Armed robbery, assault reported on Waddell Circle

Oak Ridge Police Department Logo

Two men, including one suspect allegedly armed with a gun, reportedly entered a home on Waddell Circle on Thursday night, assaulted someone, and stole money and property valued at $860, authorities said.

The robbery was reported at about 10:29 p.m. Thursday, September 3, at 214 Waddell Circle. The suspects fled before Oak Ridge Police Department officers arrived, a press release said.

The ORPD asked anyone who might have information about the robbery to call (865) 425-4399. You can also TEXT-A-TIP by texting “TIP ORPD” followed by your message to 888777. If it is an emergency, dial 911. [Read more…]

Taste of Anderson County on Sept. 19 helps United Way, Free Medical Clinic

Taste of Oak Ridge 2013

The Taste of Oak Ridge, which has become the Taste of Anderson County, is pictured above in 2013. (File photo)


The Taste of Anderson County on September 19 will feature food and music and help two local organizations: United Way of Anderson County and the Free Medical Clinic.

The Taste of Anderson County, which has been expanded from the previous Taste of Oak Ridge, will be at Jackson Square starting at 4 p.m. Saturday, September 19.

“Flavors from some of the area’s favorite restaurants and the sounds of local musicians will fill the newly renovated parking lot at Jackson Square,” a press release said. “This year will be bigger and better than ever with vendors from all over the county. More importantly, this event brings a substantial amount of support for two local causes: United Way of Anderson County, and the Free Medical Clinic. Both of these nonprofits are working hard this year to make a big impact in the community. But they can’t do it without the community there to support them.”

The entertainment lineup includes comedian and magician Danny Whitson as the master of ceremonies. Whitson is a professional entertainer from Oak Ridge who specializes in magic and comedy. He has been performing for 15 years, the press release said. [Read more…]

Photo: Sen. Alexander tours ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility

Lamar Alexander Tours ORNL Manufacturing Demonstration Facility

Craig Blue, CEO of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI); John Rivard, ORNL legislative fellow; and U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander examine the print platform of an additive manufacturing gantry during a tour of ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility. (Photo by Genevieve Martin/ORNL)


U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, toured the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility in Hardin Valley on Thursday, part of a trip to East Tennessee this week that also included stops in Oak Ridge and Knoxville.

Read more about the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility here.

More information will be added as it becomes available.

Copyright 2015 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


RT man charged with attempted murder after allegedly threatening wife, firing gun

Steven Wayne Rice

Steven Wayne Rice

A Rocky Top man has been charged with attempted first-degree murder after allegedly threatening his wife with a pistol early Sunday and firing it when three other people in the home tackled him and took away the gun, authorities said.

Steven Wayne Rice, 36, has also been charged with reckless endangerment, according to arrest warrants filed in Anderson County General Sessions Court.

The Rocky Top Police Department responded to the call of a shot fired at 411 Wallace Avenue at about 2:55 a.m. Sunday, August 30.

RTPD Officer Richard Foschino said Rice was on the front porch when he arrived. When asked what happened, Rice responded, “I fired the gun,” Foschino said. [Read more…]

No injuries, minor damage in Florida Avenue porch fire

Florida Avenue Porch Fire

No one was injured and the damage was minor in a Thursday evening porch fire on Florida Avenue. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)


No one was injured and the damage was minor in a Thursday evening porch fire on Florida Avenue.

The fire at 718 Florida Avenue was reported at about 5:35 p.m. Thursday.

Authorities said it was confined to a screened porch. Firefighters used a fire extinguisher to put it out. The cause is under investigation.

The house is an Emory Valley Center home, authorities said.

More information will be added as it becomes available.

Copyright 2015 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Woman facing charges after bringing loaded handgun to evening class at ACHS, report says

Anderson County Sheriff Patch

A Lafollette woman reported to be suicidal is facing charges after she brought a loaded handgun to an evening class at Anderson County Career and Tech Center at Anderson County High School on Monday, authorities said.

