Oak Ridge obliterates Knox Central on Senior Night

Gavin Warrington Oak Ridge Wildcats

Backup quarterback Gavin Warrington (11) sparked an offensive outburst early in the third quarter, scoring on a 47-yard quarterback keeper, as the Oak Ridge Wildcats dominated the second half in a 48-7 win over Central on Friday. (Photos by Julio Culiat)


The Oak Ridge Wildcats came into Friday night’s game against the Knox Central Bobcats undefeated and hungry to pick up one last home victory for the seniors on Senior Night. The Wildcats fed that hunger and went back for seconds against the Bobcats, trouncing Knox Central 48-7, with 45 of those points coming in the second half.

The first quarter was a very defensive-centered quarter for both teams, with neither team scoring a point. Even the second quarter was quiet for both teams, with the only points coming from a 40-yard field goal from Brandon Nickle with 5:40 left in the second quarter. The score at halftime was 3-0 Oak Ridge.

Running back T.J. Allison said that, at halftime, head coach Joe Gaddis gathered his team and told them to do one thing: “Execute.”

The whole team took that message and ran with it. Allison broke out a long TD run to start out the third quarter, but the play was ultimately reversed on a holding penalty. However, just a few short plays after that, quarterback Gavin Warrington snuck the ball up the middle and evaded multiple defensive players on his way to a 47-yard touchdown run. With 11:19 to play in the third, the score was 10-0 Wildcats. With 6:17 left in the third, Allison broke through for a 17-yard touchdown run, this time with no penalty flags to stop him. It was a commanding 17-0 lead for Oak Ridge at that point. [Read more...]


Traffic Safety, Environmental Advisory board member running for City Council

Aditya "Doc" Savara

Aditya “Doc” Savara

Aditya “Doc” Savara, a member of two city boards, is running for Oak Ridge City Council in the November 4 municipal election.

In a press release, Savara said he has been involved in local politics during the past two years and served on the Traffic Safety Advisory Board and the Environmental Quality Advisory Board. Savara said he has attended and commented during public comment periods at City Council meetings, is knowledgeable about the issues facing the city, and has been vocal about them.

“In 2012-2013, an ordinance came before Oak Ridge City Council regarding whether property owners Jack and Myra Mansfield could build a single home on their property in a neighborhood zoned as R1, for single-family dwellings,” Savara said in the release. “Adjacent homeowners asserted property values would drop if the Mansfields were allowed to build a home on the open space. I pointed out that the neighbors could have bought the open property themselves if they wanted to keep it as open space. I stated that the neighbors didn’t want to buy the cow, but wanted to have the milk for free, and that it was not too late for the neighbors to make the Mansfields a fair offer. [Read more...]

Clinton 5k on Saturday raises money for splash pad playground

The Clinton 5k race scheduled for Saturday morning in Clinton will raise money for a splash pad playground to be built in the City of Clinton.

The Clinton 5k and One-Mile Fun Run start at 9 a.m. Saturday, October 25, at Lakefront Park in Clinton.

Organizers said the 5k and one-mile race are walker-friendly. [Read more...]

Animal Shelter: 51 animals euthanized due to distemper; donations needed

Oak Ridge Animal Shelter

The Oak Ridge Animal Shelter on Belgrade Road is pictured above.

Fifty-one animals have been euthanized at the Oak Ridge Animal Shelter due to distemper, and donations are needed, Oak Ridge officials said Thursday.

“This has truly been a heartbreaking situation for our staff and volunteers,” the city said in a short statement Thursday afternoon.

The Shelter needs donations of cat litter (non-clumping only), blankets, towels, dry food, and canned food. The donations can be dropped off at the Pet Supplies Plus located at  254 South Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Adoptable cats and kittens will be also be at Pet Supplies Plus from 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 25.

“Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we try to heal from this devastating blow,” the city said.

More information will be added as it becomes available.

Van Druff, McGhee finish No. 4, No. 8 in state cross country meet

Jordan Van Druff

Jordan Van Druff, an eighth-grade student at Jefferson Middle School in Oak Ridge, finished fourth in a state cross country meet in Knoxville on Saturday. (Photo by Nicholas Rhodes)


KNOXVILLE—It wasn’t the result that Jordan Van Druff wanted.

He trained diligently at the beginning of the season for this state cross country meet, hoping to finish first. Van Druff also put in extra miles, running up to 25 to 30 miles per week at his peak.

On Saturday, the eighth-grader at Jefferson Middle School led all runners near the one-mile mark in a two-mile boys race during the Tennessee Middle School State Cross Country Championships at Victor Ashe Park in Knoxville. But then, one by one, three runners passed him.

“I didn’t get what I wanted,” said Van Druff, who was undefeated in all of Jefferson’s regular season races during his three-year middle school career. “I wanted to finish first.”

Still, it was an improvement from his fifth-place finish last year and a sixth-place finish the year before, said his mother, Renee Van Druff.

Van Druff, who finished with a two-mile time of 11:42.55, was one of two Oak Ridge runners who made All State during the state cross country championships on Saturday. The other was Faith McGhee, a fourth-grade student at Woodland Elementary School. She finished eighth in the one-mile girls race during the Tennessee Elementary School State Cross Country Championships. McGhee had a time of 6:19.50. [Read more...]

