Searchers hunt for missing ORHS student

Andy Allen

Andy Allen

Note: This story was last updated at 10:10 a.m. September 2.

Friends and family are searching for a 17-year-old Oak Ridge High School student who hasn’t been seen since he left his father’s house in west Knox County on foot at midnight Saturday, a family friend said.

Searchers are meeting at 9:30 a.m. today (Monday) at Concord Park on Northshore Drive to hunt for Andy Allen, an ORHS senior, family friend Betsy Coleman said.

Allen is 5’9″ and has blue eyes, dark hair, and a shaved head, Coleman said.

Allen’s father, Kevin Allen, is an assistant district attorney general for Knox County who lives in the Northshore Drive and Westland Drive area, Coleman said.

She said the last ping from Andy’s cell phone came at about 3 a.m. between Northshore Elementary School and George Williams Road, near Concord Park. [Read more...]

Updated: Wildcats shut out Farragut on long kicks, interception

Gavin Warrington of Oak Ridge Wildcats

Oak Ridge used two quarterbacks on Friday, junior Gavin Warrington, #11 above, and junior Logan Fadnek. Also pictured above is junior running back Isiah Jones, #20. (Photos by Julio Culiat.)

 

Note: This story was last updated with new photos at 11:30 p.m. August 30.

Oak Ridge coach Joe Gaddis savored the 13-0 shutout during the season opener against the Farragut Admirals on Friday night.

“Anytime you get out a shutout against anyone, it’s sweet,” Gaddis told the team during a post-game huddle. “Against these guys, it’s even sweeter.”

Neither offense was able to score a touchdown at Blankenship Field. The Wildcats scored twice on long kicks by junior Brandon Nickle—the first was 44 yards and the second was 46—and an interception returned up the left sideline for a 76-yard touchdown by cornerback Jemiah Hall.

Senior cornerback and wide receiver Ted Mitchell had a momentum-stopping interception near the goal line with about a minute-and-a-half to play, ending Farragut’s final drive deep in Wildcats territory.

“They were moving the ball, and I knew we had to come up with a big play,” Mitchell said of his first-ever goal-line pick. “I didn’t care who it was. Luckily, it was me.” [Read more...]

Wildcats open regular season at home against Farragut tonight

Oak Ridge Wildcats and Farragut Admirals

The Oak Ridge Wildcats open the regular football season at home against Farragut at 7:30 p.m. Friday. (Image courtesy Oak Ridge Wildcat Football)

The Oak Ridge Wildcats open the regular football season at home tonight against the Farragut Admirals. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. at Blankenship Field.

The Wildcat Football Boosters have a $6 catered tailgate party starting at 5 p.m. that will feature Mexican food at the upper parking lot of Blankenship Field before the game.

“Bring your pom-poms and your appetite,” a press release said. “Make sure you come early enough to cheer on our mighty Wildcats as they take their ‘Walk of Champions!’ Roll Wildcats Roll!”

After a Wildcat Day pep rally on Saturday, Coach Joe Gaddis said challenges this week will include using a new quarterback and winning battles up front, with a relatively inexperienced offensive line taking on an experienced Admirals defensive line.

“It’s still a work in progress,” Gaddis said. [Read more...]

Beer Board revokes Lincoln’s beer permit

Lincoln's Sports Grille

Lincoln’s Sports Grille on South Illinois Avenue is pictured above. (File photo)

Note: This story was last updated at 9:30 a.m. August 29.

The Oak Ridge Beer Permit Board has revoked the beer permit of Lincoln’s Sports Grille.

The revocation was approved in a 4-2 vote during a special meeting on Thursday, the fifth show cause hearing for Lincoln’s.

It wasn’t immediately clear what effect the revocation, which took effect immediately, would have.

But during the hearing, a Lincoln’s consultant testified that a beer permit suspension coupled with a possible temporary state suspension of the restaurant’s liquor license for its second sale of beer to a minor could effectively shut down the business.

“The economic impact would be great,” consultant Roy McKinnon said. “It would finish Lincoln’s.” [Read more...]

Police ID driver, passenger in fatal pond crash

England Road Pond

The Oliver Springs Police Department has identified the driver who died and the passenger who escaped after a Mazda MX3 coupe crashed into this pond on England Drive on Tuesday night.

Note: This story was last updated at 5:30 p.m.

The Oliver Springs Police Department has identified the woman who died and the passenger who escaped after a car crashed into a pond on England Drive on Tuesday night.

Driver Amy Hall, 23, of Oliver Springs, ran off the road into the private pond sometime before 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, when the OSPD was notified of the accident.

