WDEF News 12 Now

Bradley County Sheriff’s Deputies receive new body cams

Bradley County Sheriff’s Deputies receive new body cams

CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WDEF)- The Bradley County Sheriff Deputies are getting an upgrade!

Patrol deputies were fitted with brand new body cameras.

All deputies have been trained on the new equipment.

Courtesy: Bradley County Sheriff’s Office

Officials say funding for the new cameras was made possible by the state and Bradley county government.

Sheriff Lawson says,”Together, in less than a year, we have accomplished a major goal of my administration and for that I am truly grateful. It is my hope that these new
body cameras bring further accountability and protection not only to my officers, but also to the fine people of Bradley County that we serve.”

Courtesy: Bradley County Sheriff’s Office

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Weather Update: Sunday’s Forecast – January 24th, 2021

Weather Update: Sunday’s Forecast – January 24th, 2021

Tennessee Valley (WDEF): Widespread Rainfall Returning Monday!

Sunday will start off with mostly cloudy skies, but becoming overcast by the afternoon ahead of our next weather – maker. Sunday will be mainly dry with only a few isolated showers more towards Sunday night. However, this will be turning to widespread heavy rain just after midnight into early Monday. Temperatures will be staying mild because of that in the mid to upper 40’s. By 7 AM, most of the rain will have moved off east, however, there will be another round arriving for the evening into early Tuesday that could produce a few thunderstorms. Monday afternoon will also be warm with temperatures near 66 degrees and breezy conditions!

Tuesday will be dry and warm with temps in the mid 60’s!

Our seasonal highs and lows for this time of year are 50 & 31.

50 & 31 are our seasonal highs and lows. The seasonal afternoon highs, as well as the early morning lows, are now on the way down!

We’re getting into the time to discuss freeze watches and warnings: Whenever you hear about those watches and warnings, remember a few things that could save you time, money, and a lot of headaches:  Pets should be brought inside. Cover above-ground pipes, and protect all sensitive vegetation. Check on your neighbors and the elderly. In really, REALLY cold temperatures, make sure and open cabinet doors that face exterior walls, and allow a thin stream of water about the size of a pencil lead to run from the faucet farther away from where the water enters your home.

Make sure you & your family stay in touch with us. Remember the Storm Team 12 app can always bring you the latest weather alerts for your location as well as Titan Radar. Download it for free from your app store – just search WDEF Weather”. 

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Tennessee growing strong

Tennessee growing strong

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – For the first time, Tennessee takes the top spot as U-Haul’s number 1 growth state.

That’s based on what they saw in 2020.

“We have mountains on one side. We have really cool downtown locations like Chattanooga, Nashville and Memphis,” U-Haul Company of Nashville President Jeff Porter said.

Greater Chattanooga Realtors 2021 President Robert Backer is not surprised.

Home inventory in Hamilton County and the surrounding areas has been extremely low.

Backer said it’s normally double what they’re seeing.

“We’ve seen so much over this past year of people moving to our area from just different parts of the country,” Backer said.

They’ve seen Californians and New Yorkers in particular moving to into the area.

For reasons possibly connected to the pandemic.

“I think there are a lot stricter mandates and lock downs and stuff that they experienced through March, April, May and on I think was frustrating to people and they’re trying to get out of the urban areas,” Backer said.

Backer said that they’re seeing a lot of people from out of town buying up property in Rhea and Sequatchie Counties.

“Dayton, Dunlap, areas like that where they’re getting a little bit more land or want to be a little bit more out of it a little bit, not so urban, a little bit more not even suburban, but rural almost,” Backer said.

Interest rates are still driving home buying, but as far as what moves people into the state both Porter and Backer believe it’s the no state income tax, cost of living and lifestyle.

Backer said for the Chattanooga area it’s the outdoor activities, gig internet and location.

“Atlanta, Nashville, you can be in the mountains in North Carolina in an hour. We’re very centrally located,” Backer said.

Behind Tennessee on U-Haul’s list is Texas and Florida.

