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UPDATED November 28,  2014



Did you know you can WATCH Trading Time each day on Comcast Cable Ch 12 on BBB TV. If you are in Anderson or Roane County turn on your TV and watch Trading Time and Ask Your Neighbor. Plus call WYSH for advertising specials on TV


Clinton Christmas tree lighting November 28th


The City of Clinton’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony will be held on Friday November 28th—the day after Thanksgiving—at Hoskins Lane Park off of Market Street in downtown Clinton.  The celebration begins at 4:30 with face painting for children, hot chocolate and cookies.  Music will begin at 5:30 pm, followed by remarks from Mayor Scott Burton and City Manager Roger Houck, and then the lighting of the city’s traditional Christmas tree.  As always, the event is sponsored by Timely Topics and the public is encouraged to come out and kick off the Christmas season.


Road closure in Clinton Monday & Tuesday


Norfolk Southern Railroad will close the Leinart Street train crossing this Monday and Tuesday (Dec. 1st and 2nd) for cross-tie and asphalt maintenance. 


Federal lawsuit filed over Public Works termination


On Wednesday, former Anderson County Public Works employee Lisa Crumpley filed a wrongful termination lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the county and her former boss, Public Works Director David Crowley.  Crowley fired Crumpley over the phone before 6 am October 9th, hours before he himself surrendered at the Anderson County Jail on a five-count indictment accusing him of conducting building inspections without the proper certifications.  The lawsuit accuses Crowley of gender bias, retaliation against a whistleblower and not paying overtime and also accuses County Mayor Terry Frank of lying to Crumpley about Crowley’s certifications, allegedly telling Crumpley that Crowley had the credentials to conduct building inspections.  According to the suit, despite repeatedly failing building certification tests, Crowley told Crumpley and others that he had certification and continued to do inspections, allegedly “order[ing] Crumpley to fill out inspection reports in order to cover up his illegal activity."  During an ensuing TBI investigation—which ultimately concluded with the indictments against Crowley—Crumpley was interviewed twice by agents.  The lawsuit accuses Crowley of plotting to fire Crumpley "in retaliation for her refusal to participate in his illegal activities and for her participation in the state's investigation of his illegal activities," according to the court filing.  As we first reported in October, Crumpley had attorney David Stuart send a letter to Mayor Frank and other officials, including County Commission Chairman Robert McKamey, the week before she was fired stating that she feared she would be retaliated against for cooperating with the  TBI and requesting protection. That letter was dated October 3rd.  The lawsuit also alleges Crumpley had to work unpaid overtime, including during her lunch breaks and that Crowley "is biased against females” and accuses Crowley of "openly [telling] people he wanted only men working full time in the Department of Public Works."  The lawsuit also alleges that the Tennessee Public Protection Act protecting whistleblowers was violated because Crumpley refused "to participate in or remain silent about illegal activities."  The lawsuit claims Crumpley suffered "emotional stress, humiliation and embarrassment" and seeks unspecified punitive damages as well as reinstatement, payment of attorneys' fees and all other relief provided under various federal laws.  Crumpley has also filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint over her firing, alleging sex discrimination, and a copy of that complaint is included in the court filing.  Since her termination, Crumpley’s personnel file has gone missing and is at the heart of Sheriff’s Department investigation, the details of which we have previously reported.  A letter from Crowley’s attorney to the County Commission claims that the personnel file did not go missing from the Human Resources Department until after Crowley and her attorney—also her sister, former Anderson County Juvenile Court Judge April Meldrum—had visited the office to review both Crowley and Crumpley’s personnel files.  WYSH has been told by sources that the personnel file, and other documents reported missing from Public Works, have been turned over to investigators, but that has not been confirmed by anyone in the Sheriff’s Departments. 


Chancery suit filed over erroneous tax sale


The most thankful people in Anderson County this holiday week are lawyers.  Daya Hospitality, which owns the Travel Lodge Hotel on Seivers Boulevard in Clinton, has filed a lawsuit against Anderson County and Law Director Jay Yeager after they say that his failure to adequately research a delinquent tax issue resulted in part of their property being sold at a delinquent tax auction.   The lawsuit, filed November 20th in Chancery Court, says that when the company refinanced its land in 2007, the bank was supposed to have merged the payments with the taxes on two lots but only merged the payments of one parcel.  Neither the bank nor the company realized there was a problem until April of 2013 when the company went to get its taxes lowered on the Clinton motel after a fire caused heavy damage there and was told that one of the lots had been sold at a delinquent tax sale.  The lawsuit says that Yeager “acted maliciously or with reckless disregard as to the truth of his false published statements” (in dealing with the issue).  The suit seeks an order voiding the new tax deed from the company that purchased the land, plus attorneys’ fees, compensatory damages and “all other relief entitled to [the plaintiffs] by law.” 


TBI:  Crematory owner indicted in drug charges


A woman already indicted once this year in connection with a pet crematory business in Morgan County now faces an indictment accusing her of selling oxycodone in Roane County.  39-year-old Cameo Farr was indicted by a Roane County grand jury last month on a charge of the sale and delivery of Schedule II drugs, according to the TBI. The charge stems from a December 2013 undercover operation conducted by the TBI and detectives with the 9th Judicial District Task Force based in Harriman.  Farr allegedly sold drugs to an undercover operative.  She was arrested Nov. 20 and later released from the Roane County Jail on a $3,000 bond.  In May, a Morgan County grand jury returned a five-count indictment against Farr after state officials uncovered the remains of hundreds of dead animals on her remote property at the foot of Lone Mountain. That indictment included one felony count of violation of the state’s hazardous waste management act involving various bags of “medical sharps,” including used needles, discovered at her home, prosecutors said.


ACSD arrests 5 after “unusual series of events”


Five people were arrested early Sunday morning (11/23) after deputies responded to a report of shots fired into an occupied home in the Claxton community. In what the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department calls “an unusual series of events”, dispatchers first began receiving anonymous 911 calls from a cell phone around 5:00am, reporting a shooting into a residence had occurred at 120 East Circle. However, the calls were not coming from the actual residence.  According to a release from the Sheriff’s Office, some 30 calls were made over the next several minutes. Deputies responded to the East Circle home and spoke with a person on the front porch who initially gave a false name and false information about what happened. Another person was found hiding in the back yard.  A third person was found inside the residence. Bullet holes were found in the front of the house.  After investigation the person on the front porch was identified as 26-year-old Cody Shane Awais and the one hiding was found to be his 23-year-old brother Samir Joseph Awais. Both had outstanding warrants in Anderson, Knox, and Sevier Counties. The person in the house was identified as 24-year-old Alyssa Mansfield of Sevierville. No warrants were found and she was not arrested. All three finally admitted the house had been shot at on two separate occasions earlier in the morning. The reason for the shooting was said to be over a “dispute”. Both the Awais brothers were taken to the Anderson County Detention Facility on the active warrants. No one was injured in the shooting.  Deputies then went to the address where the 911 calls were made at 360 Blacksferry Road. There they found 25-year-old Kevin Scott Garner and 20-year-old Arthur Allen Boudreau. After investigation, deputies learned Garner was the person responsible for shooting into the residence not once but twice earlier that morning.  They also found Bourdeau was the one who made the many anonymous 911 calls. The two handguns used in the shooting along with a large amount of marijuana and numerous items of drug paraphernalia were found in the residence. Both Garner and Bourdeau were arrested and taken to the detention facility. Garner was charged with six counts of aggravated assault, two counts of reckless endangerment, one count of possession of marijuana and an outstanding warrant.  Boudreau was charged with misusing 911 and possession of drug paraphernalia.  While deputies were conducting their investigation at the Blackferry Road home, another resident arrived and began interfering into the crime scene, refused to stop disrupting the scene, and scuffled with deputies. 30-year-old David Harry Wender was also arrested and taken to the detention facility.  Cody and Samir Awais, and Garner remain in the Anderson County Detention Facility. All three have prior arrests in Anderson, Knox, and Sevier Counties. Both Bourdeau and Wender have been released on bond. Neither have previous arrests in Anderson County.  No one was injured in the shooting that is believed to be drug-related.  The investigation into the possession for resale of marijuana is ongoing. Additional charges may be forthcoming. Deputies are not sure why Bourdeau made all the anonymous 911 calls about the shooting since he was found with Garner who was apparently the person responsible. 


Update:  Man arrested for allegedly robbing grandfather


UPDATE:  The ACSD has made an arrest in a case we reported on earlier in the week, as Joseph Tyler Collins was arrested Tuesday at a home in Clinton on one count of aggravated robbery after he was accused of robbing his grandfather at knifepoint on Sunday night along with at least one other accomplice.  Collins is being held on a $75,000 bond.  Investigators are still working to identify the others involved in the robbery.

(Original story) The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department is investigating an armed robbery that occurred at a home near Rocky Top.  Deputies responded to a home on Clear Branch Road shortly after 10:30 pm Wednesday on a report of a robbery in progress.  When they arrived, they made contact with Genis Hawkins, who told them that he had been robbed at knifepoint by his grandson and another man.  Hawkins told police that he answered a knock on his door and saw his grandson on the porch.  The grandson asked if he could use Hawkins’ phone and when he stepped away to get it, his grandson and a second man wearing a green rag over his face and holding a 15-inch-long knife entered his house.  The masked man held the knife to Hawkins’ stomach and threatened to “gut him” according to the incident report, while the grandson demanded money.  Hawkins gave them a pair of pants containing three envelopes full of cash in various denominations totaling approximately $2600, his wallet with two debit cards inside and his cell phone.  The knife-wielding suspect told Hawkins to stay inside as they left or he would be stabbed.  The two then ran down the driveway, where a third person was waiting in a car, and fled the area.  One of Hawkins’ relatives found one envelope containing $1400 in the driveway, where the suspects had apparently dropped it as they fled, and gave it to investigators, who then photographed the bills and returned them to Hawkins.  Hawkins was not injured in the incident and the investigation is continuing. 


Bingo coming to Summit View


The Anderson County Office on Aging and Council on Aging will hold bingo games at the Summit View Nursing Home in Rocky Top on December 10, 2014, at 3 pm.  Jackie Phillips and Robin Meredith with assistance from BethanyBrooklyn, and Hannah, will be in charge of this activity.  If all goes well, this event will take place on the second Wednesday of each month at same place and same time.  All residents of the County age 60 and over are invited to participate. 


OR Senior Center Christmas event


The Oak Ridge Senior Center is having a holiday reception for area senior citizens from 11:30 am to 1 pm Friday, December 5th   Seniors are invited for a light lunch of sandwiches, chips, and cookies, as well as holiday music and fellowship.  The Senior Center guitar group will be playing live Christmas music. Bingo will be offered, and door prizes given away. Goodie bags will be given out while they last. The event is sponsored by the Oak Ridge Senior Center and made possible by many generous donations from area businesses, the press release said.  For more information about this and other programs at the Oak Ridge Senior Center, call them at (865) 425-3999 or visit www.orrecparks.org.


State offers shoppers ID Theft prevention tips


(TDSHS) The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s Identity Crimes Unit urges all citizens to protect themselves against identity crimes, including theft and fraud, this holiday season.  “Millions of shoppers will take advantage of ‘Black Friday’ or ‘Cyber Monday’ holiday sales this year. We just want to encourage consumers to take extra precautions to prevent fraudulent use of their personal information,” Tennessee Highway Patrol Major Stacy Williams said. He oversees the department’s Identity Crimes Unit.  According to Javelin Strategy and Research, 13.1 million consumers suffered identity fraud in 2013. That’s an increase of 500,000 from the previous year and marks the second highest level on record. It was also revealed that 44 percent of all fraud involved an online transaction.  “Internet scammers or hackers can easily access your private data, if you’re not careful.  Citizens should make sure web sites are secure before entering any personal or financial information,” Williams stated.   In 2013, identity theft accounted for 14 percent of all complaints recorded by the Federal Trade Commission, leading the list of top consumer complaints.    . 

The Identity Crimes Unit offers these tips to help keep holiday shoppers safe: 

When paying by credit card:

·         Don't allow clerks to put your receipts in your bag; carry them in your wallet instead where they are safer and less likely to fall out.

·         Watch cashiers, waiters and bartenders, ensuring that they don't "skim" or save your card number for later use. 

When paying by check:

·         Never allow merchants to write your social security number on the check. In many states, it is illegal.

·         Use a gel ink pen—preferably black—to write checks, which will permeate the fibers and make it difficult for the check to be cleaned and reused.

 When shopping online:

·         Be careful of wireless internet connections. Only use those that require a security key or certificate.

·         Shop on secure, reputable sites only; https:// at the beginning of the URL indicates a secure site.

·         Never offer personal information, especially your social security number.

·         Leave suspicious websites immediately.

·         Read customer reviews before ordering.

·         Use a credit card and not a debit card, this protects your personal funds and prevents thieves from gaining access to funds in your bank account. 

General tips:

·         Avoid carrying a social security card, birth certificate, passport, bank information or paychecks when hitting the stores.

·         Check your bank statements, credit card bills and credit reports often. This will help to avoid any efforts to use your identity.

If you have been the victim of an identity crime, you can get information and help by downloading a resource kit for identity theft victims from http://www.tn.gov/safety/ICU.shtml


THP to be highly visible, active this holiday weekend


(THP) Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott on Monday announced the second annual “Interstate 40 Challenge: The Drive to Zero Fatalities” traffic safety initiative during the Thanksgiving holiday period. The announcement was held at the agency’s Training Center in Nashville.  

Colonel Trott was joined by Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons, Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole and Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police President Chuck Forbis and Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Terry Ashe.     

The Interstate 40 Challenge will consist of increased patrols from state police or highway patrol agencies along the I-40 corridor in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee.  The challenge will take place on the busiest travel days of the Thanksgiving period, specifically from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 26 and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 30.  

“Last year, Tennessee reported zero traffic fatalities on Interstate 40 during the challenge times,” Colonel Trott said. “We hope to have the same success this year and will again deploy our resources to help ensure a safe travel experience through our state on the busiest travel days of the Thanksgiving period.”   I-40 runs 2,555 miles through eight states, and has more miles in Tennessee than any other state with 455 miles. In 2013, Tennessee state troopers investigated 29 crashes on the Wednesday before and 36 wrecks on the Sunday after Thanksgiving during the I-40 challenge times. None of those crashes were alcohol-related.  

THP personnel also issued 69 seat belt citations on I-40 on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in 2013, coupled with 18 seat belt tickets on the Sunday after the holiday.  They also arrested four individuals on suspicion of impaired driving on I-40 on the two challenge days.   

Commissioner Gibbons also requested a proclamation from Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to raise awareness of this traffic safety campaign.  He presented the proclamation to Colonel Trott and the other highway safety representatives at today’s announcement. 

Tennessee state troopers will be assigned every 20 miles of I-40 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 26 and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 30. Additionally, Colonel Trott has requested increased law enforcement visibility on all major interstates throughout Tennessee.   

“We are hoping that a large law enforcement presence on the interstates will have an impact on driver behavior,” Colonel Trott said. “Drivers are encouraged to obey the speed limit, don’t drive distracted, aggressive or reckless, and above all, don’t drink and drive.”   

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) also supports this traffic safety campaign and will promote the initiative on the Interstate 40 dynamic message boards.  During the Thanksgiving holiday, TDOT will also suspend lane closures beginning at Noon on Wednesday, Nov. 26 through 6 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 1. 

In addition to the I-40 Challenge, the THP will also conduct its routine Thanksgiving holiday enforcement campaign across the state.  During last year’s 120-hour holiday period, there were 12 people killed in nine fatal crashes in Tennessee.  Two of the traffic fatalities occurred in alcohol-related crashes, while six of the vehicular deaths were unrestrained.  

“Our state’s seat belt usage rate is at an all-time high of 87.7 percent,” GHSO Director Kendell Poole said. “However, we still have far too many people who do not buckle up. Half of our state’s traffic fatalities are unrestrained vehicle occupants.  That is unacceptable.”  Director Poole noted that educating the public about the importance of seat belts and the work of state troopers and local law enforcement officers during the upcoming holidays will make a difference on Tennessee roadways. 

State law enforcement officials have also seen an eight percent decline in alcohol-related crashes this year, compared to this same time last year. Colonel Trott believes the agency’s DUI enforcement has helped reduce the number of impaired driving crashes across the state.  In 2014, Tennessee state troopers have arrested 7,322 individuals on suspicion of impaired driving, compared to 5,537 DUI arrests this same time last year.  That’s a 32 percent increase.  

“We have used data and predictive analytics to deploy our resources in the best possible way to prevent tragedies on Tennessee roadways,” Trott remarked.  “I can only hope our traffic safety efforts over the holidays will help us finish the year and our drive to zero fatalities campaign strong.”


OR man arraigned on child pornography charge


An Oak Ridge man accused of having child pornography on his computer pleaded not guilty Monday in Anderson County Criminal Court and remained remains in custody.  27-year-old Adam Morton was indicted by an Anderson County grand jury last month and arrested on one count of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor.  The indictment accuses Morton of having more than 25 images of child pornography in June of this year.  His bond is $75,000.


ORT:  OR city manager hires assistant


(Oak Ridge Today) Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson has hired an assistant.  Bruce M. Applegate Jr. will help the city manager plan, organize, develop, coordinate, maintain, and direct the overall operations and activities of the city. He will help provide supervision for special projects and task forces, and participate in the recruitment and promotion of new and existing businesses and industries. In addition, he will assist in developing, planning, and implementing goals and objectives for the city. Applegate’s employment will become effective December 1.  Applegate was raised in Knoxville and Lafayette, Indiana. He comes to the city as a recent graduate from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He holds dual bachelor’s degrees in political science and history from Purdue University, in addition to a master’s degree in public administration and public policy from the University of Tennessee.


LWV receives grant


The League of Women Voters of Oak Ridge has received a $20,000 national grant that will fund an educational project for young adults (30 years or under) on hazardous waste management. The project is titled the Environmental Management Education Initiative Project.  The grant is made possible through the New Mexico Community Foundation’s Community Involvement Fund and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.  The purpose of the project is to expand the knowledge and understanding of these young people about the environmental management process and remediation actions in the Oak Ridge community.  The project will consist of two educational sub-projects: a Citizen’s Academy and a Rainbow Academy. 

The Citizen’s Academy will target newer residents to the area, primarily in the young adult category, and will use existing community resources to give the target residents insight into how the environmental management process works, the constraints on decisions that can be made, and how and when stakeholder inputs must be made to DOE and their contractors.  The academy will use presentations, learning modules, and roundtable discussions to provide information on the Oak Ridge Reservation site history; the current environmental management process for identifying and remediating hazardous waste; and the process for public input. The academy will offer site visits and other activities to directly involve participants in collecting information and making assessments.

The Rainbow Academy will be an environmental day (or days) for students. It will be an addition to the curriculum of the well-established Rainbow Camp, which has been run by the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church (ORUUC) since 1988. The camp targets K-12 youth with an emphasis on reaching members of the minority community. The objectives of the environmental day(s) at Rainbow Camp will be the same as those of the Citizen’s Academy, but with age-appropriate materials.

The educational curriculum for both academies will be developed using terminology geared to a broad general audience. Three modes of the learning process—hearing, reading, doing—will be used through the use of guest speakers, video presentations, printed materials, field trip, and other hands-on learning activities.

The project director will be Jan Lyons, an officer with the Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board with experience in program planning for the Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning (TCWP), integrated risk management, and community outreach.

Project partners will include experts from TCWP, ORUUC, and within LWVOR.  The LWVOR liaison to the project will be Peter Scheffler. Liaisons among team partners will be Sandra Goss, executive director of TCWP, and the Rev. Tandy Scheffler, minister of faith formation at ORUUC and director of the ORUUC Rainbow Camp.


No trash pick up on Thanksgiving


Waste Connections will not be picking up trash on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday November 27).  The Thursday routes will be picked up on Friday, November 28, and the Friday routes will be picked up on Saturday, November 29. Please have all garbage and recyclables out by 7 am for the Friday and Saturday routes.  For more information, contact Waste Connections Inc. at (865) 482-3656 or visit www.WasteConnectionsTn.com.


OR offers tours of schools


The Oak Ridge school system is offering tours of elementary, middle and high school classrooms on December 16. Only 30 slots are available.  The community tour is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. December 16.  The public is invited to see how Oak Ridge teachers and students teach and learn while school is in session.  The day will begin at the American Museum of Science and Energy and will then proceed through an elementary school, middle school, and the high school for classroom visits. Lunch will be served at Oak Ridge High School.  Participants will have an opportunity to hear from Parker Hardy about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in the Oak Ridge community and to have a question-and-answer session with School Superintendent Bruce Borchers before heading back to the museum at 12:45 pm.  To register, complete the following: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/D6ZRKP9.  Additional tours will be held in the future.


Fantasy of Trees once again supports Children’s Hospital


The Fantasy of Trees is one of East Tennessee Children's Hospital's biggest fundraisers of the year. Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the Knoxville Convention Center is decked out in gorgeous trees, twinkling lights, and holiday activities.  Visitors can wander through forests of more than 350 Christmas trees, designed by everyone from professional decorators to local school children. All the trees are for sale, so you can take them home with the proceeds going to the hospital.  You can also visit Santa, there are lots of activities and crafts for the kids, and several holiday shops.

Days and times:

Wednesday, November 26 9 a.m.- 9 p.m.

Thursday, November 27 3 - 8 p.m. (Thanksgiving Day)

Friday, November 28 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Saturday, November 29 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Sunday, November 30 Noon - 6 p.m.


Adults: $8

Children Ages 4-12: $4

Children 3 and under: FREE

Family 4-pack: $20 (online only)

More information: http://www.fantasyoftrees.org/


Fishing U.’ crew to return to Norris Lake


An episode of the television show “Fishing University” was filmed on Norris Lake in Anderson County last year and can still be seen in reruns on the Outdoor Network. A second episode will be filmed on Norris Lake December 7th through 10th. 


Norris Dam State Park celebrates historic status with upgrades


The Norris Dam State Park rustic cabins and tea room have been added to the National Register of Historic Places and will soon undergo a $1.4 million upgrade which includes new heating and air for the cabins. This will enable the cabins to be open year-round. The park will also be adding a new playground adjacent to the park office.


Rocky Top meeting additions


The City of Rocky Top will hold a special called meeting on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. to vote on the 2015 Employee Insurance Plan.  Additionally, the City will hold a special called meeting on Thursday, December 4th, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. to swear in the newly elected officials for the city.  Denise Casteel and Tim Sharp will be sworn in as new councilmember’s and Michael Lovely will be sworn in as the city’s new Mayor.  Refreshments will be served at the December 4th meeting.  The regularly scheduled meeting for December 18th will still take place.


ORT:  Gooch new Mayor of OR, Smith Vice Mayor


(Oak Ridge Today) New Oak Ridge City Council member Warren Gooch was appointed Mayor, and returning City Council member Ellen Smith was elected mayor pro tem, or Vice Mayor, on Monday night.  The two were appointed to serve two-year terms by the City Council during the first meeting since the November 4 municipal election.  Gooch was the top vote-getter in the November 4 municipal election, and he is the city’s 10th mayor.  Two members switched votes and cast ballots for Gooch, breaking an impasse that had lasted through five rounds of voting.  Smith has served on City Council before. She lost a re-election bid in November 2012, but was one of four new members elected to the Council this month.  It took six rounds of voting to pick from among the four candidates for mayor on Monday. Besides Gooch, the candidates were Smith, Hope, and new Council member Rick Chinn.  After Gooch was elected, it only took one round of voting to pick Smith as mayor pro tem. She was the only candidate. The mayor pro tem presides at meetings when the mayor is unavailable or absent.  The City Council elects a mayor and mayor pro tem from among its own members after each municipal election every two years. Former Mayor Tom Beehan and Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller did not seek re-election to the Council this year.  City Council members serve staggered terms, meaning there were four members elected this year, and there will be three more elected in 2016. Two incumbents—David Mosby and Anne Garcia Garland—were not re-elected.


Fire destroys vacant home


The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a Saturday night fire that destroyed an empty house in Briceville that had been the target of thieves, authorities said.  The fire on Brown Flats Lane was reported shortly after 11:30 pm Saturday.  The victim, who lives at a separate address on Brown Flats Lane, said the empty house was his parents’ old home, and there had recently been several thefts there.  In one of those thefts, someone stole all the copper, and there was no electricity at the home.  Briceville firefighters told deputies that the fire could have been arson since the utilities have been turned off, but further investigation is required.  The home was a total loss, and the Sheriff’s Department will continue to investigate.   


Campbell animal shelter to resume duties


The Campbell County Commission voted Monday night to reinstate animal adoptions and owner surrenders at the Campbell County Animal Shelter after they were suspended last week.  Officials wanted to clarify the costs associated with adopting an animal so practitioners were not out any money.  It costs at least $135 total to adopt an animal, which includes a $15 adoption fee paid to the animal shelter, $40 to $45 paid to a veterinarian for the initial check-up, and at least $80 paid to a veterinarian for spaying and neutering.  The finance office and county mayor's office will be taken out of the paperwork shuffle by having these costs paid directly to the animal shelter and veterinarian.  The initial vet visit and spay and neuter must be taken care of within 30 days of the adoption. If that part of the contract is not fulfilled, the animal is supposed to be returned to the shelter.


Morning Pointe offers seminar on holidays with dementia sufferers


Morning Pointe of Clinton will hold a Dementia/Alzheimer’s seminar on Tuesday December 2nd at Morning Pointe at 960 South Charles G. Seivers Boulevard in Clinton.  The event beings with registration and dinner from 5 to 5:30 pm, followed by the seminar entitled “Sharing Holiday Time with Persons with Dementia” from 5:30 to 6:30 pm.  The seminar will be led by Rebekah Wilson, the Director of Education and Community Relations for Choices in Senior Care.  Wilson has 10 years experience in dementia care services and her seminar will focus on the unique considerations for sharing holiday time with individuals with dementia; identifying possible safety concerns and how to avoid problems; and explaining the importance of adjusting expectations related to celebrating the holidays.  For more information or to register in advance, call Morning Pointe at 865-457-4005.


Man charged with firing into mobile home


A Knox County man was arrested and charged with six counts of aggravated assault and two counts of reckless endangerment after he allegedly fired shots at an occupied mobile home in Claxton early Sunday morning.  25-year-old Kevin Garner was arrested later in the day following the 5 am shooting on East Circle in Claxton.  An Anderson County Sheriff’s deputy reported that he had found eight bullet holes in front of the mobile home and was told that a woman had been inside asleep when the shots were fired.  No one was injured.  The deputy found Sam Awais, the resident of the home, and another man identified as Cody Awais, hiding behind the house.  Both had outstanding warrants for their arrests and were taken to jail.  Garner reportedly confessed to the shooting, claiming that he was “upset” with Sam Awais. 


Report:  Wrongful death lawsuit dropped


According to the News-Sentinel, a wrongful-death lawsuit over an October 2012 incident where a volunteer Anderson County Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a man during a confrontation was dropped Friday in Anderson County Circuit Court but could be re-filed.  The complaint was filed in October 2013 on behalf of Randall Wilcox's widow and the guardian of Wilcox's children.  It named Anderson County Sheriff Paul White and reserve officer Steven Williams as the defendants.  The lawsuit alleged Williams chased Wilcox with gun drawn, tackled him and then shot the Clinton man three times.  Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark in an April 2013 report ruled that the shooting was justified.   Clark’s investigation indicated that the shooting came after a struggle during which Wilcox grabbed Williams' pistol and fired it at "point-blank range" at the officer’s chest.  The weapon misfired because Williams had forced the slide back on his weapon during the struggle, according to Clark's report.  The DA said Williams regained control of the weapon and fired three times as Wilcox charged at him.  The encounter occurred in the Marlow community after Williams made a traffic stop on suspicion that Wilcox wasn't wearing a seat belt. Wilcox fled and Williams pursued into a wooded area, where the incident unfolded.  The lawsuit alleged Williams' actions constituted assault and false arrest and violated Wilcox's constitutional rights. 


AC Chamber offers small business workshop


(Submitted) The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center will host a free workshop for small business owners and entrepreneurs who want a better understanding of starting a new business.  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, December 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, Director of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at Roane State Community College.  The seminar discussion includes the forms of business organization, tax requirements, business licenses, business planning and financing options with additional discussion about SBA loan guarantee programs.  Space is limited and advance registration is required.  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.tsbdc.org.


TDOT to halt lane closure activity for Thanksgiving


(TDOT) Thanksgiving travelers will not be slowed by construction on Tennessee roads during this busy travel holiday. TDOT will halt all lane closure activity on interstates and state highways in anticipation of higher traffic volumes across the state.  All construction related lane closures will be stopped beginning at noon on Wednesday, November 26 through 6:00 a.m. Monday, December 1.  While all lane closure activity will be stopped, workers may be on site in some construction zones.  Motorists are reminded to drive safely and obey the posted speeds, especially in work zones.  Drivers convicted of speeding in work zones where workers are present face a fine of up to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums.  

“The Governor’s Highway Safety Office and TDOT are partnering with law enforcement across the state for the I-40 Challenge, with the goal of having zero fatalities on the 455 miles of I-40 in Tennessee,” said GHSO Director Kendell Poole. “The Tennessee Highway Patrol will have troopers stationed every 20 miles on I-40, along with increased law enforcement on all highways. We want everyone to have a safe holiday, so remember to buckle up, drive the speed limit, and don’t get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you’ve had anything to drink.” 

Some long-term lane closures will remain in place on some construction projects for motorists’ safety. 

AAA predicts 46.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the Thanksgiving holiday, the highest number since 2007. An estimated 973,710 people are expected to travel by automobile in Tennessee. Nationwide, 89% of all travelers will drive to their destination. In the southeast region, travelers are estimated to journey 549 miles round-trip. Road trippers will pay the lowest price for fuel in five years, with prices more than 40 cents lower per gallon compared to last Thanksgiving.
Updated travel and construction information can be found on the TDOT SmartWay website at www.tn.gov/tdot/tdotsmartway or you may call 5‑1‑1.  You can also receive traffic alerts via TDOT’s multiple Twitter feeds, including statewide traffic tweets @TN511 or any of TDOT’s other Twitter pages.  

As always, drivers are reminded to use all motorist information tools wisely and Know Before You Go! by checking travel conditions before leaving for their destination.  Drivers should never tweet, text or talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel.


AAA:  Gas prices down for Turkey Day


(AAA Travel) When 41.3 million Americans load-up the family vehicle for a Thanksgiving road trip, they are likely to find the cheapest gasoline in five years. The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded was $2.82 Sunday, 46 cents cheaper than the price on Thanksgiving Day 2013.  The majority (89%) of Americans will drive to their destination this Thanksgiving. Of the 41.3 million road trippers nationwide, 2.1 million will be Floridians, 1.9 million Georgians and 973,710 Tennesseans.  "Many people prefer driving, because it offers the best travel option for controlling expenses," said Jenkins. "People have more flexibility in trip length and the option to make last minute changes." 

The average round trip is forecast to be 549 miles this holiday weekend. Travelers expect to spend an average of $573, 31% of budgets will go toward gasoline expenses. Motorists who visit AAA.com/Gas can use the Fuel Cost Calculator to determine how much money they will spend on fuel during their road trip. Those who download the AAA mobile app can find hotels, restaurants and the cheapest gas prices along their route.

