Deputy fire chief Waldo accepts job as fire chief in Bozeman, Mont.

Josh Waldo at Graceland Fire April 2014

Oak Ridge Fire Department Deputy Chief Josh Waldo fights a fire at 120 Graceland on April 3, 2014. (Photo by Tom Scott)


Josh Waldo, deputy chief of the Oak Ridge Fire Department, has accepted a job as chief of the Bozeman Fire Department in Montana.

Waldo’s first day on the new job will be August 24. His last day in Oak Ridge hasn’t been determined, but it could be in mid-August.

Bozeman has about 40,000 people, which is a little larger than Oak Ridge, but its fire department is smaller. The Bozeman Fire Department has three fire stations and roughly 50 personnel, including chiefs and inspectors, Waldo said Tuesday. That compares to four fire stations and about 70 personnel in Oak Ridge.

Waldo, 34, has been deputy fire chief in Oak Ridge for about 16 months. He was promoted from assistant chief to deputy chief in March 2014. He was promoted to assistant chief about 2.5 years earlier, in November 2011. [Read more…]

Velo Classic on July 25, 26 to feature bike races, Wellness Fest, Kids Bike Rodeo

Oak Ridge Criterium

A picture from a previous Criterium race in Oak Ridge. (Submitted photo)


A bicycle racing event in Oak Ridge on July 25 and 26 will feature three types of races, a Family Wellness Festival, and a Kids Bike Rodeo.

It’s the URS-CH2M Oak Ridge LLC (UCOR) Oak Ridge Velo Classic.

Three types of races that include 13 categories of competitors will be offered. The road races and time trials will be staged from the parking area of the East Tennessee Technology Park beginning at 9 a.m., Saturday, July 25, and the criterium races will be held at the Horizon Center beginning at 8:30 a.m., Sunday, July 26. This year’s criterium races—which are very much like “NASCAR on bikes”—have been designated the state championships by the Tennessee Bicycle Racing Association.

The race promoters expect almost 400 competitors for the two-day event. The Comfort Inn is the official race hotel and is offering special rates to out-of-town competitors. Early race packet pickup will be held at a reception on Friday evening, July 24, poolside at the Comfort Inn. [Read more…]

K-31 Demolition: 200 acres now available for development at ETTP

K-31 Demolition

The last section of the K-31 Building at East Tennessee Technology Park was demolished on Friday, June 26. It’s the fourth of five buildings to be demolished where gaseous diffusion was once used to enrich uranium. (Photo by Lynn Freeny/DOE) 


Demolition now complete on four of five gaseous diffusion buildings

Demolition of the large K-31 Building in west Oak Ridge means that 200 acres of flat land are now available for industrial development at East Tennessee Technology Park, officials said.

“It’s the largest parcel of land available at ETTP,” said Sue Cange, manager of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management.

Infrastructure is already in place, including water, sewer, roads, and electricity, Cange said. Also, ETTP is close to Interstate 40, a short rail line, and possibly an airport. (There are plans to build an airport at the site, which is also known as Heritage Center.)

K-31 is the fourth of five gaseous diffusion buildings demolished at ETTP. The site, which has also been known as K-25 and Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant, was built during the Manhattan Project in World War II as part of a top-secret federal program to build the world’s first atomic bombs. Officials say it helped to win the Cold War, enriching uranium for commercial nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons.

But operations ended in 1985, and the site was permanently shut down in 1987. DOE then began cleanup operations and—with the help of contractors, a nonprofit organization, and others–is converting it into a large private industrial park. [Read more…]

UCOR contributes to ADFAC as benefactor sponsor

UCOR ADFAC Donation 2015

UCOR President and Project Manager Ken Rueter, right, presents the 2015 Corporate Membership contribution to ADFAC’s Ray Smith, left, Board of Directors and Corporate Committee member, and ADFAC’s Executive Director, Annie Cacheiro. (Submitted photo)


UCOR recently contributed to Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties as a benefactor sponsor for ADFAC’s 2015 Corporate Membership Campaign, a press release said.

