First of its kind, Family Drug Treatment Court opening in Anderson County

Family Drug Treatment Court Ribbon Cutting July 11 2018 A Family Drug Treatment Court, the first of its kind in Anderson County, launched this week, and there will be a ribbon-cutting next week, a press release said. The Anderson County Family Drug Treatment Court will be called R2: The Recovery and Resilience Program, the press release said. R2 is a program for juvenile offenders who have substance misuse issues and have not been successful in maintaining drug abstinence. The program is a minimum of nine months and will incorporate treatment, family therapy, and group therapy paired with accountability and goal setting, the press release said. “By addressing barriers in the home, we will enable adolescents in Anderson County to break free from the grip of generational drug abuse, setting them up to be successful contributors to our society,” said Anderson County Juvenile Court Judge Brian Hunt. The press release said the program has been a priority for a large number of stakeholders in the community for many years. [Read more…]

Rocky Top donates to Family Drug Treatment Court of Anderson County


Pictured left to right are Rocky Top Police Chief Jim Shetterly, Mayor Michael Lovely, Stephanie Strutner of ASAP, and City Manager Michael Foster. Rocky Top City officials presented a $500 check to ASAP of Anderson County to support the Family Drug Treatment Court. (Submitted photo)


At the Rocky Top City Council meeting last week, Mayor Michael Lovely, Police Chief Jim Shetterly, and City Manager Michael Foster presented a check for $500 to Stephanie Strutner, executive director of Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention of Anderson County Inc., to support the Family Drug Treatment Court of Anderson County.

“The Family Drug Treatment Court has been under development for a number of years based on best practices from effective programs from across the country,” Strutner said. The program is geared toward rehabilitating not only adolescents through the Juvenile Court system, but their family unit as well, a press release said.

“This program offers the possibility to break the generational cycle of substance abuse many of our juvenile offenders experience,” Juvenile Court Judge Brian Hunt said. “It also offers hope—hope that these adolescents can stay out of jail as adults and become contributing members of their community.” [Read more…]

Frank, White re-elected; incumbents fare well, but some upsets

Steve Mead at Early Voting

Anderson County Commissioner Steve Mead, one of the incumbents re-elected Thursday, campaigns during early voting at the Midtown Community Center in Oak Ridge. (Photo by Fred O’Hara Jr.)


Terry Frank

Terry Frank

Note: This story was last updated at 2:10 p.m. July 8.

Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank was elected to her first four-year term on Thursday, and Sheriff Paul White was elected to a third term.

The election featured several close races, including for sheriff and register of deeds, and there were a few upsets, including for Anderson County Circuit Court Clerk, County Commission District 3, and General Sessions Judge, Division II, where longtime Judge Ron Murch suffered defeat.

Paul White

Paul White

In the race for the Tennessee House, Representative John Ragan, an Oak Ridge Republican, beat back a primary challenge by newcomer Caitlin Nolan.

All 27 precincts have reported.

Here are the final unofficial election results for contested races:

Anderson County Mayor

  • Terry Frank, the Republican incumbent—7,586 (52.69 percent)
  • Jim Hackworth, a Democrat—6,193 (43.01 percent)
  • Bradley Rickett, an Independent—619 (4.3 percent)

Frank, who was first elected to a two-year term in a special election in August 2012, beat Hackworth, a former state representative and county commissioner, by about 1,400 votes. The two fought over a 1990 tax hike and “turmoil” and lawsuits in the Anderson County Courthouse.

Anderson County Sheriff

  • Paul White, the Democratic incumbent—7,386 (51.64 percent)
  • Anthony Lay, a Republican—6,918 (48.36 percent)

White’s margin of victory was just under 500 votes. Lay is a former sheriff in Scott County, and he is currently a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper. The two candidates battled over the food served at the Anderson County jail, crime rate statistics, and the responsiveness of the Sheriff’s Department, among other things. [Read more…]

Votes still coming in, but most incumbents in lead; few upsets possible

Anderson County Early Voting Campaign Signs

The Thursday election featured the Anderson County general election and the state and federal primaries. Pictured above are campaign signs during early voting at the Midtown Community Center in Oak Ridge.


Note: Please see this newer story for final results.

The votes are still coming in and the Anderson County Election Commission is repairing its website, but early results suggest most incumbents are faring well, although a few upsets are possible.

Here is a look at some preliminary voting results in Anderson County, as reported by BBB-TV, Channel 12 in Oak Ridge, with 16 of 27 precincts reporting. There could be a few upsets, including on Anderson County Commission and in the races for Anderson County General Session Judge, Division II, and Anderson County Circuit Court Clerk.

Anderson County Mayor

Terry Frank, the Republican incumbent, leads Jim Hackworth, a Democrat, and Bradley Rickett, an Independent.

Anderson County Sheriff

Paul White, the Democratic incumbent, leads Anthony Lay, a Republican.

Tennessee House of Representatives

Republican primary

John Ragan, the Republican incumbent, leads Caitlin Nolan, his GOP challenger. [Read more…]

Reminder: Juvenile Court judge candidate forum tonight

There will be a candidate forum featuring the two men running for Anderson County Juvenile Court judge on Tuesday, July 8, at the Clinton Public Library from 6 to 7 p.m. The forum is being hosted by Community Mediation Services (CMS) and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of the Tennessee Heartland.

The candidates are Republican Brian Hunt and Democrat Michael Clement. Both men will be given the chance to address the crowd and will take a few questions from the audience during the forum.

The doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the public is encouraged to attend.