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Hamilton Co. Teachers, Parents Frustrated With Virtual Learning

Hamilton Co. Teachers, Parents Frustrated With Virtual Learning

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – Tensions were high during Thursday night’s school board meeting as members debated three options for sending Hamilton County students back to in-person learning.

After about two hours of debate, the board ended up deferring that decision to the superintendent, passing a resolution that would allow his task force to reevaluate the old plan and make a decision regarding reopening.

However, parents are not pleased with the current condition of virtual learning, with many saying that it’s put a strain on them as they try to juggle work with homeschooling.

“I have to take pictures of anything she does. I have to upload it. Up until this last weekend, I was doing it the hard way and so we were getting behind. It’s hard on parents who have jobs – I have a job, I work,” says one parent, Nikki Voiles.

Voiles says that the method hasn’t been effective for ensuring that kids are actually learning.

“There’s something about being face to face with your teacher, there’s something about being in the classroom with your peers that it works for her.”

She also says that she’s concerned about the teachers.

“It’s hard to see them struggle because they didn’t go to school to teach a head – a floating head on the computer screen. It’s hard on all of them and I wish that they would listen to the parents a little bit more. They’re not listening to us.”

Hamilton County teachers Claire Millsaps said that while that a lot was talked about during the meeting, one thing that wasn’t discussed was teacher representation.

“I have been teaching in Hamilton County for close to fifteen years. And I have never had the need to write to my school board member until this year. That to me is sending a letter that may or may not get read, that may or may not have any impact,” says Millsaps.

Millsaps says the district needs to do more to make sure that teachers are getting heard.

“I would like to see a teacher from an elementary school, a teacher from a middle school and a teacher from a high school who are at every single meeting and aren’t just there to sit on the side and get asked questions, but someone who is there with a vote.”

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Local dry cleaners surviving during the pandemic

Local dry cleaners surviving during the pandemic

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- The pandemic has affected many industries, but one of the hardest hit is dry cleaners.

Old Fort Cleaners has been serving the Fort Oglethorpe community since 1987.

However, the family owned business says that they have seen a decline in their customers during the pandemic.

Mostly because people are working from home, wearing casual clothes and they’ve also seen a decline in wedding ceremonies as well as funeral services.

Jennifer Hughes, co-owner of Old Fort Cleaners, says, “A lot of our churches around here, they’re not going to church or, they’ve missed a lot of church. We missed wedding season, prom season, graduation. Now, we’re getting on to our next wedding season. So, hopefully, it will start picking up then.”

Old Fort is not the only dry cleaning business that is working hard to keep serving their communities.

The dry cleaning and laundry institute believes that 30 percent of dry cleaners could be forced to shut down over the next 18 months.

Something that Hughes has already seen happening.

Fortunately for her, that means she has acquired some new customers.

Hughes says, “There’s been a cleaners close down the street and a few in Chattanooga. So, we’ve seen a lot of new people. But, we’ve had some of the same customers I’ve known since I was 12 years old.”

Customers like Anthony Fowler that have been coming for nearly 20 years.

“I’m sure they have felt the squeeze like other places have. So, they’ve been hanging in there. You can pretty well expect the same job every time you come here. They usually do a good job on the clothing”, adds Fowler.

The cleaners has only lost one employee during the pandemic.

But, Hughes is hopeful that the vaccine will bring some much needed relief.

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Tennessee National Guard return home after inauguration

Tennessee National Guard return home after inauguration

WASHINGTON D.C. (WDEF) – While some National Guard troops are being kept in Washington for the upcoming impeachment trial, Tennessee’s guardsmen have come home.

More than 750 soldiers and airmen went to the capital for the inauguration.

The Tennessee Army National Guard supplied more than 700 Soldiers from the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment headquartered in Knoxville and the 230th Sustainment Brigade headquartered in Chattanooga.

Their job was crowd management and security.

The East Tennessee soldiers returned by ground on Friday, while Middle Tennessee troops were flown back.

“Our soldiers and airmen have once again responded to our State and Nation’s call and getting them back home is a special day for us,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, Tennessee’s Adjutant General.

