hours a day are kids staring at a screen? It’s too many. We need to do more with less, because money’s tight. We’ve got to get back to the basics.”

Also participating in the forum were two candidates who are opposing incumbent Chuck Fleischmann, a Republican, for the District 3 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Mary M. Headrick, a Democrat, and Cassandra J. Mitchell, an Independent, answered questions. Fleischmann was not present.

Also, Tennessee House Representative for District 32, Kent Calfee, the Republican incumbent, and Joe Kneiser, his Democratic opponent, fielded questions about four referendum questions on the ballot Nov. 4.

Three seats on the five-member Oak Ridge Board of Education are open. Bob Eby is the only incumbent running for re-election. Other candidates include Jean Hiser, Andrew Howe, Mike Mahathy, A. Paige Marshall, Laura McLean, Laurie Paine, and Wells. [Read more...]

High school seniors can sign up for Tennessee Promise at RSCC on Saturday

Tennessee Promise Logo

High school seniors can sign up for the Tennessee Promise and fill out their college application as part of Scholarship Saturday on September 20 at Roane State Community College’s Oak Ridge campus.

Computer labs in the new Goff Health Sciences and Technology Building will be open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and enrollment counselors will be available to help seniors complete their Tennessee Promise applications and college applications.

Pizza will be provided. The campus is located at 701 Briarcliff Avenue.

The event is designed to encourage students to enroll in Tennessee Promise, the state’s new program that provides two years of community college or technical school tuition-free for any student graduating from a Tennessee high school.

The deadline to apply for the Tennessee Promise is Nov. 1. [Read more...]

Mutt Strutt on Saturday benefits Animal Shelter

Mutt Strutt 2014

The 4th Annual Mutt Strutt on Saturday will benefit the Oak Ridge Animal Shelter.

The charity dog walk is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday at the PetSafe Dog Park at Big Turtle Park on Oak Ridge Turnpike in west Oak Ridge. It’s been organized by the Young Professionals of Oak Ridge.

The Mutt Strutt will feature a group dog walk, raffle prizes, and dogs available for adoption.

Visit www.ypor.org for more information.

Street painting festival needs artists, sponsors

2013 Oak Ridge Street Painting Festival

Winning chalk painting from the 2013 Oak Ridge Street Painting Festival. (Submitted photo)


Artists of all ages will “paint” sidewalk squares with chalk after community supporters “buy” squares by writing checks. In these ways, the 15th annual Oak Ridge Street Painting Festival can be a big fundraising success, organizers say.

In addition, participants in this event can help improve East Tennessee’s economy by giving students the chance to learn valuable technical skills that companies require.

Artists and sponsors are needed for the 15th annual Oak Ridge Street Painting Festival. It will be held Saturday, October 4 (the rain day is on Sunday, Oct. 5), at the Oak Ridge Branch Campus of Roane State Community College, 701 Briarcliff Avenue.

The purpose of the festival, organized and sponsored by the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge, is to raise funds for scholarships for Roane State students. The festival is also a competition for the artists; first-prize winners in a variety of categories and the People’s Choice award winner will get $50 cash awards. [Read more...]

DFET: Meet the candidates on Oct. 9

A local organization is sponsoring a Meet the Candidates event from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, October 9, in the Oak Ridge Civic Center Gymnasium. It’s been organized by Democracy for East Tennessee, and residents of Anderson and surrounding counties are invited, a press release said.

Candidates for the following offices have been invited: Oak Ridge City Council, Oak Ridge Board of Education, Tennessee House of Representatives 33rd District, State Senate 5th District, 3rd U.S. Congressional District, and U.S. Senate.

The election is November 4. The October 9 event will offer residents a chance to become better informed and acquainted with candidates by meeting with them on an individual basis at a single event, a press release said. [Read more...]

FBI involved in missing woman case

Nichole Burgess

Nichole Burgess

Information from WYSH Radio

The FBI is now helping investigate the disappearance of a Tennessee mother with Anderson County ties. Metro Nashville police said they have sent some evidence in the case of Nikki Burgess to the agency for review.

Burgess, who authorities believe has been murdered, was last seen alive on May 23 when she dropped her son off at school. Later that same day, she sent a text message to a friend indicating that she was having an altercation with her 10-year-old son’s father, Caleb Cannon of Andersonville. Cannon picked the boy up from school later that day.

In June, Nashville investigators searched his home for evidence. Detectives have named him a person of interest in Burgess’ disappearance, but so far no arrests have been made.

Suspected Corwin killer has hearing postponed

Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee

Information from WYSH Radio

A scheduled court appearance for the suspected killer of Oak Ridge native Erin Corwin was postponed on Tuesday so that his attorney could review hundreds of pages of evidence in the case.

Ex-Marine Christopher Lee is suspected of killing the 19-year-old Corwin, who was married to an Oak Ridge Marine and stationed in California. Her body was found weeks after her disappearance at the bottom of an abandoned mine shaft in the Southern California desert.

Authorities say that the two were having an affair and allege that Lee killed her to keep his own wife from finding out.

Lee was supposed to appear in court on Tuesday, but his attorneys requested a delay after receiving nearly 1,500 pages of documents from the prosecutor. His next scheduled court appearance will be October 29.

TDOT presents $237,500 signal timing grant to Oak Ridge

TDOT Commissioner John Schroer presents a signal optimization grant check to Oak Ridge Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller. (Photo courtesy City of Oak Ridge)

TDOT Commissioner John Schroer presents a signal optimization grant check to Oak Ridge Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller. (Photo courtesy City of Oak Ridge)


Grant for signal optimization

The City of Oak Ridge has been awarded a Tennessee Department of Transportation grant for $237,500 for a signal timing optimization project, and TDOT Commissioner John Schroer recently presented the award to Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller in Nashville.

The signal timing optimization grant is funded by the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, or CMAQ, which supports transportation projects that reduce air emissions from on-road sources and non-road sources, as well as projects that reduce traffic congestion, a press release said.

“The city is pleased to receive this grant which will significantly enhance air quality and reduce congested roadways,” Oak Ridge City Engineer Steve Byrd said in the press release.

The signal timing optimization project will target 26 traffic signals on Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge Turnpike, and Lafayette Drive. The program will synchronize these lights in order to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion and vehicle idling, and decrease commuter travel time. [Read more...]

Alexander Inn, Family Pride to receive historic preservation award

Guest House Senior Living Concept

Artist concept of the Guest House/Alexander Inn Senior Living Center. (Images courtesy ORHPA)

The company converting a historic two-story hotel in Jackson Square into an assisted living center will receive a historic preservation award on Thursday. The award presentation will be held at the front door of the Guest House/Alexander Inn at 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

“When Rick Dover and Family Pride acquired the property in May 2013, it was in total disrepair,” a press release said. “A $6 million investment will restore this beloved icon to its former glory.”

“We’re going to faithfully restore this building to its original look, from the soda-fountain bar in the lobby to the beautiful wide porch out front,” Dover said.

The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is included as part of the proposed new Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Oak Ridge. It’s been removed from an annual list of endangered places in East Tennessee published by the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance.

Top military leaders and scientists once stayed at the Alexander Inn. The renovation by Family Pride started in July 2013, the culmination of a years-long preservation effort. [Read more...]