City To Allocate Over $1 Million To County Schools, Donate Poss Homes Property Behind Howard To Correct Hiatus In Payment Of Liquor-By-The-Drink Tax

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The city of Chattanooga will allocate over $1 million in funding in the FY2014 budget to the Hamilton County Department of Education and also donate the Poss Homes property behind Howard School (HCDE). 

The move comes after it was discovered that the city had stopped furnishing proceeds of the liquor-by-the-drink tax, which is due each year, in 2005.

City and county school officials in recent weeks have been in talks on how the city will catch up on the required payments.

Mayor Andy Berke said, “Youth development is the best investment we can make for our future. With a strong, forward looking partnership with the Hamilton County Department of Education, we will ensure we are doing our part in growing smarter students.”

City officials said, "For several years following the merger of the city and county school systems in 1998, the city made significant payments to HCDE.  From 2005 until early this year, those payments were halted.  Now, with Mayor Berke’s recently approved budget, funds are budgeted for public schools for the first time in nearly a decade."

Mayor Berke said, “We have spent the last 120 or so days reviewing all functions of city government. Because of the importance of youth development, ensuring that these funds are appropriately allocated to public education is a priority.

One portion of the city payment will bring access to 275,000 books, 5,000 e-books, and 22 databases for county school students.

The city budget includes $500,000 to support an early childhood development initiative at Calvin Donaldson Elementary School. Officials said, "This initiative will help bridge the gap of academic performance by increasing school readiness and will be administered by the Creative Discovery Museum."

Mayor Berke said the city "will move to donate the site of the former Poss Homes.  HCDE has stated it plans to support the construction of new athletic facilities on the site for the benefit of students at Howard School."

Rick Smith, school superintendent, said, “In the past, there have been some issues with how the funds were paid to the school system. I am excited that we have been able to work with Mayor Berke to reach a clear solution and we can move forward.

“I look forward to working with the Berke administration and commend them for their support in education initiatives like the Creative Discovery Museum’s early childhood development partnership at Calvin Donaldson Elementary as well as ensuring students at public schools have access to books that we know are so critical to their success.”


Neighbors Throw Rock Through Window To Wake Up Man Sleeping At Apartment Fire

An apartment fire late Monday night resulted in one man being sent to the hospital after he was alerted by neighbors. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at 9:38 p.m. and responded to Rainbow Creek Apartments at 7604 Standifer Gap Road with six fire companies. Details are still sketchy on what happened initially, but Captain Anthony Moore with the Fire Investigation ... (click for more)

Bell Gets 8-Year Sentence For Attempted Child Rape

A Brainerd man was given an eight-year sentence after pleading guilty to attempted rape of a child. A charge of child rape was dismissed. Meredith Coy Bell, 35, appeared before Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman. In the incident in 2010, police said a female told them she walked into a bedroom and saw Bell holding down her step-sister while attempting to have sex with ... (click for more)

I'm Number One In A Round About Way

Roundabouts have been popping up all over Chattanooga over the past few years and for the most part have been successful.  Unfortunately there are some who just don’t get it as I have found out the hard way.    My latest instance was last week when a young woman on her cell phone almost t-boned me as she flew into the roundabout without yielding.  A near miss ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Judge Philyaw Is The Best

Tomorrow morning there will be a special gathering at the Hamilton County Juvenile Court that will prove to our community that we have perhaps the most innovative juvenile judge in America. Shortly after Rob Philyaw was hand-picked by our Hamilton County Commissioners to fill the remainder of Suzanne Bailey’s term 15 months ago, he found that truancy was a big problem in our schools. ... (click for more)

Vols Open 2018 Season Against West Virginia In Charlotte

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.   – The Charlotte Sports Foundation announced Tuesday that the Tennessee Volunteers will open the 2018 season on September 1 against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, home of the NFL's Carolina Panthers. All information related to kickoff date, time and tickets will be announced at ... (click for more)

Local Swimmers Excel At Georgia, Tennessee State Meets

Several Chattanooga-area swimmers had successful weekends in various meets this past weekend. The McCallie/GPS Aquatics team finished sixth out of 50 teams at the Southeastern Swimming Championship in Knoxville while swimmers from Fort Oglethorpe and Ringgold also had memorable performances at the Georgia State Meet, also held last weekend. The McCallie/GPS team recorded ... (click for more)