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Weather Update: Sunday – June 16, 2024

Weather Update: Sunday – June 16, 2024

WDEF-TV News 12 Tennessee River Valley weather forecast Father’s Day: Mostly sunny. Widely scattered thunderstorms. Hot. Humid. Highs: low to mid 90’s. Winds: S 5-10 mph. Overnight: Mostly clear. Warm. Lows: low to mid 70’s. Winds: SE 5 mph. Monday: Mostly sunny. Isolated thunderstorms. Hot. Humid. Highs: low to mid 90’s. Winds: SE 5-10 mph.… ... Continue Reading

The Bethlehem Center celebrates Juneteenth with fourth annual Jubilee

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The Bethlehem Center hosted the fourth annual Southside Juneteenth Jubilee this Saturday. The event had a variety of food trucks, live music, and an educational session on why Juneteenth is celebrated. “We started the process to make sure we can educate our children about Juneteenth, but also wanted to make sure… ... Continue Reading

HCSO Conducting Death Investigation Involving High Fall Victim on Raccoon Mountain

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – On Friday, June 14, 2024, at approximately 8:00 pm, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Detectives were dispatched to a cliff located near Tower Road on Raccoon Mountain to conduct a death investigation of a 64-year-old male involved in a high fall incident. For the next several hours, numerous law enforcement, firefighters,… ... Continue Reading
Weather Update: Saturday – June 15, 2024

Weather Update: Saturday – June 15, 2024

WDEF-TV News 12 Tennessee River Valley weather forecast Overnight: Mostly clear. Warm. Lows: lower 70’s. Winds: Calm. Father’s Day: Mostly sunny. Widely scattered thunderstorms. Hot. Humid. Highs: low to mid 90’s. Winds: S 5-10 mph. Overnight: Mostly clear. Warm. Lows: low to mid 70’s. Winds: SE 5 mph. Monday: Mostly sunny. Isolated thunderstorms. Hot. Humid.… ... Continue Reading
Creekside Drive hole damaging cars in front of auto shop

Creekside Drive hole damaging cars in front of auto shop

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)-  A very large pothole on Creekside Drive off of Amnicola Highway is leaving drivers and business owners frustrated.

Tiffany Rankins had dropped off her vehicle at Quick Everett’s Garage for some work to be done to the car.

Her mother, Vannice Hughley, came to pick her up in her Cadillac.

That’s when they met a giant hole on Creekside Drive.

Rankins recalled, “We hit something that was beyond a pothole.”

Hughley added, “Like a gully.”

“Yeah, we were tumbling around in the car. It knocked down our undercarriage.” Rankins then showed us the torn off remains of her mother’s undercarriage. 

Perry Freeman has been an owner of Quick Everett’s Garage since 2018 who has been dealing with the hole for years.

He said, “It’s gotten big enough to where even your standard cars are hitting their oil pans, busting tires, even at 5 to 10 miles per hour.”

Freeman says it’s frustrating to see cars his crew has worked on sustaining unneeded damage coming in and out of his business.

He added, “The only thing that happens is about once a year the pothole patrol comes out, and they throw loose asphalt in it, and the problem is by the end of the day, the trucks have washed it out into the water areas, the water drainage, so by the next time it rains there’s a lake right in front of the business there.”

We did see some Chattanooga Department of Transportation inspectors assessing the hole Friday morning.

In a statement to us, a C-DOT spokesperson told us quote:

 “We had our paving managers out inspecting Creekside Drive today.  The subsurface is suffering from a failure that we believe resulted from tractor-trailers traversing the asphalt before it fully set when repaved in 2013.  Although it wasn’t visible to the naked eye at the time, cracks that were created then resulted in water leaking into the roadbed, freezing in the winter, and breaking down the subsurface.  The failures are occurring directly in front of the United Packers driveway on the northbound side, and where trucks make sweeping turns into the same driveway going southbound. We’re hoping to address the issues with a more permanent solution in the fiscal year that beings in July.”

However, it will currently be a hefty repair bill for Vannice Hughley.

Vannice Hughley asked, “The mayor ran on fixing the streets, fixing these potholes. He ain’t got around to it you think? Or did he run out of asphalt?.. Being a senior citizen on a fixed income , I can’t afford this. I can’t afford this. I had to have a tire plug because of that gully!”

