Boulder Barrels Down Side Of Lookout Mountain; Tree By Scenic Highway Stops Fall

Mountain Beautiful Trail Closed; Park Concerned About Stability Of Bluff

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A boulder that barreled down the side of Lookout Mountain sometime on New Year's Eve was stopped just short of dropping onto Scenic Highway by a lone tree.

The big rock that was dislodged from a section of bluff wound up on the Hardy Trail just above the busy highway.

It left a pathway of destruction, including several large downed trees.

The boulder, which may have split into several pieces during its descent, also left a mess of the National Park Service's Mountain Beautiful trail that goes from the Hardy Trail to just below Point Park.


And it left Park Supt. Cathy Cook with concerns about the stability of the bluff above the trail. She said there is a possibility that another section of the bluff could fall since this large piece undermining the bluff had broken away.

She said a house is above the endangered bluff, and she is trying to determine whether the bluff belongs to the owner of the house or to the Park Service.

Supt. Cook said if it is found that it belongs to the Park Service, then she plans to bring in a geo-technical specialist to examine the stability of the affected bluff.

She said the Park Service may eventually have to reroute the Mountain Beautiful Trail away from that section of the bluff.

Supt. Cook said she had not yet visited the site, but three of her staff members inspected the boulder and its carnage on Wednesday.

Jennifer Flynn of TDOT said, "Our local maintenance supervisor is aware of this, and he went out to look at it on New Year’s Day. Right now the rock is not on our right-of-way (or in the roadway), but our maintenance crews will continue to monitor the area for changes and will address the situation should it affect our roadway." 

The boulder is lying in the middle of the Hardy Trail, which is owned and managed by the Lookout Mountain Conservancy. It is near the end of the trail, where it connects with the Scenic Highway. 

The Mountain Beautiful Trail is one of the trails created by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.


16,858 Cast Ballots In First 3 Days Of Early Voting In Hamilton County

In the first three days of early voting in Hamilton County, 16,858 have already cast ballots. That includes 1,607 ballots received by mail. There were 5,157 who turned out at early voting sites on Wednesday and 5,083 on Thursday. The total on Friday was 5,011. Sites: Brainerd 1,084, 1080, 1,030 Election Office 1,848, 1,731, 1,698 Collegedale 956, 954, ... (click for more)

Clarence Ross, Leshawn Witherow Shot On Walden Avenue Friday Afternoon

Chattanooga Police are investigating a shooting that happened early Friday afternoon at the 6300 block of Walden Avenue.  Clarence Ross, 41, And Leshawn Witherow, 40, suffered non-life threatening injuries.  Hamilton County EMS transported both victims to a local hospital for treatment.  There is no suspect information at this time.  Investigators with ... (click for more)

Bobby Stone, Is It Really A Win? - And Response

It brought a smile to my face this morning when I saw where the case was thrown out of court against Mr. Stone and the domestic violence charge.  I have supported his cause from the beginning, but I do feel heartbreak because his personal life had to be tossed out there for all of us to see.   I truly hope and pray things turn around for him and his wife, while I feel ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Kelly Could Win It

I am neither a sleuth nor an odds maker but I’d say there is about a one-in-three chance that Interim Hamilton County Department of Education Superintendent Kirk Kelly could become the permanent superintendent of our public schools next Thursday. I am assured something squirrelly is happening on our newly-seated school board. It has been seven months since the last superintendent ... (click for more)

Goetz Outlasts Huwe To Win Signal Mountain Pie Run

The annual Signal Mountain Pie Run is one of those races where you don’t have to be the first across the finish line to be the overall winner. It’s a prediction run, so the runner getting nearest his or her predicted time was honored with cash prizes. Gregg Sutton crossed the line next to the old Signal Mountain Junior High with a time of 46 minutes flat, which was exactly ... (click for more)

Ooltewah Rallies To Beat Cleveland 37-24 In Key Region 4-5A Battle

Shaking off three lost fumbles and an interception in the first half, Ooltewah settled down and rallied from a 10-point deficit to pull away late and defeat Cleveland, 37-24, in a Region 4-5A football showdown at James N. Monroe Stadium on a chilly Friday night. The visiting Blue Raiders took full advantage of the Owls’ early mistakes and built a 24-14 halftime lead. ... (click for more)