News Archive – Before 8/2/15

Website up and running for CHS donations
The Anderson County School Board has given officials at Clinton High School the go-ahead to start exploring the possibility of constructing a new multi-sport facility at no cost to taxpayers. As we have previously reported, the complex would measure some 12,000 square feet and be used as a practice facility for several sports as well as hosting volleyball matches and wrestling meets. The proposed project, spearheaded by CHS alumni, would also renovate the existing, but aging football fieldhouse, and include a second story with office space for coaches. A second and separate part of the proposed project would also renovate the Don Lockard Gymnasium. When the BOE gave its approval to the project, which will be funded entirely by private donations, it also gave approval to CHS to start accepting donations from the public. People can donate to either fund and that money can only be used for the specific project it is donated for. CHS was given permission by the School Board to solicit donations, secure an architect, get bids from contractors, and return to the board to submit a final, formal proposal. We will keep you updated on this project as it moves forward.  For more information or to donate to the multi-sport facility, visit
OR Council O.K.s tax rate, increases trash fee
The Oak Ridge City Council on Monday approved the budget for the fiscal year that began on July 1st on first reading. The new state-certified (or tax-neutral) property tax rate in Oak Ridge is $2.52 per $100 of assessed value, up from the current rate of $2.39. Council members voted not to add any additional increase on to the tax rate, which increased due to the drop in property values on both Anderson and Roane counties. The certified tax rate is designed to bring in the same amount of revenue after the recently-completed reappraisal process that it did before. Council voted to increase the monthly trash collection fee for residents by $3.50, which brings the monthly cost for trash pick-up to $10.50, up from the current $7 fee. Currently the city pays $7 of each resident’s $14 a month trash pickup fee and having residents pick up the additional $3.50 per month is expected to generate some $335,000 in additional revenue for the city. $260,000 of that new revenue will be set aside for capital projects involving buildings and schools. The budget that was passed provides 2% pay raises for city workers and is meant to provide 2% pay raises for school employees as well, but as our partners at Oak Ridge Today report, the exact impact of last night’s vote on the school system remains to be seen. The school system is expected to see an additional $423,000 come into its coffers if the 10-cent property tax rate increase approved by the Anderson County Commission last week stands after a special called Commission meeting on Thursday. For more on last night’s three-hour meeting of the Oak Ridge City Council, visit
TBI, CCSO ID man shot by deputy
The TBI and the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office have identified the man who was shot by a deputy late Sunday afternoon as 41-year-old Donnie Ledford. Deputies had responded to a disturbance call at Ledford’s parents’ house in the White Oak community late Saturday night and when they arrived, Ledford allegedly pointed a pistol at them at the front door before running out the back and fleeing into nearby woods. Deputies reported hearing three gunshots as he fled but no officers were injured. Shortly before 5 pm Sunday, Ledford was spotted on Habersham Road and when a deputy stopped him and asked for his ID, Ledford allegedly pointed a pistol at the officer, who fired twice, hitting Ledford at least once. Ledford, who had three outstanding warrants for his arrest on assault charges from last year, was taken to UT Medical Center for treatment of his injuries. The deputy was not injured in that incident. Both incidents remain under investigation.
Missing person found dead in MMC parking lot
A person who had been reported missing over the weekend in Anderson County was found dead inside a car in the parking lot of Methodist Medical Center on Sunday afternoon. The person, whose identity has not been made public, was reported missing to the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department. Investigators with the ACSD received information that the person could be in the vicinity of the hospital and asked Oak Ridge officers to check the parking lot. Shortly before 2 pm, Oak Ridge officers located the car in a parking lot at Methodist and found the missing person dead in the backseat. Authorities say that no additional information will be released at this time.
NPS, DOE seeking public comment on Historical Park
(NPS/DOE) The National Park Service and the U.S. Department of Energy are inviting the public to review and comment on the Draft Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the National Park Service and the Department of Energy (DOE) that will guide the operation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.  The 2015 National Defense Authorization Act established the Manhattan Project National Historical Park and required the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Energy to create a Memorandum of Agreement for the park by December 19, 2015.  Once signed, this agreement will formally establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park and describe how the National Park Service and the Department of Energy will work together to preserve, protect and provide access to the historic resources associated with the Manhattan Project.
Over the past several months, a team of National Park Service and Department of Energy officials traveled to the three Manhattan Project Park locations in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Los Alamos, New Mexico, and the Hanford Site in Washington State. The team met with local elected officials, participated in open houses, and talked with community members and area Tribes to understand local perspectives on how the new park should be managed. Building on this effort, the draft Memorandum of Agreement provides a high level framework that will guide the cooperative efforts of the National Park Service and the Department of Energy to manage the park.
The National Park Service will designate a site manager for each location who will coordinate with the local Department of Energy staff, Tribes, community members and partners in the area. The site managers will report to the Manhattan Project National Historical Parks superintendent, who will be located in an NPS central office location, likely Denver, Colorado. Each site will have similar levels of staffing as park operations grow over the years.
The agreement will not include details about the parks interpretive themes, visitor contact stations, staffing, management, or specifics about what eligible properties outside the Department of Energy properties should be included in the park. Those issues will be addressed in future phases of the planning efforts.  The project team recognized the importance of telling the larger story of the Manhattan Project in a cohesive manner across the three identified locations.
A draft of the agreement is available online for review, and the agencies will collect comments on the draft between July 28 and August 28, 2015.  Comments can be submitted online by clicking on the “Open for Comment” link on the left side of the page and selecting the “Comment on Document” option (Link: ). Comments also can be mailed to:
NPS Denver Service Center
Attn: Tracy Atkins
Project Manager Manhattan Project National Historical Park
P.O. Box 25287
Denver, CO 80225-0287
After the comments on the document are received and reviewed, the Memorandum of Agreement will be finalized and signed by the Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Energy. Once that document is signed, the park will become an official part of the National Park System.
ORNL kicks off United Way campaign
(ORNL) The Department of Energys Oak Ridge National Laboratory kicked off its 2015 United Way campaign with an agency fair displaying services United Way organizations provide to East Tennesseans. Jeff Smith, ORNLs deputy director for operations, said ORNL is one of the largest contributors to United Way in the area. It has been a part of the laboratory for a long time, Smith said. Our staff have been key contributors to United Way it seems forever. Our goal is not to let that history dissipate and wed like to build on it. The people here at the laboratory are giving people. Our job as leaders of the institution are to give them that chance to give. Smith said he hopes the agency fair will introduce new employees and others to the benefits of United Way, enhancing support for the organization. Our goal today is just to expose people to it so that they become more familiar, Smith said. Ultimately, unless you give, you are not going to want to give. We hope some of the agencies can tell some stories to help people connect in such a way that they want to become a United Way giver.
OR woman charged with running over grandmother
An Oak Ridge woman was arrested last week after allegedly running over her grandmother’s leg with a car following an argument about her car keys. Oak Ridge Police say that Mattie Kelly had hidden her granddaughter’s keys on Thursday because she was concerned that the younger woman was under the influence and should not be driving. 30-year-old Katherine Johnson found the keys and the two women argued as she tried to pull out of the driveway of the Hendrix Drive home they shared. Kelly tried to remove the keys from the ignition, at which time Johnson is accused of backing up with the driver’s side door open and knocking Kelly to the ground, where she struck her head on the pavement. Johnson is then accused of running over her grandmother’s leg and driving away from the scene. Kelly was taken to Methodist Medical Center, where she was admitted for treatment of her injuries, and Johnson was arrested Friday. As of late this morning, Johnson remained in custody at the Anderson County Jail on bonds totaling $25,000 on a charge of aggravated assault.
Dryer fire injures none
A Sunday morning fire on Sulphur Springs Road injured no one but caused significant damage to the roof and laundry room of the home. The house was fully engulfed by flames when Anderson County deputies arrived on the scene shortly after 10 am and the blaze was extinguished by crews from the Marlow and Medford Volunteer Fire Departments. Homeowner Buster Phillips told authorities that he had heard a loud pop come from the laundry room and when he went to investigate, had seen a large fire behind the dryer. He and the other occupant of the house made it out safely.
Briceville fire under investigation
A fire at a vacant home in Briceville early Saturday morning is being investigated by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department. The fire at the home on Andy’s Ridge Road was reported shortly after 2 am and when deputies arrived on the scene, the structure was fully engulfed by flames and only one wall remained standing. The Briceville Volunteer Fire Department extinguished the blaze. The owner of the home and her son stated that the house had been vacant for about a year and that there were no utilities hooked up at the time of the fire. Carl Sharp Jr. told investigators that he was aware that unknown persons had entered the home in the past without permission but was not sure who they were or what their intent was. A neighbor across the street who called 911 said that she had heard two loud explosions and looked out to see the house on fire. Firefighters were unable to immediately determine the cause of the fire but the case has been passed along to the CID.
CPD arrests drunk man with gun
A Cookeville man was arrested by Clinton Police early Friday morning after he was accused of drunkenly firing a pistol inside an apartment where children were present. Police were called to Gate Manor Apartments shortly after midnight and when they arrived, made contact with 22-year-old Martin Francisco outside the apartments, standing next to a Ford Mustang and obviously intoxicated. As Officer Luke Hughes spoke with Francisco, one of the alleged victims, Jonathan Craft, yelled out that Francisco had a gun. At that point, officers took Francisco in to custody and found an ammunition clip in his pocket and a loaded Glock 23 pistol inside his car. Officers then spoke with another one of the alleged victims, Zachary Geoffrion, who told them that he had met Francisco at a job site Thursday and asked him to give him a ride home. When they arrived at their destination, Geoffrion and the tenant of the apartment went outside to smoke, leaving Francisco inside with three children, the youngest being six months old. After hearing what sounded like a gunshot, Geoffrion and the tenant ran back inside and found Francisco holding both the six-month-old and a pistol. Francisco said that he had been showing the kids the gun when it accidentally went off. The round went through the living room wall into the water heater closet, where it lodged in a second wall. Francisco then went outside, where he allegedly waved the gun at Craft after Craft approached and asked him why he was saying inappropriate things to his girlfriend. Francisco allegedly told Craft he didn’t want any trouble, but waved the gun anyway, at which point Craft walked away and called 911. When officers tried to question Francisco, they reported he was too intoxicated to answer their questions and he was placed under arrest. In addition to the gun, officers also found several open and closed containers of alcohol in the car. Francisco was charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, unlawful possession of a weapon and with public intoxication. He was released on Sunday after posting bond.
]Y-12 intruders to be re-sentenced Sept. 15th
The three anti-nuclear protesters who broke into Y-12 in July of 2012 and vandalized the Highly Enriched uranium Materials Facility will be re-sentenced on September 15th. The trio known as Plowshares was freed from federal prison earlier this year after an appeals court tossed their convictions on the most serious charges of sabotage. Sister Megan Rice, a Catholic nun in her 80s, was sentenced to two years and 11 months in prison while fellow activists Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli were each sentenced to five years and two months behind bars. The three are not expected to head back to prison as they have already served more time than recommended on the convictions that were upheld, including damaging government property. The trio broke in to Y-12 early on the morning of July 28th, 2012 and avoided detection before spending several hours outside the nation’s primary storehouse of bomb-grade uranium, spray painting slogans, hanging banners and throwing blood on the exterior wall. The incident led to wholesale changes in both security and leadership at Y-12.
2 shooting incidents in Campbell under investigation
An armed suspect wanted on outstanding charges was wounded in what the TBI described as a shootout with a Campbell County Sheriff’s deputy Sunday. The incident was reported shortly before 5 p.m. on Habersham Road in the Duff community. The TBI confirmed that the suspect was shot at least once. The suspect, whose name has not been released, was taken to UT Medical Center. Authorities have not specified what the suspect was wanted for. That incident followed an incident overnight on Sledcreek Road in the nearby White Oak community. There, deputies were performing a welfare check just after midnight when an unidentified male ran out of a home and fired at least once at officers. No law enforcement personnel were injured in either incident. The gunman in the first incident fled on foot into the surrounding woods. Authorities have not said whether the two shootings are connected.
Big Clinch River Clean-Up a success
More than 100 people turned out Saturday for the third annual Big Clinch River Cleanup, described by organizers as an expansion of past efforts by the Clinch River Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Volunteers divided up into teams to remove large amounts of debris from the river’s water and banks. Organizers reported volunteers collected about 68 tires and a truck load of trash.
ORT: Tax rates increase across AC
(Oak Ridge Today) Increases in the property tax rate have been approved or are anticipated in budgets that have already passed in Anderson County, Clinton, Oliver Springs, Roane County, and Rocky Top. Those increases are in addition to the increases already expected because of a drop in overall property assessments in Anderson and Roane counties. The 4 percent drop in Anderson County and 3.47 percent decline in Roane County mean the tax-neutral ratethe rate meant to bring in the same amount of revenues after a reappraisal as beforegoes up. The highest tax increase, which includes a 6-cent change in the certified tax rate after five-year reappraisals, is 40 cents. Thats in Rocky Top, where the new tax rate is $2 per $100 of assessed value. The lowest so far is in Anderson County, where county commissioners have approved a 10-cent increase for 2 percent pay raises for school and county employees. Thats in addition to the roughly 16-cent increase in the tax-neutral, or certified, tax rate. Oak Ridge will be the last of those half-dozen governments to consider any changes to the tax-neutral rate. In Clinton, the new tax rate is expected to be 94 cents per $100 of assessed value after an increase in both the certified rate and a 14-cent increase on top of that. In Norris, the tax rate will remain steady. In Oliver Springs, taxes were raised by 30 cents, from $1.02 to $1.32 per $100 of assessed value. In Oak Ridge, the rate has been calculated at $2.52, up 13 cents from the current $2.39. Oak Ridge could also be the only one of those half-dozen governments that doesnt add a tax rate increase to this years higher tax-neutral rate. So far, it appears that a majority of Oak Ridge City Council members could support the $2.52 rate. The Oak Ridge Council will meet Monday at 7 pm to discuss the budget. For more on this story, including a breakdown of how that money may be used, visit our partners at
Assault charge against elderly ex-judge dropped…again
An aggravated assault charge against a 95-year-old former acting Oak Ridge city judge was dismissed Friday in Anderson County General Sessions Court. Lawrence Tunnell was accused after an incident on Nov. 21, 2014, where he allegedly struck Charles Smallwood with his vehicle after Smallwood and other passersby helped him up after Tunnell fell. No arrest warrant was issued until January but prosecutors later said they were dropping the charge because they couldnt locate Smallwood. Smallwood, who said last spring he was homeless, said he was told of a media report about the dismissal and contacted the district attorneys office, saying he wanted to continue prosecution. Smallwood later changed his mind, resulting in Fridays dismissal. Special Judge Darryl Edmondson, a Union County judge, was asked to hear the case after Anderson County judges recused themselves.
Tennessee Supreme Court upholds AC lawyer’s suspension
(State Supreme Court/staff reports) The Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld the decision by a hearing panel of the Board of Professional Responsibility to suspend Anderson County lawyer Yarboro Sallees law license for one year. The Court held that the sanction was appropriate in light of the multiple ethical violations Sallee committed. According to a news release from the court issued Thursday, in 2010, Sallee was hired to file a wrongful death action connected to the death of the clients daughter. They agreed to pay her an hourly rate, and she estimated that the litigation would cost no more than $100,000. Less than three months later, however, Sallee claimed that she had incurred hourly fees totaling over $140,000. For this, according to the court, she had accomplished little more than filing the wrongful death complaint, filing related pleadings in probate and juvenile court, and gathering what the release describes as obvious records. When Sallee insisted that the clients agree to pay her contingency fees as well as the hourly fees, they discharged her. After the clients fired Sallee, she refused to return key items related to the wrongful death litigation, such as brain tissue slides from their daughters autopsy. When the former clients sued Sallee to force her to return the withheld items, Sallee threatened to file criminal charges against them. Finally, the former clients filed a complaint against Sallee with Tennessees Board of Professional Responsibility.  The Board investigated Sallee, who insisted that her conduct had been reasonable and ethical. She gave the Board documentation of her hourly charges, which claimed that Sallee had worked as many as 23 hours of billable time in a single day and included fees for things such as watching many hours of reality crime television shows. A hearing panel found that Ms. Sallee had violated a number of the Rules of Professional Responsibility by, among other things, charging the clients excessive fees, insisting that they agree to pay contingency fees in addition to hourly fees, failing to communicate with the clients about her fees, withholding items from the clients after they discharged her, and threatening to file criminal charges against the clients. As the sanction, the hearing panel recommended suspension of Sallees law license for one year.  Sallee filed for judicial review of the hearing panels decision, and the trial judge upheld the sanction. Sallee then appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court. She insisted that there was no basis for finding ethical violations and that the one-year suspension was too severe a sanction.   After reviewing the record, the Supreme Court found ample support for the hearing panels finding that Sallee had violated multiple ethical rules.  As for the one-year suspension, the Court found that the most disturbing factor was Ms. Sallees continued insistence that she did nothing wrong.  At every turn in these proceedings, faced with findings at every level that her conduct breached numerous ethical rules, Attorney Sallee has been doggedly unrepentant. Indeed, her consistent response has bordered on righteous indignation, wrote Justice Holly Kirby in the unanimous opinion.  The Court held that the one-year suspension of Sallees law license was well-founded and sustained the sanction.
Report: Yeager e-mails subject of August 3rd hearing
According to a report in Friday’s News-Sentinel, Anderson County Law Director Jay Yeager’s use of a private email server to conduct county business will be the subject of an August 3rd hearing before Knox County Chancellor Mike Moyers. During a hearing held late last month in Knox County on legal action filed against Yeager by County Mayor Terry Frank, Moyershimself a former county law directorcompared the situation to the recent controversy over then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server in her official duties. The News-Sentinel report indicates that among the other issues in the mayor’s case against Yeager, the use of a private email account was the most troubling aspect of the case to Chancellor Moyers, He was brought in to hear the case after all of Anderson County’s judges recused themselves. Yeager has admitted to purchasing a domain name and using a Yahoo server to conduct business for the law department and Moyers says that this case could have ripple effects across the state as he is being asked if Yeager’s actions are legal. The mayor’s attorneys have argued that Yeager’s total control over that account gives him absolute authority over which emails can be deleted and what can be shared with the public, as opposed to other county email accounts, which are managed by the county’s IT department and can not be deleted because they are considered public records. Yeager’s attorney has countered by arguing that his use of a separate and private server is possibly necessary to protect attorney-client privilege. Yeager’s attorney did agree, however, that if Yeager did in fact destroy or refuse to turn over emails that are public record and not attorney work product, the county could be held liable. His side contends, though, that the contents of his email server are not the business of the mayor or anyone else in the county government. The August 3rd hearing could determine if Frank has grounds to pursue further legal action over the email matter and if Yeager is allowed by law to use a private server for county business.
ORT: No evidence of shots fired at OR apartment
(Oak Ridge Today) The Oak Ridge Police Department responded to a report of shots fired at apartments on Wilberforce Avenue on Wednesday, but officers found no evidence that shots had been fired, authorities said. The incident occurred at about 4:40 p.m. Wednesday at Building A of the Kareday Terrace Apartments at 99 Wilberforce Avenue. Multiple officers arrived on scene within two minutes of being dispatched and diverted traffic away from the scene. Additional officers arrived and established a perimeter around Building A, while also contacting the person who called the Dispatch Center earlier and claimed to be a victim of the shooting. The release said that tactical officers who were doing routine training in the area were summoned and soon arrived. Further interviews of the person who claimed to be the victim and other witnesses failed to provide any corroboration of the original report of gunfire, the release said. Tactical personnel then contacted all residents in Building A and found no evidence or additional witnesses that verified any shots were in fact fired. The reported victim was then transported to the Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge for evaluation.
AC Commission to meet July 30th
The Anderson County Commission has formally given notice that it will hold a public hearing on the Commission’s intent to raise the property tax rate by ten cents above the state-certified tax rate that was set earlier this week. The public hearing will take place on Thursday July 30th at 6:30 pm in room 312 of the Courthouse and will be followed by a special called Commission meeting to formally adopt the budget and set the tax rate. The state-certified tax rate in Anderson County increased by 16.13 cents per $100 of assessed value because of a 4% decrease in property values in the latest assessment and commissioners on Monday voted to add 10 cents to that increase to pay for raises for county general fund employees and all county school workers.  The budget issue may not be settled, as some commissioners have raised questions this week about the legality of the way the vote on Commissioner Mark Alderson’s motion to raise taxes by ten cents, with eight cents going to school worker raises and two to general fund raises, was conducted.  At issue is whether or not passing both the school and general fund budgets, including the tax increase, in the same vote is legal or if the budgets needed to be voted on in separate resolutions.  Hopefully, answers can be found before Thursday’s meeting. 
3 ORHS football player hurt in crash IDed
The three Oak Ridge High School football players who were injured in a Tuesday afternoon traffic accident in Blount County have been identified. The accident happened at around 3:40 pm Tuesday on the Lamar Alexander Parkway and the Tennessee Highway Patrol says the teen driver will face charges. Injured in the crash were 17-year-old Jaylen Nickerson, who was taken by ambulance to UT Medical Center, 15-year-old Devonta Mitchell, who was flown to UT by Lifestar helicopter, and 16-year-old Davon Middleton, who was treated for a concussion at Blount Memorial Hospital and released. Nickerson and Mitchell were listed in serious condition at last report.  The THP report indicates that the driver of the 2000 Ford Taurus headed north on the Parkway veered out of his lane of travel into the center turn lane before crossing the southbound lanes of traffic. The car left the side of the road, hit a curb and continued into a grassy area where it hit what troopers called a high spot of earth and became airborne. The Taurus then hit a utility pole in the parking lot of a nearby business before coming to rest. None of the three young men was wearing a seatbelt. The THP says that the driver was cited for failure to maintain a lane, failure to exercise due care, not wearing a seatbelt and not having proof of insurance. The report indicates further charges could be pending. The THP report does not specifically identify the driver but did report that Middleton and Mitchell were the passengers. The three were driving to football practice in Oak Ridge after reportedly spending the night at a friend’s house in Maryville. Nickerson, who will be a senior this year, is the Wildcats’ leading returning running back, Middleton will also be a senior and plays defensive back and Mitchell is a receiver entering his junior year.
Driver in fatal 4th incident charged with homicide
The driver of the pickup truck that backed through the parking lot of the Midtown Community Center following the city of Oak Ridge’s 4th of July fireworks show has been arrested on charges stemming from the tragic incident. 65-year-old Lee Cromwell was taken into custody Wednesday morning and booked into the Anderson County Jail on numerous charges, including one count each of vehicular homicide, criminally negligent homicide, reckless homicide, reckless endangerment and driving on a suspended or revoked license, as well as 12 counts of aggravated assault. He is being held on bonds totaling $205,500 at the Anderson County Jail and was scheduled to be arraigned earlier today. Cromwell is accused of backing his pickup through the crowded parking lot at a high rate of speed, colliding with eight vehicles and running over 37-year-old James Robinson of Knoxville as Robinson pushed his oldest daughter out of the truck’s path. Robinson died from his injuries at Methodist Medical Center. Several other people were taken to several different area hospitals for treatment of injuries described as non-life-threatening. Arrest warrants indicate that Cromwell allegedly looked at a crowd of people who were shouting at him to stop backing up after he hit the first parked vehicle and continued in reverse at a high rate of speed. He also reportedly told police officers that the throttle on his vehicle had gotten stuck and that he had been unable to stop. Investigators found no problems with the throttle on his Dodge Ram pickup. Cromwell was not injured in the accident.
Kingston water main break inundates bank, disrupts service
A water main break in downtown Kingston Wednesday night flooded the Regions Bank building and shut off water for thousands of residents until early this morning. The break occurred under 3rd Street directly behind the bank building, and spewed thousands of gallons of water into streets and the bank parking lot. Our partners at BBB-TV report that the bank will likely be closed today while workers clean up after two inches of water was reported inside. The water main break disrupted water supplies to thousands of residents and businesses, but service was restored by around 6:45 am Thursday by crews who worked through the night.
7th annual ‘Taste of AC’ coming September 19th
The Seventh Annual Taste of Anderson County will be at Jackson Square on Saturday, September 19, and it will feature food and local musicians. Visitors will be able to enjoy a sampling of food from some of Anderson Countys best restaurants, which will showcase their fare in small, taste-sized portions. This event is a great opportunity for local restaurants to share some of their favorite dishes, while proceeds will benefit the United Way of Anderson County and the Free Medical Clinic, a press release said. Tastes from each vendor will be priced from $1 to $4 per item. Tickets will be available to purchase for $1 at entrances to the event. Attendees may buy as many tickets as they like; in addition, beer and wine will be available for sale. New this year is the first annual King of the Wing, a chicken wing competition open to both individuals and businesses. Entries may be fried, smoked, or grilledthe only rules are that the wings are prepared, seasoned, and cooked from scratch using no pre-made spice rubs or sauces. Also, there will be tastings of locally made beers, wine, and moonshine. These tastings will be open for voting, and at the end of the night, a winner will be announced in each category. The evenings entertainment will start at 4 p.m. and continue until 9 p.m. The United Way of Anderson County provides funding, training, and technical assistance to more than 33 nonprofit agencies in Anderson County. The Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge serves residents of Anderson, Morgan, and Roane counties who do not have health insurance and cant afford to pay for care. Follow the Taste of Anderson County Facebook event page for updates. For more information or to sign up as a vendor, call (865) 483-8431 or email Zina Rutherford at .
ORHS math teacher in running for national award
(Oak Ridge Today) Oak Ridge High School math teacher Elaine Vaughan has been named a Tennessee state finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, or PAEMST. The PAEMST are the nations highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science, a press release said. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education. Vaughan is one of five finalists in mathematics for the 2015 PAEMST in Tennessee. Awardees will receive a certificate signed by President Barack Obama, a trip to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities, and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. In addition to her recognition through PAEMST, Vaughan has been named as a Tennessee State Educator Fellow through the Hope Street Group. Teacher Fellows will meet with local and state leaders to help create practical solutions to address public education policy issues. Also, Teacher Fellows will provide peer feedback to the Tennessee Department of Education on critical classroom education policies. Hope Street Group believes that educator input in policy-making that impacts teachers and students is one large-scale way to begin to build a public education system that works better for everyone, the press release said. Vaughan has been a math teacher at Oak Ridge High School for 20 years. She is a National Board certified teacher, a Professional Learning Communities coach, and a member of the Response to Instruction and Intervention team. Vaughan is also a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, the professional honor society of women educators.
ADFAC preparing for school
Since earlier this month, volunteers from all over Anderson County have been sorting donated school supplies for Oak Ridge and Anderson County schools, packing them in bags and backpacks that are loaded into vehicles and distributing the packed items to classrooms. Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties has been coordinating the collection, packing, and distribution of school supplies for 26 years. As a result, teachers arent obliged to spend their hard-earned money on items needed by their growing number of students from disadvantaged families. Last year. ADFAC provided school supplies to more than 2,500 area students from disadvantaged families. This year, the local nonprofit service organizations staff hopes to increase the number of school supplies by 12 percent with the help of ongoing support from the community. In Anderson County, Clinton, and Oak Ridge, more than 6,600 students, or more than half of all students, live at or below 185 percent of the poverty level, qualifying them for the federal free- or reduced-lunch program. Since 1989, ADFACs School Supplies Program has served more than 20,000 disadvantaged students in 29 schools in Anderson County, including the Clinton and Oak Ridge city school systems. The schools identify students eligible for the donated supplies based on the free- or reduced-lunch program. They work closely with ADFAC to provide supply lists and determine distribution methods and dates. The agency purchases the appropriate supplies in bulk during summer months when prices are lowest. ADFACs School Supplies Program relies on funds from generous individuals and organizations, as well as grants from private and corporate foundations. More than 200 volunteers from churches, clubs, and businesses are helping ADFAC staff organize and pack supplies and distribute them to the schools through July 31. School starts August 3 in Oak Ridge and the rest of the county. How can you help? A $50 donation will provide a backpack and necessary school supplies for one student, Herbes said. Monetary donations can be made by PayPal (with school supplies on the purpose line) on the website or by making out a check to ADFAC with for school supplies written on it. Please mail your check to ADFAC School Supplies, P.O. Box 5953, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-5953.
GSMNP visitation up so far in 2015
Visitation to Great Smoky Mountains National Park is up eight percent through the first six months of 2015.  Between January and June over 4.3 million visitors have enjoyed the nations most visited national park.  In May 2015 alone over 1 million visitors entered the park, the most ever for May since the National Park Service began tracking monthly visitation in 1979.  All major park entrances have seen increases, especially at the Oconaluftee entrance near Cherokee, North Carolina where visitation has increased 26% this year.  More visitors in the Smokies, has led to more camping in the parks frontcountry campgrounds and in the backcountry.  Over 100,000 visitors (up 14% over 2014) have camped in one of the parks nine campgrounds and over 55,000 (up 12% over 2014) have camped in the parks backcountry so far this year.  The Smokies continue to be one of the best parks in the country for recreation and relaxation, said Superintendent Cassius Cash. I am proud of the Smokies staff who continue to provide a first class experience to an increasing number of visitors.  Continued record setting visitation comes on the heels of the parks busiest year in 14 years.  In 2014, 10,099,275 visitors enjoyed the national park, an 8% increase over 2013. The numbers were spurred by strong July and August visitation as well as the highest October visitation in 27 years.  For more information about visitation, please go to the National Park Service Visitor Use Statistics web page at
3 ORHS football players hurt in wreck
Three Oak Ridge High School football players were injured, two of them critically, in a Tuesday afternoon single-vehicle accident in Blount County. The names of the three players have not been released and have only been identified so far as three rising seniors. The teens had been headed to football practice in Oak Ridge after reportedly spending the night at a friend’s house in Maryville when the driver lost control of his car at around 3:40 pm and struck a utility pole on the Lamar Alexander Parkway near John Helton Road. No other vehicles were involved in the crash, which shut down the Parkway for about two hours while the Tennessee Highway Patrol investigated. At least one of the injured teens was flown to UT Medical Center by Lifestar and both players admitted to UT were said to be in critical condition at last report. The third player was treated for what appears to have been a concussion at Blount Memorial Hospital and released. None of the three were wearing their seatbelts. As we learn more about Tuesday’s crash, we will pass it along to you on the air, online and on Facebook.
TWRA rescues kayakers in Clinton
A Roane County couple had to be rescued by TWRA officers Tuesday after their kayak overturned and threw them into the frigid waters of the Clinch River in Clinton. TWRA says that Steve and Connie Hunter of Ten Mile had been kayaking with their teenage sons at around 5 pm when they capsized near Second Baptist Church. The boys, ages 16 and 17, tried to stay with their parents but the strong current forced them downstream, where they were able to reach shore and call 911. The water temperature at the time of the incident was 45 degrees, according to TWRA and only one member of their party was wearing a life jacket, although the release does not specify which member of the family that was. TWRA Officers responded to the scene along with Clinton Police officers, Anderson County Sheriff’s deputies and crews from the Anderson County Rescue Squad and EMS. TWRA Sergeant Roy Smith and Officer Jeff Roberson located the Hunters clinging to a log overhanging the river at around 5:20 pm and brought them on board their patrol boat. Both Hunters were examined by paramedics and did not require further medical attention. Their sons were found about a mile from where their parents were located.
Shoplifting leads to birthday arrest for Michigan woman
A Michigan woman was arrested on her birthday by Clinton Police investigating a shoplifting call at Wal-Mart. Police were called to the store on Tanner Lane at around 2 pm Tuesday on a shoplifting call and when they arrived learned that the suspect, Sabrina Murphy of Morenci, Michigan, who turned 43 on Tuesday, had stolen a car from a dealership in Michigan on Monday and then allegedly stolen a license plate from a vehicle parked outside an Ohio Wal-Mart and put it on the stolen vehicle. Murphy was located at the Clinton store with her 13-year-old son, who authorities quickly determined had been reported missing from his father’s house in Michigan on Sunday. The woman admitted taking her son from his father, who has custody of the boy, without his permission. The boy’s father was notified and Murphy, as of late this morning, remained in custody on charges of theft from the store, and theft by possession of the stolen vehicle and stolen license plate.
Ex-deputy receives settlement despite questions
Despite questions about his claim that a February 2012 shootout in Claxton left him with post-traumatic stress disorder, a former Anderson County Sheriff’s deputy has received $185,000 in a workers’ compensation claim settlement. James D. Powell was off-duty on February 29th, 2012 when he came to the aid of then-Deputy Jonathan Bryant, who had pursued 32-year-old Michael Baker and 25-year-old Shanna Richardson of Indiana at high speeds following a gas drive-off in what was then Lake City. During the pursuit, Baker had fired shots at the pursuing deputy and the chase ended with a shootout during which both Baker and Richardson were killed. The suspects were later found to have been high on the synthetic drug known as bath salts. Powell filed a workers’ compensation claim based on PTSD as a direct result of the shootout. One psychiatrist determined that Powell was indeed suffering from PTSD but a second psychiatrist said that he thought Powell had malingered on psychological tests, meaning that he gave incorrect answers to questions with the aim of fooling the tests into showing he had PTSD. That second psychiatrist also said that Powell gave conflicting accounts as to what had transpired during the shootout and called it very suspicious that Powell began to have panic attacks and other symptoms of PTSD only after he was placed on leave while being investigated on allegations of child sexual abuse. The District Attorney’s Office later determined that there was not enough evidence to prosecute Powell over those allegations but told Sheriff Paul White that he would no longer use Powell’s testimony in any sex-crime cases involving children. The doubtful and disputed settlement was signed by Judge Don Elledge, who indicated that it was unlikely that Powell could prove the shootout caused PTSD.
AC Mayor critical of expected EPA standards
(AC Mayor’s Office) Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank has written the White House to express concern and opposition to significantly stricter ground-level ozone limits that the EPA is currently considering. She has joined local officials across Tennessee as well as the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Tennessee Manufacturers Association in opposing the harsher ozone standards. The threat of stricter ozone limits comes just as the Knoxville area, including parts of Anderson County, has been declared in compliance with the current standards. The EPA announced Monday that the area is now in attainment, removing a number of obstacles that could hamper recruitment of businesses and jobs. All of Anderson County is now in compliance with the current requirements, Mayor Frank said. Tighter standards right now could wipe out any gains we might realize from that. The tougher requirements could pose a significant threat to economic development and job creation, Mayor Frank wrote to the White House. Things that make Anderson County attractive to business, such as the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and proximity to UT-Knoxville, could be eclipsed if the EPA makes significant changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). A stricter NAAQS would set up substantial barriers to economic development in non-compliant, or non-attainment counties, and it would become difficult for many existing businesses to expand. Counties could also lose federal highway funds.  Weve made considerable progress that Im proud of, but we must make sure our efforts to protect people dont actually end up harming their ability to care for themselves and their families, said Mayor Frank. Under the proposed changes, the ozone limit would go from the current 75 ppb (parts per billion) to as low as 65 ppb. That would, once again, make Knoxville/Knox County much more vulnerable to being labeled non-attainment. If that happened, counties in the Knoxville Combined Statistical Area including parts of Anderson County would run the risk of being labeled non-attainment, according to a presentation by legal experts and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). Tennessee stands to lose an estimated 13,575 jobs or job equivalents and $32 billion in gross state product from 2017 to 2040, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. It would cost Tennessee drivers an added $768 million to own and operate their vehicles during that same period, NAM says. Meanwhile, a new survey shows that 67% of Americans rate their local air quality as excellent or good, and more than half oppose stricter federal environmental regulations on local businesses. By a nearly three-to-one margin, Americans think that a bigger problem for their local area is less economic growth and job opportunities caused by regulations (66%) rather than lower air quality caused by pollution (23%), according to the findings released by NAM. For more information on the economic ramifications of the stricter NAAQS, visit
Learn New Skills While Helping Others
COMMUNITY MEDIATION SERVICES, a local nonprofit, is offering FREE Basic Mediation training August 21st (5-9) and August 22nd ( 9-5)  in Clinton. Mediation assists people in finding their own best solutions to difficult issues.  Volunteer Mediator trainees learn valuable skills while helping others in our community. We have families in need right NOW!  Please call Community Mediation Services at 865-463-6888 for more information and to register. Check us out on the web at or email us at  For as little as 4 hours a week you can make a difference!
Arrangements announced for Joseph Dillman
Funeral arrangements for 10-year-old Joseph Dillman, the Clinton boy whose battle against brain cancer inspired his entire community, have been announced. Joseph’s family will receive friends Tuesday afternoon (7/21) from 3 to 8 pm at Second Baptist Church in Clinton with a Celebration of his Life to follow. Family and friends will meet at 12:15 pm Wednesday July 22nd at Holley-Gamble Funeral Home in Clinton to go in procession to Woodhaven Memorial Gardens for his 1 pm graveside service. During his brave, four-year battle with two rounds of brain cancer, Joseph inspired the community with his grace, his spirit and his positive attitude in the face of the disease, and in return, the community adopted him as their own. He was named an honorary Clinton Police officer, an honorary Oak Ridge firefighter, served as grand marshal of the Clinton Christmas parade and had a lawn mower race named in his honor. Joseph Dillman will be laid to rest wearing his policeman’s uniform and the funeral procession on Wednesday is expected to include as many as 100 police, fire and emergency vehicles. To view his obituary online or to donate to help pay for his funeral expenses, please visit
AC Commission passes 10-cent tax hike for raises
Monday the Anderson County Commission approved a 10-cent property tax rate increase to pay for raises for employees of the county and its school system. The vote was 9-5-1 with one absence. Eight cents of the increase will pay for 1.75% raises for teachers and school system employees, with the Board of Education now charged with finding an additional $165,000 in its budget to bring those up to 2% salary increases. The other two cents of the tax increase will be used for 2% pay raises for county general fund employees except for elected officials and commissioners. That 10-cent increase n the tax rate is in addition to the now-higher, state-certifiedor tax-neutral rateof $2.6903 per $100 of assessed value. The certified rate brings in the same amount of revenue from property taxes that was brought in before the reappraisals, which showed overall property value declines of 4% across the county. So, that means that in the county outside the city limits, the tax rate is now $2.7903, In Clinton, the county tax rate is now $2.7589 and in Oak Ridge, the county tax rate is $2.5945. The tax rate varies because of different school debt obligations. After the budget was adopted, commissioners voted to give pay raises above the 2% threshold to Veterans Service Officer Leon Jaquet and his assistant, two employees in Law Director Jay Yeager’s office and to longtime Commission Administrative Assistant Mary Murphy.  The County Commission will meet in a special session next Thursday July 30th at 6:30 pm to hold a public hearing on the new tax rate before taking the final vote to adopt the new budget and tax rate.
Biloski announces resignation from Commission
At the end of Monday’s Anderson County Commission meeting, Commissioner Robin Biloski, who has represented Oak Ridge’s 8th District since 2006, announced that she is resigning effective August 3rd because she and her husband Bill are moving to Madeira Beach, Florida. Biloski was elected to her first term on the Commission representing Oak Ridge’s Emory Valley, Hendrix Creek and Woodland voting precincts in 2006 and was twice re-elected, most recently in 2014. For the first eight years on Commission, Biloski was the only female commissioner and later served as vice chair of the Commission for three years and as a chair of the powerful Operations Committee. The Commission will solicit applications from residents of District 8 who are interested in serving in Biloski’s seat until the next county general election in August of 2016. Commissioners will select her successor most likely next month.
3 donations totaling $25K will aid animal shelter effort
At the beginning of Monday night’s meeting of the Anderson County Commission, officials learned that a local manufacturing company and two local animal welfare groups have donated a total of $25,000 to help start a county animal shelter. The first $10,000 donation came from Magna International’s Eagle Bend Manufacturing facility in Clinton and was matched by longtime Anderson County animal welfare advocate Eileen Slater’s NOAH Companion Animal Center in Marlow. A $5000 donation was also presented Monday by the Shelter Animals Rescue Groupor SARGanother local non profit group focused on animal welfare. The new animal shelter on Blockhouse Valley could open within the next few weeks and will be used as a temporary shelter for animals picked up by county animal control officers. Mayor Terry Frank and Commissioner Robin Biloski spearheaded the effort for a new shelter since earlier this year, citing the changing priorities and lack of room for county animals at the Oak Ridge Animal Shelter. The money donated last night will be used for supplies and operations at the shelter.
Lawsuit filed in dog attack
A Powell woman has filed a lawsuit in Anderson County Circuit Court seeking $175,000 in damages against three Powell residents. Robin Moore filed the suit earlier this month against Wayne Wells, Caroline Wells and Pauline Wells in connection to an incident that occurred in early March. Moore alleges that she had been walking on a sidewalk on Norman Street with her dogs on leashes when the Wells’ dogs, who were allegedly running free, attacked her dogs. Moore’s suit claims that she became tangled in the leashes and fell, injuring her left leg, ankle and foot, injuries the suit claims resulted in surgery and could be permanent. The defendants are accused of being negligent in failing to keep their dogs tied up or otherwise under control.
Clothing Giveaway
There will be a clothing giveaway at the Lake City Church of Christ on Saturday July 25th from 9 am to 1 pm. Everyone is welcome.
ETHRA taking LIHEAP applications through July
The East Tennessee Human Resource Agency (ETHRA) is distributing applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (or LIHEAP) for households that have not received assistance since October 1st, 2014. To receive an application call ETHRA’s toll-free number at 1-800-552-0127, extension 4825, and leave your name and mailing address. Applications are also available at the local ETHRA Office on Leinart Street in Clinton or on ETHRA’s website at The sponsor of this program is the Tennessee Housing Development Agency and its goal is to provide assistance to low-income households to help offset the high cost of home energy.
Joseph Dillman passes away at 10
Joseph Dillman, the 10-year-old Clinton boy whose courageous battle with brain cancer inspired his entire community, passed away on Saturday. Joseph’s fight garnered support from near and far, as he was named an honorary Clinton police officer and an honorary Oak Ridge firefighter, had a lawn mower race named in his honor and became part of the Clinton High School football program, leading the Dragons out on to the field during a home game last season. A campaign for his birthday resulted in Joseph receiving over 100 pounds of birthday well-wishes and gifts from all over the country. Our sister station Merle FM, surprised him last year with tickets and backstage passes to a Luke Bryan concert, before which Joseph got to meet his favorite country singer. More recently, a community spearheaded candlelight prayer service was held at Second Baptist Church on July 11th and to highlight the impact he had made on his community in his all-too-brief life, when he was unable to attend due to his failing health, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department along with other municipal police and fire departments and the county EMS drove past his house with their lights and sirens on to let him know that the community had his back. A GoFundMe page has been established to help the family with funeral expenses and when his arrangements are announced, we will pass them along to you here on WYSH and online.
(Oak Ridge Today) Joseph Dillman, a Clinton boy who inspired the community with his battle against brain cancer, died Saturday. He was 10. Joseph had earned the love and admiration of many people from across the country. It was his second battle against brain cancer. Joseph had been made an honorary firefighter and honorary Clinton police officer. For his 10th birthday in January, he received more than 100 pounds of birthday mail and gifts from well-wishers across the country, including Peyton Manning and Johnny Majors. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.  There was a candlelight prayer service for Joseph on July 11 in Clinton. Joseph was unable to attend, so supporters brought the event to him. Members of the Anderson County Sheriffs Departmentalong with local law enforcement, fire departments, and Emergency Medical Servicesdrove by Josephs house with lights flashing and sirens blaring. Joseph, you have all of our love, support, and prayers! the Anderson County Sheriffs Department said after the prayer service. Weve got your back.  Joseph led the Clinton High School football team onto the field during a home game last season, and he had received several other designations and accolades. In June, the Second Annual Joseph Dillman Lawn Mower Race was held in honor of Joseph. It was organized by Clinton Police Officer Jason Stokes.  Last year, WYSH’s sister station Merle FM surprised Joseph with tickets and backstage passes to a Luke Bryan concert, before which Joseph got to meet his favorite country singer.  On the Pray for Joseph Dillman page on Facebook, the family said funeral plans have not been finalized.  It is with a very heavy heart that we share that one of our special little students, Joseph Dillman, passed away, Clinton City Schools said in a Facebook post on Sunday, July 16. Please keep his family and his many friends in your thoughts and prayers as people young and old struggle with the grief of Josephs death.
AC crash injures one
A single-vehicle accident early Sunday morning on Andersonville Highway east of Sportsman Lane sent one man to UT Medical Center by Lifestar. His name and condition have not been made public but the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol are investigating the crash.
OR crash injures 3
Three people involved in a two-vehicle accident Sunday afternoon in Oak Ridge were taken to area hospitals. The crash occurred just after 4 pm on the Oak Ridge Turnpike near Athens Road. Two patients were taken to UT Medical Center while a third was taken to Methodist Medical Center. As soon as more information becomes available we will will pass it along to you.
TDOT: Highway 61 lane closures begin Wednesday
TDOT has announced that one lane will be closed in each direction on Highway 61 over I-75 in Anderson County beginning on Wednesday. Contractors will be doing bridge repair work at that location through October 31st. Visit and check out the Norris Bulletin’s handy detours for ways to avoid what could become a tricky traffic situation.
AC Community Action commodity card sign-ups
Beginning Monday July 27, 2015 Anderson County Community Action Committee will be accepting applications for the orange commodity card.  If you have an orange card you DO NOT have to sign back up.  To sign up participants must be an Anderson County resident, and provide proof of all household income, know birth dates, and social security numbers for all household members.  We will take applications Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 am-12 noon. The deadline to sign up will be Friday August 7th @ 12 noon  For more information on this equal opportunity program please call 865-457-5500.
Free Talk on Happy Gut = Happy Life
Are you experiencing regular fatigue, brain fog, muscle aches and pains, gas and bloating, sugar craving, food sensitivities or allergies, nail fungus, athletes foot, jock itch or yeast infections?  Have you taken broad-spectrum antibiotics or birth control pills?  If so, you may be interested in learning how to cleanse and revive your health with therapeutic grade essential oils and whole food based supplements in a healthy way without starving yourself.  Ryoko Suzuki will be doing a free talk on Friday, July 31st at noon at Clinton Physical Therapy at 1921 N. Charles G. Seivers Boulevard.  Ryoko has previously worked at Clinton Physical Therapy Center, but now works at Healing Spirit Bodywork in Nashville.  She is a licensed massage therapist and Svaroopa Yoga instructor.  She also works with clients on how to properly use essential oils to aid in improved health and wellbeing.  Come learn how to get your digestive system back on track, and feel good inside and out!!  For further information call 457-8237.  The seminar will be held in the upper building behind Clinton Physical Therapy Center.  Please park in the upper lot.  
State awards OR company for safety
Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced that Manufacturing Sciences located in Oak Ridge was chosen to receive the Volunteer STAR (Safety Through Accountability and Recognition) award.  “Manufacturing Sciences Corporation has met the evaluation standards required to receive this award by proving their ability to uphold an excellent safety record,” said Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips, who presented the Volunteer STAR award yesterday at the companys facility located at 804 South Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge. It is evident Manufacturing Sciences Corporation is extremely dedicated to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace.  The Volunteer STAR award is the states highest honor for workplace safety and health and a nationally recognized program. The Volunteer STAR is patterned after the OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) and recognizes the best of the best in the area of safety and health programming and performance.  The safety culture at Manufacturing Sciences Corporation was one of the key assets considered in the GMIS acquisition of MSC. We are proud of the MSC team for receiving this honor and look forward to continuing this commitment to safety, said Zane Wilson CEO of Global Medical Isotope Systems, parent company of MSC.  They continue to set the standard for the rest of the company and I am happy to celebrate this achievement with them.  Manufacturing Sciences Corporations Oak Ridge facility has 44 employees that manufacture various products from depleted uranium for medical, military, and other applications.  This is the sites third time to receive the Volunteer STAR award. There are currently 37 Volunteer STAR sites in Tennessee.  A certificate of recognition is awarded to the STAR recipient, as is a flag that can be flown at the site. The company is also permitted to use the Volunteer STAR logo on its correspondence and company documents.  The standard for participation in the STAR program is the confirmation of a companys safety and health program, which helps reduce accidents and injuries. The program also allows employers to be removed from programmed compliance inspection lists for a period of three years.  For more information on the Volunteer STAR award program and other TOSHA award programs contact the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration at (800) 325-9901.
DA: Man pleads in parking lot death
District Attorney General Russell Johnson announced today that Eric Glenn Gallaher, age 35 (dob 3-22-1980) of Harriman, pled guilty this morning in Roane County Criminal Court to the indicted charge of voluntary manslaughter in the July 23, 2011 death of David Lee Harvey (dob 2-26-1965). The incident that led to Harveys death occurred when the two men were involved in a fender bender type accident in the parking lot of the notorious Big Orange Bar off of Hwy 27 just north of Harriman. According to eyewitness accounts, as Harvey was making his way towards Gallaher and three other men with Gallaher (Eric Gallahers twin brother and two cousins) to apologize for backing into their car, Eric Gallaher swung and hit Harvey in the head one time. There were conflicting accounts about what happened next. (A Roane County Grand Jury later no billed a robbery account.) What is apparent from those accounts and the subsequent autopsy is that Harvey died almost immediately at the scene after the blow to his head. An autopsy performed by the UT Forensics Center released in 2012 would show that Harveys death resulted from a ruptured cerebral arteriovenous malformation during [the] physical altercation.  Gallaher was arrested the next day and subsequently made bond. Ultimately, he was indicted by the Roane County Grand Jury for on alternative counts for Voluntary Manslaughter and Aggravated Assault, both Class C felonies. While out on bond Gallaher was arrested and convicted of DUI in Knox County and ending up spending approximately eight months in jail for a violation of probation. He also was later charged along with his twin brother, Derek Gallaher, for felony drug charges (to which Eric Gallaher also pled guilty today).  Initially, Eric Gallaher was represented on both sets of charges (manslaughter and drug) by attorney Donice Butler of Harriman. The case had been set for jury trial several times previously. In fact, the parties: Gallaher, Butler and the Harvey family and friends, and the District Attorney General had meet for the parties to talk and come to a plea agreement similar to what was finalized today. Butler was subsequently suspended from the practice of law and remains suspended. Last year attorney Jedediah McKeehan was appointed to represent Gallaher and the plea agreement was put together.  Gallaher pled guilty to the Class C felony voluntary manslaughter as indicted and received a three year prison sentence. He also pled guilty to the drug charges and received a six year sentence for a total sentence of 9 years in prison. Gallaher has until 9 am on Monday, July 27th to report to the Roane County Jail from where he will later be transported to TDOC to begin serving his sentence.
AC Fair heads in to homestretch
The Anderson County Fair wraps up Saturday night, but between now and then, there are still two of the best six days of summer with something for everyone. General admission is $5 and kids 6 and under get in free. Armbands are available for $20 that allow you to ride the carnival rides on the midway all night long. For more, check out the schedule below, or visit
Friday, July 17
*Powell-Clinch Utility District Night*
Gates Open
5:00pm Close
Little Ponderosa Petting Zoo
James Gang Amusement (POP)
Sheep, Lamb, & Ewe Show (Underwood-McRae Pavilion)
Jay Eric Band
6:00pm 9:00pm
Living Heritage Demo: Tatting
Tractor Parade of Power (Ballfield)
7:00pm 9:00pm
Demolition Derby
**If Demolition Derby is rained out on Friday, it will be scheduled Saturday July 18th at 7:30pm.
Saturday, July 18
*Fox Toyota Night*
Gates Open
5:00pm Close
Little Ponderosa Petting Zoo
5:00pm 8:00pm
4-H Demonstrations
James Gang Amusement (POP)
Open Beef Show (Underwood-McRae Pavilion)
Little Dukes Power Wheels Derby *New Event*
Tractor Parade of Power (Ball field)
Lawn Mower Derby
7:00pm 9:00pm
7:00pm 11:00pm
Brooke Danielle Band
ACSD responds to Chattanooga shootings
(ACSD) The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department was notified by the Tennessee Highway Patrol on Thursday morning, July 16, on the unfolding events of the Chattanooga shooting incidents.  We informed all of our local police departments of this information.  Our dispatch was also in contact with the TEMA State Emergency Operations Center in Nashville. Based on the initial information, we sent deputies to provide security at the National Guard Armory in Clinton as well as to the area of the TVA facilities at Norris Dam and Bull Run Fossil Plant in Claxton.  We increased security by sending additional deputies to the Courthouse and county government buildings. This enhanced security was maintained until we were informed there did not appear to be any threat to other facilities. There are military recruitment centers and a reserve facility along with the DOE installations in Oak Ridge and the Oak Ridge Police Department provided a response for these sites.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the four U.S. Marines who died and to the Marine recruiter, Navy sailor, and Chattanooga police officer who were wounded.
Sales tax holiday August 7th through 9th
Tennessees annual back-to-school sales tax holiday will be August 7 though August 9 this year.  The event is held each year beginning at 12:01 a.m. in the first Friday in August and ending at 11:59 p.m. the following Sunday night. During this weekend, people will not pay state or local sales tax on clothing, school or art supplies that cost $100 or less per item and computers that cost $1,500 or less.
BBB: Harriman man charged in Oakdale football trailer theft
A 31-year-old Harriman man was arrested Wednesday and charged in connection to the theft of the utility trailer containing football equipment from Oakdale School in Morgan County earlier this month. BBB-TV reports that 31-year-old Brandon lavender was arrested without incident at his home on Casey Road on Wednesday by deputies from the Roane and Morgan County Sheriff’s Departments and charged with felony theft and vandalism. The stolen equipment was found a couple of days after the theft in a pile in a wooded area in nearby Cumberland County and the trailer was found at a separate location days after that. Lavender remains in custody and authorities say he is the only suspect in the theft. Anonymous tips led investigators to focus their investigation on Lavender.
Roane reappraisals complete
(Oak Ridge Today) Roane County properties showed an overall 3.47 percent drop in assessed values in the five-year reappraisal process taken over by state officials this year, and the property tax rate in the City of Oak Ridge has been calculated at $2.52, the Tennessee Comptrollers Office announced Thursday. The calculated tax rate is up from the current $2.39 per $100 of assessed value, a 13-cent increase. The revenues collected after a reappraisal have to be the same as the revenues before, so if assessed values show an overall drop, then the tax rate certified by the state has to be raised. Separately, the Oak Ridge City Council has been asked to consider a tax rate increase of up to eight cents, with a one-cent increase requested by the municipal staff and a seven-cent increase requested by the Oak Ridge Board of Education.  The Oak Ridge City Council has not yet adopted a new budget or tax rate for the fiscal year that began July 1, primarily because city officials were waiting for the Roane County reappraisals to be completed. But Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson said City Council could now adopt a budget on second and final reading on July 27 and discuss the budget during a work session at 6 p.m. July 21 in the Central Services Complex on Woodbury Lane.
AC Chamber Job Fair August 4th
The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce will host a Job Fair to recruit employees for our local businesses and industries on Tuesday, August 4, 3 7 p.m., Anderson County High School Gymnasium, 130 Maverick Circle, Clinton. This one-day event allows job seekers to connect face-to-face with local businesses and industries seeking employees.  Job Fair exhibitors to date include: Anderson County Sheriffs Department, CarlStar Group, Eagle Bend Manufacturing, Express Employment Professionals, HealthMarkets, Premier Solutions Intl., Randstad (for Nelson Global), Roane State Community College, SL Tennessee, Temp Systems, Inc., and TN College of Applied Technology-Knoxville. The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development will have their Career Coach, a mobile center with services similar to what you might find in a Tennessee American Job Center, at the event to provide a mobile computer lab with Internet access, a venue for rsum assistance and interviewing skills.  Attendees may submit resumes, complete applications, access company websites, schedule interviews and make contacts for future job openings. Free admission and free parking.  Space is available for employers seeking employees. An 8 x 8 space with 6 ft. table, 2 chairs will be provided. Rooms will be available for on-the-spot interviews. Early Registration: Chamber Members – $100, Non-Chamber Members -$150. Registration After July 23: Chamber Members $150, Non-Chamber Members – $200. ($50 may be applied to Chamber membership).  For a registration form or for more information contact the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce at 865-457-2559, email:,or visit:
AC Fair Night #4
This is night #4 for the Anderson County Fair and gates open this afternoon at 5 pm at the Fairgrounds in Clinton. Tonight is Y-12 Federal Credit Union Night at the Fair and general admission is $5, with kids ages six and under getting in free. An armband that will allow you to ride the rides on the midway all night is $20.  In addition to nightly events like the Little Ponderosa Petting Zoo, the Tractor Parade of Power and the cash giveaways, you will also be able to enjoy Living Heritage demonstrations of canning and two different concerts, each beginning at 7 pm. Fairgoers will be able to listen to some great Southern Gospel Music by the Joyaires and Kingsway and/or country music trio, the 40 West Band. For more information, visit  
*Y-12 Federal Credit Union Night*
Gates Open
5:00pm Close
Little Ponderosa Petting Zoo
James Game Amusement
6:00pm 9:00pm
Living Heritage Demo: Canning
Tractor Parade of Power (Ball field)
7:00pm 9:00pm
7:00pm 9:30pm
Joyaires and Kingsway Gospel Music
7:00pm 11:00pm
40 West Band
General admission: $5…Kids 6 & under: FREE
Armband for rides on midway: $20
OR eyes park headquarters designation
Monday, the Oak Ridge City Council voted unanimously to support efforts currently underway to make the city the headquarters of the three-site Manhattan Project National Historical Park. The park, which will also have locations in Hanford, Washington and Los Alamos, New Mexico, will recognize the contributions each site made to creating the atomic bomb and helped end World War II. Three representatives of Oak Ridge are in Los Alamos taking part in discussions over where the park’s headquarters will be located. Officials say that various aspects of Oak Ridge’s location including its proximity to a large population in the Knoxville metro area and its proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park make it the ideal spot to serve as headquarters. The Departments of Energy and the Interior are expected to have plan in place by the end of the year to manage the three-site park and the final determination of where the headquarters will be located will be made by the Department of the Interior.
Rain causes partial roof collapse at The Other One in OR
Part of the roof over the kitchen at the popular Oak Ridge deli The Other One collapsed Tuesday afternoon following that day’s heavy rainfall. Two workers were in the kitchen when the roof collapsed but neither was injured and while no equipment was damaged, co-owner Amanda Caldwell told our partners at Oak Ridge Today that the incident will expedite plans to renovate and upgrade the kitchen. The roof was patched on Wednesday and the eatery could be closed for up to a week but in the meantime, the owners of Secret City Pies have agreed to loan The Other One a food truck that will allow them to serve a limited menu during the day. The seating area on the main dining room of the restaurant located in the Grove Center is open and there is also outdoor seating. The owners say to follow them on Facebook for updates as to when they will re-open.
New grocer coming to OR
A new grocery store chain will open its doors in the former Food Lion building in Oak Ridge on August 25th. This location of Hank’s Grocery will be the company’s second in the nation, following the spring opening of a store in Washington, Indiana. The company is currently renovating its leased 32,000-square foot building, which became available after Food Lion closed its Oak Ridge store as part of a company-wide reorganization. The new grocer will be open from 7 am to 10 pm daily and employ approximately 50 people. The store will be a full-service grocer with fresh vegetables, a butcher shop, national brands, private-label products and a good selection of organic and gluten-free products.
GSMNP holding butterfly event
(GSMNP) Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont are hosting an event on Friday, July 17, in Cades Cove to mark the return of a 14 year-old Smokies monarch butterfly tag recovered on a forest floor in Mexico. Park and Tremont staff will be joined by Outdoor Educator, Wanda DeWaard, to receive the tag from Jaimie Maussan, a journalist from Mexico, who will return the tag to the Smokies at 10:00 a.m. at the beginning of the Cades Cove Loop Road near the orientation shelter. Through the Great Smoky Mountains Monarch Watch Project led by Tremont staff and partners, hundreds of volunteers have participated in tagging monarch butterflies throughout the park since 1997. Monarch butterflies migrate up to 3,000 miles through the Smokies each fall on their journey to Mexico. On December 29, 2014, a tag from a butterfly tagged in the Smokies was discovered on the forest floor in Mexico at Santuario de la Mariposa Monarca el Rosario. The tag was placed on a female monarch butterfly in the park on October 4, 2001. The discovery of the tag allows scientists to better understand migration patterns, population status, and habitat conservation needs.  “It’s really very exciting, said reporter Jaimie Maussan. The tag was found in the high part of the sanctuary known as El Rosario by one of the local guides just 3 or 4 minutes after we asked them to be on the lookout for the possibility of finding a tag. It was found on the forest floor covered by grass and leaves, but he saw it. It tells us an extraordinary story.” The public is invited to the event on Friday, July 17 to learn more about the journey of monarch butterflies and participate in a hands-on opportunity to catch and identify butterflies in Cades Cove with DeWaard following the event. To participate, please RSVP to Heather Davis at Tremont at
TWRA: GSMNP not only ET location for synchronous fireflies
(TWRA) Paul Shaw, a TWRA fisheries creel agent, has taken an interest in fireflies this summer, which has led to an amazing discovery. Intrigued by the synchronous fireflies at Elkmont in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and learning that Lynn Faust, the premiere synchronous firefly researcher in the GSMNP had them on her property near his own, Shaw set out on a mission to find other populations in east Tennessee. His initial search in early June produced a healthy but isolated population on his densely forested property, which lies about a mile north of the Oak Ridge Wildlife Management Area. During the next few weeks, Shawalong with ORWMA Manager Jim Evans, former TWRA employee Wade Gefellars, and several othersformed a group called the Firefly Team that began visiting sites around ORWMA with hopes of discovering other synchronous fireflies. Their research areas consisted of about 30 sites, which were not arbitrary, random locations but were carefully calculated by biological factors similar to those at Elkmont. To say that their research has been successful is an understatement. All of their predicted sites except one produced a species of synchronous fireflies called Snappy Syncs (Photuris frontalis), which are a different species than those in the GSMNP simply known as synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus). While not as well known to the general public as synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus), Snappy Syncs (Photuris frontalis) are not entirely unknown to firefly researchers, and have been found in various locations throughout the southeastern United States.  To help explain the difference between the two species, Shaw described their characteristic blink patterns. Synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus) blink about a half dozen times in synchrony, and then stop for a few seconds before starting again. Snappy Syncs (Photuris frontalis) blink about 30-plus times in synchrony with the rest in the group, then most will quit blinking while a few continue. After about 10 to 20 seconds, those that quit blinking will start again rejoining those that kept blinking.Shaws research has led him to believe ORWMA supports Snappy Syncs because it has remained relatively undisturbed since World War II. Similar to the GSMNP, preservation of the woodlands allowed them to mature into old-growth hardwood forests that are deep and dark at night. According to their research, 90 percent of the synchronous fireflies they discovered were in these deep, dark woods near a water source. Shaw said that next years efforts will include further exploration of the 35,000 acre Oak Ridge Reservation/WMA and that the Firefly Team will try to locate other populations of these interesting beetles. This discovery is huge in the insect world as the population in the GSMNP was once thought to be the only place where you can see synchronous fireflies in North America, although it remains the best known. In 2012, a colony of these fireflies was also found in the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania, another in the Congaree National Park in South Carolina, and in the mangrove forests of Southeast Asia. While more research and density counts will be necessary in the future, theres no doubt that this will be big news as the Elkmont population draws thousands of annual visitors to the GSMNP. However, the Oak Ridge Reservation is very secure, making it inaccessible to the public, thus prohibiting the multitudes of firefly seekers. At any rate, the fact that other synchronous firefly populations exist is encouraging making it possible for other firefly seekers to discover other populations.
Main Street OR update
(Oak Ridge Today) Pre-demolition work at the Oak Ridge City Center, the former Oak Ridge Mall, was scheduled to start late last week or early this week, and environmental remediation trucks have been at the 60-acre site this week, starting Monday. Plans call for redeveloping the former mall as Main Street Oak Ridge, a mixed-use project that would include retailers, restaurants, residential units, and a hotel. The existing space between the two remaining anchors, Belk and JCPenney, would be demolished, although those two stores would remain. The trucks that have been at the mall site this week are from Environmental Abatement Inc., a structural, demolition, and environmental contractor. There has also been an asbestos waste container at the site. A project representative said that Crosland Southeast, the company that has proposed the $80 million project, is working on pre-demolition activities and reviewing bids. The pre-demolition work includes asbestos abatement, and earlier this month, the representative said that the company hopes that that work will take place within a month. A site plan has been submitted to the Oak Ridge city staff and is under review.  In other developments announced recently, the civil design for the project has been completed along with architectural drawings for several new buildings, and all of those plans have been put out to bid along with the demolition plans. Crosland Southeast is currently reviewing those bid results. The reconstruction of East Main, West Main, and Wilson streets has also been put out to bid, and Crosland Southeast is reviewing those bids. The companys intent is still to open Main Street Oak Ridge to retailers by Thanksgiving 2016. 
State: Roane reappraisal complete
(State Comptroller’s Office) The Comptrollers Division of Property Assessments has reached a significant milestone in its effort to ensure a fair and accurate property reappraisal for the citizens of Roane County. The Division of Property Assessments is confident that property values for tax year 2015 now meet acceptable standards. The Assessor and his staff can now begin sending new value notices to Roane County property owners, and provide taxpayers with both informal and formal opportunities to appeal individual assessments. On February 26 the State Board of Equalization directed the Division to take all steps necessary to complete the reappraisal process after serious concerns were raised about the ability of the Assessor and his staff to manage the process in a timely manner. Division staff overcame numerous challenges and corrected significant errors during their time in Roane County. To date, 12 Comptroller employees have worked nearly 2,400 hours to achieve confidence in the process. Division staff will remain available to assist in the appeal process. Comptroller staff will provide a more in depth presentation to the Roane County Commission during its scheduled meeting on August 10, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. The Division is reporting an overall decline in the assessment of Roane County property of 3.47%. The tax neutral rate for Roane County is still being calculated, however the tax neutral rate for the City of Oak Ridge has been calculated to be $2.52. The people of Roane County deserve a fair and accurate reappraisal, Comptroller Chief of Staff Jason Mumpower said. I am encouraged by our progress to date, and we will remain engaged throughout the appeal process. Finally, we will continue to ensure the Roane County assessors office is equipped to manage the process going forward.
Charity golf tourney August 6th
You are invited to take part in Golf FORE Dreams & Miracles, a golf tournament at the Woodlake Lodge Golf & Country Club in Tazewell to benefit the Dream Connection and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. The tournament will be held on Thursday August 6th with lunch and registration from 11:30 am to 12:45 pm, a shotgun start at 1 pm and a dinner and live auction at 5:30 pm. The cost to participate is $500 per foursome, which includes 18 holes with a cart, lunch and dinner. The club is located at 330 Woodlake Blvd., Tazewell, TN 37879. For more information or to register, call 423-626-6010.
AC Fair Day #3
The Anderson County fair continues into its third day on Wednesday. Gates opened at 11:30 am for the always-popular Senior Citizens’ Day activities and when the gates open on the Fair proper at 5 pm, it will not only be Kubota of Knoxville Night but it is also Powell-Clinch Kids’ Free Night, meaning that all kids ages 15 and under get in free. Once you go through the gates, you will be able to ride rides on the midway all night long with a $20 armband and visit the folks from the Little Ponderosa Petting Zoo. At 7 pm, the truck pulls postponed from Tuesday due to the heavy rainfall will take place, the Tractor Parade of Power will roll off and the Dixie Rose Band will take the stage. A corn-hole tournament will be contested in the Underwood-McRae Pavilion at 7:30, with registration from 6 to 7 pm. General admission is $5 and again it is Powell-Clinch Kids Free Night, meaning all kids ages 15 and under get in free. For more information, visit
*Kubota of Knoxville Night*
Powell-Clinch Kids Free Night (admission free for 15 & under)
Gates Open/Entertainment
12:00pm 3:00pm
4H Demonstration: Biscuit Making
Senior Citizen Day
Free Ice Cream provided by Fox and Farley Law office
12:30pm 9:00pm
Clinton Antique Car Club
Gates Open
5:00pm Close
Little Ponderosa Petting Zoo
James Gang Amusement (POP)
6:00pm 8:00pm
4-H Demonstrations
 Dixie Rose Band
Tractor Parade of Power (Ball field)
Truck pulls (postponed from Tuesday night by rain)
Corn Hole Tournament (6:00-7:00pm Registration) Underwood-McRae Pavillion (Rules)
7:00pm 9:00pm
Morgan oil tank catches fire after lightning strike
A fire likely sparked by lightning Tuesday afternoon burned an oil storage tank in the Deer Lodge community of Morgan County. Firefighters from four departments responded to the scene and were able to use foam to extinguish the blaze by around 5:45 pm. Officials believe that a lightning strike on a tank battery sparked the fire on Perkins Lane in the Glades area and say that the fire occurred in a tank used to store oil after it is pumped out of the ground. The fire was contained to just one well, no injuries were reported and no homes were threatened due to the remote location of the wells.
THP: Jacksboro woman killed in wreck
A Jacksboro woman was killed in a single-vehicle accident Tuesday evening in Campbell County. The Tennessee Highway Patrol reports that at around 7:39 pm Tuesday, 76-year-old Margaret Daugherty had been headed w1est on Gail Lane when her vehicle failed to stop at a stop sign. The car crossed Mount Paran Loop Road, went into a grass yard on the other side and traveled another 238 feet before striking a tree. Daugherty, who was alone in the vehicle, died despite wearing her seatbelt.
ORFD losing Deputy Chief to Montana
Oak Ridge Fire Department Deputy Chief Josh Waldo has accepted a new job as the Chief of the Bozeman, Montana Fire Department. Waldo has served as Deputy Chief in Oak Ridge since March of 2014 and oversees fire prevention efforts as well as training, daily operations and new building inspections. Waldo has also served as a firefighter at the East Tennessee Technology Park and was Chief of the Marlow Volunteer Fire Department from 2009 to 2014. Bozeman has a population of roughly 40,000 people, somewhat larger than Oak Ridge, but its fire department is smaller, according to our partners at Oak Ridge Today. The Bozeman FD has three fire stations and around 50 employees while Oak Ridge boasts four fire stations and 70 personnel. His first day in his new position will be August 24th. For more on Josh Waldo’s career and accomplishments, visit our partners at
CFD truck damaged by manhole cover
Tuesday’s strong thunderstorms caused only a few problems inside Clinton, the biggest of which is a water main break that contributed to damaging a city fire truck. Because of the water main break, likely caused in part by the runoff from Tuesday’s heavy rainfall, a manhole cover came up under the railroad trestle on Main Street and ruptured the fuel tank of a Clinton fire truck on its way to a call. The truck was able to make it back to the downtown fire hall, from where it was towed for repairs. No injuries were reported on the truck. CUB responded to the water main break and the utility’s insurance is expected to pay for the damage to the fire truck. The only other damage inside the city was a downed tree on North Main Street that crews had cleared before 5 am. Several trees were reported down in the county but they were also cleared overnight.
AC credit rating improves
The Anderson County Mayor’s Office says that Moody’s Investors Service has affirmed the county’s Aa2 General Obligation rating and upgraded the county’s overall credit rating by removing the negative outlook designation that was tacked on to the county’s status a few years ago. Moody’s assigned Anderson County an Aa2 negative outlook rating during the 2010-11 fiscal year but in its rating report issued last week, the agency says that improved financial performance that led to growth in liquidity and reserve funds led them to upgrade the county’s overall rating. According to the mayor’s release, Moodys also noted that the countys financial position has stabilized since fiscal 2012, after recording three consecutive General Fund deficits.  With a $1.7 million surplus in fiscal 2014, the county posted its third consecutive General Fund surplus…and…the county maintains a robust formal fund balance policy. In fiscal year 2013, the county changed its policies to require a supermajority of the County Commission to spend money from the unassigned fund balance that would take it below $3.5 million.  That threshold was increased in fiscal year 2014 to $4 million and the proposed budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year includes an increase to $4.5 million. We are beyond thrilled to have the negative outlook removed, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank said in the news release.  Budget Director Chris Phillips added: I think this rating upgrade is the culmination of staying the course with fiscally prudent leadership lighting the way…Its all the little, but extremely important, things we as a county do every day to show that we are being good stewards of the taxpayers hard-earned money. Those things include doing more with less, keeping a watchful eye on cash flow, protecting fund balances and avoiding the issuance of costly tax anticipation notes. These things arent accomplished without tough decisions, sacrifice, and the ability to bring everyone together for a common purpose. You can read the mayor’s release on our website at
(AC Mayor’s news release) Moodys Investors Service announced from New York that they have affirmed the Aa2 General Obligation (GO) rating of Anderson County and have upgraded Anderson Countys rating by removing the negative outlook. During bond issuance for rural elementary and rural high school bonds, as well as tax anticipation notes, Moodys assigned Anderson County an Aa2 negative outlook rating in the 2010/2011 budget year. Highlights from Moodys rating report of July 9, 2015, note the company lifted the negative outlook and note that improved financial performance led to reserve and liquidity growth. 
Moodys also notes that the countys financial position has stabilized since fiscal 2012, after recording three consecutive General Fund deficits.  With a $1.7 million surplus in fiscal 2014, the county posted its third consecutive General Fund surplus and the county maintains a robust formal fund balance policy.  In fiscal 2013, the countys policy required a super majority (approval from 12 of 16 County Commission members) to spend unassigned fund balance below $3.5 million.  The threshold was increased in fiscal 2014 to $4 million and the fiscal 2016 [proposed] budget includes an increase to $4.5 million. 
We are beyond thrilled to have the negative outlook removed, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank said in a news release.  We have worked hard as a county to move in the right direction, and this rating action is evidence that hard work pays off.  We still have challenges and much work left to do, but were headed in the right direction, Mayor Frank said.
I think this rating upgrade is the culmination of staying the course with fiscally prudent leadership lighting the way, Director of Accounts and Budgets Christopher K. Phillips said. Its all the little, but extremely important, things we as a county do every day to show that we are being good stewards of the taxpayers hard-earned money. Those things include doing more with less, keeping a watchful eye on cash flow, protecting fund balances and avoiding the issuance of costly tax anticipation notes. These things arent accomplished without tough decisions, sacrifice, and the ability to bring everyone together for a common purpose. We are very pleased with the rating upgrade but will never stop working toward achieving the highest rating possible for our county, said Phillips. 
Moodys notes that Anderson Countys ratings could go up with a trend of significant growth in the countys tax base and a significant improvement in the countys socioeconomic indicators.  They note the ratings could go down if the county returns to operational imbalance leading to reduced reserves or liquidity or an erosion of the countys tax base. We know ratings might not mean much in our day-to-day life, but a ratings review from Moodys is a solid, reliable indicator to businesses, industry and families just exactly how your local government finances are being managed.  We are so proud of the progress weve made, said Mayor Frank.
AC Mayor to hold budget discussions for community
(AC Mayor’s Office) Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank will be hosting two special budget discussions to give the public a chance to hear and see a financial snapshot of Anderson County’s health and also provide the public an opportunity to ask questions. Both an evening and a day meeting are scheduled.  The evening meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 6:30-7:30 pm in the Club Room at the Oak Ridge Civic Center.  The day meeting is scheduled for Friday, July 17, 2015 from 12:00-1:00 pm at the Clinton Community Center.  The public is invited to attend. 
”Often times it can be confusing for citizens when they watch the budget process during full commission, or when they read about it in media reports as they don’t have an opportunity to see or hear a lot of the work that goes on in the lead up to final presentation at commission.  I wanted to offer the public an opportunity to hear about the process, where we stand now, some of the challenges we face, and some of the goals for the future,” said Mayor Frank. “The overall financial health of Anderson County has improved, and that takes a partnership between my office, the accounting office, departments and elected officials, and county commission.  Together, we’ve made great strides tackling issues one at a time, but right now, the biggest issue facing us is funding of the school department in the face of declining enrollment,” continued Mayor Frank. 
”During the business of our regular commission meetings, we really don’t have the time to discuss the overall picture or engage in lengthy question and answer, as we are tasked with conducting the business side of our meetings.  Hopefully these two opportunities will allow for a little more engagement that we’re restricted from doing in the regular course of government.  I also hope to answer some of the basic questions that every citizen might ask, including questions on the reappraisal process,” said Mayor Frank.
Norris Bulletin provides detour ideas over I-75
With traffic over I-75 on Highway 61 down to one lane in either direction for bridge repair work, drivers can expect delays now through October 31st but our friends at the Norris Bulletin have a couple of alternate routes you may want to consider. In today’s edition, the Bulletin says westbound drivers can get to the other side of the interstate pretty quickly by taking the back route via Alley Road off the Norris Freeway and then following Hillvale Road all the way to back to Highway 61, adjacent to Harrisons, Waffle House and WalMart. The Bulletin says that detour will work for westbound traffic trying to get to I-75 South or to Clinton but eastbound traffic probably will not get much benefit from that route due to expected backups. For eastbound drivers, the Bulletin suggests turning left onto Miller Road just before Ray Varner Ford and following that route until reaching Hillvale, where you would then turn left and proceed to Alley Road back into Norris. Another option, especially for those living in Andersonville or south on Norris Freeway is to take Mountain Road east across the interstate. To reach Mountain Road from Clinton, take Sinking Springs Road (can either turn right after crossing the Clinch River Bridge just past the soccer fields and Hammers or continue on to Bland Road) until reaching Irwin Mill Road. There turn right and proceed to Mountain Road. Turning left on either Bethel Road, Cross Pike or Norris Freeway will return you to Highway 61.
FMCOR benefit to feature music, dancing
The Hit Men, a Knoxville rock and pop dance band, will provide music for dancing during the FMC Bash on Saturday, August 8. Its the annual fundraiser for the Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge.  The fundraiser will be held from 5 to 10 p.m. August 8 in the Parish Life Center of St. Marys Church at 327 Vermont Avenue. It will include a catered dinner, Celebrity Dance Contest, and live auction conducted by the entertaining Bear Stephenson.  Couples who have entered in the Celebrity Dance Contest are Sharon and Brian Annis, Naomi Asher and Jim Dodson, Tom Beehan and Kay Brookshire, David and Sandy Bradshaw, Gene Caldwell and Dottie Thompson, Keys Fillauer and Scott Hinton, Judy Gooch and Michael Shrader, Austin Keathley and a secret partner, and Nancy Stanley and Gary Riser.  Other highlights of the event will be a silent auction, the FMC Bash Signature Drink, and wine and beer for purchase. Dress is casual. You are encouraged to wear a new FMC Bash T-shirt, which you can buy at the FMCOR office. To learn more about the dance partners, the items available at the auction and the T-shirts, please visit (click on the FMC Bash tab and select Our Dance Couples, Auction Items, and T-shirts).  Tickets cost $60 and can be purchased online at FMCOR website. Or you can buy a ticket at the FMCOR office at 116 East Division Road (behind Zaxbys restaurant) in Oak Ridge.  The third option is to make a check payable to the Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge, with FMC Bash tickets on the notation line. Then mail the check to the address above, adding Oak Ridge, TN 37830.  The Free Medical Clinic provides medical services to residents of Anderson, Roane, and Morgan counties who lack health insurance and cannot afford medical care.
AC Fair Night #2
The Anderson County Fair continues Tuesday with gates opening for Peoples Bank of the South Night at 5 pm. General admission is $5 and kids ages six and under get in free. A week-long pass is $20, as are armbands that will allow you to ride the rides on the midway presented by James Gang Amusements. For a complete schedule, visit
*Peoples Bank of the South Night*
Gates Open
5:00pm Close
Little Ponderosa Petting Zoo
James Gang Amusement (POP)
6:00pm 9:00pm
Holley Gamble Kids Fun Night
6:00pm 9:00pm
Living Heritage Demo: Quilting
Dash For Cash, Main Event
2WD Stock Truck Pull, 4WD Stock Truck Pull, & Outlaw Truck Pull
Tractor Parade of Power (Ballfield)
Tennessee Mountain Wrestling
7:00pm 9:00pm
TWRA: Campbell man injured in boating accident
A Lafollette man remains hospitalized following a boating accident that happened on Norris Lake late Thursday night. Just before midnight,according to the TWRA, 52-year-old Jimmy Arnold was operating an open bow 24-foot Chaparral boat when the accident occurred just downstream of Shanghai Marina. According to witnesses on a nearby houseboat, Arnold, who was alone on the boat, was headed toward their location at Heatherlys Point when the vessel ran aground, sending it about 69 feet onto the point. Witnesses on the houseboat dialed 911. Members of Campbell County EMS responded to the accident scene and brought Arnold to a rendezvous point where crews from Lifestar, airlifted him to UT Medical Center in Knoxville. The accident remains under investigation by the TWRA.
EPA says Anderson, Knox, Blount in compliance with air quality regs
The Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that it has approved Tennessees request to declare Knox, Blount and Anderson counties to be in compliance with federal standards for ground-level ozone, the main component of smog. The designation is based upon air-quality monitoring data from 2011, 2012 and 2013. Under EPA rules, an area must be in compliance with air standards for three years before it can get rid of its non-attainment status. The designation should make it easier to recruit new businesses and industries to the region. In a release you can read in its entirety on our website, EPA Regional Administrator Heather McTeer Toney said: We commend the Knoxville area for the effort it has taken toward improving air quality and reaching this accomplishment. This progress represents a commitment to hard work by the local, state and federal agencies, private partners and the many citizens who live and work in the Knoxville area. U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Maryville, said the EPAs decision means more good jobs and healthier air for East Tennesseans. The region has struggled to maintain its air quality in large part due to the topography of the area, as the Tennessee Valley is sandwiched between the Cumberlands and the Smokies, causing pollution to get trapped in what some experts described as a bowl. In many cases, the pollution is not even generated locally, but comes in from other areas, particularly the southwest.
(EPA release, July 13th) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it is taking final action to approve the state of Tennessees request to redesignate the Knoxville area to attainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone standard. This action is based on air quality monitoring data for the three-year period of 2011, 2012, and 2013 that meets the standard. The area continues to attain this standard. On July 13, 2015, EPA took final action on the Knoxville Area. 
We commend the Knoxville area for the effort it has undertaken towards improving air quality and reaching this accomplishment, said EPA Regional Administrator Heather McTeer Toney. This progress represents a commitment to hard work by the local, state and federal agencies, private partners and the many citizens of Tennessee who live and work in the Knoxville area.  For over 20 years, the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area (KMSA) has worked collaboratively with EPA and other stakeholders to develop strategies for achieving attainment standards for ozone. The areas of Knox, Blount and a portion of Anderson counties have reached a significant milestone by attaining the 2008 8-Hour Ozone Standard in the midst of significant population growth.  This is something that I and my staff, along with Sen. Lamar Alexander and other state and local officials have worked on for several years, and Im happy to see our area reach attainment of EPA air quality standards, said Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett. Being in attainment will not only have a positive impact on the environment and public health, it also will encourage economic development by sending a signal to businesses that Knox County and East Tennessee are open for business.  Ground level or “bad” ozone is not emitted directly into the air, but is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the presence of sunlight. Emissions from industrial facilities and electric utilities, motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents are some of the major sources of NOx and VOC. Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion. It can worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Ground level ozone also can reduce lung function and inflame the linings of the lungs. Repeated exposure may permanently scar lung tissue.  For more information on the Knoxville area final 2008 8-hour ozone redesignation, visit docket number EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0870 at
ORT: Three escape OR fire
(Oak Ridge Today) Three people escaped without injury from a fire in a quadplex on Waddell Circle early Monday morning. The fire was reported at 151 Waddell Circle at about 2:35 a.m. Monday.  Firefighters appeared to have most of the flames extinguished relatively quickly, before 3 a.m., although smoke continued to billow out both ends of the white, two-story building. The Red Cross was on its way to help the three residents, who escaped from two units at the quadplex. Power was disconnected at the quadplex after the fire. The fire was reported to be the worst on the back side of the building. Oak Ridge Fire Department Chief Darryl Kerley said the whole back side of the quadplex was burned. Firefighters used a three-inch water line to fight the fire there. Kerley said the fire was reported to have started in the living room at 151 Waddell Circle, although firefighters havent confirmed that yet. They also havent determined a cause. Two of the units are reportedly unoccupied. Besides the ORFD, the Oak Ridge Police Department responded to the Monday morning fire, and so did Anderson County Emergency Medical Services. Emergency workers remained on the scene until at least 4 a.m. Monday.
Roane Commission passes 30-cent tax increase
Monday, the Roane County Commission approved a 30-cent property tax rate increase in an 8-7 vote. 22 cents of that increase will be used to fund the school system, according to our partners at BBB-TV. Schools Director Gary Aytes said during Monday’s meeting that the additional revenue will provide the system with enough money to operate without tapping into what he described as an already-depleted fund balance. The certified tax rate has not yet been set as the state has intervened in the five-year property reappraisal process but could be set by mid-September, so the exact tax rate is not yet known. That rate could be set by the state as early as next month. When complete, the reappraisal is expected to show that property values have declined in Roane County by between 3 and 5 percent, similar to the 4 percent decrease in Anderson County. The certified tax rate is the rate that will generate the same amount of revenue for local governments as the previous tax rate. With property values down, that means that the tax rate must go up, but state law prevents governments from bringing in more revenue from property taxes based upon the re-appraisal. The delay in setting Roane County’s tax rate has also caused significant problems in Oak Ridge, where tax bills are not expected to be sent out until sometime in September, about three months later than usual. Part of Oak Ridge is in Roane County and city leaders say that the delay will likely force them to use reserve funds to operate until tax payments start coming in near the end of October. The Anderson County budget process is also continuing as officials here await the certified tax rate following what have been described as large assessment appeals, primarily from businesses. The budget will be the subject of a public meeting hosted by County Mayor Terry Frank Thursday night from 6:30 to 7:30 at the Oak Ridge Civic Center and Friday from noon to 1 pm at the Clinton Community Center, during which the mayor says she will answer questions about the budget, the budgeting process and the reassessment process. The County Commission is expected to consider the budget, including a request from the school system for additional money to pay primarily for employee raises that would require the equivalent of a 22-cent tax rate increase. Mayor Frank and County Commission Chairman Robert McKamey will join us on Ask Your Neighbor Monday morning at 10 am to preview that night’s meeting and take your questions on the air.
ORNL awarded $5 million for small businesses
Oak Ridge National Laboratory has received more than $5 million in federal funds to help small businesses specializing in clean energy get their products to market. The lab received $5.6 million as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Small Business Vouchers Pilot program. ORNL will help small businesses that are developing clean-energy technologies in advanced manufacturing, buildings, vehicles, wind, water, bioenergy, fuel cells, geothermal and solar. The funding will be used to provide vouchers of $50,000 to $300,000 per small business to initiate collaborative research projects or get technical assistance. Resources that labs can provide include unique materials, prototyping, technology testing and validation, engineering designs and scale-up of samples. The chosen businesses must provide 20 percent of their projects’ costs. Three cycles of competitions will be offered to small businesses through 2016, and DOE estimates more than 100 businesses will receive funds. The first round of competition will open later this year. Other labs participating in the pilot are National Renewable Energy Laboratory ($4.9 million), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory ($4.2 million), Sandia National Laboratories ($2.8 million), and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory ($2.7 million). The complete release follows this story on our website.
(DOE release July 13th) Small businesses make a big impact on Americas economy, adding more than one million employees last year. They are central to developing the new clean energy technologies that are needed to cut carbon pollution and improve the environment. However, small business entrepreneurs often lack the resources necessary to move their innovative ideas from their laboratory bench to the marketplace.  Today, during the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiatives Southeast Regional Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, the Energy Department announced the national laboratories who will be taking the lead in implementing a new Small Business Vouchers Pilot, a public-private partnership that will connect clean energy innovators across the country with the top-notch scientists, engineers, and world-class facilities at our national laboratories. This effort, which is part of my offices larger Lab Impact Initiative, will help small businesses bring next-generation clean energy technologies to the market faster by unleashing the vast science and engineering capabilities of the Energy Departments national laboratories to solve small businesses most pressing challenges. Today, we are announcing the competitive selection of five Energy Department National Laboratories to lead the $20 million pilot, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory ($5.6 million), National Renewable Energy Laboratory ($4.9 million), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory ($4.2 million), Sandia National Laboratories ($2.8 million), and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory ($2.7 million). With this federal funding, in total, these labs will be providing vouchers, starting later this summer, to more than 100 small businesses, so they can access considerable lab expertise and tools that can help them test, validate, and introduce new products, expand their businesses, and grow the clean energy sector. The labs chosen will focus on assisting small businesses developing specific clean energy technologies in the following areas: advanced manufacturing, buildings, vehicles, wind, water, bioenergy, fuel cells, geothermal and solar. In addition to providing vouchers to small businesses, lead labs will also be responsible for outreach, merit review coordination and match making between businesses and experts throughout the National Laboratory network. Other labs can also fulfill vouchers with small businesses.  The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will be encouraging the lead labs to expand their core competencies and cast a wide net into the small business community. Heres how the pilot will work:  
• Later this summer, the Energy Department will launch the Small Business Central Assistance Platform, a web-based tool that will be used to exchange information between the labs and small businesses.
• This Platform will be used to market the labs core capabilities in the topic areas of interest and will be used to accept applications from small businesses who want to participate in the program.
• Individual vouchers will range from $50,000 to $300,000 per clean energy small business and can be used to initiate collaborative research projects or to access technical assistance with labs.
• Three cycles of competitions will be offered to interested small businesses in the 2015 and 2016.
• Small business leaders interested in pursuing a voucher may reach participating labs through our Lab Impact Initiative:
America is competing to win the global clean energy race. National Laboratories, our science and engineering powerhouses, are pivotal national resources for small and large companies commercializing clean energy products and technologies. New forms of public-private partnerships, like the Small Business Vouchers Pilot, will help our nation cross the finish line first and lead on clean energy.
Clinton man killed in Saturday night wreck
Crews from the Clinton Police and Fire Departments and the Anderson County EMS responded to a Saturday night crash that claimed the life of a Clinton man. Witnesses told police that 66-year-old Johnny Sparks was driving his pick-up truck south on Clinch Ave, near Lee Road, at around 11:30 pm when he swerved into the northbound lane, barely missing an oncoming vehicle. The CPD’s accident reconstruction team says the truck then ran into a concrete culvert. Sparks was ejected from the truck and pinned underneath the wreckage. There were no other passengers in Mr. Sparks’ vehicle and early reports indicated that he had not been wearing a seatbelt. The exact cause of the crash remains under investigation. It is the first vehicular death inside the Clinton city limits since December 8th, 2013.
OR pharmacy robbed
An armed robbery was reported at Walgreens Pharmacy on Oak Ridge Turnpike at about 6:32 a.m. Friday. Several Oak Ridge Police officers, including a K9 unit, arrived on scene within minutes and immediately started searching for the suspect, who had fled the business on foot with a small amount of cash. The suspect was described as a white male in dark clothing and baseball cap who indicated he was armed. The suspect was not located, and the investigation is still ongoing at this time. Anyone with any information regarding this crime is encouraged to contact the Oak Ridge Police Department at (865) 425-4399 or (865) 425-3503.
AC Fair underway
The Anderson County Fair kicks off its six-night run Monday when the gates open at 5 pm on Rusty Wallace Chevrolet Night. General admission is $5 and kids ages six and under get in free. A weeklong pass is also available for $20. The price for an armband that will let you ride all the rides on the midway presented by James Gang Amusements is $20. For a complete look at the schedule of events for the Fair, visit
Gates Open
5:00pm 9:00pm
Extension Showcase (Underwood-McRae Pavilion)
5:00pm Close
Little Ponderosa Petting Zoo
James Gang Amusement (Pay One Price for rides)
6:00pm 9:00pm
Living Heritage Demonstration: Crocheting, Knitting, & Spinning
Volunteer Riding Association Barrel Racing
Tractor Parade of Power (Ballfield)
Handsome and the Humbles Band
7:00pm 9:00pm
Open Poultry Show
Open Rabbit Show
Tiny Miss, Fairest of the Fair winners
Sunday, the Anderson County Fair celebrated its unofficial kick off with the Tiny Miss and Fairest of the Fair Pageants. Here are the winners from each of the numerous categories. In the 0-11 month category of Tiny Miss, the winner was Paislee Erica Lamb. In the Tiny Miss 1-2 year-old category, the winner was Caroline Blair Jones. In the 3-4 year-old Tiny Miss pageant, the winner was Marlee Marie Mile. In the 5-6 year-old category, the winner was Cailyn Leigh Taylor. In the 7-9 year-old category, the winner was Jazzmyn Zelia Harness. In the Fairest of the Fair Princess category, the winner was Kaylee Payne. The Junior Fairest of the Fair was Kaylee Maupin. The Senior Fairest of the Fair was Elizabeth Greer. Congratulations to all of the winners and all the runners-up. You can see a complete list of the top five in each category on our website.
2015 Winners: Tiny Miss 0-11 months Winner: Paislee Erica Lamb 1st runner up Emma Watson 2nd runner up Ariel Foust 3rd runner up November Simmons 4th Runner up Theia Siler
1-2 years winner: Caroline Blair Jones 1st runner up Emerson Jones 2nd runner up Addisyn Phillips 3rd runner up Aaliyah Booker 4th Runner up Brinleigh Gilliam
3-4 years. Winner: Marlee Marie Mile 1st runner up Hannah Brown 2nd runner up Atalee Martin 3rd runner up Eleanor Linthicum 4th Runner up Riley Alley
5-6 years. Winner: Cailyn Leigh Taylor 1st runner up Teagen Green 2nd runner up Braylen Alcorn 3rd runner up Taylor Mitchell 4th Runner up Genesis Simmons
7-9 years. Winner: Jazzmyn Zelia Harness 1st runner up Mya Phillips 2nd runner up Angela Kendall 3rd runner up Isabelle Smith 4th Runner up Kaleigh Carpenter
Princess. Winner: Kaylee Payne 1st runner up Taylor Goodman 2nd runner up Michaela Webber 3rd runner up Sophia Whitaker 4th Runner up Jayce Braden
Junior Winner: Kaylee Maupin 1st runner up Madyson Robinson 2nd runner up Shelby Rosenberger 3rd runner up Raegan Farley 4th Runner up Josie Crisp
Senior. Winner: Elizabeth Greer 1st runner up Allison Tadlock 2nd runner up Courtney Matthews 3rd runner up Morgan Phillips 4th Runner up Tessa Lollar
ORT: OR couple nabbed for suspected meth
(Oak Ridge Today) The remains of a suspected methamphetamine laboratory were found during a search of a home on West Wadsworth Circle on Wednesday, authorities said.  Items found in a trash can in the basement of the home included coffee filters, a Coleman brand camp fuel can, lithium batteries that had been cut open, and lithium strips that appeared to have been chemically reacted, Oak Ridge Police Department Officer John Thomas said in arrest warrants. He said other items included a sports drink bottle with a two-part liquid, a soda bottle with a white powdery substance and holes that appeared to have been burned through the bottle from a chemical reaction inside, and two empty boxes of Claritin-D medicine that originally each contained 2.4 grams of pseudoephedrine.  The two defendants, Arthur Wilson Jr., 50, and Julia Wilson, 49, are on probation for convictions for manufacturing methamphetamine in Morgan County, the warrants said. The two are under the supervision of the Tennessee Department of Correction, and one of the conditions of probation is that the home can be searched, Thomas said.  Thomas accompanied Tennessee Department of Correction Probation/Parole Officer Walter Cum on the home visit at 161 West Wadsworth Circle on Wednesday.  After he searched the basement, Thomas said he searched the living area of the home. He said he found a scale, clear plastic bags with corners cut off, coffee filters, aluminum, short sections of plastic straw, and aquarium tubing in a small bedroom of the house. That room was also equipped with two fire extinguishers, Thomas said.  Affiant (Thomas) believes the defendant has been using these items to manufacture methamphetamine, a Schedule II drug, the officer said.  Also, Julia Wilson told Thomas that Arthur Wilson had been cooking meth in the small bedroom, according to the warrants, which were filed in Anderson County General Sessions Court in Oak Ridge.  Arthur Wilson and Julia Wilson were arrested Wednesday afternoon, and both have been charged in Anderson County with the manufacture of a Schedule II drug and possession of drug paraphernalia. They remained jailed at the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton on Friday evening.
FMCOR Golf Tourney August 15th
The 16th Annual Summer Golf Challenge for the Free Medical Clinic will be held on Saturday, August 15, 2015, at the Oak Ridge Country Club.  The tournament is hosted by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority of Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge Hoofers Golf Club, and the Oak Ridge Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and it will be a 1:30 pm shotgun start.  The Free Medical Clinic is a non-profit medical group that provides medical care at no cost to residents of Anderson, Roane, and Morgan Counties who do not have insurance or cannot afford care because of low income. The clinic is staffed primarily by volunteers and relies on donations from individuals, churches, and local organizations for financial support.  Although the number of patients seeking care has increased significantly in recent months and donations have not kept pace, the clinic continues to serve as many as possible with the resources at hand.  A portion of the proceeds from the tournament will fund scholarships for local high school seniors who pursue college or technical degrees.  More than 95 area students have benefited from these scholarships from past tournaments.  The tournament format is a four-person scramble open to all skill levels.  Registration is $90 per individual, or $360 per team, which includes greens fee, cart fee, and dinner.  After August 7th the registration fee is $100 per individual and $400 per team.  The field is limited to 96 players and is first-come, first served.   To register for this fun event, contact the tournament coordinators by e-mail at  or via phone: Edwena Crowe at (865) 482-1521, Sylvester Cook at (865)482-6473, or Eric Washington at (865)384-2715.  You may also register via the internet at Registration fees are payable via PayPal from the internet site.  Registration fees may also be mailed to:  Summer Golf Challenge, c/o Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Post Office Box 5064, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-5064.  Checks should be made payable to Summer Golf Challenge.
CASA has new executive director
Edward Eddie Harrison has been named executive director of CASA of the Tennessee Heartland, a nonprofit organization that recruits, trains, and empowers volunteers to advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children in Anderson, Scott, and Blount counties.  Harrison has dedicated his life to the empowerment and mentorship of young men and women living in disadvantaged communities and homes, and has been an advocate for East Tennessee youth for 12 years, a press release said.  Eddie brings deep experience working as an advocate for disadvantaged kids and nonprofit management to CASA, Board President John Willis said.  Prior to his work with CASA, Harrison served as the house manager for Columbus Home and earlier as the executive director of Montgomery Village Ministry.  Harrison is a UT grad and played football under Coach Phillip Fulmer.  CASA finds good people willing to be trained as volunteers to advocate for neglected children whose cases are being worked in the court system, Harrison said. It is a mission that matters, and one that gets the whole team going every single morning.  Harrison started on July 6, replacing Naomi Asher, who recently became executive director of the United Way of Anderson County.  For additional information about CASA or to book Edward to speak at an upcoming event, contact the CASA office by phone at (865) 425-0888 or by email at
ORT: 2 arrested in OR robbery
(Oak Ridge Today) Two suspects in an armed robbery at a check cashing store in Oak Ridge in June were arrested in the Atlanta area on Wednesday, authorities said. The suspects have been identified as 21-year-old Kianna D. Hill of East Point, Georgia and 22-year-old Arvenzio Clyde Miles of Riverdale, Georgia. The robbery at Check Into Cash at 361 South Illinois Avenue was reported at about 3:15 p.m. Friday, June 26. The store was allegedly robbed by two suspects armed with handguns. Several Oak Ridge Police officers and detectives arrived on scene within minutes of being dispatched, and they immediately started searching for two suspects to no avail. On Wednesday, July 1, ORPD detectives traveled to the Atlanta, Georgia, metro area to follow up on information received regarding an investigative lead that positively identified one of the suspects and tentatively identified the second. Further investigative coordination between ORPD detectives and the East Point, Georgia, Police Department led to positive identification of and locations for both suspects, the release said. On Wednesday, July 8, ORPD detectives traveled to East Point, where EPPD officers and detectives arrested both suspects, identified as Hill and Miles. Both suspects are charged with three counts each of aggravated robbery and one count of especially aggravated kidnapping in Anderson County, Tennessee. Both suspects are currently being held in Georgia and are awaiting extradition back to Tennessee.
AC FFA state champions
The Anderson County Future Farmers of America (FFA) Chapter took home first place honors in the Tennessee FFA State Environmental and Natural Resources competition last month. The competition was held at Camp Clements in Doyle. Fourteen FFA chapters from each of Tennessees three regions participated. Anderson County FFA of the Anderson County Career and Tech Center was represented by team members: Kaylee Brown, Trevor Jordan, Ivy Massey, and Jacob Wheeler. The chapters advisor is Phillip Warfield. Anderson County will represent Tennessee at the National FFA Convention in October and compete against other state winning teams for the national title. The purpose of this competition is to acquaint students with the different types of natural resources that are found throughout the state and to foster skill development in each students chosen area of study. Environmental and Natural Resources competitors analyzed property for five environmental factors. Those factors were: living organisms, non-living components, food webs, ecological succession, and situation analysis. The winner of the Western Region was the Covington FFA Chapter and the Middle Region was won by the Cookeville FFA Chapter, which also placed second overall. To learn more about FFA visit
Appeals court overturns Houston conviction
A federal appeals court has overturned Leon Houstons conviction for making threats against his former attorney over the phone. Houston was sentenced in 2014 to five years in federal prison after the conviction. He was recorded in a jailhouse phone conversation with his girlfriend making threats against the life of former attorney Jim Logan. The appeals courts decision was based on a recent Supreme Court ruling that a Pennsylvania mans violent comments on Facebook did not constitute a legitimate threat. The judge ordered Houstons case go back to court for further proceedings. According to court papers, Houston was upset that Logan had attempted to acquire part of Houston’s land as compensation for working as his lawyer. He argued that the comments did not constitute a legitimate threat. His attorney plans to ask that he be released on bond until a new trial date is set. Houston and his brother Rocky were charged and tried, but never convicted of first degree murder of a deputy and former police officer in 2006. Rocky Houston is serving a nine-year federal prison sentence on weapons charges.
2nd person dies from injuries in Roane wreck
A second person has died from injuries suffered in a Roane County accident that state troopers say alcohol played a role in. 67-year-old Ronald Miller of Philadelphia, Tennessee died Thursday at UT Medical Center, one week after his pickup was struck by an allegedly drunk driver as Miller pulled into his driveway. The Tennessee Highway Patrol charged 41-year-old Steven Moore, also of Philadelphia, with one count of vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault after the crash, which also killed Moore’s passenger, 53-year-old Richard Skipworth of Etowah. The crash also injured Miller’s wife Violet. At the time, the THP reported that Moore’s speeding pickup crossed the center line and smashed into the driver’s side of Miller’s vehicle while attempting to round a curve. Both Moore and Skipworth, neither of whom were wearing seatbelts, were ejected from the vehicle. Moore remains in custody at the Roane County Jail on bonds totaling $100,000 on the original charges, but with Mr. Miller’s passing on Thursday, those charges and his bond are expected to be amended.
PHWFF benefits from new beer
In its first three years, Knoxvilles Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) program for injured and disabled military veterans has garnered many honorsand now, it has garnered its very own beer.  No Easy Day IPA, a new India Pale Ale that will be produced by Saw Works Brewing Co., benefits Knoxvilles PHWFF program. The can and carton for the new brew feature a painting of Josh Callihan, one of the first two members of Knoxville PHWFFand the painting was created by the other participant, Joshs wife Jessica. The Callihans were instrumental in selecting the style of beer to be produced.  Adam Palmer, founder and president of Saw Works Brewing, officially announced the No Easy Day IPA program on Thursday, July 9, at a meeting of the East Tennessee Military Affairs Council.  First release of No Easy Day IPA will be Saturday, Aug. 15, at BAND SAW 2015, a block party and five-year anniversary celebration for Saw Works Brewing, with live music from 2 to 10 p.m. The event, exclusively for those 21 and older, features musical acts including Jay Clark, Kelseys Woods, Sunshine Station, Hudson K and The Lower Caves. For details and tickets, visit  Part of the proceeds from sale of No Easy Day IPA will go to PHWFF, a national nonprofit dedicated to the emotional and physical rehabilitation of wounded and disabled veterans and active military members through fly fishing (for more information, visit  Saw Works Brewing, located in the old Wallace Saw Works building at 708 E. Depot Ave. in Knoxvilles Warehouse District, is the citys oldest microbrewery and produces a variety of exceptional craft beers. More information about Saw Worksincluding the many locations where its products are soldis available at  The Knoxville Program of PHWFF was founded in 2012 by Steve Thompson of Maynardville in cooperation with the Clinch River Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Since then, honors have piled up for the program, nationally and within the Tennessee Valley Region (Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee). These include:
   * Tennessee Valley Participant of the Year in 2013, Josh Callihan of Maryville, and in 2015, Dan Moneymaker of Knoxville.
   * Tennessee Valley Volunteer of the Year in 2013, Buzz Buffington of Clinton, and in 2015, Wayne Nobles of Oak Ridge.
   * Winner of the 2013 Mossy Creek Invitational Fly Fishing Tournament in Bridgewater, Va., Jessica Callihan of Maryville.
   * Phil Johnson Leadership Award, a national honor bestowed on Steve Thompson in 2015 by the PHWFF board of directorsonly the third time this award has ever been presented.
   Knoxville PHWFF holds regular fishing outings, fly tying classes and fly rod building classes. Among recent outings have been two hosted by the renowned Blackberry Farm luxury resort and two that included visiting veterans from the Wounded Warrior Project.  In 2014, Knoxville PHWFF inaugurated the Smoky Mountain Grand Slam Challenge, a banquet and fishing tournament benefiting the national PHWFF program. This years Slam is set for Oct. 16-17.   All military veterans are welcome at PHWFF meetings, the second Tuesday of each month from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Gander Mountain in Turkey Creek; the next meeting will be July 14. No prior experience or money is required to participate.
CHS season tickets package sale dates
Here are the remaining dates for sales of Clinton High School football season ticket packages.
• Xtreme Auto July 18th 10-2
• Subway July 25th 10-2
• Dragon Day at CHS August 3rd
For a complete list of what is in each $60 season ticket package, visit our website.
State: 4th of July could go down as safest on record on TN roadways
(TDSHS/staff reports) The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security has announced preliminary figures that indicated five people were killed in traffic crashes during this years Fourth of July holiday period. Thats a decrease from the 12 vehicular deaths during the 2014 Fourth of July period. There were three vehicle occupants, one motorcyclist and one pedestrian killed during this years 72-hour holiday period. One of the traffic fatalities was alcohol-related and one was not wearing a seat belt. If this years preliminary figures stand, the five vehicular fatalities would rank as one of the lowest number of traffic deaths during the Fourth of July holiday period on record. In 2011, eight people died in traffic crashes in Tennessee during a 96-hour Fourth of July period. The highest number of vehicular fatalities occurred during the July 4th holiday period in 1996, when 27 people were killed in traffic crashes. Tennessee State Troopers arrested 59 individuals on suspicion of DUI and issued 1,350 seat belt citations during the Fourth of July holiday period. It should be noted that these figures do not include the death of 37-year-old James Robinson, who was killed in the parking lot of the Midtown Community Center following the Oak Ridge 4th of July fireworks show as he pushed his daughter out of the path of a pickup truck that sharply accelerated in reverse. That accident remains under investigation but indications are that it was a tragic accident. A Gofundme page set up to accept donations to offset the family’s funeral expenses surpassed its goal of $7500 on Wednesday.
ASAP: Local teens join others at Tennessee Teen Institute
(ASAP news release) ASAP of Anderson County Youth Coalition members from Clinton, Anderson County and Oak Ridge High Schools joined over 400 youth leaders from across the state at the Tennessee Teen Institute. The Tennessee Teen Institute is a five-day youth leadership and prevention camp sponsored by the Jackson Area Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (JACOA). This year marked the 29th year of the Teen Institute Program in Tennessee. The program addresses teen issues such as bullying, violence, suicide, teen pregnancy, distracted driving, teen health and substance abuse prevention through a five-day, peer-led prevention camp designed to provide teen participants with the skills and education necessary to develop and implement alcohol and drug abuse prevention programs in their own communities. This is a comprehensive program that trains, mobilizes and empowers youth to prevent the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs and self-destructive behaviors in themselves and their peers. TTI prepares students to not only make positive changes, but to be proud advocates of those changes. Students will have the opportunity to grow and learn as individuals, while enhancing their leadership abilities. Because TTI is peer-led, teens are given a unique opportunity to have a voice in addressing issues important to them. Giving youth some ownership in this type of program is one of the key factors in the success of enforcing a substance free lifestyle. Held on the Tennessee Tech University Campus, June 21-26th, TTI 2015 hosted approximately 400 teen leaders, adult advisors, and TTI staff. These participants leave motivated not only to make healthy decisions in their own lives, but also committed to work so that others are making healthy decisions as well.
OR Community Band announces August concert
On Sunday, August 2nd, the Oak Ridge Community Band will present its August Concert at 7:00 pm at A.K. Bissell Park. This is a free event but donations are welcome to offset band expenses.  Bring lawn chairs or blankets for outdoor seating and enjoy refreshments from Razzleberry’s Ice Cream Lab.  The music program featuring show tunes, Broadway selections, marches, and swing will include guest vocalists the Community Band Choir, the Community Band Men’s Chorus, and soloists Lettie Andrade de la Torre, Mike Cates, and Deidre Ford. For more information visit or call 865-482-3568.  
ORT: CPD, ACSD defuse tense situation peacefully
(Oak Ridge Today) No one was injured, and Clinton police were able to encourage an Anderson County father to leave his home on Wednesday morning despite concerns about the welfare of his son. Authorities were concerned that the son, who is in his 30s, might be armed. Our partners at Oak Ridge Today report that the Clinton Police Department received a 911 medical call from a home on Lanes Bluff Road in Claxton at about 10 am Wednesday. The son reportedly refused to let the father leave and barricaded himself inside the home and the father was hesitant to leave because of concerns about the welfare of his son. Authorities set up a perimeter and established phone while the father was still in the house, and Clinton Police Chief Rick Scarbrough was able to get the father to leave the home. The scene was then turned over to the Anderson County Sheriffs Department because Lanes Bluff Road is just outside the Clinton city limits in Claxton. The son emerged from the home a few minutes later without incident and unarmed. The father was taken by ambulance to a hospital for unspecified reasons, and the son was taken in a patrol car to the emergency room at Methodist Medical Center for a mental health evaluation. No charges are expected to be filed.
Feds propose new Emergency Ops Center at Y-12
Plans are moving forward for a new Emergency Operations Center at Y-12 in Oak Ridge. The National Nuclear Security Administration released a draft environmental assessment for the project and will be accepting public comments through July 30. The proposed EOC would consolidate the Plant Shift Superintendent’s Office, the Emergency Command Center, the Technical Support Center and the Fire Department Alarm Room at a 17,000-square-foot facility on the east end of the national security complex. The proposed facility could cost the federal government some $22.5 million. The NNSA has proposed a facility that could house officials for 72 hours in emergency conditions at the plant.
Follow-up: Game on! Oakdale football equipment found
Following up on a story we brought you Wednesday, an anonymous tip led Morgan County Sheriff’s deputies to most of the football equipment stolen from Oakdale School over the weekend. The helmets, jerseys, pads and cleats for both the middle and high school football teams were found in what was described as a nice, neat pile in a wooded area on private property some 30 miles from the school. The team’s trailer, which was being used to store the equipment while the locker room was being renovated, was stolen over the weekend. The trailer, which is clearly marked as belonging to the Oakdale Eagles, was not recovered, and officials say they are still missing field paint, blocking dummies and some tools. The recovered items were returned to the school Wednesday afternoon by sheriff’s deputies and their investigation into the theft is continuing. If you have information on the theft of the trailer, please call the Morgan County crime tip-line at 423-346-TIPS (8477).
CHS Band uniform fundraising efforts continue
The Clinton High School Band is still in the process of raising funds to purchase new uniforms. Over $50,000 is still needed to get the uniforms. Approximately 30 students could be without uniforms in the 2015 -2016 school year. You are invited to come visit the Band’s dunking booth at next week’s Anderson County Fair, all proceeds from which will go to the uniform fund. Tax deductible donations may also be mailed to the school at 425 Dragon Drive, Clinton, TN 37716 to the attention of Clinton Band – Uniforms or made online at The band is also collecting bottled water to use at football games and marching competitions. With over 100 students expected to participate this year, they estimate they ill need about 300 bottles of water per game. Donations of bottled water can be dropped off at the Band Room at the school or at Rusty Wallace Chevrolet.
ORT: Changes coming to OR Farmers’ Market
(Oak Ridge Today) The Oak Ridge Farmers Market will be set up differently at Jackson Square starting Saturday, July 11, and for the next six to eight weeks to provide additional parking for customers. Because both Blankenship Field and Jackson Square parking lots are closed for repaving, the City of Oak Ridge will be closing Broadway Avenue every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to noon in front of Jackson Square until more parking becomes available. This will allow some farmers to set up on Broadway Avenue, while others will remain in a smaller area of the Farmers Market parking lot, allowing more space for customer parking. The Farmers Market will not block any sidewalks in Jackson Square, so that customers can still get to the shops and businesses there, a press release said. The market is also open Wednesdays from 3 p.m. until sellout, around 5 p.m. However, Broadway Avenue will not be closed during those hours. There are two parking lot renovations under way at Jackson Square. The first renovation started in January inside the square. The second is at the lower parking lot at Blankenship Field. The third lot in the area, the parking lot used by the Farmers Market, was renovated earlier, before renovations started inside Jackson Square. The Farmers Market lot is adjacent to the Blankenship Field lot and directly north of Jackson Square. Closing part of Broadway on Saturday mornings was one option the city had given the Oak Ridge Farmers Market now that two of those three parking lots are being renovated. The other was to temporarily move the Farmers Market to a city-owned lot on Tennessee Avenue, on the south side of Jackson Square.
CPD promotes Campbell
Earlier this week, the Clinton Police Department held a special pinning ceremony as Jim Campbell was promoted to lieutenant. The ceremony took place at Clinton City Hall and was attended by CPD officers, department employees and other guests. Campbell began his law enforcement career with the Metro-Nashville Police Department in 1993 and spent some time with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department before joining the Clinton Police Department in 2003. In a release announcing his promotion, Police Chief Rick Scarbrough called Campbell a consummate team player. Based on personal experience, I can say that he is one of the good guys and the promotion is well-deserved.
Man pleads in child porn case
A Rocky Top man indicted in February on three counts of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor pleaded guilty Tuesday to a pair of reduced charges of attempted sexual exploitation. In exchange for his plea, 30-year-old Mario Luis Castilla received two suspended eight-year prison sentences which will be served on supervised probation, ordered to register as a sex offender and to perform 100 hours of community service. As part of his sentence, he is also prohibited from having a smart-phone with internet access and agreed to surrender all of the computer equipment seized during the investigation by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force that determined that he had child pornography on his computer.
Man charged in fatal Roane wreck
Following up on a story we brought you last week, the Philadelphia, Tennessee man who was driving a pickup truck that crashed into another vehicle in Roane County, killing his passenger, has been charged with one count of vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault. The crash occurred on July 2nd and the Tennessee Highway Patrol report of the accident indicated that 41-year-old Steven Moore was under the influence of alcohol and that charges were pending. As of Tuesday afternoon, he was behind bars in Roane County on a $100,000 bond. Moore was driving his pickup at a high rate of speed when he lost control rounding a curve on State Highway 322 in the Philadelphia area of Roane County on July 2nd , crossed the center line and collided with a pickup driven by 67-year-old Ronald Miller, who was turning into his driveway in his own pickup with his wife as a passenger. The wreck sent the Millers’ truck into a ditchline, where it came to rest about 100 feet away from the point of impact and caused Moore’s truck to overturn, ejecting both him and his passenger, 53-year-old Richard Skipworth of Etowah, who died as a result of his injuries. Moore and both Millers were also injured in the wreck. Investigating state troopers reported that Moore smelled of alcohol and failed field sobriety tests. He is set to appear in court on August 31st.
Mark your calendars for August 15th Health Fair
A Community Summer Health Fair will be held on Saturday August 15th at the House of Worship located at 190 Manhattan Avenue in Oak Ridge. The event will be held from 10 am to 2 pm and will feature health screenings including blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol as well as eye exams. Medical, chiropractic, pediatric and nutritional consultations will be available, along with fitness classes, games and fun for the whole family. For more information, call the House of Worship at 865-272-3703 or visit
Follow-up: More info on fatal 4th of July crash
Updating a story we have been following for you, Oak Ridge Police on Monday released more information on Saturday night’s fatal post-fireworks crash in Oak Ridge. As we have reported, Oak Ridge Police identified 37-year-old James Robinson of Knoxville as the man who died in the parking lot crash also injured nine others at Midtown Community Center on Saturday. Robinson was struck by a Dodge Ram pickup truck driven by 65-year-old Lee Cromwell of Oak Ridge as Cromwell backed his truck through the parking lot,  Authorities say that eight vehicles were hit by Cromwells truck. Robinson was critically injured in the crash, and he was taken by ambulance to Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge, where he later died, according to a Monday press release. A family friend said Robinson died a hero by pushing his oldest daughter out of the path of the approaching vehicle. Seven other people were taken by ambulance to area hospitals. One adult and two juvenile patients with what were described as non-life threatening injuries went to UT Medical Center, while four juveniles, also with non-life threatening injuries were taken to East Tennessee Childrens Hospital. Two adults were transported to Methodist Medical Center in personal vehicles. Cromwell was not injured. Oak Ridge police officers, assisted by Clinton police officers, reconstructed the crash scene with the use of electronic crash reconstruction equipment provided by the Clinton Police Department. The Anderson County Sheriffs Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol also responded to the scene to assist. The investigation remains ongoing and at this time, no charges have been filed. A gofundme page has been set up to help with Robinsons funeral expenses. As of Tuesday morning, $5900 toward the goal of $7500 had been raised. You can donate by following this link:
Bridge repair project = lane closures
A bridge repair project on Highway 61 will reduce traffic to one lane in each direction on the bridge over I-75 beginning Tuesday July 14th and continuing until the project’s scheduled completion date of October 31st. Mid-State Construction, based out of Livingston, sent a letter as required by TDOT to the Clinton Police, Fire and Public Works departments, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, Anderson County EMS, the US Postal Service and both the Clinton and Anderson County school systems, all of whom could be affected by the project to inform them of the upcoming lane restrictions. Clinton Public Works Director Lynn Murphy says that a meeting with law enforcement and school officials will be held soon to discuss the impact the closures will likely have on traffic, especially around dismissal time at Anderson County High School.
Man found dead in Campbell victim of suicide
The TBI says that an 81-year-old Georgia man found dead inside his vehicle Sunday afternoon in Lafollette died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Campbell County deputies were called to the 200 block of Chapel Heights Lane Sunday afternoon on a report of a man inside a vehicle who appeared to need medical attention and when they arrived discovered the man’s body. Preliminary results of an autopsy indicate that the man died from a single gunshot wound to the midsection of his body. The death was investigated by the TBI and the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office. WYSH does not typically report the names of suicide victims.
ORHS TE commits to Sun Devils
Oak Ridge High School tight end Darel Middleton, a highly sought-after recruit, announced on Twitter Monday that he has committed to play college football at Arizona State, choosing the Sun Devils over Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina and Oregon. Middleton will be a senior this season and will begin his senior campaign at home against Clinton on August 21st.
Ex-AC Mav RB to be honored
Recently-graduated Anderson County High School running back Matt Fox, a punishing runner who led the state in rushing each of the past two seasons, is one of six East Tennessee athletes who will be honored on August 4th during the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Fox is one of three Male Athlete of the Year honorees. Three female athletes will also be recognized. Fox will play his college football at ETSU.
Ex-CHS standouts moving on
Two recently-graduated Clinton High School athletes have announced their post-secondary education plans and both are following their dreams, albeit on completely different paths. Sean Fitzpatrick, who played both football and baseball for the Dragons, has signed to continue his academic and baseball careers at Hiwassee College. Aaron Watson, a football standout who was also an All-Academic performer, will follow in his father’s footsteps and fulfill his own aspirations by enlisting in the US Air Force. Congratulations to both of these outstanding young men and good luck in your future endeavors.
Woman arrested on counterfeiting charges
Clinton Police arrested a woman on several charges related to counterfeit currency Sunday afternoon at Wal-Mart. Officers were called to the store on a report that 32-year-old Alicia Nicole Carden had tried to use counterfeit bills to pay for food at McDonald’s. After making contact with Carden, Officer Josh Bunch found six counterfeit $20 bills and eight counterfeit $10 bills, and according to the arrest report, was told by Carden that she knew the money was fake. Dispatchers advised Bunch that Carden had an outstanding warrant for her arrest out of Campbell County on a DUI charge and placed her into custody. After being read her rights, Carden reportedly told Bunch that she had gotten the bogus currency from two people who were manufacturing the money in a motel in Knoxville. The report does not indicate which motel that might be. Carden was taken to the Anderson County Jail on the Campbell County warrant and was also charged with criminal attempt, criminal simulation and criminal conspiracy and as of this morning, remained in custody.
State, Business Bureau warn of ‘familiar scam’
(TN Secretary of State) A familiar scam that continues to target Tennessee businesses is now in the spotlight of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Middle Tennessee.  The BBB recently added State Compliance Center, also known as SCC, to its list of “Misleading Advertising, Products and Services Middle Tennessee Consumers and Businesses Can Do Without.” The company received a “D-” BBB rating. SCC is requesting businesses pay nearly $90 to obtain a Certificate of Existence/Authorization, also known as a Certificate of Good Standing. The request is being mailed out across the state on an official looking document.   The standard fee to obtain a Certificate of Existence directly from the Division of Business Services is $20.  Letters being sent by SCC make it appear as if a Certificate of Existence/Authorization is required by law, but it is important to note a certificate is not required to do business in Tennessee. Typically, a business requests a Certificate of Existence for specific business purposes, like obtaining a loan or entering into a contract.  SCC LLC is a registered business in the state of Tennessee, but is not affiliated or associated with the Division of Business Services.  Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett has been warning consumers about similar scams for years. Other companies, including Corporate Records Services and Annual Business Services, sent out official looking documents to businesses in 2013 with claims they must pay filing rates higher than what the state actually charges.  “I encourage all businesses and organizations to contact the Division of Business Services directly if they have questions regarding how to obtain a Certificate of Existence, or if they receive questionable items in the mail,” Secretary Hargett said. “Business leaders should use caution anytime a third-party is seeking to file something on their behalf with the state.”  Whenever the Department of State receives information about a company with questionable practices the information is sent directly to the appropriate authorities.  The Division of Business Services maintains a user-friendly online tool to obtain a Certificate of Existence. It can be found at:  Customers may also call the division at (615) 741-6488 or email for more information.
Tragedy strikes after OR 4th
Oak Ridge Police are investigating after a tragic accident in a crowded parking lot following Saturday night’s 4th of July fireworks. The incident occurred at around 10:30 pm Saturday in the parking lot of the Midtown Community Center at the intersection of the Turnpike and Robertsville Road. Preliminary reports indicate that a Dodge Ram pickup driven by 65-year-old Lee Cromwell of Oak Ridge that had been parked at the far east end of the parking lot sharply accelerated in reverse and backed into a crowd of people, striking several cars, injuring eight and killing one man. The victim has been identified as 37-year-old James Robinson of Knoxville. Witnesses reported that he was struck after pushing his daughter out of the truck’s way. Of the eight people injured, two refused medical treatment, while the remaining six were taken to Methodist Medical Center, UT Medical Center and Children’s Hospital. None of their injuries are considered life-threatening. ORPD officers remained at the scene overnight reconstructing the accident with assistance from the Clinton Police Department, which provided use of its total station accident reconstruction technology, which provides a 360-degree view of an accident scene and uses lasers to measure distances between vehicles. In addition to Oak Ridge Police and Fire and the CPD, emergency personnel from the Anderson County EMS, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Highway Patrol responded to the scene. The first Oak Ridge responders were on the scene within about a minute as many were stationed across the street for the fireworks display at AK Bissell Park. Officials have said that alcohol does not appear to have been a factor but that sobriety tests were administered to the driver and that early indications are that this was an accident. The DA’s Office will determine this week if Cromwell will face any charges. As more becomes available, we will pass it along to you.  For more information on this story, visit our partners at
TBI, CCSO investigate man’s death
The TBI was called in to assist Campbell County authorities with their investigation into the apparent shooting death of a man found inside his car Sunday afternoon. Campbell County deputies received a call about a man in a car along Chapel Heights Lane and upon their arrival, found a man dead from an apparent gunshot wound. The man’s name has not been released pending the notification of next of kin and autopsy has been scheduled to determine the cause of his death.
Centrus donates to ADFAC
Centrus Energy Corporation donated $2,500 to ADFAC and became the first 2015 Grand Benefactor Corporate Member, the nonprofit organizations Corporate Committee announced last week. Centrus Energy Corporation supplies enriched uranium fuel for a growing fleet of international and domestic commercial nuclear power plants. Centrus, which has operations in Oak Ridge, is working to deploy the American Centrifuge technology for commercial needs and to support U.S. energy and national security, a press release said.
CHS football season tix on sale
Clinton High School Football Season tickets are ready for purchase! For the convenience of the community, the CHS Cheer Booster Club will be available on Tuesday, July 7 from 5:30-8 at the Clinton Community Center, Thursday, July 9 from 11-5 at the Xtreme Automotive on Hiway Drive, Thursday  July 9 from 10-2 at Hoskins and Friday July 10 from 10-2 at Hoskins for our fans to come by and pick out their seats/tickets. You will also have a chance to purchase ticket packages on Saturday July 11th from 9 am to 2 pm at Crossroads Coffee Shop next to Marathon Gas at the intersection of Highways 61 & 95.  For more information they can contact Cheerleading Booster Club at Remember this is what is included the CHS football season ticket packages:  This season Clinton High School is selling football season tickets in a package deal. For $60.00 you will receive 5 tickets, a parking pass, a Dragon Card, a free oil change, and a hot dog for each game, plus $2.00 off hat or visor, $20.00 off any $100.00 merchandise purchase and a free lanyard with t-shirt purchase. 1200 of these packages are available.
TBI: Morgan woman charged in husband’s shooting
(TBI) Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have arrested and charged a Morgan County woman accused of shooting her husband on Friday. At the request of 9th District Attorney General Russell Johnson, TBI Special Agents began investigating the incident, which occurred shortly after 5:00 PM at the familys home on Morgan County Highway in Sunbright. There, authorities found 61-year-old Leroy James Smith, Jr. suffering from a gunshot wound. During the course of the investigation, Agents, with the assistance of the Sunbright Police Department and the Morgan County Sheriffs Office, developed information that led to Smiths wife, Jennifer Darlene Smith, as the individual responsible for the incident. Medics subsequently transported Leroy Smith to UT Medical Center in Knoxville for treatment. On Friday evening, authorities arrested the 39-year-old and charged her with one count of Attempted Second Degree Murder. At the time of this release, Smith was being held in the Morgan County Jail on $100,000 bond.
ORT: 6 major OR employers contribute to Main Street OR project
(Oak Ridge Today) Six Oak Ridge employers have pledged $500,000 to support public infrastructure at Main Street Oak Ridge, the $80 million redevelopment of the former Oak Ridge Mall. Officials said it shows unprecedented community support for the project. The six employers are Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, UCOR, Restoration Services Inc., Methodist Medical Center, and Consolidated Nuclear Security, which manages and operates Y-12 National Security Complex. All Oak Ridgers realize the successful development of the Main Street town center project is of critical importance not only to the citizens of the City of Oak Ridge and the business community but to the region in general, Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch said. We appreciate these great corporate citizens stepping up the plate to help make Main Street Oak Ridge a reality. Pledge agreements from each of the six companies have been sent to the chairman of the Oak Ridge Industrial Development Board and will be presented at the IDB meeting on Monday, July 6. The IDB meets at 4 p.m. in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Training Room. The Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission will also consider Main Street Oak Ridge during a work session at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 9. A project site plan has been submitted and so has a preliminary subdivision plat for East Main, West Main, and Wilson streets. Also this week, Oak Ridge Today learned that Crosland Southeast is working on pre-demolition activities and reviewing bids for the project.
Clinton man sued over fatal accident
A Clinton man has been sued for $2 million by the widow of a man killed in a traffic accident in Claxton that occurred last August. Carolyn Lubthisophon filed the wrongful death lawsuit in Anderson County Circuit Court against Jeremiah Justice. Her husband Kenneth Lubthisophon was killed in the wreck which occurred August 13th on Edgemoor Road in Claxton. The lawsuit states that Justice’s vehicle struck the rear of Lubthisophon’s motorcycle, which sent it into the path of another oncoming vehicle. The Tennessee Highway Patrol reported that a Knoxville woman had slowed down for stopped traffic in the eastbound lane of Edgemoor Road when Lubthisophon’s motorcycle hit the left rear of her car. Investigators determined that Justice’s Dodge pickup then struck the motorcycle, causing Lubthisophon to be thrown off the bike into the westbound lane, where a Ford pickup driven by a Clinton man struck him. The lawsuit alleges Justice was negligent in failing to use reasonable care, not keeping a proper lookout and following too closely. In addition to compensatory damages, the legal action also seeks “fair and reasonable” punitive damages.
AC receives mental health grant
Anderson County has received a five-year grant worth over $2.2 million to increase access to mental health resources in rural schools. The county will receive $442,314 each year for the next five years to pay for hiring four full-time mental health counselors to address student issues in the county’s four middle schools and two high schools. The grant is coming from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and is part of a program to expand mental health resources in rural communities across the country, where often the resources needed by parents to help their children are not available.
THP: Roane wreck kills one, alcohol a factor
One person was killed and three others injured in a Thursday evening traffic accident in Roane County that the Tennessee Highway Patrol says alcohol played a role in. The THP says that shortly before 6:15 pm on Thursday, two vehicles were headed west on State Highway 322 when Ronald Miller of the Philadelphia community executed a left turn into his driveway. A short distance behind him, troopers say that 41-year-old Steven Moore of Philadelphia was traveling at a high rate of speed when he lost control of his Chevy pickup, crossed the yellow line and slammed into the side of Miller’s pickup. The impact sent Miller’s vehicle into a ditchline, where it came to rest about 100 feet away. Moore’s truck left the road and overturned, ejecting both Moore and his passenger, 53-year-old Richard Skipworth of Etowah. Skipworth was killed in the crash while Moore was injured, as were Miller and his passenger. Neither Moore nor Skipworth were wearing seatbelts, according to the THP, which also stated that both had been drinking. Moore will face charges in connection to the wreck but the THP report does not specify what charges.
Roane woman charged with TennCare fraud
A Kingston woman is facing TennCare fraud charges after investigators say that she sold prescription drugs paid for by the state. 29-year-old Constance Young was arrested this week after the state’s Office of Inspector General, assisted by the Roane County Sheriff’s Office and the Kingston Police Department, conducted an undercover operation, during which she is accused of selling the painkiller hydrocodone to an undercover informant.
ACLB headed to Rocky Top
The Anderson County Library Board will meet on Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 4 p.m. at the Rocky Top Public Library. 
ORNL reschedules Explore ORNL conference
Oak Ridge National Laboratorys Explore ORNL conference has been rescheduled until September 23-24 to coincide with a larger industrial outreach event at ORNL this fall. Explore ORNL was originally scheduled for July 14-15. The September event will feature capabilities in building technologies, vehicle technologies, and advanced manufacturing, and will highlight new opportunities for small businesses to gain access to national laboratories, including ORNL. Information about the September industry event will be released in the coming weeks.
OR Alternative Program renamed
The Oak Ridge Alternative Program has been renamed the Secret City Academy. The Oak Ridge Board of Education unanimously approved the name change in a voice vote during its June meeting. Staff and students had previously weighed in on the name change.
AC busy for July
Summer Train Rides  July 4th and 18th at Secret City Excursion Train
The Secret City Excursion Train is offering 1-hour excursions with narration on Saturday, July 4th and 18th. Departure times will be 11am, 1pm, and 3pm. During the ride, passengers will hear the story of the Manhattan Project, which was one of the most remarkable industrial achievements ever accomplished.  On Saturday the 18th, there will also be a dinner train ride at 6pm. Chef Andras and his staff will serve up fine cuisine in your choice of four delicious entrees. For more information, visit or call 865-241-2140.

