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Local News for November 15th, 2021

Here is your Cleveland, Tenn. | Bradley County, Tenn. news on mymix1041.com, sponsored by Toyota of Cleveland:

From the Tennesseean…

Candidates for local school boards in Tennessee can now run in partisan races thanks to legislation signed into law by Gov Bill Lee Friday. 

Lawmakers passed the bill during a late-October special legislative session largely focused on rolling back COVID-19 restrictions and the authority of local government entities across the state.

The GOP-backed effort also follows a national push by Republicans to bring partisan politics to local school boards.

Backers of the bill hope it will increase transparency and accountability for school board members. But the move also drew concerns from current school board members, Democrats and even some Republicans themselves.

Lawmakers originally sought to require school board elections be conducted on a partisan basis but with several Republican lawmakers speaking out against it, the bill was amended to take a softer position making partisan elections optional instead. 

The bill passed the House in a 52-39 vote and the Senate approved the measure 20-10, just over the 17 needed to pass in the upper chamber.

From the Chattanooga Times Free Press…

Drivers headed east on U.S. Highway 64 to see the last of fall’s colorful leaves this weekend in the southern Appalachians will pass by the state’s new $12.6 million signature “gateway” bridge project as they cross over the internationally-known Ocoee River.

The bridge is on schedule to be opened to traffic in spring 2022.

Other ongoing work consists of moving sewer and water utilities from the old bridge to the new span and installation of steel girders, according to project updates. Daily lane closures are possible for the work during the week between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., but none are planned over the weekend.

The project will replace the existing 546-foot long, six-span concrete T-beam bridge that has two 12-foot wide lanes, one in each direction, and one-foot-wide shoulders, according to TDOT. The old bridge was built in 1937 and is showing structural deterioration.

From the Cleveland Daily Banner…

Allen Mincey reports: The tradition continues as  Southern Heritage Bank for the 22nd year  staged its “Cleveland Helping Cleveland” holiday food drive, and has apparently raised a new record in food collection.

Begun in 1999, as Southern Heritage Bank first went into operation, the food drive has helped provide to food banks in the local area, first starting with the United Way of Bradley County (now, the Ocoee Region) supply its food bank, and now, helping The Caring Place stock its shelves for the holidays and beyond.

SHB Regional President Lee Stewart said the turnout on Friday, the final day of the drive when many drop off their donations at the bank’s Keith Street location, was phenomenal.

Thirteen schools participated in the food drive, with many of them shattering the amount of food collected in previous years. Several of the schools brought food not in one vehicle, but in several, due to the amount of food collected.

Mix 104-1, who has been part of the program from the beginning, was also present with LIVE coverage.

In news today…

​​Cleveland State Community College is inviting the public to the grand opening of The George R. Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The event will be held on the college’s campus on Wednesday, November 17 at 2 PM.

The Center was created to establish encouragement and support entrepreneurial learning among students, alumni, faculty, and throughout the region. The Center will assist existing as well as potential business owners that are interested in building or growing their own enterprises. The intent is to connect future and current entrepreneurs with the resources needed to create, launch, and grow business.

The George R. Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will combine the resources of regional businesses, Chambers of Commerce, Small Business Development Center, Cleveland Bradley Business Incubator, Cleveland State Community College and other private and public organizations to provide innovative and ongoing training. This will be accomplished through education, competitions, and relationships within the community.

The Center will support and promote the Entrepreneurship concentration through the Business AAS degree program as well as provide continuing education training opportunities for practitioners in the field. In addition to providing education, training and resources, The George R. Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will host “Pitch Competitions” allowing students the opportunity to win in-kind services to help them start their businesses.

Scholarships exclusively for qualifying students enrolled in the Entrepreneurship program will be available each year.