The free speech zone at the courthouse has ended.
After discussing phone calls in response to the variety of displays on the Cumberland County Courthouse grounds, commissioners on the buildings and grounds committee decided to remove all the displays during last Thursday's meeting.
"I hated to see this happen, but I'm going to make a motion that we remove all the displays," said 7th District Commissioner Mike Harvel.
Fifth District Commissioner Sharon York supported the motion and it passed unanimously. As of May 1 all displays must be removed from the courthouse grounds.
The reaction by the county came only a couple weeks after a Flying Spaghetti Monster was placed on the courthouse grounds by local artist Ariel Safdie. The display sparked national interest on blogs and news sites all over the Internet. It even appears in the current Rolling Stone Magazine.
"There has been a lot of public discussion on this. Everywhere I go I'm hearing about it. I've gotten a lot of phone calls over this, too. The reaction I'm getting is that we have one of the most beautiful courthouse lawns in the state. Why distract from it? All the displays are distracting from it ... It's gotten out of hand. It's time for all of it to go," said Lynn Tollett, 3rd District commissioner.
"Well, we've got a few that want displays up for longer than that. The Iraq/Afghanistan War memorial people want it left up until the war's over. There's a group who wanted to do an Earth Day display with a big globe. I already gave the okay," Cumberland County Mayor Brock Hill said.
"It doesn't matter. This takes precedence. As far as I'm concerned this is an eviction notice. Everyone with a display needs to be given a notice that there won't be anymore displays allowed," Tollett said.
The free speech zone at the courthouse has ended.
- Area News
Working on the trail
Volunteers were out Saturday morning constructing a trail at Meadow Park Lake. This was phase one of trail building, explained John Conrad, Crossville Trails organizer, with volunteers clipping twigs and branches and raking a path. Bruce Whitehead, George Schlenker, Lee Skinner and Pat Schudiske rake a path about three feet wide. Later, larger obstacles, such as fallen trees, will be removed, and topsoil removed on the trail to aid in trail maintenance. The trail will be about 1.5 miles in length.
Panel waives ticket charge for boosters
The building and grounds committee approved a request to waive a portion of the ticket fees for a school sports booster group planning a truck and tractor pull at the Cumberland County Community Complex, but the committee cautioned the group it would take action by the full Cumberland County Commission to relieve them of the obligation to return 10 percent of the gate charge to the county.
Jury seated in Batty slaying case
A jury plus alternates has been seated and began hearing evidence in the trial of John Russell Giles of Hampshire Lane, Fairfield Glade, charged in connection with the Nov. 7 death of Kimberly Ann Batty, 58, of Dovenshire Dr., also Fairfield Glade.
New site sought for convenience center
An expansion at Colinx and the improvement of a city street will require Cumberland County to move a convenience center. The city of Crossville has proposed a site in the same general area, but commissioners on the county's building and grounds committee were concerned about the cost to make the site suitable for a convenience center and the proximity of the Little Obed River.
CCHS student dies in car crash
Crossville Police have identified the victim of a two-vehicle collision that occurred Tuesday morning on Hwy. 70 W at the intersection of Dillon St. as a sophomore at Cumberland County High School.
Visitors center now open to the public
A ten-year effort to establish a gateway to the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, as well as to point tourists and visitors to the many other area parks, historical sites and points of interest, concluded Thursday as the community gathered with officials from the city of Crossville, Cumberland County, the Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce and the National Park Service to dedicate the Crossville-Cumberland County: Gateway to the Big South Fork Visitors Center on River Otter Dr.
Shots fired during standoff over domestic situation
Chickens were killed, threats of bodily harm made and at least three shots fired in the presence of a Cumberland County sheriff's deputy during a domestic dispute between an uncle and nephew.
Jury selection set in Batty slaying
Jury selections were scheduled to begin today in the trial of John Russell Giles of Hampshire Lane, Fairfield Glade, charged in connection with the Nov. 7 death of Kimberly Ann Batty, 58, of Dovenshire Dr., also Fairfield Glade.
Thoughts for this holy time of Easter
The first performance of George Friderick Handel's masterpiece, "Messiah," was given in Dublin, Ireland, on April 13, 1742, where it was well received. When it was performed in England there were criticisms of the music, performers and location of the performance. It was held that the subject matter was too exalted to perform in an opera house, but rather it should be performed in church. Wouldn't it be interesting if we knew how many times this magnificent music has been performed in the past 272 years?
Warden Joe Goodwin remains a true original
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency celebrates its 65th anniversary this year, and Crossville's Joe Goodwin is part of that living history.
- More Area News Headlines
- Working on the trail