UCOR President and Project Manager Ken Rueter presented the contribution to ADFAC representative Ray Smith and Executive Director Annie Cacheiro. UCOR is a partnership between URS and CH2M Oak Ridge LLC.

Smith, an ADFAC board member and Corporate Committee member, said: “This campaign is geared toward encouraging area corporations to support the very important mission of helping those most in need in our community. UCOR has been a corporate member for several years and we greatly appreciate their continued generosity.” [Read more…]

ETTP emergency exercise to be held Tuesday, June 16

An emergency exercise will be conducted at the East Tennessee Technology Park in west Oak Ridge beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 16.

The emergency exercise is being conducted by URS-CH2M Oak Ridge, LLC, or UCOR.

The exercise, which should conclude no later than 1 p.m., is being conducted in coordination with the U.S. Department of Energy and Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, a press release said. It will involve participants from multiple state agencies; the city of Oak Ridge; and Anderson, Knox, Loudon, and Roane counties. [Read more…]

ORFD uses boat, cell phone signals to rescue mountain bikers lost at Haw Ridge

Oak Ridge Fire Department and Haw Ridge Rescue

The Oak Ridge Fire Department used cell phone signals and a search crew in a boat to rescue three lost mountain bikers at Haw Ridge Park on Sunday night.


Note: This story was updated at 3:45 p.m. June 15.

The Oak Ridge Fire Department used cell phone signals and a search crew in a boat to rescue mountain bikers lost at Haw Ridge Park after dark on Sunday.

Dispatchers received a call that the three young men were lost at about 10 p.m. Sunday. Three firefighters launched a large rescue boat stored at East Tennessee Technology Park, the former K-25 site, by about 10:45 p.m. from a boat ramp at Solway Park, which is near Haw Ridge Park.

Oak Ridge Fire Chief Darryl Kerley said the three had stayed on the trails past sunset and became disoriented.

“Without flashlights, they were unable to find their way back to the parking lot, so they called 911 for assistance,” Kerley said. [Read more…]

Driver airlifted to hospital after crashing through guardrail, into rock embankment

Chevrolet Cavalier Crash at Highway 95

The driver of this Chevrolet Cavalier was flown by a medical helicopter to a hospital after apparently crashing through a guardrail and into a rock embankment, right, below a DOE haul road on Highway 95 in west Oak Ridge on Wednesday afternoon.


A car driver was flown by medical helicopter to a hospital after crashing through a guardrail and into a rock embankment below a U.S. Department of Energy haul road that crosses over Highway 95 in west Oak Ridge on Wednesday afternoon.

The name and condition of the driver weren’t immediately available after the one-vehicle, one-person crash. The collision occurred in a curvy section of Highway 95 near the western entrance to the Y-12 National Security Complex on Bear Creek Road.

The haul road is used to move debris from the East Tennessee Technology Park, the former K-25 site, to the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility west of Y-12. [Read more…]

DOE Oak Ridge awards $33.4 million telecommunications contract

DOE Oak Ridge Telecommunications Contract

Robert Forshay, left, partner alliance manager with Black Box Network Services, and Kevin Hall, manager of DOE’s Oak Ridge Office, sign a telecommunications contract for the Oak Ridge Federal Integrated Communications Network. (DOE photo/Lynn Freeny)


The U.S. Department of Energy’s Integrated Support Center-Oak Ridge has awarded a $33.4 million telecommunications contract to Mutual Telecom Services Inc., doing business as Black Box Network Services, or Black Box.

Black Box is responsible for providing operations, maintenance, and upgrades to the Oak Ridge Federal Integrated Communications Network at the Oak Ridge Townsite, East Tennessee Technology Park, Y-12 National Security Complex, Office of Secure Transportation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. The Oak Ridge Townsite refers to the Federal Building, Office of Scientific and Technical Information, Building 2714 Complex, and various locations in the local vicinity.

