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Iconic Clinton business woman dies at age 98


In 1952, Helen Hammer took her first steps in becoming a household name in Clinton and Anderson County. It was that year that she joined her husband, the late A.B. “Bernard” Hammer Jr., in coming to Clinton to oversee operation of a Hammer’s expansion store in the city. The couple was supposed to stay a week. The rest, they say, is history. Helen Hammer died Thursday, Jan. 7, at the age of 98. Since the early days of Hammer’s on Market Street, Helen’s name was spoken almost in the same tone as one would speak about a mythological figure. Sure, the store bore the family name, but Helen Hammer’s stature as an astute business woman skyrocketed. At a time when most women were homemakers, or teachers perhaps, if they worked at all, Helen Hammer was in a unique and miniscule category, as she worked side by side with her husband in a venture that began 78 years ago.

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Norris OKs plan for U.S. Bike Route resolution

This map shows the route that U.S. Bike Route 21 will take as it passes through Norris and Andersonville.

Already a popular place for bicycle riders, the city of Norris on Monday approved a proposal to put the city on the map of officially designated U.S. Bike Routes. Norris will show up on the route map for U.S. Bike Route 21, which, when completely laid out and marked with signs, will allow cyclists to follow the designated route from Aberdeen, Ohio, on the Ohio/Kentucky state line all the way through Chattanooga to Atlanta. The Kentucky and Georgia portions of so-called USBR 21 have already been approved by the sanctioning agencies – the American Association of State Highway Officials and the Adventure Cycling Association. Tennessee’s section, which enters the state near the Cumberland Gap Tunnel at the Tennessee/Kentucky line and crosses into Georgia in Chattanooga, is the last link, and approval is expected soon.

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Clinton’s Waffle House closed for reconstruction; new building coming

Clinton’s Waffle House restaurant officially shut down at 2 p.m. Monday. But not to fear – it will be back, although in a whole new building. The plan is to have the restaurant open again as soon as possible, but that could take several months, a top company executive said Monday. “We’re not sure when it will be,” said Curtis Mount, senior vice president of Rocky Top Waffles LLC., the franchisee of the Clinton store. “It depends on the weather, among other things.” The company must first tear down the current building – which has been there 30 years – before construction can begin on the new one. Clinton officials issued a building permit to the restaurant’s owners Dec. 8, showing a cost of $550,000 for the construction of a 2,132 square-foot “new commercial structure” at 2255 N. Charles G. Seivers Blvd. Contractor on the permit is listed as Market Place Holdings.

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Oak Ridge man charged in two armed robberies

Anderson County Sheriff’s Office has charged Oak Ridge resident Tyrone Partridge, with the Dec. 29 robbery at the Marathon gas station on Edgemoor Road in Claxton. Partridge was booked in the Anderson County jail Jan. 4 following an arrest by the Oak Ridge Police Department for a similar crime. Partridge was the main suspect in an armed robbery at the J&C Market on East Tennessee Avenue in Oak Ridge. He was arrested on charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, evading arrest, and resisting arrest. Sheriff’s Office detective, Josh Cardwell, obtained felony warrants for aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, and theft. Partridge, 43, reportedly brandished a firearm and demanded the Marathon employee empty the cash register. He fled the scene with cash prior to our deputies’ arrival. The Marathon employee was able to provide a physical description and a video recording showing the incident. Through intel and information sharing with Oak Ridge, Detective Cardwell honed in on Partridge as the suspect for the Claxton robbery which eventually led to him being charged with the Dec. 29 crime. “This is a great example of two agencies working together to get a dangerous man off our streets. Detective Cardwell and the ORPD should be commended for doing a great job” Anderson County Sheriff Russell Barker stated. Partridge is still incarcerated at the Anderson County Detention Facility.

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