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.


TBI Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitive Arrested In Chattanooga

A man from Knoxville who was added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Top 10 Most Wanted list on May 19, was arrested  Tuesday  afternoon in Chattanooga. Marquez Travell Billingsley, 18, was taken into custody by agents with the TBI, U.S. Marshals and officers with the Chattanooga Police Department. The apprehension was made during a traffic stop ... (click for more)

Bradley County Sheriff's Office Releases Results Of Memorial Day Weekend Saturation

The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office conducted a special saturation during the Memorial Day weekend to combat impaired and reckless driving. Additional patrols were implemented in order to keep citizens safe on the roads during one the busiest weekends of the year. The saturation started on Friday at 12 a.m. and ended Tuesday, at 12 a.m. Sheriff Eric Watson said, " The ... (click for more)

Calling Out Bad Behavior In St. Elmo - And Response

I have lived in the St. Elmo community of Chattanooga for practicially all 52 years of my life. My grandmother moved to St. Elmo in 1919. My Dad was literally born in a home in St. Elmo and lived his entire 72 years in this community and my Mom has lived here 60 years of her life. I am very disappointed in what my neighborhood has become. I like people. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Amputee Team Wins Relay

As a news junkie there isn’t a lot that gets past me in my morning reading, yet I had no idea there was a relay race in Chattanooga two weekends ago. Maybe that’s why 1,500 people ran away and never came back – the finish line was in Nashville. How the Ragnar Relays work is pretty simple. The organizers pick two cities that are about 200 miles apart and then 12-to-14 runners ... (click for more)

Seth Ruhling Wins Chattanooga Chase 8K And One Mile

It has been six years since Seth Ruhling ran the Chattanooga Chase and maybe he had forgotten just how tough that 8K course really is, but that’s didn’t seem to matter Monday morning as he celebrated Memorial Day with victory in the Chattanooga Track Club’s oldest race. Ruhling graduated from Collegedale Academy in 2013 and is now a 21-year-old student at Southern Adventist ... (click for more)

Tennessee-Georgia All-Star Football Classic Set For Saturday at CCS

The 13th Annual Tennessee-Georgia All-Star Football Classic, presented by Great Clips, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday June 4 at Chattanooga Christian School in Chattanooga. Tennessee defeated Georgia 38-14 last June at McCallie School in Chattanooga. It was Tennessee's fourth consecutive victory in the series that dates back to the first game held at Ridgeland High in ... (click for more)