Monday , 24 September 2018

Wednesday, October 4th

From the Tennova Healthcare Cleveland News Desk, here is your news for Wednesday, October 4th, on Mix 104-1 and Talk 101-3 The Buzz.

From the Chattanooga Times Free Press…

Some Bradley County commissioners clashed Monday over a local attorney’s $2,675 bill for representing the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office during a forensic audit.

Sheriff Eric Watson hired attorney Andrew J. Brown on Sept. 4 after commissioners voted to go forward with the special audit, a deep dive into the department’s finances that would look specifically for evidence of wrongdoing.

Watson terminated Brown on Sept 15, saying in a Sept. 18 news release that because commissioners decided to have the audit done by the Tennessee Office of the Comptroller rather than hiring an outside firm, he no longer felt the department needed its own attorney.

But some commissioners, led by Thomas Crye, questioned why Watson felt the need to hire an attorney rather than rely on County Attorney Crystal Freiburg, and whether the sheriff even had the authority to do so. Crye asked Freiburg to check for an attorney general’s opinion on the authority issue. If Watson overstepped, Crye and others said, the lawyer’s fee should come out of the sheriff’s budget rather than the county general fund.

That question was unanswered by Monday, when Finance Committee members renewed the argument.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is in the 15th month of an investigation related to persistent allegations of credit card misuse, missing money and other problems in the sheriff’s office.

From the Chattanoogan…

A trial date of Feb. 20 has been set for Johnthony Walker in the tragic Woodmore Elementary school bus wreck.

Six students died in the crash on Talley Road in Brainerd last Nov. 21.

He faces 34 charges, including six counts of vehicular homicide.

Walker remains in jail, though Judge Don Poole recently cut his bond from $107,000 to $50,000.

From the Cleveland Daily Banner…

The Bradley County Commission gave its unanimous approval Monday night to the $15.6 million bond issue which will pay for the construction of the new Lake Forest Middle School.

Lake Forest Principal Ritchie Stevenson said construction has been going well.

He said contactors now believe the new building will be under roof by Christmas and the blocks will start being laid as early as next week.

Commissioners also gave approval to accept Turkey Hill Lane into the county road system and change the name of Eldridge Drive to Eldridge Court.

Vice Chairman Jeff Yarber, who represents the 4th District, expressed his concerns about plans to relocate residents of the downtown Summit complex to Smith Drive in his district.

In a related matter, Commissioner Milan Blake said he has spoken to MainStreet Cleveland which is helping to purchase the Summit.

Monday night’s business was conducted at the Bradley Central High School library due to the fire and smoke damage at the Bradley County Courthouse.

Commissioners will use that same facility again when they meet next Monday at noon for a work session.

Also in news today…

Coffee with a cop, with members of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Department, is today from 9 AM until noon. You can meet with Sheriff Watson and other members of his department. The following McDonald’s locations will feature coffee with a cop from 9 AM until noon today: McDonald’s on N. Lee Highway, and McDonald’s on APD 40.

This has been your local and state news. You can get news anytime by visiting our website,, powered by Pioneer Credit. From the Tennova Healthcare Cleveland News Desk, this is Jeremy Gault reporting.