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Tim Kelly will take office as mayor of Chattanooga today, starting out with a plan to address COVID-19, economic disparities and education in his first 100 days.
Kelly was elected by 60% of those who voted in a runoff election last week, balloting that was held six days before the winner was to take office.
In the coming weeks, he plans to follow several dozen action steps to address COVID-19, education, roads and parking, homelessness and affordable housing, criminal justice, public safety and other issues.
The new mayor, along with the nine members of the Chattanooga City Council, will be sworn in this morning.
Kelly is yet to announce his transition team or members of his permanent senior staff but said he will keep some members of outgoing Mayor Andy Berke’s administration in place to ensure continuity during the transition period.
Finnish tire maker Nokian Tyres is readying to upshift its factory to a higher gear as it adds more personnel and speeds toward 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week production.
The $360 million plant, which began operations in late 2019, was running just one shift about a year ago, he said.
Officials believe the sprawling Rhea County factory will make 1 million tires this year, all of which are going to North American buyers, and it will reach the 2 million mark in 2022.
Blake Markham, the plant’s human resources manager, said plans are to have 280 employees on board by mid-year. The company launched a new hiring surge early this year and still is trying to fill about 40 more posts by the end of May, he said.
Depending on sales and demand, the company is targeting having 400 people working at the site in 2023.
The city of Cleveland will pursue legal action after a Nashville Chancery Court judge dismissed the city’s preliminary appeal involving a non-residential methadone clinic that received state approval to open in Cleveland last year.
The facility, Cleveland Comprehensive Treatment Center, is located at 3575 Keith St. N.W.
Middle Tennessee Treatment Centers LLC is the legal owner of the treatment center in care of Acadia Healthcare Company Inc.
In the appeal, the city is stating it did not receive notice for the CON hearing held in Nashville last year, where The Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency approved the Franklin-based healthcare company’s certificate-of-need application to open the $1.3 million opiate addiction treatment center.
Fivas said while the company operating the methadone clinic published a notice in the Chattanooga Time Free Press, a notice was not published locally.
As a result, the city officials and local residents were unable to express their concerns about the clinic, because they were unaware of the company’s plans to open the facility.
However, in the Chancery Court’s March 30 ruling, Fivas said the judge determined the company had sent the notice to the city and that a return receipt was not required.
Fivas said the city’s suit was dismissed before the city had a chance to argue its case regarding why the CON process was important to the community.
Fivas said the city will file an appeal, which he expects will be heard in the Tennessee State Court of Appeals in the upcoming months.
In news today…
Dr. Russell Dyer, Director of Cleveland City Schools, is excited to announce that Mrs. Autumn O’Bryan, Principal of Cleveland High School, has been chosen as a regional semi-finalist for Principal of the Year by the Tennessee Department of Education and will advance to the next round of the Principal of the Year selection process.
Mrs. O’Bryan is in her twelfth year with Cleveland City Schools and has served for her entire Cleveland City Schools’ career as Principal of Cleveland High School. Prior to working for Cleveland City Schools, O’Bryan spent time as a teacher and administrator in Hamilton County Schools and as the head softball coach for Lee University.