Click here to view current, national and state average gasoline prices.    






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Shop Roane First


(Submitted) The Chamber's Shop Roane 1st program will kick off the holiday season again this year with it's annual Super Saturday on November 29 (the Saturday after Thanksgiving), asking locals to spend at least $50 at a local Chamber retailer that day. Held in conjunction with the nationally-advertised Small Business Saturday, Chamber retailers are encouraged to offer specials which will be advertised in the weekly Chamber e-mails.  The Chamber will also continue the tradition with its annual Shopping Spree Contest, which will begin on Chamber Super Saturday  (Nov. 29) and end on Sunday, December 14. Only Chamber members can participate, becoming a contest entry point by paying $100 that goes toward the cash prizes and the promotions for the contest. Customers enter the contest at any of the participating Chamber retailers. The cash prizes are spent at any participating Chamber business. The lucky winners are drawn during the annual Roane Alliance Christmas Open House (this year to be held onTuesday, December 16) and notified the same day. The Chamber promotes the contest and the participating businesses on social media and local advertising. More information will be available on the Chamber's Facebook Page and in the Chamber's weekly emails.  If you think you would like to participate in the Chamber's Shopping Spree contest please contact Paulette Ray or Lindsey Stevens at 865-376-5572 for more information and details or email them at chamber@roanealliance.org.  To learn more about the Shop Roane First program click here.  


Rocky Top signs now grace I-75


New signs have been installed on Interstate 75 to reflect the new identity of Rocky Top for the town formerly known as Lake City.  The town changed its name in June and while the city paid to replace signs, logos and stickers on city vehicles, officials had to coordinate with TDOT to change the signs along the interstate.  The project was paid for by the city with money specifically allocated for such a purpose in this year’s budget. 


Fire destroys home, no one hurt


A fire just outside the Clinton city limits all but destroyed a home on Holbrook Lane late Thursday afternoon.  The homeowner and her dog were able to get out of the house safely and no injuries were reported.  The fire was reported to 911 shortly before 5 pm and crews from the Marlow Volunteer Fire Department were the first to respond.  They called for assistance from the Clinton and Oak Ridge municipal fire departments and, in all around 15 firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze within about 45 minutes.  Crews reported that the house was engulfed by flames when they arrived.  The home suffered significant fire, smoke and water damage and the resident stayed with relatives Thursday night.  The fire appears to have been accidental, and electrical in nature.  This was the third fire in 12 days in the area between Clinton and Oak Ridge and the second in just two days.  A Wednesday fire on Ridge Lane killed 65-year-old Martha Bailey when she became trapped inside the burning structure after running in to find and rescue her pets.  All three fires are believed to have been accidental in nature.  For a look at ways that you can take measures to prevent fires in your home, visit http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/home-fire or http://www.safekids.org/fire.  


Report:  CSX offers bridge repair schedule…again


As we have been reporting for some time now, CSX Railroad has promised to repair a 100-year-old bridge on a popular Anderson County shortcut closed by the state in July of 2013 after inspectors deemed it unsafe.  Earlier this year, the company gave the county two options on getting the bridge on Johnson Gap Road—a more direct route to and from Dutch Valley and Clinton—reopened.  Those options were to have the county pay for replacing the wooden bridge or allow the company to make the necessary repairs at its own expense.  The County Commission unanimously approved option number two in the spring, but no work has been done yet as the company experienced labor and other issues that kept the project from moving forward.  Anderson County officials, including the Commission chairman, Road Superintendent and the Law Director, have maintained contact with the company but have never received any firm commitment as to when the work might start.  A CSX spokesperson this week told the News-Sentinel that the company expects to award a contract for the work by the end of this year, saying that construction could begin by the end of January and take up to four months to complete.  The bridge is owned by the railroad, which has prevented state or county crews from making the repairs before now. 


Cocaine Trafficker sentenced, local agencies aided FBI probe


(US Attorney’s Office) On Nov 4, 2014, 27-year-old Baltazar Camacho of Mexico was sentenced to serve 470 months in prison by the Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas A. Varlan.  The sentence was the result of a guilty plea by Camacho on the morning his trial was set to begin in April 2014 to a federal grand jury indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.  Following a day-and-a-half of testimony from five witnesses, Judge Varlan found that Camacho personally distributed between 150 kilograms and 450 kilograms of cocaine, at a minimum; Camacho was aware at least half of that amount would be converted into crack cocaine and sold; Camacho was an organizer or leader of an extensive criminal activity; and Camacho was armed with a firearm while he participated in the conspiracies.  The indictment and subsequent convictions of Camacho and 15 others were the result of an 18-month investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Roane County Sheriff’s Office, Harriman Police Department, Oak Ridge Police Department, Knoxville Police Department, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Clinton Police Department, and Loudon County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy L. Stone represented the United States.  U.S. Attorney William C. “Bill” Killian remarked, “Even in a time of intensifying drug activities and fewer law enforcement resources, we will continue to pursue all those who flood our streets with illegal drugs, and particularly those who lead large conspiracies such as these. That effort will never stop.”


State money to aid in fight against youth drug use


State officials say community drug coalitions are spending $7 million in federal grants to fight prescription drug abuse among young people in 10 eastern Tennessee counties, including Anderson and Knox.  The 10 counties include 41% of the state’s total population and include:  Anderson, Blount, Hamilton, Jackson, Johnson, Knox, Putnam, Smith, Sullivan and Washington counties.  The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services secured the grants to run public awareness campaigns and community-based prevention and enforcement efforts over the next five years.  Commissioner Doug Varney said the goal is to reduce prescription drug abuse among 12- to 25-year-olds by at least 4 percent.  The program will make heavy use of a social media campaign to try to change behavior and promote alternatives.  The complete press release from the state is available on our website at www.wyshradio.com.  


(TDMHSAS press release) The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) is teaming up with community anti-drug coalitions across a 10-county region of East Tennessee in an effort to reduce the number of young people who are abusing prescription drugs.  To help achieve this goal, TDMHSAS has secured nearly $7 million dollars in federal grant funds to engage with young people through public awareness campaigns and community-based prevention and enforcement efforts over a five-year period.  “Our objective is to reduce the abuse of prescription drugs by the 12 to 25 year old age group by more than four percent,” said E. Douglas Varney, Commissioner, TDMHSAS. “If we’re successful, that will add up to thousands of young lives saved from disastrous consequences. We owe it to them, their families, and communities to do all we can.”  The 10 counties to be targeted include: Anderson, Blount, Hamilton, Jackson, Johnson, Knox, Putnam, Smith, Sullivan, and Washington. These counties represent 41% of Tennessee’s population.  Working through established anti-drug coalitions, Tennesseans in the targeted counties will experience grassroots efforts to change public policy as it relates to local, county,  and city government ordinances and law enforcement procedures toward prescription drug use and abuse.

Count it – Lock it – Drop it

To help ensure the proper storage and disposal of prescription drugs, the prevention effort will include increasing the availability and use of home lock boxes and drug take-back boxes. Pharmacies and law enforcement agencies also will be established locations for the safe disposal of unused prescriptions.  Access to drug removal options and working with physicians and pharmacists to better manage prescribing practices will further help to reduce availability and abuse.  “The abuse of prescription drugs by teenagers and young adults, primarily in Tennessee’s eastern counties, is at epidemic proportions,” said Commissioner Varney. “Our goal over the next five years is to significantly reduce the level of prescription drug abuse by our young people, and in doing so; we can help more of them reach their full potential and change the landscape for future generations of Tennesseans.” 


In order to reach the targeted 12-25 year olds, the prevention effort will lean heavily on social media. There will be social media campaigns, social marketing campaigns, social norms marketing campaigns, and efforts to provide other social alternatives.  “The internet and social media offer young people many services to educate and empower themselves and each other,” said Rod Bragg, TDMHSAS Assistant Commissioner for Substance Abuse. “Social media is second nature to them and our hope is they will be open to this message and join in a conversation with us about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs.”


TCFP offers membership specials


Take Charge Fitness Program, conveniently located at Clinton Physical Therapy Center at 1921 N. Charles Seivers Blvd in Clinton, will be offering a joining special December 1st through December 15th!  Take advantage of the 50% off savings and join Clinton’s very own wellness center  Situated in 18,000 square feet of space, the facility features state of the art fitness equipment, two temperature controlled pools, free weight area, designated Pilates and Yoga studios, circuit training area for those who have limited time to exercise, aerobic classroom with suspended wood floors and an inside rubberized walking track. Gift certificates in the form of joining fees, monthly membership fees, personal training and massage therapy are available!  Give the gift of fitness during this special discounted offer!!  Contact Take Charge Fitness Program staff for any questions at 865-457-8237.


Marlow woman dies after trying to save pets from fire


An Anderson County woman has died from injuries she sustained Wednesday afternoon after running into her burning home to rescue her pets.  According to the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, 65-year-old Martha Bailey and her friend arrived at the home on Ridge Lane in the Marlow Community shortly after 3:00 Wednesday afternoon, discovered it was on fire and called 911.  A few minutes later, Bailey ran inside to try to rescue her pets. During her attempt, her clothes caught on fire, and she collapsed, prompting her friend, Adra Denton, to call 911 a second time. Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Wiley Maloney, Reserve Deputy Gene Rose, and Marlow Volunteer Fire Department Captain Zach Pressnell pulled Bailey out of the burning house and covered her with a wet coat until paramedics arrived on the scene.  Bailey was taken by ambulance to Methodist Medical Center then transported by Lifestar helicopter to UT Medical Center, where she passed away during the night.  Firefighters were able to rescue a dog and cat from the home, but one dog did perish in the blaze. The surviving animals were taken to a local animal hospital for treatment.  Denton was treated at the scene of smoke inhalation.  The fire reportedly caused around $25,000 of damage, mostly confined to the living room where the blaze is believed to have begun.  Officials said the cause of the fire appeared to be an accident, but they are still investigating.  


ACSD investigating robbery report


The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department is investigating an armed robbery that occurred at a home near Rocky Top.  Deputies responded to a home on Clear Branch Road shortly after 10:30 pm Wednesday on a report of a robbery in progress.  When they arrived, they made contact with Genis Hawkins, who told them that he had been robbed at knifepoint by his grandson and another man.  Hawkins told police that he answered a knock on his door and saw his grandson on the porch.  The grandson asked if he could use Hawkins’ phone and when he stepped away to get it, his grandson and a second man wearing a green rag over his face and holding a 15-inch-long knife entered his house.  The masked man held the knife to Hawkins’ stomach and threatened to “gut him” according to the incident report, while the grandson demanded money.  Hawkins gave them a pair of pants containing three envelopes full of cash in various denominations totaling approximately $2600, his wallet with two debit cards inside and his cell phone.  The knife-wielding suspect told Hawkins to stay inside as they left or he would be stabbed.  The two then ran down the driveway, where a third person was waiting in a car, and fled the area.  One of Hawkins’ relatives found one envelope containing $1400 in the driveway, where the suspects had apparently dropped it as they fled, and gave it to investigators, who then photographed the bills and returned them to Hawkins.  Hawkins was not injured in the incident and the investigation is continuing. 


OSPD searching for robbery suspect


The Oliver Springs Police Department is searching for a suspect in an armed robbery at the Family Dollar Store at about 9:34 p.m. Wednesday.  The suspect allegedly entered the store at 51 Edmonds Drive, gave the clerk a $100 bill, and asked for change. After the clerk gave the suspect the change, the man then demanded the money in both cash registers, requested both clerks’ phones, took their wallets out of their purses, and left the store.  The suspect is described as a black man who is about 5’2″ to 5’5″ and weighs about 150 pounds. He was wearing an Under Armour red hoodie with a blue shirt, possibly a sweatshirt, pulled over it, and a ball cap on underneath the hoodie, the OSPD said.  Call the Oliver Springs Police Department at (865) 435-7777 if you have any information on this robbery.


OR earns EPA recognition


The city of Oak Ridge has been named a "Green Power Community of the Year" by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The EPA made that announcement Wednesday. Oak Ridge is one of only two cities in the nation to receive the award, the other being Medford, Oregon.  They are among 19 Green Power Partners and four power suppliers across the country receiving the EPA's Green Leadership Awards.  According to an EPA release, the recognition is for "advancing the nation's renewable energy market and reducing greenhouse gas emissions fueling climate change.”  In all, the award winners use more than 7.6 billion kilowatt-hours of green power each year. Green power is electricity generated from such renewable resources as solar, wind, geothermal, and others.   Since its birth as a secret city involved in building the first atomic bomb, Oak Ridge's identity "has long been intertwined with the energy sector," according to the EPA.  The release goes on to say that presently, the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory continues the city's energy tradition by conducting research related to solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and hydropower technologies, and purchasing green power for its electricity use. Oak Ridge is recognized as a Platinum Community in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Valley Sustainable Communities Program and has set the ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2030. With city-wide attention focused on using clean energy, Oak Ridge became the Southeast's first EPA Green Power Community in 2014.  Earlier this year, the city launched an effort to encourage greater participation in TVA's renewable energy program. That effort tripled the use of TVA's Green Power Switch program, where residents pay more for electricity produced from nonpolluting sources.  Residents, businesses, and the local government are now using more than 73 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy annually, including more than 126,000 kWh of on-site solar power at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 


(General EPA release) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing Oak Ridge, Tennessee as a Green Power Community of the Year.  The city is one of 19 Green Power Partners and four suppliers from across the country receiving Green Leadership Awards that are given annually by the Agency.  Awardees are recognized for achievements in advancing the nation’s renewable energy market and reducing greenhouse gas emissions fueling climate change. 

“By using more than 7.6 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually, these communities, businesses, and organizations are leading the way in cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the impacts of climate change, and protecting public health,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “These partners demonstrate that green power is not only a smart business investment, but it’s affordable, accessible and it reduces emissions while growing the renewable energy market and spurring innovation.” 

Green power is electricity that is generated from renewable sources, including solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and low-impact hydroelectric sources. Green power does not produce fossil fuel-based greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change. The award winners below are being recognized for their efforts in expanding the domestic renewable energy market—from using enough green power to meet more than 100 percent of electricity needs to installing solar arrays on-site or entering long-term power purchase agreements—these organizations are demonstrating that green power is both accessible and affordable.  

These award-winning partners were chosen for their exemplary use of green power from more than 1,300 partner organizations that comprise EPA’s Green Power Partnership. Utilities, renewable energy project developers, and other green power suppliers are eligible to apply for the Green Power Supplier award. 

EPA, through the Green Power Partnership, works with partner organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 1,300 partner organizations voluntarily using billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500 companies, small and medium sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, and colleges and universities. 

The 2014 Green Power Leadership Awards will be presented on December 3, 2014, at the annual Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Sacramento, Calif. More on the 2014 Green Power Leadership award winners:http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/awards/winners.htm.


(Oak Ridge-specific EPA release) Oak Ridge, Tennessee's identity has long been intertwined with the energy sector. Also known as the "Secret City" and the "Atomic City," Oak Ridge was established in 1942 as a Manhattan Project development site. While remaining a secret, the city's population ballooned from 3,000 to more than 75,000 by the end of World War II as it hosted major advances in nuclear technology.  Today, the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory continues the city's energy tradition by conducting research related to solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and hydropower technologies, and purchasing green power for its electricity use. Oak Ridge is recognized as a Platinum Community in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Valley Sustainable Communities Program and has set the ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2030. With city-wide attention focused on using clean energy, Oak Ridge became the Southeast's first EPA Green Power Community in 2014.  In the spring of 2014, Oak Ridge launched a community challenge to encourage greater participation in TVA's renewable energy program, resulting in community-wide green power use of 5.5 percent, and a participation rate nearly three times the rate at the start of the challenge. Residents, businesses, and the local government are using more than 73 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy annually, including more than 126,000 kWh of on-site solar power at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The city also intends to leverage its role as the first Green Power Community in TVA's territory into a leadership position for promoting green power regionally. Using TVA's communication channels along with local outlets, the community's advertising plan includes the use of newsletters, radio ads, community events, mailers, door-to-door canvassing, and social media marketing campaigns.


Rocky Top Christmas parade announced


The Rocky Top Christmas Parade will take place on Friday, December 5th at 7:00 pm on Main Street. Registration will begin at 5:00 pm. For more information, call 865-426-9595 or visit www.rockytoptnchamber.com


Timely Topics to hold “Christmas in our Town” event


The Clinton Timely Topics Club is sponsoring the first annual “Christmas in our Town” on December 13th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm in the Clinton Middle School gym and auditorium. There will be Arts and Crafts, musical performances, concessions, TV raffle, antique cars and more! This is a fundraising event to help fund scholarships and community projects.


Norris Dam Holiday Homecoming


The annual Holiday Homecoming Celebration will be held December 13 at Norris Dam State Park  Join us for a walk through time discovering old time traditions representing Tennessee Holiday Homecomings in the local region. Celebrations will take place on the east side of the park as our rustic cabin area transforms into a winter village of festivities for the holiday season. There will be live animal demonstrations, historical depiction of Appalachian like, horse drawn wagon rides, old time music and holiday treats. Be expected to walk approx. one mile, so dress warmly and bring a flashlight.  For more information, call 865-426-7461.


Santa Train Rides return


Santa Train Rides will take place December 6th, 7th, 13th and 14th on board the Secret City Excursion Train.  One-hour excursions with narration will depart at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 p.m. on Saturdays and at 1 and 3 pm on Sundays. Santa is sure to delight all the children as he and Mrs. Claus make their way through the coaches passing out Christmas gift bags and posing for pictures. The train will be decked out in true holiday style. During the ride, passengers will hear the story of the Manhattan Project, which was one of the most remarkable industrial achievements ever accomplished. Refreshments and souvenirs are available for purchase in the train's commissary car. For more information, call 865-241-2140 or visit www.secretcityrailroad.com.


CHS Band to hold Christmas concert


The Clinton High School Band will present its annual Combined Christmas Concert at 6:30 pm on Thursday December 11th in the Don Lockard Gymnasium at the school.  In related news, funds have been raised to provide five new uniforms for the band and donations are being accepted online at www.clintonband.com.  You can also call the school at 865-457-2611 and ask for the Band room to find out more or make a donation to help support the band.  


AC Veterans Service office a Toys for Tots drop-off site


Again this year, the Anderson County Veterans Service office is a Toys for Tots drop off location in support of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves efforts to ensure all children have a very Merry Christmas. If you wish to donate, you can drop off a new, unwrapped toy in the box outside the office at the Anderson County Courthouse, 1st floor room 114 anytime through Dec 5, 2014.


AAA projects highest Thanksgiving travel since ‘07


(AAA) AAA Travel projects 46.3 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving weekend, the highest volume for the holiday since 2007 and a 4.2 percent increase over 2013. Almost 90 percent of travelers (41.3 million) will celebrate the holiday with a road trip and will enjoy the lowest gas prices in nearly four years. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, November 26 through Sunday, November 30.  In Tennessee, one million people are expected to travel over the holiday, with the vast majority expected to do so by car.  “During the Thanksgiving holiday period, roads and airports will be packed as more Americans will travel than any year since 2007,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “The rise in travelers comes as Americans grow more optimistic about the future. Falling gas prices and improvements in several key economic factors, including employment, GDP and disposable income, are boosting consumer confidence and the desire to travel.”  AAA predicts most U.S. travelers will pay the cheapest Thanksgiving gas prices in four years. The national price of gasoline has fallen below $3.00 per gallon for the first time since Dec. 22, 2010. More than 89 percent (41.3 million) of holiday travelers will drive to their destination, a 4.3 percent increase from 2013.  “The dramatic discount at the pump is a welcome gift for travelers as they head into the busy holiday travel season,” said Jenkins. “Lower prices mean increased disposable income enabling families to carve out more money from household budgets for travel this Thanksgiving.”  Motorists can visit AAA.com/Gas to find the cheapest gas prices in town and determine the estimated fuel cost for their next road trip.


Cat bites man, remains at large


You often hear reports of dogs biting people but rarer is the case when the aggressive animal is a cat.  That was the case Saturday morning however, as a Clinton man reported that he was bitten by an aggressive cat on his property on Pine Street.  A Clinton police officer and the Animal Control officer responded to the home of Alfred Martin at around 8:20 am Saturday after he called to report the incident.  Martin told them that he had put out his own trap in an effort to catch some of the stray cats in his neighborhood and when he came out that morning, saw that a large cat had been halfway caught in the trap and appeared to be in pain.  Martin says when he tried to get the cat all the way into the trap it turned on him, biting him on a finger on one hand and getting its teeth into his other hand as well.  The cat fled the scene and officers reported that Martin’s finger was swollen and bruised while his other hand had four puncture marks on it.  It is unclear if Martin sought medical attention and the cat remains at large.


Tree on shed leads to confrontation


Friday, Clinton Police responded to a home on Hendrickson Street on a call of a disturbance that began when a man accused another of cutting down a tree that landed on his shed.  Officers spoke with Daniel Mincey, who told them that Daniel Buhl had accused him of cutting down a tree on property adjacent to Buhl’s that landed on his shed.  Mincey reportedly told Buhl that if he wanted money, he would need to take him to court because he “wasn’t going to deal with him.”  Buhl told the officer that Mincey had cut a tree that landed on his shed and showed the officer a cell phone video recording of the ensuing confrontation.  The officer reported that the video showed Buhl confronting Mincey at the end of Buhl’s driveway.  During the confrontation, Buhl reportedly yelled and cursed at Mincey and the officer noted in his report that Mincey “demonstrated admirable self control while trying to remove himself from the hostile situation Buhl was creating.”  No charges were filed against either man and Mincey left the scene, pledging not to return. 


OR company receives federal contract


An Oak Ridge-based company has been awarded a $15.9 million contract by the Department of Homeland Security and the FEMA to provide a variety of services at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama.  Under terms of the five-year contract, HME, Inc. of Oak Ridge will work in areas including maintenance; HVAC and refrigeration systems; plumbing ; elevator maintenance; and management of the vehicle fleet.. HME specializes in facilities operations and maintenance services.  According to a news release, the Center for Domestic Preparedness is a national training facility that prepares state and local emergency response personnel to respond to terrorist attacks involving weapons of mass destruction. This is the second such contract for HME, which began providing facilities operations and support services for the Center in 2009.


ORT:  Fire destroys vacant house


(Oak Ridge Today) No one was injured in a fire that destroyed a vacant one-story brick house in Anderson County last week.  The fire was reported at about 3:50 a.m. Sunday, November 9, at 302 Elm View Drive in Tacora Hills.  Flames were already shooting through the roof when the Marlow Volunteer Fire Department arrived. The home and its contents were destroyed, according to our partners at Oak Ridge Today.  The Anderson County Emergency Medical Services and Anderson County Sheriff’s Department also responded. Fire units were on the scene about four hours.  The cause has not been determined.


ACDF a drop off center for Toys for Tots


Sheriff Paul White has announced that the Anderson County Detention Facility staff has volunteered the facility to be a Toys for Tots drop off center for Christmas 2014. Gifts for children that are new or unopened will be accepted in the drop off box located in the Detention Facility lobby at 308 Public Safety Lane in Clinton. The box will be available to the public from 8:00am to 10:00pm each day until Monday, December 15.  Toys for Tots is an official activity of the United States Marine Corps and a mission of the Marine Corps Reserve. First founded in 1947, the U.S. Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots and expands it into a nationwide community action project. Now an international project, in 2012 Toys For Tots distributed almost 17 million toys to more than 7 million children across the world.  The local Toys For Tots program is sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company D, 4th Combat Engineer Battalion, 2101 Alcoa Highway, Knoxville, Tennessee.  Sheriff White and the jail staff are proud to help provide toys and gifts to the children of Anderson County.  For more information you can call the Detention Facility at 865-457-7100, extension 117, or visit the Toys For Tots website at: www.toysfortots.com. For local information, please contact Staff Sergeant Sergio Nunez, U.S.M.C. at: sergio.l.nunez@usmc.mil.


Clinton Christmas Parade December 13th


The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the City of Clinton will present its annual Christmas Parade on Saturday December 13th at 5:30 pm.  This year’s them is “The Gifts of Christmas.”  There is a $10.00 entry fee and there is a limit of four vehicles per entry and a limit of one emergency vehicle per entry.  The last day to enter will be at 5 pm Wednesday, December 10th.  Cash prizes ranging from $125 for first place to $75 for third place will be awarded to the Most Creative Entries.  Parade check in will take place at Jaycee Park from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.  All entries must be decorated for Christmas and the Parade Santa will be ONLY Santa in the parade – Please!  For a complete list of rules and regulations, plus a map of the parade route, visit http://www.andersoncountychamber.org/clinton-christmas-parade/.


ACSD offers holiday safety tips


(ACSD) The holiday season is upon us once again. Many people can become victims of burglary, theft, and other crime during the holidays. Protecting yourself and your home from crime is one way to be safe and happy during this holiday season.  To help ensure everyone has safe and fun holidays, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department would like to offer the following tips for Holiday Crime Prevention.


  • Park in lighted areas at night.
  • Always lock your car.
  • Don't try to cover items on your seats. Put shopping bags in your trunk or take your packages straight home after shopping and go back out.
  • Don't carry large amounts of cash with you. Keep money in your front pocket– not in your purse or wallet.
  • Be extra careful when carrying a purse – they are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas. If you must carry one, make sure it has a strap that can go over the shoulder and be held under the arm, making them more difficult for purse snatchers to grab.
  • Keep a record of all of your debit and credit card numbers in a safe place at your home.
  • Beware of strangers approaching you. This is the time of year when thieves may try various methods to distract you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
  • Pay attention. Don’t be distracted while texting or using your cell phone.


  • Always lock your home, garage, and outbuildings even if you are only going to be away for a few minutes.
  • When leaving home for an extended time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.
  • Leave a light on when you leave your home at night or put your lights on an automatic timer.
  • Leave a television or radio on so your home looks and sounds occupied.
  • Make sure your holiday gifts are not visible through the windows and doors of your home.
  • Never say you are away from home on the outgoing message on your answering machine or voice mail. Simply say you are unable to answer the phone at the time.
  • Never post on your social networking website that you are away from home.  Wait until you return and then post the fun details of your trip.
  • After the holidays, don’t advertise gifts by leaving boxes for the garbage collection. Flatten boxes and place in a sealed garbage bag.

One of the best ways to prevent crime is to have “nosy” neighbors. Be watchful of suspicious cars or people in your neighborhood. Have a neighbor watch your house, and do the same for them.  If you see something suspicious, call the Sheriff’s Department at 457-2414 or your local police immediately.  One of the best crime prevention tools is a Neighborhood Watch program. For information on starting or joining a Neighborhood Watch group, contact our Crime Prevention Officer, Deputy David Massengill, at 457-6255, extension 1150.  Sheriff’s deputies will be out in force to help deter burglaries and thefts in an effort to keep our community safe. Ensuring you and your family have a safe holiday season is our top priority.  On behalf of the men and women of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season.


Roane 911 Director appointed to state board


(Submitted) State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) and Representative Kent Calfee (R-Kingston) announced today that Mike Hooks, Executive Director of the Roane County 911 Board, has been appointed to the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board as a Representative of Emergency Communications Districts.  The appointment to the board, which is also known as the state’s E-911 Board, was made by Governor Bill Haslam and supported by Senator Yager and Representative Calfee. “Mike’s knowledge and expertise will be a tremendous asset to the board,” said Senator Yager.  “I know he will do an excellent job.”

“In the thorough, aggressive search for candidates, your individual characteristics and professional qualifications were exceptional among the number of nominees who expressed interest,” said Governor Haslam in his letter of appointment to Hooks.  “I consider it very important to ensure that Tennessee’s boards and commissions are filled with the most dedicated and qualified citizens.  I believe that your participation is certain to leave a positive impact on this board and the work it does.” 

“Without question, Mike Hooks is a fantastic choice for our state’s E-911 board,” said Representative Calfee. “I thank Governor Haslam for this appointment and look forward to working with Mike on important issues that affect our community in the coming months.” 

The board is comprised of nine members, eight of whom are appointed by the Governor and serve a fixed term. The ninth member is the Comptroller of the Treasury or his designee. The Board serves as the state's authority with regard to E-911 issues, setting standards and providing assistance to local 911 boards in the area of management, operations and accountability.  The board is responsible for implementation of wireless emergency service and acts as the deciding agency between local governmental entities concerning E-911 service.  In addition, the board establishes training and course of study standards for all 911 dispatchers and call takers receiving an E-911 call from the public.  Finally, the board provides grants for operating and capital expenditures for basic or enhanced 911 services and wireless enhanced 911 service to assist emergency communications districts.  Hooks term is effective immediately and runs through June 30, 2018. 


Clinton Council members to be sworn in Dec. 1st


Two new members and one returning member of the Clinton City Council will be sworn in to office at 8 am on Monday December 1st at City Hall.  The new members are Zach Farrar and Brian Hatmaker, while the returning member is ET Stamey.  The swearing-in ceremony will be open to the public.


Man sentenced over Y-12 extortion attempt


A Scott County man was sentenced to serve three months in prison on Monday after he pleaded guilty in July to charges that he tried to extort Babcock and Wilcox Y-12 LLC, the former managing and operating contractor at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.  25-year-old Adam Winters of Oneida—who once appeared on the reality TV show “Millionaire Matchmaker”—received the sentence in U.S. District Court in Knoxville on Monday, according to U.S. Attorney William C. Killian. After he is released from prison, Winters will be on supervised probation for one year.  Winters pleaded guilty in July to transmitting communications containing threats to injure the reputation of B&W Y-12 in interstate and foreign commerce, with intent to extort money and other things of value from the corporation. Winters admitted that he emailed Babcock and Wilcox and attempted to email the vice president of the United States regarding copies of slides that he possessed that contained information he believed would injure the reputation of Babcock and Wilcox.  Following the email, he used the Internet and telephone and communicated his threat to injure their reputation through the use of these slides, Killian said. After making these threats, Winters met with undercover law enforcement agents to exchange the slides for $2.5 million that he had demanded from Babcock and Wilcox during his extortion attempt, the press release said. During this exchange meeting, law enforcement officers revealed their identity and arrested him.


AC Trustee Archer elected president of state organization


(Submitted) The Tennessee County Trustee's Association held their annual business meeting last week at the County Officials Conference where they voted on and named Rodney Archer as the new President of their Association.  Archer has held the Anderson County Trustee position since 2006 and has been an active leader in the Trustee's Association.  He previously served as the Secretary of the statewide organization and was also recognized as Outstanding Trustee for the East Tennessee division in 2010.  The Association serves as not only a network but also is an essential component of Professional Development for Trustees across Tennessee.  "Rodney has been a leader in our organization since he first got involved and has consistently proven himself - from raising the bar in his own office to representing our state organization in Nashville or at the national level with the National Association of County Collectors, Treasurers, and Finance Officers - he is an excellent representative for this organization," says Jay West, Executive Director of County Officials of Tennessee, "We are all delighted to have him serve as the Trustee’s Association president in 2015."  The Tennessee Trustee's Association has long been Tennessee's leading organization promoting sound tax policy and advocates for tax-relief and tax-freeze programs.  These programs are important to all 95 counties as their main goal is to provide our senior citizens, disabled veterans, and disabled homeowners with tax assistance.  These programs are often in jeopardy during budget cuts, therefore, the Association actively lobbies for support because of the needs of their constituents.  "I am excited to have been chosen for this position of being able to work with fellow administrators from across the state," said Archer.  "I look forward to the new and exciting challenges of supporting the Association and working to build partnerships across the state that can ultimately benefit our constituents."


