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UPDATED August 22,  2014

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November municipal ballots set in AC

 

Thursday at noon was the deadline to qualify to run in the November 4th municipal elections in Anderson County and here is a look at who qualified to seek office in the year’s third and final election.  Voters in Norris, Clinton and Oak Ridge will decide if they want to allow wine to be sold in grocery stores.   Norris will also vote on whether to allow on-site alcohol consumption.  Incumbent Clinton Mayor Scott Burton is unopposed as he seeks re-election to another four year term.  There will be changes on the City Council as longtime incumbents Charlie Lyons and Jerry Shattuck are not seeking re-election.  Ward 1 incumbent ET Stamey will face challenges from Ted Phillips and Ronald Young in November.  Brian Hatamker in Ward 2 and Zach Farrar in Ward 3 are running unopposed.  Three people are running for Clinton City School Board:  incumbents Timothy Bible and Curtis Isabell in Ward 2 and unopposed newcomer Kimberly “K.K.” Webster in Ward 3.  Incumbent Jim Webster is not seeking re-election.  Donald Douglas has qualified to run for Mayor of Rocky Top, as has Vice Mayor Michael Lovely.  Six people have qualified to run for seats on the Rocky Top City Council:  Brian Brown, Gary Mullins, Pamela Brown, Denise Casteel, Beck Lindsay and current Mayor Timothy Sharp.  The Norris City Council race includes only incumbent Council members Jack Black, Bill Grieve, York Haverkamp, Chris Mitchell and Loretta Painter.  In Oak Ridge, incumbent Council members Anne Garcia Garland, Ellen Smith and David Mosby are seeking re-election while Mayor Tom Beehan and Vice Mayor Jane Miller announced this week they will not be seeking re-election.  Aditya “Doc” Savara, Pedro Otaduy, Eric Tobler, Kelly Callison, Rick Chinn, Gary Love and Warren Gooch have all qualified to seek office as well.  Incumbent Vice Chair Bob Eby, Andrew Howe, Jean Hiser, Mike Mahathy, Andy Marathe, A. Paige Marshall, Laura McLean, Laurie Paine and Aaron Wells have qualified to run for Oak Ridge School Board seats.  Jenny Richter and Dan DiGregorio are not running in November.  Oliver Springs Mayor Chris Hepler is facing a challenge from Gerald Vann while incumbent Ward 1 Alderman candidate Robert Miller Sr.is unopposed.  Incumbent Maurice Walker and Jeffery Bass will face off in Ward 2 and incumbent Martin “Terry” Craze and Nathan Benson will vie to represent Ward 4. 

 

Update:  Suspect in Corwin death waives extradition

 

The man arrested for killing a woman originally from Oak Ridge and dumping her body in a southern California mine shaft has waived extradition and will soon be returned to California from Alaska to face murder charges in the death of 19-year-old Erin Corwin.  24-year-old Christopher Brandon Lee, 24, was arrested Sunday night in Alaska in Corwin’s death. The charges were announced Tuesday by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office in California, which also filed what is called a special circumstance allegation of “lying in wait,” increasing the potential penalty to life without parole or death.  The decision on which penalty to seek will be made after prosecutors review all the evidence in the case.  Corwin’s body was recovered Saturday and identified on Sunday. She had been missing since June 28.  Court papers say Lee and Corwin were lovers, and she had planned to meet Lee for a hunting trip. She and her husband, Marine Corporal Jonathan Corwin, are from Oak Ridge and lived at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms in southern California, east of Los Angeles.  Corwin was reported to be three months pregnant when she vanished in late June. Her friend told investigators that Corwin and Lee were having an affair and that the unborn child might be Lee’s, the Associated Press reported.

 

Yager to host grants conference

 

(Submitted) State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) will host a free Grant Conference to improve the opportunities for citizens, organizations and local governments to find and tap into a wide variety of grant funds available to them. The conference will be held on Thursday, September 4th at Roane State Community College, at 276 Patton Lane in Harriman in the O'Brien Theatre from 9:00-1:00 PM.  "The conference will include many state and federal agencies that have grant opportunities available to teach attendees the tools necessary to maximize chances for obtaining funds," said Yager. This year we have included nonprofit foundations for local non profits looking for grant sources.”  The conference includes speakers from the East Tennessee Foundation, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Roane County Government Accounting Department, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foundation Library, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Department of Tourism, and the Department of Transportation and Roane State Community College.  The conference is free of charge but all attendees must register by calling Chris Higgins at (615) 741-1449 or Joyce Nall at (865) 717-4103 or email sen.ken.yager@capitol.tn.gov

 

ORT:  Snappy Tomato in OR closing

 

According to Oak Ridge Today, after almost four years in Oak Ridge, Snappy Tomato Pizza will close Friday, the owners said Thursday.  Franchise owners Frances Gross and her daughters Misty Gross Robbins and Cindi Robbins said in a message to supporters and the Oak Ridge community. “Unfortunately, the sales have not been what we need to keep the business going while the new and upcoming retail centers continue to draw business toward the other end of town.”  The family said they have struggled during the past two years grieving the loss of their son and brother Robert Gross Jr., who was also a co-owner but died in August 2012, and battling cancer with surgery and extensive radiation treatments for husband and father Robert Gross Sr.  Now, they’re facing cancer again, only with a more radical surgery, the family said.  Anyone interested in the restaurant, which is in the Jackson Square area on Oak Ridge Turnpike, can contact Frances Gross at (865) 705-9923 or Misty Gross Robbins at (865) 640-3404. 

 

Man arrested after incident at ORHS

 

A 25-year-old Sunbright man who was intoxicated tried to “pass himself off” as an Oak Ridge High School student in at least two classrooms last week before being stopped in a second floor hallway during a class change, according to Oak Ridge Police.  William Edward Lay had somehow obtained a student’s classroom schedule, but he had no identification and continuously gave School Resource Officer Sherrill Selby the wrong birth date, Social Security number, and other identifying information.  Selby reported that Lay was unsteady on his feet and fell into the wall several times while they were talking. She had been called to investigate a report of a suspicious male walking around and into classrooms at ORHS.  Selby’s report indicated that “[Lay’s] eyes were red and glassy looking.”  Lay was given a standardized field sobriety test but was unsteady on his feet and unable to properly complete the tests, according to the warrants. Lay said he was under the influence of Adderall, Selby said.  Lay was charged with criminal impersonation and public intoxication. He was jailed August 12—the day of the incident—, but posted a $600 bond and was released the next day. He has a court hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. August 25.

 

TBI:  Roane officers justified in using deadly force

 

A TBI investigation has concluded that the shooting of an armed burglary suspect in Harriman Tuesday was justified.  Officers shot and killed 28-year-old Miranda Michelle Guy inside her home on Fairchild Street Tuesday afternoon.  According to a joint press release from District Attorney General Russell Johnson, the Roane County Sheriff's Office, and the Harriman Police Department, Guy pointed a handgun at the officers and was advancing on one of them when they opened fire.  The preliminary autopsy showed that Guy was hit multiple times in her right arm, which was holding the gun, and her front torso.  Officials say that while a Harriman Police officer was speaking to witnesses of a burglary at a storage building in South Harriman, a white pickup truck drove by that the witnesses identified as the vehicle the suspect in t5he break-in had been driving. The release said the officer could see items in the bed of the truck that matched the description of some of the stolen items.  The officer ordered the truck to stop, but the driver, who was identified as Guy, sped up and drove away. The officer started a pursuit, which was joined by a HPD investigator and two Roane County Sheriff's Department deputies.  The four officers followed Guy to her house, where they saw her run inside. The officers split up, with two going to the back of the house while the other two followed Guy inside through the front door.  The release indicates that Harriman investigator Lt. Dan Schneider entered the house first and confronted Guy in the kitchen and her roommate, Melissa Grove, in the family room. Grove got down on the floor, and both the officer and Grove said that Guy pointed the gun at her own head and pulled the trigger.  It clicked but didn't go off, and Lt. Schneider ordered her to drop the gun.  At that point, the release said that Roane County deputy Chris White came in the front door, and Guy pointed the gun in his direction.  Both officers said they ordered Guy to drop the gun several times, but she instead began to walk towards Deputy White with the gun raised. That's when both officers fired their guns at Guy until she dropped to the floor and released the gun.  Crews took Guy to Roane County Medical Center in Harriman where she was pronounced dead.  The release said that Guy's roommate confirmed what both officers involved in the shooting said happened in the house.  Lt. Schneider, 57, has been in law enforcement for 28 years. Deputy White, 43, has been working in law enforcement for 15 years.  After reviewing all of the evidence, including that gathered by the TBI, which assisted in the investigation, DAG Johnson cleared the two officers of any wrong-doing. In the release, he said, "The two officers were confronted with deadly force (a fleeing felony suspect with a criminal history pointing a loaded gun who at the time was being pursued from an active crime scene), so they responded accordingly."  He has cleared both officers to return to duty after they meet the protocols required by their department. Sheriff Jack Stockton and Chief Randy Heidle said the officers involved would remain on paid leave for a few more days.  Officials said Guy had a criminal history, which included assault, vandalism, probation violations, and other charges. In the past arrests, the press release noted that Guy had threatened to harm to officers in the past.  A neighbor also told investigators after the shooting that Guy had threatened to shoot him the night before.

 

ORT:  Mayor Beehan not seeking re-election in OR

 

(Oak Ridge Today) Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan, who has served on the City Council since 2001, will not seek re-election in November.  Beehan said he has been considering whether to run “for some time,” and he announced his decision to not seek re-election on Wednesday. Before making the decision, Beehan said, he wanted to be sure that quality candidates with a vision for the city’s future were ready to run.  “It’s clear that there are candidates who have the vision and ability to serve the community on City Council,” Beehan said in a press release. “I have enjoyed serving Oak Ridge as mayor and as a City Council member, but I think it is time for new leadership to take a fresh look at moving Oak Ridge forward.”  Beehan has spent 20 years as an elected official in local government in Oak Ridge and in Covington, Kentucky—before his family moved to Oak Ridge.  He has served on Oak Ridge City Council since 2001, with six years as mayor pro tem, which is similar to a vice mayor, and seven years as mayor. In Oak Ridge, the mayor and mayor pro tem are appointed every two years after each municipal election.  Earlier this week, Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller also announced that she will not seek re-election in November. But two other incumbents whose terms expire in November, Anne Garcia Garland and David Mosby, are seeking re-election to the seven-member City Council this fall. The qualifying deadline for those who want to be candidates in November is noon Thursday.

 

Corker to speak in OR

 

U.S. Senator Bob Corker is traveling across Tennessee this week, and he’ll be in Oak Ridge on Friday morning.  Corker is scheduled to talk to the East Tennessee Economic Council at 7:30 a.m. Friday. The speech is in the Homer Fisher Room at the University of Tennessee Outreach Center at 1201 Oak Ridge Turnpike.  This week’s visits in East Tennessee follow a seven-county swing through Middle and West Tennessee last week.

 

ORPD charges woman in gun-related incident

 

An Oak Ridge woman has been charged in connection to an incident that occurred on August 2nd.  46-year-old Anna King was arrested Tuesday on three counts of aggravated assault and taken to the Anderson County Jail, where she is being held on bonds totaling $75,000.  Oak Ridge Police responded to a call about a possibly suicidal woman and when they arrived, encountered King in front of her home on Jonathan Lane holding a pistol to her head.  At one point during the incident, police ordered her to drop the weapon, but instead she pointed the gun at one of the officers.  Two of the three officers at the scene opened fire, firing a total of four shots between them, none of which struck King, who fell over backwards.  She was eventually taken into custody after pointing the gun again at her own head and trying to pull the trigger.  She was taken to Methodist Medical Center for evaluation following the incident. 

 

Man charged in Corwin death

 

The man arrested for killing a woman originally from Oak Ridge and dumping her body in a southern California mine shaft has been charged in her murder. 24-year-old Christopher Brandon Lee was arrested Sunday night in Alaska in the death of 19-year-old Erin Corwin.  The charges were announced Tuesday by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office, which also filed what is called a special circumstance allegation of "lying in wait," increasing the potential penalty to life without parole or death.  The decision on which penalty to seek will be made after prosecutors review all the evidence in the case.  Authorities also said Tuesday that Lee had been looking into how to dispose of a human body.  Investigators also say .22-caliber fired casings and rebar were recovered with the body of Corwin and that the head stamp from the casings matched those on casings found in Lee's vehicle and residence.  Lee was arrested on Sunday by officers in Alaska on suspicion of murder and is currently awaiting extradition to California.  Corwin's body was recovered Saturday and identified on Sunday. She had been missing since June 28.  Court papers say Lee and Corwin were lovers and she had planned to meet Lee for a hunting trip.  She and her husband, Marine Cpl. Jonathan Corwin, are from Oak Ridge and lived at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms.

 

Election certified, questions swirl

 

Despite a request to not certify the August 7th election of Roger Miller to the bench in Anderson County General Sessions Division II Court, the AC Election Commission on Tuesday did certify the results of this month’s election.  The AC Democratic Party had asked the commission to not certify Miller’s shocking defeat of longtime incumbent Ron Murch because of issues involving debts that include reportedly delinquent taxes and over $13,000 in unpaid child support.  Local democrats cite a state law that indicates Miller might not be eligible because judicial candidates cannot take office if they owe money to the state or federal governments.  The News-Sentinel reports that Election Commission Chairman Joe Rainey said during Tuesday’s meeting that it is not the commission’s job to determine if a candidate is eligible to serve, it is only to certify the actual results of the election.  Under state law, any legal action to prohibit Miller from taking the bench next month must be filed within five days of the election being certified.  Local Democrats are considering their options moving forward.  

 

TBI:  Woman dies in officer-involved Roane shooting

 

A female burglary suspect died Tuesday afternoon in an officer-involved shooting in Harriman.  he TBI says 28-year-old Miranda Michelle Guy was shot after officers responded to a burglary call.  Officials say Guy was spotted driving a vehicle believed to have been involved in the break-in and fled from officers. They say she drove to a home on Fairchild Street in Harriman, ran inside with the officers still in pursuit, grabbed a gun, and pointed it at officers.  That is when the officers opened fire.  The officers included a Roane County deputy and Harriman police officer.  Guy was taken to Roane Medical Center in Harriman, she was pronounced dead.  TBI is investigating the shooting and has not yet released the names of the deputy and officer involved in the shooting, neither of whom were injured in the incident.

 

ORT:  HFHAC selling aging HQ

 

(Oak Ridge Today) Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County is selling its building in Grove Center, and officials said they want to move into a more economical facility.  “We have a 70-year-old building, and the cost to maintain the property hinders us in fulfilling the Habitat mission,” the nonprofit organization’s board of directors said in a statement. “Habitat for Humanity International recommends not owning real estate, with the exception of properties on which to build houses.”  The board said many customers have been concerned because they have seen the “For Sale” sign on the Habitat ReStore and office in Grove Center.  “We are not going out of business!” the board said.  The Habitat mission is to build and rehabilitate good, reasonably priced homes that low-income families can afford to buy.  “Therefore, the board of directors of Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County has decided to sell our building in Grove Center,” the statement said. “HFHAC is looking to move into a more economical facility.”  The board also thanked their supporters and said Habitat officials were very thankful for the community’s generosity.

 

ACSD warns drivers of 2nd impostor

 

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department says a second female motorist was stopped by a police impersonator Monday night but unlike the previous incident, in this case the suspect pulled a knife on the victim but she drove off and was not harmed. At about around 9:45 pm Monday, a 49 year old woman was pulled over by a police impersonator on Yarnell Rd off East Wolf Valley Rd near Clinton. He approached the victim and asked for her driver's license.  He then pulled a knife and she immediately drove away and called 911.  The descriptions of the suspect and his car are different from the previous incident, which occurred about two weeks ago.  The suspect in Monday’s incident was described as a white male in his mid or late 20s to mid 30s, 6'00" 200 lbs, clean shaven, with a muscular build and short dark brown hair. He spoke with a soft voice.  The suspect was well-dressed wearing dark civilian clothing (not a uniform) and had a badge on his belt.  The car was described as a dark colored sedan, possibly an older model Chevrolet Caprice, with a chrome grille and had a revolving blue light on the dash.  The car also was believed to have been outfitted with a spotlight but it was not used when stopping the victim.   Since descriptions of the person and the car are different, investigators say they are unsure if this is the same suspect as the earlier incident.  What is most concerning in this case is the suspect pulled a knife on the victim.  Quick thinking in driving away prevented her from being harmed.  The suspect and his vehicle description have been broadcast to all surrounding law enforcement agencies and a search of the area where this incident occurred was done but the vehicle was not located.  The Sheriff's Criminal Investigations Unit has been following up on both tips from the public as well as from other police agencies on the earlier case.  However, none have yielded a possible suspect at this time.  Authorities have also been conducting extra patrols in the area of the previous incident but neither the suspect nor his vehicle has been found.  We will continue extra patrols not only in the areas where these incidents have occurred but throughout the county seeking vehicles matching both descriptions. In the first case, the vehicle was described as a dark colored late 90s Chevrolet Lumina.  The impersonator was described as a white male, mid-30s to mid-40s, 5'10" to 5'11", about 200 pounds with a stomach that hung slightly over his belt.  He had ear length brown hair, combed to one side, balding on top of the head with a receding hairline and a graying mustache.  He was wearing a white button-up shirt with dark dress pants and had a gold or brass colored badge on his left side and a revolver in a dark colored soft holster on his right side.  The impersonator spoke in a deep "country" voice.  Anyone with information on either of these cases is being urged to contact Sergeant Jeff Davis with our Criminal Investigations Unit at 865-457-6255, extension 1141, or our communications center at 865-457-2414.  The Anderson County Sheriff's Department would again like to remind motorists if they are unsure if they are being pulled over by an actual law enforcement officer they should turn on their hazard flashers, call 911 to verify the officer’s authenticity, and slowly drive to a well-lit area such as a business or store before stopping.

 

Missing OR native’s body found in CA mine shaft

 

(Oak Ridge Today/AP) The body of Erin Corwin, a pregnant 19-year-old Oak Ridge native who had been missing in southern California since late June, was found 140 feet down a mine shaft on Saturday.  Corwin’s body was found at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, and was identified at 9:30 p.m. Sunday using dental records, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.  A half-hour later, 24-year-old Christopher Brandon Lee was arrested in Anchorage, Alaska, for the murder of Corwin.  An autopsy has determined the death was a homicide but authorities have not said how she died.  Lee is an ex-Marine who lived next to Erin and her husband, Marine Corporal Jonathan Corwin, who is also from Oak Ridge, at a military base in Twentynine Palms, California.  Detectives believe that Lee and Erin Corwin were having an affair and may have been the father of her unborn child, and that Lee may have been afraid that his wife Nichole would discover his infidelity.  Corwin vanished June 28 after telling her husband that she was going to Joshua Tree National Park south of Twentynine Palms.  Searchers covered over 300 square miles of desert and several bodies of water since her disappearance.  Two days after Corwin disappeared, investigators found her car abandoned off a road near her home. A single set of footprints led from the driver's side door and disappeared next to a set of vehicle tracks that matched the tires on Lee's Jeep. They found 10 spent casings from a .40-caliber gun in the Jeep, the court papers say.  Other evidence was found in the shaft - one of more than 100 in the area - but sheriff's officials declined to give details.  Lee told investigators he was not with Corwin that day and had been hunting in Joshua National Park. He told police that although the two had kissed, they had never had intercourse.  The investigation found that Lee and Corwin did have an "intimate relationship" dating back to at least February, authorities said last month. 

 

Miller not seeking re-election in OR

 

Longtime Oak Ridge City Council member and Mayor Pro Tem—or Vice Mayor—Jane Miller has announced that she will not seek re-election to another term on the Council in November’s election.  Miller was first appointed to City Council in October 2003. She successfully ran for the office in a special election in August 2004 and was re-elected in 2005 and 2009.  Miller was elected by the City Council to first serve as mayor pro tem in July 2007, presiding over meetings when the mayor is absent, and she has continued since, having been re-elected by Council in 2009, 2011, and 2013.

 

OR to hold Clark Center Park meeting

 

(Oak Ridge Today) The Oak Ridge City Council will have a public meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, August 25, to collect community input regarding the possible transfer of Clark Center Park from the U.S. Department of Energy to the city. The meeting will be held in the Municipal Building Courtroom, and it will be in lieu of the regularly scheduled monthly work session.  The DOE’s Oak Ridge Office is in the process of reviewing the agency’s land holdings across the Oak Ridge Reservation. The reservation is located within the city limits of Oak Ridge, and it includes Clark Center Park.  Clark Center Park (formerly known as Carbide Park) is an 80-acre parcel under consideration by DOE for possible transfer from federal ownership. The park area includes a swimming area along Melton Hill Lake, and incorporates two picnic areas, a playground, restrooms, a boat ramp, two ball fields, and also provides access to the Gallaher Bend Greenway. DOE spends about $300,000 per year to maintain the park.  In an August 4 letter to the city, DOE Oak Ridge Office Manager Larry Kelly said, “Given the park’s benefit to the citizens of Oak Ridge, the option we currently favor would be to transfer ownership to the city at no cost, provided that the property remains a recreational park asset for the public.”  There will not be a formal presentation at the August 25 meeting. The public is asked, but not limited, to address several topics:

  • What are the options to finance ongoing operation of the park?
  • What amenities/improvements would the community desire?
  • Is city ownership the best option? Costs? Benefits?
  • What is the Oak Ridge public’s definition of a recreation use for Clark Center Park?

For more information, visit the city’s website at www.oakridgetn.gov.

 

Trial date (finally) set for Smoot

 

A trial date has been set for a Knoxville man accused of killing his former employee and ex-girlfriend.  Shawn Smoot is charged with first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 23-year-old Brook Morris who investigators say was shot several times and dumped along the side of a Roane County road.  Last week, a judge set a March 24, 2015 trial date for Smoot, who has been in and out of jail since his initial arrest three years ago.  When he didn't turn himself in back in 2012, authorities tracked him down in Mississippi.  Earlier this year, officials arrested Smoot in McMinn County for DUI. Again, he was released on bond.  A month later, U.S. Marshals found Smoot in a mental hospital in Chattanooga.  Smoot is also on his fourth attorney as Morris’s family continues to wait for their daughter’s alleged killer to face justice.

 

UTMC offers free prostate screenings in September

 

During Prostate Cancer Awareness Month (September), the Cancer Institute at UT Medical center will offer free prostate screenings for men between the ages of 50 and 70 and with no previous prostate cancer diagnosis.  Men who are African-American and individuals with a family history of prostate cancer can be screened at an earlier age.  Screenings include a digital rectal exam and a blood test called PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen).  September 3rd from 4 to 5:30 pm, screenings will be offered at Urology & Urologic Surgery at 1108 Fox Meadows Blvd. in Sevierville; September 6th from 8 am to 10:30 am at UT Internal Medicine Hardin Valley at 2587 Willow Point Way; September 17th from noon to 2 pm at University Internal Medicine of Lafollette at 109 Independence Lane; September 18th from noon to 3 pm at Urology & Urologic Surgery, Morristown at 1447 West Morris Lane; September 19th from 1 to 4:30 pm at the UT Medical Center Cancer Institute at 1926 Alcoa Highway in Knoxville; and October 11th from 9 am to 12 noon at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson at 1820 West Lamar Alexander Parkway in Maryville.  For an appointment call 865-305-6970 or toll-free 1-877-UTCARES (1-877-882-2737).  

 

KNS:  Judge-elect’s eligibility questioned

 

According to the News-Sentinel, Anderson County General Sessions Division II Court Judge-elect Roger Miller’s eligibility to serve could be in question due to issues related to back taxes and delinquent child support.  Miller, a Republican, won a stunning victory in the August 7th election over longtime Democrat Ron Murch despite not spending any money advertising his candidacy.  The paper reports that a request has been filed to not certify his election victory based upon a state law that would seem to make him ineligible to serve.  The law states that if a judge owes any state or federal agency delinquent taxes or has an unpaid judgment to the state or the US at the time of their election can not take a seat on the bench.  The AC Election Commission is due to meet Tuesday to certify the results of the election held earlier this month.  Miller, according to the paper, has a history of not paying taxes and last year, a petition before the county’s Juvenile Court was filed by the state asking that Miller be found in “willful civil contempt” for nonpayment of child support and that he be jailed on a charge of contempt.  Miller reportedly owes over $13,000 in back child support and has not provided the child in question with health insurance as ordered by the court.  Election officials tell the KNS that their conversations with the state have indicated that Miller is eligible to serve. 

 

OR hit & run driver wrecks in Knox

 

An Oak Ridge hit-and-run suspect was taken to the hospital after crashing his motorcycle on East Emory Road in Knox County Friday morning.  The Knox County Sheriff’s Office was alerted by Oak Ridge Police to be on the lookout for 43-year-old hit-and-run suspect James F. Mitchell of Oak Ridge on Friday morning.  A KCSO deputy saw Mitchell traveling east on West Emory Road at 7:42 am and when the officer got behind Mitchell and activated his emergency equipment, Mitchell sped up and tried to negotiate a curve too fast, causing his bike to off the right side of the road into a ditch on East Emory Road. He was thrown from the motorcycle and transported to UT Medical Center for non-life-threatening injuries. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Multiple charges against Mitchell are pending, the Sheriff’s Office said. 

 

Late AC vet receives posthumous honors

 

Friday, the family of Private First Class Everett McNabb received posthumous military medals during a ceremony at the Veterans’ Memorial in front of the Anderson County courthouse. McNabb was wounded during his service in the U.S. Army in Korea, and then taken as a Prison of War for two years.  Now McNabb has been honored for his service. His family was given a Purple Heart medal, a POW medal, Korean Service Honors, and the National Defense Service Medal.  His family says McNabb, who passed away in 2012, was never one to brag so he never filled out the proper forms for the awards. Years later his family turned in the paperwork in order to make sure he was accorded the recognition he was due.  .

 

ORFD to debut new fire engines

 

The Oak Ridge Fire Department will unveil three new fire engines during a ceremony set to begin at 3 p.m. on Friday September 5th at Fire Station 3, located at 333 Tuskegee Drive. Light refreshments will be served.

 

Homework Hotline returns

 

Homework Hotline, which offers tutoring via telephone to Tennessee students in grades K-12, is up and running again with the start of the school year.  The hotline, which offers help in math, science, language arts, social studies and reading, can be reached at two numbers — 615-298-6636 and 1-888-868-5777.  Since Homework Hotline opened in 1990, teachers and volunteers have answered more than 375,000 calls. Assistance is available in six languages: English, Arabic, Kurdish, Spanish, Swahili and Turkmani.

 

ORT:  Thursday deadline to qualify for municipal elections

 

(Oak Ridge Today) Thursday is the deadline to qualify for municipal elections across Anderson County, Clinton, Rocky Top (Lake City), Norris, and Oliver Springs.  The November 4 election is the last in a series of three elections this year. The deadline to qualify is noon Thursday, August 21. A candidate needs 25 verified signatures on a nomination petition to qualify.

Those who have qualified to run for Oak Ridge City Council are:

  • Kelly Callison,
  • R.G. “Rick” Chinn Jr.,
  • Warren L. Gooch,
  • Gary L. Love,
  • David N. Mosby,
  • Aditya “Doc” Savara, and
  • Ellen D. Smith.

Those who have picked up nominating petitions to run for City Council but haven’t yet qualified are:

  • Tom Beehan,
  • Anne Garcia Garland,
  • D. Jane Miller, and
  • Eric Tobler.

The incumbents are Beehan, who is also mayor; Miller, who is mayor pro tem; and Garcia Garland and Mosby. Smith is a former Council member.  City Council seats are at-large, meaning the four candidates who collect the most votes in the citywide elections in November will be elected. The City Council elections are staggered, meaning that four of the seven seats are up for election this year and the other three will be up for election in 2016. Council appoints the mayor and mayor pro tem.

Those who have qualified to run for the Oak Ridge Board of Education are:

  • Bob Eby,
  • Mike Mahathy, and
  • Laura McLean.

Those who have picked up nominating petitions to run for school board but haven’t yet qualified are:

  • Melanie Heiberg,
  • Andrew L. Howe,
  • Satchidanand C. Marathe,
  • Paige Marshall,
  • Laurie L. Paine, and
  • Marian H. Wildgruber.

Eby is an incumbent and also school board vice chair. School board members Dan DiGregorio and Jenny Richter are not seeking re-election.  Oak Ridge Board of Education seats are also at-large and staggered. Three seats are up for election this year, and two will be on the ballot in 2016.  Clinton Mayor Scott Burton, the incumbent, is the only candidate to have qualified so far for that seat. No one else has picked up a petition to run for Clinton mayor.

Candidates who have qualified for Clinton City Council, which also has staggered terms, are:

Ward 1

  • Ted Phillips, and
  • E.T. Stamey

Stamey is the incumbent.

Ward 2

  • Brian D. Hatmaker

Ward 3

  • Zach Farrar

Ronald Young has picked up a nominating petition to run for Clinton City Council, Ward 1, but has not yet qualified.  Two candidates, Timothy A. Bible and Curtis W. Isabell, have qualified to run for Clinton Board of Education, Ward 2. Meanwhile, Kimberly K. “K.K.” Webster has picked up a nominating petition but not yet qualified in Clinton Board of Education, Ward 3.  One candidate, Donald R. Douglas, has qualified to run for Rocky Top mayor, and two others, Andrew J. Howard and Michael J. Lovely, have picked up nominating petitions. Douglas and Howard are now City Council members, and Lovely is vice mayor.  Timothy L. Sharp is the current mayor.

Candidates who have qualified to run for Rocky Top City Council are:

  • Brian Brown,
  • Becky Lindsay, and
  • Gary Mullins.

Others who have picked up petitions are Pamela Brown, Denise Casteel, and Sharp.

Two candidates have qualified to run for Norris City Council: Bill Grieve and Loretta A. Painter.

Others who have picked up petitions are:

  • Jack Black,
  • Natalie Erb,
  • Jo-Ann S. Fehr,
  • York Haverkamp,
  • Chris Mitchell, and
  • Peter Sexton.

In Oliver Springs, Robert L. Miller Sr. has picked up a nominating petition to run for Alderman, Ward 1, and Maurice Walker has qualified to run for Alderman, Ward 2, while Jeffery Bass has picked up a petition in Ward 2 and Nathan Benson has picked up one in Ward 4.  Cassandra J. Mitchell has qualified to run as an Independent in Anderson County for the U.S. House of Representatives, Third District, where she will challenge the incumbent, Representative Chuck Fleischmann, a Republican, and Democratic candidate Mary Headrick.  There will also be questions on the ball about wine in retail food stores in Clinton and Oak Ridge.

 

Emergency exercise in OR Wednesday August 20th

 

Emergency responders from the U.S. Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory—along with federal, state, and local emergency management personnel—will conduct an emergency exercise on Wednesday, August 20, at ORNL.  The public may observe emergency responders simulating response activities and performing environmental monitoring or sampling in the area surrounding the Oak Ridge Reservation. These activities are part of the exercise.  The exercise will begin at approximately 8 a.m. Eastern time and conclude around noon.  This event is one of a series of emergency exercises conducted regularly by the DOE facilities in Oak Ridge. The exercises test the ability of emergency personnel to respond quickly and effectively to emergency situations and ensure that the public, site employees and the environment would be protected in the event of an actual emergency at the facilities.

 

85 counties, including Anderson, Campbell, Morgan & Roane earn 3-star status

 

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development today announced 85 out of 95 counties have been awarded ThreeStar status. In addition, since the ThreeStar community development program began requiring eligible communities to create and maintain a County Audit Committee in January 2013, the number of counties with Audit Committees has increased substantially. As of March 2013, there were 32 audit committees around the state; as of July 2014, there are 93.  “The ThreeStar program is a vital component to our state’s overall level of success, providing counties with a proven roadmap for continued economic and community strength, which in turn helps Tennessee win new investment and jobs,” Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty said. “Tennessee has been recognized as the number one state in the nation for economic development and these audit committees support Governor Haslam’s overarching goal of making Tennessee the most efficiently run state on every level. I congratulate all of our ThreeStar counties and those communities who are taking the initiative to create Audit Committees and work toward achieving fiscal strength and efficient government.”  The Audit Committees are designed to help each county improve their financial management and reporting practices, and help ensure the implementation of good internal controls to prevent or detect fraud, a step towards achieving fiscal strength and efficient government.  “Audit Committees help each county improve financial accountability and the quality of services provided to its citizens,” Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, Justin P. Wilson said. “This is a positive step toward achieving fiscal strength and efficient government. I commend TNECD for making the establishment of an audit committee part of the ThreeStar program.”  Annual participation in the ThreeStar program helps communities develop a strategy and a plan to address Governor Haslam’s “Five Pillars,” his priorities for public policy that include: jobs and economic development; fiscal strength and efficient government; public safety; education and workforce development; and health and welfare. The program encourages local community leaders, representing the five program areas, and Joint Economic and Community Development Boards to implement activities that will impact these quality of life issues—and therefore, their global competitiveness.  Benefits of certification include a four percent discount on the required match rate for state and federal grants administered by TNECD. Certified counties designated as Tier 2 and Tier 3 are eligible for an annual grant to serve as seed money for activities focused on improving at least one of the measured areas of the program: health and welfare, public safety, and education and workforce development. Additionally, cities located in a certified county are eligible to participate in the Tennessee Downtowns revitalization program.  The ThreeStar Program has also formed an Advisory Council consisting of 25 members representing six state agencies including: Comptroller of the Treasury; Safety and Homeland Security; Education; Labor and Workforce Development; Health; and Economic and Community Development.  To learn more about the ThreeStar program, visit http://www.tn.gov/ecd/threestar/.

 

AC seeks volunteers for BZA, Beer Board and Civil Service Board

 

The Anderson County Board of Commissioners and the Nominating Committee are looking for citizens who would like to serve on the following volunteer committees:

Anderson County Beer Board

Five (5) Members, 3 year terms, ending 9/2017

The Beer Board was established for the purpose of licensing, regulating and controlling the transportation, storage, sale, distribution, possession, receipt and/or manufacture of beer.

Civil Service Board

One (1) Member, 3 year term, ending 9/2017

In accordance with T.C.A. 8-8-404 thru 8-8-406, the Civil Service Board is composed of three (3) members selected by the legislative body.  All members of the board shall be over eighteen (18) years of age, of good moral character, citizens of the United States and the State of Tennessee, must reside in Anderson County, and they shall not hold any elected or appointed office within the county.

Board of Zoning Appeals -

One (1) Member, 5 year term, ending 9/2019

In Accordance with TCA 13-7-205, the Board of Zoning Appeals consists of five (5) members and one alternate.  Terms are for five (5) years and are staggered.  In accordance with TCA 13-7-207 powers of the Board of Appeals are 1) Hear and decide appeals where it is alleged is error in any order, requirement, permit, decision or refusal; 2) Hear and decide requests for special exceptions or for interpretation of the map or for decisions upon other special questions; and 3) grant variance.

Interested residents can send a resume or pick up a request to serve form at the County Commission Office, 100 N. Main Street, Room 118, Clinton,TN, posted outside office door, download from web site www.andersontn.org or contact Mary Murphy by phone 463-6866 or by fax 457-6264.  The deadline for consideration as possible nominee will be Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 12 noon.  The Nominating Committee will meet Monday, September 8, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. in room 118A of the courthouse to select the nominees.

 

AC Chamber announces Fall Antique Festival

 

The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce hosts the 14th annual Clinch River Fall Antique Festival in Historic Downtown Clinton, Friday, October 10, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 11, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  On Friday evening, live entertainment will be featured in the Hoskins/Lane Park.  Market Street and Main Street antique and specialty shops (100+ dealers) will be open along with restaurants and food vendors. Admission and parking are free.  Saturday features over 80 antique dealers and local artisans in an old-fashioned street festival.  Dealers from throughout the southeast gather to provide visitors an opportunity to experience a down-home festival that features a great selection of antiques, along with an antique appraiser, beautiful antique cars, musical entertainment, delicious food, and the historic Burr-Hamilton Duel Re-enactment.  Again this year history can be found in more than just antiques; history will come to life through a re-enactment of the 1804 duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton.  Burr, first term Vice President under Thomas Jefferson, shot Hamilton, United States Secretary of the Treasury, in a duel fueled by years of animosity between the political rivals and personal enemies.  While a duel fought in New Jersey between two national leaders may seem to have little connection to Clinton, Tennessee, festival-goers will learn it’s significance to Clinton’s history as they watch the duel play out and learn how the town of Burrville became today’s Clinton.  The re-enactment is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.  This is an event you do not want to miss.  Chamber President Jackie Nichols said, “The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to be a part of a festival that supports local business, boosts tax dollars, encourages return visits by tourists and continues to grow beyond our expectations.  We expect over 10,000 for this year’s event.”  For more information about The 14th Annual Clinch River Fall Antique Festival, contact the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce at 865-457-2559 or visit:  www.clinchriverfallantiquefestival.com.

