Mutt Strutt on Saturday benefits Animal Shelter

Mutt Strutt 2014

The 4th Annual Mutt Strutt on Saturday will benefit the Oak Ridge Animal Shelter.

The charity dog walk is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday at the PetSafe Dog Park at Big Turtle Park on Oak Ridge Turnpike in west Oak Ridge. It’s been organized by the Young Professionals of Oak Ridge.

The Mutt Strutt will feature a group dog walk, raffle prizes, and dogs available for adoption.

Visit for more information.

FBI involved in missing woman case

Nichole Burgess

Nichole Burgess

Information from WYSH Radio

The FBI is now helping investigate the disappearance of a Tennessee mother with Anderson County ties. Metro Nashville police said they have sent some evidence in the case of Nikki Burgess to the agency for review.

Burgess, who authorities believe has been murdered, was last seen alive on May 23 when she dropped her son off at school. Later that same day, she sent a text message to a friend indicating that she was having an altercation with her 10-year-old son’s father, Caleb Cannon of Andersonville. Cannon picked the boy up from school later that day.

In June, Nashville investigators searched his home for evidence. Detectives have named him a person of interest in Burgess’ disappearance, but so far no arrests have been made.

Suspected Corwin killer has hearing postponed

Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee

Information from WYSH Radio

A scheduled court appearance for the suspected killer of Oak Ridge native Erin Corwin was postponed on Tuesday so that his attorney could review hundreds of pages of evidence in the case.

Ex-Marine Christopher Lee is suspected of killing the 19-year-old Corwin, who was married to an Oak Ridge Marine and stationed in California. Her body was found weeks after her disappearance at the bottom of an abandoned mine shaft in the Southern California desert.

Authorities say that the two were having an affair and allege that Lee killed her to keep his own wife from finding out.

Lee was supposed to appear in court on Tuesday, but his attorneys requested a delay after receiving nearly 1,500 pages of documents from the prosecutor. His next scheduled court appearance will be October 29.

Oak Ridge firefighters save five lives, fire trucks help, chief says

Oak Ridge Firefighters Lifesaving Medals and Harness Family

Oak Ridge firefighter and engineer Michael Vanosdale, left; Captain Eric Rackard, second from left; and paramedic Austin Keathley, right, helped save the life of Jason Harness, 50, second from right, on July 21. The three firefighters received Lifesaving Medals during a September 5 ceremony for three new fire engines. Also pictured is Nicole Harness. “These are the men that saved my husband’s life,” she said.


Oak Ridge firefighters have saved five lives so far this year, and the department’s fire trucks—which carry $30,000 worth of medical gear, including cardiac equipment—played a key role, Fire Chief Darryl Kerley said this month.

The five lives have all been saved since January; they were cardiac saves, Kerley said.

“That wouldn’t happen without these trucks,” the chief said during a September 5 ceremony to unveil three new Sutphen fire engines, the first for the Oak Ridge Fire Department in about 16 years.

Oak Ridge Fire Chief Darryl Kerley

Oak Ridge Fire Chief Darryl Kerley

During that ceremony, three firefighters received Lifesaving Medals for their role in saving the life of Jason Harness, 50, on July 21 at Oak Ridge Turnpike and Illinois Avenue.

Harness’ wife, Nicole Harness, reported that her husband was in the car and not breathing that summer evening. The rescuers who responded moved Jason Harness from the vehicle to the ground, where “he was found to be pulseless, not breathing, and unresponsive,” Assistant Fire Chief Josh Waldo said.

Harness had had a massive heart attack, with 100 percent blockage. [Read more...]

Photos: Remembering fallen heroes of Sept. 11, 2001

Sept. 11, 2014 Ceremony with Firefighter at Y-12

Y-12 photo courtesy Consolidated Nuclear Security


Area firefighters, police officers, Oak Ridge school students and staff, and others came together on Thursday to remember and honor the fallen heroes of September 11, 2001. There were ceremonies at the Y-12 National Security Complex and Oak Ridge High School.

The firefighters were at Y-12 this week for their annual Fire Officer Conference, held in conjunction with Safety Fest.

The ceremony at Oak Ridge High School included students and staff, and the Oak Ridge police and fire departments. [Read more...]

Three possibly injured after truck crashes into Waffle House

Truck Crash at Waffle House

Three people inside the restaurant had possible injuries and one person was taken to the hospital after a Ford Ranger pickup truck crashed into the side of the Waffle House on South Illinois Avenue just after noon Friday.


Note: This story was last updated at 3 p.m.

Three people inside the restaurant had possible injuries and one of them was taken to the hospital after a pickup truck crashed into the side of the Waffle House on South Illinois Avenue just after noon Friday, police officers and workers said.

Emergency workers also checked out the male driver at the scene, but he declined to be taken to the hospital, authorities said.

The crash, which punched a hole in the wall behind the grill, occurred at about 12:08 p.m. Friday. The cause wasn’t immediately known, the Oak Ridge Police Department said.

