Hamilton Herald Masthead

News - Friday, October 30, 2020

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What could go wrong?
Plenty. Here’s how to make sure your vote counts

Chris Davis just knows it’s going to rain Nov. 3. He cares because he’s the Knox County administrator of elections, Nov. 3 is Election Day and weather there has been lousy on four of the last six elections.

He and other election officials across Tennessee have been planning for this election since March. It will be the culmination of years of presidential campaigning and of untold dollars spent on candidates and the process itself.

Election Day frequently asked questions

Do I have to vote for every candidate or issue on the ballot?


Can poll workers explain charter amendments?

No. Voters need to research their ballots before they vote.

Can I use my Ohio driver’s license as ID to vote in Tennessee?

No. To vote in Tennessee, use a Tennessee government-issued or federal government-issued identification. College IDs are not acceptable.

The courts’ role in protecting voting rights

Nov. 3, Election Day, is right around the corner. Of course, voting is fundamental to elections. It is through voting we both give our consent to those we entrust to govern us and hold those governing us accountable. From our right to vote come many of our rights and freedoms.

‘Irreplaceable’ Simmons retiring
Clerk & Master’s Office veteran leaving after 40 years of service

There’s a notion in the world of employment that no one is irreplaceable. No one except Charlene Simmons, that is.

Simmons, 59, has worked for the Hamilton County Court System for 40 years. And when she goes home for the last time Dec. 31, she’ll leave a gap no one will be able to fill, says Clerk & Master Robin Miller.

Tennessee Supreme Court orders remote bar exam

The Tennessee Supreme Court has issued an order approving remote administration of the February 2021 Uniform Bar Examination, citing the continuing risk associated with large gatherings due to the pandemic and the increase in COVID-19 cases in the state.

Tennessee judges gather online for fall judicial conference

The Tennessee Judicial Conference held its October meeting in a new place this year: online. It was the first judicial conference held since early March, just before the pandemic took hold. The June conference was canceled this year.

Conference president and 26th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge Roy Morgan welcomed the judges to the virtual conference and praised them for their work during this unprecedented year. He also shared a quote he said sums up the switch to a virtual conference.

Tennessee Realtors install Travis Close as president-elect

This is how an induction ceremony looks in 2020. Tennessee Realtors installed its 2021 officers during its fall convention, held Oct. 12-14 via Zoom. Chattanooga Realtor Travis Close (top row, second from left) was sworn in as president-elect of Tennessee Realtors. He will serve in the position until being installed as president next year. Find a link to the YouTube video of the installation ceremony at tnrealtors.com/fallconvention.

Hot real estate market not for commercial
Office space, retail, hospitality ‘getting hammered;’ warehousing faring better

Commercial Realtors Council President Russ Elliott just listed and sold his house in one day with the help of a residential Realtor. But his world – that of offices, restaurants and stores – is moving much slower.

“We’re not having the same experience,” he says.

Realtors help buyers move to new states

COVID-19 has certainly revealed the many parts of our lives that are – and are not – important. Many employers are opting to allow their staff to live and work remotely, which has opened up a world of possibilities when considering where to live.

Rising lumber prices threaten housing affordability

Despite the toll the pandemic has taken on many industries, housing has been a bright spot for the U.S. economy, particularly for single-family home construction. New single-family home sales – a measure of U.S. home building – increased 13.9% in July, representing a 13-year high.

Financial Focus: Protect your family from long-term care costs

Like everyone, you want to remain physically and financially independent throughout your life. But if you lose some of this freedom, the last thing you’d want is to become a burden on your family. How can you keep this from happening?

First of all, you need to be aware of the risk. Someone turning 65 today has almost a 70% chance of eventually needing some type of long-term care, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean you face that 70% likelihood. In reality, you have either no chance of requiring long-term care (you’ll never need it) or a 100% chance (you’ll definitely need it).

Newsmakers: Erlanger names Harris CNE

Rachel Harris is taking on the role of senior vice president and chief nursing executive for Erlanger. She had taken on the role of interim CNE in June.

Harris began her health care career at Erlanger in the 1980s as a candy striper caring for newborns. She earned her a degree in nursing from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1994. Since then, she has served in various leadership and clinical positions, including assistant chief nursing officer of Erlanger East and North hospitals, nurse manager of the Heart Failure Unit and house supervisor.