ACA sign-up assistance available


The Tennessee Health Care Campaign (THCC) will be holding events to sign people up for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act this month and next.  If you do not have health insurance, these events are a chance to sign up for coverage in time to avoid penalties on your taxes.  The Open Enrollment for what has become known as “Obamacare” began last Saturday, November 15th and will run through February 15th, 2015.  You can sign up online at www.healthcare.gov, where you can also preview plans and costs or over the phone by calling 1-800-318-2596.  Locally, THCC volunteer counselors can guide you through the process this Saturday November 22nd and on Saturday December 6th from 1 to 6 pm in the A-B Room at the Oak Ridge Civic Center.  In addition, sign-up assistance will be offered on Saturdays December 13th & 20th at Grace Lutheran Church at 131 West Gettysburg Avenue in Oak Ridge from 1 to 6 pm. 


Report:  OS sued over wastewater leaks


According to the News-Sentinel, the town of Oliver Springs and its wastewater treatment plant have been sued in Roane County Circuit Court for $1.9 million over sewage overflows on private property.  The lawsuit was filed Monday by three people living on Bennett Road, who allege that massive leaks of sewage on to their land have ruined their property and made the 15 acre parcel impossible to sell.  The suit alleges that defective pipes are to blame for routine overflows of waste and other debris and the town is liable because it was negligent in not properly maintaining the treatment plant, not properly training workers and not following established procedures in operating it.  The lawsuit claims that overflows happen in dry weather because of faulty equipment and in wet weather when the pipes are overtaxed.  The town is already under an order from the state to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant by the end of August 2015 or else face a $175,000 fine and has already been barred from adding any new customers to the sewer system until the deficiencies are corrected.  Former City Manager Tina Treece, who abruptly resigned on November 5th, reportedly told City Council members she was leaving over frustrations with their inaction on addressing the problems, among other issues. 


ORCC announces Christmas Parade


(ORCC) The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce is busy preparing for its annual Christmas Parade to be held on Saturday, December 13. This year’s theme is “Holiday Homecoming” and promises to provide spectators with plenty of music, lights and beautiful floats. Over 80 businesses and community organizations have already registered their entries for the parade.  The parade will start at 6:00 p.m. and will begin at Corporate Center, on the corner of Lafayette and Laboratory Road. From there, the parade will travel down Lafayette to the Oak Ridge Turnpike. It will continue west on the Turnpike to Oak Ridge High School. The judge’s stand will be located in front of the Chamber.  Those participating in the parade will line up in the parking lot of Corporate Center beginning at 4:00 p.m. The Chamber will be accepting entries online through Monday, December 8. Entry forms are available on the Chamber’s website: www.oakridgechamber.org.  The Chamber will need volunteers to serve as parade marshals to make the event a safe, fun and successful one.  To volunteer and be put on Santa’s “nice” list, contact Greta Ownby at ownby@orcc.org or 483-1321.


BBB:  Kingston officer escapes serious injury in wrong-way wreck


(BBB) A Kingston Police officer escaped serious injury Saturday night just before 10pm, when his cruiser was hit head-on by another car going the wrong way on the westbound exit ramp in Kingston.  According to police, Nate Wilson was starting his first full time shift after having served as a reserve officer and was exiting I-40 onto North Kentucky Street when  is cruiser was hit by a car being driven by 25-year-old Amanda Hendsley, who had taken the wrong  ramp. The THP worked the accident and Hendsley was taken to jail for DUI.  She was not injured in the wreck.  Officer Wilson was uninjured, except for a bump on the head caused when his rifle came loose from its gun rack and struck him. The westbound off ramp was closed for about an hour for the investigation and clean-up.


ACSD promotes buckling up


(ACSD) The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department is joining in a national effort to reach out to all Thanksgiving travelers with one important message: Buckle Up. Historically, Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year, putting more people on the road, and unfortunately increasing the likelihood of crashes.  Each year in our country, tens of thousands of passenger vehicle occupants die in motor vehicle crashes. In 2012, more than 300 people were killed in crashes on Thanksgiving weekend alone. It's a sad statistic, but even sadder is that many of those deaths could have been prevented with one simple click of a seat belt.  Sheriff’s deputies will be out in force during the long weekend. The goal is simple: to enforce the law in order to save more lives. Whether you're traveling across the country or just across town, one of the best ways to ensure a safe arrival is to always buckle up.  It's a simple step that each of us can take to protect ourselves and our loved ones.  Don't risk it on the road this Thanksgiving. Wear your seat belt so you can spend the holidays celebrating with your loved ones. Remember: Buckle Up, America – Every Trip, Every Time.  This effort is supported by a grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, Governor’s Highway Safety Office.

For more information about traveling safely during the Thanksgiving holiday, please visit:  www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.


AC Chamber hosts regional legislative event


(Submitted) The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Council hosted the 3rd Annual Six-County Legislative Agenda at the Holiday Inn-Clinton on Friday, November 7.  Mayors, Chamber Executives and Economic Development representatives from Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Morgan, Scott and Union Counties partnered to identify economic development issues and needs they feel impact the growth of their community.  Presenters included ACEDA President Tim Thompson, Anderson County Schools Director Larry Foster, Clinton City Schools Director Dr. Vicki Violette, Anderson County Chief Jailer Avery Johnson, ASAP Prevention Coordinator Michael Foster, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank and Anderson County Tourism Director Stephanie Wells. This Legislative Agenda, highlighting Economic Development/Workforce, Education/Workforce Development, Taxpayer Funded Jail Cost, Substance Abuse, Broadband Access and Adventure Tourism, was presented to Senator Randy McNally, Senator Ken Yager, Rep. Kelly Keisling, Rep. Dennis Powers and Rep. John Ragan.  Representatives from Senator Bob Corker’s office and Rep. Chuck Fleischmann’s office were also in attendance. 


UT Institute of Agriculture to provide state Christmas tree


(UT) It’s a repeat for the UT Institute of Agriculture. For the second year straight, a tree from the grounds of UTIA’s Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center has been chosen to be the Christmas tree for the State Capitol.  The approximately 75-ft-tall Norway spruce, which is planted on the grounds of the Center’s Cumberland Forest, will be felled on Thursday, November 20.  Once felled, the top 40 – 45 feet of the tree will be loaded for transport to Nashville.  Martin Schubert, manager of the Cumberland Forest’s 8,000 acres in Scott and Morgan counties, says, “The UT Institute of Agriculture is honored to provide a tree for the enjoyment of the state’s citizens during the 2014 holiday season.”  The Cumberland Forest facilitates several large- and small-scale forest and wildlife management research projects, as well as ecological demonstration projects managed by the UT AgResearch program. The site is also home to some of the earliest strip mine reclamation research in Tennessee.  The tree, like its twin last year, was originally part of a research project that involved growing Christmas trees on land that was formerly strip mined.  In addition to its AgResearch program, the UT Institute of Agriculture also provides instruction, research and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.


ORNL to house world’s fastest supercomputer in 2017


(Oak Ridge Today/staff reports) Oak Ridge National Laboratory will have the world’s fastest next-generation supercomputer, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander announced at a Friday morning press conference with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.  Alexander said the new computer will provide five times the performance of Titan, the current system, and support advanced scientific and materials research to improve economic and national security.  The “next-generation hybrid supercomputer” will be called Summit, and it will be delivered in 2017, the senator said.  The Friday announcement was the result of a partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility and IBM. Summit will be a hybrid computing system using central processing units (CPUs) and graphic processing units (GPUs).  Titan, a hybrid Cray XK7 capable of 27 petaflops, was recognized as the world’s fastest supercomputer in November 2012. But it was bumped to the number two spot by a Chinese supercomputer in June 2013.  “Supercomputing is essential to U.S. competitiveness in science and technology, and I’m proud our national lab in Tennessee is helping advance scientific research to improve America’s economic and national security,” Alexander said.  Supercomputing supports a wide range of scientific research and development and addresses the most challenging science problems for government, academia, and industry. Among the goals researchers will pursue by applying Summit’s capabilities in diverse scientific arenas:

  • Combustion science: Creating a fundamental understanding of combustion to increase efficiency by 25-50 percent and lower emissions from internal combustion engines using advanced fuels and new, low-temperature combustion concepts.
  • Climate change science: Understanding the dynamic ecological and chemical evolution of the climate system with uncertainty quantification of impacts on regional and decadal scales.
  • Energy storage: Gaining a fundamental understanding of chemical reaction processes at the atomic and molecular level required for predictive design of new materials for energy storage and predictive engineering of safe, large-format, durable, rechargeable batteries.
  • Nuclear power: Enabling reactor-scale simulations to allow safe, increased nuclear fuel burn times, power upgrades, and reactor lifetime extensions, and in doing so reduce the volume of spent fuel. 


Man escapes truck before it is hit by train


A driver was able to escape from a pickup truck before it was hit by a train on railroad tracks alongside Dutch Valley Road in Marlow on Sunday afternoon.  The Chevrolet S-10 pickup had apparently hit the ditch alongside Dutch Valley Road, went airborne.  According to our partners at Oak Ridge Today, it wasn’t immediately clear how much time elapsed before the truck was then hit by the train near Smith Road. The crash was reported at about 2:50 p.m. Sunday.  The driver suffered minor injuries and was taken by ambulance to Methodist Medical Center.  Witnesses reported that the driver was able to get out of the truck through a window, and it was later struck by the westbound train, which pushed the truck upright and into a ditch adjacent to the track.  The Norfolk Southern train stopped after the crash, but the train crew was not injured.  Crews from the Marlow Volunteer Fire Department, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department and Tennessee Highway Patrol responded to the crash.


High School football playoff round-up


Wrapping up your Friday night high school football playoff action, in class 5A, Oak Ridge survived Cleveland 10-6 thanks to a late defensive stand and in spite of three turnovers.  The 12-0 Wildcats will host 12-0 Rhea County—47-14 winners over Ooltewah—in Friday’s quarterfinals.  Elsewhere in 5A, West thumped Tennessee High 46-10 and will travel to South Doyle, who beat Campbell County 48-33, on Friday night.  In Class 6A, Maryville handled Sevier County 62-28 and will host Science Hill, 41-6 winners over Dobyns-Bennett.  In Class 4A, Fulton waylaid Catholic 51-14 and will host Sullivan South on Friday after Sullivan nipped Greeneville 21-20.  In Class 3A, Alcoa blew past Gatlinburg-Pittman 49-14 and will host CAK, who handled Pigeon Forge 26-15, in the quarterfinals.  In Class 2A, Grace Christian doubled up Hampton 54-27 while Oneida eliminated Rockwood 21-7, setting up Grace at Oneida on Friday.  In Class 1A, Coalfield won at Cloudland 38-28 and will play at Greenback this week after Greenback took out Sunbright 31-14. 


THP Checkpoints for December


The Tennessee Highway Patrol will be conducting driver’s license roadside safety checkpoints on the following dates and locations:  It is requested that you publicize this notification.

Date (s):                                                  Location (s):

12-5-2014                                   East Wolfe Valley @ Wolfe Valley Church                                                                        

12-6-2014                                       Dutch Valley Road @ Old Lake City Highway.  

Recognizing the danger presented to the public by unqualified drivers, Troopers will concentrate their efforts on vehicles being operated by drivers who violate the driver’s license laws of Tennessee.  The Tennessee Highway Patrol has found these drivers license roadside safety checkpoints to be an effective means of enforcing driver license laws of Tennessee while ensuring the protection of all motorists.


TSSAA approves reclassification, realignments


Thursday, the TSSAA Board of Control finalized its realignment of the state’s high school football teams and there are plenty of changes affecting our local teams.  The state’s new Class 6A will be made up of the 31 largest schools in the state by enrollment, except for Maryville, which successfully petitioned the state to move from 5A to 6A.  All 32 6A teams will qualify for the postseason while the remaining Division I classifications will send the top four finishers in each Region to the postseason.  The realignment will remain in effect for at least the next two academic years, beginning in 2015.  Locally, the Clinton Dragons are in the new Region 3-5A with Campbell County, Oak Ridge, Farragut, Karns and Lenoir City.  Anderson County has moved to Class 4A and will play in Region 2 with Fulton, Carter, Catholic, Central and Union County.  The list of regions served by this radio station is below, with local teams in italics. 

Class IA, Region I

Cloudland High School, Roan Mountain

Concord Christian, Knoxville

Hancock Co. High School, Sneedeville

Oakdale High School, Oakdale

Unaka High School, Elizabethton

Class IA, Region 2
Coalfield High School, Coalfield

Greenback High School, Greenback

Harriman High School, Harriman

Jellico High School, Jellico

Midway High School, Kingston

Oneida High School, Oneida

Sunbright High School, Sunbright

Class 2A, Region 2

Austin-East High School, Knoxville

Grace Christian Academy, Knoxville

Oliver Springs High School, Oliver Springs

Rockwood High School, Rockwood

Sweetwater High School, Sweetwater

Tellico Plains High School, Tellico Plains

Wartburg Central High School, Wartburg    

Class 3A, Region 2

Alcoa High School, Alcoa

Christian Academy of Knoxville, Knoxville

Kingston High School, Kingston

Loudon High School, Loudon

McMinn Central High School, Englewood

Scott High School, Huntsville

Class 4A, Region 2
Anderson Co. High School, Clinton

Carter High School, Strawberry Plains

Fulton High School, Knoxville

Knoxville Catholic High School, Knoxville

Knoxville Central High School, Knoxville

Union Co. High School, Maynardville

Class 5A, Region 2
Gibbs High School, Corryton

Heritage High School, Maryville

Knoxville Halls High School, Knoxville

Powell High School, Powell

South Doyle High School, Knoxville

West High School, Knoxville

Class 5A, Region 3

Campbell Co. High School, Jacksboro

Clinton High School, Clinton

Farragut High School, Knoxville

Karns High School, Knoxville

Lenoir City High School, Lenoir City

Oak Ridge High School, Oak Ridge

Class 6A, Region 1

Bearden High School, Knoxville

Bradley Central High School, Cleveland

Dobyns Bennett High School, Kingsport

Hardin Valley Academy, Knoxville

Jefferson Co. High School, Dandridge

Maryville High School, Maryville

Science Hill High School, Johnson City

William Blount High School, Maryville


ORT:  4 taken to hospital after fire at Toxco


(Oak Ridge Today) Four workers were evaluated for minor respiratory issues and released after a small, intense electrical fire was reported at a company that repackages low-level radioactive waste in central Oak Ridge on Thursday morning, authorities said.  The fire at Toxco Materials Management Center on Flint Road was reported at about 11:03 a.m. Thursday. It was in a large one-story metal building at the back of the site.  Electrical equipment inside the building was on fire, and the only way to put it out was to disconnect power, which the Oak Ridge Electric Department did.  Once the power was disconnected, firefighters were able to put out the fire with fire extinguishers.  Toxco workers had tried to put out the fire with extinguishers, and those taken to the hospital for evaluation could possibly have been affected by a combination of smoke from the fire and powder from the extinguishers.  The area where the fire occurred is used to repackage waste but no radioactive waste was involved in the fire. The four workers who were taken to the hospital were checked to make sure they had not been contaminated, and the firefighters who responded were also checked for radiation.  Oak Ridge firefighters cleared the scene at about 12:40 p.m.  Power was restored to the buildings at the front of the Toxco property, but it will remain turned off at the back building until repairs are made.  The Anderson County hazardous materials truck, which is operated by Oak Ridge firefighters and housed at Fire Station Number 3 on Tuskegee Drive, responded. So did three ambulances.


ORT:  City calls for demolition of commercial building


(Oak Ridge Today) Despite a plea for another extension, a city board on Thursday ordered that a commercial building on East Tyrone Road be demolished within 30 days. The demolition order does not apply to the popular Magic Wok restaurant, which is in a separate diner on the western side of the building.  The Oak Ridge Board of Building and Housing Code Appeals had previously given the building owners more time to develop a repair or demolition plan, including a five-month extension in June. At Thursday’s meeting, board members suggested they hadn’t seen enough work take place since then.  Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson told the board that, after several board meetings to discuss the property at 123 and 135 East Tyrone Road, it was time to make a decision.  “We’re spending significant staff resources coming back on this time and time again,” Watson said. “We’ve got other projects out there that we’re going to be dealing with.”  The city staff said concerns about the building stretch back in some form for more than a decade.  The building owners suggested they were still trying to determine whether to sell the building, or demolish 80 percent of it and save about 5,500 square feet of it, among two options. They asked for one more 30-day extension.


TBI raids 4 businesses as part of probe in to prostitution, trafficking


(TBI) Special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, working with law enforcement agencies from across the state, executed search warrants at four businesses Wednesday as part of an investigation into organized prostitution and human trafficking in the state. The investigation resulted in one person being arrested and two businesses being padlocked.  TBI agents received assistance from the Smyrna Police Department, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department, Rockwood Police Department, Roane County Sheriff’s Office, 9th Judicial Drug Task Force, Athens Police Department, McMinn County Sheriff’s Department and Immigration Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations in executing the simultaneous search warrants. Those businesses that were the targets of Wednesday’s search warrants are: 

  • C&K Spa, formerly QT Spa at 801 Peavine Road, Crossville, Tennessee. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department arrested Huichu Sandve, charging the 46 year-old with prostitution. She was booked into the Cumberland County Jail on a $10,000 bond.
  • Interstate Spa at 108 Ole Patton Lane, Rockwood, Tennessee. Two individuals were questioned about prostitution and performing massages without a license.
  • Rainbow Spa at 295 Decatur Pike, Athens, Tennessee. Two individuals were questioned about prostitution and performing massages without a license. The business was padlocked by order of a judge and charges are anticipated.
  • Royal Therapy at 557 S Lowry Street, Smyrna, Tennessee. The business was padlocked by order of a judge. Charges are anticipated.

Three of these businesses, QT Spa, Interstate Spa and Rainbow Spa, were also the focus of an investigation in September 2013 that resulted in the closure of spas and massage parlors in the middle and eastern parts of the state. Multiple individuals were arrested or issued citations for prostitution or other outstanding warrants.


‘Pancakes with Santa’ event supports local suicide hotline 


Come have some family fun at our Pancakes with Santa party on Saturday, December 6, from 8:00 to 10:00 am at the First United Methodist Church, 1350 Oak Ridge Turnpike. Mrs. Santa will be there too, and we’re so fortunate. After all, she is a very busy lady! There will be plenty of merry elves to serve you pancakes with butter and syrup, bacon, sausage, fruit juices, milk and coffee—all you can eat for only $5. Youth choirs from area churches and high schools will entertain the crowd with carols.  All proceeds from the pancake breakfast benefit CONTACT. For tickets, call 865.312.7450. To learn more about our crisis call center or make a donation online, please visit contactcarelinetn.org/donate


AP:  Electrical safety tips from the state


(AP) As temperatures across Tennessee dip below freezing, the state fire marshal's office is offering some electrical safety tips.  Last year, officials say 472 structure fires involving electrical distribution or lighting equipment were reported in Tennessee. Those fires resulted in six deaths and nine injuries, as well as more than $15 million in direct property damage.  Fire officials say steps to prevent electrical fires include:

  • Routinely checking the wiring of electrical appliances, and replacing all worn or damaged appliance cords. 
  • Using only surge protectors or power strips that have internal overload protection and that also bear the label of a recognized testing laboratory. 
  • Using light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture. 

For more fire prevention tips, visit http://www.tn.gov/fire.


ACTV Board meeting Dec. 1st


The Anderson County TV Board of Directors will be meeting on Monday December 1st at the Office of Technology in Clinton.  The hour long meeting will begin at 3:00pm and is open to the public.


AC HOF Class of 2014 to be inducted Nov. 18th


The Anderson County Hall of fame Class of 2014 will be enshrined on Tuesday November 18th during a banquet and ceremony at the First Baptist Church of Clinton Family Life Center.  Proceeds from the annual event will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of North Anderson County.  A silent auction opens at 5:30 pm, followed by dinner at 6:00 and the induction ceremony at 7 pm.  The featured speaker that evening will be award-winning WVLT news anchor Ted Hall.  Tickets will cost $100 per person or $700 for a table of eight, and again, all proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Club of North Anderson County.  $85 of each $100 ticket is tax-deductible and $580 of each $700 table purchase is also tax-deductible.  This year’s class is an impressive one indeed.  In the category of K-12 Education, the inductee will be Paul Brown.  Longtime Clinton physician and former State Representative Dr. Gene Caldwell will be honored for Lifetime Achievement.  This year’s Business Leader honoree will be John Gamble of Holley-Gamble Funeral Home.  Anderson County Veterans Services Director Leon Jaquet is this year’s Military honoree and Kelly Lenz of Clinton Physical Therapy Center will be honored as a Community Volunteer for her work with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of East Anderson County.  Richard McIntosh, who recently retired from Powell-Clinch Utility District will be honored as this year’s Visionary.  Elwood Pennington will be recognized for his work as a Coach and Youth Mentor while Wayne Phillips, pastor at Main Street Baptist Church in what is now Rocky Top will be recognized for his work in the Ministry.  Former Anderson County Commissioner, ex-Clinton Mayor and current WYSH employee Wimp Shoopman will be recognized for his work as an Elected/Public Official.  This year’s honorees in the Athlete category are distance runners Ken and Shirley Sirois.  For more information about this year’s class, the Hall of Fame in general, or to order your tickets, visit www.AndersonCountyHallofFame.com or call 865-232-1070.  This year’s event is presented by Fox Toyota and Fox Chevrolet and the banquet sponsor is Powell Clinch Utility District.  Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees.


Gas leak prompts evacuation of OR shopping center


An Oak Ridge shopping center was evacuated Tuesday afternoon after a gas leak was reported at the former Kroger grocery store on South Illinois Avenue.  The gas leak was reported at about 3:45 p.m. Tuesday by employees at Mr. K’s Used Books and CDs, and emergency crews quickly evacuated surrounding stores, including China Wok, Nixon’s Deli, Mr. K’s, and Big Kmart.  They also closed off the surrounding parking lot.  The staff initially thought it might be coming from Nixon’s, the deli next door. But then they learned that Nixon’s doesn’t use natural gas. A walk around the shopping center’s parking lot determined that the gas was probably coming from the former Kroger store.  Mr. K’s called the Oak Ridge Utility District, which provides natural gas, and ORUD in turn called the Oak Ridge police and fire departments.  When firefighters opened the door to the old Kroger their suspicions about the source of the leak were confirmed as the odor of gas permeated the air.  The leak was contained and crews worked to clear the gas from the building using high pressure fans.   The fire department cleared the scene around 9:15 p.m. They tested the air quality before opening the building up to the public.  No injuries to customers or firefighters were reported.


Campbell fire kills one


An early morning house fire killed a Campbell County woman on Tuesday.  The victim has been identified as 69-year-old Betty Miller.  The fire was reported at a home on Morton Road at around 1 am and when deputies and firefighters arrived on the scene they reported that the house was fully engulfed by flames.  Two people managed to get out of the house without injury but Miller was unable to get out of a back bedroom.  Authorities say that witnesses said that a grease fire in the kitchen was the apparent cause of the fire as someone had reportedly been cooking just before the fire started.  Miller’s body was taken to Knoxville’s Regional Forensic Center for an autopsy.


Clinton Christmas parade Dec. 13th


The city of Clinton’s annual Christmas Parade will be held on Saturday December 13th at 6 pm in downtown Clinton.  The grand marshals will be recently-retired City Council members Charlie Lyons and Jerry Shattuck.  As we learn more specific information about the 2014 Clinton Christmas Parade, we will pass it along to you online and on the air.


New, returning Council members to be sworn in Dec. 1st


New Clinton City Council members Zach Farrar and Brian Hatmaker are expected to be sworn in, along with returning Councilman ET Stamey, on December 1st.  As soon as the schedule is finalized, we will let you know.


Update:  Johnson Gap Road Bridge repair project


Updating listeners on the status of planned repairs to the Johnson Gap Road Bridge owned by CSX Railroad, Anderson County Commission Chairman Robert McKamey says that he has been in regular contact with the rail company’s project manager and the project is still expected to begin before the end of this month.  The bridge has been closed for almost a year and a half after state inspectors determined it was unsafe for travel.  Residents and emergency responders have complained bitterly about the extra time that it now takes to get to and from Clinton from that part of Dutch Valley.  Earlier this year, the company gave the county two options for addressing the problem—replacing it at county expense or repairing it at theirs.  The County Commission voted to let the company pay for repairing the bridge and McKamey tells WYSH that the project is slated to begin sometime in the second half of November and could be completed by the end of the year.


Update:  Records requests galore!


Updating a story we brought you last week, officials with the city of Clinton say they are awaiting a response from the County Mayor’s office to their response to her request last week for e-mail and other electronic communications involving City Codes Officer Curtis Perez.  Mayor Terry Frank requested all e-mails involving Perez and anyone in the County Public Works Office as it pertains to David Crowley, the director of Public Works for Anderson County.  Crowley is under indictment for allegedly inspecting five homes without the proper certification and that case has resulted in turmoil throughout the County Courthouse.  After the request was made last week, officials decided to wait for guidance from UT’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service, or MTAS, as to how to respond and placed Perez’s computer into the evidence room at the Police Department until they received that guidance.  The city declined the request for records, saying that it was too vague, but indicated they would provide the desired information when they received a more specific request.  Friday, a computer technician copied all of the e-mails from Perez’s computer in order to preserve the forensic evidence and then cloned the hard drive for his computer.  The cloned hard drive is now in the evidence room and Perez’s computer has been returned to him, allowing him to do his job.  In the meantime, WYSH has also learned that Hugh Ward, David Crowley’s attorney, has filed an open records request seeking e-mails, cell phone records, text messages, notes, reports, memorandums, audio-visual recordings or any electronic materials related to the case from five County Commissioners listed as having been interviewed by the District Attorney’s Office.  Since they could be potential witnesses in the case, the request is asking for records from Commissioners Zach Bates, Steve Emert, Tim Isbel, Tracy Wandell and Jerry White and covers their official duties as commissioners.  As always, we will keep you updated as developments warrant.


Spike in traffic deaths make AC a focus this holiday season


Monday, officials with the Governor’s Highway Safety Office and the Tennessee Highway Patrol joined officers from several Anderson County agencies to announce that they will be beefing up patrols and other safety efforts during the upcoming holiday season.  While those increased efforts will take place across the state, Anderson County is receiving extra attention due to a 77% increase in traffic fatalities this year when compared to last year.  16 people have already died in 2014 on roadways in the county.  From 2010 to 2013, 55 people were killed in Anderson County wrecks.  While the number of traffic deaths in the state has continued to decline in recent years, officials say that nearly one-third of those deaths involved impaired drivers, and getting those drivers off the road will be the primary focus of the upcoming enforcement effort.  Another area of emphasis will target those drivers and passengers who do not wear seatbelts or properly secure children.  The vast majority of Americans—some 88%--do wear their seatbelts, but that remaining 12% of people who do not account for half of the traffic deaths in Anderson County.  Distracted driving is becoming more of a concern as well as there has been a recent increase in the number of accidents involving people distracted by their cell phones or other electronic devices.  Authorities say that safe driving is a choice and they encourage people to make the smart choices of buckling their seatbelts, driving sober and putting down the phone.  In addition to increased patrols, you can also expect to see saturation patrols and roadside sobriety checkpoints this holiday season, all part of the effort to keep everyone safe on the roads.


Roane wreck kills one


A Knoxville woman with ties to Oliver Springs died late Sunday at UT Medical Center, three days after her car was rear-ended in Roane County.  The Tennessee Highway Patrol reports that the accident happened Thursday afternoon shortly after 3:15 pm when a Kia Sedona minivan driven by 36-year-old Rebecca Phillips of Harriman slammed into the back of a Toyota Avalon driven by 61-year-old Debbie Johnson, who was stopped and waiting to turn left on to Shady Lane from Highway 61.  Johnson was injured and taken to UT Medical Center, where she succumbed to her injuries late Sunday night.  Three children—ages 6, 8, and 13—who were passengers in the minivan were injured in the crash and three other people escaped injury.  Johnson was not wearing her seatbelt but the THP report indicates that it would not have made a difference.  Everyone in the minivan was either wearing a seatbelt or properly secured in child seats.  The report indicates that while there was no evidence of drugs or alcohol being involved in the crash, standard tests have been ordered.  The report also indicates that charges are pending against Phillips, although it does not specify what those charges might be.


AC office, Council on Aging holding Senior Christmas party Dec. 11th


The Anderson County Office on Aging and the Council on Aging will hold their annual Christmas Party on December 11th beginning at 11 am at the Clinton Community Center.  Seniors age 60 and older are invited to come on down for food, prizes, games, information and music to get into the holiday spirit.  Organizers say they are inn need of several things to help make the party another rousing success, namely:  plates, forks, cups, spoons, napkins, drinks, finger foods of all kinds, veggie trays and fruit trays.  They are also searching for prizes for games and other giveaways.  If you, your business, church or school group or civic organization can help out with any of these items, please call the Office on Aging at 865-457-3259.  You can also send an e-mail to Cherie Phillips, the Director of the Office on Aging, at cphillips@ethra.org.


ASAP seeking nominees for Ally of the Year


(ASAP) Do you know someone who lives, works, does business or worships in Anderson County who cares for its citizens and is passionate about creating a healthy and productive Anderson County?  Consider nominating them for Anderson County Ally of the Year!  ASAP’s Anderson County Ally of the Year campaign is a fundraising competition during January, coinciding with the Red Ribbon Rivalry among a select group of individuals in the community. While each candidate conducts their own campaign, all candidates are united by one goal: to use their leadership, influence and communication skills to raise funds to help prevent and reduce substance abuse in Anderson County.  ASAP of Anderson County has made significant reductions in the number of Anderson County students who have used alcohol, tobacco and marijuana, including a 43% reduction over the past two years in the number of students who drink alcohol.  However, ASAP relies on the generosity of individuals and business to continue these efforts.  By accepting the nomination, candidates will have from December 15, 2014 to January 29, 2015 to accumulate the most "votes." Every dollar raised counts as one vote. The individual who raises the most votes during the campaign will be named the Anderson County Ally of the Year at the Awards Luncheon on Jan 30, 2015.  Proceeds from the 2015 Anderson County Ally of the Year campaign will be used to support ASAP’s mission to prevent and reduce youth substance abuse in Anderson County by collaborating with community partners to implement effective intervention strategies. All money raised in this campaign will be used responsibly here in Anderson County.  To nominate an individual you will need to submit the individual’s name and an explanation of why you feel they deserve to be Anderson County’s Ally of the Year.  Nominations can be made at www.ASAPofAnderson.org, e-mailing ASAPofAnderson@gmail.com or calling 865-457-3007 by November 30th. 


