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WDEF News 12 - Local News
Updated: 55 min 30 sec ago

Back To School Haircuts

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 11:35pm
Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) A local businessman threw an event tonight to help needy kids go back to school in style and to stay out of trouble.

Dr. Thomas Rumph invited kids to hear three African American speakers tonight at Orchard Knob Baptist Church.

The speakers talked about how they became successful in business.

Organizers say it's about helping youth change their vision.

Solomon Williams with Community of One says, "They could be somebody that there's no limit. There's no limitation just because of a particular type of environment they grew up in. Or somebody negative may have spoken negative words over them. They're seeing people that have beat the odds and become successful and not only are they just satisfied with them being successful but they want to see every young person and everybody in the community also know they can be successful as well."

In return for coming, the kids got a certificate to get a free hair cut or style and a meal ticket.

Angie's List Report: Tree Removal

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 9:36pm
(WDEF) A few years ago, homeowner Troy Carpenter noticed the Emerald Ash Borer beetle was killing his trees. 
        He said, "You start noticing when the canopy thins out and eventually they don't have any leaves so we thought we could treat about half of them that seemed to have somewhat healthy canopies."
        When the treatments didn't work Carpenter had no other choice but have the trees removed.
        He added, "Over the course of the last two years we had about 17 trees taken out. All Ash trees."
        Angie Hicks of Angie's List said, "Proper tree maintenance is important from a liability standpoint for homeowners. You may not realize, but if you have a tree that falls and damages someone else's property you are going to be responsible so you want to take care of them when you see the first need."
        Rick Carter works for a tree service company.  He said, "There's anything from defoliation to partial or complete defoliation of the tree to discoloration of the foliage to disfiguration of the leaves; sometimes leaves are curled - that could be signs of a certain diseases or potential other injuries."
        When it's time to remove a tree, several factors can affect the cost.
        Hicks said, "A lot of tree removal companies will charge by the foot of a tree. For example, if $15 a foot, a 40 foot tree would cost $600 to remove. Keep in mind that price doesn't always include taking the stump out so be sure to ask about that in particular if that's important to you."
        In addition, check whether the company's quote includes a full yard clean-up or will the debris be your responsibility to remove?
        Many professionals offer free, on-site estimates.
        But beware of any company that gives an estimate over the phone, without looking at the tree.

More than $500,000 in Marijuana Plants Found in Gruetli-Laager

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 8:15pm
(WDEF)  Grundy County Sheriff's Deputies find a large marijuana farm operation in Gruetli-Laager on Wednesday.
        By early evening, Sheriff Brent Myers said they pulled between 400-500 plants with an estimated value of more than $500,000 from the Taylor Road property.
        Sheriff Myers said crews would work on cutting the plants until dark and then post guards at the property overnight until crews could continue the work in the morning.
        Officials hope to send out pictures and a final count of plants on Thursday.

Double Cola Products Coming to BiLo

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 7:51pm

     You'll soon see new Double Cola products on Bi-Lo shelves in our region.
     The Chattanooga-based company signed a deal to bring the Minoku Coconut Water and Quad Energy drink to 27 stores in southeast Tennessee and Georgia.
     Double Cola pitched the new drinks at Bi-Lo's local supplier event in May.
     Quad Energy comes in five flavors: Orange Twist, Berry Fusion, Re-Charge, Lime-Crazy, and Low Carb Kick.
     MINOKU is made from 100% Coconut water, not concentrate, with no added sugars or preservatives.
    

Dalton Public Schools Prepare For New School Year With Unaccompanied Minors

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 5:43pm
DALTON, GA,(WDEF)-Buses of children and protests across the nation as more and more unaccompanied minors come to the US.
     While Dalton has not seen one single surge in enrollment, the new school year will see 37 students taking part in a Newcomer Academy.

Caroline Woodason,Content and Engagement, Dalton Public Schools,"They cross the border they go to the detention centers, they get all their immunizations, their paperwork, then they find a family member in the states most of ours have family members or guardians that are here in Dalton that have said, they will take care of these children"

But the academy faces some very unique challenges.

