News

The search is on

Police seek hit-and-run driver in death of Hardee’s employee

Clinton Police are still seeking the driver of what is believed to be a GMC-brand pickup or SUV that struck and killed a Clinton man on a motorized bicycle early Saturday on Clinch Avenue, and left the scene without stopping.

Chief of Police Vaughn Becker said the victim was Jordan Pitts, 39, who was on his way to work at the Hardee’s restaurant in South Clinton on his motorized bike when he was hit about 3:35 a.m. near Portwood Road.

Family members reported that the vehicle that struck Pitts dragged him about 300 feet down the highway before leaving the area.

The victim was taken to a Knoxville hospital, where he died later in the day, according to reports.

“We are still investigating, and we do have some video that we’re checking,” Becker said Monday.

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Special recognition for a special system

Clinton Christian Church makes $50k donation; state hears about the Blaze


From left: Board of Education member Joey Smith, Blaze Program Coordinator and Athletic Director E.T. Stamey, and Director of Clinton City Schools Kelly Johnson give an overview of some of the programs in the city system at the TSBA meeting last weekend in Nashville.
It’s been a good week for the Clinton City School System.

It started Nov. 14 with a $50,000 donation from Steve Clapp, pastor of Clinton Christian Church. The church, founded by his parents, Neal and Dorothy “Dot” Clapp, sold its building and lot for the new Wendy’s. The church took the proceeds from the sale and donated that to various organizations throughout the region.

During Monday night’s Clinton City Council meeting, Clinton City School System Director of Schools Kelly Johnson said the funds are to be used to assist children in need in the school system.

“I am beyond humbled and blessed that they chose CCS as one of the recipients. We will certainly use this donation wisely to continue our ‘Tradition of Excellence,’” Johnson said after the donation.

“Honestly, Clinton is such a special place. Amazing.”

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A Clinton Christmas Stroll event is Saturday

Historic Downtown Clinton presents A Clinton Christmas Stroll from 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27.

This new event features photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, horse-drawn carriage rides, food trucks, a live nativity scene, and a silent auction to benefit the Education Foundation.

Additionally, the brick and mortar shops will be staying open late for shopping for Small Business Saturday.

The live nativity scene will be held in Hoskins Park on Market Street.

It will feature live animals, caroling, cookies and cider, and kids’ crafts.

Horse-drawn carriage rides are $20 per family, and the carriage can hold up to six people.

They will start on Freddy Fagan Way and go behind Shabby Remakes and then circle around and down Market Street.

For the Education Foundation, each school board member has put together a basket that will be available as silent auction items.

These baskets are designed to be Christmas gifts, and all of the proceeds from their sale will go to the Education Foundation.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand for photos as they read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to each child who comes to visit them.

They will be in front of the gazebo at the new Maude Brown Park.

Historic Downtown Clinton will also have sweatshirts and new Clinton Christmas ornaments featuring the Green Bridge for sale.

For more information about A Clinton Christmas Stroll, contact Historic Downtown Clinton Program Director Katherine Birkbeck at 865-293-6367.

America needs Thanksgiving

America has been through a tough time. A national election separated friends and family, divided churches and took over our media.

We’ve been intoxicated with poisonous rhetoric and toxic street gatherings that led to more division, injuries and even death.

Americans horrifically viewed the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and said we aren’t going to take that anymore.

More than 762,000 people have died from COVID-19 in America. Over 47 million of us have been sick. Families who have buried loved ones don’t need convincing about the realities of COVID-19. Americans who have spent weeks in hospital intensive care units know they are fortunate to be alive.

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Sheriff’s Office K9 Bolo to get donation of body armor


K9 Bolo and his handler, Cpl. James Presson.
Anderson County Sheriff’s Office K9 Bolo will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

K9 Bolo’s vest is sponsored by Madeline Hamersley of Sorrento, Maine, and will be embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of Karen Killilea.”

Delivery is expected within 10 weeks.

Anderson County Sheriff Russell Barker said he was proud and thankful for the donation.

“I cannot thank Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., enough for this generous donation and for Madeline Hamersley, who sponsored the vest,” he said. “Their tireless work to make all law enforcement K9s safe should be commended.”

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After 55 years, Mack Duncan retires from ORAU


MACK DUNCAN
Mack Duncan’s last day with Oak Ridge Associate Universities was 55 years to the day when he started work there.

On Sept. 16, 1966, a young farmer from Oliver Springs started working at the Comparative Animal Research Laboratory in Oak Ridge. He was helping care for the sick and injured animals on that South Campus farm. At the time, the lab was managed by the University of Tennessee, but in 1981 responsibility for it would be transferred to ORAU.

By this time, Mack had switched from animal care to working in security for the lab. When the animal lab became an ORAU facility, Mack would expand his security work to cover all ORAU facilities in Oak Ridge as part of the ORAU Watchforce.

In 2004, the young man thought he wanted to retire, but actually decided to become a part-time employee. That status continued for another 17 years.

On Sept. 16, Duncan, at 79, spent his last day as an employee of ORAU after 55 years of service.