Audience members at Thursday’s Hamilton County Commission saw commissioners in a whole different light. That’s because the lights that usually illuminate the dais where commissioners sit were out.
“Monday, when we had the (Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional) Planning Commission here, our lights went out,” Commission Chairman Curtis Adams explained. “This is a switch that had to be ordered from out of town and it’s not here yet.”
Mr. Adams offered to get the lights turned off if “any of you would like to be in the dark.”
“No more than usual,” Commissioner John Allen Brooks replied.
reading program gets surprise donation
Girls Preparatory School donated 1,000 books to Hamilton County’s Read 20 program on Monday, according to a news release.
GPS theater students gathered the books as part of the school’s Harvest Initiative. Their teacher, Catherine Bolden, presented the books to Read 20 Chief Reading Officer Shawn Kurrelmeier-Lee.
“I had no idea that Catherine was doing this. Catherine gives so much to Read 20 on our weekly reading program, ‘Read With Me’ on WSMC-FM radio,” Ms. Kurrelmeier-Lee said. “The program touches so many children. This is such an incredible gift from her GPS students and Catherine.”
Hamilton County’s Parks and Recreation Department will host its eighth annual Fantasy Maze at the Tennessee Riverpark next weekend. The maze runs from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, according to a news release.
The 1,500-bale straw maze contains 40 cartoon heroes and classic characters. There will be no scary or threatening characters, officials said.
Admission is $3 per child. Adults and children under 2 get in free.
For more information, call 842-6748.
UNION GOSPEL DENIED ZONING REQUEST
The Union Gospel Mission’s zoning request to turn a duplex into four apartments has been denied by the Chattanooga City Council.
Councilman Andraé McGary was the only member to vote in favor at Tuesday’s council meeting.
Union Gospel Mission moved to the Signal Hills Drive area almost three months ago. After being told it could not house homeless men in the church building it moved into, the mission found a duplex nearby.
Robert Spilko, speaking for the Signal Hills community, told council members the housing poses a threat to the neighborhood.
More than 50 children live in the neighborhood and walk by the duplex every day to go to the school bus, Mr. Spilko said.
John Rector, executive director of Union Gospel Mission, said he had spoken to neighbors and heard no complaints.
“They have seen no negative,” Mr. Rector said.
Councilwoman Deborah Scott, who represents the area, said she could not vote for the measure.
“This rezoning of this apartment complex will not improve this neighborhood,” she said.
Mr. Rector said that, even though the complex was not rezoned, it does not mean the mission will have to move out.
There are still two apartments that can house people, he said.
“It’s not going to keep us from using it,” Mr. Rector said.
Cliff has worked for the Times Free Press for five years and covers Chattanooga city government. He previously covered Rhea County, as well as transportation and growth and development in Southeast Tennessee. A native of Maryville, Tenn., Cliff graduated in 2003 from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis on journalism. Before coming to Chattanooga, he was a crime reporter with Hernando Today, a supplement of The Tampa (Fla.) ...