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News
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Former Negro League players honored by Lookouts, Bessie Smith Hall

Former Negro League players honored by Lookouts, Bessie Smith Hall

A group of former Negro League players signing autographs at the East Ridge Food City. EAST RIDGE, Tenn. (WDEF)- The Chattanooga Lookouts and Bessie Smith Hall have teamed up to honor former Negro League players. All weekend, four players and a historian will be partaking in various activities as the team honors them. The Negro… ... Continue Reading

CHI Memorial, Bluecross come to agreement

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- Staring down a divorce at the end of the month, CHI Memorial patients who have Bluecross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST) will be able to keep their same care.

CHI Memorial has announced they have reached a new agreement with BCBST that will allow BCBST-insured patients with Network P, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid to maintain in-network access to CHI Memorial physicians, nurses, services, and hospitals, including The Chattanooga Heart Institute, outpatient services, and CHI Memorial Medical Group.

In addition, CHI Memorial Health at Home will resume in-network status for these plans effective July 1.

In a statement, a CHI Memorial spokesperson said, “This is a win for our patients, who deserve access to local, high-quality care, and we appreciate their patience as we have worked through this agreement.  Our goal in working with BCBST has always been to reach an agreement that puts patients first and protects their access to the providers and services they know and trust. We are glad to have achieved that goal on behalf of our patients. We deeply appreciate the trust patients have placed in our team and look forward to continuing to serve them.”

“Our members and business customers rely on us to balance affordability with access to high-quality care,” said Marc Barclay, SVP, provider network management for BlueCross. “We’re pleased to reach an agreement that supports those needs for members and businesses in our Network P as well as individuals covered by our Medicare Advantage, BlueCare Tennessee, and BlueCare Plus plans.”

The initial three-year contract will automatically renew unless either party terminates it. “We hope this will help avoid similar situations for our members in the future,” Barclay added.

Network S patients will still lose access effective July 1, 2024. CHI Memorial says they will work with each Network S patient to find a solution for them to remain with CHI Memorial and its physicians.

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Georgia’s 14th congressional district candidates holds debate

Two democratic challengers are gearing up for a runoff in Georgia’s 14th congressional district. Both Blalock and Harris have been meeting voters and sharing their vision for a better Georgia. “But at the end of the day, this is all about talking to the people directly and at the same time preparing for the runoff… ... Continue Reading

TVA, partners seek $350 million in DOE grant funding to lower energy costs, strengthen grid, and increase clean energy

TVA NEWS RELEASE: KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ― The Tennessee Valley Authority announced Thursday that it partnered with 15 local power companies to seek two grants, totaling $350 million, from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) program to fund 141 energy security projects to ensure local communities have access to reliable, affordable,… ... Continue Reading

Dry Goods clothing chain opens Hamilton Place location

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Hamilton Place is welcoming a new store this weekend. It will be the first location for the Dry Goods chain in our area. Dry Goods USA is a clothing store that began in Illinois 14 years ago. Since then it has grown to 81 stores in 21 states. The closest locations to… ... Continue Reading

TDOT provides update for pothole patch on I-24

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- TDOT has provided an update on yesterday’s road patch incident on Interstate 24. 

Wednesday morning TDOT responded to an existing pothole patch that was vibrated loose below Dodds avenue. 

The Pothole patch was the second road incident in five years. 

TDOT says they are currently monitoring the roads and making sure the roadway is still safe. 

“Specifically with I-24 westbound at the bridge over Dodds Avenue, our maintenance supervisor went out this Thursday  and took a look at the area to make sure everything was performing as expected and there were no issues,” said Adam Casteel, Director of Operations with TDOT. “We will continue to monitor it, but so far everything is performing as expected.” 

TDOT say they will continue to make specific visits to the I-24 pothole site periodically.

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CARTA hosts first Graduation Ceremony on Thursday

CHATTANOOGA,Tenn. (WDEF)- CARTA celebrated their Inaugural Graduating Class of CARTA Ambassadors. 

The graduation introduced its first-ever class of CARTA.

Among the class were new bus drivers, mechanics, and transit professionals.

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly was also the keynote speaker. 

“It is a New day at CARTA and Charles Fraizer is a fantastic leader for this organization. This is a new thing they are doing,” said Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly. “CARTA employees are truly the face of Chattanooga in all respects so I wanted to encourage these new employees and show support for CARTA.”  

