A small run through of 2013 business in the Lakeway Area

Posted on Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 5:08 pm


During its November meeting, The Lakeway Information Technology Alliance presented Mo Melton, student at Walters State Community College, with the 2013 LITA Information Technology Scholarship, sponsored by Morristown Utility Systems. From left, Robb Neill, LITA vice president; Melton; Rusty Easter, LITA president; and Ernie Coldwell, MUS FiberNet project engineer.

The year 2013 was certainly a busy one among Morristown professionals and volunteers. Previously unpublished photos taken by Tribune staff provide a glimpse into the lives of those who supported the workforce, educational and housing sectors, along with the needy — thereby contributing to the growth of Hamblen County as a whole.

College Square Mall in Morristown will close early on New Year’s Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 31. While the mall will open that day at its usual 10 a.m., it will close at 6 p.m. to allow mall employees to help usher in 2014. On Wednesday Jan. 1, 2014, New Year’s Day, mall hours will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The mall will resume its regular operating hours of 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Jan. 2, 2014. In a press release, mall management thanked its shoppers for their patronage throughout the year.

“And we extend best wishes to everyone for a safe, prosperous and happy 2014,” said College Square General Manager Michael Kaufman. Visit CollegeSquareMall.com for details of department stores, restaurants and theatre holiday hours.

Tennessee is one of three states receiving a million dollar grant to increase on-time college completion rates. The Tennessee Board of Regents announced Monday that the three-year grant will come in cash and technical assistance from the Lumina Foundation for Education and in partnership with Complete College America. Education officials say the grant supports the state’s higher education reform efforts that help students finish a degree in two years from a community college and in four years from a university. The grant will help the state’s community colleges and the Regents’ six universities create so-called “Guided Pathways to Success” programs.

The programs are clearly sequenced degree plans that help students understand the best and shortest paths to get them to graduation. To date, the Tennessee Valley Authority has spent more than $1 billion on the clean-up and recovery of the wet ash and sludge spill into the Emory and Clinch rivers in Roane County from its Kingston power plant. The cost is estimated to reach $1.2 billion when the project is complete in 2014, according to published reports.

Within a few years of the spill, almost all residents near the ash spill sold their property to TVA. During the last five years, 180 properties covering around 960 acres was purchased by TVA.

There are currently 63 lawsuits from 880 plaintiffs pending in federal court that claim property damage, according to Duncan Mansfield with TVA media relations. None of the cases have been tried and U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan has ordered pre-trial mediation.

Tennessee’s unemployment rate for November was 8.1 percent, four-tenths of one percentage point lower than the previous month. Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips said the October to November rate change is the largest monthly decline since April 2010. The national unemployment rate for November was 7 percent. State figures show that nonfarm employment increased by 9,400 jobs from October to November.

CGI Federal, the company responsible for building the beleagured web site for the Affordable Care Act, won the job because of what federal officials deemed a “technically superior” proposal, according to government documents and people familiar with the decision, The Washington Post said.

Not considered in the 2011 selection process was the history of numerous executives at CGI Federal, who had come from another company that had mishandled at least 20 other government information technology projects more than a decade ago. Federal officials were not required to examine the long-term track record, which included a highly publicized failure to automate retirement benefits for millions of federal workers.

 Westinghouse recently announced progress on its contributions to nuclear power plants under construction in Sanmen and Haiyang, China.

The successful lift and set of the shield building conical roofs for Units 1 of the Sanmen and Haiyang sites were completed on Nov. 23 and Dec. 15 by the Joint Project Management Organization that was formed by a group of experts from Westinghouse, CB&I, an energy infrastructure-focused company, and China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation.

The total lift with rigging of each roof was more than 800 tons (the weight of the conical roof and other steel structural modules was about 780 tons), and took less than two hours at each site.

Westinghouse and CB&I signed landmark contracts with China customers in 2007 to provide four AP1000 pressurized water reactors in China: two in Sanmen in Zhejiang province, and another pair in Haiyang in Shandong province.

 According to published reports, Apple has reached a deal to bring the iPhone to China Mobile, the world’s largest phone carrier. The iPhone 5S and 5C will go on sale in Apple stores and China Mobile stores beginning Friday, Jan. 17. Analysts speculate that Apple could sell another 10 million to 40 million more phones if it reached a deal with China Mobile.

- From Staff Reports

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