July classes at the Appalachian Arts Craft Center
The Appalachian Arts Craft Center will be offering multiple classes throughout the month of July. Some of the classes include Pottery for Kids’ and Teenagers and writing workshops. For more information on these and more, call 865-494-9854 or visit

Concert on the Commons Every Friday Night in Norris
The outdoor music series, Concert on the Commons, returns for its seventh season. The schedule will offer a variety of artists featuring a diverse mix of musical styles ranging from bluegrass and folk to swing and hard-charging blues. Enjoy a weekly line-up of free family entertainment each Friday night beginning at 7:00 pm at the Norris Commons. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. For more information, follow Concert on the Commons Facebook page or email
Wing Night Every Friday Night at Sequoyah Marina
Start off your weekends on Friday night with Sequoyahs famous “Wing Night” at the dock. Sequoyah Marina serves the best wings and coldest Corona on Norris Lake. For more information, call 865-494-7984 or visit
Sundown Saturdays at Stardust Marina
Sundown Saturday’s will feature live entertainment each Saturday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the patio at Stardust Marina, voted one of the top five marinas in East Tennessee. Kick back, relax and enjoy! For more information, call 865-494-7641 or
The Tennessee Opry-July 11th at the Ritz Theater
Join us for the Tennessee Opry show at the Ritz Theater in Downtown Clinton! The show will feature Chris Monday, Cheyenne Graff, Lacey Snyder, John Overton, Marshal Andy, Tedd Graves and more. The show will start at 7:00 pm. Tickets are just $10 each.  For more information, visit
Anderson County Fair  July 13-18
The best days of summer are here! Come and enjoy a week full of fun at the Anderson County Fair. The fair gates open at 5:00 pm daily. General admission is $5.00. Children 6 and under are free. For more information, visit
21st Annual Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry  July 20-24 at CDF Haley Farm
Join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement-building workshops and continuing education about the urgent needs of children across the nation. For more information, call 865-457-6466 or visit
Golden Dragon Acrobat Show  July 25 at Oak Ridge High School
The Golden Dragon Acrobats are recognized throughout the US and abroad as the premier Chinese acrobatic touring company of today. They will be performing on July 25th at 7:00 pm at Oak Ridge High School to benefit the drama department. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under.  Tickets are available at 865-656-4444 or online at

Christmas in July July 25th in Historic Downtown Clinton
The 7th Annual Christmas in July will take place in downtown Clinton from 10 am – 5 pm with town wide sales, holiday decor, a visit with Summer Santa, holiday music and festive treats. For more information, visit
Morgan jury convicts man on sex charges
A Wartburg man has been convicted of multiple charges in connection with sex offenses against six underage males, according to 9th Judicial District Attorney General Russell Johnson. 24-year-old Cody Ryan King was convicted by a jury Wednesday after a two-day trial on charges of child rape, attempted child rape and aggravated sexual battery among other charges. Prosecutors alleged he targeted males ages 11 to 14 years old. He would test them with horseplay, grabbing at their private area. If they didn’t resist, the prosecution alleges, he would proceed further. The assaults occurred from June 2010 to December 2011. The victims testified at trial. They’re now 14 to 17 years of age, according to a press release issued Wednesday by Johnson’s office. Jurors deliberated for a little more than an hour before convicting him. At least three alleged victims who talked with investigators but didn’t want to testify, according to Johnson, who says there may be more victims, and he’s encouraging them to come forward. King was released on bond in 2012 when originally arrested. Bond was revoked, however, after he contacted victims on Facebook, according to Johnson. He faces sentencing Oct. 14. After the jury returned their verdict Criminal Court Judge E. Eugene Eblen ordered the defendant Cody King to remain in jail pending the sentencing hearing.
(Statement from DA Russell Johnson) District Attorney General Russell Johnson announced today that a Morgan County jury found Cody Ryan King, age 24 (dob – March 12, 1991) of Wartburg, guilty of seven sex offenses involving six underage male victims. The case was tried at the courthouse in Wartburg all day Tuesday and into the early afternoon on Wednesday. The prosecuting attorneys for the State were Assistant District Attorneys Alyson Kennedy and Bob Edwards. The Defendants attorneys were Daniel Forrester and Martin Zizek of Clinton.  The State put six male victims on the witness stand who now range in age from 14 to 17. They described how Cody King during the time frame of June 2010 through December 2011 [when the victims were approximately 11 to 14 years old] befriended them as part of his grooming process before preying upon them as his victims. Ultimately King would test them by grabbing their private area and saying gobble, gobble as if her were imitating a turkey call. If the victim did not immediately fight back, then the older and larger King would ultimately proceed with his sexual assault. District Attorney Johnson stated he believes that there may still be several victims that have not come forward to report to law enforcement and, seeing that King has now been convicted, it may give them the confidence to do so. Also, he pointed out that there were at least three victims who did talk with investigators, but did not want to testify about their cases at trial.  ADA Kennedy said that she was proud of the victims that did testify for having the courage tell the jury and a courtroom of people about what King did to them. This will show other victims of these types of crimes that there is justice in the end.  ADA Edwards said that by coming forward all of the victims, and especially those who testified, Played a huge role in sending King to prison for what he did to them and others like them.The jury deliberated approximately a little over an hour before returning the verdict.  The counts for which King was convicted are:
1) child rape (Class A felony with a mandatory minimum of 25 years up to 40 years, but it shall be served at 100%, day for day service),
2) attempted child rape (Class B felony 8 to 12 years ),
3 & 4) two counts of aggravated sexual battery (Class B felony 8 to 12 years, but it shall be served at 100%, with up to 15% good time credit),
5 & 6) two counts of sexual battery (Class E felony 1 to 6 years), and
7) attempted statutory rape (Class A misdemeanor up to 11 months, 29 days ) .
After the jury returned their verdict Criminal Court Judge E. Eugene Eblen ordered the defendant Cody King to remain in jail pending the sentencing hearing. King initially made bond when he was arrested on these charges in 2012. Subsequently the State filed a bond revocation in September 2014 due to King contacting victims on Facebook, so he has been in jail since that revocation. The sentencing hearing has been set for October 14, 2015 in Morgan County Criminal Court at Wartburg.  This is ADA Kennedy and ADA Edwards second jury trial wherein child sexual predators were convicted in Morgan County in the last week. On June 24th they prosecuted Michael Bolden who was also convicted by a Morgan County jury for the aggravated child rape of a two year old. His sentencing hearing is set for August 14th in Wartburg.
Tennessee Promise community service opportunity
(TDEC) Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Commissioner Bob Martineau, in partnership with Governor Haslams Drive to 55 initiative, today announced Tennessee Promise Saturday, a student volunteer day to be held in all Tennessee State Parks on Saturday, July 18. The Tennessee Promise, part of Governor Haslams Drive to 55 initiative to increase the number of Tennesseans with a post-secondary credential to 55 percent by 2025, provides tuition-free community and technical college to recent high school graduates. All Tennessee Promise students utilizing the program this fall are required to complete eight hours of community service by August 1, 2015. This is a win-win, Haslam said. Its a great way for our Tennessee Promise students to fulfill their community service requirements, while enjoying and improving our state parks and probably learning a little bit more about our state in the process. Students can visit and register to volunteer. Volunteer events are listed below by park and include meet up time, location, duration, activity description and point of contact. Reservations are required for all participants.
ORT: Site plan submitted for Main Street Oak Ridge
A site plan was submitted on Monday for Main Street Oak Ridge, the ambitious $80 million project to redevelop the former Oak Ridge Mall. The site plan is under review by the Oak Ridge city staff and could be discussed during an Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission work session on July 9 and during a regular meeting on July 16. A site plan is an engineered construction drawing that includes the layout of buildings and parking, utility plans, traffic and pedestrian circulation, and stormwater management. Building plans for the construction of each building at the 60-acre site will be submitted later. The redevelopment has been proposed by Crosland Southeast of North Carolina and would convert the former mall property into a mixed-use project that will include retailers, restaurants, residential units, and a hotel. The existing space between the two remaining anchors, Belk and JCPenney, would be demolished, although those two stores would remain. The developers are currently looking at bids to perform that demolition work. In March, developers announced they had signed their first anchor store lease. In May, they announced that Atlanta-based MDC development group, through its affiliated company Canterfield Hotel Group LLC, will build a new 120-room hotel at the site. Crosland Southeast could close on their purchase of the property by the end of this month.  For more on this story, visit
UWAC taps Dobson, Patterson as campaign chairs
The United Way of Anderson County has announced that longtime art teacher Jim Dodson and Gene Patterson, a former television anchor who now works at Y-12 National Security Complex, will co-chair the 2015-2016 fundraising campaign for United Way of Anderson County. Its a period of transition and change, according to a press release, and Dodson and Patterson will lead the charge as UWAC kicks off its fresh campaign to raise money for local agencies. Patterson has been delivering local news for more than 30 years, as an anchor at both WBIR and WATE. He also served his community as deputy to the Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe, focusing on city initiatives and facilitating community task forces. In 2015, Patterson joined the communications team at Consolidated Nuclear Security at Y-12 in Oak Ridge. Dodson has taught art in the Oak Ridge Schools system since 1987, and has been recognized as both the Tennessee Art Educator of the Year and the National Middle School Art Educator of the Year. In 2015, Dodson received the Distinguished Educator Award and was appointed to the Humanities Tennessee Board. His efforts to establish student art exhibitions all over Tennessee have earned more than $7 million in scholarships for his students. If you or your business are interested in getting involved with the United Way campaign this fall, please call the office at (865) 483-8431.
ORT: TBI, POST, feds say no violations by Akagi
(Oak Ridge Today) The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is not investigating, two district attorneys said there was no violation, and the state agency that certifies police officers has completed its activities, officials said Wednesday. That would appear to end the inquiry started by the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, or POST, this spring. POST asked three authorities, including one federal official and two state officials, whether Oak Ridge Police Chief Jim Akagi had violated state and federal laws by possessing a firearm after being issued an ex parte order of protection during divorce proceedings in Blount County three years ago. The response from all three officials has been no, according to letters sent to POST. Our partners at Oak Ridge Today reported on the response from the U.S. Attorneys Office, as reported by Akagis attorney Tasha Blakney, on Tuesday. The two state officialsDave Clark, district attorney general in the Seventh Judicial District in Clinton, and Mike Flynn, district attorney general in the Fifth Judicial District in Maryvillesent their response to POST on Wednesday. For more on this story, visit
Federal lawsuit filed over AC inmate death
A federal lawsuit has been filed in connection to the death of an inmate at the Anderson County Jail almost a year ago. 34-year-old Chris Sullivan was found dead inside his cell on July 4th of 2014, hours after he had been arrested by Oak Ridge Police and brought to the Jail on charges including public intoxication and drug possession. An autopsy later determined that Sullivan died as the result of a combination of alcohol and morphine. The lawsuit was filed in federal court by the guardian of Sullivan;s children and seeks an unspecified amount in damages. Following Sullivan’s death, an investigation resulted earlier this year in the indictment of former jail nurse Billy Joe Brockman, on charges of filing a false report after he allegedly told investigators that the had measured and recorded Sullivan’s vital signs despite not having done so. Brockman is named as a defendant, along with jail employee Jeremiah Wood, who according to the suit was supposed to check on Sullivan every 15 minutes but failed to do so. The suit also names Anderson County, Advanced Correctional Healthcare and nine other unidentified individuals. The lawsuit claims that Sullivan was booked into the jail suffering from the extreme effects of alcohol and/or drugs, but that jail and health officials failed to follow protocols that the lawsuit states could have saved his life. The lawsuit seeks a jury trial.
Novel idea dies on the vine
A novel approach to finding money to provide much-needed raises for employees in the Anderson County school system died a quiet death on Tuesday, one day after it was presented to Commissioners. County Commissioner Rick Meredith on Monday night, proposed earmarking $1.1 million in new revenue generated by industrial growth in the county for use as a one-time donation from the county government to the schools to pay for raises for all school workers. Under the proposal, which was met with a mix of skepticism and support, the money would have been given to the schools only after $1.1 million in new revenue found its way into county coffers. Monday night, law Director Jay Yeager indicated that a case in McMinn County may have set a precedent that would prevent that from occurring and after further review on Tuesday, confirmed that assertion. In McMinn County, officials wanted to give money to the schools for capital projects using payments-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILTs (PILoTs) but after a court case that was upheld on appeal, it was determined that those PILT funds could not be used for such a purpose because it would violate the way that money is supposed to be allocated to schools operating in the county and its cities. Locally, that means the money would have to be divided between the county, Oak Ridge and Clinton school systems based on student attendance ratios and could not be used as a one-time contribution from the county government to its school system alone. No decisions about the county budget have been made as of yet and the Commission will resume its budget deliberations on July 20th. The new fiscal year begins today but with questions still swirling about the state-certified tax rate not having been set following property value reappraisals, the budget and the tax rate have not been finalized. The tax rate in the county is expected to climb by at least 14 cents due to a 4% property value decline in the most recent appraisal, but the final numbers have not been decided upon.
More delays in Corwin case
The court case for the ex-Marine accused of killing an Oak Ridge native last year in California has been delayed for a second time. The of 25-year-old Christopher Brandon Lee was originally scheduled for May 26, but the prosecution asked for a continuance, which was granted. The case was rescheduled for yesterday, but on Tuesday, a second continuance was granted. A pre-trial motions hearing is now scheduled for July 27. Lee pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Erin Corwin, whose body was found at the bottom of a remote desert mine shaft after she was reported missing from the military base where she was living with her husband, also a Marine, in California. Corwin was missing for weeks before her remains were found. Sunday marked one year since Corwins disappearance. Investigators say that Lee killed Corwin in order to conceal from his wife that he and Corwin were having an affair.
ORPD searching for robbery suspects
Oak Ridge Police are searching for two suspects in an armed robbery at a check cashing store on Friday. The robbery at Check Into Cash at 361 South Illinois Avenue was reported about 3:15 p.m. Friday. When officers arrived, they were told that the suspects were a black man and a black woman, each armed with handguns, and had fled on foot following the robbery. Officers canvassed the area and talked with an eyewitness who told them that both suspects were last seen running between buildings at the Manhattan Apartment complex in the 200 block of North Purdue Avenue. A section of North Purdue was temporarily closed while police established containment around the three apartment buildings the suspects were believed to have fled, however, nos suspects were located. Anyone with any information about Friday’s robbery is encouraged to contact the Oak Ridge Police Department at (865) 425-4399 or (865) 425-3503. The investigation remains active and ongoing.
Kingston man accused of abuse
A 21-year-old Kingston man accused of breaking a 3-year-old girl’s jaw and fracturing her skull has been arrested on a four-count indictment charging him with aggravated child abuse. Dakota Cain Lamping was indicted last week by a Roane County grand jury and posted a $10,000 bond shortly after his arrest Friday. Kingston Police say that on October 11th, 2014, Lamping carried the unconscious daughter of his girlfriend into the ER at the Roane Medical Center. Lamping claimed he and the child were in the basement of their apartment wwhen the girl fell, got up and then stumbled again. The incident report stated that in addition to the skull and jaw fractures, the girl had several bruises in various stages of healing as well as a host of other old and new injuries that led investigators to suspect child abuse.
AC Committee to meet
The Anderson County Employee Insurance Board of Trustees will meet at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 16, in Room 102 (Human Resources office) at the Courthouse, 100 North Main St., Clinton.
ASAP racking up proclamations after award
(ASAP) Eight representatives from Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) of Anderson County joined nearly 2,700 substance abuse prevention specialists and advocates from across the country at Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s (CADCA) 25th Annual National Leadership Forum, the nation’s largest and premier training event for substance abuse prevention and treatment professionals and researchers. CADCAs National Leadership Forum took place Feb. 2-5 in National Harbor, Md.  This years event was especially important for ASAP as they were honored with the CADCAs GOT OUTCOMES! Milestones Award on February 5 at an awards luncheon. The coalition trained store clerks with certification classes to increase compliance with underage drinking laws, and distributed materials to notify shoppers of identification requirements. The coalition has successfully increased alcohol outlet compliance by 36 percent, decreased the number of youth reporting alcohol use at a friends home by 29 percent, decreased the number of youth being drunk or high at school by 40 percent, and decreased the number of alcohol-related school discipline events by 78 percent. Recent surveys indicate that in just a couple of years, past 30-day use of alcohol among youth has also decreased significantly and the coalition expects to sustain this long-term outcome. We were so excited to be honored with this award, but also to be able to spend several days with other similar organizations from across the country, learning and honing our prevention skills so we can continue to improve our community, said Stephanie Strutner, Executive Director. We came back reenergized with new strategies under our belt to tackle drug use in Anderson County. ASAP was also honored when they returned home with proclamations from Anderson County Commission and Clinton, Norris, Oak Ridge, Oliver Springs, and Rocky Top City councils congratulating them on their award and thanking them for their dedication to the community. CADCAs National Leadership Forum featured nearly 80 courses to help participants learn effective strategies to address drug-related problems in their communities. Training sessions addressed some of the most pressing issues facing communities today from how to prevent prescription drug abuse and marijuana use among youth, to how to reduce tobacco use and underage drinking. ASAP staff Stephanie Strutner and Stacey Pratt along with neighboring coalition RCADC staff Sarah Harrison and Dr. Wayne Stephenson were also asked to present their recent Benefit: Cost Analysis to a session of over 100 advanced coalition workers from around the country. The analysis shows how investing dollars in prevention on the federal, state and local levels can reduce the public burden spending used to shovel up the consequences of failing to prevent substance abuse. The coalition also met with Representative Chuck Fleischman at the CADCA Forums Capitol Hill Day event on Wednesday, Feb. 4 to educate him about effective ways to reduce substance use and abuse, and about the importance of community-based prevention. Rep. Fleischman heard from all eight coalition members in a private meeting and recognized the need for substance abuse prevention in his district.  Representative John Ragan was present in Anderson County on June 29th to recognize this achievement and present ASAP with State of Tennessee House Joint Resolution No. 134 on the steps of the Anderson County Courthouse. The resolution honored ASAP for their measurable achievement in reducing underage drinking in Anderson County.
CPD arrests one after one departs early from car
Clinton Police arrested a woman Saturday after investigators determined that she had allegedly thrown her sister out of a moving car. Kimberly Stout told officers that she and her sister, Rebecca Mashburn, had been arguing in Mashburn’s car and when Stout attempted to get out of the vehicle, her sister drove off, causing her to fall to the pavement. Stout was treated for injuries to her right leg at Methodist Medical Center. An eyewitness verified her story to investigators, who then made contact with Mashburn. Mashburn told officers that her sister had in fact jumped out of the car and that she had not driven off. Mashburn was arrested on charges of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment and released after posting bond.
DOE picks up UCOR option
The Department of Energy has exercised its option to extend the contract of environmental cleanup contractor UCOR. The company has managed cleanup efforts on the federal reservation since 2011 but their contract was set to expire next spring. The option exercised by the DOE this month extends that deal through mid-2020. Officials say that picking up the option early will allow UCOR to get some of the remaining cleanup work done3 ahead of schedule. Company officials say that UCOR has saved the federal government more than $122 million on cleanup projects over the past four years and is about $26 million under budget on projects still underway. UCOR is wrapping up demolition work on K-31, a former uranium-enrichment facility, and preparing for the demolition of K-27 the last of the big buildings that once processed uranium for use in nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors. The company expects to complete the demolition of K-27 by the end of 2016 and plans to have all of the cleanup work done at the site now known as the East Tennessee Technology Park by the time the contract runs out.
Ex-teacher pleads to probation violation
Former Clinton High School teacher Megan Baumann, who was convicted in 2010 on charges that she had inappropriate relationships with students, pleaded guilty Monday to violating the terms of her probation. The violations reportedly occurred in 2014, when the now-33-year-old Baumann dated a man with a child under 18 and four times in 2014 visited public ballparks where minor children were present. Her five-year probation was extended by an additional year. Baumann pleaded guilty in November of 2010 to one count each of statutory rape by an authority figure and sexual battery by an authority figure and two counts of displaying sexually explicit material to minors. She received a three-year prison sentence, was compelled to register as a sex offender and forced to surrender her teaching license.
AC budget update
The Anderson County Commission met in a special called session Monday night to continue deliberating this year’s budget. The new fiscal year starts Wednesday but no decisions were reached Monday during a three-and-a-half-hour-long meeting. Commissioner Robin Biloski proposed removing $75,000 from the Election Commission budget, targeting salaries of workers that she called seasonal in nature but with no Election Administrator present to defend his employees, that motion was deferred for further discussion. Election Administrator Mark Stephens was out of town. Commissioner Steve Emert questioned County Mayor Terry Frank on the seemingly doubling of her office’s budget since she took office and ultimately, made a motion to eliminate the position of Chief of Staff, a position he pointed out had never been part of the mayor;’s office before. Mayor Frank said that while it appears her office’s budget has doubled, she contends that she has saved the county over $161,000 by making cuts when possible and consolidating operations that were spread out over the courthouse under the mayoral umbrella. She also says that many of the savings realized though her office have come through the work of Chief of Staff Richard Burroughs. The motion received eight votes for and seven votes against with one absence but failed as nine votes were needed to approve the measure. Talk turned to employee raises for a significant portion of the meeting with the general consensus seeming to be that if one employee gets a raise, then all employees should get raises. Money for salary increases is not readily available so commissioners will continue to comb through the general fund budget to find cuts to fund raises for county employees. Raises for school system employees, whose pay increases of .7% over the past five years have not kept up with the rising cost of living, was also addressed. Commissioner Rick Meredith on Monday proposed using $1.1 million in anticipated new revenue from growth in the county economy to fund a one-time donation to the county school system that would be earmarked for raises for all certified and classified school employees. Meredith’s proposal would provide no money to the schools, though, until the new revenue reached that $1.1 million threshold. The County Commission, as Meredith pointed out, cannot tell the School Board how to use that money but officials received assurances Monday that if they were to get this money, it would be used for raises as the BOE has set them as a priority. The proposal was deferred until the July 20th Commission meeting so that Law Director Jay Yeager can weigh in on the legality of the measure and so that other commissioners can learn more about exactly how this would work. The next scheduled meeting of the Commission is July 20th and it remains to be seen if any additional meetings will be called for between now and then.
CPTC hosting seminar
(Submitted) Will Pye is a social entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, writer, mentor, wisdom teacher and has had a successful business career in charity fundraising.  He was diagnosed with a brain tumor two years ago at the age of 31.  He was able to experience this event in complete peace and joy, and with a sense of opportunity.  He has rigorously studied human potential and personal exploration through the transformative practices of meditation, yoga, QiGong A Course in Miracles and Zen.  Through this, he developed a psychological technique, Radical Gratitude, inspired by the latest science to create a habit of happiness through spiritual awakening allowing love, healing and your hearts desires.  Will has written a book, Blessed With a Brain Tumor which is not all about surviving cancer or escaping death, but rather about thriving in life with the richness and joy that we each have available to us at every moment. He will be at Clinton Physical Therapy Center on Thursday, July 16 to discuss his experiences and life lessons at 6:30 PM. Come join us in this wonderful opportunity to share an evening with Will Pye while he is in United States traveling from Australia.  There is a suggested donation of $10 for your attendance.  Please call Kelly Lenz at 457-1649 or email for more information.  The meeting will be held in the upper building behind Clinton Physical Therapy Center. Please park in the upper lot.
AC Chamber offers team-focused seminar
(Submitted) The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce welcomes Dr. Stacy Myers, Advanced Management, Inc. who will present a seminar, The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team model, based on Patrick Lencioni’s NYT best seller the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, scheduled for Wednesday, July 15, 11:30 a.m. 1:00 p.m. at the Chamber office.  The model is used to help team members learn to work together more efficiently and effectively and become a more cohesive team.  A productive high-functioning team:
• Makes better, faster decisions
• Taps into the skills and opinions of all members
• Avoids wasting time and energy on politics, confusion, and destructive conflict
• Avoids wasting time talking about the wrong issues and revisiting the same topics over and over again because of a lack of buy-in
• Creates a competitive advantage
• Is more fun to be on
This program will create a learning experience that helps individuals and organizations reveal what it takes to build a truly cohesive and effective team in the most approachable, competent, and effective way possible.  Focusing on trust, conflict, commitment, accountability and results, the assessment and accompanying program can take your intact work teams to the next level.  This preview of the program will explore the various components of the model and explain how participants can gain access to this remarkable tool. Stacy Myers founded Advanced Management, Inc. in 1988 and is President of the company.  He has served as a consultant and/or facilitator to over a hundred of the Fortune 500 companies. He is very active professionally in the American Society for Training & Development and the Society for Human Resources Management.  The seminar is free for Chamber members and $10 for non-Chamber members. A limited number of seats are available. Reserve your space for this valuable presentation by Tuesday, July 14. Call the Chamber at 865-457-2559 or email to reserve.
RT woman dies after Friday wreck in Knox
A 24-year-old Rocky Top woman died over the weekend from injuries she sustained in a four-vehicle accident early Friday morning. Knoxville Police say that 24-year-old Kristin Woods of Rocky Top was driving a Ford Mustang which had slowed for the beginning of a construction zone on the off ramp to I-275 North from I-40 West just before 5 am Friday when she was rear-ended by an SUV driven by a 26-year-old man who KPD officers say was using his cell phone when the crash happened. The chain-reaction crash collected two other vehicles. All of the drivers and the passenger in Woods’ car, identified as 52-year-old Lesha Massengill, were taken to UT Medical Center for treatment. Woods succumbed to her injuries late Friday afternoon. The driver of the SUV, William Jerde, is facing charges pending the completion of the KPD investigation.
4 CFD Ffs attain advanced certification
Four City of Clinton firefighters received their Advanced EMT Certification from Roane State Community College earlier this year.  Lt Daniel Adams, Fire Fighters Jeremy Bray, Bradley Bittinger and Brice Kidwell all received certification after the completion of their two semesters of college-level training.  The course consisted of two full-time college semesters with over 500 hours of classroom learning, 276 hours of ambulance clinicals, state level skills check offs and a National Registry computer-based examination. The skills included in this level of training include, but are not limited to.: advanced airway management techniques, intravenous therapy (IV), cardiac arrest management, pediatric intraosseous infusion (IO), and medication administration, among others. We are extremely proud of these firefighters and they may now provide a better service to all the citizens of Clinton.
Wells honored with Tourism Award
The Middle East Tennessee Tourism Council recently announced that Stephanie Wells, Director of the Anderson County Tourism Council, is the recipient of the 2015 Chuck Davis Tourism Award. The award is named in honor of a long-time industry professional who worked in several counties in the region and was the founding chairman of the East Tennessee Crossing Byway (Hwy. 25 E). Davis passed away in April 2006, but his legacy serves as an example of leadership to our regional Chambers and Convention and Visitors Bureaus. “Stephanie’s marketing expertise and leadership has served the entire region,” said, Molly Gilbert, Director of the 16-county regional non-profit marketing Council.  During Wells tenure with the Tourism Council, she has created numerous advertising campaigns and promotional materials that has contributed to an increase in the economic impact of tourism from $65 million to $111 million for Anderson County. Tennessee Department of Tourist Development East Tennessee Regional Director Dave Jones assisted in recognizing Wells at the 49th Annual Awards Banquet for the East Tennessee Development District and the East Tennessee Human Resource Agency. It is a great honor to receive the Chuck Davis Award, said Wells. Chuck was one of my mentors and he was just as focused on seeing the region succeed as he was on seeing his county succeed. I take great pride in receiving an award given by professionals in my industry. The Middle East Tennessee Tourism Council (METTC) was established in 1980 to jointly market tourism in Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Sevier, Scott and Union Counties. Wells has served three separate terms as chairperson of METTC and has served on the board for 15 years.
Grants for 6 arts organizations in AC
Tennessee legislators announced Friday that seven arts grants worth $72,190 have been awarded to six organizations in Anderson County. The recipients include the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge Community Playhouse, Oak Ridge Civic Music Association, Oak Ridge Community Art Center, Tennessee Mountain Writers, and Appalachian Arts Craft Center. The grants include two grants with a combined total of $20,800 for the Childrens Museum of Oak Ridge in the categories of Arts Education-Community Learning and Partnership Support.
The other grants include:
• $20,700 to the Oak Ridge Community Playhouse in the category of Partnership Support,
• $15,750 to the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association in the category of Partnership Support,
• $11,270 to the Oak Ridge Community Art Center in the category of Partnership Support,
• $2,860 to the Tennessee Mountain Writers in the category of Art Project Support, and
• $810 to the Appalachian Arts Craft Center in the category of Art Project Support.
The grants are from the Tennessee Arts Commission. They are made possible through an appropriation of state funds by the Tennessee General Assembly, federal dollars from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by Tennesseans who buy specialty license plates, a press release said. The grants were announced Friday by Tennessee Senator Randy McNally, an Oak Ridge Republican; Senator Ken Yager, a Kingston Republican; Representative John Ragan, an Oak Ridge Republican; Representative Dennis Powers, a Jacksboro Republican; and Representative Kent Calfee, a Kingston Republican. According to Tennessee Art Commission Executive Director Anne Pope, the Arts Commission will award approximately 1,000 community grants in both urban and rural areas through the 2016 fiscal year, totaling $5.3 million. The allocation process involves a review by citizen advisory panels made up of Tennesseans with expertise in appropriate disciplines and a final review by the full 15-member Commission.
ORT Follow-up: More on ouster suit appeal
(Oak Ridge Today) The Tennessee Court of Appeals on Thursday affirmed the decision of a trial court to dismiss an ouster complaint filed against Anderson County Law Director Jay Yeager.  Twenty-two Anderson County residents tried to remove Yeager, who was appointed law director in September 2006, from his office under Tennessees ouster law. The complaint was originally filed in Anderson County Chancery Court in May 2014 and amended the next month.  The Anderson County Chancery Court issued an order granting Yeagers motion to dismiss on September 22, 2014, but the case was appealed. On Thursday, a three-judge panel of the court, which heard oral arguments in April, upheld the trial courts decision to grant the motion to dismiss, which was issued by Special Judge Don R. Ash.  I deeply appreciate the County Commission and the Legal Services Advisory Committee for their continued support and confidence during these very difficult times for myself and my family, Yeager said Thursday morning.  The debate hinged on whether the county law director is a public office subject to the ouster law or if he or she is instead a public employee. The ouster law provides a method for removing individuals from public office, but it does not apply to workers who are considered public employees.  The trial court concluded that the law directors position is not a public office. The Tennessee Court of Appeals agreed, saying the county law director is subject to oversight by an 11-member advisory committee that may remove him or her at any time with the subsequent approval of the county legislature.  The appellate court said the purpose of the ouster law is to rid the public of unworthy officials and to improve the public service, and to free the public from an unfit officer. Certain procedures put into place by the Tennessee General Assembly demonstrate the legislatures intent to provide a speedy method for removing unfit public officials, the court said.  Without such a mechanism, it is possible that a public official could openly engage in willful misconduct without fear of losing office prior to the expiration of his or her term, the three-judge panel said. Such a situation is certainly untenable. However, that possibility does not exist where, as is the case here, the position in question is subject to oversight by a committee with the power to remove its holder at any time, with or without cause.  In this case, the judges said, the private act of 2006 that created the law directors office created an oversight committee that is capable of removing the county law director at any time, for any reason.  Yeager could be removed by a two-thirds vote of the Legal Services Advisory Committee and then a two-thirds vote of the Anderson County Commission. But so far, no members of the committee or the commission have asked for him to be removed.  Though the position of county law director has some of the characteristics commonly associated with a public office, as opposed to mere employment, we conclude that because the position is subject to the oversight of an advisory committee, which may remove the individual holding the position with the approval of the county legislative body, it is not a public office under the ouster law, the judges said. We therefore affirm the ruling of the trial court dismissing the petitioners action. Costs of this appeal are taxed to the petitioners.  Through attorney Greg Brown, Anderson County resident Lynn Byrge and his fellow petitioners said they were disappointed by the Court of Appeals ruling and have authorized their attorneys to prepare an application for rehearing by the Court of Appeals or review by the Tennessee Supreme Court. For more, including reaction from the plaintiffs, visit
(Summary of Appeals Court ruling) The petitioners filed this action seeking to remove the respondent from the position of county law director of Anderson County pursuant to Tennessees ouster law, found at Tennessee Code Annotated section 8-47-101. The respondent filed a motion to dismiss, which the trial court granted after concluding that the position of county law director is not a public office subject to the ouster law. On appeal, the petitioners argue that the trial court erred in concluding that the position of county law director is not a public office. Because the county law director is subject to oversight by an advisory committee that may remove him or her at any time with the subsequent approval of the county legislature, we affirm the ruling of the trial court.
ORT: Statute of limitations favors MMC
(Oak Ridge Today) A three-judge appeals court panel has ruled in favor of Covenant Health and two other defendants in five lawsuits that alleged that the absence of shielding in part of the emergency department at Methodist Medical Center exposed five X-ray and radiologic technologists, including two who were pregnant, to excessive radiation.  The unanimous opinions by the three Tennessee Court of Appeals judges were filed June 9 in Knoxville. They affirmed an order by Anderson County Circuit Court Judge Donald R. Elledge granting a summary judgement in favor of the defendants: Covenant Health, Rentenbach Engineering Company, and TEG Architects LLC.  The lawsuits were filed in January 2014 by Connie Raby, Keith Gillis, Michael Phillips, Mary Ridenour on behalf of her and her child, and Micah Noelle Lewellen on behalf of her and her child.  The lawsuits alleged that the technologists were exposed to excess radiation for several years at Methodist Medical Center because some walls in and around a radiology imaging center in the new emergency department, which opened in February 2006 as part of a hospital remodel, were built without the required lead shielding, elevating the workers risk of health problems, including cancer.  But the defendants filed motions for summary judgment, and Elledge granted them. The defendants argued that a construction statute known as the statute of repose had expired.  But the plaintiffs appealed, arguing that the statute of repose did not run because the absence of the required shielding in the radiology facilities meant the project was not substantially completed on the date determined by the Anderson County Circuit Court.  The Tennessee Court of Appeals disagreed.  We holdthat the radiology facilities, while perhaps defective, were used for their intended purpose and were substantially complete as found by the trial court, the three-judge panel said in its unanimous decision. The construction statute of repose expired and serves to defeat plaintiffs claims. We affirm the trial court. For more, visit
K-31 demolition completed
Demolition was completed Friday of the K-31 Building in Oak Ridge, the fourth of five gaseous diffusion buildings removed from the former uranium enrichment site. The East Tennessee Technology Park, once called the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant, was built in the 1940s as part of the Manhattan Project to enrich uranium for the atomic bombs that would end World War II. It later produced enriched uranium for commercial and defense purposes. Operations ceased in 1985 and the site was shut down in 1987. The U.S Department of Energy then began cleanup operations. Most of the hazardous materials from the K-31 building were removed in 2005. The remaining building, K-27, is projected to be demolished by next year. Under DOEs reindustrialization program, property at ETTP is being transferred to the private sector as the agency works to make the site a private sector industrial park.
Missing Boy’s body found
The body of the five-year-old boy who went missing Wednesday afternoon was found in a pond near his familys home in Anderson County, authorities said.  Ground search teams working with K-9s tracked the missing child, Odin Elwood Fitton, to a pond in the creek near the family home on Brushy Valley Road, Anderson County Sheriffs Department Chief Deputy Mark Lucas said.  Our dive team was called to search the water, and sadly, the childs body was found, Lucas said Wednesday night.  Odin was reported missing at about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, and ground and air searches began shortly after that. His familys home is in the 1600 block of Brushy Valley Road near Interstate 75.  Lucas said about 100 people were involved in the search, including law enforcement officers and personnel from fire and rescue agencies from across the region.  This not only included deputies from our agency but officers from many others, including search and rescue teams from the Knoxville Police Department, the Knox County Sheriffs Office, and the Campbell County Sheriffs Office, Lucas said. Other teams were from the Anderson County Rescue Squad, the Andersonville Fire Department, and many other fire and rescue agencies not only from Anderson County but Campbell and other counties as well.  Lucas said the Tennessee Highway Patrol helped search Interstate 75 and nearby roads. K-9 bloodhounds from the Anderson County Sheriffs Department, the Blount County Sheriffs Office, and the Knoxville Police Department were used to aid the search teams.  The Knox County Sheriffs Office provided a helicopter for air searches throughout the day.  Our thanks to all those who came to assist, Lucas said. Our thanks to the community and the neighbors who came to assist as well. We also wish to thank the many others who came and were standing by, ready and willing to help if needed. It is truly a blessing to see our community come together to help others even as we are sad at the tragic ending.  Our hearts are heavy, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family in their time of sorrow. 
Clinton OKs tax hike
The Clinton City Council approved a new city budget at its meeting Monday night, but it is still unknown how much the property tax rate will increase.  The city council passed the $11,159,716 budget on a 6-1 vote. Mayor Scott Burton was the lone dissenting vote.  The increased property rate tax cannot be decided until the county finishes a reappraisal of various homes, businesses and industries.  The city’s current tax rate is 76 cents per $100 assessment.  Mayor Burton did not have an estimate for how much the current property tax rate would increase.
Rumor that circulated widely this month said this was going to be the last year for the Secret City Festival.  But city officials said its premature to say that.  It is true that a Special Events Advisory Task Force has been studying changes to the annual festival, including moving it from June and making it into an expanded celebration in the fall, starting in October and continuing through Veterans Day (November 11). It could be renamed the Secret City Celebration, implemented by a new nonprofit expected to become self-sustaining within five years, and add events while continuing to include the Secret City Festival.  At a Wednesday evening meeting, Task Force members said many of the current festival activities could continue, including music, World War II re-enactments, historical displays, and childrens activities. But they also said there could be opportunities for new partnerships with other organizations, including Wounded Warriors and Oak Ridge Playhouse. And its not clear that the Secret City Festival would continue to be a two-day event.  Task Force members say theyre hoping to help create something bigger and better.  This committee is not recommending the demise of the Secret City Festival, Oak Ridge City Council member Trina Baughn said after the meeting. Baughn is chair of the Task Force.
Secret City Festival sets records
(Submitted) The 2015 Oak Ridge Secret City Festival drew record attendance, despite the heat, on June 12-13. Concerts by the Marshall Tucker Band and Three Dog Night attracted the highest number of spectators in festival history.  We were ecstatic with the turnout for both concerts, says, Marc DeRose, Executive Director of the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau, we knew the bands would be popular but didnt expect to see quite so many people. It was outstanding!  Attendances for The Marshall Tucker Band and Three Dog Night were 2,200+ and 3,500+, respectively. The previous record was 2,300 for the Rick Springfield concert in 2013. After seeing how many tickets were sold at the gate for Fridays Marshall Tucker concert, we decided to move the concert fences back to accommodate the expected additional 1,000+ spectators for Three Dog Night. explains DeRose.  Throughout the day on Friday and Saturday festival-goers took part in various activities, from waterslides to the TN Creates Juried Art Show, by entertainers, vendors and exhibitors. The most popular event during the day on Saturday was the World War II Battle of Normandy Reenactment.  In the extreme heat of the afternoon, WWII reenactors gave their all to portray the battle in a spectacular visual. The thunderous discharge of weaponry including tanks, artillery and the anti-aircraft weapon, Flak 88, could be heard from all over Oak Ridge.  The success of the 2015 festival was really due to the hard work of our city staff and our numerous volunteers. We are also very grateful for the generous contributions of our festival sponsors, without whom we could never have put on the festival. Said Jon Hetrick, Director of Recreation and Parks for the City of Oak Ridge.
OS Council approves budget, 30-cent tax rate increase
The Oliver Springs Town Council met Thursday and passed their budget despite not having a Roane County certified tax rate, as much of their city is in Anderson County, and passed a 30 cent property tax rate increase. The Council approved it on a 5 to 1 vote with Alderman Robert Miller voting against it after indicating he would have supported a 15 cent increase but felt the30 cent increase was just too high. The cost of inflation and not having raised taxes in the past several years was identified by city officials as the biggest reasons why the rate will increase from its current rate of $1.02 per $100 of assessed value to $1.32, and could increase even further when the state sets the certified tax rates following five-year property value reappraisals in both Anderson and Roane counties. The budget passed Thursday will go into effect July 1st. Last Thursday the council met for a budget workshop, where they settled upon the proposal that was adopted last night and there was little discussion before the vote. Earlier this month the Oliver Springs Council in its role as the town’s water board, decided to raise water rates by 15%. The Council only has to pass their budget on one reading and no citizens spoke up against it. Property values in both Anderson and Roane counties are expected to drop by about 4%, but several large appeals of business reappraisals in Anderson and problems with Roane County completing the overall reappraisal process have led to delays in the state Board of Equalization setting the certified tax rate, which is the rate that ensures that local governments bring in as much revenue from property taxes as they did before the reappraisals. With property values dropping that means that the tax rate must increase to meet that statute and in Anderson County, it appears likely that increase will be around 14 cents. The City Councils of Clinton and Oak Ridge are looking at possible tax hikes and the Anderson County school system is asking the County Commission to consider a 22-cent tax increase to pay for raises for teachers and cover the costs of state-mandated capital projects and those budget processes will play out over the next few weeks.
Claxton Principal headed to OR central office
Claxton Elementary School Principal Myles Hebrard has accepted the position of special education supervisor at Oak Ridge Schools beginning July 1. Hebrard replaces Hal Jernigan, who will retire at the end of this month. Hebrard was principal of Claxton Elementary School in Anderson County Schools for the past seven years, and spent several years at Clinton Middle School before that. He has a master’s degree and education specialist degree from the University of Tennessee and is currently working on his doctorate in educational leadership.
Airport Authority budget includes OR funding
The Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority on Wednesday approved a 2016 fiscal year budget that will provide about $33.5 million for capital improvements at McGhee Tyson and Downtown Island airports as well as money to help in the development of a proposed airport in Oak Ridge. The capital improvement program budget includes for $31.2 million for McGhee Tyson Airport, $2.3 million for Downtown Island Airport and $722,500 toward a proposed Oak Ridge general aviation airport.
EVC Early Learning Center named Golden Sneaker facility
(AC Mayor’s Office) The Emory Valley Early Learning Center, in Oak Ridge, recently completed all requirements to be considered a Gold Sneaker facility by the State of Tennessee. And, on June 10, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank and employees of the Anderson County Health Department presented Emory Valley Learning Center with its Gold Sneaker incentives. The Gold Sneaker Initiative designation, developed by the Tennessee Department of Health, is an enhanced certification for daycares in Tennessee and requires that these centers maintain rigorous standards of physical activity, nutrition and a tobacco-free campus. The team at Emory Valley Center was so proud of their recognition, as they should be, Mayor Frank said. A focus on health and wellness during the early years is assuredly an investment in a healthy adulthood. I congratulate their wonderful teams hard work and commitment meeting the standards of the Governor and the Department of Health. The Emory Valley Early Learning Center has completed all required trainings from the Tennessee Department of Health and the Tennessee Department of Human Services and received a Certificate of Achievement signed by Governor Bill Haslam. The Emory Valley Early Learning Center also received two Gold Sneaker stickers placed at the entrance to the facility; recognition on the Gold Sneaker website; and access to an electronic Gold Sneaker logo for use on its promotional materials. In addition, Emory Valley Early Learning Center received an incentive package of materials to help provide learning experiences for children related to physical activity, nutrition and a tobacco-free environment. Research has confirmed that early childhood is the optimal time to establish healthy lifestyle habits. Emory Valley Early Learning Center has always been in the forefront of innovative and healthy daycare programming and this newest step confirms their commitment to helping Anderson County children be the healthiest they can be.
OR basketball now a family affair
Oak Ridge High School announced Wednesday that they have hired Paige Green, the wife of boys’ basketball coach Aaron Green, as the next coach of the Lady Wildcat basketball program. This will be her first head coaching job at the high school level but has an extensive basketball background, including her time as a standout player as Bradley Central High School and then later at Vanderbilt University. She will succeed David Scott, who stepped down earlier this year to spend more time with his family.
Sunday wreck in Union claims life of AC woman
The Tennessee Highway Patrol says that an Andersonville woman was killed in a single-vehicle accident early Sunday morning in Union County. According to the THP, 32-year-old Amanda Blevins had been headed east on Sharps Chapel Road near Brewer Hollow Road shortly after 1:30 am Sunday when her 2002 Volkswagen Beetle ran off the right side of the road, went into a ditch and collided with a large boulder. Blevins, who was not wearing her seatbelt, died in the accident. No other vehicles were involved and Blevins was the lone occupant of the car.
ORT: Cinder calling it a career in OR
(Oak Ridge Today) Gary Cinder, who has been Oak Ridge public works director for 24 years and interim city manager twice, is retiring September 4. Cinder has been in public service for 33 years. He could go to work in the private sector, possibly as a consultant. Besides Oak Ridge, Cinder has also worked with public utilities in the Orlando, Florida, area. Cinder served as interim city manager in 2003 and 2004 before Jim OConnor was hired in March 2004. Cinder served as interim city manager again after OConnor resigned in January 2010 and before current City Manager Mark Watson was hired in August 2010. Cinders retirement follows the retirement of Oak Ridge City Engineer Steve Byrd, who was also a Public Works Department employee. Roger Flynn is the acting city engineer.  For more on Cinder’s career and accomplishments, visit our partners at 
Clinton, OR educators to serve on Governor’s Teacher Cabinet
One teacher from Oak Ridge and one teacher from Clinton have been selected to serve on the first Governors Teacher Cabinet. The Clinton teacher, Abbey Kidwell, is a fourth-grade teacher at South Clinton Elementary School. The Oak Ridge teacher, Cathy Ginel, is a seventh-grade science teacher at Robertsville Middle School. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced the appointment of the 18 teachers to the cabinet on Tuesday. The cabinet will meet quarterly with Haslam and Education Commissioner Candice McQueen to share real-time information from the classroom, give advice on policy considerations, and provide a direct line of communication to schools and communities. Directors of schools were asked to nominate one teacher from each of their districts, and 18 classroom teachers were selected from across the state based on the following criteria: The teachers should be focused on student achievement, encourage collaboration among colleagues, demonstrate leadership, be solutions-oriented, and relentlessly pursue excellence, according to a state press release. It said the teacher cabinet includes a diverse mix of backgrounds and experience. Members represent each of the states three grand divisions as well as cities, suburbs, and rural areas and have varying years of experience teaching first through 12th grades.
BBB:  Exercise turns into actual emergency response
UCOR conducted an emergency exercise at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) at 7:30  this morning but several hours into it an actual emergency took place at one of the buildings on-site that was being decommissioned, where  6 workers  were  exposed to  Hydrogen Sulphide emissions  and had to be checked out by emergency staff already on scene for the exercise. BBB confirmed at around 10.30 am that Kingston Fire personnel were sent to K-25 to assist in the hazardous leak issue.  The 6 workers received  the all-clear at around 11 am and the leak  was contained. The exercise concluded as the real emergency was taking place. The simulation was  being conducted in coordination with the Department of Energy and Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. It  involved participants from multiple state agencies; the city of Oak Ridge; and Anderson, Knox, Loudon, and Roane counties.  This full-participation exercise is conducted every three years at ETTP. These exercises are also held on alternate years at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex.
AC Senior Center continues march to fruition
The Anderson County Commission approved a measure Monday night that knocks down one more hurdle in senior citizens’ quest for a new senior center. Commissioners voted unanimously to ask Mayor Terry Frank to formally request, in writing, that ETHRA voluntarily end its contract to operate the Office on Aging and instead cede control to the county. That, coupled with the formality of submitting a Request for Proposalsor RFPfor vendors with a possible site, means that the Office on Aging is indeed one step closer to moving into a new and larger building. Currently, they have an offer for a lease on a building on South Seivers Boulevard in the heart of Clinton to serve as a new Senior Center and all indications are that once the bureaucratic hurdles are cleared, they could begin moving in by the end of this summer. Also on Monday, commissioners voted to start an ankle bracelet pilot program to monitor indigent, non-violent, misdemeanor offenders at a cost of roughly $7 per day. To house an inmate in the jail costs between $50 and $60 a day and this measure was recommended by the Alternatives to Incarceration Committee. No more than 20 offenders per month would have the monitoring devices and would wear them for up to 60 days at the discretion of county judges. The Commission will meet next Tuesday June 23rd at 6:30 pm to discuss this year’s budget proposal. If needed, a second special called meeting would be held on Monday June 29th. In the event that the state has not certified a tax rate following reappraisals by July 1st, the start of the new fiscal year, Commissioners on Monday did adopt a continuing resolution that will keep the government funded until the tax rate can be finalized.
Bartley no longer suspected in Sunday robbery
Monday afternoon, the Anderson County DA’s office rescinded its arrest warrant for convicted Campbell County school shooter Kenneth Bartley after investigators determined that he was not responsible for a Sunday morning armed robbery outside Rocky Top. Investigators had identified him as a suspect in the robbery at the Marathon gas station on Lake City Highway but after traveling to Vienna, Virginia, where authorities had picked him up on a fugitive warrant, officials determined that he was not the man seen in surveillance camera footage robbing the clerk at gunpoint, although there is a strong resemblance. Underscoring that conclusion, Bartley’s attorney Greg Isaacs, on Monday produced several pieces of evidence that exonerated his client, including data from a GPS program on his cell that he says proves that it was literally impossible for Bartley to have robbed the store and then made the seven- or eight-hour drive back to Northern Virginia. He also produced a ticket from the Washington DC public transit systemthe Metroand a time-stamped photo of him in Tysons Corner in Northern Virginia as well as a statement from his former counselor Erin TePaske, with whom Bartley lived until the death of her 3-year-old son in an incident that authorities have so far called an accidental fall. TePaske told investigators that she and Bartley had hiked on Saturday and that he had stayed overnight at her home and hadn’t woken up until Sunday afternoon. Despite a warrant for his arrest on violating his probation out of Campbell County, he was not brought back to Tennessee because the underlying charges he is on probation for are misdemeanors. Isaacs called the ACSD’s decision to name Bartley as a suspect and issue an arrest warrant a rush to judgment and said that it could have created a dangerous situation, both to his client and to the public as an armed robbery suspect is still on the loose. Despite what Isaacs called the ACSD’s mistake, he said he does not plan to file any legal action against the county. Meanwhile, authorities have turned their attention to a similar robbery committed on May 18th in Huntsville in Scott County, in which a man wearing the same glasses and toboggan seen worn by the suspect in Sunday’s robbery robbed a convenience store. That man might be the same suspect who robbed a gas station in Kentucky on May 20th and punched and kicked a female clerk in the face before fleeing with cash. If you have any information about Sunday’s robbery in Anderson County, call the ACSD at 457-2414.
OS garbage truck crash causes diesel leak
A Waste Management garbage truck overturned Monday morning as it entered Tri-County Boulevard from Windrock Road in Oliver Springs. The driver in the 6:30 am accident received only minor injuries and was taken to Methodist Medical Center for treatment. The crash became a hazardous materials incident when approximately 35 to 40 gallons of diesel fuel leaked from the truck in to nearby Indian Creek. A hazmat team joined the HazMat team from the Oak Ridge Fire Department in containing and cleaning the spill. Oliver Springs Police and Fire were also on the scene.
TWRA I.D.s drowning victim
State officials have identified the man who died in a boating accident on Norris Lake on Sunday as Roman Martin Weaver, 29, of Jonesville, Virginia. Investigators from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said that Weaver was killed after falling from an inner tube being towed behind a rented pontoon boat being operated by Blake Oliver, age 28, also of Jonesville. According to investigators, Weaver fell from the inner tube around 1:30 p.m. Sunday and could not be located by Oliver or bystanders who helped. TWRA and rescue crews from Union County and Paulette Rescue Squads recovered Weavers body at about 8:05 p.m. Sunday in 60 feet of water by using a remote operated vehicle, or ROV.
OR Community Band announces 4th plans
The Oak Ridge Community Band Independence Day Concert will be held at 7:30 pm, July 4 at A.K. Bissell Park, 1403 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Oak Ridge. This is a FREE concert but donations are gratefully accepted to help offset expenses. The concert is followed by the annual Oak Ridge City Fireworks Display. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for outdoors seating and come early to get good seats for both the concert and fireworks. The concert program will feature special guest vocalists as the band performs patriotic, swing, and show tunes. Razzleberry’s Ice Cream Lab will provide refreshments. For more information, visit or call 865-482-3568.
CHS football season ticket packages offered
This season Clinton High School is selling football season tickets in a package deal. For $60.00 you will receive 5 tickets, a parking pass, a Dragon Card, a free oil change,and a hot dog for each game, plus $2.00 off hat or visor, 2$0.00 off any $100.00 merchandise purchase and a free lanyard with t-shirt purchase. 1200 of these packages are available.
ACSD IDs Bartley as suspect in robbery, investigators in Virginia
The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department says that its investigators traveled to Vienna, Virgina Sunday to interview convicted Campbell County school shooter Kenneth Bartley in connection to an armed robbery reported Sunday morning at the Marathon Gas Station on Lake City Highway near Rocky Top. The incident occurred at around 8 am, when a white male matching Bartley’s description came in to the store and displayed a pistol before making off with an undisclosed amount of cash. Witnesses described the suspect and the investigation identified Bartley as the suspect. Anderson County authorities say they have obtained an arrest warrant for Bartley on a charge of aggravated robbery and after he was located in Virginia, sent investigators to interview him. WBIR TV reports that he is in custody in Vienna. Bartley’s attorney, Greg Isaacs said Sunday that his firm has proof that Bartley was not in the state of Tennessee at the time of Sunday’s incident. Isaacs also says that he has been in contact with his client and has continued to urge him to return to the state to face a violation of probation charge out of Campbell County stemming from his previous convictions on domestic violence charges involving his parents in separate incidents. Isaacs urged law enforcement and the public to not rush to judgment in this case. No one was injured in the robbery. Anderson County authorities have not disclosed what led them to pinpoint Bartley as a suspect. When more information becomes available we will pass it along to you.
CPD arrests robbery suspect in Knoxville
Clinton Police arrested a man on aggravated robbery charges early Sunday following an armed robbery at the BP gas station next to the interstate on Seivers Boulevard Saturday night. The incident occurred around 10:30 pm Saturday when a white male later identified as Wallace wade Tidwell III entered the store and used the restroom. The clerk told officers that he had come out of the bathroom, approached the counter and demanded the cash from the register. The clerk was then ordered to go in to the back and count to 500 as the suspect fled. Tidwell was located by Detective Sergeant Russell Barker with the Clinton Police Department at the Scottish Inn on Callahan Drive in Knoxville. Tidwell refused to leave his motel room for about two and a half hours, but eventually surrendered and was taken to the Anderson County Jail, where he was booked on the robbery charge at 6 am Sunday. No one was hurt in the incident.
THP: Friday Roane wreck kills 1
A wreck Friday on I-40 in Roane County killed a Knoxville woman and injured another. The Tennessee Highway Patrol says that the crash involved only one vehicle and occurred at around 11:15 am on I-40 East near mile marker 350. Troopers reported that 31-year-old Tonya Word had been driving a 2003 GMC Envoy when she lost control while negotiating a right turn and left the roadway. The SUV flipped several times and landed on the passenger side. The passenger, 52-year-old Dorothy Currie, was injured in the crash. Both women were wearing seatbelts, according to the THP.
ORT: Trio rescued after getting lost on Haw Ridge
According to our partners at Oak Ridge Today, the Oak Ridge Fire Department used cell phone signals and a search crew in a boat to rescue mountain bikers lost at Haw Ridge Park after dark on Sunday. Dispatchers received a call that the three young men were lost at about 10 p.m. Sunday. Three firefighters launched a boat stored at East Tennessee Technology Park, the former K-25 site, by about 10:45 p.m. from a boat ramp at Solway Park, which is near Haw Ridge Park. The mountain bikers were found at about 11 p.m. between an island and power lines that cross over the Clinch River to Solway. Rescuers used cell phone pings and the mens cell phone coordinates to help find them. They were reported to be about three miles from the parking area at Haw Ridge Park on Red Shore Trail. The three were not injured, and firefighters shuttled them from a boat ramp at Solway Park back to their vehicle at Haw Ridge Park. Their identities were not immediately available.
GSMNP encourages hiking with the family
Never been hiking with your kids? Great Smoky Mountains National Park is presenting a series of programs this summer to help introduce families to hiking in the park. These ranger led programs will give you advice on how to prepare for a hike, what to take, what to watch out for, and some fun activities that you can do with children while hiking. Not sure about bringing your toddler or your 5 year old on a hike? There will be some suggestions for bringing along these young ones too! Hiking can be a must do family activity just like going to the pool, eating watermelon, and playing baseball. There is no better way to spend part of the day, than walking the trail discovering grasshoppers, splashing in a stream, and burning off some energy. Top that off with a lunch of PB&J sandwiches and youve had a fun day and some tales to relive next time you see grandma, of course, she may join you for the hike! The park is kicking off these family programs on Saturday, June 20 with a guest speaker and an opportunity to try out some family friendly camping and hiking equipment. Saturday, June 20 at 10:30 a.m. – Jeff Alt, author of Get Your Kids Hiking: How to Start Them Young and Keep It Fun, will kick off the series with a program for parents and kids. This short family stroll turns a walk in the park into a fun-filled, multi-dimensional adventure. Parents will learn how a few simple techniques and some basic equipment can turn any walk in the woods into a safe and fun hike that kids of all ages will enjoy. Those interested should meet in front of the Sugarlands Visitor Center for this short walk in the woods. All children must be accompanied by an adult caregiver.Saturday, June 20 from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. A mock campsite will be set up outside of Sugarlands Visitor Center to showcase different types of family friendly hiking and camping equipment. This program will give children an opportunity to check out a tent, sleeping bags, and some cool hiking gear. Infant backpack carriers will also be available for parents to test. The park is partnering with Nantahala Outdoor Center for this learning opportunity. If you cant make it on Saturday, June 20, three other ranger led hikes, especially designed for families, will be held throughout the summer.  Tuesday, June 23 at 10:30 a.m. Hike to Fern Branch Falls along Porters Creek…Join a ranger for an easy to moderate hike along beautiful Porters Creek to explore old log cabin, wildflowers, and waterfalls. Distance roundtrip is 3.6 miles and is designed for youth ages 5-8. Program will last 3 hours so please bring a picnic lunch and plenty of water. Sign up at Sugarlands Visitor Center.  Tuesday, July 21 at 10:00 a.m. Hike Hen Wallow Falls…Beat the crowds at this hidden gem and see a beautiful waterfall, search for salamanders and see some of the Smokies oldest trees with a park ranger on this moderate hike. Recommended for youth ages 7-10, the hike will cover a distance of 4.3 miles and last 4 hours. Please bring a picnic lunch, snacks and plenty of water. Sign up at Sugarlands Visitor Center.  Tuesday, August 11 at 9:30 a.m. Hike to Chimney Tops…Get your heart pumping on this high elevation strenuous ranger-led challenge hike. If the climb doesnt take your breath away the view from Chimney Tops surely will! Recommended for youth ages 10 and up, the hike will include some rock scrambling and will cover a distance of 4 miles round trip lasting 4 hours. Bring a picnic lunch, snacks and plenty of water. Sign up at Sugarlands Visitor Center.
For more information and to sign up for the Tuesday hikes please call (865) 436-1291.
Can’t make this up: Car wrecks in driving school parking lot
From the irony department today, a Wednesday morning traffic accident in the parking lot of the Driving School at 205 Main Street in Clinton injured no one. A woman apparently lost control of her 2008 Ford Fusion in the parking lot and her car went over an embankment at around 8 am Wednesday. The woman was not injured and the car was removed from the scene. At the request of the driver, no formal accident report was filed by Clinton Police.
AC Senior Center needs donations
Items needed for new building
Donated or sponsored by :
2 wheelers
ACOA (2)
bags : Cloth , for 2nd harvest etc .

