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Chattanooga’s Speech and Hearing Center offering free assessments

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — Chattanooga’s Speech and Hearing Center is hosting Free Screening Day this Friday. They’re encouraging locals in need to sign up for a complimentary screening. Residents can reserve a spot for a free 30-minute speech screening and/or a 15-minute hearing appointment. Assessments will then be conducted by the Center’s speech-language pathologists, and audiologist… ... Continue Reading

Dr. Ben Carson visits Chattanooga; celebrates local scholars

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — Former Presidential Candidate Dr. Ben Carson was in Chattanooga tonight to take in a movie at the local A-M-C. But it wasn’t a Hollywood blockbuster, and it didn’t star any famous actors. Carson is the co-founder of the Carson Scholars Fund, which gifts one-thousand-dollar college scholarships to young students throughout the country… ... Continue Reading

Sabrena Smedley challenging County Mayor election results

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WDEF) – The Republican Primary for Hamilton County Mayor may not be over, after all. Even though candidates Sabrena Smedley and Matt Hullender conceded the results on election night, now Smedley is challenging them. She has filed a challenge in Nashville, alleging an organized effort by Democrats to sway the election. Smedley told… ... Continue Reading

Local leaders say public trust in police is the key to ending gang violence in Chattanooga

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The Grove Street shooting last September opened up old wounds with a new question. Even with a new police chief, how can Chattanooga put an end to gang violence? News 12 spoke with two leaders in the community. Each has their own method to reach that goal, but it starts with one… ... Continue Reading

Volkswagen Offers $3,000 Bonuses to Production and Maintenance Staff, New Hires

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — Amid an attempt to hire 1,000 new employees before the end of the year, Volkswagen Chattanooga has announced that all production employees, maintenance staff, and team leaders will receive a bonus of $3,000. Additionally, any employees hired between now and October 31 will receive a $3,000 sign-on bonus. “This launch appreciation bonus… ... Continue Reading
Weather Update: Wednesday Night’s Forecast – May 18th, 2022

Weather Update: Wednesday Night’s Forecast – May 18th, 2022

Tennessee Valley (WDEF):  Month Of May Mini Heat Wave Ahead! Partly cloudy skies will continue through the nighttime.  Not as pleasant overnight with lows only in the upper 60s to near 70. Mostly sunny skies will return for Thursday.  Mainly dry and hotter for the afternoon with highs 90-93.  Fair and quite mild Thursday night… ... Continue Reading

Will juveniles charged with dog beating be tried as adults?

CLEVELAND, Tennessee (WDEF) – The District Attorney General for Bradley County is addressing an issue brought up by the public in a gruesome dog abuse case.

Two 16 year olds were charged with Aggravated Cruelty to Animals over a video showing a boy beating a dog to death with a stick.

Investigators say one of them was the boy in the video and the other was behind the camera.

Members of the public want officials to try the juveniles as adults.

But DA Steve Crump’s office has issued a statement on why they can’t do that.

He says the law used to allow it, but an updated law specified which cases were eligible for transferring to adult court.

And animal abuse is not one of them.

Here is their full letter:

Recently, two sixteen-year-old juveniles were charged with the offense of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals.  The District Attorney’s Office for the 10th Judicial District has requested the detention of the juveniles for this conduct.   They are scheduled for a detention hearing on May, 19, 2022 in the Juvenile Court of Bradley County Tennessee.


Numerous citizens have requested that our office begin the process to “transfer” the juveniles to Criminal Court so that they may be prosecuted as an adult for the killing of the dog known as “Angel.”  Tennessee law allows the transfer of juvenile cases to Criminal Court only under specific and limited circumstances found at Tennessee Code Annotated section 37-1-134 and Rule of Juvenile Procedure number 208.  Recently, the transfer of juveniles to criminal court to be tried as adults was restricted by the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018.


