The Year in Review — July through September

By BRIAN GRAVES

Posted 12/29/17

Honors paid to citizens who serve and served, new faces in familiar positions, and a community coming together to help those hammered by Mother Nature’s fury highlighted the third quarter of …

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The Year in Review — July through September

Posted

Honors paid to citizens who serve and served, new faces in familiar positions, and a community coming together to help those hammered by Mother Nature’s fury highlighted the third quarter of Bradley County’s 2017.
 
JULY:
CASA Director Josiah Vacheresse and his wife, Laura, left the  Cleveland area to do work as lay ministers in South Africa.

The Museum Center at Five Points dedicated its new Tennessee Aquatic Life mural Friday afternoon. A crowd gathered to celebrate the completed mural, which now takes up most of the building's west-facing wall.

Cleveland attorney Jim Logan’s planned office in an historic building in Athens was destroyed by fire. Logan said the loss was "immeasurable." The fire marshal ruled the fire to be accidental.

The Bradley County Sheriff's Office hosted a community luncheon on Friday to recognize the department setting a record in 2016.

Matthew Coleman was named the president of the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club for the 2017-18 year.

A push-button-activated traffic signal was installed at Keith and 20th streets to give individuals and cyclists a safer crossing at the heavily-used intersection.

The corporate employees of Santek Waste Services LLC celebrated 30 years of success with a catered lunch and commemorative cake.

No tax increase. Again. That is the result as the Bradley County Commission gave its final "thumbs up" night to the 2017-18 budget after a sometimes complicated and tedious budget process.

Hinkle Construction Services of Paris, Ky., began with grading and site preparation for the $2 million-plus construction of a 700-feet extension to the runway at the Cleveland Jetport.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam received assistance from the General Assembly for his gasoline tax increase, but prices in Cleveland remained low for the July Fourth holiday as the community has some of the lowest fuel prices in the country.

A study of the tunnel discovered beneath the Bradley County Fire-Rescue Building on Inman Street determined the old tunnel was probably left behind from an attempt by city government to construct an upscale sewer system for the town back in the first half of the 20th century.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) told the Kiwanis Club of Cleveland on Thursday that people should start focusing on the good about America.

Cleveland State Community College President Dr. Bill Seymour received a bonus from the Tennessee Board of Regents, based on the college's performance outcomes for the past year, and he committed to use a generous portion to the campus he leads.

A $16.2 million series of renovation projects designed to make Bradley County's public schools more energy-efficient is neared completion.

Construction of the new Candy's Creek Cherokee Elementary School on Georgetown Highway in northwest Cleveland was set to begin before the month ended.

Bill Brown assumed his new post as president of the Rotary Club of Cleveland.

Lee University's elite a cappella group Voices of Lee posted a video of a recording of Hillsong's "What a Beautiful Name" and Elevation Worship's "Resurrecting," arranged by former Voices member Phil Nitz, to its Facebook page. The video has since been viewed over 16 million times.

The Bradley County Board of Education approved funding for updated high school football field scoreboards.

Southeast Tennessee Veterans Home Council co-chair Cid Heidel said he wanted the public to be aware the cooperation of local and state officials in getting the proposed veterans home constructed has been "overwhelming."

The state Building Finance Committee cleared the way for bonds to be issued in support of infrastructure for the new Spring Branch Industrial Park.

Bradley County Director of Schools Dr. Linda Cash received another vote of confidence from the Bradley County Board of Education.

Garden Plaza at Cleveland, an independent living, assisted living and retirement villa community, welcomed new Executive Director Brenda Hixon.

Bradley County Emergency Services Director Shawn Fairbanks said Monday his EMS department is facing a shortage of staff and equipment, due to the county's growth.

Dr. Russell Dyer marked his first year as Director of Schools for Cleveland City Schools.

It began as a dream of Circuit Court Judge Andrew Freiberg to help those who are convicted in court. Now, the Mental Health Court is a reality and is helping many on the program with their specific issues.

The Cleveland City Council took a step closer to a 29-cent property tax increase Monday with passage of the proposal on first reading — in a 4-2 split vote.

Tennessee Christian Preparatory School President Dr. Bill Balzano announced he would retire in August from the position he has held for almost a decade.

The city of Cleveland was actively pursuing the possibility of purchasing the Cleveland Summit Apartments (old Cherokee Hotel) downtown, and the current owner is pursuing the possibility of constructing a new facility for tenants in South Cleveland.

