The Mountain Press ■ Sevier County’s Daily Newspaper ■ Vol. 26, No. 24 ■ January 24, 2010 ■ www.themountainpress.com ■ $1.25
Forge audit up for approval
By DEREK HODGES Staff Writer
5WSCC ready to serve Culinary Arts department has full schedule of events on menu Mountain life, Page B1
Heavy machinery sits in the lot at the Sinks parking area along Little River Road as work progresses on repaving there, one of many projects in the national park being funded by federal stimulus dollars.
5SEC showdown Vols travel to Athens, tangle with Dawgs Sports, Page A8
Smoothing the way Stimulus funds helping park fix long-awaited paving projects
Good news for GSMNP Park gifted with increase in visitors for anniversary Page A5
Weather Today Mostly Rain High: 58°
Tonight Mostly Rain Low: 40° DETAILS, Page A6
Obituaries Jason Robinson, 37 Laura Cooper, 60 Elizabeth Griffin, 84 Thomas Bartleson Sr., 63 Troy Gilreath, 39 Brian Lee McCarter, 30 Joy Price, 84 Jack Hughes, 75 DETAILS, Page A4
Index Local & State . . . . . A1-6 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . A2 Opinion . . . . . . . . . . . . . A7 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . A8-11 Nation . . . . . . . . . . . A12 World . . . . . . . . . . . . A12 Classifieds . . . . . . . . B5-7
Corrections The Mountain Press is committed to accuracy. Please report factual errors by calling 428-0748 Ext. 214.
See audit, Page A3
Greenways workshop set for Tuesday
By DEREK HODGES Staff Writer NATIONAL PARK — Thanks to federal highway and stimulus dollars, riding on some of the most-traveled roads in Great Smoky Mountains National Park will soon be a much smoother proposition. There a number of projects being completed on both sides of the park with money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), including $1.3 million for cemetery and trail work, and a $4 million investment in restroom rehabilitation and improvements. Still, the work that will be appreciated by the most folks will come in the form of new asphalt on a list of streets and parking areas. Work on many of the roads set to be resurfaced has been deferred for a decade or more as money has run scarce, park spokesman Bob Miller says. That’s why officials are so excited to see stimulus money suddenly flowing into the park like a torrent down a Mt. LeConte tributary in a heavy spring rain. “When ARRA came along, we submitted a number of projects that were eligible for See stimulus, Page A3
By ELLEN BROWN Staff Writer Submitted
Workers dig out an area in Great Smoky Mountains National Park that will serve as a much-needed addition to the Sinks parking area on Little River Road.
Planned resurfacing process good for budget, environment By DEREK HODGES Staff Writer NATIONAL PARK — It turns out a few of the roads set to be repaved in the current effort in the Smokies will be green when they’re finished, though the asphalt will still be black. The contractors working on the projects to resurface Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and the Cades Cove Loop Road will be using a relatively rare practice that will enable them to conserve materials and gas, at the same time cutting costs for the work. For those two thoroughfares and couple other areas, like the Cosby Campground parking area, the existing blacktop will be reused in a process called full-depth reclamation (FDR). That’s a fancy name for a process that actually seems fairly elementary, but still isn’t used very often. In a normal repaving project, the surface of the road is scraped, or milled, down to a substrata that can support the new asphalt
without compromising the integrity of the new road. That material that is removed has to be trucked out of the area, creating extra fuel expense. However, in the case of the Smokies roads, the entire road surface will be broken down into pieces about the size of small gravel, National Park Chief of Facilities Alan Sumeriski explains. That material will then be reused to form the bed for the new road surface. “We view it as a sustainable approach to repaving,” Sumeriski says. “You’re not having to truck out all that material, so you’re saving gas and you’re reusing that material.” In addition to being a bit more earthfriendly, the technique offers some other benefits, including some that are specific to the work to be done in the park and one that will show up on the bottom line. “There is some cost savings involved,” Sumeriski says. See resurfacing, Page A3
‘Grin and bear it’ motto during closures By DEREK HODGES Staff Writer GATLINBURG — While there may be some worries running around the local business community about the impact the closure of some of the Smokies’ most popular roads will have, Chamber of Commerce and park officials say the general mood could be described as “grin and bear it for brighter days ahead.” After years of patch-
PIGEON FORGE — City Commission members will consider approving an audit of Pigeon Forge’s books when they meet in a regular session at 5:30 p.m. Monday in City Hall. The group got its first look at the annual report during a work session last week, during which they were told no “major issues” were found in the municipal accounting efforts. Representatives from Pugh & Company, the firm the city has contracted with for several years to handle the work, told officials they were presenting an “unqualified opinion,” which means they found the city to be in good financial health. The findings also indicate there weren’t any
ing over problem spots as they waited for sufficient funding to fix some serious issues, park officials say they are excited to see an influx of federal stimulus money coming into the area to resurface a number of troubled roads. Still, they’re not exactly pleased using the funds will mean putting gates across several of those thoroughfares concurrently this spring. “If we could have started this work during the win-
ter right after we got this money, we would have,” Chief of Facilities Alan Sumeriski says. “It does take some ramp-up time when we’re talking about projects of this magnitude, though. We’re talking about spending tens of millions of dollars here; there’s a lot of design and prep work that has to go into this.” While planning requirements and the need for certain weather conditions nixed the chance of starting
at the end of last year’s tourist season, the government’s demands on how the money is spent also cancelled the idea of delaying the work until the next winter. “We are required to have all our funds obligated by September because the (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) expires Sept. 30,” Sumeriski explains. “We had to commit those funds and let the contracts so that we could See closures, Page A5
The city of Gatlinburg will host its second public workshop to discuss what’s next for the community’s Greenways Trail System master plan at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the City Commission chambers at City Hall. Gatlinburg staff and representatives of Barge, Waggonner, Sumner and Cannon Inc., will conduct the workshop, which will include preliminary cost estimates and phasing recommendations. “Everyone was very supportive and strongly endorsed (the greenways) at the first workshop,” said Marty Nicely, Gatlinburg Parks and Recreation director. Since the first meeting, BWSCI has compiled surveys and comments into a report and has used that information to establish the agenda for the second meeting. Nicely said the routes have been examined more closely, with one route possibly coming out of the plan. “There is one segment, which goes from Roaring Fork to Highway 321 with part of it bordering the National Park, that could come out because of vocation or because it is cost prohibitive.” Along with preliminary cost estimates and phasing recommendations, Tuesday’s meeting is expected to include examples of possible signage and construction details and refinement of trail routes. “This will only get accomplished after the master plan gets on the ground — community support is what will drive it,” Nicely said. n email@example.com
A2 â—† Local
The Mountain Press â—† Sunday, January 24, 2010
community calendar Editorâ€™s Note: The community calendar is printed as space permits. Only noncommercial, public events held in Sevier County will be considered. They are listed by date. To place an item phone 4280748, ext. 214, or e-mail to editor@themountainpress. com. Items may be faxed to 453-4913.
