Fatal crash reported on East Wolf Valley Road on Wednesday

There was a fatal two-car crash on East Wolf Valley Road in Anderson County on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

The driver of one car died, and the other driver had minor injuries, Anderson County Chief Deputy Mark Lucas said.

The road was closed for about three hours while the Tennessee Highway Patrol investigated the crash.

Lucas said the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department assisted the Tennessee Highway Patrol at the crash site. Oak Ridge Today has requested additional information from the THP and will update this story as new information becomes available.

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...]

Arrest made in Louisiana in gang-related attempted murder

Crystal Lynnette McGuire

Crystal Lynnette McGuire

Crystal Lynnette McGuire, who was wanted in connection with a gang-related attempted murder in Claxton in December, was arrested without incident in Louisiana on Wednesday by the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Department, authorities said.

“Our investigators were in contact with Louisiana authorities throughout the day after learning McGuire may have been in that area,” Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mark Lucas said. “She was located and arrested earlier this afternoon by sheriff’s deputies in Sabine County.”

The Sheriff’s Department said it does not have information about McGuire’s extradition or when she may be brought back to Anderson County.

“It may be several days before all the paperwork will be completed for this to occur,” Lucas said. [Read more...]

Man flees from deputies in his underwear

A Lake City man was in custody Wednesday after turning himself in after fleeing from deputies early Tuesday morning, authorities said.

Justin Lee McIntosh, 21, surrendered to jail officers Tuesday evening and was arrested on several outstanding warrants, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department said.

Earlier Tuesday morning, at about 3:30 a.m., patrol deputies went to his residence on Bolin Road near Lake City in an attempt to serve the arrest warrants. McIntosh broke out a side window of the home and fled from deputies—in his underwear, the Sheriff’s Department said. [Read more...]

Sheriff: Two arrested, one with bulletproof vest, after guard chases burglary suspects

Louis Edward Goodman

Louis Edward Goodman

Two Anderson County men, one wearing a bulletproof vest, were arrested Sunday after a security guard chased two burglary suspects from Southern Coal Co. on Airbase Lane in Briceville, authorities said.

The two men—Louis Edward Goodman, 24, of Oak Ridge, and Christopher Houston Harness, 24, of Briceville—fled into the woods after they were confronted, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department said in a Monday morning press release.

Deputies responded to the burglary-in-progress report and located the two suspects after a search, authorities said. Goodman and Harness were taken into custody and charged with several offenses related to the burglary: burglary, felony property theft, and criminal trespassing. Goodman was also charged with the unlawful use of body armor “as he was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time of the offenses,” Chief Deputy Mark Lucas said. Harness was also charged with the possession of burglary tools. [Read more...]

Fatal crash on Edgemoor Road on Wednesday morning; motorists asked to avoid area

Oak Ridge Today

Note: This story was updated at 11:15 a.m.

There was a fatal traffic crash involving a semi truck on Edgemoor Road at about 6 a.m. Wednesday, authorities said.

The crash closed a portion of Edgemoor Road between South Dogwood Road and Old Edgemoor Road near Clinton Highway. Traffic was rerouted in both directions down Old Edgemoor Road, said Mark Lucas, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department chief deputy.

He said motorists are being asked to avoid the area.

The crash is being investigated by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Lucas said THP and Sheriff’s Department units remained on the scene throughout the morning, and it wasn’t clear how much longer they would be there. [Read more...]

Two arrested after prostitution investigation, Sheriff’s Department says

Anderson County Detention Facility

The Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton is pictured above.

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department arrested two people Tuesday afternoon after a prostitution investigation at a recently opened spa on Andersonville Highway near Norris, Chief Deputy Mark Lucas said this morning.

The Sheriff’s Department is working with Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark on some additional enforcement action on the business, Lucas said, and more information should be released later today.

More information will be added as it becomes available.

Rescuers locate trio stranded overnight on Windrock Mountain trail

Rescuers have located three people stranded overnight on Windrock Mountain near Oliver Springs.

The trio—ages 19, 22, and 24 years old—were stuck in vehicles on a trail and called Anderson County 911, authorities said.

“Our dispatch mapped the coordinates and forwarded the information to the rescue squad,” Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mark Lucas said.

He said all three were located. The two men were checked out by EMS at the scene, and the woman was taken to Methodist Medical Center as a precaution. [Read more...]

Fairly quiet during last week’s snow, but 911 calls spike in Anderson County

911 calls to the communications center at the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department increased significantly during last week’s snow.

The Sheriff’s Department said the communications center received 429 telephone calls from 7 p.m. Wednesday to 7 p.m. Friday, and 77 of those were 911 calls. That compares to 390 calls, with 51 of those on 911 lines, during the same time period a week earlier. [Read more...]

Most snow in about 15 years, Weather Service says

Snowman at Blankenship Field

Kids build a snowman at Blankenship Field on Thursday morning after more than eight inches of snow fell in Oak Ridge. From left are Killian Fillmore, Andrew Bivens, Gavin Hensley, and Liam Hensley.

Note: This story was last updated at 5:02 p.m. with more photos.

More than eight inches of snow fell in parts of Oak Ridge between Wednesday night and Thursday morning as a major winter storm hit the Southeast, and there were reports of as much as 10 to 12 inches in parts of Anderson County. A meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Morristown said it’s the most snow in East Tennessee in more than a decade.

“It’s been about 15 years since we’ve had a snow like this,” NWS Meteorologist David Hotz said. “This is definitely one of the best ones we’ve had in quite a while.”

The last snowfall of a similar magnitude that he could recall was in either 1998 or 1999.

