Courthouse Fixture Bob Ball Retiring This Week

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - by John Wilson
Bob Ball, standing, and Gary Bender
Bob Ball, standing, and Gary Bender

Bob Ball got a call in October 1978 from his Masons friend Judge Don Moore asking if he wanted to start a new career. He said he did, and his stint as a court officer has lasted until this coming Thursday.

That will be his last day as a court officer. He has served under Criminal Court Judge Don Poole since 2005. Before that it was under Steve Bevil for "15 years, two months and 16 days" and before that Russell Hinson for six years.

He's been busy over the past few days training his replacement, Gary Bender.

Mr. Ball noted he was born in Hereford, Tex., and grew up at Tucumcari, New Mexico. His dad had a drug store and newstand.

He went into the Air Force and was stationed at Mobile with Chattanoogan Wally West. West invited him to see his hometown and there he met West's sister, Liz. "I've never forgiven him for that," he quips. Bob Ball and Liz West were married, and they chose to make Chattanooga their home.

He ran Bob Ball Realty for six years before the call came from Judge Moore, whose duties had suddenly switched from executive to judicial with a change in county government.

"I was glad he called," said Mr. Ball, who took a liking to his new career. And he and Judge Moore played golf every afternoon following the close of court.

"I've enjoyed being around the people at court," he said. He hugs many of the female attorneys and slaps his male attorney friends on the back.

And there have been some major cases - most notably the trial of Duane Kiser for the murder of Deputy Donald Bond. "That happened about a mile from where I live," Mr. Ball notes.

"But I hate to see all the young people who have gone wrong," he says.

He said the only reason he is stopping is because "I can't walk as well as I should and I can't hear as well as I should."

He adds, "Judge Poole has the best clerk, the best secretary and the best court reporter. He deserves to have the best bailiff too."
  

  


Ephemeral Forms: Works By Shadow May Is At AVA Gallery

Ephemeral Forms: Works by Shadow May, will ope at the AVA Gallery with a reception on Friday, Nov. 7, from 5:30-8 p.m. The exhibit will run from Nov. 7-25. Mr. May received his Bachelor degree in English and Art History from the University of Alaska. He then completed a Ceramics work-study at Penland School of Crafts and went on to major in Ceramics at Haywood Community College. ... (click for more)

Weekly Road Construction Report

Here is the weekly road construction report for Hamilton County: U.S. 27 (SR-29) reconstruction project from Manufacturers Road (Olgiati Bridge over the Tennessee River) to U.S. 127 (SR-8, Signal Mountain Road/Boulevard):  Weather permitting, the contractor may have lane closures throughout the project area on weeknights to perform road work.  On Saturday from 7 a.m.-3 ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Firm Gets $1,010,000 Contract For Overseeing VW Expansion For New SUV Line

A Chattanooga firm is getting the contract for overseeing the construction work for the new SUV line at the Volkswagen plant. Officials said the EMJ Corporation has been selected for the project that will give a new surge of activity and employment at the plant at the Enterprise South Industrial Park. The work includes additions to the body shop and tech center and adding ... (click for more)

Man Airlifted To Erlanger After Early Morning Crash In Bradley County

Bradley County EMS responded to an early morning crash Thursday at 7 a.m. at the intersection of Lauderdale Memorial Highway and Walker Valley Road in Charleston. Three ambulances and an EMS supervisor responded to the scene. There were three vehicles involved and one car left the roadway.   One adult man suffered serious injuries and it was determined that he needed ... (click for more)

Chairs Cost How Much?

Many times while growing up, I would go to the store with my parents. More often than not, I would see something I wanted, and ask my parents to buy it for me. More often than not, they said no. “Why?” I asked. “Son, money doesn’t grow on trees.” That’s a phrase I’m sure many of us have heard more than once over the course of our lives. However, I have since learned that they were ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Dear Friend Luther

One sunny morning in June years ago, the renowned radio icon Luther Masingill was on his way back to the WDEF studios on South Broad Street when he stopped for a red light and noticed a young couple in a car idling next to his familiar light blue Ford pickup. “What caught my eye was a buck-toothed boy eating a banana in the back seat,” he explained in an aside to that day’s lunchtime ... (click for more)