Chief Deputy Lucas to speak to Democratic Women’s Club on Aug. 24

Mark Lucas

Mark Lucas

Chief Deputy Mark Lucas of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department will be the guest speaker when the Anderson County Democratic Women’s Club meets Monday, August 24. The meeting will be at 6 p.m. at Shoney’s Restaurant at 2405 North Charles Seivers Boulevard in Clinton.

Lucas, who has been in law enforcement for 37 years, will discuss “Duties and Responsibilities of the Office of Sheriff,” a press release said.

He has served as chief deputy for 21 years with three sheriffs, and he is now second in command to Sheriff Paul White. He began his law enforcement career in 1978 as a reserve deputy with the Knox County Sheriff’s Department, joining the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department in 1979. He attended Basic Police School in 1980 and served as a patrol deputy and sergeant. [Read more…]

TWRA officers rescue capsized kayakers from Clinch River in Clinton

CLINTON—Two wildlife officers from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency went into rescue mode late this evening, bringing a happy ending to what could have turned into a sad story, authorities said.

At around 5 p.m. Tuesday, Steve and Connie Hunter of Ten Mile, Tennessee, were enjoying a kayak float with their sons down the Clinch River near the Second Baptist Church in Clinton when both were capsized into 45 degree water. Their sons attempted to stay with them, but the strong current forced them downstream where they made it to shore and dialed 911.

TWRA Sergeant Roy Smith and Officer Jeff Roberson responded to the accident alongside Anderson County Rescue Squad, Clinton Police Department, and Anderson County Sheriff’s Department.

At around 5:20 p.m., Smith and Roberson located the Hunters clinging to a log overhanging the river. The officers brought the subjects into their patrol boat and transported them to shore where they were assessed by Anderson County EMS and released. [Read more…]

Clinton boy, 10, dies after battling brain cancer

Joseph Dillman and Brian Bruce

Joseph Dillman, right, was battling brain cancer for the second time when this picture was taken in January, and he received more than 100 pounds of mail and gifts for his 10th birthday. Above, family friend Brian Bruce helped Dillman open gifts during Joseph Dillman Day at Claxton Elementary School on Saturday, January 24, 2015. (File photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today) 

 

Note: This story was updated at 4:27 p.m. July 20.

Joseph Dillman, a Clinton boy who inspired the community with his battle against brain cancer, died Saturday. He was 10.

Joseph had earned the love and admiration of many people from across the country. It was his second battle against brain cancer.

Joseph had been made an honorary firefighter and honorary Clinton police officer. For his 10th birthday in January, he received more than 100 pounds of birthday mail and gifts from well-wishers across the country, including Peyton Manning and Johnny Majors.

“Joseph Dillman was such a fun-loving kid and put up a hard fight to beat cancer,” family friend Tiffany Taylor said on a GoFundMe page set up to help the family with funeral expenses. “Unfortunately, little Joseph’s fight ended yesterday morning with his family by his side.”

There was a candlelight prayer service for Joseph on July 11 in Clinton. Joseph was unable to attend, so supporters brought the event to him. Members of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department—along with local law enforcement, fire departments, and Emergency Medical Services—drove by Joseph’s house with lights flashing and sirens blaring. [Read more…]

Clinton man dies in Saturday night crash

Clinton Police Department Badge

Note: This story was updated at 11:51 a.m.

A Clinton man died in a single-vehicle crash on Clinch Avenue on Saturday night, authorities said.

Witnesses told police that Johnny Sparks, 66, was driving his pickup truck southbound on Clinch Avenue, near Lee Road, at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday when he swerved into the northbound lane, barely missing an oncoming vehicle.

An accident reconstruction team from the Clinton Police Department said the truck then ran into a concrete culvert, and Sparks was ejected from the truck.

There were no other passengers in Sparks’ vehicle, the CPD said. [Read more…]

No injuries after police negotiations, concerns over armed man

Clinton Police Department at Lanes Bluff Road

No one was injured, and Clinton police were able to encourage an Anderson County father to leave his home on Wednesday morning despite concerns about the welfare of his son. Authorities were concerned that the son, who is in his 30s, might be armed, but he exited the home on Lanes Bluff Road shortly after his father did.

