Hamilton Herald Masthead

News - Friday, December 22, 2023

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Selling higher education
‘Frustrated’ Tennessee universities unite to fight declining enthusiasm

Countless conversations over the holiday season will look toward the future, and many will examine higher education as a means of improving that future. A consortium of Tennessee’s public universities has coalesced behind the “Four the Future” campaign, an awareness and educational program designed to boost four-year college attendance.

A downhome Christmas: Poston writes about strange case from the 80s

This is an adapted excerpt from McCracken Poston, Jr.’s upcoming book, “Zenith Man: Death, Love, and Redemption in a Georgia Courtroom” (Citadel; hardcover; Feb. 20, 2024).

It was Friday, Dec. 4, 1998 – four short weeks before Alvin Ridley’s murder trial – and my client and I were on our second day of copying the voluminous writings I’d recently found in his modest home – writings purportedly by Virginia Ridley, his wife of 31 years and (if you believe the state of Georgia) his captive for the last 27 of those years before he killed her on Oct. 4, 1997.

Attorney Poston’s ‘Zenith Man’ scheduled for Feb. 20 release

Was small-town TV repair man Alvin Ridley a harmless eccentric or a bizarre killer?

In “Zenith Man: Death, Love, and Redemption in a Georgia Courtroom,” attorney McCracken Poston reveals the inside story of his most famous case and trial, which became a tale about not only his quest to clear his client’s name but also his journey to rebuild his own life.

Judges: Beholden to Constitution, accountable to people

The first three words of the United States Constitution are “We the People.” These words are also the most important words in the entire document. For it is “the people” who “ordain[ed] and establish[ed]” the Constitution, and by so doing created the government of the United States.

Champion retiring from 2nd career in real estate

Thirty years ago, Steve Champion was as far away from the realm of home sales, seller contracts and fretting about mortgage rates as anyone could be. Instead of leading business meetings, tracking changes to forms and laws and training Realtors how to best serve their clients, he was spending his days coaxing music out of guitars, teaching others how to do the same and minding his store, Champion Music.

November 2023 local housing market statistics

Low inventory, elevated sales prices and decades-high interest rates continue to weigh on the housing market, causing sales of existing homes to fall to their slowest pace since August 2010.

U.S. existing-home sales declined 4.1% month-over-month and 14.6% year-over-year as of the last measure, the National Association of Realtors reports. It seems prospective buyers, faced with rising homeownership costs, are waiting for mortgage rates and home prices to drop.

Crafting homes for the modern pet-owners

The influence of pets on homebuying decisions is more significant than ever. Data from the 2021 U.S. Census Bureau reveals that nearly half of the 128.5 million occupied housing units (about 63.8 million) have at least one pet.

The impact goes beyond occupancy, with consumers spending a staggering $100 billion on pet-related expenses in 2021, surpassing expenditures in categories like women’s clothing or alcoholic beverages, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Surveys.

Newsmakers: Trust for Public Land promotes Johnson

Trust for Public Land this month announced its promotion of David Johnson to parks and schoolyards program manager for its Tennessee office.

Johnson has served TPL since 2017 as a program director. He previously held several roles with the city of Chattanooga, including as assistant director of parks, where he oversaw budgeting and operational improvements throughout the parks system. He holds a Master of Public Administration in local government management from North Carolina State University and a degree in parks, recreation and leisure studies from Western Carolina University.

Briefs: City receives federal grant for rail study

The city of Chattanooga has earned a $500,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Corridor ID Program to fund a study to develop the scope, cost, engineering and other requirements needed to establish new passenger rail service on existing alignments along the Atlanta-Chattanooga-Nashville-Memphis corridor.

Looking for family fun during holidays? Here’s a Clue

On a stormy night, four detectives step into the foyer of a lavish hillside mansion and find themselves staring at a locked door. Beyond this obstacle is the kitchen, where they’ll use their wits to stop a murder by identifying the culprit before it’s too late.

Financial Focus: Avoid tapping into retirement savings early

If you wanted to make a big purchase, a new car or a piece of property, for example, or you were faced with a large, unexpected expense such as a major home or auto repair, would you have the funds readily available? If not, you might look at what may be your biggest pool of money – your 401(k) or IRA. But should you tap into these accounts well before you retire?

Personal Finance: How to avoid return fees more retailers are charging

If you’re someone who likes to return and exchange gifts after the holidays, prepare yourself: Making returns could feel a little different this year.

“It’s going to be hard for consumers to navigate,” says shopping expert Trae Bodge. “The return policies are all over the place.” The biggest change, she adds, is that more retailers are charging fees for returned merchandise.

Preseason 2024 should begin now for Titans after 2023 disappointment

Now that the Titans have officially been eliminated from any playoff consideration, they need to treat the last three games of the season in much the same way they would play preseason games in August.

That’s not to say that they should play the starters for two series and then sub everyone out. But everything should up for evaluation in these last three games.

Titans already getting rid of roster misfires

No doubt the Titans face a rebuild after being relegated to their second consecutive losing season under coach Mike Vrabel.

It seems likely that Vrabel, who inherited a playoff team when he took over from Mike Mularkey in 2018, will get a chance to work out of the current mess the Titans have become through poor drafts and free agent misses over the past few years.

Seahawks at Titans: What to watch

The Titans are eliminated before the final week of the regular season for the first time since Mike Vrabel became head coach six years ago. It will be interesting to see how he and his players handle playing out the string. With the 7-7 Seahawks coming in, the Titans can be in a Grinch role beginning Christmas Eve by denting Seattle’s playoff hopes.

Small luxury: Genesis GV70 tops Mercedes GLC

The Mercedes-Benz GLC has long been a popular choice for a small luxury SUV. From luxury and performance to technology, the GLC has set a standard that few other competing SUVs have been able to match. Last year, Mercedes redesigned the GLC, giving it a new interior and fresh styling. It’s a compelling SUV, but it’s not the only one.