Baskets for Activities supplies

Big screen TV
Stanley Foust (1)
Bingo Game

bingo items

bingo prizes

board games

Book cases several

books Fiction & Non Fiction : for reading area

bowls : all sizes

Bowls : serving Size about 30 -50

bulletin boards: several

Can opener

chairs : Lots
chalk boards : 2 or Dry Erase boards

cleaning supplies

cleaning supplies for Clients in need

Clocks : Large

Coat Rack/s

Coffee : for senior center

coffee cups

coffee cups and Saucers for tea time

coffee maker large : 2
Janice Johnson : Nutrition Dept , Renee Burchfield
coffee table

computers for computer classes (used is fine )

condiments (all kinds)

containers with lids : all sizes

Cook stove

Cook Ware
Office on Aging (1)

craft paper

croc/knitting items

dart board
Donna Medley

Deep fryers
Felicia Foust (1)

Desk several
ETHRA, Jim Hackworth
dish towels


Display stands several

Drinking Straws
ACOA (2)
drinks of all kinds

dry erase boards

dry erase markers


Exercise equipment : limited area

extension cords

file cabinets several
Jim Hackworth, ETHRA, ACOA

fridge/ more then one

HB products for Clients in need

ice machine

Kettles : large

kitchen table and chairs – Several for Sr lunches


laminator / electric one
Ron Langley (1)
Laminator supplies

lamps : for social room

Large crock pots
Janice Johnson : Nutrition Dept
large standing ezels at least 2

Large Trash Cans : about 6

locking cabinets : several

magazines : for reading area



Money or gift cards to purchass items

movies : DVD’s for movie days


other cookers
Renee Burchfield
other Utensils

Paper cups

paper note books for seniors for Classes

paper plates

paper products for clients in need


plants : for dcor

plastic ware

Plates : about 50

Playing Cards : Several

pool table
Robert Phillips
popcorn : for movie day

popcorn machine

power strips

puzzles & puzzle books

Radio with tape/cd player

rubber bands

rugs for door areas

scissors : several

shelving / shelves lots

sign for Senior Center

Silver ware

small round tables with chairs
Comfort Inn of Clinton
sponsor for Basic Cable TV

Stand for Sign in Center

standing cooler : for drinks and food items

storage bags : all sizes

tables several , folding : for activities

Tea Pitchers : a few

thumb tacks

tinfoil, plastic wrap etc.

