Smokies Telethon Raises Over $200,000

Friday, August 16, 2013
Home Federal Bank's volunteer team with President and CEO Dale Keasling, who is also Friends of the Smokies' board vice chairman.
Home Federal Bank's volunteer team with President and CEO Dale Keasling, who is also Friends of the Smokies' board vice chairman.
- photo by Kathryn Robertson
Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park raised $201,423 on Thursday night through its 19th annual “Friends Across the Mountains” telethon, thanks to hundreds of callers and help from sponsors Dollywood, Mast General Store, Pilot Corporation, and SmartBank.  Since 1995 Friends of the Smokies telethons have raised more than $2.9 million.
 
“We extend our sincere thanks to each person that pledged support during the annual telethon.  Your stewardship allows us to better meet the growing challenges in caring for park resources and providing opportunities for visitors and we thank you,” said Dale Ditmanson, superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
 
During the broadcast, Sugarland Cellars owner Don Collier presented a $20,000 check to the organization.  Since the spring of 2012 the Gatlinburg winery has offered five limited edition varietals with custom labels created by renowned artist Robert A. Tino.  Each release is paired with Tino’s matching artistic tiles featuring each label’s artwork.  Every bottle generates a $5 donation to help Friends of the Smokies in its mission to preserve and protect GSMNP.
 
“The generous response to this year’s Friends Across the Mountains Telethon is a continuing testimony to the love that people have for the Smokies and how very important it is to our region,” said Friends of the Smokies President Jim Hart.
 
Telethon donations can still be made online at www.friendsofthesmokies.org to help fund more than $1 million of Park needs this year, to protect black bears, heal hemlock trees, and preserve historic log cabins and churches from Cades Cove to Cataloochee Valley.

TFWC September Meeting To Be Held In Nashville

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission will take action on changes in the commercial fishing proclamation among its agenda at its Sept. 18-19 meeting. The commission will hold its September meeting at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Region II Ray Bell Building. Committee meetings will start at 1 p.m. on Sept. 18, while formal session is Sept. 19, beginning at 9 ... (click for more)

Hunting Seasons Starting Soon: Hunters Urged To Stock Up On Non-Lead Bullets/Shot

American Bird Conservancy, on Thursday urged hunters who are beginning to plan for the many different fall and winter hunting seasons—some of which start in September—to protect the environment and non-target wildlife by voluntarily switching to non-lead ammunition. “Hunters have historically strong outdoor ethics, and as more and more of them are learning how lead bullet fragments ... (click for more)

City Receives $400,000 Federal Grant To Study Passenger Train Service

The United States Department of Transportation has announced Chattanooga has received a $400,000 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to study the potential use of existing railways for a passenger rail system in Chattanooga. There were 72 awards announced in 46 states and Washington, D.C. Out of numerous grant applications across Tennessee, ... (click for more)

Former Assistant Police Chief Eidson Not Charged In Shooting Of Stepson On Englewood Avenue

Former Chattanooga Police Department Assistant Chief Kirk Eidson was not charged in the shooting of stepson Robert Ingle, 18, on Sunday morning in North Chattanooga. However, Ingle was charged with domestic assault and vandalism. In the incident shortly after 9 a.m. at 1049 Englewood Ave., Mr. Eidson said Ingle came to the house asking him to take him to their other house ... (click for more)

Dirt Decision At Camp Jordan May Come Back To Haunt East Ridge Councilmen

Wow. I thought the arrival of Bass Pro Shop would help bring East Ridge back to a position of prominence in the Chattanooga area, but the Council proved otherwise last night.  To the council - There is a reason that the developers want that dirt: It's valuable . You currently own it and the developer wants it. Bass Pro has already agreed to set up shop. They were going ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye To My Scooter

The month of August turned out to be unkind, with my dog, my favorite aunt and my magnificent mother all dying within three weeks’ time. As I finally begin to push out the three newest dents in my soul, my habit has been to write something akin to a goodbye note to those I have loved. I’m not ready for Aunt Martha and Mother yet – not by a stretch -- but I remembered Scooter with ... (click for more)