Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, February 9, 2024

Briefs: City property taxes due Feb. 29

City of Chattanooga 2023 property taxes are due Feb. 29. Beginning March 1, the Treasurer’s Office will consider unpaid 2023 property taxes past due and begin applying monthly interest.

Residents can pay their bill or request a copy of their original bill at chattanoogatn.igovservices.com.

The Treasurer’s Office will consider unpaid 2022 property taxes delinquent March 1. To avoid additional penalties, residents can pay past due property taxes at City Hall (101 E. 11th Street) before March 1.

Vital touts free gun locks

State Rep. Greg Vital, R-Harrison, is encouraging the safe storage of firearms in Hamilton County by highlighting a new state program that provides free cable gun locks to residents.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security is offering the safety devices to Tennesseans for free through the department’s Safe Store Tennessee program. The cable gun locks are available on request at Driver Services Centers and Tennessee Highway Patrol district headquarters statewide.

The free 15-inch cable lock can secure most shotguns, rifles, pistols and revolvers, notes a news release from Vital’s office. It works by running through the barrel or action of the firearm, preventing it from being fired.

For additional security, Safety and Homeland Security recommends gun owners use the lock in combination with other safe storage measures such as making sure firearms are stored in a locked gun case, safe or lock box.

Ammunition should also be kept in a separate locked container, while cable lock keys should be stored in a separate, hard-to-access, secure location.

Additional information about the Safe Store Tennessee program, including where Tennesseans can request a free cable lock, is located at www.SafeStoreTN.com.

UTC to get funding for addiction studies

Hamilton County has awarded the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga a $114,344 Innovative Response to Opioids Grant to fund a clinical addiction studies certificate program to prepare students for the Tennessee Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor Licensing Exam.

This program will increase the number of addiction professionals in Hamilton County. The inaugural cohort will consist of 10 participants.

S. Tyler Oberheim, Ph.D., assistant professor and clinical coordinator of the UTC counselor education program, and Megan McKnight, director of the Center for Wellbeing, were co-principal investigators.

“One of my passions is teaching addiction classes,” Oberheim says. “We need to be able to train and prepare individuals to be specialized in addictions. I want to tailor this program to cater to both our undergraduate and graduate students because I believe it’s going to open doors for many individuals who want to do clinical work.”

The grant will grow the number of professionals trained to provide substance use treatment in the community and expand support for UTC’s motivational interviewing and Mocs Recovery programs, Oberheim adds.

The Mocs Recovery program provides a recovery-minded community in which UTC students in all phases of recovery can pursue their personal, professional and academic goals to enhance personal wellness and contributions to the global community. Recovery program staff collaborate with UTC professionals to support a continuum of care model (prevention, treatment and recovery) for substance use disorders.

“We hope to be able to expand the number of providers in our area who are trained in supporting clients with substance use disorders,” McKnight says. “As a certificate program, it ties in with the Center for Wellbeing, as students in the program must have clinical experiences in the field. Some placements will be in the community and others will be on campus through the center.”

Jami Hargrove, UTC assistant director for health education and wellness promotion, emphasizes the shortage of treatment providers everywhere – including Hamilton County.

“There’s a workforce development piece in this,” Hargrove says. “The need is great, and we’re often looking at long wait lists or running into barriers. Typically, the people trained in substance use work are working in treatment centers, and it could be months before somebody can see someone. This grant will increase the amount of people trained to work with addiction, which in turn increases the amount of access to that treatment.”

The new certificate program will begin this fall. Interested parties should email Oberheim at steven-oberheim@utc.edu.