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WDEF News 12 - Local News
Updated: 1 hour 6 sec ago

JOE FRUGAL: Lafayette Sonic Offers Half Price Menu Items Saturday for 25th Birthday

3 hours 29 min ago
Sonic Drive-In in Lafayette will celebrate 25-years in business with special half-priced menu items Saturday.

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In fact, owners Jon and Shenka Land plan to make a day of it.

From 11:00am till 9:00 pm, along with the half priced deal, there will be a classic car cruise-in, face painting, and inflatables for children.

A portion of Saturday's proceeds will also be donated to a local domestic violence shelter.

The restaurant is located at 313 North Main Street.

Local Man to walk a High Line Atop the Tennessee Aquarium

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 9:37pm
A world class professional high liner from Chattanooga is taking on the Tennessee Aquarium this weekend.
Edward Yates will be walking on a slack line from the two highest peaks of the building.
Slack lining is similar to tight rope walking, but it's on a flat rope-like line that people walk across for sport.
The walk for Yates will be about 140 feet high and 140 feet across.
He has high lined around the world but has always wanted to do it over the Aquarium.
He said he's doing it mainly to inspire people
"I believe that every single moment of your life is another moment that you can progress that's why I also say the time is always prime.  I really believe that slack lining is a great avenue to progressing ones life," Yates said.
He has also wants to draw attention to a petition he has started to bring a slack line park to Chattanogoa:
http://www.change.org/p/chattanooga-parks-create-a-slack-line-park-on-the-river-front?share_id=DjwBpxsABo&utm_campaign=share_button_action_box&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition

Yates will take the walk Friday starting at 5:30 pm.
He'll do it again Saturday at 11:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:00pm.
He will be wearing a harness for safety.



Luther Keeps The Spirit Of Big Band Music Alive In Chattanooga

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 7:40pm
       Luther's career began in radio, during the golden age of music.  It was a love of the big band sound and classics like Frank Sinatra and Perry Como that fueled his passion for the medium. WDEF News 12's Webb Wright has a look at Luther's love of music and how it was celebrated today.
       "Danny Boy, he loved that song," said longtime friend and co-worker James Howard with Sunny 93.5.
       "Luther introduced a lot of people to the music of the 40s, the Big Bands, and helped to keep that music in the forefront of the radio listeners around Chattanooga," added local band leader Ralph Miller.
       "He featured a lot of big band music, particularly some obscure Glenn Miller songs. I know he was a fan of Chattanooga Choo Choo."
       "I think Luther would love to spin some Glenn Miller records. Luther had a great taste in music," added Howard. "He always rolled with the times, when it was time to hang up the Glenn Miller records, he was playing what people wanted to hear."
       "Even though Luther loved playing great music, he wasn't in radio to play great music, he was in radio to make a difference in the community. He played what people wanted to hear, and that was a wide range of music. His purpose was to help people," added Howard.
      "I hope they understand how important Luther is to Chattanooga, and will continue to be for many many years. His legacy is the love of Chattanooga, the love of good music, entertaining his audiences, and always being a strong community supporter of Chattanooga.

Chattanooga Central High School Honors Luther Masingill

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 6:53pm
CHATTANOOGA,TN, (WDEF)-Chattanooga Central High School students and teachers say they cannot thank Luther Masingill enough for all he did for their school.
    
Summer Spurgon, 12th Grader,"Its such an honor to be here I am so glad Central was able to represent him and I know he was such a great part of Chattanooga history, he's been on the news so long I am just happy to help"

Principal Finley King says renaming their journalism department means one of their most famous graduates  will be remembered by broadcasters of the future for decades to come.

"Our journalism department actually writes and produces our school newspaper, our online central digests and we are going to name our journalism department the Luther Masingill Journalism Department for Central High School"

For teachers it was also a day to remember their childhood hero.

Lieutenant Colonel Bill Brooks, Senior Army Instructor For Chattanooga Central High School,"I know I grow up on Mr Masingill and my parents grew up on Mr Masingill that's why I think it's significant behind me who may or may not have known him because when we were growing up he was the voice of Chattanooga"

The ROTC students read the pledge of Allegiance and stood guard throughout the memorial and visitation services.