“Members of the Oliver Springs police and fire departments responded and learned that a vehicle was submerged in the pond and one person, Donna McMillian, age 54, was able to get out of the vehicle and make it out of the water—and reported that another person was still in the vehicle,” Oliver Springs Police Chief Kenneth Morgan said in a Wednesday press release. “Members of the Fire Department entered the water but were unable to locate the vehicle.”

Morgan said the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Dive Team was called for assistance. Sheriff Paul White, Oliver Springs Fireman Adam Daugherty, and Marlow Fireman T.J. Giles entered the water and were able to locate Hall and the red two-door Mazda MX3 coupe at about 10 p.m. and help remove them with the help of two tow trucks about an hour later. White said divers, who emerged from the water covered in dark silt, could only see a few inches in front of their goggles under water. [Read more...]

Driver dies, passenger escapes when car crashes into pond

England Road Fatal Pond Crash

Rescuers call in a tow truck to pull a car out of a pond on England Road on Tuesday night. The driver of the car died in the crash, but the passenger escaped.

OLIVER SRINGS—A female driver died and a passenger escaped Tuesday night when a small car crashed into a private pond on England Road in Oliver Springs.

Oliver Springs Police Chief Kenneth Morgan said the driver and female passenger won’t be identified until relatives have been notified.

The crash occurred sometime before 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Property owner Marcia Pemberton said she came out of her house around then and heard screaming. At first, she thought it was family members playing at the dam at the pond. But then she realized these were different screams—screams for help, Pemberton said.

“Then I took off running,” she said.

The passenger was in a corner of the 18-foot-deep pond, hanging onto a tree and unable to get out because of the steep banks. There’s a car in the water, the woman told Pemberton. [Read more...]

Corker dampens presidential speculation, calls ISIS ‘demonic’

Senator Bob Corker at ETEC

U.S. Senator Bob Corker, right, downplayed speculation of a possible presidential run during a visit to Oak Ridge on Friday, but he also didn’t rule out a campaign. At center is Jim Haynes, president and chief executive officer of Consolidated Nuclear Security, the new managing and operating contractor at the Y-12 National Security Complex.

 

He’s been asked the question before, and on Friday, U.S. Senator Bob Corker answered it again: Are you considering running for president in 2016?

Corker didn’t say “no,” but he did dampen the discussion. The Tennessee Republican pointed out that if he were a candidate, he would likely be making trips to Iowa and New Hampshire, key early stops in presidential campaigns, rather than visiting Oak Ridge and East Tennessee.

Still, after a short speech to the East Tennessee Economic Council on Friday, Corker, a Tennessee Republican, said every senator involved in policy decisions and helping to solve the nation’s problems probably thinks about a presidential run “from time to time.”

Corker was the guest speaker at ETEC’s weekly Friday morning meeting. During his talk, he bemoaned the nation’s lack of vision, saying the chief executive needs to have one but President Obama doesn’t lead toward one.

“Without vision, people bicker,” Corker said. The question is: Who is going to create the national vision? the senator said. The nation may need three priorities, he said. [Read more...]

Beer Board has show cause hearings for Lincoln’s, Moose Lodge

Lincoln's Sports Grille

Lincoln’s Sports Grille on South Illinois Avenue is pictured above. (File photo)

A city board on Thursday could consider revoking or suspending beer permits, or levying fines, on a restaurant and local organization that have previously had their permits suspended and sold beer or alcohol to a minor during a state sting in June, officials said.

The two businesses, Lincoln’s Sports Grille and Oak Ridge Moose Lodge #1316, are among five that sold beer or alcohol to a minor during a compliance check by the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission in June, officials said. The Oak Ridge Beer Permit Board plans to have show cause hearings for all five.

Thursday’s special meeting will be the fifth show cause hearing for Lincoln’s and the second for Moose Lodge, according to the Beer Board agenda.

Lincoln’s sold beer, a 16-ounce Bud Light, to a 19-year-old on June 9 after checking the person’s identification, according to the TABC records. It’s the second violation at Lincoln’s for sale to a minor by the TABC, the Beer Board agenda said, and the case is still pending.

Meanwhile, the Moose Lodge sold alcohol, a mixed drink vodka cranberry, to a 19-year-old on June 26 after checking ID, the state records said. It’s also the second violation at Moose Lodge for sale to a minor by the TABC, the Beer Board agenda said. Moose Lodge paid a $2,000 civil penalty for the violation and agreed to a 15-day suspension of their liquor-by-the-drink license. That suspension was in effect from July 13-27.