Specifically, following the passage of the Juvenile Justice Reform Act, Tennessee law now provides for transfer only as follows:


(A) The child was:

(i) Less than fourteen (14) years of age at the time of the alleged conduct and charged with first degree murder or second degree murder or attempted first or second degree murder;

(ii) Fourteen (14) years of age or more but less than seventeen (17) years of age at the time of the alleged conduct and charged with the offense of first degree murder, second degree murder, rape, aggravated rape, rape of a child, aggravated rape of a child, aggravated robbery, especially aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, especially aggravated burglary, kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, especially aggravated kidnapping, commission of an act of terrorism, carjacking, or an attempt to commit any such offenses;

(iii) Sixteen (16) years of age or more at the time of the alleged conduct and charged with the offense of robbery or attempt to commit robbery; or

(iv) Seventeen (17) years of age or more at the time of the alleged conduct;


Tenn. Code Ann. § 37-1-134


Tennessee law does not allow for a Juvenile Judge to transfer any sixteen-year-old to Criminal Court for the offense of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, and this office will not be allowed to seek transfer.  Because we cannot pursue a transfer of these juveniles to Criminal Court for prosecution as an adult, we will continue to oppose their release from juvenile detention.  Our office will seek all remedies allowed by law in this case. We at the District Attorney’s Office will continue to pursue justice in this case for the community and the dog known as “Angel.” 

Categories: Bradley County, Local News
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So what does North Carolina’s Madison Cawthorn do next?

So what does North Carolina’s Madison Cawthorn do next?

ASHVILLE, North Carolina (WDEF) – Two years ago, he was considered one of the GOP’s rising stars. Now the question is what will Madison Cauthorn do next? The 25 year old Congressman represented western North Carolina, including Murphy. But his fame grew far beyond the rural mountain district through two years of public outrage towards… ... Continue Reading

More To The Story: Making Oboe Reeds

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – In the quiet setting of her living room, with her little chihuahua sound asleep on the couch, Jennifer Ownby is working. Applying her craft. Jennifer is in the world of administration, working from home. But in her spare time, she works with her unique side business. Her “side hustle,” as she calls it.… ... Continue Reading

Volkswagen announces $3000 bonus for workers and new hires

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Volkswagen Chattanooga announces pay and signing boosts for their employees. They are offering a $3000 bonus to all production and maintenance workers. The company also will give the bonus to anyone hired between May 16 and October 31. (And they’ll add $2,500 for people who move here to take a job… eligibility… ... Continue Reading

Mom thanks the first responders who saved her son’s life

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – A local mom chose National EMS Week to pay a visit to the first responders who saved her son’s life. Last month, police, fire and EMS responded when they got a 911 call about 21 year old Kaine Barnell passed out on a garage floor. When they arrived, they noticed someone was… ... Continue Reading
Neighbor Helps Save Family From Burning Home

Neighbor Helps Save Family From Burning Home


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- A family was woken up by a neighbor and was able to escape a house fire in Lookout Valley early Wednesday morning, May 18, 2022.

The fire was initially reported by that neighbor at 3:50 AM via a 911 call which prompted the Chattanooga Fire Department to respond. After calling for help, the neighbor rushed over to the house and banged on the windows which alerted the sleeping family comprised of a couple and their newborn baby to the fire. The family was able to escape without injury thanks to the actions of the neighbor.

When firefighters arrived on scene, they found flames shooting up from the backside of the garage. They initially launched a search not knowing if there were residents inside but were able to call that off when they learned the family had escaped. Firefighters were able to put out the blaze within an hour of arrival by 4:40 AM.

The American Red Cross is currently helping the family in the wake of the fire. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News
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Hixson parents reflect on purchases by children through mobile apps

HIXSON, Tenn. (WDEF) — Cheeseburgers and Americans are a love affair that dates back to when our forefathers took that first juicy bite.

However, one young Texan toddler’s love with cheeseburgers caught both his mother, and her wallet, by surprise.

The story of the two-year-old’s mobile order has since gone national.

Like Kenan and Kel, little Barrett Golden just wanted a “good burger.”

However, unbeknownst to his mother, he took to her phone and ordered 31 of them.

This cost his mom, Kelsey Golden, $61.58 of fast food — plus a $16 tip from the toddler.

The entire order after fees came out to $91.70.

“He doesn’t understand anything,” Golden said. “I don’t even think he realizes he did it. He just does this with the phones.”

In Hixson, the Schulte family experienced something similar a couple of years ago.

Their two children, then 3 and 5, bought movies through Amazon Prime.

The kids got their Disney fix while parents Jenny and Frank got more credit card bills.

“We didn’t have a passcode to purchase things because we’d never had that problem before,” said mom, Jenny. “They know how to use the remotes [and] how to order things apparently just by doing the ‘ok,’ ‘ok.'”

