City Council Approves All Berke Appointments; Fire Chief Adams To Retire Later This Year

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved all the appointees of Mayor Andy Berke to lead departments, though some faced some questions.

Among those approved was Fire Chief Chris Adams, who afterward confirmed that he is retiring later this year.

He was asked by one council member to stay on. He said he would like to be chief for a long time, but said it is unfair to others who should be in leadership posts.

Chief Adams became interim chief when Lamar Flint retired in April 2015, then he was named chief several months later. 

He joined the city fire department in 1990.

Lurone Jennings, administrator of Youth and Family Development, was asked by Vice Chairman Ken Smith "about the gorilla in the room - misappropriation of funds."

Mr. Jennings said that did not involve city funds, but was a private program in which he was asked to raise and disburse money. He said, "It came to my attention that there was a conflict of interest related to my daughter."

He said he "accepted full responsibility" and served a brief suspension.

Mr. Jennings said, "There is no gorilla on my back. I am moving forward."

Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod said at the Eastdale Center "the staff has abandoned it totally. The computers don't work." Mr. Jennings said it was news to him, saying he would "check to see how accurate that statement is."

Councilman Anthony Byrd asked about morale and whether he listens to the concerns of staff.

Mr. Jennings said there was pushback to the mission of converting the centers from strictly sports to learning centers. "There was some disgruntlement," he said.

He added, "I was persecuted, but I feel like it was the right thing to do."

He was approved along with Blythe Bailey of transportation, Justin Holland of public works, James McKissic of multicultural affairs, Ron Swafford of City Court, Finance Director Daisy Madison, Tina Camba of human resources, Bonnie Woodward of purchasing and Theresa Lee as city treasurer.   

Also approved was Police Chief Fred Fletcher, who has announced he is retiring.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: AMBROCIO, AROLDO  1910 ORCHARD KNOB CHATTANOOGA, 37404  Age at Arrest: 24 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga PUBLIC INTOXICATION --- ATWELL, ALISHA LILLIAN  2960 DAVIS RD ROCKY FACE, 30755  Age at Arrest: 23 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC ASSAULT --- ... (click for more)

Severe Storms Possible On Monday

The Chattanooga area could see severe storms on Monday. Here is the Hazardous Weather Warning from the National Weather Service: Severe Thunderstorms Possible late Monday and Monday Evening... ...Rain Changing to Snow Showers across the Higher Elevations Tuesday Night through Wednesday Night... Another storm system will move across the Southern Appalachian Region on Monday ... (click for more)

Remember The Full Story Of Toys-R-Us

It is always disappointing when any business is forced to close because of competition. Big box stores do this to smaller retailers every day. And while Toys-R-Us seemed to be an unstoppable force, they have finally succumbed to online ordering and simplicity.  But if you think about it, when Toys-R-Us came into existence, imagine the number of “mom ‘n pop” toy stores that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Very Stupid Letter

Not a one of you has ever heard of a lady named Megan Jones Bell.   But, because our state legislature is determined to allow California’s unique brand of crazies to pull Tennessee down to its loathsome level, our state lawmakers probably never will. Megan is a paragon in the field of mental health strategy – i.e., ‘What's the smartest thing for state government to do right ... (click for more)

Ooltewah Wins Wildcat Classic Again

Early season prep baseball tournaments are meant for a few things; primarily competition, repetition, and learning a few things about your team over the course of a few games.   The Ooltewah Owl baseball nine apparently has learned it likes collecting championship trophies in them as well.   For the second year in a row, the Owls won the longstanding ... (click for more)

Lady Vols Fall To Oregon State, 66-59, In 2nd Round Of NCAA's

KNOXVILLE-- Senior center Mercedes Russell logged her 46th career double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds to lead Tennessee, but it wasn't enough as the No. 12/13 Lady Vols (25-8) fell to No. 13/12 Oregon State (25-7) in the second round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. Freshman Anastasia Hayes also had a double-digit outing for the No. 3 seed Lady Vols, posting ... (click for more)