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WDEF News 12 - Local News
Updated: 49 min 23 sec ago

Georgia House of Representatives Dist. 1 Election Results

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 10:00pm
(WDEF) For Georgia House of Representatives for District 1...
     In the Republican race, John Deffenbaugh is your winner with 55% of the vote.
     That compares to Robert Goff's 45%.

Whtifield County County Commission District 1 Race

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 9:35pm
In Whitfield County, Barry Robbins will be the next County Commissioner in District 1.
He beat Renee Davis with 54 percent of the vote in today's election.
Robbins will replace Gordon Morehouse, who decided not to run for re-election.

Whitfield County Judge Loses Re-Election

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 9:29pm
The incumbent Judge in Whitfield County Superior Court will be looking for a new job.
Judge David J. Blevins lost to Jim Wilbanks.
Wilbanks got 58 percent of the vote.
Blevins had 42 percent of the vote.

Dade County Commission District 1 Election Results

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 9:27pm
(WDEF) You'll have a new face in the Dade County Commission District 1 seat.
     Lamar Lowery took 51% of the vote.
     Incumbent Mitchell Smith got 49%.

Dade County Board of Education District 2 Election Results

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 9:16pm
(WDEF)  Two Republicans vied for the District 2 Board of Education seat.
     Jennifer Hartline took 52% of the vote.
     Summer Kelley took 48%.

East Ridge Launches New Code Enforcement Hotline

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 8:43pm
(WDEF) The City of East Ridge recently announced a new reporting hotline for residents and businesses to report Building and Property Maintenance Code violations.

The City’s Code Enforcement Division handles such violations as tall grass in residential areas, overgrown lots, storage of materials in front yards, dilapidated structures, temporary signs, graffiti, off-street truck/trailer parking, trash, and accumulation of junk.

A Code Enforcement officer will investigate all complaints and work with property owners to achieve compliance with City ordinances. The complainant will receive status updates.

The City will also contact the East Ridge Police Department for violations in public rights-of-way, such as illegal on-street parking.

City residents and property owners may report known or suspected code violations by calling the Codes Enforcement Reporting Hotline at 423-805-3191.

Messages can be left 24/7 for Melissa Mahoney, Codes Division, who will document all violations and schedule inspections.

The City of East Ridge appreciates citizen involvement in keeping our community beautiful!

NRA Endorses Chuck Fleischmann

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 8:25pm
(WDEF) The National Rifle Association has endorsed Chuck Fleischmann for re-election.

In a letter to Fleischmann, the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund thanked him for his "steadfast support of the Second Amendment" and congratulated him on his "A" rating. They also thanked him for his stand against President Obama and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s gun control agenda. The NRA also mentioned Congressman Fleischmann’s support of National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity legislation, and his support of the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act.

"The support of the NRA means a lot, and I am grateful for it. I have always been a strong defender of our Second Amendment rights and their endorsement confirms that. In Congress, I will always fight for our right to ‘keep and bear arms’," Fleischmann said.

Child care violations available online in Tennesse

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 7:05pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) Everyone knows price, hours, and location is important to a Daycare, but every parent also wants to make sure their children will be safe at Daycare.

Now you can go online to shop and compare, because of the new website. It's a way for parents to access important information to help them decide on what child care center they should use.

Mother, Anna St. Laurent, said she spent days looking for the right child care center that would be best for her children.

"Touring every single facility within range area that I was interested in,” said St. Laurent.

St. Laurent does not want to compromise when it comes to her children.

"Everyone expectations of child care are very, very, very high, they're taking care of your children."

Some parents say the website is good, but they trust people they are more familiar with when it comes to caring for their kids.

"We have a friend we've known every since we were in school, and that's what she does now is take care of our friends kids, and we use that way because we know her personally, and we feel that she's safe,” said father John Hall.

We can here to Child Care at Volkswagen Drive to talk to some professionals about this website to see if they think it would be beneficial.

Patti Smith said their services are open to the public, and she hope the website could help, but you still need to do it the old fashion way.


"I think it would help in the decision making, but I would encourage parents to go and visit the child care center."

