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

Erlanger Settlement Understandable, But Disgusting

Re: Erlanger Reaches Settlement With Former CEO Understandable from a legal liability standpoint but disgusting non the less. Gus Bryan (click for more)

Possessiveness, Jealousy And Greed: The Original Three Stooges

Are possessiveness, jealousy and greed the original three stooges? Not really. The words “possessiveness,” “jealousy,” and “greed” are often viewed by the majority of people as all negative qualities when displayed.  But are they? In this column, as it is solely my opinion, agree or disagree, I am throwing the dictionary with its designated meanings out the window.  Good ... (click for more)

Legislative Hearing On Volkswagen Emissions Scandal To Be Held In Chattanooga Oct. 29; Haslam To Visit VW Plant Wednesday

The Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee’s Appropriation Subcommittee will be conducting a hearing in Chattanooga to review the financial impact on the state from Volkswagen’s violation of U.S. emissions standards. The meeting will be held at the Hamilton County Department of Education, 3074 Hickory Valley Road, on Thursday, Oct. 29, from 1:30-3:30 p.m.  Members ... (click for more)

Bradley County Commission Decides Not To Provide Animal Pickup Service

Bradley County Commissioners on Monday finally put animal control to rest. It was not easy and it was not without confusion, but in the end, the county will not provide animal pickup service. Confusion began when commissioners were asked to approve the agenda, which included two options for animal control pick up. Item “D” provided for the SPCA of Bradley County to pick ... (click for more)

Baylor Boys Win 17th D-II AA Golf Title; Baylor Girls Take Second

  MANCHESTER – On a sun-drenched afternoon, it was a special day for Baylor golf and for the King Oehmig family. Highlighted by a 5-under, 31 on the final nine holes, Baylor senior Oliver Simonsen shot a two-day, 3-under 141 to lead Baylor to the 2015 TSSAA D-II AA boys state championship at WillowBrook Golf Course here Tuesday. Carrying one-of-a-kind black golf ... (click for more)

Ooltewah Whips Lady 'Canes For Shot At District 5-3A Volleyball Title

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Familiar rivals will play for the District 5-3A volleyball tournament championship on Wednesday. Ooltewah (41-11) and Walker Valley (28-11), the tourney’s Nos. 1 and 2 seeds, respectively, posted semifinal wins Tuesday night at Cleveland Middle School and earned their shots at the title, along with berths in next week’s Region 3-3A tournament. The Lady ... (click for more)