To Honor The Memory Of Welch Dalton Noblit

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Please allow me to share some memories of my old and special friend who helped to make Chattanooga a safer place to live and to say my final farewell to a man who heard my plea for help to put a stop to so many being killed on the streets of Chattanooga by drinking drivers. 

 It was many years ago when Welch Dalton Noblit saw my interview on Channel 3 about how judges were not enforcing the law against drunk drivers and answered the call.  His grandfather had been a judge over in Middle Tennessee.

and I have always thought he wanted to see judges be more like his grandfather to enforce and uphold the laws here in Chattanooga, especially laws that saved lives.

At that time there were judges who were expunging records of DUIs and letting DUIs off by dismissing the charges.  Welch came up with an idea that, with the help of a Times reporter, Andy Sher, put judges on notice that if a judge continued to dismiss cases of DUI they would receive RID's Hot Potato award.  So Welch would check all the DUI cases in the county court records and report to the newspaper which judges had won the Hot Potato award of the week.   It wasn't long after that, judges behavior changed. I guess you could say the judges had a sobering moment.

Next we had to tackle the pubic perception that a man's car was his castle and he could do whatever he wanted in his car.  Our challenge was to help men and women understand that when they backed out of their driveway onto the street they had to be sober to drive on public roads.  Welch helped me to organize (RID )Remove Intoxicated Drivers.  Lots of victims’ families came to help and soon the number of deaths by drunk and drugged driving came down. 

Every generation needs a man like Welch Noblit to step up and speak out when those we have elected to public office do not do their duty. Welch was always a gentleman, never demanding but gentle and sometimes used his good sense of humor to change behavior and opinions.   Tears have fallen as I now say my final goodbye to a gentleman who did what he could and in so doing lives have been saved. Thank you Welch, we will all miss you.

Lill Coker


Towers

“Yo! White boys! What do you think you’re doing?” “What you mean, man? Workin’. Layin’ block. What’s it look like we’re doin’?” responded one. “Don’t you know you’re doing work Americans won’t? You’re going to give us all a bad rap working along side the main drag like this, in broad daylight too. Boss-man around?” The Gang and I were on a road trip a while back. ... (click for more)

Joe Smith Is The Best Choice For County Commission District 3

After spending 20 years of my life working in and around campaigns and elections, I have been basically silent over the past six years. I just wanted to step away and let others have their time. The one thing that could bring me to voice my opinion on a particular race is the fact that my dear friend, Joe Smith, wants to represent me and everyone else in the County Commission ... (click for more)

Highway 58 Man Charged In Fatal Hit And Run In Dayton, Tn.

A Highway 58 man has been arrested in connection with a fatal hit and run of a Rhea County man.   Walter Hale was badly injured and later died after he was struck in Dayton.   Authorities were led to Douglas Edward Alvey, 52, through video from the We Care business in Dayton, where the 60-year-old victim worked.   After officers with the Dayton ... (click for more)

Man, 78, Found Dead With Gunshot Wound To The Chest At Residence On Central Avenue

A 78-year-old man has been found dead with a gunshot wound to the chest at a residence on Central Avenue. Chattanooga Police were called to the 1900 block of Central Avenue on Thursday at 10:08 a.m. Upon arrival, Chattanooga Police officers located George Garth deceased. At this time there is no suspect information available. Chattanooga Violent Crimes Bureau investigators ... (click for more)

No. 3 Chattanooga Rolls Past Samford, 41-21

CHATTANOOGA---The 3rd-ranked Chattanooga Mocs utilized a balanced attack in a 41-21 win over Southern Conference rival Samford Saturday afternoon. Balanced is the operative term as both sides of the ball contributed to the victory.   "Great win," coach Russ Huesman said. "We beat a good football team that has great skill kids that are hard to tackle. It was great to ... (click for more)

Vols' Astonishing Rally Wrecks Florida, 38-28, Before 102,455 Stunned Fans

(Story will be updated) KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Quack. Quack. Quack. As it turns out, Teez Tabor, Florida’s trash-talking defensive back, a duck can pull a truck, sir. Tennessee’s 14 th -ranked Volunteers sent shock waves throughout the college football world Saturday, rallying from a 21-point deficit against No. 19 Florida to stun the Gators, 38-28, before a crowd of ... (click for more)