Monday , 27 September 2021

Local News for Tuesday, September 14th

Here is your Cleveland, Tenn. | Bradley County, Tenn. news on, sponsored by Toyota of Cleveland:

Topping our news today…

On September 10, 2021, Bradley County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded with Charleston Police Department to a crash with injuries on Dry Valley Rd NE where the driver of the vehicle was no longer on scene.

Upon their arrival, a witness described the driver as a white male, wearing identifiable clothing, with a bleeding head injury, who had fled from Charleston PD prior to BCSO arrival.

During investigation, it was discovered that the vehicle belonged to the Meigs County Board of Education and was stolen overnight. Units searched the area for the male but were not able to locate him at that time.

The driver was identified as 41-year-old Christopher Burnette, of Calhoun, TN.

Later on, it was reported that a vehicle picked up a male matching the suspect’s description. Based on the given information, units were able to make contact with it on Lauderdale Memorial Highway and conducted a traffic stop.

During the traffic stop, Burnette refused commands to exit the vehicle before he was placed into custody. He was transported to the hospital due to his injuries that occurred in the crash and taken to the Bradley County Jail after his release.

Christopher Burnette was ultimately charged with Possession of Stolen Property, Burglary, and Evading Arrest.

In news today…

Lee University has been ranked once again in the upper tier of Southern universities in the 2022 U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges.

This year Lee ranked #27, moving up six spots from last year, within the top 50 “Best Regional Universities – South” category, which includes both public and private universities. The ranked schools are evaluated in up to 15 areas related to academic excellence such as graduation rate, peer-assessment, freshman retention rate, student-faculty ratio, and acceptance rate.

In addition to the main ranking, Lee reappears in three specialty rankings. These include “A+ Schools for B Students,” the “Best Value Schools” listing, and “Best Colleges for Veterans.”

U.S. News has been ranking colleges for 37 years and continues to be a closely watched college ranking. The magazine reviewed over 1,000 colleges and universities nationwide for the 2022 annual issue.

Also in news today…

Cleveland City Schools has once again seen a decline in the number of confirmed active COVID-19 cases in the school system. A report released yesterday indicated a total of 69 confirmed active cases, down from the 77 reported last Wednesday. Cleveland Middle had the highest number of cases at 24, followed by Cleveland High at 14. Candy’s Creek Cherokee Elementary had 7 cases, Blythe-Bower had 6 cases, Ross and Yates combined had 6 cases, Stuart had 4 cases, Arnold had 3 cases, and Mayfield Elementary had 2 cases. There were no cases at the central office.

In news today…

For the second straight year, the Museum Center at 5ive Points has postponed its annual gala, but this year’s event will still occur later this year.

The “Bradley Bandstand: Dancing Through the Decades” event was planned for Friday, Sept. 17, but due to COVID-19 concerns, the Museum’s Board of Directors decided Saturday evening to postpone the event.

They will try to hold the gala later in the year. Music Under The Stars is still planned to happen on September 25th. That event will feature a night of music featuring the Premier Jazz Orchestra, and will be an outdoor event. Swing-dance lessons will be taught just before the orchestra performs.

From the Cleveland Daily Banner…

Tim Siniard reports: The Tennessee Department of Transportation on Friday awarded a $53.9 million highway construction bid for Phase 1 of the long-planned Highway 60/Georgetown Road widening project.

According to state Rep. Dan Howell (R-Cleveland), the winning bid was from Johnson City-based highway construction contractor, Summers-Taylor.

The family-owned company has been in business since 1932 and is licensed in Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina, according to Howell. 

The company also has a Cleveland connection, having merged with Cleveland’s Simpson Construction in 2018.

According to the company, the Simpson Construction organization “operates as a division within Summers-Taylor.” 

Phase 1 of the highway project — which stretches 5.9 miles from Interstate 75 to State Route 306, and will consist of three-lane sections, passing lanes, 12-foot travel lanes and 8-foot shoulders — has been pushed back several times by the Tennessee Department of Transportation due to a lengthy rights-of-way process.

The project is funded through the Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy Act, which was passed by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2017.

Phase 2, also an IMPROVE Act project, which will widen Georgetown Road N.W. from State Route 306 in Bradley County to State Route 58 in Hamilton County, will break ground once Phase 1 is completed, according to Howell.

Project completion is not anticipated until 2025, which means there will be some inconveniences for commuters along the heavily-traveled corridor, where several subdivisions and schools are located.

The project’s start date is still up in the air.

In news today…

The Cleveland City Council met on Monday covering several items of business. Mayor Kevin Brooks thanked the pastor of First Baptist for their combined 10,000 labor hours of service across the city in various projects at schools, animal shelters, and many other places. Aldo discussed were results of the last census, placing the city population at 47,356 people. Council members were concerned that the census was undercounted due to events in 2020. City Manager Joe Fivas said a recount would cost money. Councilman Estes mentioned grants that may be available for cities with population of 50,000 or more, so in a few years it may be worth a recount.

Also in news today…

The Bradley County Commission also met on Monday, covering several items of business. Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis reported that COVID hospitaliations are steady but not rising as much. Approximately 2,000 were vaccinated last week. Mayor Davis asked for a vote to be taken next week on the appointment of a new Judicial Commission member, as well as bids for commission room updates, for equipment to live stream meetings. Mayor Davis also stated that he cannot mandate the COVID-19 vaccine, hoping the governor stops federal mandates, which would go through OSHA and TN OSHA.

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