Morgan County Elk Poachers Sentenced In Guilty Pleas

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Poached Elk
Poached Elk

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, five local individuals have received sentencing after reaching a plea agreement in connection with the poaching death of an elk in Morgan County General Sessions Court.

Kenneth T. Kelly, Oliver Springs, Austin C. Woodall, Oliver Springs, Steven H. Daugherty, Petros, Samantha Leann McColl, Oliver Springs, and Donovan Cade Godwin, Coalfield, pled guilty to charges placed after an investigation by Morgan County wildlife officer, Travis Buchanan. The investigation shows the large bull elk was shot by a .44 magnum rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun on Dec. 21, 2012, in the Prudential Hollow area located between Coalfield and Oliver Springs and that all five charged were involved in a conspiracy to hide the violation after the fact.

Wildlife officials were notified about the location of the dead elk carcass by a concerned community member on Dec. 23, 2012, where it was recovered.  Following the investigation, charges placed against the poaching party members included: hunting and killing an elk during a closed season, violation of centerfire weapon law, illegal possession of a wild elk, illegal transportation of a wild elk, and criminal conspiracy.  

As a result of the plea agreements of the five guilty parties, almost $28,000 in fines, court costs and restitution were issued, 18 years total of hunting privileges were suspended from the group and they received 14 years of suspended jail time and court supervised probation.  Two firearms were declared contraband by the court.  This case also set a state court precedent for restitution to the State of Tennessee for illegal taking of an elk at $5,000. 


Elk Antlers
Elk Antlers


Genetic Testing Verifies New State And Potential World Record Black Crappie

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has received results from a genetic analysis and is verifying a new state record black crappie caught by an angler from Philadelphia, Tn.  Application for world record status will have to be submitted by the angler to the International Game Fish Association.   It’s been a long four-and-a-half weeks since Lionel “Jam” Ferguson ... (click for more)

L2 Outside To Host 3rd Annual Post-Riverbend River Clean Up

L2 Outside will host the third annual Post-Riverbend River Clean Up on Saturday, from 7-9 a.m.   Volunteers will launch in groups from the public launch site underneath Market Street  Bridge in Coolidge Park. L2 Outside is dedicated to helping to provide clean waterways, and will be donating 25 stand up paddle boards and 10 kayaks to assist volunteers in the ... (click for more)

Former City Education Commissioner John P. Franklin Dies

John Porter Franklin, long a leading figure in Chattanooga city government, has died.  He was the city's first, elected black official, post Jim Crow laws, in 1971. Mr. Franklin's father, G.W. Franklin, was a pioneer funeral home director and John Franklin continued in that line. He was first an official in Franklin-Strickland Funeral Home, then he started John P. Franklin ... (click for more)

All School Board Members But Rhonda Thurman Approve Going Ahead With Equity Study

All County School Board members except Rhonda Thurman said Thursday afternoon they are in favor of pushing ahead with an equity study sought by new Supt. Bryan Johnson. Ms. Thurman said she was "tired of bullying tactics by outside groups" such as UnifiEd and Chattanooga 2.0. She said the 132 people who signed a letter in support of the study include people "with deep pockets" ... (click for more)

The Boss, Claude Ramsey

I try not to overuse the word great, but we lost a great man today, Claude Ramsey. I had the pleasure of serving under him as director of Commercial and Industrial Properties for 14 years while he was the Hamilton County Assessor of Property. He was probably the smartest person I have ever known. He was tough but patient, kind, caring and compassionate. He knew how to get ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Not A Blessed One

When I read, to no great surprise, that 132 of Chattanooga’s “leaders” had signed a letter in support of “socioeconomic integration” in Thursday’s Times Free Press, there were two things that were immediately obvious to me: Not a blessed one would have (a) written such a letter on their personal stationery, and (b) not a blessed one would have ever voted for the current president ... (click for more)