 The graduating class were also presented with certificates for their hard work. 

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Air unit blamed for hospitalizations, evacuation at Health Department

Air unit blamed for hospitalizations, evacuation at Health Department

Health Department Evacuated; East 3rd St Shut Down

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- The Hamilton County Health Department had to be evacuated this morning following multiple people becoming sick.

Captain Terry Knowles, the Special Operations Chief with the Chattanooga Fire Department said, “People were feeling nauseous, dizzy, sick, had a smell that was burning something in their eyes.”

The evacuation of the health department led to an investigation into what could be the cause of the mysterious odor making multiple patients and staff ill.

Capt. Knowles said, “We sent our hazmat crews in with air monitors to try to monitor and investigate the building and see what was going on inside the building. At the time, all air quality inside the building reported as good.”

However, the cause of the illnesses came from above.

“We know there was some work being done to the HVAC unit up on the roof.”, said Capt. Knowles. “Some amount of refrigerant had been lost in that process, and so based on the symptoms people were complaining on and based on MSDS sheets for the refrigerant, the symptoms are the same, and the complaints are the same.”

The unit blamed is a R410A refrigerant, which according to the Health Department was undergoing maintenance.

These units, if not properly taken care of, can pose issues.

Kevin Bode, a service technician with Bailey’s Heating and Air, said, “They run under high pressure, so, sometimes if the unit is working harder than it needs to it will build up an abnormal amount of pressure and everything, so yeah sometimes the coils can burst, and what that does is, it causes asphyxiation. It displaces oxygen.”

Chattanooga firefighters say this is not something they commonly see.

However, there are some safety tips to avoid this happening in your own home or business.

Bode recommends, “You should always have proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and a certified technician work on a refrigeration system, or an air conditioning system.”

He also recommends getting your unit checked every six to 12 months.

The Health Department has since reopened but they have temporarily closed their family planning and sexual health clinics.

Nine people were treated for their illness, and five had to be taken to the hospital.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News
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Tennessee releases third and fourth grade test scores

Tennessee releases third and fourth grade test scores

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)-  The Tennessee Department of Education released the first batch of this year’s TCAP test results.

They released data for the English and Language Arts exam for third and fourth graders.

After the passage of the Third Grade Retention Law in 2021, third graders must either meet or exceed expectations on this exam to be promoted.

Roughly the same amount of third graders were able to do so this year, with 41% of students meeting expectations compared to 40 percent last year.

The amount of fourth graders who passed rose two points to 46%.

State leaders argue this is a sign the retention law was the right move.

“Tennessee’s strategic education investments have resulted in significant gains in reading for students across the state,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. “As we continue our work to ensure that all Tennessee students can read at grade level, we remain committed to supporting teachers and empowering families with multiple pathways to achievement so every student can thrive in their academic journey.”

Educators wonder if the increase in test scores for fourth graders is a sign that more kids should receive extended education like summer school.

“I think we need to do this earlier,” said J.C. Bowman, the executive director and CEO of Professional Educators of Tennessee. “I think we need to catch these kids with reading difficulties at an earlier age, and there’s a debate whether, how early do you teach people to read? Are you ready for reading readiness and all that, but the problem becomes if you don’t catch them earlier, then you get into the problem of when you retain kids, the older that you retain kids, the least impactful it is.”

He also added that hard data will tell the real story, saying, “We look forward to reviewing the data and numbers of schools and districts statewide to see where we can improve and focus future efforts.”

Hamilton County Schools tells us they expect to be able to share what their numbers look like in the next couple of weeks.

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Thursday Throwback: Evi the Bobcat

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – For our Thursday Throwback, we take you back five years.

That’s when the folks at the Nature Center came to work to find their bobcat was missing.

And it looked like someone broke in overnight an took her.

Here is our story from June 6, 2019 on Evi the Bobcat.


Tour groups went through the native animal exhibit at Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center.

They was one animal they couldn’t see, Evi the bobcat.

The director of wildlife says someone broke in after hours on Monday and before opening on Tuesday to steal the animal.

Visitors were shocked something like this would happen.

Libby Perry/ visitor

“I hope they know how to handle bobcats. That is not really a smart thing to do.”

Outside the enclosure, you could see marks on the fence and a rock used to pry it open.

