Reporter's notebook: Jack Benson blasts new voter ID law

Reporter's notebook: Jack Benson blasts new voter ID law

August 28th, 2011 by Staff Report in News

Jack Benson

Chattanooga City Councilman Jack Benson took several minutes at Tuesday night's council meeting to lambaste the new state law on voter identification.

The law imposes a number of identification requirements to vote, including a photo ID.

Benson discussed how one acceptable form of ID is a gun-carry permit, while he knows people who don't have any form of identification.

"It really concerns me," he said. "It looks to me they [the Tennessee General Assembly] are doing everything they can to discourage voting."

Councilwoman Deborah Scott spoke up at one point, saying it wasn't the council's job to talk about state government.

"This matter seems to be a matter for a whole other body," she said.

GOVERNOR TOURS LITTLE DEBBIE SITE

Gov. Bill Haslam spent about an hour at the McKee Foods Corp. plant in Collegedale on Wednesday after keynoting the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting.

McKee spokesman Mike Gloekler said Haslam checked out the company's automated storage and retrieval facility, which has been running about six months.

Haslam later took some questions from employees, Gloekler said.

SMITH GIVING STATE ADDRESS

Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Rick Smith is set to give a "State of Hamilton County Schools" presentation this week.

Smith is set to speak at 7:30 a.m. Thursday at a meeting of the Downtown Council of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. The meeting will be held in the DoubleTree Hotel, 407 Chestnut St.

Cost of attending the breakfast is $10.

EAST RIDGE FACES DEFICIT IN AUGUST

East Ridge already is in the hole and has yet to pick up a shovel.

The city is finding itself with a $300,000 deficit early in the 2011-12 fiscal year. At its Aug. 25 City Council meeting, the city listed $718,000 in revenue and more than $1 million in expenses for August.

City Manager Tim Gobble said the disparity stems from the number of insurance payments and bulk payments paid at the beginning of the city's fiscal year. He also noted that the revenues will go up as the city collects taxes in the next two months.

9/11 FREEDOM WALK

In commemoration of the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Operation Homefront is hosting Freedom Walk 2011 in East Ridge.

The event is set for Sept. 11 at Camp Jordan.

East Ridge is one of 33 cities across the country selected to host the event.

The goal is to show support for service members and veterans and reflect on the events of 9/11. Sponsored walkers will help raise money to assist families of service members.

For more information about how to register to run or walk in the Freedom Walk, call 931-982-3207 or visit www.operationhomefront.net/tennessee.