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VOL. 42 | NO. 45 | Friday, November 9, 2018

Oak Ridge promotes Smith to police chief

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Robin Smith, deputy chief, has been promoted to chief of police in Oak Ridge.

Smith has served as acting chief for the Oak Ridge Police Department since August.

“The Oak Ridge Police Department is an effective team built with good people who care about our community,” Smith says. “We want Oak Ridge to be a safe place for people to live, work and visit. I’m proud to be a member of the team.”

Smith has been with the department since 2012. He served as a lieutenant for two years before being promoted to captain in 2014 and then deputy chief in 2015.

Previously, Smith was commander of police operations for the Tennessee Valley Authority for 15 years. He began his law enforcement career with the Sevierville Police Department in 1979, serving first as a dispatcher, then police officer, corporal and sergeant.

“Chief Smith is a third-generation law enforcement officer and his loyalty and integrity to the field is recognized throughout Tennessee,” Mark Watson, city manager says. “His dedication to the City of Oak Ridge and the citizens came out repeatedly during a series of interviews with local clergy, Oak Ridge police officers and City department directors. I believe the community will benefit from Chief Smith’s desire to coach our officers to an even higher level of professionalism. I want to congratulate Robin Smith and welcome him to the professional management team of this city.”

UT’s Cheek honored by alma mater Texas A&M


Texas A&M has named Knoxville’s Jimmy Cheek as its 2018 Outstanding Alumni.

Director of UT’s Postsecondary Education Research Center, Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Cheek is also chancellor emeritus of UT.

Cheek served as administrator at the University of Florida for 34 years. Upon taking office as Tennessee’s chancellor, he was challenged with taking the university to the Top 25.

His work during his chancellorship helped improve campus infrastructure, increase enrollment, retention and graduation rates, secure additional resources and aid in recruitment and retention of world class faculty and staff.

He received both his bachelors in 1969 and doctorate degree in 1975 at Texas A&M.

Cheek has received several awards including being named a Fellow of the American Association for Agricultural Education, The President’s Medallion from the University of Florida and the Chancellor’s Medallion from UT.

Jupiter’s Land earns Hileman award


Stephen Land, founder and CEO of Knoxville-based Jupiter Entertainment, will receive the 2018 Donald G. Hileman Alumni Award from UT Knoxville’s College of Communication & Information.

Land, among America’s most prolific television creators and producers for over 20 years, has developed and executive produced series and specials for virtually every major media company.

Jupiter is actively engaged in developing and producing a broad mix of award-winning programs for a host of cable television groups. Among their highly-rated series are “Sons of Guns” (Discovery), “Snapped” (Oxygen), “Wild West Alaska” (Animal Planet), “Homicide Hunter” (ID), “Biography” (A&E), “Welcome to Myrtle Manor (TLC) and “Modern Marvels” (History).

Upon graduating from UT with a communications degree in 1976, Land went to work for the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce where he held a number of positions, eventually serving as general manager. “I was so fortunate to work for the Chamber during the World’s Fair,’’ Lands says. “The atmosphere in the community was just electric.’’

“Stephen Land is one of the most talented and prolific individuals in his field,” says CCI Dean Mike Wirth. “He’s had a remarkable career and generously supported our students, through such programs as the CCI Land Ambassadors Program. The Hileman Award is fitting recognition for everything he has accomplished and all he has done for CCI, UT and the Knoxville community.”

Past recipients of the Hileman Award include Mark McNeely, founder and senior partner of McNeely Pigott and Fox; Sharon Price John, CEO and president of Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc.; Charles Tombras Jr., CEO of the Tombras Group; Alexia Poe, principal at Poe Consulting and former director of communications for Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; Alan Wilson, McCormick & Company Inc. chairman (retired); Alan N. Greenberg, president and co-founder of Avenues the World School and former Esquire magazine publisher; John Noble Wilford, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times science journalist (retired); and Peyton Manning, former NFL and UT quarterback.

ORNL researchers elected to APS fellowships

Three researchers from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been elected fellows of the American Physical Society.

