The Washington County Board of Education has finally made a decision regarding the new K-8 facility it so desperately needs, agreeing to pass “Scheme 6” at this week’s Board meeting by a 5-4 margin.
“Scheme 6” is within the school’s budget and consists of renovating the current Jonesborough Middle School building while adding about 64,000 square feet. The school would house about 1,000 students, and would also leave the current Jonesborough Elementary building standing.
David Hammond’s vote was the deciding factor, tipping the scales in favor of “Scheme 6.”
He said Wednesday that his decision changed from last month after he consulted the community about their wishes in addition to speaking with the architects about issues with plumbing, cafeteria space, and a playground.
He admitted that “Scheme 6” isn’t ideal for him, and said his vote didn’t change without a lot of thought.
Expanding Medicaid in Tennessee dominated the conversation at last night’s National Association of Social Workers’ candidate forum, and the four state House candidates in attendance were clearly divided on the topic.
Republican incumbents Matthew Hill, 7th House District, and Micah Van Huss, 6th House District, expressed fiscal concerns about Medicaid expansion, concentrating on how the program would be paid for.
But their respective opponents Democrat Nathan Farnor, 7th House District, and Independent Murphey Johnson, 6th House District, both said they would advocate for expansion, regardless of cost.
Dr. Marty Olsen, the Democratic nominee for Tennessee’s 1st Congressional District, also participated in the forum and discussed various ways he would tackle the opioid epidemic. His opponent, incumbent U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, did not attend.
For the full rundown of the evening’s opinions, visit our website and read Zach Vance’s in-depth article.
Nine candidates have applied to fill the remaining two-year term of former Johnson City Commissioner Ralph Van Brocklin, who died unexpectedly last month.
Monday was the deadline for candidates to submit letters of interest, with commissioners planning to hold interviews with a select number of applicants on Oct. 15. The appointment is expected to be made at the Oct. 18 City Commission meeting.
To learn the names of the nine applicants, and a little about their backgrounds, please visit our website.
A small section of ceiling inside the historic Johnson City Community Theatre on Maple St. collapsed Monday, but the show must go on.
Johnson City Community Theatre Vice President Emily Barnes said people were inside the building when the section collapsed, but no one was injured. Three contractors looked at the damage Tuesday night, and all determined the ceiling could be mended before the first showing of “The Rocky Horror Show” on Oct. 18.
Since the building is well over 50 years old, there was already a plan to launch a capital fundraising campaign next year to start renovations. The campaign may kick off a little sooner than expected.
The Johnson City Community Theatre was recently recognized by the state of Tennessee for being the oldest theater group in the state, first formed in 1885.
Make plans to see the show when it opens - it should be an immense amount of fun.
What else is fun in our region? The Unicoi County Apple Festival in Erwin, and the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, both going on right now. If you get a chance, you’ll definitely want to make it out to either or both - there should be plenty of fun to go around!