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News - Friday, August 9, 2019

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A lobbyist's work is never done
Attorney Watson always ready for client crisis, hard questions

Government affairs attorney and lobbyist Nicole Watson is taking a moment to laugh about the public’s perception of what she does.

Some people think her days and evenings are filled with dinners, parties and schmoozing as she persuades elected officials to consider the interests of her clients. A bright smile, a warm handshake and a carefully chosen compliment, and her job is done.


Litchford, Pearce form new firm

Attorneys Mark Litchford and Richard Pearce have left Grant, Konvalinka & Harrison after 25 combined years at the firm and launched a new Chattanooga-based law practice.

Litchford, 40, concentrates on government law, commercial litigation, personal injury, business transactions and criminal defense. He’s also the attorney for the City of East Ridge.


Chambliss recognized for strength in client relationships

Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel is recognized for strong client relationships in the national law firm ranking, “BTI Power Rankings 2019: Client Relationship Scorecard.”

The Chattanooga-based law firm is nationally listed as one of only 45 law firms with “the potential to build market dominance based on the strength of its existing client relationships.”


Bulletproof backpacks show grim reality

This isn’t the back-to-school column I had in mind writing. That was derailed when I came across news like this, from Futurism.com:

“From Texas to Tennessee, Florida or Idaho, local news stations are reporting an uptick in the number of parents purchasing bulletproof backpacks for their kids in anticipation of the 2019 school year — a disheartening sign of how desperate parents are to keep their children safe as gun violence rages in American schools.’’


Kemp, Rosales up for Latino Entrepreneur of the Year

Two Realtors are among 12 local Latinos La Paz Chattanooga has nominated for its 2019 Latino Entrepreneur of the Year award.

During the 2019 Latino Leadership Awards on Sept. 16 at the Chattanooga Convention Center, Rocio Kemp of Keller Williams Greater Downtown Realty or Yadi Rosales of Coldwell Banker Pryor Realty could hear her name called when La Paz announces the winner.


Interest rate cut shouldn't impact market

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday cut interest rates for the first time since the Great Recession of 2008, but the National Association of Realtors® doesn’t think it will have a huge impact on residential purchases… at least in the short term.


Women of Distinction announces honorees

Women of Distinction of Greater Chattanooga will celebrate its 2019 honorees at a benefit luncheon Friday, Oct. 25 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Chattanooga Convention Center. For more than 30 years, the Women of Distinction event has honored women who make a difference in their community.


Consistently great acting rises above aimless tale

A strange thing happened as I watched “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood,” the new movie from filmmaker Quentin Tarantino: I grew sad.

That was strange because the only things I’ve felt while watching a Tarantino movie is admiration for his film craft, levity, due to his often clever and humorous dialogue, and boredom, due to his often self-indulgent and drawn out dialogue.


Mayor Berke joins ThinkTennessee

Tennesseans once led the way in civic engagement, but today, the state’s citizens vote less regularly than most Americans. Voter turnout in Tennessee consistently ranks near the bottom of the nation, including No. 50 in 2014 and No. 49 in 2016.


UTC basketball teams announce 2019-20 slate

The schedule is never easy for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men’s and women’s basketball teams. Mocs head coaches Lamont Paris and Katie Burrows have announced their 2019-20 slates – and they’re loaded once again.


How does social security fit into your retirement income strategy?

It might not be on your calendar, but Aug. 14 is Social Security Day. Since it was enacted on Aug. 14, 1935, Social Security has provided some financial support for millions of Americans during their retirement years. While Social Security benefits, by themselves, probably aren’t enough to enable you to retire comfortably, they can be a key part of your overall retirement income strategy – if you use them wisely.


Interest in accessory dwelling units growing

While single-family homes remain the most desired type of dwelling among home buyers in the Chattanooga area, alternative living spaces are making headway. Accessory dwelling units, also known as granny flats, mother-in-law suites or secondary dwelling units, are ideal for individuals seeking out a non-traditional living space.


Messing up variable annuity can cost you and your heirs

Variable annuities are complex insurance products — so complex that what people actually buy and what they think they’re buying may be quite different. Those misunderstandings can end up costing them, or their heirs, a lot of money.

For the uninitiated: Variable annuities are insurance company contracts that allow people to invest money in a tax-deferred account for retirement. Returns can vary according to how the investments perform (that’s the “variable” in “variable annuity”). These contracts typically include death benefits guaranteeing your heirs will get the amount you’ve invested, and perhaps more. Many variable annuities also have living benefits, which guarantee the amount you can withdraw during your lifetime. All these guarantees come at a cost, which can make variable annuities expensive to own.