For new parents and parents with young kids, Schulte advised them to just simply “supervise” their device activity.

Have certain apps locked down on mobile devices and have passcodes set in place to prevent unwanted access to emails and pictures.

From mother-to-mother, Schulte related to Golden, and says sometimes incidents such as Barrett’s McDonald’s order are just part of parenthood.

“It would suck,” Schulte said, laughing. “I’m sorry. It would not be great. But that’s kind of what happens with kids — just fun and interesting things. You’ve just got to move on with it and learn from it.”

As for Frank, he mirrored his wife’s message and said that at the end of the day, while there was a bill, there’s also a story to tell for years ahead as the family grows.

“First time my kids decided to order some movies, I saw the credit card bill and was, like, ‘Did we order this?'” Schulte said. “But then, later on, it’s something to laugh about for something relatively innocuous like that.”

He also said, as a parent, even though it’s important to watch your kids’ activity on mobile devices, it’s also important not to shelter them from it.

After all, it will eventually be part of their lives.

As for Golden family, at least Barrett only ordered 31 cheeseburgers … not 31 Big Macs.

Categories: Featured, Hamilton County, Local News
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News 12 Anchors Visit Woodmore Elementary Fourth Graders

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — News 12 anchors Andrew Harrison and Emily Cassulo stopped by Woodmore Elementary School Tuesday afternoon to give the kids some writing tips. We met with students in Laura McBride, April Haley, and Kevin Miller’s fourth grade classes to read over their press releases for a class project. The students also asked… ... Continue Reading

10 Firearms Found at Chattanooga Airport This Year


CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — Since the department’s inception in 2001, the TSA has come to look out for a litany of prohibited items in passengers’ carry-on bags.

But one set of prohibited items they’ve been discovering more and more is firearms.

“Here in Chattanooga metro we had a total of 24 guns, last year. And that was as we were starting to crawl back up after the pandemic. So, 24 last year; we’re up to ten so far this year,” said Mark Howell, TSA Regional Spokesperson.

The TSA strictly prohibits caring firearms in the cabin of any commercial airplane.

And accidentally carrying one through a security checkpoint can be costly.

“If you do it the wrong way, you bring it to a security checkpoint, you’re subject to a civil penalty by the TSA of upwards of $13,900. You’re also potentially going to get a citation or be arrested by local law enforcement,” Howell said.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t take a firearm with you when you travel.

The TSA has a set of publicly available guidelines for transporting a firearm on an aircraft.

“To properly travel with a firearm, you need to have a hard-sided case with padding. The firearm needs to be completely unloaded. Any ammunition needs to be stored separately, inside the box and not rolling around on the inside. And you need to declare that firearm with the airline that you’re flying with,” Howell added.

Firearms are declared with paper tags that go on your case, and they can be obtained at the check-in desk

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News
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Groundbreaking for major East Ridge development

EAST RIDGE, Tennessee (WDEF) – The new East Ridge development is called The Gateway — it sits directly next to the Chattanooga Red Wolves’ CHI Memorial Stadium. It is 110 acres consisting of town homes – shops – offices and restaurants.

Developer Bob Martino and East Ridge Mayor Brian Williams broke ground on the developments first commercial site — “Nooga Live” which will include a whiskey bar and a spot for live music

“We just broke ground on the residential town homes and there will be a 144 of those in the first phase, more to come. But then we’re also, this ground breaking here is the first commercial element that we’re introducing. There’s a lot more coming to this. It’ll be a real fun environment to come hang out whether there’s a game or whether you’re just coming out for a weekend or a weeknight.

The project is expected to bring in at least 1000 local jobs.

“It is the largest development we have in the history of east ridge and probably second in Hamilton county. The economic impacts as i mentioned in the ground breaking, we’re looking at we’re expecting a million dollars – no – a billion dollars economic development over the completion of – a 30 year full build out of phase one. Over a thousand plus local jobs.”

Mayor Wilson said is developments like this one that are turning East Ridge into a destination — the development is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

in East Ridge – Hannah Bullard News 12 now.

Categories: Business, East Ridge, Featured, Hamilton County, Jobs & Economy, Local News
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Committed to Justice: CPD chief seeks closure to Grove St. shooting

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Chattanooga’s Chief of police is keeping a promise she made during her introduction a couple months ago.

