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WDEF News 12 - Local News
Updated: 57 min 28 sec ago

Erlanger Injuries Report

1 hour 16 min ago
Chattanooga, TN (WDEF)  Erlanger reports its treated 11 people for weather-related injuries in the Emergency Room; 9 adults and 2 kids before 9 a.m. Thursday.
Injuries for the adults were from falls, car accidents, sledding, and one person with frost bite on their foot.

Two of them were admitted to the hospital.

One child had a head injury from an ATV accident, and the other had an arm injury from a fall.

Erlanger North also treated one adult for a weather-related injury due to a fall.

Alisha Searl's New Baby!!!

1 hour 32 min ago
Georgia (WDEF) Our WDEF News 12 Noon Anchor Alisha Searl gave birth to her second son Thursday at 4:13 p.m.

Asher River is 9 lbs and 20.5 inches long.

He has a full head of blonde hair.

Mommy and baby are doing fine.

Welcome to the world, Asher!

Four Wheeler and ATV Riders Enjoy The Snow In North Georgia

1 hour 41 min ago
CATOOSA COUNTY, GA, (WDEF)-Mill Creek subdivision is home to some of snowy Catoosa County's most excited ATV drivers.

Destiny Kittle, ATV Rider,"You don't have to worry about, well maybe flipping, but not cars its not like the same, you got the breeze blowing through your hair."

Destiny Kittle and Brenna Ridley spent Wednesday's snow day on four wheels doing donuts and racing.

Brenna Ridley, ATV Rider,"We want down the road earlier to get some gas its really the only way you can get in and out of places right now."

Destiny and Brenna weren't the only ones scaling hills and spinning on the snow.

One four wheel driver offered me to take me for a ride and I hesitantly accepted.

Michael Arp runs Hero Motorsports and he's no stranger to putting four wheels into motion whether on a track or in the woods.

His four wheeler unfortunately does not come with its own wipers.

But he put his 10,000 dollar off-roader through its paces with me hanging on for dear life across North Georgia.

"The big difference is a race car is made to go around a corner these buggies you got to make them go round those corners."

 Arp has been around professional crate car racing and involved with Boyd's Speedway for more than a decade and with two kids says safety should always come first.

"Its all fun and games until someone gets hurt so always go the safe route."

EPB Gets Green Light From FCC to Offer Broadband to Nearby Communities

1 hour 52 min ago
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) -- The Federal Communications Commission this morning voted 3-2 permit EPB to extend its Gigabit Internet service to communities outside of its service area.
The city-owned utility had filed its request last summer.

JOE FERGUSON, BOARD CHAIRMAN, EPB "They have agreed that those barriers should come down...that we should be able to deal with individuals and communities that adjoin our territory..and take out broadband service out to them."

EPB officials are delighted that they can offer the gigabit service to nearby neighbors. The FCC ruling overrides a Tennessee state law that was designed to keep internet providers from pushing out an existing provider.

MAYOR ANDY BERKE, CHATTANOOGA "I'm proud that our community and EPB decided to do that...and apply to the FCC because that's not an easy move and it doesn't come without controversy."

Other providers like AT and T and Comcast objected--saying that EPB, as a city owned utility already gets tax breaks. The decision may be appealed.
Those requests to the FCC came from citizens in those areas without high speed internet, like southwest Bradley county.

JOYCE COLTRANE, BRADLEY CO., BUSINESS OWNER "For us internet is a critical utility need. Among the 160 households I represent our lack of broadband service creates many challenges for those who run a business..who need to work from home..and have children and grandchildren."

DAVID WADE, COO, EPB "We hope there's no opposition..our local control is really ...its exciting to think that the folks that are wanting service ..could request service and be given that opportunity."

MAYOR JIM COPPINGER, HAMILTON COUNTY "With the fast changing world that we live in, people even receive things such as health care,,studies, jobs they have things where they work from home this internet is very critical to them" .

