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News - Friday, December 29, 2017

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Opioid crisis and juvenile justice
Two issues poised to dominate 110th General Assembly

With the state’s budget projected to be tight and lawmakers lining up to run for re-election in 2018, the coming legislative session isn’t expected to yield many surprises.

But the 110th General Assembly still has a long row to hoe as the session starts Jan. 9 with new legislative offices and committee rooms in the renovated Cordell Hull Building in downtown Nashville.

Cates, Feldman top Husch Blackwell honors

Mid-South Super Lawyers and Rising Stars named six Husch Blackwell attorneys from Chattanooga to its 2017 lists.

Super Lawyers include Alan Cates as a top-rated estate planning and probate attorney in Chattanooga and Ronald Feldman as a top-rated real estate attorney.

Tracy Wooden named Top 100 High Stakes Litigator

Chattanooga attorney Tracy Wooden has been named one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators for 2017. Selection is by invitation only.

To be considered for selection, an attorney must have litigated, for either plaintiff or defendant, a matter with at least $2 million in alleged damages at stake or with the fate of a business worth at least $2 million at stake.

Judge Thomas’ book proves there is art in jury trial

As a retired trial judge with 20 years of experience on the civic bench and over 25 years of experience as a trial attorney, Neil Thomas has witnessed lawyers who are inexperienced in trying jury trials. This prompted him to write “Imagination and the Art of the Jury Trial.”

Mangum returns to Grant, Konvalinka and Harrison

Lee Mangum has joined the law firm Grant, Konvalinka and Harrison, PC.

Mangum, from Newnan, Georgia, graduated from the University of West Georgia with a political science degree after serving in the U.S. Army.

Mangum earned his J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law. While attending law school, Mangum served on the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law and clerked for a judge in the Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta.

Simple act warms Ballezzi’s year

Ashley Ballezzi has made a lot of good memories in 2017. This was the year she became a Realtor, joined the Edrington Team at Berkshire Hathaway and spearheaded a holiday charity event that could become a Christmas tradition.

But when Ballezzi looks back on the year, the memory that might be the sweetest to recall – the one that brings tears to her eyes as she relates what happened – involved just her and a homeless person on a lonely curb on 11th Street downtown.

River City Roundabout: New world unfolds with each new movie

It’s May 25, 1977, and my life has just changed. As I step out of a theater in Toledo, Ohio after seeing “Star Wars” and unchain my bike from the rack near the ticket window, I realize I’ve fallen in love.

It feels like the moment several years earlier when I realized girls were pretty. My mind has been opened to a wonderful new experience: the movies.

‘Darkest Hour’ brightens holiday movie offerings

Gary Oldman holds absolute sway over every moment he’s on the screen in “Darkest Hour,” which is nearly all of them.

His performance as Winston Churchill is a towering achievement, one that will be remembered in the way one remembers Robert De Niro in “Raging Bull,” Marlon Brando in “The Godfather” and Jack Nicholson in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” which is to say it is one of the greatest film performances by an actor in motion picture history.

Lawyers, judges raise $12,550 to benefit Legal Aid

Legal Aid of East Tennessee is the beneficiary of the proceeds from an auction that has become a beloved part of the Chattanooga Inn of Court’s annual holiday party. Members of the Justices Ray L. Brock Jr.–Robert E. Cooper American Inn of Court presented the $12,550 in proceeds to the Chattanooga office of Legal Aid on Dec. 21.

DAR recognizes Hood for community service

The Chickamauga Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution has honored Chattanooga Bar Association Executive Director Lynda Minks Hood with the 2017 Community Service Award. Hood was recognized for her “contributions to the community in an outstanding manner.”

Chattanooga receives $300,000 to implement energy efficiency projects

The Southeast Sustainable Communities Fund is investing $1.5 million in six Southeastern communities, with Chattanooga receiving $300,000 to implement energy efficiency projects in local neighborhoods. The city was selected from a pool of applicants from across the South.

Chattanooga CVB names White president, CEO

Tourism and hospitality professional Barry White is the new president and chief executive officer of the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming Barry to Chattanooga,” says Keith Sanford, Chattanooga CVB board chair. “The search committee was impressed by his proven track record of success in Augusta. Under his leadership, there has been a renewed focus on tourism growth and collaborating with elected officials and other partners at the local and state level to expand their convention center and bring new hotels to that city. We think he’ll be a great leader here.”

Master Gardener Training Course begins in January

Registration is open for the 2018 Master Gardener Training Course. Classes run from early January through the end of April and take place at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga extension office, 6183 Adamson Circle.

The Master Gardener Training Course is open to both experienced and beginning gardeners and offers the most current, research-based information available on topics related to home gardening and landscaping. Subjects to be covered in the 15-week course include:

Audi A5 vs. Kia Stinger: Pick a deal or real deal

When it comes time to buy an upscale fastback sedan, most people naturally consider models from European luxury brands. For 2018, though, those car shoppers have another option: the 2018 Kia Stinger.

Yes, that’s right, a vehicle from the South Korean automaker known for affordability – and one with a name that could have been cribbed from a Nerf gun.

‘Conquest of the Skies 3D’ brings incredible views of nature’s fliers to Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater

Whether they’re made of scales, feathers or skin, every flap of an animal’s wings is a testament to nature’s miraculous defiance of gravity.

“Flight is amazing,” says Kevin Calhoon, the Tennessee Aquarium’s curator of forests. “When I think of flight, I think about how much we don’t understand about how it works. I think about migration. I think about the fact that birds can not only fly but also be so maneuverable in the air. It’s amazing.”

Tight supply only negative in ’18 market

While many of the topics in this space over the last 12 months have used past sales and statistics to provide insights and information, this week, I’m going to look into 2018 and share some of my personal predictions.

Home sales in the Greater Chattanooga region will continue along a positive path in 2018. The increase will be modest because of the tight supply of homes available for sale, but sales will continue at the record levels we’ve been experiencing in 2017. The overall economic outlook is positive, and unemployment remains low locally and nationally, so buyer confidence will continue into the new year.

A good year for builders

As I near the completion of my tenure as president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga, I thought it was important to review the past 12 months and reflect on the many activities and accomplishments our association experienced during that time.

Time for New Year’s financial resolutions

We’ve reached the end of another year – which means it’s time for some New Year’s resolutions. Would you like to study a new language, take up a musical instrument or visit the gym more often? All these are worthy goals, of course, but why not also add some financial resolutions?