Some Seemingly Able-Bodied People Park All Day Long Downtown On Handicapped Placards

Friday, September 27, 2013
Gray Accura with handicapped placard is frequent sight near the Courts Building downtown. It sometimes takes up two spots.
Gray Accura with handicapped placard is frequent sight near the Courts Building downtown. It sometimes takes up two spots.

Some able-bodied people get free parking downtown on a daily basis thanks to the use of a handicapped placard.

There's nothing that parking monitors can do about it - even if it seems obvious that a handicapped placard is being abused, officials said.

Kim White, president of the River City Company, said handicapped placard abuse ties up dozens of downtown parking spaces "every single day, all day long. Most of these are downtown workers."

One young, seemingly spry Courts Building worker parks her gray Acura on Cherry or Sixth Street for free while co-workers have to pay. It ties up a valuable spot near the high-traffic courts.

Brent Matthews, CARTA operations director, said he and his parking "ambassadors" see many handicapped placards displayed on cars downtown and often see the same cars on a daily basis. He said the card allows the operator to park at any regular meter as long or he or she wants.

He says his staff has no way of knowing whether the driver of a vehicle displaying the placard is handicapped or not and doesn't try to find out.

Mr. Matthews said his staff does check to see whether or not handicapped placards are expired. They have to be renewed every two years. The initial cost is $21.50 and the renewal cost is $3.

Approximately 164,000 handicapped placards are issued each year throughout the state of Tennessee.  In Hamilton County last year, there were 11,088 issued for permanent disability and another 893 for temporary disability.

County Clerk Bill Knowles said a person applying for a handicapped placard has to present a certification of the disability signed by a physician, physician's assistant or a nurse practitioner.

Debbie Rollins of his staff said, "You are not allowed to use it unless the disabled person who took out the placard is in the vehicle."




Dalton Police Arrest 8 In Prostitution Sting

The Dalton Police Department arrested eight potential “Johns” in a prostitution sting  on Wednesday  night. In recent months, Dalton detectives have received complaints of prostitutes operating in the area and have been investigating.  An undercover officer posed as a prostitute for the operation. Investigators placed an ad online and the suspects agreed to ... (click for more)

Grand Jury No Bills And True Bills

Here are the latest no bills and true bills from the Hamilton County Grand Jury: No Bills: ANDERSON, GLORIA LORENE B 31 F 0 1 GS 1570989 DRIVING ON REVOKED LICENSE ANDERSON, GLORIA LORENE B 31 F 0 2 GS 1570990 LIGHT LAW VIOLATION ARD, KEVIN W 32 M 0 1 GS 1182477 VIOLATION OF REGISTRATION LAW ARD, KEVIN W 32 M 0 2 GS 1182478 FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY LAW ARD, KEVIN ... (click for more)

Getting The Message

Our school age youth have inspired me with their responses during “Q and A” sessions after my readings as a volunteer during African American History Celebrations and Read across America Celebration, too.  Before this school year, I read to classes at Orchard Knob Elementary School and at Rivermont Elementary School, here in Hamilton County.   Their answers to factual ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ed Chief ‘Embarrassed’

At the start of the school year in September, Tennessee’s Commissioner of Education Dr. Candice McQueen held an “educational summit” with state legislators from embattled Hamilton County. The entire “summit” took a prescribed 90 minutes and was such a dog-and-pony show her strongest statement was, "Create your plan around the right vision, have some metrics and align to the right ... (click for more)

Ooltewah Softball Ranked No. 33 In MaxPreps Preseason Top 50

Ooltewah’s softball team is ranked No. 33 nationally in the Maxpreps Preseason Top 50 and junior Kayla Boseman is on the website’s preseason All-America team. The Lady Owls finished third in the 2015 TSSAA Class 3A state tournament, but was eliminated by Stewarts Creek 6-2 in the sectional. Ooltewah has a combined record of 81-16 over the past two seasons. Coach Jon Massey ... (click for more)

Silverdale Girls Claim District 5-A Championship

The face and philosophy might have changed, but the expectations for the Silverdale Baptist Academy girls’ basketball team remained the same. Heading into the season with five seniors and a first-year, first-time head coach in Victor Underwood, the Lady Seahawks had their sights set on winning a District 5-A championship. Wednesday night, they achieved that goal with ... (click for more)