Bessie Smith Officials Said They Recovered "A Significant Portion" Of Stolen Bessie Smith Strut Funds

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bessie Smith Cultural Center officials said Tuesday they recovered "a significant portion" of some $60,000 in proceeds from the Bessie Smith Strut.

Police said Torrey Lamar Hines, who worked at the Bessie Smith Hall, has confessed to the crime.

The money was taken from the center the night or early morning after the June 10 event.

Bessie Smith officials said, "On behalf of the board of directors and the staff of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, we thank the Chattanooga Police Department for all of their diligent work in bringing this suspect to justice.

This has been a very unfortunate occurrence for our community and an even more strenuous time for our staff, as we collectively look for ways to raise team morale and press forward in our mission in providing resources that enrich the cultural life of all Chattanoogans through renowned artistic exhibits, high quality musical events and performances such as the Strut, and historical educational and cultural programs.

"Please note, that Torrey Lamar Hines was not an employee of the Bessie Smith Cultural but a contractor who provided custodial services and assisted the facility with special events. We will not be making any additional statements or on air comments beyond this press release, as the investigation by the police is still ongoing with more information to be released at a later date. However, we are thrilled to have recovered a significant portion of the stolen money. We are also implementing additional precautionary measures to assure that this does not happen again.

"We would like to thank the Chattanooga community again for your support of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center and the Bessie Smith Strut. We have been faced with challenges in the years past, but we have persevered in bringing this community one of the region’s safest, most diverse and well attended family oriented music events that has become an unforgettable Chattanooga tradition for generations to come. To learn more about how you can support “The Bessie” or even become a patron member of the museum, please visit our website at"



Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BECTON, JAMES E  18 SEMINOLE DR DALLAS, 30157  Age at Arrest: 51 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County IN TRANSIT (MAURY COUNTY, TN) --- BOYD, LYDELL LEVON  2110 CHAMBERLAIN AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37404  Age at Arrest: 38 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County VIOLATION OF ... (click for more)

Avery Charged In Attack With Chair Leg At Moccasin Bend That Left Man In Critical Condition

An arrest has been made in the aggravated assault Thursday at the Moccasin Bend Mental Health facility that left 38-year-old Kevin Green in critical condition. He was struck in the head with a chair leg, police said. Leviticus Avery, 37, has been charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault. He is an inmate at the Hamilton County Jail. ... (click for more)

The Facts About Jail

Since Roy had such a positive reaction to Jeffrey Cross's wonderful (and wonderfully civil--how refreshing) email response to his column on the bike lanes, allow me to speak on the subject of the jail.  First off, Roy's right about some things:  It is overcrowded, underfunded, and understaffed.  This is no secret, it's in the Grand Jury report every term.  Here's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Black Voice In Memphis

Tennessee got quite a peek at its political barometer Thursday night in Memphis when A.C. Wharton, a once-popular black leader who has been Mayor since 2009, was thoroughly trounced by Jim Strickland, currently on the City Council. Strickland, a white Democrat, may be the first step in bringing the now much-maligned West Tennessee city back to hope and reality. What no one can believe ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Sloshes Past Meigs, 28-7, For 7th Win

(Story has been updated with remarks from Boyd-Buchanan coach Grant Reynolds) Boyd-Buchanan’s Cooper Hodge ran for two touchdowns and threw for a third on Friday, leading the top-ranked and undefeated Boyd-Buchanan Buccaneers to a 28-7 Region 3-2A football victory over visiting Meigs County on Friday at a rain-soaked – in some spots flooded – David L. Boyd Field. The game ... (click for more)

Turner Rambles For 194 Yards, 3 TDS In Owls 48-7 Victory

Ooltewah’s Cameron Turner rushed for 194 yards and three touchdowns, a tenacious defense held White County to minus-8 yards of total offense and the Owls stormed to a 48-7 Region 4-5A football blowout win Friday night at James N. Monroe Stadium. Turner scored on runs of 16 and 6 yards in the second quarter and added a 3-yard touchdown burst in the third quarter as the Owls improved ... (click for more)