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.

USDA Seeks Help In Testing Wildlife For Rabies

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services is asking for the public’s help as it works to determine the frequency of rabies in southeastern Tennessee raccoons.  Anyone who encounters a raccoon that is sick-acting or behaving unusually is asked to report the animal. No raccoons in Tennessee have tested positive for the raccoon variant, or variety, of rabies ... (click for more)

Tennessee State Parks Celebrate National Public Lands Day

In recognition of National Public Lands Day, Tennessee State Parks, along with Friends Groups, invite the public to take part in hikes and volunteer activities across the state on   Saturday, Sept. 27 . This year’s theme is “Helping Hands for America’s Lands.” Each of the 55 Tennessee State Parks will have scheduled hikes and volunteer opportunities. For each park’s ... (click for more)

EPB Says "Close To A Wash" On City Street Light Billing

EPB President Harold DePriest denied Wednesday that EPB owes the city over $1 million on street light billing. He stated,  “EPB has never said that we owe the city $1.2 million. When all the facts are taken into account, the financial difference is close to a wash.” Mr. DePriest said, "I regret that this complicated issue has been oversimplified in some reports. As we’ve ... (click for more)

New Red Bank Zoning Ordinance Is Ready For Review

The new Red Bank zoning ordinance is ready for review, City Manager Randall Smith said Tuesday night. It can be seen on www.redbanktn.gov and the link to zoning regulations. The new ordinance will replace one that was created 30 years ago.    The plan will encompass both residential and commercial development and is intended to direct ... (click for more)

Why So Much For A Rail Study?

From the things that make you go hmm department. Ok, so the feds are giving us $400k and the city is kicking in another $300k for a total of $700k to do a study on having in town rail service. Why so much for a study? Don't get me wrong, I'm totally down with Chattanooga having some passenger trains running around. I get that. It's awesome. We've needed it for a long time. I ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I’m Certainly No Expert

Sometime on Monday night, after I had written a piece on getting swatted with a switch as a kid, I got an email from ESPN Canada asking if I would be a televised guest on “Off the Record,” the most watched daily sports show in Canada. The subject: corporal punishment in America. Are you kidding me? I am hardly an expert. All weekend my world of sports and its excitement was warped ... (click for more)