News

Deadline extended for comments on Bull Run water treatment


Anderson County District 1 Commissioner Tracy Wandell was one several county officials to attend last Thursday night’s public hearing on TDEC’s plans for treating water from the Bull Run Steam Plant. - Pete Gwada
TVA has extended to Feb. 2 the period to submit comments on the “environmental assessment” of the Bull Run Steam Plant.

On Friday (Jan. 13), the day after a public hearing and question- and-answer session held by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the Tennessee Valley Authority extended the public comment period.

Residents got an opportunity to express environmental concerns about the coal-fired electric generating plant at the hearing Thursday at the TDEC office in Oak Ridge.

TVA’s coal plants have water permits that allow the utility to take water from the Clinch River, use it for cooling or waste processing, and then release it back into the river after treatment.

TVA must ensure that the water it releases back into the waterway is compliant with federal environmental rules. However, those rules change with presidential administrations.

TDEC is responsible for issuing the water permits on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA guidelines were changed in 2020 under the Trump administration, rolling back standards from 2015.

Read More

A new look?

Norris ‘branding’ idea proposed; could bring new signs at city limits


Norris is looking to come up with a logo to go on new signs that are being planned to replace older ones such as this one at the West Norris Road entrance to the historic city off Norris Freeway (U.S. 441). - G. Chambers Williams III
Those wooden signs greeting visitors to Norris are few and far between, and are showing signs of deterioration.

They also are limited to the two traditional entrances to Norris – at Norris Freeway and West Norris Road, and Andersonville Highway and East Norris Road – and do not encompass the expanded Norris boundaries that resulted from annexations over the past two decades.

Now, the city’s Community Development Board proposes to come up with new signs to welcome people to the city, incorporating a “branding” theme for Norris that helps to tell people what the historic city is all about.

Councilman Will Grinder, who is chairman of the development board, brought up the branding idea during last week’s monthly City Council meeting, informing council members and the audience about the initiative.

Grinder said it could help identify and promote the city’s mission and image to outsiders.

“We’re calling it the Norris Image Identity Project, also known as a branding effort,” Grinder told The Courier News.

Read More

County’s Tourism Council grappling with what to do until a ‘home’ is found

“How do we function moving forward?”

That was the question Stephanie Wells, executive director of the Anderson County Tourism Council, asked the tourism council advisory board at its Jan. 10 meeting.

That question was brought up by the fact that at its December meeting, the Anderson County Commission failed to ratify a sales contract for the log building on Charles G. Seivers Boulevard near Interstate 75 that houses the welcome center operated by the Tourism Council.

The building had been auctioned off with the understanding that the Anderson County Commission would have to approve the sale.

Had the sale been approved, the Tourism Council would have operated out of a leased site until the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce finishes construction of its new building downtown.

The Tourism Council would then have bought building space from the chamber. As a result of the commission’s action, Wells said that the highest bidder had requested a return of the earnest money that had been put up.

Read More

State Rep. Ed Butler sworn in


State Rep. Ed Butler took the oath of office during the first legislative day of the 113th General Assembly.
State Rep. Ed Butler, R-Rickman, was officially sworn in as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

Butler took the oath of office during the first legislative day of the 113th General Assembly. He was elected in November to represent House District 41, which includes Overton, Morgan, and parts of Anderson, Fentress, and Roane counties.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to represent the citizens of District 41 in the Tennessee General Assembly,” Butler said. “I look forward to working alongside my Republican colleagues to ensure the needs of Tennesseans are met and that we continue being the strongest state in the nation.”

Butler currently owns and operates a fire sprinkler business. He lives on his farm in Rickman with his wife and children.