Eastgate Town Centre Ice Skating Rink To Be Yanked

Tuesday, August 6, 2002

The operator of the ice skating rink at Eastgate Town Centre said she was told Monday night that the rink has been sold and will be removed next Monday.

"We're all devastated. There are a lot of tears," said Linda Pope, who has had the lease on the rink since last December.

She said she and two other instructors have a large contingent of skaters, including 35 who are scheduled to go to a competition in Gatlinburg soon. "Now we will have nowhere to practice," she said.

Ms. Pope, who is a Gold Medalist along with fellow teacher Deborah Cary Gibb, said, "We are asking that someone in Chattanooga come forward and provide us a rink. There are a lot of interested skaters as well as hockey players who would use it."

The Chattanooga Choo Choo at one time had an ice skating rink, and one was put in at Cricket Pavilion at Finley Stadium for several seasons.

The Eastgate rink has been the only one available for the past several years.

Ms. Pope said she was told by Eastgate manager Kathleen Freeman that the rink here has a leak that would cost $35,000 to repair. She said she was not told who the buyers were or the amount paid.

She said she was told that a group flew in to look at the rink "so I assume it will be moved a long way off."

She said she was told that a crew will arrive next week and will then dismantle the rink and truck it away from Chattanooga.

Jim Colbert, whose daughter, Katie, has been skating at Eastgate for three years, said his daughter "cried for hours" after getting the news. "She's very sad."

He said the closest rink is Kennesaw, Ga., and there is also one at Huntsville, Ala.

Mr. Colbert said some of the merchants at the center are upset about the closing, saying that many of their customers came from the skaters and their families.

"The owner of a Mexican restaurant said up to 40 percent of his customers were from the skaters," Mr. Colbert said.

He said Linda Pope "has orders for skating outfits in process. She's going to lose her shirt."

He said his daughter skates 40 hours a week at the Eastgate rink after starting the sport when she was seven.

Eastgate officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The third teacher at the rink is Kirsten Ferriera.


Cross Plains Police Officer Arrested On Charges Of Sexual Battery By Authority Figure

An investigation by   special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the arrest of a Robertson County School Resource Officer on charges of sexual battery by an authority figure.                                         At the request of 19 ... (click for more)

Shelby County Man Charged In Tipton County Double Homicide

An investigation by   special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and detectives with the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office has resulted in the arrest of a second individual in connection with a double homicide in July. At the request of 25 th  District Attorney General Mike Dunavant, TBI special agents joined the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office in investigating ... (click for more)

Tennessee River Gorge Trust Trail Warriors Make You Want To Take A Hike

Trail warriors of the Tennessee River Gorge Trust make you want to take a hike.  The Tennessee River Gorge Trust staff and volunteers make a huge difference in the Chattanooga community and have been making the outdoor areas around the River Gorge clean and protected for more than 30 years.  They deserve to be recognized and praised for all of the hard work they have ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why Our Schools Stink

Cheryl Roddy has spent her lifetime, for the biggest part, as a teacher for the Hamilton County Department of Education and, more specifically, at East Ridge High School. She has loved teaching there for nearly 40 years and is hardly “average;” she has her master's degree in education, was twice East Ridge’s teacher of the year, was the first teacher at East Ridge to reach the first ... (click for more)

Wilson, Hurricanes Pull Out 58-55 Win Against Baylor

From deep in the left corner, East Hamilton guard Vandrele Wilson, a 5-foot-7 junior, let fly with a 3-point shot, came back to the ground and stood concrete-still while watching the basketball hit nothing but net. As soon as the ball left his hand, Wilson was sure it was golden. The clutch 3-pointer gave East Hamilton a 56-55 lead over Baylor with 15 seconds remaining ... (click for more)

Prolific Prep Hammers Hamilton Heights 72-62

Gary Trent Jr. ripped Hamilton Heights for a game-high 36 points on Friday night and helped Prolific Prep Academy (Windsor, Calif.) defeat the Hawks 72-62 in the Marshal County (Ky.) Hoopfest. Trent, who played all 32 minutes, hit 14 of 28 shots, including 3 of 9 3-point tries. He scored 19 in the first half and had 11 each in the second and third periods. Abu Kigab scored ... (click for more)