“I’m proud to report they accomplished all missions assigned with the utmost professionalism and efficiency. This is a result of training and leadership down to the lowest level. I want to thank the families and employers for their unbelievable support in allowing these great Americans to serve. These young men and women wearing the uniform represents everything that is good about America; selfless service.”

Guard did receive Covid-19 tests before returning home. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Timothy)

 

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Weather Update: Saturday’s Forecast – January 23rd, 2021

Weather Update: Saturday’s Forecast – January 23rd, 2021

Tennessee Valley (WDEF): Mainly Dry & Cool Weekend Ahead!

Overnight Friday: A cold front will pass bringing some dryer air to the valley. Clear skies and colder temps will drop us down to lows in the upper 20’s to around 30.

Gorgeous day for Saturday with lots of sunshine and highs near 52. Saturday will be another chilly night with lows in the low to mid 30’s across the viewing area.

Sunday will start off with mostly clear skies, but clouds will quickly start arriving in the afternoon ahead of our next weather – maker. Isolated showers Sunday night will turn to widespread heavy rain just after midnight into early Monday. Temperatures will be staying mild because of that in the mid to upper 40’s. By 7 AM, most of the rain will have moved off east, however, there will be another round arriving for the afternoon into early Tuesday. Monday afternoon will also be warm with temperatures near 66 degrees!

Tuesday will be dry and warm with temps in the low 60’s!

Our seasonal highs and lows for this time of year are 50 & 31.

50 & 31 are our seasonal highs and lows. The seasonal afternoon highs, as well as the early morning lows, are now on the way down!

We’re getting into the time to discuss freeze watches and warnings: Whenever you hear about those watches and warnings, remember a few things that could save you time, money, and a lot of headaches:  Pets should be brought inside. Cover above-ground pipes, and protect all sensitive vegetation. Check on your neighbors and the elderly. In really, REALLY cold temperatures, make sure and open cabinet doors that face exterior walls, and allow a thin stream of water about the size of a pencil lead to run from the faucet farther away from where the water enters your home.

Make sure you & your family stay in touch with us. Remember the Storm Team 12 app can always bring you the latest weather alerts for your location as well as Titan Radar. Download it for free from your app store – just search WDEF Weather”. 

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First Dose Appointments Added to the Vaccination Schedule

First Dose Appointments Added to the Vaccination Schedule

Hamilton County, TN (Press Release) – The Hamilton County Health Department, in partnership with Hamilton County Office of Emergency Management, will begin taking first dose appointments again starting Friday, January 22 at 9AM. New appointments have been added to the schedule January 24 – January 28. All appointments are at the Riverpark Hubert Fry Center, 4301 Amnicola Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37406. Enter near the Chattanooga State side of the Riverpark, not the Navy and Marine Reserve side.

Those in the current Phases (1a1, 1a2, and individuals 75 and older) are encouraged to make their appointment online. Visit https://vaccine.hamiltontn.gov/ to view the list of Phases and click on the first dose appointment link. Click the date tabs at the top of the appointment website and choose an  available appointment time.

People who do not have access to the internet, or speak Spanish, can call Emergency Management’s call center at 423-209-5399 to make their appointment. The call center is open Friday from 8AM-4PM. Due to high call volume, callers may experience a busy signal and need to continue to call back.

“As the Health Department receives new vaccine shipments from the State, we continue our mission to put those doses to use and vaccinate as many people as possible, as soon as possible,” said Health Department Administrator Becky Barnes.

Eligibility

The vaccine distribution is guided by “phases” according to the State of Tennessee’s Vaccination Plan. Only those eligible in the current “phases” will be able to make an appointment. The current phases are 1a1, 1a2 (see below), and those who are age 75 years or over, and all must be a Hamilton County resident or work in Hamilton County. Proof of meeting phase criteria must be shown at the entrance.