CASA, Community Mediation host juvenile judge candidate forum Tuesday

Brian Hunt

Brian Hunt

Two nonprofit organizations are hosting a Tuesday evening forum for the two candidates for Anderson County Juvenile Court judge.

The two candidates are Republican Brian Hunt and Democrat Michael Clement.

The forum is hosted by Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of the Tennessee Heartland and Community Mediation Services (CMS). It will be held in the Clinton Public Library from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 8. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., a press release said.

Each candidate will have an opportunity to address the group, and several questions will be taken from the audience. The public is invited, and reservations are not necessary.

Michael Clement

Michael Clement

The Anderson County general election is Aug. 7

CASA of the Tennessee Heartland is a local nonprofit, volunteer-based organization that gives a voice in court to abused and neglected children. CASA volunteers give an independent recommendation of permanent placement to the judge based solely on the best interest of the child involved and advocate for necessary services the child may need. More information can be found at

Community Mediation Services is a volunteer-driven nonprofit that assists and empowers individuals to engage, transform, and resolve conflicts through the use of collaborative, constructive processes, the press release said. CMS helps people get heard, get healed, and get back to their lives through four different no-cost mediation programs focusing on at-risk youth and families. Learn more at

2014 Election: Anderson County primary voting totals

Anderson County Election Commission

Here are the unofficial election results for the contested races in the Democratic and Republican primaries in Anderson County on Tuesday. The results include all 27 precincts, early voting, and absentee ballots.

Anderson County mayor—Republican primary

  • Terry Frank—3,896 (53 percent)
  • Zach Bates—3,406 (47 percent)

Anderson County chancellor—Republican primary

  • Nichole “Nicki” Cantrell—3,895 (54 percent)
  • Michael S. Farley—2,979 (41 percent)
  • Phil Harber—368 (5 percent) [Read more…]

Anderson County elects first female chancellor

Anderson County Republican Party Candidates

Nicki Cantrell, second from right, who is running unopposed in the Aug. 7 general election after winning the Republican primary on Tuesday, will become Anderson County’s first female chancellor. Also pictured at right is Michael Farley, one of her two Republican opponents. The three GOP candidates for Juvenile Court judge are also pictured. From left they are Vickie Bannach, Lauren Biloski, and Brian Hunt, the winner of Tuesday’s Republican primary.


Terry Frank

Terry Frank

Note: This story was last updated at 4:10 p.m. May 7.

Primary Winners: Frank, Cantrell, Hunt, Lay, Clement

One is Anderson County’s first female mayor. The other will become the county’s first female chancellor.

The two candidates—Terry Frank and Nicki Cantrell—beat their opponents by significant margins in the Republican primary on Tuesday. Both said their victories were based in large part on running positive campaigns.

Cantrell’s victory over Clinton attorney and City Judge Michael Farley, who had the support of many other lawyers, appeared to be the big upset of the night in what had been the most heated race, with the two candidates clashing over their courtroom experience and trading accusations of false claims and “mudslinging.”

Zach Bates

Zach Bates

Both were running to replace the current chancellor, William Lantrip, who is retiring at the end of June after 25 years on the bench. The chancellor hears cases in Chancery Court ranging from divorces and adoptions to lawsuits and contract disputes, but can also sometimes hear Criminal Court cases, sit as the Circuit Court judge, and hear Juvenile Court appeals.

“Nobody believed we could do this,” Cantrell’s husband Dail Cantrell said Tuesday night. “We refused to run a negative campaign and got the support of the people.”

Nicki Cantrell won by about 900 votes, collecting 3,895 votes to Farley’s 2,979, according to unofficial results with all 27 precincts reporting. That’s roughly a 54 percent to 41 percent margin.

A third candidate, Republican Phil Harber, who did not appear to campaign as hard as either Farley or Cantrell, received 368 votes. [Read more…]

Letter: Hunt disciplined, ready to be juvenile judge

To the Editor:

I watched the Republican Party candidate forum the night of April 8 and noticed an important distinction amongst the candidates.

Brian Hunt, candidate for juvenile judge, exhibited the qualities that are essential for a judge to possess. He focused intently on the questions posed and succinctly provided answers without excess. The other candidates behaved as attorneys only, by advocating positions and arguing their points. [Read more…]

Letter: Hunt can listen, respond with facts supported by law

Brian Hunt

Brian Hunt

To the Editor:

It’s not every day that one has the opportunity to praise and uphold a member of our community. That is why I choose this particular time of the year to recommend Brian Hunt, one of our most outstanding citizens of Anderson County, as our next juvenile judge.

I have worked closely with Brian over the past five years as he dedicated himself to providing legal counsel and representation for my homebound families. Without Brian’s assistance, they would have had no recourse and no real “voice” in the legal arena. Although Brian may appear to be a man of few words, I can assure you that his words were sacred in the lives of those who entrusted him for representation. [Read more…]

Letter: Hunt the wise choice for Juvenile Court judge

Brian Hunt

Brian Hunt

To the Editor:

The upcoming primary elections offer us an opportunity to select a very well-qualified candidate for the Juvenile Court judge position. Brian Hunt brings integrity, discipline, dedication, a commitment to public service, and human warmth to this critical role. The importance of a person of Brian’s character for a position that both protects children and intervenes when young people err cannot be overstressed.

Young people too often suffer at the hands of those who should protect and care for them. The Juvenile Court judge guarantees that such suffering stops and a more secure and loving environment is provided. The judge can guarantee that parents receive the assistance better to meet their children’s welfare, as well as supervising and assuring that foster care and adoptions are appropriate and well-placed, monitored, and supported. For children at risk, the Juvenile Court judge is a refuge for children who otherwise have few other resources. [Read more…]