Anchored by three first-place honors, the Cleveland Daily Banner earned 10 journalism awards in nine categories during the 2017 University of Tennessee/Tennessee Press Association Newspaper Contest awards banquet.

A 10-year-old girl reported missing in the area of Parker and 20th Streets, near the Ocoee Middle School soccer field, was found in good condition. Arleth Yazmin Linares Medina was found by searchers in the vicinity of Fillauer Branch, between the soccer field and Mayfield Elementary School off 20th Street.

The official ribbon cutting on the Bryan K. Smith Workhouse at the Justice Center was held.

Cleveland Utilities' new in-house call center was preparing to go online. The city's public utility has initiated an effort to bring calls of concern and inquiries to the forefront, and is eliminating its previous out-of-town call service.

Cleveland's own Hardwick Clothes, America's oldest continuously operated "Made in America" tailored clothing maker, marked its 137th anniversary.

AUGUST:

Junior Achievement of the Ocoee Region began the hunt for a new president following the resignation of Melanie Connatser who accepted a position with Chattanooga CARES.

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

All the area school systems decided to dismiss school for the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21.

Cleveland City Manager Joe Fivas released the 2017 community survey results highlighting specifics of the feedback from a series of community meetings and an aggressive survey campaign.

The Executive Committee of the Bradley County Republican Party adopted a resolution opposing the proposed tax hike for the city of Cleveland.

Abigail Duncan, who teaches second grade at Oak Grove Elementary School, was presented the 2017 Lillie Frank Fitzgerald Excellence in Teaching Award during the Bradley County School's in-service event.

Trustees being held at the Bradley County Jail worked on both the exterior and interior of several schools.

Scott Packett was chosen as the director of Workforce Development at Cleveland State Community College.

2017 Cleveland Police Officer of the Year was awarded to Patrolman Josh Hodge.

The vision for the Cleveland Bradley County Public Library's Children's Exploration Garden was shared with the Cleveland Kiwanis Club.

Georgia Gann was awarded the Life Time Membership Award for her nearly 50 years of membership in the Cleveland Civitan Club.

Cleveland State Community College began recruiting students for the inaugural Mechatronics Institute that will begin in the fall of 2018.

Earleen Carruth retired from the Bradley County Health Department after 34-plus years of service.

Martha Brown was feted by Hardwick Clothes with a special lunchtime celebration as she bid farewell to the job she has held for more than five decades.

Cody Judd pleaded "no contest" to vehicular homicide in the traffic death of Ashlyn Lamberth.

Chancellor Jerri S. Bryant ruled Monday against Commissioner Dan Rawls in a lawsuit that was filed against him by a Bradley County Sheriff's Office deputy.

The Bradley County Correctional Facility received "high marks" from the United States Marshals Service after its annual inspection.

Bradley County Schools considered offering health science as an elective in both of its middle schools.

The Bradley County Schools system looked at moving its alternative school, GOAL Academy, into Westmore Church of God.

The Broad Street United Methodist Honduras mission team was in Morazon, Honduras.

A committee was formed for preliminary discussion and planning for the city of Cleveland's 175th Anniversary Celebration.

Olin Chlor Alkali and Vinyls in Charleston has been chosen to receive the Governor's Award of Excellence for Workplace Safety and Health.

Donna Branham Coleman was inducted into the Tri-State Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Trustee Mike Smith told Bradley County commissioners that while local sales tax amounts are down just a bit in the most recent fiscal year totals, distributions were still growing.

Tenth Judicial District Attorney General Steve Crump instituted an "Opioid Initiative" to combat the issue of opioid abuse.

Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Economic Development Doug Berry said that work on the new Spring Branch Industrial Park is moving along.

Employees at Resolute Forest Products in Calhoun were informed of the permanent closure of paper machines No. 3 and No. 5. According to an official release from Resolute, 222 employees will feel the impact of this closure, reducing the plant's workforce from 713 to 491.

James Roberson, whose name is synonymous with home building in the local area, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ocoee Region Builders Association.

MainStreet Cleveland announced award recipients for the MainStreet Cleveland Property Enhancement Grant program. Ten properties in downtown Cleveland were selected to receive grants totaling $54,953.

The Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club's annual fundraising event raised more than $67,000 to help charitable efforts in this community and around the world.

The Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed Joel Henderson as the new communications director.

Bradley County commissioners voted 11-3 to create an ad hoc committee to study the possible parameters and costs of a forensic audit of the Bradley County Sheriff's Office budget.

More than 500 people descended on the grounds of the Cleveland Bradley County Public Library to view the total solar eclipse. Other popular points within the county were also filled with celestial gazers.

The efforts to improve health and lifestyle of Bradley Countians continues to be of the utmost importance, with the newly formed Connect Cleveland group being introduced during a Bradley County Health Council meeting.

Cleveland State's President Dr. Bill Seymour was elected to serve on the board of directors for the Community Colleges of Appalachia.

Two of the county commissioners in whose district the Highway 60 project will be constructed said they were getting questions as numerous marking stakes are beginning to pop up in yards and along the roadway.

Commissioner Mark Hall, who serves as co-chairman of the Southeast Tennessee Veterans Home Council, said discussions with Washington, D.C., officials might be beginning to pay off in getting the new facility built.

State Rep. Dan Howell (R-Georgetown) said the removal of monuments and statues would be erasing the lessons learned of history. Howell made his comments on the recent national debate spurred by protests in Charlottesville, Va., and elsewhere across the nation.

Cleveland State Community College honored its first group of Certified Nursing Assistant Program graduates.

SEPTEMBER:

Things continue to trend upward with Cleveland City Schools enrollment, with the school system reaching an all-time high of 5,626 students as of the 15th day of the 2017-18 school year.

Martha Edwina "Betty" Rodie was known by her friends and acquaintances as the face of the Red Cross, where she was employed for more than 30 years, died.

Several local organizations rallied to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

State Rep. Kevin Brooks (R-Cleveland) and State Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville) were selected to serve on the committee to make a study on state services for the disabled.

County Commission Chairman Louie Alford and Vice Chairman Jeff Yarber were returned to their positions by unanimous acclamation votes.

The Cleveland Bradley County Public Library received more help for its History Branch restoration project, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the George R. Johnson Family Foundation.

Charleston and Bradley County got the "all clear" seven hours after an afternoon explosion at the Wacker Polysilicon North America plant released a chemical vapor cloud over the immediate area.

In anticipation of potentially devastating damage to electric grids in Florida from Hurricane Irma, Cleveland Utilities dispatched an emergency line crew to Gainesville.

This year's Cowpea Festival Cook-off winners were Dana and Kevin Caylor, owners of a mobile creperie and catering company, The Crepe Outdoors.

Cathy Howe was named executive director at Life Care Center of Cleveland.

The Bradley County Board of Education elected its newest panel of officers during The 5th District's Rodney Dillard, who has for the past year served as the board's chairman, was re-elected by his fellow board members. Amanda Lee, representing the 6th District, was elected vice chairman.

Lee University opened a new female dorm as it continues to resolve student housing needs.

WCLE’s Steve Hartline was the “victim” of Cleveland State’s third annual Celebrity Roast.

Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland stepped down after 22 years of serving on the Tennessee Advisory Committee for Intergovernmental Relations.

A group of protesters numbering at least 12 gathered near the entrance of the Wacker Charleston plant to protest what they said was the company's unwillingness to talk to them "face to face."

Cleveland Lions Club members celebrated the group's 88th anniversary with special visits from the top two Lions in the district.

Nancy Casson, a former public educator and now longtime community volunteer and leading businesswoman, was named recipient of Junior Achievement of the Ocoee Region's highest honor, the Ron Braam Award.

A record number of people, both young and old, attended Cleveland Geekster event at Cleveland State Community College.

David Purkey, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, was named an honorary life member of the Cleveland 100.

The "Joint Operation" veterans event, held at the Museum Center at Five Points, was open to all Tennessee veterans and their families and that featured more than 45 agencies and organizations with information on a number of opportunities for veterans.

Former Bradley Central High School coach Walter "Terry" Sweeney passed away at the age of 83.

The Cleveland City Council expanded the Airport Authority from five to seven members.

The Cleveland City Council approved a resolution to purchase the historic Cherokee Hotel which will be a key to the city's redevelopment plans.

Local businessman Allan Jones appeared on Fox News Channel's "Fox And Friends" after his revelation that he would remove his companies' advertising from NFL broadcasts went viral on media. His decision came after several NFL players chose to protest by kneeling during the national anthem.

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