Friday, January 24, 2020

Glenn Ray retires
Newport Utilities(NU) in recent years has had ongoing management issues. Glenn Ray was hired as general manager of the utility in April 2013, but he resigned under fire in April 2014. In July of that year, Ray filed a lawsuit against the utility, alleging he was asked to resign or be removed. Then in October 2014, Mike Parker was offered the General Manager post. But in January 2015, after a shakeup of the Newport City Council, and new members on the utilities board, the NU board fired Parker and re-hired Ray. And so Parker filed a lawsuit against the utility. In October of last year, the board was told the Tennessee Comptroller is investigating the utility with regard to “alleged irregularities.” And so the board voted to place Ray on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. Finance and Accounting Manager Michael Williford then was appointed interim General Manager At the utilities Thursday meeting, Board Chair Craig Wild read a letter submitted by Ray, announcing his retirement from NU effective on Wednesday. "My career path has found a new opportunity for me and will benefit my continued professional life," Ray said in the letter explaining his retirement decision. The board was given an update on plans by the Tennessee Department of Transportation for the Newport Bypass, stretching to the west of the city, from St. Tide Hollow Road on North Highway 321, to Thinwood Drive on West Highway 25/70, by Waterworks Manager Clint Hammonds. He said the Tennessee Department of Transportation plans to submit the project for bid in June. Construction of the new road will require re-location of some water and sewer locations. "This is a reimbursable project and so TDOT will pay the cost of both the engineering and construction of those facilities to be re-located," Hammonds told the board. The board then approved a contract for engineering service from Barge Waggoner Sumner Cannon for a total cost of $113,500. The board was told that 3060 customers have signed up for broadband services, or 29 percent of all customers. Then the board gave approval for moving ahead on a project to install wireless transmission sites to provide an additional 5400 customers with high speed broadband. The board decided because of the ongoing investigation at the state level, to maintain Wild as the board chair. They also appointed Hammonds as the NU representative on the Partnership Board


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Saturday, February 22, 2020

  • Human Services new program
  • Atkins charged
  • Medic needs blood
  • Lowe's theft
  • DFA to acquire Dean Food
  • Commodity distribution

    Friday, February 21, 2020

  • Super Fun Zone coming to Gatlinburg
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  • Nicky Sutton electrocuted
  • ERA controversy
  • Tennessee has an "effective government"
  • TWRA promotes Hammonds
  • Ginseng bust
  • Holt indicted

    Thursday, February 20, 2020

  • Douglas Cherokee commodity distribution
  • Cocke County wheel tax debate
  • Mullins arrangements
  • Sutton execution is still planned

    Wednesday, February 19, 2020

  • Fontes on Mullins
  • Cocke County CLB
  • Catherine Drive fire

    Tuesday, February 18, 2020

  • Mullins killed in officer related shooting in Greeneville
  • Birchfield injured in ATV crash
  • Blackburn and healthcare
  • Higher education means higher income
  • O'Dell is charged