News

Tomorrow (Aug. 4) is Election Day in Anderson County

Tomorrow (Thursday, Aug. 4) is Election Day in Anderson County as voters go to the polls to choose candidates in the county general election and the Tennessee primary election.

Early voting ended this past Saturday (July 30), with the Anderson County Election Commission reporting that a total of 5,386 people chose to vote in the July 15-30 early voting period.

That included 3,663 who voted in the state Republican primary, and 1,533 who voted as Democrat in the primary. There were 190 who voted in the county election with no party affiliation given.

Now for the main event: The polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday.

There are 27 precinct polling places in the county. To find out where to vote, visit the Election Commission website at acelect.com/polling-place-locations/.

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Still has a long way to go

Drug Court is just part of Shawn Phillips’ journey


Michael Shawn Phillips talks about his journey through Anderson County Drug Court while Drug Court Coordinator Winnie Gadd looks on. Phillips said the chart behind him was instrumental in helping him turn his life around. - Ken Leinart
It’s not an easy road to travel.

But that’s what they have to do — the graduates of Anderson County Drug Court.

They take a journey from addiction to recovery, from a wasted life to a life with new purpose.

Ask Michael Shawn Phillips. He graduated from Drug Court Thursday, July 28, in a ceremony in Anderson County Criminal Court — the first such ceremony Drug Court has been able to hold in two years thanks to COVID-19 regulations and restrictions.

Participants of Anderson County Drug Court may feel like they have to make that journey alone, but they don’t.

There are literally hundreds of people taking that journey with them, helping them when there are bumps in the road or there are forks in the road.

“There is an endless amount of people who cared,” Phillips said at his ceremony Thursday evening.

That, he said, was a surprise to him — that so many people actually wanted to help him, so many people actually cared.

Drug Court is not easy. It’s not a “get out of jail fee” card. It takes hard work and it takes commitment.

Because of that it takes people to help you.

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Norris city manager could be picked as soon as Monday

Council will begin interviews today

The Norris City Council at 6.p.m. today (Aug. 3) will begin interviewing six candidates chosen for consideration to be the new city manager, with more first interviews set to begin at the same time Thursday and Friday.

Second interviews with the finalists will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, and the council will hold a special session at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8, prior to the regular council meeting at 7 p.m., to make a final selection and an offer to the winning candidate.

The first applicant to interview will be Joshua Anderson, at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

A second applicant who was scheduled for interviewing Wednesday has withdrawn from consideration, so Anderson will be the only one on the schedule the first night, Mayor Chris Mutchell said.

On Thursday, Aug. 4, Charles Cory Jenkins will be interviewed at 6 p.m., followed by Joshua Ray at 7 p.m.

Friday’s schedule will include Phillip Robinette at 6 p.m., Sarah Foust at 7 p.m., and Gregory Scott Collins at 7:45 p.m.

For the initial interviews, the City Council on July 22 chose seven of the 47 candidates who applied for the position to replace Scott Hackler, who resigned effective June 27.

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The importance of ‘Drug Court’ can’t be measured

Anderson County Drug Court “returned” last Thursday night when it held its first graduation ceremony in two years.

Michael Shawn Phillips received his certificate for completing the course.

The Drug Court never went away, but the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shutdown made things challenging.

Winnie Gadd, Drug Court coordinator, said the pandemic made a plethora of regulations and restrictions that tested the Drug Court.

“The network our people needed was tested,” Gadd said. “We’re a touchy-feely group. That’s part of the process.”

While new and unforeseen challenges came – challenges never anticipated when the Drug Court first began in 2007 – the program survived.

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