This past weekend saw Johnson City host the Little Chicago Downtown Music and Arts Festival for the third year, and to everyone’s dismay, inclement weather and flooding played a major part in the festivities.
Once a common occurrence, flooding in downtown has largely been alleviated since the city completed its $30 million investment in flood mitigation measures and built Founders and King Commons parks.
Nonetheless, downtown Johnson City was built on a floodplain next to King and Brush creeks, and when it rains hard during a short period of time, those creeks flood. Floods carry debris. And debris clogs storm drains and drainage pipes designed to keep the flooding at bay. Monday, Johnson City Public Works crews spent the day clearing those drains and checking the underground system.
Moving forward, the city will be looking to improve the slope on King Street to ensure water flows into the basin area easier, adding additional inlet capacity and diverting more water into the catch basin beside our building here at the Johnson City Press. Those improvements are estimated at roughly $20,000, and will hopefully keep rainwater from impacting businesses along Market Street.
If you need to report a clogged drain system or flooding issue, call 423-975-2700. You can also can send photos to the city’s Public Works Department to help city officials model the rainfall and determine how the stormwater system performed.
On March 16, 2017, Cindy Scalf’s life changed forever. Her 37-year-old daughter Shirra Branum lost her life that day when her vehicle was hit head-on by another driver who is now the subject of a national manhunt.
Police say Alan Jacob Mogollon-Anaya was the man driving the vehicle that hit Branum’s, killing her and injuring her son. Mo gollon, who was legally intoxicated at the time, survived the crash, as did three children he had in his truck. He spent a few days in the hospital, and then disappeared. He was subsequently charged with vehicular homicide, as well as other charges.
Despite police involvement throughout the region and beyond, he has remained on the run, and Scalf is afraid that her daughter’s death will be forgotten in time. So she’s doing something about it.
A $10,000 reward offered for the arrest and conviction of Mogollon has resulted in no leads, so Scalf is raising money to place billboards here and in Louisiana, where Mogollon has known relatives, in an attempt to entice someone to come forward.
She has organized a “Justice For Shirra” car wash Saturday at Olde Towne Ace Hardware in Jonesborough from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., in order to secure billboard advertisements with information about the case. If you would like more information, you can find it in Becky Campbell’s article on our website.
Congratulations are in order for the teachers, students, and administrators in Johnson City and Greeneville, it seems.
On Thursday, it was announced that Greene County, Greeneville, and Johnson City Schools were three of 11 school districts that reached Level 5 — the highest level of growth in literacy, numeracy, science, and social studies - in the 2018 TNReady education scoring results.
Greeneville City Schools also ranked in the top five districts for growth and achievement in history, while Johnson City Schools ranked in the top five for growth in high school math.
According to the state report, TNReady scores show 40 percent of Tennessee's schools saw improvement across the majority of their grades and subjects in 2018. Of those nearly 700 schools, 210 saw improvement across all grades and subjects.
About 60 percent — 88 districts — met or exceeded student expectations.
Speaking of school, it’s back in session for the fall, and we all know that fall means high school football. The first full slate of games kicks of this week, and the highlight for many in our region is the annual matchup between the Elizabethton Cyclones and John City Hilltoppers.
The Hilltoppers won 50-25 last year and have ripped off eight straight in the series, and with their size and athleticism, Elizabethton is going to have to get off to a quick start if they want to stay in the game. Over the last three years, Elizabethton has struggled to get out of the starting blocks against the Hilltoppers.
Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Citizens Bank Stadium in Elizabethton.