Hamilton Herald Masthead

News - Friday, December 30, 2016

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Housing industry pros sound off on the new closing disclosures

Many professionals in the housing industry saw Oct. 1, 2015 as a day of doom.

After the devastating mortgage crisis that began in 2009, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) drew up new closing disclosures designed to inform and protect consumers. The regulations included a multitude of procedures and stiff penalties for noncompliance.

Arth might turn out to be Blackburn’s best hire

David Blackburn has received considerable acclaim for his coaching hires during his last three years-plus as athletic director at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

This past week, in what very well could be one of the last official acts for Blackburn before he himself is hired away, he may have made the best hire of all.

New year’s resolutions for legislators

Some Tennesseans recall the days when the state Legislature met every other year and wonder if it should revert to that schedule. Considering the General Assembly pushes most of its work into three and a-half months, it might be worth a try.

Then again, days on Capitol Hill are so fun and enlightening, what would we do from January through April without the whole Hee Haw gang in town? After all, they debate everything from guns and pot to transgender bathrooms and Bibles. That’s pretty close to sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll.

Local lawyers, judges raise $5,500 to benefit center

Several members of the Justices Ray L. Brock Jr. - Robert E. Cooper American Inn of Court visited the campus of Orange Grove Center this month and presented Orange Grove with donations totaling $15,500.

The money was raised during the live auction that has become a favorite part of the Inn’s annual Holiday Party.

Local firm files lawsuit on behalf of victims of school bus tragedy

Chattanooga-based law firm Berke, Berke & Berke, along with Baltimore, Maryland-based law firm Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, has filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee on behalf of the victims of the Chattanooga school bus tragedy.

Mayor pledges $1 million to Children’s Hospital

The City of Chattanooga is making a major capital contribution of $1 million to aid in the construction of the new Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. The City is committing these funds in honor of the children and families cared for by the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger after the Woodmore Elementary School bus tragedy on Nov. 21.

Local needle worker to receive Arts Award

Governor Bill and First Lady Crissy Haslam will honor Mexican needle worker Celia Garduño of Chattanooga with a 2017 Governor’s Arts Award.

Once a year, the Haslams honor Tennesseans who represent the best in arts and culture in the state with a Governor’s Arts Award, Tennessee’s highest honor in the arts.

Hey Vol fans, Happy New Year

Hey Vol fans, Happy New Year. May your 2017 year in Tennessee sports be better than your 2016 year in Tennessee sports. Perhaps, a fresh start is what we all need.

Let’s face it. The Music City Bowl wasn’t where Tennessee wanted the 2016 football season to end.

Critics Corner: I loved you in ‘Passengers’ - said no one ever

I’m a sucker for a good space movie. Send a ship full of people hurtling through the cosmos and pit them against certain death, and I’m a happy camper.

Too bad “Passengers” isn’t a good movie. Instead, it’s a bad one with an appalling misstep in storytelling masquerading as a happy ending.

Be cautious of predatory law firms
Dishonest firms may target families grieving from Woodmore Elementary school bus crash

Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III is asking Chattanooga residents to be aware of predatory law firms seeking to profit from the Woodmore Elementary school bus tragedy on Nov. 21, 2016.

While communities and families deal with the heartache and stress associated with the tragedy, out-of-state law firms have been known to solicit business and coerce families into signing legal agreements that are difficult to understand.

Healthy job market pushes surge in existing-home sales

A big surge in the Northeast and a smaller gain in the South pushed existing-home sales up in November for the third consecutive month, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.61 million in November from a downwardly revised 5.57 million in October. November’s sales pace is now the highest since February 2007 (5.79 million) and is 15.4 percent higher than a year ago (4.86 million).

2017 to brings changes, challenges to real estate

Welcome to 2017, a year of many changes and challenges for everyone in the housing industry.

The first change you will note is that this article has a new author and face. Each year, the members of the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors elect a new president to lead the organization; I will be serving as president in 2017. I would like to thank Nathan Walldorf for his hard work and leadership of our organization in 2016!

Keep family, home safe with smoke detectors

Our entire tri-state region is experiencing record-breaking drought conditions this winter, so it’s especially important to know how to best protect your family in the event of a house fire. It only takes a few simple steps to ensure your family and your home stay safe:

When you retire, where can you find investment income?

As an investor, your main goals will change at different times in your life. During your working years, you need to grow as many resources as possible for retirement. Once you retire, however, you will likely need to focus more on getting income from your investments. But what are your options? 

Parting words, growing orbits

As I read of “Right Stuff” astronaut John Glenn’s Dec. 8 death in Columbus, Ohio, a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke runs through my head. The first stanza goes:

I live my life in growing orbits,

which move out over the things of the world.


First day hikes

Start your New Year off with a hike at a nearby national park on Sunday, Jan. 1.

Ranger Jesse will lead an easy 1.5-mile hike along the Tennessee River at Booker T. Washington State Park, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Ranger Matt will lead an easy one-mile hike at Harrison Bay State Park, 11:30 a.m.