Important Information to Know Prior to Appointment

  • Do not arrive more than 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.
  • Wear appropriate clothing to get a shot in upper arm
  • Bring proof of Hamilton County residency (if applicable)
  • Bring proof of Hamilton County employment (if applicable)
  • Bring proof of age (if applicable)
  • Bring COVID-19 Vaccine Encounter form (if possible; form available for download on registration page)
  • Be prepared to wait 20 minutes after shot
  • Be prepared for the entire process to take an hour or more

Vaccination Record Card

When patients receive their first dose with the Health Department, they will receive a Vaccination Record Card with the following important information.

  • The vaccine manufacturer (either Moderna or Pfizer)
  • The date the first dose of vaccine was given
  • The date the second vaccine dose is due

Additional Resources

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Weather Update: Friday Morning’s Forecast – January 22nd, 2021

Weather Update: Friday Morning’s Forecast – January 22nd, 2021

Tennessee Valley (WDEF): After Friday Morning Clouds and Fog, Some Brighter Days Are Ahead For Awhile!

This Morning, we can expect some lingering clouds with some areas of fog and drizzle.  Morning lows near 40 in the immediate Chattanooga area, but you’ll be a bit cooler in the mountains and areas away from the city.

After morning clouds and fog, look for decreasing clouds Friday Afternoon. Highs will reach the low to middle 50’s with plenty of late day sunshine.

Overnight Friday:  Mostly clear, and those clearing conditions and colder temps will drop us down to lows in the upper 20’s to around 30.

Extended Forecast: Lots of sunshine Saturday with highs near 52. Fair to partly cloudy Saturday night with lows in the low to mid 30’s.  Increasing clouds Sunday with a few late showers.  Showers more likely Sunday night.  Additional rain & shower activity and much milder for Next Monday with highs in the mid and upper 60’s.

Our seasonal highs and lows for this time of year are 50 & 31.

REMINDERS: Dress appropriately for freezing mornings, cover outdoor pipes, drip faucets, and bring your pets indoors as we get the coldest temps of the season … at least, the coldest we’ve seen so far – but there is MORE to come.

50 & 31 are our seasonal highs and lows. The seasonal afternoon highs as well as the early morning lows are now on the way down!

We’re getting in to the time to discuss freeze watches and warnings: Whenever you hear about those watches and warnings, remember a few things that could save you time, money, and a lot of headaches:  Pets should be brought inside. Cover above-ground pipes, and protect all sensitive vegetation. Check on your neighbors and the elderly. In really, REALLY cold temperatures, make sure and open cabinet doors that face exterior walls, and allow a thin stream of water about the size of a pencil lead to run from the faucet farther away from where the water enters your home.

Make sure you & your family stay in touch with us. Remember the Storm Team 12 app can always bring you the latest weather alerts for your location as well as Titan Radar. Download it for free from your app store – just search WDEF Weather”. 

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Hamilton County School Board does not move forward with a proposed reopening action plan

Hamilton County School Board does not move forward with a proposed reopening action plan

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – It was a passionate, lengthy conversation at the Hamilton County School Board meeting Thursday night.

“If you guys are going to get up here and call us, call me a name, call me a coward. Please, tell your superintendent to propose what he wants and just let it be. Why are we even having this conversation,” school board member Tiffanie Robinson said.

What was up for discussion was a plan to reopen schools.

There were three action plans and a fourth one pitched last minute by school board member Tucker McClendon.

But the board eventually voted to postpone it indefinitely and ended up passing unanimously a resolution instead of an action plan.

“I think board members had different opinions on actually what’s in our purview and what’s not. I was one that says you know I think this is in our purview and we should act on it and some people didn’t, and I think this resolution was a great middle ground on it,” McClendon said.

The resolution states that the board believes in-person instruction is important for all students, feels schools can and must open for in-person learning and says that the administration is authorized and directed to come up with a revised plan.

“I think it’s a moment of clarity to say, we’ve expressed what we would like to see happen. We want you to get us there. We’re going to get in the car with you, but we’re not going to try to take the wheel because that’s your job,” school board member Joe Wingate said.