Staff added that Luther regularly checked in on them ever since he graduated and was an active member of the Chattanooga Central  alumni association.

Luther's City Wide Memorial Service

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 5:35pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) --- In addition to down home stories there was plenty of pageantry at Engel stadium for the memorial.
And the salute reached into the sky for a flyby.

And then---the stories began.

CHIP CHAPMAN, WDEF NEWS 12 "One of the beautiful things about Luther, he never waited for an opportunity to present itself. He went out and found it. And if you wanted to help him do that you were welcome to..but you can rest assured Luther was going to do that help. ..He was going to provide that aid..he was going to do whatever he could,when ever he could , for who ever he could."

Our own Chip Chapman worked with Luther for more than 30 years. But Luther's fame, talent, personality and good deeds were larger than just the one radio station and the one television station where he spent more than 70 years. He belonged to the industry.
James Howard was on radio with Luther for 21 years.

JAMES HOWARD, LUTHER'S RADIO PARTNER, WDEF-RADIO "Luther did teach me a lot about radio ..but more importantly he taught me how to be a better husband, taught me how to be a better father. He taught me how to be a better friend."

Others followed that theme.

GREG BECK, COUNTY COMMISSIONER "Luther was a powerful man in his own way. He would have been a great politician, or a pastor of the largest church in the area...or maybe a CEO of one of our most successful companies...in the county...but he was satisfied with just being Luther."

DAVID CARROLL, WRCB AND AUTHOR "And so I was up there reading the script that had been given to me listing all these honors...and I got about half way through and Luther hopped up out of his chair and said ...David, David wrap it up. That's enough. And I did and he said let's get on with this."

There were short talks by Luther's Daughter Joan Masingill Brown and Son Jeffrey.
And a final farewell by Chip.

CHIP CHAPMAN "So long, old pal...so long old pal. Thank you."

Heritage Students To Stay Out of School For 21 Days

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 5:11pm
Catoosa County, GA (WDEF) Two Heritage students will stay home from school for 21 days after a mission trip to Uganda.

Many parents were worried about the girls returning from Africa, even though they were not in an Ebola infected zone.

Catoosa County School officials have been in contact with the parents.

They say they're thrilled the mission trip went well and the girls are healthy.

Officials say they're not concerned the girls might have been exposed to the Ebola virus, but have worked out an off-campus learning environment for them.

This is so the girls will be welcomed back to school in several weeks.

Protesters arrested while protesting police brutality

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 4:14pm
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - Four members of the Concerned Citizens for Justice were arrested Wednesday night while protesting.

The group was taking part in a national event to protest police brutality.

Captain Corliss Cooper told WDEF that officers never intended to arrest any member of the Concerned Citizens for Justice. She said the group's protest was relatively calm in the beginning.

"They were peaceful the entire time during their walk. They left from the west side of the city. They walked South and we never had any incidents. We were with them the entire time," Cooper said.

But police told WDED the situation changed after several protester stopped walking to talk to news reporters.

"They took that opportunity at that point to just go out into the middle of the street and refused to leave the street," Cooper said.

When it was all said and done, Madison Dillard,20, Michael Heath, 22, Ashlee Henderson, 29 and Janelle Jackson, 34 were taken into custody. All four were charged with inciting a riot and obstructing a highway. Jackson was also charged with resisting arrest. Police say the four put lives in danger when they chose to sit in the middle of the street.

"Main and Market is a highly travelled street. That is a huge intersection. You have 18-wheelers that are driving that intersection; regular motor-vehicles. Traffic was still going when they decided to run out in the middle of the street and sit down in the street," Cooper said.

Fortunately no one was injured.

All four protesters were released from jail Thursday morning.

Chattanooga shooting victim dies in hospital

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 10:36am
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) -  A Wednesday afternoon shooting at the Shepard Hills Apartments off of Tunnel Boulevard has now been ruled a homicide.

Kenny Breylon Hall, 24, died in the hospital as a result of the injures he sustained.

Wittnesses told police they heard multiple gunshots outside an apartment building. They also said they saw three or four men running from the scene right after the shooting.