 

MAN RUN returns to UTMC

 

The American Cancer Society estimates about 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States for 2014 and about 29,480 men will die of prostate cancer. To help raise awareness for this disease, The University of Tennessee Medical Center is holding its 7th annual THE MAN RUN for Prostate Cancer Awareness presented by Regal Entertainment Group. This family friendly event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 23 on UT Medical Center’s campus. All of the proceeds from the event stay in East Tennessee for prostate cancer research, outreach and educational programs.  ““THE MAN RUN is an excellent opportunity for families to come together, have a good time and support prostate cancer education and outreach programs in the Knoxville area,” said Allan Beall, chair of THE MAN RUN and prostate cancer survivor. “It is the region’s first community-wide event to recognize prostate cancer as a significant health issue and to celebrate prostate cancer survivors while promoting prostate cancer awareness.”  THE MAN RUN features a 10K and 5K race and a one-mile fun run/walk as well as live bands and entertainment along the course including Four Leaf Peat, The Real McCoys and Knoxville Pipe and Drums. A special recognition breakfast for prostate cancer survivors will be held prior to the beginning of the race. To register for the breakfast, call 865-305-6055. New this year is the “MAN RUN-IVAL.”  Participants and spectators are invited to a fun-filled festival of local exhibitors highlighting health related services, products, supplies and educational information.  To register for the race, visit www.ManRun.org.  The mission of The University of Tennessee Medical Center, the region’s only hospital to achieve status as a Magnet® recognized organization, is to serve through healing, education and discovery. UT Medical Center, a 581-bed, not-for-profit academic medical center, serves as a referral center for Eastern Tennessee, Southeast Kentucky and Western North Carolina. The medical center, the region’s only Level I Trauma Center, is one of the largest employers in Knoxville. For more information about The University of Tennessee Medical Center, visit online at www.utmedicalcenter.org

Allan Beall, the chair of The Man Run and a prostate cancer survivor, will be our guest discuss The Man Run on Tuesday, Aug. 19.

 

About the Man Run

•             Sat. Aug, 23 at UT Medical Center at 8 a.m. - 7th Annual The Man Run – a family event for prostate cancer awareness - Participants and spectators are invited to kick off their weekend with a fun-filled festival of local exhibitors highlighting health related services, products, supplies, and educational information.

•             5k, 10k and 1 mile fun run/walk

•             100% of the proceeds stay in East Tennessee for prostate cancer research, outreach and educational programs

•             Prostate cancer survivor breakfast - register at 305-6055

•             New course with entertainment along the way 

About Prostate Cancer

•             In 2014 it is estimated that there will be over 230,00 new cases diagnosed

•             It is estimated that close to 30,000 will die from prostate cancer in 2014

•             If caught early, the 5 year survival rate is 99%

•             Men of any age can get prostate cancer, the chance of having it increases after the age of 50

•             More than 60% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men older than 65

•             Having a father or brother with prostate cancer doubles a man’s risk of developing it

•             A high fat diet may play a role in causing prostate cancer.

•             All men between the ages of 50 – 70 discuss the risks and benefits of prostate screening with their physician.

•             Men younger than age 50 with risk factors for prostate cancer (African American or with a family history) should also discuss screening with their physician

•             Men over the age of 70 who are otherwise in good health should also consider discussing the benefits of screening with their physician

 

Fall Homecoming Line up announced

 

(Submitted) The best bluegrass, gospel, and old-time music in the South will resonate across the beautiful grounds of the Museum of Appalachia this coming October 10-12. This year’s line-up includes more than 70 national, regional, and local musicians performing on five unique outdoor stages throughout the pastoral museum setting.  In celebration of 35 years of this award-winning festival, organizers have put together the strongest lineup in event history, including Grammy award winner and multi-talented Marty Raybon and Full Circle, International Bluegrass Music Association male vocalist of the year Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice, Jeff Brown and Still Lonesome, Grammy-nominated Della Mae, “Entertainers of the Year” and “Vocal Group of the Year” The Gibson Brothers, and the multi-award winning group Lonesome River Band.  Appearing again this year are Grammy-nominated Blue Highway, “Broadcaster of the Year” Chris Jones and the Night Drivers, the award-winning Darrell Webb Band, the highly recognized Blue Moon Rising, Grits and Soul, Jesse Gregory and Faultline, and the legendary Paul Williams and the Victory Trio. Joining these top artists is one of the most successful bluegrass bands of all time, seven-time International Bluegrass Music Association “Vocal Group of the Year” with multiple Grammy and Dove award nominations and IBMA Hall of Fame inductee Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver.  Perennial favorites back at Homecoming this year are Leroy Troy, Ramona Jones, The Dismembered Tennesseans, Daniel Rothwell and his grandfather, legendary buck dancer, Thomas Maupin, The Stewart Family, Dale Jett of the Carter Family, Russ and Becky Jeffers, and Jimbo Whaley and Greenbriar.  Scores of additional musicians will perform all day, each day, over the course of this three-day event.  Tennessee Fall Homecoming, which is much more than a music festival, includes historic demonstrations such as spinning, weaving, sorghum making, blacksmithing, and saw milling, and it also features heritage arts and crafts such as tatting, whittling, lye soap making, leather working, and hand crafted white oak baskets. Tour the entire Museum of Appalachia complex, feast on fine Southern fare and Appalachian delights, and take the opportunity to meet regionally and nationally known Southern writers.  For a full list of artists, or to purchase tickets online, visit the Museum of Appalachia’s website at www.museumofapppalachia.org. Early discount pricing is available through September 15. For additional information or phone orders, call (865) 494-7680.  See a list of this year’s performers here: 2014 Fall Homecoming Performers.

 

Biggest Winner Fitness Challenge applications being taken

 

(Submitted) The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon is now accepting applications for the Biggest Winner Fitness Challenge. The program trains volunteers for marathon events, with a friendly competition to see who can make the greatest strides in weight loss and overall fitness by race day, March 29, 2015.  Team members are selected to be volunteer ambassadors for health and fitness, and their efforts to encourage others to get on track for a healthy lifestyle are taken into consideration when choosing the winners. “It’s not just a diet plan,” says team Coach Missy Kane. “It’s a community program to help build a healthier East Tennessee.”  Team members receive a guest pass to Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center for the duration of training, a gift card for New Balance Knoxville, various complementary health screenings, and uniform shirts. The winners receive a package of prizes from marathon sponsors.  Past winners have lost between 20 and 80 pounds during the program. But the real victory isn’t just the number on the scales, according to Kane. “Our team members have seen dramatic improvements in overall health, reducing their blood pressure, reducing acid reflux, easing joint pain, getting a better night’s sleep, and being taken off medications they used to think they couldn’t live without.”  Kane says these are all side effects of living a healthier lifestyle, which includes proper nutrition and exercise. The team works with a registered dietitian from Covenant Health and a personal trainer at Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center, with input from Covenant Therapy Centers’ physical therapists.  Kane warns that the Biggest Winner challenge is time consuming. However, she says past team members testify it’s well worth the sacrifice, and have gone so far as to call the program life changing.  Applicants of all fitness levels are welcome to apply, but Kane says organizers are particularly interested in people who have never attempted a half marathon, or who are “getting off the couch for the first time in a very long time."  To learn more about the Covenant Health Biggest Winner Challenge, go to www.covenanthealth.com/biggestwinner. Information about the marathon is available at www.knoxvillemarathon.com.

 

Toddler passes away after falling into pool

 

The toddler who fell into a pool in his grandparents’ back yard Tuesday morning has died.  2-year-old Anthony Hampton passed away earlier this morning at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.  At around 8:45 am Tuesday, Clinton police and fire units responded to the home on Melton Hill Circle in South Clinton.  The boy apparently slipped out a back door at his grandparents’ house, climbed the ladder to the above-ground pool and fell in.  He was found in the pool about 10 minutes later and was given CPR by his grandparents and then by first responders, who transported him first to Methodist Medical Center and then to Children’s Hospital.  While the incident remains under investigation, officials say it appears to be an accident. 

 

Man killed in Claxton wreck

 

A Powell man was killed Wednesday afternoon when his motorcycle was involved in a multi-vehicle crash on Edgemoor Road in front of the Bull Run Fossil Plant in Claxton.  The Tennessee Highway Patrol says that 55-year-old Kenneth Lubthisophon was riding a Honda motorcycle east on Edgemoor Road at about 4:41 p.m. Wednesday when he struck the left rear of a car driven by a Knoxville woman who had slowed down for stopped traffic.  Lubthisophon’s bike was then hit from behind by a pickup truck driven by a Clinton man and thrown into the westbound, where he was hit by a second pickup truck driven by another Clinton man, according to a preliminary THP report.  Lubthisophon was wearing a helmet and there were no other injuries. No citations were issued, and no criminal charges were filed, the THP said.  The roadway was closed from about 4:45 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. while THP investigated.  In addition to the THP and the Sheriff’s Department, the Claxton Fire Department, Anderson County Rescue Squad, and Anderson County EMS also responded. The Oak Ridge Police Department helped with traffic control as well.

 

Clinton man indicted on endangerment charge

 

A Clinton man has been indicted on a charge of reckless endangerment stemming from an incident in March of 2013 in which he allegedly fired a pistol across the Clinch River and struck a vehicle on South Charles Seivers Boulevard.  28-year-old Timothy Daugherty is accused of firing a .40-caliber pistol from Riverview Drive in Clinton on March 14th of 2013.  A round from the weapon struck a passing car and reportedly narrowly missed the driver.  He was arrested that same day and is free on bond.  He is due in court on August 29th

 

ACTV Board meeting Tuesday

 

The Anderson County TV Board of Directors will be meeting on Aug. 19, 2014 at the Office of Technology in Clinton.  The hour long meeting will begin at 3:00pm.

 

Campbell man indicted in fatal Clinton crash

 

A Pioneer man has been arrested on several charges, including vehicular homicide, in connection to the October death of an Oneida man in a crash on Highway 61 at the on-ramp to I-75 North in Clinton.  32-year-old Christopher Strunk of Oneida died in the October 4th accident. The Clinton Police Department reported that Strunk was a passenger in a Honda Civic driven by now-27-year-old Shawn Wright of Pioneer, who now faces charges of vehicular homicide, criminally negligent homicide, reckless aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, and failure to stop at a red light. He was indicted by an Anderson County grand jury on August 5 and arrested Tuesday. He remained jailed in the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton early Wednesday afternoon.  Wright’s bond has been set at $50,000. He will be arraigned on August 29th in Anderson County Criminal Court.  The crash occurred when a car driven by David Kittrell of Mississippi was traveling in the left lane near the on-ramp headed straight on an extremely foggy morning when Wright allegedly intentionally disregarded the red light and tried to turn on to the on ramp.  Kittrell’s car “T-boned” Wright’s car and both vehicles spun around before coming to rest against a guard rail. Strunk, who was not wearing a seatbelt, died at the scene, and Wright suffered injuries that sent him to the University of Tennessee Medical Center by ambulance.  Kittrell and his wife Hazel were taken by ambulance to UT Medical Center for treatment of possible injuries.

 

Norris Dam cabins among new entries on National Register

 

Five Tennessee sites are now on the National Register of Historic Places, including one right here in Anderson County.  The Norris Dam State Park Rustic Cabins Historic District was added to the Register on Wednesday. The cabins there were built as part of a New Deal project between 1934 and 1937. The Tennessee Valley Authority, Civilian Conservation Corps, U. S. Forest Service and National Park Service built the 19 cabins, linen house, tea room, amphitheater and ranger residences. The Tennessee Historical Commission says the district is notable for the federal government's efforts to provide employment during the Depression, for rustic architecture and for its use as a recreation area. It also housed workers from Oak Ridge working on the Manhattan Project.

 

Tennessee eligible for disaster aid; AC, Roane included

 

(FEMA/Oak Ridge Today) The US Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Wednesday that federal disaster aid has been made available to the state of Tennessee to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding from June 5-10.  The action by President Barack Obama makes federal funding available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding in Anderson, Bledsoe, Carroll, Decatur, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Lawrence, Lewis, Madison, Marion, Maury, McNairy, Moore, Perry, Roane, Sequatchie, and Tipton counties, officials said.  Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide, FEMA said in a press release.  W. Michael Moore has been named as the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Moore said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.  It wasn’t immediately clear what work in Anderson and Roane counties might be eligible. During the severe storms that ripped through East Tennessee in early June, roughly 4,000 customers lost power in Oak Ridge, and about 70 damaged homes required repairs by an electrician before power could be restored.  Damage ranged from shingles being torn off roofs, and siding stripped from buildings, to limbs and tress on cars and structures. Downed trees caused widespread power outages throughout the Clinton Utilities Board service area. At the peak of the outages, more than 6,000 customers were without power. 

Straight-line winds estimated at 80 mph packed a destructive punch in Clinton, where the storm destroyed the Passtime Garage downtown. The storm also flipped a tractor trailer onto its side on Lake City Highway and ripped the old Hoskins Drug Store neon sign off the front of a building on Market Street in Clinton.  Officials from the National Weather Service office in Morristown said an EF-0 tornado touched down along 3rd Street in Kingston. The winds of an EF-0 tornado are around 65-85 miles per hour.  The NWS said the widespread damage throughout East Tennessee was almost entirely from straight-line winds and down-bursts. Kingston was the only site suspected of sustaining tornado damage.  Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under Obama’s disaster declaration issued for the state of Tennessee.

  • Assistance for the state and affected local governments can include as required:
  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health. Emergency protective measures assistance is available to state and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas, and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private nonprofit organizations engaged in community service activities. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)

How to apply for assistance:

  • Application procedures for state and local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.

FEMA’s mission is to support the nation’s citizens and first responders to ensure that “as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards,” the press release said.

Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, www.twitter.com/fema,  www.facebook.com/fema and www.youtube.com/fema.

 

Special judge appointed in ouster suit

 

A special judge has been appointed to hear the ouster suit filed against Anderson County Law Director Jay Yeager in May, and hearing dates will be discussed with attorneys in the case during an August 19 telephone conference.  Senior Judge Don R. Ash of Murfreesboro was appointed to hear the case by Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Gary Wade.  Ash is a former Rutherford County judge and is assigned to cases across the state where a special judge is required.  The ouster suit against Yeager was filed in Anderson County Chancery Court by a group of 22 residents in May.  It originally included three grounds for ouster but has since been amended to include 16 arguments for ouster.  Yeager filed a motion to dismiss on July 11th, contending that the ouster statute does not apply to the law director’s position, but adding that even if it did, the petitioners have not presented legitimate grounds for ouster.  We will continue to follow this story for you. 

 

Woods’ appeal denied

 

Jaylond Woods will not be able to play football at Clinton High School this fall after the TSSAA Board of Control denied the school’s appeal concerning the senior’s transfer from Lenoir City High School.  Clinton athletic director Dan Jenkins made the appeal Monday at the TSSAA office in Hermitage but learned Tuesday that the appeal had been denied.  Last week, the TSSAA declared Woods ineligible for the upcoming season.  At the time, officials said that they had received a letter from Lenoir City stating that the transfer was not for athletic reasons.  However, the letter was also supposed to say that the move was not for disciplinary reasons but did not.  Clinton appealed and that appeal was denied this week.  Jenkins told WYSH via text Tuesday that despite the circumstances, Woods is a “great kid” and has caused no problems since transferring to Clinton in April.  Woods accounted for almost 1000 total yards last season for Lenoir City and has verbally committed to the University of Tennessee’s class of 2015.  He was expected to add more firepower to a Dragon offense that already has a full complement of offensive weapons as well as contribute on special teams.  Fear not, Dragon fans, as the team still returns 17 starters from last year’s 4-6 squad that narrowly missed the playoffs and is expected to take that next step in 2014.  

 

3rd man dies from injuries in Campbell crash

 

A third man has died from injuries suffered in a single-vehicle accident that the Tennessee Highway Patrol calls alcohol-related last month in Campbell County.  52-year-old Carl Daugherty Jr. of Caryville died from his injuries Tuesday at UT Medical Center, where he and three other people in the vehicle were flown following the July 21st accident on Patty Hill Road near Ridge Road in Caryville.  Daugherty was a passenger in a 2004 Dodge Ram pickup driven by 42-year-old Kevin Fleming of Jacksboro, according to the THP report.  The investigation determined the truck was traveling south on Patty Hill Road at around 7:15 pm on July 21st when the vehicle ran off the right side of the road.  Fleming overcorrected, causing the truck to leave the left side of the road, where it traveled up an embankment and into a tree before coming to rest on its passenger side.  The report indicated that none of the four people in the truck were wearing seatbelts.  The report says that the three men who have died from their injuries probably would have survived if they had used seat belts.  43-year-old passenger Charles J. Morris of LaFollette died at the scene and 39-year-old passenger Darrell J. Carroll of LaFollette died Thursday from his injuries.  Criminal charges are pending completion of the investigation as troopers noted that Fleming had been drinking alcohol and using drugs before the crash. Fleming was injured in the wreck.

 

McNabb family to receive medals

 

On Friday August 15th at 9 am at the Veterans Memorial in front of the Anderson County Courthouse in Clinton, there will be a medals presentation to the family of Private First Class Everett McNabb, who was wounded during his service in the U.S. Army in Korea during the Korean Conflict and taken as a Prisoner of War.  PFC McNabb passed away in August of 2012 and his awards are being presented to his family on his behalf. Family members receiving the awards are Son Everett, Grandsons Chad and Jake and Granddaughter Jill.

 

ASAP now an Amazon Smile client

 

Amazon Smile is a giving program which donates 0.5% of your purchase through Amazon to a charity.  Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention of Anderson County is now a recognized charity and we received our first donation from Amazon today!  Using Amazon Smile is very easy.  Instead of making purchases through amazon.com, please consider using www.smile.amazon.com. You will have access to the same merchandise, but the company will donate 0.5% of your purchase to the charity you select.  To select ASAP as your charity of choice, the first time you visit www.smile.amazon.com, you should use the search box toward the bottom of the page and type Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention of Anderson County.  ASAP should pop up as the first charity and you will be allowed to select us as your charity.  From there, you will shop as normal through the Smile web store.   

 

2nd AMSE meeting set for August 19th

 

The second in a series of community meetings on the American Museum of Science and Energy will feature executives from regional museums and attractions. They will discuss how their museums were established and developed, and how each is currently managed and operated.  The executives who are participating are:

  • John Joslyn, owner/operator of The Titanic Museums in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and Branson, Missouri;
  • Leah Ross, executive director of Birthplace of Country Music Museum and Association in Bristol, Virginia, and Tennessee; and
  • Ellie Kittrell, executive director of The MUSE Knoxville (formerly The Discovery Center).

The community meeting is sponsored by the City of Oak Ridge and the American Museum of Science and Energy Foundation. It’s scheduled from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, August 19, at AMSE.  “At our initial meeting last month, the public had an opportunity to hear about current AMSE operations and learn more about the role of the AMSE Foundation,” said AMSE Foundation President Wayne Stevenson. 

“The Foundation was gratified at the large turnout, and the level of interest in the future success of our museum.” Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson said. “We appreciate the willingness our speakers to travel to Oak Ridge and share their experience with our community. We will review the input received at the first meeting, and hear from our guest speakers about what it takes to operate a successful attraction in today’s environment.”  AMSE is located at 300 South Tulane Avenue in Oak Ridge. Registration and light refreshments will be available beginning at 5:30 p.m. August 19.

For more information, visit www.amse.org or www.oakridgetn.gov.

 

State:  More new businesses in TN in 2Q 2014

 

More new businesses were launched last quarter than during the same period the year before - which may bode well for the state's economy through the rest of the year.  According to the Secretary of State's quarterly report on business and economic indicators, new business filings were up 3.7 percent for the months of April, May and June, in comparison to those same months last year.  There were 232,630 active businesses in Tennessee as of July 1 - up 3 percent over the number three months earlier.  "New business start-ups in Tennessee during this past quarter are a good indicator that employment growth will remain solid at least through the end of 2014," said Dr. William Fox, director of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville's Center for Business and Economic Research.  This is the second quarterly report produced jointly by the Secretary of State's office and the Center for Business and Economic Research. The reports demonstrate the connection between business filings received by the Secretary of State's office and key economic indicators.  "We believe the data we collect on businesses can provide important clues about the direction in which the economy may be moving," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "We want to make that information available as a service to those who have interest in tracking business activity in our state."  The reports contain data on business formations and dissolutions for nonprofit and for-profit corporations collected by the Secretary of State's office. The reports also provide statistics on tax revenues that have been collected statewide and national numbers on housing starts, light vehicle sales, mortgage rates and other leading economic indicators.

To view the latest report online, go to: http://tn.gov/sos/be_reports/201408.pdf

 

THP:  Second person dies from injuries in July wreck

 

A second person has died from injuries sustained in a single-vehicle crash that occurred in Campbell County on July 21st.  The Tennessee Highway Patrol says that a 2004 Dodge Ram pickup had been traveling south on Patty Hill Road near Ridge Road when the truck driven by 42-year-old Kevin Fleming left the side of the roadway.  Fleming apparently overcorrected, causing the truck to travel up an embankment, hit a tree and rotate before coming to rest on the passenger side.  Passenger Charles Morris died at the scene and last Thursday, 39-year-old passenger Darrell Carroll died from his injuries at UT Medical Center.  Fleming and a third passenger identified as Carl Daugherty Jr. suffered injuries in the wreck.  Troopers have reported that noe of the four men in the truck had been wearing their seatbelts. 

 

ACSD:  Aryan Nation member arrested, charged with attempted murder

 

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department says that a man was arrested Saturday after being indicted last week by the grand jury on charges related to a gang-related attempted murder and assault case.  35-year-old Cameron Reid Lowry, a member of the Aryan Nations gang, was arrested on charges of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault returned against him following his indictment, which came after an investigation into the assault of a 31-year-old Oak Ridge man last November.  Lowry is currently being held on bonds totaling $100,000 at the Anderson County Jail.  According to a press release, the arrest is the result of a months-long investigation being conducted by the ACSD and the 7th Judicial District Crime Task Force.  The DA’s office will be seeking enhanced penalties in this case as Lowry is a member of a criminal gang.  The press release did not identify the Oak Ridge victim of the attempted murder and assault but did say incident occurred in Oak Ridge in November.  This is the second gang-related attempted murder that has made headlines recently, as in June the Sheriff’s Department announced that five members of the Aryan Nations gang had been charged with attempted first-degree murder and other crimes in connection to the severe beating of a 31-year-old Briceville man in Claxton in December. A total of six people have since been arrested in that case.

 

ASAP:  AC students attend annual prevention conference

 

(ASAP) Students from Anderson County, Tennessee joined over 400 youth leaders from across the state at the Tennessee Teen Institute. The Tennessee Teen Institute is a five-day youth leadership and prevention camp sponsored by the Jackson Area Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (JACOA). The Anderson County Health Department and ASAP sponsored two teams of six youth to participate in TTI, one from Anderson County High School and one from Clinton High School.  “This is the third year we have been able to sponsor youth to attend the Teen Institute and it has shown an excellent return.  Students return energized to serve as peer leaders and make positive changes in their schools,” said Stephanie Strutner, Executive Director of ASAP.  This year marked the 27th year of the Teen Institute Program in Tennessee.  The program addresses teen issues such as bullying, violence, suicide, teen pregnancy, distracted driving, teen health and substance abuse prevention through a five-day, peer-led prevention camp designed to provide teen participants with the skills and education necessary to develop and implement alcohol and drug abuse prevention programs in their own communities. "Through training we receive at TTI I am better equipped to continue to lead by example and take action to help other students in my community to choose not to use,” said Reagan Wolfe, Clinton High School Senior. TTI is a comprehensive program that trains, mobilizes and empowers youth to prevent the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs and self-destructive behaviors in themselves and their peers. TTI prepares students to not only make positive changes, but to be proud advocates of those changes. Students will have the opportunity to grow and learn as individuals, while enhancing their leadership abilities. Because TTI is peer-led, teens are given a unique opportunity to have a “voice” in addressing issues important to them.  Giving youth some ownership in this type of program is one of the key factors in the success of enforcing a substance free lifestyle.  The students who attended the Tennessee Teen Institute are part of the ASAP Youth Coalition, which consists of high school students from our local community who are dedicated to preventing and reducing substance abuse in their schools and community.  For more information on how to join the ASAP Youth Coalition call 865-457-3007 or visit www.ASAPofAnderson.org.  

 

PCUD receives prestigious honor

 

(Submitted) At its 2014 Annual Meeting, the American Public Gas Association (APGA) presented Powell-Clinch Utility District (PCUD) with the prestigious APGA System Operational Achievement Recognition (SOAR) distinction, which recognizes excellence in operating natural gas utilities. Public natural gas systems are entrusted by their customers to deliver clean and affordable natural gas through a safe and reliable distribution pipeline system. To accomplish this mission, a forward-thinking natural gas utility constantly strives to improve its operating capabilities, overcome challenges and adapt to its changing environment.  Out of over 700 APGA members nationally, PCUD was the only gas system selected in East Tennessee and was one of 21 selected for SOAR distinction by its peers on the APGA Operations and Safety Committee. The SOAR award is based on demonstrated excellence in the four areas of system integrity, system improvement, employee safety, and workforce development.  System integrity refers to the natural gas distribution system performing its overall intended function safely, efficiently and effectively. System improvement refers to keeping the natural gas system well maintained and up-to-date through a self-improvement program that includes both an eye on the future and a commitment to system improvement programs. In a top-performing utility, employee safety is utility-wide and evident in all aspects of utility operations. Lastly, workforce development focuses on creative recruitment, training, education and development practices that provide a return on investment through increased employee loyalty, motivation, safety, and productivity.  “PCUD was highly rated in all four areas that are required of SOAR. PCUD consistently demonstrates a commitment to providing natural gas safely and efficiently to all those in their community and as such, serves as a model for all other natural gas utilities in the country. APGA is proud to recognize Powell-Clinch Utility District and is confident in their continued success,” said APGA President and CEO, Bert Kalisch.

 

New RSCC Health & Science building to open in OR

 

(RSCC) Roane State Community College will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, September 5, for the new Goff Health Sciences and Technology Building at the college’s Oak Ridge campus.  The event begins at 8:30 a.m. The public is invited.  The 64,000-square-foot, three-story building will help ease overcrowding at the Oak Ridge campus at 701 Briarcliff Avenue. Originally designed for 1,800 students, the campus has 2,500 students. The building will accommodate 500 students and give Roane State the space to offer new programs in health care and technology.  The building includes space for Roane State’s new surgical technology program. Roane State’s occupational therapy assistant (OTA) program is housed in the building, giving OTA students access to larger and more sophisticated labs.  The building has additional space for nursing students, massage therapy students, and pharmacy technician students. The facility also includes a flex lab, which can be easily configured to suit the training needs of area industries.  Construction of the $13.8 million building began in June 2012 and was completed in March. Overall, the building includes 14 classrooms, seven labs, 37 faculty offices, an adjunct faculty area, three conference rooms, two lecture halls, 15 student study areas, and four computer labs.  Crossville-based Upland Design Group designed the building to be LEED-certified for energy efficiency. The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction, maintenance, and operations of green buildings. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.  LEED characteristics of the building include:

  • Daylighting: Interior spaces were developed around a daylighting design that limits the need for artificial lighting, thus reducing energy demand for artificial lighting and cooling.
  • Artificial lighting controls: The artificial lighting design utilizes both motion and daylight sensors to efficiently control light-use within the building.
  • Geothermal: The building has geothermal heating and cooling, which requires 20-50 percent less energy to operate than other HVAC systems.
  • Indoor water use reduction: The building includes low flow and low flush fixtures to reduce water waste.

The building is named for Gary Goff, who served as Roane State’s president from 2005-2012. He was instrumental in raising support for the campus expansion.

For more information about Roane State, visit www.roanestate.edu or call (865) 481-2000.

 

ORT:  OR BOE reverses course, restores bus service

 

(Oak Ridge Today) After hearing impassioned pleas from parents and grandparents, the Oak Ridge school board on Monday temporarily restored bus service to about 1,300 students that had been affected by an expanded but controversial “parent responsibility zone.” Parents of students who lived within that zone were responsible for getting their children to and from schools; bus service was not provided.  The parent responsibility zone, or PRZ, was expanded to 1.5 miles in June as part of a move to reduce a $1.25 million budget deficit. But parents of elementary and middle school students, in particular, objected to having students as young as five years old cross busy four-lane roadways like Oak Ridge Turnpike or Illinois Avenue to get to school, or walk past the homes of registered sex offenders or down roads with no sidewalks.  Parents, including single mothers, expressed concerns about losing their jobs because they have to leave work early to pick up their children. They also said the expanded parent responsibility zone, which some have referred to as a “walk zone,” had a disproportionate impact on low-income families and elementary school children.  On Monday, the Oak Ridge Board of Education agreed in a 4-1 vote to use $300,000 in one-time money from the school system’s fund balance to restore the bus routes this year and then study the issue comprehensively before the next school year.  The bus routes likely won’t be restored immediately however and possibly not until October. Among other things, up to three school bus drivers might need to be hired for an additional six routes, and buses will have to be made “road ready.” Still, advocates of restoring bus service were pleased for now.  School officials modified their budget in June—the expanded walk zones were the largest expenditure cut—after the City Council rejected a proposed property tax rate increase to give the school system more money. Other impacts ranged from no pay raises for school employees to the delayed purchase of about $400,000 in textbooks.

 

TSSAA changes football playoff system

 

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association's Board of Control voted unanimously to change the Division I football playoff system for the 2015-16 and '16-17 school years.  With the change, the state's 32 largest schools based on enrollment will be placed in one class. The remaining 273 schools would then be separated evenly into five classes.  The 32-team class will consist of four regions, with every team advancing to a 32-team postseason bracket. The remaining five classes will each consist of eight regions, with the top four finishers in each region advancing to a 32-team playoff bracket.  Locally, Bearden, Farragut, Hardin Valley, Jefferson County, Sevier County, and William Blount would qualify to be in Class 61. Other schools can elect to move up to 6A, but another school would have to move down.  The upcoming season will be the last year for the current format.

 

TSSAA denies ineligibility appeal

 

Clinton High School athletic director Dan Jenkins made his second trip to Murfreesboro in a month on Monday to appeal a decision handed down by TSSAA.  Earlier this summer, Jenkins’ appeal for a reduction of penalties against the Dragon soccer program ended with TSSAA upholding the length of the team’s postseason ban and an agreement to reduce the fines owed by the school in connection to an incident that occurred in May near the end of a District tournament soccer game at Knox Central.  Monday, Jenkins was back before the Board of Control appealing the TSSAA’s recent decision to declare transfer wideout Jaylond Woods ineligible.  Woods—a UT commit—transferred this spring from Lenoir City to Clinton and everything seemed to be in order until the TSSAA announcement last week.  This morning, TSSAA notified Jenkins that the appeal had been denied, meaning that Woods will not be able to suit up for the Dragons this fall.

 

WYSH gearing up for busy 2014 football season

 

The WYSH Sports crew is getting ready to embark on another football season.  This Thursday at 7 pm, join Matt and Brian for the excitement of Clinton Middle School football presented by the Rogers Group ion WYSH.  The Hawks open their 2014 season at Lafollette Thursday night on WYSH.  We will take a break from football this weekend to bring you a NASCAR tripleheader that gets going at noon on Saturday with the Camping World Truck Series Careers for Veterans 200 at Michigan, followed by the Nationwide Series Children’s Hospital 200 from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Park in Lexington, Ohio at 2:15 pm.  Sunday, we close out the weekend with the Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 from Michigan.  Next Thursday, August 21st, we will debut a new traveling talk show called “The Blossman Propane Sports Talk Show” live from Xtreme Automotive in Clinton featuring your Dragon broadcast team, Dragons of the past, some of the current crop of Dragons and much more.  We will be at Xtreme Automotive on the 21st from 3 to 5 pm.  That night at 7 pm, the Clinton Middle School Hawks host Norris and then, Friday August 22nd, tune in for Fox & Farley Friday Night Football as the Clinton Dragons and the Anderson County Mavericks kick off the 2014 season with the Crosstown Showdown live from Anderson County High School.  Coverage that night begins at 7 pm.

 

CHS announces Wounded Warrior Night at stadium

 

Military veterans will be honored and fed for free before the Clinton High School home football game against the Oak Ridge Wildcats on Friday September 5th.  “Wounded warrior Veterans Night” will include free admission to the game for military vets and a free barbecue meal for veterans courtesy of Vernon’s Burnins.  Come on down and honor our nation’s veterans and enjoy one of the best rivalries in all of Tennessee Friday September 5th at Dragon Stadium. 

 

3 killed in Friday AC wreck

 

Three people died in a single-vehicle accident on East Wolf Valley Road Friday night.  The Tennessee Highway patrol reports that a 2004 Nissan S18 was traveling west on East Wolf Valley Road near White Oak Lane at about 11:30 p.m. Friday when it started to skid as driver 44-year-old Melissa A. Kelley of Knoxville tried to go around a slight left curve.  Kelley was driving too fast for roadway conditions, and the four-door car left the right side of the road before going airborne and rolling over, ejecting all three occupants, none of whom were wearing seatbelts, according to the THP.  Kelley died, as did her two passengers, 44-year-old William A. Housley of Clinton—father of WYSH/WMYL web administrator Will Housley—and 25-year-old Kurt J. Miner of Heiskell, a graduate of Clinton High School.  The report indicates that seatbelts could have made a difference in the outcome of the according to the report, which also indicated that all three had been drinking.  Standard tests have been requested.  The city of Knoxville says that Kelley and Housley were both long-time city employees.  Housley worked the information systems help desk and started in November 2004.  Kelley worked for the Knoxville City Court Clerk for the past 13 years.  Knoxville mayor Madeline Rogero released a statement Saturday night:  "Losing two longtime city employees certainly takes an emotional toll on all of us in city government, and our heartfelt condolences go out to Will and Missy's families, friends, and co-workers." 

 

Scarbrough named “Police Chief of the Year”

 

Clinton Police Chief Rick Scarbrough has been named the 2014 "Police Chief of The Year" by the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police. The award was presented Friday night during an awards banquet at the 44th Annual TACP Conference. The event was held at the Marriott Hotel in Chattanooga. The association is made up of chiefs and command staffs throughout the state. Chief Scarbrough was selected by his peers to receive the honor.

 

Roane election result changes after discovery

 

Friday morning, election officials recounted every vote in Thursday's state primary and county general election in Roane County after one early voting memory card where the votes are stored was not turned in Thursday night. Election Commissioner Charles Holiway said the card held 1,300 votes.  Officials said the error was a human one and they don't believe the card was tampered with.  The election commission spent Friday running all of the election cards through the computers again, just to verify the votes.  Officials indicated they were worried about two races. The additional votes only changed the outcome in the circuit court clerk race, where Ann Goldston, who went to bed Thursday night thinking she'd lost by 200 votes, learned Friday that the additional votes put her over the top. Goldston ended up defeating Sarah Stewart by less than 500 votes.  Goldston has worked as a deputy clerk for nearly a decade. It appears no other races were affected.  The results will be certified next Friday.

 

ORT:  Ex-football coach sues OR schools

 

(Oak Ridge Today) A former football coach and teaching assistant has filed a $1.1 million lawsuit against Oak Ridge school officials alleging that his firing in February was based upon a single “false complaint” from a student who alleged inappropriate contact—and he never had a chance to respond to the charges.  Coach Donald Colquitt suggested his reputation has been sullied by the unspecified complaint of “inappropriate contact with an Oak Ridge High School student,” and his local football career has been ruined. He filed a wrongful termination lawsuit in Anderson County Circuit Court on August 4.  The defendants are Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers and the Oak Ridge Board of Education.  Colquitt said he has never acted inappropriately or made any inappropriate contact with an ORHS student while employed by Oak Ridge Schools, but both the superintendent and school board have denied his right to be heard, including through a grievance hearing before the board.  “The only response that has been consistently made by the board, as well as the school superintendent, is that the superintendent had the right to ‘fire’ the plaintiff, and no one could question his authority to do so, not even the board,” the lawsuit said.  Prior to his mid-year termination on February 17, Colquitt had been the acting head freshman football coach and assistant varsity coach of the Oak Ridge High School football team. He was also an ORHS teacher’s assistant, helping a “special needs” student, the lawsuit said. He had previously been a teacher’s assistant and football coach at Jefferson Middle School.  Colquitt went to work at the high school after head coach Joe Gaddis returned to lead the Wildcats. He agreed to a one-year contract with ORHS to work as a teacher’s assistant, with an annual salary, starting August 2013 and ending June 2014, said the lawsuit, filed on behalf of Colquitt by Oak Ridge attorney Robert W. Knolton.  Colquitt said there hadn’t been any prior notice of a problem, but he was placed on indefinite administrative leave with pay on January 14 while school officials investigated the “inappropriate contact” allegation.  The suit said Colquitt wasn’t given any more details on the nature of the complaint, who made it, or whom might have been interviewed or what they said. He was also not given a chance to contradict the charges that “supposedly constituted ‘inappropriate contact’ with a student,” the lawsuit said. Knolton also hasn’t been able to get that information, the suit said.  The lawsuit said the student’s complaint was apparently related to a school policy regarding iscrimination, harassment, and bullying of students.  “However, the school administration failed to follow its own procedural process in the investigation and furnishing of information to the plaintiff, against whom the complaint was filed,” the lawsuit said.  Colquitt said he was “passed” a termination letter during a meeting in the superintendent’s office on February 17.  Colquitt, who has set up a GoFundMe page to help with legal expenses, said the allegation of inappropriate contact with an Oak Ridge High School student was never properly verified or appropriately investigated. He alleged his due process rights have been violated; his good name, reputation, honor, and integrity have been damaged, and he’s lost past and future earnings. He is seeking a jury trial, $600,000 in compensatory damages, and $500,000 in punitive damages.  For much more on this story, visit www.oakridgetoday.com

 

ORPD, THP teaming up for Operation Safe Start

 

(ORPD) The Oak Ridge Police Department will begin Operation Safe Start on Monday, the first day of school.  The ORPD asked motorists to drive safely in and around school zones, especially during arrival and dismissal times. Every division of the Police Department will be used to strictly enforce traffic ordinances in and around school zones, a press release said.  The press release said the Tennessee Highway Patrol motor squad, along with marked units, will partner with the ORPD this year. Officers will be assigned to enforce all traffic laws and ordinances, and will be targeting drivers who exceed posted speed limits in school zones, drive past school bus warning devices (flashing lights with stop arms), ignore pedestrian rights-of-way (especially in crosswalks), fail to comply with seat belt laws, and demonstrate distracted driving behavior, such as texting while driving.  The Police Department offered the following tips for motorists:

  • Slow down. Observe the speed limit in school zones at all times.
  • Be especially careful when driving on neighborhood streets in and around school zones. Always expect the unexpected.
  • Be alert for youngsters walking to and from school zones as you back out of your driveway or leave your garage.
  • Watch for children on bicycles, especially at intersections and driveways.
  • Stop your car when you see lights flashing on a school bus. Red flashing lights indicate that the bus is stopped and students are loading or disembarking. Do not proceed until the red lights stop flashing and the roadway is clear. Be aware that a child may dash across the street.
  • Always remember, pedestrians have the right-of-way.