Other big snowfalls include the historic 1993 storm and a winter storm in 1996 that dumped 15 to 17 inches.

More than eight inches of snow fell in parts of Oak Ridge between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, and there were reports of as much as 10 to 12 inches in parts of Anderson County. A meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Morristown said it's the most snow in East Tennessee in more than a decade.  "It's been about 15 years since we've had a snow like this," NWS Meteorologist David Hotz said. “This is definitely one of the best ones we’ve had in quite a while.”  The last snowfall of a similar magnitude that he could recall was in either 1998 or 1999.  Other big snowfalls include the historic 1993 storm and a 1996 storm that dumped 15 to 17 inches.  The wet, heavy snow that started falling in Oak Ridge at about 7 p.m. Wednesday—it was the second round of snow that day—continued into Thursday morning. But with temperatures rising Thursday morning and the sun coming out, much of the snow was quickly melting.  Still, many roads, particularly side streets, still had slush on them, and there were a few slippery spots.  Crews from the Oak Ridge Public Works Department worked all day Wednesday, through the night, and into Thursday morning. They put down two layers of brine, or highly salted water, before the snow started and switched to salt trucks and snow plows once the snow started falling.  Public Works Department Gary Cinder said there were no major problems.  “It’s been a calm event," Cinder said. "It was a heavy snow. It was deep enough that we could push it, and it was wet enough that it would slide easily. It wasn’t sticking because of the brine.”  It might have helped that many people stayed off the roads as many offices, schools, and businesses closed early on Wednesday—if they hadn't already been closed for the day—and remained closed on Thursday.  Cinder said the Public Works Department was able to keep the main streets relatively clear. At times, the snow was heavy enough, though, that the snow was recovering roads that crews had already plowed.  “A lot of times, they just had to go back and forth," Cinder said.  Cinder said there were a few trees down and a few isolated power outages.  In Anderson County, Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Mark Lucas said the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Anderson County Highway Department were working to clear the snow, but roads remained hazardous.  "Travel is not advised," Lucas said in a Thursday morning e-mail. "We had several reports of minor accidents with cars off in the ditch or stuck in the snow, but since the snow didn't begin to fall until the evening hours, traffic was light. There also have been a few trees down as well."  Lucas said there were also some power outages overnight, but it appeared that the Clinton Utilities Board had most of those restored except for a few isolated areas.  He advised residents to check with CUB for details and said power outages can be viewed at http://outage.clintonub.com.  Deputies went to their "snow plan" Wednesday evening and are patrolling the county in four-wheel-drive vehicles.  "We are responding only to accidents with injury or those that are a significant traffic hazard," Lucas said.  Cinder said Oak Ridge has eight trucks outfitted with snow plows in the front and salt spreaders in the back. The city has two bins that, when fully loaded, can store 2,400 tons of salt. Oak Ridge has plenty of salt for the rest of the winter, he said.  There about 220 miles of roads in Oak Ridge and crews focus first on main streets and state routes such as Illinois Avenue and Oak Ridge Turnpike, then collector city streets such as Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Florida avenues, and then neighborhood side—if the snow lasts long enough and is heavy enough. The number of lane miles that crews have to take care of is double the road mileage because crews have to go up streets in one lane and then back down them in another.  Hotz, the meteorologist, said water on East Tennessee roads could re-freeze tonight as the temperature drops into the 20s and that could cause problems, including black ice, especially on secondary streets that still have slush. Drivers should use caution when driving tonight, especially on secondary streets, although well-traveled roads and interstates should be in good shape, Hotz said.  He said there could be another smaller storm system late Friday and Friday night. It could start with rain that changes over to snow, and there could be some light accumulations in East Tennessee valleys, but more snow is expected in the mountains, Hotz said.  The temperature is expected to warm back up into the 50s and lower 60s next week, Hotz said.

Crews from the Oak Ridge Public Works Department worked all day Wednesday and through the night into Thursday to clear roads, including South Illinois Avenue, as more than eight inches of snow fell in parts of the city.

The wet, heavy snow that started falling in Oak Ridge at about 7 p.m. Wednesday—it was the second round of snow that day—continued into Thursday morning. But with temperatures rising Thursday morning and the sun coming out, much of the snow was quickly melting.

Still, many roads, particularly side streets, still had slush on them, and there were a few slippery spots.

Crews from the Oak Ridge Public Works Department worked all day Wednesday, through the night, and into Thursday morning. They put down two layers of brine, or highly salted water, before the snow started and switched to salt trucks and snow plows once the snow started falling.

Public Works Department Gary Cinder said there were no major problems. [Read more...]

Back roads still have ice and snow, so Anderson schools closed again Friday

Many Anderson County back roads are still covered with ice and snow, so the school system will be closed again Friday, officials said.

The closure is for the safety of the students, the Anderson County school system said in a statement. The schools closed early Tuesday and have been closed since as snow, ice, and cold temperatures wreaked havoc across the Southeast, particularly in Atlanta.

Many other school systems in East Tennessee, including Oak Ridge, also closed early on Tuesday when it started snowing and remained closed on Wednesday. Oak Ridge students returned to classes on Thursday, although there was a two-hour delay. [Read more...]

Not many weather-related issues in Anderson County, sheriff’s department says

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department said it has not had many weather-related issues during the past few days as snow fell in East Tennessee and temperatures dipped again into the teens—and even lower.

“A few reports of traffic-related incidents such as cars in the ditch, but only one accident that had minor injuries,” Chief Deputy Mark Lucas said in an e-mail to reporters.

Lucas said most primary roads and state routes are clear, but many rural roads are still icy and snow-covered. [Read more...]