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Weather Update: Monday Night’s Forecast – October 26th, 2020

Weather Update: Monday Night’s Forecast – October 26th, 2020

Tennessee Valley (WDEF): Clouds, Warm, Muggy Again For Tuesday, But Tropical Rains Are Ahead!

Tonight: More clouds and continued mild, with areas of fog and drizzle after midnight.  lows will be around 60.

Tuesday:  Lots of clouds, warm, and humid.  A spotty shower possible but most of us will stay dry.  Highs near 75.  A few showers will move in from the South for Tuesday night with lows in the low 60’s.

*IMPORTANT* The remnants of Zeta will bring showers for Wednesday with the heaviest rain and gustiest winds early Thursday. Rainfall totals are expected to be between from 1.5” to 3” of rain before ending late Thursday or Thursday night.  Drier, breezy, and much cooler weather returns for Friday with lots of sunshine for Saturday and Halloween.

71 & 47 are our seasonal highs and lows. The seasonal afternoon highs as well as the early morning lows are now on the way down! Daylight Saving Time, by the way, ends at 2am on Sunday, November 1st.

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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W Road down to one lane for next 60 days

W Road down to one lane for next 60 days

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee- W road has partially reopened on Monday evening after being closed since 8 A.M on Monday.

Even though drivers can get through now traffic will be down to one lane in the 3900 block for an estimated 60 days.

Hamilton County Public Works Administrator Todd Leamon said this road construction is needed due to a crack and dip forming over the last several months. He said the project will repair the road as well as provide slope stabilization, which will help keep the road safe.

“We are adding about 350 Linear feet, this should hold at least that section better in place   so it won’t create such a substantial drop and change on the pavement surface,” said Leamon.

Leamon said if you can, motorists should use Signal Mountain Road or Roberts Mill Road as alternate routes.

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Chattanooga State received $15,000 in a grant

Chattanooga State received $15,000 in a grant

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee- Chattanooga State is getting some help from Tennessee to offset the cost of textbooks.

The school is getting $15,000 in grants. Biology professor Michael Anderson said some students aren’t always able to take the class because they can’t afford the book.

He said the money students save on textbooks, they can use to pay for something else educational.

“Any type of reduction in required course cost can help, such as go towards something else, maybe contribute to room and board, cost of food, or to another class that is able to offer those educational resources,” said Anderson.

Anderson said the current grant for free textbooks is still limited, but he hopes it will open up to all Chattanooga State students in the near future.

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Police investigate Monday afternoon shooting in Alton Park

Police investigate Monday afternoon shooting in Alton Park

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Chattanooga police are currently investigating a shooting  that happened this afternoon.

The shooting happened on Central avenue near Greater St. Mary Baptist Church shortly after 4:30 pm.

Police say one male party has been shot and he is suffering from non life threatening injuries.

This is an ongoing investigation and we will update you when we know more.

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Chattanooga Mayor’s Office Statement on the Forgotten Child Fund

Chattanooga Mayor’s Office Statement on the Forgotten Child Fund

Below is a statement from Donna Williams the Administrator for the Department of Economic and Community Development.

 

“The Forgotten Child Fund and the Chattanooga Furniture Bank have done incredible work to help our residents each year and we are grateful for their years of service to Chattanoogans. The Mayor’s Office and the Department of Economic and Community Development have been working with them to find a solution and ways they could receive City funding. We are equally excited to continue moving forward with a plan for this site that will provide stable, safe, long-term housing for people in our city who need it the most, and we are grateful to the Forgotten Child Fund for their understanding and cooperation in this critical project.

The Mayor’s office has provided their version of a timeline of the most recent conversations with the Forgotten Child Fund below.