totes : need a lot , for storage of Activities etc

towels : Small hand towles

Trays for lunches : about 50

walkie talkies : 4

wireless headphones for telephone

Report: AC man convicted of attempted murder
According to the News-Sentinel, a Clinton man was convicted Thursday by an Anderson County jury of attempted murder in an incident that occurred in 2011. 24-year-old Kenneth Fisher was convicted after about two hours of deliberation by the jury in Criminal Court and taken in to custody to await sentencing. He will be sentenced to between 15 and 60 years in prison by Judge Don Elledge in August. Fisher was convicted despite testifying that his plan to kill his estranged wife was merely a terrible [and] disturbing fantasy. Fisher was arrested by Clinton Police on August 26th, 2011 after his father and a concerned friend called 911 to report that he was headed to Lafollette to kill his estranged wife, armed with an M14 rifle, over 100 rounds of ammunition and several knives. He was dressed in military fatigues when arrested walking to the friend’s home in Clinton and reportedly told then-Detective Vaughn Becker in detail of his plan to torture and murder the woman. Fisher’s defense attorney argued that his plan was merely a homicidal fantasy and that while he may have started to travel to Campbell County and kill the woman, he eventually had turned around and driven back to Clinton after the concerned friend urged him to come to his house instead. He was convicted of attempted first-degree murder after a two-day trial.
Love the Clinch River? Sign up for the Big Clinch River Cleanup
The third annual Big Clinch River Cleanup starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 25, with a breakfast and briefing for all registered volunteers at the Museum of Appalachia, 2819 Andersonville Highway, Norris. The cleanup will wrap up about 2 p.m.
Everyone who enjoys the river, from anglers to kayakers to wildlife watchers, is invited to help remove litter from the Clinch and its banks. The communitywide cleanup is an expansion of annual pickups run for many years by members of the Clinch River Chapter, Trout Unlimited. Last year, 105 volunteers and 28 boats marshaled by the chapter were deployed to gather tires and trash from the river.This year, the first 125 volunteers to register will qualify for the free full breakfast — to sign up, please visit and click on Big Cleanup Registration. For more information, contact Buzz Buffington at or (865) 463-7167, or Jim Ferguson at or (865) 494-8081. The event will be held rain or shine (in case of severe weather, the breakfast will be held but volunteers will stay on shore).
Clinch River Chapter TU works to preserve and protect the Clinch River tailwater and its watershed through conservation projects and through education of children and adults in aquatic natural resources. Meetings are held the second Thursday of the month in the parish hall at St. Francis Episcopal Church, Norris, except when outdoor activities are scheduled.
WBIR: Y-12 building closed to tours
(WBIR) During a two-month period five individuals experienced throat irritation and were coughing due to possible air quality irritants upon entering Building 9731 at the Y-12 National Security Complex. Research activities in Building 9731 were suspended for a month after the second event. Public Affairs Manager Steven Wyatt with the National Nuclear Security Administration said Y-12 Industrial Hygiene has taken extensive air samples in the building to detect any unknown irritants in the building. On Feb. 27 the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board issued a report from a Feb. 12 investigation when the plant shift superintendent dispatched fire department personnel and a hazardous materials team to Building 9731. The report states, “Building 9731 is a legacy facility and not normally occupied, but a technician from the development organization was conducting a researched-related work activity in the facility that required the evaporation of lithium hydroxide solution.” Since 1974, the building has been used as a “development facility” for testing of small-scale processes, two of which are going on now. It was used in World War II to help produce Uranium-235 for the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, that helped end the war against Japan. It continues to house the shell remains of the original Alpha and Beta prototype calutrons used in the research and uranium production process. Tours have been conducted in the building because of its historic significance. However, no tours were led through the building during the operation of the equipment, and no visitors were exposed to the air quality irritants. Wyatt said at this time tours have been suspended.
ACSD charges man in shooting death of girlfriend’s mother
The Anderson County Sheriff’s department says that an Andersonville man has been arrested on murder charges in the shooting death of a 66-year-old woman early Wednesday morning. Sheriff’s deputies responded to a shooting call at 4:45 am Wednesday at 460 Lone Mountain Road and, upon their arrival, found the body of 66-year-old Karen Zahrobsky, who had been shot. Investigators processed the scene and conducted interviews to determine the circumstances that led to the shooting, assisted by the TBI. The Sheriff’s Department says that investigators worked throughout the day and evening before issuing arrest warrants late Wednesday night for 48-year-old William James McMillan, who has been charged with first degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault. He is being held at the Anderson County Jail on bonds totaling $625,000. McMillan is charged with shooting Zahrobsky, his girlfriend’s mother, who lived at the Lone Mountain Road home with her daughter, 45-year-old Christin Dixon and McMillan. The investigation is continuing and no further information is being released at this time. As more details do become available, we will pass them along to you here on the air and online.
(TBI release regarding Andersonville death) A joint investigation with Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and deputies with the Anderson County Sheriffs Office has resulted in the arrest of an Andersonville man who is charged in the shooting death of his girlfriends mother.  At the request of 7th District Attorney General Dave Clark, TBI Special Agents, working alongside deputies with the Anderson County Sheriffs Office, began investigating the death of 66-year-old Karen Zahrobsky on the morning of June 10th. The victims daughter called 911 to report a disturbance with her boyfriend at 460 Lone Mountain Road in Andersonville and indicated that her mother was injured. When deputies arrived at the scene, they found the victim deceased from a gunshot wound. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information that the daughters boyfriend, James William McMillan, was the individual responsible for the death of Karen Zahrobsky.  On Wednesday, McMillan was taken into custody by deputies with the Anderson County Sheriffs Office. Late last night, TBI Agents obtained warrants charging the 48-year old with one count of First Degree Murder, one count of Voluntary Manslaughter and one count of Aggravated Assault. McMillan was booked into the Anderson County Detention Facility, where he is being held on a $625,000 bond.
Clinton announces plans for the 4th
The city of Clinton’s annual 4th of July event will begin at 5pm on Saturday July 4th, and end with fireworks at 10pm at Lakefront Park. Several family-friendly activities will be going on that day.   Backyard Bouncers will have a Bongo Bounce House, Bungee Run, Home Run Baseball Game, Spaceball 2000 Human Gyro, 68ft Army Boot Camp Obstacle Course, 22 ft 2 Lane Tsunami Water Slide with Slip-n-Slide, Race Car Combo with Water Slide, Human Hamster Ball  and Pirate Bounce House are available for the public. Free of charge but kids must have a wrist band to ride.  Laser Tag will be available for those kids up for the challenge, also free of charge. There will be several food vendors set up in the lower Lakefront parking lot and the parking lot by the concession area including Bojangles, Brusters Ice Cream, Pizza Express, Riverview Grille, Coldwater Farms and Hibachi Truck. A corn-hole tournament will get started at 7pm with registration at 6pm. Trophies will be awarded for first and second places. Live musical entertainment sponsored by WYSH will feature the Leon Thomas Band on the men’s field from 7 to 9:45 pm. The Clinton Chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America will have some antique cars displayed on the mens field. The event is sponsored by Bojangles, ORNL Federal Credit Union, Y-12 Federal Credit Union (Clinton Express and Clinton I-75 Branches), Holley Gamble Funeral Home, Fox Toyota Scion, Brusters Ice Cream, Anderson Farmers CO-OP, Parker Transport, Fox and Farley, Anderson County Chamber of Commerce, Farm Bureau-Clinton, Sellers Realty, Clinton Drug Store, Clinton Utilities Board, Herbie Clark State Farm, Regions Bank, Ameriprise Financial, Backyard Bouncers, WYSH, and the City of Clinton.
Follow-up: THP identifies driver killed in interstate wreck
Following up on a story we reported Tuesday, the Tennessee Highway Patrol has identified the man killed in a single-vehicle accident that occurred early Tuesday morning on I-75 in Anderson County as 46-year-old Scott Davis of Jacksboro. The THP says that Davis had been driving a 2001 Ford F150 pickup truck south on I-75 at around 6:45 am Tuesday when the truck left the left side of the roadway. Davis apparently over-corrected, causing the truck to flip approximately seven times, according to Trooper Stephen Barclay’s report. Davis, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle. In addition to the THP, units from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, Anderson County EMS, Anderson County Rescue Squad and the Andersonville Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the scene.
ORPD arrests wanted man
A man wanted by Oak Ridge Police on several charges including attempted first-degree murder was arrested in Oak Ridge on Tuesday afternoon.  Oak Ridge Police say that 36-year-old Michael Q. Ray was taken into custody without incident at 101 North Walker Circle Authorities had been searching for him on charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon stemming from a June 3 incident at the McKenzie Acres Apartments on Utica Circle in which multiple gunshots were fired,. The operation to apprehend Ray involved officers from the Criminal Investigations and Patrol Divisions as well as SWAT personnel. The investigation into the shooting at the McKenzie Acres Apartments remains ongoing, and authorities say that no further information will be released at this time.
Courier: CHS given OK to look into a new sports complex
The Anderson County School Board has given officials at Clinton High School the go-ahead to start exploring the possibility of constructing a new multi-sport facility at no cost to taxpayers. According to Sunday’s Courier News, the complex would measure some 12,000 square feet and be used as a practice facility for several sports as well as hosting volleyball matches and wrestling meets. The proposed project, spearheaded by CHS alumni, would also renovate the existing, but aging football fieldhouse, and include a second story with office space for coaches. A second and separate part of the proposed project would also renovate the Don Lockard Gymnasium. According to the Courier, when the BOE gave its approval to the project, which will be funded entirely by private donations, it also gave approval to CHS to start accepting donations from the public. People can donate to either fund and that money can only be used for the specific project it is donated for. The paper reports that CHS was given permission by the School Board to solicit donations, secure an architect, get bids from contractors, and return to the board to submit a final, formal proposal. We will keep you updated on this project as it moves forward.  For more information, visit 
Teen charged with BB gun robbery
A teenager reportedly armed with a BB gun robbed three people just before midnight Monday and was booked early Tuesday morning on three counts of aggravated robbery.  19-year-old Jhavon T. Parker of Oak Ridge is accused of the robbery, which occurred in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Express on Tulsa Road. The holdup was reported at 11:49 pm and officers responding to the scene arrested Parker a short time later, reportedly finding him with a BB gun in his possession. Parker was reportedly accompanied by a juvenile at the time of his arrest but the younger individual was not arrested.
Diabetes workshop coming to AC Health Department
A partnership of UT Extension and the Anderson County Health Department is offering Take Charge of Your Diabetes, a 6 week workshop to assist diabetics as well as their families and caregivers.  The classes are free; however, you must pre-register to attend as class size is limited.  Classes will be held at the Anderson County Public Health Department on consecutive Tuesdays beginning July 7th from 4 to 6 pm.    All people with a diagnosis of diabetes or pre-diabetes along with their families and/or friends are welcome to attend.    A textbook, CD, and other materials will be provided.  Class participation and the sharing of what has worked to help you manage your diabetes are both encouraged.  Due to the amount of material covered, attendance at all 6 classes is highly recommended.  Topics covered in class include:
Techniques to deal with symptoms of diabetes, including fatigue, pain, hyper/hypoglycemia, stress, and emotions such as depression, anger, fear and frustration;
Exercises for maintaining and improving strength and endurance;
Healthy eating;
Appropriate use of medication;
Working more effectively with health care providers
Preventing or delaying complications
Designing your own effective self-management program
Getting the support you need
The Anderson County Health Department is located at 710 North Main Street in Clinton, north from downtown.   To register or if you have questions, please call either Kathy Scruggs at the Anderson County Health Department at 865 425-8768 or you can e-mail her at or Abbie Carey, UT Extension, at 865-457-6250 or 
Summer Feeding Program at NCES
The Clinton City Schools are launching a summer feeding program at North Clinton Elementary School. Director of food services for the school system Heather Byrd says that the program is designed to feed kids 18 and under a nutritious lunch that they may not normally get when school is out for the summer. It is free to anyone under 18 regardless if they attend Clinton City Schools or not. Lunches will be served on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from June 8th through June 26th and again from July 6th to July 24 from 11 am to 12 noon at North Clinton Elementary.  The program is funded by the USDA and, again, is open to all kids aged 18 and younger. For more information, contact Byrd by phone at 865-457-0159 or by email at
ORT: Man ditches dirt bike, arrested by ORPD
According to our partners at Oak Ridge Today, an Oak Ridge man riding a dirt bike reported to be stolen from Staples lost control of the motorcycle and dropped it in front of a police patrol car before fleeing Thursday evening. Oak Ridge Police Department Officer Sherrill Selby observed two dirt bikes on South Benedict Avenue at about 7:45 p.m. Thursday, and they were riding wheelies at a high rate of speed, according to warrants filed in Anderson County General Sessions Court.  In the warrants, Officer Scott Carroll said the defendant, Seth Montez Davis, 19, rode toward him. When Davis saw him, Carroll said, he locked up the brakes and slid into my lane of traffic.  After Davis dropped the bike, he ran behind a home on South Benedict, Carroll said. The officer said he chased Davis through a field and back up to South Benedict, where he was caught.  While chasing the defendant, I yelled for him to stop numerous times, but he kept running, Carroll said.  After detaining Davis, Carroll said he ran the vehicle identification number on the motorcycle and learned that it had been reported stolen from the Staples parking lot.  After hearing this, I contacted the owner of the dirt bike, Carroll said. He said the owner came to the scene and confirmed that the bike was stolen.  Davis has been charged with theft by possession ($10,000 to $59,999), evading arrest, and reckless driving. He was released from the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton on Friday, and his bond has been set at $57,500, according to court records.
OR man arrested on weapons charge
Oak Ridge police arrested a convicted felon who was asleep in a bedroom with an AK-47 rifle within reach. Officers responded to a Highland View home at about 7:30 am Tuesday after receiving a report of a man in the roadway causing a disturbance and impeding traffic.  When police arrived, the man told officers that he was the victim of an armed robbery that had occurred at the home earlier. The victim identified the suspect and officers made contact with the tenant at the home and were given permission to search the premises. Officers located 22-year-old Brad Gorman of Oak Ridge asleep in a bedroom with an AK-47 rifle within reach. The victim in the alleged robbery identified Gorman as the man who robbed him and officers subsequently learned that Gorman was a convicted felon and immediately arrested him on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. 
Man pleads to attempted sexual battery
An Anderson County man pleaded guilty Monday in Criminal Court to reduced charges of attempted aggravated sexual battery in connection to an incident that occurred in March of 2011. 41-year-old Armando Figueroa was arrested in 2011 after investigators determined that he had carried a then-12-year-old girl into a storage building, locked it before fondling and kissing her. On March 1st, 2011, Figueroa asked the girlwho was his neighbor–to get some trash out of the storage building and he tried to fondle her but she ran away. He chased her down and carried her, kicking and screaming, back into the shed, where the assault occurred. She did not report the incident until several weeks later when her mother noticed that she became nervous and agitated whenever Figueroa was nearby. In exchange for his plea Figueroa, who has already served over a year behind bars, received a six-year sentence that will be served on supervised probation, was added to the state sex offender registry and ordered to remain on mandatory supervision for the rest of his life.
AC Senior Center a step closer to reality
Monday night the Anderson County Operations Committee unanimously voted to approve a five-year lease with B&B Properties on a building in Clinton that will serve as the home of a new Anderson County Senior Center. The next step in the process will be consideration by the full County Commission on Monday of the $1896-a-month lease for the building at 439 South Charles Seivers Boulevard. If approved by the Commission, the Anderson County Office on Aging hopes to be in the new facility by the end of July. Supporters of a senior center have long decried the lack of adequate space to conduct activities and programs for seniors in the current home of the Office on Aging on Leinart Street. This is the same property officials thought they had an agreement to lease earlier this year that fell through due to a higher-than-expected monthly rent. The Office on Aging will be providing WYSH with a list of needed items for the new facility in the next few days and we will pass that information along to you when it becomes available.
OR Council delays budget vote
(Oak Ridge Today) Monday night the Oak Ridge City Council delayed a vote on the first reading of next year’s budget due to continuing uncertainties and unanswered questions. The Council had been scheduled to consider the budget in the first of two readings on Monday and consider the budget on second and final reading on June 15. But the five-year property reappraisals in Roane County are not yet complete, and its not clear when they will be. Officials said property assessments there are likely to go down as they have in Anderson County, where theyve fallen 4 percent. A drop in property values will require an increase in the tax rate because the revenues after the reappraisals have to remain the same as they were before. The state has become involved in completing the Roane County reappraisals. Mayor Warren Gooch made the motion to defer the budget vote for one week, expressing reluctance to take action until some of those questions can be answered. A few City Council members supported an in-depth or line-by-line review of the budget, so Council scheduled a work session from 5-7 p.m. on Monday, June 15. The City Council meeting will follow the work session and start at 7 p.m. The city budget presented last week includes a one-cent increase in the property tax rate. It would help maintain city services and allow for a 2 percent pay raise for city employees. City officials said there has been, roughly, a $700,000 reduction from last years budget in sales tax revenues from Roane County, primarily at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Meanwhile, the Oak Ridge schools budget asks for the equivalent of a seven-cent tax increase. It would help cover a deficit and add money for salaries and staff, including a 3 percent pay raise. That budget has already been approved by the Oak Ridge Board of Education. If the Council isnt able to pass a budget by June 30 because of the Roane reappraisals, the city would continue to operate under current appropriations and the current property tax rate, which is $2.39 per $100 of assessed value. The new fiscal year starts July 1.
Fire destroys AC mobile home
A Sunday evening fire destroyed a single-wide mobile home on Cedar Grove Lane. The fire was extinguished by crews from the Marlow Volunteer Fire Department with assistance from both the Clinton and Oak Ridge fire departments and no injuries were reported. The resident of the mobile home, Michelle Turnbill, told an Anderson County Sheriff’s deputy that she had grilled hot dogs on a small grill on the front porch and said that she had checked it when she was done to make sure that the coals were out and told the deputy that it appeared to be cool to the touch. After going back inside, she heard what sounded like the grill turning over and looked out to see the indoor/outdoor carpet on the front porch ablaze. She and her family made it out safely and called 911. She told investigators that there had been three dogs and a cat inside the home at the time of the fire but the report does not indicate their fate.
2 arrested in OR on drug charges
Two Oak Ridge men were arrested Friday morning on drug and weapons charges after police responded to a report of drug activity at the Days Inn on South Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge. Police went to the motel shortly after 10 am Friday and detained 30-year-old Christopher Samuelson and 30-year-old Anthony Gallaher for questioning. Inside one of the rooms at the motel, officers reported finding meth, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, a pistol and money believed to have come from the sale of narcotics. In a car near the motel room, officers also reported finding a second handgun. A search was also conducted at a home in Oak Ridge that police say resulted in the seizure of more drugs. Both men were charged with felony possession of a firearm, possession of marijuana for resale, possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia as well as violating a drug-free school zone. Samuelson was also charged with possession of a legend drug while Gallaher picked up a charge of possessing Schedule IV narcotics. At last check, both men remained in custody at the Anderson County Jail.
Drink up, the water is fine
Clinton City Manager Roger Houck says an apparent mis-routing of information may be the reason at least one city resident received a Notice of Water Advisory this weekend.  In a post on the city’s Facebook page, Houck says: We have confirmed that the web address and phone information included in the advisory is for Clinton, Utah, not Tennessee. When you go to the Utah website.. you’ll will see that they, indeed, have issued an advisory for their area.  A Mariner Point Dr woman told officials that she received an email and a phone call saying that local water samples had tested positive for E-Coli, and customers should assume the water is unsafe to drink unless it is boiled.  So far only one Clinton, TN resident has reported getting the Utah advisory. City Manager Houck said officials do not know how the message ended up in Tennessee,  but he wants to assure all C.U.B customers that our water supply is clean and safe to drink.
GSMNP: Bear attacks sleeping teen
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have closed several trails and backcountry campsites in the Hazel Creek section of the park due to a bear incident occurring at approximately 10:30 p.m. on June 6. A 16-year old male from Ohio was pulled from his hammock by a bear and injured at backcountry campsite 84 which is 4.5 miles from the Fontana Lake shoreline near Hazel Creek in NC. The father was able to drive the bear off from the area.  Immediately following the incident, the young man and his father hiked to the lakeshore where they were transported across the lake to Cable Cove boat dock by campers at backcountry campsite 86 who had a boat. Graham County Rescue EMS transported them to a landing zone where the injured party was flown by Mountain Area Medical Airlift (MAMA) to Mission Hospital in Asheville, NC at approximately 3:00 a.m. this morning.  The young man received multiple injuries including lacerations to the head. He remained conscious throughout the incident and is in stable condition at this time.   Park rangers and wildlife biologists are responding to the backcountry campsite area to investigate the scene and to clear the area of other campers. Hazel Creek Trail, Jenkins Ridge Trail, Bone Valley Trail, Cold Spring Gap Trail and backcountry campsites 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, and 88 are closed until further notice. Derrick Knob shelter along the Appalachian Trail has also been closed to camping until officials can determine whether recent bear activity at the shelter may also be related to the same bear.  While incidents with bears are rare, we ask park visitors to take necessary precautions while hiking in bear country and comply with all backcountry closures, said Superintendent Cassius Cash. The safety of our visitors is our number one priority.  The father and son were on a multi-day backpacking trip in the Smokies. Both campers were sleeping in hammocks approximately 10 feet apart and had all equipment, food, and packs properly stored on aerial food storage cables.   For more information on what to do if you encounter a bear while hiking, please visit the park website at To report a bear incident, please call 865-436-1230.
GSMNP: Search and rescue gear donated
Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers were presented with 15 high-performance search and rescue jackets by donors to support field rangers in inclement weather. Rangers respond to approximately 100 search and rescue incidents annually, many of which occur during hazardous weather conditions in the backcounty.  Local community members in Sevier County led efforts to raise funds for the parks search and rescue operations through a crossfit competition event, Mountainfit Throwdown, held at Outdoors in the Smokies in March.  In addition, recently rescued Eric Keller, and his wife Diane Petrilla, made a donation in gratitude of the care Keller received through his 36-hour rescue from Mt. Le Conte in April.  After going through Erics frightening medical situation at the top of Mt. Le Conte, we were overwhelmed with appreciation for the professionalism and warmth provided by the National Park Service rangers and the Gatlinburg medic, said Petrilla. We are honored to give a donation in expression of our gratitude to help these very special rangers continue to do their jobs in challenging conditions.   Through this generous donation, the park was able to secure 15 jackets specifically designed for extreme conditions including prolonged rains and extremely cold temperatures. The reflective, yellow jackets also provide high visibility to aid in air-rescue operations. The jackets are rainproof, windproof, and durable for backcountry conditions.   Our rangers respond to assist people in need across the park in a variety of hazardous weather conditions, said Acting Chief Ranger Steve Kloster. We do our best to ensure our rangers have what they need to accomplish their duties safely and this gift better enables our staff to protect themselves in extreme conditions.  The park has approximately 40 park rangers with a primary duty to aid in search and rescue operations. Many of these rangers receive additional, specialized training for technical rescues, water rescues, and air operations. These jackets are being distributed to rangers who most frequently respond to rescues during hazardous conditions throughout the year.
ORT: AC woman charged with DUI
(Oak Ridge Today) An Anderson County woman accused of striking a parked car on East Pawley Lane and a metal hand rail on Outer Drive in Oak Ridge on Wednesday now faces several charges, including driving under the influence.  Michelle E. Slaughter, 27, of Dutch Valley Road, told Oak Ridge Police Department Officer Ben Higgins that she had three shots of vodka and one beer at a friends house, according to warrants filed in Anderson County General Sessions Court. Slaughter said she doesnt normally drink, and she had not eaten anything all day.  In the warrants, Higgins said ORPD Officer Ray Steakley was helping Slaughter while she walked after a stop at Outer Drive and Key Springs Road, and she appeared to be uneasy on her feet and had trouble walking on her own.  I could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the defendants person, and I noticed her eyes were bloodshot and glossy, Higgins wrote.  He said Slaughter performed poorly on standardized field sobriety tests and was not able to complete a one leg stand. She said she could not perform the one leg stand even when sober, Higgins said. He then asked her to submit to a blood test, but she refused, violating the implied consent law, according to the warrants.  Slaughters license was revoked on February 9 for failure to comply with financial responsibility laws, according to the warrants. She has been charged with driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, violating the implied consent law, and driving on a revoked license. She has been released from the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton in lieu of $8,000 bond, according to records.
Hibbett Sports opening in Clinton
Hibbett Sporting Goods Inc., the national sporting goods retailer based in Birmingham, Alabama, plans to open a store in Clinton this summer.  The company announced on Tuesday that it had executed a lease for the new Hibbett Sports store at Centre Plaza, which is on North Charles G. Seivers Boulevard near the Clinch River and across the Boulevard from Hammers.  The company expects to employ eight full and part-time workers at the new store. Currently, Hibbett has 62 locations in the state of Tennessee, including one in Oak Ridge.  A press release forwarded by the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce said Hibbett is a fast-growing operator of more than 1,000 full-line sporting goods stores in small to mid-sized markets, predominantly in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest.  Hibbett Sports stores offer a large selection of quality branded athletic equipment, footwear, and apparel, and the stores have a long history of focusing on the needs of local teams and leagues, with a variety of services to meet the needs of coaches and players alike, the press release said.  It said Hibbett is the only sporting goods chain committed to serving small and mid-size markets.  This strategy has proved to be a successful one for Hibbett as the company continues to expand its number of stores across the U.S., the release said.
ORNL FCU to break ground on new branch
ORNL Federal Credit Union will have a groundbreaking for its new branch on South Rutgers Avenue on Tuesday, June 9.  The groundbreaking is scheduled at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at 215 South Rutgers Avenue, the vacant property next to the Credit Unions headquarters and main branch.  The original branch on that property was demolished in fall 2014 as part of a larger Credit Union plan that includes the remodel and redesign of its headquarters and the development of a regional center at Northshore. The former Realty Executives building was also demolished.  Those in attendance on Tuesday will include local elected officials, ORNL FCU leadership, employees and members, and community supporters, among others.  ORNL FCU announced in September that it had started demolition of its location at 215 South Rutgers Avenue. That location was the Credit Unions sole branch between 1969 and 1987, before housing the Operations and Imaging departments for the last 27 years.  The current main branch/headquarters building at 221 South Rutgers Avenue will be remodeled and redesigned to consolidate the Credit Unions back office operations, officials said in September.  Earlier in 2014, ORNL Federal Credit Union announced its plans to develop a three-story, 24,000-square-foot regional center at Northshore, 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, the release said.
ORT: Crash knocks out power to clinic, stoplights
The driver was taken to the hospital and power was temporarily out near the Family Clinic of Oak Ridge after a van crashed into a utility pole at New York and Vermont avenues on Saturday morning.  The crash was reported at about 9:05 a.m. Saturday.  Kristin Nevius said she was driving a Chrysler Town and Country van southbound toward Oak Ridge Turnpike on New York Avenue when the other van narrowly missed her vehicle and crashed into the pole while headed north on New York Avenue. Nevius and passenger Peggy VandenBurg and Nevius two children were not injured, but they said they were upset by the near-miss and crash.   The driver of the crashed van, which had DEEM company lettering on its back doors and sides, was reportedly alert and talking to emergency responders when taken to the hospital.  The crash appeared to affect power to the stoplights at the intersection of New York Avenue and Oak Ridge Turnpike, among other locations.  The Oak Ridge Fire Department, Oak Ridge Police Department, and Oak Ridge Electric Department all responded to the crash. 
RT woman accused in SUV assault
A Rocky Top woman was charged with aggravated assault after she was accused of trying to run a man over in her SUV. 45-year-old Kimberly Ann Ezells Honda CR-V allegedly hit Justin Johnson as he was walking on Bryant Circle on Wednesday, injuring his right hand. There were marks on the right side of Ezells vehicle consistent with Johnsons statement, deputies reported. Ezell denied trying to run over Johnson and instead said he punched and kicked her vehicle.
ORFD, AC EMS, Lifestar honored
The Oak Ridge Fire Department, Anderson County Emergency Medical Services, and University of Tennessee Lifestar have been honored for helping to save a cyclist after a medical emergency on Bethel Valley Road in March 2014.  Thomas Berg experienced a sudden medical emergency while on a bicycle ride on March 30, 2014, causing him to crash in the middle of Bethel Valley Road, a press release said.  David Smallwood was riding with Berg, and Smallwood called 911 and began CPR as soon as he saw the crash. Emergency crews from the Oak Ridge Fire Department and Anderson County EMS responded, and they found Berg in cardiac arrest, the release said.  Berg was flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center by UT Lifestar.  Today, Mr. Berg has made a full recovery and is once again enjoying cycling, the press release said.  The ORFD, Anderson County EMS, and UT Lifestar crews were honored by Tennessee Emergency Medical Services for Children at the Seventh Annual Star of Life Awards in Nashville at Rocketown on Thursday, May 14. The ceremony recognized EMS crews who are on the frontlines of emergency care, the press release said.  The ceremony reunited the EMS personnel on stage with the patient, Thomas Berg. Smallwood was also honored during the ceremony. Below are the recipients for Region 2:
Region 2City of Oak Ridge Fire Department, Anderson County EMS, and UT Lifestar
• David Smallwood, Civilian Responder
• Battalion Chief Marty Griffith, EMT-P, RN
• Captain Eric Mocsari, EMT-P, RN
• Firefighter Engineer Steven London, EMT-P
• Firefighter Engineer Duane Chase, AEMT
• Firefighter Engineer Thomas Giles, AEMT
• Natalie Waddell, EMT-P
• Zachary Panter, EMT-P
• Flight Paramedic Terry Neal, EMT-P/CC
• Flight Nurse Gary Reams, EMT-P/CC, RN
• Jason Lewis, Pilot
• Tim King, EMT-P
• Fred Yahr, EMT-P
The 2015 Star of Life Awards Star Partners were Air Evac Lifeteam and Erlanger Childrens Hospital and Erlanger Health Systems.  The mission of the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services for Children Foundation, the host of the EMS Star of Life, is to ensure that every child in Tennessee receives the best pediatric emergency care in order to eliminate the effects of severe illness and injury, the press release said.  The Star of Life Awards are designed to honor Tennessees excellent prehospital providers for their lifesaving care.
Clinton woman indicted on charges she shot at husband
A Clinton woman who allegedly shot at her husband has been indicted on a charge of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated domestic assault. 33-year-old Cheryl Freels was indicted Tuesday and will be arraigned June 29 in Criminal Court. She is free on $100,000 bond. The incident occurred April 6, 2014, at the Freels home after an argument with her husband, who told deputies he saw his wife point the 9mm pistol at him while he was watching TV while in the living room. Robert Freels told investigators stood up, moved as she fired, and the round struck the wall behind him. the warrants state. He said his wife pointed the gun at him again, pulled the trigger, and the weapon jammed. The husband said he took the gun away from his wife, retrieved his son and left the home.
OS teen dies after brave cancer fight
An Oliver Springs teenager whose battle against cancer inspired his classmates and community has passed away.  As we reported last fall, 13-year-old Mikey Carter wanted to play football for Norwood Middle School but couldn’t because of his battle with bone cancer.  Mikeys brave battle inspired his teammates to “Fight Like Mikey,” and his former elementary school renamed its football field in his honor.  His family will receive friends on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at Beech Park Baptist Church in Oliver Springs. A celebration of life service will follow.
Follow-Up:  Baby born by roadside doing well
Following up on a story we first brought you on Tuesday, the baby boy delivered by the side of Seivers Boulevard by two Clinton firefighters and an Anderson County EMT is said to be doing well.  Federal privacy laws prevent us from identifying the proud parents and the baby but we have been in communication with the babys father and after he consults with the babys mother, we hope to share that information with you.  Also, Thursday morning, we will be speaking with Firefighters Josh Queener and James Blakeney, who along with EMT Lauren Gillette, helped bring the baby in to the world Monday night. 
OR woman sues Clinton couple over deck collapse
An Oak Ridge woman has filed a lawsuit against a couple whose deck collapsed while she stood on it last August for $625,000.  The lawsuit was filed by Patricia Graham against Garrett and Mary Weaver of Clinton in connection to an incident that occurred on August 10th of last year.  The lawsuit filed in Anderson County Circuit Court says that Graham had been invited to the Weavers home to possibly purchase a puppy, but as she stood on the deck waiting for the door to be opened, it collapsed underneath her.  She fell about six feet, injuring her head, neck and back in the fall, before a ladder fell off the remaining portion of the deck and struck her in the back of the head.  The lawsuit alleges the Weavers were negligent in failing to ensure that the deck was safe and that the accident left her with several permanent injuries. 
State recognized for economic development
(TDEC) Tennessee has once again ranked among the best states in economic development by Area Development, a leading publication focused on site selection and facility planning. Tennessee, along with Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina and Texas, were named recipients of the magazines 2015 Gold Shovel Awards in recognition of projects undertaken in 2014 which created a significant number of high-value-added new jobs as well as investment. The Volunteer State last received Gold Shovel awards in 2012 and 2009 and Silver Shovel awards in 2011 and 2010. 
This award demonstrates the intense focus our state places not only on supporting existing industry growth, but also the importance of recruiting new projects which ultimately create high quality jobs for Tennesseans, TNECD Commissioner Randy Boyd said. I am grateful to Area Development for recognizing Tennessees efforts in economic development and look forward to continuing our work to build a robust pipeline of projects in the future. 
Area Developments annual shovel awards recognize state economic development agencies that drive significant job creation through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, processes and promotions that attract new employers as well as investments in expanded facilities. The Gold Shovels are presented annually to the states that have achieved the most success in terms of new job creation and economic impact. 
The states and their communities receiving 2015 Shovel Awards have proven that they understand the makings of successful economic development strategies, Geraldine Gambale, editor of Area Development, said. They deserve special recognition for their efforts to grow their economies and provide well-paying jobs in a time of intense competition for new investment. 
A report on the 2015 Shovel Award winners is published in the Q2/2015 issue of Area Development and posted online at
Two Clinton firefighters deliver baby by side of road
Two Clinton firefighters and an Anderson County EMT delivered a baby by the side of the road Monday night on Seivers Boulevard.  Clinton Police had pulled over a speeding car on Seivers, in front of Clinton Rental, shortly after 7 pm Monday and were told by the driver that her daughter was in labor and that the baby was coming any minute.  Clinton firefighters Josh Queener and James Blakeney responded to the scene and determined that the babys arrival was imminent.  As it happened, an Anderson County ambulance was returning from a public relations event and the driverLauren Gillettestopped to see if she could help.  The firefighters quickly agreed and moved the pregnant woman from her car on the side of the road to the back of the ambulance, where they delivered a healthy baby boy.  While firefighters train for these sorts of situations, this is believed to be one of the first babies delivered by the Clinton FD.  Hats off to FFs Queener and Blakeney as well as EMT Gillette.
Woman accused of stealing from employer
A now-former employee of the Git N Go Markets was recently cited to General Sessions Court after admitting that she had stolen approximately $800 in cash and lottery tickets.  Company officials called Clinton Police on Friday and told them that she had noticed several shortages in the deposits made by Git-N-Go employee Morgan Leann Fowler of Clinton, and that an inventory showed several missing lottery tickets.  After Operations Manager Carol Wilshire confronted Fowler, she gave Wilshire a written statement indicating that she had stolen $25 in cash on May 17th and that she had been taking four or five lottery tickets at a time on several occasions but not every night, according to the report.  Fowler was not only fired, but also banned from all properties owned by Git-N-Gos parent company, Hollingsworth Properties.  She was also cited for theft and will answer to that charge in general Sessions Court later this summer. 
OR budget proposals seek 8-cent tax rate increase
The budget proposals for the Oak Ridge government and schools were formally presented to the Oak Ridge City Council on Monday night.  The citys budget request calls for a one-cent increase in the citys property tax rate, which City Manager Mark Watson says will help maintain city services and provide city workers with two percent pay raises.  The school systems budget proposal would necessitate the equivalent of a seven-cent hike in the property tax rate in Oak Ridge that would go toward covering a budget deficit and add some money for salaries and staff, including a three percent raise for school employees.  Officials estimate that if approved, the tax increase would mean an additional $29 in city taxes for the owner of a $145,000 home.  Watson told Council members Monday that while sales tax revenues from the Anderson County portion of the city have increased by about two percent, sales tax collections in the western part of the city that lies within Roane County have dropped by about $700,000 this year.  While money for capital projects is limited, the budget proposed Monday includes $150,000 for the citys matching portion of a state-funded project to add an eighth lane at the citys rowing course, $200,000 for roof repairs at Willow Brook Elementary School and money to hire an additional dispatcher for the citys 911 center.  While the budget might be set later this month, it may be some time before we learn what the actual tax rates in Anderson and Roane counties and their cities might be due to the fact that both counties operate on a five-year property tax reappraisal cycle and that process is being done this year.  In Anderson County, overall property values have dropped by about four percent while Roane Countys is well behind schedule, with some appraisals not having been completed yet.  Property tax revenues for local cities and counties cannot change under state law based on the reappraisals, so with assessments dropping, the tax rate will have to be increased.  That process is still being carried out by state officials, who are in charge of setting the certified tax rate and by some estimates that may not be completed until August or even September by some accounts.  Officials in Clinton will consider a 15.5-cent property tax rate increase this month and the Anderson County school system has asked for the equivalent of a 22-cent tax increase to pay primarily for salary increases for its employees, who have not seen a significant boost in pay in the past several years.  We will follow all these budget deliberations for you.  For more on the Oak Ridge budget, visit our partners at 
ORT:  More money likely needed for parking lot redux
(Oak Ridge Today) The Oak Ridge City Council will consider increasing the amount of money to be used for parking lot work at Blankenship Field, and members will also consider awarding a contract for the project during a meeting tonight (Monday, June 1).
The City Council agreed in May 2014 to use $180,000 in traffic camera money for improvements to the lower parking lot at Blankenship Field, which is used for football games and high school graduation.
Council agreed to increase that amount to a maximum of $250,000 in July 2014, Oak Ridge Public Works Director Gary Cinder said in a May 26 memo to City Manager Mark Watson.
But the work could cost $264,791, according to a proposed contract from Rogers Group Inc. of Oak Ridge that the Council will consider tonight.
And the city has a $10,000 agreement with Michael Brady Inc. for project design, which leaves $240,000, Cinder said.
With the current bid of approximately $265,000, a total authorization of $275,000 is necessary, therefore requiring the proposed amendment, Cinder said.
Cinder said the improvements to the lower parking lot was a key item proposed by the Blankenship Revitalization Committee. The committee hopes to have the work completed before the first home football game.
The work could include resurfacing, striping, and accessibility improvements.
Norris Dam State Park pool open
The Norris Dam State Park swimming pool is now open for the season. The Norris Dam pool is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Admission is $5 per person ages three and older and $2.50 for park campers and cabin guests. Lounge chairs are available and there are several picnic tables nearby.
ORT:  Van crashes into house
The driver of a van that crashed into a house on Providence Road early Sunday was taken by ambulance to a hospital, authorities said.  The name and condition of the driver werent immediately available.  According to our partners at Oak Ridge Today, it also wasnt clear what caused the crash, which was reported at about 1:07 a.m. Sunday. Providence Road on the north side of Oak Ridge High School. The Oak Ridge Police Department is investigating the crash.  Authorities said the driver was taken by ambulance to UT Medical Center.  The GMC van damaged the wall, siding, and porch post of the home. There were no reports of injuries to anyone inside the home.  ORT reports that the van appeared to have left the roadway and traveled through a short section of a neighboring yard before taking out a section of shrubs between the two homes and crashing into the house at 110 Providence Road.  The Oak Ridge police and fire departments both responded to the crash.
OR Dragon Boat Festival wrap-up
The second annual Oak Ridge Dragon Boat Festival on Friday and Saturday included dragon boat races, music, vendors, food trucks, a youth area for kids, Drummers Parade, and Lanterns on the Lake ceremony.  The Dragon Boat Festival raises money for local charities. As many as 32 dragon boat teams had registered this year. Each team has 20 paddlers and a drummer to ensure that the paddlers are propelling the boat in synchrony.
This year, the festival started on Friday evening with the Dragon Boat Beer Garden Bash at Melton Lake Park followed by a full day of boat racing on Saturday.  The festival is organized and sponsored by the three Rotary clubs of Oak Ridge.
The winners this year were:
• GoldParkway Cardiology-Paddle Attack, from the Health and Wellness Division, with a time of 01:07.301;
• SilverCharlotte Dragon Boat Association-Charlotte Fury (the defending champions), from the Crazy about Dragon Boats Division, with a time of 01:08.278; and
• BronzeGlenwood Elementary School-Glenwood Gliders, from the Education Division, with a time of 01:08.759.
8 die in state over holiday, none in alcohol-related crashes
State safety officials say eight people were killed in Tennessee traffic crashes during the Memorial Day holiday period this year.  According to the preliminary reports released this week by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, that’s one less than the number of fatalities recorded during the 2014 Memorial Day period.  Officials say five of the people killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts, while two of the traffic deaths were motorcycle riders. There were zero alcohol-related traffic fatalities.  The Tennessee Highway Patrol’s “no refusal” enforcement resulted in 31 DUI arrests and 316 seat belt citations in the nine participating counties during the holiday period.  The “no refusal” law allows law enforcement officials to seek search warrants for blood samples in cases involving suspected impaired drivers.  Three people were arrested under the No Refusal law in Anderson County. 
THP:  Wrecks kill one each in Morgan, Campbell
The Tennessee Highway Patrol says that two people were killed in separate one-vehicle accidents on Thursday and that neither of the victims was wearing a seatbelt.  The first fatal accident happened in Morgan County at around 4:45 pm when 62-year-old Arthur Trail of Petros was driving south on Highway 27 in Oakdale in a 2004 Toyota Tundra pickup.  Troopers say that the right front wheel of the pickup went off the shoulder of the road and Trail overcorrected, causing the truck to cross over the opposite side of the road, where it slammed into a dirt embankment, partially ejecting the driver.  The troopers report indicates that a seatbelt may have saved Trails life had he been wearing one.  The second fatal accident occurred shortly before 11 pm Thursday in Campbell County.  The THP reports that 63-year-old Patsy Smiddy of Jellico had been headed east on Highway 90 in the White Oak community in a 2010 Chevy HHR when, while negotiating a curve, the car left the side of the road and collided with a large tree before coming to rest about 40 feet off the roadway.  She was also not wearing a seatbelt.  No other vehicles were involved in either accident and both drivers were alone in their vehicles. 
State launches industrial land search program
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced today it has launched the Select Tennessee Property Evaluation Program (PEP).  The goal of this new tool is to improve the inventory of industrial sites and buildings in Tennessee by evaluating potential properties and advising counties on where investment may be most beneficial and what steps may be needed to address issues. 
We think of available and developable sites as product on a shelf, and through PEP, we are doubling down our efforts to keep these shelves well-stocked, Commissioner Randy Boyd said.  If there is no product available to sell, businesses arent going to grow and locate here. PEP will help us make sure our counties have product and are better prepared for economic growth. 
Based on the principals of the departments Select Tennessee Site Certification Program and with the assistance of site selection firm Austin Consulting, PEP will benefit counties through emphasizing the importance of and assisting with planning for the future.  This includes both readying industrial properties for near-term development as well as creating a pipeline of properties for future development. 
Prepared and available properties are essential for a county to be competitive for industrial recruitment, TNECD Site Development Director Leanne Cox said. PEP will provide counties with a comprehensive assessment and professional advice to help evaluate properties under consideration for development. 
“The Property Evaluation Program allows communities to take a fresh look at their current and potential industrial sites, Austin Consulting Senior Location Consultant Jonathan Gemmen said.  The process provides unbiased feedback on which sites can most quickly be readied to accommodate new industrial investment, as well as which sites offer inherent advantages for industry.  Most important, it sets the table for community leaders to develop and implement an industrial real estate strategy for the next decade or longer.” 
A limited number of counties will be selected each round to participate for free through a competitive application process.  Selection will be based on the ability to demonstrate local need and market demand for industrial properties and also on the countys ability to assemble viable properties with market potential. 
For counties selected to participate, the program includes: an educational webinar on the site selection process and PEP; a review and on-site visit by Austin Consulting; and a comprehensive assessment addressing each propertys strengths, weaknesses and recommended next steps to improve marketability. 
The application process begins with the submission of the Letter of Interest, available here.  Upon receipt of the letter, counties will be provided with the application.  Completed applications must be received by August 7 to be considered for the fall 2015 round.  Applications received after this date will be considered for the spring 2016 round. 
AC BOE revises budget proposal, 22-cent tax hike would be needed
Tuesday night the Anderson County School Board voted to approve a revised budget that, if approved as-is, would require the equivalent of a 22-cent property tax increase.  The amended proposal adopted during a special called meeting Tuesday still asks for 4% pay raises for school employeeswho have not seen significant salary increases in the past six yearsas well as $178,000 to pay for needed school roof repairs and state-mandated upgrades to physical education facilities and $178,000 to start a new program under which students would receive an electronic tablet.  The revised budget proposal includes several cuts to the original proposal, which would have necessitated the equivalent of a 56-cent tax increase.  School leaders say that over the past six years, system employees have seen only slight increases in their salaries, which do not keep up with the rate of inflation, hence the request for funding for raises.  The budget proposal recommended by the County Budget Committee provides no new money for the school system, keeping their funding at current levels in to the next year, and does not call for a tax increase.  The county budget will be the subject of a public hearing this evening at 6:00 in room 312 of the Courthouse in Clinton. 
Electrical problem blamed for house fire
A Tuesday morning fire destroyed a house in Andersonville but injured no one, according to the Anderson County Sheriffs Department.  Deputies were among those who responded to a fire at 334 Brooks Gap Road shortly after 7 am Tuesday.  When deputies arrived, they found crews from the Andersonville Volunteer Fire Department battling the blaze which had completely engulfed the structure.  The homes owner, Darryl Webber, told officials that his father had passed away last year and left him the house, which he said he checked on every day to make sure it was OK, adding that three lights were continuously left on inside the home.  The fire was called in by Webbers auntwho lives next doorafter she went outside to have her coffee and saw smoke and fire coming from the air conditioning unit.  She, too, said that she checked on the house on a regular basis.  While firefighters were battling the blaze, several rounds of ammunition inside discharged but no one was injured.  Investigators say that faulty wiring in the 40-year-old home was to blame for the fire.
New exhibits at AMSE
(AMSE) Space exploration, supercomputing, and neutron science are featured in three new hands-on exhibits at the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge.
The exhibits showcase national science topics with local ties to research at the U.S. Department of Energys Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Bringing more of the modern lab into AMSE enhances our mission, said AMSE director David Moore. In addition to learning about our past, we hope visitors enjoy learning about the fascinating scope of research ongoing at ORNL.
In the supercomputing exhibit, visitors can learn about ORNLs Titan, currently the second most powerful computer in the world, through its miniature counterpart, Tiny Titan, which is built with an Xbox videogame controller, Raspberry Pi processors, and a television screen.
The colorful Tiny Titan computer is designed to interactively teach the basics of parallel computing. Unlike serial computers, which only have one processor per core, parallel computers have multiple processors on each core, enabling much faster calculations.
Tiny Titan uses an interactive, visual simulation to show how multiple computers can work together to speed up the same scientific problem, said Robert French, Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility staff scientist and one of the creators of Tiny Titan.
Each of Tiny Titans nine cores displays a different colored light, and images on the connected monitor use the same colors to show what each processor is doing. The more colors that light up on the computers, the faster the program will run.
AMSEs new Cassini exhibit features the pioneering spacecrafts mission to Saturn.
Deep-space probes such as Cassini get their power through the thermoelectric effect, using heat from the decay of plutonium-238 to generate electricity. ORNL is leading DOEs production of plutonium-238 for NASA.
ORNL also was one of several facilities that helped produce the radioisotope thermoelectric generators, or RTGs, used on Cassini. The exhibit contains models of the Cassini spacecraft and a RTG as well as videos explaining the missions findings.
Finally, AMSE visitors can become a neutron in an exhibit that guides people through a simulation of the Spallation Neutron Source, a DOE Office of Science User Facility at ORNL. The SNS is a one-of-a-kind research facility that provides the most intense pulsed neutron beams in the world for scientific research and industrial development.
The exhibit explains how non-charged particles called neutrons help scientists see into materials without damaging them. Neutrons are used in a wide range of research projects, from finding cracks in fighter jet wings to helping design new therapeutic drugs.
A long-time Smithsonian Affiliate Museum, AMSE became a NASA Affiliate Museum this past year and has launched a number of new public programs. The museum hosted the world premiere of Alvin Weinberg, a documentary on the nuclear scientist who was ORNLs first laboratory director, and the museum is exploring ways to introduce cutting-edge technologies like robotics and 3D printing into exhibits and programs.
AMSE, located at 300 South Tulane Avenue in Oak Ridge, is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. AMSE tells the story of the World War II Manhattan Project that created the Secret City of Oak Ridge and the science that evolved. AMSE visitors can use interactive exhibits on basic science, fossil fuels, alternative energy sources, including nuclear, and participate in live demonstrations with audience participation. For more information on AMSE admission, membership, exhibits, programs and classes, go To schedule a group visit, call AMSE at (865) 576-3200.
UT-Battelle, the managing contractor of ORNL, operates AMSE on behalf of the Department of Energy.
CUB earns national safety award
(CUB/Staff reports) Clinton Utilities Board (CUB) earned second place in the American Public Power Associations Safety Award of Excellence for safe operating practices in 2014.  CUB competed with public power utilities from across the nation with 110,000 249,999 worker-hours of annual worker exposure.  Kenneth Roberts, chair of the APPA Safety Committee and line supervisor, Huntsville, Alabama, Utilities, presented the award on May 18 during the associations annual Engineering & Operations Technical Conference held in Sacramento, California to CUBs Assistant General Manager and Director of Engineering & Operations, Ernie Bowles. 
Working day-in and day-out with the power of electricity is not something we take lightly. We cant afford to, said Roberts. The recipients of this award understand the essential nature of safety in our line of work. Its embedded in their work culture.
The Safety Awards have been held annually for the last 55 years.  More than 290 utilities from across the nation entered the program this year, which is the highest number of entrants in its history.  Entrants were placed in categories according to their number of worker-hours and ranked based on the most incident-free records during 2014.  The incidence rate, used to judge entries, is based on the number of work-related reportable injuries or illnesses and the number of worker-hours during 2014, as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  Locally, with 110 employees working a combined 196,132 work-hours, CUB had only one incident that caused a worker to miss any days at work, giving them an incidence rate of 1.02, good for second in the nation among utilities of a similar size. 
We are proud of the service and reliability we provide to our customers, said Greg Fay, CUBs General Manager.  But above all else, we are proud of our safety recordproud that we do everything we can to send our people home to their families day after day.
APPA is the national public power organization representing more than 2,000 not-for-profit, community and state- owned electric utilities. 
CUBs electric system spans six (6) counties in East Tennessee and includes some 1,500 miles of high voltage distribution lines supplying electric service to approximately 30,000 customers.
Follow-up:  Lost ATVers located by couple, not rescue Squad
Two ATV riders who went missing after a ride on Saturday evening were found by citizens and not the Anderson County Rescue Squad as we had first reported.  Family members tell our partners at Oak Ridge Today that 27-year-old Travis Lampkin of Knoxville and his 11-year-old brother Austin Turner of Andersonville left a family members home near Windrock Park on an ATV ride Saturday evening.  They became worried when the duo did not return home by nightfall and called authorities, who were unable to help at that time.  Relatives then organized their own search party and scoured Windrock on ATVs during the night to no avail.  The man and boy were located Sunday at around noon about six miles away from their ATV, which had apparently flipped over the night before and then run out of gas, stranding the pair.  They were able to stay warm after Travis built a fire and they were both able to sleep in the ATV.  They were found by a man and a woman in a Jeep, who brought them to another location where they were able to use their radio and call for help.  The Rescue Squad helped bring both down off the mountain.  Neither was injured. 
OR man arrested after wild night
An Oak Ridge man was arrested Friday night after Oak Ridge Police say that he deliberately swerved his vehicle while driving drunk and tried to hit pedestrians, before threatening a neighbor with a machete after the neighbor complained about his driving.  40-year-old Jonathan Stauffer is accused of crossing his vehicle into oncoming traffic Friday evening in an attempt to strike pedestrians with his car and then threatening his neighbor with a machete and a knife after they got into an argument about Stauffers driving.  When Oak Ridge police arrived and searched his car, they found a nearly-empty bottle of vodka, which reportedly prompted Stauffer to remark:  Maybe I shouldnt have drank [sic] as much as I did.  As of this morning, Stauffer remained in custody on bonds totaling $51,500 on two charges of aggravated assault and one count of DUI.  No one was hurt in the incident. 
RT man facing child porn charges
A Rocky Top man is in custody following his arrest on an indictment charging him with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.  21-year-old Thomas Blake Karnuth was indicted in April and arrested on Saturday by Anderson County Sheriffs deputies.  The indictments accuse Karnuth of downloading images of pornography, including images of a minor engaged in sexual activity or simulated sexual activity that was patently offensive on to his computer between August of 2013 and September of 2014.  As of this morning, he remains in custody at the Anderson County Jail on bonds totaling $25,000. 
Corwins accused killer appears in court
The ex-marine charged with murdering an Oak Ridge native and dumping her body at the bottom of an abandoned mine shaft in California appeared in a California court Tuesday morning.  25-year-old Christopher Brandon Lee has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges in the death of Erin Corwin.  Lees pre-trial hearing was continued to June 30th.  Corwin, the wife of a Marine stationed in California, disappeared last June. Her disappearance came after she texted a friend in Tennessee to say she thought that Lee, with whom she was having an affair, was going to propose.  Instead, after an exhaustive search of the High Desert area of Southern California, a rescue team found her body dumped at the bottom of an abandoned mine shaft in a remote corner of the desert.  Prosecutors believe Lee lured Corwin into the desert, then killed her to try and hide their affair.
ASAP support Born Drug-Free Tennessee
(ASAP) Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) of Anderson County has collaborated with numerous community agencies across East Tennessee toward eliminating Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) diagnoses from babies born in East Tennessee.  Babies born with NAS can suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as fever, seizures, blotchy skin, continuous crying, rapid breathing, respiratory problems, and extreme sensitivity to sounds and light.  The Born Drug-Free Tennessee campaign was designed to provide support and resources to mothers during their pregnancies so they have the best opportunity to deliver a healthy baby and become the mother their child needs them to be. 
This project is being implemented by the East Tennessee NAS Task Force, representing agencies across the region, including: East Tennessee Childrens Hospital, Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention of Anderson County, Metropolitan Drug Commission, Blount County Substance Abuse Prevention Action Team, Rescue 180, HEAL of Sevier County, Ridgeview Behavioral Health Services, and Mary Beth West Communications. 
We are thrilled to be able to roll out this important campaign in the community, said Stephanie Strutner, Executive Director of ASAP. NAS is 100 percent preventable and we have an opportunity to significantly improve the health of newborns in Anderson County.
So far in 2015, 303 cases of NAS have been reported in Tennessee, but there is hope.  There are many ways to help both women of child-bearing age and expectant mothers lessen or eliminate drug withdrawal for their baby. 
Mothers, family, friends, and practitioners each have a special section on the website where information and resources are specifically geared toward their anticipated needs.  At this site, mothers and women of child baring age can learn what medications can cause drug withdrawal in newborns, how to prevent pregnancy until they can quit taking medications harmful to their baby, and other sensitive and legal issues. 
Practitioners can access information on guidelines, tools used to identify abuse, and treatment options.  The site also includes answers to frequently asked questions, helpful hints, and screening tools for women, which their family and friends can benefit from as well. 
ASAP is continuing to further disseminate this information by delivering posters, provider information, and patient information to doctors offices throughout Anderson County.  It is our coalitions goal to get as many doctors offices, pharmacies, and social service agencies to partner in this campaign as possible. We hope the community will help us spread this important message, said Strutner.
For more information about the Born Drug-Free Tennessee campaign or to request printed materials contact or call 865-457-3007. 
Mans alleged peep show nets charges
A 60-year-old Oak Ridge man was charged earlier this month with indecent exposure after reportedly masturbating in front of five women, two of whom were juveniles.
Michael B. King, of Oak Ridge, was arrested on May 10 after a report was filed with Oak Ridge Police accusing him of repeatedly standing naked at the sliding-glass door at the rear of his home, which faces the back door of his alleged victims.  Officers reported that the females told them King intentionally engaged in sexual conduct while in view of the victims on several occasions.  Court record indicate that while an Oak Ridge police officer and a probation officer were at the scene, King allegedly walked to his rear glass door naked and masturbated while looking at the victims.  King was booked into the Anderson County jail for indecent exposure and later released on bond.
Clinton city manager rebuts newspaper article
Over the weekend, Clinton City manager Roger Houck issued a statement after the Courier News made an error in calculating how a 15.5-cent property tax rate increase would affect homeowners in the city.  As we reported last week, the Council passed its budget on first reading last Monday, which includes a 15.5 cent tax increase to pay for additional firefighters and police officers, among other items.  This weekends Courier estimated that the proposed increase would cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $380 on their tax bills.  Houck wrote in the statement issued Saturday on the citys website and through its various social media platforms, that [t]his is not correct. The homeowner would only pay an additional $37.50.  Last week, Houck explained that part of the tax hike will be used to make up for the expiration of a FEMA grant that paid for four additional firefighters, which allowed the city to open a downtown fire hall last year.  That new fire hall cut down on emergency response times and helped the citys fire protection ratingor ISOimprove from a 4 to a 2.  Calling the opening of that new fire hall a gamble, Houck says he believes it will pay off for many homeowners, who depending on who carries their insurance could see a decrease in their homeowners insurance premiums.  He explained using his own home as an example:  My homeowners insurance went down $230 this year because of that, so I saved $230.  On my home, a 16-cent tax increase (half-a-cent higher than what is currently being proposed) equals to $68.  Taking that $68 and subtracting it from the $230, I am still $132 to the good.  What that new tax rate will actually be remains a mystery as officials estimate that the State Board of Equalization will not have the new certified tax ratethe rate following reappraisals that generates the same amount of revenue currently being brought in through property taxes by a municipalityuntil August or September.  A public hearing on the budget is set for June 28th.  You can read the entire statement from Houck on our website. 
(Response from City Manager Roger Houck) In response to a story that appeared in the local newspaper this weekend, Clinton City Manager Roger Houck has issued the following statement:
“I would like to make a couple of corrections to the May 23rd edition of the Courier News. It was stated, in the paper, that the Clinton City Council passed on first reading a 15 and a half to 15 percent tax increase. The article actually should have said a 15 cent ($.15) tax increase, not ‘percent’. The newspaper story also stated that a house valued at $100K would pay an additional $380.00 per year in property taxes. This is not correct. The homeowner would only pay an additional $37.50. The City of Clinton is very sorry that the incorrect information was communicated through our local media. We will work with them in the future to correct the problem.”
CFD puts out small, intentionally-set brush fire
The Clinton Fire Department was able to quickly extinguish a small brush fire allegedly started by what a witness described as a small boy at Lakefront Park on Friday afternoon.  Police and fire units responded to the park shortly before 5:30 pm after a man called 911 after seeing a small boy in an orange shirt and riding a black bike start a small fire near the riverbank.  The blaze caused minimal damage, according to the incident report filed by Officer Weston Hazelhurst. 
Fire destroys Clinton home
A fire early Friday morning destroyed an unoccupied home on Baker Avenue in Clinton.  Clinton firefighters were dispatched at 6:08 am Friday and arrived within three minutes to find heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of the home.  Clinton Utilities Board cut off electricity to the scene as fire crews began their attack.  After gaining entry in to the house and battling flames in a back room, two firefighters were ordered back out due to the ferocity of the flames burning in the basement and the attic.  Continuing the battle from outside, crews eventually were able to get back in and finally brought the blaze under control.  Firefighters left the scene just after 8:15 am.  No injuries were reported but the house suffered extensive damage.  In addition, the owners son and some other family members arrived on scene and said that there were some items missing from the house and the CPD was called in to investigate. 
ORHS AP Chem students #3 in national competition
Advanced Placement Chemistry students at Oak Ridge High School placed third in the nation in chemistry in the National Science League competition, the schools Science Department said.  The students are in the AP Chemistry class taught by Eddie Anderson at ORHS.  The test was given to all AP Chemistry students, the Science Department said.
They all contributed to our third-place finish, the Department said in a press release.
Here are the top scorers:
• Stephen Singh,
• Dmitry Petrov,
• Gabriel Vacaliuc,
• Gavin Warrington,
• Tina Wong,
• Katherine Zhang,
• Jaipal Narula,
• Sichen Zhang, and
• Brach Burdick.
It is a bright end to the school year for the schools Science Department, which has been rocked in recent weeks by the suspension of Anderson, a reported police investigation into allegations of improper conduct with a former student and his subsequent retirement. 
Area hospitals lauded for safety
(Covenant Health) Methodist Medical Center, Fort Loudoun Medical Center, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System, and Parkwest Medical Center have been recognized for their dedication to patient safety by being awarded an A grade in the Spring 2015 Hospital Safety Score, according to a press release.  The Safety Score rates how well hospitals protect patients from preventable medical errors, injuries, and infections within the hospital.  In addition to receiving As for the spring quarter, both Methodist Medical Center and Parkwest Medical Center received Straight A recognition, signifying that the hospitals have never received a grade lower than A from the Hospital Safety Score since the Score first launched in June 2012. They are among 182 hospitals to receive the recognition.  The Hospital Safety Score is compiled under the guidance of the nations leading patient safety experts and administered by The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit organization focused on initiating improvements in safety, quality, and health care affordability for Americans. The first and only hospital safety rating to be peer-reviewed in the Journal of Patient Safety, the Score is free to the public and designed to give consumers information they can use to protect themselves and their families when facing a hospital stay.
Developed under the guidance of Leapfrogs Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single A, B, C, D, or F score representing a hospitals overall capacity to keep patients safe from preventable harm. More than 2,500 U.S. general hospitals were assigned scores in April 2015, with about 31 percent receiving an A grade. The Hospital Safety Score is fully transparent, offering a full analysis of the data and methodology used in determining grades on the website.
To see how Covenant hospitals compare locally and nationally, and to access consumer-friendly tips related to hospital safety, visit Consumers can also follow The Hospital Safety Score on social media and download the free Hospital Safety Score app for mobile devices.
ORT:  OR Council OKs expanded contract with MTAS
(Oak Ridge Today) The Oak Ridge City Council on Thursday approved a review of turnover and morale in the Oak Ridge Police Department that could cost close to $23,000 and not be complete until October.
The review by the Municipal Technical Advisory Service at the University of Tennessee could include interviews with about 125 people, including roughly 76 current ORPD employees as well as several dozen former workers who have left in the roughly four years since Oak Ridge Police Chief Jim Akagi started.
The review, which will also study administrative policies, was initially expected to be free, last 30 days, and use interviews with a random pool of workers. But the City Council expanded the scope of the inquiry during a special meeting in April, and MTAS said it would now have to charge $50 per hour for the work.
Council members approved the proposed new agreement with MTAS in a 4-3 vote. Voting for it were Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch, Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Smith, and Council members Kelly Callison and Charlie Hensley. Voting against it were Council members Trina Baughn, Rick Chinn, and Chuck Hope.
MTAS will still have to agree to the new proposal approved by City Council on Thursday.
Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson said the money for the review will have to come from the mayor and City Councils budget in the current fiscal year, although theres currently no money available. But he said city officials will accommodate the unanticipated expense.  For much more on this story visit our partners at Oak Ridge Today online at 
TVA seeking public comments on ash storage at Bull Run
(TVA) The Tennessee Valley Authority is asking for public input on its plans to expand the dry onsite storage of ash and other coal combustion products generated at Bull Run Fossil Plant in Claxton.  TVA is proposing to build a new dry storage area on TVA property next to the plant to provide greater capacity for managing coal combustion products at Bull Run. TVA is seeking public comments on an environmental review of the project.  Bull Run Fossil Plant, which has state-of-the-art air pollution controls, is expected to play a continuing role in TVAs coal-fired generating fleet, a press release said.  The Bull Run storage project is consistent with TVAs commitment to convert all wet coal combustion product storage systems to dry systems, the release said.  To ensure that the full range of issues and resources are addressed, TVA invites comment on the scope of the environmental impact statement.  TVA will accept written comments electronically and by conventional mail from May 21 to July 6.  Written comments should be sent to Anita E. Masters, Project Environmental Planning, NEPA Project Manager, Tennessee Valley Authority, 1101 Market St., Mail Stop BR 4A, Chattanooga, TN, 37402. Comments also may be submitted on the project website at or by email at
AC woman arrested in Knoxville assault
An Andersonville woman has been arrested and charged in an attack that critically injured another woman at a North Knoxville motel this week, according to the Knoxville Police Department.  38-year-old Denise Henry was arrested Wednesday night at a home on Strawberry Plains Pike and is being held on a $30,000 bond on a charge of aggravated assault for allegedly beating a woman outside America’s Best Value Inn and Suites on Merchant Drive.  KPD officers found 36-year-old Diana Trent unresponsive with severe head trauma about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. Trent was rushed to UT Medical Center where she underwent emergency surgery. 
Robbery suspect nabbed in Rocky Top
Wednesday morning, authorities arrested a man suspected of being involved in at least two armed robberies at a motel in Rocky Top.  21-year-old Walter John Meachum III of Caryville was taken into custody without incident and is being held on an aggravated robbery charge out of Knox County but other charges are likely pending.  Campbell County authorities believe that Meachum is the man who robbed a gas station outside Lafollette last week and shot a 12-year-old girl in the leg.  Knox County authorities suspect Meachum of robbing a Pilot Gas Station on Raccoon Valley Road in Heiskell early Tuesday morning.  In the Pilot robbery, a man wearing a skull mask and armed with a pistol robbed the store and fled in a silver convertible with a black top that was recovered later in the day.  Late Tuesday night, another vehicle connected to the crime was spotted parked at the Scottish Inn in Rocky Top by Anderson County Sheriffs deputies, who alerted neighboring agencies and established a perimeter in case Meachum tried to leave the scene.  Anderson County and Rocky Top law enforcement officials were joined by officers from the Knox and Campbell County Sheriffs Offices Wednesday morning as they took Meachum into custody.  The robbery last week at Lees Food Market resulted in a 12-year-old girl being shot in the leg when the suspectbelieved to be Meachumstarted randomly shooting inside the store.  She is expected to make a full recovery.  Meachum is being held in Knox County on charges there and could be charged in connection to last weeks incident as soon as today.
Report:  ACHS student graduates after judge steps in
According to the News-Sentinel, an Anderson County judge signed an emergency restraining order last week to prevent school officials from keeping a senior from taking part in graduation ceremonies.  The paper reports that the complaint was filed last week by the Anderson County High School students parents in Circuit Court and seeks $175,000 in damages from the School Board for causing the girl emotional distress and the possible loss of scholarship assistance.  Judge Don Elledge signed the order Friday and the girl was able to take part in graduation ceremonies held Sunday in Knoxville.  The lawsuit states that the girl was captain of the Lady Mav soccer team this past season and graduated 19th in her class.  The suit alleges that two vice principals at the school told the girl that she would not be allowed to participate in graduation activities due to her involvement in what the suit calls a harmless school prank.  The suit says that the girl and some of her senior classmates were going to sleep in hammocks in the school parking lot.  The girl admitted to drinking a beer before going to the campus and to throwing the can out on campus.  The lawsuit claims that she was interviewed twice the following day by two vice principals, once with a police officers present but neither of her parents.  The officer reportedly left the room where the interview was being conducted when her mother arrived.  The lawsuit accuses Vice Principals Travis Freeman and Travis Hutchinson of lying to her by telling her they had video of her with a can of beer.  The suit seeks a jury trial. 
OR accident injures one
The driver of a car involved in a single-vehicle accident in Oak Ridge Wednesday afternoon was flown to UT Medical Center for treatment of their injuries.  The Wednesday afternoon accident happened on what our partners at Oak Ridge Today described as a curvy stretch of Highway 95 near the western entrance to Y-12 on Bear Creek Road.  The car, a Chevy Cavalier, left the roadway, crashed through a guardrail and came to rest after striking a rock embankment below a DOE haul road that crosses over 95.  The driver, whose name and condition were not immediately available, was taken to the nearby Horizon Center and flown to UTMC by Lifestar. 
State:  Economy rebounding
(Secretary of State Hargett) The number of new entity fillings and annual reports in Tennessee grew during the first quarter of 2015. The state recorded 8,685 new entity filings between January and March 2015, representing a 9.3% increase compared to the same time last year, according to a new economic report. On a year-over-year basis, new entity filings have increased 14 consecutive quarters.  The Tennessee Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators report is created to provide a periodical snapshot of the states economy based on a variety of information, including new business data from the Division of Business Services. Its published through a partnership with Secretary of State Tre Hargett and the University of Tennessee Knoxvilles Center for Business and Economic Research.  Every quarter we see the states economy continue to grow, said Secretary Hargett. “Tennesseans should remain positive about our state’s economy, and the encouraging data shows why businesses continue to choose Tennessee.  Davidson County led the way with 1,509 new filings. Shelby County was a close second with 1,195 filings.  The report shows Tennessees economy had slow, but steady growth during the first quarter of 2015, while the U.S. economy experienced sluggish growth.  Tennessees unemployment rate fell to 6.3% in March, compared to 6.6% in February. That is still well above the national unemployment rate of 5.5%, yet below the states rate of 6.4% a year ago.
Clinton Council OKs budget, 15.5-cent tax increase
Monday night, the Clinton City Council voted to approve its budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1st on first reading.  The budget does include a 15.5 cent property tax increase.  Last week, we told you that a 3 or 4 cent tax increase would be necessary to pay for an increase in insurance costs and to pay for the salaries and benefits of four full-time firefighters.  The costs associated with those firefighters were paid for by a FEMA grant for the past two years but this year, become the citys responsibility.  Following a late-week budget workshop, another seven cents was added to the proposed tax increase to pay for the city taking over all of the costs associated with School Resource Officers at the citys three schools ($62,000), hiring a codes enforcement/police officer ($50,000) and to set aside $100,000 to start a street-paving fund aimed at preventing the city from having to borrow money for street improvement projects in the future.  The 10-cent tax increase passed 5-1 with Mayor Scott Burton casting the dissenting vote. (Editors Note:  Originally we indicated Mayor Burton had voted for the 10-cent increase, but that was not the case.  WYSH regrets the error.)  A motion was made to hire three new firefighters and four new police officers but was later amended to reflect hiring two people in each department.  Those four new hires added another five and a half cents on to the tax rate, and that proposal was passed 5 to 1 with Mayor Burton casting the only dissenting vote.  Tuesday morning, Houck said You never want a tax increase [but] I hope that people understand I think weve done it for the right reasonsweve done them for public safety [and] infrastructure improvements, so I think we have done it for the right reasons.  Houck also said that while not every homeowner in the city will reap this benefit, the opening of the new downtown fire station made possible by the hiring of those 4 FEMA-funded firefighters, helped knock the citys fire protection rating or ISO, down from a 4 to a 2.  Many homeowners, depending on their insurance carriers, will see a decrease in their rates because of that improvement, which could help offset the increase in city taxes.  The current property tax rate in the city is 76 cents per $100 of assessed value.  The state has not yet certified the new tax rate and indications are that the certified tax rate may not be set until August or even September.  Second and final reading of the budgetwith or without the new certified tax ratewill be held next month. 
Lab seizures on sharp decline
Anderson County law enforcement officials persistent pursuit of meth cooks is paying off as recently-released statistics indicate that the number of meth labs seized in the county has significantly declined over the past three years.  At one time, Anderson County led the state in the number of labs seized, reaching its peak at 124 in 2012.  Since that time, however, the number of labs seized by the Anderson County Sheriffs Department has steadily declined to a mere 20 in 2014 and only three so far this year.  Law enforcement officials have long attributed the high numbers of lab seizures to their aggressive enforcement efforts and say that directly targeting meth has played a large role in the continuing decline as has targeting other types of illicit drug activity.  Two large-scale operations involving federal, state and local agencies resulted in 42 indictments in 2013 and 59 indictments in 2014, all on various drug charges.  Locally, law enforcement officials also say that the arrests of several so-called smurfers who purchase cold medications containing pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient in meth, have also contributed to the decline in the number of labs seized.  Smurfers often trade the pills for either cash or the finished product.  While not as much meth is being made in Anderson County, officials say they have seen an uptick in crystal meth being brought in from outside the county. 
AC Commission moves ahead on possible Glen Alpine site
Monday night, the Anderson County Commission voted 12-2 to exercise its option on a $280,000, 11-acre tract of land that could be the next home of the often-discussed Glen Alpine convenience center.  The parcel in question is located directly across Charles Seivers Boulevard from the current home of the convenience center, which has been the source of controversy for several years now.  The county-owned center is located inside the Clinton city limits and city officials want it moved due to its location in the heart of a commercial district.  The county has tried to find a suitable location to move it but the best option they came up with landed the county in court.  Officials decided to move it two years ago to a vacant parcel at the back of the county-owned David Jones Industrial Park, but industrial tenants of the park sued, claiming that the move violated the countys own covenants regarding how sites within the park could be used.  That matter remains in the legal system.  In addition to voting to exercise its option on the property, the Commission voted Monday to engage the services of an architect to prepare specifications to bid the project, according to Commission Chairman Robert McKamey.  Clinton City Manager Roger Houck said Tuesday that the parcel in question is still within the city limits but is flanked on all sides by county land, meaning that all the county will have to do is ask the city to de-annex the tract and rezone it as they see fit. 
Lawsuit blames crash on officer
A man has sued the Rocky Top Police Department, the city and one of its patrol officers for $350,000 in connection to an accident last fall.  William Patrick Cotter III filed the suit in Anderson County Circuit Court over the September 16th, 2014 accident on I-75.  In his suit, Cotter alleges that he had been riding his motorcycle north on I-75 when a patrol car driven by Officer Todd Johnston pulled out in front of him from a paved median crossover separating the north- and southbound lanes of the interstate, and the vehicles collided.  Cotter alleges that Johnston was at fault for failing to exercise due care and failure to yield and also accuses the officer of violating state laws regarding those interstate median crossovers.  The suit accuses the city and the Police Department of failing to properly train or supervise their employee.  The citys response asks that the suit be dismissed because the RTPD is a subdivision of the city and therefore is not an entity capable of suing or being sued.  In addition to $350,000 in damages, Cotter is also seeking a jury trial and payment of his legal fees by the city.
Report:  Man files suit against OR over fall
The retired conductor of the Oak Ridge Symphony and Chorus is suing the city of Oak Ridge for $100,000 over an incident last fall in which he fell outside the Civic Center.  The News-Sentinel reports that the suit was filed by Serge Fournier of Oak Ridge and alleges that the city was at fault in his November 15th, 2014 fall that left him with injuries to his face, mouth and teeth.  Fournier alleges that the curb edge he tripped over was not marked or painted, which created a dangerous situation.
OR woman arrested after hammer attack
An Oak Ridge woman was arrested over the weekend on charges that she assaulted a woman with a hammer.  50-year-old Ruth Ann Evans is facing charges of aggravated assault and vandalism connected to the incident, which occurred last Friday.  Police say that several witnesses told them that Evans had hit the alleged victim several times with her fists and pulled her by the hair before the other woman fled to her car.  Police say that Evans went in to a nearby business and came back with a hammer, which she allegedly used to break the drivers side window of the womans car and continue the assault, striking the womans chest and arms. 
One dead in I-75 crash in Campbell
The Tennessee Highway Patrol says that one person has died following an early-morning accident on I-75 in Campbell County.  The crash occurred shortly before 1 am near mile marker 147.  Troopers say that 30-year-old Christopher Reed of Georgetown, Kentucky was standing outside his vehicle, which was stopped in the right-hand lane when a truck driven by an Indiana man was unable to stop and collided with the rear of Reeds car and with Reed himself.  No charges or citations were issued.
Campbell animal shelter gets new boss, deep cleaning
The Campbell County Commission agreed Monday night to Mayor EL Mortons request to temporarily shut down the county animal shelter.  Morton requested all of the animals be removed so the kennels can be thoroughly cleaned to avoid another outbreak of the deadly parvovirus.  The commission also approved Mortons nomination of one of his employees, Megan Elizabeth Mez Bruce, as the new shelter director.  Cleaning began Tuesday morning and the shelter will not reopen for at least two weeks.
UCOR announces grant recipients
UCOR, the U.S. Department of Energys cleanup contractor at the Oak Ridge Reservation, has announced the 33 winners of the UCOR Education Mini-Grant Program.  UCOR is a partnership between URS and CH2M Oak Ridge LLC.  The company said one of its primary objectives is to support and encourage education initiatives.  The Mini-Grant Program was designed to recognize and support excellence in teaching by providing funds to assist classroom teachers for specific projects or curricula, focusing primarily on science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, a press release said. 
The UCOR Mini-Grant committee has selected the following projects:
• Kim Howard, Woodland Elementary SchoolSTEM Interactive Materials Project
• Donnel Malone, Hardin Valley Elementary SchoolHands on Science Labs
• Jason Young, Roane County High SchoolCountry-wide Robotics Team
• Jenifer Laurendine, Woodland Elementary SchoolMath and Movement Family Fun Night
• Jessica Conaster, Grand Oaks Elementary SchoolMath and Movement
• Madeline Ferguson, Powell High SchoolMathlete
• Beth McCoy, Robertsville Middle SchoolNASA Cube Satellite Challenge
• Denise Miller, St. Marys SchoolTechnology Support for Introductory Robotics Program
• Courtney Bass, Anderson County Head StartBrain Busters
• Amelia Bell, Glenwood Elementary SchoolLets Get Cooking: Connecting Girls to STEM
• Lucy Brooks, Anderson County Preschool/Dutch Valley SchoolLittle HandsBIG Ideas!
• Mary Ball, South Knoxville Elementary SchoolNeighborhood Stewards
• Bryan Freeman and Jenna Howerton, Clinton Middle SchoolSeeing It All with Binocular Dissecting Microscope
• James Scheele, Norris Elementary SchoolKids KNEX Class
• Rebecca Beers, Stanford Eisenberg Knoxville SchoolReal World Application for Math and Science
• Janie Shanafield, Jefferson Middle SchoolEV3 Boot Camp and Lego Robotics Tournament
• Trevor Renfro, Cedar Bluff Elementary SchoolIncreasing ELLs Mathematic Vocabulary
• Kari Schubauer, Stanford Eisenberg Knoxville SchoolChanging Ecosystem
• Jamie Bevins, Ball Camp Elementary SchoolEarth Science Rocks!
• Katie Bell, Stanford Eisenberg Knoxville SchoolIntegrating Design Challenges
• Janis Bishop, Dutch Valley Elementary School, Stem Resources in the Library
• Katie McKee, Midway Middle SchoolUsing Articles to Supplement Textbooks
• Louise Lindsay, Stanford Eisenberg Knoxville SchoolRobots in the Classroom
• Taffy Ridenour, Anderson County Pre-SchoolSTEM Family Engagement Weekend Challenges
• Ted Fletcher, Anderson County PreschoolSuccessful Start
• Mandy Dye, Cedar Bluff PreschoolBuilding Chutes and Ladders in Preschool
• Krista Manning, Ridgedale SchoolFun with STEM
• Susan Parker, Chilhowee Intermediate SchooliExplore Robotics with Meccanoids
• Madison Jones, Norris Middle SchoolVEX IQ Robotics Program
• Aundrea Mitchell, Farragut High SchoolTSA Engineering Design
• Jill Hudson and Carrie Guy, Cherokee Middle SchoolLeg-up with LEGO League
• Adam Trout, Rockwood Middle SchoolMaking Models Matter
• Adam Trout, Rockwood Middle SchoolSchool-wide Engineering Design Competition
Applications were screened and awardees selected using a blind process that prevented members of the selection panel from knowing the names of the teachers or the schools. Schools in Roane, Anderson, Loudon, Knox, and Morgan counties were eligible to submit proposals.  UCORs Mini-Grant Program has awarded the grants annually, since 2012.
ORT:  Eschenberg leaving federal service
(Oak Ridge Today) John Eschenberg, federal project director for the proposed Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex, announced Monday that hes retiring from federal service on May 30.  Eschenberg said his decision to leave federal service is driven by a desire to focus on new career opportunities in the private sector and to further my focus on serving nonprofit organizations. Eschenberg said he is heavily involved with the Emory Valley Center (an institution for the developmentally and intellectually disabled) and its plan to start construction of a new facility in Oak Ridge later this fall. 
Eschenberg has been the federal project director of the Uranium Processing Facility for almost three years, and he has been in Oak Ridge nearly six. He has served under six different U.S. Department of Energy secretaries, in five different states, and in all of its major programs, Eschenberg said in an email announcement obtained by Oak Ridge Today.  Eschenberg said there is never a perfect time for a transition of key leadership roles, but given the projects stability, now feels like the optimum time to me.
He said Dale Christenson, who has been serving as the deputy federal project director for almost five years, will serve as acting federal project director during the process to formally hire a replacement. Eschenberg said his family plans to maintain a primary residence in Oak Ridge, with one son a student at Maryville College and the other a student at Oak Ridge High School.
The UPF is the largest DOE investment in Tennessee since World War II. Its also the largest ever-construction project for the National Nuclear Security Administration, a separately organized DOE agency that oversees work at Y-12 and other sites such as the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas.
The UPF would replace aging World War II-era buildings at Y-12, the hub of the nations uranium processing operations. Its expected to be completed by 2025 and cost no more than $6.5 billion.  Federal officials celebrated what they called the first milestone on the project in March: the completion of site readiness work, delivered on time and under budget. The work included the relocation of Bear Creek Road, a new bridge, and construction of a haul road.
ORPSEF to award grants
(ORPSEF) As part of its Making the Critical Difference campaign, the Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation will award more than $93,000 in grants to Oak Ridge teachers at a ceremony this Wednesday, May 20.  Oak Ridge alumni and WBIR Anchor Moira Kaye will be the featured speaker at the event for what she has described as her careers last personal appearance. The ceremony is open to the public, and it will be held in the Oak Ridge High School cafeteria beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Demonstrations and displays of some of the projects and technology funded by the Foundation will be given after the formal ceremony.
The 2015 grant recipients are as follows:
• Glenwood ElementaryAmelia Bell, Lauren Blair, Gwen Harrell, Terri Lloyd, and Marlene Sumner
• Linden ElementaryLisa Downard, Norma Franco, and Nancy Witick
• Willow Brook ElementaryLinda Bell, Chris Bruce, Lynn Draper, Andrew McDonald, and Deborah Nall
• Woodland ElementaryBarbara Krushenski, Kathy Sanderson, and Lynn Tschaplinski
• Jefferson Middle SchoolEmily Haverkamp, Heather Henderlight, Chris Layton, and Brian Smith
• Robertsville Middle SchoolMichelle Brown, Sandra Burnette, Jackie Laney, Mardee Miller, Leigh Monger, and Michelle Scott
• Oak Ridge High SchoolSharon Thomas and Elaine Vaughan
The grants program is a key component of the Foundations mission to support the highest-quality education for all students.
Including this years grants, the Education Foundation has awarded more than $665,000 in total grant funding. In 2012, the Foundation kicked off its Making a Critical Difference campaign. The campaign goal is to raise $100,000 per year specifically for teacher grants each year through 2017.
For more information about the Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation or to make a donation, contact Jessica Steed at (865) 241-3667 or or through the newly designed website at
Saturday fire injures none
A fire early Saturday caused heavy damage to a home on Cove Lane just outside Oliver Springs.  The fire was reported at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday, May 16th at 1014 Cove Lane.  The Marlow Volunteer Fire Department was first on the scene and the Oliver Springs Fire Department responded to a request for mutual aid.  All told, fire crews were on the scene for about three hours.  No injuries were reported. 
AC Park Manager assaulted
The Anderson County Sheriffs Department is investigating an incident that occurred last week at Anderson County Park.  The park manager, Paul Schilling, called deputies on Sunday May 10th and told them that at around 9:30 pm that night, he had confronted a group of six people who were throwing rocks toward the public swimming area at the park and jumping on and off picnic tables.  When he told them to stop, Schilling says that one of the men punched him in the nose and another hit him from behind.  While he escaped serious injury, Schilling did tell deputies that his glasses were broken in the assault.  One of the individuals also grabbed Schillings county-issued cell phone as he tried to take pictures of the suspects vehicles and license plates and smashed it on the ground. 
Y-12 trio freed from prison
Three Catholic peace activists who vandalized the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials facility at Y-12 nearly three years ago were released from prison on Saturday.  85-year-old nun Sister Megan Rice was released just hours after 66-year-old Michael Walli and now 60-year-old Greg Boertje-Obedhe celebrates his birthday todayalso were let out of prison.  The trio was ordered released by a federal appeals court on Friday, about a week after the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned their 2013 sabotage convictions and ordered re-sentencing on their remaining conviction for injuring government property at Y-12.  The three have spent two years in prison. In handing down Fridays order, the court said they likely already have served more time than they will receive for the lesser charge. On Thursday, their attorneys petitioned the court for an emergency release, saying that re-sentencing would likely take several weeks if normal court procedures were followed. Prosecutors responded that they would not oppose the release, if certain conditions were met.  Rice, Walli and Boertje-Obed, in July 2012, cut through several fences to reach the most secure area of the Y-12 complex. Before they were arrested, they spent two hours outside the bunker that stores much of the nation’s bomb-grade uranium, hanging banners, praying and spray-painting slogans, and chipping away at the exterior walls with hammers. 
CCWF hosts annual Briceville field trip
(CCWF) The15th Annual Briceville Elementary School history field trip was held on Friday.  Brooklyn Lowe was named winner of the 2015 Coal Creek Eisteddfod Literary Competition, an annual poetry and essay contest for Briceville Elementary School Students, sponsored by the Coal Creek Watershed Foundation (CCWF).  Lowe earned $100 for her winning essay on the history of Coal Creek miners during the era of the convict lease system by the State of Tennessee, which brought armed conflict to the area in 1891-1892.  A permanent replica artillery piece, part of the CCWFs ongoing history education for students of the area, was scheduled to be dedicated May 15 for the event.  Because of an illness to the cannon maker, the permanent cannon wasnt ready by dedication day and a substitute was found to take its place on the famed hill along a shank of Vowell Mountain in Anderson County.  Steve Cameron led a group of Civil War re-enactors with the Burroughs Battery of Blaine in the firing of an exact replica of the howitzer used during actual events 123 years ago.  The event was based on one of the countys more turbulent timesthe Coal Creek Convict Wars of 1891-1892.  Militia Hill served as the operational base for Tennessee National Guardsmen, then called state militia, to put down an insurrection by Welsh coal miners, a rebellion that began when inmates from state prisons replaced miners.  At the time, the state claimed it needed to lease much of its prison population and put convicts in the mines, replacing paid Welsh miners. This would provide desperately needed revenue to the state from coalmine operators for reconstruction projects after the destruction of the Civil War. Many militia members brought to Coal Creek during the struggle were Civil War veterans.  The actual cannon used on Militia Hill in 1892 was the exact same piece fired by Cameron and members of Burroughs Battery. The howitzer blast disgorged enough white smoke to hide a copse of pine trees overlooking the town below. Its blast and recoil shook the earth behind the cannon.  In Coal Creek, Briceville, Fraterville and elsewhere where coal was being mined in the Cumberland Mountains, along the spiny rib cage of Walden Ridge, Welsh coal miners fought convicts and militia.  For two years (1891-92) they struggled to keep their livelihood and to ensure the future of their children. It was a classic battle that eventually led to changes in state law, the defeat of Gov. John Buck Buchanan and drastic changes in mine safety.  After what became known as the Coal Creek Mine Wars, two mine explosionsFraterville in 1902 and Cross Mountain in 1911changed lives with the deaths of 300 miners in both disasters, but brought on federal laws and new governmental regulations and agencies. In 1891, Congress passed a loosely written law to upgrade mine safety. In 1910, the Bureau of Mines was created to oversee mine safety in a time when more than 2,000 miners were dying annually.  Today, the Mine Safety and Health Administration says 16 coal miners died in accidents in 2014.  CCWF officials say it is important for the students to understand the rich cultural history in their area that is as alive today as it was 123 years ago.  For more, visit 
Girl, 12, shot in leg during robbery
A 12-year-old girl was sent to the hospital Thursday night after Campbell County Sheriffs deputies say she was shot during an armed robbery in Campbell County.  The incident happened at around 10 p.m. at Lees Food Mart on Gen. Carl Stiner Highway near LaFollette.  The Campbell County Sheriffs Office says the suspect began shooting randomly inside the store, striking the girl in the leg.  Officials say she is expected to be okay.  Deputies are still searching for the suspect, who was reportedly wearing a motorcycle helmet, which has prevented a detailed description from being released.  As more information becomes available we will update you.  
OR Council extends lease on Senior Center, opens doors to all
The Oak Ridge City Council has extended its lease agreement with the Anderson County government to continue using 10,000 square feet of the former Daniel Arthur Rehabilitation Center as a senior center.  The new lease agreement will run through May 31st, 2017 and the city will pay the county a reported $5170 per month.  The agreement calls for the Senior Center to be referred to from now on as the Anderson County/Oak Ridge Senior Center and will be open to all residents of Anderson County.  During a protest last week in front of the County Courthouse in Clinton, area seniors asking for a county takeover of the Office on Aging and a new senior center complained that non-Oak Ridge residents were not allowed to use the facility.  The extension could give Oak Ridge leaders more time to develop a plan to either relocate or replace the aging center off of Emory Valley Road, which residents have long said is too small and inadequate to serve their needs. 
THP:  Morgan wreck kills one
A Wednesday afternoon traffic accident in Morgan County killed a 29-year-old Crossville woman, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.  The single-vehicle accident happened shortly before 3 pm on Wednesday as Nancy McCloud traveled east in a 1998 Jeep Cherokee on Shady Grove Road in the Lancing community.  The THP report indicates that the Jeep left the side of the roadway and struck an embankment, partially ejecting McCloudwho was not wearing a seatbeltbefore coming to rest on its roof. 
Ethics complaint filed against AC Mayor
An Oak Ridge man has filed an ethics complaint against Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank.  Kevin Rice, in a letter sent Tuesday to Law Director Jay Yeagerwho also serves as the investigative ombudsman for the county Ethics Committeeaccuses the mayor of instructing now-former county building inspector Lisa Crumpley not to cooperate with a TBI investigation into Public Works Director David Crowley and allegedly told [Crumpley] that she would be terminated if she did so.  Crumpley was fired by Crowley the same day he turned himself into authorities on a five-count indictment charging him with inspecting buildings without the proper certifications.  The letter also accuses Frank of spending almost $23,000 for a part-time employee who Rice says was instructed to investigate our County law Director, which resulted in an audit finding after state auditors determined that money had been spent despite the County Commission denying a request from the mayor to do so.  Mayor Frank told the News-Sentinel that the employee never investigated the office but rather, conducted a cost comparison between Anderson and other counties and what they spend on county attorneys or other legal services.  The letter also accuses Frank of spending money to install listening and tracking devices in county vehicles without written permission an allegation the mayor flatly denies.  The fourth complaint centers on the mayors chief of staff, Richard Burroughs, who Rice says has done an abundance [of] private work for the mayor on the county government payroll.  In a post on her blog,, Mayor Frank says that she welcome[s] a review of any and all of my activities while mayor, although not by Mr. Yeager, who she writes lacks the fundamental capacity and character to evaluate ethical issues.  Yeager told the News-Sentinel Wednesday that it is likely that the mayor would have an issue with him conducting the investigation and that if the complaint moves forward, the County Commission would likely have to appoint an interim ombudsman.  Frank and Yeager have been at oddsto put it mildlysince she was first elected in 2012 and she has tried to strip him of his duties as delinquent tax attorney, while Yeager has publicly stated his belief that she is behind an effort to have him ousted from office.  A citizen-filed ouster suit was dismissed last year, but is currently on appeal.  Recently, mayor Frank released an audit of the Public Works Department conducted by Burroughs that alleges that Crumpley herself inspected around 400 properties while also lacking the proper certifications and alleging that several county officials were aware of the violations.  Crumpley has filed a federal lawsuit alleging wrongful termination, which has reportedly been ordered into mediation.  Crowleys trial on the five-count indictment returned against him last fall will take place later this year. 
AC budget committee recommends no tax increase
The Anderson County Budget Committee has voted to recommend a no-tax-increase budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1st to the County Commission.  The budget contains no pay raises for county employees nor does it include any new money for the county school system.  School leaders proposed a budget that included 4% pay raises for school employees who have not seen significant pay hikes in several years and $851,852 to pay for unfunded state mandates dealing with upgrades to physical education and sports facilities.  The schools had also asked for the creation of a special reserve fund that would allow the system to begin purchasing hand-held computer devices for students as the state moves more and more toward online testing.  All told, to fully fund the School Boards request, it would have required the equivalent of a 56-cent increase in the countys property tax rate, a request that County Mayor Terry Frank, in a press release issued Wednesday, would move us backward in trying to lure more residents and businesses to the county.  She wrote:  I am encouraging the schools to wait for more funding until we achieve it through growth, not taxation.  The proposal put forth by the Budget Committee keeps the school funding at its current level of $54.8 million.  The $25 million general fund budget, while not including salary increases, also does not include an increase in what county workers have to pay in health insurance costs.  The proposal also includes seed money for an on-site medical clinic at the Courthouse for county employees that Frank states will be a convenience to employees, reduce their pharmacy cost for common medications, reduce lost work time and also benefit the taxpayer by increasing wellness of employees.  The budget proposal, which was passed unanimously by the committee, will be the subject of a public hearing on May 28th and the full Commission will take it up next month.  You can read the mayors press release about the budget on our website. 
(AC Mayor Press Release) Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank has presented her administrations proposed budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. 
Franks proposed general fund budget, as presented to the Budget Committee Tuesday afternoon, keeps most county departments at current-year spending levels and includes no tax increase.  It was unanimously approved at Thursday evenings budget meeting. 
The balanced $25,088,157 budget for the countys general operating fund proposes maintaining a focus on stabilizing spending levels until we have full economic recovery. 
Budget committee recognizes the rising costs of living for citizens, and to keep on a steady path of keeping more money in the hands of Anderson County citizens, weve presented no increase in property taxes. Original requests for funding put us over $2.5 million out of balance, but with understanding and the continued help of our county departments, we whittled that down, said Mayor Frank. 
Going into the budget cycle, Mayor Frank relied heavily on the Budget Committee when putting together the budget with Budget Director Christopher K. Phillips and Deputy Budget Director Connie Aytes.  Budget Committee has spent the year consistently tracking revenues and expenditures.  As the budget process unfolded, the committee agreed that revenues were not meeting requests and directed Budget Director Phillips to return to departments with a request to hold to their current levels.  Budget Committee members are Mayor Terry Frank, Chairman, Commissioner Phil Warfield, Commissioner and Commission Chairman Robert McKamey, citizen Leonard Abatiello and citizen Dusty Irwin.
The budget proposal showed a benefit to employees in terms of no increase in the cost of health insurance.  Part of the budget proposal includes funding start-up costs for an on-site medical clinic for employees.  The proposed clinic will serve as a convenience to employees, reduce their pharmacy cost for common medications, reduce lost work time, and also benefit the taxpayer by increasing wellness of employees.  On-site clinics in the private sector have shown proven benefits to both the employee and the bottom line when it comes to health care costs, and budget committee is proud to work with our new Human Resource Director Russell Bearden to accomplish this goal, said Mayor Frank.  
We have received a lot of praise by financial ratings institutions who like Anderson Countys financial direction.  Were going to stay committed and we know fiscal stability is one of the key factors in attracting families, business, and industries, said Mayor Frank.  
I know the schools have proposed what amounts to a 56 cent tax increase, but when our main challenge is recruiting families to live here, such a tax increase would move us backwards, said Mayor Frank.  We have had numerous new business and industry locations and expansions, but we do have a lag between the announcements and when the capital investment begins to actually affect our revenues.  I am encouraging the schools to wait for more funding until we achieve it through growth, not taxation.  At our joint meeting last night, I asked if they could wait another year to see additional revenue through growth, not taxation, said Mayor Frank. 
Some of the factors in not funding the schools request and recommending current funding levels are the reality that the number of students in the system is down and a number of students from other counties are being educated in our system with no offsetting revenue stream in place.   The schools have also requested over $2 million for salary increases for a 4% across the board raise, however, those numbers are not adding up.  If we calculate 4% of their entire budgeted salaries, 4% amounts to $1,340,011.72–so we are not sure what the extra funds are for.  We also will need to study what Governor Haslam and the legislature have allocated, because our understanding was that they funded the 4% raises, said Mayor Frank. 
Budget Committee also passed a recommendation to further strengthen fund balance policy by requiring the county to increase its unassigned General Fund balance to $4.5 million from $3.5 million.  Such a move would require a supermajority vote from County Commission to dip into reserves below $4.5 million. 
While this years budget process posed many challenges, I feel that the proposal headed now to County Commission is a solid, workable and a fiscally sound plan. Again this year, budget committee worked through and made some tough decisions that safeguards the taxpayers from increased taxes, protects the fund balance and provides good stewardship of citizens tax dollars. While Anderson County is seeing some very positive movement in the industrial arena, we need to continue to do the financially prudent things with taxpayer money that attracts families and retail businesses to locate here. To me, thats the key to the long-term financial health and quality of life we want to see Anderson County achieve, said Budget Director Chris Phillips. 
The next steps in the budget process will be a public hearing set for May 28 in room 312 of the courthouse and then a presentation to full Commission.
ACSD investigating robbery
