Blackmon, 3-pointers give Maryville a 60-56 edge over Wildcats in Region 2 final

Oak Ridge Wildcats Javien Johnson at Region 2 Championship 2015

Junior forward Javien Johnson (11) was the leading scorer for the Wildcats with 16 points. T.D. Blackmon of Maryville (33), who led all scorers with 23, is pictured at lower left. Senior post Bryce Miller (32), partially obscured at center, added 15 for the Rebels.


Note: This story was last updated at 9 p.m.

Sophomore guard T.D. Blackmon hit three three-pointers in the first half and knocked down 10 of 11 free throws in the second to give Maryville a 60-56 edge over Oak Ridge in the Region 2-AAA Championship at Wildcat Arena on Sunday.

But the playoff run isn’t over for the Wildcats (28-3). As Region 2 Runner-Up, they’ll travel to Johnson City to play Science Hill, the Region 1 Champion, in a sectional game at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Blackmon led all scorers with 23 points in the regional final on Sunday.

“He got to the foul line. He got to the basket,” Oak Ridge Coach Aaron Green said. “We didn’t do a good job of guarding him.”

Oak Ridge Wildcats Geevantay Gee at Region 2 Championship 2015

Never afraid to drive to the rim through traffic, junior point guard Geevantay Gee (12) scored 15 points for the Oak Ridge Wildcats in the Region 2-AAA Championship against Maryville on Sunday. (Photo by Melissa Livesey)


The Rebels (25-6) hit seven three-pointers against the Wildcats on Sunday, including five in the first quarter alone. That gave them a 29-26 lead at halftime, with 18 of those points coming from three-point shots. [Read more…]


Steal helps save OT win for Wildcats, who play for Region 2 championship Sunday

Oak Ridge Wildcats Student Section at Region 2-AAA Semifinal 2015

The Region 2-AAA semifinal basketball game between Oak Ridge and Heritage came down to the wire at home on Saturday. Above the Oak Ridge student section watches the match, which wasn’t decided until the final seconds. (Photo by Terri Blair)


Note: This story was last updated at 12:54 a.m. March 1.

A steal by senior Ted Mitchell late in the game helped save an overtime win for the Oak Ridge Wildcats in a regional tournament semifinal game against Heritage on Saturday.

The Wildcats (28-2) were also helped by a big basket by sophomore Tee Higgins late in overtime, when Oak Ridge was down by one. Higgins’ shot off the glass gave the Wildcats a one-point 44-43 lead with about 1:10 to play. A free throw by junior Geevantay Gee after Mitchell’s steal widened the margin to two.

Heritage (23-12) missed their final two back-to-back shots with about seven seconds left, and the final score at Wildcat Arena was 45-43.

Oak Ridge moves on to play Maryville (24-6) in the Region 2-AAA championship at home at 3:30 p.m. Sunday. [Read more…]


Rescheduled Jazz and Show Concert on Sunday

Deidre Ford

Deidre Ford

The Jazz and Show Concert that was rescheduled last weekend due to weather will now be held Sunday, March 1.

The concert by the Oak Ridge Wind Ensemble/Community Band will be at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall at 1101 Oak Ridge Turnpike.

It will feature flute soloist RaNaye Dreier, trombone soloist Don Batchelor, vocalist Deidre Ford, and a return appearance of the Dixieland Ensemble. [Read more…]



Saturday at Oak Ridge: Wildcats play Heritage, Bearden takes on Maryville

The Region 2-AAA basketball tournament semifinals will be played in Oak Ridge this evening.

The Oak Ridge Wildcats will take on Heritage at 7:30 p.m. That game will be preceded by a match between Bearden and Maryville that starts at 6 p.m.

The games will be played at the Oak Ridge High School Wildcat Arena. [Read more…]

One airlifted to UT hospital after two-vehicle rollover crash

Harriman Highway Jeep Rollover

The driver of a Jeep SUV that turned over was airlifted to a hospital in Knoxville after a two-vehicle crash on Harriman Highway west of Oliver Springs on Friday evening. (Photo by Tom Scott)


Note: This story was updated at 12:36 a.m. Feb. 28.

OLIVER SPRINGS—The driver of a Jeep SUV that turned over was airlifted to a hospital in Knoxville after a two-vehicle crash on Harriman Highway just west of Oliver Springs on Friday evening.

The crash between the Jeep and a Dodge Ram pickup occurred at about 6:30 p.m. Friday on Harriman Highway (Highway 61) near Scandlyn Hollow Road in Roane County.

The Jeep’s driver was flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, said Tennessee Highway Patrol Lieutenant Lucious Howard. The driver was later identified, after his family had been notified, as Joshua Brown, 33, of Oliver Springs. His condition was unknown early Saturday morning. [Read more…]

Heitman wrote suicide note before death, report says

Alexander John Heitman

Alexander John Heitman

Note: This story was last updated at 2:08 a.m. Feb. 28.

The cause of his death has been questioned for months, but information released Friday said a former Oak Ridge Schools employee found dead in Cocke County in July 2011 wrote a suicide note the day before he died.