 

ORT:  OR Parks & Rec director retiring

 

(Oak Ridge Today) Josh Collins, Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department director, will retire October 1, City Manager Mark Watson said Friday.  Collins has worked for the city for nearly 30 years. He started in 1985 and now manages a department with more than 80 full-time and seasonal personnel, a press release said. Collins oversees the city’s park system, greenways, recreational programs, the Senior Center, and activities ranging from summer camps, aquatics, and the Secret City Festival.  Collins also serves as the staff liaison to the city’s Recreation and Parks Advisory Board, which has been instrumental in completing projects such as the Pavilion on Melton Lake, the release said.  “I have enjoyed my tenure in Oak Ridge and the opportunities afforded me by numerous city managers and city councils,” Collins said. “I am leaving the department in the capable hands of a well-trained staff that is focused on providing a quality recreation experience for the citizens of Oak Ridge and their visitors. They understand their role in the city organization and are prepared to face future challenges.” 

“There are very few people these days that have had as much of an impact on Oak Ridge as Josh Collins,” Watson said. “For the past 29 years, he has renovated the community park system one step at a time on a limited budget. From building Cedar Hill Park twice, to renovating Oak Ridge swimming pool, to adding the PetSafe dog park to our park system, Josh Collins has been instrumental in shaping Oak Ridge today. We honor his professionalism and 29 years of dedicated service.”  Collins and his wife Patti have two children and a grandchild.  Watson said a search process for a replacement will begin to coincide closely with Collins’ planned retirement date.

 

AC Community Action commodity distribution Thursday

 

Anderson County Community Action will be distributing commodities this Thursday August 14th from 10 am to 1 pm at the National Guard Armory in Clinton.  Be sure to have the GREEN card and 6 brown paper bags.  For more information please call our office at 457-5500.

 

ORT:  OR Council preview

 

(Oak Ridge Today) The Oak Ridge City Council on Monday night will consider the start of negotiations over the future of Clark Center Park, a new stoplight on Oak Ridge Turnpike in front of the high school, and changes, including rezonings that could allow a small commercial development near Aldi grocery on South Illinois Avenue.  The meeting starts at 7 p.m. Monday, August 11, in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom.  A resolution to be considered tonight would allow Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson to discuss the future of Clark Center Park with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office. DOE-ORO has said it wants to transfer the park to the city at no cost as long as it remains a recreational park asset for the public.  The Oak Ridge Office now spends about $300,000 per year to maintain the park. One of the questions for city officials is whether Oak Ridge can afford to take over the 80-acre park, which is in south Oak Ridge on Melton Hill Lake. Also known as Carbide Park, it includes two ball fields, two large picnic areas, a small playground, a boat ramp, restrooms, fishing trails, and a beach. It also includes access to the Gallaher Bend Greenway.  The possible transfer is part of the Oak Ridge Office’s assessment of its continued ownership of land across the Oak Ridge Reservation.  Watson has said the proposed transfer is part of a cost-cutting effort in DOE’s Oak Ridge Office, and running a park is not really part of the department’s mission.  If the resolution is approved tonight, Watson is expected to provide Council with a monthly report on the discussions with DOE.  The proposed stoplight in front of Oak Ridge High School on Oak Ridge Turnpike could cost about $200,000. The money would come out of the Special Programs Fund, which collected money from tickets issued by the traffic cameras that stopped operating in Oak Ridge in April. The money was designated for traffic safety, school crossings, and bicycle and pedestrian safety.  In March, Council asked the Traffic Safety Advisory Board to review possible traffic control alternatives to improve pedestrian safety at the crossing and make a recommendation to the Council. Besides the stoplight, other options discussed included a pedestrian hybrid beacon, flashing pedestrian warning sign beacon, a crossing guard, and additional pavement markings and signs.  The TSAB approved the traffic signal in a 5-2 vote in July.  The rezonings and Land Use Plan amendment to be considered by Council tonight would allow a small commercial development on a few acres acres between South Purdue Avenue and South Illinois Avenue near Woodland Terrace East. The property is between Aldi grocery and Weigel’s.

 

OR Community Band Labor Day concert

 

Oak Ridge Community Band Labor Day Concert will be held at 7:00 p.m., A.K. Bissell Park on Monday September 1st. There is no admission fee and refreshments will be available for purchase from Razzleberry's Ice Cream Lab. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for outdoor seating. The concert program will feature several vocalists. For more information, call 865-482-3568 or visit www.orcb.org.

 

AC election results

 

Here are the results from races in Thursday’s election in Anderson County:

County Mayor:  Terry Frank (7856 votes) def. Jim Hackworth (6193) and Bradley Rickett (619). 

Sheriff:  Paul White (7386) def. Anthony Lay (6918).

General Sessions Judge, Division 1:  Don Layton (8628) def. Ryan Spitzer (4939).

General Sessions Judge, Division 2:  Roger Miller (6986) def. Ron Murch (6129).

Juvenile Court Judge:  Brian Hunt (8810) def. Michael Clement (4650).

Circuit Court Clerk:  William Jones (7163) def. Tyler Mayes (5993).

Register of Deeds:  Tim Shelton (6984) def. Bill Gallaher (6712).

School Board, District 2:  Teresa Portwood (1155) def. Greg Crawford (847).

School Board, District 7:  Don Bell (820) def. Steve Fritts (468)

County Commission, District 1:  Tracy Wandell (838) and Chuck Fritts (826) hold off challenge from Floyd Grisham (718).

District 2:  Rick Meredith (1474) and Mark Alderson (1344) re-elected.

District 3:  Steve Emert (1040) re-elected, Phillip Warfield (838) elected, ousting incumbent Dusty Irwin.

District 4:  Tim Isbel (950) re-elected, Chris Phillips (607) elected.

District 5:  Jerry White (876) and Robert McKamey (690) re-elected.

District 6:  Steve Mead (549) and Whitey Hitchcock (549) re-elected.

District 7:  Jerry Creasey (803) re-elected, Theresa Scott (531) elected to first term.

District 8:  Myron Iwanski (1297) and Robin Biloski (1145) re-elected.

Constable District 1:  Jennings Foust (2468)

Constable District 2:  Jason Stokes (1790) and Eugene Chaney (1408) elected.

Constable District 3:  Wade Brock (1088) re-elected.

Constable District 4:  Leslie Ray Wakefield (1713)

Oliver Springs City Judge/Recorder:  Joseph Van Hook (269)

Oliver Springs Court Clerk/Finance Officer:  Ramona Walker (258)

Republican State Executive Committeeman:  Scott David Smith (3794) def. Leon Fritts Shields (2773).

Republican State Executive Committeewoman:  Julia Hurley (6624)

Democratic State Executive Committeeman:  Richard Dawson (2388)

Democratic State executive Committeewoman:  Mary Beth Hickman (1808) def. Dixie Damm (708)

State Senate, 5th District Republican primary:  Randy McNally (8232)

State House of Representatives, District 33 Republican primary:  John Ragan (4487) def. Caitlin Nolan (3719).

State House, District 33 Democratic primary:  Misty Neergaard (1935) def. write-in candidate Leslie Argon (97).

State House, District 36:  Republican Dennis Powers and Democrat James Virgil Kidwell unopposed in respective primaries.

US House of Representatives, 3rd Congressional District:  Chuck Fleischmann (50.8%) def. Weston Wamp (49.2%) and will face Democrat Mary Headrick in the general election in November.

US Senate, Republican primary:  Lamar Alexander (52%) def. several challengers led by Joe Carr (38%) and will face Democrat Gordon Ball in November.

More information will be added later. 

Last night, the Anderson County Election Commission’s website crashed and it is currently suspended so Election Administrator Mark Stephens has forwarded WYSH the link and you can find both the unofficial cumulative results as well as the precinct-by-precinct breakdown.  Here are the links:

Unofficial Cumulative: https://www.dropbox.com/s/iy417uqh0v70oar/Final%20Unofficial.pdf

Unofficial Precinct breakdown: https://www.dropbox.com/s/u8wec4er5i5rbh5/precinct.pdf

You can also find results at http://www.andersontn.org 

 

ORT:  Roane election results

 

(Oak Ridge Today) Roane County Executive Ron Woody was elected to a second four-year term on Thursday, and Sheriff Jack Stockton won a third term.  Woody beat former county mayor Mike Farmer, who lost to Woody after one term, by a 60 to 40 percent margin. The unofficial vote tally, with all precincts reporting, was 3,388 votes for Woody to 2,237 for Farmer.  Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton coasted to re-election, beating Rockwood Police Department Patrolman Jared Hall by a 78 to 22 percent margin. The vote tally was 4,504 to 1,284, according to the unofficial election results.  Sarah Stewart finished first in a field of three candidates to become Roane County Circuit Court Clerk. She had 2,197 votes (40 percent) to 2,088 votes (38 percent) for Ann Goldston and 1,213 (22 percent) for Marty Miles. In a tight race for Roane County School Board 3/4, Mike Taylor collected 399 votes (37 percent) to 346 for L. Sam Cox (32 percent) and 343 (32 percent) for Mike Smith. Two seats were available.  James Brummett of Oliver Springs and Steve Kelley of Oak Ridge were unopposed for the two seats in on Roane County Commission, District 4.  See the results here.

 

ORT:  DOE wants park to remain park

 

(Oak Ridge Today) The U.S. Department of Energy wants to ensure that Clark Center Park remains a “recreational park asset” if it is transferred to the city of Oak Ridge, an official said this week.  Some have expressed concern that the 80-acre park could be turned into a gated community or a waterfront development if DOE turns the property over to the city.  John C. Shewairy, assistant manager for administration in DOE’s Oak Ridge Office, told our partners at Oak Ridge Today that federal officials are interested in transferring the property to the city as a “public benefit conveyance.”  DOE and the city have started a conversation about whether the park might be transferred to the city. Still in its early stages, the proposal was discussed during a recent Oak Ridge City Council work session, and the discussion is expected to resume during a Monday night City Council meeting.  Shewairy said DOE has not set any deadlines for a response from the city, and the department has not established any timeframes for pursuing options to dispose of the property. There is no plan to close the park after Labor Day, he said.  DOE spends about $300,000 per year to maintain the park. Shewairy said the work is done through a contract administered by the Oak Ridge Office. Depending upon the time of year, one to three employees tend to the park, he said.  City Manager Mark Watson said the proposed transfer is part of a cost-cutting effort in DOE’s Oak Ridge Office.  Watson has said he wants the community to weigh in on the decision about what to do with the park.  Clark Center Park is in south Oak Ridge on Melton Hill Lake. Also known as Carbide Park, it includes two ball fields, two large picnic areas, a small playground, a boat ramp, restrooms, fishing trails, and a beach. It also includes access to the Gallaher Bend Greenway. It’s a popular swimming, boating, picnicking, and fishing destination.  The City Council meeting on Monday starts at 7 p.m. in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom.  For more on this story, visit our partners at www.oakridgetoday.com

 

Report:  AC Jail deficiencies being corrected

 

An annual inspection of the Anderson County Jail indicates that the facility does not meet minimum standards for jails in Tennessee, according to a report in the News-Sentinel.  Republican Sheriff candidate Anthony Lay requested the report and distributed copies of it to some local media outlets this week.  Chief Jailer Larry Davidson says that overall, the report was actually quite favorable but that there are some issues that need to be addressed, mostly stemming from the opening of the new 212-bed addition and the renovations to the older part of the facility.  Davidson told the paper that state inspectors will return to the jail on September 22nd and that he anticipates that all of the problems noted in the inspection report should be taken care of by then.  The report criticized the jail for not posting evacuation routes in the new addition, not providing inmates with a full list of jail rules and not having all of the showers painted.  The issues are being addressed, according to Davidson, and jail staffers fully expect that to pass the September inspection, which would remove the jail from the state’s “plan of action” that was put into effect due to jail overcrowding.  The overcrowding issue and fears that the jail could be decertified by the state prompted county officials to raise property taxes a few years ago to pay off bonds issued to pay for the jail project and other county needs.  The expansion also allows jailers to properly classify prisoners, which has allowed officials to temporarily close the minimum-security dormitory that was also part of the jail expansion project. 

 

THP urges back-to-school safety

 

(THP) The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) is urging motorists to utilize extra caution in school zones, around school buses and in neighborhoods during the 2014-15 school year. State Troopers will work to raise school safety awareness, and target traffic violators, specifically those who speed in school zones, drive distracted and disregard stopped school buses that are loading and unloading children.  “There will be more young pedestrians on the roadways, specifically, in and around the schools, as the academic year begins,” Colonel Tracy Trott said. “State troopers and local law enforcement need everyone’s help in providing each child with safe passage to school and back home again. Please make safety a priority around school zones and buses in Tennessee.”  State Troopers issued 6,924 citations in school zones during the 2013-2014 school year. That’s an increase from the 4,993 citations issued in 2012-13. Last year’s citations included 839 speeding violations and one citation for passing a stopped school bus.  Since 2011, there has been a 6.0 percent decline in the number of crashes occurring in school zones between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and the hours of 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Tennessee.  There was also a 6.9 percent increase in the number of school bus-involved crashes between those same hours.  In Tennessee, there have been 54 pedestrians killed on state roadways in 2014.  That’s six more than at this time in 2013.  “Everyone shares a responsibility to make sure pedestrians and bicyclists are safe,” Trott said. “We are urging all motorists to drive cautiously, limit your cell phone use in school zones and do not pass other vehicles in school zones or at crosswalks.”  The THP Pupil Transportation unit also oversees all school bus inspections in the state and determines whether public school bus systems are in compliance with the safety requirements by state law.  Each day, 26 million children in the United States ride school buses, including 600,000 in Tennessee, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  The speed limit in school zones is 15 miles per hour and the fine for speeding in a school zone is up to $500. It is also against the law to pass a school bus when it is stopped and loading or unloading passengers. The driver can be fined no less than $250 and up to $1,000.

 

‘Hike & Bike’ August 15th in OR

 

A Covenant Health fitness expert will lead a “Hike and Bike” at Haw Ridge on Friday, August 15.  The “Hike and Bike” will be led by fitness expert Missy Kane. Participants will enjoy a three- to five-mile hike with different length options. They can drive or ride bikes to Riverside Grille afterward for an optional lunch.  During that lunch, Kane will share personal tips for health and fitness. She will be joined by Karen Lacey, a registered dietitian for Methodist Medical Center. Lacey will discuss healthy eating and how to fuel your body for exercise.  Haw Ridge Park is situated on a scenic peninsula along the Clinch River between Knoxville and Oak Ridge. It has nearly 30 miles of trails to accommodate walkers, hikers, mountain bikers, and trail runners.  Call (865) 835-4662 for more information about the hike and to register.

 

TCFP offers free yoga

 

Take Charge Fitness Program at 1921 N. Charles Seivers Boulevard in Clinton will be hosting FREE yoga classes on Friday, August 15th to help EVERYONE enjoy National Relaxation Day!!   The following classes are available on that day:  9:30 Yoga (for all levels) & 10:30 Chair Yoga (for beginners).  The community is invited to just take time to slow down, breathe and experience the stress reducing benefits of our yoga classes!  If you have any questions, please contact Take Charge Fitness staff at 865-457-8237!

 

Extreme Classroom Makeover results unveiled in Rocky Top

 

Rocky Top Middle School debuted a technologically-updated science classroom on Tuesday.  The upgrade was made possible by a grant from ORAU and Roane State Community College totaling $30,000.  The award was announced earlier this year as part of ORAU’s “Extreme Classroom Makeover.”  Susan Silvey's science classroom was the big winner this year, and she spent the summer picking out new technology for her classroom and installing it for her students. 

 

Follow-Up:  ORPD releases info on Saturday incident

 

(Oak Ridge Today) More information has been released by the Oak Ridge Police Department about a Saturday night incident in which officers opened fire on a woman who pointed a pistol at them.  According to a press release, Officer Leslie Miller fired one shot and Officer Christopher Carden fired three rounds at 46-year-old Anna King, who was not struck by any of the bullets.  Police responded to the home on Jonathan Lane at about 11:37 p.m. Saturday after King’s boyfriend called police to report that King had threatened to commit suicide. Besides Miller and Carden, Officer Kenneth Prickett was also dispatched to the home to check King’s welfare, the press release said.  “Upon arrival, officers observed Ms. King on the sidewalk in front of the residence, holding a semi-automatic pistol to her head,” the release said. “Officers ordered Ms. King to place her weapon on the ground; however, she ignored the commands and alternated pointing her weapon at her head and the ground by her side.  As officers continued to order Ms. King to put down her weapon, she suddenly raised the weapon and pointed it at Officer Miller. Fearing for her safety, Officer Miller fired one round at Ms. King while Officer Carden, who also feared for Officer Miller’s safety, fired three rounds at Ms. King, who fell backwards.  Ms. King then sat up and held the pistol under her chin while manipulating the slide of the pistol and pulling the trigger.”  The release said Carden deployed his Taser to control King, while Miller and Prickett secured her weapon and handcuffed her.  Though uninjured in the incident, King was transported to Methodist Medical Center for evaluation.  Three counts of aggravated assault are pending against King, the press release said. All officers involved in the incident were placed on administrative leave. The investigation remains ongoing, and no further information will be released at this time, the ORPD said.

 

AC Chamber holding Small Business seminar

 

The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center will host a FREE workshop on what it takes for a small business to become bankable for lenders.  The TSBDC advises and assists entrepreneurs and small business owners in our area at no cost to them.  This free seminar will be held on Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce office, 245 N. Main St., Ste., 200, Clinton, with Jutta Bangs, Senior Business Specialist with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center.  Topics will include: How to understand the basics of financial statements since it’s the first thing a lender wants; What specifically a lender wants from an existing business; What specifically a lender wants from a start-up business; and SBA loan guarantees.  A guest speaker from a financial institution will also be on hand.  Space is limited and advance registration is required for this FREE workshop.  Reserve your space by contacting the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce, 865-457-2559 or email: accc@andersoncountychamber.org. To learn more about the TSBDC visit www.roanestate.edu/tsbdc.

 

AC schools receive $2K for efforts to promote saving for college

 

State Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr. has presented the Anderson County school system with a $2,000 check for its efforts to get parents to complete an online tutorial about the importance of saving of college.  School officials received the money in exchange for getting parents of children who attend their schools to participate in the tutorial online. The tutorial provides information about the TNStars 529 College Savings Program, which offers Tennesseans a way to save with certain tax advantages.  People who open accounts with TNStars can choose from different investment options ranging from conservative to aggressive. One of those options is an age-based option in which investments are structured to be more aggressive when children are younger, then become more conservative as children approach college age. Taxes aren’t paid on investment earnings as long as that money is used for qualified higher education expenses.   The promotion with Anderson County schools was part of a pilot project that the Treasury Department plans to offer at other school systems across the state.  Participating school systems will receive $5 for each parent who views the tutorial. And for a limited time, those who complete the tutorial and open an account will receive a $25 contribution into their TNStars 529 College Savings account.   “I congratulate Anderson County parents for their participation in our program,” Treasurer Lillard said. “I’m pleased that so many of them chose to view the tutorial. I hope many of them will follow through and open college savings accounts for their children. It’s important to start saving money when children are still young. Making regular contributions to an account, even small amounts of money, can really make a big difference over time.”  Anderson County Schools Director Larry Foster added:  “We were very pleased to have worked with Treasurer Lillard and his staff in creating an awareness of the need to prepare for a college education. We applaud the Treasury Department for placing value on acquiring an education beyond high school.  The curriculum infused into our program of studies is value-added and has been well received by our teachers.  This initiative blends well with our Gear UP grant and helps build support for continuing education.  The savings aspect helps keep the hope alive for any child who wants to further his or her education.”

 

Kingston park grant announced

 

State Senator Ken Yager and Representative Kent Calfee announced today that the city of Kingston will receive a $250,000 Local Park and Recreation Fund (LPRF) grant from the Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).  The funds will be used to construct a new ball field with dugouts, bleachers, soccer fields, a playground, restroom facilities, a basketball court, parking facilities and walkways.  The Tennessee General Assembly established the LPRF grant program in 1991 to provide local governments with funds to enhance and expand outstanding recreational projects such as parks, community centers, ball fields and playgrounds. The grants are administered through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).  The funds may also be used for the development of trails and natural areas or greenways.  All LPRF grants require a 50 percent match by the recipient. 

 

Work on schedule for Blankenship bleachers

 

Officials are hopeful that the new visitor’s side bleachers at Oak Ridge's Blankenship Field will be ready for Oak Ridge High School’s first home football game on August 29th.  Maintenance crews have laid the groundwork for the project and now it will be up to contractors to assemble the new bleachers.  The old bleachers were built around 1953, and were built using temporary structures like what circuses use when they come into town.  The old bleachers were deemed a safety hazard last year and demolished.  The new bleachers will be safer because they will be anchored to the ground.

 

Y-12 trio appeals convictions

 

Attorneys for three peace protesters who were convicted of sabotage after they broke into the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge have filed an appeal.  Sister Megan Rice was sentenced two three years in prison, while her companions, Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli were given 5 year sentences.  The trio used bolt cutters to get through fences surrounding Y-12 in July 2012 and reach the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility, a storage bunker that holds the nation's primary supply of bomb-grade uranium. The three hung signs, splashed blood on the building, and painted messages before being confronted by a security guard.  The appeal claims the charge of sabotage was too much, since the three never had any intention of causing any harm or real damage to the facility. It also claims the government never proved that the three interfered with national security with their actions.  Attorneys also argue that the prosecution prejudiced the jury by mentioning the September 11 terrorist attacks in closing arguments.

 

Federal judge signs off on TVA settlement

 

A federal judge has approved an agreement by TVA to pay $27.8 million to settle claims from Roane County property owners who suffered damages in the huge spill of coal ash sludge in December of 2008.  U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Varlan approved the settlement on Monday.  The settlement is with more than 800 property owners.

 

AC Historical Society, Clinton Library team up

 

The Anderson County Historical Society and the Clinton Public Library will offer a series of 4 free genealogy classes this fall.  The first class is scheduled for Monday, August 25th from 6-8 pm in the community room of the Clinton Library.  This month's topic will be Genealogy Research at the Courthouse, Library or Archives.  ACHS member, genealogist and local historian Stephanie Hill will discuss strategies for planning your visit, locating and accessing records and maximizing your results.  Seating is limited; call the Clinton Library at 865-457-0519 to register.  Forms and course material are free to participants.

 

ACSD seeking info on impersonator


The Anderson County Sheriff's Department is asking for the public's help in identifying a police impersonator who stopped a female motorist Monday night at around
10 pm on Laurel Road near Clinton.  The impersonator pulled over the motorist using a red flashing light on his dash but turned the light off after they stopped.  The vehicle was described as a dark colored late 90s Chevrolet Lumina.  The impersonator was described as a white male, mid-30s to mid-40s, 5'10" to 5'11", about 200 pounds with a stomach that hung slightly over his belt.  He had ear length brown hair, combed to one side, balding on top of the head with a receding hairline and a graying mustache.  He was wearing a white button-up shirt with dark dress pants and had a gold or brass colored badge on his left side and a revolver in a dark colored soft holster on his right side.  The impersonator spoke in a deep "country" voice and asked the motorist for her driver's license and to search her car.  When she received a call on her cell phone he stated she was "free to go" and left traveling toward Clinton on Laurel Road.  The victim then drove away and contacted the Sheriff's Department.  Anyone having information on this incident is asked to call Sergeant Jeff Davis of the Sheriff's Criminal Investigations Unit at 865-457-6255, extension 1141, or our Communications Center at 865-457-2414.  The Anderson County Sheriff's Department would like to remind motorists if they are unsure if they are being pulled over by an actual law enforcement officer they should turn on their hazard flashers, call 911, and slowly drive to a well-lit area such as a business or store before stopping.

 

CHS transfer declared ineligible, appeal pending

 

Clinton High School wide receiver Jaylond Woods, who transferred from Lenoir City has been ruled ineligible by the TSSAA.  CHS AD Dan Jenkins plans to appeal the ruling Monday in Murfreesboro.  As part of the transfer process the rest of the benchmarks of which have reportedly been met with out problems, Lenoir City officials had to write a letter to TSSAA stating that the transfer was not for athletic or disciplinary reasons and that he would be welcome back at the school if not for the transfer.  Apparently, the letter they sent to the state indicated that his transfer was for disciplinary reasons, but did not indicate the nature of those reasons.  Jenkins says that since arriving at Clinton, Woods has been a “great kid” with no problems whatsoever.  Woods participated in the Dragons’ 7-on-7 practice sessions last month but did not take part in a scrimmage last week against Bearden.  Woods has verbally committed to the University of Tennessee’s 2015 recruiting class.  We will keep you posted as developments warrant.

 

Clinton Fire Department cuts ribbon expanded HQ

 

Officials dedicated the renovated, full-service fire station behind Clinton City Hall on Monday morning.  The $300,000 project will cut firefighters’ response times to the western side of the city and opening up this third station means that all of Clinton is within a four-minute response time window.  After UT’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service recommended building a third fire station, city officials decided to enclose part of the employee parking lot behind City Hall, expand the Fire Department’s administrative offices, and build living quarters and a kitchen that will allow the new station to be staffed around the clock for the first time since 1995 by three full-time firefighters. 

 

Yager announces Morgan energy grant

 

(Submitted) State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) announced today that Morgan County will receive $41,390 in Clean Tennessee Energy Grants.  The grant program provides financial assistance to state and local government agencies, utility districts, and quasi-government entities in Tennessee to purchase, install and construct energy projects.  "It is becoming increasingly difficult for county budgets to keep up with utility costs," said Senator Yager.  "With taxpayers funding the cost, it is very important that we utilize energy efficient methods to control them.  I congratulate our local officials for helping to secure these funds."  According the Department of Conservation and Environment, the county will use the funds installing a turn-key, fixed photovoltaic roof mounted solar array totaling 24.9 kilowatts that will generate 31,867 estimated kilowatt-hours for the Morgan County Highway Department building.   The solar array will be constructed to allow for maximum peak sunlight and generation.  It is estimated that the savings from the addition of the solar panels would reduce energy usage by 31,867 kWh annually.  "We continue to look for ways to promote environmental awareness and energy efficiency within state government and within Tennessee's communities," said Tennessee Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau. "We are very pleased with the impressive roster of applicants seeking energy efficient ways to decrease emissions and reduce expenses at the local level."  Only 21 grants were awarded statewide.

 

New state law takes some burden off local governments

 

(Oak Ridge Today) A new state law is expected to provide relief to government budgets in mandated health care costs for inmates, according to a press release.  State Senator Mike Bell, R-Riceville, and Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank recently held a news conference in Knoxville to discuss the benefits to taxpayers that will result from the legislation.  The press release said the legislation was a result of a brainstorming session sponsored by the Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents in East Tennessee late last year. Sheriffs, district attorneys, county executives, judges, corrections administrators, health professionals, and bail bondsmen representing more than 32 Tennessee counties gathered to discuss the shared concern of jail overcrowding and costs threatening county budgets across the state.  “This new law sets out a framework and legal basis for counties to reduce medical expenses for inmates who receive medical care outside of a jail,” said Bell, who is chairman of the Senate Government Operations Committee. “While it does not solve all the issues surrounding the rapidly- increasing costs of incarceration in Tennessee, it will provide some immediate relief to government budgets that are spending more to address these issues at the detriment of other needs.”  Currently, TennCare is terminated upon a prisoner’s incarceration in state and local jails, meaning taxpayers are required to pay the bill if he or she is transported to a medical facility for treatment.  The new law allows the state and local government to seek reimbursement under Medicaid, with the federal government picking up a maiority of the costs for Medicaid-eligible inmates who are awaiting trial but remain incarcerated because they cannot make bail, as well as those who are admitted to inpatient health care facilities for more ihan 24 hours. lt also authorizes local governments to “piggy-back” on state contracts to manage pharmacy benefits, with the savings being remitted back to them, the release said.  Similar legislation approved in North Carolina saved taxpayers in that state more than $100 million in healthcare costs for prisoners, the release said.

 

AC Chamber holding social media marketing seminar

 

(AC Chamber) The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce welcomes Daniel Monday and Jayme Lyttle from Slamdot, who will present this month’s seminar series “Facebook and Social Media Marketing on a Shoestring Budget”, scheduled for Wednesday, August 20, from 11:30 to 1:00 p.m. at the Chamber office.  Facebook marketing on a shoestring budget IS doable. You have to pay to play in the online marketing world, but you don't always have to pay a lot. If you could add new Facebook followers to your page for 1 cent each, would you do it? Would you pay $10 to gain an additional 1,000 followers that are constantly waiting to hear your message? If you answered 'yes', then please join us! We will be taking you through, step-by-step, literally showing you how to grow your Facebook audience for less than the cost of a pizza!"  Free to Chamber members - $10 for non-Chamber members.  A limited number of seats are available.  Reserve your space for this valuable presentation by Tuesday, August 19.  Call the Chamber at 865-457-2559 or email:  accc@andersoncountychamber.org to reserve.

 

OR woman likely facing charges

 

A woman is likely facing charges after pointing a pistol at Oak Ridge Police officers on Saturday night.  Oak Ridge Police say that officers responded to a home on Jonathan Lane shortly after 11:30 pm Saturday night to conduct a welfare check on a 46-year-old woman who had reportedly threatened to harm herself.  When officers arrived, they encountered the woman on a sidewalk outside the home and reported that she kept pointing the gun at her head, then her neck, alternating between the two.  Officers ordered her to drop the gun but she refused, at one point, aiming it at officers, who opened fire in response.  She was not hit by any of the shots fired by police and was taken into custody without further incident.  The woman was taken to Methodist Medical Center for evaluation and possible treatment.  No one was injured in the incident and no charges had been filed as of the time this report was filed, but charges are pending against the woman, whose name has not been released.

 

Early voting goes out with a bang

 

Early voting for Thursday’s Anderson County general election and the state and federal primaries wrapped up with a flourish over the weekend.  On Friday alone, 981 people turned out at the polls to cast an early ballot and on Saturday, the final day of the early voting period, another 549 voted, meaning that in the final two days of the session, 1530 people voted.  Overall, the 14-day total came in at 8670 early voters.  Of those, 6025 took part in the Republican primary, 2013 voted in the Democratic primary and 632 voters opted not to vote in either primary.  Election Day is Thursday and polls will be open from 9 am to 8 pm.  For information, call the Election Commission at 865-457-6238 or visit www.acelect.com.  

 

TVA settles lawsuits for $27.8 million

 

(AP) TVA has agreed to pay $27.8 million to settle claims from Tennessee property owners who suffered damages from a huge spill of coal ash sludge.  The December 2008 spill happened when a containment dike burst at the utility’s Kingston Fossil Plant, releasing more than 5 million cubic yards of ash from a storage pond. The sludge flowed into a river and spoiled hundreds of acres in the Swan Pond community.  U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Varlan ruled in 2012 that TVA was liable for the spill. He wrote in his opinion that if TVA had followed its own policies, the problems that led to the dike failure would have been investigated and addressed.  The settlement with more than 800 property owners was announced on Friday. Varlan still has to approve it.  TVA is spending $1.2 billion on the cleanup and restoration, which it expects to conclude next spring.  Prior to the deal announced on Friday, TVA already had settled more than 200 claims for about $80 million, purchasing more than 900 acres from affected property owners. TVA is converting some of that land into parks and green space that includes boat launches and walking trails. Another portion of the property has been donated to Roane County. TVA also gave $43 million to the Roane County Economic Development Foundation for community development projects.  An estimated 500,000 cubic yards of ash remain at the bottom of the Emory and Clinch Rivers. In 2012, the EPA approved a plan to leave the remaining ash in place because dredging it would stir up contaminants.  TVA has agreed to monitor the site for 30 years at a cost of about $10 million. The utility is also converting its other wet-storage coal ash facilities to dry storage at a total cost of $1.5 to $2 billion. That work is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2022.

 

Roane legislators announce road project award

 

(Submitted) State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) and Representative Kent Calfee (R-Kingston) announced today that the Department of Transportation (TDOT) has awarded the bid to begin paving State Route 29 (Ruritan Road) from Pine Ridge Road to State Route 61 (U.S.27).  The project will complete the four-laning of Pine Ridge Road in Harriman to U.S. 27.  “Completing the four lanes to Highway 27 will alleviate traffic congestion as well as improve the traffic flow in an already busy commercial area,” said Senator Yager.   “A completed four lane highway will improve the looks of the area and enhance business growth.” The $9.6 million project, which will include grading and drainage improvements, was awarded to Rogers Group, Inc.  The project length is .892 miles and the completion time is on or before May 31, 2016.  At the lawmakers urging, the project was included in the Tennessee Department of Transportation’ program of work.  Both Senator Yager and Representative Calfee recognize the leadership of TDOT Commissioner John Schroer to make the project possible.

 

State:  Beware bogus business forms

 

Secretary of State Tre Hargett is warning Tennessee businesses to be aware of a new, potentially misleading solicitation. The Secretary of State's office has received inquiries about a Certificate of Authorization Request Form distributed by an entity called "SCC." The solicitation states that in exchange for a fee of $68, the business will receive a Tennessee Certificate of Existence and Business Entity Detail Report. This SCC solicitation is not a notice issued by the Tennessee Secretary of State or any other governmental entity.  A Certificate of Existence is used by a business to prove, if needed, that it is registered with the Secretary of State and is active and in good standing. Certificates of Existence may be needed by financial institutions to open accounts or for purposes of obtaining loans, or may be requested by other states when Tennessee businesses want to transact business outside of Tennessee. However, there is not a blanket requirement that businesses in Tennessee obtain a Certificate of Existence at any given time.  Any customer who wishes to obtain a Certificate of Existence directly from the Division of Business Services may do so by requesting and paying for one online at our website, https://tnbear.tn.gov/Ecommerce/CertOfExistenceInstr.aspx, or by sending a request form along with a check for the fee through the mail. The cost for a Certificate of Existence issued directly from the Tennessee Secretary of State is only $20. In addition, a Business Entity Detail Report can be obtained for free by going to our website.  ustomers may call the Secretary of State's Business Services Division at 615-741-6488 for more information.

 

Rockwood board approves water, sewer rate increase

 

Earlier this week, the Rockwood Sewer and Gas Board unanimously voted on first reading to increase the city’s water and sewer rates.  The increase is the first rate hike in three years, according to city officials.  The water and sewer bills for customers in the city who use up to 1496 gallons of water a month will see their bills increase by about $2.23 a month while utility customers outside Rockwood who use up to 2992 gallons each month will go up by $6.09 per month.  The increases were necessary, according to officials, to help reduce debt, pay vehicle maintenance costs and to offset operating costs that have risen by some 20% in the past three years.

 

Report:  OR rail museum plans back on track?

 

According to the News-Sentinel, the effort to create a railroad museum in Oak Ridge may have new life.  Officials with the Southern Appalachian Railway Museum have reportedly asked the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee to look into other options after a plan to build a museum using grant money was scrapped due to higher-than-expected costs.  CROET officials said this week that a historic security checkpoint at what was the K-25 site, now known as the East Tennessee Technology Park, could be refurbished and turned into a home for the museum, which would preserve the history of rail travel in East Tennessee.  CROET says they could renovate the building at Portal 4 and lease it to SARM but officials caution that more analysis needs to be done to ensure the project will be economically feasible for both groups.  The railway museum would feature artifacts from the railroad industry and serve as the departure and arrival point for the scenic excursion trains the non-profit group operates, which have proven to be quite popular.  