“We are pleased to announce Black Box as the Oak Ridge Reservation’s integrated telecom service provider,” Oak Ridge Office Manager Kevin Hall said. “This selection comes after many months of evaluations by our selection team for this crucial service, and we are excited to have Black Box on board as our new partner.”

The company has more than 30 years of experience supporting U.S. government locations with similar needs and requirements. Black Box is located in Needham, Massachusetts. The contract has a two-year base and three one-year options. A 90-day transition begins on June 1.

BES Technologies celebrates one million gallons of recycled water

BES Technologies Rad Waste Water Laundry Operations

BES Technologies LLC, or BEST, has reached a major milestone by recycling one million gallons of radiological waste water through its laundry operations at the East Tennessee Technology Park.

“This represents the prevention of one million gallons of water that would have gone into our environment, but instead was cleaned and re-used,” a press release said. “This recycling process not only avoids environmental insult, but also allows for savings to be passed on to customers by cleaning and reusing water.”

The press release said the laundering service uses a state-of-the-art radiological water treatment system, and it is able to reuse more than 70 percent of the water used in its process. [Read more…]

Groundbreaking, demolition for Main Street Oak Ridge on schedule for June 30, mayor says

Warren Gooch

Warren Gooch

Groundbreaking and demolition for Main Street Oak Ridge, the redevelopment of the former Oak Ridge Mall, is on schedule to begin by June 30, Mayor Warren Gooch said Tuesday.

The $80 million redevelopment of the 60-acre site in the heart of the city is perhaps the most eagerly anticipated project of the past decade.

Crosland Southeast, the North Carolina company that has proposed Main Street Oak Ridge, announced last week that MDC Development Group of Atlanta will be the hotel developer at the site.

“MDC is also a major developer in the senior housing industry and 15 months ago opened Canterfield Oak Ridge Assisted Living,” Gooch said. “It has been very successful and well-received in our community.” [Read more…]

Council to discuss impact of proposed DOE landfill during Friday meeting

Oak Ridge Reservation with Bear Creek Valley

The proposed Environmental Management Disposal Facility would be built between the Y-12 National Security Complex and the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility, or EMWMF.


Oak Ridge officials will discuss the community impact of a proposed landfill that would hold waste from cleanup work at federal sites during a work session on Friday.

The Oak Ridge City Council work session is scheduled from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, May 8, in the Municipal Building Training Room.

Council will be briefed on the Draft Community Impact Assessment of the proposed Environmental Management Disposal Facility by Karl Kalbacher, project manager for The Ferguson Group, a company that helps the city with its federal legislative agenda in Washington, D.C.

The Environmental Management Disposal Facility would be built on Bear Creek Road west of the Y-12 National Security Complex near another landfill that is already in use and has been operating since 2002. It could cost $1 billion, including construction and 23 years of operations. [Read more…]

DOE offers expanded public bus tours of federal sites in Oak Ridge

DOE Public Bus Tour

Public bus tours of the U.S. Department of Energy’s facilities in Oak Ridge are now offered nine months of the year. (File photo courtesy DOE/Lynn Freeny)


The U.S. Department of Energy’s public bus tour of federal sites in Oak Ridge is now offered to visitors nine months out of the year, versus only summer months as in the past.

This popular tour of the 33,000-acre DOE Oak Ridge Reservation offers visitors a first-hand look at all of the DOE’s Oak Ridge facilities and provides historical commentary on the transformation of the Oak Ridge Reservation during the past 70-plus years.

The reservation-wide tour is a popular attraction for tourists visiting the area.  Since its inception in 1996, the DOE public tour program has attracted approximately 35,000 visitors from all 50 states. The three-hour DOE tour allows visitors to see the DOE Oak Ridge Reservation and learn about its rich history and how Oak Ridge became a secret city of 75,000 people with a mission to end World War II. [Read more…]