EPB says it will only service areas that request the broadband service--and only then if it is profitable for the company.

CHI Memorial Delays

1 hour 54 min ago
CHI Memorial Delays DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER UPDATED 2/26/15 5:00 p.m.

Chattanooga, TN - Due to inclement weather CHI Memorial has delayed opening the clinics below for Friday, February 27, 2015.
10 a.m.

CHI Memorial Community Health - Hixson
The Chattanooga Heart Institute
CHI Memorial Cardiac Rehab

TN Governor Offers Reward For Hamilton County Cold Case

2 hours 10 min ago
Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam offers a $10,000 reward for information in a Hamilton County cold case from 1997.

Brothers Sean and Donnie Goetcheus were shot and killed execution style in their home.

Local District Attorney Neal Pinkston asked for a reward to be offered back in December.

Contact the Hamilton County DA's office with any information.

Whitfield County Arrest For Selling Narcotic for E-Cigarettes

2 hours 30 min ago
Dalton, GA (WDEF) Whitfield County deputies arrest a man for selling an illegal substance at a grocery store for people to put in e-cigarettes.

Officials say Leonel Lopez-Martinez was selling a narcotic out of S and L Grocery on Reed Pond Road.

In a search officials found several bottles of the e-cig synthetic liquid, three firearms, three vehicles, and approximately $50,000 cash.

UTC will be closed Friday

2 hours 53 min ago
U.T.C. will be closed on Friday, February 27th.

Hamilton County Schools Closed Friday

2 hours 58 min ago
Hamilton County Schools will be closed Friday due to the remaining snow in the area, and the potential for black ice on the roadways.

Snow makes for a Dangerous Tow

3 hours 45 min ago

When the snow starts to pile up and many are out enjoying a snow day, towing companies are busy at work picking up abandoned and stuck vehicles, and the snow definitely doesn't make the job any easier.



I spoke with 9 year towing veteran Josh Hayes of A1 Towing, and he said he pulled five or six cars on his own last night, but there were another 10 or 15 that he just couldn't get to.


"This much weight, it's hard to get it to stop on this ice, and you know trying to get different places up and down hills, you can't get them to stop."


Bill Gratzianna, the past president for the International Towing and Recovery Museum, said that If you want to understand how much harder the snow makes the job, think about cutting the grass.


"When you cut your grass every week, it's not so bad.  You wait a month.  Well, then you're working pretty hard, so it's the same process.  It just got harder and got longer and got slower."



Basically, the snow just makes the job that much harder and about 50 percent more dangerous.


"It is definitely something that the job is hard on its own.  Now, I got snow in my ear, and my underwear is wet, and nothing about it becomes fun at that point."

Snow and ice causes problems for motorist

4 hours 27 min ago
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - While all the snow we received looked beautiful by turning our area into a winter wonderland,it also created some dangerous conditions on the road.  

Aside from the news about the snowfall, things were relatively quiet in chattanooga.

But around  5 A.M., that all changed in the 4800 block of Hixson Pike.

Chattanooga police reportedly pulled up to a  truck that went off the road and crashed into a fence. The driver was still inside.

"He checked his pulse; didn't have a pulse. The paramedics were right on top of him and they pronounced him dead," said Sgt. Gary Martin.

Investigators say it didn't look like the crash is what killed the driver.

Hours later and less than 200 feet from the scene of the fatality; two more mishaps caused by snow and ice. One of them involved a tractor trailer.

"Coming up on the on-ramp, the ramp is banked. As I got near the top, the trailer just slid. It was ice under the snow. So the trailer just slid off the road," said truck driver Preston Lee.

"I was doing fine on Highway 153. It was nice and clean and Hixson Pike is nice and clean but this on-ramp between the two just messed me up a little bit," said Rachel Gleeson. Her vehicle along with the tractor trailer driven by Lee got stuck in snow and ice.

