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Two teens die, two injured in Roane County crash

Two teenagers died and two were injured in a single-vehicle crash into a tree in Roane County on Sunday afternoon, state troopers said.

The fatal crash was reported at about 2:42 p.m. Sunday on Orchard Valley Drive at Dyllis Road in Roane County. That’s north of Heritage Center, the former K-25 site in west Oak Ridge.

The two male passengers who died were Austin J. French, 18, and Joshua A. Freels, 16, according to a Tennessee Highway Patrol report.

[Read more…]
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Updated: Rain causing widespread flooding, road closures

The Oak Ridge Police Department said road closures due to flooding on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, include eastbound Highway 95 east of the Highway 95/58 split, pictured above; Gum Hollow Road; and Jefferson Avenue at Jefferson Circle and Royce Circle. (Photo courtesy ORPD)

The Oak Ridge Police Department said road closures due to flooding on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, include eastbound Highway 95 east of the Highway 95/58 split, pictured above; Gum Hollow Road; and Jefferson Avenue at Jefferson Circle and Royce Circle. (Photo courtesy ORPD)

 

Note: This story was last updated at 2:45 p.m.

Days of continuous, heavy rain are causing widespread flooding and road closures in the area, including in Oak Ridge.

Late Saturday morning, the Oak Ridge Police Department said road closures include Gum Hollow Road, eastbound Highway 95 east of the Highway 95/58 split, and Jefferson Avenue at Jefferson Circle and Royce Circle.

“There are a number of flooded roads in Oak Ridge right now,” the ORPD said. “Please avoid areas with standing water and obey any road or lane closures for your own safety.”

Saturday afternoon, the Oak Ridge Fire Department said the ORPD conducted a water rescue at a partially submerged vehicle on Oak Ridge Turnpike (Highway 95) in west Oak Ridge.

The Police Department cited the advice that law enforcement officers and weather forecasters often give during flooding conditions: “Turn around, don’t drown.” [Read more…]

Updated: Teen reported missing in Roane County has been found

Cheyenne Patton

Cheyenne Patton

 

Note: This story was updated at 4:45 p.m.

Update: The teenager reported missing in Roane County has been located, the Oliver Springs Police Department said Sunday.

“Thank you all for the help!” the OSPD said. [Read more…]

Roane: Woody re-elected as county executive; Bowers wins Commission seat

Ron Woody

Ron Woody

Roane County Executive Ron Woody was re-elected to a third four-year term as county executive on Thursday, and Charlotte Bowers of Oak Ridge won one of two seats on Roane County Commission in District 4, which includes west Oak Ridge.

Woody was first elected to his office in August 2010. On Thursday, he beat challenger David Morgan, a former Roane County property assessor, 8,217 votes to 3,113 (72.52 percent to 27.48 percent). That’s according to unofficial election results reported after all 24 precincts had been counted.

Bowers, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County, was one of two Oak Ridge candidates to run for the District 4 seat on Roane County Commission in the August 2 election. The other was Cory Jenkins, general manager at Cumberland Utility District. They were among five candidates who qualified to run in the district.

The other three candidates were from Oliver Springs. They were James W. Brummett, an incumbent, and Thaxton H. “T.H.” Brown Jr. and Jerry W. White.

Brummett, a former chair of the Roane County Commission, was defeated Thursday, finishing third behind Bowers and White, who is also a new commissioner. (There is now a Jerry White on Anderson County Commission, and a Jerry White on the Roane County Commission; they are not the same person.) White has worked at K-25 and Y-12 in Oak Ridge, and he is currently employed providing security for the Roane County Sheriff’s Office at the Roane County Courthouse in Kingston. [Read more…]

Woman arrested for probation violation after fatal creek crash

Rebecca L. Vanasse

Rebecca L. Vanasse

 

An Oak Ridge woman was arrested on a probation violation charge after a fatal crash in Poplar Creek in Roane County on Tuesday, authorities said.

Rebecca L. Vanasse, 26, of North Purdue Avenue, was arrested by the Oak Ridge Police Department on the violation of probation charge on Tuesday, according to Anderson County court and jail records. A hold has also been placed on Vanasse for Rhea County, and she remained jailed at the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton on Thursday morning, according to those records.

Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mark Lucas confirmed that Vanasse is the same woman who has been identified as the driver in the fatal creek crash on Poplar Creek Road on Tuesday. She was arrested by ORPD after she was treated and released from the emergency room, Lucas said.

“We had a probation violation warrant and Rhea County had a warrant as well,” he said. [Read more…]

Criminal charges pending in fatal crash in Poplar Creek

A 50-year-old Rocky Top man died when a 2006 Mazda car crashed off Poplar Creek Road and into Poplar Creek just north of west Oak Ridge late Tuesday morning, authorities said. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

A 50-year-old Rocky Top man died when a 2006 Mazda 3 car crashed off Poplar Creek Road and into Poplar Creek just north of west Oak Ridge late Tuesday morning, authorities said. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

 

ROANE COUNTY—A 50-year-old Rocky Top man died and one person was injured when a car crashed off Poplar Creek Road and into Poplar Creek just north of west Oak Ridge late Tuesday morning, and criminal charges are pending, authorities said.