 

ORT:  Int’l Friendship Bell housing being dismantled

 

(Oak Ridge Today) A work crew began taking apart the International Friendship Bell House located in Alvin K. Bissell Park on Monday.  A structural evaluation of the bell house earlier this year determined that most of the structure holding the 8,000-pound bell was beyond repair due to water damage to the support beams. The report recommended closing the International Friendship Bell House due to public safety concerns.  The city of Oak Ridge is now working with a number of interested citizens and the Recreation and Parks Board on a campaign to replace the structure with a new permanent building.  Once the dismantling of bell house is complete, the Friendship Bell will be lowered to the ground. The bell will once again be accessible to the public for viewing purposes but not for ringing until the bell house reconstruction is complete.  The work to dismantle the bell house should be completed within two weeks.  The bell is a symbol of the friendship between Oak Ridge and Japan.  The Bell was cast more than 20 years ago under the sponsorship of the “Committee of 50,” as part of the 50th anniversary of the founding of Oak Ridge. It was presented to the city by the Oak Ridge Community Foundation in 1996 as a lasting legacy “to express for the future the profound longing and commitment to work for freedom, well-being, justice, and peace for all people of the world.”

 

Reminder:  Harwell visits AC Chamber

 

Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives Beth Harwell will be in Clinton for a meet-and-greet at the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce on Friday afternoon.  The “Meet & Greet” is scheduled from 3 to 4:30 pm at the Chamber office at 245 North Main Street, Suite 200, in Clinton. The public is invited.  A Nashville Republican, Harwell also had other stops in Anderson County today, starting in Oak Ridge, where she and State Representative John Ragan shook hands at the Boys and Girls Club and toured the Emory Valley Center.  Harwell represents the 56th District, which includes a part of Davidson County.  For more information, contact the Chamber at (865) 457-2559. 

 

Theft leads to arrest

 

An Oliver Springs man was arrested Wednesday afternoon in the parking lot of the Clinton Towers on a charge of felony theft.  The incident began Wednesday morning when an employee of Interstate Mechanical Contractors, which is doing work at First Baptist Church, called Clinton Police and reported that a Lincoln welder valued at $6800 had been stolen during the overnight hours.  Later that morning, an employee of the company called the CPD and told them that a pawn shop in Knoxville had notified them that someone was there trying to pawn the welder.  Before Knoxville Police could arrive at the pawn shop, the suspect left without selling the welder, but a witness provided investigators with a description of the van he left in as well as its license plate.  At around noon, a Clinton officer spotted the suspect’s van and initiated a traffic stop in the parking lot of the Towers.  Several officers responded to the scene to assist in the arrest, which went down without incident.  31-year-old Billy Joe Jackson of Oliver Springs was arrested on charges of felony theft and driving on a revoked license as well as on a violation of probation warrant out of Morgan County.  An adult and a juvenile in the van with Jackson were released without any charges.  As of this morning, Jackson remained in custody at the Anderson County Jail. 

 

ORNL cancels accent class after flap

 

After an overwhelmingly negative reaction from employees, Oak Ridge National Laboratory has decided to drop a class that teaches how to minimize a southern accent.  Officials say that some employees had requested the class, and the laboratory's human resources department decided to open it up to all 4,000 employees.  To advertise the class, HR sent an email that implied there was something wrong with southern accents. Officials have since admitted that the email came across completely wrong and apologized for the miscommunication.  ORNL offers these accent classes frequently because English is a second language for many of its employees.

 

ACSD offers back-to-school safety tips

 

Another school year begins Monday, August 4th, for the high school students with the first day of school for all students on Wednesday, August 6th. The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department would like to offer the following tips to make our school zones safer and improve traffic safety.  With school in session, there will be significantly more traffic. Pedestrians, buses, and parents all contribute to school zone congestion. Many schools in Anderson County are faced with traffic issues especially during the first few days.  Motorists should have a heightened awareness in and around a school zone. Potential hazards are much easier to perceive when driving the school zone speed limit. Special attention must also be paid to buses displaying flashing red lights when on an undivided roadway. In these instances, drivers are required by state law to stop and wait until the flashing red lights are turned off before passing a bus.

Please follow these suggestions to help make school zones safer for everyone:

  • Don’t speed.
  • Don’t impede traffic.
  • Don’t block intersections or school entrances and exits.
  • Don’t make U-turns. 
  • Watch for children walking or on bicycles.
  • Always make sure that your children are wearing seatbelts when driving them to and from school.

Sheriff’s deputies will be enforcing all traffic laws in our school zones. Please slow down, be alert, and drive with care and caution for the safety of our children.

 

ORT:  City considers taking over park from DOE

 

(Oak Ridge Today) The U.S. Department of Energy is considering turning Clark Center Park over to the federal General Services Administration, which could sell it, Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson told City Council members Monday. He said that it’s part of a cost-cutting effort in DOE’s Oak Ridge Office.  Our partners at Oak Ridge Today report  that Watson suggested DOE was moving quickly and could shut down the park as early as this fall. But before that happens, Watson said, he wanted to give residents and officials a chance to weigh in.  City Council members said Monday they want more information, and suggested they would like to have additional discussions to possibly keep the popular 80-acre park, which is located in south Oak Ridge on Melton Hill Lake. Also known as Carbide Park, it includes two ball fields, two large picnic areas, a small playground, a boat ramp, restrooms, fishing trails, and a beach. It also includes access to the Gallaher Bend Greenway.  ORT reports that city officials have a variety of questions they would like to try to answer before agreeing to take over the property: The Council could next consider the park during its August 11 meeting. That meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom.

 

2 commissioners at odds over legal fees

 

Two Anderson County commissioners are at odds over the legality of a measure approved by the Commission last week.  Monday, Commissioner Dusty Irwin e-mailed his fellow commissioners and the media saying that based upon his interpretations of state law and attorney general’s opinions, it is his understanding that County Mayor Terry Frank may be the only person authorized to hire an attorney to represent commissioners responding to subpoenas or other legal notices filed in the ouster suit against Law Director Jay Yeager by a group of citizens earlier this year.  If that turns out to be true, it could mean that a motion passed 13-2 last week by the Commission to authorize each commissioner to hire their own attorney and bill the county, would need to be repealed during a special called meeting.  Irwin says that the commission could consider a new motion that would ask the mayor to hire an attorney to replace Yeager on this matter, writing “Although I am no lawyer, the [law] seems clear that the commission cannot authorize or hire legal counsel in the absence of a law director, and our law director (Jay Yeager) has stated to the commission that he cannot represent or advise us on the ouster suit he is currently involved in.”  Irwin also states:  “Also, it appears to me that only the county mayor can perform this hiring action and that the commission may only approve the expenditure by a majority vote.”  Irwin has called for a special meeting to revisit the issue but none has been scheduled as of this report.  However, Commission Chairman Chuck Fritts says “not so fast” after seeking legal guidance in the matter from the County Technical Assistance Service—or CTAS.  In an e-mail sent Tuesday, Fritts says that CTAS attorneys have told him that the Private Act that created the office of the County Law Director in 2006 supersedes state law and stipulates that the County Commission alone chooses its attorney and not the County Mayor.  Fritts says that the opinions of the CTAS attorneys and an opinion rendered by the Attorney General’s office back up his assertion that the Commission is responsible for hiring its own attorney and not the executive branch of the government.  The AG’s opinion states that “TCA 5-6-112 does not control when there is a private act that governs the hiring of the county attorney” and specifically says that Anderson County’s private act is the statute that needs to be followed.  CTAS also advised Fritts that because the Law Director can be fired at any time, that office is not susceptible to ouster suits like the one filed against Yeager in May.  According to the legal opinion provided to Fritts, county officials can be ousted from office but not county employees and, according to CTAS, since the Anderson County Law Director can be fired at any time, he “is a county employee and not a county officer.  Accordingly, the ouster statutes are not applicable to the Law Director.”  Frank and Yeager have been embroiled in a series of high-profile disputes. Among other things, they often rebut each other at county commission meetings, and the law director has suggested Frank is behind the ouster suit, pointing out that the attorney representing the petitioners in that case was Frank’s attorney in a salary suit filed by the sheriff last year. That attorney, Gregory Brown of Knoxville, also represents Frank in a separate legal action (a petition for declaratory and injunctive relief) filed by the county mayor against Yeager this year.  Frank has responded to Yeager’s claims by saying that it’s a disservice to the petitioners in the ouster suit to suggest that she’s behind the effort to remove the law director.  During last week’s meeting, Yeager recommended each commissioner seek their own legal counsel in the ouster suit or, alternatively, hire an attorney as a group.  Irwin was one of the two commissioners who opposed the motion to pay for officials’ legal fees.  The ouster suit, which was filed in Anderson County Chancery Court in May and amended since, alleges 16 grounds for ouster. Yeager filed a motion to dismiss on July 11, arguing, among other things, that the ouster statute does not apply to the law director position.  Fritts concluded his e-mail to the media Tuesday by writing, “With what I found out today, I can assure you that there will be no hiring of an attorney to represent County Commissioners outside of the County Commission office.”  We will continue to follow this story for you.

 

ASAP:  71 pounds of medicine collected last week in OR

 

Last Saturday, the Oak Ridge Police Department and Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) of Anderson County held an Operation Medicine Cabinet event as part of continuing efforts to reduce drug abuse and practice stewardship toward our environment.  According to ASDAP Project Coordinator Stacey Pratt, 71.0 pounds of medication were collected at the event held at Oak Ridge Police Department.  Medicine collected was incinerated to comply with federal guidelines.  All paper and plastic containers were recycled.  Organizers would like to thank all of those who helped make this event possible, including residents who brought medicine for disposal, Oak Ridge Police Department, Anderson County Solid Waste Department, South College School of Pharmacy, and ASAP volunteers.  Residents are reminded they can utilize permanent medicine disposal bins at Clinton Police Department, Norris Police Department, Oliver Springs Police Department and Rocky Top Police Department.  The next collection event will be held on October 25 at ORPD.  For more information please visit www.ASAPofAnderson.org or call 865-457-3007.

 

ORT:  Gold’s Gym purchase of Rush includes OR location

 

(Oak Ridge Today) Gold’s Gym announced Monday that it has signed a deal to acquire The Rush Fitness Complex, a regional gym chain that has 23 clubs in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, including in Oak Ridge.  The deal is officially slated to close in the next month, Gold’s Gym said in a press release Monday.  As part of the agreement, the 23 Rush Fitness clubs will be rebranded under the Gold’s Gym name. The rebranding is expected to be complete by the end of the year. The clubs will remain open throughout the transition, the company said in the press release. All existing memberships will be honored at the new locations, automatically converting to Gold’s Gym memberships without any interruption to current members.  Current members will also be given the option to gain travel privileges to the Gold’s Gym network of more than 700 locations in 38 states and 28 countries, the press release said.  Other local clubs that will become Gold’s Gyms as part of the deal are located in Lenoir City, Knoxville Center Mall, Farragut, West Knoxville, Alcoa, and Chapman Highway.

 

Local man named Habitat Construction Volunteer of Year in TN

 

(Habitat for Humanity) Each year, Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee holds a state conference in Murfreesboro. Awards are given in several areas recognizing those that have gone above and beyond. The 59 Habitat affiliates in the state are given the opportunity to nominate volunteers for three categories: ReStore Volunteer, Construction Volunteer, and Volunteer Leadership.  Colleen Dudley, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee, announced that this year there were more nominations than ever before. Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County’s chief operating officer, Tim Marcum, nominated Jim Hardy of Oliver Springs for construction volunteer of the year. In his nomination letter, Marcum said that Hardy is his hero, working tirelessly during the week on construction projects, working on every house since 2006.  Jim and Mary Ann Hardy, along with Jim Bailey, were the originators of the Myrick Build, The House that Love Built, honoring Tim and Teresa Myrick. The Hardys contributed $10,000 to this build and also put many hours into raising additional funds for this new build in Heiskell. The state selection board honored Jim Hardy with the award!  The Hardys came to the Awards Dinner in Murfreesboro so that Jim could be present to accept his award.  The staff and Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County want the community to know how thankful they are for all that Jim and Mary Ann Hardy have done for this affiliate. The goal has been met for the Myrick Build; additional donations will be put towards another house to be built in Andersonville.  For information on donating, volunteering, or Habitat’s programs for homeownership or house repair, please call the office at (865) 482-7713. The office and the ReStore are located in Grove Center in Oak Ridge.

 

August events in Anderson County

 

August Train Rides at Secret City Excursion Train

Enjoy a train ride on the Secret City Excursion Train on August 2nd, 15th, and 16th. Departure times will be at 11am, 1pm & 3pm on the 2nd and 16th. On the 15th, trains will depart at 1pm and 3pm. During the ride, passengers will hear the story of the Manhattan Project, which was one of the most remarkable industrial achievements ever accomplished. There will also be a dinner train on the 16th at 6pm. Diners will be treated to a delicious entrée prepared by Chef Andras. For more information, call 865-241-2140 or visit www.southernappalachia.railway.museum.

 

Oak Ridge after Dark, A Summer Entertainment Series – August 8th & 15th at A.K. Bissell Park in Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge after Dark, brought to you by The Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau, is a summer entertainment series providing free, family friendly entertainment in a safe environment for all ages!  August 8th, Einstein Simplified, a comedy improve group will perform. August 15th will be Hero Night with the showing of “The Amazing Spiderman 3”.   Activities are planned beginning at 7pm with the feature entertainment beginning at dusk. Children are encouraged to dress as their favorite character in conjunction with each film. Characters from select films will be on hand for photo opportunities.  Visit www.oakridgevisitor.com/2014/07/01/oak-ridge-after-dark for more information.

 

Imagination Station Summer Camps at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge

June 9th through August 8th, over 70 camp sessions are available for children aged preschool to rising 7th graders. There are morning and afternoon sessions available in the week long camps. For more info, contact the museum.  The Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge is now the permanent new home for UT’s Living Light Solar House. It will be open to the public soon.  For more information, please contact the museum at 865-482-1074 or visitwww.childrensmuseumofoakridge.org.

 

Second Saturdays in Historic Downtown Clinton – August 9th

Join the merchants of Historic Downtown Clinton to celebrate Tennessee's largest antique and specialty shopping district on the second Saturday of the month (May - September). In addition to the great antique shopping, there will be a produce market and flower and plant sales opening at 9:00am. Whatever you're looking for, Clinton has something for everyone! For more information, call 865-264-4258.

 

Southern Rock Racing Series (SRRS) August 9 at Windrock Park

 The southern rock racing series is an off-road hill climb and rock crawling event. This will be round #4 in the racing series.  For more information, visit www.southernrockracing.com.

 

August Classes at the Appalachian Arts Craft Center

The Appalachian Arts Craft Center is offering multiple classes throughout the month of August. Some of these classes include “Beginner Drop Spindle” and “Knitting”.  For information on the class times, how to register, and prices call 865-494-9854 or visit www.appalachianarts.net.

 

August Exhibits at American Museum of Science and Energy

Through - September 14 “Nikon Small World” is an exhibition of 20 award winning photomicrographs of various science subjects. See the unseen. Through September 1 “Clinton Engineer Works (CEW) Real Estate Maps” detail the property boundaries before acquisition by the US Army Corps of Engineers.  Also, AMSE will be offering free admission to the museum through September 1st for active duty military with an ID and five immediate family members.  For more information, call 865-576-3200 or visit www.amse.org.

 

DOE Facilities Bus Tour- Through August 29

This tour is free with paid admission to the American Museum of Science and Energy and runs Mondays through Fridays during the summer, except holidays. Explore the original Manhattan Project sites around Oak Ridge and learn the history behind the development of the world’s first atomic weapon which helped to end WWII. Bus participants must be US citizens, at least 10 years old and have photo id. For more information, contact AMSE at 865-576-3200 or visitwww.amse.org.

 

“Wing Night” – Every Friday Night at Sequoyah Marina

Start off your weekends on Friday night with Sequoyah’s famous "Wing Night" at the dock. Sequoyah Marina serves the best wings on Norris Lake. For more information, call 865-494-7984 or visit www.sequoyahmarina.net.

 

Sundown Saturdays - each Saturday evening at Stardust Marina

Sundown Saturday's will feature live entertainment each Saturday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the patio at Stardust Marina, voted one of the top five marinas in East Tennessee. Kick back, relax and enjoy! For more information, call 865-494-7641or visit www.stardustmarina.com

 

Benefit to feature Inky Johnson, Janelle Arthur

 

The Mayme Carmichael School Organization, Inc. (MCSO) will host their 1st Annual Banquet on Saturday, August, 16, 2014 at the New Hope Center located at 602 Scarboro Road in Oak Ridge. The event will be full of fun and excitement with doors opening at 5:00 P.M.  Nearly 400 guests will enjoy light hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, live auction, dinner and entertainment. The emcee for the evening will be Mel Clemmons, a graduate of Harriman High School and the University of Tennessee; and founder of the Superheroes Foundation. Former University of Tennessee football player, Inky Johnson, will be the guest speaker and Oliver Springs native and 2013 American Idol Contestant, Janelle Arthur, will provide a musical performance. Tickets are $30 per person/ $50 per couple and $250 per table.                             

What: MCSO 1st Annual Banquet
When: Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 5:00 P.M.
Where: New Hope Center- 602 Scarboro Road in Oak Ridge
“We are very excited to host this event for such an outstanding organization”, said Julia Daniel, MCSO president. Having Mr. Johnson and our very own Janelle Arthur come and support us is amazing and we are truly thankful for their support.

MCSO is a 501 C (3) organization dedicated “to preserving the heritage of the African American community, promote education, and support the development of Carmichael Park” on Fritts Road. Located in the jurisdiction of Roane County, the site is the landmark of the historical Black School location. The park’s future use will include: walking trails and outdoor recreational space for community activities; indoor space for community meetings and events; and will consist of enhanced restoration of the natural and scenic areas. Additionally, the organization will educate visitors about the historical significance of the Carmichael Park’s site with walk-through displays and exhibits.  To purchase your tickets and to find out how you can support MCSO, please visit www.mcsoinc.org. For business and corporate sponsorship, please contact Faye Curd at faye.curd@yahoo.com.

 

Clinton Council OKs SL Tennessee land donation

 

The Clinton City Council on Monday voted unanimously to give SL Tennessee 52 acres of land in the Clinton/I-75 Industrial Park for the company’s recently announced massive expansion of its manufacturing facility.  The 250,000-square foot expansion announced Friday represents an $80.5 million investment and is expected to create as many as 1000 new jobs and make the company Clinton’s largest employer.  Before the vote, Councilman Jerry Shattuck called the transfer “a tremendous investment for the city.” Thompson added that the economic impact would be far-reaching as he said that he expects hotels, restaurants, and car rental companies to see new business as the company brings in visitors.  The 52 acre parcel is across a small creek from the two existing SL Tennessee plants on Frank L. Diggs Drive. One of the current plants is a chassis plant that manufactures gear shifters and pedal assemblies, and the other is a lighting plant that produces head lights and tail lamps.  SL Tennessee, which first located its operations in the industrial park in 2001, did not ask for any tax incentives from the city or the county for the expansion, construction of which should begin next month.  In exchange for the land, the company pledged to give the city up to $250,000 to help pay for a planned fire station in the industrial park.  The 2-bay fire station would also include a police department substation and is expected to cost between $300,000 and $350,000 to construct.  Under the agreement, SL would pay the city $200,000 and do grading work at the fire station site or simply give the city $250,000.  City officials say that construction on the fire hall will not begin until SL’s expansion is complete, which is expected to be in April of 2015.  Along with the recently-constructed fire department headquarters and station on Hicks Street, the new fire station will mean that the entire city will be within a four-minute response time window.  An open house at the new downtown fire station and headquarters is planned for Monday August 4th from 9 to 11 am.  The new fire hall in the industrial park would also satisfy one of the terms of the master settlement agreement that ended an annexation dispute between the city and the county in 2006 that called for the city to build a new fire station near the Highway 61/I-75 interchange. 

 

Mayor’s Office:  Briceville water project completed with grant funds

 

(Submitted by Mayor’s Office) Father and son Joe and Joel Goans, of Anderson County’s rural Seiber Flats community, have done things to their home they’ve never been able to do before, all because they now have public water.  For years, Joe and his family used well and pond water to do everything around their property, including flushing toilets inside their home.  The Anderson County Water Authority recently completed the extension of approximately 9,400 linear feet of water lines to the rural area beyond Briceville.  The Anderson County Water Authority completed the water line extension project, which serves half a dozen homes, using a $320,000 Office of Surface Mining federal grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.  Officials point out that no local money was used to fund this project.

 

Fire damages house…intentionally

 

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a residential fire that destroyed what was left of a home on Stephens Lane on Friday.  Medford firefighters called deputies to the scene and told them that this was the second time the structure had caught fire within the past few weeks.  Two men arrived on the scene and told deputies and firefighters that they had intentionally started the fire, which he described as a controlled burn.  Charles Hawkins told investigators that he is in the process of buying the lot and that the current owner had given him permission to begin demolishing the house.  Hawkins says that he had knocked down the exterior walls with a tractor and had decided to burn the rest.  Investigators are trying to contact the listed owner to verify Hawkins’ story.  No one was injured in the fire and the house was vacant at the time. 

 

Good news for Dutch Valley residents

 

Anderson County Commissioners learned last week that work to repair the Johnson Gap Bridge in the Dutch valley community could begin as early as next month with a completion date sometime in December.  Law Director Jay Yeager told commissioners that CSX Railroad has settled a labor dispute that had prevented the repairs from being scheduled.  The wooden bridge was closed in July of 2013 after state inspectors deemed it unsafe for travel and closed it to traffic, effectively cutting off a tried-and-true shortcut for residents of Dutch Valley and adding several minutes to emergency response times.  CSX, which owns the bridge and is responsible for its upkeep, earlier this year offered the county the choice of paying for a whole new bridge using taxpayer money or allowing the company to foot the bill for the repairs.  The County Commission chose the latter option and work on the repairs is expected to begin in August and be completed before the end of the year.

 

ACSD sued over erroneous arrest

 

A lawsuit filed last week in Anderson County Circuit Court alleges that a man was injured during what turned out to be his wrongful arrest in September of last year.  The lawsuit was filed last week against the Anderson County Sheriff and four deputies by Carlen Reeves.  Reeves was a passenger in a car that was pulled over by deputies in September on Highway 61.  The lawsuit states that when the driver pulled over, four deputies approached the vehicle with their guns drawn and ordered the driver and Reeves out of the car with their hands up and ordered them to walk backwards toward the sounds of the deputies’ voices.  Reeves was ordered to the ground with his hands still in the air and the lawsuit says that when his knees hit the pavement, he heard a loud pop and then felt sharp pain in his left knee.  The suit states that he and the other man were kept in those positions for several minutes before being placed in the back of a patrol car, where they remained until deputies informed them that there had been a mistake and released them from custody.  The suit states that Reeves had to undergo surgery and rehab for the knee injury and that he is seeking a jury trial and compensatory damages from the ACSD. 

 

AC Chamber announces new board member

 

Dr. Arlene A. Garrison, Vice President, University Partnerships, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, has been elected to serve on the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.  Garrison, with more than 35 years of experience in science and education, works with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to enhance and expand research participation programs that provide opportunities for faculty and students from ORAU member institutions to work alongside renowned ORNL scientists.  Prior to ORAU she served as a program director for the National Science Foundation and a number of senior leadership positions with the University of Tennessee Knoxville.  Garrison holds a doctorate in analytical chemistry and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee.  Active in community and scientific organizations, Garrison currently serves on the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for the Small Business Innovation Research program. She also is alternate councilor for the East Tennessee Section of the American Chemical Society, a member of the American Chemical Society budget and finance committee, and serves on the board of the Southern Appalachian Science and Engineering Fair.

 

SL Tennessee announces massive expansion, 1000 new jobs

 

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with SL Tennessee, LLC officials announced today the company will construct a new 250,000 square foot building to join its two existing facilities in the Clinton/I-75 Industrial Park, a Select Tennessee Certified Site. The South Korean automotive parts manufacturer will invest $80.5 million and create 1,000 new jobs in Anderson County. Located in Clinton since 2001, this will be the company’s fifth expansion.
“I want to congratulate SL Tennessee on its latest expansion and thank the company for the 1,000 new jobs created in Clinton,” Haslam said. “SL Tennessee has been an outstanding corporate citizen in Anderson County for nearly 15 years, and we are grateful to the company for bringing us one step closer to our goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs."
“Tennessee has the greatest concentration of automotive industry employment in the South and with the addition of 1,000 new jobs from today’s announcement, we continue to build on this momentum,” Hagerty said. “Upon completion of this project, SL Tennessee will more than double its workforce, making it the largest employer in Clinton and one of the largest in Anderson County. I appreciate SL Tennessee’s continued investment in our state and for providing quality jobs to our citizens.”
This is the second 1,000 plus jobs announcement in the past two weeks in the automotive sector. Last week, Volkswagen announced a $600 million investment in Tennessee and 2,000 new jobs being created in Chattanooga.
“Once again, SL Tennessee is proud to announce that Clinton has been chosen as the newest site for expansion to help fulfill the global vision of SL Corporation,” SL America President Y.K. Woo said. “Several key factors played a role in SL Corporation’s decision to expand its Clinton location. First is the support we have received from the state of Tennessee, the city of Clinton, Anderson County, TVA, Clinton Utilities Board and the Anderson County Economic Development Association. Second is the quality and availability of labor at our Clinton facility. Finally, SL Corporation has chosen
Clinton for this latest expansion because the business climate in Tennessee and Anderson County has enabled us to be successful. We hope to build on that success and continue to grow in the future.”
SL Tennessee will begin construction in August 2014 with a goal of being fully operational by April 2015.
The new facility will manufacture and produce head lamps and tail lamps for the automotive market. With the addition of the building, the company will also be consolidating its data infrastructure for North America to the Clinton location.
“In just the past two years, the automotive parts manufacturing sector has announced the creation of nearly 1,300 jobs and the capital investment of $200 million in
Anderson County,” Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank said. “SL’s expansion is proof of their hard work and commitment to quality, as well as a testament to the economic development team’s desire to assist our existing industries. I could not possibly be any prouder to have SL choose Anderson County as the place to grow their business.”
“This announcement represents the largest creation of new jobs in the history of Clinton,” Clinton Mayor Scott Burton said. “SL will become our largest employer in Clinton. We cherish our long-standing relationship with SL Tennessee. They have been an outstanding corporate citizen and a great community supporter.”
“TVA and Clinton Utilities Board congratulate SL Tennessee on its vibrant growth and commitment to
Clinton,” John Bradley, TVA senior vice president of Economic Development, said. “Automotive manufacturing and suppliers are vital for our region’s prosperity. That’s why our economic development partnerships with the state of Tennessee, Anderson County EDA and city of Clinton are so important to foster the fast-paced job growth of existing companies like SL Tennessee.”
A list of available positions can be found at www.jobs4tn.gov. Applications will also be accepted at the facility.

 

Campbell authorities seize, destroy pot

 

Campbell County deputies and Lafollette police officers destroyed more than a million dollars worth of marijuana this week.  This week, law enforcement officials discovered and destroyed about 1,100 plants in Campbell County.  The majority of the marijuana was found in the Elk Valley area of the county.  No arrests were made.

 

42 in Anderson, Campbell indicted on federal meth charges

 

A federal grand jury in Knoxville returned five separate indictments on July 16, 2014, against 42 individuals involved in a conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

Those indicted include:

Randy N. Smith, 48, Caryville, Tenn.;

Jeffrey S. Meadows, 34, LaFollette, Tenn.;

Rebecca J. Burress, 31, Lake City, Tenn.;

Robert W. Brumitt, 40, LaFollette, Tenn.;

Carla D. Boshears, 21, LaFollette, Tenn.;

Jason R. McKamey, 31, Lake City, Tenn.;

Jill L. Higdon, 34, Lake City, Tenn.;

Michael D. Leach, 44, Jacksboro, Tenn.;

Sherri A. Elliot, 52, Caryville, Tenn.;

Danny R. Phillips, 57, Caryville, Tenn.;

Roger L. Moser, 34, Lake City, Tenn.;

Joseph D. Harmon, 30, LaFollette, Tenn.;

James Tyler Tomblin, 20, LaFollette, Tenn.;

Michael J. Gill, 39, Lake City, Tenn.;

Tiffany D. Bean, 24, Clinton, Tenn.;

Samuel D. Miracle, 31, Briceville, Tenn.;

Dustin A. Martin, 32, Clinton, Tenn.;

Jonita L. Moore, 30, Briceville, Tenn.;

Joseph L. O’Dell, 35, Jacksboro, Tenn.;

David W. O’Dell, 36, Caryville, Tenn.;

Kristen N. Vanover, 26, Briceville, Tenn.;

James R. Golden, Jr., 37, Briceville, Tenn.;

Starla Vella-Rae Boshears, 42, LaFollette, Tenn.;

Amber B. Boshears, 24, LaFollette, Tenn.;

Gina A. Austin, 36, Clinton, Tenn.;

Danny R. Elliot, 30, Lake City, Tenn.;

Dennis W. Leinart, 40, Briceville, Tenn.;

Robert N. Hicks, 44, Oak Ridge, Tenn.;

Amy M. Lowe, 35, LaFollette, Tenn.;

Angela N. Bond, 22, Clinton, Tenn.;

Virgie D. Hall, 30, Caryville, Tenn.;

Katherine G. Wright, 39, Jackboro, Tenn.;

Kassondra D. Lumley, 42, Jacksboro, Tenn.;

Scott K. Duncan, 45, Clinton, Tenn.;

Mary M. Coker, 46, Oak Ridge, Tenn.;

Marsha L. Hill, 40, Jacksboro, Tenn.;

Sheila D. Rice, 41, Jackboro, Tenn.;

Wanda A. Hurst, 41, LaFollette, Tenn.;

Rhonda D. Bailey, 28, Andersonville, Tenn.;

Stewart H. Ridenour, 34, Andersonville, Tenn.;

Brittany D. Sharp, 24, Briceville, Tenn.; and,

Penny L. Lane, 44, LaFollette, Tenn.

In addition, Smith, Meadows, Burress, Brumitt, Carla Boshears, McKamey, Higdon, Leach, Sherri Elliot, Phillips, Moser, Joseph Harmon, Bean, Joseph O’Dell, David O’Dell, Golden, Jr., Starla Boshears, Danny Elliot, Leinart, Lowe, and Bailey, were indicted for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine.  

All of these individuals appeared in court between July 21, 2014, and July 24, 2014, before U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley and pleaded not guilty to the charges in the indictment. The investigation has shown that individuals involved were purchasing pseudoephedrine at local pharmacies and using that pseudoephedrine to manufacture methamphetamine at various locations in Anderson and Campbell counties. If convicted, all face a minimum and mandatory term of 10 years in prison and a maximum term of life, a maximum fine of $10,000,000.00, and a term of supervised release of at least five

years. All also face mandatory court assessments. This indictment is the result of a multi-agency investigation including Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, LaFollette Police Department, Lake City Police Department, Oak Ridge Police Department, 7th Judicial Drug Task Force, 8th Judicial Drug Task Force, TBI, 7th Judicial District Attorney General; 8th Judicial District Attorney General, U.S. Marshals Service, Tennessee Methamphetamine and Pharmaceutical Task Force, Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission, and Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney Caryn L. Hebets will represent the United States. Members of the public are reminded that an indictment constitutes only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

Dragon football season tix on sale August 4

 

Clinton High School football season tickets will soon be on sale. 

-They will go on sale Monday August 4th at the front office all day.  

-August 5th and 6th from 11am-2pm at the front office.

-August 7th for the rest of the season from 11:30-2:00pm in the cafeteria from Bob Jameson.

-Season ticket holders have until August 15th claim there seats from last year.

-This year all season tickets will include a parking pass for ALL HOME GAMES.

-If you would like to buy season tickets after hours please contact Dan Jenkins at 865-406-8385 or email him at djenkins@acs.ac.

 

Plane crashes in Campbell, no injuries

 

A small plane crashed at Deerfield Airstrip in Campbell County Thursday evening, but officials say the pilot got out safely.  The crash was reported just after 5:30 p.m. at the airstrip which is located near LaFollette at the Deerfield Resort.  The Campbell County Sheriff’s Office said that the pilot, who was the only person on the plane, made it out unhurt.  No other details were made available.

 

Follow-up:  Hackworth, Frank clash over tax vote semantics

 

The Jim Hackworth campaign is refuting what it calls “a negative and deceptive newspaper advertisement” released by the Terry Frank campaign accusing him of voting for a property tax increase over two decades ago. The ad in question ran in the Clinton Courier last weekend and cites a vote from 1990 to raise property taxes.  The following is Hackworth’s response to those claims:  “After reviewing County Commission minutes dated August 14, 1990, the following sequence of recorded votes was found. First vote: for setting tax rate (vote failed), I was absent. Second vote: that set tax rate I was present but passed—did not vote. This motion passed setting rate at 3.28, 2.94, and 3.29. Third vote: I made a motion to set rate at 3.22, 2.88 and 3.23 actually lowering the rate that had just passed by 6 cents. This vote passed. Ironically, this possibly became Anderson County’s first tax reduction. The facts make Frank’s claim of lowering taxes for first time incorrect. All of this information from the official record proves I did not vote for a tax increase in 1990.  While Hackworth’s claim that he did not vote for a property tax rate increase is true insofar as the measure he proposed and ultimately voted for did lower the amount of the increase from 30 cents to 24 cents, property taxes did indeed go up following the Commission’s vote.  Frank is seeking re-election to a full four year term as County Mayor and is being challenged by the democrat Hackworth and independents candidate Bradley Rickett.  All three candidates are scheduled to appear on “Ask Your Neighbor” on WYSH on Wednesday July 30th. 

 

THP:  Heiskell woman killed in Wednesday wreck

 

A Heiskell woman was killed in a two-car traffic accident Wednesday afternoon on East Wolf Valley Road.  The Tennessee Highway Patrol says the crash happened shortly after 5 pm when the westbound Chevy Cavalier being driven by 68-year-old Patricia Beckinger of Heiskell crossed over the center line and collided with a Toyota Camry being driven by Alexandria Bone of Andersonville.  Beckinger died in the wreck while Bone suffered what were described as minor injuries.  Neither driver was wearing a seatbelt according to the THP.  That section of East Wolf Valley near the intersection with Peaks Station Road was closed for about three hours while the crash was investigated and the accident scene cleared. 

 

More info released on Roane shooting

 

The Roane County Sheriff’s Office has released more information about Monday’s shooting outside Harriman that wounded one man and left another in custody.  The victim has been identified as 31-year-old Joshua Brown, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the shooting that occurred just before noon Monday at a home on Elverton Road.  53-year-old Bobby Lee Murray was arrested and charged with aggravated assault in the case, which remains under investigation.  Brown was reportedly struck in the side by a blast from a shotgun and was taken to UT Medical Center.  Murray has posted bond and is due in court on August 11th.  If his name sounds familiar, Joshua Brown’s wife and three young children were killed in an accident involving a tractor trailer on Highway 61 near Harriman in 2011 and his father shot and killed his brother in January of 2013 in an incident that authorities say was self-defense. 

 

THP taking applications for cadet class

 

The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) announced today it will soon open the application process for a new trooper cadet class slated to begin February 1, 2015.  Applications will be accepted online only from Wednesday, July 30 through Tuesday, August 5, 2014.  All applicants must apply online through the Tennessee Department of Human Resources at agency.governmentjobs.com/tennessee beginning Wednesday, July 30. Applications will not be accepted after August 5.  Once approved by the Department of Human Resources, applicants will be notified of their qualification status. There is no longer an examination portion to qualify for the State Trooper position.  Individuals interested in applying for the position of state trooper must be at least 21 years old, a U.S. citizen, and have a high school diploma or equivalent. Two years of college or military or previous law enforcement experience is preferred. Applicants with felony convictions will not be considered.  Following the passage of the Tennessee Excellence, Accountability and Management (TEAM) Act, the hiring method for becoming a state trooper has been revised to incorporate an interview process that tests the applicant’s knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies. As a result, selected applicants will be required to successfully pass the physical agility test prior to being admitted for an interview.  THP anticipates the agility test and interview appointments to begin September 3, 2014. If hired, individuals must obtain a valid Tennessee driver license and are required to successfully complete a level II background investigation, which includes a credit check and polygraph test.  Recruits must also pass a psychological and medical examination, including a drug screening.  There are currently 884 authorized commissioned officer positions within the THP.  Trooper recruits will be assigned to vacant positions across the state upon graduation.  The starting salary for a cadet during training is $2,679 per month.  Upon graduation and commissioning as a Tennessee state trooper, the salary will increase to $2,965 per month and includes other benefits such as a paid pension plan, low cost health insurance, and paid holidays.  Uniforms, equipment and patrol vehicles are also provided by the THP.  With regular pay increases, a trooper can earn $52,872 per year after 10 years of service under the current pay structure. Trooper cadet training will last 20 weeks.  For additional information on becoming a Tennessee state trooper, visit the Department of Safety and Homeland Security website at www.tn.gov/safety/thp/school.shtml. For more information about applications and testing, interested individuals are encouraged to contact the Tennessee Department of Human Resources Applicant Services Division at (615) 741-4841.     

