Cyclists Don't Matter - And Response

Friday, January 17, 2014

I smell a rat. Let's see, we have a guy that rides his bicycle on the roads of beautiful TVA Raccoon Mountain for training/exercising. I personally have seen him one to two times a week doing this. He never causes trouble, just quietly riding.

Then a few days ago while riding, his life is inches away from ending by a 3,000-pound truck purposely speeding by him. A short time later the suspect(s) come hunting for him again but with accomplices and a different vehicle. The suspects find their victim and are now out of their vehicle even though the victim is preparing to leave. It's during this time, the victim/cyclist is maced. CPD does a good follow up, confessions made.

Now enters Marion County. A deputy tells the victim what he can post or cannot post on the Web. Sheriff says its a. "He said He said" case. Did I mention "Confession"? Does he know he can subpoena the city officer? Does the Sheriff think this lone cyclist all of a sudden made up this story for attention as well?

Yes, I'm a 26-year retired cop but the handling of this felony case is unreal. Warrants should have already been sworn to and arrests made.

Sheriff, go and protect and serve and maybe you and your department start taking your yearly "inservice training" more seriously.

Michael Burns

* * *

It has been a bad few months for Marion County.  First we have the MCHS football coaches vandalizing their own facility and then the former mayor of South Pittsburg goes to jail for illegal gambling.  Now, we have this incident at the TVA Raccoon Mountain facility.  

I can certainly understand that the Sheriff's Department investigator wants to get to the bottom of this case. However, from all the reports, evidence, and, most notably, confessions in the presence of a law officer, there seems little doubt that the young men in the truck(s) were the aggressors who both harassed and assaulted a defenseless cyclist.  

As a cyclist myself who has had experience with vehicular harassers, I feel for Mr. Swanson who, I believe, was harassed and assaulted that day.  Having said that, perhaps the greatest indignity of this incident was being treated as a potential criminal instead of a victim of a senseless criminal act.


I realize that there are two sides to every story and, clearly, I wasn't there, but if this incident goes unpunished, it will be another black mark on an already bad year for Marion County.

Jim Nelson



Sterling Jetton Is The Best Choice - And Response

I am writing this letter in support of a true, longtime public servant, Sterling Jetton. Sterling worked his way through the ranks of the Assessor's Office under great leadership from former Assessors Claude Ramsey and Bill Bennett. He knows how to run the office of Assessor and has the support of his former leaders which speaks volumes for his ability to organize and to lead effectively. ... (click for more)

Gays Get 7 Percent Marriage Licenses In Hamilton County, 2 Percent Elsewhere - And Response (3)

More than a hundred people in a homosexual relationship have received marriage licenses from Hamilton County clerk Bill Knowles.  The licenses were issued from June 26 through Feb. 3, according to a county spreadsheet.  The rush to homosexual nuptials was the U.S. supreme court’s publication of the Obergefell v. Hodges opinion, which is generally said to have ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Principals Say Part 1 Of TN Ready Testing Should Be Cut Due To Online System Failure

Hamilton County principals are asking that Part 1 of the TN Ready Assessment be dropped this year due to the recent crash of the online system for the program. The principals also asked that any Part 1 TN Ready test results  not be applied to students’ grades or to evaluations and rankings for school personnel and school districts. The local principals also ... (click for more)

Greenholtz Collects $71,641 For Criminal Court Judge Campaign; Little Has $22,850; Patterson $20,134

Judge Tom Greenholtz reported $71,641 received for his campaign to remain as judge of Criminal Court, Division II. He was named by Governor Bill Haslam as the interim replacement for Judge Rebecca Stern, who retired before her term was up. Mike Little had $22,850, and Boyd Patterson received $20,134. Here is the report for Tom Greenholtz: ... (click for more)

Hawks Alexander, Walker Invited To NBA All-Star Weekend

Hamilton Heights Christian Academy announced today that varsity basketball players Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, both nationally ranked juniors, will take part in the NBA All-Star weekend in Toronto, Canada. Alexander has been chosen to participate in the NBA’s second Basketball without Borders Global camp. Players are selected based on their outstanding ... (click for more)

Red Bank Picked To Win Region 2-A/AA Wrestling

It appears that the Red Bank Lions will be the target for teams involved in the Region 2-A/AA wrestling tournament being held at Hixson Middle School this weekend. The Lions, fresh off Saturday's A-AA State Duals title, are the early favorites for the upcoming tournament after claiming six number-one seeds in the 14 weight classes during the seeding meeting held Wednesday at ... (click for more)