Dr. Johnson explained that they’ll know more on where the school system is headed on Tuesday after getting data from county officials.

Remote learning will continue next week.

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NTSB issues Preliminary Report on Meigs Bus Crash

NTSB issues Preliminary Report on Meigs Bus Crash

WASHINGTON D.C. (WDEF) – The National Transportation Safety Board has issued their preliminary findings in the deadly Meigs County school bus crash.

It does NOT identify a “Probable Cause” at this point.

The report details what they know of how a utility truck swerved into the path of the bus last October.

The bus driver and a student onboard were killed and 8 other students taken to the hospital.

Investigators are still reviewing video from the bus and training histories of both drivers before concluding their findings.

“The NTSB continues to gather information on the actions of the truck driver, issues related to the protection of school bus occupants, and roadway and pavement maintenance.”

Here is the full preliminary report:

On Tuesday, October 27, 2020, about 3:45 p.m. eastern standard time, a two-vehicle collision occurred in the southbound lane of State Highway 58 (SH-58) in Decatur, Meigs County, Tennessee. In that area, the highway has one lane in each direction. The lanes are separated by a double yellow centerline, with rumble strips milled along the edges of both lanes. The highway has a posted speed limit of 55 mph.

A 2013 Thomas Built transit style 78-passenger school bus was southbound on SH-58, carrying 22 K‑12 students home from school. At the same time, a 2018 Freightliner truck, configured as a service vehicle for a local utility company and equipped with a boom arm, was traveling north. In the 7700 block of SH-58, the truck drifted off the right edge of the pavement and the right tires went into the ditch. The truck driver reported that it happened while he looked in his mirror. As the driver steered back onto the roadway, the truck yawed counterclockwise and crossed into the southbound lane, in front of the school bus. The bus collided with the right side of the truck, between the rear axle and the front of the utility box, and also hit the right side of the boom arm. The bus came to rest in the southbound lane. The truck continued across the highway into the trees, coming to rest off the west side of the road. Figure 1 is an aerial view of the final rest positions of the two vehicles. Figure 2 shows the damage to the truck.

Bus and truck at final rest. (Source: Tennessee Highway Patrol)

The 53-year-old bus driver and a 7-year-old student passenger seated directly behind her were trapped in the bus and had to be extricated. Both were fatally injured. Eight other student passengers were transported to local hospitals for treatment. The truck driver was treated at the scene for minor injuries. The school bus was not equipped with passenger seat belts.

Preliminary information indicates that the drivers of both vehicles were properly licensed. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is gathering records on the training and qualifications of both drivers. The school bus was equipped with several onboard cameras. The videos from the cameras are being evaluated for preimpact views inside and outside the bus.

The NTSB continues to gather information on the actions of the truck driver, issues related to the protection of school bus occupants, and roadway and pavement maintenance. All aspects of the crash remain under investigation as the NTSB determines the probable cause, with the intent of issuing safety recommendations to prevent similar crashes. The NTSB is working alongside the Tennessee Highway Patrol, which is conducting a separate, parallel investigation. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Daimler Trucks North America are parties to the investigation.

Damage to right side of truck. (Source: Tennessee Highway Patrol)

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Marion County Animal Shelter Asks Woman $900 To Retrieve Dog

Marion County Animal Shelter Asks Woman $900 To Retrieve Dog

MARION COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – Ashley Moffitt had been looking for her dog, Jax, for weeks. She had just about given up hope when she was contacted that Jax had been turned in to MARC in Marion County.

Now, Ms. Moffitt is preparing to take legal action against MARC, claiming that they wanted over $1300 to get her dog back.

“She came at me with like this outrageous number and I was like 932 dollars, to get my own dog back? She’s given away, not even kidding – mutts, for free, back to their owners. Just because they’re ready to get them out of there,” says Moffitt.

Moffitt claims that her lost dog, Jax, was picked up by a volunteer for MARC – and after a review by their board, they determined that the cost to reclaim the dog would be around $900.

Executive Director April Bowden says that this is standard procedure for most shelters.