The 36-year-old woman reportedly came to class aggravated and told the teacher of a certified nursing assistant class that “she would be better off dead,” according to an Anderson County Sheriff’s Department report.

The teacher said the woman told her she had everything in place “so she could die,” the report said. The teacher asked the woman if she had a gun in her bag, and the woman said “Yes, she had had it every night,” the report said.

A student in the class told Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Robert J. Collins that the woman said she had a gun in her bag if she needed it, and the woman had a journal stating that she wanted to die. [Read more…]

Man arrested after women’s clothing, property set on fire, neighbor assaulted

Oak Ridge Police Department Logo

A man was arrested Thursday morning after women’s clothing and property were set on fire in a domestic dispute on Waddell Circle, and a neighbor was assaulted, authorities said.

Oak Ridge Police Department patrol officers and investigators responded to the call at 171 Waddell Circle at 7:58 a.m. Thursday, a press release said. They determined that it was a continuation of an earlier domestic call involving a male subject identified as Christopher Crandall.

“Officers discovered a large pile of personal belongings and women’s clothing belonging to the victim burning in the yard, which was extinguished by members of the Oak Ridge Fire Department,” the press release said. “Officers were unable to locate Crandall after a search of the area, as he had apparently fled the area on foot prior to police arrival.”

Two hours later, at 9:58 a.m., police officers were again summoned to the area for an assault that had taken place involving Crandall, the release said. [Read more…]

Teen pregnancy rates down from 2010-2013 in Anderson, Knox

Tennessee Teen Pregnancy Map

Tennessee teen pregnancy map. The map is color-coded to reflect which counties have a pregnancy rate exceeding 19.5 per 1,000 females, ages 15-17. The map is based on the most current data, which is from 2013 and published by the Tennessee Department of Health.


The teenage pregnancy rate dropped significantly in Anderson and Knox counties between 2010 and 2013, state officials said Thursday. It fell about 41 percent in Anderson County and 36 percent in Knox County.

There was a smaller overall decrease in Roane County 2010 and 2013, but the rate actually increased in 2011 and 2012, compared to 2010.

The teenage pregnancy rate also fell significantly in Morgan and Union counties, but it was up slightly in Campbell and Loudon counties and it more than doubled in Scott County.

The pregnancy rate is per 1,000 females from ages 15-17.

The state average fell each year from 2010 to 2013: [Read more…]

Highway should be renamed Oak Ridge Corridor, Alexander says

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander

The highway that runs from Oak Ridge to the Knoxville airport should be renamed the Oak Ridge Corridor, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander said Thursday.

The highway starts in Oak Ridge as South Illinois Avenue, and it turns into Pellissippi Parkway.

Alexander, a former Tennessee governor, said he wants to give the area a signature like Research Triangle in North Carolina or Silicon Valley in California.

“I can think of no better calling card for a job recruiter than to be able to go anywhere in the world and say, ‘I’m from the Oak Ridge Corridor,'” the Tennessee Republican said in a press release after speaking to Rotary members at the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge. “In Anderson, Roane, and Knox counties, more than 40,000 people have graduate or professional degrees. This includes 1,600 scientists and engineers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, more than 1,000 PhDs at the University of Tennessee, and hundreds of engineers at Tennessee Valley Authority and at Y-12 National Security Complex. We are in the middle of one of our country’s most formidable concentrations of brainpower.” [Read more…]

Two Artists Featured in Children’s Museum Exhibit

Artists Marta Goebel-Pietrasz and Pat Clapsaddle will exhibit their art works in a show titled “Five Corners” Sept. 5 through Oct. 1 at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge. The opening reception will be from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, in Imagination Gallery at the museum, 461 W. Outer Dr., Oak Ridge.

The “Five Corners” refer to five groups of works the artists will be exhibiting. In four corners of the gallery, Goebel-Pietrasz will exhibit mixed media works on paper as one group and three groups of photographs of cats, flora and mountains.

