Police: Calif. man arrested, questioned by feds after demanding tours of New Hope, ORNL

Rishi Chatterjee Malakar

Rishi Chatterjee Malakar

Note: This story was updated at 12:18 p.m. March 9.

A California man was arrested by police and questioned by federal agents after he demanded tours of the New Hope Center at the Y-12 National Security Complex and Oak Ridge National Laboratory on Friday evening, authorities said.

The Oak Ridge Police Department responded to the call at about 6:22 p.m. Friday. A man had been found trying to get into the New Hope Center at 602 Scarboro Road through a rear door, Oak Ridge Police Chief Jim Akagi said.

An employee at the New Hope Center confronted the man, who demanded a tour of the building, Akagi said.

After he was denied a tour, the man reportedly left the area in a maroon-colored Jeep sport utility vehicle bearing a Texas license plate. [Read more…]

Council approves stoplight project at SR 95, Bethel Valley Road

Highway 95 and Bethel Valley Road Stoplight

Note: This story was updated at 11:30 p.m. March 14.

Hoping to improve safety, state officials plan to install a stoplight west of Oak Ridge National Laboratory at the intersection of State Route 95 and Bethel Valley Road.

The stoplight and other geometric improvements have been endorsed by Johnny O. Moore, U.S. Department of Energy manager at the ORNL Site Office.

“This intersection poses safety problems for the general public, as well as employees of ORNL, and these proposed improvements would be greatly appreciated,” Moore said in a Feb. 6 letter to Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson.

The project could cost $200,000. The Tennessee Department of Transportation would fund it through the Federal Highway Administration Highway Safety Project. Oak Ridge City Engineer Steve Byrd said this type of project qualifies for 100 percent federal funding.

On Monday, the Oak Ridge City Council approved an agreement that would make the city responsible for maintenance after the stoplight is built. The annual maintenance cost for the city is expected to be about $1,500. [Read more…]

Knoxville man dies in crash on Bethel Valley Road

A Knoxville man died in a Wednesday night crash on Bethel Valley Road east of Spallation Drive at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, authorities said.

John Kirkpatrick was driving eastbound in a 2001 Honda CRV when it apparently went off the south side of Bethel Valley Road and hit a tree, the Oak Ridge Police Department said after an initial investigation. Kirkpatrick was the vehicle’s only occupant, and he was found dead at the scene, a press release said. [Read more…]

No injuries reported, but SR 95 shut down when coal truck trailer overturns

Highway 95 Coal Truck Trailer

A trailer hauling coal came loose from a southbound truck and overturned in a ditch next to Highway 95 between Bethel Valley Road and Melton Hill Dam on Sunday night.

No injuries were reported, but part of Highway 95 was temporarily shut down Sunday night after a coal trailer separated from a southbound truck and overturned in a ditch between Bethel Valley Road and Melton Hill Dam.

The accident was reported at about 6:15 p.m. Sunday. The highway remained shut down more than two hours later. [Read more…]

ORPD identifies motorcyclist who died in fiery Highway 95 crash

The Oak Ridge Police Department has identified the motorcyclist who died in a fiery three-vehicle crash on Highway 95 on Sunday.

Jeffrey Floyd, 23, of Clinton, was killed when the motorcycle he was riding collided with a vehicle driven by Patricia Scofield, 57, of Louisville at about 5 p.m. Sunday, the ORPD said in a press release. Both vehicles were almost completely engulfed in flames when officers arrived. [Read more…]

One killed in crash involving car, two motorcycles on Highway 95

One person was killed in a collision involving a car and two motorcycles on Highway 95 early Sunday evening, authorities said.

The fatal crash occurred about one-half mile south of Bethel Valley Road, west of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The Oak Ridge Police Department said the names of the people involved, and the descriptions of their vehicles, will not be released until notifications have been made. The ORPD is currently investigating the incident, a statement said.

Controlled burns on Oak Ridge Reservation start Friday

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office is initiating a series of controlled burns of grassland areas on the Oak Ridge Reservation for prescribed burning at the East Tennessee Technology Park and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory during March and April.

On March 15, weather permitting, controlled burns are taking place:

[Read more…]

Greenback man dies after SUV rolls, hits tree on Highway 95

A Greenback man died after his compact utility vehicle went off the roadway and into the ditch on Highway 95 near Bethel Valley Road Tuesday, overturned, and hit a tree, authorities said.

Daniel B. Summers, 46, had been driving northbound on Highway 95 at about 7:30 p.m. when his 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer left the road as he was going around a curve, according to an Oak Ridge Police Department report.

The SUV traveled about 80 feet along the ditch before the right wheels dug in, causing the vehicle to vault and overturn, the report said. The driver’s side door smashed into the tree.

Coal truck overturns on Highway 95

Overturned Coal Truck

Workers from Tennessee Towing of Powell pull a coal truck out of a ditch on Highway 95 near Bethel Valley Road on Friday afternoon.

A coal truck overturned on Highway 95 near Bethel Valley Road about noon Friday.

The truck ended up on its side and spilled coal in a ditch west of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The condition of the driver wasn’t immediately available. The Oak Ridge Police Department declined comment, saying an accident report would be available early next week.

[Read more…]