“We have a reclaiming fee of ten dollars a day which added up we’ve never had an animal reclaimed after 81 days. He didn’t have a microchip, he didn’t have a nametag. We had no idea if he had an owner or not,” says Bowden.

Bowden claims that she didn’t feel comfortable letting Jax return to Moffitt’s home after seeing his condition upon entering the care of MARC’s workers – citing an ear infection, as well as missing patches of fur. And after 81 days in their care, Bowden says that she was told by her lawyers that they were not obligated to return Jax.

“We’ve been told by our lawyers that after the fifth day he is legally our dog and we can choose what to do with him. Morally, that’s a different determination. Morally, whether you should give the dog back, or legally you have to give the dog back,” Bowden says.

Moffitt says she ended up paying the $932 dollar fee to get Jax back, and although she’s glad to have her pup home, she hopes something like this to happen to anyone else.

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Weather Update: Thursday Night’s Forecast – January 21st, 2021

Weather Update: Thursday Night’s Forecast – January 21st, 2021

Tennessee Valley (WDEF): After Friday Morning Clouds and Fog, Some Brighter Times For Awhile!

Expect lingering clouds with some areas of fog and drizzle.  Overnight lows near 40.

After morning clouds and fog, decreasing clouds for the afternoon for your Friday.  Highs will reach the low to mid 50’s.  Mostly clear and colder Friday night with lows in the upper 20’s to near 30.

Lots of sunshine Saturday with highs near 52. Fair to partly cloudy Saturday night with lows in the low to mid 30’s.  Increasing clouds Sunday with a few late showers.  Showers more likely Sunday night.  Showers and much milder for Next Monday with highs in the 60’s.

Our seasonal highs and lows for this time of year are 50 & 31.

REMINDERS: Dress appropriately for freezing mornings, cover outdoor pipes, drip faucets, and bring your pets indoors as we get the coldest temps of the season … at least, the coldest we’ve seen so far – but there is MORE to come.

50 & 31 are our seasonal highs and lows. The seasonal afternoon highs as well as the early morning lows are now on the way down!

We’re getting in to the time to discuss freeze watches and warnings: Whenever you hear about those watches and warnings, remember a few things that could save you time, money, and a lot of headaches:  Pets should be brought inside. Cover above-ground pipes, and protect all sensitive vegetation. Check on your neighbors and the elderly. In really, REALLY cold temperatures, make sure and open cabinet doors that face exterior walls, and allow a thin stream of water about the size of a pencil lead to run from the faucet farther away from where the water enters your home.

Make sure you & your family stay in touch with us. Remember the Storm Team 12 app can always bring you the latest weather alerts for your location as well as Titan Radar. Download it for free from your app store – just search WDEF Weather”. 

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Chain Reaction Fire on Lee Highway

Chain Reaction Fire on Lee Highway

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- An early morning traffic accident led to an auto repair business and numerous cars to erupt in flames.

For 40 years H & W Auto repair served the Chattanooga Community on Lee Highway.

Now, the owner, employees, and customers salvaging anything they can.

“So far all my contact numbers are gone, my books, my computer wit everybody’s name” said Owner Nick Santore.

Chattanooga Fire says a collision between a garbage truck and a car caused over 20 cars and Nick Santore’s auto shop to erupt in flames.

“The vehicle struck a garbage truck. It was a private garbage truck -in the middle of Lee Highway, that ruptured the fuel tank on the garbage truck” said Battalion Chief Chris Willmore.

“Dumped about 50 to 75 gallons worth of fuel onto the parking lot” said Santore. “Her (the driver) car ignited causing the diesel fuel to catch on fire. Burned the cars on my lot as well my building.”

Santore is works to recover from the devastating loss, while contacting all of his effected customers.

If you’re vehicle was impacted and you need to contact Santore, his cell phone number is below.

Santore’s number: 423-718-5068

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President Biden signs over 10 executive orders during his first 24 hours

President Biden signs over 10 executive orders during his first 24 hours

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- President Biden wasted no time signing multiple executive orders during his first full day in office.