Chamber Primetime networking event is Thursday; public invited

Parker Hardy at Primetime

Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce President Parker Hardy cooks hot dogs at a Primetime business-to-business exposition in October 2011. (File photo)

The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce Fall Primetime networking event will be held on Thursday, October 23.

More than 60 Chamber-member organizations have already reserved exhibit space for the event titled “Primetime Tailgate Party,” a press release said. The event will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. under the tent in the parking lot of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce at 1400 Oak Ridge Turnpike.

Primetime is one of the Chamber’s biggest networking events of the year. Anyone—Chamber member or not—is encouraged to attend. [Read more...]

Animal Shelter closed temporarily after canine distemper confirmed

Oak Ridge Animal Shelter

The Oak Ridge Animal Shelter on Belgrade Road is pictured above.

The Oak Ridge Animal Shelter is temporarily closed after canine distemper tests came back positive.

All dogs in the Animal Shelter that tested positive have been euthanized to prevent the disease from spreading, and the shelter staff is taking measures to prevent widespread infection within the canine community, a City of Oak Ridge press release said. Those preventive measures include cleaning and disinfecting.

The canine distemper tests were conducted by the University Of Tennessee College Of Veterinary Medicine. The Animal Shelter could reopen at 11 a.m. Tuesday, October 28.

The Animal Shelter had a distemper outbreak in March of this year, and the staff started taking precautions by vaccinating all animals on intake, the press release said. However, this time the animal was turned into the Animal Shelter already infected with distemper. [Read more...]

DOE comment period on K-33 land transfer ends Thursday

ETTP ED11 and K-33 Notice of Document Availability Oak Ridge, TN

The public comment period for the transfer of about 136 acres at the East Tennessee Technology Park (the former K-25 site) ends Thursday, October 23.

The U.S. Department of Energy has proposed transferring the land, known as the Former K-33 Area at the ETTP Heritage Center, for mixed-use economic development purposes.

The Former K-33 area is located in the northwest portion of the Heritage Center and includes the site of the now-demolished K-33 Building. No buildings are included in the transfer. [Read more...]

Heritage tourism expert to speak at AMSE community meeting Thursday

Lee Waddell Curtis

Lee Waddell Curtis

The last in a series of four community meetings on the American Museum of Science and Energy will feature a state heritage tourism expert.

Lee Waddell Curtis, director of program development and legislative liaison for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, will discuss the growth and significance of heritage tourism in Tennessee during a Thursday evening meeting at AMSE.

The community meetings have been sponsored by the City of Oak Ridge and the American Museum of Science and Energy Foundation. They are designed to gather input on the future of AMSE operations.

A press release said Curtis has an extensive background in cultural and heritage tourism, and her responsibilities include overseeing and developing the Tennessee Civil War Trails program and serving as the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development’s heritage tourism contact. In addition, she represents the department on several national and statewide organizations, and served as a board member of the state’s Sesquicentennial Commission. [Read more...]

Oak Ridge Schools ‘STEMposium’ convenes educators from across country

Bruce Borchers

Bruce Borchers

Discovery Education and Oak Ridge Schools will host a STEMposium on Thursday. It will be an interactive discussion focused on best practices for providing students with the critical thinking and problem-solving skills they need to succeed in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers, a press release said.

The release said the event will convene educators from some of the most innovative school districts across the country, including Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Houston Independent School District, Grand Prairie Independent School District in Texas, Baldwin County Public Schools in Alabama, Richland School District Two in South Carolina, and the New York City Department of Education.

They will discuss best practices for building a culture around STEM education, the release said. That includes exploring how to implement innovative STEM instructional strategies, and the use of digital content and curricula to drive student achievement. [Read more...]

OREA has ‘Meet the Candidates, Meet the Educators’ at ORHS today

The Oak Ridge Education Association is having a “Meet the Candidates, Meet the Educators” event at the high school this afternoon.

It’s scheduled from 4 to 5:30 p.m. today (Wednesday, October 22) at the Oak Ridge High School amphitheater.

“Because of the plethora of candidate forums in recent weeks (and the number of candidates), our event will not be so much a traditional candidate forum as much as a ‘conversation’ about public education,” a press release said. “Each candidate will have the opportunity to speak for three-five minutes on their views on educational issues pertinent to the office that he/she is seeking. Once each candidate has spoken, the event will transition into a ‘meet and greet,’ during which you can chat with individual candidates about questions that you have. [Read more...]

Fuji Japanese Steakhouse could open in January

Fuji Japanese Steakhouse

The Fuji Japanese Steakhouse could open in January at the former Mr. Gatti’s Pizza, pictured above.


A new Japanese steakhouse could open at the former Mr. Gatti’s Pizza in central Oak Ridge by early January, a development company said Monday.

The new restaurant will be named Fuji Japanese Steakhouse, and it will serve Hibachi-style cuisine and freshly made sushi, Cappiello Real Estate and Development Company said in a press release.

The 3,600-square-foot building on Wilson Street is being converted into a Japanese steakhouse with Asian décor, and the former kitchen space is being renovated.

It’s a new undertaking by restaurateur Chris Li of Cookeville, who currently operates a quick service and take-out restaurant in Cookeville near Tennessee Tech, Cappiello Real Estate said. [Read more...]