AC Mayor provides update on Public Works


Monday, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank updated the County Commission’s Operations Committee on the status of the Public Works Department in the wake of months of controversy that seemed to come to a head last week.  You can read the complete report provided by the mayor to local media outlets on our website, but Mayor Frank says that the Public Works Department is conducting inspections using certified individuals and is in the process of hiring a new, full-time building inspector.  Currently, the county is “utilizing the inspection services of Wayne Williamson, who is fully certified in all required fields including mechanical” and that he is being paid by the hour.  She told commissioners Monday that the five houses that are the subject of the charges against Public Works Director David Crowley are being re-inspected by an “independent and separate engineering firm.”  Updating the status of an investigation into what have been described as deficiencies in the Public Works Department, Mayor Frank said that while it is still ongoing, preliminary results indicate that “it appears that a recently terminated employee—Lisa Crumpley—has left Anderson County in an awkward situation by failing to comply with a 2012 Plan of Action applicable to her work.  Due to a change in administration, [Crumpley] was the only person in the office aware of the requirements of the Plan of Corrective Action (POCA) from April of 2012.  She failed to apprise her supervisors of the terms of the POCA and failed to comply with the terms of the POCA that applied to her continued employment with the County. In addition, it appears that there was a period of months in early 2012 when [Crumpley] performed inspections while not certified.  The Law Director, the building commissioner, and [Crumpley] were aware of the issue, but my administration was not made aware of the issue until very recent events led to a full investigation.”  Mayor Frank went on to say that as of September, the State Fire Marshal’s Office says that with the inspectors that the county has on payroll or under contract, the county is in compliance with applicable statutes and that “as long as Mr. Crowley does not inspect structures, he is not required to be certified.”  We will continue to follow this story for you. 


(Provided my Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank)  Status of Public Works Office

The following is a status report regarding events in the Public Works office:

  • In order to address any potential safety issues for residents, Anderson County has entered into a contract to re-inspect the 5 properties where the alleged violations occurred.  The homeowners of the 5 properties were contacted personally by me, made aware that they would be contacted regarding a re-inspection of the questioned inspection and informed that at this time, I believed there was no reason to believe there existed issues with their home.  This contract for re-inspection is separate and independent from the Public Works Department.
  • Anderson County is utilizing the inspection services of Wayne Williamson who is fully certified in all required fields, including mechanical, and is paying him on an hourly basis.
  • Anderson County is seeking to hire a full-time building inspector.  That position has been advertised.  In the interim, Anderson County is awaiting final approval to enter into a contract with a firm to assist Mr. Williamson with inspections until a full-time inspector is hired.  This firm will be available on call and will represent Anderson County.  Wayne Williamson will continue to be available on an as-needed basis.
  • On June 18, 2014, Anderson County was notified that Anderson County had not notified the State Fire Marshal’s office of a long-term plan from our letter of April 27, 2012.  Unaware of a prior Plan of Corrective Action (POCA), David Crowley requested a copy of the POCA submitted by Brian Jenks, then Interim Building Official.  To close the POCA regarding Mechanical Inspections, Mr. Crowley contacted the state on July 9, 2014 informing them Anderson County had hired Wayne Williamson part-time to perform Mechanical Inspections.  Mr. Williamson has ICC and State Certification for Residential, Commercial Building, Plumbing, Mechanical and Plans Examiner.
  • Following receipt of the June 18, 2014 letter and subsequent discovery of the terms of Anderson County’s former POCA, Mr. Crowley instituted a review of files.  An audit of files dating back to 2011 is currently on-going.
  • A full investigation of deficiencies is being performed, though not complete at this time.  I will be happy to provide an update to Commission when the investigation is complete.  From that investigation to date, it appears that a recently terminated employee has left Anderson County in an awkward situation by failing to comply with a 2012 Plan of Action applicable to her work.  Due to a change in administration, this employee was the only person in the office aware of the requirements of the Plan of Corrective Action (POCA) from April of 2012.  She failed to apprise her supervisors of the terms of the POCA and failed to comply with the terms of the POCA that applied to her continued employment with the County. In addition, it appears that there was a period of months in early 2012 when this employee performed inspections while not certified.  The Law Director, the building commissioner, and this employee were aware of the issue, but my administration was not made aware of the issue until very recent events led to a full investigation. Once our full investigation is complete, Anderson County will have to address what we do to correct any deficiencies caused by these issues, including possible re-inspections.
  • Working with Mr. Crowley, I have drafted correspondence to the State Fire Marshal’s Office requesting assistance and guidance on how to proceed with the inspection failures created by the former employee.  Mr. Crowley made the state aware on August 29, 2014 that it appeared several Certificates of Occupancy had been issued without requiring mechanical inspections.  On Aug. 29, 2014, he did relieve her of her duties of completing the permit files in order to ensure the required inspections and documents were received prior to issuing Certificates of Occupancy.
  • As you are probably aware from media reports, several permit files dating back to 2011, as well as code books, are missing from the Public Works Office. The personnel file of the terminated employee is missing form the Human Resource Office.  Shortly after this file was identified as missing, both employees in the Human Resources Office resigned from their positions.
  • I requested that Public Works notify the Sheriff’s Department of the missing files, and Mr. Page did so immediately on the afternoon of October 15, 2014.  At approximately 11:00 am, I requested the Director of the Human Resources office to file a report on the missing personnel file. I notified the Comptroller’s office by filing fraud reports for both instances.
  • I arranged for a full review of the Public Works office, and hired part-time help to inventory every drawer and shelf.  The 25 missing files are identified by permit number.
  • As you are probably aware from media reports, an attorney representing the former employee has made several public records requests.   I complied by submitting documents and records from my office and by securing the email accounts as requested. 
  • I asked the County’s IT professionals to make forensic copies of two computers of the resigning Human Resource employees, in order to preserve any data on those hard drives.  As you know, the Sheriff has stepped in to take over responsibility of securing the hard drives.  Sheriff White has now accepted responsibility for the securing of the information in the possible case.
  • Regarding the POCA involving inspections by Mr. Crowley, my office received notice on September 12, 2014 from the State Fire Marshal’s office that with the inspectors we have on payroll or under contract, Anderson County is in compliance.  The state closed the POCA from January 13, 2014 by stating, “As long as Mr. Crowley does not inspect structures, he is not required to be certified.”
  • Currently, Anderson County is employing one part-time inspector fully certified.  He maintains ICC and State Certification for Residential, Commercial Building, Plumbing, Mechanical and Plans Examiner.  Anderson County will also be contracting with a fully certified engineering company to perform inspections until a full time inspector is hired.  Codes Enforcement Officer Steve Page is certified for the International Property Maintenance Code 2009 and the International Residential Code 2009.  Mr. Crowley possesses Residential certification and is certified TDEC Tennessee Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control personnel. 
  • I received notice from Mr. Hugh Ward, attorney for David Crowley, questioning Mr. Yeager providing counsel for Anderson County.  I notified Mr. Ward that I believed our insurer would be providing counsel, and that I was aware Mr. Yeager would be a necessary and material witness, and therefore disqualified.  (See attached)
  • On October 31, 2014, I wrote District Attorney General Dave Clark and requested he request a TBI investigation of missing files. 

To summarize, the Public Works Office is conducting inspections by fully certified individuals.  The 5 inspections that are the subject of allegations against David Crowley are being re-inspected by an independent and separate engineering firm.  The termination of the former employee for cause and discoveries of her inspection deficiencies have left Anderson County with more reviews to accomplish and decisions to make.  There is a search underway for a new, full-time building inspector. 


Search warrants served, computers seized


Last week, deputies from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department served a search warrant as part of their ongoing investigation into the missing personnel file of fired building inspector Lisa Crumpley.  The warrant allowed investigators to seize the computers from the county’s Human Resources Department that were the subjects of a standoff of sorts involving the County Mayor and the outgoing HR director.  You can read much moiré about last week’s courthouse drama on our website.  The search warrants were served on Thursday.


City finds itself part of Courthouse drama


Controversy and conflict regarding the copying of hard drives from computers in the Anderson County Human Resources Department has spilled across the street from the Courthouse to Clinton City Hall.  As we have reported, County HR Director Cathy Best announced her resignation Monday after almost ten years on the job and her looming departure, along with that of her second-in-command Kerri Ashley, prompted County Mayor Terry Frank to try to have their hard drives copied.  Her request was made after she was informed last month that former building inspector Lisa Crumpley was planning on filing a wrongful termination lawsuit against the county, alleging that she was fired for cooperating in the TBI investigation that led to the indictment of her boss, David Crowley, on charges of inspecting buildings without the necessary certifications.  Crumpley’s attorney directed her to copy all forensic evidence on the computers used by Best and Ashley, as they may contain information regarding Crumpley’s termination and what became of her personnel file, which went missing days after she was fired.  Tuesday, Mayor Frank proposed taking the computers off-site for duplication, a suggestion Best quickly rejected, citing the confidential nature of some of the information on the hard drives.  Wednesday, Sheriff Paul White intervened and prevented a county IT consultant from copying the hard drives and posted deputies in the HR office to watch over the machines and make sure they are not used.  Sheriff White reportedly told the mayor she could not copy the files because they are part of the ongoing investigation into Crumpley’s missing file.  Things calmed down a little on Thursday in the Courthouse as Mayor Frank, in a message to Trustee Rodney Archer, who chairs the county’s Human resources Advisory Committee indicated that her office will bow out of the attempts to secure the computers and will instead allow the Sheriff to assume control of the situation.  You can read her entire letter on our website.  WYSH has learned that last week, the County Mayor filed an open records request with the city asking for access to computers in the codes office and earlier this week, David Crowley’s attorney filed a similar open records request with the city asking for e-mails to and from City Codes Officer Curtis Perez, who has been listed as a potential witness in the case against Crowley.  Both of those requests were denied, partially because some of what was asked for, namely individual cell phone and text message records are not available and also because the requests were not specific enough as to what access was being sought.  UT’s Municipal Technical Assistance Service has been providing guidance to the city during this process but the city’s primary contact with MTAS, Budget Director Gail Cook, is out of town this week.  Wanting more guidance and erring on the side of caution, city officials Thursday decided to remove Perez’s computer from his office and store it in the police department’s evidence room until Monday, when they hope to receive more information.  City officials assert that the Codes office is still open and able to function.  We will continue to follow this story for you on WYSH. 


Man pleads to gun incident


A man who put the barrel of a loaded pistol in his mouth and asked a Wal-Mart store clerk if she wanted to pull the trigger pleaded guilty this week in Anderson County Criminal Court to reckless endangerment.  60-year-old Bernard Steven Nolan received a two-year prison sentence with credit for time served since his arrest on February 7th.  The incident occurred February 6th when Nolan showed the clerk that the pistol was loaded before putting its barrel in his mouth. As part of his plea, Nolan is to have no contact with Walmart, forfeit any seized weapon and comply with any outpatient treatment "deemed necessary" after his release from prison, according to court documents.


AC officials at odds over copying HR computer drives


Anderson County officials are at odds over the contents of the computers in the county’s Human Resources department.  Earlier this week, longtime HR Director Cathy Best announced that she would be resigning to take a position in the private sector.  Tuesday, County Mayor Terry Frank ordered all of the computers in the HR office quarantined and attempted to have the computers taken off-site to Knoxville and copied by technicians.  Best objected to the removal of the machines from the courthouse, citing the sensitive nature of the information contained on their hard drives.  The mayor says that the attorney for Lisa Crumpley, who was fired from the county’s Public Works office the same day that her boss David Crowley was indicted on charges of inspecting five houses without the proper certifications, asked her to preserve all forensic evidence on the computers, specifically as it pertains to Crumpley’s missing personnel file, which turned up missing days after her termination.  Mayor Frank says Crumpley’s attorney has given notice that a lawsuit is likely pending against the county for wrongful termination, as she contends she was fired by Crowley for cooperating in the investigation that led to the charges against him.  The Sheriff’s Office is probing the missing personnel file.  Frank reportedly stayed at the Courthouse late Tuesday night to watch over the HR office until hiring a private security guard at her expense to maintain the vigil for the rest of that night.  On Wednesday, a computer technician was in the process of copying the hard drive from one of the computers when Sheriff Paul White walked in and asked the technician if he had a search warrant.  The technician left and White posted a deputy in the office for the remainder of the day, telling the News-Sentinel that he did so to “keep the peace, because people feel threatened in that office.”  Mayor Frank, in an e-mail to WYSH says, “Through an attorney, I made an effort for him [Sheriff White] to watch the duplication and possess a copy of the duplication, to which he responded he was not interested.”  Best says that she has no objection to the drives being copied, but asserts that they need to remain at the courthouse when they are.  Frank writes, “I find the Sheriff’s refusal to let me view the surveillance video of the dates the files went missing, as well as [his] effort to stop duplication of hard drives of the two employees who are resigning in the wake of the file’s disappearance, to be extremely concerning.”  The mayor is alluding to her request to the Sheriff to view the courthouse security footage from the dates when Crumpley’s personnel file is believed to have disappeared and to the also-recently-announced resignation of Best’s chief deputy in the HR office.  Best says her resignation has nothing to do with the Crumpley situation.  We will continue to follow this story for you.  UPDATE:  Thursday morning, Mayor Frank sent a letter to Human Resources Committee Chairman Rodney Archer indicating that her office will bow out of the attempts to secure the computers and will instead allow the Sheriff to assume control of the situation.  Her letter is posted below.


(Mayor Frank’s letter to HR Committee Chairman Rodney Archer—sent Thursday November 6th) As you know, the HR Resolution passed by the Anderson County Commission states that day-to-day control of the Human Resource Office is the responsibility of the county mayor.  As you are also aware, both Ms. Ashley and Ms. Best announced their resignations shortly after Lisa Crumpley’s personnel file disappeared from the HR Office.  At the request of Robert Bowman, attorney for Ms. Lisa Crumpley, and under threat of court sanction, I sought to preserve electronic evidence in the HR office by asking the county’s IT consultants to make a forensic copy of both Ms. Ashley’s hard-drive and Ms. Best’s hard-drive.   This copy would have preserved all data on the hard drives, including deleted files, and would have prevented the intentional or inadvertent destruction of evidence through continued use of the computers.  As the preservation images of the hard drives could have been made overnight, this appeared to be the most cost effective and efficient way of securing evidence while allowing the ladies quickly to return to work. 

The Sheriff intervened in to stop the preservation of this evidence, threatened the county’s own IT consultant with arrest, and has assumed full responsibility for securing the information.  It appears that he is making the drives secure by preventing anyone from using the computers and stationing multiple deputies in the HR Office to prevent anyone from using the computers.  Although a forensic image of the hard drives would have allowed the ladies to return to work, the Sheriff’s method appears adequate to preserve the evidence.  I believe the ultimate goal has been achieved, that is, the fulfillment of Mr. Bowman’s request and the county’s obligation to secure the data on the hard drives. 

As the Sheriff has assumed full responsibility for the security of this evidence, I see no further role for my office with respect to my issue and relinquish to the Sheriff full responsibility for the preservation of this electronic evidence.  

As Chairman of the Human Resource Committee, would you please forward this information to members of your committee?


BBB:  Treece to step down in OS


According to our partners at BBB-TV, Oliver Springs City Manager Tina Treece has announced that she is resigning after over two years on the job.  Treece notified city leaders of her intention to step down on Wednesday.  She has been in her position since early 2012, when she replaced David Bolling, who left the city for a similar job in Maine.  Bolling has since returned to Tennessee as city manager in Kingston.


Follow-up:  Assault suspect turns self in


Following up on our report from earlier this week on the alleged assault of a woman who told her boyfriend she wanted to go to the doctor to see if she was pregnant, Aaron Eugene Seiber turned himself in at the jail Tuesday.  He is being held in the Anderson County Jail on a charge of aggravated assault on a $50,000.00 bond.  He is accused of hitting his 21-year-old girlfriend in the stomach and choking her after she asked if she should go to the doctor to see if she was pregnant. 


Raid leads to arrest of Rocky Top man


According to the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, investigators with the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit, along with officers from the Rocky Top Police Department, and the 7th Judicial District Crime Task Force, served a search warrant at a residence on Industrial Park Road in Rocky Top Tuesday afternoon. The search warrant was obtained as the result of a joint drug investigation conducted by those three agencies.  According to a release from the ACSD, investigators found an indoor marijuana-growing operation with marijuana plants in various stages of development, along with indoor grow equipment such as lights as well as other drug paraphernalia. In addition, mushrooms and suspected prescription narcotics were also found.  One person was arrested.  32-year-old Nathan Allen Underwood of Rocky Top was charged with the manufacture/delivery/sale or possession of a controlled substance, possession of Schedule 1 & II drugs and unlawful possession of a weapon.  The ACSD says that charges are pending against two other individuals as their investigation continues.  Underwood is being held in the Anderson County Jail without bond, pending arraignment. 


AC municipal election results


Tuesday was Election Day in Tennessee and locally, here is a look at the results from Anderson County’s many municipal races.  In Clinton, there was only one contested race and that was in City Council Ward 1, where incumbent ET Stamey garnered 1100 votes to hold off challenges from Ted Phillips (553) and Ronald Young (370).  Two newcomers to the Council were unopposed:  Brian Hatmaker in Ward 2 and Zach Farrar in Ward 3.  Three incumbents won re-election to the city school board:  Curtis Isabell and Tim Bible in Ward 2 and KK Webster in Ward 3.  Clinton voters overwhelmingly approved the sale of wine in grocery stores by a margin of 1605 yesses to 772 nos.  In Norris, voters also overwhelmingly supported wine in grocery stores, with 451 yes votes and 115 no votes.  Norris voters also approved on-site consumption of alcohol by a 406-160 margin.  All five Norris City Council incumbents were unopposed.  In Oak Ridge, voters also signed off on wine in grocery stores by a margin of 5568 in favor to 1758 against.  Four people were elected to the Oak Ridge City Council.  Warren Gooch was the top vote-getter with 3761, with Rick Chinn 2nd with 3432, Kelly Callison 3rd with 3310 and incumbent Ellen Smith retained her seat with 2991 votes.  Incumbent Bob Eby was re-elected to the Oak Ridge School Board with 3724 votes and will be joined by newcomers Laura McLean with 3133 votes and A. Paige Marshall with 2754.  In Oliver Springs, incumbent Mayor Chris Hepler was unseated by Jerry Vann 389-302.  In the race for Alderman in Ward 2, Jeffery Bass defeated Maurice Walker and in ward 4, Terry Craze held off Nathan Benson 391-279.  The new mayor of Rocky Top will be current Vice Mayor Michael Lovely, who defeated fellow Council member Donald Douglas 161-109.  Current mayor Tim Sharp was elected to serve on the Rocky Top City Council with 121 votes and will be joined by Denise Casteel, who picked up 109.  For a complete look at the election results, visit www.acelect.com


Missing AC man turns up in Georgia


Michael David Miller, reported to the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department as a missing person on October 10th, has been located in Gwinnett County, Georgia.  Miller and his vehicle had been entered into NCIC as a missing person.  Miller was stopped by the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department after a "hit" on his license plate showed him as a missing person.  Upon checking, Miller told deputies he was OK and just wanted to "get away" for a while.  Gwinnett County deputies contacted us, confirmed he was a missing person, and said he appeared to be in no distress and was in good health.  Miller was asked to contact his family and, with no reason to detain him, was released by Gwinnett County deputies.


Mayes has new gig in RT


Former Anderson County Circuit Court Clerk Tyler Mayes has been named the acting city recorder in Rocky Top.  Mayes was appointed by the County Commission to serve the remainder of longtime Clerk Barry Pelizarri’s term following his retirement in 2012 but did not win the election to retain that seat in August, losing to William Jones.  Mayes will succeed Chris Phillips, who served briefly as Rocky Top city recorder until returning to his former job as the Anderson County Budget and Accounts Director last month.  The Rocky Top City Council will vote on whether to confirm him in the job on November 20th


ACSD seeks man in alleged assault


A man is being sought by Anderson County Sheriff’s deputies in connection to an alleged assault.  A 21-year-old Clinton woman reported that her boyfriend, 25-year-old Aaron Eugene Seiber, allegedly swung a hammer at her, choked her and struck her in the stomach after she said that she wanted to go to a doctor to see if she was pregnant.  The woman told deputies that the attack happened at Seiber’s home near Rocky Top early Saturday morning and that she intended to seek an order of protection against him.  At last check, the Anderson County Jail website did not list him as an inmate.  When he is apprehended, he will face a charge of aggravated assault.


ORT:  Best leaving AC HR department for private sector


(Oak Ridge Today) After almost a decade on the job, Cathy Best, Anderson County human resources and risk management director, is resigning to take a similar position in the private sector.  Best announced her resignation to the Human Resources Advisory Committee, Chair Rodney Archer, and County Mayor Terry Frank in a Monday letter. Her resignation is effective November 21.  Best said it was a difficult decision because working for Anderson County government for the past 9.5 years has been a positive experience and one for which she is grateful.  “As the human resources director, this committee’s support allowed me to implement various programs and policies, unifying the offices from pay scales to the personnel policies in place,” Best said. “My hope in the future is that the Human Resources Department will be separated from the politics and operate independently so that the department can provide the continued support in a fair and equitable way for the county and its employees as a whole.”  Best said she has flexibility in her new position, so she can help the county search for her replacement.


THP 2nd in national Law Enforcement Challenge


(THP) Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott accepted the second place award for one of the country’s top state police and highway patrol agencies in the 2014 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Law Enforcement Challenge at the international organization’s annual conference in Orlando, Fla., last week. This is the fourth consecutive year that the THP has earned second in the overall National Law Enforcement Challenge.  “Tennessee has recorded some of the lowest traffic fatalities on record for the past three years,” Colonel Trott said. “Our state troopers work hard to make our state’s roadways safer, and I’m proud that their work is being recognized on the national level.”  In a special category, the THP also won the honor for Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety by a state police agency for its year-round efforts in commercial vehicle enforcement and education. Last year, Tennessee State Troopers took top honors in the impaired driving category.  The National Law Enforcement Challenge is a competition between law enforcement agencies of similar sizes and types. The THP competed in the State Police/Highway Patrol category for agencies with 501-1,500 officers. As part of the challenge, the state’s Highway Patrol submitted an application documenting its efforts and effectiveness in traffic safety enforcement.  “This honor would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of every Tennessee state trooper.  They are deserving of this recognition, and should be proud to be a national leader in traffic enforcement and public safety,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.  Commissioner Gibbons heads the state’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security.   The IACP is the world’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization of police executive with more than 20,000 members in some 200 countries.


ASAP kicks off tobacco prevention effort


(ASAP) The Anderson County Health Department and community partners Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) of Anderson County, Anderson County Schools, Clinton City Schools, and Oak Ridge City Schools have made great strides in tobacco prevention since nearly $65,000 was awarded to Anderson County earlier this year.  At the Tobacco Initiative Reception held on Wednesday, October 22 those strides were recognized.  Art Miller, Director of the Anderson County Health Department said “this is the first time tobacco settlement funds are being used to fund tobacco prevention.”

Over 40 attendees watched as the ASAP Youth Coalition demonstrated why they “Choose Not To Use” tobacco through a special presentation of a skit they wrote and produced titled “Snow White and the Seven Side Effects”. During the skit the dangers of tobacco use such as cigarettes being the leading cause of house fires with over 7,600 each year in the U.S. and losing teeth after the use of chewing tobacco were highlighted.  Coughy, Gummy, Smelly, Burny, Grumpy, Sicky and Dead will be together again with Snow White in the coming weeks during presentations given at all elementary schools in the Anderson County School System.  This will kick off the #ChooseNotToUse contest where students will be able to participate in showing why they choose not to use tobacco products in their own special way, which may include skits, songs, t-shirts, poems, stories, art projects or other ways they choose to express their commitment to being tobacco-free.  Clinton City and Oak Ridge Schools students will also be able to participate in a poster contest showing why they choose not to use tobacco.

Representatives from across the county attended the reception where they received their new “let’s be tobacco-free” park signs.  Over 300 signs will be installed in the coming weeks in Clinton, Norris, Oak Ridge, Oliver Springs, Rocky Top, and Anderson County Parks, Norris Dam State Park, the UT Arboretum, Clinton City Schools, Oak Ridge City Schools and Anderson County Schools.  If you know of an outdoor area you would like to see people encouraged to be tobacco-free call Stacey Pratt of ASAP at 865-457-3007 or email Stacey@ASAPofAnderson.org to request a sign. 

These community partners will continue to work together over the next two years to use the tobacco settlement funds to reduce tobacco use in Anderson County youth, pregnant moms and secondhand smoke exposure. 


CCWF:  Coal Creek Health Day recap


(CCWF) At Briceville School’s morning assembly Friday, Principal Sandra Patton asked students, “Raise your hand if know what is special about today,” which every student did.  She then asked, “So, what is today?”  Students replied in unison, “Coal Creek Health Day!”  The creek that gives the area its name, Coal Creek, runs beside Briceville School.  It's a living laboratory!!  For the 14th year, each class took a turn participating in a bioassay of Coal Creek to assess its health by determining what lives in it.  An aquarium was filled with 16 different species of fish collected today, along with an assortment of aquatic insects.  Inside the gymnasium, students participated in fly tying and casting instructions.  With so many activities taking place at once, we worried about having enough volunteers.  As always, the Clinch River Chapter of Trout Unlimited stepped up to the plate, along with our friends from TVA, UT, and Project Healing Waters.  Thanks so much to Briceville School Principal Sandra Patton and all the teachers for allowing us the pleasure of spending the day with their well-mannered students.  And, don't forget the cafeteria ladies who fed us lunch and Bobby McCoy whose famous shiny floors we got wet and muddy.  During past events, we have found a hefty smallmouth bass beneath a rock ledge beside the school.  We don’t know if it’s the same fish or if the biggest smallmouth in the pool claims the perch beneath the ledge.  Regardless, we call him "Rocky."  Right on cue, he appeared again today during the electroshocking experiment.  Jon Michael Mollish from TVA added a new twist this year by catching Rocky while wearing his Halloween chicken suit.  Bioassays conducted in the past show that Coal Creek rates as good in its diversity of aquatic insects, but only fair in its diversity of native fish species.  Insects can fly to repopulate Coal Creek as water quality has improved, but not fish.  The cold water of the Clinch River tailwater below Norris Dam appears to impede the natural recruitment of some missing warm-water species.  In 2007, UT, TVA, and TDEC introduced rainbow darters, which should be present based on current water quality conditions as described at www.coalcreekaml.com/CoalCreekRestoration.htm.  Right on cue, young rainbow darters were collected this year, indicating that natural reproduction is occurring.

Coal Creek Scholars at Anderson County High School tell us that collecting fish and insects from the creek on Coal Creek Health Day remains their fondest memory of Briceville Elementary School.  Our fondest memory is seeing Briceville students excel in middle school and high school, so they can go to college and become productive members of society.   We call it Briceville School’s unbroken circle of success.

Fish species found today include:

Striped Shiner
Bluntnose Minnow
Rock Bass
Large Scale Stoneroller
Northern Hog Sucker
Northern Studfish
Scarlet Shiner
Bigeye Chub
Golden Redhorse
Smallmouth Bass
Black Redhorse
Redline Darter
Redbreast Sunfish
Rainbow Darter
Tennessee Darter

Species found during previous Health Days, but not found today:

Sand Shiner
Snubnose Darter
Greenside Darter 
Spotfin Shiner
Blueside Darter
Longear Sunfish


CPD chief wins another accolade


(CPD) Clinton Police Chief Rick Scarbrough has been elected to chair the Southern Region of the State Associations of Chief's of Police (SACOP). SACOP is a division of the International Association of Chief's of Police (IACP). Chief Scarbrough was elected by his peers during the IACP Conference in Orlando, Florida last weekend. The southern region consists of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Scarbrough has served as the Tennessee representative for four years.  SACOP works within IACP to develop and recommend best practices in law enforcement, to include but not be limited to legislation, safety, and policy. 


Cremains of 9 missing from OR cemetery


Officials at Oak Ridge Memorial Park say that they have discovered that the cremated remains of nine people have been stolen from the cemetery.  They believe that the thefts may have taken place in 2012, when officials discovered that the cremated remains—or cremains—of two people had been stolen.  They decided to double-check after hearing reports of the cremains of 40 people were stolen from two cemeteries in Knoxville.  At this time, it is unclear if these unusual thefts are connected.  Oak Ridge Memorial Park says that after the 2012 incident, they improved security by adding surveillance cameras, closing some entrances and installing a strong front gate.  Since that time, no incidents have been reported at the cemetery, and officials say that people do not need to worry about the people who are interred at the park.


Lee Frank returning to BBB


(Submitted) Lee Frank is proud to announce that the television show Let’s Talk Frank will return to the local airwaves.  The show will air live every Thursday on Comcast Channel 12 from 7 pm until 8 pm and will feature state and local guests, commentary, and news.  The show will also accept calls from the viewing audience.  Founded in 2002, the conservative oriented local show aired for seven years on BBB Comcast Channel 12 in Anderson and Roane Counties.  Joining host Lee Frank will be co-host and Oak Ridge resident Anthony Allen.  Allen came to Oak Ridge after earning a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and accepting a position in the Engineering Division at ORNL in 1979.  He also earned a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Tennessee.  Allen and his wife Connie have two sons, and three grandchildren.  “In 2009, both of my parents and my wife Terry’s father were experiencing health issues where we wanted and needed to spend more time with them.  Both of my parents and Terry’s father passed away in 2010 and I know we made the right decision to take a leave from the show.  I’m excited to get back to providing information and a forum for the people of our community,” said host Lee Frank. “There are a lot of state, national, and local issues that our local media can’t always cover in light of so many changes taking place in the world of media, or issues that might need a little extra attention.  We want to help fill in gaps and also give people in our community another outlet for their own voices to be heard,” continued Frank.  “I look forward to being back on the air and working again with the great people at BBB Communications,” said Frank. 


Red Cross seeks holiday cards for troops


(American Red Cross) The American Red Cross of Tennessee is once again launching its annual Holiday Mail for Heroes Campaign.  The initiative, led by volunteers, involves the collection of thousands of cards from across the country. These cards are then distributed to local service members, veterans, and their families.  The campaign is an effort to encourage people to “Give Something That Means Something” this holiday season.  

“All you need is a pen and a piece of paper to share your appreciation for the sacrifices that members of the military make to protect our freedom,” said Michelle Hankes, executive director for East Tennessee. “It takes just a moment to sign a card and share your appreciation.  It means the world to that military member. 

Churches, schools, neighborhood associations, civic clubs, and any other organization are invited to participate.  Cards can be purchased or homemade as long as they contain well wishes for our troops.  Once completed, holiday cards can be dropped off at any Red Cross Chapter office. Volunteers will sort through cards and make sure they’re distributed to Heroes right here in Tennessee.  The Red Cross asks that cards NOT contain money, photos, personal information or glitter.  Cards should be delivered to the Red Cross by December 1st to ensure delivery.  Those wishing to share photos and videos of their card signing efforts can use the hashtag #HolidayMail.  For more information on the program, visit redcross.org/holidaymail.


Tennessee #1 for foreign direct investment


(TDEC) Tennessee was ranked the top state in the nation for foreign direct investment (FDI) job commitments in 2013 according to the recently released 2014 Global Location Trends report.  The annual report from the IBM Institute for Business Value measured the number of jobs created by foreign-owned companies in each state during the 2013 calendar year.  Following Tennessee in the rankings were Texas, Georgia and Ohio.

“Our number one ranking by the IBM Institute has validated the significant focus and effort we have put toward the recruitment of international companies to Tennessee,” Hagerty said.  “Governor Haslam has invested significant time in what has proven to be the most successful international recruitment program in the nation. I couldn’t be more proud of our department and all of our partners throughout the state who have pulled together to drive us toward the goal of being number one.  The recognition is well-deserved,” Hagerty added. 

