Honors: Sheriff White, Lt. Sharp receive Patriot Award for Guard, Reserve support

Paul White and Kenny Sharp ESGR Award


Anderson County Sheriff Paul White and Patrol Lieutenant Kenny Sharp were awarded the Patriot Award from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, at the Anderson County Commission meeting on Monday, July 21, a press release said.

Retired Major General John R. D’Araujo Jr. and Retired Lieutenant Colonel John L. Dyess presented the awards on behalf of the ESGR, the release said.

White and Sharp were nominated by Sergeant Charles Beach and were recognized for their commitment and support of the employees of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department who are members of the National Guard or Reserves of the U.S. military. An employee serving in the National Guard or Reserve, or the spouse of a Guard or Reserve member, may nominate individual supervisors and bosses for support provided directly to the nominating service member and his or her family. [Read more...]

Sheriff offers back-to-school traffic safety tips

Anderson County Sheriff's Department Motor Squad

Another school year begins on Monday, August 4, for Anderson County high school students, and the first day of school for all students is Wednesday, August 6.

In a press release, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department offered tips to make school zones safer and improve traffic safety.

“With school in session, there will be significantly more traffic,” Sheriff Paul White said in a press release. “Pedestrians, buses, and parents all contribute to school zone congestion. Many schools in Anderson County are faced with traffic issues, especially during the first few days.”

White said motorists should have a heightened awareness in and around a school zone. [Read more...]

Forty-two arrests in meth-making conspiracy in Anderson, Campbell

Forty-two people have been arrested in a conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine using pseudoephedrine in Anderson and Campbell counties, and another 17 have been indicted, authorities said.

The arrests and indictments of the 59 people on July 16 followed an investigation by more than a dozen agencies. The investigation found that those involved were buying pseudoephedrine at local pharmacies and using it to manufacture methamphetamine at various places in the two counties, U.S. Attorney William C. Killian said in a Thursday press release.

Those indicted include: [Read more...]

Heiskell woman dies in Wednesday crash

A Heiskell woman died in a two-car crash on Wednesday afternoon on East Wolf Valley Road in Anderson County.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol said the crash happened shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday when Patricia Beckinger, 68, of Heiskell, lost control of her westbound Chevy Cavalier. It crossed into the eastbound lane and hit a 2000 Toyota Camry being driven by Alexandria Bone, 18, of Andersonville.

Beckinger died in the wreck, while Bone suffered what were described as minor injuries. Neither driver was wearing a seatbelt, according to a preliminary report by the THP. [Read more...]

Firefighters put out car fire on Manhattan Avenue

Manhattan Avenue Car Fire

The Oak Ridge Fire Department extinguishes a car fire on Manhattan Avenue on Monday afternoon.


The Oak Ridge Fire Department extinguished a car fire on Manhattan Avenue during a busy Monday afternoon this week.

There were no reports of injuries in the car fire, which appeared to destroy the interior of the car.

Oak Ridge Today has requested more information from the Fire Department, and we will update this story with new information as it becomes available.

Fatal crash reported on East Wolf Valley Road on Wednesday

There was a fatal two-car crash on East Wolf Valley Road in Anderson County on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

The driver of one car died, and the other driver had minor injuries, Anderson County Chief Deputy Mark Lucas said.

The road was closed for about three hours while the Tennessee Highway Patrol investigated the crash.

Lucas said the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department assisted the Tennessee Highway Patrol at the crash site. Oak Ridge Today has requested additional information from the THP and will update this story as new information becomes available.

Sheriff candidates spar over jail food

Anderson County Jail Sandwich Lunch

A hand-picked crew of nine inmates prepares peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches on white bread for lunch at the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton on Wednesday. Oak Ridge Today was allowed to take pictures of the kitchen, food storage area, and coolers and freezers, but not the inmates.


Note: This story was last updated at 2:15 p.m. July 27.

Sheriff: Despite campaign claims, jail menu conservative, with average meal $1.10

Challenger stands by his pie, ice cream claims

CLINTON—The menu at the Anderson County jail at lunchtime Wednesday was simple and spartan: A peanut butter and jelly sandwich and milk.

It doesn’t appear to be an unusual meal at the jail, at least not this week. In fact, the menu this week includes three similar lunches with 1/4 cup of peanut butter and jelly mix, two slices of bread, and 8 oz. of milk or chocolate milk.

Anthony Lay

Anthony Lay

Other meals on the menu—the jail can serve up to 8,000 per week—also call for small portions of meat and bread, fruits and vegetables, and beans and milk.

But Anthony Lay, a Republican candidate for Anderson County sheriff, has raised questions about what inmates are eating. He has suggested they’re eating luxuriously, enjoying pies, cobblers, cookies, and cake. Lay has said the jail appears to be operating a bakery, and taxpayers are footing the bill.

“Fresh baked (double chunk) cookies; cherry, blackberry, and blueberry cobbler; pumpkin and apple pie with Cool Whip—these are all delicious,” Lay said in a June 26 press release. “But at the end of the day, taxpayers foot the bill, and they don’t expect us to offer luxuries to folks who, let’s face it, are in jail for a reason.”

