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


Vehicle Emissions Testing Causes More Pollution Than It Prevents

While a noble cause to make sure vehicles are operating efficiently with the minimum amount of pollutants, a simple analysis makes it somewhat evident the VET program in Chattanooga causes more pollution that it prevents.  Though I don't know how many vehicles are tested on an annual basis, if you assume an average round trip of 10 miles to the nearest testing station (five ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Abolish Bail For Poor

Our terribly overcrowded Hamilton County Jail may get some help from an unsuspected corner – the Obama administration is tackling the fact that right now over 450,000 people are in our country’s jails because they are too poor to pay for bail. It is a violation of the Constitution to “punish people for their poverty.” As the Eighth Amendment provides, “… excessive bail ought not ... (click for more)

City Council Approves $2.19 Million Purchase Of Body Cameras For Police Officers

The City Council on Tuesday night voted unanimously to approve the $2,191,544 purchase of body cameras for city police officers. Councilman Chip Henderson, who heads the council's public safety committee, said the purchase was already included in the budget. The city will get some help from the federal government in the form of a grant for almost $300,000 toward the expense. ... (click for more)

Fire Lieutenant Who Caught Baby Dropped From 3rd Floor Of Burning Building Has To Give Up Career Over Incident

A Chattanooga Fire Department officer who was hailed as a hero after catching a baby dropped by the mother from the third floor of a burning building lost his career as a result of the incident. City officials said after Lt. Vernon Lane caught the 10-month-old baby boy that the mother then jumped and landed on him. He suffered severe injuries and has been unable to work ... (click for more)

Top-Ranked Bradley Uses Fast Start To Beat Baylor

There’s no question that the Bradley Bears are ranked first in the initial state wrestling poll and they proved they deserve to be in that top spot following a 43-30 victory over the Baylor Red Raiders. Baylor is ranked fourth in that first poll and will surely be a force to be reckoned with in Division II as the season progresses, but the Bears are head and shoulders ahead after ... (click for more)

Run-And-Gun Tyner Shoots Down Red Bank 71-33

Tyner opponents better batten down the hatches if the Rams ever iron out their half-court offensive struggles. Even without that weapon showing up Tuesday night, the Rams showed they have a run-and-gun assault that can bury an opponent under an avalanche of points. And their defense is as tenacious as ever. Tyner outscored Red Bank 15-0 to start the second quarter ... (click for more)