The honorees are:


Gaute Hagen, task leader of the Nuclear Theory program in ORNL’s Physics Division, was cited by the APS Division of Nuclear Physics “for contributions to the development of coupled-cluster models in nuclear physics and his theoretical predictions for the structure of rare isotopes.” Hagen earned his doctorate in theoretical nuclear physics from the University of Bergen in Norway and received a Department of Energy Office of Science Early Career Award for understanding weak processes in atomic nuclei from first principles.


Masaaki Matsuda, neutron scattering scientist in the Spectroscopy Group of ORNL’s Neutron Sciences Directorate, was cited by the Division of Condensed Matter Physics “for important contributions to the study of spin-lattice effects in frustrated magnets and to the study of electronic phase separation and magnetic excitations in lightly-doped high-TC cuprate superconductors in using neutron scattering.” Matsuda was a principal researcher at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency and Riken, the Japanese Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, before joining ORNL in 2010.


Parans Paranthaman, Corporate Fellow and leader of the Materials Chemistry Group in ORNL’s Chemical Sciences Division, was cited by the APS Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics “for distinguished contributions to the field of materials synthesis and characterization for high temperature superconductors, solar cells, lithium ion batteries and additive manufacturing of magnetic materials.” Paranthaman is a Distinguished UT-Battelle Inventor, 2016 ORNL Inventor of the Year and a UT-ORNL joint faculty member with the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education.

Knoxville Police officers cited for outstanding work

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Police Chief Eve Thomas recently recognized members of the KPD for outstanding work.

The Lifesaving Award was given to officer Derrick White for his response to a cameraman choking on food. White has been with the department since July 2011.

White performed Heimlich maneuver on the individual who was unable to speak or communicate with others and could only produce violent choking sounds. White was able to dislodge food from the man’s throat, which allowed normal airway flow to resume.

Chief Thomas said, “Officer White’s quick recognition of the cameraman in distress and his immediate response prevented an unfortunate incident from turning into a tragedy.’’

Officer David Chandler and officer Ethan Grantham were named the department’s officers of the month.

Chandler has been with KPD since November 2015 while Officer Grantham has been with the department since February 2017.

The officers dealt with a shooting victim and also suspects who did not wish to cooperate in the investigation which included a shooting, a hit and run and the thief of vehicles.

Within several hours and after two foot pursuits, Chandler and Grantham had two male suspects in custody.

“Although the suspects were not cooperating, Officer Chandler and Officer Grantham developed information that led to the recovery of a Dodge pickup that had been stolen from a rental company in which the suspects had been driving,’’ Thomas says. The officers later located the silver Lexus that had been involved in the earlier shooting and hit and run.

“Officers Chandler and Grantham were very professional, diligent and productive with this investigation,’’ Thomas added. “There is no doubt that by these two officers going the extra mile to investigate this violent shooting, even though the supposed victim refused to cooperate, helped reduce more violent behavior by the parties involved.

Officer Floyd Fox, who has worked at KPD since 2002, was also named an officer of the month, for helping an elderly resident who said she had not eaten in three days.

A quick survey of the kitchen revealed she had cans of food, but the woman explained that her family member, who is addicted to drugs, had pawned everything he could of hers including her walker and her hand-held can opener, which she had to use in spite of her severe arthritis.

Using his own money, Fox brought the woman milk, eggs, bread and an electric can opener.

“Officer Fox is truly a fine example of a police officer going beyond his normal duty, willing to give away his own money that he probably needed for his own family, but yet willing to sacrifice it for one of

Officer J.D. Hopkins, a member of KPD since 1999, was given a citation as an officer of the month for response to a home invasion and, later, a shooting at the same residence.

Chief Thomas says, “In Assistant District Attorney Tammy Hicks’ officer commendation letter, she praised Hopkins’ outstanding job in the suspect’s probable cause hearing in Juvenile Court relaying the very tense situation in which he did his best to avoid shooting two young men who he believed were about to raise the gun and shoot at him.”

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