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...]

Letter: Sheriff vows to continue crime-fighting, make county safer place

Paul White

Paul White

To the Editor:

Since I was first elected in 2006, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department has implemented many changes and programs to better serve the citizens of Anderson County.

The Sheriff’s Department was reorganized to be more efficient and more effective. Emphasis has been placed on enforcement for the prevention, detection, and investigation of crimes. This reorganization has placed more deputies on patrol and investigating crimes, resulting in more arrests and crimes solved.

We have focused the efforts of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department on drug enforcement and in reducing property crimes such as burglary and theft. These efforts have paid off as overall crime numbers have fallen and are continuing to decrease.

Crime prevention programs such as Neighborhood Watch were reinstated and a dedicated crime prevention officer works hand-in-hand with the community to help in reducing crime. [Read more...]

Letter: Vote for Nolan if you support schools, teachers, students

To the Editor:

Like many of you, I received a campaign postcard promoting the re-election of Rep. John Ragan. My first reaction was, “Who are these kids?” Obviously, with their emblazoned uniforms, they did not look like students I know from Anderson County, Clinton, or Oak Ridge schools.

Look at the fine print on the postcard, and you’ll see it’s paid for by the Tennessee Federation for Children PAC. This is a Washington D.C.-based group that spends lavishly to pass unlimited school voucher legislation. Its ally is the controversial Michelle Rhee’s Students First that gave Ragan an award last year for his efforts to dismantle public education. They later rescinded it after an Oak Ridge resident launched a petition drive that garnered 57,000 signatures from people protesting Ragan’s efforts to legislate bigotry.

My question to voters is this: Whose interests is Ragan representing? The answer is clear: Out-of-state interests seeking to exploit our children for their own profits. [Read more...]

Anderson County Commission approves budget, tax rate unchanged

Anderson County Commission in June 2014

The Anderson County Commission is pictured above during a June meeting. (Photo by Sara Wise)

CLINTON—The Anderson County Commission approved a budget for Fiscal Year 2015 during a special meeting Tuesday. The budget will not raise property taxes in the county.

Commissioners Tracy Wandell, Rick Meredith, Zach Bates, Jerry White, and John Shuey did not attend, but the other 11 commissioners voted unanimously to approve the budget. Commissioners had called the special session during their June meeting.

Under the budget approved Tuesday, the Oak Ridge property tax rate will remain at $2.347 for every $100 of assessed property value, while property owners in Clinton will continue to pay $2.50 per $100 value. All other property owners in Anderson County pay $2.529 for every $100 of their assessed property values. [Read more...]

Guest column: Anderson County election ballot explained

Submitted

The August 7 ballot for the state primary and local general election will be an important and complex ballot. You will find three main sections to the ballot.

First will be the state and federal primary, second will be the county general election, and third will be the retention questions for Tennessee Supreme Court judges and appellate court judges.

The first eight offices on the ballot are the contests for the state and federal primary election. They are governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Tennessee Senate, Tennessee House of Representatives, and state executive committeeman and committeewoman. These eight offices are the ones a person must declare whether they are voting in the Democratic or Republican primary.

After these eight offices come the candidates for the Anderson County general election. It does not matter which party primary you selected to vote in, Democrat or Republican, you are now free to vote for the candidate of your choice no matter to which party you belong. The county general election offices are: [Read more...]

Clinton’s July 4 includes family fun, food, music, fireworks

The city of Clinton’s annual July 4 event starts at 5 p.m. and ends with fireworks at 10 p.m. at Lakefront Park.

The city said there will be activities for the whole family, including a 68-foot Army Boot Camp Obstacle Course, bounce house, three-lane mega water slide, bungee run, home run baseball game, and module combo with water slide. All of those attractions will be available to the public at no charge. There will be free laser tag as well for those kids up for the challenge, the city said on its website.

There will be several food vendors set up in the lower Lakefront parking lot. A corn-hole tournament will start at 7 p.m., with registration beginning at 6 p.m. Trophies will be awarded for first and second place. [Read more...]

Clinton’s July 4 includes family fun, food, music, fireworks

The city of Clinton’s annual July 4 event starts at 5 p.m. and ends with fireworks at 10 p.m. at Lakefront Park.

The city said there will be activities for the whole family, including a 68-foot Army Boot Camp Obstacle Course, bounce house, three-lane mega water slide, bungee run, home run baseball game, and module combo with water slide. All of those attractions will be available to the public at no charge. There will be free laser tag as well for those kids up for the challenge, the city said on its website.

There will be several food vendors set up in the lower Lakefront parking lot. A corn-hole tournament will start at 7 p.m., with registration beginning at 6 p.m. Trophies will be awarded for first and second place. [Read more...]

Anderson County sheriff warns of jury duty fraud scam

Paul White

Paul White

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department is warning the public about a phone scam involving a claim of missed jury duty and a request to buy a money order to pay fines.