 

AC Sheriff, Lieutenant honored for support of National Guard

 

According to a press release, Anderson County Sheriff Paul White and Patrol Lieutenant Kenny Sharp were awarded the “Patriot Award” from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, at the County Commission meeting on Monday, July 21. Major General (Retired) John R. D’Araujo, Jr, and Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) John L. Dyess presented the awards on behalf of the ESGR.  Sheriff White and Lieutenant Sharp were nominated by Sergeant Charles Beach and were recognized for their commitment and support of the employees of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department who are members of the National Guard or Reserves of the U.S. Military.  An employee serving in the National Guard or Reserve, or the spouse of a Guard or Reserve member, may nominate individual supervisors and bosses for support provided directly to the nominating Service member and his or her family. The “Patriot Award” reflects the efforts made to support Citizen Warriors through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed.  Sheriff White, Lieutenant Sharp, and the Sheriff’s Department are proud to support those deputies and other employees who continue to serve their country as members of the Guard and Reserve. Both Sheriff White and Lieutenant Sharp thank the ESGR and Sergeant Beach for nominating them for this prestigious award.  For additional information on the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, please visit www.esgr.mil.

 

1 killed, 3 hurt in Monday crash

 

One person was killed and three others injured in a single-vehicle accident Monday night in Campbell County.  The Tennessee Highway Patrol says that the wreck occurred at around 7:30 pm Monday when a 2004 Dodge Ram pickup was traveling south on Patty Hill Road approaching the intersection with Ridge Road near Caryville.  The THP report indicates that the truck left the right side of the road and the driver overcorrected, causing the truck to leave the opposite side of the road, where it struck a tree and flipped on to its side.  Killed in the accident was 43-year-old passenger Charles J. Morris of Lafollette.  Three others—the driver, 42-year-old Kevin Fleming of Jacksboro and passengers 39-year-old Darrell Russell and 52-year-old Carl Daugherty, both of Lafollette—were injured in the crash.  All four were flown to UT Medical Center by Lifestar.  None of the four occupants were wearing seatbelts and the trooper’s report indicates that Fleming, the driver, had been drinking.  Blood tests have been ordered and the report states that charges and citations are pending.

 

AC Early Voting off to rip-roaring start

 

Early voting for the August 7th election is underway and Anderson County voters have hit the polls hard during the first four days of early voting.  As of the close of the polls on Tuesday, 2381 people had already cast ballots in the county general election and state and federal primary elections.  After four days of early voting in this same election in 2012, 1766 people had voted and in 2010 that number was 1545.  Driven by several high-profile races, most notably those for County Mayor and Sheriff, interest in this year’s election has been high and has resulted in the robust early turnout.  Early voting continues through August 2nd with polling locations at the Clinton Community Center—where voters are dealing with traffic detours due to water main work taking place on Broad Street—the Midtown Community Center in Oak Ridge—where some voters have complained about too many signs and too many campaign workers—and at the North Anderson Government Office in the Anderson Crossing Shopping Center—where no major problems have been reported.  Early voting hours are from 10 am to 6 pm weekdays and from 9 am to 12 noon on Saturdays.  For more information, call the Election Commission at 865-457-6238 or visit www.acelect.com.

 

Report:  Wine in grocery store question likely to appear on Nov. ballot

 

According to the Oak Ridger, residents of Oak Ridge and Clinton have submitted enough signatures to add a question on November’s ballot asking whether they think wine sales should be allowed in grocery stores.  Anderson County election officials have certified more than enough names on the petitions from both cities to place the resolution on the ballot.  It is not official yet and will be confirmed by the Election Commission when it meets next week.  Oak Ridge needed 863 certified signatures on the petition and Clinton only needed 254 certified signatures.  In both cities, more than the minimum numbers of signatures were obtained.    Earlier this year, the General Assembly approved a law allowing cities to vote on whether or not to sell wine in grocery stores. The initiative had to be instituted by citizens and signatures had to be collected to allow the measure to be placed on the ballot, according to the legislation.  If the measure is approved by voters, grocery stores in Oak Ridge and Clinton will still not be able to sell wine until July of 2016.

 

OR CVB receives extension from city, charts new path forward

 

The Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau received a contract extension through October 30th Monday during a special Oak Ridge City Council meeting.  Council members voted 5-1 to extend the CVB’s contract with the city, which expired June 30, and restore some funding that was cut out of this year’s budget.  Anne Garcia Garland cast the lone dissenting vote.  While the contract extension is in place, the board will work with City Manager Mark Watson to establish goals and guidelines for the independent organization.  The CVB is funded by proceeds from the city’s hotel/motel tax. The revenue stream has been dwindling.  CVB officials say hotel visits hinge largely on business travel, and that has declined.  The bureau’s budget was cut from $400,000 to $300,000 two years ago, and another $25,000 was cut in the latest city budget. With Monday’s vote, part of that cut was restored.  The board will meet Monday to begin the hunt for a new executive director to replace Katy Brown.

 

OR parents still protesting expanded walk zones for students

 

Parents in Oak Ridge opposed to a change on how students get to school are continuing to protest the school district’s decision to expand the so-called parental responsibility zone—or walk zone—to one and a half miles. Kids who live within a mile and a half from their school will either have to walk or have their parents transport them.  Parents said it's not safe for kids to walk through busy streets to get to school and they don't want their kids to walk by homes where pedophiles live.  Some say that school leaders should look into allocating money from elsewhere to keep kids safe.  Last week Superintendent Bruce Borchers made a change, counting the mile and a half as the distance actually walked rather than "as the crow flies."  Some unspent money in school accounts will cover the extra $200,000 cost, but the superintendent cautioned the money may not be there next year.

 

Friendship Bell housing coming down

 

Beginning next week, the City of Oak Ridge will begin dismantling the International Friendship Bell House located in Alvin K. Bissell Park.  Earlier this spring, the city commissioned a structural evaluation of the bell house to determine the extent of suspected water damage to the supporting beams. The evaluation determined the majority of the structure, which was holding the 8,000 pound Friendship Bell, was beyond repair.  The report recommended closing the International Friendship Bell House due to public safety concerns, a press release said. A construction fence was erected around the structure to block access to the bell.  As a result of the structural evaluation, the city will dismantle the bell house and lower the bell to the existing concrete slab at the current location.  “The City of Oak Ridge is now working with a number of interested citizens and the Recreation and Parks Board on a campaign to replace the structure with a new permanent building,” Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson said.  Once the dismantling of bell house is complete, the Friendship Bell will be lower to the ground, the press release said. The bell will once again be accessible to the public for viewing purposes but not for ringing until the bell house reconstruction is complete.  The release said the work to dismantle the bell house should be completed within two weeks.

 

ORAU Robotics camp aims to inspire youngsters

 

A recent week-long robotics camp at Oak Ridge Associated Universities was designed to help excite students about careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM.  The robotics camp was presented by ORAU and held at its Center for Science Education.  The free day camp allowed teams of middle school students to design, build, program, and test their own robots, a press release said.  Students also spent the week competing in various engineering challenges and had the opportunity to speak with robotics engineering research scientists while touring Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s research facilities.  The camp was one of various ORAU-sponsored or administered programs designed to excited students about STEM subjects with the goal of inspiring them to pursue STEM careers, the release said. 

 

ORT:  Closer look at jail food claims in Sheriff’s race

 

(Oak Ridge Today)  The menu at the Anderson County jail at lunchtime Wednesday was simple and spartan: A peanut butter and jelly sandwich and milk.  It doesn’t appear to be an unusual meal at the jail. The menu this week includes three similar lunches with 1/4 cup of peanut butter and jelly mix, two slices of bread, and 8 oz. of milk or chocolate milk.  Other meals on the menu this week—the jail can serve up to 8,000 per week—also call for small portions of meat and bread, fruits and vegetables, and beans and milk.

But Anthony Lay, a Republican candidate for Anderson County sheriff, has raised questions about what inmates are eating. He has suggested they’re eating luxuriously, enjoying pies, cobblers, cookies, and cake. Lay has said the jail appears to be operating a bakery, and taxpayers are footing the bill.

Sheriff Paul White, a Democrat seeking his third term in the August 7 election, has dismissed Lay’s claims as inaccurate and misleading.

“The jail does not operate a bakery,” White said in a July 1 statement.

He said the jail menus are quite conservative. They include a cold sandwich for lunch. The average meal costs $1.10, White said.

The sheriff said the menu must meet the standards set by the Tennessee Corrections Institute, and it has to follow state-approved Sheriff’s Department policy. The menus also have to be approved by a nutritionist at the Anderson County Health Department, White said, adding that, “All meals must be varied each day and provide a proper balanced diet for inmates.”  Inmates do receive fruit. Sheriff’s Department Capt. Larry Davidson, who is acting chief jailer, said it’s part of the state-approved dietary guidelines. 

White said the documents cited by Lay are simply bid pricing sheets sent to various vendors by the Anderson County Purchasing Department to determine which company has the best pricing for providing food supplies for the jail. 

Lay, who hasn’t toured the jail, said it is true that he initially had only bid sheets. But he said he has since pulled the order list for the year ending June 30, 2014, and it shows orders for 67 cases of apple pie filling and nine cases of cherry pie filling, 10-inch pumpkin pies and 9-inch pecan pies, and four different flavors of ice cream.  White and a handful of correctional officers interviewed for this story said inmates may receive pie as a humanitarian gesture at Thanksgiving and Christmas. But it’s not an everyday-occurrence, and inmates are not fed doughnuts, cookies, or other desserts, White said.

In fact, he said, prisoners frequently complain about the jail food.

Lay continued to stand by his claims during a telephone interview Monday evening and said he would “never, ever, ever mislead anyone.”

Oak Ridge Today requested a tour of the jail, officially known as the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton, because of the claims and counter-claims over the food. On Wednesday last week and Monday this week, Davidson showed a reporter the kitchen and food storage area, and coolers and freezers. He said there is no bakery and no supplies to stock a bakery, and no pies and ice cream.  The food storage area in the jail’s kitchen is stocked with boxes and racks of institutional-sized cans and containers of peanut butter, biscuit gravy mix, sloppy joe sauce, cream of mushroom soup, green beans, stew vegetables, mixed greens and vegetables, ketchup, and mandarin oranges, peaches, and pineapples in syrup, among other items.  The three coolers and three freezers have institutional-size containers and boxes of tea, salad, eggs, milk, cheese, sliced yellow squash, green peppers, peanut butter, chicken breast patties, frozen potatoes, and turkey bologna, among other items.

Oak Ridge Today did see one small box of cobbler crust in a freezer. Deputy Pam Phillips, who oversees the kitchen, said baked apples are spread over that crust, and it is more filling. She and Davidson said it’s part of the state-approved menu.

Davidson and Phillips also showed a reporter the menu for this week. Here are examples of what appear to be typical meals: On Sunday evening, the roughly 350 inmates at the jail ate a six-ounce Sloppy Joe on a bun, with one-half cup of baked apples, six ounces of french fries, and eight ounces of sweet tea. On Friday morning, they will be served six ounces of pepper gravy, a five-ounce chicken patty, a half-cup of peaches, two biscuits, and eight ounces of 2 percent milk.

Other meals include oatmeal, waffles, hot dogs, and hamburgers and fries.

The jail accommodates those who are lactose intolerant, pregnant, diabetic, or have food allergies or can’t eat certain foods for religious reasons.

 

AC Commissioners urged to retain counsel as legal fights rage

 

(Oak Ridge Today/staff reports) Anderson County commissioners were told Monday that legal fees in a pair of high-profile disputes between high-ranking county officials could reach half a million dollars and were advised by County law Director Jay Yeager that all of them should seek their own legal counsel in the ouster suit filed against Yeager by 22 citizens.  Subpoenas have been issued in the ouster suit and according to our partners at Oak Ridge Today, some officials including commissioners have been asked to waive their attorney-client privilege.  Commissioner and former interim Mayor Myron Iwanski said Monday that some of the records he has been asked to provide go back about 10 years and include personnel records.  He also told his fellow commissioners that he will require legal assistance because he does not want to improperly release information that could lead to more legal trouble down the road.  Former jail Administrator Avery Johnson has also been subpoenaed and Iwanski said Monday he, too, will require legal representation.  Iwanski made a motion to cover the costs of any current or former county employees who might need it in connection to the lawsuit, which passed 13-2.  In addition to Iwanski and Johson, others served with subpoenas in the case include Yeager and White, Anderson County Human Resources Director Cathy Best, Anderson County Schools, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Larry Davidson, Clinton Courier News reporter Chris Silcox, District Attorney General David Clark, LexisNexis, and telecommunication companies AT&T and Cricket. The plaintiffs are represented by Gregory Brown and Jason H. Long of Knoxville law firm Lowe, Yeager, and Brown, the same firm that represented County Mayor Terry Frank in last year’s salary lawsuit filed against her by Sheriff Paul White.  Legal fees in that case could approach $200,000, commissioners were told Monday.  Three of the subpoeanas—those served against Iwanski, Silcox, and White—require an appearance at Lowe, Yeager, and Brown on August 7, the same day as the Anderson County general election. Iwanski and White are both candidates in that election, while Silcox would presumably be expected to report on it.  Commissioner Steve Mead said Monday that because Yeager can’t represent the commission because of the lawsuit that “we have had our free legal advice stolen from us, and so it needs to be replaced.”  Yeager suggested that each commissioner retain legal counsel but also said that as an alternative, the commission could agree to hire one attorney as a group.   The ouster petition was filed by 22 residents in Anderson County Chancery Court in May. It sought to remove Yeager from office, originally alleging misconduct that includes perjury, forgery, and having pornography on a county computer. The petition has since been amended to add another 13 grounds for ouster.  Yeager, who has called the ouster suit against him baseless, politically motivated, and unwarranted, has filed a motion to dismiss on July 11th, arguing that the ouster statute does not apply to the law director position; and that even if the ouster petition did apply, the petitioners have not presented legitimate grounds for ouster.  The list of petitioners has changed slightly. According to an amended petition filed June 13, they include Byrge, Mark DeVol, Ray Hagan, Toby Geren, Barbara Gasper Gregory, Clyde Cook, Doug Walden, Carnelon V. Terry, John E. Seiber, Larry Ownby, Hal M. Hagan, Phyllis H. Terry, Thomas T. Adams, Jason Stiltner, Dennis L. Pemberton, Virgil L. Rainey, Charles W. Jackson, Gary L. McLemore, Earl T. McLemore Jr., John Walker, Darlene Adams, and Tipton J. Garland.  For much more on this story and commissioners’ reactions to Monday’s news, visit our partners at Oak Ridge Today using this link:  http://oakridgetoday.com/2014/07/21/county-officials-urged-hire-attorneys-ouster-suit-legal-fees-rise/

 

 

Roane woman jailed for letting kid drive car

 

A Roane County woman was arrested on Friday after she admitted to police that she had let her nine-year-old son drive her car.  Roane County deputies received a call about an underage driver in Oliver Springs on Friday and made contact with Rebecca Cochran, who told them that she had let her son drive her car as she sat in the passenger seat.  She also reportedly told deputies that she often allowed the boy to drive the car.  She was arrested for reckless endangerment and DCS was notified of the incident. 

 

Campbell wreck sends 4 to UT by chopper

 

Four people had to be flown to UT Medical Center by Lifestar Monday following a single-vehicle accident that happened at around 7:30 pm.  A pickup truck was approaching the intersection of Patty Hill Road and Ridge Road when it lost control, left the roadway, hit a tree and flipped over.  Multiple Lifestar landings were necessary.  As soon as more information about Monday night’s accident become available, we will pass it along to you.

 

AC Sheriff candidate Lay in minor wreck

 

A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper running for Anderson County sheriff suffered minor injuries in a crash while on duty in North Knoxville on Monday, officials said.  Trooper Anthony Lay was stopped at a red light on North Central Street at Bernard Avenue about 2 p.m. when a woman rear-ended his vehicle.  Lay was treated and released from UT Medical Center.  The other driver, whose name was not immediately available, was cited for failure to exercise due care and driving without proof of insurance. 

 

ORT:  Lay says May suspension ‘politically motivated’

 

(Oak Ridge Today) A candidate for Anderson County sheriff suspended by the Tennessee Highway Patrol in May said he has been politically targeted.  THP Trooper Anthony Lay was suspended for five days in May for unsatisfactory job performance, a spokesperson said Monday. The suspension was based on several factors, including insubordination, neglect of duty, failure to perform the duties of his job, non-compliance with an internal database system, and having an unsecured patrol unit in a populated area, Dalya Qualls, public information officer for the Tennessee Department of Safety, told our partners at Oak Ridge Today.  The administrative review that led to Lay’s suspension was received in April 2014.  Lay said he had been off work for five months because of back surgery, and Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark reported that Lay had not turned in some requested case file documents. Lay said he did not receive the letter requesting the documents, and the request letters were apparently sent to a Knoxville office.  He said the insubordination was related to a windshield crack that he forgot to fix. A dashboard radar unit covered the crack, and he forgot about it, Lay said.  He said he had also been 10 minutes late to a court case that was postponed.  Lay, a Republican, said he had not had any trouble in 20 years in the workplace until he ran for election in Anderson County. He did not want to name any names, although he seemed to cast at least some of the blame on a few Anderson County Democrats.  “I have been politically targeted,” Lay told ORT.  “I was wrongly done. The truth will come out.” 

 

WBIR:  Corwin case could involve affair, foul play

 

(WBIR) California law enforcement officials believe that the pregnant wife of a Marine who has been missing for more than three weeks may have been shot while hunting with a Marine veteran with whom she was having an affair.  On the day she disappeared, 20-year-old Erin Corwin, of Oak Ridge, had planned to meet with her neighbor, 24-year-old Christopher Brandon Lee to spend a "special day together" on a hunting trip, according to documents filed in a Joshua Tree courthouse.  The day trip was meant to celebrate Corwin's pregnancy, but detectives said Lee was afraid his wife would discover their affair.  "It is highly likely that Erin could have been harmed by an unknown firearm," detectives wrote in court documents. "Sometime after Erin left with Lee, her phone was turned off.  Lee told detectives he was not with Corwin on the day she disappeared, but confirmed he went hunting in Joshua Tree National Park.  Corwin disappeared on June 28, after she left her Twentynine Palms home, saying she was headed to Joshua Tree National Park. Her husband, Marine Cpl. Jonathan Corwin, reported his wife missing the next day. Authorities have searched for Erin Corwin ever since.  Lee moved to Alaska last week, according to a friend.  The investigation has come to focus on Lee, according to an affidavit filed by Detective Corey Emom. In the affidavit, Emom wrote that he had reviewed text messages — sent by Corwin to a friend — confirming her romantic relationship with Lee, and that the couple had taken a day trip on the day she disappeared.  When questioned by detectives, Lee said he had kissed Corwin but that they never had sex, according to the affidavit.

 

State improves in Kids Count rankings

 

(TCCY) Tennessee is 36th this year in the annual KIDS COUNT National Data Book ranking on child well-being, better than its 39th ranking in 2013. The state is among the five states with the biggest improvements in overall rankings from 2013 to 2014. The Data Book rates states on four domains: Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community. Each domain is comprised of four measures. When the most recently available data were compared to those from 2005, Tennessee improved on 10 of the 16 measures; worsened on five and remained the same on one, paralleling national changes. 

“Good public policies and wise investments in improving outcomes for children over the years have made a difference in the overall well-being of children in Tennessee,” said Linda O’Neal, executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth (TCCY), the state KIDS COUNT affiliate.  O’Neal applauded Governor Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly for maintaining funding for proven strategies that improve outcomes for children, including pre-kindergarten, Family Resource Centers, Coordinated School Health Programs and home visiting.  Tennessee’s highest domain ranking was on Health at 31st, with improvements on all four measures: low-birth weight babies, children without health insurance, child and teen deaths per 100,000, and teens who abuse alcohol or drugs, where the state’s proportion was the same as the national average. The state has a lower percentage of children without health insurance than the nation as a whole. However, there are still 85,000 uninsured children, one in every 16 in Tennessee. O’Neal said expansion of Medicaid/TennCare would significantly increase the number of children who have health insurance. 

Improved public policies and better choices have also contributed to a drop in motor vehicle deaths in youth ages 15 to 24 and a resulting reduction in all child and teen deaths. Better compliance with existing good public policies, including no texting while driving, graduated driver licensing provisions, and use of bicycle helmets and life preservers would produce even better outcomes, according to O’Neal.  Education, where the state ranked 37th overall, is another area of improvement.  More of the state’s fourth graders are proficient readers, as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, Proficiency for Tennessee fourth graders was the same as the nation as a whole (34 percent). Unfortunately, that still means two in three fourth-graders are not proficient readers. Although research supports the long-term role of quality early childhood education in improving children’s futures, the state is near the bottom as only eight states have proportionally fewer 3- and 4-year-olds attending preschool than Tennessee.  Tennessee does better keeping students in high school and graduating on time than the national average. While many factors contribute to this success, good state policy has helped, including mandatory attendance until age 18 and school attendance requirements to get a driver’s license. These policies also contribute to more children in Tennessee living in families where the household head has a high school diploma, compared to other states. 

The unfortunate news in this report is more than one in three Tennessee children live in a single-parent family (37 percent); more than one in three in a household with a high housing cost burden (34 percent); one in three in a family where parents lack secure employment (33 percent), and more than one in four lives in poverty (26 percent).  This year’s National Data Book marks 25 years of reporting on child well-being in the states. The book includes a summary of changes in national child well-being since the first National Data Book was published in 1990. The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth was selected as the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s state partner in the second year of funding state efforts, strengthening the Commission’s ability to meet the Tennessee Legislature’s 1988 charge to publish an annual comprehensive report on the status of children and youth in Tennessee.   

The report is available on the Annie E. Casey website (www.aecf.org). KIDS COUNT data and data from TCCY’s publications are available at the KIDS COUNT Data Center. Consumers of the data center can create maps and graphs of child well-being data at the national, state, county and city level. To access information for Tennessee, go to http://datacenter.kidscount.org/tn or http://mobile.kidscount.org.  The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth is a small state agency created by the Tennessee General Assembly. Its primary mission is to advocate for improvements in the quality of life for Tennessee children and families. Partial funding for TCCY's KIDS COUNT program is provided through a grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to disadvantaged children.  For more information, contact (615) 741-2633, access TCCY’s website at www.tn.gov/tccy or follow it on www.facebook.com/TCCYonfb and www.twitter.com/@tccy.  Follow the Annie E. Casey Foundation and this issue on Twitter https://twitter.com/@aecfkidscount and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AnnieECaseyFndn.

 

Roane man shot, charges pending

 

A Roane County man is being held in jail after a shooting in Harriman that occurred just before noon on Monday.   Officers responded to the scene on Elverton Road, where they found a man in his mid-30’s identified as Joshua Brown suffering from a gunshot wound.  Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton told BBB-TV that the victim was transported to UT Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.  Authorities have not formally identified the suspect as charges are pending the outcome of an investigation that continues today. 

 

Man arrested after allegedly shooting in to bar

 

A 33-year-old Powell man was arrested early Friday morning by Anderson County Sheriff’s deputies after he allegedly emptied a revolver into the front of a Claxton bar late Thursday night.  33-year-old Brandon Shane Arwood was charged with reckless endangerment, felony vandalism, DUI and possession of a handgun while under the influence.  He is accused of firing a .22 caliber revolver into the front of My Place Sports Bar on Edgemoor Road late Thursday night.  Fortunately, the bar closes early on Thursdays and was unoccupied at the time of the shooting, the motive for which remains unclear.  A Sheriff’s deputy spotted the vehicle the suspect in the shooting was driving and pulled him over, finding an empty .22 caliber revolver and an antique .44 caliber revolver in his vehicle.  Arwood’s blood alcohol levels came at nearly twice the legal limit of .08.  He was released on bond Friday evening.  

 

WBIR:  Clinton 911 center being upgraded

 

(WBIR) A national initiative is helping Clinton's 911 dispatch center get an overdue upgrade. It's happening for the first time since 1997 and includes new recording systems, radios, telephone lines, 911 lines, and maps.  It's part of a nationwide initiative called Next Generation 911.  The program aims to improve emergency communication with mobile devices.  Dispatchers could see exactly where a call was coming from with land lines, but cell phones make it harder to pinpoint a person's location.  Clinton is prepared for people to send text messages, pictures, and videos to 911 in the future, but first the phone companies have to update their technology to make that possible.  The new center was paid for by Next Generation 911 grants from the state and 911 charges from land lines.  The updated equipment means faster emergency service response times for Clinton residents, officials said.

 

AC man denied diversion

 

An Andersonville man was denied judicial diversion on his convictions on two counts of statutory rape handed down in December.  23-year-old Cody Lee Crawford was convicted of having sex with a 16-year-old girl on two occasions in 2012.  He sought judicial diversion that would have allowed him to avoid serving time behind bars but that motion was denied last week.

 

Hackworth campaign responds to ‘deceptive’ ad

 

(Submitted) The Jim Hackworth campaign today released a statement regarding a negative and deceptive newspaper advertisement released by the Terry Frank campaign accusing the former legislator and respected member of the community for voting for a property tax increase over thirty years ago.  “I’ve been around this county and I believe the Frank campaign is hearing the same things I am, they are ready for a change.” said Hackworth. “The people of this county are ready for the negative attacks and lack of civility to end. This latest attack is just a desperate tactic intended to try and salvage her dwindling campaign.”   The ad in question ran in the Clinton Courier today and cites a vote more than 30 years ago to raising property taxes. However, the ad in question dishonestly and falsely states the vote was on property taxes, which it was not.  Hackworth concluded, “The fact that Ms. Frank has to go back 30 years to try and dishonestly distort my record and the facts, I believe, is an indication of the type of tactics that the people of Anderson County are tired of. We have to return some leadership back into the County Mayor’s office to get this County moving again. Empty rhetoric and attacks on people don’t put people back to work, leadership does.”  For more information, visit www.jhackworth.com.

 

CPD:  High-speed chase ends with burglary arrest

 

(CPD/staff) A 26-year-old Georgia man remains in jail today following a police pursuit that started in Clinton and ended between Oak Ridge and Oliver Springs. Victor Allen Webb of Atlanta is facing charges in connection with at least two local home burglaries.  Friday morning, a CPD officer on special neighborhood patrol, spotted the suspect vehicle near the scene of this week's burglaries. Clinton Police Chief Rick Scarbrough says, "I had asked patrolman Brian Galloway to keep an eye on homes in the western end of Clinton between Charles G. Seivers Blvd and the river due to recent burglaries.  When Officer Galloway attempted to stop the white Kia, instead of stopping, the suspect continued on." Reports indicate that the pursuit continued through parts of Oak Ridge, finally ending on Oliver Springs Highway (Hwy 61).  Galloway says: "THP trooper Rusty Carr deployed spike stripes as the suspect drove past. Both left tires on the vehicle were flattened by the spikes and the suspect was unable to continue."  Galloway's report further stated that during the chase the suspect’s speed reached up to 40 miles per hour over the posted speed limits. 

CPD Assistant Chief Vaughn Becker says that detectives followed up on the arrest and while searching a residence in Knoxville where the suspect was living located most of the stolen property from the Clinton burglaries.  Becker adds: "We have also recovered a large amount of jewelry that was taken in other burglaries. I am asking that if anyone has been a victim of a burglary or theft that occurred at your home during the day time in the past few months contact your local police agency or CPD detective Jason Lawson at 865-457-3112."  Several agencies assisted the CPD, including the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Oak Ridge Police and the Anderson County Sheriff's Department.  Along with the pending burglary charges, Victor Allen Webb is charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license, reckless driving, evading arrest, reckless endangerment (minor injury), and various "wanted" charges in Georgia.

 

18 of 26 rounded up in ACSD drug bust

 

18 of the 26 people indicted by the Anderson County grand jury on charges related to drug sales have been arrested.  The oldest arrestee thus far is 63 years old and the youngest is 22 years old.  Most of them listed Clinton as their addresses but there were also arrests made in Oak Ridge, Rocky Top, Briceville and Knoxville.  19 of the indictments were on prescription drug charges, three each were indicted on marijuana and cocaine charges and one indictment was handed down for meth-related crimes.  Here is the complete list of those in custody as of Thursday:    
William Dean Brown, 58, Rocky Top, TN
Larnzy Lee Carpenter, 26, Knoxville, TN
Artaveus Demetrece Dawson, 30, Oak Ridge, TN
Kayvin (NMN) Grate, 50, Oak Ridge, TN
Brent Ashley Hayden, 31, Clinton, TN
Norma Jean Hester, 63, Rocky Top, TN
Angela Christina Jacks, 37, Rocky Top, TN
Kimberlee Inez Kring, 54, Powell, TN
Brandy Michelle Lindsay, 34, Clinton, TN
Ivan Elmer Lowe, 36, Clinton, TN
Arthur Lynn Moore, Jr, 38, Clinton, TN
Danny Paul Mowery, 54, Briceville, TN
Corbin William Phillips, 22, Clinton, TN
Tina Leeann Rauhuff, 46, Powell, TN
Emma Lou Roaden, 31, Clinton, TN
Scotty Dewayne Robinson, 42, Knoxville, TN
Anthony Dallas Tucker, 39, Clinton, TN
Margo Alesha White, 26, Clinton, TN

The Sheriff’s department says that these investigations were a part of a cooperative effort of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, the Clinton Police Department, the Oak Ridge Police Department, the Rocky Top (Lake City) Police Department, the 7th Judicial District Crime Task Force, and the District Attorney General’s Office

 

MMC #4 in state, according to magazine

 

Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge tied for fourth in the state in an annual ranking of America’s best hospitals compiled by U.S. News and World Report.  MMC tied for fourth with Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville. Parkwest Medical Center in Knoxville ranked ninth in Tennessee.  All three were in the Top 10 for metro areas. All three were praised for high performance in a variety of specialties. All three hospitals also achieved patient satisfaction levels that are higher than national and state averages. This marks the 25th year for the U.S. News and World Report “Best Hospitals” rankings, the press release said.  For the full list and more on the rankings process, visit http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/rankings.

 

ORT:  Parents hold protest over expanded walk zones

 

(Oak Ridge Today) Critics of Oak Ridge Schools’ expanded parent responsibility zone protested Thursday morning at the intersection of Oak Ridge Turnpike and Illinois Avenue.  Laurie Paine, who lost her daughter Ashley at the intersection in 2007, joined almost 15 other parents and community members to rally for change.  “I don’t want anyone to go through what my family went through,” Paine told Oak Ridge Today. She started a Facebook page to unite community members who were against the walk zone and used that website to spread the word of the protest.  Oak Ridge City Council member Trina Baughn also attended the protest to show support for Paine. She said the school board needs to prioritize their budget.  The school district announced last week that bus services would not be available to students who live within 1.5 miles of an Oak Ridge school. At first, that distance was “as the crow flies,” but it was changed to actual walking distance on Wednesday.  Paine said she felt that the Oak Ridge Board of Education hoped Wednesday’s change would satisfy parents. The change was a “positive step,” but she hopes transportation services can be reinstated for all students.  The Wednesday change in how bus service is mapped could help about 500 students, reducing the number of children affected by expanded zones where parents will have to provide transportation to schools from 1,800 to 1,300, officials said.

 

Whoops!  Reporter’s worst nightmare damages carousel

 

The carousel at the Anderson County Fair was out of commission Thursday night after an early-morning incident in which a Knoxville TV reporter’s vehicle rolled into a fence in front of it.  Katie Roach was doing live cut-ins from the Fair during WBIR-TV’s morning show and had parked her station vehicle on a small hill.  She was apparently trying to keep warm on the unusually chilly Thursday morning and left the vehicle running when she got out for another live shot.  She told police that when she got out, she heard a popping sound and the Ford Escape began to roll down the hill.  She tried to get back in and stop the vehicle from rolling and a bystander tried to reach in and engage the emergency brake, slightly injuring his hand in the process.  Neither effort was successful.  The carousel will hopefully be ready to go for the last two nights of the Fair but it cannot be operated until it is inspected.

 

Cancer Society seeking celebrity waiters

 

The American Cancer Society is hosting the Third Annual Celebrity Waiter Dinner in Anderson County on Saturday, September 6th at the 205 Main in Clinton at 6:30 PM.  Table Hosts/Celebrity Waiters are currently being recruited.  The role of the Celebrity Waiter is to invite eight people to sit at their table and serve dinner to them.  Experience is not necessary --- just a sense of adventure and competition. Throughout the fun filled evening guests at the table will be encouraged to tip their waiters for good service and tallies will be run throughout the evening for competition.  The waiter with the most tips at the end of the evening will be crowned the 2014 Celebrity Waiter of the Year!  There is also a prize package opportunity for waiters raising the most money.  This is a great way for cancer survivors to get family, friend, co-workers and church family to rally around them in their fight against cancer or to celebrate their cure.  Churches are also encouraged to get a table together to participate in this event.  Waiters may dress up as the celebrity of your choice if desired, but this is not a requirement. Waiters are also encouraged to decorate their own table to a specific theme or to match their celebrity status. Comedian, Shane Rhyne will provide entertainment during the meal.  A dessert auction will be held to conclude the dinner.  The evening is meant to be fun and exciting!  It is another way to help people stay well, get well, find cures, and fight back against cancer!  If you would like to be a part of this event as a table host, celebrity waiter or would just like to receive an invitation to the event, please contact Kelly Lenz at Clinton Physical Therapy Center at 457-1649 or CPTCKLENZ@aol.com.  There is no cost to attend the event, but tips are expected!  Sponsorship opportunities are also available for event sponsor, dinner sponsor and dessert auction sponsor.  

 

26 people indicted in AC drug charges

 

35 indictments have been returned against 26 people on  drug related charges by an Anderson County Grand Jury in their June and July sessions after investigations by the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit. Beginning Anderson County deputies began making arrests on Monday and at last report, had 17 of those people in custody.  The Special Operations Unit conducted these drug investigations over the last few months.  Those indicted for the manufacture, sales, delivery, or possession of narcotics, either sold drugs to undercover agents or were in possession of illegal drugs to resell.  Of the 26 people indicted, 19 were charged with prescription drug offenses, three were charged with cocaine offenses, three were marijuana related, and one was on meth-related charges.    Deputies are continuing to search for the nine remaining offenders.  The names of those arrested will be released at a later time. As some of these investigations are continuing, no additional details can be released. 

 

Man charged for Fair incident

 

A Powell man was arrested after allegedly assaulting a Clinton Police officer outside the Anderson County Fair on Tuesday night.  The arrest report indicates that two large groups of people gathered near the gate between the fairgrounds and Jaycee Park and a bystander told officers that she had heard there might be a fight.  An officer told the group to keep moving and they complied but kept yelling derogatory comments at police and questioning if they had the right to make them move.  According to the report, one man—later identified as 39-year-old Harold Dills—kept making comments that agitated the large group despite repeated instructions to quiet down and keep moving.  After the group moved about 75 feet away from the gate, Dills allegedly began yelling at the nearest officer and the officer asked him for his ID.  At that point, Dills became combative, according to the report, and swung at the officer.  He was subdued after a brief struggle and taken to the Anderson County Jail on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. 

 

OR hosting US Rowing Club National Championships

 

More than 1,000 rowers are in Oak Ridge this week for the U.S. Rowing Club National Championships.  Time trials and heats started Wednesday morning on Melton Hill Lake.  This is the event’s first time in Oak Ridge since 2010 and officials say that the city’s hotels are full, the restaurants are packed and lots of families in town for the event are also taking in some of the city’s other attractions, like the Children’s Museum and the American Museum of Science and Energy.  The event continues through Sunday. It's free and open to the public, and there are plenty of places to watch along the lake.

 

Students learn about TV production

 

Some students from South Clinton Elementary got to see what life was like in the news business this week while at Pellissippi State. The students have been working on the technical side of television production.  The students are creating their own commercials and movie trailers, and are acting as both producers and talent.  The students will complete and view their projects on Friday.

 

Warrants served, other developments in missing woman case

 

Updating the search for a missing Oak Ridge woman in California, law enforcement officers served four search warrants in connection to her disappearance this week and a witness has told a San Diego TV station that he saw Erin Corwin the day she disappeared.  Corwin, the pregnant wife of Lance Cpl. Jonathan Corwin, was last seen on June 28. Her husband reported her missing on June 29, telling investigators that she planned to go to nearby Joshua Tree National Park. Her car was found the next day near a back entrance to the base.  Rescue crews have spent two weeks searching the rugged terrain of the park, but have paused to re-evaluate their search plan. Once a new plan is developed, they're expected to resume their search this weekend. More than 200 square miles have already been searched.  Corwin is three months pregnant.  According to the court documents, authorities sought permission to search two vehicles, one of which is Corwin's car, and two apartments on the Twentynine Palms Marine base.  Authorities have also asked for permission to search a dark-colored Jeep with Alaska license plates. It is unclear how this vehicle is related to the missing person investigation.  According to TV station KFMB, a witness said he saw Corwin rendezvous with a man the morning she was reported missing. He said she left her car, locked it and then got inside the man's red compact sedan before the two drove off.  "They were just sitting and chatting. If she wanted to get out of the car and say, 'I don't want to be in this car,' she could have," said the witness.  Beasley said she did not seem to be in distress.  Corwin's disappearance has been labeled suspicious by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. Deputies have not said it was the result of foul play but say Corwin's disappearance "does not appear to be voluntary."  No persons of interest or suspects have been named.