That's because she says small violations on the site could be misinterpreted.

Smith said, "If a child take their shoes off while outside playing, and the teacher picks up the child to go find the shoes, and their parent walks in and they automatically think, 'Oh no they brought this child out here without shows on."

That's a situation where child care centers say it's still important to visit and use your senses while there.

The Department of Human Services has been working on the website for a while.

They say it may soon become a federal requirement.

Here in the link:
http://tennessee.gov/humanserv/adfam/ccfcc.html

World Changers in Chattanooga

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 6:54pm
Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) Hundreds of teens came to Chattanooga this week to do some good work in the community with World Changers.

The ministry does week long summer camps all over the U.S.

It helps to improve substandard living.

The teens will do various projects ranging from painting to putting siding on houses.

Home Owner Toletha Ison says, "I think World Changers could be universal. It is something that all young youth that is qualified age, should come out and worship and serve."

World Changer Bo Payne from Dahlonega Baptist Church says, "This is my first year at World Changers. So I had no idea what I was doing. But I love it."

World Changers have been coming to Chattanooga for the past 10 years now.

The City of Chattanooga and the Department of Economics and Community Development bought the supplies to help revitalize these houses.

Cleveland Gas Station Robbery

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 6:48pm
Cleveland, TN (WDEF) Cleveland Police investigate a robbery at a gas station Tuesday.

Officers responded to Hi-Tech on APD 40.

Witnesses told them 3 suspects came in and took an undisclosed amount of money.

They say the suspects left in a black colored vehicle; thought to be a Ford Mustang.

Police are checking out the surveillance video.

Vote For The Tennessee Aquarium

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 6:32pm
Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) USA Today wants you to vote for your favorite aquarium.

They have a list of the top 10 in the nation, and it includes the Tennessee Aquarium.

You have until Monday, August 18th at noon to vote.

You can vote once a day.

Thom Benson with the Tennessee Aquarium explains why Chattanooga's aquarium is unlike any other.

He says, "The 20 aquariums if you look at them are really up there with all of the best aquariums in the world. Again, we feel very honored to be in that company with Shedd Aquarium, National Aquarium, Monterey Bay Aquarium some of the best experiences in the world are right here in the United States."

Click on the link to vote.

"Faces of the Fallen"

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 6:13pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) - Somewhere in the tri-state area there are homes with a neatly folded American flag in a place of honor.
Hundreds of men and some women from this area died in the Vietnam war.
National groups want to make sure that there are photos of those servicemen and women in a new education center at the memorial wall.
Its a program called "Faces of the Fallen."
The names of 1295 people from Tennessee are engraved on the Vietnam Veterans Wall in Washington, but 699 of them are represented by just a name, not a picture.
Forty five of those were from the Chattanooga area.
"Faces of the Fallen" is a nationwide campaign sponsored in Tennessee by state senator Mark Green of Clarksville. But he has asked other senators to help.

SEN. BO WATSON, (R) CHATTANOOGA " What we're trying to do is look and find where they went to high school, maybe look in their old high school annual..or trying to find family members to see if we can locate some of those pictures."

Organizers are urging the families of the fallen soldiers to go through the picture box and find something that could be used when an Education center is built near the Vietnam wall. It will be a place where visitors can remember the 58-thousand-300 men who died during that 9- year conflict.
Joe Adams is a military historian and guide at the History Company in Fort Oglethorpe.

JOE ADAMS, THE HISTORY COMPANY " I think its an excellent idea. Because it helps tell a story...the name is on the wall..tell a story of themselves..but if you put a picture with a name, it brings it home to people."

Like the History Company, the proposed Education Center in Washington will display hundreds of artifacts from the Vietnam war and 100-thousand items that loved ones placed at the wall over the last 30 years.

SEN. BO WATSON "Now we're in the process of trying to find out who in our area ..And its split up across the state among all of the senate members."

There's a list of names on-line of Chattanoogans whose pictures are missing from the Washington collection.
It'll be under "Faces of the Fallen."


