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East Tennesseans honor veterans leading up to Veterans Day

East Tennesseans honor veterans leading up to Veterans Day

Although Veterans Day is on Sunday, on Thursday in Oak Ridge the Department of Energy paid tribute to our nation's veterans.

"All those veterans who was a part of this great institution and the freedom that we share, I salute them," said Freddie Owens.

Vietnam War veteran Freddie Owens served as Thursday's featured speaker. He has received nearly a dozen military decorations.

Gatlinburg kicks off Winter Magic festival with chili cookoff

Gatlinburg kicks off Winter Magic festival with chili cookoff

Millions of LED lights filled the Parkway in Gatlinburg as people kicked off a winter tradition. Wednesday marked the 22nd annual Gatlinburg Winter Magic kickoff and chili cookoff.

Restaurants, public service agencies, and retailers were among the dozens of participants in this year's cookoff.

A $10 wristband was required to taste the chili, but a portion of that money will go to Pi Beta Phi Elementary School.

Thousands of people braved the cold and filled the streets of Downtown Gatlinburg.

'Smoky Mountain Winterfest Celebration' kicks off Monday

'Smoky Mountain Winterfest Celebration' kicks off Monday

Sevier County kicks off its 24th annual "Smoky Mountain Winterfest Celebration" on Monday night.

This is a multi-month festival stretching from Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville.

People gathered at the Sevierville Municipal Complex for fun games, music and magic. Families also enjoyed live entertainment, fireworks and kids' games during the day in honor of Winterfest.

Officials will flip the switch on thousands of holiday lights stretching along those areas at 8:00 Monday night.

American Red Cross hosts fundraiser in Knoxville Monday

American Red Cross hosts fundraiser in Knoxville Monday

The American Red Cross is hosting a Hurricane Sandy recovery effort fundraiser at its West Knoxville location on Monday.

The fundraiser drive-thru will be open from 7:00 am until 6:00 pm at its location on 6921 Middlebrook Pike.

The organization is asking for people to drop off monetary donations only.

Some local celebrities will make stops at the drive-thru. The Knoxville Ice Bears' hockey players are scheduled to drop by around 2:00 pm. Pro Bass Master Ott DeFoe will visit with people from 11:30 am until 1:30 pm.

Motorcyclists give 'Marines Toys for Tots' an early start

Motorcyclists give 'Marines Toys for Tots' an early start

Halloween just ended, but people are already spreading holiday cheer.

Nearly a thousand people drove their motorcycles to the Sevier County fairgrounds on Sunday morning to help families in need.

Each person brought a new, unwrapped toy or donation to contribute to the 21st annual "Marines Toys for Tots Toy Run." This event helps thousands of children and their families across East Tennessee.

Organizers said they helped 65,000 kids last year by providing more than 100,000 toys and raising $37,000.

Seymour Middle wins grand prize of $150K in U.S. Cellular campaign

Seymour Middle wins grand prize of $150K in U.S. Cellular campaign

An East Tennessee middle school is celebrating a big gift, thanks to community support.

Seymour Middle School won $150,000 as the grand prize in U.S. Cellular's Calling All Communities campaign.

It's the third straight year that a Seymour school has taken home the top prize in the online voting contest. Seymour Primary won $150,000 last year, and Seymour High brought home $100,000 in 2010.

School leaders say the community comes together to make it happen.