Coolidge Park Crowd Gets Twilight, Cricket Chirping As Solar Eclipse Arrives

Monday, August 21, 2017
Group from Jackson, Miss., has an elaborate eclipse-watching setup at the Mountain View Inn in Cleveland
Group from Jackson, Miss., has an elaborate eclipse-watching setup at the Mountain View Inn in Cleveland
- photo by Bill Peterson

A crowd at Coolidge Park and the nearby Walnut Street Bridge got twilight and cricket chirping as the heralded solar eclipse finally arrived at mid-afternoon Monday.

As the moon moved across the sun around 2:30 p.m., birds quit chirping and began to roost. Crickets started going full force. Lights on the Market Street Bridge began to flicker on.

The event, sponsored by Comcast, included music and free eclipse viewing glasses.

Just before the main event came the song "Solar Eclipse of my Heart." Then the music stopped as the crowd looked skyward. As the sun came back out, the deejay put on the Beatles "Here Comes the Sun." 

Just to the north of Chattanooga, there was even more darkness where throngs had gathered in the tiny town of Spring City and elsewhere.

On Monday morning, northbound traffic on I-75 near Ooltewah was reported at a standstill for those wanting to get to locations with 100 percent darkness.

The parking lots were empty at many Chattanooga businesses as owners took off to watch the big show. Not many customers were coming in to those who did open - for the most part.

Roger Mayo at Eyeglasses Inc. on Lee Highway said he was closing early and heading for his son's house. It is in Soddy Daisy, but is just at the southern edge of the 100 percent zone. The son took off from his delivery job as well. His wife was off because the schools closed.

It was a hectic situation along Highway 27 and Highway 58 in the hours prior to the eclipse. One business owner was charging $40 for a parking spot. Signs were posted along sections of the northbound highways telling motorists it was not ok to pull off by the side of the road.

Crowds gathered at the Mountain View Inn in Cleveland at its high perch. One crew from Jackson, Miss., had an elaborate setup, including a tent and special cameras. One car had a sign that read "Totality or Bust."

 

County Clerk Bill Knowles said his offices would stay open, but he set up TV monitors in public areas from 1-3 p.m. He was also furnishing a pizza lunch to staff in each of the offices.

 

The Clerk and Master's Office was closing between 2 and 3 p.m.

 

- Photo2 by Bill Peterson


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BALDWIN, ZACHARY MILES  HOMELESS HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 30 years old Arresting Agency: Soddy Daisy DOMESTIC ASSAULT --- BARNES, DEXTER LAMONT  842 ARLINGTON AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 19 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga FUGITIVE (ARREST FOR CRIME IN ANOTHER ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Making Progress On Road Projects; Dealing With Flooding Along Friendship Lane

Work to improve roads in the city of Soddy Daisy is being done during the summer. Cox Lane, Miller Road and a section of Cliff Road have been repaved. At the council meeting Thursday evening, the city commissioners approved invoices of $8,933 for asphalt and $5,837 for the paving services for these roads.   Another residential road has been experiencing flooding ... (click for more)

Employee Who Stole From East Ridge Should Be Prosecuted

Why has the East Ridge employee who was fired for theft not been charged with theft?    City Manager Scott Miller made the statement that the employee had problems and that the stolen items were returned.  What does that have to do with the employee stealing ?   He has had a history of abuse of city resources. Why is he not being prosecuted? ... (click for more)

Am I Alone? - And Response (6)

Am I alone seems to be quite apt as I begin to form sentences, thoughts and concerns regarding the state of this country. I feel like I am alone trying, somehow, to justify Trump and understand why he is constantly in the middle of chaos.  Now coined as the Liar-in-Chief, Chief Foreign Affairs Coordinator acting for his pal Russian Dictator, Putin.  The silence ... (click for more)

UTC Wrestling Coach Heath Eslinger Resigns

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Mark Wharton announced the resignation of wrestling head coach Heath Eslinger today.  Eslinger, who spent nine seasons as head coach of his alma mater, informed Wharton of his decision this morning.  "It was always my hope that Heath Eslinger spend the rest of his career leading our wrestling ... (click for more)

UTC's Simonsen Wins Tennessee Match Play Championship

It was a special week for rising sophomore Oliver Simonsen. The Chattanooga-area native captured the Tennessee Match Play Championship in his hometown in impressive fashion at Council Fire Golf Club. Simonsen’s day started with a semifinal matchup against Dalton State’s Ben Rebne. After halving the opening hole, Simonsen won four of the next five for a commanding 4up advantage. ... (click for more)