  • For several years, the City of Chattanooga has had a contract with the Forgotten Child Fund, the Chattanooga Furniture Bank, and others to lease warehouse space on East Main Street for $1 per year. This is not a unique arrangement as this is something we are proud to provide to numerous non-profits across the community.
  • However, the City surplussed the site at 1815 East Main Street for sale or land donation in 2016 and have been in conversation with the Forgotten Child Fund to keep them in the loop dating back to 2013, per our records.
  • Last December, the City was made aware of a proposed project by the AIM Center and the Vecino Group to create much needed affordable housing for individuals experiencing homelessness and those living with mental illness. We felt the property on East Main was the best location for this project and have begun the land donation process. This project was presented to the surrounding neighborhood associations and supported by the City Council .
  • Since then, the City has worked with the Forgotten Child Fund to help them find space that would accommodate their needs. Unfortunately, the City does not have any additional warehouse space available to lease to them or the Furniture Bank.
  • In February 2020, the City provided the Forgotten Child Fund with a list of privately-owned available warehouse spaces within the City and walked them through the Budgeting for Outcomes (BFO) process so they could submit a BFO offer to get some funding to help cover some of the costs.
  • In June 2020, the Mayor’s Office reached out to the Forgotten Child Fund about the idea of extending their lease, which was set to expire on September 1, so the organization could continue operations through the holiday season. The City moved forward with a lease extension, which was given final approval by the City Council in July and their new lease is set to expire on February 28, 2021.
  • This plan was reiterated to the Forgotten Child Fund Board in September, to which the City received no response or questions.

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Chattanooga Mayor’s Office Statement on Evicting the Forgotten Child Fund

Chattanooga Mayor’s Office Statement on Evicting the Forgotten Child Fund

Below is a statement from Donna Williams the Administrator for the Department of Economic and Community Development.

 

“The Forgotten Child Fund and the Chattanooga Furniture Bank have done incredible work to help our residents each year and we are grateful for their years of service to Chattanoogans. The Mayor’s Office and the Department of Economic and Community Development have been working with them to find a solution and ways they could receive City funding. We are equally excited to continue moving forward with a plan for this site that will provide stable, safe, long-term housing for people in our city who need it the most, and we are grateful to the Forgotten Child Fund for their understanding and cooperation in this critical project.

The Mayor’s office has provided their version of a timeline of the most recent conversations with the Forgotten Child Fund below.

  • For several years, the City of Chattanooga has had a contract with the Forgotten Child Fund, the Chattanooga Furniture Bank, and others to lease warehouse space on East Main Street for $1 per year. This is not a unique arrangement as this is something we are proud to provide to numerous non-profits across the community.
  • However, the City surplussed the site at 1815 East Main Street for sale or land donation in 2016 and have been in conversation with the Forgotten Child Fund to keep them in the loop dating back to 2013, per our records.
  • Last December, the City was made aware of a proposed project by the AIM Center and the Vecino Group to create much needed affordable housing for individuals experiencing homelessness and those living with mental illness. We felt the property on East Main was the best location for this project and have begun the land donation process. This project was presented to the surrounding neighborhood associations and supported by the City Council .
  • Since then, the City has worked with the Forgotten Child Fund to help them find space that would accommodate their needs. Unfortunately, the City does not have any additional warehouse space available to lease to them or the Furniture Bank.
  • In February 2020, the City provided the Forgotten Child Fund with a list of privately-owned available warehouse spaces within the City and walked them through the Budgeting for Outcomes (BFO) process so they could submit a BFO offer to get some funding to help cover some of the costs.
  • In June 2020, the Mayor’s Office reached out to the Forgotten Child Fund about the idea of extending their lease, which was set to expire on September 1, so the organization could continue operations through the holiday season. The City moved forward with a lease extension, which was given final approval by the City Council in July and their new lease is set to expire on February 28, 2021.
  • This plan was reiterated to the Forgotten Child Fund Board in September, to which the City received no response or questions.

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Record Numbers of Early Voting In Hamilton County

Record Numbers of Early Voting In Hamilton County

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – With eight days to go until Election Day, 58 million voters have cast ballots early – surpassing the total number of early votes in 2016 by more than 8 million.

In a year of record-breaking early voter turnout, some citizens experienced longer than usual wait times at polls across Hamilton County. However, in many cases, the wait times look worse than they actually are.

One early voter, Riley Stafford, says that the overall process was fast and simple.

