$2 Million Grant Program To Improve Courthouse Security Announced

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) launched a one-time court security grant program effective on Friday. The AOC received $2 million in one-time funds appropriated by the Tennessee General Assembly and Governor Bill Haslam to improve court security across Tennessee. The past year has yielded at least two serious security breaches in Lewis and Coffee Counties, one resulting in serious injuries to a deputy.

The purpose of this grant is to improve courtroom security and to provide safe and secure facilities to “conduct the business and duties of the court,” as required by Tennessee Code Annotated §16-2-505(d)(1). A special committee of judges from across the state was appointed to determine the qualifications and criteria for grant awards. Chaired by John S. McLellan III (2nd Judicial District), the other judges are Tammy M. Harrington (5th Judicial District), Amy V. Hollars (13th Judicial District), Donald E. Parish (24th Judicial District), Russell Parkes (22nd Judicial District), and John D. Wootten, Jr. (15th Judicial District).

“Court security and safety are issues the Supreme Court of Tennessee takes very seriously,” Chief Justice Jeff Bivins said. “This past year has yielded at least two serious security breaches that have brought renewed focus on the needs faced by judges, court personnel and the public.”

Preference will be given to counties with courtrooms that do not currently meet the present minimum courtroom security standards as well as counties that have experienced a courtroom security breach during the 12-month period of July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017.

“We appreciate the support of the General Assembly and Governor Haslam to help prevent additional violence in our courthouses so that the business of our courts and our citizens can continue safely and efficiently,” added AOC Director Deborah Taylor Tate.

Grant applications will be accepted through Oct. 16. For more information about the court security grant, contact Mitch Turner at mitch.turner@tncourts.gov, or visit TNCourts.gov for grant application and information.



TVA Inspector General Resigns To Be U.S. Attorney For Southern District Of Alabama

The TVA Inspector General, Richard W. Moore, was confirmed by the United States Senate on Sept. 14, as the new U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama after having been nominated by President Donald J. Trump in June of this year. Mr. Moore submitted his resignation letter as Inspector General to President Trump effective the date of his appointment as the ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Chamber Calendar For Sept. 25-29

Here is the calendar for the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce for Sept. 25-29: Tuesday, Sept. 26, Government Contracting: Managing the Maze to Get the Contract 9-11:30 a.m. BrightBridge Women’s Business Center: 535 Chestnut St., Ste. 161 Are you ready for government contracting? How to sell your products and services to federal, state and/or local governments. How to register ... (click for more)

Witness Says Morse Told Him "His Emotions Got The Best Of Him" At Triple Killing In Lookout Valley

A witness told a Criminal Court jury on Friday that Derek Morse told him "his emotions got the best of him" at a triple killing in Lookout Valley. Michael Shavers also said Morse told him in detail about the slayings of John "Jake" Lang, Jon Morris and Caleb Boozer and the shooting of Matthew Callan at the Rolling Hills Trailer Park on April 9, 2014. Morse is standing trial ... (click for more)

Prosecutor Calls For "Meaningful Punishment" For Dyer, Brennan In $4.9 Million Swindle

Federal prosecutor James Brooks is calling for a "meaningful sentence" for Doug Dyer and James Brennan, who are charged in a $4.9 million swindle. He rejected arguments that they should receive leniency due to their age and health problems. They are set to be sentenced next Friday at 9 a.m. by Judge Travis McDonough. Prosecutor Brooks said concerning Dyer, "As this Court ... (click for more)

Fix Obamacare, Don't Repeal It

John McCain recently said, "I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried. Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it. Without a full (Congressional Budget ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: J.B. And The Saturday Funnies

As thousands of his friends prepare to celebrate the 100th birthday of Chattanooga newspaper icon, J.B. Collins, tomorrow, it is only fitting that I publicly salute a great reporter who helped develop me as a writer in the 38 years we spent together at the Chattanooga News-Free Press. He was a genius of a writer back in the day and a great photographer as well. I have adored him ... (click for more)