 

ORT:  OR changes walk zones

 

(Oak Ridge Today) Parents of Oak Ridge students have been expressing concerns that the new 1.5-mile walk zones approved in June were based on a 1.5-mile air radius (“as the crow flies”) rather than actual walking distances.  On Wednesday, Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers announced that school officials were changing the calculation of the walk zone to actual walking distance for 1.5 miles. The change is expected to cost $200,000.  Here’s the statement from Borchers:

“I, along with the School Board, have been listening and reflecting on concerns about the new 1.5 mile parent responsibility zone. We have heard your concerns regarding measurement of the parent responsibility zones of 1.5 miles based on air radius miles (or as the crow flies) vs. actual walking distance.

As we close last year’s school budget, we have learned that there will be some unspent funds that will go back to our fund balance. By amending the current school budget to reflect using those unspent funds, the Oak Ridge Schools will be able to pay for the additional expense of changing the air radius or “as the crow flies” distance calculations to reflect actual walking distance. The approximate adjustment to make this change will cost an additional $200,000.

These funds may or not be there this time next year. That means that next year’s school budget, 2015-16, will be short by that amount in recurring funds. This amount will have to be replaced by adding funds for next year’s school budget. This action is a temporary fix for the 2014-15 school year budget, but I think it is an appropriate action to take in order to ensure that actual walking distances are approximately 1.5 miles.

The new parent responsibility zone for Willow Brook Elementary is being updated immediately. The new parent responsibility zones for the rest of the schools will be updated and loaded to the Oak Ridge Schools’ website soon. You can expect a phone call from your school principal when the maps are ready.

Student safety is our highest priority. While we would have liked to have received funding to continue and maintain all of the services that have been provided in the Oak Ridge Schools in the past, as you know, that was not the case. As a school system, we will continue to work within our current budget to ensure your children receive the best education possible!”

Parents protesting the expanded walk zones called it a small but positive step.

 

AC Commission OKs no-tax-increase budget

 

The Anderson County Commission unanimously approved a budget for Fiscal Year 2015 during a special meeting Tuesday. The budget will not raise property taxes in the county.  Under the budget approved Tuesday, the Oak Ridge property tax rate will remain at $2.347 for every $100 of assessed property value, while property owners in Clinton will continue to pay $2.50 per $100 value. All other property owners in Anderson County pay $2.529 for every $100 of their assessed property values.  Also in the budget was a $500,000 increase in the unassigned general fund, bringing it to $4 million. The only other significant change is due to health care mandates, but those expenditures only increased by about 0.5 percent.  The new fiscal year began July 1st

 

Special meeting of Clinton Council called

 

Clinton Mayor Scott Burton has announced a change to the City Council’s meeting schedule as a Special Call meeting will now be held on Monday July 28th at 9 am at City Hall.  The morning meeting will take the place of the Council’s regularly scheduled meeting, originally scheduled for that afternoon at 5:30 pm.  The memo sent to Council members, other city officials and the media indicates that the purpose of the meeting is to discuss “current Industrial Development issues” with Tim Thompson, the director of the Anderson County Economic Development Association and “take any action required” as well as taking care of regular monthly business.  Officials have not divulged what specifically will be discussed but have indicated that it is potentially some very good news for the city and the county.  As we learn more, we will pass it along to you.
 

(Memo from Mayor Burton) In accordance with Article II, Section 2 of the City of Clinton Charter, this is to advise you that I have called a "Special Call Meeting" of the Clinton City Council on Monday, July 28, 2014, at 9:00am at the Clinton City Hall. The purpose of this Special Call Meeting will be to discuss current Industrial Development issues with the A.C.E.D.A. Director, and take any action require; as well as to conduct all monthly routine business as necessary. This Special Call Meeting will take the place of the regular meeting scheduled for 5:30pm the same day. The public is invited to attend the meeting, and will be heard.

 

Man pleads guilty in mausoleum assault

 

A Powell man pleaded guilty Tuesday in an Anderson County courtroom to charges stemming from an incident in July of 2012 in which he lured a 23-year-old man to a mausoleum in a Claxton cemetery under false pretenses and tried to rape him.  56-year-old Charles Bean of Powell pleaded guilty to aggravated rape, vandalism, damaging a cemetery and false imprisonment.  In exchange for his plea, he was sentenced to 15 years behind bars on the rape charge and ordered to remain on probation for two years for the other charges.  Bean was also added to the state sex offender registry and ordered to pay Woodhaven Memorial Gardens $750 for damage he caused during the July 14th, 2012 incident by urinating on several spots inside the mausoleum.   The victim told investigators he had responded to text messages and pictures sent by someone—Bean—pretending to be a woman named Nicole who wanted to meet him at the mausoleum for a sexual encounter.  When he arrived, he said that the door closed behind him and Bean shoved him to prevent him from leaving.  The man told Sheriff’s deputies that Bean punched and choked him and forced him to drink alcohol while trying to perform a sex act.  Prosecutors say that Bean threatened to kill the victim if he did not comply and in a 911 call made from inside the mausoleum, the victim told dispatchers that he believed he was going to “die inside the mausoleum.”  Bean has been in jail since his arrest the day of the incident and was given credit for time served.

 

Project to replace water mains underway, expect delays

 

If you have been wondering about the project that has Broad Street in Clinton closed between Marshall and Hicks Streets, CUB crews are replacing water mains installed in the first half of the 20th century.  The project will eventually replace all of the water mains under Broad Street all the way up to Main Street.  Heavy rainfall events over the past year have caused the aging clay-like pipes to burst several times and this project will replace them with more modern, sturdier materials.  Work between Marshall and Hicks is expected to wrap up by the end of this week and the project will move to the section of Broad that runs past the Clinton Police Department and the public parking lot across the street.  Because that stretch of road will be closed, voters looking to cast early ballots in the August 7th election will be inconvenienced.  County election officials are working with the city to mitigate any hassles or delays for those taking part in the early voting period, which begins this Friday July 18th.  After that work is completed, crews will have to close the section of road between the County Courthouse and the Robert Jolley Building to complete the project, with officials have said they hope to have wrapped up by the start of school in early August. 

 

Harriman fire sparked by hay

 

Firefighters in Harriman battled a fire at the Railcar Cleaning Company on Emory Street along the banks of the Emory River on Tuesday.  The initial call came in to the Harriman Fire Department at around 2:30 pm and when the first crews arrived on the scene 4 minutes after the call, heavy smoke and flames were visible.  Crews from the Midtown Fire Department also responded to the scene and firefighters remained on site until shortly before 7 pm.  The building caught fire while workers inside were using a torch to cut through a metal-lined wall and accidentally ignited old hay that had apparently been used years ago as insulation.  All of the workers escaped without injury and no firefighters were injured while tackling the blaze. 

 

CRCTU:  Big Clinch Clean-Up a ‘big’ success

 

(Submitted) The second annual Big Clinch River Cleanup scored significant advances over the 2013 event, according to chairman Buzz Buffington of the Clinch River Chapter, Trout Unlimited, which sponsored the effort.  "We had a great cleanup!" Buffington said. "The number of volunteers increased by one-third; powerboats, canoes and kayaks doubled; and clear water helped us triple the number of tires removed," to 314. "In addition, 45 bags of trash and two pickup loads of metal and junk were removed. We found car parts, road signs, kids' toys -- everything you can imagine."  The 105 volunteers started their day on Saturday by stoking up on breakfast in at the Museum of Appalachia then worked in teams of walkers, waders, paddlers and powerboats to remove litter and old tires from the Clinch River shoreline, the shallows and deep water. The cleanup covered about 4 miles of river and shoreline from Miller Island to the Peach Orchard boat access, with additional litter pickup onshore as far downstream as the Highway 61 Bridge.  Workers included Anderson County residents plus many volunteers from Knoxville and the wider region.  Cooperating in the effort were canoeists, kayakers, anglers and professional fishing guides headed by Mike Bone of Andersonville   Reinforcements also arrived from the Little River and Great Smoky Mountains chapters of Trout Unlimited.  Emergency services (fortunately not called upon) were provided by the Anderson County Rescue Squad and several ham radio operators who volunteered to provide emergency communications.  Bingham Tire of Clinton trucked away the tires; Anderson County Solid Waste Management removed the trash; Tennessee Valley Authority kept the river level low and granted funds to help with event costs. Both TVA and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency provided boats and volunteers. The 3 Rivers Angler fly shop in Knoxville hosted a charity event publicizing the cleanup and raising money for it. Keep Anderson County Beautiful donated equipment and Museum of Appalachia supplied a beautiful setting for the kickoff breakfast hosted by Clinch River Chapter.  Before expanding their efforts into a communitywide event, members of the Clinch River Chapter had conducted smaller river cleanups since 2000, collecting tons of trash and thousands of tires over the years. The chapter's mission is to conserve and protect the Clinch River tailwater trout fishery and its watershed, through conservation projects and through education of children and adults in aquatic natural resources. Meetings are held the second Thursday of the month in the parish hall at St. Francis Episcopal Church, Norris, except when outdoor activities are scheduled. For more information, visit crctu.org.

 

OR certified as first Green Power Community in southeast

 

TVA has been recognized as a Top 10 utility leader in green power program sales, and Oak Ridge has been designated the first Green Power Community in the Southeast by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  TVA was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In the first NREL Top 10 ranking in a decade, TVA landed at No. 9 nationally with green power sales of 199,067 megawatt-hours in calendar 2013, thanks to TVA’s Renewable Energy Solutions programs and participating local power companies, a press release said.  Oak Ridge is one of the participating communities, and it received the EPA designation based in part on TVA green power purchases. TVA and Oak Ridge officials had a brief ceremony to celebrate during a Monday night Oak Ridge City Council meeting.  “TVA is proud to be recognized nationally for our strong and growing support of renewable energy,” said Patty West, director of TVA’s Renewable Energy Solutions in a press release. “Cost-effective, renewable energy is an important part of TVA’s diverse portfolio of energy-generation sources.”  A key to TVA’s renewable energy sales has been Green Power Switch, or GPS, which TVA launched on Earth Day 2000 with local power companies and members of the environmental community as the first-of-its-kind renewable power purchase program in the Southeast.  GPS gives consumers and businesses the opportunity to buy 150-kilowatt-hour blocks of renewable energy generated in the Valley from solar, wind, and biomass conversion for $4 per block.  “Our local power company partners have enthusiastically supported this effort and, through their efforts, more than 12,600 residential and business customers are currently buying GPS energy blocks,” West said in the press release.  The City of Oak Ridge increased its GPS participation from about 500 local customers to more than 800 during a two-month campaign to achieve the EPA Green Power Community designation. That represents more than 5 percent of Oak Ridge’s customers, and the highest rate of any community in the Green Power Switch program.  For more information about TVA’s Renewable Energy Solutions and to participate in the GPS program, visit http://www.tva.gov/renewable, which includes a list of participating local power companies.

 

ORT:  Applewood apartment battle rages on

 

(Oak Ridge Today) More than three years after they were declared “unfit,” four dilapidated Applewood Apartment buildings have still not been vacated, an attorney said last week.  The Anderson County Chancery Court and the Tennessee Court of Appeals have both affirmed a November 2010 decision by an Oak Ridge board declaring the dilapidated buildings on Hunter Circle to be unfit for human occupation and use—and calling for them to be vacated immediately, attorney Dan Pilkington said.  The 2010 decision was reaffirmed by the city board, the Oak Ridge Board of Building and Housing Code Appeals, in March 2013, Pilkington said.  “We believe that this order is final,” he said in a 15-minute oral argument before a three-judge panel of the Tennessee Court of Appeals in Knoxville on Thursday. “Despite that, the buildings have never been vacated.”  The 2010 Oak Ridge board hearing was held after notices were issued citing multiple deficiencies that were hazardous to tenants, said Pilkington, who works for Knoxville law firm Watson, Roach, Batson, Rowell, and Lauderback. That company represented the City of Oak Ridge in Thursday’s oral argument before a three-judge panel that included John W. McClarty, D. Michael Swiney, and D. Kelly Thomas Jr.  But in his oral argument, Levitt said he’s spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the Applewood Apartments.  The Oak Ridge Board of Building and Housing Code Appeals had ordered the four Applewood buildings demolished on Nov. 11, 2010. The order was upheld by the Anderson County Chancery Court, but Levitt appealed.  In 2012, the Tennessee Court of Appeals said the board “acted without material evidence to support its decision to demolish the buildings.”  The case was sent back to the Board of Building and Housing Code Appeals in March 2013, and after the board reaffirmed its “unfit” decision, city staff posted yellow “Danger” signs on roughly 48 units at the four buildings at 105 and 115 East Hunter Circle, and 119 and 121 West Hunter Circle. The signs said the apartments had been deemed unfit for human occupation or use. The notices were not supposed to be removed until the structures were repaired or demolished.  The city has fought a code enforcement battle against the 13-building apartment complex on Hillside Road and Hunter Circle for several years. City officials say they want the buildings repaired, while Levitt says he has made repairs.  It’s not clear when the three-judge panel could issue an opinion in the case. There is no deadline to do so.  For more on the lengthy court battle that has surrounded the complex, check out our partners at www.oakridgetoday.com.

 

Roane authorities warn of potential mail theft

 

The Roane County Sheriff's Office is warning residents after opened pieces mail were found in a ditch in Kingston.  The items were found at the intersection of Old Johnston Valley Road and Cedar Grove Church Road on Sunday.  Officials say they believe the suspect or suspects are targeting mailboxes that may contain checks and/or credit cards containing identity information that can be easily compromised.  The opened pieces all contained Roane County mailing addresses, but police say the thefts are occurring in adjacent jurisdictions as well.  If you notice any suspicious activity going on in your neighborhood or have any information pertaining to these incidents, you are asked to call (865) 354-8045.

 

Roane approves “In God We Trust” signage

 

Monday night, the Roane County Commission voted 13-1 to place the words “In God We Trust” at three locations in the Courthouse in Kingston.  The signs will be similar to those placed above all four entrances at the Anderson County Courthouse last year and the one placed above the entrance to the Oak Ridge General Sessions Court building.  The proposal was made earlier this year, but commissioners initially balked at approving it until it made its way through the property committee.  The signs will be placed above the north and south entrances to the Courthouse and a plaque bearing the phrase will also be placed in the Commission meeting room, which also serves as a General Sessions courtroom.  As in Anderson County, the signs will be paid for by private contributions.  

 

Campbell educator charged with sex crimes

 

A Campbell County teacher has been charged after investigators say he took a teenage girl off campus last fall and tried to kiss her at a church.  According to the TBI, 43-year-old Lonnie Vann is charged with solicitation of a minor, tampering with evidence, and assault.  He turned himself into the Campbell County jail on Monday and was released on a $10,000 bond.  Vann was teaching at LaFollette Middle School in October 2013 when investigators learned that left campus with the 13-year-old female student. He took her to Coolidge First Baptist Church, where investigators said Vann hugged the teen and attempted to kiss her without consent.  School officials first alerted the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office when they saw security footage of Vann leaving campus with the student.  Authorities also learned that Vann tampered with the security camera at the church in at attempt to conceal his actions.  Vann is still a school employee, but he has been suspended without pay since the incident last year, and has not been allowed on campus. Now that Vann has been formally charged, he will be terminated. 

 

OR parents to take walk zone protest to streets

 

Oak Ridge parents have launched an online protest after the school district announced changes to school bus routes and plan to take their concerns to the street later this week. Last month, the school board expanded the distance of so-called walk zones from each school, meaning that any student living within al mile and a half from the school will have to walk or parents will have to transport them. The changes are expected to impact 1,800 students.  The protest is being spearheaded by Laurie Paine, whose daughter died in 2007 while riding her bike home from school. After the accident which involved a school bus, Paine fought to drop school walk zones because of student safety.  Last week, she started a Facebook page and another parent created an online petition to stop the walk zone. That petition has garnered approximately 300 signatures.  She's also planning a protest for the first day of school, which is Thursday for Willow Brook Elementary School.  The school board made the decision while balancing the budget and after the City Council nixed a property tax rate increase.  School leaders say that the move to expand the walk zones saved the system around $500,000 and that the decision allowed them to avoid cutting teacher positions, which they say would have had a negative effect on classroom instruction.  Officials say that one of the schools is already setting up a carpool for people concerned about getting to school safely and that everyone is working toward making children’s routes to and from school as safe as possible.

 

Campbell authorities round up drug suspects

 

20 drug dealers and probation violators were arrested Monday and 20 more are expected being sought.  The Campbell County Sheriff's Office started the drug roundup, code-named "Operation Crushing Nuisance," before sunrise Monday morning.  After a year-long investigation, the district attorney's office presented 40 cases to the grand jury on Thursday. Nearly 30 officers from the Campbell County Sheriff's Office, Tennessee Highway Patrol, LaFollette Police department and Jellico Police Department served the indictments door-to-door.  Sheriff Robbie Goins said most of the people arrested are drug dealers of prescription pills. Officials say taking the dealers off the streets is important for the well being of the entire community as law enforcement officials estimate 95% of the crimes in the county, from theft to child abuse, are tied to drugs.  This is second roundup in Campbell County over the past several months.  The last one was in March, where another year-long undercover narcotics investigation resulted in charges against 63 people.

 

OR restaurant to open Knox location

 

A popular Oak Ridge restaurant is expanding to Knoxville.  Dean's Restaurant & Bakery plans to open a new location in Fountain City later this year. The made-from-scratch restaurant in Oak Ridge features Southern-style foods with everything made from fresh ingredients. 

 

State: Seatbelt usage in Tennessee increasing

 

The Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHSO) and the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) announced today an increase in seat belt usage with an observed usage rate of 87.7 percent statewide for the month of June.  That’s an increase from the previous usage rate of 84.6 percent.  The seat belt survey is performed by the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) Center for Transportation Research. The survey, which is conducted in accordance with federal requirements and standards, is state mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

“We are extremely pleased to see this solid increase in seat belt usage in Tennessee. As fatalities have decreased, this is further proof that seat belts save lives, and that’s what we are in the business to do,” GHSO Director Poole said. “This all-time high in usage also means that our ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign, combining education with the enforcement efforts of the Tennessee Highway Patrol and every single local law enforcement partner across the state, has been a productive partnership,” he added.  State Troopers have issued 4,666 seat belt citations during this year’s Click it or Ticket campaign, which ran from May 19 through June 1. Since January 1, 2014, THP personnel have ticketed 58,842 individuals for violation of the seat belt law.  Colonel Tracy Trott also noted that Tennessee’s percentage of unrestrained fatalities is at a five-year low. Both the THP and the GHSO are committed to proactive enforcement and education to lower the fatality figure and continue to increase the seat belt usage rate.  As of July 14, preliminary statistics indicate 476 people have died on Tennessee roadways, a decrease of 29 deaths compared to 505 fatalities at this same time in 2013. To date, 49.7 percent of the state’s fatalities have been unrestrained motorists.

 

UT, AC Health Department to host ‘Take Charge of Your Diabetes’

 

A partnership of UT Extension and the Anderson County Health Department is offering Take Charge of Your Diabetes is a 6 week workshop offered to assist diabetics as well as their families and caregivers.  The classes are free; however, you must pre-register to attend as class size is limited.  Classes will be held at the Anderson County Public Health Department on consecutive Tuesdays beginning July 22nd from 5 to 7 pm.    All people with a diagnosis of diabetes or pre-diabetes along with their families and/or friends are welcome to attend.    A textbook, CD, and other materials will be provided. Class participation and the sharing of what has worked to help you manage your own diabetes is encouraged.  Due to the amount of material covered, attendance at all 6 classes is highly recommended.  

Topics covered in class include:

  • Techniques to deal with symptoms of diabetes, including fatigue, pain, hyper/hypoglycemia, stress, and emotions such as depression, anger, fear and frustration;
  • Exercises for maintaining and improving strength and endurance;
  • Healthy eating;
  • Appropriate use of medication;
  • Working more effectively with health care providers
  • Preventing or delaying complications
  • Designing your own effective self-management program
  • Getting the support you need

The Anderson County Health Department is located at 710 North Main Street in Clinton, north from downtown.   To register or if you have questions, please call either Kathy Scruggs at the Anderson County Health Department at865 425-8768 or you can e-mail her at Kathy.Scruggs@tn.gov or Abbie Carey, UT Extension, at 865-457-6250 oracary@utk.edu  

 

Medic busy in July

 

Are there any blood donors out there who are adrenaline junkies?   Medic Regional Blood Center is hoping that there are and offering up a thrilling prize to one lucky donor.  Donate during the month of July for a chance to win a pair of zip line tickets from Adrenaline Adventures located in Kodak, Tennessee.   “One lucky donor will win the tickets which will be given away in early August.  We are so proud to partner with such great businesses who are so supportive of our mission.   In addition to entering to win the zip line tickets, all donors will walk away with a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A sandwich coupon,” explains Christi Fightmaster, Medic Spokesperson.   The entry process is easy, donate blood at any of their locations now through the end of July.  Donors are always welcome to visit one of two donors centers:  1601 Ailor Avenue or 1100 Kingston Pike in Farragut.   Community drives are also planned for added convenience. 

·         July 23, Appalachian Underwriters, 800 Oak Ridge Turnpike, 1pm – 4pm, Bloodmobile.

·         July 31, *Papa Murphy’s Pizza, 1133 Oak Ridge Turnpike, 11am – 7pm, Bloodmobile. *Free Large Pizza for Donors 

Donors must be 17 years of age, weigh 110 pounds or more (16 year-olds weighing 120 pounds or more can donate but must have parental consent) and all donors must have positive identification. 

 

Gospel singing at Union Valley Baptist

 

There will be a gospel singing at Union Valley Baptist Church (three miles outside Oliver Springs on Windrock Road) on Saturday July 28th at 7 pm featuring Walking By Faith, the Union Valley Singers and the Praise Him Youth Choir.  All singers are welcome.  For more information, call 865-435-4150.

 

Lady Dragon volleyball fundraisers

 

Dragons Volleyball will be having a Fundraiser to help support the program at Oak Ridge Bowling Center on Friday, July 25th from 5-8pm. Tickets are $15 for 2 games and shoes. If you don't want to bowl you can come on down to the bake sale at the bowling center and there will be tickets sold for $1 for chances at door prizes for various items, or to make donations. Come down and help the Dragons Volleyball team as our 2014 season gets ready to begin.

 

AC Fairest of the Fair winners announced

 

Here are the winners of the Fairest of the Fair and Tiny Miss pageants that were held Sunday at Anderson County High School. 

The winner of the Senior Division of Fairest of the fair (the overall winner as well):  Abigail McKenzie Ridenour

Junior Division:  Meaghan Bailey Bingham

Princess Division:  Raegan Elizabeth Farley

 

Tiny Miss (0-11 months old):  Blakeleigh Reese Myers

Tiny Miss (1-2 years old):  Amelia Grace Tomb

Tiny Miss (3-4 years old):  Rachel Elizabeth Tharp

Tiny Miss (5-6 years old):  Annyla Osborne

Tiny Miss (7-9 years old):  Lexi Nicole Burt

 

Our thanks to Carol Holt, owner of Captured Memories Photography, and the Chair of the Anderson County Fair’s Fairest of the Fair Committee for this rundown of pageant winners.

 

State lawmakers seek photos of fallen Vietnam-era soldiers

 

State Senator Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) and Representatives John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge) and Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro) are seeking photos of Vietnam War veterans from Anderson County who were killed in action in order to honor the fallen heroes at a new facility which compliments the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, DC.  The photos will be part of a multimedia display at the new Education Center at the Wall, which will be built between the existing Wall and the Lincoln Memorial.  The effort is part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF).  Senator Mark Green (R-Clarksville) who is heading up the effort statewide enlisted the help of the local lawmakers in trying to locate missing photos of local veterans for the memorial.  The Education Center already has photos for 596 soldiers of the 1,295 Tennesseans who are listed on “The Wall” in Washington. 

“This is a huge project and we want to do everything we can to get the photos for these Tennesseans who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to this state and this nation,” said Senator McNally.  “We hope that many local citizens can help in this effort.”  

“The Wall serves as a great visual reminder of the tremendous sacrifice paid by our soldiers,” added Ragan.  

“This display will compliment it by putting a face with the names of these veterans so they will never be forgotten,” said Powers. 

The lawmakers are seeking photos for the following who listed Anderson County as their home: 

Oak Ridge:  Benjamin Lee IV, Army; Gerald W. Davidson, Army; Gregory J. Weber, Marine Corps; Joseph K. Bradley, Marine Corps and Micheal R. Baker, Army

Rocky Top (Lake City):  Acie D. Hall, Marine Corps, Garry L.Weaver, Army; Kenneth J. Davis, Army

Oliver Springs:  James E. Byrd, Army

Clinton:  Gomer D. Hoskins, Jr., Army; John T. Davis, Army and William D. Daugherty, Army

New River:  Donald E. Madden, Army

Photos can be submitted to Senator Randy McNally, 307 War Memorial Building, Nashville, TN 37243 or call 615 741-6806.  To view the photos that have already been submitted or see if someone you know is among those without a photo, please visit The Wall of Faces website at www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces.  

 

ORT:  OR parents protest expanded walk zone

 

(Oak Ridge Today) about student safety are protesting a recent decision by Oak Ridge Schools to expand the student walk zone to 1.5 miles.  They’ve started a petition and Facebook group to oppose the June 23 decision.  The expanded walk zones mean that bus service will no longer be available to students who live within 1.5 miles of Oak Ridge schools. The change could affect 1,800 students. The new bus stops have been posted on the Oak Ridge Schools website.  The opposition has ramped up as a new school year looms. Students at Willow Brook Elementary School return to class next week, on July 17, and the first day for most students is Aug. 11.

On Thursday, Oak Ridge parent Laurie Paine started a Facebook group called STOP Oak Ridge Walk Zone. It already has 255 members.  Another parent has started a petition on Change.org on Thursday to stop the walk zone and had already collected 187 signatures as of early Friday afternoon, close to its goal of 200 signatures.  “Please stop the Oak Ridge Walk Zone, as it will be putting our children at risk,” the petition said. “Elementary and middle school age children should not have to walk a mile and a half to come to school. There are enough signatures to show that the citizen’s of Oak Ridge are concerned over this decision and the safety of our children. One child was killed (riding a bicycle) from school not too long ago and we do not want a repeat of this type of accident. Nor do we want our children subject to kidnapping or anything else. The safety of our children should not be sacrificed because the school system has to make a budget cut somewhere.”

The walk zones were expanded in June to help the school system reduce a $1.25 million budget deficit. School officials said the larger walk area for students is allowed under state regulations, and it is expected to save about $500,000.

Morgan wants school officials to look for other cuts. School officials modified their budget—the expanded walk zones were the largest cut—after the Oak Ridge City Council declined to raise the property tax rate to give the school system more money.

 

AC Community Action accepting commodity applications

 

The Anderson County Community Action Commission will be taking applications for the GREEN commodity card beginning on Monday July 21 thru August 1st, 2014.  The hours will be Monday thru Friday from 8 am- 12 p.m.   To sign up for a card you MUST have with you: Proof of ALL household income, know birth dates and social security numbers for everyone in the household, and PHOTO ID for everyone over the age of 18. If you have a GREEN commodity card, you DO NOT have to sign back up. Their office is located at 149 North Main Street in Clinton, TN.  For more information on this equal opportunity program please call our office @ 457-5500.  The commodities will be handed out on Thursday August 14, 2014 from 10 am- 1 pm at the National Guard Armory In Clinton TN.  Participants will need to have their GREEN commodity card and 6 brown paper bags. 

 

Follow-Up:  Bartley arrest details

 

The Campbell County Sheriff's Office has released more information about the arrest of Kenneth Bartley, Jr.  Tuesday night, Bartley.'s father texted and called his son's probation officer, saying his son had "gone crazy," according to the arrest warrant. At about 9:15 p.m., deputies arrived at the father's home in LaFollette and found Bartley Jr. drinking beer on the porch.  When a deputy put his hand on Bartley's back and asked him if he was okay, officials say Bartley jumped out of his seat, took off his shirt and tried to hit two deputies. He allegedly continued to resist arrest until one of the officers threatened him with a taser.  He was charged with two counts of assault on a police officer. Authorities also said Bartley violated his bond conditions because he was drinking.  Bartley will be held without bond until further notice.  This is the second time in a month that officials arrested Bartley. In June, deputies took Bartley into custody after his father said his son threatened to kill him.  Officials said Bartley also became violent when they arrested him in June.  In February, Bartley was convicted of reckless homicide in the 2005 fatal shooting of Campbell County High School assistant principal Ken Bruce.  He was acquitted on charges of attempted second-degree murder for the wounding of two other school administrators in that incident. 

 

Man pleads guilty in Y-12 extortion case

 

(Oak Ridge Today) A Tennessee man who appeared on the television reality show “The Millionaire Matchmaker” has pleaded guilty in a $2.5 million extortion case involving the former   managing contractor at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.  26-year-old Adam Winters of Robbins, Tenn., said he had copies of “slides that would injure the reputation of the contractor, Babcock and Wilcox Y-12 LLC”, and he met with undercover officers on May 23 to exchange the slides for the money he demanded, U.S. Attorney William C. Killian said in a Thursday afternoon press release. Law enforcement officers revealed their identity during that May 23 meeting and took Winters into custody.  On May 8, Winters had e-mailed Babcock and Wilcox and attempted to email Vice President Joe Biden about the slides, Killian said. After he sent the email, Winters used the Internet and telephone to communicate his threat to injure their reputation through the use of the slides, according to the plea agreement on file with the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Tennessee.  Winters pleaded guilty Thursday to transmitting communications containing threats to injure the reputation of Babcock and Wilcox Y-12 LLC in interstate and foreign commerce with intent to extort money and other things of value from the corporation.  His sentencing is set for 10 a.m. Nov. 17 in U.S. District Court in Knoxville before U.S. District Court Judge Pamela L. Reeves. Winters faces up to two years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, up to one year of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.  Prosecutors said the May 8 email refers to slides of evidence from nuclear testing, according to the Associated Press. 

 

Children’s Museum of OR unveils Living Light House

 

The Children's Museum of Oak Ridge unveiled its newest permanent display: a solar-powered home built by University of Tennessee students.  The so-called Living Light House was an entry to the 2011 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C.  The house is 750 square feet and requires no energy for anything to function.  It will be on permanent display at the museum now after traveling nearly 6,000 miles around the country. It's been toured by more than 50,000 visitors, and was on exhibit at the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

 

Ex-Morgan school principal has charges dismissed

 

The charges against a Morgan County principal accused of spanking a student in 2012 have been dropped.  As part of the deal to drop the charges, Penny Elizabeth Boyd submitted an apology to the court last week. She must also pay court costs.  In 2012, Boyd was charged with child abuse and neglect after a mother of a five-year-old student at Sunbright School filed a complaint saying Boyd excessively spanked a student with a paddle.  In her apology Boyd wrote, "I write to tell you that I am truly sorry and apologize for events which led to the return of the indictment in the above case."  After her arrest, she was reassigned to another position in the Morgan County schools but is now no longer employed by the school system.

 

Caryville fireworks store was operating without license

 

The Campbell County fireworks store that burned to the ground on Sunday afternoon was not licensed to sell fireworks, according to the state fire marshal's office.  Stores must renew their licenses every year, but the state says Fireworks Superstore did not renew its license 2014. The store's last renewal was in 2013.  The state sent the store's owners a cease and desist order in March and officials say the owners signed it, pledging to stop.  The store owners did fill out the paperwork to get licensed again and while the state received the application, the permit had not yet been renewed because they hadn't gone through the required inspection, the fire marshal's office says.  The fire broke out at around 4:15 pm Sunday and no injuries were reported.  65 firefighters from three different counties extinguished the blaze, which caused the pyrotechnics inside to explode.  The cause of Sunday’s fire remains under investigation. 

 

CPD gets their man…just not the one they were looking for

 

Clinton Police officers looking to serve a warrant on a man at an apartment on High Street Thursday afternoon did end up making an arrest, but not of the man they were searching for.  The arrest report indicates that officers had gone to the apartments to serve an outstanding arrest warrant and saw a man later identified as 28-year-old Christopher Phillips walk into Apartment #1.  An officer who had gone around to the back of the building spotted Phillips exiting the apartment through a window and then saw him jump over a fence.  After searching for him, Clinton Police located Phillips on Park Avenue and asked him why he had run.  Phillips told the officers that his “$3500 dog “had run off and he had gone to search for him.  An officer pointed out that the building had no back door and asked Phillips why he had felt the need to jump out the window, to which Phillips reportedly responded by saying “well, it’s an expensive dog.”  A check with dispatchers soon revealed the real reason for his flight, namely three outstanding warrants.  He was taken into custody.  Meanwhile, another officer made contact with the person they had gone to the apartment to find by telephone and that man informed him that he was not at home. 

 

Goins headed home

 

Former Oak Ridge High School and now former-Knox Central High School principal Jody Goins left his Knox County post after just one year in order to take over the reins of Claiborne High School in his family’s native Claiborne County.  The 32-year-old Goins announced this week he was leaving central after just one year but initially, his new destination was not revealed.  Goins says that the move to Claiborne was done so that both he and his wife could be closer to their respective families.  Goins, a Clinton High School graduate, worked at Oak Ridge High School beginning in 2004 before being named principal in 2009.  At the time, he was the state’s youngest principal. 

 

Clinton woman falls prey to phone scam

 

Last week the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department issued a press release warning people of a phone scam making the rounds in Anderson County.  In the scam, the caller tells the recipient that they have either missed jury duty or have a warrant for their arrest but that they will not be taken to jail if they pay a “fine” by money order or by purchasing a pre-paid credit card.  The ACSD reminded citizens that this is not how law enforcement goes about its business and that if they receive one of these calls, to not give out any personal information or send the caller money.  Instead, they say that if you receive one of these calls to call the ACSD or your local law enforcement agency.  The warning came too late for one elderly Clinton woman who fell prey to the scam last Friday.  The woman told Clinton Police that she had received a call from someone who claimed to be Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Lucas and said that there was a warrant for her arrest but that she could take care of the problem by paying a fine.  He instructed her to purchase Green Dot cards at Walgreens, which she did to the tune of $992.90, paying in cash.  She then was told to give the scammer the numbers on the back of the card, which she did.  This case remains under investigation but again, if you are called and told you can avoid jail by paying a fine over the phone, someone is trying to steal your money.  If there is a warrant for your arrest or you have missed jury duty, you will be arrested and not fined over the telephone.

 

TDEC orders OS to fix treatment plant or else face fine

 

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has ordered Oliver Springs to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant or else face a hefty fine.  The state gave the town until August 31st, 2015 to correct the problems outlined in the order, including several violations in the past few years dealing with system overflows and e.Coli contamination.  The plant discharged water into Poplar Creek.  If the problems are not corrected by the end of August 2015, the town could face a fine of up to $175,000.  The state also issued a moratorium on adding any new sewer customers. The town has spent about $250,000 to improve the plant over the past year but more remains to be done.  Town officials hope to mitigate or eliminate the fine by making all of the corrections outlined in the report.  The town is preparing its response to the stated, including an outline of how the problems will be addressed and it is due to officials in Nashville by August 31st, 2014.  Once that plan is approved by TDEC, the project will be put out for bid.  Officials are also looking for low-interest loans to pay for the estimated $3 million project but warn that even if those efforts are successful, a sewer rate increase will likely still be necessary.

 

Man arrested on two indictments

 

A 33-year-old Clinton man was arrested Tuesday on charges of child rape, sexual battery by an authority figure and promoting the manufacture of meth.  33-year-old Jason Edward Lee was arrested on a pair of indictments handed down by a grand jury, one from 2013 and one from earlier this year.  The most recent indictment charges him with molesting a girl under the age of 13 in November of 2012 while he was in a position of authority while the 2013 indictment charges him with buying chemicals and components used to make meth.  He will be arraigned Friday in Criminal Court and is being held at the Anderson County Jail.

 

Missing OR woman’s family offers reward

 

The family of missing 19 year-old Erin Corwin of Oak Ridge is now offering a reward to anyone that can offer information to help find her.  Corwin, who is three months pregnant, went missing from her Twentynine Palms, California home June 28th, after she told her husband she was headed to Joshua Tree National Park.  Corwin's husband Jonathan Corwin serves as a Marine and reported her missing the following day. Investigators with the San Bernardino Sheriff's Office have since added more search crews to try to locate Corwin.   Friends had previously set up an online crowd-funding campaign to help the Oak Ridge family with travel expenses to California, but the family has recently said they will use all money raised as a reward for information leading to finding Corwin.