“Tennessee is clearly an attractive place for foreign-owned companies to invest,” Roel Spee, Global Leader, IBM Plant Location International.  “The state’s first place ranking illustrates just how strong a competitor Tennessee is in the global marketplace and the momentum the state possesses in recruiting new foreign investment projects.”

The Volunteer State is home to 864 foreign-based establishments that have invested over $30.1 billion in capital and employ more than 116,000 Tennesseans.  The state’s top 10 countries for FDI include Japan, Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, South Korea, France, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden and Belgium.  In 2013 alone, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development projects accounted for 52 commitments from foreign-owned businesses that created 9,215 jobs and $1.68 billion in capital investment.  This FDI accounted for nearly 40 percent of all Tennessee’s new jobs committed last year and nearly one-third of all capital investment committed in the state.  Major foreign projects in 2013 included South Korean-owned Hankook Tire Co. (1,800 new jobs, $800 million investment), Japanese-owned Calsonic Kansei North America (1,200 new jobs, $109.6 capital investment) and Swiss-owned UBS (1,000 new jobs, $36.5 million capital investment).  In February 2013, TNECD announced a new international strategy focused on proactively identifying and recruiting new foreign direct investment into the state in addition to increasing Tennessee exports.  The state has established investment recruitment offices in Canada and Japan with export assistance offices in Mexico, the United Kingdom, the European Union and China.  The report found the United States was the top destination country in the world for FDI with the overall number of jobs created from foreign investment growing by 6 percent compared to 2012 levels along with significant increases in production and R&D activities.  Global Location Trends Reports are prepared based on analysis of data from IBM's proprietary Global Investment Locations Database (GILD). These reports present and analyze the latest trends in corporate location selection around the world, and are the most realistic and up-to-date reflection of expansion and relocation behavior of companies, as well as the degree in which countries and regions around the world are successful in attracting new business.


Final day of early voting upon us


On Wednesday, 1188 people voted early in Anderson County for next week’s election, another single-day high turnout during this early voting period.  That means that 8035 people have taken the opportunity to cast a ballot in Tuesday’s election.  Early voting will wraps up Thursday October 30th with hours from 10 am to 6 pm at the Clinton Community Center, the Midtown Community Center in Oak Ridge and at the North Anderson Government Office in the Anderson Crossing Shopping Center in the Norris/Andersonville area.  For a complete look at a sample ballot, including the various municipal races in Anderson County, the amendments to the state constitution, statewide and national races, visit the Anderson County Election Commission website at www.acelect.com


Parrott named supervisor of year by state


Tim Parrott, the Anderson County school system’s director of both secondary and technical education, has been named as the supervisor of the year by the state Department of Education.  Parrott received the honor during a statewide conference for education leaders held Tuesday in Nashville.  Parrott was nominated for the award by his peers and had already been named east Tennessee supervisor of the year.  His career in education spans over two decades, with stints in the classroom as a teacher, stints in school administrative positions and for the past five years, in the central office.  In a press release announcing the awards, officials say that the annual award recognizes supervisors who “have helped build a better education for Tennessee students through their leadership, programs and vision.  The complete press release can be found on our website.  Our congratulations go out to Tim Parrott for a well-deserved honor.


(TN Dept. of Education release) A Hamilton County elementary school principal and an Anderson County supervisor have earned top honors for their work in Tennessee education.  Ronald Hughes, principal of Apison Elementary School in Chattanooga, was named Tennessee’s 2014-15 Principal of the Year. He has served as principal at Apison Elementary for the past six years, and spent three decades working in Tennessee education.  Timothy Parrott, director of secondary education and career and technical education in Anderson County, was named Tennessee’s 2014-15 Supervisor of the Year. Parrott spent the first ten years of his two-decade education career as a classroom teacher before transitioning to roles in administration.  Both awards were announced Tuesday during a statewide conference for education leaders.  “Strong leadership plays a fundamental role in student learning, and it is our honor to recognize these individuals that have led their district and school to great success,” said Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman. “We are grateful for what they have done to prioritize the needs of students and improve outcomes for kids.”  The annual Principal of the Year and Supervisor of the Year awards recognize administrators who have helped build a better education for Tennessee students through their leadership, programs, and vision. Hughes and Parrott were among nine principals and eight supervisors selected as regional finalists after being nominated by their peers for the title.  The winners for each grand division were also recognized Tuesday.  Hughes was named the Tennessee Principal of the Year and East Grand Division Winner. Beth Unfried, principal of Norman Smith Elementary in Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools, was named the winner for the Middle Grand Division. Sharon McNary, principal of Richland Elementary in Shelby County, was named the winner for the West Grand Division.  Parrott was named the Tennessee Supervisor of the Year and East Grand Division Winner. Vivian McCord, federal programs supervisor in Dickson County Schools, was named the winner for the Middle Grand Division. Michelle Goad, instructional supervisor in Gibson County Special Schools, was named the winner for the West Grand Division. 


Nichols retiring from Chamber


Longtime Anderson County Chamber of Commerce President Jackie Nichols has informed the Chamber that she will retire effective May 1st, 2015.  In a brief message to Chamber Board and Executive Committee members, Nichols writes, “[I] feel that May 1, 2015 gives us ample time to hire and train the person who will take this Chamber to the next level.  In dealing with the recent retail development activity, it is my feeling that In leaving any earlier, than May 1 may imply that both myself and the Anderson County Chamber Board of Directors are accepting responsibility for the outcome of the situation. Which, of course, would not be a correct assessment.  “  She is referring to the resignation earlier this month of Chamber retail recruiter Diane Ilgner, who in her resignation letter, said that conflicts with Nichols have “resulted in a very difficult work environment and puts the success of the retail development initiative at risk.”  Ilgner, who was hired to coordinate retail recruitment in the county in March of 2013, alleges that Nichols instructed her not to speak with prominent business leaders or government officials, among other accusations.  


(Jackie Nichols’ message announcing retirement) “It is with both sadness and anticipation that I let you know I have decided that it is time for me to retire. As always I am placing the well being of the Chamber as a  priority and feel that May 1, 2015gives us ample time to hire and train the person who will take this Chamber to the next level.  In dealing with the recent retail development activity, it is my feeling that In leaving any earlier, than May 1 may imply that both myself and the Anderson County Chamber Board of Directors are accepting responsibility for the outcome of the situation. Which, of course, would not be a correct assessment.  I apologize for the informality of this notification. However, due to our upcoming meeting I felt it best that we are fully prepared for tomorrow and begin the process of planning the future for the Anderson County Chamber.”


Chamber recaps workforce development training seminar


(Submitted) Leaders from business, local and post-secondary education across Anderson County gathered at the Hollingsworth Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Tuesday for an Anderson County Workforce Development Training Resources Luncheon hosted by the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce Education & Workforce Development Council.  The council plans for this to be the first of a series of in-depth county-wide discussions about how to ensure that our educational resources are focused at meeting the businesses workforce needs in Anderson County.  Randy Boyd, Governor Bill Haslam’s Special Advisor on Higher Education, spoke about Tennessee’s “Drive to 55” initiative and the five main aspects to this statewide initiative: get students ready, get them into school, get them out of school, finish what we started with adult students and tie education directly to workforce needs.  Mr. Boyd stated that “there are nearly a million Tennesseans that have some college credit but no degree – that’s an untapped pool of people that we can get to complete a certificate or degree.”  He also discussed the tremendous opportunity that Tennessee Promise provides for our high school graduates by providing two years of community college with no tuition or fees and with the added support of a mentor for each student!  A panel of experts discussed the training opportunities available for local industries in Anderson County as well as resources for job creation tax credits and other workforce development initiatives currently underway locally.   The panel consisted of: Dr. Chris Whaley of Roane State Community College; Teri Brahams of Pellissippi State Community College; Dwight Murphy from the Tennessee College of Applied Technology; Hoppy Merryman from GEAR UP; Larry Foster from Anderson County Schools; Gary Human from Tennessee Economic & Community Development; and Chris Tiller with East Tennessee Human Resource Agency.  A special thanks to Junior Achievement President Chip Reed for hosting the event and Pam Wilson, Director Anderson County Schools Culinary Arts Program for providing the lunch.  The Council is working to continue the dialogue on how our county can create a workforce development system that connects all the available resources in our communities.  In addition to learning about the educational resources we have available, top employers that were in attendance will now be asked to help to identify action steps for this council and other community leaders to put in place an effective workforce pipeline that meets the demand of businesses and promotes job creation now and in the future.  For more information, contact the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce at 865-457-2559.


ORT:  ORPD warns of skimmers


(Oak Ridge Today) A suspicious device found on an ATM machine on Sunday could be a “skimmer,” and detectives are working with bank officials to determine if any debit or credit cards were compromised, the Oak Ridge Police Department said Wednesday.  A customer found the suspicious device on Sunday at the SunTrust Bank at 1188 Oak Ridge Turnpike, the ORPD said in a press release.  Police think it was a debit or credit card “skimmer.” A “skimmer” is a small device that is usually placed over the card slot of ATMs and gas pumps to steal debit/credit card information. “Skimmers” are sometimes accompanied by small cameras or keypad covers to steal PIN numbers associated with the cards.  The Oak Ridge Police Department said it encourages citizens to reports any suspicious activity around ATM machines and gas pumps to (865) 425-4399. Dial 911 if it is an emergency.  Residents can also find more information on the department’s Facebook page or on the U.S. Secret Service website.  The FBI says “ATM skimming” is a growing criminal activity that some experts believe costs U.S. banks hundreds of millions of dollars annually. The federal agency has tips on how to avoid being “skimmed.” They’re available in the graphic in this FBI story.  Among the tips: Be suspicious if you see anything on an ATM, gas pump, or credit card reader that is loose, crooked, or damaged, or if you notice scratches or adhesive or tape residue. It’s best to use an indoors ATM because they’re harder for thieves to access, and when entering your PIN, block the keypad with your other hand to prevent possible hidden cameras from recording your number, the FBI says.


Early voting in final 2 days


906 people voted early in the November 4th election on Tuesday in Anderson County.  After 12 days of early voting, 6847 people have already cast their ballots.  Early voting will run through this Thursday October 30th with hours from 10 am to 6 pm at the Clinton Community Center, the Midtown Community Center in Oak Ridge and at the North Anderson Government Office in the Anderson Crossing Shopping Center in the Norris/Andersonville area.  For a complete look at a sample ballot, including the various municipal races in Anderson County, the amendments to the state constitution, statewide and national races, visit the Anderson County Election Commission website at www.acelect.com


Clinton company purchases plastic manufacturer


Clinton-based Omega Plastics has purchased Knoxville-based Vinylex Corporation, which also has a manufacturing facility in Texas.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.  Omega says that two and a half years ago it formed a partnership with DVP, a company based in Chile, to expand its market reach into South America.  Company officials say that since that partnership was formed, Omega has expanded its manufacturing capacity by over 50% with the “addition of high-speed extrusion lines and an investment in people.”  Last year, Omega announced plans to more than double the size of its Clinton facility and its at-the-time 80-person workforce.  Omega produces over 3000 plastic extrusion products for a wide variety of uses.


BBB:  2 busted for meth in Rockwood


According to our partners at BBB-TV, two Rhea County residents were taken into custody Tuesday night after meth-making materials were discovered inside their vehicle.  A Rockwood Police officer conducted a routine traffic stop of the vehicle after seeing it run a red light on South Gateway Avenue last night and soon discovered chemicals and components commonly found in meth labs inside the car.  In addition to police, members of the Rockwood Fire Department and a Roane County hazmat team responded to the scene, decontaminating both people--identified as Donald Ray Burton of Dayton and Erika May Jenkins--and their vehicle while also collecting evidence.  The scene was cleared by emergency crews about three hours after the traffic stop.  Both suspects were taken to the Roane County Jail, where they are facing several meth-related charges.  Their names have not yet been released.


Roane wreck injures 2


A head-on collision Tuesday night in Roane County sent one man to the hospital by Lifestar and injured a woman.  The two-car crash happened shortly after 6 pm on Highway 27 south of Rockwood when a car driven by 73-year-old Ernest Fuller of Rockwood crossed over the center line and collided with a car driven by 19-year-old Katelyn Wampler of Rockwood.  Fuller was airlifted to UT Medical Center while Wampler was taken to Roane Medical Center.  The THP investigated the crash and troopers report that charges are pending.


ORT:  OR Council awards Jackson Square contract


(Oak Ridge Today) Council on Monday awarded a $1 million contract for a project partially funded by a state grant to rebuild the Jackson Square parking lot area.  The contract was awarded to Rich Construction Inc. of Lenoir City. Oak Ridge officials will have a pre-construction conference in 10 days, and they are hopeful that work will start in late November, City Manager Mark Watson said.  He said the project could take 180 days, or about six months. That means it would be done before the Lavender Festival in 2015.  The work will include a landscaped pedestrian plaza with parking, an interactive fountain, colored concrete paving, stone pavers, curbing, asphalt paving, utilities, benches, sidewalks, and upgrades under the American with Disabilities Act.  Council approved the project in a 6-0 vote on Monday night. It’s funded with help from a $741,609 Tennessee Department of Transportation Enhancement Grant awarded to the city in June 2012. The TDOT grant covers 80 percent of the work.  The city’s share of the project is estimated at $293,617. The city is responsible for 100 percent of the cost of engineering services for project design and for 100 percent of any construction costs over the 80 percent TDOT budget amount.  Watson said the revitalization project will update Jackson Square and make it more inviting. The work will include some green space and a newly configured and modernized parking lot.  


ORT:  ORPD offers tips to prevent vehicle break-ins


(Oak Ridge Today) The Oak Ridge Police Department is investigating a series of motor vehicle burglaries that have occurred throughout the city since August, and authorities are warning residents that vehicle break-ins increase during the holiday season, starting in late October.  The ORPD said there have been more than 25 reported auto burglaries from August through last week.  “The common thread is unattended vehicles left in fairly secluded parking lots, (with the) majority occurring around parks along Melton Lake Drive (and) Edgemoor Road,” the ORPD said last week. “The most current location is along Outer Drive. Time of day for each of the burglaries has varied, ranging from broad daylight, dusk, and dark. Items stolen from vehicles appear to have been in plain view.”  The most-stolen items include purses, cell phones, iPads and tablets, laptop computers, GPS units, other electronic items, and cash.  To help prevent the break-ins, the ORPD advises residents to lock their vehicle doors, hide valuables out of sight (such as in the trunk), and take your purse, phone, and electronics with you out of your vehicle.  If you or anyone you know has seen anything suspicious related to these burglaries, the Police Department asks you to report it by calling (865) 425-4399.  Authorities said they have stepped up patrols in response to the burglaries.  Here are more ORPD tips to prevent auto burglaries:

  • Remove visible items—If you leave items visible in your car, you are a target. Be aware that someone may be watching as you put a wallet, purse, or cell phone under your seat, especially at a gym. Take these with you or secure them in your trunk.
  • Lock the doors—Lock your vehicle and take your keys, even for quick errands. Lock the trunk, hatchback, or tailgate to block access into the vehicle. Close all windows, including vent or wing windows and sunroofs.
  • Vehicle alarms—Buy an alarm and use it. Many people believe that alarms no longer make a difference; however, they do remain an effective deterrent to a burglar. Remember, criminals are looking for the easy target.
  • Vehicle registration—Black out the address on your registration and photocopy it. Keep the copy, not the original, in your car. You must have the registration available to present to a police officer upon request.
  • Do not attach personal information to your keys—If your keys are stolen, having your personal information or vehicle license number attached only compounds the problem. A criminal now may have access to your home, automobile, or office.
  • Personal mail—Do not leave outgoing or incoming mail in your car, especially where visible. This has your name and address on it.
  • Garage door opener—Avoid leaving this in your car if possible.
  • Parking at home—At home, park in your garage if you have one. Lock your car and all garage doors. Park in a well-lit area. Check to see that your vehicle is visible from pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

The Oak Ridge Police Department said it would like to remind all citizens to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity.


THP:  2 killed, 1 hurt in RV crash


An elderly Indiana couple was killed in an early-Monday-morning RV crash on I-75 in Campbell County.  The accident was reported at around 7:30 am Monday near mile marker 147 and the THP says that a northbound motor home being driven by 77-year-old Jacqueline Sparks left the side of the road, collided with a guardrail, then traveled down an embankment before crashing into a tree.  Jacqueline Sparks and her husband 78-year-old Larry Sparks died in the wreck and their adult daughter, 55-year-old Debra Dorrell was injured and flown to UT Medical Center by Lifestar.  All three people in the RV are from Pittsboro, Indiana.  Troopers reported that none of the three was wearing a seatbelt. 


832 vote early on Monday


On Monday, 832 people voted early for the November 4th election, by far the highest single-day total during this edition of early voting.  That brings the 11-day total to 5941 voters.  Early voting will run through this Thursday October 30th with hours from 10 am to 6 pm at the Clinton Community Center, the Midtown Community Center in Oak Ridge and at the North Anderson Government Office in the Anderson Crossing Shopping Center in the Norris/Andersonville area.  For a complete look at a sample ballot, including the various municipal races in Anderson County, the amendments to the state constitution, statewide and national races, visit the Anderson County Election Commission website at www.acelect.com


ACSD investigating reported robbery


An Anderson County man reported that he was robbed by two men early Saturday morning.  According to the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, Eric Davis was returning to his Dutch Valley Road home after work at around 6 am Saturday when he spotted a man bent over in the gravel driveway leading to his house.  When he stopped, a second man grabbed him, assaulted him and put him in a headlock while the second bandit stole his wallet, which contained about $600.  Davis said both men had something covering their heads and was unable to give a physical description of his assailants but the ACSD report indicates he followed the suspects’ getaway vehicle long enough to get the tag number, which he provided to investigators.  Davis was not seriously injured in the incident. 


OR Animal Shelter reopens


(Oak Ridge Today) Changes have been made, and the Oak Ridge Animal Shelter will reopen Tuesday after a temporary closure last week following the second distemper outbreak this year, city officials said.  The shelter will open to the public at 11 a.m.  The Oak Ridge Animal Shelter is located at 395 Belgrade Road.  51 animals were euthanized last week because of this month’s outbreak, and the shelter was temporarily closed after canine distemper tests came back positive. All dogs that tested positive were euthanized to prevent the disease from spreading.  Oak Ridge officials said the shelter staff has taken steps, including cleaning and disinfecting, to prevent widespread infection within the canine community. And the Animal Shelter was working with the staff veterinarian to create a quarantine area, where animals will remain for two weeks after intake to observe the animal for signs of disease, municipal officials said last week.  The Animal Shelter had a distemper outbreak in March of this year, when 30 dogs had to be euthanized, and the staff started taking precautions by vaccinating all animals on intake. However, this time the animal was turned into the Animal Shelter already infected with distemper.  No cats have tested positive for distemper. Cats and dogs cannot pass the disease to each other.  The virus can be passed from dog to dog through sneezing, coughing, and sharing food and water bowls. Early signs of canine distemper include sneezing, coughing, and discharge from the eyes and nose. Depression and/or loss of appetite are also symptoms. Last week the Animal Shelter staff was cleaning and disinfecting all the kennels and disposing of items such as towels and blankets that might be contaminated.  Pet owners should keep their pet’s vaccinations up to date and also be cautious of wild animals, such as raccoons and foxes, which can carry the virus.  For more information on the prevention of distemper, visit the following ASPCA web page: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/distemper.


OR Council moves forward on Jackson Square redux


The Oak Ridge City Council voted Monday to award a bid to move forward on improvements to historic Jackson Square.  The city received a $1 million grant from the state in 2012 and construction is hoped to be complete by next June’s Lavender Festival.  City officials say the construction will improve traffic flow in the area and make the square most aesthetically pleasing. They're also looking at ways to add a splash pad for kids and make the area more easily accessible for people with disabilities.  The city will pay for 20 percent of the costs; the state will cover the other 80%.  The council also improved a traffic safety grant. Money from that grant will pay for new radar guns and other tools city council says will help crack down on speeders.


Rockwood man indicted in 2013 DUI crash


A grand jury has indicted a Rockwood man for vehicular homicide in a crash that killed a woman in August of 2013.  Officials said Johnny Foland was driving on Eagle Furnace Road in Rockwood when he lost control, spun and hit a utility pole and a tree. The impacted killed the passenger in the car, Teri Stephenson.  Last week, a Roane County grand jury indicted Foland for vehicular homicide in crash. The arrest marked Foland's 6th for DUI.  He's also charged with leaving the scene of an accident.


ORPD warns of ATM skimmers


The Oak Ridge Police Department is warning people to be on the lookout for ATM skimming.  Police say an ATM skimmer was found at SunTrust Bank in Oak Ridge.  If the ATM reader looks or feels suspicious, you're asked to tell the ATM owner and call Oak Ridge police immediately.  ATM skimming is like identity theft for debit cards.  Police say to pay attention to objects mounted around or on the ATM. A pinhole or off-color piece of plastic could give away the camera's hiding place.


Kingston breaks ground on solar farm


A new solar farm is going up in Kingston, and city leaders say it will save taxpayers money in the long run.  The city broke ground on the project at the corner of James Ferry Road and Highway 58 on Monday morning.  The solar farm will generate 200 kilowatts of power and will include 800 solar panels. The city says the solar energy the panels will collect will generate enough electricity to offset the power needs of the Kingston Water Plant without any costs to taxpayers.  The new solar farm will produce the equivalent of enough electricity to run nearly 100 homes. Electricity generated by the solar panels will flow into TVA’s power grid, and TVA will pay the city each month for the power generated there.  The construction contract is $560,000, and until that is paid back, 90 percent of the revenue will go to Energy Source Partners and 10 percent to Kingston.  After that, the city will receive 90 percent of the revenue, and the company will receive the rest. During the 20-year contract, the company will be responsible for operating and maintaining the solar farm.  At the end of the contract, it can either be renewed or the city can take over its operation.


ACSD probes fatal shooting


The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the circumstances that led to a fatal shooting in Andersonville on Sunday afternoon.  The ACSD says in a release that dispatchers received a call at 4:35 pm Sunday about a shooting at 1229 Sequoyah Road in Andersonville and that when deputies arrived they found 58-year-old James Alvin Russell of Sharps Chapel in Union County suffering a gunshot wound.  Paramedics pronounced Russell dead at the scene.  Investigators processed the scene for evidence and interviewed the person responsible for the shooting as well as a witness to try and sort out what led to the incident.  Investigators from the Anderson County District Attorney General’s office and the Regional Forensic Center also responded to the scene to aid in the investigation.  As of the time this report was filed, none of the other names of anyone involved had been released.  We will update you as more information becomes available. 


THP: Motor home crashes in I-75, kills 2


The Tennessee Highway Patrol says that two people died sometime overnight when their motor home left the side of I-75 North in Campbell County and went down an embankment.  Authorities say they are not exactly sure when the accident took place, but that troopers responded to the area near mile marker 147 shortly after 7:30 am, when a passerby spotted the wreckage after sunrise.  The motor home was said to be from out of the state but the victims had not been identified by the time this report was filed. 


1000+ vote early over weekend


Over 1000 people in Anderson County voted early for the November 4th election on Friday and Saturday.  On Friday, 707 people voted early—by far the biggest single-day turnout of this election period—and on Saturday, in just three hours, 330 people voted.  The 10-day total now stands at 5109.  Early voting will run through this Thursday October 30th with hours from 10 am to 6 pm at the Clinton Community Center, the Midtown Community Center in Oak Ridge and at the North Anderson Government Office in the Anderson Crossing Shopping Center in the Norris/Andersonville area.  For a complete look at a sample ballot, including the various municipal races in Anderson County, the amendments to the state constitution, statewide and national races, visit the Anderson County Election Commission website at www.acelect.com


Judge grants injunction against Rocky Top


A federal judge this week announced that he will grant an injunction against Rocky Top Marketing and Manufacturing Company sought by the House of Bryant Publications that will prohibit the company from using trademarks with the Rocky Top logo on them.  Chief US District Court Judge Thomas Varlan issued his ruling in the matter this week, the latest chapter in the legal battle between the owners of the rights to the iconic bluegrass song “Rocky Top” and the town that now bears that name.  The items included in the ruling—11 in all—include items like hats, shirts and other products.  As we have reported, the dispute began last year when developers interested in building several tourist attractions in the area approached the leaders of Lake City and asked if they would consider changing the city’s name to better market the proposed development.  The town agreed but House of Bryant filed a motion in federal court seeking an injunction to prevent the town from changing its name, alleging copyright infringement.  Judge Varlan denied that motion and his denial is now being appealed.  Officials with Rocky Top marketing and Manufacturing called this week’s ruling a “learning experience,” with President Tim Isbel telling the News-Sentinel that the company “fell short [in making] it quite clear that we are only using Rocky Top Tennessee 37769 as a geographical description” in applying for various trademarks aimed at capitalizing on the town’s new identity.  We will continue to follow this story for you.


Man pleads to 2012 murder attempt


A 50-year-old man was sentenced to 15 and a half years in prison Thursday after entering best-interest pleas to amended charges of conspiracy to commit second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, attempted aggravated arson and attempted aggravated kidnapping in connection to an attempt to kill his stepfather.  Raymond Randolph Lane admitted his role in plan to kill then-73-year-old Luther Byrge along with co-conspirators, 44-year-old David Lee Suddeth and Suddeth's 53-year-old girlfriend, Dorothy Roxanne McFarland.  On January 5, 2012, the trio cut the phone line to Byrge's Old Lake City Highway home, disabled the smoke alarm and put a box of .ammunition under a bathroom sink.  Gasoline was poured under the sink and ignited, and Byrge’s bedroom door was locked from outside.  The plan fell apart when the melting plumbing pipes under the sink dripped onto the fire and extinguished it.  Lane was given credit for the two years and six months that he had been in custody, and he will have to serve 35 percent of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.  Suddeth and McFarland entered pleas to similar charges in September and each received 9-year sentences.


Early voting rolls on


Thursday, 573 people cast ballots in early voting for the November 4th election, bringing the eight-day total to 4072.  Early voting hours Monday through Friday will be from 10 am to 6 pm and Saturdays from 9 am to 12 noon at the Clinton Community Center, the Midtown Community Center in Oak Ridge and at the North Anderson Government Office in the Anderson Crossing Shopping Center in the Norris/Andersonville area.  For a complete look at a sample ballot, including the various municipal races in Anderson County, the amendments to the state constitution, statewide and national races, visit the Anderson County Election Commission website at www.acelect.com


AC Chamber thanks job fair organizers, exhibitors, attendees


The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all who attended our first Industrial Job Fair on Thursday, Oct. 16 at the Roane State Community College Clinton Higher Education and Workforce Training Facility.  A special thanks to Roane State for the use of their facility, the Chamber Ambassadors for hosting and Michael Ousley who championed the idea and event.  Special appreciation to all exhibitors who joined us to recruit employees to fill jobs in Anderson County:  Aerotek at Nelson Global Products, Aisin Automotive Casting Tennessee, Eagle Bend Manufacturing, Express Employment Professionals, King University, Precision Resource Co., SL Tennessee, TempSystems/TSI Industrial, Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Knoxville, and Valley Apparel.  The Job Fair was a great success with over 250 in attendance.  Plans are now underway for an additional Job Fair in the spring.  For more information about the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce, contact the Chamber at 865-457-2559.


City:  51 dogs euthanized in distemper outbreak


Fifty-one animals have been euthanized at the Oak Ridge Animal Shelter due to distemper and donations are needed, Oak Ridge officials said Thursday.  “This has truly been a heartbreaking situation for our staff and volunteers,” the city said in a short statement Thursday afternoon.  The Shelter needs donations of cat litter (non-clumping only), blankets, towels, dry food, and canned food. The donations can be dropped off at the Pet Supplies Plus located at 254 South Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.  Adoptable cats and kittens will be also be at Pet Supplies Plus from 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 25.  “Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we try to heal from this devastating blow,” the city said.


KNS:  AC Mayor reports missing files to state


According to the News-Sentinel, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank has filed a fraud report with the state Comptroller’s Office, saying that government files are missing from the Public Works department and that a recently-fired employee of that office’s personnel file is missing from the county’s Human Resources department.  The files are related to allegations against Public Works Director David Crowley, who was indicted earlier this month on five misdemeanor charges of performing building inspections without the proper certifications.  Frank says that two of the 25 files believed to be missing from the Public Works office are records of inspections performed by Crowley.  The personnel file of former building inspector Lisa Crumpley is also missing from the HR department.  She was fired by Crowley shortly before he turned himself in at the AC Jail on the charges against him.  Crumpley had been questioned by the TBI as part of their investigation into the allegations against Crowley.  On Monday, the mayor ordered a top-to-bottom search of the Public Works office in an attempt to locate the missing files and says she has asked the ACSD to review courthouse surveillance footage to see if there is any evidence of someone illegally removing Crumpley’s file from the office and/or the courthouse.  The mayor asked Crowley not to take part in the search of the Public Works office. 


Early voting total nears 3500


Wednesday, 652 people cast ballots in early voting for the November 4th election, bringing the seven-day total to 3499.  Early voting hours Monday through Friday will be from 10 am to 6 pm and Saturdays from 9 am to 12 noon at the Clinton Community Center, the Midtown Community Center in Oak Ridge and at the North Anderson Government Office in the Anderson Crossing Shopping Center in the Norris/Andersonville area.  For a complete look at a sample ballot, including the various municipal races in Anderson County, the amendments to the state constitution, statewide and national races, visit the Anderson County Election Commission website at www.acelect.com


Lincoln’s closes after tumultuous stretch


Lincoln’s Sports Grille has shut down, citing economic conditions. The closure was first announced on a sign posted on the eatery’s front door on Monday and in a press release issued on Tuesday.  The popular restaurant and bar on South Illinois Avenue was the subject of five show cause hearings before the Oak Ridge Beer Permit Board over the past couple of years.  In the last show cause hearing in August, members revoked Lincoln’s permit.  Lincoln’s regained the permit after a temporary agreement imposing new conditions was worked out between the business, the city and the Beer Board that was approved by Anderson County Chancellor Nicki Cantrell, pending an appeal of the Beer Board’s revocation.  But in an interview earlier this month with our partners at Oak Ridge Today, Scott Green, one of Lincoln’s owners, said the inability to sell beer between late August and early October had a substantial impact on the business. The restaurant and its staff had also been hurt by the bad publicity, Green said.  Two of Lincoln’s five show cause hearings had been called after alcohol was sold to underage customers in state stings, and others were called after the Oak Ridge Police Department responded to disturbances. The revocation during the last show cause hearing on August 28 went into effect immediately. That revocation followed an earlier two-week suspension of Lincoln’s beer permit in June.  Lincoln’s opened in March of 2010. Since then, the restaurant had featured a mix of family friendly entertainment, music, comedy, community events, and food and drinks. Owners and managers had recently said they were trying to become more of a restaurant and less of a bar.  For much more on this story visit our partners at www.oakridgetoday.com.