The Anderson County Sheriffs Department is investigating a report of an armed robbery that occurred late Wednesday night near Rocky Top.  The victim, Jacob Fry, called deputies just after midnight Thursday and told them that he had been assaulted and robbed by three people, two of whom he knew.  Fry said that a man he knew called him at around 10 pm and asked if he wanted to play basketball and Fry agreed.  A short time later, the man and a womanwhom he also knewpicked him up and the three drove to the Pine Hill community park in Rocky Top.  Fry later told deputies that he thought that the woman had been acting strangely on the ride.  When they reached the park, the man said he was going to call another man to play ball with them and while Fry stood outside the truck smoking, he said he heard the man tell his friend that they were just outside and to come out an meet them.  Fry did not know the other man, according to the report.  The four of them drive to basketball court at the end of Beech Grove Drive and Fry said that the second man who they had just picked up asked him to come speak with him at the rear of the truck.  At that point, Fry says that the man began telling him that his sister and her friend were using drugs and that he had a list of people that he thinks were giving the drugs to them and that he had narrowed his list down to one and that it was Fry.  Fry said that before he could respond, the man punched him in the face and continued assaulting him until he then felt something in the back of his neck and the man threatened to blow his (expletive) brains out if he moved.  At that point, Fry said that the man stole several items, including a wallet, his shoes and a knife.  The driver of the pickup allegedly kicked Fry several times as well before he, the other man and the woman fled in the pickup at a high rate of speed.  Fry walked to a nearby home and called 911.  Fry identified all three suspects to investigators using Facebook but attempts by deputies to reach them by telephone were unsuccessful.  When more information becomes available and when charges are filed, we will pass it along to you. 
UT students donate 2600+ items to 12 area charities
(Submitted) University of Tennessee students in Beth Merediths English 255 public writing courses were tasked with a semester long assignment advocating for a local charity of choice, including planning, promoting, and holding supply collection drives.  With twelve different collections occurring during the months of March and April, her students were able to raise over 2,600 items for twelve different local charities.
All of the assignments in the course were focused on the non-profits cause and the collection drives.  The students learned to effectively create and use brochures, websites, posters, flyers, and social media to raise awareness for the non-profits and to promote their collection drives.  
When asked about the practical applications of the assignment, one student commented, It was extremely smart for Professor Meredith to combine learning and serving in the same course.  It would be awesome if more teachers could find a way to do this in their classrooms.
However, another student, Conlon Griesmer, said it was more about helping people:  I did enjoy learning about all the different forms of public writing, but in many ways, giving back to our own community is way more important.  I feel that many students find themselves in a UT Bubble and dont know much of Knoxville besides the restaurants on The Strip.  Professor Meredith challenged us to look past ourselves and give our time and energy to those who are less fortunate, something college students dont often do.
Given the complexities of the semester long assignment, Hannah Murrey said she at first privately complained because the assignment seemed too much.  But over the course of the semester, I learned that I am a lucky person.  There are people out there who are not so lucky.  Those are the people that we should be helping.  I am thankful for my teacher that helped me understand this hard lesson to learn.  My heart is in a much better place now that I have seen life in a whole new perspective because of this assignment.
The local non-profits benefiting from the collection drives are Knox Area Rescue Ministry (KARM), Second Harvest, Special Spaces, Crisis Center for Women, Young-Williams Animal Center, Angelic Ministries, Boys and Girls Club, Oak Ridge Animal Shelter, YWCA, Love Kitchen, Ronald McDonald House, and Columbus Home for Boys.
(Editors note:  Beth Meredith is the wife of WYSH/WMYL owner Ron Meredith.)
ORPD officers, bystanders hailed as heroes
Three Oak Ridge Police officers and at least one bystander lifted an Emory Valley Center van off of a woman who was partially pinned underneath it after a crash in Woodland on Tuesday morning.  Witnesses told our partners at Oak Ridge Today that the right arm and shoulder of the female passengerreportedly an EVC employeewere pinned underneath the passenger side of the van after the crash, which was reported at about 10 a.m. Tuesday at the intersection of Northwestern and North Purdue avenues.  The three officers were identified as Cassen Garrison, Brandan Sharp, and Sergeant Pete Nance. Garrisons right arm was bandaged by paramedics after witnesses said he used his hands to break out a back window of the Chevrolet Express van and rescue a male EVC client in the back of the van before he and the others got the three-ton vehicle back on its wheels.  The female passenger was flown to UT Medical Center by Lifestar while the other three people involved, including the driver of the car, were taken by ambulance to area hospitals.  Oak Ridge Today reports that Ed Taylor, who lives at the Manhattan Apartments, also helped lift the van and witnesses said other neighbors helped as well.  As soon as we learn more about yesterdays accident, including the names and conditions of those involved, we will let you know about it on WYSH.
CCWF Scholarship winners announced
(CCWF) The Coal Creek Watershed Foundation has awarded 36 scholarships to Briceville students over the past 13 years.  The only requirement is that scholars must serve as role models for current Briceville students at our annual Coal Creek Scholars Day event in December. 
Rev. Roy Daugherty was a founding board member of our organization who passed away a few years ago.  When facing a tough decision, I can still hear Rev. Roy say, Ahh, sometimes all you need is a little faith.  Well today is one of those days when we will be awarding seven scholarships totaling $60,000.  Roy, I dont know how we can afford it, so we need you to put in a good word for us up there.
We started a postgraduate scholarship program last year to help Lyndsey Phillips go to law school.  This year, were helping Jonathan Towe go to medical school.  He chose East Tennessee State University for its Rural Family Medicine program because his goal is to set up his practice in Anderson County someday and be known as Doc Towe.   
Anderson County High School graduating seniors earning scholarships this year are Paul Long, Holley Smith, Tallen Roldan, Nick Cox, Emily Phillips and Kimberly Phillips.  Special appreciation goes to Kim for putting blond streaks in her hair.  Now, for the first time in 12 years, I can tell the difference between Kim will study criminal justice with a goal of going to law school.  Em aspires to be a forensic pathologist, while Holley will study nursing.  Tallen will attend business school and Paul will go to accounting school.  Nicks goal is to study wildlife biology and fisheries, So I can make Coal Creek even more beautiful than it already is. Kim and Em.     
They earned their scholarships by participating in community service projects and submitting essays on improving the quality of life in the watershed.  Pick a work day over the past four years and youll see photos of the Class of 2015 Scholars. CCWF President, Barry Thacker, P.E. says, Our favorite day of the year is when our scholars in college return to serve as role models for current Briceville students.  We may need to hold next years event in the gym, but thats a good problem to have.
CCWF board-member Carol Moore says, Our goal is to give every Briceville student the incentive to excel in middle school and high school because they know they have the potential to get a college education. 
Nantglo is Welsh for Coal Creek and these scholarships recognize the contributions of the Welsh miners who helped East Tennessee rebuild after the Civil War.  They came to Coal Creek to escape persecution in Great Britain.  Here is where they wrote about their new land in their native language at a time when it was illegal to do so in Wales.  Those books now reside at Harvard University where they are still used as references by students today. 
The importance of education to the Welsh is recognized on one of the new historical markers at Briceville Public Library, which Scholars from the Class of 2015 helped install.  The other historical marker at the library tells how Condy Harmon, a former Briceville student, quit school to become a miner and support his family after his father died in the 1902 Fraterville Mine explosion.  Kim, Em, Holley, Tallen, Paul, and Nick honor his sacrifice by completing high school and attending college. 
OR company celebrates milestone
Monday, an Oak Ridge company celebrated a milestone.  Mondays event was hosted by Smoky Mountain Solutions, or SMS, which is a joint venture between BES Technologiesor BESTand Omega Technical Services, a company that handles low-level radioactive waste.  The milestone was BESTs recycling of 1 million gallons of radioactive water.  SMS cleans and decontaminates between 1500 and 2000 hazmat suits and respirators per week so they can be reused and in turn, decontaminates that water for re-use in the industrial-sized washing machines used to clean the suits.  BEST is a service-disabled veteran-owned small business and currently is a protg with Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC through the U.S. Department of Energys Mentor-Protg Program. BEST/SMS provides respirator, laundry, water, and other environmental services to the radiological community.
Lock your car doors!
We bring you this next story to remind you to lock your car doors whenever you are away from your vehicle.  Over the past week, three burglaries from automobiles have been reported in Clinton and in two of them, the victimized vehicles were unlocked.  That was not the case in the first incident, reported Thursday on Hollingsworth Lane, where a woman reported that someone had broken the passenger side window of her car and stolen her purse containing two credit cards sometime the previous night.  Later that same morning, a woman came to the police station and reported that she had forgotten to lock her car outside her home on Skyline Drive and came out to discover that a laptop computer and a briefcase had been stolen.  The most recent incident was reported Sunday on Eagle Bend Road, where a woman called and said that her photo ID from work and some keys had been stolen from her unlocked vehicle.  With the weather warming and more people out and about, remember to lock your car doors outside your homes, places of employment or when you are out shopping to help reduce your chances of being victimized by opportunistic thieves. 
AP:  Sabotage convictions overturned against Y-12 trio
(AP) An appeals court has overturned the sabotage convictions of three peace activists who broke into a facility storing much of this country’s bomb-grade uranium and painted slogans and splashed blood on the walls.  In a 2-1 opinion issued on Friday, a panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the most serious conviction against 85-year-old Sister Megan Rice, 66-year-old Michael Walli and 59-year-old Greg Boertje-Obed. The court upheld a conviction for injuring government property.  On July 28, 2012, the activists cut through several fences at Y-12 in Oak Ridge to reach the uranium storage bunker. Once there, they hung banners, prayed and hammered on the outside wall of the bunker of the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility.  At issue was whether the nonviolent protest injured national security. The majority opinion of the appeals court found that it did not.  “If a defendant blew up a building used to manufacture components for nuclear weapons … the government surely could demonstrate an adverse effect on the nation’s ability to attack or defend. … But vague platitudes about a facility’s ‘crucial role in the national defense’ are not enough to convict a defendant of sabotage,” the opinion says.  Rice is serving a sentence of just less than three years, while Walli and Boertje-Obed are each serving sentences of just over five years.  Defense attorney Bill Quigley said he hopes they will be re-sentenced to time served and released from prison. 
Campbell among counties receiving state historic preservation funds
(Tennessee Historical Commission) Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and the Tennessee Historical Commission announced 36 Historic Preservation Fund grants were awarded to community and civic organizations for projects that support the preservation of historic and archaeological resources. 
Awarded annually, 60 percent of the project funds are from the federal Historic Preservation Fund and 40 percent of project funds come from the grantee.  
These grants contribute to the study and protection of a wide range of Tennessees treasured historic places-buildings, archaeological sites and communities. These places help make our state unique and contribute to our quality of life, said Patrick McIntyre, State Historic Preservation Officer and Executive Director of the Tennessee historical Commission. 
Grants are competitive and this year the Tennessee Historical Commission staff reviewed 67 applications with funding requests totaling approximately $1.5 million, nearly double the amount of funding available. This years selection included building and archaeological surveys, design guidelines for historic districts, rehabilitation of historic buildings, posters highlighting the states history and archaeology and training for historic zoning staff or commissioners. 
One of our grant priorities is for projects that are in Certified Local Governments, a program that allows communities to participate closely in the federal program of historic preservation. Eleven Certified Local Government communities were awarded grants this year. Additional priorities include areas experiencing rapid growth and development, other threats to cultural resources, areas where there are gaps in knowledge regarding cultural resources, and the restoration of the states historic buildings that are owned by civic or non-profit organizations.  Properties that use the restoration grants must be listed in the National Register. 
Protecting Tennessees historic places is critical to preserving our states heritage, Haslam said. Todays announcement of more than $700,000 in assistance to communities across the state helps ensure that Tennessees rich history will continue to be shared with future generations. 
The grant recipients and/or sites of the projects include:
Campbell County:
• Campbell County – $24,000 to fund a survey of historic resources in the county.
UWAC fundraising continues wane
Fundraising was again down for the United Way of Anderson County during its 2014 campaign.  Officials announced that the campaign had raised $1.044 million to be distributed among its 33 partner agencies at Thursdays annual breakfast meeting.  The amount of money raised each year has declined since hitting a highwater mark of almost $1.5 million in 2008-2009.  Out of the money raised, some $313,000 goes to United Way overhead, with the rest distributed among member agencies.  Officials say that the economic climate coupled with changes at some of the larger, corporate donors is leading to the reduction in funding.  Officials have decided not to set a monetary goal for this year and say they are prioritizing their allocations of funding to those groups and agencies that provide basic human needs like food and shelter until fundraising picks back up. 
FEMA expands disaster declarations from Feb. ice storms
(FEMA) The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved nine additional counties for the State of Tennessees recent disaster declaration from the severe winter storm of Feb. 15-22.  Claiborne, Cocke, Davidson, DeKalb, Greene, Hawkins, Pickett, Rhea and Wayne counties join the list of 36 other counties already receiving federal assistance as a result of the presidential disaster declaration signed April 2, 2015.
The counties were added to the declaration following new damage assessments requested by the state, and conducted by local officials, representatives of Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and FEMA.
Previously declared counties include: Anderson, Bedford, Bledsoe, Blount, Campbell, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, Fentress, Giles, Grainger, Grundy, Hamblen, Hancock, Hardeman, Hardin, Jefferson, Knox, Lawrence, Loudon, Marshall, McMinn, McNairy, Meigs, Monroe, Moore, Morgan, Obion, Overton, Putnam, Roane, Scott, Sevier, Van Buren, Warren and White.
Eligible government entities and certain private non-profits in the declared counties can apply for reimbursement of specific expenses related to disaster response and recovery under FEMAs Public Assistance Program.  The Public Assistance Program provides a 75 percent funding reimbursement for costs related to debris removal, emergency protective measures and rebuilding and repairing roads, bridges, water control facilities, buildings, utilities and recreational facilities.
DA, TBI:  Crime in AC down for eighth straight year
According to the findings of a recently-released TBI report, crime in Anderson County declined for an eighth straight year in 2014.  Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark issued a press release Wednesday that says that crime in Anderson County and all of its cities declined by 12% last year.  The release also states that the county has seen a 42% decrease in the crime rate over the past eight years.  Clark writes during that same periodcrime was also down across the state of Tennessee by an impressive 16%.  However, locally, we have more than doubled the crime reduction that has been accomplished across the state.  Clark chalks up the local success to improved communication and cooperation among the countys law enforcement agencies, as well as participation by citizens in Neighborhood Watch and other crime prevention programs.  Clark also says that while local authorities are pleased with [their progress], [they] are not satisfied, writing We are going to work hard and try to work smart and together to continue to make Anderson County and its cities better and safer places to live, work and invest.  The statistics indicate that there are 3000 few crimes in Anderson County per year than there were in 2007. 
FBI releases more on Y-12 FCU kidnapping, extortion plot
Authorities continue to investigate a kidnapping and extortion plot involving the Y-12 Federal Credit Union in Oak Ridge last week, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has released some information describing the three suspects.  The alleged kidnapping and extortion started at about 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, April 28, when a credit union employees family was kidnapped from the Whittington Creek neighborhood in west Knox County in an effort to extort money from the credit union, the FBI said in a press release on Wednesday.  The employees family was held at gunpoint for a period of time before being released in the Gettysvue Country Club parking lot in Knoxville, around 9:25 a.m. Upon being released, the victims were able to seek help from a nearby residence. During the law enforcement response, the suspects fled and remain at large. No injuries were reported, and no money was taken from the credit union.  The FBI said initial descriptions of the subjects were limited because the victims were blindfolded during the incident. But authorities have developed some descriptive information during the investigation, and they are sharing it to help identify the suspects.
Male Subject A
• White
• Possible late 20s
• 59″ to 511
• 170-190 pounds
• Thin build
• Salt and pepper black hair
• Black hat
• Black hoodie
• Black cargo pants
• Black bandanna
• Dark sunglasses
• Tattoo on neck containing orange ink
Male Subject B
• Medium skin tone
• Possibly late 30s
• 510 to 60″
• 200 to 220 pounds
• Stocky build
• Shaved head
• Black long sleeve T-shirt
• Black cargo pants
• Black bandanna
Female subject
• White
• Pale complexion
• Possibly 30s
• 57″ to 59″
• Long black hair (possibly a wig)
The Oak Ridge Police Department responded to the Oak Ridge branch of Y-12 Federal Credit Union on Lafayette Drive at about 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, April 28. The credit union was cordoned off and closed the rest of that day and the next day, Wednesday, April 29, although the credit unions headquarters, which share a five-story building with the local branch, remained open.  The incident is being investigated jointly by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force (SSTF), comprised of the FBI, Knoxville Police Department, and the Knox County Sheriffs Office, the KCSO Major Crimes Unit, and the Oak Ridge Police Department. Members of the public are encouraged to report information about this incident to the Knoxville FBI at (865) 544-0751 or KCSO at (865) 215-2444.
ORPD arrests man who stabbed car
Oak Ridge Police arrested a man on charges of aggravated assault and vandalism after an incident Monday morning that began with an argument at an apartment complex.  55-year-old Timothy Phillips of Oak Ridge is facing those charges, which stem form an incident that occurred Monday morning at McKenzie Acres Apartments.  Police were called out to the apartments on a report of a man with a knife and learned that Philli8ps had been arguing with several people who were visiting a tenant.  The argument escalated near the entrance when Phillips is said to have produced a knife and began stabbing the hood of a vehicle with it.  The driver of that vehicle fled on foot but was pursued by Phillips until the driver turned around and punched him in the head, causing him to fall to the ground.  Phillips was arrested and taken first to Methodist Medical center for treatment of a cut to his forehead and a split lip before being taken to the Anderson County Jail.  The driver whose car was stabbed suffered a minor cut on one finger. 
Roane man arrested in lighter-fluid-spraying case
Authorities in Roane County responded to a domestic assault call at a home in Kingston last week and arrested a 22-year-old man.  Tyler Wright was arrested on charges of aggravated domestic assault after his girlfriend told police that the couple had been arguing but when she tried to leave, Wright grabbed her clothes, dowsed them and her with lighter fluid and set the clothes on fire.  The woman was not injured in the incident.   Wright’s bail was set at $2,500 and he is scheduled to appear in Roane County General Sessions Court on June 15.
Report:  Anderson steps down amid probe
According to the News-Sentinel, longtime Oak Ridge High School head track coach and science teacher Eddie Anderson is being investigated for allegedly having inappropriate contact with a former student.  The school system announced last week that Anderson had been placed on unpaid leave while Oak Ridge Police investigated at-the-time unspecified allegations.  The News-Sentinel reports that Anderson submitted his retirement papers last Friday, effective June 2nd.  In addition to his coaching duties, Anderson also taught chemistry and AP chemistry while serving as the chairman of the schools science department.  Specific details of the allegations being investigated by the police have not been made available.  The paper also reports that Anderson was reprimanded just last month after school administrators looked into several allegations made against Anderson following a track team trip to a meet in South Carolina.  Anderson was disciplined for allowing the team to stay at a hotel deemed unacceptable and dangerous by fellow staff members, allowing students to choose their own roomswhich allegedly led to an inappropriate situation involving a male and female student, and not having a meal plan in place for team members.  According to the KNS, Anderson also didnt answer the phone when students parents calledand he left early the next morning after the track meet and took the girl and boy who engaged in inappropriate contact home.   He was also taken to task for allegedly failing to notify assistant coaches that he was leaving, which left those three assistants supervising 55 students. 
ORPD arrests man after chase, shots fired
Oak Ridge Police say that the drivers of a car and a truck rammed each other during a police chase last week and the driver of the sedan fired shots at the truck before he was arrested.  Oak Ridge officers responded to a home in the Hendrix Creek subdivision shortly before 11 pm on Wednesday April 29th after someone called and said that a man later identified as 44-year-old David Dunlap Jr. of Oliver Springs had been there with a pistol making threats.  When officers arrived, they were told Dunlap had gone to a house in the Highland View neighborhood and they headed that way.  While en route, officers encountered two vehicles, a sedan and a truck, on Outer Drive near New York Avenue traveling at a high rate of speed, a press release said.  Officers reported that as the two vehicles got closer to their position, Dunlap, who was driving the sedan, fired shots at the truck..  Officers began pursuing both vehicles eastbound on Outer Drive and then southbound on New York Avenue.  Police say that Dunlap and the driver of the truck continued to ram each others vehicles repeatedly.  The driver of the truck stopped at the intersection of New York Avenue and Nolan Road, while Dunlap continued south on New York Avenue, reportedly tossing his pistol out the window as he fled.  Dunlap continued fleeing from police until he was stopped on Vermont Avenue, taken into custody and charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and evading arrest. Dunlaps gun, a .45 caliber revolver, was recovered on New York Avenue.  Dunlap was taken to the Anderson County Jail. The driver of the truck was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries and officers indicated that further charges could be pending in this case. 
AC LSAC makes no progress on review
The Anderson County Legal Services Advisory Committee met Monday night to continue discussing a possible review of the policies, practices and procedures of the County Law Directors office.  After an hour of discussions, which at times became somewhat heated, members voted to postpone the discussion for another month.  This is another front in the high-profile battle between County Mayor Terry Frank and Law Director Jay Yeager, which has raged unchecked since she took off ice on the fall of 2012.  Earlier this year, the Committee, which along with the County Commission has the authority to hire and fire the law director under the private act that created the office in 2006, voted to conduct a third-party review of the office.  Committee member and County Commissioner Myron Iwanski said Monday that none of the three agencies he approached about conducting such a review agreed to do so, and he blamed what he called the toxic political atmosphere in the county.  He said that UTs County Technical Assistance Serviceor CTAS, a law director in another county and a UT professor all declined to conduct the review but added that he did find a Nashville attorney willing to conduct the review for $150 an hour, which is said to be a discounted rate.  Mayor Frank, meanwhile, says that the review should be conducted by the State Supreme Courts Board of Professional Responsibility, which conducts oversight of all attorneys in Tennessee.  The date of the next meeting of the Legal Services Advisory Committee has not been announced as yet.
AC Chamber:  Job Fair a Success
(Submitted) The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce hosted a Job Fair at the Y-12 New Hope Center on April 30 with 25 companies representing 1,600 job opportunities.  Over 1,100 applicants from Scott to Morgan County and beyond visited the Fair to vie for the jobs. 
Organized by the Chambers Education/Workforce Council and assisted by the Chamber Ambassadors, the event was designed to connect employers and applicants.
Chamber President Rick Meredith, We were ecstatic with the response from employers and the number of applicants.  It is rewarding to see job seekers connect with employers.  We look forward to hosting a similar Job Fair in the fall.
Rep. John Ragan issued this statement through Facebook GREAT NEWS FOR ANDERSON COUNTY– March Labor Reports show unemployment numbers falling.
Anderson County’s unemployment rate has fallen from 7.0% in March 2014 to 6.0% in March 2015.  Oak Ridge’s unemployment rate has fallen from 6.5% in March 2014 to 5.9% in February 2015 and is projected at 5.2% in March 2015. For more information visit:
The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce mission is to encourage economic development, government initiatives, and community initiatives that result in prosperity for members and citizens of Anderson County.  For more information contact the Chamber at 865-457-2559 or email:
ORT:  Teacher, coach on leave pending investigation
An Oak Ridge High School science teacher and track coach has been suspended from his teaching duties without pay pending an investigation by the Oak Ridge Police Department.  Our partners at Oak Ridge Today report that undisclosed information [concerning Eddie Anderson] was reported to the Oak Ridge Schools Superintendents Office on Thursday morning.  The matter was referred to the Oak Ridge Police Department for its consideration and investigation.  Anderson has been suspended from his teaching duties without pay while the investigation is under way.  If Mr. Anderson is vindicated or reinstated following the investigation, he shall be paid full salary for the period of his suspension, school officials said.  Anderson teaches chemistry and AP chemistry, and he has been a track and field coach at ORHS since 1979 and the ORHS head coach since 1996.  In the meantime, officials said Oak Ridge Cross Country/Track Coach Allen Etheridge will be filling in as interim track and field coach.
Larger-scale review could cost OR
The expanded scope of a review of issues within the Oak Ridge Police Department could mean that the city will have to pay the University of Tennessees Municipal Technical Advisory Serviceor MTAS- $50 per hour for its work.  MTAS had initially proposed a limited review of turnover, morale, and administrative policies in the Oak Ridge Police Department at no charge to the city.  That review, which would have included interviews with a random sample of ORPD employees, was approved by the Oak Ridge City Council during a March 27 special meeting.  But the City Council asked to start over after the initial list of employees to be interviewed was sent to several people, including the police chief, raising concerns about the confidentiality and impartiality of the review.
During an April 21 special meeting, City Council agreed 5-2 to start over by asking MTAS to interview all employees and try to interview former employees who have left since Police Chief Jim Akagi started on July 1, 2011.  However, that vote meant the citys contract with MTAS, which had already started the initial review, must be renegotiated.   According to Oak Ridge Today, Thursday, MTAS sent Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch a letter asking for more information about the expanded scope of the inquiry. Those questions will be discussed during a City Council work session on Tuesday, May 5.  In the letter to Gooch, MTAS Executive Director Jim Thomas said the expanded inquiry presents a very significant change to the original scope of workit already appears that the MTAS resources needed to meet the new scope of work are significantly greater than under the original scope, he said. Assuming this to be the case, and should MTAS and the city move forward together, it is very likely that MTAS will charge the city $50 per hour for future MTAS work on this project.
Thomas said he couldnt estimate a total cost yet, but the additional information will help MTAS develop an estimate.
Among the questions from MTAS:
• How many total employees are to be interviewed, and how many former employees are affected? (Oak Ridge Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Smith has estimated that the total number of potential interviews could exceed 100. The Oak Ridge Police Department has 78 total budgeted positions, including clerical, dispatch, patrol, the animal shelter, and supervisors. As of March 14, there were 36 former employees that could potentially be interviewed during the review.)
• Will each employee be allowed to voluntarily participate in the interview process or will they be required to participate?
• Is the focus of the project still a limited review of Oak Ridge Police Department turnover, morale, and departmental policies and procedures?
The Tuesday work session starts at 5 p.m. in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Training Room.  You can read much more about this story, including the letter from MTAS to the city, at  
ORT:  Hotel developer chosen for Main Street OR
(Oak Ridge Today) Crosland Southeast, the developer of the $80 million, 60-acre Main Street Oak Ridge project, announced Thursday that Atlanta-based MDC development group, through its affiliated company Canterfield Hotel Group LLC, will build a new 120-room hotel at the site. The hotel brand has yet to be determined, and feasibility studies are ongoing to determine which brand would best complement the Oak Ridge community.  In addition to hotels and restaurants, MDC has been a force in the senior housing industry, the press release said. Currently, the company is developing and operating its Canterfield brand of independent and assisted living housing in Tennessee (including Oak Ridge), Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida.  Read more about the announcement at  
Property Assessor:  Property values decline, tax rate to go up
As we reported last week, Anderson County property values have declined by an average of 4% since 2010, the date of the last appraisal.  In an op-ed piece, Property Assessor John Alley Jr. said In the past, values have always increased. I promised a fair and accurate assessment for Anderson County, and I feel that is what I have delivered to the property owners.  Alleys letter, which you can read in its entirety on our website, explains the process of reappraisals and what effect it may have on property owners moving forward.  Alley says it is the first time he has seen a decrease in property values.  Anderson County property values are assessed every five years.  The main purpose of reappraisal is to determine the current market value for real property throughout the county.  The reappraisal, according to Alley, is used to ensure that residents and businesses are not paying too much or too little taxes based on property values.  Assessment Change Notices were mailed out on April 24 to more than 37,000 residents that have had a value change in their property.  Although there is an overall drop in property assessments, not every property will see a decrease. Alley says, as an example, that if sales are up in a particular area versus what they are currently assessed, then there would be an increase, or if someone improved their property or made additions, then that property would see an increase as well.  Alley says that if property owners have questions, or do not agree with the new assessed value, they may call the Property Assessors Office at (865) 457-6225 Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm between through May 8.  Taxpayers can also schedule an appointment to come to the office if needed after this time period.  The local Anderson County Board of Equalization starts meeting June 1 to hear appeals not settled during early phone-in appeals and meetings.  The State Board of Equalization begins 45 days after the local board dismisses.  A new certified tax rate will be determined the State Board of Equalization and that new certified tax rate will be determined, most likely, in July.  Since the total assessment decreased, and in order to ensure the same level of funding for county and city governments, the certified tax rate will see an increase.  The new certified tax rate will be adjusted up or down to the point that the taxing jurisdiction will receive the same amount of property tax revenue as it did the previous year, prior to the reappraisal. Cities and counties are prohibited by state law from using the reappraisal to generate new tax revenue.  After receiving your Assessment Change Notice, you may call the Property Assessors Office at (865) 457-6225 to appeal over the phone if you feel your assessment is too high or too low. If you want to meet in person with someone from the Property Assessors Office, you may schedule an appointment at this time as well. Due to the expected high volume of calls and walk-ins, an appointment is recommended. 
CPD investigating bogus checks
Clinton Police are investigating the cashing of fraudulent checks at Wal-Mart.  According to an incident report, a store manager told officers that on April 22nd, two black males entered the store and cashed one check eachone for $4733, the other for $4006.  The checks turned out to be bogus, which means the store is out a total of $8739.  The manager said that he believes one of the suspects was recently arrested for cashing a fraudulent check at a different Wal-Mart in Knox County, but the other has not been identified.  The incident is being investigated by the CPDs Criminal Investigation Division and when charges are filed, we will identify the suspects. 
Disturbance at elementary school
While the following incident may not be news worthy, we tell you about it just to remind people to be nice to one another.  Tuesday, Clinton Police were called to Clinton Elementary School after a man allegedly threatened a woman for sitting in his seat.  The woman told officers that a man she did not know approached her as she sat in the school auditorium and told her that she was sitting in her seat.  The woman replied that she had not seen him sitting there and pointed out several empty seats nearby.  At that point, she said the man became irate and cursed at her while threatening to knock her head off when they got outside.  He then reportedly took several photographs of her and said he would post them on Facebook.  An officer made contact with the man outside the school and he said that he had been in the auditorium but needed to step outside and that when he came back, she was in his seat.  The man admitted to the officer that his actions were inappropriate and said I will apologize to you but not to her.  The officer then made the man delete the pictures he had taken of the woman.  In the meantime, the school principal was made aware of the incident and warned the man that he will be banned from school property if another incident of this type continues.  (EDITORS NOTE:  Men, dont ever threaten to hit a woman, especially at an elementary school, and everyone, please find a calmer way to resolve disputes.)
FBI searching for 2 men, woman in kidnap, extortion, robbery attempt
It sounds like the plot of a movie but it happened in Oak Ridge and West Knox County on Tuesday.  The FBI is searching for two men and woman in connection with an alleged kidnapping and robbery scheme involving the main branch of Y-12 Federal Credit Union in Oak Ridge, its president and his family.  According to the FBI, at approximately 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, a credit union employee and his family were threatened as part of a plot to steal money from the credit union.  The family was kidnapped from their home in the Whittington Creek subdivision and held for a little over an hour before the alleged kidnappers dropped them off in the parking lot of the Gettysvue Country Club in West Knoxville.  At around the same time, FBI agents, deputies from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and Oak Ridge Police officers converged on the Y-12 Credit Union at 501 Lafayette Drive in Oak Ridge on a report of a bank robbery, kidnapping and extortion.  While officers were responding, the suspects who had been holding the family fled, according to the FBI.  No one was injured and no money was taken from the credit union.  Federal authorities have not identified the family held Tuesday morning, but it is believed to be that of Mark Ziegler, the CEO of the credit union, whose house authorities converged on in West Knoxville late Tuesday morning.  Authorities are asking for the public’s help as the investigation continues.  Agents say they are particularly interested in hearing from anyone who may have seen anything unusual in the Whittington Creek neighborhood of West Knox County between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. or the Gettysvue Country Club parking lot between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.  The area of specific focus in Whittington: around Whittington Creek Boulevard., South Northshore Drive, and/or Scott Lane.  Agents would like to hear from anyone who may have noticed a vehicle following a 2010 gold Lexus RX350.during that timeframe.  If you have any information on Tuesdays incident, you are asked to call the Knoxville office of the FBI at 865-544-0751 or the Knox County Sheriff’s Office at 865-215-2444.  The Lafayette Drive branch was closed during the investigation on Tuesday and remains closed on Wednesday, but it will re-open for normal hours on Thursday. The credit unions headquarters, which share a five-story building with the branch, remained open during Tuesdays investigation and is open today as well.  Authorities have not released specific details of the robbery plot, but as soon as more information becomes available, we will pass it along to you.  .
(FBI/KCSO press release) The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Knox County Sheriffs Office (KCSO), and the Oak Ridge Police Department (ORPD) responded to the Y-12 Credit Union at 501 Lafayette Drive, in Oak Ridge Tennessee today on a report of a bank robbery, kidnapping, and extortion.
Preliminary reports indicate that at approximately 8:15 a.m. today, an employee of the credit union, and the employees family, were threatened in an attempt to obtain money from the credit union. The employees family was held for a period of time before being released in the Gettysvue Country Club parking lot in Knoxville, around 9:25 a.m. During the law enforcement response, the suspects fled and no injuries have been reported, and no money was taken from the credit union.
Law enforcement agencies are looking for two male subjects and one female subject (no further descriptions are available at this time). Members of the public who were in the vicinity of the Whittington Creek neighborhood (around Whittington Creek Blvd., South Northshore Drive, and/or Scott Lane), in Knoxville between 7:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., or the Gettysvue County Club parking lot in Knoxville between 9:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., who may have noticed a vehicle following a 2010 gold Lexus, RX350, or any unusual activity, are asked to call the Knoxville FBI at 865-544-0751, or KCSO at 865-215-2444.
This matter is being investigated jointly by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force (SSTF), composed of the FBI, KPD, the Knox County Sheriffs Office, the Knox County Sheriffs Office, Major Crimes Unit, and the Oak Ridge Police Department.
UWAC has new executive director
According to a press release from the organization, Naomi Asher has been selected as the next executive director of the United Way of Anderson County. She starts Monday, May 4.  Asher was picked for the position by the United Way of Anderson County Board of Directors.  Ms. Asher has the unique set of experiences the Search Committee was looking for in candidates, said Tom Hilton, incoming president of the United Way Board of Directors. She knows the community and can hit the ground running on May 4.  The organization conducted a national search.
We advertised the position nationwide and were very pleased that we found the perfect match for the organization in our own backyard, said Greta Ownby, outgoing president of the United Way Board of Directors.  Asher follows long-time Executive Director Rick Morrow. Morrow announced his plans to retire after 10 years with the organization in January, and he stayed through March 31.  Asher is a graduate of Oak Ridge High School and most recently served as the executive director of CASA, a United Way partner agency.  I am very excited about the opportunity to lead the United Way and am looking forward to what the future holds for the organization, our partner agencies, and our community, Asher said.  The United Way will hold its Annual Meeting and Campaign Announcement event on Thursday, May 7, at 7:30 a.m. at New Hope Center in Oak Ridge.  For more information about the United Way of Anderson County, call (865) 483-8431.
(Updated) Judge issues order in Rocky Top legal saga
A federal judge on Friday granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting Rocky Top Marketing and Manufacturing from profiting on t-shirts and other merchandise.  It is the latest development in the legal battle between House of Bryant Publications and the company formed after the town of Lake City changed its name to Rocky Top last year.  The company, which owns the rights to the iconic bluegrass song Rocky Top, alleges that the company is infringing on its trademarks and has filed suit in federal court to force the town to drop its new moniker and shut down any attempts to profit off the name.  The order handed down Friday by US District Court Judge Thomas Varlan, who had previously denied a similar injunction, does not bar the town from using the name, but does prevent the developers from using the name on merchandise.  Varlan initially denied House of Bryants request for a preliminary injunction against the developers saying it was premature since the developers asserted that they did not have plans to use or sell the trademarks.  House of Bryant asked the judge to reconsider his decision after RTTMM submitted eight applications for trademarks and announced an agreement with a Knoxville-based fashion designer to sell apparel and souvenirs.  Varlans ruling from last year is being appealed by House of Bryant to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals and the defendants in the lawsuit have indicated they could appeal Fridays ruling as well and let the appeals court decide the matter.  Rocky Top Marketing and Manufacturing has argued that the name Rocky Top refers only to a geographic location and not trademark infringement.  A trial is currently set for February 2016.
GSMNP names Soehn Employee of Year
(GSMNP) Great Smoky Mountains National Park is pleased to announce the selection of Dana Soehn as the Parks 2014 Employee of the Year.   This marks the 31st anniversary of an important partnership between the park and its neighboring communities which recognizes the outstanding work of park employees in all disciplines.  A public event will be held on Monday, May 4, at 11:30 a.m. on the lawn at Park Headquarters.  The annual event, sponsored by the Smoky Mountain Tourism and Development Council, will also observe National Tourism Week.  In conjunction with this observance, a visiting family to the Smokies will be selected to participate as tourist family of the day.  Jimbo Whaley, singer and songwriter and General Manager at Hearthside Rentals, will serve as the Employee of the Year event emcee. 
Soehn began her career at the Smokies in 1989 as a Student Conservation Association Resource Assistant.  After her internships, Dana spent 15 years as a member of the Resource Management and Science Division.  In 2005, Dana became the Parks as Classrooms liaison between the park and Pi Beta Phi Elementary School. In 2009, Dana returned to the National Park Service as the park-wide Volunteer Coordinator where she directed the parks 3,000+ volunteers, creating lifelong stewards of the national park.  In 2012, then Superintendent Dale Ditmanson selected Dana to serve as the parks management assistant, the parks primary spokesperson and liaison with community groups and friends groups. 
In 2014, Danas role in the superintendents office transition along with her continued community service made her a clear choice for the Employee of the Year award.  As Management Assistant, Dana guided three acting superintendents through their details at the Smokies, organizing public meet and greets, introductions to park partner groups and community organizations.  In this position Dana also organizes several events and programs with partner organizations, including the Student Conservation Associations National Park Service Academy.  Dana and her co-workers have streamlined processes regarding Freedom of Information and Special Use permit requests over the past year.  Finally, as the primary spokesperson for the park, Dana has maintained an excellent relationship with local, national, and international media outlets. 
Working with Dana every day, I see firsthand her passion for this special place, said Superintendent Cassius Cash. She represents the Smokies, and the National Park Service, with the highest degree of enthusiasm and professionalism. 
Dana lives in Gatlinburg, Tennessee with her husband, Heath and their two sons, Grant and Garrett. As a family, they have traveled to many of the national parks throughout the country.  She shares her time in the community through volunteer service at her church, in local schools, the Gatlinburg Planning Commission, Keep Sevier Beautiful and many other organizations.   
Co-hosts of the 2015 event include:  Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism, Gatlinburg Department of Tourism, Sevierville Chamber of Commerce, Smoky Mountains Tourism Development Council, Blount County Partnership, and Cocke County Partnership.  
AC Property Assessor:  Property values decline
(AC Property Assessor’s Office) The 2015 reappraisal in Anderson County shows an overall drop in total assessments.  In the past, values have always increased, Anderson County Property Assessor John K. Alley Jr. said. I promised a fair and accurate assessment for Anderson County, and I feel that is what I have delivered to the property owners.
The primary purpose of this article is to explain the reappraisal process and set the guidelines for making an appeal, if desired.  2015 is a reappraisal year for Anderson County.
Counties must reappraise every four, five, or six years. Anderson County is on a five-year reappraisal cycle.  The main purpose of reappraisal is to arrive at current market value for real property throughout the county. Reappraisal is mandated by T.C.A. code 67-5-1601. Reappraisal is used to ensure that residents and businesses are not paying too much or too little taxes based on property values.
Assessment Change Notices were scheduled to be mailed out on Friday, April 24, to more than 37,000 residents that have had a value change in their property.
This is the first time (I have) seen property values decrease, Alley said.
The total assessment of Anderson County propertiesincluding homes, farmland, businesses, and industrieshas declined 4 percent overall.
Although there is an overall drop in property assessments, not every property will see a decrease. For instance, if sales are up in a particular area versus what they are currently assessed, then there would be an increase, or if someone improved their property, i.e., new improvement or added an addition to that property, then that property would see an increase as well.
But, overall, for the first time, many residents will see a drop in value as sales ratios are not meeting the current assessed values from the 2010 reappraisal.
If you wish to discuss, have questions, or do not agree with your new value, property owners may call the Property Assessors Office at (865) 457-6225 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. between April 24 and May 8. Taxpayers can also schedule an appointment to come to the office if needed after this time period.
The local Anderson County Board of Equalization starts meeting June 1 to hear appeals not settled during early phone-in appeals and meetings.
The State Board of Equalization begins 45 days after the local board dismisses.
Reappraisal assessments will primarily be based upon qualified real estate sales from January 1, 2014, to January 1, 2015.
A new certified tax rate will be determined by the executive secretary of the State Board of Equalization. The new certified tax rate will be determined toward the end of the local appeals, typically in July.
Since the total assessment decreased, and in order to ensure the same level of funding for county and city government, the certified tax rate will see an increase. The opposite occurred during the 2010 reappraisal: With values increasing more than 20 percent, there was a decline in the certified tax rate, so there would not be an increase in tax funds.
The new certified tax rate will be adjusted up or down to the point that the taxing jurisdiction will receive the same amount of property tax revenue as it did the previous year, prior to the reappraisal. Jurisdictions cannot use the reappraisal to generate new tax revenue.
Any tax rate different than the certified tax rate, which is determined by the State Board of Equalization, must be approved by the local legislative body, which are city councils for Oak Ridge, Clinton, Norris, Oliver Springs, and Rocky Top, as well as the Anderson County Board of Commissioners.
New greenbelt values are established by the State Board of Equalization. Greenbelt is the Agriculture, Forest, and Open Space Act of 1976 that helps preserve those lands. The new greenbelt values received from the State Board of Equalization will see an increase in greenbelt use values. However, this value is still the lowest assessment for forest, agriculture, and open space land meeting the requirements.
After receiving your Assessment Change Notice, you may call the Property Assessors Office at (865) 457-6225 to appeal over the phone if you feel your assessment is too high or too low. If you want to meet in person with someone from the Property Assessors Office, you may schedule an appointment at this time as well. Due to the expected high volume of calls and walk-ins, an appointment is recommended. Thank you in advance for your patience.
2015 Reappraisal Time Line
April 24, 2015Mail Assessment Change Notices
April 27-May 8, 2015Informal hearings by telephone and in person
May 11, 2015Begin reviewing appeals
May 18, 2015Mail results from informal hearings and appeals
June 1, 2015Local Board of Equalization begins meeting for formal appeals
Anderson County Property Assessor
The function of the property assessor is to appraise each parcel of taxable real estate within the county at its market value or a percentage of market value stipulated by statute. The property assessor does not determine the property tax rate or collect any taxes.
Anderson County Commission
It is the duty of the Anderson County Commission to adopt a budget and to appropriate funds for the ensuing fiscal year for all county departments and agencies. The Anderson County Commission is responsible for setting the Anderson County property tax rates.
Oak Ridge, Clinton, Norris, Oliver Springs, and Rocky Top city councils
It is the duty of the City Councils to adopt a budget and appropriate funds for the ensuing fiscal year for all city departments and agencies. The city councils are responsible for setting the citys property tax rate.
OR schools name new ORHS principal
The Oak Ridge school system announced Monday that Martin McDonald of High Point, North Carolina, has agreed to become the principal of Oak Ridge High School effective July 1.  He will succeed current principal David Bryant, who is retiring. Bryant was an assistant principal and interim principal before he was named full-time principal at ORHS in January 2014. Byrant has also been an administrator at the Alternative Program, and he began his career with Oak Ridge Schools as a special education teacher in 1985.
McDonald was selected following the screening of applications and interviews of selected candidates by a committee including administrators, Oak Ridge High School staff members, and both a student and parent representative from ORHS. 
McDonald spent his early years in Knoxville because his father was employed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, school officials said. He attended the University of Tennessee, where he received a bachelors degree in history in 1999. He also earned his masters degree in education at the University of Tennessee in 2001. In 2008, he completed his masters degree in school administration at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in Greensboro, North Carolina.  McDonalds educational career began in 2001 as a social studies teacher at Smith High School in Greensboro, North Carolina. From 2005 to 2010, he was the assistant principal of Ragsdale High School in Jamestown, North Carolina. Since 2010, he has served as principal of Jordan-Matthews High School in Siler City, North Carolina.  While serving as principal, McDonald led Jordan-Matthews High School to be ranked the 12th- and fourth-best school in North Carolina by US News and World Report. The school also made Newsweeks list of the top 500 schools in the country for working with high poverty students and has raised its graduation rate from 61.8 percent to 79.8 percent.  Additionally, McDonald oversaw the implementation of a 1:1 laptop program at Jordan-Matthews and was selected to represent principals across the state of North Carolina for the Distinguished Leadership in Practice program on the Digital Transformation of Schools.
We are very excited to have Mr. McDonald join our team in Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers said in a press release announcing the hire. His experience, knowledge of our area, and proven success will be an asset to Oak Ridge High School and the community.
ORPD probes gunfire, no witnesses
Oak Ridge Police responded to a complaint of gunfire in the 200 block of South Benedict Avenue at about 10:06 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, but when they arrived, officers were unable to locate any suspects, victims, or witnesses, a press release said.  Officers canvassed the area to locate witnesses and checked on the welfare of numerous occupants of nearby homes; however, no personal injuries or property damages were found or reported.  All those interviewed claimed to have neither heard nor seen anything, the release said. Investigating officers located and collected several spent shell casings apparently fired from a small-caliber handgun that were lying in the street near the location of the reported gunfire.  The release said anyone with any information regarding this incident should contact the citys dispatch non-emergency line at (865) 425-4399.
Clinton car lot hit by thieves
For the third time in a month, a Clinton auto dealership was hit by thieves over the weekend.  The first two instances occurred at Fox Toyota, where a horse trailer and a 2015 Toyota 4Runner were stolen over the past few weeks.  Saturday, Clinton Police were called to Ray Varner Ford on Seivers Boulevard on a report of a stolen SUV.  When they arrived, officers were told that a black 2012 Ford Explorer valued at $28,000 had been taken from Varners lot sometime between March 31st, when employees put new tires on it, and Saturday morning.  The vehicles information has been entered into the NCIC and an investigation is underway. 
Sex offender indicted on 2010 charges
A 77-year-old man listed as a violent sex offender has been indicted on a charge of child rape in a case dating back to 2010.  George Moore pleaded guilty in 2012 to reduced charges of attempted child rape in a case involving a child under the age of 13 that occurred in late 2009.  In exchange for his plea, he was placed on 20 years probation, ordered to stay away from any child under the age of 18 and added to the state sex offender registry.  The new charges, to which he pleaded not guilty Monday in Criminal Court, stem from allegations dating back to 2010 and allegedly involved another child under the age of 13.  While he is on probation for his 2012 plea, he is not facing a violation charge because the alleged crimes occurred before he was placed on probation.  Explaining the delay in filing the new charges, prosecutors say that delays in charges like this could be a byproduct of waiting for potential victims to be ready to testify, or realizing exactly what happened to them.  Moore is in custody at the Anderson County Jail and is scheduled to appear in court on July 13th. 
CHS academic achievement noted
Recently released data from the education-focused website, Clinton High School is now ranked in the top 25% of all high schools in Tennessee.  According to the website, CHS is one of only three East Tennessee high schools with comparable populations and demographic make-ups to receive a four-star rating on a five-star scale.  The most recent ratings are for academic year 2013-2014.  Those statistics show that Clinton is ranked 79th out of 294 Tennessee high schools and the website says that the student-teacher ratio at CHS of 16.5 students to 1 teacher is one of the best in East Tennessee.  School administrators are quick to give the credit to the teachers and students at the school for the uptick in academic achievement and are very optimistic about the possibilities for future success. 
Relay wrap-up
(Relay for Life of East Anderson County) The 15th annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life event for East Anderson County was held on Saturday, April 25th from2:00 PM until midnight.  Due to the threat of severe weather, a change in venue was made from downtown Clinton to Clinton Middle School although the storms didnt arrive until after the conclusion of the event.  The administration and staff at ClintonMiddle School should be commended for welcoming this event at the last minute and providing staff to open up the gymnasium for a Kids Zone attended by many area youth.  The event totals approximately $60,500 to date, but more money is expected to come in from the teams participating.  Thanks to Bear Stephenson, a live action held during the event raised over $5,000 with the big ticket item of a used Ford Taurus from Ray Varner Ford.  The money raised will be used by the American Cancer Society to fund research, community support programs, education programs and advocacy efforts.  
Area cancer survivors were welcomed at 1:00 PM for special activities and refreshments and were then honored at opening ceremonies at 2:00 PM.  The Star Spangled Banner was sung by Asha Moody and Clinton High School Air Force Junior ROTC presenting the Stripes.  Mayors Terry Frank and Scott Burton welcomed the crowd as the cancer survivors took to the street for the Victory Lap led by bagpiper Jesse McCrary while being cheered on by the participants and public in attendance.  The Parade of Teams took the second lap including:  Aisin Automotive, Clinton City Schools, Clinton Middle School, Clinton Physical Therapy Center, Enrichment Federal Credit Union, Hoskins Drug Store, Norwood Elementary, St. Mark United Methodist Church, Team Riley Mozingo, Walgreens, Y12 Federal Credit Union and Team Russell Stansberry with over 75 team members present supporting him in his brave fight against cancer. 
Throughout the day people participated in good food, games, contests and entertainment.  Bands performing included the Leon Thomas Band, The Tenos Band, Handsome and the Humbles Band and the Olivers.  The US Taekwondo Academy provided a demonstration and Kim Lay and her dog Al from the Anderson County Sheriffs department also provided a demonstration.  A large crowd worked their dinner off with 30 minutes of Zumba led by a very energetic Joy Winchester from Take Charge Fitness Program.  As always the event came was closed with the 10:00 PM luminaria ceremony with an hour of reflection on those people who have lost their battle against cancer, encouragement for those still fighting the battle and celebration for those who have won the battle against cancer.  
Everyone in the community who participated as a volunteer, participated as a team member, donated money or just came out to enjoy the event should be proud of the part they took in fighting this terrible disease.  A special thanks also to corporate sponsors:  Methodist Medical Center, Thompson Cancer Survival Center, Clinton Physical Therapy Center, Y12 Federal Credit Union, Powell-Clinton Utility, ORAU, Ameriprise Financial Keeton & Associates, Star102.1, WATE-TV, Crown Industrial Services, Prism Litigation Technology, DRM Trucking, Herbie Clark State Farm Insurance, Allen Edmonson Electric, AutoMedic, Thrift Tools and Drives & Conveyors.  The Clinton event is still accepting donations.  Checks may be made out to the American Cancer Society and mailed to Clinton Physical Therapy Center at P.O. Box 916, Clinton, TN  37717-0916.  Also, it is not too early to decide you would like to participate in the 2016 event by entering a team or volunteering to help on a committee.  Please contact team development chairperson, Patty Lay at 806-8326 or, if you would like more information.   Together we can win this battle!
Roane wreck kills baby
A single car accident killed a one-year-old boy and injured a 23-year-old woman.  The Tennessee Highway Patrol reports that 23-year-old Keanna Garner of Knoxville had been driving a 2012 Dodge sedan south on Patton Lane in Rockwood at around 12:30 am Saturday when she did not stop at a three-way intersection on Patton Lane.  Troopers reported that the car went almost 150 feet off the road without braking before it hit a tree. 1-year-old Kalel Love died in the crash despite being properly secured in a child seat.  Garner was taken to UT Medical Center where her condition was not immediately available.
ORT:  Man faces drug charges after traffic stop
According to our partners at Oak Ridge Today, police said they found large vacuum seal bags that contained suspected crystal methamphetamine residue and $29,000 in a pickup truck pulled over for speeding in Oliver Springs on Tuesday.  Also found in the vehicle were tracking numbers, numerous shipping envelopes and rubber bands, addresses, documents related to the sale of controlled substances, deposit slips, and packing tape.  53-year-old James Phillip Chase was charged with money laundering, simple possession of a Schedule II drug (methamphetamine), and speeding.  The traffic stop for speedingChase was allegedly driving at 70 mph in a 45 mph zoneoccurred at about 4 p.m. Tuesday on Tri County Boulevard in Oliver Springs. After the stop, Oliver Springs Police Department Patrol Officer Shannon Runyan requested a K-9 unit. Ben Haines, an ORPD K-9 officer, responded. The K-9 alerted on the gray Nissan Frontier pickup truck, which had a Utah registration, court records said.  Runyan said Chase was very angry, admitted to driving too fast, and was very hostile to him, using expletives.  Through prior felony drug case investigations and arrests directly involving James Chase, investigators have learned that Chase utilizes mail and shipping companies to obtain controlled substances, officers said in an arrest warrant.  Authorities say those cases resulted in the seizure of numerous pounds of marijuana, about 270 Schedule II tablets, and about $50,000.  Agents from Anderson Countys Seventh Judicial Crime Task Force and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration were also called to the scene.
Washington Post rates ORHS #11 most challenging HS in Tennessee
Oak Ridge High School has been ranked number 11 on a list of the most challenging high schools in Tennessee, according to a ranking published by The Washington Post.  Other East Tennessee high schools on the list are West High School in Knoxville (#6), Farragut High School in Knoxville (#7), Morristown West in Morristown (#10), and Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport (#12).  The top five high schools are all in the Nashville area: Hume-Fogg Magnet in Nashville (#1), Martin Luther King Magnet in Nashville (#2), Brentwood in Brentwood (#3), Hillsboro in Nashville (#4), and Ravenwood in Brentwood (#5).  The Washington Post said it ranked schools through an index formula thats a simple ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year. A ratio of 1.000 means the school had as many tests as graduates.  The rankings list also includes information on the percentage of students who come from families that qualify for lunch subsidies and the percentage of graduates who passed at least one college-level test during their high school career.
Audit:  Ex-building official illegally inspected 400 properties
According to an audit of Anderson County building permit files conducted by the County Mayors Chief of Staff, a former employee of the Public Works Department conducted approximately 400 inspections while uncertified or did not perform them at all.  The findings of the audit conducted by Richard Burroughs were released by County Mayor Terry Frank in a six-page letter to county commissioners that was also sent to local media outlets on Thursday afternoon.  The audit was ordered by the mayor following the indictment of Public Works Director David Crowley on charges he illegally performed 4 or 5 building inspections without the proper certifications and the termination on the same day the indictment was returned of Building Inspector Lisa Crumpley.  In her letter, the mayor calls the findings alarming and says she immediately contacted the DAs office.  In the executive summary of the audit, which began last year and was completed in March, Burroughs accuses Crumpley of performing over 40 uncertified plumbing inspections in 2012, more than half of which were conducted after she received not one, but two, cease and desist warnings from the state.  The report also says Crumpley failed to conduct 177 footer, foundation and/or slab inspections at residences; 39 residential framing inspections and 33 residential plumbing inspections.  Burroughs audit also accused Crumpley of performing mechanical inspections without certification while she was cooperating with the TBIs investigation into Crowley.  The report also alleges that Crumpley entered false inspection reports for about 100 additional homes.  In her letter to Commission, Mayor Frank accuses Law Director Jay Yeager and then-County Mayor (now Commissioner) Myron Iwanski of knowing about Crumpleys violations but sweeping [them] under the rug and failing to alert her administration in the fall of 2012 about ongoing issues in the Public Works Department.  She also states that while Yeager described to [commissioners] as great the potential liability from the 4-5 inspections for which Mr. Crowley was indicted.  I leave to your imagination the words to described liability from hundreds of inspections.  Yeager calls the allegations false and says he welcomes an investigation, calling them another attack on his character by the mayor, with whom he has been involved in a long-running and highly publicized dispute since she took office in 2012.  Iwanski, in an e-mail response to his fellow commissioners and also sent to local media outlets, says that he was aware of one incident involving Crumpley, but took immediate action to correct the situation.  Iwanski also says that he is not aware of the issues regarding inspections in the Public Works department Mayor Frank is claiming, adding that he welcomes a review of the situation.  The letter from mayor Frank can be found on the Local Information News page of  We will continue to follow this story for you on WYSH. 
(Mayor Franks letter to County Commissioners, media outlets) In mid-2014, Mr. Steve Page and Mr. David Crowley first learned of a previous 2012 Plan of Corrective Action (“POCA”) between Anderson County and the state of Tennessee. This led them to conduct a spot audit of files. The result of that spot audit was a precipitating factor in the termination for cause of Ms. Crumpley, our building inspector, for failure to maintain inspection reports as required by her job description as well as the 2012 POCA between Anderson County and the State Fire’s Marshal’s office. Following Ms. Crumpley’s termination and the indictment of our Public Works Director and Building Commissioner for alleged violations of the building inspection laws, I set in motion a request to account for all permit files in the office. That was a lengthy task. But was accomplished and recorded.  When that task was completed, I assigned Mr. Richard
Burroughs, my Chief of Staff to conduct an in-depth audit of the permit files separate and independent from the spot audit of files that had been conducted by Mr. Page and Mr.
Mr. Burroughs completed his audit on March 15, 2015th, and submitted his report to me. It is an enormous volume of work and has taken me a great deal of time to read and digest. His findings are nothing short of alarming. and led me promptly to disclose them to the District Attorney General.
In short, while Mr. Crowley was indicted for performing 4-5 inspections in the few weeks after his certification grace period allegedly expired, the audit identified approximately 400 inspections performed by Lisa Crumpley and others while uncertified or simply not performed at all.  The uncertified inspections conducted by Ms. Crumpley first occurred over a period of several months from approximately October 2011 through early 2012, and were fully known by Mr. Yeager, then-Mayor Iwanski, and then-Building
Commissioner Brian Jenks (who also was not certified). While the State Fire Marshal’s office responded to the many uncertified inspections with multiple cease-and-desist letters, then-Mayor Iwanski and Mr. Yeager otherwise swept these violations under the rug, failed to disclose these ongoing issues to my administration in September 2012, and allowed Ms. Crumpley to continue her misfeasance without taking adverse employment action or seeking prosecution by the District Attorney General. As a result, Ms. Crumpley’s knowing failure to enforce the building inspection laws continued from 2012 until the eventual discovery of her misfeasance (by people other than Mr. Yeager and
Commissioner Iwanski) and her termination for cause in mid-2014.  The actions of Ms. Crumpley and the associated inaction of then-Mayor Iwanski and Mr. Yeager have now exposed Anderson County to a liability potentially one hundred times the magnitude of the 4-5 uncertified inspections for which Mr. Crowley has been prosecuted. Mr. Yeager described to you as “great” the potential liability from the 4-5 inspections for which Mr.
Crowley was indicted. I leave to your imaginations the words to describe liability from hundreds of inspections.
At my request, for the purposes of providing this information to the District Attorney
General, I asked Mr. Burroughs to provide an Executive Summary of the audit. The following is what he provided to me:
The purpose for this audit was four-fold;
1. Determine Anderson County’s compliance with the 2014 plan of Corrective Action (POCA) agreed to between Mayor Frank and the State Fire Marshall’s Office.
2. Determine Anderson County’s compliance with the 2012 POCA agreed to by the previous administration.
3. Determine the number of residences that require re-inspection because mechanical inspections were improperly performed or not performed at all.
4. Determine the number of residences where footer, foundation and/or slab inspections were improperly performed or not performed at all.
A POCA was put in place by Mayor Frank on January 13, 2014, with the Fire Marshal’s Office regarding Mr. Crowley. The same day, she provided written instructions to Mr. Crowley not to “perform or conduct building inspections.” The State Fire Marshal’s Office then issued a “Cease and Desist Order” to Mr. Crowley on January 3l, 2014, as the original order was apparently delivered to Mr. Yeager rather than the intended recipient, Mr. Crowley.  My finding in the audit was that Mr. Crowley did comply with the POCA, the Mayor’s instructions, and the Cease and Desist Order. The POCA for Mr. Crowley was lifted by the State on September 12, 2011.
Neither the County nor Lisa Crumpley complied with the April 27, 2012, POCA that was put in place with the Fire Marshal’s Office by the previous administration when it was discovered that she had been conducting uncertified inspections for several months. Mr. Crowley brought the County into compliance with the 2012 POCA in the summer of 2014 after he was made aware of its existence. The 2012 POCA for the County was lifted by the State at the same time as the POCA for Mr. Crowley. In spite of this, Ms. Crumpley continued to conduct uncertified mechanical inspections, her last one performed on September 17, 2014. 
In all, Ms. Crumpley performed more than 40 uncertified plumbing inspections in 2012, more than half of which were conducted after she had received not one, but two, “Cease and Desist Warnings” from the State. Even after Ms. Crumpley reported Mr. Crowley to Mr. Yeager for conducting building inspections without certification, and while she was cooperating with the TBI in their investigation, she herself was conducting her own illegal mechanical inspections without the requisite certification.  Since the State requirement for performing mechanical inspections was put in place on October l, 201I, the County failed to perform mechanical inspections at I24 residences until Mr. Crowley brought the County into compliance in the summer of 2014.  There are approximately 177 residences where Ms. Crumpley did not perform footer, foundation, and/or slab inspections; approximately 39 residences where she failed to perform framing inspections; and approximately 33 residences where she failed to perform plumbing inspections.
Finally, there are approximately an additional 100 residences where false inspection reports appear to have been entered into the permit files by Ms. Crumpley, creating a false public record. This occurred during 2014 as Ms. Crumpley was enjoying the protection of “whistle-blower” status as she cooperated with Mr. Yeager and the TBI in their investigations.  As for having inspectors who are certified to perform inspections, until Mr. Crowley brought the County into compliance in 2014, the County did not have a fully certified Building Inspector despite assurances from Mr. Yeager that it did.
For example, under the previous administration, plumbing inspections performed by Ms. Crumpley were conducted without the requisite plumbing certification at 29 residences. Furthermore there were six mechanical inspections performed by Ms. Crumpley during 2014 without the requisite certification while she assisted Mr. Yeager and the TBI in their investigation of her supervisor.
Mr. Perez, a witness in Mr. Crowley’s investigation, performed a mechanical inspection for the County apparently without proper mechanical certification. Colleen Cardwell, the previous Zoning Officer, performed a framing inspection for the County without certification. Johnnie Beeler, who was hired by the previous administration to oversee the expansion of the detention facility, performed six building inspections for the County without certification. And Brian Jenks, whose resignation led to the hiring of Mr. Crowley, performed four building inspections outside his one-year grace period. In addition, one residence was inspected by someone identified only as “Other” and accepted into the file by Ms. Crumpley.
I am not an attorney, but I do recognize this report as a public record and as such, have released it in response to one public records request, and likely will produce it in response to other requests.
I understand the liability issues that this audit presents for Anderson County, and believe that this liability will be magnified because of the actions of Mr. Yeager and others, who have brought us to a place in time where by Mr. Yeager’s own crafted definition of “illegal” inspections, Mr. Crowlev has been “investigated” and prosecuted, yet Ms.
Crumpley, Mr. Jenks, Ms. Cardwell and Mr. Beeler were not. Mr. Yeager was aware of this liability, Commissioner Iwanski was aware of this liability, and from comments made in public meetings it is clear that at least one other commissioner was aware of this liability yet (l) did nothing to address the potential liability issues from Ms. Crumpleys actions, (2) condoned the attacks and criminal prosecution of Mr. Crowley, and (3) publicly criticized Building Commissioner Crowley for terminating Ms. Crumpley for good cause.
As you will recall, Mr. Yeager stood before you and accused Mr. Crowley of crimes, while publicly promoting Ms. Crumpley. He did so with direct knowledge that Ms.
Crumpley had conducted many uncertified inspections, even after cease and desist orders from the State Fire Marshal. It is my belief that Mr. Yeager has crafted a plan so insincere at best and diabolical at worst, to have placed Anderson County in the position of promoting and condoning discriminatory practice. I cannot be silent without subjecting my own personhood and office to liability.
Mr. Yeager directly assisted the prior mayor’s office, the Human Resource office, and the
Public Works Office in establishing the 2012 POCA.  He breached his duty to inform me or my appointed Building Commissioner of this POCA upon entrance into office in
September of 2012. Minutes from staff meetings, correspondence with the state, emails and various other documents create a clear and unmistakable record of direct involvement by Mr. Yeager and then-Mayor Iwanski, in not only the POCA, but the certification and continued employment of Ms. Crumpley. True to form, Mr. Yeager has disingenuously denied his involvement after I first reported it to you, but his misrepresentations in this regard are belied by the public records of this county. 
I notified the District Attorney General of the audit findings in writing on April 9th, and informed his office that should Mr. Yeager’s definition of “illegal” be the standard, then my letter served to provide notice to his office of other alleged criminal violations. We met on Monday, April 13,2105, and discussed those issues with a follow up meeting planned.  Although he sought and obtained the indictment of Mr. Crowley, I am not aware that any action has yet been taken regarding Ms. Crumpley.
I have also submitted the findings and the entire audit to the State Fire Marshal’s office so that they are aware. I have also alerted them to other findings that did not fit inside the parameters of the audit, but that I felt were noteworthy, including the following:
l. Ms. Crumpley appeared on a job site where Mr. Wayne Williamson, a fully certified inspector, had inspected and issued an approval for a mechanical inspection. Ms. Crumpley re-inspected Mr. Williamson’s work, and though she still to this day has no certification authorizing her to conduct mechanical inspections, our paperwork shows that she issued an inspection report that purportedly “unapproved Mr. Williamson’s work.
2. Though the State does not recognize letters from HVAC professionals as meeting the definition of certifications from design professionals or engineers, Ms. Crumpley placed into county files several HVAC letters in a disingenuous attempt to meet the standard for mechanical inspection requirements. In addition, the records appear to be altered and falsified. I have submitted those documents to the Office of the Comptroller for review to pursue, verify or investigate, as my office is not an investigative office.
I wish this letter could serve to notify you that this is the end of the issue, but I believe it is only the beginning of a new chapter and a new set of challenges for us as leaders in Anderson County. I have requested further investigation. as it now appears that false  documentation may have been created and inserted in our public records, showing that inspections occurred when they did not. I will notify you once that review is complete.
I have made the office of Public Works aware of the nature of our findings, and have established a procedure for citizens who may be concerned of the findings. It is my recommendation that Anderson County fund the cost of re-inspections of all mechanical inspections that did not occur or were inspected without Ms. Crumpley or others who did not possess proper certification. Decisions regarding re-inspection of building or plumbing inspections that were not properly conducted may be made on a case-by-case
basis, depending on the nature of the work that was performed. 
As you know, certified re-inspection of the four properties that were inspected by Mr. Crowley, after his one-year grace period allegedly had expired, have shown that there never was any risk to those homeowners, much less an “immediate danger.” The criminal charges against him are scheduled to proceed to trial on May l4th. Should he be found guilty notwithstanding the absence of any danger to homeowners, then Anderson County is faced with a much greater problem due to the actions of Ms. Crumpley.
Man accused in 2011 pawn shop shooting death deemed unfit for trial
The man accused of shooting and killing an employee at a Clinton pawn shop in 2011 has been deemed incompetent to stand trial.  During a hearing this week, a mental health expert testified that 67-year-old James Allen Greens mental and physical conditions have deteriorated to the point where he is not fit to stand trial in the death of 59-year-old Larry Snellings.  Allen is accused of walking into South Clinton Pawn ion Clinch Avenue on November 7th, 2011, asking to see a shotgun, then loading it with shells he had brought from home and shooting Snellings.  As he fled the scene, the store owner fired his own weapons, striking Green.  Green was arrested after he returned home and his wife called 911.  Three years ago, Green was deemed unfit to stand trial but was soon declared fit and transferred from a mental health facility to the Anderson County Jail, where he has been incarcerated since.  Greens trial was scheduled to begin earlier this month but now prosecutors find themselves in a holding pattern as they await the courts decision as to where Green will be housed until such time as he his ruled competent to stand trial. 
Man arrested after alleged break-in, threats
Tuesday night, Oak Ridge Police arrested a man who allegedly entered his ex-girlfriends home without permission and threatened to assault her.  Officers responded to the home on Inn Lane shortly before 10:30 pm Tuesday.  Police say that 36-year-old Thurman Bates of Oak Ridge allegedly entered without permission.  Officers said the victim escaped her house by crawling out a window and running to a neighbors to call the police. When they arrived, officers entered the victims residence in search of Bates, who had barricaded himself behind the door of a room inside the home. Officers forced entry into the room and found Bates hiding in a closet.  Bates was taken into custody with the assistance of a police K-9 unit after he briefly resisted arrest. Bates was arrested and transported to the Anderson County Jail, where he was charged with aggravated burglary, domestic assault, and resisting arrest.  No injuries were reported. 
OR Council expands review of ORPD
During a special called session of the Oak Ridge City Council Tuesday night, Council members voted 5 to 2 to expand the scope of the review of turnover, morale and administrative policies in the city police department.  The 30-day review was approved last month and Council voted to enter into a deal with the Municipal Technical Advisory Serviceor MTASto conduct the review.  Initially, MTAS was set to interview randomly selected members of the police department, but after their first list became widely known, Council members Tuesday voted to have consultants interview all department personnel as well as former officers who have left the Oak Ridge PD in the three and a half years since Jim Akagi took over as chief.  Akagi has been the subject of controversy since a memo issued to City Manager Mark Watson by Council member Trina Baughn raised questions about turnover and morale in the department as well as accusations of vindictiveness and volatile behavior on the part of the chief.  The Council also approved a motion to establish a temporary e-mail account where citizens can send comments about the chief and the ORPD as long as they provide their names and addresses.  That vote was also 5-2.  Akagi is also facing scrutiny from the states Peace Officer Standards and Trainingor POSTCommission about whether or not he violated terms of a protection order filed against him by his ex-wife during their divorce by carrying a weapon as part of his job.  The News-Sentinel reports that two complaints against Akagi have been filed over the issue and last week the POST Board voted to have the US Attorneys Office and the Anderson County DAs office look into the matter to determine if any federal or state laws were broken.  Akagis lawyer told the paper that the protection order was temporary and did not require Akagi to surrender his weapons.  We will continue to follow this story for you. 
ORHS student receives prestigious honor
Oak Ridge High School senior Abby Ridneour has received the Prudential Spirit of Community Award for her efforts in East Tennessee.  Lane Gordon with Prudential Financial, Inc. in Knoxville presented the award to Abby on Wednesday along with Oak Ridge High School principal David Bryant.  Ridenour was one of six Distinguished Finalists from Tennessee for the Prudential Spirit of Community awards and the only winner from East Tennessee.  Ridenour has impacted her community through several service efforts.  Just a few of her initiatives include, starting the “Blessings through a Blankie” program at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, providing blankets for newborns. She also organized a pageant for girls with special needs called “The Miss Sparkle Princess Pageant.”  The Prudential Spirit of Community Award honors middle and high school students who make meaningful contributions through volunteer service.
Man arrested after allegedly trying to trade drugs for child sex
Campbell County Sheriffs deputies arrested a man in LaFollette for trying to exchange drugs for child sex acts.  Police arrested 60-year-old Alonzo Adam Branson at his home on River Drive after investigators determined he hoped to lure children into his home for sex, reportedly telling them he was interested in children between the ages of 9 and 12.  Branson was charged with two counts of trafficking for commercial sex act, two counts of solicitation of a minor and possession of drugs, most likely morphine.  As of Wednesday morning, Branson was being held in the Campbell County Jail. He is scheduled to have a bond hearing Monday in court.  The investigation is ongoing. 
CPD investigating theft from Fox
For the second time in less than a month, Clinton Police are investigating the theft of a vehicle from the lot at Fox Toyota.  A couple of weeks ago, someone drove on to the lot after hours, hooked up a horse trailer to their truck and drove off.  Sunday night, someone drove on to the lot and stole a 2015 Toyota 4Runner valued at just under $38,000.  Dealership employees called police Monday morning and showed them security camera footage from the previous night that showed that, just before 10 pm, a dark-colored SUV, possibly another 4Runner, drove on to the lot and parked next to the white 2015 model.  An individual got out of the dark SUV and within just a few moments, gets into the 2015 model and both vehicles then leave the scene.  The stolen 4Runners information was loaded into the NCIC database and the Criminal Investigation Division is now handling the case. 
Man jumps hotel counter, steals cash
A man jumped the counter at the Country Inn & Suites in Clinton Sunday night and stole money from the cash register.  Clinton Police were called Monday and told that shortly after 10 pm Sunday, au unidentified white male had jumped the front desk and stolen $185 in cash.  The incident was captured on security cameras and footage shows a white male in a blue button-up shirt and khaki pants watching the front desk clerk from the coffee area in the lobby for several minutes.  After the clerk finished helping customers, the man approached the front desk and distracted the clerk, causing her to leave the counter unattended.  As soon as she left, the man jumped the counter and stole the money before fleeing the area.  Hotel officials did not want to pursue charges but wanted a police report for documentation purposes.  No one was injured in the incident.
Arrest made in botched 2013 ATM heist
Back on Christmas day 2013, someone tried to steal a Y-12 Federal Credit Union ATM from a parking lot in Oak Ridge but failed miserably.  Oak Ridge Police have made an arrest in the case.  25-year-old Stanley Junior Wallace of Kingston is charged with auto burglary, theft over $10,000, aggravated trespassing, conspiracy, felony vandalism and joyriding.  Early on Christmas Morning 2013, Wallace and an unidentified accomplice are accused of stealing a large pickup truck and a Bobcat from the parking lot at Waste Connections facility on warehouse Road, then making the short trip to the ATM.  The pair allegedly tried to knock the ATM off its concrete pad after one of them disabled the alarm system, but that did not work.  They then used the Bobcat to break the cash machine off the foundation but failed to load it into the bed of the truck.  They failed so hard in that attempt, the Bobcat tipped over.  After tryingonce again unsuccessfullyto pull the cash box from the machine with the pickup, the pair fled empty-handed.  The incident caused over $46,000 worth of damage to the ATM and the vehicles.  Wallace is also facing attempted burglary charges in connection to an incident that occurred in October in Oak Ridge.  Wallace was taken into custody on March 26th and remains in custody at the Anderson County Jail.
Report:  OR traffic ordinance runs contrary to state law
According to the News-Sentinel, an Oak Ridge city ordinance passed last year prohibiting local judges from offering options like driving school in cases where someone is caught speeding in a school zone has been deemed to be in violation of state law.  The ordinance passed last year states that the city shall not defer imposition of judgment or allow the defendant to enter into a diversion program, including but not limited to a driver education training course, that would prevent such defendants convictionfrom appearing on the persons driving record.  The state attorney general says, however, that the ordinance runs contrary to state law, which grants judges the discretion to use whatever penalty they feel is appropriatewhether it is a fine, drivers school or some other optionto sentence someone convicted of a moving violation. 
CHS AD honored
During a meeting Tuesday of the Tennessee Interscholastic Athletic Association, Clinton High School Athletic Director Dan Jenkins was named Tennessee Athletic Director of the Year.  Congratulations to Dan Jenkins and keep up the good work!
Charges against elderly judge dropped
Aggravated assault charges against a 94-year-old former acting Oak Ridge city judge have been dropped.  Prosecutors dropped the charge against Lawrence Tunnell this week after the alleged victim in the case indicated to them that he no longer wanted to prosecute and now cannot be located.  The incident occurred on November 21st of last year after Good Samaritans helped Tunnell get up and back into his car after taking a fall.  The victim, Charles Smallwood, told Oak Ridge Police that he and others were trying to get Tunnell to hang around after the fall so that he could be checked out by paramedics but Tunnell refused.  Smallwood reportedly stood in front of Tunnells car and the now-former judge cursed at him and told him to move or he would run him over.  When Smallwood refused to move, Tunnell is accused of hitting him with the car and driving off.  Smallwood was treated at UT Medical Center for minor injuries but now says that he does not wish to prosecute.  With that, all charges were dropped. 
Alternatives to Incarceration in AC getting new life
Last week an informal meeting was held among judges, law enforcement and other stakeholders as efforts are being renewed to revitalize the Anderson County Alternatives to Incarceration program aimed at reducing the daily inmate population at the Anderson County Jail.  The program was started in 2011 as part of an overall plan to address overcrowding and other issues that threatened to lead to jail decertification.  However, that initial effort failed as the first director proved unpopular with those he was supposed to work with within in the court system, and Mike Baker resigned.  The program now has a new director, Mary Ann Young, who is meeting with rave reviews from the judicial and law enforcement communities for her openness and willingness to listen to the concerns of others.  Last weeks meeting allowed participants to bandy about some ideas about how to keep the jail from filling back up, including a drug court for misdemeanor, non-violent offenders and increasing the emphasis on police officers to issue citations rather than arrest people on minor charges like driving on a suspended license.  Other ideas that have been brought up previously, some of which have been implemented, include an expanded use of electronic monitoring devices and converting the jail into a work house. 
AC DA steps in, appoints Yeager delinquent tax attorney
Friday, Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark stepped into the dispute over who should serve as the countys delinquent tax attorney, appointing Law Director Jay Yeager to that role.  Clarks decision, announced Friday afternoon in a four-page memorandum, trumps the appointment of Doyle Trippy Teno by Trustee Rodney Archer and Mayor Terry Frank to handle the pursuit of back taxes from the 2013 tax year.  Mayor Frank removed Yeager from the role of delinquent tax attorney, a role he had served in since 2006, earlier this year as their long running dispute continued.  Archer initially tried to re-appoint Yeager but was vetoed by the Mayor.  Archer then selected Teno, a selection approved by the mayor, and negotiated a $40,000 salary to serve as delinquent tax attorney.  In his memo, Clark writes that the payment arrangement for Teno was unlawful because it was a flat salary and state law requires compensation be limited to a percentage of the taxes collected.  Clark also wrote that he had the option to file a lawsuit against the Mayor and Trustee for failing to have a delinquent tax attorney on the payroll by April 1st but ultimately decided against that, writing simply Anderson County already has too much litigation.  Clark also indicated in his memo that delinquent tax collection is a complex issue and Yeager is very familiar with it, having done it since 2006, and that training someone new would cause a delay in collections and other issues.  Clark also points out that Yeager also serves as the delinquent tax attorney for several cities in the county and that having a different attorney going after the countys back taxes than the one collecting municipal back taxes would present a number of problems and inefficiencies.  Clark said that while the mayor and law director have what he called a troubled working relationship, that does not supersede the fact that the private act that created the law directors office was specifically designed for the law director to act as the delinquent tax attorney. 
ORT:  State grant will allow ORRA to expand course
A $250,000 state grant announced Sunday will be used to help build an eighth lane at the Oak Ridge rowing course. And thats expected to significantly increase the economic impact of rowing races, or regattas, officials said.  The eighth lane has been on the citys wish list for years, and it will allow the Oak Ridge Rowing Association to compete for bigger races and international regattas.  According to preliminary estimates, the eighth lane could cost about $350,000 total, meaning the city of Oak Ridge might have to contribute up to $100,000 to complete the project.  State Representative John Ragan said the regional impact of the regattas in Oak Ridge is estimated at $13 million now, but it could increase to $33 million, according to a University of Tennessee study.  Russell Byrd, board president for the Oak Ridge Rowing Association, said international regattas require an eighth lane. The citys rowing course, which is on the Clinch River at Melton Lake Park in east Oak Ridge, now has seven.  Ragan said the state funding should be available July 1. Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson said the city will have to discuss its contribution during budget talks this spring.  Officials said permits from the Tennessee Valley Authority and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been approved, and work has to be started within the three-year time period of those permits.  The timeline for construction is not clear yet.   Sundays announcement was made at the Oak Ridge Rowing Associations boathouse as the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association championship regatta was under way. For more, visit 
Man charged after bribery attempt
A Clinton man was charged with bribery of a public servant after he allegedly offered to pay a probation officer $40 to help him pass a court-requested drug test, authorities said.  Ronald Lynn Fox, 55, allegedly offered the money to probation officer Chad McNabb on Monday, April 13, because he was afraid he might not pass the drug screen.  McNabb told deputies that Fox told him he had taken a Subelex pill and offered $40 to help him pass the drug test. McNabb told Fox that he would not help him and then contacted the sheriffs office to respond to the third floor of the courthouse, where the alleged bribery occurred. 
ORT:  Most Jackson Square work will be done in time for festival
The interactive fountain wont be in place by the Lavender Festival in June, but other perimeter work around the Jackson Square parking lot should be completed.  Construction work on the $1 million rebuild of the parking lot area at Jackson Square started in January. The construction contract was awarded to Rich Construction Inc. of Lenoir City by the Oak Ridge City Council in October.  The work is funded with help from a $741,609 Tennessee Department of Transportation Enhancement Grant that was awarded to the city in June 2012. The TDOT grant covers 80 percent of the work, and it requires a 20 percent city match.  Jackson Square is Oak Ridges original town center.  The perimeter work should be complete by mid-June. The rest of the work could be complete within about 30 days after the Lavender Festival.  The work includes removing the existing traffic islands and trees, cleaning the site, and adding to relocating utilities, including electrical lines that are now above ground, said Angel Rich Johnson, president of Rich Construction. Underground water lines will supply a new interactive water feature to be installed in the center of the parking lot.  There will also be benches, parking, new lights, changes to the angle parking, and lots of landscaping and other improvements. City officials have said the landscaped pedestrian plaza will also have stone pavers, curbing, sidewalks, and upgrades under the American with Disabilities Act. The work will include some green space and a newly configured and modernized parking lot.  For more, visit our partners at 
ORT:  Estimates for Blankenship parking lot fix in
A parking lot paving project at Blankenship Field could cost $225,000, according to an engineering estimate.  The City of Oak Ridge is working with the Blankenship Field Revitalization Foundation to address some questions about the work.  The Oak Ridge City Council agreed in May 2014 to use $180,000 in traffic camera money for improvements to the lower parking lot at Blankenship Field, which is used for football games and high school graduation.  The work could include resurfacing work at the lower parking lot and access to the lower levels and visitors bleachers under the American with Disabilities Act. The project had been reviewed by the city staff, city officials said at the time, and it could include resurfacing, ADA improvements, handicapped parking, and new pavement and striping.
It was expected to complement a now-completed project to replace the demolished visitors bleachers at Blankenship Field, a project that was unanimously approved by the Oak Ridge Board of Education in March 2014 and had a low bid of about $525,000. The bleachers had been deemed unsafe. The school board agreed to use the school systems fund balance to pay for the replacement bleachers.  The work is also expected to complement work planned by members of a Blankenship Field Revitalization Foundation and a separate Jackson Square revitalization project that started in January 2015 and is using a roughly $800,000 state grant.  For more on this, visit 
Missing man found dead in Campbell pond
Authorities in Campbell County have discovered the body of a missing man in a car found submerged in a pond.  27-year-old John Sellers was last seen about a week ago in the Elk Valley Community of Campbell County.  Troopers with the Tennessee Highway Patrol found his car in a pond near State Highway 297 and Brickplant Lane in Jellico on Wednesday.  The investigation shows Sellers exited Highway 297, traveled through thick underbrush, then crashed into the pond, which is about ten feet deep.  THP is waiting on a medical examiner’s report to confirm how Sellers died.
Fire displaces 13 in OR
13 residents of an Oak Ridge apartment complex were displaced after a fire early Friday morning.  Fire Chief Darryl Kerley says the fire started accidentally in one of the four apartments on West Outer Drive in Oak Ridge. The man living there woke up to flames, and tried to put them out, before waking his neighbors, who called 911.  The Oak Ridge Police Department said when they arrived on the scene shortly after 3am they saw fire coming from the rear of the quad-plex apartment.  All four units in the apartment building were damaged in the fire, and the Red Cross will assist the three families living there with food, clothes, and lodging.  Two of the families may be allowed back into their apartments after an inspection on Monday. Two dogs and five cats displaced in the fire will be taken care of by a local animal shelter. 
Protomet awarded Incumbent Worker Training funds
(TDLWD) Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips have awarded $24,450 in Incumbent Worker Training Grants to Protomet Corporation in Oak Ridge. Incumbent Worker Training grants assist employers with upgrading skills to avoid layoffs of their employees.
We have to make sure that we have the trained workforce to fill the jobs companies want to create in Tennessee, and these grants are a part of the effort to meet the demands of a very competitive marketplace, said Governor Haslam. 
So far this year, we have awarded more than $546,000 in Incumbent Worker Grants to 25 Tennessee businesses benefiting 537 workers, said Commissioner Phillips. Since the programs inception, Incumbent Worker Grants have assisted 675 businesses by providing nearly $16 million to train approximately 53,000 employees.
The following criteria must be met to qualify for the Incumbent Worker Training Program. Employers must be in operation in Tennessee for at least one year prior to application date. Employers must have at least five full-time employees, demonstrate financial viability and be current on all state tax obligations. Funding priority is given to businesses whose grant proposals represent a significant layoff avoidance strategy and represent a significant upgrade of skills.
In their application for the grant, Protomet Corporation stated this grant would provide training to teach critical thinking and Lean philosophies. This will allow employees to be more efficient in operational issues. This training also would promote teamwork skills, which would allow employees to make changes and increase production, reduce downtime, and increase market share.
The East Tennessee Human Resource Agency played a key role in awarding the grant to Protomet Corporation.
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development administers the Incumbent Worker Training program. The program has been structured to be flexible to meet the business’s training objectives. The business may use public, private, or its own in-house training provider based on the nature of the training.
ORT:  OR Electric Department shows off hybrid vehicle
(Oak Ridge Today) The Oak Ridge Electric Department has a new hybrid bucket truck that uses quiet electricity rather than noisy diesel to power its bucket boom, making it easier for workers to communicate and reducing emissions and neighborhood noise.  Workers said the electric-powered boom is as fast as traditional diesel-powered booms, and the improved worker communications with the new, quieter booms helps them stay safe.
Officials said the citys Electric Department is one of several local power companies partnering with the Tennessee Valley Authority to bring energy-efficient, hybrid electric-powered bucket trucks to the Tennessee Valley. The new trucks are funded in part by a grant from TVA, the Electric Power Research Institute, and the U.S. Department of Energy. Oak Ridge received one plug-in hybrid bucket truck in October and is awaiting delivery of a plug-in hybrid pickup truck.
Data about the trucks diesel and electric use will be recorded and given to EPRI for analysis. Officials said there could be a 50 percent reduction in fuel use.
The hybrid truck does not electricity for its propulsion system. Suggs said power generated when the driver applies the brakes will help recharge the batteries.
TVA said 17 of the utilities it serves are receiving the plug-in hybrid system, including 12 in Tennessee, two in Mississippi, two in Alabama, and one in Kentucky. Other participating utilities in East Tennessee are Knoxville Utilities Board and Bristol Tennessee Essential Services.
A total of 53 hybrid trucks will be distributed: 27 medium-duty bucket trucks and diggers, and 26 light-duty pickups and vans.
As part of the program, electric charging stations have been installed in two locations in the Oak Ridge area. One is where the bucket truck is housed. The other location is in the customer parking lot at the citys Central Services Complex at 100 Woodbury Lane. The public charger will be open and free for use for five years. TVA is providing these charging stations to participating utilities and will provide partial funding for installations.
TVA said the project is part of its pledge to improve air quality in the region. The public utility said the trucks with the plug-in hybrid system can achieve up to 50 percent improvement in fuel economy when compared with trucks using traditional diesel- or gasoline-fueled engines. Fuel savings come not only while driving, but also when the trucks onboard rechargeable electric batteries are used to operate its boom. Since the boom is nearly silent, crews can more easily communicate with each other, supporting Oak Ridge and TVAs safety initiatives.
ORNL teams bio-energy research part of huge study
(ORNL) A major United Nations report on bioenergy and sustainability released Tuesday concludes the sustainable production of bioenergy can be an important tool for addressing climate change.  Two researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory contributed to the multinational UN document, which offers science-based evaluations of bioenergy issues including food and energy crop production and bioenergy as a climate change mitigation strategy. 
Keith Kline of ORNLs Environmental Sciences Division contributed to a chapter on land use for the UN Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) Bioenergy and Sustainability Report. “Misconceptions about the availability of land needed for growing food crops and about the opportunities and synergies possible from combined production systems could undermine investment in a key strategy for climate change mitigation,” Kline said. 
The land use chapter explores the subject of biomass and food crop production, concluding that the two can co-exist or be complementary. Projected land demands for biofuel production fall well within conservative estimates of current and future land availability, and integrated systems for food and energy production can improve food security. 
Said Kline, “Biomass production not only has potential to make increasingly meaningful contributions to energy supply but can also support practices to improve management of soils, forests and croplands that are essential for increased mitigation of, and resilience to, impacts of climate change over time. 
Virginia Dale, a Corporate Fellow researcher also in ORNL’s Environmental Sciences Division, co-authored a chapter on biodiversity and ecosystem services. “Deploying biofuels in a manner to reduce effects on biodiversity and associated ecosystem services can be done with planning, monitoring and appropriate governance,” Dale said. 
“Negative effects of biofuels can be avoided or reduced by conservation of priority biodiversity areas, recognizing the context-specific effects of biofuels, and adopting location-specific management of production systems. Developing those management strategies takes time and effort,” she said. 
The SCOPE Bioenergy & Sustainability Report is the collective effort of 137 researchers at 82 institutions in 24 countries that documents and analyzes impacts, benefits and constraints related to the global expansion of bioenergy. Peer reviewed data and scientific evidence from more than 2,000 sources were used to evaluate the documented and predicted effects of expansion of bioenergy production and use on energy security, food security, environmental and climate security, sustainable development and innovation. 
SCOPE was established by the United Nations International Council for Science in 1969 as an interdisciplinary body of natural science expertise that addresses constraints of society on the environment as well as the human response to environmental issues. The SCOPE Bioenergy & Sustainability volume is downloadable from 
Dale and Kline’s work was supported by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
OR woman convicted of abuse charge
A 37-year-old Oak Ridge woman will spend the next 15 to 25 years in a state penitentiary after an Anderson County jury needed less than 20 minutes Tuesday to convict her of aggravated child neglect following a trial in Anderson County Criminal Court.  Melissa Lopez was charged with failing or refusing to seek emergency medical care for her then-10-month-old son, who had suffered what the District Attorneys Office described as horrible, second-degree chemical or thermal burns and injuries to his eyes in November of 2008.  DCS began an investigation after someone called and told them about the infants injuries, and DCS workers compelled Lopez to take the boy to East Tennessee Childrens Hospital, where he was admitted to the ICU for treatment of his injuries.  DCS also brought in Oak Ridge Police to investigate and their probe determined that the boy had received the burns on November 19th, 2008 but did not receive medical treatment until seven days later, following the DCS visit.  The cause of the burns is unknown.  Lopez was stripped of her custodial rights to the child, who has since been adopted by what the DAs office described in a press release as a loving family.  Following her conviction, Lopez was taken into custody and transported to the Anderson County Jail, where she will remain until her sentencing hearing on July 13th.  Her then-boyfriend, Matthew Armstrong, is also facing charges of aggravated child abuse and neglect in connection to the babys injuries and he is free on bond pending a trial set to begin in September. 
AC Budget Office recognizedagain
The Anderson County governments Accounts and Budgets Office has again received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the countys comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014.  The Certificate of Achievement has been awarded by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada.  Records indicate Anderson County consecutively has received the award from GFOA for more than 20 years, according to a press release announcing the designation. 
All of our employees work hard and do a great job, County Commission Chairman Robert McKamey said in the release. Im proud of our Accounting Office, and knowing this is not the first time weve received this award, that makes it even more special, and this just proves the quality of their work, he added. 
I cant brag enough on the accounting team for their continued commitment to excellence, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank said. This is by no means an easy award to win.  Deputy Director Connie Aytes deserves additional praise for her leadership on our county financial reports.
I cannot understate the significance of this award, as it is the highest form of recognition by the Government Finance Officers Association.  The award is well-deserved for the entire team, and also should give our citizens assurance that our Accounting Office is top-notch, Mayor Frank said. 
The release states that the Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.  The award of a Certificate of Achievement by the GFOA means that Anderson Countys comprehensive annual financial report has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the GFOA program including demonstrating a constructive spirit of full disclosure to clearly communicate the countys financial story and motivate potential users to read the CAFR.
ORT:  Two charged with robbery
According to our partners at Oak Ridge Today, two men have been charged with robbery after allegedly attacking a boy riding a skateboard in a parking lot at Central Baptist Church in Oak Ridge on Sunday and stealing his skateboard.  19-year-old Nicholas A. Turnbill of Harriman allegedly came up behind the victim and hit him on the back of the head with a closed fist and turned back around, kicking him in the head while the victim was on the ground, according to court records.  An accomplice, 21-year-old Brandon L. Harmon of Oak Ridge, allegedly stole the victims skateboard while Turnbill attacked the boy, authorities say.  Turnbill was also charged with criminal impersonation because he gave a false name to Oak Ridge police during the investigation.  Bond for both Turnbill and Harmon has been set at $50,000 on the robbery charges. Both remained jailed in the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton on Wednesday afternoon.  Bond for Turnbill on the criminal impersonation charge has been set at $5,000.
AC fire injures none; microwave suspected
A Tuesday night fire on Bland Road in Anderson County is being blamed on microwave oven.  The fire was reported at about 9 p.m. Tuesday, and the Andersonville Volunteer Fire Department responded, as did deputies from the Sheriffs Office, who reported heavy smoke pouring out of the front door of the home but no visible flames. By the time deputies arrived, firefighters were already inside trying to extinguish the blaze.  Homeowner Wilbur Wheeler Jr. said he had been outside the home with his dogs when he heard a popping sound from inside, Poole said in an incident report. Wheeler said he opened the front door and saw flames and heavy smoke coming from the kitchen area. He called 911.  AVFD Fire Chief Del Kennedy said that he thought the fire started in the microwave and saw nothing suspicious about the fire.  No injuries were reported.
ACSD reminds everyone to be safe during prom, graduation season
With prom and graduation season almost upon us, the Anderson County Sheriffs Department is once again reminding students, parents, business owners and the community about the importance of making good decisions during what is traditionally a festive time of year.  Unfortunately, according to the ACSD, some teenagers believe the deadly mix of alcohol and driving is also a part of this tradition. Too many are injured or killed after the prom or graduation, Sheriff Paul White says in a release. Students headed to the prom and from graduations are reminded not to drink and drive. Sheriff White says deputies with the Anderson County Sheriffs Department will be out in force on prom nights and after graduations and remind everyone that DUI, illegal drugs, and underage drinking will get you a ride to jail. The Sheriff Department also reminds teens that getting caught drinking while under the age of 21 can result in losing their driver’s license, getting suspended from school, ejected from sports teams, and even banned from graduation ceremonies. Businesses that sell alcohol are reminded to ID. Underage sales and purchases will be prosecuted and deputies will be conducting an information campaign with local beer permit holders to remind them of the importance of carding to ID all beer purchases.  Spot checks of beer sellers will also be done and not only will the clerks who sell beer be cited but underage purchasers will be charged as well. The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, local police agencies, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol will also be busy with saturation patrols throughout the prom and graduation weeks. This traffic safety effort is supported by a grant from the Governor’s Highway Safety Office, Tennessee Department of Transportation. In the release, Sheriff White asks the community to help his office stress the fact that deaths from alcohol related crashes are preventable.
Ouster suit dismissal appeal heard Tuesday
Oral arguments were heard by the Tennessee Court of Appeals Tuesday in the appeal of the dismissal of an ouster suit filed by 22 Anderson County citizens last year seeking the ouster of Law Director Jay Yeager.  The lawsuit filed last May accuses Yeager of forging a signature on a county contract and failing to keep commissioners in the loop on legal matters, among other allegations of misconduct.  The suit was dismissed last fall by a senior judge who ruled that since the Law Directors office is an appointed, not an elected, position it does not fall under the states ouster guidelines.  Attorneys for the plaintiffs argued Tuesday in front of the three-judge appeals court that Yeager holds what they referred to as an office of trust subject to ouster statutes and that he is basically in a position of supervising himself in a very powerful position within the county government.  Yeagers attorneys countered by saying that the Law Directors office does not qualify as an office of trust, instead referring to Yeager as an employee at will who could be fired at any time for any reason by the Legal Services Advisory Committee and the County Commission.  Yeagers side also argued that since there is no fixed term for the law directors service, it does not fall under ouster guidelines.  Plaintiffs expressed confidence after the hearing that the appeals court will side with them but also indicated that if the ruling does not go their way, they are prepared to take the case all the way to the state Supreme Court.  No timetable has been discussed as far as when that ruling may be handed down by the appeals court. 
ORT:  New traffic light OKd for OR Turnpike at ORHS