The man who died, Warner D. Martin, was a passenger in a silver 2006 Mazda 3 four-door car driven by Rebecca L. Vanasse, 26, of Oak Ridge, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Carrying three people, the car swerved on the narrow, curvy road and overcorrected, the THP said in a fatality report. Because of the overcorrection, the vehicle went down an embankment along the westbound side of the road and into the creek, where it became fully submerged, the THP said.

The single-vehicle crash was reported on Poplar Creek Road a few miles east of Blair Road at about 11:04 a.m. Tuesday. The front end of the car appeared to have plunged into the creek first. [Read more…]

Authorities investigate car crash in creek in Roane County

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.ROANE COUNTY–Authorities are investigating a car crash in a creek alongside Poplar Creek Road in Roane County early Tuesday afternoon.

More information will be added as it becomes available.

TBI investigating officer-involved shooting in Roane County

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating a shooting that involved a Roane County officer on Saturday morning. Ninth District Attorney General Russell Johnson requested the help of TBI agents, a press release said.

Preliminary information indicates the incident occurred at about 10:30 a.m. Saturday, when deputies from the Roane County Sheriff’s Office responded to an incident at 352 Mays Valley Road, the TBI said.

“Deputies arriving at the scene were confronted with a male individual with a weapon, and that man, since identified as David Daugherty, 47, was shot during that confrontation,” the TBI said. Daugherty was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment, the TBI said. No deputies were injured during the incident.

Mays Valley Road is west of Oliver Springs and Blair Road, north of the western part of Oak Ridge, and south of Harriman Highway (State Route 61), which connects Oliver Springs and Harriman. [Read more…]

Mayors, sheriffs also had fraudulent liens filed against them, indictment says

More public officials, including at least two county mayors and two sheriffs, have been the victims of the allegedly fraudulent liens that led to the indictment announced by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in Nashville on Thursday, after arrests in East Tennessee on Wednesday.

Information about the liens is contained in the 302-count indictment filed in Davidson County on January 20. That indictment came after a one-year investigation by state and federal authorities into fraudulent liens filed by East Tennessee residents. The TBI said 11 people were indicted, and 10 had been arrested as of Thursday afternoon. Seven of those arrested were from Anderson County.

Among the officials that have confirmed that they they were the victims of liens alleged to be fraudulent are Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and Roane County Executive Ron Woody, and Anderson County Sheriff Paul White and Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton.

Oak Ridge Today has already reported on some of the police officers and law enforcement officials and agencies in Oak Ridge and Anderson County that have been named in the $137 million worth of liens filed by Lee Harold Cromwell, who was one of the 10 people arrested Wednesday.

Other victims named in the 302-count indictment that haven’t previously been identified: Don A. Layton, Daryl R. Fansler, Jimmy Jones, Ronald Nathan Murch, and Steve R. Queener. [Read more…]

Seven ‘sovereign citizens’ who filed fraudulent liens arrested in Anderson County

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, that a year-long investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation resulted in a 320-count indictment, and 10 people were arrested, including seven Anderson County residents, on charges of unlawfully filing liens and making false entries into records. (Photo courtesy TBI)

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced in Nashville on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, that a year-long investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation resulted in a 320-count indictment and 10 people were arrested, including seven Anderson County residents, on charges of unlawfully filing liens and making false entries into records. (Photo courtesy TBI)

 

Note: This story was last updated at 12:15 p.m. Feb. 17.

Seven “sovereign citizens” from Anderson County, including Lee Harold Cromwell, have been indicted and arrested on charges related to filing fraudulent liens against local officials, law enforcement officers, and public employees, authorities said Thursday.

The sovereign citizens were arrested Wednesday by teams that included agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, according to a press release from Seventh Judicial District Attorney General Dave Clark in Anderson County.

The TBI said a year-long investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation resulted in a 320-count indictment, and 10 people were arrested on charges of unlawfully filing liens and making false entries into records. Multiple other state, county, and local law enforcement agencies also participated in the arrests.

Dave Clark

Dave Clark

TBI special agents began their investigation at the request of Clark in May 2016. That was about the time that Anderson County Circuit and Criminal Court Judge Don Elledge learned that Cromwell had filed a lien against the judge, causing Elledge to recuse himself from a vehicular homicide and aggravated assault case filed against Cromwell. The judge vowed to do everything he could legally, morally, and ethically—both criminally and civilly—to prosecute Cromwell to the full extent of the law.

Elledge said he discussed the liens filed against him by Cromwell with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a federal task force, the Seventh District Attorney General’s Office (the Anderson County DA), and local legislators. [Read more…]

More information on local firefighters, law enforcement responding to Gatlinburg fires

clinton-fire-department-in-gatlinburg-2-nov-29-2016

The Clinton Fire Department is pictured above responding to the fires in Sevier County on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. (Photo by Clinton Fire Department)

 

We have more information on local firefighters and law enforcement that have either responded to help fight the fires in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park—or remain in standby in case they are needed.

Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mark Lucas and other officials said Andersonville, Claxton, Clinton, Marlow, Oak Ridge, and Oliver Springs fire departments all sent resources to the fire.

Anderson County EMS sent its mass casualty response vehicle on Monday night, and they sent three ambulances Tuesday morning, Lucas said.

Lucas said he talked to Sevier County Sheriff Ron Seals on Monday night, and Anderson County deputies are on stand-by in case Sevier County needs additional law enforcement personnel. [Read more…]