Caroline Woodason, Content and Engagement at Dalton Public Schools,"Often don't speak Spanish as a first language, it's a Mayan dialect either mam or Q'anjobal and so the typical we have a lot of staff members who speak Spanish but it doesn't always help"

The Newcomer Academy will have to address teaching children and young adults who may have never been in a classroom before and struggle with shapes, colors and numbers.

Teachers  at Dalton Public Schools say they are ready for the challenge of teaching unaccompanied minors and say its something they have been planning for, for more than two decades.

Ric Murray, Teacher at Newcomer Academy,"Over the last 19 years we have flags flying in our building, the flags don't just represent countries of the world, its where our kids in Dalton were born, we had over 100 flags"

Murray has taught in the developing world and says when children are parachuted into an alien culture they are often scared and alone and homework and test scores are not a major priority.

"The children have come in unaccompanied the problems that that presents we think are going to be things like how quickly will it take them to trust us, that we are going to be the good guys"

The course will focus on reading, writing, math, science and the subject of American Experience.

Dalton Public Schools say that one their biggest difficulties will be testing at state and federal levels as not all children especially those with no prior formal education  will be ready to graduate after 4 years.


City in a Quandary Over Downtown Entertainment Noise Levels

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 4:53pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WDEF-TV) - How can Chattanooga encourage entertainment venues downtown, while offering relief to residents who say the music is too loud?
City council has struggled with that question for several weeks now, and the city attorney's office is preparing an ordinance which is not likely to completely satisfy either side.

Music venue Track 29 has already added some acoustical material but nearby property owners wish they could cut down on the loud music a little more.
Deb Royal owns residential property less than a 100 feet away.

DEB ROYAL, DEVELOPER "They're a good thing..they fill a niche, people love it my kids go there, it's a great thing..just be a good neighbor."

Council heard from both sides at a public hearing Tuesday night.
Jerry Mitchell is leading the effort.

JERRY MITCHELL, CITY COUNCILMAN " We need an ordinance that will also be demanding on those businesses and have some teeth in it...so that the residents of the downtown community could be protected also."

WADE HINTON, CHATTANOOGA CITY ATTORNEY " So with this ordinance what we've tried to do is ensure there was a stepped up enforcement process. One of those steps includes that these venues have to get a permit and if indeed they are in violation of this ordinance, there's a possibility that permit could be revoked or suspended."

Attorney Hinton says the city will consult with acoustical engineers in determining audio levels.
One acoustical engineer was at the hearing but didn't speak publicly.
She sides with the residents,who she says are not necessarily against downtown entertainment venues.

NOELLE CURREY, Phd., ACOUSTICAL ENGINEER "If I'm standing in my yard, and I have one the adjoining properties, I would be subject to levels that are reaching into hearing loss..and become a federal issue."

DEB ROYAL "I have well over a half million dollars invested in this area...I'm struggling for my livelihood."

The actual wording of the ordinance may change before it goes to a vote.
The ordinance, as it now stands, would allow audio levels of up to 80 decibels until midnight.
Council is expected to vote on it in two weeks.


Gas Leak on Central Avenue Forces Evacuations

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 4:44pm
Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) A gas leak forced Central Avenue several businesses to be evacuated Wednesday morning.

Fire officials say construction workers broke into a two-inch natural gas line.

Chattanooga Gas Company workers shut off the leak at almost noon.

There was no fire or injuries.

Chattanoogans Enjoy Unseasonably Cool Temperatures

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 3:55pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) - You can believe the football players at Tyner Middle School aren't praying for better weather.

Nick Koch, the head coach at Tyner Middle School, says, "Almost makes you feel like it's October instead of July."

Wednesday morning, the Chattanooga area was just one degree away from breaking a record low temperature.

Koch adds, "I don't think I've ever experienced this in my playing days or coaching days that it's been quite like this in July for as long as its been."

It's comparable to a winning streak for these young men.

Monroe Beard, an 8th grade football player at Tyner Middle School, says, "This year is better."

Overnight lows should hit 70 degrees for the end of July.

We're about 10 degrees cooler.

Koch adds, "I've seen a little more pep in their step."

Coach Koch says practices can now go a little longer and harder.

