Rep. Howell Appointed To Ocoee River Recreation & Economic Development Board

Monday, July 31, 2017

Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell on Monday appointed State Rep. Dan Howell (R-Georgetown) to the Ocoee River Recreation & Economic Development Fund Board. 

The board was created with the passage of House Bill 74 sponsored by Speaker Howell during the 2017 legislative session. This critical initiative saves Tennessee’s prized Ocoee River by supporting recreational water releases on the Ocoee River and also encourages economic growth in the region the Ocoee serves. 

The Ocoee River Recreation and Development Fund Board consists of 15 members; each are eligible to serve four-year, renewable terms. The group will oversee future investments in the famed waterway made through the Ocoee River Recreation & Economic Development Fund. 

Additionally, they will apply for grants and matching funds in order to sustain the whitewater river. They will also request and receive gifts, contributions, and any other donations from public or private sources, create a nonprofit organization for the purpose of fulfilling the mission of the development fund, adopt policies and guidelines for fund usage, conduct studies and make recommendations concerning the Ocoee River management zone, and submit annual reports to the governor, speakers of both the House and Senate, as well as the appropriate legislative committees.  

The Ocoee is the most popular whitewater river in the nation; more than five million people have utilized it over the last 10 years. The river also hosted the whitewater slalom events during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta; it creates an estimated 640 jobs for Tennesseans through tourism and has a total economic impact of $43.8 million in the southeastern portion of our state. 

“I am honored to be appointed to the Ocoee River Recreation & Economic Development Fund Board by Speaker Harwell,” said Rep. Howell. “I know our work will continue to enhance our local economy by maintaining and creating jobs; it will also guarantee that our residents and citizens across the country are able to enjoy these historic waters for many more years.” 

“Rep. Howell is a tremendous asset to this important group that will ensure the Ocoee remains protected and the economic future of southeast Tennessee is sustained,” said Speaker Harwell. “I appreciate his passion for preserving a part of our state’s history, and I thank him for his willingness to serve.” 

For more information about House Bill 74/Public Chapter 434, please visit the Tennessee General Assembly website at:

Research Continues To Be Conducted On Pygmy Rattlesnakes In Tennessee

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is once again assisting wildlife biologists at Tennessee State University in research to determine the distribution of pygmy rattlesnakes in Tennessee. The pygmy rattlesnake is listed as a threatened species in Tennessee and the research will help in conservation efforts to preserve the species in the state. Native to Tennessee, pygmy ... (click for more)

Permit Drawing For Sandhill Crane Hunt Aug. 11; Any Leftover Permits To Go Statewide Draw

A hand-held permit drawing for the sixth sandhill crane hunt in Tennessee will be held on Saturday, Aug. 11 at Rhea County High School in Evensville. Tags at this draw are valid only for use in the Southeast Crane Zone. This will mark the first time that the draw will be held at Rhea County High. The previous draws were held at the Birchwood Community Center in north Hamilton ... (click for more)

Juvenile Girl Shot On Doolittle Street Early Sunday Morning

A juvenile girl was shot early Sunday morning on Doolittle Street. Chattanooga Police responded at approximately 12:55 a.m. on to a person shot on the 2500 block of Doolittle Street.   Police were able to make contact with the victim at a local hospital where she was suffering from a critical, but non-life threatening gunshot wound. The victim was transported to a ... (click for more)

A Jury For 2nd Time Convicts Randall Reed Of Murdering 70-Year-Old Woman In 2011

A jury for the second time has convicted Randall Reed of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 70-year-old Jane Stokes in East Ridge. The verdict was returned in the courtroom of Judge Tom Greenholtz’s on Friday. The earlier verdict had been thrown out by an appeals court. Reed testified in his own behalf. The victim was murdered in her home during a robbery in 2011. ... (click for more)

Just Recuse Yourself

Pam Fleenor, have you ever heard the terms “conflict of interest” or “appearance of impropriety”? It’s a foregone conclusion that Robin Smith will be victorious in Chancellor Fleenor’s courtroom. Here’s another term you may want to re-examine, recuse yourself.   Rusty Munger (click for more)

Not My University: Why I’m Not Okay With Mike Pence Coming To Lee University - And Response (6)

As a student of Lee University, who is well-aware of the Lee administration’s more conservative stance in politics, I am upset about Mike Pence visiting the university and being welcomed on our campus. Although I respect that Pence is in a position of authority as our nation’s Vice President, and that he likewise deserves the right to hold his own opinions in regards to the issues ... (click for more)