Anderson County Commission appoints new chair, vice chair

Robert McKamey

Robert McKamey

The Anderson County Commission on Tuesday appointed a new chair and vice chair.

The new chair is Anderson County Commissioner Robert McKamey, who represents District 5, which includes the Clinton High, Dutch Valley, Marlow, and Norwood precincts.

The new vice chair is Steve Emert, who represents District 3, which includes Andersonville, Fairview, Glen Alpine, and Norris.

There were no other nominations for chair and vice chair during the five-minute special meeting at the Anderson County Courthouse in Clinton on Tuesday morning.

McKamey will replace Commissioner Chuck Fritts of District 1 (Claxton and Bull Run). Fritts did not seek to be re-appointed as chair after three terms. [Read more...]

Updated: Andy Allen, missing ORHS senior, had been lost in woods

Andy Allen

Andy Allen

Note: This story was updated at 11:20 a.m.

Andy Allen, the 17-year-old Oak Ridge High School senior who had been missing since Saturday night, has been found safe after getting lost in the woods, authorities said Tuesday morning.

Allen told deputies that he was unable to find his way out of the woods, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office said.

Allen had been missing since early Sunday morning after leaving his father’s home in west Knox County on foot. He was reunited with his parents on Tuesday morning.

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office said a witness saw Allen walk out of the woods on Hart Road in Knox County around 8 a.m. He then walked to the Weigel’s on Northshore Drive off Pellissippi Parkway.

“A second person identified him and called 911,” the Sheriff’s Office said. “When Knox County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived, he had been taken to a back room at the store. Rural Metro examined him and then he was sent home with his parents.”

[Read more...]

Knox County Sheriff helps hunt for missing ORHS senior

Andy Allen Search Party

Volunteers meet Monday morning at Concord Park to help search for Andy Allen, an Oak Ridge High School senior who was last seen at his father’s home in west Knox County on Saturday night. (Photos by Kathryn Howe)


Andy Allen Missing Poster

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office is helping to hunt for Andy Allen, a 17-year-old senior at Oak Ridge High School.

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office is helping in the hunt for a west Knox County teenager and Oak Ridge High School senior who has been missing since early Sunday morning, authorities said.

Andy Allen, 17, left his home at Westland and Northshore on foot around 1 a.m. Sunday, and he was last spotted in the Northshore/Pellissippi area around 3 a.m. Sunday, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. Airwatch is assisting in the search.

Allen is a white male, 5’9”, and 165 pounds, and he attends ORHS, where he is a senior.

Anyone with information is asked to call the KCSO at (865) 215-2243.

Volunteers are also helping in the search effort. Family friend Betsy Coleman and ORHS teacher Deni Sobek have coordinated that effort.

See previous story here.

More information will be added as it becomes available.

High Places has ‘Walk Thru the Bible’ on Sept. 7

High Places Community Church

High Places Community Church in Grove Center is pictured above.

High Places Community Church will be hosting a special “Walk Thru the Bible” event on Sunday, September 7, at the historic Grove Theater at 123 Randolph Road in Oak Ridge.

The event has been booked as the result of a passion, one that stretches back more than 30 years in the heart of High Places’ founding pastor Martin Fischer, who also celebrates a birthday on the same date.

“What I want for my birthday is to host a party where anyone in attendance will be given a chance to experience the same thing I once did in a ‘Walk Thru the Bible’ event,” the Rev. Fischer said in a press release. “Years ago, I came away with a better understanding, appreciation, and even fascination for the way the Bible story unfolds through history. It was life-changing for me.”

This event, which focuses on the Old Testament, offers a unique and highly interactive way to gain better handles on the Bible stories that show how God built a “faith family” with the Hebrew people in the two millennium leading up to the birth of Jesus. [Read more...]

Gov. Haslam in Oak Ridge on Friday for Roane State ribbon-cutting

Governor Bill Haslam

Bill Haslam

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam will be in Oak Ridge on Friday for the ribbon-cutting at the new Goff Health Sciences and Technology Building at Roane State Community College.