Police believe they are looking for multiple suspects who were involved.




JOE FRUGAL: Save 30% & Get Free Shipping During OldNavy.com Birthday Sale

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 4:40am
     Old Navy celebrates it's 20th birthday with a big sale online.
     Right now, in addition to sale prices... You can save 30% off your purchase by entering promo code THIRTY during checkout.
     The code is not valid on clearance items.
     Also, look for a free shipping offer today when checking out.
     Click apply code and select the 2 business day to get the additional birthday deal.

Luther Memorial Coverage Live On WDEF News 12

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 10:03pm
In case you can't be at Engel Stadium on Thursday, we will air the Luther Masingill funeral/memorial live on WDEF News 12. Our coverage will start Thursday afternoon around 1:45 or 1:50 p.m. We will also stream our coverage on our website, www.wdef.com.

Angie's List Report: Lead Poisoning

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 9:36pm
(WDEF)  Lead paint lurks in forty percent of the nation's homes - about 36 million homes across the U.S.
        Cheryl Turcotte is a former EPA Supervisor.  She said, "Any amount, even the tiniest, tiniest bit on the tip of our finger will have an impact on a child."
        Kids under the age of six are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect physical and mental development.
        Dollis Wright works as an Environmental Health Risk Expert.  Wright said, "Especially if you live in a home that's built before 1978 you probably have older windows so every time you open those windows and close them, you might not see it, but it's happening inside those little crevices of the window."
        Dangerous amounts of lead dust can also be created when lead-based paint is disturbed during renovation, repair or painting jobs.That's why federal law requires any contractor who disturbs lead paint to be EPA certified and follow strict work practices to prevent contamination.
        Angie Hicks of Angie's List said, "For example they should be using HEPA filters. They should be using plastic sheeting to completely seal off the area. They should also wear protective foot covers, protective clothing. If you see any signs that make you uncomfortable, you should stop the work immediately."
        Angie's List recently called 150 renovation contractors and questioned them about lead-safe practices. Nearly 11 percent offered bad advice and nearly 32 percent admitted they did not have the required EPA lead-safety certification.
        Hicks added, "Angie's List has been a champion of safe lead practices for many, many years and continues to work to raise awareness about lead paint poisoning. Also we're denoting on company records, if they're working on houses before 1978, if they don't have proper certification."
        Wright added, "There's no cure for it and so, once you're poisoned it's for life."
        Only a blood test can confirm lead poisoning.

Megan Wise Goes Outside: The Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 7:39pm

     We've got a movie trailer for you tonight for a new thriller.
     Okay... It's not real.
     But play along, as we preview a haunted edition of Megan Wise Goes Outside inside the Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern.

Chattanooga Police Respond to Shooting at Washington Hills Youth Center

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 6:41pm
(WDEF) Chattanooga Police respond to a second shooting Wednesday afternoon.
        Just before 5:00pm, officers responded to a call of a person shot at the Washington Hills Youth and Family Development Center.
        Neighbors say they heard several gunshots in the area.
        A 17-year-old male was suffering a non-life threatening gunshot wound.
        He was taken to the hospital.
        A second person, a 16-year-old female was found a short time later with another non-life threatening gunshot wound.
        If you know anything about these shootings, please call Chattanooga Police.

Chattanooga Police Arrest Suspect Connected To Child Sex Trafficking, Investigation Ongoing

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 5:53pm
CHATTANOOGA,TN, (WDEF)-After a strategic sting operation Chattanooga police came face to face with John Harper Farmer Jr near this Shallowford road hotel Tuesday of last week.

Police Chief Fred Fletcher,"Contacted the person and arranged an opportunity to meet the person violated the code of human trafficking and he was arrested for violation"

The undercover officers had offered Harper Farmer Jr, 400 dollars in cash for the sexual act.

He arrived with two underage girls and a third female in his car.

Police Chief Fred Fletcher,"Isolated incidents and we want to make sure that everybody who is responsible for this offense and this danger to our community held accountable and that's why a very thorough and well protected investigation is important."

John  Harper Jr has more than a dozen charges going back more than 20 years to the 1990s, they include aggravated assault, theft, burglary and impersonation.

