In Case You Missed It

Tennessee Riverwalk Extension Completed

Looking for something fun to do on the weekends that doesn’t cost money? It might be time to check out the new, 3 mile extension to the Tennessee Riverwalk, which opened Aug. 12, 2016. The extension begins at the end of M.L. King Boulevard, near Cameron Harbor, and ends at the base of our very own Lookout Mountain, where you can continue your trek on a number of mountain trails.

The Riverwalk is a 12 ft wide, concrete path that follows the Tennessee River from the Chickamauga Dam down to Ross’s Landing and is a popular biking, walking, and running trail. The $16 million extension project features the river and mountains on one side, and on the other side is a tour of some of Chattanooga’s industrial buildings.

To coincide with the extension, a new app, The Tennessee Riverpark, was released by NeoTreks Inc. to enhance the historic and educational interpretative opportunities along the Tennessee Riverpark. The app includes interactive maps, virtual history tours and fun facts about the many points of interests along the Riverwalk. It is available for iOS and Android.

The goal of the Riverwalk is to connect people with communities they might not have known about otherwise and to encourage outdoor activity. Other planned expansions include a connection to Alton Park and St. Elmo.

(For other awesome Chattanooga projects, check out the Arts section!)


Ooltewah Update

All three defendants in the Ooltewah rape case were found guilty - one was convicted of aggravated rape and the other two of aggravated assault. The former Ooltewah basketball players were charged with raping a freshman player with a pool cue during a team trip to Gatlinburg in December. The freshman was hospitalized and required emergency surgery. All three defendants were tried as juveniles in the Sevier County, Tenn. and their files will remain sealed.

Ooltewah High School faced public scrutiny after a report found that “a culture of bullying and hazing existed on the Ooltewah High School boy's basketball team for months, maybe even years, before the pool-cue rape of [the] freshman player.”

Four men were tried in connection with the case, including head basketball coach Andre “Tank” Montgomery, assistant coach Karl Williams, Ooltewah Athletic Director Allard "Jesse" Nayadley, and Gatlinburg Police Detective Rodney Burns.

Williams’ charges were dropped because he was not provided training on how to report child sexual abuse. Nayadley’s charges of failure to report child sexual abuse will be erased from his record after 10 hours of community service, training and good behavior.

Montgomery also faces charges of failure to report child sexual abuse, while Burns is being tried for aggravated perjury, due to untruthful testimony and failure to report child sexual abuse. Both men are pleading not guilty.



PCA Moves Toward Racial Reconciliation

If you were outside of the PCA world this summer, you might not have heard about the 44th General Assembly of the PCA, held in Mobile, Alabama, June 2016. During the assembly, Overture 43: “Pursuing Racial Reconciliation and the Advance of the Gospel” was approved by a vote of 861-123, with 23 abstaining.

Overture 43 confesses, condemns and repents “of corporate and historical sins, including those committed during the Civil Rights era, and continuing racial sins of ourselves and our fathers such as the segregation of worshipers by race.”

According to Jemar Tisby, president and co-founder of the Reformed African American Network, the statement is distinctive: “The PCA formally addressed slavery almost a decade and a half ago, but it failed to mention anything about the much more recent and close-to-home issue of the Civil Rights Movement. Overture 43 corrects that defect and says, ‘during the Civil Rights period, there were founding denominational leaders and churches who not only failed to pursue racial reconciliation but also actively worked against it in both church and society.’”

This has certainly been a troubling chapter in the PCA’s history but Overture 43 could be an important step in the right direction. The confession was coupled with Overtures 44 and 45, which approved a “Unity Fund: to help raise up future generations of godly, reformed African American and other minority Ruling and Teaching Elders…” and the formation of a racial reconciliation study committee to “provide concrete, practical steps for individual churches and the denomination.”