Great Smoky Mountains To Reopen Wednesday-Sunday

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

 U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander Tuesday released the following statement on Governor Haslam’s announcement of an agreement to reopen the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with all normal operations beginning Wednesday through Sunday.

“Governor Haslam’s decision to reopen the Smokies is welcome news for the communities and small businesses that surround our nation’s most-visited national park," said Senator Alexander.  "I thank the governor for his leadership, and will continue working in Congress to make sure the state is reimbursed by the federal government.” 

 Earlier on Tuesday, Senator Alexander introduced legislation in the Senate to reimburse states within 90 days for all state funds used to reopen national parks while the federal government is shut down. On Friday, Senator Alexander said that for surrounding communities, “the Smokies closing is like a BP oil spill for the Gulf.”  

This weekend Senator Alexander worked with Governor Haslam, local county mayors, and other members of the Tennessee congressional delegation to facilitate reopening the park.

Senator Alexander continued: “I voted against shutting down the government, and I’m doing all I can to reopen it – and assuring states that the federal government will reimburse them for funds used to reopen our national treasures is a good step in the right direction. For the surrounding communities, the Smokies closing is like a BP oil spill for the Gulf. This is the prime tourist season for the Smokies, when many of the small businesses around the park make most of their money, and I urge Congress to pass this legislation quickly.”

 Senator Alexander said the shutdown of the federal government has impacted Tennessee’s other national park facilities in addition to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, including Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park.

Reps.Phil Roe and John J. Duncan, Jr., both Tennessee Republicans, have introduced similar legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Star Party At Cloudland Canyon Will Be Aug. 23

The Summer Constellations will be the topic of the upcoming Star Party at Cloudland Canyon State Park on Saturday, Aug. 23 .  Sponsored by the staff and friends of Cloudland Canyon State Park, the program will be presented by members of the Barnard Astronomical Society and will be held at the tennis courts. The program begins at 8 p.m. and participants will learn ... (click for more)

Two New Peregrine Falcons To Be Released From Rock City

Two male peregrine falcons are in a hack box at Rock City, preparing to be released into the wild on Monday around 5:30 a.m., just before sunrise. These birds are brothers from Hastings, Mn, and 41 days old today. “At the time of their release, they will have spent almost two weeks in the hack box to give them a chance to sharpen their hunting skills,” said Dale Stokes with Wings ... (click for more)

EPB Says It Did Not Overbill The City; Says City Got $685,877 Break

EPB officials said Tuesday that an exhaustive audit of its street light contract with the city showed that it did not overbill the city. Instead, it said it found that the city was underbilled $685,877. EPB said it only goes back one year on errors so the amount owed by the city would be $178,314. Officials said that would be discussed with the city. Stan Sewell, the city's ... (click for more)

History Center Gets $400,000 Grant From National Endowment For The Humanities

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded grants totaling more than $800,000 to three Tennessee projects that aim to display and preserve historical materials. Winning grants Monday included the Chattanooga History Center, which will get $400,000 to install a permanent, multimedia exhibit on the history of Chattanooga. The University of Tennessee-Knoxville will ... (click for more)

I'm Number One In A Round About Way

Roundabouts have been popping up all over Chattanooga over the past few years and for the most part have been successful.  Unfortunately there are some who just don’t get it as I have found out the hard way.    My latest instance was last week when a young woman on her cell phone almost t-boned me as she flew into the roundabout without yielding.  A near miss ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Judge Philyaw Is The Best

Tomorrow morning there will be a special gathering at the Hamilton County Juvenile Court that will prove to our community that we have perhaps the most innovative juvenile judge in America. Shortly after Rob Philyaw was hand-picked by our Hamilton County Commissioners to fill the remainder of Suzanne Bailey’s term 15 months ago, he found that truancy was a big problem in our schools. ... (click for more)