Tish Gailmard/ director of wildlife

“You question why. And all of the emotions of, you are distraught. We want this animal back she is safe in our care. She does not have the skill set she needs to survive in the forest and she is safest at our facility.”

It’s believed they also tried to steal this bald eagle.

The wildlife director wonders if someone wants to sell the three year old bobcat.

‘We have to be concerned about the exotic pet trade. It is certainly a possibility. That they stole her to sell her. It is a possibility that they stole her to keep her as a pet. It is possible that they released her. You know, we just don’t know.”

There is fear Evi won’t make it in the wild.

“The animals that we have here in our facility are permanently injured. They can not survive in the forest. We are their safe haven.”

They want answers.

“We need the community’s support. We need the eyes and ears of the community.”

For now visitors will enjoy the other wildlife.

As we said, this story has a happy ending.

Police did cite someone with breaking in, but it looks like Evi got away from him.

They could see from game cameras that she spent several days in the woods around Reflection Riding.

Then the next week, she just came back to her home.

Rosie Lee told us at the time “It took a second for met to realize what was going on, but then I was like ‘ Oh,  that is our bobcat.’  So I had the kids stay super quiet and still where they were and I just kind of wandered over to her and by then she kind of wandered off to her enclosure.  She was super casual about it.  We were all freaking out.”

Evi had lost a little weight during her adventure on the wild side, but that was it.

You can still see her over at the Nature Center.

Visit their website by clicking here to learn more.

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Driving Our Economy Forward: Chei-Man Tea

It's the perfect time of year to enjoy an ice cold lavender lemonade. What started out as a family recipe has blossomed into a family business.  ... Continue Reading

Soddy Daisy supports a local business owner who was in a wreck

SODDY DAISY, Tennessee (WDEF) – The customers of Logan and Pawpaw’s produce are rallying together to support store owner Steve Griffey.

He was injured in a car wreck.

Griffey has been a beloved fixture in the soddy daisy community for years.

Customers cherish his commitment to providing quality produce.

Now they want to give back and support him in any way they can

Store Manager Mary Patterson tells us “his grandson has stepped in he’s been going to get all the produce and bring it and loading it and setting it all up for me the next morning to come in and work all the customers of soddy daisy they’ve just been amazing how they have sponsored his store coming in and buying and donating and signing his card he’s well loved up here everyone knows him as pawpaw.”

To support Steve during his recovery, customers, neighbors and friends have been buying extra produce and donating money.

Categories: Hamilton County, Local News
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DeKalb authorities charge suspect with electronic solicitation

DeKalb authorities charge suspect with electronic solicitation

Jehad Noman Saloum

DeKalb County, Alabama (WDEF) – Authorities in DeKalb County, Alabama, say they have in custody a suspect accused of soliciting a child through social media.

21-year-old Jehad Saloum is facing charges of Electronic Solicitation of a Child.

Authorities say they received a report back in February that a 12-year-old girl in DeKalb County had been the victim of sexual solicitation through Snapchat.

The investigation had very little to go on at first, but after more than a month of work, authorities say they were able to identify Saloum as the suspect.

Saloum was arrested in Hillsborough County, Florida and has been extradited to Alabama.

He’s currently being held in the DeKalb County Jail on a $150,000 bond.

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Tractor Trailer wreck shuts down Hwy 41 in Ringgold

Tractor Trailer wreck shuts down Hwy 41 in Ringgold

Ringgold Wreck

2:30 UPDATE:

Highway 41 at Ringgold has reopened, however there still is a large pothole at the intersection you should be aware of.  Ringgold officials say they’ll repair that as soon as possible.



RINGGOLD, Georgia (WDEF) – An overturned truck has clogged traffic in Ringgold this morning.

The tractor trailer rolled on its side on Highway 41 just south of town at Evitt Street near the train trestle.

Crews had to block off the highway and encouraged people to just stay on I 75.

Because of all the cargo that was lost from the truck, the road will remain closed until at least mid-afternoon.

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Chattanooga Police looking for missing 11 year old girl

Chattanooga Police looking for missing 11 year old girl


Police on Friday said they had found Samari, safe.


CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Chattanooga Police are looking for an 11 year old girl who disappeared on Wednesday.

They say Samari Robinson ran away during a doctor’s office visit with her foster mother.

She was wearing a black hoodie and black pants at the time.

If you have seen her or know anything about where she might be, please call Chattanooga Police at 423-698-2525.

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