The Oak Ridge City Council approved a contract to install a stoplight on Oak Ridge Turnpike in front of Oak Ridge High School in a 4-3 vote on Monday.  Officials say the light will be green most of the time on Oak Ridge Turnpike. But it will turn red when cars are leaving the High School, giving those drivers a green light.  The traffic signal lights will turn all-red when pedestrians are crossing.  City officials said the new light could eliminate the need for a crossing guard. Installing it could cost roughly $177,000. It will be paid for using unspent money from the Special Programs Fund, the fund set up for traffic, pedestrian, and bicycle safety projects using money from the traffic cameras that were removed last year.  The contract was awarded to S&W Contracting Company Inc. of Murfreesboro. That company submitted the lower of two bids.  City officials had said the light could be installed by August, but the postponement of the contract vote from last month to this will likely delay the completion date, possibly until after school starts later this year.  For more, visit
2 firefighters injured in Roane wreck
Two people with the Midtown Volunteer Fire Department suffered minor injuries late Tuesday afternoon when the fire truck they were in ran off the road in Roane County and overturned, according to a Tennessee Highway Patrol report.  19-year-old Travis May of Harriman was driving the truck at around 5:45 p.m with 21-year-old Ty Puckett, also of Harriman as his passenger.  May was driving a 1986 Chevrolet Pumper Tanker west on U.S. Highway 70 when it ran off the road into a grassy area.  May then over-corrected, and the tanker flipped on to its roof and skidded about 100 feet before coming to rest.  Both were taken by ambulance to Roane Medical Center for treatment of injuries thought to be minor.  Crews had to empty the load of water the truck had been hauling back to the station after the truck responded to a traffic accident before they could get it back upright and towed it from the scene. 
ORNL reactor receives historical status
(ANS) The American Nuclear Society (ANS) honored the Oak Ridge National Laboratorys High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) with the ANS Nuclear Historic Landmark Award on April 13. The HFIR has been providing neutrons for research and isotope production for five decades, including neutron analysis used in the investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The HFIR is the sixth ANS Landmark designation for the Department of Energys Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
The ANS Nuclear Historic Landmark Award identifies and memorializes sites or facilities where outstanding physical accomplishments took place, and which were instrumental in the advancement and implementation of nuclear technology and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. This year, the HFIR celebrates its 50th year of providing advancements and contributions to the nuclear industry.
“As we mark HFIR’s half-century and the American Nuclear Society’s Landmark Award, this facility remains one of the world’s top destinations for reactor-based neutron science, isotope production and materials irradiation research,” ORNL Director Thom Mason said. “That is truly a testament to HFIR’s original design and to the excellence of its operation over the years. We expect many more years of cutting-edge science from this research reactor.
The HFIR has the highest continuous thermal neutron flux in the world and remains one of the world’s sole sources of the unique radioisotope californium-252, used in medicine, research, and industry. Its capabilities have influenced environmental studies, nuclear forensics, and criminal forensics. HFIR is currently a Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility and, most recently, it was used to discover and confirm the existence of man-made element 117.The American Nuclear Society Nuclear Historic Landmark Award signifies that a nuclear facility has played an important role in nuclear science and engineering, ANS President Mikey Brady Raap said.
Sites or facilities nominated should have been placed in service at least 20 years prior to nomination.  HFIR joins the Graphite Reactor, Tower Shielding Reactor, Oak Ridge Electron Linear Accelerator, the Molten Salt Reactor and the Radiochemical Processing Plant (Building 3019) as ANS Nuclear Historic Landmarks at ORNL.
The reactor was recognized by the ANS honors and awards committee with approval by the board of directors.
OR woman charged with TennCare, drug fraud
An Oak Ridge woman was indicted last week by an Anderson County grand jury on 16 counts of doctor-shopping.  47-year-old Cathy Moore of Oak Ridge was indicted on eight counts of TennCare fraud and eight counts of prescription drug fraud following an investigation by the TBI.  Investigators allege that Moore visited several doctors between February and April of last year attempting to get prescriptions for controlled substances.  Moore, who has been in jail on a probation violation charge since January, will be arraigned on these charges later this month.  She remains in custody at the Anderson County Jail.
Trip to store ends with trip to jail
A Jellico man apparently misunderstood the phrase Im running in to the store to grab a couple of things.  Clinton Police were called to Wal-Mart at around 2:30 Monday afternoon by store loss prevention personnel after a man tried to leave the store with a folding knife and a car battery without paying for them.  When store security confronted the suspect, later identified as 34-year-old Sharrell D. McDonald, dropped the items and fled on foot toward the shops at nearby Tanner Place.  McDonald was located within a few minutes by Detective Jason Lawson and Sergeant Danielle Duncan and detained in a yard of a home in the Hunters Trail subdivision.  Officer Brian Galloway brought McDonald back to the store, where loss prevention officers identified him as the suspect.  McDonald was taken to the Anderson County Jail and charged with theft. 
ORT:  New solar array up and running
(Information from Oak Ridge Today) A new one-megawatt solar array at the Heritage Center in west Oak Ridge will provide enough clean energy to power 133 average-size homes per year, officials said.
Company and nonprofit executives joined city and federal officials for a ceremonial plugging in of the new Powerhouse Six photovoltaic solar array on Thursday.
The $1.8 million array has 3,268 solar modules, and it will be used to sell electric power to the Tennessee Valley Authority through the Oak Ridge Electric Department.
Were going live today, said Gil Hough, renewable energy manager for RSI, or Restoration Services Inc., the Oak Ridge-based company that developed the array.
Powerhouse Six is located on a five-acre brownfield site that cant be used for other development. The property, which has giant underground power conduits beneath it, was acquired under a long-term commercial lease agreement with the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee, or CROET. The site is near a speculative industrial building at Heritage Center.  Its the third solar installation at Heritage Center, the former uranium-enriching K-25 site.  For more on this story, visit our partners at 
Report:  OR water customers could see rate hike
Oak Ridge water customers will likely see a water rate hike of from 6 to 10 percent next year because of a change in a state water discharge permit.  The News-Sentinel reports that the state has ordered Y-12 to quit bolstering the flow into East Fork Poplar Creek, which starts as a spring in the heart of the nuclear weapons complex.  A previous state order required Y-12 to supplement water flow into the creek.  Years ago, the DOE acknowledged releasing more than 100 tons of mercury into the creek and while significant cleanup efforts have greatly reduced the release of the toxic substance, however, mercury still seeps into the spring from huge buildings where it was once used to process lithium for hydrogen bombs.  The state at one time required Y-12 to boost the creeks flow rate under the theory that it would dilute the mercury levels but subsequent research has shown the increased water flow was also increasing the transport of mercury.  According to the News-Sentinel, Y-12 had been buying raw water to enhance the creek flow from Oak Ridge, which pumps water from Melton Hill Lake through an intake pipe near Clark Park, but with the new state order in place, those water purchases are no longer necessary, meaning that the city is losing some $200,000 a year in revenue, which in turn, will likely lead to water rate increases.  DOE is the citys biggest water customer, buying some 53 percent of the 10 to 12 million gallons treated daily, according to city officials. 
TWRA:  Accidental gun discharge nets one-day suspension
A Morgan County wildlife officer accidentally fired his gun while teaching a hunter safety course in a classroom at Sunbright School and was issued a one-day suspension without pay that is being served today.  The incident involved Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Officer Travis Buchanan and occurred while Buchanan was teaching a nighttime course after school that was attended by adults and children, TWRA officials said.  A statement from TWRA called the discharge an unfortunate mistake, but added that Because of proper firearm handling, the firearm was pointed in a safe direction when the Wildlife Officer accidentally discharged the firearm.  The gunshot was fired into the classroom floor.  King said Buchanan was using his TWRA-issued .357-caliber Glock semi-automatic during the March 19 course.  TWRA said the gun was fired during a demonstration and discussion on gun parts.  Buchanan apparently tried to clear a round out of the weapons chamber, but the magazine was still in place, and it loaded another round.  No one was injured, and the hunter safety course resumed.  Buchanan has been a TWRA employee since August 2004, King said.
CCWF:  29 assist in museum cleanup
On Saturday 29 volunteers, including nine Coal Creek Scholars, gathered to help prepare the new Coal Creek Miners Museum building for the future.  The museum will feature lessons in the rich history of Coal Creek and honor the Coal Creek miners and their families and teach the history of coal mining from the mid-1800s to the present, including the innovations and safety measures used today based on lessons learned during the settlement of the area by the Welsh immigrant coal miners, the Coal Creek War, and the Frateville and Cross Mountain mine disasters.  Volunteers cleared out ceramic tile and carpet, removed old wood and debris, swept, dusted, cleaned windows, vacuumed, and cleared the two floors to make ready for future school field trips and tourists.  Coal Creek Scholars earned credit towards scholarships by performing community service at this fun event. 
Violations lead to changes in Harriman hoops
Harriman High School is searching for a new boys basketball coaching staff after Head Coach Wesley Jones resigned and two assistants were removed from their positions following an investigation into the program by the school and the TSSAA because of violations involving AAU basketball.  Harriman self-reported the violations of the basketball sports calendar and recommended the penalties, which also included suspending spring practice for the boys program this school year.  Assistant coaches Quentin Young and Darren Payne both coach AAU teams during the offseason, which isnt illegal as long as their rosters dont include players from a coachs regular-season team.  The TSSAA says Young had impermissible contact in an AAU coaching capacity with Harriman players during four practices and six games.  Payne coached Harriman players in three practices and three games, including one tournament, according to TSSAA.  The self-imposed ban on spring practice includes weight training, conditioning and the use of open facilities.  The TSSAA didnt take any further action and Harriman was not fined, placed on probation banned from the postseason because of the penalties.  Jones resigned last week and school officials say he had prior knowledge of the violations.  The assistants were officially notified after the school received a letter from TSSAA on Tuesday.
Knox robbery suspect nabbed in Norris
A man wanted for allegedly robbing a Knox County clothing store was arrested Wednesday afternoon in Anderson County.  40-year-old Anthony White was charged by Knox County authorities with aggravated robbery.  Deputies say he robbed the Burkes Outlet in Halls on Monday night. Hes accused of pulling a pistol on the store clerk and demanding cash from the register.  No one was injured in the robbery.  White was arrested by Knox County deputies Wednesday afternoon without incident at a park in Norris with the assistance of the Norris Police Department.
OR man jailed after gun incident
An Oak Ridge man has been charged with seven counts of aggravated assault after he was accused of waving a pistol at bystanders on Utica Circle on Monday night.  Oak Ridge Police responded to the Utica Circle Apartments at about 11:23 p.m. Monday in response to a complaint of a man threatening others with a firearm.  Upon arrival, officers reported that they found 20-year-old Deshon Meadow on the premises waving a pistol at bystanders.  Meadow was ordered by officers to lay the weapon on the ground. Once he surrendered the weapon, he was taken into custody and transported to the Anderson County Jail, where he was charged with the seven counts of aggravated assault.  Meadow remained in custody as of this morning on bonds totaling $175,000.
Secret City Fest honored, Merle snags award
(Secret City Festival) Each year festivals around the country offer festival-goers an almost endless array of activities and events.  The Secret City Festival in Oak Ridge, TN is no different offering concerts, childrens learning and recreation, science and technology exhibits, military reenactments, and much more.  The International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) and the Southeast Festivals and Events Association (SFEA) are two prestigious organizations that evaluate and recognize outstanding festivals.  According to the IFEA and the SFEA, Oak Ridges Secret City Festival was among the best in 2014.  The IFEA and SFEA awarded the 2014 Secret City Festival with three and four awards, respectively.  Awards received by the 2014 Secret City Festival are listed below,
IFEA presented the 2014 Secret City Festival with three awards:
• Best Mobile App Gold to Innovalysis
• Best Radio Promotion (Budget Under $250,000) Bronze to two radio stations, including 96.7 Merle FM
SFEA presented the 2014 Secret City Festival with four awards:
• Best Childrens Area Gold to The City of Oak Ridge
• Best Sponsor Gold to UT Battelle
• Best Photo Silver to Rob Welton
• Best Volunteer Silver to Lloyd Stokes
The Secret City festival is honored to work with such outstanding people and organizations.  We are very proud that their exceptional efforts have been recognized by these prestigious festival organizations.  The festival is presented by The City of Oak Ridge, The Oak Ridge Arts Council and the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau in addition many generous sponsors and volunteers.  The 2015 Secret City Festival will be held on June 12-13 and music, crafts, childrens exhibits and activities, and a WWII reenactment.  For more information, visit . 
ORT:  CVMR contact info for applicants, vendors
(Oak Ridge Today) CVMR, the Toronto company that announced last month it is moving its headquarters to Oak Ridge, has provided contact information on its website for job applicants and vendors interested in employment and service opportunities at its Oak Ridge office.  Job applicants can send their resumes to  Vendors can send their information to  The contact information is also available on this Web page.  The CVMR website is available here.  CVMR plans to invest $313 million in Oak Ridge and add 620 jobs.
Roane deputy hurt, 4 arrested
A Roane County Sheriffs deputy was injured while taking down a suspect on a motorcycle late Monday night.  Deputies had received information that a wanted person was living in a storage building behind a home on Roane State Highway and several deputies arrived at the house at around midnight.  Deputies reported that while they were on the scene, a motorcycle ridden by 32-year-old Roy Potter approached at a high rate of speed and drove past officers and the shed before coming to a stop and revving the bike right in front of Deputy Tyrel Lorenz.  When Potter gunned the bike, Lorenz took evasive action while also delivering a strike to the side of Potters helmet that caused the suspect to crash with Lorenz on top of him.  Lorenz was treated for minor injuries to his arms, legs and throat at Roane Medical Center and released.  Deputies found meth and drug paraphernalia on Potter when they searched him and he was arrested and charged with aggravated assault on an officer and drug-related charges.  The three people who were in the shed surrendered and investigators found more meth-related evidence inside the storage building.  All three were charged with manufacturing meth and are identified as 46-year-old David Kilby of Oakdale, 47-year-old Joyce Mayton of Rockwood and 33-year-old Leigh Ann Barnett of Rockwood. 
Ailing OR police officer needs assistance
(Oak Ridge Today) Chris Winningham is a veteran member of the Oak Ridge Police Department, but hes currently on leave and unable to work for an undetermined amount of time due to complications with pneumonia and pleurisy, friends say.  Officer Winningham has also been diagnosed with an enlarged heart and diabetes, and doctors are concerned that he may be going into congestive heart failure, according to a GoFundMe page set up to help raise money for his family.  The diagnoses affecting Officer Winningham come on the heels of the loss of his daughter Courtney to cancer in January, the page said.  This stress and strain is not only physical, said the GoFundMe page, set up Tuesday by Heather Ashley of the ORPD. We are therefore asking for financial donations for the Winningham family to help pay for medical expenses not covered by insurance, and other financial needs during this time Chris remains out of work.  See the GoFundMe page here:
Oliver Springs football coach resigns
Oliver Springs High School head football coach Wiley Brackett has resigned in order to spend more time with his family.  The 38-year-old Brackett compiled a 42-57 record in nine seasons on the Bobcats sideline and led the team to its deepest playoff appearance, a 2011 run to the state 2A semifinals.  A search is already underway for his successor. 
Morgan carbon monoxide victims IDed
Morgan County authorities have identified the three people killed and the two others who are being treated for apparent carbon monoxide poisoning at a home on Saturday night.  Morgan County Sheriff’s deputies were called to a home on Susack Lane in Wartburg about 9 p.m. Saturday.  They found 44-year-old Anthony Carroll, his 17-year-old son Jacob and his nephew, 8-year-old Jamon, dead in the home.  Carroll’s wife, 41-year-old Penny Carroll and 19-year-old son, Dylan, were both taken to University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment. The woman was treated and released, but Dylan is still hospitalized.  Investigators said there was no power to the home, but the family was running a generator in a mud room with no apparent ventilation. That was the source of the deadly carbon monoxide fumes that flooded the house. There was no carbon monoxide detector in the home.  The investigation into the deaths is continuing, but authorities said it appeared to be an accident.  Authorities say generators aren’t the only things that can produce carbon monoxide. Gas furnaces, fireplaces and water heaters can all be sources of the gas.  Firefighters advise everyone to install a carbon monoxide detector in their home. They’re available for $30 to about $100 at any major retail outlet. 
Harris already back in custody
An Oak Ridge man already facing charges in connection to a March shooting is back in jail today after allegedly threatening someone he thought had witnessed that event.  23-year-old Asante Harris was arrested last week on charges of attempted first-degree murder, reckless endangerment and felony vandalism in connection to an incident that occurred on March 23rd in which he is accused of trying to shoot his ex-girlfriend and released on bond.  Just days after his release, though, Harris was arrested by Oak Ridge Police after a woman reported that he had parked his car outside her home early Saturday morning and pointed a pistol at her when she opened the door.  Oak Ridge Police allege that while Harris believed that the woman was a witness to the March 23rd incident, she was not.  Harris faces a new aggravated assault charge and as of this morning, was being held at the Anderson County Jail on a $1 million bond. 
Report:  2 AC politicos switch affiliations
According to the News-Sentinel, two longtime county officeholders have left the Democratic Party and will instead become Republicans.  The paper reports that County Clerk Jeff Cole and Register of Deeds Tim Shelton, both of whom are serving in their third, four-year terms, will formally announce their decisions and sign an oath of allegiance to the GOP as early as Wednesday.  Both men indicated their beliefs that their personal values and views line up more with present-day Republicans rather than with Democrats. 
OR WWII Vet receives Bronze Star, other medals
An Oak Ridge World War II veteran was awarded the Bronze Star and several additional awards Monday.  Private First Class Melvin Kallio received the honors from Congressman Chuck Fleischmann at Brookdale Assisted Living Facility in Oak Ridge.  The Bronze Star is a United States decoration awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for acts of heroism, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone. He spent about three years in the Army, much of that time overseas.  Nearly seven decades later he was honored for his heroism during that time, particularly for his actions during the Battle of the Bulge.  Kallio, who is now 92 years old, also received the Combat Infantry Badge and the Victory Medal.
WBIR:  Norfolk Southern responds to lawsuit
Norfolk Southern says in court documents that it’s not at fault for a train crash that killed two people and hurt two others last year.  Last Mays crash killed two Roane State Community College basketball players: Roderick Drummond and Jadah Gallaher and injured two others: the driver and Gallaher’s brother, Darius Gallaher, and Hunter Crass.  In January, the survivors and the family of Judah Gallaher filed a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern claiming the train crew did not sound the horn before the collision and there was poor visibility at the crossing.  Norfolk Southern refutes those claims.  In court documents it says the “huge and highly visible train was blowing its horn repeatedly, ringing its bell repeatedly” and was “shining its headlights.”  The railroad says the car’s driver should have stopped or slowed down.
ORT:  Organizers have ambitious plans for Blankenship
(Oak Ridge Today) A nonprofit foundation wants to revitalize Blankenship Field and Jack Armstrong stadium and create a world-class gathering place that can accommodate more than 20,000 people in a natural amphitheater for sporting and other events, organizers said.
The Blankenship Field Revitalization Foundation has been formed by private residents, and it is led by Tennessee Senator Randy McNally, an Oak Ridge Republican. Organizers said the foundation is coordinating the revitalization project and fundraising activities in cooperation with the City of Oak Ridge and Oak Ridge Schools.
They hope to make the revitalization a vital part of the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park, connecting Jackson Square and the original site of Oak Ridge High School. The new Manhattan Project park includes Oak Ridge; Los Alamos, New Mexico; and Hanford, Washington. The Manhattan Project was a top-secret federal program to create the worlds first atomic weapons during World War II.
For over 70 years, Blankenship Field has not only been the home of Oak Ridge High School Wildcat football team, it has been an important gathering place for the city that brought the world into the atomic age, organizers said. Seventy-plus years of wear are now showing, and it is time to restore and maintain this critically important Oak Ridge landmark.
The proposed project is split into two phases:
Phase I
• Main Entranceticket booth at field level with plaques honoring Oak Ridge and Wildcat historical events and people
• Front Parking Lot and Lightingwith walkway from main entrance to Jackson Square
• Large LED Scoreboardwith video and media options
• Installation of Turf Fieldfeaturing wrought iron fencing and decorative brick columns and donor recognition wall
• Visitors Side Concessions and Restrooms
• Advanced Energy-Efficient Lighting and Communications
Phase II
• Home Side Stadium Buildingwith expanded locker rooms, press box, skyboxes, and club seating
Funding sources are proposed to include:
• 60 percent public contributions,
• 20 percent grants,
• 10 percent city and school participation, and
• 10 percent grant of in-kind services.
Organizers said the Blankenship Field Revitalization Project will be completed in conjunction with the Jackson Square Revitalization Project ($1 million) and the recent completion of the Guest House renovation ($5 million).  Contributions are tax deductible.  For more information, call Oak Ridge High School Athletic Director Mike Mullins at (865) 425-9603 or send him an email You can also visit the Foundations website at
For more, visit  
3 dead after apparent carbon monoxide poisoning
A man and two children died from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the fumes of a gas-powered generator being used inside a Morgan County home Saturday.  Deputies were called by a neighbor about 9 p.m. Saturday to a home on Susack Lane, east of Wartburg, where they found the three family members dead, along with a fourth person suffering serious injuries.  The victims include a 44-year-old man and his 17-year-old son, along with an 8-year-old boy who was a visiting relative, Cochran said.  The man’s other teenage son was transported to the University of Tennessee Medical Center with possible brain damage.  The generator, which was being used for electricity, appeared to be the only power source in the home.  Autopsies will be performed at the Regional Forensic Center to verify the causes of death. The victims names have not been released.
More delays for Glen Alpine suit
The trial that could go a long way toward resolving the long-running question of what to do with the Glen Alpine Convenience Center has been delayed again.  In 2012, four businesses located in the county-owned David Jones Industrial Park filed a lawsuit against the Anderson County Commission and the Anderson County Economic development Associationor ACEDAseeking an injunction to prevent the county from using a vacant parcel in the rear of the park as the site of a relocated convenience center.  That came after both bodies had voted to amend the covenants regarding land use in the industrial park to allow for a convenience center.  One day before the trial was finally set to beginlast Tuesday March 31stin Anderson County Chancery Court, attorneys for the plaintiffs filed a motion asking that Chancellor Nichole Cantrell recuse herself due to a possible conflict of interest due to her husband Dails participation on the ACEDA Board of Directors.  That means another judge from outside the county will have to be brought in to hear the case and a new trial date could be announced within the next month or so.  The convenience center is located on annexed land belonging to the city of Clinton but city officials have wanted it moved for over a decade now as they would like to see the area around the current site developed for retail or commercial use.  An agreement between the city and the county for a resolution to the dilemma has been extended a couple of times while county officials seek an alternate site in the event they are not successful in the court case now awaiting another new trial date.
DA Dave Clark attains certification
Anderson Countys District Attorney General is now a certified criminal investigator after completing training and certification through the TBI.  Dave Clark, whose 7th District is comprised of Anderson County, recently wrapped up a three-week academy-style course at the TBI headquarters in Nashville.  The training, which was co-sponsored by the state DCS, focused on investigating reports of child sexual or physical abuse.  Among other topics, Clark and the other participants were trained in areas such as interviewing, analyzing statements, reconstructing injuries and learning more about the medical issues associated with child abuse.  
2 rescued from Smokies
Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers and members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol Special Operations and Aviation Section rescued two individuals from the parks backcountry near the Spence Field Shelter on Saturday.  At 6:10 a.m. park dispatch received a call from an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker advising of a pair of hikers in distress near Spence Field Shelter. 
The hikers, a father and son, got separated from a third member of their party while trying to make their way from Derrick Knob Shelter to Spence Field Shelter on Friday night, a distance of 6.3 miles. After leaving Derrick Knob the weather deteriorated and the hikers were left traversing over rocky terrain in the dark, driving rain and thunderstorms. Only one member of the party made it to Spence Field Shelter as planned. 
In the morning thru-hikers, headed Northbound from Spence Field, were on the lookout for the two hikers that had not made it the night before, and quickly came upon the first individual, who had a knee injury and could not walk unassisted. Not long after the call came in to dispatch of the initial party, other hikers found the father farther north near Thunderhead Mountain. 
Two rangers responded on horseback from Cades Cove with a wrangler from the Cades Cove Riding Stables. The hiker with the knee injury was taken out on horseback, while rangers continued on foot to assess the condition of the father who was several miles down the AT. After an assessment by park rangers, it was determined that air extrication would be the best option for rescue. 
Tennessee Highway Patrol was able to assist. The individual was extricated via helicopter at 7:32 p.m. and flown to McGhee Tyson Airport where he was transported by Rural Metro to UT Hospital.
Farmers Markets returning to ET
East Tennessee Farmers Association for Retail Marketing (FARM), a nonprofit organization, is pleased to announce the opening of its 39th season of farmers markets in East Tennessee, in three convenient locations in Knoxville and Oak Ridge. Established in 1976, FARM is Tennessees longest continuously operating farmers market organization.
FARM vendors will offer a wide variety of spring bedding plants, fresh produce, grass-fed and pasture-raised meats, artisan bread and cheese, local honey and fresh eggs. As the season goes on, they offer the freshest produce possible, including just-picked strawberries, peaches, sweet corn and heirloom tomatoes.
Farmers markets are the most effective way to support local agriculture. According to American Farmland Trust, farmers only receive about $1.58 per $10 spent by consumers at a grocery store. But at a farmers market, farmers receive closer to $8-9 per $10 spent. For every $10 spent at a farmers market, studies show that $7.80 is re-spent in the local community.
Opening Day at each FARM market will feature a drawing for 20 Market Dollars! Locations are as follows:
      Oak Ridge Farmers Market opens every Saturday, 8 a.m. noon, beginning April 18, in Historic Jackson Square, 281 Broadway Ave., with the drawing at 11:30 a.m. The Oak Ridge market is also open Wednesdays 3-6 p.m., beginning May 6. Seniors over 60 get 5% off every Wednesday at the Oak Ridge Market!
Unlike most farmers market organizations, East TN FARM performs periodic inspections of its vendors to ensure they are growing the products they sell.  You can be sure that everything East TN FARM sells is locally made, said Colvin.
Several FARM vendors are designated Certified Naturally Grown, which is a similar standard to USDA Organic, but less expensive for smaller growers. Other FARM growers use as few pesticides and chemical fertilizers as possible.
FARMs weekend markets at Lakeshore Park and in Oak Ridge will feature live music, childrens events, and workshops and lectures on topics such as herb gardening and composting.  FARM also offers weekly email reminders to customers, and a free FARM Fan Club text reminder and shopping rewards program. Sign up for both at its website,
McNally lauds area schools
(Submitted) Senator Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) today applauded the work of students, parents, teachers and local government officials in Anderson, Loudon, and Knox Counties for the great successes they have had in educational attainment.  McNally made the announcement after receiving a new report regarding successes in the fifth senatorial district as produced by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. 
According to the Tennessee Higher Education County Profiles Annual Report, all three counties surpass the state of Tennessee as a whole in the percentage of adults with a high school diploma, per capita personal income, and low unemployment rates.  Anderson and Knox Counties have higher postsecondary enrollment rates and Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship renewals than the rest of the state. 
My district has made great strides in improving local schools and helping to stimulate the economy of our state, said Senator McNally.  I am proud of the hard work put in by the local governments, teachers, students and families whose work made these significant accomplishments possible. 
High school graduates in Anderson County, specifically, have higher ACT scores than the state of Tennessee and the United States average.  Loudon County outranks the state as a whole in public high school graduation rate, rate of population growth, dual enrollment grants and Hope Scholarship recipients. 
Our communities place a high priority on education and it shows in this report.  I look forward to continuing to see improvements moving forward, he concluded.
State TU honored
The Tennessee Chapter of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) has presented the 2015 Friends of Fisheries Award to the Tennessee Council of Trout Unlimited. The award recognizes the council and all eight Tennessee TU chapters for their work to conserve, restore and enhance trout and trout habitat in the state.  Projects supported by TU dollars and volunteers have included:
• Re-establishment and expansion of native strains of Southern Appalachian Brook Trout in streams of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
• More than 20 years of stream water quality sampling in the Smokies to study acid deposition
• Partnership with government and conservation agencies in supporting the Tellico Brook Trout Hatchery and the associated Southern Appalachian Brook Trout Foundation
The AFS, founded in 1870, is the oldest and largest professional society representing fisheries scientists. The society promotes scientific research and enlightened management of resources for optimum use and enjoyment by the public. The Tennessee Chapter is composed of professionals, students and others with an interest in all areas of fishery science.  In announcing the award, Travis Scott, president of the Tennessee Chapter of AFS, said the society recognizes and appreciates the efforts of Tennessee Trout Unlimited. When he surveyed AFS members for nominees for the award, Scott said he received endorsements from several agencies who partner with TU in the state, including TWRA, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service and TVA.  The award was presented during the 2015 meeting of the Tennessee Chapter of AFS, held Feb. 19-20 at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. Invited to the Feb. 19 banquet were representatives of not only the Tennessee Council but also the Great Smoky Mountain, Little River, Hiwassee and Appalachian chapters of TU, especially honoring their contributions to Southern Appalachian Brook Trout restoration in cooperation with Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee National Forest, TWRAs Tellico Hatchery and the Tennessee Aquarium.
ORPD arrests 4 in robbery, conspiracy
Four young Oak Ridgers have been charged with aggravated robbery and criminal conspiracy in an alleged plot to rob a woman for rent money.  The incident occurred on Highland Avenue at about midnight April 1, according to Oak Ridge Police. 
The victim said three men with their faces covered had robbed her at gunpoint and fled in a black Chevy sedan.  An Oak Ridge officer located the car at the intersection of State Route 61 and State Route 62, and he pulled over the car on Midway Road in Oliver Springs.  One of the defendants, 21-year-old Whitney T. Stewart of Oak Ridge, was driving. 20-year-old Raymond R. Gray, 20-year-old Christopher D. Ramsey and 19-year-old Tevin M. Springs, all of Oak Ridgewere passengers in the car.  Gray and Ramsey admitted, after being read their Miranda rights, to committing the robbery.
Investigators also determined that the four had conspired together to rob a different, male however, they could not find him and decided to rob the victim to obtain rent money for Whitney Stewart.  Gray, Ramsey, and Springs have all been charged with aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, and criminal conspiracy.  Stewart was also charged with aggravated robbery, criminal conspiracy, as well as violation of the implied consent law, and driving under the influence.  Officers reported immediately smelling a strong alcoholic odor coming from Stewart, and noted that her eyes were bloodshot and glossy, and she was belligerent. Stewart would not provide a blood or breath test because she knew she was drunk, and she said she had had five to six shots of vodka, according to the warrants.  The four were arrested at 3:26 a.m. Wednesday, April 1.
THP:  Traffic stop yields bust
(THP) Trooper Jonathan Scott of the Tennessee Highway Patrols East Bureau Interdiction Plus team initiated a traffic stop that led to the discovery of approximately 600 prescription pills and the arrest of an Ohio woman on felony drug charges in Knox County on Wednesday. 
Trooper Scott stopped a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee for a traffic violation on Interstate 75 southbound in Knox County at approximately 2:12 p.m. on Wednesday. The vehicle was occupied by a male driver and female passenger, who shared conflicting stories regarding their travel destinations. 
Further questioning raised the suspicions of the investigating trooper, and he requested and received consent to search the vehicle.  THP Interdiction Plus Sergeant Greg Roberts arrived on the scene to assist. 
The troopers then found throughout the vehicle a total of approximately 600 prescription pills in the passengers name, multiple identification cards from different states and medical documentation from doctors offices and emergency rooms from various states. Trooper Scott also discovered a bottle of urine commonly used to falsify a drug screen under the passengers seat.    
Charlene Smith, 48, of Pleasant Plain, Oh., the passenger and owner of the vehicle, was arrested and charged with felony possession of schedule II drugs with the intent to sell and deliver and felony possession of schedule IV drugs with the intent to sell and deliver. Smith was also found to have had 13 Oxycodone and two Xanax pills, neither prescribed to her, on her person.  
She was transported to the Knox County jail without incident. 
The driver, of Hoskinson, Ky., was issued a warning for traffic violations and released to continue his travels.
ORT:  OR teachers, principals seek salary boost
(Oak Ridge Today) Oak Ridge teachers and principals have requested a 4 percent salary increase in the fiscal year that starts July 1.
Teachers said theyve gone backwards in terms of real buying power during the past decade. And administrators said its become more difficult to attract quality applicants in part because of salaries.
Its not clear yet if the requested increases will be approved or if the money is available or would require a property tax rate increase. There are a number of steps to complete before the budget receives final approval in June. Among other things, it has to be considered by both the Oak Ridge Board of Education and Oak Ridge City Council.
Robertsville Middle School Principal Bruce Lay said he knows the school board and administrators want to provide pay increases, but the funding just has not been there.
Also, new tenure requirements may, when combined with salary, make it more difficult to recruit today, school officials said.
Its just becoming more difficult to attract quality individuals, Lay said.
Meanwhile, teachers said theyve had an average increase of 1.5 percent during the past 10 years, while the cost of living has gone up an average of 2.38 percent per year.
In real buying power of the last 10 years, weve actually gone backwards, said Mike Haygood, co-president of the Oak Ridge Education Association.
Oak Ridge teachers have been required to do more and more with less and less for years now, OREA Co-president Steve Reddick said.
A presentation by Haygood said the OREA is requesting:
• increasing the base salary by 4 percent;
• maintaining funding for all staff positionscertified and teaching assistants;
• increasing all eligible personnel by one experience increment;
• and maintenance of health, eye care, and dental insurance benefits at current rate levels.
Haygoods presentation said Oak Ridge ranks 15th in the state for those with a minimum of a bachelors degree, with a $36,407 average. Oak Ridge teacher pay ranks 16th in the state for those with at least a masters degree with an average salary of $40,048.
AC property values decline
Anderson County property values have decreased by approximately four percent since the last reappraisal in 2010.  The figures for this years reappraisal processwhich happens every five yearsare being finalized and assessment change notices should be mailed to property owners by the end of this month.  With property values declining, that means that in order to generate the same amount of property tax revenue to keep the local government funded at this years levels, property tax rates across the county will likely have to be increased.  Work on the reappraisal began last year and Property Assessor John Alley Jr. and his staff pored over property sales records from across the county and all five of its cities to determine the fair market prices of over 35,000 properties across the county, whether they be agricultural, commercial, industrial or residential.  Alley says it is believed to be the first time that property values have declined in the five years since the last cycle.  The largest declines in residential property values were seen in Rocky Top (down 9%); along with the portion of Oliver Springs that lies within Anderson County, and the unincorporated areas of the county (down 8%).  Norris and Oak Ridge each saw 6% decreases in property values, while Clintons residential property values declined by 4%.  Commercial and industrial property values in Clinton and Oak Ridge each slightly increased, while similar properties in Oliver Springs held steady and declined in Rocky Top by 2% and by 5% in Norris.  Farmland property values have declined by about 11% since 2010.  Officials say that while it appears, the numbers of properties being sold are increasing but they are not attracting the purchase prices they had been. 
ORAU awarded NRC contract
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has awarded Oak Ridge Associated Universities a five-year, $7.3 million contract to support radiation training activities for the agency. ORAU has assisted the NRC with similar training since 1992.
We are pleased that NRC has chosen ORAU to continue supporting training for its employees as they carry out their critical mission of ensuring the safety of our nations nuclear facilities, said Andy Page, ORAU president and chief executive officer. Our team of health physicists have built in-depth knowledge of radiation sciences that extends back to our founding in 1946 as the Oak Ridge Institute for Nuclear Studies. We welcome the opportunity to share our expertise through our long-standing partnership with the NRC.
Under the new contract, ORAU will conduct traditional lecture and laboratory-based training at its facility in Oak Ridge as well as develop and host online training for professional development in the field of radiation sciences. Additionally, ORAU will continue to develop and maintain NRCs Technical Training Center in Chattanooga.
In 2014, ORAU designed, procured, and installed a state-of-the-art radiation instructional lab as part of this center. The labused by NRC inspectors, radiation specialists, and others from around the countryprovides one-stop education and training on technology used by health physicists in teaching the fundamentals of health physics, radiation detection, and radiation protection. NRC instructors at the lab are supplemented by ORAU personnel in providing classroom training and lab-based exercises.
Tech 2020-led effort awarded grant
A proposal team led by Technology 2020, or Tech 2020, in Oak Ridge has received a $250,000 federal grant to create a seed capital fund. The goal is to establish a permanent source of professionally managed, seed-stage investment capital focused on technology-generating institutions, entrepreneurs, and young companies in Tennessee, a press release said.  The grant was announced this week by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. 
Tech 2020 led a proposal team that included Memphis Bioworks Foundation, Meritus Ventures, and Innova Memphis. The team proposed to create the TennesSeed Fund.
The TennesSeed Fund team will receive the $250,000 grant, and it will be supported by Meritus and Innova to conduct an assessment of best practices, and then organize and launch a new seed fund focused on proof of concept financings in Tennessee. The initial focus of investments will be intelligent and sustainable transportation and logistics, which is an industry cluster where Tennessee has a competitive advantage bolstered by strong research, development, and commercial activity, a press release said.
Tech 2020 is among the first 26 recipients of the 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies program grants. The Regional Innovation Strategies, or RIS, program, which is run by the Commerce Departments Economic Development Administrations Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is a new initiative designed to advance innovation and capacity-building activities in regions across the country through three different types of grants: i6 Challenge grants, Cluster Grants for seed capital funds, and Science and Research Park Development Grants.
Early access to capital is crucial for startups, but it can be difficult to obtain outside traditional startup hubs, the release said. Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds provide technical assistance funding to support the feasibility, planning, formation, or launch of cluster-based seed capital funds, which will help improve access to capital for entrepreneurs across the United States. The total amount of funding for the U.S. Cluster Grant for Seed Capital Funds under RIS is nearly $2 million.
For more information about the Regional Innovation Strategies Program, including a full list of the 2014 grant recipients, visit
ORNL part of climate change research
Researchers from the Department of Energys Oak Ridge National Laboratory will play key roles in an expansive new project that aims to bring the future of tropical forests and the climate system into much clearer focus by coupling field research with the development of a new ecosystem model. 
The project is called the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments-Tropics, or NGEE-Tropics. Its goal is the development of a model that represents how tropical forests interact with Earths climate in much greater ecological detail than ever before. This will help scientists explore, more accurately than is possible today, how rising temperatures, shifting precipitation patterns, increasing greenhouse gas levels, and other natural and human-induced changes affect tropical forests influence on Earths climate.  
Led by DOEs Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), the effort includes collaborators from Oak Ridge, Brookhaven, Los Alamos, and Pacific Northwest national laboratories. The study also includes researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, NASA and several institutions from other nations.
The planned ten-year, $100 million project is supported by the Department of Energys Office of Science.
ORT:  Woman escapes duplex fire
(Oak Ridge Today) An Oak Ridge woman was able to escape from her home as her attic burned Tuesday afternoon thanks to help from her neighbors.  The woman, Barbara Osborne, was not injured, although two firefighters who were overheated were treated, Oak Ridge Fire Department Chief Darryl Kerley told our partners at Oak Ridge Today.  The firefighters, Captain Mike Friley and firefighter Casey Payne, were working close to the fire, near a lot of radiant heat.  Firefighters were also looking for a female cat, Honey, who belonged to the Osbornes.  The duplex on Riverview Drive was destroyed, Kerley said. 
The cause of the fire, which appeared to have started in the attic in the garage area of the home, wasnt immediately known.  It took between 16 and 18 firefighters about 45 minutes to extinguish the fire, which burned intensely over the garage on a windy Tuesday afternoon.  Barbara Osborne said a neighbor knocked on her door at about 3 p.m. Tuesday. But by the time Barbara, who uses a walker, got to the door, he was gone. But Barbara looked outside and saw three or four people there.  Someone yelled, Get out of there! Your house is on fire!’ Barbara said.  Barbara Osborne said she had seen smoke in her kitchen, where she was working, and checked to make sure the oven was off. After her neighbors warned her about the fire, she went back into the home through the front door to try to get her cat and came out through the garage, hoping to move her car.  But police officers told her not to move the car, which was in the garage, where most of the flames were, and instead get out of the house, Barbara said.  The fire, which dropped down into part of the home below the attic, scorched the siding on an adjacent single-family home. 
Fed fugitive arrested in OR
After receiving an anonymous tip, the Oak Ridge Police Department arrested a man who was wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service on Tuesday morning, according to a department press release.  Desmond Slater was wanted for violation of his federal supervised release.  His original charge was being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The ORPD received an anonymous tip on Slaters whereabouts at about 6 a.m. Tuesday, March 31 that led them to a home on South Dillard Avenue.  Several officers responded, making contact with a resident who told them Slater was inside and granted permission to enter the house to arrest him.  Police say Slater was found in a bedroom and upon initial contact with officers, he immediately tried to escape on foot through the living room.  The struggle ended up outside, where Slater was wrestled into custody.  During the fight to subdue Slater, an Oak Ridge police officer took some friendly fire as he was bitten on his leg by a police dog.  The officer was transported to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries, and Slater, who was also charged with evading arrest and resisting a lawful arrest, was transported to the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton without further incident.
ORT:  Man arrested in OR shooting incident
(Oak Ridge Today) A 23-year-old Oak Ridge man has been charged with attempted first-degree murder in connection to a shooting in the Scarboro neighborhood last week.  Asante Devon Harris allegedly used a handgun to shoot at his ex-girlfriend on South Dillard Avenue at about 9:45 a.m. Monday, March 23, according to an arrest warrant filed in Anderson County General Sessions Court.  The Oak Ridge Police Department reported that Harris turned himself in at about 11:30 p.m. Monday, March 30.  The warrant said the ex-girlfriend was not hit, and the Oak Ridge Police Department said last week that no injuries were reported.  The ORPD said last week that it was searching for Harris and considered him armed and extremely dangerous.  Investigators determined that Harris fired several shots, the Police Department said.  The ORPD said then that it had secured three felony warrants for Harris on charges of attempted first-degree murder, felony reckless endangerment, and felony vandalism.  Harris was arrested overnight and booked into the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton, where he remained jailed on Tuesday morning. His bonds total $150,000.
The ex-girlfriend told Buckner she was at a home on South Dillard Avenue talking to another person when Harris stopped his gold Infinity near the home, got out of the car, and asked, Where the (expletive) is my system? Harris then allegedly produced the handgun and started to shoot at her, the victim told investigators.  [She] stated she was in fear for her life and knew he was trying to kill her, the warrant said.
The woman said she ran behind a home on South Dillard and continued to run until she made it to a friends house on South Fisk Avenue, where she hid behind the home. The victim said that she heard more gunshots after she ran and saw Harris driving toward the house where she was hiding and then continue to drive north on Fisk.  Two witnesses corroborated the victims story. 
UT-Battelle to continue operating ORNL
UT-Battelle has been awarded a new five-year deal to continue managing the Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the Department of Energy.  The new deal was not a surprise to anyone, as the DOE had made it known over a year go it intended to extend the companys contract by five years.  The new deal goes into effect Wednesday April 1st.  UT-Battelle has managed ORNL since 2000.
Ex-nurse indicted on inmate death charges
A former nurse once employed by a company with a contract to provide medical services to inmates at the Anderson County Jail entered a not-guilty plea Monday in Circuit Court in a case in which he is accused of falsifying information on an inmate who later died of an apparent drug overdose. Billy Joe Brockman waived the reading of the indictment prior to entering the plea. A pre-trial motion deadline is set for June 8, and the deadline set for a plea is June 29.   Christopher Charles Sullivan died of complications from the interaction of alcohol and drugs in his system at the Anderson County Jail on July 4, 2014.  Brockmanwho has since been fired from his position with Advanced Correctional Healthcarewas indicted this month by an Anderson County grand jury on the charge of filing a false report, a Class D felony. According to District Attorney General Dave Clark, the indictment against Brockman indicates that he unlawfully reported to Anderson County Sheriffs Department that he had measured and recorded the vital signs of Christopher C. Sullivan while knowing that, in fact, he had not measured or recorded the information.  Brockman posted a $25,000 bond and was released following his arrest on the indictment.
TDOT traffic counters swiped
TDOT devices used to count the number of cars that travel on area roadways were reported stolen on Friday, according to the Anderson County Sheriffs Department.  A TDOT employee told deputies that on Thursday morning, he had placed one device at a location on Sulphur Springs Road and another on Dutch Valley Road but when he returned the next day to retrieve the devices, found that both had been stolen  Each device is valued at around $1000 and there are no suspects at this time. 
Dog killed in Briceville fire
A dog was killed in a house fire Friday afternoon in Briceville.  The fire at the home on Duncan Road was reported at around 3 pm and was put out by crews from the Briceville Volunteer Fire Department.  The homeowner, Eric Harris, was the only human at home at the time of the fire and he was able to get out safely.  However, a dog was not able to make it out and died in the blaze.  Harris said that he had heard a loud sound outside his window and had looked out to find his front porch on fire.  His wife told firefighters that they typically hung heat lamps on and underneath the porch for their outside dogs in cold weather and firefighters, in turn, told deputies that the fire appeared to have started in that area. 
ORT:  Council OKs review of PD
(Oak Ridge Today) The Oak Ridge City Council on Friday approved a proposal from the University of Tennessees Municipal Technical Advisory Serviceor MTASto review, rather than investigate, the Oak Ridge Police Department and Chief Jim Akagi, focusing on turnover, morale, and administrative policies.  A series of motions by City Council member Trina Baughn, who has pushed hardest for an investigation of the ORPD and its police chief, were rejected.   The 30-day review that was approved Friday was first proposed by Oak Ridge City Council member Kelly Callison during a February meeting.  The review would use Rex Barton of MTAS. According to our partners at Oak Ridge Today, a few people, including Baughn, suggested that MTAS and Barton could have a conflict of interest.  But others disputed the conflict-of-interest claim, and Callison said Barton has more than 18 years of experience as a policeman and 20 as an MTAS consultant, and hes conducted more than 50 similar reviews across Tennessee. He said the review wouldnt cost the city any money, and interviews would be conducted off-site. 
The review was approved in a 5-1-1 vote during a 2.5-hour special meeting on Friday. Voting yes were Callison and Smith, Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch, and City Council members Rick Chinn and Charlie Hensley.  Baughn voted no, and Chuck Hope abstained.
A motion that said there is merit in placing the police chief on administrative leave also failed. Baughn cast the only vote in favor; all other Council members voted no. Under the Oak Ridge City Charter, City Council cant directly put the police chief on leave but could direct the city manager to do so.
The ORPD review approved last month followed an earlier call by Baughn to open an investigation into the police chief in three areas. But two of Baughns proposals were rejected in 2-5 votes last month, and the Oak Ridge City Council unanimously approved the third-party review proposed by Callison.
The calls for an investigation or review started after a late January email by Baughn. She expressed concern about what she suggested is a high turnover rate in the Oak Ridge Police Department and allegations contained in a grievance filed by former ORPD Officer Christopher Bayless as well as letters to the editor by several former Oak Ridge officers, including former Police Chief David Beams.  Baughn and Chinn requested Fridays special meeting earlier this month.
Among other things, Baughns proposals would have required all Police Department employees to spend at least 10 minutes with the investigator, regardless of whether they wanted to say anything; sought to interview all former workers who have left since May 2011, when Police Chief Jim Akagi was hired; given those interviewed a chance to participate in a no confidence vote against the chief; and look into Akagis previous history, including his prior employment with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Council also rejected a motion by Baughn to investigate the allegations included in a grievance filed by a former police officer and claims made in letters by former officers.
ORFD offering Code Red In OR
The Oak Ridge Fire Department is encouraging home and business owners to commit to being a leader for weather readiness by signing up on the CodeRed Severe Weather Alert System.
The system is designed to help spread the word about severe weather and make employees and members of the community better prepared, a press release said.
Know the risks, take action, and be an example by signing up, a press release said.
The city announced the system when it promoted Severe Weather Preparedness Week in mid-February.
Visit this City of Oak Ridge page and click on Sign Up For CodeRed to register your personal cell phone number, home phone number, and/or business address. For example, when a tornado warning is issued for this area by the National Weather Service, you will receive a notice on your cell phone to take protective actions. This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for the protection of the lives of citizens and visitors, the release said.
Information on the different types of severe weather such as tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and flooding is available at and or the Spanish- language web site
Oops!  OR business locked down over days-old news report
(Oak Ridge Today) The Oak Ridge Police Department responded to a Jackson Square office that had been locked down on Thursday morning because of reports of an active shooter, but officers could find no signs of one, a press release said.
The office lockdown was reported at about 11:10 a.m. Thursday, March 26, at the Jacobs Engineering offices on Broadway Avenue. The ORPD received several calls that the offices were locked because of an active shooter, the release said.
Officers spoke with Jacobs management at the location, then checked the office complex to verify that all employees were safe and sound, the City of Oak Ridge said in the release. It was discovered that approximately 25 minutes before the call was received, Jacobs management had notified employees by email that lobby doors would be locked because of an active shooter in the Oak Ridge area.
The message included a link to a local news report concerning a suspect wanted for a shooting that occurred in Oak Ridge on Monday, March 23. The news report was based on a press release issued by Oak Ridge Police.
Charges upgraded in Roane shooting
The former police officer accused of shooting his ex-wife Saturday has had the charges against him upgraded from aggravated assault to attempted second-degree murder, according to Roane County DA Russell Johnsons office.  41-year-old Jeremy Alexander Gambrell, who goes by Alex, will still face an aggravated assault charge in connection to him allegedly firing a gun at a second person at his ex-wife Jenny Gambrells home.  That person was not struck by the gunfire but Jenny Gambrell was hit several times but is recovering in the hospital.  Alex Gambrella former Lenoir City and TVA police officerremains in custody on a $50,000 bond but that amount is expected to increase following his arraignment on the upgraded charge. 
AC Courthouse security gets new toys
Members of the Anderson County Courthouse Security Committee have approved the purchase of a wide variety of equipment designed to make the Courthouse and the people who work there safer.  The committee is comprised of the countys five judges, court personnel and other courthouse officials and is charged with maintaining the security of all of Anderson Countys courts.  Those efforts are funded by approximately $68,000 a year from fees and other costs associated with court appearances and, according to the News-Sentinel, currently has about $292,000 in its coffers, including some $20,000 for equipment purchases.  This week, the committee okayed the purchase of up to 16 bulletproof vests for judges and court security personnel to replace older vests whose warranties have expired.  Also purchased were panic buttons for each courthouse office designed to silently alert law enforcement of any disturbances, courtroom surveillance cameras and five so-called strike lights that give off a distracting strobe light and emit a high-pitched squeal that cane be tossed by court security officers to distract suspects or audience members who cause courtroom disturbances.  The purchases were approved on Wednesday. 
WATE:  Man arrestedfor 69th time!
A Campbell County man was arrested last month for the 69th time since 1998, according to WATE-TV in Knoxville.  43-year-old Lowell Murray of Lafollette was arrested on February 23rd after a police officer saw him walking down the middle of a road.  He emitted a strong odor of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet and was charged for the 20th time with public intoxication.  He has been arrested 49 other times on charges including rape, sexual battery, domestic violence and vandalism. 
AAA:  Distracted driving huge problem among teens
(AAA) The most comprehensive research ever conducted into crash videos of teen drivers has found significant evidence that distracted driving is likely much more serious a problem than previously known, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The unprecedented video analysis finds that distraction was a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes, which is four times as many as official estimates based on police reports.  Researchers analyzed the six seconds leading up to a crash in nearly 1,700 videos of teen drivers taken from in-vehicle event recorders. The results showed that distraction was a factor in 58 percent of all crashes studied; including 89 percent of road-departure crashes and 76 percent of rear-end crashes. NHTSA previously has estimated that distraction is a factor in only 14 percent of all teen driver crashes.
Access to crash videos has allowed us to better understand the moments leading up to a vehicle impact in a way that was previously impossible, said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The in-depth analysis provides indisputable evidence that teen drivers are distracted in a much greater percentage of crashes than we previously realized.
The most common forms of distraction leading up to a crash by a teen driver included:
• Interacting with one or more passengers: 15 percent of crashes
• Cell phone use: 12 percent of crashes
• Looking at something in the vehicle: 10 percent of crashes
• Looking at something outside the vehicle: 9 percent of crashes 
• Singing/moving to music: 8 percent of crashes
• Grooming: 6 percent of crashes
• Reaching for an object: 6 percent of crashes
This research confirms that passengers and cell phones are the two most prevalent distractions for teen drivers involved in crashes, said Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Consultant Matt Nasworthy. That is why it is so important for states to review their graduated driver licensing and distracted driving laws to ensure they provide as much protection as possible for teens.  AAA recommends that state laws prohibit cell phone use by teen drivers and restrict passengers to one non-family member for the first six months of driving. Graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws allow new drivers to gain practical experience in a relatively safe environment by restricting their exposure to risky situations. Thirty-three states have laws that prevent cell phone use for teens and 18 states have passenger restrictions meeting AAAs recommendations.
Parents play a critical role in preventing distracted driving. AAA recommends that parents teach teens about the dangers of cell phone use and restrict passengers during the learning-to-drive process.  Before parents begin practice driving with teens, they should create a parent-teen driving agreement that includes strict ground rules related to distraction. AAA offers a comprehensive driver education program, where teens can learn specifically how using a cell phone affects driving abilities and increases their crash risk. For more information, visit
Teens have the highest crash rate of any group in the United States. About 963,000 drivers age 16-19 were involved in police-reported crashes in 2013, which is the most recent year of available data. These crashes resulted in 383,000 injuries and 2,865 deaths. The full research report and b-roll video of teen driver crashes is available on the Foundations website. The Foundation partnered with researchers at the University of Iowa to conduct this study.
AC fleet service department receives ASE certification
(AC Mayors Office) The Anderson County Fleet Service Department recently earned the Blue Seal of Excellence Recognition from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.  ASE is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of vehicle repair and service by means of testing and certification for automotive repair and service professionals.  It is a great honor for me to see Anderson County Fleet Service employees, through hard work and dedication, achieve this goal and be recognized as professional repair and service technicians, Fleet Service Director John Vickery said.  Anderson County Fleet Service continues to focus on training, advancement, and automotive excellence.  I am extremely proud of Mr. Vickery and his team.  Not only does our team care about safety and the people in the departments they serve, but their commitment to raising the bar shows their concern for the taxpayers.  It really warms my heart to see men like John and his team who are constantly aspiring to be the best they can be, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank said in a press release.  The achievement was recognized by Mayor Frank during a brief presentation before last weeks March meeting of the Anderson County Commission.  In addition to the ASE Certification, Anderson County Fleet Service staff members also hold the Emergency Vehicle Technician certification.
ORT:  OR school nurse honored
(Oak Ridge Today) Betsy Jernigan of Oak Ridge Schools has been named the Tennessee School Nurse Administrator of the Year.  This honor is awarded annually by the membership of the Tennessee Association of School Nurses, or TASN, to the school nurse administrator who demonstrates excellence in her field, based on the American Nurses Association Scope and Standards for Nurse Administrators, a press release said.  Jernigan (BSN, RN) began her nursing career as a hospital nurse after graduating with a diploma in nursing from East Tennessee Baptist Hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee.  After she obtained her BSN from the University of Tennessee, she was offered a part-time position as a school nurse with Oak Ridge Schools, the press release said. She worked as a school nurse for eight years and then was promoted to nurse coordinator as additional nurses were hired. Jernigan served on a state committee to update the state health guidelines for schools.  During the second year she worked in school nursing, Jernigan sat for the NCSN (National Certification for School Nurses) exam and currently maintains this certification.  In 1996, she was elected president of TASN. The organizations membership had grown from 30 to more than 100, which led to the beginning of TASN meetings at hotels and having two- to three-day conferences. Jernigan also served TASN in the role of director to NASN from 2004-2008, during which time the NASN (National Association of School Nurses) summer conference was hosted in Nashville. It was the largest attendance at any NASN conference on record.  She continues to work as a school nurse for the Preschool Program and Alternative Program as well as supporting four elementary schools, two middle schools, and a high school as a sub nurse and procedure nurse.  In addition to her work as a school nurse and activities in the TASN, Betsy currently participates in annual fundraising for the United Way of Anderson County and is a trained Stephen Minister through the United Methodist Church.
Ex-officer charged with aggravated assault in Saturday shooting
Roane County investigators have charged a former police officer with two counts of aggravated assault after he allegedly shot his ex-wife and shot at her new boyfriend on Saturday.  41-year-old Jeremy Alexander Gambrell has worked in the past as a police officer in the Lenoir City and TVA Police Departments, but today, is in custody at the Roane County Jail.  The incident happened at his ex-wife Jenny Gambrells home on Bridges Drive near Blair Road Saturday afternoon and while authorities have described the shooting as part of an ongoing divorce proceeding, the exact motive for Saturdays incident remains unclear.  Jeremys father David Gambrell told the Roane County Sheriffs Office that he heard gunshots and saw Jenny on the ground, and Jeremy was next to her apologizing and telling her he loved her.  Jenny Gambrell was hit multiple times by gunshots and taken to UT Medical Center, where she underwent surgery Saturday.  She is said to be recovering at this time.  A witness, Brice Dickreportedly Jenny Gambrells new boyfriendsaid Jeremy Gambrell was armed with a pistol. Dick told TBI agents that Gambrell had pointed the gun at him and fired as Dick sought cover.  Gambrell was taken into custody after a four-hour long standoff with officers and was taken to Roane Medical Center after telling deputies he had taken 20 Adderall pills.  The TBI is assisting in the investigation of Saturdays shooting.
Ex-cop arrested in Roane shooting
A former police officer was arrested after he allegedly shot his estranged wife several times on Saturday afternoon near Harriman.  The Roane County Sheriffs Office says that 41-year-old Jeremy Alexander Gambrell was taken into custody after a four-hour long standoff at a home on Blair Road and faces multiple charges in connection with the incident.  Officials say that a domestic disturbance tied to an ongoing divorce led to Saturdays shooting, which left the victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.  She was flown to an area hospital, where she underwent surgery and is said to be recovering.  Investigators say four people were at the house at the time of the shooting, namely Gambrell and his father, Gambrells wife and her boyfriend.  An argument via text message between Gambrell and the boyfriend may have played a role in the incident, which came to an ultimately peaceful resolution about four hours after deputies first arrived on the scene when Gambrell was arrested.  Deputies say he appeared to be under the influence of narcotics at the time he was taken into custody.  Gambrell previously worked as a police officer with the Lenoir City and TVA police departments.  The TBI is assisting the Roane County Sheriffs Office in its investigation into the shooting.  No one else was hurt in the incident. 
OS Council takes interim tag off Campbell
The Oliver Springs City Council voted unanimously Thursday to take the interim tag off of City Manager Becky Campbells title and install her in that position on a full-time basis.   She will be paid slightly more than the previous City Manager, whom she replaced in October of 2014.  Campbell, who has been an Oliver Springs employee for almost 18 years, will not be subject to the standard 90-day probationary period and, according to our partners at BBB-TV, would not have accepted the job had that been part of the deal.  The Council also voted to hire Lisa Relford as Campbells assistant.  Relford currently serves as a dispatcher for the Oliver Springs Police Department. 
State implements new driver license systems
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security today announced the implementation of a new statewide driver license system that will increase efficiency at state driver services centers. This is the first major upgrade to the states driver service system in 30 years.   The new system, referred to as A-List, launched statewide February 17 on time and within budget.  The A-List driver license system has reduced or, in some cases, eliminated paperwork for driver license examiners and has increased automation of what were previously manual processes. Examiners now utilize a single, web-based interactive screen, as opposed to moving between multiple displays in the previous system. This new system allows driver license examiners to process transactions more efficiently and effectively and interface with modern technology that did not exist 30 years ago, Commissioner Bill Gibbons said. The new features will help us improve service and reduce wait times at driver services centers, which have been top priorities under this administration, he added.  
The A-List driver license system also increases online driver services. In addition to renewing or replacing driver licenses, citizens may now visit  to:  
         Pay reinstatement fees and obtain reissued driver licenses after reinstatement, if eligible;
         Schedule road skills tests (while prohibiting duplicate appointments scheduled by the same person, which has increased wait times in the past);
         Add emergency contact information;
         Receive electronic communications from the department via text messages or e-mail; and
         Start the driver license application online before visiting a driver services center (for citizens who have relocated to Tennessee). 
Additionally, the A-List system is more secure and reduces the potential for customer and employee fraud. For example, A-List determines the types of licenses or classifications for which a customer qualifies and will only allow those types of transactions.  It also prevents duplicate social security numbers from being entered into the system. 
Our driver license examiners have provided positive feedback on use of the new system. We believe it will vastly improve our processes at the driver services centers and help us provide better customer service, Assistant Commissioner Lori Bullard said.  Bullard oversees the departments Driver Services Division. 
The department offers various options for citizens to renew or replace driver licenses. In addition to online services available at, Tennessee residents can renew or replace licenses by mail, at one of the many driver license self-service kiosks across the state, or at a one of the departments county clerk partners. For information on these options and locations, visit
Follow-up:  Archer explains tax attorney issue, confusion
Following up on a story we have been following for you here on WYSH, Anderson County Trustee Rodney Archer says that despite the County Commissions failure to establish a maximum percentage that an outside attorney could be paid to act as the countys delinquent tax attorney, he has no choice but to move forward with naming someone to act in that capacity before the state-mandated deadline for him to file a delinquent tax suit.  Archer told WYSH this morning that he could possibly make his decision on who will serve in that role by the end of the day today (Thursday March 19th) but that the person chosen will likely have to agree to work on a pro bono basis until the Commission approves the compensation package he negotiates with that attorney.   [2] The state allows a maximum of 10% of the base taxes owed on a delinquent property to be paid to an attorney hired to handle those cases and Archer sought that maximum amount in order to negotiate a deal.  [3] Archer says that whether or not an attorney is retained by then, he is required by state law to file a delinquent tax lawsuit by April 1st or else be subject to an audit finding from the state.  At issue is Mayor Terry Franks refusal to sign off on Archers recommendation that Law Director Jay Yeager be used as the delinquent tax attorney as he has since the creation of his office in 2006.  Frank relieved Yeager of those duties late last year as part of their long-running dispute.  By law, Archer is required to appoint someone to serve in that capacity and he appointed Yeager, but Mayor Frankwho, by statute has final approval of his recommendation has not backed off her position.  Archer says a compromise that will allow him to choose the attorney and negotiate the best deal for the county with regards to their payment has been worked out.  Some commissioners expressed their concern that in the event an outside attorney is retained, all of the money from the collection of back taxes would not flow back into county coffers, but some would instead go to lawyers. Archer took some of the blame for the confusion that seemed to dominate Monday nights meeting, indicating his belief that he did not explain the situation that well. He says in the days following the meeting he has been in contact with several commissioners, some of whom apologized for failing to take action and, in effect, tying his hands in regards to negotiating.  Archer says that while there is money in his budget to pay for an outside attorney to serve in that role through the end of June, state law prohibits him from doing so.  The Commissions role appears to be solely to say yes or no to the compensation package he is able to negotiate.  He also cautioned commissioners to be careful about voting emotionally or too quickly on this issue, as ultimately, some people could lose their property over failure to pay their taxes and that is a decision not to be made lightly. 
3M gets permit to expand Clinton facility
Clinton city officials confirmed this morning that the 3M Company, which announced late last year that it had purchased the former Food Lion Distribution Center in the Eagle Bend Industrial Park, has obtained a building permit to make roughly $18 million worth of upgrades and improvements to the facility and build a 45,000-square-foot addition.  3M, one of the worlds largest manufacturers, says that product for the oil, gas and automotive industries will be made at the Clinton facility, but have not said exactly what they will be producing.  The company announced last year that it plans to create as many as 100 new jobs in Anderson County with hiring set to begin later this year.  The bulk of the renovation will include the removal of old food coolers and the creation of office space, according to Building Official Curtis Perez, and the upgrades will focus on the electrical and plumbing systems.  The planned new building will house processing equipment for at least one of the yet-to-be-announced products.  The existing facility measures approximately 772,000 square feet and became available when Food Lion closed the distribution center three years ago.  Perez says the company paid $36,000 for the building permit, explaining that the fee is based upon the cost of the construction project.  We will continue to follow this story for you.
Campbell cold case gets new life
Investigators hope that the exhumation of the body of a woman in a more than 15-year-old cold case in Campbell County will lead to her identity and eventually, her killer.  Wednesday, authorities exhumed the body of a woman killed in 1998. The victim was stabbed and shot and buried in a shallow grave in the Stinking Creek area.  Authorities were never able to determine her identity and she was later buried in Peabody Cemetery under a grave marker that listed her name as Unknown. In the years following her murder, volunteers with an organization called the National Missing and Unidentified Person Systems, or NaMUS, became involved in the case. Based on the victims bones, they created sculptures and renderings of what they believe she may have looked like.  They believe she was a 30 to 40-year-old black woman with brown hair and dark eyes who likely was about five feet, six inches tall weighing around 130 pounds.  . She had no identifying marks on her body.  Investigators are hoping DNA will determine who she is.
Greenway project to connect Knox, OR
The region’s paved greenway trail system is set to expand, according to new plans unveiled Wednesday.  The Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) announced plans to link West Knoxville and Knox County to Oak Ridge.  An additional 13.2 miles will be added to the more than 100 miles of paved greenway trails that already exist throughout the area.  The project is estimated to cost $8.8 million.  The project will link three existing greenways: the Ten Mile Creek Greenway in West Knoxville and West Knox County, the Pellissippi Greenway in West Knox County and the Melton Lake Greenway in Oak Ridge.
Area educators receive recognition
Several area educators have been honored by their peers for their service to our children.  Clinton High School Principal Eric Snider was voted the Anderson County school systems Principal of the Year by the 16 other principals in the system.  Snider, who is in 5th year as the Chief Dragon, was named the High School Principal of the Year last year.  Previously, the system gave separate awards for Elementary, Middle and High School principals.  The Clinton City schools named Clinton Elementary School Principal Jenna Sharp its Principal of the Year for this, her first year in that post.  Clinton Elementarys Teacher of the Year is 6th grade reading/language arts and social studies teacher Lauren Murphy.  North Clintons intervention specialist Lynn Neal was named that schools Teacher of the Year and the South Clinton Elementary School teacher of the Year is second-grade teacher Lauren Neal.  All of these honorees and others will be honored on Tuesday March 31st at the Family Life Center of First Baptist Church in Clinton during an awards banquet. 
Chancellor rules no conflict on school propane deal
A specially-appointed Chancellor has ruled on a seemingly routine propane gas contract awarded last year that became controversial when some county officials learned of a possible conflict of interest.  Last spring, the county awarded a propane gas contract to Blossman Gas Incorporated to supply propane to the county school system after it had gone through the Purchasing Committee.  Scott Daugherty, the manager of Blossmans Knoxville location, is an Anderson County resident and serves on the Purchasing Committee.  When this particular contract came up, Daugherty told fellow committee members he was employed by Blossman and recused himself from the vote.  Blossmans bid was the winning proposal and the committee approved the deal, which was also later approved by the full County Commission.  Shortly after the Commission vote, however, some county officials became concerned about the possible conflict of interest posed by Daughertys inclusion on the Purchasing Committee and voted the following month to rescind the contract.  County Mayor Terry Frank sought a chancellors opinion and Anderson County Chancellor Nicki Cantrell recused herself from the case.  Knox County Chancellor Michael Moyers heard the case and last week, ruled that because Daugherty is a salaried employee of Blossman who receives no commission or bonus based on the contract in question, or any other contract, he received no personal beneficial interest, and no conflict existed.  The Chancellor wrote in his opinion, filed last week, that Mr. Daughertys employment with Blossman Gas has no bearing on the validity of the Blossman contract.  That cleared the way for the deal to be reinstated but commissioners on Monday voted to table the issue until next month so that they can read the legal opinion, which they did not receive until shortly before this months meeting, for themselves.  Some question whether or not Daughertys previous employment by a competing bidder may constitute a conflict, but as far as the question before the court, the deal has legal approval.  (EDITORS NOTE:  Blossman Gas is the title sponsor of WYSHs high school football talk show in the fall.)
Fire destroys vacant Marlow house
A vacant home in the Marlow community was destroyed by a fire Monday afternoon.  The property owner told Sheriffs deputies and firefighters that the house at 143 Talley Lane had been vacant for eight years after a previous fire destroyed much of the structure.  She said her son had been cleaning the property the previous day and had started a burn pile about 50 feet from the home to get rid of trash and wood from inside the building.  There was no power to the home but a CUB crew came and checked wires near the house for any damage and a gas can identified by the owner as her sons was found near the back door of the house.  The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental and no injuries were reported.  The blaze was extinguished by the Marlow Volunteer Fire Department. 
Chemicals start fire in storage building
A storage building on Foster Lane in the Medford community was destroyed by a fire Tuesday afternoon.  Property owner Terry Foust told deputies and firefighters that he had been cleaning out the building in order to tear it down at around 3:45 pm when the roof collapsed and a fire broke out.  Foust said there were several chemicals like paint, thinner and others stored in the building, some of which had leaked on to the floor.  Medford volunteer firefighters say the chemicals likely caused the fire.  No injuries were reported. 
OR Mall re-do on track and on schedule
(Information from Oak Ridge Today) Executives from Crosland Southeast, the North Carolina-based company that wants to redevelop the former Oak Ridge Mall property as the mixed-use Main Street Oak Ridge could close on the purchase of the property in June.  The project is expected to include a mix of retail shops, restaurants, and residential units, as well as a hotel. Belk and JCPenney, the two remaining anchor stores at the mostly empty mall, would remain, said James Downs, partner in Crosland Southeast.  Main Street Oak Ridge will include a total of about 325,000 square feet of retail space, as well as 153 residential units, including spaces for rent in three-story buildings above retail outlets, open space near the center of the development, and possibly as many as 30 retailers or more.  Downs said Monday that the project is on track and on schedule and that the developers hope to celebrate a grand opening in the fall of 2016.   Downs says that several tenants have already committed to the project and that others are expected to sign on in the not-too-distant future, adding that it will be up to the individual tenants to announce their involvement.  Construction work and the demolition of enclosed space between anchor stores could start at about the same time as the closing.  The project could include a new stoplight on Rutgers Avenue and outdoor dining and outdoor seating near the open space. Existing buildings could get facelifts.  Downs said Crosland Southeast is finalizing a contract with a hotel manager.  He said Walmart and the Cinemark Tinseltown Theater are outside the project, but Crosland Southeast is working with them. The theater is now an island, and the redevelopment is expected to provide good pedestrian connectivity between the theater and Main Street Oak Ridge, including its restaurants.  Wilson, East Main, and West Main streets would be brought up to high standards and become public roadways, developers said.  The Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission will consider a rezoning and planned unit development, or PUD, plan for Main Street Oak Ridge on March 26. The Oak Ridge City Council will then consider the rezoning and PUD plan on first and second reading in April.  For much more on this story, visit our partners at  
Merle lands another big name
In its second major announcement in less than a week, Merle 96.7 (WMYL/Knoxville) today announced the addition of Hall of Fame Program Director and Music Consultant Mike Hammond.  Mike brings four decades of country music knowledge and relationships from Nashville to Knoxville to Merle FM, says Jack Ryan, Merle afternoon show host and station partner.  Im pleased to have him available on a professional level as well as a personal one.
In addition to the professional aspect of Hammonds presence at the radio group, theres a personal one:  Mike is Jacks father.  While Jacks air name is Ryan, his last name is Hammond, says Mike.   Were both excited to be working together again in this way.
Hammond serves as the Knox County Criminal Court Clerk.  “This is my focus each day, and I am proud of what our team has accomplished.  Working with Merle on the weekends will be another extension of my public service as I work with artists and musicians to give them the chance to have their music heard on the radio.”
“In my 40 year career in country radio, music has been my passion.  The chance to hear new artists like Kenny Chesney and Taylor Swift and see their careers go worldwide has been a source of pride to me.  I hope to continue that tradition with Merle FM.  Ron and Jack are passionate about the music and I look forward to working with them to bring not only new music from Nashville but music from our local artists as well.”  Hammond begins his new role April 1.  He can be reached via e mail at  
Ron Meredith built Merle FM 96.7 in 2007.  It is now the highest rated and most successful locally-owned radio station in the Knoxville market.  With the addition of afternoon drive host now partner Jack Ryan in 2012 Merle FM accelerated the climb to the top of Knoxvilles Radio market. Now, with the addition of Ed Brantley last week and, Mike Hammond today the Merle FM staff will have more than 190 years of combined broadcasting experience and will work to become Knoxvilles number one radio station.  It is our goal to move Merle FM into the top spot in Knoxville radio.says Meredith. People the caliber of Ed Brantley and Mike Hammond combined with our already successful staff Jack Ryan, Dan Bell, Phil Jarnagin, Jennifer Alexander and a host of others, that goal may be attained much faster.
AC BOE, Foster sued
Anderson County school director Larry Foster and the County School Board have been sued for over $1.5 million by the former principal of Norris Elementary School, alleging libel and breach of a written agreement regarding her employment.  Jess Anne Cole alleges in the lawsuit filed last week in Anderson County Circuit Court that the stress caused by her removal from her post after she alerted central office personnel of alleged irregularities and impropriety in the purchase of several items from the company owned by the daughter of the systems special education director caused her to have a stroke and suffer from stress-related incidents.  Cole alleges that she told Foster about her concerns over some $119,000 in purchases from a company run by Sue Voskamps daughter only to be removed from her position over allegations that she created a hostile work environment for teachers at Norris, but according to the suit, was never offered specifics.  The suit claims that Foster libeled her in an article in the Courier News in which he allegedly said that Cole had known about the purchases for some time but only went public with them after her conduct was questioned.  Cole went on medical leave in the summer of 2013 and returned to work in May of last year, believing she had a written agreement with school officials that she would be reinstated as principal at Norris but was told that was not going to happen.  The lawsuit claims she was assigned to central office duties designed for her to fail and that the stress from the situation caused her to fall ill.  School officials say an internal investigation into the purchases in question determined there was no conflict of interest because Voskamp did not personally benefit from them.  The suit asks for a total of $1.508 million. 
THP:  Man killed, boy injured in Wednesday wreck
A Heiskell man was killed and a 12-year-old boy injured in a single-vehicle crash last week, according to a fatality report released Sunday by the Tennessee Highway Patrol.  65-year-old Ronald Henderson of Heiskell was not wearing a seat belt when 1994 Ford Mustang ran off the road and struck a utility pole Wednesday morning, according to the THP.  The investigating trooper indicated in his report that a seat belt could have saved Hendersons life.  Henderson was traveling north on Brooks Gap Road shortly after 7:30 am Wednesday (3/11) when he failed to stop at a stop sign, crossed the intersection onto Buffalo Road and struck the pole.  Authorities say that a medical condition may have contributed to the crash.  His passenger, 12-year-old Nicholas Ty Monday of Heiskell, was injured. Monday was buckled up.
Cemetery vandalized in Roane
Unknown suspects vandalized the Swan Pond Baptist Church Cemetery in Harriman last week.  The culprits knocked over several tombstones, stole dozens of vases, and a few benches. They also drove through the grounds and over some graves.   The church estimated the damage costs around $2,000.
ORPD arrests suspect in golf course break-in, theft
Officers from the Oak Ridge Police Department have arrested a man suspected of burglarizing a clubhouse at Centennial Golf Course.  A former employee of the golf course identified as 22-year-old Christopher John Queen of Knoxville was arrested and charged with one count of burglary.  Officers said they responded to the golf course, just after midnight last Monday (3/9 and found a glass door shattered and a set of golf clubs stolen. The value of the stolen and damaged property was estimated at just under $1700.  Detectives identified the man in surveillance video as Queen.  Queen was taken to the Anderson County Jail, but was released after posting bond.
OR man arrested
An Oak Ridge man was arrested Wednesday on charges connected to an early-morning incident in which he allegedly backed into a vehicle behind him, almost hit two police officers who were walking back to check on the incident, and then sped away at more than 100 mph.  20-year-old Rayshawn L. Freeman, 20, is accused of aggravated assault, two counts of reckless endangerment, evading arrest, reckless driving and speeding.  The incident occurred just after 4 a.m. on Sunday March 8th on South Illinois Avenue, according to police.  Two officers were conducting a traffic stop when they saw Freeman stop in the middle of the roadway behind them, blocking traffic.  After striking a vehicle behind him, Freeman allegedly drove toward the officers as they were walking back to investigate.  Freeman then sped off at more than 100 mph and led police on a brief chase that ended on Phillips Lane, where Freeman bailed out and fled on foot. 
Canadian company moving to OR, bringing 600+ jobs
(TDEC) Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd along with CVMR officials today announced the company will establish its global headquarters in Roane County. CVMR is moving all of its current operations from Toronto, Canada to a Tennessee manufacturing facility located at 103 Palladium Way in Oak Ridge. CVMR is investing $313 million to establish this facility, create the CVMR Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Powder Metallurgy and production facilities for a wide spectrum of advanced metal products, resulting in 620 new jobs for Roane County.
Today is exciting not just for Oak Ridge and Roane County but for all of Tennessee, and I want to thank CVMR for its significant investment in our state, making us the home of its corporate headquarters, research and development and manufacturing, Haslam said. This announcement sends a clear signal around the world about our skilled workforce, Tennessees commitment to innovation and its ability to compete in the global marketplace.
By leveraging unique resources like Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee is in an extraordinary position to support long-term growth of advanced manufacturers like CVMR, Boyd said. The Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Powder Metallurgy sets the stage for future innovation and makes a real statement about the strength of Tennessees workforce. Through workforce initiatives, like Drive to 55, we are developing and maintaining a pipeline of students who will be ready to work at some of the most sophisticated manufacturing facilities in the world. I appreciate CVMRs commitment to Tennessee and the 620 new jobs they are creating in our communities.
We evaluated four States before we decided to move our Head Office to Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  Tennessee has the infrastructure that our operations require. It has a great University that can supply the scientists and engineers we need. The proximity of Oak Ridge National Laboratories and their willingness to cooperate on a number of projects with us, the availability of first class transportation facilities and ability to use the river, all were contributing factors to our final decision, Kamran M. Khozan, Chairman and CEO, CVMR (USA) Inc., said. But above all, the efficiency with which the State, county and city officials dealt with us and made us feel welcomed, made our final decision quite easy. It was an honour and a privilege for me to meet with Governor Bill Haslam. His style of leadership and efficiency of his government was a major positive influence in our final decision.  
Oak Ridge is a community receptive to new technologies for manufacturing, innovative science, and industrial production, Michael C. Hargett, President, CVMR (USA), said. A combination of superior local resources, an ability to leverage cutting-edge knowledge, and emerging demand for high-performance products makes East Tennessee the place for the CVMR headquarters, manufacturing and production. This environment supports investment and further development of CVMR technologies. 
CVMR USA is a new company formed to use the technologies and metallurgical expertise of CVMR to address market demands for products manufactured from metal powders in the US. CVMR USA will refine and manufacture high-value metals and metal products directly from raw ore, scrap metals, concentrates and mattes. 
CVMR plans to begin operating by the end of May 2015 and will transfer to Oak Ridge the production of advanced metal materials for a variety of industries, including aerospace, energy, automotive and medical devices. CVMR plans to quadruple its production capacity at the site over the next three years and will begin construction of additional facility in June 2015. 
The Oak Ridge facility will house CVMR USAs corporate headquarters, research and development, production of nano materials and metallurgical coating services, customer support, product development and planning for US production facilities. The CVMR Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Powder Metallurgy will collaborate with academic, industrial, government and businesses entities interested in the development of advanced materials and innovative technologies. The Centre will focus on production of new metallurgical products that can benefit the metal industry.
Roane County is proud to welcome CVMR as our newest industry, Roane County Executive Ron Woody said. Having such an innovative company locate here strengthens and diversifies our economy and increases our impact on the rest of the world, which is already significant through our partners at the Department of Energy and our existing companies.
As Mayor of Oak Ridge, I want to be the first to welcome the CVMR world headquarters to Oak Ridge. CVMRs location to Oak Ridge adds to the distinction of our community as a place of innovation and advanced composite discoveries for the world, Oak Ridge City Mayor Warren Gooch said. As we diversify our economy for additive manufacturing, CVMR is at the center of the world of 3D printing and advanced metallurgy. Oak Ridge will be by their side as a partner in establishing a hub for new technologies and advanced composite businesses for Oak Ridge and the region. 
“TVA and the Oak Ridge Electric Department congratulate CVMR Corporation on its announcement to locate and create hundreds of new jobs in Oak Ridge, TVA senior vice president of Economic Development John Bradley said. We are pleased to partner with the state of Tennessee, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the City of Oak Ridge, many Oak Ridge community leaders, and Roane County to facilitate CVMRs new location decision.
“We’re welcoming CVMR to Tennessee because a lot of people worked together to show them our area’s unique resources,” Thom Mason, director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and chairman of the regional Innovation Valley partnership, said. “ORNL’s leadership in additive manufacturing is a perfect fit for CVMR, for instance. In partnership with Roane County, the city of Oak Ridge, TVA and others, we’re seeing Tennessee build a manufacturing sector at the forefront of current technologies.”
CVMR will immediately begin hiring people with experience as materials specialists, chemical technicians, product development, and those with advanced degrees in these particular areas. 
Oak Ridge and Roane County are represented by Rep. Kent Calfee (R Kingston), Rep. John Ragan (R Oak Ridge), Sen. Randy McNally (R Oak Ridge) and Sen. Ken Yager (R Kingston) in the Tennessee General Assembly.
ORT:  More on CVMR announcement
(Oak Ridge Today) A company that manufactures high-purity metal powders and super alloys is moving its operations to Oak Ridge from Toronto, Canada, and investing $313 million here and creating 620 jobs, officials said Friday.
CVMR, which has operations in 18 countries, will use the former Theragenics building at Horizon Center in west Oak Ridge for its headquarters and research and development. The company closed on that building, which is on 21 acres, on Friday, but executives declined to name the sale price.
The first employee was hired yesterday, said Kamran Khozan, chairman and chief executive officer of CVMR (USA) Incorporated.
The company could expand that 65,000-square-foot building; infrastructure that is already in place allows it to be doubled. The company could put 218 people to work right away in its new headquarters and add 402 high-paying (non-federal) manufacturing jobs later, a state official said.
I can promise you that this is the start of a wave, said Randy Boyd, the new commissioner of Tennessee Economic and Community Development.
The manufacturing facility could be built about two miles away on 25 acres at an old steam plant near the former K-25 site, now known as Heritage Center. That property is owned by the U.S. Department of Energy.
The news was announced early Friday afternoon at the new CVMR headquarters on Palladium Way in Horizon Center. Guests included local, state, and federal officials, and CVMR executives.
This is obviously an exciting announcement for Oak Ridge and East Tennessee, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said.
We expect to be much bigger and invest much more in the next five years, Khozan said.
He said there could be about 120 PhD researchers at the companys new Oak Ridge headquarters.
CVMR executives said about five million tons of ores per year will be concentrated overseas in places such as the Phillipines, Indonesia, and African countries, and then shipped or sent by barge to Oak Ridge. About 10 percent of that, or about 500,000 tons could be processed in Oak Ridge.
CVMR USA Presidnet Michael Hargett said the company has commitments to manufacture by June 2015. Systems and equipment that are now in Toronto will be moved to Oak Ridge, he said.
CVMR uses the ore concentrates to create pure metal powders. Those then go to manufacturers that make parts for customers, such as NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense. CVMR works with 52 medal powders and produces about 34 unique products, using metal concentrates such as nickel, iron, and cobalt, and they can be used in batteries, 3D manufacturing, medical instruments, defense equipment, and the aerospace industry.
DOD is CVMRs largest customer, but others include NASA, General Electric, and General Dynamics.
A state press release said a large part of the U.S. plant will be used to produce metal powers for 3D printing and graphene for advanced products.
There will be state incentives for the company, but Haslam said those havent been finalized yet.
Besides Boyd, Haslam, Khozan, and Hargett, speakers at Fridays ceremony included Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch, Roane County Executive Ron Woody, Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason.
Khozan said about 75 percent of metal parts use metal powders and alloys. And the industry is growing at about 26 percent in the United States, compared to 13.5 percent in China.
He said Tennessee has a business-friendly environment, cited the importance of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee, and said the City of Oak Ridge has first-class infrastructure. Hargett said the labor force is also central; employees can work in a high-tech setting that complies with global standards, he said.
CVMR plans to begin operating by the end of May 2015 and will transfer to Oak Ridge the production of advanced metal materials for a variety of industries, including aerospace, energy, automotive and medical devices. CVMR plans to quadruple its production capacity at the site over the next three years and will begin construction of the additional facility in June 2015.
Feds, others celebrate UPF site-readiness
Federal officials and contractors celebrated the completion of site readiness work for the multi-billion dollar Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex on Friday morning.  The UPF site readiness work includes a Bear Creek Road extension and the creation of a haul road.  Officials say that site readiness is the first major step for the UPF.  The $6.5 billion project is expected to be completed by 2025 and when finished, will represent the largest single construction project in state history.  Completion of this stage of the field work to prepare for building UPF signifies a move forward toward the National Nuclear Security Administrations commitment to complete UPF and move out of the aging 9212 facility.  The Friday morning event featured a host of dignitaries, including NNSA Administrator General Frank Klotz; Congressman Chuck Fleischmann; Lieutenant Colonel John Hudson, commander of the Nashville District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; UPF Federal Project Director John Eschenberg; Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC President and CEO Jim Haynes; and UPF Project Director Brian Reilly.  Upcoming UPF site readiness work includes more site infrastructure and services.  CNS is preparing plans for other components of this key scope.
Frank, Phillips review 2014, preview 2015 financial picture
Thursday, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank and Budget Director Chris Phillips released an overview of the countys 2014 finances and provided a preview of this years budget cycle.  You can read the op-ed piece in its entirety on our websites Local Information News page, but some of the 2014 highlights included the county being identified as a low-risk auditee rather than high-risk for a second consecutive year and the undesignated fund balance being increased to $4 million.  Frank and Phillips also noted that the minimum undesignated fund balance was increased by over $1.7 million in revenues over expenditures and that tight spending practices helped Anderson County experience a year of surplus revenue over expenditures, and we continue to strive to limit debt.  Writing that, while 2014 was another year of stability and continued improvement, there are challenges on the horizon.  Reappraisals are expected to note a decline in some areas.  A shrinking fund balance for our school system may result in cash-flow challenges that might require Tax Anticipation notes in years to come.  Frank and Phillips also say that a problem with a Medicare administrative contractor has created a significant cash-flow problem in the county EMS that will likely result in a budget shortfall of between $600,000 and $800,000.  Basically, the problem has been created because the EMS, which is normally self-sufficient, is not being paid for answering 911 calls.  Until the situation is corrected, EMS has implemented a spending freeze on all expenditures except for essential equipment, supplies, and payroll.  County officials are working closely with Senator Alexanders office in an effort to resolve the issues.  Even with those difficulties, Frank and Phillips say the tight spending practices of government leaders has allowed Anderson County to build [its] fund balance so that we are able to weather such a storm.  Again, you can read the entire op-ed summarizing 2014 and previewing 2015 on our website. 
ORPD nabs sex offender near school after theftfrom church
A convicted rapist with a violent past was arrested this week near an elementary school after the pastor at an Oak Ridge church Heritage Fellowship Church saw him steal mail from the church.  Oak Ridge officers arrested 47-year-old Gregory Scott Tyree about half a mile from Heritage Fellowship Church near Willow Brook Elementary School on Robertsville Road.  Investigators also recovered evidence near Robertsville Middle School with help from the pastor, who had followed Tyree after watching him take the mail.  After Tyree was taken into custody on misdemeanor theft charges, officers discovered he was convicted in 1994 for aggravated rape and sexual battery. So, Wednesday, he was charged with violating the state sex offender registry law.  Tyree is in custody at the Anderson County Jail.
ORAU awarded DOE contract
The Department of Energy has awarded ORAU a five-year, $23 million contract to continue managing its National Supplemental Screening Program. ORAU has managed this worker health screening program for DOE since 2005. The screening programs are free for former energy workers who may have been exposed to hazardous substances at work. To provide the NSSP services, ORAU partners with Comprehensive Health Services, Inc., National Jewish Health, the University of Colorado, Denver Health Sciences Center and Axion Health. 
The program managed by ORAU is one of six such programs funded by DOE. The ORAU-managed program serves workers from the Hanford Site in Washington, Savannah River Site in South Carolina, Rocky Flats Plant in Colorado, Kansas City Plant in Missouri, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in New Jersey, Pinellas Plant in Florida and Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Lab both located in Illinois. Through this program, the NSSP also provides screening for workers from other sites living outside their screening area or who are not covered by the other established programs. Workers can go to the NSSP website ( to learn more about the program, eligibility and enrollment details. 
In the past ten years, nearly 16,000 former DOE workers from around the country have enrolled in this program. Through its partner, Comprehensive Health Services, Inc., ORAU works with nearly 2,000 medical facilities across the country to secure screening at a location convenient to the worker. These screenings are designed to identify certain occupational diseases, such as respiratory illnesses or cancers. Since the beginning of this program, these tests also made more than 85 percent of those participating aware of previously undiagnosed, yet addressable, non-occupational health conditions, such as elevated blood sugar or blood pressure.
ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Learn more about ORAU at  
Nurse indicted in connection to AC inmate death
A nurse and former employee of a company providing medical services to inmates at the Anderson County Jail has been indicted on a felony charge of making a false report in connection to the death of a 34-year-old man while in custody at the jail last summer.  34-year-old Christopher Sullivan died on July 4th, just hours after being arrested on drug possession, public intoxication and contributing to the delinquency of a minor charges by Oak Ridge Police.  According to a release from DA Dave Clarks office, Sullivan appeared to be impaired but was able to walk, talk, write and successfully [complete] the booking process.  He was then placed in a holding cell where he laid down on a bench and appeared to fall asleep.  Three and a half hours later, a jailer tried to wake him and found Sullivan unresponsive.  Despite the efforts of EMTs, Sullivan died and an autopsy later determined he had died from alcohol and morphine intoxication.  The ACSD notified the DAs office and the Coroners Office and also began its own internal probe into Sullivans death.  The evidence was turned over to the DAs Office, which took it to the grand jury.  The grand jury indicted 49-year-old Billy Joe Brockman of Clinton on a Class D Felony charge of making a false report.  The investigation determined that Brockman unlawfully reported toinvestigators that he had measured and recorded Sullivans vital signs despite knowing that he had not.  Videotape of the booking area reportedly shows that Brockman did not take or record Sullivans vital signs.  At the time of Sullivans death, Brockman was employed with Advanced Correctional Healthcare Inc., which is contracted to provide medical services to county inmates.  The DAs office says it is believed he is no longer with that company.  DA Dave Clark will refer this matter and all the evidence in the case to the State Nursing Board for its consideration for action with respect to [Brockmans] nursing license.  Brockman was taken into custody by Sheriffs deputies on Tuesday and released from the ACDF after posting a $100,000 bond.  He will be arraigned in Criminal Court on March 30th. 
1 killed, 2 hurt in Campbell crash
One person was killed and two people were injured Wednesday night in a two-vehicle accident in Campbell County and state troopers say that alcohol may have played a role.  The Tennessee Highway Patrol reports that the accident happened just after 11:15 pm Wednesday when a 1999 Jeep Cherokee driven by 33-year-old Michael Kidd of Jellico failed to yield the right of way while attempting to turn on to State Highway 297 from Little Elk Creek Road and collided almost head-on with a 1995 Dodge Ram Pickup driven by 54-year-old Buford Trammell of Pioneer.  The passenger in Kidds Jeep, identified as 33-year-old Della Foust of Rockholds, Kentucky, was killed in the crash while Kidd and Trammell were both injured.  None of the three were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash and the report indicates that Kidd had been drinking.  Blood tests were ordered and the report indicates that charges and citations are pending.  The conditions of the injured were not immediately available.
Ex-jailer indicted for assaulting inmate
A former Anderson County corrections officer has been indicted on a misdemeanor assault charge after he allegedly struck an inmate last fall.  Dustin McCoig turned himself in on Wednesday on the charge contained in the indictment handed down last week and was released after posting bond.  Inmate Joshua Bryant says that he was assaulted by McCoig on October 22, 2014 while he was incarcerated and McCoig was on duty.  The Sheriffs Department began an internal affairs investigation and turned the findings of that probe over to the DAs office, which in turn presented the case to the Anderson County grand jury on March 3rd.  He was indicted on a charge of assault, a Class A misdemeanor.  McCoig, according to a release from the DAs office was separated from employment with the Sheriffs Department as a result of the investigation.  DA Dave Clark said that while he is disappointed that charges of this type have arisen from our local detention facilityI am pleased at the response of the Sheriffs Department in policing itselfIt is critical that law enforcement hold itself to appropriate standards to insure safety, justice and to preserve public confidence in our criminal justice system.  Bryant remains in custody at the Jail, where he has been incarcerated since last June and McCoig will be arraigned March 30th in Criminal Court.
2 indicted on child sex abuse charges
Two people have been arrested in the past two days on separate, unrelated cases of child sexual abuse after indictments were handed down last week by the Anderson County Grand Jury.  44-year-old Gerald Wayne Condon of Maryville and 50-year-old Roger Dale Lindsay of Clinton were charged after investigations by the Sheriffs Criminal Investigations Unit.  Condon was indicted on twenty-five (25) counts of child sexual abuse offenses on one underage victim that occurred over the last four years. He faces five counts each of Rape; Statutory Rape By Authority Figure; Sexual Battery by an Authority Figure; Sale, Loan, Or Exhibition of Material To Minors and Incest.  Condon was arrested on Tuesday, March 10, and released after posting $100,000.00 bond.
Lindsay was indicted on eighteen (18) counts of child sexual abuse offenses on two underage victims that occurred over the last six years. Lindsay was indicted on six counts each of Sexual Battery by an Authority Figure and Incest, five counts of Rape of a Child and one count of Statutory Rape by an Authority Figure.  He was arrested Wednesday, March 11, and is currently in jail on $100,000.00 bond.  Both of these cases were recently reported to the Anderson County Sheriffs Department and were presented to the Anderson County Grand Jury after investigation. Due to the age of the victims, the identity and relationship to the offenders and other information can not be released at this time.
Merle welcomes Ed Brantley to the Radio Ranch
Merle 96.7 (WMYL/Knoxville) today announced the addition of Ed Brantley.   Ed brings four decades of leadership in East Tennessee radio and is a member of The Knox County Commission.  Says Merle FM managing partner Ron Meredith, We couldnt be more pleased to have Ed Brantley at Merle FM.  He has extensive experience and success in all aspects of country music radio and will help this company grow a great deal in every facet of our operation.
Merle FM is a high-quality operation from the ground up, said Brantley.  Merle sounds great, and it keeps strong relationships within the community among both listeners and advertisers. I am excited to begin working with the staff using the knowledge, experience, and relationships formed over the years and help move Merle FM to the next level.  Im honored at the warm welcome here and ready to get started.
Brantleys opportunities at Merle will include consulting on all departments within the station including programming, community relations, and advertising sales.  He was on the air at WIVK for 27 years, being voted #1 afternoon radio personality in America and later became its sales manager and general manager.  He managed five stations overseeing a staff of more than one hundred with annual revenues of eight figures.  He became General Manager and morning show host at WNOX where he dealt daily with the needs of the people of Knox County and East Tennessee.  Ed started Coats for the Cold, and The Knoxville Award and has served United Way, Boys
and Girls Clubs, and Senior Citizens Home Assistance Service and others.
Merle FM 96.7 signed on in 2007.  It is now the highest rated and most successful locally-owned radio station in the Knoxville market.  With the addition of afternoon drive host now partner Jack Ryan in 2012 Merle FM accelerated the climb to the top of Knoxvilles Radio market. Now, with the addition of Ed Brantley, the Merle FM staff will have more than 150 years of combined broadcasting experience and will work to become Knoxvilles number one radio station.  Merle FM was nominated Station of The Year by The Academy of Country Music in 2012 along with Jack Ryan as Air Personality of The Year.  Its Big D and Bubba morning show recently won Air Personality of The Year and will receive its award next month in Dallas at The ACM Awards Show. 
Meredith also owns WYSH AM 1380/FM 101.1 in Clinton.  WYSH is Anderson Countys top-rated radio station, reaching half-again more Anderson Countians than the next highest rated Knoxville station.  He has hosted WYSHs Country Club Morning Show for over 25 years of that stations 55 year history.  Ron is an active supporter of Anderson County and its public initiatives as part of his role as owner of WYSH.  He was a key supporter of Stan Brocks Remote Area Medical efforts in the area.