Koch adds, "The last couple days we've been going a little longer because it's been cooler and parents been more lenient letting us go a little longer."

These players actually had to convince us that they were, in fact, breaking a sweat.

Beard says, "Yeah, we done broke a sweat.  Yes, sir."

Koch adds, "That's also a concern because I'm kinda worried when the heat picks up, how we're going to respond to that."

But these players say they can adapt.

After all, they live in Tennessee.

Robert Carson, another 8th grade football player at Tyner Middle School, says, "I think we're going to adapt to the heat real easily because we're football players.  We're going to still practice the same, work the same, just different weather."

All good things must come to an end.

However, our meteorologists say you can enjoy the unseasonably cool temperatures for the next several days.

JOE FRUGAL: 20% Savings Pass for The Children's Place

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 4:45am
Tuck this one away to use this weekend during the sales tax holiday.

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The Children's Place offers a 20% off savings pass that you can print and use in store, or as a code online - TAKETWENTY3.  Savings pass is good today through Sunday, so, when combined with the sales tax holiday, you're saving almost 30%.

Also, for every $20 you spend, you earn a $10 "Place Cash" coupon to use between September 16th and September 29th.

Ohls Avenue Shooting

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 11:45pm
Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) Chattanooga Police say a man was shot while mowing his lawn Tuesday night.

It happened on Ohls Avenue just off of West 43rd Street just before 9 p.m.

Police say the 34-year-old Daniel Marlowe was approached by three men who said they were robbing him.

One of the suspects brandished a firearm and struggled with the victim.

Marlowe was shot in the hip, and later taken to the hospital.

The suspects got away with some cash in a dark colored sedan.

Police continue to investigate.

If you know anything about this shooting, please call Chattanooga Police.

Rhea County caught up in scam involving the sheriff's department

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 7:12pm
RHEA COUNTY, TN (WDEF-TV) Rhea County is now falling victim to phone scams, similar to the ones McMinn County dealt with a few weeks ago.
Sheriff's Department officials say they need people to be aware before they face this growing trend.

Jamie Holloway said, "They're using is scare tactics."

A caller claims the Rhea County Sheriff's Department want money and threatens arrest if you don't pay

The circuit court clerk said he's heard about a similar scam.

"Some other Clerks across the state said they had received calls basically the same as we had in Rhea County," said Holloway.

The Rhea County Sheriff Department found out about this scam on Monday when they received a complaint about a man who called, and said he was a Rhea County Sheriff.

"One of our officers had called them and was being very rude to them and had got into an argument with them over the phone about collecting some fine money," said Rhea Conuty Chief Deputy John Argo.

He added the complaint did not stop there. The scammer on the phone told the victim they owed money to the sheriff's department.

"A $500 fine, and that if they would go and pay half this fine that there would be no charges, and she wouldn't be arrested."

They then ask the victims to add the money to GreenDot cards, and once they get the confirmation number from the GreenDot cards, reclaiming that money is nearly impossible.

A key tip from the Sheriff's Department is to recognize the first three digits after the caller's area code.

He said their office and the clerks office will have a 775 or 570 not the 203 number these scammers are using.

If they were to contact you for official business Holloway said, "It would be through registered mail, or we would send a deputy out to someone to speak with them personally."

Officials with the Sheriff's Department and the County Clerk both say if you have been contacted by these scammers, you need to come to talk them in person about what happened.

Chattanooga's GigTank Demo Day Attracts I.T and 3D Thinkers From Across North America

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 6:45pm
CHATTANOOGA,TN, (WDEF)-They pitched and they pitched, 11 teams all hoping that their ideas would have investors opening up their check books.

One company hoping for close to a million dollars in support designed  a health and fitness app that will make doctors and nurses medical advice live and interactive on your tablet or phone.

Maria Currier, KOR Health,"Its a very social app, so not only is the social network within core your family and friends like your used to, but it also includes your doctors, your nurses your health coach, anyone you need to talk to in relation to health care"

Another team worked  with EPB to bring home electricity meters into the 21st century.

