McCormick Says Legislators Are Likely To Pass Bill For Chattanooga Whiskey If Requested By County Commission; Henry Sees Possible Legal Problems Requiring 2014 Referendum

Friday, November 23, 2012

House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick said the local legislative delegation will likely pass a bill making possible the production of whiskey in Hamilton County if requested to do so by the County Commission.

He said the legislative delegation at one time had a tradition that it not approve local bills unless all members of the delegation were in agreement. But he said in recent years that tradition has been eased.

Rep. Richard Floyd is a foe of the whiskey bill. Rep. McCormick said he understands "that is based on his deeply-held personal belief." But he said the legislative delegation still would likely get together to discuss the measure and may move forward with it.

First it must get the signatures of six members of the County Commission. Chairman Larry Henry said five has signed thus far - himself, Greg Beck, Warren Mackey, Joe Graham and Marty Haynes. Commissioner Fred Skillern said he is studying weighing the issue. Others on the panel are Jim Fields, Chester Bankston and Tim Boyd.

Chairman Henry said he was advised there may be a legal issue about whether the sale of package iiquor and liquor by the drink was ever properly approved in Hamilton County. He said he understands it was not approved for the county as a whole.

He said, "They may require a referendum and may this whiskey issue moot." A referendum would be in 2014.

Chairman Henry said he believes Hamilton County voters should be allowed to speak on the issue.

He said he signed the letter because of the economic benefit to the county, including some jobs and an increase in tourism.

But he said, "If the liquor industry depended on me, this wouldn't be an issue. I don't have it in my house."

Joe Ledbetter and Tim Piersant of the Chattanooga Whiskey Company want to start producing whiskey here by investing $1 million in a building on the Southside. They said there would be at least 10 employees at first and up to 75 or more later.   


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BAKER, JUSTIN CHARLES     9044 WACONDA SHORE DRIVE CHATTANOOGA, 37416     26     Hamilton County          VIOLATION OF PROBATION (POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA)     VIOLATION OF PROBATION (EVADING ARREST) BETTIS, CHRISTOPHER ... (click for more)

Man With 9 Prior Burglary Felonies Gets 24 Years, 2 Months In Federal Prison After Gun Conviction

Victor Stitt, 32, of Manchester, was sentenced to serve 290 months in prison after his prior nine felonies qualified him as an armed career criminal.   He appeared before Judge Sandy. Mattice, who presided over his trial in April.           During the trial, the jury was told that Coffee County Sheriff’s deputies responded ... (click for more)

Dirt Decision At Camp Jordan May Come Back To Haunt East Ridge Councilmen

Wow. I thought the arrival of Bass Pro Shop would help bring East Ridge back to a position of prominence in the Chattanooga area, but the Council proved otherwise last night.  To the council - There is a reason that the developers want that dirt: It's valuable . You currently own it and the developer wants it. Bass Pro has already agreed to set up shop. They were going ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye To My Scooter

The month of August turned out to be unkind, with my dog, my favorite aunt and my magnificent mother all dying within three weeks’ time. As I finally begin to push out the three newest dents in my soul, my habit has been to write something akin to a goodbye note to those I have loved. I’m not ready for Aunt Martha and Mother yet – not by a stretch -- but I remembered Scooter with ... (click for more)

Baylor Ends Big Week With Win Over GPS

The Baylor volleyball team probably doesn't get many days off during the week in midseason, but they earned a day off on Tuesday following a long and successful stretch in the last eight days. The Lady Red Raiders, won 10 of 11 matches in the last eight days, including a big win over arch-rival GPS on the road Monday night.  As a result, coach Sarah Lail urged her girls ... (click for more)

UTC's Hudson Named Special Teams Player Of The Week

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior Tommy Hudson is the Southern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week, the league office announced today.  Hudson scored twice in the Mocs 42-6 win at Austin Peay on Saturday .  Hudson returned three punts for 65 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown in the third quarter.  That added to his 33-yard receiving ... (click for more)