 

Smoot appointed 4th lawyer in murder case

 

A man accused of murdering his former girlfriend returned to court Wednesday, where he was appointed his fourth attorney in the case.  Officials have charged Shawn Smoot with first-degree murder in the 2011 death of Brook Morris. She was his former employee and girlfriend.  Roane County authorities say Morris was shot several times and dumped near the intersection of Blair and Old Blair roads. In the past three years, Smoot has been in and out of jail. When he didn't turn himself in back in 2012, authorities tracked him down in Mississippi. A judge later released him on bond.  Earlier this year, officials arrested Smoot in McMinn County for DUI and he was released on bond.  A month later, U.S. Marshals found Smoot in a mental hospital in Chattanooga after he failed to show up for court.  Wednesday he was back in court and his third attorney, Tom Slaughter, told the judge he had a conflict of interest and could no longer represent Smoot. The court could not say what the conflict of interest was. 

 

Knox man indicted on numerous charges in fatal wreck

 

A Knoxville man has been indicted by an Anderson County grand jury on several charges connected to a December 2013 accident on Lewallen Bridge that killed one person and injured four others.  22-year-old Kyle Houston Anthony was indicted last week on charges of vehicular homicide by intoxication and recklessness, drunken driving, driving under the influence of marijuana, three counts of reckless aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, speeding and tampering with evidence.  He is free on $150,000 bond and will be arraigned August 1st in Criminal Court.  The wreck killed 40-year-old Angela Duncan Richardson who was ejected through the rear window of the 2012 Chevrolet pickup driven by Anthony.  Police say that Anthony was trying to pass another vehicle on the bridge when he lost control of the pickup, crossed the over center line and struck a northbound 1996 Honda Civic. The impact sent the Civic into a northbound 2011 Chevrolet SUV.  After the wreck, authorities say Anthony tossed a bottle of liquor off the bridge.  While being questioned by investigators the following day he reportedly admitted that he had consumed two 24-ounce cans of beer and part of a mixed drink shortly before the crash.  A second passenger in Anthony’s truck was injured as were three people in the Civic. 

 

Follow-up:  6th gang member arrested in beating case

 

A sixth person has been arrested on an indictment in a gang-related attempted murder and conspiracy case.  40-year-old Cynthia Ann Wright of Strawberry Plains was arrested at her home Thursday by sheriff’s investigators with the assistance of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.  Wright is currently being held in the Anderson County Detention Facility under $100,000.00 bond on charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, being an accessory after the fact, criminal conspiracy and two counts of evidence tampering.  Investigators obtained indictments from the Anderson County Grand Jury on the six individuals after a lengthy investigation into the severe beating of a 31-year-old Briceville man which resulted in serious injuries.  The assault also included gang members using a tattoo gun to cover up his gang tattoos, signifying his dismissal from the Aryan Nations gang.  The incident occurred on Dennis Lane in Claxton purported to be the regional headquarters for the white supremacist gang in December of 2013.  Investigators say that Joshua Ray “Cornbread” Patterson was beaten for arguing with a higher-ranking gang member.  The District Attorney General’s Office will be seeking enhanced penalties in this case as the offenders are members of a criminal gang.  The investigation, which includes a treasure trove of information on the gang’s criminal activities supplied by a confidential informant who infiltrated the gang, is continuing and more people could face charges down the road. 

 

Follow-up:  OR officer injured in crash recovering at home

 

Oak Ridge Police officer Cassen Jackson-Garrison, who was injured in a two-vehicle collision on Sunday afternoon, is recovering at home.  He suffered a severe concussion in the Sunday afternoon accident and was released from UT Medical Center on Tuesday.  Jackson-Garrison turned on his emergency lights while responding to an emergency call and was trying to cross the intersection of Illinois and Rutgers Avenues at around 2:15 pm Sunday when his patrol car was hit on the driver’s side by a car headed east on Illinois.  Neither occupant of the other car—64-year-old Carolyn Cooper and 30-year-old Lindsay Cooper, both of Knoxville—were hurt in the accident, which is being investigated by the Tennessee Highway Patrol.  Jackson-Garrison, a former Central High and Vanderbilt football standout, told the Tennesseean newspaper that this is first concussion despite the physical running style he employed during his playing days. 

 

Goins departs Knox Central

 

Former Oak Ridge High School principal Jody Goins has resigned from the job that lured him away from the Atomic City after just one year to accept another job.  Goins, a Clinton High School graduate, was appointed principal at Knox Central High School last year.  His resignation letter to the Knox County School Superintendent did not indicate where he is going.  When he was appointed principal at Oak Ridge in 2009, he was the youngest high school principal in the state.  Prior to being named ORHS principal, he served as a social studies teacher, assistant basketball coach and assistant principal beginning in 2004. 

 

THP:  Holiday fatalities down in 2014

 

The Tennessee Highway Patrol today announced a decline in traffic fatalities during this year’s Fourth of July holiday period. Early estimates indicate seven people were killed in traffic crashes across the state during the 96-hour holiday – a decrease from the 19 vehicular deaths during the 2013 Fourth of July period.  This year’s holiday vehicular fatalities included five vehicle occupants and two motorcyclists. Three of the victims (60%) were not wearing seat belts and one of the fatalities was alcohol-related.  State troopers arrested 119 individuals on suspicion of DUI and issued 1,414 seat belt citations during the 96-hour holiday period.  If this year’s preliminary figures stand, it would rank as one of the lowest number of traffic deaths during the Fourth of July holiday period on record. The highest number of vehicular fatalities occurred during the July 4th holiday period in 1996. Twenty-seven people died in traffic crashes that year. 

 

Inmate dies in custody at AC Jail

 

An Oak Ridge man died Friday while in custody at the Anderson County Jail and an investigation into the circumstances surrounding his passing is underway.  According to a Sheriff’s Department incident report, 34-year-old Christopher Sullivan was found unresponsive in a holding cell at around 3:30 Friday afternoon.  He been arrested by Oak Ridge police about three hours earlier on charges of public intoxication, two counts of possessing a Schedule II narcotic and on an outstanding warrant for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  According to the report, the jail’s detox log indicates that jailers had checked on Sullivan “several times at regular intervals” before he was found unconscious in his cell.  Jailers immediately began CPR, which was continued for about 15 more minutes when Anderson County EMS paramedics responded to the jail.  Sullivan’s body was taken to the Regional Forensic Center in Knoxville, where an autopsy is being conducted.  The ACSD is investigating and when more information becomes available, we will pass it along to you.

 

Clinton man indicted in fatal wreck

 

A Clinton man was indicted last week by an Anderson County grand jury on charges stemming from a late-May single-vehicle accident that killed a 19-year-old Knoxville woman.  24-year-old Justin Seeber was indicted in charges of reckless vehicular homicide, reckless aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and violating the conditions of his restricted driver’s license.  He also faces moving violations connected to the May 28th accident that occurred shortly before 1 am when his northbound Jaguar crossed into the southbound lanes of Clinton Highway, ran off the road and slammed into a ditch.  19-year-old Amber Smith of Knoxville died in the accident while Seeber and two other passengers were hurt.  Seeber will be arraigned in Criminal Court on August 1st and he is currently free on bonds totaling $50,000.

 

ORT:  Historic OR house damaged by fire

 

(Oak Ridge Today) A historic house that once served as a home and headquarters for Gen. Leslie R. Groves during the top-secret Manhattan Project in World War II was heavily damaged in a fire early Monday morning.  No injuries were reported in the house fire, which was reported at 1:37 a.m. Monday.  The one-story stone bungalow is known as the Luther Brannon House, and it’s on Oak Ridge Turnpike, just west of Melton Lake Drive and next to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and it was the first home in Oak Ridge to be privately owned.  Oak Ridge Fire Department Chief Darryl Kerley said it appears that the Monday morning fire started in the kitchen. Owner Danny Brannon and his daughter were returning from a movie when they found the home on fire.  “We have not been able to determine what the cause is,” Kerley said. The Fire Department is waiting for an insurance company, which is sending an investigator and claims adjuster, before continuing its investigation.  Firefighters remained on the scene for some time, clearing smoke and keeping an eye on hot spots.  Kerley said the Luther Brannon House will have to be completely rebuilt inside. He said the stone house held the heat from the Monday morning fire really well. The kitchen and dining room are destroyed, and the rest of home is damaged from heat and smoke, Kerley said.  But he said the owner wants to rebuild it.  The American Red Cross responded to the fire and gave Brannon and his teenaged daughter a place to stay for three days.  For more on the history of the house and Monday’s fire, visit our partners at www.oakridgetoday.com.  

 

ORPD deputy chief cited

 

Well, this doesn’t happen every day.  Oak Ridge Police Deputy Chief Alan Massengill was cited Monday by the Tennessee Highway Patrol for failing to yield the right of way and for not using his siren while en route to a call in connection to a May 29th accident that injured a motorcycle rider.  Massengill was driving a department-owned SUV on May 29th when the accident occurred on Bethel Valley Road.  Court records indicate that he was responding to a call about a suspect on foot with his lights on but without activating his siren when he paused at the end of the exit ramp from Illinois Avenue and then attempted to cross Bethel Valley Road.  He instead pulled into the path of 46-year-old Todd O’Neal of Powell, who was riding his motorcycle west on Bethel Valley, causing injuries that sent O’Neal to Methodist Medical Center.  Massengill is expected to appear in an Anderson County courtroom in September on the THP citation. 

 

ORPD officer hurt in crash recovering

 

Oak Ridge Police officer Cassen Jackson-Garrison, who was injured in a two-vehicle collision on Sunday afternoon, is said to be recovering at UT Medical Center.  Jackson-Garrison turned on his emergency lights while responding to an emergency call and went through the traffic light at the intersection of Illinois and Rutgers Avenues at around 2:15 pm Sunday when his patrol car was hit on the driver’s side by a car headed east on Illinois.  Neither occupant of the other car—64-year-old Carolyn Cooper and 30-year-old Lindsay Cooper, both of Knoxville—were hurt in the accident, which is being investigated by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. 

 

Report:  ORCVB president stepping down

 

According to the News-Sentinel, the president of the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau is stepping down at the end of this week to accept a job with a Knoxville company.  Katy Brown tells the paper that her decision has nothing to do with City Manager Mark Watson’s proposal to turn the ORCVB into a city-operated entity.  Currently the organization that promotes tourism in Oak Ridge is funded by revenue generated by the city’s hotel/motel tax.  The Bureau saw its budget cut by the City Council from $400,000 to $300,000 in the during the latest city budget debate.  Brown has worked at the bureau since 2001 and has served as its president since 2006.  Her last day on the job will be this Friday July 11th.

 

State sales tax holiday weekend dates announced

 

The State of Tennessee has announced the dates for this year’s Annual Sales Tax Holiday.  The holiday is held every year on the first Friday in August and ends the following Sunday night and this year is no exception.  The 2014 tax-free holiday weekend begins at 12:01 am on Friday, August 1st and ends Sunday, August 3rd at 11:59 p.m.  Check out tntaxholiday.com for more information, including a complete list of the items that will be sold tax-free that weekend.

 

UT hoops coach kicks off ORNL United way campaign

 

New University of Tennessee men’s basketball coach Donnie Tyndall kicked off Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s United Way campaign, telling Lab employees that United Way enables people to get back on their feet and become self-sufficient.  “United Way has a track record of having programs in place that help people with life skills that give them the education or put them in position to get an education to live their life to the fullest as they move forward,” Tyndall said. “United Way explains the importance of a healthy lifestyle.”  Tyndall said he was honored to kick off the ORNL United Way campaign and urged Lab employees to provide their support.

“I’ve been part of different causes and charitable situations in groups in my years of being in this profession, but I don’t think there is any one better than United Way,” Tyndall added.  ORNL is one of East Tennessee’s largest corporate contributors to United Way.

 

ACSD:  Jury duty scam reaches AC

 

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department is warning the public about phone scam. The Sheriff’s Department has received a report of a man who placed a phone call to a victim and identified himself as a sheriff’s deputy. The scammer informed the victim they have missed jury duty and requested they purchase a money order for a certain amount to pay the fines.  He then asks the victim to meet him to pay and avoid going to jail. This scam has apparently been attempted in Anderson County and in the Clinton area.  The caller ID of the scammer shows “Warrants Division” but the Sheriff’s Department wants you to know that is fake and this is a scam.  A similar scam has been circulating in recent weeks in Knox County. There are several variations of scams targeting our area. The callers are claiming to be officers with various law enforcement agencies and are collecting funds for missed jury duty or outstanding warrants. In most of the scams, the caller request that funds be paid by purchasing either a prepaid credit card or money order.  Law enforcement agencies do not operate in this manner. No matter how threatening the phone calls may sound these are scams. If you receive a similar phone call, do not give the caller any money or give out any personal information. If you feel like you are a victim of a fraud or scam, please call the Sheriff’s Communications Center at 865-457-2414 or your local law enforcement agency.

 

OR After Dark debuts

 

A new summer entertainment series on Friday nights in July and August will feature movies and comedy.  The Oak Ridge After Dark series is presented by the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau. It starts July 11 and ends August 15, and it will feature three movies and a family-friendly comedy troupe performance at A.K. Bissell Park.

The series provides free, family-friendly entertainment in a safe environment for all ages, a press release said. Each night will have a specific theme to accompany the film. Here’s the schedule:

  • July 11—Beat the Heat Night
  • July 18—Pirate Night
  • August 8—Einstein Simplified, comedy improv troupe
  • August 15—Hero Night

Activities are planned beginning at 7 p.m., with the feature entertainment beginning at dusk, the press release said. Children are encouraged to dress as their favorite characters in conjunction with each film or theme. Characters from select films will be on hand for photo opportunities.  Visit the Historic Oak Ridge Facebook page or http://oakridgevisitor.com/2014/07/01/oak-ridge-after-dark/ for a complete list of scheduled films.

 

OS man sentenced in fondling

 

An Oliver Springs man convicted in April of fondling a three-year-old girl in late 2009 was sentenced this week to nine years in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender.  30-year-old Christopher Lee Byrge will have to serve 100% of his sentence.  He has been in custody since his conviction. 

 

PCUD VP Emeritus honored by state association

 

(PCUD) Powell-Clinch Utility District Vice President Emeritus Richard McIntosh was recently awarded the Tennessee Gas Association’s 2014 Silver Flame Award, the state natural gas industry’s highest honor. The award is in recognition of McIntosh’s distinguished service, community involvement and pioneering efforts in the state gas industry over his forty-one year career. McIntosh retired from PCUD in 2013 after twenty-eight years of service. Under his leadership, PCUD grew from 3,500 customers to over 17,000.  The Tennessee Gas Association represents the state’s gas utilities, pipelines and affiliates who provide natural gas service to over 1.2 million customers in Tennessee. TGA’s mission is to promote the value and growth of the natural gas industry in Tennessee by enhancing the overall performance, safety, competitiveness and public awareness of its members and their products and services. PCUD congratulates Richard McIntosh for receiving the state gas industry’s most prestigious award and extends its heartfelt thanks to McIntosh for his leadership, vision, dedication and hard work for PCUD and its customers.

 

Man pleads guilty to 7th DUI

 

An Anderson County man pleaded guilty Monday in an Anderson County courtroom to his seventh DUI and driving while classified as a habitual motor vehicle offender.  52-year-old David Lynn Justice was sentenced to 2-year prison terms on each count, to be served concurrently, fined $3000 and placed on community supervision for the remainder of his life.  In addition, his drivers’ license was revoked for eight years.  This latest DUI plea came in connection to an April 19th accident on Old Lake City Highway, after which a state trooper described Justice “extremely intoxicated.”  He has been in custody since his arrest.

 

Plea in robbery case

 

An Anderson County man pleaded guilty earlier this week to charges stemming from an armed robbery that occurred in September of last year at a BP gas station on North Seivers Boulevard in Clinton.  32-year-old Joshua Aaron Dople pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and was sentenced to eight years behind bars and placed on community supervision for the remainder of his life following his release.  Dople threatened a clerk at the gas station with a knife in the robbery, which occurred on September 28th of last year.  The clerk was not physically harmed in the incident.

 

Report:  “Absurd” lawsuit against OS firm dismissed

 

According to the News-Sentinel, a lawsuit filed against an Oliver Springs company has been dismissed in Anderson County Circuit Court.  Two former employees of Diversified Product Inspections—or DPI—which tests products that have malfunctioned or failed to figure out why, filed the suit last year, alleging that their workplace had been illegally bugged and that their private conversations had been recorded without their consent.  The suit sought $900,000 each from the company and an ex-employee and was filed by former employees Frankie Pearl Robinson and Shauna Nichole Hines.  They alleged that another former employee had left her cell phone on a desk when she ran to the restroom and that the phone was recording their conversation.  DPI’s attorneys told the News-Sentinel they considered the suit to be “absurd” and that the company never requested or authorized anyone to record anyone else.  The suit was dismissed with prejudice, meaning that it cannot be re-filed. 

 

New day, new month, new contractor heading Y-12

 

Tuesday morning at 12:01 am, the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge began operating under new management as Consolidated Nuclear Security, or CNS, officially completed its acquisition of the contract to manage the plant from Babcock and Wilcox.  CNS says a couple hundred people accepted the company's Voluntary Reduction Plan that allowed employees to be compensated for leaving.  The five-year contract—which was awarded to CNS in January of 2013 and went through several appeals by losing bidders—is expected save more than $3 billion in taxpayer money over the next decade.

 

ORPD loses certification over records issue

 

The TBI recently decertified the Oak Ridge Police Department for failing to report crime information to the agency as required by state statute for three months.  ORPD officials say that they do have a plan to rectify the situation but in the meantime, the decertification means that the department is ineligible to receive any state or federal grants or other assistance.  The issue centers on the inability of the department’s records management software to communicate with the TBI’s reporting system.  The city’s previous technology contractor refused to make the necessary changes without a significant increase in their fee so the ORPD began looking for alternatives.  In February, the City Council approved a contract with Spillman Technologies, which specializes in law enforcement software, and now officials are working to get the new software installed and to train officers and records personnel on how to use it.  No timetable has been set for its implementation but when it is, the department will begin the process of being recertified by the TBI.  Officials say the decertification will not affect day-to-day operations in the department.

 

ORT:  OR railroad tracks removed

 

(Oak Ridge Today) Unused railroad tracks that crossed Briarcliff Avenue, Emory Valley Road, and South Illinois Avenue were removed on Thursday and Saturday night.  CSX Railroad split the traffic control costs with the city and paid to remove the tracks, Oak Ridge Public Works Director Gary Cinder said. In exchange, the city agreed to repave the roadways as part of street maintenance.  The project has been in the works for two years.  He said the final cost was not clear yet, but it wasn’t expected to be significant. The city worked with contractor Rogers Group Inc. on the project.  For much more on this story visit our partners at www.oakridgetoday.com.  

 

Follow-up:  More on new Kroger Marketplace

 

(Oak Ridge Today) The Kroger Marketplace that opened in Oak Ridge on Sunday is the company’s largest store in Tennessee in the Knoxville and Nashville area, executives said. It’s the third Kroger Marketplace in the Knoxville area.  The 124,000-square-foot store is at the corner of Oak Ridge Turnpike and Illinois Avenue. It’s the company’s fifth store in Oak Ridge, and it’s in a new shopping center named the Westcott Center in honor of Ed Westcott, the official U.S. government photographer here during the top-secret Manhattan Project in World War II.  Kroger said the new store created 270 jobs and will employ a total of 375 workers, including those moving from the previous store on South Illinois Avenue.  The new grocery store features larger bakery, dairy, deli, meat, and seafood sections, as well as a produce section that includes organic and local produce. There are 22 check-out registers and more than 46 aisles.  There’s also a Baby World, bistro, floral shop, Fred Meyer Jewelers, fresh sushi, Little Clinic, Murray’s Cheese Shoppe, a pharmacy with two drive-through windows, a Starbucks, and SunTrust Bank. There are also home and kitchen, bed and bath, and office and school supply sections, as well as apparel—a first for Kroger Marketplace.  There is also a Kroger Fuel Center.  Sunday’s grand opening included a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Former University of Tennessee Volunteers football coach Phillip Fulmer took part in that, and he signed autographs afterward. During the ceremony, Kroger donated $5,000 to the Emory Valley Center for their capital campaign to build a new facility.  Kroger is one of the nation’s largest retail grocery chains.  The company operates 90 stores and 74 Fuel Centers in the Nashville Division of Kroger, which includes the Knoxville and Oak Ridge areas.

 

OR Kroger Marketplace celebrated

 

(BBB/staff reports) Sunday morning over 500 people showed up for the grand opening of the new Kroger Marketplace at the Westcott Center at the intersection of the Turnpike and Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge. The new store is more than just a simple grocery store as they will also carry clothing, shoes, and a wide array of items for the home and for every member of the family.  The new building is energy-efficient, with skylights, LED lighting and water conservation measures.  The new store wasn't scheduled to open till 8 AM but By 7:30, over 500 people were standing in line. At eight AM the doors were opened. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at 9 am followed by appearances from Ed Wescott, for whom the center is named.  The legendary Oak Ridge photographer was given a plaque and the official naming the center took place. A host of local, state and federal officials made statements and welcomed the new store to the Atomic City and Kroger then presented the Emory Valley Center with a check for $5000 to help the construction of a new senior center. Former Tennessee Football Coach Phillip Fulmer was on hand for the opening and signed autographs for those interested in them. During the afternoon, Oliver Springs native and former American Idol contestant Janelle Author performed before a packed house.  The new store brings with it an estimated 270 new jobs, a number that should continue to grow as the Westcott Center fills up with more and more tenants. 

 

State to seek death penalty in child death

 

The state will seek the death penalty against a Campbell County man accused of killing his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter, according to District Attorney General Lori Phillips-Jones.  33-year-old Joshua Comer LaFollete appeared in court Friday. Officials charged him with first-degree murder in the death of Gabriella Orton.  Phillips-Jones said Comer deserves the death penalty for three reasons: the victim was a young child, the evidence of aggravated child abuse, and the heinous nature of the crime.  The victim's mother, 29-year-old Amber Leann Orton of LaFollette will also stand trial with Comer but will not face the death penalty. Officials charged Orton with aggravated child neglect.  Both Orton and Comer pleaded not guilty Friday, and the judge appointed them public defenders.  The state has decided to try the couple together based on the evidence in the case. A trial date has not been scheduled at this time.

 

Lake City-to-Rocky Top a done deal

 

Thursday, members of the Lake City Council became members of the Rocky Top City Council as they voted unanimously to change the town’s name to Rocky Top.  The vote was met with a round of applause from the approximately 200 people who gathered at what will soon become Rocky Top Middle School for the historic vote.  The vote came just moments after a federal judge in Knoxville denied a last-minute motion from House of Bryant, which owns the copyright to the iconic bluegrass song, to stop the vote until the case can be heard in a federal appeals court.  In May, Federal Judge Thomas Varlan denied an injunction to prohibit the town from changing its name and that ruling was appealed this week by the company, which is arguing that the name-change will damage the Rocky Top brand.  In rendering his decision on Thursday, Judge Varlan said that he does not believe that the company’s appeal will be successful and that he did not want to delay the process any further.  Following Thursday’s Council vote, Rocky Top leaders unveiled a large new, temporary sign that will be placed over the current welcome sign at the northernmost exit off I-75.  The push to change the town’s name has been driven by developers’ plans to build several attractions designed to turn the former coal mining town into a tourist destination.  Those plans include a water park, hotel, restaurants and more and supporters of the name change—which was seen as an essential first step in the ambitious plan—hope the name change and subsequent developments will create jobs, add sales tax revenues, and provide a vital economic boost to the town.  The Lake City Council had endorsed the switch in November, and it was approved by the Tennessee General Assembly in Nashville and Gov. Bill Haslam this year.  Thursday’s vote was 4-0-1. Lake City Vice Mayor Michael L. Lovely abstained because he is part of the Rocky Top Marketing and Manufacturing Co., which is in the process of hiring a chief financial officer who could help draft development proposals.  The city will now send the private act back to state officials for final signatures. That could take 15-20 days, Lake City Mayor Tim Sharp said.  The first project in the development plan is construction of a water park, for which developers say they have secured approximately 80 acres of land.  The town’s new identity will be celebrated as part of next week’s annual 4th of July activities in downtown Rocky Top, Tennessee. 

 

AC jury convicts man on abuse charges

 

It took less than an hour for an Anderson County jury to convict a Knoxville man of breaking more than 30 bones in his then-2-month-old son’s body.  47-year-old David William Lowery was convicted of three counts of aggravated child abuse.  Lowery was immediately taken into custody and will be sentenced on August 29th.  Lowery faces sentences of from 15 to 25 years for each conviction.  Testimony showed that the infant suffered 21 rib fractures, a broken shoulder blade and fractures to various bones in both legs, along with broken bones in his left arm. A medical exam also indicated some trauma to the baby’s brain.  The injuries occurred on at least three occasions in January of 2008.  The boy’s mother, Lowery’s ex-wife, testified that her son is now 6 years old and described him as a “normal, hyper, ornery boy.”

 

Suspected child killer apprehended

 

A Campbell County man facing murder charges in connection with the death of his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter was arrested Wednesday without incident just hours after he had been added to the TBI’s 10 Most Wanted list.  33-year-old Joshua Comer of Lafollette is facing a first-degree felony murder charge in the death of 3-year-old Gabriella Orton.  The toddler was brought to the emergency room of Lafollette Medical center on June 10th with visible injuries indicative of abuse and she dies a short time after her arrival.  An autopsy later revealed both old and new injuries.  The child's mother, 29-year-old Amber Leann Orton (aka Rezentes), also of LaFollette, has also been indicted on aggravated child neglect charges.  Deputies arrested Orton Tuesday, and she's being held in the Campbell County Jail on a $750,000 bond.  Five other children were removed from the home and are in DCS custody.  Comer and Orton are expected to make their initial court appearances on Friday morning. 

 

THP offers summer safety tips, reminders

 

The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) urges motorists to take extra precautions as temperatures rise this summer and never leave children or pets in unattended vehicles. Preliminary reports indicate that eight children have already died this year due to heatstroke. None of those fatalities were in Tennessee.   “Our goal is to educate the public on the dangers of leaving children or pets unattended in vehicles. The consequences could be deadly. Citizens should call 9-1-1 immediately if they see a child, an elderly person or anyone left unattended in a hot vehicle,” THP Colonel Tracy Trott said.   There were 44 heatstroke deaths involving children in the United States in 2013. Since 1998, the average number of child hyperthermia-related fatalities is 38 per year. Additionally, during a 15-year period, research shows that 52 percent of child vehicular heat stroke cases were due to caregivers’ neglect and 29 percent were because children were playing in unattended vehicles. (Source: San Francisco State University - http://www.ggweather.com/heat/).  Experts say the temperature inside a car can reach potentially deadly levels within minutes on a typical sunny, summer day. The inside temperature can rise almost 20 degrees within the first 10 minutes and nearly 30 degrees in 20 minutes. Cracking the window has little effect on inside vehicle temperatures. Only 20 states, including Tennessee, have laws that prohibit leaving a child unattended in a vehicle.  Follow a few simple safety steps to make sure your child is safe this summer: 

  • Dial 911 immediately if you see an unattended child in a car. EMS professionals are trained to determine if a child is in trouble.
  • Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even with the window slightly open.
  • Place a cell phone, PDA, purse, briefcase, gym bag or whatever is to be carried from the car, on the floor in front of a child in a backseat. This triggers adults to see children when they open the rear door and reach for their belongings. 
  • Teach children not to play in any vehicle.
  • Lock all vehicle doors and trunk after everyone has exited the vehicle – especially at home. Keep keys out of children’s reach. Cars are not playgrounds or babysitters.
  • Check vehicles and trunks FIRST if a child goes missing. (Source: Safekids.org)

Motorists should also take precautions in the event of a break down on a highway, especially with children or elderly citizens in the vehicle. The Tennessee Highway Patrol suggests the following safety tips when traveling: 

  • For highway emergencies, summon help immediately via cellular phone by dialing *THP (*847) to connect to the nearest THP District Headquarters.
  • Have a basic first aid/survival kit, including two-three bottles of water per person, in vehicle.
  • If vehicle begins to overheat, turn off the air conditioner.
  • If a break down occurs, steer your vehicle as far away from the flow of traffic as possible.

 

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Storm damage follow-up; EF0 tornado confirmed in Kingston

 

The National Weather Service has confirmed the powerful storms that rolled through the area on Tuesday included an embedded tornado in Kingston.  Officials with the NWS office in Morristown assessed the damage and said an EF-0 tornado touched down along 3rd Street in Kingston. The winds of an EF-0 tornado are around 65-85 miles per hour.  The NWS said the widespread damage throughout East Tennessee was almost entirely from straight-line winds and down-bursts. Kingston is the only site suspected of sustaining tornado damage.  The Weather Service says straight-line winds estimated at 80 mph packed a destructive punch in Clinton, which appeared to bear the brunt of the damage from Tuesday’s severe weather.  Tuesday's storm swept through the historic downtown area of Clinton, ripping the old Hoskins Drug Store neon sign off the front of a building on Market Street.  Restoring the sign could cost anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 based on previous quotes.  Catching up on some of the other damage reports from around town, we want to issue a correction.  Wednesday we incorrectly identified the owners of the Pass Time Garage on main Street which was destroyed by the storm with two people inside who suffered minor injuries.  The business is actually owned by the Tilley family, including father Russ and son David.  Meanwhile, the roof at the Clinton High School football fieldhouse was damaged by the wind.  CUB officials say that their coverage area has not seen the widespread damage caused by this week’s storm since the blizzard of 1993.  At the height of the outages, over 6100 people were without electricity and some parts of the service area may not have power this weekend. Meanwhile, according to our partners at Oak Ridge Today, roughly 4,000 customers lost power in the Tuesday evening storm, and about 70 damaged homes will require repairs by an electrician before power can be restored.  Oak Ridge Electric Director Jack Suggs told ORT that  he doesn’t recall ever having 70 homes damaged in one storm, although the Electric Department has experienced worse storms when many utility poles were broken. But the brief, fierce Tuesday storm, which brought severe winds and driving rain, was significant in terms of its damage to homes and its far-reaching nature, from Blair Road on the west end of town to east Oak Ridge and beyond.  The effects of the Tuesday afternoon storm were still being felt on Wednesday as a large tree, weakened by the wind and rain from the previous day, toppled over in the back yard of a home on West Norris Road in Norris and destroyed its back porch.  No one was hurt in that incident and thankfully no serious injuries were reported in connection with the storm.   

 

Storm follow-up part 2:  AC 911 dispatchers lauded for performance

 

According to a release from ACSD Chief Deputy Mark Lucas, from 3:00pm until 11:00pm on Tuesday, the county 911 center received 589 telephone calls of which 143 were on 911.  The overwhelming number of calls came in between 5:00pm and 7:00pm when 365 calls came to our dispatch center.  Of these 365, 109 were on 911.  Comparing to last Tuesday from 3:00pm until 11:00pm we received 156 total telephone calls of which 20 were on 911.  The two hour period from 5:00pm to 7:00pm last week was only 41 total calls of which 5 were on 911.  For the entire shift from 3:00pm until 11:00pm that was a 288% increase.  For the two hours from 5:00pm until 7:00pm the increase was 790%.  The agency had four communications officers working Tuesday when the storm hit and a fifth came into work voluntarily to help out.  Many of these 911 and non- emergency calls required dispatching of emergency personnel from law enforcement, fire, or EMS.  Others required notifications to the state and county highway departments and the utility companies.  It was non-stop for hours, according to the release.  The Sheriff's Communications Center handles 911 and non-emergency calls from the unincorporated areas of Anderson County along with the cities of Oliver Springs, Lake City, and Norris.  911 calls in Clinton and Oak Ridge are routed to their respective dispatch centers.  However, county dispatchers also received overflow 911 calls from both those cities due to the high call volume.  This is how the 911 system is supposed to work and it worked well, according to Lucas.  The communications center dispatches for the Sheriff's Department, the Anderson County EMS, the five county volunteer fire departments, and the rescue squad.  All of these agencies were dispatched at various times to numerous reports of storm damage, trees and power lines down, and motor vehicle accidents including the one where a semi-trailer was overturned on Lake City Hwy.  There were also several burglar alarms activated due to the storm or power outages.  We notified the Anderson County Highway Department and the Tennessee Department of Transportation of trees blocking roadways.  Dispatchers also notified the Clinton Utilities Board when we were called about power outages.  The power was out at the dispatch center in the Robert Jolley Building for several hours.  The communications center has both battery-powered UPS systems and an emergency generator.  There was no interruption of 911 or dispatch functions.  All worked as it was supposed to and without any issues.  The credit for all these accomplishments and hard work goes to the communications officers who were on-duty.  They maintained their composure, took all these overwhelming number of calls, and dispatched public safety personnel throughout the evening, according to Lucas, who called Tuesday’s efforts “a job well done.”

 

ACSD addresses online hoax

 

Some people have way too much time on their hands.  The Anderson County Sheriff's Department posted a message on its Facebook page Wednesday to address apparent rumors of bodies found and a crime spree in Clinton and Oak Ridge.  The original posts say bodies have been found in dumpsters in Clinton and in Oak Ridge while another claims someone is robbing victims who stop to help a white van that's broken down along the side of the road.  The Anderson County Sheriff's Office said on Facebook that neither post is true:  "There has been a recent Facebook post that is being circulated and "shared" about bodies being found in Clinton and Oak Ridge as well as someone robbing victims who have stopped to help a disabled vehicle. Some of our local news media have even contacted us after seeing these posts. None of this is true. No bodies have been found nor have there been any robberies. This is a hoax. We have spoken with both Chief Jim Akagi at the Oak Ridge Police Department and Chief Rick Scarbrough with the Clinton Police Department who are aware of these posts. Please share this to let everyone know all this is false. Thanks for everyone's help."  Be sure to like the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department on Facebook. 

 

Suspect #5 in AC gang beating arrested

 

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department announced Wednesday that 37-year-old Crystal Lynnette McGuire of Powell, who was wanted in connection with a gang-related attempted murder, was arrested without incident in Louisiana.  Local investigators were in contact with Louisiana authorities throughout the day Wednesday after learning McGuire may have headed their way.  She was located and arrested by sheriff's deputies in Sabine County.  It may be several days before all the paperwork will be completed for her transfer back to Tennessee to face charges of attempted first-degree murder, especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy.  She and four other members of the Aryan Nation—a white supremacist gang—were indicted last week by an Anderson County grand jury following a lengthy investigation that involved several different law enforcement agencies.  Three of the suspects were arrested Tuesday and the fifth was already in state custody on unrelated charges.  Court records indicate that the December 15th assault on Joshua Ray Patterson of Briceville was described as an inter-gang disciplinary measure after he apparently argued with a higher-ranking gang member.  He was brought to a home on Dennis Lane purported to be the East Tennessee regional headquarters of the Aryan Nation, where he was beaten severely by several gang members, leaving him with numerous broken ribs and facial bones as well as a punctured lung.  After the beatdown, Patterson’s gang tattoos—or colors—were defaced, effectively kicking him out of the gang.  Following the attack, he was driven to a South Clinton convenience store and left in the parking lot.  According to court documents, a confidential informant provided law enforcement with detailed information about the gang’s criminal activity in East Tennessee, including the smuggling of contraband into jails and prisons, where it was sold to inmates by incarcerated gang members.

 

2 burglary suspects apprehended in act

 

Two men were arrested Tuesday night after burglarizing a home in the Marlow community.  The ACSD responded to a report of a burglary in progress at a home on Binkley Acres Lane shortly before 8:45 pm—while the rest of the county was assessing storm damage.  The homeowner was called by a neighbor who spotted a strange car in the driveway.  The homeowner went to the home and spotted two men inside the house.  The first deputy was on the scene less than a minute after being dispatched.  He spoke with the owner and simply waited until the two men walked out of the house carrying several items they had just stolen.  Despite his backup not having yet arrived, the deputy took both suspects into custody without incident.  They are identified as 29-year-old Marcus Dewayne Bowling of Heiskell and 23-year-old Cody Aaron sexton of Oak Ridge and both are in custody at the Anderson County Jail on charges of felony theft, criminal trespassing and criminal conspiracy. 

 

ORT:  New vice principal appointed at RMS

 

(Oak Ridge Today) Garfield Adams has been appointed vice principal at Robertsville Middle School, a school official said Tuesday.  Adams’ appointment is effective July 1, Oak Ridge Schools Assistant Superintendent Chris Marczak said in a press release.  Adams began his career as a special education teacher in Knox County Schools in 2001. He joined the Oak Ridge Schools in 2004 as an alternative program teacher and remained in that capacity until 2011.  For the past three years, Adams has served as a Small Learning Community (SLC) curriculum assistant principal for South Doyle High School. He has both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in special education from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, as well as an educational specialist degree from Lincoln Memorial University, Marczak said.