Alex Heitman, 29, was the supervisor of business and support services for Oak Ridge Schools. Cocke County authorities said he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on July 25, 2011. The death was ruled a suicide.

But Heitman’s parents, Don and Annette Heitman, have been questioning since at least October 2013 whether their son’s death, which they call mysterious, was actually a suicide. They’ve been supported by a few residents and former residents and Oak Ridge City Council member Trina Baughn.

On Monday, a television station in Madison, Wisconsin, broadcast a story on Heitman’s death and his parent’s quest to find answers. In that story, Don Heitman said “we just don’t have the answers to prove that it was (suicide).” In that same story, Baughn said the information collected so far “points to something much bigger than a suicide.”

But Heitman’s widow, Kristie Heitman, told the TV station that she believes her late husband committed suicide, and she found what appears to be a suicide note on his computer after he died. [Read more…]

Friday closings, delays: Anderson, Clinton, Roane, Oak Ridge

Anderson County Schools will be closed Friday, February 27, due to the weather. The Central Office will follow the inclement weather procedure, and principals are to report to their schools.

Oak Ridge Schools will be on a one-hour delay.

Roane County Schools are closed due to snow and hazardous conditions. “Please stay safe and warm,” a statement said. [Read more…]

Free flu shots at ORUUC Free Community Meal on Friday

Free flu shots will be offered at a free community meal on Friday, February 27.

The community meal will be at the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church on Oak Ridge Turnpike. Everyone is invited, a press release said.

The Stone Soup Ministry team will be serving a homemade meal of minestrone soup, cornbread, cookies, and fruit. Dine-in or take-out will be available in the ORUUC Social Hall from 5 to 6 p.m. The church is located at 809 Oak Ridge Turnpike in Oak Ridge. [Read more…]

Photos: Snow in Oak Ridge on Thursday

Snow on Robertsville Road on Feb. 26, 2015

Snow covers grassy areas alongside Robertsville Road in Oak Ridge on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. (Photo by Julio Culiat)

Children Sledding in Oak Ridge on Feb. 26, 2015

Children enjoy the snow by sledding on another snow day in Oak Ridge. (Photo by Amanda Page Underwood)


Note: These pictures were updated at 1:14 a.m. Feb. 27.

Several inches of snow fell across East Tennessee on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. It was the fifth winter storm in two weeks. Here are snow photos by Julio Culiat, Anna Freeman, Amanda Page Underwood, and Ashlan Yost.

[Read more…]

Still on: AFORR annual meeting today to feature well-known photographer

Ron McConathy

Ron McConathy

Advocates for the Oak Ridge Reservation will hold its annual meeting in the Social Room of the Oak Ridge Civic Center at 7 p.m. today (Thursday, February 26). The featured speaker is Ron McConathy, a well-known local photographer.

Organizers rescheduled the meeting from last week because of weather. Virginia Dale of AFORR confirmed today that the meeting will proceed tonight.

Snow across East Tennessee on Wednesday night and Thursday morning postponed many events again on Thursday, and local school systems were closed. But main roads and many side streets in Oak Ridge appeared to be in good condition by early Thursday afternoon.

During tonight’s meeting, McConathy will present a slide presentation of nature at its finest, with emphasis on the flora and fauna found on the Oak Ridge Reservation, a press release said. The event will provide an opportunity to discuss some of the opportunities and challenges facing conservation on the Oak Ridge Reservation, which has more than 20,000 acres.

Thursday closings: Oak Ridge, Clinton, Anderson, Roane, Roane State

Snow in Oak Ridge on Feb. 25, 2015

Snow in Oak Ridge on Feb. 25, 2015. Forecasters said heavy snow was expected across the region from Wednesday night through midday Thursday. (Photo by Mike Mahathy)


Note: This story was last updated at 9:02 a.m. Feb. 26.

Schools in Oak Ridge, Clinton, and Anderson and Roane counties will be closed on Thursday, February 26, because of the weather and road conditions.

The Anderson County Schools Central Office and Roane County Schools Central Office will both be closed.

Roane State Community College campuses will also be closed because of the weather.

ORAU’s Oak Ridge offices will open at noon on Thursday. Employees are urged to drive safely to the office. [Read more…]

Snow starts, heavy snowfall expected across region

Widespread Heavy Snow

Image courtesy National Weather Service in Morristown


Heavy snowfall is expected across much of the region starting tonight and continuing through midday Thursday, forecasters said.

Snow had already started falling in Oak Ridge sometime around 8 p.m. Wednesday. The new snow follows a few inches of snow that fell on Tuesday morning, and other wintry precipitation last week, including an icy mix on Monday and snow on Wednesday.

The National Weather Service in Morristown said there could be between three to six inches of snow across much of the Tennessee Valley, Cumberland Plateau, and Smoky Mountain foothills between Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Higher amounts of five to eight inches are expected across southwest North Carolina and the high elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains, including U.S. Highway 441 in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

A winter storm warning has been issued for many counties across East Tennessee, including Anderson, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Roane, and Union.

More information will be added as it becomes available.