 

CLAXTON—No one was injured, and Clinton police were able to encourage an Anderson County father to leave his home on Wednesday morning despite concerns about the welfare of his son. Authorities were concerned that the son, who is in his 30s, might be armed.

The Clinton Police Department received a 911 medical call on Lanes Bluff Road in Claxton at about 10 a.m. Wednesday.

But the son wouldn’t let the father leave, and he barricaded himself inside the home, Clinton Police Chief Rick Scarbrough said. And the father was hesitant to leave because of concerns about the welfare of his son, Scarbrough said.

Authorities were concerned that the son might be armed, and they set up a perimeter and established negotiations while the father was still in the house, Scarbrough said. [Read more…]

City releases IDs in parking lot crash that killed one, injured nine

Midtown Community Crash Cars

One person died and nine people were injured when a Dodge Ram pickup truck backing up in the parking lot at Midtown Community Center caused a nine-vehicle crash after fireworks in Oak Ridge on Saturday night.

 

Note: This story was last updated at 12:17 p.m.

The Oak Ridge Police Department has identified James Robinson, 37, of Knoxville, as the man who died in the parking lot crash that killed one person and injured nine others at Midtown Community Center after fireworks on Saturday.

Robinson was struck by a Dodge Ram pickup truck driven by Lee Cromwell, 65, of Oak Ridge, as Cromwell backed his truck through the parking lot, a City of Oak Ridge press release said. Nine people were injured, and eight vehicles were hit by Cromwell’s truck, authorities said.

Robinson was critically injured in the crash, and he was taken by ambulance to Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge, where he later died, the press release said.

A family friend said Robinson, who was with his wife and two daughters, died a hero by pushing his oldest daughter Jaide out of the way of the way of the approaching vehicle.

Seven more patients were taken by ambulance from the scene to local area hospitals. One adult and two juvenile patients with non-life threatening injuries were transported to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. Four juvenile patients with non-life threatening injuries were taken to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, which is also in Knoxville. And two adults who were also injured were transported to Methodist Medical Center in personal vehicles.

Cromwell was not injured. [Read more…]

Man dies, others injured in multi-vehicle crash at Midtown Community Center

Midtown Community Center Crash Reconstruction

A man died and at least a half-dozen people went to the hospital after a mutli-vehicle crash in the parking lot of Midtown Community Center after fireworks in Oak Ridge on Saturday night. Above, an accident reconstruction team works in the pouring rain at Midtown Community Center on Robertsville Road at about 2 a.m. Sunday. At right is Oak Ridge Police Department Officer Grant Gouldie.

 

Note: This story was last updated at 10:15 p.m.

One person died after a multi-vehicle crash in the parking lot of Midtown Community Center sent at least a half-dozen people to the hospital after fireworks in Oak Ridge on Saturday night, authorities said.

The man who died has a Knoxville address, but police aren’t identifying him yet because family members are still being notified. It appeared that the man was on foot at the time of the crash, authorities said. The man who died was with his wife and children, Oak Ridge Police Chief Jim Akagi said.

Akagi said at least six people, including two children, were sent to three hospitals in three ambulances. The injured were taken to Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge and Children’s Hospital and University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. Their names and conditions weren’t immediately available.

Akagi said a pickup involved in the crash hit several vehicles, although it’s not clear how the man who died was injured.

It’s also not clear how fast the red Dodge pickup truck was going or whether it was backing up, he said. Witnesses said the truck had been parked at the east end of the parking lot facing east, or away from the entrance, and the driver backed up to leave as soon as fireworks were over. Witnesses said the truck was in reverse and driving fast. So far, authorities have been unable to confirm that.

“We don’t know what happened,” Akagi said.

But the truck’s back end appeared to have struck at least one vehicle.

Akagi said there were at least a half-dozen vehicles involved in the crash. He said he didn’t know if any other vehicles were moving at the time of the collision. [Read more…]

Several injuries reported in parking lot crash, injured taken to area hospitals

Midtown Community Crash Cars

Several injuries were reported in a multi-vehicle crash at Midtown Community Center after fireworks in Oak Ridge on Saturday night.

