NEWS WEDNESDAY 11/26

A 51-year-old man was shot and killed by Cleveland Police officers just before noon Tuesday. Police said Robert Edwin Eaves was a registered sex offender who had abducted a 28-year-old woman and taken her to an address on Phillips Street, where the shooting occurred.Police said three children were inside the house, including a 16-year-old babysitter. One of the children called for help and police were alerted.Police said the officers fired after Eaves came after them with a knife.The officers, Jacob Varnell, 25, and Jody Musselwhite, 45, were placed on administrative leave as is standard practice after an officer-involved shooting.The TBI was called in to investigate.Eaves was convicted of attempted rape in 2006.

Special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have obtained an indictment for Timothy Proffitt, Meigs County Chancery Court clerk and master, who is charged with falsifying a hotel receipt.At the request of 9th District Attorney General Russell Johnson, agents began investigating Proffitt on Oct. 30. During the course of the investigation, agents determined that in April, Proffitt falsified a hotel receipt submitted to the Meigs County Finance Department for reimbursement.On Monday, the Meigs County Grand Jury returned an indictment, charging the 52-year-old Decatur man with one count of criminal simulation. Proffitt turned himself in on Tuesday at the Meigs County Jail. He was booked and released after posting a $1,000 bond.

News from the Cleveland Daily Banner TDOT is making plans for what it is terming “immediate improvements to the pavement marking and signage” at Walker Valley and Lauderdale Memorial Highway. The information was presented to the Bradley County Commission Monday night by state Rep. Dan Howell. Howell told commissioners he had been informed TDOT had an engineer conducting on-site interviews in the area Nov. 19 — a day after a news conference about the traffic hazards was held by Sheriff Eric Watson, Howell and other school and county leaders. “According to their investigation, it is not unusual to see a dozen vehicles per day run that stop sign at Walker Valley and Lauderdale,” Howell said. He also noted the TDOT engineer has concluded that almost all of the crashes at the location are a result of northbound traffic on Walker Valley Road running the stop sign and running out into traffic on Lauderdale. Originally, TDOT had said a safety audit review would be done by the end of June next year. Howell said he has been told that visit could be moved up to as early as March 31.  As for the “immediate improvements,” Howell said TDOT would be working with the Bradley County Road Department to get those improvements implemented.The representative also announced plans for improvements at Exit 33 on Interstate 75. “The project is for the grading, drainage and concrete paving on the I-75 northbound and southbound off ramps at the exit including installation of signals,” Howell said.“The ramps will be widened as well to increase storage capacity and prevent traffic from overloading the ramps and backing up onto the mainline of I-75.”

Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis sent a shot across the bow of the County Commission Monday night, warning that keeping the commitments of a previous Commission vote to fund a new Lake Forest Middle School may not be fiscally possible on the timeline stated in a 2013 Commission resolution. Commissioner Johnny Mull presented the item of “recommitment” to the Commission as an item to be placed on the agenda of the next voting session Dec. 1. He read from the resolution passed Nov. 13 by the Bradley County Board of Education. The resolution stated the school system would commit $1 million to the project, if the Commission kept to its commitment made last year.
– In other business, vice chairman Jeff Yarber moved to send the question of financing the cost of jail repairs to the finance committee. Yarber had originally passed a motion in the Jail Committee that would have sent the matter directly to the Commission.The next Commission meeting will be a voting session Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Commission meeting room.

Cleveland City Council voted Monday to contract with a financial adviser to keep the city’s finances “on the right track.” The item was added to the agenda to provide “professional help” in making the city’s dollars go further, according to Councilman Bill Estes. Estes’ proposal goal is to save money, and with the additional incurrence of an $11 million debt to finance the new gymnasium at Cleveland High School, the city will be looking to pinch every penny. “Our [Cleveland’s] threshold of fixed-rate debt and variable debt are about to be in a place where we need to be advised on what to do — to continue with this variable-rate debt or have our portfolio have more fixed-rate debt,” according to City Manager Janice Casteel,“We’re looking in every avenue of the city to save money or generate revenue,” stated Casteel.Council also gave its approval to allow Mayor Tom Rowland to sign a state grant application for Hardwick Clothes Inc. requesting the amount of $1.975 million. The city and company are eligible to make the application through the State Economic and Community Development’s “Fast Track” grant.The grant is intended to “assist Hardwick Clothes expenditures and capital investments,” as the company is currently in the process of upgrading facilities and operations in Cleveland, and is planning to invest more than $3 million over the next four years.

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