Albert Hu, GridCure,"In real time as well as residential malfunction your home AC is turning on randomly at 3am every morning that kind of thing we can detect, if someone is stealing power from the grid we can detect"

One team are moving to the Scenic City to make shoes but not the way you'd think.

Lucy Beard, Feetz Shoes, "We are moving here from California and we actually have facilities here where we going to create the world's first 3D printing shoe factory, we are going to make over a 1000 pairs of shoes a month here in Chattanooga Tennessee"

But it was a panel discussion on the future of 3D printing that got everyone's attention.

Some of the leading experts in the 3D printing world say Chattanooga is ready to have an impact in an industry described as one of the most important of our generation.

Terry Wohler, 3D Printing Guru, "Furniture, car parts airplane parts, dental parts, toys, food, the list goes on and on"

Wohler says he's been  wowed by Chattanooga and believes its I.T and manufacturing companies could combine to bring 3D printing jobs to Tennessee.

"Sell machines, service and support the machines, you could be a designer to design the data and the parts and products that are being printed and sold you can help with the chemistry because there's a lot of opportunity for new materials"

Other experts say 3D printing will change the way we live and shop in the coming years.

Bruce Bradshaw, Stratasys, 3D Printing,"The sink in the bathroom, the PVC pipe that you have doesn't quite work so what do you do, I think in the not so distant future you are going to go online and pick a design at home depot and modify it slightly to suit that fitting that the bathroom you just did, hit print and by the time you get to the store and by the time you get to the store you will have a PVC pipe that actually works for you"

All the teams we spoke to say they aim to create US made products and provide more American's with STEM jobs.

Alleged rapist who claimed to be a Marine will not go free

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 6:11pm
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - The man accused of raping a woman while claiming to be a U.S. Marine faced his accuser in court Tuesday.

It was a hearing to determine whether Robert Bradshaw, 27, would get charges dropped or at least a reduction in bond.

Last week Bradshaw was arrested and charged with rape, kidnapping and assault. In the police report, his alleged victim said Bradshaw told her he was a Marine who would kill her if she didn't do what he said and if she told police about his alleged crime.

In court, his accuser was the first to testify.

She answered questions about how she and Bradshaw met at a downtown Chattanooga restaurant. Then she admitted going home with Bradshaw. But then she said he brutally raped her and that she was physically injured.

"I tried to go to the bathroom my bottom was bleeding."

At one point during her testimony, the victim became so overwhelmed that she collapsed to the floor which caused the judge to take a short break.

Minutes later, the woman finished her testimony then came the cross examination from defense attorney Brandy Spurgin.

The defense paint the victim as a foreign flirtatious woman with a criminal record that included making false claims of rape to police in Florida. The alleged victim admit that she was a former adult model who is currently in drug rehab by court order.

"The victim has been convicted of filing a false report before; alleging a sex crime before," said the defense attorney.

It looked as if the defense was taking control of the case until a medical expert who examined the victim took the stand.

The expert told the court that the victim had physical injures that were consistent with rape.

Then the prosecution hammered home it's case by revealing to the court that Bradshaw was already convicted of serious crimes in three states including Tennessee. He was also on probation for a crime in Idaho.

Then the judge made his ruling.

"On the charge of rape I'm increasing his bond to $350,000 under the bail reform act because I find I that he is flight risk. I find he is a danger to the community," the judge said.

Judge Bales did drop the charge of kidnapping in the case because the alleged victim agreed to go home with Bradshaw.

The case is now bound over to a grand jury.