“I got here at 12:30 and I was out by one o’clock. It was very easy,” says Stafford.

Due to the pandemic, long lines span the sidewalks as only a small number of voters can enter the building at a time.

Each precinct has five check-in stations and a coronavirus compliance officer enforcing social distancing and limited entry.

However, lingering fears over catching the virus didn’t seem to phase voters waiting to cast their ballots.

Lynn Schmissrauter says that the stakes of not voting were just too high.

“It’s a big election, it’s an important election. And I think people are understanding how important it is to exercise the right to vote and to get out and, you know, I’ve always thought you really can’t complain if you don’t vote, you know, you don’t have a role in the complaining or you know any of that if you don’t vote,” says Lynn Schmissrauter.

The enthusiasm among early voters doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. In fact, it’s projected that the number of early voters could hit anywhere from 90 to 100 million before November 3rd.

Hamilton County has seen record numbers of people participating in early voting. But despite the long lines, county officials say that most people are in and out in thirty to sixty minutes. They’re encouraging early voting in order to produce a smoother Election Day.

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The Covid-19 rebound continued today in Hamilton County

The Covid-19 rebound continued today in Hamilton County

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The September and October Covid-19 lull in Hamilton County seems to have come to an end.

The Health Department reported 100 new cases on Monday, giving us 100+ new cases for the last six days.

Before that, we only topped 100 three times since mid-August.

However, we still are not topping the peak days from this summer.

The Health Department also reported a new death on Monday for Hamilton County, for a total now of 109.

They also report the hospitalization rate has jumped more than 57% over the last two weeks.

And the test positivity rate is also up (3.9%) during the latest 14 day period.

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PPE and Covid Fatigue

PPE and Covid Fatigue

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- After months of battling the coronavirus spread, some people may start to feel frustrated having to constantly wear mask and protect themselves everywhere they go.

Patience is a virtue.

“I’m kind of a rule follower so if we’ve gotta wear masks then I’ll wear a mask. I’m not too worried about it at this point” said one Chattanooga bystander.

But is patience running thin as people deal with the impacts of covid, for instance, wearing masks and isolation.

“I think it’s hard not to be a bit tired and a bit fatigued by all of this. Everyone is kind of struggling with anxiety” said one woman walking the streets of Chattanooga.

“I feel good. I feel like our mayor continues to encourage us weekly to stay safe” said another Chattanooga bystander.

“We deal well with stress when it’s short lived” said Dr. Carlos Baleeiro of CHI Memorial.

With no way of avoiding the covid pandemic at this time, Dr. Baleeiro said stress and fatigue is likely to become intense, “I work at a hospital. We have lot of colleagues that are first responders that work with covid patients who are avoiding older relatives.”

Dr. Baleeiro offers advice on what you can do to alleviate the burden, “We know that exercise, hiking, running-people may have health issues so they can’t do exercise- even walking, it improves a sense of well being. It releases endorphins. It makes you feel better.”

As the winter months and the holidays approach, Dr. Baleeiro reminds every to stay vigilant with PPE and social distance precautions.

“We’re going to have to be -again acknowledge our feelings, acknowledge how difficult this is for everybody and be more open. We’ll have to be creative and interact in a constructive way and different ways with our families.”

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Forgotten Child Fund Needs a New Building

Forgotten Child Fund Needs a New Building

The Forgotten Child Fund is not allowed to renew their lease by Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke. Mayor Berke and his administration are giving the organization until February 28th to find a new place.

The Forgotten Child Fund provides toys for children who may not have a Christmas. Last year, the organization gave toys to nearly fifteen thousand kids in need.

“What were here today is asking for the public to help us find us a home. This has been started with two Chattanooga police officers, and it’s grown from here. For the last ten years since we’ve been here, we’ve helped ninety-three thousand three hundred and sixty two kids with Christmas,” says Kelly Simmons, President of Forgotten Child Fund.

The Forgotten Child Fund has been at their location off East Main Street for over a decade now. And, this will be their 55th Christmas season serving the community.