Ive been blessed, says Meredith on the station format he designed, There are a lot of people that like Blake Shelton but still want to hear Willie Nelson.  They tune in.  They like what they hear, and they stay.  Im honored that so many great people want to be a part of it.
Op-Ed:  AC Mayor, Budget Director review 2014, look ahead
(Mayor Terry Frank & Budget Director Chris Phillips) [Anderson County] recently finished its Popular Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, and we wanted to share a snapshot of Anderson Countys financial health.  While there are many factors that go into evaluating our countys overall ability to promote prosperity for the people of our county, our financial health as a county government has a direct impact on the lives of families who live here and the business and industry that operates here.
Noteworthy accomplishments from 2014:
• For the second year in a row, Anderson County qualified as a low-risk auditee instead of high-risk status.
• Fund balance policy was strengthened again, and its unassigned General Fund balance is now increased to $4 million, up from $2.5 million in 2012 and $3.5 million in 2013.  Any dip into reserves below this threshold requires a supermajority vote from County Commission.
• For the year end, we increased the General Fund balance by $1,744,824 (revenues over expenditures).  While 2013/2014 saw a fractional decrease in property taxes, 2014/2015 saw property taxes remain the same, with no increases. (It must be noted that some of the surplus is already dedicated to certain projects or commitments.)
• Tight spending practices helped Anderson County experience a year of surplus revenue over expenditures, and we continue to strive to limit debt.  For fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, Anderson County issued refunding bonds that lowered interest rates, saved more than $150,000 over the life of the bonds, but did not extend the maturity of the debt.
• Creation of a capital projects fund with an assigned tax rate that did not increase the overall county tax rate.
• Passage of budget without costly tax anticipation notes.
While 2014 was another year of stability and continued improvement, there are challenges on the horizon.  Reappraisals are expected to note a decline in some areas.  A shrinking fund balance for our school system may result in cash-flow challenges that might require Tax Anticipation notes in years to come.  Interest on Tax Anticipation notes cuts into normal operational funds, and is therefore a measure we take only when there are no other options.
A major challenge has recently developed with Emergency Medical Services and will impact this years budget as we close out the year and move into next year.  Currently, we are facing challenges with a Medicare Administrative Contractor and the processing of documentation related to submission of our 911 Emergency calls.  This processing issue has created substantial cash-flow problems as the county has not received the revenue for services billed.  To alleviate the problem, EMS has worked with us on a spending freeze on all expenditures except essential equipment, supplies, and payroll.  We are working closely with Senator Alexanders office and thank them for assisting us in an effort to resolve the issues.  However, in the short term, Anderson County EMS will be seeing a $600,000 to $800,000 shortfall by the year end, meaning Anderson County will have to address the shortfall until the issues are resolved and the revenues are finally received.  To boil the issue down, the financial challenge is the result of not being paid for answering 911 calls.
Tight spending practices by your government leaders over the last few years have enabled Anderson County to build our fund balance so that we are able to weather such a storm.  Prudence and fiscal discipline have enabled us to see an increase in bond ratings and climb out of our problem of limited reserves, but obviously with the challenges ahead, there is no time to rest.
As we enter the budget season, please know we will remain committed to fiscal discipline and serving Anderson County in the best, most responsible way.  Anderson County is in good health, but we must stay committed.   We take seriously our responsibility to manage your tax dollars.
AC man faces rape charges
A Clinton man was indicted last week by an Anderson County grand jury on charges that he sexually assaulted a girl between the ages of 13 and 18 last year.  59-year-old Rockie Williams was arrested Sunday on charges of rape and aggravated statutory rape in connection to the incident, which is alleged to have occurred in late November 2014.  As of this morning, Williams remained in custody at the Anderson County Jail.  He is due in court for an arraignment on March 30th. 
Johnson Gap Road bridge back open
The bridge on Johnson Gap Road in Anderson Countys Dutch Valley community is back open today, a year and a half after it was shut down due to safety concerns.  State inspectors ordered the 100-year-old wooden bridge closed in July of 2013 after finding that the wooden support structures were compromised and posed a safety hazard.  The bridge owned by CSX Railroad is the primary shortcut that Dutch Valley residents use to get to and from Clinton and Oak Ridge and the shutdown frustrated many.  Last year, the railroad offered Anderson County leaders two options for getting the bridge back open.  The first option was to give the bridge to the county and have the local government replace the bridge at county expense and the second option was to allow the railroad to repair the bridge and bring it back up to code at the companys expense.  The County Commission went with option number two, but the frustration continued to mount as CSX would give officials a tentative start date but then push that date back, blaming labor and other internal company problems.  Work to repair the bridge finally got underway last month and, again, has paid off as the Johnson Gap Road bridge is once again open to traffic. 
2 indicted in social media-based assault, robbery
Two Clinton men have been indicted on charges they posed as a woman on a social media site and lured a man to a meeting where they are then accused of attacking him with a baseball ball bat and a hammer, and stealing his cash, cell phone and wallet.  20-year-old Kavonte Jamar Carson and 19-year-old Shawn Dillon Summers were indicted last week on charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping, auto burglary and theft.  The men are charged with using text messages to lure a 19-year-old man to what turned out to be a bogus address in the Marlow community.  When the victim arrived, he tried to find the address and, after failing to do so, was walking back to his vehicle when Carson is accused of hitting him in the lower back with a baseball bat, forcing him to the ground.  Summers is then accused of striking the man in the back of the head with a hammer and ordering him to empty his pockets. The men allegedly rummaged through the victims car and stole his wallet before fleeing into nearby woods. 
ORT:  OR Council approves Main Street OR rezoning
(Oak Ridge Today) Leasing, financing, and pre-construction work on the Main Street Oak Ridge project is progressing as planned, a developer said in late February, and a change to the citys zoning ordinance approved on Monday will help the redevelopment.
Crosland Southeast hopes to start construction late in the second quarter of 2015. Its part of a plan to have a grand opening in the fall of 2016.  Survey crews from Cannon and Cannon have completed a boundary survey of the 60-acre site, the former Oak Ridge Mall, and field work is under way, said Ray Evans, the citys retail consultant.
The amendment of the citys zoning ordinance had been recommended by the Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission in February. It allows multifamily units in what is known as UB-2 zone, a unified general business district. The City Council approved the ordinance change in the first of two monthly readings on Monday. 
Evans said Cannon and Cannon submitted a request on Monday to rezone the property to UB-2 with a planned unit development, or PUD, overlay. The Planning Commission is expected to consider the request on March 26, and Council could consider it in April.  Evans said the UB-2 zoning with the PUD overlay gives Crosland Southeast, the company that has proposed the complex redevelopment, flexibility for lot lines, configurations, setbacks, and uses. It allows multifamily and retail in the same zone, among other uses. 
Evans said ORNL Federal Credit Union, one of the local lenders that had hoped to help with the tax increment financing, or TIF, loan of the project is not able to participate. But a local lending group led by David Bradshaw is pulling together that lending portion without ORNL FCU, Evans said.
ORT:  Man demands tours of fed facilities, arrested
(Oak Ridge Today) A California man was arrested by Oak Ridge police and questioned by federal agents after he demanded tours of the New Hope Center at the Y-12 National Security Complex and Oak Ridge National Laboratory on Friday evening.  The Oak Ridge Police Department responded to the call at about 6:22 p.m. Friday. A man had been found trying to get into the New Hope Center through a rear door.  An employee at the New Hope Center confronted the man, who demanded a tour of the building.  After he was denied a tour, the man reportedly left the area in a maroon-colored Jeep sport utility vehicle bearing a Texas license plate.  ORPD officers converged on the area in search of the vehicle and man. Within 15 minutes, they located the vehicle on Bethel Valley Road at the east portal of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory after it was stopped by ORNL security officers.  After being stopped, the driver demanded a tour of ORNL.
ORPD officers detained the driver, identified as 24-year-old Rishi Chatterjee Malakar of Fremont, California, for investigation. It was determined that Malakars California drivers license was suspended, and he was subsequently arrested   Malakar was transported to ORPD Headquarters, where he was interviewed by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Energy Inspector Generals Office.  Malakar was later transported to the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton on a charge of driving with a suspended license.  He remained in custody as of this morning on a bond of $1000. 
A little bit of shaking going on
A small earthquake rattled Roane County Sunday afternoon.  The 2.5 tremblor happened at 1:35 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The epicenter was located about seven miles east southeast of Kingston.  Officials haven’t taken any reports of damage.
ORT:  3 cars go up in flames
(Oak Ridge Today) It took Oak Ridge firefighters about 40 minutes to control a carport fire that destroyed three cars and involved about 50 gallons of gasoline on Hampshire Circle early Thursday morning.  The Oak Ridge Fire Department responded to the fire at 2:44 am.  The first firefighters on the scene reported that three cars under the carport were engulfed in flames and while they worked quickly to extinguish the blaze, their efforts were complicated by the approximately 50 gallons of gasoline in the fuel tanks of the vehicles.  Firefighters tried to contain the fire and burning gasoline to the carport area to prevent any run-off into a nearby creek and storm drains, the release said.  The three cars were destroyed. A nearby car and some windows on an adjacent multi-family residence were damaged during the fire. There were no injuries reported, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
CHS anglers qualify for BASS tounrey
Clinton High School fishermen Ryan Winchester and Justin Burris recently placed 5th in a national tournament in Birmingham, Alabama out of over 200 teams. That means they have qualified for the national BASS tournament again this summer.
GSMNP:  All streams in the park open for fishing
(GSMNP) Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced the reopening of Lynn Camp Prong to fishing effective March 6, 2015 following a seven-year native, brook trout restoration project. The reopening of the 8.5 mile-stream sections marks the first time, since the parks establishment in 1934, that all streams in the park are open to fishing. 
By preserving a healthy, reproducing population of brook trout, the park not only ensures the long-term protection of a unique species, but also the opportunity for future generations to experience and preserve the Southern Appalachian tradition, heritage, and culture associated with brook trout fishing. Southern Appalachian brook trout are the only trout species native to the southern Appalachian Mountains and are genetically unique from brook trout found north of New River, VA. In the southeast, less than 5% of all areas formerly occupied by brook trout prior to European settlement remain. Select park streams provide a unique opportunity to restore, protect, and preserve native brook trout habitat for the entire region. 
The opening of all streams in the park to recreational fishing marks an incredible milestone for the park and speaks to the commitment and dedication of our biologists and partners in restoring fish populations in the Smokies, said Park Superintendent Cassius Cash. 
The park has 2,900 miles of streams, of which an estimated 20% are large enough to support trout populations. Rainbow trout occupy 15.2% of these streams followed by brook trout which are found in 8.6% of the streams and brown trout which are found in 4.6% of the streams. Brook trout lost 75% of their former range in the park after prolific logging in the early 1900s left streams silted and degraded. Throughout the early part of the 20th century, non-native rainbow and brown trout were introduced to park streams to provide fishing opportunities. These trout quickly outcompeted and displaced native brook trout throughout many park streams. In the last 30 years, acid rain has further reduced trout populations at elevations above 3,000 feet due to low stream pH. Since 1986, park biologists have restored brook trout to 27.1 miles of 11 different streams in the park greatly expanding their range. These restoration efforts were made possible with support from hundreds of local volunteers and including volunteer groups such as Trout Unlimited, Federation of Fly Fishers, Friends of the Smokies, and local universities. 
Using data from long-term monitoring and a recent study, fisheries biologists have determined that recreational fishing under current park regulations has no population level effect on brook trout populations ( In addition to fish restoration projects, park biologists are also working hard to improve water quality across park streams. Continued efforts to improve water quality and restore native fish populations will expand habitat for all fish species and these fish-bearing streams will provide a unique mountain fishing experience for visitors of all ages well into the future. For more information about the fisheries program in the park, please visit the park website at . 
Current park fishing regulations include a 7-inch size limit, 5 fish possession limit and the use of single hook, artificial lures only.  For more information about fishing regulations, please visit the park website at (
OR conducting stormwater system survey
As a requirement of the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systemor MS4Program mandated by the states Department of Environment and Conservation, the Oak Ridge Public Works Department is conducting am inventory of the citys stormwater system.  According to the Tennessee Municipal League, the survey requires documenting all facets of the stormwater system including, but not limited to streams, ditches, pipe inlets and outlets, catch basins and detention basins and could take several years to complete.  To conduct the survey, the city has partnered with UT and Roane State to utilize interns enrolled in environmental sciences and GIS programs.  The students will be driving marked city vehicles and carry ID badges, and, according to the TML, will never need to enter a home or business as part of the survey.  Right now, the interns are working Mondays through Thursdays each week. 
Chase leads to DUI charges
Anderson County Sheriffs deputies arrested a Claxton man Tuesday night on DUI and other charges after he led them on a high-speed pursuit.  Deputy Robert Collins reported that he was on routine patrol on Edgemoor Road shortly before 10 pm when he spotted a pickup truck pulling into the Marathon gas station.  The deputy turned around when he saw the truck drive on the sidewalk in front of the building and at that point the driver, later identified as 24-year-old Thomas Jay Smith, got back into the truck and drove off.  Collins attempted to pull the driver over, but Smith turned on to New Henderson Road and accelerated, at one point leaving the side of the road but regained control and continued at speeds of up to 70 miles an hour as the pursuit turned on to Old Blacksferry Road.  Smith jumped out of the truck and ran inside a home on Jones Lane.  Deputies made contact with the homeowner, Smiths stepfather Tim Searles, and he told them that Smith was in his room.  Deputies were allowed inside and made contact with Smith, who was taken outside, where he failed several field sobriety tests.  After being taken to the Anderson County Jail, Smith took two breathalyzer tests, blowing a .115 and a .117, which is above the legal limit of .08.  Smith was charged with two counts of evading arrest and one count each of DUI, reckless driving and driving on a revoked license.  At last check, he remained in custody on bonds totaling $25,000. 
Roane commissioner arrested on DUI charge
A Roane County commissioner was arrested Monday on suspicion of DUI by a state trooper from the Tennessee Highway Patrol.  59-year-old Greg Ferguson is one of three commissioners representing District 2 on the Roane County Commission.  At around 6 pm, a state trooper pulled Ferguson over for a seatbelt violation at the intersection of Highway 70 and Old Harriman Highway and smelled alcohol.  Ferguson, who was elected in August of 2014, posted bond and was released from custody. 
Oops!  State sends out erroneous licenses
Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security today announced that it had re-issued new permanent driver licenses or photo ID cards to citizens who recently received a card with incorrect content due to a printing error.  The driver licenses or ID cards were incorrectly issued with the phrase Not for Federal Identification to 3,500 Tennesseans. The cards were issued to citizens who applied or renewed their driver license or ID card at state driver services centers on February 17 through February 19.  The department is in the process of sending a new permanent card, without the misprint, to those affected. 
Citizens who received the misprinted card will soon receive a letter that explains the misprint and requests the incorrect card to be returned to the department. A self-addressed and stamped envelope will be included with the letter.  Citizens affected should continue to use the interim paper license or photo ID until the new, correct, license or photo ID is received.
WBIR:  Roane could end up paying for fire clean-up
Roane County could end up paying the bills for cleaning up after a January fire that destroyed the old Miller & Brewer Building in downtown Harriman despite that city’s hopes the former owner would be made to pay.  According to WBIR-TV, the county is poised to become the owner of the property.  It went up for sale last April at auction because the owner, Fikret Gencay of Knoxville, had failed to pay taxes on the building.  The county was required to bid on the building at auction by state law when no one else stepped forward, meaning that if Gencay refuses to pay his taxes, Roane County’s bid will stand and it will secure the deed.  The cost of the clean-up from the massive January 8th fire that smoldered for several days is estimated to be at least $100,000.  It had formerly been a department store. Gencay purchased it in the early 2000s and had used it for apartments and then storage, according to WBIR.  The city of Harriman has been trying for years to get Gencay to repair the decaying building and bring it into compliance with codes.  Gencay owns several parcels in Harriman, according to records.  Gencay has until April to pay his property taxes. He could retain ownership of the building if he pays.  Crews had to demolish two other buildings next to the Miller & Brewer Building because they were so badly damaged in the blaze they could not be saved. The city wants Gencay to pay for cleanup costs.
Roane murder trial delayedagain
The trial for a man charged with murdering his ex-girlfriend has been pushed back once again.  A Roane County Criminal Court judge agreed to delay Shawn Smoot’s trial to give his latest new attorney time to examine evidence in the case.  His trial in the October 2011 shooting death of his former employee and ex-girlfriend Brooke Morris was supposed to start this month.  Morriss body was found by the side of a rural Roane County road and authorities say that she was shot to death.  Since then, Smoot has been in and out of jail, spent time in a mental hospital in Chattanooga and fired several attorneys, much to the dismay of Morriss parents, who have been waiting for over three years to get justice for their daughter.  A trial date was set for December 8th in Roane County Criminal; Court and Smoot is expected back in court on August 3rd. 
More problems for Campbell animal shelter
The Campbell County Animal Center is working to clean up after a parvo outbreak last week. The disease in dogs is highly contagious and can become life-threatening.  The center had to euthanize twelve dogs because of the outbreak, according to officials, who also said the center is working to improve the floor so that it’s easier to clean.  Donations of cleaning supplies and floor sealant solution are being accepted.  The center is still taking in animals and handling adoptions and has recently hired a full-time vet tech to help run the shelter more effectively.  Back in November, the center temporarily suspended animal adoptions and owner surrenders due to confusion over its adoption process and reimbursement of veterinarians for spaying and neutering services.
2 win regional awards from Project Healing Waters
(CRCTU) Dan Moneymaker of Knoxville and Wayne Nobles of Oak Ridge have been awarded regional honors by Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing for wounded and disabled veteransMoneymaker as Tennessee Valley Region Participant of the Year, Nobles as Tennessee Valley Region Volunteer of the Year. The region includes the states of Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Both men have been active since the beginnings of the 2-year-old Knoxville Chapter of PHWFF, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the emotional and physical rehabilitation of wounded and disabled military veterans and active military members through fly fishing.
Steve Thompson of Maynardville, chapter founder and lead, nominated the two for regional honors. Moneymaker’s story is similar to those of many Vietnam veterans, Thompson said: He had become a loner, spending many hours daily in his basement doing nothing. Thompson met him at a PTSD function, invited him to join a fly tying class”and the rest is history,” Thompson said.
In 2014, Moneymaker tied more than 1,700 flies including flies donated to Casting for Recovery, to the Smoky Mountain Grand Slam Challenge fishing tournament and to participants in an outing with veterans from the Wounded Warrior Project. He also has served as an instructor at fly tying classes and taught children to tie flies at Kids Fish Free Day, sponsored by the Clinch River Chapter of Trout Unlimited, a PHWFF partner.
“Dan is an ambassador for our program,” Thompson said, working with Vet to Vet and in statewide training for police departments on dealing with returning soldiers who have PTSD.
Nobles is a veteran who is disabled, though not from his military service. He is a retired commercial photographer and movie producer, and has taken over communication for Knoxville PHWFF. “He has seeded the idea of a support group and is committed to communicating on a regular basis to understand what is going on with each veteran,” Thompson said. “If there is a need, he fills it,” including arranging press and TV coverage of chapter events.
“Wayne always has a positive attitude even with his declining health,” and his infectious demeanor is the thread that keep veterans together, involved and included, Thompson said.
Nobles will receive a Temple Fork Outfitters rod of his choice; Moneymaker will be awarded an Orvis fly rod, reel and line.
For more information about Knoxville PHWFF, please contact Steve Thompson at or (865) 773-3343.
1 injured in OS wreck
A crash between a Jeep and a Dodge Ram pickup sent one man to UT medical Center by Lifestar.  The wreck occurred at about 6:30 p.m. Friday on Harriman Highway (Highway 61) near Scandlyn Hollow Road in Roane County.  The Jeeps driveridentified as 33-year-old Joshua Brown of Oliver Springs, was flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, according to the THP.  Brown was listed in critical condition at UTMC at last check.  Crews from the Roane County Rescue Squad, the Blair Fire Department, and the Oliver Springs Fire Department extricated Brown.  State troopers say that the driver of the pickup truck, Jon Hopper of Clinton, suffered some minor injuries as did the passenger in the JeepCandace Pritchard.  The THP said Browns westbound Jeep appeared to have crossed the center line before the crash, crossing almost all the way into the eastbound lane.  Both vehicles sustained extensive damage and were mangled, according to our partners at Oak Ridge Today, but the pickup truck was hit on the passenger side in what troopers described as a glancing blow.  Traffic on Harriman Highway was diverted while the crash was investigated and the roadway cleared.
Roane dump truck involved in crash
A Roane County Highway Department dump truck was involved in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Highway 70 and Ruritan Road in Midtown Saturday afternoon at around 4.30.  The THP investigated the accident  and said the dump truck  was driven by Micah McMillan of Rockwood was heading east on 70  when he  apparently failed to yield to a van  turning left at the light in front of him driven by Robert Stanley of Harriman.  The impact sent the truck into a utility pole, causing its fuel tank to leak an estimated 50 gallons of fuel, bringing the hazmat truck to the scene.  With assistance from the Midtown Fire Department, workers were able to soak it up before any leaked into the water system.  Neither driver was injured but charges are pending, according to the THP report.   .
Kelly, DOE ORO manager, passes
Larry Kelly, manager of the U.S. Department of Energys Oak Ridge Office since July 2012, has died at the age of 58 following a two-year battle with cancer.  Before he became DOE-ORO manager, Kelly served as the acting deputy manager and acting manager. He joined the ranks of the federal governments highest level, the Senior Executive Service, in 2008, serving as the assistant manager of OROs Environment, Safety, and Health program. In this capacity, he supported DOEs mission and programs in safety, health, quality assurance, and environmental protection at the agencys sites in Oak Ridge and nationally.  Prior to joining DOE in 1990, he worked with the Tennessee Valley Authority for nine years, where he supported the design, construction, and operation of commercial nuclear power plants. He also worked for International Paper Company as an environmental engineer at the Natchez Mill.
A native of Oxford, Mississippi, Larry received his bachelors degree in chemical engineering from the University of Mississippi and his masters degree from the University of Tennessee.
In April 2014, Ole Miss selected Larry for its 2014 Engineer of Distinction Award. It is the highest award given by the School of Engineering to recognize the professional accomplishment of a graduate who has reached a pinnacle in their career.  He is survived by a wife and daughter. 
CHS, Git N Go #4 win red Ribbon Rivalry
(ASAP) The Red Ribbon Rivalry heated up this year as Anderson County High School tried to avenge last years loss to Clinton High School but students at Clinton continued their winning streak, to beating Anderson County once again, but ACHS came much closer this year than last year.  Both schools were recognized at the Clinton versus Anderson County Basketball game and Clinton Principal Eric Snider, School Counselor Mary Tuskan, and students Sarah Thomas, Kelli Kent, and Reagan Wolfe accepted the trophy on behalf of Clinton High School.
Businesses across the county also participated in the Red Ribbon Rivalry this year including Ace Hardware, Clinton Drug Store, Countryside Tire and Auto, Coal Creek Smokehouse, Git n Go Markets, Hoskins Drug Store, Nikkis Smartcutz, Powell Clinch Utility District, Say Ow Tattoo, and Secret City Pies.  The rivalry among businesses was also closer this year than last, but Git n Go Market #4 came out on top. 
The Red Ribbon Rivalry is not only a way to raise money for substance abuse prevention in Anderson County, but also a way to raise awareness.  In many instances, our culture tends to focus on the negative; this year, ASAP focuses on the positive by celebrating the achievements Anderson County has reached in substance abuse prevention over the past few years which includes a reduction in the rate of past 30 day use of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana by 6th through 12th graders in Anderson County.  Funds raised during the rivalry will stay right here in Anderson County and be used to continue Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) of Anderson Countys mission to prevent and reduce youth substance abuse by collaborating with community partners to implement effective intervention strategies.   To learn more about ASAP or to make a donation, go to or call 865-457-3007. 
Meredith next AC Chamber president
(Submitted) The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is proud to announce Rick Meredith has been selected as the incoming Chamber President effective April 1, 2015. Meredith will replace current President Jackie Nichols who announced her retirement effective May 1, 2015. 
My compliments and appreciation to the search committee for their time commitment and to Chamber Board Chairman Stephen Harris for his leadership during the hiring process, said Chamber President Nichols. Meredith was a highly qualified candidate and I believe the perfect selection to continue the Chambers current momentum and growth.
Meredith brings to the table 20 years of leadership and experience in economic and community development as well as knowledge of both state and local planning.  He has a proven track record in the implementation of new programs to foster the creation of jobs and sustained economic growth in both urban and rural areas.  His areas of expertise include budget management and planning, the supervision of a large staff, and state and federal grants.
He joined the Hollingsworth Companies in 2010 as Senior Vice-President for Community Development. In this position, he is responsible for recruiting industry throughout Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi.  He also manages a private industrial park and serves as an adviser to the President of the company on other economic development projects.
Meredith formerly served in Governor Phil Bredesens administration as Assistant Commissioner of the Community Development Division of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.  He was responsible for overseeing the Main Street, Retire Tennessee and Three-Star programs, as well as programs pertaining to Energy Policy, Local Planning and Grants and Loans.  In this role, Meredith pioneered several state programs designed to help business owners.  He developed and implemented the Tennessee One Stop Business Resource, an interdepartmental state government cooperative that allows business owners to easily register their business online.  Since its implementation, more than 900 businesses have registered and only two other states in the nation have a similar tool.  Meredith also organized the first-ever Business Enterprise Resource Office Business Matchmaking event providing small businesses with procurement opportunities.  He also assisted in the implementation of the $62.5 million federally funded Volunteer State Solar Initiative, comprised of the Tennessee Solar Institute at the University of Tennessee, the West Tennessee Solar Farm, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Prior to joining the Bredesen Administration, Meredith served as the Anderson County Register of Deeds.  He managed all public recording of instruments and an annual budget of approximately $250,000.
Meredith is currently serving his second term on the Anderson County Commission.  He is Chairman of the Government Operations and Agriculture Committees and is a member of the Legislative and Human Resources Committees.
He attended the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service, and is a Certified Public Administrator.   A lifelong resident of Anderson County, he resides in Clinton with his wife, Kim.
Grand Ole Opry House added to National Historic Register
The Ryman Auditorium gained its status as a national landmark in 2001.  Many people thought it would only be a matter of time before the Grand Ole Opry House joined its ranks.  The Tennessee Historical Commission announced this week that the National Register of Historic Places has recognized the Grand Ole Opry House as a cultural resource worthy of preservation.  Since it was constructed in 1972-74, the performance hall and at the time of completion the largest broadcast studio has affected popular culture, entertainment and the communications industry, which is what drove the National Register’s decision.  The building, which is the Opry’s sixth home, represents a new era in country music, when the industry was becoming more mainstream and using new sounds, marketing and production techniques. Not only a home for country music singers, the Opry House has hosted U.S. presidents, foreign dignitaries, award shows, TV tapings and numerous special events in its 41-year history.
ORPD nabs wanted suspect
Oak Ridge Police arrested a suspect who had been wanted for weeks on charges he fled several times from officers who tried to stop his vehicle.  Marvin Jvon Slater faces a slew of charges including drug possession, reckless endangerment, driving on a suspended or revoked license, evading arrest, aggravated assault and failure to appear.  Police say he fled from officers on several occasions, disregarding traffic laws and endangering officers, the general public and himself.  Exercising an abundance of caution, officers decided to use less obvious means to apprehend Slater, including fixed and mobile surveillance.   As a result, officers were able to arrest Slater Tuesday at the BP gas station on S. Illinois Avenue around 4:30 p.m.  Two other people were also arrested, which resulted in the seizure of marijuana, crack cocaine and a vehicle.
House fire injures none
No one was injured in an early-Wednesday-morning fire at a house on Briceville Highway that is believed to have started near the dryer.  Firefighters and other emergency personnel responded to 1433 Briceville Highway just after midnight this morning and spoke with resident Zeb Trett, who told them that he had been almost asleep on his couch shortly before midnight when he heard a loud popping sound coming from the back of the house.  He got up to investigate and saw clothing in a laundry basket on fire, woke up his wife and got her out of the house.  Briceville firefighters extinguished the blaze and told deputies that it appears to have started near the dryer.  There was no indication on the incident report of how much damage was done to the house, but again, no one was injured.
$1800 worth of camera equipment stolen
Thefts from the Clinton Wal-Mart happen so often, we typically do not report on them but Clinton Police are investigating the theft of over $1800 worth of digital cameras.  Police were called to the store on Saturday afternoon and told by a loss prevention officer that a white male had opened an unlocked display case, removed a Sony camcorder, four Canon digital cameras, and a Samsung digital camera.  Altogether the items were valued at $1804.  The suspect then took the cameras to the sporting goods department, removed them from their packages and concealed them in his clothing before walking out with out paying for them.  The suspect was seen getting into a car and driving off but the tag came back as being registered to a black male from Knoxville.  The investigation is ongoing.
Follow-up:  AC Legal Services committee votes for review
(WYSH/ Oak Ridge Today) The Anderson County Legal Services Advisory Committee met Monday to hear complaints from citizens regarding Law Director Jay Yeager.  After hearing a few complaints from citizens about issues not already included in the citizen-led ouster lawsuit against Yeager and after hearing from some citizens who support Yeager, the committee voted unanimously to select an independent third party to review the policies, procedures, and practices in the Anderson County Law Director’s office.  The third-party review was proposed by County Commissioner Myron Iwanski.  Im not accusing Jay of anything, said Iwanski, who modeled his proposal after a recent resolution to review turnover, morale, and administrative policies in the Oak Ridge Police Department. Its not an investigation. Were just getting a review of practices.  According to the resolution that passed Monday, the review will be conducted within 30 days after the party is selected and the findings will be turned over to the Committeewhich was established in 2006 to oversee the law directors officefor any necessary action.  Ideally, the committee hopes to utilize a consultant from the County Technical Advisory Service (CTAS), but if CTAS is not able to perform the review, then the review will be done by an independent person recommended by CTAS.  Lynn Byrge, who has spearheaded the ouster effort, said the review approved by the county committee wouldnt satisfy the petitioners but added that the suit would go away if county officials would just remove Yeager from office.  Greg Brown, attorney for the petitioners, said the ouster suit was dismissed only on the question of whether Yeager is a public official or employee, and the underlying allegations still need to be investigated.  The resolution also authorizes the chairman of the Legal Services Advisory Committee, Commissioner Steve Mead, to make arrangements for the third-party review but Committee members agreed to work with the third party to identify citizen concerns and reconvene to give guidance to the third party as a group. 
AC committee votes for 3rd party review of Law Directors office
The Anderson County Legal Services Advisory Committee met for the first time in several years on Monday to hear complaints from citizens regarding Law Director Jay Yeager.  After hearing a few complaints from citizens about issues not already included in the citizen-led ouster lawsuit against Yeager and after hearing from some citizens who support Yeager, the committee voted unanimously to select an independent third party to review the policies, procedures, and practices in the Anderson County Law Director’s office.  According to the resolution that passed Monday, the review will be conducted within 30 days after the party is selected and the findings will be turned over to the Committeewhich was established in 2006 to oversee the law directors officefor any necessary action.  Ideally, the committee hopes to utilize a consultant from UTs County Technical Advisory Service, but if CTAS is not able to perform the review, then the review will be done by an independent person recommended by CTAS.  The resolution also authorizes the chairman of the Legal Services Advisory Committee, Commissioner Steve Mead, to make arrangements for the third-party review.  We will have more on Mondays meeting for you on the air and on line as soon as possible. 
DOE appoints 4 to ORSSAB
(Submitted) The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has appointed four new members to its Environmental Management advisory board in Oak Ridge. Leon Baker, Richard Burroughs, Terri Likens and Ed Trujillo were introduced during the Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Boards (ORSSAB) February meeting. 
ORSSAB is a federally chartered citizens panel that provides independent advice and recommendations to DOE for the cleanup of the Oak Ridge Reservation. 
Leon Baker is a logistics coordinator with DOW Chemical. Previously, he was a health physics technician with Denuke, Inc., a company that provides a variety of services to the nuclear industry. He has also worked with the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program through Oak Ridge Associated Universities. Baker received associates degrees in mechanical engineering technology from Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville and in science from Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, Georgia. He earned a bachelors degree in health care management from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, and a masters degree from Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia. Baker, who lives in Oak Ridge, is a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Health Physics Society. 
Richard Burroughs is the chief of staff in the Anderson County mayors office. Prior to that post, his professional experiences were related to his background as a registered professional geologist with extensive hydrogeological expertise in aquifer characterization and remediation in soil and groundwater environments. His employment history includes 25 years working primarily with Resource Conservation Recovery Act and Comprehensive Environmental Restoration Compensation and Liability Act projects. Burroughs received his bachelors and masters degrees in geology from Southern Illinois University and the University of Arkansas, respectively. He is a resident of Oak Ridge.
Terri Likens is the editor of the Roane County News. She has worked in several states as an editor, a reporter, and a freelance journalist. She has received numerous honors for her work from a number of organizations, including the Tennessee Press Association. She received her bachelors degree in journalism from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. She is a member of CASA of the Tennessee Heartland (a childrens advocacy group), the Tennessee Press Association, and Conservation Fisheries, Inc. Likens lives in Kingston. 
Ed Trujillo retired from Bechtel Corporation in 2012. His most recent project involved managing the engineering and construction of a maintenance facility for heavy mining equipment in Chile, from 2011 until 2012. From 2008 until 2011, he managed three environmental projects for Bechtel at the DOE East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge. During his 35-year career, he has worked on a wide variety of projects at DOE, the U.S. Air Force, and private sector facilities. Trujillo received his bachelors degree in engineering from the University of Wisconsin in Platteville, Wisconsin. He is a resident of Oak Ridge. 
ORSSAB meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Office of Science and Technical Information, 1 Way in Oak Ridge. Meetings of the board and its committees are open to the public, and notices are posted on the boards web site:
ORT:  Driver in car vs. house (and cars) arrested for DUI
(Oak Ridge Today) The driver of a car that allegedly caused a four-vehicle crash and damaged a home on Robertsville Road has been charged with driving under the influence, authorities said.
Officers located Brandon Kyle Baez, 18, of Oak Ridge, after he walked away from the crash at 184 Robertsville Road and tried to hide in a wooded area, Oak Ridge Police Department Officer Ben Higgins said in a warrant.  The crash occurred at about 10:40 p.m. Thursday just east of North Illinois Avenue. An SUV-type vehicle driven by Baez allegedly left the road, drove through the front yard of one home on Robertsville Road, crashed into a Ford four-door sedan parked in the driveway, and pushed it about three or four car lengths into a neighbors front yardand reportedly caused a collision with two cars parked in the neighbors driveway (the home of Mike and Judy Coen).
Higgins said he could smell a strong alcoholic odor coming from Baez after officers found him, and his eyes were bloodshot and glossy.
The defendant appeared to be uneasy on his feet as well, Higgins wrote in the warrant.
Baez told the officer hed had one shot of whiskey and had rinsed his mouth out with mouthwash as well, according to the warrant.
Baez, who was allegedly driving with a suspended license, told police he lost control of the vehicle and left the scene because he was scared.
ORPD Officer Grant Gouldie said Baez had been skidding and yawing approximately 150-200 feet before he hit the first vehicle, according to the warrant.
Officer Gouldie further advised that the skid and yaw marks started on the wrong side of the road, indicating that the defendant was on the wrong side of the roadway, and that the defendant was obviously traveling at speeds too fast for the road conditions and above the posted 25 mph speed limit, the warrant said.  Baez told Higgins that he was driving on the wrong side of the road because he was trying to avoid ice. 
Baez was also charged with reckless driving, driving on a suspended license, duty to render aid, and joyriding, according to the Anderson County General Sessions Court. Baez remained jailed in the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton on Friday afternoon.
ORT:  Clinton man escapes OR car fire
(Oak Ridge Today) Clinton resident Mark Bunch escaped a car fire on Lafayette Drive in Oak Ridge on Sunday night.  Bunch said he had just left a shop on Midway Lane about a quarter-mile away when other drivers started flashing their lights at him. Then, he noticed a glow by his left front tire.  Bunch pulled over between Hendrix Drive and Emory Valley Road just before 8 p.m. Sunday. He was able to exit the car on the drivers side, although he was a little worried about the flames shooting up from the front of the 2007 Subaru station wagon.  Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the flames using a 1.75-inch line, said Todd Derrick, Oak Ridge Fire Department battalion chief. There were no injuries.  Derrick said the ORFD would attribute the fire to mechanical failure. Bunch had said the Subaru was missing or sputtering before it caught fire, Derrick said.  The front of the car was heavily damaged, and part of the windshield melted.
ORT:  Car hits house, 3 other vehicles
(Oak Ridge Today) No one was injured in a four-car crash that damaged a home on Robertsville Road on Thursday night.  The crash occurred at about 10:40 p.m. Thursday just east of North Illinois Avenue. An SUV-type vehicle reportedly left the road, drove through the front yard of one home on Robertsville Road, crashed into a Ford four-door sedan parked in the driveway, and pushed it about three or four car lengths into a neighbors front yardand then hit two cars parked in the neighbors driveway (the home of Mike and Judy Coen).  One of those cars, a Toyota Tercel used by Mike Coen, was shoved into the side of the house, damaging siding at the corner of the Coens home. The SUV-type vehicle reportedly came to rest with its back end partially on top of another vehicle in the driveway, a Saturn used by Judy Coen, crushing its rear end.  It rocked our house, said Judy Coen, who said the couple was in bed watching television when the crash occurred. We thought it was an explosion.  The right side of the Ford owned by the Coens neighbors was caved in and heavily damaged.  There were no injuries, said Todd Derrick, Oak Ridge Fire Department battalion chief.  The Oak Ridge Police Department appeared to be searching for someone west of North Illinois Avenue, at Robertsville Middle School, although it wasnt immediately clear if that search just before 11 p.m. was connected to the crash.
Follow-up:  Stabbing victim dies
Following up on a story we brought you last week, a man allegedly stabbed by his stepson during an argument in Roane County last week has died.  Fred Silvey died from his injuries on Sunday morning at UT Medical Center, according to authorities.  His alleged killer and stepson Steven Edward Jones, was shot by his mother Carolyn Silvey following the attack, and is currently being treated at UT Medical Center, where he is being kept under guard.  He is in stable condition at last check.  The incident occurred at the Silvey home on Dry Hill Road last Wednesday night.  Authorities say that Jones stabbed his stepfather Fred Silvey several times after an argument and that he assaulted his mother before she shot him and he fled into the woods.  He managed to elude search teams from several different agencies that included helicopters and K-9 units until early this morning when he reportedly returned to the Silvey home and asked for medical treatment for a gunshot wound to his chest. 
Roane wreck kills one, injures five
One man was killed and five people injured in a head-on collision on U.S. Highway 70 in Roane County Saturday afternoon.  The crash happened around 1:44 p.m., according to Tennessee Highway Patrol, when Robin W. Ledbetter of Harriman was traveling west in a Chevy Trailblazer and the vehicle crossed the center line and struck Terrance A. Clark’s Toyota Tacoma head-on, killing Clark.  The THP says that Robin Ledbetters passengers were Alexis Robarge and Daniel R. Ledbetter, Jr, both of Harriman while Tabitha Clark and Leafe Clark, also of Harriman, traveled with Clark.  The THP report indicates that Ledbetter may have been under the influence of drugs and that blood tests have been ordered.  Five of the victims, including Terrance Clark, were not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident.  Citations and criminal charges are pending.
JMS team wins LEGO competition
The Atomic Eagles of Oak Ridges Jefferson Middle School won the Champions Award at the 15th Annual FIRST LEGO League East Tennessee Championship held Saturday at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville in a 48-team field of children ages 9-14 from East and Middle Tennessee.
Coach Janie Shanafield said her team worked every day since last summer aiming toward the tournament.
We would meet every Monday and Wednesday, some Saturdays and Sundays to work on our robot, our project and our presentation, Shanafield said. The kids did a lot of good work they did all the work.
The coach said her middle school age team continued to mature throughout the preparation.
In their programming skills, their ability to work as a team and show the core values, theyve matured tremendously with both engineering and with presentation skills, Shanafield said.  The Jefferson team advances to compete in a LEGO invitational tournament scheduled for May at the University of Arkansas.
Maryland kid arrested after Roane threat
Roane County officials say that an arrest has been made in Maryland after a threat was made on social media involving Rockwood High School.  State police in Maryland arrested a middle school student Thursday. The Roane County school district was alerted to the threat around 7 a.m. Thursday by a student. The post claimed something would happen to cause a lockdown.  The Rockwood Police Department responded as did an officer from Harriman police with expertise in Internet crimes.  Officers were able to trace the threat to Maryland where the young suspect was arrested.  The school was never on lockdown, but extra officers were called in to make sure the school was well covered.  The threat was allegedly made after an online discussion in the comments section of a social media site. 
Roane domestic disturbance turns violent, suspect in custody
A domestic disturbance turned violent in Roane Countys Dry Hill community and led to a manhunt that lasted into the early morning hours and involved officers from several agencies.  Our partners at BBB-TV report that 46-year-old Steven Edward Jones was taken into custody early this morning and taken to UT Medical Center after he was hot by his mother.  The incident occurred at the home of Fred and Carolyn Silvey on Dry Hill Road at around 8 pm Wednesday night.  Authorities say that Jones stabbed his stepfather Fred Silvey several times after an argument and that he assaulted his mother before she shot him and he fled into the woods.  He managed to elude search teams from several different agencies that included helicopters and K-9 units until early this morning when he reportedly returned to the Silvey home and asked for medical treatment for a gunshot wound to his chest.  During the search for Jones, who police believed could have been armed and was certainly to be considered dangerous, nearby residents were asked to stay inside and lock their doors.  Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton says that Jones had recently been released from prison.  The nature of the argument that led to the stabbing has not been revealed. 
ASAP:  Foster Ally of the Year
(ASAP) The votes are in and the 2015 Anderson County Ally of the Year award goes to Larry Foster!  Mr. Foster competed against other candidates who were nominated for their passion to create a healthy and productive Anderson County.  Other candidates included Tom Byrge, Ronnie Fox, Tim Isbel, Robert Jones, and Bear Stephenson.  Citizens were then able to vote for the candidate or candidates of their choice by making a donation to Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) of Anderson County.  Each dollar counted as one vote and in the end Mr. Foster came out on top.  Following closely behind in second place was Robert Jones followed by Ronnie Fox in third place.   Each candidate conducted their own campaign, but all of the candidates were 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.  Over $4,600 was raised during the one month campaign, all of which will stay in Anderson County to support ASAPs mission to prevent and reduce youth substance abuse in Anderson County by collaborating with community partners to implement effective intervention strategies.  Please congratulate Larry Foster and all of the candidates who did a great job for a great cause.  To learn more about ASAP or to make a donation, go to or call 865-457-3007. 
Bell named OR Teacher of the Year
(Oak Ridge Today) Amelia Bell, a librarian at Glenwood Elementary School, has been named Teacher of the Year for the Oak Ridge school system.
Oak Ridge Schools announced their pick on Tuesday.
Bell is a librarian with 20 years of teaching experience, a press release said. She is a member of the Glenwood Leadership Team and has presented at several conferences, including the Tennessee Afterschool Summer Symposium and the American Association of School Librarians National Conference. She has also served as a lecturer in the School of Information Science at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
In addition, Bell is a prolific grant writer, the release said. She has been instrumental in writing grants to support Glenwoods after school programs, learning lunches to increase science instruction during the school day, book studies linking science and literature, and summer reading opportunities. Bell was awarded the Tennessee Association of School Librarians Innovative Library Award for creation of the lunchroom library so that students could read for pleasure after finishing lunch.
The press release said Bell collaborates with classroom teachers in order to link information literacy and literature to curriculum standards. She also incorporates information skills that can be applied across the curriculum, such as interpreting information from charts, tables, and graphs. Bell shares her passion for history and government by teaching information literacy skills in the context of social studies.
The release said Bell has led the development of student-based conferencing and coordinates family events such as Family Math Night, Science Saturday, and book fairs.
Not only does Ms. Bell serve as librarian, she consults with classroom teachers about units of study and standards they are covering and then creates lessons to support classroom instruction in other content areas, said Pearl Goins, principal of Glenwood Elementary School. She has also formed a special reading club whereby students can establish goals and are rewarded with a special lunch with her in the library.
The Teacher of the Year program in the State of Tennessee recognizes and honors outstanding teachers. The program is designed to promote recognition, respect and appreciation for teacher, to stimulate interest in teaching as a career, and to encourage public involvement in education.
Teachers of the Year must be facilitators of learning, be poised, articulate, enthusiastic, and energetic, the press release said. They must have a superior ability to inspire in students a love of learning, and they must show active involvement and leadership in extra-curricular activities, among other criteria.
Wells:  Tourism important to AC
(Submitted by AC Tourism Director Stephanie Wells) The average family can expect to have an extra $1,475 in their budget this year if gas prices stay under $2, according to Dr. Steve Morse, Director and Economist of the Hospitality and Tourism Program at the College of Business at Western Carolina University. Addressing State Senators, Representatives and Mayors from across the 16-county region gathered for the Annual East Tennessee Tourism Legislative Brunch on Friday, Jan. 23, Dr. Morse predicted positive news for the Tourism industry in 2015.
               Theres a psychological effect of gas prices being down. You feel wealthier, Dr. Morse said. People will be able to stay an extra day on their vacation.
               Each household in Anderson County saves $254 in state and local taxes as a result of the taxes generated by tourist spending.
               When tourists come to town, they pay sales tax each time they put gas in their cars, eat in the restaurants, pack their bags with souvenirs, and sleep at one of our local accommodations. They pay state and local taxes that result in savings for local residents and help fund local schools, roads and other infrastructure projects and essential services.
               In Anderson County, those tourist expenditures added up to $111.63 million, according to the Economic Impact of Travel on Tennessee Counties 2013 by the U.S. Travel Association.  In other words, the tourism industry generates $6.42 million in state tax revenues and $2.38 in local tax revenues. Additionally, tourism sustains 900 jobs and $18.03 million in resident wages.
               Anderson Countys economy is very diverse with industrial, commercial and tourism development.   Having a diverse economy with tourism playing a vital part is the reason our county has grown and will continue to grow, said Stephanie Wells, Anderson County Tourism Council Director. 
               The 16-county region has once again realized the benefit of a clean, green industry that quickly feeds tax dollars into the system. Tourist expenditures were just over $3.56 billion and the tourism industry employed over 32,495 people with $831.62 million in payroll for residents, generating $296.73 million in state and local taxes in 2013.
               Molly Gilbert, Director of the Middle East Tennessee Tourism Council, said, Even though tourism looks different in each of our 16 counties, tourism is an investment in quality of life for residents as well as a reason for tourists to visit. With nine lakes and five motorcycle driving trails, as a region we are leveraging our history and heritage, scenic beauty and outdoor adventure.
Report:  Suit filed against ORPD over wrongful arrest
According to the News-Sentinel, an Oak Ridge man has filed a lawsuit against the Oak Ridge Police Department over his erroneous arrest in January of last year.  Trevis Reynolds was arrested in connection with a shoplifting that occurred at the Oak Ridge Wal-Mart even though the security camera footage clearly showed his roommate was the actual alleged shoplifter.  The giveaway was that his roommate Randy Armes has multiple tattoos, including on his face and neck and Reynolds has no tattoos.  The lawsuit alleges that Reynolds constitutional rights were violated by his wrongful arrest and seeks $1.5 million in damages.  The lawsuit claims that Reynolds loaned his car to Armes that day and Armes was the man seen on video stealing items from the store.  He was followed out of the store by loss prevention personnel and they wrote down the license tag of the car he was driving, which led police to Reynolds.  In addition to the lack of tattoos, the lawsuit states that Officer Jeremy Upham should also have noted that Armes has short, dark hair and Reynolds has long, red hair.  Despite those differences, the lawsuit states that Upham swore under oath that he had compared the video footage with Reynolds drivers license picture and made a positive match.  Prosecutors dropped the charges a little less than a week later after comparing the images for themselves.  In addition to the ORPD, the lawsuit filed last month in US District Court in Knoxville also names Upham as a defendant.  Reynolds is being represented by Clinton attorney Phil Harber.  
AC creating task force on animal shelter needs
(County Mayors office) Because of increasing needs and a changing environment, Anderson County Governments Operations Committee on Monday endorsed the idea of a Task Force to examine the potential for a county Animal Shelter.   
Anderson County has had a strong, long-standing relationship with the Oak Ridge Animal Shelter over the years and continues that solid, working partnership.  However, as their shelter has moved more towards the housing and adoption of animals, the available contracted space for county animals has diminished.  There have been two occasions where the Oak Ridge shelter was closed and there are times of overcapacity in Oak Ridge when fortunately, we were able to partner with the Roane County animal shelter to house animals.  Simply put, there have been times when there is just no room, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank said in a press release issued Wednesday. 
We appreciate both officials in Oak Ridge as well as Roane County, but we also realize a long-term solution is needed for Anderson County, said Mayor Frank.  In the short-term, the county Budget Committee has authorized $25,000 for the construction of a small housing facility modeled after the facility operated by the City of Norris.  This facility will serve to comply with state guidelines regarding minimum statutory holding requirements as a way to address some of the overcrowding in the Oak Ridge shelter and keep animals in Anderson County if a pet is lost. The Anderson County Commission will take up this recommendation at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 17. 
In the short-term, animals picked up by Anderson County Animal Control officers will continue to be transported to either the Oak Ridge or Roane County facility. 
Anderson County has two animal control officers, Brian Porter and Jimmy Miller.  
Taking the lead on the Task Force are County Commissioner Theresa Scott, Mayor Frank, and Robin Biloski, who has devoted many hours to animal control in Anderson County in her position as county commissioner. The Task Force will take shape over the next few weeks and anyone interested in submitting ideas or volunteering in the effort is encouraged to call Commissioner Biloski, Commissioner Scott or Mayor Frank.
Follow-up:  More on deputy-involved shooting in Roane
We now have more information on Monday nights deputy-involved shooting in Roane County.  Authorities have identified the man shot as 34-year-old Christopher Lee Powers of Rockwood and say that he has an extensive criminal history dating back to 2001.  Powers was driving a Hyundai clocked going over 100 miles an hour on Highway 27 in Harriman at around 9 pm Monday night.  That car was spotted and pursued by veteran Roane County Deputy John Mayes and the pursuit ended up headed west on I-40, where Powers allegedly tried to elude Mayes by driving in the emergency lane and passing other drivers recklessly.  The chase ended at the Airport Road exit when Powers lost control of the car and crashed into a guardrail.  Mayes blocked the car in and got out, ordering Powers to do the same.  He was standing next to his cruiser when Powers hit the gas and slammed into the patrol car, which did not suffer significant damage.  At that point, Mayes opened fire, hitting Powers through the windshield in the jaw, chest and right hand.  Powers was taken to UT Medical Center where at last check he remained in serious condition.  The woman in the car with him, identified as Stephanie Foland, was treated for injuries unrelated to the shooting at Roane Medical Center and released.  However, she was then taken into custody on several outstanding warrants.  Mayes, a K-9 officer with over ten years experience with the Sheriffs Department, was not injured but has been placed on standard administrative lead while the TBI completes its investigation into the incident. 
Campbell schools closed all week due to illness
Campbell County Schools will remain closed through Friday due to widespread illness among teachers and students alike.  School officials say that by the end of the day Tuesday, 1100 students were out sick, just one day after about 1000 students missed class for illnesses that include primarily the stomach bug that has made the rounds this winter but also include a few cases of the flu.  Crews will work to clean the schools during the long weekend. Students already had an extra day off Monday, Feb. 16 because of Presidents Day.
Follow-up:  More on Clinton antique mention in national publication
As we told you this week, Fodors Travel, one of the leading travel publications and websites has released its list of the 10 Best Antiquing Towns in the U.S., and Clinton came in at #9. The list included Charleston, South Carolina, as well as several small towns, ranging from Hazel, Kentucky to locations in Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota. In signing the praises of Clinton, Fodors cited the presence of Clintons 12 Market Street area shops.  Fodors publishes a wide array of travel guidebooks, websites and publications worldwide, relying heavily on local correspondents with in-depth knowledge of dining, shops and other travel information to assist tourists in learning about new and interesting destinations before they arrive.
TBI probing deputy-involved Roane shooting
The TBI is investigating an officer involved shooting in Roane County after a police chase ended with a sheriff’s deputy firing his weapon through a cars windshield.  TBI says the shooting occurred at the Airport Rd. exit of I-40 West. A Roane County sheriffs deputy clocked a Hyundai traveling at more than 100 miles an hour on Highway 27 in Harriman.  The deputy turned on his lights and sirens and gave chase but instead of pulling over, the car entered I-40 westbound and the pursuit continued to the exit ramp at mile marker 340.  There, the driver lost control and the car spun into a guardrail, where it came to a stop. The deputy got out of his car and was standing by his cruiser when the driver of the Hyundai drove forward and rammed the patrol car. That’s when the deputy fired through the windshield, hitting the driver twice.  The driver of the Hyundai was taken to Roane Medical Center in Harriman and was later transferred to UT Medical Center. A female passenger was also taken to the hospital for injuries unrelated to the shooting.  The identities of those involved were not immediately released. 
ORT:  OR Council OKs ORPD investigation
(Oak Ridge Today/staff reports) The Oak Ridge City Council on Monday agreed to conduct an independent third-party review of turnover and morale in the Police Department but rejected a proposal to investigate the relationship between Police Chief Jim Akagi and City Manager Mark Watson, and possible violations related to an order of protection issued against the police chief in Blount County in 2012 and dismissed in 2013.  The resolution to conduct an independent third-party review of the ORPD turnover was proposed by Council member Kelly Callison during a four-and-a-half-hour-long meeting on Monday night.  It passed 7-0 after being amended to include a study of morale issues and administrative policies.  Later in the meeting, Oak Ridge City Council member Charlie Hensley withdrew a motion to reprimand fellow Council member Trina Baughn for the way she has publicly handled the concerns about the Police Department.  Baughn sent a memo to Watson last month that she also copied to several media outlets raising concerns about what she called the high turnover rate in the ORPD and complaints she had heard from current and former officers describing the chief as a tyrant and vindictive.  The drumbeat of dissent in the city continued when some of those former officers, including Akagis predecessor David Beams, issued missives containing similar complaints and asking for a Council investigation into the department.  Over two dozen residents and several former officers addressed the Council on Monday, some speaking against Akagi and others lauding his performance since talking over in 2011.  The review is expected to be completed within 30 days of a firm being selected and the report will be delivered to City Council and the city manager.
ORT:  OR Council OKs Preschool paint fix
(Oak Ridge Today) The Oak Ridge City Council Monday agreed to use $150,000 in red-light camera money to repair the lead-based paint on the citys Preschool, providing what officials hope will be a short-term solution while they develop a plan to permanently repair, replace, or move the Preschool.  The repairs, which could be done by August 3, were approved in a 6-0 vote. Oak Ridge City Council member Rick Chinn abstained because a family member owns a building on Mitchell Road that the city and schools could consider leasing.  The City Council also endorsed a recommendation from the Oak Ridge Board of Education that could have children in a new building by the 2016-2017 school year. That resolution calls for further study of options for the Oak Ridge Preschools and Robert J. Smallridge School Administration Building on New York Avenue. It also would set up a joint city-schools committee, consider buying the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce building for school administration offices, and remodel the G Building at Oak Ridge High School.  Officials say the Preschool building needs to be renovated or vacated for the Head Start program to receive federal funding in the 2015-2016 school year. They are hopeful that their plan to fix the lead-based paint on the decades-old home of the Preschool by early August will satisfy federal officials. A remediation plan could be submitted to federal officials and Anderson County education officials by March 4.  The building is owned by the city, and the municipal staff would lead the repair project. The Preschool is used by about 200 students, including those in the Head Start program.  Several options have been considered for the Preschool, including repairing the current building, constructing a new facility, leasing a new home for the preschool (or using a lease-purchase option), and splitting up the Preschool among the citys elementary schools. The last option has been largely ruled out.
Middle School Science Bowl Round-Up
(DOE) The fifth annual U.S. Department of Energys (DOE) East Tennessee Middle School Science Bowl held Saturday, Feb. 7 at the Roane State Community College, Oak Ridge Campus highlighted the academic expertise of students representing 12 Tennessee middle schools.  The Middle School Science Bowl is a competition which tests participants knowledge in mathematics and the sciences.  This year 16 teams, composed of the states brightest middle school students, were quizzed in a fast-paced question and answer format similar to the Jeopardy television game show.  Each team included four student competitors, an alternate, and a coach who also served as the teams advisor.
After an intense competition, three winning teams emerged.  The winning teams also received monetary awards:
• First Place ($750) Farragut Middle School Team 1  Farragut Middle School (Farragut) will travel to Washington, D.C., April 30 May 4, 2015, to compete in the DOE National Science Bowl
• Second Place ($500) Jefferson Middle School (Oak Ridge) Team 1
• Third Place ($250) Cedar Bluff Middle School (Knoxville)
Schools participating in this years competition include Blount Home Education Association, Jefferson Middle School, Webb School, St. Marys School, Cedar Springs Homeschool, Norris Middle School, Powell Middle School, Concord Christian School, Farragut Middle School, Cedar Bluff Middle School, Trinity Christian Academy and Oliver Springs Middle School.  For additional information about the DOEs East Tennessee Middle School Science Bowl visit
One killed in Friday Roane wreck
A Friday afternoon traffic accident in Harriman killed an Oakdale man.  The Tennessee Highway Patrol says the crash happened at around 12:40 pm Friday when 74-year-old Samuel Norman of Harriman attempted to turn left from Little Emory Road on to State Highway 61 in his Chevy SUV and failed to yield to a Nissan sedan being driven by 77-year-old Merley Tilson of Oakdale, pulling into the cars path.  Tilsons car was knocked off the roadway into a large ditch, where his car overturned.  Normans SUV spun and came to rest in the westbound lanes of Highway 61.  Tilson was injured and a passenger in his car identified as 79-year-old Elmer Solomon of Oakdale died in the crash despite wearing his seatbelt.  Norman was not injured in the wreck and the THP report indicates that no charges or citations have been filed. 
ORT:  More ex-ORPD officers asking for investigation
According to our partners at Oak Ridge Today, four former Oak Ridge police officers have asked the City Council to investigate some of the concerns recently raised about the Police Department and its chief, or to hear the concerns of officers.  The officers were responding to recent news reports about the police department and concerns raised about its turnover rate, as well as alleged policy violations included in a mid-January grievance filed by former Oak Ridge Police Department Officer Christopher Bayless.  The officers expressed a range of concerns that include the alleged policy violations by Police Chief Jim Akagi and a Blount County order of protection in effect from April 2012 to June 2013, questions about the turnover rate and the chiefs leadership, and decisions about promotions, spending, and weapons.
The City Council will consider dueling resolutions on the topic during its Monday night meeting.
The first, requested by Council member Trina Baughn, would open an investigation into the police chief, including the allegations raised by Bayless, and the concerns raised by Beams, Mansfield, and someone who has written to City Council under the pseudonym Bobby Hill.  It would also investigate the relationship between Akagi and Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson before the police chief was hired and determine whether Akagi violated the order of protection, which was issued in Blount County by Circuit Court Judge Tammy M. Harrington. 
The second resolution to be considered Monday, which was requested by Council member Charlie Hensley, would reprimand Baughn, remove her from all committee assignments, and ask her to stop premature release of biased and negatively spun information before its been verified and discussed by the entire Council.
Its not clear which resolution, if either, the Council might support. Either one would require a second for discussion and four votes to be approved.
Besides Hensley, a few other Council members have also expressed concern about the process used by Baughn, and one member, Kelly Callison, said last week that he might propose an alternative to the resolutions proposed by Baughn and Hensley.
The Council will also consider spending $150,000 to address lead-based paint concerns on the exterior walls of the citys preschool and establish a procedure to begin looking for a replacement for the decades-old facility.  The City Council meets tonight at 7 pm in the Courtroom of the Oak Ridge Municipal Building. 
Clintons antique district earns national recognition
National travel magazine Fodors has ranked the city of Clinton as the ninth best place in the nation to go antiquing.  Here is what the writers of the article had to say about Clinton and its antique district:
Dedicate at least a day to the wonders to be found on the Clinton Antique Trail, Tennessees antique hub that hugs the Clinch River. With a population of almost 10,000, Clinton offers visitors small-town, southern charm with an emphasis on antiques. Featuring nearly everything from American and European to Primitive period furnishings, start your picking with handcrafted furniture and fun home dcor items at Burrville Antiques, the areas oldest antique shop. The next stop on the trail is The Antique Market, where a 1900s era building houses antiques, primitives, and quality collectibles. The trail continues on to another 12 antique shops with seemingly endless piles of treasure.
Insider Tip: Though there is no relation to the famed television series, a visit to Golden Girls Restaurant is a must while visiting Clinton, as their breakfasts speak to the country appetite (fresh biscuits and grits) and are as affordable as they are delicious.  View the complete list and pictures at!1-intro
TSSAA shines spotlight on OR AD
(Oak Ridge Today/TSSAA) Mike Mullins, the athletic director at Oak Ridge High School, has been recognized by the TSSAA for his distinguished service as an administrator.  The TSSAA, or Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, administers junior and senior high school sports. A story in the Winter 2015 issue of TSSAA News said Mullins is finishing his ninth year as athletic director at ORHS and his 29th year in interscholastic athletics and education.  The TSSAA article said Mullins has spearheaded a number of capital improvement projects.  The most striking undertaking is the Wildcat Arena, a part of a $61 million renovation to Oak Ridge High School, the story said. This state-of-the-art facility is home to the Wildcat basketball and volleyball teams and is one of the finest high schools in the state.  Other upgrades completed under Mullins include the Pro2Serve soccer complex, newly renovated weight room, and many locker room enhancements. There are also plans for a multi-million dollar renovation of historic Blankenship Field.  Before he was named athletic director in 2005, Mullins was assistant athletic director for the Oak Ridge Wildcats for four years.  Since Mullins became AD, the Wildcats have won six state championships, had five runner-up finishes, and earned countless sectional, regional, and district titles, the story said. There have been individual awards as well, and Mullins has assembled a highly regarded coaching staff and been awarded the 2009-2010 A.F. Bridges Athletic Director of the Year Award, TSSAA News said.  Mullins and his wife Karla, a teacher at Oak Ridge High School, live in Oak Ridge, and they have two sons, Aaron and Austin.
Clinton issues demolition permit for Magnet Mills
The city of Clinton last month issued a demolition permit for the historic, but long-vacant Magnet Mills building on Charles Seivers Boulevard.  Clinch River Properties LLC has six months from the date the permit was issuedJanuary 23rdto begin the demolition project.  The city says it will hold periodic hearings to receive updates on the project, the first of which is scheduled for February 26th.  A tenant who had been using the former mill as a storage facility was evicted last year by the property owners and the city has given Clinch River Properties until February 24th to remove several junk vehicles from the property.  City leaders have long been exploring ways to either have the building renovated or demolished.  Coupled with TDOTs replacement of the green bridge on Highway 25WClinton Highway/Clinch Avenuethat connects Clinton and South Clinton later this year, the face of Clintons riverfront will look radically different by this time next year. 
National Signing Day local recruiting round-up
Wednesday was national Signing Day for high school athletes and as you have no doubt heard by now, the University of Tennessee brought in a recruiting class ranked among the top 5 by most football scouting services.  Among the student-athletes who signed with UT was Coalfield lineman Zach Stewart, a two-time Mr. Football Award winner.  He was actually the first member of the class of 2015 to fax the school his signed letter of intent.  Anderson County standout running back Matt Fox signed to play at ETSU while fellow Maverick Bronson Black is headed to the University of the Cumberlands.  Oak Ridge had several football players sign scholarship offers, led by Isaac Chapman heading to UT-Martin.  Shawmain Fleming of Oak Ridge will head to Tusculum while his high school teammates Zach Kassner and Ted Mitchell are headed to Carson-Newman.  Midways Hayden Hester will also play at Carson-Newman and Kingstons Zach redden will play for Tusculum.  Former Clinton, Lenoir City and West High School standout Camion Patrick, who had once committed to UT, signed to play major college football at Indiana.  He spent last season at a junior college.  Clinton High Schools Nick Bowling signed a swimming scholarship to Union College.  Congratulations to all of these student-athletes and good luck.  We know you will make the area proud. 
Womans suicide prompts lockdown at Fairview
Fairview Elementary School was placed on lockdown early Tuesday afternoon while law enforcement investigated a womans death.  According to Joe Forgety with the Anderson County School system, a man found a suicide note written by his wife that indicated she was headed to Fairview.  Officials were not clear as to her destination and placed the school on lockdown.  The woman apparently parked her car adjacent to the school, walked into the woods on the opposite side of the playground and shot herself.  The lockdown was lifted and parents were brought in a separate entrance to pick up their children while the investigation took place.  The reason for the alternate entrance was that the road directly in front of the school was identified as the best staging area for deputies and other emergency personnel.  The school was never in danger.  WYSH does not identify suicide victims. 
ORT:  Controversy over ORPD headed to Council
According to Oak Ridge Today, the brewing controversy over the Oak Ridge Police Department and its leadership under Chief Jim Akagi will head to the City Council Monday night.  Oak Ridge City Council member Trina Baughn has called for an investigation of the police chief.  Fellow Council member Charlie Hensley meanwhile wants the Council to reprimand Baughn.   The two Council members have submitted dueling resolutions that could be considered on Monday.  Either resolution would require a second from another Council member to be discussed, and four votes to be approved.  Both resolutions come after over a week of accusations and allegations focused, in particular, on the management of the Oak Ridge Police Department by Chief Jim Akagi and raised questions about the ORPDs turnover rate and whether it is high. Some of the most blistering criticism has come from former Oak Ridge Police Chief David Beams.  Our partners at Oak Ridge Today report that some city officials and business owners are concerned that the negative publicity surrounding this controversy might have a negative impact on economic development and the recruitment of residents while others argue that there are legitimate concerns that need to be investigated.  Baughns resolution calls for a City Council investigation of certain alleged actions by the police chief as well as his relationship to the city manager.  Hensleys resolution, meanwhile, asks City Council to show its disapproval and officially rebuke Baughn. It wouldnt have legal weight, but it would serve as a reprimand. It would ask Baughn to cease premature release of biased and negatively spun information prior to verification and discussion by City Council as a whole.  In an email to city officials, Hensley said Baughn has released negatively biased information and unverified accusations to the media without consideration, discussion, and deliberation by the Council.  Hensleys resolution also requests that Baughn be removed from all of her current committee assignments.  The Oak Ridge City Council will meet Monday, February 9th at 7 p.m. in the Courtroom of the Oak Ridge Municipal Building.  For much more on this story, please visit  
ACSD:  2 arrested in recent weeks on child pornography charges
Two men have been arrested in recent weeks on unrelated charges dealing with the possession of child pornography after indictments were returned in January by the Anderson County Grand Jury.  29-year-old Mario Luis Castilla of Rocky Top was indicted on three counts of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and arrested on January 8.  30-year-old Jeremy Keegan Cosgrove of Oak Ridge was indicted on two counts of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and arrested on January 31.  These are separate, unrelated cases in which charges were filed after two investigations by the Sheriffs Criminal Investigations Unit along with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force of which the Anderson County Sheriffs Department is a member. Each was indicted for allegedly having images of child pornography on their computers.  Both are free on bonds totaling $75,000 each. 
Follow-up:  More on bridge repair project
Following up on a story you first heard about on WYSH, crews on Monday began the long-awaited repair of the bridge on Johnson Gap Road in Anderson Countys Dutch Valley community.  In July of 2013, state inspectors ordered the bridge closed immediately after determining it was unsafe for travel due to structural problems.  Residents of Dutch Valley routinely used Johnson Gap, and consequently, the bridge as the primary shortcut to and from Clinton and Oak Ridge, and complained about having to take longer alternate routes.  While some officials had worried about longer emergency response times, those problems did not surface, but residents still grew increasingly frustrated over the railroads delays in getting the project started.  The bridge is owned by CSX and after its closure, offered the county two options.  The first option was to take over the bridge from the company and replace it with a concrete structure at county expense and the second was to have the company fix it and foot the bill.  County commissioners last spring voted for the latter offer but officials and residents became frustrated all over again when the company offered tentative starting dates and then would extend its timetable.  CSX has addressed the labor and other problems that led to their many delays and late last year, awarded a contract to repair the 100-year-old bridge.  Weather permitting, the project is expected to be wrapped up within the next four weeks. 
ORT:  3 OR teachers earn honors
(Oak Ridge Today) Oak Ridge Schools has announced three of its teachers of the year.  The three building-wide teachers of the year are:
• Amelia Bell, Glenwood Elementary School;
• Amy Fuqua, Linden Elementary School; and
• Lisa Meidl, Willow Brook Elementary School.
In a press release, school officials said they will soon announce the selection of the system-wide Teacher of the Year, selected from one of these three candidates.
Amelia Bell, Glenwood Teacher of the Year, is a librarian with 20 years of teaching experience. She is a member of the Glenwood Leadership Team, a prolific grant writer, and has been awarded the Tennessee Association of School Librarians Innovative Library Award, the press release said.
Bell has led the development of student-based conferencing, and she coordinates family events such as Family Math Night, Science Saturday, and book fairs. Bell is also the extended school day program grant manager.
Bell shares her passion for history and government by teaching information literacy skills in the context of social studies, the press release said.
Amy Fuqua, Linden Teacher of the Year, is a second grade teacher with 16 years of teaching experience. Fuqua is a data coach and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) innovator for Oak Ridge Schools and also serves as a member of the Linden Leadership Team.
Fuqua does a lot of work with technology in the classroom, from the Promethean Board, to Dreambox Learning, to iPods.
Lisa Meidl, Willow Brook Teacher of the Year, is a librarian with 5.5 years of teaching experience. Meidl is secretary for the Center for Childrens and Young Adult Literature at the University of Tennessee. She learns the state standards for all elementary grade levels in order to better collaborate with classroom teachers and help students set and meet their goals.
The Teacher of the Year program in the State of Tennessee recognizes and honors outstanding teachers. A Teacher of the Year candidate must be a full-time certificated teacher in a public school. The candidate must spend the majority of the school day in direct instruction of students, be in at least the fifth year of teaching in Tennessee public schools, and have a track record of exceptional gains in student learning. Teachers of the Year must be skilled in implementing creative teaching strategies, exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled, and have a superior ability to teach, the press release said.
The City of Rocky Top has announced its meeting schedule for the month of February.
• February 10, 2015 Water/Sewer Committee Meeting, 5:30 p.m.
• February 11, 2015 City Court, 8:00 AM
• February 17, 2015 Planning Commission, 6:00 p.m.
• February 19, 2015 City Council Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
For more information call Rocky Top City Hall at 865-426-2838
CONTACT CareLine announces board appointments
CONTACT Care Line of East Tennessee is proud to announce five new members of its board of directors. Entering its fifth decade of providing a listening ear to neighbors in crisis, CONTACT joined the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, launched a chat service, and expanded its Reassurance service to elderly men and women who need a daily call.   
Our new board members bring strong professional backgrounds and a desire to make sure no one feels alone when theyre facing difficulties, board Chairwoman Roslyn Robinson said. A simple telephone call to CONTACT can stop a downward spiral, connect callers with community resources and, many times, even save a life. 
Board members who began three-year terms in January are:
         Chris Elledge, assistant professor of clinical psychology, University of Tennessee.
         LaShanda Miller, director of talent management, ORAU.
         Mary Jinks, who recently retired as vice president of public service for the University of Tennessee.
         Matt Shafer-Powell, director of news content/executive producer, WUOT.
         Susan E. Joyce Schmiesing, healthcare services coordinator for United Health Care.
         Liz Clary, vice president of behavioral services at Covenant Health
Founded in 1973, CONTACT trains volunteers to field telephone calls and chat messages from individuals with a variety of needs.Volunteers help callers through moments of crisis or bring trained professionals to the conversation when warranted. 
In 2014, CONTACT joined the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, fielding calls from Knox County as well as local Crisis Line calls.  Over the summer, CONTACT launched a new Crisis Chat Portal to better serve at-risk youth.  The Reassurance and Crisis Line programs give people the emotional support they need and reduce the barriers to getting mental health services. These programs are vital for addressing undiagnosed and untreated mental illnessa major risk factor for suicide.  To learn more about the crisis call center or make a donation online, please visit
ACSD nabs suspected burglar, carjacker
Friday, Anderson County Sheriffs deputies arrested a 27 year-old Oliver Springs man after a series of crimes at a home on Talley Lane in the Marlow community. John Joseph Pixley II was arrested after the homeowner observed a truck on her surveillance cameras via a web feed and a suspect, later identified as Pixley, was seen walking around her residence. The property owner called the Sheriffs Communications Center around 8:30am Friday to report the incident, left work, and drove home. Upon arriving, according to a release from the ACSD Pixley was seen leaving with items from the residence in the bed of his truck. As the driveway was only wide enough for one car, Pixley attempted to drive around the homeowners car but instead went up an embankment and overturned, striking the womans vehicle. A co-worker of the homeowner also arrived driving his tow truck. Pixley broke out his own window, extricated himself from his overturned pickup, ran to the tow truck, and, after a fight with the co-worker, stole the tow truck and fled. Several deputies responded to this call and the stolen tow truck description was broadcast to area law enforcement agencies. A short time later the truck was spotted by officers from the Oliver Springs Police Department and was stopped.  Pixley was taken into custody by deputies and taken to the Anderson County Detention Facility, where he is being held without bond pending his arraignment on charges of theft, theft of a motor vehicle, carjacking and two counts of aggravated assault. 
Suspect in womans disappearance fired from UT gig
A man described as a person of interest in the disappearance of a Middle Tennessee woman has been fired from, his custodial job at the University of Tennessee.  Nikki Burgess was last heard from in May 2014. A few days later, investigators searched the Anderson County home of Caleb Cannon for clues in her disappearance. Cannon, the father of Burgess son, has been named a person of interest.  A Nashville Metro Police investigator said that cadaver dogs twice alerted to the presence of human decomposition. One of the hits from the dogs was in Burgess Hermitage home. The second was in the trunk of a vehicle registered to Cannon.  A detective says in court documents that he believes Burgess was killed and her body taken from her home to an unknown location inside the trunk of the vehicle belonging to Cannon.  Cannon was fired on Tuesday from a custodial job at UT, and because he was still under probation, the university said it does not need to give a reason to fire him.
Jacksboro PD Detective dies from wreck injuries
A Jacksboro Police Department detective who was critically injured in a head on collision last Friday afternoon has died, according to the Campbell County Sheriffs Office and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.  Det. Mike Starrett was on his way to assist at the scene of a crash on Highway 116 in Caryville when he was hit head-on.  Starrett underwent several surgeries since the accident.  Officials say Det. Starrett died Friday evening at UT Medical Center.  The driver who struck his cruiser will face citations and criminal charges according to the THP report. 
ORNL welcomes Girl Scout leader
Girl Scouts of the USA Chief Executive Officer Anna Maria Chavez visited the Department of Energys Oak Ridge National Laboratory to learn about its efforts on behalf of science, technology, engineering and math education (STEM) programs and how they can be incorporated into the Girl Scouts national program.  We have actually always been focused on science and math with girls and Girl Scouts from the earliest days when our founder, Juliette Gordon Low, was teaching girls about science activities, Chavez said. She was teaching them to weld. Clearly, that has been part of our DNA for 102 years. We also knew that girls wanted those activities and they were correlated activities to their school work.  Using the example of Liane Russell, who helped develop ORNLs renowned mammalian genetics program following World War II, Chavez said the Laboratorys past and present are filled with women making a difference in science.  She was before her time, Chavez said of Russell. They even have a scholarship named in her honor. I was telling to the director here how important it is for girls to see role models in the science, engineering, technology and math fields because girls cant be what they cant see.
ORT:  Controversy, acrimony fly in OR
(Oak Ridge Today)  According to our partners at Oak Ridge Today, Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson said he has absolute confidence in Police Chief Jim Akagi and has no plans to further investigate concerns raised last week by City Council member Trina Baughn.  Baughn raised concerns about the turnover rate in the Oak Ridge Police Department and claims made in a grievance filed by former officer Chris Bayless. In a Sunday email, Baughn said her calculations showed that the police force had lost 30 members in 3.5 years under Akagi, and that equates to 11.7 per year, or an estimated 15 percent turnover rate.  Baughn said some officers who have resigned felt forced out, while others who remain are just counting the days until they can leave.  I believe that our turnover issues are not a reflection on the character of the majority of our men and women in blue; rather they are attributable to leadership, Baughn said in an email to Watson and carbon-copied to Oak Ridge City Council members and reporters.  She said she is ready to help Watson immediately address these problems and stabilize our police department.  But city officials questioned Baughns numbers and said they dont think the turnover rate is significantly out of line with what it has been previously. On average, 7.25 employees per year have left in the last four years due to resignations, retirements, or being asked to leave, Watson said Thursday.  I dont think its a significant change, he said.
Watson said police departments can have the second-highest turnover for municipal governments, trailing only the lowest-level jobs.
Watson said he has not had concerns about the management of the Oak Ridge Police Department. Many prospective officers want to work in Oak Ridge, Watson said, pointing out that 65 people applied the last time there was an opening.
He said the department is more professional than before, security has improved, and employees have new office space while officers have new cars.
Weve come a long way, Watson said.
Watson said no other Council member besides Baughn has expressed concern about the Police Department.
Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch, who was elected in November, said he has talked to thousands of residents during the past six months, and very few mentioned dissatisfaction with the Police Department or with crime.
Oak Ridgers that I talk to are focused on and concerned about the development of Main Street, the Preschool, the new national park, and funding for the Department of Energy missions in Oak Ridge, Gooch said. Thats what Im focused on.
Watson and other city officials expressed concern about the impact the negative publicity this week might have on economic development and projects ranging from the Preschool to Main Street Oak Ridge.
The information published this week has included excerpts from a letter from former Oak Ridge Police Chief David Beams that was highly critical of Watson and Akagi, relying in least in part on what Beams has heard from officers and supervisors, and claims by Bayless that, among other things, he was going to be sanctioned with a letter of reprimand and 48-hour suspension only after he submitted his resignation notice this month (it was effective January 23) for an incident that occurred in November. He said he had never had any disciplinary action before then, and he perceived the proposed punishment as an attempt to humiliate him and diminish my moral character and professional career.
Watson overruled that disciplinary decision this month, saying it was time to let the officer move on.  That thing was handled, Watson said Thursday. He said he thinks the city needs to avoid having disciplinary issues play out in public because it affects careers, families, and employees.
Bayless, who had other complaints about the chief as well, called for an investigation of the Police Department, claiming that officers are leaving due to Akagis lack of leadership skills.  Read much more on this story, including Chief Akagis response to the letter from former Police Chief David Beams at  
DOE:  Y-12 building worst of the worst
A building at Y-12 in Oak Ridge now holds the dubious distinction of being the “worst of the worst” in a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) report detailing its high-risk facilities.  The agency declared the Alpha-5 building at Y-12 the “worst of the worst” of more than 200 facilities in an audit released earlier this week.  Alpha-5 was built in 1944 as part of the Manhattan Project and through the years, had been used in a number of missions that used materials like uranium, mercury and beryllium. The facility still houses utilities that serve production facilities at Y-12, but it hasn’t been operational itself since 2005.  An assessment of Alpha-5 conducted last year revealed that the building’s roof was leaking, spreading hazardous and radioactive materials inside the building. Officials also indicated in the audit that there’s a risk of explosion.  “Overall, the assessment concluded that this facility presents a high risk to the workers and environment and should not be accepted,” according to the report.  Corroded pipes and deteriorating roof panels also caused substantial flooding in 2008.  The DOE has spent more than $24 million in operating and maintenance costs since the 2008 evaluation of Alpha-5.  The DOE audit concluded that the only safe option is to tear down the large building.
ORT:  Suicidal woman points gun at arriving officers
(Oak Ridge Today) A woman who said she wanted to end her life was pointing a handgun out the doorway of an Orange Lane home and pulling the trigger as officers arrived on a welfare check Wednesday night, authorities said.  The Oak Ridge Police Department responded to the home at 8:01 p.m. Wednesday. They were dispatched to check the welfare of a resident who was reported to be intoxicated and attempting to commit suicide with a handgun.  Upon arrival, Officers Derek Burchfield and Timothy Buckner observed a 64-year old female subject at the front door of the residence, pointing a handgun out the doorway and pulling the trigger, the ORPD and City of Oak Ridge said in a press release.  Officers immediately took cover and ordered her to place the weapon on the ground, the release said. After a short verbal exchange, she complied with the officers commands and was taken into custody, whereupon she stated that she wanted to end her life.  The woman, who was not identified, was taken to Methodist Medical Center for evaluation and treatment.  A Ruger semi-automatic pistol was recovered at the scene and seized by officers for safekeeping, the press release said.
Traffic stop ends with arrest
A late night traffic stop ended with the arrest of a Clinton woman by Anderson County Sheriffs deputies on Tuesday.  Corporal Bradley Prewitt reported that he had clocked a Honda Accord traveling 63 miles an hour in a 45 mile an hour zone on Laurel Road at around 10 pm Tuesday and pulled over 27-year-old Heather Kohler of Clinton, who the deputy noted appeared extremely nervous.  When asked if she had drugs in the car, Kohler replied that she was not sure if she cleaned all of them out following her last arrest, according to the incident report.  Kohler agreed to a search of the car and inside, Prewitt reported finding two small baggies of a white powder Kohler admitted was subutex that she had ground with the intent o sneak it into the jail if she were to be arrested.  Prewitt found other controlled substances in the car along with several items commonly used to make meth, including a plastic baggie filled with approximately 130 grams of pseudooephedrine that had been ground into powder.  A grinder was also found in the car.  After being read her rights, Kohler told investigators that she had been going to meet a man in Rocky Top she described as the last big meth cook around.  Based upon the evidence and Kohlers statements, deputies charged her with initiating the manufacture of meth; the manufacture, delivery or sale of meth; two counts of simple possession and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.  Her car and $92 in cash were seized.  As of this morning, she remained in custody at the Anderson County Jail on bonds totaling $25,000.
State:  Problems found in Rockwood Revitalization
(State Comptrollers Office) An investigation by the Tennessee Comptrollers Office has uncovered several issues related to Rockwood Revitalization, Inc., in Roane County, Tennessee.  Rockwood Revitalization was organized to stimulate downtown economic development for the City of Rockwood. The organization is primarily funded from grants and donations.  The investigation centered around a 2012 State of Tennessee, Department of Economic and Community Development, revitalization grant. The $15,000 grant was intended to help develop a new visitors center by including a public restroom.  Investigators found that Rockwood Revitalization did not comply with the grant contract. Although building materials were purchased, no work ever began on the visitors center during the grant period. Furthermore, in February 2014 Rockwood Revitalization submitted false information to TNECD by indicating the visitor center and restroom facilities were completed on the grant close-out report.  Rockwood Revitalization eventually used the purchased materials to develop and open a welcome center in October 2014.  Comptroller investigators also noted questionable business practices within Rockwood Revitalization, and found the organization did not follow its bylaws. All of the findings and recommendations have been reviewed with the district attorney general for the 9th Judicial District.  Grant money can play an important role in spurring economic development throughout the state, Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. Taxpayers deserve to know their money is being used appropriately and all the rules are being followed.  To view the investigation online, go to:  If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee, call the Comptrollers toll-free hotline at (800) 232-5454, or file a report online at: Follow us on twitter @TNCOT
Man sentenced to 25 years for abuse
An Anderson County judge on Monday sentenced a Knoxville man convicted last year on charges of aggravated child abuse to three, 25-year sentences to be served concurrently.  48-year-old David William Lowery was convicted of breaking over 30 bones in his 10-week-old sons body in 2008.  Doctors first noticed a hand-shaped bruise on the babys back during a wellness check in January of 2008 and soon determined that the baby had suffered numerous broken bones, injuries doctors at Childrens Hospital said could not have been accidental.  Anderson County Circuit Court Judge Don Elledge imposed the maximum sentence on Lowery, who will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole. 
AC McNabb Center celebrates grand opening
Tuesday, officials celebrated the official grand opening of the Anderson County Helen Ross McNabb Center in Oak Ridge.  The mental health center originally opened in 1948 in Knoxville and since that time, has grown in to a center that serves over 25,000 people from all over East Tennessee.  The new facility in Oak Ridge has actually been open and serving clients since early December and is located at 158 Fairbanks Road.  The staff there provides a wide range of services including psychiatric evaluations, medical management, nursing services and other.  Officials say the new facility will mean that Anderson County residents, who have had to travel in the past to Knox or Campbell counties for service, will now have a much shorter drive.  The center is open weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm and is accepting new a\patients.  Visit or call 865-637-9711 or 865-483-7743 for more information. 
OS teen killed in Monday accident
An Oliver Springs boy died Monday morning when his dirt bike was struck by a car in Morgan County.  The Tennessee Highway Patrol said that the accident happened at around 6:45 am Monday on State Highway 62 near Coalfield and left 17-year-old Aaron Gunter dead.  Gunter had been headed west on a 2005 Suzuki dirt bike when 75-year-old Sharon Morton of Andersonville, also headed west, was blinded by the lights of a car headed east and could not see Gunter, who was reportedly riding without a headlight or taillights.  Gunter was not wearing a helmet and the THP report indicates it might have made a difference had he had it on.  Ms. Morton was buckled up and escaped without injury.  No citations were issued and no charges are expected. 
CTAS:  Mayor must sign deed
Following up on a story we have been following for you, last week the Anderson County Commission voted to approve a motion that would complete the sale of land erroneously labeled as a delinquent tax property.  The land in question is the Daya property in Clinton and the sale of the land back to Rocky Daya was approved by the committee for $46,000.  County Mayor Terry Frank has refused to sign the deed, claiming that she does not trust the legal advice of Law Director Jay Yeager and that she feels he is trying to get her to sign the document illegally.  The motion approved Tuesday would allow the deed to be signed by the mayoras is the case currentlyor the County Commission Chairman.  Daya has pledged no further legal action against the county over the sale as part of the deal aimed at closing at least one of the legal cases currently ongoing against the county.  Commissioner Steve Mead asked for a legal opinion over the mayors refusal to sign the deed despite the recommendation of the committee and this week, the University of Tennessees County Technical Assistance Serviceor CTASgave its opinion.  The opinion, penned by CTAS consultant Wesley Robertson, indicates that the Commission Chairman cannot sign the deed and that the Mayor is required to sign the document.  The applicable state code reads:  Conveyances of the land shall be made without warranties of any sort, and deeds shall be executed by the county mayor or other chief fiscal officer of the county and the county trustee, who shall collect the purchase price at the time of the execution of the deed.  Commissioner Mead, in an e-mail sharing the opinion with his fellow commissioners wrote, It also says that the Mayor SHALL sign the deed once the agreed price is presented.    Shall means she has no authority to not sign.  We will continue to follow this story for you on WYSH.
Report:  Family of victim, survivors file suit in Roane train crash
Two survivors and the family of a young Roane County woman killed when a Norfolk Southern train collided with a car in May 2014 in Roane County are suing the railroad and three employees.  The plaintiffs allege among other things that the train crew failed to properly sound a horn, make the car aware of its presence, that there was poor visibility at the crossing and that the railroad uses a flawed “Operation Lifesaver” training program that gives inadequate training and instruction.  The defendants are Norfolk Southern Railway Co., Norfolk Southern Corp., division superintendent Jeff Sliger, track maintenance superintendent Edgar Keller and Rusty Layne, signal and crossing manager.  Filing the suit in Roane County Circuit Court were crash survivors Hunter Crass and Darius J. Gallaher and Willie J. Gallaher and Melissa D. Gallaher, the parents of Jadah A. Gallaher, who died in the crash. Also killed as a result of the collision was Roderick Drummond.  Crass was riding in the front passenger seat. Darius Gallaher was driving the 2000 Nissan Maxima. His sister Jadah Gallaher and Drummond were passengers in the car. Several in the car played basketball at Roane State Community College.  After the collision at the Mountain View road crossing near U.S. Highway 27, Jadah Gallaher was found outside the car, leaning against the driver’s side rear wheel. She died later at a hospital.  Crass and Darius Gallaher were pinned inside the car and suffered multiple injuries.  A preliminary report last year from the Tennessee Highway Patrol stated Gallaher’s vehicle was heading westbound when it attempted to cross the railroad crossing and was hit by the train.  According to the lawsuit, rescue and emergency medical personnel asked the train crew to move the train so that Crass could be removed for emergency care but that the crew declined until a railroad supervisor arrived.  Plaintiffs seek a trial and a “fair and reasonable sum for compensatory and punitive damages.”
AC historian aids Morgan counterparts
(Submitted) Longtime Anderson County Archivist and Historian Mary Sue Harris last week hosted three volunteer archivists from Morgan County who wanted to learn what it takes to catalog and maintain a countys historical documents.   Sharon Kreis, Forrest Stewart and Barbara Langley, all from Morgan County, on Friday morning visited the Anderson County Courthouse to meet with Harris; theyve been voluntarily working for the last three years to restore and maintain Morgan Countys historical documents, Kreis said.  
Weve visited several other counties historical archives, and we were told that Anderson Countys (archives) are what it all should be modeled after, Kreis said. 
Organization and maintenance of historical documents isnt an overnight task. 
Just be patient, Harris told the volunteer archivists. 
Harris herself has worked for more than 50 years to restore and maintain Anderson County records, the oldest of which date back to 1802. 
Mrs. Harris continues to be an asset not only for Anderson County, but for all who love and value history, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank said. Just days ago, Anderson County hosted the Anderson County Youth Leadership class and after Mrs. Harris spoke, students and county officials all erupted in unexpected applause.  It was a wonderful and well-deserved moment.  
We want to congratulate Morgan County for their Archivist Award, and we wish them much success on their program, Mayor Frank said. 
Through the efforts of Kreis, Stewart and Langley, the Morgan County Archives received the 2014 John H. Thweatt Archival Advancement Award from the Society of Tennessee Archivists (STA). Thweatt was a professional archivist with the Tennessee State Library and Archives for many years. The award that holds his name is presented to individuals, groups and organizations that have made significant contributions to the advancement of archives and archival issues in Tennessee, according to the STA. 
The Morgan County Archives and Family Heritage Center is housed at the historic Morgan County Jail in Wartburg.  Archival records kept there date back to the late 1800s.
Caryville wrecks kill 2, injure 2
A man and his 6-year-old son were killed and a Jacksboro police officer was seriously injured in two separate but related accidents in Caryville Friday afternoon.  The Tennessee Highway Patrol says 44-year-old Bobby L. Coker Jr. was driving his GMC Envoy with 8-year-old daughter Marissa Coker and 6-year-old son Skyland Coker on Highway 116 just before 4:00 p.m.  Troopers say Coker was making a left around a turn when his vehicle left the roadway, traveled through a ditch, and crashed into a tree.  Coker Jr., was not wearing his seatbelt, and was ejected from his car.  He and Skyland Coker were killed, and Marissa Coker was injured.  Troopers also say Jacksboro Police Detective Mike Starrett was responding to the crash on Highway 116 at Little Cove Creek Road when his unmarked cruiser was struck by 1993 GMC pickup truck driven by David Muse.  Other vehicles had pulled to the shoulder due to the emergency traffic, but Muse was unable to stop and hit Starretts car head on.  Starrett was taken to UT Medical Center by ambulance. Muse was taken to Lafollette Medical Center and has been charged with failure to maintain control and failure to exercise due care.  The roadway was reopened around 8 pm, about four hours after the initial crash.
The family and doctors of Jacksboro Detective Mike Starrett are asking for blood donations to replace what has been used since hes been in the hospital and replenish other blood supplies at the UT Medical Center.  Blood type does not matter, but they are asking that you use the name Det. Mike Starrett when donating.  There are various locations you can make a donation:
• Monday January 26th, 11am-6pm, Badcock Home Furniture 511 West Central Ave. in Lafollette
• Tuesday January 27th, 8am-3pm, Tennessee Technology Center, 265 Elkins Road in Caryville
• Friday February 6th, 12n-7pm, Jacksboro United Methodist Church behind the courthouse in Jacksboro.
Kingston man jailed in Y-12FCU heist
Knoxville Police and the FBI have arrested a man in connection to a Friday robbery of a Knoxville credit union.  43-year-old Bryan Samples of Kingston was taken into custody by Knoxville Police officers and agents of the FBIs Safe Streets Task Force.  At last check, Samples was being held at the Blount County Jail.  Fridays robbery happened around 4:49 p.m. when a man entered the Y-12 Federal Credit Union, 6640 Clinton Highway, passed the teller a note demanding money and left with cash, according to the FBI. 
ORT:  OR man charged with firing gun during parking dispute
(Oak Ridge Today) An Oak Ridge man who allegedly fired a gun into the ground during a parking disturbance on Tucker Road on January 18 has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault.  Justin Kane Hornung, 37, told Oak Ridge Police Department Officer Christopher W. Wallace that he did not have space to park his vehicle on Tucker Road when he came home because guests of a neighbor had filled the on-street parking spaces, according to warrants filed in Anderson County General Sessions Court.
A discussion between Hornung and his neighbor about the parking situation reportedly escalated into a disturbance, and the victim allegedly told Hornung he was going to kick his (expletive) and yelled other obscenities, according to the warrants.  Hornung told Wallace that he felt threatened by the victims statements, so he pulled a handgun, pointed it at the victim, and fired one shot into the ground, the warrants said.
The victim stated he was in fear for his life when the defendant fired the shot, Wallace wrote.  Additionally, the defendants daughter (a nine-year-old juvenile) was also in the roadway at the time of the incident, the warrants said.  Wallace said District Attorney General David Clark recommended arresting Hornung for aggravated assault.  The defendant intentionally and knowingly placed the victim in fear of imminent bodily injury by displaying and discharging a firearm, Wallace wrote in the warrants.  Hornung remained in the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton on Friday. His bond has been set at $100,000, according to court records.
ORT:  Man accused of attempted kidnapping
(Oak Ridge Today) An Oak Ridge man allegedly broke into a home this month, assaulted the mother of his children, threw a five-inch kitchen knife at a man at the home, and tried to kidnap two kids, authorities said.  Justin L. Williams, 23, is accused of going upstairs at the Knoll Lane home armed with a five-inch kitchen knife and confronting the woman in the hall, shoving her against a door and to the floor, and assaulting her again outside while taking her car keys to get child seats, according to arrest warrants filed in Anderson County General Sessions Court.  The woman, who had a laceration to her right big toe, reportedly called 911 on her cell phone during the assault at about 4:18 a.m. January 14, the warrants said.  The defendant took the cell phone away from (the woman) and ended the call before she could report the crime in progress, Oak Ridge Police Department Officer Benjamin Haines wrote in a warrant. Haines responded to the home to investigate the 911 hang-up call.  Williams also is accused of brandishing the knife at the second victim, who fled the house in fear, the warrants said. Williams allegedly threw the knife at the man from 20 feet away in the parking lot.  After assaulting the woman and forcing the man out of the home, Williams allegedly removed a three-year-old girl and a two-year-old girl from their beds, took them to the parking lot, and placed the children in his vehicle.
When further confrontations occurred over the childrens car seats, the defendant abandoned his kidnapping and fled the area, the warrants said.  Williams has been charged with two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary, aggravated assault, aggravated domestic assault, interfering with a 911 call and theft. He remained jailed in the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton on Friday afternoon.  The court documents said Williams and the woman have two children in common and had lived together for several years until four days before the alleged crimes, but Williams had moved out as part of a break-up.  He allegedly entered the Knoll Lane home by breaking a kitchen window and crawling into the house.  Williams allegedly took the womans pepper spray, valued at $25, when he fled the scene.  Haines said Williams and the woman are not married, and the woman retains full custodial rights to the children.
Follow-up:  A&S not the only Campbell company closing
As we reported Thursday, NCI Building Systemscommonly referred to as A&S Building Systemswill close its Caryville manufacturing facility on March 22nd, costing 164 people their jobs.  A&S will keep two other East Tennessee facilities open but are consolidating operations.  The company notified its employees and the state of the closure this week and say it will offer severance packages to all workers who can stay on through March 22nd.  Officials in Campbell County say that two other businesses will also be closing their doors within the next month or so.  TrailManor Manufacturing in Lafollette is phasing out operations at the end of the month and has already begun phasing out workers.  The Carmike Cinema in LaFollette is also closing and its final day will be February 19th.   County leaders will soon meet to discuss what can be done to help people who lost their jobs. Plans are already in the works to bring more companies into Campbell County.
Suspects lead police on three-county chase
