YEAR IN REVIEW: Top Breaking News of 2019

Ocha owner Vichit “Vic” Keeradarome (left) is retiring and will pass the torch to his nephew, Dan Herren (right). Tonight will be Vic's last night serving customers at his college side restaurant. (Photo: UCBJ/Michelle Price)

By Michelle Price
UCBJ Managing Editor

COOKEVILLE – Throughout 2019, the UCBJ was able to consistently bring readers breaking news and exclusive news stories first.  

From business longevity and success to new innovative industrial robotics, an industry in turmoil and the reopening of a popular restaurant, 2019 was a year chock full of business-related news across the Upper Cumberland. 

1. Ocha owner passes torch to nephew

The owner of Ocha, Vichit “Vic” Keeradarome, is so beloved after serving customers from the same location for 34 years, that this breaking news story was seen and shared more than any other in 2019.

2. CRH to open Gainesboro Clinic

Plans for Cumberland River Hospital (CRH) to open a clinic in Gainesboro giving two hour results for blood work and x-rays are in the works. Delays in receiving CRH’s provider number has delayed this plan at this time.

3. Motlow opens world class robotics center in McMinnville

News that Motlow had partnered with the world’s three largest makers of industrial robots to develop an industrial robotics training center made industry happy across the U.C.

4. Celina bans tiny houses

The city of Celina drew the attention of the entire region when they voted to ban “tiny houses” under 960 square feet from being built in the corporate limits of Celina. 

5. Bull & Thistle reopening

Bull & Thistle co-owner Diana Mandli gave an exclusive to the UCBJ talking about the restaurant reopening and changes that were planned. 

6. Williams Wholesale celebrated 80 years

Williams Wholesale owner Roy Williams sat down with the UCBJ to talk about the company’s history and keys to its success.

7. Fitzgerald’s woes continue

Fitzgerald representatives shared the impact that EPA’s tightening limitations on glider kits has had on Fitzgerald Glider Kits, based in Byrdstown. Between the EPA regulations and a federal excise tax that was suddenly imposed on the rebuilder, the company has had to close multiple facilities and lay off the majority of its workforce. 

8. The first ever “Team Cookeville” competed in the World Food Championships

For the first time, a team of six local chefs traveled to the World Food Championships and competed as “Team Cookeville” against 1,500 of the best chefs in the nation.

9. Portobello: the untold story of teamwork and perseverance

The UCBJ took readers on a behind the scenes look into the teamwork involved in landing a major industry and the patience it requires to succeed.

10.  Flexial aims for the stars 

Check out the scoop on this local company that has integral parts on the international space station and is working on the project to get NASA back to the moon.

We look forward to providing even more useful and interesting content in 2020! Have something you’d like us to cover? Let us know by sending an email here or tweet our team at @ucbizjournal.

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Michelle Price is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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