Early voting continues in AC


Tuesday, 629 people cast ballots in early voting for the November 4th election, bringing the six-day total to 2847.  Early voting hours Monday through Friday will be from 10 am to 6 pm and Saturdays from 9 am to 12 noon at the Clinton Community Center, the Midtown Community Center in Oak Ridge and at the North Anderson Government Office in the Anderson Crossing Shopping Center in the Norris/Andersonville area.  For a complete look at a sample ballot, including the various municipal races in Anderson County, the amendments to the state constitution, statewide and national races, visit the Anderson County Election Commission website at www.acelect.com


Distemper found at OR Animal Shelter


(ORPD) Two dogs recently taken in by the Oak Ridge Animal Shelter have been diagnosed with canine distemper. The Animal Shelter was closed Friday and Saturday to allow for thorough cleaning of the facility. Dogs in the shelter were tested to see if others have contracted the disease.  The Animal Shelter was expected to reopen at 11 a.m. Wednesday.  As a precaution, all animals brought into the Oak Ridge Animal Shelter will be vaccinated on arrival, the Oak Ridge Police Department said in a press release. Dogs with any kind of cough or nasal discharge will be kept separate from dogs available for adoption.  No cats have tested positive for distemper—cats and dogs cannot pass the disease to each other, the ORPD said.  Early signs of canine distemper include sneezing, coughing, and discharge from the eyes and nose. Depression and/or loss of appetite are also symptoms.  The virus can be passed from dog to dog through sneezing, coughing, and sharing food and water bowls.  The ORPD said shelter staff has been taking extra precautions cleaning and sanitizing kennels with bleach and disposing of items such as towels and blankets that might be contaminated. Pet owners should be wary of wild animals, such as raccoons and foxes, which can carry the virus.


Harriman makes historic hire


(BBB) Harriman City Council members voted unanimously Tuesday night in a special called session that followed a workshop, to hire Kevin Helms from the Nashville area as Harriman’s first city manager.  Helms, a married father of two, told the Mayor last night via phone after the meeting that he and his family are excited for this new opportunity, and that he looks forward to being a Harriman resident. Helms was one of three finalists for the position and he'll make $69,000 a year with some incentives, such as insurance for his family, moving expenses up to $3,000 and a severance package of seven months’ pay in the event of an untimely dismissal.  Helms could start in the new position as early as next week. 


ORT:  New Japanese steakhouse to open in 2015


(Oak Ridge Today) A new Japanese steakhouse could open at the former Mr. Gatti’s Pizza in central Oak Ridge by early January, a development company said Monday.  The new restaurant will be named Fuji Japanese Steakhouse, and it will serve Hibachi-style cuisine and freshly made sushi, Cappiello Real Estate and Development Company said in a press release.  The 3,600-square-foot building on Wilson Street is being converted into a Japanese steakhouse with Asian décor, and the former kitchen space is being renovated.  The company said Fuji Japanese Steakhouse, which will be at one of the entrances to the redeveloped Oak Ridge mall (renamed Main Street Oak Ridge), will offer a different style of dining than the other traditional Asian restaurants in the city. The restaurant will be ideal for family dinners, business lunches, and parties in one of two large party rooms that can be reserved, the press release said.


ORT:  OR wreck injures 2


(Oak Ridge Today) Two drivers were injured in a head-on rollover crash on Oak Ridge Turnpike on Sunday night.  The crash was reported at about 10:54 p.m. Sunday near West Lincoln Road.  40-year-old Jeffery Wooten of Oak Ridge was traveling west on the Turnpike in a Ford Focus when the car crossed the median and struck a 1996 Ford Ranger driven by 19-year-old Dexter Selby of Crossville head-on.  The collision caused the Ranger to roll over into the ditch on the south side of the Turnpike, the ORPD said in a press release. The truck came to a stop upside-down.  The eastbound lanes of the Turnpike were closed as emergency personnel investigated the crash.


AC early voting reminder, update


Early voting in Anderson County continues through October 30th.  On Monday, 570 people voted, bringing the five-day total to 2218.  Early voting hours Monday through Friday will be from 10 am to 6 pm and Saturdays from 9 am to 12 noon at the Clinton Community Center, the Midtown Community Center in Oak Ridge and at the North Anderson Government Office in the Anderson Crossing Shopping Center in the Norris/Andersonville area.  For a complete look at a sample ballot, including the various municipal races in Anderson County, the amendments to the state constitution, statewide and national races, visit the Anderson County Election Commission website at www.acelect.com


Bartley denied bond


A judge denied Kenneth Bartley Jr. bail at Monday's arraignment on a domestic assault charge, ruling that Bartley could be a danger to the community and is a flight risk. Bartley's next court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 20.  The convicted Campbell County High School shooter ran from Caryville police officers Thursday night when they tried to arrest him for domestic assault. On Saturday morning, Bartley turned himself in to deputies at the Campbell County Jail.  The incident began when Bartley’s mother told police that Bartley tried to choke her late Thursday night. She managed to break free and call police. By the time officers arrived at the scene on Crutchfield Lane, Bartley had already left.  He is currently serving two years probation for misdemeanor assault and resisting arrest in connection with incidents that occurred over the summer.  In February, Bartley was convicted of reckless homicide in the 2005 death of Campbell County High School assistant principal Ken Bruce. Two other administrators were also hurt in that shooting.


AC Commission allocates money for bonuses


Monday, Anderson County commissioners voted to replace Chris Phillips in Commission District 4 with the man whose vacated seat he won in August.  Phillips resigned his Commission seat—won in August—so that he could return to work as the county’s Budget and Accounts Director after leaving that post earlier this year to become City Recorder in his native Rocky Top.  Phillips was elected along with incumbent Tim Isbel to serve on the Commission but resigned effective October 10th.  Monday, commissioners replaced Phillips with former Commissioner Zach Bates, who did not run for re-election to the Commission in August after having unsuccessfully challenged County Mayor Terry Frank in the Republican primary.  Bates was sworn in and began his service to District 4 immediately following the Commission vote.  Once commissioners got down to business, they voted 14-1 to set aside up to $290,000 from the undesignated fund balance to provide county employees with a one-time, lump-sum payout to help make up for the fact that those 450 employees have not received pay raises in recent years.  The fund balance—or rainy-day fund—is up to $4.29 million and the proposal advanced by Commissioner Myron Iwanski last month will provide workers with approximately $640 each in bonus money.  When exactly those bonuses will show up on workers’ paychecks remains to be seen.  Commissioners also briefly discussed, but took no action on, the Andersonville Volunteer Fire Department’s request to have its annual $20,000 contribution from the county government reinstated now that it has dropped its unpopular and controversial subscription program.  Commissioners indicated Monday they wanted more information on the changes at the AVFD before making any final decisions. 


Report:  AC Chamber retail chief steps down, cites conflict


According to the Knoxville News-Sentinel, the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce’s chief retail recruiter has resigned amid a conflict with Chamber President Jackie Nichols.  The paper reports that Diane Ilgner’s resignation letter cites conflicts with Nichols that have “resulted in a very difficult work environment and puts the success of the retail development initiative at risk.”  Ilgner was hired in March 2013 to lead the effort to bring more retail businesses to Anderson County through an initiative funded in part by the governments of Anderson County and Clinton.  The letter includes allegations that Nichols instructed Ilgner to not speak with prominent business leaders or government officials, including the county mayor and the Chamber’s Retail Advisory Board, among other accusations.  Nichols told the News-Sentinel that while she would not comment on the specific allegations, the future of the retail development initiative will be decided upon by the chamber.


Lifestar leaving AC base for new digs in CC


UT Lifestar has announced that it will be opening a new base in Campbell County and closing its current base in Anderson County early next month.  UT says that the new location is more centrally located and will allow Lifestar to better serve Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Scott and Union counties as well as parts of southeast Kentucky.  The new facility will measure some 5000 square feet and have living quarters, office space and a hangar.  It will be staffed by four pilots, four nurses, four paramedics and an aviation mechanic.


CPD:  Family Night Out ‘one of best yet’


(CPD) Clinton Police Chief Rick Scarbrough reports that the department's recent Family Night Out event was one of the best yet. According to initial numbers, more than 350 people came out for the 7th annual celebration. "It's just something our department started a few years ago as a way to say thanks to the citizens, and as a way to meet the folks we serve everyday. Our officers work hard to provide a safe, drug free community. We feel that getting out and meeting our neighbors is a very important part of our efforts." said Chief Scarbrough.  The event featured live music by the Parrott Brothers Band, a play area for the children, free BBQ sandwiches and more. CPD's K9 officers and their partners presented a demonstration too. Chief Scarbrough adds that the department appreciates Clinton City Council for their participation and support of the event. Plans are already being made for the 2015 Family Night Out.  


THP:  Watch out for deer


(THP) The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) urges motorists to exercise caution on the roadways this time of year due to deer-mating and -hunting season. Last year, two people were killed in traffic crashes involving deer on state roadways.  “The fall season is the most active time of year for deer-related crashes. We want to remind drivers to watch out for deer on or around the roadways, especially at dawn or after sunset,” Colonel Tracy Trott said.  Motorists are also encouraged to dial *THP (*847) from an available cell phone for assistance in the event of a deer-related crash. The call will be connected to the nearest THP Communications Center and the next available state trooper will be dispatched to the location.   

In Tennessee, there were 6,135 deer-related crashes in 2013. That’s an increase of 3.2 percent from the 5,947 crashes involving deer the previous year. Last year’s deer-related traffic incidents, included, 5,853 property damage crashes, 280 wrecks with injury, and two vehicular fatalities.  The THP also reports that between 2009 and 2013, 8.9 percent of deer-related crashes occurred on interstate highways. Deer-related crashes in Tennessee have steadily increased by 15.3 percent since 2009.   According to State Farm, there have been an estimated 1.25 million collisions between deer and vehicles in the U.S. between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014. That’s an almost three percent increase from a year ago. 

The Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) suggest the following tips to help prevent deer-related crashes during peak mating and hunting seasons: 

  • Remember that mating season puts deer on the move and deer tend to move at dawn and dusk.
  • Whenever you see deer cross the road, expect more to follow.  Many times, the second or third deer crossing becomes the one that motorists hit.
  • Be attentive; drive defensively, constantly scanning the roadside, especially at daybreak and dusk.
  • Do not swerve to avoid contact with deer. This could cause the vehicle to flip or veer into oncoming traffic, causing a more serious crash. Swerving also can confuse the deer as to where to run.
  • When you spot a deer, slow down immediately.  Proceed slowly until you pass that point.
  • If you do collide with a deer, never approach the injured animal.  They are powerful and can cause bodily harm to a human.  Report any deer collision, even if the damage is minor. 

Tennessee law allows deer killed in a collision to be taken and used as food, as long as you contact the nearest TWRA regional office to report the accident within 48 hours. For a listing of TWRA regional offices, visit the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org.


Early voting continues through Oct. 30th


Early voting in Anderson County continues through October 30th.  On Friday, 548 people voted early, with 147 people voting on Saturday.  That brings the four-day total to 1648.  Early voting hours Monday through Friday will be from 10 am to 6 pm and Saturdays from 9 am to 12 noon at the Clinton Community Center, the Midtown Community Center in Oak Ridge and at the North Anderson Government Office in the Anderson Crossing Shopping Center in the Norris/Andersonville area.  For a complete look at a sample ballot, including the various municipal races in Anderson County, the amendments to the state constitution, statewide and national races, visit the Anderson County Election Commission website at www.acelect.com


AC Commission replaces Phillips with Bates


This morning, Anderson County commissioners voted to replace Chris Phillips in Commission District 4 with the man whose vacated seat he won in August.  Phillips resigned his Commission seat—won in August—so that he could return to work as the county’s Budget and Accounts Director after leaving that post earlier this year to become City Recorder in his native Rocky Top.  Phillips left the county government to help the town update its accounting practices as it makes the transition from Lake City to Rocky Top and prepares for what is expected to be a busy time for the city.  Phillips was elected along with incumbent Tim Isbel to serve on the Commission but resigned last month.  This morning, commissioners replaced Phillips with former Commissioner Zach Bates, who did not run for re-election to the Commission in August after having unsuccessfully challenged County Mayor Terry Frank in the Republican primary.  Bates was sworn in and began his service to District 4 immediately following the Commission vote. 


Powell man struck, killed


A Powell man was killed Saturday afternoon when he was struck by a vehicle while walking along Clinton Highway.  According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, 66-year-old Kenneth Miller was walking north along Clinton Highway when it happened around 2:30 p.m. Saturday.  A vehicle also headed north crossed onto the shoulder just south of Stanley Road and hit Miller.  THP said the driver was 77-year-old Patsy Kirby of Powell.  While alcohol and drugs are not believed to have played a role in Saturday’s accident, the THP report indicates that citations and/or charges are pending.


Bartley back in trouble


Convicted high school shooter Kenny Bartley spent time in jail this weekend, once again accused of domestic assault.  Bartley ran from Caryville police officers Thursday night after they tried to arrest him following a domestic assault call from his mother’s home.  Bartley turned himself in to deputies at the Campbell County Jail at 10:20 a.m. Saturday.  He was booked on a domestic assault charge and held without bond. Bartley was arraigned on Monday.  The incident began when Bartley’s mother told police that Bartley tried to choke her late Thursday night. She managed to break free and call police. By the time officers arrived at the scene on Crutchfield Lane, Bartley had already left.  He is currently serving two years probation for misdemeanor assault and resisting arrest.  In June, his father called police to report that his son had threatened to kill him. Deputies said the convicted high school shooter became violent when they tried to arrest him.  Then in July, officials responded to a domestic dispute call again at the Bartley house. During that incident, Bartley tried to hit two deputies.  Last month, Bartley pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges for those arrests last summer.  In February, Bartley was convicted of reckless homicide in the 2005 death of Campbell County High School assistant principal Ken Bruce. Two other administrators were also hurt in that shooting.


ORUUC in new home


The Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church dedicated its new church on Sunday.

The new church is at 809 Oak Ridge Turnpike. The church moved from its former location at the intersection of Robertsville Road and the Oak Ridge Turnpike to make way for the new Kroger Marketplace shopping center.  After nearly six decades at its old home, the church moved to its new location in late September. The first service was held on Sunday, October 5.  Two years ago, in the fall of 2012, the congregation voted to accept an offer from Kroger to purchase their property and historic building.


Good news on Roane, Morgan road project


(Submitted) State Senator Ken Yager (R-Harriman) said today that improvements slated for State Route 29 (US 27) in Roane and Morgan Counties from State Route 61 in Harriman to south of Whetstone Road in Morgan County  are still scheduled despite an earlier delay in the project.  The delay was due to the expiration of federal funds under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act which governs federal surface transportation spending.  The project is the first leg of a larger plan to take the four lanes from Roane County to the Kentucky line through Morgan and Scott Counties.  Yager said the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has informed him the project is back on track after the Highway and Transportation Funding (HATFA) Act was signed into law in August.  HATFA will provide states with partial highway funding through next May.  “Four-laning SR29 (US27) from Roane County through Morgan and Scott Counties is one of my top priorities,” said Senator Yager. “The completion of the project will contribute to the economic development of all three counties.  The federal law enacted in August provided partial funding from the Highway Trust Fund for the fiscal 2015 year, enabling TDOT to move forward with the improvements for this needed project.  This is very important to our communities and I am very pleased the project is back on track.”  Yager said while the scheduled improvements were stalled, the design work was not stopped.  “This helps to expedite the process in getting this project advertised and out for bid,” he said.  Advertising for the project is scheduled for January 15, with bidding opening on February 13.  Yager added, “I sincerely appreciate the support we have received from TDOT and particularly the commitment of Commissioner John Schroer to see this vital project to completion.  We are grateful that TDOT has recognized this project as a priority and included it with the limited funds coming to Tennessee.  We look forward to seeing these improvements completed.”  Senator Yager is Chairman of the Senate State and Local Government Committee.


Early voting update


Thursday was day two of the early voting period for the November 4th election and 453 Anderson County voters cast their ballots.  That brings the 2-day total to 953 early voters.  Early voting runs through Thursday October 30th.  Early voting hours Monday through Friday will be from 10 am to 6 pm and Saturdays from 9 am to 12 noon at the Clinton Community Center, the Midtown Community Center in Oak Ridge and at the North Anderson Government Office in the Anderson Crossing Shopping Center in the Norris/Andersonville area.  Several municipal races are on the ballot, including in Clinton, where there is just one contested race.  That is in City Council Ward 1 where incumbent ET Stamey is being challenged by Ted Phillips and Ron Young.  Clinton will also vote on whether to allow wine sales in grocery stores, as will Norris and Oak Ridge.  Norris voters will also be asked if they will approve on-site consumption of alcohol.  In Oak Ridge, 10 people are vying for four seats on the City Council and eight people are running for three seats on the city School Board.  In Oliver Springs, Mayor Chris Hepler is being challenged by Jerry Vann; Maurice Walker is opposed in the Alderman Ward 2 race by Jeffery Bass and Terry Craze is opposed in Ward 4 by Nathan Benson.  Michael Lovely and Donald Douglas are facing off to be mayor of Rocky Top and six people are running for two seats on the Rocky Top City Council.  For a complete look at a sample ballot, including the various amendments to the state constitution, statewide and national races, visit the Anderson County Election Commission website at www.acelect.com


ORT:  Donut Palace coming to OR


(Oak Ridge Today) A Donut Palace will be built where Price Florist used to be, a development company said Thursday.  Redevelopment work is starting, and The Donut Palace of Oak Ridge could open in the first quarter of 2015, said Cappiello Real Estate and Development Company.  The company said The Donut Palace is a regional chain that is primarily located in Texas and the Midwest and is described as “an artisan bakery featuring handmade apple fritters, muffins, cookies, brownies, pastries, and of course, doughnuts.” Along with the baked goods, they will offer coffee, drinks, and artisan sandwiches.  The Oak Ridge franchise will be at 1021 Oak Ridge Turnpike, near the Methodist Medical Center campus. “While the chain typically places its bakeries within a strip shopping center, this site will be an evolution of the brand, creating the look and feel of a modern-day coffee shop, yet adding the convenience of a drive-through window service,” a press release from Cappiello Real Estate and Development Company said. “The single-story, 1,800-square-foot building will be a blend of brick, wood, and metal, reflecting a modern yet comfortable atmosphere with plenty of natural light.” 


Man indicted on theft, kidnapping, assault charges


An Oliver Springs man was indicted by an Anderson County grand jury last week on charges of especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault and theft in connection with an incident in March in which he is accused of stealing batteries from the Wal-Mart in Oak Ridge, jumping into the passenger side of a woman’s car and forcing her at knifepoint to try and elude pursuing police.  51-year-old Michael Seeber has been in the ACDF since the March 9th incident.


490 vote early on Day 1 in AC


On Wednesday, the first day of early voting for the November 4th election, 490 people in Anderson County cast their ballot.  Early voting runs through Thursday October 30th.  Early voting hours Monday through Friday will be from 10 am to 6 pm and Saturdays from 9 am to 12 noon at the Clinton Community Center, the Midtown Community Center in Oak Ridge and at the North Anderson Government Office in the Anderson Crossing Shopping Center in the Norris/Andersonville area.  Several municipal races are on the ballot, including in Clinton, where there is just one contested race.  That is in City Council Ward 1 where incumbent ET Stamey is being challenged by Ted Phillips and Ron Young.  Clinton will also vote on whether to allow wine sales in grocery stores, as will Norris and Oak Ridge.  Norris voters will also be asked if they will approve on-site consumption of alcohol.  In Oak Ridge, 10 people are vying for four seats on the City Council and eight people are running for three seats on the city School Board.  In Oliver Springs, Mayor Chris Hepler is being challenged by Jerry Vann; Maurice Walker is opposed in the Alderman Ward 2 race by Jeffery Bass and Terry Craze is opposed in Ward 4 by Nathan Benson.  Michael Lovely and Donald Douglas are facing off to be mayor of Rocky Top and six people are running for two seats on the Rocky Top City Council.  For a complete look at a sample ballot, including the various amendments to the state constitution, statewide and national races, visit the Anderson County Election Commission website at www.acelect.com


Mayor:  AC taking ‘proactive’ stance on Ebola


(AC Mayor’s office)  The Anderson County Mayor's Office wants the public to know that Anderson County Government is aware and proactive concerning the Ebola virus.  Local Health Department and emergency officials are taking early preventive measures, including conferencing, reviews of protocol, and in-service training, to be sure they know what to do in the unlikely event that a case of the Ebola virus occurs here.  Staff members at the Anderson County Health Department recently completed a "table-top exercise" aimed at allowing the employees to plan ahead and be prepared. They used a hypothetical "case" and followed already-established protocol to deal with the hypothetical case.  The procedures involved isolation of the hypothetical Ebola patient upon presentation to the Health Department, protection measures for other Health Department patients and staff members, and immediate communication between the local Health Department, Anderson County Emergency Medical Service, Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge, and the Health Department's regional office in Knox County as well as the State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and prevention.  "Similar exercises have been conducted in every health department office across Tennessee," Art Miller, director of the Anderson County Health Department, said. 

"We have a great team in Anderson County that communicates and works well together," Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank said. "We believe it is very highly unlikely that a case of the Ebola virus will happen in Anderson County, but we want to be proactive at the same time. We want citizens to know we are keeping a close watch, communicating, and preparing," Mayor Frank said.

Anderson County EMS personnel are all trained in recognizing symptoms of the virus and trained in the questions to ask of their patients, according to Director Nathan Sweet.

"EMS has had an infection-control policy for a long time," Sweet said. "In many ways, we're ahead of the game. We are more than adequately prepared to deal with this situation and feel we have all possible measures in place to protect the patient, our crews and the public," he said.

According to Miller, health departments, EMS personnel and hospitals across Tennessee are all receiving training in proper protocols to deal with Ebola virus. County and local Health Department officials are appreciative of the leadership provided in this matter by the Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner and his employees.

"Our main job, as a health department, is to communicate and educate the public," Miller said. 

According to the CDC, Ebola virus is only contagious through direct physical contact with the bodily fluids of someone who has traveled to countries in West Africa and develops a fever and other symptoms, including body aches, vomiting and diarrhea.

To date, three people in the United States have been diagnosed with Ebola; one man in Dallas, Texas who recently traveled there from Liberia, and two hospital nurses who reportedly cared for him. The man died on Oct. 8.  To learn more about the Ebola virus and what the Tennessee Department of Health and CDC are doing to prevent the disease, visit www.http://health.state.tn.us/ or http://www.cdc.gov/.


KNS:  Lawsuit alleges racial, age discrimination in Trustee’s office


The News-Sentinel reports that the former office manager in the Anderson County Trustee’s Office has filed a federal lawsuit against the county alleging racial and age discrimination.  Craig Dixon worked in the Trustee’s office from September 2006 to August of last year, when he was fired by Trustee Rodney Archer.  Dixon’s lawsuit alleges violations of the Tennessee Human Rights Act and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.  The suit contends that Dixon, who was 50 at the time of his firing and one of only two black employees of the county government, was discriminated against because he was replaced by a 24-year-old white male.  The KNS reports that among the allegations in the suit is that Archer had written on a notepad in the office that people over the age of 40 were “useless” and resistant to change.  The lawsuit says that Dixon’s separation notice from Archer indicated he was fired for violating office policy and that Archer told the state Department of Labor and Workforce development that Dixon had been fired for falsifying audit logs.  However, the report says that the state did not find sufficient evidence of “work-related” misconduct and that the county did not appeal that decision.  The lawsuit alleges that Dixon was eligible for FMLA status to help care for his sick mother and filed the necessary paperwork with the county HR department but never received the necessary federal paperwork.  Dixon’s lawsuit also says that at no time during his employment in the office did he receive any written warnings or disciplinary action.  The KNS reported that Dixon’s personnel file indicated that Archer did list deficiencies in Dixon’s job performance on two occasions, including allegations that he made more than 25 personal calls from the office per day, that he would not pay office bills on time and that he did not make bank deposits on a daily basis.  Archer told the KNS Tuesday that while he cannot comment specifically on the pending lawsuit, “Anderson County and I deny all claims raised by Mr. Dixon.”  The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, the reinstatement of Dixon to his former job or an award of front pay, which legally is defined as money awarded during the period between judgment and reinstatement or in the event that reinstatement is not possible. 


2 indicted for selling heroin near school


Two men in custody since January of 2013 on charges that they sold heroin near Claxton Elementary School were indicted last week by an Anderson County grand jury.  40-year-old Charles Randolph Johnson and 29-year-old Joe Fentress Butler face charges of selling drugs within 1000 feet of a school.  A confidential informant using a digital recorder and marked bills allegedly purchased $25 worth of heroin from Butler and authorities say that he had been supplied with the drug by Johnson.  Both men will be arraigned on October 31st in Anderson County Criminal Court. 


ORT:  OR to apply for roundabout grant


(Oak Ridge Today) The city of Oak Ridge plans to apply for a state grant to design and build a roundabout near Oak Ridge High School at a five-way intersection sometimes referred to as “Malfunction Junction.”  The Oak Ridge City Council unanimously approved the grant application on Monday. If approved, the Tennessee Department of Transportation grant would be used to build a roundabout at the intersection of Providence Road, Pennsylvania Avenue, East Pasadena Lane, and North Tulane Avenue.  The total cost of the project is estimated at $748,113. Tthe grant funding would come from the Transportation Alternative Program. TDOT funds 80 percent of those projects, excluding design, and a 20 percent local match is required.  The city’s cost would be about $150,000, and the city would pay for the design, officials said Monday.  Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson said the roundabout will help improve traffic flow and air quality in Oak Ridge, and the proposal is in line with a program to optimize traffic signal timing.  There were 43 crashes at the intersection from February 2008 to September 2014, and eight resulted in injuries, Oak Ridge Public Works Director Gary Cinder told City Council members. Cinder said the predominant cause—it applied to 24 crashes—was a failure to yield or to use due care of caution.  Cinder other options for the intersections have been looked at since 2001, but “a roundabout is the way to go.”


Frank questions indictment of appointee


Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank has questions for DA Dave Clark concerning the indictment of Public Works Director and Building Commissioner David Crowley.  A letter hand-delivered from the mayor’s office to the DA’s office states that the five misdemeanor charges handed down against Crowley last week by a grand jury do not meet the legal standards for those charges.  Crowley, who was appointed by Mayor Frank in September of 2012, was charged last week with five counts of inspecting houses without the proper certification following a TBI investigation.  He turned himself in at the Anderson County Jail Thursday morning, posted a $1000 bond and returned to work that same day.  Frank’s letter states that the charges “require not only a knowing failure to enforce the statute, but also that the intentional failure posed ‘an immediate danger to the life, safety or welfare of another.’”  Her letter states that each of the five houses in question has been inspected several times since Crowley’s initial inspection and that occupancy permits were issued.  Frank’s letter also says that it has been almost a year since the alleged illegal inspections were performed and nine months since County Law Director Jay Yeager raised questions about Crowley’s certifications, writing that she is not aware of any “immediate danger.”  The same morning that Crowley was indicted, he fired building inspector Lisa Crumpley for what her separation papers deemed insubordination, according to the News-Sentinel.  Crumpley cooperated with the TBI probe and her lawyer, David Stuart, sent a letter to Frank and County Commission Chairman Robert McKamey two weeks ago that expressed concern that she would be retaliated against.  Last week, Mayor Frank issued a statement in which she said that she would not tolerate anyone being terminated for lawfully cooperating in an investigation and pledged to look into the matter further. 


KCSO IDs Campbell man killed in crash


The Knox County Sheriff’s Office has identified the Campbell County man killed early Sunday morning after his SUV crashed on I-75 in Knox County.  Deputies say a 1993 Chevy Blazer driven by 59-year-old Charles Williams of LaFollette, struck an embankment and he was ejected from the vehicle.  Authorities say he was not wearing his seatbelt and also said there were no signs he had been drinking. The crash is still under investigation.


Clinton man killed in OR wreck


A 63-year-old Clinton man was killed last week in an accident on the Oak Ridge Turnpike when his Jeep Cherokee rolled several times and came to rest in a field.  The driver, Larry Ivy, was taken to UT Medical Center, where he later died.  Oak Ridge Police say that Ivy had been traveling east on the Turnpike last Monday afternoon October 6th, when his vehicle left the roadway and flipped several times before coming to rest about 300 feet from the road in a field.  Ivy was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. 


ORFD Chief appointed to state commission


(Oak Ridge Today) Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has announced the appointment of Oak Ridge Fire Chief Darryl Kerley to the Commission on Firefighting Personnel Standards and Education as a representative of the Tennessee Fire Chief’s Association, the Tennessee Fire Safety Inspectors Association, and the Tennessee Fireman’s Association.  The appointment is effective immediately and runs through July 31, 2020, a press release said.  Kerley has more than 37 years’ experience in fire and emergency services, serving in various capacities for several East Tennessee agencies, including fire chief for the Seymour Volunteer Fire Department, rescue technician and diver for the Knoxville Rescue Squad, and fire chief for the U.S Department of Energy at the K-25 Gaseous Diffusion plant in Oak Ridge.  In a letter to Kerley, Haslam stated: “I consider it very important to ensure that Tennessee’s boards and commissions are filled with the most dedicated and qualified citizens. I believe your participation is certain to leave a positive impact on this board and the work it does.”  The Firefighting Personnel Standards and Education Commission is responsible for the certification of volunteer and paid firefighters in the state of Tennessee. The nine-member Commission also administers the Educational Incentive Pay Program for paid firefighters in Tennessee.  The Commission is responsible for approving training programs to meet the requirements of T.C.A. 4-24-112 (the Minimum Training Statute) and proof of compliance with this statute through annual audits of selected fire departments.  “We are proud of Chief Kerley in his work for the City of Oak Ridge,” City Manager Mark Watson said in the press release. “Most notably, Chief Darryl Kerley has improved the Oak Ridge Fire Department to the ISO rating 2, which includes Oak Ridge as one of six departments in Tennessee.  “We know Chief Kerley can add his expertise to help the people of Tennessee in this new capacity as a member of the Tennessee Fire Commission.”  There are more than 350 fire departments enrolled in the Commission’s programs serving more than 19,000 fire service personnel in Tennessee.  “Governor Haslam has placed a great amount of trust and confidence in my abilities to serve on the commission,” Kerley said. “I promise my colleagues and local fire departments that I will do my very best to work with the other commissioners to make Tennessee Fire Service one of the best in our nation, in order to make Tennessee an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.”


Wildfire season begins October 15th


Wildfire season in East Tennessee begins on Wednesday and Tennessee forestry officials want to remind everyone that burn permits will be required.  Tennessee's official wildfire season runs from Oct. 15 - May 15.  During this time, anyone who does any outdoor burning is required by state law to request a free burn permit from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Forestry Division.  There are two ways to receive a burn permit. East Tennessee residents can request a burn permit online from 9 a.m. - midnight any day of the week or call their local state forestry office between the hours of 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Residents can receive an online permit in minutes. Online permits are restricted to individual debris piles smaller than 8 ft. x 8 ft. Anyone who wants to burn a larger brush pile or more than one pile at once must call the local forestry office for a permit. Anyone who lives within city limits must also receive a permit from the city and follow local ordinances.  Forestry officials warn that burning permit requests are more popular on Fridays as people prepare to burn leaf and brush piles over the weekend, so phone lines could be busy.  Burn permits may be canceled, restricted or denied during times of extreme drought or wildfire danger.  Anyone caught burning illegally during wildfire season will receive a citation and may be held responsible for any costs associated with putting out the fire.

