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Dan Whisenhunt

Stories by Dan

Hamilton County School officials have confirmed that a nurse at Soddy-Daisy High School resigned Feb. 16 following allegations of inappropriate conduct with students.

If a sales tax agreement with the city of Chattanooga is not renewed, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger says, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department could lose $10 million, roughly half its budget.

The Hamilton County Commission opened its wallet Wednesday, with commissioners verbally agreeing to use short-term loans to buy the empty David Brainerd School for $3.4 million.

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger this morning recommended the commission issue short-term commercial paper debt to buy the David Brainerd School property.

Commissioner Jim Fields told the County Commission this morning that after one- on-one discussions with Chattanooga Councilwoman Deborah Scott, the commission should anticipate a budget without money from the city-county sales tax agreement.

Hamilton County commissioners this morning approved two contract increases.

This morning Hamilton County Trustee Bill Hullander announced the county has filed a lawsuit against the owners of Comfort Suites on Williams Street in Chattanooga,which owes more than $200,000 in hotel motel taxes and has been delinquent since 2008.

Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Jim Scales said Tuesday that he is meeting personally with Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger about regaining control of payment-in-lieu-of-taxes money.

Hamilton County has more money in its reserves than all other municipalities in the county combined.

Until this year, politics was Mitch McClure’s side project. The Middle Valley Church of God pastor worked on several local political campaigns behind the scenes. On Jan. 27, McClure stepped into the limelight.

Next week, Hamilton County commissioners likely will approve two contract increases, one with a contractor for work at Enterprise South industrial park and one with the company that runs Silverdale Detention Center.

After Hamilton County commissioners selected Jim Coppinger in January for the county’s top job following a tumultuous selection process, the new mayor decided it was time to change the conversation.

County Commission Chairman Larry Henry said it’s possible the County Commission will step in to purchase the David Brainerd School site after the school board on Thursday said it no longer has the money to buy it.

Next week, Hamilton County commissioners likely will approve two contract increases, one with a contractor for work at Enterprise South industrial park and one with the company that runs Silverdale Detention Center.

Hamilton County commissioners this morning began discussing proposed increases to the contract for operating the Silverdale Detention Center and a $921,000 increase to a $3 million contract at Enterprise South.

Three hotels owe the county more than $250,000 in local hotel and motel taxes, a list that includes the historic Delta Queen and the Town & Country Inn on East 23rd Street.

Among the bright faces and infectious laughs of twentysomethings living away from mom and dad for the first time, there’s Larry Henry, 62, in a red sweater.

Within a few days, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger’s hopes for continuing a decades-old sales tax agreement with the Chattanooga appear to have dimmed.

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger will host another County Conversations meeting tonight at Hixson Middle School at 6 p.m.

The mayors of Hamilton County and Chattanooga on Friday offered dramatically different predictions on the fate of a decades-old sales tax agreement.

County Mayor Jim Coppinger told the audience at a Southeast Tennessee Political Action Committee luncheon that, if the county and the city would work together, they could find a way to renew their decades-old sales tax agreement.

Neither side arguing over who should control millions of dollars generated by tax-break agreements thinks the issue will go to court.

The Hamilton County Commission is calling off a planned March 15 meeting with county school board members because they have little to discuss, the commission chairman says.

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger said he’s reviewing the resumes of 10 applicants to become Hamilton County’s next human resources director, including one from the chief judicial magistrate.

Hamilton County commissioners on Wednesday said County Mayor Jim Coppinger’s call to reform the process of filling a mayoral vacancy hit a dead end when it was determined that the change would be unconstitutional.

Hamilton County Commissioners passed a resolution "acknowledging Hamilton County's obligation to assist in the implementation of an International Baccalaureate Program within the Hamilton County School System."

Hamilton County Commissioners this morning decided to call off an upcoming meeting with Board of Education members.

County Commissioners this morning said a proposal to allow for a special election in the event of a vacancy in the office of County Mayor is dead in the water after it was determined the law would be unconstitutional.

Despite a legal opinion saying Hamilton County commissioners can keep about $6 million in tax money slated for schools, members of the local school board still hope to change their minds.

Barely two months into his job as Hamilton County mayor, Jim Coppinger faces three key challenges as old agreements expire and the county and the school board argue about how to spend tax money designated for schools.

Chattanooga City Councilman Andraé McGary announced last week on his “Live and Local” radio show on Talk Radio 102.3 FM that he is considering becoming a Republican after a lifetime as a Democrat.

Hamilton County Commissioner Warren Mackey said Thursday that a letter he sent to Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Jim Scales, detailing county commissioners' concerns with the school system, was not disrespectful.

Hamilton County Schools top financial officer will step down March 7, but he said he will be with the school system through its budget process.

Hamilton County Schools Chief Financial Officer Tommy Kranz is leaving Hamilton County Schools

Hamilton County Commissioner Warren Mackey attempted to set a new tone as he and commissioners set a new meeting date with Board of Education members to smooth over differences about who should control tax money designated for schools.

School board members kept up their war of words Tuesday over a county commission decision to withhold millions in tax revenue from the school district.

County Trustee Bill Hullander said he’d like for the state Attorney General to weigh on on whether he should give the schools money the county receives from payment in lieu of taxes agreements.

Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Jim Scales and School Board attorney Scott Bennett are warning county officials that they will be committing an "illegal" act.

Hamilton County Superintendent Jim Scales and school board attorney Scott Bennett have notified the state Education Commissioner and Hamilton County Trustee Bill Hullander that they believe the county’s decision to withhold tax money for schools is “illegal.”

With one ethics complaint pending against General Sessions Judges Bob Moon and David Bales, and another one against just Bales, some local attorneys and the former Hamilton County Republican Party chairwoman are opening up about what they see as a pattern of judicial abuse.

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger tonight will resume his series of “County Conversations” at Dalewood Middle School.

Hamilton County cannot afford to fund dozens of social service agencies on its own if the sales tax agreement expires, the county's chief financial officer said Thursday.

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger on Thursday followed through on his promise to seek reform of the process for choosing the county mayor in the event of a vacancy.

New Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger is planning on keeping all the staff left by former Mayor Claude Ramsey.

Newly-appointed Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger asked commissioners to support reform of the mayoral selection process.

Hamilton County and Chattanooga officials are facing more than $1 million each in lost property tax revenue after three downtown buildings were sold within the last six months for less than their appraised value.

There is still some confusion between parents and county officials after an angry public forum Monday at East Hamilton Middle High School.

The recent sale of three large properties in Chattanooga for far less than their assessed value will likely chop $1 to $2 million out of Hamilton County’s revenues, a county official said.

Hamilton County Trustee Bill Hullander announced Monday that the Trustee’s office hours will be from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday starting Feb. 14 through Feb. 28.

The conversation got heated Monday night at East Hamilton Middle High School as parents asked County Mayor Jim Coppinger, Commission Chairman Larry Henry and school board member Linda Mosley why the school's athletic facilities weren't complete.

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