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Marion County Chamber of Commerce will host it annual business grant presentation during a lunchtime meeting on Thursday in Jasper, Tenn.

Chamber official Vicki Messer said grants this year will go to two local businesses, Southern Rehab and Aquatics and WEPG Radio.

According to chamber officials, Dr. Trace Kennemore started Southern Rehab and Aquatics in 2005 with four employees and a 2,500-square-foot facility that provided outpatient orthopedic care.

The business now has 14 employees, has expanded to 3,750 square feet, and provides physical therapy and occupational therapy services for the exceptional education students in the Marion County school system.

Kennemore was born in Marion County, graduating from South Pittsburg High School in 1987. He was a Navy Corpsman with the U.S. Naval Reserve for 6 years and attended UTC receiving a Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education and a second bachelor's degree in Physical Therapy.

Kennemore has indicated the grant monies will be used for beautification and street front appeal replacing the much needed updated signage viewed daily by local people and tourists alike.

WEPG 910 AM "The River" in South Pittsburg, Tenn., is a radio station broadcasting a pure country format with bluegrass and gospel along with programming from FOX News and a staunch supporter of "The Mother Church of Country Music" the world famous Grand Ole Opry, officials said.

The station still uses the original broadcast tower erected around 1954 at studios bordering the Tennessee River. Owner/program director Travis Hickman has been with WEPG since 1982 and is the longest tenured personality with the station.

WEPG will use grant funds to help the station finalize new FM radio broadcasting capabilities in addition to continuing the AM station that has been in the county since 1954, officials said.

On a WEPG history sidenote, WRCB Channel 3 anchor David Carroll, the presenter for Thursday's event in Jasper, played the Top 40 at WEPG, starting out when Carroll was in high school in Bryant, Ala.

The chamber luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. CDT at the Western Sizzlin' Steak & More at 1130 Tennessee Highway 28 in Jasper, Tenn. Presentation activities will begin at noon. Attendees are responsible for the cost of their meals and will have a choice of buffet or menu. Honorees' meal expenses are covered.

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