The ribbon-cutting is at 8:30 a.m. Friday, after the East Tennessee Economic Council meeting, which starts at 7:30 a.m. in the new Roane State building, which is at 701 Briarcliff Avenue in Oak Ridge.

The governor will also be at the ETEC meeting.

ORHS Class of 1969 has Band and BBQ Bash on Sept. 20

The Oak Ridge High School Class of 1969 has its 45th year reunion on September 20, and the celebration will feature music, barbecue, and fun, a press release said. The event is open to everyone that would like to come.

The band Boys Night Out will perform and so will special guests: Bill Capshaw (Soul Sanction), Joe Fincher (Impacts), and Kathy Hill of Claytons’ Star Time fame.

“It’s a night of music from the ’60s and ’70s showcasing the sounds of the Temptations, Four Tops, Tams, and many others,” the press release said. Buddy’s BBQ will cater the event.

“For only $35, this will be a night to remember,” the release said. [Read more...]

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...]

No garbage pickup on Labor Day

Waste Connections Inc. will not pick up garbage or recyclables on Monday, September 1 (Labor Day).

Monday’s routes will be picked up on Tuesday, September 2, and the following subsequent days the rest of the week.

“Please have all refuse and recyclables out by 7 a.m. for Tuesday route,” a press release said.

For additional information, you can call Waste Connections Inc. at (865) 482-3656 or visit

Sewer rehab work continues week of Sept. 2

More rehabilitation work of the city’s sewer collection pipes is scheduled to continue this week, starting Tuesday, September 2.

The work is being done by Hurst Excavating and Morgan Contracting under contract with the City of Oak Ridge. It includes rehabilitating sewer collection pipes within city easements in yards and in roadways, a press release said.

Residents should already have received color-coded letters and door hangers (orange for Hurst Excavating and purple for Morgan Contracting) providing general information and each contractors’ contact information.

Motorists, pedestrians and cyclists are urged to use extra care and caution when traveling on the streets with sewer work areas, a press release said. Temporary road repairs will be made, and loose gravel should be expected until the patches are permanently paved. [Read more...]

ORNL welcomes first Liane Russell fellows

Liane Russell Reception at ORNL

Lab Director Thom Mason and award-winning scientist Liane Russell welcomed Celia Shiau, Huiyuan Zhu, and Huina Mao at a Thursday reception. Shiau, Mao, and Zhu are the first early-career researchers coming to Oak Ridge National Laboratory under a fellowship named for Russell. (Photo courtesy ORNL)


Renowned mammalian geneticist Liane Russell returned Thursday to Oak Ridge National Laboratory to congratulate the first recipients of a new fellowship named in her honor.

ORNL created the Liane Russell Distinguished Early Career Fellowship to attract a diverse and promising work force of early career scientists and engineers whose interests align with DOE missions.

“It is gratifying to see these opportunities being made available to a diverse group of talented young people because, sadly, in the scientific fields this has not always been the case,” Russell said. “For this reason I am particularly honored to have my name attached to the fellowships.”

The competitive, three-year fellowship is aimed toward establishing long-term research careers at ORNL. It is available to outstanding scientists and engineers who have received their doctorate degrees within the past seven years, with emphasis given to attracting women and minority candidates.

The first three Russell fellows, recognized at Thursday’s reception, are: [Read more...]

September events in Anderson County

Here is a list of September events in Anderson County submitted by the Anderson County Tourism Council.


Wicked Wildcat Weekend – September 5-7 at Windrock Park

Presented by, this event includes guided trail rides, vendors, and more for off-road riders with an Arctic Cat Wildcat machine.  If you have a Wildcat Side by Side or want to participate,  call 423-647-2721 or visit

[Read more...]

Grandfather dies, granddaughter injured in ATV crash on Windrock Mountain

A Georgia grandfather died and his granddaughter was injured when an all-terrain vehicle went over a 60-foot embankment on Windrock Mountain on Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

Lindon Joald Lightsey, 68, of Baxley, Georgia, was fatally injured in the ATV crash north of Oliver Springs, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department said. His 12-year-old granddaughter was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mark Lucas said deputies and emergency personnel were called to the crash at about 2 p.m. Saturday. [Read more...]