Times Free Press Hikes Charges For Chancery Court Legal Notices; Akers Considering Shift To Herald

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

The Chattanooga Times Free Press is increasing its charge for public legal notices from Chancery Court by $50 each, Clerk and Master Lee Akers said he was informed.

Since getting the notification, Mr. Akers said he is considering shifting to the Hamilton County Herald, which charges less for printing the notices. 

He said he would confer with Chancellors Frank Brown and Jeff Atherton before making a decision.

The increase, which goes into effect at the end of the week, comes after Walter Hussman Jr.

, owner of the parent firm of the Times Free Press, said advertising revenue was no longer enough to sustain the newspaper that has been printed here since 1869. He said readers would be counted on to pay more to keep the print paper going. 

Mr. Akers said a variety of legal notices from his office are required under current state law to be printed in "a newspaper of general circulation." These include instances in which a lawsuit is filed and one or more of the defendants cannot be found. These have to be run three different times. Another category involves delinquent tax lawsuits. In the probate section of the office, for each probate a notice must be run twice to notify creditors of the estate.

The probate notices are going up from $75 to $125 each. The other notices are increasing from $50 to $100 each.

Mr. Akers said he contacted the management of the Herald and they came to his office to discuss getting the business.

He said, "The Herald has come a long way. It's a nice paper. But I've never seen one. I haven't used it in the past because I didn't feel like it was reaching enough people."

Mr. Akers said he had been aware that the Herald "qualifies as a newspaper of general circulation."

He also said he does not know the circulation figures for the Times Free Press and does not know what all is counted in its numbers.

County Clerk Bill Knowles last year stopped printing county government meeting notices in the Times Free Press and switched to the Herald. "We have saved a ton of money," an official in the office said.  

Clerk and Master Akers said Herald management advised him that the newspaper is mailed to 3,500 subscribers and it is sold in 50 boxes spaced throughout the county.

He said, "Our goal is to try to get notification to as many people as possible. We have to make sure that due process is followed. We have to make sure all reasonable efforts are made to contact people."

He stated of the Times Free Press increase, "It sounds to me like they are saying 'We don't want your business.' But maybe it's reasonable that we pay the extra money. What's fifty bucks?"

Mr. Akers said the charges do not go against the taxpayers, but are covered by the parties involved in lawsuits, tax sales or probates.  

Both the Times Free Press and the Hamilton County Herald have Arkansas owners.

 


Dalton Police Investigate Underwood Circle Stabbing

The Dalton Police Department is investigating a stabbing attack that happened on Underwood Circle in the early morning hours of Thursday.  The attack may have been an attempt at robbing the victim. The victim survived the attack and is expected to recover. The incident happened at approximately 12:20 a.m. The victim told police that he was talking on the phone while ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Schools Gain 241 Students After 10th-Day Enrollment

Enrollment at the Hamilton County Schools has increased 241 students when comparing last year’s 10 th day to this year, Supt. Rick Smith said Thursday. Enrollment stands at 42,741 - up from 42,500. The high schools showed an increase of 195. Middle schools were up 25, and elementaries increased 21.       (click for more)

Black Creek TIF Decision-Who Guards The Hen House?

Citizens of Chattanooga were invited to give public comment before their own Industrial Development Board Aug. 15. They arrived to find foxes guarding their hen house.  Many thought the meeting was their opportunity to seek redress in the ill-conceived Black Creek Tax Increment Financing plan. However, they learned it was a sham orchestrated by both the past and present ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Coaches Vs. ‘Top 25’ Foes

The long-accepted measuring stick for a college football coach has been his win-loss record, with an after-glance at his win-loss record within his conference. But in Wednesday’s editions of the Wall Street Journal, writer David Everson, with the help of Stats LLC, used a much-tougher litmus test when he revealed the records of 65 major-college coaches against opponents that were ... (click for more)

East Ridge's JoJo Tillery Relies Heavily On His Football MoJo

(This is the 15th in a series of preseason stories on new high school football coaches, or veteran coaches at a different school, and top players in the Chattanooga area) The numbers don’t lie. East Ridge quarterback JoJo Tillery can be a nightmare for defensive coordinators. Do they make him run? Or do they want him throw the football? Pick your poison, fellas. ... (click for more)

UTC's Jay Hay Has Found a Football Home

“Without a doubt, I cannot think of a place I would rather be than here at UTC playing football. The veteran players welcomed me this summer as a junior college transfer with open arms.” UTC defensive back Jay Hay It’s been a crazy, at times frustrating and difficult, four-year football journey for Dade County, Fla. native Jeremiah “Jay” ... (click for more)