‘Oh, Tannenbaum’

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Bluebird Tree Farm

Dalton Andrews of the Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm staff carries a tree to the car for Joseph Worsham, center, and Kim Tyler, both of Oak Ridge, on Sunday (Nov. 29) - G. Chambers Williams III
Leo Collins hopes the holiday spirit for many people this season will begin with their choice of a tree at his Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm.

For the past 38 years, Collins has run the tree farm at 985 Brushy Valley Road in the Heiskell community to serve as a launch pad for many families’ holiday celebrations.

This season, he opened the farm to Yule customers last weekend, and it will remain open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays until Dec. 20.

Besides about 60 trees still available for people to choose and cut themselves on his seven-acre planting area, Collins has more than 200 pre-cut trees imported from the mountains of Tennessee and western North Carolina for sale in his big white tent.

The locally grown trees are Leyland cyprus and Virginia pine, while the pre-cut ones are primarily Fraser firs, along with some other cold-climate varieties, all of which come from three different farms, Collins said.

“The Fraser firs are our most-popular variety,” he said, “We get them from the Mountain City area. It’s too warm to grow the firs here.”

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Norris Freeway en route to becoming the nation’s next official ‘Scenic Byway’

his portion of U.S. 441 (Norris Freeway) crosses over Norris Dam near the northern terminus of the federal highway that runs between U.S. 25W in Rocky Top and Miami, Florida. The Norris Freeway portion is poised to became a national ‘Scenic Byway.” - G. Chambers Williams III
Norris Freeway – known on highway maps as U.S. 441 – could soon become one of the nation’s newest “Scenic Byways.”

The decision to give that designation to the section of U.S. 441 between the Halls Crossroads community and Rocky Top is now in the hands of the Federal Highway Administration.

An effort to have this portion of U.S. 441 made a Scenic Byway was begun several months ago by Norris City Manager Scott Hackler, who has since enlisted help from other public entities along the route, including the Anderson, Campbell and Knox county governments, the city of Rocky Top, Norris Dam State Park, and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Also signed on in support are U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, state Rep. Dennis Powers and the Museum of Appalachia, among others, Hackler said.

“A National Scenic Byway is a road recognized by the United States Department of Transportation for one or more of six ‘intrinsic qualities’: archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic,” according to Wikipedia.

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Anderson County Charter Commission will hold virtual meeting Dec. 7

The Anderson County Charter Commission has scheduled a meeting for 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, for the purpose of conducting its regular monthly business.

In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order No. 16 regarding limiting gatherings to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and allowing public meetings to be conducted by electronic means, the meeting will held with commissioners takeing part electronically and can be viewed by members of the public at:

Clinton Blaze open season Thursday at Community Center

The Clinton Blaze and Lady Blaze basketball teams will play their home games at the Clinton Community Center, according to Clinton City Schools Athletic Director E.T. Stamey

The two teams were originally scheduled to play their home games at Clinton High School due to social distancing protocols created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stamey said the season is scheduled to open on Dec. 3, when the Blaze and Lady Blaze host Grace Christian Academy.

Stamey announced the attendance regulations for home games this season:

Tickets will be limited to two per player.

Temperature checks will be performed upon entry. Face masks are required. Everyone must wear face coverings unless they are in an on-court, in-game situation.

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When it becomes available, Food City pharmacies will be able to administer COVID-19 vaccine

Food City Pharmacy is partnering with the Department of Healthand Human Services to offer free COVID-19 vaccinations once the vaccine is approved and available to the general public.

Once an adequate supply of COVID-19 vaccine is available to support broader vaccination efforts beyond the initial crucial populations, it will be important to swiftly increase access to the vaccine for the general population. HHS is partnering with pharmacies such as Food City to increase access to COVID-19 vaccine for the U.S. population. Through the Federal Pharmacy Partnership Strategy for COVID-19 Vaccination, federal pharmacy partners will receive a direct allocation of COVID-19 vaccine.

Pharmacists are trained to administer vaccines and are trusted vaccinators within their respective communities, as they provide seasonal flu and other routine vaccines as part of their established services.

COVID-19 vaccine will be administered at Food City at no cost.

Providing vaccines directly to pharmacies will help the government quickly and efficiently get the vaccines to millions of people. States, pharmacies, and the CDC will streamline efforts by working to coordinate, track, and monitor distribution.

The CDC has engaged pharmacies and pharmacy professional organizations in pandemic vaccine planning over the last 10 years.

Food City Pharmacy will be following CDC vaccination guidelines to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, including guidance to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Once it is available, customers interested in receiving a COVID-19 vaccination should visit for additional details.