Without a doubt, mother nature had a significant impact on road travel.

Road Conditions Improving in the city

7 hours 8 min ago
        WDEF News 12's Erik Avanier shows us road conditions at noon.
        Plus he updates us on the wreck fatality this morning on Hixson Pike.

Snow Pictures from our viewers

8 hours 21 min ago
Viewer photos

Jimmy Byrd sent us a snowman from a Snow day in Sequatchie County

We got about 6 inches of snow


Gabby and I Having fun in the snow

David Goldsmith 

Cardinal in backyard 


Beautiful morning in Decatur,Tn.

Bradley County EMS still says stay off the roads

8 hours 39 min ago

Bradley County EMS began emergency responses almost immediately once the snow began to fall on Wednesday. “Early on the snow fell hard and fast. Roadways were covered quickly, and vehicles began to slide”. Stan Clark, EMS spokesperson

Just before 5:30 pm EMS responded to the first major accident in the snow. Near the intersection of Eureka Road and Lower River Road a car slid off of the roadway into a ditch. Initial reports from callers were that the patient was unresponsive. When EMS crews arrived on the scene they removed the male driver from the vehicle. He was moved to the ambulance where he was treated and transported to Sky Ridge Medical Center. This patient was later transferred later to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga.

There was another accident later just before 9:30 pm on Dalton Pike. This was another vehicle that left the roadway and into a ditch. This accident was not as serious. The condition of this patient is not known at this time.

“Responses at times were challenging. Due to our preparation for this event we arose to the challenge and overcame it. All calls were responded to safely and our patients were taken care of.” Stan Clark

There were no serious accidents overnight. Responses were primarily medical calls.

Please encourage everyone to stay off of the roadways. Secondary roads are still very dangerous.

News 12's Snow Photo Album

9 hours 19 min ago
        The snow is going away quick.
        But we got some images here at the station after the sun came up this morning.

TDOT Road Update

11 hours 18 min ago
TDOT Road Update

District 27 (Cookeville & Crossville) – I-40 - roadway surface has patches of snow and ice on the Cumberland Plateau and is clear and wet on Monterey Mountain. Roads in district either clear or have patches of light snow. Crews either on standby and monitoring roadways or salting and plowing where needed.

District 28 (Dunlap & Tullahoma) – I-24 in Monteagle clear and wet. I-24 in Manchester has patches of snow and ice. Crews either on standby and monitoring roadways or salting and plowing where needed.

District 29 (Chattanooga) – I-24 in Hamilton County wet with light snow and I-75 in Hamilton, Bradley and McMinn is clear and wet. Crews are salting and plowing in the entire district.

I 24 Monteagle- Clear & wet, crews on standby
Bledsoe County- Clear & wet, salting and plowing
Franklin County- Patches of snow & ice, salting and plowing
Grundy County- Wet with light snow, salting and plowing
Marion County- Patches of snow & ice, salting and plowing
Sequatchie County- Patches of snow & ice, salting and plowing
Bradley County- Clear and wet
Hamilton County- Wet with light snow, salting and plowing
McMinn- Clear and wet
Meigs- Clear and wet
Polk- Clear and wet
Rhea- Wet with light snow

Dreanne Newton reports traffic beginning to move on I 24

11 hours 35 min ago
        Dreanne Newton updates the status of traffic on I 24 in Marion County as the sun comes up.

Traffic Cams @ 7:30 AM

11 hours 50 min ago
        We take a tour of local highways and interstates at 7:30 AM from TDOT's Smartway system.
        Take a look at the slide show.

Dreanne Newton Updates Status of I 24 in Marion County

12 hours 1 min ago
        Dreanne Newton reports from I 24 in Marion County where officials are trying to wake drivers who slept in their cars because of wrecks.

Women tells about her overnight stay on I 24

12 hours 19 min ago
        Joe Legge talks to a woman who spent the night in her car because interstate was closed by wrecks.