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Local News for Thursday, April 21st

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

Topping our news today…

On Wednesday around 11:30AM,  Lake Forest Officials received an unfounded call from Washington County Minnesota regarding a suspicious backpack located in a classroom. Students were evacuated immediately while the Bradley County Sheriff’s office investigated the situation. 

After a thorough investigation, it was determined that Washington County Minnesota’s Dispatch Center received a bomb threat to their school called Forest Lake Area School. Because the unknown caller had a 423 area code, it caused alarm and they contacted the Bradley County Dispatch Center because of the similarity in school names. Bradley County Schools proceeded to work with the Sheriff’s Department and out of an abundance of caution, followed the guidance of law enforcement. The threat at both locations was unsubstantiated.

Bradley County Schools appreciates the work of both dispatch centers in their efforts to keep all students and staff safe. Lake Forest Middle School resumed normal operations later Wednesday.

From WRCB Channel 3, an update on a story from Wednesday…

A large employer in Etowah announced they will be laying off hundreds of employees. Waupaca Foundry will still be up and running, but cutting down on their operations.

A spokesperson for the company says the permanent layoffs will be effective on June 17. They are stopping melting, molding, and core room production operations, and continuing processing operations with a much smaller staff.

Waupaca Foundry is the leading supplier of cast and machine iron components for automotive, off-highway, commercial vehicle, and other industrial markets. They have a handful of other locations in the United States, headquartered in Wisconsin.

The company sent out a letter letting 540 employees at the Etowah location know they will be without a job in mid-June.

The company has about 650 employees. They will continue certain operations with the staff that survived the layoffs.

In the meantime, the county is working with those impacted to find employment. At some point, they plan to hold a job fair for them.

The company is offering those who are being let go employment at other Waupaca facilities in the country. A spokesperson told us employees wishing to stay with Waupaca will be offered up to a $15,000 relocation bonus. Those wishing to stay at the plant can apply for the remaining jobs in Etowah.

From the Chattanooga Times Free Press…

Festivals saluting cornbread in Marion County, ramps in Polk County and sweet tea in Bradley County help whet the appetite for spring this weekend. 

The Polk County Ramp Tramp Festival is this weekend at Camp McCroy, 1058 Highway 30 in Reliance. This celebration of wild onions opens with Bluegrass & Beans at 7 p.m. Friday. The main event, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, features live music, crafts and the traditional meal of ramps in eggs, white beans, cornbread, fried potatoes and streaked meat bacon. Proceeds benefit Polk County 4-H Clubs and Camp McCroy. 423-338-4503

Sweet Tea & Sunshine Family Festival, which has more than 150 arts, crafts and food vendors registered, is 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at Greenway Park and Pavilion, 755 Raider Drive in Cleveland, Tenn. Other events include live music, a petting zoo, pony rides and a children’s beauty pageant. Admission is free. Visit touchtheskyevents.com

National Cornbread Festival, which temporarily boosts the population of downtown South Pittsburg, Tenn., by several thousand residents, is this weekend. The signature event is Saturday’s cornbread cook-off in which 10 finalists will prepare their submitted recipes for final judging on site. Samples of other cornbread specialities will be available from community organizations in Cornbread Alley. Music is scheduled morning to night on multiple stages, headlined Saturday by country artist Ben Haggard (son of Merle) and Sunday by bluegrass star Rhonda Vincent. The weekend also includes arts and crafts vendors, a 5K race, tours of Lodge Foundry and the historic downtown, a classic car cruise-in and carnival. Eating contests will reward the consumption of cornbread, ice cream and buttermilk. Hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday (Central). Admission is $10 for one day, $15 for both, free for children preschool age and younger. Some activities cost extra. Visit nationalcornbread.com