 

Several injuries were reported in the multi-vehicle crash at Midtown Community Center after fireworks in Oak Ridge on Saturday night, and the injured were taken to area hospitals, authorities said.

Authorities said at least six people were transported in three ambulances to area hospitals. Their conditions and identities were unknown. There were reports of more serious injuries to one person, but Oak Ridge Fire Chief Darryl Kerley wasn’t able to comment on the seriousness of that person’s injuries.

The crash was reported at about 10:25 p.m. Saturday. It appeared to involve three or more vehicles in the parking lot of Midtown Community Center. There were two more vehicles in the parking lot with apparent damage, although it wasn’t immediately clear if the damage to those cars was related to the Saturday night crash. Still other vehicles remained at the scene while police and fire units investigated.

One man who had been sitting on the tailgate of a pickup truck in the parking lot pushed his wife out of danger when he saw one of the vehicles approach, Kerley said. The approaching truck hit him and something cut his leg, and the man went to the hospital after Kerley took the man and his family home to get their van.

Oak Ridge police officers and firefighters were still at the scene at about 1 a.m. Sunday, and the Clinton Police Department was helping with a traffic reconstruction device.

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Clinton police arrest robbery suspect

Clinton Police Department detectives have arrested a Knoxville man, 37-year-old Wallace Wade Tidwell, in connection with a weekend convenience store robbery, authorities said.

Reports indicate that a clerk at the Clinton BP at 2228 North Charles G. Seivers Boulevard flagged down a patrol car at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday and told the officer she had just been robbed, the CPD said in a release. The clerk said a white male went into the restroom of the store, and when he came out, he walked up to the cash register and demanded all the money, the release said. [Read more…]

Two Clinton firefighters deliver baby by side of road

Information from WYSH Radio

Two Clinton firefighters delivered a baby by the side of the road Monday night on Charles G. Seivers Boulevard.

The Clinton Police Department pulled over a speeding car on Seivers Boulevard, in front of Clinton Rental, shortly after 7 p.m. Monday, and they were told by the driver that her daughter was in labor and that the baby was coming any minute.

Clinton firefighters Josh Queener and James Blakeney responded to the scene and determined that the baby’s arrival was imminent. [Read more…]

Fire destroys Clinton home

Clinton Fire Department Patch

Information from WYSH Radio

A fire early Friday morning destroyed an unoccupied home on Baker Avenue in Clinton.

The Clinton Fire Department was dispatched at 6:08 a.m. Friday and arrived within three minutes to find heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of the home. The Clinton Utilities Board cut off electricity to the scene as fire crews began their attack.

After gaining entry into the house and battling flames in a back room, two firefighters were ordered back out due to the ferocity of the flames burning in the basement and the attic.

Continuing the battle from outside, crews eventually were able to get back in and finally brought the blaze under control.  Firefighters left the scene just after 8:15 a.m. No injuries were reported, but the house suffered extensive damage.

The owner’s son and some other family members arrived on scene and said that there were some items missing from the house, and the Clinton Police Department was called in to investigate.

The numbers: ORPD turnover 2007-2015

James T. Akagi

James T. Akagi

Turnover in the Oak Ridge Police Department is one of several issues at the heart of a contentious debate over the ORPD and its chief, James T. Akagi.

But since the debate started in late January, there hasn’t been much public discussion of how the turnover rate compares, in either numbers or percentages, to the rate before Akagi started on July 1, 2011.

Information requested by Oak Ridge Today and provided by the Oak Ridge Personnel Department and Personnel Director Penny Sissom sheds some light. That data goes back more than eight years, starting in Calendar Year 2007. That’s roughly 4.5 years before Akagi started and more than 3.5 years since.

Oak Ridge Today analyzed the data by calendar year (January-December) and fiscal year (July 1-June 30). The data shows that ORPD turnover ebbs and flows from year to year, with a high of 19 and a low of one.

Oak Ridge Police Department Turnover (2007-2015)

Here are the numbers by calendar year (CY), from January to December, based on city data: [Read more…]