Discount offered for Secret City 5k, Half Marathon

Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau-logo

The Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau is offering a limited-time discount to the next 100 runners who register for either the Secret City 5k or the Secret City Half Marathon to be held November 29 and 30. With a few weeks left before the race, runners and walkers are encouraged to lace up their running shoes and sign up soon to participate in one of these great family-friendly athletic events in Oak Ridge.

Runners who take advantage of this discount are eligible for $10 off the Half Marathon using coupon code SPY10 or $5 off the 5k using coupon code SPY5. This discount expires on or before November 15. [Read more…]

What’s happening in Oak Ridge from Nov. 13-19

Here is a summary of events happening in Oak Ridge from Thursday, November 13, and continuing through November 19.

This weekly listing of events is compiled by the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau: [Read more…]

2014 Election: Interest in mayor position, mall redevelopment, better ties with BOE

Oak Ridge City Council Candidate Forum

Nine of the 10 Oak Ridge City Council candidates are pictured above. From right, they are Kelly Callison, Rick Chinn, incumbent Anne Garcia Garland, Warren Gooch, Gary Love, incumbent David Mosby, Pedro Otaduy, former Council member Ellen Smith, and Eric Tobler. Not pictured is Aditya “Doc” Savara.


A majority of the Oak Ridge City Council candidates said they would consider running for mayor or vice mayor if elected on Tuesday, and almost all supported the incentives recommended for the proposed redevelopers of the former Oak Ridge Mall.

The candidates were mixed on whether to bring back red-light cameras, and most seemed to think the city’s property tax rate is about right, in light of current budget needs.

Asked to grade the current Council as leaders, the candidates handed out grades ranging from “A” to “F.”

In a series of recent forums, the candidates generally advocated for better communication between the City Council and Oak Ridge Board of Education and, for the most part, seemed to be in favor of taking over Clark Center Park in south Oak Ridge, although their approvals would hinge on factors such as cost and property restrictions.

There are 10 candidates running for four seats on the seven-member Council in Tuesday’s election. Two of the incumbents—Anne Garcia Garland and David Mosby—are seeking re-election—and two others—Mayor Tom Beehan and Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller—are not.

Many consider it a critical election, with a business boom under way and major projects on the horizon, including the proposed redevelopment of the mall and the planned $6.5 billion Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12 National Security Complex.

The new Council is expected to elect a new mayor and mayor pro tem (like a vice mayor) during its next meeting after Tuesday’s election.

Here is a look at some of what the candidates said during the recent forums. [Read more…]

City to apply for state grant to build roundabout at ‘Malfunction Junction’

Malfunction Junction at North Tulane Avenue in Oak Ridge

The Oak Ridge City Council on Monday agreed to apply for a state grant that could be used to help build a roundabout at the five-way intersection of North Tulane and Pennsylvania avenues, Providence Road, and East Pasadena Lane. Though city officials don’t like the name, the five-way intersection is sometimes referred to as “Malfunction Junction.”


The city of Oak Ridge plans to apply for a state grant to design and build a roundabout near Oak Ridge High School at a five-way intersection sometimes referred to as “Malfunction Junction.”

The Oak Ridge City Council unanimously approved the grant application on Monday. If approved, the Tennessee Department of Transportation grant would be used to build a roundabout at the intersection of Providence Road, Pennsylvania Avenue, East Pasadena Lane, and North Tulane Avenue.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $748,113. Tthe grant funding would come from the Transportation Alternative Program. TDOT funds 80 percent of those projects, excluding design, and a 20 percent local match is required.

The city’s cost would be about $150,000, and the city would pay for the design, officials said Monday. [Read more…]

Boys and Girls Club president running for School Board

Aaron Wells

Aaron Wells

Aaron Wells, a lifelong Oak Ridger and president of the Boys and Girls Club of Oak Ridge, is running for Oak Ridge Board of Education in the November 4 municipal election, a press release said.

“Over the last two decades, I have spent countless hours coaching, mentoring, and fundraising for the youth in our town,” Wells said in the release. “After much prayer and discussion, my wife Melissa and I made the decision that I would run for school board.”

If elected, Wells said he will focus on achieving four priorities.

“First and foremost, I commit to truly listen to our teachers and integrate their feedback into all of my decisions,” Wells said. “Teachers are the lifeblood of our schools, and they know better than anyone how to make our students successful. We can no longer afford to ignore their invaluable feedback and concerns. The Board of Education must fight to restore to them the freedom they need to do what they do best—inspire and educate our children.” [Read more…]

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…]