In a Thursday night press release, the Sheriff’s Department said it has received a report of a man who placed a phone call to a victim and identified himself as a sheriff’s deputy. The scammer informed the victim they have missed jury duty, and he asked them to buy a money order to pay the fines. He then asked the victim to meet him to pay and avoid going to jail. This scam has apparently been attempted in Anderson County and in the Clinton area.

The caller ID of the scammer shows “Warrants Division,” but that is fake and this is a scam, Anderson County Sheriff Paul White said in the press release.

“This is the same scam that has been circulating this week in Knox County,” he said. “There are several variations of scams targeting our area. The callers are claiming to be officers with various law enforcement agencies and are collecting funds for missed jury duty or outstanding warrants. In most of the scams, the caller request that funds be paid by purchasing either a prepaid credit card or money order.” [Read more...]

Clinton to receive Municipal League award for police service

Clinton Police Department Badge

Clinton will receive a Tennessee Municipal League award for police service during a conference in Chattanooga on Tuesday, a press release said.

The 2014 Tennessee Municipal League Achievement Award for Excellence in Police Service will be presented at 8 a.m. Tuesday during TML’s 75th Annual Conference at the Chattanooga Convention Center in Chattanooga.

The award is being presented in recognition of the city’s efforts to provide a model police department to the community, the release said.

“A culture of planning, caring and excellence; it’s what takes a municipal Police Department from ordinary to outstanding,” the release said. “And the Clinton Police Department is all that. A model of efficiency and outreach, officers—several with advanced specialty degrees—strive to provide the utmost in community service and training to area schools and other agencies, while being good stewards of the community resources. An extraordinary focus on communication among the department’s command staff is reflected in the city’s reduction in crime rate.” [Read more...]

No change in Anderson County property tax rate, officials say

Anderson County Commission in June 2014

The Anderson County Commission is pictured above during its Monday night meeting. (Photo by Sara Wise)

CLINTON—The property tax rate will remain unchanged in Anderson County in the fiscal year that begins July 1, officials said.

Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank and the Budget Committee had both presented a no-tax-increase budget, and on Monday, the Anderson County Commission set the property tax rate for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

The tax rates for the new fiscal year will stay the same as the rates for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. Property owners within the city of Clinton will pay $2.50 per $100 of assessed value on their property, Oak Ridge property owners will see a tax rate of $2.347 per $100, and property owners in Lake City, Oliver Springs, Norris and unincorporated areas of Anderson County will pay $2.529 per $100 of assessed value.

While Anderson County Commission voted to approve the tax rate resolution, the legislative body has not yet approved an operating budget for the new fiscal year, the Anderson County Mayor’s Office said in a press release. [Read more...]

Guest column: Anderson communications center very busy during Tuesday storm

Anderson County Commission and Mark Lucas

Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mark Lucas is pictured above at right during a special County Commission meeting in November. Also pictured are Anderson County Commissioners Rick Meredith, center, and Jerry White.

To All:

(Tuesday) evening was very, very busy. From 3 p.m. until 11 p.m., our communications center received 589 telephone calls, of which 143 were on 911. The overwhelming number of calls were between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., when 365 calls came to our dispatch center. Of these 365 calls, 109 were on 911.

Comparing to last Tuesday from 3 p.m. until 11 p.m., we received 156 total telephone calls, of which 20 were on 911. The two-hour period from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. last week was only 41 total calls, of which five were on 911.

For the entire shift from 3 p.m. until 11 p.m., that was a 288 percent increase. For the two hours from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m., the increase was 790 percent.

We had four communications officers working (Tuesday) when the storm hit. A fifth came into work on her own to help out. Many of these 911 and non-emergency calls required dispatching of emergency personnel from law enforcement, fire, or EMS. Others required notifications to the state and county highway departments and the utility companies. It was non-stop for hours. [Read more...]

WYSH: Storm damage follow-up; EF0 tornado confirmed in Kingston

Mike Marsh Home Storm Damage

One of several pictures showing the storm damage Tuesday to the home of Mike and Wanda Marsh on Timbercrest Drive in Oak Ridge. (Photo courtesy Mike Marsh)

 

Information from WYSH Radio

The National Weather Service has confirmed the powerful storms that rolled through the area on Tuesday included an embedded tornado in Kingston.

Officials with the NWS office in Morristown assessed the damage and said an EF-0 tornado touched down along 3rd Street in Kingston. The winds of an EF-0 tornado are around 65-85 miles per hour.

The NWS said the widespread damage throughout East Tennessee was almost entirely from straight-line winds and down-bursts. Kingston is the only site suspected of sustaining tornado damage.

The Weather Service says straight-line winds estimated at 80 mph packed a destructive punch in Clinton, which appeared to bear the brunt of the damage from Tuesday’s severe weather. [Read more...]