Mayor Andy Berke plans to use their building as an apartment complex for mentally disabled and low income residents.

“What we’re trying to do is not point any fingers or anything, we’ve been trying to work with the Mayor’s office for the last year, just to try and find a solution for the forgotten child fund. There’s actually two more charities in this building, there’s the Furniture bank and the Homeless Coalition, so we’re all going to be evicted February 28th, two days before the next mayor’s election,” says Simmons.

“This is going to have a devastating effect. I mean, if we’re operating out of a small building, that determines how many kids we can help. And that means, if we can only help five thousand kids, that means nine thousand kids are going to go without a Christmas,” says Clay Ingle, Spokesperson for Forgotten Child Fund.

You can see the Mayor’s office response here.

The Forgotten Child Fund is asking for the public’s help on finding a new building and not set back their Christmas plans this year. They hope to have a new building with at least 1500 square feet located in the inner city. Contact the Forgotten Child Fund at (423) 697-0031.

To contact the mayor’s office, you can email Mayor@chattanooga.gov or Berke@andyberke.com or call 423-643-7800.

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Forgotten Child Fund Being Evicted by Chattanooga Mayor’s Administration

Forgotten Child Fund Being Evicted by Chattanooga Mayor’s Administration

The Forgotten Child Fund is being ordered out of their building by Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke. Mayor Berke and his administration are giving the organization until February 28th to find a new place.

The Forgotten Child Fund provides toys for children who may not have a Christmas. Last year, the organization gave toys to nearly fifteen thousand kids in need.

“What were here today is asking for the public to help us find us a home. This has been started with two Chattanooga police officers, and it’s grown from here. For the last ten years since we’ve been here, we’ve helped ninety-three thousand three hundred and sixty two kids with Christmas,” says Kelly Simmons, President of Forgotten Child Fund.

The Forgotten Child Fund has been at their location off East Main Street for over a decade now. And, this will be their 55th Christmas season serving the community.

Mayor Andy Berke plans to use their building as an apartment complex for mentally disabled and low income residents.

“What we’re trying to do is not point any fingers or anything, we’ve been trying to work with the Mayor’s office for the last year, just to try and find a solution for the forgotten child fund. There’s actually two more charities in this building, there’s the Furniture bank and the Homeless Coalition, so we’re all going to be evicted February 28th, two days before the next mayor’s election,” says Simmons.

“This is going to have a devastating effect. I mean, if we’re operating out of a small building, that determines how many kids we can help. And that means, if we can only help five thousand kids, that means nine thousand kids are going to go without a Christmas,” says Clay Ingle, Spokesperson for Forgotten Child Fund.

You can see the Mayor’s office response here.

The Forgotten Child Fund is asking for the public’s help on finding a new building and not set back their Christmas plans this year. They hope to have a new building with at least 1500 square feet located in the inner city. Contact the Forgotten Child Fund at (423) 697-0031.

To contact the mayor’s office, you can email Mayor@chattanooga.gov or Berke@andyberke.com or call 423-643-7800.

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Weather Update: Monday Morning’s Forecast – October 26th, 2020

Weather Update: Monday Morning’s Forecast – October 26th, 2020

Tennessee Valley (WDEF): Cloudy & Mild To Start The Week, But Big Changes Are On The Way!

Clouds will stick around through the day, with only widely isolated shower chance. Most areas will stay dry, and anything you seen rain – wise will be very light and over very quickly. Highs will be near the mid 70’s by the afternoon.

Tonight: More clouds (and some fog) developing, with lows again in the low and mid 60’s. A few sprinkles will be popping up,  and we’ll see a heavier and steadier rain for Wednesday night & Thursday. Highs through Thursday between 70 & 75.

All eyes will be on the tropics this week as Tropical Storm Zeta formed Sunday night, where it is expected to strengthen into a hurricane once it reaches the Gulf of Mexico.

*IMPORTANT* The remnants of Zeta could bring rainfall as early as late Tuesday night with the heaviest rain and gustiest winds early Thursday. Rainfall totals are expected to be between from 1.5” to 3” of rain before ending Friday morning.