He was using escorting websites like  backpage.com to advertise the girls and is now facing a felony charge of trafficking for a commercial sex act.

Hotel Management say they are aware of sex trafficking and are training their staff to   combat it.

Bob Dollinger, Vice President of Operations at 3HGroup Hotels,"Working with American Hotel and Lodging association as well as our greater Chattanooga hospitality association to train our management and our front line and all of our employees to help the identify the warning signs of human trafficking"

Chattanooga organizations fighting sex trafficking say girls as young as 13 are passing through the Tennessee Valley to be trafficked in Atlanta, Birmingham, Knoxville and Nashville.

Regina McDevitt, The Partnership,"People that they may encounter if they run away these are some things that can happen and these are places where people who traffic are, at bus stations in the malls on the internet"

Valerie Radu, Hamilton County Chattanooga Family Justice Center,"It happens more than people know that its yet another part of the violence that we are dealing with here on a daily basis and its one of the issues that the whole state is looking at"

John Harper Farmer Jr's bond has been set at 200,000 dollars.

An investigation is ongoing.

The following numbers can help those who are concerned or affected by sex trafficking.

1-888-3737-888  and 423 875-0120,

Controversy within a Bledsoe County volunteer fire department

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 5:06pm
BLEDSOE COUNTY, Tennessee(WDEF) - A now-former fire chief says she was canned for reporting a crime allegedly committed by her boss.

Former Luminary-Frostbite Volunteer Fire Department Chief, Sandra Noe said she was fired from her position on Friday. She said  she found out she was canned via Facebook.

"Nobody let me know what was going on. I inevitably knew what was going on and what was going to happen because of preceding problems in the department over the last couple of months," Noe said.

Noe says those problems began when she wrote a letter to the fire department board members. She claimed she caught board president Larry Bullington doing something illegal.

"I caught him smoking marijuana in the hall. I'm like, this is a government building. This is funded by the government," she said.

Noe also said she thought about calling the police but was advised not to do so.

"Everybody was like, leave the police out of the fire department. We don't need them here. Lets keep everything on the down-low."

WDEF tracked down President Larry Bullington to hear side of the story. He denies every allegation leveled against him by Noe.

"I went down and took a drug test and proved that I wasn't doing it. Things just escalated from there. I don't smoke marijuana. I don't smoke cigarettes either," Bullington said.

He went on to also tell WDEF that  Noe submitted her resignation letter on October 7th; stating that she would be stepping down November 21st.

"The only thing we did was accept her resignation as fire chief then reduce her to fireman and appointed us a new fire chief. We need to move on," Bullington said.

Noe said she did submit her resignation letter but had also planned to train the next person in line to become chief before her final day. She feels that her complaint against Bullington gave the board enough fuel to just fire her.

Both sides have pointed fingers at each other when it comes to problems within the fire department.






TWRA Officer Arrested for Assaulting his Father-In-Law

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 4:52pm
(WDEF)  The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrested a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officer for assaulting his father-in-law.
        The TBI began investigating 31-year-old William Casey Pittman in September after an altercation with father-in-law Scott Ledford at his home in Polk County.
        The grand jury indicted Pittman on one county of domestic assault yesterday.
        He turned himself in to the Polk County Jail this morning.
        He was released on a $1500 bond.
        The TWRA placed Pittman on administrative leave.

Catoosa County Man Charged with Child Molestation

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 4:43pm
RINGGOLD, GA (WDEF) - A Ringgold man is in trouble after reportedly assaulting a young girl on several occassions.

Robert Adams Alexander, 42, has been charged with aggravated child molestation, child molestation, and sexual battery.

The young girl's mother reported the crime to authorities.

The Children's Advocacy Center is also investigating the allegations.

Voter Bribery Reported in Polk County

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 4:38pm
POLK COUNTY, TN (WDEF) - A Polk County woman is accused of bribing voters during Tennessee's General Election.

Jo Ann Cronan was arrested Tuesday and charged with six counts of voter bribery.

She reportedly paid voters either cash or pills.

In return, she would get votes for certain candidates.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation led the investigation.