First on the list, tackling the Coronavirus pandemic.

President Joe Biden says, “Our national strategy is comprehensive. It’s based science, not politics. It’s based on truth, not denial and it’s detailed. You can review this entire plan, this entire plan by going to whitehouse.gov. It is so detailed. It is over, over 198 pages.”

Some of the other executive orders will provide up to 100 million vaccine doses by the end of April, and reopen most schools safely within 100 days.

Others will focus on improving the United States for immigrants.

Local Immigration Attorney Terry Olsen says that these changes will be huge for families who are worried about deportation.

“ICE cannot apprehend any other individuals, unless they are a threat to the U.S. So, if an individual has already been ordered removed, by an immigration court, this executive order states that they cannot be apprehended by ICE”, adds Olsen.

This particular executive order also revokes the Muslim travel ban and stops border wall construction.

As a proud immigrant and one of only 14 naturalized citizens in Congress, I know that Dreamers are American. Dreamers are home. Dreamers are us.

I’m glad to see Biden protecting DACA, and I’m ready to work with him to pass humane immigration reform that makes Dreamers citizens. pic.twitter.com/laTqJjLOEE

— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) January 20, 2021

Another hot topic addressed in the orders, rejoining The Paris Climate Accord.

We’re back in the Paris Climate Agreement.

— President Biden (@POTUS) January 21, 2021

Professor Ken Ellinger of Dalton State says that this move will be beneficial for the future.

“There’s a consensus and the clock is ticking. We owe it to our kids and grand-kids to not leave our planet in really really bad shape.So, I think ultimately, that could be as important as any of them”, adds Ellinger.

The White House says that President Biden plans to meet with Congressional leaders to discuss the future of another Coronavirus relief package.

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TWRA: Bat Population Declining Due to Syndrome

TWRA: Bat Population Declining Due to Syndrome

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commision held a meeting at the Westin Hotel in Chattanooga Thursday afternoon.

TWRA discussed the latest information and data on white nose syndrome.

A deadly disease found in bats where cotton-ball like fungus grows on the unfurred skin of bats, most commonly the nose.

White nose syndrome was first observed in Tennessee in 2010, the fungus is found in cold, dark caves especially during the winter time.

John Campbell, biodiversity coordinator for region II says, “The estimated mortality is almost seven million bats in the eastern U.S. associated with white nose syndrome. Here in Tennessee all of our bats are insectivores, so they are going to have a huge impact to the number of insects that occur on the landscape and if you remove the bats from the ecosystem, then you’re gonna remove those ecosystem services, so you’re gonna see an influx of insects and so, the big concern is agricultural pests.”

According to Campbell, White nose syndrome has been found in over 11,000 documented caves over the state of Tennessee.

Reporting in Chattanooga, Bekah Birdsall, News 12 Now.

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Chattanooga 2.0 Recap & Goals

Chattanooga 2.0 Recap & Goals

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – It has been five years since the Chattanooga 2.O launch. It’s goal is to provide a birth to career education pathway.

On Thursday, Chattanooga 2.0 released its first progress report. Overall, they have seen significant improvement in schools.

Graduation rates for high school and post-secondary are up.

On the downside, the report found only 1 in 4 children in Hamilton county are enrolled in an early learning program.

The department wants to change moving forward.

Molly Blankenship, executive director of Chattanooga 2.0 says, “Since 2015, organizations and leaders across our community have been working to implement strategies that are align to Chattanooga’s 2.0 shared vision, and that were detailed in our original strategic plan. And, we have seen much success along the way.”

For more information, head to https://chatt2.org/report/# .

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Weather Update: Thursday Morning’s Forecast – January 21st, 2021

Weather Update: Thursday Morning’s Forecast – January 21st, 2021

Tennessee Valley (WDEF): Thursday Morning Showers And Fog, Then Drier For Awhile!

Cloudy and foggy with areas of rain moving in through the morning.  Some fog as well, with lows around 40.

The morning will start out wet and foggy in some areas with scattered showers moving toward the Southeast. It’ll be drier for the afternoon with highs near 52.

