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News - Friday, December 1, 2017

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Mega-hits, mega-misses with state-funded sites
VW a win, but costly Clarksville setback shows the downside

Despite Tennessee’s growing automotive-manufacturing industry presence, and what would have likely been an enticing package of tax abatements and other incentives, Toyota and Mazda just took a pass on a huge tract of land near Memphis.

The move showcases how fiercely competitive economic development is when it comes to luring in businesses to a city, region or state, state economic officials say. It also shows how the state’s land-development programs are willing to shell out big bucks – both real and promised – on the pledge of future jobs, a practice some say isn’t the best use of taxpayer dollars.


Megasite funds a godsend for the state’s rural counties

Tennessee’s rural governments have tight budgets during the best of times. That means developing industrial land is often a pipe dream, which is why those on the ground say that the state’s site-certification programs and related grants are game changers for any chance rural lawmakers have of luring in large-scale businesses, with their accompanying jobs and tax dollars.


More on Tennessee’s certified sites program

The Select Tennessee Certified Sites program offers reimbursable grants to eligible communities for assistance with site preparation, according to the state, and then follows with site certification.

To see a rundown of available sites., visit: http://www.tnecd.com/sites/certified-sites/


View from the Hill: Is there room for common-sense gun legislation?

The Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action picks its battles judiciously. Once labeled as a bunch of anti-gun extremists, the group is anything but, spokeswoman Kat McRitchie says.

“We seek common ground. We work with legislators on both sides of the aisle. We’re nonpartisan,” McRitchie explains. “We’re simply looking for common-sense gun solutions, which the majority of Americans support.”


Former Judge Neil Thomas, son Michael launch firm

Thomas & Thomas has joined the legal community to provide litigation, mediation and representation services. The father-son duo of former Hamilton County Circuit Judge Neil Thomas III and Michael Thomas will lead the firm.

“Our team’s commitment to the integrity of the law and the remedy of justice is borne out of our collective decades of experience and success,” the senior Thomas notes. “In addition to traditional consumer litigation, the firm will move with imagination into new areas of law which have yet to be explored. We will also provide consultation to other lawyers and firms in jury trial preparation.”


Miller & Martin adds Frost, Malloy-Thorpe

Attorneys M. Heith Frost and Jessica Malloy-Thorpe have joined the law firm of Miller & Martin.

Frost focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation. He handles business litigation and disputes arising from contracts and transactions, trade secrets, product liability, transportation and construction matters. He is also experienced in the areas of white collar criminal matters, government investigations and crisis management.


Gill named managing partner of Leitner Williams, Dooley & Napolitan

Attorney Bruce Gill is now a managing partner of Leitner, Williams, Dooley and Napolitan. The law firm has over 50 attorneys and 70 staff members in four offices throughout Tennessee, including Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis.

Gill is located in the firm’s Nashville office. His practice concentrates on insurance coverage issues and litigation, as well as defense of various professional disciplines, including nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, health care providers and facilities, pharmacists and attorneys.


Realtor Fisher places accent on service, sales success

Realtor Julie Fisher knows she doesn’t sound like she’s from Chattanooga. A native of Chicago, her voice lacks even a hint of a Southern accent.

“Can you tell I’m not a Southerner?” she asks, laughing. Her Northern enunciation renders the question rhetorical.


UT sports: Hiring missteps flip heat from Jones to Currie

Tennessee football isn’t what it used to be. Nor is the attraction of being UT’s football coach.

It became more and more apparent this week as first-year UT athletics director John Currie tried to hire his first football coach as an athletic director.


Critic's Corner: Pixar’s ‘Coco’ works on so many levels

“Never underestimate the power of music,” says Ernesto de la Cruz in “Coco,” the new 3D computer-animated film from Pixar Studios, creators of “Toy Story,” “Cars” and other CGI classics. “No one was going to hand me my future. It was up to me to reach for my dream, grab it tight and make it come true.”


Net neutrality rollback will hurt small businesses

While deregulation might sound appealing and stir hopes that it will spur economic growth, one item that’s on the way to passing might spell the end of your local mom and pop real estate office.

Last week, U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai released a plan to repeal the so-called “net neutrality” regulations, which might sound like gibberish to you but is a scary prospect for small real estate offices locally and across the country.


Take care of pets during remodel

Creating dedicated areas within your home where your pet can eat, sleep and bathe tells them they are just as much a member of the family as everyone else. A built-in eating area beneath the kitchen counter, a custom napping nook under the stairs, or a washing station in the mud room are popular home improvements that can enhance your pet’s comfort as well as your home’s value.


Be extra vigilant protecting financial data during holidays

To help achieve your long-term goals, such as a comfortable retirement, you should save and invest regularly. But that’s only part of the picture. You also need to protect your financial assets in various ways.

One such method is guarding your personal information – especially any information that could be linked to your financial accounts. It’s obviously important to be vigilant at any time, but you need to be even more on your toes during the holiday season, when fraudsters are particularly active.


Supreme Court fails to extend home inspector liability

Home inspections are a standard part of the buying process. In a recent case, the Tennessee Supreme Court determined whether a home inspector’s liability extends to a social guest of the homeowner who was injured when a railing collapsed shortly after purchase.


Behind the Wheel: Pacifica or Odyssey? Depends on makeup of your family

There’s a reason the cover of a popular driving video game features a Porsche 911 GT2 RS instead of a minivan. One has 700 horsepower and racing stripes. The other reminds you of changing diapers.

But when it finally comes time in your life to put down the game controller and face the reality of family hauling duty, no vehicle is better suited than a minivan. Here’s a look at two of the newest models – the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica and 2018 Honda Odyssey – to help you choose.


Hamilton County WWTA to begin work in East Ridge

The City of East Ridge is about to see a lot more of the Hamilton County Water & Wastewater Treatment Authority thanks to funding by the state’s Revolving Fund. The WWTA has worked together with the City of East Ridge over the last 18 to 24 months to define sewer infrastructure needs that will assist with critical rehabilitation of sewer lines.


Events: Chattanooga Holiday Market

Beginning Saturday, Dec. 2, the Chattanooga Market will move its shopping indoors to the Chattanooga Convention Center for the holiday season. This year, nearly 200 vendors will attend the holiday festivities for three weekends in December. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sundays through Dec. 18.