Spy Camera Found in Downtown Chattanooga Club Toilet Being Investigated By Police

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 5:50pm
CHATTANOOGA,TN, (WDEF)-Chatt State student Josh Neelands says he thought he found an e-cigarette in the toilet of Chattanooga Billiards Club but when he took it home he found it had a USB port, a camera and a hard-drive with videos of adults and children urinating.

"Each video was about thirty minutes long, they had in one video, I mean I didn't look over it extensively, but I did scrub through it briefly, i saw adults and children in a bathroom"

The media and technology student says he went straight to the police after seeing video shots of a man putting the camera in place when he explored the hard-drive.

"An African American male probably late twenties maybe mid twenties, lightly bearded with glasses and short hair cut"

Neelands says he's since researched the products and found there are loads of these spy cameras both pen, lighter and e-cig fakes that can be bought for next to nothing.

"Its only 9.99 on Amazon anybody can buy it, anybody could set it up, anybody do this sort of thing if they wanted to"

A local e-cig store said they are not concerned that these isolated incidents will reflect badly on e-cig users.

Luke Pettit, Chattanooga Vapor Company,"You know it could be anything, a flashlight, a fake phone a fake spy glasses for that matter, I don't think it really has negative connotations for our industry"

The owner of Chattanooga Billiards Club told news 12 she is completely unaware of the incident and has not been contacted by any authorities.

   Chattanooga Police are investigating this incident, and are considering releasing some portions of the video in hopes of identifying the suspect.
     If you know anything about this spy cam, contact Chattanooga Police.

Chattanooga mom arrested for leaving four children in a hot car

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 10:23am
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - A 22-year old mom is facing four counts of child abuse and neglect after police say she left small children in a hot car.

It happened Monday afternoon on the 600 block of Cherry Street.

According to the police, Tiara Jenkins was inside the Hamilton County Court building picking up document while leaving four children in a hot car that was parked outside the court building.

Officers say the temperature at that location was between 85 and 90 degrees and that the car windows were rolled up.

Two of the children belonged to Jenkins and the other two belonged to her sister.

Two of the children were one years old and the other two were four years old.

When officers did a background check on Jenkins they also discovered she had two warrants for her arrest.

A judge set her bond at $75,000.

JOE FRUGAL: National Hot Dog Day Deals on Wednesday (7/23) at Kangaroo Express

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 4:48am
Here's a heads up about a special deal tomorrow for National Hot Dog Day.

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Kangaroo Express will offer a free hot dog to any customer with a military I.D. that stops by its convenience stores between 6:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

Also, anyone who shows the Kangaroo Express mobile app on their phone to a clerk will receive a coupon voucher for a free hot dog.  Plus, from 4:00pm to 8:00pm, Ball Park® hot dogs will be priced at just 50-cents.  There's a limit of four 50-cent dogs per customer.

Again, this all happened tomorrow, July 23rd.

Former Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield Discusses VW Impact

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 5:56pm
CHATTANOOGA,TN, (WDEF)-"This is pumping billions of dollars into our economy and those dollars don't just stop at one paycheck"

Ron Littlefield did not go to Germany last week nor did he make a speech at the Hunter Museum. The former mayor says this is not about him anymore but about the future for this city.

"Once you are out of office you know its one of those things where you just get to stand in the background and smile,i did not need to be in Germany it would not have added anything to the gathering"

He says he wasn't surprised by the UAW vote but feels some of the local fear and anger is due to the organization's role at the Saturn plant in Spring Hill.

"Where the UAW came in and they were supposed to have a different kind of arrangement , it was going to be a new car company a new arrangement with UAW and frankly it just didn't work out, it worked for a little while and it fell apart i think that's in people's minds"

The former city planner says he enjoys talking and traveling the country and discussing the VW story.

"I get to tell people about Chattanooga and the VW story that's my role today, so that's what i will do and continue to spread the good news about Chattanooga's great advantage"

Littlefield believes that more suppliers will relocate to the Chattanooga area and expects even more jobs to be created in the coming years.

Body Identified As Missing Valley Head Woman

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 5:42pm
DeKalb County, AL (WDEF) A body found in a lake in Cherokee County, Alabama is identified as a missing woman.