Green|spaces’ workforce development program relaunches

Green|spaces’ Build It Green Program is celebrating the launch of its first class this month as an AmeriCorps Opportunity Youth Service Initiative site and Corps Network partner.

In 2018, green|spaces launched an effort to connect at-risk young adults to careers in construction and energy service-related areas. Through funding provided by the Southeast Sustainability Communities Fund, the program was modeled after S.E.E.E.D., which is based in Knoxville.

Big Brothers Big Sisters to host virtual fundraiser

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Chattanooga will host its first virtual fundraiser Thursday, Nov. 5, 7-8 p.m.

Dubbed “The BIG Happier Hour,” the event will include dinner from 1885 Grill – delivered to the homes of attendees – a performance by musical artist Swayyvo and a keynote address by Inky Johnson, a motivational speaker and former college football player.

Cafe owner to hold fundraiser for firefighters who fought to save her business

Ruth Oehmig, owner of Café on the Corner, will hold a fundraiser for equipment for Lookout Mountain’s fire departments. She will host the sixth annual Fill the Boot Fundraiser Tuesday, Nov. 10, 6 p.m., at her restaurant.

On May 27, 2014, a gas leak caused a fire in the 100-year-old building, resulting in 20-foot flames that blocked access to the shut-off valve. Several firemen created a wall of water while another walked in, acting as a human shield from the heat.

National PTA awards thousands in COVID relief money

The National PTA recently distributed $1.25 million in COVID-19 relief funds to 150 PTAs across the country, including one in Hamilton County.

The grant allowed for the creation of free food pantries in specified learning communities in Hixson and surrounding cities.

First Horizon reports third quarter net income

First Horizon National Corp. recently reported third quarter 2020 net income available to common shareholders of $523 million, with earnings per share of 95 cents.

Third quarter 2020 results reflect the impact of the July 1 IBERIABANK Corporation merger and the July 17 acquisition of 30 Truist branches, and include $269 million pretax, or 60 cents per share, from notable items largely related to the IBKC Merger.

Landrace Bioscience receives Spirit of Innovation Award

The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce named Landrace Bioscience the 2020 Spirit of Innovation Award recipient at its recent virtual Spirit of Innovation Awards.  Landrace Bioscience is a consultative manufacturer of hemp extracts.

The Chattanooga Chamber also recognized 2020 Spirit of Innovation finalists Text Request and Trekka.

Tennessee Aquarium reduces workforce

After 28 years of success, the COVID-19 public health emergency has challenged the Tennessee Aquarium’s financial health.

Seven months after the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Hamilton County, the global pandemic impacts are still rippling through the economy. The travel and hospitality sector was hit particularly hard, especially nonprofit aquariums and zoos that depend on admissions to cover fixed operational costs.

Trust seeks to save 301 acres on Lookout Mountain

Strategy and grit abounded in the Civil War’s vast Western Theater. It was there that Union commanders employed tactics that hit the Confederacy at its most vulnerable points, impeding the ability to move supplies and men.

As the conflict unfolded, Tennessee became a particular hotbed for combat, with conflicts at iconic spots the American Battlefield Trust now works to protect.

Personal Finance: How losing ‘Obamacare’ could cost nearly everyone

If the Supreme Court throws out the Affordable Care Act, your finances and your future could pay the price.

Retiring early or starting a business might become too hazardous if your access to health insurance isn’t guaranteed. You might have to wait a year before preexisting conditions are covered by an employer’s plan. Young adults could be kicked off their parents’ policies.

Behind the Wheel: Party of 5? Your new vehicle has arrived

Trucks and SUVs are the top-selling vehicles in America, and the sales trends show no signs of cooling off. They’ve become the de facto family vehicles for a number of reasons, including a high ride height for better visibility, enhanced versatility thanks to roomy cargo areas, available all-wheel drive for extra wet-weather traction and the feeling of safety imparted by a larger vehicle.

Book review: More money isn’t only fix for overworked workforce

Overworked and underpaid. It’s an old, jokey statement that’s not so funny now. No, it seems like you work more hours than you ever did, and your ends still come up 2 feet from meeting.

You’re overwhelmed because you’re underfunded month after month and you don’t know why. Read “Worked Over” by Jamie K. McCallum, though, and you’ll understand.