Safety tips for outdoor burning:

1. Don't set any fires on property that borders a forest or grassland

2. Watch the wind

3. Keep tools and supplies on hand to contain or extinguish the fire

4. Dig a line down to mineral soil around the fire

5. Notify your neighbors

6. Get a permit and check local ordinances

7. Don't leave your fire until it's completely out

For more information on open burning in Tennessee, visit the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's website or call the East Tennessee Division office at (865) 594-6432.


Campbell man killed in Knox crash


A Campbell County man was killed early Sunday morning when his SUV crashed into an embankment and rolled several times on I-75 in Knox County.  The Knox County Sheriff’s Office says the wreck happened around 4:50 a.m. Sunday on I-75 at mile marker 114.  A deputy reported the driver was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the SUV when it hit an embankment and rolled several times.  The man was pronounced dead at the scene.  The KCSO said there were no signs of alcohol and the cause of the crash is under investigation. The victim's name has yet to be released.


ORT:  Fallen limb sparks fire


(Oak Ridge Today) A fallen tree limb knocked down a power line from a utility pole on Friday night, starting a small electric fire in a yard at 150 North Seneca Road.  The Oak Ridge police and fire departments blocked the road until the Oak Ridge Electric Department was able to respond and shut off the power.  The fire was reported at about 11:30 p.m. Friday. It burned for about an hour but did not spread. 


OR school leaders warn of scam


Oak Ridge school officials have notified parents of a scam involving fraudulent school solicitations.  School officials said last week that unknown people are driving around Oak Ridge and asking for donations for the Parent-Teacher Organization at the schools.  Parents were told in a Skylert call last week that neither the schools nor the PTOs send parents or employees door-to-door to collect money.  If approached by someone purporting to be representing the schools or the PTO, officials say to not give them any money and to immediately notify law enforcement. 


AC official indicted


Anderson County Public Works Director and Building Commissioner David Crowley was indicted earlier this week on charges that he inspected five houses under construction in the last three months of 2013 without having obtained the proper certification to do so.  Crowley was indicted on five misdemeanor counts of violating the state’s building official certification law.  The TBI says that at the request of 7th District Attorney General Dave Clark agents began investigating Crowley on April 16th.  During the course of the investigation, the TBI developed information that Crowley had performed five inspections without the proper certification. State law affords a building commissioner 12 months to obtain the proper certification. Agents determined Crowley performed five inspections outside the grace period afforded in Tennessee law.  He began working in the office in September of 2012 but failed to pass the required courses and tests.  In January, County Mayor Terry Frank instructed Crowley to not inspect any more buildings until the certifications were obtained.  Crowley turned himself in to authorities Thursday at the Anderson County Jail and was released a short time later after posting a $1000 bond.   Shortly before he turned himself into authorities, Crowley fired a building inspector in his office described as a whistleblower.  Lisa Crumpley was fired early Thursday morning.  In a letter sent to Mayor Frank and County Commission Chairman Robert McKamey dated October 3rd, her attorney, David Stuart writes:  “Ms. Crumpley has been conscientiously required to engage as part of the duties on her employment, including but not limited to providing information requested by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the county law director.  It is her belief that she is about to be subjected to retaliation on account of this activity, and I am therefore sending you this letter to formally protest and to seek appropriate intervention to prevent any retaliation.”  We will continue to follow this story for you as developments warrant. 


(TBI Press Release) Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have obtained indictments for an Anderson County man accused of performing building inspections he wasn’t certified to do.  At the request of 7th District Attorney General Dave Clark, TBI Special Agents began investigating David Lynn Crowley on April 16, 2014. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information that Crowley, the Public Works Director and Building Commissioner for Anderson County performed five inspections without the proper certification. State law affords a building commissioner 12 months to obtain the proper certification. Agents determined Crowley performed five inspections outside the grace period afforded in Tennessee law.  On Tuesday, the Anderson County Grand Jury returned indictments for the 62-year-old Clinton man, charging him with five misdemeanor counts of violating the state’s building official certification law. Today, he was booked into the Anderson County Detention Facility and subsequently released after posting $1,000 bond.


ORT:  FMCOR gets Pre-Diabetes grant


(Oak Ridge Today) The American Medical Association Foundation has awarded a $10,000 “Healthy Communities/Healthy America” grant to the Free Medical Clinic in Oak Ridge. The grant will be used to support a two-year program that identifies and provides early intervention for pre-diabetic patients, a press release said.  By completing the lifestyle intervention program, participants should lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and improve their overall health, the release said. The pre-diabetes initiative will run in conjunction with the “Healthy Habits, Healthy Lives” wellness program that the clinic began this fall. The wellness program is supported by a three-year grant from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation.  In the press release, FMC Executive Director Teresa Brittain said the clinic is excited about the new partnerships with the AMA Foundation and with the BCBS Foundation. Brittain said the pre-diabetic and wellness programs are furthering the clinic’s mission to give patients the tools and knowledge they need to take more responsibility for their health and well-being.  The Free Medical Clinic serves low-income, uninsured patients from Anderson, Morgan, and Roane Counties. It is located at 116 East Division Road in Oak Ridge and is open Monday through Friday. For more information, visit the clinic’s website at www.fmcor.org or call (865) 483-3904.


K-31 demolition begins


Demolition of the K-31 Building began Wednesday in Oak Ridge's East Tennessee Technology Park.  The two-story, 750,000 square foot building began operations in 1951, and was used to enrich uranium for defense and commercial purposes. It was shut down in 1985.  Crews removed most of the hazardous materials from the building's interior in 2005.  This is the fourth of five gaseous diffusion buildings at the former uranium enrichment site to be demolished.  Crews worked this summer to accelerate K-31's demolition five months ahead of its original proposed schedule.  Once the K-31 demolition is completed next year, the 383,000-square-foot K-27 Building will be the only remaining gaseous diffusion building at ETTP. It is scheduled for demolition in 2015.


RC Sheriff purchases drug incinerator


The Roane County Sheriff's Office has purchased a drug incinerator with a grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. It uses high heat to turn pills into piles of ash.  Deputies will use the incinerator to destroy medications collected in its drug take-back program.  Officials say that in the past, when drugs are collected, they have had to wait and schedule an appointment at another incinerator.  This new device means that when they collect a large amount of medications or other drugs, they can incinerate them on-site without an appointment.  Residents don't have to wait for an event to turn in unwanted drugs. A drop box at the sheriff's office is available to collect old and unused medications at any time.


UT Arboretum adding auditorium


Visitors to the University of Tennessee Arboretum in the coming weeks and months  –  including those planning to stop by for the Saturday, October 11 plant sale or the October 15 Woods and Wildlife Field Day – may catch a glimpse of something more than trees.  Construction supplies, equipment and heavy machinery are in evidence as the facility begins construction on its long anticipated auditorium.  The auditorium will be the newest addition to the UT Arboretum site, says Kevin Hoyt, director of the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center and UT Arboretum. “It is designed to complement the existing outdoor pavilion, but will be a stand-alone facility capable of accommodating gatherings of up to 120 people.”   Hoyt went on to describe the facility as a good fit for the Arboretum’s environment. “We’re really excited about the design,” he said. “Aesthetically, it’s an indoor space with outdoor ambitions.”   The 2,400+ square foot facility will have large windows that overlook the Arboretum’s hardwood forest, and the design includes a unique two-sided stone fireplace that can add ambiance to events that spill over from the indoor space to a large outside patio.  Of particular interest to many Arboretum visitors will be the addition of restroom facilities. Previously no public restrooms have been available on the Arboretum grounds.  Paid for with a combination of private donations and existing university facility funds, the auditorium is expected to be completed by June 2015. Construction begins as the Forest Resources Center and Arboretum celebrate 50 years of service to Tennessee forest landowners, the forest industry and the community at large.  Hoyt recently thanked the members of the UT Arboretum Society for their support of the facility. In a letter published in their newsletter last summer he wrote of the lasting legacy the building will provide the community, noting that the auditorium will help the research and education center “launch innovative education programs” among its many functions.  The Forest Resources Center includes some 11,500 acres of forested lands in Oak Ridge, Morgan and Scott counties, and Tullahoma. The Arboretum, which is open to the public for recreation and educational activities, comprises 250 of those acres. For more information about the research activities or the Arboretum and its plant collections and hiking trails, please visit the center’s website: forestry.tennessee.edu.  Although the construction phase may prove a bit noisy and messy, Hoyt assures the public that the serenity of the Arboretum will be restored as soon as possible.  In addition to its 10 AgResearch centers throughout the state, the UT Institute of Agriculture provides teaching, research and outreach through the colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and Veterinary Medicine and UT Extension with offices in every Tennessee county.


Island Invasion wrap-up


(Submitted) On Saturday September 27, 2014, over 75 volunteers invaded the islands of Norris Lake.  The mission was to pickup trash and illegally dumped items.  This cleanup effort was the fourth biannual Five County Norris Lake Cleanup and a National Public Lands Day event.  “For this cleanup, we decided to focus on the islands on Norris Lake because they are popular camping spots and while many of the campers are responsible with their waste, some tend to leave their trash and other unwanted items behind on the islands when the camping season is over,” said Julie Graham with East Tennessee Quality Growth. “The majority of what we picked up was cans and bottles but we also properly disposed of tires, foam blocks, patio chairs, tents, carpet and other camping gear.”  The event is organized through a partnership between the Anderson County Tourism Council, Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, Claiborne County Chamber of Commerce, Grainger County Chamber of Commerce, Leave No Trace, Norris Lake Marina Association, Plan East Tennessee, Tennessee Valley Authority, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and Union County Chamber of Commerce.  The partnership has been working on other environmental and safety issues concerning Norris Lake since 2011.  “We could not have conducted this cleanup without the help of the volunteers, many of which participated with their co-workers, fellow students or fellow homeowner association members,” said Stephanie Wells, Anderson County Tourism Council Director.  “We had groups from the Hampton Inn in Clinton, Keurig Green Mountain, Inc, Norris Shores Homeowners Association, Horace Maynard High School’s FFA Program, Keep Union County Beautiful, the Campbell County Fishing Team and the Clinton High School Interact Club in addition to the individuals that showed up to the help.”

“While we appreciate all the volunteers that help with the cleanup efforts, our ultimate goal is to eliminate the need for the cleanups,” said Wells.  “We want to raise public awareness about the problem and encourage people to properly dispose of their trash such as household garbage, tires, appliances, etc.  We also want to make sure that when visitors come to the lake for the day or the weekend, that they are  taking home all that they brought like bottles, cans, tents, food packaging, coolers, paper products, etc.”  

To help increase public awareness, volunteers that cleaned up around the Oak Grove area during the Five County Norris Lake Cleanup that was conducted in March 2014, built a display with just a sample of items picked up along the shores of Norris Lake and along Hwy 441. The display represents over 40 bags of trash picked up in one day and was on temporary display during the fall cleanup at Big Ridge State Park.  It is on permanent display at Norris Dam State Park.   The partnership volunteers have also hung 27 signs at public launches on Norris Lake.  The signs have phone numbers that people can call to report illegal dumping.   “Norris Lake consists of 800 miles of shoreline; we can’t monitor it all,” said Graham.  “We think that the signs will encourage people who are boating on Norris to report the illegal dumping that they see.”   The group has partnered with the Norris Lake Coast Guard Auxiliary to hand out information packets including a trash bag to boaters they encounter on the lake.  “Norris Lake is considered the cleanest lake in the TVA system, even with the dumping and trash issues” said Graham.  “We want to do everything that we can to keep it the cleanest lake but we need help from the residents and the visitors.”

If you are interested in volunteering with the cleanup efforts or the continuing public awareness campaign, visit www.NorrisLakeProjectTeam.com, call toll free to 800-524-3602 or email info@yallcome.org.  The Norris Lake Project Team is a partnership with the Anderson County Tourism Council, Big Ridge State Park, Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, Campbell County Litter Grant Program, Claiborne County Chamber of Commerce, East Tennessee Quality Growth, Grainger County Chamber of Commerce, Keep Union County Beautiful, Leave No Trace, Narrow Ridge Earth Literacy Center, Norris Dam State Park, Norris Lake Marina Association, Tennessee Valley Authority, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and Union County Chamber of Commerce.


Ex-CHS standout pleads guilty in 2011 case


Troubled former Clinton High School football standout Scotty Whitt pleaded guilty Tuesday in Anderson County Criminal Court to charges stemming from a May 2011 incident in which he was accused of breaking into a woman’s house and raping her.  Whitt, now 39 years old, pleaded guilty to reduced charges of aggravated assault, aggravated burglary and criminal trespassing.  He was sentenced to eight years in jail on the assault charge, three years on the burglary charge and 30 days on the criminal trespassing charge, all of which will be served concurrently.  Whitt was given credit for time served since his arrest the morning after the May 19th, 2011 incident, and will spend the rest of his life on community supervision upon his release from jail.  Whitt was standout running back in high school and helped the Dragons advance to the 1992 state championship game but after high school he did not have the grades necessary to go to college, and developed a drug problem that has helped land him behind bars on several occasions on a variety of charges. 


Clinton announces leaf collection dates


The City of Clinton’s Public Works Department is announcing the 2014 Leaf Collection Schedule, which begins on October 20th. Our city is zoned into four service areas, with each area receiving three leaf collections. The collection dates are approximately one month apart. In order for collections to be made, leaves must be at the curbside before the scheduled Monday collection date. Leaves should normally be collected within five days of the date shown.  If you desire to have leaves removed on dates other than what is shown on the schedule, you should bag them and place them at the curbside with your household garbage for Waste Connections to collect. Waste Connections will collect a total of the equivalent of four 32 gallon containers from each household, whether leaves, household trash, or a combination.  In past years we have had problems with leaves being placed in the street, on sidewalks, and in drainage ditches. Your leaves should be piled near the curb or ditch line, on your property, and no closer. When leaves are placed in the street and in ditches, rain carries them into our storm water drains and catch basins, adding to drainage and flooding problems. Leaves placed in the street obstruct traffic, and leaves placed on sidewalks create a hazard for pedestrians. Leaves may be bagged and left at the curbside for collection on the scheduled days.  It is a violation of Clinton City Ordinances 16-106 and 16-107 to place leaves in the street or in drainage curb/gutters and ditches. We have asked our Codes Enforcement department to help enforce these ordinances. If your leaves are left in violation of the ordinances, they will not be collected until a correction is made through Codes Enforcement. Your cooperation with this ongoing problem is needed and will be greatly appreciated.  If you have a large amount of leaves that you wish to gather and need a location to dump them, call me at 457-6495 or e-mail to lmurphy@clintontn.net and I will make arrangements for you. Also, please do not combine brush with leaves, as our equipment will not be able to collect them from the same pile.


ACSD beer sting nets 5


The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, in cooperation with the Rocky Top Police

Department, the Oliver Springs Police Department, and Allies for Substance Abuse

Prevention of Anderson County (ASAP), conducted compliance checks of local businesses who sell beer on Monday, September 29.  Investigators with the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit visited twenty businesses to attempt to purchase beer. Five sold beer to the underage person. All twenty businesses checked for identification showing the person to be under 21 but the five sold beer anyway.

The following businesses sold beer to the underage person.

  • In & Out Market Lake City Hwy. Clinton
  • Lee’s Food Mart E. Tri-County Blvd. Oliver Springs
  • Raceway E. Tri-County Blvd. Oliver Springs
  • Smokes & Things Clinton Hwy. Powell
  • Von’s Market E. Wolf Valley Rd. Heiskell

Five clerks who sold beer to the underage purchasers have been cited to court. The beer permit holders will be brought before the respective beer boards for Anderson County and Oliver Springs.  Businesses who checked for identification and did not sell beer are to be commended and recognized for their efforts. All of the following businesses checked for identification and did not sell beer to the underage purchaser:

  • Anderson Discount Tobacco Main St. Oliver Springs
  • Bread Box Edgemoor Rd. Powell
  • Exxon N. Main St. Rocky Top
  • Fast Lap Market (Town Talk) Lake City Hwy. Clinton
  • Food City E. Tri-County Blvd. Oliver Springs
  • Marathon (Mack’s Tobacco) Oak Ridge Hwy. Clinton
  • Marathon (Edgemoor) Edgemoor Rd.
  • Marathon (Downtown) Main St. Oliver Springs
  • Marathon (Fast Track) Lake City Hwy. Rocky Top
  • Marathon (Rocky Top) N. Main St. Rocky Top
  • Pilot #314 N. Main St. Rocky Top
  • Rite Aid E. Tri-County Blvd. Oliver Springs
  • Shell N. Main St. Rocky Top
  • Shell (Fun Food) E. Tri-County Blvd. Oliver Springs
  • Weigel’s #73 Weigel’s Ln. Rocky Top

In 2013, the Anderson County Underage Drinking Task Force was established to create a platform for representatives from each municipality across Anderson County to address underage drinking issues. In collaboration with Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) of Anderson County, the Underage Drinking Task Force consists of community members representing beer boards, alcohol outlets, law enforcement officers, Tennessee Alcohol Beverage Commission and other government officials. Task Force members have been working diligently by analyzing policy and investigating best practices to prevent and reduce underage drinking.  The Underage Drinking Task Force meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:00pm in the Board Room on the 5th floor of the Robert Jolley Building at 101 South Main Street in Clinton. For more information about the Underage Drinking Task Force, please contact Michael Foster, Prevention Coordinator with ASAP at (865) 457-3007 or Michael@ASAPofAnderson.org. By being proactive, local law enforcement agencies, along with the Underage Drinking Task Force, are creating a safer environment in Anderson County.  For additional information on preventing underage drinking, please visit: www.ASAPofAnderson.org.


ORUUC in new home


An Oak Ridge church that voted two years ago to relocate to make way for a multi-million dollar development moved into its new home Sunday.  After nearly six decades at its original location, the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church celebrated the change with a parade from the old location to its new location.  Led by three of its founding members, the congregation walked into its new church down the road near Summit Medical.  The church continued the celebration with its first service inside the new building.  The relocation process began in 2012, when the church sold its original site to make way for a 30-million-dollar Kroger Marketplace. The first part of that development opened this past June.


Y12 workers receive NNSA honors


(Submitted) Thirteen teams at Y-12 received NNSA Defense Programs Awards of Excellence at an annual ceremony held recently at the New Hope Center. A total of 209 recipients were recognized, with several participating on more than one team. In total, 235 awards were presented for significant achievements in 2013.  NNSA’s newly appointed Uranium Program Manager Tim Driscoll gave the keynote address. “I’m here today as a patriot, a citizen, a father, a friend to some of you, and as a customer,” Driscoll said. ”These awards are a testament to the good work that goes on here every day at every level. They’re a testament to the loyalty and dedication of all those involved.” 

Mark Padilla, NNSA Production Office’s assistant manager for programs and projects, and Jim Haynes, CNS president and chief executive officer, joined Driscoll in presenting the awards. ”The hard work that happens here is what makes the Nuclear Security Enterprise what it is,” Padilla told the crowd.  Haynes said that often Hollywood celebrities and professional athletes garner praise but that Y-12 workers are just as deserving of being in the spotlight. “You are the real heroes. You are creators of solutions. You do the yeoman’s work for our nuclear security,” he said. “How refreshing it is for you to be recognized instead of those who walk the red carpet. You do the critical front-line work for our nation.”  Established by NNSA in 1982, the Defense Programs Awards of Excellence recognize significant individual and team accomplishments across the nuclear weapons complex in support of NNSA’s nuclear weapons program.  The awards are given annually to recognize significant achievements in quality, productivity, cost savings, safety or creativity in support of NNSA’s nuclear weapons program.


Campbell man charged in girlfriend’s death


A Campbell County man has been arrested after the shooting death of his girlfriend.

Officers responded to a home on Sharp Lane in Caryville around 5 pm Thursday and found 51-year-old Wanda Odell dead from a gun shot wound. Authorities have charged her boyfriend, Tommy Odell with criminal homicide.  An autopsy was scheduled for Friday at the UT Medical Center Forensic Anthropology Center. The investigation is ongoing.


THP:  Man killed in I-75 wreck


One person died in a single-vehicle accident on Interstate 75 North in Anderson County Thursday afternoon.  The Tennessee Highway Patrol responded to the scene just before 3:30 p.m. at exit 129, the Rocky Top exit. The THP report indicates that a 1998 Ford pickup left the right side of the roadway, traveled into a ditch and flipped, partially ejecting the driver, 29-year-old William Overton of Jacksboro.  Troopers say he was not wearing a seatbelt. 


Phillips leaving 2 jobs to return to old job


Former Anderson County budget director Chris Phillips, who left that job earlier this year to help his hometown update their financial mechanisms as they get ready for an extended period of growth, is returning to his old job in the Courthouse.  That means that he will step down as City recorder in Rocky Top and as a newly-elected County Commissioner in District 4.  Phillips was elected to that post in August but will step down from the commission on October 10th.  It will be up to the remaining 15 commissioners to select a replacement to serve the rest of his term, which runs through August 2016.  In a press release issued by the County Mayor’s office, Phillips says, “While the thought of disappointing those who were kind enough to vote for me weighs heavily on me, I know I can best serve the people of this county by implementing and directing policy, rather than making policy [as a commissioner].”  Citing his accomplishments in Rocky Top, Phillips says that he spent his time there “working toward balancing their accounts, working with the auditors to help them complete the overdue 2012/2013 financial audit, instituted direct deposit for the employees, installed card machines in order to accept debit and credit card transactions, hired a new water clerk, installed property tax software in the place of a manual paper process, and corrected many other processes that had fallen by the way side over the last few years. I’ve helped Rocky Top modernize in anticipation of great things to come, and now feel I’m able to return to Anderson County.”  Mayor Terry Frank had this to say about Phillips’ return:  “I never wanted Chris to leave, but I certainly understood from the beginning that Lake City, now Rocky Top, was in search of next level management in modernizing their accounting structure… I made it clear from the get-go that if I had not filled the Budget Director position, he was always welcome back home here in Anderson County Government.”  Interim Budget Director Connie Aytes will return to her former position as Deputy Budget Director when Phillips’ return becomes official.  Read the entire press release on our website, www.wyshradio.com.


(Press release from Anderson County Mayor’s office) Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank today announced that Chris Phillips will be rejoining Anderson County Government as Budget Director.   

“I never wanted Chris to leave, but I certainly understood from the beginning that Lake City, now Rocky Top, was in search of next level management in modernizing their accounting structure.  Though Chris tried to accomplish Rocky Top’s goals by working part-time on weekends, it really took him leaving the county to be in Rocky Top full time.   I made it clear from the get-go that if I had not filled the Budget Director position, he was always welcome back home here in Anderson County Government,” stated Frank.

“While the thought of disappointing those who were kind enough to vote for me weighs heavily on me, I know I can best serve the people of this county by implementing and directing policy, rather than making policy, and that requires that I step down from my position as Commissioner to serve Anderson County in another way,” stated Phillips. Phillips will resign his District 4 County Commission seat effective Oct. 10.

“Chris knows Anderson County inside and out, and we have missed him.  Our team is excited to have him back, and I personally am just thrilled,” said Mayor Frank. Phillips will officially rejoin Anderson County Government on Oct. 30. 

“I want to thank Connie Aytes, who has served as Interim Budget Director, for her tireless work,” said Mayor Frank.  “She has served Anderson County for six years – since February 2014 as Interim Budget Director – and under Phillips’ previous tenure as Budget Director, was named Deputy Director. Her past experience as an auditor with the Tennessee Office of the Comptroller has given the accounting office a unique area of expertise, insight, and guidance.  She is so appreciated for rising to the challenge as Interim Director, and we can’t possibly thank her enough. She remains a vital part of the team,” continued Mayor Frank. 

Phillips successfully helped Anderson County achieve seven Certificates of Excellence in the seven years he previously was the county’s Budget Director. He is a Certified Financial Manager accredited through the Association of Government Accountants and holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Tennessee Wesleyan College.

“When approached by Rocky Top, I felt it was my duty to help get my hometown in solid financial order. I left to get things back on track, believing it was my calling to do so. Once I was here, I immediately began working toward balancing their accounts, working with the auditors to help them complete the overdue 2012/2013 financial audit, instituted direct deposit for the employees, installed card machines in order to accept debit and credit card transactions, hired a new water clerk, installed property tax software in the place of a manual paper process, and corrected many other processes that had fallen by the way side over the last few years. I’ve helped Rocky Top modernize in anticipation of great things to come, and now feel I’m able to return to Anderson County,” said Phillips.

“I am very proud to have helped Rocky Top move forward, and am excited to return to Anderson County,” Phillips said.


USEC emerges from bankruptcy, changes name


Centrus Energy Corporation announced this week that it has satisfied all the conditions to emerge from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The conditions were outlined in a reorganization plan approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on September 5.

The plan became effective Tuesday, and Centrus, formerly known as USEC Incorporated, emerged from the restructuring in a “stronger position to supply customers with nuclear fuel and support the energy and national security needs of the United States,” a press release said.

John Welch, president and chief executive officer of Centrus:  “Looking ahead, we will continue as a reliable supplier to our customers with an improved financial foundation. We strongly believe in the future value that the American Centrifuge technology can provide for domestic uranium enrichment and will build on the innovation of our employees, America’s leading experts on uranium enrichment, to support the national security objectives of the United States government.”

Welch said Centrus will remain positioned to commercialize the American Centrifuge technology when market conditions permit to supply the global fleet of commercial power reactors.

The company has next-generation uranium enrichment operations in Oak Ridge at the American Centrifuge Technology Manufacturing Center, the former Boeing building. In August, USEC (now Centrus) announced that Oak Ridge National Laboratory had exercised an option to extend the American Centrifuge demonstration program into 2015.

The press release this week said a new board of directors consisting of up to 11 directors will provide governance and strategic direction for Centrus. Five members of the previous USEC board, including one member appointed by Toshiba America Nuclear Energy Corporation, and five newly appointed directors under the plan approved by the bankruptcy court will comprise the new board. One seat on the board remains vacant, which may be filled by a person appointed by The Babcock & Wilcox Company.

Centrus Energy Corp. is a trusted supplier of enriched uranium fuel for a growing fleet of international and domestic commercial nuclear power plants. Centrus is working to deploy the American Centrifuge technology for commercial needs and to support U.S. energy and national security.


CDBGs announced for several Tennessee communities


Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty recently approved more than $28 million in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to assist Tennessee communities with infrastructure, health and safety projects, and downtown improvements.  “Community Development Block Grants play an important role in helping communities across Tennessee prepare for future economic development opportunities and continued growth,” Haslam said. “Working with our communities in making these improvements helps bring us one step closer toward our goal to making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”   

“Community development sets the stage for burgeoning economic development and when a community invests in itself, the private sector is more likely to invest in it as well,” Hagerty said. “I am pleased to see so many communities across the state eagerly taking steps not only to attract new business and encourage future growth, but also to create better living conditions for the families that reside there.” 

Allocation of CDBG funds is based on priorities set at local levels where community needs are best known. The CDBG program is administered in Tennessee by the Department of Economic and Community Development.




CDBG Amount

Local Funds



Drainage Improvements





Sewer System Improvements




Morgan County

Waterline Extension




Oliver Springs

Sewer System Improvements




Rocky Top

Water System Improvements




Union County

Waterline Extension





Ruby Tuesday in OR closes


Ruby Tuesday in Oak Ridge has closed. The restaurant announced the closure in two signs posted on its front doors.  The signs invite diners to eat at other local Ruby Tuesday restaurants in Knoxville and Lenoir City.  In early January, the company announced that it would close 30 restaurants during the next few months, although executives wouldn’t say which ones. The announcement came after a disappointing earnings report.  It is not clear at this time if the closure of the Oak Ridge location is related to that January announcement.


ORT:  ORHS chem lab incident prompts response


Students at Oak Ridge High School were briefly evacuated Tuesday morning after a chemistry experiment set off smoke detectors.  According to our partners at Oak Ridge Today, a small amount of zinc chloride and water created water vapor that set off the smoke detectors, which then shut chemistry lab hoods. The Oak Ridge Fire Department manually opened the vents in the room (LC212) until the smoke detector system reset. Firefighters checked the air, making sure it was safe to breathe.  There was no fire, no damage, and no injuries, according to the ORFD, which also said that no students were ever in danger.  Oak Ridge police and fire departments responded to the call at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and gave the “all clear” about 20 minutes later. 


OR Mall TIF deadline extended


In two separate meetings Monday, the Oak Ridge Industrial Development Board and the City Council voted to approve a 10-year extension of a tax increment financing plan for the initial costs of demolishing most of the nearly-vacant Oak Ridge Mall property and redeveloping it into the recently-renamed Main Street Oak Ridge.  North Carolina-based Crosland Southeast has proposed turning the mall property into a mixed-use downtown collection of retail stores, office space, apartments and a hotel.  When all is said and done, the project could represent a total private investment of some $80 million while generating as much as $2 million a year in new property tax revenues for the city and the county.  Plans call for existing retail anchors Belk, JC Penney, Cinemark Theaters, and Super Walmart to remain on the property and receive a facelift.  City leaders also voted to use $1 million money from the city’s reserve and capital maintenance funds to pay for the relocation of utilities and rebuilding three private roads on the property to public road standards.  TIFs allow the developer to invest money typically owed for taxes into infrastructure for the length of the financing agreement.  The financing plan for this project involves $13 million in tax increment financing, and the payback period for that loan to Crosland was extended Monday from 20 years to 30 years. Under the agreement, the developer would be loaned $13 million by a consortium of four local banks.  Property taxes on the project would continue to be paid to Oak Ridge and to Anderson County at their current levels, while the expected increase in property taxes from the development would be used to repay the loans.  City leaders hope to obtain a $1 million federal Economic Development Administration grant that the city would use to match its $1 million investment in the roadwork and utility relocation.  If the grant falls through, the Industrial Development Board would contribute $500,000 for that work with the rest coming from money generated by the TIF.  Company officials say that negotiations with possible tenants are progressing very well.  If all goes as planned, demolition should begin early next year with a grand opening in the third quarter of 2016.


AC RAM in fundraising mode


Following up on a report we brought you last week, First Baptist Church of Clinton will host a Remote Area Medical—or RAM—Clinic on  April 11th and 12th, 2015.  The mission of the clinic is to provide those who need them with vision, medical and dental services free of charge.  The clinic will be free and will be supported by volunteers and donations.  Organizers are asking the community for prayers and for financial support for the clinic, which has an overall budget of $30,000.  If you would like to donate, you can send a check payable to “First Baptist Church of Clinton, AC RAM Event” by sending it to 225 North Main Street, Clinton, TN 37716.  For more information, you can call 865-259-6726 or www.andersoncountyram.com.


1 killed, 3 hurt in Saturday crash


One man was killed and three others injured Saturday night in a single-vehicle accident on I-75 in Campbell County.  The accident happened Saturday at around 10:15 pm when a northbound Ford Explorer driven by 34-year-old Juan Garcia left the left side of the road and hit the guardrail, traveled back across the roadway, then crossed back over to the median, where it rolled over and came to rest on its roof.  Garcia, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol accident report, was killed in the crash.  Two men and a woman who had been passengers in the Explorer were hurt in the accident, although the severity of their injuries was not reported.  None of the four occupants had addresses in the US, according to the trooper’s report, which also indicated that all of the occupants of the SUV had been wearing seatbelts. 


