News

Candidates’ talking points

Addict, homeless situation discussed after Rocky Top meeting Thursday; about 20 gather for Sunday protest


Rocky Top resident Shelby Marsh, left, addresses Mayor Tim Sharp, right, after the city council meeting on Thursday (Sept. 17) about issues in the city, including drug addicts and homeless people on downtown streets. - G. Chambers Williams III
Both candidates who are on the ballot for the two open seats on the Rocky Top City Council in the Nov. 3 general election, incumbent Juston Job and newcomer Zack Green, say their goals are to help improve the city.

Job, who is also vice mayor, is seeking his second term on the council, after being appointed to fill out the unexpired term of a councilman who resigned three years ago.

Green is seeking his first term on the council, replacing Nathan Dison, who has moved outside the city limits and no longer qualifies to hold the council seat.

These two candidates, who were the only ones to file to run before the Aug. 20 deadline to have their names appear on the ballot, both have homes within the city limits.

A third would-be candidate, Katie Hurst/Styles, filed a notice with the Anderson County Election Commission on Sept. 14 stating her intention to run as a write-in candidate. She launched her effort to seek a council seat on the Facebook page known as Rocky Top Community Chit Chat, and also created a separate Facebook page to promote her candidacy.

But her name will not appear on the ballot, and neither is she technically qualified to serve on the council, because she lives outside the city limits. Styles acknowledged that to The Courier News outside Rocky Top City Hall last Thursday night following the September city council meeting.

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Science fiction or science fact?

Robotics could be the future of sanitizing the courthouse

Anderson County Commission heard a proposal Monday night that sounded like something out of a Ray Bradbury novel.

Science fiction could become science fact thanks to high school students.

Anderson County Attorney Jay Yeager told Commission robotics could be a cheap and effective way to sanitize the Anderson County Courthouse and that it could become a reality sooner rather than later.

Yeager explained ultra violet (UV) lights have been found to be successful in killing almost 100-percent (“99.7 or 99.8 … just really effective”) of virus microbes. Yeager said there has been discussion of letting robotics carry out such tasks.

The county attorney said he pursued the notion and approached the robotics teams at Anderson County’s three high schools.

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County gets grant for water-line extensions

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe recently approved more than $27.6 million in Community Development Block Grants, which will assist communities with infrastructure improvements, housing rehabilitations and health and safety initiatives.

Anderson County received a grant for $523,207 for water-line extensions.

“These funds play an important role in helping communities across Tennessee prepare for future economic development opportunities and continued growth,” Lee said. “I applaud each community for investing in themselves and taking the necessary steps to improve their assets, infrastructure and safety initiatives.”

“Community Development Block Grants are an enormous asset to communities across the state and Tennessee as a whole,” Rolfe said. “The 66 communities receiving CDBG funding will be better prepared for economic growth, which will in turn help Tennessee continue to succeed. I look forward to the future success each community will see in the years to come.”

The allocation of CDBG funds is based on priorities set through the public meeting process at the local community level. The CDBG program is funded through HUD and administered in Tennessee by the Department of Economic and Community Development. Funds are available for water and sewer improvements and new extensions, housing rehabilitation and health and safety projects.

Author pledges percentage of book sales to United Way of Anderson County

Local author Steve Dekanich has pledged a percentage of the proceeds from his new book, “Frame of Mind,” to help The United Way of Anderson County achieve its goal of $1 million.

“Frame of Mind” is a semi-autobiographical novel where Dekanich created a character, Joey Slunisky, who contends with many of the issues Dekanich has dealt with.

Steve’s life was wrought with challenges including 19 recurrences of cancer, the loss of his first wife to cancer, a company closing down around him shortly after he left a promising engineering career with another company, open heart surgery, an abscess that covered the left lobe of his liver, a diverticular bleed that resulted in losing 18 inches of his colon, a bowel obstruction, a total knee replacement, torn retinas, a heart pacemaker implant and, just recently, a diagnosis of multiple myeloma.

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Hold your Horses (and goats and Studabakers)

Ray Varner Ford hosts Tenn. Valley Mustang Club car show Saturday


Renee Wiederspahn of Seymour cuddles a pair of baby pygmy goats during the Tennessee Valley Mustang Club car show on Saturday (Sept. 19) at Ray Varner Ford in Clinton. She had picked up the goats from the breeder just that morning, she said. - G. Chambers Williams III