There were reports that there had been a small explosion at the grill, but that hadn’t been confirmed, the ORPD said.

Several employees and customers inside the Waffle House reported hearing a boom or explosion.

“It sounded like it was blowing up,” server Deborah Driggers said. “All I remember is screaming, ‘Everyone out because we’ve got gas.'” [Read more...]

Lincoln’s Sports Grille requests court hearing after beer permit revoked

Lincoln's Sports Grille

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

A few days after its beer permit was revoked late last month, Lincoln’s Sports Grille requested a hearing in Anderson County Chancery Court and asked that the revocation be put on hold while the legal case is pending.

Lincoln’s, which had its beer permit revoked by a city board on August 28, said it has been hit with a “more substantial penalty than similar establishments have faced with similar conduct.”

The beer permit of the popular restaurant and bar, which opened about 4.5 years ago, was revoked for one year after its fifth show cause hearing before the Oak Ridge Beer Permit Board, and the second called after Lincoln’s sold beer to a minor.

In a petition filed September 2, Lincoln’s asked the Anderson County Chancery Court for a hearing to determine whether the business “violated any rules of conduct pertaining to the sale of beer and the appropriate punishment.”

The litigation could be protracted, the petition said. Lincoln’s is represented by Oak Ridge attorney Kevin C. Angel.

“Failure of this court to issue a stay of the Beer Board’s decision will result in irreparable loss to the petitioner (Lincoln’s) because it severely impacts petitioner’s ability to do business while the matter is pending,” Lincoln’s said. “On the other hand, if this court grants a stay and ultimately upholds the decision of the Beer Board, the petitioner can still be suspended for a year after this court’s decision. Thus, a stay of the Beer Board’s decision is in the interest of justice.” [Read more...]

Body found in Andersonville; death ruled suicide

Information from WYSH Radio

A 56-year-old Knoxville woman committed suicide in the woods off of Indian Gap Road in Andersonville, according to a report from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputies responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle in a gravel pull-off on Indian Gap found the car unoccupied on Tuesday evening with a woman’s identification and other personal belongings inside the vehicle.

Deputies contacted the Knox County Sheriff’s Office since her information identified her as a Knox resident, and they learned that the woman and her husband had been involved in a domestic dispute the previous night. Her husband told investigators that he had called the KCSO, but that his wife had left their home before deputies arrived. [Read more...]

Two of three plotters plead guilty in murder attempt

Information from WYSH Radio

Two people accused of conspiring to kill an elderly man pleaded guilty in an Anderson County courtroom on Monday.

David Lee Suddeth, 44, and Dorothy Roxanne McFarland, 53, both pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, attempted aggravated arson, attempted aggravated kidnapping, and theft under $500. In exchange for those pleas, each was sentenced to nine years behind bars.

A third person, the alleged mastermind of the plot, 50-year-old Randolph Lane, is expected to enter a plea in this case on Wednesday. The trio was accused of plotting to kill then-73-year-old Luther Byrge—with whom they were all living—in January of 2012. Their plan was to lock Byrge inside his bedroom, disable the smoke detector, cut the phone lines, and set his house on fire while he was inside. The plan almost worked too, as the phone and smoke detector were disabled and Byrge was locked in his room, but according to testimony in court, the plan ultimately failed when the gasoline that was ignited under a bathroom sink melted the pipes and extinguished the fire. [Read more...]

Burglar steals cash from Shop Rite in Rocky Top

Information from WYSH Radio

WYSH Radio has received several calls over the past two days about why the Shop Rite grocery store in Rocky Top (Lake City) was closed most of the day Tuesday. Rocky Top Police confirmed to WYSH Tuesday that the store was indeed targeted in a burglary sometime late Monday or early Tuesday.

The culprits disabled the store’s security cameras and alarms, which also disrupted the store’s computer system, and stole an undisclosed but significant amount of money from the safe. Rocky Top Police were called to the store Tuesday morning, and according to the store manager, had identified a suspect within just a few hours and gotten a confession a short time later.

Store officials say that the burglary was an “inside job.” The delay in reopening the store was due to rebooting and reinforcing security on the store’s computer system.

The Shop Rite in Rocky Top reopened to shoppers at around 5 p.m. Tuesday. No one was inside the store at the time of the burglary, and no one was injured. Police say the case will likely be presented to a grand jury and, as of the time this report was filed, the identity of the suspect or suspects has not been released.

Information in this story brought to you through an agreement between Oak Ridge Today and WYSH. See more local news headlines on the WYSH website at

Teen struck by vehicle, treated for minor head injuries

A 14-year-old was hit by a vehicle at the intersection of Lafayette Drive and Laboratory Road on Tuesday morning, authorities said.

The crash occurred at about 7:47 a.m. Tuesday, the Oak Ridge Police Department said.

The boy was crossing Lafayette Drive on foot when he was struck by a northbound vehicle, the ORPD said in a statement. The teen was transported to Methodist Medical Center for treatment of minor head injuries.

The driver of the vehicle was cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

More information will be added as it becomes available.