Clapsaddle’s painted clay creations will include platters, bowls, vases, cups, mugs and servers, all telling a story in visual form with themes related to people, places, animals and fish. They will represent the fifth corner, in five showcases in the gallery’s center. Many of her designs are from her own photographs, and she uses reference materials to paint animals and birds on her clay pieces.

Goebel-Pietrasz considers herself a painter and print maker and initially did not intend to show her photographs.

“Photography is not my primary or preferred medium, but at some point in my life, I felt like I needed to start documenting what I saw around me,” she said. She also recently returned to the University of Tennessee in a master’s program for mental health counseling, leaving her less time for drawing.

Her mixed media works show that she likes to play with reality, “twisting and changing it a little,” she said. One group of photos is focused on her observations of her four cats. Photographs of flowers and mountains come from her annual trips to Colorado, where she enjoys hiking and observing how trails change in different lighting or when flowers are blooming.

Clapsaddle, who has worked in some form of clay since high school, is exhibiting recent work from a graduate class in majolica painting techniques at the University of Indiana. Majolica refers to clay pieces covered with an opaque glaze, then decorated on the glaze before firing.

“I hand craft my own works, using wheel throwing and hand-building techniques, paint them with the majolica glazes, then draw back into the surface using a sgraffito technique,” Clapsaddle explained.

Clapsaddle produces one-of-a-kind art works in black majolica at her studio in Sharps Chapel. A retired art teacher who received the Outstanding Art Educator Award from the Ohio Art Education Association, she received her BFA degree from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s in education from Kent State University. She has done post graduate work in painting and clay.  She is a member of the Potters Council, Foothills Craft Guild, Appalachian Arts and Crafts Center, and Terra Madre Potters.  Her works have been displayed across the country and are in private collections.

Goebel-Pietrasz started her art training at the Art School in Gdynia and Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk, Poland. She holds a BFA in Studio Art (concentration in printmaking) from UT and is currently pursuing a master’s degree there. She is a member of the Oak Ridge Art Center, Arts and Culture Alliance in Knoxville, has taken part in about 40 art exhibitions and taught art classes in her home studio. She has been living in the United States since 1995.

For more information, call the museum at (865) 482-1074 or see the Children’s Museum web site at


Researcher honored for helping advance Latinas in tech field

Andrea Rocha

Andrea Rocha

A researcher whose worked is carried out at the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge Associated Universities has been named one of the top researchers in her field by Hispanic Engineer and Information Technology magazine.

Postdoctoral fellow Andrea Rocha is a member of a UT research team. She works on Governor’s Chair for Environmental Biotechnology Terry Hazen’s joint UT-ORNL team, and she was chosen as one of 32 women worldwide to be profiled in the magazine’s “Latinas at Tech Giants” edition, a press release said.

“I wasn’t even aware I was being considered,” Rocha said. “I didn’t know anything about it until I received a letter from the Women of Color STEM Conference that contained a congratulations note, press release on the article, and copy of the magazine which contained my profile.”

Almost as noteworthy, Rocha found out that Astrid Terry—a project manager at the Berkeley Lab at the University of California—had nominated her. [Read more…]

Woman reports falling asleep with cigarette in hand before Tuesday fire

Smith Road Mattress Fire

A woman who escaped a Tuesday morning fire with her son and dog told authorities she fell asleep with a cigarette in her hand. (Photo by Tom Scott)


Information from WYSH Radio/Oak Ridge Today/Tom Scott

A woman who escaped a Tuesday morning fire with her son and dog told authorities she fell asleep with a cigarette in her hand.

The fire was reported at about 6:45 a.m. Tuesday on Smith Road in Anderson County, east of Oliver Springs in Marlow.

The 77-year-old woman who lives at the home woke up to her hand being burned, said the incident commander, Captain Jordan Alcorn of the Oliver Springs Fire Department.

She activated a Life Alert emergency alarm and fled the home with her son and small dog, said Alcorn, who is also an Oak Ridge firefighter. [Read more…]