‘We trusted them’

Community pushes back on Bull Run plans

Richard Watson sold his land to TVA in 2015 with the promise that it would help the TVA stay in business for at least 25 more years. Four years later, they’re planning to shut down, and Watson regrets selling.
District 1 Commissioner and Chairman Tracy Wandell became an impromptu spokesperson concerning Bull Run Steam Plant during a community meeting hosted by the Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment group last week.

TVA will host two community open houses this week, with one at Claxton Elementary School on July 18 from 5-7 p.m. Last week’s meeting was scheduled to allow concerned citizens a chance to learn more from activist groups and county officials, so that they will have a better idea of what to ask during the TVA-sponsored meetings.

Bull Run is scheduled to cease operations by 2023. The big question on many people’s mind was what TVA will do with the coal ash impoundments.

Wandell represents the Claxton community as commissioner, and also has a background in the coal ash business. He did business with the TVA in the 1990s, but not with Bull Run specifically.

“I went and removed the floating ash off these ponds,” Wandell said.

There’s value in coal ash when it’s reused properly, according to Wandell. But the environmental and human health implications have been front and center lately following the coal ash spill in Kingston in 2008 and the resulting lawsuits as people have gotten sick and even died after cleaning it up. That’s what the discussion was all about during the community meeting.

Read More

Community updated on Vision, Aspire

The Hollingsworth Foundation’s Executive Director Mike Wallace informed members of the Chamber of Commerce and Clinton city officials about the progress of Aspire Park in South Clinton. - Crystal Huskey
A group of Anderson County Chamber of Commerce members and Clinton city officials received a significant update last week on the Clinton Downtown Vision as well as entrepreneur Joe Hollingsworth’s Aspire Park in South Clinton.

What’s new with the Downtown Vision?

Chamber president Rick Meredith presented the audience with updates on the Clinton Downtown Vision that was first discussed 18 months ago.

Meredith acknowledged that demolition has been slow at Magnet Mills but hopes to connect Market Street to the Magnet Mills land with a pedestrian extension and build a five-day farmers’ market and small multi-purpose urban park within the next few years.

He also hopes to actively develop downtown housing. That goal will be kickstarted by Jenks and Dudley Hoskins, who are building a single-family residential home on Market Street where the pavilion currently sits.

Some of these goals are contingent on receiving grant money, which the city and chamber will know more about in the fall.

Read More

‘Trial by jury’ finds man guilty of attempted second degree murder

District Attorney General Dave Clark is pleased to announce the conviction yesterday of McKinley Earl McGee of attempted second degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault with serious bodily injury.

The conviction comes as the result of a trial by jury that began on the morning of July 9 in Clinton.

McGee was convicted of stabbing and attempting to kill his girlfriend, Machel Elaine Avery, on Utica Circle in Oak Ridge on Jan. 12.

The Oak Ridge Police Department located and arrested McGee a short time after the attack. Machel Elaine Avery received emergency life-saving medical care and emergency surgery at UT Hospital, recovered from her injuries and was present for the trial.

At the time of trial, McGee was out of custody on bond.

Read More

Socal media: How much is too much?

More than three billion people are social media users worldwide. While social media helps keep the world connected, social media addiction is becoming a global problem that keeps growing. As of 2018, one third of the global population used social media.

Internet and social media addictions continue to grow as our dependence on technology increases. Over 210 million people suffer from internet and social media addictions worldwide.

A 2018 study found that teens who spend 5 hours per day using their phones were almost twice as likely to exhibit depressive symptoms than counterparts who dedicated only one hour on their phones. The relationship between excessive mobile use and depression appears to be strongly linked to gender with 58% more females than males experiencing depressive symptoms. A recent study containing over 23,500 participants between the ages of 16 and 88 found that being a young single female was most strongly associated with displaying addictive social media behavior. Addictive social media behavior was also strongly related to narcissistic personality traits and low self-esteem.

Read More

State official tours Emory Valley Center

Emory Valley Turner and Anthony L: Tennessee’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Commissioner Brad Turner stands with Anthony L., a client at Emory Valley Center.
Tennessee’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Commissioner Brad Turner visited the Emory Valley Center in Oak Ridge on Friday for a tour of the facilities and to hear all about what the center has been working on.

Emory Valley serves around 1,200 clients in Anderson County. That includes children all the way through senior citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

A number of the center’s clients spoke with Turner on Friday and described how they are improving their lives with the help of caseworkers at Emory Valley.

Philip B. has worked at Long John Silvers for eight years.

He loves to make hush puppies and does a little bit of everything. He’s been with his house parent Kathy Bunch for 23 years.

Adrian P. is also in a group home but is moving into a smaller house with a roommate.

“I work a lot,” he said.

He’s very proud of the money he makes but is even prouder to finally be moving out of the group home. It’s a goal he has had for years.

Read More