TDEC to attend county’s Bull Run meeting on June 10

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Bull Run Fossil Plant is pictured above in Claxton on Monday, Aug. 27, 2018. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation will attend a June 10 meeting where the planned closure of the Bull Run Fossil Plant in Claxton will be discussed, a county commissioner said.

It will be the June 10 monthly meeting of the Anderson County Commission’s Intergovernmental Committee. The public is encouraged to attend, said Anderson County Commissioner Catherine Denenberg of District 6 in Oak Ridge.

TDEC is the state department that is responsible for monitoring the Tennessee Valley Authority, Denenberg said.

“They will have a Power Point presentation and will be there to answer questions about their involvement with the closing of the Bull Run Fossil plant in Claxton,” Denenberg said.

[Read more…]

Anderson: Barker elected sheriff; incumbents win in Oak Ridge

Russell Barker

Russell Barker

Note: This story was last updated at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 3.

Russell Barker, a Republican, won the race for Anderson County sheriff on Thursday, beating Mark Lucas, a Democrat, in a race decided by about 2,000 votes, according to unofficial results.

Meanwhile, four incumbents were re-elected in two Anderson County Commission districts where there was a challenger in Oak Ridge.

Barker is a detective sergeant with the Clinton Police Department who has served as director of the Seventh Judicial District Crime Task Force in Anderson County. Lucas is chief deputy of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department.

Barker had 7,684 votes (57.79 percent), compared to 5,613 votes (42.21 percent) for Lucas, according to the unofficial results posted after all 27 precincts had been counted Thursday night.

Anderson County Sheriff Paul White is retiring at the end of his third four-year term, and he did not seek re-election.

In another contested race, Regina Copeland, the Republican director of the 911 center, defeated Ebony Capshaw, a Democrat, by a 69.74 percent to 30.26 percent margin (8,981 votes to 3,987). The last elected trustee, Rodney Archer, is now executive director of the County Officials Association of Tennessee, and Myron Iwanski, a former county commissioner and commission chair appointed to the trustee job through this August election, did not seek the job in the election. [Read more…]

Voter’s guide: Notes from a candidate forum

Note: This story was last updated at 10:35 a.m.

Today, August 2, is Election Day in Anderson County. The election includes the Anderson County general election and state and federal primary elections.

It’s the second of three elections this year. The first was the county primary election on May 1, and the last is the municipal election and state and federal elections on November 6.

Here are notes about Anderson County candidates in today’s county general election from a forum at Oak Ridge High School in July. The county general election includes selections for mayor, sheriff, county commission, trustee, circuit court clerk, county clerk, register of deeds, road superintendent, and school board, among other positions. Some of the candidates have no opposition.

Anderson County Sheriff [Read more…]

Catherine Denenberg receives endorsement from Tom Beehan, Kay Brookshire

Pictured above from left are Kay Brookshire, Catherine Denenberg, and Tom Beehan. (Submitted photo)

Pictured above from left are Kay Brookshire, Catherine Denenberg, and Tom Beehan. (Submitted photo)


Former Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan and his wife, Kay Brookshire, are supporting Anderson County Commissioner Catherine Denenberg in her race to return to her commission seat representing District 6 in Oak Ridge, a press release said. Election day is Thursday, August 2.

“We support Catherine Denenberg because we believe it’s important to have an independent voice representing Oak Ridge on Anderson County Commission,” Beehan said. “She’s a great problem solver, a good listener, and as a County Commissioner, she works well with other commissioners and with those in Oak Ridge city government.”

Denenberg has represented District 6 since Commissioner Harry “Whitey” Hitchcock stepped down from the position early this year. Hitchcock asked her to seek his commission seat, and Denenberg said she was humbled and honored to do so. County Commissioners voted unanimously to appoint her to the seat, the press release said. [Read more…]

Meet candidates at Popcorn & Politics on Monday

You can meet candidates for county and state elected offices at Popcorn and Politics at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce on Monday.

It’s scheduled from 4:30-6 p.m. Monday, June 25. It’s hosted by the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce’s Advocacy Committee. Popcorn and Politics will give you a chance to meet candidates running for office in the August election, a press release said.

“All local candidates as well as candidates running for state legislative offices have been invited to participate,” the press release said.