DeKalb County authorities say it was 20-year-old Sarah Ortiz from Valley Head.

She disappeared on the 14th.

The cause of her death has not been released, and authorities continue to investigate.

If you have any information about Ortiz, please call the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office.

Coca-Cola Breaks Ground for Distribution Center

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 5:10pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN. WDEF-TV - Local leaders say it took some work, but the 115 year relationship between Chattanooga and the Coca Cola company will continue.
A ground breaking took place Monday for a new distribution facility near Highway 153.
It'll bring in new jobs, but also help the Sheppard community.

By now most Chattanoogans know that the world's first Coca Cola bottling plant was established here in 1899.
With a ground breaking ceremony at the former Olin Mills site near 153, that relationship is set to continue for many more years.

CLAUDE NEILSEN, PRES. & CEO, COCA COLA "And it all came together today..where we're able to actually break ground on a new sales and distribution facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee...it's the only place that this facility should be.....applause".

Local authorities agreed Coke would be part of the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program as an incentive.

MAYOR ANDY BERKE, CHATTANOOGA "Everyone here should understand ...that financially it was better for them to be someplace else."

MAYOR JIM COPPINGER, HAMILTON COUNTY "We did have as Mayor Berke said,some obstacles in the beginning , and due to the perseverance of Coke ..And our people with the Chamber of Commerce ...And the city-county partnership as well as the state ...was able to make this happen."

Keeping the center here will save 270 jobs in Chattanooga, and add more than 40 more.
And since Coke will build on a 40 acre site in the Shepherd neighborhood there will be walking paths.

DARREN HODGES, V.P., COCA COLA CHATTANOOGA "We want to present this check for 260-thousand dollars for sidewalk and road....applause."

MALCOLM WALKER, PRES. SHEPHERD COMMUNITY COUNCIL "This is Coca Cola, and after having met with them and being assured that they will stand up to their usual reputation we feel good about it."

Thus, another big economic boost for Chattanooga/Hamilton county---a continued close relationship with the most recognized and valuable trade mark in the world.

Coca Cola United will spend 62-million dollars for that new distribution center.
The Ribbon Cutting is set for January 4th, of 2016.


Local minister headed to Ukraine to rescue wife and daughter

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 5:00pm
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) A Ukrainian national who became a minister in the Tennessee Valley is risking his safety to rescue his wife and daughter in the war torn area where Malaysia Airlines flight 17 was shot down.

WDEF spoke exclusively to Yuri Markov before he boarded his flight from Atlanta to Ukraine. Yuri talked about the on Flight 17 that killed all 298 passengers on board.

"Only now will the cost of tremendous loss of life we're being able to see who is really the terrorist and who stands behind them."

Markov's trip is very dangerous. He must travel to an area within 20 miles of where the airliner was shot down.

"I have no plans to show off. I will only take the necessary actions. I realize the danger."

Back here in Chattanooga, close friend and colleague Kimberly George is also worried about Markov's safety. George is the marketing director of the Chattanooga Salvation Army.

"It's really difficult to talk about. To know that one of your friends is going back to a war torn area where there just violence all around; where he has lost personal friends," George said.

The personal friends she is referring to were reportedly tortured and killed by separatist.

"They were Protestant Christians who were killed because they were considered to be an ally with the U.S," Markov said.

Half the world is pointing fingers at Russian President Vladimir Putin. Markov like so many other Putin critics believe the Russian president supplied militant forces with the missile launching system that took down flight 17.

"He knows that he is not going to be confronted. That's what makes him dangerous in he this situation. He is not afraid of anything," Markov said.

If all goes well, Markov will be able to return to the United States with his wife and daughter in two weeks. In the mean time, he says he will be updating his Facebook page with images and information for his family and friends in the Tennessee Valley.

Markov previously studied at the Church of God Theological Seminary in Cleveland.


Manhunt Monday Fugitive Robert Brown

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 4:47pm
Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) This week's Manhunt Monday fugitive is 33-year-old Robert Brown.

He's wanted for two counts of aggravated assault.

An investigation identified Brown in 2 robberies where the victims were held at gunpoint.

If you know where Brown is, please call the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

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