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Looking at a new school for Claxton

Anderson County Commissioners Tyler Mayes, first district; Phil Yager, eighth district; and Denise Palmer, second district, chat before an Anderson County Commission meeting. - Ben Pounds

The Anderson County Commission has taken steps towards building a new school in Claxton. The votes took place during the commission’s meeting on Monday, May 15, at the Anderson County Courthouse in Clinton. The new school will replace the current Claxton Elementary School, which is at 2218 Clinton Highway in Powell. The commission voted to purchase 105 Fellowship Lane in Powell, the Crossroads Christ Fellowship site. Commissioners also voted to appropriate $3.2 million to purchase the land. However, the commission did not commit any funds yet for the school’s construction. It instead voted to have the Budget Committee, which will meet Thursday June 1, take up the issue of additional funding for the new school. Director of Schools Tim Parrott said he could sell land at the Life Development Center to raise some of the funds. “Claxton (Elementary) may look aesthetically pleasing to some, but what’s bubbling underneath the surface?” said First District Commissioner Tyler Mayes, regarding the current school and the reason for moving. The school lies within his district. Parrott listed several problems with the current Claxton school, including its older plumbing and electrical systems. He said the multiple buildings led to security issues with students traveling between locked buildings. He said the Crossroads site includes room to expand. He said he also plans to work with the Tennessee Valley Authority on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) facilities for the school.

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Mike Ellis no longer has ‘interim’ in title of Rocky Top city manager

Rocky Top City Recorder Peggy Watson, right, swears in newly appointed Councilwom- an Stacy Phillips during last Thursday’s City Council meeting. Looking on, from left, are Mayor Kerry Templin, Councilman Zack Green, and City Manager Mike Ellis. - G Chambers Williams III

Rocky Top’s City Council last Thursday voted 4-1 to name interim city manager Michael Ellis to the post on a permanent basis, but did not offer him a contract for the job. Ellis, a former Anderson County High School teacher and girls’ basketball coach, and former Anderson County road superintendent, was appointed in March to serve as the interim city manager as of April 1, taking over from Michael Foster. Also during last week’s meeting, lifelong Rocky Top resident Stacy Phillips was appointed by Mayor Templin and approved by the council to take the former council seat held by Richard Dawson, who resigned in April. The city manager job advertisement listed the salary for the position at $60,000 a year. It made no mention of benefits or a car allowance. Foster was receiving medical and retirement benefits, plus a $5,000 a month car allowance. According to the job posting, the qualifying candidate must live “within five miles of the Rocky Top community.” That was a new requirement, as Foster lived in Clinton during his nearly seven years in the position. Ellis lives within less than three miles of the city.

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Budget Committee will discuss new EMS station for Claxton Community

The Anderson County Budget Committee plans to look at adding an ambulance station in the Claxton area. The committee’s next meeting will be at 4 p.m. June 1 in Room 312 of the courthouse in Clinton. The Anderson County Commission voted at its May 15 meeting to have Anderson County Emergency Medical Services Director Nathan Sweet address the committee on the issue. County Commissioner Tracy Wandell, who represents District On, including Claxton, made the motion. Fourth District Commissioner Shain Vowell seconded. The motion passed unanimously. An earlier motion by Wandell, seconded by Seventh District Commissioner Steven Verran to appropriate $850,000 in federal American Rescue Plan funds for the new station, failed to get enough votes. Wandell said the new station would make response time faster for Claxton residents. “It could be at a school. It could be at a vacant lot. It could be. It could be,” Wandell said at the meeting. “I’m willing to put the funds in to get it done,” he said, adding he would even be willing to raise taxes to fund the station. He said the people of his district had signed a petition in favor of it.

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Aaron Wells tabbed to replace Denenberg on commission

Oak Ridge resident Aaron Wells will be taking the seat formerly held by resigned Anderson County Commissioner Catherine Denenberg. He will serve for the Sixth District, which includes the Oak Ridge Senior Center, Robertsville and West Hills voting locations. His seat will be up for reelection in August 2024. Anderson County commissioners appointed him on Monday (May 15). He beat applicants Regina K. Guy, Carolyn Hahs Fogelman, Joel Pelham Hewett, Ebony Capshaw and Steven Mead. His resume, submitted to the commission, stated he has been proprietor of Lizz’s Wine and Spirits since 2015. “When I say I live and breathe District Six, that’s my day,” he said at the meeting, listing his job, home and the Boys and Girls Club of Oak Ridge at which he’s held various positions, as all in that district. In response to questions, he said education is a big concern for the district’s residents, but as the district changes with new people and new concerns, adaptability is a concern in general. He also said public safety, including Anderson County Emergency Medical Services, volunteer fire departments and the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, was a top priority. He said the Clinch River is the county’s most important resource. “We can’t live without water,” he said. His votes came from county commissioners Jerry White, Michael Foster, Denise Palmer, Robert Smallridge, Robert McKamey, Shain Vowell, Sabra Beachamp, Tim Isbel, Shelly Vandagriff and Tyler Mayes, giving him 10 of 15 votes. Commissioner Anthony Allen voted for Fogelman, while commissioners Phil Yager and Joshua Anderson voted for Hewitt. Commissioners Steven Verran and Tracy Wandell voted for Capshaw.

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Looking at a new school for Claxton  Read More

Mike Ellis no longer has ‘interim’ in title of Rocky Top city manager  Read More

Budget Committee will discuss new EMS station for Claxton Community  Read More

No property tax increase in city of Clinton’s budget  Read More

Clinton YAB wins ‘March Madness’  Read More

Aaron Wells tabbed to replace Denenberg on commission  Read More

It began with ‘General Order No. 11’  Read More


Why did Memorial Day change?  Read More

Your church mission spending  Read More

New laws require local government to provide agendas, public comment periods  Read More

The Hensleys started a settlement  Read More


DeKalb shuts down Dragon soccer  Read More

State champion Mavericks get their hardware  Read More

Bearden eliminates SoccerCats  Read More

Garza gets spring reps in for ’Cats  Read More

Young talent on display  Read More

Running for ‘The Foundation’  Read More


Anderson County Memorial Day service begins at 10 a.m.  Read More

Y-12 Federal Credit Union awards $30,000 in scholarships to East Tennessee seniors  Read More

Arc of Anderson County Dove Awards banquet coming in July  Read More

CHS class of 1968 reunion is June 10  Read More

Rain holds off as 200-plus turn out for Norris event in support of fire, police  Read More

Norris Police and Fire Appreciation Day  Read More

Look what these kids can do  Read More


ACCCRT scholars  Read More

Graduation Day  Read More

County students receive degrees from Carson-Newman University during spring commencement  Read More


Clinton’s Farmers Market open on Thursdays  Read More

Clinton farmers market opens for season in Lakefront Park  Read More

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Anderson County High School Homecoming  View

Faces at the Fair  View

Scenes from: 2021 Victor Ashe Park Cross Country Classic  View

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