Erlanger to offer free Well-Women Early Detection program

Erlanger Health System, in partnership with the Tennessee Breast and Cervical Screening Program, is offering a new Well-Women Early Detection Program providing free breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services for qualified patients.


Health Department traps West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department says mosquitoes recently trapped in Hamilton County tested positive for West Nile Virus.

“This is a reminder that mosquito bites are not just a harmless, itchy thing that goes away,” says Director of Environmental Health Services Bonnie Deakins. “About one in five of those infected will develop a fever and other symptoms, while about one in 150 could develop a serious illness.”


Chamber names Justin Groenert VP

Justin Groenert has joined the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce as vice president of public policy.

Groenert previously served as chief of staff for Kelly Mitchell, Indiana State treasurer. He oversaw office staff and six quasi-governmental organizations and served as legislative director for the treasurer’s office.


USS LST 325 returns to Scenic City

Chattanooga will welcome a rare piece of history to the downtown waterfront Aug. 21-27. The World War II USS LST 325 will dock at Ross’s Landing to offer tours of the landing ship tank.

The 325 will arrive the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 21. An opening ceremony featuring the crew and Captain Bob Kubota is scheduled for 3 p.m. that day.


How to take delivery of a new vehicle at home

Here’s a car-buying pro tip that may help shave serious time and negotiation stress from the average purchase process: Ask the dealership to deliver the new vehicle to your home. Taking delivery of a car can be done without ever setting foot on the dealership’s lot.


Chattanooga Public Library launches Seed Exchange program

Library cardholders can now check out packets of vegetable, fruit and flower seeds for free.

The Chattanooga Public Library’s Seed Exchange program is located at the library’s downtown branch and allows cardholders to check out up to five seed packets at a time.


Credit unions add flex to your finances

An underused money tool that could help a new generation of adults on their path to prosperity isn’t a smartphone app, a virtual currency or a digital payment system.

It’s an old-timey credit union.

Credit unions , if you’re unfamiliar, are like nonprofit banks. They may not satisfy all your money-management needs, but you’re missing out if you’re ignoring credit unions, which have great interest rates on auto loans, consumer-friendly checking and savings accounts, and low ongoing credit card rates.


Tickets on sale for Symphony & Opera's 2019-2020 season

Single tickets for the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera’s 2019-20 season are on sale to the general public. The lineup for the organization’s 87th season features iconic classical works, guest performers and an emphasis on female composers.


RISEChattanooga announces Levitt AMP music series

RISE Chattanooga (formerly known as Jazzanooga) has announced the lineup of artists who will perform on the lawn of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center each Thursday at beginning at 6 p.m. from Aug. 22-Oct. 24 as part of the Levitt AMP Chattanooga Music Series.


Outdoor Chattanooga extends adult archery program

Outdoor Chattanooga has extended its adult archery program into August. Archers and Aces is an indoor archery program aimed at adults over the age of 30 who are interested in trying target style archery.

These free indoor sessions will take place every Tuesday in August from noon-1:30 p.m. at Outdoor Chattanooga Center, located at 200 River St. in Coolidge Park.


Erlanger opens new express care in Ringgold

Erlanger officials have opened a new Erlanger Express Care in at 6982 Nashville St. in Ringgold.

The Ringgold Express Care is the latest of five Erlanger urgent care facilities in the region developed in partnership with Noon Development of Chattanooga.  Erlanger recently opened Express Care centers in Soddy-Daisy, downtown Chattanooga and on Gunbarrel Road.


What was going on in Chattanooga in 1969?

Friday, August 8

George M. Clark Sr., chairman of the board of Pioneer Bank reported Thursday that the banks’ total resources amounted to $73,446,600 July 31. This is nearly 5% over the same date last year. Clark also announced the election of business executive and Chattanooga developer Weldon F. Osborne, to the board.


Tennis and Pickleball courts opening

After weeks of clearing and resurfacing the former East Ridge High School Tennis Courts, 4320 Bennett Road, the city is opening the courts with the addition of lines for pickleball play. On Saturday, Aug. 10, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., participants can play both tennis and pickleball with equipment provided by the Chattanooga Tennis Association and the East Ridge Seniors Pickleball group. Refreshments will be served and instructors will be on hand to teach both sports. To reserve a court after the grand opening, contact Kim Gann at 423 805-3111 or kgann@eastridgetn.gov.