Paul White

Paul White

Sheriff Paul White, a Democrat seeking his third term in the August 7 election, has dismissed Lay’s claims as inaccurate and misleading.

“The jail does not operate a bakery,” White said in a July 1 statement.

He said the jail menus are quite conservative. They include a cold sandwich for lunch. The average meal costs $1.10, White said. [Read more...]

Sheriff candidate suspended by THP in May says he’s a political target

Anthony Lay

Anthony Lay

Note: This story was last updated at 8:15 p.m. July 23.

A candidate for Anderson County sheriff suspended by the Tennessee Highway Patrol in May said he has been the target of political attacks.

THP Trooper Anthony Lay was suspended for five days in May for unsatisfactory job performance, a spokesperson said Monday. The suspension was based on several factors, including insubordination, neglect of duty, failure to perform the duties of his job, non-compliance with an internal database system, and having an unsecured patrol unit in a populated area, said Dalya Qualls, public information officer for the Tennessee Department of Safety.

The administrative review that led to Lay’s suspension was received in April 2014.

Lay said he had been off work for five months because of back surgery, and Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark reported that Lay had not turned in some requested case file documents. Lay said he did not receive the letter requesting the documents, and the request letters were apparently sent to a Knoxville office.

“I have received no documentation requests on it whatsoever,” Lay said. [Read more...]

Search for Corwin continues, investigation not classified as criminal

Erin Corwin

Erin Corwin (Photos courtesy San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department)

Three weeks after she disappeared, the search for an Oak Ridge woman living in southern California continues, but it has not been classified as a criminal investigation, authorities said Friday.

No suspects or “persons of interest” have been identified in the search for Erin Corwin, who is 20 and three months pregnant, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department said. And no information is being released about possible witnesses, witness statements, or investigative techniques used during the search, the department said.

The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, California, has reported that the Naval Criminal Investigative Services is assisting in the search by helping with the military aspects of the investigation. The newspaper said four search warrants have been served, and they have been used to search two vehicles, including Corwin’s car, and two apartments on the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, where Corwin lives with her husband, Cpl. Jonathan Corwin, who is also from Oak Ridge.

Authorities have said Corwin’s disappearance is suspicious and does not appear to be voluntary. So far, though, they have not announced finding any signs of her. [Read more...]

Honors: Oak Ridge firefighter receives national accreditation

Kerry Osborne

Kerry Osborne

The Center for Public Safety Excellence has notified Captain Kerry Osborne of the Oak Ridge Fire Department that he has received national accreditation as a fire officer.

The Center for Public Safety Excellence Inc., or CPSE, is a nonprofit organization that, for more than a decade, has helped local public safety agencies around the world streamline and improve the services they provide their communities, a press release said. Through its individual commissions, CPSE provides programs that include accreditation for fire and emergency service agencies and professional designations for senior-level fire and emergency service officers.

The press release said Osborne has worked in the emergency services field for more than 21 years and has been with the ORFD since 2007, serving as a captain since 2012. [Read more...]

Atlanta burglary suspect jailed after high-speed police chase, CPD says

Victor Allen Webb

Victor Allen Webb

A 26-year-old Georgia man remained in jail on Saturday after a high-speed police chase on Friday that started in Clinton and ended between Oak Ridge and Oliver Springs, authorities said.

The suspect, Victor Allen Webb of Atlanta, is facing charges in connection with at least two local home burglaries, the Clinton Police Department said in a press release.

On Friday morning, a CPD officer on special neighborhood patrol spotted the suspect vehicle near the scene of burglaries this week, the release said.

“I had asked Patrolman Brian Galloway to keep an eye on homes in the western end of Clinton between Charles G. Seivers Boulevard and the river, due to recent burglaries,” Clinton Police Chief Rick Scarbrough said. “When officer Galloway attempted to stop the white Kia, instead of stopping, the suspect continued on.”

Reports indicate that the pursuit continued through parts of Oak Ridge, finally ending on Oliver Springs Highway (Highway 61), the CPD said. [Read more...]

Sheriff: Eighteen arrested of 26 indicted on drug-related charges

Paul White

Paul White

Eighteen of the 26 people indicted on drug-related charges by an Anderson County grand jury in June and July have been arrested, Sheriff Paul White said Thursday. Four were arrested in June after the indictments were returned, and the other 14 have been arrested since Monday, the sheriff said in a press release.

The arrests are the result of long hours of hard work by investigators of the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit, White said. The agencies that cooperated in the investigations were the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, the Clinton Police Department, the Oak Ridge Police Department, the Rocky Top (Lake City) Police Department, the 7th Judicial District Crime Task Force, and the District Attorney General’s Office.

“Our thanks for the teamwork from all the law enforcement agencies involved in these investigations,” which are ongoing, White said.

Here is the list of those arrested and their charges, as reported by the Sheriff’s Department: [Read more...]