The local American Red Cross chapter recently announced its annual Holiday Mail for Heroes Campaign will go directly to veterans, active duty servicemen and women and the families of those serving in Southeast Tennessee. Executive Director for Southeast Tennessee Julia Wright recently kicked off the initiative at the Whirlpool Cleveland Customer eXperience Center on 20th Street. She said the holiday letters have been sent out to deployed soldiers in previous years. This is the first year the local Red Cross chapter will collect and distribute the cards. “It gives our community an opportunity to say thank you to people who have served our country,” Wright said. “It also gives us an opportunity to help youth understand and have that lesson of giving to others and being appreciative to people you may have never met who are doing things for you.” According to a recent ARC press release, the cards may be homemade or purchased. The cards should not contain money, photos, personal information or glitter. All cards must be returned to the local ARC chapter by Dec. 1. Churches, neighborhood associations, schools, civic clubs, businesses and organizations are encouraged to join in on the holiday initiative. “We value our veterans here and we want the community to know we support hiring veterans,” she said. “We feel very strongly about taking care of them. That is one thing we all want to do for our community.”  This is not the first year the Whirlpool Customer eXperience Center has showed their support for America’s heroes. Croy said the center collected 2,000 cards last year. The goal is to reach a record-smashing 5,000 letters.

In partnership with the leaders of a dozen law enforcement, medical and emergency service organizations, the Bradley County Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday participated in the “graded” phase of a nuclear preparedness exercise.As part of an ongoing series of emergency exercises required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the detailed drill saw department leaders from across Hamilton and Bradley counties make real-time decisions based on events surrounding a “hostile action-based” scenario.The scenario is one practiced every eight years, in which armed assailants hypothetically gain access to the Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant. Tennessee Emergency Management Agency personnel will then pass along “injects,” or a twist in the scenario. Leaders must then employ knowledge of their respective county’s plan and resources in order to effectively handle the changing situation.According to Gerald McLemore, a FEMA Region 4 evaluator, Bradley County did well in managing the injects.

OOLTEWAH, TN (WRCB) – Emergency crews battled a house fire Friday morning in Ooltewah.
Dispatch says they got the call around 12:50 Friday morning of a house fully engulfed in the 8400 block of Providence Road. Multiple crews responded to the scene to battle the blaze and were there for several hours fighting the flames. Dispatch tells us they don’t believe any people were inside, but there was a dog in the home. It’s not clear the animal’s fate.

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