Late Thursday night, a par of Knox County robbery suspects led police in three counties on a high-speed chase that ended when spike strips were deployed in Maynardville.  The Anderson County Sheriffs Department provided assistance to Knox County Sheriffs deputies and Knoxville Police officers as the chase began in north Knox County, crossed through Anderson County and terminated in Union County.  The pursuit began at around 9:45 pm in Knox County and ended about an hour later when a Union County deputy laid down spike strips on the road and the suspects car swerved to avoid them and crashed into a ditch near the Hickory Star Marina.  A man and a woman were taken into custody a short time later after a brief foot chase by Knoxville Police.  No injuries were reported.  32-year-old Jeremy Shane Howard of Knoxville faces several charges in connection to the incident and the woman caught with him was released from custody without charges being filed.  In addition to the Knox County agencies and the ACSD, officers from the Union County Sheriffs Office and the Tennessee Highway Patrol participated in the pursuit. 
ORT:  7 first responders recognized
(Oak Ridge Today) Four emergency medical workers in Anderson County were honored Tuesday for helping with baby deliveries, and three rescuers were recognized for their courage in pulling a woman from a burning home in November.
Those who helped deliver the babies received a Stork pin, said Nathan Sweet, director of Anderson County Emergency Medical Services. The four were honored during a Tuesday meeting of the Anderson County Commission. They are Critical Care Paramedic or CCEMTP Billy Sharp, Paramedic Student Chris Bice, AEMT Stephanie Fox, and Paramedic Gage Whitman.
They helped with baby deliveries in October, November, and December.
Each delivery occurred prior to arrival at the hospital, Sweet said.
The three rescuers honored for pulling a woman from a burning home in the Orchard Knob subdivision in November were Anderson County Sheriffs Department Deputy Wiley Maloney, Reserve Deputy Gene Rose, and Captain Zach Pressnell of the Marlow Volunteer Fire Department. They were honored with Valor presentations, Sweet said. He said the three men exposed themselves to great harm.
The 65-year-old woman, Martha Babb Bailey, was burned and seriously injured after she went into the burning home to try to save pets inside. She later died at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.
A&S to close doors, lay off 164
WYSH has confirmed with the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development that A&S Building Systemssometimes called A&S Steelwill be permanently shutting down its manufacturing operation on Highway 116 in Caryville, effective March 22nd.  The closure will cost 164 employees their jobs.  A&Ss manufacturing facility and corporate offices have been in their location since 1973 and the company was purchased in 1992 by a company called NCI, one of the largest suppliers of metal building products.  Some workers received their notices of separation on Wednesday night and the state says more information could be released later today (Thursday 1/22).  No reason for the closure was given to the state and WYSH has reached out to officials at A&S for comment.  As of the time this report was filed, we were awaiting a response. 
OR dealing with school building problems
Oak Ridge city and school officials are working to deal with problems at the school systems preschool and administration building.  The 70-year-old building is starting to exhibit structural problems and lead paint has begun to flake off the sides of exterior walls.  Officials say that the immediate problem of the lead paint must be addressed quickly or the system will have to vacate that building before the next school year begins.  City officials held two work sessions recently with the school board to work on a solution to the problem and say they have a couple of options to choose from.  Those options are basically to fix the lead paint problem and then work toward a longer-term solution for the other deficiencies in the building, or to begin working toward building, buying or leasing a new facility.  City leaders say that Oak Ridge would either have to make room in its budget for a new structure, or look for grants to help buy a new facility.  The school board meets Monday, January 26 and reportedly aims to make a decision on their next move.
Brushy Mountain plans moving forward
Brushy Mountain State Prison in Morgan County could be reopened with a new purpose as soon as next year. A distillery, museum, RV trailer park and restaurant are all in the making to replace the old prison that closed down six years ago in 2009.  The state officially handed old Brushy Mountain State Prison to Morgan County Economic Development officials.  The tourist attraction is expected to open in spring 2016. Rutherford says it will bring more than 100 jobs to the area.  .
Roane railroad crossings receive safety money
Roane County has received a grant to help make safety improvements at a railroad crossing where two young people died last year.  The accident happened in May 2014 at the crossing of U.S. Highway 27 and Mountain View Road in Harriman. Two teens were killed when a train hit their car and another person was seriously injured.  The Roane County Highway Department learned Tuesday they have been awarded a 100 percent, federally-funded grant to help prevent similar accidents in the future.  Changes include new signage which will be farther back on 27, as well as on both sides of the highway, repaving Mountain View Road and pushing the painted railroad crossing signs closer to a nearby neighborhood by 500 feet.  Railroad companies, local highway departments, and TDOT will conduct an engineering study to look at the number of cars and trains that pass, the chances of a collision, visibility and train and car speed to determine which element would be best for the crossing.  Plans also call for the installation of flashing lights at the crossing.
Clinton man indicted in 2014 stabbing death
A Clinton man has been indicted by an Anderson County grand jury on a charge of first-degree murder in the April 2014 stabbing death of his girlfriend.  Clinton Police reported that the time that 22-year-old Heather McKamey died early on the morning of April 19th, 2014 after she was allegedly stabbed by 26-year-old Kieth Pittman during an argument in their driveway on Park Avenue.  After she was stabbed, McKamey managed to run to nearby McAdoo Street, where she knocked on doors asking for help.  When officers responded to the area to investigate, they found McKameys body in the front yard of a home.  Pittman reportedly told investigators that he had grabbed a knife from the kitchen before following McKamey out of the house, but did not know why he did it.  Police and an Anderson County judge classified the case as second-degree murder, but the grand jury opted for the more serious, first-degree murder charge.  Pittman remains in custody at the Anderson County Jail on bonds totaling $1.010 million and will be arraigned on January 30th. 
ORNL FCU donates $64,861 to UWAC
(UWAC) ORNL Federal Credit Union raised $64,861 for the United Way of Anderson Countys annual giving campaign, bringing the total for the last two years to more than $131,000.  Donations to UWAC are an investment in the community, a United Way press release said.  Donations are used to support critical services in our community throughout the year, the release said. Local volunteers determine where to allocate moneys to make the greatest impact based on demonstrated need and efficacy. 
ORNL FCUs investment in Anderson and surrounding countries is critical, making up over 5 percent of our total revenue, said Rick Morrow, UWAC director. In 2013, UWAC dollars touched peoples lives more than 37,000 times. ORNL FCUs investment means that someone is there to help 1,850 times through the course of the year.  The press release said UWAC funds go to support 32 agencies and 50 different programs that provide services Anderson County residents. For more information about UWAC services and to donate to provide this type of assistance to our neighbors, go to or call UWAC at (865) 483-8431.  The press release said UWAC has made donating simpler this year, and you can use their PayPal link to establish an ongoing gift.
Follow-up:  AC hires Alternatives to Incarceration Director
Following up on a story we brought you last week but may have gotten lost in the excitement surrounding the presidential visit, Anderson County is one step closer to having a full-time director for its Alternatives to Incarceration program.  Last week, the committee in charge of finding someone to head the department unanimously recommended hiring Clinton resident Mary Young to fill the position.  She will be responsible for finding ways to reduce the jail population through programs that could include expanded use of electronic monitoring devices; day reportingdescribed as a way to have offenders work on community projects during the day while still sleeping in their own beds at night; and offering more classes like anger management to help offenders deal with some of the underlying issues that led to their arrests and subsequent incarcerations.  She will operate out of the Anderson County Jail and officials say that she has worked in a similar program in California.  She is expected to begin work on February 2nd.  This will be the second attempt to develop a program to deal with overcrowding issues at the Jail.  In March of 2013, the programs first director resigned, saying that he was meeting with resistance from county officials and judges while those same officials said that Baker did not seem to understand the issues specifically faced by Anderson County.  Since then, two expansions have created a jail capacity of 565 inmates, one of whicha minimum-security dormitoryis currently not being used because the newly opened 212-bed expansion has allowed inmates to be classified properly, one of the main concerns voiced by state officials, who last month removed the jail from its plan of corrective action.  Officials say that even with thousands of unserved warrants still pending, the expanded jail should take care of the countys needs for the next decade or so.  As of this morning, 313 people were listed as being in custody on the Jail website.
CPD investigating mans death
According to a police report on file at the Clinton Police Department, investigators are looking into the death of a 36-year-old Clinton man.  The incident occurred on December 27th when Clinton Police were called to a home on Lee Lane and found 36-year-old Jason Sharp unconscious on the floor, bleeding from his mouth and not breathing.  Despite the efforts of first responders, Sharp died shortly after arriving at Methodist Medical Center.  The report indicates that witnesses told police that Sharp had been involved in a physical altercation with a 29-year-old male relative and that he had been hit in the face during that fracas.  The report indicates that the CPD investigation is ongoing and that no charges have been filed at this time.  We will keep you posted as developments warrant. 
THP:  Man injured in December crash dies
A man injured in a late December accident in Roane County died from his injuries Friday night, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.  The crash happened on I-40 near Gallaher Road in Kingston on December 27.  Troopers say that a car driven by Josephine Yeager had been trying to change lanes when it collided with a Cadillac being driven by Norma Craig.  That collision forced the Cadillac into the median.  The car became airborne and landed on a concrete divider.  Both Craig and her passenger, Jack Craig of Cookeville were injured. Troopers say that Jack Craig passed away from his injuries Friday night.  Troopers say that citations were filed in the crash, however, charges were not.
Two charged in Clinton store robbery
According to the Clinton Police Department, two Clinton men are in custody following a weekend convenience store robbery.  Officers responded to the call, Sunday morning, at the Git N Go Market on South Charles G Seivers Blvd in Clinton. A clerk told police that two men entered the store between 3 and 3:30 am. She says one man hit her in the head and held her down while the other removed about $255 from the cash register. Two cartons of cigarettes were also taken during the robbery.  21-year-old Jordan Scott was arrested just a few minutes after the incident. Police spotted him walking along the roadway. The second suspect, 21-year-old Danial James Poore, turned himself into police later in the morning.  They are charged with robbery.
ORT:  ORFD Captain injured fighting Claxton fire
According to our partners at Oak Ridge Today, an Oak Ridge Fire Department captain was injured Sunday morning while assisting on a mutual aid assignment in the Claxton community at 134 Allen Lane, a city press release said.  It appears that a pressure surge in the water supply caused the captain to lose his grip on a hose line that he and his firefighter were operating in the front yard of the residence, ORFD Deputy Chief Josh Waldo said. The nozzle on the line came back and struck the captain in the face causing serious injuries.  The Oak Ridge Fire Department reported that the unidentified captain had on all of his protective equipment, but the nozzle hit just below the bottom of his helmet.  The captain underwent three hours of surgery to repair multiple fractures in his face, the press release said. He has since been released from the hospital, but is expected to be out of work for several months.
ORT:  OSFDs new policy cuts down on response time
Our partners at Oak Ridge Today report there were no injuries in a house fire late Thursday morning on Foxwood Circle in Oliver Springs.  The Oliver Springs Fire Department was able to respond quicklyarriving within four minutesbecause of a new standby program. That program uses the Fire Departments volunteers to staff the station with firefighters to improve staffing levels and allow faster response times, said Justin Bailey, Oliver Springs assistant fire chief.  He said Thursdays porch fire at 120 Foxwood Circle was reported at 11:50 a.m., and it extended into the homes attic. The fire was brought under control within 30 minutes with help from the Oak Ridge Fire Department and Marlow Volunteer Fire Department through an automatic mutual-aid program.
Bailey said fire damage was contained to the back porch and attic space. Other damage included smoke and water to lower levels of the structure.  The American Red Cross was notified to provide help to the family during the extremely cold weather conditions, Bailey said. There were no injuries to the occupants or firefighters.  Bailey said the new standby program started January 1, and Thursdays fire was the first structure fire since it started.  There is no increased cost to the citizens of Oliver Springs with the implementation of this program, Bailey said.
Vann pleads not guilty in Daugherty disappearance, presumed death
A former Campbell County teacher, accused of murdering and kidnapping a LaFollette woman, pleaded not guilty in court Monday morning.  A grand jury indicted 44-year-old Lonnie Lee Vann of Jacksboro on charges of  first-degree murder and kidnapping in the disappearance of 49-year-old Rhonda Daugherty. According to court documents, the grand jurors found that Vann “intentionally and with premeditation” killed Daughtery on Dec. 2, 2014 or around that date. Authorities haven’t supplied information as to why Vann is linked to Daugherty’s presumed death.  Authorities accuse Vann of fleeing the area after he killed Daughtery.  Police in Myrtle Beach pulled Vann over on Highway 501 and arrested him without any problems on Dec. 12th.  Three days before Vann’s arrest, officials claim he followed a couple into a hotel, broke into their room, and stole their wallets.  Less than a week before that robbery, officials said Vann robbed a Campbell County couple at gunpoint.   Authorities also accuse Vann of trying to kiss and hug a 13-year-old female student in Campbell County in Oct. 2013. Investigators claim Vann left LaFollette Middle School with the student and took her to a nearby church. Officials said after the incident, Vann altered images on the church’s security camera recordings.  In July, a grand jury indicted Vann on charges of solicitation of a minor, tampering with evidence and assault.  Rhonda Daughtery’s husband, Charles, is a witness in that case.  Vann’s next court hearing is scheduled for April. The court appointed him a lawyer on Monday.
ORT:  More on presidential foray in to ET
(Oak Ridge Today) Inspired by programs in Tennessee and Chicago, President Barack Obama has unveiled a proposal to make two years of community college free for anyone whos willing to work for it, the White House said Thursday.
The White House said 57,000 students representing almost 90 percent of the states high school graduating class applied for the Tennessee scholarship program, which is called Tennessee Promise, in the first year. It provides two years of community or technical college to graduating high school seniors free of tuition and fees.
The federal program is called Americas College Promise, and it could benefit roughly nine million students each year, officials said. A full-time community college student could save an average of $3,800 in tuition per year.
The president is expected to announce the proposal in Knoxville on Friday, when he visits Pellissippi State Community College in Hardin Valley and manufacturer Techmer PM in Clinton. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill will join Obama on the East Tennessee trip.
The president is also expected to discuss his proposal during the State of the Union on January 20.
Under Obamas new proposal, students would be able to earn the first half of a bachelors degree, or earn the technical skills needed in the workforceall at no cost to them, the White House said.
During his Friday visit, Obama is also expected to launch a new manufacturing innovation hub.
Here are the proposed requirements for Americas College Promise:
Students must attend community college at least half-time, maintain a 2.5 grade point average, and make steady progress toward completing their program.
Community colleges will be expected to offer programs that are either:
• academic programs that fully transfer credits to local public four-year colleges and universities, or
• occupational training programs with high graduation rates that lead to in-demand degrees and certificates. Community colleges must also adopt promising and evidence-based institutional reforms to improve student outcomes.
Federal funding will cover three-quarters of the average cost of community college. Participating states will be expected to contribute the remaining funds necessary to eliminate the tuition for eligible students.
The president also proposed a new American Technical Training Fund to expand innovative, high-quality technical training programs similar to Tennessee Tech Centers that meet employer needs and help prepare more Americans for better paying jobs, the White House said.
Specifically, the fund will award programs that:
• have strong employer partnerships and include work-based learning opportunities,
• provide accelerated training, and
• accommodate part-time work.
The White House said an estimated 35 percent of job openings will require at least a bachelors degree by 2020, and 30 percent will require some college or an associates degree.
 The Americas College Promise proposal would create a new partnership with states to help them waive tuition in high-quality programs for responsible students, while promoting key reforms to help more students complete at least two years of college, the press release said. Restructuring the community college experience, coupled with free tuition, can lead to gains in student enrollment, persistence, and completion transfer, and employment.
Vann charged with Rhonda Daughertys kidnapping, murder
Former Campbell County middle school teacher turned TBI Most Wanted Fugitive Lonnie Vann has been indicted by a Campbell County grand jury on charges of kidnapping and first-degree murder in the now-presumed death of 49-year-old Rhonda Daugherty, who disappeared from her home in the Coolidge community on December 2nd.  Her body has never been found, but the TBI said during a press conference Wednesday that agents developed information that led them to look at the 44-year-old Vann as a suspect but declined to specify what that information was.  Vann was added to the TBIs Most Wanted List in December after allegedly robbing a Campbell County couple of cash and weapons at gunpoint, tying them up and taking their car to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  There, he is accused of robbing another couple at gunpoint and was arrested following a traffic stop and held on charges from both Tennessee and South Carolina.  He is currently being held in South Carolina on a $1 million bond and authorities hope to return him to Tennessee to face charges in the Daugherty case.  At the time of his alleged December crime spree, he was already under indictment on charges of soliciting a minor, tampering with evidence and assault in an incident in the fall of 2013 in which he is accused of taking a 13-year-old girl off-campus while employed as a teacher and tried to kiss her in the parking lot a church, Coolidge First Baptist Church, where he is also accused of altering video surveillance tapes to conceal evidence in the case.  According to court documents, Rhonda Daughertys husband Charles is listed as a witness against Vann in that case but the TBI and Sheriffs Department officials declined to discuss any possible connection between that fact and her disappearance and presumed death.  The search for Rhonda Daugherty has involved dozens of volunteers and the assistance of several area search and rescue agencies but so far has yielded no sign of her.  If you have information in the case, the CCSO encourages you to call them at 423-562-7446.  A $10,000 reward for information in the case is being offered.  
(TBI) A former Top 10 fugitive who had been wanted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for armed robbery has now been charged with killing a woman who had been reported missing in Campbell County more than a month ago.  Lonnie Lee Vann, 44, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of kidnapping, the TBI said in a press release Wednesday, the same day a Campbell County grand jury returned the indictments.  At the request of 8th District Attorney General Jared Effler, TBI special agents, helped by investigators from the Campbell County Sheriffs Office and other law enforcement agencies in East Tennessee, began investigating the disappearance of Rhonda Daugherty on December 4. The 49-year woman went missing from her home on December 2.  Through the course of the investigation, special agents developed information that led them to Lonnie Lee Vann as the individual responsible for Mrs. Daughertys death, the TBI said.  On December 5, Vann was placed on the TBI Top 10 Most Wanted list as a fugitive wanted for two counts of armed robbery from an incident earlier that day in Lafollette. Vann was captured without incident in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a week later and has been held there since his arrest.  Vann is a Jacksboro resident and former Campbell County middle school teacher. He is awaiting extradition back to Campbell County. He is being held on a $1 million bond on the new charges, the press release said.
Fire at Clinton Towers injures none, displaces 30
What was described as a room and content fire at the Clinton Towers on Seivers Boulevard Wednesday night caused some damage and displaced about 30 residents.  The fire was reported at around 11 pm inside a room on the second floor injured no one as Fire Chief Archie Brummitt says that the sprinkler system inside the room did its job, allowing firefighters to completely extinguish the blaze within just a few minutes of their arrival, but described the room as a total loss.  Several other rooms suffered smoke and water damage.  The cause of the fire appears to be accidental and while the exact cause is unknown, the fire may have started in the rooms heating unit.  The Red Cross is assisting the displaced residents.  We will bring you more information as it becomes available. 
Despite party differences, Frank calls visit honor
Despite the president’s admitted lack of popularity in Anderson County, a county that twice heavily voted against him in Presidential elections, most people seem to share the sentiment that the historic visit by the President and Vice President is indeed an honor and will have a long-lasting positive impact on Clinton and Anderson County.  County Mayor Terry Frank, herself a staunch Republican, called the visit a big win for the county and added:  When the President comes, its going to shine a spotlight on our accomplishments.  Why is he here?  Hes here because we know how to work hard, we know how to bring business, we know ho to get the job done, we know how to generate profits for businesses that generate more profits and create prosperity for people in this country.  She also remarked that while presidents have in the past visited the region, never before have the President and Vice President come right into the heart of [Anderson County]the Sheriffs department and the Clinton Police Department been engaged in the security detail, and the traffic detail and so this is an all-in moment for Anderson County.  Thats pretty excitingand of course, the pageantry of a Presidential motorcade is going to be exciting.  With the guest list at Techmer PM a closely-guarded secret and apparently very exclusive, Mayor Frank says that she has not received an invitation to the event in Clinton, saying that to her knowledge, the only local official who has told her he has been invited is Clinton Mayor Scott Burton.  WYSH will cover the Presidential visit beginning Friday morning on the Country Club Morning Show. 
City Manager:  Visit an honor, cost to city unknown
Clinton City Manager Roger Houck told WYSH this morning that for a city of Clintons size, being chosen for a presidential visit is an honor and worth the extra effort that local officials have been making this week.  Houck also talked about how the visit will give national attention to the city, its attractiveness for both companies and potential employees and even more economic development.  Houck also said that the extra costs to the city associated with the visit, which will not be reimbursed by the White House, are unclear at this time but will be worked out over the next couple of weeks. 
Statewide traffic deaths down, up in Knoxville area counties
(TDOSHS) Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons and Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer today announced the preliminary number of traffic fatalities in Tennessee last year and the states strategic highway safety plan for 2015. The 2014 traffic fatality numbers include vehicular deaths reported by all Tennessee law enforcement agencies. 
Early figures indicate there were 961 vehicular deaths on Tennessee roadways in 2014. Thats the second lowest traffic fatality number since 1963 and the fifth time traffic deaths have dipped below 1,000 since that year. 
The 2014 traffic fatality figure also represents a 3.4 percent decrease in the number of traffic-related deaths in Tennessee compared to the 995 traffic fatalities in 2013.
While the state saw an overall decrease, the Knoxville District saw an 8 percent increase in the number of deaths from 2013 to 2014, with fatalities climbing from 151 to 164.  Anderson County saw the biggest jump in traffic deaths with 17 last year compared to 10 the previous year.  Traffic deaths in Knox, Blount and Morgan counties declined, but elsewhere Campbell County and Roane County saw an increase from nine the previous year to 11 in Campbell County in 2014 and 10 in Roane.  Union County saw fatalities increase from 3 to 5 last year. 
Commissioner Schroer and I have a shared goal to make an impact on traffic fatalities in our state, Commissioner Gibbons said. Tennessee has experienced record low numbers in three of the last four years; and we hope to continue that trend in the future. Well continue to deploy our resources to help reduce fatal crashes across the state, he added.  
Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) Colonel Tracy Trott credited DUI and seat belt enforcement for the decline in traffic-related deaths. State troopers arrested nearly 2,000 more individuals on suspicion of DUI in 2014, compared to 2013. Subsequently, there was an 18.6 percent drop in alcohol-related traffic fatalities from 2013 to 2014 in Tennessee. 
THP personnel also have experienced a 149 percent increase in the number of DUI arrests since 2010.   
I know that our traffic enforcement efforts are making a difference in Tennessee, Colonel Trott said. Those numbers are not by accident; they are by design. Weve placed a greater emphasis on removing impaired drivers from our roadways in the last few years and the traffic fatality figures are a result of those efforts.  
Seat belt and child restraint device education and enforcement efforts were also a priority for the THP.  Tennessee state troopers issued 102,758 seat belt citations in 2014, approximately 28,000 more than the 74,277 citations handed out in 2013. That represents a 225 percent increase in seat belt citations since 2010. 
Unrestrained motorists still accounted for 50 percent of vehicle occupants killed in 2014, Trott said. Seat belts save lives. We have to change driver behavior in order to make a difference there.   
Other contributing factors in fatal crashes included speed and distracted driving, with 132 and 41 deaths, respectively.
Weve made vast improvements in all areas of traffic safety; however, we have much more to accomplish and hope to see even better results in 2015, Commissioner Gibbons said. 
TDOT Commissioner Schroer presented the departments plan to improve highway safety in 2015. The Strategic Highway Safety Plan, Tennessees comprehensive transportation safety strategy, was first developed in 2004.  
The latest plan adopts a Toward Zero Deaths vision statement, which is a national strategy to improve highway safety. The plans primary goal is to reduce the number and rate of fatalities by 10 percent within the next five years. 
Reducing the number of fatalities by 10 percent is a realistic, but challenging goal, TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. By designing safer roads, using data driven enforcement and educating drivers, we can make drastic improvements and save hundreds of lives. 
The Strategic Highway Safety Plan addresses emphasis areas utilizing the Four Es of Transportation Safety: Engineering, Enforcement, Education, and Emergency Response. Strategic Highway Safety Plan emphasis areas include:
         Data Collection & Analysis
         Driver Behavior
         Infrastructure Improvements
         Vulnerable Road Users
         Operational Improvements
         Motor Carrier Safety 
Public safety partners involved with the development of this plan include, TDOT, the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Governors Highway Safety Office, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Metropolitan Planning Organizations and Rural Planning Organizations, Tennessee Regional Safety Council, Tennessee Transportation Assistance Program and American Automobile Association.
Rockwood PD arrests suspect in City Hall break-in
Police in Rockwood have arrested a man they say broke into city hall.  Investigators say Dustin Scarbrough is the man captured on surveillance video Saturday night showing  a man breaking a window at the building.  Officers say Scarbrough got away with about $150 that was in the overnight drop-box.  Police say social media was crucial in Scarbrough’s capture.  Scarbrough faces several charges.
CHS offensive coordinator to take over Powell program
Clinton High School football offensive coordinator Rodney Ellison has been named the new coach at Powell High School in Knoxville.  He previously was head coach at Wartburg for one season in 2011 before coming to Clinton, where he helped revitalize the Dragon program with an up-tempo, spread-style offense. 
President Obama, both Bidens headed to Clinton
The rumors are true.  President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Bidens wife Jill will visit Pellissippi State Community College in west Knox County and Techmer PM right here in Clinton during their visit to East Tennessee on Friday.  The president, vice president, and the vice presidents wife will stop at Pellissippi State in west Knox County to discuss new initiatives that Obama will propose to help Americans go to college and get the skills they need to succeed.  Later, the trio will travel to Techmer PM in Clintonwhich manufactures additives and colors for a wide range of plasticsto highlight the administrations efforts to create new, well-paying manufacturing jobs.  Techmer PM issued a statement on Monday saying, “We’re excited that the president and vice president have chosen Techmer PM and Clinton, Tenn., to see our technology.”  Local economic development officials hope that the president’s visit will help businesses continue the momentum Anderson County and Clinton have picked up over the past couple of years by attracting more skilled labor to the region and getting more companies interested in moving to the area.
Few details of the visit have been released for obvious security reasons, but we did catch up with Clinton Police Chief Rick Scarbrough Tuesday morning to find out what role the CPD will play on Friday:  Our role is going to be coordinate site security with the Secret Serviceweve already met with the Anderson County Sheriffs Department and the [numerous] other local agencies that will be involved.  Weve had briefings and will continue to work throughout the week.  Its a great opportunity for Clinton to be showcased and we are excited to do whatever we can.  As far as the logistics of the visit, Scarbrough called it a massive undertaking with a lot of moving parts.  The timing of the visit is being kept under wraps but it is expected to happen in the early afternoon following a morning visit to Pellissippi State.  Scarbrough did tell us that between his department and the Anderson County Sheriffs Department, dozens of intersections along the motorcades expected route will have to be covered in addition to whatever Oak Ridge Police will have to cover.  Preparation, meetings and briefings will continue throughout the week but Scarbrough says that despite the logistical hassles of a presidential visit, it will be worth it because just the idea that the President of the United States has chosen to come to Clinton is an honor for us. 
The visit is part of a week-long, cross-country tour to promote presidential policies on housing, economic development, and education. The president also plans trips to Detroit and Phoenix this week before ending his week in Tennessee.
It will be Obamas second visit to Tennessee in recent weeks and his third in the last 13 months. The president visited Nashville in December, when he touted the citys diversity and blossoming immigrant community in a speech highlighting his actions on immigration reform. In January 2014, he visited McGavock High School to call attention to Nashvilles academies as models for successful high school education.
ORT:  Jackson Square construction underway
(Oak Ridge Today) Construction work has started on the $1 million rebuild of the parking lot area at Jackson Square, Oak Ridges original town center.
Crews started putting up construction fencing on Monday. Project executives and city officials plan to complete the work in 180 days, or roughly six monthsbefore the Lavender Festival in June.
The construction contract was awarded to Rich Construction Inc. of Lenoir City by the Oak Ridge City Council in October.
The work includes removing the existing traffic islands and trees, cleaning the site, and adding to relocating utilities, including electrical lines that are now above ground, said Angel Rich Johnson, president of Rich Construction. Underground water lines will supply a new interactive water feature to be installed in the center of the parking lot.
There will also be benches, parking, new lights, changes to the angle parking, and lots of landscaping and other improvements, said Johnson and Roger Flynn, Oak Ridge Public Works engineer. City officials have said the landscaped pedestrian plaza will also have stone pavers, curbing, sidewalks, and upgrades under the American with Disabilities Act. The work will include some green space and a newly configured and modernized parking lot.
The work is funded with help from a $741,609 Tennessee Department of Transportation Enhancement Grant that was awarded to the city in June 2012. The TDOT grant covers 80 percent of the work, and it requires a 20 percent city match.
Construction workers are trying to reduce the impact on the businesses in Jackson Square.  At the request of merchants, the project was delayed until after January 1after the holiday shopping season was over, she said.
On Monday, workers were putting up a chain link fence around the parking lotbut continuing to allow access to the sidewalk in front of the Jackson Square businesses. The fence will secure the inner work area and heavy equipment.
The city has improved the Farmers Market parking lot on the north side of Broadway to help with parking while the Jackson Square parking lot is being renovated.
The citys share of the construction 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.
The City Council awarded a $150,000 contract for design services for the Jackson Square project in February 2013.
Hetrick new OR Rec & Parks director
Jon Hetrick has been appointed director of the Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department, City Manager Mark Watson announced Friday. Hetrick has been the acting director since Josh Collins retired in October.
As director, Hetrick will manage and direct the activities the citys recreation and parks programs, services, and facilities, including the Civic Center, and Scarboro and Senior centers, as well as the Centennial Golf Course. His work responsibilities will include overseeing summer programs and supervising a staff of more than 80 seasonal and regular employees.
Hetrick has served as the division director of Parks and Parks Maintenance since 2003. He has been active in planning, design, and maintenance of city facilities, and has recently worked with the city manager on the possible transition of Clark Center Park to the city. The press release said he helped oversee the construction of the new PetSafe dog park, and also the building and development of the popular trail system along Melton Lake Drive and Haw Ridge.
A Pennsylvania native, Hetrick has a bachelors degree in horticulture and landscape design from the University of Tennessee. His work history includes management and supervisory positions in private nurseries, landscaping companies, and residential construction. His salary is $69,805.
Tennessee voted State of the Year by leading business magazine
(State of Tennessee) Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced Monday that Business Facilities, a leading national publication focused on site selection and economic development, has named Tennessee its 2014 State of the Year for a second consecutive year.
Tennessee becomes the first state in the awards history to win back-to-back honors for economic development efforts and the first state to win the designation three times, winning in 2014, 2013, and 2009, a press release said.
It is an honor to be the first state to receive this recognition two years in a row, Haslam said. We have a great story to tell in Tennessee. Businesses continue to make the decision to locate, expand and grow here, and we are grateful for those strong partnerships. We will continue doing all we can to make sure we offer an attractive business climate and skilled workforce to be the number one location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.
Some of Tennessees top economic development projects in 2014 included Volkswagen Group of Americas Chattanooga expansion creating 2,000 jobs with an investment of $600 million, Under Armours new Mount Juliet fulfillment center creating 1,500 jobs with an investment of more than $100 million, SL Tennessees Clinton expansion creating 1,000 jobs with an $80.5 million investment, and Conduit Globals new Memphis call center creating 1,000 jobs with an $8 million investment.
Being named first of 50 states for economic development for two consecutive years underscores the effectiveness of the new operating model weve deployed in Tennesseeone whose success is enhanced through our field network and through close coordination with our local partners, Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty said. Our historic wins validate the incredible momentum, fierce competitiveness, and promising future that Tennessee possesses and emphasizes our intense focus on recruiting expanding and new companies.
More and more business leaders around the world are recognizing that Tennessee is the best location and smartest choice for successful business operations. I am very proud of our department and our statewide partners who have worked tirelessly to drive us toward the goal of being number one.  Brand Tennessee continues its meteoric rise.
The press release said the magazine cited Tennessees successful execution of a diversified growth strategy, as well as an emphasis on infrastructure and education, as key factors in securing consecutive victories.
Tennessee is one of a handful of states that have clearly made economic development priority number one, Business Facilities Editor-in-Chief Jack Rogers said. With a powerhouse automotive cluster, world-class infrastructure, and the nations most improved education system, we could be looking at a State of the Year dynasty in the making.
We thought it would be hard for the Volunteer State to match last years performance, but the folks in Tennessee keep reeling in one mega-project after another, Rogers said. Most impressive, Tennessee seemed to pick up momentum as they went along.
The press release said Tennessee has also fared well in Business Facilities annual rankings report, finishing first in the Education: Race to the Top category, second in Best Infrastructure, and being named the top state for Automotive Manufacturing Strength for four of the past five years.
For two years in a row, Tennessee has notched one of the strongest across-the-board showings in our annual State Rankings Report, Rogers added.
For more information on the State of the Year competition and Business Facilities, please visit
Update:  Archer says he will choose delinquent tax attorney
As we have been reporting, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank removed Law Director Jay Yeager from representing the county as its delinquent tax attorney this week.  In a letter dated Monday, Frank cites language in the Private Act that created the law directors office that states the law director may act as the countys delinquent tax attorney upon selection as such by the county trustee and the approval of the county mayor.  Frank writes that I do not believe that you have acted properly, ethically, or legally performing the role of Delinquent Tax Attorneyeffective immediately, you do not have the approval of the County Mayor to act in that role.
In a separate Monday letter, this one to Trustee Rodney Archer, Mayor Frank recommends that Archer work with County Purchasing Agent Pamela Cotham and issue an RFP (request for proposals), or accept proposals from qualified and experienced attorneys who might offer to perform the functions based on the lowest possible percentage.
Archer issued a formal response Wednesday to the mayors suggestion by stating that he will make the appointment as written in the Private Act on or before February 27th and that he will oppose any measure to take away the right for the Trustee now, or in the future, to appoint the countys delinquent tax attorney.  When the Private Act was enacted in 2006, Archer was serving as a commissioner and says that he believes the intent of act was for the County Law Director to serve in the role of delinquent tax attorney for Anderson County in order to offset the departments budget, according to his letter to Mayor Frank, in which he also writes I am concerned that deviating from the current arrangement could cost the taxpayers a significant amount of money.  Archer says there are several ways to address the issue, which could include asking for permission and funding from the County Commission to hire an outside attorney or appointing the Law Director.  Archer states that he will make his recommendation in writing before the end of February and submit it to the mayors office. 
(County Trustee Rodney Archers response to Mayor Frank)
Dear Mayor Frank:
The Private Act that you referenced in your letter to me dated December 29, 2014 was enacted during my tenure on the County Commission. I believe that the intent of this Act was for the County Law Director to serve in the role of delinquent tax attorney for Anderson County in order to offset the departments budget. The Board of Commissioners, at that time, saw the need to fund a full time County Law Director and used the proceeds received from the delinquent tax attorney to assist in funding the full time Directors position and their overall department. I am concerned that deviating from the current arrangement could cost the taxpayers a significant amount of money.
There are several ways in which this issue can be resolved. The Trustee may request permission and funding from the Board of Commissioners to hire or contract with a staff attorney to serve as the delinquent tax attorney, the Trustee may simply appoint an attorney in private practice to serve in this capacity, or the Trustee may appoint the County Law Director. Let me be clear: I will oppose any measure to take away the right for the Trustee now, or in the future, to appoint the countys delinquent tax attorney. 
You are correct that the appointment of the delinquent tax attorney is subject to the approval of the County Mayor. By statute, the delinquent property taxes are to be turned over by the Trustee on or before April 1st each year, therefore a decision must be reached before that date. I will not be issuing an RFP for such services as the statute is clear that the Trustee shall make the appointment. I intend to make my decision/appointment on or before February 27, 2015. The decision/appointment will be made in writing and submitted to you for your approval, if necessary.
Rodney Archer
Anderson County Trustee
Commissioner and former interim County Mayor Myron Iwanski weighed in on this latest controversy, telling WYSH:  This is just another attempt to discredit Jay based on misleading information.  The Mayor’s proposal will only end up costing the taxpayers more money since we will need to use tax revenue rather than delinquent tax sales fees to fund his office.  In all the years Jay has worked for the multitude of elected officials, we have never had the kinds of issues the Mayor claims since she has been in office.  I am very concerned that this and all the lawsuits the Mayor is behind will lead to a tax increase – something none of us on Commission want.  County Commission needs to look at all of its options for dealing with this, including the private act.
AC man killed in apparently accidental shooting
A 23-year-old Rocky Top man was killed in an apparently accidental shooting Tuesday night at a home on Dutch Valley Road.  Anderson County deputies and EMS crews were dispatched to the home at 2688 Dutch Valley Road shortly before 10 pm Tuesday and when they arrived, deputies made contact with Joseph McClane, who told them he had accidentally shot his friend, Christopher Scott Cody Bunch in the chest.  A first aid-certified neighbor was applying pressure to the wound when deputies arrived but paramedics pronounced Bunch dead at the scene.  Deputies interviewed nine people at the home and their stories were all very similar in that they said that a group of friends were standing in a room next to the kitchen talking about the gun in McClanes hand, specifically the difference between a single action and double action gun, when it fired.  McClane said that he had his thumb on the hammer and his finger on the trigger and was trying to de-cock the hammer when it somehow slipped and the gun went off.  McClane told deputies that he thought the round had hit a wall until Bunch looked at him, grabbed his chest and said Ive been shot.  The incident is being investigated by detectives.
Alcoa PD:  1 dead, OR man critical after Monday wreck
Alcoa Police have identified a man hurt in a crash on Alcoa Highway that killed his son as an 61-year-old  Joseph Eatherly of Oak Ridge and say that he is still in critical condition at UT Medical Center.  Officials pronounced Eatherly’s adult son, Eric, who resided in Chattanooga dead at the scene.  Officers said the elder Eatherly tried to make a U-turn near the Airport Hilton when a Ford Escape crashed into his car just before 6:40 a.m. Monday.  The driver of the Escape, 48-year-old Beth Beard, was also injured and taken to UT Medical Center, but she’s expected to be okay.  Investigators said neither Eatherly was wearing a seatbelt.  Alcoa police are still investigating the crash.
Mayor relieves law director of delinquent tax duties
The high-profile dispute between Anderson Countys Mayor and Law Director took another turn this week as Mayor Terry Frank relieved Law Director Jay Yeager from representing the county as a delinquent tax attorney.  In a letter dated Monday, Frank cites language in the Private Act that created the law directors office that states the law director may act as the countys delinquent tax attorney upon selection as such by the county trustee and the approval of the county mayor.  Frank says that despite requesting documentation of his selection and approval for nine months, Yeager has yet to provide that information and states that it has become a public issue as the petitioners in the ouster case have publicly identified [it] as an issue.  In the letter, Frank says that since she has begun her full, four-year term, she is no longer bound by any agreements that may have been made by any of her predecessors.  She was first elected to a two-year term in 2012.  Frank writes that I do not believe that you have acted properly, ethically, or legally performing the role of Delinquent Tax Attorneyeffective immediately, you do not have the approval of the County Mayor to act in that role.  The letter alleges that Yeager has failed to perform proper title searches before taking taxpayers property at tax sales; charged significant fees to delinquent taxpayers for title searches that are nothing more than internet searches by Yeagers staff; failed to properly advise officials and property owners of delinquent tax issues; failed to correct errors in a reasonably timely manner; failed to interact with taxpayers in a civil and professional manner; and failed to properly document tax sales.  The letter goes on to say that Franks office has received numerous complaints Yeagers behavior [in the role of] delinquent tax attorney and that county officials do not yet have the deeds from last years tax sale.  Franks letter goes on to state knowing that it is my belief that Anderson County did not hold title to the Daya property that is subject to current litigation, I believe you have attempted to advise me to commit a criminal act by advising both me and the Delinquent Tax Committee to sign the deed anyway.  She also wrote that she is concerned that if he was indeed never authorized as delinquent tax attorney as prompted by the act that created the law directors office, that the county could be open to more litigation.  The letter concludes by ordering Yeager to coordinate with the Trustees office to turn over all documents, correspondence and other materials related to delinquent tax issues, and refrain immediately from holding himself out as the countys delinquent tax attorney.  WYSH has reached out to Yeager, Mayor Frank and County Commission Chairman Robert McKamey for comment.  Mayor Frank responded in an e-mail this morning (12/31) and wrote that One of the reasons the Private Act included such an enormous salary for the Law Director was supposedly based on the ability to perform the delinquent tax work.  Of course, that was supposing competent performance of the duties.  In a separate letter to Trustee Rodney Archer, Mayor Frank recommends that he work with County Purchasing Agent Pamela Cotham and issue an RFP (request for proposals), or accept proposals from qualified and experienced attorneys who might offer to perform the functions based on the lowest possible percentage. 
(Update) Commission Chairman Robert McKamey responded by telephone to requests for comment and said, this will cost the county money as Yeagers office is funded by delinquent tax sales and outside counsel could keep as much as 10% of the revenue for him- or herself up to $100,000 per year that would not be rolled into the county general fund.  McKamey says the county is not required to hold a delinquent tax sale every year and if that were to happenor not happen in this casethat would mean no extra money for outside legal counsel.  When asked if there were any legislative avenues to circumvent or otherwise address the Mayors decision, McKamey said that the commission could amend the private act to require the Law Director to serve as the Delinquent Tax Attorney rather than making that a discretionary provision of the private act.  McKamey has contacted UTs County Technical Advisory Service, or CTAS, for guidance on what to do if the County Trustee and Mayor cannot agree on an attorney to handle these duties and is awaiting a response. 
(More of Mayor Franks response to inquiries from WYSH) Of course,  Anderson County can get a new Law Director, one who understands the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct and who wont use his office and his position as counsel to personally benefit himself and then we can go back to using the Law Director as the Delinquent Tax Attorney.   We can also get a new Law Director who understands his/her responsibility to properly conduct title work and tax sales and who wont get the county embroiled in lawsuits, and that would save us having to go outside. 
If you look at all of the outside counsel having to be hired, it is because Mr. Yeager is conflicted and unable to represent those in Anderson County—it is not because of me or commission or any conflict on OUR part.  If the current Law Director could maintain his role as an advisor instead of injecting himself into situations where he ends up being a witness, we wouldnt be paying all these bills.   
The position of Law Director was created as a supposed cost-savings plan, but it doesnt appear to be working out that way.  We either need to replace him or change the private act.
(Letter from Mayor Frank to Law Director Yeager) The Private Act creating the Office of County Law Director specifies that the Law Director may act as Anderson County’s delinquent tax attorney “upon selection as such by the county trustee and approval by the county mayor.” I have been unable to identify that you were ever selected by the County Trustee or approved by a County Mayor. Beginning approximately nine months ago, I began asking you for documentation of your selection and approval as delinquent tax attorney. Written requests were made for this information on March 1.9,201.4, and May 1.6,20L4. This has become a public issue, as the petitioners in the ouster case have publicly identified this as an issue. Notwithstanding all of this history, you have never provided documentation that you are authorized as required by the Private Act.  Now that I have begun a new four-year term, I am not bound by any approvals of any prior mayors, if they existed. I do not believe that you have properly, ethically, or legally performed the role of Delinquent Tax Attorney. Among other things, you have:
• Failed to perform proper title searches before taking taxpayers’ property at tax sales.
• Charged significant fees to delinquent taxpayers for title searches that are nothing more than internet searches by your clerical assistants.
• Failed properly to advise the Office of the County Mayor and others regarding issues germane to delinquent tax issues.
• Failed to provide proper legal notice to taxpayers facing delinquent tax issues.
• Failed to correct errors in a reasonably timely manner with respect to the provision of proper legal notice to delinquent taxpayers. 
• Failed to interact with taxpayers in a civil and professional manner.
• Failed properly to document tax sales.
My office has received numerous complaints, tearful telephone calls, and in-person meetings with Anderson County citizens who have described rude and abrasive behavior by you in your role as delinquent tax attorney. Kevin Bowling, who maintains our list of delinquent tax properties, still does not possess deeds on properties from last year’s tax sale. Rather than get those properties back on the county’s tax rolls, Mr. Bowling is forced to fend off inquiries from potential purchasers. In addition, knowing that it is my belief that Anderson County did not hold title to the Daya property that is subject
to current litigation, I believe you have attempted to advise me to commit a crime by advising both me and the Delinquent Tax committee to sign the deed anyway. (See attached TCA 66-3-104.) Finally, there is a legal concern that if you never were properly authorized, then all of your purported actions in the role of Delinquent Tax Attorney may be ultro vires and unlawful. There are at least two lawsuits pending against the county because of your failure to perform the duties of Delinquent Tax Attorney in a proper manner. 
It would be irresponsible for those with responsibility for filling the position of delinquent tax attorney to ignore all of the above and allow you to continue in this position. Effective immediately, you do not have the approval of the County Mayor to act as delinquent tax attorney, as required by the Private Act and Tenn. Code Ann. 5 67-5-2a0a(a)(1). Please coordinate with the County Trustee for the turnover of all documents, correspondence, and other materials related to delinquent tax issues, and refrain immediately from holding yourself out as being authorized to act in any regard as Anderson County’s delinquent tax attorney.
(Letter from Mayor Frank to Trustee Rodney Archer) The Private Act creating the office of County Law Director specifies that the Law Director may act as Anderson County’s delinquent tax attorney “upon selection as such by the county trustee and approval by the county mayor.”  I have been unable toi dentify that Mr. Yeager was ever selected by the County Trustee or approved by a County Mayor. Because I was elected mid-term, I did not know if Mr. Yeager had been selected and approved under Mayor Lynch or lnterim Mayor lwanski. Beginning approximately nine months ago, I began asking Mr. Yeager for documentation of his selection and approval as delinquent tax attorney. Written requests were made for this information on March 19, 201.4, and May16, 2014.   Ithas become a public issue, as the petitioners in the ouster case have identified this as an issue. Notwithstanding allof this history, Mr. Yeager has never provided documentation that he is authorized as required by the Private Act.
Now that I have begun a new four-year term, I do not feel bound by any prior authorizations, if they existed. I do not believe that Mr. Yeager has properly, ethically, or legally performed the role of Delinquent Tax Attorney. Among other things, Mr. Yeager has: 
• Failed to perform proper title searches before taking taxpayers’ property at tax sales.
• Charged significant fees to delinquent taxpayers for title searches that are nothing more than internet searches by your clerical assistants.
• Failed properly to advise the Office of the County Mayor and others regarding issues germane to delinquent tax issues.
• Failed to provide proper legal notice to taxpayers facing delinquent tax issues.
• Failed to correct errors in a reasonably timely manner with respect to the provision of proper legal notice to delinquent taxpayers. 
• Failed to interact with taxpayers in a civil and professional manner.
• Failed properly to document tax sales
My office has received numerous complaints, tearful telephone calls, and in-person meetings with Anderson County citizens who have described rude and abrasive behavior by Mr. Yeager in his role as delinquent tax attorney. Kevin Bowling, who maintains our list of delinquent tax properties, still does not possess deeds on properties from last year’s tax sale. Rather than get those properties back on the county’s tax rolls, Mr. Bowling is forced to fend off inquiries from potential purchasers. In addition, knowing it is my belief that Anderson County did not hold title to the Daya property that is subject to current litigation, Mr. Yeager encouraged me to sign the deed anyway because my signature wasn’t a “guarantee.” However, I have attached the statute on point, and as you can see by reading the statute, I can only believe that Mr. Yeager was attempting to advise me to commit a crime. Finally, there is a fear that if Mr. Yeager never was properly authorized, then all of his purported actions in the role of Delinquent Tax Attorney may be ultra vires and unlawful.  There are at least two lawsuits pending against the county because of Mr. Yeager’s failure to perform the duties of Delinquent Tax Attorney in a proper manner. lt would be irresponsible for those with responsibility for filling that position to ignore all of the above and allow him to continue in this position. Although having the Law Director fill the role as Delinquent Tax Attorney avoids the necessity of paying fees to an outside attorney, the cost to the county to deal with the resulting lawsuits, in addition to the frustration of the civil servants and taxpayers who have to work with him, makes it very worthwhile to have somebody else perform those duties. 
So you are aware, I am also noticing Mr. Yeager that effective immediately, he does not have the approval of the County Mayor to act as delinquent tax attorney, as required by the Private Act and Tenn. Code Ann. 5 67-5-2404(a)(1).
I look forward to your thoughts and to working with you to identify a qualified attorney to serve as Anderson County’s Delinquent Tax Attorney. My recommendation would be to work with Pamela Cotham and issue an RFP, or accept proposals from qualified and experienced attorneys who might offer to perform the functions based on the lowest possible percentage.
Mayor vetoes resolution dealing with legal bills
Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank has vetoed a resolution passed unanimously by the County Commission earlier this month that would establish procedures for the county when outside legal counsel is needed for county employees not covered by the law director or counsel from the countys insurance provider.  The measure would require all requests for outside counsel to be submitted in writing to both County Commission Chairman Robert McKamey and Law Director Jay Yeager.  The Courier News reports that commissioners found out about the veto on Friday.  In a letter explaining her decision sent to McKamey, the mayor indicated that she had concerns that the resolution could conflict with existing state laws and could lead to perceived or real conflicts of interest related to Yeagers office.  As was pointed out during this months Commission meeting, the resolutions purpose was to provide the Budget Department with safeguards when paying legal bills for the county and make sure that everyone knew what was happening with the various legal actions occurring in the county.  Mayor Franks letter indicates her concerns over allowing Yeager to view the requests, writing As you can imagine, allowing the Law Director to inspect the invoices of counsel in a case where the Law Director may be adverse or perhaps be a witness, would be fraught with both real and perceived conflicts, should he fail to issue his approval.  McKamey told the Courier that he believes that the mayor simply does not want Yeager to know what is going on, adding that the resolution was an attempt to take some heat off the Budget Office, which had been accused of paying legal bills illegally, had some bills sent back and paid some that did not need to be paid.  During the December Commission meeting, Budget Director Chris Phillips told commissioners that when legal bills come in to his office, he pays them because he just assumed they needed to be paid.  It remains unclear if commissioners will attempt to override her veto or let the resolution go by the wayside. 
(Mayor Franks letter explaining veto to Commission Chairman McKamey) I am vetoing the Resolution passed by County Commission Monday night in order to give us all more time to address some of the possible issues with the resolution. I am concerned the Resolution to establish a procedure to pay invoices for legal fees from outside counsel conflicts with Chapter 77 of the Private Act of 2006, establishing the Office of the Law Director, and also conflicts with the powers and duties of the County Mayor established by statutory law. In addition, I believe the Resolution may conflict with the Rules of Professional Conduct established by the Tennessee Bar Association that any Law Director employed by Anderson County is required to follow. 
As drafted, S 3 of the Resolution may be circumventing 5.10 of the private act by transferring designated power and duty of the County Mayor as the Chief Financial Officer of the County to the office of the Law Director, and in that regard, may be circumventing the Accounting Officer and General Agent of the County and also TCA 5 4-6-108. 
Similarly, 5.4 of the Resolution addresses a mechanism when the Law Director has a conflict of interest, which is that he “submit the invoice for outside legal representation directly to County Commission for approval,” however, the Law Director is not required to do so as the express language states that he “may” recuse him or herself, as opposed to “shall.” As you know, recusal due to a conflict of interest is mandatory, not discretionary, and requires complete withdrawal from anv participation in situations where there is a conflict of interest. While the Law Director is demonstrably insensitive to ethical issues, we all have observed and know that his advice is not reliable when it involves anyone with whom he disagrees or has conflicts. His disqualification in such circumstances should be mandatory, and should also be at the option of anyone else involved. 
As you can imagine, allowing the Law Director to inspect the invoices of counsel in a case where the Law Director may be adverse or perhaps be a witness, would be fraught with both real and perceived conflicts, should he fail to issue his approval. The issue with the ouster suit is a perfect example. The Law Director asked Commission to pay his fees, which was obviously in his best interest. However, the statute involved made it illegal for the County to pay his fees unless and until the entire proceeding is over, including any appeals. The Law Director did not disclose the law to Commission, because it was not in his best interest. He had a conflict of interest, but continued to try to advise Commission regarding payment of his fees. The problem is exacerbated when the Law Director asks to, or is asked to, review legal bills that include information about what was done by the attorneys adverse to the Law Director. Those bills often include information and tasks that the Law Director – as the subject of the lawsuit – will not like and will not agree with. That is a direct conflict of interest that cannot be avoided. Again, while the Law Director does not recognize these blatant conflicts of interest, we know enough to recognize these issues. 
Another problem with the Resolution is its conflict with the Private Act regarding the duties of the Law Director. The duties of the law director are enumerated clearly in [the] private act. Specifically, S7(a) of the private act states that his duties include (Emphasis is the Mayors from the letter itself):
Represent and render legal advice to the county legislative body and all county officials including elected and appointed department heads, employees and duly appointed boards, commissions and committees in matters relating to their official work and duties.
However, as drafted, 5.7 of the Resolution changes the private act’s mandatory charge of representation of all county officials and provides him with a discretionary function to, “approve, agree to and acknowledge such legal representation.” A resolution passed by commission should uphold and not attempt to alter the Private Act, and in fact, cannot alter the Private Act.  The Resolution, as drafted, conflicts with the Private Act in this regard and is, therefore, illegal. 
I believe both you and me personally, and commission as a whole, desire to create a process that provides limitations, accountability and oversight for outside legal representation. As you know, there are strict procedures in place already in the Accounting Office for paying all invoices, including outside attorney fees, that ensures transparency and compliance with established laws, and I believe we can come up with a system that addresses some of the unique challenges we are now facing.
I will plan on bringing suggested revisions to the next Operations meeting and hopefully we can address any issues and create a better document.
Follow-Up:  More on Clintons improved ISO rating
Insurance bills for homeowners in Clinton will likely decline after the citys fire protection rating improved.  The Insurance Services Office (ISO), which sets ratings for communities based on the availability of firefighting resources, recently analyzed the citys fire protection infrastructure and lowered Clintons classification to 02/2X from the previous classification of 4.  City officials say that the fire departments budget has grown in recent years, and a reopened and newly-staffed headquarters downtown helped improve the rating.  That new fire station at City hall made response time for much of the city only about four or five minutes.  Most of the citys residents live within five miles of a fire station and within 1,000 feet of a hydrant, according to a Clinton news release, and hold the ISO rating of 2. The 2x classification applies to the smaller number of homes and structures more than 1,000 feet from a fire hydrant, the release said.  The improvement could lower homeowners insurance premiums by around an eight percent. 
ORT:  Man faces slew of charges in alleged rape
(Oak Ridge Today)  According to our partners at Oak Ridge Today, an East Tennessee man is facing numerous charges after he allegedly raped his ex-girlfriend at her Claxton home, shoved her backward through a sheetrock wall, pointed a pistol at her and himself, and threatened to burn down her house.  34-year-old Robert John Davis is also accused of using the victims debit card without permission to withdraw $200, throwing objects and ransacking her house, and telling her she had to have sex with him if she wanted to get her car keys.  Davis is facing charges of rape, aggravated assault, domestic assault, false imprisonment, property theft, unauthorized use of an auto/joyriding, and violation of an order of protection, the warrants said. Davis is in custody at the Anderson County Jail on bonds totaling $237,500.  The victim said Davis came to her home on Friday, December 19, and stayed until Monday, December 22. She told an Anderson County Sheriffs Deputy that she had tried to break up with Davis several times, but he has threatened her. The victim said Davis wanted to have sex the weekend of December 19-22, but she didnt want to and she was able to convince him to stop several times.  On Monday morning, however, Davis allegedly told the victim she would have to have sex if she wanted the keys, the warrants said. The victim said she would not be able to get the car keys to leave and get help if she did not consent to sex.  The victim said Davis had threatened to kill himself after pointing a pistol at her and himself and that he later poured gas on her porch and threatened to burn down her home.  For more, visit 
Clinton ISO rating improves
(City of Clinton) The City of Clinton and the Clinton Fire Department recently received notification from the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) of the completion of a recent analysis of the structural fire suppression delivery system for the City of Clinton. The results of this analysis have provided a new Community Classification of 02/2X, lowered from the previous Community Classification of 4.  According to a release from the city, this lower Community Classification means that homeowners in the City of Clinton should see a reduction in their homeowners insurance premiums during future renewal periods. The 2 classification applies to the majority of the city residents that are within 5 miles of a Fire Station and within 1,000 of a Fire Hydrant; while the 2x classification applies to the few residences and structures that are outside the 1,000 distance from a Fire Hydrant.  In the release City Manager Roger Houck and Fire Chief Archie Brummitt expressed their appreciation to the Mayor and City Council for their support of the CFDs budgetary needs to support the Fire Departments mission, and allowing the city to make the much needed improvements that have resulted in the lowered Community Classification. They would also like to thank the members of the Fire Department for their performance in continuously providing a professional service to our citizens and the community.
New AC Chamber Board officers
The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce has elected new board officers for 2015.  Stephen Harris has been named chairman of the board, Rob Followell has been elected chair-elect, and Amy Allen has been elected treasurer for Anderson County Chamber of Commerce. Steve Heatherly has been named member-at-large.
Stephen Harris, engineering manager at Powell-Clinch Utility District, where he has worked for 14 years, is responsible for the daily operation of the Engineering, IT, and Building Maintenance Departments. Stephen is a graduate of Leadership Anderson County and has served as co-chair of the Chambers Government and Community Relations Council.
Rob Followell, chief executive officer of Tennova Healthcares North Knoxville Medical Center, is also a graduate of Leadership Anderson County, former Leadership Anderson County board member, and a member of the Government and Community Relations Council.
Amy Allen is the office manager and paraplanner for Keeton and Associates, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. She is a Leadership Anderson County graduate and former Leadership Anderson County board member and co-chair of the Chamber Operations Council.
Steve Heatherly is on the board of directors at Merit Construction Inc. and serves as the companys senior vice president. Steve is a graduate of Leadership Anderson County and serves as co-chair of the Chambers Government and Community Relations Council.
Accident kills OR man
An Oak Ridge man died in an apparent mountain biking accident at Haw Ridge on Saturday.  Two hikers found the body of 38-year-old Michael Biegalski near a hiking trail at Haw Ridge at about 4:34 p.m. Saturday.  The hikers called 911 and met Oak Ridge police officers at a trailhead and they guided officers to the body about 10 minutes hike into the park. The officers confirmed that Biegalski was deceased, and they called the coroner and criminal investigations division to process the area around the accident.  Biegalskis body was taken to the University of Tennessee forensics center in Knoxville for an autopsy, which should determine the cause of his death.  Investigators say Biegalski had been at Haw Ridge by himself Saturday.
Fed grand jury indicts ex-security officer
A federal grand jury in Knoxville has indicted a former security officer at a federal site in Oak Ridge for allegedly stealing U.S. government property and money laundering, officials said Thursday.  Sarah Parker, 52, of Dandridge, Tennessee, was indicted Tuesday, U.S. Attorney William C. Killian said in a press release. Parker was employed as an officer for security contractor Wackenhut Services Inc. at the East Tennessee Technology Park, the former K-25 site in Oak Ridge.  She appeared in court on Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley Jr. and pleaded not guilty to the charges in the three-count indictment, Killian said. She was released pending trial, which has been set for February 17, 2015, in United States District Court in Knoxville.  The indictment alleged that Parker converted $214,022.59 to personal use through checks that she possessed through her employment at ETTP, Killian said. He said the indictment also alleged that Parker illegally engaged in financial transactions with the money, including the purchase of a vehicle for $39,608.97 and payment of $74,327.12 to Bank of America.  If convicted, Parker faces a term of 10 years in prison for each count. Killian said the indictment also states that Parker, upon conviction, may be required to forfeit any property that is traceable to the alleged offenses.   Members of the public are reminded that an indictment constitutes only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, Killian said.
TVA nearing end of coal ash remediation
(TVA) The Tennessee Valley Authority says it is in the final stages of a recovery project in Kingston, fulfilling a promise to restore the area around the Kingston Fossil Plant following the December 2008 coal ash spill.  TVA says it reached a major milestone in early December, completing the cover for a 240-acre permanent ash retention landfill, which has been fortified with an underground earthquake-resistant wall anchored in bedrock and is covered by a flexible-membrane liner and geo-composite fabric, two feet of clay, topsoil and grass.  We all know this incident shouldnt have happened, said TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson, who visited the recovery site on Dec. 17. But we have learned from it and we are fulfilling our commitment to making it right.  TVA also says it is working to restore the Emory River and its surrounding waterways. Crews are reforesting and adding vegetation, stabilizing shorelines and adding wetlands and other wildlife habitats. TVA has also opened Lakeshore Park with 32 acres of walking trails, fishing piers, a boat ramp and docks.  Over the next few months, TVA says it will be doing general site-cleanup, paving the last section of walking lands and preparing land for a multi-use ball field.  The project cost of about $1.1 billion remains within estimates.
In the early morning hours of Dec. 22, 2008, the north dike at TVAs Kingston Fossil Plant collapsed, spewing an estimated 5.4 million cubic yards of ash and sludge into nearby homes and farmland. Some of the debris also made its way into the Emory River. Since then, TVA and other agencies, like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, continue working on the recovery effort.
Residential 911 fees up, business fees down in AC
(AC Emergency Communications District) The Tennessee General Assembly passed the 911 Funding Modernization and IP.  Transition Act of 2014″ on April 25, 2014. This new state law is effective January 1, 2015, and updates the existing model for funding 911 to account for changes in technology and consumer choice by establishing a single, uniform 911 surcharge rate across the state.  The law changes the way 911 surcharges are collected and paid and affects all 911 districts in Tennessee including Anderson County.  The new uniform rate accounts for advancements in technology needed to provide Tennesseans with prompt and accurate 911 services and it is intended to adequately fund local 911 services across Tennessee. Accordingly, all Anderson County residential and business lines, currently charged at 65 cents and $2.00 respectively, will be adjusted to $1.16 per month. The cellular 911 surcharge will also be adjusted from $1.00 to $1.16 per month. Under the new law all communications providers will remit 911 fees to the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, which in turn would remit 911 funds to local 911 Districts throughout Tennessee in the amount no less than the 911 revenue received by each district in 2012. In short, all telephone providers will pay the state who will pass the revenue along to each local 911 district.  This law also supports the states Next Generation 911 program. Next Generation 911 will provide better information and data to first responders, which allows local 911 operators quickly assess an emergency and ensure that the necessary equipment and personnel can promptly respond to the scene.  The 911 Funding Modernization and IP Transition Act of 2014″ will provide the resources necessary to ensure that the citizens of Tennessee receive the best 911 service available.  Our highest priority is the public safety to the citizens of Anderson County. Dispatchers remain dedicated to ensure the quality of 911 service and response.  The new uniform rate goes into effect January 1, 2015. Customers will likely notice a change reflecting the new rate on their January landline and cellular telephone bills.
Executive session leads to Commission fireworks
There was some drama during Monday nights meeting of the Anderson County Commission when commissioners voted to go into executive session with County Law Director Jay Yeager to discuss the mounting number of lawsuits against the county.  Executive sessions are called for when commissioners want to go behind closed doors to discuss sensitive issues, mainly of a legal nature.  Monday, County Mayor Terry Frank indicated that she wanted to stay for the executive session, claiming ex oficio status as a member of the Commission.  Commission Chair Robert McKamey declined her request, citing her own repeated public statements that Yeager is not her attorney, that he does not represent her and that she neither values nor wants his legal advice.  After commissioners declined her request, she and several private citizens left the meeting room while commissioners retired to executive session.  We will bring you more information as it becomes available. 
Lawsuit filed against AC Circuit Court Clerk, county
A former employee of the Anderson County Circuit Court Clerks Office has filed an age discrimination lawsuit in Circuit Court against Court Clerk William Jones and the county.  69-year-old Helen Forrester was fired on September 10th, 2014, and according to the lawsuit filed Monday, after 24 years in the office.  Forresters lawsuit claims that she was fired so that Jones could replace her with someone younger despite her good if not excellent work and job performance evaluations.  The lawsuit also states that Forrester believed that she had an expressed and/or implied contract of continuous employment [with the county], and otherwise maintained the right not to have her employment terminated without cause.  The lawsuit seeks $300,000 in compensatory damages from the county for her injuries, including a loss of salary, future earnings, and humiliation and embarrassment caused by the defendant and $300,000 in treble damages against Jones for interference with [Forresters] employment relationship with Anderson County government as well as court costs and a jury trial. 
TDEC announces Used Oil Collection Grants
(TDEC) The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservations Division of Solid and Waste Management is announcing approximately $400,600 in Used Motor Oil Collection Grants for FY 2015.  Used Motor Oil Collection Grants encourage cities and counties to establish collection centers where people can dispose of their used motor oil, which helps prevent pollution of our lakes, streams and groundwater, said TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau. Communities across the state have taken advantage of this funding opportunity, and we look forward to seeing how they implement these measures to positively impact our environment.  Tennesseans who change their own motor oil generate more than one million gallons of used oil each year, which can pollute soil and water and interfere with the operation of sewer systems when not properly disposed.  Used Motor Oil Collection Grants assist local governments in improving and expanding used oil infrastructure for the collection of used oil from do-it-yourselfers. Equipment purchased through the Used Motor Oil Collection Grants may include containers, used oil heaters, containment structures, shelter covers and other items. Tennessee counties, cities, solid waste authorities and counties having a metropolitan form of government are eligible for funding consideration.  Locally, the town of Rocky Top received a $14,600 grant for a new oil tank, a canopy, a pad, a heater pump and absorbent while Morgan County received $15,100 for the same equipment.  In the Used Oil Collection Act of 1993, the General Assembly established a mechanism to assist local communities in collecting used oil and reducing its negative effects on the environment. Tennessees Solid Waste Management Act requires counties to have at least one place in the county where used oil can be properly disposed. Used oil collection grants are funded by a two cent deposit on every quart of oil purchased in the state.
OR part of Manhattan Project Park
(Oak Ridge Today) Friday, the U.S. Senate passed a bill to set up a Manhattan Project National Historical Park that includes Oak Ridge. The legislation passed the U.S. House earlier in the month, and it now goes to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign it into law.  Besides Oak Ridge, the park will include Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Hanford, Washington. Those two cities were also part of the Manhattan Project.  The proposal to set up the three-site park, the first to preserve and interpret the Manhattan Project, has been in the works for more than a decade and had previously stalled in the Senate after passing the House. It was included this month as a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act, which passed the Senate 89-11 on Friday. The House approved the legislation in a 300-119 vote on Thursday, December 4.  Properties included in the park in Oak Ridge are at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (once known as X-10), the Y-12 National Security Complex, and K-25, which is now known as Heritage Center. The park properties were used to enrich uranium (the fissile ingredients in an atomic bomb) or were essential to producing plutonium:
• The X-10 Graphite Reactor served as a pilot facility for the plutonium production reactors at Hanford.
• The Beta-3 Calutrons (Building 9204-3 at the Y-12 National Security Complex) separated the isotopes of uranium for the first atomic bomb and continued to be used for isotope separation for more than 50 years.
• The Pilot Plant (Building 9731 at Y-12) demonstrated isotope separation techniques.
• The K-25 Building site, once the worlds largest building under one roof, was once a mile-long, U-shaped facility that used gaseous diffusion to enrich uranium.
More than 30 sites in the United States and Canada contributed to designing and producing components for the atomic bomb during World War II. Oak Ridge had facilities that were built to produce enriched uranium, Los Alamos had the scientific laboratory that designed and tested the bomb, and Hanford was dedicated to the production of plutonium.  Besides the facilities at K-25, ORNL, and Y-12, the national park in Oak Ridge will also feature the former Guest House (later called the Alexander Inn), which was built to accommodate distinguished visitors such as General Leslie Groves, Enrico Fermi, and Ernest O. Lawrence.  The legislation passed by Congress establishes the park no later than one year after enactment. During that time, the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Interior need to enter an agreement on their roles and responsibilities.  As the nations storyteller, the National Park Service will interpret the Manhattan Project. The Department of Energy will ensure the public access, safety, environmental remediation, and historic preservation of its Manhattan Project properties, the Atomic Heritage Foundation said.  Read more at 
ACDF back in compliance
Following up on a story you first heard on WYSH last week, Anderson County Sheriff Paul White officially announced Thursday that the Anderson County Detention Facility has been released from its Plan of Action by the Tennessee Corrections Institute.  According to a release from the ACSD, the TCI Board of Control met December 3 and voted to remove the Plan of Action after the facility met all the necessary requirements.  The Detention Facility had been placed on the Plan of Action in 2010 due to jail overcrowding and the inability to properly classify inmates as well as needed improvements and repairs to the jail facility and infrastructure.  The first phase of the needed changes was the construction of a minimum security dormitory for relief of some of the overcrowding issues.  This was completed in 2012.  The second phase was the construction of a large scale pod with cells for maximum and medium security inmates along with medical and special needs cells.  This was opened in June of 2014.  This allowed needed room for both male and female inmates and the ability for mandatory classification.  Other areas of the jail such as booking and medical were renovated as well to ensure the Detention Facility maintained compliance with TCI requirements.  In all, $10 million was spent to add the additional beds, which have brought the Detention Facilitys total capacity to 564 inmates.  Sheriff White said in the release that The officers and staff of the Anderson County Detention Facility are to be commended for their hard work and dedication during these difficult times.  Their professionalism kept the facility in operation when the overcrowding was a serious issue as well as during the construction and renovation.  Thanks to the jail staff the facility maintained certification with TCI even during these periods.  The release also expressed thanks to the Anderson County Commission for providing the needed funding for these projects, and to then-County Mayor Myron Iwanski for his leadership in this effort.  We also wish to thank Law Director Jay Yeager for his valuable assistance in keeping Anderson County in compliance with the Plan of Action.
AC DA:  Criminal probe underway in OR death
Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark says that a criminal investigation is underway in the death of a man whose body was found at an apartment in Oak Ridge early Monday, but there has not been an arrest yet and no charges have been filed.  Police officers responding to a call of a possible intruder at 615 West Vanderbilt Drive at about 4:40 a.m. Monday found the body of 29-year-old Thomas Steven Thrasher, Jr. in a second-floor apartment.  Clark said an autopsy has been performed by the Anderson County medical examiner, adding As a result of the circumstances, the Oak Ridge Police and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have been conducting a criminal investigation, Clark said.  Clark said state law prevents the release of the details of the death investigation until its over, public help is needed to locate a suspect or person of interest, or when an arrest is made.  However, additional details will be made available upon completion of the investigation or in the event of an arrest, Clark said.  In a press release Monday, the ORPD called the death suspicious, and they turned the case over to Clark. The DA in turn asked the TBI to investigate, TBI Public Information Officer Susan Niland said Wednesday.  Clark said Thrashers wife, Samantha Anne Thrasher, and two children lived with Thomas Thrasher, also known as T.S., at the sprawling Rolling Hills Apartments complex in central Oak Ridge.
AC woman killed in wreck
An Anderson County woman died in a single-vehicle accident on Lake City Highway Tuesday morning.  According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, 71-year-old Marianna Pearson of Clinton had been headed south in a Mazda 626 at around 9 am when she lost control of the car while negotiating a right hand curve near Pumphouse Lane.  The car went off the left side of the road and struck an embankment.  The cause of the crash is under investigation.
ACSD rounding up drug suspects
The Anderson County Sheriffs Department announced this morning that 25 people were indicted on drug related charges by an Anderson County Grand Jury in November as the result of investigations by the Sheriffs Special Operations Unit. Deputies have been out making arrests on these indictments as well as continuing investigations on related drug activity.  These drug investigations were conducted over the last few months, according to the ACSD.  The indictments were for manufacture, sale, delivery, or possession of illegal drugs and those indicted either sold to undercover agents or were in possession of drugs for resale. These indictments primarily include charges resulting from sale or possession for resale of prescription or legend drugs, as well as marijuana and methamphetamine related offenses.  Of the 25 people indicted, eighteen were charged with prescription narcotics offenses, three were marijuana related, and four were on methamphetamine charges.  Twenty-four of those indicted were adults while one was a seventeen year old juvenile.  As of today, twenty of the twenty-five persons indicted have been arrested by sheriffs deputies including one that was already in custody. Deputies are continuing to search for the five remaining offenders.  In addition, a 17-year-old juvenile was charged with a marijuana-related offense.  These indictments come after hard work by investigators of the Sheriffs Special Operations Unit. The District Attorney Generals Office also spent many hours assisting investigators by preparing and presenting these cases to the Grand Jury.  Many of these cases were from cooperative investigations with other law enforcement agencies. Sixteen of these investigations were with the Rocky Top Police Department and five were with the 7th Judicial District Crime Task Force.  The 7th Crime Task Force is made up of officers from the Anderson County Sheriffs Department, the Clinton Police Department, the Oak Ridge Police Department, the Oliver Springs Police Department, and the Rocky Top Police Department. The Task Force is managed through the District Attorney Generals Office and is made possible by a grant from the State of Tennessee, Office of Criminal Justice Programs. 
The suspects who have been arrested include
• 30-year-old Tayna Lynn Austin of Rocky Top (on charges related to Percocet);
• 55-year-old James Everette Barnes of Rocky Top (marijuana);
• 49-year-old Ray McKinley Cooper of Rocky Top (percocet, violation of a drug-free school zone)
• 33-year-old transient Melissa Curnutt (meth);
• 37-year-old Jaime Dews of Clinton (Oxycodone);
• 19-year-old Tommy Joe Draughn of Clinton (Oxycodone);
• 48-year-old Sandra Goodman of Rocky Top (Oxycodone);
• 42-year-old Roy Lynn Harness of Clinton (marijuana, paraphernalia, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony);
• 77-year-old Alma Hegwood of Rocky Top (Percocet);
• 50-year-old Johnny Dwayne Kennedy of Rocky Top (meth);
• 42-year-old Tommy Lynn Long of Oak Ridge (Oxycodone);
• 57-year-old Guy Duane Love of Rocky Top (Hydrocodone);
• 28-year-old Bryan Alexander Maiden of Rocky Top (Suboxane);
• 47-year-old Vickey May Phillips of Rocky Top (Oxycodone);
• 32-year-old Rickey Glenn Poore of Knoxville (Hydrocodone);
• 32-year-old Matthew Paul Strizak of Clinton (Oxycodone);
• 55-year-old Philip William Vandergriff of Rocky Top (Oxycodone);
• 24-year-old Dale Steven White of Rocky Top (Suboxanein custody on several other charges);
• 28-year-old John Paul Wyres of Rocky Top (meth).
There are continuing investigations into other related drug cases and no additional information can be released at this time.
CPDs Gregory named GHSO Officer of the Year for ET
(CPD) Sgt Scott Gregory of the Clinton Police Department was recently recognized by the Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHSO) for his performance serving and protecting the citizens of Clinton. Gregory was named “East Tennessee Municipal Officer of the Year” for 2014. The special award plaque was presented December 8th during the GHSO joint network meeting in Knoxville.  Lt. Larry Miller, who heads up CPD’s Governor’s Highway Safety Program, nominated Sgt Gregory, saying: “He is our agency’s DUI Instructor and he is the lead investigator on our Traffic Accident Fatality Team. He serves with his heart to protect the roadways of Clinton in all areas of traffic enforcement. During this year he had 12 DUI arrests. This is an awesome accomplishment… as he keeps up with all the supervisor duties, of his assigned patrolmen, during their daily activities.”  The Clinton Police Department stresses the importance of having officers like Scott Gregory on the force. Chief Rick Scarbrough said: “The effort of Sgt Gregory, who has been with the department for more than fifteen years, has greatly contributed to CPD’s ability to better serve and protect the citizens of Clinton.” 
ORT:  ACSD investigating theft of tobacco products
(Oak Ridge Today) The Anderson County Sheriffs Department is investigating the theft of over $4,000 worth of tobacco products from a gas station on Edgemoor Road early Tuesday morning.  The burglary occurred at the Marathon gas station and store at 1060 Edgemoor Road just before 3:30 am Tuesday.  Video footage from the stores security system shows a white man of medium build using what appears to be a crowbar to break the glass on a front door before entering the store, according to the ACSDs incident report. The unidentified man then went behind the counter and placed cigarettes and cans of smokeless tobacco into a bag before leaving the store. The suspect was described as wearing a gray hat and jacket, dark-colored gloves, and blue jeans. He had covered his face with a bandana.  The suspect stole an estimated $3,960 worth of cigarettes and $174 worth of smokeless tobacco, and he caused about $400 in damage to the glass door, Poole said.  The burglary was reported by a newspaper delivery man who noticed the broken door early Tuesday morning.  The case has been turned over to the Sheriffs Department Criminal Investigations Division.
3M announces Clinton facility
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with 3M Company officials announced today the company will purchase a 772,000 square foot building located on 160 acres in the Eagle Bend Industrial Park in Clinton. The announcement is the latest step in 3Ms efforts to grow its North American manufacturing operations, and represents an investment of $135 million and the creation of 100 new jobs in Anderson County.  The company will manufacture products for the oil, gas, and automotive industries. The company is expected to invest $135 million and create 100 new jobs in Anderson County.  3M purchased the former Food Lion distribution center facility for roughly $14.4 million. The sale closed on Friday, said Tim Thompson, president of the Anderson County Economic Development Association. 
We want to welcome 3M to Tennessee and thank the company for its investment and the new jobs that will be created in Clinton, Haslam said. Here in Tennessee, we work to create a business-friendly environment that attracts new companies to the state while helping them grow and succeed, and todays announcement brings us one step closer toward our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. 
The Tennessee brand continues to be strengthened as companies recognize and utilize our states strong infrastructure, business-friendly environment and quality workforce, Hagerty said. 3M is known around the world for its wide array of exceptional products, and I am pleased to see that the company has chosen Tennessee to expand its manufacturing operations while adding to our states outstanding workforce. 
With renovations slated to begin this month, 3M plans to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2015. The Clinton facility will produce a variety of products for the oil and gas and automotive industries. 
I could not be prouder or happier to have 3M Company choose Anderson County as a place to work and grow their business, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank said. 3M has nothing short of an incredible track record of innovation that touches just about all of our lives, and were thankful for their continued commitment to hard work and progress. Their decision to locate here is a testament to the commitment of our economic development team to bring jobs and investment, and help industries accomplish their goals.
We are honored to have the 3M Company as a part of our community. This Fortune 500 company is known worldwide for their products, innovation and growth potential, Clinton Mayor Scott Burton said. We would like to thank the state of Tennessee and TVA for their roles in bringing 3M to Clinton. The city of Clinton has been blessed over the past 12 months with the announcement of over $270 million in new capital investment and 1,200 jobs. 
TVA and Clinton Utilities Board congratulate 3M on its announcement to locate in Clinton and create new quality jobs for community residents, TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley said. TVA is pleased to partner with the state of Tennessee, Anderson County EDA and the city of Clinton to help employers like 3M invest and grow in our region. 
3M will begin hiring mid-2015 and will provide more information on where people can apply at that time.
ASAP wins national recognition
(Submitted) Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention of Anderson County (ASAP) has won a GOT OUTCOMES Coalition of Excellence award by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). ASAP has been awarded a Milestones award for its efforts to reduce underage drinking rates in the community.
Sponsored by CADCAs National Coalition Institute, the GOT OUTCOMES! Awards give national recognition to coalitions that make a strong case for their contribution to population-level substance outcomes by utilizing an inclusive, data-driven, and comprehensive community problem solving process. Coalitions complete a competitive and rigorous two-phase application process and are judged by a panel of experts at the federal, state and local levels. The Milestone category provides newer coalitions or those with more recently implemented strategies the opportunity to highlight their contributions toward achieving community-level reductions in one or more substance abuse or substance abuse-related issues.
ASAP coalition members identified that local businesses were a point of access of alcohol for adolescents, primarily due to the lack of training resources available locally to clerks. Through partnering with TopShelf Responsible Beverage Service and Beer Boards, the ASAP coalition was able to make a training program available within the county and through the Underage Drinking Task Force, worked with County Commission and City Councils to pass ordinances mandating responsible alcohol sales training. Local businesses were key in helping identify problems and help develop solutions. Their embrace of this initiative ultimately ensured its success, said Stephanie A. Strutner, Executive Director of ASAP of Anderson County.  Strutner went on to say, ASAP is honored to be recognized with this prestigious award. We are delighted to be the recipient of the Milestones Award recognizing our achievements; more importantly, we are thrilled our efforts have made strides in reducing underage drinking and related negative consequences in our community. The greatest praise is due to our partners, without whom, this award would have never been possible. From planning to implementation, they are our boots on the ground. Strutner said a special expression of gratitude should be extended to the Anderson County Sheriffs Office, Clinton Police Department, Oliver Springs Police Department, Norris Police Department, Rocky Top Police Department, Oak Ridge Police Department, local Beer Board members, Kim Pouncey with TopShelf Responsible Beverage Service, Catherine Brunson, Underage Drinking Task Force members and local businesses. The coalition will receive their award on-stage during the Awards Luncheon at CADCAs 2015 National Leadership Forum, held Feb. 2-5 at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center just outside of Washington, D.C. To learn more about CADCAs GOT OUTCOMES! Awards, visit:
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 Crowleys 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 investigationwhich ultimately concluded with the indictments against CrowleyCrumpley 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, Crumpleys personnel file has gone missing and is at the heart of Sheriffs Department investigation, the details of which we have previously reported.  A letter from Crowleys attorney to the County Commission claims that the personnel file did not go missing from the Human Resources Department until after Crowley and her attorneyalso her sister, former Anderson County Juvenile Court Judge April Meldrumhad visited the office to review both Crowley and Crumpleys 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 Sheriffs Departments. 
Officials discuss Main Street OR project
(Information from Oak Ridge Today) City officials and developers discussed their plans to revitalize the former Oak Ridge Mall on Tuesday and said that so far, everything involving the long-awaited project is on pace to break ground next spring.  James Downs, a partner of Crosland Southeast, the North Carolina-based company that has proposed the project, updated members of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce during a Tuesday morning Rise and Shine sponsored by the Chamber at Courtyards Senior Living on Briarcliff Avenue.  The company could break ground on the 350,000-square foot project next spring. Construction work, including demolition of the existing areas between anchor stores Belk and JC Penney, could be completed by the summer of 2016, making it available to retailers by the fall of that year.  Main Street Oak Ridge, as the project will have 350,000 square feet of commercial space, including the space already occupied by those two anchors.  Officials said that the project could also include eight to 12 restaurants, 150 apartment units, and a hotel featuring between 110-130 rooms. There could also be some office space, said Downs, who says developers want to revitalize the 58-acre site to raise the tide for other businesses and the community, adding that we want to restore [the citys] soul.  Officials say that around 75% of the retail space has either been leased or is in negotiation to be leased.  Developers cant disclose the identity of potential retailers or tenants, or developers who might be interested in building the apartments or hotel.  According to our partners at Oak Ridge Today, Crosland Southeast is in advanced discussions with potential developers of the apartments and hotel. Those companies would buy the sites with infrastructure already installed, and could go vertical as Main Street Oak Ridge is built, Downs said.  The nearby Tinseltown Theater and Walmart are not part of the project, but Crosland Southeast is working with them, and are said to be excited about the redevelopment. 
As part of the project overview, officials also announced several other developments.
• The U.S. Economic Development Administration has denied a $1 million grant application for the project. The grant would have been matched by city funds and used for public infrastructure, including the reconstruction of Wilson Street and the two main streets, as well as for a traffic signal on Rutgers Avenue at the main entrance. Those roads will then become public streets.  Since the grant application was denied, city officials plan to use $500,000 from an Oak Ridge Industrial Development Board grant and $500,000 in proceeds from a tax increment financing, or TIF, agreement. According to ORT, the city could reapply for the EDA grant next year.
• The Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury and commissioner of Economic and Community Development notified the city on Monday that a 10-year extension of the citys portion of the $13 million TIF agreement has been approved, pushing it from 20 years to 30. It had already been approved by the Oak Ridge City Council and Anderson County Commission. A TIF agreement uses new property tax revenues generated at a site to help pay for development costs.
• Also, discussions continue between Crosland Southeast and local lenders who could help finance the TIF loan portion of the project. Those lenders are encouraged, but the discussions arent complete, said Chris Johnson, president of ORNL Federal Credit Union and board chair of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce.
For much more on this story, including a look at how businesses close to Main Street Oak Ridge and those that are not so close could potentially benefit from the ambitious project, visit
Online service ranks OR schools high in state
All seven schools in the Oak Ridge schools are ranked among the top 100 schools in Tennessee in their respective categories, according to a private, online rankings service.  The rankings were compiled by a company called Niche using federal education data along with student and parent input, according to a press release.  Glenwood Elementary is ranked fourth among state elementary schools, while Woodland Elementary is 29th, Linden 36th and Willow Brook is listed 82nd. There are 982 elementary schools in the state.  Jefferson Middle School was ranked second in the state, while Robertsville Middle came in 14th. There are 306 middle schools in Tennessee.  Oak Ridge High came in 11th in Tennessee among high schools, of which there are 318 across the state. Niche rankings only included the top 100 schools in each category.  As a system, Oak Ridge came in fifth in the Best School Districts in Tennessee category out of 137 districts.
Report:  Negotiations underway after huge judgment against OR firm
A New York Federal Judge ruled in July that Appalachian Underwriters Inc. (AUI) and a subsidiary have breached three reinsurance agreements and a retrocession agreement with its Bermudian reinsurer affiliate and are liable for $41.1 million.   On July 28, Judge J. Paul Oetken of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York found the intermediariesAUI and Insurance Services Group were obligated under a 2009 guarantee to pay the debts. Cayman Islands-based Greenlight Reinsurance Ltd. was the reinsurer and AUI was the managing general agent. Greenlight Re has established that AUI owes a debt of $16,986,516 under the Reinsurance Agreements, and App Re (an AUI subsidiary) owes $24,456,213 under the Retrocession Agreements.  A hearing has been scheduled for December 19th in AC Chancery Court, where Chancellor Nikki Cantrell will be asked to rule on domesticating the casewhich would enable Greenlight to begin trying to recoup what they are due.  Reinsurance is defined by as “the contract made between an insurance company and a third party to protect the insurance company from losses. The contract provides for the third party to pay for the loss sustained by the insurance company when the company makes a payment on the original contract.  In this case, AUI shared its policy risks with Greenlight in exchange for a portion of the premiums from the underlying policies.  
According to, when the assignee of heritable rights conveys his rights back to the cedent, it is called a “retrocession.  According to the judges order, AUIs debt problems stem from several higher-than-expected losses on its insurance policies.  The News-Sentinel reports that negotiations are underway between the two sides.
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. 
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 Sheriffs 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 Sheriffs 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 Sheriffs 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. 
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. Applegates 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 bachelors degrees in political science and history from Purdue University, in addition to a masters degree in public administration and public policy from the University of Tennessee.
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 citys 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 incumbentsDavid Mosby and Anne Garcia Garlandwere not re-elected.
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 Sheriffs 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 Sheriffs 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.  
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 nations 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 its 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 marketfrom 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 agreementsthese 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 EPAs 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:
(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.
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.
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 Oneidawho once appeared on the reality TV show Millionaire Matchmakerreceived 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 Trustees 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.”
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. 
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. Ks Used Books and CDs, and emergency crews quickly evacuated surrounding stores, including China Wok, Nixons Deli, Mr. Ks, and Big Kmart.  They also closed off the surrounding parking lot.  The staff initially thought it might be coming from Nixons, the deli next door. But then they learned that Nixons doesnt use natural gas. A walk around the shopping centers parking lot determined that the gas was probably coming from the former Kroger store.  Mr. Ks 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.  Millers body was taken to Knoxvilles Regional Forensic Center for an autopsy.
AC Mayor provides update on Public Works
Monday, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank updated the County Commissions 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 employeeLisa Crumpleyhas 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 Marshals 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 Marshals 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 Countys 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 Marshals 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 Sheriffs 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 Comptrollers 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 Countys 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 Marshals 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 Sheriffs 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 countys 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 moir about last weeks courthouse drama on our website.  The search warrants were served on Thursday.
AC officials at odds over copying HR computer drives
Anderson County officials are at odds over the contents of the computers in the countys 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 countys 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 Crumpleys missing personnel file, which turned up missing days after her termination.  Mayor Frank says Crumpleys 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 Sheriffs 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 Sheriffs 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 files 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 Crumpleys personnel file is believed to have disappeared and to the also-recently-announced resignation of Bests 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 Franks letter to HR Committee Chairman Rodney Archersent 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 Crumpleys 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 countys IT consultants to make a forensic copy of both Ms. Ashleys hard-drive and Ms. Bests 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 countys 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 Sheriffs method appears adequate to preserve the evidence.  I believe the ultimate goal has been achieved, that is, the fulfillment of Mr. Bowmans request and the countys 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?
Raid leads to arrest of Rocky Top man
According to the Anderson County Sheriffs Department, investigators with the Sheriffs 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 Countys 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 
Missing AC man turns up in Georgia
Michael David Miller, reported to the Anderson County Sheriffs 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 Pelizarris 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. 
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. 
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 couldnt 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 states 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 states 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 Tennessees 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.
Parrott named supervisor of year by state
Tim Parrott, the Anderson County school systems 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 Tennessees 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 Tennessees 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.
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 ruling11 in allinclude 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 citys 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 weeks 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 towns 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 Byrges 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.
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 Comptrollers Office, saying that government files are missing from the Public Works department and that a recently-fired employee of that offices personnel file is missing from the countys 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 Crumpleys file from the office and/or the courthouse.  The mayor asked Crowley not to take part in the search of the Public Works office. 
Lincolns closes after tumultuous stretch
Lincolns Sports Grille has shut down, citing economic conditions. The closure was first announced on a sign posted on the eaterys 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 Lincolns permit.  Lincolns 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 Boards revocation.  But in an interview earlier this month with our partners at Oak Ridge Today, Scott Green, one of Lincolns 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 Lincolns 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 Lincolns beer permit in June.  Lincolns 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
Report:  AC Chamber retail chief steps down, cites conflict
According to the Knoxville News-Sentinel, the Anderson County Chamber of Commerces chief retail recruiter has resigned amid a conflict with Chamber President Jackie Nichols.  The paper reports that Diane Ilgners 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 Chambers 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.
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 seatwon in Augustso that he could return to work as the countys 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. 
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.
KNS:  Lawsuit alleges racial, age discrimination in Trustees office
The News-Sentinel reports that the former office manager in the Anderson County Trustees Office has filed a federal lawsuit against the county alleging racial and age discrimination.  Craig Dixon worked in the Trustees office from September 2006 to August of last year, when he was fired by Trustee Rodney Archer.  Dixons 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 Dixons 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.  Dixons 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 Dixons personnel file indicated that Archer did list deficiencies in Dixons 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. 
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 mayors office to the DAs 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.  Franks 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 Crowleys initial inspection and that occupancy permits were issued.  Franks 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 Crowleys 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. 
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. 
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 states 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 wasnt 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 states building official certification law. Today, he was booked into the Anderson County Detention Facility and subsequently released after posting $1,000 bond.
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 womans 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. 
ACSD beer sting nets 5
The Anderson County Sheriffs 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 Sheriffs 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
• Lees Food Mart E. Tri-County Blvd. Oliver Springs
• Raceway E. Tri-County Blvd. Oliver Springs
• Smokes & Things Clinton Hwy. Powell
• Vons 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 (Macks 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
• Weigels #73 Weigels 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 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:
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 Mayors 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. Ive helped Rocky Top modernize in anticipation of great things to come, and now feel Im 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,
(Press release from Anderson County Mayors 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 Tops 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 cant 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 countys Budget Director. He is a Certified Financial Manager accredited through the Association of Government Accountants and holds a bachelors 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. Ive helped Rocky Top modernize in anticipation of great things to come, and now feel Im 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.
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
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
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 Yeagers 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.
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. 
State awards $24M in highway safety grants
(GHSO) Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer and Governors 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  For a complete list and description of each grant, visit
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 2014‐2015 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 Sheriffs 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 Sheriffs 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.
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 towns 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 towns 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, TNsome even with the ZIP codeto 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, a