Mayor Says City Justified In Firing "Dancing Park Ranger"

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mayor Andy Berke said the city was justified in firing the "Dancing Park Ranger," saying he had numerous prior infractions.

Deryl Nelson said he was dismissed after a Girl Scout leader from out of town complained about a dance he performed for her group.

Mayor Berke said, "While the city of Chattanooga respects personal information concerning our employees and refrains from commenting on employee issues as it regards terminations, we have received several questions regarding the termination of employee Deryl Nelson and feel it is necessary to respond.

As stated previously, there were several factors that led to the decision to terminate the employee. This included a history of inappropriate behavior as well as poor job performance.

"Mr. Nelson’s personnel file includes 15 instances of corrective action taken since 2007, including a total of 20 days of suspension for making inappropriate and profane comments to female park visitors and a female employee, as well as negligence while operating a motor vehicle that resulted in two preventable accidents. During this time, Mr. Nelson also received four reprimands for poor job performance and inappropriate conduct, including the solicitation of free food from a local restaurant while on duty and becoming loud and angry after free food was denied.

"The city is committed to providing the most efficient, effective, and courteous service while being responsible with taxpayer dollars; Mr. Nelson’s history of neglecting his job duties and inappropriate comments and conduct are not consistent with this commitment to our citizens.”


Many Waldens Ridge Scenes Featured In Stokes Picture Book

A number of early views of Waldens Ridge are among the rarities found in the Stokes Photo Collection. There are many photos of the roads up the mountain showing streetcars, wagons and early autos. There are scenes at Rainbow Lake, Falling Water Falls, Signal Point and other scenic spots. Several photos are included of the Signal Mountain Hotel. The more than 700 photos ... (click for more)

2 Known Meth Distributors Arrested In Catoosa County

Two have been arrested in Catoosa County on drug charges.   Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office deputies conducted a traffic stop on Wednesday, at 7 p.m., on Highway 41 in Ringgold. During the stop, deputies seized two pounds of methamphetamine, which has an estimated street value of $30,000. Deputies arrested Jesus Humberto Lopez Deanda, 27, of Lilburn, Ga., and ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill - And Response

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Policeman’s Prayer

Every year, when the Law Enforcement Foundation of Greater Chattanooga holds its annual luncheon, it is one of the most heartening displays of what America really believes, down deep inside. The most prominent and influential leaders in the community – well over 1,000 -- gather to pay tribute and pledge their support to our heroes in blue who are unfaltering in their devotion, service ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Falls In State Volleyball Semis

SMYRNA, Tenn. – It’s a good thing that Signal Mountain volleyball coach Jennifer Redman is a young lady because her heart might not be able to stand the pressure if she wasn’t. Redman’s Lady Eagles were thisclose to being sent to the loser’s bracket in the opening round of the State Volleyball Tournament here at Stewarts Creek High School Wednesday afternoon. Had it been a ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Sweeps Loretto To Open Class A State Volleyball

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Playing what coach Alfie Dodd called a sub-par match, Boyd-Buchanan’s Lady Bucs were still good enough to sweep Loretto, 3-0, Wednesday morning in the opening match of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s Class A state volleyball tournament at Blackman High School. Set scores were 25-19, 25-14, 25-20. “We advance and we know we can ... (click for more)