Local fire victim families teaming up with HCFD, Red Cross to install smoke alarms

MARCH 23 – Hardin County Fire Department volunteers, members of the Red Cross and members of the Franks and West families will be holding a door-to-door smoke alarm canvass  Saturday, March 24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Burnt Church and Gillis Mills communities. 

The Franks and West families lost four of their own, a husband, mother, and two children to a house fire in January. Since that incident and another recent house fire that involved a death, HCFD reports installing more than 1,000 smoke alarms. 

Organizers of the canvass now want to be sure to reach everyone who needs a smoke alarm. The best way to do that, says HCFD Chief Melvin Martin, is to go door to door. 

The free smoke alarms are provided by the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office and have a 10-year battery.

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Wrong-way driver travels miles on U.S. 64, hits 18-wheeler at Savannah

MARCH 16 – A Savannah man experiencing an apparent diabetic emergency Thursday night drove a Jeep about 2-1/2 miles on the wrong side of a divided section of four-lane U.S. 64 before slamming into an 18-wheeler just inside the city limit, according to a police report.

The driver of the sport utility vehicle, John Denni Highland, 42, was transported by ambulance to Hardin Medical Center with suspected serious injuries.

Savannah Patrolman Austin King said in his report that Central Dispatch advised there had been 911 calls about a red Jeep Liberty traveling east toward the city in the westbound lane. 

The first 911 caller told police she saw the Jeep begin driving on the wrong side of the highway in Crump. It continued across the levee and the Tennessee River bridge at high speed. Oncoming traffic managed to avoid the Jeep until impact was made with the tractor-trailer at about 7:23 p.m. near the former Huddle House restaurant.

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TVA's Pickwick Dam campground opens for season

MARCH 15 – The Tennessee Valley Authority’s seasonal campgrounds are ready and waiting for visitors to return to the outdoors as the 2018 camping season starts today.

TVA provides more than 80 public recreation areas, including campgrounds, day-use areas and boat ramps across the Tennessee Valley. Recreation Resource Management LLC, will again be managing the six TVA campgrounds on its dam reservations:

• Cherokee Dam - Cherokee Reservoir in Jefferson City, Tenn.

• Douglas Dam Headwater – Douglas Reservoir near Sevierville, Tenn.

• Douglas Dam Tailwater – Douglas Reservoir near Sevierville, Tenn.

• Melton Hill Dam - Melton Hill Reservoir near Lenoir City, Tenn.

• Pickwick Dam  –  Pickwick Reservoir near Savannah, Tenn.

• Watauga Dam  – Watauga Reservoir near Elizabethton, Tenn.

TVA said improvements made at these campgrounds in 2017 include a new online reservation system, renovated restrooms, and new camp stores at Douglas Headwater and Pickwick campgrounds.

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