Collegedale's Imagination Station could be Torn Down

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 5:46pm
(WDEF)  A two-decades old family hotspot in Collegedale could soon be on the chopping block.  The City Council voted recently to demolish all or part of the Imagination Station and replace it with a new metal and plastic playground.
        Rodney Keeton serves as Collegedale's Public Works Director.  He said, "We wanted to go more modern.  Update.  Get more A.D.A. compliant."
        But the plan has parents sounding off.
        Amanda Smith visited Imagination Station on Tuesday.  She said,  "This is my first time being here.  I heard that it was being replaced and wanted to come check it out.  It seems really unique and there's a lot of interactive things you don't see at most playgrounds."
        Cynthia Jamescatalano wants to see the Imagination Station stay.  She said, "There is no other place like it.  All around us we're surrounded by plastic and metal playgrounds."
        But City Officials say it all boils down to safety.
        Keeton added, "They can't see their kids in here when they're sitting out here so they're having to follow them around, and the sand.  Sand in the shoes, sand in the hair, sand in their eyes."
        Plus it's an older playground in need of repairs.  Keeton explained, "It needs a lot of maintenance.  It's starting to really go downhill and to really do something to fix this one, you have to take everything apart to get to the part you need, and by then you might as well just put all brand new stuff on it."
        Some parents say the plastic used on newer playgrounds gets too hot in the sun.
        Keeton continued, "We've built two of these small playgrounds a year ago.  One of them is at Nature Nook, it's well used.  I've had no complaints over there about any of the heat."
        And ultimately the city does have to make it more complaint with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.
        Jamescatalano said, "I have no problem with making it more handicap accessible.  I think that would be wonderful.  I don't think you have to destroy the entire playground to do it."
        Jamescatalano will speak at Monday night's commission meeting.
        She plans to ask they keep the Imagination Station as is, and build a newer playground somewhere else.

Jackson County Burglary Suspect

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 4:26pm
Bryant, AL (WDEF) Jackson County deputies hope you can help them find Walter Green III.

The 23-year-old is from Bryant, Alabama.

He's wanted in connection with a recent attempted burglary in the area.

Officials say not to approach Green, but to contact the Sheriff's Office if you know where he is.

Cleveland Greenway Vandalism & Car Burglaries Suspects

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 4:15pm
Cleveland, TN (WDEF) Cleveland Police have identified suspects in the vandalism and car burglary cases from the Greenway over the weekend.

Officials say they expect to make the arrests by the end of the week.

Police had beefed up security in the area and offered a reward.

Emergency Medical Care Returns to Sequatchie County

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 3:51pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) - Its been almost 5 years, but Dunlap is finally getting its hospital back.
Sequatchie county has had to rely on long ambulance trips and Life Force for emergency care since Grandview Medical Center pulled out in 2009.
Now, a deal with Erlanger may be an economic boost as well.

DWAIN LAND, DUNLAP MAYOR "It's going to save somebody's life ...But the main thing after that life-saving is now, the economic growth in this town is going to boom."

The Sequatchie valley is one of the most beautiful places in the country, but if the community doesn't have health services, businesses and retirees go somewhere else.
With the arrival of Erlanger executives by Life Force for a formal ceremony, all that changed for the residents of this Tennessee Valley bedroom community.

KEVIN SPIEGEL, CEO, ERLANGER HEALTH SYSTEM "We came together, they found external funding...and they funded this whole entire project for Erlanger,which is a very important thing to get it going."

The hospital will bring employment to 50-60 people.

KEITH CARTWRIGHT, COUNTY EXECUTIVE, SEQUATCHIE CO. "...health services is a cornerstone for any small community.If you don't have adequate health services you can't attract retirement folks....you know our retirement community..the
county reaps the benefit of them."

Cartwright says the county received a grant of 250-thousand dollars from the Appalachian Regional Commission, and used 250-thousand from a revolving credit fund the county has.
The goal is to immediately attract more industry that had been going to areas with better medical care.

MAYOR DWAIN LAND, DUNLAP "Now, as we've been growing ..We're one of the three fastest growing cities percentage wise in the last 10 years...now with this we better be number one."

KEITH CARTWRIGHT "We threw that money into the mix and got Erlanger's attention because we have a true need here in the county ..they came over and recognized that need and here we are today."

The new Erlanger facility will join with Puckett EMS to also serve Pikeville and Bledsoe county.

JOE FRUGAL: Order Online, Pickup In Store and Save $10 on $40 at Target

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 4:34am
Target offers a deal to get you to order product online and pick them up in store.


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Right now, they'll take $10 off a $40 order on items that qualify for store pick-up.  Items that qualify for store pick-up include common goods like paper towels, diapers, toys, video games, and many beauty products.

Offer is valid through Saturday, so you could wait until the sales tax holiday begins Friday and stock up on school supplies.