Nearly eight months after a drive-by shooting killed two women on Grove Street, Chattanooga’s new police chief, Celeste Murphy, says she is committed to getting justice for the families of the victims.

Chief Murphy held a press conference near the site of the shooting, saying this incident was one of the first things she read about upon getting the job, and it is her number one priority.

The fact that all the victims are women made this going unsolved especially difficult for the new chief.

Murphy: “As your chief, a woman, and a mother… I’m burdened with the fact that no one has come forward to speak on behalf of these seven women. So, I’m asking you today to speak up, to stand up, to rise up for these women and send a powerful message.”

While police have a person of interest in mind, one thing officers are not focused on is why this happened.

Chattanooga Police Captain Johnathon Chambers: “When it comes to motive, or what things are related to, oft times, we do not know. And, really, that’s not important to us. Not near as important as the fact that we had five women that were shot, and injured very seriously, and two that lost their lives. That, to us, is what is the most important thing. Our response to that is to be able to hold those accountable.”

To do that, Chattanooga police need your help. They’re asking anyone with pictures or videos of last September’s Westside Reunion to send them to police anonymously, using the new Atlas One mobile app.

Demetrius Bridges, the best friend of victim Labrecia Dews, says the families also need your help to close this case.

“If you don’t consider anybody else, you consider the family of Keniqua (Hughes; one of the other victims in the shooting). You consider the six children that Labrecia (Dews) left behind. And if you don’t do it for anybody, find it in your hearts to do it for them. The Chattanooga Police have left numerous ways to give your information anonymously, and I think that that would definitely help.”

There is also an e-mail address to send any videos and pictures, as well as tips in the case.

That address is homicidetips@chattanooga.gov.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News
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Weather Update: Tuesday Night’s Forecast – May 17th, 2022

Weather Update: Tuesday Night’s Forecast – May 17th, 2022

Tennessee Valley (WDEF):  After Another Pleasant Start, Heating Up For The Mid-Week! Fair skies will continue through the nighttime.  Comfortably mild again overnight with lows in the upper 50’s to near 60. Mostly sunny, dry, and much warmer for Wednesday.  Highs will be near 90.  An isolated shower or storm possible Wednesday night, mainly Northeast… ... Continue Reading

PETA urges empathy programs in schools after Bradley County dog abuse video

CLEVELAND, Tennessee (WDEF) – The national group PETA is asking the Bradley County schools to take action after the video surfaced of a teen beating a dog to death with a stick.

Two juveniles have actually been arrested in the case, the one on camera and the other behind it.

PETA has sent the letters to both the county and city school systems asking them to give empathy lessons to students in class.

They are offering to provide kindness to animals curriculum for K-12 grades plus “Empathy Now,” a guide to preventing youth violence against animals.

They note that Tennessee law strongly encourages character education programs.

“If reports are true, a teen beat a vulnerable, trusting dog to death while another filmed it and bragged about it on social media,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “Compassion and empathy can be learned, and TeachKind is on standby to help schools teach young people that violence is wrong, whether the victim is a canine or a classmate.”

They say research has shown that 43% of school massacre perpetrators first abused animals.

You can learn more about the programs at TeachKind.org.

Categories: Bradley County, Local News
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Have you seen the stolen “Welcome to Polk County” sign?

Have you seen the stolen “Welcome to Polk County” sign?

POLK COUNTY, Tennessee (WDEF) – You could almost predict it would happen.

282702615 4993718410696433 8787589759243563755 NOfficials are taking down their “Welcome to Polk County” signs to give them a new design.

And now it seems that one of the old signs has gone missing.

The sign on Highway 64 at the North Carolina end was taken down on Monday and prepped for the makeover.

It was left propped up against the base, waiting to be picked up.

But when the crew showed up to collect it, the sign was gone.

The sign belongs to the U.S. Forest Service.

So if you see it pop up somewhere around the county, please call the Chamber of Commerce office at (423) 338-5040 or you send a message us through Facebook.

If you took the sign, you can drop it at the old gas station on Highway 64 across from the Copper Basin Golf Club and no one will ask any questions.

A total of six Welcome signs are being re-visioned this week.

They’ll be stripped of the old design and then have a new message put on them.

Polk Sign 1Polk Sign 2
Categories: Local News, Polk County
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