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 Kenny 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...]

Officers cracking down on drunk, impaired drivers on Labor Day weekend

Drive Sober

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department will be out in force this Labor Day holiday as part of the “Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over” crackdown on drunk driving, a press release said.

“This effective nationwide campaign will include high-visibility enforcement throughout Anderson County,” Sheriff Paul White said in a press release. “The ‘Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over’ campaign will focus on drunk and impaired drivers with increased enforcement.”

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department will take part in this campaign by saturation patrols during the Labor Day holiday period, which runs through September 1. The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting a Drunk Driving Prevention Campaign on Friday, August 29, in cooperation with the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Sheriff’s deputies and state troopers will take aim at impaired or drunk drivers throughout Anderson County in an effort to reduce traffic crashes and fatalities, White said. [Read more...]

ORHS Class of 72 has 60th b-day party at Concord Yacht Club

The Oak Ridge High School Class of 72 is hosting a 60th birthday party on Saturday, September 13, from 7-11:30 p.m. at Concord Yacht Club in Farragut.

All ORHS classes are welcome, a press release said.

“Come help us celebrate our birthday!” the release said. “There will be a live band (The Blair Xperience), plenty of food, and casual dress.” [Read more...]

Musician, software engineer running for school board

Andy Howe

Andy Howe

Andrew Howe, a musician and software engineer, is running for Oak Ridge Board of Education in the November 4 election.

Howe said some people might recognize him from his performances singing and playing with bands around town, including at community festivals, or on the Oak Ridge Playhouse stage.

“That’s just one side of me though,” Howe said. “By day, I’m normally a software engineer, degree from MIT, but presently I’m taking a hiatus from that career while I pursue other options. I’m married to my best friend, Kat, and our son Maguire is a junior in the high school.”

In a press release, Howe said the family has taken a fairly run-down looking old “A” house on the end of a vine infested cul-de-sac and turned it into their own little country paradise, The 100 Acre Woods. He called it a small performance and gathering space in the woods that has always been open for anyone to make use of.

Howe said he and Kat started a nonprofit this year, Project Sunflower, to get some gardens in Oak Ridge. [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...]

Y-12 hosts Medal of Honor recipients at Town Hall Forum


The Medal of Honor Knoxville Convention Committee has chosen the Y-12 National Security Complex to host a community event Friday, September 12, at 10 a.m., during this year’s convention.

Several Medal of Honor recipients will participate in a Town Hall Forum at Y-12’s New Hope Center located at 602 Scarboro Road.

The forum will be moderated by Hallerin Hilton Hill from WOKI’s Newstalk 98.7.The community is invited to attend, listen to recipients tell their stories, and answer questions from the audience.

Currently scheduled recipients for this Town Hall Forum include men who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. [Read more...]

DA: State seeks death penalty against pair accused of murder

Norman Lee Follis Jr.

Norman Lee Follis Jr.

Note: This story was last updated at 12:50 p.m.

State officials will seek the death penalty against a pair accused in the murder of a 79-year-old man whose body was found hidden underneath an apartment staircase on Patt Lane in Claxton two years ago, authorities said.

Norman Lee Follis Jr., 50, and Tammy Sue Chapman, 46, are accused of killing Sammie J. Adams sometime between December 5, 2011, and January 24, 2012, Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark said in a Monday announcement. Adams’ body was found under a stairwell in his home after friends and neighbors reported that they hadn’t seen him in a while, Clark said.

Adams’ age—he was over 70—was an aggravating factor leading to the death penalty request, Clark said. [Read more...]

Video: Mayor, school officials accept ice bucket challenge

Jefferson Middle School

Jefferson Middle School

Oak Ridge municipal and school officials accepted the ALS ice bucket challenge after cross country practice at Jefferson Middle School on Friday.

Those who accepted the challenge included Cross Country Coach Steve Reddick, Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan, Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers, Assistant Superintendent Chris Marczak, JMS Principal Phil Cox, Vice Principal Mike Haygood, and Oak Ridge Schools teachers John Smith, Jacqueline Whitaker, Chris Layton, and Scott Linn.

The ice buckets were administered by “several lucky team members” of the cross country squad, the JMS PTO said.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (known as ALS and Lou Gehrig’s Disease) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. For more information, please see the ALS Association website.

Here is a video by Heather Hartman, JMS PTO president: [Read more...]

ASAP Youth Coalition joins other young leaders at Teen Institute

ASAP Youth Coalition at Tennessee Teen Institute

Front row from left to right are Olivia Kelly, Reagan Wolfe, and Courtney Sharp.
Second row from left to right are Emma Berry, Hope Hicks, Jake Wade, and Kaylee Hunley.
Third row from left to right are Mary Tuskan, Jacob Reed, Ryan Wiggins, and Gabe Merritt.
Top row from left to right are Michael Beal, Cameron Moore, and Michael Foster. (Photo courtesy ASAP)


Students from Anderson County joined more than 400 youth leaders from across the state at a recent 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.

The Anderson County Health Department and ASAP (Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention) sponsored two teams of six youth to participate in TTI, one from Anderson County High School and one from Clinton High School.

“This is the third year we have been able to sponsor youth to attend the Teen Institute, and it has shown an excellent return,” said Stephanie Strutner, ASAP executive director. “Students return energized to serve as peer leaders and make positive changes in their schools.”

This was the 27th year of the Teen Institute Program in Tennessee, a press release said. 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. [Read more...]

Expanded Safety Fest set for September

Safety Fest TN

Making Tennesseans safer at work


Virtually any company will tell you that worker safety is job one.

In Oak Ridge, there’s an event every year to help make sure the words get turned into action. For the third consecutive year, the Oak Ridge Business Safety Partnership, partnering with a number of organizations, will host Safety Fest TN, a week of safety classes, safety seminars, a Safety Expo, and a community Safety Forum—all free of charge to anyone who registers. The event is scheduled for September 8-12 and is based at the New Hope Center at the Y-12 National Security Complex.

“We appreciate Consolidated Nuclear Security working with us to accommodate Safety Fest TN and for sponsoring the community brunch on September 8,” said Jenny Freeman, chair of the ORBSP planning committee, which is responsible for organizing the event.

Classes will also be held at five other locations, including Centro Hispano in Knoxville, where courses will be offered in Spanish. The addition of Spanish language classes is a new and important outreach. [Read more...]

Anderson needs members for Beer Board, Civil Service, Zoning Appeals


The Anderson County Board of Commissioners and the Nominating Committee are looking for citizens who would like to serve on the following volunteer committees:

Anderson County Beer Board

Five members, three-year terms, ending September 2017

The Beer Board was established for the purpose of licensing, regulating and controlling the transportation, storage, sale, distribution, possession, receipt and/or manufacture of beer. [Read more...]