Mostly cloudy Thursday night with lows around 40.  Dry Friday with decreasing clouds late with highs in the low & mid 50’s.

Clear and cold Friday night with lows in the upper 20’s to near 30.  Lots of sunshine Saturday with highs near 52.

Clouds and showers will move back in later Sunday and more rain likely for next Monday.

Our seasonal highs and lows for this time of year are 50 & 31.

REMINDERS: Dress appropriately for freezing mornings, cover outdoor pipes, drip faucets, and bring your pets indoors as we get the coldest temps of the season … at least, the coldest we’ve seen so far – but there is MORE to come.

50 & 31 are our seasonal highs and lows. The seasonal afternoon highs as well as the early morning lows are now on the way down!

We’re getting in to the time to discuss freeze watches and warnings: Whenever you hear about those watches and warnings, remember a few things that could save you time, money, and a lot of headaches:  Pets should be brought inside. Cover above-ground pipes, and protect all sensitive vegetation. Check on your neighbors and the elderly. In really, REALLY cold temperatures, make sure and open cabinet doors that face exterior walls, and allow a thin stream of water about the size of a pencil lead to run from the faucet farther away from where the water enters your home.

Make sure you & your family stay in touch with us. Remember the Storm Team 12 app can always bring you the latest weather alerts for your location as well as Titan Radar. Download it for free from your app store – just search WDEF Weather”. 

The post Weather Update: Thursday Morning’s Forecast – January 21st, 2021 appeared first on WDEF.

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Pardoned prisoner reunites with family at home in Chattanooga

Pardoned prisoner reunites with family at home in Chattanooga

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – In a car with his brother and mother Darrell Frazier pulled up to his mom’s home in Chattanooga.

A welcome home sign on the front lawn greeted him.

That’s along with his loved ones who embraced him at the door.

It has been years since Frazier has been home with his family.

He’s spent over 30 years in prison.

Frazier was arrested at the LA airport and accused of transporting cocaine between LA to Chattanooga in the late 80’s.

He pleaded guilty to cocaine conspiracy and ended up getting a life sentence without parole.

His mom, Joyce Johnson, petitioned the president to release her son.

Johnson finally got what she wanted.

Before he left office, President Trump pardoned several inmates serving long drug sentences, Frazier was one of them.

She picked up her son on Wednesday.

And, in a moment she and her family might have thought would never happen, Frazier reunited with loved ones as a free man.

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Faith Leaders Address School Funding Concerns

Faith Leaders Address School Funding Concerns

According to the Education Law Center, Tennessee ranks in the bottom five states across the country when it comes to school funding.

The ‘Southern Christian Coalition’ is voicing their concerns to lawmakers.

Chattanooga Pastor Laura Becker is raising two children in the Hamilton County school system.

Becker says the the lack of funding is obvious, “Especially when you look at some of the inequities just between different neighborhoods. Between the private schools and the public schools.”

Becker and numerous other faith leaders want lawmakers to cut the voucher system and invest more dollars back into public schools across Tennessee.

“Let’s make all of our schools better” said Becker. “I know that (vouchers) provides a good opportunity for those families in that moment but that doesn’t help the system.

The Education Law Center gave Tennessee an “F” for overall funding.

The Southern Christian Coalition addressed state legislatures in a statement, writing in part quote: “If lawmakers want to pass a public education agenda that claims to reflect Christian values they should ensure that our public schools are invested in as well as any other state in the country.”

“The timing for faith leaders of the faith leaders expressing their interest in funding for education couldn’t be any better” said Rep. Yusuf Hakeem.

The House and the Senate are currently in session, and education is on the agenda.

“I think it is on the minds of legislatures, of the administration, Governor Lee, that we need to do more for education” said Rep. Hakeem.

“I know Governor Lee mentioned the issues of the third grade reading literacy level that is often brought up as a concern. And Tennessee has been very far behind that behind that benchmark for a very long time. Not just since the pandemic” said Pastor Becker.

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