County Commission Reverses Itself On Speed Camera With $50 Tickets By Mail

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - by Hollie Webb
- photo by Hollie Webb

The County Commission, after getting a strong backlash, on Wednesday reversed itself on allowing the sheriff's office to use speed cameras. Those caught would have been sent $50 tickets in the mail.

Voting in favor last Wednesday were Commissioners Larry Henry, Chester Bankston, Greg Beck, Marty Haynes and Jim Fields.

Opposed were Commissioners Joe Graham, Fred Skillern, Tim Boyd, and Warren Mackey.

This time only Commissioner Beck supported it.

He said he believed the cameras would help improve the safety of officers on narrow county roads and of children in school zones.

He also said the $50 fee would be much cheaper for citizens than the price of a ticket from radar, which can cost anywhere from $154 to over $400. The tickets from cameras would also not have gone on anyone's driver's license or insurance.

However, Commissioner Henry said this made it less of a penalty. He compared it to a tax and said it was more of a fee than a law enforcement issue.

Commissioner Boyd said, "Programs like these do nothing to help Hamilton County's reputation." He pointed out that people from out of state spend millions of dollars going through Hamilton County on the way to other places, such as Florida. He said this would make people avoid the area.

He continued, "This is a government overreach. This body should be voting on not what the government can do but what the government should do."

Commissioner Bankston said the cameras would make people "guilty until proven innocent."

Bicyclist Hit By BMW In North Chattanooga Files $250,000 Lawsuit

A bicyclist who was hit by a BMW BX3 in North Chattanooga has filed a $250,000 lawsuit. Joel Hunt sued Julian B. Bell III and Riley Bell, driver of the BMW. In the incident last Aug. 23, the suit says Riley Bell "approached the intersection at Frazier Avenue and Tremont Street. Riley Bell proceeded through the intersection hitting Mr. Hunt's bicycle knocking Mr. Hunt off his ... (click for more)

Former Tennessee State Museum Employee Uses Scheme To Take Thousands

A new investigative report from the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury reveals that a former administrative services assistant with the Tennessee State Museum took $61,892.04 in taxpayer money. The Comptroller’s Office worked with the chief investigator from the Office of the Tennessee Attorney General to complete its investigation. In February, investigators began to ... (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: Chief Delmore: ‘You Blew It!”

Far more than 50,000 people, most police officers and law enforcement authorities, have gone to a website, “” to read a scathing letter that first appeared on Sunday. Veteran lawman Ed Delmore, who became the Police Chief in Gulf Shores, Ala., after a brilliant career as the “Top Cop” in St. Louis (which he still loves), has written what was entitled, “An Open Letter ... (click for more)

McCallie's JaVaughn Craig Still Improving At Quarterback

(This is the 14th 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) JaVaughn Craig was the starting quarterback for McCallie all season a year ago, but it wasn’t originally planned like that. Craig was a wide receiver when he resumed his football career ... (click for more)

Hixson Beats Silverdale For Second Volleyball Win

There's something about that second set that gives the Hixson Lady Wildcats trouble. Hixson lost the second set in Monday's volleyball opener against Sale Creek.  They did the same thing against the Silverdale Seahawks on Tuesday, but just like Monday's match, the Lady Wildcats came out on top, 3-1. Hixson won the first set with ease, 25-11.  Silverdale evened the  ... (click for more)