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.

Land Trust For Tennessee And Mountain Goat Trail Alliance Host Sneak-Peek Hike

The Land Trust for Tennessee and the Mountain Goat Trail Alliance are co-hosting  a summer hike to give locals a sneak peek of a soon-to-be protected property that adds 20 miles to the Mountain Goat Trail (MGT) project.  The hike will also celebrate the enhancement of local outdoor recreation, the conservation of our natural wonders and the way of life on the ... (click for more)

Crabtree Farms Offers Fall Gardening Workshop

In response to a growing interest in fall backyard gardening, local non-profit, Crabtree Farms is offering educational opportunities and affordable, healthy plant starts to help Chattanoogans grow their own food this fall.   “While most people are excited to plant their gardens in spring or summer, there is a growing number of people who realize that they can enjoy ... (click for more)

DA Looking Into Issue Of County Commission Candidate's Campaign Sending Filled-Out Requests For Absentee Ballot To Elderly Voters

The District Attorney's Office has been provided with documents that a County Commission candidate's campaign sent filled-out requests for absentee ballots to elderly voters. Kerry Steelman, election administrator, said there have been four instances in which such requests came from the Elect John Brooks campaign. He said state law says in Section 2-6-202:  (3) A person ... (click for more)

Graham Says County School-City Lawsuit Settlement "Stinks," But County Commission Approves It

The County Commission on Wednesday approved a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Hamilton County Schools against the city of Chattanooga, though several commissioners said they were not happy with the deal and Commissioner Joe Graham said it "stinks." Commissioner Graham was the lone no vote. He was joined by Commissioner Tim Boyd in a failed effort to defer it a week. ... (click for more)

The Truth From Weston’s Sister - And Response (3)

I try not to read the negative articles and opinions about my older brother. Growing up around politics, I learned a long time ago that thick skin is not only necessary, it’s paramount. But this time, the lies and the rumors and the inaccurate information has gone too far. It’s too ridiculous for me to ignore. So let’s clear a few things up: Weston and I do not “come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Oscar Brock’s True Passion

I don’t pay much attention to the Hamilton County School Board. Once the moon and the stars aligned behind Superintendent Rick Smith, you hear very little, if anything, from the nine-member council that oversees an annual budget of almost $400 million and employs 4,480 people. So chew this for a minute: approximately 2,000 of those people are not teachers. Yes, there are 78 principals ... (click for more)