sunday, jan. 24 Walnut Grove Revival
Walnut Grove Church revival 7 p.m. today through Jan. 30. The Rev. Melvin Carr evangelist. 453-4302.
monday, jan. 25 GateKeepers
GateKeepers menâ€™s community Bible study, 6:30 p.m., 2445 Scenic Mt. Drive, Sevierville. (865) 310-7831.
Womenâ€™s Bible Study
Garlands of Grace womenâ€™s Bible study: n 10 a.m. Seymour Heights Christian Church (last door on right), Chapman Highway n 1 p.m., Gatlinburg Inn, Gatlinburg
Seymour Story Time
Preschool story time 11 a.m. Seymour Library, 137 Macon Lane. 573-0728.
Medic blood drive 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Walmart.
AARP Driver Safety
AARP driver safety classes noon to 4 p.m. today and Tuesday, Senior Center, Sevierville. 922-5648.
tuesday, jan. 26
Second workshop to develop Gatlinburgâ€™s Greenways Trail master plan at 5 p.m. in City Hall. 436-4990.
Friends Of Kodak Library membership meeting 6:30 p.m., 319 W. Dumplin Valley Road. Guest speaker, John Waters.
â€œUnderstanding Caregiver Stressâ€? 6:30-8 p.m. Jan. 28, Wellington Place of Sevierville. Includes desserts and beverages. 774-2221 by today.
wednesday, jan. 27 Middle Creek UMC
Worship services at 6:30 p.m. at Middle Creek United Methodist Church, 1828 Middle Creek Road, Pigeon Forge. 216-2066.
Celebrate Recovery meets Wednesday evening at Seymour UMC. Call 5739711 for details.
Sevierville Story Time
Preschool story time 10:30 a.m. at Sevier County Main Library. 4533532.
thursday, jan. 28 Womenâ€™s Bible Study
Garlands of Grace womenâ€™s Bible study: n 9 a.m. UMC Pigeon Forge n 2 p.m. Blue Mountain Mist B&B, Pullen Road, Sevierville n 6:30 p.m. Sevierville UMC, Conference Room, Sevierville
Smoky Mountain Area
TOPS weight loss chapter meets at 6 p.m., Parkway Church of God in Sevierville. 755-9517 or 429-3150.
Midway Family, Community and Education meets 1 p.m. at Mountain National Bank, Kodak.
friday, jan. 29 Kidâ€™s Night Out
Kidâ€™s Night Out 6-10 p.m., Pigeon Forge Community Center. $10 for center members, $15 others. 429-7373.
New Center Baptist
New Center Baptist Church and Christian Academy meet and greet, meal and auction begin at 5:30 p.m. 7740210.
Walnut Grove Revival Walnut Grove Church revival 7 p.m. through Jan. 30. The Rev. Melvin Carr evangelist. 4534302.
Kodak Story Time
Preschool story time 11 a.m., Kodak Library. 9330078.
saturday, jan. 30 Womenâ€™s Care Center Womenâ€™s Care Center offering volunteer training for pregnancy and parenting consultant volunteers, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the center, 304 Eastgate Road, Sevierville. 428-4673.
Hot Meals for Hungry Hearts served from 5:30 to 6:30 p,m. Tuesdays at Second Baptist Church, Pigeon Street just off Chapman Highway.
Monday - Thursday 3KATE s PM PM BOOK YOUR NEXT PARTY NOW! 0RIVATE 0ARTY 2OOMS !VAILABLE #HURCH 9OUTH 'ROUPS On Snow Days - Special Day Session. /PENS AT PM
GateKeepers menâ€™s Bible study, 6:30 p.m. 1328 Old Newport Highway, Sevierville. 908-0591.
Rescue Ministries provides hot meals 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Sevierville.
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Fort Sanders Sevier Medical Center welcomes J. Michael Rothwell, MD
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