Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

A resolution was passed by the Bradley County Commission appointing Dan Howell as the interim successor of Eric Watson for the district 22 seat of the state House of Representatives. This will begin Sept. 1. While Mr. Howell won the Republican nomination for the seat, the general election is not until November. He has no Democratic opposition in that election.  Watson was elected as the new sheriff of Bradley County and this will also be effective on Sept. 1. His resignation from the state house is effective August 31st.

Bradley County SPCA Director Bobbi Anderson was terminated and County Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones resigned from the SPCA Board during a heated Monday night meeting. Board chair and SPCA President Betti Gravelle made a motion for Ms. Anderson’s termination after describing the director’s conduct as “insubordination.” Ms. Gravelle said Ms. Anderson did not respond to take an animal after Bradley County deputies received a 911 call from a resident regarding a pit bull. When the shelter did not take the animal, it later bit the man. He had to receive stitches. According to the Chattanoogan website, Ms. Gravelle said, “No one from the SPCA tried to call the deputy back.” Part of the SPCA’s contract with the county involves operating as animal control. She continued, “This organizational failure, if left unchecked, is not only in breach of the contract but in violation of our mission.” Commissioner Peak-Jones asked for Ms. Anderson to be able to explain her side of the story, but her request was denied. Ms. Anderson also repeatedly asked to speak. However, while Ms. Anderson stood at the podium, Ms. Gravelle would not let her speak. An officer walked up to force her to sit back down. Shortly after, Commissioner Peak-Jones resigned from the board. It was announced the next SPCA meeting will be Sept. 2 at 5:30 p.m.

A new Bradley County Workhouse could pay for itself over a 10-year period if estimates presented to the ad hoc committee held true. According to the Cleveland Daily Banner, the committee voted last week to adjourn until both Sheriff-elect Eric Watson and a new Bradley County Commission took office. Estimates given by Cope Architects show a total cost of $2,806,190 if what could be called the “premier” option were accepted. That would include the maximum-envisioned facility to house 128 inmates, 3,222 square feet of probation offices and an addition of a food area and rental space that could be utilized by services related to the court and probation system such as bail bonds.
County misdemeanor probation director Rich Kienlen has presented monthly expense estimates of $78,277 for such a facility. The ad hoc committee is planning to meet again in mid-October for more discussions.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has launched a new outreach to raise awareness of human trafficking in Tennessee.The campaign is titled “IT Has To Stop.”  Items used to educate the public are information, current research and statistics, video, important contacts, and links for visitors to join non-profits and other groups in the efforts to curb trafficking in Tennessee. Visitors can also connect with the campaign on designated Facebook and Twitter accounts. The average age of a human trafficking victim is 13.
Tennessee’s attorney general says married parents can’t invent new last names for their children. Attorney General Bob Cooper writes in a legal opinion that state law limits the options to the last name of either the father or the mother, or both. What’s not allowed, says Cooper, is a hybrid name using portions of both parents’ last names. For example, he says, the child of a couple named Johnson or McAllister could have either last name or both names hyphenated. But Cooper says the parents could not decide to create a new name like “Johnister” or `McAllinson.” The legal opinion was requested by Republican state Rep. Charles Sargent of Franklin.