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Local News for Monday, March 14th

Here is your Cleveland, Tenn. | Bradley County, Tenn. news on mymix1041.com, sponsored by Toyota of Cleveland:

From the Cleveland Daily Banner…

Anna Shand reports: Former Lee University choir director James Lamar Phillips was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days in jail during his sentencing Friday, March 11. Phillips is not eligible for parole, probation or any other circumstantial early release until 75% of his sentence is completed. 

In addition to jail time, Phillips must register as a sex offender and have no contact with the victim. Phillips was taken into police custody immediately after the sentencing hearing. 

Phillips pleaded guilty to a Class A misdemeanor in October 2021. In the same court hearing, the male victim — a former Lee student — alleged Phillips forced himself upon the student in an on-campus dorm room in 2014.

The victim was present at the sentencing hearing Friday and said though Phillips did receive the maximum sentencing for the Class A misdemeanor, it will never be enough to repair the damage caused. 

In news today…

A bill advancing through House committees aims to make it easier for citizens to report road hazards and settle claims with the state when vehicles are damaged on state-maintained highways.

House Bill 2706 requires the state treasurer to work with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to develop and implement a centralized information system for the reporting of dangerous road conditions. It expands the authority of the state treasurer to settle citizens’ claims when personal property is damaged by road hazards such as potholes. The state’s current procedure for filing such claims is a difficult process, said House Transportation Committee Chairman Dan Howell.

The state received 1,800 claims for pothole and road hazard damage in 2021 and of those, only 12 were settled.

“We believe we can do better and I know we can do better,” Howell said. “This simply allows TDOT and our treasurer’s office to cooperate in creating a streamlined reporting system so our citizens may be better served.” House Bill 2706 will be up for consideration in the House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee on March 15.

From the Chattanooga Times Free Press…

A Nashville developer eyeing $150 million in residential and commercial space next to a proposed new Chattanooga Lookouts stadium says “the stars are aligning” for a live-work-play district.

Core Development said Friday the company is looking at building 400 to 500 homes and up to 20,000 square feet of neighborhood-scale commercial space on 11 acres at the Wheland Foundry/U.S. Pipe tract.

Also, Core is in early discussions with others about the creation of a 35-acre public park neighboring the foundry site. The vision for the park would be the product of a comprehensive community consultation process.

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly and Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger see the stadium, with the minor league baseball team as its primary user, as the linchpin of ultimately $1 billion in potential new development.