Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, February 2, 2024

Briefs: Lookouts to help pay for new stadium

Mayor Tim Kelly, Hamilton County Commissioner Jeff Eversole and City Council member Raquetta Dotley have secured a new deal for the mixed-use stadium in the South Broad District. The revamped agreement for the $120 million project calls for the Chattanooga Lookouts to cover all costs above $112 million.

Despite this concession, the Lookouts will still sign a 30-year lease payment of $1 million per year (the highest in Minor League Baseball history).

Of the $112 million maximum cost to the City-County Sports Authority, $80 million will be financed by the Sports Authority bonds already approved in 2022, $32 million will be loaned to the Sports Authority by Perimeter Properties (the landowners) and the Lookouts, the Lookouts will contribute $3 million in cash, and any stadium costs above $112 million will be the responsibility of Perimeter Properties and the Lookouts.

Parkridge plans $72M expansion

Parkridge Medical Center is planning a $72 million expansion. The project marks one of the largest investments in Parkridge Health System’s 53-year history.

The plan calls for a new patient tower with additional critical care and inpatient rooms to accommodate the growing population in the Chattanooga region. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2026.

“As the Chattanooga community grows, so does Parkridge Health System,” says Chris Cosby, chief executive officer and president of Parkridge Health System. “This investment and expansion to Parkridge Medical Center will enable us to meet that future growth and continue to provide exceptional patient care.”

Bill takes aim at repeat offenders

Sen. Bo Watson, R-Chattanooga, and Rep. Patsy Hazlewood, R-Signal Mountain, are introducing legislation to increase the punishment of repeat offenders who have committed multiple misdemeanors in Tennessee.

“Criminals who have a long history of committing misdemeanors need stronger penalties to discourage criminal activity and prevent them from carrying out new crimes,” says Watson. “This legislation ensures that if you repeatedly break our laws, you’ll receive much harsher punishments.”

The joint legislation would make it a Class E felony to commit six or more qualifying misdemeanors within a specific number of years. The list includes 37 total crimes ranging from assault to DUI.

“It’s unacceptable for criminals to commit multiple crimes in our communities without any significant consequences for their actions,” adds Hazlewood. “This legislation will hold these habitual offenders more accountable and send a strong message that this behavior is not tolerated in Tennessee.”

In addition, if a person is found guilty of committing any combination of three or more misdemeanors from a specific list, they would also face a Class E felony. Those misdemeanors include: assault against a first responder or nurse; child abuse; child neglect or endangerment; domestic assault; unlawful carrying or possession of a firearm; violation of an order of protection or restraining order; and violation of a no contact order.

The legislation does not apply if there are more than 10 years between the current, most recent qualifying misdemeanor and another misdemeanor from the list. Under state law, a Class E felony is punishable by up to six years in prison and can include a fine of up to $3,000.