As always, more updates to come as the day gets closer. Good news, all this looks to dry by Friday afternoon as a cold front pushes through, and Halloween looks to be dry and much cooler!

71 & 47 are our seasonal highs and lows. The seasonal afternoon highs as well as the early morning lows are now on the way down! Daylight Saving Time, by the way, ends at 2am on Sunday, November 1st.

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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Weather Update: Sunday’s Forecast – October 24th, 2020

Weather Update: Sunday’s Forecast – October 24th, 2020

Tennessee Valley (WDEF): More Cloudy, Fall Weather for Sunday!

Sunday morning, some areas could develop fog, otherwise lots of clouds for the valley, but mild with temperatures in the low 60’s. Clouds will stick through the entire day with only isolated shower chances consisting of light rain. Highs will be near the mid 70’s by the afternoon.

Monday morning will be another mild one with lows in the low 60’s and lots of clouds with a few isolated showers. Highs will again be near the mid 70’s.

The tropics are beginning to become more active with newly formed Tropical Depression Twenty – Eight a possible rain threat by mid – week. Lots of updates to come.

71 & 48 are our seasonal highs and lows. The seasonal afternoon highs as well as the early morning lows are now on the way down! Daylight Saving Time, by the way, ends at 2am on Sunday, November 1st.

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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TECH BYTE: Apps Help You Safely Celebrate Halloween

TECH BYTE: Apps Help You Safely Celebrate Halloween

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Don’t let the coronavirus ruin your Halloween plans this year.

Yes, it’ll be different than usual, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t have some fun!

The Nextdoor smartphone app is a great one to have year-round to know what’s going on in your community, but it especially comes in handy for Halloween.

Normally you’d use it to track down the best trick or treating spots to see which houses are handing out candy, but this year it’s being used in a different way.

The map will show you which homes are displaying Halloween decorations.

The spookier the better, right?

This feature lets you avoid the usual large trick or treating crowds, and instead safely social distance in your car, while checking out the creepy decor.

Some houses will even do a costume wave parade.

That means you can still wear a costume, and wave hello to people in the neighborhood.

Another festive app worth having is Creepypasta.

If you like horror stories, this app has more than 14,000 of them to scare you.

You don’t even need an Internet connection!

And of course some Halloween-themed games for your phone are fun too.

“Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle,” and “Addams Family: Mystery Mansion” are sure to keep you entertained.

If you’re a fan of the movie “Friday the 13th,” you’ll enjoy helping horror icon Jason complete more than 100 puzzle levels in different locations.

The Mystery Mansion app lets you decorate a spooky home for Halloween’s favorite family.

To find all these apps, just search “Halloween” in your phone’s app store.

If you’d rather not get out at all on Halloween, you can always watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

Anyone can see it for free on Apple TV Plus from October 30 through November 1.

You can also find hundreds of other Halloween and horror movies on all of your streaming services, including Shudder.

Trick or treat!

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Fatal Fire on Wilcox Boulevard

Fatal Fire on Wilcox Boulevard

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- Chattanooga fire crews battled the flames of a house fire on Wilcox Boulevard Sunday morning.

Officials believe that the fire started near the back of the house.

“We did have a working fire with entrapment -possible entrapment and so therefore we brought in extra companies to cover what needed to be handled on the scene” said Captain Chris Fryar of Chattanooga Fire.

Captain Fryar says unfortunately one person died from the blaze.

The agency says that the victim was located in the bedroom.

“We can confirm that there is one victim inside the structure. We just want to send our thoughts and condolences to the family of the victims from what’s happened here today and the Red Cross has stepped in to assist with that as well.”

Chattanooga fire confirmed that one person and two dogs did make it out the home safely.

Although the fire was eventually under control, Captain Fryar says the condition of the home delayed fire crews.

“We still have some hot spots that we were unable to get to.”

