Anderson’s undeserved disaster

County still waiting for cleanup of American Nuclear site

It’s a superfund site, a blight, an eyesore, a fly in the ointment, it’s a “disaster,” it’s the property, “that always has the fence torn down because someone runs the stop sign,” and it’s out of the hands of the Anderson County Commission.

The American Nuclear site, at the junction of Blockhouse Valley Road and Old Emory Road, has been state property since 1980. It also sits next to the former Blockhouse Valley Landfill — a 290-acre tract that Anderson County designated as a nature preserve and outdoor learning center in 2008, after the old landfill had been cleaned up.

During the Monday night Anderson County Commission meeting, county Law Director Jay Yeager gave an update on the Blockhouse Valley Nature Preserve when the subject of American Nuclear came roaring to the forefront of the discussion.

Yeager said the county is “Starting our transition to bringing this (the nature preserve) back to the citizens’ hands … to allow some citizens activity.”

“Maybe start some walking paths … (the county has) an opportunity to rent a trail dozer from the forestry service.

“One big problem standing in our way and that’s American Nuclear … the eyesore at the corner of Blockhouse Valley and Old Emery roads.”

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Clinton’s downtown gazebo is back

Market Street park opens, honors Maude Brown

City workers put the final touches on the new downtown Maude W. Brown Park, where the old downtown gazebo has been renovated and re-erected after being removed from the park across Market Street next to Hoskins in the Flat. - G. Chambers Williams III
The gazebo is back on Market Street.

A Clinton Public Works crew carted the pieces of the landmark gazebo back to Market Street in mid-March, and city public works crews reinstalled it on the site of the new Maude W. Brown city park, which has now been completed and is open to the public.

The city had originally thought it would have to get a new gazebo for the park, built where the downtown taxicab stand used to be on Market Street, next to the former Joe’s Barber Shop location.

But City Manager Roger Houck said the city was able to rehabilitate the original gazebo, which had been downtown for decades before it was moved to the fairgrounds park area.

“That is the old one,” Houck said. “It’s the one that had been on Market Street 40-plus years. We did some structural repairs, pressure washed it and painted it. We found it was a lot cheaper to repair that one than to build a new one.”

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Cole is first to make announcement for re-election

Jeff Cole is seeking re-election as Anderson County clerk.

Cole has worked in the Anderson County Clerk’s O0ffice since 1989 and has served as Anderson County clerk since 2002, a press release announcing Cole’s re-election bid said.

Cole is a certified public administrator from the University of Tennessee and he is a graduate of the University of Tennessee Local Government Leadership Program. Cole was president of the County Clerks Association for the state of Tennessee, and he was chosen as “Clerk of the Year” by all county clerks in the state in 2015, the release said.

During the 2020 COVID pandemic, the clerk’s office has a continued interest in protecting Anderson County families and businesses that use the office. Recently, new counters were installed that have enhanced safety features and allow for better service, the release said.

The County Clerk’s Office is responsible for waiting on more than 120,000 customers annually. The office collects more than $8 million annually and offers more than 15 different services to the citizens of Anderson County.

“Jeff Cole is a model public servant with a strong and proven record of effectiveness and efficiency,” Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally said. “He has been an excellent county clerk for the people of Anderson County for 19 years.”

The County Clerk’s Office, under Cole’s leadership, continues to provide the most up-to-date technology that allows for customer convenience in working with the office. Recently a self-service renewal kiosk was installed at the Oak Ridge office. With addition of this convenient and time-saving service, customer may now renew their tags 24/7. The renewal transactions are simple, fast, and secure.

CHS Dragons still looking for right mix

The Clinton HighSchool baseball Dragons had a rough week, with two hard losses to Knoxville Catholic (14-0) and Dobyns-Bennett (15-3) before dropping to Greeneville 8-7.

In the game against Knoxville Catholic, Colby Holbrook led on the mound before being relieved by James Cloud for two innings. Holbrook finished with 11 first-pitch strikes, while Cloud finished with six, along with two strikeouts.

In the next game against Dobyns-Bennett, the Dragons lost the lead in the second inning, giving up seven runs as they struggled to score.

Daniel Burke led the Dragons at the plate with two hits, while Ethan Tinker and Mac Lowe pitched.

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