Smith Hits 10% Requested Increase In Public Defender's Budget

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Steve Smith, Republican candidate for Hamilton County public defender, pledged at Monday's Pachyderm Club meeting that he "will hire effective lawyers, if elected, rather than repeatedly seeking out money from the Hamilton County Commission."

"The justice system must be effective on both sides, the prosecution and the defense," Mr. Smith said. "Throwing more money at the problem in this instance is perpetuating the problem."

He said the 24-year incumbent, Ardena Garth, requested a $64,367 increase in Mayor Jim Coppinger's budget submitted for County Commission approval in May.

"A request for just over 10 percent more in spending of the total budget should concern citizens," said Mr. Smith. "The criminal justice system is growing at an unprecedented pace."

Mr. Smith, who has been an assistant in the office of Hamilton County District Attorney Bill Cox since 2006, said, "Most citizens will never use the office of the public defender, but your tax dollars need to be carefully managed to reduce trial times, decreasing the amount of time the indigent spend in jail unnecessarily, and to ensure effective legal representation."



Projects Bring Road Closures On Barton Avenue and Highway 27 On-Ramp At West 12th Street

Contractor Thomas Brothers will be replacing a sewer line across the West 12th Street on-ramp to US Highway 27, beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday.  The project is estimated to be completed by 4 p.m. on Friday.   The ramp will be closed for the duration of the project, and detours will be posted. Contractor Tennessee American Water Company will be repairing a water ... (click for more)

Wilson Road In Whitfield County Closed Monday And Tuesday

Wilson Road in Whitfield County will be closed to replace a cross drain on Monday, starting at 8 a.m. and continuing through Tuesday, at 4 p.m. or until work is completed. The road will be closed between Cohutta Beaverdale Road and McGaughey Chapel Road. Traffic on Wilson Road will detour onto Cohutta Beaverdale Road to Cleveland Highway, while traffic south ... (click for more)

Truck Driver Who Caused Wreck That Killed 6 People At Ooltewah Indicted On 13 Charges

The Chattanooga Police Department has issued a capias for the arrest of Benjamin Brewer, 39, concerning the multiple fatality traffic crash that occurred on I-75 North Bound on June 25. Brewer was indicted on Monday on 13 counts.  They are:  six counts for vehicular homicide by impairment, a B-felony; four counts for reckless aggravated assault, a D-felony; one count ... (click for more)

$40 Million Traffic Improvement Set To Connect Hamilton Place More Directly With I-75 And Ease Congestion On Shallowford Road

The city, state and CBL & Associates are cooperating on a $40 million plan to make the Hamilton Place section more accessible to Interstate 75. The upcoming project will provide a direct connection for southbound I-75 traffic with Hamilton Place Boulevard. The project will also provide a new connection for those on Hamilton Place Boulevard to enter I-75 northbound. ... (click for more)

Why Is The City Diverting Federal Transportation Funds From Real Need?

The city of Chattanooga and CBL, owner of Hamilton Place Mall, would have the mass of taxpayers believe that improving mall access from the interstate is not impacting us financially.   Namely, CBL has committed to fund the city’s match of $8 million, so they will receive $32 million in Federal Transportation Funds that are allocated annually to local jurisdictions through ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Hero Is Coming Home

In late September, a very special funeral will be held in Bearden, Tenn., when 1 st Lt. Alexander “Sandy” Bonnyman Jr., will finally come home to lie in peace with his family. Sandy’s been dead for 72 years now, ever since he was killed in combat on the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands on Nov. 22, 1943. He and a number of other Marine heroes were buried back then in a shallow ... (click for more)