ORNL FCU undergoing facelift


ORNL Federal Credit Union has started its major facilities projects in Oak Ridge with the demolition of its location at 215 South Rutgers Avenue, which was the Credit Union’s sole branch between 1969 and 1987, before housing the Operations and Imaging departments for the last 27 years.  Business operations at ORNL FCU’s main branch located at 221 South Rutgers Avenue will not be affected by the ongoing work.  This initial step is part of the Credit Union’s larger facilities plan, which involves relocating its main branch into a high-efficiency, “forward-looking” work environment that will be built on the 215 South Rutgers Avenue location and retain the original building’s address.  The current main branch/headquarters building at 221 South Rutgers Avenue will be remodeled and redesigned to consolidate the Credit Union’s back office operations.  Demolition should conclude at the end of this week, with construction preparation of the new branch scheduled to begin in October.  Earlier this year, ORNL Federal Credit Union also announced its plans to develop a three-story, 24,000-square-foot regional center at the intersection of Pellissippi Parkway and Northshore Drive in Knox County, which will become the home office for CU Community LLC, a credit union service organization. The Northshore facility will include a new “branch of the future” for ORNL FCU members and a state-of-the-art work environment for employees, according to a press release.  ORNL FCU’s Regional Center at Northshore is slated for completion in 2016.


ADFAC benefits from Y-12 donation


(Submitted) Y12 employees recently donated more than $2,000 and numerous school supplies to ensure students in need are starting the school year with what they need. Working with Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties, or ADFAC, employees donated money along with some 144 wide-ruled notebooks, 132 packs of crayons, 111 packs of pencils, 80 packs of paper, and 66 packs of glue sticks.  ADFAC volunteers use the donations to provide backpacks and school supplies to fulfill more than 7,000 requests for assistance.  ADFAC, which began in the 1980s, works to meet the unfilled needs of community members. To find out more about ADFAC, visit www.adfac.org or call (865) 483-6028. 


AC FFA state champs


The Anderson County Future Farmers of America (FFA) have earned a state title in the Milk Quality and Products Career Development Event (CDE). Students from 33 chapters gathered at the Tennessee State Fair to compete in the event sponsored by F&M Bank of Clarksville. The Milk Quality and Products CDE tests agricultural education students on their knowledge of quality production, processing, distribution, promotion, and marketing of milk and dairy foods.  The Anderson County team is comprised of all freshmen, making their state title that much more impressive. Mary Leach was the highest-scoring individual, while Kayla Palmer and Rhett Boling tied for 2nd, and Colby Profit placed 4th.  Anderson County will represent Tennessee at the National FFA Convention in Louisville, KY this October. The team will compete for national recognition and up to $1000 per team member.  The Tennessee FFA Association is comprised of more than 13,000 members from 213 high school chapters, 7 middle school chapters and 8 collegiate chapters across the state of Tennessee. To learn more about FFA visit www.tnffa.org.


ORCVB has new director


Earlier this week, former Oak Ridge Rowing Association director Mark DeRose accepted the position of executive director of the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau.  He will succeed Katy Brown, who left the post earlier this year to accept another job opportunity.  He agreed to a contract worth $55,000 a year following negotiations with the Board of Directors that took place on Wednesday. 


Man charged after infant son found inside vehicle


A man was charged this week after police responded to a 911 call of an infant left in a van in the Jacksboro Walmart parking lot.  Jacksboro Police say an officer found the four-month-old boy asleep inside the vehicle with the windows rolled up.  The officer got the child out of the car and went inside the store to look for his parents.  Officers reported that after about ten minutes, they located Jessie Francis and his 7-year-old son inside the store shopping.  Security camera footage showed they'd been inside for at least 30 minutes. Francis eventually told officers that he had forgotten the infant was with him.   He was arrested and charged with child abuse and reckless child endangerment.  Officers said it was about 75 degrees outside at the time of t6he incident and when they used a thermal imaging device to gauge the temperature inside the minivan, it was 87 degrees.  The baby was taken to an area hospital for an exam and is now back with his mother.   Francis is due in court next Thursday. 


2 arrested in Anderson after pursuit from Knox


Two people were charged after they led authorities on a chase up I-75 late Wednesday morning.  The pursuit began at the Knights Inn on Dante Road when a Knox County Sheriff's deputy was looking for a stolen vehicle and saw a man and woman shooting up drugs outside the motel. The pair got into a vehicle and fled.  Officers pursued the two as they got onto I-75 at Callahan Drive and headed north shortly after 11:30 am.  The chase ended just after noon when the THP deployed spike strips on the road that deflated a rear tire and caused the driver to lose control near the Rocky Top exit, where authorities were able to take them into custody.  The driver, 45-year-old Jeffrey Kent Lee admitted to shooting up Oxycontin just before the pursuit and is facing numerous moving violations, driving on a revoked license, evading arrest, and damaging county property. Additional charges could be pending. Lee also had a warrant for a stolen vehicle out of Paris, Tennessee. His passenger, 35-year-old Elizabeth Williams was taken into custody for outstanding warrants out of Humphreys and Stewart counties in Tennessee.  No one was hurt during the pursuit.


ACSD receives grant


(ACSD) Sheriff Paul White announced today that the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department has been awarded a Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) from the Office of Criminal Justice Programs (OJP). The grant award of $14,993.00 from the OJP will be matched with $4,997.00 in local funding for a total of $19,990.00 which will be used for purchase of law enforcement equipment.  Sheriff White received notification of the grant award from the Office of Criminal Justice Programs, Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration.  For more information, please visit: http://state.tn.us/finance/adm/ocjp.


Ouster suit dismissal to be appealed


The attorney for the 22 Anderson County residents who filed an ouster suit against County Law Director Jay Yeager in the spring will appeal the dismissal of the suit last week by a specially-appointed senior judge.  Senior Judge Don Ash last week issued an opinion based on a hearing held August 28th dismissing the suit on the grounds that the Anderson County Law Director is not subject to ouster because his is an appointed position and not an elected one.  Judge Ash also opined that the plaintiffs “can prove no set of facts that would entitle them to relief.”  His ruling also made those plaintiffs liable for all court costs in the case, which will continue to mount as the appeals process continues.  The original ouster suit was filed in May with three grounds for Yeager’s dismissal but was later amended to include 16 reasons for ouster.  Yeager has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and has publicly stated he believes that County Mayor Terry Frank, with whom he has had several high-profile disagreements, is behind the suit.  Mayor Frank has repeatedly denied that allegation.


Sitel expanding OR operation, 125 new jobs available


Monday, Sitel announced a major hiring effort aimed at attracting over 125 new employees at the company’s Oak Ridge facility. Newly hired associates will provide inbound customer service support for a leading loan acquisition and servicing provider. The hiring effort will continue within the local community for the next 60 days, according to a press release.  The company, a leading global customer care provider, will fill positions at both the entry and upper management levels, while providing career development opportunities with fast-moving growth potential for all employees, the press release said. Sitel offers its employees a market-leading total compensation and benefits package, which includes medical, dental, vision, 401K, paid vacation, and holiday time with additional bonus and incentive opportunities, the release said.  The company will host open houses every Tuesday and Thursday through November at their facility located at 1089 Commerce Park Drive in Oak Ridge. Interested applicants are encouraged to attend or can also apply online at the Careers tab of www.sitel.com.


Children’s Museum of OR snares healthy living exhibit grant


(Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge) Thursday, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded a grant totaling $137,108 to the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge. The museum will use the grant funds to develop its new Kids in Action! Healthy Living exhibit and programs.  According to a press release, the museum will plan, develop, and construct “Kids in Action,” a healthy living exhibit and accompanying educational programs to support healthy nutrition, healthy activity, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education, and community wellness. Through partnerships with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, and the University of Tennessee Agriculture Extension the “Kids in Action” initiative will use fun and engaging activities, including a human body exhibit and a fitness trail mascot, “Peppy Pepper,” to raise awareness in the community about healthy nutrition and exercise and to encourage positive attitudes concerning healthy lifestyles. The project will provide direction, encouragement, and programs aligned with school STEM initiatives to children who are confronted with serious lifestyle choices.  Mary Ann Damos, executive director at the museum, stated, “We are excited to begin the project and look forward to forming new partnerships in the community to work with us in this effort. I am very grateful to the Institute of Museum and Library Services for this grant award and for all of the work they do for museums and libraries across the nation.”  The museum will have to provide a 50-50 match of the grant, which will include both in-kind labor and money, so they are actively seeking sponsors with a focus on health care and medical organizations.  The exhibit itself will replace the current “1910 exhibit” on the first level of the museum and is expected to take up to three years to complete.  For more information, visit http://childrensmuseumofoakridge.org/.


Ouster suit dismissed


Friday, a specially appointed senior judge from Murfreesboro issued an order dismissing the ouster lawsuit filed against Anderson County Law Director Jay Yeager in May by 22 county residents.  In his opinion, Senior Judge Don Ash dismissed the suit on the grounds that the position of Anderson County Law Director does not fall under the state guidelines for an ouster suit, which apply only to elected officials “in a position of public trust.”  The judge also wrote that the 22 plaintiffs in the suit “can prove no set of facts which would entitle them to relief.”  The decision can be appealed and if an appeal is filed, we will let you know about it.  The suit was initially filed in May with three grievances calling for Yeager’s ouster and later amended to include 16.  Yeager steadfastly denied any wrongdoing.


ORT:  Minivan strikes gas line, sparks fire


(Oak Ridge Today) A 43-year-old Knoxville man was taken to the hospital after his minivan went down a small embankment on the Oak Ridge Turnpike, crashed into a wooded area, and sparked a gas line fire on Saturday afternoon.  Driver Thomas Debusk was taken by ambulance to UT Medical Center in Knoxville, the Oak Ridge Police Department said.  The cause of the crash, reported at about 1:43 p.m., was not immediately known. The gold 2003 Honda Odyssey van driven by Debusk struck an aboveground natural gas pipeline in a small basin below Oak Ridge Turnpike and next to the parking lot at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which is across from Tractor Supply.  Oak Ridge Animal Control Officer Sara Walter, who was working at a pet adoption event at Tractor Supply when the crash occurred, ran across the Turnpike to assist, the ORPD said in a press release.  Walter and a passerby identified as Danny Mealer broke the driver’s window, pulled Debusk from the vehicle, and rendered first aid.  ORPD Officers Grant Gouldie and Tim Nguyen, who incurred minor injuries at the scene, were treated at Methodist Medical Center and released.  Firefighetrs waited until the Oak Ridge Utility District arrived for instructions on what to do about the fire shooting up from the one-inch high-pressure gas line.  Once ORUD arrived, utility workers told firefighters they could turn off the gas.  In the meantime, firefighters kept the fire from spreading, including to a nearby utility pole, by keeping the area wet.  The gas line fire was out by 2:09 pm, less than 30 minutes after it was reported.  All four lanes of Oak Ridge Turnpike were temporarily closed near Tractor Supply. The gas line was capped, and ORUD checked the area for leaks and found none.


Violette honored by peers


Earlier this month, the Director of the Clinton City School System, Dr. Vicki Violette, was named the 2015 Superintendent of the Year by the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents for the Eastern District during a ceremony held in Pigeon Forge.  This is the second time that Dr. Violette has been recognized by her peers with this award, which she also won in 2012.  Violette gave the credit for her honor to the hard work of the students, teachers, school board members and central office staff as well as to the support of the entire community. 


Commissioner proposes money for county employees


Anderson County commissioners learned Monday that the undesignated fund balance—or rainy-day fund—is above the minimum $4 million dollar threshold established two years ago.  As a result, Commissioner Myron Iwanski is proposing that the excess $290,000 in the fund balance be used to reward employees who have not seen significant pay raises in four years.  In a memo to his fellow commissioners and copied to local media outlets, Iwanski writes, “Four years ago our fund balance was heading down to less than $500,000 and our credit rating being affected.  Beginning [at that time], by being more cautious with how we spend fund balance money and with the help of all of our elected officials and employees, we increased the fund balance to [its current level].  One of the many things we did to turn this around was not [give] our employees a salary increase for several years—except to cover the annual increases in health insurance cost.  Countywide office holders, meanwhile, were given state-mandated increases in salaries.”  Iwanski is proposing one of two options:  a lump sum payment of $640 for all 450 employees who would be eligible if this plan is approved, or give those employees a lump payment equal to 2 percent of their respective salaries.  The measure will be submitted to the Budget Committee for discussion in October and could also be discussed at the full Commission’s next meeting later in the month.  Any motion to use money from the fund balance must be approved by a super-majority of the Commission—or 12 votes out of 16.  Iwanski’s memo can be read in its entirety on our website. 


(Memo from Commissioner Myron Iwanski) I think we were all pleased that for the 4th year in a row our year-end fund balance increased over the previous year. We owe a big thank you to our county employees for helping making this happen.  Four years ago our fund balance was heading down to less than $500,000 and our credit rating was being   affected. Beginning four years ago, by being more cautious with how we spend fund balance money and with the help of all our elected officials and employees, we increased the fund balance to the current $4,290,000.  One of the many things we did to turn this around was not giving our employees a salary increase for several years - except to cover the annual increases in health insurance cost. County-wide office holders, meanwhile, were given state mandated increases in salaries.  I propose using a small portion of this fund balance to provide a small lump sum payment to those county general fund employees that did not get a state mandated salary increase.  I propose that $290,000 (which is the amount above the $4 million fund balance goal) be used for a one-time lump sum payment to employees in lieu of a salary increase. If we exclude part time employees, new hires, and employees that received a state mandated pay increase, there are about 450 general fund employees that would qualify for this lump sum payment, according to Human Resources.  If we were to split the $290,000 evenly among the 450 employees, each employee would receive a one-time payment of $640. Alternatively, we could give all of these employees a lump payment equal to about 2 percent of their salary.

I suggest that to qualify for this lump sum payment employees;

Must be full time (i.e., able to qualify for heath insurance),

Must not be an elected official (County Commissioners would not qualify),

Must not have received a salary increase in the last year, and

Must have worked full time from January 1, 2014 to September 1, 2014

I am sending this to the Budget Committee for them to consider at the October budget meeting. Having sent this to the Budget Committee for consideration, the full County Commission can also take this up at its October meeting, and consider any recommendations the Budget Committee may offer.  I believe that addressing this for our hard working employees who have done without a salary increase for years should be our top priority. As such, I ask that Budget Committee and County Commission take up this request in October and before taking up any other proposals to use money out of the fund balance.


Repairs made to Jaycee Park walking trail


Clinton Public Works and Parks & Recreation employees recently completed some much needed work on the walking trail at Jaycee Park. In a press release, Public Works Director Lynn Murphy says this is the first major repair effort on the trail in about fifteen years.  Murphy says that the city had received some complaints about the condition of the trails, which raised questions for officials about walkers’ safety.  Several sections of asphalt were either completely removed and replaced or, when possible, repaired.  Officials hope that further improvements to the Jaycee Park walking trail can be made in the near future.


State awards $24M in highway safety grants


(GHSO) Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer and Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole announced the Tennessee agencies that received grant awards totaling more than $24.2 million to support highway traffic safety efforts.  The funds support the mission of GHSO to save lives and reduce injuries on Tennessee roadways through leadership, innovation, coordination and program support in partnership with numerous public and private organizations.  “Having safe roads is critical to our mission of making Tennessee a better place to live, work and raise a family,” Haslam said.  “These grants will support the efforts of highway safety agencies and advocates to reduce the number of people killed and injured in traffic crashes in Tennessee each year.”  There are multiple elements that contribute to a safe roadway system.  Some of those aspects are an accurate traffic safety data collection and analysis system, well-trained and well-equipped law enforcement personnel, and effective emergency medical and trauma systems.  A major part of roadway safety is educating motorists about laws and good driving behaviors.  “These grants help fund a variety of enforcement, legal and educational initiatives across the state including speed enforcement, first responder equipment purchases, DUI prosecutors and child passenger safety training,” Schroer said.  “These grants will make a difference in the effectiveness of our highway safety partners.”  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides the funding to GHSO.  The grants, totaling 449 for the 2014-2015 funding cycle, were awarded to 386 agencies that successfully applied for funding based on a defined problem and statistical need.  Each year, GHSO accepts applications from agencies across the state for available highway safety funds.  Applications are reviewed and scored by GHSO and external highway safety advocates.  The agencies that meet the criteria for funding received awards.  “Our grantees are the backbone of GHSO,” Director Kendell Poole said. “It takes everyone working together to make a difference. We are dedicated to saving lives across Tennessee and pledge to work with grantees statewide to accomplish our mission.”  For more information about GHSO, visit www.tntrafficsafety.org.  For a complete list and description of each grant, visit http://www.tn.gov/tdot/news/2014/GHSO-FY2015GrantAwards.pdf


Anderson County Sheriff's Department: Reducing Fatalities in Anderson County: ($40,000.25)

ASAP of Anderson County Alcohol Education and Safe Driving in Anderson County TN Alcohol Education ($29,152.60)

Clinton Police Department, Rocky Top PD and Norris PD:  High Visibility Enforcement ($5000 each)

Oak Ridge Police Department Operations STAR (Strategic Traffic Accident Reduction) [$ 35,148.00]

TN District Attorney General, 07th Judicial District 20142015 DUI Abatement/Prosecution Enhancement Grant DUI Prosecution ($198, 047.32)

Campbell County Sheriff's Department Campbell County Alcohol Enforcement Program ($57,768.64)

Caryville, Jacksboro, Jellico and Lafollette Police Departments:  High Visibility Enforcement Police Traffic Services ($5000)

City of Sunbright, the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department and the Wartburg Police Department High Visibility Enforcement Police Traffic Services Morgan East 5,000.00 $

Morgan County Sheriff Department High Visibility Enforcement ($5000 each)

Harriman Police Department DUI Check Patrol and Check Points ($15,088.39)

Kingston Police Department, Oliver Springs PD, Roane County Sheriff’s Office and the Rockwood PD: High Visibility Enforcement Police Traffic Services Roane East ($5,000.00)

Roane County Sheriff's Office:  Network coordinator ($15,000.00)

Roane County Sheriff's Office:  A safer TN through saturations and checkpoints ($87,800.00)


AC DA named to Bar Association Board of Governors


Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark has been named a Governor of the Tennessee Bar Association, according to a release from his office.  In that release, Clark states:  “It is an honor to be selected to serve in a leadership role among my peers and to help continue the service of the Tennessee Bar Association.”  The 23-member Board of Governors controls the activities and business of the Tennessee Bar Association in all its activities across the state.  The TBA represents over 10,000 attorneys in the state in trying to foster legal education, maintain the honor and dignity of the profession of law, cultivate professional ethics and promote improvements in the law and the administration of justice.  Clark earlier this month was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Conference of District Attorneys General.


Body found in A’ville; death ruled suicide


A 56-year-old Knoxville woman committed suicide in the woods off of Indian Gap Road in Andersonville, according to a report from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department.  Deputies responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle in a gravel pull off on Indian Gap found the car unoccupied on Tuesday evening with a woman’s identification and other personal belongings inside the vehicle.  Deputies contacted the Knox County Sheriff’s Office since her information identified her as a Knox resident and they learned that the woman and her husband had been involved in a domestic dispute the previous night.  Her husband told investigators that he had called the KCSO but that his wife had left their home before deputies arrived.  Deputies searched the nearby woods and found the woman hanging by her neck from a tree about 40 yards from the car.  Her death has been ruled a suicide.  Authorities do not know how she ended up in Andersonville.  WYSH does not identify suicide victims.


Appeals court finds for OR in dispute over apartments


An appeals court in Knoxville has upheld the dismissal of Applewood Apartments’ owner Joe Levitt’s lawsuit against he Oak Ridge Board of Building and Housing Appeals, calling his second appeal in this case “frivolous.”  Levitt and the Board have been at odds for over five years as to whether or not the apartment buildings are unfit for human habitation.  In May of 2009, the city inspected four Applewood buildings and issued Levitt two notices of violation.  Following Board hearings to determine if the buildings would be declared unfit for occupation and demolished, the Board voted to do just that.  Levitt sued in Anderson County Chancery Court, but that suit was dismissed.  Levitt filed an appeal of that decision, which was upheld.  The Board again voted in March of 2013 to declare the buildings unfit for occupancy and demolish them.  Levitt filed a second appeal in June of last year.  The trial judge denied the appeal, writing in October of last year that “the issues raised by [Levitt] have already been litigated by this Court and the Tennessee Court of Appeals.”  The Appeals Court ruling upholding that dismissal falls under the legal category of “res judicata,” which according to the decision “bars a second suit between the same parties or their privies on the same cause of action with respect to all issues which were or could have been litigated in the former suit.”  The appeals court verdict states that this most recent appeal was “simply an attempt to re-litigate issues which were fully and finally decided” in his first suit.   The appeals court determined Levitt’s second appeal to be frivolous and remanded the case back to the trial court to determine the proper award of damages to the defendants for his frivolous appeal.  After that decision is rendered, the issue of whether or not to demolish the apartments will be placed back in the hands of the Oak Ridge Board of Building and Housing Appeals.


Shop Rite in Rocky Top burgled overnight


WYSH radio has received several calls over the past two days about why the Shop Rite grocery store in Rocky Top was closed most of the day Tuesday.  Rocky Top Police confirmed to WYSH Tuesday that the store was indeed robbed sometime late Monday or early Tuesday.  The culprits disabled the store’s security cameras and alarms, which also disrupted the store’s computer system, and stole an undisclosed but significant amount of money from the safe.  Rocky Top Police were called to the store Tuesday morning, and according to the store manager, had identified a suspect within just a few hours and gotten a confession a short time later.  Store officials say that the robbery was an “inside job.”  The delay in reopening the store was due to rebooting and reinforcing security on the store’s computer system.  The Shop Rite in Rocky Top reopened to shoppers at around 5 pm Tuesday.  No one was inside the store at the time of the robbery and no one was injured.  Police say the case will likely be presented to a grand jury and, as of the time this report was filed, the identity of the suspect or suspects has not been released.


House of Bryant files another ‘Rocky Top’ legal challenge


The owners of the iconic bluegrass song "Rocky Top" have filed another legal challenge to prevent the recently-renamed Anderson County town of Rocky Top from cashing in on the name change.  Earlier this year, Lake City changed its name to Rocky Top, a change widely seen as the first step in revitalizing the town’s economy.  The House of Bryant owns the rights to the song and is suing city leaders and the developers of several proposed attractions for trademark infringement.  This spring, the company sought an injunction aimed at preventing the then-Lake City Council from changing the town’s name to Rocky Top until the lawsuit was heard, saying it could do irreparable damage to the brand that family created.  That request for an injunction was rejected in May and the city officially changed its name in June.  This latest legal challenge comes after Monday's announcement that marketers with the city had reached an agreement with a Knoxville fashion designer to manufacture "Rocky Top, Tennessee" merchandise.  House of Bryant has filed another request for the courts to step in, saying Monday's merchandise deal is "new information" that constitutes grounds for a temporary injunction.  The suit says, "the Developers have taken real and concrete steps toward infringing Plaintiff's Rocky Top Marks."  The merchandising agreement is with Marc Nelson-Denim and encompasses manufacture of t-shirts, coffee mugs, key chains and other merchandise with the Rocky Top, TN 37769 logo on them. The suit asks for the court to stop the group from "selling any goods that compete with Plaintiff's goods and that bear marks confusingly similar to the Rocky Top Marks."  We will continue to follow this story for you. 


Coming soon:  More Rocky Top, TN swag


Knoxville-based fashion designer Marcus Hall has signed a licensing agreement to manufacture “Rocky Top, Tennessee” products and plans to open a retail store in the recently-rechristened town of Lake City.  Hall designs and manufactures custom-designed blue jeans and will soon open a retail store above his east Knoxville warehouse, which is also where he makes his products.  The Rocky Top, TN Dry Goods and Denim store, as his local venture will be known, will sell more than jeans, as people will be able to purchase t-shirts, coffee mugs, keychains and other items with the name “Rocky Top, TN” emblazoned upon them.  Hall says that the pending litigation filed by the House of Bryant, the publishing company that owns the copyright to the iconic bluegrass song “Rocky Top,” did not cause him any concern because, as he and others associated with the town remind us, all of the products will use the actual geographic location of “Rocky Top, TN”—some even with the ZIP code—to avoid any confusion with the song.  A motion by House of Bryant to prevent the town from proceeding with the name change was denied earlier this year. 


2 of 3 plotters plead guilty in murder attempt


Two people accused of conspiring to kill an elderly man pleaded guilty Monday in an Anderson County courtroom.  44-year-old David Lee Suddeth and 53-year-old Dorothy Roxanne McFarland both pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, attempted aggravated arson, attempted aggravated kidnapping and theft under $500.  In exchange for those pleas, each was sentenced to nine years behind bars.  A third person, the alleged mastermind of the plot, 50-year-old Randolph Lane, is expected to enter a plea in this case on Wednesday.  The trio was accused of plotting to kill then-73-year-old Luther Byrge—with whom they were all living—in January of 2012.  Their plan was to lock Byrge inside his bedroom, disable the smoke detector, cut the phone lines and set his house on fire while he was inside.  The plan almost worked too, as the phone and smoke detector were disabled and Byrge was locked in his room, but according to testimony in court, the plan ultimately failed when the gasoline that was ignited under a bathroom sink melted the pipes and extinguished the fire.  The motive was robbery.  Byrge was not injured in the incident.


CFD’s Fill the Boot campaign raises $1007 for MDA


Members of the Clinton Fire Department raised $1007 during their annual “Fill the Boot” campaign held on July 5th to benefit children and adults affected by muscle disease across the area.  The Muscular Dystrophy Association—or MDA—says that the money raised during the 2014 Clinton Fill the Boot campaign will help support the organization’s programs of worldwide research, specialized health care services and day-to-day support that includes sending children affected by muscular dystrophy or related muscle diseases to a weeklong, barrier-free MDA summer camp in Washington.  For more information, visit www.mda.org.


ACSD deputy charged with DUI


A corporal with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department is on unpaid administrative leave after he was arrested for DUI early Friday morning in Oak Ridge.  41-year-old Roger Day of Clinton was charged with first offense DUI after an Oak Ridge Police officer on routine patrol found him and a passenger next to an overturned motorcycle.  Shortly after 5 am, Officer Christopher Carden reported that he discovered the motorcycle on its side on Robertsville Road near the Oak Ridge Turnpike.  Day and a woman identified as Oak Ridge resident Chandra Flaming were at the scene and Day told Carden that as he had tried to turn right on to Robertsville from the Turnpike that he had “just dropped the motorcycle.”  Neither Day nor Fleming was seriously injured, but as Carden spoke with Day, he reported that the deputy smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.  Day completed some field sobriety tests but eventually refused to take any more.  Day admitted to having consumed five or six 16-ounce beers earlier in the evening.  He was booked into the Anderson County Jail and released on a $1500 bond.  Again, he is on unpaid leave while the case works its way through the legal system.


AVFD chief resigns, subscription service nixed


Andersonville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jeff Bagwell resigned his position last month and the department has ended the controversial subscription plan that damaged the relationship between the department and the community.  Rodney Reeder has been promoted to chief and he told the Courier News last week that his first priority will be to repair that relationship.  In late 2012, the department announced via a letter to homeowners that it would begin a subscription program, scrapping its longtime donation-based, claiming at the time that because donations were down, the department’s future might be in jeopardy.  The community backlash was immediate and angry, as many did not appreciate the heavy-handed tone of the letter and many more complained about the lack of notice or the lack of public meetings to discuss the proposal.  The County Commission responded to those community complaints by voting this year to withhold its traditional $20,000 a year contribution to the AVFD until they backed away from the subscription service and to withhold the planned donation of a new fire engine. 


Johnson returns as Chief Jailer


Longtime Chief Jailer Avery Johnson ended his nine-month-long retirement last week and is back on the job as the top cop at the Anderson County Jail.  Johnson retired in November of last year after 33 years with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, but said that he missed his old job and decided to return last week.  Johnson returns to his duties just in time for the final phase of work on the multi-million dollar jail expansion that began under his first tenure as chief jailer.  Construction on the addition is said to be complete and officials expect to pass their next jail inspection by the state on September 22nd, despite some “minor” issues noted during the state’s last inspection in August. 


AC DA named to state committee


Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark has been named to the Executive Committee of the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference.  The six-member committee controls the activities and business of the Conference in all of its activities across Tennessee.  The Conference, in turn, manages the centralized functions of the 31 DAs who cover all 95 counties in Tennessee.  In a release announcing his selection to the Executive Committee, Clark writes “It is a true privilege to be able to contribute to the fine work of Tennessee’s District Attorneys General who seek everyday to do justice, give a voice to victims, make our communities generally safer and generally manage the state’s criminal justice system.”   


AC Commission welcomes new leadership


The Anderson County Commission on Tuesday appointed a new chair and vice chair.  The new chair is longtime Commissioner Robert McKamey, who represents District 5.  The new vice chair is Steve Emert, who represents District 3.  No other candidates for either post emerged during Tuesday’s very brief special called meeting.  McKamey replaces Chuck Fritts, who did not seek to be re-appointed as chair after three terms, while Emert will replace Commissioner Robin Biloski, who also did not seek another term as vice chair.  Tuesday’s special meeting followed a swearing-in ceremony for new and returning commissioners and other county officials elected on August 7th.  Newcomers who were sworn in Tuesday included Circuit Court Clerk William Jones, Chancellor Nikki Cantrell, General Sessions Division II Judge Roger Miller and Juvenile Court Judge Brian Hunt.  Chris Phillips, Theresa Scott and Phillip Warfield were sworn in for their first terms on the County Commission and School Board newcomers Don Bell and Teresa Portwood also took their oaths of office.  Judge Miller’s eligibility to serve was called into question following his stunning Election Day defeat of longtime Judge Ron Murch after it was learned he owed back taxes and unpaid child support.  Miller told the News-Sentinel Tuesday that the child support issues have been dealt with and the tax questions will also be addressed in the near future. 


AC DA hires veteran prosecutor as ADA


The Anderson County District Attorney General’s Office has hired veteran prosecutor Tony Craighead as an assistant DA.  Craighead lost in his bid to become the DA in the state’s 13th Judicial District earlier this month and joins the Anderson County prosecutor’s office after over 20 years working in that district.  He replaces Sandra Donaghy, who was elected Criminal Court Judge in the 10th Judicial District. Craighead has prosecuted several high-profile cases, including the murder charges against Byron (Low Tax) Looper, who was ultimately convicted in the 1998 death of State Senator Tommy Burks, his election-time opponent.  He also served as interim DA in the 13th District in 2006 and held the post until a permanent successor was named in 2008.  His focus in Anderson County will likely be on cases in Criminal Court.


Clinton Fire Department receives donation


On August 20th, the Clinton Fire Department was awarded a donation from Golden Living Centers-Windwood that will help the department purchase three EZ-IO Drivers. According to a press release, the EZ-IO Intraosseous Infusion System is a solution for immediate vascular access.   Lt Bradley Allen said: "The new drivers will provide Clinton Fire Department's first responders a more efficient way to deliver medications, intravenous fluids and blood products to adult and pediatric patients alike. With a specially designed cutting IO needle and small power driver, the EZ-IO allows the Firefighters complete control - avoiding the use of force." 


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.


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 


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. 



All web content is property of Clinton Broadcasters Inc., unless otherwise cited, and may not be re-published, re-broadcast or otherwise distributed without express written consent.





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