The public is invited. There is no charge to attend, but a reservation is requested. The event will be held in the Joyce Conference Room at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, 1400 Oak Ridge Turnpike. [Read more…]

Twenty-nine qualify to run for 16 seats on Anderson County Commission

Twenty-nine candidates have qualified to run for 16 seats on the Anderson County Commission in the county general election in August.

There are also three people running for the Tennessee House of Representatives in District 33, a new appointed Oak Ridge school board member running in a special election in August, and a Democratic challenger to Tennessee Senator Randy McNally, an Oak Ridge resident who is also lieutenant governor.

The deadline to qualify to run in the August 2 election, which will also feature contested elections for Anderson County sheriff and trustee, was noon Thursday.

Anderson County has eight County Commission districts, and there are two commissioners per district. The offices are non-partisan, meaning that, unlike some other county offices, they are not part of the Democratic and Republican primary elections on May 1. [Read more…]

Denenberg appointed to vacant AC Commission seat; EMS vote deferred

Information from WYSH Radio

Meeting Thursday in a special-called session, the Anderson County Commission unanimously voted to appoint Catherine Denenberg of Oak Ridge to serve the remainder of an unexpired term on the Commission.

Denenberg was the only person to apply for the appointment, and no other nominations were made from the floor or by commissioners. The vote to appoint her to serve the remainder of Harry “Whitey” Hitchcock’s term representing Oak Ridge’s District 6 was unanimous. Denenberg has already qualified to run for that seat in the August general election. [Read more…]

Anderson County Democratic Party to elect new leaders at reorganization convention

Image by Anderson County Democratic Party

Image by Anderson County Democratic Party


The Anderson County Democratic Party will have a Biennial Reorganization Convention to elect new leaders at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 25, a press release said. The meeting will take place in the Social Hall of the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church at 809 Oak Ridge Turnpike. All county Democrats are welcome, the press release said.

Local Democrats will elect a new chairperson, first vice chair, second vice chair, secretary, treasurer, and the Executive Committee, which is comprised of 16 members. Executive Committee members will be elected from each district in Anderson County for 2017-2018, and they will serve two-year terms.

“All Democratic residents who are eligible voters of Anderson County are urged to attend to discuss the party’s agenda and events scheduled for 2017-2018,” the press release said. [Read more…]

Gail Martin—former AC school board member, county election administrator—dies at 75

Shirley Gail Martin

Shirley Gail Martin

Note: This story was updated at 2:37 p.m.

Shirley Gail Martin, a former longtime member of the Anderson County school board who served two years as county election administrator, died Wednesday, September 7. She was 75.

Martin, of Claxton, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loved ones at Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge, her obituary said.

“She was an education activist who gave 24 years to the Anderson County Board of Education, as well as being a devoted Democrat,” the obituary said.

Former Anderson County School Director Larry Foster, who retired at the end of June, said Martin will be missed as a personal friend and also as a community leader. She worked for excellence in education in Anderson County, Foster said, and her long service on the school board indicated that.

Martin stayed involved in the educational area even after she left the school board, and she would attend meetings, call Foster from time to time to ask what was happening, and bring issues of concern to him.

“She wanted excellence,” Foster said Friday. [Read more…]

Aug. 4 ballot: Competitive races for Congress, AC Commission in Oak Ridge

Voter Registration Month

The ballot is set for the August 4 county general election and state and federal primary elections. The competitive elections include the Republican and Democratic primaries for the U.S. House of Representatives in the Third Congressional District, which includes Oak Ridge, and the race for one of two seats in Anderson County Commission’s Eighth District, which includes the Woodland, Hendrix Creek, and Emory Valley precincts in Oak Ridge.

There is also competition for two seats on the Anderson County School Board, one in the Third District and the other in the Fifth District.

U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann, an Ooltewah Republican, is the incumbent in the House’s Third Congressional District. He has two opponents in the Republican primary on August 4: Allan Levene and Geoffery Suhmer Smith. (Signs for Fleischmann and Smith have both recently been posted in Oak Ridge.)

There are also three Democratic candidates on the ballot for U.S. House, Third District. They are Michael Friedman, George Ryan Love, and Melody Shekari.

The Republican winner will face the Democratic winner in the November 8 federal general election. [Read more…]