The Beer Board can revoke or suspend a beer permit during a show cause hearing. The board can also accept a civil penalty in lieu of a suspension. The maximum civil penalty is $2,500 per violation for selling beer to a minor, and $1,000 for all other offenses. [Read more...]

Fox scores three as Mavericks win another Battle of the Bridge

Anderson County Mavericks and Clinton Dragons Battle of the Bridge

The Anderson County Mavericks won the sixth consecutive Battle of the Bridge 35-19 over the Clinton Dragons at Anderson County High School on Friday. (Photo courtesy Anderson County Schools)

 

Star running back Matt Fox rushed for more than 200 yards and scored three touchdowns as the Anderson County Mavericks opened the regular season with a 35-19 win over the Clinton Dragons on Friday night.

The crosstown rivals traded touchdowns in the first half, and the Mavericks had a slight 14-13 lead at halftime.

But the momentum quickly shifted at the start of the second half, when the Mavericks scored on a 21-yard run by Fox after only two plays and 29 seconds. That run followed a roughly 50-yard pass from Anderson County quarterback Zane Smith to Aaron Sharp.

Anderson County held the lead and scored twice more, once on a five-yard run by Fox midway through the third quarter and again after Garrett Johnson intercepted a pass from Clinton quarterback Tyler Thackerson and returned it for a touchdown with 11:01 remaining.

The final score was 35-19. [Read more...]

Nineteen candidates for Oak Ridge City Council, School Board

Vote Logo

Note: This story was last updated at 2 p.m.

Ten candidates have qualified to run for Oak Ridge City Council in the November 4 municipal election, and there are nine candidates for Oak Ridge Board of Education—a total of 19 candidates.

It’s the largest field of candidates in recent memory, and it’s not immediately clear when, or if, there has been a field as large.

The deadline to qualify as a candidate in this fall’s municipal elections in Anderson County was noon Thursday.

There is a mix of incumbents and newcomers in Oak Ridge, Clinton, Rocky Top (Lake City), Norris, and Oliver Springs.

Oak Ridge

In Oak Ridge, two incumbents, including Mayor Tom Beehan and Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller, are not seeking re-election. Meanwhile, the other two incumbents whose terms expire this November, Anne Garcia Garland and David Mosby, are running for another four-year term.

In addition to Garcia Garland and Mosby, the other Oak Ridge City Council candidates are:

  • Kelly Callison,
  • R.G. “Rick” Chinn,
  • Warren L. Gooch,
  • Gary L. Love,
  • Pedro J. Otaduy,
  • Aditya “Doc” Savara,
  • Ellen D. Smith, and
  • Eric Tobler.

[Read more...]

Snappy Tomato Pizza closing Friday

Snappy Tomato Pizza

After almost four years in Oak Ridge, Snappy Tomato Pizza in central Oak Ridge is closing Friday.

 

After almost four years in Oak Ridge, Snappy Tomato Pizza will close Friday, the owners said Thursday.

“We have really tried to hang on; however, things appear to continue to go downhill for us both financially and personally,” franchise owners Frances Gross and her daughters Misty Gross Robbins and Cindi Robbins said in a message to supporters and the Oak Ridge community. “Unfortunately, the sales have not been what we need to keep the business going while the new and upcoming retail centers continue to draw business toward the other end of town.”

The family said they have struggled during the past two years grieving the loss of their son and brother Robert Gross Jr., who was also a co-owner but died in August 2012, and battling with cancer surgery and extensive radiation treatments for husband and father Robert Gross Sr.

Now, they’re facing cancer again, only with a more radical surgery, the family said. In a telephone interview Thursday morning, Frances Gross said the last year has taken a toll on the family, and they’ve struggled to stay busy as new restaurants have opened across town, drawing customers away. [Read more...]

ORPD: Intoxicated man poses as ORHS student

William Edward Lay

William Edward Lay

A 25-year-old Sunbright man who was intoxicated tried to “pass himself off” as an Oak Ridge High School student in at least two classrooms last week, the first week of school, before being stopped in a second floor hallway during a class change, authorities said.

William Edward Lay had obtained a student’s classroom schedule, but he had no identification and continuously gave School Resource Officer Sherrill Selby the wrong birth date, Social Security number, and other identifying information, according to arrest warrants filed in Anderson County General Sessions Court.

Selby, an Oak Ridge Police Department officer, said Lay was unsteady on his feet and fell into the wall several times. She had been called to investigate a report of a suspicious male walking around and into classrooms at ORHS.

“Defendant’s eyes were red and glassy looking,” Selby said. [Read more...]