 

Line of violent storms leaves behind widespread AC damage

 

A line of violent and severe thunderstorms tore through East Tennessee on Tuesday afternoon, leaving scores of downed trees and power lines in its wake.  In Clinton, the storm destroyed the Passtime Garage downtown, slightly injuring two people working on a van inside the building.  Both of those men were treated for their injuries at area hospitals.  Across the region, no serious injuries were reported.  On Lake City Highway, a tractor trailer was flipped on to its side by high winds, slightly injuring the driver.  A tree—one of many that came down across the county—reportedly fell on a mobile home in Claxton, trapping a woman inside.  She was uninjured.  Damage ranged from shingles being torn off roofs and siding stripped from buildings to limbs and tress on cars and structures.  As we mentioned, downed trees caused widespread power outages throughout the Clinton Utilities Board service area.  At the peak of the outages, over 6000 customers were without power and CUB crews have been out in force since the storms passed through working to restore power.  If you see those crews out working, please slow down and give them plenty of room as they continue their repairs.  The National Weather Service is expected to be in the area today surveying damage to determine if it was caused by a tornado or simply straight-line winds. 

 

ACSD:  5 members of Aryan Nation indicted, 4 caught, 1 sought

 

The Anderson County Sheriff’s department says that three people were arrested Tuesday after indictments were returned by an Anderson County grand jury in a gang-related attempted murder and conspiracy case. 36-year-old Leonard Lionel Kilgore of Knoxville; 33-year-old Jacob Eli Campbell and 32-year-old Michael James O’Conner, Jr., both of Sevierville, were taken into custody Tuesday morning. A fourth person, 32-year-old David Lee Dozard, II, is currently in custody at the Northeast Correctional Facility in Mountain City on unrelated charges and a fifth, 37-year-old Crystal Lynnette McGuire, is being sought on charges related to this case.  All are charged with attempted first-degree murder, especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy.  According to an ACSD release, investigators obtained indictments from the Anderson County Grand Jury on the five individuals following a lengthy investigation into the severe beating of a 31 year old Briceville man which resulted in serious injuries.  The incident occurred on Dennis Lane in Claxton in December of 2013 and was described as an “internal gang-related enforcement” attack. All five are members of the Aryan Nation gang.  Anyone having information as to the whereabouts of McGuire is asked to contact the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department at 865-457-2414 or their local law enforcement agency. She has been entered into the FBI NCIC as a wanted person.  The release states that the arrests were the result of a months-long investigation involving the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department and the 7th Judicial District Crime Task Force which includes officers from the Sheriff’s Department, and the Oak Ridge, Clinton, Lake City, and Oliver Springs Police Departments, as well as the District Attorney General’s Office. As a part of this investigation, search warrants were served in both Anderson and Knox Counties.  The District Attorney General’s Office will be seeking enhanced penalties in this case as the offenders are members of a criminal gang.  Arrests of these individuals occurred in Anderson, Knox, and Sevier counties and investigators were assisted by the Knox County and Sevier County Sheriff’s Departments.

 

(ORT) ORPD investigating stabbing

 

(Oak Ridge Today) Two Oak Ridge men were taken by ambulance to a hospital after a stabbing was reported on Monday night, authorities said.  The Oak Ridge Police Department responded to a reported disturbance in the Scarboro neighborhood at about 11:30 p.m. Monday. Roughly 20 people were reported to be in the street on South Benedict Avenue near the intersection with South Dillard Avenue, and some were allegedly intoxicated, the ORPD said in a press release.  When officers arrived, they found Kevin Steen, 48, of Oak Ridge, lying in the street with multiple contusions to the head and face, the press release said.  A second subject reportedly had been stabbed and left the scene.  A few minutes later, officers located Eddie Mitchell, 32, of Oak Ridge, a short distance away at Hallmark Apartments with several stab wounds, the release said.  Both men were transported by ambulance to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville for treatment, the Police Department said.  “The investigation remains ongoing; it has not been determined at this time what charges, if any, will be filed in connection with this incident,” the ORPD said. “No further information will be released at this time.”

 

OR Council nixes tax increase for schools

 

Monday night the Oak Ridge City Council voted on first reading to keep property tax rates at their current levels, rejecting a request from the School Board for a 37-cent tax increase.  School leaders say the tax hike would pay for several things, most notably a technology initiative aimed at providing every student in the system with an electronic learning device for use at school and at home.  The first of two votes taken Monday reduced the amount transferred to the schools to approximately $14.6 million, about $3.3 million under the $17.9 million requested by the School Board.  The second vote left the property tax rate unchanged at $2.39 per $100 of assessed value for a seventh consecutive year.  The Council will consider the budget on second and final reading on Monday June 16th and if, as expected, they again vote to leave taxes where they are, school officials say they will have to go back and make and make deep and significant cuts to their budget for the new fiscal year that begins July 1st.

 

Baumann arrested on probation violation

 

A former Clinton High School teacher convicted of having inappropriate contact with students in 2010 was arrested last week on a probation violation.  Court records indicate that 32-year-old Meghan Baumann was arrested by deputies from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday (5/27) on the violations and released later that same day on a $50,000 bond.  In 2010 Baumann pleaded guilty to two counts of displaying sexually explicit material to a minor and one count each of statutory rape by an authority figure and sexual battery by an authority figure.  She admitted to having sex with one student, fondling another and sending nude photos of herself to two boys.  She served three years in prison and was released to serve another three years of probation.  As part of her probation, Baumann was ordered to register as a sex offender, which prohibits her from going to places where she knew children would be present and from dating someone with a child under 18 years old.  Records indicate that she had been seeing someone who has a child and that Baumann had interacted with the child without permission and that she went to ballparks in Knoxville, Cleveland and Pigeon Forge on four occasions in April and May to watch games in a youth softball tournament.  She is scheduled for a probation revocation hearing next week and is currently free on bond.

 

AC government sued over controversial outbuilding

 

A group of Claxton citizens has sued the Anderson County government over the construction of an outbuilding on property zoned for residential use on White Loop Road.  The group alleges that property owner Jason Webber is conducting business out of his existing garage and that the new building is being erected to expand that business.  For several months nearby residents have asked the county to revoke Webber’s building permits due to the fact that the area is not zoned for commerce.  County Mayor Terry Frank recently told county commissioners that she has retained an outside attorney to represent the county due to a conflict of interest with County Law Director Jay Yeager.  The Oak Ridger reports that Yeager says that he can represent the county, but not Public Works Director James Crowley due to a conflict.  One commissioner pointed out that since Frank had already retained an attorney, the county was obligated to pay those legal fees, even if they were to vote not to retain and outside attorney.   The Oak Ridger reports that Frank and Yeager each confirmed that this was an accurate statement, but the amount of the current fees was not discussed.  Uncertainty also continues to surround the certification status of Crowley.  Yeager says Crowley has been conducting inspections and signing certifications even though he is not certified to perform the inspections.

Frank told commissioners that Crowley had passed his residential certification but still lacks the commercial inspection certification.

 

AC Commission to revisit ouster suit defense

 

The Anderson County Commission will have to revisit a decision made during its May 19th meeting dealing with Commissioner Zach bates’ motion to “cover” any legal fees associated with a lawsuit filed by a group of citizens seeking the ouster of Law Director Jay Yeager.  Yeager, who had previously said that he would defend himself in the matter, told commissioners last month that he was not going to be able to fight the lawsuit on his own.  Bates made a motion to “cover” those expenses for Yeager, which was approved by the Commission.  However, late last week, an email from Alex Moseley, the executive director of a group calling itself Friends of Anderson County taxpayers was sent to members of the media as well as county government officials and pointed out that state law prohibits the county from paying any attorney fees for a county official facing an ouster suit before the outcome of the legal proceedings is known.  That sparked a flurry of discussions between county officials and Commission Chairman Chuck Fritts says that the Commission, when it meets on June 16th, will revisit the issue to clarify the wording to indicate that commissioners are simply authorizing Yeager to seek outside counsel while not making a commitment to pay for his defense. 

 

Report:  AC settles liquor tax debt with schools

 

The Anderson County government has paid the county school system what it owes in unpaid, back liquor taxes and will soon settle its debt with the Clinton and Oak Ridge school systems.  Mayor Terry Frank tells the News-Sentinel that the county government has deposited $9946.46 in to the schools’ coffers, which should preclude any legal action from being taken to recoup the tax money owed under an obscure state law that stipulates that the proceeds from the 15% tax on mixed drinks in Tennessee are to be distributed by city and county governments to their local school systems based on student population.  As we have reported, while many cities and counties have been passing those funds on to their schools, many others have not, which has led to several legal motions across the state seeking that overdue revenue.  Last week the Anderson County School Board voted to file legal action in Chancery Court to get what it is owed by the county and the cities of Clinton and Oak Ridge, even though negotiations were said to be going well.  The Clinton School Board did file a similar action in Chancery Court but that legal move has been rendered invalid because the county has agreed to pay Clinton’s schools $1225.55.  Mayor Frank tells the KNS that Oak Ridge is due some $5633.99 from the county.  While those two cities and the county have worked well together in resolving the issue, Oak Ridge leaders have shown no indication they are willing to negotiate on the estimated $1.5 million in back liquor taxes it allegedly owes local schools.  The city, which has had liquor by the drink since the mid 1970s, says that because it operates its own K-12 school system, it does not owe that money to its neighboring systems. 

 

Speed limit reduced on N. Seivers in Clinton

 

The speed limit on North Charles Seivers Boulevard from Clinch Avenue to Longmire Road in Clinton has been reduced from 45 miles an hour to 35 miles an hour.  The change is going into effect this week.  Clinton Police say that the reduction in the speed limit is being made in response to an increased number of traffic accidents on that stretch of road over the past few months.  Chief Rick Scarbrough says that the stretch of North Seivers from Maire Avenue to Longmire was the scene of 45 accidents last year alone.  The reduced speed limit will also be more consistent with the speed limits throughout the rest of the business district.  The speed limit on South Charles Seivers Boulevard from Clinch to the Food City is also 35 miles an hour. 

 

National nightmare over, ‘Keygate’ investigation closed

 

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department has completed its investigation into County Mayor Terry Frank’s missing keys and determined that no charges will be filed against Courier News reporter Chris Silcox.  As we have reported, Frank called a deputy to her office following the meeting and said that she had put her keys under a desk in the Commission meeting room and that Silcox had been sitting in or near her seat at some point during the meeting.  She said she had gotten up twice, once to address the Commission and again when there was a break.  She told ACSD Corporal Bradley Prewitt that she had noticed that her keys were missing sometime after 10:30 pm.  Silcox sent her a text message shortly after the meeting concluded that said he had accidentally picked up her keys after mistaking them for his wife’s as he was driving her vehicle that night.  He returned most of the keys to the mayor’s chief of staff but failed to return Frank’s home and office keys, which she reported to the deputy.  Prewitt called Silcox and asked him to check again for the missing keys and Silcox said that he had woken up his wife and asked her to check and see if any of the keys he had with him did not belong on the key ring and she found keys and value cards that ended up belonging to the mayor, to whom he returned them at around 1:15 am the following morning.  Silcox had briefly sat in Frank’s seat after he arrived late to the meeting while she addressed the Commission and says that he put the keys on his key ring when he moved.  Corporal Prewitt wrote in his report that “there is not sufficient evidence, at this time, to establish probable cause that [Silcox] intentionally took Ms. Frank’s keys with the intent to deprive her of their use,” and that he had advised the mayor of his conclusion.  Mayor Frank told WYSH last week that she almost told the deputy to consider the matter closed, but at the last moment, instructed him to look into the matter further, as she said there were too many unanswered questions surrounding the incident, which prompted her to replace the locks on her office and residential doors.  In the supplemental report documenting the follow-up investigation, Detective James Crowley writes that after interviewing Mayor Frank, her chief of staff, other witnesses and Silcox, and conferring with the DA’s office, that Silcox’s explanation of what happened was plausible and that “there has been no evidence revealed in this case to indicate that Mr. Silcox took the keys intentionally and no evidence that [he] intended to deprive Mayor Frank of her property, therefore there is no evidence to support any criminal violation concerning this incident.”  The case has been closed.

 

AC Commission nixes gas deal amid legal concerns

 

Monday the Anderson County Commission voted unanimously to rescind a contract with Blossman Gas after Law Director Jay Yeager told commissioners that the deal was illegal.  As we have previously reported, the contract to supply the county school and park systems with propane gas came under scrutiny after Yeager learned—after a vote by the Commission awarding the contract last month—that Purchasing Committee member Scott Daugherty is employed by the company.  Yeager says that creates a clear case of a conflict of interest under state purchasing guidelines.  Blossman was one of three bidders for the contract previously held by Daugherty’s previous employer Holston Gases and was approved by Purchasing Committee in a vote that Daugherty abstained from.  County Mayor Terry Frank says that his employment by the company is not significant enough to create a conflict of interest and has asked a judge to review the situation to determine if any laws were broken.  Yeager counters by saying that state law is clear that whether it is direct or indirect, county officials cannot profit from doing business with the county government.  Yeager said that his analysis indicates that because Daugherty draws a salary from the company, his would be an indirect financial gain.  The Commission voted to rescind the contract and rebid the propane gas contract. 

 

AC FFA wins state honor

 

(Submitted) On May 10th, 25 FFA chapters from all three regions competed in the State Veterinary Science Career Development Event (CDE).  The state winner of the Veterinary Science CDE was the Anderson County FFA Chapter from East Tennessee, who will represent Tennessee at National FFA Convention in October and compete against teams from across the nation for the national title.  The teams that participated completed a written exam that determined the team members’ broad understanding of the veterinary science field; completed an identification round that consisted of equipment ID, parasite ID, and breed ID; teams also participated in a math practicum that included conversions, dose calculations, dilutions, cost calculations, and invoices. The top ten teams then completed a team activity that consisted of completing a scenario to cure a horse of colic to determine the state winner. The state winning team from Anderson County FFA consists of Advisor Philip Warfield, Allison Brown, Taylor Brown, Carlin Frost and Brian Moore.  The winner of the Western Region was the Halls FFA Chapter and the winner of the Middle Region was the Cookeville FFA Chapter, who were also second and third place in the state contest, respectively.  FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Nationally, there are 579,678 FFA members, aged 12-21. The Tennessee FFA Association is comprised of 13,644 members from 213 high school chapters, seven middle school chapters and eight collegiate chapters across the state of Tennessee. To learn more about FFA visit www.tnffa.org."

 

Follow-up:  Mayor Frank speaks about key controversy

 

As we have reported, Clinton Courier News reporter Chris Silcox has been taken off the county government beat while the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department investigates whether or not he deliberately swiped the keys of County Mayor Terry Frank.  The incident happened during the County Commission meeting Monday night when Silcox says that he accidentally grabbed the mayor’s keys, believing them to be those of his wife.  Silcox had been sitting in Frank’s seat while she addressed the Commission and says that he put the keys on his key ring when he moved.  Mayor Frank agrees that Silcox arrived to the meeting late but said that after a seat had opened up, he moved from standing by the wall to that open seat, moving to hers only after she went to the podium to address commissioners.  After realizing he had grabbed the wrong keys, he returned the majority of them to the mayor’s chief of staff.  Mayor Frank quickly realized that her office and house keys were missing and tried to contact Silcox, who had left for his home in West Knoxville.  Frank says that she was not overly concerned until Silcox stopped responding to her texts and phone calls about the missing keys, which he claimed not to have.  It was not until a Sheriff’s deputy called that Silcox responded.  The deputy urged him to look for the keys again and Silcox reported finding the missing keys, which he returned to the mayor a short time later.  Mayor Frank says that while she does not believe that Silcox himself would do anything nefarious with the keys, she did question whether he might have wanted to get them to keep someone else happy.  I asked the mayor what she would say to those people who say she may be making a mountain out of a mole hill and she replied by saying “I would ask those people how [they would] feel if it was their own keys?  I didn’t go and call in to WYSH or call WBIR.  Any extra attention [has been from the outside].  I am not out on the Courthouse steps calling for Chris to be locked up.  I am saying there are enough questions:  why did you separate them?  Then, why did you not respond and why would you not admit you had more [of them]?”  For his part, Silcox has kept relatively quiet about the situation except to say that picking up the keys was unintentional and that he is confident the investigation will show that.  Courier News Publisher Allen Handley posted on the paper’s website Tuesday that "We don't feel this was a malicious act on Chris's behalf, just an unfortunate incident.”  Silcox has been employed by the paper for seven years.  The investigation is continuing and we will continue to follow this story for you online and on the air. 

 

Crime down by 10+% in AC last year

 

District Attorney General Dave Clark and the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department announced Wednesday that newly-released statistics from the TBI show that crime in the county declined by over 10% in 2013 and that crime has declined by some 37% in the past seven years.  Clark, in a release announcing the achievement, said “This is great news for the people of Anderson County because we are safer from crime and can enjoy the benefits of having a crime rate that is below average for the state…While these results are great the law enforcement community is not satisfied.  There is much work to be done; particularly in combating the effects of drug addiction and crimes related to drug addiction.  We need to do more to make our community even safer.”  Clark singled out two agencies for special recognition this year, pointing out that crime in the city of Clinton declined by over 20% last year from the 2012 numbers and that crime in the areas patrolled exclusively by the Sheriff’s Department, crime was down by over 16%.  Clark says that by working together, local law enforcement officials have tried to “increase the detection and arrest of criminals as well as the quality of the cases and resulting punishments for criminals.”  He says that many of the county’s habitual repeat offenders in the past are now incarcerated while others have relocated to “areas they think are better places to do business” and that where appropriate, others have received drug treatment and community supervision.  One byproduct of the county’s aggressive approach to crime-fighting is that the average daily population of the jail has almost doubled since 2006.  In 2006, there was an average 166 inmates in the jail while that number climbed to 328 in 2013, which led in large part to the expansion of the county jail expected to open later this year.  For a more detailed look at the Sheriff’s Department’s crime statistics, visit their website at www.tnacso.net.

 

Local reporter, county mayor at odds over keys

 

Clinton Courier News reporter Chris Silcox has been temporarily taken off the county government beat after Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank accused him of stealing her keys after Monday night’s County Commission meeting.  According to the Sheriff’s Department incident report, Frank called a deputy to her office following the meeting and said that she had put her keys under a desk in the Commission meeting room and that Silcox had been sitting in or near her seat at some point during the meeting.  She said she had gotten up twice, once to address the Commission and again when there was a break.  She told ACSD Corporal Bradley Prewitt that she had noticed that her keys were missing sometime after 10:30 pm.  Silcox sent her a text message shortly after the meeting concluded that said he had accidentally picked up her keys after mistaking them for his wife’s as he was driving her vehicle that night.  He returned most of the keys to the mayor’s chief of staff but failed to return Frank’s home and office keys, which she reported to the deputy.  Prewitt called Silcox and asked him to check again for the missing keys and Silcox said that he and his wife found keys and value cards they did not recognize and he returned them to Frank at around 1:15 am Tuesday.  Fearing that the keys may have been copied, Mayor Frank replaced the locks on the door to her office in the Courthouse, where today a sign hangs indicating that no taxpayer money had been used to do so.  Corporal Prewitt wrote in his report that “there is not sufficient evidence, at this time, to establish probable cause that [Silcox] intentionally took Ms. Frank’s keys with the intent to deprive her of their use,” and that he had advised the mayor of his conclusion.  Nonetheless, the case has been referred to the Criminal Investigation Division for follow-up.  In the meantime, Silcox has been removed from the county government beat pending the outcome of the investigation.  Courier News Publisher Allen Handley posted on the paper’s website Tuesday that "we are aware this is a serious issue and will cooperate with the authorities to the fullest extent. We don't feel this was a malicious act on Chris's behalf, just an unfortunate incident.”  Silcox has been employed by the paper for seven years.  

 

(From the Courier News) A criminal complaint has been filed against Chris Silcox, who covers the county government beat for The Courier News, saying he took the keys of Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank, during Monday night’s (May 19) meeting of the County Commission.  The Courier News is aware of the complaint filed by Mayor Frank with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office.  "We are aware this is a serious issue and will cooperate with the authorities to the fullest extent. We don't feel this was malicious act on Chris's behalf. Just an unfortunate incident," The Courier News Publisher Allen Handley said Tuesday morning.  Silcox, who has been with The Courier News for approximately seven years, has been reassigned from covering the Anderson County beat until a complete investigation into the matter is complete.

 

ORT:  22 citizens file ouster suit against Yeager

 

(Oak Ridge Today) According to our partners at Oak Ridge Today 22 Anderson County residents have filed a petition in Chancery Court seeking to remove Law Director Jay Yeager from office, alleging misconduct that includes perjury, forgery, and having pornography on a county computer.  The ouster petition was filed Friday afternoon in Anderson County Chancery Court in Clinton. It alleges Yeager, who became law director in September 2006, committed perjury on his sworn application to become law director eight years ago in regards to his residency, forged the signature of retired Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Avery Johnson two years ago, and had a pornographic image on a county computer that was found about three years ago.  The petition asks the court to immediately suspend Yeager from his official duties pending a decision by the court, and it requests a trial. If Yeager is guilty of one or more of the charges, the petition said, he should be ousted from office.  “I’m devastated,” Yeager told Oak Ridge Today Friday evening. “It’s just another assassination on my character and on my good reputation and all I’ve done for Anderson County.”  He called the ouster suit “baseless and unwarranted.” 

The ouster petition alleged that former Anderson County Budget Director Chris Phillips complained to Yeager regarding some unprofessional conduct by Yeager in May 2011. Within about a week, Yeager complained to former Interim Mayor Myron Iwanski that Phillips had e-mailed pornographic images to Yeager, the petition alleged.  Phillips denied the accusation, and Iwanski retained a computer expert to inspect county computers, including Yeager’s, and confirm the source of the pornographic images, the lawsuit said.  That expert inspected the computers and concluded that the “source of the pornographic image was Law Director Jay Yeager’s county computer,” the petition said.  On Friday evening, Yeager told Oak Ridge Today that someone else had sent him the e-mail, and he did not solicit it and did not open it.  “Someone sent it to me as a joke,” Yeager said.  The image in question is not legally considered pornography, Yeager said. It shows a profile of about 10-11 nude women lying on their stomachs with towels wrapped around their heads. There is no frontal nudity, Yeager said. 

Regarding the perjury charge, the ouster petition said the law director must be an Anderson County resident or capable of becoming a resident within six months of being appointed to the position. On May 11, 2006, when Yeager was still assistant county attorney and before he started as law director, he said in an affidavit that he planned to be a county resident within the next few months and had obtained a building permit from the Anderson County building commissioner, according to the petition.  But the assertion that he had already obtained a building permit was false and made under oath, the ouster petition said, and Yeager did not get a permit until the following year, on Feb. 8, 2007. A certificate of occupancy for the home was not issued until more than two years later, on July 17, 2008, the petition said. In the meantime, it said, Yeager continued to live in Knoxville, in Knox County.

In response Friday evening, Yeager said he filed the affidavit to get the job well before his term as Anderson County law director began on Sept. 1, 2006. He said his wife was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer on May 30, 2006. He said he told all the county commissioners and Iwanski that he would have a problem “getting here,” and all agreed that it would best for him to stay close to Parkwest Hospital in Knoxville for his wife’s sake.  “Everybody knew what we were up against and her condition,” Yeager said.  At the time, his wife was given about 10 months to live. She has had hours of operations, including four brain surgeries in the past few years, and continues to receive chemotherapy once a week, Yeager said. 

The ouster petition alleged that Yeager forged Johnson’s signature on an amendment to a contract between the county and Securus Technologies Inc., which provides telephone services to inmates at the Anderson County jail in Clinton. It alleged that Yeager feigned ignorance of the contract extension, repeatedly misrepresented his knowledge of the contract, and pressured Purchasing Agent Pamela Cotham to ratify the amendment to “cover up Mr. Yeager’s misdeeds.”  But Yeager said he did not forge Johnson’s signature. He said he had permission to sign for Johnson, and the document was a draft that Yeager filled in and gave to Johnson. If Johnson had had an issue with it, he would have said something, Yeager said. It’s not a case of forgery, the law director said. 

He said he will expose the source of the ouster petition and show his innocence on every charge.  “I want all the citizens of this county to know where this came from,” Yeager said. “When the truth comes out, people will know.”

The office of law director was created by private act on Sept. 1, 2006. Yeager cannot by removed from his job except by a supermajority of both the Legal Services Advisory Committee and the Anderson County Commission, according to the ouster petition.

Yeager said a special judge will likely need to hear the case. The current chancellor, William Lantrip, is retiring at the end of June.  Yeager plans to represent himself and not hire an outside attorney, saying he’s trying to keep the burden off the taxpayers’ back.

“I’m going to fight this to defend my good name,” he said. 

The residents who filed the petition include Landle Byrge, Mark DeVol, Ray Hagan, Toby Geren, Barbara Gasper Gregory, Clyde Cook, Doug Walden, Carnelon V. Terry, Carl Warner, John E. Seiber, Larry Ownby, Hal M. Hagan, Phyllis H. Terry, Thomas T. Adams, Jason Stiltner, Dennis L. Pemberton, Virgil L. Rainey, Charles W. Jackson, Janice Sue Hagan, Gary L. McLemore, Earl T. McLemore Jr., and John Walker.  They are represented by Knoxville attorneys Gregory Brown and Jason H. Long.

  

ORT:  Coal miners memorial dedicated

 

(Oak Ridge Today) A Windrock Coal Miners Memorial wall was dedicated on Saturday and includes the names of more than 1,000 miners who once worked in mines on the mountain.  The wall has been under construction for about six months, and several hundred people turned out for Saturday’s dedication ceremony at Lower Windrock at the end of Windrock Road, about three miles from downtown Oliver Springs.  The ceremony included music, a reception at the nearby Union Valley Missionary Baptist Church, short dedication speeches, recognition of the 15 former coal miners who were present, and a candle-lighting ceremony in honor of those who were killed in the mines or have died since.  The volunteers broke ground on the wall in November. A Coal Miners Committee of four people—Kathy Russell Byrge, Trish Lively Cox, Fred Duncan, and Wayne Morgan—led the effort.  With the help of volunteer construction work, the wall, part of a longer six-year planning effort, was built for about $7,000, Byrge said. The small site at the base of the 2,000-foot-high mountain was donated by the Union Valley Baptist Church, where Morgan is pastor.

 

AC, OR schools work out Head Start agreement

 

Earlier this month the Anderson County School Board rejected the Oak Ridge city school system’s Head Start application for next school year over concerns about falsified federal data, specifically information dealing with children’s motor skills.  The county school board’s vote came after a routine audit in January found irregularities in gross motor skills data reports filed by Head Start instructors in Oak Ridge. That data is one of many measurements required by the staff throughout the year.  A gross motor skills screening requires preschoolers to complete activities such as standing or hopping on one foot, and that helps to monitor child development.  The information can also be used to help determine what services a child needs.  Since that time, leaders from both school systems have worked together to develop a 10-point plan that, if approved, would be put in to place for the 2014-2015 school year.  The county school board will consider the proposed agreement during a special meeting set for this Tuesday April 29th.  In a Thursday press release, Anderson County School Board chairman John Burrell said that he wants to work with the Oak Ridge schools but also “wanted the assurance that Head Start performance standards and other requirement would be followed with fidelity.”  To that end, the 10-point assurance summary proposed to the county School Board includes a two-year probationary period for the Oak Ridge Head Start program.  The first year of that probation will include the presence of a fulltime, on-site monitor to make sure that all policies and procedures are being followed.  If significant progress is made in correcting the deficiencies uncovered in this year’s audit, the monitor position will be done away with. 

 

(AC BOE release) April 24, 2014 - The Chairman of the Anderson County Board of Education (ACBOE), Dr. John Burrell, has set Tuesday, April 29, 2014 as a special called meeting of the board of education. The purpose of the special called meeting is to address the recent board action of notifying the Oak Ridge Board of Education that the ACBOE rejected the Oak Ridge Head Start grant application for the 2014-2015 school year. Upon notification from Anderson County Schools of the grant denial, Oak Ridge Assistant Superintendent Dr. Chris Marczak and Board Attorney Lawrence F. Giordano, Esq. met with Anderson County Director of Schools Larry M. Foster and Board Attorney Sal Varsalona to discuss possible solutions before filing a letter of appeal. In his meeting with Oak Ridge school officials, Mr. Foster shared the role Ms. Haun, Head Start director, provides for oversight of the federal program. Ms. Haun was not interviewed in the external investigation conducted by the Oak Ridge School System because she was not their employee. However, upon receiving a written statement from Ms. Haun, the school system acknowledges she acted appropriately in this matter. Officials added that Ms. Haun has been helpful in establishing clear guidelines to the administration as they move forward with acceptable solutions for resubmission to the Anderson County Board of Education and to the Regional Head Start Office. It was also agreed that ACBOE Chairman Dr. John Burrell, and Chairman Keys Fillauer, Oak Ridge City School Board, meet with the administration of both systems to determine a possible outcome that would cause the Anderson County Board of Education to rescind their motion made on April 10, 2014 at their regular monthly meeting.  During a meeting on April 23, 2014, Dr. John Burrell stated “he wanted to work with Oak Ridge Schools but wanted the assurance that Head Start Performance Standards and other requirements would be followed with fidelity.” Dr. Burrell further stated that “past reviews had caused him concern.” Mr. Fillauer stated, “I am very pleased that by working together Oak Ridge Schools and Anderson County Schools have reached an agreement that enables Oak Ridge to continue to receive funding for our Head Start Program through Anderson County. Both administrations worked diligently and professionally to correct an irregularity and by doing so will serve to strengthen the monitoring of the Head Start program as well as continuing to provide quality education for our Pre-School students.” 

Board Chairman Burrell and the Anderson County Schools Administration laid out a ten (10) point assurance summary that would be added to the 2014-2015 contract. The conditions were agreed upon by both chairmen and the administration of each school district. The agreement and contract will be submitted to Anderson County’s full board for approval. Dr. Burrell stated, “I expect that the action will be rescinded and the contract approved to be forwarded to the Region IV Head Start Administration in Atlanta, Georgia.”

 

The conditions agreed to are as follows:

 

1. Allocation of $50,000 for full time monitor 

2. Grantee director and HR manager will participate in interview and hiring of principal or director 

3. Two year probation 

  • One-year probation with on-site monitor
  • The ACS school board will review all documentation at the end of the first year, to decide if there needs to be an on-site monitor for the second year of probation 
  • Continue second year of probation and continue ongoing monitoring according to plans, policies and procedures.
  • If there are no issues the second year of probation, discontinue the on-site monitor and restore $50,000 to the delegate budget. If issues arise in the second year of probation, the on-site monitor will be reinstated at the delegate’s expense. 
  • Delegate will acquire the child and family data tracking system, curriculum, screening tools, assessment tracking system, mental health curriculums, mental health consultant as the grantee, and other systems as needed 
  • Must maintain CLASS (Classroom Assessment Scoring System) reliable staff according to Teachstone 
  • Must implement the CLASS (Classroom Assessment Scoring System) with every Head Start classroom, for assessment of classroom effectiveness and assessing professional development needs 
  • Must maintain a congenial environment for grantee monitors 

4. Mandate new director training; two days of training for staff on performance standards and Head Start Act

  • Train staff on working with a grantee
  • Staff will attend all training as deemed necessary by the grantee.
  • Delegate will absorb cost of training.

 5. Mandate training for data person 

 6. Establish assistant director of schools as point of contact for reporting compliance issues 

 7. Establish a new defined checklist that aligns with the performance standards, Head Start Act, state licensing requirements and a stronger ongoing monitoring plan 

 8. Adhere to any other corrective action or sanctions set by the Office of Head Start or the grantee 

 9. School board chairs or designees, school directors and Head Start directors will conduct an annual assessment meeting to discuss Head Start expectations and successes 

10. Upper management meetings will be held quarterly to review progress of monitoring and other information

 

Lake City science teacher wins Extreme Classroom Makeover

 

Lake City Middle School science teacher Susan Silvey was surprised Monday during an all-school assembly with a $30,000 prize for winning Oak Ridge Associated Universities’ 6th annual Extreme Classroom Makeover contest.  As part of the entry process, a teacher must submit a short video illustrating the classroom’s need and explain how new technologies would be used to energize and enhance learning.  In her winning video, Silvey explained the positive impact increased technology in the schools would have not only on students, but on the community as a whole.  According to a release from ORAU, the Extreme Classroom Makeover highlights and supports educators like Silvey who are working on the front lines of the education system and illustrates how technology in the classroom helps teachers inspire more students to pursue math- and science-based careers.  Contestants entering ORAU’s competition must teach math or science in a public school located within 50 miles of Oak Ridge.  The money is typically used to make over one classroom but Ms. Silvey indicated Monday that she would like to use the money--$25,000 from ORAU supplemented this year by an additional $5000 donated by Roane State Community College—to upgrade the school’s computer lab so that all of the students at Lake City Middle can benefit.  Silvey has taught for seven years and this is her first year at Lake City Middle, where she was named the school’s Teacher of the Year. 

 

(ORAU Press release) Students’ learning environments have a direct effect on the success and growth of a community—this was the idea of one local middle school teacher when she submitted her video for the 2014 ORAU Extreme Classroom Makeover Competition. Her hope for money to create a technology-enhanced classroom was realized today as ORAU presented middle school science teacher Susan Silvey with $30,000 during an assembly at Lake City Middle School in Anderson County. The funding is part of ORAU’s annual Extreme Makeover Competition, now in its sixth year.  Through her winning video, Silvey explains the positive impact increased technology in the schools would have, not only on students but the community as a whole.  “Science and math are two important factors that help form the foundation of innovation,” explained ORAU President and CEO Andy Page. “ORAU believes through programs like the Extreme Classroom Makeover, we can bring excitement to teachers and students on critical STEM subjects, which in turn, can help strengthen our nation’s future competitiveness.”  One of the goals of the contest is to also encourage local businesses to support the mission of placing technology in the classroom to enhance teaching and learning. This year, ORAU received a donation of $5,000 from Roane State Community College.  “We are excited to support ORAU’s Extreme Classroom Makeover because technology, in the hands of outstanding teachers such as Susan Silvey, engages students in the learning process,” said Dr. Whaley, Roane State Community College President. “We also fully support programs that enhance STEM education, which is crucial to creating a highly skilled workforce.”  Page and Whaley surprised the winning teacher Monday during a school-wide assembly at Lake City Middle School.  ORAU’s Extreme Classroom Makeover highlights and supports educators like Silvey who are working on the front lines of the education system and illustrates how technology in the classroom helps teachers inspire more students to pursue math- and science-based careers.  Contestants entering ORAU’s competition must teach math or science in a public school located within 50 miles of Oak Ridge. Additionally, a teacher must submit a short video illustrating the classroom’s need and explain how the new technologies would be used to energize and enhance learning.  Next steps for Ms. Silvey include the selection, purchase and installation of new technology to make over the classroom. Later in the summer, ORAU will unveil the redesigned classroom in a special event for the students and their parents.  Winners have typically purchased items such as additional computers, iPads, digital cameras, a clicker system, television, promethean boards and other technology that helped advance his students’ learning activities.

 

AC ballot for Aug. 7th set

 

The deadline to qualify as a candidate in the Anderson County general election in August came and went at noon on Thursday and the ballot will be full.  14 of the county’s 16 incumbent commissioners are running for re-election as are all four School Board incumbents and there are challengers in almost all of the races.  Incumbent School Board members Jo Williams (District 1) and Scott Gillenwaters (District 6) are unopposed while District 2 incumbent Greg Crawford is being challenged by Teresa Portwood and District 7 incumbent Steve Fritts will square off with Don Bell.  District 4 County Commissioner Zach Bates is not seeking re-election as he is already challenging incumbent County Mayor Terry Frank in next month’s Republican primary and District 7’s John Shuey is not seeking another four-year term.  The only uncontested Commission race is in District 2, where incumbents Mark Alderson and Rick Meredith face no challengers.  District 1 incumbents Chuck Fritts and Tracy Wandell will be opposed on August by Floyd Grisham and Walt Lounsbery.  In District 3, incumbents Steve Emert and Dusty Irwin are being challenged by Josh Anderson, David Farmer and Phillip Warfield.  Incumbent Tim Isbel will seek his District 4 seat while Herb Foust, Allen Loope and Chris Phillips will vie for not only Isbel’s seat but also the seat being vacated by Bates.  District 5’s Robert McKamey and Jerry White face challenges from Carl Beaty and Lynn Byrge.  In District 6, Whitey Hitchcock and Steve Mead will be challenged by Anthony Allen and Joey Anderson.  District 7 incumbent Jerry Creasey is seeking another term and is joined on the ballot by Jimmy Bouchard, Michael Marsh, Denny Phillips, Kelvin Rice and Theresa Scott.  District 8 incumbents Robin Biloski and Myron Iwanski are challenged by Myra Mansford.  The Anderson County general election is set for August 7th.

 

WYSH, Oak Ridge Today Team To Expand Local News Coverage

 

Information in our story about the likely use of public money on the Oak Ridge Mall project came from our new partners at Oak Ridge Today, an online newspaper started by former Oak Ridger reporter John Huotari and his wife Dawn.  WYSH and Oak Ridge Today have entered into an information-sharing agreement in order to bring you the most complete coverage of news from Clinton, Oak Ridge, Oliver Springs and Anderson County.  You can find Oak Ridge Today online simply by visiting www.oakridgetoday.com.  We are excited to expand our existing partnership base, which also includes BBB-TV and the Norris Bulletin, as we seek to keep you informed about the stories that are important to you. 

 

 

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