The structure of the house is considered so dangerous that fire crews were unable to enter. Public Works is on scene with assistance. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Light the Night Event for Opioid Crisis Awareness

Light the Night Event for Opioid Crisis Awareness

CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WDEF)- Sunday was the third annual Light the Night event in Cleveland, focused on spreading awareness about the opioid crisis.

This year’s event theme -‘Work in Unity to Reach the Community.’

Greenway Park was filled live music and a host of organizations focused on community outreach.

Light the Night founder Rachel Goins says this years event focuses on more than just the opioid crisis.

“It’s about obviously the covid, it’s about isolation, it’s about depression, it’s about suicide, it’s about whatever you’re darkness is -And there’s a lot of darkness right now. People are struggling with a lot of things and this year the lord landed on my heart that unity seems to be lacking in the communities and the churches and homes because of the disconnection.”

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Brake Light Repair Event

Brake Light Repair Event

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- The concerned citizens for justice and the Chattanooga Democratic Socialist of America provided free tail light replacement in the Food City parking lot on 23rd street.

Both organizations say it’s a way to help drivers on the road and also prevent possible altercations with officers during traffic stops.

The groups are also issuing a petition called the independent civilian oversight board in order to have groups outside of law enforcement review police interactions.

“Lets say a person is riding and they have a brake light out” said Chen Schobert of Concerned Citizens for Justice. “They get pulled over, they feel like that interaction was good, they were profiled in that interaction and they want to complain -In the independent civilian oversight board, they would go to this board of community based organizations for them to overlook that complain.”

If you would like to sign the petition, here is a contact email: communitycontrolnow@gmail.com

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Missing kayaker’s body found after extensive search

Missing kayaker’s body found after extensive search

EAST RIDGE, Tenn. (WDEF)- 26-year-old Robert “DJ” Young from Rossville, GA went missing Saturday morning.

More than 24 hours later, and with the assistance of Several agencies his body was recovered from Chickamauga Creek Sunday afternoon.

Courtesy: TWRA

According to the TWRA, Young’s girlfriend dropped him off Saturday morning at the kayak launch at Camp Jordan.

2 hours later, Kayakers found and reported an overturned kayak about 300 yards downstream from the launch.

The agency says that Young’s fiancé reported him missing when her went directly to his voicemail.

Courtesy: TWRA

Young’s body was transported to the Hamilton County Medical Examiner’s Office.

A link to the GoFundMe can be found here.

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Weather Update: Friday Evening’s Forecast – October 23rd, 2020

Weather Update: Friday Evening’s Forecast – October 23rd, 2020

Tennessee Valley (WDEF): Still Warm, But More Unsettled For Friday Night!

Friday evening will be mainly dry, warm, and partly sunny with rain chances really picking up around midnight as a cold front pushes moisture our way. Nothing severe expected but rain could be heavy at times. Rain totals range from a few tenths of an inch to isolated amounts of above half an inch.

Rainfall will continue into Saturday morning with morning lows near the low 60’s. Spotty showers will into the afternoon and evening with highs cooler near the low 70’s.

Not too bad for the weekend with some clouds and warm weather through Sunday with highs in the mid to upper 70’s.

Continued warm and mainly dry for the beginning of next week with partly cloudy skies and highs in the upper 70’s to near 80.

71 & 48 are our seasonal highs and lows. The seasonal afternoon highs as well as the early morning lows are now on the way down! Daylight Saving Time, by the way, ends at 2am on Sunday, November 1st.

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 Aquarium Lays Off 22 Full Time Employees

Tennessee Aquarium Lays Off 22 Full Time Employees

Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) – The Tennessee Aquarium is laying off 22 full time employees as a result of financial losses during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Aquarium is facing a deficit of more than $5 million by the end of 2020. Aquarium attendance is 50% lower than in 2019. Attendance at IMAX is down 70%.

In a message sent to staff and volunteers Thursday, Aquarium president and CEO Keith Sanford said, “As a leader, pivotal moments like this are extremely tough. While I have compassion in my heart for each individual whose job has been eliminated, I also have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure the Aquarium has the financial footing to recover fully.”

The Aquarium currently has 136 full-time employees and 23 part-time employees.

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