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News - Friday, March 8, 2019

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Not the usual suspects
New teams challenge old powers in revamped mock trial competition

Like the New England Patriots under Tom Brady or the Yankees and Lakers of old, many of the same high school mock trial teams emerge victorious each year at Hamilton County’s annual competition.

McCallie School, Signal Mountain and CSTHEA (Chattanooga Southeast Tennessee Home Education Association) are regulars in the state competition, with McCallie advancing to nationals in 1994.


Civility is Collier’s retirement mission

Federal judge Curtis Collier has been on a mission since taking senior status in 2014.

Concerned about the swelling tide of incivility among attorneys, he’s made an effort to speak with any group that will listen about the importance of good manners in the legal profession.


New bipartisan legislative caucus looks to the future

There’s a new caucus at the state Capitol: the Tennessee Future Caucus, a bipartisan group geared toward younger lawmakers and focused on finding common ground.

Co-chairs are Sen. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis, and Rep. Michael Curcio, R-Dickson. The caucus is designed for lawmakers age 45 and younger. At least 29 lawmakers fit into that age group, including 14 new members, according to the General Assembly’s website.


Realty Center honors top producers

Realtors and Realtor teams with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Realty Center sold thousands of homes in 2018 and placed among the upper echelon of agents and teams that are part of the globally operating Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

Realty Center announced the winners of its 2018 sales awards in a private celebration last month.


Advocating for homeowners is real job of Realtors

As a Realtor, my job isn’t just putting “For Sale” and “Sold” signs in the ground. And as the 2019 president of Greater Chattanooga Realtors, much of my job is advocating for the rights of property owners in our area.


A closer look at homeownership incentives and the new tax law

With tax season upon us, Chattanooga-area homeowners are reminded about changes to the tax code that went into effect in 2018. Despite the changes, it’s important to remember that homeowners can still take advantage of many tax incentives.

Homeowners who itemize their federal income tax deductions can deduct 100 percent of their mortgage interest payments on a first and second home up to a maximum mortgage amount of $750,000 for loan balances taken after Dec. 16, 2017.


Critic's Corner: Moretz, Huppert bring A game to B-grade ‘Greta’

Most suspense thrillers cook on low boil for a while before turning up the heat. This keeps viewers wondering when the ax is going to drop.

“Greta” doesn’t have time to ratchet up slowly, as its story must go to absurd lengths before the end of its 90-minute run. So it gets right down to business, with the big reveal coming about 15 minutes into the film.


Whom can you trust to reduce stress of estate planning?

When it’s time to do your estate planning – and it’s actually never too soon to begin – you may find the process to be somewhat bewildering. You’ll have many questions:

• What sort of arrangements should I make?


Community health profile released

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department has released its community health profile, which provides a broad picture of the health of Hamilton County residents compiled from local, state and federal data sources. It was last updated in 2015.


Tennessee secretary of state launching program for victims of domestic violence

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, members of the General Assembly and advocates for domestic violence victims are launching the Tennessee Safe at Home Address Confidentiality Program. More than 35 other states offer similar domestic violence safety programs.


Siskin Children’s Institute to celebrate StyleWorks

Siskin Children’s Institute has chosen Edna Varner and Alisa Russell to co-chair the 2019 StyleWorks luncheon and fashion show. StyleWorks – Fashion with Compassion supports SCI’s programs, which serve more than 2,200 children with special needs and their families annually.


Coonrod appointed to national council on race

The National League of Cities has appointed Chattanooga City Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod (District 9) to its Race, Equity and Leadership Council. REAL aims to strengthen the leadership of local elected officials, eliminate racial disparities, heal racial tensions and build more equitable communities.


Charismatic castaways
New Tennessee Aquarium gallery celebrates island life

The Tennessee Aquarium will on March 15 open Island Life, a new gallery that takes guests on a globe-trotting exploration of isolated ecosystems above and below the water.

“Guests will see amazing animals,” says Thom Demas, the Aquarium’s director of aquatic collections and life support systems. “Islands are diverse locations, and in this gallery, we’re able to tell quite a few of these stories of biodiversity.”


Events: Donate clothes for homeless teens

Signal Mountain High School students Caroline Cornett, Emily Holt and Sydney Houck are partnering to hold a clothing drive to benefit homeless teens through Threads of Care, a nonprofit organization that works to provide homeless teens with basic necessities. The drive will run through Friday, March 15. The students will be accepting new or gently used jackets, shirts, shorts, pants and more at the middle and high school entrances on those dates. After the drive, the girls will donate the collected items to a Chattanooga organization of their choice.