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News - Friday, January 14, 2022

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Business is looking up, finding new familiar face
Settles follows Hite’s lead to make name for herself in market

With well over 2,000 residential Realtors vying to stake a claim on a tight housing inventory, Melanie Settles wanted to stand out from the crowd. Then she decided to stand above it instead.

The source of inspiration was a memory from her days before she became a Realtor of seeing a local agent’s face plastered across billboards throughout Chattanooga. Everywhere Settles traveled, there was the ubiquitous Mark Hite, looking down from above, as if he was surveying his domain.

‘Dirt lawyer’ digs title work
Heath finds fun, pressure in role as title attorney

By David Laprad

Liza Heath was inspired to become a lawyer as a child while watching episodes of “Perry Mason.” As the famous fictional detective won hard-fought cases, she saw herself someday battling for justice on behalf of underdogs.

Miller & Martin elects Lee, Nelson as members

Miller & Martin has promoted attorneys Meredith Corey Lee and Merrill Nelson to membership in the firm.

Lee is a member of the litigation department and Nelson is a member of the corporate department.

Lee’s practice is focused on product liability litigation defense, including mass tort actions and class actions.

Marking Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: The important role of the federal court

Many people repeat Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s quotation that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” President Barack Obama, for one, repeated it often. Where did this quotation come from, and what is its connection to the federal courts?

Carrying the torch into 2022

In taking the reins as president of the Greater Chattanooga Realtors from my friend Robert Backer, I’m both inspired and optimistic. No matter your profession or background, 2021 proved we’re all capable of adapting to change and we’re much stronger when we work together.

Powell creates own path with Closing Concierge

With 34% of real estate agents using a transaction coordinator, Close Concierge reports, there’s high demand for assistance with contracts.

Paula Powell of Nautical Real Estate Services is helping to meet that demand locally.

As a listing and contract coordinator in an active market of about 2,500 Realtors, Powell handles everything that happens after an agent and their client have signed on the proverbial dotted line (with the exception of inspections and repair negotiations, which allows her to remain neutral).

Newsmakers: Partnership COO Ladd to retire in August

Pam Ladd, chief operating officer of Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, will retire Aug. 24. Ladd has been COO of the agency since 2016.

Under Ladd’s leadership, the Partnership saw a reduction in administrative costs. Ladd ended programs other local organizations also provide, filled gaps in the programs the agency offers, expanded grant revenue and sold an underused facility.

Mock trial competition needs volunteers attorneys

The Chattanooga Bar Association and the CBA’s Young Lawyers Division will host this year’s local high school mock trial competition in February and March.

To pull off a successful competition, mock trail coordinator Judge Alex McVeagh is recruiting attorneys to score the rounds and serve as judges.

Two years of waiting: Do we dare plan the dream vacations we had to delay?
Hope for the best, plan for the worst

The two words that sum up travel in 2022 are “cautiously optimistic.’’

To be sure, travel is one of the top priorities for many of the pandemic weary.

An Expedia report on 2022 travel trends found that more than 68% of American travelers are planning a big trip for their first foray out, whether it be travel to a foreign country or upgrading to luxury accommodations in the United States.

Chambliss Center for Children celebrates 150 years

Established in 1872 by women from five churches in the Chattanooga area, Chambliss Center for Children is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.

In addition to naming Katie Harbison president and CEO in late 2021, the agency plans for program growth and a special celebration of its history throughout 2022.

Financial Focus: Don’t fall victim to tax scams

It’s that time of year, when we gather our W-2s, 1099s and all the other forms and documents we need to file our taxes. However, it’s also busy season for tax scammers. How can you avoid being scammed?

Your chief defense, of course, is to recognize a scam. Here are some of the most common ones:

Personal Finance: This year, resolve to leave no more gift card unused

Years ago, a friend who needed cash sold me a $100 Nordstrom gift card. I wish I knew where the heck I put it.

Gift cards are a popular holiday solution, especially recently, as supply chain disruptions and shipping delays have made gift buying more challenging. Most gift cards are spent within a year, but billions of dollars remain unspent, and about 1% to 2% of gift card dollars typically go unused, says Amy Dunckelmann, vice president of research operations for Mercator Advisory Group, a global payments consultant.

Tannehill saves best for regular-season finale

When the Tennessee Titans lost at home six weeks ago to the Houston Texans, there was growing concern that Ryan Tannehill might not have what it takes to lead a team to a title.

Tannehill, who did not have Derrick Henry or Julio Jones that day – and then lost A.J. Brown in the first half to a chest injury – did not have one of his better days. In fact, it might have been his worst. He threw four interceptions in helping seal the Titans’ fate that day.

Titans will use bye week to ‘get healthy,’ prep for Henry return

The Tennessee Titans have the top seed in the AFC, so now what? For a team that used a record number of players this season – the number reached 91 during Sunday’s win in Houston, with three new Titans making their debuts – a little rest and relaxation are in order.

Wild Card Weekend predictions

The NFL playoffs begin this weekend. Here's a look at the matchups and predictions for outcomes.


Eagles (9-8) at Buccaneers (12-5)

Let’s see, Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champs taking on an Eagles team that has exactly one win (the 9-8 Saints) against a team with a winning record. The Eagles are a bit ahead of schedule and slipped into the postseason thanks to the NFC being top-heavy and not very good past about the top five teams.

Dump the junk: Change of diet fuels Vol Vescovi’s rise

Santiago Vescovi doesn’t really care how anyone pronounces his name. He’s more concerned about the quality of his game.

The 6-foot-3 Tennessee junior guard has been earning more widespread respect this season for the continued improvement in his play on both sides of the ball. He’s emerged as a stabilizing presence in UT’s lineup.

Millennial Money: How to have wedding you want for less money

Most people are aware that automakers have felt the brunt of the worldwide microchip shortage, resulting in understocked dealerships at a time when consumer demand is high. But there’s another less well-known trend that can further complicate the process of buying a new vehicle.

Career Corner: Safer bet, you or the person in next cubicle?

I recently heard a famous comedian talking about her career and how she got where she is today. When it comes to her work, she said, she’s always tried to bet on herself, and that other people should bet on themselves, too. What a novel idea.